Barrel-Aged Narwhal
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Barrel-Aged NarwhalBarrel-Aged Narwhal
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #29
Ranked #537
4.35 | pDev: 8.51%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Barrel-Aged NarwhalBarrel-Aged Narwhal
Notes: 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
Reviews: 297 | Ratings: 1,906 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by MisfitIK-9:
Photo of MisfitIK-9
4.48/5  rDev +3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of B33rN3rd
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was on an Arctic adventure, searching for something new. I had heard there were Narwhals to be seen, but actually doing that was only granted to a select few. So we set out into the smashing waves and blustery wind and on the tenth day, we saw her in all her glory. With her beautiful dark flesh she set off frothy, chocolatey waves as she splashed and turned. I'll have to admit she didn't smell like much on the first sight, but when we snagged her and pulled her into the boat, and she was allowed to warm in the sun, hints of sweet toffee and earthly barrel rang through. We thanked her for letting us see her in the wild, and asked her to dine with us. She did, and with notes of vanilla, espresso, and coconut, she was absolutely decadent. Of course she wooed us with class. However, there was just enough hoppy bitterness undertone to let us know she had seen a thing or two in the ocean. She was of the 2015 vintage, and hiding under the waves for almost 8 months had done her well. We made a friend that day, and even though we released her back into the wild, we told her we'd be back to see her again, year after year.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #900! Only 100 more reviews till I get a free sub and perhaps a captains hat (Seinfeld reference). So what better way to go out than with this barrel aged version of one of my favourite Russian Imperial Stouts: Sierra Nevada Narwhal. I review a lot of Sierra Nevada brews, and they rarely disappoint (except for Otra Vez of course), so I really wanted to save something special for #900 and it had to be something BIG [Bearing Immense Gusto], and dark, and barrel aged - well looks like we’ve found ourselves a tasty... and no I’m not going to attempt to drink the entire bottle tonight... 750mls of obsidian nectar of the Gods in our good friend Narwhal - really, really looking forward to this - is perhaps an understatement.

Poured from a 750ml corked & caged bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Black like the inkiest depths of the vacuum of space with a thin tan ring that does little to offset the terror to be found in this dark murky soup. Less impressive beers abound freely in comparison to this Goliath. 9/10.

S: The aroma: Inescapable - a rich melange of sweet bourbon whiskey, dark fruits, molasses, a woody/oaky note, chicory, licorice, and cacao nibs. “Get down on your knees and pay me respect now” - Barrel Aged Narwhal Imperial Stout 2015. This aroma is scary assertive. 9/10.

T: Maybe it’s the 2 yrs age on it but this is nothing near as powerful as I expected from the aroma. First sip is a bit of a bourbon nip with a slight burn, dark fruits (raisin, plum) and the molasses/oaky note. Second sip comes in and dumps chicory, licorice and a raw espresso character. Aftertaste comes in with a touch of medicinal herb and espresso bitterness. 9/10.

M: Feels less viscous and heavy than regular Narwhal - which is a surprise I wasn’t even expecting! Mid to heavy bodied with a thin carbonation. 8/10.

D: It’s overall civilized, but at 12.9% ABV one gets the feeling that maybe “it’s a little too much”. Too much ABV, too much flavour going on - it’s not as good as regular Narwhal in that respect, regular Narwhal had more balance. So yeah, what I’m trying to say is that I would actually take a regular Narwhal over this, and that feels a bit of an odd statement from me - shouldn’t barrel aging make a regular beer better??? In the case of Narwhal for me the answer is a slightly perplexed “no”. Oy vey I’ve got a lot of barrel aged Narwhal to drink now... I’ve never been so daunted by a 750ml bottle of beer in my life... I need beer friends. 8/10.

Food match: I had cigars on regular Narwhal and it’s even more relevant here.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Corked and caged 750mL bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 22.99. Bottled 10/14/14. Served in a Barrel and Barley teku.

Pours midnight black with a two and a half finger cap of dense, pale tan head. The froth slowly settles to a thin ring that leaves some nice patches of lace.

Sweet, rich, inviting smells of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, burnt oak, coffee and caramel with a hint of the fairly formidable alcohol in the background. Quite nice.

Flavors are bold, rich and ocassionally bordering on hot. Dark chocolate fudge, bourbon, charred oak, vanilla, heavily roasted malts, burnt caramel, espresso, faint coconut, marshmallow, vague dark fruits and a nice blanket of booze over it all. Despite the name, this seems like a different stout than the base beer. Significantly sweeter with almost none of the anise that I recall being so prevalent. An outstanding blend of imperial stout and barrel character that goes down with an ease that belies it's near-13% abv.

Sludgy, heavy, creamy feel with an interesting, lethargic seeming carbonation. That may not read as a compliment but the mouthfeel is almost perfect for an imperial stout. Bittersweet dark fudge, bourbon and sweet barrel linger in the finish.

I remember thinking Narwhal had some real potential when I first tried it two years ago and that potential is fully realized in this barrel aged version. The barrel smooths out the flavors, adds a wonderfully sweet complexity and seems to have thickened it beautifully. This beer came out of left field and surpassed my expectations, which is a rare occurrence these days. Yes this is a tad pricey but Barrel Aged Narwhal is a benchmark example of what a barrel aged imperial stout can be and possibly the best beer I've had from the craft veterans at Sierra Nevada. Seriously- try this if you can!

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Photo of maximum12
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my beautiful wife for hunting this one down at an obscure liquor store near her work after I missed out on it. Big 750ML bottle which, I suppose, I really must split with said significant other. Sampled right after the regular old version…which kicks ass. I have high hopes.

The pour is black. Real black. Black black. Black. Carbonation is even lower than in the version that never kissed a barrel. Baby Narwhal appears to have been drowned in a barrel, because the base beer has gone away. Smells of barrel, vanilla, with a faint, perhaps imagined grain of malts.

Narwhal – Barrel Aged tastes like Narwhal that’s been stuck in a barrel. There’s a lovely shot of vanilla on top of the beer, & a low-slung murmur of bourbon with a Kenny Wayne Sheppard riff. Plenty of oak listing against my tongue, lightly roasted, lightly chocolated. Silky & smoother than the pilot episode. I could drink this again. Now. Or later.

Honestly not all that different from the base beer, but interesting to have them front-to-back. The barrel is light but inviting & adds a touch of class to a beer that was in class, in a class, classless. What the fuck. I shouldn’t drink so much. Excellent brew.

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Photo of corby112
4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black and completely opaque without a trace of lighter color when held to a light source. Two finger frothy beige head that quickly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Impressive retention for style and ABV lingering for most of the pour. Streaks of soapy lace are left clinging to the glass.

Intense aroma with strong barrel character nicely integrated into the complex malt bill of the base. Prominent oak stave presence but not overly charred or burnt. Spicy spirit with deeply toasted coconut, silky mallow and vanilla bean sweetness. Underneath, there's a nice balance of roast and lighter dark malt sweetness. Robust dark malts with lightly charred toast, light smoke, gourmet coffee bean and bitter dark chocolate. This is nicely countered by decadent dessert-like sweetness. Silky, luscious chocolate cake, caramel Samoa cookie, mounds bar, toffee and tootsie roll. Very complex yet well balanced and inviting.

Full chewy and viscous mouthfeel with a prominent barrel presence that's nicely integrated into the robust roast and lighter malt sweetness of the base beer. More oak than I usually prefer but it's really nice here complimenting the deeply roasted dark malt flavors. Dry deeply charred oak stave with strong spicy bourbon flavor. Awesome spirit spirit presence without much heat. Toasted coconut and subtle vanilla/mallow sweetness that opens as it warns. These flavors along with the sweeter dark malt notes really bring out the mounds bar/German chocolate cake/Samoa cookie dessert-like flavors. Underneath the barrel, there's some deeply roasted dark malt flavor with burnt toast, oatmeal, bitter dark cacao and gourmet coffee/espresso giving off hints of dark fruit and roasted nut. The roasted flavors are perfectly countered by silky dessert like sweetness. Hints of bakers chocolate, flourless chocolate cake, fudgey molten lava cake, caramel, hazelnut and delicate vinous dark fruits. Just a really great complex and well balanced BA stout with a near invisible ABV making it deceptively drinkable.

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Photo of RAlmeida77
3.03/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

VERY underwhelmed by this one. Bourbon aroma and flavor was lacking for me. I like more of a bourbon presence. Also found it to be very thin for an imperial stout with an ABV like this. I really like thick drinking stouts. Disappointed.

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.32/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured in a wine glass.

Pitch black with a nice finger of foam on top. Head retention and lace are impressive.

Smells of butterscotch, booze, and oak. Some soy sauce. A bit astringent. Not off to a good start.

Luckily the taste is much better, booze and astringent fragrances aren't as prevalent. Hints of chocolate and vanilla. Still some butterscotch, and some mineral, and earth booziness, reminiscent of tequila (and yes that's in a bad way).

Mouthfeel is a little thinner than expected. Still fairly sticky, and low carbonation.

Disappointing overall. A lot of bad flavors that better barrel aged imperial stouts don'e exhibit. Let it warm and breath some. It helps, but not enough.

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Photo of ajz132
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a Jester King teku glass. ~12 oz poured initially. Date was smudged on the bottle and not legible.

A - This beer is bllllllacckkkkk - as dark as the depths of the water that its mastadonic namesake dives to many times a day. 2 fingers of frothy, mocha-colored head quickly receded to one and none after the beer sat for just a few seconds. Lacing consists of many small bubbles that quickly disappear.

N - The aroma on this beer is delightful and complex - that of a high end dessert establishment. The bourbon notes are the first thing that your nose grabs, but notes of dark chocolate, vanilla bean, and espresso are present as well.

T - When the beer is still cold (~50 F), the bourbon flavors are the first thing that you get and remain throughout the sipping of the beer, with some trailing coffee flavors. As the beer warms up, there are pronounced flavors of chocolate when the beer first hits the tongue, melding well with the bourbon flavors you pick up in the middle, and finishing with lingering espresso. The taste is quite good, but the wonderful sweetness that I look for in GREAT BA stouts is just not there.

M - For being a 12.9% monster, the mouthfeel on this beer is not as huge as it could be. While it is obviously no session beer, it is quite drinkable. It does, however, drink a little bit "hot" even when it has warmed up. I don't know if it has to do with the barrels that were used or just what, but the booziness is more pronounced than in the "elite" BA stouts.

O - This beer is no question a GREAT one. I certainly wouldn't let it sit on a table and not drink it, regardless of circumstances. That being said - it is not in the same class as the other world-class BA stouts that we all love, even though it has a similar price tag.

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Photo of Gr8Stouts
4.77/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Buy it! Worth the price. Top 5 Imperial Stouts

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Photo of K-Dog
3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Got 2 bottles last year for 19.99 a piece. Drank fresh and was a little dissapointed. Thought aging a year might help but pretty much the same. Not enough bourbon present. As it warmed it did get better. I noticed a bitter chocolate taste along with some vanilla. It's not that is a bad beer I just think it's a little overrated and pricey. There are better choices for the style. Still worth ting at least once.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black and viscous with a foamy dark tan head that caps the surface. Mild lacing. Smells of bourbon, oak, vanilla, roasted coffee, charred bread, and burnt sugar. Taste follows with a touch of nuttiness. Was a bit surprised to find this a bit dry and hot from the booze especially as it warmed. There was still plenty of syrupy richness but really finished dry. Overall, this was an excellent BA Imperial Stout, and aging it this last year and a half seemed to work out quite well for me. Cheers!

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.45/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. The pour is very dark, perhaps not quite black, and sports an impressive bloom for a barrel-aged beer. The nose has lots of chocolate and dark fruit as well as hints of oak, vanilla, and some smoke.

Full body, fairly firm feel, and lots of great flavor. The dark fruit on the nose turns out to be nothing more than a tease, but there's a lot to like here. Toasted oak, vanilla, toffee, and chocolate do battle up front while at mid-palate the warming bourbon-laced booziness adds richness to an already rich flavor. Lots of bittersweet chocolate rushes in on the finish, which leaves lingering chocolate and toasted oak behind. Try to imagine a toasted almond dipped in bourbon and covered in dark chocolate and you get the idea. Quite drinkable for such a strong beer. Excellent sipper on a chilly January evening.

A lot of breweries make bourbon barrel aged stouts. Not many make them this delightful. This is another beautiful beer from Sierra Nevada. It reminds me a lot of Bell's Black Note Stout, only with a slightly thinner feel and a bit better nose. Pricey at about $20 per bottle, but very high quality. Buy with confidence.

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Photo of mig100
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great across the board. Specifically... the intense, rich and overwhelming milk chocolate, vanilla and toasted coconut flavors, as well as the chewy, slightly oaky, creamy feel that coats and envelopes your palate as the flavors linger. Maybe not as much barrel as some would like, but it's there, just subtle.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

we are approaching perfect with this one, and beer rarely ever does for me. this is extraordinary, and absolutely delicious. i am amazed how the barrel mellows the base beer, but how the unique flavors of narwhal come through the bourbon is incredible, not covered up by whiskey but enhanced by it. there has always been a little vanilla finish to the base beer, and that really comes out on the nose of this one, along with bakers chocolate, melting fudge, honey, and vibrant oak. there is the vanilla and chocolate complexion in the flavor too, but theres also a whole lot more, the coffee notes of the malt, and a burning dessert bread sort of thing, followed by moderate raw sweetness and just a tickle of alcohol. i do get a little coconut when i look for it, but there is a different kind of nuttiness here, more of an almond thing, almost creamy with the earthy side, works so well with the heavy bourbon flavors the beer finishes with. texture is amazing too, viscous but not syrupy, palate coating but not teeth rotting, and hearty but not filling, its a mix of sensations not usually associated with the style. this may well be my favorite barrel aged stout right now, and is certainly the beer of 2015 for me here in the early going. wow, go find this one and open it immediately, no need for cellaring at all its ready to rip!

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Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2015 edition.Pours jet black with a stiff half finger deep beige head atop that never really settles.Caramel and butteriness to go along with bourbon and chocolate notes in the nose.Just full and smooth in the feel department,alot of richness.The richness is prevalent on the palate as well,rich vanilal and butter notes from the barrel to go along with chocolate and dark fruit,not much roast wich is good it might intrude on the softer flavors.It's damn good,the alcohol creeps a little packing some heat after awhile,but the feel and the flavors are top notch.

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Photo of von_kaiser
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

purchased last years (2014) only to let sit. purchased 3 of this years (2015) to finally try and then age. this is drinking wonderfully now and can only imagine how much better time will add to it. grab this without hesititation if you're a fan of the style and grab a few more to let sit.

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

enjoyed side by side with a 2014 narwhal from sierra nevada 30th anni globe snifter.

a - brew pours a rich shiny silky black. great shine nice frothy offwhite head. great lace, esp for a BA brew. looks like the base, but the BA has bigger lace.

s - nose is exactly ad advertised...a big woody bourbon glazing over the nice roasted chocolate notes of the base.

t/m/o - really well balanced BA stout. has all the robust chocolate roast and chewy body of the original with a really nice glaze of woody bourbon. the barrel takes some of the extremeness of the roast of the base and sits it in the back seat. an improvement to an already tasty beer. the barrel aging really takes it to another level. very good, easy drinking and worth checking out.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly powerful, yet full of grace- Sierra Nevada's Barrel-Aged Narwahl is woven into a seamless bourbon cocoon. And with wine-like tones, the Stout is so much more than just roast and booze.

As the beer is delivered to the table, a quick swirl seems to encourage the Stout to crawl around the glass on its own, trailing with inky legging as much as it does a scattering of lace. Its mocha-stained sheet of foam is creamy but loosely knitted together, eventually succumbing to its massive strength.

Its bold and fragrant aromatics lead with obvious roast overtones. Smooth like espresso, dark chocolate, roasted nuts and a hint of dark fruit. As the sweet bourbon notes release caramel, vanilla and weathered wood, it also highlights its floral, plumb, berries, grape and overall vinous, sherry-like tones. Warming a bit, its citrusy hop character pull from the roast and booze in a surprising turn before that first sip.

Its masculine sweetness wraps around the tongue with those espresso and bittersweet chocolate malts like fudge and chocolate-covered espresso beans. Hearty sweetness of burnt toffee and molasses supports the roast character to near perfection. Its bourbon infusion delivers a plethora of complexity at middle palate- vinous sherry, charred berries, dates, figs and plum that's pulled together by the natural caramel wood sweetness, vanilla, mature oak and cherry wood spice. Turning assertively bitter in finish, only the slightest grapefruit taste discerns its hop-derived bitterness from charred bitterness.

Its certain full and chewy body uses its embedded carbonation to give a marshmallow texture to the mouth. Its creamy sweetness dissolves in stride to give its finish remarkable semi-dryness without harsh astringency. Lingering with espresso roast, bourbon warmth and a wisp of campfire- the Stout is perfect as after dinner digestive.

Where the standard Narwahl is formidable in its own right, the bourbon aging really pulls out the fruit, floral and hop tones as much as it provides complexity of barrel, booze and controlled aging- savory inducing taste.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From NOTB notes from last month; had a few samples of this one and liked it a lot.

a - Pours a pitch black color with two inches of thick tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks great, just like the normal Narwhal.

s - Smells of roasted malts, bourbon, vanilla, bitter chocolate, toasted malts, burnt malts, light coffee. Awesome nose; really nice mix of sweet bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate.

t - Tastes of sweet bourbon, roasted malts, oak, vanilla, bitter chocolate, dark fruits, toasted malts, and burnt malts. Very nice again, though I liked the nose a little better. Little more fruit and bitter chocolate here.

m - Medium body and high carbonation. Thick and smooth, definitely doesn't feel like 12.9% ABV. Nice mouthfeel.

o - Overall I liked this one a lot; I had high hopes for this after having the base beer and this did not disappoint. Looks great, great mouthfeel, and an awesome nose full of swete bourbon and vanilla. I know they are different beers, but liked this one a lot more than the BA bigfoot. Hoping to see this one again sometime.

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Photo of Nobcefus
3.45/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I would have enjoyed stronger bourbon notes. I also don't like using the word "notes".

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Photo of Xenoreactive
2.65/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hype brew. Even after a 6 month sit, this is far too boozey, oakey, roasty and overheated to be palatable. Maybe 18 months would do the trick, but the alcohol comes through all too much with this brew. Don't pay 20$ for this.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this bottle chilled in a stout glass recently at our annual stout tasting.

The color is black with beige cream and fine bead with moderate lace stickage. The smell is a mix of light woody barrel aroma with a nice level of malt roastiness and slight caramel accent with bourbon adding to the aroma and light spice in the nose. The feel is great rich malt with subtle sweetnes and mild dry woody quality with bourbon adding a mild alcohol element to the texture.

The taste is great with the stout base that is slightly spiced with hops yet a noticeable vanilla type flavor from the bourbon barrel aging that brings out the chocolate flavors in the malt with some light dried fruit and hints of molasses. This is the stout I enjoyed most of the several we shared I just found the bourbon to be very expressive without neglecting the Narwhal's great base flavor it is a great stout that is only enhanced by the bourbon barrel

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Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 10/16/2014. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, caramel, toffee, toast, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, oak, light dark fruit, light butterscotch, and roast/oaky earthiness. Incredible aromas with awesome complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, caramel, toffee, toast, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, oak, light dark fruit, light butterscotch, and roast/oaky earthiness. Light herbal/roast/oaky bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, caramel, toffee, toast, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, oak, and roast/oaky earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with an insane malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, silky, and lightly slick mouthfeel that in incredible. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with only a slight alcohol warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a world class barrel aged imperial stout. All around insane complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. A truly mind blowing offering.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a snifter to a thick black beer topped by a finger of dense tan head that fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of fudgy dark chocolate, espresso, caramel, vanilla and oak from the barrel.
T: Taste is dark chocolate covered espresso beans with some roasted malts, caramel, vanilla and oak with a little charred wood and smoke. There are some hints of dark fruits at times as well. Swallow is cocoa powder, espresso and more barrel notes with some more caramel, vanilla and oak. Nice smoke and char toward the end as well.
M: This one is big and silky in the mouth with soft but adequate carbonation and a dry finish.

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Barrel-Aged Narwhal from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 1906 ratings