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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

9,686 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,686
Reviews: 3,351
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 292
Gots: 1,229 | 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
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Ratings: 9,686 | Reviews: 3,351 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
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.

Sammy, Jun 08, 2004
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

t0rin0, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a pitch black color. I could not see any light through the beer. 1 inch chocolate milk colored head. Nice ring lacing.

S - Smells of bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee/espresso beans, and surprisingly like soy sauce.

T - Bittersweet chocolate, bitter espresso, coffee aftertaste.

M - Good carbonation. Thick and creamy.

D - Very good. Tasty RIS that I will get again.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -7%

djrn2, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first RIS I had as a serious craft-beer drinker. I had thought they were a little too heavy and off-putting in the past, but this one really turned me to the light. A big thank you to the local Trader Joe's for offering singles of this one.

A: Black with a brown head and some good lacing.

S: Roasted dark malts and a little bit of alcohol.

T: Good espresso flavors meld with the roasted malt. Some hops make their way in and overall it's slightly sweet.

M: Fairly thick and well-carbonation. Nice and creamy.

D: Pretty drinkable. A very, very good introduction to the style, and one I plan on offering to many other beginners.

Thorpe429, May 01, 2009
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

zestar, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

nmann08, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

acurtis, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured jet black with a two finger high creamy light brown head that took a long time to die down into lacy patterns of bubbles covering the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are moderate aromas of dark roasted malts, chocolate and coffee in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a significant amount of bitterness in it. Notes of coffee beans particularly stand out in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and rather rich on the palate. There is some dryness in the finish and warming from the alcohol.
D: The alcohol is noticeable but fairly well masked, which doesn't make it too difficult to drink. This is a great beer to sip during the winter months.

metter98, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of brentk56
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearnace: Tar black with a bit of ruby peeking through when put in front of a light source; a modest head that webs the glass with lacing

Smell: Roasted malt, chocolate and espresso

Taste: The flavor explodes in your mouth - at first you get the coffee and chocolate and then, after the swallow, the bitter hops kick in along with the alcohol; after the warmth and the bitterness fades, the chocolate tones linger and comfort

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A lovely, warming stout for the cold weather months; a big beer and not for the faint-hearted

brentk56, Dec 16, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 27, 2004
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
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…

Phyl21ca, Aug 04, 2004
Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is THE staple of Russian Imperial Stouts that paved the way for unreal American stout brewers of this depth, boldness, and aggression.

The beer pours with a deep onyx black color, a 1" froathy tan head that rises to the top of the tulip and proves to be steadfast til the end. A fair amount of lacing, soft legging, and retention.

Strong aromas of roasted malts, burnt toast, deeply roasted coffee, and waves of burnt cocoa. Truely aggressive, attacking the nose.

Equally strong flavors favor the espresso character, while the burnt toast and cocoa provide complex flavor to the highly roasted grains. Milder fruity flavors of plumbs, dates, licorcie, and raisons round out the roughter grain-related tastes very well. Not to be outdone, the hops also provide a piney, light resin tone to the finsihing flavors. Lightly acidic flavors later remind me of bitter coffee once more.

Sweet, smooth, creamy textures conjure up a full and round body with a billowing and expansive initial mouthfeel. The beer settles and allows the hops, acid, and light sourness to cause a lightening in the body to allow for ease in drinking. Hop bitterness begins to gain dominance over the astringent coffee, toasty bite. The light warmth of 9% abv. kinda gets lost in the complex flavors and textures.

Very well attenuated and controlled yeast character made this beer a Godfather of Stouts and continues to outlast newer Stouts with its restraint and boldness. Always a pleasure to see this beer in my glass.

BEERchitect, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Texasfan549, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bm0095 for the bottle.

Good lawd does this look nice. Absolute black as night with a huge cream colored head. Lace was so thick I could not see through the glass. Perfect look for an Imperial Stout,Perfect. Smell started with a hint of chocolate, some coffee, maybe even some dark fruity smells hidden in there, nice overal aroma.

As for the taste, hmmm.Big Flavors right off the bat. Roasted, caramel sweetness, The alcohol can definatly be tasted and this is warm going down, yummy. Coffee undertones as well as the tiniest hint of chocolate, I mean tiny but it is there. Very nicely carbonated, and thick. This is a definate sipper. The abv custs down on what you may be able to drink but not what you think you can! I could really drink this on every cold night. Big beer here folks, very nicely done!

mikesgroove, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +16.3%

kjkinsey, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle version of the three version taste test this night (Nitro, regular tap and bottle).

Black with a thick pillow like head. As nice as the tap but not as firm as the nitro;

Nose of bitter dark chocolate and fresh espresso. Nose from the bottle is actually a bit more assertive than on tap or nitro. Also has a bit more of a hop character than the tap.

Again however, great flavors of bitter chocolate, coffee/espresso and malt/toffee/carmel with hints of bitter and roasted grains.

Medium to full mouthfeel with a bit of creamy character.

Long coffee/espresso bitter chocolate finish. An all around great drink.

Bottle version is my least favorite but, having said that, I'll drink the bottle version any time! Very nice beer!

GRG1313, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of womencantsail
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe I've yet to write a few for Ol' Raspy. Here it goes...

A: I poured the bottle into my Cigar City snifter to reveal the beautiful and familiar jet black, viscous liquid that is Old Rasputin. A small mocha colored head sits atop the darkness.

S: Great aromas of chocolate, coffee, a roasted nuttiness, and hints of vanilla. A wonderful combination of sweet and bitter aromas.

T: The taste very much follows the nose, and I'm quite glad it does. Once again, a great balance between sweet coffee and vanilla flavors melds well with bitter coffee and a roasted, bordering on burnt, taste.

M: Now this is a full bodied beer. Very little in the way of carbonation, the way it should be, and this gives the beer that thick, creamy mouthfeel you are looking for in an RIS.

D: I personally find this to be one of the more drinkable beers in the RIS style, but that doesn't make it a beer you're going to drink 6 of. A great beer and I've decided to finally put some away to age, even though I love it fresh.

womencantsail, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -7%

ygtbsm94, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

spycow, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 3 finger milk chocolate head, thick lace.. Very black.

S: Very roasted with a sharp sweet note resembling dark fruit filling.

T: Dark chocolate is the major player here. Roast and coffee as well with toffee mixed in. I am also getting a dark fruit finish, like the aroma, with a cherry-like thick syrupy filling would taste.

M: Thick bodied and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Very nice aroma. One of the best imperial stouts I have had. Excellent all the way around.

kylehay2004, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

jaydoc, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours out black, with a thick tan head that slowly fades to a thin ring of lace.

Smell: The aroma is a rich, vibrant framework containing scents of licorice, espresso, sweet chocolate, and ripe, vinous fruits.

Taste: Flavors Ahoy! Bitterness and black roasted malts fight for attention. Hints of molasses, toffee, mocha, and spice help to round out the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied; feels heavy on the tongue. Rich, smooth mouthfeel. The ABV provides for a warming, satisfying finish.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable. For anyone who's had this beer before, let me just say: Booyah!

If you haven't had this beer before... Try it: Today!

ChainGangGuy, Mar 18, 2006
Photo of Knapp85
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I knew what this was going to look like after having it from the bottle a few times before. The Nitro just sets this brew off right from the start. It's got the deep black stout look to it. With a wonderfully thick creamy tan head that leaves a fantastic lacing down the glass. The smell has some pine on the nose with a deep roasted aroma following after. The taste is explosive, it's hoppy and has a masterful chocolate taste. The finish is dry and smoother than just about any beer I've ever had. The mouthfeel is creamy, heavy and silky smooth. Overall I never wanna have this from a bottle again. If you see this on Nitro it's a must have!

Knapp85, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to say this is the best imperial stout I have had so far,pours a deep borwn but not quite black with a light almond colored head,aroma is burnt with some rasin notes.The taste is a bombshell very buttery and rum-like with some light earthy tones,love the butteriness of this beer along with the rum flavor.A real complex brew that is pretty easy to drink for the alcohol content,what a real nice beer.

oberon, Dec 03, 2003
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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,686 ratings.