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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

758 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 758
Reviews: 385
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 19
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: 758 | Reviews: 385 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Black in colour with half a finger of medium brown head.

S - Chocolate, nuttiness, licorice.

T - Milk chocolate, toasted nuts, licorice, some noticeable alcohol. Sweet overall and the sweetness lingers in the finish.

M - Thick, creamy, silky. Moderate carbonation.

TheSevenDuffs, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of Dhren1979
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage: 2010

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle poured into a Tulip glass.

A: Pours dark, rich, jet-black with chocolately head. About 1 finger's width of head. The lacing on the sides are quite prevalent!

S: Roasted, smokey malts. Burnt chocolate can also be detected, but not overpowering. Actually none of the smells are overpowering at all.

T: At 1st taste this has lots of malts with hints oc burnt chocolate. Latter on I tastes verious fuity sweetness.

M: Creamy and warm on the tongue,Not as syrupy as other Russian Imperial Stouts can be...which is no knock at all on this stout!

D: A very solid Russian Imperial Stout that can be drunk very quickly! Be careful 'cause that ABV will get ya!!

Dhren1979, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of harrymel
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to dhren1979 for this extra!
Poured from crown capped bottle to NB Globe.

Says Lot 3190 on back of bottle, not sure what this means.

A: Black, soily ale drizzles to the glass and excites a nice single finger of mocha head. This head dissipates in a couple minutes, but is easily reintroduced with a quick swish of the stout. Scattered sticky lacing.

S: Inky, industrial, smokey. Sweetened cocoa with a nice blending of licorice, roasted figs, dates, cinnamon. Intriguing and brings me back in repeatedly.

T: Very malt forward. Coffee, cocoa nibs, cinnamon. The beer has a nice creamy taste. The finish is long, and gradually keeps me coming back for more.

M: Low to no carbonation in mouth. The beer is thick, creamy and viscous. This beer makes me think of Wilcox farms Chocolate milk in body.

D: This was such a wonderful surprise of a beer! If you can get your hands on this, give it a go.

harrymel, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark dark dark brown body, can't see through it at all. Leaves a small, fine, medium-dark brown head. A powerful-looking beer.

S - Deeply roasted malts, oatmeal, chocolate, smoked notes. None of this is very strong, but I don't smell booze. Seems a bit small for RIS.

T - Roasted malts, oatmeal, chocolate, some coffee bitterness. It's really well balanced with the nose, except I'm not picking up any of the smoke on the tongue. I guess I expect more from this style, but it's still pretty good.

M - This beer is thick! It's sluggish and chewy, and big and heavy. Certainly lives up to the name "Russian Imperial."

D - It's really pretty smooth, easy to drink. A little heavy, and somewhat strong, but it tastes good and I like the process of drinking it.

ColdPoncho, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
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.

WVbeergeek, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of tjsdomer2
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice solid black appearance. Good thickness for a stout. Decent head and good lacing. Definitely solid.

Smell: Roast coffee with hints of chocolate. This is the only stout I can think of that smells more of coffee than chocolate, or at least notably so. Refreshing smell.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Mainly chocolate and coffee. Some dark fruit as well. Nothing that really stands out and it's not that strong, besides a nice smokiness. This smokiness really adds a lot though. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy and this goes well with the smokiness.

Drinkability: The nice mouthfeel makes this enjoyable.

Overall: A respectable example of a stout.

tjsdomer2, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of Natural510
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle w/batch number.

Pours a deep, dark brown with creamy, light-brown foam which leaves a solid ring of lace. Very inviting.
The nose is mostly chocolate but overall fairly unremarkable.
Flavor is a roasted, malty mix of dark chocolate, hazelnut and coffee bean. Hop kicks in Sweet, bitter and dry in the finish.
Body is not quite as thick as some of the style, but complements the flavor well and adds a bit to the overall drinkability.
With its thinner body and lack of harsh elements which would require blending with age, this is a good choice to purchase and drink right away.

Natural510, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of drewba
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The way this pours is the quintessential imperial stout "look". Opaque black with ruby and purple tints around the edge of the glass. Two finger mocha head that is fluffy and full. Head falls to a thin yet bubbly mocha film with some pretty serious lacing.

S - The aroma is bold and really stands out. Huge dark chocolate and coffee with some honey and smoke nuance.

T - The chocolate and smoke are really coming forward in the taste. Whereas the chocolate hits right away and stays for the middle of the taste, the smoke is still highly apparent in the finish and aftertaste, unlike the chocolate. Coffee, and the tiniest amount of dark fruit are backing up the chocolate and there is a fair amount of sweet, honey perhaps. The sweetness does remind me a little bit of lactose sugar in a milk stout, but I don't see anything on the label to think that it was made with lactose sugar. The hops are definitely in the finish and add a small lemon tinge and a small level of bitterness. I'd have given it a 5/5, but the smoke is a little too pronounced for me. Admittedly, I'm not a fan of smoke...

M - a bit too thin, but somehow feels syrupy. It isn't that viscous, but somehow stays in your mouth. Carbonation is silky smooth, spot on.

D - Again, the smoke stays with you well into the aftertaste, which knocks down the drinkability for me, but this is a highly tasty beer that I will drink that will be consumed back to back. Also, I'm not sure how this is 9% abv, it's hidden like a boss.

drewba, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of oreo
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at the Two Brothers Tap House.

Deep black with a 1 finger tan head.

Smells awesome. Tons of coffee and chocolate and roasty malts! This is my type of beer.

Smell is better than the taste. The coffee seemed faded in comparison to the smell, but still noticeable. Chocolate and roasty malts make their presence known throughout this beer. When fresh, this beer has a nice bitter hop finish.

Thick stout mouthfeel.

Very drinkable at 9%. Be careful!

oreo, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
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.

drabmuh, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of HeightsEats
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is a nice mix of dark caramel and subtle hops. While the typical sweetness and roasty flavors of a stout are clearly present, a hop backbone comes through as well. Full bodied but not overly sweet, the hop presence and balance of flavors makes this beer quite drinkable (and the alcohol is well-hidden).

HeightsEats, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by matt9875. Thanks Matt!

A: Black in color (or lack thereof) with a half inch of thick beige head. The head displays good retention and leaves some healthy lacing upon the glass.

S: The aroma is predominantly roasted malt, with some subtle chocolate scents far in the distance.

T: The flavor, like the aroma, is extremely roasty. The beer lacks complexity, but overall tastes fine, just simple.

M: Medium bodied and quite smooth on the palate.

D: Very drinkable. I enjoyed this and would have it again.

Huhzubendah, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of champ103
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

champ103, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of birchstick
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

birchstick, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of MbpBugeye
2.08/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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.

MbpBugeye, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of Erish
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Erish, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Dreadnaught33, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of AJacob81
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

AJacob81, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of WildTurkey
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

WildTurkey, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of dnjmed
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

dnjmed, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of beerwolf77
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

beerwolf77, Dec 08, 2010
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 yeahnatenelson
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

yeahnatenelson, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of ChugginOil
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

ChugginOil, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of NeutroMan
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

NeutroMan, Nov 23, 2010
Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 758 ratings.