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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

9,680 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,680
Reviews: 3,350
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 290
Gots: 1,227 | FT: 38
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
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Ratings: 9,680 | Reviews: 3,350 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rastacouere
3.3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Blind Tasting, thanks Ecrvich It pours very dark brown, definitely not opaque with an off-white film that sticks to the glass rather well. Aroma is assertively malty which shows as bubblegum, melon, milk and candy flavours. Hop profile is rather chalky, dry and alcohol is not particularly well hidden. Fruity palate with watermelon, pepper. This is a complex beer with a sweet side that I love, but I just can't get myself to appreciate this astringent, chalky and roasty sour hoppiness and very obvious alcohol. It just doesn't work with me. Medim bodied with rather intense carbonation. Another beer that doesn't measure up to my expectations which I start to guess are simply to high.

Rastacouere, Mar 22, 2004
Photo of marburg
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Surprised to find this at Casey's in Ann Arbor... Black used oil color in "bar lighting" with a tan head that sticks around for most of the party. Hints of dark chocolate and toasted nuts. You can smell some of the roasted bitterness for sure, though this is clearly not the hop monster many imperials are these days. Snappy bitterness is present throughout. But overtones of chocolate and vinous flavor swirl around atop the bitterness. The bitterness, of course, re-emerges at the finish supplemented by hops. I think this feels a bit thinner than it actually is for some reason. Quite easy and fun to drink for an imperial.

marburg, Mar 13, 2004
Photo of stewart124
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black with a thick tan head that lasts throughout. Deep smells of strong roasted malts and bittering hops. The taste is of espresso and chocolate with a burnt flavor. Thick body with a crisp tastes of hops. Very smooth feel and the alcohol simply warms the stomach. The aftertaste is a lingering coffee and hop flavor that lasts. This beer is bold, complex, and delicious. This is a classic plain and simple.

stewart124, Mar 13, 2004
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep black color with a thick dark brown head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It is full of black and chocolate malts; very aromatic. The taste is good. It's quite complex and full of dark and roasted malts. It has a nice black/chocolate flavor. The moutheel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking beer; a fine imperial stout.

WesWes, Mar 12, 2004
Photo of RootedFool
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Sidelines in Arcata, California.

An inch of mocha latte colored dense head -- emphasis on dense. Smell is of caramel sweetened coffee sheathed in a tart bitterness with an aura of alcohol warmth.

Taste begins surprisingly sweet -- milk chocolate melted into a healthy dose of espresso. The middle opens with notes of roasted coffee beans, even some faint traces of licorice. The close is a delicious rub down of toasty bitterness and a distinct, yet not overpowering, alcohol buzz.

Barely any carbonation noticeable. Goes down like a melted milkshake.

RootedFool, Mar 12, 2004
Photo of Skidz
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to re-review this, unsure of my previous review.

Pours out deep, dark brown and sits the same in the glass, only showing a tinge of crimson on the sides. Fluffy tan head stands atop with very nice lacings on the sides.

Smells of cinnamon, deeply roasted malts with that tinge of alcohol deep inside your nose. You sort of know what's coming your way... Cocoa, caramel and brown sugar linger about.

Tastes of chocolate, caramel and a light sour/acidicness. Nice, rounded flavors of roasted malts. Alcohol presents itself as a major player and comes through the dark roasted grains. Finished bitter with malty sweetness continuing on after swallowing.

Quite smooth in the mouth. Rich and easy to handle carbonation. Big, full-body.

A nightcap all the way to bed.

Skidz, Mar 10, 2004
Photo of AudioGilz
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's almost opaque, very dark brown, and the head is thick and ample. Bakers chocolate seems to be the strongest part of the aroma, also slight hints of ripe dark fruits, and a bit of crisp hops....quite enjoyable. Enjoyably smooth on the palate...creamy, full of bakers chocolate and dark fruit flavors. Alcohol shows itself through the finish and into the aftertaste, adding a warming character to accentuate the crisp hops that also finish it off. One heluva stout here, easily drinkable for such a brute, and quite fulfilling.

AudioGilz, Mar 07, 2004
Photo of daledeee
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another fine beer unavailable in Iowa. GRRRR!!! Thank god for Beer advocate leading me the right way. I saw this in Wisconsin. Thought I would try it. What a treasure!!.

Pours absolutely dark. Could not get any light from a 75 watt bulb to shine through. Nice tan head. The head stays with nice lace. Nose is exceptional. Roasted malt, smoke, chocolate. The taste and mouthfeel are the real appeal here. This is creamy at first with a dark chocolate and dark caramel. The hop bitterness finish is really nice. This is a very complex beer. The creamy start and hoppy somewhat dry finish is a real paradox. The alchohol is hidden well.

As time goes by I like stouts more and more and this is one of the best.

daledeee, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of Hhawk06
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was looking forward to sampling this after hearing good things through this site. It poured with a very small tan head and an almost pitch black hue. I like the smell, sweet and smokey. The mouthfeel is quite silky while remaining quite syrupy as well. It's certainly heavy and the high alcohol content is obvious. I think the real treasure of the brew is the finish, in which you're hit with a smokey, cherry, and alcohol taste, in that order. This is a beer you have to sit back and enjoy. Wasn't quite as good as my expectations, but still good.

Hhawk06, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of watermelonman
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great overall stout. It pours to a classic dark, moderately carbonated state. It's got a solid, full-flavor taste, and a nice bitter chocolate aftertaste. Very drinkable considering the alcohol content and style. I can definitely see more of this in my future.

watermelonman, Feb 26, 2004
Photo of BeefyMee
3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks really good. It's got that classic black body and a head that sprang up out of nowhere to be the perfect size. I was interested by the aroma of this beer. It smells distinctly of cocoa, and I can't stress distinctly enough. I've never had a beer with the same smell. There's also some alcohol in the aroma. The taste was a little disappointing. The chocolatey aspect remained but was masked to some degree by the overt alcohol flavor. It was like some kind of strong chocolate liqueur. Still not a bad beer, it just need to settle down a bit.

BeefyMee, Feb 25, 2004
Photo of RasputinsRevenge
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Given my handle on BA, I figured I ought to review this fine beer.

I could not in good conscience give an all 5 rating for the simple fact that *nothing* is perfect and without room for improvement. But to be perfectly honest, I can not find anything wrong with this beer.

This pours a deep brown that under normal light appears black (opaque), held up to light though, you should see a nice reddish-brown tint at the bottom edges in particular.

The head is a somewhat thin layer of dark tan foam made up of larger sized bubbles (as opposed to say a tightly packed head of a Guinness Draught, for example). In the glass in front of me, the head eventually settles to a small desert island in the middle of a black sea - with a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

I have a hard time describing tastes and smells, but I'll try my best here. The aroma is a pleasant fruity, sweet smell, and I'm pretty sure I smell chocolate or even coffee in there too. The taste is about the same as the aroma, only with the taste of alcohol in there. But for a higher alcohol content beer, I'm still surprised as to how subtle it is. I have to agree with the last reviewer on the aftertaste, it has a bitterness to it that is not unlike coffee - so if you enjoy a cup of joe every so often, as I do, I would think you might enjoy this.

The mouthfeel is fairly unique - it's a sharp feeling, but it's not a bad or burning sensation. I would think it might have something to do with carbonation, but there is a relatively small head, so I'm honestly not sure on this one...

As for drinkability, this is a beer with a lot of flavor and body, so as long as I drink it slowly and deliberately, it's very drinkable.

Anyways, if you are a fan of darker beers, stouts, porters, etc, I would say poney up the cash and buy a 4-pack of this, you will not regret it. If you are not much into the style, I would say this is the king of (relatively) available Imperial Stouts (well, in my opinion, perhaps it shares that title with Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout), so why not sample the best of the style?

RasputinsRevenge, Feb 25, 2004
Photo of BitteBier
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Based on the ruby fringes (visible only with the lamp turned up to max), this seems to be a clear beer. That being said, this one is black enough to appear opaque. Topped off with a finger's worth of chocolate milk-like froth that reduces quickly to a thin but persistent and clingy layer of bronzy beige. Despite the ominous darkness, the smell is remarkably complex and pleasant. Roasted notes are lighter than expected and complemented very nicely by the scent of milk chocolate. Some bitterness up front followed by a creamy mouthfeel that succumbs again to the bitterness. A blast of alcohol warmth shows up and fades very slowly. As mentioned above, the mouthfeel is creamy, but it also maintains an astringency rather than the clingy fullness one might expect or desire from a potent stout. Roasted grains and chocolate are there as well, but again are balanced nicely by the assertive hops. This is more complex than I anticipated and is a nice change of pace among stouts.

BitteBier, Feb 25, 2004
Photo of Zorro
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a super black brew, a 500-watt bulb shows that this is clear with reddish highlights. If you have a 500 watt bulb or a Laser.

Smells sweet and malty, lots of flowery perfume too. I also smell chocolate, coffee and fruit.

Nice tastes of chocolate, and coffee. Sweeter flavors too like prunes, Nice but not quite what the Samuel Smith's version is.

Mouthfeel is very good.

Drinkable for what it is, a Beer H-bomb.

Zorro, Feb 22, 2004
Photo of MobBarley
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stunningly black beer pours with a slick thickness. A nice creamy tan head billows up but flees before I can really take it in. Moderate lacing in the glass. Aroma is all roasted malts and a slight alcholic tang. Notes of licorice and chicory are fleeting but round out the smell nicely. Taste is sublime, especially at cellar temperature. A bitter roastiness makes a quick entrance and sticks to the mouth throughout. There are interesting notes of strong, real maple syrup, horehound and something almost camphoracious. The finish is sweet and smooooth. A lovely hop bitterness with some mineral notes lingers. Mouthfeel is akin to cooled-down hot chocolate. Certainly not refreshing, but one hell of a smooth Imperial stout. A true "meal-in-a-bottle" beer. Drinkability is fantastic one one hand, because of the unique flavors and smooth feel. Conversely, the high ABV makes it a serious sipping beer, which is detrimental in my opinion. This is an altogether stupendous beer, and I am not just saying that because it was brewed in my hometown!

MobBarley, Feb 21, 2004
Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle at cellar temp. Caramel , toasted malt and burnt fruit nose. Black, w/ a dark tan head. Tiny bubble head leaves a bit of lacing. Balance/complexity easy to tell this is a finely crafted creation. Heavy body, coating mouthfeel, a fine winter brew.

Billolick, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of rabidawg
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Absolutely opaque black. Two-finger head that settled to one finger and stayed that way. Sheets of lacing. An absolutely gorgeous brew.

Smell: Initial alcohol, followed by a roasty, yet sweet, maltiness. A hint of chocolate and significant charred coffee notes.

Taste: Creamy mouthfeel, and loads of burnt, roasted malt. Sharp alcohol bite, with a burst of coffee flavors after the swallow. Very dry in the finish, with a slightly green hop flavor lingering in the end.

rabidawg, Feb 05, 2004
Photo of Crosling
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have a pretty rich history with Old Rasputin. He first appeared in my life when I was 15 years old and tasted him at a little adult get together. I hated it but kept the bottle for my bottle collection with a big fat 0 out 10 on the back of the bottle. Yes I rated it back then. Recently, I have had quite a bit of Mr. Rasputin.

So right now it is about 25 degrees out. It has snowed about 6 inches today. I just got home from school and it took me about 45 minutes longer than it should have (snow) and I could hear Old Rasputin singing in my fridge even when I was driving home. He was speaking to me and we were communicating. We understand each other and love each other.

He poured pitch black with a large light brown head that stood very tall and proud. Within minutes, his the head faded but left a beautiful lace of where the head once stood. I love when beers do that and Old Rasputin knows I do.

Roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, crushed nuts topped with hard caramel, vanilla and lots of roasted malts in the nose.

Wow, Old Rasputin you taste great! Very well balanced and well hopped. Nice hop bitterness towards the finish and an onslaught of flavor just coats my entire mouth. This is the type of beer that will linger in my mouth for hours upon hours. Black licorice, roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, salt and more roasted malts were the dominant flavors. My only issue with Mr. Rasputin is that he seems a little thin in the mouth but he makes up for it in other ways. It's okay.

Crosling, Feb 05, 2004
Photo of CortexBomb
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Old Rasputin pours a lovely jet black with a fair amount of head that likes to stick around for awhile. Smell is dominated by chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.

Taste is what I pour it into my glass for though, and this features a balanced pile of roast, coffee, and plenty of that chocolate too. For such a high alcohol beer this drinks very smoothly as well, though the mouthfeel isn't quite top of the imperials, but still plenty of coating to go around.

Overall a wickedly tasty stout that goes down surprisingly smooth, and a regular in my fridge.

CortexBomb, Feb 01, 2004
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been waiting a long time to try this mystical Russian...

Poured a very, very dark brown with glints of ruby where light penetrated. Big aroma, with notes of bourbon, toffee, and about a hundred other things mixing beautifully. Rich, deep taste, where the warmth of alcohol sits atop an earthy blend of coffee, dark chocolate, subtle fruit sweetness, and a nice, bitter edge of hops.

Exceptionally compex and wonderfully warm. This is a very good beer.

RockyTopHeel, Jan 31, 2004
Photo of filabrazilia
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a "midnight without a moon" black with a gorgeous brown head that settles into excellent lacing. A very nice looking beer.

I am struck by how much chocolate exists in the nose. This is like opening a box of fine imported chocolates and allowing the smells to embrace you as you anticipate the first taste. Toffe and carmel are present as well.

The taste, unfortunately does not match the aroma and is nowhere near as complex or as smooth as I anticipated. It is a tad bitter--I suppose from the roasted malts. There were some pronounced alcohol flavors as well. While not bad, I'm a little disappointed with it.

This is a medium bodied beer that is mildly carbonated and pleasant on the palate.

This is not nearly as drinkable as I'd like it to be. I think I will let the remaining beers age for a while before I try it again. The taste just didn't quite match the smell or the appearance. Hopefully time will give it some more character.

filabrazilia, Jan 31, 2004
Photo of CBFanWish
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grigory Rasputin's ability to control Nicholas II while he was sleeping with his wife, made him one of mankinds darkest and most mysterious men in history.
Like its namesake, Old Rasputin is truely dark and mysterious. As black as the heart of rasputin, himself. Atop was a thick, frothy dark tan head.
A wonderful aroma, sweet with the slightest bitterness, of dark chocolate and rich coffee fills the air.
Upon tasting, I am brought back to my childhood, biting into a chunk of chocolate, yet it is mixed with the more mature flavours of mocha and roasted coffee beans. Smooth and robust. Also has a prune finish.
This is not a beer for the timid. It's strong, rich flavours can be overpowering, but wonderful at the same time. I would recomend this as a dessert beer. It would be perfectly paired with chocolate cake, cheesecake, molasses cookies or ginger snaps.
One problem. I decided to review this as a porter other than a stout because it has qualities found in porters rather than stouts. I think it should be classified as an Imperial Porter.

CBFanWish, Jan 29, 2004
Photo of JamesBerry
2.8/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This one has a black cola-like coloring with a brownish/orange head. Immediately after opening the bottle, a strong chocolate smell emerges. The taste is intensely bitter, like baker's chocolate, but with noticeable amounts of alcoholic tone. Old Rasputin has a tannic mouthfeel, like sucking a teabag or coffee grounds. Not as creamy or as say, a porter or (non-Imperial) stout, but admittedly, the taste mellows out significantly after the first half. Not exactly what I'd call a session beer. This is more of an experience than just any beer.

JamesBerry, Jan 29, 2004
Photo of DESTRO
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours jet black, black as black can get with a nice toffe colored head. aromas of toasted malt, coffee, alcohol, raisins...everything an imperial should smell like. intense but inviting. first sip? oh man...roasted flavors run wild. this thing is complex! nice big alcohol slap, dark fruits, coffee coffee coffee, toffee and caramel, finishes with a nice puckering twang. damn, this is packed with flavor and character. very warming, you can feel this this beast in the chest. silky smooth in the mouth, yet you get the carbonation sting in the back of the throat. goes down like a friggin champ. for an imperial that weighs in at a whopping 8.9% this drinks like a dream. all i can do is throw the horns in the air and give it an "at the gates" tribute and hope the beer gods are satisfied. fackin glorious beer.

paid $5.99 for a 4 pack.

DESTRO, Jan 27, 2004
Photo of smcolw
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance--The color of dark chocolate; not even opaque. Beige head that quickly goes down.

Smell--Rich chocolate malt aroma; some burnt coffee

Taste--Predominately coffee, some caramel. Excellent hop ending that perfectly balances the powerful malt.

Mouthfeel--Warm oily texture; nice hop bitterness lingering after the swallow.

Drinkability--Very true to the style. While I personally wouldn't repeatedly drink Imperial Stouts all night, this would be a top pick for this style.

smcolw, Jan 25, 2004
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,680 ratings.