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Northwind Imperial Stout - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Northwind Imperial StoutNorthwind Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

712 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 712
Reviews: 383
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%


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: 712 | Reviews: 383 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ginger Man. A very faint stout, lighter mouthfeel. Sour aroma. Smooth, until sourish finish. The best is the look, it is black and looks like an imperial stout,but it is not the best representation of the style.Still drinkable. Some roasting, maybe it needed to age more.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2011 05:43:11 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2005 15:02:32 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this one as an extra twice in the last month, go figure. I saw that as a sign I should probably try one. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/19/2009.
 
The pour was fantastic. Rich dark brown, and completely opaque. Huge head of tan rises up and over the top, only gradually settling down as the session gets going. Rich looking is an understatement here as this one presented exactly as it should have. Lots of chocolate in the aroma right away, hints of vanilla and molasses start to pop up as it comes up near room temperature along with a notable cookie dough like presence, very sweet. Smooth, creamy body here really let the flavor sit in well, and the sweet, dessert like profile just continued right along as it progressed. Light coffee notes, lots of cocoa and a hint of molasses. Definite night cap here. Not much in the way of ABV issues for the style made it somewhat session able if dare I mention it.
 
Overall not bad at all. Nothing going to blow your mind here, but I have to say this was a more then solid effort on their part. I would have no issue at all with having this one again, in fact I might look for it as it really seemed to go over quite well.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2009 16:20:10 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

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

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2007 23:43:11 | More by brentk56
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the brewpub.

Pours near black with a really thin mocha head. Not much lacing. The nose brings chocolate, roast, and a bit of coffee. The taste is of roasted malt with some lingering espresso and dark chocolate in the background. Not too boozy, but this is pretty light in ABV for the style. A bit of dry roast. Drinks quite well.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2010 01:38:00 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured jet black with a moderate sized mocha colored head that died down leaving lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are light aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with some notes of coffee and hints of alcohol.
T: The initial taste has flavors of semisweet chocolate and roasted malts while the finish has flavors of lightly roasted coffee with a very mild amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate, thin and very smooth. There is a subtle hint of dryness in the finish.
D: The alcohol is masked very well from the taste so this is a very drinkable beer for the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2010 02:38:06 | More by metter98
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at The Firkin.

I've been waiting for this to come around again so's I could finally get a crack at it. It pours a slick obsidian topped by a finger of sienna foam. The nose comprises coffee, roasted malts, cocoa, and some light molasses. The taste loads up on the roasted malts, with some light cocoa, hop flowers, and light greens slapdashily tossed in, as though an afterthought. The body is fairly hefty, with a light carbonation and a semi-chewy feel. Overall, a one-dimensional stout, yes, but that one dimension is tackled very well.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2010 07:51:40 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2003 18:37:55 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown color, with conspicuous floaties, and a head that is small and swiftly diminshing. Aroma is brisk and brimming with espresso character, rich with cocoa.
Texture is thick and warming, but a little difficult to swallow. I have to wonder if I have an old bottle, and if that could be the cause. (This came in a Two Brothers 12pack sampler)
Lacks the complexity that I come to enjoy in better Imperial Stouts. This clearly is not one of those. Later on, others flavors come to mind, and I'm tasting brandy, molasses, dates. Why so slow to show? It's too late, I'm bored already.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2003 19:52:11 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

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

Andrew brought a few of these over for New Beer Sunday - my wife and I are cleanin' out the fridge tonight. Not sure how my palate is going to stand up after the rest of the Sanctification so I'll do this one first.

A - Dark brown, not totally impenetrable, with a little bit of light sneaking through at the edges. One-fingered mocha foam with decent retention and nice lacing.

S - Not the most potent smell, really got to stick my nose in the glass. The first thing that jumps out at me is a woody flavor, along with some bitter coffee, dark chocolate, and burnt malt. I think the alcohol is causing the wood flavor.

T - Strong bittersweet chocolate and burnt malt flavor, with a bit of tannin that might be giving me the wood notes. There's also some coffee and even a bit of residual hoppiness indicating the freshness of this beer.

M - Good medium body, but a little more carbonation than I like. Creamy, but with a bit of grittiness at the top of the palate. Leaves a sticky residual coating.

D - The ABV isn't all that well hidden - it's not that it tastes boozy, but it doesn't hide the alcohol like better brews do. The carbonation is also a turnoff - it's slow going, even when sharing a 12oz with the wife.

I don't think this is quite in RIS territory - more of an American Double/Imperial. It's a solid brew, but I don't think I'll be drinking a ton with the excessive carbonation and so many better stouts out there.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 01:05:52 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, roasted malts, chocolate, some coffee and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of dark fruit and chocolate. Then a roasted malt character that is a bit on the thin side for the style comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and creates some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp but a bit watery, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, there are several other stouts I would choose before this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2012 03:17:57 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Imperial pint at Four Moon Tavern.

Black body with an impressive crown of tan lacing. The foam lasted a good while and looked appealing. Aroma was a little subdued but mostly roast malt and chocolate as you'd expect.

Flavor was rich and creamy, big fruity component, fig & plum, plenty of mellow roastiness and chocolate notes. Very creamy but still relatively light bodied for an RIS. Fairly dry in the finish, almost woody suggesting oak. Had to re-evaluate this after the tap sample, pretty impressive stuff. Make an oak-aged version!

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2010 01:28:55 | More by emerge077
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy brown head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich, malty scent that boasts of black and chocolate malts. It seems sweet; not overly bitter. The taste is good. It has a sweet, chocolatey flavor that goes down smooth and finishes with just a bit of black malt and hop bitterness. This tastes like more like a chocolate stout than a RIS. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is damn fine beer. I'm not sure why it wasn't reviewed better, but I really enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2007 23:38:33 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by the other Matt.

Beer is black with a thin tan head of small and medium bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass, carbonation is moderate. Looks good.

Aroma is strong but only with this almost coffee like bitterness from roast. Interesting. Aroma would not be described as "complex".

Beer is medium in body and holy hell is it bitter in the back. If there is anything else happening in this beer...any other flavors may only be captured in the orbit of this massive amounts of roast in the back of the palate. It's like a flavor avalanche that destroys a village of peaceful snow dwelling people at the base of a mountain...OK, that's hyperbole. It's not terrible but it's a one note wonder. Not great at all.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2011 20:15:06 | More by drabmuh
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet black color with a port-like, small, tan head. It left sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, molasses and floral notes.

T - It tasted rich and malty. It had subtle coffee flavors and a slight bitter hop kick.

M - It was smooth and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty nice imperial stout. It's not overwhelmingly alcoholic and tastes very good.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 20:16:17 | More by zeff80
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This poured out as a very dark black color with a tan foamy head on top. The retention and head are really quite good. The smell of the beer is roasted with some notes of chocolate, subtle sweetness too. The taste is rich with roasted malt and chocolate, decent bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is pretty good, a smooth rich thickness. Overall this beer is pretty good. Not as rich or extreme as some Russian Imperials but still pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 05:45:26 | More by Knapp85
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thin tan head. Nose is coffee and roasted tones. Flavor is thick in malts. Nice enough level of molasses and chocolate. Smooth and slightly sweet. Feel is quite smooth on liquid. Carbonation is lower but a it should be. This is a nice RIS that is easier drinking than it's more flamboyant counterparts. Not a wad of complexity, but nice enough to be able to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 05:35:46 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black dark body full of malt and hops, dark tan head forming thick and dwindling slow, forms fine even lacing with eadh sip. Aroma dark chocolate malts, hints of coffee, and a touch of soy sauce. Flavor creamy dark chocolate, ripened fruit notes. A touch of saoy sauce. Mouthfeel is full bodied carbonation is moderate. Nothing heavy or cloying on the palate, drinkability is solid version of a great Impy Stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 20:09:18 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

2.17/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured black with good carbonation and a brown head. Nose is roasted malt, cocoa, coffee and a lingering sour funk...uh oh. Taste is immediate funkyness, sourness, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee but that damn sourness was terrible. Mouthfeel is warming, sour like it was either infected or had a buttload of rotten green apples dumped into the mash. Drinkability, no way. Avoid and this was among the worst RIS I have ever had and I have had my share.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2009 03:43:21 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my New Belgium tulip.

a - Pours a jet black color with two inches of tan head and light carbonation evident. An inch of head stays throughout the drink, and light lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of bitter chocolate, roasted malts, sweet chocolate, dark fruits, and very light coffee. The bitter chocolate stands out the most.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, sweet dark fruits, light sweet chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee again. Sweeter than I was expecting.

m - Full body and low to moderate carbonation, thick and chewy. Very nice.

d - A pretty nice RIS. Bitter chocolate stands out in the smell, while sweet fruit stands out in the taste. Great mouthfeel and body, would certainly have again.
4/3.5/3.5/4.5/4 = 3.73%
___
EDIT: On 11/27/11 I had a 3 year (09, 10, & 11) mini-vertical thanks to the Chicago Group. All three version were good, and very different. I liked the 10 the best as it smelled fresher and had a lot more coffee, but my I'm bumping my ratings up to 4/4/4/4.5/4.5 as I loved this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2011 23:44:30 | More by mdfb79
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)

A-This beer pours a dark black with tiny bubbles of carbonation and a thin tan head that fades quickly.

S- This beer has a smell of deep roasted malt and a hint of sourness. Some faint hints of toasted malt and maybe a faint cold coffee smell aswell.

T- This beer has a nice cocoa, toasted barley and a hint of smoke mixed in the initial sip. The finish has a faint aged cheese taste in a good way. The finish has a faint hop note that is a bit watery.

M- This beer has a medium body with a faint hint of sourness but not really an astringent flavor. No alcohol warmth either.

D- Although the alcohol content is a bit lower than I like in an Imperial Stout, it does have some unique flavors that are very nice. It does have a good malt base but it does have an interesting aged cheese flavor that I haven't found in any other beers. Maybe yeast characteristic? Nice beer and I will have to get a few in the winter months.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2005 21:44:23 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two-finger light brown head that fades quickly leaving no lace. Totally black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Starts with a malty roasted coffee flavor, hint of hops in the finish, the higher ABV is not noticeable. $4.70 for a 22 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2006 23:21:37 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled through the efforts of 120/190 BIF and lostbearbrew.

Pours a dark brown beer with no real head formation.

Smell is fairly fruity mostly raisin, figs, and plums. Pepper and spice ride to my nose on the alcohol fumes mostly pepper and cinnamon. Good aromas of chocolate and Kahlua.

Taste is sweet and quite roasted, smoky and bitter at the start. Very quickly the taste smoothes out and chocolate and smoke become the dominant flavors. Can't really say that this has a coffee flavor to it. Faint fruit flavors mostly figs. Good bitter snap lasts all the way through the glass.

Mouthfeel is good.

A tasty RIS that is worth trying. A good flaw free RIS that isn't one of the best but a very good choice for those that like them smoky and on the bitter end of the spectrum.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2006 23:32:51 | More by Zorro
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Buebie for this brew.

Lot 3178

Poured into a tulip a black color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, with lots of sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some vanilla, chocolate/toffee. The taste is very nice, sweet, malty, with nice touch of chocolate/toffee notes. Medium body, this is not a high ABV IS, but very tasty. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 00:18:06 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a minimal brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head what there was, is gone almost immediately, leaving a few little areas of bubbles around the edge, and lacing as well is minimal to non-existent. Aroma is dark grains, and that's about it. Taste is sweet dark malts upfront, some coffee bitterness, and a dry close. Seems closer to a regular stout here. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both not bad, but heaven forbid one rate against the style, this one would be out the door. Not bad for a beer, but not to style, in my mind.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2005 00:07:21 | More by ppoitras
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Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 712 ratings.