This is a 11.3% ABV Russian imperial stout aged in rye 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. For year XVIII they did one aged in rye and one aged in wheat whiskey barrels.
The beer pours deep black in color.
There is a half-inch of dark tan head. The aroma is dark roasted
malts, char, coffee, anise, creamy, with rye whiskey. The taste melds
all the aromas together into a very pleasant whole. There is
sweetness, but the finish is mostly dry, with oaky astringency, and
mild bitterness. The beer drinks very creamy and smooth, with soft
carbonation. There is a pleasant warming from the alcohol, but it is
not at all boozy. I like this version much better than that aged in
wheat whiskey barrels, but past vintages have been better. Each of
the XVIII's suffer from just too much oaky astringency.