Angeloregon (2055) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAR 9, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
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.
thetmaxx (728) - West Sacramento, California, USA - MAR 7, 2014
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap for Sacramento beer week! Aroma is strong, lots of alcohol and malt. Thin head and dark brown. Flavor is of dark dried fruits. Roasted malts. Pretty good barley wine. This was supposed to be the 2010 version.
arminjewell (5587) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - FEB 18, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pour out of 22 oz bottle,slightly off white head, aroma brought notes of nice caramel, toffee, dark sugars into a bit of vanilla, oaky like notes, slight fruit in there, touch of spice, yeasty notes, hints of grass as well from residual hops. Taste is a mix of caramel, toffee, vanilla, hints of dark fruit, red fruit, slight grass, finishing sweet. Tasty with the age on it for sure.
DarkElf (3014) - La Jolla, California, USA - JAN 25, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22-Jan-14 (22-oz wax-dipped bottle: Purchased 13-Jan-12 for $14.75 at northwestliquidgold.com)
2010 Release, Bottle # 3261 of 5000.
This beer pours a very hazy, amber body that’s translucent at the edges. The light-tan head rises to half an inch before settling to a bubbly ring and thin, unbroken sheet, and it leaves a wide ring of lacing at the top of the glass. The nose is earthy, woodsy, caramely, and fruity, with dried apricot and ripe apples, but also some dried grass from the hops. On the palate, though, the hops come though more. The beer still tastes very malty, earthy, and fruity, but the hops give the beer a grassy, slightly piney flavor. But what’s most noticeable is the aged, malty aspects of the beer such as decayed forest-wood earthiness; sweet, caramely , and slightly chocolatey malt; and dried apricot, orange marmalade, peach, and fleshy, tropical fruits. It’s full bodied and medium-sweet on the palate, but not heavy or cloying because of the balance from mild, hop bitterness and gentle, earthy acidity and dryness. Carbonation is medium-light, and the mouthfeel is soft and easy. Overall, this Barley Wine has aged superbly, and could be at its peak for my tastes. The hops are still present, the aged-related aspects contribute complexity without excessive oxidation, and it’s a great beer to sip for an hour or two. Very, very enjoyable.
rmussman (1667) - California, USA - JAN 23, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampled in a bottle. Pours deep orange amber with a thin light head on it. Big time malty brew, very well flavored.
jake65 (2514) - Williston, North Dakota, USA - JAN 6, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
2011 Bottle, #4272/6200. Dark amber pour with a creamy finger of beige head. Intense nose of faded citrus, floral, caramel, and hints of the 11.7% ABV. Age has smoothed out any bite this may have had; it sure is smooth. Caramel and toffee flavor, along with the faded citrus and florals. Finish is soft and leaves a lingering bit of toffee behind. Reminds me of Old Boardhead. Probably not much value in aging this any longer… good stuff, but I’d like another to try fresh. A good experience and seemingly a bit dangerous at this point; I feel like I could throw this back like a session ale on a hot day!
Crit (3218) - Surrey, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 22, 2013
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Cloudy amber,small beige head.Nose of brown sugar & light alcohol.Woody palate of alcohol,malt, with a slightly dry hop finish
MikeJslc (671) - USA - NOV 28, 2013
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Deep copper, clear, off-white head. Aroma of toffee, burnt sugar, raisins, resiny hops, some leather. Flavor: more toffee, bready malt, raisins, dark fruit, some piney hops, a little grainy astringency in the finish, light oxidative notes.
Salmoniform (196) - Sweet Home, Oregon, USA - OCT 8, 2013
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
A big bomb of a beer from Ninkasi in every sense! Huge malt aroma comprised of caramel and fruits, followed by an in-your-face dose of hops. Nice mouthfeel from this with a bitter finish from the roasted malts and the hops. It will be interesting to see how this ages out with time, seeing as it is a pretty hop-forward barleywine. Drink one now and perhaps save one for later.
baraciisch (1505) - USA - OCT 2, 2013
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Brownish with reddish tint... Sticky caramel aroma... Flavor is caramel, toffee, hints of hops, alcohol burn... Nice
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Gription79 (2130) - Bountiful, Utah, USA - SEP 8, 2013
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured from a 22 ounce bomber, thanks to Mike. A big malt bomb, raisin, plum, prune, resin, a bit astringent, alcohol notes. Not bad, would be very good without the astringency.