Narwhal Imperial Stout | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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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:
5,055
Reviews:
934
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: 5,055 |  Reviews: 934
Photo of smithj4
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of billab914
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1oz bottle poured into my Devil's Backbone glass. Pitch black in color with a thick foamy head filling the top inch of the glass. Nice retention and lacing as I drank it.

Aroma has dark, roasted malts mixing with milky chocolate. It's got a noticeable hop presence to it as well. The roasted malts bring a little bit of a coffee flavor with them as well. Nice aroma overall.

The taste also shows a good amount of hoppiness to it with some herbal and citrus notes present throughout. The dark, roasted malts are bold and bring more of a darker chocolate and coffee flavor out. A little sweet, milky chocolate in the finish along with a little alcohol.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being a little above average for the style. Overall, it's a very solid beer. It's a little hoppier than prefer in the style, but it comes together very well. The roasted malts were very bold, which really liked. Very nice beer overall.

 945 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of vfgccp
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of atrocity
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of russpowell
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet-black with 4 fingers of caramel colored head. Good lacing & average head retention

S: Roastyness & cocoa, some boozeyness, faint figgyness

T: Follows the nose, dark fruit as well, some charred grain & some booze rake across your tongue up front. Some coffee as this warms, a bit of carob & booze, plus some faint raisin, then a smattering of charred grain & roastyness, plus woody & herbal hops. Finishes dry, fruitty, with carob, roasty grains & the specter of ainise

MF: Fairly chewy with light carbonation, fairly warming. Carbonation perks up as this warms

A nice take on the style, I need to do a side by side with old Raspy, I don't this quite beats that , but kudos to Sierra Nevada for spreading its wings. Would buy again to be sure, a little less boozeyness would help the cause. Will age great I'm sure

 828 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $2.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

2013 Vintage.

Appearance: Slips out a black, viscous-looking body, though with only a very, very small, tan head.

Smell: An aroma choked with rich maltiness -- molasses, chilled espresso, chocolate, along with full notes of licorice sticks, plump raisins. Minor spiciness, slim smokiness.

Taste: Boldly roasty, espresso-laden, and heaping with melted, fine dark chocolate and thick molasses. Restrained sweetness, as it's tempered by the sharpness of the roasted malts, hops, and warming alcohol. Black licorice. Dark fruits. A little additional fruitiness attributed to the hops, slightly resiny. Reasonably dry on the smooth finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Big and beefy yet relatively balanced -- I liked it.

 818 characters

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

A: Pours a very deep black with some brown highlights on top. Small khaki colored head with minimal retention and sporadic lacing.

S: Lots of roasted malt, dark chocolate, a little bit of espresso. I can also pick out just a little bit of pine at the end.

T: Roasty malt up front, more dark chocolate, a little bit of mint in the middle mixed with some pine. Some licorice as well.

M: Medium to full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel, low carbonation. No sign of abv.

O: Pretty good imperial stout, easyish to drink, lots of nice stout flavor.

 548 characters

Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I had thought that I was finished with my recent Sierra Nevada horizontal, mainly centering around the Beer Camp Around the World 12-pack when several more bottles surfaced from within the depths of The Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody. I have a couple of these to drink & review & then I will e moving on yet again.

From the bottle: "Inspired by the mysterious creature that dwells in the deepest Arctic seas, Narwhal Imperial Stout is midnight black and bold with notes of baker's cocoa and dark roasted coffee. This massive imperial stout is incredibly complex and explores the darkest depths of malt flavor."

Today is T, 20 June 2017.

2016 bottle, PKGD 08/23/16: I Pop!ped the cap & commenced a very gentle pour into the awaiting glass. I then performed an in-glass swirl, but it did not raise much more than a brief finger of soapy, foamy, deep-brown head with low retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose had a rich dark chocolatiness along with a light charcoal smokiness. Mmm. Mouthfeel was medium, but thin for the style. The taste had the same bugaboo that I noticed in Bigfoot - too many hops, causing an unnecessary bitterness that marred the chocolaty, smoky flavors. Sure, I could taste the baker's chocolate & the dark roasted coffee, but I felt like I was fighting my way upstream in order to do so. Finish was dry, but was it due to the ABV, the use of hops in quantity, some other source or a combination of them? It was kind of tough for me to really enjoy this one, even with nearly a year in the bottle.

2014 bottle, PKGD 07/31/14: Having Pop!ped the cap, I restrained myself & went with another light, gentle pour. This time, however, the in-glass swirl raised a finger of deep-tan/light-brown head with decent retention. The color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), but its depth & inkiness seemed to have increased. They call it "midnight", but I think that it is "stygian". I had a girlfriend in La Maddalena, Sardinia back in 1985 whose eyes were equally dark, just pools of inky blackness. Aha! On the nose, the hops have faded and the roasted coffee is like the smell of the Mess Decks first thing after revile. Mmmm. Mouthfeel has been buttressed by time and is now at least creamy, approaching pudding thickness. The chocolate & coffee flavors are revealed as though by a magician! This is what I expected & wanted! Howzabout a Narwhal pudding pop? The alcohol burn was also gone, making it a rich, smooth, decadent delight. Jeeezuss! This is getting dangerous in terms of how easily it is going down. Time to hit the brakes & run an errand or two. Finish was semi-dry, more chocolaty than what it would take to be outright dry.

 2,701 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

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

Photo of mdfb79
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12/30/12 notes. Big thanks to BigSexy410 for giving me a bottle of this; don't think it has hit NYC yet and I've been wanting to try it. 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for a few minutes...looks fantastic.

s - Smells of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, vanilla, sweet chocolate, and some coffee. Nice nose, like it quite a bit. Nice nose amount of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts.

t - Tastes bitter chocolate, roasted malts, bitter coffee, espresso, vanilla, cream, toasted malts, burnt malts, some lightly sweet chocolate. Taste has more bitter chocolate and is lightly bitter overall.

m - Medium to full body more on the full side, and moderate carbonation. Body is pretty thick. No real heat to it.

o - Overall a really nice RIS; I love that it comes in 12 oz. bottles and would definitely buy a 4 pack of this if I saw it on the shelf. Loads of roasted notes and some bitter chocolate dominating the taste, it's quite nice and something I'd like to have again.

 1,095 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a De Struise snifter. 2012 bottle (duh).

Appearance - Murky in the pour. I bought it today, so maybe it was agitated, but still, shouldn't be that icky looking. A temporary brown head. Settles to the slightest of rings and not much else.

Smell - Roasty. Alcohol all over. Gives it a fruity aroma. Coffee roast most persistent, though.

Taste - Quite a bitter stout. Bitterness from start to finish. Coffee and deep roasted malts. Sweet molasses. The finish gets almost ashy in its roast. Like a tobacco flavor, I guess. That's the hip word to use. Alcohol bite in the finish with a licorice, raisin fruitiness.

Mouthfeel - Thick and chewy. It's boozy, but I like the alcohol in it. Really adds to the profile. Well carbonated.

Overall - Well, it's Sierra Nevada, so it's always going to be well-made. I might have to stock up on this the way I do Bigfoot. I could see myself getting a hankering for this in June when it's not on the shelves anymore.

 979 characters

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -3.6%

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

Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of TMoney2591
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tumbler.

Didn't see getting a taste of this tonight, but I'm sure as hell not gonna argue. It pours a straight onyx topped by over a finger of golden brown foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, dark coffee, earthy greens, and dark chocolate. The taste brings in more of the same, with some heavy bitterness being balanced by the depth and relative sweetness of the roast and the chocolate. The body is a light heavy, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a very nice, bold stout. It reminds me a lot of Ten Fidy, only drier, less creamy. Good times.

 594 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 5,055 ratings.
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