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

3,494 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,494
Hads: 11,145
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 465
Gots: 2,199 | 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: 3,494 | Hads: 11,145
Photo of chicagoabbot
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well they finally made a beer as black as the devil's soul and it's quite simply tops. It's 6 degrees outside tonight and the floor of my basement keeps Old Rasputin at the perfect drinking temperature. You can usually find a few of these in my fridge even in the summer, really wonderful. I love Samuel Smith's RIS and other examples of the style, but Old Rasp is the one I always seem to grab off the shelf. (409 characters)

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

Poured into a mug from a Nitro Tap at Hollingshead yesterday.

The North Coast Old Rasputin pours a pitch black in the mug with a very thick (almost like a chocolate milkshake) froth that cascades for almost 2 minutes! Needless to say, the beer had amazing head retention & beautiful lacing. The nose is pronounced, yet subtle & inviting with aromas of chocolate, mocha, vanilla, caramel, espresso, molasses, mild hop resin, & a mild alcohol sent that follows through on the palate. The beer has a full, yet extremely creamy body, smooth hop bitterness (more like a drying sensation), and long finish. In the past, I have thoroughly enjoyed this beer & must admit that this is one of my favorite beers. However, the beer gets even better from the nitro tap! Highest Recommendation! (781 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Kind of weird to be reviewing a beer at 4am but I'm still fully awake so why not?

Pours a pitch black color with a nice, brown one-finger head. Definitely right for the style.

The aroma is thick and roasty with a hint of chocolate and dark fruits. Somewhat creamy as well.

Taste is very roasty with hints of chocolate, coffee and dark fruits. Smooth and creamy and it finishes with a decent amount of bitterness at the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel is bitterness followed by creamy chocolate. Very smooth. Does not overpower.

I think this is a very drinkable Imperial Stout. I was expecting it to be harsh because there's no way to tell how old it is. However, that isn't the case. I better pick up some more to age while it's still available. As for personal preferences, it does have that creaminess in the mouthfeel that I desire and a good balance of roasted malt and hops. Excellent. (894 characters)

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

Pours black as night with a dense fine head that is a dark khaki. Really exceptional looking beer.

It has a smell of espresso, dark roasted malt, and bitter hops- really great.

Great long flavor of roasted malt, coffee, followed by a stinging bitterness with a long, long finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy, maybe a little overcarbonated and a little too light in body. The alcohol is very well hidden despite all that.

Very drinkable. I'm a sucker for anything with a long bitter finish and some complexity. If the body were a little heftier, this would be a 5 as well. I've enjoyed this beer for many years in bottles and on tap, and I think its still kickin. (666 characters)

Photo of jhughes23
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Bottle Poured into a 16oz. Tulip Glass

Pours a Dark Black, almost motor oil black but not quite. Starts with a nice thick mocha colored head that dissipates down to a decent thin layer on top. Laces nicely throughout.

The Aroma is definitely of dark chocolates and roasted malts and coffee. The Roasted Malts seems most prominent with a hint of vanilla.

The Flavor is very dry and bitter upfront mellowing out with a roasted chocolate and vanilla. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, but there are RIS out there that have a smoother mouthfeel. The alcohol is prominent but not as much as you would expect. Over time this will calm down and the mouthfeel will improve.

Definitely a sipper that has many more layers as it warms up.

By far in my top 5 RIS. But it has to be #1 if you factor in the Price.

I would be hard pressed to find a better best buy than this one. (875 characters)

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

I had heard great things about this beer, and after finding a great new local distributor, I bought some.

Beer pours black, with a 2cm head that looks almost reddish. Looks delicious already! Lacing is pretty evident as the beer goes down.

The smell is very complex, with strong coffee and fruity scents most prevalent.

When sipped, mouth is overcome by a citrus-like flavor, followed by chocalates. Aftertaste is a strong coffee/mocha flavor. Lots of sweet flavors. Delicious!

Slightly heavy on the mouth, but that is to be expected when drinking a strong stoudt.

All in all, my new favorite beer. But don't have too many, in fact, one is probably sufficient. Drink this one at the end of the day. ABV is a little high, and having 3 of these would keep you out of the drivers seat.

Anyways, I only have one word to describe this: Excellent! (863 characters)

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

This is my first review here, and I am a relative beer novice (I used to prefer wine). That was until I had my first taste of Old Rasputin. This beer has introduced me to the wonderful complexity and taste of craft beers.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, it appears pitch black. A wonderful, toffee colored head develops about two finger widths thick, and dissipates into a creamy top that lingers to the last drop.

Smells of chocolate and malt. Taste is much of the same with a slight hazelnutty, biscutty taste in there as well. Not much in the way of hops, but I prefer the malt taste anyway.

Mouthfeel is medium, definitely not thin, but not syrupy either. Just right imo. You don't really notice the alcohol so much in the taste, but it sneaks up on you a little bit and leaves you with a nice warm relaxed feeling. (839 characters)

Photo of Mario61Aler
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow!

Where to begin?

A- as black as it gets with a 2" head that is a rich milk chocolate color that fades to a nice lace rim that is still there 5 minutes after the pour!

S- Chocolate malt cream complex yummy waiting to taste it.

T- deep rich malts that fade to choclate, hardly any alcohol taste at all. This could spell trouble in the overall category.

M- wow and wow again soft and velvety clean at the end with a standing taste left over that begs for more.

O- This is a sipper for sure, 9% ABV, and finishes clean, rich and warm. Its like being wrapped in a soft blanket on a chily spring night. No flowers here just GREAT BEER! (640 characters)

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

Let me start by saying this is one of my favorite RIS.

A. This beer looks just like it should dark brown with red tints when held to a light. the head is perfect .
S. just like a RIS should smell rich
T. it is perfectly balanced with just enough taste but not overly complexed.
M . this is the only place this beer will let you down. t is a bit thin in the mouth,
O. this beer is hands down one of the best RIS you will ever taste. the best part is you can get it just about anywhere in the US and all year round. The price is right as well, under priced for the quality of this beer. (586 characters)

Photo of messyhair42
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: poured into a Boulevard snifter. Very dark ruby with three fingers of head that quickly fade into a thin lacing.

S: Caramelized sugar, dark chocolate, and grilled meats

T: Roasty, chocolate. This beer has a lot of hops among RIS but the balance of malty to bitter is so well maintained that the hops don't have a flavor so much as add to the whole experience. The 9% alcohol is completely masked, if I didn't know better I'd session this beer.

M: Not sticking to the roof of my mouth, but the flavor says it could be. lots of bubbles.

O: Fantastic, the best example of a RIS I've ever had. also very affordable for the RIS category. This beer is a treat as much as it is a beer that I could enjoy everyday. (713 characters)

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

Appearance: Black as night with a thick, creamy, brown head that retains as a quarter-inch layer leaving patchy lace.

Smell: Strong roasted aromas of chocolate and coffee as well as some hops.

Taste: There are nice flavors of chocolate throughout, as well as some tart fruitiness. The finish is roasted with notes of coffee as well as some hops.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and creamy with low to moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a high alcohol RIS, but I definitely wanted more when I finished the bottle. (521 characters)

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

Aroma from the opening of the bottle: smokey, black licorice, sweet malts

Aroma after the pour: coffee, molasses

Old Rasputin pours into a tall pils glass with a gigantic, thick, dark-tan head; settles back to 2+ fingers in a minute. The body of the beer is black coffee, impervious to light.

The taste begins sweet and malty; delicious coffee and molasses notes follow, and a bit of a bitter chocolate kick.

The mouthfeel is superb; medium gravity, moderate carbonation, extremely palate-friendly.

Old Rasputin brings a 9% abv and masks the alcohol very well. It's a delicious, very drinkable RIS.

This is one hell of an impressive brew! (646 characters)

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

Got this at a local grocery, in a 4pk of 12-oz. bottles. Not cheap.

This beer? This is the bad-ass that Rasputin was. It completely lives up to its name. Poisoned, shot multiple times and stuffed down an ice-hole into a freezing river... that's what it took to kill Rasputin, the mad monk.

This sucker pours black as night and thickish, not a lot of carbonation that I could see or taste. Tan rocky head for days, and lasting; some lace. Smells like dark chocolate and coffee and dark roasty malt, strong and black. Black like the pit of Hades that Rasputin probably occupies now...

Taste? This sucker is not hiding the fact that it's strong on the alky. Oh no. No Belgian deception for Rasputin. It's bad and strong and dark.. this is Mike Tyson in a bottle. Chocolate and coffee and the usual stout suspects, only magnified and amped. Only sessionable if you're over 6 feet tall and about 200+ pounds. Otherwise? Do so at your own risk. It'll go down, because it's stoutily-smooth, but BEWARE.

(I did like this, but am in awe of its strength. This is one to respect, for sure. And enjoy, AND bless the beer-gods for.) (1,123 characters)

Photo of techdiver
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Minimal head and carbonation. Smell and taste place it high as being a drinkable brew. Though lack of carbonation has left me critical of some other stouts, it is a non-issue here as I really didn't miss it. Once again I seem to have made a proper choice in that I have a whole case of this to enjoy. (300 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into New Belgium globe

A: Dark as a moonless night. No light passes through whatsoever, just how a proper stout should be. An aggressive pour yields a healthy amount of frothy brown head that fades, but laces nicely.

S: I get a lot of dark chocolate, some coffee, and a nice almost fruity sweetness. A little booze comes out at is warms.

T: Deep dark chocolate and coffee, perfect amount of bitterness to balance the sweetness. Delicious!

M: Body more on the heavy side, but smooth and creamy.

O: I'm spoiled to have this regularly available in my area. Excellent example of the style. (600 characters)

Photo of exitor
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured almost pitch black, with a caramel color shining through at the bottom.

S - Amazing - A raspberry fudge sundae with hints of coffee.

T - Same flavors as it smelled, with more emphasis on the coffee. Finished slightly bitter.

M - Nice balance of carbonation and smoothness, almost creamy.

D - So drinkable, especially for a beer this thick. Could even be a daily drinker. (394 characters)

Photo of grittybrews
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I haven't reviewed this yet?! Poured a syrupy black into a Duvel tulip with an inch of dark tan head that receded fairly quickly. Very nice roasty aroma of chocolate and coffee.

Slightly high carbonation balances a creamy, full mouthfeel. Intense flavors of sweet molasses and black licorice followed by lingering coffee, tobacco, and dark chocolate on the dry, slightly bitter finish. ABV well-hidden, emerging slightly as the beer warms.

A wonderful stout that I've enjoyed many times. (489 characters)

Photo of MadScientist
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A black beer with a cream, persistent light brown head that leave lacing on the glass.

S: The strong, rich aroma of dark roasted grains and unsweetened chocolate dominate the aroma with and underling aroma of prunes and alcohol. There is a moderate citrus hops aroma.

T: Again a rich roasted malt and alcohol dominate backed up by flavors of roasted coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate and a dark fruity ester mainly of plums. There is a moderate hop bitterness with the balance being bitter and roasted. There is some malt sweetness mid-palate but it is overtaken by a hops and dark grain bitterness with unsweetened chocolate and roastiness lingering into the aftertaste.

M: A silk, smooth and creamy full bodied beer with moderately-light carbonation. There isn't as much warmth as the nose suggests but it is definitely there.

O: Dessert in a glass at least for me it is but there isn't much sweetness which suits me fine. A beer that highlights dark, rich roasted malt, alcohol with hints of chocolate and coffee. (1,026 characters)

Photo of Raven3464
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Old Rasputin has a beautiful pitch black body and pours a two inch brown, foamy head.

Smell: Sweet roasted malts, dark coffee beans, bitter chocolate, and a pinch of alcohol are all apparent.

Taste: Flavors and then more flavors! The taste cycles among flavors of sweet roasted malts, bitter chocolate, coffee, and some kind of dark fruit, almost like raisins. This is probably the most complex stout I've ever tasted and yet so smooth. There is a slight burn from the alcohol in the aftertaste, which just adds to the complexity in my opinion.

Mouth feel: The beer feels creamy and heavy, just like a stout should.

Overall: Once again, this is a complex, flavorful stout. I was expecting it to be good, but not this good. (740 characters)

Photo of bowersdm
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first Russian Imperial Stout and it's still my favorite.

A - Black as black can be. A small head appeared and stayed. It wasn't a great head, though.

S - chocolate, dark and semisweet, alcohol, roasted malt, oh and alcohol.

T - chocolate (both of the aforementioned styles) and some coffee that wasn't noticeable on the nose, noticeable but not unpleasant burn of alcohol, and a lingering bitter finish, but not overly bitter.

M - great. thick and creamy. I can only imagine how orgasmic this would be on nitro-tap.

D - the pronounced alcohol taste puts a damper on putting a few of these down. It's a very flavorful and basically amazing beer. The only drawback is the fact that the taste lingers for quite a while (around an hour, or at least it did with me.)

Great beer. Drink it. now. (807 characters)

Photo of SaltyLime
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - it's a Russian Imperial Stout, if you don't already know how nice these look, you better go out and get one!

Smell - Robust malts and solid presence of alcohol.

Taste - I was holding the bottle up to read while I sipped this from a pint glass at a friend's house. Then I felt the beer punch me in the face. I had a couple of other much larger bottles on standby to drink after this one and mistakingly made the bad correlation of little bottle / little beer.Do not make the same mistake. This had a quality mix of ingredients. Two big swigs and I already started to wobble. My alibi is that we were hauling rocks for a landscaping project.

Mouthfeel - Solid. Nice thickness. Left a film of flavors inside my mouth. Not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing. But I wasn't trying to suck it off my tongue like when you get something too yeasty.

Drinkability - This is becoming my favorite, but I can't drink too many at a time. Respect it, I think Rasputin would have.

Scores edited after going home and trying this beer with a little more energy. (1,079 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well well the famous Old Rasputin has finally hit my area! Lets see if it backs up the hype

A - Wow decent head for an imperial. Motor oil looking goodness.
S - Chocolate and Carmel malts.
T - Bitter coffee hit first but smooth to a chocolate taste.
M - End is not as bitter as expected. Alcohol warms the belly.
D - Four pack anyone? As one of the oldest imperial company's I ever had this beer is a keeper. Will squeeze in a bottle every now and again. (456 characters)

Photo of geexploitation
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours black as coal with a rich dark tan head. Huge aroma of roasted malt, burnt chocolate and even a bit of toffee. It's an intimidating smell, and portends that the beer will be big tasting... as it turns out to be. "Big" doesn't say it, though: more like humongous. First it's bitterness from the malt (and, I assume, some hops), with tons of espresso. Then the palate shifts forward in the mouth for some coffee and even a bit of fruit (dried strawberries?). The finish is long and active, with an alcoholic burn and malt bitterness left over at the back of the mouth. With all this, you might think that this beer would be a bit rough on the palate, but that's not the case. It's no oatmeal stout, but given the massive flavors and roasted malt presence, this beer glides through the mouth rather well.

Overall: a huge, wonderful beer that will knock your socks off. Instead of Rasputin, call it the Big Jim Slade of beers. (944 characters)

Photo of stjarnflikka
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a thick, chocolate coloured foam that stays for some time. Some carbonation running along the edges of the glass.

Smell comes on quite malty. Sweet fruit traces are present together with some sourness and chocolate. Nice alcoholic presence together with raspberries and black currant perhaps. Some hops present here aswell, perhaps grapefruit in there aswell. Dont know, just great smell on this.

Runs over tastebuds with quite so much burned malts. Chocolate mixed with coffee tones in faintly leaving place for sweet and harsh traces lifted by carbonation. Nice, fruity taste with a bitter harsh aftertaste give a nice bitter aftertaste with a warming alcoholic prescence. Sweet, yet burned and rough. Excellently balanced in there.

Really pleasant brew this rasputin. truly a masterpiece in a bottle, just missing some of that harshness and burned flavour (this is after all an imperial). Thats just being a pain in the ass though, wonderful brew, wonderful stout. (997 characters)

Photo of happygnome
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: pours a deep dark black color with about a quarter inch of toffee tan head that doesnt dissapear but leaves a good amount of lacing around the edge of the glass as the level of beer in the glass falls with every sip.
s: roasted malts, sweet cocoa aroma mixed with a strong coffe smell. there is a subtle hint of alcohol in the nose
t: strong flavor of roasted malts, cocoa flavor is storong as is the coffee flavor. hints of alcohol can be detected in the flavor
m: full bodied beer with little carbonatoin

overall, wow i loved this, if it wasnt so expensive (about $2.50/bottle i believe) id have it in my fridge more often deffinatly a very solid brew (658 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,494 ratings.