Narwhal Imperial Stout - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 3,119 | Reviews: 620 | Display Reviews Only:
4.28/5 rDev +3.4%
Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.
Out of the bottle pours dark brown, then hits with some very dark black walnut, almost midnight. Forms a solid cocoa and coffee like head, with lots of pinhead bubbles. Settles slowly, and manages to always keep a nice collar while drinking and a decent puck. Lots of leg coating and spotted catty lacing on the glass.
Nose is a little subtle. Simple roasted malts, but a nice waffer and ovaltine chocolate sense. Whoppers candy and malt. Mild char action, but mostly kind of closed. There is this sense this is sort of airy and light. Otherwise solid, not getting any coffee sense.
Palate hits with anything but. First notes of hop lime and grapefruit in the front palate, moves to a thick but waffer like dark bitter chocolate while consuming. Large surprising body melding with notes of char and more cocoa powder. Not particularly finding coffee on this but it's a superb feel, large since it seems unexpected from the bouquet.
Overall a great balance between hop action and roasted malt, a very controlled and fun beer, with not a boozy taste either for 10, a real fantastic stout very enjoyable.
11-08-2012 20:54:31 | More by smakawhat
4/5 rDev -3.4%
A: Pours a very deep black with some brown highlights on top. Small khaki colored head with minimal retention and sporadic lacing.
S: Lots of roasted malt, dark chocolate, a little bit of espresso. I can also pick out just a little bit of pine at the end.
T: Roasty malt up front, more dark chocolate, a little bit of mint in the middle mixed with some pine. Some licorice as well.
M: Medium to full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel, low carbonation. No sign of abv.
O: Pretty good imperial stout, easyish to drink, lots of nice stout flavor.
11-09-2012 03:59:29 | More by mdaschaf
4.45/5 rDev +7.5%
A - pitch black with a short, dense, brown, foamy head
S - roasted malt, anise, chocolate, alcohol, caramel
T - roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, faint anise, licorice, some faint bitterness
M - full bodied, smooth, warm, well carbonated
This is a solid, delicious stout with a great flavor profile. I feel like I could drink a lot of this even at 10%. It has a great malt character and the hops are noticeable but balancing. This is just an all around good beer.
11-10-2012 20:22:43 | More by tdm168
3.99/5 rDev -3.6%
Black and dark brown pour out the bottle, impressive depth and thickness to it. Solid 1+" head on it, tan in color, great density, retention and lacing to it. This is professional grade appearance.
Aroma was full of roasted and chocolate malt. They definitely didn't skimp. Already wondering how the pricing on this can be so affordable (4/$9.99). Plenty of coffee like aromas, the dark, sludgy variety that sits on the pot all day at Denny's.
The taste is substantial bitterness that falls off the tongue as the large body absorbs and washes it away. As usual, Sierra Nevada doesn't short you on the hops. Very dry in the end. Not going to be mistaken for a milk stout, that's for sure. Alcohol in check.
A beer like this should make you re-evaluate why you spend $10 on a bomber of imperial stout that probably isn't as good as this.
02-06-2013 22:27:21 | More by Beerandraiderfan
3.85/5 rDev -7%
1oz bottle poured into my Devil's Backbone glass. Pitch black in color with a thick foamy head filling the top inch of the glass. Nice retention and lacing as I drank it.
Aroma has dark, roasted malts mixing with milky chocolate. It's got a noticeable hop presence to it as well. The roasted malts bring a little bit of a coffee flavor with them as well. Nice aroma overall.
The taste also shows a good amount of hoppiness to it with some herbal and citrus notes present throughout. The dark, roasted malts are bold and bring more of a darker chocolate and coffee flavor out. A little sweet, milky chocolate in the finish along with a little alcohol.
The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being a little above average for the style. Overall, it's a very solid beer. It's a little hoppier than prefer in the style, but it comes together very well. The roasted malts were very bold, which really liked. Very nice beer overall.
12-13-2012 00:54:23 | More by billab914
4/5 rDev -3.4%
The Narwhal was brought over tonight as part of the "we are not at the GABF tasting"... Not sure that this bottle makes up for it, but it helps... Thanks my amigo.
12oz bottle.. pitch black brew... the head is dark, darker brown.. nice retention...
Big roasty elements... dark malts and some background cocoa... cold brewed beans... very nice.
The flavor is rich and unrelenting... dark roast coffee... plenty of roasted malt.. dark chocolate... just enough sweetness to bring out the malty flavors... a bit of dark currant and maybe fermented out raisin..
Body is about right... carbonation is square....
Pretty damn good... seriously.
10-14-2012 07:03:02 | More by JohnGalt1
2.99/5 rDev -27.8%
This bottle's been kicking around the back of the fridge since I got it, at the release time. About time to hit it. Poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a solid black color, as expected, with less than 1/4 inch of brown head that quickly dissipated to a thin ring, that left surprisingly good lacing.
The aroma was average for the style, perhaps even a bit too roast forward. The flavors were the same mostly bitter roast and alcohol, and the beer was sharp, in a harsh way, not a crisp way. The alcohol wasn't the least bit hidden, and the finish was very harsh.
That overall harshness hurt drinkability a great deal. I had a tough time finishing my 12oz. Overall, while a decent brew, this isn't the Old Rasputin killer SN has seemed to position it as. I won't be having it again, I'll just buy a 4pack of the smooth, even, nearly flawless Raspy.
03-03-2013 23:03:05 | More by beertunes
4.25/5 rDev +2.7%
Bottle form Siciliano's, 12oz into a tulip - 2012 vintage.
Impenetrable black with a deep brown head. Creamy retention and a whole load of lace. Nose of dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, carmel, dark fruit liqueur notes. Light anise and a bit of alcohol. Relatively sweet, but spot on for what I enjoy in imperial stouts. Taste has heavy dark roasted character, dark chocolate, light tar, charcoal with some back end sweetness to prevent everything from getting away. Full feel, some alcohol warmth. Medium low carbonation. This do es well as is and could be great with some time.
01-17-2013 01:09:47 | More by liamt07
4.15/5 rDev +0.2%
Darker than a moonless night with a nice brown head into my glass. Don't you ever get the feeling that the color of a beer isn't that interesting in the first place?
Cocoa, cream and roasted coffee notes dominate the nose. Dead-accurate. I'm excited to go further.
Dark and foreboding with all the fury of a New England winter. Coffee, cocoa and booziness abound. The latter is subdued, which is a big relief.
Mouthfeel is predictable with more of the roasted coffee than anything else. Much easier to digest when the alcohol stays in the background.
I believe this is a very good example from Sierra Nevada. I wonder if they'll do a yearly release like Bigfoot? They could certainly bump up the ABV, age it in oak, etc. As long as the base beer is done right, anything is possible.
10-17-2012 01:26:51 | More by Brad007
4.23/5 rDev +2.2%
2012 vintage, this was poured from a bottle into a mug. The beer is almost completely jet-black, with some chestnut highlights. No head, but there is a touch of bubbly filmy ringing around the surface. Aromas of chocolate, roasted coffee, a touch of booze, and earthy tones. Flavors are strong and rich, with a heavy roasted coffee backbone supporting a boozey and oaky highlight. Very deep and layered. Bittersweet chocolate laces throughout the palate, as well as a touch of bourbon. The aftertaste is bittersweet and roasty, with a slight booze linger as well. The beer is rich, but very smooth in mouth, and fairly light for an RIS, which makes it extremely palatable. Smooth, bitter, and rich finish. Very easy to drink despite the increased ABV and "big" flavor profiles.
11-06-2012 23:41:46 | More by GarthDanielson
3.93/5 rDev -5.1%
12oz bottle opened on 11.6.12.
A - Pours a dark brown with a medium brown foamy head that lingers around for a bit.
S - Very roasty and bitter. Some chocolate and coffee.
T - Bitter coffee, but smooth chocolate. Better as it warms.
D - Heavier body and good carbonation.
O - Sold stout, but I was a bit let down till I let it warm a bit more. Very solid, especially for the price.
11-28-2012 05:55:39 | More by HuskyinPDX
4.15/5 rDev +0.2%
Pours a solid black color with a huge fluffy tan head that slowly recedes to a cap on top. Smells of coffee and dark chocolate with a hint of caramel. Earthy citrusy hop aromas meld nicely with light aromas of dark dried fruits. The flavor is sweet with caramel and chocolate with a nice shot of espresso. A bit of earthy citrus hop flavor but mostly a roasty bitterness in the flavor. Light dark fruit flavors with a hint of alcohol round out the flavor quite well. Medium to thick body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet creamy velvety mouthfeel. Very nice Imperial Stout I really enjoyed this one and I guess I need to get back to the store to buy a few more to lay down.
11-01-2012 23:46:49 | More by johnnnniee
3.53/5 rDev -14.7%
A funny thing happened last night while I was consuming Narwhal - I came to the sad realization that I really have no place in my cellar for a RIS not aged in some sort of barrel. Narwhal brings the heavy roast, chocolate, very dry, roasted and charred malts. It's just been done, and it's boring to me now. This would have been a great addition to the lineup in 2005, but it does nothing for me now.
03-04-2013 21:26:37 | More by dirtylou
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,119 ratings.