Narwhal Imperial Stout - Barrel Aged | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Narwhal Imperial Stout - Barrel AgedNarwhal Imperial Stout - Barrel Aged
BA SCORE
4.33/5
Outstanding
1,884 Ratings
Narwhal Imperial Stout - Barrel AgedNarwhal Imperial Stout - Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierranevada.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This deliciously dark treat is our bold Narwhal Imperial Stout aged in oak Kentucky bourbon barrels. Black as midnight, this intense stout is incredibly complex with notes of dark chocolate, rich roasted grains, and espresso seamlessly blended with hints of vanilla and toasted coconut with a slight touch of honey from aging in the oak spirit casks. Nearly as rare as its nautical namesake, try it out while you can because, like the creature itself, it will disappear into the blackness soon and leave nary a trace behind.

Additional Info:
Narwhal was aged for 8 months in fresh bourbon barrels (a combination of Willett single barrel, Heaven Hill and various Beam brands).

ABV: 12.9
IBU’s: 62
Bittering Hops: Challenger
Malts: Two-row Pale, Caramel, Chocolate, Honey, Carafa III, Roasted Barley

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-11-2013

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#733
Reviews:
290
Ratings:
1,884
pDev:
8.31%
 
 
Wants:
285
Gots:
905
Trade:
106
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,884 |  Reviews: 290
Photo of tittyfish
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BigSteve79
4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of EMV
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 iteration poured from a cork'n'cage bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Inky black pour with 1 solid finger of brownish tan head. Falls quickly... nice ring of lacing.

S: Char and sweets... cocoa, coffee, vanilla, and booze.

T/F: Follows the nose. Strong roast character, with charred grains, burned sugars, bitter espresso, and dark chocolate. Bourbon is strongly present with oak and vanilla.. a bit boozy... sweetness to go with the harsh roast. Baked raisin and dark fruit underneath. Smooth bodied... the finish is creamy with more vanilla and roast character.

O: A pretty outstanding big bourbon barrel aged Stout. Great flavor, and at 3 years old still pretty 'hot' so to speak. Lots of things going on... and one to let warm up and sip awhile.

 771 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of addiwilliams
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of paulish
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Skillz
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TheCrowsEye
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of grapeshops
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Eychung
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of beergoot
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Anthracite coal black body; thin yet lasting light tan head; sheets of foam clinging to the glass sides. Dark roasted grain aroma; slightly sweet; a tad smokey. Deep, rich chocolate flavor; a fine bitterness filtering underneath. Heavy and silky mouthfeel.

A beautiful RIS, smooth, sweet, luscious. The high ABV is well-hidden and the deep, rich malt sweetness coats and satisfies the palate throughout the tasting experience. An exceptional dark ale...

 454 characters

Photo of Richie_C_Johnson
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of T-34-85
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of FFreak
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aged bottle poured into a tulip. Appearance is a typical big imperial stout, but with no head at all, even with a forceful pour trying to get some bubbles. Smell is really nice, with roast malt, chocolate, bourbon and sugar. Taste is also very nice, but completely flat. No froth, bubbles, ring, nothing. Feel is medium-thick, but not overly viscous or sweet. Overall, not sure if my cork was compromised. I didn't detect oxidation, but the beer was completely flat. Otherwise a very tasty BA stout.

 507 characters

Photo of Akeah
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BlueKurenai
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Duncian
4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ScubaLeon
4.86/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of SABERG
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2015 bottle into the test glass.
A - Color of a block of bakers chocolate, refined carbonation feeds a fine cap of tiny mocha spheres, lacing is formed then traces fall to liquid level.
S - Fig, cocoa, hint of mint, likely from the alcohol rising, nice touch. A very refined thread of chocolate malts , blends well with a delightful earthy element, The barrel ads the usual suspects but in fine balanced fashion, a bit of vanilla, and kiss of toffee.
M - A hefty body, with a slick initial coating, then a nice bitterness runs through changing it all. Lingering flavors include a bit of smokey bourbon and barrel char.
O - 2015 was a good year indeed, the resting seems to have smoothed this out. The bitterness level is a touch high, not off putting. The offering is a treasure and a great way to sip the afternoon away.

 835 characters

Photo of aztraz
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of WheelsPSU
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Muss42
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I guess we're doing barrel aged stout beers today. Could have sworn I did this review before, but with all the duplicate content on here, entirely possible.

Pours a black and hearty pour with a tan head,nearly 1" in depth. Great looking beer, Sierra Nevada delivering as usual in that department. Aroma hits the dark roasted malt and bourbon notes well. Not the heaviest bourbon aroma, but it feels like a decent amount of time.

Taste stays away from dark fruit notes and comes off more American than Russian, plenty of thickness and heft from the chocolate malt. Bitterness is up there, usual C hop SN hopping here, would guess 80ibu. Nice melded bourbon notes. Pretty smooth despite the high ibu level. Slight coffee notes from that dark roasted malt. Its a real good beer that is relatively available and affordable. Honey and caramel malts bring the mouthfeel into decadent territory and contribute to that aforementioned smoothness.

Beers like this make trading for barrel aged stouts dumb.

 1,013 characters

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Narwhal Imperial Stout - Barrel Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 1,884 ratings