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Corsair Rasputin

The Experimental Mind of Darek Bell

3 787

@VictorReview by @Victor

13th Mar 2017

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    87

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I greatly admire Connosr member Darek Bell, who is the owner of and distiller at Corsair Artisan Distillery, which has distilleries in Nashville, Tennessee, and Bowling Green, Kentucky. Darek is fearless, and travels many paths upon which others will not dare to tread

Rasputin is pot distilled from a Russian Imperial Stout beer, brewed by Corsair. The beer contains a combination of pale malt, carmelized malts, black malt, oats, and hops. During distillation the whiskey vapours are also passed through hops (not quite sure of the physical details there). The whiskey is aged in charred oak barrels, but I do not know whether or not they are new first-use barrels. There is no age statement. The reviewed bottle, # 89 of 202 from Batch # 3, is 85% full and has been open for 4 years. This is @Maddie's bottle, and I also tried this whiskey when the bottle was first opened

Nose: I remember this nose being extremely and overwhelmingly pungent of bitter hops when my sister and I first opened the bottle--not so now. Now there is very strong maltiness, with a very restrained bitter hop-iness keeping close and rather pleasant company. I believe that I am tasting the carmelized and black malt predominately. If I were nosing this blind I would think that there is wine influence here, but there is none. The primary show is a mellow bitterness very well balanced by sweetness. This is quite pleasant, now, with the bottle 4 years opened. Water added raises the pitch and bundles the flavours. This is also enjoyable and interesting with water added. Score: 22/25

Taste: the tight bitterness of the hops has held up very strongly in the mouth after 4 years. This is quite bitter, but it is also both interesting and enjoyable, for those who can enjoy a bitter malt. Those who easily overdose on bitter, go a different direction. This is a review of the current bottle. I am amazed to find myself liking Rasputin in 2017. In about 2013 when it was opened, I did not like it. I was hoping to taste some oat flavours, but they assimilated into the background. Water added emphasises caramelized malt. Interesting with water, and remains intense. Score: 21.5/25

Finish: the bitterness stays long, and the maltiness almost as long. Water added gives a more homogenised bitter-caramel malt finish. Score: 21/25

Balance: actually this has very good balance now, provided you understand the nature of the beast with which you are dancing-- strong bitter against moderately strong sweetness. Score: 22/25

Total Sequential Score: 86.5 points

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Strength: moderately strong in the nose; very strong flavours in the mouth. Score; 23.5/25

Quality: I really like the flavours of the malts used here, and 4 years after opening the bottle I can actually taste them, and not just the atom bomb of hops. Score: 22/25

Variety: very decent variety now. There was not very decent variety when the bottle was first opened--all there was was hops. Score: 21.5/25

Harmony: very good in the nose, good in the mouth. Score: 21.5/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 88.5 points

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Comment: this is the first time I have tasted from this bottle in about 4 years. I am quite surprised at how much better I like this well-aired Rasputin than I had liked it at first. At first all that I smelled and tasted was hops. Not so now. Now the malt is a full and delicious partner in the whiskey. My biggest piece of advice to all of you malt lovers who have been shopping for the malts with beer cask finishes: Rasputin may actually be what you are looking for, but only if you REALLY want intensity. Darek Bell doesn't do things half-way

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7 comments

@Alexsweden
Alexsweden commented

Sounds like s super interesting whisky!

8 months ago 0

@GoodVintage
GoodVintage commented

This excites me, I want to try it!

8 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@GoodVintage, I see that The Whisky Exchange has Rasputin in stock.

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@Victor Again a great review. I would really like Corsair to be distributed in Quebec and I was already curious about Raspoutin. I once saw on line that Binny's, the Chicago branch, was offering some Corsair at Cask strenght. Would you tink it would work for this Raspoutin?

8 months ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Robert99, I am not sure which Cask Strength Corsair Whiskey was being sold at Binny's, but I am sure Rasputin would be entertaining at Cask Strength. Corsair gets a lot of flavour into even its lower-proof offerings.

8 months ago 0

@CaskTime
CaskTime commented

Excellent review Victor i'm going to seek out a sample of Corsair

8 months ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

Their "Triple Smoke" at cask strength (and usually single cask, if I'm not mistaken) is often available at Binny's and plenty of other retailers. For example, in Madison WI, you can find it at Woodmans. No idea about the Rasputin.

8 months ago 0

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