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 Madirish76
1.28/5  rDev -70%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I must have gotten a bottle from the same batch that fitrock2112 did...mine was the worst thing i have ever had.

I dont know if something was wrong with it or what.

Poured it into a snifter and let it warm up...didnt matter.

It poured jet black with a dark brown head, but the nose was of musty bourbon and coffee/chocolate.

It tasted the same but add alcohol burn to it...

I dont know if a beer can become "corked" or not, but this was definitely corked!!

I would never buy another...

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Photo of fitrock2112
1.4/5  rDev -67.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Poured the Old Rasputin XIV Anniversary in a snifter.

A- Black as midnight, classic stout appearance, really looking forward to this one.

S- Overwhelming booze, bourbon , and heavy alcohol. Ohhhh no!

T- I can't believe this, the mess is over the top booze, with little else, what a huge disappointment. Trust me I wanted to like this so much.

M- Very, very thin for the style. I must have got a bad bottle. Feels as thin as a black lager. Not good.

O- Well, Not much good to say about this one, I just wasted my night and twenty bucks, because this one was a drain pour. The worst stout I've ever had, Period.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.85/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500mL corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to chris for sharing!

(A)- Pours a pitch black color. Some good tan froth and lace. Retention was good.

(S)- Heavy on the barrel, but has some bizarre metallic oak spice characters. Bits of cocoa and raisin.

(T)- Some good rich barrel-aged like cocoa wood and raisin, but that same weird metallic spice to it.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level. Just a little weird balance to it. Not exactly digging that off flavor.

(D)- Rather disappointing compared to the last batch of this which is still one of the best stouts I have tried. A bit strange and disjointed at this point.

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Photo of imstimpy
2.9/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Barrel aged, anniversary, and Old Rasputin ought to be a great combination. It wasn't bad, but the price and hype overwhelm the beer itself.

What struck me most about this beer is nearly everything about it was quite subtle. It is aged in bourbon barrels, but it isn't boozy nor very evident. It is dark, smells a bit of bourbon and maybe some anise, and the feel is very thin. It isn't super malty, super chocolately, or super roasty- just balanced. To be clear, it is not balanced in the "I can't believe they got all these great flavors to work together" but more like "nothing really stands out to make this amazing".

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.96/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. I got this for $19.99, which despite being on the cheaper end for this brew, is still a horrible price.

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of creamy/frothy tan head. Retention is about average, but glass coating lacing is left.

3.0 S: Like the regular, this is very faint in aroma. Light chocolate with a very soft roastiness. Surprisingly, not even the bourbon stands out. Booze is well hidden.

2.5 T: Boring to the point that it's maddening. Very light chocolate, very light roastiness, and even lighter coffee. Bourbon is light and adds light leather and earth notes. A little bit of astringency from the barrel. Booze is in check again, but is more discernible than in the nose.

4.0 M: This is easily the best part of the brew. Medium to heavier medium body. Good carbonation, but might be a tad high. Very nice creaminess on this, especially for the body.

3.0 D: I made several posts before this was released ripping on people who were planning on buying it. Well, like a dumbass hypocrite, I bought a bottle myself. I saw the good early reviews then a case of "curiousity killed the wallet" took me over. Turns out I was spot on with my prediction. A boring beer was put into a barrel and a boring barrel aged beer emerged.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.08/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500 mL bottle from OsNJCB, this one was allowed to warm before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

Old Rasputin XIV pours a solid black, with about three fingers of coffee flavored foam capping the beer. Head retention is solid, and more of the top of the glass is left covered in lacing than not. The nose is heavy on the barrel aging, lots of bourbon and oak immediately standing out. It takes a couple whiffs before I can really appreciate the aroma of dark chocolate, but it's there. The flavor is even more dominated by the bourbon barrels. The overt bourbon taste isn't particularly smooth, and there's a healthy amount of charred oak flavor present. What little chocolate here is is totally stood up. The body is fairly full and sturdy, but the carbonation is just a little bit too bubbly. Old Rasputin XIV is a passable bourbon barrel aged stout, but there are plenty of breweries out there doing it better.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.25/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours out of the bottle surprisingly see-through brown, but it sits in my glass black with about a finger of light brown head. Not a great retention, but the glass I'm using might have added to that. Lacing coats the side of the glass, but recedes quickly.

S: Big roasted chocolate aroma with a nicely integrated oak and bourbon character. Rich, with hints of alcohol.

T: The taste is really thin. The chocolate just seems to have been taken over by the barrel. Oak and roast mostly, bourbon and booze add some sweetness, but overall the barrel is all that remains. Sad, because I love Old Rasputin, I really wish more of it remained in this.

MF: Thin, low carbonation, boozy.

O: Huge disappointment. Absolutely not even close to being worth $25 for 500ml. Just an average Bourbon Barrel Aged RIS.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.33/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into snifter.

A - Pours black, tan-colored head, spotty lace, thin cap, thin collar.

S - Really boozy, pretty messy, chocolate, harsh bitter barrel character. This is a little too hot for me to truly enjoy right now, and it needs at least 6 months before I'd consider opening one.

T - Again, super-booze bomb, tons of oak, bakers chocolate, lots of bourbon, light caramel, burnt sugars. Pretty straight forward here and pretty one-dimensional and a hot mess, if you ask me.

M - Way too thin, good carbonation, creamy finish.

O - Right now, this is too boozy, too messy, and the body is too thin. It drinks more like a barrel-aged porter then a RIS. Sit on your bottles and wait a bit before trying this beer. I will revisit in 6 months or so, and see what's become of this one. That said, if you like huge booze/oak bombs, then this is for you!

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Photo of drabmuh
3.46/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer served in a tulip. Beer is black with nearly no head, low carbonation, no lacing, poured from a ridiculously stupid bottle that uses about 4x the material needed to house A PINT.

Aroma is strong, sweet, lots of bourbon and malt, strong, pretty nice.

Beer is medium in body and pretty hot, it burns a little but it doesn't really detract from the roastiness of the beer. I am a little bored by this beer and annoyed by the serving format. I absolutely will not have this ever again. Not worth it.

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Photo of largadeer
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Jason. Black bodied with unusually good lacing and head retention for the style. Nose has a lot of raw, boozy, unrefined whiskey character. There's a little tar and chocolate beneath that, and a touch of sweet caramel. Palate has a strong alcohol and caramelized sugar presence, with chocolate and charred oak. Body is about medium. This is pretty boozy, surprisingly so, and the booze isn't as balanced by rich cocoa and caramel as previous vintages. Decent, not great. Doesn't live up to previous batches.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.62/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Picked this one up some time ago on a whim, finally getting around to drinking it. Tasted 22 February 2013.

Pours black, thick, and sludgy. One finger of medium-tan head, good retention, nice lacing. Solid, and just what I look for from an imperial stout.

Smell is bourbony and stouty, in equal parts, but they clash more than they blend. It's surprisingly thin on the nose, even after warming up. Chocolate, a grainy whiskey presence, but not much else. Edit: as it warmed up to room temp, the smell got better integrated, smoother, warmer. I'm liking it more now, though that doesn't make a huge difference to the beer as a whole.

Taste is an unbalanced, unintegrated blend of stout and whiskey. I don't know why, but the barrel and the beer just aren't working together in this. It's one of the more uneven barrel-aged stouts I've encountered. It's not over- or under-poweringly whiskey-flavored, but these two pieces just don't fit. Slightly charred, fading to bitter. Roasty, with chocolate as the dominant stout component. Whiskey brings little here - leather and a bit of burn. Meh.

Mouthfeel is good, but a bit overcarbonated. Heavy-bodied and thick, as it should be, but it surges up with carbonation that doesn't feel right for an imperial stout.

I found this to be a poorly integrated barrel-aged stout. Rough around the edges, and not in a good way. Sure, this version is gone from shelves, but this certainly doesn't make me want to throw down the money for another bottle of barrel-aged Rasputin. I actually like the base beer a lot better than I like this.

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Photo of TKEbeerman
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
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!

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Photo of n2185
3.64/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

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Photo of RappAttack
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
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

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Photo of zhanson88
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out pitch black in color with 1" of khaki head. Not too much lacing, but pretty good head retention. Looks neither thick nor thin on the pour.

Smell: Smells of milk chocolate, slight bitter dark chocolate, vanilla, and barrel. Bourbon comes out quite a bit, the oak less. Good, pretty standard -bal stout scents.

Taste: Fairly sweet with milk chocolate, vanilla, oak and bourbon notes. Not getting much coffee or bitterness from the malt to offset the sweetness. Pretty well balanced with malt and barrel notes. Again, good, but many -bal stouts these are decent at worst. Nothing about it wows me.

Overall: Medium-full in body, leaning towards medium. Moderate carbonation present. All in all, could be fuller in body with less carbonation. Overall, a decent barrel aged stout. Again, doesn't do much to really impress me.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml brown glass bottle with hood-and-wire cap over a cork served into an EKU 28 stem-snifter in me gaff in Castle Rock, Colorado. Acquired at Red Carpet Wine in Glendale, California. Expectations are extremely high; I loved Old Rasputin. Thanks to Honeybunny for the excellent pour.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm substantially over the course of consumption.

A: Pours a two finger tan colour head of great cream, great thickness, and fantastically awesome retention (~5 minutes plus) for the high ABV. Colour is a solid nontransparent black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Sweet lovely bourbon. Nice woody notes. Cream, caramel, good chocolate. Roasted barley joins with dark malts to form the foundation. Quite subtle and inviting. Really complex and inviting. A delightful mild strength aroma.

T: Gorgeous. An incredibly subtle blend of cream on the open, delightful roasted barley alongside well layered and incredibly rich dark malts, rich chocolate, a warm rich bourbon tone evocative of truly fine bourbon, restrained caramelization lending character, and even hints of biscuity yeast hiding beneath. Coffee. No alcohol comes through - incredibly. Extremely well balanced and built, though I do find it somewhat muted considering all the bold wonderful flavours it features.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with nice cream underlying. Dryness and coarseness on the finish. Suits the flavours nicely, though the mouthfeel is completely wrong for the style. A stout demands coarseness and dryness with overcoming cream, but that isn't at all the case here. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: Very drinkable for the high ABV. I quite like it. I'd definitely have it again, though it is rather pricey. A wonderfully complex Imperial Stout, though it's not without its flaws. It's definitely something to try if your wallet can take the beating.

High B

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.69/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black liquid, dark tan head. Aroma was pretty heavy alcohol wise, the barrel gave more heat than it did positive aroma droppings. Once your face gets adjusted to it, the heavy wet barrel comes across.

Taste, again, hot, I really like the base version of this better than the barrel version.

Funny how the dude who brought this to the bottle share had to be forced to go get a bottle and he came back with this. Cheap ass sucka. Good beer but not worth the price of admission.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is my 300th review on Beeradvocate.com (yay!). For what I paid for this beer ($23), I have earned the privilege of being super-critical. The pour was very, very black. No light gets through, save for a little just at the surface. There was a big, light brown head initially, but it dissipated quickly. On the nose, I'm getting some vanilla, a faint trace of oak, some nondescript sweet notes (like marshmallow), more than a trace of booze, and not a lot of roastiness.

This beer has a full body and a good, firm mouthfeel, though not as creamy as I expected. Truth be told, it feels thinner than the standard Old Rasputin. On the front of the palate, there is a big rush of sweet graham cracker-like flavors. The flavors develop as some whiskey notes come through along with some dark fruit notes of raisins, cherries, and plums. The nice vanilla notes that should come with the bourbon are missing and are replaced by the fruit, which seems somewhat intrusive and off-kilter. There's a big warming alcohol note on the finish, but the fruit lingers too in a slightly unpleasant way. Old Rasputin is known as being a bit ``rummy'', but the bourbon barrel aging brings on this cherry component that I do not like.

I wanted to give this beer higher marks, but I could not. It was a good beer. Tasty, complex, and robust. Unfortunately, for what one pays for this, I think it's fair to expect a GREAT beer and this was nowhere near ``great''. Therefore, I have to downgrade it substantially based on poor value alone. I think very highly of Old Rasputin, but I honestly prefer the rummy, toffee-like notes of the original to this version. I do wish I had decided to drink this fresh.

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Photo of Durtdiggler
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown/black pour that creates a lasting long head with big lacing, just like the traditional Old Rasputin. 22oz Bomber poured in tulip glass.

Can definitely smell the bourbon overtones and vanilla. I can pick up a bit of the roast malts. It smells good, very warming.

Taste feels like it has too much bourbon and washes out any roast, chocolaty malts and hops on the back end. The finish reminds my of bourbon. The beer is pleasing but I would like more of the traditional imperial stout with less bourbon feel to it.

Mouthfeel is very balanced, well carbonated and smooth as silk. The Bourbon profile lingers a while.

Old Rasputin Imperial Stout is one of my favorite all time beers so I was eager to try this. I felt like the Bourbon overtook the qualities that I like about this beer. Perhaps I don't appreciate this approach as much but wish the barrel aging overtones were back off.

If I made this beer, I'd age it less and add more of the hops at the end of the boil and dry hop it.

I enjoyed it, but for nearly $20 was looking for more complexity in flavor and aroma combining the aging and imperial stout beer qualities.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.72/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle picked up locally when this came around, enjoyed from a mini snifter. Beer poured black as night with a fizzy head that fizzed away quickly. Smell is boozy licorice. Taste is a bit more appetizing. Fairly boozy and black licorice. Black malts. Booze. Easy drinker for such a big beer. Not quite as amazing as xxii but a solid beer none the less. If only the price tag want so big on these.

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Photo of travMI13
3.74/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From tasting notes 1/21/11, with fellow BA'a AngryNucleus and BeRanger. Beer #8 of the night.

5 oz. pour into a Founders snifter.

A: 1 finger of off-white head atop pitch black. Great lacing. This looks spectacular.

S: Very clean smell to this. Roasty malts and some chocolate. Not really smelling the bourbon here.

T: Chocolate and oak up front with vanilla and a ton of heat on the finish. Where is the bourbon? I'm not picking up on it here.

M: Dry, roasty, and full. Decent amount of carbonation.

O: I would call this beer solid and enjoyable. However, I don't think this is significantly better than standard Old Rasputin. I did enjoy this, and it was certainly worthwhile to try. However, at $24.99 for a 500 ml bottle, I likely won't be buying this again.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.75/5  rDev -12%
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.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, poured into a medium-sized Duvel tulip. Big thanks to Chrispoint for sharing this one.

A: Black body with a finger of creamy light-brown head. Very good retention, nice lace. Attractive.

S: Spicy and piquant booze, oak, dark chocolate, and a bit of pepper. Interesting, balanced and complex - but not especially appealing, to be honest.

T: Nutty, spicy, bourbony, and oaky up front, with dark chocoalte, graham cracker, and hot booze on the finish. Tasty, but a little overwhelmingly hot.

M: Full, creamy, well-carbonated body. Soft and luscious.

O: Enjoyable, but WAY overpriced. I'm really glad I got to try this at a tasting, as now I know not to be tempted to buy one of my own.


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Photo of Jimmys
3.76/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500mL bottle into long stemmed tulip. review #400.

A: big frothy coffee hued head. a spider web of lacing. super sticky. pitch black body.

S: woody and bourbon. very woody and very bourbon. shaking the glass revives a little bit of heat. roasty sweetness as well. a little bit of vanilla. coffee.

T: vanilla. tons of oak. big and boozy. bourbon is strong. after the bourbon and oak, roasted notes come across. a little hint of cinnamon. finish has some more bourbon and lots of sweetness.

M: the fizz is present. little bit too present for my liking. this thing just needs the most minor amount of carb. sitting around helps, but wouldnt hate a little less fizz from he get-go. full bodied.

D: the bourbon is strong, but also tasty. this is a good brew but not worth the $20> pricetag that comes with it. maybe some time would help to calm the wood and booze notes down....

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Photo of gford217
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml cork and caged bottle.

Pours extremely dark brown, almost black, with a surprisingly big head for a BA stout - big, thick and creamy tan that recedes slowly.

Aroma is huge on bourbon with plenty of oak and vanilla, but there is enough underlying roasty malts and dark chocolate to keep the bourbon from getting too overwhelming.

There is lots of coconut and vanilla right up front. Some bittersweet chocolate underneath, but the finish is really boozy, more than the aroma and the finish burns with bourbon.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with the barrel character dominating. Very highly carbonated for a BA stout - almost too much so.

This is a great BA stout and it's one that I take for granted since it's relatively easy to get. The booze is probably a little too much for me right now, but I bet it'll get better after a little time in the bottle.

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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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