Narwhal Imperial Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Narwhal Imperial StoutNarwhal Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.16/5
Exceptional
5,282 Ratings
Narwhal Imperial StoutNarwhal Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierranevada.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A malt-forward monster, highlighting the depths of malt flavor.

Narwhal Imperial Stout is inspired by the mysterious creature that thrives in the deepest fathoms of the frigid Arctic Ocean. Featuring incredible depth of malt flavor, rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke, Narwhal is a massive malt-forward monster. Aggressive but refined with a velvety smooth body and decadent finish, Narwhal will age in the bottle for years to come.

Added by JohnGalt1 on 10-14-2012

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,827
Reviews:
1,011
Ratings:
5,282
pDev:
9.38%
 
 
Wants:
342
Gots:
1,530
Trade:
36
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 5,282 |  Reviews: 1,011
Photo of TossKing7
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Wolvmar
3.28/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle dated 9/20/18. Served in a tulip glass.

Pour: dark brown. Decent head, little lacing. Some clouds.

Nose: really didn’t get much besides some sweet malt.

Taste: chocolate upfront, some coffee, dark roast malts, a little bitter on backend. Some battery acid like taste to me. Didn’t really enjoy it.

Mouthfeel: pretty thick. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: the chocolate and coffee are there but there’s a strange bitterness/acid taste that turned me off. Won’t buy again.

 499 characters

Photo of grapeshops
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Livyatan1996
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

mad that i only found one of these around, would have loved to have one to sit on for a while. dumped out a thick dark brown oil with a fizzy, bubbly tan head that slipped to nothing at all quickly. nose is burning with booze, with roasted malts and bitter chocolate, earthiness that comes in more as it warms. expected it to drink pretty hot, but this is smooth and tasty. earthy, roasted and bitter with a lot of dark chocolate, toast and a light coating of sweetness. full bodied and warming. quite comfy to drink.

 517 characters

Photo of ausonius
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ncdevildog97
1.93/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

How did this get rated so high. It’s just booze. Bad tasting booze. I’ve had some really good stouts and this ain’t one of them. The taste is way too complex and you can’t get past the alcohol taste. Very disappointed

 230 characters

Photo of AuntBea
3.57/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kinggimp
3.87/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of muchos
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L. Thick-ish black pour, big ol' tan head of foam which recedes super slowly to bubbly patches.
S. Bready, malty, toasty, baker's chocolate, hint of coffee, earthy or grassy. Chocolate and toffee as it warms. Smells pretty stout-y.
T. Dark bread, cocoa, dark chocolate, grassy bitterness, coffee, deep dark roasted malty goodness, some toffee as it warms, more chocolaty toward the back end. Yes.
F. Full feel, smooth, warming in the way back end, sticky chalky finish.
O. You know when you're at the store and you're like "should I get this or should I get that?" Well this time it really worked out in my favor. Excellent beer. Recommended. Cheers ! ! !

 660 characters

Photo of stevepat
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a perfect pitch black, like the darkest depths of the arctic sea, with a muddy cocoa ice floe of a head about a finger and a half thick that persists deep into the arctic summer.
Rich chocolate and raisin smell. Other deep dark brew notes like prune, coffee, tobacco and the abyss.
Taste is bitter sweet, dark chocolate, some coffee roastiness, sweetness that hints at plum and black cherry and blueberry. Incredibly coherent flavor, many complex beers parade tastes across your tongue, this one arrives wholly formed and settles in like an arctic winter.
Mouthfeel is quite pleasant, not as pillowy as some big stouts I've tried and a tad bit toward the syrupy, but overall this is one fine expedition of an ale.
Overall this is one of my favorite big stouts, hard to beat it in terms of value, accessibility, and downright, no nonsense, beery deliciousness. Can't wait to see how this monster ages.

 908 characters

Photo of antonyliu
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter glass

Look:
Color is black with no clarity, and a one finger mocha head. Not much retention or sticky lacing.

Smell:
Smokey, and roasty.

Taste:
Acidic and boozy. Earthy. Burnt. Nutty. Dark, bitter chocolate.

Feel:
Thick and heavy, but not velvety and smooth like others of the style. It’s got light but steady carbonation.

Overall:
I think the high rating is due to the high ABV and widespread availability. Try a North Coast Old Rasputin (widely available) and you will know what this style CAN be. Narwhal is in the right neighborhood of flavors and characteristics. However, it is too unbalanced for me—leaning too strong on acidity, bitterness, and booziness. Given all the available choices for a RIS, I wouldn’t get this again.

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Photo of jbehlar
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of bottmfeedr
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Boba_Booey
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of tone77
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, chocolate. Taste is of alcohol, chocolate, roasted malts, more bitterness than I expected, did I mention it is boozy? Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall is a good beer, but I was expecting more.

 311 characters

Photo of laketang
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours onyx with a nice mocha head that reduces to a ring. Smells of roast, wood and inise prominent. Flavors of licorice and roast with hints of chocolate. The mouthfeel is medium thick and creamy. Great tasting stout that needs no build-up.

 244 characters

Photo of Darcola
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tastes like a good cold night at sea. Pours from a 12oz bottle, 2018 vintage into a tulip glass. Head is dark tan but goes away quickly after the first couple of sips. Smells like coffee and brown bread, maybe some burnt chocolate.

Taste is the same after the nose, with strong alcohol and heavy malts.

Mouthfeel is smooth with good carbonation, slight burn at the back from the alcohol, which is always nice in the winter.

Overall a nice beer, reminds me of KBS, this could be aged similarly.

 497 characters

Photo of porters4life
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of I_Like_Beer
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MacBrewin
2.75/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Medium mouthfeel. Smell is faint. Taste is mostly on the back end, roasty chocolate. Nothing special, not worth $15 a six pack. I'll pass next year. Gives me perspective on how good founders breakfast Stout is.

 210 characters

Photo of Vylo
4.76/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of TDougher
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Shade1951
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious! Worthy of being called an Imperial Stout. Not ruined by an overabundance of hops, as I've tasted by other breweries. Just bitter enough, with dark chocolate and coffee notes prominent. Creamy mouthfeel. Good carbonation.

A winner!

 243 characters

Photo of ALLMUCH
3.24/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of tsgooch79
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 5,282 ratings