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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

3,025 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,025
Reviews: 615
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 111
Gots: 441 | 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: 3,025 | Reviews: 615 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dominic4beer
dominic4beer

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%

01-11-2013 05:18:16 | More by dominic4beer
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage poured in to tulip glass.

A - Black with half a finger of medium brown head.

S - A huge roast aroma up front with some coffee and a hint of smoke.

T - Very bold and flavorful right away. Starts with a big roast presence with some char. A big hop presence enters mid-palate along with a warming alcohol presence and hints of cocoa and licorice. The finish is dry and bitter with a lingering pine flavour from the hopping and becomes almost sticky a few seconds after the swallow.

M - Medium to full body. Creamy. Light carbonation. Somewhat sticky at times.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2013 03:07:12 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of Kendo
Kendo

New York

4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body looks thick; it's black with a half-finger light-brown head that settles quickly. Some splotches of lace cling to the side of the glass after each sip.

S: Very roasty - roasted barley malt and dark chocolate. As it warms up a bit, the roastiness takes a back seat to the chocolate.

T: Big RIS-type flavors up front: roasted barley malt, roasted coffee beans, charcoal and chocolate - both cocoa/milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Finishes with chocolatey flavors followed by a bitter taste of char/charcoal. Alcohol heat is noted, though more in the feel, as heat going down the chute, than in the taste. Lingering minerally taste of burnt charcoal provides bitter balance to offset the malty flavors up front. As it warms and the palate adjusts to that bitterness, the chocolate becomes more pronounced at the finish, which I like.

M: Definitely full-bodied. Carbonation is modest.

O: Good stuff, as per usual from SN. More roasty than I prefer in my stouts, especially when cold - it's almost Imperial Porter-like in that regard - but not off-putting in any way. Sure, I've had better stouts, but for the price ($10.49 for a 4-pack), I'm not unhappy with this new release.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2013 02:27:25 | More by Kendo
Photo of kirchy
kirchy

New York

4/5  rDev -3.4%

01-11-2013 01:48:07 | More by kirchy
Photo of BlakeL
BlakeL

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

01-11-2013 00:34:13 | More by BlakeL
Photo of aarobertson
aarobertson

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

01-10-2013 12:22:08 | More by aarobertson
Photo of pianoman511
pianoman511

New York

1/5  rDev -75.8%

01-10-2013 05:54:56 | More by pianoman511
Photo of spry
spry

Michigan

2.5/5  rDev -39.6%

01-10-2013 04:35:28 | More by spry
Photo of leobageo
leobageo

California

4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Glass: Footed Pilsener

Appearance: Black, opaque with a solid tan head, rising to about 1cm, which takes about a 1min to dissipate. Followed by a fair lacing.

Smell: Definitely dark fruits, cocoa nibs, and light barely roasted coffee notes. Hops of the western US type.

Taste: Again the dark fruits, and cocoa nibs. However, the coffee and malts are more roasted on the taste. The bitterness comes from this, rather than the hops, as one would expect from a stout.

Mouthfeel: Similar to a slightly-watered syrup, but still creamy. Not as creamy as Stone's. No diacetyl. Slight carbonation.

Overall: Pretty decent value. Came in a four-pack, meaning you can share. Great for the season of stouts. If you like roasted malty notes, then this is good. I happen to be in that category.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 03:50:06 | More by leobageo
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into Captain Lawrence tulip.

Appearance: Long lasting frothy tan head. Several large lacing streaks. Black.

Smell: Cascade hops with an undercurrent of roasted malt. Straightforward, good. P.S. Apologies if the beer doesn't actually have Cascades in it. [edit: checking online shows me that Challenger hops were used, which--upon reading their characteristics--is a testament to Sierra Nevada's skill at using hops. They indeed do smell and taste like a citrusy version of Willamette / Northern Brewer. Great stuff]

Taste: Cocoa and roasted malt up front, underlying fruitiness in back, roasted malt bitterness in the finish (oily hop aftertaste). Flavor takes a long time to play itself out, which along with the almost-velvety mouthfeel makes every sip a delight. Solidly above average.

High ABV very well hidden--drinks so smooth that halfway through the glass you really feel a punch from the 10+% ABV. Great Winter beer, and while it doesn't wrench out as much flavor from all that alcohol as some other, superior beers (say, Hoppin Frog's BORIS), it does its job.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Creamy. Not as silken as Fritz and Ken's, but closer to that godly stout-feel than, say, Old Rasputin, which is humdrum in comparison. Moderate carbonation. Nice mild dryness at the end.

Overall: Great value. Well done feel, and a ton of flavor. For me, it comes off as a bit of a journeyman beer: straightforward cascade hops and roasted malt in the nose and most of the flavor, with some really exceptional mouthfeel and subtle estery flavor here and there.

Like Hoptimum and Bigfoot, a seasonal that should make value-minded beer drinkers very happy.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 03:44:06 | More by Pahn
Photo of okcommuter
okcommuter

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

01-10-2013 03:23:02 | More by okcommuter
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a matching Sierra Nevada snifter. Big thanks go to Kegatron for gifting me with some of this. The brew pours black with a khaki colored head that froths up with more than a finger that is silky and paints the wall of the glass with a full webby pattern of lacing effect. When held to the light, the brew shows some ruby clarity faintly around the edges.

The aroma displays plenty of roast imparting faint notes of coffee, chocolate, earth, char and hints of citrus to fruity hops. The alcohol is present with a bit of fruity ester. When swirled, a bit of cheesiness and sulfur emerges with some mineral components. Overall though, this is a fine smelling brew for more than 10%.

The taste includes the previously mentioned dry roasted graininess that imparts flavors of coffee, and roasty earth. A bit leathery with the most mild touch of dark fruity alcohol notes. Some hop character is present giving this a touch of citrus and complimenting fruity to pine notes. The aftertaste has a bit of baker's chocolate included. As the brew warms up, that 10% alcohol starts to become readily noticeable with an almost neutral solvent burn across the tongue.

This is a medium bodied offering with a modest amount of carbonation. It is relatively smooth and easy drinking for something above 10%. I think Sierra Nevada was well overdue in putting a RIS into their regular lineup. This one fills the void in their catalog quite nicely. I would and will drink this one again when it is made available to me. Thank you for sharing Heath!

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 02:56:18 | More by stakem
Photo of Buster
Buster

Oklahoma

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

01-10-2013 02:41:45 | More by Buster
Photo of TX-Badger
TX-Badger

Texas

4/5  rDev -3.4%

01-10-2013 02:33:18 | More by TX-Badger
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

01-10-2013 01:36:45 | More by THECPJ
Photo of DRyan
DRyan

Texas

2.93/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

2012 Narwhal poured in a Guiness pint glass

A: Looks like you average Imperial Stout, or regular stout really. Has a nice dark head that receded slowly and left some lacing on the glass, but not really as much as I would expect from a IS
S: There's something about the scent I really don't get along with. It's got the roasty heavy malty smells I expect from an IS, but there's something else there I really can't put my finger on that is really not working for me.
T: It's a bit different, maybe more aggressively hopped than your average stout. According to SN, "Featuring incredible depth of malt flavor, rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke," but all I really got was the roasted grain and maybe a bit of a hint of coffee, as well as the hop bitterness
M: A bit thin for a stout really, but not bad
D: This is not a bad beer, but not a great one either. For the price, and with the other two entries in the "High Gravity" series from SN that I really like a lot, I expected a lot more from it.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 01:06:32 | More by DRyan
Photo of randylangford
randylangford

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

01-10-2013 00:23:51 | More by randylangford
Photo of BeerManDan
BeerManDan

California

4.61/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a thick black brew, with a little dark tan foam and no lace.

The smell of deep roasted malts and dark roasted sweet coffee, with a hint of alcoholic chocolate, filled the nose with a pleasant alcoholic aroma.

The flavor was of a slightly bitter coffee and roasted malts taste, with a hint of dark chocolate on the finish. This Russian Imperial Stout has a long pleasant aftertaste. Not overly bitter and the high alcohol and flavors have a very pleasant taste.

I'm back for a case next time out to BEVMO.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 23:11:23 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

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

Delaware

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

01-09-2013 15:02:48 | More by BeerThursdays
Photo of Brunite
Brunite

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

01-09-2013 14:58:13 | More by Brunite
Photo of CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros

Australia

3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours black as the night with a large, dark tan head.
Nose shows chocolate, heavy roast, soft coffee. Also some light booze and a hint of wood smoke.
Heavy roasted flavours too, some chocolate and a fair bit of booze.
Nice creamy carbonation.
Would be even better if the booze wasn't so full-on.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 11:44:19 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of YogiBeer
YogiBeer

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

01-09-2013 04:05:22 | More by YogiBeer
Photo of CORKSCREWFISH
CORKSCREWFISH

Illinois

4/5  rDev -3.4%

01-09-2013 03:25:49 | More by CORKSCREWFISH
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

01-09-2013 03:06:27 | More by mothman
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,025 ratings.