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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

3,066 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,066
Reviews: 616
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 115
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: 3,066 | Reviews: 616 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kirbmeist
kirbmeist

Florida

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

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

Oregon

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
Mitchster

Michigan

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
JaysusJr

Illinois

2/5  rDev -51.7%

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

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

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

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

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

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

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

Rhode Island

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

12-03-2012 19:12:41 | More by Element1290
Photo of jdmandel
jdmandel

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-03-2012 19:08:45 | More by jdmandel
Photo of bastu
bastu

Tennessee

3/5  rDev -27.5%

12-03-2012 18:13:01 | More by bastu
Photo of GPHarris
GPHarris

Alabama

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a one finger thick creamy coffee-colored head into a snifter that left great lacing throughout. the body was dark black.
s - chocolate, coffee with a hint of piney hops.
t - roasted coffee, burnt chocolate, piney hops.
m - thick and viscous.
o - another terrific west coast take on the RIS. really loved this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 16:49:56 | More by GPHarris
Photo of danp14
danp14

Michigan

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-03-2012 14:58:07 | More by danp14
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-03-2012 14:30:21 | More by Davepoolesque
Photo of ao125
ao125

Virginia

2.7/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving Type : 2012 bottle. Poured from a bottle into a Duvel snifter glass

Appearance: Pretty standard really for an imperial stout. Black.

Mouthfeel: Not too thin, not too thick. A little more thin than I'm used to for the style, but not undrinkably so.

Smell & Taste: I'm actually going to group these together. My main problem with this beer is the hopping. Whatever hops were used, are not good. At least not in this style of beer. I feel like Mikkeller uses the same hops in Black Hole... which I'm also not a fan of.

Overall: Overall, I'm not impressed by this beer and I think I'll leave it to the fanboys. All I know is that for me to want to drink this, I need for the hop character to be almost completely gone... and for the price point for the 4-pack, I can buy a lot of other things.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 14:19:57 | More by ao125
Photo of HoistinBrews
HoistinBrews

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

12-03-2012 03:34:40 | More by HoistinBrews
Photo of BYOFB
BYOFB

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

12-03-2012 02:57:22 | More by BYOFB
Photo of Hanzo
Hanzo

Virginia

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-03-2012 02:32:27 | More by Hanzo
Photo of BTHU
BTHU

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

12-03-2012 02:01:00 | More by BTHU
Photo of ABVerageJoe
ABVerageJoe

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -21.5%

12-03-2012 01:59:12 | More by ABVerageJoe
Photo of rodlavers
rodlavers

Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a pint glass, Narwhal pours about as black as you can get, with a thick and foamy mocha head, and lots of lacing.

Roasted malt and coffee aromas are dominant, but there is some chocolate in there as well.

Really roasted malt is the winner here, very prominent and present, with roasted coffee beans in there as well, just not too strong, which is a good thing, leaving out some bitterness. Taste is really nice.

Feel is the best part, super smooth and easy to drink, with amazing roast aftertaste.

Overall I am glad I finally had a chance to do a proper review; last time, I gave it a 4/5, but that was based on a 2-3oz pour after hours of drinking IPA's and other stouts, which was an injustice. Narwhal is a good and hearty stout. Cheers.

A few add-on comments. Slightly altering my review based on a my current view of Narwhal, which I justify by my evolving pallet -- no beer ever tastes EXACTLY the same each time

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 00:36:39 | More by rodlavers
Photo of soccerfancooch
soccerfancooch

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

12-02-2012 23:47:31 | More by soccerfancooch
Photo of tenacioustomato
tenacioustomato

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-02-2012 22:34:30 | More by tenacioustomato
Photo of HavasuDG
HavasuDG

Arizona

3/5  rDev -27.5%

12-02-2012 21:46:45 | More by HavasuDG
Photo of AC-Mivsek
AC-Mivsek

Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

12-02-2012 21:16:19 | More by AC-Mivsek
Photo of mattcrill
mattcrill

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

<< Review #700 >>

Aroma: Coffee, dry cocoa, and roasty malt characteristics up front. No fruity esters that tend to be more common in English versions. I get a bit of pleasant graininess that reminds me of oatmeal and maris otter malt.

Appearance: Inky black pour with a large tan batter-like head.

Flavor: Follows the aroma but there is more of a dark fruity flavor that reminds me of fig and raisins to match the coffee and cocoa character. Slight earthy bitterness that helps offset some of the malty character and just a touch of chocolate sweetness. Finish is pleasant and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slight dark grain roasted astringency which is pleasant and appropriate for the style. No alcohol heat which is surprising given the ABV.

Overall impression: Immensely drinkable given the style and size of this beer. A perfect 700th review. One of my favorite styles and one of my favorite breweries so this was appropriate. I hope they make more of this.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 20:56:26 | More by mattcrill
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,066 ratings.