November 13th, 2010 beckel
Tonight I will be enjoying another beer from Ninkasi, this time around we have their Double IPA. I don’t know much about this brew, but it does have a fun name, and if it is nearly as tasty as their Total Domination IPA I will be a happy man.
Pours an attractive amber & orange hue that is very bright orange when brought to light. While rather opaque you can see contrast when in the light. Two fingers of bright white head are easily created and linger for many minutes, leaving a good deal of lacing and a few millimeters of of residual carbonation. Smells of fruity hops with esters of pineapple & orange, followed by sweet malt, modest bitterness and gentle alcohol. While the aroma is nice the hops are not particularly bright. Flavor is quite fruity with lots of orange up front followed by slightly astringent bitterness and an enjoyable malt base. Sweet malts help contrast with the solid bitterness but are only able to do so much. Which is just fine in my book. Definitely more balanced than their IPA but not as intriguing. Still a solid brew that I would happily drink if it was available in the Minnesota market. Mouthfeel is rather full and the body is medium for the style and adds nicely to the fullness of the mouthfeel. For an 8.8% ABV beer it is fantastically quaffable. The combination of sweet malts and bitter hops will do a good job of making most not realize until the alcohol sneaks up on them. I find this beer to be a bit of a paradox, because on some sips sweetness seems very prevalent and other times it is sheer bitterness. If you enjoy Imperial IPA’s you will probably enjoy this beer as it is full of all of the nice contrasting flavors one would expect. Perhaps not as harmonious as some but definitely a tasty example of the style that I would happily grab a pint of any day. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
November 13th, 2010 beckel
Today I have a beer I am very excited to sample. Ninkasi Brewing out of Eugene, Oregon is a rather new brewery with their first batch of beer, in fact this beer, brewed on June of 2006 in a leased restaurant space. I have been wanting to sample their brews for some time as they get good reviews but unfortunately their beers are unavailable in the Minnesota market.
Upon pouring carbonation quickly cascades from the middle of the glass creating a lovely two fingers of tight white bubbles. After fading a millimeter or so of carbonation persists with clouds of carbonation sitting on the surface of the brew. The very cloudy apricot hue along with the almost creamy looking head creates a very nice presentation. Aroma is fantastically hoppy with strong esters of orange, mango, followed by other citrus’ particularly grapefruit, rounded off with enjoyable malt sweetness and some nice bitterness. Flavor is ripe with fruity hops, bright mango and orange upfront followed by intense, but fantastic bitterness. Lemon and grapefruit are apparent mid palate and malty sweetness is noticed just after helping balance the sincere bitterness as you continue to drink. As it continues to warm esters of passion fruit start to appear and the fruity esters continue to to shine with the bitterness lessening a bit. Though not particularly balanced this is one beautifully hoppy, bitter brew that I would happily drink all day long. Body is medium and the mouthfeel is surprisingly clean for such a resinous brew. With a reasonable 6.7% ABV this would definitely be a go to beer if I could get it in my market. With the delicious bright fruits and intense bitterness this beer would pair perfectly with a spicy meal. If you enjoy a solid IPA and aren’t afraid of bitterness this brew is definitely worth your time. Give it a shot and ride your bike.