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Founders Imperial Stout vs. Sierra Nevada Narwhal

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by n2185, Feb 17, 2013.

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  1. I liked both a lot

    but I'd give the edge to RIS in this faceoff. There's this progression I go through, though...

    Wow, this Black Chocolate Stout is really tasty, but for just 60 cents more a bottle I can grab some Narwhal (or Old Raspy).
    Gee, this Narwhal is solid, but look, for another 50 cents a bottle I can get some RIS.
    Golly, this RIS is great, but I want to try out this new Sixpoint 3Bean, and it's only another 40 cents a bottle.
    Krikey, that 3Bean made the grade, but check it out, here's Plead the Fifth - love that stuff, and hey, it's only a quarter more.

    And that's how I go from $8 a pack BCS to $14.50 a pack Pt5 before I know it :D
  2. mechamifune

    mechamifune Savant (415) North Carolina Jan 26, 2008 Beer Trader

    Narwhal is solid, but FIS is one of my favorite beers ever. Ages really well, isn't hard to find (here anyway) and isn't out of whack on its price point. I enjoy it more than a good number of the whale-ish IS's i've had. What's not to like?
    bound4er likes this.
  3. lic217

    lic217 Advocate (630) Connecticut Aug 10, 2010 Beer Trader

    I only had each one and both were great although a couple of weeks apart. I need to have them closer together to truly compare. Narwhal was really good once it warmed to room temperature though (probably started around 60). Had the Founders after 8 hours of snow clean up and it was one of the greatest things ever, but I may have been biased due to snowstorm. Great beers and both easy to find here. I gave narwhal a 4 and founders a 4.5. Fantastic beers. I am glad I have plenty of both.
  4. Worlds apart. Narwhal was just alright to me, a run-of-the-mill RIS, Founders RIS is world class and my favorite non-BBA stout. There's just so much going on in Founders RIS.

    ~FoundErZ Fanboi hehe~
    Prh27, Jonada and ESeab like this.
  5. russpowell

    russpowell Poobah (1,335) Oklahoma May 24, 2005 Subscriber Beer Trader

    You read my mind...
    jnoble and Prh27 like this.
  6. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (390) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    They're both great and both in my fridge at the moment. I would have to give the edge to FIS because I simply found it to have more "flavor." Also, I know they're different categories, but I actually prefer FIS to FBS (does that make me a lunatic?).

    Semi-related note: I'm not sure where Old Rasputin falls into the mix. I really loved that beer when I had it. Better than Narwhal I think. I might have to pick some up so I can taste all 3 side by side. Damn this website encourages me to spend too much money
  7. n2185

    n2185 Advocate (715) North Carolina Apr 14, 2008 Beer Trader

    I like Old Raspy and it definitely falls into the bitter RIS category, but think it's a couple of steps behind the other two.
  8. cjoc83

    cjoc83 Advocate (515) Pennsylvania Jul 31, 2010 Beer Trader

    FIS>Storm King>Narwhal
    Narwhal definitely failed to wow me. I love Storm King. I love FIS even more.
    ESeab likes this.
  9. Hopsiam14

    Hopsiam14 Advocate (540) Minnesota Jan 23, 2013 Beer Trader

    Could not agree more. Narwhal is solid but Founders has this one hands down!
    Prh27 likes this.
  10. beermeout

    beermeout Disciple (65) Michigan Jun 26, 2010

    IMO, it's not even close. Founder's by a landslide.
  11. lackenhauser

    lackenhauser Champion (795) Maryland Dec 10, 2002 Subscriber Beer Trader

    For my money Old Rasputin blows em all away. Brooklyn Chocolate Stout....sigh......
  12. Founders' hands down. It's nice living in Michigan; it's pretty common around here.
  13. Ri0

    Ri0 Poobah (1,155) Wisconsin Jul 1, 2012 Beer Trader

    I prefer Plead the 5th and Blackout Stout over either. I like bitter, but not as much in Imperial Stouts.
    DaveLikesAle likes this.
  14. Sam_Frank

    Sam_Frank Savant (340) California Nov 29, 2012

    i am curious what the breakdown is for U.S. BA's as far as where they live. sometimes i get the feeling the majority of people here live in the mid west or east coast. but i could be wrong

    just surprised to see this leaning this far towards Founders. Narwhal kicks fucking ass
    joeseppy likes this.
  15. stayclean

    stayclean Savant (370) Wisconsin Mar 17, 2012

    Really enjoyed Narwhal when I bought a 4pk when it came out, though I haven't had it again since, and haven't really noticed any around at all lately (guess I haven't really been looking either but..). Founders IS is probably my favorite non barrel aged stout bar none, though there are others not too far behind.
  16. JoeyBeerBelly

    JoeyBeerBelly Initiate (0) New York Dec 15, 2006

    like this big...​
  17. BlueRogue

    BlueRogue Advocate (645) Maine May 1, 2011

    Narwhal is good but SN released a better Imperial Stout a few years ago, 30th Anniversary Fritz and Ken's. I'd still take Founders over either of those though.
  18. Nectar

    Nectar Savant (310) New Jersey Jan 17, 2013

    FIS is the best non barrel aged imp stout ive had. Narwhal was good, but FIS beats it pretty easily for me.
    ESeab likes this.
  19. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Advocate (685) Massachusetts Mar 29, 2007 Beer Trader

    I still lean Old Rasputin and Brooklyn BCS for cheap, available imperial stouts. But of the two, I prefer Narwhal.
  20. I thought Narwhal sucked! It's a Black IPA more than a RIS. No body, thin as hell, grapefruit and charcoal and nothing more. No dark fruit, no coffee or cocoa. I was surprisingly dissapointed with it because I usually love SN brews.
    ESeab likes this.
  21. Blanco

    Blanco Advocate (545) Pennsylvania Oct 11, 2008 Beer Trader

    I found Narwhal to be good yet forgettable. Definitely not something I'd consider among the top stouts. FIS, on the other hand, deserves to be in the conversation (as far as non-barreled, brewed more than once stouts go).
  22. Start the flames I suppose for my Verdi Imperial stout as a great contender for a nice imperial stout! :D

    I loved Narwhal but I have not had the FIS yet so I can not compare. I enjoy Founder Breakfast Stout enough to truth the FIS to be great. :D
  23. Jonada

    Jonada Advocate (585) New Jersey May 23, 2012 Beer Trader

    Just my opinion of course, but for me it's FIS and its not even close.
  24. jpizz

    jpizz Aficionado (100) Michigan Feb 7, 2013

    hands down fis i thought narwhal was watery with a citrus blast that did not mix well a imperial stout
    ESeab likes this.
  25. Scotchboy

    Scotchboy Advocate (520) Idaho Dec 7, 2010

    Sipping 2012 FIS now and I think the comparisons are warranted. Edge to FIS IMO because it seems to be fuller bodied and more balanced in the hop profile. Narwhal was great too though.

    Also, 2nd time having FIS and the licorice compontent is really sticking out. Don't really remember that from the last bottle.
  26. Prh27

    Prh27 Savant (370) Virginia Apr 24, 2012

  27. SenorHops

    SenorHops Savant (475) Rhode Island Aug 10, 2010

    Haven't had FIS, but think Narwhal blows Ten Fidy away. Hands down! Love that shit!
  28. Prh27

    Prh27 Savant (370) Virginia Apr 24, 2012

    I have to disagree with this one. Narwhal is damn good stuff, but Ten Fidy is on another level. FIS and Ten Fidy would have been a better comparison to me. I'm very anxious to see how Narwhal develops with some age. I've got a couple 4 packs tucked away for the upcoming years.
  29. ESeab

    ESeab Advocate (515) New Jersey Jan 3, 2013

    I disagree as well. Ithink old heathen is better too. Hell Narwhal, not counting coffee stouts either, might not even be in my top five. Again, I wouldn't turn it down but better then ten fidy, no way Imo. I love that everyone has different tastes, it's what makes these threads alive. I will say though, at almost half the price of ten fidy, narwhal has solid price value.

    Ps. Go get FIS
  30. NooseJustice

    NooseJustice Advocate (670) Indiana Aug 4, 2010 Beer Trader

    Founders imperial stout every day of the week. I've put on 10 lbs since the damn things came out a few months ago.
  31. jbck109

    jbck109 Savant (410) Michigan May 30, 2010 Beer Trader


    MichPaul likes this.
  32. xanok

    xanok Advocate (500) Connecticut Aug 13, 2009 Beer Trader

    Hmm. I think SN Narwhal is trash and one of the worst offerings I've had from SN ever. One of the most boring RIS's I've ever had. I was super psyched for it too, seeing that most of their newer stuff has been unbelievable.
    Even putting it in the same sentence as Founders RIS is crazy.
  33. SawDog505

    SawDog505 Poobah (1,045) New Hampshire Apr 9, 2010 Beer Trader

    I like Narwhal, but it can't touch FIS....
    tectactoe likes this.
  34. not saying its better, but narwhal is tasting amazing right now, and is going to age out amazingly well IMO
    Drew26 likes this.
  35. Andygirl

    Andygirl Savant (280) Michigan Jan 3, 2013

    I just didn't like the Narwhal after being used to the FIS.
  36. hctap00

    hctap00 Aficionado (205) Maryland Nov 2, 2012

    While I love both, I am surprised that FIS is "only" a 97. Almost the same average rating as Ten FIDY, which I also enjoy, but falls far short of FIS in my book. The perfect balance and mouthfeel of FIS make it by far my favorite RIS.
  37. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poobah (1,045) New Jersey Feb 23, 2012 Subscriber Beer Trader

    Where can i find this Verdi you speak of?
  38. I got the case and singles at Wine Works in Marlton NJ. I know that is a hike for you. I am curious where else you may be able to find it especially in North NJ.
  39. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poobah (1,045) New Jersey Feb 23, 2012 Subscriber Beer Trader

    If it is distributed in NJ i will find it.
    I thought you might be getting it shipped from Italia
  40. Beerandboards

    Beerandboards Savant (425) New Mexico Nov 6, 2012 Beer Trader

    If I were drinking a narwhal, I would figure out some reasons to say that narwhal is better than FIS.
    If I were drinking a FIS, I would figure out some reasons to say that FIS is better than narwhal.
    If I were eating broccoli, I would figure out some reasons to say that broccoli is better than cauliflower
    If I were eating cauliflower, I would figure out some reasons to say that cauliflower is better than broccoli.

    If I'm not eating or drinking anything at the time, I give a slight edge to FIS and broccoli.
    teorn88, dar482, Drew26 and 4 others like this.
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