Narwhal Imperial Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 3,142 | Reviews: 621 | Display Reviews Only:
4.2/5 rDev +1.4%
On tap at Capone's Restaurant. Dark brown with no head. A rich aged beer aroma. A good carbonation and full mouthfeel. Chocolate is important, coffee-like roasting is incredible. Fruity, a little syrup. Very good drinkability, no obviously booziness, other than its slight resemblance to the new Manhattans.
12-09-2012 17:29:49 | More by Sammy
4.05/5 rDev -2.2%
Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, unsweetened cocoa, alcohol, and slight coffee aromas. Taste is much the same with a medium roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and full bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some solid aromas and flavors but I think the mouthfeel is the best part of the drinking experience with this one.
11-26-2012 00:07:35 | More by UCLABrewN84
District of Columbia
4.01/5 rDev -3.1%
Pours a dark black, soft brown head, very still and calm appearance.
Huge malty nose, sweet, smells like licorice. Chocolate and coffee fight to come through, but are muted.
Tastes are dominated by dark fruits, sweet flavors. The roasted barley taste shows up and it finishes with bitterness.
Mouthfeel is good. Creamy and rich.
Overall this is good. Personally, I enjoyed it more fresh, but could also be better with more time on it as well.
06-02-2013 18:33:21 | More by nmann08
4.05/5 rDev -2.2%
A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin dark tan head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles around the edge if the glass and bits of lacing down the sides.
S: Moderate aromas of licorice are present in the nose along with hints of roasted malts.
T: The taste starts off like the smell with flavors of licorice after which strong flavors of roasted malts and a moderate amount of bitterness kicks in. The bitterness and roasted malts linger through the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite roasty and bitter. Little if any alcohol is perceptible in the smell so it is quite drinkable considering its strength.
Note: 2013 vintage
11-16-2013 03:43:32 | More by metter98
4.14/5 rDev 0%
Appearance: Arrives with an impressive khaki head perched atop the inky black liquid; sheets of lacing are left behind
Smell: Surprisingly fruity, with plum and cherry aromatics; roast and chocolate underneath
Taste: Though the roast and chocolate flavors jut out, the plum and cherry elements really build through the middle along with some licorice; after the swallow, both the fruit and licorice elements dominate the finish; alcohol is detectable as well
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet
Overall: There are a lot of really nice elements in this beer; I would prefer more chocolate and a fuller mouthfeel but those are minor issues
11-26-2013 17:34:31 | More by brentk56
4.1/5 rDev -1%
With incredible power and the balance of flavor to boot, Sierra Nevada continues to advance beyond the stalwart taste of their flagship prominence and into the sadistic darker, mysterious, and imperial realms.
Narwhal pours with a creamy viscous character and inky nearest black coloration that's imaginable. The stratification of foam pulls from the beer underneath and tops the beer with a whipped topping-like blanket of foam that retains in lumbered fashion and with intermittent pockets of lace.
Bold roasted notes rise from the snifter and floods the nose with the memories of espresso, cocoa, campfire smoke, dark fruit, and slightly scorched molasses. Complex alcohols give a tinge of spice and ethanol and foreshadows the power of the taste and textures to come.
Again, "powerful" becomes the operative descriptor in taste as the most supple of sips explode on the tongue with robust sweetness of molasses laden roast. Espresso, cocoa, heavy toast, and burnt embers converge at mid palate of sweetness and char. Shortly after, the sweetness breaks apart and allows for the fruity taste of black licorice, cherry, and currant.
Calling this stout "full bodied" seems to undersell it entirely. this is a massively creamy and heavy handed ale that envelops the mouth with heavy coats of malt, roast, and seeping alcohols. Its larger than life "charred" persona extends well beyond middle palate and only recedes as the roast-derived bitterness and heated alcohols supplant it. A lingering finish of roast and fruit extend well into the next luscious sip.
Narwal is a decedent ale that's sure to be a staple all winter long in the cabinet of all lovers of stout. With its taste that should be reserved for those special occasions, there's the price of the ale that makes it somewhat "everyday". It's simply a low-guilt, guilty pleasure.
12-04-2012 05:56:27 | More by BEERchitect
4.13/5 rDev -0.2%
12 ounce bottle - $2.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Appearance: Slips out a black, viscous-looking body, though with only a very, very small, tan head.
Smell: An aroma choked with rich maltiness -- molasses, chilled espresso, chocolate, along with full notes of licorice sticks, plump raisins. Minor spiciness, slim smokiness.
Taste: Boldly roasty, espresso-laden, and heaping with melted, fine dark chocolate and thick molasses. Restrained sweetness, as it's tempered by the sharpness of the roasted malts, hops, and warming alcohol. Black licorice. Dark fruits. A little additional fruitiness attributed to the hops, slightly resiny. Reasonably dry on the smooth finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.
Overall: Big and beefy yet relatively balanced -- I liked it.
10-06-2013 00:47:34 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.53/5 rDev -14.7%
This beer poured out as a dark black color with a decent tan colored head on top. The retention and lacing was moderate. The smell of the beer was roasted with some chocolate and burnt aromas. The taste of the beer was also a little on the burnt side with a dark chocolate bitterness in there with more roasted malts. The mouthfeel was on the heavier side but not the smoothest of stouts out there, it's carbonation was good and it finished dry. Overall this beer was decent in my opinion. I may need to revisit this beer one day to get a better grasp on it.
11-24-2012 04:37:18 | More by Knapp85
4.28/5 rDev +3.4%
Pours jet black with a thinner deep mocha colored head atop,no light got thru even when held to the light.Deep roast,char, and smoke dominate the nose with underlying bitter chocolate,it smells a bit raw and in your face.Wow alot of different stuff going on on the palate,dark roast coffee,deep char and smoke, with a molasses,licorice, and alcohol induced sweetness that really hits home,I was right this is in your face.This is a big brash imperial stout,it's a little rough around the edges...in a good way.
11-06-2012 23:54:21 | More by oberon
4.13/5 rDev -0.2%
Served in a tumbler.
Didn't see getting a taste of this tonight, but I'm sure as hell not gonna argue. It pours a straight onyx topped by over a finger of golden brown foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, dark coffee, earthy greens, and dark chocolate. The taste brings in more of the same, with some heavy bitterness being balanced by the depth and relative sweetness of the roast and the chocolate. The body is a light heavy, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a very nice, bold stout. It reminds me a lot of Ten Fidy, only drier, less creamy. Good times.
11-12-2012 03:51:04 | More by TMoney2591
4.05/5 rDev -2.2%
Poured into a goblet, there was a brief crest of mocha tinged dark tan foam that receded after a few minutes down to a creamy collar at the edge of the glass.
Deep roastiness in the aroma, slight ashy char, mild dry bakers chocolate, coffee.
Flavors follow suit, huge roasted malt, blackened and ashy. Bitter dark chocolate and mild coffee notes dominate. Long lasting flavors of roast and chocolate that linger into the aftertaste. As it warms, some hop greenery comes into the picture. Reminds me of new green shoots extending skyward post-forest fire. For being 10% it's fairly approachable for the style, though still a slow sipper. Very tasty and palate coating.
As with most Imperial Stouts, allow to warm up as much as possible to get the full range out of it.
11-15-2012 03:54:02 | More by emerge077
4/5 rDev -3.4%
A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.
S - It smelled of dark chocolate and roasted malt. There was a touch of pine.
T - Great blend of dark chocolate, burnt molasses, toffee and roasted malt. A slight piney bitterness added balance.
M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.
O - This is a really nice Russian Imperial Stout.
11-14-2012 03:59:25 | More by zeff80
4.21/5 rDev +1.7%
12oz bottle, a nice snag from doktorzee on his recent jaunt through Vegas. Cheers, man!
This beer pours a solid black, with noticeable cola-tinted basal highlights, and three fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and fairly creamy light brown head, which leaves some awesome craggy sea cliff lace around the glass as it slowly and evenly recedes.
It smells of well-toasted, almost meaty caramel malt, wet rye bread, powdered cocoa, stale ashes, dark-roast coffee beans, a hint of black licorice, earthy, leafy hops, and a subtly burbling alcohol astringency. The taste is semi-sweet chocolate, a consequentially reduced caramel malt, some persistent dark bready notes, edgy and earthy anise, gritty wet ash, well-roasted day-old coffee, the kind with too much nut flavourings added to it, and surprisingly (really?) bitter leafy, earthy, and dry citrus hops. A wee twinge of metallic alcohol sort of turtles as things barely warm.
The carbonation is pretty low-key, but hardly absent, a subtle bubbly edginess wafting about, the body a solid medium weight, dead smooth, and agreeably creamy, in a sort of milk-chocolate sense. It finishes well off-dry, the cocoa, caramel, roast, and hops forming one swell collection of lingering party goers.
A pleasurable and enjoyable RIS, the initially apparent unchecked sweetness duly run off at the pass in the typical Sierra Nevada way - mo' hops! It all seems to work - full-bodied, tasty and with the north of 10 points of booze doing its best shark impression by keeping its head under the surface (fin-free!*), I can just sit back and appreciate this hefty, well-made brew.
* This is a pun that only (especially new) dads will appreciate, so Imma just gonna keep it to myself for now.
04-02-2014 04:37:42 | More by biboergosum
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,142 ratings.