Old Rasputin XIV Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout ABV: 11.5%
North Coast Brewing Co. Ft. Bragg, CA 500ml brown bomber poured into Imperial pint glass
**First note: Although this looks and feels like a 750 ml, it is only 500 ml. I felt slightly ripped off.**
A - An amazing deep brown-black with little to no light transmission. Not any carbonation to speak of, and a creamed coffee, small head. Some moderate lacing, about what you'd expect really.
S - First whiff gives off aged oak and cocoa nibs. There is an underlying sweet vanilla, with a bourbon backbone. The bourbon is not overwhelming, but it is in the air. Wet bark and campfires came to mind; a fall campground perhaps. A rich sweetness sticks with you after the initial sniff.
T - Strong, with a dry finish. Definite alcohol warmth here. Every aroma comes through on flavor with the bourbon being a touch stronger on the palate. Toffee and roasted malts, with a distinct char feeling. Very well balanced, the sweetness plays well off of the dry, bitter chocolate and alcohol burn.
M - A bit thin for this style if I'm being fair. Not really enough flavor lingers after the swallow. My least favorite part. It does have a small amount of chewiness up front, it just fades far too quickly
O - This is borderline outstanding. A wonderful added depth to an already tremendous beer. Not flawless, but very good. A real treat on a cool evening to give you some inner warmth and fond memories of campfires and s'mores.