641. Ninkasi Brewing Co. – Believer Double Red Ale

641. Ninkasi Brewing Co. - Believer Double Red AleAs I mentioned in my last post, I’m in St. Louis this weekend to spend the holidays with my family. After a long day of shopping, and some Mexican food (and beer) for lunch, we had some Imo’s Pizza for dinner. After dinner, I decided to open up a beer I brought with me. I brought this one back from my trip to Seattle last year, and figured it was way overdue for enjoyment.

Location: Poured from the 22oz bomber bottle into a 16oz pilsner style glass at my dad’s home in Barnhart, MO.

Numbers: 6.9% ABV, 60 IBUs, 1.069 OG, ~200 Calories

Ingredients: Malt: 2-Row Pale, Munich, Crystal, Carahell; Hops: Centennial, Summit

Appearance & Aroma: It’s a brown mahogany color, and very clear, with a good amount of carbonation in it. There’s a thick, fluffy-creamy, cream colored head, that had good retention and lacing. The aroma is a nice, sweet caramel malty smell.

Taste & Feel: It’s medium to full bodied, and has a creamy-smooth mouthfeel thanks to the creamy head. Up front, there’s a sweet caramel maltiness with a earthy resin hop bitterness. The caramel maltiness grows and dominates the flavors in the middle, but the earthy-resiny bitterness takes over in the finish and lasts for a minute or so in the aftertaste with the malty flavors in the background. A warming alcohol feeling slowly grew in my throat after a few minutes.

Food Pairing: This beer had a lot of caramel maltiness up front, and transitioned nicely over to a bitter finish. This would be a perfect pairing for a bacon and bleu cheese burger, to pull out both flavors from the beer.

Overall Impression: I enjoyed the caramel maltiness, which was exactly what I expected from a double red, but the bitterness was a bit strong in the finish to fully enjoy the maltiness. I also appreciated the creaminess, which added to the enjoyment of the maltiness. I was surprised by the amount of hop bitterness, especially since this beer was in the fridge for over a year. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good beer, but I think it would be better with a few less IBUs.

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Author: Kevin

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