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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

735 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 735
Reviews: 384
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 18
Gots: 33 | 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: 735 | Reviews: 384 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bluemoonswoon
bluemoonswoon

Illinois

3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into nonic pint glass. No freshness date.

A: Pours a motor oil black with a coffee and milk colored two inch head that fades down into a thin ring in a minute or two, leaves nice looking lacing down the sides of the glass

S: It's a pretty subdued smell for a suposedly big beer, I had to nearly dip my nose in this one to pick up the scent, but hey, sometimes I like a little subtlety. Get the normal smokey caramel malts paried with a burnt espresso background, this one seems to rely more on the smoked malt scent than the chocolate and coffee I'm used to which is nice, but still seems a bit off.

T/MF: Sort of a greasy mouthfeel which is a bit offputting. Tastes of toasted malts and sweet raisins and plums, the fruits dominate this one though, finishes rather clean with only a bit of oil hanging around on the tongue. A chocolatey tobacco sweetness lingers in between each sip. Not nearly as hoppy as other Imperial Stouts I've tried which is a nice change of pace but really threw me for a loop when I took the first sip.

D: To be honest I almost wanted to pour this one out after the first sip, but it grew on me after a while, not much mind you but not terrible.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2007 23:34:34 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of Hibernator
Hibernator

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two Brothers Northwind Imperial Stout
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a deep black with trails of sticky lacings on the side of the glass.

Whiffs of a chocolate bar and freshly brewed French Roast coffee.

Juicy chocolate syrup thickness with hints of milk chocolate. Hints of roasted coffee beans, almost espresso-like in the bitterness of the punch. A touch of sour cream interjects with a bitter hop bite. A touch of caramel sweetness with roasted malts as the backbone.

Solid - I would like to try this brew in the dead of winter.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2007 22:58:48 | More by Hibernator
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nearly black color with ruby highlights and a prodigiously rocky head that sticks well with films of lace

Smell: Wafts of roasty coffee, caramel, chocolate and dark fruit

Taste: Upfront, there is a dark fruit element of prune, dates, caramel and chocolate; surprisingly sweet and fruity; after the swallow, the grassy bitterness arrives to complement the fruit, with an element of smoke on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not quite to style (not big enough and it is a bit too sweet and fruity); more like a Baltic Porter, in my opinion

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2007 23:43:11 | More by brentk56
Photo of letsgopens
letsgopens

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Another selection from Two Brothers. This Imperial Stout pours black with amber red highlights. Visible small bubbles and a tan/brown head that recedes leaving a bit of light lace.

The aroma incorporates coffee and some chocolate. A touch of mild smoke and lots roasted malt.

A lot of initial roastiness with plenty of malt flavor. The expected chocolate and pleasant mellow coffee. Done well, but mellow nearly all around. Very nice stout-like qualities but lacking that traditional bite and warmth associated with many Imperials. Caramel, some hops, half & half, and molasses in the finish.

Smooth and creamy on the palate. Heavy but not too syrupy. Pleasant and good all around.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2007 15:58:32 | More by letsgopens
Photo of giblet
giblet

Ohio

3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

good brew. poured nice and had a lot of appeal. a little lighter in taste than what i had expected, but still nice. it has the coffee smell and taste from the roasting. not as hoppy as i prefer.

this is another of the good micro - mini brews that is worth the effort to try. i would recomend trying this one.

not sure that it makes my top 25 overall. for a darker beer - imperial stout it does make my top 25 in that category.

once again not the best but certainly worth the experience!

drink more beer!

"Beer is proof that God loves man!" Benjaman Franklin

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2007 14:39:18 | More by giblet
Photo of scott
scott

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

V.06
When I initially had this, it hadn't reached the market yet, and I couldn't wait for it to get there. This a highly recommended offering. A smooth and well-balanced drinker, this maintains a nice coffee/chocolate backbone with nice notes of vanilla & oak. Dark and heady. I can sum this up with one word. Excellent. Pricey, though.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2007 01:23:05 | More by scott
Photo of BeerBelcher
BeerBelcher

Ohio

2.9/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The imperial stout category is something of a category of giants. Looking at the other beers of this style I've reviewed, they've been largely excellent. Dark Lord, Old Rasputin, Great Divide Yeti, Brooklyn Black Chocolate, Great Lakes Blackout, and Alesmith Speedway Stout are all fantastic beers full of lots of dry roastiness and full mouthfeels. And this one fell short, at least compared to those others. While I'm a big fan of Two Bros beers, I thought this one was disappointing and not very drinkable. Flavor was not very roasty and mouthfeel was a bit watery. And maybe it was when I had it in my evening, but this beer made me feel exceptionally full which led me not to finish it. Unfortunately, the next day I'm unable to articulate what exactly it was I objected to.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2007 15:30:40 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of mynie
mynie

Indiana

4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice pour, not rough at all. Big brown head, nearly completely opaque, mild degree of carbonation belaying the comparatively low ABV.

Smells of intense raosted malt, bitter, dry and burnt. This is a complemented nicely, if strangely, by a harsh semisour Belgiany yeast. Not what I'm used to in an RIS, but very good.

Tastes--tastes not very much like an RIS at all. The yeast is what starts things out, and it starts out strongly, almost like a Belgian dark, chocoately and burny sour. This drops off quickly into a middle of very dark chocolate and then, clear as day, a pleasant node of burning leaves, ending again on a very smooth and sweet Belgiany yeast. Nice.

This tastes more like a Belgian export stout than a Russian Imperial. It'd probably have a higher rating if it was labeled as the former, actually. Still, at 3.99 a bomber this was quite the deal, and it's nice to come across a strong stout that's still highly drinkable and doesn't kick you so hard in the ass.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2007 17:59:45 | More by mynie
Photo of blitz134
blitz134

California

2.58/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Basically pitch black, miniscule amounts of light comes through in the crevases of the glass. Half inch of tan head floats along on top. Isn't sticky though so teh class is left clean as it is drank down.

Really has a simple malt flavor that is amazingly nondescript. Not really much else to it, no toasted notes.

This has a bit more flavor though but honestly no where close to what an RIS should be. Slight toasted flavor gives way to a touch of coffee. Still, not much to this one. I hate to give a below average rating...it isn't bad necessarily, but nothing draws me to this.

Medium mouthfeel which isn't that bad. A little lingering flavor. This one isn't that hard to drink, nothing to be offended by. But no flavor in this really. Nothing I want to revisit.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2007 01:21:46 | More by blitz134
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost black but in reality dark, dark chocolate brown. Thick tan head that dissolved to a thin foamy veneer. Nose was a bit of an oddity-smells like ice water. Wierd...

Flavor is solid RIS. However, not one dominant flavor, just bunches of malts, chocolate and coffee tones. Come candy tones too such as licorice and caramel. Also getting some daker fruits--cherries and old dried apricots. Mouthfeel is perhaps a bit thin and watery but not too off for the style. A very easily drinkable RIS without any off-the-wall flavors or ABV.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2007 22:36:01 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of Blakaeris
Blakaeris

Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with a tan creamy head. Little to no lacing.

Aroma is roasted dark grain and a surprising amount of sweet dark fruit. Mild chocolate and coffee notes.

Taste is sweet rich chocolate up front. Then charred dark grain, coffee, and mild dark fruit makes an appearance. The finish is pleasantly bitter, and peppery.

Mouthfeel is smooth and soft. Medium bodied.

Overall a tasty, chocolate stout. However, I did find it to be too mild to have the title 'imperial'.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2007 22:55:10 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of warmstorage
warmstorage

California

1.98/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

22 ounce bomber.

Appearance: deep black, minimal beige head, moderate lacing.

Aroma and taste: super fruity esters, distinct alcohol, and intense, almost overpowering metallic taste. Sour notes, backgrounded roast, all overwhelmed by the metallic taste.

Thick mouthfeel, but not particularly distinct in other ways.

This was so intensely metallic and sour that we drainpoured it. I feel bad saying so, but this is just not a good offering.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2007 00:33:18 | More by warmstorage
Photo of zebulon
zebulon

Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I poured this in two pours from a 22 oz bomber. Temperature was from my basement at about 55 to 60 deg.

Dark brown/black color formed light brown head on first pour to about 1/2" second pour I was carefull and got 1" head. Head went down fact to thin film. Head looked creamy but I tasted light.

Chocolate aroma with a slight metallic edge.

Taste was chocolate with slight coffee, but had that metallic taste that I objected to. There was also a light fizzy taste at first. Later the fizziness was gone slight sour come out and a taste of dried fig and toffee.

Mouth feel started creamy and declined to light.

OK drink but somewhat disappointing. Kind of a stout light.
We could debate whether this is an a imperial or a chocolate, but really who cares if it is good. This just didn't make the grade. It is almost as if it was brewed for complexity and ended up with slight off flavor and not enough body. At $5.95 a bottle not worth it

Would have given this a 2.6 or 2.7 in some catagories but that is not allowed.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2007 21:56:58 | More by zebulon
Photo of Damian
Damian

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Drank on-tap at Redbones Barbecue, Somerville, MA

Poured a deep, thick brown/black with no head (just a bubbly film of off-white froth) and no lacing.

Aroma was very subtle initially. Notes of roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate and a general oakiness were mildly detectable. By mid-glass, a distinct (and unexpected) yeastiness was noticeable and by the end of the drink, notes of vanilla, caramel/toffee and a strong bourbon-like quality had emerged.

The taste was similar to the nose yet sweeter and much more intense. All the flavors seemed to hit hard up front. A mix of molasses, dark chocolate, freshly brewed coffee, sweet and lightly roasted malts, bourbon and hops assaulted the palate. While the flavors were quite potent, they all somehow managed to carry equal weight. A sweet, lactic quality was also very noticeable. As the beer moved along the palate, the flavors seemed to gradually fade, until the hops resurfaced again in the finish.

Rich, thick and full-bodied with a creamy, soupy and full mouthfeel.

Overall, this beer is a mild version of a typical Russian imperial stout. The malts were not quite as roasted, the hop profile was weaker, the ABV was significantly lower and the beer generally seemed to be sweeter (at times it tasted like a hybrid of a Russian imperial stout and a sweet stout). While this made for a rather tasty and easy-drinking example of the style, it is understandable why many purists may find this beer disappointing.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2007 05:56:42 | More by Damian
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Sam's in Chicago.

Pours an opaque black, brown edges, very thick tan head, great retention, some lace spots. Smell is sweet, coffee, soem chocolate, caramel, cherry, burned aroma, not bad. Taste is smoky, chocolate and coffee roasts, fruits, more roast, burnt caramel cocoa finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, a sweet and easy drink, hides alcohol well. Burnt flavour is slightly annoying though.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2007 02:23:39 | More by Viggo
Photo of dgfair
dgfair

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz. bottle poured into Great Lakes snifter.

A - Pours an opaque oily, jet black color with a very thin head that dissipates almost instantly and leaves no lacing on the glass.

S - Heavy cocoa upfront balanced with a little bit of malty sweetness and light roasted coffee. A little thin in smell, and I would love to have the scents hit a little harder.

T - Sweet, powdered cocoa with a little bit of roasty coffee and roasty malt. A slight taste of alcohol at the swallow, but not overpowering...just enough to let you know it's there. Flavor becomes a little more biscuity as it warms also.

M - Not bad, kinda thin for an impy stout, but the carbonation is perfect. Also, the balance between dry and oily is very, very nice.

D - This is probably the easiest drinking RIS I've had. The thin body and not overly complex taste make this one go down quick and smooth. I certainly like this, but it's almost more like an imperial porter than an imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2007 01:28:02 | More by dgfair
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into my shaker "pint" glass. Appears a dark brown with two fingers of tan head. Smells of nuts, cocoa, coffee, and roasted malt. Tastes of bittersweet chocolate, mildly roasted coffee, and raisins. Medium in both body and carbonation. Finish is dry and slightly bitter. The alcohol makes it's presence known in a small way. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2007 04:51:59 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a very opaque black color with a thick creamy cappucino colored head that left great lacing.

The aroma had decent hints of nuts, chocolate, and a bit of banana.

Taste is full of burnt black malts with a heavy smoky and charred flavor, does have some nice hints of coffee and chocolate, a little more bitter than the average imperial stout.

Mouthfeel is light and creamy with a lot of carbonation.

Not to bad, but a little light for imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2007 23:36:25 | More by bashiba
Photo of umustdrink
umustdrink

Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber picked up in Wisconsin

A - Completely black in color. Head is a medium brown color, with a froth-like consistency. Lacing is minimal.

S - Deep bready malt aroma with an interesting bitterness.

T - Very different tasting RIS, upfront its a sweet wheatey yeast taste with dark malts and a light bitterness. Finish is a creamy chocolate oilyness.

M - Creamy and on the thicker side. Light oilyness promotes a long lasting taste.

D - This is pretty good, the first sip I was a little turned off but after a few more I began to like this beer more.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2007 05:04:27 | More by umustdrink
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Viggo!
Pours with plenty of bubbly head, looks like chocolate milk minus that it's nearly opaque black in colour. A wild, organic essence (probably from the type of yeast) underlies the aroma along with notes of chocolate malt, a seperate bready yeast, light malt. Distinct cherry in the aroma. Medium bitterness with flavour of cocoa butter most predominant. A neat stove top roast - toasty and smoky - like if you leave something on the burner. The smokyness really suits the flavours well although is a little off-putting in the aftertaste. Doesn't taste a decimal over 6%.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 22:31:12 | More by biegaman
Photo of brewcrew76
brewcrew76

Wisconsin

2.83/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a deep black with 2 fingers of brown head.

S - Roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate. This smell is slightly overpowered by a lactic vegetal sourness.

T - The vegetal sourness in the aroma is the dominating flavor. Hints of roasted malt and dark chocolate but it is tough to get past the vegetal taste.

M - A little thin for an Impy Stout.

D - Not a very good beer. It is really tough to get past the vegetal taste.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2007 04:22:24 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of jjayjaye
jjayjaye

New York

2.48/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours dark opaque black with a full finger dark tan head that fades fairly quickly.

The smell of roasted malt is overwhelming in that the "roasted" smell is borderline burnt. It's sharp and biting to me.

The intense roasted malt flavor adds to a somewhat heavier mouthfeel and gives it a chewy sensation. Hops are present and complemented with a balanced carbonation.

This is a very difficult one to swallow for me. The most difficult characteristic is the nose; i can hardly stand to get my face near enough to take a mouthful. There is a significant harsh acidic after taste that puts it to bed for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2007 00:55:15 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of sponberg
sponberg

New York

3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque with a brown head, like most RIS. Aroma has something going on in it - almost lactic. like a milk stout, a mineraliness.

Same thing in the flavor - if there's an Imperial Milk Stout category, this could be the flag bearer. Starts out with an underlying coffee-cocoa roastiness, but there's an odd roundness in here that I couldn't figure out until I recalled Keegan's Mother's Milk stout - a similar flavor. Indescribable, not offensive, just not what I was anticpating. Finishes creamy-smooth, no hop character to speak of. Appropriately chewy, could have another to figure it out.

Gracias to BA JeffKrenner for the bottle!

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2007 00:17:05 | More by sponberg
Photo of klewis
klewis

Ohio

2.8/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Lot 36, listed at 8.5% ABV

A: Pours black with a tiny bubbly head. Very little lacing.

S: A nice malty aroma of mocha and cocoa.

T: Tastes like cocoa powder with a vegetal, celery-like finish. The flavor is thin for an impy stout and for a "big beer".

M: Medium-thin bodied and a bit fizzy, especially for the style. A bit chalky.

D: Thin, watery, and just plain off for the style. Pass.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2007 04:44:55 | More by klewis
Photo of k2pantan
k2pantan

Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a: poured out looking mostly black. appears dark brownish/red in the light. very little head, light brownish in color, that dissipated fairly quickly

s: smoky, coffee, with chocolate undertones

t: first thing noticed was the coffee and chocolate flavor which then evolved to a more bitter taste. i was expecting more of a lasting taste but it just wasn't there

m: medium body....not too light or heavy. if anything, it didn't have a creamy, more full bodied feel which is a sensation that i enjoy most out of imps.

d: goes down easy without any offense but it's not something that i would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2007 00:15:16 | More by k2pantan
Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 735 ratings.