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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,512 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,512
Hads: 11,235
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 482
Gots: 2,277 | FT: 56
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (25) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,512 | Hads: 11,235
Photo of EricCioe
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stuff pours pretty black. It looks very nice with a small, espresso-crema looking head. The nose is a bit weak, pretty much smelling a non-descript brown. The taste is the best part here, some coffee and chocolate notes, not overly sweet or bitter, but pretty well balanced except for the coffee which stands out front. The mouthfeel is fuzzy and full, pretty nice. I like it, and the price is certainly right compared to other RIS.

EDIT - Each time I have this I like it less. I like my stouts on the less bitter side, I guess. I've got one stashed in the cellar for a year or more so that I can do a side by side with a fresh bottle and see if that helps it for me. (673 characters)

Photo of etaggie09
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Great head retention. left tons of lacing on the glass. Even on a bad pour the head stayed fairly well. The beige head slowly reduces to form a small cap. Body is deep black with barely a garnet hue only when it is held to direct light. looks clear.

Aroma: Smell is kind of like a baltic porter. Has a very vinous aroma but with a more pronounced roastiness than in a porter. Some alcohol, roasted coffee bean, dark malt, plum, and apple. A pleasant aroma.

Flavor: strongly roasted with a porter like background. has similar flavor characterisitcs of the baltic only it reverses the roles of the roastiness and the fruitiness, bringing the roastiness to the foreground. Not overly bitter or sweet, but a bit unbalanced it seems. Quite clean with a moderately bitter finish. Very clean and straightforward.

Mouthfeel: Full, but a bit too carbonated. It has a nice body, but the carbonation bite takes a little bit away from it. Still, it is nice and smooth, and better, I think, than the mouthfeel of Samuel Smith's.

Drinkability: Quite easy. This gives you a straightforward flavor with a decent body that you'd expect from a stout. The warmth from the alcohol is very nice.

Notes: I have yet to be impressed by an imperial stout. I have not tried the best ones, only Samuel Smith's and this one, but I much prefer barleywines. They balance out flavors and don't try to overload you on one. This is a nice after dinner beer, but I don't think I'll be buying it again any time soon. As far as I'm concerned, Shakespeare Stout is a good enough stout for me. (1,582 characters)

Photo of CraigS119
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

serving type: bottle; poured into snifter

A- Rich dark pour with a one-finger, toffee-colored head that lingers and laces down the glass

A- Sweet, creamy, malty aroma. Deep resin, with subtle leafy/piney notes

F- Fronted with coffee, caramel, and toasted toffee malts; distinct, but not overwhelming, toasty, bitter followthrough

M- Very smooth, liquidy-velvet fullness with just a bit of carbonation. One of the best mouthfeels I've experienced.

O- A sweet and strong blend, that's not over-powering. Well-balanced. An exemplar of RISs. (543 characters)

Photo of karengarys
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this because it was listed in BA's top 100. I'm not a stout person, but I was out to try anything, and this was available.

wow!

It pours black, a nice and clear. No head in the pour, but a 1/4" brown top emerges from nowhere. It is quite appealing! The head doesn't stay around, and there is no real lacing. A slight foam ring hangs around for a while.

Smell - I notice a lot of chocolate. Some coffee.

Mouthfeel is rich, but slightly creamy and alcoholey at the end.

Taste is quite thick. A syrupy chocolate sits on the tongue, and resolves into a slightly sweet and buttery finish. There is a strong alcohol overtone in the finish. There is very little unpleasant aftertaste.

This is an interesting mix. Stout like with a huge alcohol overtone in the finish. Lots of chocolate. Some coffee. If you are into any of these aspects of a beer, you MUST try this. If you are NOT, but like to experiment, do give this a try anyway - it is worth experiencing even if it isn't your style. (1,008 characters)

Photo of PEIBeerGuy
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, smooth black / brown, with a three-finger, creamy, brown head that laces all the way to the bottom.

Smells of coffee, dark chocolate, and rye bread.

Also tastes of coffee, dark chocolate, rye bread... and a bit of red wine / merlot, I thought. Although the 9% is hidden pretty well, it does come through with a bit of a wine or even liqueur taste... didn't care for that part of it.

It's got a bit of an alcoholic burn at the start, but it's fairly subtle. It feels pretty smooth, and the carbonation is fine. I didn't care much for the aftertaste / feel.

It's a pretty nice beer. Definitely some substance to it. (623 characters)

Photo of mjohn27603
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a slight reddish tinge. Small head indicates the low carbonation common in this style. Aroma is of chocolate and roasted character but a little short of perfect. Taste is on the bitter side. Some chocolate. I must say I enjoy Bell's Expedition Stout more it has some fig or prune tastes that add another layer of complexity to the mix. High alcohol is present and noticeable. I did enjoy this at night on the first day of our first snow that stuck. I did the the atmosphere right. (504 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into snifter glass

Pours a deep, inky black with a buoyant coffee brown head. Slowly dissolves into a thin layer of tanned film with plenty of spots and streaks of lacing around the glass.

Plenty of roasted malt with some hop bitterness in the nose, assorted scents of baker's chocolate and toffee.

A surprising amount of hops up front with a decent dose of bitterness. Roasted malt flavors hold down the base with a thick serving of caramel. Some bittersweet dark chocolate and a touch of syrupy molasses. More hop bitterness with a flair of boozy warmth in the finish.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, fairly creamy and a bit dry on the palate. Nice, pleasant drinking, the alcohol is warm but not over the top. I definitely prefer this beer with some age on it, but fresh is still pretty tasty as well. (831 characters)

Photo of heygeebee
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours two fingers of tan head over a dense black body. Lacing stays. And stays.

Aromas of burnt malts, some coffee and dark chocolate

Taste is quite dry. bitter chocolate, with firm bitterness. I prefer sweeter, richer styles.

Better as it warms. Creamy mouthfeel, alcohol well hidden. (288 characters)

Photo of trevorwideman
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to demcorhip for getting this one for me.

Pours black as night with a 3/4 inch tan head off of a stiff pour. Lots of lace and good head retention throughout. Mostly sweet aroma with a coffee roasted bitterness, cocoa. A bit of chocolate and a bit of lactic sourness balancing with some juicier notes in the background. Smells good, straightforward and clinical stylewise.

Taste is good, but a little raw for my liking. There's a distinct background note of rubber beneath the inital whack of lactic sourness and bitter roast that assaults the palate. Bitter cocoa and milk chocolate. Bittersweet with a schwack of flavour and a big alcohol burn going down. This is still a bit rough for my liking, very flavourful though. Body is heavy, but not too heavy, carbonation is zippy, and finish is dry and satisfying. This is a drinkable stout, is small quantites of course, but it goes down pretty well. This bottle is still a bit rough though, and I'll be cellaring my other bottle to see how it holds up. (1,046 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Total Wine in Chantilly, VA. This bottle's been sitting in my (dark, cool) closet for a few months - poured into a Watou chalice.

Appearance: A deep, thick brownish-black beer - a few shades white of black - with a fast fading coffee-colored head, streaky, runny lacing.

Aroma: Chocolate and coffee, a little woody smoke, higher-weight alcohols. Fairly subdued.

Taste: Very interesting - lots of burnt and smoky notes here, more so than in most other RISs I've tried; a few faint lighter toasted notes (dark coffee, bitter chocolate), but the smoky notes really dominate this one. A earthy, grassy hoppiness abounds for the last half of the sip, jarringly so at first (I thought the bottle was infected!), but it grows on you a little. Slightly harsh alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Bigger bubbles than I'm used to in an RIS, but it's still largely uniform and therefore smooth. Mouth itself is thick and syrupy, creamy and velvety, but maybe a little thinner than many RISs.

Drinkability: Lower in abv% than other RISs, and pretty interesting. A well crafted beer, especially if you like the darker, more highly-toasted RISs. (1,145 characters)

Photo of enfield249
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Dark, with ruby highlights. 1/2 finger of tan head

S - I can't get much, but then I never can.

T - Bitter was my first impression. Made my eyes water for some readson. Dark Choc. Sweet in parts.

M - Good. Not to thick. About like a IMP. Stout should be.

D - I wouldn't want one every day, or even once a month. Once a year, for sure. (350 characters)

Photo of TexIndy
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass after letting warm up. No dating info. It was a very deep mahogany color. Good lacing. It had about 3 fingers of dark brown head that very, very slowly settled into a constant thick foam.

The aroma was surprisingly muted. Got some chocolate malt and coffee in the back with a strong whiff of alcohol. Other reviews described a more pronounced aroma so not sure what it wrong on this particular bottle. What is there is good but needed more of the chocolate and coffee to stand out to offset the phenol. The taste was much better than the aroma with the flavors standing out more. Again, it could have used some more choc/coffee to offset the alcohol taste. Nice bitter finish. Mouthfeel was nice and creamy with good carbonation and the bitter finish.

Overall, a really good but not outstanding RIS. Not sure if I got a bad sample so will try again to be sure. Do give high recommend. Need to resample to set the rotation but unless better it would only be an occasional and that would mainly be since it's one of the few good RIS that I can get here in 12oz bottles. (1,113 characters)

Photo of cbarrett4
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from tap at Horse Brass Pub in Portland:

Pours with a disappointing head fading into a lackluster lace, but with a good, rich, dark hue. Smells richly of licorice, molasses, espresso, and some dark chocolate. A little funky on the nose and that carries through the palate, possibly from the kind of hops they used. Decent texture but abrasive on the finish.

Overall good, but probably better out of the bottle with some conditioning. (442 characters)

Photo of mdquigley
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Manhattan, KS "Rock-a-belly-Deli." Review written from notes.

Enjoyed from a 12 oz tumbler.

Appearance: Severely dark with a mystical creamy tan 2.5" head that transitions into the body.

Smell: Slight coffee, roasted nose. Aroma was slighter than expected.

Taste: Espresso and cocoa nibs up front. The taste was very balanced and much sweeter than I expected. It is not a dry stout but much more similar to a milk stout.

Mouthfeel: Creamy! Mouth-coating and full bodied.

Drinkability: I detected no alcohol for such a high ABV %.Thus, this can be drunk and drunk. Just watch out!

Overall: A very delicious and creamy beverage. A real special find. (665 characters)

Photo of Kemmerlin
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark black and pours a huge foamy head that surprised me by how quick it grew and how long it stuck around I mean it is still there and it left awesome lacing down the glass.

S: Smells like a wet drunk dog. There is a faint tobacco scent but other than that it smells just like a wet drunk dog.

T: Burnt cigar and charcoal are the characteristics most defining in this brew which is a welcome relief from the typical chocolate and molasses flavors you get from a stout. The aftertaste is very earthy and still leaves a burnt wood taste in the mouth for a very long period of time. Basically this is a taste that keeps on giving.

M: At first the alcohol is very strong and almost over powering but it mellows out as you continue to consume. The flavors blend well with the mouth feel which is mostly gritty and earthy but good to swallow.

D: At first I thought it would be a little hard to swallow with the smell being so bad and the alcohol being very present but it really does mellow out and becomes a lot more drinkable as time goes on. I suggest watching out for the quick rising head and let it air out for about 5-10 minutes before you take your first sip. (1,169 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass, warmed up to room temp.

A: Pours a pitch black body with a light tan head that rises to a pinky finger in height. Retention is short, as expected for an impy stout, leaving a thin collar around the edges.

S: Even when cold, it's pretty pungent. The hops are quite prominent, lending an earthy citrus presence that blends beautifully with roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate. Hints of anise tease the nose.

T: Chocolate-dominated, by far. Silky, delicious dark chocolate that complements both the roasted coffee and earthy hop bitterness. I pick up citrus as well; it's unusual to me that I've grown to enjoy citrus and chocolate flavors in the past couple of months. I used to hate that clash, before. There is a light anise note in the finish, where the chocolate makes a resurgence. Coffee bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: Light-medium bodied. Not exactly viscous, but full in flavor. Silky feel owing to low carbonation.

D: A fantastic deal; I often find 4-packs under $8 and this most recent one cost $6. Great quality, fantastic pricing. It's great to revisit it and enjoy a staple for once. These days, it is outclassed by bigger, heavier interpretations of the style. But those beers also tend to be significantly more expensive, and not so much more enjoyable that this ceases to be a good deal. (1,347 characters)

Photo of Grin
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The smell is strong but nothing characteristic. The initial sip was bitter with a strong, almost cough syrup taste but I noticed the rich chocolate after letting it breath for about 5 minutes. The texture is smooth and thick with a light bite of carbonation.

Ultimately, a favorite but not a regular. I would say, better suited for the winter months. (351 characters)

Photo of Chizoad
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark, inky totally opaque. Beige head with small retention. Looks good.

Fantastic smell! Flowers, blueberries, coffee (especially the bitterness), but malt dominates. Love the fruit in this, a really pleasant surprise. I let a few others smell this and nobody agreed with me, so I'm probably full of it.

The malt dominates again, and the hoppy bitterness completes an excellent flavor. Lots of depth here with layers of the malt.

Nice carbonation, good but not great mouthfeel. Probably just personal preference, as I like lighter mouthfeel. It's a stout, so for the style, I can't complain.

Not particularly drinkable, I definitely couldn't have more than one of these given the density and relatively high ABV%. While it lasted, was quite drinkable, but that was the end of the line. (790 characters)

Photo of baggio
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a duvel chalice. Color is dark brown/black white a nice lacing that stays there for the duration.

Smells heavily of a potent dark coffee, bitter chocolate and alcohol.

Taste is complex but is dominated by coffee, chocolate and a kick-ass
bitternes that is a wee bit too heavy. I think this beer could use a little
less hops because it feels a little out of balance. I would definitely recommend this beer for people that enjoy a heavy stout but i would not
drink more than one bottle of it per night or it would be too much. I'm gonna see how this beer tastes after a year in my pantry.

Btw the russian text on the bottle means "Good friends doesn't come easily (fast)". (694 characters)

Photo of spoony
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A-A normal pour produces a one-plus-finger head of dirty, mocha-colored foam. The foam hangs around for a bit before settling into a ring. The beer is pitch-black. No light gets through this stuff.

S-The smell is a relatively simple, but pleasing, mixture of dark chocolatey roasted malt scents with a lightly bitter coffee component. There is a touch of caramel in there, too.

T-Taste is dark, roasted malts with a semi-sweet chocolate flavor being the most identifiable for me. There is a touch of cold coffee, as well. The finish is lightly bitter (a touch of hops) but sweetens as it fades. I thought the flavor was a touch simple and metallic for an RIS.

M-A little light for the style with some prickly, fine carbonation. The feel works against this beer, I think.

O-It has been a year or two since my last Raspy, and the beer is mostly as I remember it: a decent, widely available RIS, but nothing I would seek out. This beer doesn't have the same complexities as Ten Fidy or Narwhal, but if you are fan of the classic, roasted, mildly bitter malt flavor, look no further. I suppose this brew earns points for being true to the classic style. This is not a bad beer, but it has been out-paced by the competition. (1,260 characters)

Photo of Chirpie
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. (Closest glass nearby)

Yeah, no light is escaping this one. Kind of an odd thing to give a high appearance on, but I think you know where I'm coming from on a stout like this. :-)

The carbonation was pretty much spot on, nice small bubbles. I think I was surprised by the smell, not as strong as I was expecting. A little charcoal and bitter chocolate aroma.

The taste was very smooth, not overpowering. Somehow, I was hoping for some more complexity to shine through, but the variety of subtle flavors was dominated in my nose by the charcoal taste.

I was surprised how masked that 9% is. Doesn't feel like it at all. I'm not sure I'd ever session an imperial stout, but it's as likely a candidate as you're gonna find.

Regardless, it's good stuff. (775 characters)

Photo of Andrewtherooster
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - This thing is black. Nice dark tan head from the get-go. Small bubbles float up from the abyss.

S - The smell is very subtle. I get a hint of licorice and the alcohol. The texture of the smell, it's smoothness and balance, seems like a red wine.

T - I was intimidated by this beer at first, but I like something challenging. There is so much complexity and subtlety to it. I can taste coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and the aforementioned licorice (black licorice, mind you). Old Rasputin has a lot to him that kept me intrigued throughout the entire experience.

M - Slight hint of carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. No alcohol burn.

D - Old Rasputin isn't for everyone, but I certainly enjoyed it. It's a good beer to sit down and invest yourself in. I don't think I could have more than a couple of these before I had to call it a night. It's a beer I would love to have again. (899 characters)

Photo of Powderhornphil
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black. Very nice appearance with a kahki head that leaves some lacing.

The roast is predominant with both smell and taste. There is a aroma of dark chocolate in the back ground. Burnt espresso on the finish.

Mouthfeel is nice enough. Long dry, bitter finish.

Overall this is a nice RIS. I would like a little less roast and a little more sweetness. I am a little let down by this legend of RIS. (404 characters)

Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours opaque jet black with a formidable tan head -- nice retention. Impressive lacing as well.

S: To me, the alcohol came through most strongly. Coffee came through as well, with some hints of dark chocolate sweetness.

T: A nice mixture of coffee an alcohol up front, moving into a slightly bitter and lingering chocolaty aftertaste. The sweetness from the smell really didn't come through in the taste for me.

M: Wet and alcoholic, nothing too exciting in my opinion. I would have liked a bit more creaminess.

D: Erred a bit on the boozy side for my taste. (622 characters)

Photo of Gtreid
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured the 12 oz. bottle into a pub glass.

A: Black with almost two fingers of milk chocolate colored head. Thin stickey lacing lines the glass.

A: Chocolate, roasted coffee malts, caramel, and espresso. Earthy hops balance the nose nicely.

T: The coffee and chocolate stand out in the begining, the molasses and caramel show up in the middle, and the earthy hops and alcohol give the beer a very nice bitter, warming finish.

M&D: The mouthfeel is outstanding. Creamy and rich, with a perfect amount of carbonation. This is a very good RIS. 9% ABV is just right. Wouldn't session this, but sipping on a couple of these to end a night is just what the doctor ordered. Skal. (677 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,512 ratings.