Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 9,516 | Reviews: 3,341 | Display Reviews Only:
4.08/5 rDev -5.1%
Reviewed via notes from a while ago.
Appearance - Pours out black as night, very similar to the used Mobile 1 5W-30 drained from the SpdKilz TT Z06 after two thousand miles! Less than a finger of head that is mocha in color. Amazing lacing - stays the entire drink.
Smell - Immediately I am struck by the coffee sent. I smell some dark fruits (cherries) in my nose also - though not much. A lingering alcohol smell is notable also.
Taste - Like I am drinking a bitter coffee with semi-sweet chocolate/cocoa. First sip is hard for me to handle (for the first ever one - subsequent Old R's I'm prepared for and enjoy the first sip greatly). The alcohol is present but is not a put off and is not prevalent with the initial sip - more of an after "thought."
Mouthfeel - Quite thick - decent amount of carbonation. This is a very heavy beer and is almost syrupy (but not quite).
Drinkability - Don't think I could have more than two of these in a sitting but at 9% abv that should create a quite nice feeling for me. Overall quite drinkable and again, not a session beer but I can't wait to enjoy this when the California nights turn a bit colder during fall. For now I have to settle for the summer heat outside.
08-14-2009 02:48:39 | More by SpdKilz
District of Columbia
3.9/5 rDev -9.3%
Appearance: Deep black with ruby highlights, decent head
Smell: Chocolate, fudge, roasted malt, coffee
Taste: Roasted black malt, chocolate, coffee, licorice, plums
Mouthfeel: Bit chewy, but nothing like those who dominate the style, a bit sweet and sticky
Drinkability: average for the style
08-13-2009 02:32:47 | More by craytonic
4.53/5 rDev +5.3%
On nitro-tap at North Coast on 7/16/09.
A - Black onyx body with a hint of deep ruby around the bottom and a perfect finger's width of dense, creamy tan froth that just retained amazingly and deposited a thick web of psychedelic lace all around the glass. A beautiful nitro pour indeed!
S - Chocolate and roasted malt with hints of hazlenuts and licorice. Subtle coffee notes and dark fruit emerge in the background. An earthy hop presence is also apparent, albeit quite restrained.
T - Luscious sweet and semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa up front with lots of roasted goodness and a prominent nutty character suggesting hazlenuts. Earthy, leafy hops impart an herbal aspect, which extends into the finish and, along with a coffee character, provides ample bitterness.
M - Medium to full bodied with a super creamy, smooth texture and soft carbonation akin to a cask pour. Moderately dry, bitter finish with some residual sweetness on the palate. Minimal alcohol warmth, especially for a 9% RIS.
D - Fantastic RIS indeed, and especially smooth and drinkable on nitro. Yum! Subtle yet complex in all of its delicious, velvety smooth glory.
08-12-2009 21:39:11 | More by ffejherb
4.22/5 rDev -1.9%
A flagship Impy Stout. Great consistancy on batches, good distribution, and overall a great true-to-style RIS.
Had this brew as a halfpint at the North Coast Brewing in Fort Bragg.
Deep deep brown, not black, and barely any light gets through it.
Aroma is a crazy cocoa bomb, with some coffee dryness and espresso.
Some alcohol warming from the 9%er and waves of chocolate, coffee, roasted burnt malt, and some sugary molassas sweetness.
Thick syrupy mouthfeel, not as potent as abyss or dark lord, but it's up there. A good slow sipper of a beer.
08-11-2009 21:29:25 | More by SurlyDuff
4.33/5 rDev +0.7%
This is officially my first attempt at reviewing, so bear with me! I'd also like to state, this tasting was my first real foray into this style. (Not an easy beer to review being such an amateur.) I've had a few of your standard American & English Stouts, and of course, plenty of Guinness & Murphy's. Actually I have had the pleasure of tasting a RIS before, FFF's Dark Lord on Memorial Day this year. However this was after I had PLENTY of my friend's homebrewed Saison & Belgium Pale. To say the least, it was like I was hit with a ton of bricks when I had Dark Lord. I figured if I'd just sit down and give this style a real try, it knew it might be something I'd like. So with all that in mind, on to my review...
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.
It poured a thick black, motor oil-ish body, with a little less than a one finger, dark tan head. The head dissipated fairly quick into a thin film, not much lacing. Little carbonation.
Still training my nose to pick up on various notes. Bittersweet chocolate is evident, coffee, roasted malts, and dark fruits.
The taste is very similar to the smell and the alcohol is well hidden, considering it's strength.
Feels a bit oily, but still smooth and creamy. A nice finish on the tongue to last, but also leaves you wanting more!
Very drinkable for a beer this complex. I would even recommend it to my Mom, who I just turned on to easy-going Belgium Wit's and the like, and who's once idea of a great beer was Corona.
I look forward to exploring other RIS's and Double Stouts. Till we meet again, Ol' Rasputin...
08-09-2009 07:18:31 | More by Bammo22
4.25/5 rDev -1.2%
Poured into pint chilled pint glass, flows a thick black color with a brownish copper head about 1 finger tall.
smell: roasted malts, coffee, and a tad bit of dark cocoa
taste: very roasted taste, notes of coffee and alcohol, and almost a whiskey taste, especially after swallowing. this is not an aged bottle so that might be why
great beer over all, perfect to pair with dinner, or just count as a dinner. At 9 abv it does the trick, even me a semi experienced beer man was feeling it after just one. bought at a rays supermarket in bend oregon for only 1.80 bottle which I was pretty happy with. Definately worth the money, and will buy again.
08-08-2009 02:11:39 | More by Elimination
4.43/5 rDev +3%
I poured this beer in a guinness pint glass. The rolling action of this beer is beautiful to watch. The head slowly climbed up to the crest and formed a thick head that resembled brown shaving cream. Color is dark brown with caramel ribbons.
Smells of chocolate and sweet toffee like malts
Chocolate, bitter, burnt, warming malts and nutty lingering finish tantalize the palate. Big, bold, robust, meal in a glass. It is different with each sip as it warms it mellows and more flavors come through like black liqourice.
Feels perfect. From the froth that sticks to your mustache to the creamy finish.
This is a remarkable beer. Perfect for after dinner. Leave room though, this one is kinda filling. Very satisfying.
08-08-2009 00:30:52 | More by JohnWaynes44
4.15/5 rDev -3.5%
What a beer. Brought one of these to a kegger and it was very out of place. Partly because id walk around with my own pint glass i brought. I offered some to a girl i know and she actually liked the chocolate taste she got. Though it is a meal in a glass. I even met a beer advocate at the party and we had a good convo on hefeweizens.
A- black but not thick like motor oil. brown head and lots of it by the way i poured this one.
The head after a while is replaced by a brown film covering the beer until finish and it seems that same film of foam is deposited in the bottom after being drank.
S- heavy one the coffee but not dark esspresso. a milk choco smell not an86% cacoa. Also can discern a malt thing going on, but maybe thats just the chocolate playing with my nose.
T- Contrary to the smell i get a dark chocolate taste,with a coffee the strength of a reg french roast. This is a thick milky creamy coffee kind of beer. You can tell its a malt explosion without an extremely malty finish. If your on the same frequebcy as me.
M- This is a thick monster, not as thick as a palo santo marron though, and its just a brown ale. I always say a beer is what a brewer wants it to be. Its all at their discrepency. But this beer is by no means a light one. I would only want to drink a couple of these in a row. and thats maybe.
D- not too easy. I love RIS but one can only stand so much cake before one throws up. Rasputin is like cake. Very rich and decadent. While on the other side. Alcoholic and sharp. Its the best of both worlds.
Rasputin was a pyschic, healer, scholar, political advisor, corrupt rebel, intelectual, and loving father. He was a pilgrim from the time he was 18 when he was in a monastary repenting a theft for 3 months. After that theyre are records of him healing people similar to the way jesus did. When he was assinated it took them many tries. First he was stabbed and his guts where spilled out. After primitive surgery ( remember this is 200 years before the civil war) he was walking again. Then he was poisened with cyanide when he was thought too powerful an advisor .en shot later in life, then when that failed they beat him into uncounsciosness and he was thrown into the same river his brother and sister at different times had drowned in. Autopsy claims rasputins reason of death drowning.
Not fatal shooting,stabbing, poisening, or beating. The water in the lungs is only a peice of evidence that leads to the autopsy claims.
Now you know why it says never die on the box.
08-07-2009 05:26:29 | More by SpencerSauce
4.72/5 rDev +9.8%
Poured on tap into a sniffer at Broken Barrel Tavern, where it's on tap all the time. Pours a pitch black with a thin tan head which dissipated quickly, left very little lacing.
Smell is strong, dark chocolate, coffee and some alcohol.
Taste is dark chocolate & malty with a thick and creamy mouthfeel
To me, this is a very drinkable beer, I could put down many of these. However the ABV doesn't make this a good session beer, which is why it took a small hit on the drinkability rating.
This is truly a great stout, one of the best IMHO...if you like a strong heavy stout.
08-07-2009 03:02:24 | More by FLBeerGuy
5/5 rDev +16.3%
Poured from a bottle into a glass, this beer was darker then my cast iron skillet. Truly beautiful color to this beer!
Almost no head was left a minute after pouring, just a slight ring around the glass. Though, immediately after pouring a light brown foaminess was present.
The notes in this beer changed throughout, upon pouring I was hit with an oceany seaweed saltiness which, after a minute, turned into heady roasted chocolate malt scent. Finally I was left with a slight hint of burnt coffee. A deep inhalation will let the drinker take note of the alcohol present.
This beer is thick with an almost creamlike consistency.
The taste; wow, even a minute after a sip of this beer my taste buds feel like they are fizzing with flavor, very deep strong taste throughout the whole palate.
This is a great beer if you like stouts, if you don't like very heavy heady beer, I wouldn't even try this beer. Personally, I love stouts, and have very rarely had a stout better then this one, in fact only one comes to mind, though it isn't available where I live.
I would, and do, drink this beer often. This is by far the best stout available in Hawaii!
08-07-2009 02:36:07 | More by vegantreats
4.4/5 rDev +2.3%
I can't see any appreciable bottling date on the bottle, but I can definitely attest that this bottle is AT LEAST 14 months old, based on the date I bought it and subsequent cellaring. I'd probably guess it was more around 18 months, however.
A: Jet black in color with a creamy, thick, and slow-to-recede chocolate milkshake colored head. It retains quite well, with a relatively thick layer of foam retaining atop throughout in my large bowl snifter.
S: Very rich bittersweet chocolate, some light coffee, dark fruit notes, some vanilla. Quite rich and invigorating.
T&M: With age the hops have mellowed out substantially, revealing a very complex and excellent stout. Flavor starts with a confluence of dark chocolate covered black cherries, raisins, and other dark fruits before segueing into a pleasant roasted malt component. Finish is long, distinct, and savory and features espresso, dark chocolate, burnt black malt, and all kinds of wonderful dark flavors. Quite pleasant. Body is full and a tad bit oily (yet also creamy) with a restrained carbonation that just tickles the tongue.
D: Rather quaffable considering the ABV and body. This is definitely one to age, considering the sharp hoppiness when it's young.
08-06-2009 02:53:58 | More by BamaBeerBuff
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
4.58/5 rDev +6.5%
Poured into 14.5oz tulip at Deep Ellum in Allston, MA. Enjoyed with a pretzel and beer chese, along with whole-seed spicy mustard. If you go there, get the pretzel. moving on...
A- Motor-oil black, a nice, thick, creamy head (thanks to the nitro)
S- Expresso, coffee essence, deep roasted barley, cocoa sugars.. lots of goodness.
T- Fantastic. Follows the nose... this stuff is pretty damn near perfect.
M- Outstanding, the Nitro-Tap takes this beer to beyond the stratosphere. 5 of 5.
D- Moderate to moderately high, filling, but oh so good. One of my more memorable beers. Nitro and Old Raspy are like peanut butter and jelly.
08-04-2009 00:18:00 | More by ShogoKawada
4.53/5 rDev +5.3%
Appearance: Pitch black with a thick mocha colored head that last forever. Minor highlights when held to the light. Minutes go by before the head finally dissipates. Leaves great lacing.
Smell: Chocolate, roasted malts, hints of coffee, hops, and some alcohol.
Taste: A delicious combination of dark chocolate, malt, and a nice hop bitterness that balanced everything out. Finishes with a taste similar to a good Irish/Kentucky coffee.
Mouthfeel: Medium feel due to the level of carbonation, but this beer coats the tongue with a lovely, smooth feel after you swallow.
Drinkability: Simply put, this is just an outstanding RIS. In these times of super rare, over-hyped beers, I almost forget about great beers like this. It's relatively easy to find and the price for a four pack is a steal. I've been drinking this beer for years and plan on drinking it for many more years to come. A classic; don't just buy a single, you're going to want more. Cheers!
08-03-2009 19:08:16 | More by pvsob
4.22/5 rDev -1.9%
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.
08-03-2009 00:11:30 | More by TequilaSauer
4.33/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
08-02-2009 16:04:18 | More by krisandajt
4.72/5 rDev +9.8%
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.
08-01-2009 21:30:37 | More by beertunes
4.63/5 rDev +7.7%
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.
07-31-2009 23:48:51 | More by adamette
4.4/5 rDev +2.3%
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.
07-31-2009 16:19:56 | More by ThatWineGuy
3.6/5 rDev -16.3%
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.
07-31-2009 04:31:51 | More by callmescraps
4/5 rDev -7%
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.
07-30-2009 18:55:48 | More by david18
4.3/5 rDev 0%
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.
07-30-2009 01:24:17 | More by magine
4/5 rDev -7%
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.
07-29-2009 03:37:56 | More by prosper
3.73/5 rDev -13.3%
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.
07-28-2009 23:03:39 | More by huguey
4.3/5 rDev 0%
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!
07-28-2009 01:31:26 | More by bonsreeb85
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,516 ratings.