Old Rasputin XI
North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin XIOld Rasputin XI
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Stout - Russian Imperial
4.31 | pDev: 10.44%
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Old Rasputin XIOld Rasputin XI
Notes: This brew is to commemorate 11 years of brewing Old Rasputin. This is Old Rasputin aged in 12 year-old oak bourbon barrels for nine months.
Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 221 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by jwc215:
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jwc215 from Arizona

4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JWD for this gem!

500 ml cage-corked bottle:

Pours black with a rich light-brown head. Incredible retention with very nice lacing.

The smell is of a wonderful bourbon that is prominent, yet allows chocolate and coffee to come through, adding depth, complexity and a wonderful aroma.

The taste is of vanilla/bourbon with chocolate and coffee. A great bourbon taste that pushes the vanilla, but doesn't completely mask the solid stout character. Sweet, but finishes dry.

The feel is rich, creamy and smooth.

It's strong, but very drinkable. A bourbon-barreled aged lover's "must"!

Mar 31, 2009
More User Reviews:
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drabmuh from Maryland

3.98/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared at a recent tasting. Beer is thick and black with small brown bubbles that try to form a head but ultimately fail in that task. Carbonation is moderate to low. Lacing is a plus.

Aroma is strongy bourbonized. Some much bourbon in beers these days, does anyone drink bourbon in any other form? Pretty roasty and sweet as well.

Beer is medium to full bodied and quite strong, still hot from the alcohol on the front end but really sweet overall. There is some nice bitterness on the back end. The beer lingers in your mouth for a whlie after and has a slight aftertaste. Overall its OK, not as good as I had hoped.

Jun 04, 2010
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jh1982 from Nevada

5/5  rDev +16%

Nov 19, 2011
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azdback from Arizona

4.82/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into on tulip glass. As absent of light, as the dark reaches of the universe, with a frothy, cafe latte colored head. The lace is laying down in a solid sheet. Beautiful beer.

The nose is bourbon barrel aged booziness. Roasty undertones, but even the undertones are soaked in bourbon. After a big nose full, I felt the strong urge to sit back in my recliner, and light a big cigar, just as my grand father would after dinner, in his study, with his snifter of single malt scotch.

Mmmm!!! This is phenomenal!! Vanilla covered coffee hard candy, dripping with bourbon. Slight tartness as it warms. A very pleasant alcohol warming of the throat.

The mouthfeel is spot on, but perhaps not quite as huge as it could be. I think something like the Abyss is the bench mark that I would use to score a 5 on mouthfeel for this style.

Overall, this is a fantastic Russian Imperial Stout. Thanks to BaltimoreBeerGuy for this rare treat. I hope all the RIS beers I have traded for recently are as good as this one.

Apr 13, 2011
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route66pubs from California

4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Verdugo.

A - poured a deep, dark black with a big foamy tan head, with lots of air pockets in the head, and a long-lasting lace.

S - bourbon aroma immediately, with hints of chocolate as well. Very aromatically forward, this beer does not leave anything to the imagination from the get-go.

T - Aroma led to heavy bourbon taste immediately, followed by the subtle sweetness of chocolate and perhaps some oak or vanilla hints as well. The bourbon comes back strong at the back of the mouth which leads to ...

M - ... a slight burning around the back of the mouth and down the throat. Seemingly a little high in carbonation for the style, but incredibly perfect nonetheless, I almost wanted to savor this one in the mouth for awhile. Until the burning reminded me it was time to let the rest of my body enjoy it.

D - Surprisingly, despite its wonderfulness, I can't rate this too highly on drinkability. Sure, it's still a 4, but a 4.5 or 5 rating would have come without so much alcohol heat. This one, to me, needs to sit for at least a year or so to mellow and even out.

This is an incredibly wonderful brew, with intense and wonderful aromas and flavors. Receives high marks in the barrel aged imperial stout category from me all around, and I'm anxious to put one of these down for the future! (Thanks to Ryan and the Verdugo guys for getting this for us all to enjoy!)

Apr 25, 2009
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a really dark brown with a massive tan cap that retains beautifully and leaves squiggles of lace all around the chalice

Smell: No mistaking the barrel here, as there is plenty of bourbon, alcohol and vanilla mixed in with the underlying dark chocolate and coffee aromas

Taste: A nice dark chocolate flavor presents itself before being joined, mid-palate, by the boozy bourbon; subtle hints of vanilla make an appearance before the swallow; bold and brassy as the warming fluid makes its way down the gullet, with a bourbon and chocolate finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A real achievement and it would be interesting, if I had another bottle, to see how this matures - Oh well

Apr 25, 2009
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Viggo from Canada (ON)

4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, big thanks to googzoid10 for sending my way!

Pours a very cloudy and opaque dark brown, some dark red in the corners, thick brown head forms, nice lacing all over the glass, settles to a thick layer and ring, great retention. Smell is heavy on the bourbon, vanilla, alcohol, caramel, chocolate and roast, very heavy oak, raisins, very intense and spicy bourbon, very overpowering but in a good way. Taste is amazing, very rich and bourbony, creme brulee, tons of vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, chocolate, light roast, nuts, some alcohol, more vanilla and bourbon, sharp finish but pretty awesome. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, medium carbonation, a bit sharp and acidic, very oaky and lightly astringent. The barrel is a little too strong for the beer, but I still think it works pretty damn well. Great stuff, but think I liked Old Rasputin X better. Thanks Greg!

Feb 28, 2009
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GClarkage from California

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

06/07/09- Donated by RKhaze to a recent tasting.

Presentation- 500ml bottle, caged and corked. Not sure of the issue date, but think it's a 2008 edition. Poured into my Orval chalice.

Appearance- Deep black in color. Nice creamy and large one inch plus head. Leaves some quality lace markings.

Smell- Barrel scents, coffee, dark bittersweet chocolate and mid roasted malts.

Taste- Nice and hoppy, but then again my taste bud may have been ruined by this time. Lots of bitter dark chocolate and a good deal of fresh coffee flavor. A bit of a barrel taste with a touch of alcohol as well.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, but also has a nice carbonation level. Leaves some hops in the aftertaste with a fuller mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Wish I had tried this earlier in the tasting. As is, it was still very good though...better than very good actually.

Jun 15, 2009
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whartontallboy from New York

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Jan 16, 2012
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radshoesbro from California

4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

nitro at hamilton's. this is one incredible beer! pours black, with a tan foamy head that leaves a lace that looks like you're staring at tree rings! incredible! smells of malts and slight hops. it was actually somewhat hard to get a good nose with all the other smells there. tastes of strong malts with a slightly smokey atmosphere that wasn't overwhelming at all. there was a nice vanilla element to it that sort of masked a lot of the subtle elements of the beer, but it wasn't overpowering. if it weren't for the fact that it was $10 a glass and it poured so slowly i would've had this all night and i could drink it pretty much forever.

May 02, 2009
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emerge077 from Illinois

4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Bavarian Lodge. 6 oz. pour +/- served in a 10 oz. North Coast snifter.

Black obviously, with a thin cap of tannish foam. It left flecks of lace and "legs" seemingly as the lace sort of drained itself back into the glass. A brisk swirl brought back the half finger of foam. Aroma was very nice, big vanilla and oak traces, with a sweet fruity ester in there from the bourbon. Flavor was dominant on the vanilla, with dry unsweetened chocolate in the back, and dry woody notes in the finish. Bourbon element was soft and balanced. It wasn't heavy at all, instead it sort of lightly dissipated to creamy foam when held on the palate. Very roasty, with the creamy feel of a latte, and the density of an RIS. Perfect nightcap for a rainy spring night...

Apr 03, 2009
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TurdFurgison from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this in a trade from Madorb at DLD and brought it to a beer battle at Buckeyesox's place (against Darkness, Kate the Great, and others). This beer was dark black color with a thick poof. The beer smelled rich and a little bourbon-y, roasted malts and strong vanilla from the barrels. The taste was excellent, dark roasted sweetness and vanilla The only drawback was the relatively thin body which didn't match the massive aroma and flavor. Well carbonated but kind of flacid body as compared with the other great stouts we were drinking. Very good overall but I remember the X being a more complete package (including a matching body).

May 10, 2009
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grub from Canada (ON)

4.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Viggo was nice enough to share this one. thanks eric!

500ml bottle, corked and caged. sampled feb 27/09.

pours thick and opaque black. looks more like motor oil coming out of the bottle than beer. a thick brown head forms, dropping very slowly and leaving a solid sheet of dense lace the whole way down the glass.

wow, aroma is great. bourbon, vanilla, oak. bit of earthy character. lightly toasted multi-grain bread. bit of biscuit and cracker. bit of alcohol. touch of fruit. bit of citrus.

taste is great. bourbon, vanilla, and buttery oak. touch of earthy character. alcohol. lightly toasted multi-grain bread. biscuit. dark chocolate. coffee. low bitterness level. light roast. bit of fruit.

mouthfeel is great. just under medium carbonation level. nice big body.

drinkability is good. nicely balanced and very tasty, but i think that the barrel has overpowered the the base beer. i remember the X being balanced better in that respect, but this one is still pretty darn tasty anyway.

Feb 28, 2009
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scooter231 from New York

4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black. NO light getting through this bastard. Heavily creamed colored head, with good retention, lacing, and bubbles. This looks... intimidating.

Smells sweet, rich, and chocolatey. Some maltyness. Again- intimidating.

First sip- o.m.g. Sweet malty chocolate hits you at first, followed by a rush of bittersweet chocolate and hops and some alcohol flavoring, then a rush of coffee bitterness, finally ended by a delicately balanced sweet mocha infused coffee flavor. Oh yeah- every sip is like this.

Mouthfeel is sudsy and full and yummy. A weeee thin on the end, but nothing to moan about.

No, I could not have a 6er of these- but oh dear. Delicious, sneaky... I am a fan.

May 23, 2009
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daryk77 from District of Columbia

4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Opened on 12/26/11, 500ml bottle. Stored at room temp in a box at fairly constant temperatures.

Beer looks great, jet black as the original Rasputin, head disappears fairly quickly leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface. Great aroma, definitely some bourbon in the nose and still a bit of heat. When drinking cold the bourbon still comes through, surprisingly fresh. As the beer warms dark chocolate comes through and some bitterness at the end. Some oxidation to the beer but it does not take anything away. Great body to this, nice and thick.

Overall this beer is doing just fine. I am surprised the bourbon is still so prevalent as I thought it would fade more with time. The flavors are rich and smooth and I believe will continue to keep for several more years.

Another bottle open 03/12/2013, 500ml bottle. Stored at room temp in a box at fairly constant temperatures.

Curious about this one after reading reviews with people reporting it falling off. Appearance and smell are spot on, less bourbon in the nose, more chocolate/vanilla. Taste is great, very little oxidation, chocolate, vanilla, some bourbon (def. fading but melding) finishes roasty. Mouthfeel is rich creamy, decadent, thick, fantastic.

This beer never ceases to impress me. It has held up great, changing with much more chocolate and vanilla now as opposed to the heat of the bourbon. Still finishes roasty, slight bitterness that complements the beer. Love it, have one bottle left. I say drink now if you want more bourbon but still excited to see where the last bottle goes.

Mar 13, 2013
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JMBSH from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Jul 08, 2013
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phisig137 from Virginia

4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Generously brought to me by a few friends that picked it up on their honeymoon.

A- Bottle pours absolutely pitch black elixor with a 1.5 finger head. Excellent retention in the dark tan head, and a healthy layer of foam and lacing persists throughout the glass.

S- Big, massive bourbon aromas, vanilla, charred oak, bitter chocolate and whiffs of coffee. The malt complexity here is huge, with the full range from sweetness, to light toasted malts, to deep burnt huskiness, but without being acrid. There is a wallop of solvent alcohol, but it subsides after a few minutes in the glass.

F-Much the same as the nose, but even more so. Absolutely phenomenal balance of sweetness and bitter roasted malts. The luscious chocolate and coffee flavors from the original Rasputin are still present, and seemingly enhanced by the wood. This time, lighter flavors of toffee,caramel, various burnt sugars, and vanilla custard also enter the picture. Perfectly balanced, and outrageously complex.

M- thick, unctuous, smooth carbonation, and sticky.... just like it should be.

D- the alcohol is a bit volatile, but appropriately so. This is one to savor each and every sip.

Overall, this beer is stupefyingly good. I'm a poor writer to begin with, but words cannot describe the level and strata of flavor in here, and how well they meld together into one fantastic beer. North Coast was able to take everything good about Rasputin, and accentuate it. Damn close to being perfect, and well worth buying regardless of the price on the shelf. Pick one up, seek it out, and pray that one day you can go to the brewery to buy another bottle or 12. Well done North Coast... well done.

Oct 05, 2009
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kkipple from South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Chris Dotson for breaking out this rare brew on the last day of 2008. From notes:

A. The same as the normal Old Ras. Deep brown-black, fine rich tan head, some lace. Moving along...

S. This is where things go off the map, as they say... seriously hot, fresh-from-the-barrel bourbon and booze blend with the usual roast grain, coffee and deep chocolate notes of the normal Rasputin. The hops are barely noticeable behind the wood. Smells very "young", and the oak and vanilla are quite in your face. Quite bold, I would prefer this to be more reserved, nothing a few years in the cellar can't fix...

T. Yarr! Truly, aging this brew in barrels has produced a drink strong enough for the Mad Priest himself! The bourbon and oak are front, center, and finish. North Coast says they aged this for a full year in bourbon-oak barrels, and it shows. Too long? Perhaps... the flavors are all GOOD, it's just a bit much. The subtle character that is typical in the Old Rasputin is diminished and dimmed by the vanilla, oak, and boozy heat of the barrels. Still, darn tasty.

M. Smoother than the flavor would suggest, goes down full and warming. Borders on creamy. Quite nice. I wouldn't want to drink a lot of this one as it gets a bit excessive quickly.

Old Rasputin XI is a nice beer, but the overwhelming oak+bourbon assault keeps it from getting higher marks.
Feel free to add .5 to the score if you like your wood-aged beers hot and intense. I'm going to sit on my sole bottle for a while and see what a year does to this one. A tip of the hat to North Coast for a wild ride and for Chris for bringing the good stuff!

Jan 02, 2009
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sholland119 from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

Feb 14, 2012
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Rochefort10nh from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -7.2%

Jan 29, 2013
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rallison from California

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

Beautiful beer.

A: Perfect pour - viscous black gold with a creamy tan head that never fully dies. Very nice.

S: Roasty chocolate propped up by some very pleasant bourbon notes.

T: Great balance between the rich, dark chocolate, light roasted malts, sweet bourbon and dark fruits. Beautiful. Nothing is overpowering, nothing is out of place. I love it.

M: Velvet. Deliciously creamy.

D: Almost 12%? Drinks much, much easier than the ABV would have you expect.

Highly recommended. One fine beer.

Mar 10, 2009
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waltonc from California

4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a field trip from SF to Fort Bragg on release day the day after Thanksgiving.

A: Pitch black liquid with an inch of head initially. High carbonation insures that the tan lacing doesn't disappear throughout the sipping.

S/T/M: The smell, taste and mouthfeel are so in sync with each other that I'll write about them all together. The two things that jump out at me most are bourbon and vanilla. Strong in the smell and taste, which complements the creamy mouthfeel very well. The vanilla is very pronounced and lingers toward the back end. One ding would be that there seems to be a wee bit of heat here. Probably a combination of the high abv and bourbon. I wonder if additional aging would settle that down? I am not picking up any soy sauce notes. Chocolate is here, but tempered by all that vanilla. Mouthfeel is medium, carbonation is fairly high. I wouldn't mind a slightly fuller body, but whatever. This is great.

D: That heat I mentioned knocks this down just a bit on the drinkability scale for me. The alcohol cannot claim to be well hidden.

Overall, an excellent beverage and a nice twist on what is a great RIS to start with. Now bring back the BA Old Stock.

Dec 07, 2008
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madorb from Illinois

4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Currently sitting in the North Coast tap room, where it is quite dead. Just picked up a case across the street at the brewery/shop and couldn't wait the 4 hours it'll take me to get home to try one. (note to self: avoid route 20 in all future trips, it's like lombard street except for 30 miles)

The beer is jet black with a quickly fading foamy tan head. Tons of bourbon and vanilla in the nose, smells amazing. Just prior to this I had a straight up old rasp and I'm a bit surprised with the comparatively intense carbonation in this one. It's far from too much, but it is definitely on the bubbly side, perhaps though, I'm just comparing too much to the X I had recently.

Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, and delicious roasty malts, obviously the alcohol comes through as well but I definitely wouldn't call it hot. It's definitely enjoyable but I can't help think it doesn't live up to the X. That said, I think this beer still tastes a bit young and could use some time to mellow and come together. I know the X was a completely different beer after a year... And thankfully I've still got a few more of them to do vert with :-)

Dec 18, 2008
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BillRoth from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Nov 28, 2013
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ATLbeerDog from Georgia

3.98/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a color identical to coca-cola. Smells of strong bourbon, deep roasted malts along with slight tobacco and raisin notes all present in the nose. First sip is surprisingly overly carbonated with a ton of bitter tobacco notes dominating the roasted malts. Thinly bodied and bitter from start to finish.

Apr 10, 2009
Old Rasputin XI from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 221 ratings