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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
93
outstanding

3,816 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,816
Reviews: 694
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 193
Gots: 723 | FT: 38
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: 3,816 | Reviews: 694 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dirty25
2.75/5  rDev -33.7%

Dirty25, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of appetiteforparis
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

appetiteforparis, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of liamt07
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle form Siciliano's, 12oz into a tulip - 2012 vintage.

Impenetrable black with a deep brown head. Creamy retention and a whole load of lace. Nose of dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, carmel, dark fruit liqueur notes. Light anise and a bit of alcohol. Relatively sweet, but spot on for what I enjoy in imperial stouts. Taste has heavy dark roasted character, dark chocolate, light tar, charcoal with some back end sweetness to prevent everything from getting away. Full feel, some alcohol warmth. Medium low carbonation. This do es well as is and could be great with some time.

liamt07, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of GetMeAnIPA
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into my dogfish signature glass.

A - midnight black. 1/2 inch of brown small buubled head that fades quickly, but appears again with a few swirls of the glass. No bubbles that I could see, but the beer is so black if there where I couldn't even see them.

S - licorice, coffee, roasted malts with a some sweetness and alcohol that pierces the nose.

T - I get an array of flavors. Roasted malts, coffee, slight coco. A little sweetness comes through in the middle with some bitterness on the back end. The bitterness fades 1/4 through the beer as the coffee and roasted malts take over.

M - very little carbonation. A little syrupy and viscous. I get a slight tingling on the tongue.

O - very solid. I like how there isn't too coffee or coco flavor and its balanced nicely between not being too sweet or bitter. The abv is well hidden. I get a perfect amount of warming but no alcohol burn. Sierra Nevada says this will
Age for years and I plan on aging a few. Interested how it will change.

GetMeAnIPA, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of michaeljasinski
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

michaeljasinski, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of dngilb
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is what I taste:
Coffee, chocolate, leather, vanilla, citrus, white pepper, golden kiwi skin, bergamot, zinc lozenge.

Mouthfeel: it's at the height of my viscosity tolerance level. It's not very carbonated, but it tingles the tongue nicely. It's more drinkable than many of the other Imperial Stouts. Some imp stouts I have a hard time drinking 12oz... I can finish this one, which is a plus in my book.

dngilb, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of ubufan2112
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

ubufan2112, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of mattbk
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black, thick, lighter head than I would have imagined.
S: Light roast, some hoppy pineyness. Would have liked more roast, would have liked a bit more sweetness.
T: Mmm, more sweetness here. A good amount of black barley here, definitely a good sized bite, a nice caramel middle, alcohol at the end, but not hot or overpowering. Not a lot of dark fruit here either. Mostly slight roast, sweetness, and a bit of alcohol. I appreciate the way they hid the alcohol in this 10%+ beer.
M: Medium-full, not very very full. The alcohol might be thinning it out a bit. Definitely not super drinkable, but not very heavy either.
O: A good RIS, not the best I've ever had, but solid. I would recommend it.

mattbk, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of WSGosset
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Deep black. The head is very modest and the lacing is fairly light. It is possible that I served it just a little bit too cold.

S: The smell is fantastic. A little bit subtle, but overall a nice balance between roasted malt and coffee, along with a pleasant hint of alcohol (just enough to know you are drinking an RIS without being overwhelming).

T: It tastes very much like it smells: delicious! In addition to a roasty coffee taste, I'm also getting a touch of caramel, especially as the beer begins to warm a bit. There is a noticeably bitter aftertaste.

M: Very creamy.

O: I've always loved SNPA so I may be a bit biased towards SN products in general, but this is an excellent beer. While I have yet to taste some of the harder-to-find stouts talked about on BA, I imagine that this beer measures up quite well, especially given its availability.

WSGosset, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

brandoman63, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of fisherbray
4/5  rDev -3.6%

fisherbray, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of tmcarter23
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

tmcarter23, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of Onenote81
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Grabbed a 4-pack of this when it first came out. Saved the final bottle for a review. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a jet black. No light penetrates this one. Small tan head. Nose is rich with booze, chocolate, roasted coffee, grape, vanilla. Hints of woodsy aromas on the finish.

Body is decadent and full. Rich velvety feel with a touch of carbonation on the back end. A nice malty backbone, with vanilla, chocolate syrup, a little booze, black licorice, dark fruits.

This one was rich and tasty. The alcohol snuck up on me at the tail end, but this one was one I enjoyed through and through. I hope to see this around often, as I would like to have stock of this one at all times.

Onenote81, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of cyrushire
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%

cyrushire, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of creepinjeeper
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

creepinjeeper, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev -3.6%

mjtiernan, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of purppy
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

purppy, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of Moose90
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 11/3/12 @ 7:35AM!
Tasted 1/14/12
12oz bottle into tulip glass

A – Pours a near opaque jet black with a thin medium-dark brown head. Leaves adequate lacing. Looks good for a RIS.

S – Coffee dark roasted, bitter dark chocolate, and a ton of black licorice on this one. A little bit of fresh cream and milkiness to it. No alcohol comes through here.

T – Pretty subdued for a RIS. No charcoal briquettes in this one. Good mild dark chocolate and coffee notes. The licorice and cream come through again but they are on the back burner of this complex brew.

M – Good carbonation, not an overwhelming amount of it, it helps bring a nice dryness and compliments the big dark malt profile.

O – A great RIS, not burnt and tarnished like some others. Not sweet but has nice licorice and chocolate notes. A solid offering, just wish it wasn't so darn hard to find on shelves.

Moose90, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of sevenarts
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Very dark black, dense and totally opaque. Tan head with some lacing.

S: Coffee, sweet chocolate, alcohol, a liitle boozey.

T/M: Rich coffee and chocolate up front, roasted malts, followed by boozey, warming alcohol on the back end. Thick and full bodied with a bit of a bite going down.

O: A very good imperial stout, dense and heavy and intense, and its ABV is really felt.

sevenarts, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of Bin33chef
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Bin33chef, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of Whimpers
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Whimpers, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of jifigz
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a pint glass

The appearance of this tenebrous brew is jet black with a nice creamy lighlty creamed coffee colored head. The head lingers for an average amount of time. No sunlight passed through this beer or changed its color when held up to the window. The aroma of this brew is rich and creamy chocolate, booze with hints of spicy hops, rich caramel and toffee and burnt toast. The flavor of this beer is hefty. It starts off rich and creamy with hints of a chocolate malt milkshake. The ending is riding a nice bitter note that lingers resides in the mouth for quite a while. The middle is rather complex. It transforms from rich and boozy chocolate to almost a bitter liquor like flavor that resounds with toasted malts. The end has a stale cigarette flavor in the mouth along with the bitterness. The MF is creamy yet slick, it is heavy enough to support such huge alcohol and flavor, yet certainly not too thick and is actually rather medium bodied.

A fantastic Imperial stout. Sierra Nevada pretty much always does it right.

jifigz, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of tobelerone
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very nice imperial from Sierra Nevada, well worth the wait. A quality effort that’s affordable and easily accessible to boot. Pours deep black with a smallish cream colored head; decent retention and a bit of patchy lace. Not the best looking example of the style but that’s nitpicking I suppose. Aroma of roasted, nearly charred malt, espresso, black licorice, baker’s chocolate. The flavor mirrors the nose closely; the roastiness is the prevalent note here, again black licorice or anise is present, but integrates well and isn’t overbearing; booze is well-hidden, sweetness is average for the style, some piney hops tidy things up in a fairly subtle way underneath. Far from cloying; in fact I would have enjoyed a bit more caramel, brown sugar and chocolate here. But it’s a well-meshed flavor, not too big, hits all the right notes while taking a bit of a middle of the road approach. Very drinkable and very appealing.

The body is moderately full and carbonation is medium; the feel has just a touch of creamy smoothness. Again, it’s not particularly massive, but it drinks like a charm. Overall a real winner. Not going to make anyone forget the heavy hitters but you could do a lot worse than grab a four pack of this for your stout fix.

tobelerone, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of MacStinson
4/5  rDev -3.6%

MacStinson, Jan 14, 2013
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,816 ratings.