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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

9,228 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,228
Reviews: 3,328
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 256
Gots: 1,027 | FT: 33
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001)
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Ratings: 9,228 | Reviews: 3,328 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of meathookjones
meathookjones

Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2004 13:55:39 | More by meathookjones
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2004 23:14:03 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of marcobrau
marcobrau

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2004 01:56:02 | More by marcobrau
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with blonde head. Roasty, salt and bitter and high acid. In sip: Cinammon, rye bread, bittersweet chocolate, fruit,licorice. Could be less hoppy. Medium plus texture.

Had 4.5 years later and certainly stands up over time. There are more "big" RIS but for a bitter coffee one, this is the classic.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2004 05:00:50 | More by Sammy
Photo of jahred
jahred

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to beerluvr and BIF 6.0 for this bottle!

Pours a dark black color with a medium, dark tan head. The head disappears fairly quickly, leaving behind traces of tan foam on my glass. The scent is particularly strong. Burnt fruit, malts and alcohol.

The taste at first is surprisingly milky and rich, followed by a burnt malt taste, then more sweet milk flavors. As the beer warms, most of these goes away, leaving me with oily burnt malts, perhaps some chocolate, and what I might even call peanut butter flavors! Towards the end of the glass, I got some nice hop notes that finished off the beer wonderfully. Throughout I got the typical (and enjoyable) imperial stout tingles on my tongue. Yum.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2004 22:49:08 | More by jahred
Photo of Tballz420
Tballz420

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew has a black body, with some reddish hues. Large brown foam head, leaves sheets of lace behind in its wake. The scent is big chocolate malt. The chocolate malts also dominate the taste, the wingers are some bitter hop and slight alcohol spice. Full creamy mouthfeel. This is a great big bold stout without any of the flavors being overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2004 20:48:19 | More by Tballz420
Photo of hobbes2112
hobbes2112

Texas

4.08/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2004 02:12:08 | More by hobbes2112
Photo of henrysunset
henrysunset

Washington

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2004 02:23:52 | More by henrysunset
Photo of andyo
andyo

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2004 16:44:35 | More by andyo
Photo of LuckySevens82
LuckySevens82

Florida

4.2/5  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!)

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2004 01:36:57 | More by LuckySevens82
Photo of FranklinPCombs
FranklinPCombs

Massachusetts

3.38/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2004 22:57:05 | More by FranklinPCombs
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82

Georgia

3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2004 03:47:17 | More by rajendra82
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2004 00:27:52 | More by Suds
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2004 15:00:26 | More by arizcards
Photo of CRJMellor
CRJMellor

Arkansas

4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2004 03:38:05 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of SeanChouffe
SeanChouffe

New Mexico

4/5  rDev -7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2004 02:40:10 | More by SeanChouffe
Photo of ism
ism

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2004 02:17:05 | More by ism
Photo of Running4beer
Running4beer

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2004 21:59:36 | More by Running4beer
Photo of bditty187
bditty187

Nebraska

4.3/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2004 21:36:53 | More by bditty187
Photo of ngandhi
ngandhi

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2004 00:57:03 | More by ngandhi
Photo of 99bottles
99bottles

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2004 02:02:20 | More by 99bottles
Photo of Onceeven
Onceeven

New York

3.38/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2004 04:27:13 | More by Onceeven
Photo of GreenWBush
GreenWBush

Oregon

4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2004 00:56:12 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2004 01:38:31 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of Rastacouere
Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2004 18:38:08 | More by Rastacouere
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,228 ratings.