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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

9,156 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,156
Reviews: 3,321
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 247
Gots: 996 | FT: 32
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)
View: Beers (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,156 | Reviews: 3,321 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Converge
Converge

Alberta (Canada)

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2011 23:16:32 | More by Converge
Photo of elvisnj
elvisnj

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from 12oz bottle.

Looks pitch black with small dark brown head. Looks like a stout should. Smell is fantastic. Yeast and dark malts abound. Espresso and hops as well. I love the aroma of this beer.

Taste is light on the tongue for a stout but has bitter aftertaste. Not a clean hop type bitter but like a lingering espresso bitter. Tastes good but the aftertaste is just a slight drag.

The dark malts are evident in taste and hops come through nicely but not over the top. keeps a thin cream colored head throughout. All 12oz are gone in just a few minutes despite the fact that I am trying to savor this.
Overall a good showing for the style and for North Coast Brewing Co.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2011 21:13:43 | More by elvisnj
Photo of draheim
draheim

Washington

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle (no dates or codes, but purchased earlier this year) poured into a snifter. Pitch black color with a light brown loose head the quickly dissipates to a tan ring around the glass.

Aroma is rich, roasty dark malt, cocoa, and a whiff of booze.

First sip is bitter dark roasty malt and bitter dark chocolate. Nice dry bitterness on the finish. As it warms it just gets better. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth.

What I really like about Old Rasputin is its purity, simplicity. This is a rock-solid, clean, straightforward RIS that exemplifies the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 06:17:57 | More by draheim
Photo of CaptJackHarkness
CaptJackHarkness

New York

1.95/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

First, I must disclose that this is my first Russian Imperial Stout and if this is typical of the style, I won't be having too many more! This brew has in it's favor an almost black color and a nice rich aroma, you can smell the alchohol. But, it's all about the taste! This tasted far too bitter and hoppy, and left a horrible aftertaste in the back of the mouth!
Again , I enjoy sweet stouts, like Murphy's, so make your judgements accordingly!!

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2011 16:13:47 | More by CaptJackHarkness
Photo of WillCarrera
WillCarrera

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Nitro tap at Jupiter in Berkeley.

A- Pour just about black, totally opaque, with a huge turbulent khaki head. The head on this beer is amazing, it eventually settles to an incredibly creamy, khaki layer about a finger deep. Produces a heavy coating of lace.

S- Lots of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, some vanilla.

T- The flavor here is massive. The malts are big and heavily roasted, with fistfuls of roasted coffee beans with some chocolate and char. Hops become more noticeable once you can get past the malts, some citrus is hidden in there. Finishes dry with some sweetness and a lot of alcohol, which is just a bit warming.

M- I can hardly even describe this. Full bodied and unbelievably smooth and creamy. The nitro produces a thick, rich feel. It mellows out after a while but the first few sips are like drinking a milkshake.

O- My first nitro experience and I'm really impressed. This beer retains all of the great flavors of a Russian Imperial stout but the feel on this brew is really incredible.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-18-2011 01:43:58 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of HoppySuds
HoppySuds

California

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours thick with just enough head to dust up the great aroma

S - Rich coffee, with a hint of the sweetness of chocolate. Alcohol comes through hot in the end.

T - Sweet and rich with roasted malts and coffee coming through strongest. Warming alcohol finish does not overwhelm the pallet .

M – Great creamy texture that fills the mouth.

O – Overall this was a great beer. I’m really enjoying the imperial stouts in general but this is one of the best examples. If someone is looking to try an imperial stout for the first time this would be one of my top suggestions.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2011 21:39:15 | More by HoppySuds
Photo of paxchristi
paxchristi

Missouri

4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is yet again another classic. I must also admit a bias. Old Rasputin is what got me into craft beer about a year ago. Its still as good as the day we first met. :-)

Appearance: Dark as night. Pours a stout the way an imperial stout should look; a generous amount of dark chocolate color head that leaves lacing down the glass. Brilliant head; one of my favorite heads. The head is frothy on the underside and it is like cream on the top side. After the froth subsides, there is still a good quarter to a half inch of creamy head that sticks. It was just begging me to sip it; so I did!

Smell: Dark coffees, dark fruits, special dark chocolates, and pleasantly burnt roasts of malt. And HOPS damn it! HOPS!

Taste: It is absolutely sensory overload. Once again, dark coffees, darker fruits (figs, dates, etc), special dark chocolates, dark roasts of malt, and an ever faint hint of molasses. On the front (which does not last very long) are the fruiter flavors, but very quickly comes this huge rush of kick-your-ass flavor of the roasted ingredients. It finishes bitter, and is held together by this hoppy brilliance. It has an almost spicy quality to it. I imagine because of the higher ABV that it has some esters in it. Hence the spiciness. The hops nail the dark roasts and fruits to my palate. The bitter darks with the semi-sweetness of the chocolates and dark fruits give it a cult flavor that few will comprehend the greatness!

Mouth: It has an above average amount of carbonation for a Russian Imperial Stout. Probably a bit more than what one should be used to. It adds to the spiciness of the esters and gives the bitterness of the hops a sensory kick on the palate.

Overall: This brew kicks my ass. I'm a IPA/APA drinker and so I love hops. But I also love artisan dark roasts of coffee. This is the necrobaby of these two worlds for me. I've been converted to the cult of Rasputin. Old Rasputin RIS will always have a special place in my fridge or in my collection. It is a beer-drinkers treasure and every drop should be savored. I believe that I could session this beer. Not because I'm going to be drinking more than 3-4 pints of it, but because it demands respect and that you cherish its company while it is there. This isn't your one night stand; wham, bam, thank you mam-- this is a beer that deserves to be cherished and treated like the gem that it is. This brew and I have a long life together. Cheers mate!

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2011 21:03:26 | More by paxchristi
Photo of StayWounded
StayWounded

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am a little bias as this is one of my go-to beers. I've had it both on-tap and in the bottle multiple times.

A- Looks as a Russian Imperial should. Deep, dark body, with a strong mocha head that lingers well.

S- Lots going on here. Dark fruits, coffee, chocolate, a nice roasty smell. You can definitely smell the warmth of the alcohol on this one.

T- On-tap the flavors coalesce in a more subtle way, very nicely. It is bold as a Russian Imperial should be, and the warming heat hits the back of the throat. I can see that being a problem for some drinkers, but it is nice, especially during winter months (and even more so when you live on a mountain). The primary flavors are the chocolate and coffee and the dark fruits, bitterness comes though with a bit of sweetness towards the middle to end.

M- Very warm and smooth with a bit of thickness. The bottle is a bit less smooth and less, thick. The warmth is the stand out characteristic.

Overall- I've got to say this is one of my favorite beers. Affordable given other options and very drinkable. Excellent during winter and excellent for night in.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2011 23:27:57 | More by StayWounded
Photo of match1112
match1112

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours from bottle to pint glass black as can be, an aggressive pour results in too much head flowing over the glass. smells of malts, roasted coffee and dark fruits. taste is amazing, more roasted coffee and caramel malts with a slight bittterness and burn from booze. mouthfeel is thick rich and creamy. lots of carbonation. overall one of my faves that i cant believe i havn't reviewed yet.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 21:33:18 | More by match1112
Photo of Gambrinus1184
Gambrinus1184

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on nitro-tap in a snifter glass at Mikro in Hamden, Conn.

A: Black as night with a dense, two-finger head of creamy, tan foam which left chunks of lace on the glass and persisted throughout the finish.

S: Roasted black malt, spicy fruity notes, chocolate, raisin and a whiff of booze to add complexity.

T: Bitter, herbal, roasted malt flavor that gives off espresso bean, cocoa nib and fig flavors. Lots to work with here as a bitter, herbal hop rushes the palate, lending earthy, tobacco leaf qualities to the mix. Finishes bittersweet with some clingy, dark sugars and a smooth, creamy roasted aftertaste.

M: Creamy, full-bodied stout with a bit to chew on as well. Very smooth, deep and complex.

O: For the barleywine fan in your life, Old Rasputin is almost as good as it gets. The nitro-tap presentation here adds another dimension of complexity and enjoyment to the mix. Dangerously drinkable at 9% ABV, this stout is a favorite to have on hand during the cold winter months but is a treat for a dreary summer evening as well.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-07-2011 17:00:28 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of PrivateEquity
PrivateEquity

Kansas

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 22:29:11 | More by PrivateEquity
Photo of danieelol
danieelol

Australia

4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours with a nice dark tan head. Good lacing.

S: roast, musky citric hops, mellow milk chocolate/carob. Orange. Olives and prunes.

T: Full-on roast. Lot of depth to the roast on the palate. Strong bitterness and salty also (do they add salt or is that East Kent Goldings hopping or something?) Minerals.

M: It's damn thick and there's occasionally some residual sugar on the palate but it's undermined by massive roast bitterness and salt.

O: An indisputably high quality IS. Very, very rich.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 13:19:27 | More by danieelol
Photo of DUBinMIA
DUBinMIA

Florida

4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

served out of the bottle into a pint glass. pours dark black with a tan foamy head about 2 in. thick. head reduces to 1/2 in. thick foam remain. exceptionally thick lace remains as well.

dark roasted malt and chocolate with a hint of hop notes and slight alcohol to finish.

initial strong malt and immediate coffee flavor. then sweetens again and finished with floral like hops. very complex and very good!!

full bodied as to be expected. thick and rich flavors just mellow on the pallet.

very good beer!! MUST TRY!!!

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2011 00:38:10 | More by DUBinMIA
Photo of psuKinger
psuKinger

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (I find no date on the bottle... FreshBeerOnly says North Coast stamps only the cases) poured into my Stone RIS tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep dark bitch black with a lively light-brown frothy head on top... more than a fingers worth, and "pancake batter" bubbles in the middle.

S: Roasted malts and a touch of chocolate in the nose, all done at a moderate volume.

T: Smooth yet thick, this stout is simultaneously creamy yet heavy. Roasty flavors from the malts arrive first, then hints of chocolate creep in. Additionally, I even pick up on a touch of vanilla here, which is something I personally don't usually pull out of a big stout like this. It finishes with a perfect amount of hop bitterness to round this all out, and on the very back this beer creams up and says "goodbye" with a hint of vanilla on the end.

Great balance. One of my favorite Stouts.

M: Thick and viscous, the carbonation is initially masked by the heft of this brew. It is only in the way this beer creams up at the end that it once again shows it's ability to remain balanced and complex.

D/O: There is just a HINT of alcohol in this. Not nearly as noticable as something like Yeti or Mokah, but it still can be seen, and for me it's just a touch detracting from its drinkability/overall.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 00:40:38 | More by psuKinger
Photo of DrinkThemAll
DrinkThemAll

California

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass...

A-Poured just about opaque black with a 3 finger caramel tan head that dissipates to little or no head very nice looking head, leaves some decent lacing behind...

S-Dark roasted chocolate and malts, espresso and some molasses maybe a hint of bourbon and some nuts...very complex beer here...

T-Jackpot, delicious...Right away you a dark fruit like molasses taste, some dark chocolate and some roasted nuts and malts. very smooth and balanced, hops are present which is nice. has that nice bitter hops finish...love it...

M-Medium body with medium carbonation i would say, its like having a creamy foamy mouth full of chocolate syrup and a hint of espresso, very nice. leaves a bitter chocolate hops finish

O-Just a fantastic brew for being year round and in 4 packs... well balanced and for being 9% you cant even taste the alcohol but has a nice warming sensation going down...i would drink a 4 pack every week if i could...oh wait i can...

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2011 22:17:54 | More by DrinkThemAll
Photo of Danny1217
Danny1217

Florida

4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark, almost pitch black with a slight redness showing through in under the light. A very nice tan head with excellent retention for the abv.

S - Dark, roasted malt aromas. A nice medley of dark fruits, chocolate, and coffee aroma.

T - It's a bit similar to how it smells, with a roasted flavor coming up front, and very little detectable alcohol.

M - More carbonation than your average RIS. Medium heavy body, a bit on the lighter side for a RIS, which makes it more appropriate for regular consumption than some of the massive stouts out there.

O - It's great and it's the cheapest RIS I've been able to find, which makes it a great choice when I'm in the mood for this style.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 03:50:36 | More by Danny1217
Photo of spitInTheOcean
spitInTheOcean

Michigan

4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

jet black. opaque. with a big dark brown head.

smells incredible. huge aroma all over the board with a little of everything. bitter roasted malts, caramel, coffee, dark chocolate, hops and esters such as raisin. but mostly a very complex malt aroma.

very malty flavor. roasted malt bitterness. coffee, toffee. flavor of dark roasted malts lingers a long time. up front very sweet but finishes very bitter from the malts. very warming.

this is a big beer with a crisp finish, but the crisp finish seems to do nothing to cleanse the palate. velvety, and rich.

overall i dont have a lot to add. this beer is what i will be dreaming of tonight. i think that old rasputin should outshine rasputin himself in the history books.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 05:18:34 | More by spitInTheOcean
Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
doopiedoopiedoo

Netherlands

3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up during my USA trip.

Poured into a pint glass.

Comes out black, very black. Carbonation is very present. A nice two finger mocha head leaving a some lacing as the head reduces to a half finger.

Smells of dark roasted malts and chocolate. I notice a lot of hop and that gets me excited for I love hoppy stouts.

So the flavor do deliver the hop I wanted but it's lacking in some other departements. It doesn't quite give you that in your face I'm a stout feel. Sure there is some roasted malts and there is some chocolate present but it's to crisp and clean to be a real imperial stout.

It's medium bodied and extremely smooth. A little more carbonation than I'd like in my stouts.

I really enjoyed this beer. I drank one and poured me another one right after so it has to be a good beer one way or the other. I loved the hoppiness that comes with it. The rest of the flavors are a bit to clean and sterile for my likings. I guess I just like my Imperial Stouts to be dirty!

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 00:31:05 | More by doopiedoopiedoo
Photo of nickthetick
nickthetick

Maryland

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours an opaque black with a tan hockey puck for a head that leaves lacing comparable to the gfs french maid outfit.

S: solid chocolates, dark and robust. Coffee and toffee.

T: a lot like the nose. It starts with some dark chocolate. It fallows through with some oak and earthy notes and bitterness.

MF: thick, creamy, chewy, and as filling as dinner.

O: a lot like the bottle, more of a feel in the mouth and more to the nose, still an awesome beer that can not be overlooked.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2011 02:16:57 | More by nickthetick
Photo of obrike
obrike

Texas

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this one over a year ago at an Alamo drafthouse theater but did not review...just bought a 4-pack at Specs.

I think this is easily the best looking, most intense strong stout i've had the honor of pouring. A huge rocky tan head forming over a deep BLACK brew. The lacing on this one blows away other Imp Stouts I've had in the past...just perfect.

A fresh, albeit uncomplicated scent of mostly chocolate, followed by a bit of coffee. A slight hint of bitter hops, could be the alcohol though, as well.

Taste follows scent. Good, but did not blow me away. A super clean beer...the chocolate malt dominates...a nice bitter kick at the end. This one doesn't have some of the complexities that I really liked in Stone IRS or even Yeti. However, the Raspy is uber-smooth on the backend, booze is barely noticeable...and still a top notch Imp stout, especially considering the affordability.

This is one not to be missed if you're looking to dip your toes into an IRS.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 01:23:10 | More by obrike
Photo of lespaulrocker
lespaulrocker

Tennessee

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark, let through almost no light. Creamy one and a half finger head. Really beautiful and inviting.

S: Chocolate, maybe some coffee. Caramel notes. Malty.

T: Exceptional. Lots of roasted flavors up front, followed by chocolate and coffee, maybe some hints of toffee as well. Some citrusy hop notes throughout. Really sweet. Almost a dessert in and of itself.

M: Very creamy and smooth.

This was a gift from a close friend to celebrate/mourn his moving away. I will definitely be seeking this out again, a great find.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 01:14:09 | More by lespaulrocker
Photo of davey101
davey101

Connecticut

3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz stubby bottle into a DFH siganture glass at fridge temp. Allowed to warm up for a while.

A - Deep black viscous body that let's zero light pass through. Awesome mocha head and lacing.

S - Bitter chocolate, vanilla and oak, roasted malts. Nothing spectacular.

T - Nice thick mouthfeel with some crisp carbonation. Chocolate and coffee notes with a smooth vanilla and malt finish. Some bitterness and alcohol warming.

O - This RIS is awesome at its price point, but it is fairly average compared to some of the big name stouts out there, despite their high cost.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 00:42:06 | More by davey101
Photo of zac16125
zac16125

South Carolina

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin RIS
12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours out an opaque jet black with 3+ fingers of light creamed coffee colored head. Head is very dense and takes forever to dissipate down to a 1 fingers width that hangs around for the rest of the drink and leaves massive, heavy lacing.

S: Milk chocolate is the most prominent aroma, along with strong scents of alcohol and roasted malts. Hints of caramel malts as well.

T: The first sip is big roasted flavors with lots of chocolate sweetness as well as a strong citrus hop character. There are subtle coffee flavors in there as well. However, for most of the drink, the most prominent flavor is the citrus hop bitterness. I found the taste to be pretty unique for a stout, especially the strong hop characters and what for most of the drink was a lighter although still present malt character. The alcohol character that was prominent on the nose is almost completely masked in the taste, which is nice. I like the taste, but could see how others wouldn’t as the flavors aren’t as strong as many other RIS I have had.

M: Really light bodied for a stout, and slightly over carbonated which decreases its smoothness. It is easy to drink though, and as above, the alcohol is masked very well. It also has a nice warming character to it.

O: Overall, quite a good RIS. Its different, with the light body and high hop presence, but I really enjoyed the taste, and for the price (under $3 for a 12oz) you really can’t go wrong.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 19:10:19 | More by zac16125
Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
DabblinWiscCraft

Wisconsin

3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Passed to me in a pint glass, a deep roasted coffee or cola color with an espresso crema head about 3/4 inch that really sticks around, leaving nice lacing. Roasted coffee and caramel notes are at the front in the nose. There's a bit of sourness and some hop complexity in the mix, as well. Very nice dark chocolate undertones. The taste has rich, dark roasted caramel malts at the fore. There's a burst of quite enjoyable hop zest following this, which is almost completely enveloped by a somewhat syrupy molasses taste with pure alcohol showing through. Unfortunately, this flavor closely resembles cough syrup. The finish has roasted coffee mingling with hop bitterness and more subtle dark chocolate. Certainly, more hop flavor than I expected from a Russian Imperial Stout. The mouthfeel is very smooth throughout and medium-bodied. It's just a bit too syrupy for my liking--again, it's hard to get past that cough syrup sensation happening toward the back. But, overall, this is a very pleasant feel for a beer of this style.

It was a real treat to find this on tap at Von Trier on North Avenue in Milwaukee, as I've rarely seen it around town. In some ways it lived up to the hype surrounding it, but in others it was a bit disappointing. It has more hops than most beers of this style, but that isn't really a detraction for me. I disliked the fact that too much alcohol was showing through and producing that medicinal or cough syrup effect. But, otherwise, it was a very smooth and complex stout that was engaging on every level.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2011 08:14:29 | More by DabblinWiscCraft
Photo of CBlack85
CBlack85

South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On nitro-tap at Duckworths in Charlotte. Served in a small chalice

The beer comes out from the bar black as midnight, with very few dark ruby highlights. There is about two fingers worth of dense, tightly packed dark tan head that slowly recedes leaving behind sheets of lacing.

The aroma is comprised of roasted malts with lots of chocolate and coffee, with hints of vanilla. There is quite a hop presence for a RIS. The alcohol is mildly present in the nose, but not overwhelmingly so.

The flavor is much bigger than the aroma would lead you to believe. Loaded with heavily roasted malts and chocolate, and accented by coffee and a slightly burnt quality. The hop presence is quite bright and noticable. The citrusy hop character seems to meld well with the roasty and chocolatey flavors that define this beer. Almost too much hop presence... Almost. Full bodied and creamy with a silky feel on the toungue. Finishes sweet with just a slight alcohol burn.

Remarkably drinkable.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-19-2011 20:24:23 | More by CBlack85
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,156 ratings.