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Review of Goose Island Night Stalker (2011)

31 Oct
Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the 2011 version of Goose Island Night Stalker produced by the Goose Island Beer Company located in Chicago, Illinois.

From what I understand this beer is no longer brewed, so I’m going to take my time with it and try to savor every last drop.

From the website, gooseisland.com, we find this little description.

A heavily-hopped imperial stout, Night Stalker is a heavyweight of a beer. It delivers a formidable punch of hops and rich roasted malt notes to the nose in a silky body that’s as dark as night.  

Mmmm.  Let’s drink.

This brew comes in a 22 oz. bottle with an ABV of 11.7%.

It poured black with absolutely no highlights whatsoever showing through.  The head was dark tan, medium sized, smooth, creamy and tightly compacted.  The retention time was adequate and the lacing looked rather nice too.  A thin skim of alcohol was left on the sides when rotated and tilted.  Very attractive in the glass I thought.

The nose still had a fairly robust fragrance of piney hops left.  Hints of dark, fruity raisin along with plenty of toasted breads and roasted grains.  A very pleasing waft of dark chocolate was intertwined with a very, very mild coffee aroma.  This brew really had a beautiful smell.  It had settled nicely with nary a hint of alcohol.  (I tried it when fresh a couple of years ago and I seem to remember the alcohol being a lot more prevalent.)

The flavor released the dark fruits right off the bat.  Relishes of raisin, fig and dates.  More toasted grains mixed with well blended touches of chocolate.  Some bitter coffee and light earthy/piney hops really tickled the sides of the tongue as it worked its way across the palate.  Even with a bit of age the taste still had a noticeable amount of alcohol present.  I guess that was to be expected considering the high ABV.  Oh well, still a very pleasant savor.

The mouthfeel was medium to mostly full bodied.  Thick, chewy, dry, velvety and smooth. The carbonation had subsided somewhat, but it was still solid enough.  A sturdy bit of warmth was felt and a great dose of flavor was left behind for me to enjoy between sips.

Well, obviously the hops have faded a bit and the higher than normal ABV doesn’t lend itself to a very high drinkability rating, however this brew remains a very good and enjoyable treat to partake in on a cool, crisp night.  One thing is for sure, the roasty aspects and the dark fruits have really begun to mesh well with the hops and become the most important aspect of the beer in my opinion.  I have one more bottle left and I’m going to try to hang onto it for a couple of more years.  I can’t wait to see how much more it morphs and evolves.

Did you guys ever get to try the Goose Island Night Stalker?  What was your opinion?  Did you like it?  Feel free to leave a comment if you would like.

Thanks for checking back in on another review guys.  I really appreciate the support.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.15 out of 5
Grade:  A- 

 
10 Comments

Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Country: USA, Goose Island

 

10 responses to “Review of Goose Island Night Stalker (2011)

  1. clueless_brewer

    October 31, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Goose Island has said they'll be bringing back both Big John and Nightstalker this year. Little known fact: Nightstalker is the base beer used in Big John.

    Cheers!

     
  2. clueless_brewer

    October 31, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Goose Island has said they'll be bringing back both Big John and Nightstalker this year. Little known fact: Nightstalker is the base beer used in Big John.

    Cheers!

     
  3. Scott Shrewsberry

    October 31, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    clueless_brewer,

    I hope they do bring both of those back. I only have one bottle of each left.

    I think I did read that Night Stalker was the “base” for Big John somewhere. Big John didn't have nearly the hop presence that the Night Stalker had though. It was a roasted son of gun I thought. But very good.

    Thanks for the heads-up. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for the new releases.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     
  4. Scott Shrewsberry

    October 31, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    clueless_brewer,

    I hope they do bring both of those back. I only have one bottle of each left.

    I think I did read that Night Stalker was the “base” for Big John somewhere. Big John didn't have nearly the hop presence that the Night Stalker had though. It was a roasted son of gun I thought. But very good.

    Thanks for the heads-up. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for the new releases.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     
  5. Evan Rusackas

    November 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I was told by the goose island folks that this was the base beer in BCBS… perhaps that's true and they just stopped bottling it separately while continuing with the barreling of it. In any case, it's delicious, here's my take on it, and I too have one more bottle to sit on for a while with great anticipation 🙂 Cheers!

     
  6. Evan Rusackas

    November 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I was told by the goose island folks that this was the base beer in BCBS… perhaps that's true and they just stopped bottling it separately while continuing with the barreling of it. In any case, it's delicious, here's my take on it, and I too have one more bottle to sit on for a while with great anticipation 🙂 Cheers!

     
  7. clueless_brewer

    November 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Evan – That one too.

    Scott – If you scroll back thru @GooseIsland's twitter feed to October 24th, you'll see my convo with them.

    @GooseIsland Making it's triumphant return, we're adding Cacao Nibs to Big John today. http://ow.ly/i/13vI3

    To which I respond: Will we ever see Nightstalker again?

    They respond: @clueless_brewer Also bringing that one back.

    SCORE!

     
  8. clueless_brewer

    November 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Evan – That one too.

    Scott – If you scroll back thru @GooseIsland's twitter feed to October 24th, you'll see my convo with them.

    @GooseIsland Making it's triumphant return, we're adding Cacao Nibs to Big John today. http://ow.ly/i/13vI3

    To which I respond: Will we ever see Nightstalker again?

    They respond: @clueless_brewer Also bringing that one back.

    SCORE!

     
  9. Scott Shrewsberry

    November 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Evan,

    Thanks for commenting. Excellent review also. As far as the beer, if you were told directly that it was the base beer for BCBS then we have to believe them don't we?:-) Cheers man. Check back from time to time and feel free to leave a comment anytime.

    Scott

    clueless_brewer,

    Awesome!!! I can't wait!!! I'll definitely be grabbing a few “extra” bottles this go round.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     
  10. Scott Shrewsberry

    November 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Evan,

    Thanks for commenting. Excellent review also. As far as the beer, if you were told directly that it was the base beer for BCBS then we have to believe them don't we?:-) Cheers man. Check back from time to time and feel free to leave a comment anytime.

    Scott

    clueless_brewer,

    Awesome!!! I can't wait!!! I'll definitely be grabbing a few “extra” bottles this go round.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     

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