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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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10,533 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,533
Reviews: 3,443
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 378
Gots: 1,709 | FT: 47
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 (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,533 | Reviews: 3,443 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kemmerlin
3.87/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark black and pours a huge foamy head that surprised me by how quick it grew and how long it stuck around I mean it is still there and it left awesome lacing down the glass.

S: Smells like a wet drunk dog. There is a faint tobacco scent but other than that it smells just like a wet drunk dog.

T: Burnt cigar and charcoal are the characteristics most defining in this brew which is a welcome relief from the typical chocolate and molasses flavors you get from a stout. The aftertaste is very earthy and still leaves a burnt wood taste in the mouth for a very long period of time. Basically this is a taste that keeps on giving.

M: At first the alcohol is very strong and almost over powering but it mellows out as you continue to consume. The flavors blend well with the mouth feel which is mostly gritty and earthy but good to swallow.

D: At first I thought it would be a little hard to swallow with the smell being so bad and the alcohol being very present but it really does mellow out and becomes a lot more drinkable as time goes on. I suggest watching out for the quick rising head and let it air out for about 5-10 minutes before you take your first sip.

Photo of jmacdaddy2008
3.86/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought a single of this beer earlier tonight. This was one of the first beers for me when I converted from cheap beer.

Color- dark brown

Head-thick,tan two finger foam/ the residue left on side of glass suggests a thicker consistency

Aroma-a little floral pretty complex almost a woodsy smell

Taste-oaky or bourbon flavor/some hints of coffee heavy bitterness in the end and alcohol taste was present.

After trying many other russian imperial stouts I would have to say this one is worthy of an occassional buy, but doesn't stand out among the elites.

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

I had this brew from a 12oz brown bottle.

A= This is one serious looking beer. Sometimes I have to aggresively pour a beer to get a nice head. Not so with this beauty. I got a HUGE 2.5 inch deep tan chunky head which settled to a 1/2 inch after 10 minutes or so. This ale is coal black (no light penetrates) with a rasberry color around the edges. Very little carbonation release evident (mainly cause you can't see into this stuff!).

S= I get a lot of espresso, roasted malts, and alcohol in the aroma.

T= This is one killer beer. Tastes of roasted (verging on burnt) malt, espresso beans, and slight earthy hops. Mildly sweet finish.

MF= Very complex, with a heavy body yet it flows silkily down the throat.

D= As I said, this is one serious, killer beer. I wouldn't want more than 2 or maybe 3 in an evening, but its definitely worth the effort to find some of this!

Photo of cvstrickland
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tar-black-India-ink-used-motor-oily with dirty garnet hued trimming the periphery of the seidel; three fingers of fine-bubbled, lumpy, sticky khaki head that retains as a finger-thick raft that leaves thick hash-marks at the sip-lines.

Smells of molasses, dark chocolate, strong black coffee, grapefruit, charcoal; roasty with hops and darkly sweet;

Taste is richly bittersweet, pleasantly smoky, heavy with dark malty chocolate and cut with just the right amount of piney hops to dry the finish. Licorice and strong black coffee abound.

Smooth, rich-- both tarry and silky in the mouth with a little tingle of carbonation to keep it from being too sticky.

What it ought to be. To all those who say you couldn't drink many at a sitting, drink an O.R.; rest; drink a good crisp IPA or lager 'spacer' and have at Old Rasputin again...tastes even better upon further review.

"Never Say Die!" Sez so on the four-pack. Incredible brew.

Photo of RickSawyer
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle has about 6 months in the cellar. Pours opaque dirty oil black with a carmel, tightly wound two fingers worth of pillowy head. Head holds nicely, leaving thick tracings of lace across the glass. Smell is dark chocolate, cherry syrup, buscuit, a bit of piney floral hop still coming through and some alcohol. Taste is cocoa powder, espresso, chocolate cake, a bit of grainy earth finish (this is most likely the death of the hops) with a hint of alcohol across the back of the throat. Fantastic! Creamy, coating mouthfeel. Love it fresh, seems to be aging very nicely!

Photo of Jerico
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this into a Bordeaux wine glass.

A - pours a gorgeous deep brown/black with a thick, sudsy tan head (about 3 fingers) and takes a while for it to disappear.

S - Pungent! Chocolate, malt and a bit of caramel very noticeable!

T/M - A delicious, thick, milky taste - a bit sour in the aftertaste (especially if you don't let it settle in). Slight carbonation. After a few minutes, as it warms a bit, it gets smoother and pulls together nicely.

D - Overall this is a very tasty beer. The aftertaste is a little too noticeable for my tastes, but it won't keep me from buying this again.

Photo of nrbw23
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black in color. A nice rich brown colored head that left lacing all the way to the end.

S- Chocolate, raisins, and coffee jumped out at me nice and strong.

T- Very nice and balanced here nice and smooth after taste. Chocolate, roasted malts and maybe even dark fruits.

M- Creamy and smooth

D- Very easy to drink be careful.

Photo of beerman21
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is wonderful. It pours black with expresso brown head that dissipates quickly leaving a sticking lasing to my glass. Smell is of roasted malts, expresso, deep soil and black powder. Taste is similar to its smell of expresso (most prominent) and roasted malts and warming alcohol aftertaste. Love this brew anytime I'm craving a stout i go for Rasputin.

Photo of diederich
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black color, with a thick, deep tan head.

It has a deep malty smell that is reminiscent of chocolate and coffee. The alcohol is easily noticeable on the nose.

Its taste is extremely malty, packed full of powerful chocolate and coffee flavors, with hints of plum, smoke, and caramel. It is also has a good bit of hoppy bitterness for a nice balance.

It is extremely heavy and viscous, probably one of the thickest beers I have ever sampled and almost too much so, and as such it leaves a very long aftertaste on the palate.

It is a very smooth and drinkable beer; however, due to its thickness and high alcohol content, I do not think that I could drink very many of these in one sitting. Nonetheless, it is definitely one of the best stouts I have sampled thus far.

Photo of Rayek
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A very hoppy American take on an Imperial Stout.

A: Deep brown, bordering on black. Thick, dense and rocky carmel colored head. Leaves a heavy lace.

S: Powerful cirus hop aromas. Lots of grapefruit with some lemon along for the ride. Faint burnt malt, chocolate and coffee scents.

T: Hops hit right away. Grapefruit bitterness up front and continuing through to the end. Charcoal and coffee flavors come on late. Nice warmth going down. Finishes bitter and dry.

M: Medium body that belies the beers strength. Right amount of carbonation. Feels a little slick.

D: If you like heavily hopped Imperials, this is your beer. I like them a little more balanced. Still a very nice representation of the style. After drinking this, I had one of the worst headaches I've ever experienced. And I only drank one.

Photo of dhd1491
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On pour, thick and black with dense foamy tan 3-finger head on pour. Alcohol jumps out a little in the nose. In the taste there is dense smoke and caramel, mocha and lemon rind. Malty sweetness at first, then gives way quickly to bitter smoky finish. High viscosity coats the tongue. Carbonation is light, somewhat fizzy.

This is a complex and potent brew to be enjoyed like a good espresso. There are tastes present that would be unpleasant on their own, but are delicately balanced together to form a challenging, but enjoyable concoction.

I admit that stouts have generally not been my favorites, but this one is so well crafted and complex that it is impossible not to appreciate and enjoy its effect. Much like a good cigar, to me.

I am drinking this without the accompaniment of food. However, I think that this brew (and maybe all stouts) would go better with a meal or dessert. The suggested pairing for this beer is chocolate-based dessert. I'm more than willing to try that combination.


Note: Third time's the charm. Tonight (4/7/08) I had the third bottle out of the 4-pack. Really enjoyed it as a dessert beer. Aftertaste is fairly strong, smoky and bitter, but all-in-all, a very enjoyable brew. High ABV was just the right accompaniment to working on my tax returns.

Photo of jdubjacket
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Stella Artois chalice. Pours a deep brown -almost black with a chocolate brown head. Smells like chocolate and coffee. Taste is quite good. Very well balanced between the chocolate and coffee. Hops and malts are very well balanced in this one. Mouthfeel is very creamy. Don't know if I could drink more than one of these at a time, but if I had to, I wouldn't be opposed to it. One of the better imperial stouts that I've had in a while.

Photo of happygnome
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: pours a deep dark black color with about a quarter inch of toffee tan head that doesnt dissapear but leaves a good amount of lacing around the edge of the glass as the level of beer in the glass falls with every sip.
s: roasted malts, sweet cocoa aroma mixed with a strong coffe smell. there is a subtle hint of alcohol in the nose
t: strong flavor of roasted malts, cocoa flavor is storong as is the coffee flavor. hints of alcohol can be detected in the flavor
m: full bodied beer with little carbonatoin

overall, wow i loved this, if it wasnt so expensive (about $2.50/bottle i believe) id have it in my fridge more often deffinatly a very solid brew

Photo of blackjack000
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The stout pours out as a dark rum color and sits in the glass as a glistening coal black. A thick and tall creamy head forms, with beautiful, textured dimples within. After the beer pours, the head and beer sits in a beautiful, unyielding stasis, as if it would remain at this consistency forever. As the stout is drank, beautiful tiers of lacing sit on the glass like layers of a bustle dress. To the last, some head remains and clings to the edges after each tip of the glass. The beer's appearance matches it's wonderful taste perfectly.

Smell: Deep and aromatic alcoholic brown sugar scents come up initially. Brown sugar bubbles up from a pan and starts to burn into a hard coating. A smell like oak barrels full of Caribbean rum comes up with the alcohol scent heavy underneath. When drawn through the mouth, the scent feels deep and almost like wilting flowers.

Taste: Rich, roasted coffee beans; age-conditioned oak beams scavenged from Old World furniture; harsh baker's chocolate; molasses poured from a mason jar; a twist of old-time liquorice thrown in for good measure. As the beer slightly warms, a strong and bitter coffee comes out.

Mouthfeel: The beer feels thick and chewy as the sip draws back into my throat. The stout sticks to the contours of my tongue and reluctantly leave several seconds after the swallow.

Drinkability: The beer was very large. A person would not feel tempted to consume much of this beer in one sitting. However, not much of this imperial stout is required to content a person's senses.

Photo of Rootdog316
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a jet inky black with a nice tan head that sticks to the side of the glass, your esophagus, and coats the intestines. Milk chocolate, espresso, and alcohol; put all of that in a pot and slow roast it and you're getting close to the nose on this one. Espresso oils are first and most prominent throughout. Chocolate sweetness makes an appearance and a balanced alcohol and hop bitter finish take you home. There is a lot to this beer and you can focus on something different every sip.

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

This poured with a medium brown head and had a very nice chocolate scent. The texture was thick and heavy, as you would expect, but it wasn't overly strong or too heavy like Rogue's imperial stout. It had tons of bittersweet/dark chocolate flavor with a bit of hops in the aftertaste. The alcohol wasn't too apparent, and there actually wasn't much coffee in the flavor either. It was super smooth and overall very well balanced, which made this surprisingly easy to drink. A wonderful drink - maybe my favorite stout to date?

Photo of ckeegan04
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into pilsner glass.

A - Black as black can be. Nice thick brown head that just wont leave. Excellent lacing down the glass.

S - Roasted malts and coffee. Not an overpowering aroma at all.

T - Coffee is the dominant flavor to go along with the nice toasted taste. Slight chocolate sweetness at the end as well.

M/D - Rich, creamy, and smooth. Moderate carbonation. Very very good

Photo of churchillps
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 12oz bottle. Black as night, tan head that lingers forever. Thick and creamy. Smells and tastes of espresso, dark malts, chocolate, and some subtle hops. Pretty dry, thick and creamy. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Paid $2.50 for this sucker and would gladly pay again. Great for the winter time, but I could do this in the summer too!

Photo of Andrewtherooster
3.86/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - This thing is black. Nice dark tan head from the get-go. Small bubbles float up from the abyss.

S - The smell is very subtle. I get a hint of licorice and the alcohol. The texture of the smell, it's smoothness and balance, seems like a red wine.

T - I was intimidated by this beer at first, but I like something challenging. There is so much complexity and subtlety to it. I can taste coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and the aforementioned licorice (black licorice, mind you). Old Rasputin has a lot to him that kept me intrigued throughout the entire experience.

M - Slight hint of carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. No alcohol burn.

D - Old Rasputin isn't for everyone, but I certainly enjoyed it. It's a good beer to sit down and invest yourself in. I don't think I could have more than a couple of these before I had to call it a night. It's a beer I would love to have again.

Photo of CHADMC3
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours beautiful ebony with a frothy tan head, subsiding to lively lacing which in the center resembles an erupting geyser. I'm expecting this beer to have as much character as the man himself.

Quite a complex mix of aromas: Most noticeable is the chocolate and coffee aroma followed by a crisp hop scent. Also some roasted hints.

Wow! I let this warm for about 15 minutes prior to indulging. More roasted character on the palate than I anticipated; still obvious flavors of chocolate and coffee beans. Let this legend dance on your palate and the hops become more apparent.

There is so much to enjoy about this beer, very lively on the palate with a fair amount of carbonation and hop bitterness that lingers.

This will become a favorite in the RIS style; easy to enjoy, and equally dangerous. The beer is much easier to take down than the legend of the individual.

Photo of Avryle
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours like the devil himself- rich, tempting & sexy as sin. This sucka's coal black with a fluffy dark tan head eventually dissapating until there's a consistant thin cap.

S - Chocolatey roast. Chocolatey malt. A bittersweet chocolate dominates the nose.

T - Roasted malt with bittersweet chocolate & hops on the finish. Fresh bottle leaves a boozy burn down the throat.

M - Full bodied & creamy though finishes a bit on the dry side. Light carbonation.

D- Oh, I could have one or seventy more.

Photo of FleeVT
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle, no date.

A: Pours a jet inky black with a nice tan head that sticks to the side of the glass, your esophagus, and coats the intestines.

S: Milk chocolate, espresso, and alcohol; put all of that in a pot and slow roast it and you're getting close to the nose on this one.

T: Espresso oils are first and most prominent throughout. Chocolate sweetness makes an appearance and a balanced alcohol and hop bitter finish take you home. There is a lot to this beer and you can focus on something different every sip.

M: Heavy carbonation for an RIS. Medium to heavy body that almost wants to be chewed.

D: Yes please. Give me a cold evening, a fire, and 2 Rasputins. This is a treat that I could only enjoy once in a while.

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

A - Pours dark brown and opaque. No light gets through this one. Got an inch of head with average retention and excellent lacing.

S - Chocolate is the biggest part of the aroma. Espresso and roasted notes sit in the background and give the aroma a nice balance.

T - Espresso really comes through in the flavor. It gives way to bittersweet chocolate and roasted flavors. The distant background has some alcohol and oak.

M - Medium to full bodied. Carbonation is just right. Starts out creamy with a alightly dry finish.

D - Drinkability is very good. North Coast hit it out of the park with this one. Recommended.

Photo of Tdizzle
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Poured into a tulip glass, this beer pours black with a creamy dark-tan head that sticks around for the duration of the beer, leaving some really thick lacing on the glass.

S- It's all here. Rich dark chocolate, roasted malts and coffee with a bit of vanilla sweetness. Notes of hops ad dark fruits are less prominent. The alcohol begins to peak through as the beer warms.

T- A superb balance of bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee with a mild hop and cocoa bitterness on the finish, which is fairly dry for such a rich beer.

M- Smooth, creamy and coating with more lively carbonation than I expected.

D- This is a huge beer, but it drinks lighter than you might expect. The finish leaves you wanting more after every sip and the alcohol is so well-hidden you'll rub your eyes after seeing that it's 9%.

A classic in my book.

Photo of joezak5
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OK, I've sponged off this masterpiece of a website long enough. I need to review my all-time favorite that I've found thanks to BA.

A - Poured into a Duvel Tulip that was freshly rinsed and dried. Black as night with a densely packed tan head billowing over the lip of the glass. An exquisite sight.

S - Roasty, roasty, roasty... Syrupy chocolate roastiness. I wish I had an air freshener with this scent.

T - Dark malty with bitter chocolate coming through. Hops sneak in on the swallow. Take a deep breath in the mouth, exhale through the nose puts yourself right back in the barley roaster. Perfection.

M - Very heavy and full bodied. Puckering on this gives a sweet hoppy flavor that was hiding.

D - This is my "if you had one beer to drink for the rest of your life" beer. And for the 4 pack price at Wegmans in Princeton, NJ of $6.99 (it's now $7.99; glad I stocked up) it's a bargain.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,533 ratings.