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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

9,693 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,693
Reviews: 3,351
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 292
Gots: 1,233 | FT: 38
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,693 | Reviews: 3,351 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of orfeu
3.35/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Barely translucent dark brown with ruby-garnet highlights and a thick, frothy espresso crema head. Clean smelling aromas of chocolate and light roasted coffee; toasted grains and earthy piney hops. Dark coffee flavors predominate at first. Spicy pinecone hops mixed with an acidic vinous quality overtake during the middle. Bitter coffee finish, but hops ride it on through to the sour mineral aftertaste. Alcohol warms down the throat. Moderate body, a bit thin for the style, actually, and somewhat slick. Seems as if it could be dry, if the sour finish didn't get in the way. This acidity mellows somewhat at about mid-bottle. Much less interesting than I expected. Underwhelming, to say the least.

orfeu, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of akajimmyd
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Not much head and only a small crown. No lacing. Totally black and opaque.

Smell – Like overripe dark fruit. Alcohol. Whiffs of coffee malts.

Taste/Mouthfeel – Strong coffee taste. Some tart dark fruits. Very, very dry feel. Variety of malts and sustained hop backbone. Full body. Boozy finish.

Drinkability – Warms the belly. This is a very full RIS, you could not have more that two but it is very tasty and interesting.

akajimmyd, Mar 10, 2006
Photo of etenbus
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Never Say Die is the motto of this stout. For the man who helped bring down the Romanov dynasty it's appropos. For this ale, let's hope it rings true.

The pour brings a hush, with the body of the beer acting as a cushion and sound absorber. It looks like Quaker State 10W/30W. I could not see any light through the glass. The head is dark caramel in colour and lasts halfway through the beer.

The aroma brings notes of bitter chocolate, hickory, and leather. There is a slight musty smell that is not unappetizing; it adds an earthy quality to the ale.

The flavour brings the malt up front. It is somewhat smoky and has an espresso dryness. The hops dry it out. It has a big punch of malt and hops paired well--neither dominates the other.

The mouthfeel is rounded, soft, and thick, like a stout should be.

It does not drink like a 9% ale, like some 9% Belgians I've tasted that leave me with a headache forming. I'm ready for another.

etenbus, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of tattooedtolley
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

OnTap thanks to Baja Bean, I have had it in the bottle as well but this will be my review of the on tap version.

Appearance: Super black, no light coming through this beer. Frothy tan head lived briefly and left tons of tan lacing.

Smell: Mostly roasted malts and some chocolate. Slight coffee aroma.

Taste: Sweet maltiness of the roasted malts with some chocolate. Some hops present which helps calm down the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Big body on this one, which is certainly expected after watching the pour.

Drinkability: Obviously not a session beer, but not a bad bar price tag and certainly not over the top in price at the beer store. I like this beer very much and recommend it to anyone who likes stouts.

tattooedtolley, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of eph
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There is a fabulous bar out in western Massachusetts that caries this on tap. It was served in a goblet and was a thick black color with a dark brown head. It smelled of roasted coffee, almonds, chocolate, and a hint of alcohol. This beer has a good heavy mouth feel with a mellow carbonation that gives it an almost creamy feel when you swallow. It has a thick chocolate malt taste with a few shots of espresso to boot. After I swallowed I noticed a bit of a sweet dull fruit finish to it, not overly hoppy for sure. This beer was a great experience, I would recommend it as a sipping beer to fully enjoy... and the 9.0 abv has a way of sneaking up on you if you over drink this brew. Enjoy!

eph, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of mcowgill
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love the label on this beer. Could be the scariest looking guy I've ever seen on a beer bottle. The beer pours a nice black color with a smallish head that disappears quickly. The aroma is of roasted malts, chocolate and alcohol. This is a mighty fine tasting brew with a huge malty flavor and a nice hint of hops too. I would say this is one of the best Imperial Stouts out there. It's very drinkable indeed.

mcowgill, Mar 05, 2006
Photo of rousee
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Nice to have a beer like this. Pours a black cola color with a small head of dark tan and it diminishes quickly.

Smell is a fabulous blend of nuts like hazels, cashews, almonds, etc. very well balanced with some slight fruit tints.

Taste is a malty chcocolate, licorice, toffee, caramel type thingy with some cherry hints on the back much like a good piece of dark chocolate would.

The mouthfeel is too sticky and syrupy. Drinkability is about avg or a little better than avg for this style.

rousee, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of Jaynuze
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful pour out of the bottle. The color, black as night, is topped off with a thick caramel/white head. Head retention is great till the end and a nice Belgian lace behind is left behind.
Hints of charcoal, toffee, caramel, and chocolate emanate from this beauty and it coats the mouth with a wonderfully smooth malty sweetness that gives balance to the mouthfeel. I've found the beer to be less bitter from the bottle than it is when it's served on-tap which I found a bit odd, but I'm not complaining!! The finish is a bold coffee flavor at first but rounds out with a hint of creamy-sweetness. A great beer to sip or tip, but watch out though; with a 9% ABV its effects have tendency to sneak up on you!

Jaynuze, Mar 01, 2006
Photo of klewis
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours deep black with a small tan head that subsides to a frothy ring around my snifter. Bits of lace left on the sides.

S: Aromas of roasted malt and chocolate with a slight alcohol presence

T: Coffee flavors with earthy notes and strong bitter hop presence. The taste is rather fleet in the finish, leaving an alcoholic taste.

M: Big and heavy mouthfeel that finishes very dry. I'd like a beer of this body to be a bit less carbonated.

D: I'm a little disapointed with this after first having it on draft. Overall, it is a solid stout at a fair price ($7.99/4-pack), however I don't find it exemplary when compared to its contemporaries.

klewis, Feb 24, 2006
Photo of TheEclecticGent
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this beer in a bottle at Summits in Sandy Springs, GA

Appearance:
This beer poured into a pint glass a deep pitch black/brown with a ½ “ dark tan head with good lacing. Impressive looking beer.

Smell:
A very strong and tasty smelling coffee and chocolate aroma.

Taste:
Very bold roasted coffee and chocolate flavors. The flavor is rich, creamy, and semi-sweet with a bit of a dry finish. Very impressive actually.

Mouthfeel:
Feels a little heavy and you can sense the creamy nature of this beer.

Drinkability:
Very drinkable beer! It’s sneaky though, you don’t taste or even get a warming from the alcohol but it hit me pretty hard since I had not eaten in a great while. I got the full effect of the 9%! Even more prepared I’d have to limit myself, this is an addictive beer.

TheEclecticGent, Feb 24, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours black as coal with a rich dark tan head. Huge aroma of roasted malt, burnt chocolate and even a bit of toffee. It's an intimidating smell, and portends that the beer will be big tasting... as it turns out to be. "Big" doesn't say it, though: more like humongous. First it's bitterness from the malt (and, I assume, some hops), with tons of espresso. Then the palate shifts forward in the mouth for some coffee and even a bit of fruit (dried strawberries?). The finish is long and active, with an alcoholic burn and malt bitterness left over at the back of the mouth. With all this, you might think that this beer would be a bit rough on the palate, but that's not the case. It's no oatmeal stout, but given the massive flavors and roasted malt presence, this beer glides through the mouth rather well.

Overall: a huge, wonderful beer that will knock your socks off. Instead of Rasputin, call it the Big Jim Slade of beers.

geexploitation, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of nathanho
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Beware the high ABV Old Rasputin...I swear, each bottle has an actual "Little Old Rasputin" who finds his way into your head, causing much confusion and havoc, especially if more than one or two gather there at the same time - which is to be expected, given the crazy old coot's rasputation, I mean, reputation and all...See, he's up to his old trick's again, that wily Old Rasputin...

nathanho, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of Jacobob10
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A gentle pour produces a black beer with some dark ruby highlights around the edges near the glass. A virtually non-existent tan head clings to the side of the glass but disappears on it's way toward the middle. The aroma is pleasant with chocolate and roasted malts, as well as some raspberry overtones. Upon tasting it provides a dark chocolate - almost burnt - flavor with a slight alcohol finish. Bitter and a little bit hot in the mouth, this is definitely a sipping beer, but enjoyable and satisfying nonetheless.

Jacobob10, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of bighoppymonster
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an absolute opaque black with a thin tan head which laces the glass nicely. Equal amounts of roasted malty goodness and alcohol in nose, maybe some traces of sweetness as well. Again, roasted maltiness in taste with very strong coffee like flavours. Very sweet and alcoholic in taste. However, it is very smooth and drinkable. Definately full bodied and very rich. Overall, a very impressive brew. Very strong in both character and abv. One of my favourites in the style, although I am none too experienced with imperial stouts.

bighoppymonster, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of tozerm
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! I sampled this from a jockey box on nitro at a beer festival. Talk about a glass of pure love! The head was thick, dense, and creamy. I loved the floor show of bubbles cascading down the glass. Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, this tasted absolutely wonderful. Rich mouthfeel that hit every single taste bud in my mouth. It's good in the bottle, but if you get a chance get it on tap!

tozerm, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of etaggie09
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Great head retention. left tons of lacing on the glass. Even on a bad pour the head stayed fairly well. The beige head slowly reduces to form a small cap. Body is deep black with barely a garnet hue only when it is held to direct light. looks clear.

Aroma: Smell is kind of like a baltic porter. Has a very vinous aroma but with a more pronounced roastiness than in a porter. Some alcohol, roasted coffee bean, dark malt, plum, and apple. A pleasant aroma.

Flavor: strongly roasted with a porter like background. has similar flavor characterisitcs of the baltic only it reverses the roles of the roastiness and the fruitiness, bringing the roastiness to the foreground. Not overly bitter or sweet, but a bit unbalanced it seems. Quite clean with a moderately bitter finish. Very clean and straightforward.

Mouthfeel: Full, but a bit too carbonated. It has a nice body, but the carbonation bite takes a little bit away from it. Still, it is nice and smooth, and better, I think, than the mouthfeel of Samuel Smith's.

Drinkability: Quite easy. This gives you a straightforward flavor with a decent body that you'd expect from a stout. The warmth from the alcohol is very nice.

Notes: I have yet to be impressed by an imperial stout. I have not tried the best ones, only Samuel Smith's and this one, but I much prefer barleywines. They balance out flavors and don't try to overload you on one. This is a nice after dinner beer, but I don't think I'll be buying it again any time soon. As far as I'm concerned, Shakespeare Stout is a good enough stout for me.

etaggie09, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of alexwag
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like Rasputin hangin' out on the front there. Freaky character.

A- Dark as the Siberian winter. No light here. Not much head. An impenetrable mystery.

S- Rich, roasted, rambunctious ... malts. Sweetness, hint of the alcohol. A little nutty, chocolates etc. Yum.

T- A great balance. Tons of malt -- all the roasted/burnt chocolate/caramel you could want, a reminder of the high ABV, and a slow, pleasant fade on the tongue, tinge of bitterness. No carbonation to speak of. Full flavored but not overwhelming. Then again, I sort of like being overwhelmed. Yum.

M- Rich, creamy, smooth. Seeks out all my tastebuds and shows them what it's got, which is formidable. Delightful.

D- Small bottle but lots and lots going for it. True to the style -- just right in my opinion. No 5's because I'm not knocked out of my chair, but very, very good. I'm rather sad that it's gone.

alexwag, Feb 16, 2006
Photo of mattpetti
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an excellent beer. Your really cannot say enough about it. pours pitch black with not a large head and not a great amount of lacing. Smell was of course roasted malts alittle bit of sourness. Thes taste was awesome. Ive had this beer a half dozen times and it gets better every time. Chocolate, coffee, i detected some hazelnut but that could just be my imagination running wild with how much i love this beer. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy. Full bodied with lost of flavor and it leaves a long lasting malt flavor in your mouth, most prominently on the back of your tongue. Though the abv is high and the mouthfeel is full bodied you can really have a couple of these in a row without breaking a sweat. The only problem is that the coating of your mouth is so extensive you might not want taste another beer after this one. But after it who cares. Petti out.

mattpetti, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of NiceGuyMike
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

De.lic.ous

Wow...I've just completed a six pack over several days and I have to say this has gotten better and better.

a: very dark black with little off white/light tan head.
s: rich chocolate/coffee malts. Never overdone.
t: more rich and chocolate/coffee malts.
m: smooth, very smooth full bodied experience.
d: high alcohol keeps this at bay, but you hardly taste it.

Note: one of the best, if not the best Imperial Stouts I've had. A discovery like this is what keeps me excited about beers.

NiceGuyMike, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of denali99755
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First off, the bottle was remarkably unimpressive for such a heavy-hitting beer. Coming from familiarity with Belgians and the bottle styles of the Rogue brewery, this beer's standard-issue brown bottle belies its singularly impressive quality. I do like the label, though, and especially the 'never say die' inscription.

Pours like stouts I'm used to, pretty smooth, with minimal head (although my pouring style is inconsistent at best, so it's hard to judge). And it's, well, dark like an Imperial should be.

Aroma is crisp and tart, with some definite hops and chocolate. Maybe some coffee? The nose might be a tiny bit more bitter than I would love.

But the taste--terrific. Nice and round, hugely full-bodied, with chocolate and coffee, but the hoppy bitterness (for me) balances the heavy bottom-end perfectly. This is my kind of beer. And it is remarkably light on its feet for a 9-percenter--dangerously so. I could drink a lot of this, and quickly. Love it.

Mouthfeel is smooth except for an odd almost grittiness that I experienced much more in the tap beer, but is still present from the bottle. Slightly odd--but the bottled version goes down smoother. Better, by my taste.

Like I said, I could drink way too much of this beer, way too quickly. The nice hoppy top end balances out a very big, meaty flavor. A definite 5.

This beer, from the bottle, might even surpass my other two favorite stouts--Alameda's Black Bear XX Nitro and Rogue's Shakespeare--although I have a hard time shaking my affection for Oregon breweries. All around, though, this is a terrific offering.

denali99755, Feb 13, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Andy's, couldn't resist a growlerfill this weekend.

Served in an oversize snifter between cellar and fridge temperature.

A- Flat... straight up dark brown, without a head at all. The thin rim that encircles the glass leaves behind minimal lacing, with windblown surface streaks which adorn the crown.

S- Rich, deep, molasses-soaked licorice and chocolate... pure and liquid, and very intense. Very strong... the forecast calls for inebriation, if we are not careful.

T- A chocolately, richly deep, molasses-and-malt driven experience, which detours into a nicely balanced hoppy bitterness. Drying, flowery, and complete, we come full circle from the initial dessert-like debut.

M/D- Too smooth for the ultimate in roundness... the sheer strength of this beer calls for some balance in the mouthfeel, but it simply fades into obscurity. Strong but watery, any inkling of carbonation is what's lacking. This beer is satisfying, yet I definitely prefer the bottled offering. Unless this growler went flat in one day, I suggest the widely available four-pack bottles.

yelterdow, Feb 13, 2006
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Appearance- dark black with a thin almost non-existant head.
Smell- strong sugar, molasses and coal. Hints of fruit, raisin and Prune.
Taste- immediate burnt charcoal followed by thick sugary syrup.
Mouthfeel- cloying and sweet.

Overall- a decent Stout by, by no means, a great one! Too sweet and too syrupy. If this could be mellowed just a little!

NJpadreFan, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of amstelcat
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Any beer named Old Rasputin is off to a good start in my book. Pours out a velvety black with a thick, brown, whipped cream head on it.Let's put this to the nose: smells a bit like Irish coffee, mmmm, Daddy like. First sip, alcohol, chocolate and malts roasted into cinders. Complex, rich, and very satisfying. Will enjoy the rest of my four-pack.

amstelcat, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Do we really need another review of this one? Not really. This is #573 for this stout. But I need another Old Rasputin, so bear with me.

An excellent, exceptional stout. Couldn't be darker, as a stout should be, black with a creamy brown head. Smells of chocolate and coffee, no surprises there, but it's distinct and robust and lacking nothing.

Taste: Dark chocolate, strong burnt coffee (in a good way), bitter hoppiness on the back of the tongue. Great sweet/bitter interplay. Warming.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel, so nice it almost steals the show from the strong flavor.

More of a dessert beer, one you won't drink more than two of without a heavy stomach and serious swimmy head afterwards. A great winter indulgence, and one to drink on the barely-chilled side.

Metalmonk, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of beerphilosopher
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wide-mouth wine glass from a shorty bottle ... Almost black mahogony color with a great chocolate-colored head ... imperial looking indeed. Nose is of cocoa, roasted coffee, espresso, and sweet malt. Almost no hop aromas in the nose. Taste is completely consistent with the aroma ... rich, sweet, and complex with dark malt ... almost black strap mollases flavors ... yet smooth and nutty in the finish. Thick, heavy body with little carbonation. A huge stout in the imperial style ... an acquired taste, which I have certainly acquired. Very strong, very rich, and very good. A superlative example of the style ... and east to get to boot!

beerphilosopher, Feb 07, 2006
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,693 ratings.