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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

4,282 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,282
Reviews: 781
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 233
Gots: 1,027 | 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: 4,282 | Reviews: 781 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kmlund
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of schopenhauerale
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of CraigTravor
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of JohnK17
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of JohnBender
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of thewimperoo
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of oldp0rt
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of NJBeer265
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of zonker17
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Fettpopps
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of CTJman
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of Howlader
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of bumchilly25
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of DIM
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a: Black with a large, foamy, off-white head.

s: Rich dark chocolate with some molasses. Hints of red wine and espresso.

t: A bit on the sweeter side and it works. Lots of dark chocolate backed by vinous fruits and molasses a nice lingering ashy char.

m: Full bodied and chewy.

o: Absolutely a top notch stout, and a relatively inexpensive one at that. Sign me up for a case next year.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.92/5  rDev +18.3%
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

Photo of jpd7374
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think my friends at Narwhal Brewing have some sort of lawsuit against this beer so I'm not sure if that makes me a traitor. I'll live.

Thick, viscous, dark brown pour spews forth a thick, sticky head. Room temp despite being in the fridge for two days do lack of power and hurricane Sandy. Ok retention leaves a few foamy polka dots. Polka dots, polka dots, polka dots afro.

Dark roasted malt and bread crust jumps out of the bottle before I even pour Narwhal. Lots of chocolate too. Mocha would be an appropriate descriptor.

Bottle label says I should expect dark roast coffee and bakers cocoa. I'm not disappointed. Big beer mouthfeel but still kinda soft and supple. Again, mocha goodness.

Like most Sierra Nevada it's not surprising or different, it's just really good. I was drinking this and my wife was drinking Founder's Breakfast stout and I liked my beer better if that says anything.

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

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 Fatehunter
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of JohnParadee
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into chilled pint glass. Deep, dark, black color, with very thick tan head which dissipated to thin veil. Excellent, consistent lacing. Smell is incredibly rich aura of burnt/roasted chocolate malt and coffee/vanilla hints. Unfortunately, the palate was not quite as impressive (to me). A little too much dank hoppiness, with the result that the balance was out of kilter. Carbonation and mouthfeel was good, but I could not get past the uneven bite and apparent conflict between the hops and the flavors trying to compete. Maybe I had a bad bottle, or just need to let it sit and warm up a bit more. Willing to try again, as I love so much of what SN does.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh on shelves in Buffalo, NY

The beer pours a deep, thick black with a dense foamy tan head that laces. No sediment or oily residue. The nose is a pungent mix of roasty, chocolatey malts, piney hops, and a touch of caramel. The roast really punches forward while tasting, followed by a cascade of fresh hoppy bitterness. There is a lingering bitterness and bite from the alcohol that palate-coats, but it's otherwise very smooth and drinkable. It's almost as hoppy as a (weak) black IPA, but I like the bitter contrast against the rich, sweet, roasty malt base. This is an exceptionally priced, widely available example of a hopped up RIS done right.

Photo of brez8791
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of Stevedore
3.76/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Note: my personal scoring system goes in whole numbers only)

2012 vintage 12oz bottle with bottling date 279 Julian, drank in snifter today 2/5/13

Aroma- A crisp roasty sweetness remniscent of burnt sugar, with some chocolate and coffee in the nose which I have to work a bit for. Pretty average for an imperial stout. (3)

Colour- Black cola-colour pouring with a 2-3cm brown head that sticks around for a good five minutes. Lacing is persistent but spotty. (4)

Flavour- Bold chocolate and roasted black coffee. A little bit of vanilla as well as hints of smokiness. (4)

Mouthfeel- A nice thick body with ok carbonation. Nothing special. It runs a bit dry with a good amount of heat. Aftertaste is of burnt malt and black coffee but doesn't linger all that long. (4)

Overall- Above-average, good-tasting double stout that comes with fairly complex flavors. But it's running rather hot and I think some age will do it some good. I'll stash a few away for next winter. (4)

Photo of baybum
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 4,282 ratings.