Trip In The Woods: Narwhal (Bourbon Barrel-Aged With Red & Black Currants)
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Trip In The Woods: Narwhal (Bourbon Barrel-Aged With Red & Black Currants)Trip In The Woods: Narwhal (Bourbon Barrel-Aged With Red & Black Currants)
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Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #1,761
Ranked #20,119
3.81 | pDev: 12.07%
Oct 18, 2021
Oct 24, 2016
Very Good
Trip In The Woods: Narwhal (Bourbon Barrel-Aged With Red & Black Currants)Trip In The Woods: Narwhal (Bourbon Barrel-Aged With Red & Black Currants)
Notes: None
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3.65 by JakerLou from New Hampshire on Oct 18, 2021
Photo of drdiesel9483
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by drdiesel9483 from Ohio

Look - black and thick looking with a nice tan head and fantastic lacing
Smell - sweet dark fruit roasty malt and woody
Taste - black cherry, tart and sweet with a slight woody
Feel - medium full body with a slight cream carb
Overall - interesting take on a BBA stout with the current

Apr 25, 2021
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by Sammy from Canada (ON)

a lot of currant over stout. very good. no off flavour.

Feb 23, 2021
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

750ml bottle. Corked and caged. No dating found.
Black colored body. Good one finger light tan head upon pouring but this readily recedes to a partial cap. Leaves some short ringlets of lacing.
Aroma is woody bourbon barrel, sweet berry fruit, chocolate and dark roasted malt.
Taste has a certain tanginess from the currants. Big on chocolate and little on coconut. Oak and bourbon from the barrel.
Medium mouth feel. Low carbonation.
This reminds me of a weird red win concoction with cocoa mixed in. Easy enough to drink but not what is expected from a barrel aged stout. Has a dry finish.

Dec 07, 2020
Photo of sjrider
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by sjrider from California

Poured from a bottle -dark as night with short khaki head leaving a small ring of bubbly lacing. Nose is roasty and slightly tart with hints of barrel. Taste follows with more tartness ,reminds me a bit of Flanders style ales. Quite tasty but probably not what I expected for a BBA stout.

Dec 03, 2020
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

Tasted in a Rastal Teku from a 1 pint 9.4 fl oz bottle on November 29, 2020.

Nov 30, 2020
3.53 by kdivers from New Hampshire on Nov 28, 2019
3.53 by GlennBags from North Carolina on Jun 30, 2019
2.62 by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington on May 10, 2019
4 by szmnnl99 from Michigan on Feb 17, 2019
3.79 by h4ger from Connecticut on Dec 31, 2018
3.9 by ChipChaight from New York on Dec 30, 2018
Photo of Treyliff
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Treyliff from West Virginia

750ml cork and cage bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep brown color with a one-finger creamy khaki colored head that has decent retention before settling into a ring around the glass

S- jammy and berry-like aroma on up front with the currants certainly popping through. Undertones of chocolate and char, as well as grape juice, stewed cherries and a hint of vanilla. Having trouble picking up the barrel note

T- slightly tart up front, with the currants popping through and adding a sugary preserves flavor. Mid-palate brings out some chocolate notes, along with charred malt. The finish continues with the tartness of the currant, adding a vinous-like quality. Lingers of more currant, chocolate and vanilla. Again, having trouble finding the barrel

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a slightly tart finish

O- the currant addition make this a totally different beer. I wasn't expecting the tartness, but it make for a different but enjoyable beer

Nov 29, 2018
3.93 by TheHopsman from Nebraska on Nov 28, 2018
Photo of zachary80
4.16/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by zachary80 from Indiana

Drank at two years old. The fruit presence and impact from the barrel aging was underwhelming. Still a good beer.

Sep 03, 2018
Photo of ryan1788a5
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black in color with a tight beige head that retains at a quarter inch. Delicate, broken rings of lacing.

S: Deep vein of bakers chocolate. Thoroughly roasty. Vinous tart currant and raisin. Bourbon ball candy. Ribbon of caramel. Sweet and stiff bourbon and oak.

T: Deep chocolate and roast. Bakers and bitter dark chocolates. Deep roastiness. Currants hit the palate in a big way, bringing a lot of red berry fruit and a some smacking tartness. To the uninitiated, it may even seem like an infection. Currant flavors develop further, evoking raisin and darker fruit flavors and growing more vinous. Barrel flavors rule things from the mid palate on, with a surge of bourbon, sweet caramel, and toasty oak. These barrel flavors are the last remaining taste sensations on the finish.

M: Thick in feel, weighty. Chewy but creamy-smooth. Decadent like a melted chocolate. Fine and gentle carbonation supports with a soothing scrub. Unfortunately a big astringency too, thanks to the fruit.

O: This beer lives and dies by the currant addition. There is some welcome vinous complexity, but the tartness of the fruit also distracts. In the end, it did distract enough to take away from the overall enjoyment.

Sep 02, 2018
3.92 by Bubbawilly88 from California on Jun 22, 2018
3.56 by Zaphog from Michigan on Jun 02, 2018
Photo of Ego
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Ego from New Jersey

super black massive hole, no light is even bothering to attempt to pass through, one full blanket layer of cocoa tinged thick foam, superb lacing, retention in the bubble sector, damn this is a foxy lady

boozy oak is the first note boat to sail into my nose, a mix of vanilla and the currants lies underneath, to me the bourbon tones are easily the big boys on the block here

taste etc...
wow, the currants really take over here, you get a smooth up front feel and then just a mad dash of fruit juice flavor finished with a strong oak finish - lingering, almost like a nice kriek, man, this seems way less dense than the narwhal I remember (and those I don't...heh), this takes a little getting used to... hard to describe the total experience, I suppose it reminds me of chocolate covered cherries or some candy akin to that, the after glow is delightful in how your mouth is bathed in the dark stout flavors with the subtle oak/booze/vanilla hints, this gets better sip by sip

hard to believe this was the same stout, love the narwhal as it was but this.. just a totally different trip (see, referencing the beer series name, boy am I clever...), more than worth checking out, this would be a crazy killer after dinner drink to serve the uninitiated. great stuff. now I have to find some more to tuck away into my cellar.

May 18, 2018
3.75 by BEER88 from Washington on Apr 27, 2018
Photo of Sabtos
3.07/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75
by Sabtos from Ohio

Shiny black with red edges and a very large tan foam that slowly settles, leaving layer after layer of coral lace that forms stalagmites closer to the thin blanket that's left behind.

I smell a little mocha and old woody bourbon oak with some dark roast, bitter cocoa and zippy red fruit.

Taste is surprisingly tart for a Stout, yet not exactly like a true sour. The added fruit character is very expressive and dominating any Stout or barrel presence, far more than the nose would lead you to believe it will. There still is some nutty roast, and a discernible peppery bourbon, but it's far in the background.

Feel is thin and slippery with minimal carbonation and a sandpaper dry finish. The tartness builds to a level that leads one to believe it's infected. It's confusing, at a minimum.

Apr 20, 2018
Photo of thebeers
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by thebeers from Pennsylvania

This one pours a creamy, chocolatey dark brown color with a fat finger of soupy, khaki-colored head that leaves thin, but lasting sheets of lacing.

There are definitely currants in the nose -- whether red and/or black I really couldn't say. The aroma also has clear wood, with hints of bourbon, vanilla and milk chocolate ganache.

Light currant tartness and juiciness stands out in the taste. Woody flavors couple with milk chocolate and light coffee malts and just the slightest hint of vanilla-forward bourbon. It has a light, tart, fruity aftertaste with just enough chocolate to prevent it from being too sweet.

There's a certain heft to the feel, but I'd put it on the light side for BBA stouts these days. A touch of carbonation prevents it from feeling flat.

There's a great tartness to the beer, but I'd prefer a darker chocolate and tobacco malt character to balance it out as opposed to milk chocolate. The barrel here is also so slight that I'm not sure it adds much to the taste -- though the wood definitely comes through. All-in-all, it's still plenty fun overall.

Mar 05, 2018
3.87 by Akeah from Colorado on Feb 14, 2018
3.93 by MrUse from Minnesota on Feb 11, 2018
3.75 by paulish from New York on Jan 31, 2018
4.1 by fx20736 from New York on Jan 28, 2018
4.49 by cwkash from Kentucky on Jan 16, 2018
3.39 by BlueKurenai from Vermont on Jan 16, 2018
Photo of larryi86
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by larryi86 from Delaware

Rated more towards enjoyment than style since the addition of the fruit made it move away from the base style

750 ml bottle poured into a teku

A- Black with a two dinner mocha head.

S- Charred oak, sweet and tart currant jam, nutty, some burnt coffee, touch of bourbon, hint of dark chocolate.

T- Tons of currants, sweet and slightly tart, reminds me of jam, dark chocolate, burnt coffee, charred oak, hints of bourbon.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- Very different than every other Narwhal I’ve tried. I like the idea of adding currants, but it seems like they added too many and over powered the base beer.

Dec 30, 2017
Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by SHODriver from North Carolina

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep black beer topped by a dense two finger light tan head which retains well and fades slowly to a cvollar around the edge of the glass leaving some lacing
S: Smells like straight currants. Reminds me of ocean spray cranberry juice cocktail on the nose
T: Taste is a lot of currants but some dark chocolate and light coffee along with some oak and a little caramel. The currants make this one seem slightly tart. Swallow is more currants, some vanilla, chocolate, oak and light coffee with some lingering roasted malts.
M: This beer is full in body wiht a slightly silky mouthfeel. Carbonation is soft and adequate for the style while the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this is a really interesting beer. The flavors are nice and complex but I can see how this one could be a little divisive and polarizing. Definitely an interesting take and worth a try if you don't mind beers that color outside of the lines a little.

Dec 28, 2017
4.13 by novamat from Illinois on Dec 28, 2017
3.86 by tommy5 from Michigan on Dec 10, 2017
Photo of CJNAPS
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by CJNAPS from California

Was surprised by this one might be one of my favorites from the trip in woods line.
nice full mouth full and I got a lot of chocolate on this one. Would revisit

Nov 19, 2017
3.75 by BdM from Netherlands on Nov 17, 2017
4 by Howlader from Canada (AB) on Oct 29, 2017
Photo of bshefftz
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by bshefftz from California

An unusual beer, this one - semi-sweet, semi-sour, with red wine-like characteristics. Certainly not a sweet, boozy malt bomb as you might expect from some BA stouts, and definitely an evolution away from the base beer. Not essential but enjoyable.

Sep 06, 2017
Photo of Smakawhat
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Smakawhat from Maryland

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

Faint light khaki head, slightly creamy out of the bottle with a nice 3mm collar. Body color is more of a very dark brown to black walnut, and very opaque. Might be an edge of red as well.

Real nice aroma. Hints of light oak, but a good thick roast and hints of coconut sweetness. Faint currant and berry like quality, giving to just a touch of raisin. Some dark chocolate and a bit of fruit like tartness rounds things out very nicely.

Palate makes for a bit more simpler and taken aback presence. Light bodied but still with some nice chocolate tones. Much more tartness that takes away more of the sweetness qualities hinted on the nose. Light flavors of cherry and raspberry red fruit like quality, with a touch of mild pucker. Slight faint bitter dark chocolate, but mostly hinted by the fruity beers quality.

A pretty solid brew, but tart qualities take away much of the chocolate and coconut richness that seemed so exciting and prevalent on the nose.

Sep 04, 2017
Photo of Wasatch
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Wasatch from Colorado


Poured into a goblet a pretty nice dark brown color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy small light tan head, which leaves a pretty nice medium size island, and some oil slicks, and sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some chocolate/toffee, bourbon/oak, red/black currants, tart. The taste is pretty nice, malty, with some chocolate/toffee, red/black currants, some bourbon/oak, nice little tartness, some sweetness. Medium body, ABV hidden pretty nicely, a nice little complex brew, with a nice little dry/bitter finish. Overall, a pretty tasty brew.

Aug 27, 2017
3.76 by Grizzarky from Tennessee on Aug 27, 2017
4.1 by Chrispy_Creams from Minnesota on Aug 26, 2017
Trip In The Woods: Narwhal (Bourbon Barrel-Aged With Red & Black Currants) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 194 ratings