Narwhal Imperial Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 2,866 | Reviews: 605 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Samuel906:
3.85/5 rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Black as night, thick and heavy like the darkest of motor oils. Had almost no head when poured slowly from an ice cold bottle into a tulip. Almost bizarre not seeing any head and it just adds to how insanely black it is. Some earthy brown bubbles began to slowly form but didn't remain long, and diminished to a fine lace around the glass.
Probably the weakest point of this beer. If your someone like myself who likes to frequently get a nice nose-full of your beers aroma, you won't find yourself going back to sniff this one too frequently. The aromas you expect are there - chocolate, roasted coffee, malts - but it just doesn't have the impact you would expect from an Imperial stout. I thought it smelled more like a milder Irish Stout than a heavy Imperial.
Thick, heavy and glorious with mild carbonation. Creamy, soft, and every other adjective you can apply to a good Imperial Stout. One of my favorite parts of this brew. It's like a dark, chocolatey pillow for your tongue.
Like a true Imperial Stout, coffee and chocolate are your major players here. Bitter, rich baking chocolate and cocoa... The coffee reminds me of a dark espresso roast; toasted nuts, slightly caramelly. Mild chocolatey aftertaste will make you think you just ate a Hershey's kiss. This beer is also much less sweet than I was expecting. If you're used to the diabetes-in-a-bottle stereotypical Imperial Stouts, this is a welcome change. I would like to note that as I write this and the beer warms, it really comes to life. The added flavor with the mild warmth from the impressive ABV really do make this feel like a blanket for your mouth and stomach.
In my mind, the direct competition for this beer is the Samuel Adams Imperial Stout that comes in the blue and black four pack, are similarly priced, and even features some similar artwork and stylistic themes. The Narwhal is a terrific Imperial Stout, the mothfeel is absolutely spot on, and while the flavors are strong, the taste never gets over bearing like some Imperials do. However it is nothing overly exciting or novel, and personally I feel that something like the Samuel Adams Imperial Stout would be a better overall choice. Again, I want to reiterate that this is a TERRIFIC BEER, but it has some impressive competition that just slightly edges it out. If you're looking to mix it up or just to try something new, you won't be disappointed.
Serving type: bottle
10-28-2012 06:30:44 | More by Samuel906
More User Reviews:
4.03/5 rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pitch black with beautiful tan head, leaving considerable lacing on the glass. This looks like an Imperial Stout all right.
Very strong aromas of coffee, alcohol, chocolate etc. Very big on the alcohol.
Roasted/toasted barley, cocoa and coffee beans hit the tongue. Very creamy, fairly big body, medium carbonation.
As far as imperial stouts go, this stands among the finest.
Serving type: bottle
04-15-2014 23:11:21 | More by happy4hoppybeer
3.68/5 rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5
A: Black body with a tan head. It takes a bit of agitation to get the head up, but it stays up surprisingly well. Mild lacing on the glass.
S: Alcohol comes through immediately, followed by a spicy note...a bit woody. It has a slight scent of coffee but mostly the alcohol comes through.
T: Oh holy alcohol. This thing is strong. There's a bold, very robust roasted bitterness. It's followed by what I can only describe as a coffee sweetness. Most people would sweeten coffee with sugar, but this beer is so robust that coffee makes it sweet. That alcohol adds a bit of sweetness as well. It finishes with a bit of cocoa and coffee on the tongue. The finish is probably what really makes this beer.
M: I feel that the mouthfeel on this beer is perfect. It's full feeling without being syrupy, the roasted bitterness wakes up the mouth and the alcohol seems to coat it momentarily. It has just enough carbonation for a stout this size without making it too flat or too "poppy." It's very enjoyable to drink. It finishes quite nicely.
O: I think that the alcohol comes through strongly, so if you either don't like the flavor of alcohol or can't get past it, you'll have a hard time enjoying the beer. It has a lot to offer and what I really appreciate is how it has a roasted flavor without being overly bitter. It has a nice balance of flavors without pushing anything over the top. Unfortunately this balance could be considered a downfall if looking for something outside of the box. While it is a great example of a RIS, it doesn't feel as unique as its namesake suggests.
Serving type: bottle
04-14-2014 18:01:12 | More by teromous
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,866 ratings.