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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

3,027 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,027
Reviews: 616
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 111
Gots: 440 | FT: 28
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,027 | Reviews: 616 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Fcolle2
Fcolle2

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours solid dark black in color with a thick body like molasses. Head is about one and a half fingers and tan in color. Head retains nicely and leaves some good sticky lacing all over the glass.

Smell is great. Rich roasted dark chocolate malt is forward along with a very clean scent and a faint strawberry like fruity ester. There is a big note able alcohol present one the back end, this does not bother me whatsoever though.

Taste is awesome and follows the nose. There is a rich dark chocolate flavor forward followed by roasted malt and a very light crisp ripe fruity tartness. More chocolate malt and booze come in on the back end.

Mouthfeel is good. Thick but not quite as thick as expected and carbonation is moderate. This keeps it highly drinkable at such a high abv.

Overall this was an awesome imperial stout I see why it rated so highly. Very boozy but it has some great flavors and aromas. I feel like this would be perfect to age, definitely putting some away.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2013 03:03:58 | More by Fcolle2
Photo of zonker17
zonker17

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-07-2013 02:55:19 | More by zonker17
Photo of Deerslayer210
Deerslayer210

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jet black oil with a dark tan head. The smell is of a plain stout, but hides all the flavor to come. The taste is a rich cocoa coffee. Mouth feel is of light weight oil that hides the high octane it carries. This is an outstanding stout that could be called a coffee stout. Sierra Nevada has one that I will never turn down. Try this one and you will be pleased. once again thanks to the mind!

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2013 01:56:09 | More by Deerslayer210
Photo of fearfactory
fearfactory

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-07-2013 00:45:21 | More by fearfactory
Photo of Beeranator
Beeranator

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-07-2013 00:36:23 | More by Beeranator
Photo of HopNuggets
HopNuggets

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-06-2013 21:11:08 | More by HopNuggets
Photo of hagbergl
hagbergl

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a brown stubby 12 ounce bottle into my Beer Geek Nation tulip glass.

Appearance (4.25/5): Black with a two finger tan head. Not hugely heady. Evident alcohol legs appear on the sides of the glass.

Smell (4.25/5): Powdered cocoa, rich, dark chocolate, underlying molasses, roasted malt.

Taste (4.25/5): Strong initial flavors of dark chocolate and coffee, chewy, sticky molasses. At mid-mouth, more overtly chocolatey flavors and nice semi-sweet, rich, dark maltiness. This semi-sweetness subsides and gives way to a dry, mildly bitter roastiness. An imperial stout that–thankfully–aims at nailing classic stout flavors without doing anything insane. Complexity can come from good craftsmanship just as much as it can come from barrel-aging and/or employing wild yeast strains.

Mouthfeel (4.25/5): Nice and full-bodied; a nice resinous feel in the front and middle is contrasted with a dry and roasty finish. Very, very nice. Smooth and creamy.

Overall (4.25/5): A great Russian Imperial Stout that fires on all cylinders. It's not brewed with any additives–no coffee. No oats. No cacao nibs or chocolate added. No bourbon barrel aging. Sierra Nevada proves with Narwhal that complexity can be gained through great craftsmanship just as it can be gotten through adding complementary ingredients.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2013 19:40:40 | More by hagbergl
Photo of TomG2751
TomG2751

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-06-2013 16:36:34 | More by TomG2751
Photo of BreakfastStout
BreakfastStout

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

11-06-2013 12:50:27 | More by BreakfastStout
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage. 12oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 2 finger light coffee colored head with poor retention. Beer is pitch black but slightly thin. Lacing is stringy and spotty with good stick. Sticky thin legs. Solid.

Nose is cocoa powder, espresso beans, liquorice and dark and milk chocolate. Some creamy hop flavors too. Nice.

Opens cocoa, espresso, and mocha. Dark chocolate, roast, and liquorice in the middle with vanilla and a slight hop bitterness at the end. Finishes sticky and sweet molasses, brown sugar, and cocoa with a roasty, smoky aftertaste. Decent if a bit thin at times.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slick and smooth in the mouth and goes down warm. Messy finish with a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Pretty good. Impressive given the ABV.

A decent beer overall, I could see this being a go-to Imperial Stout. Worth aging just a touch to see what happens.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2013 02:49:05 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of tdmccarthy
tdmccarthy

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-06-2013 02:36:21 | More by tdmccarthy
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours into a snifter darker than the bottom of the sea. A finger of tan head quickly forms a ring and retains as such. Decent scent of roast, dark chocolate, some raisin and molasses, but seems a bit on the tame side.

Taste opens things up more, very nice straight up roasty stout goodness. Nice char and a roasted malt/dark chocolate punch lead the way while some dark fruits and light caramel sweetness tag along. Just a touch of hops there. Nice coffee grounds finish. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous with medium carbonation and some alcohol heat.

I love the straight-up stout feel for this one, big roasty dark malts and alcohol with low sweetness (ala Old Rasputin, Ten FIDY, etc.) Definitely worthy of a 4-pack purchase every year - drink 2, age 2.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2013 23:22:36 | More by Chico1985
Photo of windypete
windypete

United Kingdom (England)

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

11-05-2013 21:24:42 | More by windypete
Photo of Drink_LocalSD
Drink_LocalSD

California

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-05-2013 17:57:34 | More by Drink_LocalSD
Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
PsilohsaiBiN

New York

4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-05-2013 06:53:07 | More by PsilohsaiBiN
Photo of jewellrunner
jewellrunner

Missouri

4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-05-2013 03:08:55 | More by jewellrunner
Photo of lehueve
lehueve

Mexico

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-05-2013 00:00:52 | More by lehueve
Photo of BigGingDrinker
BigGingDrinker

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-04-2013 21:35:43 | More by BigGingDrinker
Photo of tswater
tswater

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-04-2013 20:12:36 | More by tswater
Photo of TheBrouMaster
TheBrouMaster

Mississippi

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-04-2013 19:15:03 | More by TheBrouMaster
Photo of bmur112
bmur112

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-04-2013 18:14:15 | More by bmur112
Photo of Lawl3ss
Lawl3ss

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Chilled 12 oz. stubby into a shaker pint glass. 2013 vintage.

Look- Pours deep ruby brown, quite opaque. Finger and a half of dense toffee-colored head that refuses to settle. Decent lacing.

Smell- Dark roast, milk chocolate, blackcurrant. A little booze in the background. Nice.

Taste- Bold albeit standard profile. A bit of molasses and raisin stand out, dominated by bittersweet chocolate, charred biscuit, and medium roast coffee. A little boozy, not really surprising considering the 10%+ ABV. Not too sweet. Finishes with a moderately assertive herbal bittering, roast lingers.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full body, some astringency from the booze keeps it from being creamy. Slick feel, carbonation crisp. Not too heavy, but, well.... I was expecting something a bit more substantial.

Overall- Accessible. SN's not going too crazy with this, and that's probably a good thing. Still definitely worthwhile, and very reasonably priced for the category. Sic this on your friends when they talk about Guinness being "oh so dark"- they'll be pleasantly surprised rather than sickened.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2013 00:59:39 | More by Lawl3ss
Photo of TaraBrynn
TaraBrynn

Oregon

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

11-04-2013 00:20:43 | More by TaraBrynn
Photo of guytyping
guytyping

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

11-04-2013 00:17:50 | More by guytyping
Photo of RyanAU
RyanAU

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

11-04-2013 00:04:12 | More by RyanAU
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,027 ratings.