Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 1354   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.9/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 60   EST. CALORIES: 306   ABV: 10.2%
Narwhal Imperial Stout is the latest beer in Sierra Nevada’s High Altitude Series. This malt-forward monster is bold – with notes of baker’s cocoa, molasses, and dark roasted coffee. This massive imperial stout is incredibly complex, rich, and intense and will develop in the bottle for years to come.

Style: Imperial Stout
Hops: Magnum, Challenger
Malts: Two Row Pale, Chocolate, Honey, Carafa, Roasted Barley

Availability: 12 oz bottles, Draft
Arrival: October, 2012

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ericular (891) - Minnesota, USA - DEC 30, 2012
UPDATED: DEC 30, 2014 Pours black with light brown head fading to a thin layer with good lacing. Aroma is smoked meats and leather. Taste is also smokey and meaty, with plenty of alcohol heat coming in the middle, leaving a slightly roasty but mostly meaty aftertaste. Palate is creamy but too thin for a 5, drying quickly with bitterness in the end. Surprisingly, exactly two years later, the rating seems dead-on for this one.

On tap @ Buster’s on 28th. Dark brown with light brown head. Aroma was a bit weak - roasted, chocolate, a little coffee. Taste is sweet for just a second until the bitterness takes over and continues through the aftertaste. Palate is thick and smooth, but carbonated enough to give it a bit of a soda feel. 6+4+8+4+14=3.6 (12/30/12)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Cavie (4086) - Arlington, Texas, USA - DEC 30, 2012
Bottle from central market. Pours a very dark brown with a touch of black coloring With a touch of black. Aroma is a bit roasted with some nice easy nuts. Flavor is nice but has a bit of chocolatey overtones mixed with some roastyness that finishes all the way through to the end.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Fratto (2845) - Arlington, Texas, USA - DEC 29, 2012
Bottle from Cavie. Dark pour with a light brown head. Aroma is chocolate, vanilla, and roast. Taste is heavily roasted, vanilla, a little coffee, and a big bitter finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
msh4k3 (8) - USA - DEC 29, 2012 does not count
Pours nice pitch black with a nice tan head that fades quickly into a little soapy scum lacing. Smells a bit of sweet malts, chocolate, and faintly of coffee. On first sip you get a nice bit of sweet malts followed by bitterness from the chocolate and the coffee. After you swallow you get a little alcohol burn that follow down warming throat, and tummy! Very creamy mouth fell goes down easy then you really feel the alcohol in this beer woah. Not too dry, and not too sweet! Nice sipping beer on cold night as today! Great price point. Hope i can find these throughout the rest of the winter season!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bytemesis (5584) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - DEC 29, 2012
Bottle, 2012. Pours opaque black with a small dark brown head that dissipates quickly leaving a bit of lacing. Fairly light aroma with notes of coffee, dark roasted malts, molasses, and citrus. Flavor is much the same, only lightly sweet with citrus notes prominent and a citric acidic astringence that fades over time. Light to medium coffee and hoppy bitterness through the finish. Full bodied and creamy in the mouth. This is a good impy for those who do not like excessive sweetness or chocolate flavors.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
puboflyons (2788) - Allenstown, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 29, 2012
From the 12 fl. oz. bottle, 2012 batch, stamped: 2279210:52. It pours a deep dark maroon-brown to black with a delicate, tan head that leaves lacing galore. On the nose the malts are forward with a solid coffee character and a faint hop bitterness. The body is bold. The taste ends with a medium and dry bitterness. Looks, smells, and tastes like an Imperial Stout should.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Prufrockstar (1699) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 28, 2012
UPDATED: MAY 24, 2015 Bottle to tulip. Pours black with tan head which dissipates quickly. No lacing. Aroma is molasses, chocolate, vanilla. Muddy buddies. Taste: moderate sweetness, moderate to strong roast + hop bitterness. Coffee grounds. Some alcohol in the finish. Palate: full-bodied, moderate carbonation. Overall: quite tasty. Great price. Will happily add this to my rotation of "everyday" imperial stouts. [8/4/7/4/16 - 12/28/2012]

Blind RIS experiment [Sample 1/20, 3/23/2015]:
Deep dark opaque, near black pour into tiku glass (thanks to Eugene for the glass, and Summer for the pour). 1 finger or so of creamy khaki head, good retention, sheets of lacing. Aroma is pretty boring for an imperial stout. Baker’s chocolate, with mild roast, and some higher alcohols on the nose. As it opens up, there’s also vanilla and some more sweet, almost milky (lactose?) aromas added in, but that isn’t at the forefront. Before tasting, I’d give this RB scale numbers of 6.5/4.5. Taste brings in a lot of roast, almost smokiness. Thick, chewy body. Well no, that’s a bit much -- full body, texture is thick and oily, leaving a coating, but not quite the full chewy syrupy viscous texture of some other imperial stouts. Back to the taste, as it goes in it’s clearly much more on the bitter, roasty side, with the chocolate lingering. Sweetness on nose comes out even more as it warms. Overall: this was a good place to start I think -- it has a lot of the elements of an IS, but doesn’t come together all that well for me. Aroma is weaker than most, and the overly burnt roasty bitterness is actually a bit too harsh. Texture comes across as a bit chalky by the end. Also, this packs a "bitter taste / sweet aftertaste" combo that becomes less and less appealing as the drink goes on. That sweet coating just builds over time. How much would I be willing to pay for a bottle of this? No more than Old Rasputin prices, so $2.50 / bottle. But I wouldn’t want a 6-pack. 6/4/7/4/13

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Advocate_Ames (549) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 28, 2012
There is very little lacing around my glass. The scent nice. I pick up on roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, hops, and a slight sweetness that could possibly be molasses? The smooth Narwhal has great flavor. The malts taste delicious. I also enjoyed the coffee mixture. There is a sweet dryness to this drink. Its very subtle but nonetheless present. The drink finishes with a tame bitterness. Overall this is a highly recommend stout in my book.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DWestrick (557) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - DEC 28, 2012
on tap at JK O’Donnells in Fort Wayne. A smooth, easy to drink Imperial Stout. Big bodied and strong dark chocolate finish. Yum!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BeerandBlues2 (11474) - Escondido, California, USA - DEC 28, 2012
Bottle. Pours opaque with a small, frothy tan head, short retention with light lacing. Aroma is chocolate, roast and coffee malt with raisins, prunes, licorice, and oak with pine and herbal hops. Flavor is malt dominant with medium hops and bitterness, dark fruity esters, oak, and a sweet finish. Full body and medium carbonation.

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