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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.

3,058 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,058
Reviews: 616
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 114
Gots: 444 | 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
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Ratings: 3,058 | Reviews: 616 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlexM


4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-06-2012 02:44:59 | More by AlexM
Photo of OldhouseRecs

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-06-2012 02:36:32 | More by OldhouseRecs
Photo of assman79


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

12-06-2012 02:35:16 | More by assman79
Photo of UNCCTDawg

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep black with darker coffee colored head. Not a lot of head and it fades quickly.

S: Smells great. Toffee sweet smell with a lot of roasted malts. Some alcohol but not overwhelming.

T: Starts off bitter for a RIS but it's not bad at all. Alcohol tastes is masked very well. Tastes just like it smells, roasted malts with a hint of coffee in the aftertaste.

M: More carbonation than i'd like, but still very smooth.

O: It's solid. To be readily available this one is a beer I'll go back to again. Very affordable and available. I think a BBA version of this would be phenomenal. Bravo Sieera Nevada, this is quality beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2012 01:46:41 | More by UNCCTDawg
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled November 2nd 2012.

A: Pours a real dark black with a 1 very dense finger khaki head. Dissipates over a minute or two leaving a thin film. No real lacing. Light barely gets through the edges.

S: Real nice dark chocolaty malt along with a sweet dark fruitiness. Can get some booze.

T: Real nice blend of chocolate malts, vanilla and a great roastiness. Little bit of bite from the alcohol but works. Raisin and fig from the malts also a coffeeish taste.

M: Smooth and velvety with a nice full body. Appropriate carbonation for the style. Could enjoy sipping on these all night.

Overall great bold stout from Sierra Nevada. Glad they are offering another stout as I've always enjoyed their other one. Hopefully I can manage to save one of these for a year.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2012 01:35:23 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of BHansen214


4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-05-2012 22:38:07 | More by BHansen214
Photo of bradfordjohnson


3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

12-05-2012 17:25:07 | More by bradfordjohnson
Photo of KSather


4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-05-2012 13:51:25 | More by KSather
Photo of LouDogg114


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

12-05-2012 04:38:32 | More by LouDogg114
Photo of mrebeka


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-05-2012 02:30:12 | More by mrebeka
Photo of ortie


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-05-2012 02:04:49 | More by ortie
Photo of fauxpunker

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

A: Pours black with quickly dissipating dark tan/brown head. Appears heavy but not thick or syrupy.
S: All malt here. Chocolate most prominent with a touch of vanilla. Nothing over powering but definitely enjoyable.
T: The chocolate taste is there as well as some vanilla. Really nice roastiness and bitterness in there, not acrid or over powering at all. Slight taste of alcohol on the finish, but not really biting. Very nice balance.
M: Nice and full. Not as thick or chewy as I was expecting. Low carbonation and clean.
O: Truly enjoyed drinking this.Great to sit back and sip. And for the price, a really nice buy. Would definitely get this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 01:43:24 | More by fauxpunker
Photo of Kerrie


4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-04-2012 18:29:54 | More by Kerrie
Photo of MikeEhrmantraut


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-04-2012 15:39:45 | More by MikeEhrmantraut
Photo of drabmuh


4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is black with a tan head, thin, small bubbles, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, a little boozy, a little roasty / malty. Smells nice.

Beer is medium in body, sweet, pretty nice for an off the shelf RIS. I'd have it again for sure. There is a mild sweetness, mild alcohol, nice bitterness, overall a nice beer. Yum.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 14:02:53 | More by drabmuh
Photo of BEERMILER12


4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a pitch black color with 2 fingers worth of brown head

S: Get some nice baker's chocolate, dark roasted malts, hints of coffee and alcohol

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with some bitter-sweet dark chocolate and coffee along with the dark roasted malts. Alcohol pokes its head out slightly, but very well hidden for the most part. Hops kick in towards the end and add some more bitterness

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy

O: This one is right up there with Stone IRS and Old Raspy as far as RIS's go. Serves as a good night cap or fireside sipper. And as with all SN brews, a great price-point

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 07:16:54 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of BEERchitect


4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With incredible power and the balance of flavor to boot, Sierra Nevada continues to advance beyond the stalwart taste of their flagship prominence and into the sadistic darker, mysterious, and imperial realms.

Narwhal pours with a creamy viscous character and inky nearest black coloration that's imaginable. The stratification of foam pulls from the beer underneath and tops the beer with a whipped topping-like blanket of foam that retains in lumbered fashion and with intermittent pockets of lace.

Bold roasted notes rise from the snifter and floods the nose with the memories of espresso, cocoa, campfire smoke, dark fruit, and slightly scorched molasses. Complex alcohols give a tinge of spice and ethanol and foreshadows the power of the taste and textures to come.

Again, "powerful" becomes the operative descriptor in taste as the most supple of sips explode on the tongue with robust sweetness of molasses laden roast. Espresso, cocoa, heavy toast, and burnt embers converge at mid palate of sweetness and char. Shortly after, the sweetness breaks apart and allows for the fruity taste of black licorice, cherry, and currant.

Calling this stout "full bodied" seems to undersell it entirely. this is a massively creamy and heavy handed ale that envelops the mouth with heavy coats of malt, roast, and seeping alcohols. Its larger than life "charred" persona extends well beyond middle palate and only recedes as the roast-derived bitterness and heated alcohols supplant it. A lingering finish of roast and fruit extend well into the next luscious sip.

Narwal is a decedent ale that's sure to be a staple all winter long in the cabinet of all lovers of stout. With its taste that should be reserved for those special occasions, there's the price of the ale that makes it somewhat "everyday". It's simply a low-guilt, guilty pleasure.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2012 05:56:27 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of kirbmeist


4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

12-04-2012 05:13:21 | More by kirbmeist
Photo of lighthabit


4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type : Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Poured a bit warmer than I probably should have.

Appearance: Black. Well, almost black, just a tiny touch of deep, creamy brown, but not a lick of light getting through here. Not much in the way of lacing, which bummed me a bit.

Mouthfeel: I'm new to imperials, but seems about right. A bit sticky, but pleasantly so. Leaves itself behind in a smooth manner, a bit thicker than the Black Butte or Obsidian that I would use for reference.

Smell & Taste: I keep thinking of black licorice, which is good, because I love licorice. I think I'm missing some of the chocolate/coffee thing because at the temp at which I poured it, the alcohol is making its presence known (a bit more than I'd care for). I'm looking forward to trying one from the fridge later in the week, maybe late at night with some swiss, to see if more flavors make themselves known.

Overall: I like this beer. I don't think it's a go-to for a lot of evenings, but something I'd like to keep on hand for that once-in-a-while change. Side note: one of my favorites is SN's Torpedo. This is worlds away from Torpedo, but enjoyable none-the-less.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 04:23:25 | More by lighthabit
Photo of Mitchster


4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$2.69 for a 12oz bottle @ Bevco. Brewed with Two-row Pale, Caramel, Chocolate, Honey, Carafa malts & Roasted barley. Hopped with Magnum & Challenger for bittering and Challenger for aroma.
OG=24.2 Plato, FG=6.6 Plato, 60 IBU's, 10.2% ABV.

Pours out to a thick near black, forming a large sticky creamy dark brown head like espresso crema, with superior retention and sticky lacing. Mild to moderate carbonation, ~2.0 carbs. Nose of burnt marshmallows, black walnut, prunes, green leafy herbal hops and a little bourbon (fusels?). Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a dense syrupy body. The taste is a recap of the aroma...prune juice, bittersweet chocolate, a touch of french press, black walnuts and burnt marshmallows. There are some moderately boozy fusels in the middle, but they quickly dissipate by the finish which is mostly hops, wood ash and dark pipe tobacco. Bitterness is well-balanced for a RIS with a nice lingering bitterness in the aftertaste (probably the best part of the beer).

At first blush, the nose and look of this beer reminded me of Bells Expedition Stout, however once tasted, it's just not as cleanly fermented. This is a good RIS on par with Blackout or Victory , but just isn't on the same level as Expedition, Founders, or Siberian Night.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 02:30:20 | More by Mitchster
Photo of JaysusJr


2/5  rDev -51.7%

12-04-2012 02:24:29 | More by JaysusJr
Photo of Zanico


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-04-2012 01:52:29 | More by Zanico
Photo of stabbingcontest


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-04-2012 01:32:09 | More by stabbingcontest
Photo of Katylou7


3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

12-04-2012 00:42:22 | More by Katylou7
Photo of Element1290

Rhode Island

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

12-03-2012 19:12:41 | More by Element1290
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,058 ratings.