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

3,494 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,494
Hads: 11,145
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 465
Gots: 2,200 | 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: 3,494 | Hads: 11,145
Photo of Nathaniel4321
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best beers on the planet. I recently had the bourbon barrel aged versions, so good. I sipped and savored. Thick and viscous, great mouth feel, good malt hop balance, chocolate notes, and coffee hints. So good. (220 characters)

Photo of soulgrowl
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Intensely dark burgundy-brown; almost black. Opaque even when held up to the light, with a fiery brick-red glow along the edges. The head is frothy and resilient, its color a dark, coffee-stained, cinnamon-infused beige, very reminiscent of a double capuccino. Overall, the beer would match nicely with a ski lodge.

Smell: Aroma is surprisingly subtle and subdued compared to the beer's visual impact. It is earthy and natural, with campfire-like burnt tones. The bitter combination of chocolate and coffee and sweet overtones of maple trees foreshadow the beer's complicated taste.

Taste: Wonderful! Chocolate and espresso provide the beer's foundation, covered with an intense, burnt-to-perfection malt flavor. Then there is a layer of stewed fruit-and-vegetable sweetness (especially cherries). An undercurrent of almond (specifically amaretto and marzipan) pops up now and then. Lingering finish retains roasty and nutty elements in your mouth for a long time. Amazing! This would go so well with dark wheat toast spread with Nutella, or with any dark chocolate. Might also be good with some kind of flaky pastry, like a Danish, turnover, or kringle.

Mouthfeel: Although the beer is very viscous, it is not as creamy as I expected due to its medium-sized bubbles. Probably for the best, since the lightness helps keep the beer from being too overwhelming. After you swallow and lick your lips, the beer still clings to you.

Drinkability: The high alcohol content and richness of this beer make it something that demands to be drank slowly and deliberately, but the flavor is so enchanting that it wouldn't be hard to knock back more than a few of these between dinner and bedtime. (1,708 characters)

Photo of Converge
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a 16oz tulip. Here goes my first RIS!

A - Pours with a thick, three-and-a-half-finger head, dark mocha in color. Totally black color for the beer. Probably the darkest beer I've ever seen. Good head retention and fantastic lacing.

S - Tons of roasted malt, rich dark chocolate, and crisp floral hops. I'm actually surprised at how prominent the hops are on the nose.

T - Whoa! Talk about full flavored. Upfront this beer is packed with roasted and burnt malt, espresso bitterness, and subtle but sharp hops. First sip finishes with a thick, warm, roasted bitterness that just assaults the palate. After the initial shock to my taste-buds, this stout shows a sweeter side as well. I can pick out a strong chocolate flavor very easily, as well as notes of dark fruit and molasses. The alcohol is pretty warming, but the actual taste of the booze is masked incredibly well under this barrage of dark flavors. The crisp, floral hops give the finish a clean, almost herbal feel without feeling too astringent for my palate. A touch of brown sugar and caramel is also present near the end. Very well crafted flavor profile here.

M - Heavy body, really viscous with a creaminess to it as well. Decent amount of carbonation as well. Finishes quite dry from all of the bitter flavors present, but not too dry. Warm alcohol presence is also detectable, but certainly doesn't hint to a 9.0% ABV. Towards the end, the feeling even becomes fairly sticky. Strong and full bodied without being too overwhelming. Could have been a bit smoother, however.

D - As mentioned, this beer is my introduction into RIS's, and I definitely enjoyed my first. I must admit I'm not too fond of overly-hoppy beers, and I had my doubts on this one after the hoppy aroma, but the flavor turned out to be very well balanced and carefully crafted. Deceptively easy to drink too, making this one a bit of a sipper for a guy like me. This one really is a monster, but a tasty one at that. I'm happy to have three more bottles sitting around. (2,034 characters)

Photo of MSchae1017
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was tasted in a imperial pint glass from a bottle.

This beer pours jet black with a creamy tan head that holds amazingly well the whole way down the glass and leaves some impressive lace. The smell is sweet roasted and dark chocolate malts. A very nice very strong flavor. The taste is also great. Fully of dark roasted malts and chocolate malts. There is a great sweetness to this beer which is immediately balanced by some huge bitterness. The mouthfeel is exceptional. This can be described as chewey and creamy. Just fantastic. Overally Highly drinkable. A fantastic RIS.

And as I close I wanted to give you this quote from Seinfeld "The Suicide"

If you named a kid Rasputin do you think that would have a negative effect on his life?

...not in this case (780 characters)

Photo of mcnabb0001
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with Rasputin on the label putting a communist curse on everyone that drinks this.

A - pours jet black with a nice thickness, big tan colored head just rises to the top of the glass and leaves a thick lacing as it dissipates.

S- sweet, coffee, dark chocalate, dark fruit (raisons) actually the sweet alcohol smell stings the nose a little.

T - nice bitterness hits the tongue followed by a blast of coffee and dark chocalate. Sharp sweetness rides the chocalate coffee wave down the throat. Alcohol is definitely present but not overbearing.

M - fulled bodied, thick, and smooth. nicely carbonated for an Imperial with a nice warming affect in the back of throat and in the chest as this one goes down.

D - Rich, smooth, and filling. This Stout is big and boozy. One maybe two are all I need of this Imperial.

Overall this is one of the best I have had it ranks top not sure if I Old Rasputin or BBCS better at this point (939 characters)

Photo of Dhren1979
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage: 2010

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle poured into a Tulip glass.

A: Pours an inky, black w/only the slightest hints of mahagony red at the edges.

S: Coffee. Roasted coffee malts. A hint of bitter hops present irself and is quite welcomed and a surprise.

T: The dry taste of coffe makes itself known right away. Dry roasted malts. A slight bitterness presents itself but quickly disappears.

M: A wonderful coating of my mouth. So smooth and silky...a great sipper.

D: Oh why is this my last one??!! This needs to be in the fridge at all times!! (552 characters)

Photo of DrewV
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle out of my beer fridge at 45 degrees into a Spiegelau Stemmed Pilsner (tulip).

A: Pitch black. Thick 2-finger mocha head sits on top. Dense lacing fills the glass to the brim as the head recedes.

S: Very smooth molasses, toasted coffee, slighty boozy, although still well hidden, not much dark fruit, but you can still get a sense of it.

T: Peppery alcohol bite kicks in up front, then fades rapidly, transitioning into a deep coffee flavor, then finally decays into a bittersweet chocolate mocha finish. Definitely complex and long-lasting. Highest marks here.

M: Medium-high carbonation with plenty of very fine bubbles, which hides the ABV well.

O: Once the initial kick of the spiciness fades, the flavors mellow and reveal themselves in sequence. A fantastic brew that truly deserves its classic status. An unbelievable bargain, to boot, makes this a no-brainer as a stout staple in everyone's beer fridge. Quite possibly my favorite brew to date; I enjoy finishing the evening with this masterpiece. (1,030 characters)

Photo of montageman
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

When the weather gets cold, there are few beers I enjoy more than Old Rasputin. Big, bold, & intense, but drinkable and balanced. Chocolate & coffee are the dominant flavors - notes of vanilla & black licorice are present as well. A perfect after dinner beer & with 9% ABV the warming qualities make it an ideal winter libation. Highest recommendation. (374 characters)

Photo of HopintheSouth
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Smell of deep chocolate, mocha and smooth oats all blended together. Khaki head that looks like it could float a quarter on top. The mouth feel is unbelievable for a beer with this much ABV and a RIS. Smooth as smooth can get. Taste is superb and very subtle alcohol. By far one of the best RIS I have had...so glad I finally tried it. (341 characters)

Photo of soupyman10
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hard one to grade down, this. Had it on nitro-tap at Meridian Pint in DC when I recognized that it was probably the best thing available, and man was I right. Huge, delicious, creamy beer. Monster thick creamy white head on top of a near-black brew. Beer is huge chocolate, roasted malt, molasses, raisins, and a hint of coffee. Had this beer many a time, but nitro-tap might be the best available option. Will definitely be grabbing it again. (443 characters)

Photo of NickT2121
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - poured into snifter. Poured a dark dark almost burnt motor oil color. With a mocha 1 head with small bubbles. Head diminished quickly. The color was solid black with almost no Amber or Moahagany at the bottom lacing very thick

S - very malty chocolate notes, plum, brown sugar, boozey scent, vanilla, coffee, burnt grains. Very complex and amazing smells

T - Roasted malts upfront with a chocolate coffee taste on the end with caramel sweetness. So goood. The finishing taste changes to me. I get vanilla one sip, caramel the other, malt and coffee the other

M - thick silky creamy feel very heavy. This Stout is very bubbly.

O - this imperial Stout is a sipper and is very good. The flavors are always changing on my palate and always amazed by every sip. The only thing not making it perfect was the carbonation it was overwhelming at first but after letting it sit for a bit the flavors busted and the carbonation died down.. Great stout

Enjoy (957 characters)

Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark plum; clear with burgundy highlights. The light brown head is dense and creamy, rising to nearly three fingers and retaining well. The lacing will coat the glass. Dark fruits in the nose like raisins and dates. Strong bakers chocolate aroma and some fusel vapors as it warms to room temp. A hint of coffee to top off the complex aroma; but not much in the way of hops or roasted notes. The roasted barley becomes very evident in the initial taste, with a slight black patent twang. Unsweetened chocolate and faint spicy hop aftertaste mellow out the strong sweet flavor. Dark fruity alcohol is apperent in the finish, but there is enough residual sweet to hide the fusels and retain a silky mouthfeel. The thick body and low carbonation highlight an excellent balance of bold flavor and smooth mouthfeel of this nearly perfect Russian Imperial stout. (868 characters)

Photo of Mistofminn
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle. Old Rasputin looks evil as he stares into your soul (at least that's what it feels like). I almost feel as though I'm not judging the beer, but Old Rasputin is judging me....

Bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours black as night, producing a thick and creamy brown head. 1 finger head dissipates quicker than I expected. Absolutely no idea if there is any kind of carbonation going on, I can't see a damn thing! Leaves decent lacing.

The aroma is heavy on bitter chocolate, but there is also a sweetness. A light coffee smell goes along with a roasted barley character. Little in the way of bitterness, save the bakers chocolate.

Old Rasputin hits my lips...fireworks! Holy mackerel! This symphony hits my taste buds and explodes into something so complex it's almost beyond words. At first I thought the chocolate was the dominant flavor, then the next sip I was convinced it was the coffee. Now, I'm certain it's the roasted character, but then again, maybe it's the warming alcohol. One thing is sure, the aroma, while very impressive in itself, doesn't do this flavor profile justice, in my opinion.

Very very creamy and smooth. Definitely a sipper, but something you want to keep sipping on. The alcohol does show itself, and has a friendly warming presence. What a great beer, I can't believe I passed it up on the shelves all those times. That definitely won't be happening again! (1,411 characters)

Photo of MisterStout
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The technical reviews below make it plainly obvious that this is an exceptional RIS. A few comments, though:

The first thing I noticed other than the midnight color and the very substantial head was the smell. Sniff it, and your nose tells your palate to pucker up. I started drinking mine pretty cold, then let it stand for a few minutes to warm up. As it warms, the burnt malt gives way (slightly) for the bitter chocolate to intensify. About halfway through the glass, you really begin to appreciate the lace--an intricate spider web made of creamy goodness.

I love this stuff. (583 characters)

Photo of sjambok1
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aah, before I get to the actual review, let me say finding this brew has been one of the high points of my beer drinking experiences. It's hard to beat something thats this good.

A: Dark as cole, poured with a two finger head of dark brown, like treebark.

S: Strong, nutty, with plenty of hops and a hint of coffe.

T: Strong as any stout I've ever had, close to perfect. Tastes of coffe, hops and a very earthy taste.

MF: Excellent. Smooth and full

D: Great, but strong. Good beer for occasions, but if I were to be drinking more than 2, Id have drink Red Seal (575 characters)

Photo of JGuzzle
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a nitro tap into a tulip glass which I understand is the ultimate way to enjoy this brew.

A - Deep black in color, completely opaque. Beautiful 3/4 inch of foamy caramel colored head sitting on top which persists throughout the consumption (it shrinks but was there to the last sip). Tiny caramel colored nitrogen bubbles persistently rise from the bottom of the glass every time it is picked up and put down. The appearance is truly a spectacle.

S - Roasted malts and hints of cocoa.

T - Some sweet maltiness in the front end. Very faint amount of hops tasted in the finish. The 9% alcohol is masked very well. I get some hints of cocoa as well.

M - Velvety smooth. If you manage to get some of the head on its own it can almost feel like a milkshake. Light carbonation, great full body.

O - This might be one of the greatest beer experiences I've ever had. Certainly the best stout. If you find this on a nitro tap somewhere, do not pass it up. (963 characters)

Photo of flyingvrod
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle to a nice two finger light brown head that slowly falls to a quarter of an inch with good lacing and black as pitch

the smell is earthy with the bold malt and coffee

the taste is not as strong as some other stouts but so well balanced without a burnt or overpowering chocolate as some have the hops are at the back of this one quite subtle the abv is hidden almost too well

the mouthfeel is great nice and crisp without coating the pallette carbonation is just right not flat at all like others

this stout is one of the best i have ever had i could drink this more than a few times a week excellent beer! (636 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 t3hcho53non3
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark black color with a good one fingered head that quickly subsides but leaves supple lacing throughout the glass.

S: Malty sweetness, bready, roasted oak

T: Very rich earthy flavor that goes down remarkably smooth and at the end of the palate a roastiness that ends on a dry note

M: Very full bodied with little to no carbonation

D: Very drinkable and the evolution of this brew warrants a second go around. (424 characters)

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

scary as hell bottle into a pint glass.
a) dark, but not that dark, no light through, but mahogany on the edges. creamy, frothy, fluffy head that clings to the glass. it looks serious...
s) chocolate espresso. cinnamon hints. bit of tartness from the alcohol.
t) here's where that chocolate gets you. its like drinking desert. but still, the hopiness is there, a bit of citrus on the front of the mouth. warms to more fruitness - a chocolate covered raspberry of a beer if there was one. delicious.
m) the natural carbonation balances out the tremendous power of the beer, nice and creamy, but not heavy. finishes clean and dry.

this is a really, really great imperial stout. what a beer for a dark, cold, winter night by the fire. (734 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from oracle as part of No BS BIF. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/4" brown head over the barely translucent reddish dark brown brew. Head is down an uneven layer of bubbles pretty quick, with slow-falling lacing. Aroma is heavy, rich dark malts, chocolate and coffee doing battle, just what you expect and want in the style. Taste follows along in the same vein, but even better with the slow warm on the swallow. Mouthfeel is velvety, and drinkability is excellent. This one is ranked highly for a reason. (564 characters)

Photo of stoutmasterjames
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now I'm a fledgling beer reviewer, so don't be too hard on me. I judge a beer mostly on taste and that's why Old Rasputin gets so many high marks from me. The smell of this stuff is great too. I can't resist taking a wiff when I crack open a bottle. The taste is complex, full, chocolatey, hint of strong black coffee. Finish a tad dry, but the suggestion of sweet in the beginning more than compensates for this. Mouthfeel wonderful, might be the high APV that gives it a wee bit of listerine intensity. I can drink these all day long. As an enjoyer of stouts, this beer strikes me as highly drinkable though not everyone will share this opinion. It is worth note that after about three or four bottles you can look at the label and almost see Rasputin working his wicked magics upon you. All and all this is a stellar beer, one of my personal faves that no fan of stouts should pass up without giving it a try. High APV always a plus in my book too. 9% Hot diggity! Will warm you in the winter for sure. (1,005 characters)

Photo of ebrauser
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very exceptional dark brown with a thinner brown head that didn't fully develop

Aroma: Chocolaty flavors flavors come off strong but there are hints of citrus and fruit, reminiscent of chocolate -covered oranges or raspberries

Flavor/Mouthfeel: Heavy body (though not as heavy as would be thought with the ABV and style) begins with the brooding of chocolate and alcohol leading into a complex finish of roasted malt and a grainy, alcoholic aftertaste. As the drinking continues, more coffee tones appear as some of I became less sensitive to the stronger flavors.

Overall: A great sipping beer and example of the style. (635 characters)

Photo of MartzMimic
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours a deep blackish brown with a creamy head. Loads of lacing in the glass. Big aroma of coffee and chocolate. The taste is spot-on the same, with some dark fruit joining in. Nice bit of bitterness on the finish. Nice thick, oily mouth. This is everything a stout should be, and one of my favorites. (301 characters)

Photo of ClassicBrad
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I remember being VERY satisfied with this on draft and when I saw a bottle of it for $2.50....!!!! Come on, that's pretty much free when it comes to a beer this good.

Drew it into a snifter and watched the oily head build up and shrink to a layer that leaves a very wet and sporatic lacing on the glass.

The aromatics hint of coffee, chocolate and black licorice but not very strongly.

Taste is full blown chocolate malts with espresso and black licorice. Very well balanced and complex.

Mouthfeel lets the beer explode its flavors in your mouth and simply adds just another exciting part of the beer. Tends to lend itself to the carbonated side for this style.

Drinkability, for a 9% ABV beverage, is outstanding. Aside from the fact that you're going to be drunk, you'll still be wanting to keep tasting it. (815 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,494 ratings.