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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

769 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 769
Reviews: 386
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 20
Gots: 40 | 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: 769 | Reviews: 386 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KFBR392
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
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 Thishops4u
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Thishops4u, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev +5.5%

larryarms847, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of brbrocc
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

brbrocc, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of ferrari29
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
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 Khazadum
3.98/5  rDev +5%
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.

Khazadum, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of Beezee
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Beezee, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of assman79
3/5  rDev -20.8%

assman79, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4/5  rDev +5.5%

SaisonRichBiere, Mar 19, 2013
Photo of jbphoto88
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
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 AmitC
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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 scootercrabb
4/5  rDev +5.5%

scootercrabb, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of ToadiesForCody
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

ToadiesForCody, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of themind
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Two brothers makes a decent stout. I enjoyed this brew and would not turn it down if offered. There are so many great stouts out there that I am always looking for the next big thing...unless it's KBS or BCBS. That said I would say any stout lover needs to give this a go.

Bottom Line: Decent stout worth a look.

themind, Apr 16, 2013
Photo of nheinzie57
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

nheinzie57, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of throwback
4/5  rDev +5.5%

throwback, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of CSO
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

CSO, May 01, 2014
Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
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 CCutch
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

CCutch, May 29, 2013
Photo of gmendez1122
4/5  rDev +5.5%

gmendez1122, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of Skidz
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
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 JLapadura
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

JLapadura, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of Fcolle2
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours slick black and solid in color with a one finger tan head that has good retention.

Smell is good. rich roasted coffee and cocoa forward. The midsection has a great rich toffee like malt aroma before a moderate alcohol presence finishs.

Taste is great. Rich chocolate flavors forward before a sweet warm toffee flavor dominates the middle of the beer. Finishes with a mild roasted bitterness that is very well balanced. Fair amounts of alcohol also detectable.

Mouthfeel is great. Nice thick body and moderate amount of carbonation keep this a highly drinkable velvety smooth brew

Fcolle2, Nov 15, 2013
Photo of zenwatts
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

zenwatts, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of EricCioe
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
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
Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 769 ratings.