jollyraider (252) - Los Angeles, California, USA - SEP 9, 2006
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Rather dissapointing for an imperial stout. Body was quite thin, looking and tasting more like a brown. Just about the only imperial stout indicator was the too-strong alcohol punch. Perhaps this one had too much shelf time.
sudomorph (838) - Barrie, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 20, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
05/21/14 bottle. Pours black with a one finger, tan head that thins to a film but hugs the glass. Aroma has big, rich notes of roasted malts, dark chocolate, a hint of coffee, caramel, dark fruits, and a faint hop presence. Taste is a bold bitter with lots of coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits, caramel, toffee, hint of hop resin, pine, and citrus, then a drawn out, espresso/dark chocolate bitterness at the end. Full body with a low-medium carbonation. Thick and creamy, but still not cloying, in the mouth with a subtle carbonation and dry finish. Overall spectacular. Not sure if I am just in the mood or what but this is awesome. Lots of roasted malts, dark chocolate, caramel, dark fruits, and a touch of hops. Very excellent!
knights97 (109) - Tennessee, USA - MAY 18, 2015
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This beer is so smooth. I love the big brown foam head to it that goes with the black motor look of a body. Itís a big body beer that is smooth that goes down, has a nice little smoked taste to it and will leave you a nice after taste. It is very well balanced between the smoked flavor, the smooth feel to it and such a good amount of malt. Definitely a beer I will buy again.
maledictum (699) - Pyongyang, NORTH KOREA - MAY 17, 2015
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very nice burnt malt and chocolate on the nose. Nice black color with creamy off white head from the nitro. To taste, more malty flavors throughout, fantastic stout. Lingers nice on the palate.
Chad9976 (1353) - Albany, New York, USA - MAY 16, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
I first tried North Coast Brewingís flagship beer ďOld RasputinĒ back in 2011 and I enjoyed it immensely (so much so that I included it in my book Ė The Handbook of Porters & Stouts). I had not had it much in the years since; maybe just a short pour if I found it on draught. I was actually vying for a job with this brewery and they liked me so much they flew me out to Northern California for an in-person interview and gave me a complimentary 4-pack right off the bottling line. I was told this beer is only intended to be served on nitrogen when on tap. I drank it as such at their adjacent taproom and itís nearly a different beer as itís rich, sweet and chocolaty. I think the draught version deserves its own review, but for now Iím content to give the standard bottle a re-review since itís so fresh. It really is a different beer as itís quite hoppy and bitter Ė maybe a little too much so, actually. Regardless, this is still an excellent imperial stout and it deserves its place in the annals of beer culture and history.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a snifter. It was bottled on 5/7/15.
Appearance: Inky opaque black body; nothing visible within. Pours to a large, brown, frothy head which retains and laces tremendously.
Smell: Quite hoppy for a stout (general floral/citrus aroma). Strong chocolate presence as well. Alcohol is noticeable.
Taste: Believe it or not, the first thing I taste here is hops. I suppose thatís understandable considering the bottle was so fresh and the beer is quite hoppy and bitter at 75 IBUs. Slightly citrusy/flowery hops help to balance out the strong malt base of the brew. When fresh, this beer is not extraordinarily sweet, though itís noticeably sweet. Dark malts impart slight chocolate notes through the middle (bittersweet dark chocolate to be specific, though the nitro draught version is almost like pure milk chocolate). The deeply roasted malts are prominent throughout the backend Ė accentuating the bitterness of the palate, but changing it from hops to that of burnt toast. Some alcohol lingers in the background; not doing much for flavor other than imparting some dryness. I could see a barrel-aged version accentuating the base palette perfectly (there is such an edition, but Iíve yet to try it).
Drinkability: At 9% ABV, Old Rasputin is definitely a big beer by anyoneís standards. That being said, itís not a beast of one. The mouthfeel is thick and full-bodied for sure, but not chewy, sticky or cloying. The strong hoppy presence cleanses the palate and leaves a slightly dry aftertaste. I detect minor warmth from the alcohol, but itís in no way distracting or intimidating. Few beers this big sit this well on the system. A great brew to enjoy on its own.
Cousin_Larry (496) - - MAY 15, 2015
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Produced in the tradition of 18th Century English brewers who supplied the court of Russiaís Catherine the Great, Old Rasputin seems to develop a cult following wherever it goes. Itís a rich, intense brew with big complex flavors and a warming finish.
BroadestTom (91) - - MAY 13, 2015
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma chocolate, caramel, bread, roasty, vanilla,
Appearance brown, black, frothy, tan foam, brown foam,
Taste medium sweetness, medium bitterness,
Palate full body, thick feel, long finish, bitter,
Overall a great imperial stout that I would suggest to a friend
venom666 (521) - Elche, SPAIN - MAY 11, 2015
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pitch black color with medium beige head. Aroma has lots amounts of licorice, dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Medium to full body. Intense flavour, great balance between roastiness and sweetness, with dark chocolate, caramel, coffee beans, sugary and locorice hints. Ashy and bitter, with brown sugar aftertaste.
mintzmeet (314) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAY 10, 2015
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Well, clearly dark as shit. Smells chocolatey. Ooh tastes quite chafey. Still delicious. Roasted malts off tha Aaaa.
bigda83 (368) - Jamestown, New York, USA - MAY 8, 2015
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a jet black with a bubbly tan head. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and smoke. Flavor was roastiness, coffee, dark chocolate, smoked wood. A full body with a creamy texture. Bitter coffee to finish. Took me a while to try this even though readily available. Solid imperial stout and bonus being year round and easy to find.
spatenfan (47) - Wisconsin, USA - MAY 5, 2015
3.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured from a 12 oz bottle.
Aroma is metallic with a hint of dark roast.
Appearance is jet black with a nice two finger off white head that sticks around.
Taste is typical to an RIS with heavy roastiness. A little too bitter on the back end for my tastes.
Definitely a slick creaminess on the palate.