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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
93
outstanding

3,775 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,775
Reviews: 688
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 193
Gots: 705 | FT: 38
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: 3,775 | Reviews: 688 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

stereosforgeeks, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: black bodied beer with a huge mocha brown head. The head has got some nice staying power. Spotty lacing once the head drops down to a thin cap.

Smell: Nice milk chocolate note and mild yet crisp roast note. Got a hint of fruitiness. It also smells like its got an oatmeal note going on as well. The nose is really great on this beer probably my favorite part the beer as a whole.

Taste: Moderately roasted coffee kick that mixes with a hint of black licorice. The beer finishes with a mildly sweet and bitter flavors that are best described as lingering bakers cocoa, tobacco, and molasses notes. Maybe even a hint of charcoal in there too. Bold and complex without being abrasive.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The beer is a little bit creamy while also being slick. Really smooth not a hint of booze in this beer that is just over 10%. Carbonation is really well done adding a touch of finesse because it has a soft feel to it as well.

Overall: This is probably the second best beer I have had drank that is brewed by Seirra Nevada; only trumped by the Black Barleywine they put in the large format bottle a few years ago. This is a well made Russian Imperial Stout. It got an hier about it; to me its an approachable beer for people new to the style and its good enough to satify some people with those "hard to please" palates. Bold flavors and smooth drinking. Sierra Nevada would be wise to make this a seasonal beer no doubt in my mind! This one blows away old raspy by north coast.

4DAloveofSTOUT, Dec 10, 2012
Photo of thecheapies
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750th Review. Sunday night beer fun with Sierra Nevada Narwhal. 12oz stubby bottle-dated November 2, 2012. Poured into a wide-mouthed snifter.

Pours black with some end-of-the-bottle sizzurp. The crema-colored head amounted to about a third of an inch and dissipated, eventually, to a wall-clinging ring. Decent legging. Looks good.

Black roastiness with embers of dark fruits and booze burning out in the nose. Big whiffs gather fragrances of black licorice, raisin paste, spicy alcohol, overkilned barley, cocoa, saltiness, charcoal, and a blown kiss of smoke. Lots of appealing earthy aromas throughout. A touch of floral hops make their way into the olfactory summary.

Very spicy burst at the beginning; a combination of gruff malt bitterness, roasty char, Challenger hops, and a rye presence. Cocoa solids, espresso, extreme roastiness, dark-skinned fruit, light licorice, baked earth, and bitter oats. A transient and subtle fruit flavor of peach is barely noticeable in the middle before drying out again and carrying out with char and strength in the finish. Almost contains a very mild chili heat.

Medium-thick. I like the boisterous spicy feel of the alcohol and hops. Carbonation is lower-medium and creates even more of a tickle.

An excellent beer for a windy cold night such as this. The weather's getting worse, the night's getting better.

thecheapies, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of IdrinkGas
4/5  rDev -3.6%

IdrinkGas, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of harrymel
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Second time with this beast. First time it was good, but I was drunky.
Bottled day 227 of 2012

Pours a dark, deep black with a central dome and accompanying rim of tan foam confluenced by etching about the remainder of the surface. Smells of sweet malts, hints of graham, some bits of cocoa, a good nougat character and a bit of milky character. I like the nose,but it is lacking in the hops I usually associate with a fresh RIS. Taste is more bitter than I recall, and rightfully so, it has a good earthy, spicy authoritative hops charm and then some toasted malts, bits of bitter chocolate, coffee and a hint of graham still. Full bodied with small, sharp and fleeting carb. A thick, wet finish. Nice beer, should be a year round beer, rather than a seasonal - it's nothing special and I like my seasonals to taste and be special.

harrymel, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of lupercmda
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

lupercmda, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of srandycarter
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pitch black. Nice thick tan head. Slow to leave. Some lacy stuff too.

S - Light musky cocoa, slight coffee.

T - Yum. Malty, cocoa, small coffee, very creamy.

M - Good carbonation, nice balance, very easy, likeable beer.

D - Not hard to drink. Could session.

srandycarter, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of Davepoolesque
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Davepoolesque, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Body is a dark brown nearly black hue. Pours with a 1-2 finger foamy tan head. It fades to a thin collar and no lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Pretty typical for an IRS. Chocolate, anise, a little bit of alcohol.

T- A lot like the nose but with roasted malt bitterness at the finish.

M- Medium to high carbonation, thick, heavy body.

O- Overall this is a pretty good imperial stout. Pretty typical for an imperial stout. Chocolate, anise, booze, roasted malt bitterness.

PittBeerGirl, Sunday at 02:38 AM
Photo of StJamesGate
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Motor oil in both color and consistency, with a cappuccino-colored head.
Blackberry, roast, charcoal, and caramel sauce on the nose.
Sweet licorice, 70% chocolate, ash, black currant, followed by solid branchy hops.
Cherry cola finish and gently bitter linger.
Full, creamy, round, smooth, no burn.

Big, sweet and velvety. More chocolaty than coffee, overall. No harsh roast, heat or big hops. Easy to like.

An RIS for rookies.

StJamesGate, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of Dope
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black pour with a thick, dense medium brown head. Fades very slowly, leaving a nice pattern of lacing behind. Good head retention to boot.

S: Nice roasted malt character. Creamy chocolate, roasted coffee bean and just a touch of char. Emphasis on the creamy, it smells like a borderline milk stout. Touch of smoke in there to boot. Oddly enough, I get almost a pretzel-like aroma sometimes (kinda toasty). Doesn't detract, probably just mistaking something else for it.

T: Thick, creamy roasted malt. Up front it is sweet molasses and vanilla with a bunch of char and smoke. Turns a little more bitter with some roasted coffee bean in the middle and some dark chocolate. Get a little more of that toasty pretzel too, heh. Finishes with lots of anise and some fading bitter, bitter dark chocolate that lingers between sips. Touch of grain alcohol in the finish - just a little bit hot, this one.

M: Thick, full, rich and creamy. Excellent mouthfeel.

O: A really nice RIS. Very thick and full, I loved that part. Excellent complexity, has some of pretty much every roasted malt characteristic that I've had in any stout. Balance is decent though it's a little too smoky and maybe a little too much anise but it's also very fresh (and a little hot, as noted). Overall, quite excellent. Looking forward to storing some away.

Dope, Oct 31, 2012
Photo of flexabull
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep and dark black color with a very fine light brown colored head. This looks just like an imperial stout should.

Aromas are of burnt sugars, espresso, dark chocolate, and notes of cream.

Taste is very full flavored. Burnt brown sugars, dark bitter chocolate, heavily roasted coffee, light cream, and a really bitter and dry finish.

Mouthfeel is full, with nice carbonation, but I wish the body was a bit stronger. Still good though.

Overall, a very well made Imperial Stout. For mass produced RIS, this is going to be hard to beat, another winner from the fine folks in Chico.

flexabull, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of homebrew311
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap at the Falling Rock. Appearance is opaque black with generous finger of head and heavy lacing that leaves layers behind. Smell is dry and roasty with dark fruits, chocolate, coffee, and grain. Taste is deep and roasty with light sweetness, heavy cocoa and coffee character at the end. Nice well rounded stout. Mouthfeel is heavy with medium carbonation. Overall, a very solid offering from Sierra Nevada.

homebrew311, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of ste5venla
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

ste5venla, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of ngeunit1
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
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 Immortale25
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Ninkasi Brewing pint glass. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a densely opaque black color with a 1/4 inch light brown head that doesn't retain long before it becomes a thin ring around the edge of the glass and some light, wispy surface foam. Average lacing.

S- Dark chocolate and some roasty char aroma. Also a hint of vanilla and some molasses.

T- Packs a punch of dark roasted malt and plenty of hop bitterness. Alcohol is very subdued though and there are more notes of dark chocolate, molasses and black licorice. Aftertaste is bitter and heavy with more roast.

M- Creamy and chewy with medium-low carbonation and the most robust of bodies. So thick and dark, I feel like it's gonna stain my teeth and make me instantly gain five pounds.

O- What a bold offering from SN. It's sure to please stout lovers everywhere. I guess they figured, why mess around with dainty versions of the style? Go for the jugular! I'm glad they did. Great price tag for a 4-pack of high ABV beer, too.

Immortale25, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

DarthKostrizer, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of aztraz
4/5  rDev -3.6%

aztraz, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of KevMo84
4/5  rDev -3.6%

KevMo84, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of Mitchster
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$2.69 for a 12oz bottle @ Bevco. Brewed with Two-row Pale, Caramel, Chocolate, Honey, Carafa malts & Roasted barley. Hopped with Magnum & Challenger for bittering and Challenger for aroma.
OG=24.2 Plato, FG=6.6 Plato, 60 IBU's, 10.2% ABV.

Pours out to a thick near black, forming a large sticky creamy dark brown head like espresso crema, with superior retention and sticky lacing. Mild to moderate carbonation, ~2.0 carbs. Nose of burnt marshmallows, black walnut, prunes, green leafy herbal hops and a little bourbon (fusels?). Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a dense syrupy body. The taste is a recap of the aroma...prune juice, bittersweet chocolate, a touch of french press, black walnuts and burnt marshmallows. There are some moderately boozy fusels in the middle, but they quickly dissipate by the finish which is mostly hops, wood ash and dark pipe tobacco. Bitterness is well-balanced for a RIS with a nice lingering bitterness in the aftertaste (probably the best part of the beer).

At first blush, the nose and look of this beer reminded me of Bells Expedition Stout, however once tasted, it's just not as cleanly fermented. This is a good RIS on par with Blackout or Victory , but just isn't on the same level as Expedition, Founders, or Siberian Night.

Mitchster, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of ncstateplaya
4/5  rDev -3.6%

ncstateplaya, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of barczar
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque deep brown with just a hint of garnet highlights and a solid half inch milk chocolate head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of lacing.

Dark cherries, plums, raisins, chocolate, and roast malt begin the aroma. Toasted nuts, licorice, and tar add complexity.

Flavor reveals deep roasted malt, dark fruit, and a long, coffee bitter finish. Chocolate is slightly muted, in favor of tart cherries.

Body is thick, viscous, and chewy, with low carbonation. There's astringency at the finish, preceding alcohol warmth.

Probably the thickest beer I've ever consumed. Dark fruit tartness was a bit overpowering. Fairly boozy, as well. Good roast malt character. I'll probably like this better with some age on it.

barczar, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev -3.6%

TX-Badger, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of Hanzo
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Hanzo, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

GreesyFizeek, Mar 07, 2013
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,775 ratings.