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Narwhal Imperial Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Narwhal Imperial StoutNarwhal Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

4,285 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,285
Reviews: 781
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 234
Gots: 1,030 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 10-14-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,285 | Reviews: 781 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gwilikers6
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of leroybrown10
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of Beerguy1969
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very thick, more after taste tan I care for. Will not purchase again.

Photo of Nobcefus
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of Rideguy64
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of Jason1337
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of AlaskanYoung
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of TwoForty
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of Kyrojack
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of zeledonia
3.01/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of bum732
3.04/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

S: Dry, roasty cocoa and coffee. Slight vanilla.

L: Thick, viscous and black. Tan head that dissipates quickly.

T: Very dry, roasty stout. Coffee and dry cocoa like flavors dominate. Slight coffee sweetness with slight dark fruits. Finishes quite dry with residual cocoa sweetness.

M: Medium full mouthfeel, medium low carbonation. Alcohol fairly well hidden.

A very dry, roasty RIS. Reminds me a lot of Old Rasputin. A nice change to a lot of sweet RIS's, but i feel like its a little one noted. Should be interesting what a little age does to this beer.

Photo of killcore
3.04/5  rDev -26.9%

Photo of bcsbeer
3.04/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Warmed up before serving in a room temperature glass.

A: Jet black very small brown head that left the scene in a hurry.

S: Best part of the beer. Roasted malts, espresso, dark fruit.

T: This is a malt bomb. All the flavors are DARK all most to the point of being burnt. Coffee chocolate raisin. Big alcohol presents distracts from the flavors. It tasted more like 16% than 10%.

M: Heavy and thick and lifeless, like a glass of crude oil. I thought about trying to float a ball bearing. Very low carbonation.

O: I'm a big fan of Sierra Nevada and the style (RIS). Is seemed like they were more focused on the high ABV than anything else. This one conjured up images of the dead sea. I like a little more life in my beer. Maybe I would have better luck with it on tap. For now I will stick with the offerings from Old Rasputin and Stone.

Photo of utfiero
3.06/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Color- black leather. Medium, full mocha head.

Aroma- strong alcohol notes, coffee, and chocolate.

Taste- Starts rough and strong, very roasted malt with strong alcohol and finishing bitter, hoppy, and roasted (reminiscent of burnt bitter coffee). Like a Narwhal piercing my palate! 60 IBUs. Reminds me a little of a jagged version of Old Rasputin.

Consumed on 11-23-2013. Poured from 355 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass).

Photo of BcOneSeven
3.08/5  rDev -26%

Photo of Andres13
3.12/5  rDev -25%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.13/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Really looking forward to this one.

A: Pours a very dark red color. It's so, so close to being pitch black, but not quite. The head is a two finger khaki shade. Retention is decent if not spectacular, and a nice layer of lacing is left behind.

S: This pops with chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, some leafy hops...and a LOT of alcohol. This smells really boozy even for 10.2%, and it's not a particularly refined alcohol presence. Even worse, it seems to detract from the rest of the brew. But of course, given the chance to warm up, all its alcohol calms down - slightly.

T: There's no two ways around it - this mutha is harsh. Roasted malts open this one up, sandwiching a cream-laden coffee middle with its boozy, fruity finish. Some hoppiness appears in the aftertaste. I would have hoped that the alcohol would at least create some nuance and depth, alas no; it's not dead simple, but it should be more complex considering. Giving it the chance to warm/open up doesn't improve it much either. Maybe it makes it *slightly* less harsh.

M: It's creamy and lush feeling, like an imperial stout should be. I'm also kind of glad it isn't particularly dry finishing, because all it would really do is expose the alcohol even further. Carbonation isn't really a factor.

O: This could be my biggest letdown of 2013. It had many things going for it to be topnotch - SN's reputation, well received on BA, inexpensive - but in the end was nearly ruined by the generic harshness. My other bottles are going in the cellar; there's a very good RIS underneath this all, and aging it may be exactly what the doctor ordered.

Photo of Benh777
3.16/5  rDev -24%

Photo of mrandypandy
3.19/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle purchased at Green's, in Atlanta.

A - Pours a jet black, big mocha head that recedes down. Nice sticky lacing on initial pour also dies down. All-in-all, pretty.
S - Roasted malts and hops, not much else though.
T - Big and roasty. There's quite a bit of a harsh bitterness as well that I'm not quite a fan of.
M - Medium body, good carbonation, but the bitterness lingers.
O - Not a bad, but there are much better imperial stouts out there. I had heard some good things about this beer, but was slightly disappointed. Too much hops/bitterness, and not enough malts to balance it out. Reminds me a bit of other highly hopped imperial stouts like Sweetwater's Happy Ending, and Victory's Storm King. Needs time to sit and mellow out.

Photo of eric5bellies
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Drank from my Duvel tulip

A - Pours a deep dark ebony colour witha tow fingered coffee caloured head that reduces quickly to a lacing film.

S - Booze, coffee malts with vanilla and small chocolate.

T - Up front some nice molassis malt, followed by combined coffee and chocolate. The finish is rough and boozy and a long sicky finish.

M - Full and low carbonation. Not silky

O - An ok RIS but there are far better examples. Not sure why its "exceptional" Would rather the Sam Smiths or Courage over this one

Photo of chanokokoro
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada branded snifter

Pours a very deep dark brown topped with a two and half finger fluffy beige head. Above average retention, considerable amount of splotchy lacing as the head slowly recedes. Bakers chocolate and phenol alcohol on the nose. Opens with dark chocolate, roasted dark chocolate malt and a with just a hint of dark fruit midpalate. Finishes dry with a touch of roasted espresso, warming alcohol, and continued notes of cocoa. The lighter sider of full bodied, moderate carbonation, slick mouthfeel. A decent Russian Imperial Stout, but not very complex. The roasted chocolate malt flavor tends to dominate and at the same time lacks depth. I'm looking forward to revisiting this brew again to see if it delivers more the second time around.

Photo of PincheNorteno
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a single 12 oz bottle, poured into a pub glass. It was a bit underwhelming. How does this qualify as an imperial stout? My benchmarks for this class is Bells Expedition Stout, and Narwal seemed more like a porter.

The mouthfeel was far too light and the flavors were not intense enough for me.
Dark roasted malt flavor, medium body, notable clarity and overall thinness. Thin tan head, hints of soy sauce and mild bitterness. I tested this beer in a selection of a dozen stouts and it was near the bottom of my list.

Photo of sgttibbs
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Schlafly33
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of jjohnston88
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 4,285 ratings.