South Louisiana recently got a shipment of a beer that was thought to be unattainable in these parts. Many of you know about North Coast Old Rasputin, which is one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts widely available. North Coast Brewery, the makers of Old Rasputin, also barrel age some of this stout, and release it every year as a special anniversary brew. This year marks 15 years, thus the moniker Barrel Aged Old Rasputin XV.
Calandro’s in Baton Rouge managed to get their hands on six cases of this beer just yesterday. I picked up a couple bottles, and tried some of it this evening. The bottle is 500ml, which is 16.9 ounces, and it is corked and caged. The cork came off with a pop. I poured it into a large snifter glass and immediately got a dark brown to black beer that had an ever so small bit of ruby tint to it, with a nice two-finger tan head. The smell is of roasted cocoa, coffee and vanilla, with a touch of bourbon. The taste is much of the same. Unlike many bourbon barrel aged beers, this one isn’t overly boozy tasting. It doesn’t seem as rich or as thick as the original Old Rasputin, but it is very enjoyable. The mouthfeel is thinner than you’d expect, making this one a very drinkable imperial stout despite the 11.9% ABV.
For the Baton Rouge folks, I highly recommend grabbing a bottle of this hard to find special edition stout. This was one that we didn’t expect to see around here, and we’re extremely fortunate to get allocated so much of it. Get to Calandro’s on Siegen and get a bottle for now, and one to cellar. For the New Orleans peeps, Steins got some of this, so go check them out and grab a bottle or two.