Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 9,431 | Reviews: 3,332 | Display Reviews Only:
4.15/5 rDev -3.5%
Served in a GameWorks shaker pint glass.
Thanks to VDubb86 for another shot at this brew!
This bottle served as a coda to our Hallowe'en mini-tasting. It pours a nice onyx topped by a finger of light tan/dark ecru foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, toasted rye bread, pumpernickel, and a light flash of molasses. The taste is nearly identical, though heavier on the roasted malts. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a somewhat thick and chewy feel. Overall, a very nice bit o' stout, one that drinks way the hell too easily for its (and my) own good.
11-02-2010 01:23:49 | More by TMoney2591
4.5/5 rDev +4.7%
A - Pours out black with a two-finger, mocha colored head. It left a little lacing.
S - It smelled very chocolaty and malty.
T - It tasted of raosted malts and chocolate. It also had a slight bitter coffee-like taste. An interesting contrast between the sweet chocolate flavors and the bitter coffee.
M - Very soft and smooth. It is a heavy beer.
D - It is a very good stout. It is very powerful in terms of ABV, which is a slight drawback. I wanted to have many more but two was my limit.
08-13-2006 04:31:48 | More by zeff80
4.38/5 rDev +1.9%
Nitro-tap, served in a tulip glass.
Appearance: Pitch-black with a huge, dense and frothy nitro head.
Smell: Dark chocolate and burnt grains.
Taste & mouthfeel: Unbelievably rich and creamy. Baker's chocolate, espresso, toast and chocolate pudding. Hops are very much present in the finish, providing a balancing bitterness.
Drinkability: Not necessarily sessionable, but as close as I've found in an imperial stout. Despite the high ABV, this is incredibly smooth and drinkable.
07-16-2007 23:17:52 | More by largadeer
4.13/5 rDev -4%
12oz bottle. Is the titular seer divining something with his hand, or merely wiping his brow?
This beer pours a deep, dark black abyss, with a slight hint of red cola at the edges, and then only when held to direct light, and a head that comes in at about two pudgy fingers of puffy, creamy, and fizzy beigeness, which leaves a solid ring of jagged sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.
It smells strongly of bittersweet chocolate, dry coffee beans, toasty caramel malt, ripe black fruit, earthy, leafy hops, and a slight metallic alcohol astringency. The taste is bitter dark chocolate, toasted caramel biscuits, roasted, and sort of charred coffee, a heavy, yet dry plum and date fruitiness, gritty molasses, and a small, insidiously innocuous alcohol twang.
The carbonation is on the low side, just a low-key frothiness apparent, the body big, dense, and smooth, in a simmeringly menacing sort of manner. It finishes off-dry, some retreating chocolate and settling hop notes closing things out - the booze warming continues its charade of being barely noticeable (ok, 'very well integrated').
A pretty stellar RIS, the chocolate, malt, fruit, and booze all playing nice like there was no revolution in sight, just yer typical drunken dalliances with the tsarina. Oh yes, old Grigori would indeed be proud.
09-19-2009 03:18:49 | More by biboergosum
4.43/5 rDev +3%
Old Rasputin is not as dark as many other Imperial stouts, with luminous dark mahogany highlights beneath its creamy yellowed-tan head. And it's head retention leaves a bit to be desired as well. It does leave some thin lace, however, which is nice. And what it lacks in appearance it makes up for in aroma. It's slightly vinous with some yeasty fruitiness coming through the maltiness, followed by a touch of dark chocolate, espresso, and a waft of hops. It's quite slick, and a touch creamy, across the palate with a full body and a restrained, natural carbonation. The yeasty fruitiness carries through into the flavor with notes of prunes, plums, and berries; all backed by a massive assult of malt that offers espresso, burnt black coffee, dark caramel, and the suggestion of molasses as well as a pinch of brown sugar. It finishes with some resinous hops and a drip of black licorice before fading into a long, very dry finish. Quite nice!
04-21-2005 22:09:16 | More by NeroFiddled
4.13/5 rDev -4%
Pours a dark color that very little light comes through, giving an almost purplish hue. Nose is malty and slightly sweet with a roasted coffee edge. Taste is thick with barely a touch of sweetness. Mouthfeel is thick, but smooth. Even at 9%, it's very drinkable. Another smooth brew by North Coast.
12-30-2007 06:29:46 | More by RblWthACoz
4.4/5 rDev +2.3%
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.
A: The beer is a deep dark black color, with a thin tan head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.
S: It has a very rich aroma of dark chocolate and roasted malt.
T: The taste is creamy & malty with flavors of roasted coffee, dark chocolate and caramelized malt. For a beer with 9.00% ABV you sure wouldn't know it. The dark chocolate flavor comes out a little more.
M: Very, very smooth, low-to-medium carbonation, medium-to-heavy body, finish is kind of sticky.
D: Very tasty, quite easy-to-drink, not as filling as other beers in the style, this is a beer that can be a sipper or a pounder, even if the ABV creeps up on you. I think this beer is an excellent representation of style and definitely one of the better RIS's that I've had.
10-22-2006 05:39:04 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.58/5 rDev +6.5%
A - Opaque black body with a large, thick and creamy khaki colored head that possesses exceptional staying power.
S - Spicy, velvety aroma of hops combined with dark, chocolate malt. Slight floral notes and a bit of coffee and caramel.
T - Begins with smooth, mouth coating hop bitterness, quickly followed by roasted malt flavors of coffee, charcoal, and roast barley and a nice sweet note right in the middle. Strong dark grain bitterness and moderate alcohol warmth in the finish with lingering notes of dark caramel, smoke, and perhaps a bit of tobacco.
M - Smooth fairly thick body with moderately low carbonation. There is some astringency from the grain and hops, but much less than you might expect.
D - This is a beer to slowly sip and savour as the dark flavors only truly show themselves when the beer begins to warm. It is immensely enjoyable, though I would not want more than one in a sitting. The most remarkable aspect is the long, complex finish; it is reminiscent of a good cigar more than any other beer I have experienced. I had the last of the glass with a few pieces of dark, bittersweet chocolate; it was a nice match and had the interesting effect of bringing the hop character of the beer to the front.
09-16-2007 07:24:27 | More by nickfl
4.7/5 rDev +9.3%
First introduced to this one early on in my beer advocacy, feels good to return to an old friend. Appearance: Pours deep viscous black toned deep purple ruby highlights full tan two finger sized head perfect looking beer, oh so nice with perfect evenly laced foam. Aroma: Deep cocoa, espresso infused, undertones of alcohol infused fruit along with a great bready sweet malt tone this is one awesome imperial stout in my opinion it sets the bar. Taste: Wow complex swirling spiral of flavor alcohol infused fruit, doses of hardcore strong coffee notes, and dark chocolate playing the tie the flavors together predominantly bitter from the dark roasts there are some hops evident in the flavor. Creamy balanced mix of so many flavors works so well, gotta love the Ol' Raspy. Mouthfeel: Full bodied syrupy goodness of massive flavors this is one extraordinary beer, a must try. Drinkability: No questions as to it's placement on the top 50 beer list, this one does it so well remaining amazingly drinkable and flavorful is the key for an Imperial stout not cloying in anyway and you yearn for another one the glass is empty that's what it's all about.
10-19-2003 19:06:14 | More by WVbeergeek
4.53/5 rDev +5.3%
Bought a 4 pack today, decided to re-review to see how this compares to the dozens of RIS I've tried since 05:
I stand by original ratings with the following exceptions: Take a appearance down to 4.0 head retention & lacing are good not great. Taste 4.5; depth of flavor isn't quite as good as I remember... & Mouth feel seems much thinner than I recall. Still a benchmark for the style that delivers awesome value for $ taste-wise!!
Pours almost pitch black (when held to intense light goes mahogany to purple) with a whipped up tan bubbly head, Great head retention and insane lacing, a feast for the the dark beer lover's eyes.
Smell: Coffee, chocolate and licorice notes, with alcohol and roasted malts lurking in the background.
Taste: Some fruitiness, then bam! Burnt coffee taste, chocolate, molasses, hops/grainy bitterness &alcohol.
MF: Chunky, silky and just hits the marks.
Great winter-time beer that has been lapped by others in in hoppiness and abv, but not drinkability IMHO
12-27-2005 06:06:58 | More by russpowell
4.05/5 rDev -5.8%
I picked up a four-pack at Whole Foods recently. This is one of those Top 100 beers that I've had plenty of times but never took the time to review. Served in a Surly pint glass.
A - Pours with a finger of light mocha foam that dissipates to a thin haze. Body is black with the faintest glint of red-brown at the fringes of the glass. There are a few fingers of lace left behind as the beer slowly disappears from my glass.
S - Dark roasted malt, dark fruits, dark chocolate, light caramel, and maybe a bit of salty soy. There's actually a bit of light floral hoppiness to it as well - guessing this was a relatively fresh batch.
T - The taste has a lot of roast bitterness to it, accentuated by espresso and dark chocolate notes. There are some floral hop and licorice notes as well. Verges on burnt and acrid, as there isn't much balancing sweetness. Maybe a bit of alcohol here too. Bitterness lingers well into the aftertaste.
M - Too much harsh carbonation - I remember this being much better on nitro. The body is gritty, then chewy. Body is viscous and full, and finishes a little bit heavy.
D - I'm don't think I'd have more than one of these in a session. The first half of the beer went down pretty quick, but the carbonation bloat and burnt flavors got a little overwhelming after that. Think I'll stick to the nitro from now on.
04-19-2010 21:40:15 | More by MasterSki
4.45/5 rDev +3.5%
On tap at the Capital Ale House (Richmond, VA).
Pours a deep black with just the smallest amount of red highlights around the bottom and a thin creamy tan head that retained beautifully and left thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is thick with notes of chocolate, deep roasted malts, dark fruits and hop bitterness.
The flavor profile is deep with chocolate sweetness, espresso notes, and dark fruit tartness. The real highlight of this beer though is the combo of burnt and hop bitterness that pervades throughout. A honestly think that this beer almost achieves a perfect balance of the sweet and bitter. The mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy with just a touch of warmth. That 10.5% is insanely hidden, making for a most smooth and drinkable experience.
IMO, Old Rasputin is one of the most underrated beers on the market right now. Just packed with all the flavors you would want in an RIS but in one hugely drinkable package. Plus you can usually find some fantastic prices on this at the store. For the money, one of the best beers on the market.
02-10-2008 23:02:48 | More by Kegatron
4.85/5 rDev +12.8%
An old, old favorite that I've been loyal to since my very first sip.
Huge, cocoa-colored head, properly boisterous and fizzy. Phenomenally aromatic: all the regulars for this style and more are here in attendance--cocoa, coffee, toffee, nuts. Very mellow, despite the flavor and strength. Perfectly black in color, fantastic texture: thick and chewy, but not overly so.
This is a great accompaniament for any meal, particularly rich and spicy food. I'd compliment the finish, but it never stops! The flavor sticks in your mouth forever, it seems. One of the finest stouts in all the universe.
12-07-2002 14:05:31 | More by feloniousmonk
4.2/5 rDev -2.3%
"A dear friend is not to be found instantly."
OK, I'll finally review this beer. I've had this on draft, in the bottle, aged, fresh, on cask, under nitro, this particular incarnation is a relatively new bottle. Poured into a snifter.
Beer is black and forms a 1 finger head of brown medium bubbles. Head leaves lacing on the glass. Carbonation is a mystery. Looks good for an RIS. BTW, I love the label of this beer.
Aroma is slightly sweet with some roast, overall its a little weak.
Full bodied and really smooth. Nice roast character at the back some sweetness up front. Coffee and roast. Finishes cleanly but there is a lingering bitterness. Nice palate connectivity, carbonation adds body but not any sourness. Overall its a wonderful beer. As far as availability and price, its hard to miss out on Old Raspy.
03-19-2010 03:48:21 | More by drabmuh
4.7/5 rDev +9.3%
I had this at Teresa's Next door on Nitro at the Beer Geek brunch, Served chilled in a large snifter
A - Deep black, opaque like a black hole w/ 2 fingers of whipped chocolate mousse for a head.
S- Slight port aroma, deep plum, tobacco, cocoa, vanilla, coffee and caaramel
M - Lots of creaminess in the feel w/ smooth vanilla and spice. Lots of charred malt textures w/ mild sweetness in the finish and mild alcohol accent
T - Bitter cocoa, dark toffee, french pressed french roast coffee, caramel and high amounts of vanilla flavor-earthy bean like elements. A dark brown sugar, molasses and cocoa mix w/ mild caramel, dark plum fruit notes and hints of roasted barley. There is the taste of dark rum as the alchohol is present in the finish, with mild sweetness at around room temp.
D - Well brewed RIS w/ nitro usage I actually enjoyed. I am not normally a fan of the Nitro, but in this stout it is fantastic, Old Rasputin is a top -notch ale any way you cut it.
08-25-2009 17:08:00 | More by Slatetank
4.78/5 rDev +11.2%
On tap at Armsby Abbey
A: Big thick and slow fading head dark almost black with touch of molases color
N: Nose has lots of chocolate and oatmeal and touch of alcohol
T: Taste is very complex and starts with thick dark chocolate and slight oats with a strong alcohol, some sweet caramel and touch of dark fruit like fig, a slight chalkiness cuts through as well but is followed with a slight creamy banana
M: Mouth is very thick and creamy and coats the whole mouth
F: Finish has a nice hop character, it finishes slightly sweet like molases, a touch of spice, and more alcohol, stout, and chocolate linger for a while
Final thoughts: This is one, if not the most, favorite stout of mine. I love how rich, thick and dark it is. Some hop character and chocolate as well as fruits like fig and banana. It's really complex, an experience in itself.
08-04-2009 01:05:16 | More by jlindros
3.73/5 rDev -13.3%
well hidden alcohol for an imperial. pours deep brown like dark chocolate and mildly carbonated with a mocha head only half an inch thick. smells imperial. strong, roasty, and complex. powerful taste just a little bitter from the roast. genuine russian imperial, probably the definitiion of the style, all grainy and boozey. yummm, but i coudnt drink the whole four pack, no chance
12-11-2011 06:25:33 | More by StonedTrippin
4/5 rDev -7%
The beer pours a deep black color with a thick dark brown head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It is full of black and chocolate malts; very aromatic. The taste is good. It's quite complex and full of dark and roasted malts. It has a nice black/chocolate flavor. The moutheel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking beer; a fine imperial stout.
03-12-2004 23:12:56 | More by WesWes
4.33/5 rDev +0.7%
First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ
A very good stout, along the lines of Guinness' extra. Plus Rasputin is on the bottle. Pours a dark brown-black with a finger of tan head that recedes to a fine layer of lace. Heavy dark malt aroma, chocolate and coffee notes. Roasty taste of dark malts, coffee, dark chocolate, with hints of licorice, tobacco, raisins, and brown sugar. A bite of bitterness and alcohol in the finish. Smooth, strong, and a very tasty drink.
05-22-2011 17:35:53 | More by Rifugium
4.28/5 rDev -0.5%
Pint served at the Fort Worth Gingerman.
The beer pours black with a tan head. The aroma is roasted malt with some chocolate and alcohol. The flavor is awesome. I get notes of chocolate. roasted malt, alcohol and some piney hops, which contribute a medium level of bitterness. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.
07-08-2010 05:28:24 | More by Mora2000
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,431 ratings.