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

11,063 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,063
Reviews: 3,578
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 452
Gots: 2,151 | 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: 11,063 | Reviews: 3,578
Photo of Llewellyn9
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm an old hat when it comes to imperial stouts, and this is a trusty stand by.

poors beautifully, impenetrably dark brown, nearly black with hits of red. head is a pillow of tan goodness. nice lace, but not as much as i would like.

the smell is a testament to the power of malt. Dark, roasted and beguiling, with a hint of hops; coffee and chocolate to boot.

see smell above, and add the fact that that i'm weeping as i type this...

like carbonated molasses, and i mean that in the in the best possible way.

here we reach a dilemma, do i love imperial stouts, F*CK YES!!! could i drink them all night?? probably not, even if they are god... uh, i mean, good.

epilogue: i made a black and tan with this and pliny the elder. needless to say, i've put in an order for a new set of taste buds...

Photo of realbama
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This and "Celebrator" are the two finest beers known to man. Rasputin is pitch black. You would think you're about to down pure oil if the smell didn't hit your nose just before the liquid gold hits your mouth. It smells of smokey chocolate, hops and alcohol. This beer tastes very creamy, very complex. If my kid is ever diagnosed with a terminal disease and we get to go somewhere via the "make a wish" foundation, I'm gonna demand to see what the heck they're doing at Lost Coast with this brew. ....not really, of course. I'll let my kid go to Disney World or something. But I'll always wonder.

Photo of mikegreen138
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark coffee color, with a pleasant aroma with nice but slight hints of chocolate, and roasted malts.

the flavors are very complex and hit ever tone, with sweet at first taste and then ends with a intense but not overwhelming bitter follow up. as the flavors swirl around in your mouth you can taste the richness and roasted complexity.

the beer is very drinkable, and smooth on the palate. although a few of these might put you in the drunk tank for the night.

Photo of y2j2280
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black, motor-oil like. Very nice lace upon a good swirl.

S - Chocolate and coffe aromas. Slight alcohol on the nose.

T - Decadent chocolate flavor interlaced with strong underlying coffee currents. Slightly bitter finish.

M - Thick on the palate like a true RIS should be. Mouth-coating.

D - This is a one (or at most 2) serving experience. Too heavy for an extended session.

Photo of turnblom79
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great Russian Imperial Stout flavor. I really enjoyed this one compared to other RIS because the alcohol taste was barely there unlike some others. This was very dark and thick, but I was still able to put a nice head on it when pouring. The taste was very chocolaty with nice coffee tones, and a nice smooth finish.

Photo of 1santore
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one exceptional beer. Being a newcomer to "better beer" I'm just now finding Russian Imperial Stouts. Of the stouts I've tried this has to be the best. It pours thick and black. The taste is incredible. The mouth feel is very light and smooth, but this is one drinkable beer.

Photo of bmillen22
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 4 pack about 4 months ago and I am on the third one and am finally around to reviewing it. This is a really good beer for the price and it can be found pretty much anywhere.

A- Poured into my Stone Russian Imp St. glass. Poured it hard to give it a 2" head. It hung around for a bit and then turned into a thick lacing for the rest of the drink.

s- smell is decent. Roasted malts and a pinch of coffee.

T- In my mind it tastes just like a good imp stout should. Strong taste of dark roasted malts. Somewhat bitter finish, but like a smooth coffee. Can't taste the Alcohol, which at 9% that is pretty good.

M- thick and creamy, but not too thick. Real nice.

D- Very good for the style. I could have 2 of these in a sitting. I would have a fat buzz though becuase I am feeling it a little after one.

Well done North Coast. Keep the price right and I will make this one of my go to RIS's.

Photo of nickfromsacto
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The only decent beer on tap this night, unfortunately this place doesn't clean out their lines very often.

A whole pint for just five bucks, though.

Poured about two fingers of dark golden head that lingered and lined the walls of my glass until the second round. Unable to see through this dark-dark beer. The smell makes a lot of sense for this particular style: the essence of dark chocolate, roasted almonds and the strong scent of ethanol. It feels a little spicey coming in and warm going down. Not sure about the hops, are there any? Should there be any? Who knows. I don't care because overall this is an awesome beer for the high alcohol and dark chocolate lovers a staple for the cooler holidays and beer float nights.

I have missed my chance to have this on nitro ... Twice.

Cheers and enjoy

Photo of HuppMJH
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I poured it into a typical pint mug, this beer instantly excited my eyes. Beautiful dark liquid with a thick tan head. The first taste packs a punch and dares you to take a second. I find a taste reminiscent of a smooth espresso drink. I have to admit, the alcohol taste is quite strong in this drink for me. I would really approve of the taste more if I couldn't taste the alcohol so much.

As I drank, the head stuck to the sides of the glass, which, in my opinion, shows character in a beer. Even as I finish the beer, I see where the head started at the top of the glass.

I have to admit, I'm still lacking in the smell department. I don't get the subtle hints that everyone else mentions. I'll continue to work on this ability.

I'm relatively new to the world of beer, but I've been keeping a ranking list for each new beer I try. I would definitely put this beer in my top 10 beers, and absolutely above all American beers I've tried thus far.

Photo of puertobrewing
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark pour on a snifter. Nice 1.25 finger of half and half coffee-colored head that settled down quite fast leaving lacing behind.

S - Smells malty, toasted coffee, with a bit of hops but not overwhelming. You can also smell some caramel and pure love.

T - Great balance between the malty sweetness and the hop bitterness. Tastes like black coffee, some caramel, notes of honey, prunes, and a big punch of aftertaste bitterness probably from Columbus hops.

M - Perfectly balanced carbonation for a full body beer like this. It feels like you're swallowing a healing potion... that's how good it is.

Overall this is one of my favorite beers. My favorite style is quadrupel but I definitely love a Russian Imperial Stout like this one. Lets see if the Dogfish Head World Wide Stout that I have chilling in my fridge for next weekend can impress me as well.

Photo of bdo894
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a super dark chocolate color, almost like black coffee. Really cool looking. Very little head.
Smelled chocolatey and grainy, like whole wheat bread.
Tastes delish, chocolate and coke with a touch of hops. Can barely taste the high APV.
Smooth mouthfeel with a clean finish. Goes down real easy.
Overall an awesome beer, especially for something with such high alcohol. I'm loving the darker beers in general nowadays.

Photo of agent2550
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Short brown head. No light gets through this beautiful beer except a red tint at the very edge.
As I gaze at this brew, bitter smells and coffee permeate inside my nose. It is quite delightful.
I also taste bitter coffee and alcohol as this smooth and almost heavy beer goes down. Medium-level carbonation.
This beer is definitely one of my favorites.

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

Old Rasputin pours incredibly dark, almost in an unappealing fashion. You couldn't look through this beer if you had x-ray vision. Appearance hardly ever affects my rating, but this looked like earthworm mud. The smell is also a bit underwhelming. Dark chocolate with a hint of raisin, but it doesn't offer up the complexity of smells I've had from other exceptional RIS. The taste makes up for the smell though. I got waves of dark chocolate and coffee with a bitter (almost hoppy?) finish. Delicious.

Overall, a GREAT beer but I was just slightly underwhelmed.

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

A: Luscious dark brown with ZERO light coming through. 1.5 fingers of head with good retention, and legs that could hold up a table.

S: Decadence. Rich chocolate and molasses notes take the foreground with just a touch of nuttiness on the periphery. Strong blast of the alcohol here, but that could be the snifter talking.

T: Strong burnt quality up front that transitions seamlessly to malts, malts, and malts. The sweetness is cut nicely by the alcohol and everything just comes together beautifully. Synergy is a word that comes to mind.

MF: I could savor this goodness all day long. This is my ideal when it comes to carbonation level and thickness. Bold enough to be called an Russian Imperial, but not heavy and syrupy like so many I've tried have been. This is how it should be done.

O: I don't know what I love more; how delicious this beer is, or how it's freaking EVERYWHERE. This is more than a beer. It's a testament that good things can be right in your backyard or, in this case, Trader Joe's. A perennial favorite that's gotten me through many cold winter nights.

Photo of Slammy
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours an opaque, deep brown-black with a 1/2 caramel head that dissipates relatively quickly. There is some lacing, but it is not very pronounced.

S - Toffe, burnt caramel, dark roasted coffee beans, the smell of a wheat field right before harvest.

T - Surprising taste of citrus on the first sip, which is not that present on subsequent sips. Wonderful dried wheat notes with a mild alcohol finish. Definitely not a sweet beer, but well balanced with some slight bitterness toward the end.

M - Strong carbonation on the tip of the tongue quickly turns into a creamy feel. On the more viscous side, but certainly not as thick as some in the same genre.

O - I wanted a rich, complex beer for this mid-November evening and this did the trick. While it's not the best Russian Imperial Stout that I have tasted, it is worth of its reputation and well worth trying. I'll probably buy this again in the future.

Notes: Poured from a 12 oz bottle. 4-pack of 12oz bought for $8.99 in Oregon.

Photo of WSGosset
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep black, nearly opaque with a finger-and-a-half of light tan head which recedes fairly quickly. Nice lacing around the edges.

S: Dark roasted malt with more than a hint of booze.

T: Imperial indeed! While not totally out of control, this beer's gravity is readily apparent, giving it a little bit of a cough syrup-like quality. Surprisingly bitter, though, as with many imperial stouts, I suspect this beer isn't short on hops. The bite of the alcohol and the hops begin to mellow out as the beer warms a bit.

M: Very smooth, almost slippery. Not too heavy.

O: Though this really is a very solid beer, the taste is a little on the boozy side compared to, say, Narwhal which I tend to like a bit more.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a Stout glass.

A: Pitch black with four fingers of brownish-white head. Head retention is fairly decent.

S: Smells of roasted coffee and mild hops. Maybe a bit of fruit.

T: Tastes of burned/roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and grapes. The grape flavor is similar to a red wine type of flavor. The beer has a nice malt that connects all the flavors together. It maybe has a touch of hops but not too much. It's also not too bitter and not very dry. Pretty sweet overall especially since it has a 9% ABV

M: This is pretty thick. It also has a smooth mouth-feel and has little to no carbonation.

O: Amazing! Easily one of the best beers I've ever tasted. It's a very flavorful and complex beer. It is also very balanced with the flavors yet still allowing for the distinct flavors to come out with the taste.

Photo of TofuDC5
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Like any stout, this one is pitch black; opaque. quite frothy beer head; medium

S: Dark, bitter-sweet chocolate with hint of bourbon. Whiff of alcohol.

T: Semi-sweet, dark chocolate on the tongue. Bitter taste in the throat. Lingering alcoholic after taste. Chocolate flavor dissipates fairly quickly and doesn't last long.

M: Light carbonation. bitter sensation and after taste. medium-bodied compared to other stouts I've had.

O: Not really my stout of preference, although nothing too negative. What threw me off was the overly bitter and alcoholic flavor which offset the chocolate. Would have liked aroma and taste to have been more prominent.

Photo of lpgarcia8
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Probably my favorite beer. Great taste, nice, dark, rich, light hop, coffee/chocolate taste. Awesome name, awesome brewery. Really high aclohol content. I would reccomend this beer to anyone, and I do all the time. Have quickly converted all my friends to it. Pretty expensive but worth every penny.

Photo of James773
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with a thin brown head. Most of the darker beers I've tried had very intense flavors of dark fruits and overpowering aromas, so I was surprised that this one wasn't so strong at first. The bitterness is very obvious but not unpleasant, and as you sip you can taste more coffee and dark bread flavors. Mouthfeel is not too thick, good for the taste. Definitely recommended.

Photo of Slamms
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

The brothers say, "not for the faint of heart", but for this style, remarkably easy drinking, as all the wood, chocolate, coffee, etc is mitigated by an overall delicate refinement, belied by the chunky head clearly visible through the dark bottle. Really, the overriding aftertaste is something of fruit, though the bitterness is pronounced as well, the hops probably preserving the taste, as it tastes like it was bottled yesterday. But the bitterness as with everything is perfectly calibrated, not too much, not too little. So much more refined and unobtrusive, than say Guinness, but ironically more intense than Guinness (how does that work). Hard to fathom how something this perfectly calibrated originated in America.

Photo of wguy14
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass revealing a 1 finger head with good retention and lacing. The color was a very dark brown, almost black. The smell was heavy with roasted nodes. I also noticed a decent amount of coffee and a little chocolate in the smell. The mouth feel was great with a nice chew and I found this beer to be very filling. Everything you want in a good imperial stout. The taste was no surprise. A lot of roasted malts and some coffee. I would not have guessed it was 9%. I would have loved to have more sweetness come through along with the other tastes. Overall this beer was very good. Everything I expected from this imperial stout.

Photo of Kleber
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Balanced

Photo of Johnquisssssssy
3.79/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice thick oatmeal head onto a dark opaque brown nearly black. Nice lacing. I have had this on nitro as well as from bottle, as it is here. At first I felt I picked up almost a marshmallow/caramel aroma on the nose but that dissipated; It's a nice chocolate/coffee with only a hint of smoke. Everything is relatively subtle for a big beer like this; not overly sweet or smokey or boozy. Pretty much spot on for what you want in a impy stout.

Photo of hrockefeller
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought bottle at Northside Indianapolis Kahn's as my introduction to the imperial stout style. I have had quite a few stouts, but this is my first review as I felt I should develop my tastes a little first.

Appearance: Opaque black, with a 1/2" head on initial pour. Head dissipates rather quickly into a thin layer that clings slightly to the glass.

Smell: Complex smell that is heavy with alcohol ( I realize this states the obvious a bit when the brew is 9% ABV). Other dominant scents include chocolate and coffee. Hints of fruity smells including raisins. Very toasty/bready.

Taste: Wow! The presence of alcohol does not seem to be as dominant with the taste as it was with the smell, allowing the other flavors to make their presence known. The toastiness and chocolate really come out at this point with a nice balance of hop flavor that allows for a somewhat dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, leaves my taste buds craving more.

Drinkability: If it wasn't for the high alcohol content, I think I could easily make this a session beer. Leaves a clean, dry feeling that prepares you for the next drink.

This has instantly become one of my favorite beers. I was a little unsure, as I am somewhat partial to milk/sweet stouts. However, if this example is any indication of what to expect, imperial stouts may just take their rightful place on the throne.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 11,063 ratings.