Serve in Snifter


on tap

Regional Distribution

Add Distribution Data
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 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Arayaga2 (1945) - portland, Oregon, USA - JUN 25, 2015
Clear Amber with white head. Taste and aroma are American barley wine, with high bitterness, and sprucey /piney notes. High residual sweetness ending with lots of over extracted tea. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
rmussman (1702) - California, USA - JAN 23, 2014
Sampled in a bottle. Pours deep orange amber with a thin light head on it. Big time malty brew, very well flavored.

   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Sarlacc83 (1540) - Portland, Oregon, USA - OCT 26, 2014
Well, this has been sitting in my cellar awhile. 2010 vintage. 0087/5000 A: Brown color that looks red when held to the light. Foamy off-white head. Legs. N: Pine, grapefruit, pineapple, biscuit, toffee, earth, leaves, and bread. Black licorice and peppercorn. T: Very, very bitter. Moderate sweetness. I either haven’t had this fresh or don’t remember it then, but I’ve heard it was pretty brutal, so it seems at least somewhat tamed. M: Sticky medium-heavy body; foaming carbonation, alcohol burns pretty good. O: They call this critical hit - I assume that means they threw a dice and whatever number they landed on, that’s how many pounds per barrels of hops they threw in. Must have been a 15+, and they decided to throw them in earlier rather than later. It’s fine, I suppose. Not very complex, but not horrifying; if still too bitter to enjoy.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beardface (1517) - Eugene, Oregon, USA - MAR 26, 2011
Tap at Lucky Lab Fest. Medium brown pour, mild tan head with sticky lacing. Big aroma of citrus and pine hops, toffee, caramel, light earthen hops. Taste was also very hop forward with mostly the pine and earthen flavors taking top billing along with a lot of caramel which I guess qualifies it as a barleywine instead of an IIPA. Pretty solid brew, though I feel it’s miscategorized.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
neepsntatties (1510) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 3, 2010
Had this on tap at the Great Alaskan Beer and Barley Wine Fest in Anchorage (Jan. 2010). Colour... cloudy-amber with a thick head. Nose... hoppy with some malt character. Palate... very hoppy and piney with a sugared grapefruit wedge flavour, bitter edging, and a lengthy, resinous, bitter finish.

   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 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
oRos (1419) - sacramento, California, USA - APR 8, 2015
Bottle listed at 2013 reserve. Pours light amber with khaki head. Aroma is sweet and hoppy. Taste is Carmel malt with a sweet finish. Nice hop burn as well

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
carruthm (1401) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 21, 2010
on tap at brouwer’s for hard liver 2010. highly bitter, surprising for the style, but not for ninkasi.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Smurf2055 (1400) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 13, 2012
Pours orange-tan color. Pretty murky. Smell is a bit mild, somewhat malty. Taste was bitter, a bit boozy, but good balance between malt and hops. Fruity and spicy, and a good bitter kick. Very drinkable considering abv. Decent, but nothing over the top.

We Want To Hear From You

Join us! RateBeer is made by beer enthusiasts for the craft beer community. Your basic membership is free and allows you to read all beer ratings. Click here to create your account... and give your opinion!

Join Us »

Page  1 2 3 4  5  6 7 8

Tick this beer

for your profile
  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Copyright © 2000-2015,
RateBeer LLC. All rights
about us
About RateBeer
New Beers
Advanced Search
Add A Beer
Add A Brewer
Add A Place
Log In
Edit Personal Info
Buy Premium Membership
Your Messages
the best
RateBeer Best
100 Beer Club
The Top 50