Narwhal Imperial Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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93
outstanding
929 Reviews
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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:
No notes at this time.

Added by JohnGalt1 on 10-14-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
929
Ratings:
5,034
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
9.64%
 
 
Wants:
331
Gots:
1,447
For Trade:
40
User Reviews
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Reviews: 929 | Ratings: 5,034
Photo of SanFranJake
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On draft in a tulip at SNBC.
Pours a deep dark black with 1/8" golden head which fades slowly.
Aromas of roasted coffee and chocolate which get deeper as the stout warms and the glass level lowers.
Super smooth and easy, almost chewy mouthfeel and a chocolatey aftertaste which lingers nice and long.
A step outside of Sierra's norm but a damn good beer all around!
I loved it in the bottle and have been picking the four-packs up as I see them. Great now...only time will tell for later.

 492 characters

Photo of nick_perry
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black color, thin light-brown head. Malty aroma accentuated by fruity esters. Very creamy, smooth mouthfeel. A flavor of burnt malt and burnt fruit permeates. Noticeable alcohol taste (10.2%ABV). Warming feeling. Extraordinarily brewed stout, very dark and complex, one of my favorites.

 286 characters

Photo of Shandirra
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Just the way I like my Imperial Stouts; rich, smooth, full bodied, heady aroma, malty finish. Bought it as a 'pick a pack' selection from a borough distributor. Pleasant surprise. Definitely will purchase again!

 211 characters

Photo of jopezu
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours an oil slick dark brown with a medium tan head that quickly rolls down to a bubbly film. nose; i can't stop drinking it long enough to discern... milk chocolate, fudge, espresso and hops. taste; dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, bitter coffee bean, bitter leafy hops, espresso, plum, light fudge & some slight wood notes. very highly carbonated with a silky, heavy mouthfeel. the hops, malt, abv and darkness are pretty much perfectly balanced to my palate. an expertly crafted russian imperial stout that brings a wallop on the roasted profile, and still has the hop to be a big beer. sierra neveda pulled no punches on this one!

 644 characters

Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Midnight black pour, thick tan head that dissipates to form a lasting ring. Gigantic, deep nose of roast coffee, cacao, prunes, dates, figs, plums, and cedar shavings. Flavor is similar with great hops in the endless finish. Massive, syrupy body that coats the mouth with all of the above. I’ve never been a fan of black IPAs, and this is reminiscent of those, but with the needed addition of the fruitiness, which transforms it into something amazing.

 454 characters

Photo of Mike_Aguirre
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing beer, bottle aged for two years it was sublime. Perfect score. Aging did wonders for the alcoholic perception of this beer, it was perfectly balanced and smooth.

 169 characters

Photo of J1moyer
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Quite a kick to the Sierra Nevada Narwhal Russian Imperial Stout at 10.2%. I had a draft pour at Owen's Ordinary in the Pike & Rose Shopping Center in Rockville, MD. Awesome beer and nice addition to the Neighborhood Restaurant Group.

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Photo of DaBrewski
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Malty roasted coffee flavor with perhaps a touch of bourbon hook coming through at the end. There are hops there too.

There is some heat coming through.

However, where Goose Island's BCS would be an "11" on the amp scale Narwhal would be an 8. This is not a bad attribute.

Excellent Imperial Stout. Absolutely surprised me. Great price point for this bold stout.

 371 characters

Photo of greyghost86
4.94/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As close to a perfect imperial stout that I have had. Beautiful dark coffee appearance. Dark tastes of chocolate, coffee, and hints of smoke. This is a brew you can chew. Love it!

 179 characters

Photo of Hyllus
4.94/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Somebody will have to explain to me the ratings for this beer (92?). This imperial stout is spot on in style, taste, and full-bodied feel. It pours black, thick and rich. Surprisingly (for a 10.2% abv), the alcohol is not at the forefront. Instead, the chocolate, coffee and dark fruits prevail and confirmed in the taste. Overall, Narwhal is a world class beer.

 362 characters

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.93/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with practically no head what-so-ever, except for an extremely thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Strong, rich, earthy aromas of roasted malt, freshly baked dark bread, dark chocolate, dark molasses, licorice, vanilla and some boozy alcohol.

Taste: Wow! Extremely strong flavors of roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark molasses, coffee, licorice, brown sugar and some nicely balanced hops.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and pretty smooth, as there is very little carbonation. With an ABV of 10.2%, there is quite a bit of alcohol on the palate, imparting a pleasant warmth in the mouth while being drunk.

Overall: This is another excellent stout! Massive flavors of roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, dark molasses, coffee, licorice, brown sugar and some nicely balanced hops, awesomely blended together in a chewy, smooth quaff. Fantastic!

 973 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout has a thick, creamy, tan head, lots of thick lacing left on the glass, and a very dark brown appearance. The aroma is of dark-roasted malt, and the taste is of black bread, chocolate, coffee, licorice, toffee, charcoal, bitterness, and black cherries. The mouthfeel is thick and velvety, and Narwhal Imperial Stout finishes semi-dry, heavy, warming, and smooth. Overall, this is an outstanding beer, and I recommend it in the strongest way!

RJT

 483 characters

Photo of Professor_Yeesh
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

At first glance it looks black as the depths of the oceans. The smell reminds me of a solid espresso and of dark chocolate. The taste is phenomenal with strong notes from the roasted malts and a coffee-like feel. The hops are definitely present and give it a nice balance. Overall, this is a great imperial stout that I will buy more of.

 337 characters

Photo of CIBoy10
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look - Poured from 12 oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. Blacker than the blackest black. Totally opaque. Thin traces of carbonation, but hardly any head. Nice lacing.

Smell - Coffee, chocolate, malt, cherries, faint yeast/booze, Irish car bomb (mixed together), yogurt raisins? (but seriously). Pretty complex. I wish this was a cologne.

Taste - Great coffee, cherries, dark chocolate (think chocolate covered cherry), maduro cigar. Roasted malt up front, chocolate really comes on in the middle, you can barely feel the booze on the finish with contains more bitterness, coffee, and maduro. Finish only lingers pleasantly, doesn't annoy. Wow. Gets more malty and bitter as it warms up.

Feel - Certainly doesn't feel dry or thin, and I'm glad (don't like really dry, thin, over-carbonated stouts). LIke swallowing creamy silk. Booze is not overpowering at all. You don't feel the 10.2% whatsoever.

Overall - It is sweeter (not too much) than other stouts but I actually like that. This is a big boy though and it is thick and rich. One of the best RIPs I have ever had. Fantastic beer that exceeded my expectations. And at 10.2%, worst case scenario is you feel great afterwards. In other words, try one.

 1,215 characters

Photo of KevCan
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled 10/7/2016 18:45.

Look: Pours a deep black with a large medium-brown head.

Smell: Roasted malt, pumpernickel.

Taste: SMOOTH. Perfectly balanced and absolutely full of flavor. Incredibly drinkable. Just enough hint of coffee bitterness in the aftertaste.

Feel: Thick, highly carbonated. Almost creamy. Just enough stickiness and astringency.

Overall: The pinnacle of the style. Neck-and-neck with Ten Fidy.

 465 characters

Photo of CWO
4.91/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this was the first imperial stout I have sampled and so far no other surpasses in terms of taste, aroma, and feel. I'm sure there are plenty of challengers out there but hat's off to Sierra Nevada for introducing this excellent stout.

 234 characters

Photo of Bernerdawg
4.9/5  rDev +18.1%

On draft at Red Light Red Light in Orlando.
Color is black, with 1/2 inch of tan head.
Aromas of espresso, roasted malt, baker's chocolate, dates, whiff of burnt caramel
Taste is sweeter than expected, but not pushy: malts and alcohol up front followed by strong cocoa and coffee, hoppy finish
Not much carbonation. Milky smooth. For me, texture and body are spot-on for the style
Very impressed by this beer. A sipper that can go down quickly if not careful. The sweetness obscures the alcohol a bit and adds a wonderful note to the malts without getting in the way of other flavors. Highly recommend.

 605 characters

Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

OMG!!! My mouth waters just thinking about this beer. Hard to find and when I do I stock up. I am aging some and look forward to a few of those in time. So, if you see this beer and you like RIStouts drink it, But buy it first.

 231 characters

Photo of SamJory
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a pitch black with a thick, dark tan head.

Aromas of sweet roasted malt and coffee.

Big roasted malt upfront with a hit of dark roasted coffee and dark cocoa. Restrained hop bitterness, letting the roasted malt give most of the bitterness.

Really full mouthfill and a long lasting finish. Incredible richness yet I could keep drinking this all evening (although probably not as it is 10.2%!)

Absolutely outstanding

 424 characters

Photo of freystout17
4.87/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding ! This is up there with my other 3 favorites: Rasputin RIS,, Bell's Expedition, and Ten Fidy. You are not going to find any better imperial stout than this for the money. Very reasonably priced here in Ohio @ about 11 bucks/4. Very rich, thick mouthfeel, about a two finger head, and very pronounced burnt chocolate and coffee notes.

 345 characters

Photo of CJRx
4.86/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

First word in my mind is Velvet.
Dark, smooth, chocolatey. To me, a hint of dark red fruit - maybe plum also.
Incredibly drinkable for pushing 13%.
Drank the first half very cold and let the other half warm. Strong on the malts in the smell. Lightly carbonated, but almost...refreshing.
Very, very good & highly recommend. A high standard for stouts.

 353 characters

Photo of tvl89
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is an amazing imperial stout from sierra nevada. It is a very complex brew. This is actually my first imperial stout , and I'm in love with it. The color is amazing: pitch black, very dark. The smell is awesome, chocolate and coffee are the most predominant ingredients I can smell. The taste is amazing with a delicious chocolate after taste. It is not as strong as I was expecting. I highly recommend it!

 411 characters

Photo of JamesBondGA
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured pitch black in color, tan head. Zero lacing on glass. Smell is of malt, chocolate, espresso. Taste is very velvety, with the espresso coming thru.Overall this is excellent. One of my top 10 favorites.

 207 characters

Photo of Ipaupaweallpa
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So I have been seeking this out for a while, did try the SN Porter and the SN coffee stout. Never had the regular stout, never see it around although I'm sure it is similar to coffee stout. saw this last night and got very excited . Much anticipation. Tried to not get my hopes too high as stouts always have that "filling" Maltiness to me and I drink iPas mostly. Wow. This beer is incredible. Very smooth. DEFINATLY not able to detect the 10.2% abv until it leaves your mouth with a chocolatey Bite. Not nearly as carbonated and "airy" as the Porter and stout. Perfection. Like a silky chocolate smoothness. Not sure if I could have more than one because of the sweetness. But, still, after the first sip I was already wondering how I'm gonna secure another 4 pack.

 768 characters

Photo of princessbay710
4.84/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very reminess of the recent Divine Reserve 17 by St. Arnolds. Basically a rich cocoa stout with some java undertones. Pour is dark black with dark milk chocolate foam. Taste is much bolder than it's smells and shockingly covers it's 10.20% well enough to convince anyone that it's a malty - milk drink. Love it!

 311 characters

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Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 5,034 ratings.
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