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).