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RATINGS: 1249   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.89   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 60   EST. CALORIES: 306   ABV: 10.2%
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Narwhal Imperial Stout is the latest beer in Sierra Nevadaís High Altitude Series. This malt-forward monster is bold Ė with notes of bakerís 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 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
sfontain (830) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 8, 2012
12 oz bottle. Used motor oil; super thick luscious medium brown head; negligible lacing. Smells like a big beer; dark, malty, raisin, caramel, chocolate, possibly vanilla. Flavor is big and fairly complex; dark fruit and vegatables, slightly sour, chocolate, even yeasty. Mouthfeel slick, slippery, silky, medium-thick but not very sticky. Notable alcohol in the exhale. Baby, this is good; just a small tick away from blown-away by this one.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Overml01 (225) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - DEC 8, 2012
Finally gave this a try last night. Not bad, but didnít blow me away. Plenty of coffee and decently creamy while not being too bitter, closer to a russian imperial stout. I was personally hoping for it to be a touch sweeter, but thatís just what I prefer. Definitely not overly boozy... just a nice beer to sit down to the computer with.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hawthorne00 (2662) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - DEC 8, 2012
UPDATED: OCT 17, 2013 Bottle, 14C. Black with an inch of tan head that fades to a good coat. Aroma of treacle, mocha, prunes, grass. Full-bodied, but not syrupy - slightly oily. Bitterness is upfront with some grapefruit (feh!) and then gives way to coffee, dark sugars and chocolate. Spices and coffee at the end with a little heat. [3.6]

Another 2012 bottle. Something citrusy/ herbal that just doesnít work for me in this one.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
dmschefke (570) - Macomb, Michigan, USA - DEC 7, 2012
Pours a near pitch black with dark tan head, lots of lacing. Aroma was surprisingly underwhelming for me, but there was roasted malt, cocoa, caranel, anise, molasses, and slight coffee. Flavor is a bit boring at first, but definitely got better as it warmed. About halfway through the glass, it was really coming around to be a very nice impy stout. The cocoa and molasses started taking over a bit, but the rest were still there for balance. Some nice floral hops for good measure and it did the job.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
atomcow1 (18) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - DEC 7, 2012
Really tasty Imperial. Beautiful jet black color and a surprising hop presence early on. The finish is all roasted cocoa. Went great with some dark chocolate on a rainy Friday night.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dimenhetfield (2487) - , Florida, USA - DEC 7, 2012
12oz bottle poured into snifter. Was very surprised by how much roasted cocoa flavor I got out of this. The aroma has a slight hop presence but the roasted malts really take center stage here. Very good beer!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
vyvvy (4470) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - DEC 7, 2012
Pours very dark with a large head that is brown / burnt orange. The aroma has dark chocolate, cream, roasted malt, licorice, minor hops, ice cream malt and is very full, rich and bold. It has a full lush body with a good amount of gentle carbonation. The flavor starts with heavily roasted bitter malt, deep earthy hops, bakers chocolate and anise. The finish is hoppier, earthier and on the harsh side. Nicely done impy stout.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Capa (2153) - Transient., - DEC 7, 2012
Pours the color of used oil with a ring of brown head. Aroma is roasted malts, coffee, dark fruit, molasses, booze. Chewy body. Flavor has loads of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, booze, sweet malt, and a bit of dark fruits. Great for the cold weather.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
brian60625 (742) - Illinois, USA - DEC 6, 2012
12 ounce bottle. If you donít know what a narwhal is, then you should google it like I did. The narwhal sneaks up and impales you before you know it. In other words, thereís a big abv thatís noticeable but not intrusive. The appearance is pitch black and syrupy with thick brown foam on top and a resin on the glass. Aroma is malted nuts. Taste is easy sippiní liquor, honey, chocolate, coffee and enjoyable smooth malts. Palate is big bodied. I liked it a lot and Iíll keep my eyes pealed for more in the Sierra Nevada High Altitude Series.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Ernest (6516) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 6, 2012
Bottle. Head is initially small, frothy, brown, mostly diminishing. Body is opaque black (flashlight tested). Aroma is moderately malty (chocolate milk/cookies, roasted grain), lightly to moderately hoppy (apricot, grapefruit), lightly to moderately yeasty (dough, sweat), with notes of vanilla, alcohol, rubber/paint, tar. Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter. Full body, syrupy/velvety texture, lively carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic. Well, here it is, the well-hyped impy from SN. Does it hold up to the microscope treatment? Yes and no. It certainly isnít the blockbuster people seem to want it to be, thatís clear even from the first whiff and sip. But neither is it a failure. One of the problems with imperial stouts is that the competition is pretty fierce...there are a crap ton of them out there, especially in the US, and thus it would be difficult for SN to compete with breweries who have more (and better) experience with these types of beers (SNís standard porter and stout are not particularly notable examples of their respective styles, for example). And it does start out reasonably well with a totally opaque body, even if the head is small and fleeting. The aroma has the characteristic hop odor of SN...they really like the grapefruit slant in that arena. The malt is strong in the nose of course, but it is rather simple...the usual chocolate and roast, with the ubiquitous vanilla-ish backdrop. Alas, SNís trademark raw yeast odor is evident and doesnít help the bouquet, nor does the phenolic off notes...theyíre not terribly strong and can mostly be ignored if you donít pay attention, but they are there. Flaws aside, though, this is very standard fare, aromatically...there really isnít much depth, although the bright hops do help to draw attention away from the simple malt and fermentation aspects. Even after 45 minutes of warming in my glass, nothing new was coming out (and the raw yeast odor only got stronger). In the mouth, itís very syrupy sweet and without much to offer for balance...to be expected to some degree in the style, but still too fatiguing to be enjoyable. It is, indeed, a sugar bomb. There are worse offenders in this genre, no doubt, but the bottom line is I had very little desire to drink much of this...neither the aroma nor the mouth experience drew me back for more. But, of course, this has what most beer geeks crave...alcohol and sugar, and in that regard it certainly does deliver. Itís also not being sold in 750mL corked bottles for $25, so thatís a plus as well. This is not a bad beer by any means, but it simply doesnít compete with the plethora of superior examples out there.

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