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RATINGS: 94   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.62/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 117   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


3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
nickd717 (4106) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 14, 2010
Toronado barleywine fest 2010, listed as "Ninkasi Barleywine," which I assume is this beer. Pours reddish amber with an off-white head and good lacing. Aroma is very hop-forward compared to many of the others at the fest. Rough citrusy and grassy hops, typical profile for Ninkasi. Just a little sweet malt. Flavor is caramel malt and loads of citrusy and grassy hops. Some light fruits as well. Medium-plus bodied, really palate-wrecking with all those hops. Pretty good overall, but not a standout.

3.5
   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.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Beerona97 (2398) - 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.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
raphael (1143) - Portland, Oregon, USA - APR 6, 2012
Great aroma--powderd sugar, alcohol, dried apricots, orange peel, resin. flavor has a metallic, grapefruit rind. bitterness with a little peachy honey sneaking around the edges. modest white head w/ good lacing on clear blush orange. thin and numbing in the mouth. the least tasty and most expensive brew I’ve had from Ninkasi. Great label art.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Strykzone (6560) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - APR 11, 2012
Sampled at an esbls tasting. At 4 Hands. Orange brown with a big bubbled head. A nicely hopped nose. Big biting hops are tasted but it is also smooth. Huge malt profile. Fruit is big but cannot quite compete with the hops. Very good but just a bit over done.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Aml42000 (622) - Washington, USA - JUL 12, 2012
Dark amber with a two finger white head. The nose shows some caramel and orange zest. Full bodied with caramel and black tea and loads of bitter hops. A touch medicinal on the finish. Soft with medium carbonation. Good, but drinking it makes me wonder why I’m not having a Bigfoot or Old Guardian.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Salmoniform (1272) - Sweet Home, Oregon, USA - OCT 8, 2013
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.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DSG (11399) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - MAR 21, 2014
Bottle sample at a tasting at Neiman’s place. Thanks Neiman. Lovely clear reddish amber with a beige head. Aroma of malt, piney and resinous hops (slightly stale), caramel and cookies. Flavor has some sweet malt, caramelly and cookie-ish, some fruitiness and quite a bit of bitter piney hops. Medium to full-bodied. Nice.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
zoucrew102 (1285) - - JAN 25, 2015
Bomber, brought back from Oregon, 2012 reserve #4545/12000. Pine resinous hop aroma with subtle notes of caramel and dark fruit. Pours dark caramel brown with a thin off white head and not much lacing to speak of. Starts pretty well with light caramel and dark fruit sweetness. Finishes, not as well to my liking, dry with pine resin hop bitterness that lingers on the palate. Good to start, but the finish was a bit bitter for my palate.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
HIGHB4LL (837) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - APR 9, 2015
Bomber on game night, oh ya! (From Wilbur’s). Appearance: half finger white head, dark amber color, clear, light oily lacing. Aroma: caramel, resin, light prune, earthy, faint hints of alcohol, exhale is full of pine and resin with alcohol. Palate: medium body, softer carbonation, thin texture with alcohol thinness and warming finish, bitter finish. Taste: sweet caramel with very light fruit notes before alcohol and resinous hops take over and destroy your palate! Pretty interesting, but balance is definitely skewed and off. I enjoy it, but it is not a well balanced beer.


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