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
96
world-class

11,064 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,064
Reviews: 3,578
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 452
Gots: 2,152 | FT: 57
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 (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,064 | Reviews: 3,578
Photo of Ninjabrew
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured in to a DFH snifter produced 1/2" dark tan head on top of a dark chocolate brown beer.

Smell: Awesome! Smells of chocolate covered raisons with a hint of choclate covered cherries.

Taste: Very Good, starts malty with super-sweet choclate finish.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth! With the perfect amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: While I really love this beer, I'am not likely to drink more than one of these. This is like dessert not only because of the sweet taste but because you are so full by time you finish the first one. A very filling beer!

Photo of dfolmste
4.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looking forward to try out my new Sam Adams snifter.

Appearance: Pours a jet black with creamy coffee head. The head looks like it is going to rise up, but instead disappears instantly. For a beer with 9% ABV this is to be expected.

Smell: Alcohol mixed with dark fruit. Smells like a liquor. Chocolate, ice cream, raisin and cherry. Smells like liquid dessert. Extremely complex and delicious.

Taste: Amazing! The delicious smell cannot even compete with the taste. Everything I named in the smell plus a cast of others. Impossible to put in words. Get this and try it if available.

Mouthfeel: Remarkably smooth with the taste covering all parts of the tongue. First hits sweet, then bitter roasted coffee and chocolate. Not a bit of astringency or off flavors. Probably over 7 different flavors in one sip. I want to try and describe all the flavors, but I want to drink more.

Drinkability: A beer to be savored and analyzed. Would be the perfect dessert after a fancy meal or a warming beverage after long day of skiing. The winter would be the ideal time to consume. Due to the alcohol and body of this beer, it is best enjoyed in moderation.

I loved this beer. Plus the glass looks great.

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a glass beer mug.

The beer poured a dark, rich black that refused to let any light through. The head was thick and tan. It looked like it was going to pour with a thin head, but it kept growing after the pour, until it peaked all thick and frothy. All manner of lacing followed it down.

It's going to sound strange, but this beer smelled as dark as it looked. Strong toasted, (almost burned), malts dominated, but there was a hint of licorice, a bit of coffee, and a bit of chocolate that all merged together, so the nose was different for each sniff.

The mouthfeel wasn't as heavy as it looked. It was carbonated well enough to lighten it up. Kind of a medium feel.

The taste followed the complexity of the nose. It began with the sweet, toasted malts, and finished with more of a hops/coffee bitterness than I expected. Don't read that as a bad thing. The finish left me feeling warm and flushed. There was a lingering scorched chocolate flavor that lingered after the bitterness faded.

As it warmed, the flavors harmonized a bit more, but the hops bite always dominated the finish.

A good, big beer, this is made for sipping slowly. I've found it pairs quite nicely with warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Photo of mckeowbc
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A good Russian Imperial Stout, but not my favorite beer ever. Perhaps Russian Imperials just aren't my style. It's a good beer, but too maybe too rich for my blood, both in alcohol content and cost.

A - Pours a very dark brown that ends up black in the glass, topped by ample amounts of chunky caramel colored head.
S - Smell is complex, sweet with hints of burnt coffee, chocolate and a noticeable amount of alcohol in the nose.
T - The alcohol comes through in the taste but the chocolate, coffee and malt come along for the ride. In a way I felt like I was drinking a scotch or a bourbon. Nice, but if I want a glass of scotch I'll have a glass of scotch.
M - Mouthfeel is just about right for a big Imperial Stout. Heavy and full but not syrupy.
D - Too big to be really drinkable. A good imperial stout, but the taste wasn't my favorite and the amount of alcohol made this a special occasion beer.

Photo of jj311
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the pleasure of tasting this beer for my first time.
I will say that this brew is not for the faint of heart or for 'amateur' beer drinkers. If you are a big fan of mainstream beers, lagers, pale ales, and so on, then I'd suggest finding some way to sample it before purchasing if at all possible. If you appreciate a nice thick stout, this one should definitely be on your list.

Pouring it from bottle to glass, the first thing I noticed was the brilliant jet-black color topped with a thick, tan, and frothy foam head not unlike that of a cappuccino. Holding it up to the light, very little light managed to penetrate through this darkness.

The Aroma is something i can only describe as sweet and roasty. It seems to have subtle but distinctive essences of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, and alcohol.

The taste was pleasantly enjoyable with a variety of flavors.
A rich balance of roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, and a bitter hoppy taste that surprisingly compliments the other flavors.

A nice thick mouthfeel and a warm finish.

I wasn't disappointed at all in my decision to b uy this.

Photo of WalterHeisenberg
4.98/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle aggressive pour into pint glass
A: dark black oil like with coffe colored head good lacing/ retention looks fantastic!
S: coffe dark chocolate slight alcohol burnt caramel vanilla smells great
T: roasty toasty malty up front chocolate coffe cream then finishes hoppy bitter.Wow !
M: creamy yet not quite as thick as I expected silky smooth
O: yeah wow. I'm converted. this is no doubt the best beer I've ever had. And the reviews say this is above average. What's top shelf taste like?? I'm in for life with the RIS.

Photo of PintOh1759
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Nose- ALCOHOL!!! right to the face, ignorant in your face smell. Some chocolate if you search far and deep into your nostrils. Some smokey hints but not overwhelming. Maybe a little raisin.

Apperance- Black as night with a thick creamy Mocha colored head.

Taste- Smokey Malts, Some hop presence, burnt sugar, DARK bitter chocolate, and an after taste of chewing tobacco a very rough hang around dry alch taste that is impossible to place in the same category as anything else.

Overall this beer is okay and i may drink another one day but the lingering tobacco taste does throw me off a bit

Photo of Scarter55
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exactly what an I. Stout should be.

Photo of grdahl
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very alcoholic...I know thats what an imperial stout is all about , but for me it ruined the taste a bit...reminded me a lot of guinness with a kick...I'll stick with Mackeson

Photo of Bang34
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, I tried this brew after seeing it on the "Top Brews" list on this site. I have always been a fan of Stouts and being from Mendocino County, CA just one hour's drive from the birthplace of this beer, it seemed like a match made in heaven. If I could find it. A while back I remembered seeing this brew on the rack at my local Safeway. But when I finally decided to try it, guess what, it was nowhere to be found. After about a month of absence from the shelf, it was finally there. I bought 2 four-packs, just in case it disappeared again.

Now, the rating. Appearance, black, dark, stout-like, with a tanish brown head that sticks around and gives a nice creamyness and lace. The aroma, malty coffeeness comes to mind with a hint of Chocolate. Taste, creamy, chocolaty , coffee like with an after warmth of the alcohol. Even so, this is so smooth, you woul not believe that it is 8.9%.

Brewed in the historic logging and fishing town of Fort Bragg Califonia. Part of the Karate Kid III was filmed there as was the Kurt and Goldie Flick "Overboard" but it is probably most famous for being the final stop of the Skunk Train. I only whis I had found this beer sooner. Along with Anderson Valley's Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, it is one of my favorites. Available in four packs, and with the alcohol content and thickness, believe me, that is all you will need.

I moved to Missouri about 2 1/2 years ago and really miss this beer. It is availsble in my hometown, the small Hamlet of Gualala at the local Supers and I buy it whenever I get back there. On one of my last trips home I was able to get my Mom and Step Dad to take me to lunch at the brewery and they were impressed with this brew as well.

Missouri Import laws don't let any craft Cali brews in, save Pyramid and Sierra Nevada thanks to St. Louis based AB. Man, I miss this beer.

Photo of Doppel07
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Translucent deep dark burgundy with a foamy tan head. I've never seen a prettier beer. Aroma is of chocolate, hazelnuts, raisins, and alcohol. My wife said it smells like a Swiss candy bar. Bold and aggressive flavors of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate and aged port. Nice finish with a strong mochaccino aftertaste. Thick and rich palate. This beer becomes increasingly bitter as the flavors build and is a long, slow, and pleasing sipper. Strongest elements are of espresso and port.

Photo of iron78
3.67/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

black like a stout should be, dark brown at the edges in some light. with a thick creamy tan head.
rich chocolate and coffee aroma with a touch of what might be mint.
the toasted grain comes through giving nice coffee flavor with out being overly bitter. well balanced and complex enough to be interesting.
is thick, with out the syrup feel. doesn't leave the mouth coated, but has good body.
nice alchol warmth lasts but again is balanced enough not to overpower.
suprised me with how much i liked it. will try again some evening infront of a fire.

Photo of tfp4268
1.62/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I know this beer gets rave reviews, however...

I have enjoyed other RIS's but this one is just plain ugh.

It looks good enough, very dark brown, almost black, ruby around the edge against a light. Nice brown two finger head, goes down to a pretty lace after a while.

Smell is a little strange, very fruity, but not much else.

Taste...ARRRGH! Fruit and alcohol, kinda like Boone's Farm or something. Yuck!

Mouthfeel is as it should be, kinda thick, but not really thick.

Drinkability Well...I bought four of these, and have managed to choke down two, but the other two are probobly destined for the trash hopper.

Like I said, I have enjoyed other RIS's before, Sam Smith's is my fave, but I think Old Rasp is a little high on the ABV at 9%. It makes it too heavy more my taste buds to handle.

Photo of AmorousAngel
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured opaque black with a small brownish head. Small brownish ring remained around the glass for most of the life of the drink.

Predominantly coffee and alcohol aroma with hints of chocolate.

Lovely roasted malt flavor and coffee followed by stong hops. The flavor really lingers for a while after each sip.

Very smooth feel, with just a bit of a burn from the alcohol.

Not as heavy as some imperial stouts I've tried. Very good for sipping. I would probably rate this higher if the hops were a little less apparent.

Photo of baxterbrew
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So, I'm about to brew a RIS so I thought I'd stop at the local beer store. Picked up this crazy looking bottle with the cursing Rasputin on the label.

Poured it out into a pint glass and it is darker than dark...blacker than black. A hint of red when brought to a bright light. The head is voluptuous but fades quickly with minimal lacing.

The smell is pure, unadulterated malt with a hint of come hither alcohol. I was a little intimidated but it drew me in. It said, 'come closer, I won't hurt you."

The taste is very complex. There is a strong coffee/espresso taste upfront and you can definitely get the hops - they are kickin' maybe a little too much (dry hopped maybe?). Very astringent, almost made me want to pucker. The thing that really surprised me was the overwhelming sweetness of the aftertaste. Sugary almost overpowers the hops. You're left with a mix of the sweet and the bitter. Nice warmness in the belly when the alcohol rams its way home. One of those beers that makes you sit and think on what made this happen.

Mouthfeel is there and very heavy but not as heavy as one would think in a beer this heavy. There is an oily component but the astringency drives it away.

Drinkability- wouldn't want to drink more than a couple. Might be scary!

A very good beer especially given the style. This one is a good one to show new BAs. So much going on.

Photo of roscoehnj
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Georgous, black, nice big head.

However you smell it before you see it. Really big nose with coffee, choclate and the usual suspects.

Nice roasted coffee and dark alcohol (scotch or bourbon) taste with a long finish. Big hop bite on the finish too. I love hops but they may be a bit overdone here (don't think I've ever said that before).

Mouthfeel is big and rich.

An excellent RIS. I like this a lot but it as not as complex as the very best.

Photo of parkeak0
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Most certainly one of the best known and most loved RIS, as evidenced by the 2000+ reviews before this one. One of the beers that got me into the craft scene. Dark as night, rich, immensely complex, it doesn't get much better than this for the style. Chances are, you've had it before, but if you haven't, I highly recommend it.

Photo of myost88
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first ever Review and also my first ever RIS!

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a British Imperial Pint.

Appearance- completely black with no hints of anything else even when held to light. Head poured just over two inches and is dark brown, very chunky. Leaves lace all down the glass as you drink

Smell- Coffee, Dark roasty malts. Two big surprises for me. Considering everything I've read or heard about the style, I didn't expect the hops in the nose (though it is certainly welcome). Also, not as much chocolate as I expected.

Taste- Ah there's the chocolate I missed in the smell! Very malty with a nice little hop bitterness coming through on the back of the tongue. Extremely balanced and very tasty!

Mouthfeel- Rich, thick, and creamy just like a stout should be. This however takes it to that next level of creaminess. It reminded me of drinking egg nog if that makes sense.

Drinkability- You wouldnt know it was 9% unless you read the label. Alcohol is hidden very well. This is very rich and definately a slow sipping beer. Left me wanting another!

Photo of Rchap1
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle to a straight-sided pint glass.

A: Black, black black. Almost oily. Not too thick of a head (think the color of those brown Carhartt pants), but it laced wonderfully and stuck around to the last sip.

S: You can definitely smell the alcohol in this one. I'd say that's the dominant smell, but there's coffee and malt there too. Maybe a tiny hint of orange too.

T: This is pretty much what I rate the flavor of other RIS's from. My standard, if you will. Pretty boozy, and the kind of flavor that makes you shudder a little bit. I love it! The finish is full of coffee and bitter chocolate.

M: Very, very full mouthfeel. Pretty light on the carbonation, but it's very full.

D: Be careful with this one, 'cause it'll knock you on your ass. I can handle maybe two of these in a sitting, but it's almost a challenge. It's such a powerful beer that it can be tough to hve more than one sometimes.

Photo of BigBigPickle
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a beer!!!

Sitting at the bar in Yia Yia's - Lincoln, Nebraska. A dark night wet with rain and melting snow. And this place, a holy beacon for a traveler stranded in Lincoln ...

But I digress. The first beer I ordered was Old Rasputin. Not sure why I haven't picked this up yet. I truthfully was unaware it was so easy to find in my hometown, Chicago.

A beautiful pour - dark chocolate with a toasty tan topper. A gorgeous beer, smelling strongly of chocolate with a hints of coffee and fruit esters.

The first sip is eye-opening as this is a big beer wit great coffee and enormous chocolate notes right up front. It also possesses an amazing hoppy front and a velvety smooth finish. I kid you not, this is so thick and full it tastes like dirt would taste if dirt tasted good.

Drink up my friends, this is a beer to fill your fridge, share with friends, and cherish until it is no longer with us.

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

12 oz bottle

A - Very very dark with tan/brown head the quickly leaves

S - Good aroma of Coffe, chocolate a bit of alcohol

T - Taste is very similar to the aroma, first taste slightly bitter, but smoothed up nicely thereafter.

M - Mouth feel was full bodied but with enough creamy texture to make it smooth.

D - Very well done and will be drunk again.

Photo of CascadeConan
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As you would expect the beer is opaque with a decent tan head that leaves a bit of lacing as you go.

The nose is full of chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, sweet toffee and a bit of smoke.

The taste differs greatly from some of the bigger stouts I've been drinking lately, a whole lot of burnt grains and hops up front mellowing through the chocolate and coffee with a warm, dry finish. Lots of big flavors going on, huge role played by the hops (75 IBUs) in this stout along with the grains to make this deliciously bitter but the body remains fairly thin for 9% ABV, not as velvety as you would hope.

Verdict? Great stout, this had a lot of hype behind it and for the most part it lived up to all I counts and was a divergence from my expectations which made this a whole lot more interesting to drink. This is the kind of beer that will get you through those cold winter nights in the kremlin.

Photo of mattjv
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours pitch black, looks like an eclipse held up to a bright light. Frothy and robust 2 finger tan head.

S-Sweet malty backbone, accented by many other aromas. Roasted coffee, sweet chocolate, and dark fruit are all present. Solvent alcohol presence lingers in the background.

T-Starts off with thick malt presence, semi-sweet chocolate and nutty flavors. Not as sweet as the aroma hinted at. Roasted malts quickly come in strong with assertive coffee and smoky
bitterness. Herbal hops on the finish with another round of bitterness. Mild alcohol spice and warmth, for 9% it is kept very well in check. Aftertaste is smoky and slightly dry.

M- Assertive carbonation, prickly on the tongue. Thick and silky smooth mouthfeel, drinks similar to an oatmeal stout.

O-A great imperial stout, satisfying on every measure. Tons of flavor without anything overwhelming, highly recommended.

Photo of XxNitExX
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours the color of oil, with a nice 3 musketeer inside colored head. Beautiful lacing down my tulip glass.

S - Strongly of roast and dark roasted coffee. I slight alcohol tinge, that becomes more apparent as it warms. Dark chocolate present towards the end.

T - Starts with a nice hit or roast, with some chocolate notes early. Bit of alcoholic bite follows with a very wonderful DARK roasted coffee flavor to finish. Taste lingers on the tongue just like a nice sip of joe.

M - Perfectly carbonated, but not too syrupy and thick like some RIS can be. Lingers for quite awhile with its powerful coffee taste.

O - Wonderful readily available RIS. A great go to for those cold nights (or early mornings). For what its worth I do not notice alot of chocolate, but my friend who hates chocolate thinks its very potent and avoids it just for a heads up.

Photo of HoppySuds
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours thick with just enough head to dust up the great aroma

S - Rich coffee, with a hint of the sweetness of chocolate. Alcohol comes through hot in the end.

T - Sweet and rich with roasted malts and coffee coming through strongest. Warming alcohol finish does not overwhelm the pallet .

M – Great creamy texture that fills the mouth.

O – Overall this was a great beer. I’m really enjoying the imperial stouts in general but this is one of the best examples. If someone is looking to try an imperial stout for the first time this would be one of my top suggestions.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 11,064 ratings.