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.

3,119 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,119
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,119 | Reviews: 620 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Flightoficarus


4.4/5  rDev +6.3%

A - Pours an extremely deep black hue, with a thick, creamy sepia head. Lacing/retention are mild.

S - Smell is of roasted espresso beans, bakers chocolate, and vanilla.

T - Taste is of rich, velvety-smooth chocolate malts, with notes of caramel and molasses. Finishes with mildly bitter espresso notes. Incredibly well balanced overall between malty sweetness and hop bitterness.

M - Full-bodied, and velvet-smooth, with light carbonation.

O - Overall, a fantastic imperial stout, and one I wouldn't hesitate to return to in the future. Sierra Nevada did a stellar job here!

11-08-2012 10:05:02 | More by Flightoficarus
Photo of ZAP


4.18/5  rDev +1%

A-Black with ruby hues..

S-Shaved chips of quality dark chocolate....dark fruits (prunes, raisins, dried black cherries, plums)....some light coffee

T-Rich and malty...hop load is dialed back which I can enjoy....roasty malts lend a decadent expensive chocolate flavor....light coffee...dark fruits still there but lighter than on the nose...a bitter splash of alcohol on the late finish....

M-Big....Rich....Full Bodied...Fits the Bill....right about where it should be....

O-An impressive IMPY...would seem to be on par with most of the heavy hitters...great price too....

11-08-2012 07:22:48 | More by ZAP
Photo of ssjkyle


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-08-2012 06:42:47 | More by ssjkyle
Photo of CJS


3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

11-08-2012 06:22:12 | More by CJS
Photo of marct


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-08-2012 04:51:52 | More by marct
Photo of elkinbrown


3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

11-08-2012 04:46:59 | More by elkinbrown
Photo of kawilliams81


3.9/5  rDev -5.8%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours jet black with a 1 finger beige head. Some blotches of lacing remain.

S- dark chocolate, coffee, roast and an herbal tone (not mint).

T- bitter coffee, dark chocolate, again herbal something, and bitter pine.

M- medium body and carbonation. Slick, chalky and slightly dry.

O- this is a hoppy RIS for sure. Almost reminds me more of a imperial black ale, but where do you draw the line? Still a very good and enjoyable beer.

11-08-2012 04:04:30 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

You rated this beer. Add a review.

11-08-2012 03:22:30 | More by
Photo of admiralcrunch

New York

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-08-2012 00:36:16 | More by admiralcrunch
Photo of Mantooth

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-08-2012 00:18:46 | More by Mantooth
Photo of pirmannt1


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-07-2012 23:59:26 | More by pirmannt1
Photo of Pat316


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-07-2012 23:54:23 | More by Pat316
Photo of Dat


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-07-2012 23:21:54 | More by Dat
Photo of alamode


4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

11-07-2012 21:00:37 | More by alamode
Photo of Scotchboy


4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

SN Imperial Stout? Yes please. 12oz bottle split three ways into snifters...

A: A very dark opaque pour yields a very dark brown head with great lacing.

S: Tons of bitter roasted coffee on the nose, and an ever-present leafy hop bitterness (hey, this is SN)...bakers chocolate and deep dark roasted malt. RIS to a 'T'.

T: Follows the nose perfectly, roasty and bitter with copious amounts of coffee notes, dark chocolate notes, hints of darker fruit and licorice, dark roasted malt, almost burnt to the point of being a touch smoky? Light lingering herbal hop notes as well.

MF: Creamy with pretty good carbonation...a touch viscous with a bit of an alcohol burn (hey, at 10.2% its really buried, which is nice).

O: Impressed. Toss this thing in some harsh rye whiskey barrels and I'd say you have an all-time great RIS. As it stands its a great drinker now, and the alcohol is well-hidden.

11-07-2012 14:49:56 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of Naters333


4.4/5  rDev +6.3%

Poured from 12oz bottle into my tulip.

A-Has a deep black color with great tan head. Retains a nice lacing

S-Columbia roasted coffee.

T- Has a pure chocolate taste. Pure chocolate has an extreme bitter taste that is awful, but this is kind of nice and not as strong. I can tell this is a higher alcohol beer. Kind of hot, but not too bad. Then again I like kind of a strong presence of alcohol.

M- What a great mouthful. Can really get the full effect of the bitterness of this beer. Bitter being an ok thing with this beer. The mouthful brings me back to that Columbia or strong coffee taste and smell.

O- A really nice beer. Fantastic to sip on. Very smooth and easy to drink even though you can taste the alcohol. Looking forward to seeing how this ages.

11-07-2012 07:57:51 | More by Naters333
Photo of JSchock7


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-07-2012 06:28:06 | More by JSchock7
Photo of cmoody91


4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-07-2012 04:35:49 | More by cmoody91
Photo of BillyLrsn


4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-07-2012 00:19:41 | More by BillyLrsn
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours jet black with a thinner deep mocha colored head atop,no light got thru even when held to the light.Deep roast,char, and smoke dominate the nose with underlying bitter chocolate,it smells a bit raw and in your face.Wow alot of different stuff going on on the palate,dark roast coffee,deep char and smoke, with a molasses,licorice, and alcohol induced sweetness that really hits home,I was right this is in your face.This is a big brash imperial stout,it's a little rough around the edges...in a good way.

11-06-2012 23:54:21 | More by oberon
Photo of greencovesteve

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-06-2012 23:53:56 | More by greencovesteve
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%

2012 vintage, this was poured from a bottle into a mug. The beer is almost completely jet-black, with some chestnut highlights. No head, but there is a touch of bubbly filmy ringing around the surface. Aromas of chocolate, roasted coffee, a touch of booze, and earthy tones. Flavors are strong and rich, with a heavy roasted coffee backbone supporting a boozey and oaky highlight. Very deep and layered. Bittersweet chocolate laces throughout the palate, as well as a touch of bourbon. The aftertaste is bittersweet and roasty, with a slight booze linger as well. The beer is rich, but very smooth in mouth, and fairly light for an RIS, which makes it extremely palatable. Smooth, bitter, and rich finish. Very easy to drink despite the increased ABV and "big" flavor profiles.

11-06-2012 23:41:46 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of noyellowfizzbeer


4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

11-06-2012 23:24:34 | More by noyellowfizzbeer
Photo of CalbeDacks

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

11-06-2012 20:23:09 | More by CalbeDacks
Photo of ocelot2500


4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

Pours a jet black color with a tight, light brown head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of deep roasted notes with some dark fruits.

Tastes of the full roasted notes with a touch of bitterness on the backend. Leads off with coffee and semi-sweet chocolate. A bit of roasted bitterness comes through in the middle. Licorice also comes through near the end and is complemented by some dark fruit notes. Finishes with a slight molasses note.

Mouthfeel is full with a creamy amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a very good stout that is definitely worth checking out.

11-06-2012 03:46:09 | More by ocelot2500
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,119 ratings.