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

3,133 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,133
Reviews: 621
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 133
Gots: 467 | FT: 32
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,133 | Reviews: 621 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bruno1187
bruno1187

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-16-2012 00:47:20 | More by bruno1187
Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
DrinkMoreBigBeers

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Bottle has a date of 285

A - Pours out thick deep dark brown, once in the glass it pitch black. Produces a nice finger worth of dark rich mocha head which dissipates rather fast leaving big bubbles along the glasses edge.

S - Right away I get a nice bold-sharp sweet bitter roast with dark chocolate, wood. No alcohol detected. A nice swirl of the beer in the glass really gets the aroma's going and is a must which helps release this beers nice bold nose. I could smell this all night!

T - Right away this one is creamy, with a rich dark roast, cocoa nibs, anise, slight raisins, bitterness in the finish that lingers. A rather nice sipper that delivers a massive flavor profile that keeps giving. Slight alcohol here but blends well with the rich flavors. Once I poured the yeast in it became more bold, and rather bitter. I suggest keep the last bit of yeast in the bottle.

M - This one is a full bodied smooth drinker, that does tingle the tongue from the bitterness. Carbonated well which keeps the flavors going over the palate. Some beers this full bodied leave a sticky residue but this one does not seem to.

O - I love SN and this one delivers. It is a sipper that is great in the cold weather season. It to bad it is hard to get a-hold of at this point in time. I believe this beer will become better with age because it has a pretty bitter aftertaste that kinda distracts from the dark flavors which I believe is from the hops. Also, this beer has some alcohol which will fade with age. It may get a higher rating when cellard for a while, but for now its just excellent. Cheers!

11-16-2012 00:05:23 | More by DrinkMoreBigBeers
Photo of jbaker67
jbaker67

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-16-2012 00:02:29 | More by jbaker67
Photo of popery
popery

California

4.18/5  rDev +1%

It's a really pretty stout. The head is a thick blanket of brown foam. Fine bubbles stick to the walls of the glass with each sip. The body is jet black. It's hard to see any color even at the edges of my glass. The aroma is full of chocolate and coffee. There's some caramel and roast beneath those initial notes. It smells rich and sweet. A touch of hops blends into the background. The taste is also quite good. Heavier on the roast and coffee than chocolate. Starts with lots of caramel and chocolate sweetness before the more bitter flavors take over. Mouthfeel is soft and full. Excellent. This is a great example of the style. I wish it was a bit more chocolatey and even less bitter, but I could see my score going up even higher upon subsequent tastings.

11-15-2012 05:35:41 | More by popery
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%

Poured into a goblet, there was a brief crest of mocha tinged dark tan foam that receded after a few minutes down to a creamy collar at the edge of the glass.

Deep roastiness in the aroma, slight ashy char, mild dry bakers chocolate, coffee.
Flavors follow suit, huge roasted malt, blackened and ashy. Bitter dark chocolate and mild coffee notes dominate. Long lasting flavors of roast and chocolate that linger into the aftertaste. As it warms, some hop greenery comes into the picture. Reminds me of new green shoots extending skyward post-forest fire. For being 10% it's fairly approachable for the style, though still a slow sipper. Very tasty and palate coating.

As with most Imperial Stouts, allow to warm up as much as possible to get the full range out of it.

Review #2700

11-15-2012 03:54:02 | More by emerge077
Photo of PrivateEquity
PrivateEquity

Kansas

4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-15-2012 03:39:34 | More by PrivateEquity
Photo of DocJitsu
DocJitsu

California

3.6/5  rDev -13%

Pours an opaque, nearly black with a short, quickly fading head. The color of the head is caramel with shades of mocha. A very nice looking beer. A shame the head dissipates so quickly. Usual dark roast malt and coffee aromas. Nothing remarkable or unique. Mouthfeel is viscous and creamy, helping the whole experience of the beer venture a little north of mediocrity. Flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, caramelized sugar, and plastic.

Addendum: as the beer warms it improves. Boldness emerges and becomes much more like a Russian Imperial Stout. A bit of a sour character that seems to accentuate the experience, but I wouldn't miss it if it weren't there. I feel the alcohol, so it must be there. I certainly don't taste it.

11-15-2012 02:36:54 | More by DocJitsu
Photo of dwtyler
dwtyler

California

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-15-2012 00:47:53 | More by dwtyler
Photo of eawolff99
eawolff99

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-14-2012 23:10:07 | More by eawolff99
Photo of avschmitt
avschmitt

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-14-2012 21:59:51 | More by avschmitt
Photo of nrombes
nrombes

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-14-2012 15:24:07 | More by nrombes
Photo of Horbar
Horbar

Rhode Island

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

11-14-2012 12:52:14 | More by Horbar
Photo of bigbeers84
bigbeers84

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -3.4%

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

Kentucky

3.78/5  rDev -8.7%

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.

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

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

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.

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

California

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

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

Missouri

4/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

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

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

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

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.4%

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

Ohio

4/5  rDev -3.4%

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

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

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

Oregon

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

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

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

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

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -3.4%

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

Mississippi

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

11-13-2012 17:00:32 | More by robmoak
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,133 ratings.