Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
12,207 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
Ratings:
12,207
Reviews:
3,722
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.28%
 
 
Wants:
602
Gots:
3,019
For Trade:
51
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 12,207 |  Reviews: 3,722
Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of dcmchew
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damn hotels for not having the proper glassware!
Pitch black pour with more than 2 finger light brown fluffy head. Sticky lace much later on.
Big chocolate and sweet coffee in the smell, roasted malts, alcohol (coffee-liquorish, actually), lower dark fruit.
A fruity flash at the start, with juicy plums and figs, raisin, some orange, quickly pushed away by espresso, dark chocolate, slight caramel and rich, very rich roasted malts. Dark spices, citrus peel, woody notes with some oaky vanilla. Obvious hops in the finish, but the bitterness comes from the burnt roast. So some charcoal notes and burnt coffee expected in the aftertaste.
Smooth sipper, creamy, alcohol is nicely hidden, tho some ethanol is (ok, rarely) felt. Medium carbonation. Just a bit of crispness.
Perfect example in its style, balanced and rich.

 820 characters

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

Photo of billab914
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured nearly black with a small tan head that all but disappeared shortly. Not much lacing on the glass. Excellent aroma of caramel, chocolate and roasted malts. Taste has a lot of coffee and bitter chocolate coming through. Nicely carbonated and a nice creamy mouthfeel as well.Excellent RIS, especially for the price and availability. I've purchased this one many times and will continue to do so.

 400 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of smithj4
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours out black, with a thick tan head that slowly fades to a thin ring of lace.

Smell: The aroma is a rich, vibrant framework containing scents of licorice, espresso, sweet chocolate, and ripe, vinous fruits.

Taste: Flavors Ahoy! Bitterness and black roasted malts fight for attention. Hints of molasses, toffee, mocha, and spice help to round out the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied; feels heavy on the tongue. Rich, smooth mouthfeel. The ABV provides for a warming, satisfying finish.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable. For anyone who's had this beer before, let me just say: Booyah!

If you haven't had this beer before... Try it: Today!

 661 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought a 4 pack today, decided to re-review to see how this compares to the dozens of RIS I've tried since 05:

I stand by original ratings with the following exceptions: Take a appearance down to 4.0 head retention & lacing are good not great. Taste 4.5; depth of flavor isn't quite as good as I remember... & Mouth feel seems much thinner than I recall. Still a benchmark for the style that delivers awesome value for $ taste-wise!!

Pours almost pitch black (when held to intense light goes mahogany to purple) with a whipped up tan bubbly head, Great head retention and insane lacing, a feast for the the dark beer lover's eyes.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate and licorice notes, with alcohol and roasted malts lurking in the background.

Taste: Some fruitiness, then bam! Burnt coffee taste, chocolate, molasses, hops/grainy bitterness &alcohol.

MF: Chunky, silky and just hits the marks.

Great winter-time beer that has been lapped by others in in hoppiness and abv, but not drinkability IMHO

 996 characters

Photo of atrocity
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of smcolw
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance--The color of dark chocolate; not even opaque. Beige head that quickly goes down.

Smell--Rich chocolate malt aroma; some burnt coffee

Taste--Predominately coffee, some caramel. Excellent hop ending that perfectly balances the powerful malt.

Mouthfeel--Warm oily texture; nice hop bitterness lingering after the swallow.

Drinkability--Very true to the style. While I personally wouldn't repeatedly drink Imperial Stouts all night, this would be a top pick for this style.

 494 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

-Nitro tap-

A – Ridiculous, tempurpedic-pillow of a head stuck around at 2 inches high for almost 15 minutes till the glass was empty. Great lace. Almost pitch black body.

S – Malty with a deep pumpernickel breadiness, a touch of milk chocolate, and a tang of bitter roast.

T – Dark chocolate into a dark bready malt. A nice, solid woody bitter ramps up to balance the profile in the center. Full roasty finish with lingering sweet cream and molasses.

M – The pillow of foam lends a fantastic creaminess to the mouthfeel. Medium-full body starts a bit lighter than you’d expect, but quickly fills out to end rich and smooth.

O – Delicious, big, complex, and well balanced. Could use a shade more integration between the flavors, but this is still one the best beers I’ve ever had on tap.

 806 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had out at a restaurant, no indication of year.

A: Pours a very deep black with a 1.5 finger frothy mocha colored head that remains until I am finished. Decent lacing down the sides.

S: Lots of roasted malt, a little bit of coffee, and some nice cocoa. It is an extremely strong aroma overall, but no hint of alcohol.

T: More coffee comes through on the flavor than on the aroma, and while I typically am not a fan of beers with a lot of coffee flavor, this one I like. Probably because there is a sizable chocolate/cocoa component as well. There is some molasses as well and a little bit of dark fruits, mostly raisins that I can pick out.

M: Has a thick and creamy mouthfeel, really didn't get any indication of alcohol, no heat really at all.

O: A really great beer, a go to in the style for sure, especially at the price. I got this bottle at a place that does a $10 happy hour for a burger and your choice of beers, so I consider that to be an amazing deal.

 972 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, menacing mahogany with ruby highlights and a medium brown cascading head that would make a nitro pour proud. Initially four-fingers-and-a-thumb in size, the cap looks as if it'll last for a good, long while. Dark brown lace--some of the darkest I've ever seen--coats the glass, but doesn't last all that long.

The nose abounds with bittersweet chocolate. Yes, there's some coffee; yes, there's heavily roasted malt and hops; but chocolate is king as far as the aroma is concerned. On the palate, hops return with a vengeance. "Regicide or death!" they scream as they pound away at King Cocoa... sorry, I got carried away there for a moment. A huge quantity of heavily roasted black malt results in a constellation of flavors that includes bittersweet chocolate, espresso and anise. Each and every one fills the mouth with Godiva-like goodness.

Even with all that malt, the citric hoppiness is unrelenting and is at least as prominent as in a middle-aged Storm King. Strangely enough, I'd prefer to see the hops ratcheted back a few notches in this beer, something that I never thought I'd say.

The mouthfeel is akin to heavily silky melted chocolate and is some kind of chewy, as befits an Imperial stout. Those who don't believe this is a true Imperial stout have different standards than I do. Nearly unnoticed carbonation is a perfect capper on a nearly perfect mouthfeel.

Old Rasputin is a mega hoppy stout, perhaps a tad too hoppy. It's definitely not for the faint of heart or the faint of palate. Proceed only if you enjoy immensely flavorful, luxurious stouts that could fairly constitute a meal in and of themselves. Old Raspy is North Coast's best beer, I do believe.

 1,688 characters

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of duceswild
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Photo of Jason
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample from the brewery

One hell of a cult classic, certainly a kick back and relax beer. I love when winter comes so I can enjoy these beers ot their fullest.

 160 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bm0095 for the bottle.

Good lawd does this look nice. Absolute black as night with a huge cream colored head. Lace was so thick I could not see through the glass. Perfect look for an Imperial Stout,Perfect. Smell started with a hint of chocolate, some coffee, maybe even some dark fruity smells hidden in there, nice overal aroma.

As for the taste, hmmm.Big Flavors right off the bat. Roasted, caramel sweetness, The alcohol can definatly be tasted and this is warm going down, yummy. Coffee undertones as well as the tiniest hint of chocolate, I mean tiny but it is there. Very nicely carbonated, and thick. This is a definate sipper. The abv custs down on what you may be able to drink but not what you think you can! I could really drink this on every cold night. Big beer here folks, very nicely done!

 821 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Teresa's Next door on Nitro at the Beer Geek brunch, Served chilled in a large snifter

A - Deep black, opaque like a black hole w/ 2 fingers of whipped chocolate mousse for a head.

S- Slight port aroma, deep plum, tobacco, cocoa, vanilla, coffee and caaramel

M - Lots of creaminess in the feel w/ smooth vanilla and spice. Lots of charred malt textures w/ mild sweetness in the finish and mild alcohol accent

T - Bitter cocoa, dark toffee, french pressed french roast coffee, caramel and high amounts of vanilla flavor-earthy bean like elements. A dark brown sugar, molasses and cocoa mix w/ mild caramel, dark plum fruit notes and hints of roasted barley. There is the taste of dark rum as the alchohol is present in the finish, with mild sweetness at around room temp.

D - Well brewed RIS w/ nitro usage I actually enjoyed. I am not normally a fan of the Nitro, but in this stout it is fantastic, Old Rasputin is a top -notch ale any way you cut it.

 971 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I am baffled as to how it has taken me until now to review this beer. I wish that it were as easy as blaming it on The Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody, but this was a fairly fresh bottle that I recently scored simply to drink & review. I am scratching my head in response.

From the bottle: "Brewed in the tradition of the 18th century English brewers who supplied the Russian court of Catherine the Great."; "Old Rasputin develops a cult following wherever it goes. It's a rich, intense brew with big, complex flavors & a warming finish."

Still shaking my head, I Pop!ped the cap & began a slow, gentle pour. Once sufficiently decanted, a vigorous in-glass swirl raised three-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, deep-brown head with good retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing deep brown highlights to be visible only at the edges. Nose was smoky, with notes of coffee and especially dark chocolate brownies. To be even more precise, this smelled like liquefied chocolate brownies! Wow. No wonder this is so popular. I was impressed & I hadn't even taken my first sip of this review! Mouthfeel was big, thick & creamy, a dollop on my tongue. I just let it lie there & roll around. The dark, rich chocolaty taste was like a liquefied dessert, whether brownies, chocolate mousse, chocolate ice cream, ad chocofinitum. Wow! Finish was semi-sweet since the chocolate also had a bitter edge to it. It was just a bit much for me and left me craving something that was hop-driven. An RIS just is not my bag.

 1,522 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a very dark black color with almost no carbonation. No light at all getting through and a little bit of an off brown colored head that left after about a minute.

s - Smells largely of coffee. Also got a little bit of chocolate and a little bit of alcohol.

t - Has a good, definitely coffee taste. It was actually a lot smoother than I was expecting. Also getting a bit of chocolate in the taste, but not really tasting the alcohol which is nice.

m - Rich and creamy, with very little carbonation. Full bodied and a great feel.

d - Overall I really liked it. It was a lot smoother than I was expecting and considering the high ABV, it goes down real easy. Would definitely buy again.

 744 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of womencantsail
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe I've yet to write a few for Ol' Raspy. Here it goes...

A: I poured the bottle into my Cigar City snifter to reveal the beautiful and familiar jet black, viscous liquid that is Old Rasputin. A small mocha colored head sits atop the darkness.

S: Great aromas of chocolate, coffee, a roasted nuttiness, and hints of vanilla. A wonderful combination of sweet and bitter aromas.

T: The taste very much follows the nose, and I'm quite glad it does. Once again, a great balance between sweet coffee and vanilla flavors melds well with bitter coffee and a roasted, bordering on burnt, taste.

M: Now this is a full bodied beer. Very little in the way of carbonation, the way it should be, and this gives the beer that thick, creamy mouthfeel you are looking for in an RIS.

D: I personally find this to be one of the more drinkable beers in the RIS style, but that doesn't make it a beer you're going to drink 6 of. A great beer and I've decided to finally put some away to age, even though I love it fresh.

 1,018 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of orangesol
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on nitro-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours used motor oil black with a thin, almost non-existent, head leaving thin rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Plenty of dark roasted malt blends well with the coffee, chocolate, and a faint hint of dark fruits. Some vanilla and cream sweetness helps keep things balanced as much as possible. Very nice nose.

T - Flavors are very similar to the nose. Rich coffee and cocoa dominate this one with some vanilla sweetness offering a bit of balance. Very rich, dark malted texture in the finish lingers for some time. If anything it was a bit thin, and given the nitro serving I can't see how that can happen..maybe too cold? Either way I have had this before, it is one of my favorites, and I will have it again. Hopefully those will be better than this one...

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderately low carbonation for being on nitro. Not the thick, creamy, stout I was expecting to receive when I ordered it to say the least.

D - Still very high. Even with the carb issues this is still one of my go to stouts. I was more disappointed in the pour than I was in the beer. I will have to re-review this one at a later time...

 1,196 characters

Photo of paulish
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,207 ratings.
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