Imperiale | Ninkasi Brewing Company

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82 Reviews
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ImperialeImperiale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ninkasi Brewing Company
Oregon, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
82
Ratings:
239
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
22.43%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
29
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 82 | Ratings: 239
Photo of RJLarse
3.02/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Clear dark brown colored ale with a small brown colored head.

Smells sweet and a lot like German chocolate cake. Strong chocolate and caramel. Slight Kahlua scent. Smells quite tame.

Starts out bittersweet with a emphasis on the sweet. Sweet with bitter chocolate flavor. Strong caramel and a hint of coconut, I'm reminded of German Chocolate Cake again. Slight amount of char but this is mainly bittersweet in flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a good stout.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a shaker glass.

A- Poured dark brown with some ruby highlights shining through, soapy mocha head that left some splashy lace.

S- Big roasted malt, roasted coffee, and rich dark chocolate in the aroma.

T- Big rich and decadent dark chocolate notes, fudgy brownie notes, some vanilla, pretty big roasted malt and coffee, moderate alcohol taste and bitterness.

M- Very smooth, prickly carbonation, fuller bodied, dry finish, big warming, and light burn. Easily one of the most drinkable imperial stouts I have ever had.

O- This is my favorite Ninkasi beer I have had, aside from a sample of the blended Imperiale Stout and Oatis Oatmeal Stout infused with Stumptown Coffee I had a few weeks ago. Very rich and chocolate forward with nice roasted malt notes and a great mouthfeel.

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Photo of BastardKing24
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

5.99 a bomber. decent price for imperial stout, but considering I can get lagunitas IS at 4.25, this was a curiosity purchase.

Pours a dark brown, almost black with 2 finger head that held up for a while.

Smell is a yeasty fruity sweet roasted malt, with chocolate, vanilla, not alot of coffee going on in this.

Taste is kind of like the smell with roasted notes, some chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, and oak.
Pretty good really, not quite like lagunitas though.

Mouthfeel is medium carbonated, middle of the road feel, not very thick.

Overall a decent offering from the biggest brewery near me, I'll buy this again.

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Photo of TheosTheories
3.27/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A- dark brown, shows some red when put up against the light, nice finger and a half of tan brown head

S- chocolate, dark fruits, light coffee, little hoppiness,

T- light chocolate, light roastiness, light coffee, pretty much light everything, nothing stands out to me, there is a little pine in there from the hops though

M- medium to full body, carbinated and dry

O- your average stout, nothing stands out really, nice flavors that blend together pretty nicely but nothing crazy, good stout for someone that doesn't like dark beers too much.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ninkasi Brewing 'Imperiale Stout' @ 9.1% , served from a 'special release' 650 ml bottle purchased for $7.25

A-pour is a dark brown from the bottle to near black in the glass with some crimsom red peeking thru along the glass edge , with a small tan head leaving a spotty lace along the pint

S-ripe dark fruits , boozey

T-sweet tasting start , not so smooth , slight bitter bite before the swallow

MF-ok/good carbonation , full body , yet it is a bit thin tasting , needs some more ?

Ov-ok beer , ok Imperial Stout , lacks something

prost LampertLand

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a decent amount of head which has pretty good retention. The head is a medium beige while the body is a dark, chocolate brown which shows hints of garnet and ruby when held up to the light. Substantial lacing at the moment.

Nose- Simplistic but nice. Dominated by roasted notes, a hint of chocolate, light coffee. A little bit of creaminess. Maybe a little bit of burnt toast from the bottle. Slight nuttiness. Lacks presence and complexity but still above average. Slight hint of cherry. Swirling shows a slightly sour note from the coffee.

Taste- Starts off with the roasted notes and shows a glimmer of mint (maybe even anise) and then moves back to the roasted notes which have thick but elementary coffee taste to them. The roasted malts are strong and pretty much overwhelm anything else though there is a nice hop backbone of pine and resin to push back against the malt. Light mint, menthol, even peppermint hangs around the edges and gives the beer a clean taste, especially on the finish. Lacks complexity but makes up for it (a bit) by being consistent. Some nuttiness and light notes of cream and milk. Above average to good beer. Pretty average in comparison in regard to the many imperial stouts that I've had. A fairly solid beer that doesn't require you to think too much. Tiny bit of cherry.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with maybe too much carbonation. Little bit of a dry finish as well. Could definitely be thicker but the thinness somehow works with simplicity of the flavor profile.

Drinkability- Very drinkable but slightly boring. No heat at all. 5 bucks isn't bad at all for a bomber and this is something I would probably buy again.

Overall- Above average to good. Don't expect a life changing imperial but it is pretty easy going. I would give it a try. It seems a little underrated.

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Photo of busternuggz
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a snifter. No freshness date but it came out recently.

Opaque brown-tinged black with a 1/4" coffee color head. Fades to a thick ring. Leaves spotty lacing.

On the nose I get chocolate cake, molasses, carob. Some roasted malt and a little dark fruit, like ripe plum. Just a little bit of pine resin hoppiness. Interesting.

The taste is bold and bitter. Roasted malt, baking chocolate, molasses, piney hops. A kind of dark fruitiness, like the skins of plums. Far more hops than a typical imperial stout. Gets more bitter and less chocolatey as it warms, starts drinking like more of a double black IPA. Good for what it is though.

Soft, smooth texture, full but not thick. Fluffy bodied, if you will. Ends clean.

Not your typical imperial stout. Very hoppy but complex and nicely done. Pairs well with chili. If you're the type that likes a hoppier version of every malty style go ahead and give it a few more points.

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Photo of lighthabit
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark, hint of garnet, but just barely with a bright light behind it. head dies slowly, leaves a spotty but decent lacing. smell is a bit boring. bitter that others mention is there when chilled, but mellows as it warms, and a hint of something cherry-like begins to whisper. not great, but not bad, either. let it warm a bit for best results. hides abv fairly well

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Photo of mactrail
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

The appearance is quite splendid poured into my giant tall Petrus chalice. Very dark brown that is nearly black but has some amber glints around the edge. Beautiful off-white, fine-grained foam contrasts nicely with the dark brew. Interesting nose of Dutch windmill cookies and hop resins, but you risk being overcome by the alcohol fumes.

The taste is a little too much of a good thing. It's really bitter, right off. The sweet malt is really quite appealing, but it gets elbowed aside by the harsher side. Pleasant sudsy mouthfeel and a full but sprightly body. Winey with a touch of charcoal. Dark grains, burnt sugar, and a hammer on your innocent taste buds. The hops are wearing hoods and wielding whips. I am not worthy!

Chocolate and hot knives of sharp alcoholic beeriness. Here is a beer that is crying out to be watered down with something-- and I have just the anemic Pale Ale to do the job. And that lovely white foam being ravished by the dark body. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at KNB in San Diego.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a then tan head on a black body.
The aroma is good. Big dose of roasted malt, black licorice and coffee.
The taste delivers on the roasted malt and strong pine bitterness. Though the transition through the profile is abrupt.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation.
Enjoyable if you like a mixture of roasted maltiness with strong bitter.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not a great Impy stout but still very drinkable. It seemed to be missing the complexity that I look for in the style . As it warmed up I thought it might really open up but it stayed a little one dimensional. I would have liked a little more of a more luscious mouthfeel but all said and done it still a decent beer.

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Photo of woemad
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber purchased at Total Wine in Spokane.

Poured a black-ish color that gave up nothing to direct light, with a big, creamy tan-colored head. Lots of lace and excellent head retention.

Roasted dark malt give this one a coffee-like bitter nose. There’s some raisiny-ish dark fruit aromas, but they seem way in the back. There’s also some sharp, bitter hop notes.

Big, roasty coffee bitterness and a sweet, chocolaty flavor are first noted. There’s a little bit of dark fruit, but like in the nose, it’s way low in the mix. Then the hops kick in and provide a big, dry zap to the finish.

While this is not by any stretch a light bodied beer, considering the style, I expected more body. The mouthfeel is coating, but at the same time rather dry.

This is a decent beer, but as far as Impy Stouts go, it’s not firing on all cylinders. A little more of that deep, dark fruit flavor and this could run with the best in the style.

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Photo of shleepy
3.51/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Black, with lush, off-white head.

Smell is roasty, with some dark fruit notes.

Taste is fairly bitter, in a roasty way, from start to finish/aftertaste. Light fruitiness provides some balance.

Body is probably lighter than most imperial stouts. No syrupy feeling to it at all.

Overall, it's a relatively drinkable imp stout. Not offensive at all, but not too complex, either.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm pretty sure the low price adds to the poorer reviews on here. I'm not quite an imperial stout veteran, but I'm damn close!

Pours out the deepest dark chocolate, almost black. The head stops at a little over an inch, impressive for 9.5% ABV, the lacing is decent.

The smell starts with hot chocolate mix and earthy hops. Slight dark fruit is noticed as well. Simple, but inviting.

Chocolate, plum, earth, slight rye(?) and some vanilla. The booze isn't too noticable. Decently thick and smooth going down, no complaints in the mouth.

Ninkasi did well in my opinion. I think they are a bit underrated. This, like most of their brews was very solid and enjoyable,

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Photo of ccrida
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance is black with a thick tan head leaving chunky, foamy lace.

Smell is both chocolate and acrid dark malts, and some soft sweet sugars.

Taste is malty milk chocolate, it really drinks much lighter than the ABV would beguile - if you told me high 6% I would doubt it. There's a little herbal hop flavor and moderate bitterness, but by and large it's a pedestrian American start that is most notable for the how well it hides the high ABV.

Mouthfeel is on the viscous side, off-dry.

Drinkability is fine, it's not stimulating, but it's clean and dangerously easy drinking.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

dark cola with a pillowy almond head. Sticks around. Quite pretty.

The nose is roast malts, maybe a little bit of hops in there as well? Somewhat sweet in a toffee like manner. Some vanilla?

Taste is... I can't quite put my finger on it. roasty and dark. Some bitter finish. Almost some smoke to it?

smoothe enough. Solid enough stout, there's something odd about it, but I can't quite put my finger on it. It's tasty though, just not life changing.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.09/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

22oz bottle from LetsPour.com. 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".

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours jet black with cola brown edging. The head is tan in color, a good finger and a half thick, and holds with good retention. Lacing is spotty, with fair stick.

Smell - Aroma is faint; mostly anise, with hints of chocolate, caramel and coffee. Hops are present as well, though fairly indistinguishable.

Taste - Starts with subtle chocolate and roasted coffee notes, mid-taste is fairly muddled, then finishes with a touch of roasty bitterness and a moderate anise character.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body, with low carbonation. Kinda flat. Somewhat chalky.

Overall - This is a decent imperial stout. Nothing that hasn't been done before, and the execution isn't all that great. Drinkable, somewhat enjoyable. Probably wouldn't buy again.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice.

A: Beautiful off-white head tops a dark, translucent, mahogany ale.

S: Sweet-smooth chocolate malt.

T: Bitter-sweet chocolate. Fruity malts. A lingering alcohol. This is an odd imperial stout, tasting more of peach juice than bitter, roasted malt. Aftertaste is full of sugars and light tartness.

M: Smooth, but not very impressive.

O: Solid beer, queer imperial stout. I would try another to see how interesting it is, or different. As it is, MIGHT recommend.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22-oz.bomber into a pint glass at my house on Nov. 30, 2012 (purchased the variety 4-pack for $15.99 at BevMo (with card) in La Mesa, Calif. (San Diego) on Nov. 27, 2012. Black with hints of red and 1-2 fingers of tan head. Not as good retention as I would have thought. Above average on the sides, but average on the top.

Smelled coffee, dark chocolate, toffee, roasted nuts and a bit of smoky wood fire. A little bit darker than I expected.

Tasted coffee, dark chocolate, dark caramel, dark toffee, roasted nuts and still that smoky wood fire. Pretty bitter.

Full body. Creamy slick texture. Average carbonation. Long bitter finish.

Not a bad stout. Thick, creamy and does the job. A little bit better than expected.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown-black with a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate malts with some coffee, dark fruit, molasses, anise, vanilla, and a touch of earthy hops.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted chocolate malts, dark fruits, molasses, anise, and some vanilla. Through the middle, some coffee comes through with some more dark fruits and some earthy hops. The finish is a mix of roasted chocolate malts, coffee, molasses, dark fruits, and some earthy hops.

M - Medium-full bodied with mild carbonation. Feels smooth and a bit thick with a sweet, roasted, and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice overall balance, could have maybe used a touch more body.

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little off for a review because this bottle has been aging since february and it is september. Bomber iu nto standard pint.

A: not much head and a pretty sparse cap although there is an average sized ring around the glass. Completley opaque but the thinnest layer on the top where I can just barley see through is deep amber like the bottle it came in. the head when there was some was mocha brown and looked good but there just wasn't much of it.

S: roasty and sweet smelling. Hints of dark fruit and caramelized goodness. No hop on the nose nor any alcohol. It smells divine.

T: sweet, those hints of dark fruit still present in the taste. Big rosty flavor and notes of vanilla. Sweet and rich. Finishes just a tad bitter, I can't tell if that is hop or burnt malt though. the bitter fades away to a slight chocolate flavor and a bit nore of that vanilla. I like this a lot, I don't remember the young bottle I had in december very much but this is good stuff.

M: full bodied, I really could eat it with a spoon ita like maple syrup almost. With such a high abv I am surprised it is so thick. Right on for the style.

O: not as amazing as the bourbon barrel aged version I had at the taproom but still quite good. I reccomend it to big beer lovers.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks to James (cavemanlawyer) for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a dark black into a tulip with less than a finger of tan head.

Smell – Heavy caramel, malt, coffee, slight hops, and molasses.

Taste – Slight char up front, chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits such as prunes, and a bit of vanilla.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, lower carbonation.

Overall – Not a bad stout…I feel it should be rated a bit higher than it is.

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Imperiale from Ninkasi Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 239 ratings.
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