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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: 867
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: 867
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a deep dark brown with an inch of rich tan head.

Aroma of light sweet malts and dark ripe fruit.

The taste is much like the aroma. Dark ripe fruit up front followed by sweet roasted malts, white sugar, and a touch of coffee. Finish delivers a bit of malt and burnt chocolate.

Medium bodied, smooth, and lightly carbonated.

A very drinkable RIS, but on the light side for the style. (408 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.46/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I am sampling a bottle bought on a recent trip to Boston. Pouring at room temp into a snifter. The beer pours a thick viscous pitch black. A soft fluffy tan head of 1 cm foams up easily. the head does fade gradually to an almost non-existent edge layer.
Aroma is deep and malty with molasses, brown sugar, some dark fruit, plums and maybe fig with some roast malt and chocolate too. A little bit of everything and it mixed well.
First sip reveals an average body with mild rolling carbonation. There is a bit of a slick mouthfeel and is generally lighter than I expected.
Flavor is similar to advertised by nose, starts with some sweet malt qualities, chocolate and brown sugar with molassess again. Then it rolls to some roasted malt and a hint of bitter espresso as well. Maybe the bitterness is actually from hops as it develops to more of an herbal/resiny bite than coffee after more sips. This is a sipper as it is large and robust, but no hint of alcohol so be careful. The drinkability is high and I would recommend this brew to others. A nice stab at an Imperial Stout. Look for it! (1,094 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 16oz pint glass at Firkin 4/20/08. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Served a dark, coal black with a creamy dark tan head. Poor retention, however, that leaves sheets and spots of lace.

S: Aromas of roasted malt, sweet dark fruit, toffee, chocolate, and caramel.

T: Charred black malt, overripe dark fruit, chocolate, bitter espresso, and cherry.

M: Very creamy with a nice peppery hop bite.

D: Big RIS flavors and aromas + medium sized RIS abv% = excellent drinkability. (495 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deeply brown with ruby highlights. A vigorous pour produces only a minimal head, dense yes, but small. Very little lacing about the glass. The appearance is the weak link for this beer.
Aroma finds this beer with strong roasted malts, anise, coffee and cream.
The taste has a lot of roasted malt depth and just borders on being charred. I get some bright fruity hops too which wasn't suggested in the nose. I taste a hint of anise rolled in coffee beans.
Drinks smooth and sweet and coats the tongue. As sweet as it is there is some bitterness towards the end.
A very good RIS, not quite up to the big boys but good indeed. (629 characters)

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

Pours dark brown and maroon with a highly carbonated light tan head that fades away quickly to nothing and leaves not a semblance of lace. Lots of yeasties floating in suspended animation.
Aroma of very over roasted coffee, almot burnt, sweet chocolate and a hint of black licorice.
Flavor has some bitter chocolate, a sharp bitter coffee note and some vinous qualities.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied at best. This is where this one falls down for me, just not enough meat on the bone to be an Impy Stout. Almost thin on the tongue. Some lingering coffee and chocolate notes but not much plate covering flavoring. Finishes really dry and a little roasty, almot porterish.
Drinkability is above average but if this in a Impy Stout I'll eat my left pinkie. Just not much oomph to this, pleasant enough beer but really thin for style and a little bit too one dimensional on the sweet side. (888 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep dark brown. Thereis just a hint of light through the top and there is no head except a small tan rim around the top. The nose has some dark raisin/fig tones to it along with a bit of mocha as well. The flavor was not what I would expect; it was thin coffee, almost a bit watery and weak. The feel was also a bit thin as well with a hint of creamyness. Drinkability is just ok. Its a decent beer, but not really special. (442 characters)

Photo of Redrover
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bomber. No freshness dating, but it is lot 3345.

The beer is an opaque jet black with a good light brown head. Decent lacing.

Nice nose of roasted malts, coffee, & dark chocolate.

The taste is of roasted almost smoky malts. I like the way the hops add a secondary taste of pine & citrus. This adds a nice balance as the coffee, malts and chocolate notes are massive. Some raisin/plum taste emerges late.

Very smooth and creamy mouth. I like this beer, great one to share & savor. I’m kind of surprised its not rated higher, but to each their own. One of the better offerings from Two Brothers. (621 characters)

Photo of ADR
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque, murky almost black appearance, with a residual reddish-skim head. Aromas seem decent, promise fruits and some burnt java. Slightly oily mouthfeel, malting is dry and somewhat Irish-style in some senses. A bit of anise and plum to the impression with a full swallow. Bitterness in the aftertaste, some from the hops, and it builds with continued sips. Overall, I liked this beer, but without interesting sweet complex tones it lacks as a brew in the Imperial Stout category. (481 characters)

Photo of nickd717
2.83/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared at the after-Bruery tasting. Meh, this one didn't really do it for me. Not bad, but one of the poorer examples of what is probably my favorite style (note that I consider "Russian Imperial Stout" and "American Double/Imperial Stout" to be the same style until I hear a convincing reason not to). One of the guys from the local group who is known for his contrarian ratings asked, "Have you ever given an imperial stout a below average rating?" and I said, "Probably not, because I usually only drink above average imperial stouts." Well, here is a below average one, and it's getting a below average rating from me.

Pours black with a one-finger tan head and some good lacing.

Aroma is roast, coffee, dark fruit, and some earthy tartness. Flavor is earthy, dirty, and oddly tart, yet not to the point where I'd think it was infected. Roast and coffee along with some DMS-like notes, cooked corn, that I don't typically find too appealing in this style.

A tad thin for the style with some astringency on the palate.

Drinkability is average at best. I am not a big fan at all. This is my second beer from these guys, and I'm not sure I want to try many more. I'd still like to note though that this wasn't a total disaster, and there is definitely the potential for this style to get much worse, which is why I didn't give it a D or F. I just tend to avoid those bad examples. (1,392 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance
Pitch black with 1 finger of light brown head that dissipates quickly.

Nose
Roasted barley, milk chocolate, caramel and smoke.

Taste
Roasted barley and caramel. Overripe plum and a light milk chocolate sweetness. Hints of red grape. Gets more roasty towards the finish with notes of medium roast coffee and smoke.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, smooth and dry.

Overall
Loads of roasted barley, caramel and smoke. There's not too much chocolate or coffee. Easy drinking for 9.1%. (523 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present aside from Lot 3422. I'm guessing this bottle has gotten a little bit of age to it by now, though. It's been quite a while since my last bottle of this stuff, so I am excited to try it out again.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours two fingers of beautiful mocha colored head, which recedes fairly quick. Body is an opaque black. Nice thick lacing.

S - Smell is of beautiful roasted coffee bean, dark chocolate / cocoa, and toasted barley malts. The malted barley lends somewhat of a nutty smell to the mix also. Smells very creamy & full-bodied. Wonderful.

T - Taste follows the nose; creamy chocolate, roasted coffee bean goodness, hop bitterness, dark powdery cocoa, perhaps even a bit of vanilla.

M - Feel is bitter with the hops & coffee bean roast, but is sleek & creamy at the same time.

Overall, an excellent sipping beer. Rich, dark, creamy, & full-bodied, this would be a great beer to warm you up on a cold winter night. Definitely a beer all stout lovers should look into.

Two Brothers North-Wind Imperial Stout ---4/5. (1,111 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (359 characters)

Photo of portia99
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle...been holding on to this one for a while (lot 3149 - not sure how old, but has at least a year on it). Poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours an extremely dark brown color that is pretty much totally opaque. A thick finger of foamy and a bit fizzy cappuccino brown head lingers for a minute and falls to an even skim coat with just a hint of foamy lacing around the edge of the glass.

S - A bit boozy, soapy and a bit detergent-like, dark fruits, a bit of licorice, a bit floral, and lightly touched by roasted malt. Nothing wrong, but far from unique or memorable.

T - Flavor varies largely from the aroma. Lots of roastiness giving a distinct coffee flavor, some dark and milk chocolate, light touches of prunes, alcohol. Nicely bitter with a combination of grassy hops and dark roasted malts and a smooth but mild sweetness around the edges.

M - Creamy and smooth...sweetened espresso-like. Low carbonation and medium/full body. Really smooth and chocolately and coffee filled body.

O - I like this beer...it isn't what I'd call an outstanding example of the style, but it certainly is enjoyable. This is actually a pretty easy drinker and has an absolutely silky smoothness to it. The sum is better than the parts here. This won't blow you away, but it is solid and something that I could easily have more of. (1,334 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
2.53/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Dark brown, but still allows light to penetrate the beer. Head dafers quickly to nothing.

Smell: None too strong smelling, light cocoa and old coffee, kind of sour.

Taste: Fairly weak and unimpressive for an Imp. Stout. Coffee is obvious, but none too dominant, alcohol does not help to enhance it much, either. Bitterness is none to strong.

Mouthfeel: Watery and lightly carbonated, unimpressive.

Drinkability: Skip it, this may be one of the weakest and the lowest ABV Imperial Stouts I have run across. (530 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a Southampton oversized snifter. Shared with schen9303. Reviewed from notes.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger fine greyish-mocha head with poor retention. Beer is a thick, opaque black. Lacing is patchy and stringy with good cling. Moderately thick legs. Deduction for head retention, but otherwise pretty nice.

S: Nose is very muted and simple. Coffee, roasted malt, some chocolate, and cocoa powder. Very little is detectable and a lot of the traditional imperial stout flavors are missing.

T: Opens sweet chocolate, molasses, raisins, prunes, espresso beans, and coca-cola spice. Roasted malt bitterness towards the middle provides a nice balance. Cocoa powder adds a layer of graininess. Sweet chocolate on the finish with a sweetened coffee aftertaste. Very balanced and surprisingly impressive.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Oily and silky in the mouth and smooth going down. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste that carries a touch of heat. Nice.

O: Northwind imperial stout falters in a lot of ways but it's really impressive in the one aspect that really counts: flavor. Not much to look at or smell but this imperial stout is incredibly balanced and displays the perfect amount of dark fruit, roasted malt, and chocolate sweetness. Definitely worth a try. (1,317 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Inspection: Gives some technical info, 18.2 Plato, 12 fl. oz. 45 IBU, 7.5% abv. No date, but Lot 45 listed on the back.

Aroma: Richly roasted malts, nice noble hop edge, dark roasted coffee

Appearance: Opened with a very firm pop, and slowly began the climb to gushing. The pour was pure foam. The whole bottle was over carbonated. Once I got it into a mug (with several pours) it was deep black, no edge, little head and no lace.

Flavor: Rich roasted malts are first and foremost, some coffee flavor, mild hop bitterness keeps it all in line, and just some slight oxidation gives minor paper but some nice complexity.

Mouthfeel: After all the gushing, it was a bit flat. Medium body.

Overall Impression: Too bad about the carbonation level, it took away from a really good beer. It’s kind of nice to see the pros have some struggles with that as well as I. A great beer.
Thanks to mattcrill (Stoutness) for the trade. (944 characters)

Photo of clvand0
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with a very small tan head that doesn't stay long. A little light comes around the edges. The aroma has a strong presence of roasted malt and coffee. Promising. The flavor has a lot of coffee in it and not much else. It also seems like the body could have a little more. Seems a bit watered down and thin for an imperial stout. Not a bad brew, but not the best imperial. (394 characters)

Photo of gatornation
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

from a 12 oz bottle

A- pours a black thin color with very little tan head an just a touch of lacing ..really just average

S- was roasted malts,some chocolate with hints of coffee and vanilla

T- follows the nose a bit more flavor for the palate,some cocoa a bit nore roated tastes

M- thin on the mouth for an imperial . more sweet than bitter and roasted flavors were medium

O- not bad still tasty , just not the one i will look for 2brothes is a solid brewery, one that i look for and drink year round this stout is not at the top of thier offerings but still worthy of a try (581 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle. The label states 8.5 % ABV, lot 36. Pours a very solid black, no highlights, no light coming through. Thin tan head disappears very quickly. Roasty, espresso, and dark chocolate aroma along with a hint of dark fruit. Roasty flavor, with some cocoa, but not much fruit. FInishes somewhat dry. A bit thin, however the carbonation was appropriate. Not complex like others in the style. Not bad, but not much depth to this one. (438 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 Rayek
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Two Brothers tulip.

A: Molasses black with frenetic initial carbonation from small bubbles. A huge and rocky tan head slowly retreats to a thin film. Leaves patches of lace.

S: Heavy on the molasses, raisins and currants. There's a very faint burnt oak aroma in the background. A strong dose of tingling alcohol rounds things out.

T: On the sweet side for this style, which made me kind of happy. Lots of molasses, toffee, raisin and prune up front. A mild burnt and slightly lemony bitterness keeps the sweetness in check. Alcohol adds a pleasant warmth to the tart and sweet finish.

M: The thick and syrupy body could stand having the carbonation turned down a notch. Letting the beer breath for a bit helped calm things.

D: Really more of an Imperial Porter than an RIS when compared to most US examples of this style. I quite liked it. Perfect for a cool evening. The strength makes it a good candidate for a nightcap. (941 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mred137 for the opportunity.

A: Very black with tons of head. Some lacing.

S: Nice roasted coffee nose.A little bit of hops in the back which I always enjoy. Reminds me of darkness every time.

T: Very nice roasted espresso taste. Almost a hint of a milk stout from all the sweetness. Balanced well.

M: Nice creaminess. Very dry finish with a light body for the style.

D: Very drinkable. What I like about two brothers is that they play with the traditional takes on a style and cross pollinate them with others. To me this was a RIS with a milk stout. Their tripel was really a Belgian IPA. I have enjoyed their stuff when I can find it. Thanks to Mr. Ed. (670 characters)

Photo of bashiba
3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (476 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

We pour this brew from the bottle into our three-quarter sized tasting snifters. It glugs out a deep, velvety espresso coloring, holding virtually no head. Few specks of lacing are left around the glasses as the beer begins to disappear. A dense haze obscures clarity, but no sediment is noted. Carbonation appears to be light, but what little bubbles are there are large. The aroma is cloyingly sweet yet heavy, giving up notes of metallic and sugary molasses, soy sauce, salted toffee, dried coral, tin, iced passion fruit tea, vodka and bourbon booziness, buttery diacetyls, dark fruitiness of fig, dried plum, apricots, and cherries, roasty chocolate and black maltiness, raw barley powderiness, pecan nuttiness, clean vanilla bean, and astringent and bitter red wine grapeiness. The taste to follow gives cold caramel, rich red cherry fruitiness, lactic creaminess, salty soy sauce, tin and aluminum, oily chocolate and butterscotch syrups, wet chocolate, black, and caramel maltiness, lime rind, poppy seeds, dusty dried rose petals, thick wood lacquer, phenolic plastics, powdered cocoa, high fructose corn syrup, vinyl plastics, and smoky leathers. The body is medium but oily, and the carbonation is a bit on the high side. Each sip provides appropriate slurp and smack, but cream and froth are lost to oily slickness, which coats the mouth before drying it significantly. The abv remains stylistically approachable, and drinkability sits at a cool sipability.

Overall, this was a reasonable representation of the style that was easy to enjoy. If we had to complain, the mouthfeel thinned more than we hoped, and contributed towards washing out the brightest punches of flavoring. The best thing about it was hard to pin down, as the aromas and flavors naturally coiled into one another, but unfortunately the same dullness persisted throughout. We were in a very stouty mood when we pulled this one from the cellar, and it shared between the two of us nicely, and warmly. Going along with the bottle’s label, we too would recommend enjoying this beer by a roaring fire. It makes the experience that much richer. (2,138 characters)

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)

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