Narwhal Imperial Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 3,135 | Reviews: 621 | Display Reviews Only:
2.91/5 rDev -29.7%
What I was looking forward to was a larger version of their stout that was made with Black Malt/ no Rbarley and was bottle conditioned. Unfortunately their stout and this imperial stout are no longer bottle conditioned and they have changed the recipes.
I was confused by this beer, I really didn't know what it was trying to accomplish other than strength and drink ability. Sadly, there are many big stouts far better than this one and I expected more from the great American institution.
Because of my disappointment pls refer to my numerical ratings rather than a written breakdown of this beer. I will leave you with this thought. Sierra Nevada has gotten larger and as a result only bottle conditions the pale ale and a few seasonals. However, this conditioning in the bottle is what made their products really pop and highlighted the craftsmanship and quality. Simply put, this company's beers cease to be interesting since they have stopped bottle conditioning.
09-15-2013 13:57:09 | More by scar
2.93/5 rDev -29.2%
2012 Narwhal poured in a Guiness pint glass
A: Looks like you average Imperial Stout, or regular stout really. Has a nice dark head that receded slowly and left some lacing on the glass, but not really as much as I would expect from a IS
S: There's something about the scent I really don't get along with. It's got the roasty heavy malty smells I expect from an IS, but there's something else there I really can't put my finger on that is really not working for me.
T: It's a bit different, maybe more aggressively hopped than your average stout. According to SN, "Featuring incredible depth of malt flavor, rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke," but all I really got was the roasted grain and maybe a bit of a hint of coffee, as well as the hop bitterness
M: A bit thin for a stout really, but not bad
D: This is not a bad beer, but not a great one either. For the price, and with the other two entries in the "High Gravity" series from SN that I really like a lot, I expected a lot more from it.
01-10-2013 01:06:32 | More by DRyan
2.95/5 rDev -28.7%
Pours black in the glass, light coming through coffee brown at the edges. Two fingers of mocha brown head, good retention and nice lacing. Solid.
Smell is faint for an imperial stout. Light cocoa makes up the most of it. A little milky. Not bad, but I want more potency.
Taste starts out roasty, and quickly takes a downturn. I initially thought it was chili pepper spice, but now it's coming through as an off, bitter, cardboard-paper-glue sludge. This is truly foul. I'll drink enough to finish my review, but no more. So I drank a little more, and a strange thing happened. It warmed up, that nastiness faded, and it became, well, consumable. And then it warmed up a bit more, and it became passable. Still not something I'd call good, but no longer something I'd call bad.
Mouthfeel is fine. At least, what I can perceive through the nastiness is fine. Heavy body, medium carbonation, lasting finish.
This beer is weird. Based on comparisons to other reviews, I wonder if I got a bad bottle. Or maybe my sense of taste is just that different. As it warmed up, the bad flavors faded, and it became, well, okay.
12-18-2012 03:37:33 | More by zeledonia
2.96/5 rDev -28.5%
6 months old.
Poured into a snifter.
Appearance is jet black. Head was fizzy and off-white, almost tan. Head unfortunately fizzled away fast.
Aroma gives off a mixed sense of char, bonfire, salty brine, booze, and some general roastiness.
Its flavor is not big on chocolate or coffee as one might look for. It's a bit nondescript. Some earthiness and a little wood is noticeable. Salty brine again is noticeable. Some alcohol soaked bittersweet chocolate makes a quick appearance on the finish. The flavor is a little syrupy.
Mouthfeel is oily and slick... it's a little detracting from the overall enjoyment.
Overall, I wouldn't buy this again. It's exemplary of the mediocre rut SN's beers can sometimes fall into. They're capable of better in my eyes. In my needs for an imperial stout, there's no need for me to return to this one. However, it's not terrible and what will save it are the leagues of SN fans.
03-18-2013 00:38:27 | More by jbertsch
2.98/5 rDev -28%
Appearance is a dark brown to black with a finger of head that quickly dissipated. The nose has distinctly cidery notes. The taste of straight-up alcohol overwhelms everything else in the flavor profile. The finish is astringent.
This is an offering that is way out of balance and a big disappointment considering I generally have a profound affection for SN beers.
08-30-2013 04:12:48 | More by 57md
2.99/5 rDev -27.8%
Just about everything I try from Sierra Nevada has the same ale taste and this Imperial Stout was no different. The stout pour nice and dark with a head that reminds me of chocolate but the pour seemed a little thin. The aroma is ale and the taste had the same bite to it. Maybe too much carbonation as well. I started the the beer being served cold and as it warmed, the taste seemed to improve a little but not to the extent that I try again.
12-12-2013 21:56:18 | More by mdhobbs
2.99/5 rDev -27.8%
This bottle's been kicking around the back of the fridge since I got it, at the release time. About time to hit it. Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a solid black color, as expected, with less than 1/4 inch of brown head that quickly dissipated to a thin ring, that left surprisingly good lacing.
The aroma was average for the style, perhaps even a bit too roast forward. The flavors were the same mostly bitter roast and alcohol, and the beer was sharp, in a harsh way, not a crisp way. The alcohol wasn't the least bit hidden, and the finish was very harsh.
That overall harshness hurt drinkability a great deal. I had a tough time finishing my 12oz. Overall, while a decent brew, this isn't the Old Rasputin killer SN has seemed to position it as. I won't be having it again, I'll just buy a 4pack of the smooth, even, nearly flawless Raspy.
03-03-2013 23:03:05 | More by beertunes
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,135 ratings.