overall
99
91
style
RATINGS: 1468   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.91/5   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 60   EST. CALORIES: 306   ABV: 10.2%
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

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ThisWangsChung's rating

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
ThisWangsChung (836) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - SEP 17, 2013
12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Really looking forward to this one. A: Pours a very dark red color. It’s so, so close to being pitch black, but not quite. The head is a two finger khaki shade. Retention is decent if not spectacular, and a nice layer of lacing is left behind. S: This pops with chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, some leafy hops...and a LOT of alcohol. This smells really boozy even for 10.2%, and it’s not a particularly refined alcohol presence. Even worse, it seems to detract from the rest of the brew. But of course, given the chance to warm up, all its alcohol calms down - slightly. T: There’s no two ways around it - this mutha is harsh. Roasted malts open this one up, sandwiching a cream-laden coffee middle with its boozy, fruity finish. Some hoppiness appears in the aftertaste. I would have hoped that the alcohol would at least create some nuance and depth, alas no; it’s not dead simple, but it should be more complex considering. Giving it the chance to warm/open up doesn’t improve it much either. Maybe it makes it *slightly* less harsh. M: It’s creamy and lush feeling, like an imperial stout should be. I’m also kind of glad it isn’t particularly dry finishing, because all it would really do is expose the alcohol even further. Carbonation isn’t really a factor. O: This could be my biggest letdown of 2013. It had many things going for it to be topnotch - SN’s reputation, well received on BA, inexpensive - but in the end was nearly ruined by the generic harshness. My other bottles are going in the cellar; there’s a very good RIS underneath this all, and aging it may be exactly what the doctor ordered.


4.4
vinivini (3146) - Gomel, BELARUS - JAN 16, 2018
Bottle. Misty deep brown to black. Beige head. Aroma: big malts, roast, molasses, esters. Vinous. Medium to full body. Taste: light sweet. Rich maltiness. Dried fruit. Port wine. Some caramel. Well-hopped. Perfect. That's what I mean by a classic imperial stout.

3.9
jmgreenuk (10322) - Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA - JAN 15, 2018
12 fl Oz bottle, 2013. Poured a clear dark brown colour with a frothy tan head. The aroma is roasty caramel malt, smoke, coffee, chocolate, big liquorice. The flavour is moderate sweet, liquorice bitter with a rich oily roasty malt, alcohol, hop bitter palate. Medium to full bodied with soft carbonation.

4
TopFloor (1) - SWEDEN - JAN 6, 2018 does not count
Greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaa via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.9
SONOFWODEN (77) - New York, USA - DEC 17, 2017
Another great one from Sierra Nevada. This is head to head with Old Rasputin. Narwhal pours with a thick, cream-colored head that hangs around nearly to the end. I definitely pick up dark cocoa, roasted coffee and a very slight sweetness. Celebration Ale and Narwhal are a great left jab and right hook for Late Fall and Winter. I am not a Sierra promoter -- but -- I picked these up about a month apart and they really hit the spot for this time of year!

4.3
snowcrash000 (97) - Cologne, GERMANY - DEC 13, 2017
UPDATED: DEC 15, 2017 Pours a pitch black coloration with a large, creamy head. Smells wonderfully of rich milk chocolate, with notes of caramel, coffee and a hint of dark fruits. Taste follows the nose, with an outstanding, smooth and rich milk chocolate taste and notes of roasted malt, coffee, dark fruits and just a hint of licorice. Light bitterness and and a very rich, creamy and smooth mouthfeel. I think this ages incredibly well. I had a 2016 bottle and the chocolate was so rich and smooth, while the bitterness seemed pretty light. I'd take this over Old Rasputin any day, which is more coffee-forward, sweeter and has a much worse mouthfeel, in my opinion.

3.9
GregMooreNH (247) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - DEC 9, 2017
Pours deep, dark brown with a thick, dense head that lingers. Aroma is chocolate, roast and the distinctive magnum hops. Taste is chocolate, toffee and roast - each working in slowly. Finish is smooth coffee flavor. A very good imperial stout.

4.1
MKromhoutNC (28) - North Carolina, USA - DEC 8, 2017
Good stout taste - thick, only slightly sweet, caramel coffee goodness. I think I'll drink the rest! ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.9
herinmary (108) - RUSSIA - DEC 8, 2017
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2017 Аромат поджаристый, солодовый, кофейный. Во вкусе хороший баланс жженого солода и кофе со сливками без лишней горечи и сладости, но и без изысков.

3.8
Vighals (4542) - Sørumsand, NORWAY - DEC 4, 2017
UPDATED: DEC 4, 2017 Svart med fingerhøyt beige skum. Lukter salt lakris, noe pepper og kakaopulver. Fyldig. Smaker salt lakris, noe sitrus og kaffebitterhet, lett maltig sødme.

3.5
Thunderverb (125) - Visby, SWEDEN - NOV 22, 2017
Pours black with on head. Atoms of coffee, chocolate, vanilla and coca cola. High bitterness. Taste of coffee, chocolate and roasted malt. Decent.


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