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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BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,495 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,495
Hads: 11,167
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 466
Gots: 2,210 | FT: 56
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,495 | Hads: 11,167
Photo of boesesfleisch
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a very good beer. Looks good in the glass and had a nice creamy head that laced all the way down. I was a little disappointed with the aroma and mouth feel as I found them to be a little weak and thin for the style. Overall I thought this was a good, solid beer that everyone should try, but did not quite live up to the hype in my opinion. (348 characters)

Photo of doubledslc
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

I like Pale Ale in general, but there is always room for a stout in my belly. The character of this beer is as intimidating as a Russian soothe-sayer with one eye, but it lingers like the burn from a roasted jalapeno pepper on your pallet. It's been like 100 everyday here in the SLC so a stout isn't the first beer I would grab off the shelf, but as soon as it starts snowing again, I'm sure I'll get my stout on.

Peace off! (428 characters)

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is black and has a nice tan/cream colored head – lacing is pretty in this beer. The aroma is sweet of malt and there is some spice that I’m having trouble identifying. The taste is bold and bitter. There is plenty of malt and a slight sweetness. Coffee flavors and a hint of spice are present. This beer starts off quite intimidating, but mellows slightly as it warms and my palate adjusts. The mouthfeel is thinner than I expected – but is still on the full side. As for drinkability, this beer is a bit much for me to kick a few back in one sitting – but it is very good! (587 characters)

Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Russian Stout - Who would have thunk it? Anyway - this one is a real surprise for the stout lover. It compares well to Rogue Shakespeare Stout.

It is a dark stout (of course) with a dark brown head that is not as creamy as the Guinness style of stouts. The taste is more malty with a strong taste of hops in the finish. Another beer that I rather enjoy. A little hard to find in stores. Definitely worth a try. Has a clean finish. And read the article on the side - what a hoot that is. This beer even has a history that is more than just how they make it.
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It's been speculated that no one had a greater appreciation for this rich, roasty elixir than Rasputin, the mystic wag (and favorite of the ladies of the court), who was the ultimate downfall of Czar Nicholas II.

Rasputin is probably best remembered for his dramatic exit. Having been deemed politically expendable, he was fed poisoned wine and tea cakes by his rivals. Surviving that, he was shot several times - whereupon he attacked his assailants. He finally succumbed when bound and stuffed through a hole in the ice to drown in the River Neva. Legends that attribute his tenacity to his appetite for Russian Imperial Stout are unproven. (1,280 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an almost black color with a tan colored thin head that quickly dissappeared leaving a spotty residue. The aroma is full of roasted malts, coffee, and alcohol. The taste followed the smell with a roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate flavor. Bitterness and high alcohol was also noticable. Medium-heavy bodied beer.

The mouthfeel was somewhat dry, smooth, and creamy. The coffee, slight bitterness, and chocolate last on the tongue long into the aftertaste. Alcohol is very noticable in this compared to other imperial stouts, knocking down the drinkability one notch. (576 characters)

Photo of Cmack15
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am just starting to get into the RIS style and thought this would be a good beer to start with. The darkness of this beer is impressive being black hole like. When you take a deep inhale of this elixir you get a breath of roasted malts that is very inviting and intriguing. The mouthfeel of this beer is thick and chewy making it a slow slipper. The taste starts out witha lsoght sweet note then the roated malts take over which is a good thing(thats what these beers are all about). Enjoy this in the winter by a fireplace at the end of the evening and you will get the full enjoyment of this brew. (601 characters)

Photo of Naugros
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Near black and served in a North Coast Brewery Old Rasputin nonic glass. One of the weirdest heads I've seen on a stout. It was light brown and not particularly thick, but there were spots of tan making differently sized splotches...sort of like a rash. Odd. The lace was thin and spotty without much coverage. Maybe it was their tap lines or the tap itself.

The only difference between the smell of this RIP is that I didn't detect a ton of coffee or chocolate. It was mostly roasty toasty. Not a bad thing, but not all that complex.

The taste was nearly identical to the nose in taste. A little spice in the bitterness entered into the equation, but not strongly, even when colder than it should have been. It didn't back off as it warmed, but stayed at a nice level.

This was a bit thin for a RIP. I don't want to say watery, because it wasn't. It had the body of an Irish stout, even being incredibly smooth.

With the light body and toned down bitterness this is one of the easiest drinking RIPs I've ever had, which is dangerous...check out that abv and you'll know why. You really don't sense much of the alcohol in this. (1,132 characters)

Photo of jletts
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased this tasty beer at the local PCC at a bargain price of $1.75. Served in a pint glass at about 50 degrees.

Appearance: Poured a very dark reddish brown, which is perceived as black in all but the brightest lighting, with a large yellow-brown head.

Smell: Earthy. Smells of dark leather and peat, some cloves and hops, and just a hint of sweetness, maybe sugar or vanilla.

Taste: Burnt sour cherry, cocoa. Charred and a little smokey at the end where the alcohol finally comes in, though not overpoweringly so.

Mouthfeel: medium body, a little syrupy.

Drinkability: An excellent Imperial Stout, but a little high in ABV to drink too many. But it is very drinkable because it is so tasty! (712 characters)

Photo of caljrjr
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with a tan head.

S - Big chocolate, gently roasted malt, coffee, vanilla,hazelnut? walnuts.

T - Robust espresso and rich chocolate on the palate, heavily roasted black malt, vanilla bean, roasted walnuts.

M - Heavy body, very smooth feel, low carbonation.

Big robust flavors with a big hop bite at the end. The roasted malt comes through more in the flavor than the nose. Nice nutty yeast, great stout overall. (430 characters)

Photo of ixodus
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black with a small tan head that disappears rather quick. Leaves little lacing.

S: Very aromatic. Chocolate, Coffee, Roasted Malts. Your typical RIS.

T: Loads of dark chocolate, deep roasted malts and coffee. I also got some notes of anise.

M: Full bodied, creamy and smooth.

D: Very drinkable (306 characters)

Photo of brendan13
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with a 3cm light brown head that falls away suprisingly rather quickly.
S - Coffee and bitter chocolate notes abound. Some nutty and vanilla hints.
T - Much like the smell up front; all coffee and chocolate bitter notes with some liquorice as well as slightly resinous piney notes. Bit of an alcohol edge as well.
M - Medium to full bodied, low to moderate carbonation. Quite bitter.
O - An impressive beer. But not as refined as I was expecting. Maybe a little aging will do it some favours. (508 characters)

Photo of oakbluff
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. Pours ebony black, minimal beige head and lacing. Nose- strong anise, slight roast. Taste- dry dark roast, some burnt malt, anise and moderate bittering hops which really show in the finish. Relatively light bodied for style, moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good given light body and lack of hotness. Nice RIS (329 characters)

Photo of TheBierBand
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a four-pack from a newly discovered beer source.... Trader Joe's in Blue Ash - suburb of Cincinnati. Not a huge selection, but some off beat brands and nice policy on singles... you can mix and match individual beers and they just charge you individual bottle pricing.

The Old Rasputin poured from the 12 oz brown bottle into a pint glass to produce a 1/2" dense tan head over a black beer.

The scent was very aromatic with shades of coffee, chocolate and malt sweetness.

The taste was very good. In keeping with style and on par with the aroma, chocolate, coffee and and nice malt sweetness prevail.

Mouthfeel: Not as heavy as expected. Carbonation is a slight bit higher than most RIS's I've had. I enjoy the chalkiness of this beer.

Drinkability: Typical of the higher ABV of most RIS... proceed with caution, but you can have as many of these as your body will allow. I will look for this again. (925 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap (Nitro)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A beautiful sight to behold when it's brought from the bar. Black as night, unrelenting chocolate milk head that won't dare leave, thick lacing, milky, thick, and creamy appearance. Luscious and decadent.

The two main aromas are chocolate and roasted malt. The chocolate is rich and sweet while the roasted malts almost smell meaty, akin to a barbeque. There's a bit of smoke and some coffee in the nose as well, but it's mainly chocolate and roasted malt.

The taste is a bit more complex than the nose. The chocolate, roasted malts, and smoke are present along with a bit of bitter and citrus hops. It's complex, decadent, yet simple.

Creamy, milky mouthfeel.

A simple yet complex RIS. Consistent and delicious, not to mention affordable. (802 characters)

Photo of output01x
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received in a pint glass on tap at the Brew Kettle.

A tan colored two-finger head of miniscule bubbles sits atop a pitch-black body. The head retention is fantastic as it never completely fades no matter how empty the glass becomes. The lacing coats the glass almost entirely. Truly a fantastic and somewhat intimidating looking beer.

Scents of roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate and a little coffee are there, although not as strong as they could have been.

The flavors follow the nose in all respects. Malt, chocolate, and coffee are there but I would have liked them to be bolder. The 9% ABV is well masked and is only apparent as a slight warmth. A slight bitterness also persists at the end of each sip.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy but not sticky. Not alot, but just enough carbonation help move it along. The beer coats your mouth and makes you remember each sip until you take another.

While I would have liked this beer to have bolder flavors, it is still quite refreshing for the style and has excellent drinkability. I could definitely have multiples in one sitting, which is quite impressive for a stout.

All in all, an excellent RIS with great drinkability. My only complaint is the mildness of the flavor. It was almost like drinking a 1% chocolate milk. I have heard claims that this beer ages well and I am definitely interested in seeing how this would affect it. (1,392 characters)

Photo of bengore
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, deep black into a tulip glass. Small amount of cherry bronze head that dissipates slowly. Aroma reminds me of chocolate cake with booze. Taste is relatively malty, coffee, and ultimately leads to an alcohol-y aftertaste. Overall a great, strong stout that is easily available. Goes great with a strong, hearty stew or curry. Definitely a go-to. (359 characters)

Photo of fmccormi
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straight pour from 12oz bottle to Luettich-balloon style glass (Bruery tulip); no freshness dating is present on the bottle, from what I can tell

Appearance (5.0): Black as night in the body, light khaki head of very, very tight, fine bubbles, that starts at 4+ finges and fades to a hazy on the top of the beer. It leaves what can only be described as textbook lacing—I swear it actually looks like some kind of ugly tan lace draped down all around the glass.

Smell (4.0): Coffee, some bitter dark chocolate, some oxidization present; thought this bottle was from June or so, but as I said, there’s no freshness date on the bottle so that’s just a guess at this point. Some grassy hops in the back. Malt body is rich and roasty, with very little sweetness underneath it—this smells menacing, and I like it.

Taste (3.5): Bitter as hell black coffee and roasted barley that turns to dark, dark chocolate on the way down. The finish is some mixture of grassy, maybe herbal hops melding pretty seamlessly with charred, blackened cereals. Not a ton of complexity, maybe, but it’s a nice break from these sickly-sweet RISs other brewers and drinkers seem to love. As it warms, seems a bit richer, fuller, and quite a bit boozier, but still very straight-forward—no surprises here.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Rich and creamy, with a heavy, velvety carbonation that coats the mouth; body is on the lighter side of full (more than medium, not quite heavy but definitely full). Very nice.

Overall (4.0): Not a bad RIS by any means—kind of a benchmark in a lot of ways. It’s not the most interesting or most complex RIS in terms of taste, but it does seem to nail some elements rather well, suggesting to me that North Coast dialed in on a very dependable RIS recipe a long time ago. Good for them, because this works. Not surprisingly, this seems like a great candidate for cask and barrel treatments. (1,907 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Awesome looking Stout! Black bodied beer with a Mocha brown had that is over 2 fingers tall. The head is thick, frothy, and chunky. Heavy lacing.

Smell: Fairly one dementional nose. Mostly heavy roast from the malts resembling coffee notes and the smell of charred wood/charcoal. It still smells good though.

Taste: Moderate roasty coffee notes that are complimented with an almost equally strong moderate bitterness I assume from the hops. The hops have a bit of grassy quality to them. Some dark chocolate that is faint, but it easier to pick up when the beer gets closer to room temperature.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with a moderate carbonation that is lively for the RIS style. It works for this aggressive and robust beer.

Overall: This beer lives up to its reputation. Its a solid beer! Drank the 12th anniversary Rasputin last night and it was only fitting to follow it up with the non-barrel aged vesion tonite for comparison. Value priced for a big stout too! (1,019 characters)

Photo of Liquids
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks delicious, dark black with a red-brown hue peeking out from the bottom of the glass, with a massive, bubly and creamy head that is comparable to the color of, say, wheat bread, for lack of a better comparative. Smells like an american variation on the grassy english ale aroma--more piney and resinous--but the aroma is rather gentle for an imperial stout. Hmm. More like a straght ahead stout. The taste is malty and focused, with a charred finish that tastes, again, mostly like a standard stout. This may have some time on it, in which case, considering style, this is how it would taste after reaching Russia. The expectedly intense hops have mellowed out I think, comparing it to when I had it fresh on tap months prior. The hops again are american, piney, and slightly floral even. Mouthfeel is medium and well- or possibly over- carbonated. Stout like in feel, not as heavy as anticipated, but not light either. Overall, I am not a fan of the hop profile here. Nor do I love the less than smooth, charred malts that acompany it in the finish. This is a very good beer, but it is not the best of style. Tastes more like an american stout than an imperial stout, but it somehow hides the 8% well. I love the label and russian phrases. North Coast is consistently good, despite brewing beers that don't personally appeal to my palate enough to be my pick as favorites given their style. Drinking this left me dreaming of Storm King, which I find delicious both on tap and in the bottle, while this was absolutely better on tap. (1,537 characters)

Photo of JMWEB2
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged for 16 months...

A: Pours awesome chocolate black with decent lacing, looks like it should...

S: Heavy roast coffee smell, malty and chocolate.

T: Sweet malt flavor finished by deep chocolate awesome!

M: Full bodied for sure, feels good on way down..

O: Wow, flavor is awesome, drink it alone! (303 characters)

Photo of AChamberlain
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into tulip glass.

A: Dark black, thick brown head. Head just sittin there, faded very slowly.

S: Roasty, chocolate. Malty.

T: Sweet malt flavor. Tons of roastiness. Delicious. Smooth sweet finish.

MF: Creamy. Thick. Silky. Perfect carbonation, not to heavy.

D: Alcohol hidden very well. Watch out it will sneak up on you. Super smooth, ultra drinkable RIS. (388 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-extremely dark black color that lets just a hint of a red hue through. two fingers of a thiner looking dark coffee colored head that has ok retention and leaves huge lacing on the glass.

S-a lighter nose that brings chocolate first followed by a roasted malt and a touch of espresso

T-the taste brings a fair amount of chocolate, a good bit of roasted malt that immediately fades into light citrus and bitter hops at the finish

M-extremely creamy, on the lighter side of a medium body, highly carbonated but not in a bad way. hides the alchohol well

D-very tasty RIS, nothing that blows me away but extremely consisntent and for the price, not bad!! Especially driving to Vintage Estates in Ohio where it is $2.25 a bottle. (729 characters)

Photo of ARoman
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

*transferred from previous notes - 1/12/2014*
On tap (nitro) poured into a stemmed tulip. Chocolate and coffee are the most pronounced and immediate aromas, accompanied by a more faint caramel aroma and a distinct ash aroma. A thick, jello-like, tan head (gotta love nitro taps!) sits on a dark, opaque black (maybe brown?) body. The head - of which a half a finger is present throughout - leaves a nice, marble-like lacing. It’s a medium bodied, sticky beer which kicks off with a caramel and dark cherry sweetness that immediately gives way to coffee and dark chocolate bitterness followed, not too long after, by a smokey / ashy finish. After a little while, when it starts to mellow out with warmth, the sweetness is not as pronounced up front, and sticks around a bit longer than just the initial taste. A touch of sourness hides in the background throughout the drink and it leaves a dry smokey, bready mouthfeel behind. Fun complexities in the taste of this one. (971 characters)

Photo of craft_shannie
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: black; two finger dark khaki foamy head. i hate to say this, but i thought it would pour thicker. but, still a good looking brew.
S: roasted malts; bit of vanilla; i'm not getting a lot of complexity at all. and i've allowed it to warm plenty.
T: roasted malts; still not a lot of complexity, but solid. some coffee, chocolate, vanilla, but overwhelming roasted malts. good bitterness.
M: it's thin for the style. disappointingly so.
O: sorry, Old Rasputin. you had the great misfortunate of being second in a two RIS line-up tonight and you followed ten fidy. in all fairness, this is a solid brew, but pales in comparison in terms of looks (esp. the pour), smell, taste, and defintely the mouthfeel. old rasputin tastes more like a regular everyday stout than a Russian Imperial. (787 characters)

Photo of bump8628
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I felt sorry for the poor saps sucking back pints of Guinness for the same price that I was enjoying this world class beer. This one finished things off right on St. Paddy's day at the local.

Midnight black with the beautiful nitro head and lame nitro nose. It still delivers a punch of char, coffee, burnt sugar, and earthy hop flavor, but it's smoothed out (or dumbed down depending on your perspective) by the nitrogen pour. Nice and bitter with some needed astringency from the roasted grains and a hint of ethanol warmth on the finish.

I'll take the bottled version any day, but Old Rasputin is still thoroughly enjoyable in the the nitrogen format. (656 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,495 ratings.