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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.

9,939 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,939
Reviews: 3,364
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 305
Gots: 1,346 | FT: 43
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,939 | Reviews: 3,364 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bammo22
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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...

Bammo22, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of Elimination
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Elimination, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of JohnWaynes44
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

JohnWaynes44, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of SpencerSauce
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

SpencerSauce, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

FLBeerGuy, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of vegantreats
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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!

vegantreats, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

BamaBeerBuff, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of jlindros
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

jlindros, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of ShogoKawada
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

ShogoKawada, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of pvsob
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

pvsob, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of TequilaSauer
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.

TequilaSauer, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of krisandajt
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.

krisandajt, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of beertunes
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.

beertunes, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of adamette
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.

adamette, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of ThatWineGuy
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.

ThatWineGuy, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of callmescraps
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.

callmescraps, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of david18
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.

david18, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of magine
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.

magine, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of prosper
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.

prosper, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of huguey
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.

huguey, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of bonsreeb85
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!

bonsreeb85, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of realmpel
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.

realmpel, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of Andreji
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.

Andreji, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of Buschyfor3
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | 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 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 it's not as nearly as hot as the fresh Stone IRS I reviewed earlier this year. 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 it was much more enjoyable and much less of a chore to finish off a bottle.

A fantastic RIS. One that will surely find its way into my fridge on many occasions because of its wonderful flavors and supremely reasonable price point ($7.99 for a 4pk).

Buschyfor3, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of kegger22
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.

kegger22, Jul 23, 2009
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,939 ratings.