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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

9,742 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,742
Reviews: 3,351
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 297
Gots: 1,262 | FT: 40
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,742 | Reviews: 3,351 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of walleye
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from the bottle. poured black with a nice brown head. aroma caramel, bitter sweet chocolate, malts, plums, raisins, and other dark fruits, with hints of alcohol. coffee. flavor a nice bitter sweet chocolate, caramels, malt, a nice bitter dryness to this sure glad I picked up a 4 pack.

walleye, Jan 16, 2005
Photo of sublimesipping
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my " chaser " after a draft of the mad elf. Pretty wonderful, potent stout. Not for the faint of heart. Excellent notes of coffee, chocalate, and licorace in both aroma and taste. good balance. Very dry on the palate encourages slower, more reflective consumption. I will have this again to drive the cold winter chill away.
To BAs, as I drank this, I wondered about how it would mix with the Mad Elf? I think pretty good. I will also have this again with a nice spirit accompaniment. Any suggestions?

sublimesipping, Jan 15, 2005
Photo of ncbrewerbun
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An unexpected gift to get to try this one in North Carolina! Smuggled in by my buddy Jim.

Poured in inky black with a creamy tan head.

Aroma makes this beer -- a huge chocolate hits you right off the bat. Slight fruitiness; malt (comes through with caramel and vanilla); and the hops are present.

Flavor is coffee-like with an alcohol presence. Malt also creates a tasty brew.

Aftertaste is hop bitterness with coffee beans.

An enjoyable sipping beer for this time of year.

ncbrewerbun, Jan 13, 2005
Photo of LarryKemp
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The esters, raisons?, prunes? whatever, grabbed me as soon as I popped the cap. What a nice, strong, complex aroma But the chocolate in the background will finally come forward. Makes for a very complex nose.

THe beer poured a jet black with a firm tan head that lasted a very long time. Just after I poured the beer, I was distracted for nearly 10 minutes and there still is a solid layer of foam resting atop the liquid.

The malts really kick in on the taste buds. Great chocolate and roasted intermingled. Really rich and VERY intense. Particularly when the bitterness wrestles with the sweet. I can barely make out hints of the esters on the tongue. They add a little variety

Very full bodied with a high viscosity. The bitterness tingles the roof of my mouth. The alcohol does not make itself known. All 9% is hiding somewhere I am sure but the other elements are so strong and interesting, the alcohol does not have room to shine.

I would recommend this beer. It is true to style and never is overbearing. Each sip showcases a different aspect of this fine beer.

LarryKemp, Jan 09, 2005
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a deep ruby red beer with a one finger tan head... about what I expected in appearance, although for a Russian Imperial Stout I thought it might be a tad darker.

The aroma was somewhat sweet, with prominent dark raisins, and hints of dark malt. I expected more roasted character... but what I got was good, in its own way.

The taste... DEFINITE Imperial stout. Very strong roasted malt, with a not-quite-coffee aftertaste. Good stuff.

VERY good mouthfeel... nice and full and chewy. had to take off a bit for drinkability though, it was just too strong. I don't know if I would want a second one.

But it sure didn't taste like it had an ABV that high.

connecticutpoet, Jan 08, 2005
Photo of shippos
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

on tap at the chapter house.

poured through the nitro tap with the ususal dense thick creamy head that is coffee colored and sits on top of a dark dark body with some ruby hints to it. coffee like aroma, esspresso with some alcohol. thick mouthfeel smooth and creamy with some chocolatly notes and leaves you with a dry aftertaste and a nice alcoholic warmth.

absolutly wonderful and even more so since I got this for free!!

shippos, Jan 05, 2005
Photo of tweeder263
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a nice black brew with a 2 finger tan head,head recedes pretty quickly.Looks pretty well carbonated.Taste,,very hoppy up front and nice hints of coffee come into play and round it out.Slightly bitter linger detracts a little from the taste. Nice alcohol warming feeling.Very good Imp stout, would definitely have again.

tweeder263, Jan 03, 2005
Photo of BDTyre
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a purplish tinge. Nice thin brown head. Smells...perfumey but not sweet or overwhelming. Very pleasant smell.

Tastes like a very powerful stout. A bitter undertone, but this does not detract from the taste. Roasted malts with a bitter-sweet aftertaste. This is thick, but smooth and easy drinking. In my opinion, the only detractor of this beer is its limited availability.

I very much enjoy this stout; although it is my first imperial stout, it is one of the better beers I have tasted and I would eagerly order a case of it.

BDTyre, Dec 28, 2004
Photo of Citadel82
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

YUUUMY!

Pours black as the night along the Volga where the evil monk was done in...

Thick long lasting tan head left a solid sheath of tan lacing in its wake...

Smell of malt and damp earth in the nose with faint floral backdrop.

Tastes of carmel malt and toffee, then black espresso with chocolate and hardwood charcoal notes.

This is a wonderful complex brew and well woorth seeking out for a taste. After pouring it has minimal carbonation but a thick substantial feel to it.

Very drinkable.

Citadel82, Dec 23, 2004
Photo of brentk56
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearnace: Tar black with a bit of ruby peeking through when put in front of a light source; a modest head that webs the glass with lacing

Smell: Roasted malt, chocolate and espresso

Taste: The flavor explodes in your mouth - at first you get the coffee and chocolate and then, after the swallow, the bitter hops kick in along with the alcohol; after the warmth and the bitterness fades, the chocolate tones linger and comfort

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A lovely, warming stout for the cold weather months; a big beer and not for the faint-hearted

brentk56, Dec 16, 2004
Photo of Dogbrick
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Barley's Smokehouse. As much as I hate drinking a non-Barley's beer at Barley's, no way am I going to pass this up. Served in a snifter. Pours black as night with a dense beige head. Thin and quick lacing. Great roasty aroma with malt, and robust coffee. Rich body with a great balance of sweet malt and caramel, along with coffee and sneaky hops that poke through periodically. The alcohol is well-hidden too but you can tell it is there. The finish is long and lightly bitter coffee and chocolate. An excellent Imperial Stout that is exemplary of the style.

Dogbrick, Dec 10, 2004
Photo of GClarkage
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12/09/04- On tap at the Englander in San Leandro, CA

Appearance- Pours a dark tanish-black opaque color. Great head and good lacing.

Smell- Ahhhh, lots of chocolate and lots of coffee mixed together. Both roasted to perfection.

Taste- Frickin awesome! This compares almost equally to Stone Imperial Stout IMO. I had Stone two weeks ago and needed to give this one another try to compare. Tons of chocolate and coffee swirling around in harmony. Roasted malt thrown in for good measure.

Mouthfeel- On tap this is phenomonal. Carbonation level is near perfect and after it warms up it's even more tasty. Fairly thick, but goes down like a fat guy on a waterslide. (fast) :)

Drinkability- The only drawback is that you can feel this one after you finish it. You can still have another, but two is almost too much. Always will be one of my favorites.

GClarkage, Dec 10, 2004
Photo of wailingwench
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eye Candy: Jet black with garnett edges.Creamy tan 1 finger head. Thick and dark.

The Nose Knows: Dark bitter expresso mixed with bitter chocolate. Dark fruit finish. Slight aromatic alcohol.

Tongueland: Slight black licorice that gives way to bitter chocolate mixed with burnt dark fruit and oily hop finish. Nothing underlying, begging to come out. Thinner than expected and too fizzy. Lacks thick and chewy stout character.

Bender Factor: Not as I expected. This has had some rave reviews.Perhaps cellaring would improve this.

wailingwench, Dec 08, 2004
Photo of santoslhalper
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearence: Pours a deep black with a little tan head. Head dissaptes down to a tiny ring, and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell: Smells very strong of chocolate and coffee malts, with an almost sweet, fruity back. The nose is very complex, and very intriguing.

Taste and Mouthfeel: At first it's balls out Russian Imperial Stout, with no holds barred. Strong coffee barrage the taste buds. Slowly a tiny hint of hop bitterness comes through, with an almost fruity and sweet flavor. The finish is mostly hoppy, with a nice lingering aftertaste. In the mouth the beer is just right. Thick and creamy, without sacrificing any amount of flavor. Superb.

Drinkability and Overall: This is definitly a classic beer. Full of flavor and complexity without being too overboard like most Russian Imps. A nice, well-balanced flavor makes this is drinkable beer, expect for the fact that it's 9% ABV. Overall, try it. You'll love it.

Thank you bashiba for this lovely brewski.

santoslhalper, Dec 08, 2004
Photo of kmpitz2
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer leaves the bottle black, with just a hint of light that comes through if I tilt it and hold it to the light. The small head falls to ring the beer. The nose is full of chocolate and an almost fruity sweetness in there. The flavor full on chocolate. There is a nice bitter finish on this one as well. A solid beer. The feel is thick, almost syrupy. Yum. Drinkability is not bad at all either. This is a nice winter beer. I'll grab one of these when it gets really cold. Warm me up well.

kmpitz2, Dec 08, 2004
Photo of HardTarget
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stubby 12 oz. brown bottle, no date, Cyrillic lettering but “Product of the U.S.A.”, and abv listed at 8.9% (oh momma!). Aged this one a good year in my cellar.
Aroma: Rich malt, rum soaked raisins, burnt chocolate and a nut aroma, somewhat like almonds.
Appearance: Glass is an opaque black with some brown edges showing trace amounts of carbonation coming up to feed a very thin collar of dark tan head. The collar persisted through the beer, but left no lace.
Flavor: Outrageous! Scandalous! Divine! Insane! All of the above. A syrupy dark roasted and toasted malt taste that quickly shows a rum raisin heart that is attacked and pierced by an acidic hop spike. I also get some black cherry and wood flavors as well. Very intense and heavy flavor, I can see this as a ‘love or hate’ beer.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, surprisingly light given the dark rich taste. Carbonation is firm.
Overall Impression: When the world has beaten, berated, shot, stabbed and thrown you into a frozen river, this beer will revive you and help you overcome. It is one of my favorites (can you tell?) and was a gateway for my life as a BA. Drinkability is more along the lines of “I want this beer again, later”. An amazing beer I can’t recommend strongly enough.

HardTarget, Nov 30, 2004
Photo of Pegasus
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque onyx color with a small, but quite persistent tan head, and thick, glass coating lace.

Aroma: Quite intense aroma of dark fruit, bitter chocolate, coffee, and a pronounced alcohol note.

Taste: Opens with dark roasted malt flavors, followed by dark chocolate notes, after which a wave of vinous sweet alcohol washes over the palate. Finishes with a lingering bitter coffee note.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant and smooth with a little zesty carbonation at the opening; a perhaps bit less full than I would have expected.

Drinkability/notes: A superb winter beer, truly deserves to be sipped and savored in the manner of a liqueur. Perfectly suited to the darkest, coldest nights of winter.

Pegasus, Nov 28, 2004
Photo of Ego
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A classic in my book. Dark brown head that dissapates, beautiful lace clings to the sides, classic roast aroma with the sweetness of the alcohol quite present.

In the mouth it has just enough carbonation to make it non syrupy and also to mask the heavier alcohol content. This may be too heavy for many people but if you like dark, malty, alchol laden brew.. this is a must try.

nose:
Savor the nose in a big snifter glass, wonderfull, better than a starbucks venti hazelnut cappucino... the nose is unreal on this beer.

taste:
The malt takes over early (front of tongue) on a sip and then fades into the strong coffee notes (back of tongue).

verdict?
This is a truly a well crafted beer, highly recommended. This is hands down one of my favorites.

Ego, Nov 28, 2004
Photo of mgdeth
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This beer is essentially black. Just a thin slice of light reflects its way in throught the bottom of the glass. The thick tan head drops quickly, leaving some lace.

Smell - Roasty and malty. I do not detect a hop aroma. Inviting.

Taste - This one has a taste that knocks you on your ass, just the way I remember it from back in 1997. A strong, roasty, coffee flavor dominates this beer. There is also a bit of a salty taste, which is strange. Somehow, it seems to fit with the flavor explosion this beer always promises, but can be a bit distracting. I also detect a chocolate flavor in the aftertaste, Delightful.

Mouthfeel - Thick and meaty. This is not a first-time beer for macro swillers by any means.

Drinkability - This beer is surpisingly drinkable, but watch out for that 9% alcohol. My guess is that less experienced craft beer drinkers will find this less drinkable.

Comments - This beer more or less rules. Run out and buy some. Now. At one point in my life, this was the most intense beer experience imaginabe. Today, it is not far off from that.

mgdeth, Nov 22, 2004
Photo of RushLimbmalt
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark, almost reddish black and has a thin tan head that left quickly and leaves sporadic lace on my glass. It reeks of burnt malt, raisins and coffee. It smell like one terrific stout on steroids AKA a Imperial Stout. The flavor is very robust and is a good mix of dark malts and heavy hopping. Although a bit low on the alcohol for the style, this beer still packs a punch. That does not detract from this beers drinkability, because it is too good to pass up.

RushLimbmalt, Nov 19, 2004
Photo of jvajda
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark black body. A vigorous pour resulted in a one finger head that is tan. Ecellent look.
Smell: Alcohol and big roasted smells. Also a good load of malt freshness like a dunkel.
Taste: Wow. Milky and creamy, then bitter coffee roast flavors, a good bit of alcohol too. The sweetness balances excellently with bitterness. There is a lot to taste here. I've never had a more balanced stout. This is a superior beer.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and velvety like no other.
Drinkabilty: Imperial Stouts are not as drinkable as your typical session beer, but within this style this is the most drinkable. Relatively low ABV and very high complexity beg me to come back.

jvajda, Nov 12, 2004
Photo of dgallina
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly translucent black with brown highlights. Develops a few fingers of rocky tan head with a moderate pour, which dissolves to a creamy film and leaves moderate lace. Deep roasted malt aromas, predominantly burnt toast with underlying alcohol esters. Somewhat phenolic initial flavor which develops into roasted caramel and butterscotch and finishes with burnt toast and a long-lasting drying bitterness. A surprisingly complex and well-developed flavor, though I'm not crazy about the slightly phenolic note. The alcohol is, amazingly, nowhere to be found in the flavor profile. Nice rich and creamy medium body.

My wife noted that it didn't mix well with the left-over halloween candy-corns she was eating :-)

dgallina, Nov 10, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, menacing mahogany with ruby highlights and a medium brown cascading head that would make a nitro pour proud. Initially four-fingers-and-a-thumb in size, the cap looks as if it'll last for a good, long while. Dark brown lace--some of the darkest I've ever seen--coats the glass, but doesn't last all that long.

The nose abounds with bittersweet chocolate. Yes, there's some coffee; yes, there's heavily roasted malt and hops; but chocolate is king as far as the aroma is concerned. On the palate, hops return with a vengeance. "Regicide or death!" they scream as they pound away at King Cocoa... sorry, I got carried away there for a moment. A huge quantity of heavily roasted black malt results in a constellation of flavors that includes bittersweet chocolate, espresso and anise. Each and every one fills the mouth with Godiva-like goodness.

Even with all that malt, the citric hoppiness is unrelenting and is at least as prominent as in a middle-aged Storm King. Strangely enough, I'd prefer to see the hops ratcheted back a few notches in this beer, something that I never thought I'd say.

The mouthfeel is akin to heavily silky melted chocolate and is some kind of chewy, as befits an Imperial stout. Those who don't believe this is a true Imperial stout have different standards than I do. Nearly unnoticed carbonation is a perfect capper on a nearly perfect mouthfeel.

Old Rasputin is a mega hoppy stout, perhaps a tad too hoppy. It's definitely not for the faint of heart or the faint of palate. Proceed only if you enjoy immensely flavorful, luxurious stouts that could fairly constitute a meal in and of themselves. Old Raspy is North Coast's best beer, I do believe.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 27, 2004
Photo of abcsofbeer
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am a big fan of the Imperial Stout, so I was looking forward to this one. Pours a dark dark brown with no transparency. The head is tannish and poured to a thickeness of 1 inch. There is a fair amount of sticky lace at the top of the glass that goes away toward the bottom.

The aroma is of strong coffee, a bitter smell. Very malty and toffee smelling as well. The taste is much like a bitter, strong coffee. It is not thick as some stouts I have tasted. The aftertaste is like a bitter dark chocolate. The one thing apparent in the taste is the strong alcohol flavor. At 9%, it is not surprising, although some beers are better at masking the alcohol flavor than others. This one does not hide it, thus the reason for the drinkability sliding down the scale a little.

abcsofbeer, Oct 24, 2004
Photo of HochFliegen
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Now this is my kind of beer. When I poured it reminded me of a syrup it looked so dark and thick. I was hoping it tasted as good as it looked. It was black! It carried a nice brown head that just hung around the top of the beer. So far so good.
The smell was quite potent. It had a hint of alchol in the nose but was was mixed really well with the chocolate and rasin like smell. It had a slight tart smell as well.
This beer packs a punch in the flavor. I have to start with the ending since it is so much of the flavor in my opinion. It lingers for awhile with a tart/bitter sweetness that I enjoyed. The start is felt right away as soon as it hit my tounge. I could taste hints of chocolate and almost grapefruit/citrus like tones in there mixed with a nice malt flavor.
This is one of my new favorite beers.

HochFliegen, Oct 17, 2004
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,742 ratings.