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

11,054 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,054
Reviews: 3,572
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 449
Gots: 2,146 | 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 (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,054 | Reviews: 3,572
Photo of hanco005
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A—solid black, just hints of light shine in at the bottom, a 2 inch thick , ice cream looking beige head, fades away slowly, lacing is in thick sheets

S—chocolate and alcohol, some coffee and bread tones, too, a touch of licorice, very fragrant and makes my mouth water

T—chocolate is strongest, followed by the alcohol and coffee, all flavors combine for a wonderful taste!

M—thick and creamy, full bodied, perfect carbonation

D—can’t drink a lot of it due to the high ABV, but this is perfect for the style, I think. A great nightcap.

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

12oz. bottle poured into Chimay goblet.

A - Incredibly dark brown, white frothy head. Nice head, and lacing retention.

S - Licorice malt/strong alcohol/chocolate/spicey notes.

T&M - Full-bodied. Taste upfront has tones of chocolate, infused with a strong alcoholic bite. Hop bitterness is definitely there upfront, and also near the end. Medicinal phenols bring a sharp bite to the palate. Licorice waves come upfront and near the end, spicey and awakening on the palate. Burnt tones, earthy and nutty also come through. Aftertaste is smooth and creamy with a small amount of bitter, that slowly fades to dry and then lingers for a good while.

D - Great for such a big beer.

An excellent Russian Imperial Stout, has a lot of compexity and depth. Rich, satisfying, and friendly on the palate. Definitely check this one out.

Photo of Damian
3.64/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured an amber brown/black with a small head that faded quickly. Virtually no lacing present.

Smell was very malty rich and hoppy with hints of dark chocolate, coffee and toffee.

Taste was espresso-like, hoppy and bitter, with the bitterness becoming more intense as the beer moved along the palate. Alcohol flavor was very strong.

Mouthfeeel was full bodied and heavy. Moderate carbonation.

Definitely a sipping beer.

Photo of acrawf6
4.64/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out pitch black with foamy tan head. Nice lacing.

Aroma. Strong licorice aroma. Under that it has very nice chocolate smell with espresso notes to it. It is an interesting smell because I see it as sweet and dry at the same time. Hops really give this a nice crispness, yet it seems creamy. Very interesting.

Taste. Very nice RIS. Starts off with a nice bitterness, thick flavors of malts too, very roasted malts, and some bits of burnt malts. Also has a slight yeasty and waxy character to it. As it warms up, I get a good amount more of the licorice tastes to it. Aftertaste is roasted malts with black coffee hints with a nice warming.

Mouthfeel. Very full mouthfeel, creamy and chewy. Nice amount of carbonation. Balance is excellent- I’m overwhelmed with both the malt character and the hops.

Overall. A great RIS and an incredible beer! A perfect sipper, yet I’m drinking this quicker than I expected, I could probably finish it in about 30-40 minutes. Just great balance and great flavors. One excellent beer I am glad I can pick up in baton rouge.

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

Sampled from 12 fl oz bottle courtesy of a friend, traded from the USA.

Dark red color, brown head.
Alcohol and chocolate scent, sweet.
Strong sweet and burnt taste, burnt and coffee after taste.
Warming alcohol feeling.
Very big palate.
Raissin taste as well.
Medium high bitterness.

Photo of brushpig
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found a 4 pack at Trader Joes in Chicago, but you can find it almost everywhere here.

The appearance is interesting, very very shimmering black with a tan head that unfortunately diminishes rather quickly.

The aroma is like dark espresso coffee with a light friut smell as well. Not too powerful.

This is a very good imperial stout, with it's coffee like flavors, chocalate, and alcohol bite, however the fruity flavors left a strange aftertaste in my mouth. Nothing too terrible. Still a very fine beer

Wouldn't have to many of them in one sitting,a little overwhelming.
But worth a try.

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

My first review, so here goes:

appearance: dark black, with an off white head that drops to 1/8 inch, and stays put.

smell: chocolate, roasted grains, maybe a hint of alcohol, but not overwhelming.

taste: pretty much as in the nose, without much of the alcohol coming through. Nice and chewy, maybe some oatmeal, or other head grains. Good balance between bitter, and sweet. I could drink a few of these, and not feel like I'd overdone it.

Overall, a fine example of the style, and another fine beer from North Coast.

Photo of tfp4268
1.62/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I know this beer gets rave reviews, however...

I have enjoyed other RIS's but this one is just plain ugh.

It looks good enough, very dark brown, almost black, ruby around the edge against a light. Nice brown two finger head, goes down to a pretty lace after a while.

Smell is a little strange, very fruity, but not much else.

Taste...ARRRGH! Fruit and alcohol, kinda like Boone's Farm or something. Yuck!

Mouthfeel is as it should be, kinda thick, but not really thick.

Drinkability Well...I bought four of these, and have managed to choke down two, but the other two are probobly destined for the trash hopper.

Like I said, I have enjoyed other RIS's before, Sam Smith's is my fave, but I think Old Rasp is a little high on the ABV at 9%. It makes it too heavy more my taste buds to handle.

Photo of TheBeerWolf
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Between this and Stone Russian Stout I am now a fan of the this style. The beer pours like black crude. Thick and dark with creamy tan head. Smelling immeditely after opening the bottle I definately get a smell of smoke, chocolate, and malt. The taste is slightly bitter at first but then goes on to sweet smokiness. Hints of smoked almonds and a bit of coco. You can definately taste the alcohol in the background. Moutfeel is not bad at all either. I prefer Stone Russian Stout by just a hair because the Russian Stout has just a tiny but more alcohol bite which I prefer. But don't get me wrong I would drink either happily. The drinkability is a tiny bit better with Old Rasputin but some of that might be because it comes in smaller bottles so its a little more cold then having a 22 of Stone sitting there getting warm.

Photo of andrewm190
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is quite the beer. The Abv is one of the most intense experiences one will have with this beer. The benefit (besides the obvious) is that having such a high abv encourages the drinker to drink at a moderate pace and thus enjoy the taste that the beer has to offer. I am a big fan of the darker beers and this one is one of my new favorites.
The smell is unique and powerful.
The taste is strong and more complex than simply a high abv content. there are two distinct tastes with an underlying chocolaty taste.
The mouthfeel is very nice. the alcohol does tend to make its presence felt a little bit, but the beer leaves a nice coating in the aftertaste.
Its a drinkable beer; its a little intense.

Photo of Poser
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this one up in Atlanta.

Appearance: Darkest beer I've seen so far. I held it up to a 100W bulb and couldn't see anything. Has a good, dark head.

Smell: Very chocalate-like with strong aromas of expresso and malts.

Taste: The malts hit you like a brick. It tastes a lot like a chocolate expresso. The aftertaste stays with you for a very long time.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied

Drinkability: It's hard to drink more than one in a single sitting. High ABV and full body makes you want a glass of water.

Overall, I was very impressed with this stout. I would recommend it to anyone. It's is probably the best RIS I've had so far for taste and smell.

Photo of fank2788
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I would like to start by saying that this is my first russian imperial stout so I don't have anything to compare this beer to but I'll do my best.
I poured this from the bottle into a glass and was really impressed with the deep black color, it has only a hint of ruby hues if you hold it up to a light. The head is a dark khaki tan that laces the glass nicely. The smell is really complex roasted and chocolate malts dominate. The first couple of sips present a bitterness that seems almost overwhelming but this soon mellows out once you become used to it and then you can really taste the chocolate malt flavors. Despite the high alcohol content the alcohol isn't that noticable but the beer does have a nice warming quality. I don't know if I would want to try drinking more than one in a sitting just because of the really powerful flavor but it is definitely one i'll buy again.

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

Appearance – This Stout is as black as they come with a plentiful amount of tan head. It stays reasonably well on the top and leaves some lacing.

Smell – Strong roasted malts on the nose to begin. There is some chocolate, toasted coffee bean, alcohol, and earthiness as well. A good effect which makes me anxious to sip.

Taste – Very roasted malt and burnt wood flavors kick you right in the ass when you take a sip of this. There is more coffee flavor than I expected from the smell which is pretty nice. I can taste slight amounts of chocolate as well along with a pleasant bitterness. A very slight hint of prunes arises as well. On top of it all alcohol makes itself known in a nice warm way. This beer tastes excellent.

Mouthfeel – A decent mouthfeel. Carbonation was slightly high but I could get over that because this one was nice and creamy.

Drinkability – Great. I had an easy time here.

This is a robust and balanced ale which I’m glad to have acquired. Makes me want to try more of this style in a huge way.

Photo of MSchae1017
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was tasted in a imperial pint glass from a bottle.

This beer pours jet black with a creamy tan head that holds amazingly well the whole way down the glass and leaves some impressive lace. The smell is sweet roasted and dark chocolate malts. A very nice very strong flavor. The taste is also great. Fully of dark roasted malts and chocolate malts. There is a great sweetness to this beer which is immediately balanced by some huge bitterness. The mouthfeel is exceptional. This can be described as chewey and creamy. Just fantastic. Overally Highly drinkable. A fantastic RIS.

And as I close I wanted to give you this quote from Seinfeld "The Suicide"

If you named a kid Rasputin do you think that would have a negative effect on his life?

...not in this case

Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Totally black, nice foamy tan head. Some lacing.

S: Complex malt roastyness, sweetness, and some alcohol.

T: Malts up front, real bitter hoppy aftertaste, followed by roasty malts (coffee and chocolate are defiantly there) that linger.

M: Moderate carbonation and pretty full mouthfeel.

D: The bitterness seems to build here, and the high abv makes it tough to drink more than one.

Not a big fan of the hoppy bitterness, but the coffee and chocolate flavors that jump out are delicious.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer twice today, once on-tap at a restaurant (too cold, served in a pint glass), once at home (warmer 12 oz. bottle poured to pint glass). Reviews would be similar, tho at home was the better version: warmer = more taste & aroma.

A: Almost perfectly black, with the faintest hints of copper red at the edges. One finger light tan-colored head. A beautiful stout.

S: Rich coffee and chocolate, grows more intense the warmer the beer gets.

T: The chocolate and coffee are here with a definite lingering sweetness. Heavy bittering hops initially which evolve into the sweeter flavors. Alcohol warming and fruit flavors come out with warming. A decadent group of well-balanced flavors.

M: Medium/full body. Slightly thick & heavy for a stout. Lingering bittersweetness. Mild carbonation.

D: So delicious, worthy of more than one. A sipping beer due to higher abv, but a beer I could (and did) have more than one of.

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Westmalle trappist piece of stemware.

It pours out a small fluffy head that has a wonderfull lacing. Also a jet black color that is traditional of Russian Imperial Stouts.

It smells like coffee and dark cocoa and a little sweet. A sweet licorice and fruitiness that are just great. I believe I smell black currants which were described in the Dark Lord, but I have not had any before.

The taste is sweet and bitter at the same time with spiciness. Coffee (expresso), licorice, dark fruit, and flowery hops are all flavors that hit me very nicely.

Mouthfeel is very nice and smooth, smooth and a little creamy feel is in it.

I am glad this is now in Roots, because I will wish to have it at least once a month, very nice.

Photo of instrumentality
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a thick brown-black with three fingers of creamy brown head that settled into a thin pool of lace of various shades of white and brown.

The odor conjured images of chocolate malt with a shot of espresso.

The smells translated well to my palate, somewhat bitter with the added flavor of red wine.

Initial mouthfeel seemed a bit chalky, oddly enough, but intensity-wise, it was pretty mellow with only a slight burn of alcohol and minimal carbonation. The aftertaste was just a bit too strong and coating, a bitter mix of espresso and red wine.

I was disappointed to find that this brew smelled better than it tasted--not that the taste was bad, but I expected more. To take a more positive spin on this, for an RIS, it's well balanced and fairly easy to drink.

I'll probably save the last couple bottles of my four-pack and let them age a bit. I have a feeling a little time will make this one a real treat.

Photo of gbarron
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a squatty 12 oz. bottle, no dating.

A - very, very dark and black but not quite opaque. When held up to direct light, deep ruby and amber hues emerge. Head is very thick and tight, lightly tan and creamy like froth on coffee.

S - rich smell of roasted grains, nuts, coffee beans. Backed up by firm earthy hop aroma, English hops. Hints of alcohol. Smells like a stout.

T - I have rarely given out 5's, but this one deserves it in the taste category. Rich and very complex. Initial malt sweetness like bitter, dark chocolate mixed with licorice, espresso, dark fruits, followed by assertive hop bitterness and earthy hop flavor. Extremely well balanced beer. Warming aftertaste of alcohol. Lots of different flavors bouncing around in my mouth on this one.

M - very, very smooth and silky despite alcohol content. Very full bodied mouthfeel, but not overwhelming. Alcohol is slightly warming. Carbonation is moderate to low. Slightly sweet finish.

D - amazing brew, give it a try. Despite higher alcohol and full body, I could drink several of these in an evening and not tire of it.

Photo of Liquids
3.91/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks delicious, dark black with a red-brown hue peeking out from the bottom of the glass, with a massive, bubly and creamy head that is comparable to the color of, say, wheat bread, for lack of a better comparative. Smells like an american variation on the grassy english ale aroma--more piney and resinous--but the aroma is rather gentle for an imperial stout. Hmm. More like a straght ahead stout. The taste is malty and focused, with a charred finish that tastes, again, mostly like a standard stout. This may have some time on it, in which case, considering style, this is how it would taste after reaching Russia. The expectedly intense hops have mellowed out I think, comparing it to when I had it fresh on tap months prior. The hops again are american, piney, and slightly floral even. Mouthfeel is medium and well- or possibly over- carbonated. Stout like in feel, not as heavy as anticipated, but not light either. Overall, I am not a fan of the hop profile here. Nor do I love the less than smooth, charred malts that acompany it in the finish. This is a very good beer, but it is not the best of style. Tastes more like an american stout than an imperial stout, but it somehow hides the 8% well. I love the label and russian phrases. North Coast is consistently good, despite brewing beers that don't personally appeal to my palate enough to be my pick as favorites given their style. Drinking this left me dreaming of Storm King, which I find delicious both on tap and in the bottle, while this was absolutely better on tap.

Photo of JBStith
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin. I've had it in both bottle and draft, but bottle most recently. As I remember, it wass slightly better on draft. However, this is an exceptional beer regardless of serving type.

A: Dark like crude oil with nice tan head. Initial head is about 1/4 inch with slight retention and lacing.

S: Acrid smell of dark roasted coffe and black patent malts.

T: Similar to smell. Great roasted, coffee and acrid flavors supported by slight malt and good bitterness. Alcohol was not readily noticeable, but became more apparent as the beer warmed up. Became slightly sweeter as well.

M: Mouthfeel was not too heavy, though heavier than most regular stouts.

D: Due to high alchol content, I don't recommend drink more than 1-2 of these per session. However, very drinkable from a flavor and body point of view.

Overall, a very nice example of Russian Imperial Stout. I will have this again and recommend it to others, esopecially stout fans. Great beer!

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

Appearance - very dark beer. could not see through it at all.

Smell - lots of coffee, chocolate and hops/malt complexities.

Taste - great tasting stout! perfect balance with all of the previous complexities.

Mouthfeel - good night cap.

Drinkability - night cap beer!

Photo of rtratzlaff
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

06/07/06
A: 1/2" tan head composed of very tiny bubbles dissipates and leaves an island of head that floats in the glass for a good while. Black body with miniscule amounts of ruby light slivers coming through the edges.

S: Sweet ripe fruit, banana, raisin

T: Dark chocolate and coffee grinds, raisin-like sweetness, finishes with the bitterness of dark/espresso roasted coffee

M: Thick barleywine-like mouthfeel

D: This is a slow drinking beer. Slowly sip and enjoy.

Wish I had this a few months back during the cold weather. I'll have to revisit this next winter.

Photo of moklett
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with an almost purple tinge and 3 fingers of caramel-colored head. Smells of coffee, caramel, and grapes (reminds me of something like a shiraz from the wine world). Tastes unlike it smells. I taste wood and oak, although the coffee and caramel is still present. High marks for mouthfeel - it is creamy and lingers nicely. The alcohol is masked nicely - especially at first - but it becomes more present as the beer warms. Overall, a nice representation of the style but not astounding.

Photo of Lupin
4.87/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My third tasting of this brew. 12oz bottle kept at standard fridge temperature. Rasputin's hypnotic techniques have reined me in. I love this brew, but I can only take one in at a time.

Pours an utterly opaque black coffee. I violently throw the last 5 ounces or so in to coax out a 1"+ roasted sandy head. Minor lacing at the top of the glass. Easily the best smelling brew I have ever sampled.

The taste is utterly dominated by a raw, dark chocolate. There is no other way to describe it. It even leaves the same dry feeling on your tongue that a bar of any dark chocolate will provide. Bitter bitter bittersweet.

I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who likes beer and coffee or beer and chocolate of any type. I warned my dad, who loves dark chocolate, that he'd better drink the bottle I offered him that night or else it was liable to disappear from the fridge. My willpower is such that the same bottle has just been reviewed.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 11,054 ratings.