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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

9,027 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,027
Reviews: 3,317
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 243
Gots: 954 | FT: 31
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: 9,027 | Reviews: 3,317 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TequilaSauer
TequilaSauer

Florida

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The mere definition of a bargain RIS, Old Rasputin has been satisfying my dark beer cravings for years. I figured I might as well go ahead and review it.

It's a beautiful looking stout, about as perfect as it gets. Light head retention sitting atop an abyss of black nothing.

Smell is nice, milk chocolate and toffee dominate with little else to report. Good, not great.

Attacks with a creamy chocolate pudding that lingers pleasantly on the palette for quite some time. There's a slight alcohol tinge but it only adds to the deliciousness. Eventually, the chocolate fades into a smooth hoppiness with a slightly smokey finish. It's not the most complex stout in the world, but it's intense, yet pleasant and elegant. It is the perfect late night, after-dinner stout, in my opinion.

It's a silky, magnificent brew that always delights the senses and never offends. It's not a beer you could drink one after the other, but it's one that is always worth having in the fridge. Old Rasputin is in a word, essential.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2009 00:11:30 | More by TequilaSauer
Photo of krisandajt
krisandajt

Pennsylvania

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

Appearance: Pours a think, almost syrupy black with about an inch of thick bubbly head. Very nice retention with little lacing.

Smell: Sweet chocolate and coffee. As the beer warms, the smell of roasted malts really comes out.

Taste: A nice roasted sweetness dominates, followed by subtle hints of chocolate and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, almost creamy in texture. A mild carbonation leaves a slight tingle on the tongue.

Drinkability: One of the easiest drinking imperial stouts I've ever had. Very smooth and tasty with no single flavor dominating the other. I will absolutely pick myself up some more of this.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2009 16:04:18 | More by krisandajt
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a beautiful black, with a lovely cascade ascending into 3/4 inch of dark tan head that had excellent retention and left a moderate amount of lacing.

Rich roasted malt aromas greet the nose, without the annoying coffee notes so often found in brews of this type. Those deep scents translate into a glorious flavor on the tongue. Nothing exotic, edgy, radical or extreme, just the exact stout experience you're looking for.

The body is wonderfully full, smooth, textured and coats the tongue like a well-worn jacket. Easily drinkable, this is one of the big stouts I have several of in a row. Truly a world-class brew, if this is not available locally it's certainly worth much effort to obtain it by whatever means at your disposal.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-01-2009 21:30:37 | More by beertunes
Photo of adamette
adamette

Ohio

4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. stubby bottle that I purchased as a single at Cost Plus World Market for about $2.50 into my Murphy's Irish Red pint glass. I was really looking forward to trying this beer that I previously had on nitro-tap.

A Surprisingly little to no head despite a moderately vigorous pour in which I was trying to get a head. Body is absolutely black, letting almost no light through. I liked the look of the nitro version better which is likely the more recommended way to pour this beer.

S Dark malt, chocolate and even alcohol to the nose. I really love this smell!

T Yep, that is great! The greatest combination of dark malt, chocolate, alcohol and even some hops tastes in a classic, expertly produced beer.

M Creamy, but no carbonation made it a bit flat (see comments about lack of head). The MUCH creamier nitro-tap version solved that issue with a great, creamy feel and carbonation that stays with you all of the way through.

D Great. Really, for a style that does not lend itself to heavy drinkability, I looked down and I could not believe that I only had 1/4 of it left.

Notes: Seek out the nitro-tap for a full experience.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2009 23:48:51 | More by adamette
Photo of ThatWineGuy
ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

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

Purchased in March at Premier Gourmet, Buffalo, no BB date ... this probably never expires anyway. Opaque black, half finger mocha-tan head with some slow moving bubbles at the edges observed under a bright light. Head shrunk slowly to a cloudy, wispy inter-connected cluster of small bubble centres spread about the perimeter. Sheet lacing and an overall creamy appearance remained. Sure looks promising!

Smell of dark chocolate, baker's chocolate with associated bitterness, toast, cocoa and with air some chocolate cake with icing aroma. Sufficiently complex, all of it good. The taste is a rich strong coffee and dark chocolate blend with coffee bean astngency in the finish, the middle being dry and bitter but nicely balanced. Dense mouthfeel with substantial body, smooth creamy texture. With air and warming, this RIS was more astringent, chocolate wafer aromas emerged, a swirl quickly regenerated life in the glass.

Like all RIS, this is not meant for quaffing or casual imbibing but rather to be sipped and savoured. This is a very good example of the style and in league with the big boys. A must try.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2009 16:19:56 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of callmescraps
callmescraps

Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not always my favorite style, but I see this guy around all the time and finally decided to give it a bid.

Appearance - Black. Ok, maybe just very, very, very dark brown. Pretty much black. An inch of mocha head hangs around and laces nicely. Looks like a winner.

Smell - Lots of dark fruits. Cherries and chocolate come first. There is almost a prune thing going on. Lots of chocolate and roast malt. A hint of smoke.

Taste - Follows the smell. Lots of chocolate and cherry up front. There is a lot of roast on the finish. Honestly, it seems a little thin. Just sort of sits there in the middle. Almost some tart fruit randomly in there, which is unsettling.

Mouthfeel - Decidedly thin. Just not luxurious enough. Almost watery. Eh.

Drinkability - Not bad, but that might be because it doesn't seem to have enough working. The roast follows unpleasantly.

This is a fine beer. Pretty good, but not doing anything special for me. Quite disappointed with the body. Otherwise, it's a very good bang for your buck, but it's not the worst idea to spend a few more bucks.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2009 04:31:51 | More by callmescraps
Photo of david18
david18

New York

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

Tried this one a few times and I like it a lot. Not as great as some say it is but a very good imperial stout. I'm not sure what the difference between a Russian Imperial Stout and and American Imperial stout is (I think american has more hops) but this is one you should get if you can find it. Also, comes in 12oz bottles so if you don't like it you don't have as much to worry about.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2009 18:55:48 | More by david18
Photo of magine
magine

Pennsylvania

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

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a black brew with a deep tan fluffy head that sits thinly atop the brew. Minimal lacing.

This brew has a great robust smell; chocolate, roasted malts, some citrus hops.

This brew tastes big and roasted; chocolate taste with a nice hop kick. Has a thick creamy mouthfeel. Has some tart fruit tastes in there as well. Finishes very smooth and balanced, leaves a tad bit of stickyness on the tongue - excellent.

This a damn fine Russian Imperial Stout - one of the finest I have had. A drinkable, delicious tasting brew. The alcohol presence is there but is blended rather nicely. Very nice brew - a sipper and savor brew, not a session type. Damn fine.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2009 01:24:17 | More by magine
Photo of prosper
prosper

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a very, very dark brown. Not quite black, but opaque still. Frothy tan head, good retention, lots of lace. Nice cascading effect when poured aggressively as the head died down. Couldn't ask for more.

Smells are faint. Dark sweet caramel, sticky malt sweetness, plenty of citrus hops.

Taste is very interesting. A good balance of the malt sweetness of a barleywine, roasted malts, dark, dried-fruit caramel, Roasty bitterness and pleasant herbal hoppy bitterness. Plenty of late-hop character, citrus and such, but I don't think any dry hops. If not for the hops, I think it might taste like cough syrup.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, but finishes surprisingly clean. Still, it's sticky on the palate.

Drinkability - good for a beer this big, but not something you'd want more than one (or possibly two) of in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2009 03:37:56 | More by prosper
Photo of huguey
huguey

Kentucky

3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Rare Vos glass.

Small, quickly dissapating head.

A: Black Black Black. It's a stout.

S: Call me crazy, but I smell pepperoni. Slight oilyness, saltyness, alcohol. None of this in a bad way.

T: Malt leads to smoke leads to hops. Bitterness charcteristically hoppy

M: No lingering oil, makes the bitter mouthfeel at the back of the drink go away soon.

D: Good beer, not exceptional. I had one and it certainly didn't stand on it's own.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 23:03:39 | More by huguey
Photo of bonsreeb85
bonsreeb85

Colorado

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

Ok, so this is my first experience w/ a RIS. I like stouts ok, but seeing as though lately I have been getting into really big beers, I wanted to broaden my world by trying some styles I don't normally go for.

A - thick motor oil black w/ a purty creamy brown head and fairly decent retention

S - tons of chocolate(like a freakin' milkshake, yum!) roasted, nealy burnt malt, and espresso

T - spicy and much more bitter than expected. lots of chocolate and heavy coffee flavor. grainy/earthy hops are a suprising participant and welcome addition to the mix. i like, dare i say "love" ?

MF - very creamy and very low carbonation. this beer is really heavy and full bodied. I like the way is slided down the back of the thoat ever so silky!

D - as stated previously, this is my first RIS. I think I could go for another 12 oz. before it's time to switch it up. that said, this is definately a sipper, and a damn good one at that!

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 01:31:26 | More by bonsreeb85
Photo of realmpel
realmpel

California

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a dark reddish brown head about half an inch high. Beautiful appearance.

Flavors of bitter chocolate and roasted grains hit me first. I took the first sip cold, but as this beer warms it develops nicely, losing some of the bitterness over time. The smell develops as it warms, too. From now on I will cool this beer to just under room temperature and end it.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2009 03:58:48 | More by realmpel
Photo of Andreji
Andreji

Colombia

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

So much talk about this old russian fellow around here certainly aroused my interest so I brought one of these back home from the states and have kept it cellared now for about 4 months (hey, that's a record for me, mind you).

I decided to pop this one open on a sunny bogota afternoon while on break from my rural internship.

No less mystical than i expected it at first, very, very sombre pour with little to absolutely no transparency. head is dirty, very very dark and frothy, savage and very difficult to fully attain. by the looks of this, from the bottle with an old photo of this infamous russian character to the last bit of the very unpredictable pour, this beer retains an air of uneasyness- a brilliant one at it. kudos, this has to be one of the most peculiar and unique looking beers i've poured.

The smell is really hard to understand as well. a post-imperial russia industrious metallic pungency hides an underlying sugary, burnt caramel feel. dark cacao seems to be very present throughout.

The taste is great. very very smokey feel with underlying alcohol roasted sugar feel, strong dark coffee and a stingy bitterness attacks the side of the tongue through the whole deal. I hate to sound cheesy, but it arouses the senses very thoroughly. and the feel is amazing, thick bodied, fizzy, like the bottom of a cup of fresh ground coffee.

It gets to you quick, through, and you'll know you've been struck by this dark-souled russian when you least expect it. not a session beer, not a kind-tasting belgian, this beer is a monster you'll find yourself hunting down again and again.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2009 19:46:37 | More by Andreji
Photo of Buschyfor3
Buschyfor3

Kentucky

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

Serving: 12oz bottle poured into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Dark, rich, muddy, murky brown pour - about as close to black as you can get while still retaining enough of a ruddy, deep mahogany tinge. Head looks like I poured milk chocolate into my glass - chocolatey-khaki brown, creamy with bubbles dotting the surface and extending to a good finger's depth. Lacing is sticky and coats the side of the glass with each sip.

S: The first whiff delivers many a roasted aromas - roasted black coffee, espresso beans, burnt toast, roasted sweet malts. Next come some flashes of dark fruitiness and dark, cocoa-like chocolate - chocolate covered cherries perhaps? Just a slight boozy sting rounds out the nose. Quite complex and inviting.

T: I'm getting little flashes of everything in the nose assaulting my palate all at once. Starts up front with a dark fruity sweetness like rum soaked raisins and dark cherries. That is quickly followed by just the slightest flash of bitterness - possibly the only hop presence in the whole beer - that lasts for no more than a second or two. Then the roasted flavors spring forth with a salvo of black coffee, burnt toast and a charcoal/earthy wood flavor. A mellowing bittersweet chocolate and licorice kicks in to balance out the roastiness along with some hints of molasses and brown sugar. A slightly boozy/medicinal alcohol note appears right before the finish but fades behind the reintroduction of roasted malts, coffee and buttered breakfast toast which ride out to the finish.

M: Carbonation creates a creamy, slick mouthfeel. So good - what a big, bold stout should feel like. It goes down super easy on the swallow and coats the esophagus.

D: Honestly, I find this to be the easiest drinking RIS I've tried to this point, and that is not to discredit some of the superb RIS I've tried (yes, you, Stone 09 IRS). This stout is high ABV but its not as nearly as hot as a fresh Stone 09 IRS. In 12oz form, it is easy to put down a full bottle without much delay - had this been in a bomber, well it might be a different story. Nonetheless, I have to say this was the easiest RIS to polish off.

Bravo. A sublime RIS. One that will surely find its way into my fridge on many occasions because of its wonderful flavors and quite reasonable price point.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2009 01:40:16 | More by Buschyfor3
Photo of kegger22
kegger22

Michigan

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out darkly with a small, tan head that didn't last long (which is OK by me). I only got mild coffee aromas out of it. The taste was nice, strong coffee, but not overpowering. Ranks right up there with Speedway stout, but for different reasons. Heavy, oily feel; great for a stout. Warmed up nicely and I got a nutty chocolate flavor at the end that was worth waiting for. Next time, I'll serve this a bit warmer.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2009 21:25:38 | More by kegger22
Photo of projectflam86
projectflam86

Ohio

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

A- Pours a deep brown with a mocha head that leaves some nice rings.

S- Big rush of chocolate and malt with some slight coffee and oatmeal scents.

T- Lots of roasted malt flavors initially. Strong grain and oatmeal tastes with huge highlights of bittersweet chocolate. Some light coffee flavors. Alcohol is easily noticed but not too 'hot'.

M- Creamy and full with adequate carbonation.

D- Pretty good overall and definitely worth the money. Cheap and easily accessible RIS with a nice flavor.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2009 22:37:18 | More by projectflam86
Photo of Naugled
Naugled

New York

3.23/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served in tall flute from bottle

a: nice appearance just better than avg. opaque black, dark brown head, thick and creamy but doesn't last, and carbonation is low

s: nice roasty sweet smell, some molasses comes through

t: very bitter, ashy and sweet, some tar but not overly sweet, overly bitter aftertaste with a slight warming affect

m: full creamy mouthfeel

d: average for a RIS, it's not cloying or too hot, but way over bitter. Aging would do this beer wonders.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2009 21:46:05 | More by Naugled
Photo of JMD
JMD

Connecticut

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

A: Black as night, with rocky dark tan head. Heavy lacing down the glass.

S: Toasted malt, chocolate, expresso. Hints of toffee and ripe fruit. A touch of hops as well.

T: Same as the smell, toasted malt, fresh-brewed expresso, and dark bitter chocolate. Also some carmel and molasses that give a sweetness to this beer. Finishes with a nice hop bite.

M: Full bodied, smooth and creamy.

D: For being such a full-bodied, full-flavored brew, they go down pretty easy. A great RIS.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2009 02:03:07 | More by JMD
Photo of Birdiebeagle
Birdiebeagle

Pennsylvania

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

Bottle Pours a good black with a creamy lasting light brown head. The head produces great lacing. Has a great aroma of chocolate, mocha, coffee and hints of alcohol. Has a good carbonation. The flavors are excellent. Very well blended and the alcohol is well hidden. Nice mix of sweet chocolate and tart coffee. Has a thick texture. A bold solid finish with a real good aftertaste. Had this one on vacation and it is awesome.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 21:12:14 | More by Birdiebeagle
Photo of tyanow
tyanow

California

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Yum! I drink this at home and on tap it's plenty better.

Almost black with a soft full head.

Full coffee and toasty grain aroma.

The rich and full (understatement) body taste is appreciated throughout the mouth and for literally minutes after I swallow.

It's an Imperial so the it fills your senses but few do it this well.

In my mind this is the premier American version of this style. Anyone who can suggest a good rival, please let me know.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2009 03:37:53 | More by tyanow
Photo of scottyshades
scottyshades

Florida

4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque mahogany color that produces a nice rich ruby/brown head that dissipates verrry slowly and leaves a brown lacing

S: The nose is bitter right off the bat with burnt malts, bitter-sweet chocolate, coffee, molasses, cocoa, hops and espresso

T: Much hoppier and bitter than I expected. Huge roasted notes, chocolate, coffee, caramel, molasses, and burnt malts

MF/D: Super chewy, oily, silky, creamy, and just delicious.

A little bitter for me, but those who love hops will love this one

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 22:51:18 | More by scottyshades
Photo of OldSchoolGamer
OldSchoolGamer

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

North Coast is a little underwhelming as a whole, but this is probably their crowning jewel in their rotation. Here is my review:

A: Pours a pitch black color. Very thick with a nice tan head. Lacing is very prominent.

S: Smells very malty with a nice roastyness. Hints of chocolate and coffee, but not overpowering.

T: Very flavorful and tasty Imperial Stout. Lots of roasted malts with a nice smoke character. Chocolate is more dominant than the coffee, but is blended very well. Nothing really overpowers in the flavor, its very well balanced overall. Not nearly as intense as say Founders Imperial Stout, Great Divide Yeti, or Bells Expedition, but an excellent offering nonetheless.

M: Full-bodied and coats the mouth nicely. I have had thicker beers, but this is very nice overall.

D: Full-bodied and full of flavor, this is one you will revisit often. However more than one at a time is not recommended. Very smooth and tasty.

Fairly common and widely available, this is one that almost anybody can enjoy. There are better Imperial Stouts available, but this is always a solid performer and well worth the money. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 20:23:51 | More by OldSchoolGamer
Photo of wd40
wd40

New York

4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having this beer fresh on tap makes a world of difference. The hops were still a bit alive and the interplay between bitter and sweet was great. The sweet maltiness came through with hints of chocolate, caramel and coffee. There is a pleasing viscous thickness to this beer like molasses that really adds to the sweetness of the malts. Very drinkable. Appearance is jet black with a dark brown head that quickly dissipates. Definitely must have again.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2009 02:06:10 | More by wd40
Photo of 1santore
1santore

New Jersey

4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one exceptional beer. Being a newcomer to "better beer" I'm just now finding Russian Imperial Stouts. Of the stouts I've tried this has to be the best. It pours thick and black. The taste is incredible. The mouth feel is very light and smooth, but this is one drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 00:24:11 | More by 1santore
Photo of nomomentwasted
nomomentwasted

Oregon

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

Had this last night out of a 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Have heard good things as Cost Plus World Market has it on sale for $7 for a 4-pack, so hey, made for a good pick-up for the burgeoning beer collection.

Appearance: Brown-black, like a stout-porter, and with a nice, one-finger tan head. Laced very nicely down the glass too, definitely looked the part of a RIS.

Smell: Chocolaty, slight coffee, and earthy. You can smell a bit of smoke too, and reminds me of a nice, sit-by-the-fire smell.

Taste: Roasted barley malts and bready, smoky taste wash over the palate with markedly low bitterness to it in comparison to other Imperial Stouts, and not in a bad way.

Mouthfeel: Not overly thick or heavy as RIS tend to be and I expect, but this was lighter and made more of a drinker than a sipper. Finishes very clean and with a hint of coffee left at the end.

Drinkability: For the style, it's up there. Much, much more drinkable as far as having more than one goes, and I could certainly enjoy more than one of these in a row, and for this style, that's saying something. Lighter than the Stone Imperial Stout and the BBXXI as far as dark and complex brews go, but this does improve the drinkability as well as it goes down much more smoothly and drinks like a champ.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2009 18:33:44 | More by nomomentwasted
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,027 ratings.