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Night Stalker - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Night StalkerNight Stalker

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

739 Reviews
THE BROS
88
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 739
Hads: 1,774
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 266
Gots: 564 | FT: 27
Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co. visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 02-02-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Night Stalker Alström Bros
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Reviews: 739 | Hads: 1,774
Photo of bushdere
4.96/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I cracked this open one night by myself when I just wanted a big and bold stout. This may be one of my top 5 stouts ever. Thick, flavorful, just the right amount of barrel to it where you know it is BA, but doesn't taste like you have licked a glass of scotch.
If you have this bottle, do yourself a favor and drink it. This is not trade bait, this is a treat for your face. (377 characters)

Photo of madelfonatree
4.56/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Night Stalker on May 8, 2015

Look - Oily black. Thin tan head. No lacing. Fine bubbles.

Smell - Whiskey. Vanilla. Chocolate.

Taste - Whiskey. Vanilla and chocolate fade to a tootsie roll like taste. Alcohol is there. Tannin finish.

Palate - Thick and creamy. Carbonation doesn't explode.

Overall - It is going to sound blasphemous but it isn't much different than the barrel aged vanilla Dark Lord I had at DLD. (422 characters)

Photo of mwilbur
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage (bottled on 02/06/11 1259).
Poured from 22 oz bottle into snifter.
A: Pours an extremely dark brown with no light emerging from backlighting. Just a thin skim of dark mocha head that slowly recedes. Looks potent.
S: Boozy chocolate hits the nose from a good foot away. Upon closer inspection, dark sweet chocolate, boozy leather, vanilla, oak, and medium roast coffee. Solid across the board from each of these notes.
T: Ah...here are the hops! Nice muted pine hops...there could be some citrus in there too, but the chocolate covers it up. Dark sweet chocolate, boozy leather, vanilla, oak, and medium roast coffee. Pretty much follows the aroma except for the nice addition of the hops. Would have been interesting to try this one fresh to see the balance struck then. Hint of licorice, fig, and molasses with warming.
M: Soft and sweet. Thick and luscious. Medium-heavy body (drinks a tad lighter than ABV). Mildly bitter throughout. Excellent lingering and maturing on the palate.
D: What a wonderful sipper. Smooth as silk and hits all the wonderful dark notes. The hops have certainly lessened with age, but there is still a nice presence. (1,173 characters)

Photo of alexrufio666
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2010 bottle poured into a tulip. Pours black with light caramel colored head. Tastes a lot like bourbon county without the bourbon, definatly a great beer. (155 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours bright rich black with a 1” tan foam collar that hugs the side of the glass.
S: estery, malty, winey alcoholic aromas, some dark dried fruit
T: very alcoholic and malty, roast and coffee bitterness lightly sweetened by caramel and seasoned with dark dried fruit.
F: Rich velvety chewy body with slightly below average carbonation and a pleasant alcohol warming.
O: a well balanced Imperial stout with rich, complex flavors. (439 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bomber shared at 1st Sunday.
Reminiscent of BCS. Highly complex and very rich flavor. Lasting, malty-BBL aftertaste.
Full .
Deep dark red-brown body. (156 characters)

Photo of Zonian1
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2010. Drank it in March, 2015. Smooth, silky. Molasses, a slight peppery taste on the way down. Very little alcohol noticeable despite the 11.7%. The aging worked wonders on this beer. (200 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/19/2012. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense dark tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, licorice, dark bread, light smoke/char, herbal, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready/roasted malt and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, caramel, toast, toffee, raisin, plum, licorice, dark bread, light smoke/char, herbal, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Light herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, caramel, toffee, toast, raisin, plum, licorice, dark bread, light smoke/char, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark/bready/roasted malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with an awesome roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible imperial stout. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/roasted malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,668 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
4.56/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 11/19/12

This bottle is enjoyed a little over 2 years after bottling and it has aged pretty damn well. The taste is sweet with some hops still lingering around although I'm sure they have faded considerably over the last couple years. This one drinks deceivingly well considering the high ABV. Overall, I haven't had a fresh bottle to enjoy of this beer but it is damn tasty after a couple years. Moral of the story: drink one fresh and save at least one to enjoy years down the road. Cheers! (504 characters)

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a very disappointing beer. It was overly complicated and harsh, none of the different taste melded together leaving a fairly unpalatable beer. (152 characters)

Photo of MNishCT77
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle from a Sat., 12/20/2014 Better Beer Authority Bottle Share (thanks, Zack M.), 2010 vintage (dated "02/19/10 0458"), poured into a BBA snifter glass, drank over 15 minutes (184 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
4.1/5  rDev -1%

650ml bottle
Served in a snifter
Bottled 11/19/12

This beer is black. It is topped with an inch of tan head with a little lacing.

There is an aroma of dark fruit, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and a hint of anise.

The taste is consistent with the smell. However, an almost burnt taste develops after about half a bottle. There are some intense flavors and may be overwhelming my palate. There is a persistent faded hops taste. It reminds me a little of tea in the background. Then the anise whisks it away.

It is a thick, sticky, viscous brew. Right in my wheelhouse.

This is another hoppy "insert beer style here" beer that I cellared without realizing that it was a hopped up version of the style. It was a good beer regardless, but I bought it within a month of bottling and just got around to drinking two years later. I guess I need quicker turnover and some interns to study all my purchases. I think I'll call my venture Kramerica Industries. (955 characters)

Photo of flipper2gv
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

A: 2 years old bottle, pours very dark with very little carbonation.

S: There doesn't seem to be a lot of residual sugars in this beer, which is a bit surprising considering BCBS is extremely sweet. But you get the usual cocoa, vanilla and coffee.

T: Follows the nose quite well, you get cocoa, vanilla and coffee in a dry beer. The alcohol is still noticeable, but it blends well. Quite straightforward, but it is pretty solid.

M: Quite big actually considering the low apparent residual sugars.

D: Although this is very tasty, it is not the most drinkable imperial stout around.

Not a favourite, but still very solid. A good counterpoint top BCBS. (655 characters)

Photo of Powderhornphil
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Feb. 2011.

Pours thick viscous and black. One finger of head.

Aroma is huge on molassis and dark fruits. Bitter dark chocolates.

Taste follows the nose. Big molassis, bitter roast, black cherry and toffee sweetness.

Full coating mouthfeel.

Age has been good to this beer. (290 characters)

Photo of imscotty
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled: Nov 19, 2012

Note: I had this beer when it first came out and I remember not being overly impressed. It was fine, just nothing special. I found this bottle in the discount bin of my local bottle store and decided to give it another try. What a difference some aging had made! Wow, I've totally turned around on this one. The review below is for this aged bottle.

Appearance:
The beer is thick and black as motor oil. A fairly strong tan head forms and then quickly dies out. Little lacing.

Smell:
Rich dark fruits, caramel, booze, and something like the leathery smell of an old oiled baseball glove. Some other lighter fragrances are present too, citrus?

Taste:
The taste is intense and complex. Rich foggy dark fruits, chocolate, some coffee, sweet caramel. There is a nice interplay between the sweetness and the alcohol burn, and it does burn. There is some bitterness on the finish. My tongue is left tingling from the intensity of the flavors. I think that some will find this beer too harsh, but I am loving the symphony of flavors going off in my mouth. Sort of like drinking the 1812 Overture.

Mouthfeel:
Very little carbonation, this beer is thick, oily, luscious. It coats the mouth.

Overall:
A unique and intense beer. This is so much more than just a Stout. I will be heading back to see if I can score anymore aged bottles from the discount bin. I think this beer has the legs to go for years. It will be interesting to see what a few more years could do, but I am happy to drink it right now. What a change from when I first tried it, I presume that the sweetness when fresh was hiding some of the underlying complexities. (1,654 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It pours out really dark with a decent mocha head.

The aroma is of coffee, bitter chocolate, and some hop.

The flavor is big roasted malt, really huge creamy espresso, and bitter, bitter chocolate. The hoppiness helps cut through from the big thick flavors. It's such a creamy and deliciously chocolatey beer.

It's a well balanced beer. It's a great sipper. The finish is nice and easy. It reminds me a lot of BCBS, but just toned down and creamy.

However, with age and a bottle that is an year and a half old, there's a heavy oxidation. The back has this flavor of cardboard and strange hints of citrus. (608 characters)

Photo of BeerZombies1
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Night Stalker - Goose Island
Imperial Stout
11.7% ABV
2010 Vintage

APPEARANCE: Poured a thick, dense oil slick black. Very small chocolate colored head that dissipated almost instantly leaving a small halo.

AROMA: Very complex nose. Lush over ripe dark fruits, raisins, molasses and chocolate hit right away. Then vanilla and roasted malts swing by before the hops come nicely walking in.

TASTE: Chocolate covered raisins, deep purple plums. Really nice sweetness that takes over. Not getting much of the hops I faintly got on the nose. Probably because it has been cellared for 4 years. The taste on this is pure decadence, the roasted malts feel like they are melting in my mouth.

MOUTHFEEL: Heavy bodied with minimal carbonation. The great thickness and mouthfeel I've come to know and love from goose island. Oily and slick that coats the mouth leaving you wanting more.

OVERALL: I'm actually glad that my first experience with a NightStalker is one that had been cellared for 4 years. The absence of hops in the taste along with the abundance of dark fruits in the taste compliment the faint hops on the nose perfectly. I thought this was an amazing beer and would love to try a different vintage.

RATING: 4.5/5 Zombie Heads! (1,243 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had a 10oz tulip of this yesterday at the Portsmouth Brewery, during their mini stout-fest in the LaPanza Lounge.

Poured a thick, dense black, with a thin bit of lacing around the edge, but hardly any lacing was present. Nose had some coffee and bitter choco, with some floral hops noted. Mouthfeel was thick, smooth and chewy - top shelf!

Flavor had more dark choco and bitter coffee notes. A bit of espresso, plus some dark fruit led into a somewhat floral, dry finish. Pretty decent, overall. Prosit!

4.13/5 rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1634 (600 characters)

Photo of roger617
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into snifter. Bottled 11/19/12. #1631. Reviewed 2/20/14

A: Pours very thick, almost appears the viscosity of oil. Less than 1 finger of tan head the reduces fairly quickly and leaves little to no lacing.
S: Chocolate, coffee, and for the age I'm surprised that there's some hops left. Chocolate is the clear lead.
T: Chocolate is the lead here as well. Some dark roasty flavor, wood, and vanilla all present. Pretty well balanced, but I definitely like the chocolate forward approach on this.
M: Thick, carbed to style. Leaves a sweet aftertaste that hides the 11.5%.
O: Very enjoyable offering from Goose Island. I particularly appreciate how drinkable this is at such high ABV. I went in with BCBS on my mind as a comparison, but once I got into the first glass, I was able to get past the comparison and truly enjoy this for what it is. (858 characters)

Photo of kdahnke123
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 VIntage in a snifter at cellar temperature.

A - Thick, dark, creamy with a finger of medium brown, quickly dissipating head.
S - A hint of hops remaining with a slightly green background, likely from one of the many hops used.
T - Dark, rich, chocolate flavor. Hints of coffee and hops. A little on the sweet side.
M - Relatively heavy feel with a nice mouth-coating quality.
O - An excellent beer. The slightly odd nose is made up for by the intense, rich flavors. I look forward to cellaring the remaining bottles for some time to see how it evolves and look forward to the 2013 vintage. (597 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2012- 1 year old

Appearance: pitch black. opaque. a finger of a tan head that leaves the slightest lacing behind

Smell: dark fruity sweetness, roasty malts, espresso, chocolate, and booze

Taste: opens up with a blast of sweetness, both chocolate and dark fruits. some slight bitterness from espresso. roasted malts. very slight booze

Mouthfeel: heavy. slight bitterness. fairly creamy. big sipper

Overall: after one year. this beer is delicious. great flavors and just a little bit of booze. it would be interesting to do a vertical of this beer, but i do like it at a year. (587 characters)

Photo of MistahBeah
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thick oily black. Big lively mocha colored head which dissolves pretty quickly, leaving swirls of caramel and coffee colors. Ring of sticky lace. Looks like a good amount of sediment throughout

Smells like Dutch chocolate. Rich and sweet. Anise and espresso. Lots of charred character. A leafy/woody bitterness

Taste hits with hugely sweet chocolate notes. Decadent. Some dark fruit sits beneath the chocolate onslaught. Creamy coffee follows. Some slightly bitter espresso attempts to balance. Slight herbal presence. Charcoal. Back palate picks up lots of black licorice. Alcohol present throughout but isn't assertive

Feels slick and very full. Coats the palate well. Drinks very smooth for the ABV

Overall a really nice stout. Sweet enough to be a dessert beer - or just dessert. Like drinking chocolate cake. A little more balanced than Southern Tier's Chokolat or Creme Brulee but a bit too sweet to ever be an all-the-time beer, which it isn't luckily (970 characters)

Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance – Pours a black color with a small, chocolate colored head. Head dissipates to an extremely thin layer that only covers about ½ of the beer, and stays that way. Not too much lacing.

Smell – Chocolate cake, charred wood, licorice, and hoppiness.

Taste –Has a surprising hoppiness to it, which I’m not a huge fan of in stouts. Charred oak, bitter coffee, but none of the chocolate that I picked up in the smell.

Mouthfeel – Feels thicker than it looks. Lightly carbonated. The 11.7% abv is well hidden. But it leaves a bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability – The 11.7% abv is nicely hidden, but the bitter aftertaste makes it a bit less drinkable. (667 characters)

Photo of diverite
2.75/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

I generally like Imperial Stouts, but this one is just too sweet for me. Its cloying and unbalanced due to its super potent sweetness and low 60 IBUs. In a 11+% ABV Imperial I would expect close to 100 IBUs to balance the sweetness, so this one falls way short.

The appearance and mouth feel are fantastic on this one, but it smells much like it tastes, very sweet. I am sure others would disagree, but it was reminiscent of Southern Tier Creme Brulee in sweetness, so much so that it was completely undrinkable for me. If you are a ST Creme Brulee fan, you will probably like this one.

This one could use some lower mash temps to dry it out a bit and maybe more hops in the boil and at flame out to further cover the sweetness. This one is great if you like them sweet. (773 characters)

Photo of CHADMC3
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 11/19/12

Pours a night black body beneath the shallow, yet dense mocha colored head, which quickly dissolves but leaves a constant ring of lacing to coat the glass.

Aroma is generously boozy and fruity, featuring dark fruits like currant or black cherries, almost like one may expect from a quad for the fruitiness, yet it also offers dark chocolate and a touch of roasted malt.

The flavor also offers the dark fruit like black cherries, currants, and blackberries. There are also dark bread qualities with the roasted malt and hints of dark chocolate. This brew is certainly leaning to the sweeter side of Imperial Stout versus the roasted side.

Thicker in body, but certainly not viscous as some of its counterparts are. Medium carbonation with a rich, palate coating finish and fairly subdued booziness for the generous abv.

A nice Double Stout abundant with sweet fruit and chocolate characteristics to tease the senses. Not the roasted monster some others are but a nice departure for the style. (1,016 characters)

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Night Stalker from Goose Island Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 739 ratings.