Imperiale | Ninkasi Brewing Company

239 Ratings

Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Double / 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 239 |  Reviews: 82
Photo of XRAIG
1/5  rDev -73.3%

Photo of leftoverburrito
1.5/5  rDev -59.9%

Photo of harrymel
1.88/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Bottled: unk

A: black, a finger of khaki foam falls to a sheet of the same. No lace.
S: leather, alcohol, some hops (piney), a little bit of sweetness from the malts. Some licorice and cola smells. I can't shake the feeling that this reminds me of a bag of teriyaki beef jerky.
T: malt is sweet with a odd gunpowder flavor. Some meaty flavors. A bit of hops. Some molasses.
M: Thin for the style with lower carb. Semi dry finish. Fail.
O: I can't tell if this is a poor attempt at a Black IPA, or a poor attempt at a stout. They call it a stout, so, yeah, it's not something I would offer up as a goodie. Thin and poorly constructed malt wise. I'm starting to think the ABI influence on this brewery is taking its toll...

 723 characters

Photo of towlea25
2/5  rDev -46.5%

Photo of MADhombrewer
2.54/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Black with a small tan head. Decent lacing. 3.5/5

Smell- Not much going on here. Hints of chocolate and coffee, but both are very minimal. 2/5

Taste- Not much going on here as well. Bummer. Bits of chocolate and coffee. Little bit of vanilla? Earthy hop bitterness at the end. 2.5/5

Mouthfeel- Medium feel that favors the heavier side. Little creaminess to it as well. 3.5/5

Overall- Kind of all over the map as far as scoring. Not much going on as far as flavor. Some of the usual suspects (chocolate, coffee, etc.), but a little watered down. It tastes as if this is made for the people who want to think they are drinking a beer geek beer but don't want the actual flavor that goes with it. 2.5/5

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Photo of Smurf2055
2.75/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of vkv822
2.88/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into tulip snifter.

Pours black with foamy, bubbly khaki head.

Roasty malts, some light hop, piney/citric notes. A bit rough around the edges, but pretty subdued overall.

In the taste I am getting some roasty, almost charred malts, a light hop profile, perhaps some dark chocolate as well.

A thin to medium body, with subtle carbonation.

A decent beer, though the flavor profile seemed a bit rough, a bit of a faint charred character at times.

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Photo of timtwoface
2.91/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Meh...this is the first Ninkasi brew I tried that I didn't really appreciate. I anticipated it to blow me away, but nope - it just turned out being strong. Yes, it's meant to be, but the wonderful thing I felt about Tricerahops (for example) is that it has such a high ABV but you can't really TASTE it - here, it's far too noticeable. The stout taste doesn't really mask it at all.

I love Oatis, also by Ninkasi - but in the future I think I'll give this one a pass.

 468 characters

Photo of Backlash209
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of emile772
3/5  rDev -19.8%

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

Photo of oregone
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of Jules11788
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of illidurit
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of cougfan2002
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of craigreno
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of RJLarse
3.02/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I bought a bottle of Ninkasi High Gravity Imperiale Stout in a bottle shop. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a black walnut color, opaque, with a chunky beige head.

Smell is sweet with a bite. A molasses and brown sugar aroma, along with a bourbon whiskey scent.

Taste is a lot like the aroma. Sweet molasses upfront with a bourbon flavored finish, and some alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel is thin for the style. Thin, flat and warm.

Overall I don't think I would go out of my way to have this again. I'd prefer more coffee and chocolate flavors in my stouts.

 556 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 picked up today at Brewforia... Poured into my new CBS snifter... damn this is a big glass. Short lasting 1 finger brownish head... only okay lacing.. the brew is the expected black.

Nose is a bit odd... roasty, but a dark dried fruitiness seems pretty high for the style... dark cherries and some milk chocolate.. not nearly enough "big stout" qualities for my liking.

Flavor begins with mild roasty qualites... again fruity esters come in quickly and hang on to the finish.. light coffee and chocolate.. okay... needs more heft for sure.

Body is sorta thin for such a big stout...

This is an okay brew.. I doubt it will get better with more time in the bottle.


 683 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a very deep brownish color with a moderately sized deep tan head that fades slowly leaving some bubbles and light lacing

S: Smells of chocolate and roastiness, a little booze sting and pretty simple.

T: Taste is an initial chocolate, roast, which carries on start to finish and seems to be th ceterpiece of another boring Ninkasi beer. The finish is rather mundayne with some bitterness, roast and guess what? Cocoa. A little booziness stings on the end.

M: Moderate to full bodied, well carbonated, nothing impressive, not really decadent or appealing.

O: Average at best. I consumed Abyss prior to this and it really showed just how mediocre this beer is.

 672 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
3.09/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

22oz bottle from No bottling date. Served in a Wild Heaven snifter.

Pours dark brown with a half finger of tan head. Foam recedes quickly but leaves a decent bit of lace.

Smells of light cocoa, milk and caramel. Not bad but far from outstanding.

Taste is a subdued but pleasent blend of cocoa, cream, oatmeal and caramel. A slight sting of booze towards the finish.

Creamy medium full feel with mild but quite forward carbonation. Fairly dry aftertaste of bitter cocoa and sweet cream.

It's ok. There's nothing here to make me stand up and cheer but I didn't need to pour it either. No off flavors but it just doesn't come across as very "Imperiale".

 674 characters

Photo of nsabo
3.12/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another hoppy northwest RIS. Roasted grains (more like a porter than a burnt stout), chocolate, some booze heat, bitter hops, little carbonation, medium-thin mouthfeel. Not a "big" RIS, but for $5 it tastes like it costs. It's not disappointing, but I won't be buying it twice.

 277 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Received as an extra from eatabagofbooger; thanks man. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my New Belgium globe.

a - Pours a very dark brown color, almost black, with two inches of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. An inch of head lasts throughout drinking it and leaves some light lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of roasted malts, pine hops, light chocolate, sweet dark fruits, and bready malts. Lots of roasted malts and pine hops with some sweetness to it. Not bad but not my favorite; not the biggest fan of hoppy stouts.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, pine hops, sweet dark fruity malts, chocolate, toasted malts, and bready malts. Pretty sweet; more fruit than the nose.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. A bit thin and a tiny bit too carbonated.

o - Overall a pretty average American stout. Nose is pretty good, albeit hoppy, but the taste was a little too sweet and fruity for me. Mouthfeel was a little thin and over carbonated as well. Not something I'd probably seek out again.

 1,019 characters

Photo of Briken
3.17/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very dark but watery highlights at the edges and foamy brown head with okay retention. Chocolate and alcohol, light roasted and a dirty hop aroma. Molasses an roasted malts with notes of chocolate. Somewhat piney upfront with a long hop linger for a stout. Moderate carbonated slick feel with a sharp bite.

Seems to me to be in the Cascadian dark ale family. Perhaps there needs to be a Double/Imperial Cascadian ale category for these types of “hoppy stouts”. At any rate, it’s reminiscent of Stone’s Escondidan Imperial Black ale. It certainly is a good hoppy stout though that’s really not what I look for in an Imperial Stout, hence the need for yet another category so at least I know what I’m getting into.

 725 characters

Photo of djbreezy
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - dark brown, minor retention on the ring but not much else going on with the head

Smell - chocolate notes

Taste - chocolate with a semi sweet bittnerness, lingering

Mouthfeel - full bodied, creamy, could use more chewiness, slightly sticky

Overall - has some nice chocolate notes but the flavor profile is a bit weak for an imperial stout

 354 characters

Photo of jessicapreuss
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

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Imperiale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 239 ratings
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