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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
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: 1,935 | 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 Bootscraper
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At another board this beer was talked about and raved up and down for some time. I just thought it was awesome that it pays tribute to Rasputin.
Served a little bit over 50 degrees F in pint glass listening to The Best of Mountain.
Pours like motor oil, and looks like motor oil in the glass. Seriously, this thing is as black as 4-chan's humor and opaque even when held right beside a light bulb. Beautiful. A 2 cm bubbly (but very creamy) very tan head sprung up, and briefly continued to rise after the pour. After a good 5 minutes, it had shrunk to just a thin layer, and stayed that way for a good while down the glass. The lacing was pretty steady, and clung on for dear life, not going anywhere for quite some time. For as much as this beer was hyped up, I was honestly expecting a little bit more impressive head, so at this point I'm wondering what I did wrong.
The smell was modest, yet what was there was robust. I had the Thelonious Monk beer by this same brewery, and they both had the same "barbecue" smell to it. I'm assuming now that it is roasted malt. There is also some cappuccino right behind it.
The taste, unsurprisingly, is a very roasted, charred one. It progresses towards the finish, along with some dark fruit flavors. Throughout the entirety of each sip, that creamy coffee is slightly present, as well as alcohol. The alcohol actually blends with the flavors nicely though, so it is hidden quite nicely. At most, it puts up a slight sting in the back of your throat at the swallow, but it mostly just translates to a pleasantly warming feeling. If nothing else, it comes off as a very dark chocolate (at least in the after-taste).
The mouth-feel is pretty darn smooth, considering how upfront and robust this beer is in general. It's also fairly full-bodied, and I enjoy the low carbonation levels and yet there is a very slight tingly feeling to accent this nicely. This is pretty damn syrupy as well, at least for a stout... though I understand that this particular style is supposed to be quite sticky from the addition of much more malt.
In all, I guess this is quite drinkable if you enjoy a beer of this style on this caliber. I'm in my second and determining that this would be best accompanied with a rich dinner, but I am having no trouble sipping through this.

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

A - Incredibly dark brown to black with a fluffy mocha head. Head lasts quite a while and simmers to a nice 1/8-inch lace on top. Great sticky lacing on the sides of the glass as drank.

S - Espresso, dark chocolate, and roasted malt all at once like a slap in the face. Boozy alcohol when I really stick my nose in and take a good long whiff.

T&M - I taste the espresso off the bat and then chased by the roasted malt and finally with a nice twinge of dark chocolate in the aftertaste. Nicely balanced in these flavors and none of these overpowers the other, rather compliments each other. A bit of a thick brew with a sticky mouthfeel. The alcohol is warming and not as noticable as I expected. The alcohol seems to meld into the flavors as the beer warms.

D - Such a great sipping beer and nice to drink. It would be hard to drink more than two of these in one night as you have to sip and savor this or the alcohol will knock you out.

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

I am new to imperial stouts.

Poured into my spielgelau snifter from 12 oz. bottle.

A - A quarter shade above black. Garnet hues on the edges. Thin head that retains a ring, and decent lacing.

S - Coffee, Chocolate, lime, Cherries, Tire store rubber.

T - Coffee. Coffee. Espresso. Mocha. Also other flavors of fruit like lime. Chocolate. Coffee. More coffee.

M - Yum and soft.

D - This is the kind of beer that makes me feel like a beer virgin, all over again.

Photo of Baileyuk
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark Brown, almost black appearance. Head poured well, faded fairly fast but held a faint head throughout. Slight redness in the appearance. Lacing was minimal.

S - Very sweet aroma and roasted malts. Alcohol presence is forewarned in the aroma also.

T - Very sweet, with BIG roasted malts. Alcohol is very present but not unpleasant. Slight coffee and chocolate comes off also.

M - Thick full bodied and creamy texture. Flavors hang on the tongue for a while. Carbonation is a perfect medium to low, goes very nicely.

D - For a 9% imperial stout it is very drinkable. A little sweet for more than one or two. That said this beer is probably not meant for too many more in one go.

Photo of reallyhoppie
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Dark, dark brown with very nice, light tan head that had great retention for it's style.

Sweet malty smell with beautiful roasted coffee hints.

Full, rich flavor of roasted malts. Lots of coffee and chocolate with a little fruitiness. Almost wish there was just a little more bitterness, but this really is almost perfect.

Not really thick, just a great creamy mouthfeel.

I don't know if I could find a more "drinkable" RIS. I really want to find this on draught now.

Photo of sgraham4
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- beautifully dark black with a brown head that lace nicely on the glass

S- malty & sweet coffee notes

T- GREAT flavor- very full and rich with a nice maly character and a coffee taste that lingers wonderfully on the palate. reaaalllyy good

M- Nice and full

D- favorite Imperial Stout, hands down. Certainly a beer for any dark beer lover or any beer drinker alike!

Photo of WickedSluggy
4.74/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best imperial stouts I have had.

A - Black except in edges of glass where it is dark brown. Foam is brown - not a lot of it.

S - Malty hoppy and coffee-like

T - Very good flavor - RICH and pleasing flavor roasted barley and hops - Roasted nuts and coffee. Balanced maltiness with bitter from both hops and roasted barley

M - Wooly and full bodied

D - A pleasant robust experience that makes me appreciate the potential of this style. If possible I will want to keep this one on hand.

Photo of beerorRIP
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap @ stuff yer face (from notes i remember taking on a phone that died)

a full pour into a standard pint glass revealed a black as night body. a dark brown 1 finger head crowned the glass, which eventually crept down. some sticky brown lace was hanging on the sides of the glass throughout.

smells like RIS... nice deep roasty barley, chocolates, some coffee (although not as much as others), and a whiff of alcohol. no noticable hop aroma.

the taste was soooo nice. rich and chocolatey. slight coffee and perhaps sweetness of a ripe fruit. bitter balanced well with the noticable malt character of the beer. the alcohol is really well hidden and only peaks out from under the covers when i rolled it around my mouth for a while. delicious.

not super thick, but a thick and creamy mouthfeel that is of course expected for the style. it does suit the flavors of the beer really well.

dangerous. that is the drinkability of this crazy old man. after one i started to feel it in my head and promptly got something to eat. the second one told me "you ain't gettin' away that easy" and made me feel quite relaxed.

overall, highly recommended! a great RIS that i overlooked for a long time... and do i regret that? yes.

Photo of schroederm
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had the privilege of drinking this beer on nitro, so my opinions are a little skewed by the benefits of serving this kind of beer in that manner. First off, it looks fantastic. The head is full, looks sort of like chocolaty whipped cream with a sheen across its surface. Dark as night. Smells quite good, with a little bit of alcohol coming through roasty notes. Tastes even better than it smells: excellent maltiness, nice bitter finish, notes of anise, chocolate, and coffee.

The mouthfeel is really what did it for me, again, probably due to nitrogen. Exceptionally creamy, perfect level of carbonation. Avoided swallowing as long as I could bear...

Overall: great RIS, I highly recommend it. If you live in the Boston area, get over to Deep Ellum, where they have it on nitro consistently.

Photo of alovesupreme
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, I have never seen a more beautiful, more appetizing beer then Old Rasputin on tap. Darkness with a perfect creamy head that resembles whip cream on hot chocolate.

Roasted aromas, chocolate and coffee.

I can tell this beer is on nitro, its almost like drinking an extremely flavorful Guiness, with all aspects enhanced. Very roasted, coffee, a little chocolate with a lingering creamy roasted aftertaste.

Absolutely amazing. Old Rasputin on Nitro is pretty much as good as it gets.

Photo of Vengeance526
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brownish black color with a 1 finger creamy, dark tan head that settles quickly and leaves beautiful tan lacing along the glass.

Smells of licorice, roasted malt, with some alcohol noticeable. Also some notes of coffee and bitter chocolate and a slight spiciness all come through in the nose.

Hops really come through in the taste. Also present are hints of coffee, vanilla, cinnamon, licorice and a roasted nut profile. Alcohol can be detected on the way down but does not overpower the flavor.

Exceptionally smooth with a medium amount of carbonation. Highly drinkable but the alcohol can sneak up on you fast if you're not careful with this one. Overall this is a nicely balanced RIS and a great interpretation of the style.

Photo of bigkahunas4
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Tulip glass.

Brew came out of the bottle jet black, not too thick, not too thin. Dark cookie head starts at about 2 fingers, and settles down to a voluptuous half finger. Spotty, sticky lacing that really clings to the glass. The aroma on this out of the bottle was huge, and now as the glass settles about a yard away, butterscotch is just flowing under my nose. Upon further inspection I detect some sttrrronnggg vanilla and a dark roast.

This elixir is incredibly creamy, bringing immense sweetness to the front of the mouth. Big sweet malts like I've never tasted before in a stout/RIS - tons of oaked vanilla. As this bubbly brew begins to settle on the tongue, bitter coffee nibs take control of the palate. A slight smokiness to the brew as well. Alcohol is apparent, but masked incredibly.

Certainly the best RIS I've ever had, and according to others, it perhaps is the best out there. Just incredible balance, and enjoyment with every stage of that balance for me. Honestly, I'm not a huge stout guy - but this one is just making me drool. I dislike the finish of most stouts - but this one just hits it on the head. Give me more!

Pretty sure the ratings I'm giving this will make it my top rated beer. You know, maybe not my favorite ever, but as far as RIS and Stouts go - this is just leagues above anything else I've had.

Photo of HeyItsChili
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark, almost black brown that has brown highlights in extreme light. A very tightly foamy brown head forms 2 fingers deep and slowly dissipates.

S - Roasted malt, burnt black coffee beans, brown sugar, dark chocolate.

T - Tastes of dark chocolate, with a dampened syrupy quality like burnt brown sugar, dark coffee beans.

M - Thick, full bodied, with lots of tongue tickling carbonation.

Drinkability - This beer is gonna take my taste buds round back of the middle school and get 'em pregnant.

Photo of dqderrick
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 4.5
So dark. The head is perfect cocoa in color. Lacing is great.

Smell - 5.0
The scent did exactly as I want a beer smell to do... make me long for the first sip. Smelled like a perfect RIS.

Taste - 4.5
Why is it not a 5.0? I wanted more bite. But damn if they didn't nail the flavor profile of a RIS that I was looking to for.

Mouthfeel - 5.0
Killer. The carbonation and bite on my tongue is great. I love this style of beer and North Coast nailed it.

Drinkability - 5.0
My rating here makes up for my 4.5 on taste. I could drink all 4 of these in one sitting. Granted, the 9.0% would leave me hungover the next day...

I saw this beer mention time and time again on the forums here at BA. When at my local Bevmo, I'd always bypass it for other selections. But, this recent experience will force me to always keep one or two at least in my cellar. I plan to share this beer with others that have not tasted it yet.

Photo of erz316
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a solid black, no light or anything other radiation is getting through this brew. the head is large and is around a medium champagne colour.

S - one can most certainly smell the alcohol right up front, that is what is most noticeable; strong smelling but more subtle roasted malts trail behind the booze

T - A good and complex taste for this one. the hops add a great bitterness to the initial taste on the sides of the tongue, while there is a different type of bitter on the back of the tongue, reminiscent to that of strong coffee The alcohol only becomes prominent for the aftertaste, remaining very manageable on the palate.

MF&D - very smooth, and thick. Not as thick as it could be, but then again, who wants to drink syrup. nothing extraordinary to really note here.

Photo of BirdFlu
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rasputin was one of the first good bers I ever had... this was a long time ago, however, before I knew anything about good beers and so back then the only thing I thought about it was "wow, this is really thick...".. So all these years later and I finally tried it again...
it pours nicely and is like any other good RIS, dark black and with a tan head, etc... the aroma is chocolatey with a bit of espresso..
The main thing I have to say about it now is that it is very smokey. Its got a very smokey, burnt bread taste and aftertaste to it. It has a bitterness that is really similar to black coffee.. I wished it was a bit sweeter.
It's definitely a fine stout and I can understand why it has such a high rating, but I think it could stand to be just a tad bit sweeter to give more balance to the smoke/burnt bread taste and mouth feel.
This may be jsut due to personal taste and all, I wouldn't go out of my way to pick it over say Founders breakfast or a Yeti or a stout such as those, however...

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

Had this one on tap at Old Chicago in Olathe, KS.

Poured into a small brandy snifter/tulip style glass. Came to me completely opaque black and a decent sized creamy head that lasted the entire way to the bottom.

The smell on this one is fantastic. It's full of dark fruits, roasted grains, a bit of pleasant hop aroma... it's everything you can really ask for from the aroma of an Imperial Stout. Extremely appetizing, and enough to make your mouth water.

The taste doesn't let you down, either. Up front you get hit with a healthy dose of roasted malt flavor, followed by the sweetness of the base malts. That sweetness stays throughout the sip, but it balanced nicely by the deceptively high level of bitterness, both from the hops and from the more astringent character of the darker malts. The darker fruit aromas also make their presence known in the flavor, giving the beer a plum/currant note that is very nice on the tongue. And to top it all off, there's really no hint of the 9% ABV in the taste. It's way too easy to drink, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, now is it?

The mouthfeel was a tad lighter than I had expected. Not light, by any means, but lighter than one might think an Imperial Stout would be. This both aids the drinkability of the beer, and disappoints in some odd way. Overall, though, it isn't a big hindrance to the enjoyment.

This one is really, really well made. Sweet without being cloying, well balanced, not trying to be grabbing you by the throat and screaming "Imperial Stout Here! Bet you can't drink me!". It's very well put together, easy to drink, satisfying, and just generally a very, very good beer. Highly recommended.

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

Grabbed a 4-pack in Sept 2007 and sat on two bottles for a while. This is one of them.

A: A very black Old Rasputin under an inch thick cap of brown head that leaves a nice pattern of foam along the side of my 22oz snifter.

S: On the nose, there is some rich chocolate, absolutely gorgeous. Not very dark, there's some creaminess and a hint of coffee to back it up. Some sherry-like oxidation is present, adding to the complexity. Mellow and wonderfully well-balanced, this beer's a charm.

T: After drinking as many BA imperials as I've had in the past week, it's remarkable how wonderful a straight up imperial stout is! Smooth, soft medium dark chocolate with a hint of sweetness, a little bit of cream and a wonderfully bitter finish. Oxidation isn't as noticeable as it was on the nose. There is some licorice that's noticeable as it warms up, though. All told, wonderfully mellow.

M: Moderate in body with carbonation that's solid (maybe a little bit too much) and an excellent finish

D: Wow. This is one dangerously drinkable beer. Definitely stocking up on this.

**Edit 03 August 2012**
This is my final bottle from that 4-pack from Sept 2007.

The nose has taken on a decidedly roasty, ashy and unsweetened cocoa tinge. Mildly fruity, not particularly oxidized, but it is mellow. The palate opens fruity with mild raisins along with heavily roasted grains, a little char and a little ash. Pretty intense. The mid-palate has fallen off, it's too mellow and lacking in character. Medium in body with a roasty, mildly ashy and moderately fruity finish that's also got some cocoa and caramel, this feels nice on the palate. Solid stuff, I need to revisit this fresh.
4/4/4

Photo of likethetaste
2.15/5  rDev -50%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

WOW! I got this beer as gift at Christmas. I really looked forward to trying this. It poured a beautiful dark color with lovely long lasting foam. I smelled it and it just had a wonderful dark chocolate bready smell. But then I tasted it! YIKES.
This had a horrible bitter taste. The aftertaste was just terrible. I could not drink this and enjoy it at all! I was greatly disappointed. Apparently I just do not have the same taste buds as others who reviewed this but It was just awful tasting to me and I have tried many stouts.

Photo of Foxtrot
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into pint glass

A - Poured a nice deep black with a caramel colored head with good retention and quite a bit of lacing.

S - Intense chocolate and coffee notes in the nose. Some minor scents of caramel and molasses.

T - I really enjoyed this beer. It burst of chocolate and roasted malts up front with a sweet feel and lingering bitterness as it goes down. Kept me sipping trying to put my finger on the taste.

M - Phenomenal all around. Full bodied, smooth and creamy.

D - It has a moderately high drinkability. The higher ABV is quite welcome on a cold winter day.

Photo of jdklks
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark. impenetrably black with a medium brown way too bubbly head that has decent retention. what you would expect from an imperial stout, but definitely nothing special in the category (im thinking abyss, ten fidy, BCS, etc.).

S- coffee and roasted malts. burnt smell that is quite nice.

T- very good. not as much coffee as expected but very malty. somewhere between sweet and bitter, i cant figure out which, and the lingering aftertaste adds to the confusion. all i know is that i like it, whatever it is. a very small hint of dark fruits. A little too much carbonation.

M- overly carbonated. full-bodied, although a bit less than other RISs i enjoy. also not quite as smooth as i like the style, but still very good.

my favorite year-round beer.

Photo of RickKrumenacker
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black as night. One-finger, chocolate milk colored head. Great lacing throughout the beer.

S: Initially boozy. Dark chocolate and intense roasted coffee as it warms. I think that I also picked up some molassas.

T: Strong dark coffee dominates the flavor, but it doesn't mask the alcohol. A little bitter.

M: Tighter carbonation than expected. Warming on the back of the throat. A little thinner than I expected.

D: Stong and intense flavors mean that you will spend a little bit of time finishing this one. Very good.

Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a tan head that has a wonderful oil layer on top. Really nice looking brew. The smell is even better, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. The taste continues the trip to Chocolate town with hints of coffee and caramel to boot. This is an intense beer, you really take your time with it and one is probably plenty, but I really enjoyed it. I've never been a stout guy, but this is a couple in a row that I've enjoyed. I would definetly have this beer again, it would be a great dessert after a meal.

Photo of TMB0424
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into snifter.

Pours an complete pitch black body. Black as night. Medium sized, loose, creamy coffee colored head quickly dissipates into fine outer ring. What is left of the head is only now a murky, pond-scum (but a strangely delicious looking pond-scum!). Pretty good amount of carbonation wisps up to meet the diminished head. Dense, thick lacing along my glass. Damn good looking.

Aroma of freshly brewed roasted coffee... perhaps even expresso. A light scent of ale-like fruity yeast complimented by a subtle touch of melted dark chocolate. Very rich smelling. Smokey, roasted malts as well. A light, pleasant splash of grassy, earthy hops is lurking somewhere in the background of this beastly brew as well. I'm also getting the spicy warmth of the alcohol. Exceptionally well smelling.

Taste is incredible. So many flavors just attack your palate. Rich, smooth dark chocolates blended perfectly with a bitter splash of expresso. And right in the middle of all that is a dash of fruity sweetness... but so delicate and well-placed. Fresh, ripened fruits. Plums are coming to mind. The smokey malts in the aroma are in the taste as well. The finish is refreshingly bittersweet, with a wave of alcohol warmth. Outstanding.

Mouthfeel is indescribably creamy. Talk about thick... talk about chewy. But creamy as all hell. Full bodied. The term bittersweet is used a lot... but this is the epitome of bittersweet. Unreal.

Drinkability is exceptional. The alcohol warmth and kick at the finish designates this a sipper - but a damn good sipper at that. The best Russian Imperial I've had. This is a must try for any stout lover. It's just perfectly balanced, perfectly brewed, just perfect.

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into a snifter and it had a thick tan head. It smells strong of espresso and dark chocolate. It tastes just like it smells, strong espresso and dark chocolate. There is a hint of alcohol as it warms the back of the throat. This beer is thick and creamy almost like a meal in of itself. One of the most robust stouts I have tried to date.

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