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Imperiale High Gravity Stout - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Imperiale High Gravity StoutImperiale High Gravity Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

131 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 131
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.66%
Wants: 2
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: flexabull on 11-05-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 131 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by MaltsOfGlory:
Photo of MaltsOfGlory


3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours about a one finger head into my standard pint glass. The head is very dark, I might go as far as to say that it's not even light brown, just strait brown. One of the darkest heads I've seen in a while. The head isn't really creamy looking at all, it is slightly pillow looking. Maybe a tiny bit soapy looking, but overall it just looks like your standard head, that has no real distinguishing characteristics about it. Mostly small bubbles, a few medium ones scattered here and there though. Head retention isn't bad, I still have a half of the original head left. The lacing looks like it will be very nice, but we will have to see for sure as I get down the glass. The body is just pitch black, damn this is a dark beer. Even when held up to the light, all I get is the slightest brown around some of the edges. I cannot see the carbonation due to the color. Visibility through the beer is zero. Overall it's a pretty nice looking beer so far, it looks very hefty. It for sure looks like a 9.1% beer. We will see how the lacing goes, but I like the appearance so far. The smell is chocolaty, malty, rich. I get a little alcohol on the nose, but for sure not as much as a rough high gravity beer would be, so that's good. Very light sweet smell, as well as a very light sour smell, probably from the hops. I'm surprised the sweetness isn't a bigger smell, considering the high gravity and heavy malts. It's not a bad thing necessarily, but it could prove to be rough around the edges without enough sweetness. Perhaps a little coffee in here too. Maybe even some dark fruit, like black cherries? Overall this is a good smelling beer, but my main problem is that the smell just isn't that huge. It's a 9.1% STOUT, I mean, I feel like the smell should just punch me in the nose, and it's not. It's not a bad smell by any means, it's a good smell with nice flavors coming through, but it's not anything special because I can't smell that much. I think I'll give it a 4, I was contemplating 3.5, but it's for sure better than that. Well that flavor is a little disappointing. I take my first sip, and....I really don't know what's going on here, it's very abnormal. The first thing I get is kind of a sweet and salty sourness. Like it taste remotely what a high gravity stout might taste like, but way too far with the saltiness, and not enough sweetness and other flavors. I mean I suppose those are the salty-like hops I'm tasting? I don't know. Malts really take a back seat in this beer, which is never good in a stout. It almost has a tangy taste to it to, like there is something weird about this beer. I mean with all that being said, it's still obviously a quality micro brew. It's not a bad beer, it's just really weird, not really my cup of tea, or beer. One thing that is nice is that you barely taste that 9.1%, it's hardly there at all. Those weird flavors are kind of starting to settle down now, the sour/salty flavor is more of a hop flavor now, with a little bitterness. I guess the malts have come out a little more, but not much. There is still that overall weird feeling here. I really don't know how to grade this because it's not terrible, it's a good beer, but there are a lot of weird things going on. It's between a 3.5 and a 4, and I really have no idea which one to go with, I'll wait until the beer warms I suppose. The mouthfeel isn't bad. The carbonation is pretty damn low, which is typical for the style, but this may be a little bit too low. The body on the other hand is way to thin for the style, not liking the body at all, it's thin and in no way thick. A 3.5 is actually a little generous for the mouthfeel, even though it's not bad, it's really a 3. The drinkability is extremely good considering the beer is 9.1% ABV. I mean it really tastes and drinks like a 6% or 7% beer, nothing more than that for sure. Great drinkability for the style. Overall this is a very confusing beer, it's a quality brew, but a lot of flavors are very odd. Overall a good beer, but not one I will be dying to have again.

The appearance is a little hard because the body was great, the head was good, and the lacing was good, but not great. The lacing turned out to be average, it was pretty patchy. I mean I guess it followed me all the way down the glass, but by the time we got there it was barely lacing anymore. I think a 4 is fair considering the good head and great body, mediocre lacing equals a 4 total.

As far as taste, damn...I was really expecting myself to give this beer a 3.5 for taste cause of all the weird crap. However, that stuff dumbed down a bit. Also, it is a quality brew, any way you slice it. I'm going to give it a 4 and balance things out by giving it a 3.5 overall. Let it be know that it BARELY got a 4.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 09:52:05 | More by MaltsOfGlory
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3.75/5  rDev +3%

07-11-2014 19:45:12 | More by 2beerdogs
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4/5  rDev +9.9%

07-07-2014 03:02:14 | More by GClarkage
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5/5  rDev +37.4%

06-17-2014 03:04:41 | More by johnny5martini
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3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and slight char aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, char, and slight dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roast bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is strong and has a roast bitterness that lingers long after each sip.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 05:29:35 | More by UCLABrewN84
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3.75/5  rDev +3%

04-06-2014 05:07:49 | More by DarkUnity
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3.75/5  rDev +3%

04-02-2014 05:35:58 | More by jakecattleco
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3/5  rDev -17.6%

03-30-2014 06:55:49 | More by emile772
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3.75/5  rDev +3%

03-18-2014 00:37:45 | More by SoCalBeerIdiot
Photo of Samuel906


3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pretty straightforward, but solid imperial stout here. Nothing mindblowing but hits all the important points. Interesting pour, jet black beer with a very light colored head. Gives it a cool looking contrast in artificial light. Thin lacing sticks to glass. Smell is sweet, perfumey, chocolate cake, roasted malt, soy sauce. Pretty standard taste, malts, chocolates dark fruits, vanilla. Very sweet, but not sticky. Toasty malts on the aftertaste. Feel was actually fairly thin for the style, low carbonation, doesn't really coat the mouth like some stouts. Overall good stout, not the best from Ninkasi, but not something to pass up either.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 06:25:29 | More by Samuel906
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4.75/5  rDev +30.5%

02-07-2014 03:12:24 | More by koopathaqwik
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4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with a brown ring of head.

S: Dark chocolate and coffee, some roasted malt in the nose.

T: Dark chocolate, coffee and dark fruit.

M: Smooth and full bodied.

O: This beer is really good, if a bit disappointing and boring. Still worth a try, and very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 22:37:23 | More by BierJager89
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4/5  rDev +9.9%

02-01-2014 04:00:23 | More by shaunofthedead
Photo of augustgarage


3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Bruery snifter.

Nearly opaque bistre body with faint auburn highlights and a small frothy desert sand crown that recedes to a creamy collar and a messy surface slick. Sandy lacing, viscous legs, decent retention.

Roast barley, coffee, and other dark malt notes greet the nose, followed by some sweeter yeast esters, and a hint of molasses, spice, and a slight herbal note.

Flavors follow the aroma closely with an emphasis on the malts - raw cocoa, toffee, and burnt sugar give a slightly acrid bent to the profile, though it mellows out with a spicy bitterness leading into an herbaceous drying finish. Hop presence is moderate throughout. Well balanced, but not greater than the sum of its parts.

Medium bodied, faintly prickly and moderately warming, though by no means fusel.

A decent stout, though slightly muddled with perhaps an excess of specialty malt or roast barley for my taste. A little goes a long way.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 04:54:47 | More by augustgarage
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4/5  rDev +9.9%

01-30-2014 03:16:10 | More by jds8411
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3.01/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I bought a bottle of Ninkasi High Gravity Imperiale Stout in a bottle shop. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a black walnut color, opaque, with a chunky beige head.

Smell is sweet with a bite. A molasses and brown sugar aroma, along with a bourbon whiskey scent.

Taste is a lot like the aroma. Sweet molasses upfront with a bourbon flavored finish, and some alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel is thin for the style. Thin, flat and warm.

Overall I don't think I would go out of my way to have this again. I'd prefer more coffee and chocolate flavors in my stouts.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 23:52:43 | More by RJLarse
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British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +9.9%

01-23-2014 04:40:55 | More by JasonLovesBeer
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New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +3%

01-19-2014 01:32:44 | More by Syracuse12
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3.75/5  rDev +3%

01-18-2014 08:54:06 | More by dertyd
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4.01/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Clear dark brown colored ale with a small brown colored head.

Smells sweet and a lot like German chocolate cake. Strong chocolate and caramel. Slight Kahlua scent. Smells quite tame.

Starts out bittersweet with a emphasis on the sweet. Sweet with bitter chocolate flavor. Strong caramel and a hint of coconut, I'm reminded of German Chocolate Cake again. Slight amount of char but this is mainly bittersweet in flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a good stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 01:22:59 | More by Zorro
Photo of Hoptometrist


4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a shaker glass.

A- Poured dark brown with some ruby highlights shining through, soapy mocha head that left some splashy lace.

S- Big roasted malt, roasted coffee, and rich dark chocolate in the aroma.

T- Big rich and decadent dark chocolate notes, fudgy brownie notes, some vanilla, pretty big roasted malt and coffee, moderate alcohol taste and bitterness.

M- Very smooth, prickly carbonation, fuller bodied, dry finish, big warming, and light burn. Easily one of the most drinkable imperial stouts I have ever had.

O- This is my favorite Ninkasi beer I have had, aside from a sample of the blended Imperiale Stout and Oatis Oatmeal Stout infused with Stumptown Coffee I had a few weeks ago. Very rich and chocolate forward with nice roasted malt notes and a great mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2014 04:47:46 | More by Hoptometrist
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New York

4/5  rDev +9.9%

12-24-2013 21:09:51 | More by trocketsauced
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4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

12-24-2013 03:27:58 | More by hickmancase
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3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

5.99 a bomber. decent price for imperial stout, but considering I can get lagunitas IS at 4.25, this was a curiosity purchase.

Pours a dark brown, almost black with 2 finger head that held up for a while.

Smell is a yeasty fruity sweet roasted malt, with chocolate, vanilla, not alot of coffee going on in this.

Taste is kind of like the smell with roasted notes, some chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, and oak.
Pretty good really, not quite like lagunitas though.

Mouthfeel is medium carbonated, middle of the road feel, not very thick.

Overall a decent offering from the biggest brewery near me, I'll buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 02:18:37 | More by BastardKing24
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3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

12-16-2013 10:29:29 | More by Asics
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Imperiale High Gravity Stout from Ninkasi Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.