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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
85
very good

403 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 403
Hads: 868
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 12%
Wants: 26
Gots: 66 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 403 | Hads: 868
Photo of brewandbbq
3.22/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 36, 22oz bottle from at least a few years ago.

Pours blackish with brown edging and barely a trace of tan head. A flat surface with zero lacing for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with roast, char, chocolate, and a hint of coffee. Hints of Oreo shells and brownies.

On the fuller side of medium bodied with a slickish, slightly flat mouthfeel. Thin for the style.

Brownie bits, Hershey syrup, and roasted malts start the palate. Hints of dark chocolate and coffee grounds follow through.

Finishes quickly with fading chocolate and roast.

This is like a RIS-mini, or even closer to a Porter. The classic RIS profile is subdued in every way and the beer is thin and flatish with no warmth on the throat. (714 characters)

Photo of BFro
3.24/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nothing over the top about this effort from Two Bros. Not sure if it's the norm with other batches of North wind, but the bottle I poured had tons of sediment. Looked like orange rind pieces. Whatever it was made the end of the glass start to taste like a bitter orange peel. Otherwise it was a par effort on this imperial stout. Not the best I've had, but not the worse either. Probably wouldn't buy again, but if someone offered me one, I'd drink it.

Characteristics: smoky, matly, slight dark chocolate, bitter orange rind. Drinks smooth though. Not overly harsh/bitter as some stouts in this genre can be. (611 characters)

Photo of scottwestphall
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark black stout with 0 transparency. Poured with little head and left no lacing.   Sort of disappointing. The aroma was really nice with a whiff of black licorice. The flavor was good as expected by this genre of beer. Bits of coffee, carmel, and roasted malts as a stout like this should have. The body was thick and kinda heavy. At 9.1% alcohol it's not something you can just throw back while watching the Superbowl.  Overall it's pretty good and I would drink it again, though for my money I'd opt for Ole Rasputin which is still the standard.   Decent effort, but not the top dog.  (591 characters)

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.17/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a snifter

A: pours a very deep brown that is impenetrable and has a ton of suspended sediment, pours with a finger of frothy mocha brown colored head that lingers nicely and has large bubbles, leaves spotty lacing
S: very nice mocha scent, very reminiscent of a strong coffee, very deep and enjoyable
T: begins with a nice coffee note which just intensifies and deepens throughout the sip, really deep and tastey, not entirely complex but yummy nonetheless
M: medium carbonation tingle, very thick on the palate and has a wonderful velvety texture which sticks to the palate
O: a delicious brew, lacking a bit in complexity but incredibly deep, really delicious (675 characters)

Photo of JohnnyMc
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first beer from this brewery. It pours a very nice pitch black with a slight head.

The aroma is very subtle and has hints of chocolate, malt and smokiness. Taste wise is pretty much the same, there is a lot of malt and chocolate to taste and it's surprisingly mild for an Imperial Stout.

Despite the high ABV (9), there is no hint of alcohol in the taste or smell.

This is a decent beer, but not one of my favorites and certainly nowhere near the best Imperial Stout I have tried. (494 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours midnight black with a two finger tall foamy tan head. Lots of visible sediment that is also tan in color. Head reduces slightly but very good head retention overall. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Not as intense a smell present as I would have liked for this style. Hints of chocolate, oak, roasted dark malts, coffee, and vanilla.

T: Primarily dark bittersweet chocolate with hints of dark druit (plum + fig), oak, and some coffee bitterness. Not overly bitter and there is an underlying sweetness from the dark roasted malts.

M: Medium bodied with a low to moderate amount of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Alcohol is very well hidden in this beer - both in the taste and the smell. Very enjoyable and a very well balanced beer. Some complexity in the flavors. Good beer for a cold winter day. (805 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 20 December 2011.

Pours very dark brown, black at the center, with a little light coming through the edges. One finger of brownish tan head, fades fairly quickly and leaves little lacing. A whole lot of light brown sediment that I wasn't expecting - should have poured a little more gently.

Smell is slightly smoky. In fact, smoke is the one thing that jumps out at me, though it comes on the back end of some deep roasted chocolatey malts. Woody and high in the nose, without much of the deep rich robustness I might expect.

Taste comes through with, again, that hit of smoke. But here there's more going on. Some nice dark chocolate, a hint of dark fruit, and another chunk of wood to chew on. Bitterness is quite low. A lot of different flavors swimming around, lending some nice subtle variation to it.

Mouthfeel is solid. Fairly heavy body, about right in the middle of the pack for an impy stout. Good medium-low carbonation, and a lingering slick on the tongue.

An interesting, rather smoky imperial stout. Different, but pretty tasty. I like the variety in the flavor. (1,089 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: nearly opaque, but some dark brown translucence around the edges; dark tan head

S: mild roasted malt

T: more toward the bitter/dry end of the imperial stout spectrum; burnt notes, faint cocoa/chocolate notes

M: lighter than other imperial stouts, more carbonation, very slight astringency

O: as always, if you like stouts/imperial stouts it is worth a try. For me, the gold standard in stouts is Old Rasputin. This beer is not as smooth or mellow, and it is not as sweet either. A decent beer, but not something that I would purchase again unless I craved a stout and had no other choices available. (606 characters)

Photo of hosehead83
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz. bottle into a wine goblet.
Inky black in color with a decent head of tan foam.
Aroma-Faint chocolate and dark toasted malt
Taste-Dark roasted coffee and cream,faint dark fruit, dark chocolate. Subtle hop note in the slightly warming finish. Friendly and pleasant, a nice imperial stout to cut your teeth on, or just a mellow-drinking sipper for a cold night. (378 characters)

Photo of JackieTH
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured aggressively, rewarded with an inch of tan foam over a black-oily looking brew. The foam dissipated quickly leaving a thin skein. Smell was light. Roast malt, chocolates just not much of it. Taste was a definite improvement over the nose. Nicely roasty, bittersweet chocolate, raisins, vanilla, a nice bit of hops, too. Good balance, creamy mouthfeel with a stiff carbonation keeping it interesting. Some sourness appears during the finish. Good flavor, easy to drink, enjoyable if not spectacular. (505 characters)

Photo of hopfacebrew
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

My man Rob hooked this up as an extra in our trade! Thanks again!!

A - Poured from 12oz bottle to a pint glass. The beer pours gjet black with a huge 3 finger head that overflowed the pint glass. The quite bubbly tan head slowly fades to a thin film throughout the glass with huge bubbly lacing.

S - Not a lot of aroma for a Russian Imperial. Slight hints of roasted malt, alcohol tones, and not much more.

T/M - The beer starts thin but gradually fills your pallete with a plethora of flavors: numerous specialty grains, nice roasted malts, slight acohol warmth, mild bittnerness. I was suprised at the creamy mouthfeel which lasts from the beginning to end though it finishes a tad dry. I'd say the beer is more of a medium-full than full bodied beer with reasonable carbonation.

D - A very drinkable beer.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. It was a pleasure to sample another Two Brothers brew. If I had the opportunity I'd drink it again and recommend to friends.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 01-28-2011 03:02:37 (1,168 characters)

Photo of vic21234
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle is labeled "Lot 3071."

A- Pours black with a nice tan head. Lots of yeast particles appear to be in this one, theres a large heap of it at the bottom of my glass.

S- Lots of roasty malt and coffee. Roastiness is the most apparent smell here.

T- The roasty malts are big in this one, and also a surprising bit of a hoppy finish. I'm also getting hints of coffee and chocolate.

M- Heavy, with a nice lingering malt finish. This beer does not drink like a 9%ABV, not much alcohol presence.

I'm partial to Two Brothers since its my local brewery. This was one of the first Imperial Stouts I've had, and I always enjoy it. I do admit however that there are plenty of better examples of the style out there. (748 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark black, trace of brown, nice foamy 2 inch head and plenty of lacing.

Smell - Roasted malts, bold coffee, chocolate, dark fruits like rasin and plum. Wood and smoke. Some licorice, a little vanilla some hops round his brew out.

Taste - Roasted malts and mild coffee/chocolate overtones make up the main flavors of this beer. Hops are mild, only slight bitterness comes out. Chocolate and brown sugar round out the flavor at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Its thick but, not overly harsh on mouth for being 9.1%. Tounge gets malts, some coffee and chocolate and a little hop bitterness. Palette gets remaining sugars and malts, and some chcolate. Aftertaste is mild, smooth and malty.

Overall - Im shocked how smooth and one dimentional this beer is. Nothing strong, groundbreaking or special about this. The booze is well masked, this is closer to a porter then anything. Too mild and smooth for what style it is. Its decent but not close to being a top ris. (995 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.49/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, poured into a snifter. Poured near-black with a very thin, tan head that left minimal lacing on the glass and dissipated completely rather quickly. Aromas of coffee and roasted malt are noticeable. Tastes seem to be muted, even as it warms. Roasted barley, coffee, burnt sugar, and anise are present with a slightly hoppy finish. Alcohol is warming, but well concealed. Carbonation is low and mouth-feel is smooth. Overall, I seem to go back and forth with this one every time I have it: sometimes I love it and sometimes I'm disappointed. It's a good example of the style, but seems to be lacking. (611 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Two Brothers Roundhouse.

A- black with 1 finger cola head. Very little lacing.

S- roasted malts, faint chocolate and some licorice

T- roasted malts and again licorice, some chocolate and pine hop bitterness

M- medium body and crazy drinkable. Very smooth and dare I say light.

O- good ris, but nothing special. At 9% I could drink a 6 pack over a night though because of the drinkability. (403 characters)

Photo of chadn
3.22/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Review is of the 12-oz bottle, bought from local store 3 months before pouring.

Ratings based on comparison to other beers in this class.

Appearence: dark brown/black beer, like a proper stout. Poured like water, almost no bubbles, and no head. Slight lacing that lasts only a couple seconds on sides.

Smell: Mostly roasted, slight vanilla and chocolate

Taste: Definitely roasted, bitter, slightly sour, chocolate, and hardly any hint of alcohol, which is surprising considering 9% ABV. Dry finish.

Mouth: Smooth and rich. Some carbonation like a cola, which is unexpected. Dry and clean finish.

Overall: Tastes good but not the best stout. Definitely does not taste like a 9% ABV beer .. more like 6%. Strong roasted stout with a dry finish makes it easy to keep drinking this one. (789 characters)

Photo of tsauce2
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a New Belgium snifter.

A: SRM is dark brown/black. Nearly opaque. Head is tan, 1 in, dissipates to the outsides of the beer. Light carbonation. Medium/heavy lacing.

S: Dark roast malt, light coffee and hop additions, bittered chocolate malt.

T: Dark roast malt, bittered chocolate malt, oats, light hop additions. Slight sweetness on the back end. No alcohol is discernable. Aftertaste is bittered dark roast malt and some coffee notes.

M: Medium body. There is a creamy, oat taste to this that very nicely compliments the bittered chocolate malt feel. Dry finish.

O: This is a good RIS, but in terms of the whole broad spectrum of RIS's, I think it lacks just a bit. Very little carbonation, which if it was more viscous, would be fine. For the body, imo, more carbonation needs to be present. The flavor overall was good, but was a little bland. Nice job of covering any boozy flavors; I did not detect any. The mouthfeel is also very nice. I would by this beer again at the right price and certainly would not turn this beer down. (1,063 characters)

Photo of negroobserver
2.9/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

North-Wind Imperial Stout
45 IBU, 9.1% ABV
12 oz Bottle

Poured into a large Brandy snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black color. Very small cream colored head, which dissipates quickly and leaves behind a thin foamy rim on the edge of the glass.

S: Smells smoky. Has a very mild malty and chocolatey aroma at the back end. A very faint sweet licorice or vanilla like aroma. No dominant scents here, but I like that the vanilla aroma is almost hidden. This is my third bottle and this is the first time I've noticed it. Interesting, but disappointing that the last few weren't at the same level as this bottle.

T: Mostly flat and tasteless. Dark roasted malts. There is a smoky chalky taste which lingers in the mouth. Slight sour and hoppy quality.

M: The beer has some depth, but not the kind of rich texture that you would expect from an Imperial class beer. It doesn't coat the glass or the mouth in the way that an Imperial Stout should. At best, it has the depth and texture of a standard stout. At 9.1% ABV, I can't smell or taste the alcohol in the beer, which makes me question the validity of the company's claims regarding the ABV content. Or it could be that this is one of the better crafted beers on the market in that respect. Who knows?

Overall, I had great hopes for this beer and was hoping that this was a rare exception to the pricy Imperial Stouts that one finds on the market. Sadly, I feel like I was duped by the company into buying an inferior product which appears to be very misleading in its claims.

VERY DISAPPOINTING, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE I ACTUALLY LIKE TWO BROTHERS' BEERS (NOT ALL, BUT SOME). (1,637 characters)

Photo of AmericanGothic
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint.

A: Pours an opaque, very dark brown color with 1/2 finger of dark khaki head. Some retention and lace.

S: Creamy chocolate and some roasted notes. Mellow but good.

T: Leads with roast, then smooth, spicy chocolate. Slight bitterness on the finish. Caramel flavors persist on the aftertaste. No hint of alcohol. As the beer warms, some cola emerges. Still later, the roasted flavors become more persistent throughout each sip.

M: Quite smooth, a little cream and oil.

O: Nothing extraordinary, but quite solid and enjoyable. In a style with so many outstanding examples, I'm not sure it's one I would seek out, but definitely not one that I would turn down, either. Certainly worth a try. (742 characters)

Photo of MelissaJ
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black color, brown head, seems a bit watery as there's not much lacing.

S: Coffee, caramel, cocoa, but the aroma is weak.

T: Immediately a strong toasted malt taste which stays, some dark fruits, then some bitter chocolate, slight caramel notes, finishes with almost a sourdough bread taste. Really interesting taste profile.

M: it's very smooth--the carbonation is a medium. Quite light. Creamy.

O: I first tried this beer when it was refrigerator-cold and the taste was too sharp. I tried it again after letting a bottle warm up a bit and it was a much better experience which let the subtle layers of flavor beneath the loud toasted malt shine--definitely warming up a bit is necessary for this. It's good, and I'd have it again, but it's also not one of my top favorites. (784 characters)

Photo of blackcompg
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from their 12oz bottle...

Appearance - Poured half finger of mocha brown head, beer is an opaque dark brown/black.

Smell - Molasses, roasted malt, rich, dark coffee.

Taste - Wow, lots of roasted malt and grains, rich roasted coffee, just a touch of tart, dark fruits, and the slightest burnt toffee in the background for just a whisper of sweetness. Finishes with toasted to almost burnt pumpernickel crust & coffee grounds, dry and slightly bitter. Some dried grassiness here too.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth thanks to medium carb, somewhat mouthcoating, but not quite as substantial as I would like. Halfway thru the sip the carb nearly cleans the palate, and lends a somewhat watery and chalky finish. Not unpleasant, but would prefer some more thickness & chewiness from a 9%+ RIS.

Overall - This is a good and enjoyable RIS, but in my opinion doesn't quite stand out. Decent for the style. (902 characters)

Photo of robwestcott
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

cold from the tap at Finch's, chocolatey black to a 14oz bell's tulip with a two finger, short lasting, mocha head

aroma of roasted malts, toffees and dark chocolate.

big roasty malts up front, a bit of smoke and a healthy shot of creamy cocoa.

big bodied, medium carbonation, sweet, smooth and creamy.

overall: super sweet, above par, smooth. (347 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into tulip.
Deep dark black, little off white head.
Smells of roasty malts and a bit of coffee.
A bit over carbonated.
Roasty malt, slight coffee and milky flavor. Cant notice the abv at all. Overall, its slightly lacking...but a decent RIS. (256 characters)

Photo of willseph
3.39/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, dark as midnight, one finger head (dark clay in color) that stuck around for the duration of the beer. Right away, the nose reminded me of slightly burnt toast and whiskey with a touch of piney hops. Not a bad combo actually. Lots of lacing all the way through the beer.

The toasted malt taste overpowers anything else on the front end, but there is a slight taste of toffee & chocolate (like a Heath bar). The back end is subtle hops, but I was still tasting the malt. Definitely a heavy, chunky feeling beer. Let it sit out a bit, it gets better toward the upper 40 degrees. I was impatient, and I wish I had waited. (645 characters)

Photo of ferrari29
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
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 (1,041 characters)

Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 403 ratings.