Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter | Ska Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
237 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial PorterNefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter

Brewed by:
Ska Brewing Co.
Colorado, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 03-05-2004

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 237 | Ratings: 450
Photo of jhammerly
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking bottle that stood out on the shelf. You know with a wax dipped cap and neck, this has to be something special. Liquid night poured into a goblet with some hints of light barely showing at the edges. Nice 1 1/2" tan head that quickly evaporated into a thin lace.

The scent of roasted chocolate was very light on the nose. Pretty thin mouthfeel with not much bitterness. If I didn't read the 8% ABV on the label, I never would have guessed that this was very high. A bit sweet for my taste as well.

A nice offering from SKA, but something that I would prefer in smaller servings. A bomber is too much for me as far as the sweetness goes. I like my porters to have more bite to them. Still, this is good.

 721 characters

Photo of aleyeast
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz crown with wax, poured into a stone inmperial stout glass
color is dark brown with reddish hues and a small brown head
aroma is chocolate, alcohol on warming
thinner in taste, still chocolate is dominant with some anise, thinner than what I expected at 8%

Overall a definite try.

 291 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this from absolutesites and has been in my cellar for just about a year.
Black in color with very little light passing thru the very edges....a half a finger of off white head and very little lacing with a hand washed snifter.
Cocoa, bready nose, and some roasted malt.
The taste is enjoyable enough...plenty of chocolate, very little coffee, some sweet malt in the finish and a small amount of bitterness as well.
Mouthfeel is slightly above average and the carbonation is right for the style.
Goes down very easy...alcohol is totally hidden so this one could sneak up on you at 8%.
Very much in line with what I'd expect from this one...definitely delivers a comparable taste to others like Southampton and Gonzo.
Ska is on my list of places to visit...call it my 5 year plan.

 794 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Secret Santa 2005 # 9

Black body with Coke-like highlights along the bottomof the glass. Light chocolate milk shake foam peaked above the rim before settling into a thin table top. Nice stretched lacing.

Impressive, assertive nose of licorice, coffee, and chocolate grabs hold as soon as the cap is popped.

Taste starts with roasty notes of coffee and chocolate. A rising tide of earthy hops. Small dram of alcohol on the tongue in the finish. A touch of belly fire with the aftertaste. Nice compostion all told.

Good mouthfeel. Good drinkability.

A fine example of a wonderful style. Good nightcapper.

 617 characters

Photo of RoBotGod
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I think this might be the best in this style in my state. Super dark and rich. The nose tells all about the coffee and dark chocolate. I also get small hints of toffee as well. The taste is great. Smooth and not over powered by alcohol. The coffee wrap up stays on the end of your tongue after the dark porter finish. I’m not a big fan of the six packs from Ska but there bombers are a must try. If your any kind of fan of the style, give this a try.

 451 characters

Photo of PatYoda
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown color with absolutely no head whatsoever. The smell is very nice and complex. Coffee, roasted grain, and a brown sugary sweetness make themselves known. I smell no alcohol. The taste is a bit of a letdown. The roasted flavors don't really come through much and the coffee is very muted along with some cocoa. That leaves a too sweet brown sugar/molasses taste that dominates. There is some pleasant hop bitterness which interacts with roasted malt bitterness in the finish though. This is not robust enough for my tastes. I also feel that the mouthfeel was quite thin. Drinkability was good. There's certainly nothing offensive about it.

 662 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is almost black. Very close. Dark streaks of ruby are apparant to my eyes. A thin brown head is generated with the pour and this head dissipates rather quickly to a bubbly collar. Lace is sparse. Aroma is milky sweet. There's a definite lactose like characteristic. But there's also some char and chocolate on the nose too. Almost smells like an Imperial Milk Stout. (Ha Ha). Quite the interesting combo of flavors. It's got the dry, chalky flavors of cocoa powder. But also a sweet lactose like presence. It almost tastes more reminiscent of a classic Baltic Porter than of the Americanized styles of Imperial Porter. In any case, it tastes good. There's just a slight bitter, dry hop flavor. But the chocolatey and sweet lactic tones dominate. The body could use a little more heft to it. But the carbonation seems to be on the mark. Good brew.

Thanks MJR.

 870 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.36/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

thanks to hopdog for unleashing this much anticipated bottle...
Appears a dark brown with a 3 finger tan head. Lots of chunky lacing is left all around the glass.
The smell is of heavy dosages of lactic chocolate, fruit, and a touch of coffee.
Taste is of smooth lacto sugared chocolate, light caramel, and some fruit and coffee.
Mouthfeel is overcarbonated, sweet and lactic.

 380 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
3.21/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

For a beer that touts the name Imperial, this is quite a weak brew. It looks decent. Not quite opaque brownish black with a nice fluffy off-white head that settles out to a stadium pour in a matter of minutes.

The beer smells like cheap malt with a thin hint of chocolate and an even thinner hint of roast. There is a little bit of a hop profile in the back, but this beer almost smells like foul tap water.

The taste is not much better. Sweet and chocolatey up front, dry and roasty in the back. The finish has a bit of a smoked peat and earthy nuttiness to it, but it doesn't taste much heavier than your run of the mill porter, if at all.

The body is very thin and flat. This is fairly low of the drinkability scale in so many ways. Nice try Ska, but this is no imperial porter.

 790 characters

Photo of blackie
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: A little rust under the cap, probably no big deal. The pour into my snifter creates a very low, tan head that quickly disappears. The beer is a very dark brown...sort of mahogany, but darker.

smell: The predominant aromas seem to be moderate hops and a mixture of dark and milk chocolates. Some hints of caramel, shortbread cookies, and dates are present. Theres also an aroma of sweet French vanilla cappuccino.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the high end of the low range. Combined with a heavier medium body, a slick and smooth mouthfeel is created.

taste: Similar to the aroma, but with more roasted malt character evident. The chocolatey sweetness is great, and is not cloying at all. There's a slight coffee flavor and accompanying astringency. A light hop bitterness gives just the right balance. Not as complex as the aroma, but still darn good.

drinkability: Very drinkable, not a hint of the ABV anywhere and tasty enough to keep me sipping.

22 oz. bottle from Whole Foods, sat in the cellar a couple months before drinking

 1,063 characters

Photo of battlekow
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Sam's while I was down in Chicago selling my soul at Ikea. It looks pretty good, a dark brown, but I would have liked the rather white head to be a bit darker. It's not real big on flavor or smell, disappointingly thin and watery. There's a bit of fruitiness, especially in the nose, but overall it's not particularly "Baltic." There's some roastedness and chocolate, undercut by grapes, in the nose, but the best part of the beer is the strong cocoa finish on the flavor. Nefarious Ten Pin is easily quaffed, but not especially memorable; I could easily drink several, but I only like it enough to have one.

This beer brings to mind something that's been bugging me, namely the "Baltic Porter" category. Clearly this is just a weak Baltic porter, but other stuff, like Flying Dog's Gonzo or Three Floyd's Alpha Klaus, really belong in a different category due to their dearth of fruitiness and heavy-handed use of hops.

 953 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.49/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Part of a great package from Mentor!

I am pouring a room temp bottle into a snifter.
The beer pours a rich dark brown with mahogany highlights at the edges of the glass. No lite passes through. A creamy and fizzy tan head foams up 1 cm and fades rather quickly to an edge layer with a few bubble islands in the middle. The head remains a edge layer throughout sampling.
Aroma, wow! It is robust with chocolate, brown sugar and molasses mixing with cherries and raisins, smells like a winner! I also get just a hint of herbal hops in the way background. But make no mistake, this is a malt lovers beer!
The first sip reveals very mild almost non-existent, soft spacious carbonation. The body is silky textured and fairly thick. A big beer came in this bottle!
Flavor starts off with some dark fruit, raisin or plums, and then rolls to a lingering chocolate sweetness like a Hershey kiss that is overtaken by some warming alcohol. THe alcohol leaves a bit of a tingle on the back of my throat and keeps me from downing this tasty beer faster. A very tasty robust beer that is a sipper. Glad to have a full 22 oz of this tasty brew!

 1,136 characters

Photo of mntlover
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black with some deep red showing thru a smaller tan head that leaves behind some spotty lace.

Aroma is nice chocolate with expresso and fruit in the background and a good hop presence.

Taste is chocolate and lightly bitter coffee some earhty peat like flavors with hints of smokiness. As it warms light liqourice flavors come out along with light fruitiness. Has a decent citrus hop bite and lingering bitterness for a porter.

Mouthfeel is lively which makes the mouthfeel seem a little lighter say around medium.

Drinkability is good not a bad porter not as full as I expected hell its worth a try maybe even a revisit. Taste was a toss up 3.5 or 4.0 couldn't make my mind up.

 697 characters

Photo of benito
2.23/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

From the wax-topped bottle, this poured a midnight black with a good, slightly tan head. The aroma was a light cocoa with a hint of coffee: a very restrained bouquet that made me wonder just how strong this would prove to be. Restraint characterizes the taste which my friend (who was also trying it) described as "water with an aftertaste of porter." The cocoa flavor was distinct and present, but lacking was the characteristic robustness of a classic porter. This was light (read: watery) in body and offered little for my mouth to chew on.

For a bomber offering, this is a disappointingly weak beer. Not recommended.

 624 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up in Colorado. Poured from its 22 oz bottle a pretty dark black color. There were noticeable color streaks of dark browns and reds in the edges. A very limited head and lacing but it was nice to see throughout the tasting.

The smell is light for a Baltic Porter but some stronger aroma's of sweet chocolate and molasses are present. A nice floral bonquet is noticed as well. Reminds me more of a sweet chocolate bar then anything.

The taste is light for a Baltic Porter as well but has some interest sweeter flavors. The sweet chocolate theme remains more dominate of all flavors. Some lighter coffee tones and a more notice milk quality is there as well. The beer is very smooth but some light zings from the alcohol at the end. I would have liked to see more of a bigger base to tone down such a chocolate bar taste but still good and unique.

The body is light to medium and very smooth and easy to drink. I would have like to see more but still an enjoyable beer all the same.

 996 characters

Photo of nickss
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black Black Black.... definitely no light shining through this one. Nice 1" chunky khaki colored head. Side note: the bottle looks pretty fargin cool as well =P

Big berry odor... lots of malt in the nose as well. A bunch of chocolate, yeast, and a tinge of alcohol shines through.

Taste is bitter mocha and coffee... very warming and quite nice.... I dig this beer.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy and wonderful... this beer avoids one of my biggest pet peeves of a lot of porters, that being thin-ness and watery-ness in the mouth... it simply drives me nuts. Glad to see these guys got it right.

I enjoy this brew very very much... the only thing holding its drinkability down is that the alcohol is a bit too prevalent in the taste for me to handle alot of it. Nevertheless... high quality brew. The first I've had from this brewery... definitely won't be the last.

 878 characters

Photo of maxpower
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle pours a reddish black color with a small creamy brown head that leaves some lacing in my glass. Chocolate and coffee aromas, flavors of milk chocolate, coffee, nuts and vanilla. Medium to full bodied with a soft and creamy mouthfeel, finishes on the sweet side, very drinkable.

 290 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Took a chance on this imperial porter. (Remember imperial porter is the equivalent of saying "I am gonna hit you hard...but not really hard.") Dug the bottle that had a blue wax dripping coating.

Pours a dark onyx opaque with a meager khaki collar. No carbonation bubbles appearing.

Piquant scents of black strap molasses and roasted malts. Some easy grape fruit scents and even a healthy cream and sugar cold coffee.

First swigs: Caramel and sugar. Plenty of sugar like a Sugar Daddy candy. Well done easy roasty malts. A porter that falls towards a sweeter sugary side.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the oily slick side. Medium feel. Soft undr carbonated pep.

Last swigs: Imperial porter? Not really "to style" but so what! This is really just a darn tasty porter.

Beer is good. Happy sorta porta beering.

 821 characters

Photo of carln26
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown to black in color with a decent tan colored head. The head leaves a complex lace on the side of the glass as I drink the beer. The aroma is very subtle. Hints of milk chocolate and roasted malt, a bit of mild citrus on the finish. More chocolate in the taste, followed by a hint of espresso, and a light bitterness on the finish. The mouth feel is smooth, and it has a nice drinakbility. Decent beer, much better than their IPA.

 439 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.11/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

thanks mark, this might have been the last of my gifts (except for the big one).

DARK- see thru corners with blood red highlights. cappuccino foam floats and an magical portal-like haze exists on the surface. dive in! nose of mocha chocolate grain silo is both appealing and average in porter terms.. nice butterscotch note keeps it interesting. clean with nothing astringent. light body with chalky baking cocoa bitterness, hop shock and alcohol burn in the finish. husk aftertaste with dirt mixed in.. earthiness isn't all bad but this could be alot smoother to compliment its thinner side body. decent but not the best of the ska line.. eh.

 646 characters

Photo of Quaffer
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, nip cap with wax. Picked this up in Boulder, CO. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This beer appeared black in the glass, but the slightest hints of deep ruby red came through when the glass was held up to a light. The beige head rose up to about one finger and settled quickly. It was dense left a solid ring of foam around the glass when it dissipated. There was a light web of lace left behind as I drank.

Smell: The aroma was lighter than I was expecting. Roasted malts, cream, and chocolate were present and helped to give the beer a warm, round character. However, they were oddly overpowered and didn't stand out enough, in my opinion. They took second seat to spicy alcohol, sharp dark fruits, light hops, and hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and extremely smooth from the tip of the tongue to the back of the throat. I expected something a little beefier from a beer that bills itself as an imperial porter.

Taste: Sweet and roasted malts quickly gave way to bitter chocolate and coffee. A creamy sweetness lingered underneath the entire time. Light alcohol rose up on the finish along with a light hops bitterness that lingered into the aftertaste. The alcohol provided a nice warming effect without ever being overbearing in the flavor.

A good porter, but I think "imperial" is stretching it. Perkuno's Hammer is still my benchmark for this style.

 1,419 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass black with a ruby highlight and a very low tan head which fell in an instant with only a slight effort to lace the glass.

The aroma was strong chocolate and coffee with a nutty presence of Munich? The aroma had a nice roastiness and a nice fruity presence. The expresso coffee was strong, large, and in charge. Some caramel was also present.

The flavor was lightly roasty with a good fruity component and chocolate. The beer became more chocolate and coffee as it warmed, not one to be consumed too cold. The bittering from the hops and roasted grains increased the warmer the beer became.

The finish was dry with a lasting light caramel, chocolate and coffee long and pleasant into the aftertaste. The body was just above medium, but not quite medium full and the carbonation was very low. The beer could use a smidge more head retention and more carbonation. Do not drink this one too cold.

22 ounce bottle. Might have gotten this one from mentor, many thanks!

 1,005 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)

A-This beer pours a deep black with faint hints of brown and a head that is so dark brown it has an auburn hint to it before it fades. A few small bubbles cling to the side but the carbonation looks very gentle.

S- Very fresh deep roasted grain and a slight sweetness. Some hints of licorice, port, and toffee with some brown sugar molasses in the background. It is a very fresh and smooth complex smell.

T- A very clean smooth taste but still complex aswell. Roasted grain and some toasted grain aswell but not astringent or harsh. Hints of dried fruit and some oak notes balanced with caramel and molasses. The finish is very faint on the hops and a hint more of dark fruit.

M-medium-full body with a nice smoothness. No alcohol warmth or astringency.

D- This is my first brew from Ska and I'm very impressed. This beer has lots of complexity and it’s all about the dark flavors. The hops are just for support and the alcohol is also. Good complexity and great flavor with a exceptional aroma.

 1,037 characters

Photo of UncleFlip
4.51/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looks like a porter...dark and not quite opaque....Nice strong head, with a tight bottom and loose top, decreases at average rate.

Smell is a little airy, full of spcie and malt.

The flavour contains coffee and bits of dark chocolate, with a hoppy undertone, and it's rather sweet at the end.

The mouthfeel is not too heavy, not watery. The carbonation is mainly up front, with just a touch again at the and.

Drinkability got the top number. It's a very nice brew. If you make a session out of porters, this is a good one to try. I could down these all night.

Be well

 587 characters

Photo of evoljetta
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber
Overall a great stout. Good aroma of chocalate and coffee. Taste, well like an imperial stout should, creamy, coffee, and not too hot on the alchohol. I didn't notice the thin mouthfeel as others have, but it seemed just right. No notice of the ABV in this beer. A beer that I will keep an eye out for in the future!!

 330 characters

Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter from Ska Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 450 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!