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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
92
outstanding

3,304 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,304
Reviews: 638
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 160
Gots: 530 | FT: 35
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: 3,304 | Reviews: 638 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmerloni
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Solid black. There's no light getting through this one. Pours thick and oily with a big chewy looking brown head that keeps a nice film and laces pretty evenly down the glass.

S - Boozy chocolate, roasted java, with a heady vanilla overtone. Nice.

T - Booze really comes through first, followed by flurry of dark cocoa and heavily roasted/bold java. Booziness is a little overpowering on the palate and lingers after each sip.

M - A thicker beer than you might originally realize. The carbonation is pretty heavy here, and it makes the beer seem lighter than it is. This is a full, heavy, chewy beer - and it would be good that way. But the carbonation clouds it.

D - A decent beer with room for improvement. Sierra Nevada should dum down the carbonation and let this beer speak for itself. This would be better between 8.0-9.0% abv and would benefit from a dark chocolate flavor profile rather than the dark/unsweetened cocoa profile that is pronounced here.

jmerloni, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of tsm2011
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

tsm2011, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of BB1313
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with some brown hues, mocha head which fades quickly and leaves decent lacing and retention. There's lots of char and smoke up front. Lots of chocolate malts as well. There's also a touch of roasted coffee beans and vanilla beans. The flavors are aggressively bitter. The hop presence isn't shy. Very roasty. The coffee really comes through in the flavors. Blast of anise. No sweetness. There's subtle heat going on with this one, slightly boozy. Mouthfeel has active carbonation, slightly syrupy, but on the lighter side of full-bodied. The alcohol is noticeable. Rough around the edges, but it works with the cold weather.

I've enjoyed my time with Narwhal. I have one more I'm going to age. I think time will do this stout very well.

BB1313, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of smakawhat
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

Out of the bottle pours dark brown, then hits with some very dark black walnut, almost midnight. Forms a solid cocoa and coffee like head, with lots of pinhead bubbles. Settles slowly, and manages to always keep a nice collar while drinking and a decent puck. Lots of leg coating and spotted catty lacing on the glass.

Nose is a little subtle. Simple roasted malts, but a nice waffer and ovaltine chocolate sense. Whoppers candy and malt. Mild char action, but mostly kind of closed. There is this sense this is sort of airy and light. Otherwise solid, not getting any coffee sense.

Palate hits with anything but. First notes of hop lime and grapefruit in the front palate, moves to a thick but waffer like dark bitter chocolate while consuming. Large surprising body melding with notes of char and more cocoa powder. Not particularly finding coffee on this but it's a superb feel, large since it seems unexpected from the bouquet.

Overall a great balance between hop action and roasted malt, a very controlled and fun beer, with not a boozy taste either for 10, a real fantastic stout very enjoyable.

smakawhat, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -3.4%

mendvicdog, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of PicoPapa
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a pitch black color with dark brown hues and a ring of brown head. Minimal lacing. Aromas of espresso, dark chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, and maybe even a bit of bubble gum. The taste is dark bitter chocolate and espresso. Smokey, roasted malts as well. Some vanilla and an overall sweetness flavor. Hints of caramel. Dark chocolate and coffee finish. Full bodied. I really liked the 30th Anniversary RIS so I was glad to hear they were releasing another Russian Imperial Stout. Overall, solid beer worth seeking out.

PicoPapa, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of Pinknuggets
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle into a Lawson's Sniffer

A:dark brown almost the color of black coffee with a very thin mocha head totally opaque throughout most of it

S: a deep aroma of roasted coffee beans and a hint of malt, very chocolatey and smooth right up my ally

T: yum the taste follows the nose lots of dark chocolate at first that then fades into a coffee flavor that quickly mixes with the bitterness of the malt. The finish is roasted coffee and bitterness 4.5

M:thin for an IS smooth and easy to drink and it definitely will warm you up on a cold night. Very low carbonation doesn't blow me away.

O: I really like this one balanced taste and true to the style the abv is well hidden. Above average imperial stout and good for being readily available but not my favorite

Pinknuggets, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of Robeerto89
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Robeerto89, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of deanhead
4/5  rDev -3.4%

deanhead, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of Brewsed
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Brewsed, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of Flightoficarus
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Flightoficarus, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of ZAP
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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....

ZAP, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of ssjkyle
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

ssjkyle, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of CJS
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

CJS, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of marct
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

marct, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of elkinbrown
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

elkinbrown, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of kawilliams81
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

kawilliams81, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

You rated this beer. Add a review.

, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of admiralcrunch
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

admiralcrunch, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Mantooth, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of pirmannt1
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

pirmannt1, Nov 07, 2012
Photo of Pat316
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Pat316, Nov 07, 2012
Photo of Dat
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Dat, Nov 07, 2012
Photo of alamode
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

alamode, Nov 07, 2012
Photo of Scotchboy
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Scotchboy, Nov 07, 2012
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,304 ratings.