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.