Northwind Imperial Stout | Two Brothers Brewing Company

BA SCORE
85
very good
962 Ratings
THE BROS
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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
Ratings:
962
Reviews:
418
Avg:
3.78
pDev:
11.9%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
90
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 962 |  Reviews: 418
Photo of Blakaeris
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with a tan creamy head. Little to no lacing.

Aroma is roasted dark grain and a surprising amount of sweet dark fruit. Mild chocolate and coffee notes.

Taste is sweet rich chocolate up front. Then charred dark grain, coffee, and mild dark fruit makes an appearance. The finish is pleasantly bitter, and peppery.

Mouthfeel is smooth and soft. Medium bodied.

Overall a tasty, chocolate stout. However, I did find it to be too mild to have the title 'imperial'.

 480 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, damn near black in color. Only a slight quarter inch of head forms on the pour, but it's gone faster than it appears. Smell is roasted malts and some cocoa.
Taste has a bit more roasted coffee beans than you would ever pick up in the nose. It's a nice touch. Medium depth on the mouthfeel. Works well with the bitterness and the carbonation. I would like to see it be a little more creamy and more chocolate on the flavor. Still, it's a decent Impy in it's own right.

 493 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice 2 finger head with very good retention and a nice dark brown color.

Smell is pretty tame with some mild dark malts coming through and a bit of earthyness.

This beer has a sweet toffee flavor with some dark malts. Some roasted and chocolate characteristics come through with some adequate bitterness to balance. LOTS of body and unfermenatables in here.

This beer has an intense slick body.

This is a pretty drinkable, not bad at all.

 450 characters

Photo of hoosier222002
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Radome
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - A very, very dark brown, but not black. No light penetrates. Head is dark tan and made of tiny, creamy bubbles. It piled about 3/4" high after the pour, then slowly faded to a 1/8" layer and thick lacing.

S - The aroma is mostly grainy malt. Hops and alcohol are muted in comparison. Not as complex as other Imperial Stouts I've tried.

T - Taste is warm and bready malt. There is a crisp graininess to it. There is some of the rummy, dark fruit complexity that I like in this style. Not much alcohol flavor and the hop flavor is non-existent.

M - Thick body, creamy/silky carbonation feel. No hops presence.

O - Overall, this is a well-crafted, clean beer. It is not as big and bold as many other examples, but it is very enjoyable.

 784 characters

Photo of Treebs
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a Deschutes Snifter on Thanksgiving.

A: Pours a black color with dark brown edges. Looks a little thin. 2 finger light khaki head forms on the pour with pretty decent retention and a very bubble body.

S: Roasted biscuit malts and slight baker chocolate. Not really pungent and I have dig for it. Very light.

T: Slightly roasty and bitter bakers chocolate with some toasted malts. Again it dissipates quickly like the nose leaving a little more to be desired.

M: A little too thin and not much flavor retention on the palate.

O: Too thin a little and a little one dimensional in terms of the flavor profiles. Not a bad beer, but not one I'm going to seek out again.

 695 characters

Photo of indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was cellared for one year before being opened and what ever happened in that year certainly made this beer absolutely delicious.

Pour - super dark and viscous. Its the dredges from a super dark pot of coffee. This is black (period). No light shines through. The head is thin and coffee colored. This looks potent.

Aroma - lots of raisins and prunes along with licorice and anise. This is a very strong smelling RIS without a lot of malt or hop aromas just a ton of dark stewed and fermented fruits.

Taste - wow, all those smells come to life on my tongue. This has a very strong flavor of those dark fruits and a nice lashing of warm alcohol. This is not a heavily malt centered imperial stout nor is it hoppy, its all about the rich dark fruit flavors and how they've developed over the past year.

Overall - I'm really digging this beer, so much flavor and its certainly making me feel nice as well. You have to love 12 oz. bottles of strong beer. They are such perfect serving sizes.

Would I buy more of it? - I might be swayed, not sure. I really like this after a year in the cellar, it could be nice to buy some more bottles and put them away for years to come.

Vintage - Winter 2008/9

 1,210 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a used motor oil black, with medium-thick tan head that lingers well and leaves okay lacing. Try as I might, I could detect little nose. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, and as beer warmed, more tingly. Initial taste was dark fruit and coffee, which became overwhelmed by alcohol toward the end of the glass. Finish was semi-sweet and fairly long lasting, with alcohol becoming dominant at the end.

Not a bad, reasonably priced Impy.

 439 characters

Photo of roadhouse
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance is nearly black in color except for a few mahogany highlights when held up to a light source. The head is about an inch and a half thick and tan in color. It falls to a skim and leaves some moderate lacing.

Aroma is chocolaty, with a bit of licorice, dark fruit, and a slight vinous note.

Taste is again chocolaty up front with a bit of dark fruit in the middle, molasses, and the finish is like lightly creamed coffee.

Mouthfeel is medium, with a nice creamy texture. Not as thick as some Imperial Stouts but it's good.

Pretty good Imperial Stout. If there is such a thing as a sessionable RIS, then I guess this would have to be it.

 698 characters

Photo of JimGlonke
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of IMSPEAKNOENGLISH
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of scootercrabb
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of pagriley
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

2013 vintage, so a year of bottle age

A - pours pitch black, head dissipates quickly with a little lacing
S - Caramel, a hint of coffee and a bit of dried dark fruits coming through
T - toasty and roasty
M - smooth as you could want. A touch lighter in the body (no surprise given it is a year old)

Overall a super solid Imperial stout. Not sure why a fair few people aren't that excited - it is a $12 6-pack classic imperial stout that checks all the boxes! 2 bucks a bottle people!

 489 characters

Photo of JohnnyMc
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first beer from this brewery. It pours a very nice pitch black with a slight head.

The aroma is very subtle and has hints of chocolate, malt and smokiness. Taste wise is pretty much the same, there is a lot of malt and chocolate to taste and it's surprisingly mild for an Imperial Stout.

Despite the high ABV (9), there is no hint of alcohol in the taste or smell.

This is a decent beer, but not one of my favorites and certainly nowhere near the best Imperial Stout I have tried.

 494 characters

Photo of mattcrill
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Dark roasted grains, just a hint of fruitiness, a little light here but nothing off and pretty inviting.

Appearance: Jet black, a tight tan head, dark throughout. No edging at all.

Flavor: Strong roasted notes, coffee, chocolate, cocoa powder, some hop bitterness at the end and possibly some black patent notes which shouldn't be there.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, highly carbonated, mildly astringent, and a drying alcohol finish.

Overall impression: A little light on the mouthfeel for an impy stout. A touch too bitter (possibly from the black patent). A higher mash temperature or bumping up the unfermentables in the grain bill would put this over the top. A solid offering and with a few tweaks could be world class. Recommended.

 754 characters

Photo of rojapa
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of gpblackgt
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Gehrig
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep black body with tan foam sporting a slightly reddish trim to it. Nice aromas but a little faint for an RIS--chocolate, a bit of coffee, bit of berry, nothing to take control of it. That this translates to the taste is somewhat disappointing, though it's pretty good. Coffee, some molasses, and chocolate factor in most prominently but, again, this could use a take-charge characteristic. I find the texture on the thin side especially when compared to personal favorites such as Old Rasputin, but I suppose most are.

It's a pretty good beer, and nothing Two Brothers should be ashamed of by any means. But I find myself demanding more malt, yet again. Other Russian Imperial Stouts fit the bill better than this, though it's worth a try.

 743 characters

Photo of craytonic
2.97/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: BLack pour, nearly flat, no head or lacing
Smell: Chocolate, fudge, coffee, very simple and almost one-dimensional
Taste: Similar, lots of chocolate, fudge, and a hint of coffee; a bit sweet
Mouthfeel: a bit thin and sticky
Drinkability: one and done, never again.

 276 characters

Photo of jjayjaye
2.47/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours dark opaque black with a full finger dark tan head that fades fairly quickly.

The smell of roasted malt is overwhelming in that the "roasted" smell is borderline burnt. It's sharp and biting to me.

The intense roasted malt flavor adds to a somewhat heavier mouthfeel and gives it a chewy sensation. Hops are present and complemented with a balanced carbonation.

This is a very difficult one to swallow for me. The most difficult characteristic is the nose; i can hardly stand to get my face near enough to take a mouthful. There is a significant harsh acidic after taste that puts it to bed for me.

 613 characters

Photo of kerry4porters
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of maxpower
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby-black in color, has a small tightly bubbled tan head. Sweet, roasted caremel and coffee aroma, sweet plum-caremel flavor. Medium-body with creamy, smooth and slick mouthfeel, seems a little light for the style, still all in all decent stout.

 251 characters

Photo of mattsucks
4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Brushkanna
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of oso
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Northwind Imperial Stout from Two Brothers Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 962 ratings.
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