1. The BeerAdvocate Store is back! Pre-order your stuff now. Items begin shipping Dec 15. Christmas deadline = Dec 18 @ 5pm EST.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Night Stalker - Goose Island Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Night StalkerNight Stalker

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,701 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,701
Reviews: 733
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 14%
Wants: 247
Gots: 569 | FT: 28
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)
View: Beers (210) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Night Stalker Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,701 | Reviews: 733 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.35/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle says 11.5%. 22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a one finger light tan color with poor retention. There's splotchy hints of lacing left down the glass.

S: Hey, someone misplaced catty Simcoe hops in my imperial stout! That green, citrusy aroma is unmistakeable. Underlying roasted malts, tart fruits, and cocoa powder try to balance things out, but there's something oddly medicinal in the nose. Please don't carry over to the flavor...

T: It's not as harshly bitter as I feared...actually, it's too far in the opposite direction; more on that later. A bit of roasted coffee appears initially, before ending with a lot of bright fruit sweetness and a bit of booze. The finishing hops bring along a significant grapefruit presence - actually, the finish is downright candy like in its sweetness combined with the chocolaty, fruity flavors. It's just like biting into chocolate-covered grapefruit. Without a doubt, it's too sweet at the end of the day - I really need some roasted bitterness here (if not some herbal, piny hop qualities too) to balance out the citrusy/chocolaty nature. A bit of hop harshness appears when the beer warms up, which doesn't balance things any.

M: A bit thinner and more carbonated than I expected from the base of BCBS. The finish is quite sweet and lingering, which kind of kills the drinkability in conjunction with the booze presence. Despite the sweetness, it doesn't feel sturdy or substantial like it should.

O: Not what I was expecting. This comes across like a glorified citrus-and-chocolate dessert liquor instead of an awesomely balanced hoppy RIS; I REALLY wanted more hop and roasted bitterness. All the Simcoe dry-hopping gives it such a weird cloying flavor that's even a bit unpleasant. Time to cork this bitch up - no way I can drink this in a single sitting.


Readjusting my scores; I sampled about 1 oz. from another bottle (also dated 11/19/12) and it tasted exactly the same - there's far too much strange sweetness and offputting citrus character. I'm still torn on whether it's infected or just not very good, but I'm lowering my scores regardless. Two bottles tasting exactly the same doesn't bode well for this batch, if not the beer in general.

Photo of SerialHiker
3.1/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours midnight black…tons of head formed and a thin layer of dark brown stuck around…very nice, solid head…(4/5)

Smell: Dark fruits and brown sugar right off the bat…next, I get chocolate (think milk chocolate minus the sweet lactose), roasted malts, chocolate liqueur, toffee, pine hops and alcohol heat…a good amount of alcohol heat…the smell is okay, very thick and rich, but the alcohol heat is too much and detracts from everything…(3.5/5)

Taste: It’s a lot like the nose, dark fruits in the beginning, roasted malt and earthy/piney hops in the middle with a sweet dark fruit finish…there is definitely an alcohol taste that’s very dominant, too dominant for my taste…(3/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with loads of carbonation…tons of fluffy milkshake that almost overwhelms the entire flavor in the beer…that’s unusual…a very chewy beer…it’s actually kinda hot on my palate…too much alcohol heat! (2.5/5)

Overall: It’s good, but way overdone…the alcohol content in this is way too much and completely overpowers anything else here…it’s a thick beer that I will be sipping on for a while, don’t expect to drink this with your buddies…this ain’t that type of beer…it’s a brew for a movie and casual night in with the lady where at the end you’ll probably be fairly buzzed and she’ll be all sleepy…it’s good (alright), but I was expecting an outstanding stout and got some kinda desert liquor…(3/5)

Photo of MIA4IPA
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of chefduff2
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of jscolumbia
2/5  rDev -50.9%

Photo of LtCracker20
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a pitch black body with about a finger's worth of a tan head. Retention isn't bad, and holds on as a decent cap. Nice frothy lacing sticks around.

S- Black licorice up front, roasted malts, burnt bittersweet chocolate, also, a lot of piney hops in here a swell. Bottle does say it's a hoppy RIS. The hop aroma does almost mute the rest, though.

T- Taste is piney up front, then you get the roastiness and some bitter chocolate. Flavor is fleeting, though. It really doesn't stick around too long, I'm a little dissapointed in that.

MF- The body on this one is a little thinner than I would've liked, but the texture is silky smooth and that makes up for it.

O- Not great, but pretty good. Glad I finally got to try this and will probably try it again sometime.

Photo of rolandboy
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Mcooly
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

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

Appearance: pours a black color with a short dark tan colored head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: loads of roasted malts, dark chocolates, and alcohol are detecteable here.

Taste: roasted malt, dark chocolates, some coffee, prunes, pine, and some citrus provide a nice complex imperail stout. Bitterness is big and the alcohol is very warming.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth at the start, smooth and velvety late with a long dry aftertaste.

Overall: very slow sipping beer - this one lasted a long time. Deep flavors get better as it warms. Really worth seeking this one out.

Photo of TheRuss9585
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of jwat
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of davey101
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 11/19/2012, #1514. 22 oz bottle into a GI wine glass.

A - Pours a pitch black body. One finger of light mocha foam . A swirl produces light lacing and some alcohol legs.

S - Dark roasted malts and chocolate blended with pine and grapefruit heavy hops. An almost danky finish with lots of booze. Light on the stout notes, comes off almost chemical like.

T - Roasted malts, coffee and chocolate are interrupted by a biting pine and grapefruit bomb. Awkward aftertaste of orange juice and char. Bitter and boozy.

M - Smooth and slightly syrupy with a great level of carbonation. A bit harsh and boozy.

O - I seemed to enjoy this a bit more on tap. Sitting down with a glass I am now less than impressed. A black IPA that seems to have a bit too much hop punch which overwhelms the great base beer.

Photo of yamar68
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage:

Near pitch black body with a slight edge of ruby clarity, milky quarter inch of soft brown head retains perfectly and produces thick oily lacing. Gorgeous. Couldn't improve on this beer in this regard.

Mmm... caramel, fruit cake, coffee liqueur, cocoa... incredibly smooth without a trace of booze. An extremely faint sense of oxidation only compliments the sweeter fruit notes.

Nice. I sampled this vintage a few months ago and it was pretty damn oxidized, not the case here. The booze is more pronounced than the nose would indicate but it doesn't overwhelm, caramel coffee, bitter dark chocolate, it's a slow sipping delight of a beer.

I could see this one developing even more for years to come. Great stuff.

Photo of Chugs13
2.5/5  rDev -38.6%

Photo of briiguy
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Trulius_Slackerus
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of rwilling
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mhbarber
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of redlegacy
1.75/5  rDev -57%

Photo of BrownAleMale
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass

Appearance- Everything you want in an Imperial Stout. It is a slick looking jet black with 3 fingers of froathy khaki head that dissipates very slowly and leaves a thick multi layered lacing.

Smell- Lots of piney hops with some coco and dark chocolate undertones.

Taste- In the front of the toungue you get a combo of the dark chocolate and piney hops and then mid way you get a whisky/sherry taste with a nice warming.

Mouthfeel- On the lighter side of full body with a silky smoothness and nice warming both on the back of the tongue and belly.

Overall- Goose Island releases both this and Big John at about the same time and they both have an interesting similarity. Big John drinks kind of like a wine towards the backend and Night Salker drinks like a sipping liquor towards the end. I definitly give Night Stalker the advantage because of its complexity. A very interesting take on an Imperial stout!

Photo of PicoPapa
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle with a Bottled On date of 11/19/12. Pours a pitch black color with over an inch of thick, frothy dark brown head. Lots of lacing. Aroma is very hoppy with some roasted malts and chocolate. Maybe hints of beef jerky? The taste is some pine and citrus hops, smoke, roasted malts and bitter dark chocolate. Boozey. Definitely reminiscent of a Black Ipa (namely the Stone 15th Anniversary). Heavy mouthfeel. Rich and smokey at the end. Overall, decent but perhaps slightly disappointing.

Photo of TwelveOunces
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a snifter
2012 release. 11/19/12. 11.5 abv.

A- Pours syrupy pitch black like motor oil. a half finger of a brown head with very little retention. An intimidating stout.

S- A boatload of hops on the nose. A ton of pine an citrus fruit. Roasted malts, toffee and some chocolate. A strange and potent mixture of a black IPA and a stout.

T- An intense bitterness at first. Followed up by a sticky smooth roasted malt. The hops are very strong in this beer. A lot of pine and citrus flavors dominate that palate and mix very interestingly with the malts. The hop flavors and bitterness push this huge beer towards the Black IPA category more then imperial stout. There is a lot of roasted malt which gives the beer a dry feel but the flavor is mostly hops.

M- A thick, yet bitter and drinkable stout. It's about what you would expect in terms of size. The beer has a great overall feel. If you can do hoppy beers this is a good one.

O- This beer is good, dont get me wrong but I find it to be and odd mix between a Black IPA and a stout and doesn't seem to excel in either category in terms of taste. Feel and drinkability are this beers strong suit. Worth trying.

Photo of OldhouseRecs
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of esullivan880
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of ouits
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

Night Stalker from Goose Island Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,701 ratings.