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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

3,797 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,797
Reviews: 691
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 193
Gots: 715 | 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: 3,797 | Reviews: 691 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JimmyFlatRock
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

JimmyFlatRock, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of thinwhiteduke
4/5  rDev -3.6%

thinwhiteduke, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of Flounder57
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger mocha head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no clarity or bubbles seen coming up through the glass.

Smell: sweet chocolate, molasses, roasted coffee, a little warm alcohol, and dark fruits.

Taste: Chocolate, roasted coffee, tobacco, molasses, a little smoke, and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, warm alcohol, full bodied, medium carbonation, and delicious.

Overall: Pretty solid RIS by the boys from Stone. Might have to move up to their 22 RIS and the espresso version as well. This beer definitely got better as it warmed up too.

Flounder57, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev -3.6%

patre_tim, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of campfirebrew
4/5  rDev -3.6%

campfirebrew, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of RoryOMoore
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

RoryOMoore, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of KYGunner
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Narwhal pours with a deep, black beautiful body that was topped with a dense, creamy froth.

Gorgeous scents of cocoa, light coffee, marshmallow creamy sweetness and hints of malty Graham cracker all waft gently to the nose.

The flavor really showcases the strong malt base with a steep charred grain profile. The char brings out the coffee and cocoa qualities. These malts also bring out a strong Graham cracker dryness. It is better served warmer as the booziness comes out in the cold.

The feel is moderately thick upon first sip but swallows with a touch of abrasive carbonation. There's an easy warmth from the strong alcohol character but it is tempered as it warms.

Narwhal proves itself as a quality stout with a begging for barrel aging.

KYGunner, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of waddellc2
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

waddellc2, Oct 09, 2014
Photo of tbryan5
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

tbryan5, Feb 08, 2013
Photo of bmwats
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

bmwats, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of ystazi
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

ystazi, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of anteater
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

anteater, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of JeffTheJuice
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

JeffTheJuice, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of CHickman
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

2013 Bottle: Pours pitch black color with a thick creamy 2 finger tan head that was full of bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving very good spotty lacing and a layer on top.

Smells of oats, vanilla, cocoa powder, molasses, burnt grains, coffee, floral hops, licorice and a lot of smoky charred notes, like the malt went on fire and was then added to the mash. Nose has some sweet fruity notes, but it’s all things burnt overall with the burnt coffee or espresso leading the fade with chocolate and caramel accents that is nice to take in.

Flavor comes out with burnt malt leading the way and then turns in a mix of roasted sweetness with the cocoa powder, molasses, vanilla, coffee grinds, caramel, dry leafy floral hops, grapefruit, burnt wood, oats, licorice, smoky charred grains and anything else that seems like it was over a campfire; the chocolate notes come on stronger as it warms, with dark chocolate, vanilla, espresso and a sweetness that resembles the taste of a marshmallow that fell into the campfire coals, which is a really nice surprise. The alcohol is masterfully hidden, and the hops add mild spices and a citrus hop twang that add bitterness and a tiny bit of balance. Any fan of rich, roasted grains will love this brew and it’s complexities, which approaches the line for too bitter and too acrid but does not cross over into the land of negative flavor.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, this feels on the slick side even with the viscosity and has about average carbonation for such a bold beer. It’s bitter, it’s smoky, but it’s damn tasty and a really good RIS that went down easier than it should have. I really liked this beer when I bought this 4 pack last December and feel it got better with age. A high recommendation.

CHickman, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of budgood1
3.49/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

budgood1, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

SpeedwayJim, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of Danny1217
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Danny1217, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of BAsbill
4/5  rDev -3.6%

BAsbill, Oct 27, 2014
Photo of Kmat10
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Kmat10, May 20, 2013
Photo of jaymo18
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

jaymo18, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

CaptDavyJones, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of UltimateLivewire
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

UltimateLivewire, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of AleWatcher
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

AleWatcher, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of Doomcifer
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Doomcifer, Jul 29, 2014
Photo of DRBiser
4/5  rDev -3.6%

DRBiser, May 08, 2013
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,797 ratings.