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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.

3,071 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,071
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
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Ratings: 3,071 | Reviews: 616 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bigbeers84


4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-14-2012 10:55:05 | More by bigbeers84
Photo of deadonhisfeet


3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottling. Poured from a bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. There's a ton of carbonation here. I get a massive head about 3-4 fingers thick without even pouring it very harshly. Nice lacing as the head dies down. It's hard to nose this beer with all that foam, but I do get some nice roasted notes, espresso, and a touch of dark fruit.

The beer has a full body, creamy feel, and a very traditional RIS flavor profile. Big bready malt notes up front that quickly get bitter as roasty, burnt toast and fruit flavors join in. Lots of bitter coffee and chocolate in this one and very little sweetness, save for the front of the palate. The finish is quite long and satisfying and leaves a lingering roasty flavor.

Overall, I expected this beer to be average and I was pleasantly surprised. It is a well-constructed RIS, though just a little bitter for my taste.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2012 10:48:58 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of genitempo


3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - From bottle to glass, pours chunky, inked body with a stained brown head. Melted lace.

S - Nothing overbearing, subtle caramel and malt, lightly toasted on the nose.

T - Paradoxical for a RIS. I actually enjoyed this beer at a colder temperature, in the first few sips. The taste of dark chocolate and caramel was very well-formed and crisp initially. Once the temp hit to standard drinking temps for an RIS, the haughtiness in the booze was almost overbearing, and a chalkiness hit the palate.

MF - Why describe? With this style, you can't fuck this up.

O - I'm in a bit of bind with this brew. The ABV sits between two of my favorite RIS (Ten Fidy and GD Yeti). You would think it would take some of the better qualities of both of these beers, but it fails. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the beer (It's a heavy stout, after all), but I will be aging a couple bottles just to see if maturity is what this beer needs all along.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2012 05:33:54 | More by genitempo
Photo of Strychn9ne


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-14-2012 04:05:55 | More by Strychn9ne
Photo of zeff80


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

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of dark chocolate and roasted malt. There was a touch of pine.

T - Great blend of dark chocolate, burnt molasses, toffee and roasted malt. A slight piney bitterness added balance.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a really nice Russian Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2012 03:59:25 | More by zeff80
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours black with three fingers of brown head that fades into a frothy ring with decent lacing.

S: Roasted malts dominate with semi-sweet chocolate and slight coffee notes. There are some faint licorice notes towards the finish with a sweet charred aroma.

T: Roasted malts dominate here as well. Bitter chocolate and coffee are also present with a robust, charred finish and light alcohol burn. Delicious.

M: Thick body with medium carbonation, this beer is a bit more carbonated than most imperial stouts, but it goes well with the robust flavors.

O: A surprisingly good imperial stout. Very robust and flavorful without being too sweet or too bitter. Quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2012 03:37:02 | More by n2185
Photo of zapahoppa


4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-14-2012 03:09:16 | More by zapahoppa
Photo of Envelopes


4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-14-2012 02:42:15 | More by Envelopes
Photo of TheTinDoor


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-14-2012 02:01:10 | More by TheTinDoor
Photo of oregone


3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

11-13-2012 22:31:10 | More by oregone
Photo of seplo


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-13-2012 21:43:48 | More by seplo
Photo of CAPorter


4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-13-2012 19:16:57 | More by CAPorter
Photo of robmoak


3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

11-13-2012 17:00:32 | More by robmoak
Photo of gshak


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-13-2012 15:36:15 | More by gshak
Photo of tbizzle0


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-13-2012 07:35:23 | More by tbizzle0
Photo of rolandboy


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-13-2012 04:27:30 | More by rolandboy
Photo of bump8628


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-13-2012 03:59:17 | More by bump8628
Photo of bum732


3.05/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

S: Dry, roasty cocoa and coffee. Slight vanilla.

L: Thick, viscous and black. Tan head that dissipates quickly.

T: Very dry, roasty stout. Coffee and dry cocoa like flavors dominate. Slight coffee sweetness with slight dark fruits. Finishes quite dry with residual cocoa sweetness.

M: Medium full mouthfeel, medium low carbonation. Alcohol fairly well hidden.

A very dry, roasty RIS. Reminds me a lot of Old Rasputin. A nice change to a lot of sweet RIS's, but i feel like its a little one noted. Should be interesting what a little age does to this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2012 03:47:53 | More by bum732
Photo of Durge


3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This imperial stout is a nearly jet black color with a nice light brown head and good lacing. The aroma offers clean, muted malt, nothing prolific. The flavor is full of thick malt and medicinal grass bite, mineral water and charcoal blended into a unique mouthful of stout. Sharp malty goodness, and not much else to say. Full bodied I'd say with a somewhat oily feel. Very tiny bubbles for a subtle but adequate carbonation. Quality stuff though not something I would have to revisit. Classy brew none the less.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2012 03:09:49 | More by Durge
Photo of rab53


4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-13-2012 02:21:02 | More by rab53
Photo of oldedog


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-13-2012 01:24:51 | More by oldedog
Photo of Craigory

South Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a growler filled at Green's Piney Grove in Columbia, SC. Poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours thick black, with two-fingers creamy mocha head from a vigorous pour. No light gets through here; the head sticks around for a while and leaves lots of spotty lacing as I drink the beer down. This is a pretty RIS.

S- I get lots of booze on the nose, along with a bit of piney hops and dark, bitter chocolate. Hints of roasted malt and coffee here and there.

T- A little hops bitterness on the front end, quickly followed by roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and a little coffee. The 10.2% ABV comes through as well. The Narwhal follows all the standard RIS notes; it's not terribly complex, but it is tasty.

M- Thick and creamy, a tad short of outright syrupy, with just the right amount of carbonation for the style. It has a fairly dry finish with a bit of alcohol burn in the throat.

O- Sierra Nevada has proffered a great little Russian Imperial Stout. It's not the best RIS out there, but it is a great value and I'd put it up there almost with Stone's RIS. I might try picking up a 4-pack of bottles so I can age this and see how it develops into next year.

Serving type: growler

11-13-2012 01:06:20 | More by Craigory
Photo of davewlfpckfan29


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-13-2012 00:53:11 | More by davewlfpckfan29
Photo of FEUO

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-12-2012 21:22:32 | More by FEUO
Photo of NHSTEVE

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

11-12-2012 21:06:57 | More by NHSTEVE
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,071 ratings.