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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

10,349 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,349
Reviews: 3,396
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 351
Gots: 1,545 | FT: 47
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 (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,349 | Reviews: 3,396 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of megahurts4
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

North Coast Brewing Co. Old Rasputin

Appearance: Dark and black, huge head, lots of lacing

Smell: floral hops, coffee, slight chocolate

Taste: very malty, floral hops, and a prominent coffee and chocolate finish

Mouthfeel: Heavy with a slight bitter finish

Bottom line:
A great stout. Smooth and not overbearing in the slightest.

Photo of HuppMJH
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I poured it into a typical pint mug, this beer instantly excited my eyes. Beautiful dark liquid with a thick tan head. The first taste packs a punch and dares you to take a second. I find a taste reminiscent of a smooth espresso drink. I have to admit, the alcohol taste is quite strong in this drink for me. I would really approve of the taste more if I couldn't taste the alcohol so much.

As I drank, the head stuck to the sides of the glass, which, in my opinion, shows character in a beer. Even as I finish the beer, I see where the head started at the top of the glass.

I have to admit, I'm still lacking in the smell department. I don't get the subtle hints that everyone else mentions. I'll continue to work on this ability.

I'm relatively new to the world of beer, but I've been keeping a ranking list for each new beer I try. I would definitely put this beer in my top 10 beers, and absolutely above all American beers I've tried thus far.

Photo of JoeAmerican77
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured nto a tulip taster and also enjoyed out of the same bottle.

a- Pours pitch black pretty bubbly head that dissipates quite quickly leaving a little lacing

s- Chocolate and maple tingle the nose, anise is present and so is a little tobacco.

t- Dark chocolate and fruits, pear raisin and malts. A little wet grain in the back and through the nose. The alcohol is present but only invites.

m- Medium bodied, brilliant carbonation a great feature of the beer, the body does leave a little to be desired though. If you buy the bottle I would recommend it out of the bottle (never said that before but it seems to affect the light mouthfeel to a more robust and full one).

d- I would take on at least two. I say this because they are delicious and worth it, and with 9% alc your palate might be destroyed too much to fully move on to another good beer.

Photo of Vdubb86
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass

This beer pours a thick black that absorbs all of the light around it. The head is a darker tan foam that is "float a bottlecap firm" (I tried it). It leaves gorgeous lacing as it goes down. The aroma is a bit weaker than I anticipated, but it was pleasant nonetheless. The aromas were the traditional cocoa nibs and coffee with a hint of sweet caramel and bourbon in the back. The taste was most definitely of the sweet caramel and a bit slighter on the bourbon flavor. The chocolate comes through on the aftertaste and the coffee is hiding in there somewhere amongst the roasted flavors. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth but there is the bit of bitterness that hides in the back. Aside from the bitterness this is super drinkable. It goes down really easily for 9%. It is a definite recommendation.

Photo of Blanco
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a gigantic snifter with a vigorous pour. lacing is tremendous.

the head on this beer is magnificent, probably from the pour, but holds well regardless. beer is dark, dark brown with a light brown head.

heavy chocolate in the smell. nothing else is really detectable, but it's pleasant nonetheless.

Taste is on the bitter side, yet slightly sweet. again with the chocolate. slight alcohol burn is apparent, but not particularly strong. yet it's there.

this is a more full bodied beer than normal. not syrupy though. it's slightly creamy as well.

this one is pretty drinkable. it tastes a little "bigger" than most stouts as you'd expect but this wouldn't detract me from having more than a few in a sitting.

Photo of TheSeeker61
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured blacker than a thousand midnights(maybe not that
black). Got a one finger head.

S- A very chocolate, fruity, expresso smell.

T- Taste the chocolate, some dark fruit and finishes with a
coffee bitter which isn't overwhelming. Very balanced
tasting Russian Imperial Stout. The alcohol is hidden well
for the ABV to be as high as it is.

M- Definitely creamy moderately thick mouthfeel.

D- My favorite RIS. Can drink these on a regular, not many in
one setting as the ABV is high but will do a couple and this
is certainly a great part of the rotation.

Photo of ncfranklin
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A : Pitch black with a great two finger brown foam head. Lacing is nice. This is the expected appearance of a famous RIS. It pours with a milky look to it.

S : Chocolate dominates the nose, but roasted malt, coffee, and notes of vanilla hide beneath. I'm not detecting a bit of hops.

T : Ah, there are the bitter hops. They tend to tussle with a burnt roasted malt flavor before succumbing to coffee, chocolate and sugar. It's a bit overbearing how many things are mixing here to create a unique flavor, nothing ever takes the reigns. The finish gets a final bite of bitter hope with a burnt note.

As the beer warms lots of things change. The hop profile fades almost completely as a sweet malt takes over with almost a chocolate milkness to it.

M : Thick and slick, nice to slosh around and roll over each taste bud.

D : Lives up to the reputation. Scarily drinkable at a 9%, but a meal all in itself.

A must.

Photo of bmillen22
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 4 pack about 4 months ago and I am on the third one and am finally around to reviewing it. This is a really good beer for the price and it can be found pretty much anywhere.

A- Poured into my Stone Russian Imp St. glass. Poured it hard to give it a 2" head. It hung around for a bit and then turned into a thick lacing for the rest of the drink.

s- smell is decent. Roasted malts and a pinch of coffee.

T- In my mind it tastes just like a good imp stout should. Strong taste of dark roasted malts. Somewhat bitter finish, but like a smooth coffee. Can't taste the Alcohol, which at 9% that is pretty good.

M- thick and creamy, but not too thick. Real nice.

D- Very good for the style. I could have 2 of these in a sitting. I would have a fat buzz though becuase I am feeling it a little after one.

Well done North Coast. Keep the price right and I will make this one of my go to RIS's.

Photo of RDHerm
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an incredibly deep and dark brown, so murky that no light gets through. Has a thick, coffee brown head that has excellent lacing. It thins out after a while, but it remains solid throughout.

An unexpectedly weak aroma. Some notes of coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolate, but there's not too much going on here.

Strong taste of roasted malts, with hints of coffee, bitter chocolate, and hops. Starts out sweet and rich, with a nice hoppy bitterness to the finish. There is also the slightest bit of alcohol warmth.

Medium/heavy in body. Exceptionally smooth and doesn't dry out the palate too much like a lot of stouts, but a little too much carbonation keeps it from being perfect.

Great taste, nice finish, and not terribly heavy, just make sure the alcohol content doesn't catch up with you.

Photo of Spica66
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip glass.

A: Dark color. Good head formation and retention. Very nice looking stout.

S: Excellent blend of sharp-dark roast, dark fruits, coffee and bitter chocolate. It smells like a no-gimmick RIS should!

T; Excellent dark roast, coffee, nicely bitter.

M: Extremely smooth and the ABV is completely hidden to me, so no burn.

D: So easy to drink, you will find a 9% surprise if you are not careful!

Photo of bridgetowhophead
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin! Picked up a 4-pack on sale for $7.49; I will try not to let the amazingness of that bargain influence my rating.

A: Poured into a tulip. Nearly pitch black color with a very pretty 2 finger tan head that unfortunately doesn't last too long. Makes a surprising amount of lacing for a 9% abv beer.

S: Fails to deliver what I expect for an RIS. I get dark roasted malt and a little chocolate.

T&M: Above and beyond the smell. The finish is especially superb with black malt coating the palate and throat. Mouthfeel is beautifully syrupy and creamy.

D: As drinkable as many 5% regular stouts.

Photo of bobhits
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pitch black, 3 finger mocca head, creamy finish to the head and it's staying put very well.

Chocolate, burnt malt, some kinda sweet salty mix.

Sweet yet not over powering. Balanced bitterness from hops and chocolate to even out a sweet malt and barely explosion. Thick enough to savor but thin enough to drink a few. You already know the flavors to expect here, chocolate, burnt malt, some coffee notes, etc. It's a Russian imperial stout, but this one is delivered just flawlessly. Sure many have more flavor or some more interesting flavor combination. That comes down to taste and well this is far from my personal favorite, but this one executes in a way few can.

There's a touch more alcohol in this than I'd like and I could go for a touch more body, but it's certainly not needed. The carbonation in this is great.

Photo of alkemy
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Super dark brown color that stops light coming through fairly efficiently. The head is dark tan and about a finger tall. Smells really good. Lots of burnt, roasted malts. I get lots of bitter chocolate. It's kinda like chocolate espresso. There's also a touch of anise that shows itself again in the taste. Taste really resembles the aroma. Chocolate seems a bit sweeter on the tongue than in the nose. There's an additional hint of cherries in the flavor. A bit too much carbonation and I'd rather see it slightly thicker, but that's getting a little nitpicky.

Photo of tewaris
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

9% ABV
75 IBUs
12 oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a big snifter. Although, I am big supporter of bottle dating, I don't criticize North Coast in deeming dating Old Rasputin irrelevant, because it will hold up for years, and yet won't be "too hot & rough" fresh. This is one of my earliest, but still favorite, Russian Imperial Stouts and I am very excited to review this! Let's get down to business!

Appearance 5/5
Pours in a clear and very dark brown stream from the bottle that gives an impression of pitch black in the glass, with a big, dense, dark mocha colored head that receded into a rather thin one but left excellent lacing on the glass. Towards the end, the head was thinner, but still was much more than a tiny collar! The lacing didn't stick around, but that's forgivable for an Imperial Stout.

Aroma 3/5
I have never been a fan of this beer's aroma even though I have had it at innumerable occasions and I like this beer quite a bit overall. The aroma I detect is of sweet malts with no particular character, but just a slight bias towards roast. It has a certain smoothness to it though. As the beer got to room temperature, alcoholic sweetness became obvious.

Taste 4/5
Taste is however, very good, so you may ignore my comments on aroma. Starts slightly sweet with a dark, roasty, richness that takes a dark chocolate character in the aftertaste, along with the persistent roast. Also, they have hopped this one generously, and the finish is quite bitter; the roast and hops make it quite clean for an Imperial Stout. A coffee like acidity is notable as the temperature rises. So is alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel 4/5
More body and lower carbonation would be welcome. Otherwise, it's flawless.

Drinkability 5/5
It tastes good, and finishes fairly clean. I could have another bottle. A RIS that's any more drinkable is doing it wrong!

Other
Never disappointing, amazingly priced, this is a beer I will continue to drink. Never say die!

Photo of jj311
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the pleasure of tasting this beer for my first time.
I will say that this brew is not for the faint of heart or for 'amateur' beer drinkers. If you are a big fan of mainstream beers, lagers, pale ales, and so on, then I'd suggest finding some way to sample it before purchasing if at all possible. If you appreciate a nice thick stout, this one should definitely be on your list.

Pouring it from bottle to glass, the first thing I noticed was the brilliant jet-black color topped with a thick, tan, and frothy foam head not unlike that of a cappuccino. Holding it up to the light, very little light managed to penetrate through this darkness.

The Aroma is something i can only describe as sweet and roasty. It seems to have subtle but distinctive essences of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, and alcohol.

The taste was pleasantly enjoyable with a variety of flavors.
A rich balance of roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, and a bitter hoppy taste that surprisingly compliments the other flavors.

A nice thick mouthfeel and a warm finish.

I wasn't disappointed at all in my decision to b uy this.

Photo of jamex
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a four-pack. $7.99 in San Diego.

Poured a nice near-black caramel with a nice but short lived head.

Smells of roasty malt, dark chocolate, espresso, and vanilla. As it warms I'm catching a whiff of something bourbon-like....maybe just the alcohol reacting with all the other characters.

Taste is similar to smell. I'm getting a little bit of hoppiness as well and the usual Imperial Stout characteristics. Alcohol sneaks up on you a bit.

A very drinkable stout. As I finish this one I'm contemplating grabbing another. Very tasty burps.

Glad I tried this beer - the 4-pack won't last long.

Photo of Naugros
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Near black and served in a North Coast Brewery Old Rasputin nonic glass. One of the weirdest heads I've seen on a stout. It was light brown and not particularly thick, but there were spots of tan making differently sized splotches...sort of like a rash. Odd. The lace was thin and spotty without much coverage. Maybe it was their tap lines or the tap itself.

The only difference between the smell of this RIP is that I didn't detect a ton of coffee or chocolate. It was mostly roasty toasty. Not a bad thing, but not all that complex.

The taste was nearly identical to the nose in taste. A little spice in the bitterness entered into the equation, but not strongly, even when colder than it should have been. It didn't back off as it warmed, but stayed at a nice level.

This was a bit thin for a RIP. I don't want to say watery, because it wasn't. It had the body of an Irish stout, even being incredibly smooth.

With the light body and toned down bitterness this is one of the easiest drinking RIPs I've ever had, which is dangerous...check out that abv and you'll know why. You really don't sense much of the alcohol in this.

Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured black as night with a half finger of brown head and left a little bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: Lots going on here but off the bat i was greeted by coffee and chocolate notes but it also had some nice roastiness too. there was a little oat character and slight booze as well.

T: like the nose a combination of coffee, roastiness, and chocolate flavors strike first alongside oats with a bit of booze that finishes off hoppy bitter.

M: The was full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a roasty, sweet, slight astringent, boozy, and sticky finish.

D: it drank pretty decent and have not been let down everytime I have this beer. overall a good stout offering from the north coast.

Photo of wvsabbath
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark black, some mild traces of tan.

Smell - Typical russian stout, alcohol, malts, barly, hops and spices

Taste - Smoooth and tasty, old rasp is a classic. Stout coffee mixed with spices and hops, makes one smooth beer. I really enjoy the nut flavor aftertaste. I think the malts in this beer is what makes it orignal and tastly

Mouthfeel - For being so strong, i never get palette overload, tounge doesnt numb. I can fully enjoy this beer without being ruined

Drinkabily - Dangerously high. For as strong as it is, man i can suck down 3-4 of them if not careful. There are other stronger and more intense russian stouts but not many as tastly and drinkable. A classic, try it out

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

The beer pours a jet black liquid; impenetrable by light. The head is a nice coffee color, about an inch right up to the edge of my pint glass. The head retention is excellent and the lacing on the side of the glass leads down to a creamy top of the beer even when almost gone.

The aroma is a big mix of dark chocolate and malt upfront with some mild hoppy scents on the back end. Thick smell that sticks in your nostrils; very inviting.

Like the smell, there's lots of dark chocolate and roasted malt taste that dominate here. Some hoppiness is detectable and there is a very faint kick of alcohol in the aftertaste. Overall not a bitter taste (in fact somewhat sweet) but there is some bitterness on the back end. Complex throughout; definitely tastes like a BIG beer.

Not too heavy on the palate for an Imperial Stout; consistency is less thick than oil but certainly thicker than a normal stout. Compliments the chocolate taste quite nicely.

Not highly drinkable; it too me around 15 minutes to finish a glass but those 15 minutes were delicious.

Paid $8.99 for a 4-pack. Great value.

Photo of EricHeff
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the Old Rasputin bottle. It just looks like a manly beer.
It pours out a dark dark brown color with about 1 fingers worth of light brown head. The smells are amazing.
The taste is pretty darn good. Defiantly one of the better Imperial Stouts out there. Its complex, but not too much. Subtle hints in chocolate are there and then gone and it leaves you with a warn alcohol taste. You get a great carbonation that makes this beer very drinkable.

Photo of thagr81us
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a 4oz tumbler. Poured black with a minimal light tan head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt and coffee beans. The flavor was of coffee, cream, and roasted malt. It was heavy on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this is a very nice brew. Goes down nice and smooth. Actually leaves a nice feel on the palate as well upon swallowing. This is a definite must try if you have not done so already.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[review from notes taken 09/17/10]

on tap @ deep ellum, allston (boston) MA.

appearance is a dark, opaque brown/borderline black w/ a solid two-finger mocha-toned head. nice retention and lacing. great looking stout.

aroma is heavy with roasted malts; notes of coffee and chocolate as well, with the slightest suggestion of hops. nose is substantiated by the flavor profile with the roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee pulling through in that order. again, very faint but perceptible hop presence. tasty brew, easily an upper tier RIS, though IMO doesn't quite distinguish itself enough to rival the best of the best.

smooth, velvety moutfeel; moderately carbed. decent drinkability, as far as russian imperial stouts go. you won't find a better beer for your money.

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

A-beautiful black, nice light tan head

S-chocolate and cocoa beans

T-wow its like rich but creamy chocolate. there's not much of a big after-taste. abv is noticeably high

M-very very smooth, almost no carbonation. surprisingly a dry finish though.

D-abv hits quickly. taste stays pretty well but gets a little bitterness to it, i enjoyed this all the way through, but more than one would be difficult to drink at a time.

Photo of Mancer
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brown color with a two finger high light brown head. The head didn't last long and was lightly coated with fine bubbles. The initial smell of the beer was of a dark chocolate roast with light coffee and malt undertones. The initial taste of the brew was that of roasted barley, chocolate, light coffee and caramel, as well as alcohol. The alcohol was noticeable, but did not detract from the quality of the present flavors. The beer was a bit creamy and had a full body with light to medium carbonation.

Overall, this was an excellent stout. I would highly recommend this to any fans of stouts.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,349 ratings.