Old Rasputin XII | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin XIIOld Rasputin XII

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Tdizzle on 06-28-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 368 | Ratings: 539
Photo of Armand
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have had this in cellar waiting to crack it open. Finally after a year or so.
A: Dark with nice mocha head.
S: Chocolate, roasty malt, liquor, charcoal, coffee
T: Like a rich candybar, chocolate, mocha, coffee with liquor.
M: Rich and milky. Love this beer
O: Love it. Goes down nice and smooth for the ABV

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Photo of cleverbeername
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Glassware: Bordeaux

Appearance: Jet black, comprised of mostly foam bubbles, some mid size, about an inch of tan head. Sticky, but not overtly

Smell: Roast black coffee, hints of toffee/molasses. Hint of alcohol at first, went away later.

Taste: first taste-coffee, intense roasty toasty smokey, 10 seconds in hits with more flavors, 30 sec plus finish. (temp about 55) Later, developed nicely, smoothed out as opened up and got to around 60-65 degrees. Also, caco notes and heavy malt (actually ate whoppers candy with it, the malt went hand in hand)

Mouthfeel: coats nicely, thick and lightly chewy.

Drinkability: intense at first, softens with time. A great beer altogether, worth the price. Could probably age 5-10 yrs no prob.

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Photo of Tilley4
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Although there's some question as to his actual date of death, I've read several things on Rasputin that claimed December 29th was his day of demise... In light of that, I'm cracking this in ode to the mysterious Russian this evening...

Deep dark blackness topped by a surprisingly thick and creamy head even after over a year of aging... Jet dead black... Heavy lacing...

The very first thing that I think of upon getting the first aromas of this is a deep dark chocolate fudge that's been laced with bourbon and vanilla... The bourbon is absolutely present but by no means is the major player... That role lies with the dark chocolate aspects and a heavy dose of rich roasted malts... I'm a bit taken aback that there's still an Old Rasputin-like hoppiness still lingering in the background as well... An earthy oakiness pervades and cuts through the darkness of the malts and brings the bourbon back around... The subtleness of the bourbon barrel aging in this brew easily sets the standard for others to follow... Truly a masterpiece...

A quick blend of bitter dark chocolate and smooth bourbon quickly melds into an experience that I don't often have... Pure unadulterated bliss... The utter smoothness and way in which this 11% RIS coaxes sip after sip with no sign of alcohol at all amazes me... The bourbon flavors are absent of the stinging alcohol bite and instead lends a sweet vanilla oakiness atop a roasted cocoa and dark malt base... I'm in the presence of greatness and I'm enjoying all the different taste inflections that this brings...

North Coast nailed this one and raises the bar for other bourbon barrel aged big stouts... Its a masterpiece of brewing and makes me wish I had more of this beer... Its amazing...

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Photo of korguy123
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Even though it's just numbers and beer I wanted something special to commemorate my 100th review. A special thanks to klevelandrocks for this gem.

Cool bottle poured into DFH signature glass.
Cork shot out of the bottle neck with a huge champagne like POP!

A- Thick oily black pour. Syrupy and viscous. Tight carbonation forms creamy dark tan head three fingers tall settling to a one finger cap that remains until my very last sip. Lacing is magical.

S- Sweet smooth bourbon notes up front. Dark chocolate, brown sugar and vanilla. Oak tones are subtle but noticible. Blackstrap molasses.

T- bitter roasted coffee, brown sugar, vanilla, molasses. Bourbon notes and milk chocolate add wonderful fullness. Bitter aftertaste is there and expected from everything that's going on it this one.

M- Velvety and creamy, smooth. Carbonation is very minimal making this a very full bodied behemoth.

D- Each sip was just as magiacal as the one before. The creaminess and fullness makes this a once in a while adventure, but man o man I wish the bottle was just a little bit bigger!

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Photo of wavz
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers of all time, barrel aged! How could you go wrong? Pours lie year old engine oil, no light at all making it through this beer. Nice creamy head that looks as if someone caramelized it. Not a lot of lacing though. First nose full gives you some good candied sugars with a a rich dose of coca powder. Also getting some anise and figs. The aroma is so complex it will take you a while to take it apart. First sip shocks me that there is no heat to this %11.2 dream. Second sip is overwhelmed by the fig nose that I'm still smelling, then the dark coco powder sets in. Blackberry tartness, cherries, and a big bowl of bakers chocolate. Seems as if you should almost chew this beer. It's like eating black forest cake with a fig topping. This is one of the main reasons I don't review many beers, they never have this much complexity, and this one deserves a review. I love this beer!!!! The only negative thing I have to say about this beer is the serving size, the bottle equals one imperial pint.

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Photo of razorsdescent
4.94/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

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Photo of jminsc76
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Into a Bruery tulip, pours a large, thick, chocolate-y-colored head atop a black, impenetrable body. The head also exhibits some large bubbles, leaving a brownish residue as it dissipates (reminds me of a root beer float).

The bouquet is COMPLEX, with strong graham cracker aromas, some espresso, molasses, and chocolate. Quite enjoyable.

Now if the aromas are great (and they are), the flavors are superb. First thing I notice is the coffee and molasses on the front end; as I breathe it in, ahhh, the espresso bitterness blasts through on the finish. It is incredibly intense. As I inhale the intensity almost takes my breath away for a moment (like breathing in a great Scotch). The flavors additionally include the aforementioned graham cracker, vanilla, and cocoa, as well as some oak/wood peaking through near the end.

The mouthfeel started a little light, but as it warms the consistency thickens to a medium-bodied/slightly thick density with significant viscosity.

Overall, this is indeed worth its weight in gold. I agree with alexd3891 that this is an A+ beer. And while the original Old Rasputin (a benchmark of American-style RISs) is incredibly good, this, my fellow beer geeks/fans, is...well, the A+ should say it all. And for $20 per bottle, well worth the price of admission.

(An update on January 23, 2011: drinking an aged one I bought at the beginning of last year, and it's still drinking well but lost a little oomph! on the flavors and the consistency has thinned a bit, which doesn't surprise me.)

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thrilled would be an understatement for my sentiment in regards to popping open this bottle. I had been anxiously awaiting its arrival into my hands and wasted no time at all getting it ready. Served chilled to cellar temp and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 08/02/2009.

Appearance - Poured out one of the best looking, evil stouts I can remember seeing. Black as night, completely opaque with a huge billowing head of tan up and over the top of the glass. Really enormous look to it. Cascading head fell back down to earth and still at over two inches high refused to gain any ground what so ever. Tons of sticky caramel colored lace thickened up the sides of the glass and nearly obscured even when empty.

Smell - Huge aroma of bourbon, rich chocolate notes and wonderful hints of molasses. As it warms it takes on a very sweet note, with touches of coffee adding a slight bitter nose to it. Really well defined though I have to admit here. Lots of bourbon, with that vanilla character very prominent indeed. This was a wonderfully full smell, I was literally headed over heals for this one...

Taste - ....then I took a taste. Perfection. Rich vanilla notes undermined the huge coffee and chocolate flavors, vanilla, molasses, hints of oak notes, sublime. Even as it comes up to near room temperature it keeps its insanely rich character. The final sips were so sweet, so full, I found myself chasing an empty glass for that last little drop.

Feel - Here is where my only really off comment could come. It could have been a bit thicker. Carbonation was spot on, but it was just not that full, syrup like texture I would have wanted to make this perfect, but still, enough viscosity to allow the flavor to really absorb on the palate which is a really good trait.

Drinkability - For how big this was, I was shocked by how little ABV there was present here. Really well done I have to say. It was insanely good and drinkable with enough of a body to really let the flavor pop, letting this one sit in the glass most of the night and keep me great company.

Overall - One of the best barrel aged stouts I have ever come across, and that is no laughing matter. I am so happy to have a couple of these to enjoy when the weather turns colder. This is a real treat and it needs to be sought out.

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Photo of rem5
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The appearance is as it should be. Exceptionally dark yet not as viscous as some beers.

Aroma is malty yet slightly maply.

Taste is very complex yet smooth and drinkable. Notes of maple and roasted malt but not overpowering. The sweetness balances out the 11.2%. It is a little chewy which only increases the desire to drink more. It is certainly a sipping beer.

M- smooth and clean. Not grassy or overbearing with flavor. Not overly chalky or coffee In nature.

D- clean but most deFinitely a sipping beer

I love the old Rasputin.. I wouldn't say this is better, just a different take on it and amazingly delicious. I think this is a bit more palateable than the original.

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Photo of Frosty80
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: pours very dark brown. sits jet black with one of smallest dark brown rims ive ever seen.

Smell: phenomenal vanilla and bourbon presence with lots of roast and chocolate with some oak. alcohol is balanced in

Taste: alcohol is very present but not overwhelming. flavor reflects aroma with lots of oak, vanilla and bourbon as well as roast and chocolate

Mouthfeel: very smooth with low carbonation just above room temp. full bodied

Notes: absolutely phenomenal. i love bourbon barrel aged beers, esp stouts. maybe a little less creamy then Goose Islands and maybe the price is still a little steep but i dont care!

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Photo of LibraryTom
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Beer should not even be allowed to be this delicious. As if Old Rasputin is not creamy and buttery enough..

Milk Chocolate covered vanilla bean with an injection of smooth bourbon. And thats just for starters!

This beer pours out rich and creamy, with a full murky brown head that lingers throughout the beer. The smell is leaping out of the glass just from pouring it, you don't even have to be that close. The first sip is just mind blowing. I thought I knew about beer, and then I had this one. Smooth and integrated with a roundness that permeates. Only a slightly sharp edge from the bourbon that sticks through. The character of the beer moves along and changes from milk chocolate, vanilla, espresso, bourbon and back again seemlessly. And the finish, well, I am still not even sure there is a finish because this beer just goes on forever!

Worth every penny!

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Photo of bort11
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is the first time the Anniversary Edition has been available in the KC area. My local store only got one case in. I only grabbed one bottle, so as not to be greedy, but if there's more the next time I'm in I'm sure as hell grabbing another one.

500 ml corked and caged bottle. Poured into a pub glass. Tall mocha tan head, thick and sticks to the glass. As I take sips, lacing paints the walls of the glass. Color is a dark black with black ruby highlights when held to the light.

Smell is multi-layered. Initially there is coconut, then grooves into the bourbon and charred oak. Finally the base Old Raspy emerges, dark bitter chocolate and espresso. Taste is equally multi-layered and shifts through the same spectrum smell moves in. It's a little more boozy in the taste, but it is so well blended in that it's a part of the whole instead of a separate experience.

I think aging may have thinned out the body from a standard Raspy, but the overall flavor expands and is filling. I would love to get another one to age, and I hope I get a chance. If you like RIS, you must seek this out.

Blipped "Never Say Die" by Black Sabbath

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank to RJ for sharing this behemoth SOB.
Poured a jet black with a nice brown head, good carbonation. Nose is blue cheese, bourbon, vanilla, wood, chcolate, a slight bit of coffee. Taste was big roasted malts, vanilla and bourbon. Very good and well balanced for such a big beer. Vanilla, roasted malts, bourbon and chcolate were the key players. Mouthfeel was nice and smooth. Very creamy but the hotness came out in the mouthfeel. While great. this is one to be shared for sure.

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Photo of Grabbin2nd
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From Notes: 7/16/09
North Coast Brewing Co.
Old Rasputin XII 2009
Russian Imperial Stout
11.2% Abv.
500ml Caged and Corked bottle into NB Snifter

Could not wait for this beer. Now I have it... Let's get it on!

Appearance= Fat 4 finger tan head on a regular pour. Body is a deep, dark, opauqe black. Head drops down to a solid 2 finger cake that rests on top of the body. Excellent webs of lace on the glass. Perfect!

Smell= Smell is excellent. Bourbon, dark fruit, choco and coffee. Really, really nice.

Taste= A little hot. See smell description for what I'm tasting. CANNOT put this beer down to let it warm up. Super Tasty!

Mouthfeel= Nice Mouthfeel. A little thin due to the barrell aging perhaps. I dig it.

Drinkability= I CANNOT put this beer down. It's a little boozy, but I simply can't stop drinking it. A serious heavy hitter. I can't wait to lay the rest of these down and see what this beer becomes!

To all you haters that passed it up because of the price, sucks for you.

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Photo of godless1one
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance - dark almost black brown with a decent deeply tan head

smell - vanilla, anise, chocolate, coffee, and a bit of the woody whiskey barrel smell the brew is aged in...and alcohol too

taste - for lack of a better description all the enjoyable smells meld together to form the flavor (which is exquisite), I tried the brew warm first and cold later, turns out to be better warm as the flavor shines that way

mouthfeel - thick and creamy, nonexistent carbonation, when warm the alcohol can be felt

drinkability - the brew is heavy and I would recommend sipping it, a worthy experience every once in a while given the price

Even at twenty bucks a pop I would buy this again without question. I could see this brew overwhelming any fan of lighter flavors and textures. For anyone who has tried Old Rasputin and liked it I would call this it's older, bigger, and stronger brother.

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Photo of johntangus
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from memory (bear with me)

Poured from bottle into snifter at Cape Fear Wine & Beer.

A gorgeous silky black with dark tan head that laced nicely. No light could enter or escape its darkness.

The smell was of delicious bourbon and chocolate.

The taste was outstanding. Roasty, toasty chocolate with very little alcohol burn. For the ABV, it hid it well. A real sipper, this beer was so satisfying that i would probably be happy drinking this beer forever.

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Photo of Tom8Analise
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A beautiful shade of dark amber, A very nice tan head forms and stays. Has a good amount of lacing.

T- Taste is amazing! Lots of chocolate flavoring and strong notes of sweet bourbon. Leaves a nice warm feeling in your chest and stomach.

S- Smells sweet like warm sugars, creme brule, caramel, coffee, chocolates and bourbon.

M- Mouthfeel is good, very smooth and has the perfect amount of carbonation.

D- We could seriously drink this beer all day, Every day it's that good! Very delicious and ohh so smooth, so smooth its hard to believe it's 11.2%.

Cheers and Enjoy
Tom and Analise

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Photo of aasher
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'd been saving this one for about six months and it did not disappoint on Christmas. It poured an oily, viscous, midnight black with a one finger dark mocha head. The smell was in your face bourbon with dark roasted malts. It had excellent chocolate aromas, bitter as if from cooking chocolate. It also had the sweetness of vanilla. It was the perfect blend of bourbon and coffee. The taste was perfect. The bourbon was subtle and sweet, the chocolate and coffee intermingled perfectly. This drank ultimately smooth and stuck to the palate, leaving a wonderful bourbon coffee tinge behind. The alcohol wasn't even apparent. This beer was exceptional.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage '09

A: Pours a jet black with 1 finger of fine laced, khaki colored head that dissipates quickly and leaves behind a subtle foam like in a cappuccino. I'm honestly surprised that there was any head at all. Tight lacing clings to the side of the glass and quickly vanishes.

N: Huge sweet bourbon notes, dark chocolate, espresso, rich toffee, vanilla, pecans and molasses. There is a slight booziness but it is extremely pleasant.

T: Ultra-smooth bourbon, vanilla and dark chocolate upfront. This is followed by smooth espresso, toffee, rum soaked cherries, pecans and dark chocolate. The bourbon also makes an appearance again. Finishes with creamy vanilla, dark chocolate and espresso notes.

M: Medium-full bodied, warming, creamy, incredibly smooth and surprisingly clean with only a subtle stickiness.

O: This bottle cost me $17.99 for a 16.9oz bottle in NJ and it was worth every penny. What little alcohol presence is there is very pleasant. Incredibly rich and creamy. Bourbon and vanilla come through beautifully with any oakiness which is surprising. This is a true gem! All the richest flavors you'd expect from a bourbon barrel aged RIS without a single harshness. Magnificent!

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Photo of Sm00thHoperator
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
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!

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Photo of MADhombrewer
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my 200th review. Cork & Caged 500ml bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada balloon tulip.

Appearance- Midnight black with a one finger tan head. Lacing doesn't stick around very long. 4.5/5

Smell- Boozy dark chocolate and coffee. 4.5/5

Taste- Smooth dark chocolate. Holy crap this is good. Boozy coffee. Kind of like coffee with Baileys in it. A lot of Baileys. Bits of vanilla as well. Some tobacco and leather as it warms. 5/5

Mouthfeel- Creamy and full. Coats your mouth but not so thick that it sticks everywhere. Goes down nice and smooth 4.5/5

Overall- Damn this is good. Part of me is upset that I opened it. I don't want it to be gone. I will savor each sip, though. It is almost perfectly melded together. This would be too boozy fresh and too sweet in another year or so. If you have one, drink it now! 5/5

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Photo of flagmantho
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from corked & caged 500mL bottle into a tulip. Looking forward to this one!

Appearance: utterly, entirely, imperially black without the slightest hint of transiting light. Head is at least two fingers of thick, dark tan head. Few beers can compete with a well-brewed Russian Imperial Stout when it comes to a good look.

Smell: rich, fruity, roasty aroma. There's a deep tanniny quality at the front which is strongly backed up by raisins, pears, cherries and plums. Roastiness is kept mostly to a light astringent quality. This is one damn fine smelling beer.

Taste: flavor's oaky and tanniny qualities jump right out at the beginning, but unlike a lot of other bourbon-barrel aged beers, this guy does not taste just like bourbon. There's a rich fruitiness here which might only partially be due to the alcohol. Mixed in is a delicious chocolate flavor which I think I may prefer to actual chocolate. This is not a hoppy beer, but with this flavor smackdown it doesn't need to be. This is easily one of the tastiest beers it has ever been my privilege to quaff.

Mouthfeel: thick body with a super silky mouthfeel. Carbonation is not super high, so creaminess is not the focus here; still, the rich and smooth feel is just about perfect.

Drinkability: wow. I was absolutely not expecting to like this beer this much. It is incredibly tasty and I feel like I could drink it all night, every night, if I had to.

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Photo of darkbegbie
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark, with red tint on edges. Small, tan head.
Great smell: strong bourbon scents, slightly woody and sweet/vanilla.
Bourbon taste is very strong, but good. Vanilla more potent in taste.
Feels light/medium: lighter than normal russian imperial stouts.
Very high drinkability.
One of my favorite barrel-aged beers. Maybe too sweet for some to drink too much of, but I definitely enjoy.

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Photo of Agold
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. What a beer.
It poured almost pitch black with a descent tan head. I just couldn't stop smelling this one. Oak and bourbon dominated, but there was also vanilla, dark roasted malts, and caramel malts. The taste was amazing. I thought that the bourbon would dominate the taste after smelling it, but under that i tasted the vanilla, coffee, chocolate, oh yea and more bourbon. Good mouthfeel. Not too heavy, and although the style might call for a bit more, i like it a bit lighter than the style dictates.

Really expensive, but I split it with a couple friends and had a really great beer.

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Photo of tjsprague
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa. This beer is big and powerful.

The beer pours out about the color of motor oil with a one inch cappuccino colored head. This is a dark dark stout.

The beer smells strongly of bourbon with a fruity alcohol flavor much like a port.

The taste is incredibly well balanced. Although the abv is high the alcohol is not over the top. The bourbon taste is very present but excellent and matches very well with the flavor of the stout. An incredible mixture.

The mouthfeel is wonderful. One of my big complaints about most stouts is they are too thin. This beer is very thick and rich. A velvety texture that is rich and thick.

As for drinkability, this is not a beer you are going to have a 6 pack of in an evening, but it is very enjoyable. I have never been so pleased with a beer purchase, it was pricey but totally worth it. For the ABV it is incredible how easy this beer is to drink and enjoy. I never wanted it to end.

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Old Rasputin XII from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.3 out of 5 based on 539 ratings.
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