Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

10,379 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,379
Reviews: 3,401
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 357
Gots: 1,578 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,379 | Reviews: 3,401 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nomomentwasted
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this last night out of a 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Have heard good things as Cost Plus World Market has it on sale for $7 for a 4-pack, so hey, made for a good pick-up for the burgeoning beer collection.

Appearance: Brown-black, like a stout-porter, and with a nice, one-finger tan head. Laced very nicely down the glass too, definitely looked the part of a RIS.

Smell: Chocolaty, slight coffee, and earthy. You can smell a bit of smoke too, and reminds me of a nice, sit-by-the-fire smell.

Taste: Roasted barley malts and bready, smoky taste wash over the palate with markedly low bitterness to it in comparison to other Imperial Stouts, and not in a bad way.

Mouthfeel: Not overly thick or heavy as RIS tend to be and I expect, but this was lighter and made more of a drinker than a sipper. Finishes very clean and with a hint of coffee left at the end.

Drinkability: For the style, it's up there. Much, much more drinkable as far as having more than one goes, and I could certainly enjoy more than one of these in a row, and for this style, that's saying something. Lighter than the Stone Imperial Stout and the BBXXI as far as dark and complex brews go, but this does improve the drinkability as well as it goes down much more smoothly and drinks like a champ.

Photo of iuhophead87
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer in to a small tulip glass from a 12 oz. Bottle

A- Very black body with a light tan head. Head was rather small and dissipated quickly until the glass was swirled. Then, the small head would reappear.

S- I love this smell! A dark roasted malt with big alcohol present. A good balance between the roasted malt and alcohol smell.
T- Although you can taste the strong roasted maltiness of this beer, a subtle bitterness of hops does squeeze its way through. The warm burn of alcohol follows this flavor.
M- Very full bodied, but not syrupy. Outstanding!

D- A very good beer and very drinkable. Although you notice the alcohol it is well balanced by the malts. You could chalk me up for a few of these at a time.

Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into Weyerbacher tulip.

A - Pours a nearly black color with a finger and a half of dense tan head. Great retention and beautiful lacing.

S - Roasty malts, oak, coffee creamer, and trace amounts of pine.

T - Robust malt profile with burnt chocolate, wort, bitter coffee, and candied pecans. Starts sweet and moves towards bitter with a little bit of pine on the aftertaste. Very good stout.

M - Very smooth with great carbonation and a medium feel.

O - This is a staple in my fridge. Roasty is what comes to mind as far as flavor and aroma. The price is a bonus here and I always appreciate it when imperial stouts are offered in 12 oz. bottles. I give North Coast a lot of credit for making a top notch RIS with wide distribution and a reasonable cost. Good stuff.

Photo of Grundle20
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
I've said beers pour black before, well I lied, this beer pours BLACK. Light can almost not pass through the glass. It's thick black beer with a creamy nut colored head.

Smell:
Primarilly burnt chocolate and coffee in scent but there are some very minor cherry and biscuit notes. Pretty much what you would expect but good and balanced none the less.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
There is a very strong flavor of good dark chocolate. While beers to me tend to taste more like bakers chocolate this really tastes like good edible dark chocolate. The beer drinks incredibly smooth with bitter stings on the front and sides of my tongue. The finish is again chocolatey only with a little coffee in the mix. There is a full on aftertaste to this beer which I don't really like but the beer itself is good enough for me to look past this.

Drinkability:
Pretty much everything about this beer says not so drinkable aside from the taste. High ABV and an unclean finish are really what takes away from this for me, but it's a really tasty beer and would probably serve a stout fan well in terms of drinkability.

Bottom Line:
A pretty awesome stout. Not exactly my cup of tea but this was an enjoyable drinking experience and I would recommend this to anybody looking for something good or any fan os stouts.

Photo of xseanprimex
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into an American pint.

A: This brew pours an immense head that is a sandy tan and lasts FOREVER!!! Maps well down the side of the glass. The dark black beer is almost impenetrable by light. Exactly what an imperial Russian stout should look like, and lives up to it's dark and mysterious namesake.

S: Dark and malty, it has a slightly bitter smell to it. Good smell.

T: Boozy. The dark malts are strong and up front with the good solid bitterness. The 9% ABV is tough in a good way.

M: Great and oily like the appearance clues to. The carbonation adds to a spicy and burning feel.

O: A really good brew. The look and smell are great, with a solid taste that is perfect for a cold, harsh winter.

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.

Photo of SudNut
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours to a disturbingly dark concoction with a tan head about two fingers thick quickly dispersing to a thin head over the top.

A toot of suds is like smelling a malty dark mocha with a couple of extra shots of espresso. I detect roasted malt, dark semi-sweet chocolate, coffee and a bit of alcohol.

Nice big gulp and aaahhhh almost exactly like it smells the order of taste some times clashes though, roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee and alcohol respectively. Sometimes it seems the chocolate and coffee switch seats on the bus. Also there is an undertone of hops near the finish, good stuff!

Creamy medium body with a touch of stickiness to the mouthfeel, it almost feels like painting a coat of beer on your tongue, although just for a moment.

This beer has above average drinkability and I will have another. The fact is I can only endure so much real coffee and this beer tastes like coffee. One or two is great any more than that is too much for my taste.

Enjoy!

Photo of maundythirsty
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting looking RIS, being that it is not a glass full of squid ink. Very dark brown, to be sure, but I can see through the edges, with are bottle glass brown. Very little head to speak of, off-white and thin. Smells yeasty, like dark bread, with a big roasted malt note

Tastes of clean, round roasted malt all the way through, with some coffee edges and a wee hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is very creamy and consistent.

Wow. So that's a really good, even-handed Russian imperial stout that does its work without tasting like a bag of sugar. Beauty of a label, too, with the spooky little wave from the Mad Monk.

Photo of chilidog
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first Imperial & I purchased this as my first offering of ohio's new apv law. At 8.9% this was a great sample of things to come. This brew was stunning for me as soon as I cracked the cap. The scent and aroma take-over to kick-start the taste-buds. Pour this black, low carbon stout and get a half-inch head that settles to a film but has enough in it to lace well, thicker than one might expect.The taste of dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans with a not shy alcohol presence. The strength I think smooths this brew to the point of creamy. Enjoyed this-one on a cold rainy night.....Perfect!!

Photo of bohemiandonut
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of reviewing for me is returning to a beer after a long period of sampling other standouts in the style. RIS is an especially portent style for such revision, with its massive complexity and depth. On to Rasputin in a snifter, after nearly a year of mostly Stone, Ten Fidy, and any other barreled/double stouts to come my way.

Pours slick and creamy, a darkly tan head swirling about on top. Booze is apparent in the smell, something I may be in the minority for liking. Other than that it's all roasty coffee/chocolate goodness, with powerful bursts of fruit, some licorice, and possibly oak/vanilla. A great scent that I am not too patient to surrender for a taste.

My first thought is: too bubbly. A few swirls to kick this back and I'm met with a smoother vehicle in which to glean these flavors. I am instantly reminded of Sam Smith, but that fruity, roasted malt profile so prevalent in his beers has been pumped up and rounded out considerably here with chocolate and coffee notes.

I get an occasional twang of metal as well, but also oatmeal, pepper, milk and bitter hops. Hops push through the finish in a way some will love but is kind of distracting for me. This hop character creates a certain dryness and the beer stays rather thin for its abv. The alcohol is not masked as well as the best in class manage and I think the bitterness factor adds to this.

If you like the English style stouts and enjoy a bitter RIS this will be right up your alley. A great deal for a 4-pack but not entirely satisfying to my palette. More coffee and sugar, please.

EDIT: Bumping up the taste and mouthfeel dimensions as this beer really comes into its own as it warms. Sweeter and richer. Nice!

Photo of kcillini77
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wow - this is one tasty brew, and the price is not too bad either.

Pours deep black with a huge head into a Duvel tulip.

Smell is of coffee, maybe a little english toffee, cocoa nibs, and a bit of fusel alcohol.

Taste is roasted coffee, some cocoa powder, and maybe a little bourbon. Aftertaste is mostly coffee-like.

Alcohol is warming and apparent, and there is a lot of carbonation here, so the mouthfeel suffers a bit.

Overall, a great beer and a great value.

Photo of tcfishler
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black color, high foamy head with strong lacing.

Nose is dry with strong notes of licorice, with an accent of citrus rind.

In the mouth, it starts with a bit of sweet chocolate, then dries fairly rapidly into a strong coffee-laden finish, complicated by some hop bitterness and slight astringency. Alcohol can barely be sensed, and only when the beer is chewed vigorously. Mouthfeel is highly pleasurable, with perfectly gauged carbonation.

This stout definitely leans to the dry side of the spectrum. However, it is balanced enough to be remarkably drinkable. The extent to which the alcohol is hidden is admirable as well. I think it would shine best with food, however.

Photo of Kelly88
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into an old Rasputin pint glass.

A- pours a dark brown that settles into a black bodied brew. Dark khaki head that is dripping lace all over the glass. Ruby highlights seep through the edges.

S- a dash of citrus hops is covered quickly with bitter coffee. Chocolate and pine round out the finish.

T- Loads of citrus hops for a stout. Chocolate and more hops battle for control. More chocolate is starting to assert itself as the beer warms. Roasty malts with bitter coffee as the beer slides down your throat

M- a little light for my liking. There is a stinging carbonation that is present at the end. This mouthfeel makes for a good drinking stout but leaves something to be desired in the body.

Overall a solid imperial stout. Nice mix of hops and malts That really balance nicely to create an interesting and tasty brew.

Photo of dukedevil0
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had out of a 12oz bottle at Cleo's in Chicago, IL.

A: pours dark black with some nice mocha colored head that settles a little bit

S: smells like milk chocolate, slight coffee and roasted malts

T: a little more of the roastiness comes though in the flavor, but not overbearing...other flavors are the same as the smell

M: a little on the thin side of creamy, highly carbed

D: solid flavor, hard to taste the alcohol content, and the short side of creaminess helps the easy to drink factor

Photo of dnolan36
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well tonight I decided to try my first Old Rasputin. I just started getting back into stouts and I am almost sad I have started with this one since it was so good. Well, anyways, here it goes.

When I opened the bottle, it poured black into my glass with about a finger of dark, rich brown head. The sight was quite lovely.

When I first brought the glass to my nose there was a nice chocolatety, nutty aroma. I sat the glass back down for about 20 minutes for it to warm up some and then smelled it again. The second time there was a faint vanilla/mocha smell, with a hint of malts and coffee.

The taste matched the smell almost. It had a dark chocolate, mocha, malty feel to it.

This was overall an excellent beer from opening it to drinking it. I could definitely enjoy several of these. However, I am still sipping on the one that I am using to write this review.

Photo of danielharper
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Woody's Smokes and Brews, Franklin, TN.

My first Imperial Russian Stout, and I only wish I'd bought a whole four-pack of these instead of sticking to the single.

Pours dark, dark, black with a thick brown head. The head was very foamy and dissipated only after letting the beer set for a few minutes. I also love the bottle on this one, the picture of Rasputin and the Russian writing around the bottle are pretty nifty, thus giving it a highly impressive presentation.

The aroma is very much as I expected from a stout, with a heavy coffee nose combined with subdued alcoholic notes. The alcohol was present, but worked well with the overall aroma -- I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Taste is really nice, very much like the smell, strong coffee and "stoutish" notes combined with some bitterness. As the beer warms, though, the alcohol becomes more pronounced and gives the beer an overall astringent quality, the only thing keeping this beer from getting a higher score on taste.

Mouthfeel is really fantastic, thick and full-bodied, like a velvety texture that slides around the mouth and into the throat. Quite enjoyable, and the fairly mild carbonation helps to keep this beer interesting and pleasant, but not overwhelming on the mouthfeel department.

Overall drinkability is low only because of the aforementioned astringent quality to the taste as the beer warms, and the high alcohol. I drank this one over the course of about an hour and a half, and while I enjoyed it quite a bit, I don't think I could have easily drunk two. Very nice, highly enjoyable, but not a session beer at all.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Complex aroma of coffee, chocolate and fruit. Appearance was perfect. Poured black hue with large tan creamy head that lasted to the finish with excellent lacing. Full bodied flavor and finish that was consistent with all the aroma.

The complete stout in a bottle. Thank you North Coast.

Photo of stoutfiend27
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle received as extra courteous of Ghengis22..poured into St. Feuillien wide mouth glass...how ive missed a review of this ill never know since ive purchased it many many times...

a-pitch black with a espresso colored head that fell after a minute or so...nice lacing...

s-roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, and caramel, faintest hops, quite aromatic

t-chocolate and roast up front, followed by coffee and caramel and a nice hop sting in the end..

m-thick and chewy just like i love my ris...nice carbonation..warms as it goes down and is quite oily

d-during the winter i could warm up with these all night...now with our warm days and chilly nights only one late...

top notch...one of the best...

Photo of greenmonstah
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from my local store into pint glass

A - Pours a pitch black with a finger of nice brown head. Very impressive lacing.

S - Clean coffee aroma with some chocolate and a roasted malt backing.

T - Really impressive. There's coffee, a lot of chocolate, roasted malt, and a nice hint of dark fruit. Sweet chocolate is the dominant flavor here. Even has some hop to it, just the right amount. Some alcohol, but not much. Going to let it warm up and see how it blossoms.

M - Nice and thick, spot on for the style. Stays pretty wet throughout. Creamy and almost chewy.

O - Overall a very delicious beer. Incredible for something so widely available and relatively inexpensive. The value and availability make this the go-to "everyday" beer in the RIS style, but it's not diminished in any way. It is simultaneously really easy to get and impossibly complex and delicious.

Photo of bulletrain76
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Almost black, dark brown with a scant brown head. Aroma has powerful licorice and roasted malts. The flavor is big and roasty with coffee bitterness; quite dry in the finish, and the hops blend in and don't overwhelm the balance. Full palate with fizzy carbonation. Very drinkable for an imperial, but intense and rich, dry and bitter. Goes nicely with chocolate desserts. (3.8) Rerate: This is damn good on tap. More dark chocolate and less hop bitterness, though still balanced nicely and very drinkable.

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.

Photo of icetraxx
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a 7-finger or so head that dissipates into an extremely creamy 3 finger head over time. The massive head was probably due to my quick pouring action. The head lasts the entire beer, even if you drink it slowly. The beer appears to be as black as the night.

S: Caramel, fruity hops, molasses, and roasted malt dominate the aroma. This beer is nicely aromatic thanks to the 9% ABV.

T: The taste starts slightly sweet and a caramely with a nice kick of fruity hops. The flavor quickly becomes hoppy bitter and finishes with a dry hoppy crispness. The first few sips reveal a lingering bitter tongue. The alcohol is very well hidden for 9% ABV. No dark fruits, complexity generally suffers.

M: Thick & creamy, perfectly carbonated.

D: High for the style, and definitely high for 9% ABV. Be careful, this one could get you in trouble. Easy drinking.

O: The second example of this style that I've ever had and already a favorite.

Photo of Scotchboy
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 12/27/10. 12oz bottle, New Belgium globe.

Pours dark brown but is compeltely black in the glass, no light around the edges. Almost two fingers of brown head, covered with small bubbles. Head retreats slowly and leaves nice, consistent lacing. Very attractive stout.

Initial smell is dark roasted malts, followed by bitter chocolates. The alcohol is there, but lightly and beautifully. There is a small sweetness as well that reminds me of chocolate milk.

Taste is dark and rich. Sweet and bitter malts. The lactose-like sweetness is still there too. A few warm hops on the tongue mix with the alcohol, which is barely discernable. The more is warms, the more I can pick up on a cold coffee flavor. There is an ever so slight smokiness to the finish as well. Complex.

MF: Impressive as well. Initially it is very creamy in my opinion. Smooth, wet, then a tiny bit sticky. Oily? I like it.

Drinkability is high for a RIS. I could of had two.

Photo of bighoppymonster
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an absolute opaque black with a thin tan head which laces the glass nicely. Equal amounts of roasted malty goodness and alcohol in nose, maybe some traces of sweetness as well. Again, roasted maltiness in taste with very strong coffee like flavours. Very sweet and alcoholic in taste. However, it is very smooth and drinkable. Definately full bodied and very rich. Overall, a very impressive brew. Very strong in both character and abv. One of my favourites in the style, although I am none too experienced with imperial stouts.

Photo of Kevin73
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is one of my go-to stouts. I can usually find it in most supermarkets and bottle shops and it is consistently delicious! Pours deeply opaque with the slightest tinge of red. Pours with a thick sturdy head with tons of lacing. Looks absolutely gorgeous in the glass. Roasted malts, coffee, baker's chocolate, raisin. The alcohol is not so apparent in the smell but in taste you definitely get a nice shot of heat. Surprisingly on the sweeter side but exceptionally well balanced.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,379 ratings.