Beer Reviews

Night Whale (Imperial Stout)

Call me Night Whale.
This barrel-aged leviathan is breaching the surface—singing its sonorous song resounding with notes of roasted malt, dark chocolate, toasted oak and vanilla. As elusive as it is colossal, Night Whale is sure to swing open the great floodgates of the wonder-world.

Reviews are done by Jim Matt, our Chief Science Officer, who is also a veteran FoBAB judge, GABF judge, and BJCP Master judge.

Style: Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Aging Regiment: 24 months in Bourbon Barrels

At 16.2% with 2 years in bourbon barrels, Night Whale is a beast of a brew. What was the inspiration behind this Imperial Stout?

We wanted to unveil a new stout that was higher in ABV than anything we had brewed before. Ink is a great beer, but we wanted to up the ante with something bigger, badder and bolder.

What makes you want to drink this beer?

To get a good buzz going? Actually, the level of flavor and complexity in this beer really draws you in to want to try it!

Appearance: Black/opaque. Medium-low carbonation. Medium-thick tan head with excellent retention.

Aroma: Medium high malt aroma with notes of dark fruit, licorice, chocolate, coffee. Medium bourbon notes, a good dose of vanilla pops through as the sample warms. Low hop aroma, medium fruity esters, a waft of alcohol.

Taste: Medium high malt flavor, with roasted coffee, a light, “chocolate covered cherry,” note, chocolate, and a slight nutty flavor. Moderate bourbon character with some raw wood notes and vanilla. Medium hop bitterness, low hop flavor, medium fruity esters. Finish is fairly dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Creamy, some moderate alcohol warmth.

Overall: An intense Imperial Stout that was made from the ground up to be barrel aged. Deep, dark and dangerous!

What foods would pair well with Night Whale?

Chocolate covered cherries or strawberries or a rich beef stew.

Ideal glassware for Night Whale?

A 10 oz snifter glass or even a whiskey tasting glass.