Night Stalker | Goose Island Beer Co.

744 Reviews
Night StalkerNight Stalker

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 02-02-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 744 | Ratings: 1,820
Photo of WVbeergeek
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a viscous dark black destroyer of all visible light rays hue with a a tan mocha head forming nice and thick, thin speckled lacing that's to be expected at this alcohol by volume right?

Aromatics present to me a strong undermining hop assault complete with dark roasted malt, soy sauce, and dark chocolate roasts. Very green dry hopped approach for a stout but I'm enjoying the rebellion from the norm. I get the dark stuff going on but the green herbal mint leaf hops over riden the average dark imperial stout.

Flavor contains creamy menthol tones with dark chocolate and rich anise black licorice accents. This beer is complex and bitingly bitter with herbal leafy mint ridden hop flavors that I enjoy in the mix of dark espresso, soy sauce saltiness, and rich warming alcohol notes. A bit of plum and dark chocolate dance together with the lingering alcohol flavors, complex and rich American Double Stout.

Mouthfeel is full on full bodied in the best possible way, carbonation is mellow but carries the beer well. One of the best stouts I've come across in the last 5 years. Hop burps in the back of the nares come correct along with a soothing alcohol burn.

Drinkability is wonderful yes, I want more. I think I can drink more, and if I had more I would age more bottles this stuff is rockin', a bad ass American Double Stout from Chitown bring me more. Actually I will have to go back to Columbus, Ohio at Bodega where I procured this fine bottle. Both this and the Brooklyn Sorachi Ace ale were eyein' me up, great place please come again folks. If you haven't been there get to know it when in Ohio.

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Photo of rjbeer17
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

High abv works well but still a nice balanced stout with definite hop aroma - I have not tasted anything to date to compare.
Only avaiable in draft where I live. I have tried it several time and always seems to taste better.
one of my favorites new stouts

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours dark and with a viscous character and a HUGE stiff light brown colored head that resists fading. Spotty patterns of Belgian lacing are redeemed by the oily film that I look for in my favorite Double Stouts! The smell is AGGRESSIVE and COMPLEX and nothing short of AMAZING! The full frontal hop attack is the last thing that I would expect from a beverage of this style. HOLY CRAP this is WILD!! The grassy hops over licorice and chocolate aromas are unique and IMAGINATIVE. Adequately carbonated with a light tingle from the alcohol; spikes up with an oily creamy smooth coating texture TOTALLY complements its drinkability. Full flavored, the choco-licorice, plum grassy hop BLITZ is consuming. The licorice and grassy hop flavors linger well into the after experience. The 11.7% ABV is buried...and at $10 a bumper, this one is a COSMIC drinker!! End of story...just feed me Night Stalker for the rest of my f*& life and I'll die a happy BA. Many thanks to DavidEddie for the opportunity to consider this's my new all-time favorite!!

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Photo of arcgator
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this from draft at Publican in Chicago. It was described to us as similar to Bourbon County Stout, without the Bourbon Barrel aging, which seemed like an instant turn off, until it was sampled. The aroma had a large amount of depth to it, and the mouthfeel gave no sense of the 11% ABV it contained. May be the smoothest high alcohol beer I've had.

The pour was nothing short of exceptional, maybe the best beer I have had in the Goose Island selection. Highly recommend it to anyone that can find it.

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Photo of bushdere
4.96/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I cracked this open one night by myself when I just wanted a big and bold stout. This may be one of my top 5 stouts ever. Thick, flavorful, just the right amount of barrel to it where you know it is BA, but doesn't taste like you have licked a glass of scotch.
If you have this bottle, do yourself a favor and drink it. This is not trade bait, this is a treat for your face.

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Photo of GruvisHops
4.94/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this at Goose Island - Clybourn the day before Dark Lord Day '09. It was the best beer I had all weekend!

A: A pitch black liquid sits at the bottom of a small snifter split between me and my good buddy SiriusAth and taunts us both. Before the trip, I read online that this was the same basic recipe as the Bourbon County Brand Stout. It certainly looks identical to me. Minor head only shows up after a swirl.

S: WHOA! HUGE piny/citrus hops in the nose layered over a huge (but hidden, if that makes sense) roasted malt backbone. It smells much more like a Double IPA than a Double Stout, and Simcoe has to be playing a big role.

T: Roasted and chocolate malt come through at the beginning followed immediately by the big hop bill. This is my first experience with a big West Coast-hopped stout, and I'm blown away. I never imagined the two worlds could coexist so well together. The hops linger well into the finish and beyond.

M: Like its counterpart, BCBS, the body is very full and lightly carbonated.

D: Although my friend and I held back and savored it as much as we could, it was ridiculously drinkable.

Notes: Upon coming back to GA, I further read about this beer online and found that it's heavily dry-hopped with Simcoe and Mt. Hood, which makes a lot of sense. Hopefully, the buzz around this beer will encourage GI to bottle this one of a kind treat. I would love to have more of them at my disposal.

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Photo of Misanthropy_Sipping
4.93/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this some time ago... maybe a couple years ago and remembered loving it. When I saw a bottle I did not even resist buying it up.

Definitely matches up with what I remember.

-Deep black/brown, with very small bubble, milk chocolate color head. Not even really a head... more like a comb-over dissipates quickly.

-Smells awesome, you can tell it will be a sweeter stout. Has a nice sweet coffee and dark chocolate scent with maybe some raisins, malt, a little smokey earthiness, and definitely booze.

-Upfront sweetness, the nose adds up with the dark chocolate and coffee. Peels away into some serious roast, charred earthy notes, surprisingly woody even though I do not believe this is oak aged or aged on anything. I like this woody, haunting, cabin smoke character to it. Not like rauch smoke... but like this charred, grimy dirty wood taste. I can't explain but it is good. A little raisin and dark fruit. Booze comes in prominent as the sweetness drops down into the bitter hops and piny, herbal notes that are reminiscent of black licorice... and not sweet black licorice either. It begins sweet but ends on a nice subtle bitter and dry side that lingers a while.

The mouthfeel is just a tad thinner than I would like. In a way it is nice but in a way I would like a bit more meat on the bone. Just a bit. And with that... a bit more dryness... just a bit.

Warming... yes. And a nice warm, NOT a heartburn warm. Just subtle and smooth.

Overall the comments on the mouthfeel are my only complaints... and pretty small complaints at that. No one can deny that this is a very good, very tasty imperial stout that is worth... the what, $10-$11? Yeah... no problem. It's great on a snowy night, it's great with a friend or two or even alone when you have a full evening of just taking life easy. Very satisfy. I will be buying this again in years to come.

My last comment is pay close attention to the label where it says to drink within 180 days of bottling date. The first one I had was past, and though still good I certainly remember it not being quite as bitter hoppy, which struck out some of the complexity. Fresh is best with this. And luckily they offer it during the right season.

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Photo of DavidEddie
4.88/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black as high mileage used motor oil with a thick tan head. Aromas of rich dark chocolate, hops and a hint of booze. The tastes is HUGE! Tons of rich bitter sweet chocolate. Followed by hints of roasted coffee, dark malts, and dark fruits. Picked up a touch of smoke as well. Perfectly balanced out with a heavy dose of piney hops. Not too sweet or bitter, balanced just right. The mouth feel is thick, chewy, and creamy smooth. Nicely carbonated. Unbelievably way too drinkable for such a mammoth of a stout. I would consider this one ranks up there with all the other hype up stouts. Defiantly seek this out. Highly recommended!

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Photo of jsh420
4.87/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

bottled 02/19/10 0437

pours dark dark brown almost black with a 1+ finger tan head with tight bubbles faded to a film that stuck around all the way to the last swig

smell - wtf?? is this hop stoopid? dreadnaught? sculpin? it sure smells that way huge tropical fruity hops

taste - impy stout not sure? black dipa hell yes - think sculpin with some chocolate malts

mouthfeel is a little light for a double anything but that just adds to the drinkability which is about a 6 - very smooth creamy - one thing i like about it was most heavy hopped brews are sticky and this one isnt at all - slick and creamy

drinkability - out of this world - every sip was bliss

bottle says can be aged up to 5 years but i dont know if i would want to age this beer because the hops are so good

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Photo of TheSaboteur
4.87/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber poured in to my trusty Boulevard Smokestack tulip (we've been through a lot together, and I think I'm going to name her after drinking this beer from her...Henceforth, she will be called "Addison" A little Northside tribute).

Pours extremely dark and allows no light w/ 2 1/2 fingers of bubbly head...which rescinded quickly and wasn't quite as meringue-like as I would expect.

The Smell (as I am a H-O-P-H-E-A-D...that happens to love imperial stouts) is out of this world. There is some major grapefruit going on and it blows me away. If my eyes were closed, and somebody else had poured this beer for me, I would guess it to be an IPA.

Taste: I could see some people absolutely hating this...It's like everything I love about an Impy Stout: the roasted malt, caramel, coffee, and chocolate mixed with everything I love about an IPA.

Mouthfeel: So, this is an imperial stout after all, and for me it's too carbonated and thin to be a good representation of the style. On the other hand, there is a quick second where it seems to coat the upper back portion of the gum line and seems slick...just before the swallow.

Drinkability: I'm telling myself to keep a slow pace on this sleeping giant (11.7% ABV), but I'm gulping it like it's a 5% beer. I want to enjoy it (which I most definitely am) slowly...but this seems to be a losing battle of taste over mind. Thumbs WAY up!

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Photo of rudylaw
4.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ GI Clybourn

Disclaimer: I normally could give two shits about GI beers. I just don't care for them all that much. Then, I had BCS a few years back and while I loved it, it was too bourbony for me.

Now: I hear that this Night Stalker is the base for BCS minus the bourbon. Well, we have a free afternoon, why not go for some nachos and a pour of this?

The beer comes pitch black with a constant one finger mocha head that only shrinks once I take a sip. It smells like Homer's land of chocolate must smell like. Lots of roasted malts and campfire heated chocolate.

First sip is heavenly. It tastes like melted hershey's + carbonation + dark fruits with a coupling of cantaloupe of all things. Plenty of raisin and rum to boot. There are just enough hops included to finish dry (not as balanced as Darkness, but damn close). I can't believe how good this is... had two snifters, the latter paired with their decadent chocolate cake. Much sweeter than I was expecting. It's a thick and chewy stout... perfect.

I'm going to play the lotto now because I don't want to wake up from this dream.

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4.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me first say I don't usually skip other reviews that I need to do to push a beer to the front, but this time it needed to be done. I had this on tap at BW3's in downtown Indy after a long day of inventory. Thanks to Sam for pulling this special pour for a few BA's.

Pours with the look of espresso, pure blackness with only a skim of chocolate brown head that stays that way as you drink. First thing I notice on the nose is a cordial cherry feel. With a light swirl you get some coffee and tobacco tones that all blend together well. A hint of Chocolate is there also. With first sip you realize there is a ton of flavors going on in this one. Chocolate syrup, Cough medicine(in a good way), tobacco and black cherries come through at first. The oak is very woodsy in this one with no bourbon at all. There is a nice hop feel that really develops well as the beer warms and you drink. It is rustic and really beautiful the way it balances the beer and adds character. Make sure you let this beer warm up considerably as it drinks much better and shows it true colors more towards room temperature. I started with this as a 4.5 in flavor but it was so dynamic and amazing after about 10 or 15 minutes of warming up that I had to give it a 5. Mouthfeel is almost electric and multi dimensional the way it beckons for the next sip. Super attractive drinkability, and well hidden alcohol for 11.5%. Lovely.

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Photo of jt31914
4.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served from bomber

A: Dark black with a small amount of brown head; little carbonation and wonderful lacing. Beautiful Imp stout.

S: Hop profile and dark malts/coffee aromas apparent. Subtle chocolate/other dark flavors.

T: Best part of beer; Char flavor mixed with some pleasant hopiness and coffee/chocolate flavors. Great taste.

M/D: Super smooth and tasty. Wonderful for 11.70 percent. Great beer from GI.

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Photo of cokes
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Virtually black, although the darkened pub did not allow for a detailed analysis of the color. It seemed very dark and very black and that's what I'll go with. The head was thin and mocha brown, while settling quickly, it endured a while as a skimming.
Pipe tobacco, fudge, latte, and electric wintergreen nose, with backing smoke, liquorice, and mango malts, and grapefruit, pepper, and herb hop componentns. Booze comes through bourbon-esque, mingling with the caramel-vanilla-cocont sweetness, but not in a barrel-aged (a la BCS) sort of way, here it is all in the booze acountrmont.
It enters the mouth barnstorming, and riotous. Fudge and pipe tobacco, and espresso, and caramel, and plums. The middle is rife with confectionous tropical notes, akin to a bag of gummi bears, with emphasis on pineapple-heavy fruit punch and cherry. Some banana bread notions pop up intermittently. It's much brighter than it is dark or roasty or smokey. These candied fruit traits mingle with the twitchy hops, hitting with spearmint, grapefruit, mango, herbs, pepper, and pine. Some Bourbon and aged dark rum booze notions creep in late, around the swallow, but add nuance and depth, not explicit heat.
Full bodied, lowly carbonated, but a lithe bead percolates upwards. This is grabby in sections and taut in others. It brawny, not flabby, and exactly what a huge stout should feel like.
This is, in every way, delicious. It's drinkable it the way that rapidly compromises one's sobriety. There is so much going on here, all of it working with- and against- itself, that it is nearly impossible to keep away from one's lips.
This rivals BCS in every way, and that not the sort of praise I throw around lightly. It is vastly different from GI's barreled version, yet still mirrors its intensity and kaleidoscopic array of flavors.
I would love to see this bottled, as this is more versatile than the Bourbon-drenched BCS (which is one my very-very short list of all time favs...proabably top three). And this is every bit as special.

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Photo of jhoban19
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz. bottle poured into a chalice (first pour) and then a tulip (second pour). Paired with a beautifully grilled porterhouse seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bottle date: 2/19/10; Sample date: 6/14/10. (2 bottles, bottled on the same date, in the cellar for sampling after extended aging, possibly as part of a vertical with successive vintages, assuming Goose Island continues to brew Night Stalker on an annual basis.)

A: Night Stalker pours jet black with thick caramel head that holds up relatively well, still leaving a solid ring of foam around the edges of the glass. Strong lacing forms with each sip but retreats quickly into the beer.

S: upon first pour, into the chalice and still near fridge temps, the aromas are predominantly dark chocolate and mild roasted coffee. Second pour into the tulip revealed much more floral and minty hop aromas. Could have been the glass concentrating some volatiles or just that I let the bottle warm on the counter. Anyway, once the hop aromas fade (and they do fade quickly) dark chocolate, coffee and subtle hints of cherries, grapefruit and alcohol.

T: Night Stalker starts out like a traditional imperial stout- dark chocolate, dark fruits around a mild coffee bitterness in the center. Warm alcohol also finds its way in, no surprise at 11.2% ABV! The brew finishes with a pop of floral and grapefruit hops. After the hop burst, a caramel sweetness settles in and preps you for the next sip. As the beer warms the alcohol flavor subsides, though maybe I'm just getting buzzed and can't detect it any more....

M: The moutfeel on this beer is something else. Full bodied, syrupy, creamy and smooth. The finish is long and complex- the burst of hops leads into that juicy caramel sweetness that lingers until the next sip, with a perfect amount of carbonation that helps everything pop just as you swallow. On top of all that, a mild bitterness helps to balance and bring it all together.

D: even with a 14oz. steak in my belly I'm feeling the effects of 11.2% ABV. Night Stalker is definitely a big boy beer. So many of the imperial stout characteristics you expect, yet so much more you don't normally find in the style. It's a big beer in a big bottle and probably best to share, but I'm not having too much trouble going it alone. Goose Island has done it again- a great brew as part of the Fulton Wood Series that I hope they continue to brew.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a counter-pressure filled bomber from Bierkraft in Park Slope, Brooklyn into a Trois Pistoles goblet.

A: Dark and oily with a dissipating dark tan head. Pretty swirls also make their way into the beer.

S: Boozy, raisins, currants, barleys, and malts. As it warms up it starts to smell like a Fig Newton.

T: Complex. Just what I like in a beer. When this beer was cold from the fridge it actually had some good hop presence. As it warmed up the vanilla, maple, and oak made their way to the front. It finishes with bourbon notes. Leaves a pleasant cocoa/coffee aftertaste.

M: Incredibly chewy, nice and carbonated from the fresh keg. Smooth and silky with a creamy finish.

D: Pretty drinkable for almost 12% ABV. I finished the bomber within a couple hours.

Overall, I am one happy camper to hear that GI will now be bottling this beer. It's downright incredible. Very well balanced with just the right amount of sweetness and bitterness.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A wonderful ba sent me a handbottle of this beer. In a 500ml flip top that was sealed over with tape. I have had several really good expierences with flip top hand bottles, live oak, and a couple rarer west coast sours, when they are done right then can be grand, and this one was done right! Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/25/2009.

The pour out of the bottle was honestly one of the darkest things I have ever seen. Just nuts. Pitch black as night with a light tan head of maybe an inch and a half across the top. This faded down to about a quarter inch but never got any lower then that. Lots of side glass lacing all over the sides as it went down. The aroma was a touch boozy, with tons of chocolate and roasted malts coming through. Almost a licorice like smell as it warms, incredible. As I take my first sip I am floored, rich vanilla and cocoa taste with a large dose of roasted malts. Tons of flavor here, with bourbon notes really coming through on this one. I am literally drooling as I write this that I dont have any left. The finish was soo smooth, and chocolate filled, it was a dessert beer to the extreme. For 11.5% you would think there would be a ton of alcohol swimming in this one, but know, just insanely good and really full bodied,one of the thickest beersI have ever run across.

Overall all, floored, this beer needs to get out more as this almost blows the category up. Seriously one of the richest tasting and fullest beers I have ever run across, top notch.

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Photo of redmagik99
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at east village tavern. Black, nice head. Smell is absolutely bursting with stouty aromas of espresso, chocolate, roastiness. Taste has all that, some oakiness (not sure if it's oaked so I could be just imagining it), molasses, mmm. VERY balanced. As far as stouts go, I think it's more on the bitter side (relative to the style), but if you consider it on it's own, I don't think there could be a more balanced beer. Big beautiful mouthfeel. When you finish 12 oz of a beer this size in 20 minutes and are ready for another one, you can call it drinkable. I asked the bartender if she preferred this to the BCS, which was also on tap. She said the BCS was too sweet for her, and since I hadn't tried it before, she was nice enough to give me a little taste. And I 100% agreed with her. I probably didn't have enough to understand the true nature of BCS, but from what I did try, I clearly preferred the night stalker. This goes down with Abyss and Speedway as one of my favorite impy stouts ever. Get some.

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Photo of Damian
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank from a 1 pint 6fl oz/650ml bottle purchased at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, Cambridge, MA
Bottled on 03/06/10
Served in a snifter

Near pitch black in appearance. The liquid poured thick and oily. A small cap of mocha colored froth covered the liquid, but it quickly dissipated to a thin, bubbly ring.

The nose was intense and much sweeter than I anticipated. Super rich and smooth. Lots of dark fruit (raisin and prune) notes. Molasses came through strong. Some dark roast coffee and bakers chocolate as well. A touch of vanilla. Slightly boozy.

The flavor profile was extremely robust and complex. Brown sugar and molasses were immediately noticeable. Very sweet and malty rich. Strong raisin and prune notes were quick to follow. Loads of vanilla and chocolate fudge. Quite roasty, but without a hint of acridness. Hints of black coffee. Slightly smoky. Even though this beer was not oak aged, I somehow picked up lots of oaky, woodiness. Some moderate, yet welcomed, alcohol heat came through on the back end. The booziness intensified as the beer warmed. The finish was sweet, rich and contained just a touch of piney hops.

Like the flavor profile, the mouthfeel was flawless. Super thick, rich and creamy. Remarkably oily. A fine bubbled effervescence made the beer feel frothy and slick. After each sip, the liquid left a sticky film on my lips.

As a huge fan of the Bourbon County Brand series, I knew that this base beer would be good, but I did not expect it to be exceptional. Boy, was I wrong. The year-plus of aging left the flavor profile so well melded and the beer so smooth and drinkable. Overall, an outstanding offering from the folks at Goose Island.

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Photo of Deuane
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After not being able to make it to GI during Dark Lord weekend to have some in person I owe a big THANKS to fellow BA mcallister for hooking me up with a 16 oz flip top mini growler! Been saving this one for a night to sit down with and enjoy!

A-Deep, dark black with a medium dark, reddish tan head. This slowly reduces to a thin film that leaves spotty lace. A surprising amount of carbonation for a month plus old growler.

S-BIG chocolate blast initially with an impressive and complex melding of dark roast, espresso, dark fruit and molasses. A bit of hop spiciness creeps in as it warms up.

T-BOOM---my first impression--A dark chocolate and espresso covered beef jerky bar! Big flavour with tons of deep, dark notes. This is big, bold and oh so tasty! An impressive melding of rich flavours.

M-Full bodied, rich, smooth and luscious. This brew is almost chewable! Big, long lasting flavours and earthy, spicy bitterness.

D-I often think I will not like BIG stouts as much as I end up liking them! This is simply and outstanding brew! I really like BCS but I have to say as a stand alone RIS this is one impressive stout. In fact I like this more than BCS. One big, beefy, roasty, flavourful and GIANT tasting stout. Thanks for the opportunity mcallister!

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Photo of Duhast500
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a stemmed glass.

The color is a complete black with about two to three fingers of foamy brownish head ans some thick lacing left on the glass.

The smell is pretty hoppy with a mix of dark malts and a really hoppy IPA type head. Some chocolate mix with a orange, citrus flavor.

The taste is pretty dark chocolate, with some caramel, and espresso, flavor. There is some nice hoppy flavor that comes out and gives legs to this dark stout. A great mix dark malt and west coast hops.

The feel of this beer is pretty heavy at first but does give a bit with a nice smooth finish. It has a bit of a creamy end which makes it go down easy.

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Photo of Slyjoker87
4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled in February 2011 and imbibed in September 2011.

A - Pours out as thick and black - impenetrable by light. The head is almost nonexistent, but that's what you'd expect from this type of brew.

S - Powerful but not overwhelming smells of coffee, chocolate, and maybe a hint of molasses.

T - Starts with a sugary chocolate goodness with a touch of molasses. It then develops into the taste of coffee just about the same instant as you are swallowing. Interestingly, there is a faint but noticeable taste of bitterness - probably from the hops.

M - Thick, dark, delicious liquid that easily pours into your mouth, but it doesn't reveal it's alcohol content as much as you might think for being nearly 12% ABV. The carbonation is spot on, and is generally easy to sip.

O - This is a fantastic brew that deserves the praise it receives. My only regret is opening it up so early. Goose Island states on the bottle that it can be kept for up to 5 years. Just imagine letting this one sit and develop!

Overall, this is easy to sip, tastes delicious, and really makes the style look good.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Body is very dark brown/black. Poured into a snifter with vigor, smallish head quickly dissipated to a ring, producing little cloudlets of lacing.

Huge aromas of black cherries, liquorice, dark chocolate, lots of hops, and alcohol.

Taste is charred malt, black cherries, raisins, espresso, dark chocolate. It is nicely sweet and sour. The charred malt adds a pasty sour element. Reminds me of how a marshmallow burned on the grill tastes, contrasting the sweet sugar and the acrid char. This beer has loads of hop flavor. It is a wonderfully intense beer that is smooth and integrated. This tastes like it was barrel aged. But it is the base beer of BCBS, and is intensely dry hopped and not barrel aged. Wow!

Body is thick and carbonation is light, but sufficient to give this a slightly creamy mouthfeel.

This is a wonderfully intense beer and is a pleasure to drink. The 11.7% ABV is palpable, which really makes it only suitable for sipping, like most imperial stouts, but this is a great tasting one.

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Photo of AshHousewares
4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Beer pours like motor oil, the head is very thin (about half a finger) and a deep caramel color. I held the glass up to a light and nothing penetrates the surface.

Taste is strong up front - fruity (currents?), moderate hoppiness, subtle sweetness, and a chocolate finish. Alcohol is noticable in the slight burn, but not remotely unpleasant.

Overall this is a fantastic, rich, complicated Stout. Like dessert in a bottle. I found an entire bomber to be a bit much for just me. I'd be really interested to see what this beer does at it ages.

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Photo of dankbrew21
4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my New Belgium snifter.

This is a huge beer. I just described it to my brother as the density of Black Bear stout with more hops and lots of vanilla notes.

A- Poured slowly expecting a quick rising head. It did not come...right away. Almost mo life in the head at the beginning of the pour and then all the sudden, like a dormant volcano with thousands of years of built up pressure, here comes this overflowig caramel colored goodness spilling over the side of the glass. Syrup like consistancy, pitch black. A beautiful looking beer.

S- At first pop there was a whiff of a healthy dose of hops. Followed by caramel, lots of vanilla, I am catching a hint of oak, and some stong ethanol.

T- Hops arent overwhelming but they are more prevalent than other Imperial stouts. Again, lots of vanilla and some oak. Maybe light hint of roasted coffee, some burnt flavors. Body is suuuuper thick and chewy, definitly a meal in a bottle. Alcohol is strong but all the rich flavors blend it in and give it just the right amount of burn and add to the complexity of this wonderfully crafted beer.

D- Drink it slow, as it warms up it smooths out and makes it easier to put down at a faster pace. Not saying drink it fast but it is so good I find myself grabbing my glass every 1-2 minutes.

NOTES: I will be stoked to try this after a few years in the basement. My sugggestion however is drink it now, fresh, down let those hops die down at all. Amazing beer and not something I could handle drinking every day. Maybe once a month. This is a HUGE beer and worthy of the A it has as of now!

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Night Stalker from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,820 ratings.
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