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RATINGS: 75   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.95   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 387   ABV: 12.9%
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Barrel-Aged Narwhal is our deliciously dark Imperial Stout aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. Barrel aging is a strange science; it mellows some characteristics of the original beer while intensifying others. Narwhal’s aggressive roastiness has calmed, but the rich, chocolate-like malt backbone is brought to the fore. Black as midnight, this intense stout is complex with notes of cocoa and espresso balanced with hints of vanilla and toasted coconut from the oak casks. Nearly as rare as it’s nautical namesake, try Barrel-Aged Narwhal while you can because like the creature itself, it will soon dive into the depths and leave nary a trace behind.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ACHops (737) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 24, 2014
750 ml bomber, served in a chalice. Pours thick inky brownish black with a thick mocha head that laces well. Aroma is big rich milk chocolate, roasty dark malt, molasses, mild espresso, port, bourbon, a hint of coconut... whoa. Not much oak but some leather and barrel-aged notes as well. Taste is similar although not quite as diverse or rich as the nose: dark roasty malt, some vanilla, huge cocoa and baking chocolate flavor mid-palate. The description is spot on: regular Narwhal is dominated by the roast, this is much better balanced, less dry, with a rich chocolate note dominating the roast. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel. Very light alcohol heat on the finish, but otherwise the 13% abv is well hidden. I’m sure this is young for this beer, and it will improve with age. A bit pricey at $20 a bottle, but quite promising.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
ineedbeer (839) - Oakland, California, USA - NOV 23, 2014
Poured from a 750 ml bottle. Aroma is full of rich chocolate notes with lighter coffee and faint roast. Hints of tobacco and leather. Light vanilla and coconut with some sweet bourbon notes and faint oak. Not super bourbon forward. Pours black with a small, fairly thin, dark mocha head that sticks around on the edges for quite some time. Light lacing and fairly long legs. Flavor is moderately sweet with lots of chocolate character. Medium light roasted coffee bean character. Light tobacco and leather with hints of dark fruit and smoke. More bourbon than in the aroma with fainter vanilla and coconut. Medium light alcohol spice in the finish. More dark fruit and bourbon as it warms. Moderate bitterness. Mouthfeel is full bodied and fairly silky with medium low carbonation. Low, but slightly present roast astringency and medium low alcohol warmth. Overall, a very nice, big stout with a lot of malt and barrel character with fairly clean yeast. The aroma is really nice, bit I fill the flavor did not quite match it. Nice mouthfeel but a bit of astringency from the roast.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Dansrc51 (46) - Eugene, Oregon, USA - NOV 22, 2014
Yep, they knocked it out of the park with this one. The barrel aging does not over power the beer, but compliments it. excellent

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
douglas88 (6251) - Portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 22, 2014
Bottle thanks to Justin for the assist. Pours a jet black color with a small beige head. A big malty chocolate nose, vanilla, wood. Rich beer, super sweet, toffee, vanilla, massive bourbon. Some heat. The beer is mostly Narwhal which is a testament to the base since the bourbon is huge. Ashy, dusty earthy malt base mixed with sweeter elements. Dark roast, coffee, bourbon. The slick sweet bourbon is omnipresent and lovely. Creamy palate. Overall, this is so well done. Sierra Nevada is indeed underrated. Licorice dry tannic finish. Very mature, well crafted brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
tgncc (2853) - Bellmore, New York, USA - NOV 22, 2014
The aroma is chocolate, vanilla, oak, cream, light bourbon, sweet. Nicely restrained on the booze. The appearance is deep black, thin tan head. Flavor is just like the aroma, the bourbon gives this lovely sweet, boozy quality without being harsh or overbearing, nicely compliments what is already a nice beer. The finish is sweet, chocolate, light booze, light roast. Thick, somewhat chewy. Nice!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DrewFace (849) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - NOV 21, 2014
Grainy, chocolate malt, light roastiness, some oaky notes and vanilla. Dark black, thick, with small tan head. Much of the same in the flavor, grainy roasty, chocolate, more booziness, some oak. Kinda flat tasting overall. High boost but just really not overwhelming.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Huhzubendah (2638) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 21, 2014
Near black opaque body with a small, oily, beige head. Bourbon, oak, roast aromas. Char and smoke in the flavor with a formidable whiskey presence. Lots of oak and barrel presence. The beer is getting a little better as it opens up. Wet wood and warming alcohol. Pretty tasty.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
gnomungus (79) - - NOV 18, 2014
Astringent alcohol is a bit heavy on the nose for my taste, but the flavor is solid. Coconut and vanilla stand out, with the coffee and chocolate taking a strong, but supporting role.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
mikedR (1313) - Gilbert, Arizona, USA - NOV 18, 2014
SN nailed this one. All the goodness of Narwhal, with the absolute perfect amount of aging. I’m getting just a hint of wood flavor as compared to the regular variety. Not sure what type of barrel they aged it in, but they have done it well. Superb.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
djd07 (3822) - Houston, Texas, USA - NOV 17, 2014
Bottle thanks to Russell. Pours a dark brown with small beige head. The aroma is strong wood, dark chocolate, black licorice. Medium mouthfeel with strong booze, wood, vanilla, roast.

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