Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter
Ska Brewing Co.

Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial PorterNefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter
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Porter - Baltic
3.85 | pDev: 10.91%
Ska Brewing Co.
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial PorterNefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter
Reviews: 239 | Ratings: 458 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From old, undated notes. Poured from a bottle.

Dark brown liquid; purple streaks when held to the light.

Khaki head; thick lacing.

Booze with a hint of cream in the nose; overbearing.

Medium mouthfeel.

Burnt coffee, milk & booze in the taste.

Not awful, but this is too hot.

May 28, 2019
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1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown body with a creamy tan head. Nose presents caramel, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and a bit of booze. It smells at once sweet, warm, a bit smokey, and dark. The flavor is more beer-centric, focusing on basic roasty malt elements than the extras like chocolate and coffee. They're still there but are more subdued. There's also a fair bit of bitterness and acidity here, out of balance with the other flavors here. Alcohol is detectable. Feels a bit coarse, carbonation too prickly, and too thin.
Good beer, but the acidity and lack of punch on the flavor was a disappointment, as was the thin body.

Aug 05, 2017
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Radome from Florida

4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasted from a bomber bottle.

L - Deepest brown color; opaque. Head is dark tan, thick, creamy and persistent.

S - Clean malt notes of chocolate and roasted coffee. No yeast notes. Low alcohol.

T - Flavors are more interesting than the aromas. Coffee and chocolate, but also smoke and low plum. Low alcohol (bourbon) in the background.

F - Medium body. Low carbonation. Bracing hops bitterness. Low alcohol presence.

O - This is a complex, rich and satisfying porter. It is big and has some characteristics of an imperial stout.

Jul 21, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured out a rich and thick viscosity super dark brown. Aroma was boozy and roasty.

Taste again dropped lots of chewiness, caramel, the viscosity is so thick, might as well call it a stout except that the roasting isn't over the top or more chocolate malt. A little bit of dark fruit, expected in a baltic porter, not as much bitterness from the dark fruit malt flavors as expected.

Bomber format sucks, wouldn't pay $10 for this, even though its a good beer.

Mar 27, 2016
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timontheroad from Colorado

3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Ska Brewery. Dark brown, almost black color, little head and minimal lacing. Aroma was predominantly dark roast malt, with some hints of chocolate, and a faint fruity smell. The flavor was pretty close to the smell, with just a touch more dark fruit flavor. The mouthfeel was thinner than I expected, but not at all in a bad way. Overall, this was a passable beer, not exceptional, but certainly drinkable.

Jul 30, 2015
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matjack85 from Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -5.2%

I found this at Sal's Liquors in Addison, IL.. 650ml brown bottle for $6.49 with no freshness date. Has the usual SKA cartoonish look to the label.

The beer poured a very dark brown color with a 2-finger tan head that lasted a little over a minute. Lacing was good.

There wasn't much smell to this. All I got was a faint whiff of dark fruits.

The taste was mostly figs, dates, and prunes. There's a touch of dark chocolate and a touch of coffee, but not much. Mild herbed hops ubderneath.

It's a bit creamy but still comes off as light to medium bodied, with moderate carbonation.

It's OK, but nothing special.

Nov 13, 2014
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ThickNStout from Georgia

3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Blue wax capped 22oz bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). 7.00. No bottling date. Served in a goblet.

Pours a near-black brown with almost three fingers of pale tan head. The froth settles to a thin haze and leaves small patches of lace.

Mild cocoa, slight roast and a vague fruity yeast on the nose.

Tastes of bitter cocoa, roasted grains, dark fruit skins, yeasty apple character, earth, chalk and slight booze. Not necessarily bad but seems a little weak and there is something that doesn't quite fit.

Semi creamy body that is almost smooth but the carbonation is a bit too lively to allow it to settle on the tongue. Bitter, roasty, yeasty finish.

Nefarious Ten Pin is decent enough but for my tastes falls short of greatness. I don't regret my purchase but won't be repeating it.

Oct 28, 2014
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BergBeer from Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Look: Opaque black with a mocha colored head. Head has good retention but is quite thin. Nice legs on this keep the head up throughout drinking.

Smell: Roasted malt, sweet chocolate, dates, vanilla, slight coffee, prunes, bit of booze, an almost bourbon like note, and more chocolate and vanilla. Smells tasty.

Taste: At first there is a bitter coffee blast that disappears in too huge date/dark juicy grapes, vanilla, an almost smokey peat like note that goes away as quick as it appeared, into a huge roasted malt body with notes of semi sweet chocolate. The dark fruit notes linger on the tongue after everything else fades away.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and not as thick as it would appear. Sticky on the palate and the flora stick to your tongue. Booze is definitely there but it's not too much but it keeps it from being more then a sipper.

Overall: Good. Really enjoy the dark chocolate and dark fruit notes and how they meld together. It reminds me of Ten Fidy's younger brother the only problem I had was it's not as smooth and creamy and the body is a bit thin

Oct 24, 2014
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ArrogantB from Colorado

3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle that I picked up for $6.99. Dark black with a small head, looks like an imperial stout. Aroma is sweet dark malts. Flavor was sweet, dark malts, I would have guessed it was an imperial stout. Overall, not bad, worth $7 but I wouldn't buy it again.

Jul 06, 2014
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Wax sealed 650ml bottle allowed to warm for about 15 minutes.

Pours deep, clear dark brown with a decent light brown head.

Aroma: Dark roasted malts with hints of dark fruits, char and sweetness. Approaches 4.25.

Flavor: Dark roasted malts with a touch of dates and other dark fruits. Slighty boozy; light smoky char. Sweet up front but mildly bitter overall. Coffee and bitter chocolate in the aftertaste.

Feel: Smooth, near medium body.

Jun 24, 2014
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Undated bomber at 50 degrees into snifter
Aroma of malt, weak
Head large (5 cm), light brown, heaped and creamy, very slowly diminishing
Lacing good – large clots of thick, small bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor of malted grain, slightly sweet, quickly dies with only the sweetness left behind
Palate medium to full, creamy, carbonation soft

Passable; not in the same class with RIS, but then since it’s an “imperial porter” one would expect it to be less flavorful and thinner, which it is. This is not bad, with the appearance of the head, lacing, and body raising the score while the weak flavor lowers it. Worth trying; I have another bottle which I’ll age and try again in a year or two.

Jun 19, 2014
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KFBR392 from Illinois

3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Half a finger of off white head on the pour. Extremely low active carbonation. Poured dark brown but sits black in the glass.

Smell: Powdery cacao nibs on the front. Slightly ashy oak body. Milk chocolate with slightly roasted coffee grounds is picked up on the back end.

Taste: The front is a touch watery with some malt sweetness. Notes of caramel, soapy molasses, dirt, and roasted toffee grounds roll in after the front. There is a mossy funk on the body which I can't really find a reason for, some oxidation maybe? Aftertaste is a mixture of old coffee, plastic, and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Thin overall but lingering tones of coffee and dark chocolate. Carbonation is low which gives no good for flaws.

Overall: Hmm, the chocolate and coffee tones are a little synthetic and off putting. After such a solid wax job on the bottle I had high hopes, because we all know wax topping means it's going to be a good brew.

May 20, 2014
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KYGunner from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured with a thick oily blackness but appeared dead with limited carbonation.

The aroma was grainy with a barley characteristic. It follows with prune, chocolate and more dark fruits.

The flavor holds prunes, plum, fig, and raisin. I catch some caramel malt and a bit of chocolate but the dark dried fruit seems prevalent.

The feel is dry and smooth and the lack of carbonation in appearance seems to play into the feel.

I enjoyed this more as I went as it took some time to settle in, but once my palate warmed to it I found it enjoyable.

Apr 08, 2014
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SamN from Colorado

3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

FIrst review after many years gone. From a bomber, from the fridge, into a dimpled stein.

Appearance: Pours an inky, extremely dark brown. Firm, pillowy mocha-tan head, albeit a little thin. Sticks around pretty good. Less than a finger. But man, does it stick around. Remains solid and firm, sip after sip.

Smell: Beer might be a bit cold, still; not getting much aroma from the glass. Can find light woody-nes, nutty-ness, bittersweet choclate. As it warms some, more delicate flavors appear; light dark fruits, and maybe even a certain rum character? Mostly dark malts. Reminds me more of a brown ale than a baltic porter.

Taste: Taste is mosly true to style; robust malty taste and minimal hoppiness. Flavor profile has a lot of bittersweet baker's chocolate. I dunno, I find the tastes sort of muddled and indistinct. The beer leaves the palette and leaves cocoa and a herbal hop note, which I don't find too great.

Mouthfeel: The feel, however, is a shining point. Medium-full body, nice and thick on the palette with the right amount of subdued carbonation. Very nice.

Overall: Not much of an "imperial porter", more like a strong, dark brown ale. Muddled tastes, disagreeable herbal hops finish. Middle-of-the-road at best. Warming and big, no doubt. Good for preparing for the upcoming snow here, but nothing I would buy again, especially at $8 a bomber.

Jan 30, 2014
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Jugs_McGhee from Louisiana

3.01/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

8% ABV confirmed. 650ml brown glass bottle with blue wax-ed over pry-off pressure cap acquired at me local CO bottle shop and served into an Odell stem-tulip in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average. Reviewed as an imperial porter since that's what the label identifies it as; nothing suggests it's actually a baltic porter.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger wide head of khaki colour which recedes to nothing inside ten seconds - there's not even a lingering floater ring. No lacing either.

Nody colour is an opaque solid dark black - not quite a jet black, but dark. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's an unimpressive appearance for an imperial porter. The head in particular is quite the disappointment. I can't say it really draws me in.

Sm: Smells more like a baltic porter, so I'm going to accept beeradvocate's current designation and review it as such. Dark malts, milk chocolate, hazelnut, and a weak lagery yeast character. It doesn't have the bold uniform presence a true imperial porter would. There's plenty of sweetness here from the malts. I don't find any roasted barley. Hop character is minimal, though I do find some herbal character. Some might call this medicinal. There's also some vague unidentifiable dark fruit buried beneath an equally nebulous licorice note.

It definitely has the empty malt characteristics of a lager. It's a pleasant aroma of mild to moderate strength.

No yeast character or overt alcohol is detectable.

T: Ample sweetness from the dark malts, chocolate malt, and chocolate (adjunct?). Hints of licorice override the vague dark fruit notes. A kiss of herbal hop character. Cola-like, with some sassafras and even some almond. Really, there's not much going on here.

No yeast character comes through. I don't get any roast or coffee or anything.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Not real complex or subtle. Lacks intricacy and nuance. It's straightforward and simple, without any noticeable layering of flavour. Very surface. It has a fair balance and a decent build, but it's far from gestalt.

It's a very obvious and tired attempt at the style. No new elements emerge over the course of consumption. There're no surprising aspects to be discovered as you drink. It's very run-of-the-mill, almost like a paint-by-numbers attempt at a homebrew clone of a superior baltic porter. Very uninspired and boring.

Mf: Sticky. Much weaker than a true imperial porter ought to be. A biteen thin. Lacks body. Smooth and wet. I might even call it slick. Decent presence on the palate. The texture suits the taste generally well, but doesn't come off custom-tailored to it.

Not oily, astringent, gushed, hot, boozy, stale, or rough.

Dr: Downable but forgettable. More middle-of-the-road work from Ska. I see no reason to buy this again and wouldn't recommend it to friends. I'm glad it's an easily available local brew. It hides its ABV well enough and I'll have little trouble killing the bottle, but there's nothing unique or special here. I doubt I'd want another. Might be better on-draught. It's just very unremarkable.

On a marketing note, the whole "imperial porter" epithet should go. Call it an imperial baltic porter if you must, but be a bit more transparent for the consumer. I applaud the fact that they're brewing an underrepresented style - but not that they're seemingly trying to hide it.

Low C+

Dec 27, 2013
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flyingpig from Scotland

4.31/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle at Brewdog Glasgow, Scotland (£12 for 650ml):
Jet black colour with a few bubbles around the surface. Opaque & still.

Caramel & dark chocolate malts with light alcohol on the nose, covered for the most part by the rich aroma of chocolate and some coffee. There is a slight sweetness and some darker fruits such as plums and figs.

Chocolate & some coffee and a touch more alcohol than was apparent in the aroma but still not very much at all. More sweet in flavour too with a few darker fruits coming through alongside vanilla and yet more chocoate.

Smooth with moderate carbonation and a medium to full body. There is a hint of alcohol and the beer is a dry one on the palate & the balance is excellent.

Excellent from the start and well worth the premium I paid for it at a bar. A great beer and one of the smoothest and easiest high abv. dark beers I think I've had; certainly the best in some time anyway.

Nov 08, 2013
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bmwats from Louisiana

3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a tulip.

A: Black. Pours a 1 finger, bubbly, brown head. Settles quickly leaving a thick beer ring. Persistent spider web lacing.

S: Coffee, lots of molasses and butterscotch, a little dark chocolate, and a little licorice.

T: Roasted coffee beans, butterscotch and dark chocolate. A little peat.

M: Thick and syrupy. Very roasty. Bitter and pungent finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is really nice. Pretty decent head, and some persistent lacing. Nose is coffee, accentuated with sweet, and bitter components. Roasted coffee with butterscotch and a peaty finish. Overall, this is a good quaff.

Oct 20, 2013
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Bockrules from New Mexico

3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

poured from the bomber capped with wax into a pint glass

A - Pours a deep black with faint almandine highlights when held to the light. Capped by a two-finger, creamy tan head. Head is reduced to a ring of bubbles half way down the glass, leaves behind several small splotches of lacing.

S - Nice large smell of tons of roasted chocolate malt and spiced rum upon opening the bottle. Doesn't smell too much different from a standard, solid porter once in the glass - mostly chocolate malt.

T - Large amount of roasted chocolate upfront. The body is a solid blend robust chocolate malt, candied dates and plum, and a bit of alcohol when the beer warms. Another big kick of roasted chocolate malt and earthy bitterness as the beer passes over the back of the tongue leads to lingering dark chocolate, plum, and dark rum finish.

M - On the heavier end of medium bodied with a substantial amount of carbonation to give the beer a nice creaminess that expands to fill the mouth.

A big porter here that a got several months ago and was saving for a special occasion. Well today, I finally turned in the rough draft for my Master's degree paper and decided that today was such an occasion. Although a big porter as promised, Nefarious let me down in a couple of ways: first the presentation was merely slightly better than your average porter. Not a great starting point when this sucker cost around $7.00 for the bomber. The flavor profile is bold and filled with roasted chocolate malt and dark fruit as expected, however alcohol makes an unwanted appearance as the beer warms beyond 55 degrees or so and at times is borderline caustic as I finished my first pint glass. No qualms with the lighter than expected, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, I wouldn't buy another bomber of this simply because there are better imperial stouts and baltic porters to be had for the money. I would consider a pint of it if I found it on tap though....

Oct 01, 2013
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sommersb from Tennessee

4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasted On: 05-15-2013
Freshness: Maybe a bottling date of 02-22-2012, but its not clear
Packaging: 22 oz. bottle, pry-cap with wax
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Received in a trade

Appearance has a very dark brown beer, nearly black. You can see just a little through the beer when it is thinned out in the glass; otherwise it is opaque. The head is tan and fairly small, but still shows a decent amount of lacing and retention for a higher-ABV brew.

Aromas are of rich malt sweetness, chocolate, molasses and then dark fruits like figs. Very nice

The taste is malty first up, and has a big note of chocolate. I then get some coffee-like bitterness, dark cherries and oak. Overall rich and flavorful without much bitterness; hard to believe this has 60 IBUs!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, full-bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The finish seems somewhat sweet, with some roasted coffee notes plus chocolates.

Overall just a wonderful beer I wish I had more of! Thanks to Cameron (TheBishopco) for the try!

May 16, 2013
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Pegasus from Texas

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep mahogany brown, vergig on obsidian, with a massive, dense, tan head with superior retention. Scattered patchy lacing adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: Prominent roasted malt, coffee, bitter cocoa, and chocolate.

Taste: Opens with roasted barley, bitter chocolate, which soon segues into cold coffee, later in the taste, dark fruit notes appear. Later in the taste, and particularly as the beer warms, earthy, smoky notes manifest. Finishes with a long, lingering bitter cocoa note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, very pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A worthy example of an uncommon style, likely to please.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twenty-two ounce brown glass bomber with a pry-off crown, and a blue hot wax seal. Served in a Nwe Belgium Brewing chalice.

Sourcing: Purchased at Spec's in Texas in April 2013 for $6.99/22 oz bomber.

May 11, 2013
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srhoadsy from Florida

3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served slightly chilled into a snifter.

Pours very dark, rich brown almost black with half an inch of airy light brown head that quickly recedes with light surface layer and lacing.

Heavy aroma of roasted nuts with a hint of coffee.

Tastes follows through the aromas. Roasted nuts, coffee and hint of bitter chocolate and dried fruits.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a sweet finish and aftertaste.

Overall a very nice beer. Sweet, nutty and flavorful.

May 08, 2013
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facundoCNB from New Jersey

4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark brown almost black with a finger of dark beige head which left a nice amount of lacing behind. smells of chocolate, raisins, molasses, toffee, pecans, licorice.

lots of dark chocolate, roasty grain bill, licorice, very dark coffee beans.. dark and bitter. lovely.

medium body, silky smooth but a little thin for the abv. another very nice offering from ska brewery, much better than their steel toe and buster nut brown ales.

May 01, 2013
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Chaney from District of Columbia

3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I picked this up at a Binny's in Chicago while visiting family.

Served in an Olde Hickory glass.

A: Not black by any stretch of the imagination, but more like chestnut brown, with somewhat of a clear disposition. Kinda light for a porter. The head was less that 1/4 finger and settled on top of the liquid after a few moments.

S: Slight scent of yummy roast, but overall, there wasn't much here in the way of nose. No deep, dark richness at all.

T: The taste was good: Solid hop profile, some dark fruit, roast (without being a BBQ pork beer), infinitely bitter, but I actually thought that was a good thing in this setting.

M: The mouth was a bit thin and I hope Ska works on that. It seems to my mind that Smuttynose Baltic Porter is the standard here, and this one falls way short. Needs most creaminess. The lacing was only mildly splotchy.

O: Not bad at all. Maybe a wee bit too boozy, maybe a bit thin in the mouthfeel, but overall, I enjoyed my session drinking this while up late watching the Food Network.

Jan 12, 2013
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JuicesFlowing from Kansas

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a balloon glass.

After the beer settles, it's a dark black that oddly becomes visibly brown through the light. A light cream colored head recedes to a film, leaving a huge ring of enormous bubbles , thick and foamy, around the edge of the beer. Light lacing randomly appears on the glass.

The smell is about as vanilla as I've ever smelled in a porter, and it's pretty good. Also faint hints of licorice and roasted malts.

The taste is a bit ore smokey up front, a bit more toasty and burnt. The middle is bitter coffee with a slight vanilla follow-up. Sharp cheddar and hops in the finish.

The mouthfeel is sharp, dry, and not without an alcoholic burn on the throat.

Overall, a good imperial porter to dissect and think about. The vanilla notes are really well done.

Oct 27, 2012
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tdm168 from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at World of Beer Raleigh

A - black with a thin lacing of brown, bubbly head

S - roasted malts, faint citrus

T - chocolate, creamy, bitter, roasted malt, citrus

M - medium to full bodied, smoother, perfectly carbonated

This is a delicious, complex, rich, highly drinkable beer. I've been down on Ska lately, but I'm glad I came across this beer. It made me a believer again. This is definitely a beer worth looking into for anyone who likes stouts.

Oct 22, 2012
Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter from Ska Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 458 ratings