Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 9,418 | Reviews: 3,332 | Display Reviews Only:
4.85/5 rDev +12.8%
Like Guinness with a kick, a must try. This has all the smooth taste of a creamy stout with the after kick of bitterness like from arrogant bastards ale. Dark rich coffee flavor with a smokey chocolate hints. This is something to drink very slow and savor.
12-22-2007 19:03:13 | More by paskinsj
4.7/5 rDev +9.3%
Pours a pitch black with a thick tan head which dissipates quickly.
The nose is strong of unsweetened chocolate first and foremost. Dark fruits and espresso follow closely behind. Piney hops fill this one out.
The taste follows the nose flawlessly. Bitter chocolate, roasted coffee, fig and prune, with a pine / citrus hop finish. Glorious.
The mouthfeel is slick and bordering on creamy.
This is an old classic and the first RIS that I ever tasted. Rock solid, one of my absolute favorites.
12-21-2007 22:12:49 | More by Slynger
4.38/5 rDev +1.9%
Appearance: Black, of course, with a thin head that covers the beer, if only for a moment, leaving a ring around the edge of the glass.
Smell: Roasted barley. An interesting combination of prunes, licorice whips, and chocolate...dark chocolate. No hint of the fruity esters or alcohol presence I've gotten used to with Imperial Stouts. Well, maybe a hint, but not much at all. No hops to be found. My mouth is watering in anticipation.
Taste: Dark and roasty with just a dab of alcohol. There is a sort of bitter flavor in there, like a really dark chocolate, but it is also round and mildly fruity. It just tastes really good and stout, if somewhat hard to put into words for some strange reason. This beer is big, but not an alcohol monster, and I even think of the word "subtle". Not to say that it isn't full of flavor, because it is highly tasty. I wish I could find the right words. Mmmm is the best I have.
Mouthfeel: It coats the mouth, but has a bit of water, just in the center, which serves it well to keep it honest. It lingers for a while.
Drinkability: This is divine. My new favorite for the season. I wish I had a dark chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, laced with vanilla highlights and a few black cherries to go along with this marvel of brewing science and technology. Even alone, each sip is so damn good it beckons you to take another soon. It's time to go back to the packy to buy their entire stock of this beer!
12-19-2007 01:11:25 | More by ksbrainard
3.53/5 rDev -17.9%
poured into a dogfish head snifter out of a 12 oz bottle. one of the best cali bang for the bucks out there at $6.99 for a 4 pack...
refrigerator cold...too cold.
A: pours dark, not inky black dark but dark brown black opaque, like the coat of a wombat. small bubbles thicken but recede to ring the brown black, leaving a modest lace of mocha.
S: immediately briny hops and slight molasses hiding behind a strong co2 release. [poured very cold] as it warms, espresso and herbally bitter notes, fernet and echinacea with a suggestion of prune, and faint molasses edging in shyly.
T: immediately bitter in the mouth, receding to strong roast burnt espresso, astringent charcoal bitterness, barely a suggestion of the fruits hinted at in the nose. this is an overwhelmingly dry and earthy, bitter herbal stout. slight acidity strikes in a flash as the bitterness subsides, finishing dry fading into alcohol warmth late suggestive of melted bitter chocolate.
M: medium full mouthfeel, balanced with a medium carbonation, high for a stout of this gravity, leaves with bitter astringent dryness that mellows.
D: this is one of my go-to's, good punch and hits the hop craving in the back of my toungue. for a stout, it's lacking the robustness and dynamic layers of malt fruits that balance a beer this intensely hoppy, roasted and alcoholic. it's not inherently drinkable, but does play an enjoyable foil to a night of IPA.
12-18-2007 07:26:45 | More by Gouldsby
4.13/5 rDev -4%
On tap and poured into a tulip at The Library Bar in downtown Los Angeles. Poured jet black with a brown head. Smell was all that imperial stout stuff- roasted barley and chocolate are the main things. The taste was very rich with a pretty big roastiness. Had a nice slick mouthfeel but didn't overwhelm with thickness or syrupyness. A very good tasting stout, much different than what I experienced from the bottle I tried a few months ago. Ratings have been updated.
Bottled version 12.16.07
A- Poured into a pint glass, a nice dark brown to black, can be seen through at the bottom of the glass and had a fluffy light-tan head.
S- The smell was pretty faint but definitely roasty and slightly acidic. This was much more tilted toward the roast then other RIS's which tend to be sweeter to me (ie Stone)
T- Roasty with a deep bitter chocolate second half. There is just a bit of alcohol at the very end. On about my 8th sip, something happened and the taste just became unbearable. At first it was an average, maybe even slightly above average beer to me, but at that point it turned to something that was making me sick having in my mouth. The taste just became a big alcohol and astringent mess. I don't know what it was but I couldn't finish half this glass.
M- Exceptionally smooth, the carbonation you know is there, it wasn't flat by any means, but in the mouth you don't get one hint of carbonation as it is all hidden under a blanket of malts.
D- I had to pour it out. Didn't even get through half of the beer. I would not seek this out again. This specific RIS may be for some people, but it isn't for me.
12-16-2007 06:50:01 | More by MiScusi
3.6/5 rDev -16.3%
Poured into a snifter. Very black beer with a nice, dark brown head that left nice lacing on the sides of the glass. Smelled mostly of coffee and dark malts. Taste started with strong coffee with a bit of alcohol, followed by lots of hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. This is a very good, strong, sipping beer.
12-15-2007 03:05:15 | More by Spidey13
4.28/5 rDev -0.5%
Poured from a bottle a blackest black color with a mocha meringue head and tons of sticky lacing.
Nice aroma of coffee, toffee, roasted malts, and caramel.
The first sip was a thick chewy blast very similar to a mocha latte, but with a hoppy presence. The coffee taste then lingers for quite some time.
Mouthfeel is rich and wonderful with moderate carbonation.
A very, very nice Russian Imperial Stout. I'm glad it wasn't one of those over-sweetened stouts that I've had before. Perfect for the upcoming winter season.
12-13-2007 22:33:17 | More by Monkeyknife
3.38/5 rDev -21.4%
12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.
A - Dark dark brown with a really thick caramel colored head that stays forever.
S - Strong chocolate smell. A lot of hops.
T - Rich chocolate taste followed by hops, hops and some more hops. Strong finish.
M - Good carbonation, good flavor, the finish is a little to much hops. It stays in your mouth long after.
D - Not impressed. It has good flavor but i don't like the finish.
12-13-2007 05:20:19 | More by jeffmonarch
4.35/5 rDev +1.2%
Yum! A jet black beer, thick looking with a nice creamy head. Smells like love. There's hints of malt and hops in the scent but its light and not overpowering. The taste is amazing for those who like dark beers. You have layers of flavor, malt and hops, even some chocolate hints. Very complex flavor and surprisingly lighter then it looks. The most interesting thing to me is that the flavor out weighs the bitterness in your mouth. All that dark goodness coats your mouth and blends very well. A big, complex beer with a lot going on. Excellent!! Just a little side note, if you do something dumb (like me) and spill some, clean it up quick because its very dark and is hard to get out of the carpet.
12-06-2007 23:28:41 | More by jbphoto88
4/5 rDev -7%
A: Pitch black and thick appearing. About a two finger tan head with significant retention. A big, heavy looking beer.
S: Huge smell that spreads around the room. Tons of chocolate and coffee, plenty of sweet/syrupy molasses, and a rich burnt finish.
T: Not as sweet as the smell, but a big rich beginning, mostly coffee and malt. A bit of the chocolate in the middle, along with some bitterness, and then a huge toasted finish.
MF: A bit bubbly for a stout. Huge, thick and chewy, but maybe not quite as smooth as others in this style. The alcohol makes its presence known, but doesn't take over.
D: Not my favorite of this style, but a solid brew. The flavor has a nice balance with the slight bitterness which in some ways makes it easier to drink. A bit overcarbonated for my taste. This may be more drinkable than other Imperials because the alcohol isn't as big and the flavor isn't as over the top. For me, though, if I'm gonna drink an RIS, I'd just as soon have the huge alcohol and huge flavor.
12-06-2007 06:56:26 | More by rxdrewthejew
4.22/5 rDev -1.9%
I went with this brew totally blindly, not having read any reviews and not having any expectations. Here is what I found...
A- Dark as night. Charcoal black with only the slightest hints of brown with a dark copper head. Head was medium but faded fairly quickly to thin.
S- Smells of dark coffee with hints of dark chocolate.
T- Old Rasputin is a whirlwind of flavor. Honestly, at the start, I was puzzled by it. Quite bitter for a stout with sort of a burnt taste. Made me pucker a bit from the bitterness and I wasn't crazy about it. By mid-glass and as the beer warmed, the true amazing flavors come out and I was sold. The alcohol burn becomes more apparent but I also get notes of espresso, dark and milk chocolate and a nice sweetness I love in imperial stouts. By the end, I was begging for more.
M- A very solid mouthfeel- heavy, makes you feel like you're drinking a beer and not water.
D- What to say about drinkability. It's certainly not a session beer but it's very drinkable for an imperial stout. The alcohol doesn't start to kick in til mid-glass so it's deceiving. Still, one or two of these per session is more than enough.
Overall, this is a high quality Imperial Stout. Not my ultimate favorite but still excellent.
12-04-2007 18:30:50 | More by BACTAdam
3.95/5 rDev -8.1%
Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a very dark almost opaque brown with a chocolate 1 finger head. The head only lasted a few minutes. Smell had hints of oakiness, along with very slight raspberry aromas hiding in the milk chocolate mocha scent. Taste was both dark wheat bread, and burnt chocolate at the same time. Slightly bitter in the mouth with a little acidity on the toungue that detracted from the mouthfeel. Overall was fairly drinkable, but the alcohol content did hit a little stronger than would have been expected.
12-04-2007 00:32:56 | More by mountdew1
4.65/5 rDev +8.1%
"Black as night" really is the best way to describe it. Thick, rocky, dark tan head, some active carbonation visible. Head dies very slowly and leaves a thick coating on the glass.
Smells of rich roasted malts and chocolate. Very smoky, but not ashy like some Imperial Stouts. Hint of caramel in the background.
I think I'm in love. First taste is bold, roasted malt, followed closely by the chocolate and caramel. The perfect amount of bitterness (in my opinion) for a strong stout, coming from the roast and smokiness.
Creamy, thick body, more carbonation than I would expect but it's not unpleasant. The three main flavors just roll around on the tongue in perfect harmony. There's something about how they roasted the malt that strikes me as very pleasing, but unfortunately I don't have enough experience with stout production to know what it is.
Overall this is a stout-lover's dream. Not for a weak stomach, because it has a hefty bitterness and high ABV that shamelessly displays itself in the taste, but it is just one hell of an enjoyable drink. I was planning to follow it up with a pint of Guinness but now I'm thinking it simply won't do my taste buds justice after this.
12-03-2007 04:16:55 | More by Thanby
4.43/5 rDev +3%
A. Dark oil black, hardly opaque despite my best efforts. Little to no head despite best efforts.
S. Rich deep coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate and the sweet burnt caramel smell. Some hops in the background.
T. Starts with a blast of bitter hops but evolves to chocolate, coffee, caramel and malt.
M. I think they nailed the proper level of carbonation. Creamy finish but still clean.
D. Pretty strong, otherwise more drinkable.
12-03-2007 00:24:25 | More by MarkSCCOT
4.2/5 rDev -2.3%
So, there are few out there that might dare pair a beer with a song... but as this is my first review on BeerAdvocate, I'm going in a different direction and begin this review with just such a suggestion.
There's a group called Justice. and they have a song entitled Waters Of Nazareth. If there were a soundtrack to drinking a North Coast Old Rasputin, this would be it.
Pours a chunky darkness as if from the veins of some evil entity that, on the day it was created, refused to ever meet it's maker again.
The aroma hits you with heavy melodies of coffee-infused chocolate, possibly alcohol-soaked raisins.
The taste comes at you with burnt maltiness, burnt coffee, bitter hops, caramelized sugar, oaky finish?
Jesus, God... Don't mess with this beer.
12-02-2007 02:40:44 | More by starflyer58
3.5/5 rDev -18.6%
I'm just not a fan of Imperial stouts so I'm just not inclined to rave about this beer. It pours about as black as mud, not much carbonation, some retention, some lacing. The head is dirty brown. The smell is thick, oily, molasses, cherry overtones, dark roasted coffee, and sweet malts. This beer is full bodied, strong, bitter, and not for the faint at heart. Perhaps I'm the faint at heart because I couldn't imagine drinking more than one. I can appreciate the style to a point, but then it is just a strong espresso, molasses, bitter and biting roasted malt brew that just stings in the mid section. On the very tail end, some sweet malts and cherry like flavors emerge, but not until I've been hit over the head by the mid section and beyond of just bitter and strong flavors. As the beer settles a bit, the more warming alcohol notes and the sweeter malts present themselves sooner. The aftertaste is a bit over the top for me as well. The mouthfeel is pronounced and thick, but what do you expect from a beer that pours like dirty oil.
12-01-2007 21:15:55 | More by albern
4.3/5 rDev 0%
12oz bottle, served in a Chimay chalice.
A - Pours a dark, dark black with a deep ruby hue when put to the light. Huge 2-3 finger head of deep beige colored foam that leaves a great lacing.
S - Chocolate espresso, with hints of nuts - no hop aroma to note of.
T - Sweet chocolate and espresso like coffee notes. Nice hop presence with a great lingering bitterness that makes this beer very enjoyable.
M - Thick on viscosity and low on carbonation - perfect for this style.
D - While this one is 9%, you can actually drink more than a couple in a sitting, but be careful!
An excellent representation of this style. FKro.
12-01-2007 02:34:10 | More by djeffbee
4.8/5 rDev +11.6%
This was an incredible RIS here! Pours very dark but not totally opaque with a nice creamy 1 inch head that leaves some fairly decent lacing as well.
Smells rich and dark, like espresso. This is a very complex brew here. Aroma of fruit and licorice, malt and coffee.
This is one fine tasting stout. This is what I want a stout to taste like. Very rich and dark with a nice alcohol finish and a good warming end to it. You know you're drinking a strong beer when you drink this one. Not the strongest of stouts, but just the right amount of kick to it. The alcohol is present but it isn't overpowering or overbearing in any way.
I loved this beer. I had to travel an hour west to get the last two bottles that the store had. It was worth the trip and I guarantee you that I'll make it again.
12-01-2007 02:05:20 | More by Tilley4
4.3/5 rDev 0%
Since this brew has such an outstanding reputation I was wondering if it would live up to it, or if it was just hype Well it sure deserves that fine rep!
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout poured an almost opaque [reddish] black color with a bumpy 1½ finger tan head and leaves behind some lacing. This is a complex brew with a rich intense robust palate that is creamy, buttery [smooth] with the right amount of carbonation. Old Rasputin has a light fruit aroma. The taste is dominated by dark chocolate and coffee with touches of blackberries.
Drink ability is a little lower due to its rich flavor [it hides the alcohol well] but that is NOT a bad thing! Rasputin makes for a GREAT nightcap.
12-01-2007 00:27:12 | More by bushbeer75
4.03/5 rDev -6.3%
Poured from a bottle into my imperial pint glass.
A: A dark almost black color with a beautiful light brown head. Nice glass lacing as the head subsides.
S: I'm not sure why others don't smell what I did, but right up front I smell hops. Maybe I had a really fresh bottle, but there was no mistaking the initial hop smell. From there when I kept sniffing I picked up the sweet roasted malt with coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate and the sweet burnt caramel smell.
T: Incredible. Once again, hops bitterness right off the bat, but as the beer settles in your mouth you get the traditional stout flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, caramel and the malt. Nice finish that lasts on this beer with some alcohol presence, but far from offensive. This is one complex excellent tasting beer.
M: Great mouthfeel, the alcohol is there and you can taste it as it finishes in your mouth, but it's just really enjoyable.
D: Excellent, boy I could easily put away many of these (if I could stay upright).
Overall this is an excellent stout. I am new to this style of beer, but no doubt hands down this is a favorite of mine. I'm a hop guy and I just loved the upfront hops in this beer. Well done North Coast, cheers to you. I see me drinking a lot of this beer in the future.
11-29-2007 02:38:20 | More by Kadonny
4.5/5 rDev +4.7%
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a St. Feuillien goblet.
A: Pitch black with a dark khaki head that's very creamy and bubbly. Copious amounts of lace present.
S: Big aromas of roasted malt, dark roast coffee, bitter dark chocolate, dark fruit, and fresh cut grass/green hops.
T: Burnt black malt, coffee, dark chocolate, spicy hops, ripe plums, figs, molassas, and fresh green/resinous hops. Masterful!
M: Creamy, spicy, bitter, and at the same time, sweet.
D: Goes down so smooth and easy, this is incredible!
11-29-2007 01:43:29 | More by GbVDave
4.53/5 rDev +5.3%
a: A very dark brown when held up to the light, not quite black. Pours with a big medium tan head that fades fairly quickly leaving some lace behind.
s: Roasty smokey cocoa with alcohol are the most noticeable smells. Some sweetness here also.
t: A fantastic combination of semi-sweet dark chocolate and bitter hops dominate. Or maybe thats just unsweetened cocoa? Hint of coffee at the end.
m: Absolute perfection here. The carbonation and viscosity are spot on.
d: I'd like to always have some of these in stock. The price is not reflected in the score, but this is a world class beer for a bargain price of less than $2 a bottle.
11-28-2007 11:59:28 | More by DIM
4.75/5 rDev +10.5%
A - Poured a very dark brown pretty much black color with a brown head that leaves lacing
S - Great malt with chocolate smell
T - Awesome taste malt with a chocolate and coffee flavor finishes with some hops
M - Very creamy and smooth very little carbonation
D - Is very high great taste I think this is the best beer that I've reviewed yet I think I'll have another after this one
11-27-2007 23:21:11 | More by armock
3.9/5 rDev -9.3%
Poured this small capped bottle into a snifter.
Dark, but not pitch black, this one has an occasional dark red highlight going through the darkness. It has a creammy, light brown head with average retention and some lacing.
aves a bit to be desired as well.
Nice aroma of dark chocolate, some fruity hoppiness and coffee opens way to a full-bodied brew, with bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened and at times burnt coffee and a bitter, dry hoppy finish.
Nice, but the aftertaste is slightly unbalanced, dry and hoppy, at least for me.
11-22-2007 04:42:50 | More by brdc
4.33/5 rDev +0.7%
Sampled on 11-19-07
Pours a thick, absolutely pitch black, with a fizzy brown head that lasts for ages and settles to a thin film.
Smell is huge roasted malts. Big aromas of coffee and anise, with a subtle chocolate and a nice oakiness. Very good.
Taste is huge RIS. Sweet, roasty malt backed by massive dark flavors of coffee, anise, and maybe a subtle fruitiness. Very woody, and surprisingly bitter on the finish. No perceptible alcohol, very smooth and slick.
Mouthfeel is great, thick and creamy with more carbonation than you might expect.
Drinkability is surprisingly good for a beer this big.
Overall, a fantastic example of the style. Great right now, I'm betting it will be astounding with age.
11-20-2007 01:38:53 | More by BMoney575
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,418 ratings.