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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,384 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8384
Reviews: 3289
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%

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

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,384 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of vacax


3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Black with a mocha colored two finger head. Retention is up high and there is a good amount of lace as well. Looking in the bottle, it appears this is not bottle conditioned, and the head reflects this in terms of density.

Nose is full of cocoa, roasted malts, wine grapes, pear, and a dash of pepper. The smell is quite fruity and sweet, though the flavor is quite balanced in comparison. The initial taste is a mixture of chocolate and grape--not too sweet because the roast kicks in quickly on the midpalate to balance and neutralize the sweet qualities. Somewhat spicy as well, maybe a bit of leather in there, or perhaps shoe polish toward the end. Bitter roast on the finish with a chlorophyll tang and a final cookielike residual affect. Pretty good job of balanced sweet and roast flavors, though a few notes that were not completely harmonious in my book. Full bodied with a medium, slightly higher than average carbonation. Awkwardly sticky.

Given the fact I paid something like two bucks for a bottle of this instead of $6-10 for most other imperial stouts it is hard to find a leg to genuinely criticize the beer. It is good product for a more "every day" imperial stout. If I absolutely crave an imperial stout I could go for one of these, but it is not something I reach for much.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 01:44:32 | More by vacax
Photo of djaeon


3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has the typical dark pour of an RIS. Very dark brown to black in appearance. Pours with little head & has little retention or lacing.

Has the pleasant dark roast coffee/dark chocolate aroma that has become so familiar.

This seems to lose the coffee aroma when you take a sip. It gives way to the dark chocolate.

Has a pretty smooth mouthfeel, with the exception of some minor bitterness. Also, this has a bit of dryness to it.

Overall, very drinkable i think. I'd definitely have another.

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2010 01:29:55 | More by djaeon
Photo of Brew33


3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin poured into my Duvel tulip.

The apperance and aroma were spot on for the style. Pitch black. Scant, brown head. The aroma was good, roasted malts, some dark fruit.

The taste was underwhelming. Fairly boring actually. A good beer but not worthy of the praise IMO. Not a lot of complexity surprisingly. The mouthfeel was good and the drinkability good also. Alcohol is masked well.

Overall, a nice beer. Not in my top 10 RIS' but a steal at $7.99 a 4 pack. Hit's the style on the head but doesn't do anything outstanding. An average RIS.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2010 12:25:03 | More by Brew33
Photo of PintOHops


3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Glass - Snifter

A - Black color with a bit of brown when held to light. Produced a 1-finger head that quickly dissipated to a thin tan ring. No lacing here, a spot & a splash is about it.

S - Raisins, dates, grape & plum fruity notes when swirled. A bit of licorice with some mild charcoal and roasted notes. Dark chocolate as well with a touch of alcohol as well.

T - Lots of charcoal & a bit alcohol burn upfront, rich dark chocolate flavors follow, not as complex as I expected. This beer finishes with pronounced alcoholic flavor & burn, from the tongue all the way down the throat! A bit more roasted & chocolaty flavors are there when it warmed, big dark chocolate flavors are dominate.

M - A bit slick and almost full bodied, allot thinner than I expected. Mild mild crispness on the tongue.

D - Well I might have a snifter or 2 after a long day. I did expect a bit more complexity for sure, I don't recommend drinking this straight out of the fridge because there's more flavors to enjoy when it's around room temp. Pretty good, not sure if I'd buy it again but I definitely recommend it. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2010 23:15:42 | More by PintOHops
Photo of AlexCorleone


3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Definitely black with a thin layer of delectable, malty chocolaty head that dissipates rather quickly, pooling slightly in the center of the glass and radiating outwards as the glass progresses.

S - Definitely vanilla dominates; coffee and chocolate follows, with heavily roasted malts, brown sugar, and alcohol undercurrents that sting the nose.

T - Again vanilla and coffee are protagonists, followed by dark chocolate. Roasted malts, finish rather bitter and alcoholic, with pleasing warmth.

M - Full-bodied and smoked feel.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2010 18:28:57 | More by AlexCorleone
Photo of wcintula

New York

3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip the head erupts to the top of the glass and ceases just before overflowing. Black body with a light coffee colored head. Smells of chocolate coffee and a nuttiness, very attractive nose. The taste brings more to the table with the aforementioned smells brought to the tongue with the addition of a prominent charcoal flavor which adds a nice character to the beer. More medium bodied, I'd like something slightly more viscous. Very good.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2010 15:50:34 | More by wcintula
Photo of CuriousMonk


3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into dimple glass. Pours a pitch black viscous with a thick chocolate head. Quite a bit of lacing. Aroma is of roast chocolate, coffee, licorice, dark fruits, and quite phenolic. Flavor is sweet chocolate, roast coffee, caramel, and phenols. Palate is full bodied viscous; extremely smooth. Finish is bittersweet chocolate and a little too phenolic. I can't say it's my favorite RIS.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 17:14:47 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of iamheasyouareme


3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - deep brown-black, caramel head, viscous webbing

Smell - burnt malts

Taste - pure roasted malts, not much else. A strong alcohol flavor is balanced well with the burnt malts. If you look for it, you can also notice some espresso notes. Otherwise, this beer is very straightforward.

Mouthfeel - Surprisingly smooth. A slight astringency, reminiscent of a Sangiovese wine. I enjoyed the lighter body, which is not too common in this style.

Overall - Well, I had heard so many friends call this one a "classic" brew. It didn't quite live up to the hype. It's just a well done, albeit basic, RIS. Probably a good candidate for introducing a greenhorn to this style. The smokiness and drinkability might make me reach for it again on occasion, especially to warm up with during the winter months. It makes me think about starting to smoke cigars for some reason...

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 02:58:39 | More by iamheasyouareme
Photo of chocosushi


3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz->Hoegaarden Hexagon
A ~ Pours black with a tall cap of mocha-foam head that rises half in inch out of the glass, decending ever so slowly. Impressing structure & retention.

S ~ Earthy hops, tree resins, roasted malt, cocoa powder, with
a little note on the back reminiscent of Raisinettes.

T ~ Mmmm rich charred malts with a rich backbone of American hops lending gentle tropical fruit & resin notes. Burnt wood, french-roast coffee grounds, black pepper, & charred veggies throughout.

M ~ Bold & roasty/ashy in terms of maltyness. Easy drinking for 9 percent. Feels better on the palette as it warms up. Great balance.

D ~ A solid stout for a very reasonable price. I could see this moving into six pack over the next few years. Purchased often.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 01:10:41 | More by chocosushi
Photo of jwhancher


3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black with mocha colored head. The head is quite frothy and sudsy and seems like a soapy lather that coats the glass quite nice. Smells of pleasant chocolate and roasty notes. Some toffee, maybe some burnt caramel aromas. A bit like black licorice. Tastes dense and thick. Lots of roasty and burnt flavors, almost charred character, are present. Feels heavy and somewhat acrid. Alcohol warmth is present in each sip. Okay tasting RIS yet a bit too much coffee burn and hot alcohol. Don't get much hop
character as they're overpowered by the roasty notes. I think this one smells and looks much better than it tastes and feels. Personally, I think there's better RIS on the market. Glad to have tried it though. A fine beer to try and sample.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 03:40:46 | More by jwhancher
Photo of dweideman

New Hampshire

3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a large frothy light-medium brown mostly lasting head. Aroma was extremely sweet – I detected dark cherry, ripened banana and a slight hint of citrus. Initially a light sweet taste with lively carbonation followed by moderate bitterness. The roasted malts really came through late in the finish with dark chocolate the predominant flavor. I really enjoyed the different aromas of this offering.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2006 02:44:14 | More by dweideman
Photo of wiseguy142

New York

3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black, oily with a rocky/creamy mocha head. Lacing actually looks like lace.. weird connection. Lookin pretty good so far.

Aroma is fruity and sweet.. slight touch of alcohol. Lacking in roasted grain aroma. A little vanilla and cream. Could be stronger, or the beer could be a little cold.

Taste has a pleasant chocolate flavor with a very slight alcohol bite. Dry in the finish, like a good porter. Malt and alcohol sort of stick to your tongue. Freshly roasted coffee towards the end. As it warms up a little more balanced milky sweetness and bitterness from the roasted malt comes through which is nice. All is a little subdued though, was looking for something a little more flashy.

Pretty light mouthfeel. Rush of carbonation towards the end of the sip. Disappointing, should be thicker.

This beer's got some good flavors but some of them need to be more pronounced. I would even scale this back a bit and up the body and it'd be a great porter.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2009 05:48:26 | More by wiseguy142
Photo of huguey


3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Rare Vos glass.

Small, quickly dissapating head.

A: Black Black Black. It's a stout.

S: Call me crazy, but I smell pepperoni. Slight oilyness, saltyness, alcohol. None of this in a bad way.

T: Malt leads to smoke leads to hops. Bitterness charcteristically hoppy

M: No lingering oil, makes the bitter mouthfeel at the back of the drink go away soon.

D: Good beer, not exceptional. I had one and it certainly didn't stand on it's own.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 23:03:39 | More by huguey
Photo of Grunewald

British Columbia (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet. It pours black with a thick brown head.

S - dark chocolate, coffee beans

T - tart chocolate covered coffee beans and a hint of medicinal cherry

M - low carbonation, thick and smooth with a chalky finish

D - very heavy. Having just one of these to sip is good enough for me. The astringent cherry taste can be a bit strong at times and can carry into the finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2009 06:59:25 | More by Grunewald
Photo of joeland


3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: a thick looking black color almost a hint of purple. it has a tan one finger head that leaves a thick lacing

S: a vert sweet smell you get a choclate and hints of alchol

T: it starts with a bitter sweet taste and ends with a very dry sweet choclate taste.

M: a very thick body that sticks around for awhile with medium carbnation.

D: a very thick filling beer that i'm set with just one or two of these.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2010 20:18:11 | More by joeland
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with four fingers of tan head that recedes into a thin ring with a little lacing.

S: Lots of bitter, roasted malts up front with some orange/citrusy notes from the hops. There are notes of creamy chocolate in there as well.

T: Lots and lots of roasted malts here with notes of dark, bitter chocolate and coffee. The hops provide some extra bitterness towards the finish and there is a decent alcohol burn. The bitterness lingers around after the finish.

M: Thick body with medium carbonation that accentuates the bitter notes of this beer.

O: Overall, a solid imperial stout and a nice value for its price. It's lacking in complexity, though, with the roasted malts and hops creating a bitterness that masks any subtleties.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 02:00:28 | More by n2185
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black as the night with a large, light tan head.
Nose is very rich with sweet chocolate, berries, cinnamon and a fair whack of grapefruit-like hops and woody characters.
Very similar flavours, lots more hops with grapefruit and resinous characters. Underneath is roasty malt, treacle and booze. Lots of booze. A bit too full on.
Carbonation could be a little bit higher. Body feels nicely syrupy.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 01:51:11 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of kojevergas


3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown glass bottle served into a generic pilsner glass in low altitude Orange, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a three finger head of wonderful cream, great thickness, and amazing retention for the ABV. Solid black colour.

Sm: Cream, caramel, and light chocolate. A mild strength aroma.

T: Lovely cream, caramel, and light chocolate. Simplistic, but pleasant and nicely built. Decently balanced.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and creamy. Suits the flavours of the body.

Dr: Very drinkable for its high ABV, but the alcohol is noticeable to its detriment. It's a high quality brew that I quite fancy, and I'd love to try it on draught, but it's not without its flaws.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 06:06:08 | More by kojevergas
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

well hidden alcohol for an imperial. pours deep brown like dark chocolate and mildly carbonated with a mocha head only half an inch thick. smells imperial. strong, roasty, and complex. powerful taste just a little bitter from the roast. genuine russian imperial, probably the definitiion of the style, all grainy and boozey. yummm, but i coudnt drink the whole four pack, no chance

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 06:25:33 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Goblinmunkey7


3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Near black. Dark brown at edges when held to direct light. Head is dark tan and drops to a thin ring in short order. Nice notches of lacing. Pours heavy and viscous without looking syrupy.

Smell: Citrus rind and burnt malts. Super burnt. Roasty sweet with some solid char notes. Easily one of the hoppiest aromas I've encountered with the style. So many roasted malts. Alcohol is present and assertive. Old coffee and a slight cocoa finish.

Taste: Burnt malts. Roasted malts and then some. Old espresso and powdery cocoa. I swear it tastes like orange zest and chocolate malts. Hopped pretty heavily for the style. Burnt, char, and some lingering notes of tobacco. Sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than the pour would indicate. Solid carbonation keeps things lively and moving. Lacks the heavier mouthfeel I like to see in the style. It works for the flavor profile.

Overall: It's good, but it's not the best on the market for the money. Nice char notes and some hop notes make things interesting. Decent, but that's as far as it goes.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2012 00:54:35 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of iheartmyTHO


3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Overall, not one of my favorite stouts. I guess it's because I prefer my stouts to have more of a chocolate or coffee taste to them. The Old Rasputin Stout reminded me more of a stout mixed with a nice Belgian Ale. It's still tasty, and the high alcohol content will give you a nice buzz. But I just didn't care for the fruit / raisin notes.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 21:31:26 | More by iheartmyTHO
Photo of garymuchow


3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll state it from the outset (as I have before), I have problems with beers that move to the "cloying sweet" taste, and this one does. Maybe it'll be something I accomodate in time, but for now it's a distraction. However, it doesn't take away from many other fine attributes of this beer. Very good head considering the abv, with nice lacing almost to the end. Really nice red/mahogany color when held to the light. Nice complex flavor and aroma that leans toward caramel as much, if not more than, roasted malt. It's the heavy fruitness that moves towards excessive sweetness that I struggle with, but I'm working on appreciating it. Very well hopped leaving a very long dry finish. And as others have said, a well hidden alcohol content. Mouthfeel was just a tad thin. Somehow I'll manage to get through the rest of my bottles.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2002 05:47:40 | More by garymuchow
Photo of cooter

New York

3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hark, and hear an Ode to Ol' Rasputin:
With ye heavy roasted barley, that tastes just like rye
and clumpy, wispy, whipped-looping froth that I've never seen die,

Your bitter citrus hops are locked in battle for
flavor supremacy in an escalating war.

Chocolate! Coffee! Citrus and bitter and pungent and sour!

Tastes towering higher than Soviet nuclear stock
to show how much stonger they are than a bock!

I am kicked in the teeth
by the intensity you bequeath

So to ye I sing this ode,
for with the brew that you are,
warmth and hops and malt are never far,
and I have no fear of getting cold.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2005 19:19:40 | More by cooter
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Ruby-black, tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Fruity, sherry, slightly solventy.

T: Dark, burnt chocolate, molases, coffee and a little fruit. Balanced to the bitter side, but a nice depth of flavour.

M: Moderate to full body, moderate carbonation, slightly oily.

D: Maybe even a little below average.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2005 23:57:00 | More by Derek
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Andy's, couldn't resist a growlerfill this weekend.

Served in an oversize snifter between cellar and fridge temperature.

A- Flat... straight up dark brown, without a head at all. The thin rim that encircles the glass leaves behind minimal lacing, with windblown surface streaks which adorn the crown.

S- Rich, deep, molasses-soaked licorice and chocolate... pure and liquid, and very intense. Very strong... the forecast calls for inebriation, if we are not careful.

T- A chocolately, richly deep, molasses-and-malt driven experience, which detours into a nicely balanced hoppy bitterness. Drying, flowery, and complete, we come full circle from the initial dessert-like debut.

M/D- Too smooth for the ultimate in roundness... the sheer strength of this beer calls for some balance in the mouthfeel, but it simply fades into obscurity. Strong but watery, any inkling of carbonation is what's lacking. This beer is satisfying, yet I definitely prefer the bottled offering. Unless this growler went flat in one day, I suggest the widely available four-pack bottles.

Serving type: growler

02-13-2006 03:41:05 | More by yelterdow
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,384 ratings.