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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

10,144 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,144
Reviews: 3,380
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 327
Gots: 1,438 | 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: 10,144 | Reviews: 3,380 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dbalsock
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this a few times, and tonight I decided on a formal review. The bartender served it beautifully. The head was gorgeous, like every nitro-tapped stout should have and the black color was quite nice. The smell was standard stoutish, but gave off more of a sweet coffee flavor than a bitter coffee flavor and that was rather enticing. The taste really developed the sweetness to bring a very nice balance to the beer. The mouthfeel was better than average, but probably because it was a nitro tap and added to the smoothness. It was drinkable in all respects, and I will keep getting it on occasion, but have a hard time going through a few pints in a sitting.

dbalsock, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of PBoegel
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

presentation: 12 oz bottle poured into "duvel" tulip glass

a: deep dark chocolate, no light creeping through this solid monster, pours a decent 3/4 inch light brown head which rolled back after a minute or two.

s: bittersweet chocolate, roasted grains, toasted rye and pumpernickle breads, faint scent of raspberries/blackberries, some earthy hop tones

t: wonderful full cocoa and bittersweet chocolates upfront gives way to a roasty caramel sweet middle leading to a touch of chocolate dipped berries and a hint alcohol. A slight nod to a gentle hop flavor on a third sip that is ever so slightly pine citrus with a nicely place hop bitterness cleansing the palate.

m: medium to heavy body, but for style leans toward a thinner drier RIS, not in a bad way just certainly a contrast to some of the "thicker" versions I have had. Inviting and perfectly carbonated.

d: incredibly smooth easy drinking almost too easy and inviting for a beer of this strength, but I mean that entirely in a complimentary sense. This RIS has all the most impressive qualities of the style, worth repeated trips back.

PBoegel, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of mnj21655
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours pitch black with a nice 2, maybe 3, finger brown head and lacing that lasts until the end. When held to the light there are mere hints of ruby at the edges. Smells first of a hint of hops then strongly of sweet chocolately roasted malts. Great taste with lots of flavors. The sweet roasted malts dominate but as with the smell I am able to detect a hint of hop bitterness. I am able to pick out some coffee, bitter dark chocolate, and some dried fruits. A pleasantly bitter dark chocolate flavor lingers in the finish. Despite clocking in at 9% ABV the alcohol is masked quite well. Mouthfeel is great. Good, solid body that is thick without being chewy. This brew is also creamy and somewhat dry, very nice. Drinkability is excellent. This is a great interpretation of the style. Great taste with fairly complex flavors make this a treat.

mnj21655, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of sachsich
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this one in a bottle for the first time. We cant get beers over 6% in south carolina, so i had to snag a couple when i was up in charlotte nc. this beer has so much character i dont know where to start. its a wonderful beer that you want to sit back and enjoy every sip you take

sachsich, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of kimcgolf
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured to an opaque black, with dark tan head that reduced slowly to a thin film and left good lacing. Aroma was very malty roasted nuts, with hints of chocolate, dark fruit and toffee. Maybe I was just hungry, but later in the drink, I swear I could also smell grilled, smoked steak. Taste was more of what was found in the aroma (less the steak), and the 9%alcohol blended in nicely to be a perfect complement to the malty sweetness, as the beer warmed . This all combined to leave a very tasty, pleasant, warming finish. This was all it was touted to be.

kimcgolf, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a little overrated by other users IMO. I had not read any reviews on this beer before drinking it at the bar. It had a nice apperance. Everything else was decent and slightly above average. Nice chocolate maltiness, but the alcohol is too dominant and needs balance. It needs a little more hoppiness to it as well. This beer was ok, but I think I'd pass on it for a different RIS.

jasonjlewis, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of bjohnson
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a black color, but not a jet black color that I would have thought from an RIS. Not much of a head, but caramel colored without much retention. Slight lacing also.
S: Dark chocoloate notes. Roasted barley and choffee. Sweet dark fruit, mostly figs and cherries
T/M: Roasted malt flavors stirke right off the bat. Milk chocolate and sweet caramel notes ring in as secondary players. Dark fruit and fig flavors also come through. Aftertaste is a tad bitter with the hops showing their presence. Faint burnt coffee notes also present themselves in the finish. Thick and chewy, but very smooth and silky on the palate. Mouthfeel is absolutely wonderful. Abv is definately noticeable and comes through with a spicyness. Big abv isn't overly obstrusive.
D: A RIS you've got to get your hands on. Very tasty and amazingly smooth. Excellent mouthfeel makes you want to drink the whole four pack. High alcohol doesn't get in the way even though it's very noticeable.

bjohnson, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of akorsak
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle purchased from LiquidSolutions.biz (free advertising for an excellent store).

A: The ale is a deeep black color with softer brown highlights when held to light. The head is small now but was bigger on pour and has laced nicely.

S: The aroma is one of roasted malts and sweet chocolate held together by a strong alcohol presence.

T: The stout has a strong, bold presence taste-wise. The first flavors to hit the tastebuds are roasted malts and alcohol strength. The intensity of the alcohol gives way to a vinous complexity. That complexity gives up hints of chocolate and warming alcohol. My only complaint is that the flavors are not big and bold immediately, they require a bit of time to really shine.

M: The roasted complexity is very pleasing, giving the stout multiple levels of flavor that build well upon each other.

D: The drinkability is limited by the 9.0% abv. The flavors meld well together though, creating a deeply complex ale that is smooth without knocking one out.

akorsak, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of schusterbauer
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a highly enjoyable beer! pours black with some faint ruby highlights; has a huge tan head that vanishes over time. smell is a bit faint compared to some other imperial stouts, but it does smell nice -- warm chocolate, hops, maybe toasted almonds. taste is phenomenal! chocolate and coffee hit you first, with hints of fruitiness and tobacco next, and a very bitter, but controlled, hoppy finish. mouthfeel is quite crisp, for the style, but that's not a detraction. creamy and smooth in the finish. dangerously drinkable, as it's not as demanding as some other imperials.

schusterbauer, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of Pooba001
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stout pours black with brown edges when held to light. Nice light tan head slowly dissipates. Looks quite thick. Smell is of big roasted malt and espresso, with roasted grain and raisin.

Taste is rich and sweet like molasses, roast grain and malt provide a nice biting counterpoint. Bitter chocolate, licorice, and burnt flavors are part of the supporting cast. Gets better as it warms.

Mouthfeel is good, mouthwatering even. Drinkability is excellent for a 9% ABV Imperial Stout. This is one of the best, and probably the "best buy" of big stouts.

Pooba001, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of Sephiroth
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the last bottle of a 4-pack that I bought about two years ago. Why am I just now drinking it? Because I hated it then.

Pours with very little head, the beer is dark brown, no lacing. Smells roasty and chocolatey, some vinous notes.

The taste has really dried out. Slightest touch of oxidation, roasted and chocolate malt. Mouthfeel has thinned, but is still chewy. Highly drinkable.

Sephiroth, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of KingG
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this beer plenty of times and have loved it for years.
Sampled at room temp.

Poured into my Stone Old Guardian glass.

Appearance is good. Black as night color. I mean really dark. Decent mocha-colored head materialized.

Smell is great. Turkish coffee, black coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts and alcohol fumes tickle the nose. Mouth-watering smell.

Taste is great as well. Same as the nose with a bit more turkish coffee and dark chocoate. Wonderful flavor. Alcohol bites a little but is welcome in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is great. This stout coates the tongue as well as any RIS i've had. Carbonation is above average making this beer smooth in the finish.

Drinkability is good. I could drink a few 12oz bottles in one sitting but that would be about it and that's probably because of how big this beer is in terms of flavor and alcohol (9%).

Overall:
A fantastic beer and one of my favorite Russian Imperial Stouts. Luckily it's available year-round. Truely a classic example of the style.

12oz bottle
9% alc.

KingG, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of Neehan
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured an almost black with a large, cocoa-colored head. It left a nice, interesting retention that clung to the glass for quite a while before slipping back into the mix. A nice taste that combined french roast coffee and chocolate. Exceptionally creamy and smooth taste with the chocolate again and more roasts, but not with an overpowering, burnt taste like many in this genre. A very nice mouthfeel with just the right touch of carbonation. Incredibly drinkable especially considering the alcohol and the fact that it is a strong, Russian Imperial Stout. Fantastic beer, I'll have to have more.

Neehan, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of tcfishler
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black color, high foamy head with strong lacing.

Nose is dry with strong notes of licorice, with an accent of citrus rind.

In the mouth, it starts with a bit of sweet chocolate, then dries fairly rapidly into a strong coffee-laden finish, complicated by some hop bitterness and slight astringency. Alcohol can barely be sensed, and only when the beer is chewed vigorously. Mouthfeel is highly pleasurable, with perfectly gauged carbonation.

This stout definitely leans to the dry side of the spectrum. However, it is balanced enough to be remarkably drinkable. The extent to which the alcohol is hidden is admirable as well. I think it would shine best with food, however.

tcfishler, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of monkaass
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this is a wonderful stout, period. My first sip told the me everything I needed to know. Keep drinking!!

Suble chocate overtone with a wonderful strong acohol finish.

Perfect hop balance with a malty bite

Harsh AND pleasant, hard to desrcibe but this is an aggressive imperial stout that I can some up in one word, quality. Feels like more than 9 ABV, If you have more than one, watch out you will feel it the next day.

monkaass, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of isaac
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. stubby to pint glass.

A - Wow. Very, very dark. I'm still hesitant to say black, since there are some red tones in there, but... maybe black is the right color to use. brown, pillowy head of 2 fingers that sinks first in the middle and then slowly down the side of glass.

S - sweet, roasted malts and chocolate dominate the smell, however there is a clear, citric-hops aroma as well. alcohol also makes an appearance.

T - delicious. begins with coffee and chocolate tones that slowly transitions into hop bitterness, finished with a sweet, almost cookie-like flavor. i give this a 4.5, though, and not a 5, because there is an odd hint of soy-sauce in the aftertaste that is a bit displeasing.

M - smooth, medium to heavy mouthfeel with high carbonation hitting the back of the palate and warming alcohol down the throat.

D - a very enjoyable beer, to say the least. i've had this both in the bottle and in a glass, and i must say that the latter is certainly preferable. old rasputin is truly helping me relax before bed.

isaac, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of BeerSox
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into snifter.

Almost perfect black color with a dark tan frothy head that hold well. Settles to a razor thin cap. Stringy lacing along the glass.

Dark coffe like roasty malts with a strong creamy presence, and hints of bitter choclolate. Some warming alcohol in the background. Some dry fruit aromas are mixed in there as well.

Bitter roasty malts with some bittering hops to compliment the flavor. Full bodied, with low carbonation, giving it a very thick and viscous feel. Light dark chocolate flavors. Finishes dry from the bitter malts and the acompanied hop bitterness.

This is an amazing beer, expecially since I only paid $2 for it. The 9%ABV and 12oz size makes this beer great for ending the night without going to far. It's also fitting as a desert. Highly recommended.

BeerSox, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of terrabyte
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black with a medium tan head.

Aroma is rich with malt and sweet mocha chocolate.

Flavor is a deep, very rich chocolate. This is one of the richest chocolates I've tasted in a beer. Blends well with a dark oak flavor, hints of chocolate, a caramel smoothness, and roasted malts. Surprisingly, not on the sweet side, just rich. The alcohol bite also works with the flavors, not against it or even as a 'result'.

Mouthful is medium and full. Low carbonation.

Very drinkable. Very enjoyable.

terrabyte, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of flexabull
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle aged about a year.

Pours jet black with a big tan head with equally big bubbles.

Smells like dark bitter chocolate, and alcohol... whoa!

Taste is big, as is the mouthfeel. This is a very well rounded beer. Taste is hops and alcohol up front, finishes with still a little bit of an alcohol burn, and roasted coffee and deep dark chocolate notes. There is a little carbonation noted on the mouthfeel as well.

One of the standards for Russian Imperial Stouts. There is a little pub in my hometown that serves this on nitro. What a treat that is... but it's hard to have just one!

flexabull, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of andrewmartin
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle I had has no date on it, but it has been kicking around in my basement for at least a year or so, and boy, does it show.

A: This baby is one shade lighter than pitch black with a huge, thick tan head.

S: Strong brandy notes, syrupy and toasty as well, can almost smell the warming alcohol.

T: Wow, almost too many flavors to pick out. Very winey and dryish, notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate as well as dried fruits. Surprisingly little alcohol taste.

M: Mouthfeel is biting and very dry.

D: Not something to play around with, definately a slow and easy brew that needs to be savored.

Although I haven't reviewed a younger version of this beer, I have tasted it, and I would recommend cellaring it for at least a year.

andrewmartin, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of socalde
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Dark mahogany with a light lace and a head that slightly lingers atop the brew. When held up to the light this brew is ebony with a hint of reddish-brown at the edges.

Smell- First thing I noticed was a bit of hoppiness followed by an overwhelming aroma of malt with a hint of sweetness (maybe chocolate?)

Mouthfeel- Creamy, lightly carbonated.

Taste- Delectable. Sweet malt taste but with a hoppy undertone. Aftertaste is delightfully malty and dark. Chocolate comes to mind when I drink this beer, as with any fine stout.

Drinkabilty- Surprisingly drinkable considering the 9% ABV label. Easier to sip compared to other brews of this calibur.

This beer holds it's own when compared to other stouts in it's league. Give this one a try if it is available to you. You will not be sorry!

socalde, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of Oxymoron
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found a recipe on Old Raspy and brewed it, so I decided to compare and contrast. And then compare. And then compare some more. The pour is a creamy with a very black color that when held to the light has a feint brown hue. A good mahogany brown head that is pretty soapy and good lacing.

The nose is rich with maltiness. Mostly a chocolate smell but some stronger astringent malts are present as well. Some coffee and a hint of caramel on the end.

The taste has a strong malt flavor. The astringency comes out stronger then the nose would indicate. A good bite that is enhanced with a light earthy bitterness. Bigger coffee notes but there are some lighter milky aftertones at the back end that kind of clash. I also picked up some roasted nut flavors.

The body is full but some of the milkiness brings it down a bit. Some phenolics are present, but not suprising with the high ABV. A viscous feel as well. Overall it's a good brew to clone and well worth to drink.

Oxymoron, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of GPHarris
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a two fingers thick coffee colored head into a pint glass. the head was thick and the lace lasted throughout. color is dark with hints of red when held to the light.
s - i can smell this one right away. smells of roasted oats, malt and coffee.
t - tastes like it smells with chocolate and slight alcohol tones.
m - this coats the tongue very well. slightly bubbly and thick. great mouthfeel.
d - nice warming sensation and easily drinkable. terrific winter beer and i'm looking forward to one of these after a while of cellaring. i had cellared this one for about six months.

GPHarris, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of Phocion
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black-brown with only the slightest red hue when held up to the light. Thick bubbly brown head with good retention.

Dark chocolate, coffee, nutty, and roasted caramel/toffee aroma..

Somewhat mellow and understated for the style, but still a full-flavored brew. The citrus hops are the first thing I notice, along with the full and complex malts. Bitter chocolate and coffee with healthy, but not overpowering alcohol flavors.

Creamy but somewhat syrupy full-bodied mouthfeel. This is probably the most drinkable RIS I've tasted too, since the flavors are so subdued and there is almost no bitter aftertaste.

Phocion, Nov 06, 2006
Photo of trep
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle, not sure of the age, but i'm sure it has been sitting on the shelf for quite a while.

Dark body when sitting down, fairly translucent when held to the light. A nice cappuchino head that quickly fades after a vigorous pour. Sweet, hot, bitter, fruity, chalky, pretty complex. I like it, although I can't distinguish many of the aromas. A bit of alcohol.

Initially coffee bitterness, then a smooth chocolatey downfall to the vanilla cream finish. Very nice, not too fierce either. I was expecting this to be fairly hot, but I guess it has had enough time to mellow out. Not spectacular, but not bad by any stretch of the word. Also an incredibly good value at 6.99 per 4-pack.

Medium-full body with light carbonation. Very smooth for an imperial stout. I look at Old Raspy as kind of a baby imperial stout. I could see myself drinking these as long as I was standing though. Too delicious and easy to drink.

trep, Nov 06, 2006
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,144 ratings.