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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

3,056 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,056
Reviews: 616
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.66%
Wants: 114
Gots: 443 | 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: 3,056 | Reviews: 616 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

06-11-2014 19:51:58 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2012 20:54:31 | More by smakawhat
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2012 03:59:29 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Latarnik
Latarnik

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

05-31-2014 21:11:49 | More by Latarnik
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2013 22:27:21 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2012 20:22:43 | More by tdm168
Photo of Kelp
Kelp

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

01-18-2013 07:50:56 | More by Kelp
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

All 4's

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2012 07:03:02 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of sendbeer
sendbeer

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

12-15-2012 06:07:41 | More by sendbeer
Photo of PEIhop
PEIhop

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -3.4%

10-27-2012 12:40:24 | More by PEIhop
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

2.99/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2013 23:03:05 | More by beertunes
Photo of afsdan
afsdan

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

04-22-2014 07:45:30 | More by afsdan
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2012 00:54:23 | More by billab914
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2012 01:26:51 | More by Brad007
Photo of dmorgan310
dmorgan310

Panama

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

11-23-2012 02:12:19 | More by dmorgan310
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

01-10-2013 01:36:45 | More by THECPJ
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 21:26:37 | More by dirtylou
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

01-18-2013 18:57:29 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of harpus
harpus

Alabama

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

04-11-2014 19:21:54 | More by harpus
Photo of rolltide8425
rolltide8425

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

06-30-2014 14:48:22 | More by rolltide8425
Photo of Zaphog
Zaphog

Michigan

4/5  rDev -3.4%

11-03-2012 19:26:50 | More by Zaphog
Photo of GraduatedCashew
GraduatedCashew

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%

10-23-2013 21:57:28 | More by GraduatedCashew
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2013 01:09:47 | More by liamt07
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

3.31/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance is thick black with a small, dark tan/light brown head, quickly dissipating, no lace.

Smell is soft, sweet malt sugars. Robust alcoholic character.

Taste is robust and rich. Sugary, caramel, sweet alcohol. A little raisiny. Not a lot of depth here, the 10.2 is pretty bruising.

Mouthfeel is dry and thick.

Drinkability is ok, this is a big, brash, old school RIS. I like the fact that it's all malt and not hoppy, but it's too hot.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 00:59:19 | More by ccrida
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very nice imperial from Sierra Nevada, well worth the wait. A quality effort that’s affordable and easily accessible to boot. Pours deep black with a smallish cream colored head; decent retention and a bit of patchy lace. Not the best looking example of the style but that’s nitpicking I suppose. Aroma of roasted, nearly charred malt, espresso, black licorice, baker’s chocolate. The flavor mirrors the nose closely; the roastiness is the prevalent note here, again black licorice or anise is present, but integrates well and isn’t overbearing; booze is well-hidden, sweetness is average for the style, some piney hops tidy things up in a fairly subtle way underneath. Far from cloying; in fact I would have enjoyed a bit more caramel, brown sugar and chocolate here. But it’s a well-meshed flavor, not too big, hits all the right notes while taking a bit of a middle of the road approach. Very drinkable and very appealing.

The body is moderately full and carbonation is medium; the feel has just a touch of creamy smoothness. Again, it’s not particularly massive, but it drinks like a charm. Overall a real winner. Not going to make anyone forget the heavy hitters but you could do a lot worse than grab a four pack of this for your stout fix.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2013 14:27:14 | More by tobelerone
Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,056 ratings.