Keir (183) - Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - SEP 13, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle on 08.21.09 with sneagrams and others. Pours dark brown with light amber head. Aromas of anise, toffee, slight bourbon, sweetness, and heavy alcohol. Tastes of heavy sweetness, wood, vanilla, slight bourbon and burns of alcohol, but is not harsh.
radagast83 (7388) - Alexandria, Virginia, USA - SEP 13, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
500ml bottle. XII anniversary. I picked this one up just the other day after searching far and wide for quite a while for an anniversary version of one of my favorite stouts. The beerís alcohol content appears to be higher than the regular stouts content. Still maintains the interesting and complex flavor while adding a new dynamic of bourbon, vanilla. However, the beer just wasnít worth trying again at over 21 dollars a bottle - Iíll just stick with the regular Old Raspy.
djtimeless (222) - Colorado, USA - SEP 12, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours out black with lots of brown head. Smells roasty and boozey. Taste is lots of roasted malts with some bitterness and bourbon. Flavors of coffee, chocolate,vanilla, molasses, dark fruits, hops, and some wood. Thick and creamy, sticky sweetness with some alcohol burn. Good stuff!
doubleo (1432) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 12, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
500ml bottle of XII. Pours dark brown/black with a light brown head and sheet lace. Smells sweet and vanilla malty, some roastiness, slight booze, slight toffee. Tastes malty and slightly vanilla sweet, awesome balance between the sweetness and the roastiness. Disappointing medium body with good carbonation.
MesandSim (7117) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - SEP 12, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
A Mes rate: bottle at the ever brilliant Chris Oís Pre GBBF Extravaganza.
Black brown body with a good beige head. Huge and barrelly. A ton of vanilla, chocolate a plenty, too much coconut and very boozy. Strange cheesy funk to it. Not work for me, in fact I think I preferred the regular Rasputin. That said the malt aroma and flavour throughout is excellent. All round though, more proof that this barrel aging craze is not always a good idea.
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - SEP 9, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: SEP 10, 2009 X Anny bottle enjoyed on 9/9/09. Big, big thanks to Terry (tmc) for this rarity, poured into a snifter.
The cork opens with a pretty impressive pop and pours with very good carbonation, leaving a one-inch creamy tan head. The body is a dark, dark brown that has some mahogany showing through the edges. Itís lighter than I expected but the carbonation is really impressive give the barrel aging and age of the bottle.
The aroma is dominated by bourbon at the outset with very little from the underlying beer coming through. There are hints of dark chocolate malts along with some vanilla from the wood. Pretty one dimensional (bourbon) nose and honestly, the aroma is a bit of a let down...
...but the taste erases any doubts about the quality of this beer. The bourbon is still there and doesnít hide in the background. But the taste brings out the underlying beer in a way the aroma doesnít. The dark roasted malts are present and accounted for as well as some espresso and dark fruits. The finish is slightly dry from the barrel aging but retains a smooth vanilla and bourbon taste.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly slick with good carbonation. It goes down very easy and leaves a very boozy feel on the way down.
Iím pretty surprised at the big bourbon presence in the one. In fact, as others have said, this one might could use a couple more years to tone that down a bit. Itís an excellent beer, but Iím not 100% sure this is an improvement over the base Rasputin...but thatís a pretty high hurdle honestly. 7/3/8/3/16
XI bottle, sampled on 9/10/09.
Big thanks to htomsirveaux and BrewerB for this bottle.
Pours darker than the X, an opaque black in the glass with a huge creamy tan head that shows good retention and excellent retention.
The aroma is wonderful on this one - I can definitely get plenty of the base Rasputin with lots of dark roasted malts, chocolate and dark fruit. The bourbon is present as well as some vanilla, but they are much more well-integrated than the X.
The taste is excellent as well, and doesnít stray much from the aroma - lots of dark roasted malts, chocolate, espresso and plenty of bourbon.
The mouthfeel is slightly fuller than the X, very dessert-like with good carbonation and the bourbon burn in much less prevalent.
At the end of the day, I prefer this to the X as it seems to maintain a much more of the base Rasputin and the bourbon does seem to add to the flavors instead of completely dominating. Excellent stuff. 8/4/9/4/17
MoDog (927) - Griffith, Indiana, USA - SEP 9, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12th Anniversary 500ml bottle, served in a snifter. Near black pour with a few dark brown edges and a one-finger thick head of spongey, dark tan foam. Decent retention and some nice lace. The aroma had strong notes of bourbon, wet oak, chocolate, caramelized sugar, ripened dark fruit, and some moderate roast. The flavor consisted of upfront bourbon, dark fruit (a hint of green apple), bakerís chocolate, and also some rich caramel. I was a little surprised at how much barrel character this had. A touch strong on the bourbon. Full-bodied, silky mouthfeel, complimented by a light dose of tingly carbonation. It was good, but Iíll take the regular Rasputin over this.
LooseCannon (938) - Norfolk, Virginia, USA - SEP 9, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
500ml bottle, 12th Anniversary. Pours pitch black in color with brown head. Aroma coffee and dark chocolate. Taste roasted coffee, dark chocolate and bourbon when it warms up, at room temp brings out alot of more flavors with bitter finish.
fidelis83 (2270) - Clinton, Iowa, USA - SEP 8, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours pitch black with a tall mocha head that fades to a a thick skim within a few minutes and holds there. Aroma is toasty oak and bourbon right away, then a lot of rich vanilla, roast, burnt sugar and boozy rum. As it warms, stale dark fruits, anise cookies, and a ton more ethanol come out in the nose. Flavor is roast, burnt sugar, dark chocolate, lots of toasted oak (not much boubon at first) vanilla and some light licorice. Warming brings out slightly sweeter chocolate notes, a little more bourbon flavor and lots more burny booziness. Toward the finish the roast becomes a bit more char and the bourbon pokes itís head out for a slightly over boozy oak heavy bourbon finish. The aftertaste is odd, bourbon, char and pencil-you know-if you chew on a pencil it kind of has itís own taste, well thats it, not sure what kind of wood that is maybe some kind of cedar or something, weird. Palate is pretty thick, though not as thick as it looks in the glass creamy entry, slightly oily middle and dry, but almost greasy feeling at the same time for the finish, with a light, but acceptable carbonation level, probably would be better with slightly higher carbonation though. Fantastic brew for sure, but a little to boozy and a little lacking on depth compared to some other impy stouts.
bdigital (658) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - SEP 7, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle: XII Anniversary...dark black pour with a medium tan head. Nose is heavy on the bourbon with some dry, oak notes apparent along with a boat-load of vanilla bean, dark chocolate and some ashy, roasted malts. Medium carbonation...silky finish. Flavor starts with the sweet vanilla and bourbon notes and melds into a very dry, oaky finish. Some additional chocolate and brown sugar touches are present as well.