Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 9,476 | Reviews: 3,335 | Display Reviews Only:
4.38/5 rDev +1.9%
I had this at Isaac Newton's.Poured from a bottle into a PILSNER GLASS ??? At Isaac Newton's in Newtown PA. I was befoudled as you are. Anyway poured coca cola color with nice caramel heading and awesome lacing.A nice smell of coffee and barley up front with a bitter chocolate smell in the end. Taste is much like the nose also very creamy with no bitter aftertaste. A very good stout indeed and highly recommended.
02-01-2009 01:30:36 | More by TheFightfan1
4.03/5 rDev -6.3%
Poured this from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. Near black. One finger, khaki head retains well with a nice lacing.
Smell. Dark chocolate, raisins, roasted malts, vanilla, biscuit and hints of alcohol.
Taste. Coffee is the most present on the palate. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, biscuits and hops. There is also some serious booze going on in here, especially when it warms up a bit. Very warming taste. Lovely.
Mouthfeel. Full bodied, creamy, smooth with a nice amount of carbonation to give it a strong backbone.
Drinkability. This is a potent offering that drinks easy but certainly one that I need to pace myself with. I see myself finishing this off after a nice big meal as a desert. Taking my time, savoring the flavors and let the warmth it has to offer wash over me.
01-30-2009 16:51:07 | More by astrasday
4/5 rDev -7%
12oz bottle with no date found. poured into tulip.
lacing somewhat sparse this time around.
more notes of fruit in the aroma this time, plus maybe well-aged balsamic vinegar.
on the palate, i get sweeter tones than before, with dried fruit note. perhaps i'm also more used to the bitterness too. can detect phenols this time too.
on the feel, i can detect more complexities than before too, but mouthfeel score is the same.
appearance 4.5 -> 4.0
taste 3.5 -> 4.0
original review feb-3-2008:
dark black, lots of tannish brown head that shrinks very slowly and clings very tightly to the glass, leaving behind plenty of coffee colored, foamy lace.
pungent roasted and burnt malts, ever so slight hint of chocolate and vanilla. alcohol becomes noticeable as it warms up.
quite bitter, almost overpowering the malt and other flavors. indeed, it gives a slight pucker, along with a faint acidity.
slightly syrupy, not too thin. moderate carbonation.
eh... looked better than it ended up being for me. maybe needs some aging?
01-29-2009 23:27:25 | More by tai4ji2x
4.53/5 rDev +5.3%
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Delirium Noel snifter.
This one pours pitch black with a thick, rich, chocolately brown head. The blackness provides a great backdrop for the pink elephants on the glass. Magnificent looking beer.
Aroma was very coffee-like. Roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, with hints of caramel and maybe even vanilla.
Taste matches the nose. Delicious. Nice bitter finish.
Feel is excellent. The body is thick yet feels silky smooth, appropriate carbonation, coats the mouth leaving a long-lasting aftertaste.
This one is a slow sipper, but it's still very drinkable considering the 9% ABV. Perhaps even a bit too drinkable.
01-29-2009 21:38:12 | More by Gyle41386
4.75/5 rDev +10.5%
Had this one on tap at Alex's Bar in Long Beach and damn did I have a great experience!
This thing poured like a monster. The bar tender poured some of the head off but it kept coming up and overflowed. I laughed. Thick brown fluffy head topping a pitch black brew.
Aroma was a roasted malts, unsweetened chocolate, a bit like coffee.
Taste was more of less in line with the aroma. Wonderfully complex flavor of the roasted chocolate malts with a nice bitterness at the end. Couldn't really tell if the bitterness was from the hops or more from the roasted smokey tasting malts. Either way, exceptional.
Thick, full-bodied mouthfeel like a soup. The flavor lingers on your palate for a good while after the taste is gone. Can't really detect the alcohol either.
If it wasn't for the high abv, I would be pounding this day and night. Absolutely amazing stout, perhaps my favorite at this moment.
01-28-2009 17:40:08 | More by davexisxrabid
4.05/5 rDev -5.8%
Pours black with a one and a half finger tan head, leaves decent lacing down the side of the glass.
Smell and taste are pretty much identical. Main flavor is dark chocolate with a little bit of a coffee aftertaste. All the bitterness comes from the dark chocolate tastes, the coffee simply accents and enhances it.
Mouthfeel is where this beer shines, heavy body and crisp carbonation makes a nice feeling beer.
Overall a little too easy to drink, the somewhat high ABV is what keeps this from being a 5 because it is really that easy to drink.
01-28-2009 03:24:04 | More by mullenite
4.88/5 rDev +13.5%
Appearance - Black and murky. Thick, white, foamy head with staying power surrounds the first few inches of the glass and settles over time to leave a beautiful spider web of lace all around the glass.
Smell - Dark roasted malt, hints of black licorice, chocolate, and caramel sweetness. Hint of vanilla was also present.
Taste - Wonderful roasted malt flavors, chocolate bliss, roasted coffee and a caramel/toffee candy stickiness left on your lip.
Mouthfeel - Medium to bold in body and great carbonation. Roasted coffee up front and the hints of bitter chocolate dances on your taste buds as it finishes.
Drinkability - Very much so. I was smitten at the first sip. Love at first drink? Can it be? I picked up a single at first just to try this and found myself grabbing a 4pak immediately on my next shopping trip. I don't know if it was his hand that hypnotized me when I was looking at the bottle or what happened exactly, but I will buy this over and over for the price, ABV and quality you get.
01-27-2009 15:28:38 | More by roopy40
4.22/5 rDev -1.9%
A: Pours a straight dense darkness like liquefied licorice. Head is a ravened almond and dark caramel brown complexion. Solid one and a half fingers. As thick as it is creamy. First rate retention. Charred speckled mahogany bubbles wrap around the glass. Sits in the glass like hell and heaven.
S: Roasted chocolates, nuts, and toffee candy. Dizzying caramel nose with hints of vanilla and molasses. Toasted and blistered quality with each smell. Delicious aromas do justice to the impressive appearance. Dark cherries dipped in melted dark chocolate and topped on to honey biscuits.
T: Immediately what stands out about this beer and makes me an instant fan is the hops component. I found this to be tilted more on the hops side than other offerings from this style. Mocha and figs with huge blasts of cocoa powder. Strong malt backbone with delicious chocolate and roasted coffee tastes. Everything is smoked intensity. At 9% this drinks very easily which can either be a good thing or a bad thing. The only minor drawback is a metallic tinge which is hardly noteworthy.
M: Moderate body with decent carbonation. Enjoyed the bitter hops finish.
D: Picked up a four pack for about nine dollars and considering bombers of other RIS's go for upwards of seven bucks I found this to be a very solid deal (especially for the quality). This was one of the first, non macro, beers I tried and it was nice to see it hold up so amazingly. For the price and availability (being in the PNW) this is highly recommended and beyond drinkable. Rasputin was a trip, his beard was a trip, and this beer is a trip.
01-27-2009 03:08:33 | More by erikm25
4.3/5 rDev 0%
You can find this at almost any decent liquor store in Southern CA, but not so much on tap, so this was a treat.
A - Dark, thick, stout, with creamy tan head that stays and stays.
S - Nice roasted malt, coffee, some chocolate.
T - Very nice ripe fruit coming through, with hints of Mexican hot chocolate (chocolate and cinnamon)
M - Smooth, creamy, definitely falls right in line for stout lovers such as myself.
D - Not a session beer, by any means. Sit back by the fire on a cold night with a couple of buddies.
01-26-2009 01:28:03 | More by raoulduke37
4.33/5 rDev +0.7%
I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. It pours jet black with a thin tan head and lots of lacing. A very fragrant brew, with hints of licorice, chocolate and a hint of alcohol. The flavor is slightly bitter with hints of chocolate and booze. The finish is bitter and even a bit acidic. It is a full bodied sipper and damn enjoyable.
01-26-2009 01:23:25 | More by bonkers
4.68/5 rDev +8.8%
Old Rasputin is a dark beer that brought me to a bright appreciation of beer. When my friend first shared an old Rasputin with me a few months ago, I wasn't prepared for its complex notes of chocolate, oregano, coffee, and cherry. At first, I couldn't taste these flavors at all. However, I quickly came to appreciate them in a way that brought me closer to beer. I have long been able to describe the wines that I drink, but it took a very challenging beer to force me to see beer in the same way.
I'm glad that I did. On top of its complex flavor, this beer has a great aroma. Considerably lighter than its taste, its scent smoothly compliments its balanced taste. Its mouthfeel is silky and smooth without feeling particularly heavy for a stout beer.
This beer tastes great with intense fruit, bread, red meat, sweet and spicy foods (but not just sweet or just spicy), and creamy saucy food. Don't try it with anything that isn't as balanced as this drink though.
01-25-2009 10:42:26 | More by jakpot
3.6/5 rDev -16.3%
12oz bottle poured into a tulip.
A - Deep coffee brown body with a one-finger tan head.
S - Milk chocolate, figs, hints of coffee with cream.
T - Roasted grain, coffee, chocolate, moderate bitterness. Some unfortunate metallic taste that lessens as it warms.
M - Round and full-bodied with moderate carbonation.
D - It's not a bad beer, but there are better Imperial stouts out there.
01-24-2009 02:54:20 | More by trbergman
4.35/5 rDev +1.2%
From the bottle to a straight-sided pint glass.
A: Black, black black. Almost oily. Not too thick of a head (think the color of those brown Carhartt pants), but it laced wonderfully and stuck around to the last sip.
S: You can definitely smell the alcohol in this one. I'd say that's the dominant smell, but there's coffee and malt there too. Maybe a tiny hint of orange too.
T: This is pretty much what I rate the flavor of other RIS's from. My standard, if you will. Pretty boozy, and the kind of flavor that makes you shudder a little bit. I love it! The finish is full of coffee and bitter chocolate.
M: Very, very full mouthfeel. Pretty light on the carbonation, but it's very full.
D: Be careful with this one, 'cause it'll knock you on your ass. I can handle maybe two of these in a sitting, but it's almost a challenge. It's such a powerful beer that it can be tough to hve more than one sometimes.
01-24-2009 02:46:31 | More by Rchap1
4.05/5 rDev -5.8%
Pours none more black with a thick and creamy tan head. Leaves a ton of lacing. Simply beautiful.
Smells strongly of coffee and chocolate. Hop presence found in the taste doesn't have much place here.
Tastes of..coffee, chocolate, and a nice bitter hoppy finish. This is definitely a hop-forward stout.
Thick bodied and medium carbonation with a warming sensation.
Very good, very easy to find, but as it warms the hops tend to overtake the other flavors making it more difficult to drink as I prefer hops take a backseat if any seat in my stouts.
01-21-2009 02:25:43 | More by sonicdescent
4.55/5 rDev +5.8%
smell: one word- amazing. no beer has invited me more to try its bubbly goodness than this. cocoa, caramel, espresso, and hints of its alcohol. So its the best beer ever....good times! Definatly good times.
Appearance: very nice and dark color, very attractive.
Taste: yummy...period. very intence, brings out a lot of espresso flavors. Can't even describe in words. Recommend to just try it for yourself!
Drinkability: like I said above...very yummy! Try, definatly try this one..you'll be amased!
01-21-2009 02:01:27 | More by mgmvh
3.88/5 rDev -9.8%
I've had this beer in lots of different ways - on tap, in bottle, and most recently, on nitro tap. This is a very different beer in those three modes, I think. Bottle I would rate the worst, then normal tap, then nitro-tap. Thus, I'm reviewing the nitro-tap version here:
A: Black like black. Black black black. Like black, blackly. Blackiest blackity black. Head is light cocoa. Very distinct difference between the head the liquid once the nitro pour settles given the color of said liquid, which is, how to say... black.
S: Distinct hop presence in the nose, but not nearly as prevalent in the nitro pour as in the normal tap version. Non-nitro, I remember being a little scared of this one upon smelling because there were wicked strong hop and roasted chocolate notes. Almost cindery notes. These are there in the nitro pour, but not nearly as ... loudly.
T: This beer does not mess around. It will hunt you down in the dead cold of winter, shoot you, and dump you in the river, standing there while you slip under the ice. It will then go and make love to your sister. It will remain unshaven through all that. That said, on nitro, it will shave. It will also perhaps give you a nice fur hat to wear before all that. Huge biting hop bitterness and full roasted, smokey malt with big coffee and chocolate tongue anvils.
M: On nitro, surprisingly creamy and full given my experience with this being a dryer, more abrupt beer when on tap normally.
D: It's probably just me, but I can't really drink more than one of these at a sitting. I could, but it's just a bit much.
Overall a delicious beer and one of the better Imperial Stouts out there, imho, but the style is not of great drinkability to me.
01-21-2009 00:41:31 | More by FirstMan
4.3/5 rDev 0%
A- Black body with a dark cream colored head. Large head after pour dissipates to a small foamy covering and leaves a small lacing.
A- Very complex aroma. Fruity esters along with a perfume like aroma mixing the fruitiness and hops. Malt aroma behind this fruitiness brings forward a roasty chocolate aroma. I get almost a slight mintiness.
T- Quite a bitter monster of a beer. Incredible spicy bitterness that is definitely felt in my mouth. Lots of roasted malt flavors and chocolate coffee flavors that stick around into the aftertaste.
M- Full bodied beer, but it's incredibly smooth despite the bitterness. Moderate carbonation.
D- This is quite an aggressive stout, almost a meal in a bottle. I highly recommend trying this beer out.
01-20-2009 23:04:57 | More by gpogo
4.43/5 rDev +3%
Well named beer for a Russian Imperial Stout. By far the most impressive beer I have had from the North Coast Brewing Co. There other beers lack the power of this black brewdoo.
A: Coal-black, a dense cloud of oil, with a mocha whipped 5 cm head.
S: Dark Coffee chocolate like roast, the person next to you could smell it. The smell alone indicated a serious beer, a whisper of alcohol.
T: Instant taste bud erections, the taste lives up to the smell, a dark roasted coffee in front, with a dry roasted door prize in the back. You get a glimpse of the alcohol in the back of your throat, but is never astringent or harsh, nice warming effect.
M: Medium-Heavy, still born , negligible carbonation.
D: Minnesota winters beckon you to buy this thing. Very affordable, one big beer that appears to have lots of distribution. Will purchase another 4-pack sometime.
01-19-2009 20:41:45 | More by MPLS
3.98/5 rDev -7.4%
Serving date: 2009-01-16. Served in snifter.
Presentation: 355 ml bottle with nice, and quite freaky, artwork on the label: A picture of one of history's most enigmatic and mythical persons, Grigorij Rasputin, surrounded by a quote in Russian (haven't been able to figure out what it says, though).
Appearance: The pour is jet-black with a 2 cm brown head that settles rather quickly, leaving a brown coat over the beer. Small but thick lacings sticks to the glass. I love how the beer reacts when I swirl the glass, it just keeps reproducing a small but dense coat of brown foam.
Smell: A very prominent character of roasted barley. Aromas of coffee and dark chocolate are there as well. The smell is slightly bitter as well. Overall, this one has a rather sharp and robust profile, regarding smell.
Taste: A big and bold taste of roasted barley is coupled with bitter chocolate and notes of coffee. Some sweet flavors are present to. It has a significant hop character, with a nice and sweet malty background. The finish is a nice mixture of bitter hops and sweet chocolate. It hides the alcohol very well, considering its strength.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, full-bodied and medium carbonation.
Drinkability: This is one big imperial stout. A very good beer with a powerful and aggressive profile, pleasant aromas and nicely balanced flavors. Highly recommended.
01-19-2009 01:12:24 | More by ricke
4.43/5 rDev +3%
Rasputin has been my 'go-to' imperial stout for quite some time now. With regard to the style, it is probably the best deal I've ever found.
This bottle comes from yet another 4-pack purchased at the Davis Co-op for $6.49, however other merchants have begun pricing it at $6.99 to $7.99.
Rasputin fills its namesake nonic glass nearly perfectly, an inch-thick head settling close to the brim. Pouring it, you can see that it isn't quite as opaque as many other 'big' stouts. After several minutes the head recedes to perhaps a 1mm thick coating, with heavy lacing now filling the head's place.
Imagine opening a package of gourmet dark chocolate and taking a good sniff of the wrapper. That's probably the best way I can describe Rasputin's strongest olfactory contribution. Heavy notes of dark chocolate, dark berries, plums, roasted grains, and a just a hint of anise. [EDIT: Since the minor label change that took place around November '08, the amount of anise on the nose seems to have increased significantly.] I'm in awe that such an inexpensive beer can smell so damn good.
My handy little thermometer (in true beer-geek style) is showing 56°F (286° K). Right where I like it. The first sip sends tons of adjectives flying at me, and I find myself torn between typing what I'm experiencing or taking another sip.
Be with you in a moment.
Alright, I'm back. Can you say hops? I think this may be what sets Rasputin apart... few other examples of the style allow for such a perfect marriage of hops with traditional imperial stout characteristics. It is the IPA drinker's Imperial Stout.
Chocolate and mouthfuls of hops are the order of the day here, but the finish is filled with coffee and cola syrup. Malt backbone is right where it should be: just enough to remind you that it's there.
Carbonation is just about perfect, and the velvety smoothness leaves the tongue with just the right amount of residual bitterness and fizz.
While a favorite, Old Rasputin is not the best imperial stout I've ever had. That said, its drinkability is unmatched. I could drink this one all night (and have, on many occasions).
With that, it looks like it's time for me to refill my glass.
01-18-2009 07:16:03 | More by ThirdLap
District of Columbia
4.45/5 rDev +3.5%
10 month old cellared bottle poured into a snifter.
A: Dark chocolate, mahogany color that seems relatively clear despite the darkness. Dark brown still, thick head that has great retention and slowly receding streaks of brown lacing.
S: Sharp, slightly medicinal bitter chocolate aroma with light coffee and strong hop aroma.
T: Rich, bitter coffee and chocolate flavors with a heavy helping of dark fruits (plum, etc). Strong hop flavor still persists in the finish. A dry, sweeter chocolaty flavor persists long into the finish.
M: Full, lightly carbonated body, fills the mouth and is very light and smooth.
D: Exceptional, no hint of alcohol anywhere in this beer. One of my favorite RISs, especially at price and availability. Comparable to Storm King, but I think I prefer this.
01-15-2009 21:02:43 | More by yourefragile
3.95/5 rDev -8.1%
Appearance: As dark as used motor oil, when poured into a glass a golden brown head erupts but receeds to a nice wispy cap of the surface. In line with the head, the lacing was minimal (would have rated higher if the head held up, possibly my glass???).
Smell: I thought the nose was dominated by roasted nuts with hints of coffee. There is a little bitterness that is pleasing to the nose. The alcohol is masked, but can be found with deep breaths.
Taste: Bitter, but contained. Slights flavors of coffee accompany the hoppy bitterness. Creamy malts create a nice backbone. The finish is characterized by biscuity flavors and coffee. The alcohol goes surprisingly undetected.
Mouthfeel: It is lighter bodied than I had expected, but still nice. It has moderately high carbonation, and stays lively in the mouth. Nice and smooth with a coating effect throughout the mouth.
Drinkability: I would have to say this isn't the most enjoyable nor tastiest RIS I have had. But I will point out that it is a very drinkable beer that I could solely enjoy for the evening, albeit it would be a short evening at 9%.
01-15-2009 19:26:02 | More by ncstateplaya
4.33/5 rDev +0.7%
At another board this beer was talked about and raved up and down for some time. I just thought it was awesome that it pays tribute to Rasputin.
Served a little bit over 50 degrees F in pint glass listening to The Best of Mountain.
Pours like motor oil, and looks like motor oil in the glass. Seriously, this thing is as black as 4-chan's humor and opaque even when held right beside a light bulb. Beautiful. A 2 cm bubbly (but very creamy) very tan head sprung up, and briefly continued to rise after the pour. After a good 5 minutes, it had shrunk to just a thin layer, and stayed that way for a good while down the glass. The lacing was pretty steady, and clung on for dear life, not going anywhere for quite some time. For as much as this beer was hyped up, I was honestly expecting a little bit more impressive head, so at this point I'm wondering what I did wrong.
The smell was modest, yet what was there was robust. I had the Thelonious Monk beer by this same brewery, and they both had the same "barbecue" smell to it. I'm assuming now that it is roasted malt. There is also some cappuccino right behind it.
The taste, unsurprisingly, is a very roasted, charred one. It progresses towards the finish, along with some dark fruit flavors. Throughout the entirety of each sip, that creamy coffee is slightly present, as well as alcohol. The alcohol actually blends with the flavors nicely though, so it is hidden quite nicely. At most, it puts up a slight sting in the back of your throat at the swallow, but it mostly just translates to a pleasantly warming feeling. If nothing else, it comes off as a very dark chocolate (at least in the after-taste).
The mouth-feel is pretty darn smooth, considering how upfront and robust this beer is in general. It's also fairly full-bodied, and I enjoy the low carbonation levels and yet there is a very slight tingly feeling to accent this nicely. This is pretty damn syrupy as well, at least for a stout... though I understand that this particular style is supposed to be quite sticky from the addition of much more malt.
In all, I guess this is quite drinkable if you enjoy a beer of this style on this caliber. I'm in my second and determining that this would be best accompanied with a rich dinner, but I am having no trouble sipping through this.
01-15-2009 03:38:27 | More by Bootscraper
4.35/5 rDev +1.2%
A - Incredibly dark brown to black with a fluffy mocha head. Head lasts quite a while and simmers to a nice 1/8-inch lace on top. Great sticky lacing on the sides of the glass as drank.
S - Espresso, dark chocolate, and roasted malt all at once like a slap in the face. Boozy alcohol when I really stick my nose in and take a good long whiff.
T&M - I taste the espresso off the bat and then chased by the roasted malt and finally with a nice twinge of dark chocolate in the aftertaste. Nicely balanced in these flavors and none of these overpowers the other, rather compliments each other. A bit of a thick brew with a sticky mouthfeel. The alcohol is warming and not as noticable as I expected. The alcohol seems to meld into the flavors as the beer warms.
D - Such a great sipping beer and nice to drink. It would be hard to drink more than two of these in one night as you have to sip and savor this or the alcohol will knock you out.
01-14-2009 14:47:38 | More by MrIncognito
4.28/5 rDev -0.5%
I am new to imperial stouts.
Poured into my spielgelau snifter from 12 oz. bottle.
A - A quarter shade above black. Garnet hues on the edges. Thin head that retains a ring, and decent lacing.
S - Coffee, Chocolate, lime, Cherries, Tire store rubber.
T - Coffee. Coffee. Espresso. Mocha. Also other flavors of fruit like lime. Chocolate. Coffee. More coffee.
M - Yum and soft.
D - This is the kind of beer that makes me feel like a beer virgin, all over again.
01-14-2009 06:23:17 | More by Beernoisseur
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,476 ratings.