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 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 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 draheim
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500mL into a snifter. Pours a deep brown/black w/ a rich, thich mocha head that sticks around, settles to a dense pillow and ultimately a thin film.

Aroma is dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, molasses, caramel-fudge brownie, smoky char.

Taste leads off w/ dark fruit, bourbon, oak, vanilla, bitter roasted malt. The bitter and sweet counterbalance each other, with the bourbon, oak and vanilla adding layers of rich complexity.

Mouthfeel is thick and coating, a little sticky.

Overall a rich, decadent sipper of an imperial stout. Maybe a little on the sweet, caramelly side but undeniably tasty and complex. A dessert beer.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my 1000th review on BA, I hope this beer is a nice celebration one...

A: The pour is thick and motor-oil black with a really compact and thick brown large head. Slowly the head sinks leaving pretty awesome lacings.

S: Dark chocolate and lots of vanilla from the bourbon barrels. Sweet malt, hard roast, almost a bit smoked. Dark dried fruits.

T: Rich sweetness from the roasted dark malts. Vanilla and bourbon from the barrels. Also chocolate and some strong black coffee. The dark dried fruits are held back by a bitterness.

M: Long warming bitter and sweet aftertaste. Body is thick, molasses-stylee. Carbonation is non-excisting. Very smooth, like drinking cream. The high ABV is not that obvious.

O: A very nice Stout where the bourbon-barrels made a nice complement to the malt.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Samuel Smith commemorative Shorty. No freshness date.

A- Pours an ominously black black color with a 1/2 inch dark tan head that retains slightly before residing at a thick ring around the edge of the glass and various layers of surface foam. Slick lacing gracefully slides down the glass.

S- Initial dark chocolate expands to bring alcohol and oak that overwhelms the nose.

T- Powerful roast quality at the start gives way to some booziness that lingers somewhat before descending to the dark chocolate finish. Oak isn't as prevalent as in the smell. Notes of molasses and a bit of raisin. Definitely more aggressive than the non-aged but that's to be expected.

M- A bit creamy with plenty of carbonation and an obviously full body. The only drawback is the sharpness of the alcohol.

O- Great, as expected, but it could definitely use more age. I just couldn't wait any longer! Oh well. No regrets

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: single finger head on a very jet black body with no light getting through.

S: bourbon, oak, cedar and light vanilla. Very woody and herbal.

T: wood and bourbon up front. The roast malts are malt. The flavor is a little simple but very good. Vanilla, chocolate and roasted malts throughout.

M: medium body, very smooth with moderate carbonation.

Overall: the alcohol is there but actually well hidden. very smooth but not overly dynamic. Not complex but for what it is, it does it very well.

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Photo of nickfl
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of light tan foam on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves moderate lace on the glass.

S - Thick caramel, toffee, and bourbon character with notes of vanilla.

T - Vanilla and dark chocolate up front with some spicy notes of clove and cinnamon. Dark sugar and vanilla in the middle with notes of chocolate and smoky coffee that blend with the licorice and dark sugar.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - The barrel aged character works well to balance the complex character of the barrel and the base beer here. Lots of vanilla and milk chocolate here with spicy pepper and whiskey notes. Surprisingly drinkable for a beer of this strength.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this bottle back in February at Pipe ’n Pint in GSO. Was a few shingles less than the other stores, so I snagged it up. Bottle split with my lovely wife.

Poured my allotment into a Chimay chalice. Glugs out of the bottle a deep evil-black. A thin beige head rests on top. Little-to-no lace left behind. The nose is a wonderful meld of oak, bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, and charred toast. Really fantastic aroma.

The beer hits me heavy, and I dig it. Really a mouthfull. Drinks, or sips rather, really smooth and creamy. The bourbon greets me right away, but mellows out on the finish. This definitely isn’t a bourbon-bomb. Semi-sweet chocolate, roasted malts pick their way through. Mild ethanol burn on the backend. I appreciate the fact that this isn’t one-dimensional. A really great beer here, and an awesome example of what a little barreling can do to an already fantastic beer.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Rasputin XIV, bottle bought at Funky Buddha in Boca Raton, Florida, for $24 plus tax and tip (around $27 total).

Poured into an extended-stay hotel cup (better than a plastic glass, you gotta admit!).

Appearance: Super creamy-thick-rich pour, just like coffee. Mocha-colored head, lots of bubbles, great retention and lacing.

Smell: Chocolate galore, sugar, sweetness. Some wood and barrel. Suave bourbon goodness, cuba libre, bubblegum.

Taste: Lots of cola, then roastiness and toasted grain. Vanilla, more cocoa but this time in powdered form, reminds of "Colacao". The bourbon comes through ever-so-subtle. Nothing super complex or earth-shattering here, but damn tasty!!!

Mouthfeel: Smooth beyond belief, but also a little watery around the edges. Nice tingly feel at the end of the sip. Well balanced, extremely easy to drink and chug. Never boozy or overpowering.

Overall: Exceptional indeed. So drinkable it's not even funny. Smooth, balanced, drinks like a Guinness despite the 11.5%! I was disappointed by Raspy XII but this one delivers, despite the hefty price tag. Not incredibly complex, but so well done and delicious.

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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 themind
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on a trade. Normally $20.00 bucks a bottle. Pours a thin head and is very dark. Has a nice bourbon flavor without it overpowering the beer. I must say I really enjoyed this beer, it was very good.

Would I spend a twenty spot to try it....yes! I would now that I have had it. Would I keep it stocked in my bar...no its two expensive.

Bottom Line: If you like bourbon stout's then this is a must try!

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

While there is some brown in the pour, the beer ends up black, with no light penetration. A huge milk chocolate colored head slowly dissipates to leave fluffy thick lacing with pillowy retention.

Smells of bourbon right off the bat, deep roasted malts, dark fruit, and a firm boozy aspect.

Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon(especially on the finish), and as well, it tastes of Heaven.

Texture is silky smooth, yet thick and chewy. Full bodied, yet incredibly easy to drink. Carbonation is spot on.

A splurge for sure, but worth it. Delicious, and decadent. I am truly glad I have another for later.


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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks nice on the pour. Good brown head with a black as night body. Nose seems one dimensional to me. All bourbon, and no grace to it. Flavor is nice. Has some good vanilla tones to it. Seems well rounded and even. A nice beer to drink, but not really blowing me away as other barrel aged Rasputins have. I wonder if it just needs some more time to mellow out is all.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a five finger dark khaki head that fades to thin layer, leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Bourbon nose and flavor is sweet bourbon with hints of alcohol. Decent RIS. Way overpriced at $22.99 for a caged and corked 500ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, Vt.

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Photo of prototypic
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XIV pours an onyx color. It’s pitch black. No light cuts through at all, even at the outermost edges. A darker, mocha tan head caps it off nicely. It stands about a finger and a half tall. Retention was on the shorter side. It fell back to a surface covering quickly. Held there for a bit. Lacing was sticky and lighter. Looks damn good.

The nose is good. It could use a little more strength, but still smells good. It starts out with a mix of roasted and chocolate malts No big surprise there. Bourbon quickly follows and adds a ton of character. Its presence is moderate and just about perfect. It plays a really nice complementary role, without overpowering the stout notes. Secondary scents include roasted coffee, oak, vanilla, and brown sugar. Alcohol is there, but really doesn’t come through all that strong. Smells quite good.

The flavor is a notch better. The bourbon flavor is simply delicious and should be mentioned first. It complements the roasted and chocolate malt flavors extremely well. It really isn’t an overpowering bourbon flavor. That’s my preference, and I’m all the happier for it. The chocolate is dark and bittersweet. Very tasty. Roasted coffee follows and fits nicely. A mix of vanilla, oak, molasses, and brown sugar. Alcohol is definitely noticeable, but never seems warm or hot. I wouldn’t characterize the flavor as boozy either. It’s just there. Finishes malty with a touch of bourbon and sugar.

The body is definitely on the lighter side of medium. It feels a tad thin to be honest. Carbonation is light. It is somewhat smooth, but it needs more body. Drinkability is pretty high for what it’s worth. Tasty stuff.

North Coast Brewing Co. did a really nice job with Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XIV. It’s difficult to screw up when you’re starting with Old Rasputin. Barrel aging it is a no brainer success. If you haven’t checked this out, you should. It’s pricey, but it is worth at least one purchase.

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Photo of StlHopHead77
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours from the corked and caged bottle a dense,coal black with three fingers of slowly dying,tawny foam that eventually resulted in a lasting one inch collar and chunky rings of lacing.

S-Lots of sweet chocolate,bourbon,light char,creamy vanilla and raisin.

T-Bittersweet chocolate,medium roast coffee,burnt sugar,bourbon,dark fruit and
light earthy,ash.

M-Full,rich and warm with moderate sweetness and balanced barrel presence.

O-Nice little twist on a solid base beer.

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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 Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – A very dark brown/black opaque color, with a thick, creamy brown head and a wet lacing. The head lasts a good long time.

Smell – Bourbon, chocolate, malt and coffee.

Taste – Taste a lot like it smells; bourbon, coffee, malt, and chocolate. A little boozy, but very tasty.

Mouthfeel – A really smooth bourbon stout, with no bitter aftertaste. Perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability – I’m usually not a huge fan of bourbon stouts, but this one won me over.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From 500mL C&C bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/23/12
*From notes

A: More brown then black. A standard pour yields a two finger cola head. Sticky lacing rims the glass as I drink.

S: Sweet bourbon, coconut and raw mint leaves. Fantastic stuff.

T: Mounds of rich liquor, booze, dark and unsweetened chocolate and toasty vanilla beans. Not a lot of earth, and it (thankfully) lacks the green quality I sometimes find in the base beer.

M: Effervescent, more so then a Russian Imperial like this should have. Bumping up the viscosity would only add what what is otherwise a wonderful BA RIS.

O: Worlds better then Ol' Raspy, yet epically overpriced. One glass of beer is $22? Seriously? No wonder this has been sitting on shelves for a few months. Sure it's good, really good in fact. But at this price, I can find even better for a lot less dough. Certainly worth a tick, but not something I'm willing to buy more of at this cost.

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

Notes from the stout tasting yesterday. Thanks Kyle! Odd 500 mL bottle.

Pour is pitch black with caramel head of about a half inch.

OMG the nose holds so much vanilla and bourbon. Whats nice is the absence of the bitterness. I know thats the pull for Old Raspy, but I rather like this more balanced smell.

Ok so the taste. Its totally awesome. Its exactly what I pictured it would be. Its lost all hop bitterness and upfront bitterness from the malts, and its been replaced with alot of warming bourbon. Normally Im not all about a beer dominated by bourbon, but this works because the beer pulled alot of vanilla from the barrel.

The underlying malt is the same Old Raspy we all love without the upfront bitterness. The booze from the bourbon does dominate the finish with the vanilla coming in second. Definitely a barrel heavy BA Stout.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cvm3 for sharing!

Pours black, with a finger of dark tan head. Aroma had a nice bourbon presence, with some oak and vanilla and a nice chocolate and roast note. Taste mirrored that nicely, but with more of an emphasis on the roast and the coffee. The feel was nicely full and coating.

I think the complexities are more noticeable and appreciated on the fresher version of BA Old Raspy!

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