I remember trying the Sierra Nevada Narwhal fresh last year and I didn’t like it. I thought it was a bit harsh and it just wasn’t doing anything for me. At that point I decided to let the other 3 bottles sit in my fridge for a while and mellow out. Fast forward a year and I finally decided to give it another try and whoa was I impressed. I know palate’s can change, but I no longer detected that harshness from a year before as all the deep dark and rich flavors had melded and mellowed. To start the Narwhal poured a deep brown to black with a subtle tan head. The aroma was as deep and dark as the pour with rich notes of sweet chocolate, dark fruits, and hints of licorice. The flavor followed the aroma with the chocolate and dark fruits as well as notes of molasses and roasted smokey malts. I think initially the beer had a strong licorice tinge and alcohol that was off-putting to me, but those flavors have definitely mellowed and turned into sweet molasses and dark fruits that I didn’t detect before. The Narwhal developed into an outstanding Imperial Stout with great depth and character. Now I have to decide if I want to open one of this years to compare or just sit on them all until next year.