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

3,495 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,495
Hads: 11,150
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 465
Gots: 2,204 | 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: 3,495 | Hads: 11,150
Photo of LeoPanna
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i first tried this in Juneau, Alaska... Now I find it in Queens for $2.99 a bottle... perfect.

Diabolical looking son of a bitch. pitch black, coffee head, deceptively slow to dissolve.

Smells of fresh bread, coffee, brandy, grapes, dried meat, cinnamon, clove, licorice.

First it's a strong espresso w sugar, then alcohol and dark chocolate. It's quite bitter as well. There's a woodiness to it. Nice warming finish as stated on the bottle. On my third sip, I breath in as well and get some rich spices (cinammon, pepper, clove, basil, and more) before the espresso. This is an incredibely complex beer. It's extremely smooth as well. Definitely a slow sipper.

it's unique, complex, fits the style, strong, creamy, smells amazing, inexpensive, the bottle looks cool. What more should I expect in a beer? Should I rate this lower because of a beer that I haven't tried and will probably have to drive for 13 hours and stand in line for a day to obtain? This is totally worth the 3 block walk for me. (1,005 characters)

Photo of Loveyourbeer
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass.

A: completely black, two finger mocha colored head. Head stayed quite a while.
S: Definite coffee, some chocolate, earthy.
T: Amazing! Chocolately, lots of malt, some coffee, some bitter aftertaste but very nice. Alcohol is well-hidden.
M: smooth, but very solid.
O: Great taste, feel. I would drink this anytime. One of the best stouts I've ever had. (394 characters)

Photo of MisterGone
4.75/5  rDev +11%

A joyful cup of coffee, this one. Like many of this ilk, it does better with some temperature control: improves as it warms. Malts develop well, not too sweet. Bitterness is appropriate for the roast. Higher ABV masked by the depth of flavor, thus caveat emptor. (262 characters)

Photo of KarmicSkrambl8
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I don't believe a "perfect score" is ever realistic (my perspective...my rubric)....but this one would come oh so close to a "5"...my taste buds opinion

Beautifully creamy/sustaining head and thick/thick body...the smell/taste of roastiness, of chocolate and coffee and beautiful malt/hop balance flowing thickly over the tongue

sweet elixir... (346 characters)

Photo of Mises85
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served this at around 60 degrees in a brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with 3 inches of head that laced beautifully.

Aroma: roasted malt, cocoa, black pepper, slight alcohol, touch of espresso, ever so slight 100% cacao chocolate. No burnt malt aroma.

Taste: Roasty, espresso, cococa, touch of guinness character. Midway, some alcohol bite although not too much.

Final results: Definitely one of my favorite imperial stouts. I love how it does not have a burnt flavor and instead the malt has a "grilled" like character. the coffee and chocolate work beautifully although the roastiness is the star. Definitely would drink again but too many beers out there that I need to try. Not hoppy but just enough hops so that there isn't too much sweetness. A plus for me. (777 characters)

Photo of sorryaboutbrooks
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to glass. Smells choclatey. Rich black opaque appearance. Nice head that rings around the glass until the last sip. Nice bite at first but balanced with smooth mouthfeel. Nice chocolate malt aftertaste lingers. This beer is really put together well. I wish I were more versed in beer reviews, but I'm not, and can't possibly describe the other complexities contained within this one beer. There's a lot of good stuff goin on. (444 characters)

Photo of Nostradrunkus
4.75/5  rDev +11%

The quintessential beginners stout, Old Rasputin manages to be an incredibly complex and refreshing drink while simultaneously disguising its high alcohol content.

This one pours a distinct blackness that reassures you that you are drinking a legitimate stout. There is a faint tan head that thins to a lacing on top of the beer within a short amount of time after the pour.

The aroma is complex, but is best categorized by a chocolatey espresso smell that serves as a great prelude to the flavor.

Taste is fantastic. I often find myself recommending this to those that think of guinness first when they hear the word stout. Upon drinking, you're immediately confronted with the chocolate and espresso flavors that dominate the aroma of this stout. This fades into a complex mix of flavor with a faint underlying soy sauce taste to round out the many other flavors at play. Alcohol is barely noticeable, but it contributes a subtle herbal heat that amplifies the other flavors.

I really believe this beer is one of the best hybrids of availability, cost, and flavor in the stout class. It tends to be easy to find, and it is also usually one of the cheaper options among the legitimate stouts. I often find myself reaching for a pack of Old Rasputin to pair with traditional meat and potatoes type meals, and I will continue to do so as long as they keep brewing this excellent Russian Imperial Stout. (1,406 characters)

Photo of Catracho5
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Serving: 12 ounce bottle poured into an Old Rasputin 10 ounce nonic glass

Appearance: Jet black with a tan colored head, lots of lacing, sticks throughout the glass while I enjoy this brew.

Smell: The bottle I am rating is fresh, getting some hops on the front of the aroma, getting some coffee, malted roast aromas in the middle and end.

Taste: Hops on the front, coffee, chocolate roast in the middle, with bitterness at the end. The roasted chocolate malts linger with the bitterness, very nice. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick, covers the palate, great mouthfeel, not watery at all, but not too thick. Very dry on the palate. Lots of carbonation, tiny bubbles.

Overall: This beer is world class, fresh it has a lot of hops for an imperial stout, with some age, the hops reside and more of the roasted chocolate elements of the beer come forward. Love this beer, one of my all time favorites, and a prime example of a Russian Imperial Stout, a must try! (962 characters)

Photo of ElderRasputin
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this at whole foods on my way home from work the other night. Came in a 4 pack of 12 ounce bottles with paper labeling.

T: Tastes of dark chocolate and coffee with a little bit of raisin mixed with a malty complex aftertaste that finishes slighty bitter but smooth.

S: Strong brewed dark coffee with a little bit of chocolate and burnt oak. Has a sharpness to it of alcohol and slight fruitiness.

A: Very dark almost pure black in body with beige carbonation that comes up through the glass to form a tan two finger head. The had retains very nicely.

M: Mouthfeel is creamy smooth that is also heavy with sharp medium carbonation.

O: overall is a very complex and heavy style stout that I think does justice to russian imperial stout. one my most favorite beers and I will be buying this regularly. (807 characters)

Photo of fx20736
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Bought a 4 pak from Southtown Beverages in Rochester on 1/25/14. Poured into a Samuel Smith's pint glass at cellar temp.

appearance: Viscuos black with a towering mocha head.nice lacing.

smell: deep, deep roast, coffee, some chocolate. World Class.

taste: one of the best non barrel aged tasting beers I have ever sipped. Coffee, chocolate, molasses, charred roast. A nice hoppiness at the end acts as a rudder through this madness of flavor.

mouthfeel: unctuous, pleasing.

overall: an explosion of flavor that leaves shockwaves rippling through my soul. This is mind boggling. (583 characters)

Photo of shu
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

i saw the word 'wow' in more than one review and i agree completely. took me a while to get around to trying this but it will definitely be on my regulars list from now on. understand, i only gave this beer a 4.75 b/c i don't believe the 'perfect' beer exists...but this is VERY close. i am typically an ale guy but really like the stouts. as far as i'm concerned this moved past my favorite ales. just an overall satisfying experience. northcoast has got something going on for sure...i was already a fan of brother thelonious. (528 characters)

Photo of denali99755
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First off, the bottle was remarkably unimpressive for such a heavy-hitting beer. Coming from familiarity with Belgians and the bottle styles of the Rogue brewery, this beer's standard-issue brown bottle belies its singularly impressive quality. I do like the label, though, and especially the 'never say die' inscription.

Pours like stouts I'm used to, pretty smooth, with minimal head (although my pouring style is inconsistent at best, so it's hard to judge). And it's, well, dark like an Imperial should be.

Aroma is crisp and tart, with some definite hops and chocolate. Maybe some coffee? The nose might be a tiny bit more bitter than I would love.

But the taste--terrific. Nice and round, hugely full-bodied, with chocolate and coffee, but the hoppy bitterness (for me) balances the heavy bottom-end perfectly. This is my kind of beer. And it is remarkably light on its feet for a 9-percenter--dangerously so. I could drink a lot of this, and quickly. Love it.

Mouthfeel is smooth except for an odd almost grittiness that I experienced much more in the tap beer, but is still present from the bottle. Slightly odd--but the bottled version goes down smoother. Better, by my taste.

Like I said, I could drink way too much of this beer, way too quickly. The nice hoppy top end balances out a very big, meaty flavor. A definite 5.

This beer, from the bottle, might even surpass my other two favorite stouts--Alameda's Black Bear XX Nitro and Rogue's Shakespeare--although I have a hard time shaking my affection for Oregon breweries. All around, though, this is a terrific offering. (1,602 characters)

Photo of joecast
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

hmmm, my first RIS review. looking forward to it. this is actually my third bottle of this, not that im counting. the first two having been shared with a cousin who so kindly brought me four bottles.

great loking label with Mr. Rasputin seemingly giving last rights to whomever may unleash the spirits from within. listed as 9%abv, no dating obvious to me. maybe its what is written in what i am guessing is russian. makes learning spanish in high school seem even less useful.

pours deep black forming a thin, dark tan head which disipates to a lace. ends up with small groupings (islands) of small bubbles. only the slightest carbonation.

aroma is a delightful, no offence to raspy as he seems rather grumpy, mix of all things stout. strong roasted and burnt malt. some coffee. finishing with a bit of astringent alcohol which is the only thing keeping the aroma from a 5.

taste is phenomenal. espresso, roasted malt, bitter chocolate, strong hop bitterness, alcohol heat. all of it in truck-loads.

mouthfeel is like no other i have tried. smooth and filling. just the way i imagine it should be.

although this point is obvious, ill point it out. this stuff is intoxicating.
tough call for me on how to score this as i doubt it could really improve. the only area for improvement i could see would be hiding the alcohol a bit better, but that may not be a good thing. its like a 20 year old mike tyson punching you in the head. if you didnt feel the hurt, he'd probably kill you (then eat your children or something). but if you could feel the hurt, you'd call the fight after the first round.
ok, maybe not the best analogy, but i just finished an old rasputin, and i know ive had enough.

8/4/05-
just enjoying the last of my bottles. a sad day, but one i knew was coming eventually. i am enjoying reviewing my review almost as much as drinking the fabulous brew. the only adjustment to my previous score is to up the taste from 4.5 to 5.0. cheers to north coast for producing this fine ale, and please do continue. i will have to seek this out next time i am in the states. (2,104 characters)

Photo of neenerzig
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drawn into a pint glass. This beer is a very dark brown/almost black color. Tan, creamy head is a good inch when drawn from the tap. Settles to a nice 1/4 inch and simply refuses to go away. Great lace. Roasted, malty aromas of coffee, chocolate, and a hint of caramel are present along with a bit of alcohol. In a way the taste is sweet and a bit milk like in taste and texture. The taste is also exactly like the smell, but even better! Toasted malts and coffee along with chocolate and hints of caramel, and light hints of some hop bitterness and alcohol . Excellent. Has an extremely smooth and creamy mouthfeel with a full body and moderate carbonation. Perfect! Great drinkability especially with the high ABV. This beer is simply superb in just about every way!

Eric (774 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Armsby Abbey

A: Big thick and slow fading head dark almost black with touch of molases color

N: Nose has lots of chocolate and oatmeal and touch of alcohol

T: Taste is very complex and starts with thick dark chocolate and slight oats with a strong alcohol, some sweet caramel and touch of dark fruit like fig, a slight chalkiness cuts through as well but is followed with a slight creamy banana

M: Mouth is very thick and creamy and coats the whole mouth

F: Finish has a nice hop character, it finishes slightly sweet like molases, a touch of spice, and more alcohol, stout, and chocolate linger for a while

Final thoughts: This is one, if not the most, favorite stout of mine. I love how rich, thick and dark it is. Some hop character and chocolate as well as fruits like fig and banana. It's really complex, an experience in itself. (850 characters)

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass, pours a thick dark black with decent head that shrinks quickly to a thin film, and has remarkably thick brown sugar color lacing. Quite lovely. Aroma is beautiful. I don't usually find aromas that wonderful, but this is quite remarkable. Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, licorice and alocohol, perhaps a trace of brown sugar. Taste is just as great, with a complex mixture of the same hints from aroma, a potent blast of roasted malts and espresso-like aftertaste, finishes moderately thick, smooth and creamy. MF is really good, I actually get different feels from it down the glass, and the body is great. What a fantastic beer, a classic in my book. (680 characters)

Photo of 11millsown113
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - black, pours very dark with a dark thick head. my idea of a perfect looking beer.

Smell - hints of chocolate, roasted barley, and coffee

Taste - the hops hit you first the smooth off the a coffee chocolate aftertaste. the alchohol is almost completely hidden. very smooth and flavorful

Mouthfeel - thick and delicious. the flavor coats the mouth and stays there.

Overall -it was expensive for me at 15 dollars a 4 pack. but i just want to drink more of it. (475 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a solid opaque black color, with a nice dark tan head. Good lacing through out the pint. Smells of caramel, chocolate, cream, and alcohol. The taste is of chocolate and roasted malt. The alcohol warms the throat as it passes into the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is full bodied and dry. Overall, this is a very nice brew. (324 characters)

Photo of creepinjeeper
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Being a fan of Imperial Stouts, I cannot believe I waited so long to try this one. Pouring it into my snifter, it looks almost motor oil black with a khaki head that settles into nice lacing on top.
The smell is one of dark roast malts. Bitter coffee grinds to say the least. That dark roast carries over to the taste. Not exactly sure how to describe it, but I like it.
The mouhtfeel is rich and coats the tongue and taste buds with that roasty goodness.
Overall, an excellent example of what an Russian Imperial Stout could/should be.
I will be picking this one up again. (576 characters)

Photo of BigHeavy
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip. Beer was allowed to warm for 30 or so minutes before sweet, sweet consumption.

A: Beer pours an absolutely opaque, pitch black. Looks kinda like motor oil, but not the clean stuff. The stuff that you left in for 3,000 too many miles. A luscious mocha head two fingers in height forms and lingers for quite a while before settling to about a half finger. Beautiful lacing appears with each sip.

S: Aroma is rich in dark chocolate and hops. Hops smell citrusy to me. There are some dark fruits thrown in there as well, which complement the aforementioned scents quite nicely. A touch of alcohol stings the nostrils (in a good way) as well.

T: Those citrus hops dominate the taste early in the sip. They give way to some bitter dark chocolate. It's like a one two punch of bitterness from hops and roasted malts. Just an incredible sensation in a stout. I can pick out those dark fruits and a little bit of black coffee notes as well. Just an amazing beer.

M: Smooth, rich, creamy, coating. Where doth I begin? Beer just feels awesome moving around the mouth with every sip. Beer is also thick and a little chewy.

D: Well, the beer definitely disappeared from my glass pretty quickly. The 9.0% ABV will creep up on you a little, so be cautious when having more than one. Perfect as a before bed sipper.

O: In my humble and unimportant opinion, Old Rasputin in the perfect interpretation of a Russian Imperial Stout. It takes the already awesome style and throws aggressive hopping into the mix. It's in your face with flavors from start to finish. A perfect way to end a night OR start a day. (1,645 characters)

Photo of rooskey379
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Easily found everywhere in MI and what a treat that is. If you're entering the stout game, begin here. Excellent beer, great price, great availability (in MI, not sure about elsewhere). The 98 is a good representation of this beer. (231 characters)

Photo of czechsaaz
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big aroma. Tons of roast malt. Some dried plum fruitiness, coffee, burnt sugar. No hops which is good for the style.

Deep black, with some red highlights when held to bright light. Small head but lasting around the edges. Kicks up when you swirll the glass.

Strong bitter flavor from dark roast malt. Ballaced out with lots of sweet base malt. Great fruit flavor and fermentation. Dried cherries, smokey esters. Hop bitterness is pretty high, no hop flavor, in style. Some hot alcohol.

Body is a little low for Imp. Stout. Slightly warming and creamy on the tongue.

Big sipping beer. A little smaller than some Imp. Stouts but it's a classic take on the style. (672 characters)

Photo of baxterbrew
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So, I'm about to brew a RIS so I thought I'd stop at the local beer store. Picked up this crazy looking bottle with the cursing Rasputin on the label.

Poured it out into a pint glass and it is darker than dark...blacker than black. A hint of red when brought to a bright light. The head is voluptuous but fades quickly with minimal lacing.

The smell is pure, unadulterated malt with a hint of come hither alcohol. I was a little intimidated but it drew me in. It said, 'come closer, I won't hurt you."

The taste is very complex. There is a strong coffee/espresso taste upfront and you can definitely get the hops - they are kickin' maybe a little too much (dry hopped maybe?). Very astringent, almost made me want to pucker. The thing that really surprised me was the overwhelming sweetness of the aftertaste. Sugary almost overpowers the hops. You're left with a mix of the sweet and the bitter. Nice warmness in the belly when the alcohol rams its way home. One of those beers that makes you sit and think on what made this happen.

Mouthfeel is there and very heavy but not as heavy as one would think in a beer this heavy. There is an oily component but the astringency drives it away.

Drinkability- wouldn't want to drink more than a couple. Might be scary!

A very good beer especially given the style. This one is a good one to show new BAs. So much going on. (1,385 characters)

Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite RISs - easily ranks up there with brews like The Abyss, Peche Mortel, Goose Island, etc. It pours BLACK and it is a very heavy drinker. The taste is just about as good as it gets for me, as are the smell and look of the beer. Its got some chocolate, espresso, even some fruity undertones - the whole sip is just awesome. A bit more hoppy than other Imperial Stouts, but I love it -- very particular taste. Great with some chocolate.

Old Rasputin will always be especially special to me as it was not only the first craft beer I ever had, but also the first Imperial Stout I ever had, which is now my favorite style. This is the beer that got me hooked on beer, and it is still one of my all time favorites. (727 characters)

Photo of Slamms
4.75/5  rDev +11%

The brothers say, "not for the faint of heart", but for this style, remarkably easy drinking, as all the wood, chocolate, coffee, etc is mitigated by an overall delicate refinement, belied by the chunky head clearly visible through the dark bottle. Really, the overriding aftertaste is something of fruit, though the bitterness is pronounced as well, the hops probably preserving the taste, as it tastes like it was bottled yesterday. But the bitterness as with everything is perfectly calibrated, not too much, not too little. So much more refined and unobtrusive, than say Guinness, but ironically more intense than Guinness (how does that work). Hard to fathom how something this perfectly calibrated originated in America. (731 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,495 ratings.