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Night Stalker - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Night StalkerNight Stalker

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,666 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,666
Reviews: 730
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 243
Gots: 566 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 02-02-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Night Stalker Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,666 | Reviews: 730 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired recently from Premiere. Pours black and thick. Amazing grapefruit aromas, roast is secondary. Creamy full mouthfeel. Grapefruit and then chocolate in mid-sip. Good malting, well tamed astringency. A masterful integration. Good drinkability, over an entire meal.

Sammy, May 02, 2010
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

t0rin0, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed while watching Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Thanks to Bay01 for sending me this one!

Bottled on 2/6/11.

Pours an extremely thick opaque black with a 2 inch chocolate milk colored head that fades to a small cap. Nice thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark roasted malts, spices, lots of citrus zest, and slight chocolate. To me this smells very much like Anchor's Our Special Ale. Taste is extremely hoppy up front with loads of citrus zest and pine. The malt, spices, and chocolate come through on the finish. There is a nice hop/roast bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation and is very thick and creamy in the mouth. There is a noticeable alcohol burn in the throat with each sip. Overall, this is a good stout with a huge hop presence that I wasn't expecting. I am glad I got to try this one.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -26.5%

djrn2, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2%

zestar, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -2%

spycow, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Clybourn brewpub the day after Dark Lord Day 2009.

A: Pours a very, very dark brown; nearing black with a tiny head and some minimal lacing.

S: Lots of hops going on here; rivaled likely only by Bear Republic's Big Black Bear Stout in terms of the hops it has. Good, complex roasted malts character rounds everything out, but the hops are what's really surprising.

T: Roasted chocolate malts and dark fruit with a tiny bit of coffee. The hops then loom fairly large, creating an exceedingly-balanced stout.

M: Very full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

D: Very well-balanced and wonderfully drinkable. Glad to see this is already on GI's website and will hopefully be a standard yearly offering. Overall, a very solid counterpart to Bourbon County.

Thorpe429, May 01, 2009
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -2%

acurtis, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -2%

nmann08, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of licorice, roasted malts and alcohol in the nose.
T: Flavors of dark, roasted malts and licorice dominate the overall taste, which has some notes of malty sweetness.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish has some warming from the alcohol.
D: The beer seems strong but the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

metter98, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Texasfan549, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a chocolate syrup color with very little head but it does stir up some foam with a swirl; minimal lace

Smell: Can this possbibly be an imperial stout with all of this floral citrus? There is some chocolate underneath, but this smells like an IPA

Taste: After a quick blast of chocolate and dark fruit the citrusy hops push everything else aside with their floral character; the hops get even bigger after the swallow, but they are balanced out in the finish by the chocolate and dark fruit flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Incredibly well-balanced for a hoppy stout, this beer is destined to hit the Top 100; first, on to the buzzed beer category

(While I loved this beer on tap, drinking a bottle supplied by BlueOkie would lead me to mark down the total score into the 4.2 range; still good, but not as enthusiastic about the bottled product.)

brentk56, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 03/06/10. Bottle 1000. Polished 8-ball black with a slowly developing crown of dark brown sugar colored cream that spilled over the sides of the glass. A bright blast of morning sunshine fails to reveal any highlights whatsover. If enough lace sticks (it does) then this will be one gorgeous double stout.

Even after (just) more than one year in the bottle, the tropical fruitiness of Simcoe hops are still easily appreciated in the nose. They do, though, take a backseat to a murderer's row of malts that includes pale, Munich, chocolate, caramel, roasted and black. It smells like there's a generous quantity of those last four, which is how it should be.

How in the world can a beer that started out with only 60 IBUs (not an astronomically high number for this much malt) still be this hop-forward after so long? Those of you who don't care for hoppy double/Imperial stouts need to age this bad boy for longer than one year, that's for sure.

When fresh, this Goose Island brew must taste like a black DIPA. In fact, it pretty much does right here and now. Specifics include double chocolate fudge brownies, blackstrap molasses, Sambuca (anise liqueur) and a generoous amount of pink grapefruit zest. Only those who have equal love for American double stouts and American hops (like me) need apply.

The mouthfeel might be this impressive beer's most impressive feature. This is easily the most heavily creamy, silky smooth, lushly plush beer to have entered my glass in 2011... and maybe 2010 as well. NS is mouth candy par excellence that has me wishing 5.5 was an option.

Night Stalker might not reach the stratospheric heights of the stupendous Bourbon County Stout, but Goose Island has done themselves proud yet again. Bottom line: unabashedly hoppy American big beer that is right in my hoppy American big beer wheelhouse.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An aggressive Imperial Stout with unrelenting malts and resiny hops; reminescent of Bell's Batch 7000 when it was young.

The beer pours black, opaque, and with the impression of thick viscocity and motor oil. Light on head formation but the lace of foam holds on for the majority of the session. Stouts just don't get darker or thicker.

Serious malts are actually dwarfed by the resin, pine, and fresh cut grass aroma. But still, the espresso, roasted grains, and bittersweet cocoa make a lot of headway towards the end.

The malt sweetness shows a tons of toffee and molassas that edge on toasty and roasty character. Espresso notes do the most damage with a robust attack on the palate. Hop flavor creeps closely behind with the same pine and resin notes as experienced in the nose. As the beer warms, a mild note of anise shows the only hint of ester. This beer is pretty straight forward with the roasted malts and sharp hops.

Thick, heavy, chewy, and strong; this beer is all that it is billed to be. Much like the Bourbon County Stout, this beer is a Goliath of a beer, at least in the textures. Oily, rich, and fulfilling the beer is intimidating. Hop bitterness helps to cut through the malts, as do the 12% alcohols.

The Bell's Batch 7000 rounded out in a year to a near flawless beer. I expect the same out of this one.

Thanks Cheezdawg! (04/10/10)

BEERchitect, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -2%

kjkinsey, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium foamy dirty brown color head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bitter hoppy notes with roasted malt notes - definitely more hoppy then I was expecting. Taste is also dominated by loads of hops with bitter and citrus notes not common for the style with a side of light roasted malt notes. Body is quite full with a creamy texture and good carbonation with no signs of alcohol. Very good which is not surprising considering the brewer but also more hoppy then most imperial stout I have tried before.

Phyl21ca, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick brown/black with a dark dense brown head.

Nose if full rich and bold bitter black chocolate; roasted grains; soy sauce; bitter espresso and licorice.

Mouthfeel is thick, rich and creamy with elegant light carbonation and a wonderful mouthfeel.

Well balanced hop/malt the flavor profile of this stout is all licorice, bitter chocolate and bitter espresso but nicely balanced. This is the quintessence of a roasted grain flavor but with a bitter hop balance. Flavor profile has hints of whiskey and red wine characters. Lots of molasses and underlyng sweet black chocolate nad licorice.

Finish is long, bitter licorice, black chocolate, roasted grain and bitter espresso; again, all very well balanced and which goes on forever. A wonderful example of a well balanced and very big stout.

GRG1313, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of mikesgroove
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A wonderful ba sent me a handbottle of this beer. In a 500ml flip top that was sealed over with tape. I have had several really good expierences with flip top hand bottles, live oak, and a couple rarer west coast sours, when they are done right then can be grand, and this one was done right! Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/25/2009.

The pour out of the bottle was honestly one of the darkest things I have ever seen. Just nuts. Pitch black as night with a light tan head of maybe an inch and a half across the top. This faded down to about a quarter inch but never got any lower then that. Lots of side glass lacing all over the sides as it went down. The aroma was a touch boozy, with tons of chocolate and roasted malts coming through. Almost a licorice like smell as it warms, incredible. As I take my first sip I am floored, rich vanilla and cocoa taste with a large dose of roasted malts. Tons of flavor here, with bourbon notes really coming through on this one. I am literally drooling as I write this that I dont have any left. The finish was soo smooth, and chocolate filled, it was a dessert beer to the extreme. For 11.5% you would think there would be a ton of alcohol swimming in this one, but know, just insanely good and really full bodied,one of the thickest beersI have ever run across.

Overall all, floored, this beer needs to get out more as this almost blows the category up. Seriously one of the richest tasting and fullest beers I have ever run across, top notch.

mikesgroove, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

ygtbsm94, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

jaydoc, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to both Jeff and Mark for sending me this. I've been looking forward to trying this beer for quite some time.

A: As the name would imply this beer is black as night with a moderate tan head.

S: A lot of citrusy hops (grapefruit in particular) which is an interesting contrast to the chocolate, roast, and coffee undertones of the imperial stout.

T: Quite a bit of roast, coffee, and chocolate. But, these are really masked a bit too much by the grapefruit hop flavors. That said, this is done more tactfully than Darkness 09. The alcohol presence is fairly minimized by the shear number of different flavors present in the beer.

M: The body is quite full with a moderate carbonation and smooth feel on the tongue.

D: I've been wanting to try this for a long time, and I was pleased by how it tasted. But, I think I would prefer this beer in 6 months to a year when the hops have died down.

womencantsail, May 03, 2010
Photo of kylehay2004
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An aggressive put yields a half finger tan head on a jet black body. Aroma is loaded with chocolate and roasted malts and earthy hops. The flavor is very roasted with little coffee presence. Excellent chocolate both milk and dark throughout with sweet vanilla late in the finish. Medium body and light carbonation. Very smooth, well balanced and very easy to drink for the style and ABV.

kylehay2004, Aug 12, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased this beer while visiting in Chicago, the vintage was 2011.

The beer poured out as a motor oil black color with a thick brown head on top. The retention is minimal and so was the lacing but the beer coats the glass with every swirl or sip you take. The smell of the beer is boozy, it's heavily roasted and sweet smelling too. There is also a good hop aroma in there as well which is impressive for a beer that is over a year old. The taste is very nice, big amounts of malt and hops, it's got chocolate and boozy vanilla in there too. There is bitterness of some coffee in there too. The mouthfeel is thick, it's oily and smooth with a moderate carbonation to it. Overall this beer was very good, it was well worth the price in my opinion. One of the best I've had from Goose Island for sure.

Knapp85, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a black body with a frothed hea--oh, it's gone-- with only a thin dark tan fizz ring.

Smell: The nose pitches back and forth between the hefty maltiness and hearty hoppiness displaying espresso powder, citrus fruits, charred bread, yellow pine, and foil-wrapped chocolate squares. Some traces of nostril-pinching alcohol dwelling in the upswelling aroma as well.

Taste: Scorched, roasted malts and tastes of decadent semi-sweet chocolate, espresso, and cauterized bread crusts. Fair share of sweetness in the fore. Moderate fruitiness of cooked figs. All the while, there's a progressing hop character of grapefruit, oranges, and particularly resinous pine. Both hops and the roasted grains supply the palate with a robust bitterness. The alcohol content is certainly evident throughout. Fair amount of bitterness and alcohol heat on the roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-light carbonation. Pleasantly smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Whereas I can't imagine living life without GIBCS, I found Night Stalker to simply be quite good.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
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Night Stalker from Goose Island Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,666 ratings.