The beer of the weekend is something I have been eyeing on the shelves for awhile: Narwhal Imperial Stout, brewed by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company of Chino, California.
Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. “PKGD 10/20/14 19:15” is printed at the top of the back label.
Appearance: Pours an opaque black into a snifter. A finger and a half of dense, dark tan-colored head dissipates slowly, leaving a short trail of lacing along the glass and a bubbly skim with a thick ring around the edge.
Smell: The first whiff is dark, boozy, and rich. A blend of roasted malt, molasses, caramel, and chocolate is most prominent. There is also a little bit of black licorice and dark fruit. A touch of booze tinges each whiff.
Taste: The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. The first sip is almost smoky, which I was not expecting since it was not evident in the smell. Roasted malt, chocolate, molasses, a little black licorice, and a touch of dark fruit. Alcohol is noticeable, but it is not distracting.
Drinkability: This is good and tasty stuff. It is not the best imperial stout out there, but it is a pretty good one.
Fun facts about Narwhal:
-Style. Imperial stout.
-Price: $9.99/four-pack at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City.
-Alcohol content: 10.2 percent ABV.
-Food pairings: “Chocolate Mousse, Braised Short Ribs, Tart Raspberry Cheesecake” are listed as “cuisine” pairings on the beer’s webpage, and Gorgonzola is listed as a cheese pairing.
The Quiet Man’s grade: B+.