Thursday, December 17, 2009

170. Ninkasi Believer Double Red Ale

Ninkasi Brewing Company is in Eugene, OR, my ol’ college stomping grounds. However, they didn’t begin brewing until 2006, well after I had graduated and moved on to graduate school. Actually, by the time they got going, I was done with grad school and had a job. So maybe there was a slight gap.

Believer Double Red is a hazy dark copper, like a burnt sienna, or some similar member of the Crayola family. The tan head leaves some lacing behind, and the nose is a mixture of sweet malt and some hops. The front is a dry roasty malt, which moves into some bitterness with chocolate hints, and ends bitter with some spiciness, with the bitterness lingering. Believer Double Red has a medium body, but is a bit thin, with medium carbonation and a slight amount of tongue curling/astringency. Overall, the roasted, chocolate, and hoppy flavors don’t work together very effectively in this beer—the malt and hop balance are not really there via the lack of malt complexity and the flavor in the body. Additionally, the creaminess of the roasted flavors jars the palate when combined with the alkaline/chalky chocolate flavors present in the beer. An O.K. beer, but not that exciting—nothing to write home about, although here I sit typing away like the several types of fool that I am.

From the Ninkasi website: “A rich deep red with roasted malt and caramel notes, balanced by plentiful hops. Brewed for the believers of Ninkasi, delicious and satisfying, a wonderful representation of what the Northwest beer scene is all about.”

ABV: 6.9%
IBU: 60


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