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: 11,163
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 467
Gots: 2,209 | 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: 11,163
Photo of mattpetti
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an excellent beer. Your really cannot say enough about it. pours pitch black with not a large head and not a great amount of lacing. Smell was of course roasted malts alittle bit of sourness. Thes taste was awesome. Ive had this beer a half dozen times and it gets better every time. Chocolate, coffee, i detected some hazelnut but that could just be my imagination running wild with how much i love this beer. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy. Full bodied with lost of flavor and it leaves a long lasting malt flavor in your mouth, most prominently on the back of your tongue. Though the abv is high and the mouthfeel is full bodied you can really have a couple of these in a row without breaking a sweat. The only problem is that the coating of your mouth is so extensive you might not want taste another beer after this one. But after it who cares. Petti out. (870 characters)

Photo of NiceGuyMike
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

De.lic.ous

Wow...I've just completed a six pack over several days and I have to say this has gotten better and better.

a: very dark black with little off white/light tan head.
s: rich chocolate/coffee malts. Never overdone.
t: more rich and chocolate/coffee malts.
m: smooth, very smooth full bodied experience.
d: high alcohol keeps this at bay, but you hardly taste it.

Note: one of the best, if not the best Imperial Stouts I've had. A discovery like this is what keeps me excited about beers. (509 characters)

Photo of denali99755
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First off, the bottle was remarkably unimpressive for such a heavy-hitting beer. Coming from familiarity with Belgians and the bottle styles of the Rogue brewery, this beer's standard-issue brown bottle belies its singularly impressive quality. I do like the label, though, and especially the 'never say die' inscription.

Pours like stouts I'm used to, pretty smooth, with minimal head (although my pouring style is inconsistent at best, so it's hard to judge). And it's, well, dark like an Imperial should be.

Aroma is crisp and tart, with some definite hops and chocolate. Maybe some coffee? The nose might be a tiny bit more bitter than I would love.

But the taste--terrific. Nice and round, hugely full-bodied, with chocolate and coffee, but the hoppy bitterness (for me) balances the heavy bottom-end perfectly. This is my kind of beer. And it is remarkably light on its feet for a 9-percenter--dangerously so. I could drink a lot of this, and quickly. Love it.

Mouthfeel is smooth except for an odd almost grittiness that I experienced much more in the tap beer, but is still present from the bottle. Slightly odd--but the bottled version goes down smoother. Better, by my taste.

Like I said, I could drink way too much of this beer, way too quickly. The nice hoppy top end balances out a very big, meaty flavor. A definite 5.

This beer, from the bottle, might even surpass my other two favorite stouts--Alameda's Black Bear XX Nitro and Rogue's Shakespeare--although I have a hard time shaking my affection for Oregon breweries. All around, though, this is a terrific offering. (1,602 characters)

Photo of yelterdow
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Andy's, couldn't resist a growlerfill this weekend.

Served in an oversize snifter between cellar and fridge temperature.

A- Flat... straight up dark brown, without a head at all. The thin rim that encircles the glass leaves behind minimal lacing, with windblown surface streaks which adorn the crown.

S- Rich, deep, molasses-soaked licorice and chocolate... pure and liquid, and very intense. Very strong... the forecast calls for inebriation, if we are not careful.

T- A chocolately, richly deep, molasses-and-malt driven experience, which detours into a nicely balanced hoppy bitterness. Drying, flowery, and complete, we come full circle from the initial dessert-like debut.

M/D- Too smooth for the ultimate in roundness... the sheer strength of this beer calls for some balance in the mouthfeel, but it simply fades into obscurity. Strong but watery, any inkling of carbonation is what's lacking. This beer is satisfying, yet I definitely prefer the bottled offering. Unless this growler went flat in one day, I suggest the widely available four-pack bottles. (1,088 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Appearance- dark black with a thin almost non-existant head.
Smell- strong sugar, molasses and coal. Hints of fruit, raisin and Prune.
Taste- immediate burnt charcoal followed by thick sugary syrup.
Mouthfeel- cloying and sweet.

Overall- a decent Stout by, by no means, a great one! Too sweet and too syrupy. If this could be mellowed just a little! (394 characters)

Photo of amstelcat
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Any beer named Old Rasputin is off to a good start in my book. Pours out a velvety black with a thick, brown, whipped cream head on it.Let's put this to the nose: smells a bit like Irish coffee, mmmm, Daddy like. First sip, alcohol, chocolate and malts roasted into cinders. Complex, rich, and very satisfying. Will enjoy the rest of my four-pack. (347 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Do we really need another review of this one? Not really. This is #573 for this stout. But I need another Old Rasputin, so bear with me.

An excellent, exceptional stout. Couldn't be darker, as a stout should be, black with a creamy brown head. Smells of chocolate and coffee, no surprises there, but it's distinct and robust and lacking nothing.

Taste: Dark chocolate, strong burnt coffee (in a good way), bitter hoppiness on the back of the tongue. Great sweet/bitter interplay. Warming.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel, so nice it almost steals the show from the strong flavor.

More of a dessert beer, one you won't drink more than two of without a heavy stomach and serious swimmy head afterwards. A great winter indulgence, and one to drink on the barely-chilled side. (771 characters)

Photo of beerphilosopher
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wide-mouth wine glass from a shorty bottle ... Almost black mahogony color with a great chocolate-colored head ... imperial looking indeed. Nose is of cocoa, roasted coffee, espresso, and sweet malt. Almost no hop aromas in the nose. Taste is completely consistent with the aroma ... rich, sweet, and complex with dark malt ... almost black strap mollases flavors ... yet smooth and nutty in the finish. Thick, heavy body with little carbonation. A huge stout in the imperial style ... an acquired taste, which I have certainly acquired. Very strong, very rich, and very good. A superlative example of the style ... and east to get to boot! (654 characters)

Photo of aforbes10
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

another pickup by my wife on her latest trip to Trader Joes. Massive head, poured too cold so i let it sit 5 minutes to settle. brilliant lacing. totally opaque black/brown color. Roasty alcohol chocolate odor. smells so good i want to shotgun the bloody thing. oh man. this tastes as close to my all time favorite (Thunderhead Brew co. Russian Imperial Stout) as i've gotten. Complex, roasted chocolate malt flavor. some bitterness. not quite the best but still a 5 for taste. almost perfect mouthfeel. a bit fizzy but i'll cellar a couple to see if i can get some of the bitterness and fizziness down. could drink these all night till i pass out. (648 characters)

Photo of timtheenchanta
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with a large tan colored tightly bubbled head. Thick sticky lacing. TREMENDOUS coffee smell. Lots of roasted malt. Heavy roasted malt and ample alcohol taste. Jet black coffee taste. Slight hop balance in the finish. An overall great impy stout. This is a beer you should pick up if you get a chance. (310 characters)

Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a jet black with a light tan head that falls into a slight lace around the rim.
the aroma is very rich and malty, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, toffee.
the flavor is very rich, malty, coffee, toffee, hopsack, chocolate, spice, herbal.
the mouthfeel is perfect for the style, coats the inside of your mouth.
beer is very drinkable, best for a cold night, goes well with water crackers and munster. (404 characters)

Photo of KyleVick4
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
Deep and dark pitch black with a creamy tan head. Good head retention and nice belgian lace. Honestly, I dont hold appearance ins that high of regards, but I was pretty impressed.

Smell:
Coffee overpowering coffee with maybe some liquorice and chocolates. Maybe maybe a hop or a herb somewhere but very subtle

Taste:
Unbelieveable. Wow. In two words: Best Ever. I was totally taken aback by the taste. It was rich and silky but not to the point where it no longer tasted like beer. It was a good coffee taste which was enjoyable (says a lot since I dont like coffee). The beer is heavy but not too heavy, notes of alcohol can be detected, but not to much. There is a lingering aftertaste of chocolate and coffee. Tremendous.

Mouthfeel:
Thick and mildy creamy. Feels a little heavy.

Drinkability:
After the first sip you want more. It is pretty heavy and good to savor. There is a feel of alcohol which does kind of make it less drinkable but the taste is so amazingly good and smooth that it is easily overlooked.

Easily one of my top three beers of all time. Hands down the best Imperial Stout I have ever had. (1,143 characters)

Photo of Prufrock
3.14/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner.

pitch black with half an inch of tan head that leaves rings of lacing.

roasted malt and chocolatey aroma with a touch of coffee.

medium mouthfeel with a medium carbonation; mouthfeel is slightly light and carbonation slightly high for the style. slight chocolate sweetness, then a wave of piney bitterness. hoppy bitterness is quite a contrast from the aroma. the combination of flavors is just a bit amiss. solid stout, but i've come to expect more from anything labeled as "imperial," such as a little more complexity or nuance. (576 characters)

Photo of jorjoria
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus Chalice.

A: The beer pour a rich slightly transparent dark brown. The carbonation is very light and only about a cm of light brown head formed and the quickly dissipated after pouring. The beers carbonation continued to be released from the bottom of the glass as I consumed.

S: Great light chocolate orders with a hint a alcohol as well as some coffee note. Not all that overpowering.

T: Just an incredibly rich malty flavor hit you right away. There are some great coffee notes to beer particularly in the after taste. I also really enjoy how this beer was hopped its not overpowering and complement the other flavors quit nicely.

M: The creaminess of this beer is amazing. I coat the inside of the mouth with just a wonderful array a flavor and complexity.

Note: This beer is great out of the bottle but was a huge treat when I had it for the first time on tap. (919 characters)

Photo of Byeast
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark , dark choclaty brown/black. Head was light brown, slow to build, but impressive once it did. Nice sticky lacing was left as it went down. Aroma is of much coffee/ espresso , chocolate , dark fruit and malt. Nice! Taste is of the same qualities , with espresso being the strongest throughout ; also a nice hop bitterness and warming finish of alchohol. Wow this is very complex .... and Good! My first Russian Imperial Stout , definatly NOT my last. I only wish the weather was colder at the moment , down here in FL. (531 characters)

Photo of tastybeer
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks pretty black to me. Nice cocoa brown head and lacing to the rim of the glass. Sweet chocolate to the nose. Espresso coffee and a slight light + sweet fruitiness. Robust dark chocolate floods the palate along with some nuts and definite coffee. Pretty sweet, but not too sweet. Nice and velvety smooth and also very very drinkable for a stout.

Though this review is based on a bottle I had this on tap at some point. It was awesome. Real thick and full. Mmmm. (467 characters)

Photo of Shovelbum
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A creamy light mocha 1” head over a solid black body. Head all but recedes except for a ring around the edge which ensures a nice thin film of lace. Aromas of citric and floral hops mingle with sweet and roasted malts and a substantial vinous fruit quality. Flavors of sweet and slight tart vinous up front give way to a subtly sweet and bitter dark chocolate character. Espresso notes in the aftertaste. Waves of complexity! There is a moderate hop bitterness in the background providing just the right amount of balance. Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel, with a trace of dryness in the finish and several lingering flavors.

This is one complex stout. It has such incredible depth, balance and complexity that drinking it is a bit of an adventure— and a pleasing one at that! (804 characters)

Photo of skillerified
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black as night in the middle, but some burgundy-red tints around the edges. Head is about a finger and a half and tan. Fades fairly quickly, but leaves a ton of lacing on the glass.

Licorice, malt and hop start off the nose. Some vinous notes. Also a distinct dark fruit scent that seems different from the vinous scents. Maybe a touch of chocolate too.

First sip ... whoa! There's a lot going on here. The fruity flavors seem to hit first, followed by a strong dark coffee-like taste. A bit of a spicy alcohol bite. Then there's a chocolate note on the finish.

Mouthfeel is very interesting. There's a distinct sweet part early, then a grapefruit like bitterness in the middle that lasts through the finish. Then there's a different kind of bitterness toward the end that fades just before the finish. It's amazing that it feels so different from front to back.

That grapefruit bitterness really bugs me and will hinder the drinkability for me, but otherwise this is a fine stout. I wouldn't have any problem putting one down from time to time. (1,058 characters)

Photo of pjwilson
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one could argue that this beer single handily started the modern American Russian Imperial Stout revolution. This beer tastes poorly at anything less than cellar temp. I'll admit, that this beer has grown on me a bit throughout my 4 pack and I will no doubt buy more in the future.

A: pours a nice dark black color with a smooth tan head. Drinking this out of a wine glass at the moment

smell: pleasant smell of roasted coffee, creamy smooth malts and baked cake.

taste: it's sort of a taste you learn to love. Big whack of bitterness and roasted malts hits you up front, only slightly mellowed by some malt creaminess. There is also yeastiness in the flavor adding a sourness, quite a bit actually. This one is all about the roasty notes. Like strong coffee, you learn to like it.

mouthfeel: the cream man. it's actually very light for the abv.

drinkability: the closest thing to a session IRS. although I wouldn't session thise one, a four pack has lasted me a month, mixed in with other things. It's a solid beer, but not the best. (1,049 characters)

Photo of VoodooBrew
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased a 4 pack of this beer in September of 2005, and amazingly I am only now drinking the last one.

For the most part this beer appears jet black, but shows some deep ruby-chestnut when held up to direct light.

There is chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit on the nose, perhaps cherry. I detect some hops, but this is not a prominent aroma. The aroma is overall quite nice.

The initial flavor is deep roasted barley, with an aftertaste of hops- and barley-derived bitterness. This roasted quality subsides somewhat after a few sips, but it rests in the aftertaste. The flavor is good, but not quite as complex as I think it could be for the style. Frankly I think the roasted barley is a little over-done, but that's partly just my opinion.

This is still certainly a very solid beer, but man it's tough for any Imperial Stout to stand up to Victory's Storm King... (883 characters)

Photo of maddamish
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Minimal head with a careful pour. Turns into thick lacing right away and stays that way all the way to the bottom of the glass. Pours out a thick brownish/black liquid with motor oil consistency.

Caramel and green apple notes dominate in the nose.

The taste was strong with alcohol. Along with that comes an iced coffee type of taste with espresso notes, chocolate in the background. There is a bitterness in the aftertaste that was pleasant.

The mouthfeel is perfect with this stout. Thick and creamy.

A great treat indeed. I will be buying this again. I cannot wait to try it on tap. (589 characters)

Photo of kingjames1
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hands down the best Russian Imperial Stout I've had. Smells wonderfully rich and balanced. I smell dark breads, dark chocolate, and dark, rich coffee. Everything about this is dark and rich. But what is so remarkable to me is that there is no element of unpleasant bitterness (I often detect something approaching bile in many stouts). As I sip it, there is some definite hops bitterness, but it complements the sweet, roasted malts so well. Wow. Very balanced and pleasant. Surely this is the standard of RIS.

Awesome. Not as thick as some Imperial Stouts, and perhaps for that reason, very drinkable (at 9%!). (615 characters)

Photo of AltBock
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. stubby bottle with a picture of Rasputin doing what I believe is the sign of the cross. He was also doing this sign when they pulled him out of the river after he was poisoned, shot, and drowned. On the side of his picture is some russian, which I can not read. No date on the bottle what so ever.

Appearance: Poured a pitch black color with very few ruby highlights through it. You can find these ruby highlights only if you really look for them. I only got a little skim of tan colored foam, but did leave some traces of lace around my Snifter.

Smell: I was expecting this beer to be rich in roasted malt and roasted coffee beans, but to my surprise it was vey fruity. I believe the cherries were the most predominate in the fruit aroma. Behind these fruits was just a little bit of roasted malt. The one smell I thought was going to be the most predominate was just in the background.

Taste: The taste was unlike the smell, it had plenty of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and this all ended with a dry fruity bitter alcohol aftertaste. Very good and very unusual.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was alot like Rasputin, that strong roasted malt aftertaste did not die until I drank some water.

Drinkability: Overall an excellent beer, but since this at a strong 9% ABV this is definitely not an everyday beer and only good once in a great while. A 4-pack is more than enough for me. (1,426 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 dweideman
3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a large frothy light-medium brown mostly lasting head. Aroma was extremely sweet – I detected dark cherry, ripened banana and a slight hint of citrus. Initially a light sweet taste with lively carbonation followed by moderate bitterness. The roasted malts really came through late in the finish with dark chocolate the predominant flavor. I really enjoyed the different aromas of this offering. (402 characters)

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