Old Rasputin XII - North Coast Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 519 | Reviews: 363 | Display Reviews Only:
2.23/5 rDev -48.4%
stubby caged and corked bottle poured into two snifters to share with my best friend who is home for the holidays..review from notes last night as the site was down..a complete and utter disappointment of a beer follows in this review..
a-jet black with a nice quarter inch khaki colored head..bubbles cling to the sides of the glass and give the illusion of carbonation..the it was down hill from there
s-old wet news papers and carboard..i fear this beer was treated to some unfair oxidation...a slight bit of roast and malt lingering in there somewhere but barely noticeable behind the cardboard aspect
t-exactly like the nose...nothing else
m-mouthfeel was actually decent on this brew except for the lack of carbonation..it was a bit chewy and the booze really warmed the tongue up a bit...
d-would not put down a twenty spot again for this one..
overall this was probably the beer i was looking forward to sharing with my friend when he came home seeing as we both love the regular rasputin...but we both had the same outcome with this beer...a clear disappointment..
12-28-2009 22:13:42 | More by stoutfiend27
2.25/5 rDev -47.9%
Strong bourbon flavor, does not mask the alcohol very well. Felt full-bodied on the front, dies out on its way through the middle. Did not get as much of the RIS flavor that was expected. Not worth the $20 price tag. Might do well with aging for a couple of years.
11-13-2009 19:11:37 | More by tbone69
2.6/5 rDev -39.8%
Medium sized bottle (500 ml), corked, poured into a snifter.
Very dark, but not quite pitch black. Tan head, one finger thick, average retention and lacing.
Aroma is mostly bourbon, but also some vanilla, roasted malts, chocolate and coffee.
Medium bodied, the flavor is even more unbalanced than the aroma; again, lots of bourbon, heat, some vanilla.
This one just did not feel right; considering the incredibly high price, it feels even worse.
This one was a mistake. Even worse than the original, which did not impress me to begin with.
03-13-2010 08:54:51 | More by brdc
2.73/5 rDev -36.8%
Poured into a snifter.
4.0 A: Black color. Two and a half fingers of frothy/creamy hybrid head with average retention and moderate lacing.
3.5 S: Bourbon, oak, leather, and a touch of vanilla. Smells good, but most of the aroma is the bourbon. The base beer gets lost for the most part, but there are hints of figs and chocolate.
2.5 T: Bourbon is much more subdued in the taste, which allows me to taste the underlying beer. Unfortunately, it isn't any damn good. Mostly bland, but there is a cloying molasses flavor. Just a touch of roastiness in there. Most of the flavor comes from the bourbon and barrel with bourbon, vanilla, leather, and oak.
3.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Not nearly as creamy as I would have hoped. Boozy and leather on finish.
2.0 D: This certainly doesn't live up to the price or the hype. I can't understand why people buy into the the limited expensive release bullshit and then trick themselves into thinking it's good. This is not a good beer and as far as I'm concerned, the price makes it undrinkable.
07-19-2010 00:23:57 | More by DavoleBomb
2.93/5 rDev -32.2%
Revised review based on input from a fellow BA who helped me see that my original lacked a 'did it fit the style' component. Those looking for the original review mentioned in the forum are too late. My review is based on a RIS with bourbon barrel aging and not a bourbon beer. Therefore, it needs some RIS aroma and flavors to it.
Got from ummagum as a freebie - he is the best friend that you could ever ask for (and yes he knows I don't like bourbon beers)- many thanks! Poured from a 500ml corked and caged bottle into a pint glass. No date but it's this year's anniversary beer so fresh. Was pitch black in color. Had a large brown head that slowly faded to a constant 1/8" foam.
The aroma was bourbon, vanilla, oak and maybe cherry. Not a fan of bourbon only aromas and this one is just dominated by it. I'm not getting any of the base RIS aromas. If you told me it was any other style, I'd believe you since there is really nothing but bourbon and oak. The taste followed the aroma and again was dominated by bourbon with none of the base RIS flavor coming thru. No balance to it. It's just too much bourbon after a bit so ended up drain pouring (for those who suggested sharing with a neighbor - after 3 years of giving samples of various styles and trying to break the BMC grip I've just now got a couple willing to try IPA's. No way in hell they would try this one). Mouthfeel was well carbonated and creamy but didn't like the bourbon after-taste.
Overall, more bourbon than beer and lacking balance with the base RIS flavor. Would probably greatly benefit from some aging. I got it for free but if I had paid $23 dollars for 500ML, I'd be very disappointed. For that money, you'd expect at least 750ML. If you like pure bourbon then you might like this one. If you want balance then I don't recommend.
Rotation: one and done
09-11-2009 01:28:58 | More by TexIndy
2.98/5 rDev -31%
Lightly chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by largadeer at a tasting. Thanks Chris.
A: Pours a pitch black with chocolate tones in the glass, probably imparted by the finger's worth of mocha-colored head on the brew. Retention isn't much (and not expected to be), but there isn't much lacing aside from a few spots.
S: Tootsie roll! Very easy to pick out when it was in the glass. But also a fair amount of bourbon (without being overpowering), vanilla, oak, roasted malt, toffee. There's an almost citrusy note in there.
T: The nose is somewhat deceptive. Bourbon is very strong, with an associated dose of vanilla. It flows into an oak flavor with hints of orange and spice. The flavor goes into roasted malt and toffee at that point, gradually drawing to a close with dark chocolate and coffee. Booze is quite generous in the finish, too. I think it's a good flavor, but it's very barrel-dominated with some boozy harshness to it. It's not particularly balanced -- or, for that matter, unique against other barrel-aged stouts. Some finesse would be welcome.
M: Full-bodied, but creamy owing to restrained carbonation. Does not hide the ABV very well. Leaves a coat of chocolate behind after each sip.
D: Everything that people have wanted to say about the $20+ price tag has already been said. It was cool of Chris to bring it, but this is exactly a one-time thing. I'm also not likely to pick up the XIII after this.
NOTE: Part of the reason I ranked this lower than the XI is that the XI, when I had it, had cooled off a bit and was more balanced. This one is still strongly bourbon and booze. And I stand by the drinkability score. I would not pay to have this beer again.
IMO, this is exactly what I'd expect to get after tossing an imperial stout in a barrel; no surprises, not a lot of subtlety. Like dumping a shot of bourbon in the regular Old Rasputin, and it's expensive, too. Not impressed by this on any level.
08-01-2009 15:55:38 | More by Arbitrator
3.08/5 rDev -28.7%
EDIT: I don't think the C accurately reflects the quality of this beer, but I do think I honestly rated each criteria of the beer according to how I find it, and I'm not changing that to give it a higher letter grade.
A- looks the same as normal Old Rasputin; pretty standard for an RIS.
S- but it doesn't smell the same. Nose is heavy whiskey aroma on top of the roast malt of the beer. The heavy distilled ethanol aroma is distinctive and overwhelms most of the nose.
T- the flavor is much more interesting and less drowned-in-whiskey than the nose. The initial flavor is surprizingly mild, but it grows into a deep, rich, dark melange of roast and bitterness, both from the alcohol and from the beer itself. The bourbon lends subtle vanilla and caramel flavors, and stays mainly out of the way, until the swallow, where it is the whole story. The aftertaste is like whiskey with cacao powder, in a very odd, but not unpleasant way.
M- very creamy texture, surprisingly light (but not *too* light) body.
D- very low. Between the high price tag, the small bottle size (I thought this was a 750ml when I bought it, and didn't notice that it was 1/3 smaller until I put it in the fridge) the high ABV and the whiskey dampening the tastebuds, this is not in any way a 'drinkable' beer. I don't regret buying it, but I might not buy the 13.
10-03-2009 01:38:16 | More by WalrusJockey
3.15/5 rDev -27.1%
Draft service into a tasting glass at The Flying Saucer in Kansas City.
A: Opaque black color with one finger of diminishing light beige foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.
S: Mild oak and bourbon are surprisingly effective at excluding actual beer qualities. Instead, booziness is hinted at while the influence of the barrel is clearly transmitted.
T: Begins off-dry, with robust pure bourbon flavor. Acidity is strong--very carbonic--into the middle where dark fruit is enlivened by the acidity. More subtle oak emerges later, along with a return of the spirit. Alcohol flavor is mild, but a slight boozy presence persists throughout.
M: Medium to thick viscosity, highly acidic but otherwise velvety smooth, with brisk carbonation.
D/O: Overrated--while this beer captures bourbon barrel-qualities well enough, it doesn't really stand out among more contemporary peers. Add to that the prevalent acidity that is all too common in strong stouts, and the palate has to ask the brain, "Why?" Value is poor, considering the price tag.
12-16-2012 15:54:58 | More by beagle75
3.18/5 rDev -26.4%
Old Rasputin XII, big bottle, achieved in a trade with generous trader Plenum. Thanks much!!
Appearance: Served in the same goddamn Sierra snifter I've poured every single big beer in since I lived in Baltimore and got this glass at Max's during a Sierra event (thanks, Jessica, I miss you). Unexpectedly smooth pour for an Imperial Stout (aged to boot), no gurgle or glug. Perfect one-finger tan head, though, with nice thick bubbles. After said head quickly passes away, a tan mantle of foam and bubbles remains. Color is impressively black and dark, I don't think there are brown/ruby nuances here! (OK, maybe some auburn tones)
Smell: I get bourbon and more bourbon, wood and vanilla, very cask-y. Nice but a bit disappointing, wish it had more going on. Some sweetness too, like chewing gum. Some roastiness and chocolate, and booze all over.
Taste: Follows nose. Bourbon, lots of wood, some vanilla, finishes dry and spicy and boozy, with some bitterness. Disappointing, though. Too thin.
Mouthfeel: Impressively disappointing. Thin, thin, THIN!! WOW, I'm glad I didn't pay 20 bucks for this... I've had regular Imperial Stouts that are bigger than this. Watery, thin, disappointing... a bit of bourbon/booze at the end, but that's about it. Sad! Low body, low carbonation, low flavor. Sad.
Drinkability: What can I say? This is super drinkable, but shouldn't, I just drank a whole 500-ml bottle and I'm barely drunk. I'll give it an "OK" because it was mighty poundable, But, seriously, a shame. I'll take the regular Rasputin anytime. What a letdown!
02-18-2011 04:37:17 | More by DoubleSimcoe
3.2/5 rDev -25.9%
Drank from a 500 ml/ 1 pt. 0.9 fl. oz./16.9 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a snifter
Acquired in a trade with zminor
Brown/black in appearance and somewhat thin for the style. The liquid was capped by a small, frothy, cocoa colored head. Tiny droplets of lacing clung to the sides of the glass.
The aroma was quite unusual initially. Roasty and slightly sour. A bit chalky. As the beer warmed, the nose changed considerably. The bourbon component really came out. Sweet and boozy. Oaky with notes of brown sugar and chocolate.
Lots of coffee and roast came through in the flavor. Espresso dominated. Slightly acidic. Pithy and dry. Bakers chocolate and vanilla notes appeared as well. Boozy on the back end. Oaky and quite bourbon-y. The finish was hoppier and drier than expected.
The mouthfeel was disappointingly thin and watery for the style with a fine, moderate effervescence.
For an 11.2% ABV beer, I found this to be fairly drinkable. The lack of flavor intensity soon made me lose interest however.
Old Rasputin XII was much thiner in both taste and mouthfeel than I anticipated. The fact that this beer retails for upwards of $25 here on the East Coast only made it that much more of a letdown.
10-09-2010 02:58:56 | More by Damian
3.23/5 rDev -25.2%
Black pour, not much beyond a thin tan ring of head, although it did make an interesting clumpiness alongside the edge of the glass. Big huge bourbon, chocolate and alcohol aroma oozing and burning the nose. Damn, this guy is hot.
Sure enough, damn hot on the tase. This is such a great beer by itself, putting it into a bourbon barrel undercuts the chocolatelyness I love so much in regular old rasputin. Alcohol permeates this thing. Astringent alcohol feel. Everything else is secondary, be it coffee, chocolate, or even the bourbon. Instead of bourbon or imperial stout, you just taste hot hot heat.
If I get more bottles of these bourbon rasputins, I will definitely not open them for at least a few years. The XI was much better, but even then, I still like just normal always available regular rasputin more.
Drank @ March Madness 2011 party.
09-14-2011 16:49:59 | More by Beerandraiderfan
3.23/5 rDev -25.2%
Served at cellar temp in a large snifter.
A - Deep, dark, jet black. Espresso crema head that is tight and disapates quickly.
S - Sweet but too sweet, like sugar candy. Whiff of plastic wrap and licorice. No bourbon that I can tell, or maybe what I smell as plastic is actually the bourbon...
T - Fake chocolate soda and rubber, reminiscent of how water out of a hose can taste. Slight astringent coffee.
M - Tight carbonation, somewhat prickly. Surprisingly light body.
Drinkability - I love North Coast and especially the regular Old Rasputin, however I'm a little disappointed here. It's not overly powerful with alcohol, and not difficult to drink, but not particularly tasty either. I've been sitting on this bottle for a few years now, and although it has been kept at cellar temp, perhaps time and a couple of moves affected this bottle.
06-22-2011 02:51:11 | More by Mess
3.25/5 rDev -24.8%
Looks dead. Woody and bourbony aroma, with wood spoiling the mood. Disappointing aroma. The taste is quite acidic, with bourbon, oak and vanilla; and slight roast in the finish.
Body is rather thin and therefore the beer seems overcarbonated even though there was no head whatsoever. Certainly not worth the 25 dollars a pint price it sells (or sold) for.
3, 2, 4, 3, 3
01-19-2012 18:16:26 | More by tewaris
3.38/5 rDev -21.8%
Salvaged from the back of a dusty shelf and poured into my Duvel tulip. Reviewed from notes.
An audible pour, like olive oil coming out of a clay urn. Black, with some clear ruby around the edges. A two-finger dark brown head with medium bubbles and excellent retention leaves just medium lacing. As an odd aside, I'll mention that this bottle was really quite heavy, and the almost completely opaque glass composing it was very thick.
Room-filling aroma. Bourbon, oak and vanilla abound. But the base beer still plays a major part in the smell. There are very clear dark fruits and molasses. The different elements seem to have settled very nicely.
Curiously, the taste seems quite subdued. All of the elements of an awesome, -bal aged stout are there. Chocolate, wood, and dark fruits are definitely present. There's not too much booze, just the barrel presence without much heat. But strangely enough, all of the flavors seem muted and watered down, almost like a much smaller stout.
The mouthfeel is quite nice initially, thick and chewy. But there's also a slightly off, chalky sensation that comes through after a little while. That lingering gritty feeling isn't too pleasant.
I think this may have seen better days, though it's holding up fine now. I hesitate to mention the price, but... yikes.
10-15-2011 02:41:30 | More by amphion1065
3.4/5 rDev -21.3%
A friend shared this with me when it was fresh and I thought it was a bit hot and sat on the bottle I bought.
Pours a solid black with a smallish tan head that shows great retention and a moderate amount of lace. I get a solid hit of bourbon as soon as I pop the cork on this one. Vanilla, chocolate, caramel, molasses, and roast make up the aromas wafting upon my nose. The flavor is much more integrated than I remember from the past. Caramel, toffee, molasses join chocolate and roast for a quick pop up front. Bourbon and vanilla come in midway before being dissolved by a still pretty present harsh alcohol heat. Long lingering alcohol burn mixed with a bit of coffee and ash at the end of every sip. Medium body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet roasty ashy mouthfeel. Time did help this brew out by integrating the flavors a bit better, but man that alcohol is still quite harsh after 3 years. It's almost like someone poured a little bit of cheap vodka in every bottle. I love most of the stuff from North Coast, but I can't see myself ever paying the kind of money they asked for this beer. If it were a better beer...
10-03-2012 23:56:32 | More by johnnnniee
3.45/5 rDev -20.1%
Cheers to Masterski for bringing over a bottle of this rare one!
Excellent pour reveals a textbook appearance. Very dark brown with a tan head that fades to a nice wispy film, and leaves some lace on the glass. Beautiful bourbon nose, with a great spiciness and some awesome wood, but sadly that's all I get. Yep, there's too much bourbon in this for my liking. I do like bourbon on its own, but I find that using the barrels for aging often imparts too much character and overpowers the beer. In this case the bourbon dominates the flavour, bringing a sweet, woody spiciness. The base is still good though, with great chocolate notes mixing in with some dark roast. Still... that bourbon... Medium bodied and smooth, the drinkability is pretty high for such a strong stout, which is a great achievement. I think I'd still reach for the regular old raspy nine time out of ten.
I'm probably gonna be an outlier on this one.
07-29-2009 15:17:35 | More by bobsy
3.55/5 rDev -17.8%
Creamy, viscous liquid burbles out of the bottle, it's a gorgeous thing right from the get-go. Once in the glass the head is a dazzling toasty dark gold. It doesn't stick around long at all, but who would expect it to at 11.2%? The liquid itself is as dark a black as you'll see in a beer glass, that's for sure.
Charred wood and alcohol-soaked dark fruits (plum, fig, raisin) dominate the nose. Definitely a strong bourbon presence, and though it's not a favorite smell/flavor of mine, it's not overbearing, even has the kind of restraint that makes it worth bringing to the nose often during the sipping.
I'm impressed with the flavor overall, as char, husky nuttiness, chocolate, coffee, lotsa vanilla and dark fruits all flash by in measured tones and various combination. Big fat slabs of dark chocolate in the finish. But the alcohol is dominant, and with the whiskey-etched woodiness pairing up with the alcohol, it's just too much like whiskey in general for me to be wild about. Just a matter of taste, and since we review to style here (or try to) and there's not a separate category for "bourbon barrel-aged" Russian Imperial Stouts, I'll go out on a limb and risk losing beer geek cred by saying that I like an RIS without the bourbon messing it up. Usually. There are some excellent exceptions to that rule, no freaking doubt about it...this just doesn't happen to be one I'm crazy about.
As big and bold as this is, it lacks the kind of thickness you'd expect from such a beer. It's springy on the tongue, achieving a fine balance between carbonation liveliness and slick creamy stoutness. I hoped for something thicker and chewier, which would be more appropriate for what's happening here.
It's good, but a little overrated--and that's all in the eye of the beer-holder. I'd rather not taint a great beer with whiskey flavor, something I cannot and probably will never acquire a taste for. To some, that probably makes me a lesser drinker. But I like what I like, and I prefer the regular Rasputin. Even of the bourbon barrel-aged beers I've tasted, there are others that exhibit much better balance. It's just too bourbon-y. Is this a bad beer? No way. Is it pricey? Without a doubt. Would I buy it again? Doubtful.
10-15-2009 22:37:54 | More by Metalmonk
3.55/5 rDev -17.8%
Pours a four finger dark brown head over a pitch liquid. Smells chocolate sugary sweet with wonderful bourbon and vanilla character. Almond and some rubbing alcohol character. Celery.
Tastes wet chocolate fought off by alcohol that doesn't quite take over. The barrel is stark wood, lacking any engaging caramel and vanilla. Dry roasty, cocoa powder, a little bit of cherry, and some nuggat (spelling?). Peppery zip helps round out the finish amid repeated and varied waves of vanillins. Wowzers. Aftertaste is flat wood from the barrel with the vanillins falling slowly away. Thin mouthfeel with some creamy dextrinous character. Strong carbonation and mediocre drinkability. Hope time can take the wood edge off the remaining bottle in my cellar. I don't need to see this one again for a number of years.
11-29-2009 06:43:12 | More by mentor
3.58/5 rDev -17.1%
Bottle at the RBSG09 grand tasting. black with a small tan head. Lots of wood and bourbon in the aroma with bitter piney hops and dark roasted coffee. The flavor is bitter dark chocolate, light vanilla, bourbon, oak and some caramel. The body seems to have suffered slightly in the barrel and is not really full. I like this, but I might still like the regular version better, and at a billion times the cost, I can't see ever buying more of this.
08-10-2009 13:47:34 | More by bulletrain76
3.63/5 rDev -16%
a lot to pay for this sucker. Not even 22oz. 16oz actually.
nice pour. lets a little more light through than I expected. leathery head.
smell is ok, I guess. not 20 dollars/pint worth of bourbon barrel aged wonderfulness. that I am sure of. some oak, some bourbon, some roasted malt. nothing to make you yearn for a sip.
taste is good. not great. some oaky bourbon mixed with what you'd expect from Rasputin. not really at the high level of spectacularity I was hoping for (and paid for)
mouthfeel not as thick as I was expecting. good, but again, not great.
overpriced. but a good beer. I've heard it's a "more drinkable GIBCS"... no. not close to that level of flavor.
08-18-2009 20:00:07 | More by caskstrength
3.63/5 rDev -16%
Jet black in color with a nice small, tan head. Deep roasted and bourbon aroma. Slight vanilla and oak. Burnt and roasted flavor with a somewhat acrid bourbon flavor. Somewhat of a harsh grain flavor. Overdone for a RIS. Comes across as too harsh. Body is rather thin and not as "beefy" as the usual RIS. I am rather dissappointed overall. I would prefer a regular Old Rasputin anyday. The sharp and acrid flavors really detract. Not worth the money and I dont even think it would be worth aging. Ok but nothing special.
01-01-2010 17:35:32 | More by lackenhauser
3.65/5 rDev -15.5%
I was excited to see a few of these sitting on the shelf at Julio's the Friday of ACBF 2010.
A: Pours pitch black with well over a finger of light tan head. A good amount of sticky lacing sticks to the sides of the glass.
S: Lots of vanilla and bourbon come through on the nose, combined with a more generic booziness, some chocolate, and molasses.
T: The flavor is really dominated by the bourbon and vanilla. The initial experience as the beer touches my palate is almost identical to sipping a glass of bourbon before the alcohol burn kicks in. All other flavors were pushed to the background. The typical bitterness of normal Old Rasputin comes through in the brew's finish, along with some dark chocolate, burnt coffee, and black patent. For me, this tastes as if someone literally poured bourbon into my RIS.
M: Thick and coating; viscous. It doesn't really burn, but the alcohol/bourbon oak character is too dominant IMO.
D: Not bad by any means, but this is a rare instance where I think the BA Big Bro is not better (or even at least on par) with the unaged little bro. This was a pleasure to sip, but at $23/bottle I think I'll stick with normal Old Rasputin.
06-26-2010 06:39:25 | More by MrDanno96
3.68/5 rDev -14.8%
Thanks Ken. I understand this to be the same recipe as the Raputin XI. However I did not enjoy thi as much. Very attractive aromas, black with lots of lace, above average mouthfeel that is smooth and creamy. However the taste is coconut dominated.Another year, as when I had the XI made a difference.
08-10-2010 12:42:38 | More by Sammy
3.68/5 rDev -14.8%
RBSG09 bottle at the grand tasting. Pitch black pour with a nice brown head. Lots of bourbon, licorice, roasted malt, chocolate. Flavor is overly woody and ashy above the typical bourbon/coffee/chocolate profile. Not better than regular Old Rasputin.
07-14-2009 06:51:33 | More by illidurit
Old Rasputin XII from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 519 ratings.