Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,495 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,495
Hads: 11,151
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 465
Gots: 2,204 | 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 (24) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,495 | Hads: 11,151
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)

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

Pitch black with a light brown creamy head that is very inviting. I have to be a little lenient on the aroma because some is lost when a beer is served via nitrogen. All I can discern is roasted malts with a slight licorice edge. The flavor is somewhat muted with burnt malt, chocolate, and a slight metallic flavor. The nitrogen thins out what would normally be a substantial body. I usually feel that what is lost in putting a beer on nitro is made up for with the creaminess that is imparted. In the case of Old Rasputin, I really would stick to drinking it with normal CO2. While tasty, not as good as the original. (619 characters)

Photo of Patrick999
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I always see this on the supermarket shelves, a BA Top 100 beer, but never pick it up. This time, I picked it up. Here we go:

This one is going into the snifter. Pours a suitably opaque black/brown, with a very nice cap of espresso crema-like foam.

Aromatics are a bit muted, consisting mostly of caramel macchiato and light carob.

Taste is mostly roasted coffee with some earthy hop bitterness. Sweet, but dried out pretty well by the roastiness.

Feel is creamy, but not poetically so.

Solid imperial stout, but I'm going out on a limb to say it's a bit overrated, especially given this site's adoration for the RIS style. (632 characters)

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

Pours a black with brown highlights. Amazing khaki head that stays for much longer than expected.

The smell isn't what was expected. I pick up a slight bit of alcohol but mostly hops. A roasty citrus.

The taste is also very hop forward. As well as most of the roast leaning towards the bitter side of things. The alcohol comes through much more than I remember.

The body is on the lighter side and has a semi-dry finish. (423 characters)

Photo of crazybrody06
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle that I let sit on the counter for about 30 minutes, into a mug.

Poured a very dark black color, no light coming through this baby. BIG head took a few minutes to get all the enitre bottle into the glass. The head was the color of chocolate milk. Im still looking at the lace the head left even though the glass is almost empty.

The smell was a mix of sweet chocolate and coffee, dirt (not really as bad as it sounds)

Taste was of dark chocolates, coffee, chalk, some hints of fruits.

This is not really my favorite style of beer so I couldnt drink more then one, but was impressed that I actually finished the entire bottle in about 20 minutes.

Mouthfeel was full and nice without carbonation. (725 characters)

Photo of jmacdaddy2008
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought a single of this beer earlier tonight. This was one of the first beers for me when I converted from cheap beer.

Color- dark brown

Head-thick,tan two finger foam/ the residue left on side of glass suggests a thicker consistency

Aroma-a little floral pretty complex almost a woodsy smell

Taste-oaky or bourbon flavor/some hints of coffee heavy bitterness in the end and alcohol taste was present.

After trying many other russian imperial stouts I would have to say this one is worthy of an occassional buy, but doesn't stand out among the elites. (558 characters)

Photo of alex_hart
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: black black black with a tannish, brown half finger head that dissipates quickly. Beautiful, thick lacing throughout the duration of the glass.

Smell: Burnt coffee, dark cocoa, sweet malt, and a hint of toffee.

Taste: Follows the nose almost to a T. Burnt coffee right off the bat, then the cocoa comes in along with the sweet malt. Slight bitterness on the tip of the tongue, but not overbearing at all. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy. slight carbonation twinge on the tongue. Leaves a bit of slick residue on the finish.

Overall: This is a pretty good RIS. There is a lot of hype about this one, but it isn't the best thing I have ever had. It is inexpensive (under $8 for a 4 pack) so it is worth the try. Everyone's palate is different! cheers! (773 characters)

Photo of Glibber
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black coffee with a dark foam that shrinks down to a small surface cover. Faint smell, coffee, sherry, little burn in the belly. Not to much sweetness, but not too bitter. Very mellow for the alcohol content. Nice sipping beer. My friends really liked it as well. (269 characters)

Photo of CaskofFlyingDog
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: black with red hues peaking out the bottom and a wimpish head

Smell: Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with a sour note

Taste Dark Chocolate and lots of it.There's probably some spice in there but i can't detect it.

Mouthfeel: thick with some graininess and a some alchohol

Drinkability: I could have about two then my stool would turn completely black. (368 characters)

Photo of BigTuna
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin pours incredibly dark, almost in an unappealing fashion. You couldn't look through this beer if you had x-ray vision. Appearance hardly ever affects my rating, but this looked like earthworm mud. The smell is also a bit underwhelming. Dark chocolate with a hint of raisin, but it doesn't offer up the complexity of smells I've had from other exceptional RIS. The taste makes up for the smell though. I got waves of dark chocolate and coffee with a bitter (almost hoppy?) finish. Delicious.

Overall, a GREAT beer but I was just slightly underwhelmed. (564 characters)

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up during my USA trip.

Poured into a pint glass.

Comes out black, very black. Carbonation is very present. A nice two finger mocha head leaving a some lacing as the head reduces to a half finger.

Smells of dark roasted malts and chocolate. I notice a lot of hop and that gets me excited for I love hoppy stouts.

So the flavor do deliver the hop I wanted but it's lacking in some other departements. It doesn't quite give you that in your face I'm a stout feel. Sure there is some roasted malts and there is some chocolate present but it's to crisp and clean to be a real imperial stout.

It's medium bodied and extremely smooth. A little more carbonation than I'd like in my stouts.

I really enjoyed this beer. I drank one and poured me another one right after so it has to be a good beer one way or the other. I loved the hoppiness that comes with it. The rest of the flavors are a bit to clean and sterile for my likings. I guess I just like my Imperial Stouts to be dirty! (997 characters)

Photo of crossovert
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. No apparent bottled on date.

Pours into my snifter a pitch black. It has a shiny, foamy tan head that sticks for a while and leaves some lacing.

The nose is filled with thick dark malt flavors such as cocoa, coffee, and roasted malt. There is also subtle fruit and caramel. It is a clean, basic RIS scent.

The taste follows, lots of cocoa and coffee. The alcohol is more pronounced on the palate than it is in the nose. It is just quintessential ris flavors. It isn't overly exciting but it is authentic and well crafted.

This is a damn good RIS though not my favorite. (587 characters)

Photo of ramseye4
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a smallish light brown head. Smells of very dark roasts, a little bit of coffee, spices and nuts. Taste is of chocolate, delicious dark burnt malts and a bit bitter in the aftertaste. The taste is not as complex as some other stouts I have had, but the simplicity works for it. Excellent carbonation and smooth drinkability. (348 characters)

Photo of cichief
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I bought a four-pack of this in a big wine mega-store in Maryland. I've had this beer before on the west coast, but it has been a while. The beer poured coffee black, with a light brown head about one-half inch thick. It smelled of coffee and chocolate. It tasted great, but had a little alcohol burn in the aftertaste. It was a little fizzy, but that was a minor problem. I would like to drink this more often. (411 characters)

Photo of taylor714914
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Update 10/23/13

Put this puppy on nitro and be wowed! Sweet mercy!

I have been wanting to try this for a while, and while out and about I found a four pack for 9 bucks. HAD to pick it up and try it.

A - Dark brown, with a 2 finger head which subsides to just a surface skim. Laces the whole way down the glass. Tons of it.

S - Roasted goodness, coffee, alcohol, just a hint of a sweet smell.

T - Burnt malts, roasted coffee beans, alcohol, chocolate, bitterness.

M - Not as thick as I had hope. Somewhat thin for the style, with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D - An decent RIS, but there are many others I'd rather drink. (634 characters)

Photo of travolta
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

App: As black as they come, ruby and black coffee around the edges of my glass will just barely peak through. Chocolate milk colored, frothy head. Nice retention.

Nose: Nice with upfront chocolate, but just a little. A bit of espresso beans.

Taste: Nicely roasted with an alcohol taste lingering. Very well carbonated for the style. Some very dark fruit, like blackberry, at the end, just before it almost all fades away.

Notes: A total classic. Very nice on it's own, but could beat up anything else you are eating/drinking. (530 characters)

Photo of filabrazilia
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a "midnight without a moon" black with a gorgeous brown head that settles into excellent lacing. A very nice looking beer.

I am struck by how much chocolate exists in the nose. This is like opening a box of fine imported chocolates and allowing the smells to embrace you as you anticipate the first taste. Toffe and carmel are present as well.

The taste, unfortunately does not match the aroma and is nowhere near as complex or as smooth as I anticipated. It is a tad bitter--I suppose from the roasted malts. There were some pronounced alcohol flavors as well. While not bad, I'm a little disappointed with it.

This is a medium bodied beer that is mildly carbonated and pleasant on the palate.

This is not nearly as drinkable as I'd like it to be. I think I will let the remaining beers age for a while before I try it again. The taste just didn't quite match the smell or the appearance. Hopefully time will give it some more character. (966 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,495 ratings.