Imperiale - Ninkasi Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ImperialeImperiale

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BA SCORE
84
good

217 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 217
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 6
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 217 | Reviews: 81
Photo of Darkmagus82
4.04/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Photo of elNopalero
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of lordofstarside
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%

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

Photo of archyquaffer
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of Samuel906
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Photo of BierJager89
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Photo of augustgarage
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of RJLarse
3.02/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

Photo of Zorro
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of BastardKing24
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of TheosTheories
3.27/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Photo of LampertLand
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
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

Photo of artoolemomo
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of busternuggz
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Photo of lighthabit
3.44/5  rDev -8%
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

Photo of mactrail
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

The appearance is quite splendid poured into my giant tall Petrus chalice. Very dark brown that is nearly black but has some amber glints around the edge. Beautiful off-white, fine-grained foam contrasts nicely with the dark brew. Interesting nose of Dutch windmill cookies and hop resins, but you risk being overcome by the alcohol fumes.

The taste is a little too much of a good thing. It's really bitter, right off. The sweet malt is really quite appealing, but it gets elbowed aside by the harsher side. Pleasant sudsy mouthfeel and a full but sprightly body. Winey with a touch of charcoal. Dark grains, burnt sugar, and a hammer on your innocent taste buds. The hops are wearing hoods and wielding whips. I am not worthy!

Chocolate and hot knives of sharp alcoholic beeriness. Here is a beer that is crying out to be watered down with something-- and I have just the anemic Pale Ale to do the job. And that lovely white foam being ravished by the dark body. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at KNB in San Diego.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a then tan head on a black body.
The aroma is good. Big dose of roasted malt, black licorice and coffee.
The taste delivers on the roasted malt and strong pine bitterness. Though the transition through the profile is abrupt.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation.
Enjoyable if you like a mixture of roasted maltiness with strong bitter.

Photo of canucklehead
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not a great Impy stout but still very drinkable. It seemed to be missing the complexity that I look for in the style . As it warmed up I thought it might really open up but it stayed a little one dimensional. I would have liked a little more of a more luscious mouthfeel but all said and done it still a decent beer.

Photo of woemad
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber purchased at Total Wine in Spokane.

Poured a black-ish color that gave up nothing to direct light, with a big, creamy tan-colored head. Lots of lace and excellent head retention.

Roasted dark malt give this one a coffee-like bitter nose. There’s some raisiny-ish dark fruit aromas, but they seem way in the back. There’s also some sharp, bitter hop notes.

Big, roasty coffee bitterness and a sweet, chocolaty flavor are first noted. There’s a little bit of dark fruit, but like in the nose, it’s way low in the mix. Then the hops kick in and provide a big, dry zap to the finish.

While this is not by any stretch a light bodied beer, considering the style, I expected more body. The mouthfeel is coating, but at the same time rather dry.

This is a decent beer, but as far as Impy Stouts go, it’s not firing on all cylinders. A little more of that deep, dark fruit flavor and this could run with the best in the style.

Photo of shleepy
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Black, with lush, off-white head.

Smell is roasty, with some dark fruit notes.

Taste is fairly bitter, in a roasty way, from start to finish/aftertaste. Light fruitiness provides some balance.

Body is probably lighter than most imperial stouts. No syrupy feeling to it at all.

Overall, it's a relatively drinkable imp stout. Not offensive at all, but not too complex, either.

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm pretty sure the low price adds to the poorer reviews on here. I'm not quite an imperial stout veteran, but I'm damn close!

Pours out the deepest dark chocolate, almost black. The head stops at a little over an inch, impressive for 9.5% ABV, the lacing is decent.

The smell starts with hot chocolate mix and earthy hops. Slight dark fruit is noticed as well. Simple, but inviting.

Chocolate, plum, earth, slight rye(?) and some vanilla. The booze isn't too noticable. Decently thick and smooth going down, no complaints in the mouth.

Ninkasi did well in my opinion. I think they are a bit underrated. This, like most of their brews was very solid and enjoyable,

Photo of ccrida
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance is black with a thick tan head leaving chunky, foamy lace.

Smell is both chocolate and acrid dark malts, and some soft sweet sugars.

Taste is malty milk chocolate, it really drinks much lighter than the ABV would beguile - if you told me high 6% I would doubt it. There's a little herbal hop flavor and moderate bitterness, but by and large it's a pedestrian American start that is most notable for the how well it hides the high ABV.

Mouthfeel is on the viscous side, off-dry.

Drinkability is fine, it's not stimulating, but it's clean and dangerously easy drinking.

Imperiale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 217 ratings.