Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

10,387 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,387
Reviews: 3,402
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 357
Gots: 1,587 | 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: 10,387 | Reviews: 3,402 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bluecoat
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As far as stouts go, this is pretty good. Hopped up but not too much for my taste. Hops are mild and spicy, but not overpowering. As for the malt, it has notes of anise, espresso, and mollases. Very well balanced as far as stouts go. Very drinkable, even if it's not my favorite.

Photo of genog
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Third pint at Bodega, and I was starting to feel good!

Pours a rich, deep, dark opaque black color with a cascading tan head that flows from the bottom to the top creating an illusion like a lava lamp. In my slowly deteriorating state I was memorized watching this take place. Smell is of roasted malt, milk chocolate, a cup of cappuccino too. Taste is of chocolate and smokeyness. This one is absolutely smooth and delicious. I only gave it a 4 for drink ability because it was so rich I had trouble toward the end of the glass. If it was only a 12 oz taste I might have had an easier time.

Photo of bnes09
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesone ink black color. Huge, frothy tan head which will not quit. Layers the glass in copious lacing.

Huge aroma of coffee, bourbon, and delicate balance of herbal hop. Very intriguing.

Hops are incredibly high in this one. Lots of citric and herbal flavors. Massive roasted coffee flavor fights with the hops for dominance. Hint of bourbon whiskey flavor hits the tongue. Alcohol is highly disguised.

Medium, somewhat full body. Fairly low carbonation, yet fitting for the style. Smooth.

This is an excellent example of a well crafted Russian imperial. Extremely tasty and complex. Hoppier than most others I have tried.

Photo of hophead247
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick black with a nice light brown head. good lacing. light only gets through around the edges. aroma salty espresso and toffee with a hint of alcohol. Flavor sweet salted toffee with a hint of bitter espresso and some acidity. Beautiful transition into a great finish. Bitter espresso dry slightly acidic and salty with just a hint of sweetness and just enough alcohol to add a nice warm touch. Full bodied. Carbonation seemed to be just a little too much when i first opened this one but after fifteen minutes or so it settles down to a nice creamy texture. One of the first imperial stouts i had and still one of the best. I forgot how good this beer is.

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a heavenly black heavy brew with a half inch bubble head that subsides to a thin covering. Aromas carry that dark roasted smell paired with some dark chocolate and a good deal of alcohol. Texture isn't all to heavy and high carbonation brings down the mouthfeel and drinkability a bit. I enjoy these heavier beers with a bit less. Anyway, flavors are particularly drying and hoppy towards the end with the carbonation and alcohol both making quite a sting. I really enjoy the roasted flavors, I just wish the bubbliness would be decreased as well as the body increase.

Photo of Fish113d
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pouring into a tulip glass from a bottle a bit chilled, it pours a black color with a brown, dense 1/4" surface layer that sat on top of the brew for most of the tasting.

Aroma leads on a bit of black liquorice (sp.); roasty chocolate aromas also are prominent. A decent amount of alcohol hits my sinuses as well. A slight oak aroma also.

Sipping, it reveals a lot of roasty nuttiness (almonds) w/ dark baker's chocolate. Lots of coffee w/ a dry oak barrel flavor also seems to come across my palate. On the finish, I sense a bit of the black liquorice flavor i was smelling just a few minutes earlier.

Mouthfeel is overall, nicely balanced. Carbonation is nice; very drying finish. A bit of alcohol on my palate; huge body!

Overall, the hype around this one is well deserved. At 9%, I know I can't drink as much as I'd like to, but this is a great sipping brew!

Photo of SuperSpy
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is pitch black with a short but thick brown head.

There are lots of deep, dark roasted aromas as well as enough alcohol to burn the nostrils just a little. Nothing sweet, nothing fruity, this thing just smells big, roasted and evil. I like it.

Definitely a big beer. All of that roast from the aroma is there but I also taste espresso, peppery spices and the alcohol warms the throat all the way down. It finishes sweeter than the aroma would suggest, but it's delicious.

This is one damned good beer.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[review from notes taken 09/17/10]

on tap @ deep ellum, allston (boston) MA.

appearance is a dark, opaque brown/borderline black w/ a solid two-finger mocha-toned head. nice retention and lacing. great looking stout.

aroma is heavy with roasted malts; notes of coffee and chocolate as well, with the slightest suggestion of hops. nose is substantiated by the flavor profile with the roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee pulling through in that order. again, very faint but perceptible hop presence. tasty brew, easily an upper tier RIS, though IMO doesn't quite distinguish itself enough to rival the best of the best.

smooth, velvety moutfeel; moderately carbed. decent drinkability, as far as russian imperial stouts go. you won't find a better beer for your money.

Photo of Luchman
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black body with a 1 1/2 finger, light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving great lacing on the sides and clumps on the top.

S: Roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate hit the nose first. Some light hops, alcohol, molasses, and slight burnt grain are there as well. Smells pretty darn good.

T: Matches smell, but only better. Great coffee/roasted malts, graininess, definitely chocolate, some dark fruits (plums, currents, etc.) and some nice hops to add to it. Some boozy alcohol is there that increases as the temperature rises. Has a dry finish. Damn... This stuff is better than I remembered.

M: Fits it nicely. Medium/full body with medium carbonation that goes done as easy as can be!

D: Not bad... Not bad at all. A very good tasting stout that I once thought to be over rated. Alcohol booziness gets there a tad bit in the end, which no doubt they intended it that way, but lowers my drinkability rating a .5.

Photo of greengorilla
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer in a pint glass poured from a bottle at the Galley in Marietta.

It is black and looks thick as it pours. It has an incredible 2 to 3 fingers of thick beige head, with great lacing.

It smells great. It has a great combination of chocolate and roasted coffee.

The taste is good, not quite what I expected from the smell. The roasted coffee flavor comes through along with a little burn from the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is good and it is real drinkable for the high alcohol content. I definitely enjoyed this beer and would be happy to have it again.

Photo of smooth_aleing
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter glass.

Wonderful R.I.S.

A= Rich, deep brown, almost black. Decent head, though could be thicker. Lacing is nice throughout a pretty large snifter glass.

S= Wonderful nose. Deep chocolates, coffee, cherry and coffee liquor. Sweetness lingering throughout the nose, perhaps cherry.

T= Deep chocolate and espresso. Caramelized grain and hops. Rich, lasting sweetness with mild bitterness and, again, liquor taste.

M= Only average. Prefer the mouth-feel to Guinness, Nitro Milk Stout, etc. But not bad nonetheless.

O= A great imperial stout. A little boozy, but flavorful and complex, with deep, robust coffee and chocolate undertones. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of mentor
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle picked up during travels sometime in 2004, cellared for about a year, and consumed in June 2005. Pours a half-finger brown head over a nearly clear dark brown/ruby red liquid. Smells or alcohol, cofee, chocolate and licorice. Not in my face alcohol, it's a gentle stingy alcohol that supports the other scents. Tastes thick dark sweet. Chocolate is strong and over the nice rich roasty. Like a chocolate coffee desert. The potent chocolate is almost like a syrupy chocolate, like you would pour over vanilla ice cream, but it's not a cheap chocolate. It's a really rich chocolate, like you would get from a reputable foreign producer The alcohol plays with it nicely to make a rummy taste that has raisin and plum characteristics. In later sips, as the beer warmed, a strong toffee made itself evident. The creamy thick mouthfeel really adds to the character of this beer. Carbonation is mild, but forms an interesting acrid sting that negotiates with the rich sweet and reinforces the tinge of alcohol burn.

Photo of sliverX
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes drank on 3-17-09
Poured a used motor oil like color, a mocha head that faded fast but left some lacing
Smell was deep dark roasted barley and some coffee
Taste was big roasted coffee and barley with a nice hop bitterness and alcohol presence in the finish
Mouthfeel was over carbonated and a bit to thin for my preferences but not terrible
Drinkability was good but having more than one of these would have shot me for the night...

Photo of LuthersMug
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Silky smooth dark black pour. Rich and creamy chocolate head. Wonderful lacing.

S - Fresh bitter chocolate with a bit of toasted malt.

T - Toasted malts, a bit of cocoa.

M - This beer is very smooth and fresh, feels like liquid chocolate. Very filling.

O - A very tasty stout, very enjoyable.

Photo of BMan1113VR
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little bit disappointed by this one, good beer, but I find the reputation to be better than the actual product. Pours the standard Imperial black, with a large creamy head and excellent lacing (could see every sip taken). Aroma is strong malts with some light piney hops and even a bit of clove. Taste is of bitter coffee grounds. It has an exceptionally long after taste, with a slightly warming alcoholic finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and the carbonation is flat. As for the super stouts I feel that this is a good product, but nothing compared to Great Divide's Yeti. Still good, and that is coming from a non-Stout drinker.

Photo of charlesbyrd
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: This beer is pretty much jet black, with minimal signs of carbonation. I struggled to get much of a head, maybe because I poured it too carefully, but what I got was a nice caramel brown.

S: I get alot of charred malt aroma, with vague hints of unsweetened chocolate. The coffee is definitely there, too. This is what I imagined it would be like, and it smells great.

T: OK, I must admit that this is only my second ever RIS (I've also had the one from Stone), so I didn't quite know what I was looking for. There is an immediate black coffee/dark chocolate taste, accompanied by a related bitterness. However, the bitterness doesn't stick around for long, only on the edges of the tongue. It is followed with a mild malty sweetness. It's interesting how the different tastes seem to move around your mouth.

M: I am surprised by the amount of carbonation here. I was expecting something a little flatter and heavier. I'd say it's got a medium body that gives way to an oily texture accompanying the aftertaste. Not quite what I had in mind for a beer this powerful.

D: I thoroughly enjoyed this beer, even though some of the elements surprised me. If I hadn't known this was 9% ABV, you wouldn't be able to convince me; the alcohol is hidden behind all the other flavors, and it goes down so smoothly. Other brewers need to try this and take note.

Photo of jagoffyinzer
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black with a thick head that dissipates to a thin layer. Great lacing on the edges and good head retention though it slowly fades as you drink. Carbonation is right on for the style.

S: A nice malty chocolate hits your nose and dances with some vanilla and alcohol. Also getting some roast and coffee notes.

T: Greeted with a vibrant roast flavor with a bitter back bone. Some alcohol notes on the finish. The roast flavor also plays counter part to some underlying chocolate.

M: This is initially very creamy and smooth but the finish is quite dry, almost too dry.

D: It is pretty hefty but this an Imperial Stout, it's not made to session. For the ABV it's not upfront and in your face like it is with some other beers of this style. It is masked very well with the roast aroma and flavor, it sticks out where it should.

Photo of kevinsane
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first experience with a stout was a Guinness which I did not particularly enjoy. This beer however, Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, has completely changed my opinion in regards to the Stout category.

Appearance : Poured a deep robust black/brown color with around a centimeter and half of thick tan head, which as it emptied, left several dense layers of foam.

Smell : A rich melody of chocolate, coffee and what I assume was the residuals of alcohol. Simple, yet very enjoyable.

Taste : A sophisticated yet conservative mix of chocolate, black coffee and possibly toffee? It's taste is mysterious yet familiar and is one of my favorite aspects of this beer.

Mouth : The first sips are in my opinion the most enjoyable. The thick foamy head acts as an appetizer to an entirely delicious dark beer , combined with a sturdy 9% alch by vol rating which leaves nothing to be desired.

Overall : It may seem as though I am gushing over this beer and frankly that is because I am. It was thoroughly enjoyable from the first to last sip, and I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially on a cold night.

Cheers

Photo of William85
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I've had this beer a few times before in the bottle, so I was excited to see it on nitro-tap at a nearby barbecue join (bitterroot in Ballard).

Wow. The flavors in this beer are amazing -- lush chocolate and coffee notes stand out, supported by a fairly intense hop layer. I recall being just as impressed by the flavors with the regular bottle version of Old Rasputin, but the nitro definitely adds a lot to the experience.

The beautiful 2-finger head at the top of my pour was amazingly substantial -- almost completely unaffected by my first couple of sips -- and the texture of this beer is correspondingly creamy/velvety, leaving a pristine lacing trail all the way down the glass.

This is a great beer, as all of the other reviews proclaim, I would heartily recommend the nitro-tap version.

Photo of satowns
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind with 13 other imperial stouts.

pours black with a very dark brown head.

Molasses, chocolate and roasted malt invigorate the olfactory.

wonderful hop flavors and a roasty bitterness balance a nice alcohol warmth.

big chewy body.

a VERY enjoyable beer. one of the top picks for the night.

Photo of robbrandes
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle

nearly black in color; tight, brown head; good, not great retention.

the smell was the high point for me. wonderful blend of coffee-caramel, malty warmth and just enough hops to keep it honest. i'm not sure it 'opened up' as it warmed but the malt really pops out after 10~15 minutes in the air.

raspy is a big beer, and makes no bones about it. great mix of warm alcohol, nutty-roasted malt and a pretty big pop of burnt wood at the back end. NICE!

mouthfeel is my only hesitation here. a bit thin, and the carbonation is slighty harsh.

overall a great beer, i'll now have to invest in another sixer and age it.

Photo of ASymon13
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a thick, viscous black. No light passes through it. It also has a large, wonderful brown head to it. Excellent appearance. It has a giant aroma of roast and chocolate. Some coffee and alcohol are also noticable.

In the taste there is a lot more coffee than I had thought from the aroma. The roast also takes a front seat, while the sweet chocolate nose is lost in the taste. There is also some strong hop bitterness to it. The alcohol begins to come through on the end of it, and it has an extremely dry finish. The flavors really do not quite blend together as nicely as they should, but it is still excellent. The body is medium-full, and the carbonation works for it. Very good brew.

Photo of thecheapies
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of DiabolikDUB
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from Bottle into Pint glass.

Pours absolutely midnight black with a one inch mocha head that moderately dissipates into a thin layer around glass. The Aroma is filled with dark chocolate and roasted malts with some light coffee scent in there as well. The flavor has an upfront roastiness with some chocolate and some dried fruits has the flavors linger and ends with a nice bitterness. This is a heavy bodied beer that coats your mouth with every sip. Every time I get the chance to have this beer its always a good night.

Photo of Vengeance526
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brownish black color with a 1 finger creamy, dark tan head that settles quickly and leaves beautiful tan lacing along the glass.

Smells of licorice, roasted malt, with some alcohol noticeable. Also some notes of coffee and bitter chocolate and a slight spiciness all come through in the nose.

Hops really come through in the taste. Also present are hints of coffee, vanilla, cinnamon, licorice and a roasted nut profile. Alcohol can be detected on the way down but does not overpower the flavor.

Exceptionally smooth with a medium amount of carbonation. Highly drinkable but the alcohol can sneak up on you fast if you're not careful with this one. Overall this is a nicely balanced RIS and a great interpretation of the style.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,387 ratings.