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

11,064 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,064
Reviews: 3,578
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 452
Gots: 2,152 | FT: 57
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.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,064 | Reviews: 3,578
Photo of DmanGTR
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review from notes on 10/23/09. On tap at MacGregor's.

A - Very dark brown/black with garnet hues in the light. Tan head with excellent lacing and retention. 4.5

S - Lots of roasted malt, caramel, and vanilla. Hint of fruitiness and expresso too. 4.5

T - Hint of blackberry and lots of toasted malt. Caramel and vanilla apparent in the finish. 4.5

M - Medium bodied, extremely smooth. Velvety, yes indeed. 5.0

D - I need this. Now. All frickin night. Sex in my mouth please. 5.0

Photo of tavernjef
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Solid black, black as a moonless night....one finger high head of super lumpy, solid crunchy top, but also looks fluffy and light, tan in color, leaves some spotty lace patches. Smell, dead on, is a great sweet dark chocolatey aroma with notes of dark fruit - banana, starfruit, mango, strawberry, and black cherry all noted. Taste is a swirling light chocolate, sweet and dark smoothness throughout, yum. Nice twinged hops in the finish that brings out just the right bitterness and dryness to say hello kindly and leave you with a smile. Feel is full and creamy with a way easy smoothness that makes this a amazingly drinkable stout. North Coast has a winner here.

Thanks to Feloniousmonk for serving this up. YUM!!!

Photo of msubulldog25
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer twice today, once on-tap at a restaurant (too cold, served in a pint glass), once at home (warmer 12 oz. bottle poured to pint glass). Reviews would be similar, tho at home was the better version: warmer = more taste & aroma.

A: Almost perfectly black, with the faintest hints of copper red at the edges. One finger light tan-colored head. A beautiful stout.

S: Rich coffee and chocolate, grows more intense the warmer the beer gets.

T: The chocolate and coffee are here with a definite lingering sweetness. Heavy bittering hops initially which evolve into the sweeter flavors. Alcohol warming and fruit flavors come out with warming. A decadent group of well-balanced flavors.

M: Medium/full body. Slightly thick & heavy for a stout. Lingering bittersweetness. Mild carbonation.

D: So delicious, worthy of more than one. A sipping beer due to higher abv, but a beer I could (and did) have more than one of.

Photo of benito
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Old Rasputin is a black brew with mahogany highlights around the edges and a complex bouquet that mixes a clear alcohol presence with citrus, brown sugar, and tobacco. It's most pronounced flavor is its smokiness, but this doesn't overwhelm the bittersweet edge, hints of pineapple, alcohol bite, and leathery dryness. The flavors meld together in one of the most drinkable and smooth imperial stouts that I've ever had, with each sip revealing a new hint of flavor and depth.

The fruitiness (which may be an effect of my aging) does detract slightly from the overall heft of the body and the finish is just a little too watery, but the length and mix of flavors as well as the overall smoothness of this brew easily make up for those flaws.

This is a fantastic RIS and a must try beer. No wonder so many BAs before me have found a way to get their hands on this brew.

Photo of scotorum
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought two months ago. Had a tiny sample at the North Coast booth at the Green River Brewfest in Greenfield Mass. in June, and was not impressed. Seemed too harsh. But I bought a bottle to give it a full chance.

Poured into a Samuel Smith English tulip from the 12 oz. bottle.

a: Black with a huge brown head which dissipated slowly to heavy surface foam and extensive lacing.

s: Dark malt

t: Slips right past your lips and then hits the palate with dark ashy caramel malt and bitter hops. High ABV is not evident at first until you realize it's there under the prominent malt cover. Surprisingly dry finish for such a strong stout.

m: Slick and smooth. Lighter than might be expected from the color.

o: Outstanding stout. Sexy mouthfeel, powerful dark malt/hop balance. Probably way better than anything the real Rasputin ever put in his gullet. Would certainly buy a fourpack whenever a good chance arises.
:
UPDATE 3/27/14: As part of my ongoing re-review of my top rated brews, I have another bottle here to check out.

a: same as before, requiring additional pours since I was using a Victory Donnybrook Stout 12 ounce English nonick this time with no extra room for the huge and stubborn tan foam head.

s: The aroma is glorious, strong chocolate and coffee notes in there.

t: Smooth is still prominent, as is black coffee and dark chocolate from the roasty Stout malts. Imperial hop bite is overshadowed by the flavor and smooth texture.

m: Same as before, wouldn't call it lighter than might be expected now, great body and just the right heft.

o: Still wows me. Not changing any rating. One of my top ten brews, and will definitely be a go-to stout.

Photo of Nathaniel4321
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best beers on the planet. I recently had the bourbon barrel aged versions, so good. I sipped and savored. Thick and viscous, great mouth feel, good malt hop balance, chocolate notes, and coffee hints. So good.

Photo of soulgrowl
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Intensely dark burgundy-brown; almost black. Opaque even when held up to the light, with a fiery brick-red glow along the edges. The head is frothy and resilient, its color a dark, coffee-stained, cinnamon-infused beige, very reminiscent of a double capuccino. Overall, the beer would match nicely with a ski lodge.

Smell: Aroma is surprisingly subtle and subdued compared to the beer's visual impact. It is earthy and natural, with campfire-like burnt tones. The bitter combination of chocolate and coffee and sweet overtones of maple trees foreshadow the beer's complicated taste.

Taste: Wonderful! Chocolate and espresso provide the beer's foundation, covered with an intense, burnt-to-perfection malt flavor. Then there is a layer of stewed fruit-and-vegetable sweetness (especially cherries). An undercurrent of almond (specifically amaretto and marzipan) pops up now and then. Lingering finish retains roasty and nutty elements in your mouth for a long time. Amazing! This would go so well with dark wheat toast spread with Nutella, or with any dark chocolate. Might also be good with some kind of flaky pastry, like a Danish, turnover, or kringle.

Mouthfeel: Although the beer is very viscous, it is not as creamy as I expected due to its medium-sized bubbles. Probably for the best, since the lightness helps keep the beer from being too overwhelming. After you swallow and lick your lips, the beer still clings to you.

Drinkability: The high alcohol content and richness of this beer make it something that demands to be drank slowly and deliberately, but the flavor is so enchanting that it wouldn't be hard to knock back more than a few of these between dinner and bedtime.

Photo of Converge
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a 16oz tulip. Here goes my first RIS!

A - Pours with a thick, three-and-a-half-finger head, dark mocha in color. Totally black color for the beer. Probably the darkest beer I've ever seen. Good head retention and fantastic lacing.

S - Tons of roasted malt, rich dark chocolate, and crisp floral hops. I'm actually surprised at how prominent the hops are on the nose.

T - Whoa! Talk about full flavored. Upfront this beer is packed with roasted and burnt malt, espresso bitterness, and subtle but sharp hops. First sip finishes with a thick, warm, roasted bitterness that just assaults the palate. After the initial shock to my taste-buds, this stout shows a sweeter side as well. I can pick out a strong chocolate flavor very easily, as well as notes of dark fruit and molasses. The alcohol is pretty warming, but the actual taste of the booze is masked incredibly well under this barrage of dark flavors. The crisp, floral hops give the finish a clean, almost herbal feel without feeling too astringent for my palate. A touch of brown sugar and caramel is also present near the end. Very well crafted flavor profile here.

M - Heavy body, really viscous with a creaminess to it as well. Decent amount of carbonation as well. Finishes quite dry from all of the bitter flavors present, but not too dry. Warm alcohol presence is also detectable, but certainly doesn't hint to a 9.0% ABV. Towards the end, the feeling even becomes fairly sticky. Strong and full bodied without being too overwhelming. Could have been a bit smoother, however.

D - As mentioned, this beer is my introduction into RIS's, and I definitely enjoyed my first. I must admit I'm not too fond of overly-hoppy beers, and I had my doubts on this one after the hoppy aroma, but the flavor turned out to be very well balanced and carefully crafted. Deceptively easy to drink too, making this one a bit of a sipper for a guy like me. This one really is a monster, but a tasty one at that. I'm happy to have three more bottles sitting around.

Photo of MSchae1017
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was tasted in a imperial pint glass from a bottle.

This beer pours jet black with a creamy tan head that holds amazingly well the whole way down the glass and leaves some impressive lace. The smell is sweet roasted and dark chocolate malts. A very nice very strong flavor. The taste is also great. Fully of dark roasted malts and chocolate malts. There is a great sweetness to this beer which is immediately balanced by some huge bitterness. The mouthfeel is exceptional. This can be described as chewey and creamy. Just fantastic. Overally Highly drinkable. A fantastic RIS.

And as I close I wanted to give you this quote from Seinfeld "The Suicide"

If you named a kid Rasputin do you think that would have a negative effect on his life?

...not in this case

Photo of mcnabb0001
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with Rasputin on the label putting a communist curse on everyone that drinks this.

A - pours jet black with a nice thickness, big tan colored head just rises to the top of the glass and leaves a thick lacing as it dissipates.

S- sweet, coffee, dark chocalate, dark fruit (raisons) actually the sweet alcohol smell stings the nose a little.

T - nice bitterness hits the tongue followed by a blast of coffee and dark chocalate. Sharp sweetness rides the chocalate coffee wave down the throat. Alcohol is definitely present but not overbearing.

M - fulled bodied, thick, and smooth. nicely carbonated for an Imperial with a nice warming affect in the back of throat and in the chest as this one goes down.

D - Rich, smooth, and filling. This Stout is big and boozy. One maybe two are all I need of this Imperial.

Overall this is one of the best I have had it ranks top not sure if I Old Rasputin or BBCS better at this point

Photo of Dhren1979
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage: 2010

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle poured into a Tulip glass.

A: Pours an inky, black w/only the slightest hints of mahagony red at the edges.

S: Coffee. Roasted coffee malts. A hint of bitter hops present irself and is quite welcomed and a surprise.

T: The dry taste of coffe makes itself known right away. Dry roasted malts. A slight bitterness presents itself but quickly disappears.

M: A wonderful coating of my mouth. So smooth and silky...a great sipper.

D: Oh why is this my last one??!! This needs to be in the fridge at all times!!

Photo of DrewV
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle out of my beer fridge at 45 degrees into a Spiegelau Stemmed Pilsner (tulip).

A: Pitch black. Thick 2-finger mocha head sits on top. Dense lacing fills the glass to the brim as the head recedes.

S: Very smooth molasses, toasted coffee, slighty boozy, although still well hidden, not much dark fruit, but you can still get a sense of it.

T: Peppery alcohol bite kicks in up front, then fades rapidly, transitioning into a deep coffee flavor, then finally decays into a bittersweet chocolate mocha finish. Definitely complex and long-lasting. Highest marks here.

M: Medium-high carbonation with plenty of very fine bubbles, which hides the ABV well.

O: Once the initial kick of the spiciness fades, the flavors mellow and reveal themselves in sequence. A fantastic brew that truly deserves its classic status. An unbelievable bargain, to boot, makes this a no-brainer as a stout staple in everyone's beer fridge. Quite possibly my favorite brew to date; I enjoy finishing the evening with this masterpiece.

Photo of montageman
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

When the weather gets cold, there are few beers I enjoy more than Old Rasputin. Big, bold, & intense, but drinkable and balanced. Chocolate & coffee are the dominant flavors - notes of vanilla & black licorice are present as well. A perfect after dinner beer & with 9% ABV the warming qualities make it an ideal winter libation. Highest recommendation.

Photo of HopintheSouth
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Smell of deep chocolate, mocha and smooth oats all blended together. Khaki head that looks like it could float a quarter on top. The mouth feel is unbelievable for a beer with this much ABV and a RIS. Smooth as smooth can get. Taste is superb and very subtle alcohol. By far one of the best RIS I have had...so glad I finally tried it.

Photo of soupyman10
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hard one to grade down, this. Had it on nitro-tap at Meridian Pint in DC when I recognized that it was probably the best thing available, and man was I right. Huge, delicious, creamy beer. Monster thick creamy white head on top of a near-black brew. Beer is huge chocolate, roasted malt, molasses, raisins, and a hint of coffee. Had this beer many a time, but nitro-tap might be the best available option. Will definitely be grabbing it again.

Photo of NickT2121
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - poured into snifter. Poured a dark dark almost burnt motor oil color. With a mocha 1 head with small bubbles. Head diminished quickly. The color was solid black with almost no Amber or Moahagany at the bottom lacing very thick

S - very malty chocolate notes, plum, brown sugar, boozey scent, vanilla, coffee, burnt grains. Very complex and amazing smells

T - Roasted malts upfront with a chocolate coffee taste on the end with caramel sweetness. So goood. The finishing taste changes to me. I get vanilla one sip, caramel the other, malt and coffee the other

M - thick silky creamy feel very heavy. This Stout is very bubbly.

O - this imperial Stout is a sipper and is very good. The flavors are always changing on my palate and always amazed by every sip. The only thing not making it perfect was the carbonation it was overwhelming at first but after letting it sit for a bit the flavors busted and the carbonation died down.. Great stout

Enjoy

Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark plum; clear with burgundy highlights. The light brown head is dense and creamy, rising to nearly three fingers and retaining well. The lacing will coat the glass. Dark fruits in the nose like raisins and dates. Strong bakers chocolate aroma and some fusel vapors as it warms to room temp. A hint of coffee to top off the complex aroma; but not much in the way of hops or roasted notes. The roasted barley becomes very evident in the initial taste, with a slight black patent twang. Unsweetened chocolate and faint spicy hop aftertaste mellow out the strong sweet flavor. Dark fruity alcohol is apperent in the finish, but there is enough residual sweet to hide the fusels and retain a silky mouthfeel. The thick body and low carbonation highlight an excellent balance of bold flavor and smooth mouthfeel of this nearly perfect Russian Imperial stout.

Photo of Mistofminn
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle. Old Rasputin looks evil as he stares into your soul (at least that's what it feels like). I almost feel as though I'm not judging the beer, but Old Rasputin is judging me....

Bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours black as night, producing a thick and creamy brown head. 1 finger head dissipates quicker than I expected. Absolutely no idea if there is any kind of carbonation going on, I can't see a damn thing! Leaves decent lacing.

The aroma is heavy on bitter chocolate, but there is also a sweetness. A light coffee smell goes along with a roasted barley character. Little in the way of bitterness, save the bakers chocolate.

Old Rasputin hits my lips...fireworks! Holy mackerel! This symphony hits my taste buds and explodes into something so complex it's almost beyond words. At first I thought the chocolate was the dominant flavor, then the next sip I was convinced it was the coffee. Now, I'm certain it's the roasted character, but then again, maybe it's the warming alcohol. One thing is sure, the aroma, while very impressive in itself, doesn't do this flavor profile justice, in my opinion.

Very very creamy and smooth. Definitely a sipper, but something you want to keep sipping on. The alcohol does show itself, and has a friendly warming presence. What a great beer, I can't believe I passed it up on the shelves all those times. That definitely won't be happening again!

Photo of MisterStout
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The technical reviews below make it plainly obvious that this is an exceptional RIS. A few comments, though:

The first thing I noticed other than the midnight color and the very substantial head was the smell. Sniff it, and your nose tells your palate to pucker up. I started drinking mine pretty cold, then let it stand for a few minutes to warm up. As it warms, the burnt malt gives way (slightly) for the bitter chocolate to intensify. About halfway through the glass, you really begin to appreciate the lace--an intricate spider web made of creamy goodness.

I love this stuff.

Photo of sjambok1
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aah, before I get to the actual review, let me say finding this brew has been one of the high points of my beer drinking experiences. It's hard to beat something thats this good.

A: Dark as cole, poured with a two finger head of dark brown, like treebark.

S: Strong, nutty, with plenty of hops and a hint of coffe.

T: Strong as any stout I've ever had, close to perfect. Tastes of coffe, hops and a very earthy taste.

MF: Excellent. Smooth and full

D: Great, but strong. Good beer for occasions, but if I were to be drinking more than 2, Id have drink Red Seal

Photo of JGuzzle
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a nitro tap into a tulip glass which I understand is the ultimate way to enjoy this brew.

A - Deep black in color, completely opaque. Beautiful 3/4 inch of foamy caramel colored head sitting on top which persists throughout the consumption (it shrinks but was there to the last sip). Tiny caramel colored nitrogen bubbles persistently rise from the bottom of the glass every time it is picked up and put down. The appearance is truly a spectacle.

S - Roasted malts and hints of cocoa.

T - Some sweet maltiness in the front end. Very faint amount of hops tasted in the finish. The 9% alcohol is masked very well. I get some hints of cocoa as well.

M - Velvety smooth. If you manage to get some of the head on its own it can almost feel like a milkshake. Light carbonation, great full body.

O - This might be one of the greatest beer experiences I've ever had. Certainly the best stout. If you find this on a nitro tap somewhere, do not pass it up.

Photo of flyingvrod
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle to a nice two finger light brown head that slowly falls to a quarter of an inch with good lacing and black as pitch

the smell is earthy with the bold malt and coffee

the taste is not as strong as some other stouts but so well balanced without a burnt or overpowering chocolate as some have the hops are at the back of this one quite subtle the abv is hidden almost too well

the mouthfeel is great nice and crisp without coating the pallette carbonation is just right not flat at all like others

this stout is one of the best i have ever had i could drink this more than a few times a week excellent beer!

Photo of timtheenchanta
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with a large tan colored tightly bubbled head. Thick sticky lacing. TREMENDOUS coffee smell. Lots of roasted malt. Heavy roasted malt and ample alcohol taste. Jet black coffee taste. Slight hop balance in the finish. An overall great impy stout. This is a beer you should pick up if you get a chance.

Photo of t3hcho53non3
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark black color with a good one fingered head that quickly subsides but leaves supple lacing throughout the glass.

S: Malty sweetness, bready, roasted oak

T: Very rich earthy flavor that goes down remarkably smooth and at the end of the palate a roastiness that ends on a dry note

M: Very full bodied with little to no carbonation

D: Very drinkable and the evolution of this brew warrants a second go around.

Photo of cktison
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

scary as hell bottle into a pint glass.
a) dark, but not that dark, no light through, but mahogany on the edges. creamy, frothy, fluffy head that clings to the glass. it looks serious...
s) chocolate espresso. cinnamon hints. bit of tartness from the alcohol.
t) here's where that chocolate gets you. its like drinking desert. but still, the hopiness is there, a bit of citrus on the front of the mouth. warms to more fruitness - a chocolate covered raspberry of a beer if there was one. delicious.
m) the natural carbonation balances out the tremendous power of the beer, nice and creamy, but not heavy. finishes clean and dry.

this is a really, really great imperial stout. what a beer for a dark, cold, winter night by the fire.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 11,064 ratings.