Narwhal Imperial Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Narwhal Imperial StoutNarwhal Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.16/5
5,094 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by JohnGalt1 on 10-14-2012

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,328
Reviews:
952
Ratings:
5,094
pDev:
9.62%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
335
Gots:
1,466
Trade:
36
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,094 |  Reviews: 952
Photo of BigGold
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Still not available in central Mississippi, finally had Narwhal at the Beerhive Pub, Salt Lake City, Utah, poured from 12-oz. bottle, stamped "PKGD 08/10/2015," into thick-walled tumbler. It was not worth the wait, but only because I hate waiting for beer.

 257 characters

Photo of Jerk_Store
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JOHNKNEEGEEZ
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Ericsepesy
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Good stout

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Photo of thebooyakid
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of eml0690
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ezra_shroomer
4.74/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Dingbat1477
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Guitarjake85
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Hell yeah, great RIS. Bottle dated 08/05/15. Six months later it's doing awesome. I would buy this again, a Top Ten RIS for me.

127 characters

Photo of Czarkazm
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage. A muddy coca-cola brown color on the pour. In the glass, the body is black, nearly opaque, with just a tint of light shining through along the edges. The head disappears quickly from a creamy looking light brown to a thin tan film. A little bit of age turns this one into quite a complex stout. Getting strong licorice notes in the smell up front, along with bitter dark chocolate, molasses, burnt brown sugar, heavily roasted malts, prune juice, coffee beans, and vanilla. Full mouth feel, silky texture, well balanced. The flavor is more roasty, dark malts, charred caramel, bittersweet chocolate, espresso, wood earthiness, slight stale hop bitterness, and a touch of booze. Don't remember it being this good.

 734 characters

Photo of papposilenus
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of stompilator
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours an opaque, jet black, cinnamon-colored head.

S - Baker's chocolate, olives, coffee, roast.

T - Starts with an explosion of chocolate malt notes, sweet cocoa flavors but not cloying. A slight umami "soy sauce" taste subtly swims underneath. A gentle roastiness finds its home in the mid-palate. The slightest hint of dark berries is present later in the palate, along with a light booziness. Finish is roasty, slightly bitter, and chocolatey.

M - Full-bodied, slightly less thick than many comparable stouts. No bitterness or dryness, but not syrupy or cloying.

O - Sierra Nevada are no doubt the kings of balance. Chocolatey and just sweet enough, and has every nuance of a good imperial stout somewhere.

 762 characters

Photo of ryand14
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GreatStoutman
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottle pours black with lively, deep khaki head. Leaves no lacing.

Smell is sweet malts, cocoa and bitter coffee. Taste follows, in that order, with a thick body. Nice and chewy.

Overall, this is a really smooth drinking RIS with almost perfect balance and an excellent layer of flavors. No heat, but a hint of the booze toward the close.

 345 characters

Photo of Billydoughnuts
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AngEo
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of raindog814
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Ursie
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kalosjakar
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ink black with a mocha head which dissipated rather quickly.

Aroma: Coffee up front, roasted malts next, bit of chocolate, toffee.

Rotating the glass the beer is sticking to the edges with the mocha color the head was.

Taste: roasted malt overtakes the coffee in terms of flavor, but its still there. A balanced sweetness/bitter sweetness in every sip.

 356 characters

Photo of briancregg101
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JeanJacketLover
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beercam
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Visually I find this beer very engaging. To me, the Narwhal Imperial Stout aesthetic is incredibly personal, pleasing, and successful, with its exciting cetacean depiction and stylish black and white font and design. The charcoal-black pallor of this beer, when poured, proudly champions its own incomprehensibly deep, immutable, inner nature of modified sugars and transported starches, borrowed flavors and inherited tannins, all warped in a working world of yeast, a classic look for the strongest stout-porters of yore. A 12 oz bottle, capped in Nov. 15, yields an oceanic inch of sluffy, even brown foam as it's swiftly poured into a weathered 16 oz Fremont can-glass. The aroma is incredible, and will be described out of order shortly. Moving to taste, there is a harmonious fruitiness in this imperial stout; something many in the imperial category contend for yet very few achieve. Yet in addition to this dark, syrupy, imperious figginess comes an extremely defined and refined hop topography; a loud statement of aromatic, piney bitterness, potentially a result of the bold addition of Challenger hops, reportedly added late in the boil. The flavor here is really far out there, and especially the smell. But it truly comes as no surprise nor small victory that Sierra Nevada can offer such a triumphant brew. I'd like to add as an aside that flavor wise, what comes to mind as a rival could very well be Old Rasputin from North Coast. I'd love to see these two compared neck and neck. These are some top beers here folks. But, anyway, to get back on track, the secret method to the Narwhal's supreme taste here, in my opinion, is its enlightened, sleepy windows into flavors of coffee and chocolate, which themselves play back into and throughout the beer remarkably and extensively, finishing with whispers of smoke. Super masterful flavors, definitely buoyed by the look and smell. If someone were to mistake this for a Russian, I would pardon them. The feel here is good. It's not absolutely amazing, It's pretty good, solid. More descriptively, the feel itself is kind of sour, in a way, and has more of a tartness than oatmeal. With that said, wow, it's sturdy from tip to tummy, it's feel only improves with time elapsed from the sip. In other words, it has an exceptional aftertaste.

This is a successfully fruity Imperial Stout.With it's high abv and sweetness, one could fairly get away with calling it Russian. This beer is not hard to drink. Good people make this beer. Try it with an open heart, and see if it's for you. I am very impressed.

Overall: Pour this one stiff, folks, and enjoy.

 2,618 characters

Photo of steverx8
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lpothier
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bluehende
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 5,094 ratings
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