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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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10,712 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,712
Reviews: 3,489
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 403
Gots: 1,858 | FT: 49
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 (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,712 | Reviews: 3,489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NWer
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle aggressively poured into a Weizen glass.
Very dark to black color with beautiful head retention.
This is a beer to savor slowly - if possible. The high alcohol content gives it an extra kick to add to the fun without distracting from the taste. A fun stout that is reasonably priced.
High marks on all categories.

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

This looks quite different off nitro. The creamy tan head is beautiful on top of the black doom that is Rasputin.

The smell has quite a bit of fruit, coffee, and some cream.

Taste follows the nose fairly well. Lots of cream and stone fruit with a hint of creamed coffee in the finish.

Creamy as hell. I love nitro beers.

I never thought Raspy could be more drinkable, but off nitro it is.

Photo of zoolzoo
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Jet black, one finger mocha head dissipating into a thick ring.

S: Distinct cocoa and espresso beans, some hops dancing around as well.

T: My first sip was way too cold, alcohol surprised me - and a somewhat muted palate. After only a short time in the glass Raspy revealed heavily roasted malts, cocoa, and fresh coffee beans. Sharp hop bitterness mid palate (almost juicy), warming finish. Initial slap of alcohol is now hidden, thankfully. Well balanced.

M: "Medium bodied" as far as stouts go, pretty well carbed. Fits the flavor profile nicely, though.

D: Probably too good for 9%.

Photo of COBeerBuff
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an 8 oz. snifter at Barley's in Shawnee, KS.

Appearance: When I first laid eyes upon the glass, it looked strikingly like a dry stout, whether this is due to a nitro tap or what, I don't know at this point. There was a solid finger and a half of tan colored head that looked soft and billowy. And the beer itself is black as night. No light is getting through today, and it's a pretty sunny day here on the plains.

Smell: This beer smells heavily of roasted chocolates and toasted grain malts. There is a lot of sweet vanilla and some cream as well. Subtle hops are present, but this beer is certainly all about the malts, which is exactly what an impy stout should be about.

Taste: Much like the nose, this beer is a heavy chocolate, grain malt bomb. The chocolates are mostly dark and heavy with a bit of spiciness as well. The grains on the other hand represent everything that is good with using toasted and burnt grain malts in a beer. I love it.

Mouthfeel: Amazingly enough, the nose didn't display anything overt, but the first sip had some stinging alcoholic esters, which was very surprising. As the beer warmed and settled, these phenolic overtones mellowed considerably, but it was a bit harsh to start. This brew was definitely served too cold for my tastes.

Drinkability: As I find myself staring at my final third, I can't help but remark about the drinkability of this brew. Many RIS tend to be heavy, thick, viscous sipping beers. This is not like those. It definitely has a pronounced mouthfeel. It's not too light, but it doesn't sit heavily in your stomach either. North Coast created a winner with this RIS, and it is one that I will continue to drink happily here in Kansas.

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

Pours pitch black and produces a ton of creamy milk chocolate looking head, which dissipate to solid pacing.

In the aroma there are roasted coffee and cocoa hints.

Taste wise it is mostly semisweet chocolate along with a strong coffee flavors.

This feels dense, creamy, a little slick, and has a warmth to the finish.

Photo of jagoffyinzer
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black with a thick head that dissipates to a thin layer. Great lacing on the edges and good head retention though it slowly fades as you drink. Carbonation is right on for the style.

S: A nice malty chocolate hits your nose and dances with some vanilla and alcohol. Also getting some roast and coffee notes.

T: Greeted with a vibrant roast flavor with a bitter back bone. Some alcohol notes on the finish. The roast flavor also plays counter part to some underlying chocolate.

M: This is initially very creamy and smooth but the finish is quite dry, almost too dry.

D: It is pretty hefty but this an Imperial Stout, it's not made to session. For the ABV it's not upfront and in your face like it is with some other beers of this style. It is masked very well with the roast aroma and flavor, it sticks out where it should.

Photo of CaptYellow
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Half the glass was head. A fluffy one.

T: Sweet. Almost nutty. Quintessential RIS.

M: Chewy.

D: A bit heavy to be highly drinkable.

O: Worth the price? Yes. I think a four pack was $9. Recommend? Yes. Search out? Maybe not, but a pick-up-while-it's-there beer. Buy again? I'm sure.

Photo of sfprint
3.51/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Very dark, but not as dark as other Imperial Stouts I've seen. Almost a centimeter of head, cola colored, with teeny trails of bubbles scurrying to the surface. If looking at the thinner parts of the body, it's reddish brown.

S: Although the alcohol is one of the first things that hits the nose, it does so in sort of a soft way.

T: semi bitter coffee, tobacco, alcohol. There are also some grassy, hay like notes in a pleasant way. I would find it more pleasant with less alcohol or less of an alcohol flavor.

M: Smooth with a medium body, but the alcohol doesn't leave the most pleasant of mouth sensations.

D: Relatively heavy, I couldn't have more than 1 or two. It goes down ok for a high alcohol beer.

Photo of RussianImperial
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got this exceptional beer in the cool 4-pack. pours out a dark brown and has some nice lacing around the glass.

beer smells of chocolate, anise and licorice (heaven).

up-front there is a bit of a bite, but after a few drinks the bite is gone. this stout is good below 50 degrees and is better as it warms. Chocolate and Licorice are present in the middle with the warming of the Alcohol for the finish.

Mouthfull is medium, not as thick as you'd expect from such a good Russian Stout, but you get past that very quickly.

The drinkability of this beer is scary, it goes down very smooth with a big flavor that is hard to put down. This is a very good Russian Stout,the best beer from North Coast Brewing. I will be buying this beer again and again.

Photo of GoNowhere
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Cool little four pack with a picture of the unkillable Rasputin daring you to drink this beer. Poured into a goblet and allowed to settle for 10 minutes.

A: Pitch black with a frothy almond colored head.

S: Coffee, with hints of roasted malty goodness.

T: Awesome. So much flavor from this little bad boy. Malty, roasted unsweetened cocoa, maybe some mollases coming through. Tasty and goes great with a nice medium rare steak.

M: Initially it comes on thick in an epic kind of way, then warms in the mouth and settles back to unleash the flavors.

D: Highly. The alcohol is a ghost in this stout which deceives its 9% content. I know stouts are primarily a winter beer but this thing can be enjoyed in the summer too. As the beer warms it unleashes even more flavors.

Photo of JMad
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass at spiral diner in fort worth.

Was a very nice opaque black color with a light brown head, had a thin head and left a good amount of lacing as it went down.

Smells like chocolate, toffee, and roasted coffee beans.

The roasted taste comes through well, still very chocolatey. nice and stout.

It's not too heavy, very smooth and dry. Warms as it goes down.

Photo of Bendurgin
3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Appearance is black with a nice mocha colored head that is about an inch. The smell reveals a dark fruits; dates and a nice caramel smell lingers in the nostrils. I get a bit of bitterness and some nice roasted malts a cocoa flavors. Also dark fruits that I smelled. Certainly the dates coming to the tongue and some nice roasted malts. I wish it were a little more roasty. Not as full bodied as I expected and a little more carbonation than I expected as well. Nothing offensive though. The nine percent ABV is well hidden. This is a very drinkable RIS, it's not hot going down and the dark fruits make it very pleasent.

Photo of bluetravlr
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Walked home from work at 1am in the pouring rain with this beer in hand. Ah . . . it is good to be home.

A: Nice two full fingers of initial tan/rootbeer colored head. Almost completely black. This beer hardly lets any light through at all but upon further inspection a slight rich-brown coloration can be observed. The head stays with you till the end leaving rich, if not abundant, lacing.

S: Note of anise and sweetbread and coffeee are what first come to mind. Also, some roasted oats and chestnuts and maybe a bit of freshly cut grass?

T: Very similar to the nose. Initially a little sweet with flavors of both toffee and caramel. This sweetness rides to the finish but is enhanced by overlapping layers of coffee, dried leaves, burnt brush, but mostly a grassy bitterness that is most notable in the finish . . . with a hint of lemon rind. Overall, kind of like a nutty cinnamon roll, yet, obviously much more complex.

M: Thick bodied, though average for a stout, mostly due to the sweetness. A little heavy on the carbonation for a stout. A lingering dryness due to the grassy bitterness of the hops

D: The alcohol is pretty well masked. However, perhaps ironically, the sweetness and bitterness detract from this beers sessionability. Instead of blending together in harmony the sweet and bitter qualities of this beer seem to be at odds with one another.

This review, as shown in the ratings, is not meant to dismiss in any way the quality of this beer. It is extremely interesting . . . and in more ways than one delicious. Just not as balanced as some of my favorite stouts.

Photo of Japerrault
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: opaque black with a thick brown head. Nice lacing

S: Caramel, toffey, Sweet malts

T: Nice sweetness throughout, Cocoa, roasted malts, ripe fruits. Light bitterness in the finish. Complex flavors linger long on the tongue.

M: Medium body, ample carbonation.

D: Smooth feeling malty brew, very drinkable. High alcohol is hardly noticable.

Photo of aepb1
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep brown with a light tan, almost airy head

S- Chocolate and roasted malts, a bit of coffee, not nearly as strong as the taste would have had me think!

T- Full! Caramel malts up front with the coffee and hops lingering -- long aftertaste but not it's not bad at all

M- Not full or creamy as you'd think... almost light really and that's surprising

D- Drinkable-- like it a lot and the fullness of the flavor is pretty great but the mouthfeel just kinda kills it for me

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

Poured into my sniftner, this brew pours a jet black with a dark tan head about three fingers tall. The head steadily dissipates over the next few minutes, finally settling to a one finger tall head.

The nose is super heavy roasted malt and chocolate. Chocolate is definitely king, but it definitely has a devilish side....a hop side.

The flavor follow suit. Chocolate cover hops is the best way to describe it. I remember just about two years ago, I was in college and bought my first Ol' Raspy. God it was one hell of a tough stout to drink....good, but tough. And now that my pallet matured, it was the mixture of the hops and chocolate malt that made it so damn challenging.

Mouth feel and drinkability are both great. Overall, Old Raspy is excellent. I'm glad my pallet has matured enough to enjoy this great brew!

Photo of PartyBear
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer I've been after for a while, and finally got my hands on it thanks to the Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam. Pours jet black with a decent level of carbonation and a big creamy tan head that shows good retention. The aroma is hugely dark and heavy with intense notes of chocolate, coffee and dark forest fruits. The taste is dark and bitter from the start with flavours of the highest quality cocoa, strong bitter espresso and a earthy smokey peat. After a few sips it is really the coffee flavours that come through the strongest, providing a massively rich imperial stout. The feel is full bodied and silky smooth, with just the right amount of carbonation. This is a superb imperial stout, one of the best i have tasted. I wish this was easier to get hold of outside of the US.

Photo of boothbeer
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nitro-tap at the Map Room in Chicago

A: Pours a viscous dark black with 2 fingers of this dark mocha colored head. Lacing is beautiful and covers the snifter as this beers is consumed.

S: Dark chocolate and lightly roasted malts. Almost a sweetness to the aroma.

T: Lightly roasted malts and chocolate up front. Touch of vanilla. A little bit of hops comes through before the malts leave a roasty finish.

M: Having this on nitro made this amazing. Just super creamy and smooth. Very viscous and chewy. Probably one of the best mouthfeels on any beer I've had.

D: This beer was so smooth it went down with ease. I've always liked this beer out of the bottle, but nitro made it so much better. If I see this again, I will be ordering it.

Photo of bgildea
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very nice dark black oil color. Nice thick tan head that left a significant amount of lacing.

S: Nice smell of caramel, vanilla, roasted malts, maybe a hint of chocolate or coffee as well.

T: Very nice taste. Complex, with a nice blend of malts, caramel, vanilla and hops. The beer starts with a great sweet taste and finishes with a lingering flavor of hops and coffee maybe. Very good.

M: Little thinner than I would have preferred. Still a good amount of chew though.

D: Very drinkable. The beer is delicious which of course will make me want to drink it again. I recommend this beer to any dark beer drinker.

Overall: Overall the beer was very tasty. The flavors were complex but well balanced. I definitely recommend trying this beer.

Photo of Chizoad
3.87/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark, inky totally opaque. Beige head with small retention. Looks good.

Fantastic smell! Flowers, blueberries, coffee (especially the bitterness), but malt dominates. Love the fruit in this, a really pleasant surprise. I let a few others smell this and nobody agreed with me, so I'm probably full of it.

The malt dominates again, and the hoppy bitterness completes an excellent flavor. Lots of depth here with layers of the malt.

Nice carbonation, good but not great mouthfeel. Probably just personal preference, as I like lighter mouthfeel. It's a stout, so for the style, I can't complain.

Not particularly drinkable, I definitely couldn't have more than one of these given the density and relatively high ABV%. While it lasted, was quite drinkable, but that was the end of the line.

Photo of DarrinRasberry
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Jet black with a small but lasting head.

S: Roast, roast, roast. Biscuits, cream, and nuts. Malt; milk chocolate. Superbly suggestive, sensual scent.

T: Almonds and chocolate. Light-roasted coffee. Very mocha-like in quality; hops are there, but subtle.

M: Thick and creamy. Leaves a nutty feel in your mouth and a wonderful beerstache to boot.

D: The most drinkable of stouts. The 9% ABV is totally hidden. Be careful with this beer!

Photo of rawthar
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Nice, thick , pitch motor oil and tar. Quickly dissipating head that leaves a coffee film. Looks exactly the way an RIS should.

S- Very rich aroma. Coffee is definitely the star of the show, but it is happy to share the spotlight with the supporting cast: Roasted malt, smoke, burnt wood, a hint of baker's chocolate and some booze.

T- Bitter, rich, toasty roasted coffee, a hint of woodland smoke.

M- Some creamy carbonation and a bit of an oily thickness.

D- This is a man's meal of a beer, good enough to drink a whole case, just on 24 different nights.

Photo of glid02
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nitro-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours black with a large and cascading brown head. The head slowly recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, smooth dark chocolate, and very light leafy hops. As the beer warms the aroma sweetens a bit.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although a bit more complex. Lightly roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by semi-sweet chocolate flavors. Midway through the sip the chocolate flavors sweeten a bit and are joined by very mild amounts of vanilla. Finally, hints of leafy hops come into play right before a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is great. It's got a very viscous thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall I was surprised at how much the nitro-tap changed this beer and even more surprised at how it positively affected it. Well worth a shot.

Photo of RobertTh3Texian
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is not as opaque as I expected but nearly so. Deep reddish in colour with a tan head that will not go away so I can pour in the rest. The smell reminds me of walking through Central Market in the morning right after they got some fresh rye or Russian black bread done. Bout the same ingredients so... I love it when the heads are creamy, almost ice cream like. As part of them falls away to reveal the delicate insides of tasty cloud. The taste is more effervescent than I thought and man a lot going on. Well you have the fruity flavours from the malt. Deep roasty and a mix of more flavours than I can identify. Almost a plum, slight strawberry, bit of cherry and ten other things that I can't begin to emote. Leaves a taste of slightly overcooked toast and those lovely fruit flavours. I can see why this is a popular one.

Photo of PandorasBottle
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours almost black with a toffee-colored, rich head. A very sexy and impressive glass of beer.

Aroma: Smoky malts and bitter, unsweetened chocolate with a hint of coffee. The smokiness is to die for!

Flavor/Finish: Deep roasted malts, with elements of coffe and chocolate. the midtones are quite sweet while the finish has a coffee-flavored bitterness. Lingering, mouth-coating finish which betrays the high abv at times.

Body/Mouthfeel: Very full-bodied and creamy, not a heavy mouth-coating. Very low carbonation lends to a somewhat syrupy mouthfeel at times.

Drinkability: With a somewhat syrupy texture, high abv and a heavy, full body, Old Rasputin is a sipper to end a evening with. Greater ambition might result in an upset stomach.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,712 ratings.