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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

10,517 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,517
Reviews: 3,438
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 381
Gots: 1,700 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,517 | Reviews: 3,438 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of codewarrior
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz from a 4-pack, poured into a pint-glass.

Was first introduced to this beer on-tap at 99 bottles, in Santa Cruz, CA. I recall it being even better on tap, unfortunately I have yet to find a tapper of it in Denver (although I've heard Falling Rock has tapped this from time to time).

A: Pitch black, to the point of being reflective (Rasputin is a black mirror into your own soul!). Rich, creamy head, not going anywhere.

S: Biting, chocolatey. hint of licorice. Man, this beer smells strong, a lot strong.

T: Warm, warm, chocolatey goodness. Solid finish. Lingers in the mouth. It seems to be true that you can't kill Old Rasputin.

F: Smooth ... ****ing smooth. Good lord, this is a lush beer.

D: All around fantastic stout.

This is the kind of beer that inspires men to great heights of cheesiness.

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

Appearance: Very exceptional dark brown with a thinner brown head that didn't fully develop

Aroma: Chocolaty flavors flavors come off strong but there are hints of citrus and fruit, reminiscent of chocolate -covered oranges or raspberries

Flavor/Mouthfeel: Heavy body (though not as heavy as would be thought with the ABV and style) begins with the brooding of chocolate and alcohol leading into a complex finish of roasted malt and a grainy, alcoholic aftertaste. As the drinking continues, more coffee tones appear as some of I became less sensitive to the stronger flavors.

Overall: A great sipping beer and example of the style.

Photo of CascadeConan
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As you would expect the beer is opaque with a decent tan head that leaves a bit of lacing as you go.

The nose is full of chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, sweet toffee and a bit of smoke.

The taste differs greatly from some of the bigger stouts I've been drinking lately, a whole lot of burnt grains and hops up front mellowing through the chocolate and coffee with a warm, dry finish. Lots of big flavors going on, huge role played by the hops (75 IBUs) in this stout along with the grains to make this deliciously bitter but the body remains fairly thin for 9% ABV, not as velvety as you would hope.

Verdict? Great stout, this had a lot of hype behind it and for the most part it lived up to all I counts and was a divergence from my expectations which made this a whole lot more interesting to drink. This is the kind of beer that will get you through those cold winter nights in the kremlin.

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

Poured out of a 120z bottle into a stemless wine glass. Served at cellar temperature.

A-ink black body, thick and sticky dark tan head.

S-milk chocolate, warm bread,

T-burnt toast, British hop bitterness, somewhat boozy alcohol and some chocolate.

M-full and slick

D-high in alcohol flavor but you do get the other layers underneath after a few sips.

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

12oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Have you ever been inside a cave and turned off your headlamp? That's how black this brew is. A thin tan head that sticks around. Good lacing.

S: Sweet smell of cocoa, malts, and prunes. The alcohol is almost unnoticeable after letting it sit for a bit. Really inviting.

T: Dark chocolate and burnt malts. Alcohol is pronounced but not overpowering. Excellent warming finish. Sweet and dry aftertaste.

M: Wonderful mouthfeel. Silky with substance; very smooth.

D: I love this beer and could easily have another but the ABV commands respect and restraint. A really delicious brew.

Photo of littlesgtpepper
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had on top at the North Coast Brewery on 09/22/10 in a pint glass.

This beer has a mocha-colored, fluffy/smooth head that stays. This beer is black, like King Bowser's heart.

Smells of semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, and malt.

Holy God, this beer is incredible! This beer has so many flavors: dark chocolate, strong espresso, malt, black coffee, nuts, and toffee and even a hint of the Holy Lord himself. There is also a strong hop bitterness that really works to balance everything out but doesn't overtake the beer which is truly a blessing.

I could have a couple of these beers but no more since the flavors are so strong that the only thing keeping this beer from being absolutely perfect is the drinkability. Truly a phenomenal beer, especially on tap.

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

I'm fortunate enough that my local bar has been keeping Old Ras on nitro-tap for some time now. Whenever the mood strikes for something rich, dark, creamy, and with enough alcohol in it to relax for the night, I head over.

The beer arrives with a body that is pitch black topped with a immaculate tan head. The smell is more roasty than anything with a subtle malty sweetness you can pick up. You are unlikly to make it through the head on the first sip, but don't let that dissuade you... The head itself is a treat being insanely smooth with a much lighter feel to it while keeping the notes of chocolate, roast and malt that await in the beer proper. Savor the sips of Old Ras because on tap it is candy. You will finish a glass without thinking about it, and with everybody else doing the same it might not be long before the keg kicks.

If you see Old Ras on tap, get it. No ifs ands or buts.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,517 ratings.