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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.

521 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 521
Reviews: 364
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 126
Gots: 139 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 521 | Reviews: 364 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of magictrokini
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.

magictrokini, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of Proteus93
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.

Proteus93, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
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.

MasterSki, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of BarrelO
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.

BarrelO, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of bort11
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

bort11, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of SFLpunk
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500mL brown glass cork-finished bottle. No date.

Appearance: Standard pour into a Maudite tulip yields foam cappuccino-colored head, 1 inch high, similar to the regular OR. Opaque black body.

Nose: Boozy vanilla whiskey with some chocolate-crisp (think chocolate crackers) notes, graham cracker too.

Palate: Round and delicious up front, then whack! comes the bourbon. A little prickle from the whiskey, but it's smooth as silk compared to the regular bottle version of Old Rasputin. This is more like the Nitro-tap version, but with the added loveliness of bouron.

Notes: Love it. Not the absolute best Bourbon-barrel aged stout I've had, but I prefer it to KBS (and I know I'm going to take flak for that)!

SFLpunk, Jul 19, 2009
Photo of ebin6
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Great frothy head upon pouring. Did not require much swirling to keep it either

S - I give it a 4.5 relative to other stouts/imperial stouts. You can smell the bourbon just enough

T - Amazing balance considering its process and the high alcohol level. Has a nice coffee taste with just the right amount of bourbon thrown in (I'm not a bourbon fan)

M - Rolled over my tongue very nicely. Lingers in the mouth for quite a while...finishes with a bourbon taste

D - Did a tasting with this beer the first time I had it and was suspect about drinking larger quantities of it...and was dead wrong. Had the better part of a bottle to myself last weekend and it was delicious start to finish. Very impressive for the type of beer and alcohol level

ebin6, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of illidurit
3.68/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

illidurit, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of rye726
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours near black with tints of stained mahogany. Thick tan head with nice lacing and retention.

Nose has bourbon, oak, vanilla, roasty malts, chocolate, espresso, molasses, figs and toffee.

Taste also has a nice whiskey presence over dark malts, bitter hops, peppery alcohol, coffee, fudge, cocoa, wood and vanilla.

Big creamy body is well carbonated, but finish is a bit thin. Should age very well. I knew Old Raspy had potential, but this was phenomenal.

rye726, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of mikedashg
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a thick black with a large fluffy dark tan/brown head.

S - Bourbon, Rum, Vanilla, Oak

T - Very complex. Chocolate, Coffee, Vanilla, Bourbon, Oak, Roasted Malts, Pretty boozy, but the burbon does not over power like Bourbon County Stout or Voodoo Black Magick.

M - Full body, moderate carbonation

D - Quite a sipper. Share bottle if you can. Actually reminds me of barrel aged speedway stout.

By the way. For the love of the flying spaghetti monster, b sure to let this one warm up. 55-60 degreas is good. Don't finish this one until it's serv temp. Not fridge temp. The right temp on this
one and it really shines.

mikedashg, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of jdklks
4.68/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- thick, black, chocolate-brown head. beautiful.

S- wow, smells great. smells a lot like bourbon county stout. chocolate, coffee, and bourbon dominate.

T- DAMN. the bourbon barrel aging is fantastic. chocolate and bourbon all the way through. a roasted coffee flavor in the finish, and strong hints of vanilla and molasses. a very complex and very intensely flavorful beer.

M- SILKY smooth, but much, much too light.

D- outstanding for such a big beer. RELATIVELY SPEAKING (i.e., in terms of imperial stouts) the drinkability is through the roof. you keep reaching for a sip, even after you know its gone.

this beer is simply fantastic. outstanding all around. highly recommended, definitely worth the price tag.

jdklks, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to see this on Anchorage bottle shop shelves.

Pours pitch ass black, impenetrable to light. A big tan head rises up and lingers very well leaving spectacular lacing.

Nose is full of roasted malt, some chocolate and an ok coffee presence. The bourbon isn't too terribly apparent, but it is recognizeable in the nose. Chocolate becomes more dominant as it warms, as does the bourbon. Some vanilla and oak tannins make their way out as well.

Taste is pretty damn delicious. The bourbon comes out alot more in the taste than it did in the nose. Great roasted malt and vanilla flavors. The oak comes out pretty strong, as do some chocolate flavors. Finish is actually not that hot. There is some heat, but way less than expected.

Mouthfeel is right about where should be. Its a little bit slick, but other than that pretty much ideal.

Drinkability is ok, but distinctively good for an imperial of the bourbon aged variety. Quite nice. The abv hides pretty well.

Overall a very nice beer, and a great take on a classic brew from north coast. Despite the insane pricetag, this is a very nice beer. I like how the bourbon aging is relatively moderate, not too subtle, yet not too aggressive, well done. A fine beer, and definitely one worth trying and putting some age on, but the pricetag is pretty intimidating at just under $20.

AKBelgianBeast, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of HopHead84
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Checkii! Appears the color of dark chocolate, with a creamy one inch light brown head. The retention and lacing are both great.

The aroma is of dark chocolate with notes of oak and tannins. Some vanilla is present, but it's at a low level. Lots of bourbon is apparent in the aroma, which is awesome. I get some light coffee notes and roast. Great aroma, just like the XI.

The flavor is initially of roasted malt with light coffee notes. Notes of oak, vanilla, and tannins are present, and then the bourbon heat kicks in. It's actually not as hot as I remembered the XI to be when it was released, but that's probably just a trick of harlequin light since it's essentially the same beer. I really do enjoy the alcohol heat in this beer though. It's not overwhelming and it adds a nice kick. I haven't aged one long enough to see what the beer is like when it loses that, but I'm interested.

XII is full bodied with medium carbonation and a creamy, smooth mouthfeel. What is going on with the price?

HopHead84, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of alovesupreme
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Portsmith Snifter that I broke later tonight.
A great looking pitch black beer with reddish brown penetrating the shallow portions of the glass. A brown head sits atop the beauty with more retention than I would expect from a bourbon aged beer.
Molasses, Raison, Bourbon and coffee ice cream.
The Bourbon really adds some complexity to this beer. Vanilla, and chocolate covered raisons with a bourbon background. Slight Molasses presence adds a slight sweetness, and a hint of mocha round out the finish with a little roasted bitterness.
A little thin but this is compared to big beers such as, Darklord, Darkness and Oaked yeti. Good carbonation.
A fantastic beer that I would love to enjoy more often. I will be seeking out Vintages such as X and XI as well as whatever I can get my hands on in the future.

alovesupreme, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of inflatablechair
4.63/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is a stout that's not quite pitch black - you can tell just by watching it pour that the barrel aging has thinned it a bit. A nice head develops and sticks quite well to my Unibroue tulip.

Smell is a little faint; not as in-your-face as I was expecting. There's definitely some vanilla and bourbon, as well as alcohol. Chocolate as well, but not much roast.

Taste is awesome. Incredibly complex, with chocolate, vanilla, and even a little bit of hops, whose bitterness gives an impression of coffee. Right at the finish, there's the perfect amount of roasty bite that balances any impression of sweetness I had at the beginning of the sip. Truly a great beer.

Mouthfeel could be thicker, but this is a minor complaint based solely on personal preference. Not so thin as to detract from the overall experience.

Compared to the X and the XI, I think it has less bourbon flavor, but I'm not sure. My last memory of the XI is pretty foggy since we had quite a few awesome beers that night. The last bourbon stout I had was Goose Island's Bourbon County stout, and the XII is much better. It has more roast in the finish, less sweetness, and a little less vanilla. Beautifully balanced, and actually quite drinkable. By the end of the bottle, I was looking for the alcohol and couldn't find it (although it's quite apparent in the beginning).

I wouldn't hesitate to pay upwards of $20 for this beer. Thankfully, I didn't have to pay that much, but really, I think it's complex and enjoyable enough to justify the hefty price tag.

inflatablechair, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A--Pitch black with a nice finger of dark brown head in my 25 oz. snifter

S--The whiskey is relegated to the background, with chocolate, wood, and bright floral hops dominating the nose. Some caramel and vanilla also present.

T--The wood comes through in full force upon first sip, overpowering the complexity that lies beneath. Might be a little too cold, I hope this opens up a little more as it warms. This beer is huge on flavor. A bit of marshmallow, cocoa, and hops peek through. This is damn good but probably needs some age to mellow out and reach it's full potential.

M--Slightly on the full side of medium bodied, on par with many imperial stouts but not on par with the big boys

D--Very enjoyable, but the wood is a bit harsh. Aging will definitely help this one out.

alcstradamus, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of clvand0
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown with a tall head that hangs around and leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is superb - the dark chocolate malt notes that I'm used to from the standard Rasputin, but it also has this underlying bourbon sweetness in the background. The flavor is much the same as the aroma. Lots of chocolate and nutty notes along with a touch of coffee, but everything has a nice hint of bourbon that follows - not too much, but just enough to know it's there. There is also a woodiness in there from barrel aging. Alcohol is definitely there, but doesn't detract. The mouthfeel isn't super thick, as would be expected, but it's on the heavy end of medium. The drinkability is pretty good, but it would take me some time to finish a bottle alone.

clvand0, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of OlieIPA
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed with my girlfriend, another avid beer drinker, on a cool summer evening.

A: Didn't pour completely black, but settled down nice and dark like in my brandy snifter. A beautiful 1.5 inch head also prevailed, with lacing that filled up the entire glass. Absolutely amazing!

S: The aroma is a delicate and complex mix of vanilla, anise, toffee, caramel, butter cream, and cocoa that is rounded off with a touch of bourbon. Also seems to exhibit some alcoholic qualities as well.

T: The first thing I noticed was a very robust dark chocolate and molasses like quality followed by vanilla, caramel, and burnt coffee notes. Again, the bourbon is very mild and doesn't seem to mask the excess amount of flavors found within this beer. On the other hand, the alcohol bite is quite strong and cellaring this beer for a year or two might help reduce this unwanted presence.

M: Thinner then what I expected...and kind of watered down the flavor profile a bit too much; carbonation was perfect despite this fact.

D: Even though this brew is a bit hot...you can tell within the first couple sips that this is a quality brew.

Overall: Absolutely loved it! Did a great job of not only enhancing the regular Old Rasputin...but also provided me with the same flavor profile that has given this beer so much fame. Cheers!

OlieIPA, Jul 04, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

GRG1313, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of Overlord
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a big, tightly bubbled brown head. Really great looking beer, and a fantastic head for the ABV.

Smells like bourbon, vanilla, some milk chocolate, and a bit of espresso-ish coffee. I let the beer warm up, but the aroma didn't really develop as much as I wanted.

The taste is much more complex and robust than the smell. The chocolate turns out to be more dark than milk, although there is an almost maple syrup brown sugar/molasses character that sweetens it up. The bourbon really makes an appearance, and brings with it some vanilla. There's an earthy ... almost .... pine-y/hoppy??? ... bitter aftertaste to it. Maybe that's coffee. Not sure.

Very good mouthfeel, though the beer ended up being a bit lighter than I expected.

In any event, a good beer, but too effing expensive. I have reached my limit.

As I understand it, Rasputin XII is exactly the same as Rasputin XI (with, of course, the minor variations from batch to batch that can be expected of all brews) and Rasputin X. This is annoying. Why are they renaming the beer if it's the same brew, just a different batch? I guess I'll input my review three times.

Overlord, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of Tdizzle
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500mL corked and caged bottle purchased at Hi-Time. Poured into a Dogfish Head snifter.

A- This beer pours black as night with a dense head of brown foam that takes its sweet time settling down to a thin layer. This patchy cap sticks around 'till the very end. Each sip yields some spatters of lacing on the glass.

S- Aromas of chocolate, cocoa powder, deep-roasted barley, nutty coffee, anise, and woody notes of charred oak barrel accented by a touch of bourbon. The high alcohol content is very evident.

T- Robust flavors of dark chocolate and roasted coffee bitterness with a sweet middle that's quickly whacked over the head by a big alcohol presence. The hot, boozy finish is accompanied by notes of bourbon.

M- A full-bodied, silky-smooth mouthfeel with gentle carbonation bubbles that feel perfect for this beer.

D- Overall, this is a fantastic beer, but it doesn't hide its 11.2% ABV very well. This could greatly benefit from a year or two in the cellar.

Tdizzle, Jun 28, 2009
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Old Rasputin XII from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 521 ratings.