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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.

8,369 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8369
Reviews: 3288
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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Ratings: 8,369 | Reviews: 3,288 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of guinness33

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this is one of the oddest reviews i'm probably ever gonna have to make, with my ratings all over the map, pretty much. this brew is made exceptionally well. it looks damn near perfect, with a dark as night pour and an awesome tan head that provides an equally awesome cascading effect. so far, a damn near perfect beer. smells of coffee, chocolate, roatsed malt with hints of fruitiness (raisins, perhaps?). nothing that blew me out of the water, but a good, solid smell nonetheless. the taste, while obviously appealing to most drinkers, just wasn't for me. i don't like coffee to begin withm and the coffee taste here simply overpowered all other tastes too much. the other dominant flavour here was the alcohol, which was surprising since the smell gave hardly any indication of, and at 8.9%, i figured it'd be all over the place with this one. it's a generally smooth brew overall, but i can't say that i'd be able to have any more than one at a time, and would probably only try this again on a rare occasion. i was surprisingly disappointed here...like i said, a well made brew, just not my cup of tea (or coffee, in this case).

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2003 23:48:35 | More by guinness33
Photo of grynder33


3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a beautiful dark color, a coffee chocolate aroma, initialy a smooth velvety feel in the mouth, but the CO2 started coming on strong. The first tastewas complex, fruit chocolate carmel, but then a big bitter alcohol taste started building in the back of my throat and became unpleasant. This is good stuff, but you probaly have to sip it slower than Scotch Whiskey

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2003 11:08:51 | More by grynder33
Photo of tjthresh


3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours and inky opaque black with a brown head that disapates to a ring. Molasses, smoke, bitter dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, chewing tobacco, spicey hops and alcohol in the nose. Prunes, very bitter, chocolate grit. Light smoke. Rather thin. Higher carbonation for the style. Slick and oily. Very good.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2006 17:07:03 | More by tjthresh
Photo of sstackho

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Four 12oz bottles for $9 from Bauer Wines in Boston. Pours black, with a good head. Very good lacing. Rich nose of malts and hops. First taste is strong and warm, but the main taste is hurt by what feels like too much alcohol, so it goes down hot - and I typically have no problem with big beers. Tangy flavour. Nice lingering hop and malt aftertaste. Overall, I'm not actually enjoying this one too much. I will let its brothers age.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2008 02:21:48 | More by sstackho
Photo of DavoleBomb


3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Used motor oil color, can't see through anything. Creamy head with average retention and lots of lacing.

3.5 S: Chocolately with hints of coffee and plenty of roasted malt. Some hop aroma too. However, aroma just isn't strong enough.

3.5 T: Big strong taste with is neither bad nor great. Bittersweet chocolate, espresso beans, and lots of roasted malt. Bitter aftertaste.

4.0 M: Medium heavy body. Right amount of carbonation, good for the style. Very smooth.

3.5 D: Not my favorite RIS, but worth a drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 17:34:08 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of pmccallum86


3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark brown/black color, almost like motor oil. Thick chocolate color head with great lacing and retention on the glass.

The smell is of rich chocolates, cocoa and coffee. Some alcohol is also present in the smell.

The taste is just like the smell very rich chocolate, like a liquid chocolate cream pie. Some toffee and caramel are also present with a warming smooth alcohol. Maybe a little light on the boldness of the flavors though.

Great mouthfeel, a thick and viscous full bodied beer. Creamy heavy texture on the tongue.

Quite a drinkable RIS, however I would prefer a little more boldness in the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2009 03:30:20 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of Lauthaha


3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer taster.

Appearance: Beer pours a cola-like color with just a touch more consistency than cola. Head is brown, very frothy and active. As it recedes, it leaves unpredictable thick-spiderweb lacing. It remains at about one-finger.

Smell: It smells like cologne...haha, what kind I couldn't tell ya. Some mellow espresso bean flavor is the focus here, with a touch of dark chocolate hidden within a mostly milk-chocolate zone. Crisp alcohol and gentle prune hide underneath all of the above.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer is slightly syrupy upon entry, and brings a gentle (almost citric?) sourness. As the carbonation works its magic, the chocolate and espresso make appearances, but everything is overshadowed by a biting alcoholic presence and lack of "stout-ness." Rinses generally clean, with more of the coffee bitterness in the aftertaste.

Overall: Slightly disappointed by this beer...I'm not a fan of sour, especially in an RIS...but the sourness doesn't completely destroy the taste. I'd rather have a Stone.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2011 01:30:32 | More by Lauthaha
Photo of davey101


3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz stubby bottle into a DFH siganture glass at fridge temp. Allowed to warm up for a while.

A - Deep black viscous body that let's zero light pass through. Awesome mocha head and lacing.

S - Bitter chocolate, vanilla and oak, roasted malts. Nothing spectacular.

T - Nice thick mouthfeel with some crisp carbonation. Chocolate and coffee notes with a smooth vanilla and malt finish. Some bitterness and alcohol warming.

O - This RIS is awesome at its price point, but it is fairly average compared to some of the big name stouts out there, despite their high cost.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 00:42:06 | More by davey101
Photo of falloutsnow


3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Rasputin is an enjoyable RIS with an apparent emphasis on roasted malt, giving this beer roasted and charred flavors with prune-like sweetness and hints of cocoa beans and roasted coffee beans. Unfortunately, the ethanol is able to bleed through somewhat substantially, and while the roasted malt and chocolate flavors are substantial, they're not as overwhelming as in, say, Odin's Tipple. The result, for me, is a beer with good aroma and taste, but unfortunately hurt by an easily detectable ethanol presence that detracts from these more interesting components. Good, but due to this imbalance, I'd say not in the upper echelon as it's currently ranked.

Pours a 2cm head of dark tan foam: the bubbles are small and compressed, giving this a very dense head. Retention is about average for the style, lasting only a minute or so as it fades to a thin cap of foam atop the body. Lacing is present, modest, a few Body is an opaque brown to black, with no visible carbonation.

Aroma primarily of roasted malt, with some dark prune-like sweetness, ethanol, and slight vanilla. Not as complex or huge of an aroma as I was hoping/expecting.

Taste is generally of roasted malt, unrefined cocoa nibs, prune-like sweetness and ethanol. Opens with prune and raisin-like sweetness on the front of the tongue, moving to a mid-palate of roasted malt, prune-like sweetness, strong ethanol, and hints of modest chocolate and coffee. Back of palate picks up ethanol and roasted malt, leading to an aftertaste of lingering roasted malt, minor dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans, and subdued ethanol. I really like the aftertaste of this beer and wish that the entire experience was as enjoyable.

Beer is medium-heavy to heavy in body weight, with medium levels of carbonation. The result is a beer with enough carbonation to slowly propel this across the palate in an appropriate fashion for an imperial stout. Ethanol heat and burn is definitely felt across the entire palate, but is less detracting here than elsewhere. Substantial stickiness across the palate after each sip.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2012 06:42:37 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of far333


3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This one's powerful, starting with the scary illustration of the Russian cleric himself on the label. Pours a deep brown color, with flashes of ruby where the light gets through. Head is an inch high, light brown, big and frothy. Rich aroma of chocolate, toasted malt, and alcohol. Bitter coffee flavor greets the tongue, followed by a strong alcohol finish. Not much room left for other flavors. I'm half way through the glass, and the head remains, accompanied by wavy lacing down the sides of the glass. Not for the faint of heart.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2003 09:09:18 | More by far333
Photo of GreatPondBrewer


3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aged a year, served at just above cellar temp.

Poured a wonderful dark opaque brown with a tan head that had patchy lace all over the sides of my brand new 3 phils chalice. Smell was very sweet with huge molassas and brown sugar and some figish ester notes. Smelled similar to the brooklyn black chocolate. The taste was very dry and chalky with a slight metallic twang and bitter chocolate notes. There was little hops present, which surprised me coming from a west coast creation. Aftertaste left a sweet, dry red wine effect and a distinct roasted grain taste. Very minimal carbonation with small bubbles here and there. I would like to try a vertical to see how well this holds up. Not a bad Imperial, but I have had much better.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2003 23:02:26 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of MrSeth


3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

App: pours with spots of carbonated activity which finally forms a cream-coffee colored head. It settles quickly and leaves just a thin ring of suds around the glass. The body is an opaque black, except for the faintest hints of brown highlight at the edges.

Sm: pure cocoa powder, Van Leer chocolate, rich and earthy Tamari soy.

Ta: a full malt start, smooth texture while those toasty malt flavors become a bit bitter at the end. Not amazingly complex, but not boring either. The malty and bitter flavors take a little getting used to before the balance of this stout can really be appreciated. The malt hides at first and the hops stick out, in the end it works well and is very enjoyable.

Mf: Heavy, smooth, well carbonated despite the appearance of being flat.

Da: The bitter, somewhat sticky finish takes away some degree of the drinkability for me. I love stouts and a nice long finish is always welcome, but here it is a bit exagerated.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2006 04:05:52 | More by MrSeth
Photo of MusicmanSD


3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Oh my god, you cant even see through it! Now this is a stout! First taste was like an uber concentrated form of Guinness Extra. Bitter as f$#^! In fact, I felt the effects of the alcohol about three sips into it. Then it hit my yacking mechanism.

I couldn't even finish it halfway. God I feel like a prick. Wasted such a good beer on a drain pour, but it was just undrinkable to the max. Overwhelming flavors topped with alcohol that seemed like there was 5 shots of rum in it. Maybe I'm not ready for a real beer, or the other beers I had earlier in the day maxed out my consumption for the day. I'll start with this next time because it was just beautiful beer. Darkest I've ever seen with a head that filled a hefe glass with just a 12 oz bottle. Suprised that the lacing wasn't that heavy. Very well done on the appearance, but drinkability? Horrid. Don't get me wrong, the taste is awesome in about 200 different ways, but blah! Feels like you have to choke it down, and that makes it completely un-enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2006 05:55:22 | More by MusicmanSD
Photo of SQNfan


3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color the beer poured a 1" thick light brown head that dissipated slowly (and never completely). The nose had scents of roasted coffee, raisins and bitter chocolate. The palate was concentrated though light on its feet. While nice, similar to the nose, the palate was fairly simple. It did build nicely from the front palate into the midpalate and then lingered with a bitter chocolate flavor. Overall, it was very nice though rather simple.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2008 20:20:04 | More by SQNfan
Photo of sfprint


3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Very dark, but not as dark as other Imperial Stouts I've seen. Almost a centimeter of head, cola colored, with teeny trails of bubbles scurrying to the surface. If looking at the thinner parts of the body, it's reddish brown.

S: Although the alcohol is one of the first things that hits the nose, it does so in sort of a soft way.

T: semi bitter coffee, tobacco, alcohol. There are also some grassy, hay like notes in a pleasant way. I would find it more pleasant with less alcohol or less of an alcohol flavor.

M: Smooth with a medium body, but the alcohol doesn't leave the most pleasant of mouth sensations.

D: Relatively heavy, I couldn't have more than 1 or two. It goes down ok for a high alcohol beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2010 07:05:00 | More by sfprint
Photo of nomad


3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out just about black with light tan head that doesn't amount to much. Real rocky and frothy lace that dies fairly fast and eventually turns into a nothing of a lace. For the nosey stuff, it had an interesting turn on the common imperial stout nut scent, a lighter but more complex type of nut. Real bright fruitiness to the nose, has a citrusy kind zing to it from the very high level of hops.

As for taste, there was an almost salty type of hop bitterness with a long and multi-leveled finish: started with a quick bitterness, then turned to a fruity hoppiness which then mixed with the roasted malt flavor, and lastly it all evened out and washed over the majority of my palate. Fairly thin mouthfeel.

Overall, an overly hoppy version of the Imperial Stout. The more it opened the more malt attempted to balance the strong hops, but in the end the sharp onslaught of hoppy bitter, fruit, and salt won out. I love me a hoppy IPA, but in my opinion an Imperial should not stray too far from its malty base.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2003 15:21:01 | More by nomad
Photo of marcobrau


3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a small goblet with minimal foaming. Opaque in color. Aroma of espresso. Starts with intense coffee and chocolate flavors, then more chocolate, almost burnt chocolate until a long bitter finish laced with alcohol. Mouthfeel and body are almost similar to a fuller bodied wine such as a cabernet. The most memorable character of this beer is its profound bitterness in the finish. I've had this on tap before and I think I enjoyed more off a tap than out of the bottle. It went especially well with some Mississippi Mudcake. On its own, and out of the bottle, it comes across as a bitter strong stout and bit brash. Still, a damn fine stout.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2004 01:56:02 | More by marcobrau
Photo of Goldorak

Quebec (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled 11aug2004 (thanks Beersignal)

Pours down black, with a of hint of red when you place it against the light in just the right way. Small tan head, a little bit of a cascade as it poured down.

Smells alcoholic, with a definate sweetness I couldn't quite pinpoint.
Strawberries? Sort of. Bubblegum? Maybe.

The alcohol is very present in the mouth, and stays with you, which is great in the dead of winter, not so much in August. The drinkability would have gained a solid point if I just got back from a few hours of pond hockey or x-country skiing, but would have lost a point if I didn't have air conditioning.
As it warms a little the toasted malts take a bit more space, but not much. I didn't detect much coffee in this one, which is a great change of pace for this style.

If I ever get my hands on another one of these, I'll definately slap a "do not open before x-mas" sticker on it.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2004 23:17:26 | More by Goldorak
Photo of wailingwench

New Mexico

3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eye Candy: Jet black with garnett edges.Creamy tan 1 finger head. Thick and dark.

The Nose Knows: Dark bitter expresso mixed with bitter chocolate. Dark fruit finish. Slight aromatic alcohol.

Tongueland: Slight black licorice that gives way to bitter chocolate mixed with burnt dark fruit and oily hop finish. Nothing underlying, begging to come out. Thinner than expected and too fizzy. Lacks thick and chewy stout character.

Bender Factor: Not as I expected. This has had some rave reviews.Perhaps cellaring would improve this.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2004 03:26:52 | More by wailingwench
Photo of rsyberg01


3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

S - Served from a 12 oz. bottle. Poured into a room temp pint. Didnt look for a best by date.

A - Black with deep garnet twinges at the edges.

S - Fruitiness with slight malts. A green beer that would do well with some sit down time. Caramel twinges that were underage. A supreme classic with a few years under its belt, but right now it is quite young.

T - Didnt quite balance out. The caramel and the bitterness clashed, but not in a significant way. Both were gentle but didnt agree with eachother. Like I said, let this hang out for a year or two.

M - A little rough, carbonation was out of wack with the gravity of the beer. All would be resolved with some time to work things out.

D - Now: Easy to drink, definitely recommended if you are at a bar that serves it. Later: It will be like drinking thinned out fruity, chocolatey, roasted coffee infused caramel, which I personally would thoroughly enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2006 05:55:20 | More by rsyberg01
Photo of Gouldsby


3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a dogfish head snifter out of a 12 oz bottle. one of the best cali bang for the bucks out there at $6.99 for a 4 pack...

refrigerator cold...too cold.
A: pours dark, not inky black dark but dark brown black opaque, like the coat of a wombat. small bubbles thicken but recede to ring the brown black, leaving a modest lace of mocha.

S: immediately briny hops and slight molasses hiding behind a strong co2 release. [poured very cold] as it warms, espresso and herbally bitter notes, fernet and echinacea with a suggestion of prune, and faint molasses edging in shyly.

T: immediately bitter in the mouth, receding to strong roast burnt espresso, astringent charcoal bitterness, barely a suggestion of the fruits hinted at in the nose. this is an overwhelmingly dry and earthy, bitter herbal stout. slight acidity strikes in a flash as the bitterness subsides, finishing dry fading into alcohol warmth late suggestive of melted bitter chocolate.

M: medium full mouthfeel, balanced with a medium carbonation, high for a stout of this gravity, leaves with bitter astringent dryness that mellows.

D: this is one of my go-to's, good punch and hits the hop craving in the back of my toungue. for a stout, it's lacking the robustness and dynamic layers of malt fruits that balance a beer this intensely hoppy, roasted and alcoholic. it's not inherently drinkable, but does play an enjoyable foil to a night of IPA.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 07:26:45 | More by Gouldsby
Photo of philbe311


3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Thick tary pour... Slick black... Foamy brown cloud like head...

S - A lot of scents at first, all equally strong... Coffee... Chocolate... Licroise... Leather... Very potent aroma...

T - Dark chocolate... Smokey... Hops... Peanutes... Coffee... Very strong... Too much going on... Heavy alcolhol kick on the back end...

M - Strong and aggressive... Oily texture...

D - Nothing sublte about this stout... Overwhelming to the senses... A little to aggressive for my liking...

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2008 18:00:24 | More by philbe311
Photo of cvfish


3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a very dark black, that produced a tan head that retained well and left a nice lace around the glass

S - Licorce, some roasted chocolate malts

T - Light taste of roasted chocolate malts, some more of raisins and licorce

M - Medium bodied, light carbonation

D - Alright RIS, body feels more like a Irish Dry to me though

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2008 01:49:26 | More by cvfish
Photo of Hopfenpeter


3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer is almost black in color and builds a sturdy head with staying power. A very attractive beer which is very inviting.

The smell is rich and strong and gives you a hint of what to expect from the aroma.

I could taste the feel of coffee,chocolate and banana under the cover of a strong bitterness which increased as longer the beer stayed in the mouth. Certainly a great stout, yet for my personal taste a little bit too strong in character.

After one beer I had enough and did not feel to have more, yet tasted one more anyways and remarkably the second beer tasted better, because I got used to the beers bite.

great stout

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 03:38:07 | More by Hopfenpeter
Photo of Beanmeister


3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my first beer I have reviewed on this site. Drank out of a pint glass

A - Rich dark brow (almost black) with a mild brow head

S - The hops stood out the most

T - This was not the most complex stout I have ever had yet the flavor match the I would consider this RIS to have more of a hop character than other RIS

M - like it said on the bottle "worming finish" I couldn't put it any better myself

O - overall i thought this beer brewed well for its genera. I'm not going to go out and by cases of it but I wouldn't turn it down

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2011 21:01:43 | More by Beanmeister
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,369 ratings.