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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.

3,115 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,115
Reviews: 620
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 129
Gots: 455 | 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: 3,115 | Reviews: 620 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halcyondays


4/5  rDev -3.4%

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a pitch black, with a medium light tan head, some solid spotty lace.

S: Roasted malt, hint of dark fruit, charcoal, licorice, dark chocolate.

T: Dark chocolate and a lot of licorice. Light residual sugar, with a hint of hops in the finish.

M: Medium to full-bodied, soft carbonation, creamy, long aftertaste for the style.

O: A solid RIS, it reminds me a lot of Old Rasputin with a bit more licorice in there. The price is great, well made, well worth a try.

11-01-2012 04:52:32 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of elgiacomo


3.93/5  rDev -5.1%

12oz bottled October 6, 2012. Served at around 55F.

Pours black with a three finger light brown head that leaves impressive lacing and recedes to a small cap.

Aroma is coffee, dark roasted malts, some chocolate and dark fruits, a bit of herbal hops, some alcohol. Good, but not great strength.

Flavor starts with chocolate, coffee, dark fruits such as figs, plums and raisins, dark roasted malts, fairly sweet, minimal bitterness, some alcohol on the finish but not too bad.

Mouthfeel is nearly full bodied, sticky, good carbonation.

Very tasty and rich Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada. Drinking very good in its fresh state, will put some back to age as well.

11-01-2012 03:48:55 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of omniscientcause

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Poured into a snifter, this is very dark, thick, leaving great lacing on my snifter.

The smell is potent, I poured it walked away to start cooking dinner and I could smell it from 15 feet away.

Roasted malt with bits of graham cracker, dark chocolate, alcohol, and piney hops (the best kind of hops). Starts off fairly sweet with some hints of dark chocolate and molasses and a rather smooth finish.

As others have said the alcohol is masked very well, and thus is very drinkable.

I will be picking up as much of this as I can at 9.99 a 4pk this is a great buy.

11-01-2012 03:18:16 | More by omniscientcause
Photo of garymuchow


4.33/5  rDev +4.6%

Kinda stumbled upon this - wasn't looking for it, barely knew it existed, and there it was.
Poured into SA glass - black as coal with a rather big head for style, but it too is very dark. There is no light shining through anywhere.
Real nice coffee aroma. Pleasant and not over-powering. HInts of dark fruit.
Wow, nicely complex. Again with apparent coffee flavors. Sweet dark fruit up front. Then that passes through to more darker malt, but not necessarily roast, before hitting the roast/coffee flavors. New and fresh so it still has some sharpness. This combined with the carbonation brings it on even more. Alcohol in some warming effect, but really limited otherwise. Coffee flavor linger and assists in the adequate somewhat drying finish.
Smooth, even with the fresher carbonation. Moderately heavy, but really not much bigger than that.
Well done RIS. Especially with making it drinkable and not overwhelming for a beer of this size. I tend to like a little age on these, and I will give some bottles that opportunity. But having said that, this works well this fresh

11-01-2012 01:41:01 | More by garymuchow
Photo of ralphw56


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-01-2012 01:02:42 | More by ralphw56
Photo of webmanspidey


4.4/5  rDev +6.3%

Poured into a snifter, this is very dark, thick, and viscous. The smell is powerful with some traces of roasted grain, graham cracker, dark chocolate, alcohol, and piney hops. Initial taste is very sweet with some dark chocolate and molasses. More graham cracker and roasted malts round it out with a slight bitterness is left at the end. The alcohol is masked very well, keeping this very drinkable. I'm pretty happy with this one, it's definitely a very solid RIS.

11-01-2012 00:26:44 | More by webmanspidey
Photo of brewtechnik

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%

Narwhal finally made it to NH on Halloween! What better beer to be drinking while handing out candy :)

12oz bottle slightly chilled into snifter...

Looks amazing...very viscous and produced a great dark tan one finger head that quickly dissipated into just a tan ring after a minute. Super black...no light coming through this!

Slight licorice/fruit scent combined with smoke, char, roast, coffee and ethanol. Pretty inviting, actually. Hop presence is there as well, but not strong.

The first flavors that come through are the roasty/coffee and HOPS! This guy is pretty bitter, and has lots of hop flavor. In that respect it kind of reminds me of Storm King, but not quite that intense...better balance IMO, but still very hoppy. I personally find that the ethanol is well hidden...it doesn't seem to be a problem this fresh. There's some dark chocolate flavor that's very nice and melds well with the rest of the gang. Not much licorice in the taste, which I prefer. I hate anise and black licorice!

I mentioned viscous in the appearance, but doesn't feel very thick in the mouth feel. Don't get me wrong, its a big stout, but not bcbs thick...more like Founders Imp Stout. It's actually quit nice and lasting...slick almost. Hop/roast up front with a chocolate and slight ethanol finish. Carbonation is spot on.

I would say this is in the same ball park as Founders Imperial Stout, but has more hop presence...I'm really liking the level of roast in this beer with the chocolate finish. I'm buying this beer again and would recommend you do as well, but will certainly put some in the cellar for a year or so to lessen the hop bite.

11-01-2012 00:10:25 | More by brewtechnik
Photo of PatGreer


4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

10-31-2012 22:34:11 | More by PatGreer
Photo of JoshuaGoins

West Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

10-31-2012 13:49:31 | More by JoshuaGoins
Photo of jboyer


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

10-31-2012 07:46:57 | More by jboyer
Photo of duceswild


4/5  rDev -3.4%

10-31-2012 05:19:38 | More by duceswild
Photo of Dope


4.18/5  rDev +1%

A: Pitch black pour with a thick, dense medium brown head. Fades very slowly, leaving a nice pattern of lacing behind. Good head retention to boot.

S: Nice roasted malt character. Creamy chocolate, roasted coffee bean and just a touch of char. Emphasis on the creamy, it smells like a borderline milk stout. Touch of smoke in there to boot. Oddly enough, I get almost a pretzel-like aroma sometimes (kinda toasty). Doesn't detract, probably just mistaking something else for it.

T: Thick, creamy roasted malt. Up front it is sweet molasses and vanilla with a bunch of char and smoke. Turns a little more bitter with some roasted coffee bean in the middle and some dark chocolate. Get a little more of that toasty pretzel too, heh. Finishes with lots of anise and some fading bitter, bitter dark chocolate that lingers between sips. Touch of grain alcohol in the finish - just a little bit hot, this one.

M: Thick, full, rich and creamy. Excellent mouthfeel.

O: A really nice RIS. Very thick and full, I loved that part. Excellent complexity, has some of pretty much every roasted malt characteristic that I've had in any stout. Balance is decent though it's a little too smoky and maybe a little too much anise but it's also very fresh (and a little hot, as noted). Overall, quite excellent. Looking forward to storing some away.

10-31-2012 04:10:45 | More by Dope
Photo of Kopfschuss


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

10-31-2012 03:27:04 | More by Kopfschuss
Photo of ms11781


4/5  rDev -3.4%

10-31-2012 01:19:11 | More by ms11781
Photo of BillHilly


4/5  rDev -3.4%

10-31-2012 01:03:09 | More by BillHilly
Photo of John_M


4/5  rDev -3.4%

On tap at max's the other day, during Baltimore Beer Week.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is likewise attraactive, showcasing considerable coffee, licorice and vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, but is clearly dominated by the licorice and vanilla (which I'm not entirely liking, but it's OK). There's also a hint of hoppy bitterness in the finish which further helps to buoy the modest sweetness in this beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a finish that is dominated by licorice and has a hint of alcoholic bite. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, but there's just too much licorice in the flavor profile for me to fall in love with this beer.

A solid beer, and possibly one that will benefit from some age. For now however, not among my favorite impy stouts.

10-30-2012 22:52:47 | More by John_M
Photo of stoppertb18


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

10-30-2012 22:28:09 | More by stoppertb18
Photo of 2dogbrew


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

10-30-2012 20:15:35 | More by 2dogbrew
Photo of beerdhabelly


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

10-30-2012 17:20:57 | More by beerdhabelly
Photo of twinpaul


4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

10-30-2012 16:44:25 | More by twinpaul
Photo of mrshoes


4/5  rDev -3.4%

10-30-2012 15:48:56 | More by mrshoes
Photo of wdarcy77


4/5  rDev -3.4%

10-30-2012 14:47:15 | More by wdarcy77
Photo of JJWIGHT


3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

10-30-2012 05:22:25 | More by JJWIGHT
Photo of SHODriver


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

A: poured into a sifter black as night with a slightly frothy deep tan head with excellent retention. it pours like a whale of a beer
S: smells of dark roast malt, coffee, dark chocolate, molasses, and anise. smells incredible
T: flavors of charred wood, dark chocolate, a bit of coffee, burnt sugars, dark roasted malt, slight oily hop presence. swallow brings more huge flavors of roast malt, a bit of anise and an espresso finish
M: thick and nearly chewy with a soft carbonation that struggles against the viscosity of the beer
O: It's enornous, it's velvety smooth and it doesn't punch you in the mouth but it can probably put you down after a few. alcohol is very well hidden. This beer is absolutely phenomenal and a steal at the price point it sells for. Buy it and then buy some more to keep in the back of the fridge for a few years. I want this beer in a bourbon barrel!

10-30-2012 04:52:53 | More by SHODriver
Photo of jak

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.4%

10-30-2012 03:37:07 | More by jak
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,115 ratings.