Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Northwind Imperial Stout | Two Brothers Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Northwind Imperial StoutNorthwind Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
3.81/5
Very Good
962 Ratings
Northwind Imperial StoutNorthwind Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
twobrothersbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#14,249
Reviews:
418
Ratings:
962
pDev:
11.81%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
34
Gots:
91
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 962 |  Reviews: 418
Photo of Sammy
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ginger Man. A very faint stout, lighter mouthfeel. Sour aroma. Smooth, until sourish finish. The best is the look, it is black and looks like an imperial stout,but it is not the best representation of the style.Still drinkable. Some roasting, maybe it needed to age more.

 281 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: half finger dark tan head with little retention and lacing on a dark brown with light passing through body. some clumps are noted floating around.

S: roasted malt, dark chocolate and brown sugar but overall light aroma.

T: lots of confectioners chocolate, vanilla and brown sugar. The roasted malts are mild and mostly contribute a slightly bitter finish with coffee notes as well.

M: medium body, creamy with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Not too bad. Flavor is mildly complex, the aroma is good but a little weak. Overall very drinkable however with well hidden alcohol content.

 588 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Knapp85
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This poured out as a very dark black color with a tan foamy head on top. The retention and head are really quite good. The smell of the beer is roasted with some notes of chocolate, subtle sweetness too. The taste is rich with roasted malt and chocolate, decent bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is pretty good, a smooth rich thickness. Overall this beer is pretty good. Not as rich or extreme as some Russian Imperials but still pretty good.

 448 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured jet black with a moderate sized mocha colored head that died down leaving lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are light aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with some notes of coffee and hints of alcohol.
T: The initial taste has flavors of semisweet chocolate and roasted malts while the finish has flavors of lightly roasted coffee with a very mild amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate, thin and very smooth. There is a subtle hint of dryness in the finish.
D: The alcohol is masked very well from the taste so this is a very drinkable beer for the style.

 629 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Imperial pint at Four Moon Tavern.

Black body with an impressive crown of tan lacing. The foam lasted a good while and looked appealing. Aroma was a little subdued but mostly roast malt and chocolate as you'd expect.

Flavor was rich and creamy, big fruity component, fig & plum, plenty of mellow roastiness and chocolate notes. Very creamy but still relatively light bodied for an RIS. Fairly dry in the finish, almost woody suggesting oak. Had to re-evaluate this after the tap sample, pretty impressive stuff. Make an oak-aged version!

 541 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nearly black color with ruby highlights and a prodigiously rocky head that sticks well with films of lace

Smell: Wafts of roasty coffee, caramel, chocolate and dark fruit

Taste: Upfront, there is a dark fruit element of prune, dates, caramel and chocolate; surprisingly sweet and fruity; after the swallow, the grassy bitterness arrives to complement the fruit, with an element of smoke on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not quite to style (not big enough and it is a bit too sweet and fruity); more like a Baltic Porter, in my opinion

 602 characters

Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet black color with a port-like, small, tan head. It left sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, molasses and floral notes.

T - It tasted rich and malty. It had subtle coffee flavors and a slight bitter hop kick.

M - It was smooth and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty nice imperial stout. It's not overwhelmingly alcoholic and tastes very good.

 398 characters

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, lot 51, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings to the glass, with slight alcohol legs. Aromas of big milk chocolate, roasted malt, smoke, cream, toffee, caramel, and light herbal. Very nice and unique aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of milk chocolate, smoke, roasted malt, toffee, cream, coffee, caramel, toast, and earth. No bitterness after the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, roasted malt, cream, toffee, and earth on the finish for a bit. Very nice flavor balance and robustness; minimal cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and body; with a nice creamy and slick mouthfeel; a touch thin for 9% though. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial stout. Nice balance of robust and unique stout flavors; and extremely smooth to sip on. Very enjoyable stuff.

 1,033 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of mothman
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Bud American Ale glass.

Pours about 1/2 finger of light tan head. Fades to a ring and leaves slight splattered lace. Pours a brown bronze, but the color in the class is black.

Aroma: Roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, dark fruits, molasses. Nothing huge, but not bad.

Taste: Big roasted malt profile, some grassy hops balance it out. Lots of chocolate and some coffee. Molasses with dark dried fruits again.

Mouthfeel: Roasted, smooth, and a slight amount of bitterness. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very roasted and slightly dry.

Overall, for the price this beer is pretty decent. I have had a ton of better RISs, but they are normally a lot more expensive, so I give two brothers props on this. It is fairly drinkable, as it is nothing to big. I dig it for what it is.

 813 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A rough pour brings up a full tan head over an opaque black body. When held to the light, reddish-mahogany highlights are visible at the base of the glass and just below the surface. The head drops fairly quickly; but it does maintain a thin surface covering and leaves some tight, spotty lace. Roasty notes dominate the aroma. It's quite black-coffee-ish with a decent amount of prune-like fruitiness thrown in, and even some sweetish dark chocolate. The moderate carbonation is very fine; and helps to boost the creamy character of its surprisingly only medium body. Rich flavor, however, is where this beer shines. It's loaded with notes of bittersweet chocolate, burnt caramel, dark fruit skins, black cherry, burnt "late-night diner" coffee, blackstrap molasses, and leafy hops. It finishes dry and bitter, but not overly long, with a residual coffee/chocolate roastiness. Well-balanced and nicely done. Worth trying.

 922 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours midnight black with a two finger tall foamy tan head. Lots of visible sediment that is also tan in color. Head reduces slightly but very good head retention overall. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Not as intense a smell present as I would have liked for this style. Hints of chocolate, oak, roasted dark malts, coffee, and vanilla.

T: Primarily dark bittersweet chocolate with hints of dark druit (plum + fig), oak, and some coffee bitterness. Not overly bitter and there is an underlying sweetness from the dark roasted malts.

M: Medium bodied with a low to moderate amount of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Alcohol is very well hidden in this beer - both in the taste and the smell. Very enjoyable and a very well balanced beer. Some complexity in the flavors. Good beer for a cold winter day.

 805 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Tall Paul’s (FL - Feb. 2015); revisited with a more enjoyable 12 oz bottle in March 2017. ~ Averaged ratings.

Pours essentially black with a light tan head that has good retention and leaves some lacing on the glass.

The smell is a bit sweet, there’s roasted malt, chocolate, and hints of caramel, coffee and toffee.

Taste (3/3.75): Dark roasted grains. A touch of sour (more on tap) and only a faint bit of dark fruit. Coffee, smoke and dark chocolate in the finish.

Feel: reasonably smooth; medium-full body.

Overall: an average example of the style although the high ABV is well hidden.

 611 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, roasted malts, chocolate, some coffee and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of dark fruit and chocolate. Then a roasted malt character that is a bit on the thin side for the style comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and creates some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp but a bit watery, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, there are several other stouts I would choose before this one.

 803 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of medium tan foam on top of an opaque, black body with some sediment floating in it. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves light lace.

S - Very roasty with a strong coffee aroma as well as some peaty smoke.

T - Dark, roasted malt up front with notes of burnt caramel, chocolate, and espresso. More coffee and baker's chocolate in the middle and smoky notes in the finish that provide lots of roasted grain bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - This stout is robust and roasted to the point that it really tastes like a coffee stout. It quite a contrast compared to many other imperial stouts that finish much sweeter than this one. This relative dryness allows it to be fairly drinkable even though it does nothing to lighten the overall experience or hide the alcohol.

 846 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the brewpub.

Pours near black with a really thin mocha head. Not much lacing. The nose brings chocolate, roast, and a bit of coffee. The taste is of roasted malt with some lingering espresso and dark chocolate in the background. Not too boozy, but this is pretty light in ABV for the style. A bit of dry roast. Drinks quite well.

 361 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.07/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Beautiful bowling ball black with a creamy tan head builds out of no where and hangs around with fantastic retention and ok lace.

S - Nice crisp roast with deep cocoa and coffee highlights. Slight sour/musty edges.

T - Relatively light. Hammy smoke, char, and dark roast coffee.

M - Thin body for the style. Hides the 9% well though.

O - I'm ambivalent about the smoke, but overall it's the light body that really hurts the profile.

 440 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 962 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.