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Narwhal Imperial Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Narwhal Imperial StoutNarwhal Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,241 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,241
Reviews: 631
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 155
Gots: 505 | FT: 33
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 10-14-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,241 | Reviews: 631 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of de1m0nte
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

de1m0nte, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of rangerred
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours absolutely pitch black with a smallish dark tan head that fades to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is full of dark chocolate along with roasted caramel and a touch of smoke. There is a healthy dose of vanilla bean and some very light wood as well.

Loads of vanilla up front on the flavor followed by some cocoa, plum, and caramel. A touch of smoke and charred wood along with burnt caramel and a little honey. Alcohol is very well restrained and just becomes noticable towards the finish. Mouthfeel is very silky with just a touch of sweet stickyness in the finish.

Overall, a very well put together and nice imperial stout. Not at all too sweet and the alcohol is barely detectable. An awesome, and affordable, imperial stout from Sierra Nevada.

rangerred, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of Eazy28
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Eazy28, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of BriantheBeerGeek
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 (Brewed on the 214th day ) poured into DFH tulip glass.

A- Motor oil black like a Russian imperial stout should be.

S- WOW, getting a lot more tropical hoppy notes than I would expect from a RIS. Malt is present though with coffee , bakers cocoa, ripe banana, cherry, tobacco, slight espresso, molasses and leather.

T-Again, WOW. Definitely a SN take on an imperial stout. Everything I look for in a RIS but with lots of hop presence. I imagine that the malt will come out more with age. Definitely one to set back a 4-pack or two for a few years. Coffee, chocolate, fig, tropical fruits, licorice, lots of roasty malts, slight alcohol, very nice.

M-Huge, as it should be.

O-I wish SN would do more malt forward beers like this, one of their best. If you love imperial stouts this is a must have.

BriantheBeerGeek, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of IronLover
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Velvety black in color. Poured with a short dark tan foam that quickly reduced to a soapy cap. Dark roasted malt and powdery dark chocolate aromas with ripe dark fruit and delicate hop notes. Thick, rich, viscous feel with subdued carbonation through the middle. Dark roasted malt flavors first followed by dark chocolate. Sweetness malt and chocolate is quickly overcome by bitter dark roasted coffee and pine hop bitterness. Finishes with a tangy, bitter, pine hip aftertaste with u.derlying dark roasted malt. Beautiful color, delicate aromas, and a rollercoaster of sweet and bitter flavors. 

IronLover, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Tasted Blind against Old Rasputin. This was my preferred beer.

A - Light-swallowing black, accented by a bracelet of mocha coloured foam. Very thin head but what a gorgeous colour!

S - Not quite as forceful as implied by the colour but tantalising due to its subtlety nonetheless. Dundee cake (it's like Christmas cake) and treacle were the main characteristics I picked up. A murmur of coca cola once it warms up a little followed by a sweet, rich rum booziness.

T - Surprisingly sweet. Leads with treacle and follows with a booziness reminscent of a good single malt. By this I mean that it had that sort of smokiness or peatiness in its bite. To me it tastes like dark dried fruits soaked in whisky.

M - Creamy, thick like treacle or molasses. Chewy and pliable.

O - What a cracking beer for the price. Took Old Rasputin to the cleaners. Did a good job of civilising its 10% Abv which always wins brownie points with me. I was concerned I might be overpowered by this beer a I was recently by Rochefort 10 but this was not the case. Underrated.

abeeronthebeach, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of Localdrinklax
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Localdrinklax, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of Paccamacca
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Paccamacca, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of timontheroad
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

timontheroad, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of Waveoff
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Waveoff, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of MattGrimley
4/5  rDev -3.4%

MattGrimley, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of Kuaff
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this RIS in my snifter at cellar temperature.

A full, bulging two fingers of light cocoa-colored foam form the head. The body is black, to put it simply.

Smells surprisingly fruity! I think I'm getting raspberries and, incredibly, freshly-picked blueberries. It's fantastic, as well as something I never imagined I'd smell in a stout. Moving on... there are also raisins, a rich semi-sweet chocolate scent, and a bit of molasses. A really awesome blend of aromas.

The berries are in the flavor a little too! It's like brownies with a strawberry or raspberry topping at first. That's what it's like early on... pretty sweet like chocolate milk, but also with a subtle, complementary fruity tartness. The back end brings a ponderous roastiness of coffee and dark chocolate that contrasts the initial sweeter flavors superbly.

The feel is thick and heavy as a narwhal (durhurhur), and the carbonation is calm like the sea at slack tide.

This isn't "just another" Russian imperial stout to me. It has some of the aroma notes and flavors of a Belgian strong dark ale, but still retains all the essential requirements for retaining stout status. And all of it's distinctive qualities mesh together beautifully. Not to mention it kind of has the consistency and taste of a chocolate milkshake, to my delight. Just as a Narwhal is a unique whale, but still a whale, this is a unique stout, but still very much a stout... and a very nice one.

Kuaff, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of shockrocker65
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

shockrocker65, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of BuzzLitebier
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

BuzzLitebier, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of LancetherealLeader
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

LancetherealLeader, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of AJacob81
4/5  rDev -3.4%

AJacob81, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of prisdefer
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

prisdefer, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of nosavingsaccount
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

nosavingsaccount, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of Fargrow
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Fargrow, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of klmcmachen
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

klmcmachen, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of TOJO12
4/5  rDev -3.4%

TOJO12, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of BTVflatlander
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

BTVflatlander, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of bpop23
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

bpop23, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of Kcman91
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Kcman91, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of Jonbw
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Jonbw, Oct 19, 2013
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,241 ratings.