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Old Rasputin XI | North Coast Brewing Co.

144 Reviews
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Old Rasputin XIOld Rasputin XI

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by stumac on 12-05-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 214
Photo of MrStark
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 500 ml caged and corked bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance is nice opaque black with a one finger mocha colored head with pretty good retention.

Smell is wonderful blend of vanilla, oak, bourbon, a tiny hint of molasses with some mild hints of chocolate and coffee as well. A very pleasant and potent aroma that makes me just want to dive right in.

Taste is just as wonderful as the nose, with a beautifully sweet complex flavor of vanilla, oak, chocolate, dark fruit and a nice bit of the bourbon and mild bitterness in the finish. A very enjoyable flavor, hands down one of the best barrel aged imperial stouts I've had thus far.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and very smooth coating the mouth nicely on the way down finishing with a nice warming from the alcohol.

Drinkability is amazing!! This beer goes down very easy and smooth for the style. Like I said above, one of the best aged imperials I've had. I would love to have this many times again. The only thing I'd have against it would be the price tag, although I'd say its worth every penny, its just not something I could pick up on a regular basis. Hands down a wonderful brew!

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Photo of oline73
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked up a bottle at Max's during Baltimore Beer Week. Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours black with some light coming through at the edges. There is a finger of thick tan head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Smooth bourbon with lots of roast, caramel, vanilla, and dark fruit.

Taste: Just as smooth as the smell. There are hints of bourbon, vanilla, maple, roast, and caramel. The bourbon and roast hold on through the finish. Just wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Thick body with tingly carbonation and a touch of dryness in the finish.

Overall: One of the best beers I have ever had. I opened this up just after having BA Yeti and there was no contest. I picked up a bottle to trade initially, but I'm going to hold onto it for myself.

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Photo of obireidkenobi
4.84/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've keep saying this. I'm a sucker for this style. I've loved the regular edition of this stout, so this one just seemed that much more delicious.

This beer pours a black with a very light bit of head around the side of the glass.

Smell. Wonderful notes of vanilla oak, chocolate.

Taste. Because of the taste, I'm not sure how much I WOULDN'T pay for these bottles. Chocolate/cocoa comes out, with the bourbon shining through in the balance. Without over assessing there isn't much that isn't inviting about this brew. Even the alcohol is inviting.

Drinkability - Each sip makes you want more and more of this beer. While you couldn't drink this beer all day, you can drink this bottle and worry about very little else.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500 ML bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary snifter. Gave it a pretty hard pour and while the liquid was coming out of the bottle it comes out a dark brown and in the thinner portions its almost a cola color. As the beer pools into the bottom of the snifter, a black liquid puddle rises in the glass. There's a nice slightly darker than tan colored head, small bubbles at the bottom and some medium sized bubbles towards the top of the glass. The head itself is pretty thick and provides some decent lacing and glass retention. After a bit there's a skim across the top of the liquid and very slowly turns into a ring around the glass.

Smell is awesome. It's had to have mellowed out a bit over the years so it's at the point where it's not too strong but certainly not too weak, can't imagine how this was when it was fresh. The bourbon really jumps out at you right away. As I said before, a little mellowed out, so it's like a bourbon soaked oak. Hints of vanilla and a blend of over roasted, burned and even some charred malts making a bit of a robust dark chocolate smell, maybe a hint of coffee. It all fuses together quite nicely.

Taste is right on par with the aroma, but actually a bit stronger. The bourbon jumps out in the beginning again. Some nice very, very feintly smokey oak with some coffee grounds, and bitter chocolate. All of those flavors cloaked under some subtle vanilla to balance everything out very nicely. Something about this just tastes like it uses pure ingredients, it's great.

Mouthfeel is about as good as it gets for a barrel aged stout. Has a thin feel to it, but the lingering flavor of the fullest bodied beer. Really maintained a great carbonation level. 11.6% isn't surprising, but at the same time I wouldn't have expected it. Smooth with a warming, on the edges of a hot finish. It's not too hot, but hotter than I expected, the appropriate amount. The drinkability is insane! You don't even need to be a ute beer fan to be able to polish this bad boy off. Slow sipper, but you gotta be carful with it. Love regular Old Rasputin, and love XI even more. See why people like this so much. Thanks Chris for a great trade.

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Photo of azdback
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of larryi86
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Birthday gift from my sister

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter

A- Pitch black with a three finger dark tan head that sticks to the sides.

S- Chocolate, bourbon, oak, roasted malts, hint of coffee. Very big smell, very rich, and complex.

T- Chocolate and roasted malts come out up front, nice hints of oak, coffee and dark fruits in the middle, and a bitter bit in the finish with hints of bourbon. Beautifully complex.

M- Thick, creamy, silky, fully bodied, chewy.

D- Better than regular Old Rasputin and very easy to enjoy as sipper. May buy another bottle to see what a little more aging would do. I feel that the $20 price tag is a little much, but not a rip off.

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Photo of KevinBrewer
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Hamilton's tonight. What a surprise! I asked the bartender what was special about Rasputin XI, and he said it was their 11th vintage. First sip, oh my god. Definitely bourbon barrel aged. Walnuts, oak, bourbon, chocolate heaven. Christ, man. Shit. Smells of chocolate and dark bourbon. Black with a huge fluffy tan head that lasts. Velvety in your mouth, shit. It's like a chocolate bourbon shake that warms you up and never lets you down. One glass, and you feel like you're roasting marshmellows over a goddamn campfire. Shit. Two thumbs up.

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Photo of radshoesbro
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of daryk77
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.71/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My third and last bottle of rasputin XI. Goodbye, old friend, you will be missed. Thank you to all who sent me bottles of this.

500ml into pint glass.

A- Satisfying 'pop' on opening. Big brown sugar head, 3-fingers and lively, nice legs on this one.

S- Mellow, almost nutty aroma, some vanilla, and brown sugar.

T- Immense dark roast malt, robust, extremely dark chocolate. Like an expensive swiss chocolate. Roasty and bitter in the finish. Bourbon has mellowed since the last time I had a bottle (about 6 months ago) and is in my opinion better integrated into the overall flavor profile.

M- Alcohol is here, and it's warming, but it's oh-so tasty and goes down with ease. Fantastic. Moderately heavy but good carbonation.

O- Have I had a better -bal aged stout? I'm not sure I have. This beer fuckin' rocks.


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Photo of Jimmys
4.71/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

500 mL bottle held at cellar conditions for nearly 5 years. been waiting a while for this one and tasted alongside XIV. both were good, but this was great. has held on exceptionally well over the years and is tasting great. the bourbon notes were perfectly balanced by loads of chocolate and roast. nothing was off-putting and there wasn't the slightest hint of oxidation or age. no idea how much longer this will hang on for, but for those lucky enough to have this one stashed away it is delicious right now!

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Photo of brentk56
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
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

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Photo of d0ggnate
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nitro tap at Hamilton's. glad to have this opportunity on North Coast night.

A: Took 5+ minutes to pour to goblet. Rich black/brown with beige marshmellow-like head.
S: Subtle bourbon, silky vanilla and familiar barrel aged flavors.
T: Creamy smooth vanilla and spices.
M: is there even alcohol in this? Bourbon-ness is warming.
D: This is the ultimate "sneak up on you" beer. I have renewed interest in North Coast.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to pecorasc for sharing this beer with me. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark, brown color. Produced two fingers width of tan colored head. Some lacing as the beer was consumed. Decent head retention.

S- Not what I was expecting at all. While there is a slight bourbon aroma, it is pretty subtle. Big coconut aroma with a touch of vanilla and caramel. Pretty remarkable.

T- The aroma translates to the taste. Upfront I pick up a mellow bourbon flavor. Not overpowering in anyway. Just enough to let you know it's there. Immediately following oak touches the palate accompanied by a coconut explosion. When combined with the vanilla attributes it almost gives off a marshmellow-like flavor. Heavenly. Finishes extremely smooth and delicate.

M- Medium to heavy bodied, but the silky, smooth texture give it a lighter feel on the palate. As said above, extremely smooth.

D- One of the most drinkable BA RIS I have had. I honestly could not even tell this beer was close to 12% abv.

Overall, aging has done this beer wonders! I cannot believe how much depth and cohesion there was among the flavors. I mean from beginning to end, this beer was flawless. I still can't get over the coconut flavors that were imparted from the barrel aging. Great example as to how aging can change a beer for the better.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks Kyle and Gabe for this epic brew!

A: Poured thick and black straight from the tap into my glass with an abundant sized head sitting right on top of it. Simply beautiful! This beast also exhibited a strong lacing ability which filled my glass with a cobweb-like structure. Amazing head retention was evident throughout the whole beer as well....basically a perfect appearance.

S: A noticeable, but also gentle bourbon barrel aroma that seemed to embolden all the flavors the regular Old Rasputin possesses. The smells I picked up included: Vanilla bean (not extract), cocoa powder, and hints of molasses/maple syrup. Again, the bourbon really seemed to bolster and add a complexity to the smell that would have otherwise been impossible to create without it.

T: Wow! One of the best tasting brews around. I picked up tons of vanilla bean, cocoa, and maple syrup along with an added espresso and dark coffee characteristic. The roasted espresso seems to grab my attention a lot as does the vanilla. On the other hand, the bourbon flavor is very subtle....and seems to contribute more of an alcohol bite, rather than it's actual flavor to this brew. A nice alcohol warming is also present.

M: This brew has a strong roasted coffee and dry finish to go along with the perfect creamy feel the first time it hits your palate. Carbonation helped invigorate the flavors as well.

D: I don't know what to say here other than WOW! Exceeded my expectations...world class flavor, alcohol well hidden, and left me completely satisfied. To be honest, I didn't want another beer from the menu...because I was afraid of the disappointment I might have.

Overall: I think I might have to sneak this into my top 10 beers...it's seriously that good! Old Rasputin was one of those beers that exposed me to craft brewing and I was so happy to be able to try this version....and was even more surprised by how well it turned out. Seek out! Cheers!

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Photo of maximum12
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Unimaginable thanks to cloudskipper, whose generosity during the Secret Santa 2008 allowed this bottle to come into my hands. Alas, it is the last bottle from the fine exchange, but the good always die young. Looks like this bottle is roughly a year & a half in age.

Split the 500ML with the wife & damn I wish this were a full bomber. Black as Mark Sanford's sin with a dark, bruised head on it. I hate when people use the "looks like engine oil" cliche but it's appropriate here. The smell is refined bourbon with only slight malts apparent underneath; nothing subtle here.

Rasputin XI is close to the pinnacle of what a bourbon barrel aged beer should be. Holy batman. The bourbon is front & center, along with the singed oak of the barrel. Chocolate is playing a strong second fiddle, & flailing amongst the rubble of my palate are bits & pieces of vanilla, the fractured remnants of sweet malts, & droppings of dark fruit. Wow. Slick & oily, this is a drinker. 500ML? C'mon North Coast, if I have to split this with my lovely wife, you're going to have to put stuff like this in at least 1.5L bottles. Pretty please?

This is top-shelf stuff. Other than BA Blackout Stout, I have to cast my mind back months since I've had a brew this good. Wow. Fantastic. I hope the XII morphs into this in another year. I think I'll buy another bottle or two to find out.

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Photo of KeefD
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes, had this beauty last night. Shared with Sparklepants and thecaptain073:

Dark brown pour, pitch black in the glass, a decent sized brown sugar colored head, light, but tight lacing on the tulip.

Aroma is big chocolate, some raisin and dark fruit, but swirling brings out more roast and some light booze. Light vanilla, but barrel notes seemed to have faded.

Taste brings all this back. Mellow but delicious. Loads of chocolate, cream, vanilla, and only the slightest hint of bourbon, which seems to have faded. Some of the acrid bitterness I find in regular Old Raspy is gone. Alcohol is there, but super mellow. this is delicious!

Body is full, creamy, perfect carbonation at first, but even with swirling and lower carbonation, more nuances came out. Just awesome!

I've had the XII vintage, but found this to be a little more pleasing. I don't know if it was the extra age that made this one better, but I enjoyed the hell out of it.

I'm not sure of the BA who sent this to my friends in a trade, but whoever he is, I'd like to thank him for allowing me to try this delicious brew.

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Photo of bifrostguard
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My 100th review and I just happened to take a trip up the coast to pick up a few bottles of Old Rasputin XI recently. What better reason to try it out....

A - Pours pitch black with a surprisingly tall tan head that leaves some considerable lacing. Head can be regenerated upon disturbance. Old Rasputin XI appears quite viscous.

S - Bourbon and vanilla, just the way I had hoped. The scent just pulls my nose deeper into the glass as it warms. Alcohol is well emphasized along with some chocolate, coffee and roasted malt aromas.

T - This does taste young and I do typically prefer my beer to be, but this could benefit in some ways from being laid down for about a year. Nice bourbon, oak, vanilla, coffee, roasted malt and chocolate flavors with a sharp bitterness that is very much to my liking. Alcohol hides behind nothing. While this may be smoother and more well integrated in about a year, it will lose some of its' original Old Rasputin sharpness of which I am certainly appreciating now.

M - Lots of carbonation in this one keeping it lively with each sip. Feels thinner than it looks and leaves an overall pleasant impression on my palate. I do not like the motor oil feeling so this one is excellent in my book!

D - No reason to go any further tonight. Leaves a very pleasant after taste, has a great feel and is pleasant to look at. It's even bitter enough to subdue my usual impulse to move towards an IPA. I wish I had the coin to buy another bottle to enjoy when it tastes this fresh, but I am also really looking forward to enjoying some smoother bottles later on down the road.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500ml caged and corked bottle courtesy of TimmyP. Thanks Tim!

Served near room temp, there was a nice loud pop when I removed the cork.

It pours a pitch black with a good 2 finger head of tan foam. Checking on the lacing and yes sir, a goodly amount. A very impressive looking brew.

The smell gives me the giggles. Loads of chocolate, sweet and light bitter, caramel, vanilla, with solid bourbon notes throughout. The aroma is one of the best.

The taste assaults my taste buds...but in a good way! All of aromas I noted in the smell are here. Big chocolate, vanilla, still plenty of bourbon for my liking(I never had it fresh so I'm surmising), caramel, exceedingly sweet and malty overall, but that's not me complaining at all, in fact, there's *just* enough of a mild bitterness to keep things in balance.

The alcohol is there but only plays a minor role with just some warming after the swallow.

As far as the mouth feel goes, in a word...superbly smooth. Ok, that's 2 words. lol.

Drinkability? For as strong as XI is, I'm pretty amazed how easy it is to drink. A pretty amazing brew in all ways.

Thanks again to Timmy; I *just* mentioned that I've been wanting to try NC XI and he sends me the darn thing!

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, grabbed at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, into The Bruery tulip glass. Poured cold, allowed to warm to room temp before samping.

Pours pitch black with a thinnish, creamy brown head. That thin brown head, however, then turns into a permanent, half-inch, creamy brown cap that looks fantastic. Amazing lacing as well. Honestly, a 4.7, but rounded to 4.5.

Nose brings out dark baker's chocolate and bourbon, rich vanilla, brown sugar, and coconut; hints of oak. Alcohol is there, adding measurably to the flavor, a bit boozy but well under control.

Taste begins with deep, fudgey dark chocolate notes, complemented by rich vanilla, both of which are quickly overtaken by the deep, dry oaky barrel presence to follow. Finish brings a lingering espresso roastiness out alongside the dark chocolate richness and bourbon, along with the dry, woody oak. Exceptionally balanced, delicious.

Mouthfeel is excellent - the creaminess of the head provides a silky richness, while the slightly lighter-than-expected body keeps it beautifully drinkable. Carbonation is a bit crisp at first, easily taken care of with a few swirls, and the alcohol is very reserved for the size, providing only a little heat and almost no bite.

I'm unsure at this point how long this one has aged, but it is a superb beer.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's in Baltimore for Baltimore Beer Week (yes, XI not XII). Served in a 10 oz goblet.

Appearance is opaque chocolate black, viscous and thick with a large fluffy mocha colored head that fades to film and leaves thick epic sheets of lacing. Aroma is not quite as overpowering as I hoped but still rich balanced blend of barrel alcohol, bourbon, roasted malt, chocolate, toffee. Very little hop presence. Body is extremely thick, chewy, and full. Finish has slight hop bite and sharp carbonation with a blend of sweet and boost flavors that linger indefinitely. Flavor starts with similar to regular Rasputin then (pardon the cliche) turns everything to 11. Sweet dark chocolate, bourbon, dark fruit, etc all ped up but nicely balanced and smoothed out by the mild hop bitterness and carbonation. This was pretty amazing, I might have to reluctantly cave in and buy a bottle of this years release.

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Photo of jsanford
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml C&C bottle poured into a North Coast Snifter.

A - Oh boy. Inky, viscous black with a dense, creamy, mocha-colored head that settles to a thick cap, leaving craggy bubbles and sticky lacing clinging to the glass. Beautiful RIS, picture-perfect!
S - Huge aromas of chocolate fudge and sweet roasted coffee, with amazing Bourbon notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak. Everything a big, Barrel-Aged RIS should be. Pretty good so far.
T - Pretty close to the nose, and that's a good thing. Lots of dark chocolate, coffee beans, and sugar. The Bourbon character is so well integrated in here (granted, it's had a couple of years to settle down), and leaves just the slightest of warming sensations in the belly.
M - Smooth and creamy, with a full mouthfeel and lowish carbonation.
O - Easily one of the best Barrel-Aged Stouts I've had in some time. Just when I was getting bored with the style this comes along and reminds be what a well-done BA Stout can be!

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Photo of MacDomer
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BIG thanks to fellow BA Googzoid10 for helping me get my hands on this one. Much appreciated, Greg!

First off, this bottle looks like it just means business. It's heavy, dark, and looks pretty thick - just like what the beer ends up like.

I poured about half of the corked and caged 500ml bottle into my Duvel tulip. Served at 58 degrees. Looks great - black as night, with a huge frothy and creamy dark brown head. Nice lacing - about as much as you'd expect from this high of ABV. I get a nice frothy cap whenever I feel the need to agitate and stick my nose in there.

Speaking of, this smells awesome. Big bourbon, but not overwhelming. Vanilla, wood, dark roasted malts, nice sweet chocolate and the faintest hint of rich espresso.

Taste is freakin' fantastic. Delicious stout with great big complimentary blast of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Really decadent without being over the top - gooey, caramelly, burnt brown sugar, chocolate, and just plain ol' goodness. Freakin' fantastic (again).

Mouthfeel is also excellent. Medium body, medium carbonation, and really, really smooth. Coats the mouth, but isn't heavy or too thick. Strikes a great balance.

Drinkability is amazing. I think this has to do with what I'd consider about the perfect about of bourbon - not too much, but a good bit more than a hint/nuance. Also, great mouthfeel, not too thick, not too thin - makes it easy to drink a 500ml. Would love to have this one again!

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Photo of megahurts4
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

North Coast Old Rasputin XI

Appearance: dark brown, medium-small head, and good lacing.

Smell: like a bourbon laced chocolate cake.

Taste: chocolate, cocoa, bourbon-vanilla, and a faint hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: silky smooth and medium.

This is a great stout with a nice balance of boubon flavor. This particular one has been aged.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Big thanks to EasyReader for the extra!!! Also, big thanks to hopsleeroy for trading me one as well!!! Never expected to have two of these in my fridge at once, but that didn't last long anyway.

WOW! Three finger beige head sitting on top of a body so black that all I can see is my reflection in the beer. Literally one of the blackest beers I have ever encountered. Really nice lacing left behind, and incredible retention for the barrel aging and alcohol content. I think this is actually the best looking RIS that has ever graced my eyeballs.

Sweet milk chocolate, oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Chocolate cake batter, chocolate truffles, and a hint of black licorice. Not incredibly pungent, but incredibly inviting.

Dark chocolate, mocha, chocolate cake, subtle raspberries and dark cherries. Then comes the oak, vanilla, slight peat, and bourbon. The flavor ends on a smokey, tobacco and roasted malt note which lingers.

The mouthfeel is full bodied without being really syrupy, but it's definitely thick. Carbonation is quite low, but this beer gives a nice bite on the end. Quit coating as well. An incredibly soft and smooth mouthfeel.

Alcohol? What alcohol. I thought I was on RootbeerAdocate.com. Jokes aside, probably one of the smoothest and most drinkable BA Russian Imperial Stouts I have ever had.

I'm really excited I have one more in my fridge, and I will probably consume it soon since I don't see how this could get any better.

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Old Rasputin XI from North Coast Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.
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