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RATINGS: 1178   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 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 31, 2012
A steady pour into my Bruery tulip produces a dense, creamy, three finger thick, rich brown stained tan colored head. The beer is a dark, concentrated black color that is quite opaque. The aroma is fruity, hoppy, roasted, and concentrated dark malt. Burnt molasses notes, burnt plum notes, concentrated brown sugar, interesting, slightly tannic, tobacco notes, and, as you really take a deep draught of the nose, firm, roasted coffee notes, and toasted / blackened whole grain. There is quite a bit of hop character here, in addition to the ample citrus notes, lots of pine, woody notes, and even some floral, almost tropical fruit like notes.

Rich, somewhat viscous, but still fairly light for an Imperial stout, the beer is amply hoppy with a huge bitterness, lots of burnt citrus character, and lots of woody, pine, and even some spruce tip like flavors. Lots of roasted character provides notes of burnt plums, coffee liquor, and lots of drying, firm, lingeringly burnt, roast malt character. Somewhat evocative of woody notes, a definite firm, almost astringent character from the roast malt and hop interaction. Roasted molasses, chalk, coffee husks, and lots of burnt fruit character add some subtle, underlying complexity here.

This beer could certainly age quite well, I like the vibrant hop character right now, but this should mellow out, and the roast should smooth out quite well with age, including nullifying the effects of oxidation. Much more hoppy than I was expecting from the description, but the first time I had heard of this beer I was expecting a black / roast version of Bigfoot, and this does form a reasonable facsimile of that. In the end this is quite “niced”, it fits the spot of my imagined gap in the Sierra Nevada lineup. This is definitely a beer I will be buying a couple of every year (a fairly rare even).

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
devman171 (1048) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - DEC 31, 2012
UPDATED: FEB 7, 2013 Nice dark pour, not much aroma. taste is dark roast with booze. Pretty good stout.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ryanscourt (795) - Latrobe, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 30, 2012
Black. Very enjoyable. Roasted stout like flavor. A strong alcohol taste and after taste- a little over powering for me, hides the chocolate flavor.Very enjoyable.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ericular (686) - Minnesota, USA - DEC 30, 2012
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Cavie (3842) - Fort Worth, 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 (2654) - 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 (6) - 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 (3505) - 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 (2224) - 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Prufrockstar (1139) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 28, 2012
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. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

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