Narwhal Imperial Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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93
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5,052 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:
5,052
Reviews:
932
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
9.64%
 
 
Wants:
331
Gots:
1,445
For Trade:
36
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,052 |  Reviews: 932
Photo of dcmchew
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ccg
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Narwhal looks dense. There is a rather fizzy head that fades quickly, leaving the beer looking somewhat flat.
The smell is dark, roasted malt, of course, but I'm also smelling something salty, like brine. Also, a bit of licorice in the background.
The flavor follows pretty close. It's not quite as bitter as I expected after smelling it. Hops and malt are well balanced. There's still a sort of brine flavor in background along with some licorice.
For it feel, there's some oiliness, medium body, and very mild carbonation.
It's a well-rounded stout, and worth trying if you enjoy stouts. Personally, I prefer Yeti and Ten Fidy, but I think it comes down to preferences in flavor profile.

 689 characters

Photo of princessbay710
4.84/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very reminess of the recent Divine Reserve 17 by St. Arnolds. Basically a rich cocoa stout with some java undertones. Pour is dark black with dark milk chocolate foam. Taste is much bolder than it's smells and shockingly covers it's 10.20% well enough to convince anyone that it's a malty - milk drink. Love it!

 311 characters

Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Yeahhh! Got my hands on a pretty cheap, 5 month old 4-pack of Narwhal by the beloved Sierra Nevada. Just recently had a wonderful Divine Reserve 17 by St. Arnold, and lo and behold my favorite Texas brewery just happened to be doing a collaboration with one of my favorite U.S. breweries of all time.

That isn't this beer of course, but I've been waiting for the chance to grab a big beer (especially a good stout) and also a Sierra Nevada beer, this absolutely blew me away, just like the latest Divine Reserve. Killing two birds with one stone.

Midnight black color with a creamy brown head. Luscious lacing fills the walls around the glass. Pinky head maintained for 10 minutes. Roasted malt smell, a little less smelly then I'd have thought it would be but very clean just like SN is known for.

Nice refreshing, wet mouth full of awesome beer. Straight up malty cocoa and a bit of coffee give this strong beer most of its legs. No alcohol present at all which is pretty crazy considering it has as much as some wines do. A little bit of hops, earthy perhaps? Maybe it's just the roasted biscuit from the malt. Really fresh tasting even 5 months after being brewed

Great pair with pizza and tater tots haha. (What doesn't go good with pizza and tater tots?) I don't mind paying for just a four pack when the alcohol is this high. Plenty of bang for your buck and the beer is on top of its game with the best of the style. Will definitely drink this one again. Love it.

 1,476 characters

Photo of Bum4ever
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

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.

 465 characters

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.

 411 characters

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.

 463 characters

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

 1,102 characters

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.

 425 characters

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.

 956 characters

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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Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 5,052 ratings.
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