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Old Rasputin XII - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin XIIOld Rasputin XII

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

516 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 516
Reviews: 363
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 126
Gots: 138 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Tdizzle on 06-28-2009)
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Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

2.98/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2009 15:55:38 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of WYVYRN527
WYVYRN527

Minnesota

4.68/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I never thought This brew would come to my neck of the woods. I'm really glad I received a case at work. This elixer pours black as a moonless night, with a thin sand colored head that doesn't seem to go away. The wood is definitely present on the nose, with hints of chocolate, vanilla, and toffee. There is also a slight fruity note as well. The flavors of this beer are incredible! Sweet, with a strong charred oak presence, caramel, vanilla, and coconut. It's gorgeous finish consists of espresso and chocolate. For how intense the flavors are, I was suprised this offering didn't have more body. Overall, this is one of the best oak aged beers I have ever had. Thanks, Brad!

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2009 01:27:18 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of snaotheus
snaotheus

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a pair of huge snifters

It looks like black wax from arm's length. Little head that clings to the side of the glass, so there's a little slimy (but attractive) lacing. Smells chocolatey, more chocolate than I've ever smelled in a beer before. Smoke is evident behind the chocolate.

Taste is surprisingly sweet -- chocolate and bourbon, smoke and sweetness -- very nice.

Mouthfeel is light for such a heavy beer. Really very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2009 01:17:17 | More by snaotheus
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Naja's in Redondo Beach, CA.

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head sticks around for a while before receding into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, bourbon, vanilla, and dark chocolate, in that order. The bourbon doesn't overtake the aroma, instead giving the others plenty of room to breath.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The vanilla flavor is a bit more intense than the smell would have led me to believe, however it still melds nicely with roasted malt and bourbon flavors. Midway through the sip unsweetened chocolate flavors come out before a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It has a silky thickness with light carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I split the bottle but could have taken care of the whole thing myself.

Overall, the bourbon flavors don't overpower everything else as in other BBA stouts (not that I don't like the ones that do) and it makes for easy drinking. Worth a shot, and I wish I'd picked up more bottles when I saw them.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2009 21:12:16 | More by glid02
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
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?

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2009 21:26:02 | More by oberon
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml corked and caged bottle. Big thanks to MasterSki for bringing this one over!

Pours an dark and opaque black, medium sized brown head forms, settles down to a thick ring around the glass, few lace spots, looks nice. Smell is intense, very raw and woody, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and toffee, nice roast, lightly fruity, more vanilla, brown sugar, almost orange/citrus character from the barrel. Taste is rich too, tons of oak, vanilla, coconut, chocolate, light roast, caramel, big raisin, bourbon, dark fruit, real intense flavours, nice ashy bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Still not as good as the X but right on par with the XI. Very intense barrel character I definitely dig. Thanks for this one Alex!

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2009 19:52:36 | More by Viggo
Photo of bobsy
bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2009 15:17:35 | More by bobsy
Photo of ritzkiss
ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared a bottle with a couple guys courtesy of MasterSki - thanks for bringing this gem! Pours a jet black with a nice medium dark chocolate/cappuccino head which leaves a touch of lacing.

Nose is initially some oak/woodiness then a solid dose of bourbon, some roasted malts, a nice sweetness.

This beer is far smoother and even then I expected, easier to drink and less voluminous than many of the other big stouts. Smooth chocolate mixes with lush bourbon notes, sweet body with just a hint of alcohol warming in the finish. Oak, hints of dark fruits, light roasting malts.

This beer is ridiculously smooth and drinkable for the high ABV and being a barrel aged stout. A little over-priced so I can't imagine I'll be having this one again in the near future but if I ran across it I would probably have to splurge and buy it - it's that good.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2009 14:40:20 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of tjsprague
tjsprague

California

4.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa. This beer is big and powerful.

The beer pours out about the color of motor oil with a one inch cappuccino colored head. This is a dark dark stout.

The beer smells strongly of bourbon with a fruity alcohol flavor much like a port.

The taste is incredibly well balanced. Although the abv is high the alcohol is not over the top. The bourbon taste is very present but excellent and matches very well with the flavor of the stout. An incredible mixture.

The mouthfeel is wonderful. One of my big complaints about most stouts is they are too thin. This beer is very thick and rich. A velvety texture that is rich and thick.

As for drinkability, this is not a beer you are going to have a 6 pack of in an evening, but it is very enjoyable. I have never been so pleased with a beer purchase, it was pricey but totally worth it. For the ABV it is incredible how easy this beer is to drink and enjoy. I never wanted it to end.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2009 05:43:31 | More by tjsprague
Photo of Jmoore50
Jmoore50

Nevada

4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The appearance of this beer is beautiful. It pours a dark black color that produces a very nice two finger head. It was poured into a red wine glass. The head was a dark brown with no lacing, obviously because of the alcohol. No light penetration, but it looks light, a medium body. This disappoints me because I was hoping to have a spoon stand up straight in it. Nice thick alcoholic residue slathers the sides of my glass, we can thank the bourbon for that.

The smell is intense. A bourbon alcohol smell is my first impression, followed by a heavy bread brought on by the malt. Heavy swarms of cocoa also flood the nostrils, this is great because it accompanies the bourbon very well.

The taste is great, but not as complex as hoped for. This was built up for me personally, and it does not meet expectations. This is the sequence of events that accompany a taste. Served warm, bringing forth the ingredients in their strongest character. I get chocolate malt hints first, then once the brew is swallowed come a rush of tastes. The bourbon is evident, the alcohol tinge is not. The ABV is very well covered. A sweetness from the combination of chocolate and bourbon is great. An earthy malted barley flavor is also a lingering taste. I am going to let it warm just a bit more.
I am now noticing that it is overly carbonated, which gives me much hope because after aging it will taste even better. The bourbon characteristic is now the most dominating. I can also taste hints of the oak. Also the malt taste has gotten stronger and the chocolate has faded.

The mouthfeel is the worst thing about this beer. According to the out dated website it has 75 IBU's. The tip of the tongue is effected as well as the bitterness rear of the palate. The tip is no doubtingly tasting the chocolate characteristic that makes this brew so enjoyable. Also picks up sugars from the bourbon. It is smooth, but since the body is so light it does not effect the palate as much. I love palate numbing bombs that leave my tongue numb, it is smooth, which is good but nothing exceptional. The bourbon also leaves a warm feeling all over.

I do have to say this might be the most drinkable RIS I have ever had. I am having a hard time letting it sit and warm. This is a double edged sword in many ways. It is good that it is drinkable because it is obvious that I like it, which I do. It is also great because you drink and drink and then you are sad because it is all gone. The drinkability is bad because it is not very complex to where I want to let it sit in my mouth and study it, there is not that much to study. It tastes good, and in my opinion as a beer is a session RIS. I could EASILY drink two or three of these in a sitting. I do not know if that is the greatest thing in the world to have, especially for this style.

The last category I am adding is price. This beer is incredibly overpriced. There is no way I will buy another one right now to drink. I am going to keep one to age for at LEAST a year and let the carbonation fade. This is an absolutely ridiculous price to pay for 500 ML. If this were around twelve dollars, I could buy six to age, but not at eighteen dollars. I think you are paying for the hype, the fancy bottle, and space it took to brew this. This is not worth it's weight.

My overall opinion is great. It is a very very good beer. Disappointed? Yes. I do highly recommend it to everyone who likes this style.

J

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2009 04:59:21 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of jgap
jgap

California

4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow... I mean wow!

Pours black with a thick mocha head that fades to a nice lace. Smell is bourbon with lots of sweet malt, coffee and dark fruits. Taste is smooth and simple incredible. This is an exceptional brew! It's deep, ripe fruit. Dark and sweet. I can't place the fruit but it's sweet and very tasty! This fades to a solid malt backbone, fading to some coffee then quickly a very well blended transition to bourbon. It's amazingly smooth making it extremely drinkable. This is an incredible brew! Just... Wow!

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 04:29:16 | More by jgap
Photo of dukedevil0
dukedevil0

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple of these 500mL bottles from Binny's Lakeview in Chicago, IL.

A: Pours a super dark black with chocolate mocha colored head that laces on the way down.

S: Smells super chocolatey, bourbony, vanilla, and definitely the traditional oak aged scents, much less so but also roasted malts and coffee

T: Tastes just like the smell - really chocolatey, vanilla, the usual oak aged flavors, little more roasted malts come out, a slight amount of bourbon, coffee

M: Lots of bite from the carbonation, creamy and full bodied that really coats the palate well, but not perfectly

D: The flavor is really good, there is a little alcohol flavor from the bourbon, and this is a big beer, but it's something you still long to drink more of, that's for sure.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 01:56:50 | More by dukedevil0
Photo of Grabbin2nd
Grabbin2nd

California

4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From Notes: 7/16/09
North Coast Brewing Co.
Old Rasputin XII 2009
Russian Imperial Stout
11.2% Abv.
500ml Caged and Corked bottle into NB Snifter

Could not wait for this beer. Now I have it... Let's get it on!

Appearance= Fat 4 finger tan head on a regular pour. Body is a deep, dark, opauqe black. Head drops down to a solid 2 finger cake that rests on top of the body. Excellent webs of lace on the glass. Perfect!

Smell= Smell is excellent. Bourbon, dark fruit, choco and coffee. Really, really nice.

Taste= A little hot. See smell description for what I'm tasting. CANNOT put this beer down to let it warm up. Super Tasty!

Mouthfeel= Nice Mouthfeel. A little thin due to the barrell aging perhaps. I dig it.

Drinkability= I CANNOT put this beer down. It's a little boozy, but I simply can't stop drinking it. A serious heavy hitter. I can't wait to lay the rest of these down and see what this beer becomes!

To all you haters that passed it up because of the price, sucks for you.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2009 21:19:38 | More by Grabbin2nd
Photo of johntangus
johntangus

South Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from memory (bear with me)

Poured from bottle into snifter at Cape Fear Wine & Beer.

A gorgeous silky black with dark tan head that laced nicely. No light could enter or escape its darkness.

The smell was of delicious bourbon and chocolate.

The taste was outstanding. Roasty, toasty chocolate with very little alcohol burn. For the ABV, it hid it well. A real sipper, this beer was so satisfying that i would probably be happy drinking this beer forever.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2009 18:33:36 | More by johntangus
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2009 16:45:35 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Nickls
Nickls

District of Columbia

4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Poured with a thinner lightly tan head; nearly black color that verges on really dark brown at points; ruby highlights around

S - Bourbony; vanilla; rich roasted malt; only slightly detectable alcohol. Really appealing here

T - Roasted maltiness comes through first; hint of vanilla; bit of bittersweet chocolate; woodiness and bourbon, but the bourbon characteristics were very subdued from what was suggested in the aroma.

M - Medium, and not as thick as some others; prickly carbonation

D - Nice drinking here, warming, interesting, and tasty. ABV was well-hidden in this one as well.

Overall, a really great brew. My only minor complaint is that I would have like the bourbon to shine a bit more as some others in the style deliver upon this a bit better. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2009 01:55:10 | More by Nickls
Photo of schinebd
schinebd

Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pitch black with a nice tan head that slowly dissipates and disappears, leaving a nice coating on the side of the glass along the way.

Smell - The bourbon is kind of hard to get past in the aroma, but I bought this beer because I love BBA beers, so this is a good thing.

Taste - Absolutely amazing. The bourbon is much more understated than the smell and is balanced quite well by chocolate roasted malts, which linger on the tongue in the finish. Every sector of the tongue is activated and excited by this beer. Usually beers of this style aren't this well balanced, often thrown by excessive sweet bourbon flavors.

Mouthfeel - I always think of the original Old Rasputin as one of the thickest, heaviest beers of its style. For some reason, this beer does not have the same thickness. The beer's mouthfeel just does not match its flavor bomb.

Drinkability - Very flavorful, and definitely a slow drinker. Also, I like the idea of the price of a beer being a deterrent to drinkability for numerous reasons, and at $21 a bottle, I'll tick this beer a down bit.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2009 01:29:57 | More by schinebd
Photo of LibraryTom
LibraryTom

California

4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reedonkulous.

Beer should not even be allowed to be this delicious. As if Old Rasputin is not creamy and buttery enough..

Milk Chocolate covered vanilla bean with an injection of smooth bourbon. And thats just for starters!

This beer pours out rich and creamy, with a full murky brown head that lingers throughout the beer. The smell is leaping out of the glass just from pouring it, you don't even have to be that close. The first sip is just mind blowing. I thought I knew about beer, and then I had this one. Smooth and integrated with a roundness that permeates. Only a slightly sharp edge from the bourbon that sticks through. The character of the beer moves along and changes from milk chocolate, vanilla, espresso, bourbon and back again seemlessly. And the finish, well, I am still not even sure there is a finish because this beer just goes on forever!

Worth every penny!

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2009 15:51:00 | More by LibraryTom
Photo of popery
popery

California

4.63/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big, delicious, bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout. In my pinion, normal Old Rasputin is an extremely likable Imperial Stout with an excellent and complex flavor profile. This barrel-aged version is a a bigger, smoothed out version of the original with an excellent bourbon flavor. It pours opaquely black with a great sticky mocha-colored head that leaves excellent lacing. The aroma is mostly bourbon with less roasted malt stout character than in normal Old Rasputin, but it's still very nice. The flavor is just incredible. It's one of the best bourbon barrel stouts that I've tasted thus far. The bourbon flavor complements the chocolate and coffee notes of the roasted malt in the stout. It's not the strongest bourbon flavor I've ever encountered, but it works extremely well with the flavors of the underlying stout. It's a big, strong sipper. Port's wonderful Older Viscosity is the only other beer that comes to mind as a good point of comparison.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2009 05:18:32 | More by popery
Photo of CrellMoset
CrellMoset

Virginia

4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

500 mL corked and caged bottle from Southbay Drugs. I ordered this one and shipped it - literally - all the way across the country to Virginia before I found out that it was going to be far more widely distributed than the two previous batches. Shame, though I was happy to support SBD, and I guess this means I can grab a few more from my local providers to cellar. Poured into a 22 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark, inky, jet black into the oversized snifter, capped by a uniformly creamy, solid, marshmallow-esque head, a good one-finger high at first ... and at second ... and at third. It shows no signs of abating, really, a full five minutes in to the pour. Carbonation is visible around the rim of the glass, incredibly fine and relatively slow. Still no sign of the head abating. The lacing is spotty, streaky, erratic, like spiderwebs climbing and clinging and creeping up the curvature of the snifter. The lacing - in conjunction with the amazing consistency of the amazingly fluffy, light, pillowy head - is really what pushes it up to a 5.0. Just a gorgeous looking brew.

Aroma: Very light, high in the nose - particularly before it warms to room temperature - and later on just very complete, rounded, not too dry, but with a faint toasted sweetness, with hints of cocoa, coconut, toffee, and, well, obviously, bourbon.

Taste: Bourbon-dominated, ashy, wooden Old Rasputin, surprisingly enough. The bourbon is prominent, spicy, earthy, not "hot" as much as it is prickly. The backing beer is not terribly well-integrated, but does a decent job of withstanding the assault - sweet cocoa, bittersweet in places, with a faint, earthy coffee presence, a slew of slightly astringent, heavily toasted malts that meld well with the woody earthiness of the oat, and a few hints of dark fruits. The barrel notes don't emerge until this one warms considerably and the esters begin to evaporate more rapidly - vanillin, some caramel toastiness, a toasty ashy quality that is enhanced by the only thing about the mouthfeel of this beer that isn't "smooth" (the faintly powdery quality in the background), and

Mouthfeel: So this one time, I thought I was drinking a milkshake. Then, I realized that I was drinking North Coast's Old Rasputin XII. Very subtly carbonated, this one's probably about the creaminest, most luscious, smoothest, and most even brew I've ever partaken in. Absolutely phenomenal.

Drinkability: After the initial bourbon onslaught shock wears off - and, as an aside, perhaps that's just me, as I'm less accustomed to drinking bourbon than perhaps many are - this one goes down incredibly well. It's not too sweet, not too dry, not too intense, not too mellow. At 11.2%, it's not anyone's idea of an easy-going, refreshing brew, but, again, once the bourbon attack fades, the 11.2% is a little harder to detect than you would imagine it would be.

I'm sure letting this one settle for a while would probably do it a little bit of good. It's not hot or in your face, but if the bourbon had a little bit of time to meld, integrate, blend, I'm sure that what makes the regular ol' Old Rasputin a great beer would be allowed to really shine through here. Though at $23-$24/bottle, it's gonna be a steep bill to foot if I want to cellar a few of these babies.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2009 05:31:44 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a thick pillow of brown foam that just doesn't go away. Laced the top portion of the goblet. Vanilla, oak, and of course, bourbon in the nose; all very sweet. Dark chocolate and roasted coffee compliments it well. Velvety mouthfeel (as it warmed) that hangs low and settles nicely. Long finish. Bourbon and oak hit you first, but not as sour as some other bourbon-aged brews. Followed nicely by a sweet vanilla cream. This meshes well with the combination of bitter dark chocolate and milk chocolate flavors. Teh bitterness ramps up towards the back. Coffee, tannins, and smoke really pop and stay with you. Good alcohol warmth that is masked until about 1/3 is left in the bottle. Kind of cognac and more bourbon at that point, but still complimentary instead of the primary taste. Awesome beer worth every penny.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2009 22:56:41 | More by magictrokini
Photo of Proteus93
Proteus93

Virginia

4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I haven't had previous vintages of this beer, so there's nothing to really compare against other than the standard Old Rasputin.

A: Oily black, with a soft and creamy head, closer to a deep tan than it is to a brown, really. Its quite nice, sparkles well on above the beer. Retains well, and leaves a good amount of sticky lace behind as a souvenir.

S: Vanilla is the aroma that greets my nose, with a woodiness and roasted malt following, along with a touch of maple. It smells wonderful, and improves with just minutes to breathe - more woodiness comes out, with a lighter 'chocolate and coffee' emphasis as compared to many.

T: A bitterness over the palate, along with a deep roasted / burnt malt flavour. There's a smokiness to it that adds some nice character. Unsweetened chocolate, paired with the smooth vanilla and wood flavours, and a boozy heat on the finish.

M + D: Full bodied, though not as massive and thick as some of the huge ones out there. It feels great all the way down... not too hefty, smooth, a little shimmer of carbonation. The stars all line up well for it or something. It doesn't really go out of the way to reaffirm people that this is not a session-pub kind of brew. Good stuff, but the price may not agree with the product, unfortunately.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2009 04:05:42 | More by Proteus93
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MasterSki

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2009 01:19:56 | More by MasterSki
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BarrelO

Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a goblet.

A: Quite black. Somewhat modest head with a lot of lacing.

S: A whole lot going on here. Chocolate, a bit of roastiness, molasses, licorice, and bourbon.

T: The robust hops from regular Old Rasputin have been most excellently smoothed out by the barrel aging. In return, the chocolate notes have been amplified about tenfold. Also a ton of alcohol heat. Think of it as liquid fudge that sets your throat on fire.

M: The barrel aging seems to have thinned it out a bit. Still plenty of body, though.

D: This is a very very good beer. Great, even. But is it really ten times as good as regular Old Rasputin (which is how it's priced as)? Absolutely not. I'm still glad I tried it, though, and if you like bourbon barrel stouts, this should be near the top of your list. You might want to let it sit for a while to let the bourbon heat smooth out, though.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2009 01:54:56 | More by BarrelO
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bort11

Missouri

4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is the first time the Anniversary Edition has been available in the KC area. My local store only got one case in. I only grabbed one bottle, so as not to be greedy, but if there's more the next time I'm in I'm sure as hell grabbing another one.

500 ml corked and caged bottle. Poured into a pub glass. Tall mocha tan head, thick and sticks to the glass. As I take sips, lacing paints the walls of the glass. Color is a dark black with black ruby highlights when held to the light.

Smell is multi-layered. Initially there is coconut, then grooves into the bourbon and charred oak. Finally the base Old Raspy emerges, dark bitter chocolate and espresso. Taste is equally multi-layered and shifts through the same spectrum smell moves in. It's a little more boozy in the taste, but it is so well blended in that it's a part of the whole instead of a separate experience.

I think aging may have thinned out the body from a standard Raspy, but the overall flavor expands and is filling. I would love to get another one to age, and I hope I get a chance. If you like RIS, you must seek this out.

Blipped "Never Say Die" by Black Sabbath

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 04:58:58 | More by bort11
Old Rasputin XII from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 516 ratings.