APPEARANCE: Bright, hazy orange
HEAD: Thin, white, and recedes quickly
LACING: Just some scattered flotsam and jetsam
NOSE: The name is apt in that the hops totally dominate the malt in this one. I’m getting very little sweetness or malt profile at all. Just complete and utter West Coast hops. Grapefruit, lemon peel, pine tree…I’m not sure what varietals Ninkasi uses, but I’d be surprised if all three C’s (Cascade, Centennial, and Columbus) weren’t holding court in this one. A true West Coast IPA.
TASTE: Oddly, the bold hop aroma is very subdued in the taste. There’s a big citrus burst up front and the finish is crisp, dry and bitter. But in the middle there’s a ton of sweet pale malt, a touch of fruity esters, and a noticeable biscuity, yeast flavor.
MOUTHFEEL: Gentle carbonation and a lighter-than-anticipated mouthfeel.
DRINKABILITY: Not as aggressive in the flavor department as other West Coast IPAs, but a delightful nose and light mouthfeel makes this highly drinkable. I was expecting magic from Ninkasi and instead got a serviceable brew. Nothing wrong with that, of course. I still have lots more Ninkasis to sample before I pass judgement on the brewery.
RATING: 3 Hops