Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

12,160 Ratings
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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

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

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Ratings: 12,160 |  Reviews: 3,711
Photo of Chiefy770
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle (no freshness date) into a nonic pint glass.

A very thick and mocha colored head (about 3 fingers deep) sat on top of a pitch dark body... the darkest of browns, hell, this was black. The head lingered around for a good amount of time. Lacing eventually formed on the sides of the glass but a fluffy puff of head remained in the center of the beer throughout the majority of this experience.

Very toasty malts dominate the nose. A woody liquor smell (somewhere between whiskey and brandy) is present as well.

Full flavor. Goes down smooth and creamy. Leaves a slightly bitter finish. The aftertaste reminded me of an iced mocha.

Overall: Incredible amount of flavor. Very filling, you could have one of these in place of desert. This was fairly pricey in my market but I thought it was well worth it. This tastes better when there is snow on the ground but that is not always a reality for everyone... you get the idea though.

Bottom Line: Great flavor. Might not be the best introductory stout. If you want to put your money towards a quality stout, may as well put this one in the cart. Does not disappoint.

 1,137 characters

Photo of MimDIPA
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of Brondeau
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Good. A bit bitter for my stout tastes.

39 characters

Photo of Jae61
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jrsaffert
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nasty31
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

120zer poured into snifter.

A- Black in color with a nice 3 finger creamy tan head. Leaves nice lacing in a perfect ring around the glass. This looks tasty

S- I get a strong chocolate roasted malt and alcohol smell on this one. Smells the way a good stout should.

T- Very bitter at first on the tongue then finishes with a nice subtle sweetness. Chocolate and malty flavor are prominent. The alcohol is not noticeable at all and the flavors blend very well together.

M-Thick and creamy mouth feel just the right amount of carb.

This is an awesome stout that is perfectly put together. Nothing about this stout is over the edge in flavor. Drinking a few bottles of this in one sitting is not a problem at all. Goes down smooth and tastes even smoother.

 756 characters

Photo of bunnyhustle
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

First stout reviewed, not typically a fan but this was a treat. Received as a gift from an employee and was hesitant to drink due to it not normally being my style and the high alcohol content. Pours dark, virtually black, with nice thick, tan head. Head stays around and leaves great lace. Smell is of coffee mainly but some chocolate as well and a little bit of alochol (only a little). Looks good...smells good...taste...its good too. Very thick and creamy, low carbonation and strong coffee (cant pinpoint what kind as I'm not a coffee drinker) and nice taste of chocolate at the end, little bit of alcohol taste but its hidden beneath everything else. The most complex tasting beer I have ever reviewed. For being so strong and thick you hardly notice, great mouthfeel, great beer. Curious to try other examples of this style but I think I'll only be disappointed.

 869 characters

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a clear crystal mug.

A: Clear, super dark brown with a tan, billowy head.

S: Alcohol on the nose, slightly masked by raisins, espresso and vanilla notes.

T: Molasses body with espresso coffee, red wine, dark chocolate and subtle grapes. Alcohol burn on the finish.

D: Hard to recommend having more than like two of these bad boys at 9% ABV. I was feeling it after one, because it goes down easy.

Value: I paid around $2.79 for a single 12oz bottle which I'd say is a bargain.

 506 characters

Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the most reviewed beers on here, and I have never tasted it. So here we go; fresh bottle poured into a snifter.

Totally black body. Even with a strong white light nothing penetrates save for a few dark brown highlights, but they are minimal. the head is brown and standard for the style.

Smells of hops soaked in dark wort, well roasted barley, black patent malt, and a touch of astringent coffee.

The flavor takes the coffee and dark wort-infused hops to a new level. Roast is big, smoke is very small. Coffee is big, chocolate is small. Actually I don't think there is any smoke in this flavor. Bold hops. Well done flavors that kick with grit but don't abuse the palate.

The mouthfeel is thick and full with low carbonation, which I think is spot on for the style.

Conclusion: I always imagined this to be a well rounded American version of this classic style, and it turns out to be exactly that. Worth the hype? Yes. Are there even better options out there? Yes.

 981 characters

Photo of MikeGross
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of zrab11
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a dark blackish purple color with a small head!

S- HAs a pine,molasses and boozy smell

T-Hits you witha bitter licorious taste upfront andthen ends with some nice cocoa flavor

M-Think bodied with good carbonation

D-Very good beer. Has a stong boozy taste but the other flavors come through so it balences quite nicely. Would get this again

 351 characters

Photo of HopHeadKen
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This stout pours with a thick foamy cascading head, creamy and light Brown. The color looks black but has a rich dark amber around the edges when viewed in bright light (in a sunny beer garden).

The smell is malt; taste is malt and sweet. For a beer with 8.9% ABV It doesn't taste alcoholic, but does have a roasted coffee chocolate aftertaste with a smooth light mouthfeel.

 377 characters

Photo of Presbadarious
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of HopSavant
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of LoveSummerHoliday
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bamadog
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Went to Friday Night Flights at Party Town in Florence, KY and met one of the brewmasters from North Coast -- super cool guy. They had several NC offerings offered at the growler station, couldn't really pass this one up (plus they were giving away free NC pint glass -- friggin' sweet!). Review is from notes taken on 2/25/2011 and poured from the growler to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is darkest brown/near black and it starts with a thin 1/2 finger dark tan head that fades quickly to nothing other than an incomplete skim floating on the surface; body is, of course, entirely opaque and seems to engulf the light around it; big swaths and spots of lacing are left on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Definitely a California beer -- lots of hops abound from this RIS and it's definitely hoppier than I remember from the bottle (I'd like to add that on the second night from the growler, the hops seemed more subdued and the roasty malts really came out more) followed by the burnt roasty and bittersweet bakers-like chocolate with a bit of a cocoa powder scent to it as well; interestingly enough there is also a bit of a metallic and earthy presence.

Taste: I'm going to say it... I think I prefer this one from the bottle. It's still good overall, but just a personal preference. The first night, the bitter metallic earthiness is really up front and the roastiness is thin with a bit of a faint bittersweet chocolate aspect to it. Fortunately, it seems to have settled down a bit over night (not sure what accounted for the change, perhaps my palate was just cleaner the second night?) and while the hops were still present and providing a nice grassy bitterness, the malts showed up and provided a robust earthy nuttiness with some burnt coffee/espresso roast and bittersweet chocolate and a bit of dry cocoa powder.

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium weight and fairly smooth and creamy; the strong metallic bite the first kind of distracts me and takes away from this, but the second night is very enjoyable as I remember it being; a thick sticky coating is left all over the mouth and a bit of a grittiness is left on the teeth; belly is just a little warm from the 9% ABV.

Drinkability: Definitely good, but like most RISs, the weight and ABV pull it down a bit. Definitely a great beer for a cold night and ultimately, it's kind of one of the defining beers of the style.

 2,381 characters

Photo of cipherbreak
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L - Pours a tint-dark black with an ephemeral tan head. Not much in the way of character.
S - Nuts, roasted coffee, dark chocolate. Not an overly complex taste.
T - Dark roast coffee followed by the sweetness of a 90% cocoa chocolate. 9% abv? No way!
F - Good body for a stout. Frothy. Nicely carbonated. Balanced. I could drink this all night.

O - At 9% abv, this is a strong beer but don't expect your taste buds to let you know. It is very well balanced and true to its style. A stout's stout! Yet, there is nothing that stands out. It looks, meh. It tastes like you would expect a stout to taste. The thing is, with every sip I enjoyed it more and more. Before my glass was empty, I was ready for another one. That 9% though. I have things to do!

 752 characters

Photo of ssmilkstout
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerDazed
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at one of the local craft brew bars. Served in a special Old Rasputin-labeled glass. A little on the small side, but this is a RIS.

Beautiful appearance. A deep, dark, rich black with a thick, tan-colored head. If they were looking for the most photogenic beer of the night, this was the one. As volume decreased, lacing very apparent.

The smell...Roasty is the first word that came to mind. Darkened maltiness with a definite coffee overtone. Some chocolate in there too.

The taste...Fantastic! Starting with roasty malty goodness along with some dark chocolate notes, and finishing with the coffee near the end. Full-bodied, but not too carbonated. Once it warmed up a bit, almost got a bit of a dark fruit aroma and taste too. Creamy, full, and an excellent winter warmer. The 9% abv was very well hidden. This was a meal in itself.

I have had some other RIS, but this one really stands out. Everything about it was just splendid. I have a feeling that when people think Russian Imperial Stout, good ol' Old Rasputin will come to mind.

So...If your name happens to be Rasputin, you're in good company!

 1,116 characters

Photo of Can_has_beer
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of Cutlass
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look - Inky black with a couple inches of copper head that eventually dissolved almost completely

Smell - heavily malty with notes of coffee and just a touch of whiskey (bourbon maybe?)

Taste - malty as expected though balanced by a bitter herbal hop aftertaste and some bite from the high alcohol content

Feel - smooth with relatively little carbonation

Overall - A tasty and interesting beer; this is my first russian imperial stout so I am unable to compare it to others within its style, but definitely worth a try

 523 characters

Photo of casapy
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bcm75
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of dfried
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured a deep, oily black, without much color around the edges and a carmel colored head. The smell was pretty complex with lots of tones of malts, roasted to sweet, and a slight hop presence. The taste was the standout character of this beer for me. Very coffee and chocolaty, both bitter roast and sweet. It is very deep and creamy. The alcohol is apparent but not overpowering. Not the most drinkable, but a few can be fine.

 432 characters

Photo of roadhouse
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Pours an opague black with one and a half finger creamy tan head.

Aroma is chocolate, some dried fruit, coffee, caramel, perhaps some smoked wood, hops, and then alcohol towards the end.

Flavor is dominantly coffee, with dark chocolate, and smoked wood flavor coming on the finish along with a bit of hops that may or may not be citrusy.

Mouthfeel is not like some Imperial Stouts, it's less syrupy. Still full, but not quite as good a feel as some others. Despite that fact, it actually makes it a bit more drinkable. Finishes dry.

Great beer. I love the strong coffee presence in the flavor and the other subtleties that come along with it. Unlike many other Imperial Stouts, I can drink a couple of these. It's usually pretty cheap too.

 788 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,160 ratings.
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