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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.

3,203 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
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Ratings: 3,203 | Reviews: 625 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dleiner
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

dleiner, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of Eric85
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Eric85, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of Davideo
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Davideo, Apr 04, 2014
Photo of TriageStat
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

TriageStat, Apr 04, 2014
Photo of Jeffo
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%

A case of this actually made it to Amsterdam. Picked it up at De Bierkoning.

From a bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2013

APPEARANCE: A dark brown, opaque pour yields a three finger, medium looking, creamy, tan head with excellent retention. Black body with no carbonation evident. Head fades to a full wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. A faint wisp and ring remain until the end leaving some nice lacing down the glass. Pretty good looking stout. Needs to be even blacker for top marks.

SMELL: Dark baker's chocolate, light coffee, cream, some caramel notes and roasted aromas on the nose. Tobacco in there, as well as some leather too. Could be bolder, but complex and interesting enough.

TASTE: Baker's chocolate again, caramel and leather up front, then a big, roasted coffee finish with some burnt and charred malts at the swallow. Bolder and lingering finish of roasted coffee bitterness, burnt and charred malts, leather, tobacco, and some light vanilla cream. Quite burnt and roasted, with lots of other complex flavors as well.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. A little light on the palate and too prickly for the style, but goes down okay and finishes somewhat mouth-coating. A bit of a burn at the swallow and a touch of heat lingers.

OVERALL: Pretty good stuff. Lots of burnt and charred notes with tobacco definitely give it a European tough. If you like this one, you'll probably like the stuff coming out of De Molen in Holland and various Danish breweries that deserve some praise. The feel is slightly lighter on this, which holds it back a bit. Fill that out and it would support the flavors that much more. Still, this is a solid effort worth checking out if you get the chance. If it were reasonably priced, I'd go back for seconds.

Jeffo, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of TboneRN
4/5  rDev -3.4%

TboneRN, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of biboergosum
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%

12oz bottle, a nice snag from doktorzee on his recent jaunt through Vegas. Cheers, man!

This beer pours a solid black, with noticeable cola-tinted basal highlights, and three fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and fairly creamy light brown head, which leaves some awesome craggy sea cliff lace around the glass as it slowly and evenly recedes.

It smells of well-toasted, almost meaty caramel malt, wet rye bread, powdered cocoa, stale ashes, dark-roast coffee beans, a hint of black licorice, earthy, leafy hops, and a subtly burbling alcohol astringency. The taste is semi-sweet chocolate, a consequentially reduced caramel malt, some persistent dark bready notes, edgy and earthy anise, gritty wet ash, well-roasted day-old coffee, the kind with too much nut flavourings added to it, and surprisingly (really?) bitter leafy, earthy, and dry citrus hops. A wee twinge of metallic alcohol sort of turtles as things barely warm.

The carbonation is pretty low-key, but hardly absent, a subtle bubbly edginess wafting about, the body a solid medium weight, dead smooth, and agreeably creamy, in a sort of milk-chocolate sense. It finishes well off-dry, the cocoa, caramel, roast, and hops forming one swell collection of lingering party goers.

A pleasurable and enjoyable RIS, the initially apparent unchecked sweetness duly run off at the pass in the typical Sierra Nevada way - mo' hops! It all seems to work - full-bodied, tasty and with the north of 10 points of booze doing its best shark impression by keeping its head under the surface (fin-free!*), I can just sit back and appreciate this hefty, well-made brew.

* This is a pun that only (especially new) dads will appreciate, so Imma just gonna keep it to myself for now.

biboergosum, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of gfg0020
4/5  rDev -3.4%

gfg0020, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of Swettenham_Shire
3.81/5  rDev -8%

Poured into pint glass...

Appearance: pours a dark brown/black color with 1 finger tan head; lacing doesn't stick around
Smell: amazing malt, chocolate, and coffee scent mixed with alcohol
Taste: follows the nose; getting a sweet and bitter aftertaste
Mouthfeel: heavy; can feel the booze
Overall: I was happy to try this stout from Sierra Nevada, but probably won't seek it out anymore. I prefer others in this beer style

Swettenham_Shire, Apr 01, 2014
Photo of NWHopinator
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

NWHopinator, Apr 01, 2014
Photo of SavvyStudent
4/5  rDev -3.4%

SavvyStudent, Mar 31, 2014
Photo of BMos
4/5  rDev -3.4%

BMos, Mar 31, 2014
Photo of NathanJoyce
2.03/5  rDev -51%

This was my first Imperial Stout and I feel like I have diabetes.

Are they all this sweet and sickly?

Sure, coffee, chocolate, etc, etc. Thick and no sense of humour.

I'm willing to consider my lack of inexperience as a huge mark against my review, but honestly—this is strong and heavy and SWEET. I love strong, I love heavy, I just can't understand the attraction to the sweet...

NathanJoyce, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of Jlu73183
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Jlu73183, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of Haybeerman
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Haybeerman, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of larryarms847
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

larryarms847, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of innominat
4/5  rDev -3.4%

innominat, Mar 28, 2014
Photo of chewy6935
4/5  rDev -3.4%

chewy6935, Mar 28, 2014
Photo of SlightlyGrey
4/5  rDev -3.4%

SlightlyGrey, Mar 28, 2014
Photo of wsd627
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

wsd627, Mar 27, 2014
Photo of Jeffh84
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Jeffh84, Mar 27, 2014
Photo of archero
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

archero, Mar 27, 2014
Photo of leitmotif
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

leitmotif, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Ciocanelu, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of brpendergast85
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

brpendergast85, Mar 25, 2014
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,203 ratings.