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Old Rasputin XII - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin XIIOld Rasputin XII

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

367 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 367
Hads: 533
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 7.71%
Wants: 129
Gots: 140 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Tdizzle on 06-28-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 367 | Hads: 533
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (300 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.74/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at the pre-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, spice, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty, but is coming across as going downhill at this point. (747 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This much anticipated drink met most of my high expectations.

Pours very dark brown/black with a thick, rich tan head. The nose hits you over the head with bourbon/whiskey and yields to espresso and finally sweet bitter chocolate as the beer warms and as it gets some air. Hints of black licorice, raisins and cabernet and syrah wine in the nose. Complex and inviting.

Mouthfeel is not as viscous as I would have liked but still rich and full, especially if you "savor" it a bit on the tongue and taste it like you might a glass of wine. Mouthfeel will improve with a bit of age. Lots of character and complexities.

The flavors and finish are the real stars here, as is the potential to age and improve. Flavors of whiskied espresso and dark chocolate and roasted grains develop into rounded flavors of sweet bitter chocolate espresso with a whiskey kick and rich layered flavors with hints of chocolate, cherries, complex red wine (cabernet and syrah) and coke. It goes through Madera and Sherry flavors and ends with a huge bitter coffee/espresso finish.

This will be wonderful with some age and I look forward to tasting it every six months, although I'm sure I'll open a bottle whenever I have an excuse or a good "beer drinking" friend over for dinner. A winner. (1,274 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: A dark ebony with an espresso head.

S: Plenty of bourbon and sweet roasted malts, alongside a little bit of chocolate, tobacco, and espresso.

T: Thick and tasting of all of the above. The bourbon character is evident and really adds a lot to Old Rasputin.

M: Perhaps the best part. The one thing that's really lacking--for me, at least--with regular Old Rasputin is that it's a little bit thin. That is not a problem here.

D: Quite drinkable--a very worthy RIS and I'm quite glad that North Coast decided on wider distribution for this one. (547 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours obsidian, with a frothy beige head that leaves a sheet of lace as the head descends, along with striations of lace around the chalice

Smell: Bourbon and vanilla dominates, along with graham cracker, dark chocolate and a hint of prune

Taste: Graham cracker sweetness, up front, with a burgeoning blast of bourbon and vanilla that arrive at mid-palate, along with dark chocolate; after the swallow, there is a brief fruity flirtation, with both dark fruits and a hint of citrus, before the alcohol and graham cracker sweetness linger into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very good, no doubt, but I cannot help but think the XI was better; perhaps my memory fails me, as it has been almost a year, but that beer was truly extraordinary (804 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was quite the find, I was very happy to grab a bottle of this a while back. With much excitement I opened the bottle and poured it out for my friend and myself. The beer poured out as a nice dark black color with a creamy looking brown head. The lacing is pretty nice on the glass. The smell of the beer has a lot more chocolate than the regular Rasputin. The other aromas were of big roasted malts and just a touch of wood. The taste of the beer was very good, rich malts and some wooden flavors with a hoppy bitterness in the back end. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy, had a really nice texture to it. Overall the beer was very good, I liked it more than the regular Rasputin until I had it on Nitro tap. Won't know if I will ever have it again but it was a very nice beer to have tried. (803 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here in Kentucky, a holiday favorite desert are the Bourbon Balls that are chocked full of chocolates, nuts, roasted cocoa, candied confections, and that irresistable caramel, vanillan, deep oak flavor that is bourbon. Old Rasputin XII is like drinking one of those.

The beer pours a lot like the standard Raspy but with a creamier, more viscous appearance. The beer seemingly crawls out of the bottle. A lot of froathy carbonation rises as if in slow motion to form this billowing caramel-stained head that could bounce a quarter. The head held firm nearly to the bottom of the glass and left light traces of lace behind, remarkable considering the abv. involved. ...and it's an opaque black, as if it needed to be said.

Robust aromas of bitter chocolates and espresso dominate the rim of the glass. Deep toffee malts and fruitcake breadiness rises to give depth to the malts and a warming fruitiness to the backdrop of the nose. Bourbony with strong caramel, oak, vanilla, and alcohol are undeniable throughout.

Flavors may even be more rich than promised by the nose. Rivaling Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout, this beer has a heavy bourbon influence upfront and never reliquishes. Deeply caramelized malts are dripping with the French Roast coffee, melted cocoa, and handsome bourbon character. Dark fruits of cherries, plumbs, dates, and figs add another dimention outside of the bourbon, roast, and malts that further reinforce the complexity and balance that is like no other.

Equally as rich in the body as in taste. Very full, viscous, robust, creamy, and heavy on the palate; even moreso as the beer warms and the carbonation eases. Even then, the textures remain velvety and silky smooth with a cleansing alcohol dryness that ushers the beer past the palate and into the finsih. Lightly fruity with rum sweetness and cocoa-coffe aftertaste.

An absolutely delightful Stout that is about as good as any ever done. I am always impressed to see these larger than life beer capture more than just a fleeting memory of a Bourbon Barrel, but real Bourbon character that demands respect. Great job North Coast! (2,121 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black in my tulip, topped with two fingers worth of mocha-colored head that retains well. Huge tootsie roll aroma, very chocolatey, rich and sweet with an undertone of coffee. Bourbon becomes more apparent after a vigorous swirl, revealing vanilla, a little caramel and a lot of boozy heat. The taste is less sweet than the aroma implies, more coffee and bourbon-forward and less chocolatey. Vanilla, toffee and tons of boozy heat mid-palate, leading to a woody, semi-sweet finish. Medium-bodied, not exceptionally viscous but definitely not thin - exactly where I like it for this style. This is good stuff, but at $20 for 500ml, I doubt I'll be buying this again. (671 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased and opened in honor of the birth of my son.

A - Poured out an opaque, dark brown color with ruby highlights. It had a brown, two-finger head of bubbly foam that left behind sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of cherry, bourbon, oak and hints of biscuity malt. Really a great aroma.

T - It tasted of roasted malts, chocolate, bourbon, oak and vanilla. The bourbon strengthens as the beer warms.

M - It was soft and smooth with a warm alcohol presence. A chewy mouthfeel and a heavy bodied beer.

D - This is a good beer but I prefer the regular Rasputin. It's just too heavy and too much to handle. (613 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thrilled would be an understatement for my sentiment in regards to popping open this bottle. I had been anxiously awaiting its arrival into my hands and wasted no time at all getting it ready. Served chilled to cellar temp and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 08/02/2009.

Appearance - Poured out one of the best looking, evil stouts I can remember seeing. Black as night, completely opaque with a huge billowing head of tan up and over the top of the glass. Really enormous look to it. Cascading head fell back down to earth and still at over two inches high refused to gain any ground what so ever. Tons of sticky caramel colored lace thickened up the sides of the glass and nearly obscured even when empty.

Smell - Huge aroma of bourbon, rich chocolate notes and wonderful hints of molasses. As it warms it takes on a very sweet note, with touches of coffee adding a slight bitter nose to it. Really well defined though I have to admit here. Lots of bourbon, with that vanilla character very prominent indeed. This was a wonderfully full smell, I was literally headed over heals for this one...

Taste - ....then I took a taste. Perfection. Rich vanilla notes undermined the huge coffee and chocolate flavors, vanilla, molasses, hints of oak notes, sublime. Even as it comes up to near room temperature it keeps its insanely rich character. The final sips were so sweet, so full, I found myself chasing an empty glass for that last little drop.

Feel - Here is where my only really off comment could come. It could have been a bit thicker. Carbonation was spot on, but it was just not that full, syrup like texture I would have wanted to make this perfect, but still, enough viscosity to allow the flavor to really absorb on the palate which is a really good trait.

Drinkability - For how big this was, I was shocked by how little ABV there was present here. Really well done I have to say. It was insanely good and drinkable with enough of a body to really let the flavor pop, letting this one sit in the glass most of the night and keep me great company.

Overall - One of the best barrel aged stouts I have ever come across, and that is no laughing matter. I am so happy to have a couple of these to enjoy when the weather turns colder. This is a real treat and it needs to be sought out. (2,314 characters)

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

Thanks to Roger at Bestway for holding a few bottles for me,he sold out over last weekend.Poured into a snifter a jet black with a mocha colored froth atop,aromas were dominated by the boubon barrell with vanilla and wood really standing out,there was a tinge of spiced rum and roasted nut as well.Flavors are again dominated by the barrell not saying its a bad thing it is just the dominant force of the beer,big vanilla oak flavors mixed with some rummy tones,its gotta nice sweetish vanilla-like finish.I like this beer alot and its damn good but maybe the barrell aging thing might becoming a bit much...maybe Iam wrong? (624 characters)

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

A: The pour is a thing of beauty: pitch black with a thick tan head on top, sticking around for quite some time.

S: There are tons of bourbon and barrel aromas coming from this one. A nice charred oak and vanilla component which goes wonderfully with the rich dark chocolate flavors of Ol' Raspy and the bourbon itself.

T: The bourbon taste dominates the flavor a bit more than I would prefer. The oak is front and center as well, but the vanilla is not quite as impressive (nor is the chocolate). A noticeable alcohol flavor as you might expect.

M: This is certainly a full bodied beer, but perhaps a bit over-carbonated for my tastes. This one is still a bit hot, as well.

D: Not a bad beer by any means, and I really like the bourbon barrel contributions, but I think this needs some more time to mellow out. For now, I'll stick with regular Old Rasputin. (862 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of medium-brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The foam settles quickly but leaves nice lace.

S - A warm, sweet bourbon note with elements of vanilla, toasted oak, and caramel. Nutty malt with lots of chocolate and a bit of roasted coffee. Just a hint of spicy alcohol and hops.

T - Strong malt character of chocolate and light coffee up front. The mocha is joined in the middle by nutty toffee and a little bit of caramel. Finishes with a more distinctly roasted character of espresso and dark chocolate as well as vanilla and woody bourbon notes. Lingering roasted malt and toffee with sugary, boozy bourbon that coats the palate and becomes more coffee like as it fades away.

M - Medium-thick finish, moderately high carbonation, and a dry, warmly alcoholic finish.

D - Wow, this is bourbon barrel aging at its finest. The malt character is greatly enhanced from that of standard issue Old Rasputin. The coffee, chocolate, and toffee malt characteristics dominate in both the flavor and the aroma and completely wash away the strong hop qualities of the fresh beer. The bourbon barrel flavors themselves are quite nice as well, with rich, woody notes that are reminiscent of bourbon, but don't feel like the beer was just blended with liquor the way some other barrel aged beers come across. This is a case of an already great beer being improved upon by careful aging, a rare feat indeed! (1,429 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A corked and caged 500ml poured chilled into a double walled tumbler.

A - An opaque dark coffee brown like chocolate syrup you can't see any light through. The head is 3 fingers of honey shade and the bead is ultra fine. A halo of lace clings to the glass interior. The head has a smooth topography.

S - Vanilla candy-like scents w/ tootsie roll cocoa fudge notes. Lots of nutty aromas w/ a mild bourbon hint and alcohol odor. A really chocolaty smell like a mousse w/ caramel glazed edge.

M - Mouth is medium bodied w/ warm neat texture that helps add the perception of a thinner body but a sweet and roastiness gives the feel layers of complexity w/ nutty wood from the barrel and texture of spice w/ a booze aspect in the finish

T - A chocolate coated toffee taste replete with bourbon that ripples across the palate. The bourbon flavor accents a dark cocoa bitterness w/ spice taste that is piney and makes an appearance as the hops accent the vanilla wafer and bean taste that has a toasted dark malt flavor that blends well w/ the whiskey taste. The flavors linger with malt and bourbon and the hop spice after the sample is consumed

D - The most balanced and most drinkable bourbon barrel aged 11.2% Imperial stout I have had. I must thank tenderbranson69 w/out him I would not have enjoyed such a great limited edition stout. The taste is above many barrel beers I have had I consider it a high value/drinkability. (1,430 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this one from SMason, cheers! Man that is one heavy ass 500ml bottle!

Pours mahogany/black with a finger of chunky mocha head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Figs, dates, raisins & a touch of chocolate hiding behind the fruit, oaky booze once warm. Easily the best part of this beer

T: Figgyness & much oakyness, plus some bourbon notes up front. Bourbon warmth, leafy hops, dryness & figs are all there as this warms, plus just a hint coca too (not enough to really make me happy). Finishes dry with boozey vanilla & a bit of dark choclate finally showing up late to the party to dance with the raisins, figs, cherries & black currants. Almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Light/medium bodied, & a bit & oily, fairly vigirous carbonation up front that mellows out over time. Thickens up a bit as this warms, but not enough

Drinks fairly easy for the style & ABV, but not enough complexity & a bit too much booze presence to get too excited about this. Glad i had a chance to try it, but I like the flavor mix on the garden variety Old Raspy, to say nothing of the price difference... Would love to try this in a few years to see how it aged, but wouldn't pay top dollar to do so... (1,181 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Opaque obsidian pour into a mini-snifter, with a small cap of mocha head. Aroma of roasty dark malts, bourbon, oak, dark chocolate. Knocking the regular Old Rasputin up a notch, hearty dark malts in the taste, dark chocolate, tobacco, bourbon-drenched oak, hints of vanilla and ash. Smooth mouthfeel, just about full-bodied, and quite drinkable. This beer is 4 years old now, so it's gone through a good amount of aging / mellowing out so that the bourbon melds in without assaulting the palate with a lot of boozy heat. (567 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Dave (d0b) for sharing one of these on a random Wednesday night. Served in a Sierra Nevada pint glass. I've sort of cribbed from my Rasputin XI review and made changes where appropriate.

A - Two fingers of mocha foam with great retention and beautiful complex lacing. Pitch black - only the tiniest hint of brown at the edge of the glass. One of the few bears that seems to look better in a goblet-style glass.

S - Huge bourbon and vanilla flavors, with some burnt malts and woody tannins. Also some hints of bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee bitterness that comes out a fair bit as the brew warms up. The nose isn't as big as the Rasputin XI that I had on-tap, which leaped out of the glass, but it's still excellent.

T - Starts with vanilla at the tip of the tongue, but then morphs into bourbon bite and roast bitterness as it hits mid-palate. There's still quite a bit of burnt malt, and I'm getting the touches of chocolate and coffee. The bitterness in the aftertaste starts to mount as the brew warms up. It seems the more subtle flavors dissipate as the brew ages - I kind of like this better fresh.

M - Thinner than I expected, with moderate carbonation and mild residual stickiness. Good, but not as hearty as I'd expect from an 11.2% RIS. There's a little bit more heat on this one, seeing as it's fresh and all.

D - The high ABV, strong bourbon flavor, and residual bitterness make this one a slow sipper. However, the medium-bodied texture actually helps the drinkability in the way, as I don't feel like I've been drinking caramel. The 500ml bottles definitely make sense for this one. (1,625 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bourbon Barrel Old Rasputin, 12

Fully ebon hued, with little foam on top, rather bare capped, at that.

Whiskey hits the nose right off, then blackstrap molasses, leather, bittersweet espresso and cholate...all the usual, banged up with bourbon.

Mmmm, indulgent...thick, rich, dry, delicious. Deep, yet mellow. Actually, this is something lovely. It's ...nearly gorgeous, in the realm of the imperial stout. The whiskey's big in it, but not so big. And when it hits, you feel no pain, to quote Robert Nestor Marley. Yeah, what it is, is groovy. Real groovy.

Full body, full flavor, and amazingly complex. The flavors roll out, and over, up and down. They reverberate, shock a bit, send the waves out on a molecular level.

Tobacco, toast, dry, dark chocolate...mmm, mmm.

I'm pretty pleased, though still not sure whether $21 a bottle is quite fair. 22 ounce, maybe...25 ounce, now, you've got a party!
My second bottle will sit for some time, I think, and be enjoyed to it's fullest. (990 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 11/27/10 notes. Shared a 500ml bottle of this with my brother. Poured into a snifter.

a - Pours a dark jet black color with one to two inches of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of whiskey, oak, vanilla, dark fruits, caramel malts, coffee, and chocolate. Smells absolutely amazing. It was very complex and balanced; one of the best smelling barrel aged RIS's I've ever smelled.

t - Tastes of bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark fruit, and chocolate. As it warms up I also got some some caramel or toffee in the taste as well. Tastes great.

m - Full body and moderate carbonation, decently smooth considering the ABV. Feels very good going down.

d - I thought this was an amazing beer. I thought it was very complex and balanced, and had one of the best smells of a beer I've ever smelled. Glad I have another one of these in the cellar and considering picking up another. (891 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml cage-corked bottle, poured into tulip glass:

Pours opaque black with a brown head that stays. Very good retention for the abv/style.

The smell is acidic, oak/vanilla with molasses, roasted coffee/chocolate.

The taste is of heavy roast - with vanilla and coffe - pungent. Alcohol shows through, but well-controlled. It has a slightly tart touch with a sweet character and woody dryness in the finish. Some licorice shows as it progresses.

It hits full-bodied.

I don't know if I liked this as much as the XI or the regular Old Rasputin. Wood is certainly aggressive. It does have a bourbon flair though and a very nice imp. stout character. (650 characters)

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

Poured from a bottle into a goblet (Chimay). Beer is black, forms a thin brown head that is broken, leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation, who knows its too dark.

Sweet, some alcohol in the nose. Mostly chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate. This beer smells amazing. It would be perfect if the alcohol was slightly lower in the aroma.

Sweet first, alcohol second, roast is third followed by a mild bitterness that could be coffee. Complex. This beer is so smooth and good. I've just been sipping and I'm already almost done. A great great beer. I like it much better than the regular old raspy. (604 characters)

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

Pours black with red hues around the edges and more than a finger of darkly tanned head. A nice amount of lace clings to the glass. Nose is a wonderful blend of bourbon, vanilla, oak and smokiness upfront with some chocolate and coffee tones blended in as well. Taste is bourbon forward with vanilla and bitter chocolate. Light feel, moderate carbonation. Bitter chocolate, grain, coffee and boubon tastes all blended together in an awesome medley of flavors and alcohol in the finish. Great beer overall and super drinkable. (525 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a thick black color with a tan head. The aroma is amazing. I get some roasted malt, chocolate and vanilla. One of the best smelling stouts I have smelled. The flavor is chocolate, oak, whiskey, vanilla and roasted malt. Thick mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation. (329 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to matt9875 for sharing this treat.

A: Black with thin coffee crema head. Effervescent with little head retention and lacing.

S: Huge aroma consisting of bourbon, sweet malt, hot buttered rum, caramel, roasted malt, vanilla, alcohol.

T: Awesome tasting. Flavors are extremely well balanced, given the complexity of this beer. The bourbon blends into this beer so well, and the sweetness level is superb. This beer just gets better as it warms. All of the aspects listed in the aroma are easily detectable and present in the taste. Really great brew.

M: Smooth with a warming alcohol finish. Moderately low carbonation level.

O: A really delicious beer. Great for splitting a few ways. (696 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.74/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours from the bottle quite a black color, but it does have some concentrated brown notes to it around the edges. A thin brown head disappears pretty quickly. The aroma is dominated by the Bourbon aromatics, but it remains smooth. There is a huge hit of vanillin up front followed by a touch of spicy Bourbon / oak character. You can really smell the dark / roasted malt character here after a bit. I like that this has a toasted malt backbone that supplies a sort of whole grain, well browned / almost burnt bread crust sort of note.

The beer is warm and spicy from both the alcohol as well as the Bourbon / oak notes. The finish is pretty smooth with vanillin notes playing a big role. There is also quite a bit of chocolate flavors here, which mixes quite well with the vanillin notes. There is quite a bit of roasted character from the base beer and it even contributes a touch of acidity to the finish. Overall though the roast character remains fairly smooth. Some more warming alcohol becomes noticeable as the beer warms up. The body of this beer could use a bit more richness; at times it can seem a little on the light side, especially as it warms up.

Not a bad beer, I like that the Bourbon character remains well integrated with the base beer; both contribute just about equally to the flavor profile. In the end though I find this beer lacking in a certain richness that seems to be needed to keep this as a well integrated whole. Not bad, and I certainly wouldn't mind getting another bottle, but not as good as I was hoping either. (1,557 characters)

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Old Rasputin XII from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 367 ratings.