Brigadier (3250) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - OCT 4, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 ounce bottle
This was the 2012 vintage with just a couple of months on it. A fine and very affordable imperial stout now ranks with Old Rasputin as a beer I need to revisit more frequently than I manage to. Grab a couple of bottles when you get a chance and enjoy a brewery which has not sold out despite being one of the most influential in the country.
Aroma / Appearance - The deep oily base sweeps into the glass like the greasy remains of a dirty shop rag. Long sticky legs give it that heavy feel of a big imperial stout. Anise, licorice, and malt merge with the sticky chocolate and light smoke to create a pleasurable experience.
Flavor / Palate - Thick, oily, and chocolately this is strong without being a diabetes bomb like certain Southern Tier releases. Boozy and heady it does not take long for the ABV to make its presence known. Sticking to all corners of the mouth it lasts for a long time. Perhaps just a notch below the best it might be one of the best that is widely available at a low price point.
haddon90 (1561) - Costa Mesa, California, USA - OCT 3, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Deep black pour with a thin, tan, lacing head. Strong coffee aroma with cocoa and smokey malt. Cherry flavor with dark chocolate and coffee. Very strong flavor.
baraciisch (2300) - California, USA - OCT 2, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep black with tannish head... Aroma of roasted malts, alcohol... Flavor is coffee, roasted malts, alcohol is very prevalent in this... Decent, a little too boozy
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Shooter42 (131) - California, USA - OCT 2, 2013
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Very robust imperial stout and my favorite offering from Sierra Nevada so far. Intense and dark with warm alcohol burn and toasty malts.
jeremyh70 (881) - Missouri, USA - OCT 2, 2013
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2014 2013 bottle - Pulled a year old bottle from my cellar and Narwhal improved very well with age. More chocolate aroma than before, as well as the coffee and dark fruit as before and some cherry. Taste has more chocolate also and the roast flavor has rounded out nicely allowing a bit of sweetness to come to the front. The coffee is almost like a mocha flavor now and the dark cherry is still there. Creamy mouthfeel and full bodied. Very good. Need to buy more to age even longer.
Pours black with a hint of brown highlights, a half finger of tan head that disappears quickly and leaves little lacing. Aroma of coffee, chocolate, roast and a hint of dark fruit. Taste has cocoa and roastiness with some coffee and a dark cherry flavor. A medium bitterness that is both roasty and hoppy. Semi dry and moderately bitter finish. Mouthfeel is semi creamy with a medium body and carbonation. Solid stout with nice flavors but may improve with a little aging, allowing some of the sharper flavors to round out.
Doofgoblin (429) - Chevy Chase, Washington DC, USA - OCT 1, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is a great imperial stout! Aroma is bold, rich, espresso, faint chocolate, and a little boozy. Taste is coffee and rich malt flavor. The finish is smooth and delicious and very full bodied... really nice.
coolfunnj (323) - Margate City, New Jersey, USA - SEP 30, 2013
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
strong aromas of coffee and chocolate,licorice,caramel bit of smoke and some spice... deep dark brown/black liquid allows no light thru with thin tan head leaves plenty of lacing..you get all the flavors of the aroma in the flavor along with a bit of dark fruitiness,vinous quality,and even a bitter hint of tingly hops at the end..kind of reminds me of old Rasputin with a bit more fruit and licorice flavor..overall if you like Russian imperials youll be very pleased by this
mrjaxson (352) - .08 Junction, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 29, 2013
4.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
An appearance point for the bottle label artwork--really! Not only a great-tasting imperial stout with layer upon layer of chocolate and coffee sweetness plus a mild kick of hop bitterness, but a killer design on the label to set the tone for whatís to come. The first three bottles in the four-pack went down so quickly, itís going to be a challenge to hide the last bottle in the beer cellar.
icehawk (834) - Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, USA - SEP 29, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Aroma: Dark malts, chocolate hints
Appearance: Pitch black with brownish head
Taste: Dry cocoa, hints of coffee
Palate: Big coating mouthfeel. Very dry cocoa finish.
Overall: Not as complex as I had expected, but this big beer is very tasty and the abv makes this a very warming beer.
Doghair (294) - Illinois, USA - SEP 29, 2013
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Nice roasted malt aroma. Good looking pour with thick tan foam. Big toasty malt flavors jump right out. Thereís dark chocolate, caramel and a little smoke. Nice lingering finish. The heavier mouth feel helps the flavors.
Easily one of the best imperial stouts Iíve had.