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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
85
very good

746 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 746
Reviews: 384
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 18
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: 746 | Reviews: 384 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

4.08/5  rDev +7.7%

A: Pours a nearly opaque black color. A one finger beige head forms, and recedes. Light lace is left behind.
S: Roasted malt of chocolate and coffee. Not acrid in the nose at all. Some dark fruits as well. Not very complex, but enjoyable.
T: Follows this nose. Lots of roasted malt, chocolate, light coffee. Nothing is acrid or astringent. Some dark fruits again, and overall enjoyable.
M/D: A full body that is creamy and smooth. Very easy to drink. Something I can sip on all night as a winter warmer.

A really nice Imperial Stout. Lots of flavor, and a treat to drink. Something I would recommend.

12-24-2010 04:32:20 | More by champ103
Photo of birchstick
birchstick

Colorado

3.1/5  rDev -18.2%

A - pours a black color without much of a head

S - smells of roasted coffee and rich chocolates

T - starts off with some sweet cocoa that quickly becomes some roasted malt / coffee that fades to some dark chocolates. Not uber complex or deep, but very rich overall with its flavors.

M - medium to full body with a silky smooth mouthfeel. Pretty solid mouthfeel.

D - I can't say this was my favorite RIS I have ever had, but it was pretty delicious. For the price I paid, this was a pretty good deal.

12-24-2010 00:30:38 | More by birchstick
Photo of MbpBugeye
MbpBugeye

Ohio

2.08/5  rDev -45.1%

This single was included in a huge birthday haul sent by JamnesCameron.

A- Poured into my new DFH signature glass. (I sure hope acronyms are allowed in reviews). Head is very hard to coax out but this is a high performance glass. Its still makes the beer lace a little bit.

S- My first whiff left me reeling. Pure molasses. Very intensely unusual. Anise is also very strong. This blend of old man candy is off putting. There is also plenty of cough syrup.

T- Acidic coffee with a cough syrup and tart cherry strangeness. There is a distinct dip spit flavor. Why is there a sourness? Beats me, but it seems to check out in many other reviews, including BuckeyeNation's from 05 so I hardly think this is another one to add to 2010: the year of infection.

M- Too much carbonation. It hurts the teeth and numbs the tongue.

I cant say this beer is good, but there is worse. I mean the fact that its a B rated RIS says it all.

12-20-2010 04:02:39 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of Erish
Erish

Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +13.5%

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Nonic pint glass.

A: opaque blackish-brown color, an aggressive pour unleashed a thick, cascading, dark tan head that fell into a wonderful cap with tenacious lacing.

S: coffee, molasses, roasted malt, smoky oak, soy sauce, dark chocolate, hint of farmer's cheese. Classic RIS profile.

T: loads of roasted malt flavor up front, as well as a hint of farmer's cheese, the coffee is strong in the middle, followed by an anise and chocolate note, as well as a generous grassy/herbal hop note, the finish is grassy hop/toasted malt bitter, somewhat chalky, and smoky. Nicely balanced with good structure and fidelity to the profile. Well done.

M: medium to full-bodied, lightly creamy, finish is slightly oily, the carbonation is low to moderate, the lingering finish is chalky.

D: This is a wholly enjoyable RIS, with plenty going for it. I would put this among the top of the second tier of RISs. If the mouthfeel were more satisfying, it would rub shoulders with FBS and Old Rasputin.

12-19-2010 03:48:54 | More by Erish
Photo of Dreadnaught33
Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

3.85/5  rDev +1.6%

A: Black hue with finger of khaki head and the lacing is great.

S: Roasty chestnut, charred malt, some dark fruit and hazelnut-ish coffee. A little subdued for me, but a nice aroma.

T: Nice sweet malt taste, with definite licorice notes and creamy lactose. Could use a little more burn and char, its sort of subdued.

M: Great, creamy and coating.

D: Good stout overall.

12-15-2010 02:18:51 | More by Dreadnaught33
Photo of AJacob81
AJacob81

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +6.9%

Heard this was much improved this year, decided to give it another go. Served in a snifter.

A - Pours deep black with a hint of mahogany, with a single finger of khaki foam. Retention and lacing very nice for an RIS. Handsome beer.

S - Cocoa and black coffee up front, with faint hints of milk chocolate and dark fruit. Not an overwhelming bouquet, which I prefer for the style. I like stouts you can smell as soon as you pop the top, this one needs an aggressive pour to release a moderate amount of aroma.

T - Same as the nose, dark choco-coffee dominates, with grace notes of chocolate-covered raisins and figs. Not as complex as a truly world-class RIS would be, but still very tasty.

M and D - This is where this brew really shines, and represents a huge improvement over past vintages. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, medium-thick in consistency. Somewhere between a sipper and a gulper, right where I'd want an RIS to be for drinkability.

A great step forward for the Brothers Ebel. Now, age it in the French oak casks, and we might have something very special here.

12-13-2010 18:11:40 | More by AJacob81
Photo of WildTurkey
WildTurkey

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +10.8%

Bottle to snifter. Cool temp; at least 50'F.

A: Pitch black. No amber light passing through. Tan, mocha color head, about one finger thick. Slightly creamy but with mixed size bubbles. Looks good.

S: Coffee and roasted malts. Little bit of chocolate. I'm also getting a little bit of hops.

T: Lots of roasted malts. Some coffee and dark fruit. Some mild hops and alcohol are coming through at the end. Flavors are well harmonized and smooth but not as strong or complex as some other RIS I've had. Still very good - in my opinion.

M: Great mouthfeel, one of the first things I noticed after drinking. Medium-to-Fuller bodied. Very rich and creamy. It really coats the mouth.

D: A very drinkable stout. Flavor profile is balanced. Stong flavor but nothing too overwhelming. I'm really slugging this back. Very good

12-11-2010 14:50:01 | More by WildTurkey
Photo of dnjmed
dnjmed

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +10.8%

12 oz bottle poured out into a pint glass. maybe should've broken out a tulip for this. served at about 55 F and rising

Looks awesome. Pitch black even held up to the light. 3/4 inch head that is the color of caramel or maybe even cafe au lait

Smells sweet with note of vanilla possibly. Some good roasted character coming through as well.

Taste is a strong malt profile. I pick out chocolate, vanilla, coffee, sweet cherry but not necessarily in that order. First sip I was pleasantly struck by some good piney hops at the end, but I've settled into the stout now and they're less noticeable but there.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and very enjoyable.

A good beer and a good stout but in this style it's got some tough competition. That being said it's a lot easier to get my hands on than other R.I.S.s. It's definitely keeping me warm on this cold December night

12-11-2010 05:06:47 | More by dnjmed
Photo of beerwolf77
beerwolf77

Wisconsin

3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Had on tap at Milrose while in Illinois. Served in a fucking pilsner glass. Not cool.

A: Pitch black, small beige head, modest lace. No cap or retention.

S: Roasty black coffee. Lots of sweet chocolate. Maybe a hint of wet cardboard.

T: Mild roast black coffee. Some chocolate. Not the most powerful flavors. Hint of dish soap in the finish.

M: Full body with very low carbonation.

D: Maybe it was the glass but this one was sort of a chore to get down. If I see it in the bottle I will give it a second chance.

12-08-2010 02:19:02 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of JohnnyChicago
JohnnyChicago

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +12.9%

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.

12-03-2010 06:01:06 | More by JohnnyChicago
Photo of yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

3.23/5  rDev -14.8%

Appearance -- Pours dark brown with one finger of fizzy chocolate head. Not much for head retention, but the persistent dirty halo is a plus. Ho hum.

Smell -- Well-roasted malt, dark chocolte, coffee with cream, and a hint of char. A bit more like a milk stout, truthfully, but still quite good.

Taste -- First impressions are sweet: mellow malt roastiness, chocolate, and coffee with cream. As the beer goes down some mild sour and acrid dark roast flavors begin to develop to lend some balance to the mocha-esque sweetness. Sure this isn't a milk stout?

Mouthfeel -- A hair heavier than medium-bodied, medium fluffy carbonation. RIS methinks not.

Drinkability -- Had you told me this was a milk stout, I would've given it much higher marks. Really lacks the complex character and dark fruit elements that typify the RIS style. That said, there's enough going on in the flavor profile to make it interesting and enjoyable. Glad I tried it, but might not seek it out again.

12-02-2010 03:49:02 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of ChugginOil
ChugginOil

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +11.3%

A- Pitch black with a couple fingers of mocha colored head when poured aggresuclery. Microbubbles resonnate throughout the head. Good lacing

S- Roasted malt and faint coffee scents are picked up, followed by booze.

T- Similar to scent. Toasted maltiness mixed with a bitter coffee taste. Pretty tasty roastiness going on. The booze taste is subtle at the end.

M- Pretty thick and syrupy and covers the palate well

D- Sits heavy but could put down a few over DA BEARS whoppin' that ass. A great stout @ $8.99 per six pack

11-24-2010 06:13:54 | More by ChugginOil
Photo of NeutroMan
NeutroMan

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +11.3%

12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours an opaque, nearly black with a thin film of reddish brown head that quickly dissipates. The nose is dominated by roasted malts - mostly coffee and chocolate. Some fruitiness (mostly plum) begins to become more noticeable as the beer warms. Taste is a complex blend of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, fruity esters, and some minimal hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and chewy with some alcohol warmth (particularly as the beer warms up). One of the more drinkable RIS.

11-23-2010 02:50:54 | More by NeutroMan
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +7.7%

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.

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

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev +9.5%

This beer pours a 'motor oil' black with no head. Coffee and chocolate dominate the nose. Those two characteristics take front stage in the taste. A slight bourbon hint and notes of hops creep up in the finish. A fantastic beer to warm your bones on a cold night, the Northwind is an amazing example of an imperial stout.

11-19-2010 04:45:18 | More by shodrod
Photo of Vdubb86
Vdubb86

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev +3.7%

Served in a snifter

On-Tap at The Firkin Two Brother's Tap Takeover

This beer pours a pretty darkness with a finger of brown foam. The smell is a bit of oak, belgian-like aroma, brown sugar and a light roasted note. Most of the nose is really light. The taste has an odd hop bitterness that I didn't expect. There is a light bourbon flavor and a decent amount of cocoa. It must be said that this beer is a bit astringent on the palate and a bit thinner than I would have liked, but it is still rather drinkable. A good beer all around.

11-19-2010 01:18:12 | More by Vdubb86
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +8.2%

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.

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

Colorado

4/5  rDev +5.5%

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip: from notes
A: The tan head pours a thick 2 in. fluff. The Head holds very well with a nice layer throughout. The body is a deep pitch of black and in non transparent.
S: A bit subtle on the aroma, what is found is a sweet note, classic for the style.
T/M: The front is dry and creamy. The tastes pf sweet malts and nutty malts. A full, rich and creamy mouthfeel. The lingering taste is a bit short. Overall a good choice for the style.
D: This classic style is represented will with the Northwind. The ABV is hidden so well I could barely tell there was 9.1%(as per 2010 bottle stats.)

10-04-2010 12:35:38 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

4.05/5  rDev +6.9%

Pours a black color. 1/4 inch head of a brown color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight dark citrus, slight roasted malt, slight alcohol, slight hops, and a hint of alcohol. Fits the style of a Russian Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, roasted malt, sweet malt, and slight dark citrus. Overall, good aroma, blend, and body.

09-07-2010 15:02:26 | More by Tone
Photo of rembrant
rembrant

Ohio

4.53/5  rDev +19.5%

Look Classic stout, oilcan black,ample froth,lacing clings well.

Scent Rosted Malts Dark Chocolate, slight fruity hops.

taste Up front,a surprise,fudge Brownie with raisins. Then it quickly returns to being a Stout,and the raisin shifts a bit to a subtle Port Wine as the choco shifts to Espresso. I enjoy how some of these big old Stouts play the Malt/Hops lag into a way to transform flavors

This,relatively, has a kinder,sweeter note than a lot of Imperial Stouts,despite the bitter-sour hop finish.

I've been exploring quite a few Stouts the last couple of weeks and,no question,Stout variants are where Brewers like to play a lot of tricks. This has several elements and they shift. It's a mystery tour of flavors with that undertone of Port and espresso quite interesting.

it goes well with Provolone or Prawns or Naked Women. Some of my favorite other flavors.

Mouth Yep Lots That hops posing as Port lingers,good viscosity....even the froth is tasty I can't pinpoint carbonation as a distinct prickle,but it's not flat at all. Nice.

Drinkable I'm not sure of the ABV and Imp Stouts are large but I'm feeling like a better man having had one,so,I figure one more and I'm nearly perfect.

09-04-2010 02:40:43 | More by rembrant
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.63/5  rDev -4.2%

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.

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

District of Columbia

2.98/5  rDev -21.4%

Appearance: BLack pour, nearly flat, no head or lacing
Smell: Chocolate, fudge, coffee, very simple and almost one-dimensional
Taste: Similar, lots of chocolate, fudge, and a hint of coffee; a bit sweet
Mouthfeel: a bit thin and sticky
Drinkability: one and done, never again.

06-27-2010 01:37:57 | More by craytonic
Photo of uwmgdman
uwmgdman

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +5.5%

The beer pours jet black with a clingy moderate tan head. The aroma is moderate-high bittersweet malt with moderate roast and a bit of chocolate. The flavor is very malty-intense bittersweet malt with underlying roast and bit of ash. The hop bitterness adds additional balance to the malt especially with slightly dry finish. The body is very smooth and full with a bit of warming quality in my belly. The carbonation is moderate. Overall a very well made IS and still having good drinkability--great on this cold, rainy evening.

05-30-2010 19:36:14 | More by uwmgdman
Photo of mrright1967
mrright1967

Minnesota

1.9/5  rDev -49.9%

After spending several minutes perusing the aisles and bypassing many of the staple imperial stouts at my neighborhood liquor store, I decided to give this new arrival a chance. It was my first time trying any beer from Two Brothers.

It looks and pours like an imperial stout and has the alcohol content that one would expect. Unfortunately that is were the similarities to the characteristics one would expect in a quality imperial stout end. There's no need to discuss hints of coffee or chocolate or any subtle blending of flavors associated with stouts. There is one pervasive and overwhelming taste of sour milk that masks any other taste that might be present.

At first, I assumed the 6 pack of bottles I had purchased had spoiled in some way. However in reading other reviews I see that my experience is not unusual. The sour taste has been discussed by other reviewers. One reviewer described it as an overwhelming metallic taste. Whatever it is - it's nasty.

I've always described the experience of drinking beer as being like oral sex - even when its bad, its good. But this beer defies such a contention. Its just bad. Not bad in an interesting or novel way, but bad like ... "Man, is it safe for me to even be drinking this?"

As I said, this was my first experience with Two Brothers. Maybe their other offerings are better, but I'll never know. This will be the only money these 2 brothers will ever see from me.

Avoid at all cost.

05-27-2010 01:22:06 | More by mrright1967
Photo of mgbickel
mgbickel

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +11.3%

Poured into a Duck Rabbit snifter. Formed a thick layer of khaki colored bubbles that quickly receded, leaving no lace behind. The body is dark, dense and pretty much black. You can force ruby slivers around the edges if backlit.

The nose is rather weak for a RIS...burnt chocolate, coffee, toasted malts, heavy cream, molasses...all very subtle.

Thank goodness the flavors do not follow the nose (in strength at least). Starts off with a black coffee bitterness that smoothly transitions into a sweet malt middle that turns roasty at the finish. No booziness make this really smooth drinking.

The mouth feel teeters on the heavy side of medium...creamy with moderate carbonation.

This is a pretty solid stout. I had no problems putting a 12oz bottle away and found myself wanting more. Well worth a try!

05-21-2010 18:30:47 | More by mgbickel
Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 746 ratings.