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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

9,643 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,643
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: 9,643 | Reviews: 3,349 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rajendra82
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%

Poured out of a stubby bottle with a picture of the Russian mystic on the label (I am assuming this is Rasputin, as I have never seen other pictures of him). When poured into my trusty goblet, the dark brown body is nearly completely opaque, but displays red highlights at the edges when held up against the light. The head is brown in color, massive in size (at least three inches), and has the consistency to stand up on its own above the rim of the glassware. This is one impressive looking beer indeed. The aroma is a mixture of medicinal alcohol, and powdered cocoa, and is relatively mild. The taste is like roasted cracked grain, bitter coffee, unsweetened dark chocolate, dark skinned dried fruits, and charred wood. Very pronounced hop bitterness and a very dry aftertaste are also present, as is the noticeable warming effect of the significant alcohol content. Mouthfeel is soft and soothing, but a bit thinner than what I anticipated. Very good representation of the style, but a bit less in your face than others like Victory Storm King Stout.

rajendra82, May 04, 2004
Photo of Suds
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%

Impenetrable, solid black color with a thin, lasting light brown head. Somewhat vinuous aroma, with heavy smells of coffee and chocolate. Taste is initially sweet: roasted and burnt malts. Very faint grain. Alcohol, which is hidden in the smell, comes forth in the mid-taste, and presents a pleasant warming.. Hop bitterness is strong and crisp. Finish is relatively dry. Soft and full mouthfeel. This is a very drinkable and complex beer. There’s a lot of interactive, well-balanced flavors in this beer. It’s a pure treat.

Suds, Apr 26, 2004
Photo of arizcards
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

Picked up two singles at AJ's recently. Thick, dark brown brew poured a very generous head that surprisingly did not leave much lacing. The wife who poured the 1st one commented that she had to hit the bottom of the bottle to get everything out a la catsup. Smells of toasted malts and coffee. The taste complexity is interesting as it starts of smooth but quickly is taken over by the toasted malts finishing with a seemingly higher than usual (for a stout) hop somewhat sweet finish. Nice full mouthfeel. A very enjoyable brew which I plan on enjoying again.

arizcards, Apr 24, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

Pours a midnight black with a tan head that generates spotty lace on the pint.
Aroma has some vinous notes along with coffee, chocolate and mint.
Flavor is chocolate chips, some minty hints and a roasted coffee finish.
Mouthfeel is sweet chocolate to start, shifting to a roasted and bitter middle with a zinging, spicy kick on the finish.
Drinkability is a little bit thin for an Impy Stout but very pleasant beer.

CRJMellor, Apr 22, 2004
Photo of SeanChouffe
4/5  rDev -7%

This is an intense beer. A deep dark red with a yellow/brown head. Sticky lace. The head dwindled quickly. Aroma is of hops, roasted malt and coffee. Tastes of roasted malt, coffee and a biting hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied; creamy with a biting finish and a lingering hop representation.

A good Imperial Stout, however, it is not as well balanced as others in its class.

SeanChouffe, Apr 22, 2004
Photo of ism
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%

Nearly opaque black with ruby highlights -- a halogen desklamp behind it. A creamy beige-orange head with excellent retention, given the ABV. Leaves pretty lacing all the way in rings. Faint aroma, chocolate and alcohol, a hint of coffee. Light body, with low carbonation, ho-hum. Flavor is just on the sweet side, chocolate malts, with espresso emerging as it goes down smooth, finishing with a slight hop bitterness and alcohol. The body becomes more full as it warms. The head and lacing is still there.

Ol' Rasputin on the label is hypnotizing me and making my ratings go up... must... resist... Not as powerful as Brooklyn's Choco Stout or Victory Storm King, but a good, robust stout.

Great way to finish my taxes and welcome the Springtime.

ism, Apr 14, 2004
Photo of Running4beer
4.43/5  rDev +3%

Pours out a dark black with a medium brown head that remains with you and your beer till the very last drop. Sweet malty chocolate roastiness and dark espresso was the combination in the aroma. Taste was similar chocolate, roasted malt, plums and espresso/really dark coffee. Very good stuff had a sweet flavor but not overly sweet, as it warmed it smoothed out and the flavors came out a little more. Easy drinking brew very little carbonation and a medium to full bodied texture. This is all good here.

Running4beer, Apr 12, 2004
Photo of bditty187
4.3/5  rDev 0%

Almost pitch-black in hue, when I held the glass to the light I could notice hints of ruby around the edges. The beige head reached a lifeless finger in height before swiftly fading to a sparse soapy collar. The subsequent lacing was very minimal and hardly noteworthy. The appearance is average and thus disappointing. The potency of the nose is small, it is too calm for a beer this big and far too quiet for how warm I allowed it to get before I poured it, anyway, the bouquet does have lovely aromas of chocolate, dates, raisins, a slight hint of coffee beans but more so espresso, and a kiss of vinous liquor. I found the detectable aromas to be very pleasant and quite welcoming. I am impressed with the flavors on the palate, upfront is a roasted malt bitterness, coffee beans, espresso, and bark. In the middle these flavors wane and allow a softer, more rounded chocolate covered dark-fruit to surface; the brandy/sherry-like alcohol swallow these flavors. As the finish begins the piney, slightly citrusy hops emerge; the aftertaste is roasted and hoppy. This is a very nice beverage; the “mad monk” is damn tasty! It does seem a little sugary as it sits on my tongue but this seems to be more of a “mouthfeel” concern than a taste issue. Medium-full in body, low but natural carbonation, I like the mouthfeel, it is nothing special but full enough for the style. The big alcohol content is scarcely noticeable; it provides more flavor than anything else. This is a very good Imperial Stout, I know this is a broken record, but I wish this was available locally. If it were, I’d drink it regularly. As is, I will sip and savor my lonely 12-ounce bottle that I purchased in Loveland. Good stuff.

bditty187, Apr 12, 2004
Photo of ngandhi
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

New from Starbucks and Skoal vodka . . .

There are chestnuts roasting on a open fire and then there are the grains that go into Old Rasputin roasting in the heart of a California wild fire. This brew looks and acts like a Storm King after the brewers at Victory have had a few too many. Intense espresso backbone with huge hops to back it all up. Astringent. An evolving beer, Old Rasputin moves into raw cocoa beans, licorice, rum-soaked raisins, a vat of fudge, and sweet fruit.

Parching finish. Fudge, fudge, fudge!

A domineering beer that, though complex, is tight and restrained from the focus on charcoal malt. The hop character is benchmark, however, and the warmth this beer puts on you reminds me of a Belgian quad.

Thanks to my friend Drew at The Corkscrew for the bottle.

Relax, relax.
ng

ngandhi, Apr 08, 2004
Photo of 99bottles
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

Apperance: Old Rasputin pours a dark brown, not quite black color. It seems to be less viscous than some other Imerpial Stouts I've tried. Atop it billows a fluffy cream colored head that fades to an inch and a half of light tan peaks and valleys.

Smell: The smell of this beer is first bitter hops-- my requisite for a good imperial stout. The nose is very sweet, with mild roasted notes coming across through the hops. Nutty molassess.

Taste: My mouth is watering. Yum. Heavy roasted and black malts come through, with a Very astringent bitterness in the aftertaste. Hops are there in a big way, quite nicely balanced. Dry and fruity, like currants dipped in roofing tar. Maybe even too bitter for me. I was expecting more of a coffee/choco flavor, but this rolls right over it. Alcohol warmth bursts right through. At "only" 8.9%, I would expect better coverage.

Mouthfeel: Thick and malty, slick and sticky. The initial thinness of the beer and its light transparency have absolutely no bearing on the feel of this beer across your palette.

Drinkability: This is a good one, for sure. As with most things, I have others I would look to before this one. It is quite good, and quite roasty and bitter, if that's your thing. I could put back a couple, but it is a filling stout and the alcohol seems so much more strong than 8.9%. Go check it out.

99bottles, Mar 31, 2004
Photo of Onceeven
3.38/5  rDev -21.4%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, yeah... Is this maybe the freakiest looking bottle of beer out there. Old R. kept staring out at me from my fridge and giving me the willies.. so I had to get rid of it..

This beer is quite dark, but doesn't seem as impenetrably black as other stouts. Thin mocha colored head, that dissipated quickly, but left thick lacing.
You can smell the alchol on this one, along with a subtle smokiness from the roasted malt. Also a hint of coffee.
The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, which is one reason I love stouts. That along with the warming effect of the alcohol makes this one a good one to sip on a cold night.
Wow, big flavor here. Initial tartness or sourness as it hits the tongue, then mellows a bit turning sweet, only to surge back with a big alcoholic hop finish.

A complex brew, but with a bit too much emphasis on the alcohol. It seems to dominate the other flavors to a point where the overall effect is compromised. Good, not great.

Onceeven, Mar 30, 2004
Photo of GreenWBush
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%

Old Rasputins' ghost emerges from the bottle with a better cascading action than Guinness (its the lack of nitro). Blacker than doom? Not exactly, you can see through ruby-colored glass if you try hard enough. Quite impressive is the head that is created, a dirty ivory that squirms like its alive. A fine sticky lace has formed even before the first sip.

Hmm, interesting aroma. Sweetness is the first thing I encounter, scrambled with dates, prunes, and malty alcohol. Roastiness abounds. Also, an unfortunate amount of metallic twinges.

An amazingly carbonated hoppiness greets you initially, then follows the gulpingly thick sweet mass of Stoutitude. The mouthfeel is right on, thick enough to back up the huge amounts of alcohol, but light enough to allow carbonation to cut through the mess. The hops aren't out of control on this one, but quite noticible for the style. Like many stouts, your mouth is left with puddles of sourness on the beers' way down, but in this case it cloaks the alcohol perfectly.

If someone handed this to me as a stout, I wouldn't instantly think "imperial" and would probably put down one too many. Read: VERY drinkable.

Overall a damn fine creation from the talented folks at North Coast. Have another? Well thanks for asking - I will.

GreenWBush, Mar 29, 2004
Photo of lackenhauser
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%

Dark.We are talking BLACK.Nice tan head of about an 1/8 inch that quickly receedes.Not as much aroma of some other Imperials.Slight coffee/licorice.WOW!!!Flavor makes up for not a lot of aroma.Roasted malt-not overly harsh.Anise.Licorice.Nice malty sweetness in the backround.No alchohol burn present.Inky/oily mouthfeel.The roasted malt comes across more than any hop bitterness.Quite a smooth and satisfying dish.Its nice to see such a flavorfull Imperial Stout at only 9%.Makes it so you can have a few if you like.Great,great beer.

lackenhauser, Mar 27, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
3.3/5  rDev -23.3%

Blind Tasting, thanks Ecrvich It pours very dark brown, definitely not opaque with an off-white film that sticks to the glass rather well. Aroma is assertively malty which shows as bubblegum, melon, milk and candy flavours. Hop profile is rather chalky, dry and alcohol is not particularly well hidden. Fruity palate with watermelon, pepper. This is a complex beer with a sweet side that I love, but I just can't get myself to appreciate this astringent, chalky and roasty sour hoppiness and very obvious alcohol. It just doesn't work with me. Medim bodied with rather intense carbonation. Another beer that doesn't measure up to my expectations which I start to guess are simply to high.

Rastacouere, Mar 22, 2004
Photo of marburg
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Surprised to find this at Casey's in Ann Arbor... Black used oil color in "bar lighting" with a tan head that sticks around for most of the party. Hints of dark chocolate and toasted nuts. You can smell some of the roasted bitterness for sure, though this is clearly not the hop monster many imperials are these days. Snappy bitterness is present throughout. But overtones of chocolate and vinous flavor swirl around atop the bitterness. The bitterness, of course, re-emerges at the finish supplemented by hops. I think this feels a bit thinner than it actually is for some reason. Quite easy and fun to drink for an imperial.

marburg, Mar 13, 2004
Photo of stewart124
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%

Pours a jet black with a thick tan head that lasts throughout. Deep smells of strong roasted malts and bittering hops. The taste is of espresso and chocolate with a burnt flavor. Thick body with a crisp tastes of hops. Very smooth feel and the alcohol simply warms the stomach. The aftertaste is a lingering coffee and hop flavor that lasts. This beer is bold, complex, and delicious. This is a classic plain and simple.

stewart124, Mar 13, 2004
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -7%

The beer pours a deep black color with a thick dark brown head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It is full of black and chocolate malts; very aromatic. The taste is good. It's quite complex and full of dark and roasted malts. It has a nice black/chocolate flavor. The moutheel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking beer; a fine imperial stout.

WesWes, Mar 12, 2004
Photo of RootedFool
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%

On tap at The Sidelines in Arcata, California.

An inch of mocha latte colored dense head -- emphasis on dense. Smell is of caramel sweetened coffee sheathed in a tart bitterness with an aura of alcohol warmth.

Taste begins surprisingly sweet -- milk chocolate melted into a healthy dose of espresso. The middle opens with notes of roasted coffee beans, even some faint traces of licorice. The close is a delicious rub down of toasty bitterness and a distinct, yet not overpowering, alcohol buzz.

Barely any carbonation noticeable. Goes down like a melted milkshake.

RootedFool, Mar 12, 2004
Photo of Skidz
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%

Had to re-review this, unsure of my previous review.

Pours out deep, dark brown and sits the same in the glass, only showing a tinge of crimson on the sides. Fluffy tan head stands atop with very nice lacings on the sides.

Smells of cinnamon, deeply roasted malts with that tinge of alcohol deep inside your nose. You sort of know what's coming your way... Cocoa, caramel and brown sugar linger about.

Tastes of chocolate, caramel and a light sour/acidicness. Nice, rounded flavors of roasted malts. Alcohol presents itself as a major player and comes through the dark roasted grains. Finished bitter with malty sweetness continuing on after swallowing.

Quite smooth in the mouth. Rich and easy to handle carbonation. Big, full-body.

A nightcap all the way to bed.

Skidz, Mar 10, 2004
Photo of AudioGilz
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

It's almost opaque, very dark brown, and the head is thick and ample. Bakers chocolate seems to be the strongest part of the aroma, also slight hints of ripe dark fruits, and a bit of crisp hops....quite enjoyable. Enjoyably smooth on the palate...creamy, full of bakers chocolate and dark fruit flavors. Alcohol shows itself through the finish and into the aftertaste, adding a warming character to accentuate the crisp hops that also finish it off. One heluva stout here, easily drinkable for such a brute, and quite fulfilling.

AudioGilz, Mar 07, 2004
Photo of daledeee
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%

Another fine beer unavailable in Iowa. GRRRR!!! Thank god for Beer advocate leading me the right way. I saw this in Wisconsin. Thought I would try it. What a treasure!!.

Pours absolutely dark. Could not get any light from a 75 watt bulb to shine through. Nice tan head. The head stays with nice lace. Nose is exceptional. Roasted malt, smoke, chocolate. The taste and mouthfeel are the real appeal here. This is creamy at first with a dark chocolate and dark caramel. The hop bitterness finish is really nice. This is a very complex beer. The creamy start and hoppy somewhat dry finish is a real paradox. The alchohol is hidden well.

As time goes by I like stouts more and more and this is one of the best.

daledeee, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of Hhawk06
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%

I was looking forward to sampling this after hearing good things through this site. It poured with a very small tan head and an almost pitch black hue. I like the smell, sweet and smokey. The mouthfeel is quite silky while remaining quite syrupy as well. It's certainly heavy and the high alcohol content is obvious. I think the real treasure of the brew is the finish, in which you're hit with a smokey, cherry, and alcohol taste, in that order. This is a beer you have to sit back and enjoy. Wasn't quite as good as my expectations, but still good.

Hhawk06, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of watermelonman
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

This is a great overall stout. It pours to a classic dark, moderately carbonated state. It's got a solid, full-flavor taste, and a nice bitter chocolate aftertaste. Very drinkable considering the alcohol content and style. I can definitely see more of this in my future.

watermelonman, Feb 26, 2004
Photo of BeefyMee
3.28/5  rDev -23.7%

Looks really good. It's got that classic black body and a head that sprang up out of nowhere to be the perfect size. I was interested by the aroma of this beer. It smells distinctly of cocoa, and I can't stress distinctly enough. I've never had a beer with the same smell. There's also some alcohol in the aroma. The taste was a little disappointing. The chocolatey aspect remained but was masked to some degree by the overt alcohol flavor. It was like some kind of strong chocolate liqueur. Still not a bad beer, it just need to settle down a bit.

BeefyMee, Feb 25, 2004
Photo of RasputinsRevenge
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Given my handle on BA, I figured I ought to review this fine beer.

I could not in good conscience give an all 5 rating for the simple fact that *nothing* is perfect and without room for improvement. But to be perfectly honest, I can not find anything wrong with this beer.

This pours a deep brown that under normal light appears black (opaque), held up to light though, you should see a nice reddish-brown tint at the bottom edges in particular.

The head is a somewhat thin layer of dark tan foam made up of larger sized bubbles (as opposed to say a tightly packed head of a Guinness Draught, for example). In the glass in front of me, the head eventually settles to a small desert island in the middle of a black sea - with a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

I have a hard time describing tastes and smells, but I'll try my best here. The aroma is a pleasant fruity, sweet smell, and I'm pretty sure I smell chocolate or even coffee in there too. The taste is about the same as the aroma, only with the taste of alcohol in there. But for a higher alcohol content beer, I'm still surprised as to how subtle it is. I have to agree with the last reviewer on the aftertaste, it has a bitterness to it that is not unlike coffee - so if you enjoy a cup of joe every so often, as I do, I would think you might enjoy this.

The mouthfeel is fairly unique - it's a sharp feeling, but it's not a bad or burning sensation. I would think it might have something to do with carbonation, but there is a relatively small head, so I'm honestly not sure on this one...

As for drinkability, this is a beer with a lot of flavor and body, so as long as I drink it slowly and deliberately, it's very drinkable.

Anyways, if you are a fan of darker beers, stouts, porters, etc, I would say poney up the cash and buy a 4-pack of this, you will not regret it. If you are not much into the style, I would say this is the king of (relatively) available Imperial Stouts (well, in my opinion, perhaps it shares that title with Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout), so why not sample the best of the style?

RasputinsRevenge, Feb 25, 2004
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,643 ratings.