17thfloor (2437) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 22, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
XII. Time to see what $24 of American beer tastes like... I believe the most expensive American Iíve ever bought. Well... off to a good start, pours a beautiful glassy near obsidian dark brown with a nice fluffy light and airy light brown/tan froth with thick silky lacing 5. Aroma is quite fruity and super bourbon forward, lots of vanilla, some coconut macaroons, faint dark chocolately roast under the bourbon 8.5. Wow... that is a lot of bourbon... and a lot of charred oak... and... well thats about it... where is my Rasputin? Just way way too much bourbon... coconut, bourbon, wood, light fruit, very dark bitter chocolate, quite dry for an Imperial Stout, ashy, light soy, char, plywood. Super fizzy sharp carbonation, med/full oily body, a totally odd combination, of course Iím sure this will change with age, super airy feeling. I feel dumb for opening this now... wish I had waited or just not bought it at all. The bottle/label/cork combo is just so super beautiful and tempting though!!! I guess when you go into the purchase knowing you are being ripped off... you shouldnít expect to be completely satisfied. BCS blows this out of the water and you get 4 offerings of it for a cheaper price. I would like about 10 of my dollars back (yes, I know what it costs to barrel age... and that is reasonable). [ Okay... took almost two hours and 4/5s of the beer to finally figure it out... I think my palate eventually adjusted to the bourbon... which if not harsh then very strong, a great woodiness emerges, really quite lovely, very dry and slightly sweet/sour, lots of tiny tiny nuances all adding up, tongue depressor, chop-stick, wood-pipe, cedar, delicious oak, well took long enough]
LtDan (1806) - Los Angeles County, California, USA - JUL 21, 2009
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Appearance: Pours a midnight brown with a mere pinstripe of brown bubbles.
Aroma: A strong whiff of bourbon, featuring aromas of vanilla, caramel, graham cracker.
Taste: Vanilla, chocolate pudding, caramel, toffee, bourbon and a touch of oak mixed with spicy hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Silky smooth. Warmth from the bourbon characteristics.
Overall: Just amazing, bold and perfectly balanced. Not as woody as I imagined it to be, but showcases the bourbon flavors from the barrel aging.
mspindler (489) - Alta Loma, California, USA - JUL 20, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
XII Vintage shared by DuffmanSW. Pours pitch black with a 2 finger mocha colored head. Aroma is mostly bourbon, vanilla and coconut with some soft chocolate undertones and a little bit of alcohol. Flavor is bourbon roast, chocolate and vanilla, very sweet, maybe a little too sweet. Palate is thick and smooth and itís well carbonated.
trevor211 (1437) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUL 19, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours black, with a small tan head. Aroma has bourbon, but more plain oak than whisky. Sweet malts, slightly roasty, but the chocolate, coffee and molasses that you expect in the style are overshadowed by the wood. This one *definitely* needs to be served at the proper temperature. It has a bit of an alcohol burn - it doesnít cover its ABV as well as the Bourbon County Stout. Itís seriously tasty - the highlight of a good beer night - but it pales in comparison to the BCS. Hotter, and not quite as smooth. Otherwise very similar. Still really, really good.
Skeegle (566) - Maryland, USA - JUL 18, 2009
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2009 Wow, just wow. When I first tried Old Rasputin I thought it was the best beer Iíd tried becasue it was so hot and so thin and assertive. Then it grew on me and I got used to it being full bodied and mocha thick. I have to say that the higher ABV of this barrel aged version is the key to making this the best beer Iíve ever tried. Itís hot, itís brutally roasted and flavorful. And most of all, itís delicious and roasted to the point of which black coffee beans arenít. It tastes like an evaporated flavor bomb reconstituted. Just fantastic, World Class. My new favorite stout.
glkaiser (1214) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUL 18, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours not quite black with medium head. Lots of chocolate, vanilla, oak, lightly sweet bourbon, and hazelnuts. Medium body with a smooth, almost creamy texture. Minimal alcohol presence. Very good, but at this price ($22/500ml) I wonít be buying any more.
dwyerpg (4901) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JUL 16, 2009
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
A little bit of coffee in the aroma of this. The bourbon is very noticeable, very tihick, makes the beer sweeter, richer and brings out more coffee. Quite a bit of vanilla at times. Really good, but probably not worth the hefty $20 price tag.
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - JUL 15, 2009
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: SEP 15, 2009 Bottle at the RBSG09 grand tasting, 11th anniversary vintage. black with a small tan head. Lots of wood and bourbon in the aroma with bitter piney hops and dark roasted coffee. The flavor is bitter dark chocolate, light vanilla, bourbon, oak and some caramel. The body seems to have suffered slightly in the barrel and is not really full. I like this, but I might still like the regular version better, and at a billion times the cost, I canít see ever buying more of this.
11th Anniv. bottle at BITP, sept 12th, 2009. The alcohol is smoother than the last sample I had a couple months ago, and the caramel and vanilla in the aroma were really present in a good way. Still not as rich in body as I would like, but a fine beer with some age, and probably even better with some more
KAME (160) - California, USA - JUL 14, 2009
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
XII Anniversary bottle consumed out of a paper cup... Aroma is an awesome with lots of oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Flavor is rich with lots of bourbon and vanilla with very little smokiness. I enjoyed this considerably more than the 10th (X) Anniversary. Maybe it was the paper cup.
illidurit (2244) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 14, 2009
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
RBSG09 bottle at the grand tasting. Pitch black pour with a nice brown head. Lots of bourbon, licorice, roasted malt, chocolate. Flavor is overly woody and ashy above the typical bourbon/coffee/chocolate profile. Not better than regular Old Rasputin.