Old Rasputin XI - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin XIOld Rasputin XI

Educational use only; do not reuse.

212 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 212
Reviews: 142
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 107
Gots: 53 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: stumac on 12-05-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

This brew is to commemorate 11 years of brewing Old Rasputin. This is Old Rasputin aged in 12 year-old oak bourbon barrels for nine months.
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Ratings: 212 | Reviews: 142
Reviews by CraftAleRookie:
Photo of CraftAleRookie
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in an inappropriate drinking water glass (which I guess is better than a paper cup). Pour from a 500ml bottle with a cork. One interesting note that supports the feedback for mouth feel- the cork cut loose with a POP as if this were champagne.

A- Jet black- foamy one finger head that I never got a chance to know, as it disappeared quickly. Trace foamy lacking around the top edges of the brew.

S- Bourbon, sherry, toffee, dark chocolate. Wonderfully complex myriad of aromas!

T- strong alcohol/bourbon flavor up front; followed by traditional stout notes of malt, chocolate, hints of coffee. I wish I had another bottle to put aside for 3 or 4 years, as this would be a 5 if softened just a bit.

M- Full/heavy up front, finishes smoothly. Bubbly- seems more carbonated than what I was expecting.

D- this is a wonderful sipper- although I wish it was a cold winter night, and not a hot summer day (thank God for Air conditioning!) This continues to be a top pick of barrel-aged stout, a must try for those who love both Stout and Scotch.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Avast
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stouts have always had a special place in my beer drinking heart. Ever since I first tried this beer in the 12oz bottles I was sold. Beautiful all around, and that's my view on everyday releases of this beer. To have a big bottle, barrel aged is just the icing on the cake. Pours out dark and thick with a beautiful brown hazey hue head. Bitter whiskey bite at the beginning, maintains that bite for quite a bit and smooths out ever so slightly. Hints of wood and vannila from the barrel aging. All and all, great beer. Definitely a cold day beer.

Photo of saatana
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle and is dark black in color and has about a one finger of a tan head. Smells strongly of bourbon and vanilla with hints of chocolate.

Tastes of bourbon, chocolate, and wood with hints of coffee at the end. It is very well balanced and creamy in its taste and mouthfeel and I am looking forward to drinking more of it in the future.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Did a little mini vertical of this and that XII at March Madness, thanks jh1982 for bringing this gem (at least compared to my XII, ugh). Very dark brown, minimal tan head to it. Big alcohol aroma, chocolate, heavy bourbon. Damn, I can't believe adding such a massive beer to bourbon, but shit, they're doing it with barleywines these days.

Fears were put to rest of a massive alcohol heat wave upon sipping, nice chocolate and bourbon integration. Yes, it is huge, and there is definite alcohol awareness and heat, but not so much that it is not enjoyable. More vanilla in this mouthfeel. More chocolate, brown sugar arrives.

I still prefer the non barrel aged version of this beer, but its far from bad.

Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from NC via Brad - thanks!

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts and robust dark chocolate. Also present are solid amounts of vanilla. The stickier bourbon flavors really don't come into play until it warms and meld nicely with everything else.

Tastes very good. Roasted malt flavors that are robust yet not overpowering kick things off and are joined shortly by good amounts of dark chocolate. Midway through the sip vanilla flavors enter into things and carry through to a mildly bitter ending. As with the smell, once the beer warms the bourbon flavors are really allowed to shine with hints of butterscotch.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass very quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I feel as though the bourbon notes were more muted in the XI than they were in the XII however that could be partly from the age on the bottle. Either way, both are very good beers and worth seeking out.

Photo of Sammy
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A tasty treat, from Bruisn' Ales. This is despite the bourbon, which gave gave the chocolate and coffee aromas an added whiskey kick. Pours and tastes like a chocolate milkshake, very dark brown and bubbly white head. Full mouthfeel.The bourbon dimension is secondary and coconut mainly. Smooth.

Photo of cjgator3
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch dark black color with a light tan head that possesses excellent stick and retention. The aroma is fantastic! It is dark and roasty with vanilla, oak, bourbon and chocolate. The taste like the aroma is fantastic! It starts out with some roasty malt flavors along with some coffee and vanilla along with some bourbon in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. Wow, this is one hell of a RIS and definitely one of the best beers within the style. Overall, Rasputin XI is highly recommended and definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of mikey711
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I needed to treat myself tonight and make dents in my stash, so this accomplished both

A: Pitch black with no light able to get through. When poured the head rose very quickly but settled to a nice quarter inch thick mocha colored espresso like head. Some decent lacing was there was well but it could have been better

S: It starts first with a slightly bready note followed by a heavy wood and bourbon note. Also a bit of chocolate and vanilla is present as well. There is a slight coffee note and something else but i dont know how to desribe it

T: Very woody and whiskey tasting. Some smokiness, and a burnt coffee flavor as well. Very heavy in terms of bourbon for sure. Also some sweet chocolate and vanilla taste, and a bitter roasted quality

M: A bit on the lighter side, and the only boozy taste is from the barrel againg. It is fairly obvious that this was a bit more infused with bourbon then alot of other bourbon aged beers.

D: This one is best shared. A few sips sent me flying...

Photo of GRG1313
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful deep brown/black with the best thick, foamy "marshmellow" looking head. Best looking thick head I've ever seen.

Great coffee, roasted malt espresso/chocolate nose.

Creamy, thick and heavy mouthfeel with a rich, bold character and rich bold flavors of black coffee, espresso, dark bitter chocolate with a back palate of hops and a bitter dark chocolate/coffee finish.

The mouthfeel was the most desireable part of this stout. Thick, creamy and luscious. It tasted of genuine quality. This stout is classy, big, full and rich. Unfortunately, while I am a big fan of this beer from the bottle, tasting it from a nitro tap was a real treat!

Photo of emerge077
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Bavarian Lodge. 6 oz. pour +/- served in a 10 oz. North Coast snifter.

Black obviously, with a thin cap of tannish foam. It left flecks of lace and "legs" seemingly as the lace sort of drained itself back into the glass. A brisk swirl brought back the half finger of foam. Aroma was very nice, big vanilla and oak traces, with a sweet fruity ester in there from the bourbon. Flavor was dominant on the vanilla, with dry unsweetened chocolate in the back, and dry woody notes in the finish. Bourbon element was soft and balanced. It wasn't heavy at all, instead it sort of lightly dissipated to creamy foam when held on the palate. Very roasty, with the creamy feel of a latte, and the density of an RIS. Perfect nightcap for a rainy spring night...

Photo of TLove
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Brickskeller in D.C. on a night out trying different brews. It is a dark black, viscous-looking beer with a little bit of cream in the head. The carbonation was by no means overwhelming, but the strength of the chocolate malt and vanilla bean in the initial taste are certainly of note. The thing that surprised me most was the fact that the beer was not as thick as you think it would be upon pouring it. It is actually quite drinkable in the long run in this regard. The roasted chocolate taste sits in the back of your throat, while the bitterness flows to the front and does not run out of consistency towards the end of the sip. The mouthfeel is near-remarkable with a nice, 12% ABV and a decent body throughout.

Photo of Devi0us
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Im trying this for the first time after a long day at the beach at the North Shore in Hawaii.

A- This pours a dark black with some slight mahogany accents when held to light. Had a thick 1 finger headed that morphed into a ring rather quickly leaving beautiful lacing on the glass. 

S- Slight coffee and bourbon scents as well as caramel and vanilla.

T- The first flavor to hit the palate is coffee, wait for it...Dark Chocolate then proceeds to dominate. The alcohol has definitely given way to these two flavors over time.

M- Medium bodied and smooth. Decent amount of carbonation for a beer thats 2 years old. Not the thickest Imperial Stout I've had but no complaints here.

O- Time has absolutely helped this beers flavor. This beer is creeping up on me as I review it. Definitely worth the price I paid and I'm glad I grabbed a few.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black stout with a large dirty brown foamy head with good retention and some really good lacing. Aroma of bourbon is really dominating with some light notes of black chocolate coming through. Taste is totally dominated by bourbon with some warming alcohol notes and light black chocolate notes. Body is full with some creamy notes and good carbonation but alcohol is too apparent. Not bad overall though you might as well drink bourbon since it is so overpowering.

4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a super carbonated beer, so much so that the carbonation thins out the body a bit. You can actually see light through it as you pour. Body settles as black as tar in the glass. Head is three fingers of rocky carmel brown head that is easily achieved. Dots of lace are left as it slowly fades. Nose is up front with lots of roasty malts and a coco like sweetness. There are a bit of oaky notes in the smell as well. I am amazed with first sip, and almost blown away. Layers of bourbon, chocolate, carmel, licorice and zesty malts bring a real complexity to this beer. So rich and flavorful and all coming together with such balance and grace. A whiskey like alcohol feel grips onto the back of the tongue but in a good way. The alcohol is not hot at all, actually well hidden. Mouthfeel is thick rich and of caramelized bourbon. The drinkability is very good for the style and alcohol percentage.

Photo of abfraser
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to waltonc yet again for this one.

A: Great looking beer. Black as night with a beautiful this brown head. The retention on is amazing. Nice lacing

S: Bourbon dominates. Vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, dark fruits. Substantially less coffee aromas than the regular Rasputin.

T/M: Not as thick and intense as I would have expected given the smell and appearance. The bourbon is definitely all powerful here, dominating a little too much. Nice vanilla oak and chocolate flavors. Some coffee. A bit hot. Definitely distinctly different from the normal Rasputin.

D: A nice sipper. It's a doozy. Wouldn't want more than this 500ml.

Overall, a great stout. But I give this a lower rating than the "regular" Rasputin. The bourbon was just a little too dominant, with notable heat that threw things a bit out of whack. Given a year or so of aging, though, and I think this one would easily best the regular one. Thankfully, due the generosity of my friends, I have another one, so I'll report back. If you only have one, though, I'd recommend sitting it for a bit.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very black, with a nice dark tan finger of head, dissipating to a nice film.

Aroma was very pleasant, with touches of bourbon, and oak, wood and chocolate, roast and coffee.

Taste was similar with the chocolate, roasted notes, oak and light bourbon notes. There was a hint of dark fruits as well.

Mostly full bodied and creamy.

We had this along side regular Rasputin bottle that was a couple years old, and this was definitely much better...but I am not sure if I liked this as much as fresh Rasputin... Very glad to have tried it!

Photo of jsanford
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml C&C bottle poured into a North Coast Snifter.

A - Oh boy. Inky, viscous black with a dense, creamy, mocha-colored head that settles to a thick cap, leaving craggy bubbles and sticky lacing clinging to the glass. Beautiful RIS, picture-perfect!
S - Huge aromas of chocolate fudge and sweet roasted coffee, with amazing Bourbon notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak. Everything a big, Barrel-Aged RIS should be. Pretty good so far.
T - Pretty close to the nose, and that's a good thing. Lots of dark chocolate, coffee beans, and sugar. The Bourbon character is so well integrated in here (granted, it's had a couple of years to settle down), and leaves just the slightest of warming sensations in the belly.
M - Smooth and creamy, with a full mouthfeel and lowish carbonation.
O - Easily one of the best Barrel-Aged Stouts I've had in some time. Just when I was getting bored with the style this comes along and reminds be what a well-done BA Stout can be!

Photo of berkey
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 500ml bottle pours completley black. Absolutley no light gets through this one. Forms a very large brown head with a faintly red hue that leaves ring after ring of beautiful lacing.

Strong vanilla and oak rule the initial aroma along with some sweet alcohol notes. Also picking up some malty chocolate aromas. Smells a bit like whiskey spiked Ovaltine. Found myself spending more time smelling this one than I do on the typical tasting. One of the better smelling beers I've had.

Taste is a little more typical of the style with chocolate and some roasty malt flavors. Still picking up some vanilla but not quite as strong, also hints of coffee. It's remarkable how much wood flavor there is here without getting that bitter tannin flavor. Thick and creamy mouthfeel one expects from an RIS.

Very drinkable in that the complexity hides the alcohol well but it gets you eventually. Wishing this was my first beer of the night. Can't remember ever taking this much time finishing a 500ml bottle. Thankfully, this beer warms well.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Finally able to knock yet another one offs the list this week. It has been a very amazing run over the last couple of weeks, nailing down some of the things I have looked forever for. This one falls tight in there as well. Served at cellar temp and decanted into a goblet, this one was consumed on 04/30/2009.
The pour was exquisite and easily one of the best I have ever seen. Pitch black with a perfect head of light tan capping it off. Slow faded, literally no fade on this as the mushroom of foam stood on top throughout the entire session and really just looked sublime sitting up there, I was in awe, and the I went in for the smell. Rich bourbon and booze, mixed with wonderful notes of vanilla. Really well done here. Nothing really overpowering here at all as everything was pretty well balanced I have to say. As it warmed though the bourbon and vanilla were mingling with a deep chocolate and almost tobacco like smell that really gave it tremendous depth. I was a touch let down though as I went in for the rest. It was smooth, very well carbonated, but a little thin for me. I was expecting it to come off as a huge, thick monster, but it was just a wee bit thin, but still very nice. Rich vanilla and bourbon on the flavor, almost hot, but too much complexity for it to be anything less then stellar. Molasses and again that tobacco like flavor coming through very nicely in the finish and then a long drawn out oaked vanilla like flavor to seal the deal. A smooth, wonderful sipper indeed.
Overall this was very, very solid. I have to say I liked thee X better, but this one was remarkable in that it was well balanced and very well defined.

Photo of kk73
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into my glass.

A - Pours a dark black with some dark brown mahogany around the edges with a big three finger mocha colored head. Some lacing down the sides.

S - Smells of wood, bourbon, brunt malts, chocolate and some coffee in that order. Not overwhelmingly bourbon, but nicely integrated into the nose.

T - Taste follows the nose with a slight alcohol warming and detection. Some dried fruit with a slightlly smokey finish.

M - Full bodied, smooth and soft mouthfeel for such a big beer. Not thick and syrupy but the mouthfeel is creamy and coats the tongue well. Carbonation is well done.

D - Devastating Dangerous!

Photo of scooter231
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black. NO light getting through this bastard. Heavily creamed colored head, with good retention, lacing, and bubbles. This looks... intimidating.

Smells sweet, rich, and chocolatey. Some maltyness. Again- intimidating.

First sip- o.m.g. Sweet malty chocolate hits you at first, followed by a rush of bittersweet chocolate and hops and some alcohol flavoring, then a rush of coffee bitterness, finally ended by a delicately balanced sweet mocha infused coffee flavor. Oh yeah- every sip is like this.

Mouthfeel is sudsy and full and yummy. A weeee thin on the end, but nothing to moan about.

No, I could not have a 6er of these- but oh dear. Delicious, sneaky... I am a fan.

Photo of rallison
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful beer.

A: Perfect pour - viscous black gold with a creamy tan head that never fully dies. Very nice.

S: Roasty chocolate propped up by some very pleasant bourbon notes.

T: Great balance between the rich, dark chocolate, light roasted malts, sweet bourbon and dark fruits. Beautiful. Nothing is overpowering, nothing is out of place. I love it.

M: Velvet. Deliciously creamy.

D: Almost 12%? Drinks much, much easier than the ABV would have you expect.

Highly recommended. One fine beer.

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle shared by bifrostguard, thanks a bunch man.

Appearance: A near opaque black pour produces two fingers of rich frothy tan head. The head is sticky and lasting while the body is pitch black; pretty ideal for the style.

Smell: Big whiskey aroma, loaded with caramel, vanilla and boozy fusels. Chocolate cake and espresso.

Taste & mouthfeel: Chocolate-covered espresso beans lead to a big bourbony finish of vanilla and caramel. Bitterness is mild to moderate, very balanced against the malt. Medium-bodied, neither excessively rich nor sweet. Fairly hot but in a good way, like drinking a well-aged whiskey.

Photo of metter98
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high tan colored head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away; a thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface.
S: There is a strong smell of bourbon in the nose along with aromas of chocolate, oak and vanilla. The smell is so strong that it was noticeable as soon as the bottle was opened.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has strong flavors of bourbon.
M: It feels full-bodied and smooth on the palate. There are lots of warming sensations from the alcohol in the finish.
D: The beer is definitely a sipper given its strength although a good portion of the alcohol is masked from the taste.

Photo of vacax
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with quite a bit of viscous and rich chestnut brown head. Big retention and some good lace.

S: The kind of beer that I could smell for ages. Toffee, raisins, oak, and then chocolate with vanilla.

T: Rich toffee with raisins and increasing chocolate goodness as it warms. Oak and vanilla and a bit of coffee working in the background. Some bourbon, but not a lot for me. Interesting to compare to regular Raspy, as this one comes out much sweeter and more complex without just picking up the spirit.

M: Heavy but not immense. Silky but not chewy.

D: So full of flavor, my twelve ounce pour lasted a long long time. Each sip full of huge flavor makes this an excellent beer to savor. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience, though this was plenty as it was so flavorful.

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Old Rasputin XI from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 212 ratings.