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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
93
outstanding

3,996 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,996
Reviews: 715
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 218
Gots: 808 | FT: 35
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: 3,996 | Reviews: 715 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of csmartin6
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of qcbrewer
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of krustster
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of RickS95
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beers don't look any better than this. The pour resembles used oil. Next time you're getting your oil changed, ask the guy for a look...that's what this looks like. Thick and coal black pour. The head is dark mocha and a thing of beauty. It starts off about a finger thick, then it starts to cascade and it's a stunner to watch. Eventually it's a couple fingers thick, frothy, with good retention. Squigly lines of lace throughout.

The smell means business. Cocoa up front before a splash of booze takes over. All the while, licorice is making an attempt at some attention.

As good as it comes. Chocolate and expresso dazzle the taste buds all the way down. The alcohol builds momentum but doesn't interfere til near the swallow. It tastes like there might be some lactose hiding in there somewhere. It's exceptional.

Sweet and creamy up front. Heat from the alcohol begins mid sip and lasts with a lingering warmth. Bitterness doesn't start til near the finale. Full bodied and rich. With a kick of carbonation just before the sip says adios.

The only reason I didn't give it 5s across the board is because the smell, while good, wasn't as aggressive as it should have been. This is as good a beer as I've had in a good, long time.

Photo of fourstringer
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Samuel Smith pint glass. Moderately aggressive hand. Stamp on the bottle reads: 3221220:57. Labeled as 2013.

A: Pours a dark ruby, but is opaque blackness in the glass. 1/2 finger caramel head. Fair retention. Minimal lacing. Impressive body, but head is lacking.

S: Roasted malt. Coffee. Faint dark fruit. Alcohol. A bit subdued overall.

T: Tangy, roasted malt semi-sweetness into a mostly dry, chocolatey finish. Dark roast coffee. Black licorice. Definite alcohol presence. There is a medicinal element that develops and detracts.

M: Moderate to full bodied with a moderate carbonation. No complaints here.

O: Not terrible, but this struck me as a bit harsh and unrefined. Pretty boozy. Kinda reminded me of Nyquil. The green kind. Color me disappointed.

Prost!

Photo of DimensionX
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of NorthCoastPranqster
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of mcsauter82
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of DudMan
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of bismarksays
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of msturek
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of Jlabs
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle from Total Wine Tampa FL for $3

Appearance - Dark brown colour with a large size frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, vanilla, coffee

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and vanilla. There is also quite a bit of a charred coffee type flavour and a light hoppiness.

Overall - Wow, a great mix of smooth flavours with a lingering bitter finish. A really satisfying beer that is a great sipper. Once again Sierra Nevada impresses.

Photo of MoorBeerPlz
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter glass…

On the pour, viscous black liquid that built a 2 finger head of creamy tan foam, dissipating into nice sticky foam and lacing on the sides of the glass and a little foam cap on the top.

Putting my nose to the glass, the aromatics were fairly light; a little coffee and roasted grains. After a good swirl, the chocolate, some fruity notes and a little hop presence is detected. I didn’t detect the alcohol right away but as this beer warms up, it’s one more thing to add to the list. So far so good.

On the taste, my first thoughts are “rich and thick” as I start tasting the roasted grains, coffee and chocolate coming through. As you work it around, the fruitiness, malt and the booze join in followed by a bitterness that does not detract from the overall character or balance. Damn good.

Seemed medium to medium +in body with a smooth as velvet feel. Well balanced group of flavors and a nice, bitter and boozy finish with a little alcohol warmth. Nicely carbonated as well. Sticky feeling that is not dry in any way.

Overall a pretty fine example of the style and a great effort by Sierra Nevada. While not a session beer, I would guess it pairs well with some foods and certainly is a great way to wind down a busy or stressful day. I will definitely be buying more of this and look forward to putting some aside to see how the tastes develop over time.
Cheers!

Photo of brentk56
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with an impressive khaki head perched atop the inky black liquid; sheets of lacing are left behind

Smell: Surprisingly fruity, with plum and cherry aromatics; roast and chocolate underneath

Taste: Though the roast and chocolate flavors jut out, the plum and cherry elements really build through the middle along with some licorice; after the swallow, both the fruit and licorice elements dominate the finish; alcohol is detectable as well

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: There are a lot of really nice elements in this beer; I would prefer more chocolate and a fuller mouthfeel but those are minor issues

Photo of Duffman79
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of craftaholic
3.74/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Absolutely pitch black. Even with a flashlight held against it there is no light getting through that barren void. Had a layer of creamy tan head that left a little lacing and had subtle legs.

S - There's a lot of alcohol in the nose. With that there is hints of rich chocolate, hops and dark grains

T - There's a very strong coffee flavoring and after that it's a true melting pot of nuances. There is vanilla, grape, chocolate, grain, even a touch of citrus. Alcohol is present especially in the aftertaste but the malt is there to help mellow it somewhat.

M - Creamy and rich. Surprisingly more carbonated than expected.

O - It's definitely bold in both a flavor way as well as in the booze. It's a good sipper for sure.

Photo of DarthGuitarHero
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of hayesjw
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of bigj0420
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of canders0927
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of moodyxc9
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of tastybeer
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep dark black and big fluffy head. All sorts of stringy patches cover the glass once it recedes. Aroma initially brings creamy sweetness. Then digging deeper there's caramel, tobacco, coffee, toffee, and a touch of something like black raspberry. Pretty straight forward Russian imperial style. Taste is milky caramel, chocolatey, a bit smokey, and bitter only subtly through the finish. Mouthfeel is key. Very velvety smooth. Like hot cocoa in beer form and cool of course. The higher ABV is totally hidden as well. I haven't been in a stout-porter/dark beer mood for awhile however this beer might be changing that.

Photo of Xandrose
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of IPAaron
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,996 ratings.