Friday, August 26, 2016

North Coast Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XVIII Wheat Whiskey Barrels

This is a 11.95% ABV Russian imperial stout aged in wheat whiskey barrels from the North Coast Brewing Company of Fort Bragg, California. There is one batch each year, the number indicating the number of years since the first batch was done.

The beer pours black, even when held up to the light. There is an inch of light brown head. The aroma is dark roasted malt, molasses, light char and star anise, creamy, hints of dark chocolate and coffee, along with soft whiskey on the finish. The taste is a conglomeration of all the aromas, upping the coffee, chocolate and whiskey. The beer is quite sweet, but also has a dry, oaky, astringency. The combination gives it the mouth tang of artificial sweetner. That is the only unpleasant note here. The beer drinks smooth, with soft and fine carbonation, and with a pleasant warming of alchol. I've been lucky enough to try several barrel-aged Rasputins, and I have to say this one is not quite up to the usual standards (which they have set as very high).


Castle Danger Ode IPA

This 7.0% ABV India Pale Ale is from the Castle Danger Brewery of Two Harbors, Minnesota. It uses Citra, Azacca, Amarillo, and Centennial hops.

The beer pours lightly hazed, the color of dried apricots. There is nearly an inch of off-white, foamy head. The aroma is tropical fruit, mango, mango skin, citrus, with a bit of earthy dankness. The taste follows the aromas, hitting the same notes, adding in a dose of oranges. The finish is dry and moderately bitter. There is sweetness in the malt. The beer drinks very smooth and creamy, with soft carbonation. This is very tasty and really, really enjoyable to drink.