Ninkasi Maiden The Shade

Reviewed by on July 22, 2015 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Ninkasi Brewing Company

  • Origin: Eugene, OR, US

  • Rated On: July 22, 2015

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 6.8%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: American IPA

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Maiden the Shade is one of Ninkasi Brewing’s summer-themed offerings.  For some reason, every time I had heard about this brew up until now, I thought it was an Iron Maiden tribute, but maybe I was just naively (or lazily) swayed by their winter Sleigh’r offering.

This 22oz bottle pours a hazy, medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, densely frothy, and mildly rocky ecru head, which leaves some spackled snow rime lace around the glass as it gently blows off.

It smells of musty, kind of dank pine resin, muted citrus pith, bready and doughy caramel malt, further grassy, herbal, and leafy hops, and a softly lilting alcohol edginess. The taste is grainy, bready caramel malt, much less dank in their general bearing pine and earthy forest floor detritus, still muffled citrus rind fruit esters, and more mildly herbal, leafy, and fresh-cut grassy hops – summery? Sure, why not? The bubbles are rather heady and active throughout, what with their steady and sturdy frothiness, the body a dense middleweight, and actually smooth, the hops having left early, because, y’know, it’s Friday afternoon on a summer long weekend, or something. It finishes off-dry, the malt not about to let these laid-back, hammock-humping hops to have all the fun, no sirree!

I have to say, when a seasonal is released by a brewery, without any tangible ingredients that would justify it as such, I get weary and wary. Turns out I didn’t have to expend that sort of downer energy here, since after only a few ounces, I was hooked on the fresh, fruity, and yet still duly bitter nature of this IPA’s gross hopitude. Yeah – sun and shade friendly, alike, fo sho.

Brady White

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