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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

9,909 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,909
Reviews: 3,362
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 302
Gots: 1,328 | FT: 43
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,909 | Reviews: 3,362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of geexploitation
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours black as coal with a rich dark tan head. Huge aroma of roasted malt, burnt chocolate and even a bit of toffee. It's an intimidating smell, and portends that the beer will be big tasting... as it turns out to be. "Big" doesn't say it, though: more like humongous. First it's bitterness from the malt (and, I assume, some hops), with tons of espresso. Then the palate shifts forward in the mouth for some coffee and even a bit of fruit (dried strawberries?). The finish is long and active, with an alcoholic burn and malt bitterness left over at the back of the mouth. With all this, you might think that this beer would be a bit rough on the palate, but that's not the case. It's no oatmeal stout, but given the massive flavors and roasted malt presence, this beer glides through the mouth rather well.

Overall: a huge, wonderful beer that will knock your socks off. Instead of Rasputin, call it the Big Jim Slade of beers.

geexploitation, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of nathanho
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Beware the high ABV Old Rasputin...I swear, each bottle has an actual "Little Old Rasputin" who finds his way into your head, causing much confusion and havoc, especially if more than one or two gather there at the same time - which is to be expected, given the crazy old coot's rasputation, I mean, reputation and all...See, he's up to his old trick's again, that wily Old Rasputin...

nathanho, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of Jacobob10
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A gentle pour produces a black beer with some dark ruby highlights around the edges near the glass. A virtually non-existent tan head clings to the side of the glass but disappears on it's way toward the middle. The aroma is pleasant with chocolate and roasted malts, as well as some raspberry overtones. Upon tasting it provides a dark chocolate - almost burnt - flavor with a slight alcohol finish. Bitter and a little bit hot in the mouth, this is definitely a sipping beer, but enjoyable and satisfying nonetheless.

Jacobob10, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of bighoppymonster
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an absolute opaque black with a thin tan head which laces the glass nicely. Equal amounts of roasted malty goodness and alcohol in nose, maybe some traces of sweetness as well. Again, roasted maltiness in taste with very strong coffee like flavours. Very sweet and alcoholic in taste. However, it is very smooth and drinkable. Definately full bodied and very rich. Overall, a very impressive brew. Very strong in both character and abv. One of my favourites in the style, although I am none too experienced with imperial stouts.

bighoppymonster, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of tozerm
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! I sampled this from a jockey box on nitro at a beer festival. Talk about a glass of pure love! The head was thick, dense, and creamy. I loved the floor show of bubbles cascading down the glass. Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, this tasted absolutely wonderful. Rich mouthfeel that hit every single taste bud in my mouth. It's good in the bottle, but if you get a chance get it on tap!

tozerm, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of etaggie09
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Great head retention. left tons of lacing on the glass. Even on a bad pour the head stayed fairly well. The beige head slowly reduces to form a small cap. Body is deep black with barely a garnet hue only when it is held to direct light. looks clear.

Aroma: Smell is kind of like a baltic porter. Has a very vinous aroma but with a more pronounced roastiness than in a porter. Some alcohol, roasted coffee bean, dark malt, plum, and apple. A pleasant aroma.

Flavor: strongly roasted with a porter like background. has similar flavor characterisitcs of the baltic only it reverses the roles of the roastiness and the fruitiness, bringing the roastiness to the foreground. Not overly bitter or sweet, but a bit unbalanced it seems. Quite clean with a moderately bitter finish. Very clean and straightforward.

Mouthfeel: Full, but a bit too carbonated. It has a nice body, but the carbonation bite takes a little bit away from it. Still, it is nice and smooth, and better, I think, than the mouthfeel of Samuel Smith's.

Drinkability: Quite easy. This gives you a straightforward flavor with a decent body that you'd expect from a stout. The warmth from the alcohol is very nice.

Notes: I have yet to be impressed by an imperial stout. I have not tried the best ones, only Samuel Smith's and this one, but I much prefer barleywines. They balance out flavors and don't try to overload you on one. This is a nice after dinner beer, but I don't think I'll be buying it again any time soon. As far as I'm concerned, Shakespeare Stout is a good enough stout for me.

etaggie09, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of alexwag
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like Rasputin hangin' out on the front there. Freaky character.

A- Dark as the Siberian winter. No light here. Not much head. An impenetrable mystery.

S- Rich, roasted, rambunctious ... malts. Sweetness, hint of the alcohol. A little nutty, chocolates etc. Yum.

T- A great balance. Tons of malt -- all the roasted/burnt chocolate/caramel you could want, a reminder of the high ABV, and a slow, pleasant fade on the tongue, tinge of bitterness. No carbonation to speak of. Full flavored but not overwhelming. Then again, I sort of like being overwhelmed. Yum.

M- Rich, creamy, smooth. Seeks out all my tastebuds and shows them what it's got, which is formidable. Delightful.

D- Small bottle but lots and lots going for it. True to the style -- just right in my opinion. No 5's because I'm not knocked out of my chair, but very, very good. I'm rather sad that it's gone.

alexwag, Feb 16, 2006
Photo of mattpetti
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an excellent beer. Your really cannot say enough about it. pours pitch black with not a large head and not a great amount of lacing. Smell was of course roasted malts alittle bit of sourness. Thes taste was awesome. Ive had this beer a half dozen times and it gets better every time. Chocolate, coffee, i detected some hazelnut but that could just be my imagination running wild with how much i love this beer. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy. Full bodied with lost of flavor and it leaves a long lasting malt flavor in your mouth, most prominently on the back of your tongue. Though the abv is high and the mouthfeel is full bodied you can really have a couple of these in a row without breaking a sweat. The only problem is that the coating of your mouth is so extensive you might not want taste another beer after this one. But after it who cares. Petti out.

mattpetti, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of NiceGuyMike
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

De.lic.ous

Wow...I've just completed a six pack over several days and I have to say this has gotten better and better.

a: very dark black with little off white/light tan head.
s: rich chocolate/coffee malts. Never overdone.
t: more rich and chocolate/coffee malts.
m: smooth, very smooth full bodied experience.
d: high alcohol keeps this at bay, but you hardly taste it.

Note: one of the best, if not the best Imperial Stouts I've had. A discovery like this is what keeps me excited about beers.

NiceGuyMike, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of denali99755
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First off, the bottle was remarkably unimpressive for such a heavy-hitting beer. Coming from familiarity with Belgians and the bottle styles of the Rogue brewery, this beer's standard-issue brown bottle belies its singularly impressive quality. I do like the label, though, and especially the 'never say die' inscription.

Pours like stouts I'm used to, pretty smooth, with minimal head (although my pouring style is inconsistent at best, so it's hard to judge). And it's, well, dark like an Imperial should be.

Aroma is crisp and tart, with some definite hops and chocolate. Maybe some coffee? The nose might be a tiny bit more bitter than I would love.

But the taste--terrific. Nice and round, hugely full-bodied, with chocolate and coffee, but the hoppy bitterness (for me) balances the heavy bottom-end perfectly. This is my kind of beer. And it is remarkably light on its feet for a 9-percenter--dangerously so. I could drink a lot of this, and quickly. Love it.

Mouthfeel is smooth except for an odd almost grittiness that I experienced much more in the tap beer, but is still present from the bottle. Slightly odd--but the bottled version goes down smoother. Better, by my taste.

Like I said, I could drink way too much of this beer, way too quickly. The nice hoppy top end balances out a very big, meaty flavor. A definite 5.

This beer, from the bottle, might even surpass my other two favorite stouts--Alameda's Black Bear XX Nitro and Rogue's Shakespeare--although I have a hard time shaking my affection for Oregon breweries. All around, though, this is a terrific offering.

denali99755, Feb 13, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Andy's, couldn't resist a growlerfill this weekend.

Served in an oversize snifter between cellar and fridge temperature.

A- Flat... straight up dark brown, without a head at all. The thin rim that encircles the glass leaves behind minimal lacing, with windblown surface streaks which adorn the crown.

S- Rich, deep, molasses-soaked licorice and chocolate... pure and liquid, and very intense. Very strong... the forecast calls for inebriation, if we are not careful.

T- A chocolately, richly deep, molasses-and-malt driven experience, which detours into a nicely balanced hoppy bitterness. Drying, flowery, and complete, we come full circle from the initial dessert-like debut.

M/D- Too smooth for the ultimate in roundness... the sheer strength of this beer calls for some balance in the mouthfeel, but it simply fades into obscurity. Strong but watery, any inkling of carbonation is what's lacking. This beer is satisfying, yet I definitely prefer the bottled offering. Unless this growler went flat in one day, I suggest the widely available four-pack bottles.

yelterdow, Feb 13, 2006
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Appearance- dark black with a thin almost non-existant head.
Smell- strong sugar, molasses and coal. Hints of fruit, raisin and Prune.
Taste- immediate burnt charcoal followed by thick sugary syrup.
Mouthfeel- cloying and sweet.

Overall- a decent Stout by, by no means, a great one! Too sweet and too syrupy. If this could be mellowed just a little!

NJpadreFan, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of amstelcat
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Any beer named Old Rasputin is off to a good start in my book. Pours out a velvety black with a thick, brown, whipped cream head on it.Let's put this to the nose: smells a bit like Irish coffee, mmmm, Daddy like. First sip, alcohol, chocolate and malts roasted into cinders. Complex, rich, and very satisfying. Will enjoy the rest of my four-pack.

amstelcat, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Do we really need another review of this one? Not really. This is #573 for this stout. But I need another Old Rasputin, so bear with me.

An excellent, exceptional stout. Couldn't be darker, as a stout should be, black with a creamy brown head. Smells of chocolate and coffee, no surprises there, but it's distinct and robust and lacking nothing.

Taste: Dark chocolate, strong burnt coffee (in a good way), bitter hoppiness on the back of the tongue. Great sweet/bitter interplay. Warming.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel, so nice it almost steals the show from the strong flavor.

More of a dessert beer, one you won't drink more than two of without a heavy stomach and serious swimmy head afterwards. A great winter indulgence, and one to drink on the barely-chilled side.

Metalmonk, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of beerphilosopher
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wide-mouth wine glass from a shorty bottle ... Almost black mahogony color with a great chocolate-colored head ... imperial looking indeed. Nose is of cocoa, roasted coffee, espresso, and sweet malt. Almost no hop aromas in the nose. Taste is completely consistent with the aroma ... rich, sweet, and complex with dark malt ... almost black strap mollases flavors ... yet smooth and nutty in the finish. Thick, heavy body with little carbonation. A huge stout in the imperial style ... an acquired taste, which I have certainly acquired. Very strong, very rich, and very good. A superlative example of the style ... and east to get to boot!

beerphilosopher, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of aforbes10
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

another pickup by my wife on her latest trip to Trader Joes. Massive head, poured too cold so i let it sit 5 minutes to settle. brilliant lacing. totally opaque black/brown color. Roasty alcohol chocolate odor. smells so good i want to shotgun the bloody thing. oh man. this tastes as close to my all time favorite (Thunderhead Brew co. Russian Imperial Stout) as i've gotten. Complex, roasted chocolate malt flavor. some bitterness. not quite the best but still a 5 for taste. almost perfect mouthfeel. a bit fizzy but i'll cellar a couple to see if i can get some of the bitterness and fizziness down. could drink these all night till i pass out.

aforbes10, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of timtheenchanta
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with a large tan colored tightly bubbled head. Thick sticky lacing. TREMENDOUS coffee smell. Lots of roasted malt. Heavy roasted malt and ample alcohol taste. Jet black coffee taste. Slight hop balance in the finish. An overall great impy stout. This is a beer you should pick up if you get a chance.

timtheenchanta, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a jet black with a light tan head that falls into a slight lace around the rim.
the aroma is very rich and malty, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, toffee.
the flavor is very rich, malty, coffee, toffee, hopsack, chocolate, spice, herbal.
the mouthfeel is perfect for the style, coats the inside of your mouth.
beer is very drinkable, best for a cold night, goes well with water crackers and munster.

plaztikjezuz, Feb 06, 2006
Photo of KyleVick4
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
Deep and dark pitch black with a creamy tan head. Good head retention and nice belgian lace. Honestly, I dont hold appearance ins that high of regards, but I was pretty impressed.

Smell:
Coffee overpowering coffee with maybe some liquorice and chocolates. Maybe maybe a hop or a herb somewhere but very subtle

Taste:
Unbelieveable. Wow. In two words: Best Ever. I was totally taken aback by the taste. It was rich and silky but not to the point where it no longer tasted like beer. It was a good coffee taste which was enjoyable (says a lot since I dont like coffee). The beer is heavy but not too heavy, notes of alcohol can be detected, but not to much. There is a lingering aftertaste of chocolate and coffee. Tremendous.

Mouthfeel:
Thick and mildy creamy. Feels a little heavy.

Drinkability:
After the first sip you want more. It is pretty heavy and good to savor. There is a feel of alcohol which does kind of make it less drinkable but the taste is so amazingly good and smooth that it is easily overlooked.

Easily one of my top three beers of all time. Hands down the best Imperial Stout I have ever had.

KyleVick4, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of Prufrock
3.13/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner.

pitch black with half an inch of tan head that leaves rings of lacing.

roasted malt and chocolatey aroma with a touch of coffee.

medium mouthfeel with a medium carbonation; mouthfeel is slightly light and carbonation slightly high for the style. slight chocolate sweetness, then a wave of piney bitterness. hoppy bitterness is quite a contrast from the aroma. the combination of flavors is just a bit amiss. solid stout, but i've come to expect more from anything labeled as "imperial," such as a little more complexity or nuance.

Prufrock, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of jorjoria
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus Chalice.

A: The beer pour a rich slightly transparent dark brown. The carbonation is very light and only about a cm of light brown head formed and the quickly dissipated after pouring. The beers carbonation continued to be released from the bottom of the glass as I consumed.

S: Great light chocolate orders with a hint a alcohol as well as some coffee note. Not all that overpowering.

T: Just an incredibly rich malty flavor hit you right away. There are some great coffee notes to beer particularly in the after taste. I also really enjoy how this beer was hopped its not overpowering and complement the other flavors quit nicely.

M: The creaminess of this beer is amazing. I coat the inside of the mouth with just a wonderful array a flavor and complexity.

Note: This beer is great out of the bottle but was a huge treat when I had it for the first time on tap.

jorjoria, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of Byeast
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark , dark choclaty brown/black. Head was light brown, slow to build, but impressive once it did. Nice sticky lacing was left as it went down. Aroma is of much coffee/ espresso , chocolate , dark fruit and malt. Nice! Taste is of the same qualities , with espresso being the strongest throughout ; also a nice hop bitterness and warming finish of alchohol. Wow this is very complex .... and Good! My first Russian Imperial Stout , definatly NOT my last. I only wish the weather was colder at the moment , down here in FL.

Byeast, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of tastybeer
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks pretty black to me. Nice cocoa brown head and lacing to the rim of the glass. Sweet chocolate to the nose. Espresso coffee and a slight light + sweet fruitiness. Robust dark chocolate floods the palate along with some nuts and definite coffee. Pretty sweet, but not too sweet. Nice and velvety smooth and also very very drinkable for a stout.

Though this review is based on a bottle I had this on tap at some point. It was awesome. Real thick and full. Mmmm.

tastybeer, Feb 01, 2006
Photo of Shovelbum
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A creamy light mocha 1” head over a solid black body. Head all but recedes except for a ring around the edge which ensures a nice thin film of lace. Aromas of citric and floral hops mingle with sweet and roasted malts and a substantial vinous fruit quality. Flavors of sweet and slight tart vinous up front give way to a subtly sweet and bitter dark chocolate character. Espresso notes in the aftertaste. Waves of complexity! There is a moderate hop bitterness in the background providing just the right amount of balance. Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel, with a trace of dryness in the finish and several lingering flavors.

This is one complex stout. It has such incredible depth, balance and complexity that drinking it is a bit of an adventure— and a pleasing one at that!

Shovelbum, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of skillerified
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black as night in the middle, but some burgundy-red tints around the edges. Head is about a finger and a half and tan. Fades fairly quickly, but leaves a ton of lacing on the glass.

Licorice, malt and hop start off the nose. Some vinous notes. Also a distinct dark fruit scent that seems different from the vinous scents. Maybe a touch of chocolate too.

First sip ... whoa! There's a lot going on here. The fruity flavors seem to hit first, followed by a strong dark coffee-like taste. A bit of a spicy alcohol bite. Then there's a chocolate note on the finish.

Mouthfeel is very interesting. There's a distinct sweet part early, then a grapefruit like bitterness in the middle that lasts through the finish. Then there's a different kind of bitterness toward the end that fades just before the finish. It's amazing that it feels so different from front to back.

That grapefruit bitterness really bugs me and will hinder the drinkability for me, but otherwise this is a fine stout. I wouldn't have any problem putting one down from time to time.

skillerified, Jan 28, 2006
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,909 ratings.