Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 9,476 | Reviews: 3,335 | Display Reviews Only:
2.78/5 rDev -35.3%
WAY OVER-RATED micro-brewed high alcohol content export extra-stout. Character is way too busy on tongue back-outside tastebuds. After-taste all over the place.
I like a simple ultra-strong Cohiba extra-vigoroso torpedo maduro cigar. This beer is way too tootie-fruity to go with my favorite simple but strong cigar.
I much prefer best match: Leinenkugel's Big Eddy from original Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin brewry spring brewed seasonally with year on bottleneck band - cigar bands come off on way into humidor.
Rasputin is SISSY GIRLY Stout only good for fruit cake. I cannot believe the rating Rasputin gets here & I've lived in many places in the world to acquire local appreciation for water, ingredients & process characteristics.
02-25-2012 01:10:42 | More by Nicknackpaddywack
2.78/5 rDev -35.3%
If I trawl the old memory banks I think good ol' Rasputin was one of the first imperial stouts that I had and the one thing I've always liked is the way it looked. Pitch black with a respectably thick tan head that thins down to a thin cover that leaves sticky lacing all the way down. No light getting through this stuff at all. The nose is pretty appealing with sweet notes of dark fruit like plum or raisin. Of course at 9% ABV you can definitely smell the booze in there.
To be blunt the first sip of Rasputin is a kick in the mouth. The carbonation is sharp and hits your tongue first. After that it's big bitterness around the edges. There's a coffee flavor that goes beyond dark roasted into burnt. The word acrid comes to mind to describe the first third of the bottle. The fruit in the nose are pretty much nowhere to be found in the taste. As you make your way through the bottle your palette starts to get used to the bitterness. With that acclimatization comes the realization that Rasputin has a nice velvety body that bitterness aside is very pleasant. Flavor-wise you notice some fleeting hints of unsweetened baker's chocolate and a touch of roasted malt. Lingering underneath that is an earthy, chalky aftertaste that isn't all together unpleasant. Aside from the bitterness there's little other flavor in here to hang a hat on and enjoy.
Put all of this together and Rasputin is a decent imperial stout, but personally I don't see it as balanced, complex or amazing as many others do. For those still trying to find their preference in the world of RIS's I would recommend trying Rasputin at least once to see if a more bitter stout is for you.
12-11-2008 02:27:11 | More by 3leggeddub
2.78/5 rDev -35.3%
I didn't enjoy Old Rasputin, to the point where I almost wasn't even going to bother reviewing it. Obviously, it's a highly regarded beer on here, but it wasn't for me. The taste is what turned me off. It is very bitter. The high alcohol content is not hidden at all, like you will see in other beers. I found the drinkability to be extremely low. This is a beer I probably won't try again.
03-07-2010 18:38:16 | More by Cubsfan1087
2.8/5 rDev -34.9%
Old Rasputin was certainly a beer that I have been looking forward to trying for quite some time now. I have seen it quite often but never had the chance to pick up a bottle to sample until recently. I have to say, this was definitely a case of expectations exceeding reality. The bottle looks good, the drawn face of Rasputin himself cocking a wary eye towards the drinker.
The pour was excellent as well. The beer was nothing but inky blackness, with a chocolate head of foam. I began to get the idea that something was amiss, however, when the nose came at me with alcohol stringency and bitterness.
The taste was less than impressive to me. There were notes of dark chocolate and burnt coffee, but all of the complexity in this beer was totally masked by the alcohol. Granted, it's a bruiser of a beer at 9% ABV, but there was clearly no attempt to hide the potency behind the flavor. The beer just got bitter and uninviting as I made my way through the mug. I did get a few notes of hops and dry grains, but all was lost in the end.
Mouthfeel was ok, the aftertaste bitter. Not drinkable at all, IMO. I won't be reaching for Rasputin's face any time soon. Disappointing, as this is always considered a classic beer by most. It's definitelty too over the top for my tastes.
09-20-2005 18:20:52 | More by Dubblebock
2.8/5 rDev -34.9%
Ok, here I go again, trying to decide if my dislike is for the brew or the style. I'm not a fan of Guinness, and I'm not a fan of Old Rasputin RIS for the same reasons. The appearance is enticing; this stout has an inviting syrupy pour with a rich, dark tan, modest head. The bottle opened with more carbonation than I would have expected from a stout. There is moderately sticky lacing as the head slowly subsides. The color is black and passes virtually no light, which I always find amazing for beers that are also free of cloudiness. The smell is good, but with some coffee bitterness that starts the downhill slide for me. (In the interest of full disclosure, I've never learned to like coffee, either.). This beer is all stout, but its taste has a top and bottom without a middle. The top is a prominent hops bitterness, and the bottom consists of slight saltiness with strong roasted, even burnt, flavors. What came to mind was "catmouth" because I kept trying to get it past my tongue long after the swallow. I would have expected the mouthfeel to be more creamy than it is.
If you like Guinness, you will probably really like this offering - the high Ba rating attests to this. However, it is not for me. I gave this a 3.0 overall in deference to the style, but based on personal preference I would have gone lower. So there it is. If you like bitter, cooked coffee stouts like Guinness, this may be for you and I urge you to try it. If, like me, you like rounder stouts like Young's Oatmeal Stout or an imperial like Old Heathen, this North Coast offering may not be your cup of tea.
11-06-2007 00:26:24 | More by neobassman
2.8/5 rDev -34.9%
This one has a black cola-like coloring with a brownish/orange head. Immediately after opening the bottle, a strong chocolate smell emerges. The taste is intensely bitter, like baker's chocolate, but with noticeable amounts of alcoholic tone. Old Rasputin has a tannic mouthfeel, like sucking a teabag or coffee grounds. Not as creamy or as say, a porter or (non-Imperial) stout, but admittedly, the taste mellows out significantly after the first half. Not exactly what I'd call a session beer. This is more of an experience than just any beer.
01-29-2004 00:20:23 | More by JamesBerry
2.83/5 rDev -34.2%
Poured very dark, as expected, with about a finger of light tan head. The effervescence was short-lived. Residual sweetness was minimal. The nose was much more smoky than I had expected. I had hoped for more roasted malt, coffee, and/or chocolate malt than realized. Overall this was an average beer - Rogue RIS was a far better representative - afaic...
03-12-2007 01:49:56 | More by jrehmert
2.88/5 rDev -33%
Wow this review is going to be all over the board. Old Rasputin pours a black hole dark that is chilling to look at, very nocturnal. The tan thick mocha head is amazing, by far the best head I have seen in sometime, the lacing coats the glass, almost feels like it becomes the glass. The smell is amazing, mocha caramel and hints of dark ghiradelli chocolates. Picked up cinnamon and toasted marshmellow characters as well. The taste was very dry and weak, the roasted malts were bland and dry, alcohol was easy to pick up on, the bitterness outweighed the sweetness a little to much. A full bodied stout and very dry. Nice to look at and warming on those chilly days, but a true stout will make you crave it all times of the year, this was not one of them.
06-27-2004 05:28:08 | More by beertaster13
2.88/5 rDev -33%
The beer pours pitch black. The head is light brown when first poured then settles to a off white colored foam. The smell is of roasted grain but all in all not much of a smell. The first taste is intense roasted flavors followed by a intense bitterness of hops.Neither one of the intense flavors in this beer are all that appealing to me. As I drink this beer the drinkability of this beer is decreasing with each sip. The beer is increadibly roasty at first then it transitions into a very bitter flavor from the hops and then it finishes with alcohol. The beer is intense in the mouth it is increadibly rough with the bittering hops. Overall the beer is a good night cap beer that is ggod to drink once in awhile. Compared to other RIPS it is slightly better than average. Worth trying and would buy again. I live in Portland Maine and buy this beer off tap at Novre Res and have to say off tp this beer is increadible. The flavors are subdued a lot and there is more of a balanced flavor. To end this review worth trying nothing amazing but is pretty good.
11-22-2008 04:21:21 | More by tbart428
2.88/5 rDev -33%
This beer is black in color, and appears to be very dense. Light doesn't pass through at all. An inch thick head formed when poured into the glass. The headed faded into a film at the top of the beer, and left some nice lacing on the side of the glass as it was drank.
The smell is of roasted malts and bitter black coffee. There are some flowery hops that combine with the malts to give it a mild soapy scent. The taste starts with a strong citrus hop flavor uncharacteristic of most stouts. There are bitter chocolate and coffee roasted malts undertones. The bitterness bites on the sides of the tongue, but as the beer warms to room temperature it becomes less noticeable. The after taste coats the mouth with a hoppy flavor.
This is a full bodied beer that has some creaminess to it. Carbonation is pleasant.
This is not what I was expecting in a stout. I never thought it would be this hoppy, this is kind of like a stout for someone that likes IPAs. It has the bitterness of the IPA and the thickness of a stout. This is not my style of beer. I really don't see myself going for another one of these. It's not a bad beer, just not to my tastes.
07-10-2009 02:44:18 | More by Contagion
2.93/5 rDev -31.9%
12 oz bottle to glass. Looks like molasses, head is a foamy version of same. Really liked the nose, coffee meets juicy fruit, I thought that was the best part. Huge, rich flavors, coffee and chocolate, sweet, but carbonation seemed flat (although it still had a huge head several minutes in) and was unbalanced in the alcohol, just too much for the flavors to contain. Got tiresome to drink, sort of like work to get through this, although the overall power was impressive.
11-11-2009 05:39:30 | More by kpoole25
2.95/5 rDev -31.4%
A: A great example of an imperial stout: it pours mighty-nigh unto black, with a thick, brown head of froth that has good retention and decent glass lacing.
S: Black-strap molasses up front, sweet toffee and dried dates supporting.
T: Initially rich grain transitioning into sweet malt, but this pleasant flavor lasted just about 1 second before being rudely kicked aside by a harsh and acrid bitterness, with phenolic and fatty/soapy flavors in the long finish (unpleasantly long!)
M: Moist, smooth, and nicely carbonated when it first hits the tongue; but like the taste, the pleasant mouthfeel yields to a noticeable burn from the alcohol and an unpleasant astringent feel that lingers too long in the mouth.
O: What looked and smelled promising really failed to deliver. If this is what the Russians were drinking in 1917, it's no wonder they revolted! If I'm in the mood for an imperial stout, I'll pay a pretty penny for Samuel Smith's offering; but I couldn't get more than 25% of this one down before pouring it into the compost bin -- I'll be returning the bottle to the store for a refund!
02-08-2012 02:04:39 | More by TappaKeggaBrew
2.95/5 rDev -31.4%
This beer is almost opaque (as a stout should be) but if you shine a bright enough light to it, it's actually magenta in color. Thin head that fades to a thin film.
The smell is hard to describe. It's fruity on top of a strong malt aroma. I'm not so sure I like it.
Well, it's not too bad. There's a tasty maltyness up front followed by a fruity flavor then finishes up with coffee, chocolate, and finally, something like, well, a bit like Juicey-Fruit gum and alcohol, as one of the low reviewers said. In some ways, this tastes a bit like a winter warmer. There's also sort of a back flavor here that's reminiscent of other North Coast beers. I'm not sure what to call it other than the North Coast taste.
Heavy mouthfeel, a bit chewey and syrupy. Not a real thirst quencher, more of a hunger quencher.
Something good to drink on a chilly night. I like it, but I've had better RIS. Worth a try.
07-12-2007 04:45:14 | More by cjhofelt
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,476 ratings.