Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter | Ska Brewing Co.

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Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial PorterNefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter
Very Good
456 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 456 |  Reviews: 238
Photo of Beertracker
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ska's Nefarious Ten Pin (Imperial Porter) pours up with ample carbonation that creates a moderate tannish brown head that neatly tops the dark brown body. The roasty aroma features cocao nibs, coffee grounds, and a moderate fruitiness. The flavor is not as generous as the aroma would lead one to believe, but there's a solid maltiness marked by a some spicy bitterness that delivers a slightly sharp, bittersweet chocolate-cherry finish. Medium-full bodied with some creaminess & alcoholic warmth. Slight astringency. Enjoyable robust porter, but lacks some fullness, richness, and depth & complexity of a true world class Baltic porter. Definitely worth seeking out. Here's to the King of the Alley!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out deep dark brown with a nice head that quickly disappears. The aroma is of slight roasted malt and deep chocolate. Taste was of slight roasted malt and wham chocolate, lots of it. Very smooth both on taste and finsih. Like a hershey bar. GREAT!

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Photo of ccrida
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blue-waxed bomber poured into a shaker glass, the Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter
(with another cartoony label) is a ruby tinged pitch black, with a decent sized tan head that has some fluff to it and leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is surprisingly roasty, pretty subdued with some chocolate and lactose sweetness.

Taste is just to heavy on the lactose for me to enjoy - I don't think this adjunct sugar integrates well and is always pretty obvious, like beer with added milk sugar, not my thing. Otherwise, it's a roasty porter, really more like a big milk stout IMHO. This is the second Ska brew that I disagreed with the advertised style, the first being their DIPA that seemed more Olde Ale to me. That being said, it's not a bad beer. I guess anyone who wax seals their caps has me expecting magic, and once again, Ska failed to deliver...taste wise, it's got some roast, chocolate, some fruity esters and lactose. Pretty smooth, decent balance, and deceitful ABV...I still want less milk, maybe a touch of smoke, some vanilla???

MF is very smooth, with a lighter body.

Drinkability is pretty good, but I'm forced to think of this one as a milk stout, not a Baltic porter (who complexities I'd be savoring a bit slower). I like the taste, although it's a bit heavy on the lactose, and the ABV is dangerously well hidden, it's just not what I was looking for in a Baltic porter.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple of these blue wax-sealed 22's on a late November visit to Tucson, AZ. Finally got around to trying one, poured to a pint glass (watching 'Ratatouille' DVD!). Great name and cool label illustration...

Ska website shows 77 IBUs for this one, in case you wondered...

A: An initial strong pour gives a 2-finger spongy, mocha-tan head, crackling softly as it drops to a denser, slightly rocky froth. This sits atop a deep, almost impenetrable ebony, tinged with a bit of garnet at the edges. Second pour is even loftier, nearly 4 fingers of crackling head. Terrific sticky/sudsy lacing. Look, overall, is outstanding for me...

S: Light maltiness: milk chocolate, toasted oats and hints of caramel. Latent but indiscernible bitterness. Served pretty cool at first, so I expected a subtle aroma, but this never picked up in intensity even with warming/ added pouring over the course of about 90 minutes.

T: Powdery dark chocolate and sweet toasted grain with a sneaking citrus hopping. As it warms, more distinguishable mocha/cafe au lait coffee flavors arise. A trace of souring and a dry-ish chalkiness in the finish.

M: Modest mouthfeel; for an 8% 'imperial' porter this seemed rather tame. Body was medium at best, feeling slick and cool going down. Good carbonation, a faint prickle.

D: Easy to drink, well-balanced porter...nothing too complex here. Alcohol level is fully concealed - this 8% drinks like a 4-5%...dangerous drinkability! Glad to have tried this; I'll look for more from Ska.

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Photo of mattster
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opened 22 oz bottle, poured into Nonic glass.

Head is 1" creamy mocha color. Brew is dark/opaque blackish brown color. No visible bubbles.

Smell is of roasted malts and light hints of dark chocolate. Nice malty taste, chocolate is not as prominent on palate as on nose.

Nice creamy brew, bubbles are small but pleasant on tongue. Good finish. This beer needs a good steak to really bring out its usefulness. It does pair well with a nice stinky bleu cheese.

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Photo of davidt
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown, only letting light through at the very edges. Very think tan head - looks sort of like a root beer float. Aroma is of malt and cocoa, with some dark fruits emerging as it warms. Taste is roasted malt, slightly bitter expresso. This has a thick, creamy mouth feel. Very enjoyable drink.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz brown wax sealed bottle with no freshness info.
Received in a trade from psprings back in March of 07.

a: Dark brown body borders on black. A thin head disappears in seconds leaving very little lacing.

s: Roasted malt with a heavy handed chocolate aroma.

t: Charred chocolate, coffee, sweet malt reminiscent of a milk stout.

m: Light on carbonation, creamy texture, a bit light on body.

d: Not as rich as other porters, but the drinkability is superb. Very smooth and easy drinking, the alcohol is nearly absent in the flavor, but its not very complex.
A good beer, but I've had better baltic porters and for the money you could probably do better.

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

Pours an almost impenetrable brown that a minimal amount of light gets through. The head is enormous. Nose is actually very interesting. Seems like it has a roasted coffee bean aroma to it. The flavor is actually pretty good too. When the first second or two of flavor wears off, what stays with you is a rich and full flavor that has hints of coffee. Overall this is the best brew I have had yet of Ska’s. I had low expectations, but I was surprised. This one is actually worth trying - especially after you let it warm up a bit. By that point, it becomes quite a bit more.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12/21/07- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info shown. Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance- Deep brown, approaching black colored elixer. Large bubbled one inch plus head with nice streaks and small patches of lace.

Smell- Mild coffee ground scent with a heavy roasted chocolate malt base.

Taste- Lacking a bit of strength or oomph. Has the good amount of almost burnt chocolate malt and the coffee ground notes as well. Really doesn't tie together as would want. Trying to understand what is missing since it has 8% Hops are on the more mild side. Gets a weird medicinal taste towards the end of the bottle.

Mouthfeel- Mild cola like carbonation (to many bubbles here). More of a burnt chocolate aftertaste than anything.

Drinkability- Decent, maybe even above decent baltic, but plenty of other ones out there to float my boat.

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Photo of plaid75
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep murky brown hue with a three finger chunky light brown head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a strong burnt grain with some mild dark fruit sweetness.

The taste was upfront burnt grains with traces of charcoal and dark chocolate. Again, some dark dried fruit flavors were detected.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style.

Overall a tasty and brawny porter.

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Photo of malcontent
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Opaque, dense mass of black liquid topped-off by a creamy tan head.

Coffee aromas blend with hints of vanilla and faint traces of almonds. Can't imagine this was made without the use of both roasted barley and chocolate malt.

A mild fruitiness leads into the bitter, roasted flavors suggested by the nose. Bitter aftertaste seems to owe more to hops than specialty grains which is interesting but not something I think of in a Baltic.

Actually, slightly thin although the finish is creamy, thereby rounding out the mouthfeel a bit. Overall a very enjoyable beer but not as rich and sweet as I am used to from the style. Still, I'd absolutely revisit this one.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650mL bottle poured into nonic pint glass, no freshness date.

A: Pours a midnight black with a brown and tan head, sort of inactive but could be a result of a substandart pour, not quite so pretty but still looks good to drink. Very little lacing.

S: I can smell this one from a mile away, sweet and dark fermented fruits hammer the nose then is followed by the traditional chocolate notes, also has a nice and pronounced toasted gainy scent, all pretty well balanced against the overall sweetness.

T/MF: Sort of a subdued mouthfeel and taste which is both strange and a sort of nice suprise for an imperial beer which normally wallops you, but maybe thats the point. In any case this beer has quite a pronounced toasted malt charcter that is in a nice balance with a snappy hop character. Sort of a lazy mouthfeel that feels a bit too watery for a beer of this character, I almost forget I'm drinking such a big beer.

D: It is a servicable beer and goes down quite easily but it leaves me wanting more.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.33/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was not very impressed with this beer. I think including the word "imperial" in a beer raises my expectations, and this beer didn't really meet those. I didn't find this beer to be particularly roasty, but it did offer a fair amount of cereal and malt-ball flavor (although not to the degree of some maibocks or doppel-bocks) which I don't particularly care for nor do I think is especially appropriate for this style.

Appearance was what you might expect for a porter, as it was black and had a significant amount of tan head. Aroma was a bit cerealy with moderate amounts of dark roasty smell. Flavor was not great - not roasty and flavor was dominated by cerealness and milk-ball flavors that I found unappealing and felt were inappropriate for a porter. Mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I expected, but this beer was by no means watery.

Not really recommended. There are far better imperial stouts, baltic porters, and American strong ales out there to try.

I bought this bottle at Liquor Mart in Boulder when visiting CO to attend the Great American Beer Fest. I brought it back to Milwaukee in my wooden leg and split this bottle with Surly Sober.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First, I love the label and the wax top. Those are the reasons why I purchased this one. What's inside the bottle doesn't look too bad, either. Pours a jet black with a dark cola edge. There is a thin khaki head and just a touch of lacing.

The aroma isn't strong enough for me. It gets better as it warms, but needs more oomph. I get some faint coffee and chocolate roasted malts, but that's it.

The flavor is prominant, thank goodness. Coffee and chocolate are the main players. Almost bordering on stout territory, but the ending is lighter and not as heavy.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, imo. Slightly bitter aftertaste with a touch of dryness. This bomber is going down pretty good, and I am sure the next one I buy will too. I am hoping the mouthfeel will improve with a fresher bottle.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a black color with a thin tan head. The aroma is malty and mild. The taste is malty and has a coffee flavor – very well balanced. The mouthfeel is full and somewhat creamy. Overall, this is an easy drinking porter that I’ll keep an eye out for.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with a very small off white head that disappears very quickly.

Aromas are dark roasted malts, coffee...and a beautiful chocolate.

Taste is surprisingly clean and light like a porter...but with more intense chocolate (bakers) and coffee flavors...almost stout, but still clean fresh and light like a porter. Chocolate with light coffee and a hint of hops as you swallow.

Very refreshing mouthfeel and aftertaste.
Very enjoyable brew. Nothing heavy yet still "imperial"...wonderful.

8% ? No freekin' least I can't find it. Incredibly hidden if it is in there.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this bottle in Asheville a while pack, mainly due to the awesome looking bottle. How can you pass up a waxed topped bottle with a skeleton in a robe and crown holding a bowling pin?? Come on, that just looks awesome. I have also had success from the others from SKA Brewing, so onto the beer....

A - Poured a very deep dark brwon, pretty much black, very opaque and thick looking. Huge creamy tan head lifted up to about two inches, then slowly settled back down to about a half inch layer that just sat on top. Lots of sticky lace down the sides of the glass pretty much obscured everything, overall very full thick look especially for a porter, looked more like a stout.

S - Wow, a porter smelled like this?? Very rich caramel and coffee tones dominated this from the beginning. Very sweet smelling, with a hint of chocolate on the back. Very full aroma, and a hint of alcohol. This thing meant buisness for sure.

T - Wow, this was one big porter. Initial taste was loaded with caramel and chocolate tones. A touch of alcohol warmed it up as well. Lots of roasted coffee tones in the back, and a nice bitter, dry hoppy finish. This was a really well rounded and full taste. Very nice indeed.

M - Very full, pretty much stout like in feel. Rich creamy with very good carbonation. Very easy going down as the alcohol was only moderatly affected. Easily the thickest ported I have ever drank.

D - This is definatly a sipper. Not something I am going to be throwing down lots of in a night, thats for sure. Though as a sippable porter it is very very nice. The rich creamy feel really made this a nice dessert beer.

Overall this really impressed me and kicked my ass to be honest. I was not expecting this to be that heavy. It really has the smell, look, and feel of a stout. An Imperial porter it is I guess, but damn it is full bodied. This is a very nice brew and definatly worth a try, it was very affordable at around $6 dollars, so you really cannot go wrong. Ska keeps putting out these quality brews over and over, well done again!

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Photo of SaltyLime
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - very dark, amber edges when held up to a light, tiny brown head...I dig the wax covered bottle top

Smell - sweet chocolate, light roasted malt and hint of fresh hops

Tatse - very chocolaty with a slight bitterness, a little harsh with the spiciness for my taste

Mouthfeel - thick full body, low carbonation, rich

Drinkability - acceptable, not close to being a favorite

a little disappointing, I was expecting to do a standing ovation for this one.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to NucularGeorge for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a clear/clean dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little tannish fizzy head, some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is sweet, malty, lots of toffee/caramel. The taste pretty much follows the nose, malty and lots of toffee/caramel. The alcohol is hidden very well for a 8% brew. Medium body. Drinkable, this is my first Ska brew, but I do have a bottle of Decadent to be had shortly. This brew, I would recommend if you can find it.

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have to admit there is some serious label lure going on with this one.

Pours opaque brown with little head that fades to a surface layer. Visible carbonation. Some laving observed.

The smell is a subtle sweet malt with a slightly musty tootsie roll.

The mouth feel is singular, without much tingle from the carbonation or hops. Gives it an uncomplicated character with a lighter perception of body.

The flavor is mild. Lightly roasted malt and a hint of chocolate near the end. Finishes clean.

The 8% is hidden from my palate, but i can feel it on the way down.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber. Leaves less than a one finger tan colored head that quickly recedes into a barely-there foam ring at the edge, and no lacing to speak of. Body is black.

Smell - dark crusted malt bread, and some spicy alcohol. Seeming simple, but good.

Taste - exactly like the smell. Roasted malt. Some spicy alcohol, especially on the finish.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, smooth.

Drinkability - this is good ale, but not great. High abv also holds down sessionability.

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Photo of atsprings
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pured into a mug, the beer left a thin darkish head that dimimished into a razor thin head that lasted several minutes before breaking down into a ring. Aroma was rather weak for a beer this strong. Hints of dark chocolate and dried fruit. The taste has rather good with dark mocha characteristics minus the roasted barley flavor of a stout. Mouthfeel does a good job concealing the 8% abv. This is a very drinkable beer, but I'll likely usually pass it up for a similarly priced Imperial Stout.

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Photo of brentk56
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Those who are sseeing this beer as black either have a different brew or need to get their eyes examined as my sample has a tawny port color that can be seen right through when held up to the light; the head has large bubbles and looks more like a soda head than a beer head although it does persist at 1/4" and leave spotty lacing

Smell: Bittersweet chocolate aroma with a touch of charcoal

Taste: Starts out with a sharp chocolate flavor that tastes a bit of burnt toast; after the swallow, a roasted bitterness takes over and overwhelms the more subtle sweet flavors

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light bodied for the abv; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Just too many flaws here to be a top flight candidate for the style; definitely doesn't fit the Baltic Porter category and a bit underwhelming as an Imperial Porter

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Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This years edition pours mahogany with nice beading hugging the glass & fluffed up 1" mocha colored head. Okay lacing & good head retention

S: Rich chocolate & iron

T: Chocolate, dryness & iron up front. Toasted grainyness & more chocolate follows. Slight nuttyness comes through as this warms. Finishes with iron, chocolate mousse & dryness& slight bit of alcohol

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation, richnesss sneaks in as as it warms, almost a like a chocolate malt

Drinks very easy for the ABV. This doesn't really say baltic porter, but pretty tasty. A good purchase at $4 for 22 ozs

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black as a hole in the ground. Stocky, smooth, light tan head with poor retention.

Smell: Honey, molasses, chocolate malt(s), with nice roasty notes that combine with a taffy sweetness to give the impression of charred homemade marshmallows. Just a hint of alcohol melds with caramel notes into an edge of light rum.

Taste: Bittersweet with lots of cocoa, chocolate, and spicy, lightly piney hops. Toffee is also detectable.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and dry, with a cleanness despite its heft. Very smooth and nice.

Drinkable: Sippable, very flavorful but balanced and not overwhelming.

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Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter from Ska Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 456 ratings