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
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 MartzMimic
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours a deep blackish brown with a creamy head. Loads of lacing in the glass. Big aroma of coffee and chocolate. The taste is spot-on the same, with some dark fruit joining in. Nice bit of bitterness on the finish. Nice thick, oily mouth. This is everything a stout should be, and one of my favorites. (301 characters)

Photo of ClassicBrad
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I remember being VERY satisfied with this on draft and when I saw a bottle of it for $2.50....!!!! Come on, that's pretty much free when it comes to a beer this good.

Drew it into a snifter and watched the oily head build up and shrink to a layer that leaves a very wet and sporatic lacing on the glass.

The aromatics hint of coffee, chocolate and black licorice but not very strongly.

Taste is full blown chocolate malts with espresso and black licorice. Very well balanced and complex.

Mouthfeel lets the beer explode its flavors in your mouth and simply adds just another exciting part of the beer. Tends to lend itself to the carbonated side for this style.

Drinkability, for a 9% ABV beverage, is outstanding. Aside from the fact that you're going to be drunk, you'll still be wanting to keep tasting it. (815 characters)

Photo of ckollias
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a porter glass.

A: Pours a pitch black hue with a thick, brown, 3-finger head that slowly dissipates down the side glass leaving a nice trail and ending in a solid lace.

S: Great malty aroma with a solid chocolate and coffee overtones.

T: Dark rich ale with a generous sweetness and a roasted malt bitterness. Strong chocolate and coffee overtones, with a nice dark fruit background. Finishes on the dry side.

M: Very strong and boozy. Smooth and silky with a thick body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent Imperial Stout. Doesn't get much better than this. (596 characters)

Photo of MacDomer
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my standard pint glass. This one is about a year and a half old - more due to forgetting that it was there than actually making an attempt to cellar it.

A - Dark tan two-finger head even with a soft pour. Dark as night, but not quite black. Hints of dark chocolate brown around the edges. A light brown, thiner lacing all the way through. Appears very thick.

S - Rich and complex. Coffee, expresso, licorice, and chocolate. A bit of alcohol and very faint hops.

T - Delicious! Complex with many layers of coffee, dark espresso, chocolate bitterness and dark roasted malts. Bitter though the finish with some hops and roasted bitterness, and a bit warming .

M - This is a pretty full beer with moderate carbonation, which really makes it smooth. Finish is very long.

D - Very high! This is great, and it has aged well. (835 characters)

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Sycamore last night, I was pleasently surprised when it was served to me in the appropriate snifter glass.
I didn't take any notes or anything so these are just the broad strokes.

It was basically the same off the tap as it was out of the bottle, except the texture was even more velvety delicious.

Worth trying off the tap, basically the same but a little bit better.
It was so good I just had to pull out a bottle today and review it again. (463 characters)

Photo of Slynger
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with a thick tan head which dissipates quickly.
The nose is strong of unsweetened chocolate first and foremost. Dark fruits and espresso follow closely behind. Piney hops fill this one out.
The taste follows the nose flawlessly. Bitter chocolate, roasted coffee, fig and prune, with a pine / citrus hop finish. Glorious.
The mouthfeel is slick and bordering on creamy.
This is an old classic and the first RIS that I ever tasted. Rock solid, one of my absolute favorites. (491 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Teresa's Next door on Nitro at the Beer Geek brunch, Served chilled in a large snifter

A - Deep black, opaque like a black hole w/ 2 fingers of whipped chocolate mousse for a head.

S- Slight port aroma, deep plum, tobacco, cocoa, vanilla, coffee and caaramel

M - Lots of creaminess in the feel w/ smooth vanilla and spice. Lots of charred malt textures w/ mild sweetness in the finish and mild alcohol accent

T - Bitter cocoa, dark toffee, french pressed french roast coffee, caramel and high amounts of vanilla flavor-earthy bean like elements. A dark brown sugar, molasses and cocoa mix w/ mild caramel, dark plum fruit notes and hints of roasted barley. There is the taste of dark rum as the alchohol is present in the finish, with mild sweetness at around room temp.

D - Well brewed RIS w/ nitro usage I actually enjoyed. I am not normally a fan of the Nitro, but in this stout it is fantastic, Old Rasputin is a top -notch ale any way you cut it. (971 characters)

Photo of dredz_126
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great looking bottle. Bought it using the beer advocate rating system. Pours very beautifully. Has a sweet chocolaty and caramel element in the smell. As far as taste; very smooth, velvety. The high alchohol content is very well hidden. A new favorite indeed! (259 characters)

Photo of MichaelGreene
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is a great beer.

Look like coffee with head, deep rich chocolate colored head. I felt like I was diving into a rich cappuccino, chunky thick head, which dissipated nearly completely, but is still hanging around a little.

Smells like coffee. Has hints of chocolate in the aroma and taste. Roasted flavor. Nice medium carbonation. Good bitter aftertaste that isnt too strong and doesn't stick around for too long after.

Something I really like about this beer, is that it isn't too syrupy, it has a certain dryness while still being thick and deep. I like that.

Overall very drinkable, I look forward to taking a trip up the coast and visiting this brewery later this summer. (690 characters)

Photo of DaliQualiti
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The smell is cocoa pebbles and quality, light roast iced coffee.. with 2 sugars. After the first sip, your mouth feels the way a running fondue fountain looks, coated with flavor and a syrupy smoothness, but unlike a fondue fountain - it dissipates quickly. After a few sips, I noticed the flavor doesn't stick around for long and constantly leaves you craving the next one.

I'm stopping...

Obviously, if youre on this page, you're interested. So do yourself a favor, jump on the boat and give it a whirl. You wont be disappointed! (534 characters)

Photo of jampics2
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A modern day classic. Perhaps the epitome of the style!

A jet-black glass of gold sits infront of me. A huge frothy head never goes away.

Smells amazing. Chocolate, roasted malts, creamy goodness.

Taste is just the bees knees. Sweet chocolate, bitter dark chocolate, roasted malts all mixed in immaculate proportions. Bitterness only accentuates the sweetness. Holy cow, this is so smooth! Rasputin was one of the first RIS's I ever had and, on nitro tap, it's hands down the purest example of perfect RIS flavor and balance I've ever had.

Mouthfeel is milkshake thick, carb (nitro) is perfect. Drinkability is unheard of for this kind of business. (652 characters)

Photo of Telix
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head chalice.

A: Pours a deep rich black, with a nice thick fluffy chocolate tan head after an aggressive pour. Pronounced lacing forms on the glass.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, very aromatic.

T: Creamy, chocolate roastiness with a great sourish sharp hop tang. Milky, creamy texture. The finish has a pronounced roastiness with a balancing sweetness. A bit fruity behind the roast, with some solid sweetness. The balance is quite good, it's very complex and nuanced.

M: Silky smooth, clean, mouth-filling, creamy, great.

D: Super flavorful, incredible mouthfeel, great aromatics, a super solid imperial stout available everywhere at a great price. (700 characters)

Photo of kingcrowing
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a chalice.

Pours a very dark and opaque motor-oil black, very thick and viscuious. The head is small but very creamy and fine. Nose is rich and malty lots of nutty and roasty notes with some very light booze on the finish.

I poured it straight from the fridge, very cold and for this too cold so I'm letting it sit for a bit, I reccomend it. Taste is great, very rich and it's god lots of deep nutty and rich smokey flavors. Burnt coffee and toast are there. Mouthfeel is very rich and full, super creamy one of the best stouts ive had. Much better than the much priced big brother XII (611 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First introduced to this one early on in my beer advocacy, feels good to return to an old friend. Appearance: Pours deep viscous black toned deep purple ruby highlights full tan two finger sized head perfect looking beer, oh so nice with perfect evenly laced foam. Aroma: Deep cocoa, espresso infused, undertones of alcohol infused fruit along with a great bready sweet malt tone this is one awesome imperial stout in my opinion it sets the bar. Taste: Wow complex swirling spiral of flavor alcohol infused fruit, doses of hardcore strong coffee notes, and dark chocolate playing the tie the flavors together predominantly bitter from the dark roasts there are some hops evident in the flavor. Creamy balanced mix of so many flavors works so well, gotta love the Ol' Raspy. Mouthfeel: Full bodied syrupy goodness of massive flavors this is one extraordinary beer, a must try. Drinkability: No questions as to it's placement on the top 50 beer list, this one does it so well remaining amazingly drinkable and flavorful is the key for an Imperial stout not cloying in anyway and you yearn for another one the glass is empty that's what it's all about. (1,149 characters)

Photo of ILOVESTOUTS
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The name and bottle caught my attention immediedately while I was shopping.

The pour on this beer was perfect, with a thin tan head that developed. Once poured, it was completely opaque when held to the light.

The smell was strong with noticable aromas of roasted malt and alcohol.

The taste on this beer is out of this world. It is very complex with coffee and chocolate taste to this stout. At the end the hops come through with a slight bitterness, but not overwhelming.

The mouthfeel on this was the low point of this beer for me. It seemed a little thin. However, a mouthfeel such as this could be considered a strong point in a beer that did not have such a complex taste.

The drinkability of this beer is great in my book. I would not want to drink more than 3 or so. But if you like the style, and don't mind a strong taste of alcohol, then this is an imperial stout to enjoy after a long day. (918 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Oh baby, Old Rasputin is a constant go to. Like flippin' to page 29 in the 1999 Victoria's Secret Winter Catalogue when Raul was 15, "go to."

Now, the Kings just took a 2-0 lead in the first, but Raul was pumped even before that. This bad boy is just splendid. Rich, dark, luscious... (and no, Raul is not talking about Beyonce). I mean, just smooth. Nina Agdal promoting a Cod sandwich for Carl's Jr. "smooth."

Find it my children. Find it good. (448 characters)

Photo of Gryphon69
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz. bottle into the oversized wine glass !

A - A deep dense brown almost black, a beautiful looking drink. A light cocoa colored head with nice lacing that sticks around till gone.

S- Deep malts, chocolate, brown sugar, dark molasses, no fruits, but still a sweetness like dark burnt molasses

T- Much like the smell, deep dark malts right up front, with a brown sugar/ black molasses sweetness in the middle, followed by a slight bitterness like a 75%+ cocoa dark chocolate. Not very much alcohol warmth, there is some but not a lot.

M- Full body, but not overly heavy. Has a very nice smoothness and very little carbonation. Little to zero alcohol warmth.

O- Fantastic beer for the price, I picked up a couple packs after my first taste, this one will be a regular in my beer fridge. Very glad I picked it up and most defiantly recommend to everyone that likes dark beer. (879 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Futile amongst the 2600+ other reviews out there, but I enjoyed this one a shit ton. 341ml bottle into a tulip, enjoyed January 13. Thanks to my girlfriend for picking this one up on the other side of the country.

Poured pitch black, no light could penetrate this. Moderately brown head, with a couple fingers of head leaving behind some reasonable retention and some nice lacing. Aroma is complex, all kinds of chocolate, rich dark fruits, some vanilla sweetness and a slight suggestion of the alcohol. Taste has less chocolate in the nose and a more prominent coffee flavour. Some bitterness as a result of this, with more rich dark fruits in the finish. Great interplay between the bitterness and sweetness. Great mouthfeel and no sense of the alcohol, rapid drinkability allowing me to yearn for more bottles of this! (822 characters)

Photo of Roeters
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pored with a thick creamy head that holds on throughout the beer, Great mix of black beer and light brown foam.

S: Think aroma of dark malts with a slight smell of alcohol to finish it off.

T: Starts with a big kick of malt then mellows more into the flavor of dark malt finished with a great balance of alcohol to finish.

M: Very smooth and creamy

D: I wish I had bought more, I have about finished this one and it is my last. I could drink these the rest of my life. (476 characters)

Photo of Neehan
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured an almost black with a large, cocoa-colored head. It left a nice, interesting retention that clung to the glass for quite a while before slipping back into the mix. A nice taste that combined french roast coffee and chocolate. Exceptionally creamy and smooth taste with the chocolate again and more roasts, but not with an overpowering, burnt taste like many in this genre. A very nice mouthfeel with just the right touch of carbonation. Incredibly drinkable especially considering the alcohol and the fact that it is a strong, Russian Imperial Stout. Fantastic beer, I'll have to have more. (603 characters)

Photo of ReadyFireAim
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice! This is one of the reasons I fell in love with the RIS style!

A - Very dark, nearly black. The head retention on this beer is ridiculous. Kept its head for nearly a full two minutes, then settled nicely to a thin padding of creamy brown goodness. Also note that the head is made up of very tight, small bubbles. This usually signifies a long natural fermentation and conditioning (without the use of adjuncts to spur conditioning)

S - Great, great aromas. Licorice, dark Belgian candi, fruits and esters peeking through (a little bit of banana and lemon rind, maybe); slight hop astringency backed up with the roasty coffee smells you would hope to have in your stouts. Very nice.

T - What can I say? You've just got to bend the knee to this one. Let it wash over you and deliver everything that the aroma promises. Truly fantastic and complex.

M - Pretty nice mouthfeel. A little sticky (which is alright); slight astringency from the alcohol and hop characters.

D - I would give this a 5, but it's a bit too alcoholic to warrant more than two (unless of course you're home - then drink 'til your heart's content). Though for the style, you can't expect much less than 8-9% ABV, so I'm not saying it's wrong. Definitely a sip-and-savor beer. And a damn good one, at that.

For my money, I put this one right behind Sam Smith's RIS, and ahead of Victory's Storm King RIS. Seek and enjoy! (1,403 characters)

Photo of jmbranum
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a wide-mouthed glass

Inky black liquid with a dark inviting tan head

Aroma is full of toastyness, charcoal

The flavor is monstrous. Monstrously bitter, monstrously rich, lots of hops, lots of alcoholic warmth, dark chocolate finish that seems to last forever, with a few notes of cab sav red wine. Lots of espresso like notes, especially in the residual of slight creamyness in the midst of the monstrously massive bitterness.

This beer is very true to style. It is everything I expect from a Russian Imperial Stout and more. (562 characters)

Photo of elmore
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer from the tap at Bodega in Columbus, OH. I have had this beer from the bottle in the past and thought it was great, but it completely blew me away from the tap!!

From the draft into a pint glass in front of me at the bar. The beer was black as tar with a thick, rich, velvety, creamy, tan head. The beer was given to me with about 3-4 inches of head which settled down nicely. Absolutely a beautiful pour - looked like Guiness only this one has some taste. Very rich smell with hints of coffee, burnt malts, toffee - very complex. Rich chocolatey taste with a great creamy mouthfeel and a nice bit of alcoholic burn. Beautiful beer with a taste to match - great from the bottle - excellent from the tap. If you like stouts give this a try. (755 characters)

Photo of climax
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass, this one pours an almost immortal black. The head forms instantly and is about as menacing as Rasputin's mugshot. Slowly the globs of bubbles sink atop the Goodyear black body. For a 9% beer, the head qualities are confounding.

The first thing that actually leaps out of the aroma are leafy hop tones. The earthy character is almost reminiscent of compost, but in a good way. The hop character is a welcome gift to the expected conglomeration of coffee and chocolate, perhaps because I am drinking this one early in it's usable life. The alcohol and astringency are very tame for a beer of this stature. As it warms, more buttery caramel and diacetyls emerge to add a little sweetness to this roasty beast.

In the flavor, earthy bitterness lingers from start to finish. A fleeting burst of sweetness, maybe ripe fruit, comes and goes. It's the dark unsweetened chocolate and coffee qualities that create the intensely dry roasty character that completely defines the beer.

The dry hoppy bitterness, teamed with the dark roasted malt, leaves the palette like the desert wanting the rain. The beer demands to be drank swiftly, even if the gloriously thick body makes you think twice. The carbonation is pretty assertive, keeping it very crisp beginning to end.

Considering the availability and price of this, I'm really hard pressed to imagine there's a better stout out there. If you like them bold, bitter, and dry... drink the 4 pack and light a cop car on fire. (1,498 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nitro tap pour at Barleyhouse poured into a snifter.

(A)- Poured fairly thick and cascaded beautifully into a pitch black color with a milky - white foamy head that stuck around for quite some time. Tons of lacing left behind as it was consumed.

(S)- Rich aromas of roasted malts, coffee, molasses, and mocha. Smooth and sweet smelling.

(T)- A combination of a creamy smooth maltiness and a dry roasted background. Molasses, cocoa, and raisin all over the place.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. So smooth and creamy going down. The Nitro-tapping really created a nice smooth creamy feel to go along with the rich and roasted maltiness of the beer.

(D)- Dangerously drinkable for the style in this form. I could have had this all day during the game. Rich and malty with a creamy smooth center. I love this beer out of the bottle, but Nitro tap might be even better. (882 characters)

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