Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

11,051 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,051
Reviews: 3,572
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 449
Gots: 2,144 | 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.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,051 | Reviews: 3,572
Photo of mingo1968
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured dark as midnight with a nice soft thick head that stuck to the sides of the glass. I tastes hints of chocolate and coffee. The feel was creamy and smooth this went down very easy and at 9% i didnt taste any alcohol in the finish. I drank this with a smoked pork chop sandwich that i thought went well together. If you see this on tap i recommend giving it a try.

Photo of willPS21
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This RI stout is fantastic. The drinkability is probably higher than almost any RIS or IS or IPA I've had, or should I say any beer of 8.1%+. I like the bitterness and tang which separates it from most RI's, there is a crisper finish to me and a hint of welcome metallic tones. It almost seems like someone added a few tablespoons of Newcastle to this one. Additionally, there's a bit of sweetness which comes in the form of distinctive carmel. The texture in the mouth is a bit less viscous than the Stone, my permanent reference point, but also a bit less round and unified. Again one could say mouthfeel is heading towards Newcastle or even Guiness ever so slightly (and just slight enough). Besides that rare nutty-metallic tang, Rasputin has lovely dark malty flavors with the coffee/chocolate/toffee somewhere and just enough herbal notes to round it off. It's rare that a beer can avoid overdoing the hoppy and floral tones to my liking while still including them, and this one does it to perfection. If you're a fan of floral tones, I've noticed those flavors are more pronounced as you approach room temperature, where the beer seems more oily and chewy.

Photo of PaulfromNoVa
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Caught my eye on a visit to Cape Fear Wine and Beer, picked up a few bottles, and returned to the B&B.

I'm with Todd: a freakin' evil looking bottle, with the iconic image of the Mad Monk conferring a blessing - perhaps casting out the young Prince Alexander's hemophilia but just as likely laying a Holy Whammy upon any who deign to imbibe this magical elixir...but the Cyrillic inscription (and, frankly, Cyrillic looks ominous to Westerners, like vestigial Klingon) is heartwarming: "One does not become an intimate friend in single evening."

Poured into a pub pint, but in increments - partially a straight pour, letting the head froth up, inches high, which subsided rather quickly to a persistent lacing. Body is black as pitch: held up to light, nothing penetrates. A liquid black hole: what secrets does it conceal? Awesome.

Nose is a first high, sweetish, hoppy-fruity. The dark toasted malt comes through in second place. Surprising.

Taste is of a magnificently balanced imperial stout, thickly sweetishly bitter, broken down into flavors easily associated with the word "black" - molasses, licorice, dark, dark, chocolate, roasted tree nuts, burnt toast with a thin coat of current jam, oatmeal with raisins (?)... The 9 percent ABV is hidden somewhere but has an unctuous invigorating taste of a wonderful health beverage, the kind of specialist marvel for which one has to visit exclusive spas to enjoy the privilege of drinking.

I finished the bottle 10 minutes ago and its finish lingers on my palate. I kid you not. The mouthfeel is characterized by implicit carbonation, sufficient to give the profound weight of the stout a wisp of airy lightness.

Compared to this, Guiness Stout is club soda...

It is sub-freezing in Wilmington, our room is like a meat locker, I half-expect to see a side of beef in the wardrobe, but this remarkable brew is cosseting in its warmth. I'd very much like another. My glass cries out for renewal, but the cupboard is bare, the bottle empty, Old Rasputin vanquished, no more. A pity. But the delight lingers, as will the memory. And thanks to the wonderful North Coast Brewing Company, a memory that may be renewed.

Photo of ccarney2
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Jet black body that pours about a finger and a half of cappuccino head that disappears quickly into a film like head.

Smell - Sweet, roasted malts off the bat, including hints of chocolate and plum, that give way to a more refined and complex smell. Vanilla stands out in the finish as well as a bit more of the dark fruits. Hides the 9%ABV fairly well.

Taste - Starts with the sweeter dark fruits (cherry/plum) but quickly and painlessly fades into a more of a dark bitter chocolate style finish.

Mouthfeel - Moderate to low carbonation, but a fairly thick beer that coats the tongue.

Overall - Clearly this is a great imperial stout that anyone should try if they get the opportunity, but it's not only that. This beer has so many characteristics of a good stout. There is the malty sweetness up front, the bitter chocolate finish and the moderate carbonation that is included in this style. Drink this beer. Now.

Taste -

Photo of Earpe
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at my local Total Wine for the first time a couple months ago....this will be one of my go to favorite RIS when i cannot locate the Narwhal. Dark color, dark fruit, charred/coffee flavor. I truly love this stout, unfortunately it is about $10 for a 4 pack. Very nice drink-ability. Smooth, it is not my top RIS, but it is in my top five and definitely one I will not turn down.

Very nice on a cool fall/winter evening or as a night cap.

Photo of auee92
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma: Sweet, bitter, dark chocolate with hints of licorice and alcohol

Appearance: Pours rich black with enormous head that settles into a nice, tan finger of frothy luxury

Taste: Medium sweetness up front giving way to a lightly bitter aftertaste

Palate: Light bodied with a thin oily texture, finishing with a long bitter finale.

Overall: A very good imperial stout

Photo of dredz_126
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great looking bottle. Bought it using the beer advocate rating system. Pours very beautifully. Has a sweet chocolaty and caramel element in the smell. As far as taste; very smooth, velvety. The high alchohol content is very well hidden. A new favorite indeed!

Photo of StHopNick
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A truly unique and amazing imperial stout. The sharp taste is a perfect balance of alcohol, coffee and hops. This beer is at or near 40 deg (Black) with a perfectly thick head. This beer is probably one of the most drinkable and enjoyable imperial stouts you will ever have the pleasure of drinking. Now let me get back to my sixer :).

Photo of dolem98
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Highlights:
-Overpowering burnt coffee flavors, faint smokiness
-Lots of bitterness, reminds me of chewing espresso beans
-Improved as it warmed
-Reminds me of quadruple shot (with a hint of raspberry and light on the chocolate) mocha

Notes:
I didn't give it a higher rating in appearance, because I like it when Imperial Stouts pour like syrup. This one poured just slightly thinner than expected. Excessively bitter to get a higher drinkability.

Photo of onsite416
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a= Pour is black, with a surprising light tan head.

s= roasted malts & coffee

t= initial taste is: sweet with a hop finish a bit bitter at the end. Very nice.

m= Smooth full flavor of coffee and malt. Not over powering

d= This was an excellent stout. Could easily drink more than one.

Photo of kevinconroy
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Great look to it. mice and dark...didn't give it a 5 though cause it isn't motor oil dark...maintains a really good head

S: Very hoppy to smell, guessing a pretty high ibu...alcohol smell, nice smoked malt smell. Hoppy is the thing that comes to ming

T: Very hoppy compared to others...little cocoa...very little coffee

M: Not as creamy as I would like...Nice creamy head but one you get to the substance very dry...still though i'll kill a four pack

O: Great rendition of the style, definitively one of the top three I have had..just wish it was little creamier and full bodied. Needs maybe another .5% Abv...but still nothing to rag about here

Photo of joebrewer
2.43/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this on a nitro tap at Sunset Grill. The next day I also had a bottle and found that I liked the bottle better. The nitro made the beer smoother, but I don't think that's what makes the beer. The carbonation of the bottle matched with the strong flavors in this beer while the nitro felt like it was trying to mellow a big beer.

Overall I'm not a big fan of Rasputin. It seems to be especially harsh for it's alcohol content. I also find that after about 2/3 of the way through the beer I wish I was done. The flavor profile isn't complex enough to carry me through.

Photo of Willibomb
3.82/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am not a huge stout drinker, but this one was quite enjoyable, my only hangup was that it was upfront with a very strong alcohol taste that took a few drinks to blunt. As the bottle went down, it became more of a 4.5 beer, but the first hit is only a 3.0 beer if you catch my drift.

Color was the first thing I noticed, it is very dark as an imperial stout should be, and had a blended head from white to tan.

Also like many stouts, there was a chocolate/coffee smell which was probably the best feature of this beer.

Taste, was much like I mentioned before. The taste evolves from the first drink to the last, so don't judge this one until the bottle is empty!

Mouthfeel was smooth, but still a bit harsh alcohol-wise which lead to....

Drinkability which I scored low due to the fact that after one, I was ready to move on despite the overall pleasant experiance after my first drink.

Overall, I think this beer is worth trying, I think North Coast produced a winner in this stout, but only buy it if you are into stouts, which if you are reading this, is probably true.

Photo of cfleisher
2.46/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Never thought I'd say this, but this beer was too highly hopped for me. Nice dark espresso color and low carbonation, smelled of caramel malt, but could barely taste it. I love highly hopped beers (Stone's Ruination is a favorite) but not so much with the stouts and this could have been so much more if the malt could come forward a little.

Photo of TonyBrew
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a dense black with a thick brown head (reddish tint around edge of head).
Smell: A very malty, almost roasted scent. Straight up with pleasant hints of chocolate and stronger hints of coffee.
Taste: Somewhat of a chocolate covered coffee bean. With a bit of a cherry and tartness. Definitely taste the alocohol but not in a bad way. Delicious!
Mouthfeel: A nice smooth, thick, creaminess with a tiny bit of sweet tingling of a light carbonation in the end.
Drinkablity: The more I have the more the cherry comes through. Its somewhat heavy (expected) but it balances out very well. It goes down well especially for the abv.

An excellent brew! I highly recommend it especially for a later in the evening drink. Something I would stock up a bit on for the winter.

Photo of bcolflesh
3.24/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was just too bitter for me to drink as a standalone - I realize now that most "craft" beer drinkers are looking for super bitter beers, so I can see the popularity of this - but it is not for me. Would be a good accompaniment to a heavy meal that would mask the bitter flavor.

Photo of TheHungryHiker
4.76/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A= Poured near-black into a Guiness pint glass. A solid inch of rich brown foam lasted a good 5 minutes. Plenty of lacing.

S= Coffee, malt, a touch of chocolate. Overall, lighter in aroma than I was expecting.

T= Exceptional. Very well balanced- the coffee is there, but not overpowering. Some dried fruit in the form of figs and prunes, but without the sweetness often associated with them. A little spice and mild hop bitterness keep the malts in check.

M= Med-full with a surprising, pleasant, and much welcome amount of carbonation that makes for a lighter mouthfeel than is usually associated with this style.

D= This is one of the best stouts I have ever had. The higher carbonation keeps it refreshing and the 9%ABV is well masked, making this a dangerous stout that went down remarkably fast. Now if I only had a platter of raw oysters...

Photo of aquaphiliac
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a jet black liquid; impenetrable by light. The head is a nice coffee color, about an inch right up to the edge of my pint glass. The head retention is excellent and the lacing on the side of the glass leads down to a creamy top of the beer even when almost gone.

The aroma is a big mix of dark chocolate and malt upfront with some mild hoppy scents on the back end. Thick smell that sticks in your nostrils; very inviting.

Like the smell, there's lots of dark chocolate and roasted malt taste that dominate here. Some hoppiness is detectable and there is a very faint kick of alcohol in the aftertaste. Overall not a bitter taste (in fact somewhat sweet) but there is some bitterness on the back end. Complex throughout; definitely tastes like a BIG beer.

Not too heavy on the palate for an Imperial Stout; consistency is less thick than oil but certainly thicker than a normal stout. Compliments the chocolate taste quite nicely.

Not highly drinkable; it too me around 15 minutes to finish a glass but those 15 minutes were delicious.

Paid $8.99 for a 4-pack. Great value.

Photo of Stoutman88
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into glass mug

A - Black with no light passing through. Red and Brown hues along edges of glass. Impressive head of foam that is tan in color.

S - Coffee, Alcohol, Roasted grains

T - Malts taste of chocolate, coffee, caramel, and roasted grains. Alcohol is very noticable at 9% ABV. Hops are present, providing some bitterness, but roasted barley provides most of it in this beer. Clean finish, starts sweet, then bitter, ends with warmth provided by the alcohol.

M - Thick malty feel that is balanced by high alcohol presence. Decent carbonation even though it is low. Creamy Head.

D - Flavors are balanced and had lots of flavor. Does not go down as easy as lighter beers but each sip is rewarding.

Notes - A great beer to start the New Year.

Photo of DarrinRasberry
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Jet black with a small but lasting head.

S: Roast, roast, roast. Biscuits, cream, and nuts. Malt; milk chocolate. Superbly suggestive, sensual scent.

T: Almonds and chocolate. Light-roasted coffee. Very mocha-like in quality; hops are there, but subtle.

M: Thick and creamy. Leaves a nutty feel in your mouth and a wonderful beerstache to boot.

D: The most drinkable of stouts. The 9% ABV is totally hidden. Be careful with this beer!

Photo of RobertTh3Texian
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is not as opaque as I expected but nearly so. Deep reddish in colour with a tan head that will not go away so I can pour in the rest. The smell reminds me of walking through Central Market in the morning right after they got some fresh rye or Russian black bread done. Bout the same ingredients so... I love it when the heads are creamy, almost ice cream like. As part of them falls away to reveal the delicate insides of tasty cloud. The taste is more effervescent than I thought and man a lot going on. Well you have the fruity flavours from the malt. Deep roasty and a mix of more flavours than I can identify. Almost a plum, slight strawberry, bit of cherry and ten other things that I can't begin to emote. Leaves a taste of slightly overcooked toast and those lovely fruit flavours. I can see why this is a popular one.

Photo of TheKtulu7
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown into an opaque black beer. A generous chocolate head that settles into a thin tan film.

Smell: Some chocolate and a bit of alcohol.

Taste: Chocolate up front, adding some coffee to the back end. As it warms, it gets a bit sweeter with hints if caramel or molasses.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and warming on the tongue.

Drinkability: Pretty smooth and goes down easy for the alcohol content.

Photo of NEdward
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: black. thick tan head with persistent lacing long after it's gone.

S: pungent bittersweet, chocolate, slightly earthy or vegetable -- though not unpleasantly so.

T: dark chocolate, bitter, strong hints of smoke every now and again.

M: full, thick, milky, lingers

O: delicious, not overly ambitious, a truly solid beer and one that I'll be on the look out for next time I'm in the mood for a stout.

Photo of mcslain
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and thick. Substantial tan head that forms of a billion tiny bubbles then morphs into a very slow fading creamy foam. Paints the inside of the glass as it recedes. Smells of roasted malts, some chocolate, hint of licorice. Mouthful is rich and thick - a real milkshake of a beer. Carbonation really hits just right for this beer. Tastes of chocolate, coffee, espresso beans, and dry baking chocolate. Finishes a little sweet w a kick of black licorice and some alcohol. Packs a wallop as far as stouts go - meaning a lot of the classic imperial stout flavors are here in strong showing. Really a well made beer. I know my home brew attempts at imperial stouts just can not get to this level.

Photo of StayWounded
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am a little bias as this is one of my go-to beers. I've had it both on-tap and in the bottle multiple times.

A- Looks as a Russian Imperial should. Deep, dark body, with a strong mocha head that lingers well.

S- Lots going on here. Dark fruits, coffee, chocolate, a nice roasty smell. You can definitely smell the warmth of the alcohol on this one.

T- On-tap the flavors coalesce in a more subtle way, very nicely. It is bold as a Russian Imperial should be, and the warming heat hits the back of the throat. I can see that being a problem for some drinkers, but it is nice, especially during winter months (and even more so when you live on a mountain). The primary flavors are the chocolate and coffee and the dark fruits, bitterness comes though with a bit of sweetness towards the middle to end.

M- Very warm and smooth with a bit of thickness. The bottle is a bit less smooth and less, thick. The warmth is the stand out characteristic.

Overall- I've got to say this is one of my favorite beers. Affordable given other options and very drinkable. Excellent during winter and excellent for night in.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 11,051 ratings.