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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
95
world-class

3,507 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,507
Hads: 11,224
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 477
Gots: 2,269 | 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.
View: Beers (25) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,507 | Hads: 11,224
Photo of ZoomanCru
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Old Rasputin - Russian Imperial (9%) - North Coast Brewing (California)
☆☆☆☆☆

App: Pours an oil black that is truly opaque, allowing no light to pass through. Rich brown head rises two fingers quickly, with good retention and lots of lacing.

Smell: Deep roasted aroma with notes of chocolate and black coffee, slightly earthy, accompanied by a subtle alcohol twinge that carries the aromas high into the nose.

Taste: Deeply roasted malt dryness flashes across the palate early, then runs parallel with a very subtle, dark chocolate like sweet/bitter complex. Alcohol is present, but balanced enough to never taste hot. Allowed to warm flavors meld together, uniting to become all the characteristics simultaneously. Alcohol lends a mild spicy taste that lifts the otherwise heavy malt character at the end making each subsequent sip another wallop of flavor. Yum.

Mouth: Heavy bodied with smooth carbonation that compliments style very well. Alcohol and bitterness from roasted malt remove any stickiness from the body.

Home tasting, 12oz bottle into Snifter. 12/30/14. (1,088 characters)

Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Flows smoothly into snifter a gorgeous opaque pitch-black, with a luscious creamy tan head, about a finger and a half thick. Bubbly lacing on the glass. With some of best retention I've seen in a good while. MMMM.... This looks so lovely.

Roasted malt, dark chocolate and coffee-like aromas, with a little fruit in the background, enter the nose. Pleasant, complex yet a little hard to figure out.

Dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, all dark flavors all around, with just enough sweetness to balance it out. This is great savoring and aging material. Carbonation is pleasantly minimal, body is medium to heavy, although rather average for Imperial Stouts. Nice, thick and chewy, pretty much an alcoholic chocolate milkshake.

A solid Imperial Stout, and top-notch stuff altogether. Would buy again, when I'm in the mood for an Imperial Stout(if available again). (865 characters)

Photo of TheHungryHiker
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A= Poured near-black into a Guiness pint glass. A solid inch of rich brown foam lasted a good 5 minutes. Plenty of lacing.

S= Coffee, malt, a touch of chocolate. Overall, lighter in aroma than I was expecting.

T= Exceptional. Very well balanced- the coffee is there, but not overpowering. Some dried fruit in the form of figs and prunes, but without the sweetness often associated with them. A little spice and mild hop bitterness keep the malts in check.

M= Med-full with a surprising, pleasant, and much welcome amount of carbonation that makes for a lighter mouthfeel than is usually associated with this style.

D= This is one of the best stouts I have ever had. The higher carbonation keeps it refreshing and the 9%ABV is well masked, making this a dangerous stout that went down remarkably fast. Now if I only had a platter of raw oysters... (851 characters)

Photo of JarMills
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The foam just stays still the entire time you drink it. It's like nothing I've ever seen a beer do. I tilted the glass, and it just stayed one blob! It smells like chocolate or coffee. But the more important thing, the taste: it's great! A bit bitter, but smoother than any other ale I've had. (293 characters)

Photo of wheelinshirt
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz stubby brown bottle from Abe's in Bethlehem. Cost me $2.50 which I think is a real steal.

Pours pitch black with a big, cascading ,cocoa colored head. Retention is great and leaves a bunch of lacing down the side of the glass. Amazing looking.

Smell is rich and full of dark roasted malts and booze. Very nice but not complex enough to get a 5. I think my sense of smell is fairly weak, though.

Tastes of rich roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, a nice boozy kick. This is amazing. There really isn't anything here that you wouldn't expect or wouldn't want. Basically a perfect RIS.

Mouthfeel is full, rich, creamy. The foam was thick, too. It was like eating stout ice cream.

Drinkabilty is awesome. This is a big beer (9%) and it is really big on taste, but I could easily drink a couple in a night. The hardest part was stopping myself from getting too tipsy and waking up with a hangover. Highly recommended. You could easily spend double or triple what you would on this just to get a beer of lesser quality. One of the best beers I have ever had. (1,061 characters)

Photo of LittleDon
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jet black with a thick tan head that last all the way to the bottom of the glass. Hints of coffee and carmelized malts in the aroma. The flavor is much of the same, with a toffee upper pallate middle. The alcohol is noticeable, but well balanced. On the sweet side, but not as much as, say Lefthand Milk Stout. There's a big mouthfeel to this one. Toasty, coffee and dark chocolate finish in the back and upper palatte. Of the 70 beers I've review thus far, this is the closest I've had to perfect. (498 characters)

Photo of BenJames1984
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First time trying this. After hearing a lot of hype and rants, I've decided to give her a whirl.

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance- Black as night. Tan colored head lingers on the surface, leaving a nice lacing.

Smell- Coffee notes. Roasted malts. A nice, bitter sweet aroma.

Taste- A complexity of coffee, chocolate, and sweet, roasted malts.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, with low-medium carbonation.

Drinkability- This one was pretty strong. Good stuff, but this is definitely an occasional beer for me. (507 characters)

Photo of MaxGreen
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a jet black, coffee color with a thick, dark brown 1-finger head the color of brown sugar.

Nose of vanilla bean, caramel, and coffee bean. Slight tobacco smell as well.

Phenomenal lacing with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Taste of espresso, fades to hazelnut and vanilla, then cacao, and lastly to toffee. Pleasantly bitter, yet sweet. Goes down smooth, very smooth.

One of the best stouts and beers in general I've ever had. Highly recommend this to anyone, especially coffee lovers. (498 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This highly regarded specimen of an imperial stout pours solid black and feaures a frothy brown head and impressively sticky lacing. Nose is deep and rich with coffee and milk chocolate flavors. The aroma improves considerably as the beer warms, culminating in a frosty chocolate milkshake aroma.
Taste is pure coffee and dark malt. Alcohol is hidden brilliantly by a wall of flavors, all of them complementing each other about as well as possible. It's moments like these you realize the brilliance of buying a four pack as opposed to hunting around for a single. It's going to be a pretty sweet night...
What can you say? This is pretty amazing. Go get some, no matter how much you have to shell out. If you like stout and you haven't tried this, you are not being all you can be as a stout drinker. What are you waiting for? Go get some.. (846 characters)

Photo of NewGeneric
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My Old Faithful, amazing it's taken me this long to review it.
Not sure how old the bottle is, I've had it for close to a year.
Poured into my Delirium tremens tulip.

A: Pours pitch black with no visible light coming through. Whatsoever. Filled up with thin, quickly-fading head that leaves a thorough layer of lacing across the glass.

S: Chocolate! Wow, I know it's been a while since I've had a Raspy, but I don't ever remember smelling this much chocolately goodness! Almost like a creamy, milk chocolate, that leaves some subtle roasty scents as it fades. Mmm...

T: Yum. Taste abounds with flavor everywhere. Nice bitter, dark chocolate up front, following by mild coffee, dark fruits (plums, cherries, etc.), and huge roasted barley. Everything blends so well, each flavor just complementing the next. Grand.

M: This beer is incredibly smooth, the only issue is that it is just ever so slightly off on each degree. It could stand a hint more body, a hint less carbonation, and a hint less bitterness. But just a hint. Almost perfect.

D: Each sip leaves me craving more. Period. End of story. (1,101 characters)

Photo of Winston_Smith
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been looking forward to this for a long time. I hoped it would live up to it's reputation, and wasn't disappointed.

Appearance: Black, rich, kinda creamy, with a tan head. Ridiculous lacing... thick and globular.

Smell: The chocolate hit me first, followed by a lot of malt.

Taste: Sweet, chocolatey, tons of malty awesomeness. The aftertaste is very bitter. Chocolate stays in my mouth the longest. The 9% isn't completely covered, but I enjoy tasting a bit of alcohol. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Thick and stout! It looks, for lack of a better word, velvety when you pour it, and it feels that way on the way down.

Overall: Killer. The price was very reasonable. A friend, who hasn't had a beer at all in a couple months, much less one of this stature, commented that it was like chocolate milk, both in taste and thickness. Glad I got to try Old Rasputin. Success. (883 characters)

Photo of mixcat
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great Beer. A
This is a strong beer and about 9% packs a punch.
It has a very good taste. Rich, bitter and sweet well balanced.
Its worth its high price and one of my favorite beers. I wish more stores carried it.
If you havent tried it and love dark stouts this one is for you. (278 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pitch black with hazelnut lining; my glass has become the sight of one big oil spill. The complexion is utterly unyielding - even when held directly into the light the beer refuses any highlights or transparency. This defines the word 'opaque'. The rustic toned carbonation seems selective about which parts of the top it chooses to amplify. Nevertheless, it's fairly thorough and leaves a coating of lacing that sticks like drying cement.

The nose is everything you'd ask for in an Imperial Stout (chocolate, espresso, heavy roast, molasses, black licorice) plus an extremely generous inclusion of hops. We're talking West Coast style hops - lively, spicy, tangy, fruity, acidic, green, fresh from the vine hops. Although they do interfere a little with all the dark chocolate and roast malt decadence, they also provide a level of sumptuousness of their own. This smell is divine.

Each sip is like drinking liquefied dark chocolate. Well, it's not that simple actually. It's like drinking liquefied dark chocolate that has been infused with a strong, heavy roast espresso and a farm's worth of macerated hop cones. There's a big spoonful of dark caramel, a layer of crunchy toffee crust and nibs of black licorice. Bittersweet notes resonate with increasing intensity on the finish. Surely if there is an ideal tasting Imperial Stout this must be it.

Words like "smooth" and "delicious" have been so overused in reviews that they've lost much of their meaning. That said, a beer like Old Rasputin comes along and there's no better, more appropriate adjectives to describe it. It not only rejuvenates these words, it might even redefine them. The flavours are luscious, the body is full, the textures vivid and the alcohol never to be seen. This whole thing just feels like a warm (decadently rich) blanket.

They may not all be easy to get your hands on, but there is no shortage of great Imperial Stouts. The bar for this style is set ridiculously high, arguably much higher than most other styles. Although Old Rasputin may no longer be recognized as one of the top, most decadent RIS it damn well should be. I've had my share of revered, highly sought after Imperial Stouts but I'd still claim this as one of my favourites. And probably always will. (2,261 characters)

Photo of CIBoy10
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look - oily jet black with nice off-white head that leads to great lacing.
Smell - currants, raisins, cocoa. pretty impressive.
Taste - raisins, coffee, tobacco, a little hoppy, cocoa. nice hoppy bitterness that lasts through the finish.
Feel - very smooth, appropriately carbonated.
Overall - very impressed with this one. i found it nicely complex. (350 characters)

Photo of dmfrench
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A unique, hoppy, complex, and excellent RIS.
___

A: Nearly opaque reddish brown with a tight, fairly persistent two finger dark khaki head. Good lacing at first, but loses steam.

S: Baker's chocolate and a bit of burnt malt... hints of hops and alcohol.

T: Kinda the reverse of the nose... quite hoppy for an RIS, and slightly warm... chocolate and burnt malt are underneath... salty and very complex with some flavors I can't quite place... another reviewer said anise, and I could see that.

M: Silky and rough at the same time... the carbonation carries the flavors well.

D: Goes down as easily as such a weighty beer can. (630 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A nice dark stout with a rich color and very pleasant, stouty smell. The taste is complex, but not heavy and without any bitterness. It sits nicely in the mouth and goes down smooth as velvet and strong as a truck. I highly recommend it to anybody who loves porters and stouts. (277 characters)

Photo of aaronh
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

After searching for this beer for 10 months, I finally got my hands on a 4-pack while on vacation. It was worth the wait. This is a wonderful Imperial Stout. Nice dark color, almost black with a beautiful tan head. The aromas from this beer are almost as good as the taste: coffee, chocolate, malt. I savored each sip of each beer, spending almost an hour with each. The alcohol is noticable, but not overpowering. But I wouldn't choose Old Rasputin for a night of drinking. It's more of a beer for a relaxing evening. If this beer is readily available in your area, drink it regularly. If not, stock up when you find it. I'm ready to make the 6 hour drive to get some more. (685 characters)

Photo of Kirkles
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Strong, thick and smooth, everything a RIS should be.

I got this on nitro-tap at Magnolias in Purcellville, VA.

A: Pitch black with an amazing head. Just looking at it built my expectations to an immense level.

S: Strong. The malt hit me first, with hints of coffee. It built great anticipation for the first taste.

T: Wonderfully complex. I felt like I discovered something new each sip I took.

M: This was my favorite part. I buried the majority of my face in the head and took a good draw. It was thick, full and smooth. It was absolutely everything that I hoped for.

D: It's a fantastic brew, but so strong and thick that it fills you up quick. Not that this is a bad thing.

Overall, within my top 3 beers. Definitely the best RIS I've ever had. (756 characters)

Photo of BeerCon5
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a thick very creamy dark brown head, very sticky lacing.

The scent is of roasted malt, sweet dark chocolate, dark fruit, and notes of coffee.

The taste is first of sweet dark chocolate, followed by pronounced alcohol, roasted malt, coffee notes, finishes with a dry cocoa taste.

Full bodied, chewy and thick, very low carbonation.

Probably one of the best RIS I've had, great complex flavor, lots to taste with every sip. I will definitely look for this again. (495 characters)

Photo of ImBOBtheBEERguy
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

At Canal Street Pub:

The barkeep told me this was from an aged 5 gal keg pulled on the nitro tap. WOW

This beer was a deep black with nice light brown head and lace. Its hard to describe the flavor, balance and finish due to total taste bud satisfaction. Smoooth, tasty, rich, and relaxing! Mmmmm

peace (306 characters)

Photo of Kristing
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a real powder keg, a cascade of flavour. Tasting it is a bit like being punched in the face, without the pain of course. There are many lovely roasted tones, and a great deal of strong coffee and dark chocolate in the flavour. I feel that this is really the way an excellent Imperial Stout should taste like. Despite the flavour, it is rather easy to quaff this brew, and it is really the quintessential beer to kick back and relax with, especially during a cold winter day when the darkness outside reflects the colour in your glass. (547 characters)

Photo of FaustieMo
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful pour to give a rich, dark tan head. Although it didn't last long (due to the high alcohol), the head had a great combination of small and large bubbles. Really pretty beer.

In the aroma, I get rich, dark chocolate and roasty malts. The smell is very round and fresh, but not lighthearted. Some detectable alcohol. There may be some hints of dark fruits as well. Hope aroma is less evident.

The taste is unreal. There are huge, round chocolate and roasted malts, with the perfect balance of hop bitterness. After the swallow is a nice alcoholic burn.

The mouthfeel is extremely creamy. Drinking this beer is not unlike eating a piece of bread.

Incredible beer, a must try. (685 characters)

Photo of blakesell
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the nitro tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a solid jet black with a three finger head of solid tan that doesn't dissipate for a solid five minutes. Lacing clings to the sides of the glass and doesn't let up.

Smell- Roasted smoky malts and slight hops. Head is sticking in my moustache giving a bit more in the way of aroma. Milk chocolate and black patent malts very similar to a malted milk ball. Slight prune and fig, LOTS of black licorice.

Taste- Creamy, black licorice, black and milk chocolate, caramel, creamer, dark chocolate again, light vanillanin, chocolate milk, prunes, figs, brown sugar, light burnt malts, dark burnt malts, black patent, 350L+ torched malts. Good lord this is sweet.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, full-bodied, smooth, well carbonated. Excellent.

Drinkability- Wow. Nitro tap is the way to go on this delicious elixer. I will be ordering this again before it's too late. (929 characters)

Photo of IvanNewMexico
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite beer. It is strong in both taste and power, but it is an acquired taste. Once you acquire the taste, there is no going back.

Think of Guinness Stout, but stronger and more flavorful. (204 characters)

Photo of beergambit
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

At first I heard many good reviews on this wonderul beer and never had the chance until now. I am glad I had the chance to taste this great drink. From begining to end this is a smooth and rich in flavorful beer. The taste of the hops and fruit flavors were a mouthful but not as a punch to the gut but pleasent like. (317 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,507 ratings.