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Northwind Imperial Stout | Two Brothers Brewing Company

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Northwind Imperial StoutNorthwind Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark delights like this were once shipped to the imperial court of Russia. With a firm, roasty maltiness balanced against a generous helping of hops, Northwind can stand up to the worst its namesake can dish out! Enjoy it by a roaring fire.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-14-2002

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 411 | Ratings: 935
Reviews by CADMixes:
Photo of CADMixes
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of NoHorsePiss
4.61/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Man, this is a black one, just how I like my RISs, 1/8" of head that disappeared in 15 seconds
S - Caramel and fruit. I'd use it as air freshener or cologne.
T - Good and malty. I love malt flavor and this has it in spades.
M - This is a chip-less, snack-less beer. Never a need to trade off tastes when drinking it. Let the taste sit there between sips.

I enjoyed my single bottle from the store and will do my best to get a 6-pack before the seasonal shipment leaves.

 474 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Very dark in color, almost black, with a nice, tanned head that pooled over the liquid and left a nice foam ring on the inside edge of my goblet.

Smell – This is a classic stout, with a roasted malt aroma that dominates the nose. I can also pick up some fine Arabic coffee and a lovely touch of anise.

Taste – This is a bitter brew indeed. The coffee takes charge here, getting me to think I should try to get Starbucks to sell this in their stores (but only after 3:00 PM). There’s a bit of sugary sweetness at the finish, but mainly this is all about the traditional roasted malt and coffee flavors.

Mouthfeel – This one was medium-bodied – on the lighter side for an “Imperial Stout” – but held up well in between the cheeks. I especially enjoyed the bitter nature of this one.

Drinkability – This was a very drinkable stout that went down easily. It would be an excellent example of the style to let one of your “Budweiser Buddies” try.

Comments – Special thanks to qarre for organizing the BIF 5.0, of which I was the first recipient (yippee!) and the lucky beneficiary of this promising effort from Two Brothers.

 1,159 characters

Photo of aszatk01
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of DanGeo
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of SanFranJake
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of ajkiser12
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of TFB5
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage Batch 2860:

Deep black pour with an inch of tan head on top of the brew. Good sticky patchwork lacing on the glass. Aromas of deep roasted malts with a big dark chocolate forefront. Coffee weaves in along with a touch of char.

First sip is dark roasted, charred malts flowing into dark chocolate along with a touch of coffee as well. Burnt bread accents with caramel undertones and a slight creaminess. Hops kick on the way down as it finishes somewhat dry.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with good carbonation, not as heavy and rich as most imperial stouts, however it's rather drinkable. Pretty good stout overall.

2005 vintage:

Pours from the bottle a deep onyx with a small tan coffee head on top. The head falls to a ring around the glass. Looks good in the glass. Aromas of dark roasted malts, liquid chocolate, ground coffee, sweet fruits and a hint of hops. Subdued overall..but there's still a nice mix of aromas there.

First sip brings a roasted, slightly smoky maltiness along with hints of chocolate and brewed coffee. I actually get more chocolate and coffee in the nose than in the taste. A hint of bitter citric hops hits on the way down. Not a bad stout...but this is nowhere near an imperial stout.

Mouthfeel is medium light and slightly dry. The body here is weak, even for a stout. I shouldn't find it this easy to down an imperial stout. This doesn't really excite enough to drink more. I'll leave one in my cellar and see what happens to it.

 1,491 characters

Photo of blitz134
2.57/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Basically pitch black, miniscule amounts of light comes through in the crevases of the glass. Half inch of tan head floats along on top. Isn't sticky though so teh class is left clean as it is drank down.

Really has a simple malt flavor that is amazingly nondescript. Not really much else to it, no toasted notes.

This has a bit more flavor though but honestly no where close to what an RIS should be. Slight toasted flavor gives way to a touch of coffee. Still, not much to this one. I hate to give a below average rating...it isn't bad necessarily, but nothing draws me to this.

Medium mouthfeel which isn't that bad. A little lingering flavor. This one isn't that hard to drink, nothing to be offended by. But no flavor in this really. Nothing I want to revisit.

 774 characters

Photo of ROBORB
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Mike B, thanks man!

This beer poured solid black with a thin chocolate head. The aroma consisted of roasted malts and fruits. I found the alcohol to be masked very well. The problem I had with this beer was its carbonation. It is overly carbonated and doesn't match the profile that I am used to. Regardless, it is a good drinking beer but not something I will search out again.

 396 characters

Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of jp7161
2.75/5  rDev -27.1%

Photo of sponberg
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque with a brown head, like most RIS. Aroma has something going on in it - almost lactic. like a milk stout, a mineraliness.

Same thing in the flavor - if there's an Imperial Milk Stout category, this could be the flag bearer. Starts out with an underlying coffee-cocoa roastiness, but there's an odd roundness in here that I couldn't figure out until I recalled Keegan's Mother's Milk stout - a similar flavor. Indescribable, not offensive, just not what I was anticpating. Finishes creamy-smooth, no hop character to speak of. Appropriately chewy, could have another to figure it out.

Gracias to BA JeffKrenner for the bottle!

 638 characters

Photo of MorganJ
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: dark and uniform black color when poured from 12 oz bottle into a snifter.
Smell: some chocolate and faint coffee.
Taste and feel: good - some carmel, toasted dark malt, chocolate and coffee with a little hop burn at the feel
Overall: Not the best or most flavorful, definitely not hoppy which is fine with me. Overall, a decent imperial stout. Drinkable. Had this one a year after I bought it. I generally like Two Brothers beers and this one is good in the Winter.

 475 characters

Photo of merlin48
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my first sampling of a brew from Two Brothers. Thanks to clvand0 for the trade. This 12 oz bottle pours an opaque, deep brown body with a small, tan, head that quickly drops into film and collar lace.
Aroma features prominent, dark roasted malts with a coffee dominance. Hints of dark chocolate, anise, and walnuts are picked up in the background.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but somewhat light for style. Carbonation is low, and there is a tingling hops presence that comes from the 45 IBUs proclaimed by the label.
The taste is dominated by coffee bitterness. Smoky, roasted malts are prevalent, with some dark fruits(prunes and figs) and nuttiness. A hint of licorice is also noted.
This isn't as substantial as most imperial stouts, but is still a good one that is worth a try.

 795 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, borderline black with a half finger of tan head with a very agressive pour...disappears almost instantly...no lacing.
Not a lot going on in the nose...some vanilla, milk chocolate, carmelized malt.
The taste is good, but it is not wowing me at this point. Served near room temperature and it has a decent chocolate profile, plenty of hops, but the mouthfeel is terribly thin for the style and seems watered down when I think of my favorite Russian Imperial Stouts.
I like the folks at Two Brothers and this one drinks fairly easily...I would try this one again when I see it on tap, but I won't be stocking up on this one at this point.

 652 characters

Photo of mctizzz
2.5/5  rDev -33.7%

Photo of badbeer
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark black with a tan colored head; it even had a bit of a reverse cascade to it. Smell was of cocoa, chocolate, earthy hops and roasted coffee. Taste was much of the same, but this beer felt a little green to me, and the others who tried it. It had a very nice finish to it, and we seemed to agree that with a bit more age on it, this would be a much better beer than it already is. Higher side of medium bodied and lower carbonation. This was pretty nice, and I am going to pick up a couple bombers to age next time. I think this one gets much better with time.

 572 characters

Photo of KolbMarley
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Skye1024
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of gibgink
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Standard stout, but nothing I would pickup again.

49 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours an opaque black under a 1” tan head S: dark malt and dried fruit aromas T: Dark malt flavors, chocolate, dark dried fruit, moderate hop bitterness. This beer has a good balance of dry and sweet and bitter. F: The carbonation is exceptionally fine – almost like a nitro beer. O: A satiating very easy to drink Russian Imperial Stout.

 347 characters

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of MattyG85
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours midnight black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Slight finger of tan head which settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A rich and roasty dark malt driven aroma with a scent of chocolate, coffee, and black licorice. Dark roasted barley malt with a scent of dark chocolate, coffee, biscuit, toast, smoke, caramel, and yeast. Big scent of black licorice. Sweet hints of molasses and vanilla. Dark fruit hints of plum, raisin, and fig. Subtle earthy hops. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a roasty and rich dark malt driven taste with notes of chocolate, coffee, and black licorice. Dark roasted barley malt with upfront notes of dark chocolate, coffee, toast, biscuit, smoke, caramel, and yeast. Good anise notes of black licorice. Sweet notes of vanilla and molasses. Subtle dark fruit undertones of raisin, fig, and plum. Light presence of earthy hop bitterness. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and slick. Alcohol heat is minimal.

Overall: A pretty good take on an Imperial Stout. Good roasty malt flavors with a nice touch of black licorice.

 1,184 characters

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Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 935 ratings.
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