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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

803 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 803
Reviews: 390
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 21
Gots: 49 | 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: 803 | Reviews: 390 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jzeilinger
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours pitch black in my tulip glass with a sporadic toffee colored layer of creamy textured head.

S - Dark chocolate, char, light smokiness, and cocoa cream.

T - Smoky, dark roasted chocolate, char, very light alcohol effervescence, woody, lightly smoky.

M - Thin medium body to heavy light body (somewhere in the middle).

O - ABV is well hidden, nice char, but too thin.

Photo of woodychandler
4.31/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

I had purchased this, along with several other Two Brothers bottles, at The Fridge, meaning to try them as a vertical, but this one kept getting shunted to the side until now.

From the bottle: "Dark delights like this were once shipped to the Imperial Court of Russia. With a firm roasty maltiness balanced against a generous helping of hops, Northwind can stand up to the worst its namesake can dish out! Enjoy it by a roaring fire!; "Two Brothers is a craft brewery on the outskirts of Chicago that specializes in rare and seldom-brewed beer styles. The two of us - Jason and Jim Ebel - strive to produce the very best beers available anywhere."; "We hope that you enjoy them as much as we do!"

I always enjoy a heavy-handed pour from a bottle. I have gotten quite good at knowing when to stop and the resulting pseudo-cascade is a sight to behold. I netted a sturdy two fingers of dense, deep-tan head as the result of my pour and it sat there stubbornly, like Pussy Riot after being released by Putin. Color was an inky, deep, dark-brown allowing less than ZERO light penetration (SRM = 44). Nose smelled of fire smoke and dark chocolate. Wow. Mouthfeel was thick and viscous and tasted and felt like a dollop of dark chocolate ice cream had been scooped onto my tongue. The 9.1% ABV was well-masked, making for an alarmingly smooth, easy-drinking beer. Warming, the chocolate flavors became even more prevalent and the smokiness began to wane. The finish was semi-dry, not really sweet at all, but not totally dry, either. I really liked this, despite not being a huge fan of the style.

Photo of MaximalC
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours seal brown with a healthy khaki head of heterogeneous bubbles that slowly settles into a veil of frogspawn. The aroma smells of roasted dark chocolate and little else.

The flavor features warming alcohol and herbal hops up front atop a mild roasted malt and molasses base. I'm thinking some serious warming is in order to tease out the full glory here. Indeed, some dark fruit and chocolate begin to emerge with the aforementioned warming, though the bite of the hops is still quite present. The body is heavy and the mouthfeel is thick and luscious, like an imperial stout ought to be.

Overall, this is a no-frills imperial stout with solid flavor and a great consistency. One of my preferred brews from Two Brothers.

Photo of MN_Beerticker
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Porter
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of KFrank729
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Photo of buzzy
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of beersdmf17
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of DarthGuitarHero
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of JohnnyNicks
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Knoxrb12
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of J2t645
4/5  rDev +5.3%

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 Berg-the-Boiler
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of DavidHume
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of kwa357
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of gkoz
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of mlklein27
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of KolbMarley
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Will_Turner
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

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 norinco
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of JTomczak
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of ravot
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First review, bear with me.

Thanks to my buddy who left me in charge of drinking his beer since he had to move to the west coast.

Serving type:
Northwind Imperial Stout poured into a Surly Darkness Tulip from a bomber.
Bottle vintage is 2006.

Appearance:
The pour is a very dark brown yet you can still see through it with minimal light. Little lace that quickly disappears except for a tiny ring around the perimeter. Carbonation was fine considering the vintage. Once poured, this thing looks like motor oil. Jet black.

Smell:
At first pour, I smelled smoke, I was a bit disappointed this would be a smoky beer. Maybe it needed to breathe but the smokiness disappeared. Some coconut in the air, a little bit of chocolate fudge, hints of vanilla.

Taste:
You can definitely taste the hops in this imperial stout. Considering it's over 7 years old. Bitterness isn't quite there of course but boy I was surprised. I can still taste the coconut and more of the chocolate. Vanilla flavors are non existent. A little bit of that burnt/smokiness but not heavy at all. I'm 'sensitive' to the burnt/smokiness and i'm not a fan of it overall but this is dandy.

Mouthfeel:
This is a thin beer. Probably as designed and not a bad thing. I mentioned carbonation early and it's definitely there. In typing this quick review, I burped out a few times already. Carbonation/fizzyness tickles the tongue. A little dryness after a drink and can taste the hops' slight bitterness.

Overall:
I must say, this is a fun beer. Definitely one you can age. As a disclaimer, I never had Northwind fresh but this overall feels like a fresh beer I just opened. I'm curious on buying one fresh to compare. This beer had no signs of oxidation and could probably hang out in the cellar a few more years. I have one more bottle of 06 vintage so I might just do that.
edit: currently the ABV for this is 9.10% but the bottle label is 8.5%

Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 803 ratings.