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My first beer review of 2018!  Seems fitting that I go with the beer i purchased specifically for drinking on New Year’s Eve.  My wife and I hope to spend more time hiking this coming year, so I kind of felt like this one was calling out to me from the shelf.


Beer Name: Trip in the Woods: Cocoa Coconut Narwhal

Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (Chico, CA)

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 11.8%

Description: Part of the Trip in the Woods series featuring barrel aged versions of some of Sierra Nevada’s favorite brews, this offering saw their Narwhal Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels with coconut and cocoa nibs.  The 25.4 oz. bottle cost about $20.

Appearance: Thick, black body that generated a thin tan head of foam with the pour.

Smell: Inviting blend of chocolate, coconut, and sweet bourbon.

Taste: Rich dark malts at the very start were soon followed by notes of semi-sweet chocolate and mild coconut.  A smooth, creamy sweet blend of these flavors was joined on the finish by a bit of bourbon that brought the beer to a finish that was warm and sweet,

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy thickness with a low-level of carbonation.

Hype: I suppose no hype.  Most seasoned beer enthusiasts have a personal favorite or three from Sierra Nevada’s lineup, but the brewery doesn’t usually create a big stir in the hype department.

Overall: I really liked this.  It happily did not go too heavy on the coconut and instead offered a nice, smooth blend of flavors that accentuated a sweet bourbon finish.  The beer did come with a fairly significant price tag attached (at least in relation to the brewery’s regular offerings), but I do think it was pretty in-line with comparable releases.  A very, very tasty treat.