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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

3,237 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,237
Reviews: 630
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 153
Gots: 504 | FT: 33
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: 3,237 | Reviews: 630 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WoodburyMN
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

WoodburyMN, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of davey101
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage, bottled October 12, 2012. 12 oz bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A - Pours a dark black body with two finger mocha/red head. Settles into some thin edging. Solid amount of lacing and retention but nothing too impressive.

S - Roasted malt, coffee beans, cocoa powder and anise. Incredibly balanced. Just a great aroma.

T - Roasted malts lead into that signature SN grapefruit and pine hop profile. Finishes with bitter coffee beans and smooth milk chocolate. Just a touch of anise.

M - Smooth and creamy with nice carbonation. Alcohol is hardly noticeable and the beer really opens up as it warms.

O - This beer gets everything right, even as a fresh beer. Plus its SN so its at an amazing price and distribution. It seems less hoppy and intense than the the 30th Anny stout, but I really like this beer a lot.

davey101, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a DFH signature glass. Bottled October 6 and put on the shelf two days ago at my local store.

A - Pours black with a dense finger of wood brown head. Sticky tiered lacing.

S - Toasted malts dominate along with almond, vanilla, cedar, and some mellow pine hops. Sweet and roasty with balancing earthiness.

T - Starts with an iced mocha coffee sweetness. Some burnt pine follows along with vanilla notes. The finish is more bitter than anticipated with earthy tree sap hops. Warming alcohol comes in late and becomes less noticeable with each sip. Sweetens as it warms and caramel, vanilla, and marshmallow step up to the char.

M - Definitely has enough body for the big flavors. Smooth carbonation. The alcohol isn't in your face, but isn't forgotten.

O - I have been waiting for this to land in my area for a few weeks. Balanced flavor that improves as it warms. The more drink it, the more I like it. A very good RIS that is right up there with Old Raspy in the RIS 12oz. 4pk under $10 category. Sierra Nevada rarely disappoints. Hopefully this becomes a shelf staple so I can grab it whenever I choose.

NoLeafClover44, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of SawDog505
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured down the middle of a 16 oz snifter, bottled on the 279th day of the year, and close to room temperature like the brewer would suggest. Pours a slick midnight black, with a massive 3 inch brown head that coats the sides of the glass with lace. The smell is anise, coffee, chocolate, and hints of smoke, balanced very well. Taste is very aggressive with all those flavors, probably will mellow with time, I will definitely hang on to a case of these to see what time will do, not complaining. Body is medium large, plenty of life especially for its size, a little dry as you should expect, and very approachable. This is a wonderful and affordable imperial stout at $8.99. Sierra does it once again!

SawDog505, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of Rekrule
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Rekrule, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of IcemanCometh
4/5  rDev -3.4%

IcemanCometh, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of MightiestBeard
4/5  rDev -3.4%

MightiestBeard, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of sabitu
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

sabitu, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours black as night with a rather large, chocolately brown head. Head retention and lacing is pretty awesome. Head is amazingly frothy and persistent. Lots of rising carbonation.

S- Lots of deep, dark chocolately roasts. Next come the coffee flavors. Coffee is pretty dominant right after the chocolate hits. Bitterness at the end suggests some hop profile, but most bitterness is from the dark chocolate.

T- Big chocolates right off the bat, just like the scent. Chocolate is very dark and pretty bitter. Coffee is not as strong in the taste as in the scent, but still present. Slightly warming alcohol heat is also present with a dull bitterness in the flavor. Slightest bit of hop bitterness intermingles with the chocolate and coffee bitterness at the end. Flavor finishes very clean with only a little lingering bite.

M- Thick and creamy and a little slick on the palate. Only slight alcohol heat as previously mentioned. Lower levels of carbonation add to the thick and creamy effect. Easily sessionable because of the thickness and its tendency to lend itself to sipping.

Overall, another stellar beer from SN. I haven't had the regular stout, but I imagine they built off of it for this one, and it makes me excited to try some.

boilermakerbrew, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of JebediahScooter
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

JebediahScooter, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Rollzroyce21, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of BigJiMo
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

BigJiMo, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of jriggins6
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

jriggins6, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of ngeunit1
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown-black color with a finger of frothy chocolate-khaki colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts, coffee, vanilla, black licorice, a bit of earthy, and a touch of booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted dark chocolate malts, vanilla, and a bit of black licorice. Through the middle, some coffee comes through with some earthy hops and touch of molasses. The finish is a mix of dark chocolate, coffee, earthy hops, a touch of dark fruit, and bit of booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate-minus carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Incredibly smooth for how big it is with great overall balance.

ngeunit1, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of thebigredone
4/5  rDev -3.4%

thebigredone, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of JohnnyMc
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another release in the High Altitude Series that houses big names like Hoptimum and Bigfoot!!

Pours out pitch black with a thick, mocha/tan head that lingers for a long time given the ABV.

The aroma has huge notes of semi-sweet chocolate, coffee and dark roasted malt.

The taste is also primarily chocolate and coffee, but there are the dark roasted notes and a surprising amount of hops that makes the beer somewhat bitter and dry. This is very balanced between the sweetness from the coffee and chocolate and the bitterness of the hops and coffee. The ABV is well masked with only a slight warming effect.

The mouthfeel is big, rich, creamy, silky and smooth.

A very nice effort from Sierra Nevada! Not the greatest Imperial Stout and I would have liked a little more complexity, but an extremely solid example of the style.

JohnnyMc, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of metalgdog
4/5  rDev -3.4%

metalgdog, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of Treyliff
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours pitch black with a small creamy dark tan head and a bit of lace, pours a bit like thin syrup, very thick.

S- dark chocolate with a touch of coffee, notes of dark fruit, slightly smoky malt

T- dark and deep roasted malts with heavy notes of cocoa and a bit of roasted coffee aftertaste. Finishes bittersweet, like raw dark chocolate with just enough of a piney hops kick to balance it out, warming finish.

M- heavy body, low carbonation, syrupy but pretty good considering the high ABV, goes down velvety and smooth.

O- everything that I was expecting, body and heavy, intense chocolate with notes of coffee, and just enough piney hops to balance out this massive beer. Certainly drinkable for the ABV, a slow sipper and a great beer for a cold night.

Treyliff, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think my friends at Narwhal Brewing have some sort of lawsuit against this beer so I'm not sure if that makes me a traitor. I'll live.

Thick, viscous, dark brown pour spews forth a thick, sticky head. Room temp despite being in the fridge for two days do lack of power and hurricane Sandy. Ok retention leaves a few foamy polka dots. Polka dots, polka dots, polka dots afro.

Dark roasted malt and bread crust jumps out of the bottle before I even pour Narwhal. Lots of chocolate too. Mocha would be an appropriate descriptor.

Bottle label says I should expect dark roast coffee and bakers cocoa. I'm not disappointed. Big beer mouthfeel but still kinda soft and supple. Again, mocha goodness.

Like most Sierra Nevada it's not surprising or different, it's just really good. I was drinking this and my wife was drinking Founder's Breakfast stout and I liked my beer better if that says anything.

donkeyrunner, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of johnnnniee
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black color with a huge fluffy tan head that slowly recedes to a cap on top. Smells of coffee and dark chocolate with a hint of caramel. Earthy citrusy hop aromas meld nicely with light aromas of dark dried fruits. The flavor is sweet with caramel and chocolate with a nice shot of espresso. A bit of earthy citrus hop flavor but mostly a roasty bitterness in the flavor. Light dark fruit flavors with a hint of alcohol round out the flavor quite well. Medium to thick body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet creamy velvety mouthfeel. Very nice Imperial Stout I really enjoyed this one and I guess I need to get back to the store to buy a few more to lay down.

johnnnniee, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of GehenHerzog
4/5  rDev -3.4%

GehenHerzog, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of ZethOfTheNorth
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

ZethOfTheNorth, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Halcyondays, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of elgiacomo
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

elgiacomo, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of omniscientcause
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

omniscientcause, Nov 01, 2012
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,237 ratings.