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Old Rasputin XII - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin XIIOld Rasputin XII

Educational use only; do not reuse.

529 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 529
Reviews: 366
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 128
Gots: 141 | FT: 4
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 529 | Reviews: 366 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WeisGuy
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tasted side-by-side with a bottle of Old Rasputin XI.

a - pours nearly black with a huge, milk chocolate colored head, a shade lighter than the XI if you really strain your eyes, good retention and lacing

s - big dark chocolate aromas mixed with bourbon and toasted oak, the bourbon is definitely stronger on the nose in this one than in the XI, decent amount of citrusy hop notes underneath the darkness

t - dark roasted malt and dark chocolate up front with an interesting hop and coffee bitterness coming on the mid-palate, the finish has a substantial bourbon presence, but it's not quite harsh, predictably, the flavors in this are not quite as well-integrated as the XI given the age difference, and the bourbon is a tad hotter, the toasted oak flavors are slightly more muted on this as well

m - medium-bodied, not quite a full-bodied as the XI, a bit higher on carbonation level as well, carbonation is fairly high for a barrel-aged beer, but not in a bad way, big alcohol warming effect on the palate, nicely balanced finish -- not overly dry or sweet

d - definitely a one-bottle in a night beer, the complexity keeps it interesting through the whole bottle though, could use a bit more time in the bottle to smooth out the bourbon

Overall, a very good effort by North Coast. Everyone tasting the two beers agreed that the XI is better at this point, but the XII is not far behind and could certainly be just as good given another year to age. Definitely worth a try, even at $18-20/bottle.

Photo of kirok1999
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as ink with a bit of off white/brown head that fades to just a bit of lace. Smells very complex, cocoa, coffee, vanilla and some bourbon.
Taste is a bit milder than the smell. Same notes just a bit muted. Lingering coffee/cocoa finish makes it a very nice sipper.
Mouth is rich and creamy. Very easy to drink, the finish makes you want another sip.

Photo of jrallen34
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a dark black with dark tan head that raises about a finger and lasts about 30 seconds. Very oily and runny looking with little lacing for a stout.

The aroma is very complex with lots of notes. First off you get lots of vanilla, but it fades to the woody barrels and light notes of alcohol and coffee.

The taste is very light throughout surprising compared to the aroma. There are light notes of coffee with a vanilla finish.

Mouthfeel is light doesn't really laste, but conversely its very drinkable for a stout.

Photo of atsprings
4.77/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle into a Duvel snifter pours a deep opaque black with a nice frothy light tan head that lasts and leaves great lacing on the glass. Aroma is absolutely incredible, a very pungent amount of fresh ground coffee, bakers cocoa, and roasted malts. The taste is a velvety smooth blend of cocoa and coffee with a nice roastiness and just the right amount of oak. The beer is certainly on the heavy side, a sipper to say the least, but with taste that good, you certainly want to savor it. This one certainly is an incredibly special beer, one I would love to have again, especially with some age on it.

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

Bottle XII Pours a sturdy black with a good tan head. The head is frothy and lasting. It produces great lacing. Has a good aroma of bourbon barrels, roastness, alcohol, and some chocolate. Has a good carbonation. A nice alcohol burn which is good but not too much. The flavor is heavy bourbon but good. Well blended, hide the high abv well. Has good malts, and subtle stout tastes. The texture is a little on the dry side. Has a full body. The finish is good and the aftertaste sits nicely on the tastebuds. I was not sure weather or not to pick this one up because of the price but I am real happy I did. Well done

Photo of mikey711
3.93/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one into a snifter.

A: A syrupy black comes straight from the bottle providing a moderate amount of head that is a nice tannish brown. The lacing left behind is excellent.

S: Rich bourbon and vanilla notes along with a touch of wood. Beneath that is a layer of chocolate and espresso. Some alcohol is present as well. I really enjoy the flavors but the vanilla is a bit too much.

T: Oaky wood notes followed by bourbon and vanilla, followed by sweet milk chocolate followed by roasted coffee and caramel. Very nice set of flavors that go very well together.

M: Very creamy and rich full flavors followed by the slightest bit of alcohol heat and chalkiness. The chalkiness in this is actually very pleasant and adds to the overall mouthfeel.

D: Very high. I split a bottle, but could easily enjoy a whole one myself if not two.

Photo of ffejherb
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into tulip on 9/6/09. Thanks to FooFaa for sharing.

A - Poured an oily, pitch black body with half an inch of burnt mocha head that reduced to a thin, patchy veil and rings of lace around the tulip.

S - Where to begin? The initial aroma boasts a complex blend of woody, oaky tannins, coffee bitterness, chocolate and cocoa nibbs, vanilla and bourbon. Malt character is rice-like and candy-esque with some grainy attributes.

T - Bitter chocolate and coffee dominates the initial flavor and is backed by a Rice Krispie malt character. Pretty soon, a hefty dose of oak and bourbon emerges, yet Old Rasputin XII maintains its cool with a blast of vanilla sweetness, which renders the flavor not too warm at all. The oaky, woody characteristics also remain at bay, which allows the chocolate and coffee attributes to shine. This might be what a fudge brownie dipped in a vat of bourbon that's had vanilla beans soaking in it for a few weeks.

M - Full-bodied, thick and oily with a chewy texture and moderate alcohol warmth on the tongue. Mouthfeel is softly carbonated overall. Finishes with earthy hop bitterness and light astringency on the palate.

D - Excellent Anniversary stout from North Coast. I wish they would have had this on tap (or cask) when I visited the brewpub in July. A totally different monster than the standard Rasputin, though every bit as wonderful and complex.

Photo of TexIndy
2.94/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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

Photo of nickd717
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at a BeerAdvocate gathering.

A - Black in color with a nice creamy brown head.

S - Great aroma of coffee, chocolate, roast, bourbon, and vanilla.

T - Flavor is similar to the aroma and very complex with bourbon and oak standing out and mild dark fruit notes. Also your standard coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt profile, which is done well.

M - Smooth, creamy palate that is not quite as full as I'd like, but still good.

D - Pretty good for a bourbon barrel imperial stout.

Photo of zeff80
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of maximum12
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hate the price tag on this bugger, but ultimately, how many top-notch barrel-aged beers to you see on your local store shelves in the Twin Cities? So I gave in. Score one for North Coast.

Black. Smell is what I hope for; the bourbon present & accounted for but muted, mixed in with the roasted maltiness.

This is a winner. Bourbon is riding shotgun but not toting an AK-47. Coffee, vanilla, & oak are hanging around the shop flashing signs, while the alcohol, while not terribly apparent, is felt in the tips of my nose hairs like a good single malt scotch. Latecomers include a strong vanilla crunch.

Rasputin XII is very dry for an RIS, with a medium body that doesn't overload the stomach or senses. Drinkability? Wish they'd sell more than 500 mother...a bigger bottle would be nice. Splitting 500ML with the wife doesn't give me a good sense of being able to pound these over a shot glass with a quarter gripped between thumb & forefinger.

Excellent beer. Wish the price tag weren't so high, we could use some accessible barrel aged beers like this in the Midwest.

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

500ml bottle courtesy of eyebrews. Jack, you are truly the king of kings!

A very dark brown beer with ruby red highlights and a frothy off-white to caramel brown head.

Lost of roasted malts in my nose accompanied by chocolate, vanilla and oakiness.

The taste is an explosion. Chocolate brownie batter, watered down with chocolate milk. There's a good whiskey burn here but doesn't distract from the sweetness. The vanilla is present on the back end. Really nice stuff!

It's a thin RIS, a Cali RIS. It also hides it's near 12% very well as I'm just about kaput with this 500ml and ready for the next 500!

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

PACKAGE: 500 mL corked/caged bottle

AROMA: Substantial chocolate and bourbon with a slight note of roasty sweetness.

APPEARANCE: Pours opaque black with a persistent brown head (about 1/4") and dissipates to a thin brown, frothy film that leaves light lacing with each sip.

FLAVOR: Initial flavor is purely imperial stout - chocolate, coffee, and a light sweetness, but the bourbon takes over quickly and entirely, leaving a very distinct bourbon after.

MOUTHFEEL: A full bodied RIS (as expected) with a moderate carbonation level.

OVERALL: Exactly as advertised and a very enjoyable sipper. What more would one expect when starting with such a phenomenal beer and ending in a bourbon barrel for some complexity. The alcohol dominance was a bit out of balance, but that did not take away from my impression in the least.

Photo of KeefD
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great looking dark brown upon the pour, almost black in the globe glass, two finger creamed coffee head and light lacing. Looks great! Big wafts of cocoa and whiskey, a bit of burnt malt notes, hints of wood. Mmm, mmm... Can't wait for the first sip of this one! Wow, wonderful integration of sweet burnt caramel, chocolate, light coffee, a bit of buttery oak and some vanilla. Wow, just wow. This is just the way I love my RIS's to taste. Bourbon is there, but it's not overwhelming, just the right touch. Mouthfeel is a tad thin and really lets the alcohol heat come through. This was expected as regular Raspy is not necessarily the thickest of stouts, but the flavor more than makes up for it. Low carbonation, silky, but not quite creamy. Overall, this is some great stuff. How to make Old Raspy even better: Age it in bourbon barrels. There was a bit of sticker shock buying this beer, so I'm not sure if I'll buy another to age, but it was definitely worth the $18 for the chance to try it.

Photo of deereless
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A thick brown espresso like head, poured out of the bottle with the viscosity of a warmed maple syrup, lots of sticky patches of foam scattered on the surface of the beer and along the sides of the glass, a true pitch black - 5.00, S: Very obvious signs of the bourbon barrels on the nose, a sweet whisky aroma along with some earthy oak, whiffs of vanilla, strong chocolate malt presence - 4.50, T: Bourbon up front followed by a burnt grain, the vanilla that shows on the nose comes through on the tongue, thick flavors of dark and dried fruits - possibly plums, raisins and dates, dark bitter chocolate, a pleasant grainy sweetness is present from start to finish - 4.50, M: Full bodied and creamy, a touch grainy - 4.25, D: A very enjoyable beer, Old Rasputin is one of my favorites and to put it in bourbon barrels adds a nice layer of complexity - 4.50

Photo of callmemickey
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My second bottle.

A: Dark black body, has some weigh to it in its appearance. Small, dark khaki cap. Some lacing as the head receded to a nice tight ring.

S: Soft roasted malts, creamy chocolate, coffee, caramel, and oak and vanilla from the nice supporting bourbon component.

M: Sublime. Easy transitions between the bourbon and the chocolate/coffee forces. Slightly bitter, slightly boozey, but not hot or overbearing at all. The vanilla and oak run smoothly in the undercurrent.

M: Smooth. Clean finish with hints of booze and bitter chocolate. Medium-full body, but velvety and delicious.

D: Impressive. I first had this the other day when I opened my bottle at the Philly BA tasting.. Cracked it right after the 07-08-09 Dark Lord vertical... I thought it more than held its own.

Photo of kegger22
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I will preface the following statements with: Maybe it was the liquor store that sold this just taking advantage, but I paid $21.99 for a 16.9 oz bottle of this stuff.

Based on the price, Rasputin XII is NOT recommended. Never have I felt so ripped off by a beer! This beer tasted very much like the regular Old Rasputin stout, only with a bourbon aroma and bourbon taste, which did nothing to enhance either. So I will copy my review of Old Rasputin (just add bourbon), and include some comments at the end.

Poured out darkly with a small, tan head that didn't last long (which is OK by me). I only got mild coffee aromas out of it. The taste was nice, strong coffee, but not overpowering. Ranks right up there with Speedway stout, but for different reasons. Heavy, oily feel; great for a stout. Warmed up nicely and I got a nutty chocolate flavor at the end that was worth waiting for. Next time, I'll serve this a bit warmer.

Old Rasputin was better without the 12th anniversary bourbon barrel aging. I would much rather buy a four pack for $8.99 than and over-price 500 ml bottle on 12th anniversary that suffered in comparison.

Photo of caskstrength
3.61/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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.

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

Pours very dark brown with ruby highlights, and a thick creamy tan head.

Aroma is charred dark grain, with plenty of chocolate, along with whiskey and a touch of vanilla oak woodiness.

Taste is big and flavorful. Smokey charred grain, and rich espresso bitterness. Plenty of smooth milk chocolate. Whiskey comes on strong with generous alcohol burn. Finish is initially sweet, oak vanilla with a strong nut character; then turns dry and earthy.

Mouthfeel is medium-full.

Overall a very drinkable brew. Especially considering the high ABV. Great smokey whiskey quality. Woody and earthy. Very tasty.

Photo of bashiba
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a thick dark black/brown with a creamy long lasting dark tan head.

The smell was very strong with a big whiskey, molasses, burnt dark chocolate, and a bit of fennel.

The flavor is huge and complex. Big dark chocolate flavor with hints of vanilla, oak, fennel, and whiskey all coming through. Nice bitter burnt black finish.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a long lasting oily finish.

Very drinkable monster Stout, yummy.

Photo of paco1029384756
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a large light tan head.

Scent of strong oak, roasted malts, molasses, vanilla, chocolate and a touch of alcohol.

Taste of roasted malts, whiskey, chocolate, molasses, and a bit of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit too much carbonation.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Photo of CoolJosh
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generously shared by Sonicdescent. Thanks Justin!

Pours a viscous black body with no translucency. On top sits a nice light kahki brown head which looks nitro poured. Very pleasing to the eyes.

Perfect, but I will elaborate. There is an awesome roasted flavor that shows itself through chocolate and caramel malts. A nice creaminess compliments the roasted robustness perfectly. The bourbon is just right, not overly done yet succulent in flavor. Great oak and vanilla tastes. In the taste, unfortunately the vanilla shows just a little bit too much and provides a slight artificial sweetness. While creamy, the body is relatively light and the taste feels like it's missing something little. Still another great offering from North Coast.

Photo of Plenum
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up two 500ml bottles, after having the regular Old Rasputin, and loving it. The barrel aged version was very good, but not as good as the regular Rasputin (if there's anything regular about that great brew).

Poured black...very black. Little to no lacing, low carbonation. Could definitely taste the barrel coming through on this one...not quite as severely as the KBS, but it was there from start to finish.

Smell was fantastic...expecting and getting nothing less from North Coast.

Taste was good, still favoring the everyday Rasputin. Barrel Aged XII was definitely worth a visit, and I look forward to the next release.

Photo of KCHopHead
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great version of an aged RIS.

A - A vigerous pour will give you a couple fingers of head. Great lacing with the tan head.

S - Wood, alcohol burn, black licorice, tons of roasted malt smell.

T - I was expecting some strong alcohol taste but I thought it was subdued perfectly by the overhaul of roasted malts. It was more balanced than expected.

M/D - Very smooth yet carbonated.

This was a great start to a long night. For $20 I suggest splitting this with one or two friends and savoring every bit tasted.

Old Rasputin XII from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 529 ratings.