Old Rasputin XII | North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin XIIOld Rasputin XII
539 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 539 |  Reviews: 368
Photo of younger35
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received one of these in a trade with 011 (check name) and also picked one up at Princeton Liquors up in Maple Groove. The regular Old Rasputin is a beer I used to absolutely hate when I started on good beers but I've given it many chances since and it's really grown on me. Drank from my Darkness snifter while watching the first Sunday night game of the '09 season (Chicago vs Green Bay).

Review # 550

Appearance- Pours an extremely dark black with a thick oily consistency and a fairly dark tan head. Almost no cap remains after the head dissipates but somehow a super thin collar manages to leave a random bit of spotty lacing.
Smell- Like the regular version it's very roasted and almost charred in the nose. The barrel is very noticeable as its rich and lightly caramelly with just a touch of vanilla. Butterscotch and toffee (of course) mix well with the chocolate cake and light French roast. The alcohol is hidden extremely well as I don't think I get the slightest whiff. Taste- Oh shit! This is just lovely. A big rush of vanilla and butterscotch overtake my mouth before a fairly subtle roasted coffee sneaks in. A touch of oak and whiskey and maybe even a rye like influence or even a touch of tobacco/leather. There is a light sweetness in the start but the finish is fairly bitter and ever-so-slightly astringent. Maybe a bit of raw cocoa nibs as well but for the most part everything is in great balance and one thing really doesn't stick out more than anything else. The finish is lightly warm from the alcohol and even a kiss of something citric right at the end.
Mouthfeel- Rich and creamy/silky with a very light bit of carbonation that aids in the great feel.
Drinkability- Wow. I assumed this brew would be tasty (it is top 100) but I'm pleasantly surprise by how good it really is. Its extremely drinkable and subtle as a bevy of flavors intermingle beautifully. The barrel isn't overwhelming, nor is it hiding in the background. Everything just comes together perfectly and it somehow really differentiates itself amongst all those barrel aged IRS's out there. Thanks much Matt!

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Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've always been an Old Raspy fan. I mean, who couldn't be? In California, at least, it's the only widely-distributed RIS available, and it's pretty consistently delicious. Unfortunately, Old Raspy XI has alluded my grasp, and XII I'd yet to find - until now:

Appearance: Pours with a very nice caramel/off-white head, and a completely non-limpid, opaque head. How an RIS should look.

Smell: This is one of the nuttiest aromas on a beer I've ever experienced - deep, deep nuts, hazelnuts and almonds, in particular, with some cashew. Vanilla and molasses follow, with a back-end of wood and malt alcohol. Some nutmeg and cinnamon linger in there, as well. This is a very good smelling beer.

Taste: Nutty, vanilla-y, caramel-y goodness. Not overpowering or one-dimensional, though, and it plays off its stout characteristics in a way that does not overpower. The alcohol is barely perceptible in the mouth, compared to the nose. Absolutely amazing. The barrel-aging brings out flavors in this stout that do NOT relate to its barrel or the barrel's former occupants - who'd a thunk!

Mouthfeel: Not very hot at all, well-carbonated, and not overly thick.

Drinkability: This is an amazing specimen of a barrel-aged stout/RIS. Bravo.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a tulip glass, this beer was a very dark brown, almost black, color. A thick cocoa head that quickly dissipated. Great aroma of coffee and bourbon, along with a little chocolate. Strong coffee/espresso taste, some bourbon, a little bit of chocolate. Alcohol noticeable, but was not oppressive. A very rich, filling RIS. I would like to drink some more of this, but the price of $22.50 for a 500ml bottle is a little daunting.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.78/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark, mirrored obsidian with a frothy film of creamy tan that stuck around for a while. Just a sliver of brown came through the dimple at the bottom of my tulip.

Smells of sticky, smooth, toasty barley, sweet, fruity port and a touch of caramel with a sharp edge of oak which accentuates some smokey notes.

Tastes of toasted marshmallow and cocoa with an underlying current of dark fruits and port. There are some roasted, toasty notes that give rise to a sharp oak. This oak sadly DOMINATES the beer. The finish is a green, sappy oak that seems slightly burnt, which tears up the sides of my tongue. Needs age!

Feels slick and dense, yet distant due to a soft fuzzy carbonation that lifts things off my tongue.

A tasty brew, and a great accomplishment, but I would sit on this one for a year or two.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: A dark ebony with an espresso head.

S: Plenty of bourbon and sweet roasted malts, alongside a little bit of chocolate, tobacco, and espresso.

T: Thick and tasting of all of the above. The bourbon character is evident and really adds a lot to Old Rasputin.

M: Perhaps the best part. The one thing that's really lacking--for me, at least--with regular Old Rasputin is that it's a little bit thin. That is not a problem here.

D: Quite drinkable--a very worthy RIS and I'm quite glad that North Coast decided on wider distribution for this one.

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I bought two bottles of this the first day it was available in Minnesota. I wasn't going to drink either of the two bottles for quite some time, however I couldn't handle the bottle sitting in the basement so I had to try it...it was calling to me...

Pours a jet black into my pint glass, with a large brown head. The head has great retention and amazing thick, chunky and sticky lacing.

This is definitely a bourbon bomb. I get some vanilla, oak and a thick sweet caramel malt backbone. Very enticing...I can't wait. Light alcohol scent, not as much as you would think.

The taste is as advertised, exactly as it should be. Bourbon, oak and vanilla, dark fruits and sweet malts, a chocolatey bitterness and again a light alcohol presence. Again, the alcohol is not as imposing as I feel it could be, pretty dang impressive. This is a straight up amazing tasting beer.

This beer is thick, and coats the mouth. It goes down smooth and leaves a bourbon taste lingering in the mouth. Alcohol definitely has it's warming affect, but again, not as bad as you would think. Drinkability is very high. I'm not saying just anyone could walk up to this beer and chug it, but those that appreciate the style will find this a very easy drinking beer. I could easily (and most likely regrettably) finish this bottle to myself, thankfully I'm sharing it with a friend.

Overall, this is a solid beer, any way you look at it. As far as Barrel Aged beers go, this is near the top. Possibly the best stout (in general) that has ever graced my lips. I can only imagine what time will do to this bad boy, but I know it's going to do wonders. Unfortunately for me, that doesn't bode well for the second bottle making it very far into the future. We'll see...

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Photo of MisterClean
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

North Coast opened a couple bottles at the California Brewer's Festival. According to the brewers there, same difference, different year as XI.

A - Poured black, with 2 fingers of cappuccino head. Dissipated moderately and left nice lacing.

S/T - Vanilla, oak, medium roast coffee, and layers of chocolate. Really nice. Old Rasputin, but on steroids. Some warmth notied.

M - Full-bodied, malt-dominated, and lightly dry. Warmth, but goodness too.

D - Great, but wanted to feel a little more hoppiness.

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Photo of mhatters
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beauty at the Drafting Room in Exton

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a sort of tulip glass. Pours a dark black oiliness with a dark tancoco colored head

Lots of bourbon in the nose, vanilla and woodiness as well. Then roasted chocolate and rich coffee. Spectacular.

The wood and whiskey come through strong, slight heat from the alcohol, roasted chocolate, vanilla, anise, and some sweetness. Really, really good, the best stout I have had.r.

Rich and creamy, a tint of dryness, slightly slick, very present.

I would love to be able to afford more than one of these at a time. Fantastic.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin XII
The price tag on this makes me cry

Dark dark black liquid space
small mocha foam, just a trace

Aromas of booze!, and lots of wood
If you like that things, this ones quite good

Taste is boozy, woody great.
the coffee, chocolate malts, help REGULATE

Mouthfeel sticky, chewy, full
In 12 months this one will own you

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Photo of OStrungT
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a jet black color, with a fluffy brown head. The head fades slowly, leaving a thick lacing.

This beer smells pleasently of bourbon. I can detect some vanilla, and some oaky aroma as well. Also present is some sweet caramel malt. Some dark fruit aroma is also present. The alcohol content is noticable in the aroma.

This beer tastes exactly like it smells. Borubon, mixed in with some vanilla and oak. Dark figs are also present. As with the aroma, the alcohol content is notable.

This beer is very full bodied. It goes down smooth, leaving a bourbon like aftertaste. The alcohol warms on the way down. Carbonation is low, good for the style.

This beer wouldnt be a good session beer. It is too high in alcohol. Also, the good, but aggressive flavor would be to much to drink all night long.

Overall: This beer is pretty damn good. One of the better BA Stouts I have tasted.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tasted side-by-side with a bottle of Old Rasputin XI.

a - pours nearly black with a huge, milk chocolate colored head, a shade lighter than the XI if you really strain your eyes, good retention and lacing

s - big dark chocolate aromas mixed with bourbon and toasted oak, the bourbon is definitely stronger on the nose in this one than in the XI, decent amount of citrusy hop notes underneath the darkness

t - dark roasted malt and dark chocolate up front with an interesting hop and coffee bitterness coming on the mid-palate, the finish has a substantial bourbon presence, but it's not quite harsh, predictably, the flavors in this are not quite as well-integrated as the XI given the age difference, and the bourbon is a tad hotter, the toasted oak flavors are slightly more muted on this as well

m - medium-bodied, not quite a full-bodied as the XI, a bit higher on carbonation level as well, carbonation is fairly high for a barrel-aged beer, but not in a bad way, big alcohol warming effect on the palate, nicely balanced finish -- not overly dry or sweet

d - definitely a one-bottle in a night beer, the complexity keeps it interesting through the whole bottle though, could use a bit more time in the bottle to smooth out the bourbon

Overall, a very good effort by North Coast. Everyone tasting the two beers agreed that the XI is better at this point, but the XII is not far behind and could certainly be just as good given another year to age. Definitely worth a try, even at $18-20/bottle.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as ink with a bit of off white/brown head that fades to just a bit of lace. Smells very complex, cocoa, coffee, vanilla and some bourbon.
Taste is a bit milder than the smell. Same notes just a bit muted. Lingering coffee/cocoa finish makes it a very nice sipper.
Mouth is rich and creamy. Very easy to drink, the finish makes you want another sip.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a dark black with dark tan head that raises about a finger and lasts about 30 seconds. Very oily and runny looking with little lacing for a stout.

The aroma is very complex with lots of notes. First off you get lots of vanilla, but it fades to the woody barrels and light notes of alcohol and coffee.

The taste is very light throughout surprising compared to the aroma. There are light notes of coffee with a vanilla finish.

Mouthfeel is light doesn't really laste, but conversely its very drinkable for a stout.

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Photo of atsprings
4.77/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle into a Duvel snifter pours a deep opaque black with a nice frothy light tan head that lasts and leaves great lacing on the glass. Aroma is absolutely incredible, a very pungent amount of fresh ground coffee, bakers cocoa, and roasted malts. The taste is a velvety smooth blend of cocoa and coffee with a nice roastiness and just the right amount of oak. The beer is certainly on the heavy side, a sipper to say the least, but with taste that good, you certainly want to savor it. This one certainly is an incredibly special beer, one I would love to have again, especially with some age on it.

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

Bottle XII Pours a sturdy black with a good tan head. The head is frothy and lasting. It produces great lacing. Has a good aroma of bourbon barrels, roastness, alcohol, and some chocolate. Has a good carbonation. A nice alcohol burn which is good but not too much. The flavor is heavy bourbon but good. Well blended, hide the high abv well. Has good malts, and subtle stout tastes. The texture is a little on the dry side. Has a full body. The finish is good and the aftertaste sits nicely on the tastebuds. I was not sure weather or not to pick this one up because of the price but I am real happy I did. Well done

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Photo of mikey711
3.93/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one into a snifter.

A: A syrupy black comes straight from the bottle providing a moderate amount of head that is a nice tannish brown. The lacing left behind is excellent.

S: Rich bourbon and vanilla notes along with a touch of wood. Beneath that is a layer of chocolate and espresso. Some alcohol is present as well. I really enjoy the flavors but the vanilla is a bit too much.

T: Oaky wood notes followed by bourbon and vanilla, followed by sweet milk chocolate followed by roasted coffee and caramel. Very nice set of flavors that go very well together.

M: Very creamy and rich full flavors followed by the slightest bit of alcohol heat and chalkiness. The chalkiness in this is actually very pleasant and adds to the overall mouthfeel.

D: Very high. I split a bottle, but could easily enjoy a whole one myself if not two.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into tulip on 9/6/09. Thanks to FooFaa for sharing.

A - Poured an oily, pitch black body with half an inch of burnt mocha head that reduced to a thin, patchy veil and rings of lace around the tulip.

S - Where to begin? The initial aroma boasts a complex blend of woody, oaky tannins, coffee bitterness, chocolate and cocoa nibbs, vanilla and bourbon. Malt character is rice-like and candy-esque with some grainy attributes.

T - Bitter chocolate and coffee dominates the initial flavor and is backed by a Rice Krispie malt character. Pretty soon, a hefty dose of oak and bourbon emerges, yet Old Rasputin XII maintains its cool with a blast of vanilla sweetness, which renders the flavor not too warm at all. The oaky, woody characteristics also remain at bay, which allows the chocolate and coffee attributes to shine. This might be what a fudge brownie dipped in a vat of bourbon that's had vanilla beans soaking in it for a few weeks.

M - Full-bodied, thick and oily with a chewy texture and moderate alcohol warmth on the tongue. Mouthfeel is softly carbonated overall. Finishes with earthy hop bitterness and light astringency on the palate.

D - Excellent Anniversary stout from North Coast. I wish they would have had this on tap (or cask) when I visited the brewpub in July. A totally different monster than the standard Rasputin, though every bit as wonderful and complex.

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Photo of TexIndy
2.94/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Revised review based on input from a fellow BA who helped me see that my original lacked a 'did it fit the style' component. Those looking for the original review mentioned in the forum are too late. My review is based on a RIS with bourbon barrel aging and not a bourbon beer. Therefore, it needs some RIS aroma and flavors to it.

Got from ummagum as a freebie - he is the best friend that you could ever ask for (and yes he knows I don't like bourbon beers)- many thanks! Poured from a 500ml corked and caged bottle into a pint glass. No date but it's this year's anniversary beer so fresh. Was pitch black in color. Had a large brown head that slowly faded to a constant 1/8" foam.

The aroma was bourbon, vanilla, oak and maybe cherry. Not a fan of bourbon only aromas and this one is just dominated by it. I'm not getting any of the base RIS aromas. If you told me it was any other style, I'd believe you since there is really nothing but bourbon and oak. The taste followed the aroma and again was dominated by bourbon with none of the base RIS flavor coming thru. No balance to it. It's just too much bourbon after a bit so ended up drain pouring (for those who suggested sharing with a neighbor - after 3 years of giving samples of various styles and trying to break the BMC grip I've just now got a couple willing to try IPA's. No way in hell they would try this one). Mouthfeel was well carbonated and creamy but didn't like the bourbon after-taste.

Overall, more bourbon than beer and lacking balance with the base RIS flavor. Would probably greatly benefit from some aging. I got it for free but if I had paid $23 dollars for 500ML, I'd be very disappointed. For that money, you'd expect at least 750ML. If you like pure bourbon then you might like this one. If you want balance then I don't recommend.

Rotation: one and done

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Photo of nickd717
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at a BeerAdvocate gathering.

A - Black in color with a nice creamy brown head.

S - Great aroma of coffee, chocolate, roast, bourbon, and vanilla.

T - Flavor is similar to the aroma and very complex with bourbon and oak standing out and mild dark fruit notes. Also your standard coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt profile, which is done well.

M - Smooth, creamy palate that is not quite as full as I'd like, but still good.

D - Pretty good for a bourbon barrel imperial stout.

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Photo of zeff80
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased and opened in honor of the birth of my son.

A - Poured out an opaque, dark brown color with ruby highlights. It had a brown, two-finger head of bubbly foam that left behind sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of cherry, bourbon, oak and hints of biscuity malt. Really a great aroma.

T - It tasted of roasted malts, chocolate, bourbon, oak and vanilla. The bourbon strengthens as the beer warms.

M - It was soft and smooth with a warm alcohol presence. A chewy mouthfeel and a heavy bodied beer.

D - This is a good beer but I prefer the regular Rasputin. It's just too heavy and too much to handle.

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Photo of maximum12
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hate the price tag on this bugger, but ultimately, how many top-notch barrel-aged beers to you see on your local store shelves in the Twin Cities? So I gave in. Score one for North Coast.

Black. Smell is what I hope for; the bourbon present & accounted for but muted, mixed in with the roasted maltiness.

This is a winner. Bourbon is riding shotgun but not toting an AK-47. Coffee, vanilla, & oak are hanging around the shop flashing signs, while the alcohol, while not terribly apparent, is felt in the tips of my nose hairs like a good single malt scotch. Latecomers include a strong vanilla crunch.

Rasputin XII is very dry for an RIS, with a medium body that doesn't overload the stomach or senses. Drinkability? Wish they'd sell more than 500 mother...a bigger bottle would be nice. Splitting 500ML with the wife doesn't give me a good sense of being able to pound these over a shot glass with a quarter gripped between thumb & forefinger.

Excellent beer. Wish the price tag weren't so high, we could use some accessible barrel aged beers like this in the Midwest.

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

500ml bottle courtesy of eyebrews. Jack, you are truly the king of kings!

A very dark brown beer with ruby red highlights and a frothy off-white to caramel brown head.

Lost of roasted malts in my nose accompanied by chocolate, vanilla and oakiness.

The taste is an explosion. Chocolate brownie batter, watered down with chocolate milk. There's a good whiskey burn here but doesn't distract from the sweetness. The vanilla is present on the back end. Really nice stuff!

It's a thin RIS, a Cali RIS. It also hides it's near 12% very well as I'm just about kaput with this 500ml and ready for the next 500!

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

PACKAGE: 500 mL corked/caged bottle

AROMA: Substantial chocolate and bourbon with a slight note of roasty sweetness.

APPEARANCE: Pours opaque black with a persistent brown head (about 1/4") and dissipates to a thin brown, frothy film that leaves light lacing with each sip.

FLAVOR: Initial flavor is purely imperial stout - chocolate, coffee, and a light sweetness, but the bourbon takes over quickly and entirely, leaving a very distinct bourbon after.

MOUTHFEEL: A full bodied RIS (as expected) with a moderate carbonation level.

OVERALL: Exactly as advertised and a very enjoyable sipper. What more would one expect when starting with such a phenomenal beer and ending in a bourbon barrel for some complexity. The alcohol dominance was a bit out of balance, but that did not take away from my impression in the least.

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Photo of KeefD
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great looking dark brown upon the pour, almost black in the globe glass, two finger creamed coffee head and light lacing. Looks great! Big wafts of cocoa and whiskey, a bit of burnt malt notes, hints of wood. Mmm, mmm... Can't wait for the first sip of this one! Wow, wonderful integration of sweet burnt caramel, chocolate, light coffee, a bit of buttery oak and some vanilla. Wow, just wow. This is just the way I love my RIS's to taste. Bourbon is there, but it's not overwhelming, just the right touch. Mouthfeel is a tad thin and really lets the alcohol heat come through. This was expected as regular Raspy is not necessarily the thickest of stouts, but the flavor more than makes up for it. Low carbonation, silky, but not quite creamy. Overall, this is some great stuff. How to make Old Raspy even better: Age it in bourbon barrels. There was a bit of sticker shock buying this beer, so I'm not sure if I'll buy another to age, but it was definitely worth the $18 for the chance to try it.

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Photo of deereless
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A thick brown espresso like head, poured out of the bottle with the viscosity of a warmed maple syrup, lots of sticky patches of foam scattered on the surface of the beer and along the sides of the glass, a true pitch black - 5.00, S: Very obvious signs of the bourbon barrels on the nose, a sweet whisky aroma along with some earthy oak, whiffs of vanilla, strong chocolate malt presence - 4.50, T: Bourbon up front followed by a burnt grain, the vanilla that shows on the nose comes through on the tongue, thick flavors of dark and dried fruits - possibly plums, raisins and dates, dark bitter chocolate, a pleasant grainy sweetness is present from start to finish - 4.50, M: Full bodied and creamy, a touch grainy - 4.25, D: A very enjoyable beer, Old Rasputin is one of my favorites and to put it in bourbon barrels adds a nice layer of complexity - 4.50

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Old Rasputin XII from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 539 ratings
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