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Narwhal Imperial Stout - Barrel Aged - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Narwhal Imperial Stout - Barrel AgedNarwhal Imperial Stout - Barrel Aged

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

362 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 362
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 10.09%
Wants: 131
Gots: 243 | FT: 38
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  12.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This deliciously dark treat is our bold Narwhal Imperial Stout aged in oak Kentucky bourbon barrels. Black as midnight, this intense stout is incredibly complex with notes of dark chocolate, rich roasted grains, and espresso seamlessly blended with hints of vanilla and toasted coconut with a slight touch of honey from aging in the oak spirit casks. Nearly as rare as its nautical namesake, try it out while you can because, like the creature itself, it will disappear into the blackness soon and leave nary a trace behind.

Additional Info:
Narwhal was aged for 8 months in fresh bourbon barrels (a combination of Willett single barrel, Heaven Hill and various Beam brands).

ABV: 12.9
IBU’s: 62
Bittering Hops: Challenger
Malts: Two-row Pale, Caramel, Chocolate, Honey, Carafa III, Roasted Barley

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-11-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 362 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThickNStout
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Corked and caged 750mL bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 22.99. Bottled 10/14/14. Served in a Barrel and Barley teku.

Pours midnight black with a two and a half finger cap of dense, pale tan head. The froth slowly settles to a thin ring that leaves some nice patches of lace.

Sweet, rich, inviting smells of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, burnt oak, coffee and caramel with a hint of the fairly formidable alcohol in the background. Quite nice.

Flavors are bold, rich and ocassionally bordering on hot. Dark chocolate fudge, bourbon, charred oak, vanilla, heavily roasted malts, burnt caramel, espresso, faint coconut, marshmallow, vague dark fruits and a nice blanket of booze over it all. Despite the name, this seems like a different stout than the base beer. Significantly sweeter with almost none of the anise that I recall being so prevalent. An outstanding blend of imperial stout and barrel character that goes down with an ease that belies it's near-13% abv.

Sludgy, heavy, creamy feel with an interesting, lethargic seeming carbonation. That may not read as a compliment but the mouthfeel is almost perfect for an imperial stout. Bittersweet dark fudge, bourbon and sweet barrel linger in the finish.

I remember thinking Narwhal had some real potential when I first tried it two years ago and that potential is fully realized in this barrel aged version. The barrel smooths out the flavors, adds a wonderfully sweet complexity and seems to have thickened it beautifully. This beer came out of left field and surpassed my expectations, which is a rare occurrence these days. Yes this is a tad pricey but Barrel Aged Narwhal is a benchmark example of what a barrel aged imperial stout can be and possibly the best beer I've had from the craft veterans at Sierra Nevada. Seriously- try this if you can!

ThickNStout, Nov 18, 2014
Photo of cosmicevan
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

enjoyed side by side with a 2014 narwhal from sierra nevada 30th anni globe snifter.

a - brew pours a rich shiny silky black. great shine nice frothy offwhite head. great lace, esp for a BA brew. looks like the base, but the BA has bigger lace.

s - nose is exactly ad advertised...a big woody bourbon glazing over the nice roasted chocolate notes of the base.

t/m/o - really well balanced BA stout. has all the robust chocolate roast and chewy body of the original with a really nice glaze of woody bourbon. the barrel takes some of the extremeness of the roast of the base and sits it in the back seat. an improvement to an already tasty beer. the barrel aging really takes it to another level. very good, easy drinking and worth checking out.

cosmicevan, Nov 08, 2014
Photo of gshak
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

gshak, Today at 03:10 PM
Photo of ncelauro
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

ncelauro, Today at 02:25 PM
Photo of APBT91
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

APBT91, Today at 01:41 PM
Photo of drewone
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%

drewone, Today at 05:59 AM
Photo of snotster
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

snotster, Today at 05:26 AM
Photo of Labeorphile
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%

Labeorphile, Today at 03:59 AM
Photo of blee0891
3.75/5  rDev -14%

blee0891, Today at 03:40 AM
Photo of Lare453
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%

Lare453, Today at 01:51 AM
Photo of MrDarcy
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%

MrDarcy, Today at 12:54 AM
Photo of Resuin
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%

Resuin, Yesterday at 11:29 PM
Photo of clearytom70
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%

clearytom70, Yesterday at 10:35 PM
Photo of JandJMD
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

JandJMD, Yesterday at 10:32 PM
Photo of larryi86
4.69/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

750 mL bottle poured into a teku

A- Pitch black with a two finger mocha head.

S- Chocolate, oak,!some bourbon and vanilla, roasted coffee, touch of caramel, almost no alcohol.

T- Very rich and big, dark chocolates, hints of dark fruits, bourbon, a lot of oak, vanilla, alcohol, but not boozy, espresso/roasted coffee that linger in the finish, very well balanced.

M- Smpith, full body, slightly chewy, carbonation is a little too high.

O- A great barrel aged stout the is actually more bitter than sweet. I was able to grab 3 bottles, but will probably hunt for a few more. I am a big fan of regular Narwhal and Sierra Nevada did a great job aging this!

larryi86, Yesterday at 10:11 PM
Photo of jblain
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

jblain, Yesterday at 01:23 PM
Photo of VaTechPhilly
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

VaTechPhilly, Yesterday at 12:53 PM
Photo of ACY73
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

ACY73, Yesterday at 04:41 AM
Photo of szmnnl99
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

szmnnl99, Yesterday at 03:10 AM
Photo of JWD
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%

JWD, Yesterday at 02:43 AM
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Narwhal Imperial Stout - Barrel Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.