Old Rasputin XVI Barrel Aged Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin XVI Barrel Aged StoutOld Rasputin XVI Barrel Aged Stout

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jtrigonis on 02-07-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 431
Photo of metter98
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that gradually died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center, a collar around the edge, and lacing on the surface in between.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of bourbon and associated vanilla are present in the nose.
T: Just like the smell, the taste of this beer is all about the bourbon and has lots of associated vanilla. The bourbon is strong, but not overpowering. The alcohol is also well masked and the only bits I can pick up are from the bourbon.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Slight amounts of warming from the alcohol are present, but these are only present in the finish.
O: This beer is quite drinkable considering its strength and packs in a lot of bourbon flavors without being overpowering. Thanks to @smithj4, I tried this side-by-side with a small bottle of regular Old Rasputin as a comparison. The bourbon barrel version really masks any traces of the roasted malts and pine resin hops that you get in the regular version.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml caged and corked, solid-ass bottle. Thanks are again in order to the good doktorzee for procuring this one for me on a recent trip stateside. Cheers, man!

This beer pours a solid, abyssal black, with the slightest of basal cola highlights, and four chubby fingers of puffy, densely foamy, rocky, and creamy tan head, which leaves some stellar random continental profile lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of somewhat acrid bourbon barrel - alcohol-soaked wood staves, dry vanilla, semi-sweet caramel, and a bit of grainy spice - bittersweet cocoa powder, singed marshmallows, anise, a faint lactic creaminess, and an underlying roasted grainy caramel malt. The taste falls pretty much right in line, as the aggressive barrel characters continue to lead the charge - vanilla, besotted wood, thin caramel - all the while a bit more prominent base of roasted bready caramel malt pushes to the forefront, the gritty milk chocolate holding steady, the licorice maintaining its stale department store nature, alongside a rather genial plum and raisin fruitiness, a touch of tobacco ash, and faint earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, and mostly frothy in its bearing, the body a decent medium-full weight, and quite smooth, with a strong creaminess building as it warms. It finishes on the sweet side, the bourbon pretty much having infiltrated the whole of this offering, and with the wooden acridity now taking its seat in the shade, the chocolate/vanilla/caramel triumvirate proceeds to run, if not quite amok, then at least a wee bit wild.

A long-time want, from both a personal and professional perspective, this offering certainly delivers, firing on all proverbial cylinders. Big, beefy, Bourbony, boozy, and balanced, bro (today's review obviously brought to you by the letter 'b')! Worthy of checking out, and savouring, should the chance ever avail itself to you.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into snifter, bottled in late 2013. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and rocky tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, dark bread, vanilla, toast, toffee, bourbon, oak, light raisin/plum, and roast/oaky earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, vanilla, toffee, toast, bourbon, oak, dark bread, light raisin/plum, and roast/oaky earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roast, vanilla, toffee, toast, bourbon, oak, dark bread, light raisin/plum, and roast/oaky earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy, smooth, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barrel aged imperial stout. All around great complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black. Big khaki head. Beautiful lacing and great retention.

Smell - Extremely oaky. Sharp oak. Even a bit of acidity from the oak. Bourbon. Dark chocolate. Black roasted malt.

Taste - Coffee malts. As much oak in the taste as in the nose. Sharp woodiness. Bitter chocolate. Bourbon flavor lingers into the finish.

Mouthfeel - The oak is pretty intense. Detracts from the drinkability, but it's a nice flavor. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Crazy oak. Covers the beer a bit, but the bourbon adds a nice element.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

Thick chocolate brown milky mocha head on the pour, settles nicely and appears more light tan in color with some soapy fine bubbles. Body color is a classic dark walnut brown with a hint of red to it.

Even off the pour the chocolate milk character is everywhere around me. Such a real nice soft bouquet. Hints of plum and dark fruit but no sourness. Milky chocolate as mentioned everywhere just great. Previous older review I had mentioned salted caramel, yup I can believe that too.

Palate comes quite light but flavors still manage to shine. Nice light roast character, and milky texture if a bit wet. Good finishing of char and lots of black carbon going as well. Missing a bit of the hinted fruity character on the nose. Some charring notes turn to tobacco tannic dryness on the finish also.

It's not as magical as I remember my first one, but still very solid and enjoyable. Nice work, one of those I look forward to once in awhile.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vanilla, roasted malt, milk chocolate, cola and oak. Smooth. Slightly oxidized. Finishes dry. Should drink this guy sooner rather than later. Better fresh imo.

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Photo of cbutova
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black body with a mocha tan head that has a frothy texture. Decent retention as a medium thick ring drops a large web and then spotty lacing.

S- Fairly lacking compared to all of the other Raspy Annis I have had. The roast malts and barrel are there but harder to pick up than the others.

T- Mostly medium toast wet oak and whiskey for me with vanilla bean sweets. For me this stout base in this one is lacking; it might have to do with the semi-hot untamed Bourbon and ABV. Missing the cocoa richness the others have.

MF- Thick and slightly oily body with a medium carbonation level. Texture is frothy and slightly creamy and it ends almost hot.

Probably the least decadent of what I have tried from this series. Lacks complexity for me and the fudgey, roast decadent base.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.66/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured at the Tipples Rare and Barrel Aged Beer Tasting on July 13, 2014. Had the XV last year, this is the XVI version. Pours nearly pitch black with a small khaki head on top. Aroma of strong bourbon notes, some light vanilla, roast, and a little chocolate. Flavor follows with heavy bourbon notes--a bit hot just like the last version I had--a little bit of chocolate, graham cracker, and some definite roast flavors in here. Vanilla is subdued and overtaken by the bourbon. The body is strangely lacking here--and I love the regular Old Raspy--with carbonation on the medium level and really coming off thin overall. I got this from last year's version, too. I've never had this aged, but maybe that's the way to go. It just comes off as a thin, hot mess of bourbon for me.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle courtesy of uvm2003 pours an opaque black with a dense and creamy brown head that lingers on and on. The complete curtain of lacing is fantastic as well. Pretty much a perfect looking beer.

Nose is chocolate (of course), marshmallows, wood char and blackberries. And roast, cant forget about the roast. Runs the gamut of various stout aromas one typically encounters.

I like how both the barrel character and the stout character both are very strong without one overpowering the other. Dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans and wood shavings all come to mind. It still has some of that signature hoppiness that I get in the OG Rasputin too. It is superior to Old Rasputin...though my ratings wont compare as such - the stout game has changed tremendously since 2008. The barrel aging has mellowed it out considerably and given it more pop. Too bad it is so expensive, but nice for a treat every now and again.

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Photo of Dope
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours pitch black with a surprisingly effervescent but dense medium brown head. Head sticks around forever, leaving small but fluffy three dimensional chunks behind.

S: Oh wow, really nice. Loads of toasted sugar, burnt marshmallow and melted chocolate bars. It's like s'mores without the graham crackers. Light caramel and oak.

T: Lots of caramel and toffee initially. Oaky too, quite so. A light layer of vanilla over everything. Somewhat chocolatey in the middle and then the big oakiness wades in. Long wooden aftertaste that almost tastes salty at times. Get some light coffee in the aftertaste as well.

M: Heavy, viscous and smooth. Nice.

O: Hmph. The smell to this one was intoxicating but the taste was a letdown in comparison. It's not too bad, but the oakiness is a bit much at times and detracts a bit. It's not bad at all, I think my brain hyped this one from the smell. Tasty and varied, just sorta misses the mark for me tonight.

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Photo of Gmann
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black color with a beige creamy tight head that settles into a puffy cap.

The aroma is of milk chocolate and vanilla. Nice woody notes, wet bark. Light bourbon note.

The taste is of bourbon but in a very balanced sort of way. It dominates the flavor but is not hot or overbearing. It brings a slightly sour oak note and some vanilla. The bourbon also provides a sweet caramel hit. Its not overly roasty which is odd since the base beer is a big roasty RIS.

Moderate to full bodied with noticeable carbonation. Drinks sweet but its balanced. ABV is no where to be found. Drinks crazy well for a BA brew.

A very enjoyable bourbon barrel aged stout. The bourbon is mellow but very noticeable. Again not hot and boozy. The stout loses some of its roasty-ness but it is quite impressive for a BA stout. I really enjoy the balance.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very smooth barrel aged beer. Not hot at all. 4.5 Excellent!

Had again in June 2016. My tastes have definitely changed. Decent beer, but lacks the stout flavor and bourbon flavor I like. Revives rating =4.1.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.14/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Black color. Two and a half fingers of light brown frothy/creamy head. Retention is a touch below average and a moderate amount of irregular lacing is left.

3.75 S: Lots of roast, like the original, which is complicated by the barrel's char and astringency. Chocolate, leather, apples, melon, caramel. The booze is better hidden than previous installments.

2.75 T: The taste isn't $20/bottle good. It's not even particularly good with price not involved. Too much char, roast, and astringency. This is balanced by a richness that is heavy without being sweet. Chocolate, caramel, leather, apple, but it lacks a focus overall. The caramel component is peculiar and is why I don't care for the regular and it's plentiful in here to.

3.75 M: Heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonable creamy and smooth enough.

2.75 D: Kinda sucks. Not sure why I buy this every year wondering if the ratings will be right for once.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've been wanting to try this for a while and had seen it in San Francisco but was scared off by the price tag. Found it in Santa Fe and figured (correctly) that there'd be a limited amount in our state and bit the bullet.

I poured the beer into a snifter from the 16.9 oz. bottle. The beer produces a four-finger thick head that looks a dark khaki-color the way milk and coffee mix. The liquid is pitch black but still shows some light carbonation. The head persists for long after the pour, remaining chewy-looking and thick enough to support a cap. Lace is pegged all around the glass thick and frothy. I like what I'm seeing.

I'm hit with a lot of oak on the nose and a vinous aroma, I'd almost think this had been aged in wine barrels. A second whiff gives me strong notes of dark chocolate. Another whiff and I've discovered the spicy bourbon aroma with hints of vanilla and caramel. I like what I'm finding on the nose here.

I do get some alcohol astringency on this, but that's too be expected for a beer that most would probably age. My mouth is tasting a lot of baker's chocolate and this flavor lingers on my tongue. The front end of the beer is where I get the bourbon notes, particularly a rich vanilla flavor that hits the mouth creamy and thick (pause!). There's also oaky and spicy notes about mid-palate. Just looking at my notes, I could sum this up by saying there's a lot going on here and it's all good.

Despite the slight astringency I mentioned, this beer is exceptionally creamy and smooth. There is touch of carbonation felt on the tongue, plus some spice, but this mostly goes down easy.

I know I mentioned the price and this beer is expensive, but compared to other beers I've spend in the $20+ range, this is a definitive standout. It's delicious, ready-to-drink immediately and thus doesn't require age to enjoy. I'm almost tempted to splurge and buy another to age. Or maybe two so I can drink another and age one. Damn good.

 1,965 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at 40 degrees into tulip
Aroma of bourbon
Head small (<2 cm), light brown, creamy, diminishing to 2 mm ring and partial layer
Lacing none
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor of bourbon, marked vanillin, some chocolate and coffee overtones; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 4.5, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.25, Overall 4.375

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Photo of spoony
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%

From a 500 ml bottle to a snifter.

A-The beer is good looking with a big (nearly three-finger) head of dense, mocha foam. For a beer above 11% ABV, head retention is good and the beer even leaves some stray lacing on the glass. Color is black and opaque.

S-The aroma is heavy on the bourbon with lots of vanilla, caramel, and burnt sugar coming from the barrel. Interestingly, for a beer with some much bourbon character, I did not pick up much oak. The beer flavors are roasted, but not heavily, with some cream and chocolate coming through. Alcohol heat is very apparent even though this bottle has been sitting in my cellar for at least six months.

T-The taste, like the smell, is heavy on the bourbon. I would even call this a bit hot with alcohol coming through very strongly among the bourbon flavors of vanilla (it is really heavy on the vanilla) and caramel. The beer is mostly in the background with some cream, marshmallow, milk chocolate, and a bit of roasted flavor on the finish.

M-The feel is not as dense or chewy as I would expect, but that makes it easier to drink (which is good and bad for a beer at 11.whatever % ABV). The carbonation is below average in volume but the beer feels a bit frothy on the palate.

O-If you like some beer with your bourbon, this beer is a good choice for you. The vanilla is especially flavorful here. Although I like it (because I like bourbon), I did not think it compared well against some of the better examples of the style, e.g., the Barrel Aged Ten Fidy I drank last night. It was just a touch too hot and I also thought the mouthfeel was a bit odd. That being said, I was glad to give this a try.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.91/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark and thick. Completely opaque. 2 finger dark khaki head which sticks around for a while. Has a creamy, dense look to it. Sticky lacing.

Aroma is smooth and intoxicating. Bourbon and rich chocolate. Vanilla, oak, and caramel. Cream, light molasses, brown sugar, and hints of espresso. Dark fruit flavors. Raisins.

Big flavors, smooth and well blended. Bourbon, chocolate and espresso. Vanilla and oak. Mass of sweet notes. Molasses, brown sugar, and milk chocolate. Some smoke and tobacco lingering around the edges.

Thick mouth feel. Creamy on the tongue. Moderate carbonation. Sweet and rich. Long lasting flavors.

One of the best barrel aged stouts out there. Big flavors, balanced and blended.

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Photo of Damian
2.26/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Drank from a 500 ml/1 pt. 0.9 fl. oz. (16.9 fl. oz.) corked and caged bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Served in a snifter

Really solid appearance. The beer poured a somewhat thin, dark brown and was topped by an inch tall, super tight and frothy, tan colored crown. The head slowly dropped to a bubbly plume atop the liquid. Rings of drippy lacing coated the glass and eventually transformed into spotty droplets.

The aroma was really weak. There was a subtle roastiness and a bit of rubbing alcohol initially. Somewhat ashy. A chalky and dry yeast quality was also apparent. As the beer sat, a touch of bourbon and brown sugar came forth. Slightly sweet. The bourbon notes continued to intensify throughout the session, but they were still quite subdued.

The flavor profile was even more disappointing than the nose. Deeply roasted malts came through on the front end. Fairly ashy. Cold espresso was noticeable. The finish was acrid and dry and contained a sharp alcohol note, which crescendoed after the swallow. Punishingly bitter, earthy and piney hop notes also appeared in the finish.

The mouthfeel was a huge letdown as well. Thinner bodied for the style. The liquid contained a frothy, large bubbled effervescence. With time, the carbonation settled down and the liquid turned smooth and creamy on the palate.

I hate drain pouring any beer, but doing so to a $23 500 ml bottle is all the more painful. Many of the past barrel-aged Old Rasputin vintages were disappointments, but XVI definitely takes the cake. This beer is a thin, hot and acrid mess that contains barely any bourbon character. I will definitely pass on future vintages.

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Photo of babaracas
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish very dark brown, opaque and black-ish in the glass with several fingers thick exceedingly dense light brown head. Settles slowly to a quarter inch, sheet of lace down the glass. Smell: uncorking this one set off a cloud of bourbon aroma, but after a minute only a little remains... along with rich chocolate cake batter, prune, toasted brown bread. Taste: milk chocolate, caramel apple... fig and toasted brown bread... earthy espresso note cut by a splash of sweet booze. Velvety feel. Finishes with some earth, tannic, mild bourbon leftovers...drying and slightly sticky. Delicious...nice to see a barrel aged stout that's not over the top sweet.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: pours translucent brown, but ends up pitch black in the glass; two fingers of mocha head slims into a thin collar as the drink gets drank...

S: dark malt aromas of chocolate and coffee beans weave into the woodsy aromas of bourbon barrel oak and whiskey

T: espresso beans and coffee with milk, cocoa and burnt wood; oak, whiskey, char, chocolate and vanilla; earthy, herbal; some slightly medicinal and astringent moments

M: thinner than many Russian Imperials, smooth and tight at the same time; plenty of dry oak and bourbon whiskey vapors; drying finish

O: my second sampling in the series; an elegant drinking experience, strong with whiskey woods and chocolate malts, finer impressions of vanilla and char; the mouthfeel was a little light for me and the cost a little high, but if you can afford it, not a bottle to be ignored on the shelf.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

# 500! Yay!
Poured into a snifter

A: Black with a tan, one finger head that lingers. Thick, curtainy lacing.

S: Bourbon and chocolate dominate with a light vanilla and oak backbeat.

T: Knocked my socks off. Blended bourbon and chocolate. Leather, anise, oak and vanilla. Plus a bit of espresso. Just divine.

M: Medium with frothy carbonation.

O: I have entered heavens gates. This is one if the best stouts I've ever had the privilege of enjoying. A bit pricy, but definitely for special occasions (or a holiday weekend with friends). Takes the taste of regular Old Raspy and whisks it into the taste bud orgasm zone. Will seek out in the future.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Draft pour
Black body with a thin covering of brown head that sticks around for a while.
Chocolate, caramel, wood and bourbon aroma.
Chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, and bourbon. It's a little warm. Imparts some good bourbon flavor.
Medium carbonation which was more than expected. Full medium body.

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Photo of Brolo75
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours black with a mocha colored heard, head is creamy, not much head retention, looks a little thin for an imperial stout, no carbonation.

A: Slight bourbon aroma, roasted malts, chocolate, alcohol is very noticeable even after two years in the cellar. Still picking up some vanilla, toasted coconut, and chocolate.

T: Slight bourbon flavor, dark fruits like raisins, plum, figs, some chocolate, alcohol comes through fairly strong, still has a nice complexity of a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout.

M: It has a chalky, powder like dry mouthfeel, I don't remember that when I first had this fresh.

This is a review of a two-year old bottle, not sure if it has aged for better as I think the mouthfeel has faded but it still has great flavors, I'm surprised that the alcohol is still noticeable.

 845 characters

Photo of SanFranJake
3.59/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this last night, poured into a Stone IRS snifter.
Appearance was very solid. Dark coffee pour with a nice finger-plus of creamy head which gave way to lacing that was present the entire glass. I really enjoyed it ascetically.
The smell on the other and was not all that I had hoped it would be. While the bourbon barrel was present, it was faint. I may have been ruined by the other ba stouts of late (Parabola, Bo & Luke) but while decent, was not up to my expectations. Especially for the price.
The taste, much like the nose, was a letdown. Hello barrel, it's me Jake. Are you there? Again, my other ba stouts could had tainted my impression.
Mouthfeel was thin. That's all I got for ya here.
Overall, I'm glad I tried it. I cracked it because to Whole Foods 20% sale is coming up and I was wondering if I wanted to grab another when that hits... I don't. With access to other BA stouts like Parabola, I'll gladly get more beer by volume, at $6 less and a beer that is leaps and bounds better than BA Raspy. I've got XIV & XV in the cellar, so hope they aren't the blue balls let down this was.

 1,106 characters

Photo of kkleu357
4.6/5  rDev +9%

From notes on 2/14/14

Dark heavy looking body. Decent head for an imperial stout. Kind of a rum aroma. Sweet, caramel smell. Really delicious. Very very smooth for 11.5%. Dark chocolate cocoa flavors. I’m impressed with this. Yum yum. Great end to Valentines dinner.

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Old Rasputin XVI Barrel Aged Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.22 out of 5 based on 431 ratings.
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