Beer Review: Ninkasi Sleigh’r

I picked this beer up in a crowler (something I’m really starting to like as I live by myself a whole growler is a bit much) from Frisco¬† Tap House the other week and saved it for the Dungeons and Dragons game that I play online every other Monday. I know I’ve written about beer and dice going together so well before and I stand by it. A brew and some imagination just go hand in hand.

Ninkasi Sleigh’r pours a very, very dark and rich brown with a faintly tan head that’s not quite one finger high. The head doesn’t have much staying power, but it leaves some very pretty whorls of foam behind once it falls. The smell, to me, is all dark berries or stone fruit or raisins with hints of brown sugar and other rich, sweet things. There’s maybe some notes of dark bread or maple.

Upon tasting, this is a rich and flavorful stout with plenty of dry, roasted malt flavors. It’s barely sweet, which is perfect to me, as the nose hinted that there might be a lot of sweetness at work here. Luckily, that was a little misleading. There’s a hint of banana and clove flavor in here, or maybe that’s just some saison-like funk that I’m getting and associating with banana notes. This is an alt beer that ferments ale yeast at a colder lagering temperature, which makes it pleasantly crisp.

There is an aftertaste that is a hint metallic, which is the biggest flaw of this beer. That’s ultimately forgivable as this brew is very enjoyable on a cold winter’s night. I’d say four out of five mugs. I think I would order it again if I found it somewhere, but I won’t necessarily be seeking this out.

Books on Beer

Drinking beer is all well and good (honestly, it is very well and good if you ask me), but there are more ways to get your brew fix during daylight hours. If you’re looking to add some more books on beer and brewing to your reading list this year, check out these collections of books:

Beer Review: Uinta Season Pass

I spent a recent Friday night watching Wonder Woman and giving myself a pedicure. The only way I could think of to improve this otherwise perfect evening was a beer. I toweled off my feet from their warm water soak and grabbed a bottle of Uinta Season Pass Vanilla Porter to enjoy.

This pours a deep, dark brown with a very fluffy light tan head. Maybe I poured too aggressively? I didn’t mind, it was a handsome beer. The nose has lots of the usual suspects: roasted cocoa, dark bready malts, hints of sweetness. There’s no coffee that I’m detecting and nothing maple-sweet.

The first taste is just a hint metallic (this is not uncommon in my years of experience with stouts), but it isn’t watery or thin at all (which, again, is all too common with mediocre stouts). The mouthfeel on this is excellent. It tastes of graham crackers, dark chocolate, and pumpernickel bread with honey. The chocolate malts give this beer a real depth of flavor. It’s sweet, but not overmuch and a taste of dry cocoa lingers on the back of my tongue, but the flavors are never overpowering.

This is a great beer for cold winter nights, perfect for watching TV or movies, and having a little solo self-pampering at home. It’s a fine treat and I give it four out of five frosty mugs.