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

3,495 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,495
Hads: 11,150
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,495 | Hads: 11,150
Photo of bskrtz
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 ounce bottle to large, open challice.

A) Very dark --black. No light passes through. Good head with decent carbonation. May have more to do with the skill of the pourer

S) Burnt coffee, spices, brown sugar

T) Very complex. The burnt coffee dominates but distinct taste of dark chocolate, raisons & caramel

M) Thick, effervescent with little alcohol on the tongue

D) A very good interpretation of Russian Imperial Stout (438 characters)

Photo of thadbme
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark black with a finger of foam that sits arouund for a bit. Mild carbonation and bubbles are sitting on top of the beer. This is a very dark beer, I could swear light is bending around the glass.

S: Plesant smell with a slightly toasted malt on it, almost smells like a barrel aged Alcohol smell comes through just a bit, but the toasted malt is the strongest here.

T: Very bitter and nearly a burned malt taste to it. That type of taste stays with you after you take the sip. Its not entirely a bad thing, but seems to be overwhelming the rest of the beer.

M: Carbonation is there and strong flavor of the toasted malts in there. This is a heavy feeling beer.

O: I had some high hopes for this one, but I believe I'm glad I only picked up a single of this one rather than a 4 pack. The beer itself is pretty good, the smell, and look of it are good, but I dont like the fact that it hangs with you after the fact. It reminds me of a black licorice type taste hanging around. (997 characters)

Photo of dar482
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a black color, but pours out dark brown. The head is fluffy and stays up leaving remnants on the side of the glass.

The aroma is licorice, lots of mocha with this milk chocolate and light roasted coffee. Roasted malt. Almost a peanut butter chocolate from toasted malt.

The beer has a medium light mouthfeel for the style. There's lots of dark fruit with dried dates and plum. Onto bittersweet chocolate and coffee grounds and espresso. With a combination of light bitterness and alcohol on the back.

Consistently disappointed by the light mouthfeel as it drinks like a 7% beer and lack of roasted malt flavor. (632 characters)

Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Let the stout sit out for 20 minutes then poured into my Great Divide Tulip.

Appearance-Black, like any other good RIS. Thick tan head that fades into thick lacing. Carbonation bubbles floating up the side.

Smell-Can really smell the booze. Chocolate, Malt, and alot of Espresson. I think I get some raisons in there too.

Taste-Sweet at the beginning, bitter finish. Lots of espresso and alcohol.

Mouthfeel-Thick and Creamy. Lots of carbonation.

Overall-Very drinkable beer. What makes this beer taste even better is b/c your getting a bargain, 799 a 4pk. Great beer to keep in your fridge without breaking the bank. (621 characters)

Photo of BirdFlu
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rasputin was one of the first good bers I ever had... this was a long time ago, however, before I knew anything about good beers and so back then the only thing I thought about it was "wow, this is really thick...".. So all these years later and I finally tried it again...
it pours nicely and is like any other good RIS, dark black and with a tan head, etc... the aroma is chocolatey with a bit of espresso..
The main thing I have to say about it now is that it is very smokey. Its got a very smokey, burnt bread taste and aftertaste to it. It has a bitterness that is really similar to black coffee.. I wished it was a bit sweeter.
It's definitely a fine stout and I can understand why it has such a high rating, but I think it could stand to be just a tad bit sweeter to give more balance to the smoke/burnt bread taste and mouth feel.
This may be jsut due to personal taste and all, I wouldn't go out of my way to pick it over say Founders breakfast or a Yeti or a stout such as those, however... (1,002 characters)

Photo of gfreed
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good, but not grrreat! winter beer, and a pleasant way to finish off a we-got-a-babysitter-and-went-to-see-"The King's Speech" date with my wife. Dark as a moonless night, and a decent aroma of coffee (albeit somewhat old coffee) and chocolate with a peculiar scent of lavender, which seems totally out of place but added a nice tilt to the beer. The bitterness is, relatively speaking, rather low but still elbows the malt and chocolate to the side. And then there's the ginormous head that never really goes away and is so puffy and thick that it made me want to lay my head into it and take a nap. With a dry finish and a come-from-behind alcohol smack, this is a good winter beer but somehow comes up short-- it lacks the complexity I prefer at this ABV. Good for the price. (780 characters)

Photo of redwolf1
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured four 12-ounce bottles of Old Rasputin over the course of a week to give me some time to properly judge the contents. Dark black charcoal in color with a rich frothy light mocha head, which was thicker than I had anticipated. Moderate lacing around the glass. There was a subtle smokiness in the aroma after pouring; however, the smell of dark roasted malts and coffee abound afterwards. As for taste, a little bitter at first, which mellowed with time. A very good beer to sink your teeth into, real chewy. Didn't get that warm alcohol feeling while drinking this one like you do with some others, so I would say that the alcohol is pretty well hidden until you finish the bottle. For overall drinkability though, I would think some people would stop with one or two. At 9%ABV, it will hit you. Good thing, it comes only in 4-packs in my area. (850 characters)

Photo of RickKrumenacker
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black as night. One-finger, chocolate milk colored head. Great lacing throughout the beer.

S: Initially boozy. Dark chocolate and intense roasted coffee as it warms. I think that I also picked up some molassas.

T: Strong dark coffee dominates the flavor, but it doesn't mask the alcohol. A little bitter.

M: Tighter carbonation than expected. Warming on the back of the throat. A little thinner than I expected.

D: Stong and intense flavors mean that you will spend a little bit of time finishing this one. Very good. (531 characters)

Photo of bboelens
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at world of beer, poured into a pint glass

A- Dark dark brown, bordering on black, with huge head that lasts, a menacing Rasputin looks as though he is either about to karate chop me or make the sign of the cross on the glass.

S- Heavy chocolate presence, malts and coffee as well

T- Chocolate, coffee, very bitter, overall a good taste with a stingy finish.

M- Bites and stings the tongue in a good way, carbonation and the bitterness come into play heavily here.

D- With a high ABV this is definitely not a session beer, but overall it makes for a beer that everyone should try at least once. (613 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle that I've been sitting on for about six months. The color was dark black with a decent tan head. Smell was a little roasty. The taste was good with some roastiness also. The mouth-feel was not great as the beer seemed a little thin. I was planning on aging some of this but I am not sure it is worth it. Good RIS but not my favorite. (346 characters)

Photo of TrevorGW
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Deep Ellum in Allston, MA. Was very thankful they had it available, since I had been meaning to try it out.

Looks wonderful in the glass. Deep, deep brown with the thick tan head.

Up front is a lovely rich and creamy experience. Perfectly carbonated and with all the fantastic stout flavor that you can imagine. The creaminess swims around your mouth. The finish is quite abrupt and bitter. This is where the hops come in. At first it was very pleasant, but I then found myself desiring more malt flavor left in my mouth.

All in all, an amazing beer experience. (583 characters)

Photo of Satchboogie
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From notes reviewed on 12/6/10 (re-reviewed 3/23/11):
12oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass

A: Pours pitch black and completely opaque. Huge 2-finger foamy mocha head on a fairly aggressive pour. Sticks around for a while. Has a little lacing. Picture perfect looking stout.

S: A TON of dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee. Molasses/burnt sugar, bitter hops. A lot of bitterness coming out of the nose

T: Tastes very similar to the nose. Dark, bitter chocolate, coffee, and molasses are strong. There's a ton of robust dark roasted malt, almost on the verge of char. The hops are quite strong, mainly floral and leafy. The alcohol is definitely evident and makes it just a little boozy. The finish is dry and has that bitter leafy hop astringency. There's just a ton of bitterness in this, a bit too much for my taste (for a stout).

M: Medium carbonation, body seems a little thin, it is chewy, but overall, not that smooth or viscous.

O: Not a bad RIS, certainly a great value, but a bit too bitter for my taste with too much leafy hop presence. A couple years on this could really do wonders. (1,104 characters)

Photo of Rayek
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A very hoppy American take on an Imperial Stout.

A: Deep brown, bordering on black. Thick, dense and rocky carmel colored head. Leaves a heavy lace.

S: Powerful cirus hop aromas. Lots of grapefruit with some lemon along for the ride. Faint burnt malt, chocolate and coffee scents.

T: Hops hit right away. Grapefruit bitterness up front and continuing through to the end. Charcoal and coffee flavors come on late. Nice warmth going down. Finishes bitter and dry.

M: Medium body that belies the beers strength. Right amount of carbonation. Feels a little slick.

D: If you like heavily hopped Imperials, this is your beer. I like them a little more balanced. Still a very nice representation of the style. After drinking this, I had one of the worst headaches I've ever experienced. And I only drank one. (806 characters)

Photo of bluetravlr
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Walked home from work at 1am in the pouring rain with this beer in hand. Ah . . . it is good to be home.

A: Nice two full fingers of initial tan/rootbeer colored head. Almost completely black. This beer hardly lets any light through at all but upon further inspection a slight rich-brown coloration can be observed. The head stays with you till the end leaving rich, if not abundant, lacing.

S: Note of anise and sweetbread and coffeee are what first come to mind. Also, some roasted oats and chestnuts and maybe a bit of freshly cut grass?

T: Very similar to the nose. Initially a little sweet with flavors of both toffee and caramel. This sweetness rides to the finish but is enhanced by overlapping layers of coffee, dried leaves, burnt brush, but mostly a grassy bitterness that is most notable in the finish . . . with a hint of lemon rind. Overall, kind of like a nutty cinnamon roll, yet, obviously much more complex.

M: Thick bodied, though average for a stout, mostly due to the sweetness. A little heavy on the carbonation for a stout. A lingering dryness due to the grassy bitterness of the hops

D: The alcohol is pretty well masked. However, perhaps ironically, the sweetness and bitterness detract from this beers sessionability. Instead of blending together in harmony the sweet and bitter qualities of this beer seem to be at odds with one another.

This review, as shown in the ratings, is not meant to dismiss in any way the quality of this beer. It is extremely interesting . . . and in more ways than one delicious. Just not as balanced as some of my favorite stouts. (1,592 characters)

Photo of BeerThursdays
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black as night, think tan head. Dissipates slowly and leave a thin layer on the top of the beer. Some lacing. Decent looking.

S - Black Licorice, Coffee, Chocolate, and darker fruits.

T - A Lot more bitterness than I expected from the scent. Roasted malt, hops are presented very well. Some chocolate and coffee as well. Maybe some candy, like a caramel.

M - Good amount of alcohol comes though. Lighter body, but still very nice.

O - Very good stout, one of the better ones you can find in Delaware on a regular basis. (527 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black colored beer with almost no head. Aroma is comprised of a strong chocolate and coffee mix. The chocolate and coffee also hits you right at the first sip along with some roastiness. A bit too much bitterness at the end for my liking though. Carbonation is bit weak and body is strong which was expected. Overall, this is a very good drink but maybe not as much as some make it out to be… (415 characters)

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. The bottle bears no date but the label is classic.

A: Pretty decent creamy head, very brown in color, about 1.5 fingers thick. It lasted for the entire beer; I love when that happens. High expectations for lacing were met, covering the walls of my pint glass in sheets. The body was dark black (as if that makes any sense) and completely opaque.

S: Very heavy malt character, somewhere in between roasted and burnt. Cocoa is the dominating aroma. As with many of my favorite RISs, this one has a distinguishable hop presence, albeit light, but I pick up on some grass, pine and an intriguing lemony tarragon note. Fantastic. So far. Something weird going on with the yeast, which is heavy and soapy in the first place, (not that I ever minded that), but there is an out of place meaty/briny/olivey note that I never smelled before. It wasn't completely off putting but odd nonetheless. Plus a little hot in the nose.

T: Good thing the yeast didn't translate directly to the palate, which I found to be on par with, if not quite nice for a RIS. Noticeable alcohol, woody & smokey with some tobacco, tar and black licorice. There is a long drawn out finish, moderately bitter and salty at the same time with a mineral component as well.

M: Full body, thick, chewy texture with a pleasantly dry finish. This beer becomes especially creamy as the temperature rises plus a few swirls to wear the effervescence out. This one finishes a little warm.

D: A very drinkable RIS, this one will not rock the boat. (1,531 characters)

Photo of brewyou2
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

well, it's a stout.

smells like roasted cocoa beans, head like rocky sea foam, feels like velvet across my tongue and tastes like an unsweetened, dark chocolate brownie with powdered sugar on top. I will stock more of these in my cellar when I get my allowance. (263 characters)

Photo of roblowther
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The latest in my foray into Russian Imerpial Stouts, trying to discover why they so dominate the "best beers in the world" lists. It pours pitch black with a medium tan head that is dense and creamy and leaves one of the densest lacings I've seen. Smell is musty wood, leather, raisins, and oranges. The taste is surprisingly sweet, and not at all acrid or burnt as so many others I have tried. It tastes of coffee, soft malt, leather, and a pleasant chalkiness. The mouthfeel is a good balance of carbonation and chewiness. The drinkability is limited by the bitter finish. This fades nicely through the aftertaste, but it is a bit intense for a while. Probably the best of the style I've tried, but I suppose I'm just not a true believer. (740 characters)

Photo of beerbiatchMD
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A: dark and thick, color of a black bowling ball. 2 fingers of mocha-colored head leaves great lacing.

S: burbon, chocolate, and plum predominate. Some oaky notes as it warms. Roasty malts. To me the nose is the best part by far.

T: bitter dark chocolate and burbon predominate up front and at mid-palate. Some coffee in there as well and perhaps some black licorice. A bit hashed than I would like.

M: rather crisp with the alcohol heat but overall smooth. Perhaps a bit high on the carbonation. Not bad though.

O: a good stout but not my favorite. Pretty strong, could maybe benefit from some age. I believe they also barrel-age this one and I see why. (691 characters)

Photo of Willibomb
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am not a huge stout drinker, but this one was quite enjoyable, my only hangup was that it was upfront with a very strong alcohol taste that took a few drinks to blunt. As the bottle went down, it became more of a 4.5 beer, but the first hit is only a 3.0 beer if you catch my drift.

Color was the first thing I noticed, it is very dark as an imperial stout should be, and had a blended head from white to tan.

Also like many stouts, there was a chocolate/coffee smell which was probably the best feature of this beer.

Taste, was much like I mentioned before. The taste evolves from the first drink to the last, so don't judge this one until the bottle is empty!

Mouthfeel was smooth, but still a bit harsh alcohol-wise which lead to....

Drinkability which I scored low due to the fact that after one, I was ready to move on despite the overall pleasant experiance after my first drink.

Overall, I think this beer is worth trying, I think North Coast produced a winner in this stout, but only buy it if you are into stouts, which if you are reading this, is probably true. (1,079 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very black, with tan sneaking through on the edges. Nice tan head, with some pretty lacing going down the sides.

S - A little smoke on this one. Malts and chocolate come through. I expect this one to be a little bitter.

T - Definately some coffee, burnt chocolate on this one. The bitter comes through, but in a good way.

M - Full, thick. Just what you'd expect from this.

D - Goes down pretty easily, but couldn't do a whole lot of these. (447 characters)

Photo of mjw06
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

In a mediocre approach to this, I can best describe this beer by applying it to the "King of Stouts" in the manner that Budweiser is the "King of Beers." I can imagine Old Rasputin is what happens when the flavor of Guinness Foreign Extra meets the feel of Guinness Draught. But that's way to simple. Old Rasputin has an amazing full-bodied thick and creamy mouth that just isn't present in any other stout I've ever encountered. Somehow, the best of many worlds is what you get with Old Rasputin. Nevertheless, the taste packed an unpleasant bitterness on the swallow that I judged to be an imperfection and I was also disappointed with the alcohol, not that it was present, but rather its location on the palate. These of course are personal peculiarities that others may in fact love. I'd like to try this beer again however, exceptionally paired. (850 characters)

Photo of Zadok
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured almost a pitch black syrup. Had a half finger dark brown head for seconds after pouring. Minimal lacing as I consumed.

S-Rich malts and dark roasted coffee, alcohol squeezing through in the background. Mild Dark fruits.

T-As with the smell, deep roasted malts and dark coffee bean. Each drink is an enjoyable kick in the pants. Malty/hoppy finish. ABV comes into play pretty quickly. Baker's chocolate and dark fruit hang mildly in the distance.

M-Rich and creamy, double shot espresso cappuccino doesn't do it justice.

D-1 of these in a setting is more than enough, that being said, this is an explosion of the taste buds and should be consumed at a moderate rate. The quality and time invested is evident. (720 characters)

Photo of squaremile
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a standby for a lot of folks including myself. When I want an RIS and want to spend $2, Old Raspy is there, like a non-pretentious gradeschool friend. Black pour, small/medium head, some lacing, and the nose is roasted malts and coffee. The flavor is much more of the same with espresso dominating. On nitro tap the punch is relaxed and the mouthfeel is foamy goodness. (377 characters)

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