Northwind Imperial Stout - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Northwind Imperial StoutNorthwind Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
86
very good

787 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 787
Reviews: 387
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 21
Gots: 42 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-14-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 787 | Reviews: 387 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shredder83
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma of rich roasted malt and bitter chocolate. Flavor of roasted malt and sweet malt with alcohol in the finish. Pretty decent, but it doesn't really excite me either. Just a chill imperial stout.
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

Photo of BeerOps
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of dsuedbeck
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of tradcarp
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of target88
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of ctrevino
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of magnusdave
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of falloutsnow
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: World Market, Hoffman Estates, IL
Date: "Lot 1347" stamped on label (from December 2011)
Glass: Tulip

While not my favorite go-to RIS, Two Brothers' take on the variety is interesting in its use of smoked malt in the aroma and taste, which complements the roasted malt's chocolate and char quite well. If the aroma and flavor were a notch more aggressive in this beer, it would be a strong contender for readily available seasonal beverage of choice.

Pours a 1.5cm head of dark tan foam, small bubbles and dense in compaction, frothy looking in overall appearance. Retention is about average, lasting a minute or two as it fades, leaving nothing atop the body of the beer, ring of bubbles or otherwise. Lacing is minimal, too. Body is dark brown to black, opaque, with carbonation noticeable only at the top of the body.

Aroma is influenced strongly by smoked malt, slight burnt dust, roasted/blackened malt, and very dark chocolate. Scents could be stronger, for more enjoyment, but are acceptable as is.

Open with deeply sweet, smoky malt flavors on the forefront of the palate that blend well into darker, tangier, more bitter flavors in mid-palate. Slightly tangy in vinegar-barbecue sauce sense by mid-palate. Closing out with an interesting blend of dark roasted flavors with balanced sweet, smoked malt flavors, hints of vanilla and very dark chocolate.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body, with medium-low levels of carbonation. The result is a smooth, flowing stout that goes easily across the palate. Ethanol is felt just slightly on the throat, nothing in the nostils, quite nice for a 9.1% beer. Finish is dry with little residual stickiness on palate.

Photo of brianmandell
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An enjoyable, almost sessionable imperial stout due to its thin body. The score reflects the thin mouthfeel and relatively simple flavor profile. However, what is there is very enjoyable. Roasty malts, tart cherry, dark chocolate flavors. Active, creamy carbonation which offsets the slightly viscous but thin mouthfeel. The alcohols are well integrated. My bottle was aged for approximately 7 months from purchase.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a Southampton oversized snifter. Shared with schen9303. Reviewed from notes.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger fine greyish-mocha head with poor retention. Beer is a thick, opaque black. Lacing is patchy and stringy with good cling. Moderately thick legs. Deduction for head retention, but otherwise pretty nice.

S: Nose is very muted and simple. Coffee, roasted malt, some chocolate, and cocoa powder. Very little is detectable and a lot of the traditional imperial stout flavors are missing.

T: Opens sweet chocolate, molasses, raisins, prunes, espresso beans, and coca-cola spice. Roasted malt bitterness towards the middle provides a nice balance. Cocoa powder adds a layer of graininess. Sweet chocolate on the finish with a sweetened coffee aftertaste. Very balanced and surprisingly impressive.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Oily and silky in the mouth and smooth going down. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste that carries a touch of heat. Nice.

O: Northwind imperial stout falters in a lot of ways but it's really impressive in the one aspect that really counts: flavor. Not much to look at or smell but this imperial stout is incredibly balanced and displays the perfect amount of dark fruit, roasted malt, and chocolate sweetness. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of OldIronLungs
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to omgshesaboy for this one!

Poured into a Great Lakes snifter a black honey with a finger of light coffee head that falls to a ring and a few fat bubbles.

Nose is a chocolatey roast and light coffee - could be bigger.

A sip is full bodied, smooth and sweet up front, then definitely thins out - nice balance between earthy roast presence and milk chocolate. Some light carbonation dances on the tongue midway opening some subtle hop tones along with the warmth of the 9%. Nice lingering roast and bitter chocolate.

There's plenty going on in this beer as it warms up - and it's definitely a long-drinker. Is it the best Imp I've had? Not by a long shot. Is it a solid beer? Yup.

Photo of levifunk
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

klikger was kind enough to share a bottle of this with me.

appearance - very dark. thick head that laces the sides of the glass.

smell - not a very strong smell, but hints of chocolate.

taste - chocolate and malts come through. very nice taste with hints of fruit.

mouthfeel - thick and creamy...mmm

overall a very nice beer. complex flavor and very drinkable.

Photo of Suds
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very dark, perfectly black beer. The head is a deep tan color, leaving a lot of lace, but not very thick. The smell is layered and intense....smoke and alcohol...roasted grain, charcoal, wood, booze, and malt. The taste is not as complex as the smell, but is sweet, warming, and has an abrupt bitteness that comes in the mid-taste. Full and satisfying mouthfeel. Good.

Photo of fallopia
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a refrigerated bottle into a snifter

Appearance: Deep brown, nearly black color with a fine, beading light-mocha head.

Aroma: Toasted, meaty malts with powdered cocoa hints.

Flavor: Smoky, cocoa and mild coffee notes with a slight burnt aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Well-balanced, medium-to-full bodied malts with a slightly harsh, carbonated finish.

Overall, this was a well-balanced, slightly lighter than expected stout that I would rate in the upper half of its class.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Darkover for hooking me up. Pours a deep dark black with a thin and quickly disappearing brown head. Slow, creeping carbonation up the sides of the glass and thin lacing. The aroma is bitter roasted coffee with a bit of malt. Not as rich as most Imperial Stouts, and not quite as flavorful either. There is a nice coffee flavor but not much malt to counterbalance. There is a small amount of chocolate in the flavor as well. The finish is roasted coffee. On the Stout scale this is pretty good but on the Imperial Stout scale it falls short. Still not a bad brew though.

Photo of FLima
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

As deep black as it can be with a thick caramel head with medium retention and leaving lots of laces.
Light and predominant aroma of dark and creamy chocolate.
Flavor of sweet mocha, pine, caramels, roasted, nutty and smoky malts, licorice, earthy and citrus hops, and a bit of dark fruits. Dry aftertaste with a log lasting roasty bitterness.
A super creamy feeling. Full body with low carbonation. Alcohol of 9.1% abv is very well hidden.
Very good Imperial Stout, no defects, though not overly complex but still pleasant. Good bridge for the style.

Photo of badbeer
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark black with a tan colored head; it even had a bit of a reverse cascade to it. Smell was of cocoa, chocolate, earthy hops and roasted coffee. Taste was much of the same, but this beer felt a little green to me, and the others who tried it. It had a very nice finish to it, and we seemed to agree that with a bit more age on it, this would be a much better beer than it already is. Higher side of medium bodied and lower carbonation. This was pretty nice, and I am going to pick up a couple bombers to age next time. I think this one gets much better with time.

Photo of jackndan
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers in Chicago. Very thick and dark brew, light cannot penetrate it at all. The head was thick, toffee tan, but not particularly long lasting. The aroma is nice, somewhat chocolatety, with hints of coffee. The taste is nice, extremely malty. The dominant flavors are espresso, chocolate, and just a tiny bit of liquid soap, but that is not half as bad as it sounds. The body is light, perhaps too much so for the style. Not bad, worth sampling. Nowhere near as big as some of the other Imperials on the site.

Photo of thedrewski86
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter, opaque black color with a thin tan skim for a head. Whatever lacing starts to form slides down the glass with the alcohol. Great smell of dark fruits, alcohol, raisins and vinegar. Taste is very nice, strong boozy malts with a solid hop presence without being bitter. Nice and toasty. I'm actually getting a little bit of biscuit from the malts which is odd for the style. Pretty big body, you could drink this fast but that abv sneaks up on you! It's actually 9.1%, not 8.5% as it says on this site.

Photo of freewheelinbob
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at a great price for a RIS yesterday and was really looking forward to trying it.

Looks really nice, opaque dark brown, a bit of read on the bottom and a satisfactory light tan head. Quite a bit of sediment, expected from 2 Bros.

Some caramel in the smell that intensified as it got closer to room temp. Then a bit of roasted coffee and vanilla too.

First, a bit of dark chocolate and molasses. Then, pretty sweet. Aftertaste a bit sour. No alcohol taste at all. Medium mouthfeel.

Pretty satisfied overall. I have 5 more and I'll probably sit on a couple until next year to see what happens. Pretty solid, not as complex as others of the style, and a bit sweet also. I'll get it again.

Photo of Radome
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - A very, very dark brown, but not black. No light penetrates. Head is dark tan and made of tiny, creamy bubbles. It piled about 3/4" high after the pour, then slowly faded to a 1/8" layer and thick lacing.

S - The aroma is mostly grainy malt. Hops and alcohol are muted in comparison. Not as complex as other Imperial Stouts I've tried.

T - Taste is warm and bready malt. There is a crisp graininess to it. There is some of the rummy, dark fruit complexity that I like in this style. Not much alcohol flavor and the hop flavor is non-existent.

M - Thick body, creamy/silky carbonation feel. No hops presence.

O - Overall, this is a well-crafted, clean beer. It is not as big and bold as many other examples, but it is very enjoyable.

Photo of Kbogac
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown head but it doesn't last. Dark brown almost black. Foam dissipates quickly to a ring with minimal lacing. Idont get a lot of smell. Some sweet malt and coffee but it's light. Balanced taste. Nice malt,coffee and some caramel. Medium mouthfeel with light carbonation. Overall this is a good stout. great taste & easy to drink.

Photo of Kings_Castle
3.8/5  rDev 0%

Photo of giblet
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

good brew. poured nice and had a lot of appeal. a little lighter in taste than what i had expected, but still nice. it has the coffee smell and taste from the roasting. not as hoppy as i prefer.

this is another of the good micro - mini brews that is worth the effort to try. i would recomend trying this one.

not sure that it makes my top 25 overall. for a darker beer - imperial stout it does make my top 25 in that category.

once again not the best but certainly worth the experience!

drink more beer!

"Beer is proof that God loves man!" Benjaman Franklin

Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 787 ratings.