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Night Stalker | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Night StalkerNight Stalker
1,825 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,825 |  Reviews: 744
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired recently from Premiere. Pours black and thick. Amazing grapefruit aromas, roast is secondary. Creamy full mouthfeel. Grapefruit and then chocolate in mid-sip. Good malting, well tamed astringency. A masterful integration. Good drinkability, over an entire meal.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An aggressive put yields a half finger tan head on a jet black body. Aroma is loaded with chocolate and roasted malts and earthy hops. The flavor is very roasted with little coffee presence. Excellent chocolate both milk and dark throughout with sweet vanilla late in the finish. Medium body and light carbonation. Very smooth, well balanced and very easy to drink for the style and ABV.

 387 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of jaydoc
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed while watching Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Thanks to Bay01 for sending me this one!

Bottled on 2/6/11.

Pours an extremely thick opaque black with a 2 inch chocolate milk colored head that fades to a small cap. Nice thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark roasted malts, spices, lots of citrus zest, and slight chocolate. To me this smells very much like Anchor's Our Special Ale. Taste is extremely hoppy up front with loads of citrus zest and pine. The malt, spices, and chocolate come through on the finish. There is a nice hop/roast bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation and is very thick and creamy in the mouth. There is a noticeable alcohol burn in the throat with each sip. Overall, this is a good stout with a huge hop presence that I wasn't expecting. I am glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick brown/black with a dark dense brown head.

Nose if full rich and bold bitter black chocolate; roasted grains; soy sauce; bitter espresso and licorice.

Mouthfeel is thick, rich and creamy with elegant light carbonation and a wonderful mouthfeel.

Well balanced hop/malt the flavor profile of this stout is all licorice, bitter chocolate and bitter espresso but nicely balanced. This is the quintessence of a roasted grain flavor but with a bitter hop balance. Flavor profile has hints of whiskey and red wine characters. Lots of molasses and underlyng sweet black chocolate nad licorice.

Finish is long, bitter licorice, black chocolate, roasted grain and bitter espresso; again, all very well balanced and which goes on forever. A wonderful example of a well balanced and very big stout.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.69/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

i dont get the appeal here so much. this is a very strange stout, and im not sure it all comes together quite right. pours dead black, midnight and impenetrable. lazy tan head on top, lots of big air bubbles. smells like a stout all right, some dark dark english malts, hint of coffee and oddly fresh herbs. the flavor is where it goes weird. i taste a lot of chopped sage, a very potent herb in its own right, and standing out with the alcohol definitely not in unison. theres also quite a bit more yeast than i think belongs in this style. its a little funky and smells old, like feet, and tastes like it belongs in a saison somewhere, not here. alcohol is intense, and the roast on the malt makes it finish bitter. not a huge fan of this, its component parts never join hands. heavy body, enough carbonation, and a severe alcohol sting. im glad i had mates a around to share this one with, a major let down for me. sage flavor in a stout? not for me.

edit: just had 2012 on tap, some 5 years old now, and i still dont get it, not sage anymore, but it tastes hoppy to me, like oxidized black ipa, really hasnt done too well overtime, and i still just dont have the love for this that others do. seems sloppy and odd, meh.

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Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of Knapp85
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased this beer while visiting in Chicago, the vintage was 2011.

The beer poured out as a motor oil black color with a thick brown head on top. The retention is minimal and so was the lacing but the beer coats the glass with every swirl or sip you take. The smell of the beer is boozy, it's heavily roasted and sweet smelling too. There is also a good hop aroma in there as well which is impressive for a beer that is over a year old. The taste is very nice, big amounts of malt and hops, it's got chocolate and boozy vanilla in there too. There is bitterness of some coffee in there too. The mouthfeel is thick, it's oily and smooth with a moderate carbonation to it. Overall this beer was very good, it was well worth the price in my opinion. One of the best I've had from Goose Island for sure.

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of licorice, roasted malts and alcohol in the nose.
T: Flavors of dark, roasted malts and licorice dominate the overall taste, which has some notes of malty sweetness.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish has some warming from the alcohol.
D: The beer seems strong but the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An aggressive Imperial Stout with unrelenting malts and resiny hops; reminescent of Bell's Batch 7000 when it was young.

The beer pours black, opaque, and with the impression of thick viscocity and motor oil. Light on head formation but the lace of foam holds on for the majority of the session. Stouts just don't get darker or thicker.

Serious malts are actually dwarfed by the resin, pine, and fresh cut grass aroma. But still, the espresso, roasted grains, and bittersweet cocoa make a lot of headway towards the end.

The malt sweetness shows a tons of toffee and molassas that edge on toasty and roasty character. Espresso notes do the most damage with a robust attack on the palate. Hop flavor creeps closely behind with the same pine and resin notes as experienced in the nose. As the beer warms, a mild note of anise shows the only hint of ester. This beer is pretty straight forward with the roasted malts and sharp hops.

Thick, heavy, chewy, and strong; this beer is all that it is billed to be. Much like the Bourbon County Stout, this beer is a Goliath of a beer, at least in the textures. Oily, rich, and fulfilling the beer is intimidating. Hop bitterness helps to cut through the malts, as do the 12% alcohols.

The Bell's Batch 7000 rounded out in a year to a near flawless beer. I expect the same out of this one.

Thanks Cheezdawg! (04/10/10)

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Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottled 11/19/12. 11.5% ABV according to my bottle. 650ml brown glass bottle with standard unbranded black pressure cap acquired at a Binny's in Chicago on St. Paddy's day weekend. Served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are very high given the brewery and style.

Served chilled and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger dark tan colour head of no real cream, okay thickness, and bad (~1 minute) retention - though this is excusable given the high ABV. Body colour is a predictable solid dark black - not quite a jet black but very dark. Nontransparent and opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Light lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes; it's not very sticky though. Standard fare for the style but nevertheless appealing. I've seen far better, even at higher ABVs.

Sm: Rich chocolate/cacao. Alcohol warmth. Dark malts. Light coffee - with a bit of pleasant roast. Rich licorice/anise. Caramel. Pleasant toasty character. Minimal light floral hops - not as much as expected; I think age has done this well. No yeast character is detectable. Light vanilla. If I didn't know better, I'd guess bourbon. Hints of decadent dark fruit. An above average to mild strength aroma. Not horribly complex for the style, but there's some subtlety to the aroma. I'm looking forward to trying it, but the licorice has me concerned. I expected more hoppiness, but I'm glad that's not prominent.

T: Rich dark malts form the body. Some chocolate and caramel malts. Sweet vanilla. Light toasted character - it needs more. It also needs a hell of a lot more roast; there's hardly any here. It comes off quite sweet - especially in the third act and on the finish. Sticky dark fruits. Lightly vinous licorice; luckily this note is pretty restrained. Candied, sticky, and sweet. Not a great flavour profile for the style, but it will be to the tastes of many. Floral hop character is more prominent than usual for the style, but not to its detriment. The sticky sweetness and candied licorice are much larger issues, severely reducing drinkability. Full bodied and assertive. I can't emphasize enough that the sticky sweetness is really holding this back. Otherwise, it's fairly complex and somewhat subtle. No yeast character comes through. Alcohol heat is present but light enough to add character.

Mf: Smooth and sweet. Sticky, syrupy, and thick. Too viscous. Pretty good carbonation. Okay presence on the palate. Very filling and full bodied. A bit overbearing.

Dr: It hides its ABV alright, but it's not very drinkable. Definitely more of a sipper. I wish it came in a smaller bottle; this will take me some time to finish and I'm sure midway through the sticky sweetness will really aggravate me. This one definitely has its flaws, but it's not a bad beer for the style. I'd like to try it with a good three years on it; if this is what it tastes like at five months old; it needs serious time. For my money, Goose Island makes far better imperial stouts. I wouldn't get this one again unless it was aged or the only good option at a bar. Interesting, but it isn't doing it for me.


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Photo of emerge077
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 02/19/10

Inky black with an ample dollop of slowly rising foam. It has that reverse cascade effect, that builds underneath the head, generating bubbles that compact into about a finger or so of mocha-tinged foam. A sheet of tan lace adheres to the inside of the glass.

Aroma is sweet, a little fruity with hints of plum and deep roasted malts, coming off like chocolate christmas cookies with a touch of unknown spice.

Rich, velvety feel, residual hop bitterness meshes well with the deep roast in the finish. Molten chocolate, the dark bittersweet kind, hot gooey brownies, and fruity plum notes integrate well, creating a nice level of complexity. There's some sort of spice in there too, which comes across like clove or nutmeg, which could be from the hops. They are just starting to recede, not quite as bitingly bitter as when fresh.

Very smooth, sticky on the lips, and deceptive for 11.7%. This is far more drinkable than Bourbon County, but I love them both the same.

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Photo of brentk56
4.77/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a chocolate syrup color with very little head but it does stir up some foam with a swirl; minimal lace

Smell: Can this possbibly be an imperial stout with all of this floral citrus? There is some chocolate underneath, but this smells like an IPA

Taste: After a quick blast of chocolate and dark fruit the citrusy hops push everything else aside with their floral character; the hops get even bigger after the swallow, but they are balanced out in the finish by the chocolate and dark fruit flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Incredibly well-balanced for a hoppy stout, this beer is destined to hit the Top 100; first, on to the buzzed beer category

(While I loved this beer on tap, drinking a bottle supplied by BlueOkie would lead me to mark down the total score into the 4.2 range; still good, but not as enthusiastic about the bottled product.)

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Photo of oline73
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium foamy dirty brown color head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bitter hoppy notes with roasted malt notes - definitely more hoppy then I was expecting. Taste is also dominated by loads of hops with bitter and citrus notes not common for the style with a side of light roasted malt notes. Body is quite full with a creamy texture and good carbonation with no signs of alcohol. Very good which is not surprising considering the brewer but also more hoppy then most imperial stout I have tried before.

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Photo of zeff80
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a late developing one-finger head of tan foam. It left sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, chocolate and vanilla. There were even some fruity notes.

T - It tasted of chocolate and strong roasted malt flavors. There were mild vanilla flavors with some fruity (cherry?) flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and very smooth. A medium to full bodied ale.

D - This is a really good brew from Goose Island. I'm glad they crabked out an Imperial Stout.

 510 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2%

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Night Stalker from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 1,825 ratings
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