Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

10,387 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,387
Reviews: 3,402
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 357
Gots: 1,587 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,387 | Reviews: 3,402 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vande
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great standby RIS or a new one if you've not tried it... pours a midnight black oily substgance with a thin dirty looking layer of head...less than half a finger.... smells and tastes of dark roasted malts with hints of dark chocolate mixed with the slightest presence of coffee grains... a somewhat thick, smooth drinking substance that opens up and provides more character as it warms up.... when in doubt, old rasputin is the way to go!

Photo of kcinlober
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

color is dark chocolate brown. the head pours about a thumbs-width high and leaves a standard residue on the sides. head is brownish-caramel, but not a very strong aroma.

the way this beer sits on your palate is phenomenal. Roasted malts and some bitterness from the hops comes first followed by a chocolate/coffee aftertaste and the real weight of the hops. Very well balanced and a challenging mouthfeel for those who aren't used to imperial stouts. heavy but well balanced; like a good broadsword

Photo of Lordquackingstic
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Deep, dark black with a sticky brown head. Lacing is exceptional.

S: Chocolate and bitter coffee, slightly milky.

T: Bitter chocolate and vanilla with notes of coffee. There's also a little bit of a woody taste to it. Warming alcohol punch. Very nice.

M: Slightly bitter with low carbonation. Little bit of alcohol heat.

O: Fantastic stout. This really hits the spot for when I'm in a stout mood. Would love to try the bourbon barrel aged version.

Photo of bboven
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deathly black with a huge initial head fading into tow full fingers. Thick, copiuos lacing.

Initial aroma is roast and coffee, then a swirl reveals dark fruit and a hint of alcohol.

Licorice, alcohol, raisin, and burnt toffee are the most prominent flavors. Big warming alcohol burst in the stomach is great.

Big alcohol dryness in the mouthfeel. The carbonation is a touch high, this should be almost flat. Great example, though.

Wonderful example, even if it's a very big example. Highly recommended.

Photo of Crosling
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have a pretty rich history with Old Rasputin. He first appeared in my life when I was 15 years old and tasted him at a little adult get together. I hated it but kept the bottle for my bottle collection with a big fat 0 out 10 on the back of the bottle. Yes I rated it back then. Recently, I have had quite a bit of Mr. Rasputin.

So right now it is about 25 degrees out. It has snowed about 6 inches today. I just got home from school and it took me about 45 minutes longer than it should have (snow) and I could hear Old Rasputin singing in my fridge even when I was driving home. He was speaking to me and we were communicating. We understand each other and love each other.

He poured pitch black with a large light brown head that stood very tall and proud. Within minutes, his the head faded but left a beautiful lace of where the head once stood. I love when beers do that and Old Rasputin knows I do.

Roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, crushed nuts topped with hard caramel, vanilla and lots of roasted malts in the nose.

Wow, Old Rasputin you taste great! Very well balanced and well hopped. Nice hop bitterness towards the finish and an onslaught of flavor just coats my entire mouth. This is the type of beer that will linger in my mouth for hours upon hours. Black licorice, roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, salt and more roasted malts were the dominant flavors. My only issue with Mr. Rasputin is that he seems a little thin in the mouth but he makes up for it in other ways. It's okay.

Photo of PrivateEquity
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Awesome black body with Aeolus head. Lacing is nice but doesn't stay long. Very inviting.

S - Dark roasted nose. Small of chocolate.

T - Dark roasted malt. Bitterness is definitely there. Aftertaste is a little salty.

M - great thickness, solid carbonation.

O - Always pleased when I pop open this beer. Intense beer. Great sipper.

Photo of EricHeff
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the Old Rasputin bottle. It just looks like a manly beer.
It pours out a dark dark brown color with about 1 fingers worth of light brown head. The smells are amazing.
The taste is pretty darn good. Defiantly one of the better Imperial Stouts out there. Its complex, but not too much. Subtle hints in chocolate are there and then gone and it leaves you with a warn alcohol taste. You get a great carbonation that makes this beer very drinkable.

Photo of Spica66
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip glass.

A: Dark color. Good head formation and retention. Very nice looking stout.

S: Excellent blend of sharp-dark roast, dark fruits, coffee and bitter chocolate. It smells like a no-gimmick RIS should!

T; Excellent dark roast, coffee, nicely bitter.

M: Extremely smooth and the ABV is completely hidden to me, so no burn.

D: So easy to drink, you will find a 9% surprise if you are not careful!

Photo of dudecandle
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Opaque black body with dark tan, thick, huge head with excellent retention, lacing, and cap.

S/T: Vanilla, toasted grain over chocolate, smoke, a dose of dark fruit. Smell gets a bit boozy and nutty as it opens up. On the taste, the booze doesn't dominate quite as well, but the nuts and fruit dominate the finish.

M: Full, sticky body, with an incredibly long finish.

D: Rasputin delivers a huge collection of flavors, all in great balance with each other, and still somehow never overwhelms. If I had one, I could probably enjoy a full 4-pack, assuming it wouldn't knock me out first. Brilliant.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gave it about 30 minutes to warm up outta the frig. Pours an opaque darkness with a huge stiff tan head that resists fading. A good amount of lacing, some of it in 3-dimension.

The aroma has it's own complexity; shifting around a bit. On the initial pour the foam released a smell of hops that i wasn't expecting. It also gave off a vanilla-whiskey character. As the head settles down you get a sweet syrupy malt that's lightly roasted...like a number of double stouts i can think of.

Full bodied, the mouth feel is creamy and adequately carbonated. The flavor fills the mouth but it doesn't give you that coating sensation. The flavor is a lightly roasted malt and the complementary texture takes it to a light mocha zone. Has an enjoyably light lingering chocolate coffee aftertaste.

Quite drinkable. The 9% ABV is a real secret.

Photo of everetends
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at a Whole Foods in Atlanta, Ga as a four pack of bottles. Must say that this is a fine beer.

Black as night and allows (what appears to be) no light to penetrate. The foam
is almost brown, giving it a wonderful presentation.

Smell is of malt, chocolate, and alcohol.

Beautiful tastes of malt and chocolate, but has a fine taste of alcohol to give
you an appreciation of its power. There are bitter undertones in the after
taste, but this in no way hurts the beer.

As far as mouthfeel goes, it is a little heavy with the alcohol and does coat the mouth a bit but this is what you expect from an imperial stout.

This is not a good beer for meals in my opinion. It is going to overpower anything else that crosses your palate. It is a beer to be savored and appreciated. Fine after dinner beverage, but many can be conusmed and the price makes it just that much better.

Fine brew from a fine brewer.

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque black with about a quarter inch frothy chocolate brown head. The head thins down to a small ring fairly quickly. The ring leaves a decent amount of lacing as the beer is consumed.

S: Molasses, coffee, and dark chocolate are the main aroma. The roasted malt taste also comes through as well. The aromas are normal for the style, but they mix better than some of its competitors.

T: All the items that added to the aroma mix just as well in the taste. Dark roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, and a hint of molasses mix perfectly to form an extremely tasty brew. The initial taste is slightly bitter with the coffee and chocolate being the most pronounced. They are balanced well with the malts. The finish leaves a slick coating in the mouth but its not as syrupy as others in the style.

M: It is a very full bodied brew. There is very little in mouth carbonation. The finish is cleaner than most of the ones in the style.

D: The cleaner finish makes this one very drinkable for a RIS. I don't know that I would knock back a 4 pack of these in a sitting, but for the style it is remarkably drinkable.

Photo of kiddynamite920
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For as many of these that I've had, I figured it was time to wind down and review one.

A: Pitch black with signs of brown, the head is a tan color. Head receded a bit from about a fingers worth to a thin ring around the glass. RIS in a glass, perfect.

S: Picking up strong roasted malts, vanilla, and a woody aroma on the nose. Slight alcohol burn, but hidden behind some cherry like aromas. Big chocolate nose, reminiscent of the Brooklyn BCS.

T: A bit dry and bitter, full of roast. Chocolate and dark roast coffee come through. Some dark fruits, mostly raisins and dark cherries. Hops are quite bittering, a nice touch to this big and roasty brew. Cocoa powder seems to lend its flavor and its presence on the mouthfeel.

M: Dry, roasty, bitter and super dark and creamy. This is a Russian Imperial Stout. Great body and carbonation, just a bit of fizz that is left around the palate after swallowing. Slight heat from the alcohol.

D: As far as RIS's go, this is one of my favorites. It never disappoints on the classic flavor of what a RIS should be. Absolutely delicious and more breweries should take some notes on this one. Alcohol hidden well, ridiculously huge roasty flavor, perfect RIS.

Photo of uustal
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

50th Review

Pours black as night with a light brown, two-finger head which leaves a nice frothy lacing. Pleasant creamy chocolate/coffee aroma with a little dark fruit and citrus/pine hops as well. Big roasted flavor. Sweet chocolate and roasted, bitter coffee up front. Pretty hopped up RIS with some pine and sweeter citrus rind. More roasted, dry, somewhat burnt malts on the finish. A very abrupt halt to the flavors after finish. Kind of like a really big Irish dry stout, but with the flavor amped up 10-fold. Creamy, thick mouthfeel.

Photo of EnthusedAboutBeer
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of snaotheus
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. I've had this so many times it's hard to believe I haven't reviewed it.

Pours black and tarry with a medium sized light brown, thick and frothy head. Medium amount of slow carbonation. One of the prettiest stouts I know, even when not on nitro. Smell is black licorice, coffee, and yeast.

Taste is licorice, roasty bitterness, creamy flavor, sweet plumminess up front. One of my favorite stouts.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy -- good from the bottle but fantastic on nitro. Overall, excellent beer.

Photo of DilisioYCBC
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured out black with a think tan head . No haziness. The head retained itself throughout staying tight with a layer of foam all the way down, little lacing.

S- a bunch of roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, and chocolate chip cookies. A touch of alcohol and fruitiness.

T- a lot of roasted flavors up front that seemed to mellow after it warmed a bit. Chocolate, dark dried fruit like plum, toffee, a bit of malty sweetness balancing out the bitterness of the roast. No hop bitterness. The rated bitterness sticks around for a while, then the warming comes down the esophagus bout 15 seconds after the first swallow.

M- Appropriate carbonation that makes it drink smoothly. Not as viscous as I would expect. Dry felling on the finish.

O- a great Russian Imperial Stout that packs a ton of roasted flavors, but has some nice sweet malt and toffee to meld with the stronger flavors. At 9% this is a warmer, but the alcohol does not take away at all from the brew.

Photo of kevinhulit
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black liquid with creamy tan head. rich aroma character (cofee/malt). a bit of a ting on the palate but tasty... rich finish. this beer opened my palate to stouts beyond the sam adams/guiness portion of the varitey. there is so much more to stout! a must try.

Photo of SawDog505
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 16 oz snifter. Pours a slick black, with a 3 inch sticky mocha head, tons of lacing. Smell coffee, chocolate, some pine, and a hint of alcohol. Taste is all that, more piney hops than the smell would lead on. Body isn't the biggest, but nice. Perfect amount of life, helps it's dribkability. Temperature is so important to allow this beers flavors to completely shine, close to 55 is best. Lives up to the hype, most reviews I have ever noticed for this style.

Photo of jtrockchalk
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Darker than dark. Not coffee black, but nearly squid ink black with just a hint of brown overtones. Two finger head the color of a good roux that settles around the edges first while the puck in the center tries to hang on for all its might.

S - Coffee is the dominant smell, but I get just a whiff of cedar

T - I was a bit taken aback by the hops that hit right up front. Not really in a bad way just unexpected. The hops usually hit second in the RISs I remember most. I like this better I think it balances well with the burnt malts

M - Medium heavy mouthfeel more like a great porter than a heavier stout. I think its the upfront hops that cut the richness right off the top.

D - I feel the alcohol in my belly although its well hidden on my palate. Couldn't drink more than maybe two in a sitting which leaves me with this dilemma...With the barbeque I'm about to have, another one of these or the Ofallon Smoke I was originally planning on...Stayed tuned to find out.

Peace.

Photo of CharlatanSin
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very much looking forward to trying it. I'm on a real RIS kick right now, and this is supposed to be one of the best. Glad to buy a bottle. This beautiful beer pours a jet black, with a perfect half inch smooth tan head. It leaves wave after wave of lacing. Close to perfect.

The smell is not at all unpleasant, just a little...missing. I pick up some chocolate malt, and some toasted espresso; the expected smells. But it's a fishing expedition. This is the one area where the beer doesn't stand up to some of its colleagues. The taste, however, is damn good. Tastes like a chocolate covered roasted espresso bean. There's a nice, roasted, astringent bitterness. The alcohol is present, but it's subdued and complementary.

Rasputin is super smooth, creamy, and incredibly thick. You're almost chewing it. The carbonation is a tad high for the style, unfortunately, which stops it from being perfect. Still, easily one of the most, if not THE most drinkable RIS I've sampled. I'll certainly be conferring with the old Russian mystic again.

Photo of camp0474
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 2/4/11

A: Pours a pitch black with a nice frothy tan coffee colored head. Decent head retention and good sticky lacing.

S: Toasty alts with a sweet backbone. Smells of bitter coffee, molasses, slight dark fruits, and faint alcohol detectable.

T: Coffee, sweet dark fruits. Faint chocolate. Hop bitterness near the finish. Slight alcohol burn. Solid balance of all of the flavors. Hides the abv well.

M: Medium to thick body. Good fine carbonation.

D: A well balanced RIS and goes down easy. A welcomed slight alcohol warmth. Great cold weather stout.

Photo of deBeers
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is currently on tap at My Place in Newtown, CT. Thanks Mark.

The tap is very intriquing. It shows an old Russian gentleman (presumably Rasputin) in black & white with his right hand raised to the crown of his head which I gather is some type of religious symbol. The top of the tap is like the top of a tower. Wish I could explain this more intricately.

Smells and tastes a lovely coffee aroma/malt. Creamy cappuchino looking head. This one is too smooth when the keg is very fresh. Puts the drinkability through the roof for how heavy the brew is.

Pitch black with rose hues at the edges of the glass when held in the light. The bitterness in this beer is balanced so right. It's like a siren calling to you in the night.

Seek this one out on tap. My apologies for the haphazardly written review. I was pretty inebriated at the time.

Photo of TheRealBigC
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin stands as being the creamiest imperial stout in my experience thus far. It's quite interesting - the alcohol is noticeable and there is a touch of hops in there as well, but the foamy head and rich body come closer to a Young's stout than, say, the Stone Imperial Stout. And indeed, there is a chocolate profile which makes for a tasty, tasty beer. The only downside for me was the lack of strength of smell. I got some whiffs of malt and chocolate, but it didn't knock me back. I'll blame it on the glassware choice of the bar (regular pint glass) and not dock too much for it.

Photo of whynot44
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark, almost black opaque brew with some ruby highlights and a modest tan head that disipates to a collar and thin layer but nevertheless manages to leave a very nice lacing with each swallow.

The aroma is dark roasted malt, coffee, hints of fruit.

The taste is also dark roast malt with lots of coffee flavor, hints of chocolate, raisins and plums. The finish is espresso sweetened with raisins which lingers well into the aftertaste. Nice alcohol warmth for a pleasant cool weather warmer.

Very easy to drink.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,387 ratings.