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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
96
world-class

10,712 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,712
Reviews: 3,489
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 403
Gots: 1,858 | FT: 49
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 (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,712 | Reviews: 3,489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JackieTH
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black, with a cap of rich mocha brown head. There is a coffee, vanilla, roasted malt and a hint of alcohol in the nose. Taste is slightly chocolate, espresso, roasty malt, dark fruit and subtle vanilla. Very well balanced with a hoppy bitterness that matches the sweet elements. Creamy carbonation and a medium heavy body is very nice for the style. The ABV comes through at the end. It's warming. Also a subtle bitterness is re-established. Very pleasant finish.

Photo of scifan
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours jet black with a small light brown head.
Smells very nice, getting nice sweet malts, coffee aromas coming through from roasted barley, also some dark chocolate.
Taste very similar to smell. At first I'm getting sweet dark malts, and chocolate flavors, then the some bitterness from the roasted barley. This is how RIS's are supposed to taste this beer sets the standard for a "regular" RIS.
Feels nice and smooth and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Goes down nice and easy without a hint of alcohol.

Photo of maniaczak
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zeledonia
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark chocolate brown, almost black. Shows some reddish-brown edges when held to a light. The medium-tan head is so buoyant and fluffy it nearly overflowed my glass, and I had to wait several minutes for it to subside. Even then it left a layer of foam with a collar of lace.

Smell is surprisingly fruity for a stout; blackberries, backed up by some chocolate. Really nice combination of malt and hop aromatics, though it is a bit weak on the nose. I like a little more punch from a RIS than this one offers, but what's there is quite good.

Taste is hoppier than I expected, but not overly so. Dark fruits, chocolate, and some slightly smoky dark malts.

Mouthfeel is great - medium-thick, but smooth and light in the mouth thanks to the carbonation, which gives it a nice small-bubble creaminess.

This is a darn good imperial stout. It's fruity and hoppy, but still well-balanced, and the thick but light mouthfeel is really nice. The alcohol is completely invisible. Likely to become a staple.

Photo of sirdillon
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours black with quite a bit of carbonation. Big frothy(!) light tan head that sticks around pretty well. Leaves a beautiful dark lacing around the glass as I sip. Good stuff.

S- Like if you made a hop tea in a dark chocolate mocha. Except not much coffee. This is one of my favorite smelling beers out there, definitely one of a kind. Pine, dank marijuana, roasted barley, dark chocolate and a bit of alcohol heat are all there. Not much sweetness to be found. The alcohol is a bit prominent, but it's a fair trade off for a walk through the marijuana chocolate forest that is Old Rasputin.

T- Lots of hops and lots of deeply roasted coffee flavors. Finishes with a sensation of hop resin and coffee. Not much sweetness to be found, but very drinkable. There's some alcohol in the taste, but it's not too unpleasant.

M- This may be the weak aspect of this beer. I'd say it has a bit too much carbonation for an imperial stout, and has a somewhat light mouthfeel because of that. However, this is infinitely more drinkable than most imperial stouts because of this as well. Lots of hop resins coat the mouth, leaving a bit of a bitter aftertaste. Not cloying or syrupy in the least.

O- By far the best beer for the money that I've found thus far. Has a very distinctive and refined taste and smell. It's not perfect, but this is one of my favorite beers, and in my opinion it deserves great affection.

Photo of crwills
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

My last bottle (although I may have another one in storage). Might pick up some more this week when I'm back in the US!

Poured a thick, rich brown (almost black) into a standard pint glass. 1/2 inch tan head that sticks around for a bit.

Smells is surprisingly hoppy, with notes of bitter cocoa and unripe cherries. Other wild berries as well. A bit of caramel, and some noticeable alcohol.

Tastes very strong compared to some other Imperial Russian stouts. Bitter but well balanced. Strong espresso flavours especially, with the typical chocolate and dark fruits. A bit of caramel. However, the one thing I'd complain about with this particular brew (and why I don't like it as much as some others of the style) is how upfront the alcohol is in the flavour as it warms. Really decreases flavour and drinkability scores for me, unfortunately, although it's still a killer beer.

Excellent smooth mouthfeel though, and a pleasant bitter aftertaste with slight brown-sugary notes. Food note: Tastes great with some good pecan pie.

Photo of Monsone
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes

A- Very dark with a big, three finger head.

S- Dark roased coffee with burnt malt. Alcohol is present.

T- Strong coffee taste. Alcohol is there, but not over powering.

M- Thick and creamy, great mouthfeel.

D- You can't drink a lot of them at 9%, but that is standard for the style.

A classic example of a RIS IMO

Photo of stakem
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes taken 6/23/10.

On tap at Als served in a nonic. Appears black in color with a thick creamy tan head that retains very well and sticks in thick patches about the glass. Nose is full of dark grains smelling of coffee and dark chocolate with a blend of hops and dark skinned fruity sweetness. The alcohol becomes a bit more noticeable as it warms. Taste includes a mixture of alcohol, roasty grain and slightly citrusy hop bitterness upfront that blends through a medium creamy smooth body with more flavors of dark grainy sweetness. The roasted grains suggest black coffee, dark chocolate and dark skinned fruits much like the aroma indicated. There is a pleasant lingering bitterness from the darkly roasted grain coupled with the flavor and warmth of alcohol. This is a brew I enjoy regularly from a bottle and on nitro it is even more drinkable and creamy in the feel.

Photo of Phelps
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a snifter at Papago.

None more black. Atop is a one-finger head of sand colored form that I let air out for about 15 minutes without it receding as much as a millimeter. Thick, sticky walls of lace coat the glass as I drink.

Smells burnt. Overtoasted bread, medium roast coffee, dark chocolate, touches of tobacco. The aroma overall is good, but is also a little subdued. Hard to pick up much through the thick head.

In the flavor, smokiness is increased, like a campfire. Bitter dark chocolate, burnt coffee, toast. A touch of sweet chocolate at the swallow, culminating in a smooth blend of burnt and sweet flavors.

The full, smooth, creamy, soft body is damn near perfect. Like a fleece blanket, it’s so smooth on the tongue. A touch of tingly carbonation keeps things lively, and there’s just a hint of alcohol in the nose. Finishes clean, which is a pleasant surprise. You'd expect it to be heavy.

Nitro is the way Rasputin was meant to be served. So, so smooth. Great feel, awesome flavor.

Photo of kemoarps
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours blaaack with a foamy tan/brown head that fades from massive to a pillowy crown that laces the sides of the glass beautifully.

The first note off the nose is black licorice, and you can catch the alcohol on the backend. In between, there are notes of dark chocolate and burnt malts

You certainly taste the alcohol as well. it comes across somewhat sweet initially, that fades into a bakers chocolate cacao. Roasted malts across the second and third acts give way to a hoppy bitterness that balances out the back end. Well balanced.

a drinkability that belies the 9%, even though you can taste it. Smoothe and well balanced with good carbonation levels. This does not necessarily make it a sessionable beer per se, but it is certainly drinkable for a big RIS. Definitely worth picking up a four pack.

Photo of Hokies
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a two inch brown head that lasts.

I have been looking forward to trying this one and if the smell is any indication of the taste then the wait was worth it. A strong aroma of chocolate and espresso and some alcohol.

Their is a nice alcohol taste at the forefront with a little hop bitterness than the espresso takes over. Then the chocolate and hops combine to give almost a semi sweet dark chocolate taste. Surprisingly their is a nice hop bitter aftertaste. Very nice RIS, perfect for a cold winter day.

Photo of Engineerbob
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours thick and slightly cloying. Large butterscotch head that quickly collapses to form a thin, well retained head.

Appearance is thick and deepest black. The nose is heavy, with malt, marmite, leather, chocolate lightly roasted coffee and mild tobacco.

Taste is Very slightly sweet on the tip of tongue, but immediately overwhelmed by tarry, burnt chocolate and bitter coffee. Great aromas on the palate of bitumen and feintest hint of soy sauce.

Mouthfeel is round, full, soft and caressing. Long finish of bitter marmite, and a little meaty.

A wonderful example of IRS. Top value!

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a used engine oil like black, completely opaque, with a two+ finger light brown head that has some mild guinness-like cascading action. As head dissipates, it leaves raindrop like holes scattered across the top.

Smell is of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, roasted malt, dark fruit, booze and a grapefruit hop presence.

Taste is primarily of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, and grapefruit hops. The alcohol is noticeable, but the big chocolate presence really cuts through the booze.

Full bodied and thick, however it has a fizzy quality.

Drinkability is par for the course for a RIS.

After looking at my empty glass, a large, sticky ring holds strong at the top of the glass and leaves some spider web like lacing. Real cool looking.

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin has a body that is very dark brown with hints of ruby around the edges. The head is a light brown behemoth. Three fingers in height, super creamy, great retention, all of which ends in thick, sticky lacing on the side of my glass.

The aroma is nice; bitter chocolate, some roasted scents, a touch of coffee. Maybe a bit of dark fruit and some heat from the alcohol also.

The flavor is sweeter than I expected, leading off with flavors of molasses and chocolate. Old Rasputin is packed with chocolate actually. The malts have also been roasted with a vengeance, making the roasted flavors pop up here and there. Underneath those flavors are a touch of fruitiness, coffee, anise and a bit of alcohol induced warmth that tingles the back of your nose. The finish has a pretty liberal dose of bitter hops, and the hops are really the flavor that hangs around in the after taste.

The body is big, thick, creamy, and has just the right amount of carbonation. Overall, Old Rasputin has a great mouthfeel.

Old Rasputin disappeared from my glass much more quickly than a stout this big should, which qualifies it as dangerously drinkable.

Photo of claytong
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - a great looking russian. black as the night and nice tan head that goes into some artwork with its lacing.

smell - roasted malts, chocolate, alcohol, earthy coffee

taste - chocolate malts, a bit of warming alcohol, light caramel, nothings too strong

mouthfeel - creamy and smooth. the mouthfeel is almost a 5. best part of the beer.

Photo of genog
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Third pint at Bodega, and I was starting to feel good!

Pours a rich, deep, dark opaque black color with a cascading tan head that flows from the bottom to the top creating an illusion like a lava lamp. In my slowly deteriorating state I was memorized watching this take place. Smell is of roasted malt, milk chocolate, a cup of cappuccino too. Taste is of chocolate and smokeyness. This one is absolutely smooth and delicious. I only gave it a 4 for drink ability because it was so rich I had trouble toward the end of the glass. If it was only a 12 oz taste I might have had an easier time.

Photo of bnes09
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesone ink black color. Huge, frothy tan head which will not quit. Layers the glass in copious lacing.

Huge aroma of coffee, bourbon, and delicate balance of herbal hop. Very intriguing.

Hops are incredibly high in this one. Lots of citric and herbal flavors. Massive roasted coffee flavor fights with the hops for dominance. Hint of bourbon whiskey flavor hits the tongue. Alcohol is highly disguised.

Medium, somewhat full body. Fairly low carbonation, yet fitting for the style. Smooth.

This is an excellent example of a well crafted Russian imperial. Extremely tasty and complex. Hoppier than most others I have tried.

Photo of Goliath
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black and completely opaque with a thin layer of frothy brown head sitting on top. Good retention and small bits of lacing.

The aroma is nice. Roasted malts confront the drinker showing mostly chocolate and coffee tones. This ones a little boozy too.

The taste is great. Burnt malts, again with chocolate and coffee dominating. Pretty boozy.

Mouthfeel is too thin. It's medium bodied and highly carbonated, it would be much more appealing if it were full bodied and still.

Drinkability is moderate. Flavor is nice, but the alcohol is on the high end and does limit this brew.

Photo of JoePat
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a pitch black with a DARK brown head that causes me to stop pouring half way through so it it fits in the glass.
I smell choclate and coffee from the roasted malts.
It tastes like bitter chocolate and some coffee too. This beer is an exelent example of a stout.
Do to it being sucha great stout the drinkability suffers a little but it makes up for it with flavor and it creamy mouth feel.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very, very deep and dark black, with just flashes of blood-red hints at the very edges. Head is a solid, crusty cap of coffee-crema brown. Tiny streams of minuscule bubbles float up at the edges. Lacing is exceptional. An excellent looking beer.

Dark, smoky characteristics on the nose. Dusty dark chocolate, roasted grains, barnyard, even a light meaty character. It's not overly powerful, but it is dark and pleasant.

But wow, the taste is where it packs a punch. Light roasted bitterness first up, mellowing to a chocolate-coffee sweetness and a lingering chalky dryness, but still toasty and warm. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden, leaving just that residual heat on the palate. Long and drawn out on the palate, lots of complexity but all on a hearty and solid base. Mouthfeel feels just slightly too light to me, for such a heavy-flavoured beer, I was expecting something a bit smoother and creamier on the feel.

But this is a very tasty, and very robust beer. Lots of character, lots of flavour - too heavy for more than one in a sitting, but worth waiting around for the occasional sip.

Photo of russwbeck
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black pour with a big bubbly brown head. Very nice retention and lacing.

S: Big coffee flavor with a lot of hops. A sweetness is throughout, from cocoa I would assume. Smells better than the on tap version to me.

T: The hoppiness from the smell is prevalent in the taste. It starts off with the chocolate malts, perhaps a bit of roastiness. The coffee flavor comes next and leaves a nice dry finish.

MF: Lots of carbonation in this one. Heavily bodied and hardly a hint of alcohol.

O: I was really impressed by this one. I had it on tap a few weeks ago and was underwhelmed. Perhaps my palate was a bit off that night.

Photo of gford217
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the beers that got me started on craft beer and just getting around to reviewing it. Bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours black as night with only a hint of light penetrating the edges leaving a mahogany hue. The huge tan head sits atop the blackness for a long, long while leaving big sheets of lacing.

The aroma is of massive dark roasted malts, bakers chocolate and licorice. There is also a pretty sizable hop kick in the nose up front as well, mainly citrus.

The taste also starts with an interesting citrus hop kick but it quickly gives way to the bittersweet chocolate and dark roasted malts. There is a hint of coffee as well as dark fruits.

The mouthfeel is sticky and lingers for ages, just coating the mouth with the massive malt and hop battle on the palate.

This is a great example of an RIS and old standby. Highly recommended.

Photo of unknownlamer
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

This is quite possibly the most attractive beer I have ever poured. It is a thick deep black with an ever so slight hint of ruby around the edges with a nice brown head that laces really nicely.

The smell is delicious. Very strong and roasty, a bit chocolately, and really toffee like. The taste follows up strongly. It's thick and syrupy in the mouth with a very strong roasted flavor. A bit of coffee and a mild chocolate flavor comes through along with a bit of a burnt fruit flavor. The only fault I can find in the taste is that the finish has a bit too much bitterness for my taste. After a few sips the alcohol warmth hit my stomach strongly. This goes well with a chilly winter day.

There is a downside to this. The flavor is perhaps a bit too strong, and it is hard to drink this at anything faster than a snails pace. More than one (*maybe* two) of these is a bit too much for my palate to handle.

Photo of eclipse54
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a large, lively, khaki-colored head comprised of large bubbles. Good retention and generous lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt, raw cocoa, oat, vanilla, and some campfire smoke. There are hints of cane sugar and plum. It tastes of roasted marshmallow (emphasis on the roast), chocolate, oat, vanilla, smoked malt, and some vanilla. The finish seems to be a subtle battle between sugar and grain notes. Mouthfeel is superb; thick and roasty with a palate-coating viscosity. A rich, moist finish. Overall, this is an excellent RIS that is made superb by its availability and affordability.

Photo of lordoftheporch21
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,712 ratings.