Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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3,494 Reviews

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Reviews: 3,494
Hads: 11,142
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 464
Gots: 2,195 | 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: 3,494 | Hads: 11,142
Photo of HattedClassic
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful. I managed to get a nice multicolored head with bright white on the top and the more brownish head on the bottom. I have some constant foam on the top. I see some medium lacing on the glass, which is good. The dark black color reminds of what dark chocolate looks like. I got a nice dark dark brown almost dark chocolate when I poured it.

Smell:I get a nice light whiff of roasted malts. For me, the dominant flavor appears to be the dark chocolate mixed with malts.

Taste: ORGASM!!! I get roasted malts mixed with dark chocolate . I can taste the alcohol a little bit but enough that it balances the other flavors. Frankly, I like the balance.

Mouthfeel: Wonderful light carbonation when you first drink it followed by a silky finish.

Drinkability: Definitely drinkable. I wish I had tried this earlier in the winter. The wonderful smell with the beautiful presentation, not to mention the price makes this beer a winner. To be honest, I think this stout is definitely an improvement over an espresso with bourbon poured in it. (1,054 characters)

Photo of ritzkiss
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark with a 1/2 inch head. Thick aroma with molasses, toffee, toast, hops, hints of chocolate all coming out. First taste is like drifting into heaven. Sweet but not too much so, complex like the best women, dark like a starless night. Warning: Makes one wax poetic.

Medium finish, good lacing. Has 9% but is one of those beers that'll sweet talk you, only to steal your wallet later.

One of these bad boys usually satisfies but could easily be a 'session' sipper for the hardy. Great with chocolate, by a fire, or under the stars. Honestly, one of the best beers I've had. Dark and delicious. (602 characters)

Photo of DanielMB
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%

This is a tremendous imperial stout. That being said, it is a little lacking in the hoppiness that characterizes most of these beer types, and it could use a little more of that. Otherwise, it's all quite solid. It pours pitch black with a small tan head that sticks around for quite a long time. It smells mostly like chocolate. The taste is similar. The overwhelming flavor in this beer is of chocolate. The mouthfeel is a little sticky and smooth, very pleasant. Overall, this is a world-class RIS that I would highly recommend to anyone. (541 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't believe in a perfect 5 but I had a real hard time not giving this beer a perfect score. Serve in a pint glass at just below room temp.

Appearance: When you crack open the bottle and pour into your pint glass it initially looks black, until you hold it up to the light you'll notice it is very dark brown and completely opaque (no light gets through this one). Fantastic 3-4 figure head, super frothy. The head is a light brown very tasty foam that lingers for a while and as it fades away, leaves behind thick evidence, that it was there, clinging to the slides of the glass.

Smell: Amazing, enticing smell. Dark roast, mocha coffee. Truly, it made my mouth water at the very sent of it. A complex -- sweet, toasty malty aroma that just echoes in your nose. WOW! Upon further contemplation, there is a slight hint of vanilla and caramel, then its back to the chocolate coffee.

Taste: The taste is just as magnificent as the smell would suggest. It is complex and interesting. As stouts go this is not TOO sweet but just sweet enough. When I think about the taste I come up with: black and toasted yet sweet vanilla chocolate coffee. Whatever all that means. I think this is one of my absolute favorite flavors. Then, to make matters even more heightened; I broke out some dark chocolate Christmas morsels, and snaked on them as I finished my beer. The way they complimented each other was out of this world; divine, or some shit like that. Incredible!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was near perfect. I like stouts, but most stouts (at least the ones I like) are very heavy, thick, syrupy and sticky in the mouth. Some ice cream or pie helps wash them down. Not for 'Old Rasputin'. This beer is medium bodied, but light for a stout that tastes this dark. It makes this dangerously easy to drink.

Drinkability: While I love most everything about stouts, they are usually not the highest scoring on the drinkability because they are so sweet and so heavy. They taste great but then your full. This beer may be heavier than many, yet as stouts go, (in my experience) this may be the most drinkable, easy down the hatch beer (that is a RIS) I’ve found yet!

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (2,209 characters)

Photo of mobius024
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured as noir as the heart of darkness from a 12 oz bottle. You cannot see a flashlight held on the other side of the glass.

The Monk Rasputin lost his balls on his assassination. This beer has not. It has all the requisite Russian Imperial Stout qualities: somewhat bitter, somehow caffeinated, and so on. Its suchness as an example of the style rests in how it combines the elements. The mouth feel starts as a hoppy/espresso-ish annunciation somewhere on the outskirts of taste and rises to ride through one's oral cavity, like a Cossack cavalry charge. That done, it retires to rest on the back of the tongue, awaiting recall. I can't exactly explain how, but the story that Rasputin was a womanizing peasant mystic fits this brew ...

(Addenda: at a much later date this beer continues to satisfy; but I did not note that the lacing is apparently painted on the glass, as it seems to remain forever.) (907 characters)

Photo of MrStark
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance is a thick dark black with a nice light grown head. It recedes after a little while leaving a little stick lacing.

Smell is quite rich. A wonderful blend of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and some dark fruits as well.

Taste is wonderful! Just like the aroma, a sweet blend of roasted coffee and malts, chocolate and a nice bitter bite from the hops. A nice feel from the alcohol on the end, especially as it warms.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy with a small amount of carbonation. Very pleasent on the tongue.

Drinkability is very good! It goes down quite smooth and has a wonderful taste. I could have several of these but I think it be better enjoyed one at a time. This is the best RIS I have had so far. Just wonderful! (796 characters)

Photo of ndekke39
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought a 12 oz bottle to consume by myself. No bottling or best-by date on it. Poured into a brandy snifter - I don't know if this is the proper glassware, but I love how it opens up the flavors and warms it. Nice, oily black color, completely opaque, with a thin, tan head. Very good retention - left rings around the glass. Smells and tastes of all sorts of dark wonderfulness: cherries, dark roast coffee, some dark chocolate, raisins, red grapes. At times the aromas reminded me of a great red wine - a tad woody, smoky, and spicy. Lots of complexity all around, and the flavors and aromas changed as it warmed up in my hand. Thick, heavy mouthfeel - not too creamy - it fits the character well. Overall, a very drinkable beer - highly recommended. A wonderful, complex drink. (780 characters)

Photo of sirdrinkwell
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a: deep, dark brown/black appearance with nice tanned head.

s: the nose on this brew is actually pretty active for a stout, with a malty sweetness and even hop presence

t: superb chocolate and coffee taste, extremely smooth with just enough bite of alcohol to remind you that you're drinking a real brew.

m: mouthfeel on this is extremely smooth, with an appropriate amount of carbonation to allow the mouthful to flow over the palate comfortably.

d: i'm not sure where i've been hiding all this time, but this is a superbly drinkable stout that i will get my hands on as much as possible. highly recommended, sout lovers hit the jackpot with this one! (659 characters)

Photo of N3rdM3t4l
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into standard pint.

A: black as black can be. About an inch of rich foamy kahki head fell into a thick ring around the glass. No light gets through this, during the pour it was deep deep brown like ebony or mahogany.

S: big roasty notes, I get notes of dates and prunes. a bit of alcohol. No hops that I can detect.

T: I love this stuff. Big toasted and roasted notes, a bit of the date flavor from the nose. Lots of hop on the finish that last a good long time.

M: thick and rich but not as heavy as its american counterparts. Smooth and dangerously drinkable.

O: deserves all the hype it gets. Holds its own and works well with foods. (653 characters)

Photo of littlesgtpepper
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had on top at the North Coast Brewery on 09/22/10 in a pint glass.

This beer has a mocha-colored, fluffy/smooth head that stays. This beer is black, like King Bowser's heart.

Smells of semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, and malt.

Holy God, this beer is incredible! This beer has so many flavors: dark chocolate, strong espresso, malt, black coffee, nuts, and toffee and even a hint of the Holy Lord himself. There is also a strong hop bitterness that really works to balance everything out but doesn't overtake the beer which is truly a blessing.

I could have a couple of these beers but no more since the flavors are so strong that the only thing keeping this beer from being absolutely perfect is the drinkability. Truly a phenomenal beer, especially on tap. (760 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is really the best imperial stout value around. Available in six packs for a reasonable price, this beer constantly amazes me with its complexity and bigness. The real treat is the sinful chocolate notes packed with hops and burnt malt. Cellar age only increases the smoothness of all the flavours. A real contender for my favourite beer. (343 characters)

Photo of KrisPaulk77
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my goblet, this evil black elixer sported a huge, two finger head of creamy brown foam. Huge lacing as the beer was consumed. Actual rings around the glass. Impressive. Inky black, impenatrable to light. A beautiful beer.
The nose is rich, burnt malts and sugar, some bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee, toffee, and alcohol.
The taste doesn't disappoint. A fairly bitter rush, tempered by a huge roasted coffee flavor, rich chocolates, dark fruits, alcohol, and a rough sweet finish.
The beer coats and fills the mouth. Chewy. You could eat this with a spoon.
This is a classic, suberb beer. It is dangerously drinkable. You don't feel the 9% until it is too late. A wonderful treat of a beer, probably well paired with a rich cigar, a rich desert, or on a bitter cold day. Thumbs up and cheers to North Coast for unleashing this wonderful ale on the world. (876 characters)

Photo of dustified1234567
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Black with a finger and a half of yellow brown head. It leaves a foam on the sides of the glass.

S- Strong hops smell and a little malty.

T- Malty coffee flavor that was really very good.

M- Fee carbonation start at the center of my tongue and spread out to my cheeks. Thick.

D- Drink slow to enjoy it. Very good Russian Imperial stout and I would definitely go and grab a few more. (397 characters)

Photo of burnstar
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black with a big persistant tan head, nice lacing down the glass. Aroma is dark chocolate, coffee, some spicy hop freshness and a hint of alcohol. Starts with a touch of burnt malt, some nice underlying sweetness throughout. Hops make their presence felt in the finish. It just feels like everything is big and balanced in this beer- everything in perfect proportion. It manages to be huge, delicous, and nuanced without being totally overpowering. Nice full mouthfeel. I think this is exceptionally drinkable for the style. Perhaps my favorite imperial stout. (566 characters)

Photo of mostpoetsdo
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours an amazing near-black-dark-brown, with a frothy chocolate tan head and beautiful lacing.

S: Major notes are chocolate and booze, coffee and malt too.

T: From the first sip, it is fabulous. A huge taste of chocolate up front combined with roasted malts. Almost like a shake. It ends with subtle flavors of dark fruit and alcohol, along with a tad bit of coffee.
(11/11) '09 Vintage: Alcohol has mellowed out, incredibly smooth flavors. A touch of black licorice comes in, while bittersweet chocolate comes into play.

M: Nice and creamy, but more carbonation than I expected, it works, though. Alcohol masked incredibly well.

D: It's fantastic, the only warning would be the ABV. This beer is an absolute pleasure to drink.
(11/11) '09 Vintage: Outrageously drinkable with a couple years on it. Throw a 4-pack in your cellar, you won't regret it (wish I put in more). (878 characters)

Photo of mr-jj
4.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've had this beer many times. When it is available on nitro, it's really hard for me to choose anything else. It pours nearly pure black with a tan head. The retention and lacing are excellent. The aroma is delicious - coffee and cocoa with floral hops adding complexity. The flavor lives up the nose. It's an explosion of coffee and cocoa malts with a great hop presence that balances the sweet malt. It finishes with a mild bitterness of coffee and floral hops. Really complex flavors. The body is medium-full with a real smooth creaminess on nitro. I'm a huge fan of this beer. (593 characters)

Photo of foglemgs
4.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured like motor oil from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass - and that's a beautiful thing! The brew is pitch black with a tan colored head that fades but leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S: A truly lovely bouquet of malt, coffee, and chocolate, with a hint of floral undertones.

T: Simply put, this is one excellent RIS. The coffee flavor hits you right in the head, and the high (9% ABV) finishes it off.

M: Very pleasant and thick, with a sweet maltiness balanced by a dry stout finish. Exquisite.

O: One of my favorite beers, this one never disappoints. I always look for this when I'm "picking a six." (613 characters)

Photo of myelo
4.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a bottle poured into a plastic cup (I was in a hotel …you do what you gotta do).

Opaque black with a tall, medium brown persistent head.

Aroma is dark chocolate, coffee and roasted malt with citrus hops.

Big flavor: chocolate and espresso, malt sweetness and moderate hop bitterness which balance the ethanol very well. Hint of oak

Mouthfell is thick and smooth, with oily creaminess, ethanol warmth but again, perfectly balanced.

The overall impression is a great balance between big, roasted malt, moderately high hop bitterness and ethanol. (557 characters)

Photo of kingjames1
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hands down the best Russian Imperial Stout I've had. Smells wonderfully rich and balanced. I smell dark breads, dark chocolate, and dark, rich coffee. Everything about this is dark and rich. But what is so remarkable to me is that there is no element of unpleasant bitterness (I often detect something approaching bile in many stouts). As I sip it, there is some definite hops bitterness, but it complements the sweet, roasted malts so well. Wow. Very balanced and pleasant. Surely this is the standard of RIS.

Awesome. Not as thick as some Imperial Stouts, and perhaps for that reason, very drinkable (at 9%!). (615 characters)

Photo of wildcatboy
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I've had this beer a handful of times. On tap, in bottle, on nitro. Every time I know ordering that it's a classic but I am continually impressed. If you like stouts this is a must try. North Coast sets the bar and sets it high with this one. Smooth smooooth drink. (265 characters)

Photo of Sharkophile
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lost a bet with my room mate and had to buy him a pack, which we split. This was a while ago but Old Rasputin was a very memorable beer, so I'll do the best I can to do it justice.

A: Poured into a pint glass. Black as night with a towering coffee colored head, although I remember being a bit disappointed with the retention.

S: Chocolate, coffee, caramel and a waft of alcohol. Nice.

T: Wow. Loads of roasted flavors, coffee, chocolate, dark caramel, a little hoppy and alcoholic on the finish.

M: Full body, perfect carbonation.

O: I'm still young, but this is the best stout I've tasted to date. Amazing stuff and great for the price. (643 characters)

Photo of danny013
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a 16 oz. English style tankard. Pours a deep black body with light hints of brown around the edges, topped with a thick 2-finger brown head. Head falls into the beer and leaves a nice .25" cake over the beer for half the brew and thins out after. Great lacing.

Smell is mainly of a complex malt/chocolate balance, some sweet hints with a big dark chocolate aroma with some roasted grains thrown in. Hops are present, assertive to push through that malt base, somewhat citrusy, piney. Very nice and complex.

Taste is as big and complex as the aroma. Some slight astringency up front initially, gives way almost immediately to a big, dark chocolate malt base. Roasted grains push through, hops tagging along. Good mix of roasted grains and hop bitterness push the huge initial maltiness back and take control, revealing another facet of this brew. Hops are a mix of citrus and some gentle pine. After swallowing the beer a light, tingly carbonation is left on the tongue that brings through some pleasant roasted grains and more hop bitterness, along with a nice warming sensation from the alcohol. Alcoholic warmth left all down the throat. Dark chocolate flavors linger on the tongue. Wow.

Mouthfeel is great, thick, viscous body with a perfect carbonation level to move this thick beer around the palate.

Drinkability is great. A delicious, complex ale to sit and sip and pick out it's gentle nuances. Not something to drink more than 2 of. Perfect for cold evenings, I'm going to let a bottle or two of this rest until winter time here.

Overall, a fantastic, complex ale that will knock your socks off with it's aroma/flavors as well as it's ABV. Not for the lighthearted, this is definitely something to be savored. (1,753 characters)

Photo of acsprouse
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured very dark into a snifter. Very robust, strong, deep roasted malt character with slight hop aromas in the malt. Thick dark head.. perfectly carbonated. The mouthfeel is creamy but balanced. Roasty yet clean. The taste was malty.. chocolate notes.. coffee notes.. strong but pleasant. Easily one of the most drinkable imperials i have had. Perfection. I give this beer an overall 5/5.. why? Legacy is a part indeed yet taste.. style.. and everything about this beer was exceptional to me. Cheers mates (506 characters)

Photo of turnblom79
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great Russian Imperial Stout flavor. I really enjoyed this one compared to other RIS because the alcohol taste was barely there unlike some others. This was very dark and thick, but I was still able to put a nice head on it when pouring. The taste was very chocolaty with nice coffee tones, and a nice smooth finish. (316 characters)

Photo of GossageBrewery
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. This Russian Imperial Stout pours motor oil black. Nicely carbonated and great thick brown head. The stout has an average amount of lacing. The stout has an aroma of burnt malt, chocolate, and expresso. The aroma is outstanding! The taste is complex you get the malty burnt taste which gives way to chocolate and expresso. This beer tastes exactly like it smells! Great! There is also a nice afterthought of bitter hops and has a nice warm finish. The warming effects of the 9% alcohol cap off each sip. Awesome beer, Simply Awesome! Can't wait to try more offerings from North Coast Brewing! (637 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,494 ratings.