Narwhal Imperial Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
5,058 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:
5,058
Reviews:
936
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
9.64%
 
 
Wants:
333
Gots:
1,443
For Trade:
36
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,058 |  Reviews: 936
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of oldvines
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of KYGunner
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Narwhal pours with a deep, black beautiful body that was topped with a dense, creamy froth.

Gorgeous scents of cocoa, light coffee, marshmallow creamy sweetness and hints of malty Graham cracker all waft gently to the nose.

The flavor really showcases the strong malt base with a steep charred grain profile. The char brings out the coffee and cocoa qualities. These malts also bring out a strong Graham cracker dryness. It is better served warmer as the booziness comes out in the cold.

The feel is moderately thick upon first sip but swallows with a touch of abrasive carbonation. There's an easy warmth from the strong alcohol character but it is tempered as it warms.

Narwhal proves itself as a quality stout with a begging for barrel aging.

 749 characters

Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with a small coffee colored head. Aromas and flavors are a complex mosaic of bitter chocolates, roast coffee, molasses, and a hint of alcohol. For the style, this is spot on. And it ages wonderfully.

 219 characters

Photo of jheezee
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of sirsteve42
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of yeaprolly
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of DaPan
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of mikepcarney
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of jaymo18
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Beaver13
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours inky black with a big creamy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet roasted grains, chocolate, and some black licorice.

The flavor is some sweet lactic chocolate quickly followed by a big roast bitterness, some black licorice and a little dark fruit and coffee. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a solid imperial stout.

 408 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: ½ pint glass
From: VONS in Big Bear City, Calif.
Price: $9.99 for a 4-pack w/ VONS membership card
Purchased: Sept. 13, 2013
Consumed: Sept. 13, 2013
Misc.: 2013 batch

Poured a pitch black color with 1-to-2 fingers of almost still tan head, that dissipated rather quickly. Even a bit purple in the color there. Some sporadic spots of lacing, but well below average. Minimal retention on the top on the way down.

Smelled a deep liquor up front, like an Irish whiskey or something similar. Also molasses, dark cocoa, maple syrup, toffee, caramel and rum. Could smell the strong alcohol for sure.

Tasted dark cocoa, cocoa, chocolate milk, molasses, toffee, caramel, Irish Whiskey and rum. So basically like the smell, but smoother. Alcohol was well hidden, unlike the smell.

Medium-to-full body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Soft carbonation. Long, smooth finish.

I was slightly disappointed in the Narwhal. Whether you consider it a Russian Imperial Stout (Beer Advocate), an Imperial Stout (Sierra Nevada and Rate Beer), neither lived up to what I was expecting.

 1,094 characters

Photo of mhaugo
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of LehighAce06
4/5  rDev -3.6%

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

The beer pours a decent foamy and tan head that dissipates quickly. The beer leaves some rather nice lacing around the glass. The beer itself is more of a really dark brown that borders on black instead of an actual black color or at least a black color with really dark brown notes.

The beer smell has unusually strong toffee notes for an imperial stouts. The beer has the usual light, bitter hops and roasted malt with dark chocolate smell. However, the roasted malt notes are fairly light and the toffee notes from the malt are front and center, which pulls the other notes together. The smell also has a very light alcohol note and licorice notes.

The beer taste is more roasted and more chocolatey than the smell. The licorice taste is very slight while the toffee taste is still fairly prominent. There is no real alcohol taste. The hops add a very interesting flavor to the mix. The hops give the beer a nice, underlying bitterness but it also enhances the fruitiness of the taste that follows it into the aftertaste.When the beer warms up a little, the beer has a nice toffeeish with dark chooclat taste that comes out very well.

The mouthfeel is heavy bodied with a little carbonation. However, the beer itself is very smooth and goes down very easily compared to other imperial stouts.

Overall, a very good imperial stout and worth getting when it's available. The taste is more complex and certainly different from other stouts because of the greater focus on the toffee flavor as opposed to the roasty and chocolate flavors that most other stouts have. I would definitely recommend picking this up when you can.

 1,627 characters

Photo of Jamison85
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of ElGallo
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of mrebeka
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of ummswimmin
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review was from notes. I had this beer with the last night of my trip.

I really enjoyed the three fingers of thick tan head. The coloring is extremely dark black.

The nose on this one is surprisingly minimal. The flavor contrasts as very powerful. The coffee presence is really good. You also get really good malt and a touch of light hopping. There is evern a little bit of creaminess on this one. There is also some decent venous (alcohol) quality on this beer.

I felt like this worked out as a very good sipper in the evening. I would like to get more bottles for aging.

 582 characters

Photo of RichH55
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

A: Dark brown opaque with slight red tinge when held to the light. 1 finger tan or chocolate milk colour head.

S: Banana, fruity, malty, dark, creamy, alcohol, typical Imperial Stout like.

T: Smooth, creamy, floral, banana, balanced with coffee, sweetened espresso, toasted malts

M: Bready, syurypy thick body, heavy foamy carbonation.

O: Really good, really balanced, sweet and malty, floral and fruity. Up to par with others, yet feels that I had this one before. It’s a little similar to the others. Worth a try and well crafted. 8.9 out of 10. By itself or with dark chocolate.

 595 characters

Photo of IckyT2012
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JohnnieNepal
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Drknight
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 5,058 ratings.
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