Purchased at Pangaea Two Brews ($10/6 oz. pour) and served in mini-snifter glasses.
This barrel-aged version of North Coast’s venerable Russian Imperial Stout pours black piano key ebony with a thick and billowy almond-colored head. It offers a strong but welcoming nose of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and a very prominent booze-drenched oak aroma. Old Rasputin XV is velvety on the tongue, putting forth some amazing bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla flavors, with the expected barrel wood entering the profile on the long, warm finish. This is a beer that takes it’s time on your palette, offering some fascinating touches of coffee, banana, nuts, alcohol burn, and even some scorched caramel. And yet for all of its bigness, Old Rasputin XV is actually an incredibly subtle brew.