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

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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,111 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,111
Reviews: 159
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 191
Gots: 605 | FT: 90
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-11-2013

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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Narwhal Imperial Stout - Barrel Aged Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,111 | Reviews: 159 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
4.04/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Tasted earlier this year while in SFO

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared at the monthly bottle share held at Flask Fine Wines in Studio City, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, black licorice, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, vanilla, bourbon, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a bourbon barrel aging that adds well to the base beer.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of acurtis
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kjkinsey
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BEERchitect
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly powerful, yet full of grace- Sierra Nevada's Barrel-Aged Narwahl is woven into a seamless bourbon cocoon. And with wine-like tones, the Stout is so much more than just roast and booze.

As the beer is delivered to the table, a quick swirl seems to encourage the Stout to crawl around the glass on its own, trailing with inky legging as much as it does a scattering of lace. Its mocha-stained sheet of foam is creamy but loosely knitted together, eventually succumbing to its massive strength.

Its bold and fragrant aromatics lead with obvious roast overtones. Smooth like espresso, dark chocolate, roasted nuts and a hint of dark fruit. As the sweet bourbon notes release caramel, vanilla and weathered wood, it also highlights its floral, plumb, berries, grape and overall vinous, sherry-like tones. Warming a bit, its citrusy hop character pull from the roast and booze in a surprising turn before that first sip.

Its masculine sweetness wraps around the tongue with those espresso and bittersweet chocolate malts like fudge and chocolate-covered espresso beans. Hearty sweetness of burnt toffee and molasses supports the roast character to near perfection. Its bourbon infusion delivers a plethora of complexity at middle palate- vinous sherry, charred berries, dates, figs and plum that's pulled together by the natural caramel wood sweetness, vanilla, mature oak and cherry wood spice. Turning assertively bitter in finish, only the slightest grapefruit taste discerns its hop-derived bitterness from charred bitterness.

Its certain full and chewy body uses its embedded carbonation to give a marshmallow texture to the mouth. Its creamy sweetness dissolves in stride to give its finish remarkable semi-dryness without harsh astringency. Lingering with espresso roast, bourbon warmth and a wisp of campfire- the Stout is perfect as after dinner digestive.

Where the standard Narwahl is formidable in its own right, the bourbon aging really pulls out the fruit, floral and hop tones as much as it provides complexity of barrel, booze and controlled aging- savory inducing taste.

Photo of jaydoc
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Knapp85
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

we are approaching perfect with this one, and beer rarely ever does for me. this is extraordinary, and absolutely delicious. i am amazed how the barrel mellows the base beer, but how the unique flavors of narwhal come through the bourbon is incredible, not covered up by whiskey but enhanced by it. there has always been a little vanilla finish to the base beer, and that really comes out on the nose of this one, along with bakers chocolate, melting fudge, honey, and vibrant oak. there is the vanilla and chocolate complexion in the flavor too, but theres also a whole lot more, the coffee notes of the malt, and a burning dessert bread sort of thing, followed by moderate raw sweetness and just a tickle of alcohol. i do get a little coconut when i look for it, but there is a different kind of nuttiness here, more of an almond thing, almost creamy with the earthy side, works so well with the heavy bourbon flavors the beer finishes with. texture is amazing too, viscous but not syrupy, palate coating but not teeth rotting, and hearty but not filling, its a mix of sensations not usually associated with the style. this may well be my favorite barrel aged stout right now, and is certainly the beer of 2015 for me here in the early going. wow, go find this one and open it immediately, no need for cellaring at all its ready to rip!

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Kegatron
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damn. This is how barrel aged stouts should be. It's mildly hot, but not enough to damper the ride. Nice woody boozy tones. Smooth stout flavors with a nicely robust edge. Great beer. Could deal with a lot more of this Awesome stuff.

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of oline73
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

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Narwhal Imperial Stout - Barrel Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 1,111 ratings.