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Old Rasputin XV Anniversary Barrel Aged Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin XV Anniversary Barrel Aged StoutOld Rasputin XV Anniversary Barrel Aged Stout

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Philousa on 12-05-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 102 | Ratings: 966
Photo of steeb
2.54/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a goblet.

A: Barely jet black with a thin head that dissipated quickly

S: Pretty good on the smell. Dark Chocolate, Cocoa, caramel with some bourbon barrel notes.

T: Here is where it falls flat. Bourbon barrel dominates the flavor. I soaked American oak in bourbon, the remaining over-oaked whiskey reminds me a lot of this beer. The barrel flavor intensifies as it warms.

M: Thin body, dry finish. Doesnt hold up the spirit flavors well.

O: I would like to taste this beer after the barrel flavors start to mellow out. I would buy this beer again just to cellar it for a year or two. For a BBARIS, this is kind of a let down.

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Photo of CAPorter
3.07/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

As someone who knows and loves bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts, I'm surprised I was overall disappointed in this beer.

The mouthfeel was thinner than I would have expected and the bourbon flavor was very light compared to KBS, Bourbon County, Porcine Unidragon, Black Ops, etc. The maltiness also didn't seem as present as its peers. It did seem rather hot in a general sense, not necessarily bourbon heat.

Not a bad beer, but not worth the price. I would rather pay less to get a better beer of this type.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
3.76/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From notes.
Poured from a slightly overpriced 500ml bottle into a snifter

A First off this one was incredibly carbonated as the cork ended up shooting out and hitting the ceiling when I opened it. Very dark brown body with a incredibly foamy mocha head. Definetly looks the part.

S Dominated by bourbon and booze. There are hints of chocolate and vanilla in there though.

T Some nice roasty notes, with chocolate and a bit of vanilla. However the alcohol dominates everything.

M smooth body with a very noticable burn.

Overall I thought that this was far too hot for its own good. However it should hold up well in the cellar so if you are willing to be patient and give it some time in addition to spending the money it might be worth it in the end.

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Photo of GR_Beer_Nut
4.94/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Overall, this may not be worth the money to people who have had the opportunity to try this beer... But this is a perfect beer, plain and simple. I can't wait to see what age will do to this. Still can't fathom a $22, 650ml beer. Will not seek this beer out again, but try this once!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The last five years have shows a lot of development for bourbon barrel-aged beers. No brewery has gained better command of their use than North Coast. Their Old Rasputin Ale continually demonstrates why the beer marries up so great with the barrels.

Like the original Old Rasputin, the beer pours with an inky-black appearance but with more embedded carbonation that makes the beer seem like it's crawling into the snifter Its creamy viscosity seems of motor oil just before the beer releases a lumbering head of creamy froth. Stubborn in its retention, the beer favors brandy-like lacing over sticky lace for an appearance that's much more of sipping ale than sessionable quaffing.

Strong succulent aromas of cocoa-rich chocolates and espresso-roast coffee commands the taste while deep toffee and fruitcake offer subsidiary aromas for added complexity. Still, the attributes of vanilla, cherry-like alcohols, oak, and unmistakable bourbon guide the nose all over the rim of the glass.

And all that richness and sultry sweetness is delivered to taste as the heavy bourbon caramel and vanilla goodness entertwines with strong espresso, bittesweet chocolate and even fudge-like seduction. Those fruit-forward alcohols of cherry, grape, and wood hedge on sherry-like vinous taste and weave in a plumby, fig-like taste that keeps the beer complex at all stages of its taste. The beer's strength in taste, savory sweetness, and robust roast character far exceeds what's expected for any style of stout.

The beer matches its rich taste with viscous body. Its overstated full viscous palate sensations offer us a creamy weight that's only thinned by the enormity of alcohol and bourbon booziness. As the beer garners warmth going into finish, it remains velvety and silky smooth with only a hint of dryness as the beer finishes. It easily supplants brandy and cognac as an after dinner delight.

As the beer reaches its apex, its apparent that the beer exceeds what's expected of stout, even barrel aged varieties. It's an exquisite stout that surpasses all expectations in flavor, texture, and aroma. Trying to define these intangibles further will only do the beer a massive injustice.

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Photo of stumac
4.64/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I would like to start by saying that I am chillin in my room drinkin this crazy awesome beer...and my roommate is downstairs doin P90-X. He has no idea what he's missing lol. So this $22 bottle pours up black opaque. Decent lacing of a chocolate milk colored head. Aroma is dark roasty malts, dark chocolate and a hint of milk chocolate, subtle dark molasses, vanilla bean, bourbon barrel oak is pretty dominant, caramel. Tastes is the same as the nose but with a spicy kick to it. Full bodied. Medium to heavy carbo. Me and Old Rasputin go way back. But his return this time around is awesome! This brew is pulchritudinous which is a synonym for beautiful bodied.

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Photo of adamette
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Live review. Poured from the corked and caged 500 ML bottle that I was surprised and delighted to find, for $19.99, at Giant Eagle in Painesville, Ohio. As I stood in the aisle not believing my good fortune I thought, "now this is why I always check the beer aisle!" Anyway, poured into a clean, clear glass.

A Almost completely black body. In front of direct light there are edges of a deep, dark mahogany. The head is a medium to dark brown, 3 inches in height after moderate pour and it sticks around for a full 2 or 3 minutes. As it receded it left a curtain like lacing on the inside of the glass. Very cool look. I did not expect much less. 4.5

S Wonderful Bourbon notes rise up in the front but there is a distant background of dark roast malt. Goodness in a glass. Makes it difficult to record these thoughts without taking a sip. 4.75

T Wow...great tasting beer first off. Secondly, I am struck by just how "bourbonesque" this beer is. I have had something like 10 or 12 bourbon barrel aged stouts and this might be the most bourbon influenced. The bourbon is up front and rather dominates the taste. I don't get nearly as much deep, dark roast malt that I got in straight up Old Rasputin. That is a slight disappointment since Old Raspy is one of my favorite Stouts. I guess that it is my opinion that the best BA Stouts retain much of the dark roast malt goodness but feature the Barrel Aged character as an accompaniment. By contrast, this BA Stout has the bourbon front and center. All of that being said, I have become an "easy mark" for Bourbon Barrel aged beers and so I find it hard to rate them at all badly. With all that in mind I render my rating on the taste of....4.0

M Feel is something of a disspointment. Again, my opinion formed after 10-12 Bourbon BA Stouts is that the best ones have a great silky smoothness. This one, by contrast is a bit thin. Upon the pour, the head suggested that it might have all of the silkiness that I could desire but the actual feel was more thin than that. 3.0

D/O Drinkability is fair. Despite its elevated ABV (nearly at the limit for Ohio BTW) it is entirely drinkable but its price limits me to only one bottle for an evening. Overall this is a great beer. I feel lucky to have been able to try it. Thanks to Giant Eagle for getting it in stock! 4.25

Notes: For my recommendation of a better Barrel Aged Stout: Hoppin' Frog Barrel Aged B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher.

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Photo of Lare453
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 500ml bottle in a snifter

A black stout color with a medium quick dissipating head. Great lacing. Pretty beer.

S light bourbon, oak, bakers chocolate, vanilla, marshmallow, espresso with lemon peel,

T wow! A surprising light beginning with cocoa, nice coffee, the middle has a light vanilla, charred bourbon barrel and oak, the end is the best part, bigger bourbon barrel flavors, dark and bitter chocolate flavors. The aftertaste is a long lasting bourbon. A fantastic and wonderfully balanced beer. Delicious.

M smooth, soft, no bite, no heat. Great beer.

O wow. This beer is wonderful. One of the best bb stouts I've had. Balanced, soft, smooth, not overly sweet, no heat what so ever, just absolutely fantastic. I love it and highly recommend trying it.

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Photo of Dope
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very fresh bottle, just released.

A: Dark brown pour. Enormous and ridiculously fluffy medium brown head. Head fades away very slowly. Moderate splashes of light fluffy lacing. Great head retention.

S: Ahhh. Some big, bold and sharp bourbon notes. Primarily caramel and brown sugar. Mild smooth chocolate underneath. Coconut and vanilla from the barrels.

T: Strong bourbon up front but not overpowering like the aroma. Again, mostly caramel and brown sugar here. Nice roasted malt, smooth and sweet chocolate and vanilla. Some char, primarily into the finish. Coconut in the finish and aftertaste with some oakiness. Aftertaste is almost pure bourbon due to the booziness.

M: Heavy but cut decently by the bourbon. Smooth with a drying boozy aftertaste.

O: Very tasty bourbon-barreled RIS. This one is obviously quite fresh and hot but that doesn't mean it's bad. Kinda reminds me of a less harsh fresh BCBS in fact. This one has a surprising amount of coconut from the barrels, and quite a bourbon-heavy finish (roasted malt didn't stand a chance here). Tasty and enjoyable.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black body with a 1/2" if cinnamon colored head.

The bourbon presence in the nose was really heavy. Oak, vanilla, tobacco. There's a good deal of chocolate and roast.

Good bourbon flavors, too. Vanilla, toasted marshmallow, oak, dark chocolate, and dark berries.

Mouthfeel is a little too thin to support the booze. If only it could be a little more viscous and smooth I think it would have gone a long way.

Overall, a very good beer. I really enjoy the NC anniversary beers but I wish they'd come down in price. There are better barrel aged beers out there for much less.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.86/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to snifter.

A - Black with one finger of thick cocoa brown head. Good lacing.

S - Big barrel notes up front - bourbon, vanilla and oak. Chocolate fudge, roast and brown sugar aromas in the background.

T - The base beer comes through a lot more than the nose indicated. A big roast profile up front along with a big bitterness. Some oak, bourbon and a hint of vanilla mid-palate. The finish adds cocoa, molasses and a warming alcohol presence. A slight astringency is present in the finish as well.

M - Medium body. Not as thick as I expected. Light carbonation.

O - This was a bit of a disappointment, especially considering the price point.

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Photo of sitarist
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque deep cola brown, almost black in color. An inch of thick frothy tan head that has a coral hue. The head falls fast to a thin ring, and thin cap which leaves behind webs of lacing that slide back into the drink.

Sweet, alluring aroma... I detect hints of chocolate, vanilla, dried fruits, bourbon, caramel/brown sugar, and hints of wood. It has amazing balance, with vanilla being its dominant component. It falls between an English Barleywine, and an Imp Stout.

Its flavor follows its nose, not quite as balanced. It is sweet for a bbl aged stout,(I wonder what time will do?) Vanilla, and coco are the dominant flavors, with dried cherries, fig, anise, bourbon, and tobacco.

Medium body, feels just a little thin! Other than that it is perfect. It coats my tongue nicely, with a long finish. Though it is sweet, it isn't too sticky.

Easy to drink for 11.9% A very well crafted beer. Balance seems to be a theme with this one. Though it is sweet, it never becomes cloying.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is jet black with a moderately-sized tan head. Head fades at a steady pace, some lace.

Bourbon is the immediate smell. Vanilla and oak. The base beer does come through nicely as well: roasted malt, chocolate. Nice smell, all sits together well.

Flavour is very nice. The bourbon, oak and vanilla integrate very well with the beer. Lots of chocolate and roasted malt. A bit of a burnt marshmallow flavour. A bit hot, but not too much.

Full bodied, quite slick, moderately carbonated.

Overall, very good. The barrel is strong but not overpowering.

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Photo of Etan
3.39/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

500ml bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours a glassy black body with a large tan head.

S: Oaky nose. Corny bourbon, fudgy, dry wood, dusting of cocoa, caramel.

T: Some light caramel and vanilla tannins hit the palate, followed by a stingingly astringent bitterness. I'm not sure if it's from the wood or the roasted malt, but it's a bit ashy and not very pleasant. Mild dark chocolate in the finish.

M: Medium-bodied with active carbonation.

O: Something went wrong here...the ashy bitterness is out of place.

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Photo of pants678
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Black with a thick tan to brown head.

Straight bourbon on the nose, right to the point.

Melted dark chocolate with a warm and welcomed liquor finish. The bourbon/vanilla is far from subtle but won't wreck your palette. It tastes simple and pointed like the smell but doesn't need to be complex with a rich balance like this. A dessert and a real step up from Old Rasputin without straying from the tree.

Somehow it doesn't come off clean but not really a punch to the mouth either. Serene. A bit of that marshmallow feel.

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

A - Thick tan head, foamy cling. Black as night. Gonna be good!

S - Woody, vanilla, chalky and sweet malt all at the same time.

T - Bright, boozy, malty, woody very apparent.

M - Medium to heavy, great carb, creamy, good balance.

D - Perfect winter drink!

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.43/5  rDev -20%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

After spilling some beer getting the cork out of this one, I have to say I am ready to get this in the glass – this stuff is expensive.

A: A slower-than-normal pour down the center of the glass yields a monstrous rocky head of tan foam, settling into the light-sucking black body at a pace of about an inch a minute. Thick lacing strands cover nearly all the glass’ interior as a finger of thick cream stands on top as retention; this is definitely the most classically pleasing look for a stout.

S: A gooey, vanilla-infused chocolate foreground conjures images of brownie batter. A meaty middle of licorice, icing, honey-roasted almonds, and the crisp husk of toasted (not roasted) grains; I can almost taste it. Though there’s always a tone of spicy, alcoholic heat to it, the bourbon and barrel is most prevalent toward the end of nose, creating a boozy finish. The only thing I can say in protest to this nose is a certain wet cardboard scent whenever I swirl the glass – unwelcome signs of oxidation, it seems like.

T: A milky chocolate body that’s bolstered by a warm vanilla bourbon tone and a peppering of zesty hops. Sweet caramel tastes, roasty malts, and hickory and maple syrup fill out the center of this beer, with a rindy bitterness hovering over it. It has a good bourbon stout taste to it, overall, but again, there’s this character of off flavors to the whole thing. Ashy, papery tastes surround the aftertaste in a shroud of unpleasantness; this is one I won’t be able to finish. I really want to like this beer, but I can’t help but be disappointed by what’s in my glass.

M: Pretty smooth in the carbonation, but it’s a pretty thin. A Russian imperial stout at nearly 12% should have some girth, it seems; unfortunately, that’s not the case.

O: Take a big whiff, you get cardboard. Take a nice long sip, you get the same thing. Take $25 from my wallet for a beer that has both off-flavors and an abnormally thin body, you get an unhappy customer. If there’s one thing I can say about North Coast, it’s that when they’re on, they’re on – unfortunately, they aren’t “on” consistently. You can tell that this beer is meant to be a very special batch, and at times, it shows; there’s good craftsmanship here. But the overarching negatives to this beer constantly overshadow the positives, and that’s why I’m avoiding North Coast for the moment.

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Photo of CJS
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Good color and thick pour. No question on it's suit of a stout. Thick sandy lingering head.

S Aromas of espresso, bitter chocolate, floral hops, leather, prunes, blackberries, molasses, oak, hickory and briquettes. Muddled dark fruits.

T A lot of the smell is in the taste.No briquettes. Licorice root. A extremely nice combination of sweetness and bitterness not often found. Nice barrel aged quality and not boozy. Sweet prune and fig in middle. Has a bit of spice on the back end.

M Very viscous and drinkable. Lathers the tongue!

O Can't really knock this one in any way except for the price tag. I almost don't want to buy another bottle. Almost. Could have had more chocolate profiles, maybe different bittering hops and brighter floral hops. I get a bit too much herbiness from these. Other than that not the best, but a balanced stout.

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Photo of Amish_Ambush
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes: Thick head. brown sugar in color. The beer is pitch black in color; I am unable to look through it even holding it up to a lamp.The nose picked up on coffee, dark chocolate and a hint of bourbon. The taste profile is excellent: Strong notes of cherry, coffee and bitter chocolate. Medium notes of vanilla and bourbon. Even though this has been aged in a bourbon barrel; bourbon is not the main driver here. It was present but played a background role. It was refreshing to drink a bourbon barrel aged beer that doesn't overwhelm you. Instead they delivered a something that was subtle and tasty. Thanks to my friend Rusty who came over with this on New Years eve. It was a nice way to bring in the new year.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500 mL bottle (corked and caged) served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pitch black with the barest amount of light getting in at the edges showing a dark cola brown. Dense tan head upon pouring, but this died back to just a ring at the edge. Some small dots and strands of lacing noted.

Smell: Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts, all perfectly blended together. A great smelling beer.

Taste: Bourbon, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, with a mild bitter finish. The bitterness. Boozy, but not cheap - more like a fine liquor.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, with a nice alcohol bite. Warming for that alcohol bite. A bit sticky and smooth at the same time.

Overall / Drinkability: Dangerously drinkable and I'm very impressed with this beer overall. The bourbon barrel accentuates this stout and does not overwhelm like other bourbon barrel aged beers I've had. While I would be hurting later if I did it - I think I could work on another bottle of this great beer over the evening and would still be glad I downed it. A slow sipper to savor over an evening, but also great with food (meatloaf and mashed potatoes in this case). Overall an amazing beer. Very different than the normal Old Rasputin as the hops are muted, but that's okay. This beer does very well being less hoppy and I'm glad I had it.

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Photo of WesM63
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a large snifter.

A: Pours near pitch black with a rocky 2 finger light mocha head. Decent amounts of retention and lacing.

S: Smells of light bourbon, dark roasted malts, vanilla, faint coffee and chocolate.

T: Damn, this is good. Very subtle and smooth. Light bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, coffee and roasted malts. Fairly hot, but reminds me i'm drinking a BA RIS.

M: Medium body and moderate carbonation. Slightly thin with more carbonation than expected.

O: Overall this is really good. It's much lighter than I expected. Slightly thin but I think being hot helps carry it. It is priced a bit high (not a factor in the review), but a treat none the less.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured jet black with a nice tannish colored cap leaving behind some mice lacing and bubbles after the head resedes

S: Vanilla, oak, dark fruits, smooth bourbon notes. Me likey already!

T: Initial booze, milk chocolate and roasted notes hits the taste buds, but in a pleasant way, soe cocoa, appears and then the progression begins; vanilla, oak, dark fruits all begin to march across the palate. So nice! The finish has a lingering sting, dry, chocolate and big roastiness

M: Full bodied, rather decadent and creamy. My type of RIS!

O: A treat to drink but at the price point I only purchased one bottle ond the $8 I paid for my 6 oz taste was more than I can handle on a routine basis.

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Photo of warrenout330
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle, caged and corked

A- pours a thick looking opaque color... dense tan head... smears of lacing to the glass

S- well pronounced whiffs of bakers chocolate, soft vanilla, slight roasted coffee.... and booozzzeeeyyy wooden Bourbon

T- balanced milk chocolate... full on fledged vanilla ambush on the taste buds... boozey Bourbon slurred everywhere

M- smooth and creamy... well balanced carbonation ... alittle thinner than I remember from last year... not as chewy ... balanced hop bite ... alcohol burn on the mouth and tongue that leaves almost a numbing sensation... the 11.9 % really shows its self in the feel

O- I've always like this beer even though it is a tad easier to find than most BBA stout that are on the top lists... the price tag is a bit over the norm.... but I still find it worth it with the potential this beer has with age.... buy one and put it down for a year atleast...

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a one finger khaki head. Some faint lace.

S: As this stuff warms up, it gets downright orgasmic. Bourbon is faint, but leaves a nice vanilla note. Roasted malt, lots of barrel, chocolate covered espresso beans and toffee.

T: Lots of roasted malt and charred wood. Anise, espresso and some faint cherry. Some hints of bourbon throughout. Mouthfeel is a tad thin. Other than that, a pretty tasty beer.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a very large tan head that goes down slowly. Scent is roasted malt with some lovely vanilla and barrel aromas. Definite bourbon aromas with hints of sweet chocolate. Light hoppiness as well. Taste is whiskey up front, but not the best whiskey (somewhat watered down). Immediately, the flavor profile gets better with sweet cherry and vanilla flavors, followed by better-tasting whiskey. Roasted coffee and toasty malt. Finished somewhat bitter with lingering vanilla flavors. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, somewhat lacking in this department. Drinkability is fairly high, especially for this beer being fresh at such high ABV. Alcohol is there, but doesn't interfere with the drinkability. Overall, I remember past years of this beer to be better. This one was good...not great though. Also, many gripes about the price (just like every year).

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Old Rasputin XV Anniversary Barrel Aged Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.29 out of 5 based on 966 ratings.
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