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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
86
very good

808 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 808
Reviews: 390
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 21
Gots: 50 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 808 | Reviews: 390 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of illini4x4
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of LoganMc
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Radome
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - A very, very dark brown, but not black. No light penetrates. Head is dark tan and made of tiny, creamy bubbles. It piled about 3/4" high after the pour, then slowly faded to a 1/8" layer and thick lacing.

S - The aroma is mostly grainy malt. Hops and alcohol are muted in comparison. Not as complex as other Imperial Stouts I've tried.

T - Taste is warm and bready malt. There is a crisp graininess to it. There is some of the rummy, dark fruit complexity that I like in this style. Not much alcohol flavor and the hop flavor is non-existent.

M - Thick body, creamy/silky carbonation feel. No hops presence.

O - Overall, this is a well-crafted, clean beer. It is not as big and bold as many other examples, but it is very enjoyable.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, borderline black with a half finger of tan head with a very agressive pour...disappears almost instantly...no lacing.
Not a lot going on in the nose...some vanilla, milk chocolate, carmelized malt.
The taste is good, but it is not wowing me at this point. Served near room temperature and it has a decent chocolate profile, plenty of hops, but the mouthfeel is terribly thin for the style and seems watered down when I think of my favorite Russian Imperial Stouts.
I like the folks at Two Brothers and this one drinks fairly easily...I would try this one again when I see it on tap, but I won't be stocking up on this one at this point.

Photo of SCZ
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of ToadiesForCody
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of karst
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Rocky tan head falls quickly over pitch darkness with redish brown glints as light refracts off its edges. Arising aromas of coffee bean, prunes, bittersweet chocolate are carried to your nose by is fine appropriate carbonation. Creamy medium body with flavors of caramel, fruit,black cherry molasses and balancedhops. Finishes dry and bitter with roasted flavors. Mile IBUs and abv a nice stout but only a warmup for a great RIS.

Photo of brianmandell
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An enjoyable, almost sessionable imperial stout due to its thin body. The score reflects the thin mouthfeel and relatively simple flavor profile. However, what is there is very enjoyable. Roasty malts, tart cherry, dark chocolate flavors. Active, creamy carbonation which offsets the slightly viscous but thin mouthfeel. The alcohols are well integrated. My bottle was aged for approximately 7 months from purchase.

Photo of AmitC
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle from Lot 3182.

Almost black, very dark brown while pouring. Pitch black inside the glass. About one finger thick tan-shining brown colored head, that does not stand well enough. Decent lacing on the sides.

Not one of the strongest aromas here. Some burnt up malts, some very minor hops, a well hidden alcohol. At least, does not give anything up. Some roasted malts, again very mild for an imperial stout. Chocolate and caramel, just a sprinkling.

Taste: Again alcohol is not felt. To me that is a bad thing for a RIS. To some it is good, but alcohol should come out and lead. Somewhat sweet due to malt presence. Very low to almost non-existent on bitter hops. As with stouts, roasted malts, caramel and some chocolate. But nothing worth remembering. Nothing that strikes out. Very mild taste. Dry finish.

Mouth feel: Full bodied, yet not very thick. Easy on palate, no astringency. A well drinking beer for over 9% RIS.

Style Rate: 4
Personal Rate: 4

Photo of Agold
3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is not quite as dark as i would usually like for an imperial stout. It also is a bit lacking in lacing and head retention. The aroma makes up for its shortcomings in appearance. It smells of chocolate, roasted barley, and caramel. The flavor has these aspects as well, but adds in a subtle licorice flavor. Really enjoyable. The mouthfeel was full with a moderate amount of carbonation. The drinkability, is really nice on this beer. I barely feel the 9.1% at all. Really enjoyable and affordable RIS.

Photo of themind
3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Two brothers makes a decent stout. I enjoyed this brew and would not turn it down if offered. There are so many great stouts out there that I am always looking for the next big thing...unless it's KBS or BCBS. That said I would say any stout lover needs to give this a go.

Bottom Line: Decent stout worth a look.

Photo of Kaveman
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of tsauce2
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of Mistofminn
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this bottle on a whim in Hudson today, and although Two Brothers are available in Minnesota, I haven't seen this around.

12 oz bottle has "Lot 3508" printed on back, and from what I can gather, it has nothing to do with bottling date, but it actually represents the hops they used, which I haven't figured out yet.

Poured into a Darkness tulip, viscous dark brown, nearly black liquid seeps into the glass. Initially, no head is produced, but with a more aggressive pour and a little agitation, a half finger dark brown sugar colored head is produced. It doesn't stay long, and only leaves a little bit of lacing.

The nose is sweet at first, but then gives way to roasted malts and bitter coffee. Pretty decent nose actually, much better than I was expecting from a beer with a B average on this site (typically meaning an "average" beer, nothing more). More bitter than sweet.

Diving in...starts out sweet, much like the nose, but then gives way to bitter coffee and bakes chocolate, roasted malts and grains, sweet malts and molasses. Pretty complex and tasty if you ask me. Light warming alcohol comes out in the finish, along with a lingering bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a medium carbonation. Not very smooth or creamy, kind of a train wreck to be honest.

Drinkability is ok, but I'm just not digging the mouthfeel. Thankfully, there is enough flavor and complexity to distract me long enough to forget it, but it still brings the score down.

Based on the rating system on this site, I now see why it gets a B average. All other reviewers probably aren't the same as me, but what I thought was a great beer only ends up getting an average rating, all because I didn't dig the mouthfeel. Oh well, it's still a good beer and I would gladly have more.

Photo of CCutch
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of assman79
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of KFBR392
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A very traditional look to a stout. Pitch dark, thin head, low carbonation.

Smell: There is light hop sweetness here. Malt, dark chocolate, and some very dark fruits play a role here.

Taste: Awesome here. A smooth hop presence hits at first. A creamy malt body carries this beer. Such a complex body really represents the the american stout well. I'm not really sold on this beer being a Russian Imperial Stout, but is an awesome American stout.

Mouthfeel: More of a clean smoothness here. Again not really the feel of a Russian Imperial Stout, but more of a traditional Stout.

Overall: I think Two Brothers is one of the better breweries in my home state of Illinois. Their beers tend to be very solid. This beer is one of my favorites and can go toe to toe with many other American Stouts.

Photo of Risser09
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass - 2007 vintage

Appearance: This is a black ale with no penetrating light and a brown head that leaves some lacing on the glass. No signs of rapid carbonation.

Smell: Stale toasted malt, coffee, chocaolate and roasted grains. Not overly complex.

Taste: A roasty malt flavor profile. Flavors of burnt toast, cherry, blackened meat and some cherry, vanilla, and anise hang out in the barkground. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery. This beer needs improvement in this area for sure, in order to keep up with the other competitors in this style. Alcohol is lingering in the background.

Drinkability: Great, considering its low abv for the style and lack of an overwhelming mouthfeel. I won't touch more than 1 bottle of an RIS, but do as you wish. This beer is worth trying, since it only had a $5 price tag.

Photo of jackndan
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers in Chicago. Very thick and dark brew, light cannot penetrate it at all. The head was thick, toffee tan, but not particularly long lasting. The aroma is nice, somewhat chocolatety, with hints of coffee. The taste is nice, extremely malty. The dominant flavors are espresso, chocolate, and just a tiny bit of liquid soap, but that is not half as bad as it sounds. The body is light, perhaps too much so for the style. Not bad, worth sampling. Nowhere near as big as some of the other Imperials on the site.

Photo of Beezee
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of ChicagoNick
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of ferrari29
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
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

Photo of scootercrabb
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of RMelyon
3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Fcolle2
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours slick black and solid in color with a one finger tan head that has good retention.

Smell is good. rich roasted coffee and cocoa forward. The midsection has a great rich toffee like malt aroma before a moderate alcohol presence finishs.

Taste is great. Rich chocolate flavors forward before a sweet warm toffee flavor dominates the middle of the beer. Finishes with a mild roasted bitterness that is very well balanced. Fair amounts of alcohol also detectable.

Mouthfeel is great. Nice thick body and moderate amount of carbonation keep this a highly drinkable velvety smooth brew

Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 808 ratings.