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 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
DuchessOfIowa (99) - Iowa, USA - JUL 4, 2015
Bottle 2013 reserve. Dark amber and slight haze with nice white/ vanilla colored head. Caramel sweetness and rich. Pine and fruity notes. Aggressive alcohol flash on the back and dryness to contrast sweet malt.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nena (963) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 20, 2010
Draft, Hard Liver, ’08 vintage. Dark amber pour with a white head, left sudsy lacing on the glass. Aroma is on the hoppy end of barley wine, with some caramel backing up classic Northwest citrus, grapefruit, and pine notes. This drinks like a big caramelly IIPA, and has a hop profile that’s pretty characteristic of Ninkasi’s beers. Nice lingering pine resin bitterness and loads of citrus and grassy hops. Curious as to how this tastes fresh. Pretty darn tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Aubrey (3502) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JAN 16, 2012
22-ounce bottle. Impressive-looking beer: Murky brown with a thick head and lingering, foamy lace. Full bodied with a lively carbonation. Boldly flavored with very rich elements of toffee, toasted bread, chocolate and nuts. Also has nips of burnt bread crust. Hops are just as strong, fortunately, with assertive notes of pine, citrus and grass. Bitterness has grapefruit flavors and flower aromas. Throat-warming alcohol is fitting. Curiously dry finish, probably from the snappy bitterness and the scrubbing carbonation. Some acidity is noticeable here and there. Overall, it’s a solid barley wine with plenty heft.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bhensonb (12968) - Woodland, California, USA - MAR 30, 2013
Bomber from Total Wine in Sacramento, CA. 2011 bottle # 2211/6200. Pours very deeply ruddy with a slight beige head. Aroma is malty with medium dark fruit. Full bodied. Flavor is heavy malt, fig/raisin/plum with some arguably citrus hop. There’s a hop bite. Know that. Heat is enjoyable. With strength at 18 and charm at 16 how can one not like this character. It finishes malty, plummy and bitter. At least that’s my take. Just tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
corpsuckle (101) - Washington, USA - JUN 25, 2013
I love that Ninkasi beers taste like Ninkasi beers regardless of the style. This wonderful barley wine hid the super high abv marvelously while delivering the signature Ninkasi hoppy bite.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SG111 (673) - New York, USA - MAR 7, 2015
2012 vintage. On tap at Bier Stein, Oregon. Pours slightly red amber color with small white head. Aroma is malty caramel, fig, toffee, bit of burnt sugar. Little hop character in the background. Flavor is sweet caramel, malt, toffee, sugar sweetness, and a notable hop finish. For a 2012 vintage the hops are really pronounced. Awesome.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
yespr (37028) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - FEB 17, 2010
From tap at Toronado, Barley Wine Fest 2010. Pours dark golden amber with a small white head. Aroma is light fruity and caramelish. Caramelish and overripe fruity initial flavoured. Distinct hoppy and bitter dry finish. Surprisingly hoppy.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ansalon (2118) - 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
douglas88 (7588) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 31, 2013
Bomber. Pours a clear deep copper color with a medium white head. A big dusty fruity nose. The flavor is on the side of fruity and highly hopped BWs with some caramel, biscuit and light toffee. Very nice brew. Clean and easygoing. No sense of 10%.

   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.

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