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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Ratings: 219 |  Reviews: 146
Photo of Sammy
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A tasty treat, from Bruisn' Ales. This is despite the bourbon, which gave gave the chocolate and coffee aromas an added whiskey kick. Pours and tastes like a chocolate milkshake, very dark brown and bubbly white head. Full mouthfeel.The bourbon dimension is secondary and coconut mainly. Smooth.

 295 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of GRG1313
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful deep brown/black with the best thick, foamy "marshmellow" looking head. Best looking thick head I've ever seen.

Great coffee, roasted malt espresso/chocolate nose.

Creamy, thick and heavy mouthfeel with a rich, bold character and rich bold flavors of black coffee, espresso, dark bitter chocolate with a back palate of hops and a bitter dark chocolate/coffee finish.

The mouthfeel was the most desireable part of this stout. Thick, creamy and luscious. It tasted of genuine quality. This stout is classy, big, full and rich. Unfortunately, while I am a big fan of this beer from the bottle, tasting it from a nitro tap was a real treat!

 650 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pour courtesy of AndrewK at Woodshop 7 held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, vanilla, wood, and bourbon and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with a woody aftertaste on the finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that smells better than it tastes but is still holding up quite well.

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Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of metter98
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high tan colored head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away; a thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface.
S: There is a strong smell of bourbon in the nose along with aromas of chocolate, oak and vanilla. The smell is so strong that it was noticeable as soon as the bottle was opened.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has strong flavors of bourbon.
M: It feels full-bodied and smooth on the palate. There are lots of warming sensations from the alcohol in the finish.
D: The beer is definitely a sipper given its strength although a good portion of the alcohol is masked from the taste.

 700 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
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 oline73
4.89/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

 766 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
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...

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.4/5  rDev -20.2%
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 largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle shared by bifrostguard, thanks a bunch man.

Appearance: A near opaque black pour produces two fingers of rich frothy tan head. The head is sticky and lasting while the body is pitch black; pretty ideal for the style.

Smell: Big whiskey aroma, loaded with caramel, vanilla and boozy fusels. Chocolate cake and espresso.

Taste & mouthfeel: Chocolate-covered espresso beans lead to a big bourbony finish of vanilla and caramel. Bitterness is mild to moderate, very balanced against the malt. Medium-bodied, neither excessively rich nor sweet. Fairly hot but in a good way, like drinking a well-aged whiskey.

 620 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Bruery snifter.

Pours a finger and a half of creamy tan head. Great retention with some thick lacing. Color is pretty much black.

Aroma: Chocolate, roasted malts, bourbon, oak, vanilla, light coffee. Fairly sweet, but warming. The bourbon is subtle, but enough to let you know it is there.

Taste: Very oaky with a light bourbon in the background. A bit of alcohol shows here. Lots of creamy chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Some vanilla here. Oak is still dominate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, warming, and roasted. Fairly full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. It is a little bit dry. Ends with some alcohol and dryness.

Overall, a really nice stout. Some great flavors all around. I wish the taste was a bit more like the nose, but I won't complain. Great drinkability. Glad to have had this one.

 829 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at Dark Lord Day 2009.

A: Very dark with a tan head and very nice lacing.

S: Strong notes of bourbon as well as roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate.

T: Quite a bit of bourbon to go with the coffee and chocolate that are layered atop the roasted malts.

M: Thick, creamy, and ever-so-smooth.

D: Pretty drinkable, although a little full to be truly outstanding here.

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Photo of jlindros
3.41/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this for a while, shared with rudzud

Pours a faint head disappears, incredible legs, pitch black thick oily beer

Nose big chocolate, dark choc cocoa, a little cardboard oxidation, background plenty of toasted oak and raw sawdust, little bourbon, little cookie dough and caramel, little metallic note, fluffy nougat

Taste big cocoa, biscuity toffee cookie dough, fluffy nougat, a little char roast, bitter acrid black malt, oily inky and minerality almost metallic, bitter roasted malts and little hop, little weird oxidation thing, touch wood dust.

Mouth is med bod, thinner and waterier than expected, decent carb, little booze.

Overall huge let down, I knew there is age but this really went south.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Eightball black with the slightest hint of umber at the edges. The crown looks like a big scoop of coffee milkshake melting atop the liquid. It's incredibly persistent and is also sticky, which is rare in barrel-aged ale with such a stratospheric ABV. This is the best looking Old Raspy yet.

Anyone who loves Imperial stouts and bourbon whiskey will love the nose. It's chock full of chocolate and the burnt sugar and vanilla notes that characterize my favorite spirit (along with single-malt Scotch). It looks like 9 months was the correct length of time to allow beer and wood to get to know one another.

North Coast Old Rasputin is like Great Divide Yeti. No matter what the brewers do to the base beer, the result is going to be fantastic. XI keeps the anniversary tradition alive by being an outfreakingstanding version of the sub-style. Make sure you're on the bourbon bandwagon before acquiring a bottle (if it's even possible at this late date), because the whiskey is kicking ass and taking names.

Who knows how long these RISs age, but this vintage is drinking incredibly well right now. The flavors mesh like the gears on a Swiss watch, and the alcohol is still powerful without being hot or harsh. Methinks it has another year on it at least. Then again, the mouthfeel will continue to degrade, so keep that in mind.

Specifics include prodigious amounts of bourbon (caramelizied sugar, oak, vanilla), as well as bittersweet chocolate, a small splash of coffee and a larger splash of Sambuca. Flavor depth and breadth are not an issue. Nor is complexity.

The second pour might be even more beautiful than the first. With respect to mouthfeel, there are no chinks in the armor. It's solidly medium for the style, with a luscious and silky creaminess that creeps in as the beer approaches room temperature.

XI is my favorite version of Old Rasputin to date. Plenty of special release beers get more hype, but few can match the awesomeness of this bourbon-soaked beast of a Russian Imperial stout. Thanks (once again) to Talisker, who has provided me with some truly outstanding beer over the years.

 2,113 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Finally able to knock yet another one offs the list this week. It has been a very amazing run over the last couple of weeks, nailing down some of the things I have looked forever for. This one falls tight in there as well. Served at cellar temp and decanted into a goblet, this one was consumed on 04/30/2009.
The pour was exquisite and easily one of the best I have ever seen. Pitch black with a perfect head of light tan capping it off. Slow faded, literally no fade on this as the mushroom of foam stood on top throughout the entire session and really just looked sublime sitting up there, I was in awe, and the I went in for the smell. Rich bourbon and booze, mixed with wonderful notes of vanilla. Really well done here. Nothing really overpowering here at all as everything was pretty well balanced I have to say. As it warmed though the bourbon and vanilla were mingling with a deep chocolate and almost tobacco like smell that really gave it tremendous depth. I was a touch let down though as I went in for the rest. It was smooth, very well carbonated, but a little thin for me. I was expecting it to come off as a huge, thick monster, but it was just a wee bit thin, but still very nice. Rich vanilla and bourbon on the flavor, almost hot, but too much complexity for it to be anything less then stellar. Molasses and again that tobacco like flavor coming through very nicely in the finish and then a long drawn out oaked vanilla like flavor to seal the deal. A smooth, wonderful sipper indeed.
Overall this was very, very solid. I have to say I liked thee X better, but this one was remarkable in that it was well balanced and very well defined.

 1,670 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 11/23/11 notes. Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into a tulip, split with my brother on Thanksgiving eve.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with two fingers of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Light lacing left on the glass and a few minutes of retention; looks like a great RIS.

s - Smells of light bourbon, oak, vanilla, roasted notes, and chocolate. Nose is great, though the nose has noticeably less bourbon than the XII last time I had it (about 4 months ago). Still very good and complex, and more chocolate and vanilla, which I really like.

t - Tastes of oak, vanilla, sweett chocolate, bourbon, sweet dark fruits, and light cream. Taste seems like the bourbon has faded a bit, and is much sweeter than I remember the XII being. A step down from the nose and a step down from the XII.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy. For 11.6% ABV it's very easy to drink, had no problem drinking a 9 oz. glass of it. Great mouthfeel for a RIS.

o - Overall this is still a very good beer, but I think it may have peaked. I opened a bottle of XII last Thanksgiving and again four months ago and both times it was much better than this XI was, as was the BA Yeti I had last weekend. The nose is still great, but the bourbon has definitely faded in the taste, and it's gotten a little sweeter. As a bourbon fan, I liked the XII better and plan on opening my last bottle of XII before it fades too much like this one had. Sounds like a lot of complaining for a beer I'm giving a high review to, but that's how much I enjoyed the XII. Would certainly like to have it again and would buy it again if I could.

 1,643 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is almost black with a sturdy tan colored foam on top.

S: Lots of vanilla and chocolate in the nose provide a pleasant sweetness. The bourbon, oak, and roast balance things out.

T: A bit more bitter than I would have expected, with an emphasis on the roast and dark chocolate flavors. A very smooth vanilla, bourbon, and oak flavor combination.

M: Quite full in terms of body with a moderate carbonation and a really silky feel overall on the tongue.

D: Much better (read: balanced) than the Old Rasputin XII, so I'm hoping that beer will be to that point in another year's time.

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Old Rasputin XI from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 219 ratings.
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