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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
12,330 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:
#501
Reviews:
3,748
Ratings:
12,330
pDev:
10.23%
Bros Score:
4.38
 
 
Wants:
613
Gots:
3,095
Trade:
49
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12,330 |  Reviews: 3,748
Photo of The_Craft_Deviant_Rob
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of climax
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass, this one pours an almost immortal black. The head forms instantly and is about as menacing as Rasputin's mugshot. Slowly the globs of bubbles sink atop the Goodyear black body. For a 9% beer, the head qualities are confounding.

The first thing that actually leaps out of the aroma are leafy hop tones. The earthy character is almost reminiscent of compost, but in a good way. The hop character is a welcome gift to the expected conglomeration of coffee and chocolate, perhaps because I am drinking this one early in it's usable life. The alcohol and astringency are very tame for a beer of this stature. As it warms, more buttery caramel and diacetyls emerge to add a little sweetness to this roasty beast.

In the flavor, earthy bitterness lingers from start to finish. A fleeting burst of sweetness, maybe ripe fruit, comes and goes. It's the dark unsweetened chocolate and coffee qualities that create the intensely dry roasty character that completely defines the beer.

The dry hoppy bitterness, teamed with the dark roasted malt, leaves the palette like the desert wanting the rain. The beer demands to be drank swiftly, even if the gloriously thick body makes you think twice. The carbonation is pretty assertive, keeping it very crisp beginning to end.

Considering the availability and price of this, I'm really hard pressed to imagine there's a better stout out there. If you like them bold, bitter, and dry... drink the 4 pack and light a cop car on fire.

 1,498 characters

Photo of sisuspeed
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pulling out an old favorite to review tonight.

Poured into a Foothills signature glass. Nice black body with a thin tan head on top. Gentle lacing down the glass.

Dark roasted malts on the nose mixed with anise, chocolate and a touch of alcohol. Big, roasty, sweet aroma.

Ah yes... this is the flavor that turned me onto Russian Imperials. Lots of roasted dark malt, sweet chocolate notes, anise and hints of wood. Alcohol is faintly noted, but mostly just adds some warming.

For a fairly mass produced RIS, North Coast has done a great job of keeping the body decently thick, smooth and velvety, just like an RIS should be. Carbonation is on the lower side, which is perfect for the style.

Drinkability is very good. This is an excellent RIS for the beginner or the stout connoisseur. Lots of flavor, but very smooth. Alcohol is fairly well hidden. Always a pleasure to drink.

Overall, I've had this beer many times and every time it's excellent. Not only is this RIS well crafted, but North Coast has the quality control down pat. Never a bad bottle. Even with the large surge in new RIS's and special release RIS's hitting the market, Rasputin still manages to hold it's own; and for the price it is often a better beer. Old Raspy will always be a classic. Never say die.

 1,280 characters

Photo of iemailjack
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of maDUECEgunner
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of happygnome
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: pours a deep dark black color with about a quarter inch of toffee tan head that doesnt dissapear but leaves a good amount of lacing around the edge of the glass as the level of beer in the glass falls with every sip.
s: roasted malts, sweet cocoa aroma mixed with a strong coffe smell. there is a subtle hint of alcohol in the nose
t: strong flavor of roasted malts, cocoa flavor is storong as is the coffee flavor. hints of alcohol can be detected in the flavor
m: full bodied beer with little carbonatoin

overall, wow i loved this, if it wasnt so expensive (about $2.50/bottle i believe) id have it in my fridge more often deffinatly a very solid brew

 658 characters

Photo of damienblack
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick and black, your standard RIS appearance with a consistency like chocolate syrup. Nice little tan head with good retention. Has that cocoa powder smell, with the idea that "you are about to get your ass whooped by a huge stout." We'll see if that holds true.

First impression: someone robbed a tin of 90% cocoa powder and poured it in here. It's like the superconcentrated intense chocolate experience of Weyerbacher XIII, except I don't have to choke it down. A little hop presence to balance out the chocolate/coffee, and that's it. Nice and coating without being overly cloying, and no crappy aftertaste to speak of, which is quite a feat when you consider the ABV and intense flavors. A great sessionable RIS.

 725 characters

Photo of megahurts4
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

North Coast Brewing Co. Old Rasputin

Appearance: Dark and black, huge head, lots of lacing

Smell: floral hops, coffee, slight chocolate

Taste: very malty, floral hops, and a prominent coffee and chocolate finish

Mouthfeel: Heavy with a slight bitter finish

Bottom line:
A great stout. Smooth and not overbearing in the slightest.

 334 characters

Photo of 21Maestro8
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of HuntDaddy540
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of HippieDave56
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've got to say, nitro-tap really changes this beast.

This is probably the most intense, thick, beautiful looking Nitro pour I've ever had the pleasure of gazing at. Dark blackness with effervescence of the gods fueling a truly never-ending frosting-like cap. The curtains of lacing are epic.

Aroma, as some nitro tends toward, leaves a bit to be desired. vanilla, rich malt, cocoa nibs. mild, creamy, not bad.

Taste is surprising... heavily roasty, charred coffee, and an impressive hop presence. Nitro really adds a stunning depth to this luscious brew. possibly it's fresher - thus a bit hoppier - than I'm used to, but this has a stunning hop presence that really transforms this from what I'm used to into something ephemeral. I'm missing the leather, smoke, peat and rich chocolate, but it's been pleasantly replaced with piney, resinous and bright hops. Digging it.

Mouth is solid, with ample carbonation from the nitro, yet it retains some of that old rasputininess. thick, a bit viscous, and touch of syrup, and some lingering bitterness. Lovely.

All in all, nitro has done some interesting things to one of my old standbys. The hops are definitely accentuated, turning this into a surprisingly rounded and balanced RIS. Which I like... although i almost miss the heavy coffee, chocolate, and rich malt that i'm used to.

 1,334 characters

Photo of cowboy83
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of bconsidine
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of tyleeis
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of JxExM
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of DrewShalvoy
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of LennyBound
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

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

Photo of Atlas1
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love me some Old Rasputin.

Poured into a belgian snifter glass, this beer is pitch black with a thick, light brown head on top. Good foam retention and lace. The nose is dense with strong caramel, licorice, coffee, chocolate, molasses, dark cherries, candied sugar, fig and other assorted fruits. Very complex interlay of malt and hops, although the hops take a back seat in the aroma. The taste is rich and satisfying, but also well-balanced. Coffee is heavy, as is a chocolate/cherry flavor up front in the mouth. Good lingering coffee bitterness at the end. Dry finish in the mouthfeel really rounds things out nicely.

A readily drinkable imperial Russian stout. And, given the fact that it's accessible in most major markets around the country, it's even more appealing. Totally accessible for beer geeks and neophytes alike in my opinion. A great intro to the style, and a wonderful example of what all imperial stouts should strive for.

 944 characters

Photo of theboozecruise
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. Dark chocolatey brown color with a tan head that lingered. very nice.

The aroma is a dominant malty chocolate. Delicious.

The taste follows through on the aroma. A little bit muted though... I wish more malty chocolate flavors came through.

At 9% I wouldn't WANT to drink a lot of these in one sitting, but it's good enough to.

 386 characters

Photo of perrymarcus
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[review from notes taken 09/17/10]

on tap @ deep ellum, allston (boston) MA.

appearance is a dark, opaque brown/borderline black w/ a solid two-finger mocha-toned head. nice retention and lacing. great looking stout.

aroma is heavy with roasted malts; notes of coffee and chocolate as well, with the slightest suggestion of hops. nose is substantiated by the flavor profile with the roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee pulling through in that order. again, very faint but perceptible hop presence. tasty brew, easily an upper tier RIS, though IMO doesn't quite distinguish itself enough to rival the best of the best.

smooth, velvety moutfeel; moderately carbed. decent drinkability, as far as russian imperial stouts go. you won't find a better beer for your money.

 772 characters

Photo of samibr
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of seand
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large stemless red wine glass.

Appearance: Pours solid very dark brown, maybe black. Two finger tan head, which disappears leaving a thin film on the top. Good lacing.

Smell: Sweet, complex but not overpowering. Hints of french vanilla coffee.

Taste: Taste is subtle and complex, hiding the alcohol well. Somewhat sweet, with mild but detectable hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Great, light carbonation, a little bit of stickiness, definitely complements the taste.

Drinkability: Goes down easy, but the high ABV means you don't want to go through too many.

My first Russian Imperial Stout, and I will be trying more of the style.

 640 characters

Photo of MarcWP
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,330 ratings
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