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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

10,532 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,532
Reviews: 3,443
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 378
Gots: 1,708 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,532 | Reviews: 3,443 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Wildman
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pour almost black dark amber color. It formed a nice dark tan foamy heal that left some nice circular lace. The aroma was of malt and coffee. The flavor was of malt, coffee and chocolate. The body was a bit thinner than the few others I have tried. The finish was of a burnt bitter style.

Photo of ferrari29
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
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

Photo of WeedKing4
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle pours a dark black with a decent amount of foam. Smells of dark malts/espresso coffee thats consistent in other imperial stouts. Taste is similiar and the right amount of thickness. Full bodied and packs solid flavour. Quite easy to drink as the abv% wasn't noticed at all. Glad I got to try this one, just wishing I grabbed a second bottle. Very nice stout.

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 djmichaelk
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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

This beer poured pitch black with a big steady three-finger dark tan head that remained for the whole time I drank the beer. The smell is mostly roasted malts with some chocolate and coffee notes with the chocolate becoming more prominent as the beer warmed. This beer doesn't screw around, the taste starts off with sweet chocolate that's quickly dispersed by some bitter coffee taste and finished by a punch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is thick and slippery with some warming from the alcohol. This is a very powerful beer, which means I couldn't imagine drinking more than one at a time but not for lack of quality.

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

Paid $6.49 for a 4-pack of this stuff at a local store. Poured extremely dark and thick. Resembles other Imperial Stouts bu this one has a very disticnt smell and taste. Smelled very nutty, almost reminiscent of some porters I've had. Malts hit the nose right away. Nice sweet taste, the alcohol is present. However the nice coffee taste covers it up nicely. At 8.9%abv it does have a kick, but a four pack of these is great. Sipped them all ice and slow. If you like stouts give this one a shot.

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

Poured into pint glass - and a wonderful one inch head developed. Perfect inky coloring. Head dissipates into a nice laced skin. Excellent roasted malt nose. Taste starts with a smokey note, growing into a nice roasted malt finish. Mid notes of hops quickly fade, but add excellent balance. Heavily carbonated. Very rich. Alcohol levels very well masked by flavors.

A bit too carbonated, kills the smoothness I desire, but a very, very good RIS.

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

Aggressively poured into a tulip producing a big two finger light brown head atop a black on black on black body of darkness. Lacing clings to the glass from top to bottom.

The smell is everything you want from a RIS. Roast character, coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. There is even a slight hoppy citrus aroma.

The roasted malt hits big with the coffee and chocolate flavors in tow. There is a definite bitter bite. The aftertaste lingers wonderfully. I don’t want any water to wash it away.

Not quite a full body. Smooth with light carbonation.

It is hard to turn down this beer. A wonderful stout at a great price point.

Photo of iuhophead87
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer in to a small tulip glass from a 12 oz. Bottle

A- Very black body with a light tan head. Head was rather small and dissipated quickly until the glass was swirled. Then, the small head would reappear.

S- I love this smell! A dark roasted malt with big alcohol present. A good balance between the roasted malt and alcohol smell.
T- Although you can taste the strong roasted maltiness of this beer, a subtle bitterness of hops does squeeze its way through. The warm burn of alcohol follows this flavor.
M- Very full bodied, but not syrupy. Outstanding!

D- A very good beer and very drinkable. Although you notice the alcohol it is well balanced by the malts. You could chalk me up for a few of these at a time.

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

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of reviewing for me is returning to a beer after a long period of sampling other standouts in the style. RIS is an especially portent style for such revision, with its massive complexity and depth. On to Rasputin in a snifter, after nearly a year of mostly Stone, Ten Fidy, and any other barreled/double stouts to come my way.

Pours slick and creamy, a darkly tan head swirling about on top. Booze is apparent in the smell, something I may be in the minority for liking. Other than that it's all roasty coffee/chocolate goodness, with powerful bursts of fruit, some licorice, and possibly oak/vanilla. A great scent that I am not too patient to surrender for a taste.

My first thought is: too bubbly. A few swirls to kick this back and I'm met with a smoother vehicle in which to glean these flavors. I am instantly reminded of Sam Smith, but that fruity, roasted malt profile so prevalent in his beers has been pumped up and rounded out considerably here with chocolate and coffee notes.

I get an occasional twang of metal as well, but also oatmeal, pepper, milk and bitter hops. Hops push through the finish in a way some will love but is kind of distracting for me. This hop character creates a certain dryness and the beer stays rather thin for its abv. The alcohol is not masked as well as the best in class manage and I think the bitterness factor adds to this.

If you like the English style stouts and enjoy a bitter RIS this will be right up your alley. A great deal for a 4-pack but not entirely satisfying to my palette. More coffee and sugar, please.

EDIT: Bumping up the taste and mouthfeel dimensions as this beer really comes into its own as it warms. Sweeter and richer. Nice!

Photo of julianper
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dukedevil0
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had out of a 12oz bottle at Cleo's in Chicago, IL.

A: pours dark black with some nice mocha colored head that settles a little bit

S: smells like milk chocolate, slight coffee and roasted malts

T: a little more of the roastiness comes though in the flavor, but not overbearing...other flavors are the same as the smell

M: a little on the thin side of creamy, highly carbed

D: solid flavor, hard to taste the alcohol content, and the short side of creaminess helps the easy to drink factor

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

Purchased from Woody's Smokes and Brews, Franklin, TN.

My first Imperial Russian Stout, and I only wish I'd bought a whole four-pack of these instead of sticking to the single.

Pours dark, dark, black with a thick brown head. The head was very foamy and dissipated only after letting the beer set for a few minutes. I also love the bottle on this one, the picture of Rasputin and the Russian writing around the bottle are pretty nifty, thus giving it a highly impressive presentation.

The aroma is very much as I expected from a stout, with a heavy coffee nose combined with subdued alcoholic notes. The alcohol was present, but worked well with the overall aroma -- I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Taste is really nice, very much like the smell, strong coffee and "stoutish" notes combined with some bitterness. As the beer warms, though, the alcohol becomes more pronounced and gives the beer an overall astringent quality, the only thing keeping this beer from getting a higher score on taste.

Mouthfeel is really fantastic, thick and full-bodied, like a velvety texture that slides around the mouth and into the throat. Quite enjoyable, and the fairly mild carbonation helps to keep this beer interesting and pleasant, but not overwhelming on the mouthfeel department.

Overall drinkability is low only because of the aforementioned astringent quality to the taste as the beer warms, and the high alcohol. I drank this one over the course of about an hour and a half, and while I enjoyed it quite a bit, I don't think I could have easily drunk two. Very nice, highly enjoyable, but not a session beer at all.

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

Based on the ruby fringes (visible only with the lamp turned up to max), this seems to be a clear beer. That being said, this one is black enough to appear opaque. Topped off with a finger's worth of chocolate milk-like froth that reduces quickly to a thin but persistent and clingy layer of bronzy beige. Despite the ominous darkness, the smell is remarkably complex and pleasant. Roasted notes are lighter than expected and complemented very nicely by the scent of milk chocolate. Some bitterness up front followed by a creamy mouthfeel that succumbs again to the bitterness. A blast of alcohol warmth shows up and fades very slowly. As mentioned above, the mouthfeel is creamy, but it also maintains an astringency rather than the clingy fullness one might expect or desire from a potent stout. Roasted grains and chocolate are there as well, but again are balanced nicely by the assertive hops. This is more complex than I anticipated and is a nice change of pace among stouts.

Photo of tr4nc3d
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the anchor.

Has a black color with a two finger tan head that stays for quite a while. Left lacing on my glass.

Smells of roasted dark malts, sugary, toffee.

Taste of roasted malts, expresso like, dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is full of flavors and sticky.

Good Stout and something I look foward too having again.

Photo of Bumpon10s
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After well over a month of not reviewing to make my taste and views more finite, I thought this was a good beer to start up once again.

A - Pours black with the slightest ring on the outside of the glass and a slightly thin consistency. It appears to be solid, the surface is so blemish free.

S - Lots of coffee and chocolate. I noticed deep fruit upon decanting, but no longer once poured.

T - I've had this on tap, and the bottle isn't any less. Once more, lots of coffee and chocolate. It could be what I had to eat prior to this, but it is finishing a bit sour, the score won't reflect this, but simply making note.

M - Much thicker in the mouth than it looked during the pour. I am a bit more impressed now. Very slippery upon enrty with a tingle going down, well done.

D - The drinkability of this beer increases with each sip. It gets smoother and better as it goes. I hate having the same beer one after another, but I could sure see it happening with this.

Photo of RobertH50
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of ReddMoneyBrown
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of Kevin73
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is one of my go-to stouts. I can usually find it in most supermarkets and bottle shops and it is consistently delicious! Pours deeply opaque with the slightest tinge of red. Pours with a thick sturdy head with tons of lacing. Looks absolutely gorgeous in the glass. Roasted malts, coffee, baker's chocolate, raisin. The alcohol is not so apparent in the smell but in taste you definitely get a nice shot of heat. Surprisingly on the sweeter side but exceptionally well balanced.

Photo of TofuDC5
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Like any stout, this one is pitch black; opaque. quite frothy beer head; medium

S: Dark, bitter-sweet chocolate with hint of bourbon. Whiff of alcohol.

T: Semi-sweet, dark chocolate on the tongue. Bitter taste in the throat. Lingering alcoholic after taste. Chocolate flavor dissipates fairly quickly and doesn't last long.

M: Light carbonation. bitter sensation and after taste. medium-bodied compared to other stouts I've had.

O: Not really my stout of preference, although nothing too negative. What threw me off was the overly bitter and alcoholic flavor which offset the chocolate. Would have liked aroma and taste to have been more prominent.

Photo of MisterSH
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rather creepy looking 12 oz bottle poured into a smuttynose big beer tulip. I love the packaging on this beer. "Never say die"

Pours Jet black, with a big, fluffy head that practically explodes out of the beer and refuses to leave once it arrives.

Smell is dominated by dark chocolate. There is raspberry, some bready notes but overall quite sweet on the nose, reminiscent of a raspberry chocolate bar.

Taste is RICH with coffee, raisin, dark chocolate, some toast. Quite a clean finish with some breadiness left on the palate. Some hops on the finish become increasingly noticeable as the brew warms a bit. Alcohol is shockingly well masked and is not particularly prominent at all, save a slight finishing warmth.

Mouthfeel is somewhat syrupy, but not overly heavy or thick as I had expected it to be. Very low on the carb, unexpectedly clean and crisp on the tongue.

Rich, bold and delicious, am I wrong in still being a bit underwhelmed? This is a fine beer, but considering its following and the hype surrounding it, I was expecting something completely mind-blowing, which I did not quite get. What I did find was an all around tasty, drinkable stout that I will gladly keep around as a dependable standby now that I've figured out where to find it in my area.

Photo of MikeM40
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a DFH Signature glass from a 12oz bottle. This beer pours black with a large lingering tan head that leaves lots of lacing. Noticeable aromas of roasted malt,chocolate,coffee,cherries,and anise rise from the glass. Strong roasted flavors,coffee,dark chocolate,with hints of dark fruits and plums. This beer also has a deep bitter component with a rich character. The only real knock on this beer is that the mouthfeel was a bit thin for an Imperial stout,if it was more viscous it would be an A+ beer to me. Any alcohol flavor is well hidden among the well balanced complexities and the great bitter coffee/licorice finish.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,532 ratings.