Narwhal Imperial Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Narwhal Imperial StoutNarwhal Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,051 |  Reviews: 932
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.

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle 11/06/14 into a Big Eddy snifter, black with a minimal brown head with spotty lacing.
Aroma is coffee, roasted malt, chocolate and molasses.
Taste follows with a hint of raisin and dates.
Smooth, creamy mouthful, alcohol is well hidden.
A terrific beer from Sierra Nevada that IMHO improves as it ages. I had a 2016 bottle last night that was a bit "raw". I felt this was more well rounded.

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Photo of delta490
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an impenetrable black with a thin creamy light tan head with good retention. It leaves small, tight, slick lacing that slide down the glass for the most part. The aroma is bitter chocolate, roasted malts, and a little earthiness. The taste is much the same although the roasted malts dominate in the taste where the chocolate was more prominent in the aroma. The body is lighter, slick, and mostly smooth with both a little alcohol and carbonation tingle.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$ 60.00/case ($ 0.208/oz) at Frankin Beer, Franklin, PA
Bottle packaged 08/23/16, served at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter; allowed to warm to 50 degrees.
How can I have not reviewed Narwhal since it’s pretty much a stable in my reefer? Well, I guess, because I’m too busy enjoying it to analyze it. Here goes nothing!
Aroma – roasted malt and coffee
Head – large (Maximum 5.3 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, dense and creamy with a few rocks, slooowly diminishing to a two to three mm ring and thin layer with a slightly thicker island.
Lacing - none
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor – moderately sweet roasted malt and dark fruity taste similar to a quad. Some nuttiness is present. No trace of hops in either aroma or flavor. The 10.2 % ABV is totally hidden making this dangerously sessionable. No diacetyl is detected.
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation.

This is just an excellent beer if you like beers with flavor. If you like watery AALs, thank you! That means more Narwhal for me!

Appearance 4.5, Aroma 4.25, Flavor 5, Palate 4.25, Overall 4.5

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Photo of detroitpat
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MMOSNN
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - pretty much pitch black, a small mocha head with good retention and long legs at first but settles down to nothing.
Smell - I'm a big fan of the aroma on this; roasted malts, molasses, chocolate, alcohol, and I'm getting a nice note of raisins.
Taste - pretty much follows the nose with roasted malts, molasses, chocolate, and the alcohol is strong throughout.
Feel - medium body, good carbonation, but quite slick.

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Photo of gefinley
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Harrison8
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Narwhal pours pitch black with a thin fizzy caramel-colored head rising and falling rapidly. The pour was aggressive, turning the glass straight up after pouring about 1/3 of the bottle, yet the head yield was extremely low. Lacing forms in a dot here and there, but nothing extravagant. Aroma is delightful. It's dark, with notes of roasted, biscuit, and bread malts, caramel, and toffee all adding to a sugary, but flavorful aroma. Flavor profile is dark and rich as well. Notes of roasted, toasted, and biscuit malts give the beer a resounding darkness, with caramel, and toffee giving the beer some sugary complexity. Mouth feel is smooth, with some creaminess. Thickness overall is medium, with some particulate and graininess bolstering the feel. Overall, a great example of a imperial stout. Well rounded, with the only category really lacking being the look. It was a poor start to an otherwise exemplary imperial stout.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of Euroglot
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Jonterman
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Timtac
3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Lebowskied
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of Wcalhoun
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of JustinSparks
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JLK7299
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DrunkenMonk
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Nalid66
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Wontonst
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GrumpyGas
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass boasts a dark cherry brown body floating a mocha colored head.
There is a sweet chocolatey aroma, which I think is the baker's cocoa, and a hint of booze. Coffee joins in the flavor to add a subtle bitterness. Booze is nicely hidden in the taste, with some caramel, vanilla, and roasted malt. Deeply complex as it warms.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with just a touch of lingering grit. I blame the baker's chocolate, again.
A well done brew by a well run brewery.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I have seen this beer on-line and I have read other's reviews on it. I believe the hype...

The name of the beer itself is a bit of a turn-off for me - "Narwhal - a disgustingly weird looking sea creature out of a Jules Verne nightmare (if you ask me.) Anyway, this is anything but a dream of a beer, worthy of all the praise laid at its feet (or flippers). Though it has little head or lacing, it does have that gorgeous dark coloring indicative to stouts and with a scent hinting to its booziness and chocolaty taste. The mouthfeel is a perfect balance of carbonation, silky smoothness and a sweet aftertaste that surprised me and even held firm as the beer got warmer. The taste was all boozy, roasty, chocolaty and sweet (but in a good kinda way.) Though the name of this beer frightens me, I am one who will continue to see out this ocean beast for the delicious flavor it can provide from top to bottom. Great job Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of AustinWadkins
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark chocolate brown/black with a mocha head

Smells include chocolate, roasted coffee, roasted malts, hint of booze

Taste includes chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, dark fruits, sweet caramel, with a hint of vanilla

Overall I love this beer! Great balance with this one! Fantastic mouthfeel, and that abv is a sure win. I will deffinetly get another!

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Photo of mmorris15
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of EMH73
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a half inch tan head that left little lacing, Smells of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and a hint of vanilla, Tastes of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts with some nuttiness, dark fruits, some caramel sweetness and vanilla. Medium to heavy bodied, creamy mouth feel, lightly carbonated, and a bit on the dry side.

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Photo of tongbliss
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

On tap at Growler Grlz in Durham.

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