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
1,869 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:
#431
Reviews:
288
Ratings:
1,869
pDev:
8.31%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
287
Gots:
910
Trade:
108
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,869 |  Reviews: 288
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

Photo of wanderingwheelz
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just opened a bottle of ‘15 and I think some age has helped quite a bit. I wouldn’t rate it higher than a 4 when fresh. Literally no alcohol that I can taste, and fnd sweetness has stepped it up a bit, which I like. Great beer!

 232 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.66/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Sabtos
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A slappy black drippy pour silkens up and slowly accumulates a creamy tan blanket that settles to a persistent thick film clinging in ridges at the edges.

Woody, spicy bourbon and oak are on the nose up front with some piney hops. This is followed by creamy peanut butter wafer, medium roast coffee and softly faint chocolate.

Taste is a bit spicy as well, with the oak, bourbon and hops all colliding, but mid-palate it smooths with some milk chocolate and coffee. The swallow then prickles up a bit, back to a piney and boozy bite, with a touch of cola. I also get a bit of vanilla and brown sugar in the finish.

A medium body with a smooth feel has a light crisp carbonation that thickens and softens when swirled on the palate, coming up to an almost fully dry, tingly finish.

2015 bottle

 796 characters

Photo of Sk8sean86
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TrojanRB
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kevintaraross
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Parmesan
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours a pitch black color with a small tan head and no lacing.

S: Dark stone fruit, molasses some coffee and milk chocolate and roasted malt, vanilla, and oak bourbon is present but not overwhelming. Booze is quite noticeable.

T: Tart cherry, notes of vanilla and oak, bourbon is forefront but there is some nice roasted malt and coffee and chocolate. Taste is not quite as nice as the aroma but still good.

F: A bit of cola like carbonation and a heavy body.

O: This is a really good barrel aged stout.

 518 characters

Photo of Cwarwick812
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of Justdoit1234
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mikexw
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of HoppingMadMonk
3.98/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Completely black,light carbonation with a medium feel despite that. Heavy aroma of roasted grain,espresso,and sweet boozy bourbon. Taste didn't stray far from the aroma,despite high abv it was somewhat hidden. This is far from a session beer,something to be had when you are relaxed and have time slowly enjoy this.

 315 characters

Photo of Patches826
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Scobu
3.35/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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Narwhal Imperial Stout - Barrel Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 1,869 ratings