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Night Stalker - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Night StalkerNight Stalker

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,666 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,666
Reviews: 730
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 243
Gots: 565 | 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
Ratings: 1,666 | Reviews: 730 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mreyes69
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Mreyes69, Dec 23, 2012
Photo of oldedog
4/5  rDev -2%

oldedog, Dec 23, 2012
Photo of vonnegut21
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a thick, deep black with a finger of mocha head that quickly fades. Crazy lacing on this one.

S: Big hop presence up front. Wow. Bitter chocolate and roasted malt follow, but this is a hop bomb in the nose. If I hadn't just poured this, I would think it was a glass of Black IPA.

T: Dark chocolate and a strong punch of bitter hops. Roasted malt, coffee and hints of caramel. There's actually a really interesting raisin/prune/sherry flavor that comes through at the back of this thing. It's kind of nice. Unfortunately, the hops blow it away. I'd love to give this a try with a year or two on it.

M: Really nice thick, creamy mouthfeel. Nicely carbonated and super smooth. The best aspect of this beer.

O: This is a perfectly adequate imperial stout, I guess I just had higher hopes for this beer. Not bad, but probably not worth the price of admission. I'll revisit a vintage bottle eventually, but otherwise I'll probably go elsewhere for my imperial stouts.

vonnegut21, Dec 23, 2012
Photo of SaxmanRick
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

SaxmanRick, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of CJS
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

CJS, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of Myst
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Myst, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of ckobes
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

ckobes, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of Teleweizen2
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a thick chocolate sauce-like deep brown color. Just a touch of deep tan foam bubbles up from the murky liquid. Does leave some lacing against the glass after some swirling.

S - the nose is deep, complex and earthy. Notes of grainy cereal, cacao, and even hints of tar or dirt are first noticeable. Brown butter and tree bark as well as biting grapefruit, mango fruit, resin and sticky pine round out the aroma.

T - Dark chocolate sauce flavor up front. Bitter citrus rind flavors enter the in the middle as well as piney resin. Flavors meld into very dark and dried fruit character such as raisins, prunes, and dates. finish is long, bitter and chocolaty.

M - full bodied but creamy and buttery but overall very smooth. medium carbonation has enough scrubbing power to keep you wanting another sip.

O - Interesting beer. I've had some hoppy stouts before but this one seems a bit odd. The flavors and aromas don't add up to me as it warms. It is unplesant in a pruny sort of way at times, not sure if this is a not a great bottle or perhaps it was mishandled or something. But as far as this bottle goes it was nice to try but not something I'd probably seek out again.

Teleweizen2, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a viscous, thick black into a Founders snifter. A dense, chocolatey brown head forms about 1 finger thick. Retention and lacing is great. Overall, a delicious looking brew.

S- Lots of hops and chocolate. My first hoppy stout, and the hops are very apparent upon opening. Mostly pine aromas from the hops are present, mixed in with lots of chocolate flavors. Chocolate is very dark, with only slight sweetness and some lingering bitterness in the scent.

T- Just like the scent, except more complex. Starts with a brief moment of pure hop flavor. Full bitterness hits the tongue, but is not overpowering. Immediately following is the classic burnt malt flavors of a stout mixing in with dark chocolate flavors. When these flavor mix with the hops bitterness, a slightly fruity flavor emerges. It's a dark fruit flavor, maybe a deep grape to prune flavor. Hops bitterness lingers throughout the drink, and ends the drink with a slight bite and a little lingering aftertaste.

M- More like an IPA than a stout on the palate. Not as thick as most stouts, and pretty highly carbonated. Heat from the alcohol is present towards the end of the drink and provides a little burn on the way down, but nothing too bad. While not being too thick, the beer is smooth.

Overall, this is an interesting and different stout. I'm not sure if I'm a huge fan of hopping a stout a lot, but it does provide a different drinking experience. This one reminds me of a black IPA more than a hopped up stout because of the more prominent burnt malts over the chocolate. Not sure if I'd go hunting for this one again, but as it is a GI imperial stout for under $10 a bomber, it is a solid value. Definitely a stout to experience at least once.

boilermakerbrew, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of jtierney89
2.3/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pitch black sticky light brown head. Looks like the head on a cream of muschroom soup, thick and solid.

A lot different nose than expected. Suprising amounts of tropical fruits from the hops. Roasted malt underneath, some coffee and chocolate. Lots of stuff coming at me.

The Fruity hop flavor doesn't come across as much on the nose which is good. Huge creamy mouthfeel, first taste that comes to mind is licorice. A strange thick malty sweetness up front, rich roasted character throughout. Hop bitterness through with bright fruits on the back end. Tastes like a candy bowl with chocolate covered fruit in it but in a bizarre way. Big bitterness but finishes semi sweet. Long tannic finish with flavors lingering for a while. not a great beer and definitely needs a hardy meal to accompany it.

Kind of gets perfumey, really hard to drink without food, feel like the hops and malts aren't exactly melding, plus there's an odd meaty, bloody, soap like taste underneath it all

jtierney89, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of Massbmx
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Massbmx, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter glass. Fresh bottle dated 11/19/2012.

Appearance: Pure darkness, can't call it an absolute black but definitely up there. Hard to see any bubbles (which makes sense) but you see the obvious carbonation when pouring. The head itself is dark tan, not super thick but rose enough not to drizzle off the glass to maybe 1/3".

Smell: It smells very good, light alcohol scent with a chocolate hint that lingers a little. It is a little light, I just wished it was a notch stronger.

Taste: Real rich molasses feel without the sweetness, a pleasantly bitter beer. You taste the alcohol but seriously smooth

Mouth: Has a lightly bitter milk chocolate after-taste, not to mention how smooth. Medium at best and just right.

Overall: Before even taking a sip because of the fact it looked so good, I took a deep a gulp and honestly incredibly impressed. Honestly this is one of the best imperial stouts I have had if not the best and yes I have had a lot! As far as taste is concerned and I will grab a glass of my other two favorite imperials (just to compare), but this brew is a true f'n gem. Salud!

P.S. Will pick up two more bottles tomorrow, one to age and another for my birthday.

BlurryVisi0n, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of WankelEngine
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a GI Chalice
Bottled on date: 11/19/12

A: Pours a dark, black color, just a shade lighter than the standard Bourbon County. There is a small mocha-tan head which fades to a tiny ring of foam.

S: The aroma consists of an interesting roasted notes and piney/floral hops. Some dark fruit, figs and raisins contrast the sharper herbal and pine scents. A sweet combination of coffee and brown sugar becomes apparent as the beer warms up.

T: The flavor takes the aroma and expands on it. The roasted notes are deeper. I can pick out dark, bitter chocolate and some brewed coffee. These combine with some strong notes of pine which gives the beer a decided bitter edge. This is balanced somewhat by a thick, malty sweetness. Brown sugar, molasses, dark cherry and raisins. The finish is long and lingering, heavy on the roasted coffee and pine.

M: Fairly moderate in body for the style. Low carbonation and somewhat sticky.

O: A very interesting beer. Highly hopped for an imperial stout. I like the interaction between the flavors although some friends disagree.

WankelEngine, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

rolltide8425, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of BeezNeezy22D
2.75/5  rDev -32.6%

BeezNeezy22D, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of harrymel
2.08/5  rDev -49%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottled: 19NOV12, reviewed 18DEC12

This is the freshest I've had this beer, and it's not a good thing. latest score based on latest bottle.... Pours black with a finger of nice mocha foam. Smells, like it's got sage, fruity pebbles, molasses and more sage and burnt rosemary (scorched). Nose is aberrant and sufferable. Taste is mostly dark malts, molasses, licorice, and bitter hops with some grapefruit. Medium bodied with moderated carb and a dry finish. This beer has waaay too many hops and is really dreadful right now.

on 14JUL11 - 3/3.5/4/4/4 - 3.85
Side by side of 2010 and 2011
2011: Pours a black ale with a transient mocha head which is less than a finger. This falls to nada leaving a slate surface. (3)
2010: Pours black ale with a single finger of mocha head which falls to a solid sheet of the same. No lacing. Clarity difficult to assess. (3)

2011: Smells hot, alcoholic. Hops are strong and resinous. Hints of roasty malts and a small molasses tone underneath. Man, I can't believe this has so many hops. Reminds me of Black Flag by Beer Valley. Lots of hops. (3.5)
2010: Alcohol is strong here. There are plenty of graham, malt, toasty tones with some prunes. A little bit of pepper on the nose. (3.5)

2011: Wow, the molasses is super strong on this. Plenty sweet with good hop presence, accented by some alcohol. The sweetness has some high quality quad tones to it: dark stone fruits, molasses, graham. (4)
2010: Rich and sweet. Molasses comes through even more than in the 2011. Graham crackers, brown sugar, licorice. This is super sweet. Not as sweet as Dark Lord, but sweet nonetheless. This would be great in the dead of winter. (4)

2011: Thick and chunky. Low carb. Long syrupy finish. (4)
2010: Viscous. Smooth with low carb. The finish is softly dry with a long velvet finish. (4.5)

2011: Good beer, wish the nose was a little more in line with the flavor profile. The alcohol seems a bit strong as well. (3.5)
2010: This is much better with a year on it. The alcohol has died down a bit and offered up a nice beer. (4)

harrymel, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of steelerguy
2.73/5  rDev -33.1%
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.

steelerguy, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of ScaryEd
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

ScaryEd, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of jonbeer89
4/5  rDev -2%

jonbeer89, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of InspectorBob
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

InspectorBob, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of chippo33
4/5  rDev -2%

chippo33, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

stereosforgeeks, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of wyatt13
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

wyatt13, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of Dufraine
4/5  rDev -2%

Dufraine, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of klipper
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

klipper, Dec 17, 2012
Night Stalker from Goose Island Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,666 ratings.