Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ninkasi Believer Double Red Ale

I like reds. I don't love them though. There always seems to be something missing to make them that perfect pour. Too much hop? Should have been an IPA or a Pale Ale. Too much malt? Should have been a Brown. Looking at the BJCP style guidelines and my personal preference a red should have that balance between the two. I've found some good examples: Nectar Ales' Red Nectar, Lagunitas' The Kronik. Yet they all fail in some way to me. I always wish they weren't quite so thin.

That's why I am always excited to try an imperial, or semantically a double red.

Ninkasi is in Eugene, Or and I've had and loved their Tricerahops, an Imperial IPA. Aside from San Diego the Northwest is where it's at for me. Innovation, quality, they've got it in spades. Unfortunately though this one fell down a bit for me.

Maybe it was a case of high expectations. Check out that head, mousse right? I'm thinking this one is going to be silky with some chew to it. There was not much on the nose. I was expecting some caramel, maybe a little toast, and a light hop in the background. There was some citrusy hops but not much else. Tasting drew little more than a sigh of, "it's good."

It's a red. It's done well. It was tasty and I enjoyed it but it was thin. Light toast, not really much caramel, light citrusy hop, low bubbles. It's not what I was hoping for from an imperial. I've yet to find one that blew me away so if anyone has any suggestions?

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