Home > Imperial Stout, Stout > Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout (294 of 1001)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout (294 of 1001)

Rating: 4.05

My first beer from California based North Coast Brewing now, this one is a bottle of their famous Russian imperial stout that I picked up roughly (I think) about a year ago from the Good Spirits Co. bottle shop in Glasgow and having been saving ever since. Originally released on-tap back in 1995 before being bottled a year later, the beer is named after the famed Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin, a man whose portrait also features on the beers label. The beer itself is currently the most frequently rated beer on the BeerAdvocate website and is also the 22nd most highly rated on the site so I can only assume this one is going to be an excellent brew. In addition to this flagship offering, North Coast also release an annual ‘Old Rasputin X’ beer that was originally released in 2006 to celebrate ten years of the beer, this version is aged for the best part of a year in bourbon barrels and comes in at a slightly higher abv. as well.

Old Rasputin

Appearance (5/5): Pitch, opaque black and topped with a surprisingly good head for the abv. of this one, it sits at about half a centimetre tall and is a foamy, light tan colour. The head also has fairly good retention, sitting at its initial height for about a minute before fading to a fine surface lacing with a little more build up around the edges.
Aroma (8/10): A strong, very typical Russian imperial stout type aroma straight off the bat with this one that has a lot of chocolate coming through alongside quite a rich, slightly sweet aroma. There is some vanilla coming through with some dark, ripe fruits too and a touch of sugar. A few roasted malts and some hints of coffee start to make an appearance towards the end but it is the chocolate that dominates from the outset but the beer isn’t the most overly pronounced on the nose.
Taste (7/10): Strong chocolate flavours with a coffee backing and some sweetness but not quite as much as there was with the nose. There is some dark fruits with currants, raisin and dates all featuring with a touches of alcohol coming through as well. The beer is definitely a strong one with some roasted malts and bitterness at the tail end of things.
Palate (4/5): Smooth with a medium body and a moderate amount of alcohol coming through. The beer is lightly carbonated and has hints of both sweetness and bitterness coming through, the sweetness initially stronger but it starts to fade after some time.

Overall (15/20): This one was definitely a very nice imperial stout from North Coast but at the same time it wasn’t one that managed to blow me away or indeed to live up to the heights of some of the other American brewed imperial stouts that I’ve tried over the last few months. The beer was highly drinkable despite the strength, although some alcohol was noticeable throughout; an enjoyable beer but just not my favourite of the style.

Brewed In: Fort Bragg, California, United States of America
Brewery: North Coast Brewing Company
First Brewed: 1995
Type: Russian Imperial Stout
Abv: 9.0%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. (Glasgow)
Price: £5.50 (approx.)

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  1. December 21, 2015 at 11:19
  2. April 5, 2016 at 08:20
  3. September 29, 2016 at 08:28

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