Narwhal Imperial Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 3,025 | Reviews: 615 | Display Reviews Only:
4.2/5 rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label lists the abv at 10.2% and the year it was brewed. (2013) There is a short description of the beer as well.
Appearance: It has a very dark black body which is completely opaque. From the slow pour I got a tall tan colored head that settles down fairly quick but makes tons of cool lacing on the glass.
Smell: The aroma has a mild character with some modest sweet and roasted maltiness.
Taste / Palate: The mild aroma gives way to a big bold full bodied malty sweetness on the tongue. There are notes of caramel, toffee, molasses, and raisins. It’s 10.2% abv is noticeable but mellow and adds to its overall character. The palate feels smooth with light carbonation in this big heavy offering from Sierra Nevada. It finishes slowly with just a touch of earthy hops.
Serving type: bottle
05-23-2014 07:47:53 | More by generallee
4.36/5 rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Pleasantly surprised that one of my local haunts had Narwhal on tap. She pours an inky jet black with a thick looking tan head to boot. Very nice, almost perfect for what I want in a stout, in fact. The aroma is quite roasty, with a fairly large presence of bittersweet chocolate as well. After a highly anticipated sip, that baker's chocolate satisfied my taste buds fully, along with very pleasant fruit esters (predominantly plum and dark fruits). What I like is how wonderfully bitter the overall package is. There is perhaps some hops detectable in the flavor here. Very full on the mouth feel. Overall, a very solid Imperial Stout.
Serving type: on-tap
05-23-2014 03:08:53 | More by Neorebel
4.28/5 rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Reviewing from notes as I continue to catch up on past experiences. I drank this one on 2/22/14. Enjoyed out of a stubby 12 oz brown bottle with the vintage--2013--marked clearly on the neck label. Poured into a large snifter.
Appearance - Pours and inky black hole of color on the body, with no light able to penetrate whatsoever. A head of maybe a finger--probably a little less--of dark ecru colored foam that recedes quickly, leaving a generous film across the surface with slightly more thickness around the edges of the glass. Sparse, almost nonexistent lacing dots the glass intermittently as I drink it down.
Smell - Bittersweet baker's chocolate and roasted char from the malt profile are at the forefront, with a rich sweetness. There is also a slightly different element, with notes of anise, licorice and even black plum providing some complementary characteristics to the chocolate and roast elements.
Taste - The balance of the profiles in the smell have been reversed on the taste, with the fruit--plum, black currant, and prunes--and licorice elements being more overt and lingering on the palate long after I've swallowed. Some heat from the alcohol is faintly present, and the semisweet chocolate and roasted malt is there as well, but seems to provide more of a foundation than come through as the primary flavors.
Mouthfeel - Very full bodied and moderate-to-low carbonation, with a finish that lingers on the palate long after the beer is gone.
Overall, this is a very good imperial stout, and while I'm usually remiss to compare specific beers directly, I can't help myself. The body, look and feel remind me so much of my favorite RIS, Founders' version, that I think it's fair to note that they are cousins from the same family of oppressive (in a good way?) full-bodied stouts, but take different paths when it comes to aroma and taste. Where Founders is a bit drier, with a focus on cocoa, roast and coffee notes, this one leans more towards fruit and anise. My personal preference is towards the former, but this is surely top of the list when it comes to stouts that incorporate those dark fruits.
Serving type: bottle
05-22-2014 16:53:00 | More by LambicPentameter
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,025 ratings.