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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

10,162 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,162
Reviews: 3,381
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 328
Gots: 1,443 | FT: 44
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: 10,162 | Reviews: 3,381 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmalex
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I fell in love with Ol' Raspy the first time I had it a few months ago, and tonight is the night the second bottle comes out of the fridge for a more formal tasting. At long last!

APPEARANCE: Pours a very dark brown to black with a 1-inch, dense, beige head. It lowers to a splotchy, rocky cap and tops off the beer with striking contrast. Eventually the head vanishes, leaving a thin collar and patchy lacing up the glass.

SMELL: Aromas all over the place! As I'm assessing appearance, I can't help but get a whiff of the fantastic scents. Upon further inspection, this beer smells like real heavy hitter. Sweet, dark and toasted malts, alcohol, dark fruits, and floral hops all stand out. The hop aromas are nicely subtle, and do I detect a faint hint of smoke?

TASTE: Holy Tsar! The initial taste is dominated by chocolate and fruit esters. Alcohol is fairly apparent but not as much as I expected. This beer really starts to shine as it crosses the palette. The roasted flavors really make themselves known and linger long after the final gulp. The hops play a background role the entire time but are definitely an important part of the overall taste.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium full bodied and chewy. Like drinking beer syrup. It leaves a generous coating in every corner of my mouth. Nicely carbonated - maybe could use a bit more.

DRINKABILITY: Never mind that it's 9% ABV. Never mind that you can absolutely tell. This beer goes down quick and easy. Perfect for a snowy night like tonight.

An amazingly glorious RIS in every sense of the style. Now I see how right my initial impressions were when I first tried this beer. Probably at the top of my list in this style to date. Fantastic!

jmalex, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of Newglarusguy
4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is probably one of the more heralded stouts brewed in the US, and I think with good reason. What makes it more unusual is that it's an imperial stout, which isn't that common. Very malty, giving it a powerful sweetness, and it has a deep roasted coffee flavor. It's got 8.9% ABV, but don't worry, you'll sober up when you see the picture of Rasputin on the label. Man, he is one creepy bastard. Look at Rasputin, and then turn the bottle one way or the other, and I swear, the eyes follow you...Not even John Ashcroft gives me the paranoid willies like this label (begin Tommy Chong-like rant against the government in 3, 2, 1...).

Newglarusguy, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of dickieb
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poors Black with a thin tan head. You know you have a good stout when you cant see light through it when held up to a lamp. Anyway tastes a little sweet, chocolatey, some hints of coffee. Some alcohol sneeks through, but it really adds to the over all flavor, and is in no way overpowering. A grate body, and excelent drinkability.

dickieb, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of kevinhulit
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black liquid with creamy tan head. rich aroma character (cofee/malt). a bit of a ting on the palate but tasty... rich finish. this beer opened my palate to stouts beyond the sam adams/guiness portion of the varitey. there is so much more to stout! a must try.

kevinhulit, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of wcudwight
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As black as a night coon hunting with a new moon. 1/4" tan head that quickly recedes to a heavy lace. Lace last as long as the beer.
Ohhh man this smells good. Licorice, syrup, dark fruits, rich bread and dark cocolate.
Taste is as good as the aroma. This beer has a sharper hoppy type bitterness than others of the style I've had. More of the rich chocolate flavors and less of the coffee. It's fantastic. This and Storm King are my two favorite of the style and two of the best beers I've had over all.
Mouthfeel is velvet. This beer is over a year old and that may have contributed to the slick mouthfeel.
It's a sipper and it's feeling but I gave it a 4.5 because it's so good.
I was taking inventory of my cellar and came across 2 bottles of these. They have to be over a year old and I was suprised I've not reviewed it yet. This should be a staple for you to sip on cold evenings.

wcudwight, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This may be one of my favorite Imperial Stouts. I have had it many times but am just now getting around to reviewing it. Mmmm. Pours a very nice opaque black color with a thickness like hot maple syrup. Nice, dirty white head of about one finger forms and leaves lacing all the way down the side of the glass.

Aroma is chocolate and coffee and alcohol and dark fruits. Raisins and figs stand out. Some fruity esters. Chocolate seems to be the dominant flavor and of course the alcohol becomes more noticeable as the beer warms.

Nice chocolate flavors with some nice fruitiness. Coffee and caramel tones. Full of raisins.

This is a wonderful impy stout. It would have been nice to have this on a cold day, as I have before, but I was a little excited about the 65 degree weather here in NC today. Been a little cool lately. Definitely go out and get some of this.

SaCkErZ9, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of bjoyce12
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unbelievable. Pours out black. Not brown, not deep amber, but black. Very thick foam head with staying power. Aroma is one of freshly baked dark bread. The outstanding quality of this ale is in its taste. The best comparison I can make is that it is like drinking a loaf of fresh rye bread. The rye really comes through, but with a smooth velvety texture. Any harsh bitterness of rye hops has been balanced away. You really need to sit and enjoy this one slowly. Its smoothness and balance provide a great mouthfeel. I selected a slightly lower grade for drinkability, because it is a heavy ale. Great wintertime drink.

bjoyce12, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of ttfreek
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark, slightly ruby red around the fringes. Small head for me, but i doubt i was using the right glass as i do not have alot of proper ones to use anyway. Dark taste, slight choclate taste, espeically in the head. The 9% ABV is hidden very well, and is not noticeable upon consumption. Moouthfeel is milky and frothy, and sloshing the liquid within your oral cavity causes the chocolate taste to come out a lot more, almost like a dessert. Coffe and nut flavours are apparent as well.

This was one of the first real stouts i have had that i enjoyed. Drinkability i only rated slightly above average, as the taste is really strong and the beer leaves your mouth with a slight dry feeling.

Good bargain for the price, definitely filling but not overtly so (mayube i have room enough for a second? No Doubt!)

Dora thhe Explorer could not make a better find.

ttfreek, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of demcorhip
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this one yesterday in Duluth MN, only two bottles on the shelf so i grabbed them both, one for me, one for the boys back home to share.

Appearance
Poured nearly completely opaque black, its burnt ruby body revealed itself where the light was able to pass through its body around the edges of the glass. A big, three finger meringue like head formed on the pour. Finely yet persistently carbonated. Thick and clumpy lacings stuck to the sides of the glass as i drank this awesome stout.

Aroma
Nutty malts and bitter roasted grains. Scents of creamier hazel nut and bitter black walnut are in the mix, as well as a good, clean espresso aroma of dark roast coffee and dark chocolate, without excessive bitterness. Hint of woody and earthy hops also present.

Taste
WOW, to sum it up in one word. Amazingly rich and tasty black brew. Some hazelnut creaminess as in the nose, which quickly morphs with the roast flavours to leave a more bitter black walnut impression. The roasted grains quickly assert themself with the tasty flavours of dark roast coffee and dark chocolate as in a good espresso. Some minor hints of treacle toffee present, as well as a slight touch of anise and a whiff of smoke flavour all add significant depth to this stout. Slightly woody and earthy hops round out this excellent brew.

Mouthfeel
A rich, full bodied stout, slightly creamy, and quite velvety. Very well put together, with substantial yet not overdone bitterness from the roasted grain.

Drinkability
Was going to give it a four, but i drank this one so quickly and effortlessly i had to bump it up another notch. Definitely sessionable, would love to sip on this all night long. The 9% alcohol is very well hid. Probably wouldnt use this to introduce someone to stouts, but would definitely recommend it to someone who appreciates stouts and porters and is looking for more. Ill definitely be grabbing this again, and the price was pretty reasonable too!

demcorhip, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of bobquick
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One is great, two and the world is happy, three...that's what my friend calls "a fist in the eye". Full flavored, dark and pure. Tasty alone or with a meal. Hamburgers are especially good with this beer. Truly a great beer, even if you only want one.

bobquick, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of Sconnie
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite simply a fantastic beer. Looked great; black with a nice creamy head, just like a stout should. Smelled of strong hops with a background of roasty maltyness. The taste kicks you right in the mouth; tons of flavor in all departments. Hoppy, roasty, with some chocolate malt sweetness. It's very filling and would be hard to drink more then one, but the 9% abv is covered up very well. Probably the best stout i've ever had.

Sconnie, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of younger35
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drank out of a regular ol' pint glass. Served it slighty too cold but it quickly warmed to a suitable temperature.

Appearance- Looked awesome. Poored a nicer head than I'm used to seeing off of a Imperial Stout. A very dark, chocolaty brown with pretty good lacing.

Smell- Had a very deep burnt malt smell. Wiffs of chocolate and nuts in the background.

Taste- Burnt. That is the first thing that jumps into my head. Was unsure at first if I even liked the taste but after a few more sips I was convinced. Pretty tasty. The roasted malts overtake this beer with very burnt like qualities. A nutty, chocolaty malt flavor comes through, tasting very much like the smell. A mild hop bitterness balances it pretty well. Was surprised I couldn't taste much of a alcohol undertone.

Mouthfeel- A nice creamy, malty body to it. But I was very surprised by how carbonated this beer was. More carbonated than any other Imperial I've had. Didn't really like it to much. Maybe I just fear change.

Drinkability- Overall, I think the beer was pretty good. A couple drinks into this I was really enjoying it. Other than it being a hair overcarbonated for me, it's a solid Imperial Stout.

younger35, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of weeare138
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On nitro at Capones...
Appears black with a cascading brown head that sticks around like a creamy, floating top. Tons of typical-of-nitro chunks of lacing are left all around the glass but this is just a marvel to look at.
Smell is of bitter baker's cocoa, coffee, molasses, along with a touch of fruit and bitter citrus hops. Really nice.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a yeasty fruitiness that compliments the dark malts wonderfully. It really comes together well, especially on the nitro-tap...never seen it on nitro before.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy, rich, fulfilling with just the right amount of sweetness, roastiness, and bitters all working together to a finish that is chewy and delightful.

weeare138, Feb 08, 2007
Photo of stevegamburg
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After reading the low scoring reviews, I can understand why someone would hate Old Rasputin. But not a single "hardcore" Imperial Stout drinker will say that this is not a fantastic beer. Very full bodied, heavy, and complex. Burnt malt, coffee, and chocolate dominate the palate. Old Rasputin is, at least in the Chicago area, available at most liquor stores and Trader Joe's and is very reasonably priced ($6.99/4-pack). I always keep it stocked on my "stout shelf" (along with Victory Storm King).

stevegamburg, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of exitor
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured almost pitch black, with a caramel color shining through at the bottom.

S - Amazing - A raspberry fudge sundae with hints of coffee.

T - Same flavors as it smelled, with more emphasis on the coffee. Finished slightly bitter.

M - Nice balance of carbonation and smoothness, almost creamy.

D - So drinkable, especially for a beer this thick. Could even be a daily drinker.

exitor, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of umustdrink
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black completely opaque even when held to light. Head is a medium brown that sits nicely at an eighth inch. Lacing sticks all the way up the glass.

S - Rich roasted coffee bean aroma with hints of raisins.

T - Deep bittersweet coffee flavor with fragrant dark fruits,burnt sugars and a sweet vanilla sugar taste up towards the front of the tongue.

M - Medium to thick consistency that is smooth and chewy. Carbonation is at a higher level that brings an unexpected bite to the mouth.

D - One of the most original tasting stouts out there. Price is also very reasonable at around 7.99 for a four pack.

umustdrink, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: A half-finger light tan head with some of the best lacing I've seen on any stout, Imperial or not. Large, dotty, with small arms sticking out. Head settles into a small, eight-finger head. Dark black stout body.

Smell: A nutty almond aroma is up front, which is quite nice, followed by a huge amount of dark borderline bittering chocolate. Possibly the most bittering chocolate aroma I've ever smelled in a stout. The chocolate and almonds then coalesce into, yes, a chocolate-covered almond aroma. Heavy cream and cinnamon. Some vegetable-like aroma very faint on the back end, sort of like bell peppers, but pleasant. Really quite an aroma.

Taste: Some coffee in the flavor that I didn't pick up in the aroma. Some cinnamon. Alcohol is much more prevalent here than the lack I detected in the nose, but it is only prevalent upon some mild searching. Still a huge amount of dark chocolate, which I am still pleased with. The almond-like nuttiness is very faint in the back end.

Mouthfeel: A little too fizzy at some points, but otherwise coffee-like siltiness with some fullness.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable for an RIS, while still maintaining an RIS kick and complexity. I downed a 12 oz of this in under a half hour, which, for me, is hard to do with an RIS. Anyway, a fantastic RIS for those wanting to step up from "lesser" stouts, or for those wanting to maintain the RIS punch while not going for something as big as a Stone RIS, etc. - in other words, this is about as close as an RIS gets to being sessionable. Especially sessionable with an extra sharp, aged cheddar. Mm.

RidiculedDisplay, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bm0095 for the bottle.

Good lawd does this look nice. Absolute black as night with a huge cream colored head. Lace was so thick I could not see through the glass. Perfect look for an Imperial Stout,Perfect. Smell started with a hint of chocolate, some coffee, maybe even some dark fruity smells hidden in there, nice overal aroma.

As for the taste, hmmm.Big Flavors right off the bat. Roasted, caramel sweetness, The alcohol can definatly be tasted and this is warm going down, yummy. Coffee undertones as well as the tiniest hint of chocolate, I mean tiny but it is there. Very nicely carbonated, and thick. This is a definate sipper. The abv custs down on what you may be able to drink but not what you think you can! I could really drink this on every cold night. Big beer here folks, very nicely done!

mikesgroove, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of Commandogeraldo
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass after allowing beer to rise to a temperature of about 50 degrees. Head was three fingers thick, faded after a couple of minutes. Very full flavor, I was impressed with how it had sweetness coming through in the midst of the coffee overtones. Speaking of, that's what this reminded me of: a well-made cup of black coffee, but with more going on, and no need for milk or sugar. I also mark this as part of my evolution as a beer drinker, because a few years ago I would not have been able to appreciate a stout of this caliber.

Commandogeraldo, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of bigone4
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark black with slight ruby color when back lit. Nice creamy tanish off-white head. Massive lacing down the whole pint glass. Smells of alcohol esters mixed with a strong tone of roasted and chocolate malts. Slight hints of caramel and coffee flavors in the nose as well. Smooth rolling chocolate and roasted malt flavor. The alcohol taste is quite strong in the finish. Has a rather dry finish with a definite alcohol tone. Quite roasty and lots of bold malts in the mix. Nice full body and very drinkable. This one certainly has the making of a true imperial stout. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

bigone4, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of Greenfloyd
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a Russian Imperial Stout that can turn out the lights...

This 9 percent stout poured into my snifter with a vengeance....dark molasses color, with a substantial, lingering cola colored head. This beer had a nose of dark chocolate, toffee, and traces of low alcohol tones. The heavy, complex taste of chocolaty roasted malts, warming alcohol, and meandering hints of dark ripened fruit, finished wonderfully with a subtle black coffee trail. The mouth feel was very substantial....probably the reason this beer comes in a four pack instead of a sixer...a heavy, heavy, brew. This beer paired very well with pieces of dark chocolate...Enjoy

Greenfloyd, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of sjambok1
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aah, before I get to the actual review, let me say finding this brew has been one of the high points of my beer drinking experiences. It's hard to beat something thats this good.

A: Dark as cole, poured with a two finger head of dark brown, like treebark.

S: Strong, nutty, with plenty of hops and a hint of coffe.

T: Strong as any stout I've ever had, close to perfect. Tastes of coffe, hops and a very earthy taste.

MF: Excellent. Smooth and full

D: Great, but strong. Good beer for occasions, but if I were to be drinking more than 2, Id have drink Red Seal

sjambok1, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of headhopper
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This stout pours out very dark with tinge of tea color brown/amber around the corners when held up to the light. It has a creamy frothy tan head that sticks around for a while.

It smells very good...Not as strong as some stouts, but very pleasant. Not as rough as most RIS. It has a nice crusty bread smell with roasted coffee and dark chocolate.

Now when I take the first sip...every time it makes me go " Ahh thats a good beer." It kind of reminds me of Breakfast stout. Only because of the very obvious and sharp coffee smell and coffee bitterness in the taste. It also reminds me of the taste of Founders Black Rye. It has a balanced blend of coffee, chocolate, bread, roasted nuts...its very good.

For the price and availability this is a great stout.

headhopper, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of wavz
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Just like a stout should be. Dark rich coffee color with just a hint of deep amber. Head pours thick and creamy, sticks around for a beat or two and leaves a nice lacing.

S- Peacans, Coffee, Chocolate, and just a hint of smoke.

T- I love the complexity of this beer. Earthy notes of roasted walnuts or pecans. Chocolate, plenty of coffee with light hints of sweetness in the backround.

M- Smooth and rich, viscus, and just a bit of heat in the end of this one.

D- This has to be one of my favs right after Rogue's Shakespear Stout. This one is a close second. If you havent tried it yet, your missing out.

Wavz

wavz, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of nortmand
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black, with a very stable brown head.

Roast dominates the aroma. Coffee and chocolate as well.

Milk chocolate up front, turns into a rounded roast by mid tongue. Leaves a bitter roast aftertaste with a bit of metallic character.

Extra full, lucious body, smooth as silk. Big ass drinkable beer. So clean.

nortmand, Jan 23, 2007
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,162 ratings.