Noir means black. This concludes todays French lesson.
Whoever does the naming and labeling for Ninkasi deserves recognition because they always do a great job on their labels. One of my all-time favorite labels (and beers) is their SLEIGH’R alt ale. Cool artwork and punny naming is a good way to get my attention, and this label is no different. It seems throwbackish is a cartoony way, kind of like Dick Tracy or Roger Rabbit. Even the font is cool. So, cool branding, stout, real cold-brewed coffee and it’s a special release; getting this beer was non-optional.
Are we still calling black people ‘African Americans’, or have we decided that that’s racist now too? I suggest we use ‘Melanin Inclined’ next. Until that also becomes insensitive somehow. If we get to choose our own societal labels, I take offense to the term ‘Caucasian’ because I am neither ‘Cauc’, nor am I an Asian. I’m going to have to choose ‘Canadabeige Chog Esquire’. Canadian + Beige + Chug + Frog and Esquire because I bought the watch. This is what happens when people get all sensitive about how we fucking describe each other. You want to get nuts? LET’S GET NUTS!
The pour is a dark noir (EN FRANCAIS) with no real head, just a thin collar and barely-there haze. Living up to its namesake.
The smells are sweet brown sugar, used coffee grounds, semisweet chocolate and a minor earthy note. Very malt-end aroma, it’s nice.
The tastes are medium roasted coffee (big flavor, pretty all-encompassing), semisweet chocolate, a little molasses, and very mild leafy tea hops. This beer has a big coffee hit, which is good because I’m a coffee snob. Made with cold brewed coffee and it shows, or rather, it ‘flaves’. Yes, Flava Flaves. It’s actually really bitter in the way a coffee is bitter, if you drink black coffee you’d dig this. If you drink Tim Hortons, you like coffee-flavored water, not coffee.
The mouthfeel is thick and punchy. Again, if you like a good black coffee, that’s what you’re getting, in beer form. It hits the back edges of the palate and washes forward. Barely-there carbonation, just a tickle.
3.5/5 A really solid coffee stout. One-dimensional but it still has good character and the alcohol is completely undetectable. Black coffee drinkers should check this out! Tim Hortons drinkers can get fucked!