It is always a bit of a gamble when a gold standard beer like Old Rasputin is barrel-aged, I mean you already have a great beer so why gamble?
Well as all good gamblers know the thrill is in the chase. The end product is not the rush, the rush comes from pushing the boundaries to see just how far you can take things without going off the edge.
So is the barrel-aged version better than its originator? Stay tuned to find out…
Old Rasputin XV pours a dark caramel black brown colour with a nice ring of cream coloured head. Lots of chocolate and vanilla one the nose with some sweet bourbon notes coming through. First few sips are a bit harsh I find the alcohol taste a little too much at the forefront. After breathing for a bit this one settles down and the usual Rasputin character emerges, slightly dry and bitter, chocolately (think raw chocolate), with medium body and smooth on the finish. Throughout you get the sweet bourbon flavour, which is quite nice BUT I have to say I prefer Old Rasputin sans barrel in this round. Partly I think this beer was drank too soon and it could have benefited from more time in the cellar. Guess I’ll just have to pick up another bottle and try,try again!