Narwhal Imperial Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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93
outstanding
5,051 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:
5,051
Reviews:
932
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
9.64%
 
 
Wants:
331
Gots:
1,445
For Trade:
36
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,051 |  Reviews: 932
Photo of PatGreer
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of ezra_shroomer
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of 1rushfan
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Yeahhh! Got my hands on a pretty cheap, 5 month old 4-pack of Narwhal by the beloved Sierra Nevada. Just recently had a wonderful Divine Reserve 17 by St. Arnold, and lo and behold my favorite Texas brewery just happened to be doing a collaboration with one of my favorite U.S. breweries of all time.

That isn't this beer of course, but I've been waiting for the chance to grab a big beer (especially a good stout) and also a Sierra Nevada beer, this absolutely blew me away, just like the latest Divine Reserve. Killing two birds with one stone.

Midnight black color with a creamy brown head. Luscious lacing fills the walls around the glass. Pinky head maintained for 10 minutes. Roasted malt smell, a little less smelly then I'd have thought it would be but very clean just like SN is known for.

Nice refreshing, wet mouth full of awesome beer. Straight up malty cocoa and a bit of coffee give this strong beer most of its legs. No alcohol present at all which is pretty crazy considering it has as much as some wines do. A little bit of hops, earthy perhaps? Maybe it's just the roasted biscuit from the malt. Really fresh tasting even 5 months after being brewed

Great pair with pizza and tater tots haha. (What doesn't go good with pizza and tater tots?) I don't mind paying for just a four pack when the alcohol is this high. Plenty of bang for your buck and the beer is on top of its game with the best of the style. Will definitely drink this one again. Love it.

 1,476 characters

Photo of HopasaursRex08
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of datalager
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I know I've reviewed this before, yet another review that was lost somewhere in the BA changeover some time ago. But I'll do it again for kicks and giggles. Here's the abridged stuff you need to know. It's an imperial stout. It has all the characteristics of an imperial stout. Noteworthy here is the well hidden ABV. Awesome beer. Get some.

 341 characters

Photo of Heeenrik
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of chrismattlin
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of zerocool88
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%

Photo of chicksdiggit
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage, aged in a cold basement away from light for a little under a year.
L: Dark thick brown with a finger and a half of dark mocha colored head. Plenty of carbonation slowly rises around the edge of the glass. Thick retention and thin but sticky lacing.

S: Rich fig and raisin up front. Dark cocoa and anise notes behind it.

T: Fig, chocolate malt, dates, sweet dark chocolate. Black coffee, espresso. A lot going on, not muddled, and I love it.

F: Rich luxurious French silk mouthfeel and boozy. A touch creamy. Absolutely awesome and easy to drink.

O: I like this fresh as well, but the sweet malt base really seems to shine through more so than I remembered, and the complexity on this is amazing. Love it.

 727 characters

Photo of Thelonious_Mahler_Crate
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 Narwhal

http://i.imgur.com/MXtQ9Mg.jpg

Appearance: Black as it should be. Narwhal resembles a textbook imperial stout.

Smell: Deep, rich, malty greatness.

Taste: See 'smell.' This beer packs a flavorful punch, especially after warming a bit. Coffee, malt, maybe some nuttiness. I haven't been to beer school. I just know it's awesome.

Mouthfeel: If one aspect of his beer hits the 'perfect' mark, it's this one. Narwhal's a nice creamy, chewy number, and the alcohol content bites your mouth at the end. To me, that's pleasant, and reminds me what sort of fine genre beer I'm drinking.

Overall: Narwhal, while not particularly rare, was somewhat of a whale for me. It's been hyped quite a bit by both the internet, and a few friends of mine, and it did not disappoint. I'd really like to taste it back to back with Old Rasputin and Stone Imperial Stout. Regardless, it's a fantastic brew I'd recommend to any fan of the genre.

 942 characters

Photo of Adams89
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jaharr88
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of beaverapproved
4.71/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled Aug 2 2013 I found it a bit gnarley fresh and decided to age it a tad. So, I'm excited to give it another go.

A - Center poured into an english pint glass. A very deep brown that's thick opaque espresso which could easily be mistaken as black. Big foamy and sticky looking 3 finger toffee colored head.

S - I'm not very keen with my nose but I'm definitely smelling lots of chocolate and actually detecting a hint of dark fruits/licorice too.

T - Wow, It's like night and day by just letting it tone down a bit. Immediately hits my taste buds with dark bittersweet chocolate. Also, I'm definitely getting the dark fruits/licorice that I was smelling as well which kind of reminds me of red vines. Has a dry finsih with a slight roasted bitterness.

M - Very creamy and leaves a stickiness on the lips. And, medium to low carb.

O - I'm really diggin this stout. It really did match the description on the label and highly drinkable when aged. Crossing my fingers I might be able to snag one more pack before it's gone.

 1,033 characters

Photo of Lard_City
4.71/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Molasses and chocolate. Alcohol seems a little more forward in this than in the BA Narwhal. Sweet and mildly bitter. Good to drink anytime but great in the winter.

 163 characters

Photo of IAmAPenguin
4.71/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Aroma: thick, rich chocolate malts, black grains, subtle smoke, coffee bean oil and resin. Appearance: pitch black with fantastic lacing. Taste: smooth, velvety thick roasted chocolate, burnt caramel, continuous coffee, toasted bread, plums and red grapes. Overall, amazing alcohol finish smooth full bodied and rich

 316 characters

Photo of Matty-McBier
4.71/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Love it! Very delicious stout!

30 characters

Photo of RyanCrawford
4.71/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BillDineen
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of waltmanis
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of xroachx
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of RexBanner
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%

Pours a deep dark brown, almost black. No light penetrated through this dark concoction. 1/2 finger head that dissipated fairly quick. Velvety smooth appearance.

Its aroma was of bready yeast, dark roast grains, alcoholic esters, bitter dark chocolate. Faint banana smell was also present.

The taste was of robust roasted grains and dark bitter 80% cacao. Very faint taste of hops was noticeable before everything was washed away by the alcoholic burn that permeated the mouth. Smooth mouth feel. Not as heavy as one might imagine for an imperial stout. As it reached room temperature it began to develop the flavor profile of a strong dark Belgian ale. Even the aftertaste was more akin to a SDB as oppose to a stout.

Overall, I would recommend this beer to others. It's definitely a sipper. I missed that characteristic smokey aftertaste common to stouts as well as the creamy, chewy mouth feel, but all in all, this is a superb beer worth trying.

 955 characters

Photo of BWood
4.69/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: dark with huge khaki head. Excellent look from a hard pour.

S: sweet roasted malt.

T: rich dark chocolate

F: thick tongue coating.

O: fantastic.

 151 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The elusive Narwhal, this is 2012 brewed according to the coding system they use it's bottled on 2285210:23 that's 2012 285th day on the 2nd bottling line at 10:23 am. I couldn't pass this up even though they had fresh Hoptimum I sided with the Narwhal since I hadn't yet tried this imperial stout. Pours with a black velvet smooth texture, pitch black body fills up my Stone Imperial Russian Stout glass nicely. Big smooth creamy texture mocha tan head follows the body with fine speckled lacing, this beer has some legs as I swirl it around in the chalice. Aromatics are killer dark ripened vinous fruit notes with dark chocolate and roasted coffee, it's an excellent combination brewed in this glass. Even some brown sugar/molasses like malt character kicking in with subdued earthy hops well hidden by the roasted qualities of black patent malts. The perceived sweetness comes off as dark partially fermented cherries or plump juicy raisins or a combination of those two fruits, but there is a fruity sharp sherry character going on here. Flavor rides a wave of those dark malts but has a surprisingly sharp sweet slightly salty breathe of ocean quality, maybe a bit of soy sauce that I get from some imperial stouts...it's not overkill but a nice dose of something to offset the dark malts acrid roasted malt character. Definitely sweet cherry hidden in there with well blended alcohol, caramelized brown sugar, earthy herbal hops in the backend with some added bitterness bitter dark chocolate and hints of espresso bean reach the palate as well. Like I said initially this is a killer complex ale, full bodied even smooth carbonation it's a joy to have on the palate with each sip cleansing any lingering harshness away it's drinkability is downright dangerous one of the biggest easiest drinking imperial stouts I've ever come across.

 1,842 characters

Photo of thedemise
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 5,051 ratings.
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