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Night Stalker - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Night StalkerNight Stalker

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,761 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,761
Reviews: 749
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.73%
Wants: 258
Gots: 569 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,761 | Reviews: 749
Reviews by wmtxbb:
Photo of wmtxbb
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into chalice

Appearance: Syrup black with lacing.

Smell: Thick molasses, nuts, dark malt, oats and cream.

Taste: Layers of flavor: buscuts, molasses, dark chocolate, light on the hops, some bitterness, marshmallows and dark malts. Ends leaving a semi-sweet chocolate flavor and the taste of alcohol.

Drinkability: Great beer to have at the end of the day on a cold chicago night. It warms the soul and the palate.

When I first came to chicago I sought out the local brews. At first, Goose Island was a real disappointment. 312 is mediocre, and some of their other "big hits" are also pretty bland. But over time I've begun to "see the light". The exceptional brews from GI are their special edition/seasonal brews. This is a nice addition, kudos GI.

More User Reviews:
Photo of buschbeer
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

Photo of MNishCT77
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
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

Photo of oberon
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of MadScientist
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of brownbeer
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of weatherdog
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of steelerguy
2.74/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of nickadams2
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

D_Very drinkable.

Photo of Jason
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of tjthresh
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Nolang84
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dam good Tasting beer pours like used motor oil

Photo of fo1ksguitar
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large draft pour at The Stable in St. Louis.

Had this while talking to GI brewers about beers. Pours relatively dark with a small brown head. Aroma is interesting, hints of hops and roasted chocolate. Taste is good, lots of hops for a IS then the maltiness of the stout hits on the back. Very Ying Yang effect on the taste buds. The back end is not very complex as it hasn't been aged but also isn't too bitter for a young stout. It feels smooth but has a very hot character from the 11% ABV. Very solid, I will put a bottle away for a bit to see how it develops! The GI brewers did mention that this stout is intended to be consumed fresh to capture the hop characteristics before they fade.

Photo of bsp77
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bomber into Snifter.

Appearance: Opaque black with thin brown (almost purple) head. Minimal lacing tendrils.

Smell: Pine and citrus hops grapple with roasted malts, molasses, licorice and dark fruit. Very interesting scent hybrid of an IPA and Imperial Stout - I mostly enjoy it but there is almost a slight sickening quality to the mix.

Taste: Somewhat similar to the smell in that the pine and citrus is very evident throughout. Malt backbone of molasses, licorice, plum and raisins provide an interesting juxtaposition. Despite how hoppy the beer is, it has very little actual bitterness.

Feel: Thick, chewy and oily body that really coats the tongue. Low carbonation and very warming.

Drinkability: This is a strange beer with its IPA and Imperial Stout qualities. Some similarities to Surly Darkness, but doesn't come together quite as well. Still very, very good nonetheless.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Photo of ehammond1
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2010)

Thanks for opening this with me, BdubleEdubleRUN!

(Aged for 2 years)

Black throughout, but not quite as dark as BCBS and Big John. Dark brown or ruby edges, depending. Thin brown head leaves irregular spotted stick down the glass.

A very hoppy aroma, even after 2 years, especially when compared to other imperial stouts from Goose Island. There's a distinct piney and earthy hop character still more than lingering, even more than 2 years after bottlings. Along with that is some moderate roast and char notes. I don't get much coffee or chocolate character.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, with good amounts of pine and earthy hop flavors left even after the significant aging. There's a bit of char, roast, and a little ash. Minimal coffee and chocolate.

Medium bodied with moderate, nearly high, carbonation for the style.

Decent, but not a standout. Far closer to a black IPA than an imperial stout, even after the 2 years of aging.

Photo of boatshoes
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle of this at From the Vine in Columbus. Was excited to see this as I didn't think it was going to make it into Ohio at first.

Appearance- Pours opaque, midnight black out of the bottle with a surprisingly active three fingers or so of chestnut head. Lots of big bubbles in the head and it sticks around for awhile before dying back to a sheet across the top of the beer.

Smell- Wow, first this I notice is a surprisingly strong charred hop presence. A real hoppy whiff right off the bat but followed with notes of very bitter dark chocolate, and huge notes of burnt malt. The most unusual aspect for me though is the big hop presence.

Taste- Again, much like the nose, the first thing that impresses me is the big hop presence. A nice charred, ashy bite of hops get things going, followed again by huge burnt malt, bitter chocolate, a little bit of coffee grounds, and ash. Very big flavor and if you like hoppy, burnt flavors in your Imperial Stouts, then you'll like this.

Mouhtfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is thick and chewy but adequately carbonated to keep the beer moving on down. I have to say that I liked this beer, but the drinkability was average at best for the style for me. The hoppiness of the beer fresh ground on the tastebuds a little bit towards the end and it got harder for me to finish as it warmed.

Overall, a very interesting double stout and for me it was quite unique in its hoppiness. I enjoyed it and I'd definitely say it is for those who like their stouts hoppy. Give it a shot if you get the chance.

Photo of Jagen
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a bomer into a snifter. bottle date 11/19/12, drinking it 12/3/12
A slightly more than a 1 finger dark-brown head. pours jet black but not a crazy thick consistancy. head at first dies down aggressively but stableizes into a half finger head that slowly dissipates.
S very hop heavy...surprising for a stout. I expected this to be hoppy due to other reviews/reading about the beer but surprised at the lack of upfront stout smells. slight chocolate and malt in the background. nice subtley roast in the back.
T - people say it is a hoppy-mess but I disagree. it is not what you would expect from a stout but I am really enjoying it. not too aggresively hoppy at front but the hops are there...nice malt finish. i think the hops are a little strong right now and will review again once they die down.
M - great moutfeel...not too thick and not at all thin. slight coating-of-the-mouth feel. perfect carbonation.
O - Very good take on a hoppy stout. The hops do hide from the stoutiness of the beer. Excited to age a few and see how it is once the hops die out. I reserve complete judgement until I get to taste how it is with age. Overal,l I really like this take on a hoppy stout...I just want to taste a little more of the malt profile that I know I will have to wait to taste

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my pint glass this brew pours a pitch black with a darker then normal Tan head. Would have liked to have seen a thicker head on this baby, but the darkness of this brew impresses me overall.

S: Darkly roasted grain with hints of mainly dark chocolate and molasses. Would have liked to haven seen a more complex nose. In the background there are small notes of alcohol. At 11.70% you know it's gonna be there.

T: As we all know, this is a very hoppy stout. It seems like Goose Island tried to hop it up, then balance it with a little too much sweet and heavy molasses. This beer is dominate molasses with slight chocolate notes and quit an alcohol kick.

MF/D: The carbonation makes the mouthfeel of this beer. Smooth and rich. The drinkability is lacking a bit here, right now this brew is a little too boozy and harsh.

Overall, I can see this brew improving greatly with age as it was obviously brewed to do so. I'd love to give this one another go-around possibly 2-3 years after the bottling date. Thank you strikertown for the trade man!

Photo of WVbeergeek
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a viscous dark black destroyer of all visible light rays hue with a a tan mocha head forming nice and thick, thin speckled lacing that's to be expected at this alcohol by volume right?

Aromatics present to me a strong undermining hop assault complete with dark roasted malt, soy sauce, and dark chocolate roasts. Very green dry hopped approach for a stout but I'm enjoying the rebellion from the norm. I get the dark stuff going on but the green herbal mint leaf hops over riden the average dark imperial stout.

Flavor contains creamy menthol tones with dark chocolate and rich anise black licorice accents. This beer is complex and bitingly bitter with herbal leafy mint ridden hop flavors that I enjoy in the mix of dark espresso, soy sauce saltiness, and rich warming alcohol notes. A bit of plum and dark chocolate dance together with the lingering alcohol flavors, complex and rich American Double Stout.

Mouthfeel is full on full bodied in the best possible way, carbonation is mellow but carries the beer well. One of the best stouts I've come across in the last 5 years. Hop burps in the back of the nares come correct along with a soothing alcohol burn.

Drinkability is wonderful yes, I want more. I think I can drink more, and if I had more I would age more bottles this stuff is rockin', a bad ass American Double Stout from Chitown bring me more. Actually I will have to go back to Columbus, Ohio at Bodega where I procured this fine bottle. Both this and the Brooklyn Sorachi Ace ale were eyein' me up, great place please come again folks. If you haven't been there get to know it when in Ohio.

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.

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Night Stalker from Goose Island Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,761 ratings.