Monday, June 13, 2011

Beers with Double in the Name — Dick's Brewing Co. vs. Ninkasi Brewing Co.

Dick's Brewing Co.
Double Danger Ale

ABV 8.5%

Sweet with coffee and molasses notes.
Smoke and cocoa with clean, berry sweetness.
Hops vs. Malts
(Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Finish: Sweet cocoa.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):

Ninkasi Brewing Co.
Believer Double Red Ale
ABV 6.9%

Reddish brown.
Aroma: Dusty malts dominate with some piny hops in the background.
Flavor: Smooth, sweet, cedary maltiness with mellow piny hops.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Hoppy
Finish: Solid lingering citrus peel bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Good

Blow by Blow
Well, I picked up the Ninkasi Double Red because I thought we had the Dick's Imperial Red waiting at home. Turns out we'd already drunk the Dick's red, but we did have a bottle of the Double Danger that's been itching for a fight. Two beers with "double" in the name? Sure it's a stretch, but a battle is a battle — some are organized and planned, others are the result of circumstance.

As usual, Ellen poured the beer blind for me but it was kind of pointless once I saw the beers. Having tried the regular Dick's Danger Ale many times before, I knew that it was a darker beer, so it was no surprise that the Double Danger fell into that category. The color of the Ninkasi was true to it's name, showing off some nice red accents.

In the aroma and flavor category it became clear that these beers were bizarrely matched. The Ninkasi was a very good double red ale with a smooth, malty base and just enough piny hops and citrus bitterness in the finish to balance it out nicely. It still came across as more of a hoppy beer, but that is what we are always hoping for when we get a "red" ale in the northwest. The Double Danger was also quite good, but in a completely different way. It had almost no hop profile at all, instead offering smoke, cocoa, molasses and a distinct berry sweetness that was well integrated.

We ended up choosing the Ninkasi because it fit our mood and paired better with our dinner, but we'd advise you to buy both. Drink the Believer with some grilled meat (or grilled mushrooms for you non-carnivores) and save the Double Danger for an after dinner treat.

Winner by unanimous decision: Ninkasi Believer Double Red Ale


  1. I tried the Dick's Imperial Red last night. Sadly, I didn't finish it because it was just too sweet. I'm getting tired of all these imperial diabetes beers ;)