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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

9,935 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,935
Reviews: 3,364
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 304
Gots: 1,342 | FT: 43
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: 9,935 | Reviews: 3,364 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of skillerified
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black as night in the middle, but some burgundy-red tints around the edges. Head is about a finger and a half and tan. Fades fairly quickly, but leaves a ton of lacing on the glass.

Licorice, malt and hop start off the nose. Some vinous notes. Also a distinct dark fruit scent that seems different from the vinous scents. Maybe a touch of chocolate too.

First sip ... whoa! There's a lot going on here. The fruity flavors seem to hit first, followed by a strong dark coffee-like taste. A bit of a spicy alcohol bite. Then there's a chocolate note on the finish.

Mouthfeel is very interesting. There's a distinct sweet part early, then a grapefruit like bitterness in the middle that lasts through the finish. Then there's a different kind of bitterness toward the end that fades just before the finish. It's amazing that it feels so different from front to back.

That grapefruit bitterness really bugs me and will hinder the drinkability for me, but otherwise this is a fine stout. I wouldn't have any problem putting one down from time to time.

skillerified, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of pjwilson
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one could argue that this beer single handily started the modern American Russian Imperial Stout revolution. This beer tastes poorly at anything less than cellar temp. I'll admit, that this beer has grown on me a bit throughout my 4 pack and I will no doubt buy more in the future.

A: pours a nice dark black color with a smooth tan head. Drinking this out of a wine glass at the moment

smell: pleasant smell of roasted coffee, creamy smooth malts and baked cake.

taste: it's sort of a taste you learn to love. Big whack of bitterness and roasted malts hits you up front, only slightly mellowed by some malt creaminess. There is also yeastiness in the flavor adding a sourness, quite a bit actually. This one is all about the roasty notes. Like strong coffee, you learn to like it.

mouthfeel: the cream man. it's actually very light for the abv.

drinkability: the closest thing to a session IRS. although I wouldn't session thise one, a four pack has lasted me a month, mixed in with other things. It's a solid beer, but not the best.

pjwilson, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of VoodooBrew
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased a 4 pack of this beer in September of 2005, and amazingly I am only now drinking the last one.

For the most part this beer appears jet black, but shows some deep ruby-chestnut when held up to direct light.

There is chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit on the nose, perhaps cherry. I detect some hops, but this is not a prominent aroma. The aroma is overall quite nice.

The initial flavor is deep roasted barley, with an aftertaste of hops- and barley-derived bitterness. This roasted quality subsides somewhat after a few sips, but it rests in the aftertaste. The flavor is good, but not quite as complex as I think it could be for the style. Frankly I think the roasted barley is a little over-done, but that's partly just my opinion.

This is still certainly a very solid beer, but man it's tough for any Imperial Stout to stand up to Victory's Storm King...

VoodooBrew, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of maddamish
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Minimal head with a careful pour. Turns into thick lacing right away and stays that way all the way to the bottom of the glass. Pours out a thick brownish/black liquid with motor oil consistency.

Caramel and green apple notes dominate in the nose.

The taste was strong with alcohol. Along with that comes an iced coffee type of taste with espresso notes, chocolate in the background. There is a bitterness in the aftertaste that was pleasant.

The mouthfeel is perfect with this stout. Thick and creamy.

A great treat indeed. I will be buying this again. I cannot wait to try it on tap.

maddamish, Jan 26, 2006
Photo of kingjames1
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hands down the best Russian Imperial Stout I've had. Smells wonderfully rich and balanced. I smell dark breads, dark chocolate, and dark, rich coffee. Everything about this is dark and rich. But what is so remarkable to me is that there is no element of unpleasant bitterness (I often detect something approaching bile in many stouts). As I sip it, there is some definite hops bitterness, but it complements the sweet, roasted malts so well. Wow. Very balanced and pleasant. Surely this is the standard of RIS.

Awesome. Not as thick as some Imperial Stouts, and perhaps for that reason, very drinkable (at 9%!).

kingjames1, Jan 26, 2006
Photo of AltBock
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. stubby bottle with a picture of Rasputin doing what I believe is the sign of the cross. He was also doing this sign when they pulled him out of the river after he was poisoned, shot, and drowned. On the side of his picture is some russian, which I can not read. No date on the bottle what so ever.

Appearance: Poured a pitch black color with very few ruby highlights through it. You can find these ruby highlights only if you really look for them. I only got a little skim of tan colored foam, but did leave some traces of lace around my Snifter.

Smell: I was expecting this beer to be rich in roasted malt and roasted coffee beans, but to my surprise it was vey fruity. I believe the cherries were the most predominate in the fruit aroma. Behind these fruits was just a little bit of roasted malt. The one smell I thought was going to be the most predominate was just in the background.

Taste: The taste was unlike the smell, it had plenty of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and this all ended with a dry fruity bitter alcohol aftertaste. Very good and very unusual.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was alot like Rasputin, that strong roasted malt aftertaste did not die until I drank some water.

Drinkability: Overall an excellent beer, but since this at a strong 9% ABV this is definitely not an everyday beer and only good once in a great while. A 4-pack is more than enough for me.

AltBock, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of redwolf1
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured four 12-ounce bottles of Old Rasputin over the course of a week to give me some time to properly judge the contents. Dark black charcoal in color with a rich frothy light mocha head, which was thicker than I had anticipated. Moderate lacing around the glass. There was a subtle smokiness in the aroma after pouring; however, the smell of dark roasted malts and coffee abound afterwards. As for taste, a little bitter at first, which mellowed with time. A very good beer to sink your teeth into, real chewy. Didn't get that warm alcohol feeling while drinking this one like you do with some others, so I would say that the alcohol is pretty well hidden until you finish the bottle. For overall drinkability though, I would think some people would stop with one or two. At 9%ABV, it will hit you. Good thing, it comes only in 4-packs in my area.

redwolf1, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of dweideman
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a large frothy light-medium brown mostly lasting head. Aroma was extremely sweet – I detected dark cherry, ripened banana and a slight hint of citrus. Initially a light sweet taste with lively carbonation followed by moderate bitterness. The roasted malts really came through late in the finish with dark chocolate the predominant flavor. I really enjoyed the different aromas of this offering.

dweideman, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of Enola
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out a thick dark black. It had creamy tan colored head. The smell is sweet and malty. Hints of the alcohol come through. The taste is roasted grain with a big alcohol finish. The alcohol is not as overpowering as others of the style. The mouthfeel is decent but due to the higher ABV it is somewhat diminished. I could drink these again. I would not want to slam these down but an occasional one would hit the spot.

Enola, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Head is slow to develop, then quick to dissappear. Leaves a dark tan ring. Beer color is dark and black. Decent carbonation visible.

S: Lightly smoky, sweet chocolaty malt aromas

T: Starts out with toasty sensation and quickly turns dry with a unique chocolaty sweetness. This then evaporates into a mildly bitter finish. After a few more sips the bitterness catches up to me and is very moderate. The alcohol is clearly well hidden.

M: It has a good deal more carbonation than it appears. Very smooth, fairly thick, but not chewy, it's just rich.

D: Highly recommended, a perfect balance of flavors, nothing is overdone. I really like the sweetness of the malt, it's brief, making you come back for more...

bennetj17, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a - dark molasses brown. fine bubble head that lasts. good lacing on sides of the glass.

s - Strong mocha chocolate

t - Taste is just like the smell. There is a toast malt sweetness that is full of chocolate. aftertaste remains for a long time and eventually fades to a slight bitterness on the back of the tongue.

m - Full and oily. Not thin, pleasant carbonation.

d - A keeper. Could drink a lot of these.

CDBeerDisappear, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of braubeater
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is very dark, opaque, with a subtle, fine-bubble head that remains thought the session. Very impressive lacing on the glass.

Aroma is subdued (hop-wise) with chocolate notes coming through assertively.

Initial taste is dry, with a slight alcoholic tinge followed by a parched feeling on the back of the tongue, but the malty residue and faint hop aroma provide a well-balanced finish.

This is probabably the most drinkable Imperial Stout I have ever encountered. This makes my top 10 list.

braubeater, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of baiser
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours motor oil black, with a thick, creamy brown head, wonderful lacing, great retention. Looks like a rich espresso. Roasted malt, alcoholic aromas. Taste is something else. Smooth, rich, creamy, espresso flavours, molasses and a heavy roasted and almost burnt flavour. Finishes dry, bitter and satisfying. Lots of complexity, flavour but still extremely easy to drink. Great body and mouthfeel. One of the best imp stouts I've had.

baiser, Jan 20, 2006
Photo of scooter231
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark dark brown with tan head, very dark and mysterious. Smells deliiicious with chocolate filling my nostrils begging me to sip! And sip I do, and it is, in fact, also, delicious. Chocolately and caramely and espresso-y. A bitter finish completes the taste cycle. Mouthfeel is bubbly and fluffy, very clean and smooth. Very drinkable, though too sweet after a while. And did I mention how sneaky this is? At almost 9 percent, it's definitely sneaky.

scooter231, Jan 17, 2006
Photo of pbr85
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jet black witha two inch tan head. Head stays around for a while but there is little to no lacing.

Smell: Smell is dominated by chocolatey malts with alcohol scents in the background.

Taste: Roasty, toasty, burnt breads that lingers in the mouth with a sweet, fruity flavor mixed in.

Mouthfeel: Not as thick as I was expecting, or as carbonated, but it goes down smooth.

Drinkability: A pretty good stout, one that I would buy again but probably not on a regular basis. I could probably drink a few of these in a night.

pbr85, Jan 17, 2006
Photo of hrockefeller
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought bottle at Northside Indianapolis Kahn's as my introduction to the imperial stout style. I have had quite a few stouts, but this is my first review as I felt I should develop my tastes a little first.

Appearance: Opaque black, with a 1/2" head on initial pour. Head dissipates rather quickly into a thin layer that clings slightly to the glass.

Smell: Complex smell that is heavy with alcohol ( I realize this states the obvious a bit when the brew is 9% ABV). Other dominant scents include chocolate and coffee. Hints of fruity smells including raisins. Very toasty/bready.

Taste: Wow! The presence of alcohol does not seem to be as dominant with the taste as it was with the smell, allowing the other flavors to make their presence known. The toastiness and chocolate really come out at this point with a nice balance of hop flavor that allows for a somewhat dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, leaves my taste buds craving more.

Drinkability: If it wasn't for the high alcohol content, I think I could easily make this a session beer. Leaves a clean, dry feeling that prepares you for the next drink.

This has instantly become one of my favorite beers. I was a little unsure, as I am somewhat partial to milk/sweet stouts. However, if this example is any indication of what to expect, imperial stouts may just take their rightful place on the throne.

hrockefeller, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of Tallboy
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass it is an elegant black with a ballanced flavor but a tad sweet compared to other stouts. A nice smell to invigorate as your tastebuds take a journey of bliss with hints of raisens,chocolate,coffe and a robust and complex mouthfeel that will warm your body head to toe[great winter time beverage]
This is one of the Best Russian Stout's that I Ihave had the pleasure to run across, and you will not be disapointed .

Tallboy, Jan 13, 2006
Photo of Tupperwolf
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours from a 12oz bottle into my nonic glass with a HUGE HEAD. Be super careful on the pour because this thing just wants to rise right out of the glass. Piercing black-hole darkness reveals just a tinge of ruby when held up to the light; It actually looks somewhat clear, just incredibly black. So much whipped-cream dark tan head. Thin but super persistent lacing rings mark each and every swallow. OMG. A five if there ever was one.

Huge! huge bursting sweet chocolatey coffee malts, so much sexy, sexy stout flavor. If I try hard I might be able to pick out some hops... But it might be my imagination. This beer completely scorches my sense of smell. I have to give it a good minute of rest before going in for another whiff, which immediately burns up my scent receptors with coffee, and chocolate, and more coffee, and more chocolate. A little bit of metallic twinge.

Okay, you're kidding me, right? I think North Coast has bottled a mocha chocolate milkshake and called it beer. The taste is so intense, so strong and bittersweet with coffee and chocolate, toffee, roasted nuts. It tempts me to guzzle, and I give in for a few swallows. Wow, wow, wow. Awesome slow and savory or quick and greedy.

Mouthfeel... Like I said... milkshake. Thick, lustrous, creamy, silky. Not chewy, but full, full, swirling, frothy, creamy. Swallowing almost completely clears the palate, which is welcome - there's a lingering, almost (if I may be crude) phlegmlike sensation of sweet, delicious flavors that hangs out on the very back of the tongue and coats the throat. Soooo good. Where the heck is the alcohol? I guess it must be in my belly!

Buy, beg, panhandle, or steal for this beer. Buy out the whole shelves. I want to give it fives across the board. Do I dare? Do I dare? I dare! Utterly one of the best beers I have ever, ever had in my life. A life-changing experience!

Tupperwolf, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of heyitsbyron
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received a bottle from a friend in exchange for some of my brother's homebrew. Poured into a pint glass.

I don't expect much in the way of head from high gravity stouts, but this did very well. Perhaps not as viscous as other imperial stouts, but it left about 1cm of head and the head color was a pretty tan. Beer color was a deep dark brown. The head was velvety smooth.

I didn't smell a whole lot, very little aroma. What I did smell was similar to a macro beer, maybe a bit of coffee and purple fruitiness. It's too bad. These smells are wonderful, but just not strong enough, especially considering the over the top flavors.

Taste is quite good. I think it's complex and strong, even for an imperial stout. Coffee flavors overwhelm, so do roast malts, but there is certainly a bit of dark condensed fruit. I was suprised by the latter because I haven't had many beers that taste this way, but the more I taste, the more apparent these flavors become. A few seconds after I take a sip, I get a bit of an alcohol bite. No real complaints here, and I like a good strong beer.

I like the mouthfeel, though it's not a slippery smooth as other imperial stouts I've had. Real solid body, perhaps just a touch over carbonated-- a bit unpleasant on my throat. Again, no big complaints.

I'd love to have a six pack of this beer, but it's not something I'd sit and pound consecutively. It's heavy, of course, and doesn't slide down like some other imperial stouts. A bomber would be nice, but I'm afraid I couldn't drink a less strong beer in that same evening. A great beer; it would be a joy to purchase it again.

heyitsbyron, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of bahumutx
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours black with a tan creamy head.

Smell: Roasted malt and dark chocolate are the most prevalent. Also hints of coffee, fruits and slight alcohol.

Taste: The most noticeable part of the flavor is the roasted malt. There are also hints of chocolate and a coffee like bitterness and a slight sweetness. There is also an alcohol warming that is present but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Thick Mouthfeel with hardly any carbonation.

Drinkability: This is definitely a sipping beer and because of this I could only have 1 or 2 in a sitting.

This is my first beer from North Coast Brewing Company and I look forward to trying their other offerings.

bahumutx, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of IgnorantBastard
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first RIS that I have the pleasure to taste. And I liked it alot. The best aspect is the chocolate mid palate. Other than that, the earthiness and undistinct nose offers no delite that an IPA might offer. But, if you have surpassed the blah-say of so many crafted brews, this will open your eyes.

IgnorantBastard, Jan 08, 2006
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A wonderful stout. Nicely balanced, one thing I really like (or dislike) about stouts is the roastedness of the beers body. This one was not too roasted, but it had enough bitterness to warm me up on a single digit western New England evening. Highly drinkable at %9

Purchased as a 4-pack for $8.00, a good deal. There are so many good stouts out there, I feel that this category is going to become a much more scrutinized category.

FLAbeergutinMASS, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of Gaisgeil
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very nice example of an American RIS, with the bitterness/hop level ramped up a good bit.

Pours an engine oil black in color, totally opaque in my pint glass with a brown head that fizzled down into a thin swirl atop the pint. Lots of sticky lacing. Nose is very, very, nice, nutty and fruity with lots of coffee and cocoa character, complex and multi-layered. Taste is very good as well, initially reminds me of chocolate covered raisins, but quickly overtook by a milk chocolate tone and a strong roasted coffee flavor. Mouthfeel is heavy, very full bodied and complex. Drinkability is quite high as it warms and the bittnerness recedes, at cooler temps there is a definate unbalance, but at proper temps it's marvelous. Overall a bit too overdone with the hop presence, in my humble opinion it's just not necessary or warranted.

Slàinte!

Gaisgeil, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of whynot44
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark, almost black opaque brew with some ruby highlights and a modest tan head that disipates to a collar and thin layer but nevertheless manages to leave a very nice lacing with each swallow.

The aroma is dark roasted malt, coffee, hints of fruit.

The taste is also dark roast malt with lots of coffee flavor, hints of chocolate, raisins and plums. The finish is espresso sweetened with raisins which lingers well into the aftertaste. Nice alcohol warmth for a pleasant cool weather warmer.

Very easy to drink.

whynot44, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of sulldaddy
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am sampling this at Kclingers with some friends and family. The beer arrives in a small pilsener glass. The beer is pitch black with a thin creamy tan head that leaves tight latticework as it receds slowly.
Aroma is roasated malt and chocolatewith some dark fruit, mostly raisins. First sip reveals a fairly thick body and super mild carbonation.
The flavor is deep and robust with dark bittersweet chocolate and some roasted malt. There is a bit of coffee and some dark fruit poking around in back as well. The coffee takes over on the finish and lingers very smooth and easy to drink. The alcohol is well hidden in this treat. Watch out if you have a few!

sulldaddy, Jan 03, 2006
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,935 ratings.