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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

10,195 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,195
Reviews: 3,384
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 332
Gots: 1,463 | 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: 10,195 | Reviews: 3,384 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rudgers73
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. The head spilled all over the sides, oops. The head slowly settles into a sticky, heavily lacing, belgian dubbel-like cap. The beer is nearly black. I can tell from the foam on my hand that it is a very sticky brew. The smell is really fresh. I don't know how else to explain it. Green, not as in 'green beer', but floral with chlorophyll aromas. Well roasted malts with a touch of piny hops. The flavor is great. Bold, rich, smooth, and burnt. It tastes similar to storm king stout, but it has a much more creamy and smooth body. Very well balanced overall. I like the little bite at the end that comes out at the same time as the hops. It's hard to make a RIS that isn't rough around the edges, but they did it here.

Rudgers73, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of screwcitybeernut
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rasputin was a Russian mystic who contributed in the downfall of the tsarist Romanov dynasty in 1917. Rumor has it that he refused to die after being stabbed, shot, and poisoned only to have his assailants finally bind him and toss him through a hole in the ice, which apparently finished him off.

Funny.
It took me only 20 minutes to finish off Rasputin.
And he was delicious.

Old Rasputin Imperial Stout is typical of the Imperial Stout style - brewed to 9% abv or higher to withstand the cold Siberian train rides from England. It leaves you feeling a bit more resistant to cold than before you drank it - some sort of exothermic reaction must have happened because halfway through the glass, I started shedding layers.

Not a beer for the faint of spirit or faint of palate.

Appearance: 4 - Black as midnight - little to no light shines through. Rocky tan head at first, subsiding to a lingering layer of light brown foam that lasts until the last sip.

Smell: 4.5 Burnt coffee, bittersweet chocolate, alcohol and roast malt.

Taste: 4.5 Coffee and chocolate up front followed by a huge hop linger. Like a good espresso, this beer stays on your palate for a while.

Mouthfeel: 4.5 Lush, creamy smooth, little carbonation, dry finish.

Drinkability: 4.5 Not a chugging beer! Sip this while reading a good book in front of a fireplace.

Overall: If you like stouts, you'll love this offering from North Coast.

screwcitybeernut, Feb 22, 2007
Photo of IPAcraig
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Poured a syrupy black with with a big fluffy light brown - mocha head. A gorgeuos looking stout. The head retention was pretty good. It held a sizeable head more than half way through the beer. The lacing was moderate.

S - This one didnt have a big aroma, but it was pleasant nonetheless. I pickup bits of dark chocolate and coffee. There is also just a little hop-citrus smell and a touch of alcohol present.

T - Wow, a roasty chocolate flavor is the first thing I notice followed by an equally present coffee taste. Also I get a little bit of caramel, kinda like a riesen candy chew (excellent). Not much in the way of hops, but there is a touch of hop bitterness. A light bit of alcohol warnth comes through, but not as much as the 9% alcohol would suggest.

M - Kind od chewy, like riesen chew in your mouth.

D - This has become my stand by RIS. It is very drinkable, borderline sessionable. A very tasty brew.

Notes - For about 2$ a 12oz bottle this is a good value as well.

IPAcraig, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of guitarmage
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black beer, no light passes through. Big sudsy tan head sticks around, coats the glass.

Smell: Big and toasty malt, fresh roasted coffee beans, unsweetened chocolate, a light caramel sweetness, hops are present, a little green smelling, pine maybe. Great smelling beer.

Taste: Almost a milk chocolate like sweetness comes from the malt, acts as a sweetener to the coffee like character, tastes of irish cream, hint of orange citrus, stays this way until the very tail when a dose of hops hits the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Rich and full bodied, but smooth, not sticky, creamy and ever so drinkable. Carbonation is light and cleansing.

Drinkability: One of the most drinkable Russian Imperials, delicious and sweet, but not sticky or heavy. If anything, not as complex as some, but definitely more approachable.

guitarmage, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of mwearl
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very dark brown/black color - cannot see light through it. Head is less than an inch and doesn't last long. The taste is bitter as expected and the first couple of sips have a noticeable alcohol flavor. Very good beer with dark chocolate. If rating of 9% ABV is accurate then why do I fee so buzzed after sipping just one?! Two would put me over the top. This is a good beer if you love dark bitters (which I do).

mwearl, Feb 17, 2007
Photo of baggio
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a duvel chalice. Color is dark brown/black white a nice lacing that stays there for the duration.

Smells heavily of a potent dark coffee, bitter chocolate and alcohol.

Taste is complex but is dominated by coffee, chocolate and a kick-ass
bitternes that is a wee bit too heavy. I think this beer could use a little
less hops because it feels a little out of balance. I would definitely recommend this beer for people that enjoy a heavy stout but i would not
drink more than one bottle of it per night or it would be too much. I'm gonna see how this beer tastes after a year in my pantry.

Btw the russian text on the bottle means "Good friends doesn't come easily (fast)".

baggio, Feb 16, 2007
Photo of Talisker
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from a 12oz bottle a deep brownish black. Dark brown head, lingers for a while, and the lacing sticks around forever.

Heavenly aroma. Rich malt, chocolate, toffee, some hops. The alcohol burns through a bit too much, but it's a minor flaw. Taste is magnificent - complex, something different with every sip. Rich chocolate, not too sweet, balanced by a strong bitterness. Warming, dry. Texture not thick or syrupy like too many Impy Stouts, but not as thin as a porter - these guys nail it. After each sip you want to go back immediately, but at 9% this is one to spend time with. The dryness overstays its welcome just a bit.

Works together almost perfectly. Truly one of the great stouts, great American brews, great beers - and consistent over the years.

Talisker, Feb 16, 2007
Photo of Fernans
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've read about much about this one, my favorite Beer pourveyor ($8) had a four pack and I picked it right up. This one jumps out right at you. The smells of coffee and chocolate hits you right away. The taste is a lively, for sure. Though the taste of alcohol is noticeable, but not detremental. Taste of rich malts that have a heavy accent of chocolate and oats. Mouthfeel is very pleasent for 9% ABV. Appearance is very dark, but with some very deep amber. This is a sipping beer, not for dinner and one to savor (it lingers in very good way). Something to relax with on cold winter nights. This reminds me of one other beer (and one of my all time favorites) Geary's Hampshire Ale. Great overall. Worth every penny.

Fernans, Feb 16, 2007
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
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,195 ratings.