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Northwind Imperial Stout - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Northwind Imperial StoutNorthwind Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

808 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 808
Reviews: 390
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 21
Gots: 50 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-14-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 808 | Reviews: 390 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GDBEERMAN
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip: from notes
A: The tan head pours a thick 2 in. fluff. The Head holds very well with a nice layer throughout. The body is a deep pitch of black and in non transparent.
S: A bit subtle on the aroma, what is found is a sweet note, classic for the style.
T/M: The front is dry and creamy. The tastes pf sweet malts and nutty malts. A full, rich and creamy mouthfeel. The lingering taste is a bit short. Overall a good choice for the style.
D: This classic style is represented will with the Northwind. The ABV is hidden so well I could barely tell there was 9.1%(as per 2010 bottle stats.)

Photo of ruckus232
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 Ounce bottle pured into a pint glass

Appearance: Very dark brown (almost black) with a large amount of brown head.

Smell: Sweet malt smell with roasted scents accompanied by what seems to be like raisins.

Taste: There is some roasted bitterness with a little bit of sweetness. There is somewhat of an alcohol taste that is present at first but leaves quickly.

Photo of ironbike1
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very smooth Imperial Stout coming in at 9.10abv.

Dark black with a thin brownish head that fades quick but leaves nice lacing throughout the drink.
Smell is of burnt oak/nuts or chocolate and the taste is smokey,earthy with nuts & with a bitter taste of chocolate in the backdrop. Not a real intense stout but it is very well balanced and hides the abv very well the drinkablility is very high for this style.
excellent beer a must try and a cellar favorite.

Photo of Cylinsier
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz.

Pours pitch black, rim of a light tan lacing for a head.

Smells of brown sugar and roasted coffee, maybe a hint of milk chocolate.

Flavor is of light cocoa with a roasted coffee and buttered toast undertone.

Full body with a viscous feel, light sting of carbonation throughout.

Tasty and drinkable stout, goes down really smooth and hides its strength well. Pretty enjoyable and looking forward to more.

Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nearly black color with ruby highlights and a prodigiously rocky head that sticks well with films of lace

Smell: Wafts of roasty coffee, caramel, chocolate and dark fruit

Taste: Upfront, there is a dark fruit element of prune, dates, caramel and chocolate; surprisingly sweet and fruity; after the swallow, the grassy bitterness arrives to complement the fruit, with an element of smoke on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not quite to style (not big enough and it is a bit too sweet and fruity); more like a Baltic Porter, in my opinion

Photo of manahansf
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with ruby red highlights. Topped with a thin creamy brown tan head which has great retention and sticks to the top of the brew and the glass. Warming sherry like arioma with subtle hints of fresh dark fruits. Sweet malty drink with a vinous quality and sweet fruity flavor. The finish is slow and lingers a bit too long. A little bit of cloying sweetness lingers with a soft warming sensation.

Photo of tavernjef
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber - Pours brown, sits black. Slim, compactly fluffy capping of tanned foam sits atop briefly. Very minimal lacing in a few spots.

Aroma of mild milk chocolate with a slight graham cracker crusted roastyness/burntness.

Taste is alot like what the aroma leads to with a moderate amount of cookie/cake like milk chocolate. Slippery in the front, partially oily enriched with a richer/fuller backend. Tenderly sweetened by a bit with a centered oatyness and soft chocolate malting. Notes akin to some peppery spice, burntish coffee or cake edges. Quite mild overall on the flavor palate though. Keeps smooth and solid but nothing to complexing. Reminds more of an Oatmeal fashioned type stout then anything.

Feel is smooth and supple with a bit of oilyness to its body. Seemingly rounded within a medium body and a softer carbonation. Finishes lightly spiced and feathery hopped with a faint chocolate drify of soft dryness.

A moderately paced drinkin' stout. Not super complex nor impactful as most Impy Stouts. but does the job just fine for when in the mood for something on the darker side.

Photo of Dhren1979
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage: 2010

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle poured into a Tulip glass.

A: Pours dark, rich, jet-black with chocolately head. About 1 finger's width of head. The lacing on the sides are quite prevalent!

S: Roasted, smokey malts. Burnt chocolate can also be detected, but not overpowering. Actually none of the smells are overpowering at all.

T: At 1st taste this has lots of malts with hints oc burnt chocolate. Latter on I tastes verious fuity sweetness.

M: Creamy and warm on the tongue,Not as syrupy as other Russian Imperial Stouts can be...which is no knock at all on this stout!

D: A very solid Russian Imperial Stout that can be drunk very quickly! Be careful 'cause that ABV will get ya!!

Photo of KarlHungus
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nearly opaque black color. The head is one inch of tan foam. It recedes slowly into decent lacing. The aroma is of graham cracker, roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate. The taste is of very roasty with notes of chocolate and coffee. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with appropriately low carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a nice stout. It isn't the biggest Imperial Stout out there, but it is very solid nonetheless. I will certainly drink this again.

Photo of Durge
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A black mahogany color with a modest tan head and very little lacing. The aroma brings a pleasant licorice and roasted malt. The flavor is very similar to the aroma, maybe more chocolaty with the licorice still a mellow lead. It's a bit sweet but has a woodsy buttery malt and mild citrus hop all in a mid-bodied brew with light carbonation. Alcohol is not much notable so it's plenty drinkable. Kind of unique and enjoyable.

Photo of AmericanGothic
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint.

A: Pours an opaque, very dark brown color with 1/2 finger of dark khaki head. Some retention and lace.

S: Creamy chocolate and some roasted notes. Mellow but good.

T: Leads with roast, then smooth, spicy chocolate. Slight bitterness on the finish. Caramel flavors persist on the aftertaste. No hint of alcohol. As the beer warms, some cola emerges. Still later, the roasted flavors become more persistent throughout each sip.

M: Quite smooth, a little cream and oil.

O: Nothing extraordinary, but quite solid and enjoyable. In a style with so many outstanding examples, I'm not sure it's one I would seek out, but definitely not one that I would turn down, either. Certainly worth a try.

Photo of mothman
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Bud American Ale glass.

Pours about 1/2 finger of light tan head. Fades to a ring and leaves slight splattered lace. Pours a brown bronze, but the color in the class is black.

Aroma: Roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, dark fruits, molasses. Nothing huge, but not bad.

Taste: Big roasted malt profile, some grassy hops balance it out. Lots of chocolate and some coffee. Molasses with dark dried fruits again.

Mouthfeel: Roasted, smooth, and a slight amount of bitterness. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very roasted and slightly dry.

Overall, for the price this beer is pretty decent. I have had a ton of better RISs, but they are normally a lot more expensive, so I give two brothers props on this. It is fairly drinkable, as it is nothing to big. I dig it for what it is.

Photo of crayphish
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The brew pours a light canceling jet black liquid. Liquid is notably thick with a thin dark beige head. Nominal lacing. Smell is roasted malts with coffee and chocolate making their presence known. Some tartness is noted. Taste is chocolate coffee with a sweet raisin note over a faint hop bitterness. Not overly complex, but extremely balanced. Mouthfeel is fairly full due to the thickness of the beer. Does not finish as clean as one would like. The heaviness of this beer hurts its drinkability. Though it was still enjoyable.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Motor oil black with sparse ruby accents along the bottom edge of the pint glass. The dense, coffee milkshake-colored head has a surface that is virtually flat (in other words, it's anti-rocky: "Oy! Adrian!"). A lack of inherent stickiness quickly results in a thin sliver of foam and absolutely no lace.

The nose grabs back some measure of self-respect; it's a pretty good one. There's plenty of power, with a focus on ground coffee bean-flecked chocolate fudge. There's very little hoppiness and no molasses, anise, smoke, etc. to fill it out. Simple, but effective.

There's quite a bit of flavor, although the best of this style are hardly quaking in their RIS boots. Sweet dark chocolate is still in charge, with sweet black coffee obediently taking orders. Did I mention that it's sweet? Sour plays a big role as well. The malt is fairly heavily roasted, but not charred, and there's more fruity hoppiness than the nose suggested there would be.

Each mouthful finishes sweet and sticky, with malt and hops co-existing in relative harmony. The body is medium-full. On second thought, given the style, it's probably closer to medium. There's lots of mouthcoating going on. Less sugar would be preferrable.

Northwind Imperial Stout doesn't seem much like a RIS to me. No matter, it's still good beer. Despite its minor flaws, I found a lot to like in this bottle.

Photo of nickfl
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of medium tan foam on top of an opaque, black body with some sediment floating in it. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves light lace.

S - Very roasty with a strong coffee aroma as well as some peaty smoke.

T - Dark, roasted malt up front with notes of burnt caramel, chocolate, and espresso. More coffee and baker's chocolate in the middle and smoky notes in the finish that provide lots of roasted grain bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - This stout is robust and roasted to the point that it really tastes like a coffee stout. It quite a contrast compared to many other imperial stouts that finish much sweeter than this one. This relative dryness allows it to be fairly drinkable even though it does nothing to lighten the overall experience or hide the alcohol.

Photo of RickS95
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick, fluffy, brown head. Like liquid coal in a glass...black.

Malts and hops in the nose, maybe a hint of coffee bean in the backgroud, possibly even notes of oatmeal.

A good tasting beer. I kept waiting for coffee or chocolate on the palate, but it wasn't there. Initially the hops want to take over, but the malt balances quickly.

There is a creaminess in the mouth, as this is a full-bodied beer. Nice lacing.

Everything in this beer balances nicely. It's hoppy, but the bitter is balanced by the malt. It's highly alcoholic (8.5%) but the warming is subtle on the tongue. Despite the high ABV, this is a good drinking beer.

Photo of Phatz
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to Risser09 for sharing this bottle with me.

On first sip this seemed like a really good beer. At our tasting we stacked a few other great stouts up against Northwind RIS and it honestly was no match for BORIS the Crusher. But, in all fairness it is a pretty decent beer, were it not in such a tough league.

Appearance: Pours black, almost impenetrable to the light and it has a little brown head. Some lace.

Smell: The aroma is of dark roasted malts, coffee, roasted grains, chocolate espresso bitterness.

Taste: Again roasty and dark with lots of flavor; just not enough to compete with the best of 'em. Burnt chocolate coffee roasted malts, a touch of vanilla, caramel and anise and some plum with a bitter dry finish. Nice.

Mouthfeel: It has a nice flavor but need more body. Both for the flavor and the mouthfeel. The body is thin for the style.

Drinkability: This is an exceptionally easy drinking RIS. It is a lower ABV and lighter weight than most giving it less depth than some but also more approachable. It is certainly worth a taste.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Photo of Khazadum
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Easily a one and a half to two finger beverage right here. The long-lasting head never fully leaves me, so I stare perpetually at this half a finger head that is fueled by a strong collection of small to mini bubbles. From top down it is similar to fresh fallen snow in creamy, clean appearance. Dark brown chocolate with an almost inky darkness. Fantastic lacing. This beer looks spot on for its style.

S- Nice and sharp. We have a bit of sweetness to it, malty mostly. Some hints of alcohol, and lots of roast with burnt running up and down the sides. Very simple aromas here with not too much positive balance to the acrid, cloying ones.

T- Opens roasted and toasted grains. Very minor that builds up to have this lovely bread that has been barely toasted turn into a full on blow-torched chunk of grain. Second half lets the blow-torch sit right on the substrate giving it burnt notes now... acrid but not disappointingly so. They never bother me, but I come to like them and expect them. Finishes up with burnt paper and grain hits, a tad sweet presence that I'm not sure where it came from, but it barely makes itself known. The very back of the palate has a thin layer of alcohol astringency ladled on, but fades quicker than anything else. All about being strong, burnt, grain here.

M- This is another area where this beer shines. Creamy and chewy are the first thoughts that came to mind. It is a full bodied monster of a beer. I love the thickness of it as it swirls around the cavity. Good tingle on the back end of carbonation that never occludes the flavors.

D- The feeling of this beer really picks up the slack of the flavors and aroma and drives home a solid beer. I easily finished this twelve ounce without thinking twice about the nine percent price tag to my liver. Impressed with this one from Two Brothers, did not expect it to be this decent.

Photo of MacQ32
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of RoyalT
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Very dark in color, almost black, with a nice, tanned head that pooled over the liquid and left a nice foam ring on the inside edge of my goblet.

Smell – This is a classic stout, with a roasted malt aroma that dominates the nose. I can also pick up some fine Arabic coffee and a lovely touch of anise.

Taste – This is a bitter brew indeed. The coffee takes charge here, getting me to think I should try to get Starbucks to sell this in their stores (but only after 3:00 PM). There’s a bit of sugary sweetness at the finish, but mainly this is all about the traditional roasted malt and coffee flavors.

Mouthfeel – This one was medium-bodied – on the lighter side for an “Imperial Stout” – but held up well in between the cheeks. I especially enjoyed the bitter nature of this one.

Drinkability – This was a very drinkable stout that went down easily. It would be an excellent example of the style to let one of your “Budweiser Buddies” try.

Comments – Special thanks to qarre for organizing the BIF 5.0, of which I was the first recipient (yippee!) and the lucky beneficiary of this promising effort from Two Brothers.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A rough pour brings up a full tan head over an opaque black body. When held to the light, reddish-mahogany highlights are visible at the base of the glass and just below the surface. The head drops fairly quickly; but it does maintain a thin surface covering and leaves some tight, spotty lace. Roasty notes dominate the aroma. It's quite black-coffee-ish with a decent amount of prune-like fruitiness thrown in, and even some sweetish dark chocolate. The moderate carbonation is very fine; and helps to boost the creamy character of its surprisingly only medium body. Rich flavor, however, is where this beer shines. It's loaded with notes of bittersweet chocolate, burnt caramel, dark fruit skins, black cherry, burnt "late-night diner" coffee, blackstrap molasses, and leafy hops. It finishes dry and bitter, but not overly long, with a residual coffee/chocolate roastiness. Well-balanced and nicely done. Worth trying.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass black with a ruby highlight and a brown but low head which fell quickly and lace the glass.

The aroma was nicely chocolately with a earthy hop presence. The aroma contained a sizeable expresso coffee aroma. The hops were grassy and almost a bit of menthol was present.

The flavor was coffee with a nice chocolate flavor and a well done hop presence. The hops were grassy and earthy and very prominent in the flavor. As the beer warmed a bit of the menthol component of the aroma was present in the flavor.

The finish was dry with a lasting roasty coffee expresso and chocolate coupled with a strong grassy bittering well into the afteraste and beyond. The body was medium full and just a bit lower than expected. For an 8.5% ABV beer the alcohol was very restrained.

22 ounce bottle, 8.5% ABV on label. Lot 3345. Thanks beerinator!

Photo of Willytee3
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark chocolate black with a touch of red highlight. A thin mocca color head emerges and builds slowly after the pour. Nice thick ring forms with bubbly island film and spotty lace.
Smells of coco chocolate malts with a touch of dry oak and cheese.
Tastes of rich roasted malts with a barley a touch of stovepipe and good malted sweetness. Balanced by a nice hop bitter and hint of anise. A bit of lemon rind and espresso with a bitter chocolate finish.
Nice full body with good palate coating flavors, a bit thin on carbonation.
Overall a tad sweet and chocolaty balanced by a nice hop bitter but is still a tad sweet for me.
A very nice imperial with almost no alcohol showing.

Photo of Vdubb86
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter

On-Tap at The Firkin Two Brother's Tap Takeover

This beer pours a pretty darkness with a finger of brown foam. The smell is a bit of oak, belgian-like aroma, brown sugar and a light roasted note. Most of the nose is really light. The taste has an odd hop bitterness that I didn't expect. There is a light bourbon flavor and a decent amount of cocoa. It must be said that this beer is a bit astringent on the palate and a bit thinner than I would have liked, but it is still rather drinkable. A good beer all around.

Photo of merlin48
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my first sampling of a brew from Two Brothers. Thanks to clvand0 for the trade. This 12 oz bottle pours an opaque, deep brown body with a small, tan, head that quickly drops into film and collar lace.
Aroma features prominent, dark roasted malts with a coffee dominance. Hints of dark chocolate, anise, and walnuts are picked up in the background.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but somewhat light for style. Carbonation is low, and there is a tingling hops presence that comes from the 45 IBUs proclaimed by the label.
The taste is dominated by coffee bitterness. Smoky, roasted malts are prevalent, with some dark fruits(prunes and figs) and nuttiness. A hint of licorice is also noted.
This isn't as substantial as most imperial stouts, but is still a good one that is worth a try.

Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 808 ratings.