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 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 drewd0g
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle into a tulip. Served slightly bellow room temp.
This beer rocks. The color is an opaque black color with a frothy brown head. The smell is nice and full of bourbon. The taste is phenomenal! creamy, and delicious. Full of sweet roasted malt...notes of caramel and coffee stand out. The barrel aging was really wonderful for this beer. overall this is a really exceptional beer. Definitely one of the best stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another brew that I've had numerous times, yet never ticked it. Thanks to Gtreid for the share of this particular bottle. The brew pours a deep brown hue and is capped with a wispy white head depositing very little lace. The nose has all of the things you'd expect in a -bal Stout - roast, molasses, wood, bourbon, vanilla, toffee - it just has them apportioned in a strange way. The flavor adds small notes of chocolate and hazelnut to the aforementioned elements, and is generally fairly mild in terms of intensity. There is a very earthy note that is present throughout, and I've observed this quality with every bottle I've had. It is not off-putting, but it is rather high in the mix, so to speak. The feel is a bit thinner than I'd like to see here, but it has some satiny texture to compensate. Overall the whole of this beer is better than the sum of its parts.

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Photo of Adrianized
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Stone RIS snifter.

Pours pitch black, even when held up to the light.  Thick mocha head hangs out for a while and leaves behind wonderful lacing.

Wow this smells amazing.  Up front is bourbon, vanilla, coffee, milk and dark chocolates.  There's a tickle of an alcohol burn at the end.

Wow, this is so good.  First I get creamy chocolate and vanilla bean.  There's a perfectly balanced amount of bourbon here... not overpowering but it's there the whole time.  Finishes with coffee, roasted malt, and bitter dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, and well carbonated.  It's so smooth, yet it's almost effervescent.  Awesome.

Well, I thought this was amazing.  I may like it more than KBS.  Get some if you can!

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance: Black as the arts Mr. R was into. Some ruby hues revealed in the light. This is one pretty stout. Impressive lacing for an 11+%'er.
smell: Smoother and more well rounded than the Old Raspy. Some of the harsh edge of a fine RIS (e.g. the 'normal' Old Raspy) mellowed and even tamed by the bourbon barrel treatment. That buttery sweetness is a nice foil.
taste: Wow, that's art. What a mellow drinker. Complex but easy on the mouth. The individual tastes are elusive and that's a good thing here...it balances perfectly.
overall: Yikes this is a great stout.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was quite the find, I was very happy to grab a bottle of this a while back. With much excitement I opened the bottle and poured it out for my friend and myself. The beer poured out as a nice dark black color with a creamy looking brown head. The lacing is pretty nice on the glass. The smell of the beer has a lot more chocolate than the regular Rasputin. The other aromas were of big roasted malts and just a touch of wood. The taste of the beer was very good, rich malts and some wooden flavors with a hoppy bitterness in the back end. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy, had a really nice texture to it. Overall the beer was very good, I liked it more than the regular Rasputin until I had it on Nitro tap. Won't know if I will ever have it again but it was a very nice beer to have tried.

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Photo of Gtreid
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Pretty much black with some ruby highlights. A lighter than expected head appears and then leaves some nice lace.

A: Sweet chocolate, notes of roast, and bourbon. Vanilla and carmel notes, with a touch of earthiness. The bourbon is very pleasing in the nose, not hot at all.

T: Again, notes of chocolate, slight coffee, roast, and of course the bourbon. The bourbon is not overpowering in this one, just really complements the base beer. Finishes sweet and dry with a small alcohol heat.

M: A touch thin for my taste here. I'll go with full body, but on the lighter side of full. Good carbonation.

O: Really nice brew. The bourbon is well integrated into the beer with out stealing the show. Good flavor, but just a touch light. Would definately have again. Skal

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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 Mess
3.26/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served at cellar temp in a large snifter.

A - Deep, dark, jet black. Espresso crema head that is tight and disapates quickly.

S - Sweet but too sweet, like sugar candy. Whiff of plastic wrap and licorice. No bourbon that I can tell, or maybe what I smell as plastic is actually the bourbon...

T - Fake chocolate soda and rubber, reminiscent of how water out of a hose can taste. Slight astringent coffee.

M - Tight carbonation, somewhat prickly. Surprisingly light body.

Drinkability - I love North Coast and especially the regular Old Rasputin, however I'm a little disappointed here. It's not overly powerful with alcohol, and not difficult to drink, but not particularly tasty either. I've been sitting on this bottle for a few years now, and although it has been kept at cellar temp, perhaps time and a couple of moves affected this bottle.

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Photo of dfclav
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decided to open this up tonight, figured I'd change it up a bit from my pale ale/IPA/saison kick of late.

A - pours a very nice 2 finger head with active carbonation and a decent cascading head. The beer is jet black, absorbing all possible light around it. Very nice.

S - very rich dark fruits, figs especially and the sweet smell of molasses. Mixed in coffee and chocolate come forward as the temperature rises with deep earthy hops, some raisins, and a bit of bourbon. Oak and burnt malts become more apparent as it warms up to higher temperatures in my hand.

T - the bourbon plays a bigger role then I'd imagined it to according to what I picked up from the nose. It's mixed with a very deep dark chocolate malt and some dark fruits. Not very complex, but good tasting nonetheless. 

M - smooth. Damn smooth. The base beer loses some complexity from the bourbon here, and some carbonation as well. The mouthfeel is pretty much the same as the regular version, maybe a bit more syrupy. Very nice hop finish.

O - this is a very good beer, but I feel like the bourbon took over more of the characteristics I enjoyed about the original version then i'd have liked it to. Loving bourbon aged beers, it's definitely not a bad thing at all and I would recommend it to anyone still, but I feel like the beer itself loses a level of complexity that's always in aged old Rasputin like this bottle.

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Photo of ferrari29
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into Snifter-shaped glass

A - Beer pured with a black, almost dark brown colored body; golden colored head; head of the beer held very well, until five minutes later; no visible carbonation; normal for a stout, I guess

S - Strong alcohol presence; bourbon and oak; rinse chocolaty & espresso stout flavors; almost whiskey

T - Slightly creamy; great roasted malt flavors; magnified & enhanced ten fold by the fantastic brewing of North Coast; can't irregardless the aromatic & flavorful noted of the brewer; just a very good brew

M - Slightly milky (combination of creamy milkiness and sweet flavors

D - Awesome; I would highly recommend to other Stout beer lovers; one of a kind; great stuff

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick, black color with a small dark tan head. Scent is intense with bourbon whiskey and chocolate. I also get some nice dark fruit aromas with hints of vanilla and toffee. Taste is initially strong vanilla with sweet, dark chocolate. Then I get toffee and delicious bourbon flavors. There is definitely some warming booziness throughout each sip. Finishes with some nice chocolate and more bourbon. Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side...more thin than I'd like it to be. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, this is a delicious beer. Would love to see some better consistency to it.

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Photo of Alpar
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I've had this beer more times than I can remember, but it is the one that turned me on to craft beer and especially brought me to understand Barrel Aged beers.

A: Dark but by no means the darkest RIS I've had, it looks great nonetheless!

S: One of the better smelling Barrel Aged Stouts I've ever come across, but it is a whiskey barrel smell and not so much a smooth bourbon. I still haven't found out what barrels this beer was aged in but I imagine it has to be a "whiskey" barrel. Anyway, rich chocolate, vanilla from the oak, toffee maybe a bit of anise, tobacco, damn this smells amazing.

T: So smooth but yet in your face in the best possible way. I love the warming sensation gives. smooth chocolate and vanilla mix spectacularly with the bourbon/whiskey and base raspy brew. This beer is damn near perfection to me, but I do have to say I think it is on the decline. I remember it being fuller and more rich.

M: Thin, don't take that the wrong way though but easy drinking. Especially for how high the ABV is.

O: I would say this is worth every penny but I didn't pay the premium most people did so I don't know. If you love Rasputin and Barrel Aged beers then you should try this at least once. Maybe wait for the next release though.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml C&C.

Nice pop of the cork on this one.

Pours deep dark impossible black with a thick mocha head that takes its time to dissipate. Eventually forms a thin ring.

A wonderful aroma. Bourbon barrel all the way. Very sweet malty vanilla and oak. Chocolate ice cream and a respectable amount of booze.

Taste maintains its RIS integrity, with the wood barrel notes backing it up. Strong roasty chocolate and coffee malts with a good amount of sweet vanilla and bourbon. More of that ice creaminess from the nose. Unfortunately, I feel like the alcohol comes on too strong in the finish, and demotes the flavor a bit. Lingering alcohol bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty thick and seems appropriate for the beer. Lingering stickiness, but not unpleasant.

Overall I wish the taste lived up to the phenomenal smell of this beer, but it's still quite good.

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Photo of rootbeerman
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: head is thin but acceptable for style, color is dark brown. Body is basically black, no light seen through it.
S: roast malt, very sweet mix of chocolate, coffee and bourbon. Also a touch of brown sugar.
T: dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, some coffee. Aftertaste has a light alcohol burn but not too hot, and very roasty.
M: thick, a little bit coating, low to mid on carbonation
O: a very slow sipper, I split the bottle and I'm working on my second hour of sipping.

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Photo of veinless
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with no light passing through; head is mahogany and uniform. Lace is nice, leaving rungs on the glass. Tiny cap remains throughout.

Nose is rich and full, with a hoppy blend lingering behind roast malt and a bourbon front. Bourbon is a touch smoky.

Taste isn't as full as the nose but holds its own; lightly roasted malt with a touch of bitter hops behind it, it leads well into the smoky, spicy bourbon finish. I like everything, and it is certainly a high quality brew, I just don't love everything.

Mouthfeel is thinner than expected, with a distinct alcohol breath at the end. Carbonation is healthy which helps here, but really shouldn't since the body should be thicker. Drinkability is really good for a barrel aged beer, so no real complaints there.

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Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Darkness Tulip on 5/6/11.

Pours like motor oil creating a 2 finger head that has a mocha colored fluffy head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing on the glass. Swirling the glass leaves a thick lacing that leaves in seconds. I like the look of this beer but would like to have had more head retention and lacing.

Smell is really subdued if you try it when its cold. Once it warms more then just the chocolate comes out to play. Lots of bourbon and vanilla as well as some tobaco in the back. Very good smelling brew.

Taste is much like the smell. Chocolate and vanilla in the front, bourbon aging and tobacco flavor in the end. This gets better as it warms just like the smell. Its absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel is medium in weight and coats the mouth with a slight resin that lets you continue to taste the chocolate flavors.

Overall this is a top of the line beer and worth all $23 I paid for it. Slight hit for the lack of head retention and lacing and a little to strong for more then a glass but there is no doubt that this is an A beer.

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Photo of Phelps
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. This one’s been a long time coming.

Super duper dark brown and completely opaque, as one would expect from barrel-aged Rasputin. It’s crowned by a fizzy half-finger head the color of cocoa that recedes to a bubbly medium ring and leaves spotty, crop-like rows of lace.

Yikes. Tons of vanilla extract in the nose, with hints of toffee, toasted coconut, molasses, dark chocolate and coffee, in that order. Some booziness and a bit of dark cherry and amarillo also emerge.

The flavor is smoother than nose, though interestingly, not as flavorful. Lots of barrel character, with vanilla (so much vanilla), butterscotch and hints of molasses and cherries.

Lightly carbonated, with a soft and creamy medium body. Very light fizziness. Moderate booze in the nose and flavor.

I must grant that this beer is delicious — a melodious blend of Rasputin and the barrel. The marginal improvement the barrel makes on the base beer, however, isn’t enough to justify the jump in price for me. It’s good, but not $20 per bottle good.

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Photo of Bubba83
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Time to review a monster. Slow pour into a snifter at 50 degrees yields about a half inch of smooth and rich looking brown head that retains extremely well and laces well. The body is pure black, no other tones, even at the sides of the glass. Actually looks fairly scary.

The smell is unfathomably complex. Yogurt covered raisins, milk chocolate, vanilla, dark caramel, roast, plum, raspberry, cherry, and some alcohol stinging. A bit of a leafy spicy kick from the hops I presume at the end. It's potent too, I can smell it from a distance, so there's no struggle to pick out these aromas at all. Flawless Victory.

Tastes very good for the most part. If I could give it a 4.25 here, I would. Everything is apparent from the nose but the main reason I'm marking it down a bit is because the alcohol plays a larger role than I want it to. The sting works its way to the palate about half way through the sip and then builds and builds until the rather hot swallow. The flavors are beautiful, but the booze gets in the way a bit.

I love the way this feels. It has a great texture, silky smooth with a heavy slick feel to it that just allows you to chew it through and through. Carbonation remains in a pleasant capacity.

Overall this is an excellent beer that is somewhat hindered by the harshness of the alcohol heat. It doesn't drink incredibly well for the style, and is definitely a sipper over a VERY long period of time, or meant to be split a few ways among friends. I had hoped giving this some age might smoothen it out but it hasn't seemed to help at all. I'll continue aging the bottles I have left and revisit in another year to see if this guy can muster a little higher score.

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Photo of dgilks
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a dense, creamy, deep, chocolate tan head. Great head retention. Nice.

Luscious, thick, bourbon and chocolate aroma. Cacao. Moderate caramel. Raisins. More bourbon. Hints of medium-roast coffee. Great.

The palate is a touch disjointed but still works. I get oak, vanilla, bourbon and coconut. Then there is a touch of coffee and mild chocolate. All fine stout flavours but the middle seems a bit thin and lacking.

Medium-full body with low carbonation. I'd like just a little more carbonation to bring out the flavours.

A wonderfully crafted beer with lots of flavour. The alcohol is nicely hidden and the bourbon and chocolate aromas are great. To me there is a little bit lacking in the palate but on the whole a job well done.

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Photo of DaveHS
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Rasputin XII pours a dark, viscous chocolaty brown with a beautiful dark tan head comprised of thin bubbles. It fades slowly, leaving a thin ring of creamy lacing.

S- The aroma is permeated by bourbon. Brown sugar, molasses, vanilla extract, caramel, graham cracker and bittersweet chocolate. The whole package is offset by a touch of lactic sweetness.

T- From the first sip, the flavor profile is heavily dominated by bourbon oak. However, more than enough of the original beer's characteristics come through. Dark roasted coffee, maraschino cherry and caramel malts hold their own against an onslaught of wonderfully rich bourbon, vanilla, and wood. Rasputin's heavy roasted malts complement the deep complexity of the bourbon oak, while pushing back enough to keep from being overwhelmed.

M- The body is rich, creamy and viscous, with low/moderate carbonation. A touch of booziness dries out the finish, resulting in a perfect decrescendo. All the flavors thin to a focused point on the back of the throat as they fade away.

O-I love this beer.

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Photo of ajcormier
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500ml Bottle - Ebenezer's Pub, Lovell, ME
Allagash Brewing Tulip Glass

A-Black with tinge of mocha brown. Beautiful caramel head. Moderate lacing.

S- After warming up a little the balanced roasted notes come through along with the typical plum-raisin esters. Nice oak and vanilla nuances.

T- Oak, vanilla, chocolate, roasted espresso, dark fruit and hints of sour mash from the bourbon barrels. Beautifully balanced and clean.

M- Cleaner finish than I was anticipating. The ethanol was only noticeable long after the swallow and the alcohol was able to waft up the throat. Great body and palate coating without being over whelming.

D- As the finish was nice and clean and the alcohol lacking until after the swallow, this is easily one of the easiest drinking RIS's on the market. It has a great balance in sweetness and bitterness to make it even more drinkable.

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Photo of fastsrt
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle in a snifter

A: black, shallow tight tan head.

S: burbon, oak, burbon overwhelms the nose, expecting alot of burbon character.

T: burbon, oak, vanilla, coffee, chocolate delicious, all the flavors one would expect to find in a bourbon aged stout.

M: good carbonation, oak leaves a drying quality on the pallet, finish is dry but still sweet from the barrels

D: I feel I opened this beer too soon it is a bit out of balance, I wished I would have waited about another year or so, still a very good beer. in the top 5 bourbon barrel aged stouts I have had. let it warm up its good. this beer made me a happy man today.

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Photo of chickenm
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with a small but lasting tan head. Aroma of wood, bourbon, and chocolate. Flavor is heavy on vanilla sweetness, bourbon, and rich chocolate. Very smooth mouthfeel, but the body is a little on the thin side for a Russian Imperial Stout. A bit hot as well, although the alcohol isn't completely overpowering. This probably could still benefit from some further aging. A good sipper; I like regular Old Rasputin better but I'm glad I got to try this!

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Photo of badboyrsl84
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with no head at all.

Smell. The barrel stands out to me in this one. Tons of Bourbon, vanillia and alcohol. Slight hint of some chocolate.

Taste - follows the smell some oakyness up from followed by some chocolate and finishes with vanilla and alcohol. It burns going down and shortly after.

It's everything I want in a barrelled aged beer. Amazing.

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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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