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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

8,363 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8363
Reviews: 3288
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001)
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Ratings: 8,363 | Reviews: 3,288 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of callmeclemens
callmeclemens

New Jersey

1.13/5  rDev -73.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Upon pouring this beer looked like cola, maybe a little darker. Smelled like licorse. Tasted like Licorse and Alcohal. I found this beer difficult to sip, sallow, and even gulp. Had no head, and no lacing whatsoever which leads me to believe I may have gotten a bad bottle, so perhaps I'll try again.

However, judging from what I know about Rasputin, this seems like the kind of thing he would drink by the barrelful atleast ten times a day. So I suppose mission accomplished, Comrades.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 12:26:13 | More by callmeclemens
Photo of tfp4268
tfp4268

Kentucky

1.55/5  rDev -64%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I know this beer gets rave reviews, however...

I have enjoyed other RIS's but this one is just plain ugh.

It looks good enough, very dark brown, almost black, ruby around the edge against a light. Nice brown two finger head, goes down to a pretty lace after a while.

Smell is a little strange, very fruity, but not much else.

Taste...ARRRGH! Fruit and alcohol, kinda like Boone's Farm or something. Yuck!

Mouthfeel is as it should be, kinda thick, but not really thick.

Drinkability Well...I bought four of these, and have managed to choke down two, but the other two are probobly destined for the trash hopper.

Like I said, I have enjoyed other RIS's before, Sam Smith's is my fave, but I think Old Rasp is a little high on the ABV at 9%. It makes it too heavy more my taste buds to handle.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2006 14:14:25 | More by tfp4268
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

1.85/5  rDev -57%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Usually I'm not a fan of Imperial Stouts, but this one looked cool and I was hooked into buying it for the looks and name. Pours a very dark color with a moderate sized tan head that dies off after a few minutes. Leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma was burned malts and coffee/chocolate and some sort of spiciness (odd for an imperial stout?). This is a big beer. The flavor was majorly strong. Way too strong for my taste buds to accept. Tastes of alcohol, burned malts, slight spiciness, and maybe a little fruitiness. Didn't care much for it.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2003 14:22:34 | More by clvand0
Photo of assurbanipaul
assurbanipaul

Texas

1.88/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I want to like this beer. Really, I do. I'm crazy about imperial stouts and I read the praise everyone has for this beer, but I can't help but think that I'm unlucky enough to keep purchasing skunked beer upon skunked beer.

Sharper than other imperial stouts, spicer and hoppier than I would prefer. Acrid taste, almost far too sharp to be palatable. Sample has drain pour written all over it, but I've bought this beer three different times during the past year with the same experience.

If ever I can find good things to say about Rasputin, I will joyfully update and upgrade my ratings. But until then, this is just nasty.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2003 16:31:17 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of Jdbateman83
Jdbateman83

California

1.91/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 1.25

This review will be far from the norm, and doesn't reflect bad on the beer, but my own taste. I do respect this beer for its amazing scores, style, complexity... But with all that being said; I couldn't finish my glass. I tried this beer at the Yardouse with a friend. I hate bitterness, I like smooth, complex, deep, slight hops, lots of malt, type beers. Aboslutely way to bitter for me. I try and finish every beer, even if I don't like it, because I want to be sure I don't like it. I left half of a pint glass with this and the Yardhouse bartender gave me a refund. Not MY cup of tea.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2013 04:10:42 | More by Jdbateman83
Photo of CaptJackHarkness
CaptJackHarkness

New York

1.95/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

First, I must disclose that this is my first Russian Imperial Stout and if this is typical of the style, I won't be having too many more! This brew has in it's favor an almost black color and a nice rich aroma, you can smell the alchohol. But, it's all about the taste! This tasted far too bitter and hoppy, and left a horrible aftertaste in the back of the mouth!
Again , I enjoy sweet stouts, like Murphy's, so make your judgements accordingly!!

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2011 16:13:47 | More by CaptJackHarkness
Photo of likethetaste
likethetaste

Virginia

1.98/5  rDev -54%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

WOW! I got this beer as gift at Christmas. I really looked forward to trying this. It poured a beautiful dark color with lovely long lasting foam. I smelled it and it just had a wonderful dark chocolate bready smell. But then I tasted it! YIKES.
This had a horrible bitter taste. The aftertaste was just terrible. I could not drink this and enjoy it at all! I was greatly disappointed. Apparently I just do not have the same taste buds as others who reviewed this but It was just awful tasting to me and I have tried many stouts.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 02:18:32 | More by likethetaste
Photo of pweis909
pweis909

Wisconsin

2.13/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This beer poured an opaque black with a big tawny head, which didn't last too long.

The smell is powerful. Fruity and alcoholic with spicey notes lingering in the background. Juicey fruit gum, soaked in vodka. Different, but not complex.

Taste is unpalatable. The roasts are too sharp, too bitter; the alcohol is too overpowering.

I didn't finish my 12 oz bottle. My mouth reviled at the taste and I had a hangover before I consumed 8 oz.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2007 18:49:08 | More by pweis909
Photo of SimplySinister
SimplySinister

Florida

2.35/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Black and Opaque. Similiar to other Russian imperial stouts. Fair carbonation and a very nice head.

S - Full bodied, complex. Notes of Barleywine, Malt, and licorice.

T - OR tastes of malt and barelywine. Unlike other Russian Imperials OR seems to lack deep mocha/coffee notes. It reminds me of a Russian Imperial version of Skullsplitter.

M - Thick.

D - I am not impressed with OR's drinkability. While I could easily drink multiple Samuel Smith Imperials, it seems that I can just not stomach OR.

All in all, fans of barleywine and malt with adore this brew. On the other hand, I dislike it.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2008 04:40:33 | More by SimplySinister
Photo of WhiteOak
WhiteOak

Connecticut

2.35/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

G- Riedel 6416/07

A- Black, showing black-olive green under direct light. Coarse foamy head.

S- Predominant burnt smells, a hint of roast. An annoying off-smell of a dirty ash tray and old cigarettes plagues this beer's aromatic presentation.

T- One dimensional, simple burnt flavor with strong ash tray impressions. A bit of old coffee grounds. No complexity to speak of. Flavors did not entice. Short, sharp, finish with only bitterness lingering.

M- Fizzy CO2 which throws this beer further off balance.

D- Physically drinkable, but this beer did not entice. No seduction here.

Serving- 12oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 01:22:11 | More by WhiteOak
Photo of pigc
pigc

Nebraska

2.35/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thought I would give this classic RIS my own review...

A - Pours as black as night with huge three finger mocha colored head.

S - Molasses, brown sugar, chocolate, cocoa, slight piney hops.

T - Starts out with sharp alcohol followed by bitter hops. Wow, this taste really throws me. I'm picking up very little chocolate or coffee. Malt seems to have abandoned the seen. Very hot, like drinking pure alcohol with no flavor.

M - Medium to thick. Oily and resinous.

O - This beer started off so well with the appearance and smell then just went way south with the taste. Not balanced at all. This may be my first drain pour and I can't believe it's on such a highly rated beer as this. I'm thinking I must have picked up a bad bottle or something. This beer is a hot, alcoholic mess. So disappointed. Glad I only picked up a single!

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 01:26:37 | More by pigc
Photo of joebrewer
joebrewer

Massachusetts

2.4/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this on a nitro tap at Sunset Grill. The next day I also had a bottle and found that I liked the bottle better. The nitro made the beer smoother, but I don't think that's what makes the beer. The carbonation of the bottle matched with the strong flavors in this beer while the nitro felt like it was trying to mellow a big beer.

Overall I'm not a big fan of Rasputin. It seems to be especially harsh for it's alcohol content. I also find that after about 2/3 of the way through the beer I wish I was done. The flavor profile isn't complex enough to carry me through.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-26-2007 17:32:42 | More by joebrewer
Photo of cfleisher
cfleisher

New Hampshire

2.4/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Never thought I'd say this, but this beer was too highly hopped for me. Nice dark espresso color and low carbonation, smelled of caramel malt, but could barely taste it. I love highly hopped beers (Stone's Ruination is a favorite) but not so much with the stouts and this could have been so much more if the malt could come forward a little.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2008 22:03:48 | More by cfleisher
Photo of jujubeast6000
jujubeast6000

Texas

2.4/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 8/5/2008 (bottle):

Pours an inky black colored body, with a gray brown head, with some good lacing but not very lasting. Aroma has some alcohol and some dark malts, nuttiness. Malty taste and some dustiness. Somewhat hot. Some dark chocolate. Too much for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2009 03:15:13 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of njmoons
njmoons

New Jersey

2.58/5  rDev -40%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured a very dark brown, 1 finger of foam which dissapated quickly.

The aroma was malty and overwhelmed by the spicy grapefruity smell of cascade hops. This overwhelmed the malt and heavy fruits I expect to smell in a Imperial Russian.

The taste was initially heavy malt and quickly overtaken by the hops, which took over the flavor with excessive bitterness and grapefruit flavors. This hop flavor overpowered the finish with a spicy bitter flavor that lingered on the palate.

Mouthfeel was thick and creamy appropriate to a Imperial Russian.

Due to the overwhelming hops flavors and bitterness the drinkability was relativily poor.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2009 16:23:02 | More by njmoons
Photo of TK5150
TK5150

Maine

2.6/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Have had this beer many times, deciding to rate a bottle after having it again today.

A- Looks like a stout. Pours black with a beige head. I would like the head to be darker considering this is an imperial stout.

S- Very mundane, and tight. Not much going on, basically just some maltiness on the nose.

T- Malty with some bitter old coffee and a little dark chocolate. Does not flow well. Bad flavor transitions. Not much in the way of complexity or flavor.

M- Full bodied. Roasted grain bitterness out of nowhere is hurting the score though.

D- Glad I only bought a single bottle this time.

I keep giving this beer chances, but honestly this is not very good. Probably will not buy from the bottle again. On draft it is a pretty nice beer though. There is not much skill in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2010 20:15:48 | More by TK5150
Photo of Buebie
Buebie

Minnesota

2.65/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle with no freshness date, into a snifter.
Color is pitch black with no color to be found. 3 finger creamy brown head, sits there and sits there. Big thick clumps of lace rings around the glass. Retention is outstanding.

Great big sweet chocolate aroma of the knose. Some grainy earthy aromas, mixed with hints of grassy hops.
Oh that sweet milk chocolate aroma is intoxicating.
No alcahol fumes off the aroma.

More carbonation than anticipated, mouthfeel is somwhat thin for an RIS. Yet there is still an inky like texture. Bitter chocolate grainy flavors. The sweetness in the aroma is now nowhere to be found. This is quite bitter. Kind of a chalky aspirin flavor at the swallow. Some alcahol warming at this point.
Becoming increasingly bitter with hints of spicy hops at the lingering finish.

It was a terrific beer, until I took a sip. Then it became an ok beer for the style. Way too much carbonation, not thick and creamy either.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2008 00:42:05 | More by Buebie
Photo of LiamStLiam
LiamStLiam

New York

2.68/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I got a good, black pour, low head.

I found it harder to drink than I expected. A lot going on in this beer, and not all of it to my taste.

I am a "smoothness" guy, and this is not a smooth beer.

I find this a difficult style to understand right now, and I know it's a hard one to do.

This is my first North Coast Beer, so I am not quite sure what to expect in the future.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2003 19:57:10 | More by LiamStLiam
Photo of esch
esch

Minnesota

2.73/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Deliciously dark. Ruby slices through when held up to the light. Persistant pillowy cappuccino colored head.

S: Cocoa, wet sugar, tons of toasted malt, definite hop florals.

T: I first get a hint of dried cherries that fades fast into (diet) cola with a harshly bitter aspartame.

M: Medium-moderate body. Medium-moderate carbonation.

D: I really want to like this beer but the chemical flavors are really off-putting. Tasting was comprised of a newly purchased bottle and one from my cellar. I'll have to give this beer a revisit.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2008 04:25:19 | More by esch
Photo of dogboy
dogboy

Alberta (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thought I'd try this highly rated brew and was dissapointed. Pours good and looks ok in the glass. Smell was too much coffee on the nose and the first sip confirmed the smell. Overpowering burnt coffee taste for me. Also the beer was too thick and as I find with American stouts, too fizzy. It's ok enough and I'd like to try it on tap (or aged), but why the A?

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2008 21:13:43 | More by dogboy
Photo of 3leggeddub
3leggeddub

Massachusetts

2.78/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

If I trawl the old memory banks I think good ol' Rasputin was one of the first imperial stouts that I had and the one thing I've always liked is the way it looked. Pitch black with a respectably thick tan head that thins down to a thin cover that leaves sticky lacing all the way down. No light getting through this stuff at all. The nose is pretty appealing with sweet notes of dark fruit like plum or raisin. Of course at 9% ABV you can definitely smell the booze in there.

To be blunt the first sip of Rasputin is a kick in the mouth. The carbonation is sharp and hits your tongue first. After that it's big bitterness around the edges. There's a coffee flavor that goes beyond dark roasted into burnt. The word acrid comes to mind to describe the first third of the bottle. The fruit in the nose are pretty much nowhere to be found in the taste. As you make your way through the bottle your palette starts to get used to the bitterness. With that acclimatization comes the realization that Rasputin has a nice velvety body that bitterness aside is very pleasant. Flavor-wise you notice some fleeting hints of unsweetened baker's chocolate and a touch of roasted malt. Lingering underneath that is an earthy, chalky aftertaste that isn't all together unpleasant. Aside from the bitterness there's little other flavor in here to hang a hat on and enjoy.

Put all of this together and Rasputin is a decent imperial stout, but personally I don't see it as balanced, complex or amazing as many others do. For those still trying to find their preference in the world of RIS's I would recommend trying Rasputin at least once to see if a more bitter stout is for you.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2008 02:27:11 | More by 3leggeddub
Photo of Cubsfan1087
Cubsfan1087

Iowa

2.78/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I didn't enjoy Old Rasputin, to the point where I almost wasn't even going to bother reviewing it. Obviously, it's a highly regarded beer on here, but it wasn't for me. The taste is what turned me off. It is very bitter. The high alcohol content is not hidden at all, like you will see in other beers. I found the drinkability to be extremely low. This is a beer I probably won't try again.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 18:38:16 | More by Cubsfan1087
Photo of Nicknackpaddywack
Nicknackpaddywack


2.78/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

WAY OVER-RATED micro-brewed high alcohol content export extra-stout. Character is way too busy on tongue back-outside tastebuds. After-taste all over the place.

I like a simple ultra-strong Cohiba extra-vigoroso torpedo maduro cigar. This beer is way too tootie-fruity to go with my favorite simple but strong cigar.

I much prefer best match: Leinenkugel's Big Eddy from original Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin brewry spring brewed seasonally with year on bottleneck band - cigar bands come off on way into humidor.

Rasputin is SISSY GIRLY Stout only good for fruit cake. I cannot believe the rating Rasputin gets here & I've lived in many places in the world to acquire local appreciation for water, ingredients & process characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 01:10:42 | More by Nicknackpaddywack
Photo of JamesBerry
JamesBerry

Massachusetts

2.8/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This one has a black cola-like coloring with a brownish/orange head. Immediately after opening the bottle, a strong chocolate smell emerges. The taste is intensely bitter, like baker's chocolate, but with noticeable amounts of alcoholic tone. Old Rasputin has a tannic mouthfeel, like sucking a teabag or coffee grounds. Not as creamy or as say, a porter or (non-Imperial) stout, but admittedly, the taste mellows out significantly after the first half. Not exactly what I'd call a session beer. This is more of an experience than just any beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2004 00:20:23 | More by JamesBerry
Photo of Dubblebock
Dubblebock

Texas

2.8/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Old Rasputin was certainly a beer that I have been looking forward to trying for quite some time now. I have seen it quite often but never had the chance to pick up a bottle to sample until recently. I have to say, this was definitely a case of expectations exceeding reality. The bottle looks good, the drawn face of Rasputin himself cocking a wary eye towards the drinker.

The pour was excellent as well. The beer was nothing but inky blackness, with a chocolate head of foam. I began to get the idea that something was amiss, however, when the nose came at me with alcohol stringency and bitterness.

The taste was less than impressive to me. There were notes of dark chocolate and burnt coffee, but all of the complexity in this beer was totally masked by the alcohol. Granted, it's a bruiser of a beer at 9% ABV, but there was clearly no attempt to hide the potency behind the flavor. The beer just got bitter and uninviting as I made my way through the mug. I did get a few notes of hops and dry grains, but all was lost in the end.

Mouthfeel was ok, the aftertaste bitter. Not drinkable at all, IMO. I won't be reaching for Rasputin's face any time soon. Disappointing, as this is always considered a classic beer by most. It's definitelty too over the top for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2005 18:20:52 | More by Dubblebock
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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,363 ratings.