Narwhal Imperial Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Narwhal Imperial StoutNarwhal Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

4,430 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

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Ratings: 4,430
Reviews: 817
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.62%
Wants: 254
Gots: 1,119 | FT: 44
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: 4,430 | Reviews: 817
Photo of DavidHoughton
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Pretty amazing for an american IS

Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Pours a dark opaque black with a dark brown head that thins out but never quite disappears. Nice lacing some of which sticks to the glass and some of which glides back in.

Smell – Roasted malts, chocolate, licorice, and molasses, and cola.

Taste – Malts and chocolate. Fairly simple, but good.

Mouthfeel – Thick, creamy, medium carbonation, and very smooth.

Drinkability – An easy drinking stout, that goes down well for 10.2%abv. I prefer stouts with a touch more alcohol, but this is nice.

Photo of peensteen
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on cask at Cask Days 2014 in Toronto

Jet black colour, ring of tan head with a bit of lace. Smell is roasty, lots of chocolate and coffee, well hopped with some earthy notes, light dark fruit in the periphery. Taste starts out with some dark fruit, light roast with some bitter hop mid palate, chocolate and coffee flavours linger into the finish. Light carbonation, medium-full body, good feel. A solid imperial stout, nothing groundbreaking but a nice and flavourful stout that is a pleasure to drink.

Photo of anthony-martinez
4/5  rDev -3.8%

i accident bought this brew - narwhal imperial stout along with other brews IPA & Double IPA. i drank this brew first and i kinda like bitter-coffey kind. it hit my tongue smooth and strong kick on end note. i also ate Heresy chocolate nuts bar during tasting it. great beer for stout category

Photo of Brackh
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Pours super black with little to no head. Smells dark and fruity. Raisins maybe? Tasted chocolate and roasted. Changed the longer I sipped. You can taste the alcohol for sure. Not a bad thing though. Not the same as some other Imperial Stouts that I have had. Delicious though.

Photo of BradC
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours opaque black with a head that quickly fades and leaves some nice Lacing. Smells of roasted grains, some dark raisin aroma. Tastes of roasted grain, slight chocolate notes, a little coffee. Not as thick as I expected, pretty easy drinking and the high ABV is well hidden. Overall, good Imperial stout, would buy again.

Photo of uvachief
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Draft. Deep brown, almost black with about a 1/2 finger of head that dissipated quickly. Smells of chocolate, bread and roasted grains. Little coffee. Surprisingly light in the mouth. Not as creamy as you would expect. Tastes of dark chocolate, roasted malts and light coffee. Not espresso. Not thick. Not what I was expecting. It is light and good. Drinkable. Doesn't feel like a high ABV but it is. Good imperial stout but lighter than I wanted. I like mine thick and creamy.

Photo of RocketRaccoon88
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

The first time I tried this was because my friend said you've got to try this! It's got a narwhal on he front! A freaking narwhal! So I got it and had it and I got a six pack lol. This is an awesome brew! Nice dark and tasty down to the last drop.

Photo of Tomasipoi
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

I'm a sucker for a great beer, I don't normally do dark ale beers but I've tried a few and this one is arguably amongst my top 2.

Photo of skinny_mcginley
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Pours a midnight black with coffee colored head that lingers for awhile. This was very drinkable and not too boozy. Smelled of chocolate and roasted malts with a hint of coffee and vanilla. Tasted the same. A very nice beer!

Photo of Hauckstadtjr00
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Taste test 2013 vs 2014
Both pour nicely black with a thick tan head that sticks around for a little bit. Eventually fades into nothing on top.
Smell:
2014- Doesnt have too strong aroma compared to the 2013. Slightly piney with cacao and bakers chocolate notes. Deep malty aroma shines through a bit.
2013- WOW!!! Boozy and delicious! This shit kicks you in the face with super pleasant and deep complex alcohol notes with deep deep cacao and roasted malt flavour. This stuff smells incredible.
Taste:
2014-Wow the piney flavour is very prominent especially in comparison. Very hoppy for an imperial stout but still has a lot of the nice cacao and roasted notes. Very balanced and pretty drinkable for something of this percentage.
2013- BAMM!! Same thing as the smell just flows across your tongue like the godly beverage beer is supposed to. Strong, boozy and roasted cacao and coffee flavours all blend together to make a damn good experience.
Overall I liked the year old one more. Though I had not realized the piney character being so strong last year also given the factor of how much my palate has changed which I know it has a lot. The fresh one is very good and a nice imperial stout to have and reasonably priced too. But if you have the means I strongly recommend giving that a try because its well worth it.

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%

Kind of like shamu doing the backstroke, I'd put this just a tick below "outstanding," status, but just barely. It's sumo status, but it's more like a featherweight sumo. A bit too light, a bit too lackluster... It has all those nice chocolate, toffee, rich notes that any player would like in a stout, but it's a bit thin and insipid.

Close, but, well, half of the cigar, I guess.

Photo of SurferEric
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Roasted coffee and chocolate. Sweet and dark. Easy drinker. Great stout.

Photo of jwc215
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Bottled on 07/31/14:

Pours black with a creamy brown head that has nice retention for the style/abv. Spotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of rich chocolate, toffee, espresso beans and molasses.

The taste follows the nose. The sweet chocolate and toffee/caramel is balanced by a light-to-medium coffee roast. Alcohol is very well-integrated. It has a robust finish.

It is rich and full-bodied, but not too thick.

This is a wonderful, dangerously drinkable Imperial Stout! Very well-made and enjoyable!

Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz Brown bottle with pry-off cap and bottled on "07/31/14". Poured into a snifter

Appearance: Pours black with 1/2 finger of tan head

Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate, and cocoa

Taste: Similar to the aroma with mostly roasted malts and licorice and cocoa, with slight alcohol warmth

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied

Overall: A great representation of the imperial stout style. All the roasted flavors are present and has great balance. Theres little bit of alcohol but not overpowering.

Photo of EHopkinsi
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%

Brewed 31 July 2014, according to the bottle.

Poured an unbelievably thick black. When held up in front of a light, the light did not shine through! One and a half finger caramel-colored head faded fairly quickly. Not a lot of aroma, surprisingly. Beer had pleasing amount of taste, caramel and malts, with a slight alcohol "burn" on the finish. Not massive, though. You know you have a stout, but it isn't slapping you upside the head. An attribute that makes the 10.2 ABV prone to sneak up on you. Alcohol taste faded as beer warmed. This beer has absolutely the best mouthfeel of any beer I have ever had; a wonderful thick blanket of creamy malty caramel that gets even creamier as you savor it. A fantastic imperial stout, and I am very much looking forward to the three that are left!

Photo of Bernerdawg
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%

On draft at Red Light Red Light in Orlando.
Color is black, with 1/2 inch of tan head.
Aromas of espresso, roasted malt, baker's chocolate, dates, whiff of burnt caramel
Taste is sweeter than expected, but not pushy: malts and alcohol up front followed by strong cocoa and coffee, hoppy finish
Not much carbonation. Milky smooth. For me, texture and body are spot-on for the style
Very impressed by this beer. A sipper that can go down quickly if not careful. The sweetness obscures the alcohol a bit and adds a wonderful note to the malts without getting in the way of other flavors. Highly recommend.

Photo of PacNWDad
4/5  rDev -3.8%

On draft at Chuck's 85th St. Thin, meager head, with some lace as you drink. Very dark, inky, opaque. Aroma is coffee, smoked malt, raisins, fig, molasses, some herbal notes from the hops. Sips bitter, a bit green, then sweet malt into the finish. Some hot alcohol flash, drinks thick, finishes medium. Overall very good, could be exceptional with some more aging on it.

Photo of hopsputin
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

a: a deep, dark, thick black. kinda viscous. solid 2 finger tan head. looks like you could rest a coin on there

s: a nice rich blend of caramel malts, toffee, smooth roasted malts, sweet chocolate, hint of black licorice, brown sugar, molasses, some sticky syrup

t: heavy tasting. alcohol right off the bat. brown sugar & molasses. more alcohol. toasted malts, milk chocolate, some hops in here. hint of root beer, more alcohol

m: its definitely on the fuller side. sticky. this is a sipper for sure. not much carbonation - but its the perfect level

o: this needs to sit for a few years or months me thinks. i can taste a real nice base beer in here, theres just a lot of alcohol in the flavor right now. as it sits in the glass for a bit, those flavors do shine through. its a nice beer, that will be made better as the alcohol flavor dies off

Photo of corywalston
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A. Very aggressive poor into a 36oz mug, 4 inches of tan/brown head that dissipates to 2 ½ inches. The dance of the bubbles in the black sludge looks delicious. No carbonation. Color is black with hints of brown.
S. Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and alcohol.
T. Sweet, metallic, coffee, chocolate, alcohol. After taste of grilled chocolate and nutty.
M. Slightly carbonated, milky, syrup, watery.
O. Slightly below average for an RIS. Alcohol is very evident and slightly over powering. But still good, give it a try.

Photo of H0PHead108
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Delicious aroma of chocolate with a hint of coffee. A med/full head on the pour supported by the dark chocolate brown body. Smooth and sweet with the bitterness of dark roasted coffee to finish. This doesn't hide it's 10.2%ABV Imperial kick for very long. I left this to chill on the porch for a bit [58 degrees] for about 30 min before I opened and poured. it. Delightful !

Photo of timontheroad
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark black, only a little foam that faded to a light film, left no lacing. The aroma was of dark chocolate, slight coffee, sweet malt, and just a hint of dark fruit. Taste was of sweet chocolate and coffee, with some bitter hoppiness and alcohol burn. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, with some alcohol, but not too much. Just right. Overall, this beer is super tasty, can't wait to see what a year of cellaring has done to it.

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date 07/24/2014 printed on the back label. Finally getting around to trying the infamous Sierra Nevada Narwhal. Expectations are high based on this beer's good reputation.

Poured into a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter glass.

A - It pours a dark inky black; nearly opaque with some hues of brown showing around the edges. About a finger of creamy tan head. Leaves good scattered spotty lacing on the glass. Looks very nice. 4

S - The smell is kind of light, compared to what I was expecting. Very roasty and malty, with some unsweetened chocolate / cocoa notes, burnt coffee, char, notes of licorice / cola. I was expecting more roastiness, in all honesty. Somewhat lacking in aroma, in my opinion. 3.5

T - Taste is a step up from the nose - simple, yet refined. Notes of chocolate / cocoa, vanilla, fudge, roasted coffee beans. Bitter & roasty. 4

M - The feel is smooth and creamy, with good carbonation, but I could see some age doing this beer well, to perhaps tone the carb down just a tad. Again, bitter and roasty on the finish. Sticky, fudgey, & burnt, but in a pleasant way.

Overall, a nice, yet simple imperial stout from Sierra Nevada. I could definitely see bottles of this stuff aging well, and I would be interested to see what some serious time does to a bottle of this stuff.

Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout -----4/5.

Photo of yarnbomb
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Yum! A great version of one of my very favorite beer styles. The last one I had on draft was SO GOOD that I didn't actually share it as intended, oops.

Photo of Shandirra
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Just the way I like my Imperial Stouts; rich, smooth, full bodied, heady aroma, malty finish. Bought it as a 'pick a pack' selection from a borough distributor. Pleasant surprise. Definitely will purchase again!

Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 4,430 ratings.