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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.

3,117 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,117
Reviews: 620
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 131
Gots: 458 | FT: 31
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: 3,117 | Reviews: 620 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +7.5%

A - pitch black with a short, dense, brown, foamy head

S - roasted malt, anise, chocolate, alcohol, caramel

T - roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, faint anise, licorice, some faint bitterness

M - full bodied, smooth, warm, well carbonated

This is a solid, delicious stout with a great flavor profile. I feel like I could drink a lot of this even at 10%. It has a great malt character and the hops are noticeable but balancing. This is just an all around good beer.

11-10-2012 20:22:43 | More by tdm168
Photo of scott2269


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-10-2012 19:35:44 | More by scott2269
Photo of rlee1390


4.1/5  rDev -1%

A-Black, some carbonation, one finger brown head.

S-Roasted malt, slight chocolate, some coffee as well.

T-Very malt heavy, dark chocolate, coffee, some burnt notes. Mild Bitterness in the finish.

M-Medium to heavy bodied, some carbonation, smooth.

O-Glad to see Sierra Nevada making an Imperial Stout. Now to try aging some.

11-10-2012 16:09:15 | More by rlee1390
Photo of GringoKid


4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-10-2012 13:22:53 | More by GringoKid
Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-10-2012 11:11:46 | More by ZombiesAteMyDog
Photo of BFick


4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

11-10-2012 05:48:37 | More by BFick
Photo of xacidx


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-10-2012 04:44:18 | More by xacidx
Photo of beer2day

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +7.5%

Dark, inky black pour with no light coming through at all. 1 finger of darker mocha head, with light retention. Thick lace sheets all around the glass.

Lots of roast malt, sweet milk, bits of toffee and caramel, mocha, vanilla, medium roast coffee, and a touch of citrus hops. Complex and well done.

A bit more coffee forward as it hits the tongue, but not aggressive. Chocolate malt takes over, but again doesn't over assert. Citrus fights through the coffee and chocolate bitters in the finish to make its presence known. Some sweetness here, but chocolate, coffee, and citrus dominate that.

Feel is a bit thin. Wish it had more malt backbone.

Next to Celebration, my favorite SN offering.

11-10-2012 04:20:33 | More by beer2day
Photo of Phyllisia


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-10-2012 04:10:51 | More by Phyllisia
Photo of Chokobo


3/5  rDev -27.5%

11-10-2012 04:02:33 | More by Chokobo
Photo of VelvetExtract


4.18/5  rDev +1%

A-Ink. Pitch black. Head is of respectable stature. The best part of the head is its color. The head is brown. Legitimate brown. Sierra Nevada consistently makes the best looking beers. What a beaut. Light lacing webs…boy is the head dark.

S-Dark dutch chocolate and French-press espresso. A bit burnt and smoked. The nose does not have any unique traits, but it is very finely tuned. Not super-intense, but aromatic enough.

T-An addition of dark fruit and a lick of black licorice join the gang of dark chocolate, coffee beans and smoke. Like dumping a spoonful of cocoa powder into a dark-roast java. The bitterness stems more from the roast than the relatively modest hoppiness. Narwhal is an oily sea-monstrosity of deliciousness.

M-Full bodied. I can just picture this beer coagulating and turning into gel if left alone for too long. Plenty of carbonation. Booze is masked perhaps too well. This brew could dethrone you if you aren't wary of the ABV. Too drinkable…although it does warm up my cheeks a bit.

O/D-Like Hoptimum, this brew is a textbook Imperial Ale. Also like Hoptimum, Narwhal does not attempt to do anything that hasn't been done before. That is my only true criticism of this brew. It is a scrumptious and blameless Stout, but it offers no unique qualities. Regardless, this brew is a beast!

11-10-2012 03:42:46 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of Zorro


3.73/5  rDev -9.9%

Thick black pour. Black colored beer with a thin brown colored head.

Smells sweet with lots of coffee molasses and candied holiday fruit.

Starts out dry and bitter with a strong charred malt bite. Gets a little sweeter as you drink it but not by much. Chocolate and coffee flavors with a little bit of ash taste.

Thick and oily mouthfeel.

Overall an OK beer, but they didn't balance out the Patent malt enough so it ends up a little unbalanced.

11-10-2012 02:37:09 | More by Zorro
Photo of Impfan


5/5  rDev +20.8%

Midnight black pour, thick tan head that dissipates to form a lasting ring. Gigantic, deep nose of roast coffee, cacao, prunes, dates, figs, plums, and cedar shavings. Flavor is similar with great hops in the endless finish. Massive, syrupy body that coats the mouth with all of the above. I’ve never been a fan of black IPAs, and this is reminiscent of those, but with the needed addition of the fruitiness, which transforms it into something amazing.

11-10-2012 01:54:59 | More by Impfan
Photo of vcoggins


4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-10-2012 01:39:18 | More by vcoggins
Photo of freewill35


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-10-2012 01:02:18 | More by freewill35
Photo of Bhunter


1/5  rDev -75.8%

11-10-2012 00:57:19 | More by Bhunter
Photo of Kenye

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%

12 Ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Pours pitch black with a small persistent tan head that slowly fades down into quite a pretty collar around the edge of the glass. Nice but pretty average lacing. 4/5

Smell - Like a typical Imperial Stout, the smell is wonderful, especially as it warms. Lots of roasted malts and you can smell the 10.2 ABV. The more you let it warm up the sweeter it smells. 4/5

Taste - There are a lot of hops in this beer. They hit you first and hard. They quickly fade into the lovely roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate middle. The swallow gives you that high ABV burn you expect, and makes me do that little "alcohol twitch" I have. Like you would expect from a fresh Imperial Stout. Curious to see what age will do to this. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel - Wonderful silky mouthfeel. It coats the tongue perfectly, and just the right carbonation to keep it from lingering for too long. 4.5/5

Overall - Very solid Imperial Stout at a very good price. It tastes like a Sierra Nevada beer. The hops are trademark. If you see it, pick it up. I'll be grabbing up more of these, and aging them a couple months. I imagine age will make this an even better beer. 4.5/5 (Taste and Mouthfeel a little more important than Appearance and Smell for me personally.)

11-10-2012 00:39:08 | More by Kenye
Photo of HamGlade10


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-09-2012 23:19:07 | More by HamGlade10
Photo of gwguest


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-09-2012 21:06:20 | More by gwguest
Photo of BarryMFBurton


4.28/5  rDev +3.4%

Now here is a beer I have been anxiously awaiting since I heard it existed – finally, Sierra Nevada’s imperial stout has been released. Let’s taste the liquid hype…

Brewed a little over a month before the date of this tasting (October 5, 2012 by the code on the bottle).

A: Phenomenally thick, pouring like viscous black motor oil from the bottle. Dark brown bubbles form a ring around the top of the body, settling there for the duration as the only inkling of head. Ropy lacing strings all the way around.

S: Chocolate-covered pretzel and toffee encase this moderately-pungent nose in sweets, augmented by a spattering of burnt sugar, cappuccino, and marshmallow tones. It brightens up with a tinge of raspberry, hazelnut, and cherry cordial, as well as that classic, piney, Sierra Nevada hoppiness. But with all that, it still has a yeasty note overall, bready and earthen in every whiff – not a sugar bomb like Choklat or Dark Lord. In this nose, balance is always present.

T: One taste and it’s instant Sierra Nevada, immediately spreading those taut, piney bitters to the corners of the palate. It’s one of the brewery traits that got me into craft, so I know it and love it, but this time it definitely fits – the wave of blackened malt fits perfectly into the resinous hops. Char, oak chips, toasted bread, and peanut brittle make up the thick middle of the palate, but not without a smooth cocoa and nougat character throughout. On the ends, it’s woody and round, filling out with whiskey and molasses flavors. Finishes hot and bitter, cementing it as the most powerful Sierra Nevada beer I’ve had.

M: Goes down smooth and fiery, prickling up with resin astringency. Each sip doesn’t exactly pull the lips back with intensity, but certainly you notice its power.

O: A cheap, kick-ass RIS. This is a step from the norm for Sierra Nevada – it’s definitely the thickest and most slow-drinking beer from these guys – but it works at every turn. If this were more than limited release, I’d buy it all the time; over Old Rasputin, Storm King, and even Plead the Fifth. Put this in a barrel and this would stand up to the best of them.

11-09-2012 20:36:17 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of exitmusic00


3.25/5  rDev -21.5%

11-09-2012 19:35:54 | More by exitmusic00
Photo of Cambo04

4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-09-2012 17:41:12 | More by Cambo04
Photo of SalMineo


3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

11-09-2012 17:24:10 | More by SalMineo
Photo of MilkManX


4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-09-2012 15:57:47 | More by MilkManX
Photo of madEthelFlint

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

11-09-2012 15:26:46 | More by madEthelFlint
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,117 ratings.