Sunday, February 17, 2013

North Coast Brewing Company - Old Rasputin XV Anniversary

Never say die.
Since tomorrow is the end of the world, I decided to celebrate with a special beer. I had a bottle of North Coast Brewing's Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XV Anniversary sitting around--for about two weeks. Now, the idea is you're supposed to leave a bottle of this stuff stashed away in the wine cellar (or broom closet, if you're trash like me) so it ages into something awesome. Yeah, right. I've already posted about my total lack of self-control and patience. That's never going to happen. Plus, tomorrow is the end of the world. The gawd-damned Apocalypse, as predicted by the Mayans, is just a few minutes away. Heck, I'm not leaving a $22.00 bottle of beer behind--for what, to be shared by the four freakin' horsemen? F**k that! This sucker is MINE.

The beer poured into my tulip glass a viscous, pitch black, slightly ruby-tinted color. The tan head was a full inch thick. Interesting larger bubbles came up around the rim, with creamy, frothy suds churning in the center. It really appeared lively. The head dissipated slowly and a nice amount of lacing was retained. 

The aroma is fantastic. This beer must be savored in a snifter. Wafting the glass around fills the nose with the delicious scents of bourbon, toasted oak, dark fruit and vanilla.

The taste follows the nose. Big and boozy, there is no doubt that this is an Imperial Stout. High ABV at 11.9%, but it's a smooth brew. No bitter alcohol bite or astringent character noted. Cocoa, coffee, over-ripe dark fruit and vanilla flavors. Bourbon and oak, of course. Oh, this stuff is good! Come drag me to hell, you bastards! I'm ready to meet the real Rasputin!

Full mouthfeel, but that's a good thing. The longer you can keep the flavors rolling round on your palate the better. Surprisingly nice carbonation, though. Not nearly as tongue-coating as I expected.

Delicious beer. I was actually surprised and quite disappointed that I finished the whole bottle so quickly. I'd buy another bottle--if it wasn't End of Days, and all. I'm giving Old Rasputin XV a perfect Big Dumb Galoot rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4.


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