Old Rasputin XVIII (Aged In Rye Whiskey Barrels)
North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin XVIII (Aged In Rye Whiskey Barrels)Old Rasputin XVIII (Aged In Rye Whiskey Barrels)
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Stout - Russian Imperial
4.26 | pDev: 7.75%
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Old Rasputin XVIII (Aged In Rye Whiskey Barrels)Old Rasputin XVIII (Aged In Rye Whiskey Barrels)
Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 260 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of schoolboy
schoolboy from Ohio

4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I saw these and had to get them. I have long been a fan of most things from this brewer. This is #23.

This pours nicely black and heady. The aroma is strong and sublime - booze booze and booze. Get it? The taste is more like plain Old Rasputin, as if that were a let down. The aftertaste is a bit gritty - you know you've had the real deal.

Highly recommended. A different take on a classic brew that takes things to another level.

May 23, 2021
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Scotchboy from Idaho

4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Half-pour in a snifter, on draft near my house.

A: Dark brown/black, opaque, with a creamy tan head that laces well.

S: Strong impressions of rye whiskey, mild spicing and earthiness with oak and a good dose of vanilla, mild coconut from the barrels. There is a present coffee aroma as well as a mild chocolate/dark chocolate roastiness.

T: Moderately strong whiskey character with a strong roasted malt backbone...there is a good dose coffee flavors and earthy spice...dark caramel, char, faint smoke...bittersweet bakers chocolate.

MF: Very creamy and smooth, not quite full-bodied, with low carbonation and a present dryness and moderate clingy bitterness.

O: Really nice rye barrel characters in this one, and it’s VERY smooth; invisible alcohol presence and no booze really, just a nice rye whiskey presence with earthy spice.

Feb 12, 2021
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kitch from Hong Kong

4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 500ml bottle, XVIII release. Poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Black in colour with a one finger dark tanned to brown head that had good retention and left lots of nice lacing.

Aroma: Light roast, chocolate, whiskey, oak and vanilla.

Taste: Rye whiskey forward providing sweetness, light roast, chocolate, coffee, oak and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with soft carbonation.

Overall: Body was lighter than I’d prefer for what it is. I get the whiskey booze forwardness, but I don’t get much of the usual spiciness from rye whiskey (maybe I’ve held on to this bottle for too long?). But nevertheless, it is still an enjoyable sipper.

Oct 24, 2019
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WickedBeer from Alabama

4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can’t find a bottled on date anywhere on here, but ABV is stamped at 11.3%.

Caramel brown pour, dark and with a nice ring of beige head that settles softly around the body of the beer. Not much of any lace retention.

On the nose, immediately notes of dark fruit and rye barrel. Roasty malt and caramelized sugar compliment nicely as the beer opens up a little more.

Again, the barrel really shines here with a mildly spicy whiskey character. Following notes of caramel, molasses, raisin, oak, and subtle hints of coconut. Very well-balanced and subtly complex.

Fairy thin-bodied, with a low, soft carbonation. Not as much body as expected, but the residual stickiness and boozy warmth gives it all you need to round this out really nicely.

Aug 19, 2019
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wvbeerdad from Georgia

4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Loved this beer. Unlike many rye beers, this one has a smooth creamy finish. Nice head and aroma. Much more balanced than many whiskey barrel aged beers. Found this beauty at Public House in La Jolla.

Mar 01, 2019
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Jmatz from Illinois

4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


It seems everyone has a barrel aged stout these days...and most of them are fine for a few sweet sips for dessert...and little else.

Old Rasputin's 18 is something else...it's as heavy and complex of a beer as you'll ever taste, but it's also surprisingly smooth and drinkable...

It pours a dark "warm" black with a small cap of dark caramel colored somewhat fizzy head that dissapates, but hangs around in a thin layer for the rest of the time it's in your glass.

The smell is a boozy sweet and pleasant, but only indicative of a tiny bit of what awaits.

The flavor is just wonderful...there's the initial hot to the pallete, sweet, toasted coconut, dark chocolate, but things evolve quickly, running through a raisin/plum dark fruitiness to a bitter coffee and charred oak flavor on the tail end. It hits almost every taste bud, and it's wonderfully balanced, with no flavor domina ting and the progression from sweet to bitter leaves you craving another sip.

This is the real deal, if you find it, nab a bottle, save it for a cold night, and share it with someone else who'll appreciate it.

Oct 29, 2018
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Gmann from New York

4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color with a big pillowy brown head that slowly dissipates leaving a wall of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is of a dark roast with a noticable whiskey and dark fruit scent.

The taste is of a dark roast with smooth caramel and vanilla notes. Dark fruit and hints of coffee. Slight sour note. Quite smooth, not sharp like other barrel aged stouts.

The feel is well bodied but not thick. Semi soft carbonation. Sweet but has a roasted bitter offset. A bit sticky.

Another great barrel aged brew from this brewery. Nice and mellow and smooth.

Aug 13, 2017
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep black beer topped by a finger and a half of dense dark tan head that fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with decent lacing.
S: Smells of bitter dark chocolate, roasty malts, burnt sugar, oak and spice
T: Taste is roasty malts, charred wood, burnt marshmallows, spices, oak, dark chocolate and a little espresso. Swallow is spicy oak, slight caramel and vanilla sweetness with some roasted malts, dark chocolate, and charred wood.
M: The beer is silky smooth on the palate with a full body. Carbonation is soft and adequate to keep things moving across the palate. The beer has a drying finish from the ABV.
O: Overall this one is great. I like the influence that the rye barrel had on the base beer. This one has some great complexity and flavors that make it a pleasure to drink. Time did this one well also.

Feb 10, 2017
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superspak from Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into snifter, bottled in 8/2015. Pours opaque dark brown/black color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with awesome retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Thick soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of steaming carbonation retaining the head. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, toasted oak, spicy rye whiskey, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and dark bread; with lighter notes of smoke, char, raisin, coconut, molasses, and roast/oak earthiness. A bit of booze in the aroma as it warms. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malts and rye whiskey barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, toasted oak, spicy rye whiskey, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and dark bread; with lighter notes of smoke, char, raisin, coconut, molasses, and roast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate roast/char and herbal/pine hop bitterness; with rye whiskey/oak spiciness on the finish; lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, toasted oak, spicy rye whiskey, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, smoke, char, molasses, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts and rye whiskey barrel flavors; with a great roast/hop bitter/sweet and rye whiskey/oak spiciness balance; with zero astringent roast/hop flavors after the finish. Light dryness from roast/hop bitterness and whiskey/oak spiciness; increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and fairly full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, fairly sticky/chalky, and lightly tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden; and small pleasant warmth lingering after the finish, with minimal booziness. Overall this is an incredible barrel aged Russian imperial stout! All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malts and rye whiskey barrel flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV. Amazing barrel balance and integration. The classic base beer flavors are all there; great added barrel complexity that does not overwhelm, dry out out the beer too much, or make it feel too boozy. A really amazing offering.

Jan 27, 2017
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RAFH from Michigan

4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Split a $23 bomber with my cousin Michelle's husband Rob. We tried it during the 2017 US Figure Skating championships in Kansas City, Missouri. It was excellent. Very smooth and a pleasant surprise. Highly recommend! I bet this one will age well.

Jan 22, 2017
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TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark brown with a one finge tan head. Heavy amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is vanilla, chocolate, molasses and spicey rye.

T - The taste starts with some sweet malts and vanilla followed by coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts and tons of rye whiskey in the finish.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a crisp dry finish.

O - A solid barrel aged stout. The rye adds a nice touch of spiciness. Worth checking out at least once.

Jan 14, 2017
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Red5StandingBy from Maryland

4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 500 ML corked bottle with no freshness date.

L: Deep dark brown, almost black, completely opaque, initial head at 3/4 of a finger recedes to thin head after a few minutes. Medium amount of lacing.

S: Molasses, Chocolate, Coffee, Malt, slight Rye Whiskey scent at the end.

T: Similar to the smell, deeply complex and balanced, sweet malt at the beginning transforming into rich coffee. The Whiskey taste then takes the reigns from there, finishing with a nice dark chocolate flavor that lingers long after the last ounce escapes the palate.

F: Chewy feeling even with a strong carbonation yet the thickness quickly dissipates leaving the palate surprisingly clear.

O: I would drink this daily if I could. Extremely pleasing smell and taste. Rates very near to Founder's Breakfast Stout which I find to be my all-time favorite thus far. Well done.

Nov 29, 2016
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scottfrie from California

4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle into tulip.

A: Pours a deep near black color with a couple fingers of thick dark tan foam that slowly collapsed into a rocky film. A network of sticky lace was left down the glass.
S: Rich notes of spicy rye whiskey, molasses, chocolate syrup, and a hint of vanilla. Rye dominates with just a touch of warming booze.
T: Follows the nose with dominating flavors of rye spice and whiskey, chocolate, and warming booze in the finish. I also get notes of caramel and a hint of anise. Roasted flavors linger long after I swallow. Hints if booze in the finish, nice lingering peppery rye spice. Hint of roasted coconut.
M: Full body, thick rich and chewy mouthfeel, carbonation fluffs up on my palate but quickly subsides.
O: A delicious variant of a classic beer. Very easy to drink, smooth, well balanced and flavorful.

Nov 22, 2016
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Gtwreck45 from Missouri

3.76/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: just like the non BA version - plenty of frothy head leaving spotty lacing and a lingering ring. Near black color with an off-white to tan head
S: an unfortunate turn here. Take all the chocolate and cocoa from the original, and then mute it behind some difficult to detect whiskey notes. This one just doesn't seem like it was in a barrel that long
T: same as above. Less roasted coffee and cocoa, more nondescript alcohol flavor.
F: interesting feel, I could go 2 different ways here. It feels thin for a RIS, but the oaky finish feels like I'm licking the barrel.
O: the aging seems to have muted the coffee and cocoa of the original, given it very little whiskey flavor or smell, but imparted tons of oak. Not sure how that happened. Overall you should gladly take a 4 pack of the original and leave this thing on the shelf. It's not bad, but there are better options

Oct 18, 2016
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SilentBob2u2 from California

1/5  rDev -76.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Look, I'm going to break down in real terms, unfortunately harshly:

Too thin, too bitter, not enough sweetness, too expensive. I feel I should get a refund, and it doesn't deserve the current rating of 92 points. Polar opposite of previous years. You can see my review 3 years ago of this same beer...'twas caramel, chocolate goodness. Find it in the beers that I've reviewed. This....not at all. Sorry, but not sorry

Oct 15, 2016
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DrinkThemAll from California

4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

XVIII poured into a snifter.

Pours dark as night, with a half finger tan head, that sticks around with spotty lacing. Nice looking brew.

Smells of toffee, dark chocolate, whiskey and a tad of Rye. Kind of lacking in any department on aroma. Kind of disappointed here.

Taste of roasted malts, toffee, dark chocolate, whiskey and rye. Has a kind of syrup after taste. Very disappointed in the taste as well.

Mouth is filled with whiskey and bitter chocolate. Decent carbonation and a dry syrup finish.

Very disappointed in this release. The whiskey barrel aged version was way better. The original Rasputin is better than both. These are decent beers, but not at the price point they are at! I'd grab a 4 pack for $7 all day of Rasputin before I think of spending $25 on one of these again.

Sep 27, 2016
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Alieniloquium from Florida

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

500 mL bottle. Black body with a small khaki head. Smells of strong oak. Really strong oak. Spice from either the rye or oak. Deep roasted malt. Tastes really good. Whiskey up front and throughout. Chocolate malts in the front. Dries out with a strong oak flavor. Rye spiciness in the back end. Heavy, but not sweet. A little boozy. This series is always delicious.

Sep 03, 2016
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DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

3.44/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Raspy XVIII Rye Barrel, bottle bought at State Line in MD for too much money (around 25 bucks).

The beer pours aggressively and comes grossly overcarbonated. About half of the pour was foam. Once it settles, the nose is good, spicy-grassy aroma from the rye, some chocolate, soil and a chalky, mineral-y feel. Bubblegum and cola at the end.

In the mouth, Raspy Rye delivers some good cocoa powder and barrel goodness, followed by a nice Iowa-fields-in-a-clear-spring-day grainy taste and a slightly smoky finish... but alas, with no depth whatsoever. The taste is flat and dull, thoroughly one-dimensional and a quarter into the bottle I am bored with Raspy Rye.

And then comes the extremely thin, watery mouthfeel to ruin the whole thing. I don't know why North Coast can't make a barrel-aged beer with proper feel. Raspy Rye feels so diluted, you would think they dumped their regular Raspy into a barrel of water with a couple of drops of whiskey and called it a day.

Overall, this ain't right. It ain't terrible either, but it is neither worth the price nor the time spent. It drinks easy for a big stout, but it is so unexciting it hurts. For an excellent rye-barrel imperial stout go seek Deschutes The Abyss Rye.

Aug 16, 2016
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DaveBar from Canada (ON)

4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got on trade. 500ml bottle served at 10deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a huge 3" high thick rich looking foamy head that lasts forever and a day before film out. Super dark brown colour

S- Nice whisky barrel notes present.

T- Whisky note prevail. Roasted malt and some bittering hops make an excellent base and super rich. Bitter at the end though. Nice chocolate and coffee in the background. Very well blended brew

M- Creamy going down then dries out well

O- Nice brew. Worth trying once. Would like to try their bourbon barrel aged stouts one day as this one is pretty good.

Food Pairing

As always barrel aged stouts can be tough to pair and this one is no different. This nice little brew went well with........ Jerk chicken! The spicy nature of the jerk will hit you then let this brew take it away


Jul 03, 2016
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ccg from Virginia

4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Rye BA Old Rasputin XVIII, opened 2016-06-03.

Look: Pours a little thin-looking. Dark, translucent brown, but not the thick, opaque black, viscous-looking pour of something like last week's Westbrook Mexican Cake. It also looks rather fizzy, almost overcarbonated, but it does have dense legs and lacing when I tilt it, and the quarter-inch layer of foam sticks around a long time. 4.0

Smell: It's not multifaceted, but what it does, it does so well. The smell is tons of dense, rich chocolate with plenty of whiskey and a nice background of spiciness from the rye. 4.25

Taste: The chocolate from the smell still comes through in the flavor, but it has more competition. There is an earthiness from the rye and from the hops. It's spicier than I expected from the rich, decadent smell. I find the base Old Raspy to be rather bitter, so maybe I shouldn't be too surprised, but I am a little disappointed. 4.0

Mouthfeel: Unfortunately, the mouthfeel is a letdown. It's thin and fizzy, like a Winn Dixie generic-brand cola. It's not *bad*, but for an expensive barrel-aged stout, there should be a lot more body and density. 3.75

Overall: It's a solid beer and a nice dessert treat. I wanted to open this bottle while the rye-barrel-aged Abyss was still fresh in my memory. The Rye Abyss, which is also a little bit on thin side, is still clearly on a higher tier. Rye-BA Old Raspy hints at the delicious, chocolatey decadence that is possible while not quite achieving it. 4.0

Jun 24, 2016
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ChiCubs78 from Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My favorite Old Rasputin variant. Still lacks the mouthfeel, look and smell like its counterparts. Overall it's quite tasty and has the back end barrel that the other variants lack.

Jun 22, 2016
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500 ml caged and corked bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half tan head that stayed around for a little while. There's a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like rye whiskey, chocolate, oak, vanilla and caramel. For the most part I think the taste is the same as the aroma, but there's also some dark fruit, anise and roasted malt noticeable. There's a good amount of barrel character in this brew, but it doesn't overpower all the other flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit coating and has a moderate amount of carbonation. I thought this was a pretty good brew, I liked the other barrel aged Old Rasputins I've had in the past and this rye whiskey version is tasty too! It's certainly worth trying, but it's also a bit pricey at $19.99 a bottle.

May 01, 2016
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Tommo from Texas

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

So, im rating this based on price. This is a very nice beer, but comes nowhere near its absurd price point. The integration of the barrel with the stout is very clean and smooth, and it melds well especially when its warm. However, it lacks body and doesn't carry itself well

Apr 24, 2016
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nawpnawp from California

3.58/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is the next in line of my recent run of BA stouts. It has been awhile since I've had non-BA Old Rasputin, so I can't really compare it to that. I do notice a huge influence from the BA, which is a nice change from other BAs which don't impart as much of their character. There is a huge woody flavor that is just right. The spiciness is definitely there and could probably use a little bit of age to cool off. In some ways, this tastes a lot like a cola, but not in a bad way. It is quite smooth for an 11%er.

Overall, it's something I wouldn't mind drinking again if I came across it, but I won't be seeking it out again.

Apr 21, 2016
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a very nice looking creamy cocoa colored head that dissipates at a moderate pace but still leaves a nice bunching around the inside of the glass. The beer itself is a nice black color with an attractive sheen to it. It does not appear to be as thick or viscous as other imperial stouts but has a slight thinness that is probably brought on by the alcohol from the barrel aging.

The smell is wonderful. It isn't overly complex but it certainly isn't simple. The strongest note seems to be the rye whiskey with its spiciness but it doesn't quite crowd out the other notes. It actually mixes very well with a light chocolate and cocoa note with a bit of alcohol sweetness added into the mix. The wood note comes out a little bit but not as often as one would like while the vanilla note is very light. Still, it's a very good smell.

The taste is also wonderful and quite possibly slightly better than the smell. The taste has the same mix of rye, chocolate, and light cocoa as well as the barrel notes. The barrel notes are a bit stronger and noticeable in the taste. The wood is a bit more upfront with the chocolate and the vanilla is certainly less subtle. While there is a slight alcohol taste, it's covered up by the rye and actually adds rather than subtracts.

The feel is very good and fairly different from other barrel aged beers. Rather than a thick and smooth feel, the beer has a nice thin slickness to it as it goes down. It's still a heavy beer but it goes down quicker than one would normally think. The biting carbonation adds to the slick texture.

Overall, another fantastic addition to North Coast's Anniversary series and worth getting if you can still get one. This particular one is fantastic fresh and looking forward to see how it ages.

Mar 30, 2016
Old Rasputin XVIII (Aged In Rye Whiskey Barrels) from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 260 ratings