Narwhal Imperial Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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5,046 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:
5,046
Reviews:
932
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
9.64%
 
 
Wants:
331
Gots:
1,446
For Trade:
38
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,046 |  Reviews: 932
Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip. Purchased in Louisiana on a business trip...
Pours a deep black with about 1-2 inches tan froathy head. Slightly sweet belgian-like chocolate. Roasted malt is dominant though.
Taste is smooth but bitter roasted malts, some chocolate, and ever so slight smokey booze. No doubt this would age well, maybe mellow this out a bit. A bit bitter now, but still really nice stout. Although, compared to some "top" RIS, its not quite up to par. Still tastey, but not an RIS in my opinion. Maybe an American Stout is more suited to this brew.It just doesnt have the body and personality Ilike in a RIS.

 623 characters

Photo of braican
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of st9647v3
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Bunuelian
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tykechandler
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours black, little head, but with great lacing

S- malty, maybe some chocolate

T- boozy, with roasted malts, chocolate, tobacco. this beer is hot, with the slightest bit of a hop backbone. pretty intense shit.

M- feels so nice and thick. i love it.

O- nice, but pretty over-the-top. i am really glad i have another that i am aging. i have a feeling this will be just incredible in a year or two. it's good right now, but there's no way it doesn't get miles better.

 471 characters

Photo of arizcards
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Initial Review 1-12-13.
Picked up a 4 pack from Total Wine in mid November for $8.99. Bottled on day 279 (Oct 6).

Beer poured black as night with a very nice head upon initial pour-4.0.

Nose is not as good as hoped, hints of roasted malts, coffee, and cocoa-3.75.

Taste is definitely there, cocoa and coffee with the malt backbone with an ample dry hop that keeps the sweetness at bay-4.25.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth-4.0.

Overall this is a nice tasty beer. It is impressive that SNBC can continue to brew these large brews on the scale they do yet keep a very high quality-4.0.

Re-review 2012 version 9-12-15.

Bumping the score up to 4.25, 4, 4.25, 4.25, 4.25.
This brew has aged very nicely. Definitely smoother than when fresh. I need to pick up a 4 pack this season and try one each year. Cheers!

 821 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours pitch black with an enormous thick mocha colored head.

S- Roasted malt, chocolate malt, cocoa powder, bitter dark chocolate.

T- Very malty with roasty flavors coming through the most with chocolate malt. The middle to end has notes of bitter dark chocolate that lingers as an aftertaste. There is a noticeable hop bitterness in there as well, along with a slight coffee flavor.

M- Full bodied, heavy, but drinkable, medium carbonation, smooth and frothy.

O- I am actually surprised with how different this beer tastes than other RISs. Very complex combination of flavors that border on cluttered, but make it a unique offering.

 640 characters

Photo of wedge
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2012

Deep, dark black color with a lean tan head that drops to a luscious, creamy covering. Smells dark and malty...spicy fruit, licorice, molasses, and a slight oxidized/aged aroma in back. Somewhat rich, but definitely big and roasty malt flavor. Char, cocoa, espresso, and dark fruity esters. Again, a particular spiciness permeates the flavor along with a heavy bitterness in the finish. Booze is thankfully low, though there is an expected warming deep down in the throat. Big bodied and creamy, but dry. I liked this a bit more during the first half, but the bitterness is becoming a little distracting. A solid RIS that I think is worthy of aging a couple more bottles for longer to see what happens.

 708 characters

Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Chucker17
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of jfcaa193
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Sludgeman
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on Sept 22, 2012. A 12 ox bottle poured into a chalice.

A - Black opaque with a one-finger reddish brown head, which quickly disipates.

S - Coffee, whiskey and molasses.

T - Dark coffee, roasted malt, alcohol - too much, whiskey, some slightly smokiness, good bintterness - not excessive.

MF - Starts smooth but finishes a bit hot with lots of alcohol.

O - Balanced. Half a beer would be good for me. The true test is a full pour. Do you like the beer as much at the end as you did at the beginning? This beer did not pass that test.

 546 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of Jame515
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of jsh420
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of hophugger
2.98/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Nice deep chocolate brown that just doesn't want any light to peek through, nice!! Relatively light aroma, with maybe a hint of sweet chocolate malt coming through. Taste is bold with hints of bitter chocolate and a touch of sweet malts. I know that the ABV is high, but the mouthfeel is predominately alcohol, taking away I think a little from what I would imagine to be quite a spectacular flavor. Burns ever so slightly as it inches its way across the tongue and down the gullet. Overall, a pretty balanced with what I think is just a touch too much alcohol feel that slightly numbs the mouth...

 598 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 tom10101
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Whatup14
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bierman9
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a 4-pack of this yesterday at Ayottes ($9.49). Time for a little half-time libation...

Poured into a small DT tulip... It's a dense, opaque, deep brown colored bier. Head is a mocha hue, and is smooth and creamy but thins quickly. Lacing was on the light side. Aroma was mild, with some choco and a touch of coffee present. Loved the mouthfeel, as it was quite smooth and almost full-bodied, bordering on being chewy.

Flavor is lightly sweet, with some dark choco, mocha, roastiness and cocoa present. The latter reminds me a bit of a dry, powdery, teaspoon-full of Nestles cocoa mix. It's a bit bitter, but in a good manner, like semi-sweet dark-choco baking nibs. There's decent hopping in the finish, with floral action lingering in the dry finish. Pretty good, all in all...

Prosit!

4.05/5 rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1552

 881 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A case of this actually made it to Amsterdam. Picked it up at De Bierkoning.

From a bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2013

APPEARANCE: A dark brown, opaque pour yields a three finger, medium looking, creamy, tan head with excellent retention. Black body with no carbonation evident. Head fades to a full wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. A faint wisp and ring remain until the end leaving some nice lacing down the glass. Pretty good looking stout. Needs to be even blacker for top marks.

SMELL: Dark baker's chocolate, light coffee, cream, some caramel notes and roasted aromas on the nose. Tobacco in there, as well as some leather too. Could be bolder, but complex and interesting enough.

TASTE: Baker's chocolate again, caramel and leather up front, then a big, roasted coffee finish with some burnt and charred malts at the swallow. Bolder and lingering finish of roasted coffee bitterness, burnt and charred malts, leather, tobacco, and some light vanilla cream. Quite burnt and roasted, with lots of other complex flavors as well.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. A little light on the palate and too prickly for the style, but goes down okay and finishes somewhat mouth-coating. A bit of a burn at the swallow and a touch of heat lingers.

OVERALL: Pretty good stuff. Lots of burnt and charred notes with tobacco definitely give it a European tough. If you like this one, you'll probably like the stuff coming out of De Molen in Holland and various Danish breweries that deserve some praise. The feel is slightly lighter on this, which holds it back a bit. Fill that out and it would support the flavors that much more. Still, this is a solid effort worth checking out if you get the chance. If it were reasonably priced, I'd go back for seconds.

 1,790 characters

Photo of Hootie159
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Domvan
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of 2GOOFY
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Pearlstreetbrewingco
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 5,046 ratings.
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