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Imperiale - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ImperialeImperiale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

78 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 229
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 7
Gots: 29 | 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:
Beer added by: flexabull on 11-05-2011

Formerly Imperiale High Gravity Stout

Rich, full bodied and surprisingly smooth, Imperiale Stout has a big roast hit up front, and rich, dark malt flavors balanced with ample hop bitterness to finish.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 78 | Hads: 229
Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A boozy nose, minimal froth, a deep, essentially-opaque brown-black body, and a beautiful label featuring prismatic Byzantine cathedral-domes all conspire to announce this special release as a decidedly imperious stout. Yet it's also not especially thick, possessing a smooth, medium-heft consistency, and that's twinned with a bilious, biting hopping that refuses to let the sweetness or burned-sugar smokiness overwhelm or achieve full assertiveness. Instead, Ninkasi has crafted a big stout that's as balanced as it is bold, boasting bumped-up IBU (reported at 70) and a clean mix of roasted flavors—mostly smoked ash and nearly-blackened caramel—as well as variegated hop notes, which are both decidedly bitter and tart in that grassy, hop-acerbic sense. All in all, a nice, slightly unique, mostly pleasing stout. (825 characters)

Photo of Harvest06
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Fresh this is not a stout I care for. Too hot and hoppy.

I tried one cellar-ed 1 year and it has improved but now had a sweet finish that the hops had hidden when fresh. (170 characters)

Photo of Jermaine44
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Overall a well made stout. Smells sweet like Carmel, vanilla.. Taste is roast up front followed by sweetness from the malt finished with a bitterness to balance the beer. Medium mouthfeel just the way I like my beers (216 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Impressive head. It lingers for a good 3-4 minutes after the beer is poured as a half-inch, light brown, foamy top. Underneath is a pretty much, pitch black beer. Shining an iPhone light through it produces nothing more than a faint, red spot, shining through from the other side of the glass. The lacing is pretty strong for a big beer like this, covering a good 70% of the back side of the glass.

SMELL: Aroma is lighter than I would expect from a beer like this, but roasted malts lead the way. Dark chocolate with a touch of caramel and a little oak lie behind the roast.

TASTE: That roasted malt flavor leads the way, but it is mild and pleasant. Vanilla and dark chocolate help to round it out along with hints of dark fruit.

MOUTHFEEL: Very smooth and velvety, silky smooth. This beer should be very full-bodied, instead its medium to full…much lighter than expected and very easy to drink.

OVERALL: Excellent Imperial Stout. Just a well done beer that I’ll drink any time its available. (1,029 characters)

Photo of prock180
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Average take on the style. I kept wanting a little more to come out in this but it didn't. Good imp stout with nice chocolate flavor. I want more body and coffee with an imperial stout. (185 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. I love how this is called "High Gravity" here, like anyone would look at a north of a 9% ABV brew any other way.

This beer pours a solid, light diffusing black, with the barest of basal cola edges, and three fingers of puffy, frothy, and rocky Dockers tan head, which leaves some decent pockmarked inner city wall lace around the glass as it gently subsides.

It smells of roasted, kind of meaty caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, a touch of funky yeast, vanilla-tinged brown sugar, very meek and muddled dark fruit notes, and earthy, leafy, and fairly herbal hops. The taste is more of the same - bready, lightly toasted caramel malt, meaty wet ash, dark cocoa beans, still apparent phenolic yeast, somewhat acrid black orchard fruit, some real (read: boozy) vanilla, bitter coffee grounds, and more leafy, weedy, and earthy hops.

The carbonation is fairly low, but supportive enough in its plain fizziness, the body a strong medium-full weight, and generally smooth, the alcohol slowly chipping away, Chinese water torture style. It finishes on the sweet side, the caramel malt, chocolate, and booze lording it over the still relevant hops.

Not a bad version of the style, but that yeast weirdness has got to go, man. Other than that, the hops do well to more or less balance out the typical big stout flavours, and once the alcohol comes along, everything just sort of works itself out, y'know? Yeah, the rest of this is gonna go great with some spicy Hunan chicken - order up! (1,503 characters)

Photo of ocelot2500
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Pours a deep black with a pillowy tan head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of deep roasted notes with some hops to it.

Tastes like a nicely hopped stout. Deep roasted notes lead off with dark chocolate, espresso, burnt sugar, and some slight char. This gives way to some syrupy sweetness. Hops add in with pine notes. Touches of dark fruit come next as well as some alcohol. Finishes with a slightly acrid burnt note.

Mouthfeel is full with a creamy amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is tasty, but be prepared for a hoppy, bitter stout. (553 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a pitch black color with a one finger head of tan colored foam. The head has a good level of retention, fading to leave a decent level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a roasted malt smell with some notes of dark chocolate mixed within. Some nice sweeter smells of vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar as well as a little bit of dark fruits of cherry, plum, and raisin are there as well. A bit of coffee as well as a hint of a smoky smell round out the aroma, creating a rather dark and roasty, warming smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt taste with a rather sweeter chocolate flavor consisting of a semi-sweet chocolate mixed with vanilla and caramel. More roasted malt enters the taste as it advances further from the start with some of the sweet fading just a tad. All while the sweet fades a bit, a decent showing of a coffee flavor as well as some toast and smoke flavors come to the tongue. In the end, with a bit of graininess as well as the onset of more roast and dark chocolate and coffee flavors, one is left with a moderately, but not too sweet mocha flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that is quite low. For the style the carbonation and slightly thicker body are nice (although a little more thickness would have likely been even better) making for a good and intense stout flavor to soak into the tongue.

Overall – A rather nice stout overall that is very approachable and that at only ~ $5 for a bottle is a great value. This is a great imperial overall when considering price/characteristics. (1,760 characters)

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I really like this especially for the price- pours a charcoal color with light colored head and good retention and lacing.

Smells like a very rich stout- nothing particularly sticks out but there's definitely a good roasted character and maybe a bit of raisin.

Tastes great- big roasted malt character, definitely caramel, some chocolate, and a bit of that raisin/dried fig character. Delish.

Feels pretty good- medium full bodied, modest carbonation, not so smooth. This tastes good; not incredible but definitely very good. (528 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a coffee colored with cocoa foam. I get a mix of dark cocoa, French press coffee, and some green/marmalade notes on the aroma. There’s a piney bitterness with some marmalade and coffee roasiness, and a somewhat medicinal feel. Honestly, I felt like the beer had too much going on, in too many different directions. Glad I tried it, but one was enough. (364 characters)

Photo of lordofstarside
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%

Bomber to a snifter

Pours black with a finger and a half of brown foam. Mild carbonation on the sides, no real visibility, good lacing and retention 4.5/5

Smells of dark chocolate, roast coffee, a touch of smoke, and some alcohol. Honestly pretty subdued for a beer this big, not a lot of complexity 3.5/5

Taste is close with the nose. Roasted and smokey dark chocolate and coffee come together with some nuances of dark fruit and alcohol. Again, pretty straight forward 3.75/5

Feel is probably the best part, really smooth and creamy with a heavy body. Alcohol is concealed well, easy to sip 4.5/5

Overall not the most exciting, but a solid imperial stout regardless 3.80/5 (680 characters)

Photo of archyquaffer
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass. A moderate pour produces about a one inch bubbly, frothy and somewhat sticky head that settles down to a solid 1/8 inch pale tan coating of froth. Lacey rings linger as the glass is emptied. The beer is a deep ruby brown that requires a strong flashlight to see light through.

A very light toasted malt aroma with a little bit of herbal hops. The flavor is semi-sweet, with definite notes of chocolate, coffee, licorice, and dark fruit (cherry, chokecherry, plum), and a touch of citrus. A little alcoholic spice and some port-like flavors become more apparent with warming. A lingering bittersweetness lasts from sip to sip. The body is perhaps on the light side for a stout, which makes it somewhat dangerous in terms of quaffability.

This was an excellent deal at $4.79 for the bomber, purchased at Front Street Market in Butte, Montana. At this price, I would always seek this out. (934 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (585 characters)

Photo of Samuel906
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (641 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
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. (268 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (956 characters)

Photo of RJLarse
3.02/5  rDev -17.7%
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. (556 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (463 characters)

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
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. (800 characters)

Photo of BastardKing24
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (622 characters)

Photo of TheosTheories
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A- dark brown, shows some red when put up against the light, nice finger and a half of tan brown head

S- chocolate, dark fruits, light coffee, little hoppiness,

T- light chocolate, light roastiness, light coffee, pretty much light everything, nothing stands out to me, there is a little pine in there from the hops though

M- medium to full body, carbinated and dry

O- your average stout, nothing stands out really, nice flavors that blend together pretty nicely but nothing crazy, good stout for someone that doesn't like dark beers too much. (548 characters)

Photo of LampertLand
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ninkasi Brewing 'Imperiale Stout' @ 9.1% , served from a 'special release' 650 ml bottle purchased for $7.25

A-pour is a dark brown from the bottle to near black in the glass with some crimsom red peeking thru along the glass edge , with a small tan head leaving a spotty lace along the pint

S-ripe dark fruits , boozey

T-sweet tasting start , not so smooth , slight bitter bite before the swallow

MF-ok/good carbonation , full body , yet it is a bit thin tasting , needs some more ?

Ov-ok beer , ok Imperial Stout , lacks something

prost LampertLand (557 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a decent amount of head which has pretty good retention. The head is a medium beige while the body is a dark, chocolate brown which shows hints of garnet and ruby when held up to the light. Substantial lacing at the moment.

Nose- Simplistic but nice. Dominated by roasted notes, a hint of chocolate, light coffee. A little bit of creaminess. Maybe a little bit of burnt toast from the bottle. Slight nuttiness. Lacks presence and complexity but still above average. Slight hint of cherry. Swirling shows a slightly sour note from the coffee.

Taste- Starts off with the roasted notes and shows a glimmer of mint (maybe even anise) and then moves back to the roasted notes which have thick but elementary coffee taste to them. The roasted malts are strong and pretty much overwhelm anything else though there is a nice hop backbone of pine and resin to push back against the malt. Light mint, menthol, even peppermint hangs around the edges and gives the beer a clean taste, especially on the finish. Lacks complexity but makes up for it (a bit) by being consistent. Some nuttiness and light notes of cream and milk. Above average to good beer. Pretty average in comparison in regard to the many imperial stouts that I've had. A fairly solid beer that doesn't require you to think too much. Tiny bit of cherry.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with maybe too much carbonation. Little bit of a dry finish as well. Could definitely be thicker but the thinness somehow works with simplicity of the flavor profile.

Drinkability- Very drinkable but slightly boring. No heat at all. 5 bucks isn't bad at all for a bomber and this is something I would probably buy again.

Overall- Above average to good. Don't expect a life changing imperial but it is pretty easy going. I would give it a try. It seems a little underrated. (1,837 characters)

Photo of busternuggz
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a snifter. No freshness date but it came out recently.

Opaque brown-tinged black with a 1/4" coffee color head. Fades to a thick ring. Leaves spotty lacing.

On the nose I get chocolate cake, molasses, carob. Some roasted malt and a little dark fruit, like ripe plum. Just a little bit of pine resin hoppiness. Interesting.

The taste is bold and bitter. Roasted malt, baking chocolate, molasses, piney hops. A kind of dark fruitiness, like the skins of plums. Far more hops than a typical imperial stout. Gets more bitter and less chocolatey as it warms, starts drinking like more of a double black IPA. Good for what it is though.

Soft, smooth texture, full but not thick. Fluffy bodied, if you will. Ends clean.

Not your typical imperial stout. Very hoppy but complex and nicely done. Pairs well with chili. If you're the type that likes a hoppier version of every malty style go ahead and give it a few more points. (955 characters)

Photo of lighthabit
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark, hint of garnet, but just barely with a bright light behind it. head dies slowly, leaves a spotty but decent lacing. smell is a bit boring. bitter that others mention is there when chilled, but mellows as it warms, and a hint of something cherry-like begins to whisper. not great, but not bad, either. let it warm a bit for best results. hides abv fairly well (364 characters)

Imperiale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.