Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout (2012)

From the Brewery: DSC_0345 DSC_0344

“A malt-forward monster, highlighting the depths of malt flavor. Narwhal Imperial Stout is inspired by the mysterious creature that thrives in the deepest fathoms of the frigid Arctic Ocean. Featuring incredible depth of malt flavor, rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke, Narwhal is a massive malt-forward monster. Aggressive but refined with a velvety smooth body and decadent finish, Narwhal will age in the bottle for years to come.” 10.2% ABV

The Pour: DSC_0346

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my brandy snifter. Narwhal pours a thick, oily jet-black. The head is dark khaki, beginning dense and foamy before settling into a thin layer throughout the duration. Moderate lacing was left on the glass.

The Nose: DSC_0347

Immediately after popping the cap, a thick dark chocolaty/burnt-malt scent emanates from the bottle. Under the generous malts lie a bit of black licorice, dark fruits, a hint of hops. There is also a pretty good alcohol aroma.

The Mouth: DSC_0348

Initially rich, velvety, and smooth. This leads to a moderate bitter alcohol burn on the back end. There are generous amounts of bittersweet malts, leading to a long-lingering palate of dark chocolate, coffee, caramel and smokiness. I didn’t get much in the way of hops on the mouth, but my Narwhal burp was nearly all hop (weird, right?). The alcohol really warms me as the flavors linger.

Final Thoughts:

A big, rich, complex beer. Another very solid example of an imperial stout. The malts are done incredibly well. This is a beer to drink on the coldest, darkest wintry night. The alcohol isn’t hidden the way it is in some other big beers I’ve had, but I think it really compliments the overall Narwhal experience. 8.5/10

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Chico, Ca

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This entry was posted in Beer Reviews, Stouts/Porters. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout (2012)

  1. Pingback: North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | Toby's Beer Reviews

  2. Pingback: All Beer Reviews | Toby's Beer Reviews

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