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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,667 Reviews
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,667
Ratings:
11,993
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
18.46%
 
 
Wants:
582
Gots:
2,875
For Trade:
54
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Reviews: 3,667 | Ratings: 11,993
Photo of Jmamay22
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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 SacoDeToro
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the North Coast Brewpub across the street from the brewery.

The beer poured a deep coal black with a small brown head.

The aroma of the beer was full of rich coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and some faint vanilla.

The flavor of the beer was full of intense flavors that transitioned well from one to another. Coffee - Chocolate - Rich roasted malts. The hops were there in good presence, but not too intense.

The mouthfeel was thick, but not too heavy. It coated your mouth with a ton of flavor. The carbonation seemed dialed in well.

This is a great beer and a very drinkable RIS. It's an American classic and the beer that brought this style back from the brink of extinction. Cheers to Rasputin for not dying easily! In fact, he's still very well alive an kicking...

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Photo of RevDru
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep black with a quarter-inch of light brown foam. Good head retention.

S - Semi-sweet chocolate with sweet orange notes. Slightly herbal.

T - Strong alcohol esters over coffee and chocolate. Nice bitter balance to the sweetness, but alcohol is almost too much.

M - A touch heavy, but very creamy and rich.

D - This is a one and done brew. Very good, but high ABV makes it an occasional item.

 409 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first Russian Imperial Stout. Will I bow down before Rasputin? Or will I persevere through the 12 oz serving? On to the beer:

It pours pitch black in a glass. One smell from the beer brings lots of flaovrs to the nose. Fruity, piney, chocolate, raw cane sugar, and alcohol flavors run around freely. This stuff is extremely complex, but I assume thats the nature of RIS's. A light roasted bitterness sits on the tongue after every sip, reminding me it's still a stout, but a very beefed-up one. At less than $2 for the bottle, it didn't drain my wallet, and I got something new and exciting.

 597 characters

Photo of BradBLR
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a very dark brown (almost black) with a chocolate brown head, that lasted most of the beer with very thick lacing. The smell of this beer was a tart chocolate aroma with a toasted malt smell accompanied by a hint of hops.

The taste was very malty chocolate flavor with a slightly dry malt and with a nice kick of hops at the end. Not as sweet as some RIS's and that is a good thing, very tasty. The mouthfeel of this beer was really good, very thick almost syrup, a beer that you could literally chew on. C02 slightly week, but hardly worth noting.

Great beer, especially if you like RIS's. Give it a try!

 628 characters

Photo of atigerlife
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with some red highlights. A nice one finger brown head sits on top. Head dissipates rather quickly. Good lacing.

Aroma is of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, toffee and some hazelnut. Interesting.

Taste is dominated by bitter dark coffee. Also some dark chocolate, roasted malts and some alcohol at the end.

Mouthfeel has a medium body and lightly dry at the end.

Overall, this is an interesting brew that I wouldn't mind having again. The high alcohol level would rule it out as a session beer, but good for sipping.

 554 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from Trader Joe's in Raleigh into a tulip glass.

Jet black pour with a creamy tan head that's retained exceedingly well and leaves great lacing. Aroma has a surprisingly fruity nose: fig & plum. Of course, the roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate notes are strong on this one.

Taste is quite chocolatey and has a nice roasted maltiness to it. Feels smooth, yet full-bodied with a nice bitter coffee bite saved for the back of the tongue and throat. I'll be having this one again for sure, good taste & complexity. Drinks exceptionally well for a 9% RIS.

 570 characters

Photo of kdoc8
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this on sale for $1.79 at the Franklin Market of Choice in Eugene, OR. It pours out a dark, dark black color with very little shades of red-brown. It pours with a thick, tan bubbly/creamy head and lots and lots of lacing. The smell is very subtle but complex - chocolate and roasted malts dominate. I has a bubbly mouthfeel and starts out with a taste of chocolate and then finishes with a great chocolate and coffee blended taste that just keeps going. The complexity of the taste takes a few seconds to hit you after swallowing. An excellent RI stout - almost no taste of alcohol at all.

 597 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 pgenius
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Really dark brown with an amazing light brown head that stuck around

S - Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, a little sweet aroma was present as well

T - Strong roasted malt taste, chocolate

M - had the mouthfeel of an extremely strong coffee with a lot of bitterness, I actually even felt a slight numbing sensation immediately from the bitterness and alcohol combo

D - Pretty impressive stout, I couldn't drink more than two of these at a time, but I would get it again

 485 characters

Photo of Cresant
3.17/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. undated, brown bottle into a Duvel glass. The body was darkest brown and the modest 1/2" head faded rather quickly.

Smell was sweet roasted malts. Coffee grounds. Chocolate.

Taste reflected the aromas. Tangy sweet baking chocolate. Finished long with a bittersweet aftertaste. This one was not as complex as I had anticipated.

Mouthfeel was zesty with mouthfilling carbonation.

 406 characters

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

Dark chocolate in color with a light tan creamy head. Smell of roasted malts, coffee and dark chocolate with a strong roasted malt flavor with a good carbonation leaving a hefty bitter aftertaste. It's a thick, creamy stout, a good one to have on hand if your feeling bold.

 273 characters

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is black and has a nice tan/cream colored head – lacing is pretty in this beer. The aroma is sweet of malt and there is some spice that I’m having trouble identifying. The taste is bold and bitter. There is plenty of malt and a slight sweetness. Coffee flavors and a hint of spice are present. This beer starts off quite intimidating, but mellows slightly as it warms and my palate adjusts. The mouthfeel is thinner than I expected – but is still on the full side. As for drinkability, this beer is a bit much for me to kick a few back in one sitting – but it is very good!

 587 characters

Photo of jrehmert
2.84/5  rDev -33.6%
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 cichief
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I bought a four-pack of this in a big wine mega-store in Maryland. I've had this beer before on the west coast, but it has been a while. The beer poured coffee black, with a light brown head about one-half inch thick. It smelled of coffee and chocolate. It tasted great, but had a little alcohol burn in the aftertaste. It was a little fizzy, but that was a minor problem. I would like to drink this more often.

 411 characters

Photo of sabrills70
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date - like it needs one. Pours a super duper dark brown, almost black with a 1 finger head decent longevity and very good lace. Smells of highly roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, vanilla and some dried fruit. How do you describe the taste of this stuff. Heavy roasted malts with espresso like flavors, chocolate, dried fruits and alcohol in the finish. Almost like a dubble or triple but made with roasted malts. Smooth and creamy. Highly complex. Good stuff!!

 497 characters

Photo of MmmIPA
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ive had the CZAR and now its time for RASPUTIN! Lets see who wins! Very black body with a small thin tan head that fells fast.Chocolate is the main smell I get out of it.There is some fruit smells under the chocolate.The taste is dynamite! The taste is fruit and expresso and damn good.I taste some bitter chocolate in the aftertaste.The mouthful is slick and thick and tasty,did I mention that already? I dont know if I could drink multiple of these cause of the abv content but it is pretty well hidden,let see when it warms.I think OLD RASPY won this war.I would say to the people who want to know what is compares between,its more bolder then Stormking but not as Czar.Very good indeed.

 690 characters

Photo of travelfrog
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this interesting stout at my favorite local pizza pub/watering hole. It was on draught, served in a brandy snifter of all things.

Appearance was very good, with a nice creamy dark complexion and creamy head (perhaps exaggerated somewhat by the dimensions of my snifter). There were a few air bubbles mixed in, and the beverage was less opaque than I would have expected.

Aroma was good, again perhaps concentrated by the snifter. Notes of malt and chocolate.

The flavor will come as quite a surprise to Guinness drinkers (remember this is Imperial Stout... ;). A bold combination of sherry, malt, coffee, and chocolate. Pleasant, lingering aftertaste of caffe corretto.

Mouthfeel was excellent: smooth and creamy with no burn or cloying on the roof of the mouth.

I also have to rate the drinkability quite highly for a stout, though it is certainly best sipped rather than gulped. I would not have known it was 9% alcohol if I hadn't read it on this page.

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Photo of Luchman
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black body with a 1 1/2 finger, light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving great lacing on the sides and clumps on the top.

S: Roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate hit the nose first. Some light hops, alcohol, molasses, and slight burnt grain are there as well. Smells pretty darn good.

T: Matches smell, but only better. Great coffee/roasted malts, graininess, definitely chocolate, some dark fruits (plums, currents, etc.) and some nice hops to add to it. Some boozy alcohol is there that increases as the temperature rises. Has a dry finish. Damn... This stuff is better than I remembered.

M: Fits it nicely. Medium/full body with medium carbonation that goes done as easy as can be!

D: Not bad... Not bad at all. A very good tasting stout that I once thought to be over rated. Alcohol booziness gets there a tad bit in the end, which no doubt they intended it that way, but lowers my drinkability rating a .5.

 941 characters

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

Appearance: Wonderful opaque black. The burnt brown head had nice staying power.

Aroma: Nuts chocolate and espresso bean are present in the mix.

Taste: Wonderful imperial stout here. The roasted malts give way to some earthy chocolate, and espresso beans. There are some wonderful hop bitterness at the end and some roasted nuts in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with some slight carbonation which excites the taste buds and allows the bitter chocolate espresso to seep in.

Drinkability: This is a wonderful stout. It's not something that I would introduce someone to the genre with, but it's something that people who enjoy stouts or porters will definitely enjoy.

 681 characters

Photo of udubdawg
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

Pours a nearly black color, thick but not nearly as syrapy as many of the style. Big rocky brown head that subsides to a third, and then lingers. Pretty nice lacing.

Nose isn't as strong as I expected, but improving throughout the glass as it warms. Notes of dark chocolate and coffee...liquorice?...definately fruity - almost vinous...and behind it all, a bit of floral. Some alcohol, and an overall intriguing complexity despite the lack of overpowering aroma.

Adult milk shake - that was my first thought. On the full side of medium bodied and intense. Definately big carmelized sugar sweetness, with just the right amount of lingering bittersweet chocolate and hops in the finish. Roasty malts mostly short of charred - delicious.
Where is the alcohol? - none of the strength noted in the aroma is here. Extremely smooth and coats the tongue nicely.

I simply cannot sip this beer - it screams a "5" on drinkability, but if I drank as many now as I'd like, I'd be under the table talking to my shoe. Gotta knock this one a touch. I wouldn't mind if this beer was 6 or 7% - then I could drink a few of this deliciousness.

 1,150 characters

Photo of jjmunro
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

A: A beautiful midnight black, as expected for Imperial Stouts. A healthy, mocha head shrank, but remained throughout the beer.

S: I was not overwhelmed by the smell. I was able to pick up apples and brown sugar. The only facet of the beer that I was not wow'ed by. There is a distinct smell, but it was just kind of average for me.

T: Rich and earthy taste that is instantly quite impressive. It was a pleasing, lingering taste that was not overpowering by any stretch of the imagination, a rarity for many American Imperial Stouts. This beer was extremely well crafted, the alcohol content was designed to be apparent, but surprisingly smooth for the style. Many compliments to the brewers of this fine stout.

M: Again, very nice for the style. Unlike many Imperial Stouts, there was not that lingering heavy aftertaste that can detract from the beer.

D: Remarkably drinkable for the style. Superbly smooth on the palate. Could easily drink 2 or 3 in a session.

Fantastic, fantastic beer. I wish all Russian Imperial Stouts could possess this smoothness and construction.

 1,138 characters

Photo of muffguy4beer
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: Black, pitch black in color. Head did not appear at first but then it cascaded up into a not light brown inch thick head.

Smell: Charcoal briquettes, root beer barrels, alcohol and grape pixie stix are all present in the smell.

Taste: Starts off like sweet strong coffee, still am getting a grapey/raisin hint as I swallow. Nice hop bitterness balances out the sweetness of the beer. Complex taste consisting of light smokiness, chocolate, sweetness, coffee, and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body. Appropriate carbonation.

Drinkability: One or two of these max in one sitting. I loved it but its very powerful in all aspects so I probably would max out at 2 in a session. Fantastic seasonal, perfect for a cold new england winter.

 825 characters

Photo of GimmeAles
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours like squid ink with a deep mahogany edge. Quite Dark. A rocky mocha-colored head rises and falls quickly leaving sparse bubbles and lace

Surprisingly, big, green hops dominate the nose with a underlying edge of char and coffee. Flavours explode in the mouth with a big cocoa-powder-baker's chocolate intro laced with a soft lactose edge. A deep toffee sweetness mingles with the still-smoking coals from last night's campfire. A powerful hop presence gives a massive bitter finish. Who baby, a big delicious beer which really benefits from serving almost room temp.

Medium viscous body with a pleasantly coating wake that begs another dive into the huge flavors. Alcohol produces warmth and only a slight phenolic presence. Who's your daddy? Old Rasputin is, in case you've forgotten.

 792 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter, the beer pours very dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. The head doesn't stick around for too long, but the lacing is OK. The aroma is roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. It tastes like coffee, roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate. The beer also has a good lingering bitter hoppy finish, with nice balance. Mouthfeel is medium/full, and it's creamy and has just the right amount of carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's nice and smooth. Alcohol is noticeable, but not bad. IMO, it's a good RIS, I'd recommend it to others to try.

 564 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 11,993 ratings.
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