When the formulation changed to a spiced beer, I felt this was a step backwards. Russian Gun as it was before was great: I didn't see the need to change. The first bottling of the spiced version put me off, the taste was very clovey (or some other spice or combination) and it didn't work, IMO.
I waited a year or two I guess before trying it again and find the current bottling (17/12/13) much improved. It has a rich, stout taste and while a spice is still included (I think clove again or similar), it is a more subtle note than initially. Given druthers though, I'd ditch the spices, it isn't necessary and the beer would have a cleaner, richer taste IMO. Still, the current bottling is very worthy.
I also bought Plowman's Ale and really like the new label. A review of that bottle will follow.