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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.3/5
Outstanding
12,306 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:
#499
Reviews:
3,741
Ratings:
12,306
pDev:
10.23%
Bros Score:
4.38
 
 
Wants:
611
Gots:
3,077
Trade:
49
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 12,306 |  Reviews: 3,741
Photo of alucard
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of beachbum1975
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
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 brewerburgundy
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10/21/2011, 12oz bottle, Bruery tulip. Score reflects more recent review.
Well, that was the first time I've overflowed a glass. This is a good looking RIS, standardly and less importantly dark, with a fantastic head on the darker side of brown. After my overly exuberant pour I let it sit for maybe five minutes and when I turned back to it the glass was covered in copious amounts of lace from a head fallen to a quarter inch.

It is so wonderful returning to this beer after nearly two years of immersion in craft beer and finding it to be of the caliber I thought in my craft infancy. Just a solid as a rock heavy stout here. Dough, English yeast, espresso, mineral and char don't mess around, complimented by a little sweet chocolate.

Charcoal and roast come in much higher levels. Roast playing up front with cocoa powder, cherry, and grain, while the finish is lusciously dominated by burnt espresso. There is alcohol running through the nose and the taste constantly and I'm not sure I've encountered a better example of it being so well integrated into an entire beer where all it does is compliment, never dominant and not at all a bother.

While the mouth is solid, it doesn't rise to the same peaks as the preceding categories. It's full but not chewy, smooth but not creamy. Solid, as is the whole composition, with medium-high carbonation.

I would not have revisited this any time soon if it were not for a birthday gift from a great friend. What a great gift. This is a widely available icon of American craft beer and surely a first Imperial Stout of many.

11/15/2009, 12oz bottle, 4.3 A.
A: Falls a drip coffee brown into the glass, a film of mocha bubbles on top. No light through this baby. 4.5

S: I could smell it a foot or two away, dense toffee, chocolate, and coffee. Spice from hops and some warmth you can tell. The creaminess can be smelt, its rich with cocoa. 4.5

T: A mocha up front, spice follows down your throat, and more mocha and bittersweet chocolate finish it. The booze, while never hiding only helps the experience. 4.5

M: Silky and slippery it goes down. 4.5

D: I could drink it often and bottle after bottle, but of course I'd get into trouble that way. 3.5 because of the potential trouble.

 2,242 characters

Photo of Pellinore1
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of Carl_R
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of Martine
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cmq103
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 0z. bottle into a Duvel Belgian Tulip glass. I bought this at the Beer Store in Southampton PA. I will say it was worth the drive over from NJ, as they have one of the larger selections of craft beers that I've seen in the area.

Appearance: A typical jet black thicker pour, as expected with the style. I nice, thick 3/4" cola colored head impressed me resulting from only a moderately aggressive pour. Lacing was spotty, but decent as my glass emptied. The head eventually reduced to a thin light brown ring after a few minutes at room temperature.

Smell: Right off the bat, this reminded me a lot of the Storm King Imperial Stout, which is a hoppier Imperial Stout. I get dark bittersweet chocolate, followed by burnt roasted malts then a definitive hoppy and unsweetened espresso aroma. I also detect a slight booziness in the finish, which become more prominent as the beer warms.

Taste: Like the nose, bitter unsweetened dark chocolate, espresso coffee, dark fruits, and caramel. Light roasted, almost burnt, malts and a surprisingly bitter hoppy finish. I prefer my RIS just a tad sweeter to tame the hoppy bite. The alcohol is well hidden and doesn't expose itself until the beer gets closer to room temperature.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a full-bodied brew. Smooth, but with a dry bitter finish. Carbonation is moderate.

Overall: This is a sipper for sure with the higher ABV. I'm glad I tried it but my "go-to" RIS is still Brooklyn Black Chocolate. I would still say it's a "must try" for fans of the RIS style but I prefer my Imperial Stouts with a little less hop bite.

 1,600 characters

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass

A: pours a deep black with a very nice frothy head that is a medium brown color and lingers quite a long time, leaves a nice amount of lacing

S: nice deep chocolate and coffee notes

T: truely a beautiful representation of the style, great coffee/chocolate hints, great depth of flavor

D/M: smooth across the pallet, incredibly complex, little carbonation tingle, drinks beatufully and with the perfect level of heaviness

 447 characters

Photo of billhelm
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of andrewjraab
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Black velvet, with huge mocha head with good webbing and stick.

S - Chocolate, coffee beans, roasted malts, alcohol.

T - Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, malted milk balls, amazing complexity and many layers to the sweet chocolate. Finishes bittersweet.

O - This is the best Russian Imperial Stout I have ever had. It is amazingly smooth and the drinkability this glass of motor oil is second to none in its class. Perfect for a relaxing winter day.

 457 characters

Photo of travelguy
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of EdwardK77
4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a substantial but quickly receding head that covers a beautiful jet black stout.

S- Perfect stout spectrum smells of coffee and chocolate. Really nice and powerful.

T- Really mellow and smooth, this is a top notch stout. Taste matches the smell and it's a flavor knockout with easy drinkability.

M- Smooth and sticky goodness.

O- This is clearly upper echelon stout, glad I tried it and I'll be back for more.

 423 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very opaque dark pour with thin, clingy brown head. Aroma is heavily roasted and coffee notes. Incredibly smooth with barely noticible alcohol - remarkable given the content. Instead, flavors are strongly parrallel to aromas - again with coffee and roasted maltiness. This is delicious. One of my favorites amongst my favorite style.

 333 characters

Photo of ellswrth
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of ILiveOffHops
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Jmamay22
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pitch black brew with a half inch of head that settles and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell - Heavy roasted malt and coffee smell.

Taste - Strong alcohol taste and coffee and hops balance out the heavy roasted malts, but clearly the malts win this battle. Alcohol can be a bit much.

Moutfeel - A sipper as its fairly heavy and a very thick rich flavor. Lightly carbonated as this sort of brew should be.

Drinkability - I could never see myself having more than one unless I was horribly snowed in with nothing better to do with my time. That said its always a great one and done.

 600 characters

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

A- Pours a silky and fluffy 2 finger head into my large snifter. The head is tan colored and the body is pitch black. As the beer recedes, it leaves some nice lacing.

S- First off, I get a huge hopiness reminiscent of pine and pineapple. I also get a big dark chocolate, some vanilla, and some nice spiciness.

T- This beer starts of with a bitter dry chocolate and slight vanilla with a nice big hopiness of pine then moves into a nice dry chocolate and hoppy finish. Nice.

M- Carbonation is a bit more than low which makes me think it could be a bit less. I would love to see a thicker, smoother mouthfeel, but overall, this is good.

D- There is 9% in here somewhere. Pairs great with dessert or an chocolate. Definitely a great, widely available russian impy.

 767 characters

Photo of oldsailor
4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ludachris
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an inky black with chestnut edges. Two fingers of mocha coloured head top this beer, displaying excellent retention, especially when considering the style, and leaving thick lines of sticky lace.

Sweet dark chocolate, oats, roasted malts, hints of coffee grains, raisons, plums, and a semi-hot ethanol character make up the nose. An assertive smell but not overpowering and very, very inviting.

A big roasted malt character greets the palate first, coating the subtle dark fruits that quickly follow and matching the dark chocolate character. The finish is quite dry with notes of coffee and cocoa powder, all of which occur over a smooth oaty taste and feel. Even as the beer warms, the alcohol is still very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is full but leans towards a more creamy and smooth feel rather than a thick and oily one, with the latter being the seemingly most common one for the style. It could be a bit richer, but it just adds to its drinkability which is ridiculously good considering both the style and ABV.

I can see why this sits on the top 5 of the most reviewed beers on this site and still retains such a high rating. Complex, very flavourful, and oh so easy to drink. I'd say this is my favourite RIS to date with Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout close behind. Worth EVERY penny.

 1,305 characters

Photo of erlenmeyer
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of brywhite
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of goalie35
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of wlynch
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kalosjakar
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a toffee colored creamy head.

I got a huge wave of toffee while pouring this. Smells incredible.

Smells like sweet sugar and toffee. Getting some chocolate and a hint of vanilla bean.

Taste is bitter up front before the flavor of bittersweet dark chocolate and coffee (didnt see this coming, got zero coffee on the nose). Theres a bit of alcohol sting but the sweetness soothes it all. Great imperial stout, will buy again.

 446 characters

Photo of KnowYourCraft
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,306 ratings
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