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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

9,642 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,642
Reviews: 3,349
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 288
Gots: 1,216 | FT: 38
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: 9,642 | Reviews: 3,349 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tupperwolf
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Pours from a 12oz bottle into my nonic glass with a HUGE HEAD. Be super careful on the pour because this thing just wants to rise right out of the glass. Piercing black-hole darkness reveals just a tinge of ruby when held up to the light; It actually looks somewhat clear, just incredibly black. So much whipped-cream dark tan head. Thin but super persistent lacing rings mark each and every swallow. OMG. A five if there ever was one.

Huge! huge bursting sweet chocolatey coffee malts, so much sexy, sexy stout flavor. If I try hard I might be able to pick out some hops... But it might be my imagination. This beer completely scorches my sense of smell. I have to give it a good minute of rest before going in for another whiff, which immediately burns up my scent receptors with coffee, and chocolate, and more coffee, and more chocolate. A little bit of metallic twinge.

Okay, you're kidding me, right? I think North Coast has bottled a mocha chocolate milkshake and called it beer. The taste is so intense, so strong and bittersweet with coffee and chocolate, toffee, roasted nuts. It tempts me to guzzle, and I give in for a few swallows. Wow, wow, wow. Awesome slow and savory or quick and greedy.

Mouthfeel... Like I said... milkshake. Thick, lustrous, creamy, silky. Not chewy, but full, full, swirling, frothy, creamy. Swallowing almost completely clears the palate, which is welcome - there's a lingering, almost (if I may be crude) phlegmlike sensation of sweet, delicious flavors that hangs out on the very back of the tongue and coats the throat. Soooo good. Where the heck is the alcohol? I guess it must be in my belly!

Buy, beg, panhandle, or steal for this beer. Buy out the whole shelves. I want to give it fives across the board. Do I dare? Do I dare? I dare! Utterly one of the best beers I have ever, ever had in my life. A life-changing experience!

Tupperwolf, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of heyitsbyron
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

Received a bottle from a friend in exchange for some of my brother's homebrew. Poured into a pint glass.

I don't expect much in the way of head from high gravity stouts, but this did very well. Perhaps not as viscous as other imperial stouts, but it left about 1cm of head and the head color was a pretty tan. Beer color was a deep dark brown. The head was velvety smooth.

I didn't smell a whole lot, very little aroma. What I did smell was similar to a macro beer, maybe a bit of coffee and purple fruitiness. It's too bad. These smells are wonderful, but just not strong enough, especially considering the over the top flavors.

Taste is quite good. I think it's complex and strong, even for an imperial stout. Coffee flavors overwhelm, so do roast malts, but there is certainly a bit of dark condensed fruit. I was suprised by the latter because I haven't had many beers that taste this way, but the more I taste, the more apparent these flavors become. A few seconds after I take a sip, I get a bit of an alcohol bite. No real complaints here, and I like a good strong beer.

I like the mouthfeel, though it's not a slippery smooth as other imperial stouts I've had. Real solid body, perhaps just a touch over carbonated-- a bit unpleasant on my throat. Again, no big complaints.

I'd love to have a six pack of this beer, but it's not something I'd sit and pound consecutively. It's heavy, of course, and doesn't slide down like some other imperial stouts. A bomber would be nice, but I'm afraid I couldn't drink a less strong beer in that same evening. A great beer; it would be a joy to purchase it again.

heyitsbyron, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of bahumutx
4/5  rDev -7%

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours black with a tan creamy head.

Smell: Roasted malt and dark chocolate are the most prevalent. Also hints of coffee, fruits and slight alcohol.

Taste: The most noticeable part of the flavor is the roasted malt. There are also hints of chocolate and a coffee like bitterness and a slight sweetness. There is also an alcohol warming that is present but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Thick Mouthfeel with hardly any carbonation.

Drinkability: This is definitely a sipping beer and because of this I could only have 1 or 2 in a sitting.

This is my first beer from North Coast Brewing Company and I look forward to trying their other offerings.

bahumutx, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of IgnorantBastard
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%

This is the first RIS that I have the pleasure to taste. And I liked it alot. The best aspect is the chocolate mid palate. Other than that, the earthiness and undistinct nose offers no delite that an IPA might offer. But, if you have surpassed the blah-say of so many crafted brews, this will open your eyes.

IgnorantBastard, Jan 08, 2006
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%

A wonderful stout. Nicely balanced, one thing I really like (or dislike) about stouts is the roastedness of the beers body. This one was not too roasted, but it had enough bitterness to warm me up on a single digit western New England evening. Highly drinkable at %9

Purchased as a 4-pack for $8.00, a good deal. There are so many good stouts out there, I feel that this category is going to become a much more scrutinized category.

FLAbeergutinMASS, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of Gaisgeil
4/5  rDev -7%

A very nice example of an American RIS, with the bitterness/hop level ramped up a good bit.

Pours an engine oil black in color, totally opaque in my pint glass with a brown head that fizzled down into a thin swirl atop the pint. Lots of sticky lacing. Nose is very, very, nice, nutty and fruity with lots of coffee and cocoa character, complex and multi-layered. Taste is very good as well, initially reminds me of chocolate covered raisins, but quickly overtook by a milk chocolate tone and a strong roasted coffee flavor. Mouthfeel is heavy, very full bodied and complex. Drinkability is quite high as it warms and the bittnerness recedes, at cooler temps there is a definate unbalance, but at proper temps it's marvelous. Overall a bit too overdone with the hop presence, in my humble opinion it's just not necessary or warranted.

Slàinte!

Gaisgeil, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of whynot44
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

Very dark, almost black opaque brew with some ruby highlights and a modest tan head that disipates to a collar and thin layer but nevertheless manages to leave a very nice lacing with each swallow.

The aroma is dark roasted malt, coffee, hints of fruit.

The taste is also dark roast malt with lots of coffee flavor, hints of chocolate, raisins and plums. The finish is espresso sweetened with raisins which lingers well into the aftertaste. Nice alcohol warmth for a pleasant cool weather warmer.

Very easy to drink.

whynot44, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of sulldaddy
4.3/5  rDev 0%

I am sampling this at Kclingers with some friends and family. The beer arrives in a small pilsener glass. The beer is pitch black with a thin creamy tan head that leaves tight latticework as it receds slowly.
Aroma is roasated malt and chocolatewith some dark fruit, mostly raisins. First sip reveals a fairly thick body and super mild carbonation.
The flavor is deep and robust with dark bittersweet chocolate and some roasted malt. There is a bit of coffee and some dark fruit poking around in back as well. The coffee takes over on the finish and lingers very smooth and easy to drink. The alcohol is well hidden in this treat. Watch out if you have a few!

sulldaddy, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%

Pours a very dark plum; clear with burgundy highlights. The light brown head is dense and creamy, rising to nearly three fingers and retaining well. The lacing will coat the glass. Dark fruits in the nose like raisins and dates. Strong bakers chocolate aroma and some fusel vapors as it warms to room temp. A hint of coffee to top off the complex aroma; but not much in the way of hops or roasted notes. The roasted barley becomes very evident in the initial taste, with a slight black patent twang. Unsweetened chocolate and faint spicy hop aftertaste mellow out the strong sweet flavor. Dark fruity alcohol is apperent in the finish, but there is enough residual sweet to hide the fusels and retain a silky mouthfeel. The thick body and low carbonation highlight an excellent balance of bold flavor and smooth mouthfeel of this nearly perfect Russian Imperial stout.

PBRstreetgang, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%

Poured into a tulip glass, pours a thick dark black with decent head that shrinks quickly to a thin film, and has remarkably thick brown sugar color lacing. Quite lovely. Aroma is beautiful. I don't usually find aromas that wonderful, but this is quite remarkable. Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, licorice and alocohol, perhaps a trace of brown sugar. Taste is just as great, with a complex mixture of the same hints from aroma, a potent blast of roasted malts and espresso-like aftertaste, finishes moderately thick, smooth and creamy. MF is really good, I actually get different feels from it down the glass, and the body is great. What a fantastic beer, a classic in my book.

objectivemonkey, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of thetachibro
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

In the glass it is black as night with a nice sized head that falls back to next to nothing. Some chocolate in the flavor with mild malts, coffee. Not too much in the smell department. The taste is the upside of this beer. Bitter malt, coffee, espresso. Followed by the alcohol and soft hops. A very full bodied mouthfeel. I can sit down and enjoy a couple of these.

thetachibro, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of russpowell
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%

Bought a 4 pack today, decided to re-review to see how this compares to the dozens of RIS I've tried since 05:

I stand by original ratings with the following exceptions: Take a appearance down to 4.0 head retention & lacing are good not great. Taste 4.5; depth of flavor isn't quite as good as I remember... & Mouth feel seems much thinner than I recall. Still a benchmark for the style that delivers awesome value for $ taste-wise!!

Pours almost pitch black (when held to intense light goes mahogany to purple) with a whipped up tan bubbly head, Great head retention and insane lacing, a feast for the the dark beer lover's eyes.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate and licorice notes, with alcohol and roasted malts lurking in the background.

Taste: Some fruitiness, then bam! Burnt coffee taste, chocolate, molasses, hops/grainy bitterness &alcohol.

MF: Chunky, silky and just hits the marks.

Great winter-time beer that has been lapped by others in in hoppiness and abv, but not drinkability IMHO

russpowell, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%

Rasputin stares at you through the depths of a goblet. An opaque black stare with deep tan fringes bores into your brain.
This will not be an idle encounter.
A sweet yet bitter perfume floats along the air permeating your nostrils.
::Achoo::
Distinctive. Not something you'd imagine to be appealing but convinces you otherwise.
The encounter is not meek by any standard. Charming yet repelling, both pulling you in and pushing you away.
The struggle is exhausting yet you can't help but thinking that you'll choose to cross paths again.

ommegangpbr, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of Hibernator
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

* Christmas 2005 *

Pours a jet black with some ruby colored highlights on the very bottom of the glass. Excellent shade of black and the presentation of this beer has everything I would expect from a true imperial stout. Random tan colored traces of sticky lace appear all over the glass.

Aroma is so inviting with whiffs of roasted coffee beans, creamy dairy, hops, burnt grains and juicy malts.

This is an excellent stout all day long. Flavors of espresso, chocolate, sweet sugars and smooth cream blend together. The mouthfeel is so complex with each sip providing a unique character.

Hands down, one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I've ever had. This is one of my favorite styles of beer and this is up there with the best.

Hibernator, Dec 25, 2005
Photo of deuschbag
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

12 oz. cool little labeled bottle. pours a dark black with just a hint of ruby red with a light tan head. smell is chocolate more over coffee. taste is nice. the chocolate and coffee balance each other out so one or the other doesn't dominate the taste. feels very nice and mellow in the mouth. a very nice brew. i'm not much of a stout drinker but this is by far my favorite stout.

deuschbag, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of kirok1999
4.43/5  rDev +3%

Appearance- Ruddy black with 1/2" lacing that sticks to the glass.

Smell- Slightly sweet maltiness, chocolate and a little coffee.

Mouthfeel- Thick and viscous, lingering on the palate.

Taste- Bitter chocolate, slight coffee with enough hop bitterness to balance the wonderful malt sweetness. A near perfect R.I.S., perhaps a bit much for the fainthearted.

One of my favorite R.I.S's but the price makes it a little hard to justify when I can get a 6 pack of Storm King for the same price as 4 Old Rasputin. Try it, learn to love it.

kirok1999, Dec 23, 2005
Photo of beermanbrian
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

Almost pure black in color with just the slightest ruby notes around the edge. Very fine bubble tan head that drops to a thin film. Smell and taste of burnt chocolate with a plum note. Also some alchohol on the nose. The burnt chocolate gives it an almost smokey note. Smooth mouthfeel with a nice bitter aftertaste. A nice winter brew that will warm you up on the coldest night.

beermanbrian, Dec 22, 2005
Photo of doppelmeup
4/5  rDev -7%

Had this in a pint glass. Poured very dark, nearly black, with a half inch head.

Nice hoppy aroma. Also hints of coffee and chocolate.

Very nice flavor. Rich, but not overpowering. Not too sweet. Coffee and chocolate tastes, balanced by a pleasant bitterness which cleansed the palate after swallowing. Although a high alcohol content, it didn't overpower the beer.

Smooth, clean finish. Didn't linger in the mouth.

An excellent beer, although it would be hard to drink a lot of these in a row.

doppelmeup, Dec 21, 2005
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Poured from a bottle into a Stone IPA glass. Deep black color with 1-finger beige head on top.

Strong hops aroma. Taste is awesome. Roasted malt flavor (but not burned or smoked) with hops. I detected chocolate and coffee flavors too.

Great beer from a great company. Pranqster is also good.

TurdFurgison, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of Matthew
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

Wow, this was quite a suprise. I hadn't heard of this beer and picked it up randomly to try. I'm glad I did.
Pours black with a huge fluffy tan/brown head. A great looking beer.
The biggest aromas I found were of dark chocolate, burnt coffee, and a light sweetness all wrapped together to make this a great smelling beer.
Sooo smooth. There is a sweetness up front followed by a chocolatey coffee flavor and a nice hoppiness to balance it out. There is a alcohol warming but is shown up by the sweetness in this beer. All of these flavors really compliment each other really well and better than alot of other Russian Imperial stouts I've tried. This is without a doubt an exceptional beer.

Matthew, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of drewmprs
3.33/5  rDev -22.6%

First whiff was of chocolate coffee and alcohol. This was definitely a thinking man's beer, not one meant for chugging. I had it after a few erdinger's and it brought a welcome change to my palate. This beer is a bit too strong for me, I like my stouts a little smoother like rogue's shakespeare. Rasputin had a bit of a gamey taste to it, like uncooked rabbit and veal. It was a pleasure to drink this beer on tap, i like watching the bartender do the double pour. Bartender also told me this beer goes well as a half and half or black and tan mixer. I don't know about that, the complexity of this beer is unmatched, and i wouldn't want to sully it with Harp's or Bass.

drewmprs, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of clabaugh
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%

Appearance: Pours a deep ebony with a modest, light khaki colored head. Lacing is very faint, and almost nonexistent by the beer's end.

Smell: A rich nutty aroma emerges right away. Dark chocolate bursts through as well. Hops are difficult to distinguish in the midst of this full maltiness.

Taste: Here dark chocolate predominates. The tongue also recognizes some mocha, while confirming the nuttiness that introduced itself in the smell. The dark chocolate provides a pleasant bitterness, which the hops tend to intensify. Nicely balanced overall.

Mouthfeel: Nice and chewy. A fine body, probably medium for a stout. Not the heaviest I've had. The carbonation is rather subdued.

Drinkability: The alcohol is definitely pronounced in this 9% abv stout. It provides a warming sensation through one's throat and down into the belly. Very pleasant texture, and inviting enough for me to have a couple more.

clabaugh, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of ElGordo
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%

Pours a pitch black color topped by a creamy brown head that clings nicely to the glass. Rich aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, a touch of bitter hops, and a bit of a vinous character. Palate is deeply complex and somewhat earthy. Truly, it tastes as black as it looks: a huge malty backbone is met towards the finish with a good complement of bittering hops for a touch of balance. Notes of milk chocolate, oak, espresso, and a touch of molasses. Body is rich, velvety, and creamy, with very little of the oiliness that seems to permeate many Russian stouts. The alcohol packs a punch, for sure, but this is most certainly a beer to be savored (preferably with a Five Star chocolate-hazelnut bar). Once you start, you're in for the long haul. Enjoy.

ElGordo, Dec 15, 2005
Photo of goochpunch
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours out a rich black with ruby hues with a thin tan head that slowly dissipated to a thin layer of bubbles. Aromas are of roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, toasty malts, slight smoke, and marashino cherries. Taste is of sweet, dark chocolate chased with some strong, black coffee. There is some toasted malt in there as well as cherry candy and dried fruits. Finishes a bit smoky with pleasent astringent bitterness and a bit of a lactic acid twang. I detect a bit of citrus and pine in the hops very faintly, although these hops come out more in the burps. This beer really needs to sit a while before the mouthfeel is anywhere near decent. When its freshly poured and a bit too cool, it's thin and prickly, but just letting it sit a while and come closer to room temp., it becomes a bit fuller and mellows out a bit. Still, it could be better. Really drinkable RIS that has tons of flavor and a decent mouthfeel, once it warms up.

goochpunch, Dec 14, 2005
Photo of Dithyramb
4.43/5  rDev +3%

The evil monk was sampled on tap in a proleterian pint glass in Frisco's in Columbia. Poured an opaque black, like the heart of the wicked one. Like the Neva River itself, it was impassable to the light of day. A thick, lucious dark tan head and excellent retention/lacing stealthily masked the high ABV.

Aroma was mostly of bitter roasted malts, with just a bit of sweetness in the background. Interesting, it was just as complex served slightly chilled on tap as it was cellar temperature at home. Cream and sugar laden roasted coffee was followed by bitter chocolates. Toffee in the middle was literally beat down with some ashy coffee grounds onthe finish. Hefty, strong, memorable.

Bitter and acidic at times, it still finished like a nicely done cream and sugar coffee. Smoother than one would expect, and very drinkable.

Overall: Razzy was drugged, poisoned, beaten and shot, but only died after being wrapped in a carpet and thrown in the river. He grew from a womanizing peasant thief to a “holy man” helping the czar’s family with both the needs of a hemophilic son and the decisions for war with Austria. This is a beer that weirdly does it's namesake proud.

Dithyramb, Dec 13, 2005
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,642 ratings.