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

3,495 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,495
Hads: 11,168
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 466
Gots: 2,212 | 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
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Reviews: 3,495 | Hads: 11,168
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)

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is HUGE. The flavors are intensly amazing. The deep dark black that pours out immediately fills the air with a heavy dose of sweet and toffee-like aromas. This beer to me seems very complex...if you take just a small sip, the sweetness is very evident and somewhat single layered. With a larger sip, more layers seem to expose themselves and the high ABV becomes increasingly evident. In a sense, I would have to say that reviewing this intensely flavored stout could vary greatly by your drinking style. IMHO, this is one of the hardest beers to truly appreciate because of its power. Definately not a beer to waste on a friend who says "sure I'll take one of those....I love the way Guiness tastes" (710 characters)

Photo of Goldorak
3.55/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled 11aug2004 (thanks Beersignal)

Pours down black, with a of hint of red when you place it against the light in just the right way. Small tan head, a little bit of a cascade as it poured down.

Smells alcoholic, with a definate sweetness I couldn't quite pinpoint.
Strawberries? Sort of. Bubblegum? Maybe.

The alcohol is very present in the mouth, and stays with you, which is great in the dead of winter, not so much in August. The drinkability would have gained a solid point if I just got back from a few hours of pond hockey or x-country skiing, but would have lost a point if I didn't have air conditioning.
As it warms a little the toasted malts take a bit more space, but not much. I didn't detect much coffee in this one, which is a great change of pace for this style.

If I ever get my hands on another one of these, I'll definately slap a "do not open before x-mas" sticker on it. (909 characters)

Photo of HiroProtagonist
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Raspy was served from a stubby 12 oz. bottle. In a pint glass, the beer was black (deep ruby edge accents with backlighting), and was topped by a thin but persistant light brown head. The nose yielded deep-roasted-choco-molasses aromas that were accompanied by enticing though subtle notes of sasparilla, vanilla, and toasted sesame oil. Little sign of esters in the nose. The taste consisted of a rich dark-roasted cocoa-chocolate malt profile that was joined by some nice sharp dark cherry and plum notes that helped cut through initial roastiness. A robust smokey cocoa-bitter dark chocolate flavor dominates the subtle fruitiness in the finish, which left some rather flat lingering dark chocolate notes. The flavors are tasty and rich as expected, but I was dissapointed in the lack of complexity and interesting accents. I thought the finish was a bit too "smoky" as well. The body was appropriately smooth and full for the style. Old Rasputin is a full-flavored and robust Russian imperial stout, but for me lacks some of the important details found in many other examples of the style. (1,097 characters)

Photo of sweethome
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a nice tan head which dissipated fairly quickly. Nose is complex - coffee, plum, roast malt, and just a hint of hops. Attacks the palate with a flood of roast malt, full of flavor... hint of raisin, coffee, toast. So beautifully rich. The hops are there late to provide a nice bitterness, but finishes out with an incredibly long roast malt finish.

I've tasted this blind versus Bells, Rogue and other world class Imperial Stouts. It is always worthy of the competition, but not quite there with the best. Savoring the flavors by itself, its hard to imagine why. A great beer in every way. (604 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black colored beer with almost no head. Aroma is comprised of a strong chocolate and coffee mix. The chocolate and coffee also hits you right at the first sip along with some roastiness. A bit too much bitterness at the end for my liking though. Carbonation is bit weak and body is strong which was expected. Overall, this is a very good drink but maybe not as much as some make it out to be… (415 characters)

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

Appearence: Deep mahogany. Head dissapates, leaving a thin head. No lacing.

Smell: Chocolate, pure chocolate.

Taste: Outstanding, like chocolate-covered coffee beans. There's a warming alcohol present, but it's not obtrusive.

Mouthfeel: Coats the mouth with a thick glaze. Very nice.

Drinkability: It took me an hour and a half to drink, and at 8.9%, I wouldn't want to have more than one.

This is one fine, soul-warming beer, sure to ward off the cold on those winter days. I do believe that Mr. Rasputin and I are going to spend a lot of time together in the future. (585 characters)

Photo of WetCoaster
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I almost fell into my cart when I saw that Old R had found its way back to shelves of Safeway--happy days are here again. In honor of this most joyous occasion, I thought I'd review it.

Appearance: A deep mahogany that takes on a nice ruby glow in the light, although it's not as dark as many stouts. The carbonation is fine and mild, and the head is tan and short lived. There isn't much lacing, oddly, but there is a collar that lasts throughout.

Smell: "Booming" does not come close to describing the aroma of this brew; even ice cold, it fills the room. Initially, it's one tight ball of sweet, dark fruit. As it warms, it begins to unwind. The darkness is still there, figs and raisins come on strong. There is also surprisingly strong Myer's rum-like alcohol in the nose. There is the usual molasses, caramel and a perplexing "maybe it's chocolate, maybe it's not" undertone. Finally, there is also a sharp, almost chardonnay aroma--hops? You'll notice this one.

Taste/Mouthfeel: No real surprises here; it tastes pretty much like it smells. In a word, chocolate-covered raisins. It's pretty straightforward, but you'll find some smokiness. Deep into the finish, a drying hoppiness emerges. Not surprisingly, the mouthfeel is medium/full with a sticky coating, although the carbonation is sharp enough to keep it lively.

Drinkability: It's a wonderfully tasty beer that's lighter than you might expect. But at almost 9%, it'd be a rough session.

While I really enjoyed this beer, it didn't quite have the "wow" factor I might have expected. Still, if you kick back, pour an inch or two at a time into a good tasting glass and spend and hour or so with Rasputin, he'll be your buddy for life. (1,712 characters)

Photo of HopHeadKen
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This stout pours with a thick foamy cascading head, creamy and light Brown. The color looks black but has a rich dark amber around the edges when viewed in bright light (in a sunny beer garden).

The smell is malt; taste is malt and sweet. For a beer with 8.9% ABV It doesn't taste alcoholic, but does have a roasted coffee chocolate aftertaste with a smooth light mouthfeel. (377 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alright, I get to round the reviews for this up to 300. I've been waiting to try one of these since I first found out about it in 1995 or '96. You see, as twisted as it sounds, I'm a big fan of Rasputin. Back in art college I had a 3 by 4 foot oil painting of him commisioned, and the painter did such a good job that those icy penetrating eyes follow you around the room, no matter where you are. I've read every bio, I'm your A-Z man when it comes to Rasputin, fact and fiction. I even popped Boney M into the CD player to write this review. It was a shame how he carried on...

Poured out of 12 oz stubbie type bottle, a pointilist ink rendering of an infamous portrait of Grigory Efimovich Rasputin. The body is impermeable to light, pitch black like a moonless Siberian midnight sky above a Gulag camp. A thick and creamy tan head crowns it, and later subsides to a thickish cap. A lattice-work of lacing left in it's way.

The aroma is comprised of roasted malt, coffee, dry dark chocolate, licorice root, fermented orange peel, and a sweet booziness, although not very overpowering. I can barely pick up a bit of lactose sweetness as well.

The first sip warms the heart and soothes the soul, I've been hypnotized from the start. Coffee and dry chocolate are apparent up front, followed by a base of roasted malt, boozy orange rind in the middle, with a dry semi-spicy finish of licorice and pepper. The alcohol can be tasted hiding beneath all of this, but does not detract.

This is a very luscious experience regarding the mouthfeel, the body is full and sensuous, it rolls smoothly over the tongue with the slightest alcohol kick on the aftertaste.

Highly drinkable stuff all year round, but I'd love to have a stock of this to soothe me in the winter time. I'm very impressed, the wait was worth it, but I want more now. Lucky are the people in Vancouver, where I had to go to pick some of this up here in Canada. (1,936 characters)

Photo of Crotor
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin comes out with a big and highly distinct wiff of slightly musty, gamey malt. Opaque black with a low, tan head and slight amber windowpanes, it has a first class appearance.

Rasputin is suprisingly dry and has an expertly balanced body for a beer this big, making for top drinkability. Hops are definately present, but only to the level necessary to compliment the malt. Sharp, roasty mocha and toffee flavors are in the forground here, backed by a restrained caramel sweetness. I can detect no fruit, though a touch of currant would not go awry.

Truly a masterful beer. (589 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a very dark brown, with a dark tan head that reduced to a film. Good lacing.
Smell was just hops and coffee.
Taste was somewhat better, coffee, chocolate, malt, strong(!) alcohol. A decent balance but ...
Mouthfeel was smooth, creamy, full-bodied but the aftertaste was a little bitter with alcohol obvious all over the place.
Drinkability is alright but, because of the high octane, would only do it once in a while. Not a bad beer by any stretch, just not consumable often. (482 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm sitting her drinking one right now and all I can says is, WOW. This is one of the best stouts I have ever had the pleasure of drinking outside of fresh from the tap at a brewpub. An incredibly flavorful mix of coffee, chocolate, hops and more. The smell is intoxicating and just begs for you to savor it. I'm very glad I found this brew and I will be getting more soon. Cheers to North Coast Brewing Co. for brewing an incredible stout. I definetely recommend anyone who enjoys stout to run out and try this now! (516 characters)

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

appearance is a dark brown to black with brown head that foamed nicely at first with a few large bubbles developing.
aroma is of dark roasted barley and hints of coffee.
tastes very much a coffee with what seems to me a hint of dark fruits. an alcohol pepperiness is quite apparent. the beer finishes with the same peppery flavour that eases into a strong hoppy bite. very enjoyable. (387 characters)

Photo of mobyfann
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Paid $1.99 for a 12oz. bottle...

The appearence on this defines the qualities of a good stout, almost black-like base, with a dark brown head, retains well, laces well, little carbonation going on... well done. I love the smell of this stout, dark chocolates, dark-roasted coffee, hints of caramel and a few other spices and candy flavors.

The taste was pretty good, giving up what the aroma gave off until the aftertaste kicks in, and then you taste alcohol, thus lowering it's drinkability to just average, the mouthfeel is a step above that, but that kind of goes with the style.

Final Thought: Storm King is 9.1%, this is 8.9%, same ballpark, but the alcohol in the taste ruins the total picture... still sticking with Victory for a Domestic Imperial Stout. (770 characters)

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

Poured near perfect black with only very faint ruby brown tinges on the edges of the glass. Tan head formed, but sank quickly beneath the surface leaving a smattering of Belgian lace. Ring of foam stayed the course through the entire pint.

The aroma is chocolate malt, plums, raisins, alcohol, thick graininess. Kind of vinous, coffee and toffee notes come through as it gets closer to room temperature. And did I mention alcohol?

The taste is strong on roasted malt and chocolate, with a nutty character to it. Strong alcohol flavor. Balancing sweetness fights with the alcohol in the finish. As it warms, the alcohol leads the way, lightly burning the nostrils and numbing the tongue. Then the onslaught of thick dark malts slides over top of it and down your throat. Hops are there for the party, but are playing the part of wallflowers. Yeah, they are there and in great number, but they are watching the fight rather than being a truly active participant.

Carbonation tingles the tip of your tongue while the alcohol and roast grains wreak havoc on the roof of your mouth. Not quite as mouthcoating as other impys I've had, but it tries hard enough. When the beer warms further, the alcohol just numbs your mouth while the carbonation tickles it. The dark malts coat the palate while the hops and roasted grains do their part to squeegee it off again, ready for the next sip.

An absolute pleasure to drink - slowly. (1,432 characters)

Photo of Bruiser81
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a solid black color with an extremely thick head. Very sticky beer. Tons of lacing.
Aroma is dominated by dark malt. Little hints of dark chocolate accent the malt.
The taste is powerful. Lots of malt with little bits of coffee, dark chocolate, and dark fruit. The finish is almost sweet, maybe a little like black licorice. Spice from the alcohol lingers throughout the whole beer.
A very thick beer, almost chewy. Also very smooth.
A little too big to drink more than one though. (501 characters)

Photo of silenius
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a dark brown/black with a crimson red where the light manages to peek through. The head is 2 fingers thick for a short time and then dissapates to a patina on the top. A substantial collar follows the beer as it retreats in the glass.

I only got some minor soy sauce, figs, molasses, and most of all fusel alcohol on the nose. Nothing big and nothing impressive.

Taste is bolder and bigger than the nose. First thing I taste is chocolate covered espresso beans dipped in grain alcohol with some spiced rum notes, molasses, figs, and it finishes with an espresso bitterness. Pretty good, but the alcohol taste detracts. My 4.5 is generous, but this beer ranks better than just under a 4.0, so I fudged a little.

Mouthfeel is a tiny prickle at first then a creaminess that ends with a drying note making me want to take another sip. The alcohol warmth makes me hesitate knowing that if I drink this too fast, I'll be whoo-ha'ed quickly.

Drinkability suffers from the very noticeable alcohol, but I'll definitely buy another. (1,045 characters)

Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours with a nice thick dirty white head which grows to about an inch and laces the glass completely. The beer itself is a dark pitch black which no light can be seen through.

Smell: Dark roasted malts, minor caramel, a bit of cocoa and a medium alcohol presence are present in the nose.

Taste: A nice bittersweet chocolate flavor hits intially which follows with a nice roasty flavor from the dark malts. There's also a bit of a biscuit like flavor in the mix, and a bit of smoke which adds a nice complexion to the brew. This beer finishes with a strong warm alcohol sensation that warms the mouth, and a nice bitter hop finish that keeps things in check.

Mouthfeel: This brew is medium to light bodied with minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall a very drinkable beer for such a strong alcohol tone towards the finish. Fits the style well and the malts help back up this beautiful beer. (927 characters)

Photo of beertaster13
3.02/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

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. (757 characters)

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

Pours black with ruby edges and a tan lacing. This is a good looking stout. Smells of prominent carmel and roasted malts lead to my anticipation. Tastes malty and has a hint of dried fruit to finish. A nice balance of malts and sweetness. This is another beer that makes me sad when I get to the bottom of the glass. This is a fantastic beer. I would highly recommend this brew to anyone. Drink it all if you can find it! (421 characters)

Photo of cbl2
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:

Pouts out of the bottle a dark brown, but is more of a black with hints of mahogany once in the glass. Topped by a thin, yet lingering tan head. Nice viscosity.

Smell:

Smells like a winner with roast coffee dominating, a sweet malt backbone also makes its presence known, with a touch of smoke as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Not as smooth and creamy as I would like, but the flavors pack a wallup. Alcohol is there and lets you know it, accompanied by an unsweetened coffee ice cream flavor. This one needs to cellar a little while. A bit harsh now, though with potential. (594 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was the first Imperial Stout I ever tried, had it a few years ago that turned me on to the style and haven’t had it since for some reason. So I decided to pick it up and see what I thought of it now. Pours an opaque black color with a decent tan head. Not much retention, but it does leave a bit of lacing. Aroma is brimming with dark chocolate and coffee flavors with a bit of sweetness in there as well. The flavor is a bit mild with chocolate and coffee being at the forefront and a bit of hop bitterness as well. The alcohol defiantly comes out the more this one warms. This has a full-bodied mouthfeel with light carbonation. Overall a good imperial stout but there are plenty out there that I would prefer. (718 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Completely black, except at the bottom of my glass where there is a brown glowing base through the murky beer. Big tan head that sticks to the sides of my glass in a cobweb pattern. Smells of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, raisins, and a tinge of alcohol. Flavor is just a kick to the teeth. Like drinking an extra strong cup of coffee, with a good amount of alcohol and hops bitterness thrown in for good measure. Very big beer, the best Imperial Stout I have had, tastes more like a stout than Sammy Smith's. I like this one, and would recommend it to any stout fan. (570 characters)

Photo of marcobrau
3.51/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a small goblet with minimal foaming. Opaque in color. Aroma of espresso. Starts with intense coffee and chocolate flavors, then more chocolate, almost burnt chocolate until a long bitter finish laced with alcohol. Mouthfeel and body are almost similar to a fuller bodied wine such as a cabernet. The most memorable character of this beer is its profound bitterness in the finish. I've had this on tap before and I think I enjoyed more off a tap than out of the bottle. It went especially well with some Mississippi Mudcake. On its own, and out of the bottle, it comes across as a bitter strong stout and bit brash. Still, a damn fine stout. (652 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,495 ratings.