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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

3,057 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,057
Reviews: 616
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 114
Gots: 444 | FT: 29
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: 3,057 | Reviews: 616 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beergorrilla
beergorrilla

Michigan

4/5  rDev -3.4%

07-31-2013 04:41:47 | More by beergorrilla
Photo of WanderingFool
WanderingFool

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Narwhal pours black into the glass with a big, tan head on top. The foam disappears quickly leaving only a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma has notes of pine, roasted malt, chocolate and toffee. The aroma improves as the beer warms.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is creamy, slightly chewy with moderate carbonation. The rich flavor is nice and malty with a bitter finish. It begins with roast malt and chocolate. Some dark fruit and nuts come through in the middle. It finishes with some bitter pine flavors. Once gone the chocolate and piney bitterness lingers on the palate.

For 10% abv this is a quite drinkable beer. Well balanced with full flavors as the beer warms.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 22:15:40 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 01:54:59 | More by barczar
Photo of 2beerdogs
2beerdogs

California

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

03-30-2013 17:05:39 | More by 2beerdogs
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass form a 12oz bottle.

Pours a pitch black slightly oily liquid. Some dark mahogany and caramel edges are present. There is a nice light tan 0.5 inch head that is formed. It recedes fairly quickly down to a thin film.

Aroma starts with roast and dark malts. Slightly smokey with some coffee notes. There is also some nice bitter chocolate in the nose. There are some slight grassy aroma in the nose as well that mix in with the roasted, dark and coffee notes. Pretty nice aroma.

Flavor starts off with dark chocolate notes. Some sweetness with nice dark cocoa bitterness. Then there is the roast that comes in. Coffee and espresso notes with some slight sweet milk chocolate notes present. There is definitely some nice grassy hop notes in the middle and the back end of this brew. Very well blended with the roast and stout notes. Quite the roasty brew with nice dark cocoa notes to finish it off. Mouthfeel is nice and slick. Creamy with good lively carbonation as well.

Pretty impressive brew by Sierra Nevada. Rich and creamy with some nice roasty coffee notes. Good RIS.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2012 03:29:52 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed January 6th, 2012 from a Ladyface Ale Companie tulip.

Pouring somewhat vigorously, this beer gives up a one finger dark tan head that disappears almost immediately. 99% opaque black with a tiny hint of brown.

Aroma is graham crackers and vanilla.

Flavor is deeply roasted dark malts providing chocolate and woody notes. Some alcohol presence. Moderate bitterness on finish. Not terribly complex.

Mouthfeel is silky smoove and a little thick.

This is a quality RIS. Sierra Nevada seems to have staked out Old Rasputin's territory and made a credible play for it.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 03:40:49 | More by charlzm
Photo of far333
far333

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a low beige head that settles out quickly. Inviting aroma of cocoa and espresso, some raisin. Rich flavors upfront, dark chocolate, espresso, root beer, molasses, smoke and leather, some rough-edged roasty malt, sharp bitterness, interesting mix of flavors. Full mouthfeel, but slightly tannic and warming. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 01:03:29 | More by far333
Photo of Jame515
Jame515

Texas

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-27-2013 14:41:27 | More by Jame515
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is a 2013 bottle with about 9 months on it.

The beer pours black with a light brown creamy head.

The aroma has dense roasted malt, sweet chocolate, mocha coffee, a touch of dark fruit of cherries and dried plums.

The beer has a medium plus luscious mouthfeel. However, there is still an aggressive kick of alcohol, as with the beer fresh. Lots of deeply roasted coffee and malt, bitter chocolate, with a spike of alcoholic dark fruit on the finish.

The beer is certainly helped with age, but it still very alcoholic, which detracts from the palate.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2014 02:04:03 | More by dar482
Photo of ElGallo
ElGallo

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-30-2012 02:05:47 | More by ElGallo
Photo of RoryOMoore
RoryOMoore

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

01-05-2013 03:30:48 | More by RoryOMoore
Photo of jsprain1
jsprain1

Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours deep dark black. Head is one finger thick, lasts pretty well, I suppose. Good lacing, however.
S- Very nice smell. Coffee, espresso, dark chocolate, and a good bit of dark caramel. Hits all the notes a good RIS should.
T- A bit too much sweet caramel and not enough roasted flavors. Caramel is prevalent throughout. Coffee and chocolate are there, just not as strong as I would like.
M- A bit light, but nice smooth carbonation.
O- A decent to good imperial stout. I always like SN offerings and even if this isn't one of the top examples.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 04:05:23 | More by jsprain1
Photo of Satchboogie
Satchboogie

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-15-2012 00:53:36 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of fredmugs
fredmugs

Indiana

4/5  rDev -3.4%

12-08-2012 01:12:11 | More by fredmugs
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger

Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black and the head quickly dies down to leave a very thin lacing ring and a heavy cascade of bubbles when the snifter is swirled.

S - Roasted cocoa nibs, bittersweet chocolate, light charcoal & coffee beans, dark fruit is subdued and buried.

T - Dark roasted chocolate, dark fruit, coffee/expresso, charred oak, and chocolate bitterness that lingers on the palate.

M - Velvety smooth, soft carbonation, thick body and texture.

O - Sierra Nevada is coming on strong with some excellent big beers, this is yet another one worth seeking out for the stout lovers.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 03:41:25 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of bmwats
bmwats

Louisiana

3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Black. Pours about a finger and a half, foamy, brown head. Disintegrates slowly. Eventually settles to a thick blanket with a foamy buildup around the sides of the glass. Sporadic lacing.

S: Earthy malt tone, dark chocolate, with a little black licorice.

T: Unsweetened dark chocolate, lots of licorice, pecan shells.

M: Thick, hearty, and syrupy. Slight bitterness lingers throughout.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is solid. Dark, intimidating appearance, nice head, and fair lacing. Nose is basic and characteristic dark chocolate and licorice. Tastes like is smells.... bitter chocolate and licorice. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2012 03:26:31 | More by bmwats
Photo of mltobin
mltobin

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -3.4%

06-27-2014 00:39:00 | More by mltobin
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Grabbed a 4-pack of this when it first came out. Saved the final bottle for a review. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a jet black. No light penetrates this one. Small tan head. Nose is rich with booze, chocolate, roasted coffee, grape, vanilla. Hints of woodsy aromas on the finish.

Body is decadent and full. Rich velvety feel with a touch of carbonation on the back end. A nice malty backbone, with vanilla, chocolate syrup, a little booze, black licorice, dark fruits.

This one was rich and tasty. The alcohol snuck up on me at the tail end, but this one was one I enjoyed through and through. I hope to see this around often, as I would like to have stock of this one at all times.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2013 13:08:37 | More by Onenote81
Photo of Herky21
Herky21

Iowa

4/5  rDev -3.4%

09-29-2013 15:16:10 | More by Herky21
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

01-09-2013 18:02:12 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of budgood1
budgood1

Minnesota

3.49/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

pours out an opaque onyx black colour. large, thick and frothy light brown coloured head that has a great deal of creamy staying power. about perfect. the nose on this big stout is a bit non-descript...some cocoa and nougat with some NW hopping. taste profile is a straight up combination of creamy sweetened dark chocolate and yeast infused dark roasted malts. none too complex in the malt/yeast interaction, so no real layers of flavours... just char, java and a hint of sour. this imperial stout has a beefy hop attribute to it, enough that the pine and pith flavours are able to fight their way through the dark cauldron and murky depths of black malt madness. a nice, healthy back end bitterness is also obviously detectable...and it all lingers for a blistering finish. the body on this stout is beefy and sturdy, no detractions there. mouthfeel is silky smooth, almost too smooth for an imperial stout of this magnitude. and that leads into the drinkability factor, which is way to easy for an imperial stout, making it dangerously delectable.

overall, i was a bit underwhelmed in the grand scheme of things when sampling this. perhaps a bit of age would benefit this? or maybe i'm just let down with the overall nose and flavour profile. the interaction between malt and yeast leaves me wanting despite the bitter hop blast, which i was expecting. an egnigma...nonetheless, it's a tasty treat that has potential in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 23:33:39 | More by budgood1
Photo of GilGarp
GilGarp

Colorado

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served at cellar temp into a pint glass.

Narwhal is basically black in color and starts with a good inch of off white head. It settles somewhat quickly but leaves a little lacing behind.

Aroma is roasty and robust with some hop character.

Flavor is surprisingly strong with big bitterness from both hops and malts. There's a little sweetness but it's really dominated by dark roasted malts and big hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and a little bit overly carbonated.

Overall a good imperial stout but it doesn't have the silky mouthfeel of my other favorites like Yeti and TenFidy.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 04:35:01 | More by GilGarp
Photo of AndrewMichael
AndrewMichael

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

12-25-2013 21:06:21 | More by AndrewMichael
Photo of Kmlund
Kmlund

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

10-03-2013 17:50:28 | More by Kmlund
Photo of Zachtheporter
Zachtheporter

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

03-13-2013 05:36:54 | More by Zachtheporter
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,057 ratings.