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RATINGS: 91   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.6/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 103   EST. CALORIES: 327   ABV: 10.9%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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


Angeloregon's rating

3.7
   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.


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Oakes (14669) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 26, 2016
Brown amber, thin head. Lots of bitterness, hop earthy foresty notes. Sweeter caramelly malts. Has light fruits. Decent bw

2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
djd07 (7908) - Houston, Texas, USA - APR 25, 2016
Bottle thanks to Derek. Pours a cloudy brown with medium white head that lasts. The aroma is earthy malt and citrus. Medium mouth, roast, earth, dark fruit, bitter finish, ok.

3.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
slowrunner77 (8988) - Reno, Nevada, USA - APR 14, 2016
Still don’t know quite what to think of this one, but bottom line was, I didn’t finish it. The nose is fantastic, classic malty barleywine with some age on it, leather, berries, bread. Hops as it opens. Flavor starts nice, then BAM - my tongue tries to recede into the roof of my mouth as the ridiculous amount of puckering bitterness hits me in the finish. As much as I tried to get past that, I could not. Such a shame, as after the first whiff, I was ready for a classic. But...too abrasive for it’s own good.

4.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
dwyerpg (5220) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - APR 3, 2016
The aroma doesn’t have that delicious molasses, but other than that, this was stellar. A great Barley wine molasses flavor that isn’t too sweet or heavy. Went down quick.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Gerbeer (2810) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 16, 2016
650 ml bottle. Pours a dark copper with moderate head. Aromas of brown sugar toffee and fruity/rubbery hops. Flavors of same with additional elements of grass, copper, and bitter citrus peels. Really nice and should cellar well.

1.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 2/20
furthur (735) - Eagle River, Alaska, USA - JAN 23, 2016
GABBF draft. Dark amber, cream skiff of foam. Aroma malt, dark fruit. Taste malt, spruce, rubber, not good. Palate ok.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
hayduke (4435) - Eureka, California, USA - JAN 9, 2016
Sampled at GABF 2015. In the tasting glass red brown with a beige form cap. Nose of fruit, and some citrus. Goodness knows what else but there are other aromas. there. Very full body. Flavor is malts, raisins maybe, and citrus for sure. Finish is fruity and somewhat bitter. Almost overwhelming in the complexity of flavors but there is almost too much going on. A bit rough overall, but still OK.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
monk191 (1600) - California, USA - DEC 18, 2015
Not a great barleywine, more California IPA then anything else. Pours a beautiful bright red with a thick tan head. Smells of berries and hops. Taste is hoppy, and not much else. A bit of berries to start off, then quickly overwhelmed by hoppy bitterness, with a hint of citrus. Had in the bottle.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
stevoj (3533) - Boise, Idaho, USA - DEC 12, 2015
Bottle from Brewers Haven, 2013 vintage. Big malt bomb. Hazy dark copper body with small creamy, soapy head. Aroma : malt; taste : malt. Big hop finish coupled with slow building warmth. Medium weight, silky feel, bitterness lingers, coupled with pleasing simmering heat. Nice warmer.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bu11zeye (12517) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - DEC 8, 2015
(22oz bottle) Pours a cloudy amber body with a moderate beige head. Aroma of leather, toffee, caramel, bread, raisins, and dates. Flavor of caramel, plum, brown sugar, toffee, raisins, fruit cake, and figs with a dry, bitter finish.


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