A Little Black Magic? Ninkasi’s Sleigh’r rocks
Let’s start with the name. Eugene, Oregon’s Ninkasi Brewing Company was clearly inspired by arch metal band, Slayer. Regardless of how you may feel about the genre, Slayer is far and away one of its best, most highly regarded, progenitors. So, in my book, it’s not a stretch to say Sleigh’r rocks.
More interesting is how the environmentally-conscious brewer is willing to think outside of the box with this offering. While they are by no means predictable, Ninkasi – their flagships include Total Domination and the DIPA Tricerahops – can often be counted on to create a hoppier beer. For this seasonal, first released in 2009, Ninkasi chose a “doüble” alt style that lends the beer a lager-like consistency with a surprising smoothness. In keeping with its rock and roll namesake, Sleigh’r is both forceful and flavorful. And, like any decent winter seasonal, Ninkasi tweaks the recipe slightly each year, so drinkers have a little sense of a “gift” from the brewery.
You can add up all the clichés about books and covers and roses and names and smells, but you still have to give Ninkasi credit for brewing up this exceptional seasonal. Sleigh’r will rock your stockings off.
(Looking to try one of your own this winter? Ninkasi beer is available throughout Alaska, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.)