1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

3,067 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,067
Reviews: 616
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 115
Gots: 445 | FT: 29
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,067 | Reviews: 616 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewtus
brewtus

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter

Drank on 11/22/12

A- pours black with a dark tan head
S- a bit metallic, roasts, malty, a bit of chocolate
T- starts with a nice bitterness, hints of dark fruit and chocolate. There's a nice dark chocolate dry finish. I get a little smokiness. The alcohol is well hidden
M- for the abv, it's quite drinkable but has a bit less thickness than your bigger RISs, certainly has great texture
O- I usually like most Sierra Nevada beers, but I'm not usually overly impressed by most of the ones the brew. This one was really great. It was a lot thicker than I figured it would be and had a smoothness throughout. It's an easy drinking stout and I'm glad I grabbed a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 00:19:09 | More by brewtus
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle, 2012 batch with a stamp of 2279210:52. Sampled on December 29, 2012.

The pour is very dark brown to black but under the light there is this kind of maroon tint. The moderate tan head is silky and soft and settles down after a few moments. There is a lot of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is of dark malts with coffee esters and a vague hop bitterness hanging around in the background.

The body is bold and smooth.

The taste begins with dark malts and yeast with a resounding bitterness balancing it off at the end. The bitterness lingers and burns slightly but the alcohol is well-integrated. This is a highly recommended stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2012 20:28:56 | More by puboflyons
Photo of wembly13
wembly13

West Virginia

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-29-2012 20:27:51 | More by wembly13
Photo of valkyre65
valkyre65

Texas

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-29-2012 19:18:05 | More by valkyre65
Photo of MrRockstar
MrRockstar

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-29-2012 18:40:24 | More by MrRockstar
Photo of MSandahl23
MSandahl23

Indiana

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-29-2012 16:26:00 | More by MSandahl23
Photo of BPudd
BPudd

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

12-29-2012 02:52:13 | More by BPudd
Photo of DeschutesFan
DeschutesFan

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

12-28-2012 22:47:53 | More by DeschutesFan
Photo of iL0VEbeer
iL0VEbeer

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-28-2012 18:13:43 | More by iL0VEbeer
Photo of RelentlessLefty
RelentlessLefty

Iowa

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

12-28-2012 17:30:21 | More by RelentlessLefty
Photo of Danny1217
Danny1217

Florida

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-28-2012 17:04:26 | More by Danny1217
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

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

12oz bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.

Pours a deep black colour, with a fine, slightly inconsistent pale brown head. Carbonation is fine, but the body itself looks surprisingly light and fluid. Some patchy carbonation. Looks fine except for the body—this is the beer you can really make thick, oily and chewy, and it seems this hasn't happened here.

Nose is wonderful. Big sweet nutty characters with deep chocolate hints and a lilt of buttered popcorn. Slight hint of liquorice on the back, perhaps more like liquorice ice cream. It's all really quite sweet and fragrant, and very pleasant.

Taste is also very good: here the sweetness is tamed somewhat (perhaps due to the slightly lighter body), and the liquorice comes through a little bit more. This leaves the roasted characters to make a bit more of an entrance, with some mild coffee and toasted grain overtones. Perhaps I was unfair on the lightness in the body: it's perhaps a purposeful (and rather clever) stroke to enliven the palate and keep the sweet richness from overpowering everything.

The feel is very smooth, even despite the lightness, and matches very nicely with the rest of the beer.

Yep. Pretty exceptional stuff here, although the mastery and skill of Sierra Nevada should have stopped surprising me years ago. This beer gives the impression that it was designed exactly this way—it perhaps doesn't take the risks that could make it superlative, but you understand that this beer from the moment of its conception was going to be very good indeed.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 07:02:18 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of TrayD
TrayD

Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

12-28-2012 06:00:19 | More by TrayD
Photo of Rau71
Rau71

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-28-2012 03:57:13 | More by Rau71
Photo of Plasmamonkey
Plasmamonkey

Japan

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

12-28-2012 02:55:30 | More by Plasmamonkey
Photo of JOrtt
JOrtt

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-28-2012 02:24:34 | More by JOrtt
Photo of dunix
dunix

Vermont

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-28-2012 02:01:39 | More by dunix
Photo of JCaweinstein
JCaweinstein

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black with a one finger tan head. The head has some big bubbles forming and dissipates to a thin layer fairly quickly.
This smells of cocoa and coffee throughout the drinking experience and also picks up the hint of alcohol as the beer gets closer to room temperature.
This stout is all about malts and it is delicious. I'm getting dark chocolate, roasted malt and coffee. It is a rather sweet tasting stout and is perfect for the cold night I'm drinking it on.
This is a full bodied beer that is smooth up front and picks up the alcohol heat as it warms.
It's about time that that Sierra Nevada made an Imperial Stout! This is an easily available, top notch stout by one of Americas finest breweries.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 00:56:11 | More by JCaweinstein
Photo of allstar255
allstar255

California

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-27-2012 23:17:24 | More by allstar255
Photo of


3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

You rated this beer. Consider writing a review.

12-27-2012 22:44:44 | More by
Photo of losdizzel
losdizzel

Oklahoma

4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great brew from Sierra Nevada brewing company .
Poured into Sam Adams glass .
Very very black and thickish head disapates quickly then lacing left behind .
smells of sharp alcohol bight and molasses .
Taste thin ,and sweet ,to pour soo thick .
stays on the back of the throat ,53 degrees
Tart tangy and well rounded plesantly warming
very nice beer .
top notched Imperial Stout one of my favorite styles .

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 22:23:36 | More by losdizzel
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

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

2012, 12 ounce bottle, allowed to warm quite a bit.

Pours near black, dark tan mini head, tiny bubble film, slight collar and nice fine low sheeting with strands of lacing.

Nose is loaded with dark chocolate, and mild coffee.

Very tasty, ejoyable and smooth RIS. Waves of chocolate, just ground fresh coffee, as well as some vanilla sweetness. Velvety smooth on the tongue and coating the mouth. Put it all together and this is truly great stuff.

Went prefectly with a chocolate Xmass desert bon bon kinda thing

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 19:26:05 | More by Billolick
Photo of ToasterChef
ToasterChef

Maine

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cellar temperature bottle poured into a small snifter.

It is a black beer with a small brown foam head. Lots of foam and film left behind when I swirl my glass.

It is has a big roasted malt aroma with some hints of chocolate. There is a s lightly boozy quality to the nose, but it isn't off-putting.

This is a very roasty beer! Lots of roasted, nearly burnt malts. A good amount of alcohol in the finish helps this beer feel very warm. There are some cocoa flavors that can be tasted once you get past the roasted malts.

As I said above, the beer is very warming. It has a small but sticky film that retains a small amount of sweetness. and a touch of burnt malts. The body is thick and carbonation is low.

This is a great winter Imperial stout. It's strong and warming and not too sweet. the roasted flavors make me want to drink this in front of an open fire. I'll get more of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 19:23:01 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of musicman7070
musicman7070

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-27-2012 16:48:58 | More by musicman7070
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours black/very dark brown, topped with a couple fingers of rich mocha head. This retains with a smooth ½ finger, leaving back a robust and sudsy looking cascade of patchy lacing. The aroma smells of chocolate fudge, coffee, dark cherries, a touch of licorice and some spicy sweetness from the alcohol. This smells delicious.

The taste is pretty aggressive with flavor. Bitter citric hops spread out, mingling with sweet notes of cocoa and caramel, before things segue into ripe dark fruit across the back. Roasted coffee character is scattered throughout, leaving zippy espresso on the finish and then finally a deep lingering charred feel. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a firm prickliness that is overlaid on top of a slick chewiness underneath. You get just the right amount of beefy warmth from that 10% ABV here, which hangs just a touch of lingering fusel spice and sweetness on the tongue after each sip.

For an off-the-shelf and reasonably priced RIS from a major brewery, this was pretty damn solid! There is lots of flavor and complexity here and this just feels like it’s going to age marvelously over the years. I need to grab some more of this for the cellar before it’s gone.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 15:35:01 | More by Kegatron
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,067 ratings.