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: 146 | Ratings: 219
Photo of cbutova
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
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 corby112
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a massive three finger frothy, pillowy mocha colored head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with rings and large chunks of soapy lacing.

As soon as the cork popped you could smell this beer across the room. Huge bourbon presence with a lot of roasted malt, silky chocolate, oak, vanilla, roasted coffee and toffee. This is one if the best smelling bourbon beers I've had.

While this beer is complex and flavorful it doesn't live up to the potential of the aroma. A pretty big bourbon bomb with a lots of alcohol heat up front that lingers throughout into a chest warming finish. The barrel aging adds touches of oak and vanilla nad underneath all ofthe bourbon there is some roasted malt, burnt toast, coffee bean, toffee, chocolate and slight lactic creaminess. Overall this is very hot with lots of bourbon but it has mellowed out as I've opened them in intervals of three months.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.61/5  rDev -15.3%
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 JohnQVegas
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
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 SneezyAchew
3.59/5  rDev -15.7%
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 scottfrie
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
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 larryi86
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
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 emmasdad
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
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 kbutler1
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a dark brown almost black color with a nice fluffy 2 finger head. The head is very slow to settle. The smell is cocoa nib, chocolate, vanilla, and oak with some slight booze. The head is still very impressive as it slowly settles to form a nice coaster of tan head. The taste is very complex with lots of flavors going on. Slightly sweet up front followed by a mix of an oaky, earthy boozy flavors. The booze is still a little more prevalent than I would have thought for a beer with some age on it but it still has that "hot" flavor to it. Very nice medium/heavy mouthfeel mixed some good carbonation. I am a big fan on the regular Rasputin and this just takes it up a notch. Good lace. The flavor is growing on me as I slowly sip on. Very tasty but a sipper for sure.

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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.

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Photo of infi
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle, courtesy of BA NYManc. 10/1 notes.

Poured into a snifter.

Dark pool of liquid with some hues of blood red within. A thin tan head forms which quickly banishes into a cap. Very minimal in head retention time and lacing. The glass itself is a bourbon bomb with its warmth and oaky qualities resonating from the glass quite adamantly, which ultimately lands in a nice area of caramel and vanilla. Very, very reminiscent of the GI BCS.

Brew is ridiculously smooth and mellow. Begins with some big and earthy oak barrel qualities and bourbon heat and then works its way into a roasted sweet malt element and then finishes in an incredible fashion: Hershey chocolate syrup and melted caramel. The finish alone made me go wide-eyed and giddy inside. If you ever get to try this beer, this aspect is worth paying attention to.

Mouthfeel is a bit light-bodied than I would've liked. I immediately knew from the get-go once I started pouring it into the glass. Not as viscous as the XII, but still wholesome. A nice sipper, but not as slow as other imperial stouts. Delicious and appetizing overall. I would say that I'd prefer the XII more due to its thicker mouthfeel and consistency, as well as a considerably more tastier flavor profile.

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Photo of NYManc
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel Tulip; Shared with BA infi

A: Poured motor oil black with a small Mocha/Tan head. Head retreated very fast and very little lacing if any at all.

S: Wow what a distinct smell. Strong smell of bourbon mixed with a strong vanilla/milk with very little traces of malt in it. Strong alcoholic back smell for me, which I assume is from the bourbon.

T: Taste of strong bourbon first, mixed a tiny bit with with a malt. My favorite part comes with the after taste: Delicious milk chocolate with malt which lingers LONG after it has gone down. Amazing.

M: Very light body with no carbonation. I can taste the 11.60% ABV every now and then, but sometimes it comes up strong (I don't know why).

D: This one is meant to be taken slow. Did not finish the whole thing with infi so we've put a stopper on it and saving it.

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

Split a 500mL three ways. Poured into stemless wine glasses. Part of a mini vertical: Old Rasputin aged three years, Rasputin XI, Rasputin XII. Reviewed 6/5/2010.

Ar: Strong bourbon, alcohol, sweet full and delicious, dates, prunes, brown sugar, molasses

Ap: Tan medium thick head, great retention, Black/deep brown, light lace

T: Sweet chocolate, rich caramel, vanilla, bourbon, smooth earthiness, beautiful, rounded smooth and complete, long sweet chocolate with oak and mild roast in the aftertaste, wow, sweet but balanced by alcohol, mild fruitiness, coffee hints

M: Creamy and full, mid carbonation, alcohol warmth, long finish, sweet but not at all cloying

O: More bourbon than i remembered with the 12 but good, very good, alcohol comes through but very good

This was followed by the XII, and in comparison it was WAY better.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle received in a generous trade from koopa, served in Riedel Bordeaux glass.

A - Dark brown, almost black, with a 1/4inch brownish cream-colored head that sits on top.

S - Faint bourbon hits the nose first, then some nutmeg, semisweet chocolate, coffee, molasses, and vanilla on the back.

T - The bourbon and coffee hit first, feeling a little hot on the front of the palate, but they ease up almost immediately. Chocolate and the molasses in the middle, then vanilla and a slight warmth of the alcohol as it finishes. Great combination of sweet and dry, with the espresso, chocolate, and bourbon all complimenting each other nicely.

M - The flavors in this one are outstanding and perfectly balanced. Add to that the perfect carbonation and you'll understand the 5.0 rating.

D - A delicious beer, but maybe a little warm yet. I'd love it at this intensity on a winter's night, but might prefer it a little mellower on this still-warm September evening.

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Photo of obireidkenobi
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
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 jhammel01
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a Deep black, pitch black. Nothing passes through. Plenty of carbonation, brown head. Creamy head retains itself along with plenty of lacing. Very nice....

The scent is one of the best I've had lately! Heavy chocolates dominate the smell. Dark chocolates along with some milk chocolate, cocoa. Slght malt aroma...hops..

The dark chocolates dominate the taste of this brew. Roasted malt, chocolate, slight coffee also noticeable. Mostly this tastes like a creamy dark chocolate milkshake. Slight alcoholic burn. Again...very, very nice!

Such a good beer...Its as good as old rasputin but much much creamier. As already a favorite stout of mine (all time), The barrel aging has really made this an even bigger favorite of mine. Very good! Worth the steep price

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Photo of 321jeff
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
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 billshmeinke
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
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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Photo of KeefD
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
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 Huhzubendah
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared at my tasting on May 29, 2010. Thanks Paul! Review from notes.

This beer appears a near black color with a beige head and a fair amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is heavy bourbon and alcohol. The taste is delicious and rich, with heavy bourbon flavors being the showcase here. It's a great beer if you're into a bold barrel-aged stout, and I am. It's slightly sweet, with the roasted malt aspect coming through nicely once you can look beyond the bourbon. Not surprisingly, there is a warming alcohol finish. The high abv % isn't disguised, but overall, the beer is well done and the heat doesn't bother me the way it sometimes does with other beers. This one is a sipper, and great for sharing with a few folks.

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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 CraftAleRookie
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in an inappropriate drinking water glass (which I guess is better than a paper cup). Pour from a 500ml bottle with a cork. One interesting note that supports the feedback for mouth feel- the cork cut loose with a POP as if this were champagne.

A- Jet black- foamy one finger head that I never got a chance to know, as it disappeared quickly. Trace foamy lacking around the top edges of the brew.

S- Bourbon, sherry, toffee, dark chocolate. Wonderfully complex myriad of aromas!

T- strong alcohol/bourbon flavor up front; followed by traditional stout notes of malt, chocolate, hints of coffee. I wish I had another bottle to put aside for 3 or 4 years, as this would be a 5 if softened just a bit.

M- Full/heavy up front, finishes smoothly. Bubbly- seems more carbonated than what I was expecting.

D- this is a wonderful sipper- although I wish it was a cold winter night, and not a hot summer day (thank God for Air conditioning!) This continues to be a top pick of barrel-aged stout, a must try for those who love both Stout and Scotch.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
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 drabmuh
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of farrago
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No doubting the fluff factor here, moderate pour gets you an easy three fingers of dark brown, dense foam, topped off with a crown of larger, dimpling bubbles, takes awhile for things to recede and even see the lacing. Oh yeah, it's black, not a trace of color in the liquid. Coconut suntan lotion, dark roasted coffee beans, bitter dark chocolate, vanilla bean and a crystal clear burst of whiskey in the nose, plum, black cherry, date, fig fruit, alcohol soaked orange peels, makes no bones about wanting to steamroll your nostrils and not look back. Medium-bodied plus, actually a little less dense than expected. This gives more flow to the coconut, vanilla, butterscotch, coffee, as roasty as sweet and barely leaves space for any of the rye, pumpernickel bread, green hay elements to breathe. The carbonation comes across as pretty strong at first but gets sucked into the black hole of the flavors. Apple, grape, cherry, pear takes a serious back seat to the rest. Absolutely nothing subtle here, if you don't like the message in the first few seconds the rest won't change your mind.

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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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