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.

3,203 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,203
Reviews: 625
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 147
Gots: 496 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,203 | Reviews: 625 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of probert
3/5  rDev -27.5%

probert, Wednesday at 12:21 AM
Photo of johnmac
3/5  rDev -27.5%

johnmac, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of Scamboogery
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Scamboogery, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of jesus808
3/5  rDev -27.5%

jesus808, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of Phil_H
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Phil_H, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of Chokobo
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Chokobo, Nov 10, 2012
Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Chris_Cali_2o9, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of gwiedman1
3/5  rDev -27.5%

gwiedman1, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of Skott1123
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Skott1123, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of 2013beer101
3/5  rDev -27.5%

2013beer101, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of smogfood
3/5  rDev -27.5%

smogfood, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of Resuin
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Resuin, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of huddyball
3/5  rDev -27.5%

huddyball, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of prock180
3/5  rDev -27.5%

prock180, Sep 30, 2013
Photo of Nobcefus
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Nobcefus, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of Rideguy64
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Rideguy64, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of Jason1337
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Jason1337, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of AlaskanYoung
3/5  rDev -27.5%

AlaskanYoung, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of TwoForty
3/5  rDev -27.5%

TwoForty, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of utfiero
3.01/5  rDev -27.3%

Color- black leather. Medium, full mocha head.

Aroma- strong alcohol notes, coffee, and chocolate.

Taste- Starts rough and strong, very roasted malt with strong alcohol and finishing bitter, hoppy, and roasted (reminiscent of burnt bitter coffee). Like a Narwhal piercing my palate! 60 IBUs. Reminds me a little of a jagged version of Old Rasputin.

Consumed on 11-23-2013. Poured from 355 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass).

utfiero, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of bcsbeer
3.03/5  rDev -26.8%

Warmed up before serving in a room temperature glass.

A: Jet black very small brown head that left the scene in a hurry.

S: Best part of the beer. Roasted malts, espresso, dark fruit.

T: This is a malt bomb. All the flavors are DARK all most to the point of being burnt. Coffee chocolate raisin. Big alcohol presents distracts from the flavors. It tasted more like 16% than 10%.

M: Heavy and thick and lifeless, like a glass of crude oil. I thought about trying to float a ball bearing. Very low carbonation.

O: I'm a big fan of Sierra Nevada and the style (RIS). Is seemed like they were more focused on the high ABV than anything else. This one conjured up images of the dead sea. I like a little more life in my beer. Maybe I would have better luck with it on tap. For now I will stick with the offerings from Old Rasputin and Stone.

bcsbeer, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of killcore
3.04/5  rDev -26.6%

killcore, Aug 25, 2014
Photo of bum732
3.05/5  rDev -26.3%

S: Dry, roasty cocoa and coffee. Slight vanilla.

L: Thick, viscous and black. Tan head that dissipates quickly.

T: Very dry, roasty stout. Coffee and dry cocoa like flavors dominate. Slight coffee sweetness with slight dark fruits. Finishes quite dry with residual cocoa sweetness.

M: Medium full mouthfeel, medium low carbonation. Alcohol fairly well hidden.

A very dry, roasty RIS. Reminds me a lot of Old Rasputin. A nice change to a lot of sweet RIS's, but i feel like its a little one noted. Should be interesting what a little age does to this beer.

bum732, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.11/5  rDev -24.9%

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Really looking forward to this one.

A: Pours a very dark red color. It's so, so close to being pitch black, but not quite. The head is a two finger khaki shade. Retention is decent if not spectacular, and a nice layer of lacing is left behind.

S: This pops with chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, some leafy hops...and a LOT of alcohol. This smells really boozy even for 10.2%, and it's not a particularly refined alcohol presence. Even worse, it seems to detract from the rest of the brew. But of course, given the chance to warm up, all its alcohol calms down - slightly.

T: There's no two ways around it - this mutha is harsh. Roasted malts open this one up, sandwiching a cream-laden coffee middle with its boozy, fruity finish. Some hoppiness appears in the aftertaste. I would have hoped that the alcohol would at least create some nuance and depth, alas no; it's not dead simple, but it should be more complex considering. Giving it the chance to warm/open up doesn't improve it much either. Maybe it makes it *slightly* less harsh.

M: It's creamy and lush feeling, like an imperial stout should be. I'm also kind of glad it isn't particularly dry finishing, because all it would really do is expose the alcohol even further. Carbonation isn't really a factor.

O: This could be my biggest letdown of 2013. It had many things going for it to be topnotch - SN's reputation, well received on BA, inexpensive - but in the end was nearly ruined by the generic harshness. My other bottles are going in the cellar; there's a very good RIS underneath this all, and aging it may be exactly what the doctor ordered.

ThisWangsChung, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of mrandypandy
3.18/5  rDev -23.2%

12oz bottle purchased at Green's, in Atlanta.

A - Pours a jet black, big mocha head that recedes down. Nice sticky lacing on initial pour also dies down. All-in-all, pretty.
S - Roasted malts and hops, not much else though.
T - Big and roasty. There's quite a bit of a harsh bitterness as well that I'm not quite a fan of.
M - Medium body, good carbonation, but the bitterness lingers.
O - Not a bad, but there are much better imperial stouts out there. I had heard some good things about this beer, but was slightly disappointed. Too much hops/bitterness, and not enough malts to balance it out. Reminds me a bit of other highly hopped imperial stouts like Sweetwater's Happy Ending, and Victory's Storm King. Needs time to sit and mellow out.

mrandypandy, Dec 11, 2012
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,203 ratings.