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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

10,160 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,160
Reviews: 3,381
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 328
Gots: 1,443 | FT: 44
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,160 | Reviews: 3,381 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of silenius
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a dark brown/black with a crimson red where the light manages to peek through. The head is 2 fingers thick for a short time and then dissapates to a patina on the top. A substantial collar follows the beer as it retreats in the glass.

I only got some minor soy sauce, figs, molasses, and most of all fusel alcohol on the nose. Nothing big and nothing impressive.

Taste is bolder and bigger than the nose. First thing I taste is chocolate covered espresso beans dipped in grain alcohol with some spiced rum notes, molasses, figs, and it finishes with an espresso bitterness. Pretty good, but the alcohol taste detracts. My 4.5 is generous, but this beer ranks better than just under a 4.0, so I fudged a little.

Mouthfeel is a tiny prickle at first then a creaminess that ends with a drying note making me want to take another sip. The alcohol warmth makes me hesitate knowing that if I drink this too fast, I'll be whoo-ha'ed quickly.

Drinkability suffers from the very noticeable alcohol, but I'll definitely buy another.

silenius, Jul 02, 2004
Photo of dcloeren
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured an extremely dark brown with highlights of mahogany on the edges with 3 fingers of creamy khaki colored head. Produced decent, spotty lacing

Smells of rich, sweet chocolate, coffee beans with espresso notes, licorice and possibly some dark fruits. Has a slightly bitter tinge at the end.

Taste follows the nose but with a great bitter aftertaste. Burnt malt stands out more so on the tongue than in the nose.

The mouthfeel was a little too thin for what I was wanting out of this beer. Very well carbonated and a slightly drying bitter aftertaste

Overall, this was a good stout. I think with a thicker body that this beer could be amazing but what can you do? Not mad that I have 2 more in my fridge, but not dying to crack them open either

dcloeren, May 25, 2011
Photo of mnstorm99
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice black pour with a good tan head that stick around very well, and the lacing was nice throughout as well.
Little hoppy on the nose and smokey, spicy notes in the hops.
Flavor is of smokey coffee malts (but not overly smokey), a touch of spicey hops rounds it out, this one is overly sweet like some RIS can be, nice change.
great chewy thick mouthfeel as expected with this type of beer, this is a pretty easy drinking RIS, overall a great beer.

mnstorm99, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one hell of an Imperial, but does not stand up to a few that I've had. I was hoping it would be right up there at the top, but it's not quite.

Pours with zero carbonation, and not as thick as expected. No head retention and has a dark brown body. Held to the light it has a ruby glow to it. Nice chocolatey aroma with notes of sweet candy and hops. Flavor follows in kind. Bitter dark chocolate gives way to a nice roasted malt flavor, followed by a crisp hop finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, but is somewhat spritzy and could be better. A damn fine Imperial, though honestly I expected a little more. Nonetheless, definitely worth seeking out, especially if you love beers of this delightful style.

IrishRedRock, Oct 31, 2003
Photo of TheKtulu7
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown into an opaque black beer. A generous chocolate head that settles into a thin tan film.

Smell: Some chocolate and a bit of alcohol.

Taste: Chocolate up front, adding some coffee to the back end. As it warms, it gets a bit sweeter with hints if caramel or molasses.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and warming on the tongue.

Drinkability: Pretty smooth and goes down easy for the alcohol content.

TheKtulu7, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of scifan
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours jet black with a small light brown head.
Smells very nice, getting nice sweet malts, coffee aromas coming through from roasted barley, also some dark chocolate.
Taste very similar to smell. At first I'm getting sweet dark malts, and chocolate flavors, then the some bitterness from the roasted barley. This is how RIS's are supposed to taste this beer sets the standard for a "regular" RIS.
Feels nice and smooth and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Goes down nice and easy without a hint of alcohol.

scifan, May 11, 2009
Photo of tyanow
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Yum! I drink this at home and on tap it's plenty better.

Almost black with a soft full head.

Full coffee and toasty grain aroma.

The rich and full (understatement) body taste is appreciated throughout the mouth and for literally minutes after I swallow.

It's an Imperial so the it fills your senses but few do it this well.

In my mind this is the premier American version of this style. Anyone who can suggest a good rival, please let me know.

tyanow, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: A half-finger light tan head with some of the best lacing I've seen on any stout, Imperial or not. Large, dotty, with small arms sticking out. Head settles into a small, eight-finger head. Dark black stout body.

Smell: A nutty almond aroma is up front, which is quite nice, followed by a huge amount of dark borderline bittering chocolate. Possibly the most bittering chocolate aroma I've ever smelled in a stout. The chocolate and almonds then coalesce into, yes, a chocolate-covered almond aroma. Heavy cream and cinnamon. Some vegetable-like aroma very faint on the back end, sort of like bell peppers, but pleasant. Really quite an aroma.

Taste: Some coffee in the flavor that I didn't pick up in the aroma. Some cinnamon. Alcohol is much more prevalent here than the lack I detected in the nose, but it is only prevalent upon some mild searching. Still a huge amount of dark chocolate, which I am still pleased with. The almond-like nuttiness is very faint in the back end.

Mouthfeel: A little too fizzy at some points, but otherwise coffee-like siltiness with some fullness.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable for an RIS, while still maintaining an RIS kick and complexity. I downed a 12 oz of this in under a half hour, which, for me, is hard to do with an RIS. Anyway, a fantastic RIS for those wanting to step up from "lesser" stouts, or for those wanting to maintain the RIS punch while not going for something as big as a Stone RIS, etc. - in other words, this is about as close as an RIS gets to being sessionable. Especially sessionable with an extra sharp, aged cheddar. Mm.

RidiculedDisplay, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of zeledonia
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark chocolate brown, almost black. Shows some reddish-brown edges when held to a light. The medium-tan head is so buoyant and fluffy it nearly overflowed my glass, and I had to wait several minutes for it to subside. Even then it left a layer of foam with a collar of lace.

Smell is surprisingly fruity for a stout; blackberries, backed up by some chocolate. Really nice combination of malt and hop aromatics, though it is a bit weak on the nose. I like a little more punch from a RIS than this one offers, but what's there is quite good.

Taste is hoppier than I expected, but not overly so. Dark fruits, chocolate, and some slightly smoky dark malts.

Mouthfeel is great - medium-thick, but smooth and light in the mouth thanks to the carbonation, which gives it a nice small-bubble creaminess.

This is a darn good imperial stout. It's fruity and hoppy, but still well-balanced, and the thick but light mouthfeel is really nice. The alcohol is completely invisible. Likely to become a staple.

zeledonia, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours an almost black dark brown with a finger width of dense espresso colored head that reduced into a thin film.
S: Dark roasted malt and faint dark chocolate. Not particularly smelly.
T: A lot sweeter than I was expecting. Roasted malt dominates leading into a sweet sugary finish with hints of bitter hops and chocolate-espresso ice-cream. Aftertaste is sweet and creamy with a touch of alcohol warmth. I pick up notes of vanilla, caramel and licorice as well.
M: Velvety and smooth. Carbonation is gentle with a medium body. The aftertaste is bitter but balanced by the sweet malt. This reminds me of a milkshake or melted ice cream for some reason.
D: Amazing beer that is highly drinkable. Despite its rich flavors and high alcohol content you could easier polish off a few in an evening. Highly recommended.

scottfrie, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of euskera
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark and foreboding, like its namesake. Smell is enticing, malty and robust, with the alcohol coming through. Taste is a wee bit hoppy for my taste in an imperial stout, just wasn't expecting it. Maybe a few more of these will change my opinion on that count. A remarkable brew for sure, just not exactly what I was expecting for the style...

euskera, Jul 07, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For a small, unassuming looking bottle, there is one mighty beer contained inside.
Old Rasputin himself stares at you with “those eyes” from the simple looking brown, black and white label, whilst doffing his right hand in a kind of salute to the brave souls that are tasting this beer for the first time – myself included. Am I to be yet another Virgin to add to the “Mad Monks” long and varied list, I wonder?!.
The beer pours a color twixt a very deep oily-brown and an almost bituminous black color. Once poured, the body of the beer lets little light through, although a deep brown red- hue can be detected from the refracted light at the edges of the glass. Atop this darkest of beers sits a regal looking fluffy brown-tan head that remains a solid ½” throughout, though dies a little towards the end. The smooth looking velvet creamy head looks fantastic and hints at the smoothness of this beer.
Immediately I poured this beer, I thought to myself “liquorice”, for the fresh pungent smell of this fine root-extract flavoring filled the air around my desk. Malt is perceptible in the nose at the start, with some roast character, although surprisingly I found the aromas to be less pungent than expected. A powerful introduction, an assault on the tongue almost, tells you that this is a beer that you don’t mess with. A marvellous strong roast coffee flavour interspersed with roast malt flavours, roll around together in the mouth and punch the cheeks. This is a fighting beer. Deep, dark chocolately middle, with a hard-wood, oaky dry bitter finish that leaves hints of raisins and liquorice on the palate. The beer leaves a warming trace that slowly tracks the path of the fluid as it descends the gullet, a warmth that would quell any Siberian winter. Fantastic. A bloody marvellous Imperial Stout.

More Russian than a Vodka Breakfast….
More Imperial that Darth Vader’s Dark Side….
And More Stout than John Candy….

A truly hypnotic beer that clearly has Rasputinious powers of influence.
It has me well and truly under its spell that’s for sure!

A fine libation from North Coast Brewing. Excellent!!!

TheLongBeachBum, Dec 09, 2002
Photo of Monsone
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes

A- Very dark with a big, three finger head.

S- Dark roased coffee with burnt malt. Alcohol is present.

T- Strong coffee taste. Alcohol is there, but not over powering.

M- Thick and creamy, great mouthfeel.

D- You can't drink a lot of them at 9%, but that is standard for the style.

A classic example of a RIS IMO

Monsone, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of stakem
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes taken 6/23/10.

On tap at Als served in a nonic. Appears black in color with a thick creamy tan head that retains very well and sticks in thick patches about the glass. Nose is full of dark grains smelling of coffee and dark chocolate with a blend of hops and dark skinned fruity sweetness. The alcohol becomes a bit more noticeable as it warms. Taste includes a mixture of alcohol, roasty grain and slightly citrusy hop bitterness upfront that blends through a medium creamy smooth body with more flavors of dark grainy sweetness. The roasted grains suggest black coffee, dark chocolate and dark skinned fruits much like the aroma indicated. There is a pleasant lingering bitterness from the darkly roasted grain coupled with the flavor and warmth of alcohol. This is a brew I enjoy regularly from a bottle and on nitro it is even more drinkable and creamy in the feel.

stakem, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of Phelps
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a snifter at Papago.

None more black. Atop is a one-finger head of sand colored form that I let air out for about 15 minutes without it receding as much as a millimeter. Thick, sticky walls of lace coat the glass as I drink.

Smells burnt. Overtoasted bread, medium roast coffee, dark chocolate, touches of tobacco. The aroma overall is good, but is also a little subdued. Hard to pick up much through the thick head.

In the flavor, smokiness is increased, like a campfire. Bitter dark chocolate, burnt coffee, toast. A touch of sweet chocolate at the swallow, culminating in a smooth blend of burnt and sweet flavors.

The full, smooth, creamy, soft body is damn near perfect. Like a fleece blanket, it’s so smooth on the tongue. A touch of tingly carbonation keeps things lively, and there’s just a hint of alcohol in the nose. Finishes clean, which is a pleasant surprise. You'd expect it to be heavy.

Nitro is the way Rasputin was meant to be served. So, so smooth. Great feel, awesome flavor.

Phelps, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow! This is a really grand stout. Wanting to finally taste this bad boy, I popped the cap on its stubby little bottle. Immediately the nose of roasted aromas comes forth, beckoning me onward. The nose portends the roasted coffee and chocolate flavors that await the drinker. The pour created a huge dark beige head over an opaque black body. The head lasts and makes lots of nice lacing. Beautiful. Flavor is here in abundance giving the drinker a full force assault on the palate. Coffee. Check. Chocolate. Check. Prunes. Check. Hop bitterness. Check. This is a tour in flavors. Great stuff with great body and feel. Wow! High ABV holds down drinkability, and there's lots of bite in this brew.

AtLagerHeads, May 19, 2003
Photo of ferrari29
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured from bottle into Pint glass

A - Beer poured with a two+ dark beige colored foam; frothy and immediately latched onto every piece of glass it could; dark brown, black colored body; no visible carbonation; appears very viscous at first glance, but is more fluid that originally perceived

S - Deep roasted malt scents; licorice jelly beans; subtle hints of cinnamon and ginger; refreshing and clean; chocolate; smoked malt scents; some coffee; scents of coffee come out the nose after a couple of sips, retro-olfaction, really the first experience with this after drinking heavily

T - Espresso/deep coffee notes; roasted malt and chocolaty; some bitterness in the aftertaste, but touch of dark chocolate in the front of the palate; dark fruit and bitter dark chocolate taste; coffee notes come coat the mucus in my throat

M - Slightly silky, liquidly toward the back-end of the mouth; not much bubbly; expected more frothiness; goes down rather quick; bitter hops rattle the sides of the tongue a bit

D - Good drink, makes a fantastic RIS; can't go wrong with this one; North Coast is definitely a leader in the field of micro brewing; deservedly so

ferrari29, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of Engineerbob
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours thick and slightly cloying. Large butterscotch head that quickly collapses to form a thin, well retained head.

Appearance is thick and deepest black. The nose is heavy, with malt, marmite, leather, chocolate lightly roasted coffee and mild tobacco.

Taste is Very slightly sweet on the tip of tongue, but immediately overwhelmed by tarry, burnt chocolate and bitter coffee. Great aromas on the palate of bitumen and feintest hint of soy sauce.

Mouthfeel is round, full, soft and caressing. Long finish of bitter marmite, and a little meaty.

A wonderful example of IRS. Top value!

Engineerbob, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin has a body that is very dark brown with hints of ruby around the edges. The head is a light brown behemoth. Three fingers in height, super creamy, great retention, all of which ends in thick, sticky lacing on the side of my glass.

The aroma is nice; bitter chocolate, some roasted scents, a touch of coffee. Maybe a bit of dark fruit and some heat from the alcohol also.

The flavor is sweeter than I expected, leading off with flavors of molasses and chocolate. Old Rasputin is packed with chocolate actually. The malts have also been roasted with a vengeance, making the roasted flavors pop up here and there. Underneath those flavors are a touch of fruitiness, coffee, anise and a bit of alcohol induced warmth that tingles the back of your nose. The finish has a pretty liberal dose of bitter hops, and the hops are really the flavor that hangs around in the after taste.

The body is big, thick, creamy, and has just the right amount of carbonation. Overall, Old Rasputin has a great mouthfeel.

Old Rasputin disappeared from my glass much more quickly than a stout this big should, which qualifies it as dangerously drinkable.

Hojaminbag, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of claytong
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - a great looking russian. black as the night and nice tan head that goes into some artwork with its lacing.

smell - roasted malts, chocolate, alcohol, earthy coffee

taste - chocolate malts, a bit of warming alcohol, light caramel, nothings too strong

mouthfeel - creamy and smooth. the mouthfeel is almost a 5. best part of the beer.

claytong, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of beermebeerman
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a brandy snifter.

Jet black, used motor oil color with an average sized cream colored head. Lacing is solid.

Smell is malty; very roasted chocolately smell. I think I will have to let the beer warm some more before I can pick anything else out.

Taste is almost immediately coffee, with chocolate following, finished by an almost (raisin?) rum like followthrough. Alcohol warms in the finish. Very clean tasting beer but with lots of flavor. Hop bitterness is present but not in the fore; malt is the leading character in this play.

Medium to high carbonation and jam packed with flavor give the feeling of drinking a meal. Very full-bodied beer. The 9%abv is definately noticeable.

I will be drinking this again. Now I can say that I understand the hype surrounding this beer!

beermebeerman, May 28, 2008
Photo of djmichaelk
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, picked up from Deluxe Foods in Aptos, CA in June 2009.

A - Coffee black, with just a shade of color around the edges when held up to the light. Struggled to muster a one-finger head, decent lacing on the glass.

S - Alcohol, burnt sugar, coffee. Very pleasant. As it warms it gets sweeter and sweeter.

T - Not as sweet as it smells, which is welcome -- so many RIS seem a bit too sweet for me. Dark coffee, some earthy overtones. And alcohol. Wasn't sure about it at first, but as I get past the halfway mark it's growing on me.

M - Not as thick as I had imagined. Some alcohol burn, seems grainy for some reason, and oily. But it works for the most part.

D - Definitely warming me up. The high ABV makes me think I should stick to just one, but as I finish the first I'm already craving another.

Overall, I have to say that I really liked this beer. Worthy of the hype, especially for the price. I think I'll be stopping by for another couple 4-packs.

djmichaelk, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of SheepNutz
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this one in a 12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep black with a dark tan finger of foam. There is only a slight bit of lacing on the glass. The smell is rich in burnt malt and caramel. The taste has a bit of roasted coffee, with a bit of a hops finish to balance. There is also a slight alcohol taste present. The mouthfeel is pretty strong and heavy. The drinkability is also fair for this massive Russian Imperial.

SheepNutz, Jun 29, 2003
Photo of russwbeck
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black pour with a big bubbly brown head. Very nice retention and lacing.

S: Big coffee flavor with a lot of hops. A sweetness is throughout, from cocoa I would assume. Smells better than the on tap version to me.

T: The hoppiness from the smell is prevalent in the taste. It starts off with the chocolate malts, perhaps a bit of roastiness. The coffee flavor comes next and leaves a nice dry finish.

MF: Lots of carbonation in this one. Heavily bodied and hardly a hint of alcohol.

O: I was really impressed by this one. I had it on tap a few weeks ago and was underwhelmed. Perhaps my palate was a bit off that night.

russwbeck, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of gford217
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the beers that got me started on craft beer and just getting around to reviewing it. Bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours black as night with only a hint of light penetrating the edges leaving a mahogany hue. The huge tan head sits atop the blackness for a long, long while leaving big sheets of lacing.

The aroma is of massive dark roasted malts, bakers chocolate and licorice. There is also a pretty sizable hop kick in the nose up front as well, mainly citrus.

The taste also starts with an interesting citrus hop kick but it quickly gives way to the bittersweet chocolate and dark roasted malts. There is a hint of coffee as well as dark fruits.

The mouthfeel is sticky and lingers for ages, just coating the mouth with the massive malt and hop battle on the palate.

This is a great example of an RIS and old standby. Highly recommended.

gford217, Nov 02, 2008
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,160 ratings.