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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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

3,057 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,057
Reviews: 616
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 114
Gots: 444 | FT: 29
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: 3,057 | Reviews: 616 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-03-2012 14:30:21 | More by Davepoolesque
Photo of Fettpopps
Fettpopps

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

03-16-2014 14:04:24 | More by Fettpopps
Photo of HardTarget
HardTarget

Texas

4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as night, only the thinnest of ruby edges. Holds a tan thin cover, not much lace.

Smell: Roasted malt, burnt sugar vapor is alcoholic and inviting. A rich tone with some supportive but mild hop notes.

Taste: Heavy malt has a toffee sweetness to it that is smooth and silky. Slight lactic twang of a mild stout, slippery feel of an oatmeal stout, full volume of an Imperial Stout. Somewhere down the British spectrum, definitely not an AMERICAN HOP STOUT, this is much more refined, restrained, civilized.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy milk shake. Great combination of heavy body and lively carbonation that helps keep the whole package together. Full chew, slick oil takes a while to soak in.

Overall: Wow. Serious yum. I'll be seeking more. It's a monster with a friendly face. You note alcohol, but it doesn't taste like the 10% it's swinging. A nice long evening sipper.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2013 00:50:43 | More by HardTarget
Photo of whatname
whatname

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

02-10-2013 03:57:49 | More by whatname
Photo of Adamostella
Adamostella

Washington

3.25/5  rDev -21.5%

10-25-2013 21:51:56 | More by Adamostella
Photo of Dicers
Dicers

Texas

4/5  rDev -3.4%

06-06-2014 19:41:28 | More by Dicers
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

4.93/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout has a thick, creamy, tan head, lots of thick lacing left on the glass, and a very dark brown appearance. The aroma is of dark-roasted malt, and the taste is of black bread, chocolate, coffee, licorice, toffee, charcoal, bitterness, and black cherries. The mouthfeel is thick and velvety, and Narwhal Imperial Stout finishes semi-dry, heavy, warming, and smooth. Overall, this is an outstanding beer, and I recommend it in the strongest way!

RJT

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 01:44:54 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of zonker17
zonker17

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-07-2013 02:55:19 | More by zonker17
Photo of Burt
Burt

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

03-09-2013 21:11:12 | More by Burt
Photo of macrosmatic
macrosmatic

Florida

3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into an Upland pint glass.

A: Very dark brown to black, nearly opaque. A one and a half finger's worth of espresso-colored head forms over a low amount of visible carbonation.

S: Overall a low amount of aroma. Some roasted malt, coffee, and just a bit of citrus hops.

T: Sweet malts, coffee and cacao, some citrus and bitter hoppiness. Sweet with a touch of bitter in the hang.

M: A relatively thick mouthfeel, moderate alcohol, low carbonation sensation.

O: I had a taste of this on tap a few weeks back, and I was really impressed. Out of the bottle, not so much. Not a bad beer still, but there are many better RIS options out there.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 06:24:51 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of Gambrinus1184
Gambrinus1184

Connecticut

4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on-tap at the Dive Bar in West Haven, Conn.

A: Pours jet black with a two-finger head of espresso-colored foam which retains nicely and leaves some chunky lacing around the glass.

S: Very nice, robust, dark and roasty malt aroma with hints of anisette, charred wood and bittersweet cocoa. Some subtle fruitiness and herbal hops rise from the brew as well.

T: Rich, sweet and well-rounded malt flavor, giving off the taste of dried tobacco leaves, roasted coffee and dark chocolate. There's a slight vanilla sweetness around mid-palate which cascades into a spicy, herbal hop resin that lasts until the bittersweet and smooth, roasty finish.

M: Full-bodied, very drinkable stout with a creamy malt mouthfeel and rounded bitterness to stave off cloying sweetness while offering a smooth, robust finish.

O: SN Narwahl RIS is a very complex and enjoyable, sweet, strong stout. It packs a ton of flavor into that 10.2% ABV while not slowing you down with too hot of a hop or alcohol burn. Perfect beer to serve as dessert or to accompany a raspberry chocolate torte. I'd love to try it again, or one of it's aged varietals.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2013 20:43:06 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of Zach136
Zach136

Georgia

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

32oz counter pressure filled growler from Barrel and Barley in Woodstock, GA.

A - Pitch black, light caramel head that disapates quickly. Ok lacing.

S - Caramel and toffee notes, bit of roast coffee and cocoa as well. No hop profile to speak of.

T - Deep roasted malts, earthy coffee, noticeable hop profile that gives the brew a hint of that motor oil profile fresh RISs tend to have.

M - Slightly over carbed for my tastes - giving it an almost chalky mouthfeel.

O - Great RIS. Excited to set up a verticle.

Serving type: growler

09-06-2013 21:15:00 | More by Zach136
Photo of Kendo
Kendo

New York

4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body looks thick; it's black with a half-finger light-brown head that settles quickly. Some splotches of lace cling to the side of the glass after each sip.

S: Very roasty - roasted barley malt and dark chocolate. As it warms up a bit, the roastiness takes a back seat to the chocolate.

T: Big RIS-type flavors up front: roasted barley malt, roasted coffee beans, charcoal and chocolate - both cocoa/milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Finishes with chocolatey flavors followed by a bitter taste of char/charcoal. Alcohol heat is noted, though more in the feel, as heat going down the chute, than in the taste. Lingering minerally taste of burnt charcoal provides bitter balance to offset the malty flavors up front. As it warms and the palate adjusts to that bitterness, the chocolate becomes more pronounced at the finish, which I like.

M: Definitely full-bodied. Carbonation is modest.

O: Good stuff, as per usual from SN. More roasty than I prefer in my stouts, especially when cold - it's almost Imperial Porter-like in that regard - but not off-putting in any way. Sure, I've had better stouts, but for the price ($10.49 for a 4-pack), I'm not unhappy with this new release.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2013 02:27:25 | More by Kendo
Photo of VeganUndead
VeganUndead

Virginia

4/5  rDev -3.4%

03-12-2014 03:50:06 | More by VeganUndead
Photo of mrebeka
mrebeka

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-05-2012 02:30:12 | More by mrebeka
Photo of jak
jak

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.4%

10-30-2012 03:37:07 | More by jak
Photo of JRod1969
JRod1969

New York

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-04-2013 23:45:00 | More by JRod1969
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter

Oregon

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off the tap, pitch black with minimal head.
Smell is a strong roasted and caramel malt. Rich and nice.
Taste is bold, chocolate and coffee. Balanced though.
Thick texture with low carbonation and heavy body.
Really hits the spot for an imperial stout.

Serving type: on-tap

12-25-2012 01:22:10 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan

Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-11-17 in Columbia, PA

A - Opaque black with a brown 1-finger head and mild lacing.

S - Floral, brown bread, chocolate. Moderate level of aroma but very inviting.

T - Dark roasted malt, soy sauce/umami, significant char, smidge of dark chocolate, not too sweet, alcohol, pepper. Kind of brash. Finishes roasty and spicy. Good stuff.

M - Medium-heavy body and light-medium carbonation. Somewhat creamy yet dries pretty well.

O - Very enjoyable. Big flavors. Had this side-by-side with a 9-month old Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout and the Narwhal holds up quite well in comparison considering it doesn't have the bourbon influence. The KBS is smoother with more coffee, has a heavier mouthfeel and isn't as brash as the Narwhal - in other words, the KBS is better. I'm going to age some of the Narwhal to see if the brashness mellows out.

Note: Had an aged one from 2012 on 2013-10-19 and the brashness has mellowed significantly. I like it better with a year on it.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 19:39:49 | More by Tucquan
Photo of waiting4lunch
waiting4lunch

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

02-05-2013 19:49:46 | More by waiting4lunch
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-05-2013 03:16:25 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of micromaniac129
micromaniac129

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my yeti sniffer (because I could) a deep standard brown black color. A handsome looking beer with it's dense mocha head and what looks to be desent carbonation.
Aroma I thought was the weak point in that I could barely detect any aroma. I could barely smell some roasted malts and espresso.
Taste was fine. Had a roasted malt flair with coffee espresso cocoa and some ash.
Drinks really smooth and hides that alcohol quite well.
A good well made beer but, it's a safe beer being that to me, it's not very aggressive.
Taking a que from Charlie Manuel, but then again on the other hand this would be my first case of Imp stout I would buy.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 12:47:38 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tap into a goblet at Whole Foods Chandler. Was told this was based on the 30th anniversary stout I love so much.

Syrupy dark brown edging on black. About a finger of silky khaki head.

Beautiful nose. In this order: burnt toast, dark chocolate, oats, licorice.

Very smooth blend of roasted coffee bean, bitter dark chocolate, oats, licorice and smoke in the flavor. Alcohol emerges as it warms and is hard to avoid.

Syrupy. Thick, creamy medium body. Light, tickly carbonation. More than a little alcohol warmth.

Super duper. Very drinkable for its size and strength.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2013 20:48:41 | More by Phelps
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

UPDATE: May, 2013

This pours a dark black brew with a cocoa colored foam topping. There’s an aroma of sautéed mushrooms which dominates. It’s earthy and mellow with a dialed back roast profile. I get mushrooms & soy sauce as I nose and sip. The flavor has a mellow roast with soy sauce & mushrooms dominating. It warms well and remains a smooth sipper. Six months out on this and I found it much more enjoyable than fresh.

Original:

I have slain the Narwhal!

This beast pours a pitch black with a thin layer of foam. Aromas of dark roast coffee, dark chocolate and a sharp espresso dominate. The flavor has a hop forward bitterness as well as the coffee and espresso characteristics. An earthy mushroom taste develops as it opens as well as some soy sauce characteristics. The body is sharp but somewhat off balance. I get a dark chocolate flavor and sharpness, when what I want is more velvety smoothness to ease such a rich brew along. While it holds up to warming it is still hot with a noticeable alcohol presence. It strikes me as having some rough edges that could be softened with a little more time to rest.

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2013 07:28:42 | More by elNopalero
Photo of Howlader
Howlader

Alberta (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

07-20-2014 14:15:21 | More by Howlader
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,057 ratings.