Old Rasputin XIV Anniversary | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin XIV AnniversaryOld Rasputin XIV Anniversary

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by doughanson78 on 12-04-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 587
Photo of BelgiumBill
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Corked and caged. Unlike some other corked bottles, this one did not have much of a 'pop'.

Poured into a nonic producing a a solid 3 finger walnut shell brown head which was densely foamy, retentive, and quite sticky. The liquid was jet black with no light passing through at the edges. A real beauty.

Fragrant! The oak jumps out at you as you bring it near. Bitter chocolate, toasty vanilla, tootsie roll, hints of booze/bourbon, pumpernickel bread and molasses. I could spend a long time just smelling it as it is very complex.

What an evolution on the taste buds. Super long finish with waves of flavors throughout. Right up front rocks you with oak and bourbon characteristics yielding to dark chocolate and dark roasted malts with some bready molasses. Just when I expect to get hit with some alcohol burn it turns creamy and coating reminiscent of a milk stout. It finishes up giving you more oak and chocolate and it hangs out for a while.

The mouthfeel is an evolution as well; starting out crisp and nipping at the tip of your tongue, to coating the mouth with a creamy feel, then progressing to a drying, almost tannic feel toward the end of the finish.

Overall....one of the best. It is big, chewy, super complex, and balanced. Not too much bite, not too much alcohol, everything blends together masterfully. I can't think of anything critical to say about it.

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Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful pour, black as a moonless night, billowing off white/tan head, good lacing. Nose is bourbon, ginger, graham cracker, chocolate and roast coffee. Flavor is similar, with perhaps some cherry thrown into the mix. Not overly complex, but perfectly balanced. It’s amazing how the bourbon has seved as bridge between the roast beginning and the hoppy finish of the original brew. As a gentleman before me has commented, this is definitely drier than a few other fine examples of the style, most notably Goose Island Bourbon County, and I think this is significantly better than that very fine brew. The mouthfeel is silky/creamy, but never too thick (or thin., and the finish is extremely long and very satisfying. I’m absolutely thrilled to have scored five of these, and I hope to have the discipline to put away at least one for aging. This is my idea of a flat out perfect RIS.

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Photo of Beerlover
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed form notes 12/15/11, compared side by side to 2011 surly darkness with Mr. Jeffery Abbott!!!

Smells extremely sweet and very boozy, tastes like booze but very, very smooth bourbon flavor to the point tat it almost takes over the stout, Jeff says we are drinking a "stout flavored bourbon." Not a bad thing at all. Very delicious and well rounded almost worth the $22 for a 16.9 oz bottle. As you drink the warmth of the bourbon flavor warms and coats your throat. wow! perfectly delish!

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Photo of vfgccp
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Black with trace red highlights.  Thick, creamy cap of mocha head.  Great retention and nice lace.

S - Stellar nose with rich vanilla, caramel, tootsie rolls,  soft booze, and a touch of smokey oak.

T - Simply outrageous.  Sweet booze and bright woody hops melt into a deep, smooth chocolate liquor.  Espresso and deep roast grains flow through the center accented by alcohol, and echo through the finish.

M - Incredibly smooth and creamy.

O - An absolutely stellar beer. Complex, well integrated, and delicious.  To my palate this offering separates itself into a category of what i would consider to be perfect beers, something I can say for less than 0.5% of beers I've ever had.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.96/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A: Pours black with a brown head.

S: Roasted malt, vanilla, oak and caramel in the nose. Nice bourbon character.

T: Roasted malt, dark fruit, bourbons vanilla, oak and caramel. Delicious.

M: Full bodied, but I don't remember if it's super smooth. I do remember nothing being wrong with it.

O: An amazing beer, and a great example of what a bourbon barrel can do to an already delicious imperial stout.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours black and thick, literally like a sugar free maple syrup consistency. The head is a very dark mocha brown, some of the darkest foam I've seen on a beer.

S: This aroma is something to behold; faint smooth alcohol, sweet dark chocolate, hints of black licorice, not overpowering at all and not really bitter either, it's all very exciting.

T/M: Carbonation is surprisingly high, it throws you off at first and then as soon as the bubbles fade off the tongue it's extremely smooth and sweet like a chocolate stout. Decadent is the best word. Alcohol is faint only on the back of the tongue and leaves a subtle burn but isn't too strong. I never thought I'd like the bubbles in something so dark and rich but they are perfectly complementary in this one.

This s**t is amazing.


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Photo of Zraly
4.9/5  rDev +15%

Stored this bad boy in my beer cooler for a few years now. I had it once before a few years back in New Orleans; a friend bought a bottle and shared it with several of us. It was tasty then but still young, so I was anxious to see how this would handle a few years of aging.

Jet black with mocha head. Pours like syrup. Faint whiff of bourbon upfront -- this has definitely mellowed substantially over the years. No sherry-like notes upfront, so I'm happy to know my storage method in my beer cooler works.

Tastes like a thick chocolate milkshake spiked with whole vanilla bean. Smooth and velvety, a bit a fudge and chew in the mouthfeel. I can -- for better or worse -- down this with little regard. It's definitely a sipper, but the smoothness deceives me into not spacing time well between sips. With that in mind, I'm slowing down right now to savor. As it warms more and more, layers of cocoa, char, chocolate covered espresso bean, and a whisper note of leather unveil. There is also a hint of grape skin lingering in the background, illustrating the richness of this stout. That and it is friggin' delicious. Heavy body.

Amazing, rich, delicious. I enjoy the non barrel-aged Rasputin, so I'm so happy to see this age well. My dessert beer and is perfect for that role.

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Photo of Doshkin
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is outrageously delicious. Tasted side by side with the regular Rasputin, and the barrel aged version makes the original taste like water. And don't get me wrong, the original is itself an extraordinary RIS that pushes 10% abv. Back to beer on topic, all i can say is wow. It's so smooth, bourbon-y, chocolately, honestly everything you could ask for in a bourbon barrel aged RIS. Absolutely 100% worth the $20 i paid for this bottle. Had the pleasure of sharing this with a good friend and his dad while we brewed some beer.


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Photo of chrisrose30
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this beer out of a 500mL bottle into a tulip. The appearance is nearly a pitch black with a thin head, and nice retention and lacing. Very viscous. The smell of bourbon hit me initially, but there is much more going on here - coffee, chocolate, caramel, dates.

Upon tasting, there is definitely, for me, alcohol up front, and the bourbon in this one is unmistakable, although not overpowering, like some barrel-aged beers I've had. Very rich, with lots of cocoa and coffee, and bit more carbonation than I would have expected, although this doesn't take away from the stout; rather, it compliments it. Nice, thick body, and great mouthfeel.

Overall, this one is pretty damn good. I've had better for cheaper, but this is a nice, solid aged stout. It helps that it's Old Rasputin. Now, if the brewery would begin putting their specialty beers on tap, then I'd be a fan.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My wife and I did a side by side tasting with Old Rasputin. We poured the beer into snifters, and it pour a dark brown, almost black coloring with ruby highlights and a thin, tan head that settles into a sparse, uneven filmy covering. The beer's nose is oaky and boozey sweet, with vanilla highlights over a chocolate and mocha backbone. Flavors are super-smooth, with rich bourbon, black strap molasses, and caramel highlights over woody undertones. Dark fruit highlights on the palate as well, with a heavy dose of cherry. The body is thin and smooth, with boozey characteristics thinning out the lacing to the point of very quick recession. The aftertaste is mostly alcohol and woody/earthy profiles, with a smooth, slick finish. Delicious beer, and extremely different from its Old Rasputin counterpart.

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Photo of Kromes
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pitch black with a thick tan colored head that sits on top of the beer. Sort of looks like a root beer float. Tons of lacing down the glass.

S: Roasted malt with an almost burnt oak and bourbon flavor. There's also a nice dark chocolate aroma in the background.

T: Amazing flavor in this beer. It starts out sweet and then the bourbon and oak kick in. It lacks the over the top vanilla sweetness in some other bourbon barrel beers. It takes the best qualities...there's a muted bourbon flavor, a muted woody oak, and just a touch of vanilla. It supplements an already amazing beer. The finish rounds out with a nice chocolate flavor with the warmth from the alcohol and a slight bourbon tingle. Love it.

M: Heavy feel. Very, very smooth. A nice warmth end to end.

O: An amazing stout. They took one of my favorite beers and made it even better.

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Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: pours a dark black with a thin layer of light head that retains around the edges of the glass. A thin dark brown   at the very top of the glass. Looks amazing.

S: Rich deep bourbon exquisitely mixed with vanilla and oak. Gracefully soothes the nose in a blanket of awesomeness.

T: the first flavors that run down the tongue are intertwined with the perfect blend of bourbon and oak up front. The finish is a lovely mix of vanilla, oak, and chocolate. I expected this beer to be extremely alcy up front but to my surprise tastes amazing fresh.

M:Lays on the taste buds very nicely. Not to dry and not to sweet. This beer hits the spot and is def easy to drink considering how fresh it is.

O: This beer is insanely delicious and was surprised how wonderfully it tasted out of the bottle without a year of age on it. I will be buying more of this beer, that is a fact 

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Photo of korguy123
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml C&C Bottle into CBS Snifter.
I reviewed the twelfth anniversary in 2010 and was blown away by it. Hopefully this one is no exception.

A- Thick black oily pour with a a creamy dark brown head that drops after some time leaving a creamy cap and gobs of lacing around the sides of the glass.

S- There is a bourbon aroma, followed by a dessert sweetness of chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar and molasses. The bourbon and the barrel both add a real smoothness to this. There is a touch of alcohol in the back end with the coffee.

T- Bourbon and chocolate up front with vanilla and brown sugar. Espresso and oak finish this with a touch of warmth from the alcohol.

M- Medium bodied, not as creamy as the XII but a good contender for excellent feel. Sticky on the lips with a lingering bitter finish.

O- Another home run, it's basically identical to my previous review except for the mouthfeel which on the XII was creamier and heavier.

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Photo of 360logic
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black with a decently thick tan head. Some moderate lacing, but less than other Russian Imperials.

S: Lots of malts, roasted coffee, vanilla, boozy bourbon and a hint of oak.

T: Hops and and dark, rich malt hit your palette first, turning into an espresso then mellowing out into a balance of bitter roasted character with smooth vanilla. Finish is very long with a warm, boozy bourbon note that comes out more with each sip.

M: Viscous and chewy. Head and lacing are nicely creamy while the liquid gives a subtle carbonation with a nice heaviness to it. Awesome while going down.

O: Best Russian Imperial I've had, but only by an inch after regular Old Rasputin. The bourbon element gives a great warmth and a subtle added complexity to the beer, but it isn't honestly really mind blowing. Really great, but wouldn't go out of my way (or price range) to drink this again.

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Photo of bnes09
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Midnight black and completely opaque. Thick, creamy, tannish colored head with exceptional retention for the brew strength and with tons of foam clinging to the glass.

Ripe and matured aroma of sweet figs and dates, charred oak, wheat toast. Not a lot of roasted notes in the aroma but plenty of sweet, dark characteristics to savor. The oaky tones really smooth it out and add a bourbon character.

Flavor is rich and dark with burnt molasses, wheat toast, dark chocolate and medium roast coffee. Make way for sweet undertones of caramel, brown sugar, figs and dates. Hint of almond. Gentle earthy hop bitterness. Subtle tones of oak and bourbon. Alcohol is well concealed.

Full bodied and just bordering on a syrupy texture. Lightly carbonated as expected and fits well with the overall character. Soothing alcohol warmth in the chest.

Wow! Beers like this do not come around every day. Tons of flavor with a velvety smooth feel and not too much alcohol nor a syrupy body to it. Near perfection in a bottle. One minor complaint, a weak and subdued hop character, espcially for a Russian imperial. A brewing masterpiece, nonetheless. Cost $20 for a 500 mL bottle and its worth a lot more than that.

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Photo of MaximalC
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours thick and dark, with as big a head as you are willing to invoke (a borderline perverse introduction, I'll admit, but I offer it unrepentantly). The head itself is a deep mocha color which, in my experience, is a good harbinger of what's to come in the flavor department (at least with stouts). Old Rasputin XIV does not disappoint here. The aroma is vivacious and seductive (and unapologetically boozy), another bold proclamation of the tastes to follow. As for the body, it's rich and luxurious, leaving a sticky residue in its wake. The taste is exactly what I look for in a stout--dark chocolate and coffee take center stage (backed by dark fruits), with staying power to last the entire session. Each sip is like a re-introduction to excellence. Alcohol is unavoidably present at 11.5% (possibly the only minor flaw), but that is to be expected of an imperial stout. This beer is the embodiment of decadence, and it makes regular Old Rasputin (which I enjoy) taste like discarded runoff by comparison. The price tag is quite hefty, so it's not for everyday consumption, but any stout fan looking to treat himself to something special would be well advised to partake.

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Photo of Vierenner
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up several months ago at Belmont Party Supply in Dayton ... one per customer.
The pour is fantastic ... rich, dark, and forming an absolutely beautiful head.
The smell reminds me of Big John and Bourbon County Stout, two of my favorite beers.
The taste is a little more bitter than I like. The two aforementioned beers have similar flavor but less bitterness and taste better in my opinion, as do a few other beers ... but this one is definitely in my top 10.
A smokey taste is quite prevalent. I also sense a little chocolate and vanilla. Bourbon too.
The three E's all tried it and felt coffee was the dominant flavor.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.73/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of HopfenUndMalz2015
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ages incredibly well. Bourbon is well balanced and does not overpower. Age has probably helped mellow this. Deep rich earthy tastes, with a slight warming. Absolutely delicious.

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Photo of mwill7287
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Rozi's Wine House around Christmas. Enjoyed it with my brother, who is a big time Old Rasputin fan, as a Christmas gift of sorts (i.e. didn't charge him $10 to split it!).

Poured from 500ml cork & cage bottle into GLBC snifter.

Appearance: Absolutely pitch black body. No light shall pass through this ale. A finger's worth of dark mocha tan head sits prettily atop the beer. Very little carbonation is apparent in the body. Surprisingly little lacing is left behind on the glass after drinking. 4.25

Smell: Intense bourbon, vanilla and chocolate waft into my nose. The wood aging of this beer is very apparent. My brother and I think that this could almost pass for bourbon on a blind smelling! I can feel the whiskey in my nose. rich. 4.75

Taste: Wow - so much bourbon! Very creamy, chock full of vanilla and rich dark chocolate. Bits of coffee are latent in the mix. Of course the main thrust of the attack is bourbon. The taste is very rich and decadent - awesome! A mild alcohol bite and the bitterness of the standard Old Rasputin are present amidst the rich flavors of the roasty malt and bourbon. Coffee and vanilla dominate the aftertaste. The harshness that the bourbon presents mellows out as the beer warms. I wonder what this baby would taste like in a year. 5

Mouthfeel: This is one thick, creamy, sticky stout. The bitterness is a bit subdued compared to standard Rasputin but still present enough to roughen the mouthfeel. According to my limited judgment, this could perhaps still use a few months of sitting, but it's still nice. 4.5

Overall: BBA Old Rasputin XIV is one of the best BBA stouts I have ever had. The richness of the bourbon aging, with a creamy body and medium bitterness makes for, outside the ABV, a highly drinkable beer. Wish I had the funds to purchase a bottle to age. 4.75

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Photo of lookitsfelias
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
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

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Photo of Pahn
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

500ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Careful pour yields a two inch tan head that dissipates steadily, leaving a small lace wall near the surface. Pours a solid black, and leaves occasional sweeps of lacing amidst the giant legs.

Smell: Powerful aroma of oak and whiskey. Deep toffee and caramel along with a spicy, almost piny aroma. Rich, and constantly changing; this is what the best smelling BA stouts are like.

Taste: As rich and decadent as the aroma. Waves of oak and good whiskey flavors; vanilla, slight coconut, mild alcohol spice, numerous caramel flavors of varying intensity, toffee, rich and complex dark malts, with a bitter roasted malt finish that balances but doesn't overtake the barrage of decadence.

That last paragraph was basically one long sentence. Instead of writing much more, I'll tritely note that each sip is pretty much like that as well: tons of different flavors that keep going and going. Unlike my writing though, each note is close to pitch perfect. Lots of pastry, bourbon, and RIS deliciousness. Hard to find fault.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, somewhat on the full side. High side of moderately carbonated, but not at all overcarbed. Dry finish. Great feel, but not exceptional like the smell and taste.

Overall: I wasn't disappointed with my one-time buy $25 / 500ml bottle of Old Stock Cellar Reserve, so I figured I'd give Barrel Aged Old Rasputin a try (for around $23). Once again, I really can't feel bad about the purchase, because the beer is excellent.

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Photo of Bobheed
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice deep black, thick like syrup with about one and a half fingers worth of a light brown, tight head.

S: Mostly bourbon initially. The more you smell it, the more you start to get dark fruits. Waves of figs, plums, rasins, and almost a brown sugar and coffee aroma

T: Dark chocolate right away. Goes into sweet, sweet roastiness, lots of bourbon characteristics, without having a harsh alcohol flavor.

M: So smooth, velvety. Quite thick as well

Overall, this one was great. I expected it to be pretty good, but I'm sort of blown away at it actually considering I don't really care for normal Old Rasputin. A really well balanced stout and for it being BBA and 11.5%, it has very little alcohol presence. Great stuff

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Photo of Fenris244
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my stone old guardian snifter.

Pours black with a thin light brown head, decent retention, little bits of lacing

Oak char, bits of toffee and dark fruit aromas, very strong aromas coming from the beer, very sweet in the nose, bourbon pops up too, im impressed already.

Almost like milk chocolate up front, little vanilla and some oak notes, bitterness is mild, flavors blend well. Chocolatey at first then a coffee like bitterness, some dark fruit flavors come though, followed by some of the bourbon flavors coming through on the finish. Short finish, very pleasant sweet after taste.

Heavy in body, the beer is thick and viscous, very smooth, little carbonation

Overall, not that big of fan of raspy for whatever reason, this however is nothing short of fantastic, worth every penny

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Photo of DonDirkA
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Old Rasputin XIV Anniversary from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 587 ratings.
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