I really and truly don't know what's going on with Ninkasi. Much as I try -- and I do -- I just can't bring myself to really liking their stuff as of late. I have seen their Radiant described as dull a couple of times, and really, I think that's the best way to describe it. There's just nothing to this ale, none of that old Ninkasi magic.
It pours decently enough, I suppose, with a golden amber hue and a finger's worth of head. Really, this is your beer if you want something just to look at, as it goes downhill from here.
The nose has pretty much nothing going for it. There might be just a bit of maltiness with faint hints of hops there, but that's about it. In years past the Radiant has been a playground for hops and citrus, but that clearly is not the case anymore.
Sip, and you'll pick up on a rather dull and faint taste of a very standard pale. Mirror Pond actually seems downright exciting compared to this. I mean, really, come on? This is it? It might qualify as being refreshing, what with all the water put into it, but other than that I can't think of a lot of positive things to say about the Radiant. In fact, I can't think of much to say about it at all. I would at least have respected Ninkasi had they tried and failed.
Sadly I don't think Ninkasi tried to do anything here. You can only coast on your reputation for so long, and I don't know why I'm even bothering with this brewery anymore. The Radiant is dull, and Ninkasi is dead to me.
Vote for Ninkasi Radiant Summer Ale: It’s your civic duty!