Narwhal Imperial Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Narwhal Imperial StoutNarwhal Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.16/5
Exceptional
5,201 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:
#1,449
Reviews:
979
Ratings:
5,201
pDev:
9.38%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
341
Gots:
1,500
Trade:
35
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,201 |  Reviews: 979
Photo of Gryphon69
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of lastmango
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured pitch black with a 3 finger tan creamy head. Lots of lacing. Nose was very mild coffee and raisin. Taste was the same with a smokiness followed by the piney hops. Not as complex as I thought it was going to be. Perhaps I am having an off day. Medium carbonation and feel.

 284 characters

Photo of torwart94
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tgraven
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of gillagorilla
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Burley Oak snifter.

A: Pours a thick 3 finger head with nice lacing. Quite dark, but I wouldn't say pitch black.

S: Roasted malts. There is a bit of sweetness in there once you swirl it real nice.

T: Lots of roasty flavors with a bunch of malt in there for good measure. Not too sweet. Eh.

M: Quite carbonated. Prickly. Much smoother once it warms up.

O: Not a big fan of the mouthfeel on this one. I don't know what to say about this one. It's not really appealing to me. Not a big fan of the flavors here. Nothing compared to the BA version. Good.

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Photo of BB1313
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with some brown hues, mocha head which fades quickly and leaves decent lacing and retention. There's lots of char and smoke up front. Lots of chocolate malts as well. There's also a touch of roasted coffee beans and vanilla beans. The flavors are aggressively bitter. The hop presence isn't shy. Very roasty. The coffee really comes through in the flavors. Blast of anise. No sweetness. There's subtle heat going on with this one, slightly boozy. Mouthfeel has active carbonation, slightly syrupy, but on the lighter side of full-bodied. The alcohol is noticeable. Rough around the edges, but it works with the cold weather.

I've enjoyed my time with Narwhal. I have one more I'm going to age. I think time will do this stout very well.

 784 characters

Photo of JFresh21
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter. Pours a nice dark color with 1 finger of tan head. The aroma of this beer is quite delicious. However, the flavors do not come together well and it is a bit boozy. Worth a try but don't expect much. I won't be buying this again.

 268 characters

Photo of brandonati
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good at all that it is supposed to be. Not as complex as many new stouts on the scene but very drinkable. Smooth. And I love the way it changes as it Warms.

 156 characters

Photo of founder26
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle poured into snifter, pretty cold right off of fridge.

Apperance: black with a dark khaki 2 finger head. disapates fairly quickly. Nice lacing!

Aroma: didn't care so much for the smell, too much anise, couldn't get a chocolate/roast smell till it warmed up. once warm I could really smell the abv.

Taste: when cold it had a slight hoppy/bitterness to it. got some coffee/chocolate flavor as well which really stood out once warmed up. also notice alot more of the burn once warm.

Mouthfeel: pretty cream, nice carbonation. got a little thin once warmed but not too bad.

Overall: if you are a fan of overly bitter/hoppy stouts this will be for you. I think with some age this beer has potential.

 711 characters

Photo of _Christina_
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Ranbo67
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of harsley
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of haschauer
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Very dark, pitch black body. Light caramel head.

S - Chocolate, toffee, coffee. Good smelling beer.

T - Chocolate and coffee up front. Some prevalent alcohol flavor. This is my third bottle from the 2013 varietal and the alcohol is already dying down but still there.

M - Good mouthfeel. Not too heavy, good level of carbonation.

O - I wanted to let this age a little more but I suppose I got a little excited with the weather cooling down so much at night these days. I will definitely let the last bottle I have lay down for a some months. Good stout but not as great as I was expecting.

 601 characters

Photo of Corson
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Qbdoo
3.64/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black as night, no light gets through. Smell is a slight mix of coffee, chocolate, and toffee, slightly burnt. Taste is similar and the mouth feel is lighter than expected for an imperial stout and more carbonated. In this style, I prefer a flatter beer. I really like it though, a definite A-, but I don't think it quite lives up to the other world-class beers in this style. But hey, it's a cheaper and a great runner-up if you want to save a couple of bucks.

 461 characters

Photo of Bm1881
3.64/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Lefty_P_Hand
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of screamking
3.66/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into snifter. 2012 edition.

Appearance-pours black with a small dark brown head. Lacing is surprisingly absent. 3.75

Aroma-lots of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, some hints of vanilla, plum and dark grapes. All of your typical RIS notes are present. 4

Taste-Bitter chocolate is right up front, then some of that bitter coffee sneaks in. Little bit of sweetness in the after taste but mainly just bitter. It's not bad, but for the style I think there are far greater options available. 3.5

Feel-nice feel, could be thicker. Carbonation is very noticeable as is the abv. 3.75

Overall-I must say this one disappoints me, run of the mill RIS. I don't think I would buy this again, unless there was a hell of a deal. I'm just looking for stronger notes and this isn't the beer for them. 3.5

 811 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.66/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. Stamped 2279209:05.

A: Dark brown mocha head fluffy and promising. The body utterly opaque and darkest brown.

S: Dry malts, faint chocolate, distant roast. Low intensity. Rather disappointing.

T: Defined by the same dry, lightly toasted malts initially smelt. On the aftertaste (which comes too early) there is noticeable cocoa. The general impression is very nice, but comes in such brief bursts that it is hard to appreciate any of it without gulping, which is not what I want to do with my imperial stouts.

M: The mouthfeel take a back seat -- it is pretty much immemorable...which puts it above average.

O: Despite my inclinations, this beer gives itself over to easy-drinking. This is neither a criticism nor a compliment...This is one of the most supremely drinkable RIS I've ever encountered.

 863 characters

Photo of PReust
3.66/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

FEEL THE POWER!! Imperial stouts usually tend to taste more like spirits than stout, this one = a happy medium. This was really far out, 10 and one half percent or so, it'll get you drunk.....and after having the four pack, you'll probably say to yourself, "two of those.....WAS QUITE ENOUGH", followed by a galaxy of stars. Amen.

 332 characters

Photo of AlexVonBier
3.66/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled - 8/31/17

Typical imperial stout with a deep black body and tan head. The head fizzled quickly. The mouthfeel at first is quite nice but almost immediately turns into a watery finish. No alcohol detected, which is impressive at 10.2% abv. Finish is very bitter, with a lasting aftertaste. Not very drinkable. I'm struggling to finish my glass, it feels like a Budweiser trying to become an imperial stout.

 414 characters

Photo of DragonsMilk
3.66/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Drinking a 2014 Vintage

This beer is like deja vu to me, it tastes almost exactly like New Holland's Dragon's Milk with minor differences.
It has a noticeably richer mouthfeel, aroma is similar but a little subdued, tastes exactly the same to me, has that sweet soapy oaky vanilla thing going on.

I get the roast, the chocolate the coffee but no one flavor really sticks out its a subtle blend of many.

I dont get the raisin plum flavors but I dont always get that in DM either only some bottles

 500 characters

Photo of RandyFlameThrower
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jfstilling
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jwswigs
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 5,201 ratings