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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 587
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 Damian
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 500 ml/1 pt. 0.9 fl. oz./16.9 fl. oz. corked and caged bottle purchased at Berman's Wines & Spirits, Lexington, MA
Served in a snifter

The beer poured a sultry near pitch black, yet slightly thin. An amazingly tight, creamy and foamy, two-finger, saddle brown crown topped the liquid. Outstanding retention. The head slowly faded to a thick film. Drippy streaks of lacing trickled down the glass with each sip.

The aroma was incredibly rich and smooth. Quite sweet with noticeable bourbon notes. Tons of brown sugar. Strong indications of raisins and dark fruits. Moderately boozy. Hints of semi-sweet chocolate came through as well.

The taste was a bit harsher than the nose, but still respectable. Lots of roasted malts on the front end. Some sweet brown sugar and bourbon notes appeared as well. Cold coffee in the center. The beer contained a moderately sharp alcohol bite on the finish, but this seemed to decrease as the beer warmed. Some piney hops came through on the finish as well.

The mouthfeel was slick and creamy but much thinner than I anticipated for the style. The liquid contained a fine and moderate amount of carbonation.

As others on the site have mentioned, this beer is solid yet probably not worth the steep (in my case $25) price of admission. A year of aging seemed to have smoothed out some of this beer's rougher edges and I bet more time could improve this even further.

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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 yamar68
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big black imperial looking body, a soapy light brown head retains rather well and eventually fades to a stubborn half inch that laces perfectly. Beading below and legs above.

Thick fudge aromas... some raspberry, vanilla syrup, heavy chocolate mingles with smooth bourbon, coffee liqueur, some more vanilla... more fudge. Smells pretty damn good I think. Red wine and chocolate. Nice.

Bitter dark chocolate, light on the oak, sharp but stale coffee notes, cocoa nibs... lots of them... the big alcohol content doesn't seem hot but definitely a warming sensation. The bourbon isn't as clearly pronounced as you'd expect. Much more exciting than its base brew.

I like it.

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Photo of hardy008
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark black with a 3 finger mocha head, with good retention and lacing. the aroma has bourbon, dark fruit, chocolate, oak, and vanilla.

Tastes just like it smells with bourbon, dark fruit, chocolate, oak and vanilla. Sweet, with noticeable alcohol, but it is not overly strong.

Medium to full bodied with soft carbonation, and a bourbon and chocolate aftertaste. A very nice beer, and I think it was good to cellar this for a year. It most likely would have had a lot of alcohol heat if drank when I bought it.

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Photo of raznug
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rasputin pours a dark black that doesn’t allow any light to shine through and is topped with 1” of brown colored head that lingers and leaves a lacing down the glass tastefully.
Smell: The aromas of chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts and coffee flow into the nose.
Taste: The taste of this beer is quite complex and flows right along side of the aroma with chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, dark fruits and just a hint of alcohol burn.
Mouthfeel: Thick and oily make this beer a nice sipper of a chilly November night while watching TV.

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Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I split this bottle with a friend, poured into standard pint glasses. The pour is jet black, very thin tan head. The aroma is boozy, vanilla, oak. Great tasting brew, lots of vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate. The finish is pleasantly boozey. The body is medium, very boozey, but suprisingly drinkable. A little more body would have helped this out, but very enjoyable.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tulip glass.

A: Pours a viscous black with a few cm of beige head, receding quickly to a ring and some cloud on the surface.

S: Lots of vanilla, bourbon, and toasty oak. Very prominent but in a delicious way. Delicious dark chocolate complements the barrel treatment.

T: A little thin and barrel dominant. Bourbony, with some cola and chocolate and cocoa powder. Fairly dry, thus could use a bit more sweetness.

M: Very creamy mouthfeel, kind of milky. A little on the thin side, with medium-light carbonation.

O: Good balance, tasty, but maybe a bit thin and not rich enough on the palate.

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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 BobZ
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Again, almost black with a really nice dense 1” head that hangs around for a good long while. Very nice lacing.

Smell: Interesting, almost hard to describe, a little bit of the bourbon comes though but the malt aromas are almost a bit “funky”.

Taste: Really nice vanilla forward flavor with an oaky richness, this is one well executed barrel aged stout. The mocha flavors of the base Old Rasputin are present and nicely amplified by the oaky vanilla flavor that is woven through the beer. The alcohol is barely noticeable as there is just an abundance of creamy flavor. No “funky” flavor whatsoever as that was just a feature of the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy but very smooth and clean on the palate. Again, rich without becoming cloying.

Overall: Excellent barrel aged RIS, one of which I would love to find another. If you like vanilla forward flavors in a stout you shouldn’t miss this one. Pricey for sure, but still worth it.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type - 16.9oz caged and corked bottle

Appearance - Black with a tan tint, creamy 1 inch foamy head and lots of lacing.

Smell - Dark malts, bourbon malts, dark fruits, a little chocolate, coffee and cocoa. Some brown sugar/molasses and alcohol also.

Taste - Been sitting on this bottle since january 2012. First sip is the classic old raspy silky, malty stout flavor, then quickly the whiskey flavors come in, there bold, oakey and strong but not so overpowering. Hints of coffee, chocolate, plum, brown sugars and nut are all mixed in. The booze adds warmth but doesnt stand out and make this a hot drink.

Mouthfeel - A big beer, will work over mouth with the bourbon goodness. Lots of malts coat tounge, whiskey oaked flavors and sugars also nail tounge. Palate gets more of the same with a little brown sugar/molasses kick and some plum and rasin. Aftertaste is oakey, malty and sweet.

Overall - World class, right up there with kbs, but doesnt have the vanilla profile as kbs does. This is a balanced and rather easy beer to drink for being 11.5% alcohol. Its too expensive, i meen 19.99$ for a 16.9 oz bottle? Its double the price of kbs, even more expensive then the overpriced hoppin frogs barrel aged boris. This is a rare one time brew so thats why i paid the money. If you can locate this buy it, its excellent but since know ive had it, theres no way id buy it again for the price tag it carries, unless it was cheaper. The rating of overall would be higher but the price made me drop it down some.

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Photo of Tuey13
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml corked and caged bottle into a snifter.... came out a dark as night black with a creamy two finger dark brown head.
The smell is dark chocolate, espresso, vanilla, and of course bourbon. I can smell a hint of the alcohol but not strong on the nose.
Wow, the taste is phenomenal... Rich and velvety smooth... cocoa and espresso with hints of vanilla, of course that wonderful bourbon and oak from the barrel aging hits on the finish. A little of the alcohol creeps up as it warms, but very delicately.. Perfect!
I loved this Russian Imperial... I was lucky enough to receive this as a gift. I'd pick up many more if the price was not so insane.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Russian Imperial stout perfection: pitch black and so viscous you can see it; half-glass of stiff mocha-colored head with the density of shaving cream; drapes of lace decorate the glass as you drink

S: ethereal bourbon and oak notes hover over a sweet-smelling malt base - hints of treacle/molasses, anise, vanilla

T: follows the nose and satisfies the appearance: the sweet espresso of the roasted chocolate malts is the foundation for the flavors of bourbon barrels, vanilla, and oak. Very smooth

M: syrupy tastes intact, this beer is nonetheless rather crisp (for a RIS) on the palate, owning no doubt to the barrel aging. A leaner drinking beer than some RIS's I've had, but it serves to add a sophistication to the beer.

O: Owing to my beer taste evolution or the bottle-aging, or both, I can say that this is a better drink than I first thought when I first had it. A very refined take on an already impressive beer.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500mL bottle poured into snifter

Pours an opaque blackness with a thick, frothy tanned head resting on top. Retains nicely, leaving a creamy tuft on top with some patchy lacing littered across the glass.

Heavy barrel character in the nose with warm booziness and slightly charred oak. Leather and vanilla with some chocolatey sweetness. Bourbon heat and roasted dark malts.

Warm and slightly sweet up front with strong bourbon barrel flavor. Oaky char and sweet vanilla, mixing with layers of roasted dark malts. Chocolate and nuttiness with a slight touch of coffee. Finishes warm and boozy followed by some residual sweetness.

Full bodied, nice carbonation, creamy and smooth on the tongue. Definitely a nicely done BA imp stout, although this doesn't quite justify its price tag like BA Old Stock did.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from BOLTZ9555 a while back. Thanks for the stuff man. Always a pleasure.

From a 500ml corked and caged bottle into a snifter
Drunk along side the base beer and before a XII

APPEARANCE: Clear brown pour yields a one finger, thicker looking, fluffy, creamy, tan head with great retention. Dark brown body, almost black, with higher levels of carbonation. A nice full wisp remains until the end and leaves lots of splotchy lacing down the glass. Like the base beer, the head is nice, but the body is a little thin.

SMELL: Lots of barrel on this one. Bourbon, oak, vanilla and milk chocolate on the nose, with hints of dark chocolate showing through. Pretty much all barrel with very little base beer in support. Very bold, but not quite as balanced as hoped.

TASTE: Much like the nose, the barrel shows up strong with piles of bourbon, oak and vanilla, then touches of roasted malts in the mid-pallate. Bold and persistent aftertaste after the swallow, with lots of barrel, milk chocolate, dark chocoalte and light cocoa powder. Big and flavorful, but mostly barrel heavy.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly higher levels of carbonation. A touch lighter than the base beer, but still very creamy smooth, goes down nice and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A bit of a scratch and burn lingers on the palate.

OVERALL: This is a really nice bourbon barrel beer, but not really a nice bourbon barrel stout. I wish the base beer were allowed to play a bigger roll, as the barrel is really nice and lends a lot of flavor and character to the beer. A more balanced barrel would really help compliment instead of dominate. That said, this one was quite enjoyable and I'd recommend all bourbon barrel stout fans give it a try. Thanks again for the trade BOLTZ.

Final note: I'm not sure why each anniversary edition gets its own listing. This is the same beer as every other year.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL bottle. Pours a pitch black with an inch plus of frothy dark brown head. Good amount of lacing. Not surprisingly the aroma is boozey as hell. Smoke, dark chocolate, raisins and earth. And more booze. The taste is bourbon upfront followed by some dark chocolate. Charred wood and earth as well as hints of vanilla. Between the ABV and the Bourbon Barrel aging this beer is pretty hot but drinks fairly well. There is a lot going on here. Mouthfeel is heavy and a bit creamy. Somewhat reminiscent of Brooklyn Black OPS. Overall, pricey but tasty.

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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 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 arizcards
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 500 ml bottle from Total Wine back in mid-February for $18.99. A very high price point but being a fan of Old Raspy i had to pull the trigger!
Now that the pigskin is flying around again i thought it would be appropriate to crack this tonight despite the fact that it is 90 degrees out in Phoenix.

Beer poured black as night with a near perfect tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is toasted oak, vanilla, roasted malts, and booze.

Taste is pretty similar; roasted malts backbone, vanilla and oak compliment. Finish is a decent amount of northwest hops and high bourbon heat.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and very creamy.

Overall this brew is very nice. Too bad the bourbon heat is a bit too much. Otherwise this brew would be world class in my book.

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Photo of maximum12
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer came out when I was unemployed, in Greenland! and didn't feel like spending $22 on an itsy bitsy bottle of beer. So I passed. Fortunately, it hung around long enough for me to decide I should stop playing XBox & be productive again. 500ML bottle as a nightcap, split with my wife.

Pour is tux black. As any of this series, the nose is roast & bourbon & vanilla. Gorgeous.

Old Rasputin XIV is like a 50's lounge singer, all smoky & bourbony & jazzy-hands. Ridiculous roast, uphill all the way, like licking the inside of a never-washed coffee pot, puts both feet forward. Bourbon & vanilla are more subtle than past incarnations, letting the beer breathe. Touch of smoke. Oak on the water. Bitter on the flat part of the slide, from the coffee or hops, who knows, who cares. Lovely to drink.

Not quite the barn-burner of the previous escapades, but damn good. I recently saw a stash - if it weren't at an insane price point, I might have scooped up a few more bottles. Now? Nah. But very good.

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Photo of warnerry
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

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

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

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

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

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

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