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RATINGS: 1249   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.89   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 60   EST. CALORIES: 306   ABV: 10.2%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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


3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
GoufCustom (950) - HONG KONG - FEB 21, 2015


355 ml bottle bought at CitySuper in Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui.

Looks: Very deep blackish brown Less than one-quarter finger head and dark beige foam which fades in 20 seconds. Moderate sticky lacing and near zer0 carbonation.

Aroma: Fragrant ale malt, with strong roastyness, whipped cream, strong cocoa, coffee, sugar, caramel, toffee, very light alcohol, very light lemon and sharp grassy hops,

Taste: Nice strong sweet dark malt, with strong roastyness, strong rum-like alcohol, light honey, sugar, vanilla, black coffee, lime, strong bitter hops and quite sharp grass.

Body: Medium body. Fairly slick palate.

Mouth Feel: Fair to good malty backbone with solid roastyness. The Barcardi rum-like booze and honey-sugar sweetness dominates and pretty much overwhelm everything else. Not that I don’t like them, but they seems to make its taste less subtle when I want to explore further. Vanilla and coffee are pale shadow, thin and no creamyness. Simple-minded but strong limey hops rounds it up. Good but it’s seems something’s missing…

Hoppiness: Magnum’s toffee, light lemon and sharp grass in nose. Lime and fairly strong grass in taste. Bitterness is overwhelmed by rum booze so much that the 60 IBU is rather tame for a lasting, sugary sweet bitter finish.

After Taste: Fairly dry after taste. Sweet and fairly bitter to mouth.

Comments: Its name implies a whale of a Stout and I did expect a lot. As it turns out, the neat cocoa aroma and lovely sweet rum taste is really enjoyable, but on the other hand it lacks creaminess and all those subtle coffee and dark roasty tastes so common in other Imperial Stouts. So it’s nice but doesn’t blow my mind like North Coast’s Rasputin. Worth trying but not top.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
dyetube (1245) - McKinney, Texas, USA - FEB 20, 2015
Bottle from Market Street. Pours black with a medium tan head. The aromas are rich chocolate, coffee, oil. The mouthfeel is dry bitter and roasty with a heavy body and good carbonation. Cheers!

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
heemer77 (5148) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - FEB 18, 2015
Bottle. Perfectly black with a medium brown colored head. Nose of anise and milk chocolate. There is also some nice plum character. This tastes of rich dark chocolate and tobacco. There is also some espresso and a hint of umami. Prunes with a hint of salt were also present. Overall, a well done imperial stout, but a little hot in the finish. This is necessarily a sipper. I like, but do not love it.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
pressboxjoe (275) - , New Jersey, USA - FEB 18, 2015
Bottle. Roasty and a little harsh, sweetness in the finish. Coffee and chocolate, but a little muted for me. Perfectly enjoyable, but unexceptional.

4.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
TheCaptMatey (162) - Ohio, USA - FEB 17, 2015
Poured a black to opaque colour qith a thin coffee head. Aroma of dark chocolate malt and maple syrup. Flavor is chocolate, molasses, and roasted coffee malts. Full bodied brew with a smooth warming sweet finish. Solid beer which I must have again.

4
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
sloshgator (514) - Orlando, Florida, USA - FEB 16, 2015
Sierra Nevada Narwhal is a solid Imperial Stout but not so much a standout. Light malt chocolate aroma rising from a dark pour with a tight tan head. Taste is a smooth combination of mostly chocolate notes with a little coffee. The high ABV is not detectable in the taste. Narwhal holds up the style well and doesn’t disappoint.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
neongolden (680) - Linköping, Sweden/Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 14, 2015
(355ml 2014 bottle from Systembolaget) Pours pitch black with a moderate head of pale brown bubbles that recedes quickly. Aroma really malty with notes of molasses, semisweet chocolate, dark malt, coffee, a hint of soy sauce, a sort of sweet fruity pine resin character in the background and an ashy sort of roast. Palate is really sweet and malty at first, surprisingly fruity with a raisin/dark fruit character augmenting the molasses and toffee dark malt notes you’d expect. There is some chocolate and sweet cold coffee, a bit of soy and anise for edge. Lots of ashy charred roast builds in the finish, still sugary and fruity malts but balanced by the roast bitterness and some alcohol heat. Aftertaste has some woody roast and coffee ground notes. Medium full syrupy mouthfeel with soft carb. This is quite a good imperial stout and pleasant to drink, but not quite at the level of the style’s best. Solid brew.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
swannycellars (17) - Swanbourne, AUSTRALIA - FEB 12, 2015
Very good stout with all of the great stout characters. The balance between bitter cocoa/coffee and molasses sweetness is amazing. Mouth feel is super silky and we loved the bitter finish. Look forward to the barrel aged version.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Muggus69 (1362) - Yarram, Vic, AUSTRALIA - FEB 12, 2015
355mL bottle 2014 vintage PKGD 10/20/14 Stunning looking stout - pitch black body, holds dense deep-tan head. Intense nose; dark chocolate, espresso, treacle, licorice, some earthiness (hops?), with floral, citrusy hop. Velvety smooth body, big but not cumbersome, chewy & long lasting. Just what you want from a RIS - bucketfuls of espresso, dark chocolate, undertones of earthy, floral hops. Long finish, smooth, warming without being too evident. Very tasty drop indeed. Missing that little X factor to put it up amongst the best Imp. Stouts though.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Scipio (743) - Palatine, Illinois, USA - FEB 11, 2015
Pours black with a medium with a medium brown head that settles very slowly. The aroma contains lots of roasted malts and coffee, along with lesser amounts of chocolate, caramel, and hints of licorice. The taste has a potent amount of roasted malts, and I find the advertised molasses as well. Coffee and chocolate undertones. Its kind of boozy at the end. Overall this is rather rich. Chocolaty, coffee aftertaste. More full in body, a slick, oily texture, and soft carbonation. This is a good, solid stout.


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