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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

10,804 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,804
Reviews: 3,514
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 419
Gots: 1,934 | FT: 53
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 (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,804 | Reviews: 3,514
Photo of Bartian
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upon opening the Old Rasputin, I was immediately struck by the wonderfully dark, full pour - like a stream of black gold flowing into the glass.

At first, second and third glance, the beer is black as midnight with tight seems of carbonation flowing throughout. The head set at about an inch with a color of dark tan and very strong lacing.

The smell was prototypical Russian Stout but with a bit extra in the dark chocolate and licorice arena - a real treat . . . so much so that I actually had to remember to drink it.

The first drink was pleasent with no indication of the greatness that I've heard for years. But as the glass emptied the score improved. Whether it is the abundance of alcohol or the overriding complexity of the drink, it improves like the finest of coffees and cigars.

The mouthfeel is striking, the syrup that is called a beer surrounds the tongue like an impenetrable forecfield; drifting away only after several seconds of bliss.

As for drinkability, the balance is surprising given the complexity of the beer. Without any overly biting flavors like molasses, anice, chocolate or otherwise, the drink flows as smooth as silk. But the high alcohol content means drinker beware . . too much of a good thing can make Rassy a dull boy!

Photo of JoeBloe
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i love sipping one of these at the end of the evening - this is what one looks for in a russian impy stout - tasty alcoholic goodness feels like it goes down my gi tract like it goes down the sides of it's glass, slow and easy with a creamy coating - a perfect winter nitecap - real good stuff.

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

I've had this one many times, and I finally decided to review it.
Pours black into my pint glass. Nice, eighth-inch tan head that remains throughout.
Smells of coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolate.
Taste is astounding, but I of course already knew that. Coffee grounds, chocolate, malts- rich and complex and delicious. Alcohol is well-hidden.
Mouthfeel is perfect, in my opinion. Smooth, creamy, with perfect balance of carbonation and bitterness. Slight alcohol warming.
The drinkability on this one is very good- as I said, it's well-hidden, and I have drank all four in the past and still made it to work on time with only a mild headache.
This is still one of my favorite imperial stouts. I'd love to some day get ahold of the XI or the Anniversary Barrel-Aged.

Photo of Mistofminn
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle. Old Rasputin looks evil as he stares into your soul (at least that's what it feels like). I almost feel as though I'm not judging the beer, but Old Rasputin is judging me....

Bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours black as night, producing a thick and creamy brown head. 1 finger head dissipates quicker than I expected. Absolutely no idea if there is any kind of carbonation going on, I can't see a damn thing! Leaves decent lacing.

The aroma is heavy on bitter chocolate, but there is also a sweetness. A light coffee smell goes along with a roasted barley character. Little in the way of bitterness, save the bakers chocolate.

Old Rasputin hits my lips...fireworks! Holy mackerel! This symphony hits my taste buds and explodes into something so complex it's almost beyond words. At first I thought the chocolate was the dominant flavor, then the next sip I was convinced it was the coffee. Now, I'm certain it's the roasted character, but then again, maybe it's the warming alcohol. One thing is sure, the aroma, while very impressive in itself, doesn't do this flavor profile justice, in my opinion.

Very very creamy and smooth. Definitely a sipper, but something you want to keep sipping on. The alcohol does show itself, and has a friendly warming presence. What a great beer, I can't believe I passed it up on the shelves all those times. That definitely won't be happening again!

Photo of tr4nc3d
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the anchor.

Has a black color with a two finger tan head that stays for quite a while. Left lacing on my glass.

Smells of roasted dark malts, sugary, toffee.

Taste of roasted malts, expresso like, dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is full of flavors and sticky.

Good Stout and something I look foward too having again.

Photo of IronCitySteve
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the best Imperial Stouts and it is widely available!

A: A deep dark black, almost Black No. 1 color (thank you Type O Negative). Pours a 1/2 inch tan head that eventually disappears.

S: Lots of dark chocolate, roasted coffee with some alcohol scents. Very robust smell.

T: Nothing short of fantastic. Big flavors of chocolate, mixed with espresso on the front end, but not too sweet. Some slight hop bitterness on the back end balances out this beer.

M: Thick and creamy. Extremely smooth sensation left on the palate.

D: An excellent beer. One of the best imperial stouts that I have had. A high ABV limits the amounts I have, but its great on a cold dark night!

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

From notes taken earlier:

A: Pours a jet black with an almost impenetrable complexion: nothing gets through it even when held up to light. Head is thin and almost nonexistent.

S: Extremely aromatic. Dark chocolate and roasted coffee/ malts. Some faint spices and anise seeds, with hints of pear and cloves.

T: Highly complex: roasted coffee and malts lay out a base for bitter chocolate and dark fruits. Do I detect a hint of grand marnier? Alcohol is definitely present and warming.

M: Nice, thick, and creamy. Goes down easily with every flavorful sip.

D: I could sip this day and night. A real winner.

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

12oz bottle poured into a regular pint glass. 1st from a 4-pack

A- Old rasputin is a dark brew, black as night. Some spots of brown can be seen on the surface A very hard pour yielded a nice 1 inch tan head that faded with ease. Around the glass thin patterns of lace are seen.

S- This RIS has a roasty aroma along with a milk chocolate creaminess. Bittersweet. A bit of licorice and even less on the dark fruit which I don't get much of. Some old coffee as well. Roasted malts all throughout and hops to round it out.

T- Starting off I get a bunch of roasted coffee with malt backing with some hops too add. As I got into it the chocolate came out more with warming as well as a bit of bitterness. Some of the alcohol comes out as well in this 9%er, but rasputin is delicious non the less.

M- Medium to slightly full bodied. This one is smooth as hell & creamy. A bit of carbonation as some warming takes place 6oz in. Nothing overpowering though except a slight bitterness. Great stuff.

D- 9% is nothing to scoff at but this is so good I would gladly drink it till I couldn't no more, in the spirit of Rasputin's story. This one is more on the creamy side and not too harsh making it almost chuggable, although I don't advise that.

One of the best RIS i've had this winter!!

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

Georgous, black, nice big head.

However you smell it before you see it. Really big nose with coffee, choclate and the usual suspects.

Nice roasted coffee and dark alcohol (scotch or bourbon) taste with a long finish. Big hop bite on the finish too. I love hops but they may be a bit overdone here (don't think I've ever said that before).

Mouthfeel is big and rich.

An excellent RIS. I like this a lot but it as not as complex as the very best.

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

A-Pours a deep black colour-Unable to see through it even when held up to the light. Brilliant 1.5" light brown head that settles.

S- Deep, dark chocolate and some lingering hops. Definite "roasty" scent overlays everything.

T- Roasty malt up front. Bitter finish from the hops brings about the dark chocolate-ness. No alcohol is evident.

M- Heavenly smooth. Lingers on the tongue long after swallowing, leaving you wanting more. Smooth and velvety.

D- Smooth, tasty. Incredible drinkability for the style.

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

Dark black with garnet highlights. Pours a creamy coffee head about three fingers high that falls slowly leaving a little sticky lace.
Dark fruit aroma. A hop sharpness only barely makes it through the malt.
Deep malt sweetness takes a while to give into hops bitterness. Malts fight back in the finish, blending with a slight alcohol astringency.
Silky smooth and full beer.

Decent RIS, but not one of my favorites.

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

Feb 24, 2009
Bottle. Pours a murky blackness with a small head that's nice and dark as well. Aroma is nice and roasty and malty with a bit of dark fruitiness and sugar. Flavor is great - chocolate, coffee, tons of malt, and a pleasant small bitterness. Good thick mouthfeel. Everything you'd expect and want in an imperial stout.

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

Savored this one on-tap at The Pizza Joint in Evans, GA. (Incidentally, the only way and place I've ever enjoyed it.)

Dark black, mostly opaque, with a thick espresso-like brown head that shows wonderful retentive properties and holds tight to the walls of the vessel, leaving behind nice rings of lace.

The nose is powerfully delicious, filled with sweet and bitter chocolate notes along with a bit of coffee.

Thick and velvety smooth in body, with flavors mimicking those of the nose: creamy chocolate, both sweet milky chocolate notes as well as the dominating bittersweet dark chocolate, with a bit of espresso snap that lends a bit of dryness to the finish, which is mildly sweet as well. Roasted character, in both the nose and on the palate, is rather subdued, though it peeks through at times.

Going down smooth and satisfying, this is an imminently drinkable Imperial Stout, but drinkability can only be issued so much in a beer with 9% alcohol by volume.

A wonderful example of the style, and the one that introduced me to Russian Imperial Stout to begin with, not to mention its being the first "big beer" I ever tried, and it was love at first sip. I always come back to this one, and it never disappoints.

Photo of halo21
4.87/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass nice and dark; no light coming through on this one. The head didn't maintain long, but rarely does on imperial stouts.

Smell: Dark, earthy, coffee, chocolate; very smooth. Not much by way of alcohol which is surprising weighing in at a hefty 9%

Taste: Glorious. Full flavored. This is as fine as the best espresso on earth and blended like a well aged cigar. I always forget how much I love this beer and am very happy to have that surprise.

Mouthfeel: A little carbonation; I would say it is a heavy bodied beer but not too over powering.

Drinkability: Surprisingly high; for me the only way I would be able to consume more would be to have a nitrogen version of this or a still beer version.

Easily one of my favorite beers of all time as well as the quintessential example of what a Russian imperial stout should be all about.

Photo of Richardberg
3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Very dark liquid with a big creamy head. Didn't last too long but still much nicer than the average imperial.

S: lots of dark malts from toasted to burnt, brown sugar, cinnamon, ethanol

T: a lot of bitterness I wasn't expecting from the smell. Alcohol is very present.

M: coats the mouth nicely, but not especially creamy or full. No carbonation to speak of once the head dissipates.

D: nice beer overall but the ABV would keep me from having more than 1. If the taste were exceptional or the weight better hidden I might press onward, but that's not the case.

Photo of joshuadlight
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Deep dark black, thin off-white head that I expected to be bigger and darker. Not too much lacing to boot. But, it is one dark beer.

S - Cinnamon and roasted smokey malts. I was expecting a little more considering the style.

T - To me, taste is most important, and OR delivered. Chocolate, roasty malts, espresso, even the faint sweetness of marshmallows. It was full of strong flavors that we were not compromised in their individuality.

M - Pretty good for a stout. Rolled through the mouth pretty well. Not too sticky or thick.

D - I don't think I could handle 3-4 OR in a session. Too much going on with too much alcohol to contend with. Plus, I paid more than $3 a 12oz bottle for these things, which doesn't help the drinkability one bit.

Photo of uno99
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared a bottle with my Brother. No date on bottle

A: poured moderately into my Guinness glass reveals a huge tan head that sticks around for the entire experience. swirling it around a bit gives you just an idea how thick this beer is. it sticks to the sides of the glass like glue

S: Roasted malt and coffee. Acidic.

T: Roasted malt/coffee upfront with chocolate near the end but then things get really bitter with the hops. This beer really kicks your ass.

M: very thick. almost like a beer concentrate, yet dry finish

D: A good sipper, not one Id drink repeatedly.

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

Number 50 for me....

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Black.... Black . Poured pretty hard and got 2 or 3 finger head.... Dark tan head with beautiful lacing...

S: Strong coffee, dark bitter chocolate, roasted malt and a hint of vanilla or toffee.

T: The most upfront taste is the coffee, followed closely by a dark bitter chocolate.... I think the vanilla or toffee are hidden in the creaminess of the brew.... The roasted malt and hops follow up nicely but are not to over powering.... the aftertaste is a little bitter but not overly so....

M: Full bodied, thick & creamy, very smooth with a nice amount of carbonation.

D: This is not a multi-drinking type of brew... Something this bold and strong should be savored... Take your time sit back and enjoy the beautiful brew....

Photo of TheBear11D
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a large, foamy long lasting dark chocolate brown head.

The alcohol is present in the smell, but fairly covered by the chocolate and caramel malt.

A sweet chocolate malt flavor up front that holds. A hint of bread right before the alcohol comes through and leaves a bittersweet flavor in the aftertaste.

Medium body brew. The high ABV really thins out the beer yet adds to the beers smoothness.

Although the alcohol stands out, the beer has a great taste and is very smooth. A beer that is worth revisiting.

Photo of BeerStine
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours an opaque black with a brownish head that subsides rather quickly.

Smells of roasted coffee, charcoal, and slightly chocolate. Hop and alcohol smell are secondary but distinguishable.

Taste is dry charcoal-like with dark, roasty flavors of coffee and small traces of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is fairly light with little carbonation.

Drinkablity is very good being a dark 10% ABV beer - I could drink a four pack of these.

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

Not sure why I waited so long to review this. This is a good beer that I have regularly.

Looks- it is basically black with a tan head and good lacing.

Smell- Cofee and chocolate.

Taste. more coffee and chocolate gets better as it warms.

Mouth feel - smooth and rich feel. Very good.

Drimkibility. this one takes a while. It is a good one to have after dinner and savor it for a while. it relaxes me... Might have something to do with the alcohol content:) Overall a great beer at a great price.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Complex aroma of coffee, chocolate and fruit. Appearance was perfect. Poured black hue with large tan creamy head that lasted to the finish with excellent lacing. Full bodied flavor and finish that was consistent with all the aroma.

The complete stout in a bottle. Thank you North Coast.

Photo of jdg204
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally had a shot at one of the legends so I had to take a stab at it. My first North Coast and not my last as their distribution is increasing in my area.

A: Pitch black with a nice mocha head that stuck around.

S: Roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee.

T: Off the bat you get the coffee and chocolate but soon the hops take over (lacks balance imo), really socks it to you.

M: Good consistency and texture, nice sipping beer.

D: Good brew overall, but didn't quite live up to the hype surrounding it. I enjoyed it but the hops were just way out of balance and sunk it for me. I've just had better RIS's, but this is pretty unique so give it a shot if you can get it.

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

A - Black, I can't see light through this. The head could last longer though and I wouldn't mind having more lacing either.

S - Great smell. Lots of different malt smells. I smell some chocolate, some coffee, and some roasted almost woody smells.

T - Great taste. Good balance of malts similar to the smell. I can taste some chocolate, and some coffee malts. There is also a toasted wood taste, even a few malts to balance.

M - Good full feel. Can't really see carbonation, but you can feel it. Very full feel.

D - Low, but typical for the style to me. One of these is great, but one is pretty much all I want.

I used to hate dark beers, but recently I have discovered how great they can be. This is amazing. Great flavor. I will buy this again, and probably try more of this style.

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

Had on tap at Union Brew House. Poured into a 10 oz. glass. Pours jet black with a thin, creamy tan head. Smells of bitter chocolate, burnt coffee and some burnt sugar. Taste is wonderful. Good amount of chocolate and coffee with a nice, smooth sugary, malty finish. Nice creamy mouthfeel, but not thick- rather thin and drinkable. Wonderful beer that I probably first tried 10 years ago and is still great today.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,804 ratings.