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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
96
world-class

10,551 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,551
Reviews: 3,449
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 381
Gots: 1,731 | FT: 47
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 (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,551 | Reviews: 3,449 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of greenmonstah
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from my local store into pint glass

A - Pours a pitch black with a finger of nice brown head. Very impressive lacing.

S - Clean coffee aroma with some chocolate and a roasted malt backing.

T - Really impressive. There's coffee, a lot of chocolate, roasted malt, and a nice hint of dark fruit. Sweet chocolate is the dominant flavor here. Even has some hop to it, just the right amount. Some alcohol, but not much. Going to let it warm up and see how it blossoms.

M - Nice and thick, spot on for the style. Stays pretty wet throughout. Creamy and almost chewy.

O - Overall a very delicious beer. Incredible for something so widely available and relatively inexpensive. The value and availability make this the go-to "everyday" beer in the RIS style, but it's not diminished in any way. It is simultaneously really easy to get and impossibly complex and delicious.

Photo of icetraxx
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a 7-finger or so head that dissipates into an extremely creamy 3 finger head over time. The massive head was probably due to my quick pouring action. The head lasts the entire beer, even if you drink it slowly. The beer appears to be as black as the night.

S: Caramel, fruity hops, molasses, and roasted malt dominate the aroma. This beer is nicely aromatic thanks to the 9% ABV.

T: The taste starts slightly sweet and a caramely with a nice kick of fruity hops. The flavor quickly becomes hoppy bitter and finishes with a dry hoppy crispness. The first few sips reveal a lingering bitter tongue. The alcohol is very well hidden for 9% ABV. No dark fruits, complexity generally suffers.

M: Thick & creamy, perfectly carbonated.

D: High for the style, and definitely high for 9% ABV. Be careful, this one could get you in trouble. Easy drinking.

O: The second example of this style that I've ever had and already a favorite.

Photo of Scotchboy
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 12/27/10. 12oz bottle, New Belgium globe.

Pours dark brown but is compeltely black in the glass, no light around the edges. Almost two fingers of brown head, covered with small bubbles. Head retreats slowly and leaves nice, consistent lacing. Very attractive stout.

Initial smell is dark roasted malts, followed by bitter chocolates. The alcohol is there, but lightly and beautifully. There is a small sweetness as well that reminds me of chocolate milk.

Taste is dark and rich. Sweet and bitter malts. The lactose-like sweetness is still there too. A few warm hops on the tongue mix with the alcohol, which is barely discernable. The more is warms, the more I can pick up on a cold coffee flavor. There is an ever so slight smokiness to the finish as well. Complex.

MF: Impressive as well. Initially it is very creamy in my opinion. Smooth, wet, then a tiny bit sticky. Oily? I like it.

Drinkability is high for a RIS. I could of had two.

Photo of bighoppymonster
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an absolute opaque black with a thin tan head which laces the glass nicely. Equal amounts of roasted malty goodness and alcohol in nose, maybe some traces of sweetness as well. Again, roasted maltiness in taste with very strong coffee like flavours. Very sweet and alcoholic in taste. However, it is very smooth and drinkable. Definately full bodied and very rich. Overall, a very impressive brew. Very strong in both character and abv. One of my favourites in the style, although I am none too experienced with imperial stouts.

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've got to say, nitro-tap really changes this beast.

This is probably the most intense, thick, beautiful looking Nitro pour I've ever had the pleasure of gazing at. Dark blackness with effervescence of the gods fueling a truly never-ending frosting-like cap. The curtains of lacing are epic.

Aroma, as some nitro tends toward, leaves a bit to be desired. vanilla, rich malt, cocoa nibs. mild, creamy, not bad.

Taste is surprising... heavily roasty, charred coffee, and an impressive hop presence. Nitro really adds a stunning depth to this luscious brew. possibly it's fresher - thus a bit hoppier - than I'm used to, but this has a stunning hop presence that really transforms this from what I'm used to into something ephemeral. I'm missing the leather, smoke, peat and rich chocolate, but it's been pleasantly replaced with piney, resinous and bright hops. Digging it.

Mouth is solid, with ample carbonation from the nitro, yet it retains some of that old rasputininess. thick, a bit viscous, and touch of syrup, and some lingering bitterness. Lovely.

All in all, nitro has done some interesting things to one of my old standbys. The hops are definitely accentuated, turning this into a surprisingly rounded and balanced RIS. Which I like... although i almost miss the heavy coffee, chocolate, and rich malt that i'm used to.

Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. Wow! What a beautiful pour. Two fingers of caramel head and BLACK, and I mean black. The head begins to fade as it warms and leaves behind thick, egg-white lacing. Thicker than I've experienced before. The foam left behind looks like crema on an espresso.

The smell is smokey with roasted malts but it's hard to make out any of the other aromas. Taste's smokey also, but there's chocolate and some balanced to light hops as well. The roasted malts dominate. I like that there's no burnt flavors. This is really a great tasting stout. As it warms the flavors increase, but this is not an intense beer. It's low key in a very good way. I'll be darned if I can pick up any alcohol taste at all. How did they hide 9% ABV?

The mouthfeel is luscious with low carbonation, and may be the ale's best quality. It would be easy to drink 2 or 3 of these, but I had not had anything to eat. I could feel the alcohol kicking my arse, so I settled for only one. That makes the drinkability hard to rate.

If you like stouts you have to try Old Rasputin. It may be the best stout I've ever had. Keep in mind that I'm a newbie, but this seems more like an American RIS than an English version. The hops are definitely present and play a role in the flavor.

Too bad they named this great stout after an infamous fellow like Rasputin. They even put his ugly mug on the label.

Photo of Yellolab2010
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%

Photo of zdk9
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black- nothing less than. A finger of tiny-bubbled foam covers the blackness. Some decent spiderweb lacing. A beautiful beer.

S- Somewhat weak aroma. Burnt malt, a hint of cherries, liqour- maybe even rum.

T- Much stronger. Roasted flavors of dark intense coffee. Brown sugar. Burned raisins. A touch of soy sauce. Good.

M- A decent amount of creaminess, good carbonation level.

D- I full flavored RIS. Though I wish the aroma was stronger, this one is a keeper.

Photo of Gingerfart
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one hell of an Imperial, but does not stand up to a few that I've had. I was hoping it would be right up there at the top, but it's not quite.

Pours with zero carbonation, and not as thick as expected. No head retention and has a dark brown body. Held to the light it has a ruby glow to it. Nice chocolatey aroma with notes of sweet candy and hops. Flavor follows in kind. Bitter dark chocolate gives way to a nice roasted malt flavor, followed by a crisp hop finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, but is somewhat spritzy and could be better. A damn fine Imperial, though honestly I expected a little more. Nonetheless, definitely worth seeking out, especially if you love beers of this delightful style.

Photo of TheKtulu7
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown into an opaque black beer. A generous chocolate head that settles into a thin tan film.

Smell: Some chocolate and a bit of alcohol.

Taste: Chocolate up front, adding some coffee to the back end. As it warms, it gets a bit sweeter with hints if caramel or molasses.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and warming on the tongue.

Drinkability: Pretty smooth and goes down easy for the alcohol content.

Photo of BarleyWineRox
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a deep toffee head into my Duvel tulip. Very, very faint bready nose. As it warms nose is coming out a bit more giving off some roasty chocolate espresso notes. Time for a taste. Oh gosh! So much complexity after such a weak nose. Crazy! Chocolate, espresso, caramel, liquorish, mulled over with carbonation, with a tart bittering hop finish that I just love! Fantastique!

Photo of putnam
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After a glass of Lion Stout...this has a warmer tone to the color of the head and warmer, woodier aromas as well. The liquid is suprisingly light in color. Raw cocoa and coffee beans, like kahlua, with a little green bean, pine nut, and cherry jam on the nose. Now licorice and cough syrup...Rich, round, sweet chocolate fudge. Burned chocolate cookies. A nice assertive bitterness on the medium-long finish.

Photo of Scrapss
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

So Ol' Rasputin. We finally meet. Poured into a rinse prepared turbinator style glass from a 12oz. bottle at room temp bottle and glass.

A: FANTASTIC. Huge rocky three finger tan head with dark-as-night body. not brooding, quite still for the head that poured. beautiful. Leaves thin wispy, soapy lacing with a 2mm disc through out.

S: roasted coffee, chocolate, mocha, toffee, caramel, some phenolic tar and figgy fruit scents. Many volatile organic compounds float northward to my waiting olfactory glands. On the verge of a malt bomb at room temp.

T: taste follows nose, with deep chocolate, toffee, coffee, deeply roasted malt. More fig. there is an almost indistinct spice from this yeast.

M: Not as thick as I hoped. Still pleasing moderate-thick body. creamy as head would indicate. slightly medium finish, not dry nor a maltbomb finish. ultimate finish is that volatile malt/hot booze.

O: fine example of the style. balanced in many ways, and complex. A "try" for sure.

Photo of tito42
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to an imperial pint.

A: Rich espresso with a cocoa colored head. The head is thick and foamy. Slight particulate and carbonation visible.

S: Plum, grape, toffee, black pepper, tobacco, espresso.

T: Tobacco, peat, earthy hops, toffee, roasted espresso, lots of alcohol.

M: Medium bodied with a dry finish and lots of warmth from the alcohol.

O: Wonderful appearance and inviting aroma. Taste is just a little harsh on the palate at first but smooths as the beer warms. The alcohol isn't masked much. Still, a nice palette of flavors makes for a complex beer. Great RIS for the price point.

Photo of xseanprimex
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into an American pint.

A: This brew pours an immense head that is a sandy tan and lasts FOREVER!!! Maps well down the side of the glass. The dark black beer is almost impenetrable by light. Exactly what an imperial Russian stout should look like, and lives up to it's dark and mysterious namesake.

S: Dark and malty, it has a slightly bitter smell to it. Good smell.

T: Boozy. The dark malts are strong and up front with the good solid bitterness. The 9% ABV is tough in a good way.

M: Great and oily like the appearance clues to. The carbonation adds to a spicy and burning feel.

O: A really good brew. The look and smell are great, with a solid taste that is perfect for a cold, harsh winter.

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a Mad Elf tulip glass from a 12oz stubby brown bottle with a crimped cap.

Had a half glass of beer and head from a medium pour.Opaque black with a slight brownish hue. Creamy tan head with good retention leaving a creamy coating throughout the beer. No lacing just a tiny speck or two.

Moderate aromas,lots of maltyness,very roasty,chard wood,burnt carmell,bakers chocolate and tinge of alcohol and a somewhat of a mustyness,

Burnt bittersweet carmell taste,roasty, woody/earthy has a clean mid-taste followed by an intense sharp bitterness with strong unsweetened chocolate notes with a warming booziness not overwhelming but definate. A nice balance and fairly complex

Has a light/airy feel for the style,very creamy has a juicy booziness. A sipper that goes down with ease. Not a beer i would drink more than one or two of,but enjoyable none the less.

Photo of FleeVT
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle, no date.

A: Pours a jet inky black with a nice tan head that sticks to the side of the glass, your esophagus, and coats the intestines.

S: Milk chocolate, espresso, and alcohol; put all of that in a pot and slow roast it and you're getting close to the nose on this one.

T: Espresso oils are first and most prominent throughout. Chocolate sweetness makes an appearance and a balanced alcohol and hop bitter finish take you home. There is a lot to this beer and you can focus on something different every sip.

M: Heavy carbonation for an RIS. Medium to heavy body that almost wants to be chewed.

D: Yes please. Give me a cold evening, a fire, and 2 Rasputins. This is a treat that I could only enjoy once in a while.

Photo of biboergosum
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Is the titular seer divining something with his hand, or merely wiping his brow?

This beer pours a deep, dark black abyss, with a slight hint of red cola at the edges, and then only when held to direct light, and a head that comes in at about two pudgy fingers of puffy, creamy, and fizzy beigeness, which leaves a solid ring of jagged sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells strongly of bittersweet chocolate, dry coffee beans, toasty caramel malt, ripe black fruit, earthy, leafy hops, and a slight metallic alcohol astringency. The taste is bitter dark chocolate, toasted caramel biscuits, roasted, and sort of charred coffee, a heavy, yet dry plum and date fruitiness, gritty molasses, and a small, insidiously innocuous alcohol twang.

The carbonation is on the low side, just a low-key frothiness apparent, the body big, dense, and smooth, in a simmeringly menacing sort of manner. It finishes off-dry, some retreating chocolate and settling hop notes closing things out - the booze warming continues its charade of being barely noticeable (ok, 'very well integrated').

A pretty stellar RIS, the chocolate, malt, fruit, and booze all playing nice like there was no revolution in sight, just yer typical drunken dalliances with the tsarina. Oh yes, old Grigori would indeed be proud.

Photo of socon67
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this at a beer sampling today.

This pours very nicely for a RIS. The smell is a very nice mocha/toffee mix. I was impressed with the taste, specifically how unlike others of the type it wasw silky smooth. I can taste a coffee and sweet blend of dark chocolate.

The drinkability of this beer is incredible. You really could have a few of these, though I didn't. Overall I'd put this up against many of the big Russian Stouts and say it would fare well. I'm curious if I kept some for a year how it would mellow.

Photo of MiScusi
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap and poured into a tulip at The Library Bar in downtown Los Angeles. Poured jet black with a brown head. Smell was all that imperial stout stuff- roasted barley and chocolate are the main things. The taste was very rich with a pretty big roastiness. Had a nice slick mouthfeel but didn't overwhelm with thickness or syrupyness. A very good tasting stout, much different than what I experienced from the bottle I tried a few months ago. Ratings have been updated.

___
Bottled version 12.16.07

A- Poured into a pint glass, a nice dark brown to black, can be seen through at the bottom of the glass and had a fluffy light-tan head.

S- The smell was pretty faint but definitely roasty and slightly acidic. This was much more tilted toward the roast then other RIS's which tend to be sweeter to me (ie Stone)

T- Roasty with a deep bitter chocolate second half. There is just a bit of alcohol at the very end. On about my 8th sip, something happened and the taste just became unbearable. At first it was an average, maybe even slightly above average beer to me, but at that point it turned to something that was making me sick having in my mouth. The taste just became a big alcohol and astringent mess. I don't know what it was but I couldn't finish half this glass.

M- Exceptionally smooth, the carbonation you know is there, it wasn't flat by any means, but in the mouth you don't get one hint of carbonation as it is all hidden under a blanket of malts.

D- I had to pour it out. Didn't even get through half of the beer. I would not seek this out again. This specific RIS may be for some people, but it isn't for me.

4.5/3/1/3.5/1

Photo of BigIrishman
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap into pint glass

Appearance: Jet black with caramel colored head, not too much lace.

Smell: Nice, espresso with some chocolate and a bit of a tangy bitterness to it.

Taste: Very similar to the smell, very espressoish with some anise and a bit of caramel in the background.

Mouthfeel: Very thick, what you would expect from an RIS.

Drinkability: Not as high as I would usually rank a RIS, mostly because there was a reasonably noticeable alcohol presence.

Notes: Very enjoyable. but not the most standoutish of RIS's.

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, blinding black; lumpy tan head; massive, streaky tan lacing throughout. Cocoa, dark burnt malts and smokey almonds graze the nose. The initial sips are sweet chocolate, yeasty malts and light roast coffee beans. The body quickly turns creamy and slick. Caramel, brown sugar and dark roasted malts combine for a massively flavored full bodied beer! Velvet-like smoothness; oh so tender hints of left coast perfumy hops with a large smokey malt backbone and finish. Mild, warming notes of alcohol. A roof-raising, sessionable, well marketed RIS--do you need more?

Photo of bwood06
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

A - Pitch black. Tan and white layered 2 finger head. Very creamy in appearance. 4.5/5

S - Chocolate, toffee and coffee. Dark toasted malt. Toasted bread. Very muted. 3.5/5

T - Toffee and chocolate. Toasted bread. Slight bitterness on the back end. 4/5

M - Very thick and chewy. Very creamy. Heavy body which matches with this style of beer. 4.5/5

O - Great beer especially with dessert. Bitterness was more than expected. 4/5

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass, no freshness date.

A: Pours a deep dark amber almost black, with a thick tan head that fades into a thickish cap with very nice lacing. A decent cascading effect when first poured into glass fades when head forms, very pretty beer.

S: I could smell this stuff as soon as I opened this thing. When it finally all gets in the glass a big chocolate aroma greets the nose, lingering a bit longer over the glass and with a bit of agitation fermented fruits begin to appear, apples and grapes tied together with a thick carmel scent, very inviting.

T/MF: I'm not used to drinking stouts but I have to say that this is not only one of the best stouts I've tasted, but one of the best beers I've ever had. That being said the beer slides over the entire pallate, super rich and creamy as to be expected, incredibly thick and pleasing. The tastes are everywhere and beautifly balanced, coffee and chocolate appear first with sweet molasas and carmel, I almost don't want to swallow because this beer tastes so good. There are also nice hints of fruit that helps balance the intense chocolate and coffee flavors, excellent, excellent beer.

D: No matter what the occasion I would have no qualms about drinking this beer, though I imagine it would be even better paired with some rich chocolates while sitting in a big high backed chair with a large bearskin rug covering the floor next to a roaring fire.

Still I would recommend this beer to everyone, it puts all the other stouts I've tried to shame and has rekindled my intrest in this style

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,551 ratings.