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

3,492 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,492
Hads: 11,132
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 462
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: 3,492 | Hads: 11,132
Photo of hobbes2112
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Finally getting around to reviewing this beer while it was in my hand.

Poured into a pint glass, no snifters were available.

Almost no head even with a slightly abusive pour. Black as they come in the glass, slight cola color around the top edges. Smell is of the roasted barley, coffee and anise.

The taste backs up the aroma, it is a very bitter and heavy. Sweet coffee with malt lead into a dry and bitter hop.

Not the easiest beer in the world to drink, but worth every sip. (490 characters)

Photo of henrysunset
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Beautiful black glass of beer, reddish tinge in the light. pours with a decent head of tan bubbles. Scent is initially hoppy and alcoholic, but chocolate malts are present too.

Initial taste has noticeable hoppy bitterness and alcohol. Great chocolatey aftertaste, totally coats the tongue and throat. Mouthfeel is thich and rich.

drinkability is really high, as is the alcohol content... So prepare for a good night. (423 characters)

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

Wow...this is a great beer! I'm not too big on imperials (yet) as I don't particularly care for the high alcohol content. I had been eying this ber at my local supermarket for months. It seems as if the same 4-packs have been sitting onthe shelf for about 4 months, so, on a whim I talked to the manager and asked if she wouldn't mind breaking a 4-pack for me so I could "sample" this beer and see if I liked it. She was really cool, and said "only for you". Nice.

On to the beer-

This one poured jet black, and when held up to the light exposed the slightest hint of ruby red around the edges. The head was a nice gray pillowy delight. The aroma that came off of this beer was one of the sweetest smells I have ever experienced in a beer. it seriously smelled like hot cocoa. Mmm....too bad it was 87 degrees outside...hard to imagine hot cocoa in the midst of spring, but the smell of this beer took me back to the cold winters of my native Ohio. Oh yeah, the beer. Sorry. The taste of this beer was quite big! Nice and sticky in the mouthfeel, with a smooth chocalate, rum, and toffee flavors. Not roasty like other's I've tried. I thoroughly enjoyed holding this one in my mouth and experiencing the complexity of this brew. Slight alcohol taste which I could do without, but other than that, a stellar brew!

Looks like I need to go back to the market and pick up the other 3 I left behind! (1,403 characters)

Photo of LuckySevens82
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz stubby brown bottle with a b/w picture of the mad monk.
Pours a deep brown, nearly black, with a light brown whisp of a head. Lacing, is however, very nice.
Smell is roasted malts, chocolate and coffee (boy oh boy is it coffee).
Very smooth, espresso, chocolate, caramel, and just a hint of alcohol.
This beer is quite deceptive. At 9% abv, I would expect to taste more of the alcohol that is present. Nevertheless, the folks at North Coast have done a fantastic job hiding the alcohol. This makes the beer sneaky, perhaps not unlike the monk himself.
This is a great beer, will definitely be added to my list of favorites (especially since it's now available in FL...yay!) (685 characters)

Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.41/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a dark brown with ruby hints behind it. Head is less than a finger and recedes very quickly to a tiny layer of foam. The smell is chocolatey spice, but it is also very alcoholic too. Very little hops or malts are evident. The taste is actually very sweet, and it actually tastes like a less tasteful stout with a shot of whisky in it, adding a heavy alcoholic and sweet taste to it. Besides that there are some fruity tones to it, but I really cant get by that initial sweet alcoholicness. The mouthfeel is medium body with plenty of carbonation, which is fine. However, I find this beer tasting way too alcoholic to me. (634 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a stubby bottle with a picture of the Russian mystic on the label (I am assuming this is Rasputin, as I have never seen other pictures of him). When poured into my trusty goblet, the dark brown body is nearly completely opaque, but displays red highlights at the edges when held up against the light. The head is brown in color, massive in size (at least three inches), and has the consistency to stand up on its own above the rim of the glassware. This is one impressive looking beer indeed. The aroma is a mixture of medicinal alcohol, and powdered cocoa, and is relatively mild. The taste is like roasted cracked grain, bitter coffee, unsweetened dark chocolate, dark skinned dried fruits, and charred wood. Very pronounced hop bitterness and a very dry aftertaste are also present, as is the noticeable warming effect of the significant alcohol content. Mouthfeel is soft and soothing, but a bit thinner than what I anticipated. Very good representation of the style, but a bit less in your face than others like Victory Storm King Stout. (1,056 characters)

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

Impenetrable, solid black color with a thin, lasting light brown head. Somewhat vinuous aroma, with heavy smells of coffee and chocolate. Taste is initially sweet: roasted and burnt malts. Very faint grain. Alcohol, which is hidden in the smell, comes forth in the mid-taste, and presents a pleasant warming.. Hop bitterness is strong and crisp. Finish is relatively dry. Soft and full mouthfeel. This is a very drinkable and complex beer. There’s a lot of interactive, well-balanced flavors in this beer. It’s a pure treat. (526 characters)

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

Picked up two singles at AJ's recently. Thick, dark brown brew poured a very generous head that surprisingly did not leave much lacing. The wife who poured the 1st one commented that she had to hit the bottom of the bottle to get everything out a la catsup. Smells of toasted malts and coffee. The taste complexity is interesting as it starts of smooth but quickly is taken over by the toasted malts finishing with a seemingly higher than usual (for a stout) hop somewhat sweet finish. Nice full mouthfeel. A very enjoyable brew which I plan on enjoying again. (560 characters)

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

Pours a midnight black with a tan head that generates spotty lace on the pint.
Aroma has some vinous notes along with coffee, chocolate and mint.
Flavor is chocolate chips, some minty hints and a roasted coffee finish.
Mouthfeel is sweet chocolate to start, shifting to a roasted and bitter middle with a zinging, spicy kick on the finish.
Drinkability is a little bit thin for an Impy Stout but very pleasant beer. (419 characters)

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

This is an intense beer. A deep dark red with a yellow/brown head. Sticky lace. The head dwindled quickly. Aroma is of hops, roasted malt and coffee. Tastes of roasted malt, coffee and a biting hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied; creamy with a biting finish and a lingering hop representation.

A good Imperial Stout, however, it is not as well balanced as others in its class. (383 characters)

Photo of ism
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nearly opaque black with ruby highlights -- a halogen desklamp behind it. A creamy beige-orange head with excellent retention, given the ABV. Leaves pretty lacing all the way in rings. Faint aroma, chocolate and alcohol, a hint of coffee. Light body, with low carbonation, ho-hum. Flavor is just on the sweet side, chocolate malts, with espresso emerging as it goes down smooth, finishing with a slight hop bitterness and alcohol. The body becomes more full as it warms. The head and lacing is still there.

Ol' Rasputin on the label is hypnotizing me and making my ratings go up... must... resist... Not as powerful as Brooklyn's Choco Stout or Victory Storm King, but a good, robust stout.

Great way to finish my taxes and welcome the Springtime. (753 characters)

Photo of Running4beer
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark black with a medium brown head that remains with you and your beer till the very last drop. Sweet malty chocolate roastiness and dark espresso was the combination in the aroma. Taste was similar chocolate, roasted malt, plums and espresso/really dark coffee. Very good stuff had a sweet flavor but not overly sweet, as it warmed it smoothed out and the flavors came out a little more. Easy drinking brew very little carbonation and a medium to full bodied texture. This is all good here. (504 characters)

Photo of bditty187
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost pitch-black in hue, when I held the glass to the light I could notice hints of ruby around the edges. The beige head reached a lifeless finger in height before swiftly fading to a sparse soapy collar. The subsequent lacing was very minimal and hardly noteworthy. The appearance is average and thus disappointing. The potency of the nose is small, it is too calm for a beer this big and far too quiet for how warm I allowed it to get before I poured it, anyway, the bouquet does have lovely aromas of chocolate, dates, raisins, a slight hint of coffee beans but more so espresso, and a kiss of vinous liquor. I found the detectable aromas to be very pleasant and quite welcoming. I am impressed with the flavors on the palate, upfront is a roasted malt bitterness, coffee beans, espresso, and bark. In the middle these flavors wane and allow a softer, more rounded chocolate covered dark-fruit to surface; the brandy/sherry-like alcohol swallow these flavors. As the finish begins the piney, slightly citrusy hops emerge; the aftertaste is roasted and hoppy. This is a very nice beverage; the “mad monk” is damn tasty! It does seem a little sugary as it sits on my tongue but this seems to be more of a “mouthfeel” concern than a taste issue. Medium-full in body, low but natural carbonation, I like the mouthfeel, it is nothing special but full enough for the style. The big alcohol content is scarcely noticeable; it provides more flavor than anything else. This is a very good Imperial Stout, I know this is a broken record, but I wish this was available locally. If it were, I’d drink it regularly. As is, I will sip and savor my lonely 12-ounce bottle that I purchased in Loveland. Good stuff. (1,709 characters)

Photo of ngandhi
3.71/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New from Starbucks and Skoal vodka . . .

There are chestnuts roasting on a open fire and then there are the grains that go into Old Rasputin roasting in the heart of a California wild fire. This brew looks and acts like a Storm King after the brewers at Victory have had a few too many. Intense espresso backbone with huge hops to back it all up. Astringent. An evolving beer, Old Rasputin moves into raw cocoa beans, licorice, rum-soaked raisins, a vat of fudge, and sweet fruit.

Parching finish. Fudge, fudge, fudge!

A domineering beer that, though complex, is tight and restrained from the focus on charcoal malt. The hop character is benchmark, however, and the warmth this beer puts on you reminds me of a Belgian quad.

Thanks to my friend Drew at The Corkscrew for the bottle.

Relax, relax.
ng (817 characters)

Photo of 99bottles
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Apperance: Old Rasputin pours a dark brown, not quite black color. It seems to be less viscous than some other Imerpial Stouts I've tried. Atop it billows a fluffy cream colored head that fades to an inch and a half of light tan peaks and valleys.

Smell: The smell of this beer is first bitter hops-- my requisite for a good imperial stout. The nose is very sweet, with mild roasted notes coming across through the hops. Nutty molassess.

Taste: My mouth is watering. Yum. Heavy roasted and black malts come through, with a Very astringent bitterness in the aftertaste. Hops are there in a big way, quite nicely balanced. Dry and fruity, like currants dipped in roofing tar. Maybe even too bitter for me. I was expecting more of a coffee/choco flavor, but this rolls right over it. Alcohol warmth bursts right through. At "only" 8.9%, I would expect better coverage.

Mouthfeel: Thick and malty, slick and sticky. The initial thinness of the beer and its light transparency have absolutely no bearing on the feel of this beer across your palette.

Drinkability: This is a good one, for sure. As with most things, I have others I would look to before this one. It is quite good, and quite roasty and bitter, if that's your thing. I could put back a couple, but it is a filling stout and the alcohol seems so much more strong than 8.9%. Go check it out. (1,361 characters)

Photo of Onceeven
3.42/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, yeah... Is this maybe the freakiest looking bottle of beer out there. Old R. kept staring out at me from my fridge and giving me the willies.. so I had to get rid of it..

This beer is quite dark, but doesn't seem as impenetrably black as other stouts. Thin mocha colored head, that dissipated quickly, but left thick lacing.
You can smell the alchol on this one, along with a subtle smokiness from the roasted malt. Also a hint of coffee.
The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, which is one reason I love stouts. That along with the warming effect of the alcohol makes this one a good one to sip on a cold night.
Wow, big flavor here. Initial tartness or sourness as it hits the tongue, then mellows a bit turning sweet, only to surge back with a big alcoholic hop finish.

A complex brew, but with a bit too much emphasis on the alcohol. It seems to dominate the other flavors to a point where the overall effect is compromised. Good, not great. (979 characters)

Photo of GreenWBush
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Old Rasputins' ghost emerges from the bottle with a better cascading action than Guinness (its the lack of nitro). Blacker than doom? Not exactly, you can see through ruby-colored glass if you try hard enough. Quite impressive is the head that is created, a dirty ivory that squirms like its alive. A fine sticky lace has formed even before the first sip.

Hmm, interesting aroma. Sweetness is the first thing I encounter, scrambled with dates, prunes, and malty alcohol. Roastiness abounds. Also, an unfortunate amount of metallic twinges.

An amazingly carbonated hoppiness greets you initially, then follows the gulpingly thick sweet mass of Stoutitude. The mouthfeel is right on, thick enough to back up the huge amounts of alcohol, but light enough to allow carbonation to cut through the mess. The hops aren't out of control on this one, but quite noticible for the style. Like many stouts, your mouth is left with puddles of sourness on the beers' way down, but in this case it cloaks the alcohol perfectly.

If someone handed this to me as a stout, I wouldn't instantly think "imperial" and would probably put down one too many. Read: VERY drinkable.

Overall a damn fine creation from the talented folks at North Coast. Have another? Well thanks for asking - I will. (1,284 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark.We are talking BLACK.Nice tan head of about an 1/8 inch that quickly receedes.Not as much aroma of some other Imperials.Slight coffee/licorice.WOW!!!Flavor makes up for not a lot of aroma.Roasted malt-not overly harsh.Anise.Licorice.Nice malty sweetness in the backround.No alchohol burn present.Inky/oily mouthfeel.The roasted malt comes across more than any hop bitterness.Quite a smooth and satisfying dish.Its nice to see such a flavorfull Imperial Stout at only 9%.Makes it so you can have a few if you like.Great,great beer. (535 characters)

Photo of Rastacouere
3.37/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Blind Tasting, thanks Ecrvich It pours very dark brown, definitely not opaque with an off-white film that sticks to the glass rather well. Aroma is assertively malty which shows as bubblegum, melon, milk and candy flavours. Hop profile is rather chalky, dry and alcohol is not particularly well hidden. Fruity palate with watermelon, pepper. This is a complex beer with a sweet side that I love, but I just can't get myself to appreciate this astringent, chalky and roasty sour hoppiness and very obvious alcohol. It just doesn't work with me. Medim bodied with rather intense carbonation. Another beer that doesn't measure up to my expectations which I start to guess are simply to high. (688 characters)

Photo of marburg
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Surprised to find this at Casey's in Ann Arbor... Black used oil color in "bar lighting" with a tan head that sticks around for most of the party. Hints of dark chocolate and toasted nuts. You can smell some of the roasted bitterness for sure, though this is clearly not the hop monster many imperials are these days. Snappy bitterness is present throughout. But overtones of chocolate and vinous flavor swirl around atop the bitterness. The bitterness, of course, re-emerges at the finish supplemented by hops. I think this feels a bit thinner than it actually is for some reason. Quite easy and fun to drink for an imperial. (626 characters)

Photo of stewart124
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black with a thick tan head that lasts throughout. Deep smells of strong roasted malts and bittering hops. The taste is of espresso and chocolate with a burnt flavor. Thick body with a crisp tastes of hops. Very smooth feel and the alcohol simply warms the stomach. The aftertaste is a lingering coffee and hop flavor that lasts. This beer is bold, complex, and delicious. This is a classic plain and simple. (420 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep black color with a thick dark brown head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It is full of black and chocolate malts; very aromatic. The taste is good. It's quite complex and full of dark and roasted malts. It has a nice black/chocolate flavor. The moutheel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking beer; a fine imperial stout. (394 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 Skidz
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to re-review this, unsure of my previous review.

Pours out deep, dark brown and sits the same in the glass, only showing a tinge of crimson on the sides. Fluffy tan head stands atop with very nice lacings on the sides.

Smells of cinnamon, deeply roasted malts with that tinge of alcohol deep inside your nose. You sort of know what's coming your way... Cocoa, caramel and brown sugar linger about.

Tastes of chocolate, caramel and a light sour/acidicness. Nice, rounded flavors of roasted malts. Alcohol presents itself as a major player and comes through the dark roasted grains. Finished bitter with malty sweetness continuing on after swallowing.

Quite smooth in the mouth. Rich and easy to handle carbonation. Big, full-body.

A nightcap all the way to bed. (779 characters)

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

It's almost opaque, very dark brown, and the head is thick and ample. Bakers chocolate seems to be the strongest part of the aroma, also slight hints of ripe dark fruits, and a bit of crisp hops....quite enjoyable. Enjoyably smooth on the palate...creamy, full of bakers chocolate and dark fruit flavors. Alcohol shows itself through the finish and into the aftertaste, adding a warming character to accentuate the crisp hops that also finish it off. One heluva stout here, easily drinkable for such a brute, and quite fulfilling. (530 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,492 ratings.