Narwhal Imperial Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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5,055 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
5,055
Reviews:
934
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
9.64%
 
 
Wants:
332
Gots:
1,444
For Trade:
36
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,055 |  Reviews: 934
Photo of BilbosNuts
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown that is very close to black. A creamy, mocha colored head sits on top. Sheets of lacing is left behind.

S: Dark, slightly bitter chocolate and roasted malt appear first in the aroma. A light and delicate hop profile provides a pine-like finish. Mild dark fruits (plums, raisins) come through as well.

T: Similar to the aroma with dark chocolate and roasted/burnt malt. The hop profile makes a similar appearance. More sweet chocolate comes through in the taste along with. A slight bittering effect finishes it off with some mild dark fruit.

M: It has a body that is on the heavier side and a creamy, yet slightly oily feel. A small amount of carbonation lets the flavors coat the palate.

O: This is one delicious RIS. A great example of the style and very easy to drink considering the high ABV. I'll be sure to pick up some more 4 packs while this is still around.

 943 characters

Photo of Hop-Droppen-Roll
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Imperial stouts are hard to come by in my neck of the woods, so when I saw this late in its season sitting on a shelf, I had to grab 2 four packs.

Pours a gorgeous deep coffee and molasses brown into a black body with a delicious looking 1.5 finger mocha colored head that quickly thins out to a fine film with great looking lacing. My wife is cooking nearby and the smell is still cutting through at the occasional moment, smells great, but not too powerful.

Rich, full bodied malt flavor with a bitter coffee finish. Nuts and coffee? Maybe a little - but this one's pretty much a massive malt monster - I'm loving this!

Thick, creamy mouthfeel, very nice. This is a top notch brew.

I will definitely be picking up a few of these every year and hanging on to a few from each batch!

Edit: Wow. 10.20%? VERY well hidden.

 824 characters

Photo of evanforbeer
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with tan head

On the nose cocoa, anise, dark fruit (cherry) and a touch caramel

Mouthfeel is rich and robust with some hop bite. Boozieness is there but not as potent as many 10% beers.

Taste follows with lots of cocoa, anise, vanilla, touch of coffee, cherry, caramel, hop citrus finishes with dry roasted barley and bittersweet dark chocolate.

A great brew from SN, top notch imperial stout. Huge but very drinkable, lots of complexity.

 455 characters

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice, color is solid black, head is light tan - this is great looking stout.

Smell is big roast, chocolate, espresso, coffee grains, dry and sweet balanced in each sniff.

Taste is similar to that smell strong roast, espresso flavors, lots of chocolate undertones and coffee grain dryness. very solid bitterness to balance its strength, very hard to believe abv.

Mouthfeel is a little drying, probably the amount of bitterness to balance its strength, but not a hinderance to the flavors.

Overall, very great tasting brew - sierra nevada does a great job in the bigger beer categories, loved this one to follow holiday sweets.

 646 characters

Photo of tharper178
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tele
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: 4.5 Black with a 2 finger tan head that lasts about 2 or 3 minutes. Small bubbles. Looks like a great/classic imperial stout.

S: 4.25 Roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and a little bit of coffee. Pretty mild at first. Will let it warm to see if it changes at all. As it warms, there’s a little coconut and caramel. Also, a tiny bit of blackberry. Some vanilla is working its way through now too.

T: 4.5 Malt sweetness up front, followed quickly by roasted malt bitterness. A good amount of sweet chocolate with the malt. Roasted malt adds a lot of bittersweet chocolate and coffee flavors. Really nice to get these flavors naturally without additives. Some acidity as it warms, but it brings along nice berry flavors from the aroma.

M: 4.25 Fairly thick for an imperial stout. Could be a bit more viscous, but really nice as is. Good amount of carbonation and the malt bitterness goes well with a little bit of dryness.

O: 4.5 I really like this stout. It’s definitely one of Sierra’s best brews and up there with some of my favorite, easy-to-get, non-BA stouts (think old rasputin and ten-fidy). Super easy to drink and develops a lot as it warms. I’ll be looking forward to this every winter.

 1,213 characters

Photo of AmishLightning
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Yancey82
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ctylinebeer
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Vanilla, coconut, and booze on the nose. Dark chocolate, cake, coffee, and vanilla taste. Robust dark malt finish. Wonderful beer.

130 characters

Photo of Ginsaghn
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BSiegs
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Deep black pour with two fingers of light brown head. Head retention and lacing are good. The nose is roast, chocolate, coffee, malt. The taste follows exactly, a lot of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee. The body is full with low-moderate carbonation. The finish is dry and bitter. Overall, a really well done, classic RIS.

 322 characters

Photo of NRo
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Very dark with a thin tan head.

Smell: Faint coffee, not very strong of a smell.

Taste: Much more flavorful than I expected it to be! Rich coffee and cocoa notes.

Mouthfeel: Delightfully smooth.

Overall: I look forward to drinking this regularly.

 263 characters

Photo of foundersfan1
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark as night, no light escapes Narwhal. Nose fills primarily with some stone fruits, primarily cherries (a complete surprise, considering what I was expecting) and some cocoa to fill it out. More dark cherries in the flavor with dark chocolate and booze fully present on the palate. A creamy feel, but sticks around far shorter than most imperial stouts. A great beer, and would love to give the barrel aged version a try.

 423 characters

Photo of boyeryan
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of justintcoons
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance
Pitch black, motor oil pour. No light penetration. Less than 1 finger of deep brown head that dissipates quickly.

Nose
Dark chocolate, roasted barley, espresso, fudge, vanilla and dark fruit.

Taste
Dark chocolate, roasted barley, fudge and vanilla bean. Espresso, toffee and dates. Some citrus and pine hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel
Full bodied, silky, oily, bitter and warming.

Overall
Sierra Nevada hit this one out of the park. It's got everything that an Imperial Stout needs.

 519 characters

Photo of tut2528
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to Jaap for sending this one!
2012 Release

A: pours black as night, with high viscosity and it creates about 1/2 fingers worth of a rich mocha colored head formation. minimal lacing. alcohol legs are also apparent (was to be expected at 10.2%)

S: nice rich sweet body comprised of milk chocolate, figs, and a touch of vanilla with a big roasted malt backbone. biter dark chocolate is also detectable along with a fair amount of coffee grounds.

T: big roasted malts bitter dark chcolate are the main players here. but there is also a nice balance of dark fruits, sweet milk chocolate, and a slight smokiness. No alcohol is detected.

M: full bodied brew. thick viscosity coats the palate with a nice cocoa and coffee notes. there is some alcohol heat, but it honestly fits extremely nice here.

O: just a big, bold brew that has a terrific balance. and is a perfect fireside beer. One of the best offereings that I have had from Sierra Nevada.

 954 characters

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Pours syrupy and as black as night. Almost no head to speak of but the head was a deep brown color. Impressive alcohol lacing.

S- A boatload of roasted malts, a slight dark chocolate. A big hop bitterness. A touch of alcohol.

T- A big crisp bitterness up front. Followed up by an absolutely massive amount of roasted flavors. Really lingers on the tongue to the point of being smokey. The beer definitely has a big chocolate flavor and feel which mellows it out and adds a whole new level of complexity. This is a hoppy stout, there are strong underlying notes of citrus and a lot of pine. Very dry and roasted aftertaste.

M- Big and thick, definitely a sipping beer. Almost no alcohol presence, it is hidden extremely well. Dry aftertaste. Really sticky.

O- This is an incredible imperial stout. One of the best non-barrel/aged stouts I have had in a good while. It is also priced incredibly well and is available everywhere. Definitely get some and make sure to keep some aside for the years to come.

 1,047 characters

Photo of LennyBound
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mluchies
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer was truly Intense!

28 characters

Photo of Punchy_Munchie
4.4/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.4/5  rDev +6%

12 OZ Bottle.Pours a black color.Smell of Coffee and chocolate.Taste is Chocolate with the Coffee slightly up front.Slight bitterness.I liked it a lot.Nice combination of flavors with a nice 10.2 ABV.I would recommend this to anyone who likes stouts.Give it a try.

 264 characters

Photo of bbudnik
4.4/5  rDev +6%

Photo of pjvie
4.4/5  rDev +6%

Photo of TRod23
4.4/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Bierstein82
4.4/5  rDev +6%

Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 5,055 ratings.
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