Review: Sleigh'r, Ninkasi Brewing

Ninkasi Brewing Co. — Eugene, OR

  • Style:  Double Alt Ale
  • Bitterness: 50 IBUs
  • ABV: 7.2%
  • Malts:  2 Row Pale, Crystal, Munich, Carahell, Roasted Barley, Chocolate
  • Hops:  Nugget
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle

Description: "A delicious northwest seasonal brewed with winter in mind. A dark double alt, malty, nourishing and delicious, it's sure to keep the winter at bay, and yes, Sleigh'r does rock!" — Ninkasi Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  In honor of Santa's magical journey, I'm drinking a Sleigh'r on Christmas Eve. Brewed since 2009, this is the first year it's available in 12 oz. bottles. I'm tasting Sleigh'r as part of my winter seasonal beer series.  According to the Norad Santa Tracker, Santa is currently in San Diego and is headed north. So I better finish this review and get to bed quickly!!

The tasting:  Dark brown in color, with an off white head that dissipates fairly slowly. When held up to the light, it takes on a deep ruby red color. Aroma of espresso, bittersweet chocolate, bread, and sweet molasses. There's quite a lot going on here! Flavor mirrors aroma with the addition of roasted malt and earthy hops. The molasses is not present in flavor. Overall hop bitterness is moderate and the 7.2% ABV is very well masked in both aroma and flavor. Sleigh'r is light to medium bodied and softly carbonated. It has a creamy mouth feel and finishes semi-dry with notes of plum.
Rating: 4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!  Sleigh'r is all about the malts! As a homebrewer, I'm amazed by the flavors that can be coaxed out of different varieties of malt. If you haven't tasted it before, be sure to give Sleigh'r a try this winter.  Don't wait too long, as it will soon disappear!

For this review, I sampled a fresh bottle. However, a few weeks ago, I cracked open a two-year old Sleigh'r bomber, and was surprised by how well it held up. It was incredibly smooth and the flavors seemed to meld together even better. This beer isn't meant to age, but you might consider cellaring a few bottles for next winter!

Have you tasted Sleigh'r? What's your favorite winter seasonal beer?  Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  1. Thank you for your review! We love seeing what people think about our brews. Check out your blog post featured on our Pinterest page under the board Spotted: Ninkasi!


  2. You're welcome. Look forward to trying Renewale '13!


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