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Old Rasputin XI | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin XIOld Rasputin XI

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

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: 215
Photo of DavoleBomb
2.92/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of frothy light brown head. Retention is decent and a moderate amount of lacing is left.

4.0 S: I'm a bit surprised how good this smells. To give a bit of background, I think regular Raspy is boring as fuck and XII and XIV were nothing more than barrel aged versions of incredibly boring beers. This, in the nose at least, is much different. This is both powerful and pleasant. There's still a fuck ton of bourbon in this. Super leathery with a light earthiness. Vanilla and oak. Somewhat of a creme brulee vibe. Lots of chocolate from the stout with a supple roastiness. The stout still lacks complexity, but it's better now than it's ever been.

2.5 T: The taste, however, gives me more of what I'm used to from Raspy. Aside from roast and some chocolate, the base stout gives me nothing. Boring as hell. On top of that, the barrel aging isn't as flawless as the nose suggested. I'm getting some tannic astringency and the smooth leathery creme brulee thing is history. Strong bitterness to round things off.

2.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lacking creaminess. Too light in body, which also accounts for why it is light in flavor.

2.5 D: While this had good potential in the nose, everything went to shit after that. Raspy disappoints again.

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Photo of maniacal82
3.17/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I think this beer is past its prime. I picked a bottle up at a store in MD about 4.5 months ago. I later read on North Coast's website that this was only sold at the brewery. How it ended up on a shelf in MD I have no idea. I knew that this beer already had some age on it, but for a BA RIS I didn't think that would be much of an issue.

A: Pours a transparent dark brown with a thin off white head. Not a good sign already. I was hoping for opaque black.

S: I didn't really get much in the nose. Maybe a little bit of bourbon.

T: Pretty good taste. Can definitely taste the bourbon. I didn't get a lot of the normal roasty, chocolatey flavors you come to expect from a RIS. While I did rate taste the highest, this beer was definitely lacking. Good taste but below par for the style.

M: Not a whole lot of body here. I didn't really expect there to be given the appearance. At least it was carbonated.

D: I split the 500mL bottle with a friend. One glass was enough. At $25 retail, this was way overpriced. There are much better BA stouts out there.

Old Rasputin XII was much better.

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Photo of LethalChickens
3.21/5  rDev -25%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a large snifter. Half way through the pour I'm asking myself if this is a RIS or a Brown ale? It poured thin and the head was barely off white in color. I do not know if this did not age well or not but it tasted nothing like I expected. It was completely different from the XII. It had a decent aroma but the body was lacking. The Bourbon flavor was pretty decent but for a RIS I was hoping for more body and flavor.
This was consumed in August of 2011.

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Photo of paytoplay
3.26/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The most dissapointed I've been in a beer in a long time. Nitro tap at Hamiltons SD. If you told me this was Guinness I'd believe you. No vanilla or oak. No nose, maybe some malt and roastyness. It was easy to drink. Hard to belive the Alc is that high. But it was super expensive and I'd never try this again.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.26/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. I made the 4-hour (one-way) pilgrimage to North Coast to pick this up, and got into an accident on the way. This greatly soured my mood, but I had one anyway. Let's see.

A: Pitch black with mahogany highlights. 1 finger of tan head that recedes to half a finger and remains there for the drink, with thick lacing down the side of the glass.

S: If you didn't know it was aged in bourbon barrels, the smell would tell you. Strong bourbon and vanilla flavors in the nose, with chocolate and roasted malt rounding out the bouquet. The alcohol sting is unmistakable, and detracts from the smoothness.

T: A rich and complex mix of bourbon, vanillla, wood, roasted malt, and chocolate. These sweet flavors are combated by a pronounced bitterness that fights for attention throughout the entire taste. However, the bourbon flavor definitely tips it to the sweeter end, and my feeling is that the taste would improve with a year of bottle aging. The alcohol is pronounced and unapologetic.

M: Active carbonation, perhaps more than the standard Old Rasputin if I remember correctly. Not as sticky as I would expect, and more medium bodied than full. Enjoyable to the palate. Kind of hot.

D: These aren't cheap drinking, and they were made in limited quantities. I enjoy them but I will not be slamming these back. I will definitely be a future customer of the bourbon barrel-aged series, however. (EDIT: After learning that these now cost $20 instead of the $13 I paid, I had to lower the drinkability. Look, a $20 pint is just insane. This beer is good, but not THAT good.)

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black stout with a large dirty brown foamy head with good retention and some really good lacing. Aroma of bourbon is really dominating with some light notes of black chocolate coming through. Taste is totally dominated by bourbon with some warming alcohol notes and light black chocolate notes. Body is full with some creamy notes and good carbonation but alcohol is too apparent. Not bad overall though you might as well drink bourbon since it is so overpowering.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Doopie got a surprise box from his mate TheBrewViking and it included this rarity. Pretty cool! Thanks for sharing Doops.

From a 500ml corked and caged bottle into a snifter.
Drunk right after the base beer.

APPEARANCE: Transparent brown pour yields a 1+ finger, medium-thicker looking, tan head with great retention. Black body and medium carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good foam cap and really clings to the sides of the glass. A decent wisp remains until the end and leaves lots of nice lacing down the glass. Great heat, but pour need to be darker and thicker for top marks.

SMELL: Barrel up front with some bourbon, oak, vanilla and milk chocolate. Touches of roasted malts and dark chocolate too, but this one is more barrel heavy. Medium strength nose.

TASTE: Barrel up front again with bourbon, vanilla and oak notes. Touches of milk chocolate, roasted malts and hop bitterness at the swallow, but this one is more about the barrel flavors than the base beer. Milder but lingering aftertaste of barrel notes, alcohol, and a touch of bitterness and roasted malts. This is pleasant, but not memorable.

PALATE: Medium-lighter body with higher carbonation. Light on the palate, goes down fine with a bit of heat at the swallow and finishes somewhat sticky on the palate. A touch of heat lingers. Definitely needs to be heavier on the palate.

OVERALL: This is a good beer, but not a memorable one. Enjoyable with a pleasant barrel component, but the base beer doesn’t come through too much and the flavors are probably much mellower than they were upon release. The body is also too light for the style. I was definitely excited to give this one a go and am grateful for the opportunity, though I don’t think this one is worth tracking down at this point. Thanks again for sharing Doops. Good times!

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Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Right before Christmas I go for a nice long run. Towards the end of the run I start to think about what beer to have once I'm rehydrated. I was pretty sure it's going to be a stout of some sort.
I open the door and find a box waiting for me. Strange because I had no pending trades. It's a surprise box send to me by TheBrewViking. Awesome. The box had all kinds of good stuff and this rare and retired beer is one of them. Thanks a million Brooks. It's much appreciated.

Poured into a pint glass.

Comes out black, very black. Carbonation is very present. A nice two finger mocha head leaving some lacing as the head reduces to a half finger.

The nose tottaly burries the base beer. Barrel heavy with bourbon, vanilla and chocolate.

Flavors ar mostly bourbon, vanilla and with some chocolate and malts in the back. The hopprofile that love so muh in the base beer seems to have left the building

It's medium bodied. A bit of booze lingers.

It's a pretty good barrel aged stout. As with many of these barrel aged versions, the base beer gets burried and that's OK but don't expect Old Rasputin + barrel. Thanks a bunch Brooks. This was quite the experience for me.

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Photo of SneezyAchew
3.59/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Scottfrie. Haven't had the regular Old Rasputin or XII in a bit. This might be more enjoyable if I wasn't trapped in a losing game of Monopoly. If only I hadn't bought houses on the green so soon! At this point, I'm ignoring the other players (my family) to review a beer.

A: Dark brown/red with some lasting carbonation.
S: Oaky, bitter coffee bourbon smell.
T: Notes of vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon. Nothing really lingers on your tongue.
M: More carbonated, and thinner than I would have liked. Perhaps most similar to the barrel aged Stout Trooper.
D: Perfectly enjoyable, but I doubt I'll get another chance to try this one. Which is okay. The added bourbon flavor is all that stands out to me. But it's a nice flavor.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up in a recent trade, and although I passed on the XII on more than one occasion, I finally broke down and gave the XI a shot. Pours a deep black color with a big finger of medium brown head. On the nose I get lots of bourbon; the bourbon is almost overpowering. On the palate, this one is full bodied, heavy and boozy. Flavors of bourbon, dark chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla and booze. I know this one has been around nearly 2 years, it could have used a couple more.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.61/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received from ROBORB in a recent trade. Cheers buddy.

A - Big, black beer with only a little bit of brown on the edges when you tilt the glass. Three fingers of tan head that had decent retention and left a ton of beatutiful sheets and lacing on the sides as I drank it.

S - Chocolate, burnt malts, little coffee, hints of bourbon. Some alcohol comes through here that I don't care for a ton, but this smells alright.

T - Chocolate, burnt malts, little molasses, alcohol. The bourbon is greatly diminished, really have to look for traces of it. Alcohol is noticable, although not super hot, just somewhat unpleasant, and gives the flavor a thinning effect. Above average.

M - Lighter side of full or heavier side of medium. Very smooth, carbonation is appropriate and this is a very smooth beer.

D - Didn't have a problem drinking this. It's a solid beer that was quite enjoyable, although not sure if it is a big improvement over the non-BA version.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into red wine glass split with friends.

A: Pours a black abyss with two fingers of bubbly, dense dark tan head that slowly faded into a thin film that left some streaks of soapy lacing.
S: Notes of bourbon, dark chocolate and raisins.
T: Starts out similar to regular Old Rasputin with the normal chocolate and roasted malt flavors of the base beer, but then a mellow dose of warm bourbon overtakes the palate. A couple years of age have really mellowed out the alcohol and integrated the bourbon flavors well. Finish is roasted and the aftertaste is full of coffee with a toffee sweetness.
M: Surprisingly watery and thin. Not much carbonation but there is a welcomed touch of chewiness.
D: I'd probably take regular Old Rasputin over this version any day, but the flavors in this worked very well. Mouth was a letdown over the regular version. Can't wait to open the XII soon.

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Photo of aasher
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was courtesy of BrewerB months ago and shared with the Charlotte crew for Charlotte Tasting 2012. Thanks Brian!

This one pours a medium bodied black chocolate brown in color with a slight beige lacing around the glass. The nose is smooth and well integrated. It is dark and roasty with some oak, light bitterness, light astringency, and vanilla bean. The flavors are light and malty. There is a lot of smooth roasted malt, light oak, and light vanilla. I really can't pickup too much more. The bourbon is gone. It drinks lighter than I assumed it would. It drinks like it should've been consumed a year.ago. This just hasn't held up really well. I'm grateful for the review and the try but this beer is on its last legs.

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Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
3.71/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours jet black with a full foam that lasts for several minutes

S: Bourbon, Dark Chocolate, Oak, and some sweet maltiness

T: When sipped it has a lot of coffee, dark chocolate, smooth bourbon, some oak, and light unsweetened vanilla. Even after a few years it still has some really nice hoppiness to it.

M: Has a rich creamy mouthfeel with a low to medium carbonation.

O: This is a pretty good beer as it warms up. When its first poured there are huge notes of barrel and smooth bourbon. As it continues to warm up more of the subtle flavors come through, like coffee, dark chocolate, and vanilla. Even after being aged for about 3 years, and before being in a barrel for several months, it has some really nice hoppiness still. I think this beer is at its prime, and to be honest wont improve much from here. This is my second time trying this and it is definitely ready now. Overall, this is a really nice beer, but I think the Old Rasputin XII was much better.

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Photo of 321jeff
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into my Portsmouth tulip.

Pours a beautiful jet black with a couple fingers of rocky mocha colored head. Kind of surprised to see that much head on an older high ABV stout.

Smells mostly of bourbon, vanilla and oak but I also get a bit of the roast and chocolate in the background.

Taste is sweet up front with lots of bourbon and vanilla coming through. The roast and chocolate hit near the end with a mild bitterness. A slight metallic flavor is also lingering in there somewhere, not overpowering but quite noticeable. Aftertaste is of bourbon and alcohol, lingering for quite awhile after the finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty heavy, almost chewy but with plenty of carbonation. This one's a sipper, but a pleasant one that goes down just a bit too easy for an 11.5% beer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown, almost black, brown head, lighter, 1/3". These are always so bourbon and booziness heavy when fresh aroma wise.

Still hits with plenty of bourbon, chocolate malts imparting dark chocolate flavor and bitterness instead of sweetness. Brown sugar though, but not much to make it sweet or cloying.

Not bad stuff, just a high price tag.

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Photo of ChrisPro
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle picked up in fort Bragg in 09

A - dark chocolate with a little khaki head

S - bourbon, vanilla, oak, raisin, coffee

T - a bit muddled but tons of coffee on the finish. Nice chocolate sweetnes. Gets much better as it warms

M - fairly thin but perfect carbonation. A bit dry on the finish. Still a good bit of alcohol.

O - still a very good beer, better than fresh but I think I may have missed the perfect window. Drink em now if you've got em.

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle at the RBSG09 grand tasting. black with a small tan head. Lots of wood and bourbon in the aroma with bitter piney hops and dark roasted coffee. The flavor is bitter dark chocolate, light vanilla, bourbon, oak and some caramel. The body seems to have suffered slightly in the barrel and is not really full. I like this, but I might still like the regular version better, and at a billion times the cost, I can't see ever buying more of this.

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Photo of olmatty
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a creamy, tan four finger head with good retention and nice lacing and a jet black liquid

Smell- Espresso malt

Taste- Espresso, a bit of dark chocolate, smokey, dry with hop bitterness finish

Mouthfeel- Thick and sticky on the palate. Carbonation stands up to thick liquid

Drinkability- A chunky brick of a brew. It's a slow savor

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Photo of Spider889
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at a little tasting we did at From the Vine by boatshoes. Thanks for all the sweet beers you brought!

This is a black beer, dark with a very deep brown sugar colored head.

Smells of really strong bourbon. It is still fusel and packs a wallop. Raisins are the dominating marriage of the bourbon and stout.

Tastes quite dark and sweet. Boozy, bourbon soaked raisins again trample the diminished dark malt flavors so closely related to the regular Old Rasputin. Fresh oak flavors are also nicely integrated.

The mouthfeel is quite boozy, and thinner than the beer appears. Very warming, in a very pleasant (and rare tick) kind of way.

I was very surprised how strong the bourbon and alcohol were given the age on this bottle. If you have one in the cellar, I'd say keep it there another few years to give it more time to mellow and develop.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Thirstybird for bringing this one back from North Carolina on one of his trips. 500ml corked and caged bottle served at 53 degrees in my Duck Rabbit snifter. Pours two shades shy of black with a frothy, half inch tan-colored cap embedded with bubbles and ringlets. Head dissipates into a fairly consistent thin slick. A parabola of spots and strands of lacing are exposed on the tilt side of the glass with each sip. Nose suggests bourbon, ethanol and chocolate. Aromas of burnt sugar (molasses or brown sugar) are also present. Taste follows nose with the addition of vanilla notes towards the middle (and perhaps a trace of coconut in the mix). Finish expresses a lingering and slightly caustic ethanol quality between quaffs. Moutfeel is medium-light with a carbonation that falls just short of lively. Alcohol heat immediately hits the tongue and continues to remain between quaffs. Quite enjoyable - I enjoyed this one much more than XII. That being said, there's quite a bit of heat to this beer and it could stand to cellar a bit longer in my opinion to help soften the edges.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Did a little mini vertical of this and that XII at March Madness, thanks jh1982 for bringing this gem (at least compared to my XII, ugh). Very dark brown, minimal tan head to it. Big alcohol aroma, chocolate, heavy bourbon. Damn, I can't believe adding such a massive beer to bourbon, but shit, they're doing it with barleywines these days.

Fears were put to rest of a massive alcohol heat wave upon sipping, nice chocolate and bourbon integration. Yes, it is huge, and there is definite alcohol awareness and heat, but not so much that it is not enjoyable. More vanilla in this mouthfeel. More chocolate, brown sugar arrives.

I still prefer the non barrel aged version of this beer, but its far from bad.

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Photo of cbutova
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Generously shared by Chico1985 for our Rasputin themed tasting. Notes from last night.

A- Pitch black with a dark tan head that has good retention for a 2 year old high alcohol barrel aged ale. Creamy pillow atop the beer with a ring leaving a nice lace trail behind.

S- Sort of laid back for the style. Mellowed out oak and bourbon with a heavy presence of cocoa. Caramel and vanilla. Opens up more with warmth.

T- Cocoa is huge here with a backdrop of nice oak, mellow bourbon, vanilla and caramel. Not as in your face as other Bourbon barrel stouts but it works nicely.

MF- Oily moderate body with smooth silky midway carbonation. Cocoa bitterness and slight alcohol warmth. A tad light.

DB- Definitely reminds me of BA Imperial Stout Trooper before it became infected, on the lighter side of Bourbon stouts. It is a nice blend but feels like something is missing.

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Photo of alexhahn82
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Dark, rich, almost black cola brown in color, plenty of head, almost 2 fingers, plenty of almond brown lace!

S. Smells of chocolate, light hints of vanilla and bourbon.

T. Incredibly light in body, No creamy/syrupy/thick viscosity here, just ass kicking chocolate rich flavor, a slight hint of coffee, no boozy flavors just excellent flavor on the end of taste that is all bourbon.

O. Its no wonder why this beer was only sold at the brewery, bought 3 bottles @ $20 a pop, wish I had bought a case for $280 while I was up there. A must try, best Russian Imperial Stout I have ever had! Gonna cellar one of the bottles for a minimum of 5 years!!

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 5/20/11

Thanks to boatshoes for sharing the bottle.

Dark brown that doesn't entirely approach black. Quick flash of a head. Collar tapers to a swirling skim. In spite of that, there is impressive lace for the style.

The nose surrenders modest roast notes and smells fairly sugary. Molasses, hints of coffee and mild dark chocolate. Earthy; notes of wood. Sweet with bourbon. The barrel is more grabbing on the palate. Sweet, hot and lots of oak. Roasted espresso notes. Some sugary tones. Definitely bourbon-forward. Full body with a rolling, fizzy, effervescent carbonation. Quite hot. Finishes with lingering barrels.

Overall impression: pretty tasty but a little goes a long way.

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Old Rasputin XI from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 215 ratings.
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