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

3,494 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,494
Hads: 11,144
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 465
Gots: 2,199 | 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: 11,144
Photo of Pegasus
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque onyx color with a small, but quite persistent tan head, and thick, glass coating lace.

Aroma: Quite intense aroma of dark fruit, bitter chocolate, coffee, and a pronounced alcohol note.

Taste: Opens with dark roasted malt flavors, followed by dark chocolate notes, after which a wave of vinous sweet alcohol washes over the palate. Finishes with a lingering bitter coffee note.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant and smooth with a little zesty carbonation at the opening; a perhaps bit less full than I would have expected.

Drinkability/notes: A superb winter beer, truly deserves to be sipped and savored in the manner of a liqueur. Perfectly suited to the darkest, coldest nights of winter. (700 characters)

Photo of Ego
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A classic in my book. Dark brown head that dissapates, beautiful lace clings to the sides, classic roast aroma with the sweetness of the alcohol quite present.

In the mouth it has just enough carbonation to make it non syrupy and also to mask the heavier alcohol content. This may be too heavy for many people but if you like dark, malty, alchol laden brew.. this is a must try.

nose:
Savor the nose in a big snifter glass, wonderfull, better than a starbucks venti hazelnut cappucino... the nose is unreal on this beer.

taste:
The malt takes over early (front of tongue) on a sip and then fades into the strong coffee notes (back of tongue).

verdict?
This is a truly a well crafted beer, highly recommended. This is hands down one of my favorites. (763 characters)

Photo of mgdeth
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This beer is essentially black. Just a thin slice of light reflects its way in throught the bottom of the glass. The thick tan head drops quickly, leaving some lace.

Smell - Roasty and malty. I do not detect a hop aroma. Inviting.

Taste - This one has a taste that knocks you on your ass, just the way I remember it from back in 1997. A strong, roasty, coffee flavor dominates this beer. There is also a bit of a salty taste, which is strange. Somehow, it seems to fit with the flavor explosion this beer always promises, but can be a bit distracting. I also detect a chocolate flavor in the aftertaste, Delightful.

Mouthfeel - Thick and meaty. This is not a first-time beer for macro swillers by any means.

Drinkability - This beer is surpisingly drinkable, but watch out for that 9% alcohol. My guess is that less experienced craft beer drinkers will find this less drinkable.

Comments - This beer more or less rules. Run out and buy some. Now. At one point in my life, this was the most intense beer experience imaginabe. Today, it is not far off from that. (1,088 characters)

Photo of RushLimbmalt
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark, almost reddish black and has a thin tan head that left quickly and leaves sporadic lace on my glass. It reeks of burnt malt, raisins and coffee. It smell like one terrific stout on steroids AKA a Imperial Stout. The flavor is very robust and is a good mix of dark malts and heavy hopping. Although a bit low on the alcohol for the style, this beer still packs a punch. That does not detract from this beers drinkability, because it is too good to pass up. (474 characters)

Photo of jvajda
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark black body. A vigorous pour resulted in a one finger head that is tan. Ecellent look.
Smell: Alcohol and big roasted smells. Also a good load of malt freshness like a dunkel.
Taste: Wow. Milky and creamy, then bitter coffee roast flavors, a good bit of alcohol too. The sweetness balances excellently with bitterness. There is a lot to taste here. I've never had a more balanced stout. This is a superior beer.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and velvety like no other.
Drinkabilty: Imperial Stouts are not as drinkable as your typical session beer, but within this style this is the most drinkable. Relatively low ABV and very high complexity beg me to come back. (671 characters)

Photo of dgallina
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly translucent black with brown highlights. Develops a few fingers of rocky tan head with a moderate pour, which dissolves to a creamy film and leaves moderate lace. Deep roasted malt aromas, predominantly burnt toast with underlying alcohol esters. Somewhat phenolic initial flavor which develops into roasted caramel and butterscotch and finishes with burnt toast and a long-lasting drying bitterness. A surprisingly complex and well-developed flavor, though I'm not crazy about the slightly phenolic note. The alcohol is, amazingly, nowhere to be found in the flavor profile. Nice rich and creamy medium body.

My wife noted that it didn't mix well with the left-over halloween candy-corns she was eating :-) (727 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, menacing mahogany with ruby highlights and a medium brown cascading head that would make a nitro pour proud. Initially four-fingers-and-a-thumb in size, the cap looks as if it'll last for a good, long while. Dark brown lace--some of the darkest I've ever seen--coats the glass, but doesn't last all that long.

The nose abounds with bittersweet chocolate. Yes, there's some coffee; yes, there's heavily roasted malt and hops; but chocolate is king as far as the aroma is concerned. On the palate, hops return with a vengeance. "Regicide or death!" they scream as they pound away at King Cocoa... sorry, I got carried away there for a moment. A huge quantity of heavily roasted black malt results in a constellation of flavors that includes bittersweet chocolate, espresso and anise. Each and every one fills the mouth with Godiva-like goodness.

Even with all that malt, the citric hoppiness is unrelenting and is at least as prominent as in a middle-aged Storm King. Strangely enough, I'd prefer to see the hops ratcheted back a few notches in this beer, something that I never thought I'd say.

The mouthfeel is akin to heavily silky melted chocolate and is some kind of chewy, as befits an Imperial stout. Those who don't believe this is a true Imperial stout have different standards than I do. Nearly unnoticed carbonation is a perfect capper on a nearly perfect mouthfeel.

Old Rasputin is a mega hoppy stout, perhaps a tad too hoppy. It's definitely not for the faint of heart or the faint of palate. Proceed only if you enjoy immensely flavorful, luxurious stouts that could fairly constitute a meal in and of themselves. Old Raspy is North Coast's best beer, I do believe. (1,688 characters)

Photo of abcsofbeer
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am a big fan of the Imperial Stout, so I was looking forward to this one. Pours a dark dark brown with no transparency. The head is tannish and poured to a thickeness of 1 inch. There is a fair amount of sticky lace at the top of the glass that goes away toward the bottom.

The aroma is of strong coffee, a bitter smell. Very malty and toffee smelling as well. The taste is much like a bitter, strong coffee. It is not thick as some stouts I have tasted. The aftertaste is like a bitter dark chocolate. The one thing apparent in the taste is the strong alcohol flavor. At 9%, it is not surprising, although some beers are better at masking the alcohol flavor than others. This one does not hide it, thus the reason for the drinkability sliding down the scale a little. (774 characters)

Photo of HochFliegen
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Now this is my kind of beer. When I poured it reminded me of a syrup it looked so dark and thick. I was hoping it tasted as good as it looked. It was black! It carried a nice brown head that just hung around the top of the beer. So far so good.
The smell was quite potent. It had a hint of alchol in the nose but was was mixed really well with the chocolate and rasin like smell. It had a slight tart smell as well.
This beer packs a punch in the flavor. I have to start with the ending since it is so much of the flavor in my opinion. It lingers for awhile with a tart/bitter sweetness that I enjoyed. The start is felt right away as soon as it hit my tounge. I could taste hints of chocolate and almost grapefruit/citrus like tones in there mixed with a nice malt flavor.
This is one of my new favorite beers. (816 characters)

Photo of karengarys
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this because it was listed in BA's top 100. I'm not a stout person, but I was out to try anything, and this was available.

wow!

It pours black, a nice and clear. No head in the pour, but a 1/4" brown top emerges from nowhere. It is quite appealing! The head doesn't stay around, and there is no real lacing. A slight foam ring hangs around for a while.

Smell - I notice a lot of chocolate. Some coffee.

Mouthfeel is rich, but slightly creamy and alcoholey at the end.

Taste is quite thick. A syrupy chocolate sits on the tongue, and resolves into a slightly sweet and buttery finish. There is a strong alcohol overtone in the finish. There is very little unpleasant aftertaste.

This is an interesting mix. Stout like with a huge alcohol overtone in the finish. Lots of chocolate. Some coffee. If you are into any of these aspects of a beer, you MUST try this. If you are NOT, but like to experiment, do give this a try anyway - it is worth experiencing even if it isn't your style. (1,008 characters)

Photo of KoG
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one at a Grocery store with the Hennepin, I'm not too sure how old it will be being as I believe this particular store probably doesn't sell much.

Poured out of the bottle a dark as oil black sludge that created a dark brown cascade that made a small brown head, not sure why there wasn't more. Didn't leave any lacing, but given the head I wasn't really expecting it. When I picked it up to sip it I noticed a small amount of light around the edge of the glass, made me think "Gee, this seems more like a porter than a stout."

EDIT: Second bottle was a much better appearance, lots o'head and lacing, better smell as well.

The smell was a bit lite, especially for a stout of this calibur. Picked up faint espersso and dark malt with toasted barley.

The Taste... Hrmmm, very BOLD. Reminds me of an 8-Ball stout but more bitter, finishes sweet with a definate dark dark dark chocolate aftertaste with a hint of alcohol, yum.

Mouthfeel was great, active carbonation from the tip of the tongue to the throat. Creamy yet not, but definately good.

Drinkability for me was pretty good, although I could see the 9% catching up quick after about 2 or 3. Too bad it only comes in 4 packs. (1,206 characters)

Photo of MrNuggets
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Hey, I see light around the edges, what gives?
Sure smells imperial! All the things that make bere great, all right there. Heavy hit of roasted malts in the initial tastes.
Firm bitterness abundant throughout the layers. I've hated black liquorice even since I was a child. But, it doesn't seem out of place in this beer. It actually works very well. Taste would have most likey gotten a 5 had been a fan of the flavor.
Mouthfeel is very out of place. A light bodied imperial stout? If you say so! Makes the thing drinkable.
This has been my party brew for about a year now.
"Party at Joe's tonight? I'll bring Rasputin!" (629 characters)

Photo of ramrod666
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

old rasputin pours a deep mohogany with decent head that dissapates to ring at the edge of me goblet quickly. the smell is heavy of coffee and alcohol. at 8.9% it is definatly a warmer. taste is heavy chocolate/ coffee with astrong alcohol and hops in the finish. almost overwhelmingly so. it fits so well with the style. an excellent example. mouthfeel is thick with little carbonation, warming. drinkability is good. semi-sweet chocolate and strong hop flavors make for a terrific ruskie imperial stout. berzerker. (516 characters)

Photo of Beersignal
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very seductive stout that pours dark and rich like cocoa. Difficult to judge the clarity due to its obscure nature but the head left me wanting. Not as abundant as I would have expected with no lacing and almost no retention.

Aromas were pleasing and beautifully harmonized. A well balance marriage of fruits and malt open the nostrils to let in heady vapours of alcohol. Quite nice.

The beer is medium in body despite its rich texture and provides a warming alcohol reflux after being swallowed. Soft malt up front is followed by fruitiness reminescent of black berries and currants. It finishes with a decidedly alcoholic bitterness supported by hoppy burnt character which hangs around for some time.

For me this is a solid imperial stout. It has an enticing character but is not too powerful. Complexity develops as the beer warms which keeps me interested and wanting another. (892 characters)

Photo of beerceller99
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. The color is black. The head is thick and brown. The body is thick and chewy. The taste is of burnt grains with a hint of dark fruits ( plums ). The finish is of bitter burnt grains and alcohol.
As I drink this I see myself goose stepping in a WW II victory parade in Moscow Square !

A classic Russian Stout ; ) (331 characters)

Photo of oxmasterscream
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appeared nearly black with dark brown highlights if angled correctly; a half finger tan head which left a nice, thick lacing as I drank. Aroma was spice, chocolate and raisins with a hint of prune. Taste up front was sweet, burnt dark malts, spicy and tangy in the middle with a nice bitter coffee finish, coupled with a warming from the high ABV. Mouth was thick and a little syrupy, not as syrupy as I would've liked though. Carbonation covered the tongue nicely. Taste wasn't as complex and exciting as I would've expected for an imperial stout but nonetheless, still quite good and not to be overlooked. (607 characters)

Photo of rdrummer
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Okay, this is the best beer that I've had recently. I really hadn't read about it, although I should have. But it was a really pleasant surprise. The liquor store clerk didn't want to sell me the four-pack because it was very dusty. I'm glad I didn't let it sway my buying decision.

This is a very dark, almost black and opague stout with a medium sized brown head huge lacing. There are a lot of hints of flavors in the nose, but the roasted maltiness comes through more than anything else. There are hints of chocolate and coffee.

The taste is unbelievably smooth with a real roasted quality but rich chocolate, coffee, caramel, and fruity undertones. There is some hint of bitter hops or bitter chocolate at the end.

It is thick in the mouth and very satisfying almost like a meal. I finished the four-pack quickly and will be heading back for more of the dusty gem. (878 characters)

Photo of odeed
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this is the first and i would say best imperial stout i have ever had.i just cracked another tonight and it never disapoints.
black as all heck apperance with a nice smokey smell.very smooth considering the alcohol content.what else can i say but,its yummy! (258 characters)

Photo of FormatKid
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is not available in my area so a friend on a road trip brought a couple through to me. This style is quickly becoming one of, if not my most favorite style in existence so I appreciate it.

The packaging is a stubby 12oz bottle with a somewhat…intimidating looking label. I poured this into a standard tumbler pint glass. The body is jet black with direct exposure to light yielding the slightest red tones. The head is off-white and is surprisingly white compared to other Russian Imperials I’ve had. It recedes eventually but leaves sheets of lacing on the glass as the beer is consumed.

The nose is very roasty and bitter, this raises my anticipation to taste it even more. I smell deep dark, roasted coffee and ripe dark fruits.

This is a really fine beer on the palate. The mouthfeel is a little light, but this is made up for with the flavor. Charred malts come across first and maintain their hold on my senses throughout the drink. Again in the flavor I get that deeply roasted dark coffee taste, very delicious. The finish registers the hop bitterness and a piney, oily presence attempts to fight off the deep, luxurious flavor of the malts, somewhat successfully. A spicy alcohol kick peeps it’s head in slightly and leaves a subtle warmth in my throat. The flavors cling to the inside of my mouth and lips, that’s one of the things I love about a good Russian Imperial.

A great, great beer from an amazing style of brewing. I have to say I felt the mouthfeel was slightly lacking compared to beers I’ve had of the style that have totally blown my mind. None-the-less I look forward to having this one again and it is going great with the slowly cooling weather of the southern fall. Thanks again John. (1,738 characters)

Photo of bashiba
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Upon pouring this beauty I received a very nice 2 or more inch head of tan threatening to overtake the top of the glass. As it relapsed it showed a lot of Lace down the side of the glass. The color is black with just a small hint of Deep Red that is only visible looking at the brightest of lights. Looks fantastic!

The scent has several nice scents of Dark Roasted Malts, Dark Chocolates, and Dark Coffee and a slight nuttiness.

The Taste is superb. It has a nice full upfront flavor with lots of Coffee and Chocolate flavors followed by a sweet but dark roasted maltyness and a little bit of nut with some small bits of alcohol notes. A very nice finish that was pleasant in the mouth from start to finish although feels a little thinner in the mouth than imperials.

In the drinkablility department it is a little high on the ABV so lends itself to be enjoyed in moderation, but I still found myself disappointed I didn't have another in the fridge. (961 characters)

Photo of Southernbrew
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black with brown hues, small tan head.

Full aroma with bitter chocolate, espresso and burnt notes.

Full bodied, quite smooth. Rich chocolate and espresso show up first followed by caramel sweetness. Some hop bite in the finish and then you are left with a bitter-sweet aftertaste.

Delicious imperial stout. The alcohol is well hidden and the flavors are mixed very well. (379 characters)

Photo of bensiff
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poors a dark brown to black color with a quickly dissipating dark mocha colored head. Aroma is complex with a distinct roasted character, coffee, chocolate, and I even venture to say the slightest hint of toffee hiding in the mix.

The taste is complex as the aroma and almost as enjoyable. It rolls on the tongue lightly until it hits the back where the flavor kicks in fully. The roasted malt has a smokey character, bitter chocolate, espresso, and a kick of hop to round off the flavors. The finish is dominated by the high alcohol of this brew and is a lesser beer for it. The mouthfeel is not as smooth as I expect from this type of beer and is my largest complaint. Overall this is an enjoyable beer for those in a slow sipping mood and worth revisitting time and again. (778 characters)

Photo of Ninjaworm
3.61/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Blood black with a large creamy head that finally subsided leaving a 1/16” head with amazing lacing.

Smell: Faintly sweet vanilla blends into a linear alcohol nose.

Taste: Silky vanilla alcohol flavor with hints of oak.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: Smooth alcohol flavor that melds into a vanilla profile making one dream for another. (374 characters)

Photo of mudhoney
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love a nice Imperial Stout. This one wasn't one of the best I have ever had, but still a very good choice.
It poured black as night. Almost impossible to see through.
The aromas are smokey. Hints of coffee and chocolate peek through.
The flavor is bittersweet and chocolatey and slightly watered down for an Imperial Stout. Not thick in mouthfeel or flavor, but the taste is somewhat notable.
Definitely a good choice for dessert or as a winter warmer but by far not my favorite. (485 characters)

Photo of StuFox
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not as thick as it looks. That being said, damn, this tastes good. Not quite the flavor level of the Founders' or Sammy Smith's Imperial Stouts, but delicious none the less. It has a bitternes and smokey character that few other beers have. Less solid of a body as those beers too. That, of course, still makes it thicker than carro syrup, but hey, let's keep this beer fighting against brews of the same weight class. Everyone should try this once, it's a good time. (467 characters)

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