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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,636 Reviews
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,636
Ratings:
11,861
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
18.46%
 
 
Wants:
567
Gots:
2,804
For Trade:
56
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,636 | Ratings: 11,861
Photo of Reaper16
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle poured into pint glass.

Super-dark, just the tiniest hint of brown at the very bottom of the glass. Otherwise, its entirely black. Two-finger head like a tan colored leather car seat that dissipated relatively quickly. Lacing was incredible, though. A beauty to look at.

Wasn't blown away by the aromas. Chocolate malt with a roasted character, sure. Small hint of coffee. A bit of alcohol. Some raisin, but I had to hunt for it.

Taste is a different story. What was fleeting in the smell is assuredly there on the tongue. Chocolate washes over the mouth in waves. A surprising floral hop character says 'hello' for long enough to kiss the sides of the tongue and linger until the beer finishes strong with toffee and dark fruit. None of the flavors, except for perhaps chocolate malt, were as strong as desired, but everything was quite lovely and balanced.

The first sip had an heavy alcohol note, but the 9% ABV was hardly noticeable after that, especially as the beer warmed. There is a strong temptation to drink more than you should. Mouthfeel was pretty good, not too awfully thick but still with a desirable stickiness.

Old Rasputin probably deserves its canonical spot as a point of constant comparison, a standard-bearer, for the style. It seems impossible to be displeased by it.

 1,305 characters

Photo of dauss
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 fl.oz. brown bottle. Picture of Rasputin on the label, with Russian words. No freshness date or stamp. Says it is 9% ABV, even though on North Coast's website it says its 8.9%.

Appearance: Pitch black. Small and thick tan head. Good retention with a lot of lace.

Nose: First whiff and it is full of alcohol, almost burns the nose. Chocolate and burnt and acrid roasted malt smell. Probably has a lot of Black Patent.

Taste: Starts with sweet maltiness. Upfront alcohol bitterness. Very roasty, tons of chocolate and some coffee. Light bitterness throughout, and sweet finish.

Notes: Tasty, a little solventy alcohol flavors, definitely needs some cellaring.

 686 characters

Photo of civilizedpsycho
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a solid black color with a fair, tan-colored head.

Smell: Strong roasted smell, but the alcohol gave it a bit of a medicinal smell that was a bit of a turn-off for me.

Taste: It has a roasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate, but the alcohol flavor is still perceptible, and that was a slight turn-off on the first few sips.

Mouthfeel: Has a good full body without being too thick.

Drinkability: Upon the first few sips, I did not care for this one and I felt the alcohol was too noticeable. However, as I finished my glass, this grew on me with each passing drink and now, I'm a fan.

 646 characters

Photo of DaverCS
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with 1 1/2 fingers of a light caramel colored head that lingers. Great lacing as well!

Aroma is primarily roasted malts, kiss of caramel, a bit of dark fruits, and I do get some alcohol.

I'm disappointed for the associated rating on here. Highly carbonated, relatively dry, and rather bitter. The high carbonation creates a lighter feel. The flavor is not complex -- primarily a very heavily roasted malt. The malt is not sweet; in fact it's so heavily roasted, it contributes to the bitterness. The beer transitions from a carbonation tickle, to roasted malts, to a dry bitterness with a finish of some alcohol.

Overall, it didn't hit the spot. Not complex; pretty one-noted. I see it pairing well with a coffee ice cream and a freshly baked dark chocolate brownie. It gets an 80/100.

 802 characters

Photo of phideltashaggy
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a recently cleaned standard pint glass.

(note) this is my first RIS, so keep that in mind.

A-Beautiful beer; black as night with a thick, brown head.

S- The nose is mainly chocolate with some molasses and a little hoppiness

T- Lots of bitterness. A little chocolate and a little alcohol. A roastiness stays on the palate long after the sip is through.

MF- This is what I expect from my stouts, the feel is thick as can be without being too creamy.

Overall, I like this beer. I live in Memphis, so I'll wait until winter to try it again, but it's a really good beer.

 600 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle poured for me at Fox and the Hound in Mason, OH. No freshness date.... I love the packaging, very noble and almost ominous.

An easy pour produced a nice, creamy, tan 2 finger head. Highly active, frothy bubbling on the head for a few minutes. Nice and sticky lacing remained through the glass. Color is black with the slightest dark brown and possibly ruby hues when put up into the light. Viscosity is high on this one - not a sludge bomb. Looks like a nice example of a Russian Imperial Stout.

Sniffing on this guy reveals a delightful blend of dark chocolates, coffee grinds, lactose creaminess and molasses.

The taste is what you'd expect after smelling it, no surprises. To summarize the taste, this is a richly flavored, heavily roasted coffee, roasted grains, bittersweet chocolates, a healthy dose of smoke and charcoal finishing with some crisp (non-floral) hops. Flavor is nice because it doesn't linger in my mouth forever. I got very little alcohol in the taste, as the prominent roasted flavors hid it well.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for the menacing color and creamy head of this beer. Very drinkable and enjoyable, but don't let the 9% ABV creep up and kick your ass.

 1,211 characters

Photo of chaz410
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I've had this a many a time but got this specific bottle from the flying saucer.
Pours jet black with a kakhi colored head that's a lot more aggressive than I would have thought for a RIS. Froathy head stays througout the drinking.
Smells of rich mocha, coffee, chocolate, charred malt and slightly burnt biscuits. A nice caramel background smooths over the harsh dark characters of the smell.
The taste is upfront and unapologitic. It is dark, roasted, coffee with almost a peppery finish. Some hops make there way in mostly as a balance and a bittering enhancer. There's a fair amount of cocoa flavor but it's more dark and roasted than it is sweet and rich.
A thick mouthfeel and surprisingly drinkable for the upfront character.

 732 characters

Photo of WSGosset
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

 712 characters

Photo of TroyS
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was a bit shocked to find this Old Rasp Shout in the new beer and wine store locally; the new shop here in good ol' Blackfoot, Idaho mostly carries America's favorite lawn-mower brews and "fine wines, " but only carries a small percentage of truly envious brews to date. One benefit of this particular store is that it's in Blackfoot, Idaho, which is where I live now...Just kidding....kinda;) The benefit is that they charge a very fair price for the few great beers that they keep in stock. What more could you ask for, right?

This true Russian imperial stout is a great "evening beer," and I say that not because it's such a "warm beer," but because it's really light on the tongue yet memorable. This is a very nutty brew. This beer also carries a lot of coffee like robust flavor, but is lightened w/booze. I was taking the last sips of an Alaskan Ipa when I opened this bottle of Rasputin. Normally I'd pour it into a regular pint glass, dimpled mug, or a tulip, but after taking a whiff and a quick sip from the bottle, I decided to enjoy this one in a Chimay glass.

Nice and dark yet light in mouth feel. Chocolate + chocolate + more chocolate is super nice and roasty. Old Rasp Stout drinks like a cool cappichino. A bit heavy on the alcohol and light on the hopps, however a great....no....fantastic nutty Imperial Russian stout if you ask me;) I think that the only thing missing is a bit heavier mouth. When I say that it's "light," what I'm really trying to say is that it's not very thick, but warm and thinner than I'd like to see from this Russian Imperial Stout. Delicious! Who could ask more of a fine beer that's ready to go out of Blackfoot, Idaho? NOTHING:)

 1,683 characters

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yum. Pours black with brown edges. Light tan head that sticks around the edges and leaves the slightest bit of lacing. The aroma is more vanilla, toffee, and chocolate than expected. The flavor is great rich chocolate and vanilla with a nice balance of bittering hops. Toffee and burnt caramel flavors in the middle and ends with bitterness from hops and roasted malts. Thick and luxourious over the tongue. Dry with just a touch of hotness from booze, without being boozy. Very sipable for an RIS.

 498 characters

Photo of Momar42
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into New Belgium globe

Had this one several times in the distant past, time to revisit and rate so here goes:

A - thick, billowy dark tan head. Good retention and nice lacing. Seeing how good it pours makes me glad I came back to it.

S - bitter chocolate struggles to make it past the large nose of char. Burnt wood and roasted malt make a slightly smaller nose than I had anticipated.

T - roasted malt makes the first impression along with the char on the tongue as well. There is a mild bitterness that balances this RIS. Finishes pretty fast and suprisingly clean. I had hoped for more complexity but it is solid nonetheless.

M - medium at best. Not cloying at all and far less full than I would have guessed. The moderate carbonation cuts the mouthfeel down. For an RIS it finishes remarkably clean.

O - first off Old Rasputin is a damn good beer and really good RIS. One of the older players in this heavily BA category, it still holds itself well against the young bucks. It is very solid for the style if fairly unremarkable. Dont mistake this as average, of which it certainly isnt. Old Rasputin just doesnt knock your socks off in any particular way. But, considering its large distribution area, year round availability, relatively cheap price point and is considerably better than MOST breweries RIS, you could do far far worse.

 1,371 characters

Photo of schnauzeborne
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin used to be my favorite beer. One day, I bought a four-pack of OR and a 24 oz. bottle of Guinness Extra Stout, then settled in for the night with what I felt was an adequate amount of good beer. Looking back, I was quite surprised with the similarities between the two beers. In retrospect, Old Rasputin is basically Guinness without the acidic, bitter aftertaste. I know that some people drink Guinness specifically for that vinegary taste, which comes from the brewery reusing samples of their products from previous centuries, so it would be completely understandable if some people prefer Guinness to North Coast Old Rasputin. In my opinion, OR's smoothness and unadulterated chocolate after-taste is highly desirable, and outdoes Guinness by a long-shot. Still, it helped me to realize that there are better options out there. I would recommend Samuel Smith's Oatmeal stout for anyone looking for the next level of delicious stout. For anyone that loves Old Rasputin's taste specifically because of its ability to be delicious while hiding a high alcohol content, I would suggest Weyerbacher's "old Heretic" or "Heresy" stouts, because even though they do not match the sheer tastiness of Old Rasputin, they definitely hide their ABV better than any other beer I have come across, and are in some ways reminiscent of OR's flavor profile.

Old Rasputin, herself, though . . . I highly recommend her. Pick this up whenever you get the chance.

 1,458 characters

Photo of rousee
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

 500 characters

Photo of Melchizedek
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown into an opaque black, with a big tan head that settles into a nice cap and sticky lace.

In the nose, plenty of roasted barley and resiny hop, and a strong coffee-like aroma. Not overly bitter in the mouth, but with that aroma coming through strongly. Coffee matched by a caramel malt flavor, and the mouthfeel isn't too heavy but very substantial. A little harder to find the hops than in the aroma, but they're there, helping keep things from getting sweet. Alcohol isn't prominent, but noticeable.

This is just a really tasty imperial stout all around. Can't find fault with it. I think I'll have to make it a go-to.

 643 characters

Photo of RomanW70
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall, an excellent stout. Strong dark malt, chocolate flavors with a great bitter finish. My bottle started with oddly high carbonation, but after a few minutes the carbonation settled. Great taste though. Full body with a nice bitter finish. Well balanced and strong.

 271 characters

Photo of niday2288
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pitch black pout that is thick out of the bottle with a two finger head that is dark khaki.
S-Nose is coffe and semi sweet chocolate
T-Hint of dark chocolate and roasted malts with a slight hop undertone to add bitterness
M-thick with little effervesecence
O-Pretty good. I would take a couple others over this if I were stranded on an island, but all in all pretty good.

 373 characters

Photo of nickthetick
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours an opaque black with a tan hockey puck for a head that leaves lacing comparable to the gfs french maid outfit.

S: solid chocolates, dark and robust. Coffee and toffee.

T: a lot like the nose. It starts with some dark chocolate. It fallows through with some oak and earthy notes and bitterness.

MF: thick, creamy, chewy, and as filling as dinner.

O: a lot like the bottle, more of a feel in the mouth and more to the nose, still an awesome beer that can not be overlooked.

 488 characters

Photo of bum732
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Dark fruit with some citrus, coffee, some dark chocolate, leafy hoppiness.

L: Dark black, dark tan head with decent retention, ok lacing.

T: Bittersweet chocolate-like malt with some fruity backbone. Medium-high bitterness leading to a touch of caramel sweetness before ashy dry finish.

M: Medium mouthfeel, medium-carbonation. Alcohol slightly noticeable.

Very dry RIS and hoppy. Different from the numbers of cloying sweet stouts, a nice change. Can't wait to see what age does to this.

 496 characters

Photo of Kanebanger
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Dark black, pours like motor oil, very nice head that lasts throughout the entire glass.

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

T - Chocolate and coffee taste mixed with a little bit of bitterness. A minor alcohol kick at the end.

M - Nice and thick, coats the mouth.

D - Fairly decent for a RIS, more than two might get you into some trouble though.

 379 characters

Photo of JulioH
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a classic.

Served in a glass, it pours a nice black beer. Has a bit of a foamy head. Smell is not very strong, but you get coffee and malts. Taste is straightforward, dark imperial stout. It is a bit more bitter than the usual stouts, with coffee and malts. Mouthfeel is light.

 292 characters

Photo of frank4sail
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to boilermaker88 for the sample.

Rich roasty slightly metalic and sweet cocoa in the smell. Dark black opeque look medium sticky tan head. Quite a lively mouth and tongue.. also the brew is much lighter on the mouth than it looks. Initial black malt taste gives way to a a dry cocoa powder and expresso finish. A slight touch of metalic tin and sweetness is left on the tip of the tongue as well. Quite a roasty treat, it is a great night cap beer.

 458 characters

Photo of david18
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this one a few times and I like it a lot. Not as great as some say it is but a very good imperial stout. I'm not sure what the difference between a Russian Imperial Stout and and American Imperial stout is (I think american has more hops) but this is one you should get if you can find it. Also, comes in 12oz bottles so if you don't like it you don't have as much to worry about.

 386 characters

Photo of hydrate
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very creamy. Enough that i think the one i had may have been a nitro. Was on tap but didnt ask. Chocolate & coffee are strong & hide the ABV. Very rich. Delicious.

 163 characters

Photo of smallbatchbrewer
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark caramel/coffee color with .5 inch head that settled fast into a short layer of bubbly head

S- Malty, sweet bread, some oak as well

T- Dark roasted flavors, some yeast and coffee as well

M- Rich, with a slight presence of tannin just enough to pull a little moisture out of the pallet. This one is creamy and finishes a bit dry

D- For a darker beer it has a lot going on, could very well be sessionable but at 9%abv, watch out

 437 characters

Photo of MaltyGoodness
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Pours a rich used-motor oil black with a creamy cocoa head that thins. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet and roasty with a nice chocolate smell and mild coffee tones. Slightly boozy as it warms.

Sweet roasted malt taste upfront leading into a nice light blend of cocoa and espresso. A hint of hops midway through with a bitter bite that lasts through the finish and a bit beyond- but still sweet as it finishes. A little bit of booze as it warms.

Full body, solid carbonation.

For a rather large beer, this has a nice drinkability. I may not want 2 in a row, but I could easily drink 2 over the course of an evening and the subsequent evenings. Definitely one for RIS fans to try if they somehow are not already familiar.

 746 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,636 ratings.
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