Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.3/5
12,275 Ratings
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
northcoastbrewing.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Produced in the tradition of 18th Century English brewers who supplied the court of Russia’s Catherine the Great, Old Rasputin seems to develop a cult following wherever it goes. It’s a rich, intense brew with big complex flavors and a warming finish.


Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#492
Reviews:
3,735
Ratings:
12,275
pDev:
10.23%
Bros Score:
4.38
 
 
Wants:
610
Gots:
3,063
Trade:
51
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 12,275 |  Reviews: 3,735
Photo of kchannel9
2.75/5  rDev -36%

Photo of BcOneSeven
2.75/5  rDev -36%

Photo of 2ellas
2.75/5  rDev -36%

Photo of lmundane
2.75/5  rDev -36%

Photo of Gator_rater
2.75/5  rDev -36%

Photo of Larry6767
2.77/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 1.75

I think mine must have been a bad batch. It tasted like straight toothpaste. It had the look, feel and smell of a great RIS. However, when I drank it, it was one of the more revolting beers I've had in the last 6 months. Drain poor. This may get deleted, maybe not. But this is a 100% real review of this beer. I was extremely unimpressed.

 339 characters

Photo of irshprncsk
2.8/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of Frunkus
2.8/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of esch
2.83/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Deliciously dark. Ruby slices through when held up to the light. Persistant pillowy cappuccino colored head.

S: Cocoa, wet sugar, tons of toasted malt, definite hop florals.

T: I first get a hint of dried cherries that fades fast into (diet) cola with a harshly bitter aspartame.

M: Medium-moderate body. Medium-moderate carbonation.

D: I really want to like this beer but the chemical flavors are really off-putting. Tasting was comprised of a newly purchased bottle and one from my cellar. I'll have to give this beer a revisit.

 538 characters

Photo of Dubblebock
2.84/5  rDev -34%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Old Rasputin was certainly a beer that I have been looking forward to trying for quite some time now. I have seen it quite often but never had the chance to pick up a bottle to sample until recently. I have to say, this was definitely a case of expectations exceeding reality. The bottle looks good, the drawn face of Rasputin himself cocking a wary eye towards the drinker.

The pour was excellent as well. The beer was nothing but inky blackness, with a chocolate head of foam. I began to get the idea that something was amiss, however, when the nose came at me with alcohol stringency and bitterness.

The taste was less than impressive to me. There were notes of dark chocolate and burnt coffee, but all of the complexity in this beer was totally masked by the alcohol. Granted, it's a bruiser of a beer at 9% ABV, but there was clearly no attempt to hide the potency behind the flavor. The beer just got bitter and uninviting as I made my way through the mug. I did get a few notes of hops and dry grains, but all was lost in the end.

Mouthfeel was ok, the aftertaste bitter. Not drinkable at all, IMO. I won't be reaching for Rasputin's face any time soon. Disappointing, as this is always considered a classic beer by most. It's definitelty too over the top for my tastes.

 1,286 characters

Photo of neobassman
2.84/5  rDev -34%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ok, here I go again, trying to decide if my dislike is for the brew or the style. I'm not a fan of Guinness, and I'm not a fan of Old Rasputin RIS for the same reasons. The appearance is enticing; this stout has an inviting syrupy pour with a rich, dark tan, modest head. The bottle opened with more carbonation than I would have expected from a stout. There is moderately sticky lacing as the head slowly subsides. The color is black and passes virtually no light, which I always find amazing for beers that are also free of cloudiness. The smell is good, but with some coffee bitterness that starts the downhill slide for me. (In the interest of full disclosure, I've never learned to like coffee, either.). This beer is all stout, but its taste has a top and bottom without a middle. The top is a prominent hops bitterness, and the bottom consists of slight saltiness with strong roasted, even burnt, flavors. What came to mind was "catmouth" because I kept trying to get it past my tongue long after the swallow. I would have expected the mouthfeel to be more creamy than it is.

If you like Guinness, you will probably really like this offering - the high Ba rating attests to this. However, it is not for me. I gave this a 3.0 overall in deference to the style, but based on personal preference I would have gone lower. So there it is. If you like bitter, cooked coffee stouts like Guinness, this may be for you and I urge you to try it. If, like me, you like rounder stouts like Young's Oatmeal Stout or an imperial like Old Heathen, this North Coast offering may not be your cup of tea.

 1,595 characters

Photo of jrehmert
2.84/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured very dark, as expected, with about a finger of light tan head. The effervescence was short-lived. Residual sweetness was minimal. The nose was much more smoky than I had expected. I had hoped for more roasted malt, coffee, and/or chocolate malt than realized. Overall this was an average beer - Rogue RIS was a far better representative - afaic...

 354 characters

Photo of Cubsfan1087
2.85/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I didn't enjoy Old Rasputin, to the point where I almost wasn't even going to bother reviewing it. Obviously, it's a highly regarded beer on here, but it wasn't for me. The taste is what turned me off. It is very bitter. The high alcohol content is not hidden at all, like you will see in other beers. I found the drinkability to be extremely low. This is a beer I probably won't try again.

 390 characters

Photo of Nicknackpaddywack
2.87/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

WAY OVER-RATED micro-brewed high alcohol content export extra-stout. Character is way too busy on tongue back-outside tastebuds. After-taste all over the place.

I like a simple ultra-strong Cohiba extra-vigoroso torpedo maduro cigar. This beer is way too tootie-fruity to go with my favorite simple but strong cigar.

I much prefer best match: Leinenkugel's Big Eddy from original Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin brewry spring brewed seasonally with year on bottleneck band - cigar bands come off on way into humidor.

Rasputin is SISSY GIRLY Stout only good for fruit cake. I cannot believe the rating Rasputin gets here & I've lived in many places in the world to acquire local appreciation for water, ingredients & process characteristics.

 740 characters

Photo of dlmvh5150
2.87/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Maybe I drank it in the wrong succession with other beers but I wasn't a fan at all...way to bitter and chalky.

111 characters

Photo of Tstromer
2.88/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of 3leggeddub
2.88/5  rDev -33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

If I trawl the old memory banks I think good ol' Rasputin was one of the first imperial stouts that I had and the one thing I've always liked is the way it looked. Pitch black with a respectably thick tan head that thins down to a thin cover that leaves sticky lacing all the way down. No light getting through this stuff at all. The nose is pretty appealing with sweet notes of dark fruit like plum or raisin. Of course at 9% ABV you can definitely smell the booze in there.

To be blunt the first sip of Rasputin is a kick in the mouth. The carbonation is sharp and hits your tongue first. After that it's big bitterness around the edges. There's a coffee flavor that goes beyond dark roasted into burnt. The word acrid comes to mind to describe the first third of the bottle. The fruit in the nose are pretty much nowhere to be found in the taste. As you make your way through the bottle your palette starts to get used to the bitterness. With that acclimatization comes the realization that Rasputin has a nice velvety body that bitterness aside is very pleasant. Flavor-wise you notice some fleeting hints of unsweetened baker's chocolate and a touch of roasted malt. Lingering underneath that is an earthy, chalky aftertaste that isn't all together unpleasant. Aside from the bitterness there's little other flavor in here to hang a hat on and enjoy.

Put all of this together and Rasputin is a decent imperial stout, but personally I don't see it as balanced, complex or amazing as many others do. For those still trying to find their preference in the world of RIS's I would recommend trying Rasputin at least once to see if a more bitter stout is for you.

 1,664 characters

Photo of tbart428
2.88/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The beer pours pitch black. The head is light brown when first poured then settles to a off white colored foam. The smell is of roasted grain but all in all not much of a smell. The first taste is intense roasted flavors followed by a intense bitterness of hops.Neither one of the intense flavors in this beer are all that appealing to me. As I drink this beer the drinkability of this beer is decreasing with each sip. The beer is increadibly roasty at first then it transitions into a very bitter flavor from the hops and then it finishes with alcohol. The beer is intense in the mouth it is increadibly rough with the bittering hops. Overall the beer is a good night cap beer that is ggod to drink once in awhile. Compared to other RIPS it is slightly better than average. Worth trying and would buy again. I live in Portland Maine and buy this beer off tap at Novre Res and have to say off tp this beer is increadible. The flavors are subdued a lot and there is more of a balanced flavor. To end this review worth trying nothing amazing but is pretty good.

 1,060 characters

Photo of JamesBerry
2.88/5  rDev -33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This one has a black cola-like coloring with a brownish/orange head. Immediately after opening the bottle, a strong chocolate smell emerges. The taste is intensely bitter, like baker's chocolate, but with noticeable amounts of alcoholic tone. Old Rasputin has a tannic mouthfeel, like sucking a teabag or coffee grounds. Not as creamy or as say, a porter or (non-Imperial) stout, but admittedly, the taste mellows out significantly after the first half. Not exactly what I'd call a session beer. This is more of an experience than just any beer.

 545 characters

Photo of Am94w7
2.9/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Contagion
2.91/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is black in color, and appears to be very dense. Light doesn't pass through at all. An inch thick head formed when poured into the glass. The headed faded into a film at the top of the beer, and left some nice lacing on the side of the glass as it was drank.

The smell is of roasted malts and bitter black coffee. There are some flowery hops that combine with the malts to give it a mild soapy scent. The taste starts with a strong citrus hop flavor uncharacteristic of most stouts. There are bitter chocolate and coffee roasted malts undertones. The bitterness bites on the sides of the tongue, but as the beer warms to room temperature it becomes less noticeable. The after taste coats the mouth with a hoppy flavor.

This is a full bodied beer that has some creaminess to it. Carbonation is pleasant.

This is not what I was expecting in a stout. I never thought it would be this hoppy, this is kind of like a stout for someone that likes IPAs. It has the bitterness of the IPA and the thickness of a stout. This is not my style of beer. I really don't see myself going for another one of these. It's not a bad beer, just not to my tastes.

 1,156 characters

Photo of cjhofelt
2.93/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is almost opaque (as a stout should be) but if you shine a bright enough light to it, it's actually magenta in color. Thin head that fades to a thin film.

The smell is hard to describe. It's fruity on top of a strong malt aroma. I'm not so sure I like it.

Well, it's not too bad. There's a tasty maltyness up front followed by a fruity flavor then finishes up with coffee, chocolate, and finally, something like, well, a bit like Juicey-Fruit gum and alcohol, as one of the low reviewers said. In some ways, this tastes a bit like a winter warmer. There's also sort of a back flavor here that's reminiscent of other North Coast beers. I'm not sure what to call it other than the North Coast taste.

Heavy mouthfeel, a bit chewey and syrupy. Not a real thirst quencher, more of a hunger quencher.

Something good to drink on a chilly night. I like it, but I've had better RIS. Worth a try.

 908 characters

Photo of Eleaf
2.95/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Beautiful with three inch grey and brown colored head, black body color.
Taste is of bitter licorice. Medicinal/herbal tincture tasting.

A bit too harsh to be a favorite. As a stout enjoyer, it wasn't my style of stout.

 222 characters

Photo of maxson924
2.95/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Apparently I'm the only person on the entire first page that's rating this below a 4.0. I certainly buy this on occasion but I don't see the "world-class" aspect of it. A bit TOO dry and strong for me.

 201 characters

Photo of hgbrian
2.96/5  rDev -31.2%

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,275 ratings
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