Old Rasputin XII
North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin XIIOld Rasputin XII
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Stout - Russian Imperial
4.33 | pDev: 9.93%
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Old Rasputin XIIOld Rasputin XII
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Reviews: 370 | Ratings: 544 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Been sitting on this for quite a while.
Pours a tan small fizzy head with med-low retention, little lacing, decent legs, jet black color

Nose has the old BCBS aroma, plenty of dark aged roasty malts, dark chocolate cocoa, baking spices, little coffee, fudge, some vanilla and toasted oak notes, a touch of whiskey, touch of nougat can candy like, plenty of aged malt, just a hint of oxidation but a nice kind

Taste starts very rich with layers of chocolate and cocoa, dark chocolate, cookie dough and wafer notes, smooth vanilla, light buttery oak barrel and a bit of whiskey but not much, baking spices, more candy nougat like fluffy notes, a touch of alcohol but pretty smooth, some aged roasted malt, a little coffee, but no char, just a touch of bitterness, mild drier finish, bit more bitterness, some smooth alcohol, hint of oxidation, bit more whiskey lingering

Mouth is fuller bod, smooth, med-lighter carb, just a hint of alcohol warmth but smooth

Overall pretty nice, aged well although the barrel characters have faded with the alcohol, wish that came through more, but the base beer is nice, good aged character

Mar 22, 2020
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HopasaurusRex from New Hampshire

4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Milk chocolate, roast, and bourbon vanilla cream on a cold winter's night. The wind whistles outside, but this warms my spirits.

A bit low in carbonation. Thin bodied for 11.2%. Perhaps the fusels have faded with time.

A worthy sipper, but not quite worth the price of admission..

Jan 05, 2018
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.49/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Black pour left a 1/5" tan ring of head that didn't start with much to retain in the first place. The aroma isn't for the feint of heart, it drops substantial amounts of bourbon heat, then chocolate and wet oak. Better like it hot.

The weirdest thing for me about these beers is that they take a great world class base beer, and then make it actually worse by making it way more expensive and hot in these barrels.

They get better with age, but this was just too much heat when it was fresh. The grade is an average of the scores when fresh (hot, below average) and aged 3-5 years (better, but still not worth the price).

Feb 15, 2016
Photo of dar482
dar482 from New York

4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The aroma offers huge vanilla, some coffee, and roasted malt.

The flavor follows with bitter cacao nib, wonderful oxidation of a touch of soy, lots of vanilla in the middle and roasted malt. A touch of bourbon booze on the back. The beer is smooth, yet medium mouthfeel.

Apr 13, 2015
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AndyAvalanche from Massachusetts

4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500 ML bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Style glass. Liquid comes out cola brown while coming out of the bottle. As the pool rises it becomes a much darker brown. It has light brown highlights. Tan colored head, mostly small bubbles, sticks around a few minutes but it fizzes itself away. Head itself doesn't really provide any lacing, but a little bit of coating from the liquid itself.

Smell is really good, lots of more sweet than hot bourbon notes, almost ammoretto (ish). Bitter chocolate, a lot of oak, and some vanilla too, might bbs some slight hints of dark fruits in there but not too strong.

Taste is really, really good. Grain bill is strong and up front. Over roasted, almost charred, sweet grains providing both bitter and sweet chocolate flavors. Plenty of bourbon flavors including some vanilla and lots of oak providing sweetness, bitterness, and slightly earthy dark fruits. Flavors have held up very well, I'd say it even developed, no sourness or oxidation flavors at all, could have probably even held off a little.

Mouthfeel is good. Like regular old Rasputin, it's not as heavy as you'd expect considering the alcohol. Even though it didn't look like it had much carbonation, it feels like its there. Pretty smooth with the bourbon providing a sharp clean feeling in the middle, then has a dry and somewhat warming bitter finish. Not too hot though, it's nice, especially on a cold day. Really drinkable, I like this one as a sipper for the night, but it's a little dangerous like original Old Rasputin. Great beer, love the Anniversary Old Rasputin's, satisfying on all accounts, nice job North Coast!

Oct 02, 2014
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Roguer from Georgia

4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful ebony brown/black brew, topped with an oily, cream-colored head.

Huge bourbon - almost sweetly rum-like - notes from the aroma, overwhelming what chocolate and coffee is hiding in there.

Flavor is far more balanced than you might guess from the aroma. Tons of chocolate, a bit of coffee, waves of roasted barley, and big - but superbly integrated - barrel notes of sweet bourbon, corn, and vanilla. No oak sourness or heat.

Extremely thick feel, bordering on chewy, and sublimely easy to drink.

If BCBS is the (my) standard for BBA stouts, Rasputin XII did not disappoint, and was quite reminiscent of the former in all the great ways. The aroma is hugely bourbon forward, even at about 5 years of age, but the flavor is balanced, luscious, and far more complex and nuanced than regular Old Raspy. The feel is top-notch for a BBA stout. Incredible, delicious beer.

Sep 24, 2014
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Pours a very dark brown color with a yellowish off white head and lace. The aroma is big vanilla and sweet bourbon notes with a hint of roasted coconut. In the taste, vanilla, soft bourbon, oak, toasted coconut, roasted malt, hint of char. The body is velvety smooth and very easy drinking. Overall this is phenomenal and is drinking its prime. A cellar gem!

Sep 21, 2014
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.74/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at the pre-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, spice, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty, but is coming across as going downhill at this point.

Jun 04, 2014
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razorsdescent from Pennsylvania

4.94/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aged for at least 4 years.

A - dark black, good lacing.

S - overwhelming oak, chocolate.

T - heavy oak, with chocolate and coffee. Dark and rich.

M - Smooth and oily, a slick mouth coating treat.

Overall, this is a great beer. It has aged to an incredible degree as part of my stout tasting. IT ix rich oaky and chocolatey. This really is a fine example of what aging can do to a high abv stout. Old
Rasputin was one of the stouts that I weaned my beer nerdness on, and this stout has not disappointed. This isn't available any longer, but go pick up a 4 pack of the regular stuff, you won't be disappointed.

Feb 08, 2014
Photo of rudzud
rudzud from Massachusetts

4.07/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Received as an extra in a trade. Pretty darn cool. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice dark dark brown nearly oily black hue with a thin quarter inch mocha head that fades to leave a thin thin mocha blanket. Quite nice.

S - Aromas of sweeter malts/dark fruits, oak, caramel, brown sugars, soft bourbon and chocolate. Bit on the sweeter side.

T - Taste is sweet, but obvious bourbon, caramel, alcohol soaked oak, chocolates, faint darker fruits, light smoke along with anise. Subtle vanilla and molasses as well

M - Mouthfeel is quite nice. A bit on the thinner side but still quite pleasant

O - Overall, a tasty stout. Possibly on the downswing of prime as right now it is awfully sticky and the dark fruit is not really enjoyed. Starting to become too sweet.

Jan 27, 2014
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX from Washington

4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 12.1.13

A - Pours a very dark brown with anice active dark tan head that fades slowly.

S - Boozey, oak, malts, chocolate.

T - Chocoalte, sweet whiskey, a touch of oak and grain.

D - Decent carbonation with a thinner body.

O - Lovely whiskey and chocolate, barrel plays nicely with it.

Dec 29, 2013
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark engine oil black with an initial dark toffee colored head that subsides down to a thick, even layer across the top.

S - Sweet dark chocolate aroma, molasses, vanilla, and dark fruit.

T - Oak, bourbon, sweet dark chocolate, molasses, light smoke, black licorice, anise, vanilla.

M - Full medium body, light syrupy body, slick, sticky.

O - Strong bourbon, oak, molasses presence - if you have a bottle open

Nov 09, 2013
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg from Canada

4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 26/5/13, one of those beers I never thought I'd get to try, luckily for me MasterSki and Sean9689 are "The Man" that's right there's two mans

A dark liquid right out of the bottle with an edge that's a little deeper then I'd guess, lots of tiny bubbles pop up from everywhere and feed a two finger mocha foam that hangs around for a few minuets leaving one thick ring followed by random patches

S coco powder, caramel, vanilla, faint smoke and char, oak and bourbon with a blast of coffee and a hint of booze, smells great with some dark fruit as it warms

T more wood and booze, the barrels more noticeable in the mouth that's possible, fudge and coffee mix well with the char and a little licorice I didn't smell, tastes solid but the nose has a slight edge

M medium-full, creamy from the tiny bubbles, tannins are strong for a beer, slight heat but well concealed all things considered, very intense aftertaste of coffee, wood, and dark chocolate

O intense at times but that suits me fine, more wood then bourbon but you get a fair bit of barrel in one form or another, just stoked I got to drink one

I almost feel bad because I didn't share this gem, "almost" being the operative word. I'm not sure if I'd age this further if I had a second, drinking well today to say the least

May 27, 2013
Photo of Dope
Dope from Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Been sitting on this one for a while. I think it's 3 years old at this point? I just reviewed XV a few months ago so I guess so.

A: Nice jet black pour with an interesting two-tone medium brown head. Good sized dense head that fades slowly. Nice solid walls of lacing and excellent head retention.

S: Mild caramel and burnt sugar from the barrel. Lots of sweet chocolate and some char. Nice vanilla too.

T: Caramel and brown sugar up front, melding perfectly with chocolate and a little char. Some anise too, just a little. Sweet milk chocolate in the middle, turning a bit bitter into the finish. Dark, bittersweet chocolate and stronger caramel and toffee and oak here. Light oak and vanilla and toffee too. Nice residual bourbon and barrel taste lingers between sips.

M: Pretty heavy, mellow and smooth. Not as heavy as you'd expect given the age and the ABV though.

O: I've never had this fresh, but I've had the newer versions fresh and this is definitely mellowed and smoother. Not as heavy a mouthfeel though. I don't know if that's from the aging or it just wasn't as thick as the newer batches, even originally. This was quite good but honestly I think I enjoy the fresher versions more. Actually, I just checked and I gave the exact same ratings across the board to a fresh XV a couple months ago. So I guess this beer hasn't changed a whole lot!

May 04, 2013
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan from New York

4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is one of those bottles that i've just been waiting to call my name and tonight it called. enjoyed from a half acre snifter.

a - decaged and decorked the animal. brew poured a silky black with a thin tan boozy head that was gone quick. great barrel shine.

s - definable bourbon. decadent chocolate magicness.

t - BAM. bourbon bomb...and i love it. thick lush chocolate dipped in booze. a meal in a glass. this is a double dessert.

m - thick and full but silky smooth and easy to drink. great boozy glaze. great carbonation. feels as you'd want a bourbon barrel aged stout to feel.

o - overall, EXTREMELY balanced. 2009 barrel aged stouts are in the zone right now. just delicious. big beer, but superb quality.

Mar 12, 2013
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beertunes from Kiribati

4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to OKComputer for this one. Poured into chalice. Poured a solid black color with only 1/8 inch of tan head that had quick dissipation and no retention or lacing.

The aroma was bourbon forward, covering up the scent of the beer. A pleasant amount of vanilla and chocolate did show through though. On the tongue though, wow! The beer flavors, malt, a light roast, and a nice grain, had firm footing. The bourbon was much more subdued, and complimented the beer, and didn't overpower it. The chocolate and vanilla tones added nice counter-points. The flavors of this beer were nearly perfect.

The body was flawless, smooth, even. well-rounded, and well balanced. Drinkability was off the charts, I would drink as much of this as I could find. Overall, Wow! A great beer. The only flaws were the nearly complete lack of head and lacing, and the overpowering bourbon scent. Otherwise perfect. A must try if you can.

Feb 14, 2013
Photo of bigfnjoe
bigfnjoe from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged bottle into a Victory tulip

A- pours black with a half finger brown head that quickly fades. Disappointing

S- light aroma of bourbon with a little bit of chocolate. Not a powerful smell at all, and very disappointing

T- sweet chocolate, slight bit of heat from the bourbon barrels. Nice blend, not overwhelming

M- medium bodied, not nearly as thick as I'd think

O- eh, overpriced for what it is...I'd rather get two four packs of regular Old Rasputin than grabbing this one for more money

Jan 05, 2013
Photo of beagle75
beagle75 from Iowa

3.18/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Draft service into a tasting glass at The Flying Saucer in Kansas City.

A: Opaque black color with one finger of diminishing light beige foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Mild oak and bourbon are surprisingly effective at excluding actual beer qualities. Instead, booziness is hinted at while the influence of the barrel is clearly transmitted.

T: Begins off-dry, with robust pure bourbon flavor. Acidity is strong--very carbonic--into the middle where dark fruit is enlivened by the acidity. More subtle oak emerges later, along with a return of the spirit. Alcohol flavor is mild, but a slight boozy presence persists throughout.

M: Medium to thick viscosity, highly acidic but otherwise velvety smooth, with brisk carbonation.

D/O: Overrated--while this beer captures bourbon barrel-qualities well enough, it doesn't really stand out among more contemporary peers. Add to that the prevalent acidity that is all too common in strong stouts, and the palate has to ask the brain, "Why?" Value is poor, considering the price tag.

Dec 16, 2012
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AaronHomoya from Indiana

4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle I've been sitting on for about a year. Very dark black color, slick, with minimal head. Impressively stout-y just from looks.

The aroma and flavor of this beer are both quite bourbon influenced. Old Rasputin is one of my favorite RIS's, for its smooth yet very bold roasted flavors and this special bourbon-aged version just takes it up a notch. All the regular goodness with added smoothness, sweet bourbon/vanilla notes and complexity. Mouthfeel is heavy, but not too excessive.

Overall, a fantastic stout. Wish I had another.

Oct 08, 2012
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo from Netherlands

3.89/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First got a bottle of this from NewGeneric as an extra in my first ever trade many moons ago. This was one of the first bourbon barrel aged beers I'd ever had, and I found it an eye opening experience. Scored it a 4,85. Many moons later I thought I'd revisit and re-review this one and see where things have gone. This bottle came from Masterski.

From a 500ml corked and caged bottle into a snifter
Drunk along side the base beer and after a XII. Compaisons drawn.

APPEARANCE: Clear brown pour yields a one finger, thicker looking, tan head with great retention. Dark brown body, almost black, with higher levels of carbonation. A nice full wisp remains until the end and leaves lots of splotchy lacing down the glass. Like the base beer, the head is nice, but the body is a little thin. Same as the XII, but the head wasn't quite as creamy.

SMELL: Lots of barrel on this one. Bourbon, oak, vanilla and milk chocolate on the nose, with hints of dark chocolate showing through. Pretty much all barrel with very little base beer in support. Very bold, but not quite as balanced as hoped. Same as XII.

TASTE: Much like the nose, the barrel shows up strong with bourbon, oak and vanilla, then touches of roasted malts in the mid-pallate. Bold and persistent aftertaste after the swallow, with lots of barrel and alcohol, some milk chocolate, cocoa powder, and just a touch of dark chocoalte. Very barrel heavy barrel heavy and quite boozy, though not quite as bold as the XII at this point.

PALATE: Medium body and slightly higher levels of carbonation. A touch lighter than the base beer, but still very creamy smooth, goes down nice and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A bit of a scratch and burn lingers on the palate. Same as the XII.

OVERALL: This is simply the XII with two years on it. Not quite sure why all these anniversary Old Rasputin's all get a seperate listing. Just like any other yearly release. At this point, the newer vintages are bolder in flavor, though the beer is aging very nicely for sure. In retrospect, when I first tried this beer many moons ago, I was definitely green. This is a great beer and one I'd glagly re-visit time and time again, but it's not the earth shattering experience it once was. Cheers guys!

Oct 07, 2012
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.45/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A friend shared this with me when it was fresh and I thought it was a bit hot and sat on the bottle I bought.
Pours a solid black with a smallish tan head that shows great retention and a moderate amount of lace. I get a solid hit of bourbon as soon as I pop the cork on this one. Vanilla, chocolate, caramel, molasses, and roast make up the aromas wafting upon my nose. The flavor is much more integrated than I remember from the past. Caramel, toffee, molasses join chocolate and roast for a quick pop up front. Bourbon and vanilla come in midway before being dissolved by a still pretty present harsh alcohol heat. Long lingering alcohol burn mixed with a bit of coffee and ash at the end of every sip. Medium body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet roasty ashy mouthfeel. Time did help this brew out by integrating the flavors a bit better, but man that alcohol is still quite harsh after 3 years. It's almost like someone poured a little bit of cheap vodka in every bottle. I love most of the stuff from North Coast, but I can't see myself ever paying the kind of money they asked for this beer. If it were a better beer...

Oct 04, 2012
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Sm00thHoperator from California

4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lots of oak and vanilla! The appearance is almost pitch black. There is coffee and chocolate. I picked up whiskey barrels rather than bourbon barrels. It kind of reminds me of lost abbey's Angel Share only with carbonation. I think Angel Share was sweeter than this but this is a fantastic barrel aged russian imperial stout!

Sep 02, 2012
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claspada from New Jersey

4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black with a medium size head of light tan capping it off. Slow faded, leaving sublime tan sticky lacing.

Aromas begin with rich bourbon and multiple kinds of chocolate. Nice vanilla notes emerge more as it warms with a darker chocolate smell also becoming more dominant.

The tastes begin with roasted malts and dark chocolate. There is a slight bourbon present in the initial finish but it is not boozy or off-putting by any means. As it warms a tad you get more of the bourbon flavors. There are some notes of molasses, leather and a little tobacco-like flavor coming through very nicely in the finish and then a long drawn out oaked vanilla and dark chocolate flavor to seal the deal. A smooth, wonderful sipper indeed.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly medium bodied with medium carbonation; a bit light for the style, but more to my preference of not being too syrupy on the palate. Not cloying or flat or syrupy at all. This finishes quite "light" for a Russian Imperial Stout but obviously far from it, if that makes any sense.

Overall this is one of the better examples of a Bourbon barrel-aged RIS I have had recently. Flavors are all balanced and well integrated. The bourbon doesn't dominate or make this beer seem like bourbon with stout added, as some do. Really good and definitely recommended. Probably not the easiest to find at this point, but give it a go.

Jul 23, 2012
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Rifugium from North Dakota

4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Opaque obsidian pour into a mini-snifter, with a small cap of mocha head. Aroma of roasty dark malts, bourbon, oak, dark chocolate. Knocking the regular Old Rasputin up a notch, hearty dark malts in the taste, dark chocolate, tobacco, bourbon-drenched oak, hints of vanilla and ash. Smooth mouthfeel, just about full-bodied, and quite drinkable. This beer is 4 years old now, so it's gone through a good amount of aging / mellowing out so that the bourbon melds in without assaulting the palate with a lot of boozy heat.

Jun 05, 2012
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MarkFy from Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into snifter.

A: Dark brown with very thin brown head around the rim.

S: Huge bourbon, chocolate, dark fruits and licorice right as I opened the bottle. Mellowed as I poured into the glass with chocolate dominating.

T: Light bourbon and chocolate flavors meld well together with some slight toasted oak notes toward the end. Nice balance, not too sweet but almost a little flat, no heat from the alcohol whatsoever, not necessarily a bad thing, but I like a bolder punch in my BBS as opposed to flat.

M: Still flat. Little carbonation and kind of thin. Not my favorite.

O: Wish I had opened this sooner, but still good. If you have a bottle, PLEASE do like others have said and just open it now. IMHO, I don't see this improving anymore, only going downhill. I had the XI a few years back that I enjoyed, have 14 that I won't sit on much longer to compare. Still can't go wrong with a great beer like this when the base is a solid brew like Old Raspy.

May 13, 2012
Old Rasputin XII from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 544 ratings