Imperiale | Ninkasi Brewing Company

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241 Ratings

Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Imperiale High Gravity Stout

Rich, full bodied and surprisingly smooth, Imperiale Stout has a big roast hit up front, and rich, dark malt flavors balanced with ample hop bitterness to finish.

Added by flexabull on 11-05-2011

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 241 |  Reviews: 83
Photo of GarrettB
3.02/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

April 8th, 2015 - Ninkasi's Imperiale is a special release, but I find it hard to enjoy at first. With a diluted aroma and a sort of "gymnasium" scent, it's a little funky in an odd and unappealing fashion. But as it warms the smell becomes much sweeter, with fructose and candy, like Dumdum lollipops. And in the same way that the aroma was unexciting at first, the flavor seems too sweet, but as it warms, the malt bill becomes easier to sense. And as it's easier to savor, there's much more chocolate, which does much to improve the flavor.

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Photo of 1971bernat
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of VictorsValiant
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brayton
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of stevoj
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from Albertsons. Pours out black with a creamy dark beige head. Body seems a little watery, aroma a nice mixture of roast grains and chocolate, taste echoes the aroma with accents of wood, nutmeg and vanilla. Abrupt finish, little alcohol warmth.

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Photo of kevanb
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle, undated, poured into a Ninkasi snifter.

The beer pours a nice deep jet black color, thick bone colored head, about a finger or so, nice retention and great swatches of lace. The aroma is pleasant, simple, roasted grain, light char and bittersweet chocolate lingers. Not a whole lot going on, but there is decent balance and hardly a trace of the 9.1%. The flavors are right in line, bittersweet chocolate, a bit of stone fruit, roasted grain, light char though a bit ashy. The mouthfeel is a bit weak, it coats well, but the body is a bit lacking, thin with higher carbonation and a dry finish.

Verdict: A nice Imperial Stout from Ninkasi, not the most complex or intense, but certainly enjoyable and one that goes down surprisingly easily for the higher ABV. A bit more body would serve this beer well, but it's still a worthwhile purchase, especially at Ninkasi's typically lower price point.

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Photo of OGdirty
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Brolo75
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours black with some coming through around the edges, tan colored head, lots of lacing, looks a little thin, some carbonation streaming up from the bottom.

A: Dark chocolate, coffee, hint of dark fruits, roasted malts, slight alcohol aroma coming through at the end, smells pretty solid.

T: A good balance of roasted and dark fruit flavors, up front, get a hit of dark fruits, followed by some dark chocolate and coffee flavors, hit of bitterness, finishes dry with a big, lingering coffee aftertaste, solid.

M: Smooth, creamy mouthfeel, big dry finish.

O: I think this is a solid beer, nice balance of dark fruits and roasted flavors, smooth creamy mouthfeel, alcohol is well hidden, a little on the light side for a double stout, drinkable but nonetheless, a solid offering.

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Photo of paresis
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rderedin
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of abcdefghijkyle
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ZakFaruki
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bomber into a tulip, pours an opaque black, with a tan head, a decent amount of lace comes as well

S: Dark Chocolate on the nose, with roasted malts, a bit of hops, and some ash smell as well

T: The taste follows the nose, Cocoa and roasted malt on the nose, then a slight bit of hops on the way down, a slight ting of booze on the finish as well

F: Smooth as silk, carbonation is light, as expected with the style

O: An exceptionally delicious stout, it definitely competes with the legends. A must-try for a craft enthusiast.

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Photo of avwrite
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jhfinn
3.39/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of acurtis
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Howlader
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of travolta
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MIrvine
3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BetterHoppierThanNever
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Definitely worth having more than one...Very tasty...Very tasty indeed! He shoots, he scores!

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Photo of UncleEmu
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of wordemupg
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beer Revolution 5/7/15 (from notes)

A top filled glass has a deep cola edge in black liquid, not much room for foam but the thin mocha film still manages to leave a few rings

S chocolate of all sorts, lots of dark fruit with a little char ash included, smells pretty roasty

T not far from the nose with some herbal notes, plenty of char and chocolate, not as much dark fruit but still has some citric hops shining through all this darkness

M lighter side of full, creamy from the bubbles, chalky after it settles, bitter sweet, heaps of hoppy chocolate linger

O poured a little cold but still rich and flavorful, no booze at any point, a little sneaky for the size

I though I was ordering the Imperial IPA so this one was a bit of a surprise and a pleasant one at that, I'm surprised it doesn't have a higher average on BA

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Photo of SamuelR
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sathanas
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CHickman
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black color with a foamy 2 finger creamy/foamy light tan head that was full of bubbles of all sizes and faded slowly, leaving very good foamy lacing and rings as it went down.

Smells of chocolate, smoked malt, coffee grinds, cocoa powder, brownie batter, dark chocolate (like Hershey's Dark), light vanilla, floral hops, pine cone/piney hops and charred wood. It's very chocolatey with a lot of char, ash and smoke notes that combine with the burnt malts, coffee grinds and light hop sweetness to make for a nice smelling stout.

Tastes just like it smells with strong chocolate notes as the most dominant flavor, followed by cocoa powder, smoked malt, coffee grinds, burnt brownie or burnt chocolate chip cookie, dark chocolate, vanilla, floral hops, pine cone/piney hops, vanilla bean, chocolate syrup,charred wood, some dark fruit like plum or a chocolate covered cherry, ash and burnt pumpernickel bread. Very rich and malty with most of the flavor coming on in waves of chocolate malts and all aspects of roasted, charred and smoked malts/grains. The hops peek through, but the main sweetness is like a burnt coffee with some cream and a s'mores. The ashy and smoky notes leave a bitterness that is chalky and close to dry but still sweet like eating a Whopper candy ball.

Mouthfeel is slick and buttery smooth, with a medium chewy body that has very little to no carbonation and a thin overall feel, but it slides down easy with no signs of the alcohol and a bitter finish that is similar to a Starbucks Frappuccino with a shot of espresso and chocolate syrup in it that trails off with a lot of charred wood, ash and smoked grains. A big bold imperial ("imperiale") stout. Well balanced with the hops adding a sharp leafy bite and complimenting the malty roast, making it easy to drink.

Overall a tasty beer that had well above average flavor, hid the 9% ABV quite well and happened to be a bargain for NYC at $4.99 for a bomber at Whole Foods. At this price point I plan to buy as many as possible since I really enjoyed this brew.

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Imperiale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 241 ratings