Northwind Imperial Stout - Two Brothers Brewing Company
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Ratings: 745 | Reviews: 384 | Display Reviews Only:
3.75/5 rDev -1.1%
From: World Market, Hoffman Estates, IL
Date: "Lot 1347" stamped on label (from December 2011)
While not my favorite go-to RIS, Two Brothers' take on the variety is interesting in its use of smoked malt in the aroma and taste, which complements the roasted malt's chocolate and char quite well. If the aroma and flavor were a notch more aggressive in this beer, it would be a strong contender for readily available seasonal beverage of choice.
Pours a 1.5cm head of dark tan foam, small bubbles and dense in compaction, frothy looking in overall appearance. Retention is about average, lasting a minute or two as it fades, leaving nothing atop the body of the beer, ring of bubbles or otherwise. Lacing is minimal, too. Body is dark brown to black, opaque, with carbonation noticeable only at the top of the body.
Aroma is influenced strongly by smoked malt, slight burnt dust, roasted/blackened malt, and very dark chocolate. Scents could be stronger, for more enjoyment, but are acceptable as is.
Open with deeply sweet, smoky malt flavors on the forefront of the palate that blend well into darker, tangier, more bitter flavors in mid-palate. Slightly tangy in vinegar-barbecue sauce sense by mid-palate. Closing out with an interesting blend of dark roasted flavors with balanced sweet, smoked malt flavors, hints of vanilla and very dark chocolate.
Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body, with medium-low levels of carbonation. The result is a smooth, flowing stout that goes easily across the palate. Ethanol is felt just slightly on the throat, nothing in the nostils, quite nice for a 9.1% beer. Finish is dry with little residual stickiness on palate.
09-11-2012 04:47:15 | More by falloutsnow
4.5/5 rDev +18.7%
12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
45 IBUs, 9.1% ABV, Lot 3071 printed on back of label.
A - Northwind pours like syrup, black as night, and is topped by a rocky, effervescent cocoa head. Low retention, undoubtedly from the stout's high alcohol level, leaves no lace left on the glass.
S - Rich and robust, the thick aroma abounds with roasted malt giving off chocolate, cocoa, and dark coffee notes. Earthiness suggests wood as phenolic, dark fruit aromatics join the party, alcohol-soaked raisins and plum to name a few.
T - Opening with rich dark roasted malts and a sweet chocolate milkiness that are accented with light vanilla hints, Northwind features a prominent bold-roast coffee bitterness and flavor to the finish. Complexity grows as the beer warms, releasing more of the fruity esters and alcohol phenols found in the aroma.
M - It's very full body is evident from the syrupy pour through the aroma and flavor to the chewy mouthfeel. Northwind is as smooth as velvet and thick! Balancing with moderate dryness, the beer finishes acridly bitter.
O - Just the thing to sip on a cooler day, Two Brothers' Northwind Russian imperial stout is a thick, black beauty, rich with roasted malt characteristics of chocolate and coffee. A beautiful blend, especially paired with some chunks of dark chocolate.
08-15-2012 22:21:12 | More by BeerFMAndy
3.65/5 rDev -3.7%
A: half finger dark tan head with little retention and lacing on a dark brown with light passing through body. some clumps are noted floating around.
S: roasted malt, dark chocolate and brown sugar but overall light aroma.
T: lots of confectioners chocolate, vanilla and brown sugar. The roasted malts are mild and mostly contribute a slightly bitter finish with coffee notes as well.
M: medium body, creamy with moderate carbonation.
Overall: Not too bad. Flavor is mildly complex, the aroma is good but a little weak. Overall very drinkable however with well hidden alcohol content.
07-13-2012 00:06:59 | More by kylehay2004
3.98/5 rDev +5%
A - Pours with one finger of medium tan foam on top of an opaque, black body with some sediment floating in it. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves light lace.
S - Very roasty with a strong coffee aroma as well as some peaty smoke.
T - Dark, roasted malt up front with notes of burnt caramel, chocolate, and espresso. More coffee and baker's chocolate in the middle and smoky notes in the finish that provide lots of roasted grain bitterness.
M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.
D - This stout is robust and roasted to the point that it really tastes like a coffee stout. It quite a contrast compared to many other imperial stouts that finish much sweeter than this one. This relative dryness allows it to be fairly drinkable even though it does nothing to lighten the overall experience or hide the alcohol.
07-13-2012 00:04:45 | More by nickfl
3.93/5 rDev +3.7%
2B tap takeover at Swig 7/11/12. The wife's beer; #2.5?
This beer is big and black with a brown head about one finger tall that shows good retention. Lacing is a bit understated on the glass. It's not a big, thick, heavy stout, by any means, and one can see the direction they wanted to take with this beer by looking at it. It's more even and balanced than a big, destructive monster.
Northwind has a strong malts foundation with roasty notes. The chocolate is more bittersweet baking chocolate than sweet, but a sweetness certainly does come through, vanilla and dark fruits, making it sweeter than is typical without being cloying. I can see some in the beer community with the new trend of face-melting beers not liking that this beer is lighter than some, but the focus really is on the overall flavor, balance and attenuation. It succeeds. There's a complexity to this beer with the malts, the sweetness, cocoa, coffee grounds, and even caramel/toffee. There's a nice earthiness as well and just enough light hops to keep it malt-forward but balanced.
The body isn't as big as one might expect and, I'll admit, perhaps not as big as it should be. It does have a richness to it, though, a nice flow, smoothness, and a nip of crispness to keep it moving.
07-12-2012 14:39:23 | More by Brenden
3.08/5 rDev -18.7%
A - Beautiful bowling ball black with a creamy tan head builds out of no where and hangs around with fantastic retention and ok lace.
S - Nice crisp roast with deep cocoa and coffee highlights. Slight sour/musty edges.
T - Relatively light. Hammy smoke, char, and dark roast coffee.
M - Thin body for the style. Hides the 9% well though.
O - I'm ambivalent about the smoke, but overall it's the light body that really hurts the profile.
07-02-2012 00:27:51 | More by vfgccp
Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 745 ratings.