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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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jazz88 (2628) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAY 22, 2013
Bottle of the 2011 Reserve (2760/6200) with 11.7% abv. A dark reddish brown color with a foamy tan head. A sweet caramel, raisin and fruity aroma, with a nice rich body. A full and lush barley wine.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
baraciisch (2463) - California, USA - OCT 2, 2013
Brownish with reddish tint... Sticky caramel aroma... Flavor is caramel, toffee, hints of hops, alcohol burn... Nice ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - FEB 17, 2010
Draught at the Toronado Barley Wine Festival 2010. Herbal and earthy hop aroma with a touch of maltiness. Very bitter flavor with almost no malt character in comparison. Hard to drink, as the hops just take it and run all over the place with bitter. Honestly, not that bad, but really not a barley wine I want to drink.

   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 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
illidurit (2258) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 2, 2013
Tangy red maltiness, slight soy, unripe grapefruits, citrus rind, caramel and toffee, pretty middling.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
bpreo (2187) - Eugene, Oregon, USA - SEP 24, 2014
I’ve been waiting 3 years to finally try this beer. It has a perfect Barley Wine taste, high alcohol content, and almost black color.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ansalon (2116) - Stockholm, SWEDEN, SWEDEN - MAR 16, 2013
Quite the understated Barley Wine that is not the extreme sweetness found in most American Barley Wines. Roasted almonds, dark sugars, figs, caramel. Very good! ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
robforbes (2089) - Bremerton, Washington, USA - FEB 24, 2013
pours a cloudy light brown with a small creamy tan head. smell is of roasted malt, caramel, barley, and a touch of citrus. taste is creamy, barley, roasted malt, and caramel. ends smooth.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Angeloregon (2055) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAR 9, 2010
Save for Astoria Brewing’s Bitter Bitch Triple IPA, Ninkasi Critical Hit, from what we gathered, was one of the hoppiest brews at the Lucky Lab Barleywine and Big Beer Fest, and likely the hoppiest barleywine. Lots of toffee and piny tropical fruit notes came from this deep tawny beer. This beer could have almost passed for an triple IPA, but there was some noticeable caramel maltiness present. Very bitter on the tongue, but overall, this is the kind of barleywine many Pacific Northwestern beer lovers like, and Ninkasi ain’t no dummy.

   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.

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