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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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10,709 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,709
Reviews: 3,489
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 402
Gots: 1,854 | FT: 49
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,709 | Reviews: 3,489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of instrumentality
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a thick brown-black with three fingers of creamy brown head that settled into a thin pool of lace of various shades of white and brown.

The odor conjured images of chocolate malt with a shot of espresso.

The smells translated well to my palate, somewhat bitter with the added flavor of red wine.

Initial mouthfeel seemed a bit chalky, oddly enough, but intensity-wise, it was pretty mellow with only a slight burn of alcohol and minimal carbonation. The aftertaste was just a bit too strong and coating, a bitter mix of espresso and red wine.

I was disappointed to find that this brew smelled better than it tasted--not that the taste was bad, but I expected more. To take a more positive spin on this, for an RIS, it's well balanced and fairly easy to drink.

I'll probably save the last couple bottles of my four-pack and let them age a bit. I have a feeling a little time will make this one a real treat.

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this one last year and comes in a 4-pack. Bought a single 12 ounce bottle last week to sample. Drinking it now on 12/5/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours pretty close to a bitch black in color with a 1-finger tan head. Lots of lacing is seen with each sip. The aroma is of dark roasted malts with a hint of toffee and coffee. The taste is about the same with a stronger alcohol slightly hoppy dark espresso finish. NOT sweet at all. A good sipping brew and NOT a chugging one.

Photo of stcules
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is absolutely black, opaque. A scarce finger of foam coffe and milk color.
The smell is beautiful, enveloping. Coffee, cocoa. Creamy, inviting, intriguing, soft, smooth. Very pleasant.
The taste, a bit less enveloping, and a bit more sharp. Anyway, good, full. Cocoa, cappuccino. Not too bitter.
Very smooth.
Good body, with notes of a creamy, dense cappuccino.
In the aftertaste some hop bitterness notes, and also a root-like bitterness, and, maybe, artichoke.

Photo of ski271
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown letting no light through except on the edges. The head is very small, light tan, creamy and quickly diminishing to a ring. But still it leave some good rings of lacing early on. The smell is on the mild side for an imperial stout. Lots of darks bread accompanied by chocolate, light coffee and light molasses. The taste is of moderately sweet roasted (slightly burnt) malts supported by alcohol and some light herbal hops. More chocolate and more coffee than in the nose. The slightly astringent finish combined with the warming alcohol give your cheeks and tongue a bit of a tingle. It has a full body, slick texture and soft, low carbonation. As far as the style goes, this isn’t a heavy-hitter. But again as far as the style goes, this is rather easy drinking. Nicely done. I’d definitely drink this again… if I ever find it again.

Photo of CraftBeerSnob
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cer40
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I sampled this brew out of a 12oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. It poured jet black with a thick frothy dark tan head. LOTS of lacing. Smells like a good RIS. Rich, roasty, and toasty. Taste has bittersweet chocolate notes. Lots of hop bitterness in this beer. Alcohol warms on the tail end. mouthfeel is rich and velvety. I would love to have another but try drinkin many at 9% and you may be in trouble.

Photo of gruss004
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of heyitsbyron
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of AdamGarcia
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz btl poured into tasting glass. Maybe one of my favorite bottle labels of all time.

Somehow I've managed to avoid this beer until now. Not sure how it happened, but I picked up a 4pak to ensure that I right this wrong.

A: Black. No light appears to be getting through this one. Beautiful mocha head with a tight bead comes from a moderately forceful pour. Head reduced to clinging lace after a minute or so. Great looking beer.

S: Dark fruit. Slightly boozy. I'm not picking up much, but this beer is still a bit cold. As the beer warms the raisiny scents yield to lighter, sweeter fruits. Candied apple and pear make an appearance.

T: Big & bold. Exactly what one would expect given the look and smell of this beer. So much flavor that its difficult to isolate specifics...very complex. Wonderful black coffee bitterness in the finish.

M: Poorly executed RIS's have a thin, spirit-like feel...Old Raspy does not. Fulfilling. Carbonation is spot on. Each sip begs for another.

D: This is a big beer, but I think it drinks exactly as it should. Alcohol isn't hidden, but it doesn't feel hotter than it should, either.

Great representation of the style. A classic that is oft overlooked b/c of the hype surrounding so many others in this class. When it comes to RIS, Raspy is a beer by which others should be measured.

Given the availability and price, there is no reason not to have some of this in your fridge. I can't believe it took me so long to try this beer.

Photo of fatmusic14
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the most complex beers I've had in a very long time - flavors galore.

A - literally pitch black. Carbonation doesn't dance like a Guiness, but appearance similar. Good head, dark and creamy, decent retention - no lacing.

S - I'm going to skip this one

T - in your face flavors. Felt like I was getting hit in the face with a sack full of hops. Bursts of coffee and mocha, with a strong kick of alcohol and bitterness, almost a horseradish hint. But delicious.

M - great smooth and carbonation level, very refreshing. If your eyes were closed while drinking this, you would have no idea that it was this color or consistency.

O - Got a 4 pack, will probably last me a few weeks.

Photo of epac_shred90
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Completely impenetrable black body with a lovely thick beige head comprising tightly packed foam and larger bubbles.

S: Very pungent hoppy fruity fudge. Has a kind of sherbet effervescent quality.

T: A concentrated smokey coffee flavour, with some satisfying sweetness, and a cloying kind of tangy bitterness on the roof of the mouth. There's also a muddy, earthy hop quality. Slightly too bitter in the aftertaste but there's also loads of upfront lemonade. Getting woody spiceness from the foamy dregs.

O: Maybe I'm too demanding, but this is not the god-like definitive beer it's hyped up to be but it is certainly a good stout none-the-less.

Photo of Treebs
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On on Nitro at Wild Monk. Served in a snifter.

A: Pours a jet black color with a perfectly smooth and creamy tan head. The head sticks around for the entire time and leaves huge sticky sheets of lace. Just a beautiful looking beer.

S: Nice and robust roasted malts. There is some bitter bakers chocolate in there with a little bit of fudge.

T: The taste follows the nose but is a tad more complex. Nice roasted malts and bitter bakers chocolate up front. Sweet dark fruits are more present in the taste, almost like a caramel glazed prune. As the beer warms it gets a little sweet with some milk chocolate presents itself in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a little chew. Nice creamy mouthfeel with a medium carbonation level.

O: Very great balance of roast, chocolate and sweetness. Having it on nitro gives it a creamier mouthfeel and a must try for an Rasputin fan.

Photo of veteranbv
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Soneast
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours a pitch-black color. The head was quite explosive, even with a fairly gentle pour I ended up with about a 3 finger, light brown colored head. Had to wait for the head to die down a bit to finish pouring the rest of the bottle. Just thick and creamy, leaving large pillows of bubbles on the glass as I drink the beer. By the end of my beer the entire glass was just coated with the brown colored head.

A thick, earthy roasted malt aroma up front. A sort of resinous, dark chocolate aroma in the background.

A burnt/bittered chocolate flavor initially. Sweet, roasted malts throughout and a very nice balanced bitter hop flavor that ends with a delectable sweetness on the palate. I'll be frank, this tastes AWESOME! Well balanced and it has a complexity that I trust is only going to improve with age.

This beer has a thick, filling character. The carbonation is very well balanced with the heaviness of the beer. This just tastes so good and I love the aftertaste. Another great stout to compliment the cold, snowy weather we've been contending with in central Wisconsin for the past few weeks. This is 9% ABV? Coulda fooled me, cause you sure can't taste it. It's a sipper, for sure, but something that I could sip on all day.

*EDIT 12/25/09*
Add a year to this beer....and holy crap is it amazing. I thought it was good before. Now...it may very well be my favorite stout. Just delicious! Screw Rasputin XII, it doesn't get much better than this. And when you consider this beer currently has 2044 reviews and still retains it's A grade, that really says something. Considering it's deliciousness and availability...this is a world class beer, without a doubt.

Photo of thecheapies
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty much black. Towering tan head on the pour into my snifter. Four fingers high and poofing at the top. Lacing as it decompresses.

Semi-musty roast quality with mocha notes. The coffee is a cafe au lait and the chocolate is rather milky. Slight lactic sweet aroma. Grainy with a burnt toast character. Subtle complexity. Nice.

Bitter, smoky impy stout with huge roastiness, char, leather, and echoes of black coffee notes. This is a relatively fresh bottle, so I must note a boasting earthy/leafy hop in the taste. Some nice dry booziness in the finish. Burly flavor. Such great roasted malt bitterness.

Body has medium viscosity and lower tier carb. Alcohol levels are right where they need to be. Easy to finish one. A second would be a little difficult.

Such a quality RIS that is easily attainable and distinctive in taste profile. The gem among bitter, roasty, smoky RIS's.

Photo of taknight
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Heffastera
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of trafordboy
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours with an inch and a half of frothy, billowy tan head. Retention is pretty good- halfway through I've still got a nice thin layer which leaves impressive and sticky lace. As for color: it's black. What else is there to say?

Smells of roasted malts and booze. Hints of smoke, chocolate, and coffee.

Tastes of darkly roasted malts, dark coffee (sumatran, e.g.), with a perfectly complimenting sweet side to it.

A bit more carbonated than I would like (and the bottle more so than on tap, if I remember correctly). Still pretty smooth, though.

Goes down easy for an RIS. Excellent beer.

Photo of SpencerSauce
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a beer. Brought one of these to a kegger and it was very out of place. Partly because id walk around with my own pint glass i brought. I offered some to a girl i know and she actually liked the chocolate taste she got. Though it is a meal in a glass. I even met a beer advocate at the party and we had a good convo on hefeweizens.

A- black but not thick like motor oil. brown head and lots of it by the way i poured this one.
The head after a while is replaced by a brown film covering the beer until finish and it seems that same film of foam is deposited in the bottom after being drank.

S- heavy one the coffee but not dark esspresso. a milk choco smell not an86% cacoa. Also can discern a malt thing going on, but maybe thats just the chocolate playing with my nose.

T- Contrary to the smell i get a dark chocolate taste,with a coffee the strength of a reg french roast. This is a thick milky creamy coffee kind of beer. You can tell its a malt explosion without an extremely malty finish. If your on the same frequebcy as me.

M- This is a thick monster, not as thick as a palo santo marron though, and its just a brown ale. I always say a beer is what a brewer wants it to be. Its all at their discrepency. But this beer is by no means a light one. I would only want to drink a couple of these in a row. and thats maybe.

D- not too easy. I love RIS but one can only stand so much cake before one throws up. Rasputin is like cake. Very rich and decadent. While on the other side. Alcoholic and sharp. Its the best of both worlds.

Rasputin was a pyschic, healer, scholar, political advisor, corrupt rebel, intelectual, and loving father. He was a pilgrim from the time he was 18 when he was in a monastary repenting a theft for 3 months. After that theyre are records of him healing people similar to the way jesus did. When he was assinated it took them many tries. First he was stabbed and his guts where spilled out. After primitive surgery ( remember this is 200 years before the civil war) he was walking again. Then he was poisened with cyanide when he was thought too powerful an advisor .en shot later in life, then when that failed they beat him into uncounsciosness and he was thrown into the same river his brother and sister at different times had drowned in. Autopsy claims rasputins reason of death drowning.

Not fatal shooting,stabbing, poisening, or beating. The water in the lungs is only a peice of evidence that leads to the autopsy claims.

Now you know why it says never die on the box.

Photo of MJR
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours black with garnet highlights. It's mostly opaque, with a minimal amount of light getting through. What started as a 3/8" tan cap is now a small ring around the top of the glass. No lacing whatsoever...

Smell: Very basic aroma of bitter, roasted coffee with a hint of dark fruits. A small whiff of alcohol too...

Taste: Lots of roasted grain and coffee flavors take center stage is this brew. The dark fruits that are expected in this style are here, but they're much more subdued than in most other Imperials. I taste a touch of buttery rum, as well as some toffee. The hops are there, but they don't really draw any attention away from the malts. The alcohol is well hidden. Finishes with a touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Round and smooth with a medium mouthfeel. It's too thin for the style...

Drinkability: Good for what it is...a nice, basic Imperial stout. There are much better examples to be had, but I wouldn't mind this on a cold winter night in front of the fireplace. I did expect this one to be better though...

Photo of TooGood
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cpn920
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark mahogany almost black with a big tan head. Fades pretty quickly. Smell burnt chocolate malt with a nice dose of hops. Taste is good with coffee and a bit of hops. Hoppy RIS not my favorite but it seems to work with this one. Mouthfeel is full bodied with medium to light carbonation. Nice cold evening sipper.

Photo of franksnbeans
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours extremely dark brown if not black with a little ruby when held to a light. Gynormous chocolate milk head that goes nowhere for a very long time. Laces throughout. Smells of roasted nuts, ground coffee, cocoa and a hint of alcohol and smoke. Though all the smells present themselves in the taste, the smoke and alcohol stand out more than I would like. Dont get me wrong, this is tasty but the complexity is not as much as I would like. Full in the mouth with a smooth as silk finish. Great sipper with a meal. An outstanding impy stout to say the least.

Photo of Dudon
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,709 ratings.