Ninkasi
The Wild Beer Co.

NinkasiNinkasi
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From:
The Wild Beer Co.
 
England, United Kingdom
Style:
Saison
ABV:
9%
Score:
86
Avg:
3.81 | pDev: 9.71%
Reviews:
22
Ratings:
34
Status:
Retired
Rated:
Oct 28, 2021
Added:
Feb 27, 2013
Wants:
  2
Gots:
  3
SCORE
86
Very Good
NinkasiNinkasi
Notes: Appley, complex & deliciously moreish, with fine bubbles and a long dry finish. Brewed with local Somerset apple juice, copious amounts of NZ hops and a mix of champagne and wild yeasts.
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Rated: 3.42 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Oct 28, 2021
Photo of joaopmgoncalves
Rated by joaopmgoncalves from Portugal

4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Drank at The Craft Beer Co, Islington.
Dec 12, 2019
Photo of vinicole
Reviewed by vinicole from England

3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottle with fake wax covered crown top. Clear gold. Frothy and long lasting head.
Spicy yeast aroma.. Slightly funky. Over ripe apples.
Light banana pepper and mild clove upon tasting.
Alcohol apparent. Tingling effervesence.
Tried and enjoyed on a warm Easter Sunday.
Apr 21, 2019
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Reviewed by JonnoWillsteed from England

2.91/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75
L- Pale gold, slightly hazy, pours with 5mm white head.
S- It has a fruity smell, almost like spiced apple. ... trepidation, I have no inkling what this might taste like...
T- Interesting, better than I feared. It has a distinct aromatic spiciness to it, it reminds me of clove/cardamon.
M- For a 9% beer it's more refreshing than anticipated. Likely helps I'd chilled it well. I'm beginning to find the spicy pungency added to it's rich body becoming a bit hard going about 1/3 way into the 750ml bottle.
O- Very unusual, flavour-wise it reminds me of a north European winter or Christmas beer; but perhaps even more distinctly spicy. Later reading the lable I'm surprised to see that no added spices are listed in the ingredients; it really is that spicy and if they somehow conjour all of that from the hops it is surprising. Interesting to try it, but it isn't something I'd go out and buy.

I was given a bottle of this as an Xmas present. The bottle design has changed vs the pic about, the logo is now printed directly onto the bottle. The bottle top has been dipped in white was, leaving trails almost to the shoulder of the bottle.
BB: 23/11/21
Jan 03, 2019
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Reviewed by hopley from Massachusetts

4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
750 ml bottle purchased at the brewery 12/2015, drank out of a tulip on 11/5/18, properly cellared in between.

Look - Aggressive pour led to way too much white head, which settled down to a nice layering that remained throughout, and left just a little lacing. Color was a clear gold.

Smell - Fresh and mild apple.

Taste - Sweet and very apple but mild, not a wild at all, more on the saison side of things. Only a tinge of bitterness. No hint of ABV.

Feel - Medium thick and smooth - surprisingly so for a saison.

Overall - I actually had to sit on this for three years as I left it in my relative's garage in the UK, and didn't make it back for a visit...during that time I'm happy to see they're available at Waitrose. So there will now be a replacement waiting for me on my next visit! Great beer!

After reading a couple other reviews, I wonder if three years of aging might have eased up on the wildness and alcohol taste of a more fresh Ninkasi, or if the recipe changed, as I didn't get either of these in my three year old bottle.
Nov 06, 2018
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Reviewed by NilocRellim from Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Clear dark yellow. Fruity sry apple nose and spiced yeast notes; and tart. Good balance of funky and tart. Tastes Fizzy and fruity. Dry sulfides and apple cider, chardonnay notes. Light funk throughout, moderatr tartness, semidry palate. Notes of wood, tart and farmhouse funk, and spice.
Mar 22, 2018
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Reviewed by Spike from England

4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
From a 750ml wine bottle with an attractive wax seal.
L: Yellow gold colour, light haze with clouds of bubbles and a thick, creamy head that leaves arcs of lacing.
S: Light, floral, citrus & honeysuckle. Some dusty yeast.
T: Semi-sweet, lightly sour, and dry. Granny Smith apple, gooseberry, cloves, yeast. Alcohol heat is evident but not dominant.
F: Medium body with foaming carbonation. Smooth, rounded, soft mouthfeel. Dry finish becomes warm & rich as alcohol emerges.
O: An excellent, very smooth, easy to drink (for 9%!), bone-dry saison. Mimics a champagne. Would be great with food. Outstanding beer to find in a supermarket (Waitrose).
Dec 09, 2017
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Reviewed by EmperorBevis from England

4.41/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Bottled in massive seven fifty ml bomber with wax covered cap
Pours a slightly hazy golden body with big g foaming white head
apples sharp fruit vinegar and sherbet
Cider elements with champane and saison sour
Nov 19, 2017
 
Rated: 3.6 by samEBC from Belgium

Oct 20, 2017
 
Rated: 3.99 by HopBelT from Belgium

May 14, 2016
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Reviewed by PlutonowyManiek from Belgium

3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Color yellow gold. Foam white, impermanent.
Aroma: fruity, citrus and apple in the background.
Taste: here the addition of apples is clearly felt, this time citruses are definitely only a background.
Gentian: dry, grapefruit. Saturation average. Alcohol hidden.
May 03, 2016
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Reviewed by Marius from Netherlands

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Sampled at a tasting. Hazy yellow pour with a thin white head. Smells like lemons, brett and bubble gum. The taste is quite brett forward, with notes of bubble gum and grapefruit. Rough mouthfeel, high carbonation and bitter aftertaste.
Mar 26, 2016
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Reviewed by Ciocanelu from Romania

3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Hazy yellow color with white head. Aroma has an intense brett character. Taste starts bitter and yeasty, quite cloying with bitter almonds / apple seeds. Medium body, high carbonation. Quite interesting but the bitter/yeasty flavor doesn't work that well.
Mar 20, 2016
 
Rated: 4.25 by steverx8 from England

Feb 20, 2016
 
Rated: 4.03 by joemcgrath27 from Canada (AB)

Nov 22, 2015
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Reviewed by CAMRAhardliner from Canada (ON)

3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Pours hazy peach with a massive head that lasts the entire glass, draping foam on the way down. Some white grape, granny smith apple and straw in the nose. Melon and pineapple and apple cider in the taste, pretty unusual. The mouthfeel is pretty full bodied. The finish is yeasty and watery for the ABV. Alcohol is very well hidden throughout. Hops are extremely restrained.
Oct 23, 2015
 
Rated: 3.93 by 4ster from Canada (ON)

Oct 19, 2015
 
Rated: 4.05 by dcmchew from Romania

Oct 15, 2015
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Reviewed by biegaman from Canada (ON)

4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Ninkasi has great packaging and the liquid to live up to it - this Champagne yeast-fermented ale is every bit as suited to a classy flute glass as a fancy aperitif. The many teeny bubbles are slightly theatrical and the head they create somewhat of a spectacle. The hazy golden complexion has a bright shine.

A blend of French yeast, English apples, New Zealand hops, and Belgian brewing tradition, it's that last element that ultimately wins out, though all ingredients contribute. The Somerset cider and Champagne yeast get along like old college buddies, each supplying farmhouse and crisp, fall-time orchard fruit flavours. Sniff hard, however, and you'll also find some brighter, more tropical notes in there too.

But as I said, despite the additions, this tastes definitively Belgian through and through. Like a classic Saison, Ninkasi is characterized by a soft cereal and farmhouse graininess, spicy yeasty phenols, prominent fruit notes, and a smidgen of gently warming alcohol. The juice obviously angles the finish towards a prominently apple-y aftertaste, a combination of tart and baking varieties.

Spritzy carbonation and wild yeast go hand in glove; when it comes to dry prickly bubbles and tickling bacterial tartness one enhances the other. All that sour apple flavour and those yeast esters jump around the palate like clowns on pogo sticks before falling down the throat. The mouthfeel is an exciting roller-coaster and you'll want to ride again immediately.

I wouldn't say Ninkasi is "wildly different" but it sure is 'carefree' - a wonderfully refreshing, well-rounded, lightly funky farmhouse offering, this one drinks with complete ease and pleasure. The use of apple juice doesn't have a tremendous impact but the influence is overwhelmingly positive. Ditto for the secondary fermentation. Provided it fits your budget, definitely throw a bottle in the cart.
Sep 13, 2015
 
Rated: 3.6 by bigox420 from Canada (ON)

Sep 07, 2015
 
Rated: 3.87 by RedAleMan from Canada (ON)

Sep 06, 2015
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Reviewed by Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Bottle: Poured a cloudy bright beige/yellow color ale with a nice huge white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of residual sugar with nice fruity ester, some ripe apple notes and some cereal notes. Taste is an easily drinkable mix of ripe apple notes, with a solid malt backbone with some residual sugar notes and some light hops also noticeable. Body is full with great bottle conditioning and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Love the mix of apple and Belgian malt and the overall balance of this beer.
Sep 01, 2015
 
Rated: 3.52 by orangesol from Pennsylvania

Aug 24, 2015
 
Rated: 4.01 by Molson2000 from Canada (ON)

Aug 15, 2015
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Rated by Bugs318 from Canada (QC)

3.32/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
big bubbly white head. Nose is apples and faint barnyard. Taste is similar but a bit like fake apples. Medium carbonation but creamy anyway
Aug 15, 2015
 
Rated: 4.03 by yancot from Canada (ON)

Aug 12, 2015
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Reviewed by scott451 from Canada (ON)

4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
750ml bottle poured into a glass seidel. A huge five finger fluffy white head on a very coudy apricot. Gorgeous. The head sticks around to the end with lots of clingy lace.
Lots of fruit in the nose. Apple, pear and citrus.
Interesting mixture of brett, saison and something sharp and astringent. A sour astringent finish.
Fairly light body for such a big beer. Lightly carbonated.
Very smooth and well balanced. ABV is well concealed. So watch out for this one on a hot summers day! I wouldn’t give it to farm hands if I wanted any farming dome after. Recommended.
Aug 10, 2015
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Reviewed by jrenihan from Canada (ON)

3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
This one doesn't quite work for me. The apple unfortunately gives it an apple juice-esque flavour, which doesn't appeal. It would also be nice if the yeast provided more of a funky edge.
Aug 09, 2015
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Reviewed by peensteen from Canada (ON)

4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Hazed blonde colour, 2 fingers of dense white head, good lace. Smell is fruity with a prominent brett note, apple and lemony, bit of a earthy cider meets green apple going on, fairly yeasty as well. Taste is quite dry with lingering fruit and a bit of apple cider, lightly sweet cereal malty flavours, some alcohol in the finish, finishes lightly sweet. Medium carbonation, lightly drying feel, medium-full body. Pretty good, an interesting beer for sure, something unique I was happy to try.
Jul 30, 2015
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Reviewed by polloenfuego from Canada (NB)

3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
A: Poured a hazy gold color with an enormous white head that lasted for quite a while before leaving thick lacing behind in its wake.

S: Apple and some funk on the nose, but all in all the nose is very mild or subtle.

T: The apple continues on the palate, but the funk is buried. There are hints of the yeast, but it is very mild.

M: Very fizzy/aggressive carbonation...from the champagne yeast. It is a pleasing feel overall with a dry finish and the alcohol hidden well.

O: I wish the wild yeasts came through more, but otherwise not a bad beer.
Jul 26, 2015
 
Rated: 3.9 by kwjd from Canada (ON)

Jul 26, 2015
 
Rated: 3.48 by shivtim from Georgia

Jul 16, 2015
 
Rated: 4 by andrenaline from Canada (ON)

Jul 02, 2015
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Reviewed by taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
750 ml wax sealed bottle served just above fridge temperature. Served into a Boneshaker snifter. Expensive at $11.65 CDN per bottle. seeing as this a a new brewery to Ontario, I'm interested in what a strong saison from Britain could offer.

Appearance - Hazy rich golden color, bright yellow with honey hues. An impressive two fingers of white head is poured however the staying power is lackluster and barely and lace is formed.

Smell - Some funky yeast aroma, definitely some apple and an underlying "wildness" to the aroma. Repeated whiffs give an impression of funky yeast, bananas and a hint of overripe tropical fruit mixed with kiwi.

Taste - Well, this is a little different. Strong and not-terribly boozy until it hits the back of the throat. Lots of apples and some funky yeast. The flavor doesn't really stick to the tongue, a very quick flash of flavor before some sharper boozy flavors take it away. Best before appears to be August 2018.

Mouthfeel - Sharp and a bit boozy, dry finish, moderately carbonated.

Overall - It's not too bad as far as a saison goes, the apple isn't quite as prevalent as I'd expect and the booziness makes this a bit harsh. Still worth a shot for something unique if you can stomach the price tag.
Jun 30, 2015
 
Rated: 3.88 by spinrsx from Canada (ON)

Jun 17, 2015
 
Rated: 3.83 by Ultrarunner100 from Canada (ON)

Jun 14, 2015
 
Rated: 3.58 by Bf_89 from Canada (ON)

Jun 12, 2015
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Reviewed by Chris_Burton from England

4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I've drunk this beer a few times, from pint glasses, wine glasses and even a plastic cup (hey, it was a sunny day and we fancied a picnic in the park) but right now I'm sipping it from a champagne flute, as is recommended on the bottle.

It's quite heady on the first pour, although the head dies down. The body is a fairly pale yellow, but cloudy and completely opaque. The aroma is of bitter apples, with a whiff of white wine and... Zesty lemons? Am I imagining that?

Taste is a strange mix of dry apple cider, champagne and grapes, with a spicy zest. This isn't full on tart, but still a little sour. There's very little hop presence, definitely a good thing in the context of the style. Alcohol is very well hidden, this could easily pass for 5%. Mouthfeel is light and tangy.

Not my favourite style of beer, but very good and moreish. If you enjoy saisons or slightly sour beer this is well worth recommending.
Jun 11, 2015
 
Rated: 3.56 by KAF from Iowa

Apr 01, 2015
 
Rated: 4.03 by dansmcd from Australia

Mar 06, 2015
Ninkasi from The Wild Beer Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 56 ratings