Night Stalker - Goose Island Beer Co.
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Ratings: 1,636 | Reviews: 727 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BedetheVenerable:
3.7/5 rDev -9.3%
Presentation: 22oz brown bomber w/pop top cap. Nice, spooky label. Bottled-on date (March) clearly marked. Develops for 5 years in the bottle.
Appearance: Black as night. Which I guess is fitting. One of the darkest caps I've ever seen on a beer, dark mocha...sticks around for a long time, nice sticking power.
Smell: Lots of herbal hops and chocolate up front as soon as this goes into the snifter. After letting it warm for 10 minutes or so, however, the hops really fade into the background and big rich molasses notes emerge. A swirl brings out notes of alcohol and dark malt (not nearly the burnt presence I expected). Overall, big and bold.
Taste: Big and boozy! Even after 7 months, this is bordering on hot. Not messy hot, but deft. "this could use some more time" hot. So we've deft. got some bold molasses flavors up front, with some DARK melted chocolate as well. The hot, dark-fruity alcohol that overwhelmed the palate has calmed down a bit now that this is getting closer to room temperature. There's not nearly the roast I was expecting here, and the hop flavor is actually fairly light and herbal. Chocolate flavors seem to be coming on stronger the warmer this gets, and warming also brings out a touch of coffee-like roasted bitterness. This is: Big, bold, ballsy.
Mouthfeel: Pretty heavy, smooth
Drinkability: 1 bottle split between two people is about the limit
Conclusion: This is a big 'ole stout. Normally, I like dark fruity booziness in my stouts, but here, I wish it was just mellowed out a bit more. That being said, the dark herbal hops, big chocolate flavors, and big (but nowhere near over-the-top) bitterness make this a pretty tasty offering.
10-24-2010 02:59:56 | More by BedetheVenerable
More User Reviews:
4.53/5 rDev +11%
Pours jet black into a imperial nonic,a frothy mocha colored head atop.An awesome mix of citric hop,chocolate malt,hardwood,and sweet cherries in the nose,a whole lot of good shite goin on.Full on creaminess in the mouth,chewey but smooth,basically perfect in my opinion,it coats but goes down with ease.The hoppiest big stout I have ever had,resiny and woody at the onset,dark fruit and semi sweet chocolate round out the palate,big roast thru the finish.This is everything I expected,just some much good stuff going on,a fantastic beer.
05-28-2010 00:18:43 | More by oberon
4.3/5 rDev +5.4%
Reviewed from notes crafted a couple of days ago, 12-17-10. Served straight out of the cellar.
Night Stalker appears black with brown and ruby hues along the edges. The head tops off at 1/2 to 3/4 of a finger after a medium pour into a large snifter. A lively swirl of wispy cloud-like subtance on a dark summer night remain atop the body, with a dark brown froth 'round the edge of the glass. Lacing on the glass shows as thick, streaky lines and large dots.
Huge aromas blossom out of the glass, headlined by a rather sherry or bourbon-like liquor scent and big, roasted dark malts. Dark chocolate, caramel, anise, and tart dark fruits lie low in the smell profile. There is a bit of worn leather and some coffee notes in the bouquet, as well.
The alcohol content is very pronounced at the beginning and through the middle of the sip, which couples with some sweet citric flavors of tangerine and lemon. The sweet booze then transitions to rich, creamy flavors of vanilla, dark chocolate, toffe, and caramel which land squarely on the flat of my tongue. That middle, creamy section of the beer lasts for awhile and then rounds into a finish which has a fine semi-bitter coffee and cocoa flavor. I'm really digging how this beer morphs.
The mouthfeel is a ROLLERCOATER! It goes from stinging and sweet on the sides of the palate to syrupy and coating on my tongue to a lasting residual bitterness on all points of my palate. The carbonation is very low, but it fits the total character of the beer perfectly.
Despite the huge contribution of a liquor flavor, I find this beer to be quite drinkable. The booziness is somehow less offensive than it is in some other beers of this high of an a.b.v. It is a delicious treat, and I will certainly purchase it when I am in the mood for a big, badass Imperial Stout.
12-20-2010 04:48:52 | More by TCHopCraver
3.98/5 rDev -2.5%
This was bottled on 03/06/2010
A: Jet black with a creamy dark tan head. The long lasting head leaves lacing on the glass.
S: There is a moderate roast and umami aroma, somewhat like soy sauce but not in a triple bock foul manner. There are light note of bitter chocolate and coffee. A little flowery alcohol some prunes and little else, no hops as well.
T: Bitter chocolate with a strong bite of hops bitterness followed by strong alcohol; a one, two punch on the first sip. The roasty and malt flavors a moderately strong. The hops flavor is all but gone. There is a moderate amount of dark fruit flavors like prunes, figs and plums going on in there. While there is a moderate to moderately-low malt sweetness going on the balance is moderately bitter, with the hops bitterness having some of that sting like there are some fine particles of hops floating in there when I've gotten the dregs from a dry hopped keg but without that fierce intensity. The dark malt isn't bring all that much bitterness to the beer. The finish is moderately sweet with a lingering bitterness and touch of lemon, maybe there is some citrus hop flavors still kicking.
M: A smooth, thick full bodied beer with a moderately-high amount of carbonation. sure there is warmth but not nearly what you'd think given the 11.7 % ABV.
O: This beer still has a ton of flavor with the flavors having mellowed and blended over time. However the hophead in me want the big hops flavor from this beers youth. Each sip is still bringing layers and layers of flavor but when it was fresh the enormous hops flavors and aromas we matched by the big roasty malt character. The aroma is getting board line unappealing. Fresh this was as close to perfection as I've ever had and I will still seek it out.
11-09-2012 01:45:47 | More by MadScientist
4.15/5 rDev +1.7%
Pours black with a fair amount of viscosity and happens to be impossible to get any head to form.
The alcohol, along with spruce tip hops, happens to be really noticeable in the nose, maybe some coffee in there among the profound hoppiness. Stings the nostrils a bit. It's not as complex as I had hoped, but as it gets closer to room temperature the hops do fade a bit, in it's favor.
The taste is pretty good. It's got sprucy pine resins throughout with a mildly chocolaty, clovey finish. I'm not crazy about its hop profile, it sort of has a cigar box thing going on. As it warms it opens up a little more variety, but in the end I'm not sure if the hops are working for it. I'll definitely give it more chances down the road. The mouthfeel is fine, full bodied with light carbonation, making for a pretty smooth experience. The alcohol doesn't hold it back too much.
This is powerful stuff, and I have to say, I'm still on the fence, but as it has time to warm, it's growing on me.
04-01-2010 03:14:37 | More by brownbeer
3.6/5 rDev -11.8%
22oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass, bottled 2/19/10 so drank when 2.5 months old but kept cold in order to preserve hop profile
It pours pitch black with a three finger head that leaves just a small layer of foam when it dies down.
A hoppy stout indeed, although I'm having a problem pinpointing the particular influences the hop has on the smell. The smell is so thick with dark chocolate and coffee that any of the delicate hop aroma are lost on me besides that I can tell that this was definitely dry-hopped.
The flavor is, I guess, confusing. All of the attributes of a thick viscous stout are there with a firm bitterness cutting through all that. The roasted coffee is ever so present and then a once again vague hop flavor takes over and the sip ends pretty neutrally. The best thing about this hoppy stout is that the sweetness of a beer this size is cut way down and makes for a rather balanced beer. There isn't much wrong with this beer, but I don't think I will fall in love with hoppy stouts. I feel that it takes everything bold in a huge thick beer like this and cuts it's legs off in order to tame it.
The mouthfeel is beautifully thick,and smooth with a carbonation level to match. Since it takes me a good chuck of time to finish a bomber by myself as the beer warms it becomes increasingly more silky and drinkable. This beer; as sweet, thick, and high in alcohol, as it is; is surprisingly drinkable, much more so than it's cousin BCS.
05-05-2010 05:21:36 | More by weatherdog
2.73/5 rDev -33.1%
Wow...I either got a bad bottle or this beer just does not agree with me.
A - No head, a touch of lacing on top if you tease it out. Dark brown, with a bit of mahogany around the edges.
S - Boozy with some burnt citrus.
T - Smoke, lots of smoke. The citrus hops try to come through, along with some dark fruit, but I get the overwhelming flavor of smoke It is like grapefruit and some cherries were thrown into a smoker and burnt, then put into a beer. A lot of sweetness remains, a bit of alcohol and bitterness with an acrid bite.
M - Thick and smooth, coats the mouth with a good deal of alcohol warmth. Unfortunate that it coats your mouth nicely with a not so great flavor.
O - While it looks good and has a nice feel, this beer is totally out of balance. Like a RIS that has not been fermented and an IPA mixed with some burnt logs from a fireplace. Not sure I can finish this bottle, so very disappointing coming from Goose Island.
*Edit 11/19/12 bottle here also...seems like this batch is just off.
12-19-2012 02:52:18 | More by steelerguy
4.53/5 rDev +11%
22oz bomber, like the label on this one. Pours into my glass a deep, brooding black with dark brown edges and a half inch of creamy tan head on top. Aromas start off with a blast of citric and piney hops. Resinous with a mix of rich chocolate and espresso notes. Nice and roasted with a mild burnt accent. Quite complex and the bold hops just jump out of this.
First sip brings big malts upfront with a mix of chocolate, espresso and a touch of caramel. Huge hops intertwine bringing loads of citric and piney resins along for the ride. Hop bitterness does a good job of working alongside the malt sweetness here. Flows down with lingering hops and the alcohol is just barely detectable. Tasty stuff. Nothing like hop burps from a RIS!
Mouthfeel is smooth, rich and creamy with a mellow slickness. This is almost too easy to drink for the abv and the sweetness is kept in check well. Overall, this is a pretty damn tasty hopped up RIS. Worth seeking out and possibly even better than I remember it being on tap last year!
03-14-2010 21:07:45 | More by orbitalr0x
4.43/5 rDev +8.6%
A_Dark brown with tan colored head that quickly dissipates. Not much lacing.
S_Nose is mostly hops and dark fruits.
T_A lot going on. Hops and dark fruits upfront. Slight black licorice taste. A little coffeecharred woody,earthy flavor on the back end. Hides alcohol amazingly.
M_Full bodied but not as thick as one would expect.
05-31-2010 04:43:21 | More by nickadams2
3.93/5 rDev -3.7%
22oz brown bomber with a bottled on date on the label.
Look: Deepest black, inviting brown head and lacing
Smell: Sweet, black currants, molasses, coffee, burnt wood, brown bread, booze
Taste: Thick roasted malt character, creamy and full bodied, dark berries, burnt sugar, chocolate, modest hopping, warming booziness, leather, long burnt linger, semi-sweet finish
Massive, clearly a sipper. Extremely bold and a treat, this is a beast.
09-23-2013 03:13:37 | More by Jason
4.58/5 rDev +12.3%
Pours black with a dense and sticky brown head. This is Darkness light. Hell, I'd put this up against Darkness any day. This is a hoppy as hell imperial stout. Dank piny hops with plenty of roasty and chocolaty goodness in the nose. I'm going to punch this bitch if she blows her smoke my way again. Bam! Hops up side yo head!! Really robust roasted malt goodness. Full body with some prickly carbonation. Long dry finish. Wow. Fantastic beer.
04-01-2009 23:53:53 | More by tjthresh
4.33/5 rDev +6.1%
Bomber, bottled on 2-19-10 according to the label. Huge, bold, tasty double stout. Waves of dark coffee, dark chocolate, as well as more then ample levels of piney and quite drying hops. So to review, loads of dark malts, laden with chocolate and coffee notes. Rich, chewy and complex. Get a knife and fork out and enjoy this one as a big and bold nightcapper or with a double chocolaty dessert.
04-13-2010 00:07:15 | More by Billolick
4.43/5 rDev +8.6%
Thanks to mar for sharing this bottle. I have been looking forward to it.
The beer pours dark brown to black with a brown head. The aroma is coffee and roasted malts with some piney hops. The flavor is more of the same with the coffee and malts being overshadowed by the strong hopping. Medium, very creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation.
03-19-2010 22:49:55 | More by Mora2000
Night Stalker from Goose Island Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,636 ratings.