Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 8,142 | Reviews: 3,276 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by tectactoe:
4.26/5 rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Pours a shade of black, barely dark brown around the very top and edges of the beer - looks super viscous and thick as hell. Leather-tan head, super thick with little fine bubbles; great definition and nice retention.
The chocolate aroma is noticeable even before putting your nose to the glass. Huge bouts of unsweetened, dark cocoa beans and bittersweet, black coffee/espresso beans as a secondary note. Big-time roasted malt aromas fill your head, leaving a silky smooth and buttery feeling before even taking a sip.
First sip, chocolate amasses on the palate to a huge degree; dense and deep - not like a milk chocolate bar, more like a less-sweet version of dark chocolate, raw cocoa beans, dry cocoa powder. The chocolate gives way fairly quickly to a charred, woody, nutty flavor; oak and nuts, just toasted to hell and burnt to a crisp. Some slightly bitter coffee is in the background, maybe more like espresso - very strong, deep, rich, and dense.
The woody flavor lasts until the end and even begins to take on a smokey character after a bit. A few seconds before the final moments of the sip, the bitterness of the hops start to come alive, and are very noticeable here, unlike many RIS's where the hops are almost nowhere to be seen. They take on a very herbal, leafy, and grassy profile, playing hand-in-hand with the bitterness from the unsweetened cocoa and coffee flavors earlier.
The bitterness from the hops grows and fades out - the aftertaste is a combination of the herbal burn, charred and smokey wood, slight tobacco, and an overall roasted-character finish. Overall, a very dry, bitter, and nearly harsh finish which is supported by some underlying sweetness from the malt. Alcohol warmth is notable at seemingly random times, but never impedes or distracts. Thick and creamy body, silky smooth, robust, and rich. Medium carbonation, slightly higher than many other RIS's.
Wow, a truly complex beer, and very true to it's style. This RIS is unique enough to stand out and that's what has allowed it to make a name for itself. Nice, noticeable bitterness and herbal hop presence which goes unnoticed in so many brews of this style - very refreshing for a change of pace. Slow sipper at 9.0% ABV, but the alcohol plays well with the palate and never gets overbearing. Bottom line: if you like RIS's - stock up on this.
Serving type: bottle
11-28-2012 12:43:30 | More by tectactoe
More User Reviews:
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,142 ratings.