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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
95
world-class

3,508 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,508
Hads: 11,225
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 477
Gots: 2,269 | 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.
View: Beers (25) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,508 | Hads: 11,225
Photo of StayWounded
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am a little bias as this is one of my go-to beers. I've had it both on-tap and in the bottle multiple times.

A- Looks as a Russian Imperial should. Deep, dark body, with a strong mocha head that lingers well.

S- Lots going on here. Dark fruits, coffee, chocolate, a nice roasty smell. You can definitely smell the warmth of the alcohol on this one.

T- On-tap the flavors coalesce in a more subtle way, very nicely. It is bold as a Russian Imperial should be, and the warming heat hits the back of the throat. I can see that being a problem for some drinkers, but it is nice, especially during winter months (and even more so when you live on a mountain). The primary flavors are the chocolate and coffee and the dark fruits, bitterness comes though with a bit of sweetness towards the middle to end.

M- Very warm and smooth with a bit of thickness. The bottle is a bit less smooth and less, thick. The warmth is the stand out characteristic.

Overall- I've got to say this is one of my favorite beers. Affordable given other options and very drinkable. Excellent during winter and excellent for night in. (1,111 characters)

Photo of popopine
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Holy coffee-chocolate-licorice-flavor mother of god -- this one is big indeed. Nice deep black color. Medium head. (Hint of cat pee aroma not so great but easy enough to look past). 1st one and certainly not my last. i was going to try and float a pils on top but that would just f-it up.

Like a good Guinness on steroids. (324 characters)

Photo of WickedSluggy
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best imperial stouts I have had.

A - Black except in edges of glass where it is dark brown. Foam is brown - not a lot of it.

S - Malty hoppy and coffee-like

T - Very good flavor - RICH and pleasing flavor roasted barley and hops - Roasted nuts and coffee. Balanced maltiness with bitter from both hops and roasted barley

M - Wooly and full bodied

D - A pleasant robust experience that makes me appreciate the potential of this style. If possible I will want to keep this one on hand. (510 characters)

Photo of theteleman
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from nitro bottle into pint glass. Dark black with a brownish tan head. Smells like chocolate and coffee. Mouthfeel is thick and pleasent. Taste is Coffee, chocolate and a warming alcohol presence to finish it off. One of my favorite stouts, a great beer for a cold winter night. (286 characters)

Photo of John1985
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Said a prayer to St. Stephen to ward off Rasputin. Spicy malt/hop aroma, wonderful roasted malt flavor, sweet malt aftertaste with alcohol on the finish. Worth $2.50 a bottle and I'm a cheapskate. (198 characters)

Photo of Jsteez
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter. Sipped it slow and thoughtfully, just the way I like it.

Appearance was black as night; perhaps a black licorice color; beautiful buttermilk cream head which dissipated into a thin tan surface. Minimal lacing on the glass.

Smelled like burnt barley; burnt malt; a little smoky, but not too much; dark chocolate notes, grass, wood; black coffee; burnt caramel.

The taste was like heaven; sweet at the front, bittersweet in the backend; balanced. Black brown sugared chocolate; grassy and woody; a little smoky. Perhaps a little piney and resinous. Roasted barley malt; burnt sugar; burnt malt. Burnt caramel; burnt brown sugar. A slight, yet pleasant, bitter taste lingers throughout consumption. There was even some brown crusty bread.

The body was velvet and smooth; full bodied, yet highly satisfactory. It was curved in just the right places; warm and satisfying, chewy, even. She did me well.

Great beer for a perfect Valentine's evening. Sipped it thoughtfully. Very high quality stout that is worth drinking. Highly recommended. (1,067 characters)

Photo of TastyAdventure
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - motor oil black. big, nearly 2 finger head that is think and foamy, almost the consistency of whipped cream. awesome. head is tan colored, darkest head i've seen. good retention and lacey all the way down the glass.

Smell - touch of burnt oats, bitter coffee.

taste - mild malty sweetness immediately taken over by burnt oats and bitter coffee. the head tames the bitterness with a smooth creamy slight sweetness. finishes pretty dry, and begs you to take another drink. Although you have to monitor yourself; it's pretty heavy.

Mouthfeel - thick and creamy. the carbonation is very low, despite the large whipped-cream-esque head, and is perfect for this style of beer.

Monster! the best stout hands down! A little too bitter for me, but that's just the style, and I'm a sweet malt lover. I'll take one anytime anyplace.

Next review: Aged for 8 months

A (5) - jet black, 3 fingers tan chunky head

S (4.75) - Straight chocolate. Whiskey. very very slight resin scent.

T (5) - Smoooth. Sweet chocolate. slightly burnt coffee, then more chocolate that's caramelized. Heavy cream. chocolate. After several drinks, I pick up on a mild resiny hops that are only slightly different than the acrid burnt coffee taste earlier.

M (4.75) - Smooth. Smooooth. The chunky whipped-cream-like head is a nice topping, and sometimes the body feels like heavy cream.

Overall, aging for 8 months was great for this beer. I was blown away. Better than when I had it fresh, some of the hop bitterness faded. Perfection. the only Imperial Stout worth drinking. (1,562 characters)

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with a finger width brown foamy head. No head retention but maintains moderate lacing on the side of the glass. Aroma of roasted malts, coffee and dark chocolate. You can really taste the dark chocolate malty flavor. Very smooth, silky taste. Ends with a bitter coffee taste. The bitterness retains in the aftertaste. It is soapy. A very, very good stout. One of my favorites. (403 characters)

Photo of xoagray
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thick, dark beer with flavors of fruits and coffee. Has a good head and looks great in a glass. Feels a little syrup like in the mouth, but doesn't get bitter at all if it lingers for a while on your tongue.

Starts off with just a tinge of bite, but that's all you'll ever get, the rest is smooth and tasty. I could see this going very well with a roast beef sandwich.

In short, very very good. (398 characters)

Photo of Pencible
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This poured with a medium brown head and had a very nice chocolate scent. The texture was thick and heavy, as you would expect, but it wasn't overly strong or too heavy like Rogue's imperial stout. It had tons of bittersweet/dark chocolate flavor with a bit of hops in the aftertaste. The alcohol wasn't too apparent, and there actually wasn't much coffee in the flavor either. It was super smooth and overall very well balanced, which made this surprisingly easy to drink. A wonderful drink - maybe my favorite stout to date? (526 characters)

Photo of buckslayer50
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

LOVE this beer, the look was black as coal with an awesome tan foam head, taste was incredible, and it went down so easy. Love everything about it and will buy it many more times in the future. (194 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Very black with a slight amount of light shining through the bottom. Big creamy tan head with great retention and good lacing. The head retention is surprising for an imperial stout.

Smell: Strong scent of roasted malts and chocolate with noticeable floral hops. Very hoppy for an imperial stout.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee, sweet dried fruit, and a hint of molasses. Toasted bread and mild grapefruit hop bitterness. Not as hoppy as it smells.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with medium carbonation. Alcohol is hidden well.

Overall: An exceptional stout across the board. (633 characters)

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 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)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,508 ratings.