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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

3,027 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,027
Reviews: 616
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 111
Gots: 440 | FT: 28
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: 3,027 | Reviews: 616 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 2beerdogs
2beerdogs

California

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

03-30-2013 17:05:39 | More by 2beerdogs
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Grabbed a 4-pack of this when it first came out. Saved the final bottle for a review. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a jet black. No light penetrates this one. Small tan head. Nose is rich with booze, chocolate, roasted coffee, grape, vanilla. Hints of woodsy aromas on the finish.

Body is decadent and full. Rich velvety feel with a touch of carbonation on the back end. A nice malty backbone, with vanilla, chocolate syrup, a little booze, black licorice, dark fruits.

This one was rich and tasty. The alcohol snuck up on me at the tail end, but this one was one I enjoyed through and through. I hope to see this around often, as I would like to have stock of this one at all times.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2013 13:08:37 | More by Onenote81
Photo of ElGallo
ElGallo

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-30-2012 02:05:47 | More by ElGallo
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

01-09-2013 18:02:12 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque deep brown with just a hint of garnet highlights and a solid half inch milk chocolate head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of lacing.

Dark cherries, plums, raisins, chocolate, and roast malt begin the aroma. Toasted nuts, licorice, and tar add complexity.

Flavor reveals deep roasted malt, dark fruit, and a long, coffee bitter finish. Chocolate is slightly muted, in favor of tart cherries.

Body is thick, viscous, and chewy, with low carbonation. There's astringency at the finish, preceding alcohol warmth.

Probably the thickest beer I've ever consumed. Dark fruit tartness was a bit overpowering. Fairly boozy, as well. Good roast malt character. I'll probably like this better with some age on it.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 01:54:59 | More by barczar
Photo of fredmugs
fredmugs

Indiana

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-08-2012 01:12:11 | More by fredmugs
Photo of budgood1
budgood1

Minnesota

3.49/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

pours out an opaque onyx black colour. large, thick and frothy light brown coloured head that has a great deal of creamy staying power. about perfect. the nose on this big stout is a bit non-descript...some cocoa and nougat with some NW hopping. taste profile is a straight up combination of creamy sweetened dark chocolate and yeast infused dark roasted malts. none too complex in the malt/yeast interaction, so no real layers of flavours... just char, java and a hint of sour. this imperial stout has a beefy hop attribute to it, enough that the pine and pith flavours are able to fight their way through the dark cauldron and murky depths of black malt madness. a nice, healthy back end bitterness is also obviously detectable...and it all lingers for a blistering finish. the body on this stout is beefy and sturdy, no detractions there. mouthfeel is silky smooth, almost too smooth for an imperial stout of this magnitude. and that leads into the drinkability factor, which is way to easy for an imperial stout, making it dangerously delectable.

overall, i was a bit underwhelmed in the grand scheme of things when sampling this. perhaps a bit of age would benefit this? or maybe i'm just let down with the overall nose and flavour profile. the interaction between malt and yeast leaves me wanting despite the bitter hop blast, which i was expecting. an egnigma...nonetheless, it's a tasty treat that has potential in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 23:33:39 | More by budgood1
Photo of Herky21
Herky21

Iowa

4/5  rDev -3.4%

09-29-2013 15:16:10 | More by Herky21
Photo of Jame515
Jame515

Texas

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-27-2013 14:41:27 | More by Jame515
Photo of GilGarp
GilGarp

Colorado

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served at cellar temp into a pint glass.

Narwhal is basically black in color and starts with a good inch of off white head. It settles somewhat quickly but leaves a little lacing behind.

Aroma is roasty and robust with some hop character.

Flavor is surprisingly strong with big bitterness from both hops and malts. There's a little sweetness but it's really dominated by dark roasted malts and big hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and a little bit overly carbonated.

Overall a good imperial stout but it doesn't have the silky mouthfeel of my other favorites like Yeti and TenFidy.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 04:35:01 | More by GilGarp
Photo of Zachtheporter
Zachtheporter

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

03-13-2013 05:36:54 | More by Zachtheporter
Photo of mltobin
mltobin

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -3.4%

06-27-2014 00:39:00 | More by mltobin
Photo of Lukass
Lukass

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

01-06-2013 14:19:20 | More by Lukass
Photo of AndrewMichael
AndrewMichael

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

12-25-2013 21:06:21 | More by AndrewMichael
Photo of CoolEthan
CoolEthan

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%

10-06-2013 02:51:02 | More by CoolEthan
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
AlCaponeJunior

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

OK looking, about what you'd expect from an imperial stout that doesn't stand out looks-wise.

Aroma and flavor are pretty good. Standard roasty, toasty, burnt and charcoal notes present from the dark malts. Coffee and chocolate make balanced appearances. There is a touch of dark fruits, brown sugar. There's also a bit of hoppiness that you might expect from an American stout.

The body is pretty thick, good for the style. Finish is bitter dark chocolate with slight burnt notes and a slight lingering sweetness.

Overall it's enjoyable, about standard for the modern day definition of an American imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 02:32:28 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass. 2012 bottle

Appearance: Pours a dark oily black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of creamy tan head that fade into a thin layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A roasty and fairly sweet aroma. Dark roasted malts with hints of cocoa, dark bread, coffee, and cookie dough along with some caramel and toffee. A fair amount of molasses. Some subtle smoke. Hop presence is very subtle but there is a light earthy and piney scent. Also some subtle dark fruits with hints of cherry, raisin, and plum. Pretty decent smell.

Taste: Like the aroma hints, a dark, roasty, and sweet stout taste. Dark roasted malts with a taste of cocoa, toasted bread, coffee, and dough. Some burnt caramel and toffee along with some molasses sweetness. Subtle anise and some smoke that lingers through the finish. Undertones of dark fruits including cherry, prune, and raisin. Light earthy hops and resin round it out. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and somewhat syrupy. Alcohol is hidden well.

Overall: A very good take on the Russian Imperial Stout. Big, roasty, and sweet while avoiding becoming cloying. Very solid.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2012 07:25:30 | More by MattyG85
Photo of Kmlund
Kmlund

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

10-03-2013 17:50:28 | More by Kmlund
Photo of brewcrew76
brewcrew76

Wisconsin

3.89/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black with ruby highlights and little if any tan foam.

S - Burnt malt, alcohol, dark fruit, chocolate milk and light alcohol.

T - Bittersweet chocolate, burnt malt, coffee grounds, some herbal hop bitterness, some hot alcohol, molasses, light vanilla and dark fruits as it warms.

M - Full body, appears lightly carbonated until it hits the mouth and then a touch tingly on the way down. Warming.

D - Strong on the burnt bold flavors but still complex. Nicely done.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 00:15:03 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of bum732
bum732

Lesotho

3.05/5  rDev -26.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2012 03:47:53 | More by bum732
Photo of justintcoons
justintcoons

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance
Pitch black, motor oil pour. No light penetration. Less than 1 finger of deep brown head that dissipates quickly.

Nose
Dark chocolate, roasted barley, espresso, fudge, vanilla and dark fruit.

Taste
Dark chocolate, roasted barley, fudge and vanilla bean. Espresso, toffee and dates. Some citrus and pine hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel
Full bodied, silky, oily, bitter and warming.

Overall
Sierra Nevada hit this one out of the park. It's got everything that an Imperial Stout needs.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 00:24:42 | More by justintcoons
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage. 12oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 2 finger light coffee colored head with poor retention. Beer is pitch black but slightly thin. Lacing is stringy and spotty with good stick. Sticky thin legs. Solid.

Nose is cocoa powder, espresso beans, liquorice and dark and milk chocolate. Some creamy hop flavors too. Nice.

Opens cocoa, espresso, and mocha. Dark chocolate, roast, and liquorice in the middle with vanilla and a slight hop bitterness at the end. Finishes sticky and sweet molasses, brown sugar, and cocoa with a roasty, smoky aftertaste. Decent if a bit thin at times.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slick and smooth in the mouth and goes down warm. Messy finish with a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Pretty good. Impressive given the ABV.

A decent beer overall, I could see this being a go-to Imperial Stout. Worth aging just a touch to see what happens.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2013 02:49:05 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of CelticAleMan
CelticAleMan

California

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

12-16-2012 06:44:14 | More by CelticAleMan
Photo of Hopmodium
Hopmodium

Washington

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

10-24-2012 02:20:02 | More by Hopmodium
Photo of baybum
baybum

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-20-2012 12:29:12 | More by baybum
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,027 ratings.