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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

9,204 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,204
Reviews: 3,325
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 252
Gots: 1,012 | FT: 32
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)
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Ratings: 9,204 | Reviews: 3,325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Southernbrew
Southernbrew

Georgia

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

Black with brown hues, small tan head.

Full aroma with bitter chocolate, espresso and burnt notes.

Full bodied, quite smooth. Rich chocolate and espresso show up first followed by caramel sweetness. Some hop bite in the finish and then you are left with a bitter-sweet aftertaste.

Delicious imperial stout. The alcohol is well hidden and the flavors are mixed very well.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2004 01:58:33 | More by Southernbrew
Photo of bensiff
bensiff

Washington

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

Poors a dark brown to black color with a quickly dissipating dark mocha colored head. Aroma is complex with a distinct roasted character, coffee, chocolate, and I even venture to say the slightest hint of toffee hiding in the mix.

The taste is complex as the aroma and almost as enjoyable. It rolls on the tongue lightly until it hits the back where the flavor kicks in fully. The roasted malt has a smokey character, bitter chocolate, espresso, and a kick of hop to round off the flavors. The finish is dominated by the high alcohol of this brew and is a lesser beer for it. The mouthfeel is not as smooth as I expect from this type of beer and is my largest complaint. Overall this is an enjoyable beer for those in a slow sipping mood and worth revisitting time and again.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2004 04:28:15 | More by bensiff
Photo of Ninjaworm
Ninjaworm

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Blood black with a large creamy head that finally subsided leaving a 1/16” head with amazing lacing.

Smell: Faintly sweet vanilla blends into a linear alcohol nose.

Taste: Silky vanilla alcohol flavor with hints of oak.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: Smooth alcohol flavor that melds into a vanilla profile making one dream for another.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2004 19:40:17 | More by Ninjaworm
Photo of mudhoney
mudhoney

Texas

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

I love a nice Imperial Stout. This one wasn't one of the best I have ever had, but still a very good choice.
It poured black as night. Almost impossible to see through.
The aromas are smokey. Hints of coffee and chocolate peek through.
The flavor is bittersweet and chocolatey and slightly watered down for an Imperial Stout. Not thick in mouthfeel or flavor, but the taste is somewhat notable.
Definitely a good choice for dessert or as a winter warmer but by far not my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2004 17:20:45 | More by mudhoney
Photo of StuFox
StuFox

New York

3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not as thick as it looks. That being said, damn, this tastes good. Not quite the flavor level of the Founders' or Sammy Smith's Imperial Stouts, but delicious none the less. It has a bitternes and smokey character that few other beers have. Less solid of a body as those beers too. That, of course, still makes it thicker than carro syrup, but hey, let's keep this beer fighting against brews of the same weight class. Everyone should try this once, it's a good time.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2004 18:35:11 | More by StuFox
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
ALESwhatCURESya

Wisconsin

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

This beer is HUGE. The flavors are intensly amazing. The deep dark black that pours out immediately fills the air with a heavy dose of sweet and toffee-like aromas. This beer to me seems very complex...if you take just a small sip, the sweetness is very evident and somewhat single layered. With a larger sip, more layers seem to expose themselves and the high ABV becomes increasingly evident. In a sense, I would have to say that reviewing this intensely flavored stout could vary greatly by your drinking style. IMHO, this is one of the hardest beers to truly appreciate because of its power. Definately not a beer to waste on a friend who says "sure I'll take one of those....I love the way Guiness tastes"

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2004 17:10:52 | More by ALESwhatCURESya
Photo of Goldorak
Goldorak

Quebec (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled 11aug2004 (thanks Beersignal)

Pours down black, with a of hint of red when you place it against the light in just the right way. Small tan head, a little bit of a cascade as it poured down.

Smells alcoholic, with a definate sweetness I couldn't quite pinpoint.
Strawberries? Sort of. Bubblegum? Maybe.

The alcohol is very present in the mouth, and stays with you, which is great in the dead of winter, not so much in August. The drinkability would have gained a solid point if I just got back from a few hours of pond hockey or x-country skiing, but would have lost a point if I didn't have air conditioning.
As it warms a little the toasted malts take a bit more space, but not much. I didn't detect much coffee in this one, which is a great change of pace for this style.

If I ever get my hands on another one of these, I'll definately slap a "do not open before x-mas" sticker on it.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2004 23:17:26 | More by Goldorak
Photo of HiroProtagonist
HiroProtagonist

Maryland

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Raspy was served from a stubby 12 oz. bottle. In a pint glass, the beer was black (deep ruby edge accents with backlighting), and was topped by a thin but persistant light brown head. The nose yielded deep-roasted-choco-molasses aromas that were accompanied by enticing though subtle notes of sasparilla, vanilla, and toasted sesame oil. Little sign of esters in the nose. The taste consisted of a rich dark-roasted cocoa-chocolate malt profile that was joined by some nice sharp dark cherry and plum notes that helped cut through initial roastiness. A robust smokey cocoa-bitter dark chocolate flavor dominates the subtle fruitiness in the finish, which left some rather flat lingering dark chocolate notes. The flavors are tasty and rich as expected, but I was dissapointed in the lack of complexity and interesting accents. I thought the finish was a bit too "smoky" as well. The body was appropriately smooth and full for the style. Old Rasputin is a full-flavored and robust Russian imperial stout, but for me lacks some of the important details found in many other examples of the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2004 04:57:29 | More by HiroProtagonist
Photo of sweethome
sweethome

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a nice tan head which dissipated fairly quickly. Nose is complex - coffee, plum, roast malt, and just a hint of hops. Attacks the palate with a flood of roast malt, full of flavor... hint of raisin, coffee, toast. So beautifully rich. The hops are there late to provide a nice bitterness, but finishes out with an incredibly long roast malt finish.

I've tasted this blind versus Bells, Rogue and other world class Imperial Stouts. It is always worthy of the competition, but not quite there with the best. Savoring the flavors by itself, its hard to imagine why. A great beer in every way.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2004 02:15:00 | More by sweethome
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black colored beer with almost no head. Aroma is comprised of a strong chocolate and coffee mix. The chocolate and coffee also hits you right at the first sip along with some roastiness. A bit too much bitterness at the end for my liking though. Carbonation is bit weak and body is strong which was expected. Overall, this is a very good drink but maybe not as much as some make it out to be…

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2004 16:07:06 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of skybluewater
skybluewater

Minnesota

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

Appearence: Deep mahogany. Head dissapates, leaving a thin head. No lacing.

Smell: Chocolate, pure chocolate.

Taste: Outstanding, like chocolate-covered coffee beans. There's a warming alcohol present, but it's not obtrusive.

Mouthfeel: Coats the mouth with a thick glaze. Very nice.

Drinkability: It took me an hour and a half to drink, and at 8.9%, I wouldn't want to have more than one.

This is one fine, soul-warming beer, sure to ward off the cold on those winter days. I do believe that Mr. Rasputin and I are going to spend a lot of time together in the future.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2004 04:36:41 | More by skybluewater
Photo of WetCoaster
WetCoaster

California

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

I almost fell into my cart when I saw that Old R had found its way back to shelves of Safeway--happy days are here again. In honor of this most joyous occasion, I thought I'd review it.

Appearance: A deep mahogany that takes on a nice ruby glow in the light, although it's not as dark as many stouts. The carbonation is fine and mild, and the head is tan and short lived. There isn't much lacing, oddly, but there is a collar that lasts throughout.

Smell: "Booming" does not come close to describing the aroma of this brew; even ice cold, it fills the room. Initially, it's one tight ball of sweet, dark fruit. As it warms, it begins to unwind. The darkness is still there, figs and raisins come on strong. There is also surprisingly strong Myer's rum-like alcohol in the nose. There is the usual molasses, caramel and a perplexing "maybe it's chocolate, maybe it's not" undertone. Finally, there is also a sharp, almost chardonnay aroma--hops? You'll notice this one.

Taste/Mouthfeel: No real surprises here; it tastes pretty much like it smells. In a word, chocolate-covered raisins. It's pretty straightforward, but you'll find some smokiness. Deep into the finish, a drying hoppiness emerges. Not surprisingly, the mouthfeel is medium/full with a sticky coating, although the carbonation is sharp enough to keep it lively.

Drinkability: It's a wonderfully tasty beer that's lighter than you might expect. But at almost 9%, it'd be a rough session.

While I really enjoyed this beer, it didn't quite have the "wow" factor I might have expected. Still, if you kick back, pour an inch or two at a time into a good tasting glass and spend and hour or so with Rasputin, he'll be your buddy for life.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2004 06:08:24 | More by WetCoaster
Photo of HopHeadKen
HopHeadKen

Iowa

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

This stout pours with a thick foamy cascading head, creamy and light Brown. The color looks black but has a rich dark amber around the edges when viewed in bright light (in a sunny beer garden).

The smell is malt; taste is malt and sweet. For a beer with 8.9% ABV It doesn't taste alcoholic, but does have a roasted coffee chocolate aftertaste with a smooth light mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2004 13:11:15 | More by HopHeadKen
Photo of IronDjinn
IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alright, I get to round the reviews for this up to 300. I've been waiting to try one of these since I first found out about it in 1995 or '96. You see, as twisted as it sounds, I'm a big fan of Rasputin. Back in art college I had a 3 by 4 foot oil painting of him commisioned, and the painter did such a good job that those icy penetrating eyes follow you around the room, no matter where you are. I've read every bio, I'm your A-Z man when it comes to Rasputin, fact and fiction. I even popped Boney M into the CD player to write this review. It was a shame how he carried on...

Poured out of 12 oz stubbie type bottle, a pointilist ink rendering of an infamous portrait of Grigory Efimovich Rasputin. The body is impermeable to light, pitch black like a moonless Siberian midnight sky above a Gulag camp. A thick and creamy tan head crowns it, and later subsides to a thickish cap. A lattice-work of lacing left in it's way.

The aroma is comprised of roasted malt, coffee, dry dark chocolate, licorice root, fermented orange peel, and a sweet booziness, although not very overpowering. I can barely pick up a bit of lactose sweetness as well.

The first sip warms the heart and soothes the soul, I've been hypnotized from the start. Coffee and dry chocolate are apparent up front, followed by a base of roasted malt, boozy orange rind in the middle, with a dry semi-spicy finish of licorice and pepper. The alcohol can be tasted hiding beneath all of this, but does not detract.

This is a very luscious experience regarding the mouthfeel, the body is full and sensuous, it rolls smoothly over the tongue with the slightest alcohol kick on the aftertaste.

Highly drinkable stuff all year round, but I'd love to have a stock of this to soothe me in the winter time. I'm very impressed, the wait was worth it, but I want more now. Lucky are the people in Vancouver, where I had to go to pick some of this up here in Canada.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2004 16:32:59 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of Crotor
Crotor

California

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

Old Rasputin comes out with a big and highly distinct wiff of slightly musty, gamey malt. Opaque black with a low, tan head and slight amber windowpanes, it has a first class appearance.

Rasputin is suprisingly dry and has an expertly balanced body for a beer this big, making for top drinkability. Hops are definately present, but only to the level necessary to compliment the malt. Sharp, roasty mocha and toffee flavors are in the forground here, backed by a restrained caramel sweetness. I can detect no fruit, though a touch of currant would not go awry.

Truly a masterful beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2004 01:07:00 | More by Crotor
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a very dark brown, with a dark tan head that reduced to a film. Good lacing.
Smell was just hops and coffee.
Taste was somewhat better, coffee, chocolate, malt, strong(!) alcohol. A decent balance but ...
Mouthfeel was smooth, creamy, full-bodied but the aftertaste was a little bitter with alcohol obvious all over the place.
Drinkability is alright but, because of the high octane, would only do it once in a while. Not a bad beer by any stretch, just not consumable often.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2004 03:34:53 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm sitting her drinking one right now and all I can says is, WOW. This is one of the best stouts I have ever had the pleasure of drinking outside of fresh from the tap at a brewpub. An incredibly flavorful mix of coffee, chocolate, hops and more. The smell is intoxicating and just begs for you to savor it. I'm very glad I found this brew and I will be getting more soon. Cheers to North Coast Brewing Co. for brewing an incredible stout. I definetely recommend anyone who enjoys stout to run out and try this now!

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2004 01:19:52 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of sitbooboosit
sitbooboosit

British Columbia (Canada)

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

appearance is a dark brown to black with brown head that foamed nicely at first with a few large bubbles developing.
aroma is of dark roasted barley and hints of coffee.
tastes very much a coffee with what seems to me a hint of dark fruits. an alcohol pepperiness is quite apparent. the beer finishes with the same peppery flavour that eases into a strong hoppy bite. very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2004 06:12:14 | More by sitbooboosit
Photo of mobyfann
mobyfann

Ohio

3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Paid $1.99 for a 12oz. bottle...

The appearence on this defines the qualities of a good stout, almost black-like base, with a dark brown head, retains well, laces well, little carbonation going on... well done. I love the smell of this stout, dark chocolates, dark-roasted coffee, hints of caramel and a few other spices and candy flavors.

The taste was pretty good, giving up what the aroma gave off until the aftertaste kicks in, and then you taste alcohol, thus lowering it's drinkability to just average, the mouthfeel is a step above that, but that kind of goes with the style.

Final Thought: Storm King is 9.1%, this is 8.9%, same ballpark, but the alcohol in the taste ruins the total picture... still sticking with Victory for a Domestic Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2004 22:42:38 | More by mobyfann
Photo of jlervine
jlervine

Georgia

4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured near perfect black with only very faint ruby brown tinges on the edges of the glass. Tan head formed, but sank quickly beneath the surface leaving a smattering of Belgian lace. Ring of foam stayed the course through the entire pint.

The aroma is chocolate malt, plums, raisins, alcohol, thick graininess. Kind of vinous, coffee and toffee notes come through as it gets closer to room temperature. And did I mention alcohol?

The taste is strong on roasted malt and chocolate, with a nutty character to it. Strong alcohol flavor. Balancing sweetness fights with the alcohol in the finish. As it warms, the alcohol leads the way, lightly burning the nostrils and numbing the tongue. Then the onslaught of thick dark malts slides over top of it and down your throat. Hops are there for the party, but are playing the part of wallflowers. Yeah, they are there and in great number, but they are watching the fight rather than being a truly active participant.

Carbonation tingles the tip of your tongue while the alcohol and roast grains wreak havoc on the roof of your mouth. Not quite as mouthcoating as other impys I've had, but it tries hard enough. When the beer warms further, the alcohol just numbs your mouth while the carbonation tickles it. The dark malts coat the palate while the hops and roasted grains do their part to squeegee it off again, ready for the next sip.

An absolute pleasure to drink - slowly.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2004 00:28:21 | More by jlervine
Photo of Bruiser81
Bruiser81

Kansas

3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a solid black color with an extremely thick head. Very sticky beer. Tons of lacing.
Aroma is dominated by dark malt. Little hints of dark chocolate accent the malt.
The taste is powerful. Lots of malt with little bits of coffee, dark chocolate, and dark fruit. The finish is almost sweet, maybe a little like black licorice. Spice from the alcohol lingers throughout the whole beer.
A very thick beer, almost chewy. Also very smooth.
A little too big to drink more than one though.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2004 01:49:03 | More by Bruiser81
Photo of silenius
silenius

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a dark brown/black with a crimson red where the light manages to peek through. The head is 2 fingers thick for a short time and then dissapates to a patina on the top. A substantial collar follows the beer as it retreats in the glass.

I only got some minor soy sauce, figs, molasses, and most of all fusel alcohol on the nose. Nothing big and nothing impressive.

Taste is bolder and bigger than the nose. First thing I taste is chocolate covered espresso beans dipped in grain alcohol with some spiced rum notes, molasses, figs, and it finishes with an espresso bitterness. Pretty good, but the alcohol taste detracts. My 4.5 is generous, but this beer ranks better than just under a 4.0, so I fudged a little.

Mouthfeel is a tiny prickle at first then a creaminess that ends with a drying note making me want to take another sip. The alcohol warmth makes me hesitate knowing that if I drink this too fast, I'll be whoo-ha'ed quickly.

Drinkability suffers from the very noticeable alcohol, but I'll definitely buy another.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2004 16:13:50 | More by silenius
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
bigbeerdrinka

Germany

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

Appearance: This beer pours with a nice thick dirty white head which grows to about an inch and laces the glass completely. The beer itself is a dark pitch black which no light can be seen through.

Smell: Dark roasted malts, minor caramel, a bit of cocoa and a medium alcohol presence are present in the nose.

Taste: A nice bittersweet chocolate flavor hits intially which follows with a nice roasty flavor from the dark malts. There's also a bit of a biscuit like flavor in the mix, and a bit of smoke which adds a nice complexion to the brew. This beer finishes with a strong warm alcohol sensation that warms the mouth, and a nice bitter hop finish that keeps things in check.

Mouthfeel: This brew is medium to light bodied with minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall a very drinkable beer for such a strong alcohol tone towards the finish. Fits the style well and the malts help back up this beautiful beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2004 03:21:16 | More by bigbeerdrinka
Photo of beertaster13
beertaster13

Washington

2.88/5  rDev -33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Wow this review is going to be all over the board. Old Rasputin pours a black hole dark that is chilling to look at, very nocturnal. The tan thick mocha head is amazing, by far the best head I have seen in sometime, the lacing coats the glass, almost feels like it becomes the glass. The smell is amazing, mocha caramel and hints of dark ghiradelli chocolates. Picked up cinnamon and toasted marshmellow characters as well. The taste was very dry and weak, the roasted malts were bland and dry, alcohol was easy to pick up on, the bitterness outweighed the sweetness a little to much. A full bodied stout and very dry. Nice to look at and warming on those chilly days, but a true stout will make you crave it all times of the year, this was not one of them.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2004 05:28:08 | More by beertaster13
Photo of mattcrill
mattcrill

Ohio

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

Pours black with ruby edges and a tan lacing. This is a good looking stout. Smells of prominent carmel and roasted malts lead to my anticipation. Tastes malty and has a hint of dried fruit to finish. A nice balance of malts and sweetness. This is another beer that makes me sad when I get to the bottom of the glass. This is a fantastic beer. I would highly recommend this brew to anyone. Drink it all if you can find it!

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2004 04:17:41 | More by mattcrill
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,204 ratings.