Narwhal Imperial Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Narwhal Imperial StoutNarwhal Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.16/5
Exceptional
5,202 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:
#1,472
Reviews:
979
Ratings:
5,202
pDev:
9.38%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
339
Gots:
1,499
Trade:
35
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,202 |  Reviews: 979
Photo of dd43
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The barrel aged version of this beer is more complex, more interesting and overall my clear preference. That said, the base beer is nothing to sneeze at.

Pours inky black with a dark brown head. Big chocolate and roast notes on the aroma, as well as a rich molasses note. Flavors are the same for the most part. Alcohol is present, but actually doesn't come through quite as much as the 10% might lead you to believe. Mouthfeel is fairly creamy though this is more lively/carbonated than barrel narwhal. This beer can be warmed up to cellar temperature and it stays delicious, with the coffee character showing up more as it rises from the fridge like its namesake whale.

 673 characters

Photo of Spikester
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First time for the big bold stout. According to the stamped date it is about six weeks from bottling. Quite fresh.
The look is great with three fingers of foamy brown head that stays about ten minutes. Lacing is clumps and splotches so far. Smell is mostly sweet molasses some chocolate and coffee.
The taste is sweet molasses coffee a bit of dark chocolate from the bitterness of the hops. There is a whiff of booze but mostly when exhaling.
Mouthfeel is full and well carbonated. Finish is mostly sweet but long term finish is lightly dry and bitter.
Overall a bit sweeter than I like but it is an Imperial Stout. You can reform a head with just a few swirls of the liquid in the glass.

 691 characters

Photo of drews240
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of OldManMetal
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This stout is a well-nigh-impenetrable black with no highlights, capped by a brief-lived medium pebbly brown head that leaves nice rafts and splotches of lacing. The nose is moderate in intensity, predominately sweet molasses and cocoa with lesser alcohol overtones. The palate is more assertive than the nose: a very nice sweetish, complex, seamless blend of milk chocolate, molasses and chocolate ice cream with boozy overtones. The finish is quite boozy chocolate, followed by a moderately bitter coffee flavor that lingers for a few minutes, balancing the experience by countering the sweetish palate. The mouthfeel is commensurate with the full body, and warming from the alcohol; the texture is creamy, nicely sticky and a bit peppery for the style from some overenthusiastic carbonation. Narwhal is a rotating stout that is worth looking forward to. (12 oz bottle, 94 days after pkg)

 890 characters

Photo of Tilly
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: Nice deep dark black/brown pour, light brown frothy 1" head. Leaving very nice and typical of an IS
A: Dark roasted coffee, sweet bitter chocolate, roasted malt
T: Rich dark chocolate, roasted malt and coffee, berries, sligh hop.
M: A lot going on here. Well balanced, medium to bold, slight high alcohol, dry finish.
O: This is a very good IS from Sierra. Looking forward to the next one.

 392 characters

Photo of matty_higgins
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of walaguh
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of XsoldoutX
3.41/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of MikeM417
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JDW4195
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cubbyZilla
3.84/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TEdubbaD
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dripa8
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of BEER88
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of TomMorris
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SpaethJam
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of m_hetrick
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of zekeman17
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CharlesK
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Redgoatman
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SM00TH_H0PERAT0R
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Poured into snifter glass. The color is jet black with a rather thin, light tan head and minimal lacing. The smell features dark chocolate with a hint of dark fruit. The taste includes abundant dark fruit with burnt coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel. It's like a rich dessert. This stout has a rich, creamy mouthfeel and is very easy drinking notwithstanding its 10.2% ABV. Overall, it's a very good imperial stout. I particularly like the prevalent raisin and dark fruit. I'm a big fan of the barrel-aged version of Narwhal but the base stout does not disappoint. I don't think it's quite as good as Founders Imperial Stout, but it's excellent

 655 characters

Photo of billbeers
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 5,202 ratings