Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 80   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.63/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 103   EST. CALORIES: 327   ABV: 10.9%
R&D Series. In the Ninkasi tradition, this barley wine is hopped to high heaven –using more than 16 pounds per barrel! Critical Hit’s rich, malty expression is balanced by 16 varieties of hops that linger on the palate. Its high gravity nature warms the cheeks and soul. Critical Hit does maximum damage, so you might have to roll to save if you take this ale for granted!

Massive citrus, earthy, resinous, and grassy hop flavor is balanced with the melanoidin complexity of port and sherry notes, creating a powerful and warming taste experience. Big citrus, earthy, grassy, and pine hop aroma with port and sherry notes mingle in this beer conditioned for over a year. Aggressive bitterness dominates up front with a large array of hop flavor spanning citrus, earthy, resinous, grassy and dank. Subtle caramel and melanoidin compounds oxidize (in a good way) to create the port and sherry notes that are a trademark to these extremely strong beers called barley wine. The bitterness of the beer helps round out the intensity of alcohol and the malt complexity to make a non-cloying and very, very tasty beer. This may be the one beer that you still need to sip rather than quaff but it is deceptive for the style.

Hops: Columbus, Millenium, Northern Brewer, Simcoe, Falconers Flight, Galena, Peerle, Santiam, Ahtanum, Fuggle, Glacier, Hersbrucker, Liberty, Spalt, Hallertau

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Alphadelic (1975) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 21, 2013
A deep red beer. Rich and heavy malt character on the nose. Plenty of fruit in there too. Heavy and noticeably boozy without being too sticky or undrinkable. Pretty deep. A little muddled, hard to pick apart the flavours. A mid-level but long-lasting bitterness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Zymurgeist2 (1427) - Redwood City, California, USA - FEB 17, 2013
On tap at Toronado for Barley Wine Fest. Pours and orange-amber of slight haze with off-white head. Aroma of hops and sweet grain. Lots of hops and bitterness on the palate leading to a fresh clean beer at this alcohol level.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Sledutah (6255) - Utah, USA - JAN 27, 2013
GABBF 2013
Appearance: Cloudy golden with a big off-white head and some lacing
Aroma and flavors of toasted malts, caramel and pine

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ngeunit1 (1555) - San Francisco, California, USA - OCT 16, 2012
A - Pours a cloudy amber-orange color with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing. S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malts with some brown sugar, grapefruit and pine hops, and some booze. T - Starts off with some sweet caramel malts and caramelized sugars with some brown sugar, a touch of dark fruit, and some grapefruit and citrus hops and bitterness. Through the middle, some pine hops come through with some more resiny bitterness with some more caramelized malts. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel malts, caramelized sugars, grapefruit and pine hops, some bitterness, and some booze. M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, bitter, and warming finish. D - Very drinkable. Nice big bold barleywine with a surprisingly high level of smoothness and drinkability.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Aml42000 (622) - Washington, USA - JUL 12, 2012
Dark amber with a two finger white head. The nose shows some caramel and orange zest. Full bodied with caramel and black tea and loads of bitter hops. A touch medicinal on the finish. Soft with medium carbonation. Good, but drinking it makes me wonder why I’m not having a Bigfoot or Old Guardian.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Strykzone (5901) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - APR 11, 2012
Sampled at an esbls tasting. At 4 Hands. Orange brown with a big bubbled head. A nicely hopped nose. Big biting hops are tasted but it is also smooth. Huge malt profile. Fruit is big but cannot quite compete with the hops. Very good but just a bit over done.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
raphael (1062) - Portland, Oregon, USA - APR 6, 2012
Great aroma--powderd sugar, alcohol, dried apricots, orange peel, resin. flavor has a metallic, grapefruit rind. bitterness with a little peachy honey sneaking around the edges. modest white head w/ good lacing on clear blush orange. thin and numbing in the mouth. the least tasty and most expensive brew I’ve had from Ninkasi. Great label art.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Beerona97 (2397) - Washington, USA - APR 4, 2012
Lightly hazed orange, beige head. Aroma of citrus and malt, some dark fruit. Taste is mostly sweet, some vegetal hops. Okay beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jckp64 (356) - St Louis, Missouri, USA - MAR 27, 2012
Pours cloudy amber with a very light white ring for a head. Aroma is caramel malts, light booze and very light hops. Flavor is very bitter. Not sure how I feel about this one. Light carbonation and light bodied.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
marcus (8010) - Sacramento, California, USA - FEB 25, 2012
On tap at Toronado SF. Pours reddish copper with a peretty beige head nad a fruity aroma. There is a tangy caramel malt and chocolate flavor with a bitter finish. Well-aged.

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