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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
95
world-class

3,512 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,512
Hads: 11,231
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 482
Gots: 2,274 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,512 | Hads: 11,231
Photo of BigTuna
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin pours incredibly dark, almost in an unappealing fashion. You couldn't look through this beer if you had x-ray vision. Appearance hardly ever affects my rating, but this looked like earthworm mud. The smell is also a bit underwhelming. Dark chocolate with a hint of raisin, but it doesn't offer up the complexity of smells I've had from other exceptional RIS. The taste makes up for the smell though. I got waves of dark chocolate and coffee with a bitter (almost hoppy?) finish. Delicious.

Overall, a GREAT beer but I was just slightly underwhelmed. (564 characters)

Photo of The_Kings_Quart
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Luscious dark brown with ZERO light coming through. 1.5 fingers of head with good retention, and legs that could hold up a table.

S: Decadence. Rich chocolate and molasses notes take the foreground with just a touch of nuttiness on the periphery. Strong blast of the alcohol here, but that could be the snifter talking.

T: Strong burnt quality up front that transitions seamlessly to malts, malts, and malts. The sweetness is cut nicely by the alcohol and everything just comes together beautifully. Synergy is a word that comes to mind.

MF: I could savor this goodness all day long. This is my ideal when it comes to carbonation level and thickness. Bold enough to be called an Russian Imperial, but not heavy and syrupy like so many I've tried have been. This is how it should be done.

O: I don't know what I love more; how delicious this beer is, or how it's freaking EVERYWHERE. This is more than a beer. It's a testament that good things can be right in your backyard or, in this case, Trader Joe's. A perennial favorite that's gotten me through many cold winter nights. (1,082 characters)

Photo of Slammy
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours an opaque, deep brown-black with a 1/2 caramel head that dissipates relatively quickly. There is some lacing, but it is not very pronounced.

S - Toffe, burnt caramel, dark roasted coffee beans, the smell of a wheat field right before harvest.

T - Surprising taste of citrus on the first sip, which is not that present on subsequent sips. Wonderful dried wheat notes with a mild alcohol finish. Definitely not a sweet beer, but well balanced with some slight bitterness toward the end.

M - Strong carbonation on the tip of the tongue quickly turns into a creamy feel. On the more viscous side, but certainly not as thick as some in the same genre.

O - I wanted a rich, complex beer for this mid-November evening and this did the trick. While it's not the best Russian Imperial Stout that I have tasted, it is worth of its reputation and well worth trying. I'll probably buy this again in the future.

Notes: Poured from a 12 oz bottle. 4-pack of 12oz bought for $8.99 in Oregon. (993 characters)

Photo of WSGosset
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep black, nearly opaque with a finger-and-a-half of light tan head which recedes fairly quickly. Nice lacing around the edges.

S: Dark roasted malt with more than a hint of booze.

T: Imperial indeed! While not totally out of control, this beer's gravity is readily apparent, giving it a little bit of a cough syrup-like quality. Surprisingly bitter, though, as with many imperial stouts, I suspect this beer isn't short on hops. The bite of the alcohol and the hops begin to mellow out as the beer warms a bit.

M: Very smooth, almost slippery. Not too heavy.

O: Though this really is a very solid beer, the taste is a little on the boozy side compared to, say, Narwhal which I tend to like a bit more. (712 characters)

Photo of Luminol
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Stout glass.

A: Pitch black with four fingers of brownish-white head. Head retention is fairly decent.

S: Smells of roasted coffee and mild hops. Maybe a bit of fruit.

T: Tastes of burned/roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and grapes. The grape flavor is similar to a red wine type of flavor. The beer has a nice malt that connects all the flavors together. It maybe has a touch of hops but not too much. It's also not too bitter and not very dry. Pretty sweet overall especially since it has a 9% ABV

M: This is pretty thick. It also has a smooth mouth-feel and has little to no carbonation.

O: Amazing! Easily one of the best beers I've ever tasted. It's a very flavorful and complex beer. It is also very balanced with the flavors yet still allowing for the distinct flavors to come out with the taste. (837 characters)

Photo of TofuDC5
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Like any stout, this one is pitch black; opaque. quite frothy beer head; medium

S: Dark, bitter-sweet chocolate with hint of bourbon. Whiff of alcohol.

T: Semi-sweet, dark chocolate on the tongue. Bitter taste in the throat. Lingering alcoholic after taste. Chocolate flavor dissipates fairly quickly and doesn't last long.

M: Light carbonation. bitter sensation and after taste. medium-bodied compared to other stouts I've had.

O: Not really my stout of preference, although nothing too negative. What threw me off was the overly bitter and alcoholic flavor which offset the chocolate. Would have liked aroma and taste to have been more prominent. (656 characters)

Photo of lpgarcia8
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Probably my favorite beer. Great taste, nice, dark, rich, light hop, coffee/chocolate taste. Awesome name, awesome brewery. Really high aclohol content. I would reccomend this beer to anyone, and I do all the time. Have quickly converted all my friends to it. Pretty expensive but worth every penny. (299 characters)

Photo of James773
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with a thin brown head. Most of the darker beers I've tried had very intense flavors of dark fruits and overpowering aromas, so I was surprised that this one wasn't so strong at first. The bitterness is very obvious but not unpleasant, and as you sip you can taste more coffee and dark bread flavors. Mouthfeel is not too thick, good for the taste. Definitely recommended. (388 characters)

Photo of Slamms
4.75/5  rDev +11%

The brothers say, "not for the faint of heart", but for this style, remarkably easy drinking, as all the wood, chocolate, coffee, etc is mitigated by an overall delicate refinement, belied by the chunky head clearly visible through the dark bottle. Really, the overriding aftertaste is something of fruit, though the bitterness is pronounced as well, the hops probably preserving the taste, as it tastes like it was bottled yesterday. But the bitterness as with everything is perfectly calibrated, not too much, not too little. So much more refined and unobtrusive, than say Guinness, but ironically more intense than Guinness (how does that work). Hard to fathom how something this perfectly calibrated originated in America. (731 characters)

Photo of wguy14
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass revealing a 1 finger head with good retention and lacing. The color was a very dark brown, almost black. The smell was heavy with roasted nodes. I also noticed a decent amount of coffee and a little chocolate in the smell. The mouth feel was great with a nice chew and I found this beer to be very filling. Everything you want in a good imperial stout. The taste was no surprise. A lot of roasted malts and some coffee. I would not have guessed it was 9%. I would have loved to have more sweetness come through along with the other tastes. Overall this beer was very good. Everything I expected from this imperial stout. (645 characters)

Photo of Johnquisssssssy
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice thick oatmeal head onto a dark opaque brown nearly black. Nice lacing. I have had this on nitro as well as from bottle, as it is here. At first I felt I picked up almost a marshmallow/caramel aroma on the nose but that dissipated; It's a nice chocolate/coffee with only a hint of smoke. Everything is relatively subtle for a big beer like this; not overly sweet or smokey or boozy. Pretty much spot on for what you want in a impy stout. (441 characters)

Photo of hrockefeller
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought bottle at Northside Indianapolis Kahn's as my introduction to the imperial stout style. I have had quite a few stouts, but this is my first review as I felt I should develop my tastes a little first.

Appearance: Opaque black, with a 1/2" head on initial pour. Head dissipates rather quickly into a thin layer that clings slightly to the glass.

Smell: Complex smell that is heavy with alcohol ( I realize this states the obvious a bit when the brew is 9% ABV). Other dominant scents include chocolate and coffee. Hints of fruity smells including raisins. Very toasty/bready.

Taste: Wow! The presence of alcohol does not seem to be as dominant with the taste as it was with the smell, allowing the other flavors to make their presence known. The toastiness and chocolate really come out at this point with a nice balance of hop flavor that allows for a somewhat dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, leaves my taste buds craving more.

Drinkability: If it wasn't for the high alcohol content, I think I could easily make this a session beer. Leaves a clean, dry feeling that prepares you for the next drink.

This has instantly become one of my favorite beers. I was a little unsure, as I am somewhat partial to milk/sweet stouts. However, if this example is any indication of what to expect, imperial stouts may just take their rightful place on the throne. (1,379 characters)

Photo of moklett
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
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. (503 characters)

Photo of VelvetMonkey
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this from the bottle into a pint glass.

A--It pours thick and coffee-black, rising into a very creamy beige head one half-inch thick. The head is so creamy it reminds me of the crema on a a well-poured cup of esspresso. Retained a good head through the entire glass and left residual rings, as well. Friggin' beautiful.

S--Sweet malty smell with strong alcohol that leads to a slightly anise smell.

T--Strong but not atringent tast of bitter-sweet chocolate finishing ever-so-slightly sweet. The rich taste remains for some time. To me, this would be a wonderful after-dinner beer. A good dessert substitute.

M--A full rich and creamy swallow. Can't ask for more.

D--It's a rich brew--one or two, and I'm more than satisfied.

This is a seriously great imperial stout. I can't think of a better version. (832 characters)

Photo of socalde
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Dark mahogany with a light lace and a head that slightly lingers atop the brew. When held up to the light this brew is ebony with a hint of reddish-brown at the edges.

Smell- First thing I noticed was a bit of hoppiness followed by an overwhelming aroma of malt with a hint of sweetness (maybe chocolate?)

Mouthfeel- Creamy, lightly carbonated.

Taste- Delectable. Sweet malt taste but with a hoppy undertone. Aftertaste is delightfully malty and dark. Chocolate comes to mind when I drink this beer, as with any fine stout.

Drinkabilty- Surprisingly drinkable considering the 9% ABV label. Easier to sip compared to other brews of this calibur.

This beer holds it's own when compared to other stouts in it's league. Give this one a try if it is available to you. You will not be sorry! (813 characters)

Photo of mjrtoo
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the absolute best when it comes to a Russian Imperial Stout being brewed in the US today.

It pours deep black with a good dark brown head....I give up, it's too hard to describe this complex stout, I'll leave that to others. Just buy it, drink it, and enjoy it!

Be careful, its alcohol content is high for a very smooth taste, not a bit of booze on this palate.

Thanks North Coast! (392 characters)

Photo of sanjosey19
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh so smooth. Pours nice and thick with a caramel colored head that dissipates fast. Smells like you would expect it to, roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. Mouthfeel is great, so nice and smooth, not too carbonated. Some alcohol taste present, but still very drinkable. Overall, this tastes like a very good RIS, but the quality lies in how well is drinks. One of my favorites. I got to go to the brewery in Fort Bragg CA, and had four of these with dinner...amazing. (469 characters)

Photo of dbmata
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a phenomenal beer. Have had it many times, it is by far best on tap. You get a far sweeter flavor profile from the draught then you do from the bottle. The bottle gives a slightly more bitter and toastier flavor.

Appearance: Black as night, perfectly stouty.
Smell: Biscuity and toasty. You can smell the slight bitterness from the dark malts.
Taste: Bitter, dark, toasty and a small chocolate nib flavor. Nice malt backbone, and a slight but non-descript bitter from the hops.
Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, as it should be. Perfect mouthfeel, coats your mouth and doesn't let you forget it.
Overall: Great beer, one of my favorites. Have had it many times and draught is best. It is the model of a RIS, and holds up well to extended aging. (746 characters)

Photo of dogfishhead1117
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite all time stouts. As a big fan of this type of beer, this one takes the cake.

Pours slowly with little carbonation and a beautiful black color capped with a rich, mocha colored, frothy head.

The smell is really complex, hints of brown sugars and burnt grain infused with chocolate and some great malts and definately some coffee.

Taste is fantastic. Goes down very easy, despite its being 9%abv, and the chocolate undertones and rich grains really make this one a treat. The coffee infusion is present in the aftertaste. It's a cult classic for a reason and remains one of the best RIS' of all time. (630 characters)

Photo of Rick187
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours thick and black with a tiny tan head.

Sweet. Chocolate, coffee and maybe some kind of dark fruit.

Well all the smells are in the beer. Chocolate, coffee and some kind of sweet dark fruit.

Medium to full bodied, good carbonation. Goes down easier then I was expecting giving how thick it poured.

I don't think I could drink more then 2 of these on a very ambitious night. But definitely a good tasting beer. (416 characters)

Photo of thrash420
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the only beer I would ever give a perfect score to. Never before has such a masterpiece been crafted. It is said that one even gains intelligence from drinking this wonderful brew.

A: Oh man the waiter brought me a schooner of motor oil again, atop sat an inch of thick tan head. As I sipped, it laced amazingly. When the whole 16oz was gone, it was still laced head to toe like a magnificent art piece.

S: Deep roasted hops with caramel and coffee aromas with light spices filled my senses, followed by a barely noticeable alcohol smell. It was delectable and made my mouth water.

T: Given the alcohol content and other imperials I've had, I expected a much more bitter harsher taste. This was quite the opposite, it was smooth and delicious, very easy to drink and enjoy. An amateur beer drinker could enjoy this just as much as our seasoned vets.

M: This would have only felt better in my mouth if it was vagina. It wasnt sticky, wasn't too thick nor too thin. It was perfect, absolutely perfect.

Overall: 100/100. 2 thumbs up. Worlds most perfect beer in this category (1,086 characters)

Photo of sugeknight6289
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into standard pint glass.

Appearance:
Pours black with nice carbonation. The brown head bubbles then turn to a delicious fluff. No light is able to be seen through this baby. No alochol legs apparent.

Aroma:
Reeks of chocolate, hints of coffee with that thick molasses and dark fruits. Slight hops also play throughout. That nice rich, familiar RIS smell. Reminds me of a Stone IRS.

Taste:
Hop biterness roles in the front of the tongue followed by dark chocolate/coffee. The flavors meld together well but it almost seems like the hop over power the rich flavors in the background.

Mouthfeel:
Creamy, with medium carbonation. The biterness plays down the throat but is smoothed over the dark flavors of slight fruit, chocolate and coffee.

Overall:
With such an afforable and just price, I will be picking this brew up again in the future, just not going out of my way to seek it out. (903 characters)

Photo of messyhair42
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: poured into a Boulevard snifter. Very dark ruby with three fingers of head that quickly fade into a thin lacing.

S: Caramelized sugar, dark chocolate, and grilled meats

T: Roasty, chocolate. This beer has a lot of hops among RIS but the balance of malty to bitter is so well maintained that the hops don't have a flavor so much as add to the whole experience. The 9% alcohol is completely masked, if I didn't know better I'd session this beer.

M: Not sticking to the roof of my mouth, but the flavor says it could be. lots of bubbles.

O: Fantastic, the best example of a RIS I've ever had. also very affordable for the RIS category. This beer is a treat as much as it is a beer that I could enjoy everyday. (713 characters)

Photo of timherremans
3.19/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Could not find a best buy date, it is possible this case contained older, past date stouts?

appearance - Poured into a goblet at about 50 degrees F. Dark beige colored large head. Dissipated very slowly. Lacing was near perfection. A dark deep black stout with only a slight notice of brown hues on the edge. Looks very nice.

smell - Alcohol, yeast, roasted malt. In that order. Overall the aroma is not that apparent and I had to take many deep sniffs. And couldn't make out that much going on with it.

taste - Alcohol is upfront. I can hardly taste the malt, alcohol does not subside, all the way to the finish. It does seem to mask the complexity that this beer possibly has. That leaves me sort of questioning the flavors.

mouthfeel - Low carbonation and quite smooth. the low c02 works well for this stout. Not too thin, a little chewy.

overall - I am not sure if it is this batch but it does not have that much flavor. It does seem like mine were pretty damn potent and above 9% ABV. Not sure if that is even possible. I just found this stout, good for a nice buzz but the flavors just were not there. I probably wouldn't buy it again. I have had another beer (Belgian golden ale) from North Coast called the "Pranqster" and that one is delicious. (1,258 characters)

Photo of CTbeerboy
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- This brew pours a deep chocolate without about 1.5-2 fingers of khaki head that disappears quite quickly.
S- You get lots of dark roasty espresso and coffe notes. Tan leather and dark chocolate cake come to mind as well. There is definitely a smokiness in the background as well that plays really nice.
T- Dry, almost spiky on the front of the tongue on my first few sips. This soon mellows out and you really get the espresso and chocolate notes on the back of the tonge. There are some nice dark fruit notes (maybe plum or black cherry) in the center palate.
M- Very dry and lingers long after the beer has gone down your throat.
O- Overall, this is a very good (and popular) Russian Imperial Stout that is quite easy to find everywhere. It smells good, tastes great and is definitely worth pursuing. (805 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,512 ratings.