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Northwind Imperial Stout - Two Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Northwind Imperial StoutNorthwind Imperial Stout

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

753 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 753
Reviews: 385
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 19
Gots: 39 | 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: 753 | Reviews: 385 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ohiobeer29
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

ohiobeer29, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of KFBR392
4.19/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A very traditional look to a stout. Pitch dark, thin head, low carbonation.

Smell: There is light hop sweetness here. Malt, dark chocolate, and some very dark fruits play a role here.

Taste: Awesome here. A smooth hop presence hits at first. A creamy malt body carries this beer. Such a complex body really represents the the american stout well. I'm not really sold on this beer being a Russian Imperial Stout, but is an awesome American stout.

Mouthfeel: More of a clean smoothness here. Again not really the feel of a Russian Imperial Stout, but more of a traditional Stout.

Overall: I think Two Brothers is one of the better breweries in my home state of Illinois. Their beers tend to be very solid. This beer is one of my favorites and can go toe to toe with many other American Stouts.

KFBR392, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of jbphoto88
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another charcoal black beer during the time of year when it's most appropriate. This one is too dark to see through and has a lightly milked coffee head to it that is vey bubbly.

Right when you start pouring this beer is when you get the malt punch in the face. There is deep roasted notes with a hint of black licorice. The grains seem a little stale and musty to be a great scent but it's passable and definitely an imperial stout.

The taste is a lot like the nose. Predominantly grains that are roasted to yield touches of chocolate, coffee and dark fruits. However again they fall short as in the nose. The taste doesn't have a huge character but little tid bits of flavor that are notes but not a complete song.

Mouthfeel is excellent for an imperial stout. Smooth, creamy and shy on the carbonation. The slick feel coats your mouth and leaves you with a nice malty aftertaste. A good beer but not really one that pushes the limits or raises the bar. Good enough to drink but there are better ones to be had.

jbphoto88, Nov 26, 2011
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.

Radome, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of scootercrabb
4/5  rDev +5.3%

scootercrabb, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of Brushkanna
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Brushkanna, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of nheinzie57
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

nheinzie57, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of tsauce2
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a New Belgium snifter.

A: SRM is dark brown/black. Nearly opaque. Head is tan, 1 in, dissipates to the outsides of the beer. Light carbonation. Medium/heavy lacing.

S: Dark roast malt, light coffee and hop additions, bittered chocolate malt.

T: Dark roast malt, bittered chocolate malt, oats, light hop additions. Slight sweetness on the back end. No alcohol is discernable. Aftertaste is bittered dark roast malt and some coffee notes.

M: Medium body. There is a creamy, oat taste to this that very nicely compliments the bittered chocolate malt feel. Dry finish.

O: This is a good RIS, but in terms of the whole broad spectrum of RIS's, I think it lacks just a bit. Very little carbonation, which if it was more viscous, would be fine. For the body, imo, more carbonation needs to be present. The flavor overall was good, but was a little bland. Nice job of covering any boozy flavors; I did not detect any. The mouthfeel is also very nice. I would by this beer again at the right price and certainly would not turn this beer down.

tsauce2, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of brbrocc
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

brbrocc, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of assman79
3/5  rDev -21.1%

assman79, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of LarryMyers
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

LarryMyers, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev +5.3%

larryarms847, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of throwback
4/5  rDev +5.3%

throwback, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of AmitC
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle from Lot 3182.

Almost black, very dark brown while pouring. Pitch black inside the glass. About one finger thick tan-shining brown colored head, that does not stand well enough. Decent lacing on the sides.

Not one of the strongest aromas here. Some burnt up malts, some very minor hops, a well hidden alcohol. At least, does not give anything up. Some roasted malts, again very mild for an imperial stout. Chocolate and caramel, just a sprinkling.

Taste: Again alcohol is not felt. To me that is a bad thing for a RIS. To some it is good, but alcohol should come out and lead. Somewhat sweet due to malt presence. Very low to almost non-existent on bitter hops. As with stouts, roasted malts, caramel and some chocolate. But nothing worth remembering. Nothing that strikes out. Very mild taste. Dry finish.

Mouth feel: Full bodied, yet not very thick. Easy on palate, no astringency. A well drinking beer for over 9% RIS.

Style Rate: 4
Personal Rate: 4

AmitC, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of SCZ
4/5  rDev +5.3%

SCZ, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of ferrari29
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured from bottle into a Snifter-shaped glass

A - Beer pours with a black, lights out, colored body; brown/coffee colored head; half finger size head, which dissipated rather quickly; good amount of lacing formed on the sides of the glass; some visible bubbly in the body of the beer

S - Hop front; mostly roast malt; american coffee nose; dry and chalking notes; hay; dry grass

T - Irish dry stout taste; chalky; dark chocolate and roasted malt; strong coffee bean flavor; grass and hop flavor washes around a bit, but is lost in all the roasted-chalky flavors; comes up mostly on the back-end of the sip; dark fruit, like dates

M - Creamy and chewy; slight effervescent feel on the tongue; light flavor, kind of airy, like a Irish dry stout (Guinness); lacking in the strong RIS category; not very bitter aftertaste, but smooth texture

D - Kind of missed the whole RIS - strong Imperial hop and roasted taste; slightly above average RIS; easy to consume; plenty of light stout flavor; needs a bit more hop and roasted malt punch

ferrari29, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of Skidz
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a very dark brown finishing black with nothing showing through on the sides, a smokey brown head on top. This is very unique, I've never seen such color in a stout head before, it was like thunderclouds were forming right before a storm...

Smells stongly of roastiness and coffee. Tastes very rich, the roastyness coming through, moving to the coffee tones and a nice bitter tang at the end.

Very nice, full body with plenty of character to please. Easily consumed, this beer would fit well in an all-star stout session. Definately one of the best Imperials I've had.

Skidz, Feb 22, 2004
Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a goblet.

A: Pours a dark chocolate with a mocha head, pretty!

S: Chocolate and black patent malt in the nose, with some bittering hops in the back.

T: Lots of chocolate and creamy malts. A hint of lactose even? Really, just lots and lots of milk chocolate.

D: No joke, one of the top three most drinkable RIS. This brew is so well balanced I felt like I was drinking a Great Lakes beer.

Overall: Its been said before and its true: this is a one-note beer. Its just a huge load of chocolate. That being said, they really milk that one note for all its worth; this beer is never boring and is remarkably smooth and drinkable. A good and unpretentious RIS.

JohnnyChicago, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of JLapadura
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

JLapadura, Dec 29, 2013
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.

ruckus232, May 07, 2011
Photo of ToadiesForCody
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

ToadiesForCody, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of EricCioe
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the University of Chicago Pub, 4 May 2011.

This pours black with a half finger khaki head that leaves just a bit of lace on the way down. On the nose there is rich molasses mixed with some deep fruits, mostly unidentifiable, but nice nevertheless. There is also some roasted malt, but on the whole the nose is pretty muted and holds this brew back a bit for me. In the mouth, the molasses and dark fruit get a little coating in some chocolate. The biggest flavor that I got was dark fruit, with was a nice prominent flavor here. The body is pretty full and chewy but not huge, though finish is ultra-long with dark fruit and extraordinarily bitter malt hanging on.

Overall, I was happy with this beer, but it wasn't my favorite imperial stout. Worth a look for sure.

EricCioe, May 05, 2011
Photo of zenwatts
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

zenwatts, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of beachbum1975
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Batch 3178

Poured into my over-sized Duvel tulip a dark, opaque rootbeer color with a medium to dark tan head. Minimal, spotty lacing...

This nose is light on this one. Hints of sweet malts, vanilla and an unusual banana-like essence. Not too impressed by the nose...

Ok, the strange banana smell that had me worried faded as I drank. This is a medium to full bodied beer with medium to full flavor. Medium to high carbonation on the mouthfeel, as well. Flavors include heavily roasted coffee, a touch of dark chocolate and sweet malts all bundled up in a sweet, vanilla bean package. Mouthfeel is wet (almost watery) in the beginning, then the hops kick in just a bit go lend to a semi-dry finish. Aftertaste carries the same slightly bitter hops...

Overall, this is a decent example of a Russian Imperial Stout, but not big enough for me. It's reminiscent of an English version RIS and I prefer the extreme American RIS'es...

beachbum1975, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of BigPlay1824
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a snifter

A: pours a very deep brown that is impenetrable and has a ton of suspended sediment, pours with a finger of frothy mocha brown colored head that lingers nicely and has large bubbles, leaves spotty lacing
S: very nice mocha scent, very reminiscent of a strong coffee, very deep and enjoyable
T: begins with a nice coffee note which just intensifies and deepens throughout the sip, really deep and tastey, not entirely complex but yummy nonetheless
M: medium carbonation tingle, very thick on the palate and has a wonderful velvety texture which sticks to the palate
O: a delicious brew, lacking a bit in complexity but incredibly deep, really delicious

BigPlay1824, Mar 01, 2012
Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 753 ratings.