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Old Rasputin XII - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin XIIOld Rasputin XII

Educational use only; do not reuse.

530 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 530
Reviews: 366
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 128
Gots: 141 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 530 | Reviews: 366
Photo of dukedevil0
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of Grabbin2nd
4.83/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Photo of johntangus
4.82/5  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.

Photo of Slatetank
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of Nickls
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of schinebd
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of LibraryTom
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


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!

Photo of popery
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.16/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Photo of magictrokini
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of Proteus93
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of MasterSki
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of BarrelO
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of bort11
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
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

Photo of SFLpunk
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
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)!

Photo of ebin6
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
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

Photo of illidurit
3.7/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

Photo of rye726
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of mikedashg
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of jdklks
4.7/5  rDev +9%
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.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
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?

Photo of alovesupreme
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of inflatablechair
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.05/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Old Rasputin XII from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 530 ratings.