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Night Stalker - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Night StalkerNight Stalker

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1,720 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,720
Reviews: 740
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 14%
Wants: 249
Gots: 578 | FT: 30
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.
View: Beers (211) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,720 | Reviews: 740 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of webmanspidey
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a large chalice. Dark black, with a fizzy white head. Smells include strong dark fruit, grape, and citrus. Flavor is really offbeat for a stout: strong fruity citrus flavors and hops are prevalent, twisted with caramel, black licorice, and molasses. Finish is on the bitter side. Alcohol is blended in very well. Excellent drinkability.

This isn't what you normally expect in a big stout, but it is very interesting and delicious nonetheless.

Photo of crossovert
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

600th beer tried.

22 oz bottle, properly filled.

Pours into my snifter a thick brown/black with pretty much no light permeability. The head is small and tan receding decently fast leaving some decent lacing.

Woah, the first thing you notice in the scent of this one is the massive amount of hops. They are very tropical smelling, and very fresh smelling. The hop scents mi with the chocolate scent quite well. Under that is some caramel scents.

The flavor is sweet, almost cloying, but also hoppy. It has some herbal bitter tasting hops, the tropical doesn't translate in the taste. It also has coffee, chocolate, caramel, and a huge dose of alcohol flavor. It is almost whiskey-like. The alcohol is very present on the palate.

It is interesting now, interestingly hoppy, but I think if it aged it could calm down a little, like BCS it is very hot and wild when fresh.

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
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 jjayjaye
4.97/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours dark and with a viscous character and a HUGE stiff light brown colored head that resists fading. Spotty patterns of Belgian lacing are redeemed by the oily film that I look for in my favorite Double Stouts! The smell is AGGRESSIVE and COMPLEX and nothing short of AMAZING! The full frontal hop attack is the last thing that I would expect from a beverage of this style. HOLY CRAP this is WILD!! The grassy hops over licorice and chocolate aromas are unique and IMAGINATIVE. Adequately carbonated with a light tingle from the alcohol; spikes up with an oily creamy smooth coating texture TOTALLY complements its drinkability. Full flavored, the choco-licorice, plum grassy hop BLITZ is consuming. The licorice and grassy hop flavors linger well into the after experience. The 11.7% ABV is buried...and at $10 a bumper, this one is a COSMIC drinker!! End of story...just feed me Night Stalker for the rest of my f*& life and I'll die a happy BA. Many thanks to DavidEddie for the opportunity to consider this one...it's my new all-time favorite!!

Photo of mjl21
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade...thanks Mike. 22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Comes in at 11.7%. Bottled on 2/19/10.

A-Pours a sludgy dark brown that has a little glimmer of red. The first pour results in virtually no head and a miniscule ring with a few scattered bubbles. The second pour was more aggressive and resulted in a decent head that eventually goes to a nice film. Leaves some good streaks of lace and has some visible legs.

S-It is different than most imperial stouts. Lots and lots of tropical citrus and pine give it a hoppy nose. There is some noticeable booze that fades as it warms. There is not much malt that jumps out.

T-Roasted malt and chocolate are very prevalent at the start. The flavor is a mixture of dark chocolate, sweet chocolate, and bitter sweet chocolate.The alcohol is more noticeable at the start and quickly drys out my tongue. I pick up on orange citrus flavors after it has gone down. As it warms there is more pine flavor. This is one that really needs to be given time to open up.

M-Fuller bodied and perfectly carbonated.

D-I had this over two hours and it definitely knocked me upside the head. A 10 oz serving would be perfect.

An interesting take on an imperial stout. I prefer Darkness more for a hopped up imperial stoutl, but this one is definitely worth checking out.

Photo of GRG1313
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
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 trbergman
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a tulip.

A - Pours an opaque dark brown, nearly black, with one finger of cinnamon-colored head. The foam reduces to a ring of lace, but leaves some sheets on the glass.

S - Hop aroma leaps out of the glass, with plenty of citrus zest and leafiness. Past that, the beer has great chocolate and roast barley aromas.

T - Very hoppy and bitter, but nothing like a fresh bottle of Storm King - and that's a good thing. While this has very assertive citrus hop flavor and bitterness, it's well integrated and leaves room for the malts to shine. Nice candied orange peel flavor, along with some leafiness, chocolate, and a touch of coffee. Some vanilla and dried fruits come out as it warms. Flavorful, lingering roast and bitterness in the finish.

M - Very full, though the hop bitterness adds a peppery zing to keep things lively.

D - An excellent beer, definitely one I'd like to have again. This should cellar very well, too.

Photo of SFLpunk
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown glass pry-top. Label dated 02/19/10.

Appearance: Black, black, black. Thin khaki foam.

Nose: Straight weed, skunky bud, herbal. Citrus hops on top of black malt, tanned leather, bitter chocolate, and old black licorice.

Palate: Sharply hoppy right off the bat, both bitter and citrusy. As the hops let go, bitter chocolate (no sugar) takes over. Tastes like a bittersweet chocolate orange. Full bodied, but nowhere near cloying or slick. Finish is long and balanced, but pleasantly bitter.

Notes: Hot damn! The chocolate orange thing is uncanny. Highly recommend FFO huge IPAs and Impy Stouts.

Update: 2nd bottle thanks to pzymali! Bottled 02/07/11. Cracked it 3/3/11. Pours a thick syrupy black with some pale tan head. And here's that sticky-bud weed hop aroma! Uncanny how hoppy this thing smells with some faint chocolate/roast coffee notes creeping out. The palate notes match last years, but the orange is down played and more hidden this year. Really. F*c*ing. Good.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is as black as black can be, with an amazing coffee colored head that's thick and fluffy.

I got lost inhaling it, and I do mean inhaling. There are a lot of different scents going around and each time I stuck my face in the glass it was something new. My first thought was soy, then dark leaf tobacco. Going back for more I noticed some licorice, chocolate, and a ton of hops.

The taste is almost as impressive. The hops are much more noticable on the palate. Dark, dark berries and a little pine. Malts are bordeline burnt with a little bitter chocolate to sweeten it up.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, with little carbonation.

This is heavy and rich, deducting from the drinkability a little, but on the other hand the 11.7% alcohol is not hot at all so it makes up the points there.

This is an impressive stout, no question.

Photo of jcnd9803
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Everything about this beers appearance is black. It actually is one of the more intimidating beers I've seen.

S: Hops, chocolate and espresso. There's a ton going on with the smell. It's amazing. I find it extra amazing that this is 11.70% alcohol and I can't smell any alcohol whatsoever!

T: This thing is well balanced. I was fearful when it said "hopped up stout". But it works. It starts tart, ends smooth without leaving a dry feeling. Wow!

M: Smooth, creamy and little carbonation. Medium bodied.

D: This is going down way to easily for the high alcohol. I've been dying to try this beer ever since they began offering on tap, but never had the chance. When they finally bottled, I bought thinking there's no way this can live up to the hype I've read. It blows way passed they hype! This is an outstanding beer!

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. Like nothing I've had before. Thanks krtman.

Pours deep black and a nice tan head that dissapated to a ring. A little bit of lacing. So far all is normal.

Aroma: WTF? This isn't an RIS. This is a PtE. Wait. Theirs roast and caramel too. What is going on. This smells wonderfully complex. A little bit of a good cigar smell in there too.

Taste is wild. You tase so much flavor hops. Not really bitter per say but flavor hops are there in abundance. Lots of caramel and a different kind of roast. All these flavors are throwing me off. I can't identify some of the stuff because I've never experienced this kind of brew before.

Mouthfeel is thick like an RIS and low carb.

Overall a great experience. Would be interested to see how this does over time. Might have to get a couple more bottles to try it but drink one fresh for sure because I can imagine alot of this hop flavor and aroma will go away fast so if you got only one bottle, don't sit on it. Drink it now and then get another to save if you want to do an experiment because of the hops, I believe this one was meant to be drank soon

Photo of MarkFy
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber.

Look: Pitch black, no head, very thick and syrupy, just like GI BCS (makes sense, same base).

Smell: cigar smoke, licorice, light pine and light coffee

Taste: follows the nose, with prominent, sweet licorice, coffee, and a nice light, but not overwhelming smoke finish.

Mouthfeel: rich, sweet and creamy

Overall a great addition to the GI line. BCS is one of my all time favorites and this is an extremely likable cousin, especially when a bomber is half the price of a BCS bomber. Can't wait to have it again on tap at GI Stout Fest.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a New Belgium tulip.

A: Pours out thick and slow. Pouring from a height yields only a half inch of glowing reddish brown head. No lacing but none really expected, long legs though.

S: My first highly hopped imperial stout and it does not disappoint, strawberry, pine, licorice, honey it's really a huge blend of sweet fruit and sweet malts mixed with doses of hydroponic weed (gummi bear aroma) and a dusting of ground coffee and coco powder. Interesting to be sure but does not blow the doors off.

T/MF: Coffee, licorice, honey and pine, rich earth. Sort of like baklava covered in pine resin. There are some spicier aspects to this beer as well, a nasally kind of spiciness like ginger with a bit of cinnamon mixed together with all the other flavors. Nutty in the finish and lasts for quite some time after the beer leaves the tongue. Very dry, almost abrasive

D: Certainly feels like an above 11% abv but does not really drink that way. This is certainly an interesting beast. Certainly hoppier than the Darkness I had a year ago but does not really compare.

Photo of RustyDiamond
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 02.19.10 on label. Poured into a Brooklyn snifter. Very dark brown/black with 1/4" tan head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma of maple syrup, bright hops, licorice, plum & strawberry. Very fragrant hoppy.

Strawberry/blueberry green hop blast up front. Roasted chocolately malt, then more of the green hop assault. Alcohol warmth thrown in there also, finishing dry and hoppy bitter. Hit of bitter espresso in the mix.

Mouthfeel- hoppy, syrupy & slick

Pretty darn drinkable for 11.7%...this one should age fairly well although the hops will die down which I may or may not like.

Photo of AgentZero
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice and black, slightly brown edges, small head, nice lacing with the dissipation. Not the best looking stout ever, but definately solid.

S - The noticable thing in this sout is the earthy hops tones that come from it. Chocolatey smell, almost carob-like. Roasted malt backbone.

T - This is truly a unique taste, earthy hops smell does not dissapoint, as it comes through and blends with the roasted mild coffee malts very nicely. The chocolate hints ride through this beer, with a hint of licorice. I have not had anything quite like this before, this is the true beauty of this brew, it's a different take on a good style, but it still manages to be fantastic.

M - Full bodied, thick, carbonation is slightly less than medium, works for the style.

D - I could obliterate bottle after bottle of this, gets easier to drink the more I go. Unbelieveabley dangerous for an 11.70%. I'm always curious to review highly ranked beers that are rare, thinking that the high rating is due largely to the rarity, but this definately did not dissapoint.

Photo of jwinship83
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle drank out of a snifter as the bottle asks. bottled on 2/19/2010 with a 5 year shelf life.

A- this one pours out a black colored body. no light passes through the beer when held up to a light. a rather large coffee colored head forms on top and lasts a long while. it leaves behind a solid wall of tiny bubbles on the sides of the glass. cant ask for anything more.

S- even before the roasted malts i can smell the end result of the copious amount of dryhopping this beer went through. a sharp blast of piny and grapefruit like hops. after that is the dark roasted malts. sweet and bitter chocolate, and a definite tobacco like odor. very nice.

T- dark roasted malts come to the forefront of this one. after that, unfortunately, comes a massive blast of alcohol. 11.7% and it makes itself known. there is lots of dark chocolate in the middle as well as some smoke (not as much as i could smell). the finish is all about the hops. lots of pine and grapefruit. probably the hoppiest stout ive had.

M- full bodied and syrupy. thick and chewy. one of the most viscous stouts ive had. rather strong warming from the alcohol.

D- this is one intense beer. one bottle by itself is enough for me. in fact, its probably best to find someone to split this with. it took a long time to finish. if possible to believe, i find myself appreciating this one more in the bottle than on tap. wow.

Photo of ghostee
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. 2010 vintage, bottled a couple weeks ago.

Pours black with a very small tan head and lacing.

Tastes of sugar, chocolate, a hint of bourbon, fruits, and HOPS! The alcohol taste is noticeable.

Mouthfeel is heavy, syrupy, and smooth.

Drinkability is medium. More drinkable than the BCS as the bourbon taste in that one can get a bit overwhelming after a good amount of it.

Overall a great beer that will hopefully be even better after some aging. The hop taste in this sets it apart from BCS. I do still love BCS, but I could drink this more often than that. Definitely happy I purchased this one.

Photo of ChadQuest
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excited to get some of this. Have lived a few hours from Goose Island but never been there while this was on tap. Now that the bottles are out I finally get my chance.

Black as Night. Decent head fading to a attractive collar but leaving some lacing as it dwindles.

BCS has Kentucky influence for its Bourbon...and this also has Kentucky, but for its Tobacco. A nice black Maduro Cigar hits the nose and palette. A touch of sweetness and carmelized brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, and the roasted malt. I was surprised i also noticed faint bourbon notes in this one, though they are faint.
This is quite unique,complex, and excellent.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, the hops dance on the front of the tongue while the body rolls and holds the palette hostage.

Compared to BCS i feel this is more drinkable in a long sitting, as while i love BCS i sometimes feel the heavy Bourbon gets cloying after a while. This is very welcoming for a Imp Stout.

Next one i pop open, i think i'll also light up a nice thick CAO Brazilia and see how they pair, these seem like a beautiful match. From this inital impression i think this could be the ultimate cigar beer.

Photo of jrallen34
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a 22oz bomber into my Orval glass.

The beer pours dark black with a medium tan head that rises about one finger. The head is creamy and full lasts a good couple minutes then falls to a soapy cover. The lacing is really nice and think coating the glass.

The aroma is strong with a nice but not overpowering hoppy smell. The hops have an almost grass like quality to them. At the end you pull out some nice sweet chocolate.

The taste is really and complex. It starts off a little sweet with some vanilla and chocolate. The finish once again is very hopps but the hops are not bitter. They are a green grassy plant like quality that are really outstanding. This is a hoppy beer but not a bitter hoppy like Darkness. This is so different.

The feel is really nice, and full bodied. The feel is slightly warm with a dry lasting finish.

The drinakbility is really good.

Overall, this was a great experience. This beer is awesome, unique, and a must get. I totally familar but different drinking experience.

Photo of paco1029384756
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours black with a small light tan head and a creamy smooth ring of lacing.

Scent of sweet dark fruit, bubble gum, alcohol, tobacco, and juicy, spicy hops. The scent is more spicy than the first batch. While still an excellent scent, I prefer the stronger sweetness of the first batch.

Taste of dark fruit, molasses, sugar, tobacco, alcohol, a hint of coffee, and juicy hops. Finishes dry with bitter hops and residual sugars. This is one damn tasty beer, and as amazing as it is fresh I really look forward to trying it with some age.

Mouthfeel is heavy and creamy with a smooth carbonation, marvelous.

Drinkability is far too high for the strength and style, but it's hard to complain with such a damn tasty beer.

Photo of jampics2
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to TurdFurgison for the heads-up that this was on tap just 20 minutes down the road in Kent at the Riverside Wine and Beer joint. I've been wanting to try this for a long time.

10-12oz or so, served in a Matilda chalice - looks like a wonderful RIS. Black with slight brown and ruby highlights on the edges when the light catches it just right. Looses a half point b/c of minimum head, I like a bit more of a creamy look to my RIS.

Smell is wonderful. Typical roasted malt leading to chocolate and coffee impressions, but a sweet dark candy and licorice smell is there too. This isn't burnt, it's magnificently roasted. A little more and this would be perfect, but it's damn close.

Taste - my notes say "HOT DAMN!". Perfect molasses and sweet sugar on top of roasted malt. Wow. Sure, there's a touch of alcohol, but it's expertly hidden and really well integrated. Creamy finish, superb lingering taste! This beer tastes like it's already aged and gelled. To die for, honestly, this is one of the best normal RIS's I've ever had. I have no choice, stalker in the night, I must award you a perfect 5 - I was wishing SO much I didn't have to drive. At 11.5, this is a one and done because the booze is so well hidden.

Mouthfeel is great. Chewy but creamy. Brilliant but just a touch thin.

Overall, a phenomenal beer that just embodies power and finesse. This was a treat and I can't WAIT for the bottles this year, I will be lining up for a case - easily one of the best stouts in the world and well deserving of it's praise.

Photo of rjbeer17
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

High abv works well but still a nice balanced stout with definite hop aroma - I have not tasted anything to date to compare.
Only avaiable in draft where I live. I have tried it several time and always seems to taste better.
one of my favorites new stouts

Photo of iconoklaztor
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Dark, black, small head

S: Syrupy, Chocolate, light cherry sweetness

T: Chocolate, Hops, sweet fruits

M: heavy and slightly creamy

D: very drinkable and very dangerous!

Overall, very nice brew on tap and in growler! Had the pleasure of trying this from a growler in a trade and on tap at BW3's here in Indy

Photo of darklordlager
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the Happy Gnome in St. Paul.

(From notes)
A: Pours midnight black, with good head retention. Medium tan head.

S: Dark malts, chocolate, layers of caramel, dark fruit, and citrus.

T: Rich, sweet chocolate and bourbon, caramel. Citric hops, and a lingering caramel milkshake. Chocolate covered dark fruit, and pineapple-citrusy hops.

M: Velvet. Dead on--nothing more to say about this one.

While I thoroughly enjoy BCS, the bourbon character is just so huge. The hops are a great addition to the base of this beer and add a marvelous complexity. I will be seeking this beer out in the future...

Night Stalker from Goose Island Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,720 ratings.