Old Rasputin XIV Anniversary - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin XIV AnniversaryOld Rasputin XIV Anniversary

Educational use only; do not reuse.

562 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 562
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 78
Gots: 377 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: doughanson78 on 12-04-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 562 | Reviews: 162
Reviews by DonDirkA:
Photo of DonDirkA
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I didn't have access to a computer or anything to write with when I drank this last week so I have to go off memory. It was basically the same as a regular Old Rasputin (see: deliciously awesome) except it had some oaky characteristics with a little vanilla/bourbon tinge to it. Well worth the $25.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Once again, another awesome brew that was generously cracked by Mike, can't thank him enough. Raspy XIV pours an ominous-looking, deep and dark black with a cream, viscous, mocha-tan head that is slow to rise up from the oily abyss and fades relatively quickly. A nice, fine-bubbled foam can easily be conjure up with a quick swirl of the glass, however. A pretty nice looking brew.

An initial roasted malt kick delves into a sea of deep, dark chocolate and bittersweet cocoa before sending you into the huge wave of bourbon-barrel induction. Heavy bourbon notes, warming and vigorous, mesh with a much lighter note of dry oak that's been lathered in a rich, warm, savory cocoa bath. Raspy XIV certainly carries a pretty boisterous aroma - there's no doubt that this is gonna be a massive beer.

Staunch bourbon and heavy, heavy barrel notes arise from the first sip, reaffirming that this is one bad-ass beer that you're gonna have to sip. The barrel influence is perhaps a bit higher than one might gather from the nose, and the bourbon does a great job of warming up your chest. This is no joke. An overture of vanilla notes, light coconut, and the slightest touch of maple sweetness helps to cut the heat, also byproducts of the barrel-aging.

Once you get past the big initial booze-burst, the malts open up and come to life; roasted malts leave a slight char and ashy feel on the back of the palate, while a softer, sweeter, and creamier helping of smooth cocoa and rich chocolate works the sides of the mouth. An aftertaste full of burnt coffee beans, roast, heavy oak, and warm bourbon leaves your palate sticky and fully-coated. Such a huge mouth feel on this one, too; chewy, thick, and silky-creamy like a barrel-aged stout should be.

Such a nice treat, this is a great example of a barrel-aged stout that will knock you on your ass if you don't sit and sip it like it should be handled. Perhaps even a bit *too* hot in this phase, I would imagine that a year or two on this bad boy would really turn it into something magical. I may prefer the original Rasputin solely based on it's awesome flavor and superior drinkability, but this is really a special beer, and I would think that time may treat it very well.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a tulip this beer was a very black color with a cafe au lait head.

It had a roasted malt aroma. Rather boozy. Some oak and some dark fruit.

Sweet chocolate taste. Espresso coffee. A lot of bourbon. Oak/vanilla. a tiny bit of raisin. These all went well together.

Medium to full-bodied. The alcohol added to, rather than detracted from, the mouthfeel.

I've been fortunate enough to have drunk some really great beers recently. This was one of them.

Photo of warnerry
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

A - Pours black with almost three fingers of brown head. A bit surprising after the very subtle pop of the cork. Head has very good retention, leaving good lacing, and eventually settling to a thin cap.

S - Nice bourbon aroma, with both vanilla and oak being prominent. The barrel aromas really seem to cover the base beer here. Don't get me wrong, it actually smells really good, but it is quite a strong barrel presence. Some chocolate, a bit of char, some coffee, maybe some caramel malt as well. Pretty nice.

T - Taste follows the nose pretty closely, as there is a lot of barrel character (char and oak), as well as a nice vanilla presence. Booze presence is actually pretty tame. Nice chocolate and coffee tastes, along with some very subtle fruit flavors. Taste has more booze than the smell, which knocks this down a touch. Still, very tasty.

M - Medium mouthfeel, somewhat creamy, with a very dry, char and tannin-filled finish.

O - This was a tasty barrel-aged stout, but quite heavy on the char, and too much alcohol in the taste, to be truly great.

Photo of MattyG85
4.73/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 500 ml corked bottle into a Surly Darkness Chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours very dark and black with no real color coming through. A big five finger brownish tan head which slowly settles into a thin tan film layer. Lots of sticky lacing around the glass.

Smell: Big bourbon aroma upfront with good hints of woody oak and vanilla. Big hints of chocolate and dark roasted malts with some coffee and molasses. Also some dark fruits lingering in the background with light hints of prunes and dark cherry. Somewhat boozy as expected.

Taste: Like the nose suggests, a big taste of bourbon barrel aging and dark malts. Good taste of vanilla and oak with dark roasty caramel malts. Notes of chocolate, coffee, and molasses. Also some light hints of dark cherries and prunes that should come out more with some age. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with a carbonation that is fairly high for a imperial stout, but it works well. A little heat is felt from the alcohol as expected with a barrel aged bomb like this but its very manageable. Vanilla lingers in the aftertaste.

Overall: A very good job of barrel aging for a great stout. A great sipper.

Photo of Mantooth
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a Southern Tier tulip glass.

A: Pitch black torso sporting a three finger thick mocha cap and random patches of sticky lacing.

S: This definitely has the nose of a bourbon barrel aged brew: bourbon, oak, charred wood, smoke, a bit musty and earthy.

T: Straight up bourbon, y’all. Wow. I’m definitely tasting the oak, lots of smoke, some faint vanilla and maybe some dark fruit in the finish.

M: Creamy, nicely carbonated with a dry and oaky bitter finish.

O: This isn’t as complex as I’d hoped but what it’s doing, it’s doing exceptionally well. Undeniable bourbon and oak play together a bit loudly here and I’m hoping this will mellow just a tad over time. I’ve shelved two bottles and look forward to reviewing this again a year from now. All that being said, there’s nothing to keep you from drinking this one now, I’m certainly glad I did.

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.63/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I want to preface this review by saying I have very high hopes for this beer. As bold and in-your-face as Old Raspy is to begin with, this should mellow and add complexity with the Bourbon.

A: Poured into my sniftner, this stout pours a very impress black with brown hints when held to the light. The head is massive, fluffy, brown, and is leaving some awesome lace.

S: The aroma made my mouth water, mhmmm Bourbon. Its been too long since I've had a beer of this caliper. The Bourbon soaked aroma has some rich sweet notes and oak. A little boozy, but still appealing.

T: The flavor is Bourbon up front, Bourbon in the back with notes of oak and some small amount of hops on the back. The boldness of Old Raspy is tamed, but the rougher qualities it possess remain. Tons of roasted malt notes remain with small hints of chocolate.

MF: Like many BA beers, this brew suffered on the mouth feel from being in the Bourbon Barrel. The mouth feel has thinned considerably.

Overall, this is a decent beer, but not every stout improves from spending time in a barrel. Still love Old Raspy though!

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Broke Bitch Poutin' for bringing this beer to the March Madness 2012 bottle share (after showing up empty handed and drinking dozens of awesome/expensive things like Utopia etc. . .it took some prodding to get him to actually bring a grand total of 1 bottle to the table eventually, but I digress).

Poured out a black as night liquid, small head on the top of it, brownish. Usual bourbon and imperial stout aroma from this one, not as harsh in previous years, so that's nice. Solid taste, plenty of chocolate to tame the alcohol heat, which as always, is substantial, but not as brutal as last year's. Usual oak and mild vanilla notes.

The beer delivers unlike last year's, but at the end of the day, it costs as much as Black Tuesday, and isn't nearly as good.

Photo of chinchill
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

XIV version poured near black with a durable, dark tan head.

Full bodied; light ABV heat; slightly syrupy (in a good way); (from memory) smooth than the original Old Rasputin.

Very fine smell and flavor even though the bourbon barrels partially over-power the original's RIS characteristics. Indeed, my main criticism is that there is a bit too much bourbon barrel flavoring in this stout.

O: This aging treatment has transformed this ale into something quite different but nearly as appealing.

Photo of lookitsfelias
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - poured a thick dark color with a long lasting 'root beer' head with lots of lacing

s - instantly got the aroma of figs, dried fruit, also thick vanilla, bitter cocoa and bourbon

t - the first flavor i get is that dark, dried fruit flavor, the bourbon barrels are apparent and show immensely in the flavor, some hints of espresso, dark cocoa and vanilla

m - the mouth feel came up short, and to me was the only downfall of the beer. not enough carbonation and it felt almost flat, this could have been a result of shipping however. also felt that it could have been a little thicker

o - great beer. the barrel aging definitely makes this beer evolve and change, however, is it different enough from the original to be worth the price? that one is up to the buyer and drinker

Photo of lnashsig
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, I saw this one at HEB, and never had it, and despite the hefty pricetag (22$ for 500 ml, making this one of the most expensive beers/ounce I have ever bought in a store), I pulled the trigger in the spirit of "try everything once". No bottle date on this one. Popped the cork and poured into my Brooklyn tulip (why oh why isn't my CBS snifter that I ordered a couple days ago here yet for this?). Pours a pitch black chewy thickness, big bubbles come off of a dark tan head. Really, a perfect looking BA Imp Stout. Smell- rich molasses bourbon, coffee, roast, dark fruit (maybe dark cherries). Smells amazing. Going 5 here for sure. Taste- HUGE bourbon notes up front and rough alcohol heat. The sweetness of the booze and the chocolate notes blend against the roof of my mouth and make for a sweet cherry combo. this is a little bit lighter in mouthfeel than I expected, and its way more carbonated than I expected. The coffee notes are there, as well as the bitterness from the roasted malt. This is a very booze forward BA imp stout- I can see that this may really mellow out over time, but I can't see that it would be worth it enough for me to procure it at this price to try cellaring it. Overall, my verdict is that, while this is a good BA Imp Stout, it is not a great one, esp at this price. I don't get it. These guys make one of the best readily available and consistent fairly priced Imp stouts, but when they barrel age it, it causes them to more than quadruple their price per ounce? (8$ for 48 ounces= 0.16 per ounce, vs 22$ for 20 ounce= 0.90 per ounce). Overall, good beer, but not worth the money.

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my grandpa for thinking this gift I gave my brother was champagne, making us have to drink this fresh on Christmas eve.

Black with a solid foamy light brown head with nice retention and lacing. 

Bourbon forward nose with solid oakiness and nuttiness. Buttery brown sugar as well. Pretty nice.  

Bourbon forward in flavor as well. A bit hot. Needs to relax. A bit of vanilla and oak. Semi-muttled (but good) flavors seem they'll brighten up and work in more harmony as a little more time goes by.

Pretty dry. Just short of being as full bodied as I expected. Medium-High carbonation.

Overall it's a nice solid BA Stout. I feel it needs some time to age, in order for everything to settle and come together a bit. Should be very nice down the road.

Photo of zaphodchak
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thinnish tan head, dark brown body, decent lace.

Bourbony nose. Slight funk.

Magnificent bourbony body, cake-like finish. This is incredibly tempered-- the hops have worn away into an interesting spicy finish, The malt character has developed admirably and taken on the bourbon character with grace.

Nice full feel.

I don't like Old Raspy but I do like this. That's what barrel aging will do to a beer.

Photo of prototypic
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XIV pours an onyx color. It’s pitch black. No light cuts through at all, even at the outermost edges. A darker, mocha tan head caps it off nicely. It stands about a finger and a half tall. Retention was on the shorter side. It fell back to a surface covering quickly. Held there for a bit. Lacing was sticky and lighter. Looks damn good.

The nose is good. It could use a little more strength, but still smells good. It starts out with a mix of roasted and chocolate malts No big surprise there. Bourbon quickly follows and adds a ton of character. Its presence is moderate and just about perfect. It plays a really nice complementary role, without overpowering the stout notes. Secondary scents include roasted coffee, oak, vanilla, and brown sugar. Alcohol is there, but really doesn’t come through all that strong. Smells quite good.

The flavor is a notch better. The bourbon flavor is simply delicious and should be mentioned first. It complements the roasted and chocolate malt flavors extremely well. It really isn’t an overpowering bourbon flavor. That’s my preference, and I’m all the happier for it. The chocolate is dark and bittersweet. Very tasty. Roasted coffee follows and fits nicely. A mix of vanilla, oak, molasses, and brown sugar. Alcohol is definitely noticeable, but never seems warm or hot. I wouldn’t characterize the flavor as boozy either. It’s just there. Finishes malty with a touch of bourbon and sugar.

The body is definitely on the lighter side of medium. It feels a tad thin to be honest. Carbonation is light. It is somewhat smooth, but it needs more body. Drinkability is pretty high for what it’s worth. Tasty stuff.

North Coast Brewing Co. did a really nice job with Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XIV. It’s difficult to screw up when you’re starting with Old Rasputin. Barrel aging it is a no brainer success. If you haven’t checked this out, you should. It’s pricey, but it is worth at least one purchase.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured entirely into my CBS snifter (I love this thing).

Appearance - Black, but not inky black. Looks like it's going to overflow my glass as I pour it, but it just fits. Huge mocha head. Sticks to the glass. Rivals Zhukov in appearance, but Zhukov's head is darker in color and therefore awesomer.

Smell - Barrel. but not overly barreled. Bourbon is light, but more prominent than the oak and vanilla. Roasty chocolate and a definitive hop presence. Definitely Old 'Putin behind the barrel.

Taste - Barrel, like the smell, but not too much. Nice flavor that doesn't overpower the stout. Lots of chocolate and coffee roast coming through. The hops are subdued in this one, but still present. The finish is a touch bitter.

Mouthfeel - So the hops are less intense, which I enjoy, but the beer seems thinner than regular Old 'Putin. Too thin, really. The finish seems to drop off leaving very little of the residual flavors on the palate.

Overall - It's just as good as regular Old Rasputin, with some benefits and flaws. Less hops, which I like, but less body, which I don't like. I don't really know how that happens in the barrel.

Photo of russpowell
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always a treat to find this barrel aged version, boy this cork was hard to get off. Opened with a pop

Pours black with a thumb of mocha head. Epic head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, boozeyness, some woody notes

T: Follows the nose, a touch hot up front, dark chcolate & cherry are there as well along with woody hop notes. Faint minty hop notes, along with black currant, baker's chcolate, some oaky & Bourbon notes as this warms, a touch of vanilla as well. Finishes warm, with mocha & cocoa notes

MF: Chewy, slick, subtle carbonation, warming

This one could've used a good 6 months more in the bottle, but a damn fine RIS any way you slice it

Photo of IKR
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black with a generous beige head that slowly fades. Good lacing with the best head I've had in a bal-aged IS stout.

Smell: Mild Bourbon, coffee/roasted malt aromas, and some vanilla notes.

Taste: A balanced palate of Bourbon, roast malts, vanilla, and oak. The beer is not as barrel forward as some other Bal-aged ISs. To me it's more Abyss-like than let's say a Bourbon County. The finish is fairly dry with some roast and oak notes and a hint of vanilla. Slight alcohol presence in the finish but very subtle for the ABV.

Mouth-feel: Medium to full bodied with a good level of carbonation, especially considering the bal-aging.

Overall: I like old Rasputin and a touch of barrel makes it better. The beer subtly combines the barrel with the base beer in a balanced approach. Pricy but good.

Photo of Gmann
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a huge airy toasted khaki head, that left plenty of webby lacing on the glass.

The aroma is a lovely intake of bourbon, oak and vanilla. Not sharp but quite smooth. The bourbon aromas basically drown out any other aroma that might be there. Perhaps a hint of milk chocolate comes through.

The taste is of a smooth bourbon, vanilla and oak as well. Some mellow to moderate roast notes pop through, that also brings some ground coffee flavors. Some burnt caramel and anise can be detected. In the finish, there is some sour berry action.

The feel is moderate, almost light, with fizzy carbonation. Surprisingly light for the style. Sweet on the palate but has another of a roasted bitter offset not to be cloying. ABV well hidden, quite drinkable.

Excellent stout. The bourbon flavor is smooth and goes perfectly with the stout. No real boozy flavor or belly burn. Drinks light, which is scary.

Photo of jimmy82063
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a brandy snifter.

A) Nice black body, creamy black head minimal lacing.

S) Bourbon and chocolate dominate.

T) Chocolate, coffee hint of oak with a nice bourbon finish. This is sweet but not overly so which can be an issue with the style.

M) Lighly carbonated don't get much of an alcohol burn.

O) Very tasty offering. I think I may get another bottle for the cellar.

Photo of RappAttack
3.65/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with light brown head, good retention through out
S: smells of bourbon and vanilla with some chocolate and coffee notes, very complex
T: as it smells, bourbon come through a little bit more but does not over power and fades right into vanilla. bitter chocolate taste is left on the pallet
M: viscous and very full bodied
O: i generally do not like the taste of bourbon so im glade the bourbon was not overpowering, i know some fans of the style prefer a big bold bourbon flavor but remember its still a beer not bourbon. a little pricey but for something that only comes out once a year totally worth it

Photo of Treyliff
4.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I've let this one sit in the bottle long enough, poured into a snifter

A- pours pitch black with a creamy dark tan head that eventually reduces to leave a ring around the glass, leaving a few patches of lace behind

S- getting a lot of medicinal aromas up front with black licorice, some herbal notes as well. Beyond that, the bourbon is quite noticeable and has a barrel juice aroma with notes of oaky vanilla and dark fruit added in. Underlying sweet chocolate with smoky malt to close it out

T- Chocolate and dark fruit flavors up front with a slightly burnt smoky malt flavor. The bourbon is still alive and well and kicks in around mid-palate, adding some barrel flavors and a kick of spicy vanilla. Big and sweet caramel malt on the finish that almost gives it the finish of a barrel aged scotch ale, more bourbon on the linger

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth finish. Given the abv, it could use a little more viscosity, but the alcohol is almost completely hidden, which the aging should have helped

O- The aging process has definitely added a degree of drinkability, as the alcohol is almost completely hidden. I was surprised at how powerful the bourbon flavors still are as it's still a bourbon forward beer. Overall, this didn't blow me away, but its an enjoyable sipper

Photo of KYGunner
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had the XV fresh an found it to be excellent but slightly less then expectation. The XIV has had time to age and mellow and gave away more hearty and creamy flavors.The nose gives off a coconut and fudge brownie which moves subtly to the palate. The tongue then takes on a chocolatey mint, fudge and caramel flavor. This moves more into a dessert with all the decadent sweetness and creaminess.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml caged and corked bottle. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with an inch tan head that stayed around for a little while. There's a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is very nice, it smells like roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, burnt/charred malt, dark fruit, vanilla and bourbon. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some molasses and a bit of anise. It's not a bourbon bomb, but there's enough there to help make it a very tasty brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy and coating with moderate carbonation. I think it's a pretty good overall brew, I liked the Old Rasputin XII a lot and this beer is pretty similar to it from what I can remember. I'd pick up another bottle if I ever came across it again. Should have bought 2 the first time around! $19.99 a bottle.

Photo of n2185
3.64/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours black with a finger of dark tan head that fades into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: roasted malts dominate with lots of char characters up front. There are some sweeter bourbon, vanilla, and toffee notes toward the finish.

T: roasted malts and char here as well with the bourbon, oak, and vanilla being more present here. Ligbt alcohol presence on the finish.

M: thick body with mid-low carbonation, this beer is a little more carbonated than most stouts, but it works with the roasted notes.

O: a solid bbal stout overall. Not terribly complex and I'd like it to be a bit creamier and sweeter, but still solid.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured very dark brown and settles black with two fingers of big, foamy light brown head with good retention and decent lacing.

S - Big bourbon, vanilla and oak aromas up front that give way to dark chocolate, roasted malt and charred oak aromas. A big sweetness is present to balance out the bourbon.

T - A good balance of barrel aging characteristics and the base beer flavours. Bourbon and vanilla up front, followed by roasted malts, charred oak and lighter notes of dark chocolate and espresso. The alcohol starts off being warming but eventually becomes fairly apparent in the middle. Fairly hot, but otherwise an excellent beer. This one needs a few months to settle down and mellow out.

M - Medium to full body. Light carbonation.

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Old Rasputin XIV Anniversary from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 562 ratings.