Sierra Nevada Cocoa Coconut Narwhal

Review Date 11/4/2019 By John Staradumsky

Sometime around September of 2017, Sierra Nevada released a special version of their Narwhal Imperial Stout as part of their Trip in the Woods series of beers: Sierra Nevada Cocoa Coconut Narwhal Ale Brewed with Cocoa and Coconut and Aged in Bourbon Barrels. I bought a bottle despite the steep price of $19.99 because, well, I love Sierra Nevada, I love Narwhal Imperial Stout and I love coconut. Win, win, win!

Anyway, as you might have already observed, it is November of 2019 as I type this at you. So, it’s apparent I took my bottle, aged in bourbon barrels by Sierra Nevada, and aged it some more. A little over two years to be precise. As I was watching Sunday Night Football (Patriots at Ravens) with my kids, I thought I would pop it to share with my daughter’s boyfriend. Hi Chris!

The beer was spectacular, so before I get into the flavor profile I will let Sierra Nevada speak for a bit.

They say about the series:


When beer meets barrel, incredible things happen. The passage of time and the influence of wood

combine to create a final product much greater than the sum of its individual parts. Our Trip in the

Woods series is designed to highlight the complex interplay between beer and barrel. Each beer

has matured in a wooden cask originally used to age and mellow spirits, and the time in slumber

creates rich and layered flavors unique to this difficult and hands-on process.


And of this beer in particular:


Narwhals are things of legend, myth, and mystery. Every so often, a rare specimen surfaces for a moment, but then dives back into the deep, never to be seen again. This very special version of our Narwhal Imperial Stout was brewed with toasted coconut and then left to mature in Kentucky bourbon barrels for nearly a year. To the barrels, we added additional coconut and cocoa nibs to create a uniquely rich and decadent stout. Catch a glimpse while you can before this rare treat slips below the surface forever.

Sierra Nevada Cocoa Coconut Narwhal Ale Brewed with Cocoa and Coconut and Aged in Bourbon Barrels has an alcohol content of 11.9% by volume. As previously mentioned, I paid $19.99 for a 25.4 ounce bottle.

Sierra Nevada Cocoa Coconut Narwhal Ale Brewed with Cocoa and Coconut and Aged in Bourbon Barrels pours to a jet-black color with a thick tan head of foam and rich notes of cocoa and coconut in the nose. Taking a sip, the beer is full in body, rolling luxuriously over the tongue. The flavors come in waves: boozy bourbon, smooth cocoa, caramel, potent coconut, toasty woody notes, roasted barley, char, all leading into a big boozy finish.

A true sipping beer, this was a sheer delight with the coconut well represented (not an easy feat in such a big brew). Would I buy it again? I sure wood. Errr, would. If it ever comes back again.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.