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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

3,512 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,512
Hads: 11,233
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 482
Gots: 2,276 | 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: 3,512 | Hads: 11,233
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)

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

I chose a 12 ounce bottle from the singles section in my Trader Joe's. Upon opening, my dog began to bark and ran under the house as the heady aroma of coffee grounds, bacon drippings hops and Hershey’s chocolate syrup filled the air. Oh, I forgot to take the trash out again.

This stuff goes down smooth, like molasses on corn bread, or white on rice. The +8% alcohol content makes it easy to brag to my wife, “I’m just having one, dear, I’ll do the dishes after Sports Center is over.” And the check is in the mail.

And such clever package design. Is that the Giant's closer Brian Wilson on the label or Karl Marx?

This is sipping beer and I drink slow so the last two inches in the bottom get pretty warm. I use those last dregs to dissolve the brake dust off my car wheels, it is powerful stuff. (814 characters)

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

Serving Date:
11 December 2006

Presentation:
Short, brown 12oz bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance:
Pours a dark brown, with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smell:
Smells of slightly overcooked coffee with a hint of sweetness.

Taste:
Smooth, tingles the tongue. Sweet espresso flavors followed by bitter chalky feel towards the back of the mouth. Creaminess at the front. Hints of a cocoa.

Notes:
A very enjoyable stout. Getting down into the beer allows the nose to be engulfed in the delectable aromas wafting up from the brew before the wonderful flavor hits the lips. Enjoy this one as it warms up. (644 characters)

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

I poured this into a pint glass.
The appearance was a jet black color with a thin half finger of off white to slight tan foamy head. There was a gentle spider web lacing sticking but ending up sliding a bit into the beer.
The smell had some nice roasty to sweet chocolates with a decent amount of light roasty coffee.
The taste was mainly sweet with a nice roasty chocolate quality to it. There is also a nice long dry chocolate aftertaste with a very satisfying sweet finish.
The mouthfeel seems to be fairly creamy and sweet.
Overall, so glad to have this again tonight for a nice touch of a revisit and that I have three more of these to cherish. (653 characters)

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

A: Just a picturesque head. Tall, tan and creamy. Makes me teary eyed. Floating on a pitch black moat that defies definition. Too dark to see whats going on in there....lets move to the next step

S: Roasted malts and chocolate cheesecake. Brings to mind chocolate eclairs with fresh pastry dough and sweet cream. Liquid dessert coming right up.

T: Just great. Begins a balanced smooth freefall across the palate...making a play for one of the smoothest Imperial stouts then switches gears into a sultry sweetness...only just for a moment until the hops bitterness sends a swaggering dash down the center of the tongue then finally relenquishs control to the roasted malt burnt character that massages the side-back of the tongue. Truly a journey

M: Everything I could hope for. Thick, creamy, velvety across the tongue

D: Massively complex. Abundantly tasty. A masterpiece of a beer. (895 characters)

Photo of Kishanti
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Pours black with a sudsy chestnut head. Nose is dark and syrupy with a light medicinal astringency: cocoa bean, espresso, roasted malt, everclear. Crisp and straightforward when gulped: bitter, effervescent, and warming, with lingering hops, chocolate, malt. Readily coats the mouth and increases in sweetness aerated.

Old Rasputin is one of my go-to beers and one of the (several) reasons I first fell in love with North Coast. A potent, heady, mysteriously drinkable warmer. (477 characters)

Photo of KyleSweetsema
4.75/5  rDev +11%

This is one of my favorite beers overall, and probably my favorite by appearance. Poured into a nonic pint glass, giving me a deep midnight black color with a lovely, two finger, tan-colored head that lasted until the beer was about halfway gone. Had quite a prevalent espresso aroma and taste with some very light hints of hazelnut and licorice. Being a 9%, the alcohol was present in the taste, but definitely not overwhelming, giving it a pleasant, warming feel down the throat. Definitely a highly respectable, top-ranking beer. (532 characters)

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

Appearance: Pours almost black with a toffee-colored, rich head. A very sexy and impressive glass of beer.

Aroma: Smoky malts and bitter, unsweetened chocolate with a hint of coffee. The smokiness is to die for!

Flavor/Finish: Deep roasted malts, with elements of coffe and chocolate. the midtones are quite sweet while the finish has a coffee-flavored bitterness. Lingering, mouth-coating finish which betrays the high abv at times.

Body/Mouthfeel: Very full-bodied and creamy, not a heavy mouth-coating. Very low carbonation lends to a somewhat syrupy mouthfeel at times.

Drinkability: With a somewhat syrupy texture, high abv and a heavy, full body, Old Rasputin is a sipper to end a evening with. Greater ambition might result in an upset stomach. (757 characters)

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

On tap at The Sidelines in Arcata, California.

An inch of mocha latte colored dense head -- emphasis on dense. Smell is of caramel sweetened coffee sheathed in a tart bitterness with an aura of alcohol warmth.

Taste begins surprisingly sweet -- milk chocolate melted into a healthy dose of espresso. The middle opens with notes of roasted coffee beans, even some faint traces of licorice. The close is a delicious rub down of toasty bitterness and a distinct, yet not overpowering, alcohol buzz.

Barely any carbonation noticeable. Goes down like a melted milkshake. (574 characters)

Photo of cleve00
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Okay, I love RIS. This pleased me in all categories. The only reason for not giving 5's is because this is my first RIP!

Color/visual: Black with 2 finger white lacing that slowly dissipated.

Smell: nice coffee, some chocolate, no remarkable fruits.

Taste: Decadent, hearty but not too thick. slight bitter at the mid to back of mouth/tongue(not unpleasant) but an awesome finish. The awesome taste got even got even better as it warmed!

I found myself savoring each sip and let it warm on my palate before swallowing. This was an experience for me. I am new to RIS, Is there any better than this??? Time will tell...going to the store tomorrow to pick up some more...MY #1 FAVORITE for now:) Thanks North Coast Brewing Co. for making my first RIS. A definite bar has been set. (782 characters)

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

My favorite stout that I've found, and its available year-round!

IMO a perfect blend of coffee, chocolate, and an oatmealish sort of midrange that makes this beer incredibly balanced and drinkable. Warm, boozy feel only adds to how awesome this beer is. I could probably drink a keg in a sitting if only my stomach would allow it. (331 characters)

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

This is a wonderful, rich, somewhat assertive, yet balanced and smooth imperial stout with nice copelxity.

Black, this has a huge dark tan head slowly shrinking to a thin, syrupy foamy top and foamy, uneven lace.

The aroma is rich, dark toast, rich bittersweet chocolate, stwed fermented prunes, wet potting soil, blackstrap mollasses - very rich and very nice.

The taste is simlar, rich fermented prunes and currants stewed with bvlackstrap molasses, along with dark toast, dark chocolate, singed leaves, peppery-anise spice. It has solid sweetness but it's not too sweet or thick and has just enough spicey bitterness and alcoholic spicey warmh to balance, with lingering, mellow spicey bitterness. The alcohol is noticeable but smooth. (742 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,512 ratings.