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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.

8,363 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8363
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,363 | Reviews: 3,288 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ibbjamin


3.38/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $7.99 for a 4 pack of 12 oz. bottles from BevMo in San Jose, CA. Poured one of the bottles into a snifter.

Quarter inch tan head. Somewhat fizzy, but does not seem too carbonated. The beer is black with minimal head retention. Some lacing.

Alcohol and a complex malt blend in the nose. Roasty and some chocolate.

Taste is of nicely roasted malts. Not as complex as the nose.

Mouth is more carbonated than I expected. Pleasant. Medium body and a bit thinner for a RIS.

A bit overrated IMO. There are better RISs than this.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2008 05:22:12 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of flooshmander


3.38/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The high alcohol content took a little away from it. I would have enjoyed this beer more at 7.00 abv. As for the particulars rated above: strong point is its look and smell. The alcohol is what equated to the taste & mouthfeel rating being lower than the olfactory.

I'd drink this with dessert in a small 6oz glass.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2013 07:15:03 | More by flooshmander
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

3.35/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Barely translucent dark brown with ruby-garnet highlights and a thick, frothy espresso crema head. Clean smelling aromas of chocolate and light roasted coffee; toasted grains and earthy piney hops. Dark coffee flavors predominate at first. Spicy pinecone hops mixed with an acidic vinous quality overtake during the middle. Bitter coffee finish, but hops ride it on through to the sour mineral aftertaste. Alcohol warms down the throat. Moderate body, a bit thin for the style, actually, and somewhat slick. Seems as if it could be dry, if the sour finish didn't get in the way. This acidity mellows somewhat at about mid-bottle. Much less interesting than I expected. Underwhelming, to say the least.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2006 03:59:17 | More by orfeu
Photo of dnichols


3.35/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into a mug.

A: The beer poured a creaamy and nearly black hue. Even back lit I could find not color other than black. An aggressive pour resulted in a massive sticky milk chocolate head of more than four fingers. The head receded leaving a beautiful tan lacing.

S: It smells of bitter dark chocolate, thick molasses, a hint of black licorice, and a deep smoky aroma that reminded me of my last campfire after I doused it with water.

T: It reminds me a a quad chocolate latte on the front end. That is folled by a rich bitter chocolate bite.Finally, there is a dry finish accented by a smoky sour flavor that lingers long after swallowing.

M: It was medium to full bodied. I didn't detect much carbonation but there was an alcohol drying in my mouth after swallowing and a a lingering bitterness that began pleasantly but developed into a sour taste that was not appealing.

D: I have yet to develop an appreciation for stouts. This one was enjoyable through the first half of the bottle then the bitterness got to me. A small 12 ounce serving is about enough for me.

Comment: For years I equated stouts with the bottles of Guinness my Irish friend would try to foist on me. Granted my palate was immature, but I never developed a taste. This stout was better than those lost to my memory but I did not enjoy it enough to become a regular stout consumer.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2007 05:01:57 | More by dnichols
Photo of ThreeDimesDown


3.35/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours deep black with no light shining through and a dark brown thin head that doesn't fade away, but clings to the glass until the last sip.

Aroma has dark fruit and dark cocoa. Roasted malts is the main attraction with a slight pine that smells more like the alcohol coming through.

The taste has some nice components working: espresso, dark chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malts. These flavors are well balanced but I'm thrown off by an astringent aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is oily, slightly creamy and full. Low carbonation is very pleasant.

I've been waiting to try this brew for a while and have to say I'm disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high, or the bottle needed to mellow a bit. Overall, the unbalanced alcohol taste and smell left me wishing I cellared the bottle. But will give this another chance.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2010 00:40:21 | More by ThreeDimesDown
Photo of JesteR14


3.35/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Very very dark brown. Coffee colored bubbles. even putting it to the light, nothing gets through this stout.

S- Its got a pretty good smell. Dark toasted malts, coffee, maybe a little bit of hops?

T- Exactly what i thought it was going to be. Very strong toasted malt flavor with a backing of coffee. I feel like i need to drink this first thing in the morning with an omelet (Not a bad idea..) Strong boozyness with this beer..It gets extra points for finishing sweet and sort of easy...

M- The favor of coffee just lasts overall in my mouth. Its strong and very robust.

D- not my favorite style, but a decent sipper.

Not my favorite style, but a well done beer none the less

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 05:31:44 | More by JesteR14
Photo of drewmprs


3.33/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First whiff was of chocolate coffee and alcohol. This was definitely a thinking man's beer, not one meant for chugging. I had it after a few erdinger's and it brought a welcome change to my palate. This beer is a bit too strong for me, I like my stouts a little smoother like rogue's shakespeare. Rasputin had a bit of a gamey taste to it, like uncooked rabbit and veal. It was a pleasure to drink this beer on tap, i like watching the bartender do the double pour. Bartender also told me this beer goes well as a half and half or black and tan mixer. I don't know about that, the complexity of this beer is unmatched, and i wouldn't want to sully it with Harp's or Bass.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2005 20:24:30 | More by drewmprs
Photo of Tbn2

New York

3.33/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

Eye Candy-Vary delicious looking. Black as used motor oil. Very rich brown head rises after hard pour and leaves plenty of lacing all the way to the last drop.

Nose Candy-Somewhat atypical of a stout smell with a rather big presence (for a stout IMO) of hops. Coffee and chocolate malts present and a good toasted grain flavor there as well.

Tongue Candy-Good and solid at the beginning. The coffee flavor hits you off the bat and sits well. At the end of the taste, an earthy flavor of hops comes out and fights against the malts. I wish there was a better balance here between hop and malt flavoring. Body seems a little light and a touch over-carbonated for my likes. I would still recommend this beer and look forward to trying other North Coast Brews...

Hooray Beer!

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2008 01:58:48 | More by Tbn2
Photo of gueuzer


3.33/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

App- Thick black pour. Dark tan had that climbs the glass.

Sm- Heavy roasted malts.

Ta- Dark roasted malts washed over by espresso. Lots of bittering hops. There is not much residual sweetness considering the style and ABV.

MF- Thick.

DR- The ABV is well hidden. Would be very drinkable, but the hops are so strong, it would be hard for me to have another one.

Overall, the hops kill too much of the other flavors going on in this beer. The other three beers in the four pack will be going down to the cellar for at least a year.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2010 05:20:11 | More by gueuzer
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Blind Tasting, thanks Ecrvich It pours very dark brown, definitely not opaque with an off-white film that sticks to the glass rather well. Aroma is assertively malty which shows as bubblegum, melon, milk and candy flavours. Hop profile is rather chalky, dry and alcohol is not particularly well hidden. Fruity palate with watermelon, pepper. This is a complex beer with a sweet side that I love, but I just can't get myself to appreciate this astringent, chalky and roasty sour hoppiness and very obvious alcohol. It just doesn't work with me. Medim bodied with rather intense carbonation. Another beer that doesn't measure up to my expectations which I start to guess are simply to high.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2004 18:38:08 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of jasonjlewis


3.3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a little overrated by other users IMO. I had not read any reviews on this beer before drinking it at the bar. It had a nice apperance. Everything else was decent and slightly above average. Nice chocolate maltiness, but the alcohol is too dominant and needs balance. It needs a little more hoppiness to it as well. This beer was ok, but I think I'd pass on it for a different RIS.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2006 06:42:53 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of biglite351


3.3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - dark as night with a brown head that leaves lacing.

S - heavy roasted malts with chocolate and coffee.

T - a little hop. Roasted malts with a little chocolate.

M - medium coating. Has a carbonated feel like a pop.

D - it is okay but only a couple.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2010 23:22:46 | More by biglite351
Photo of BeefyMee


3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks really good. It's got that classic black body and a head that sprang up out of nowhere to be the perfect size. I was interested by the aroma of this beer. It smells distinctly of cocoa, and I can't stress distinctly enough. I've never had a beer with the same smell. There's also some alcohol in the aroma. The taste was a little disappointing. The chocolatey aspect remained but was masked to some degree by the overt alcohol flavor. It was like some kind of strong chocolate liqueur. Still not a bad beer, it just need to settle down a bit.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2004 04:10:40 | More by BeefyMee
Photo of Overlord


3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Delicious, solid stout.

Pours a deep black, somewhat small, but long-lasting, whiteish head. It's a pretty beer, but that's the best thing about it.

Chocolate and coffee aroma flavors ... not as bitter as many stouts, though not as strong tasting either. Mouthfeel was a bit thin, but there was a touch of hops and more than a touch of roasty bitterness. Ugh. Too much roast, too acrid, not enough chocolate or sweetness to balance it.

A really overrated stout.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2007 04:34:05 | More by Overlord
Photo of charlesw

New York

3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A really deep, dark brown. Opaque, of course. Deep and dark foam and lasting lace.

Smells like wet loam with a hint of cedar. Caramel malts and mold (as part of the loam, eh?). Burned coffee.

Tastes like smoke flavor with some overly sweetened burned coffee thrown in.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2008 23:53:01 | More by charlesw
Photo of mortarit

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have had this beer before but never rated it. When I first sampled this beer I wasn't ready for it. I really didn't like it due to inexperience to the style. Now I have developed a taste and can be more understanding of the style.
So I went to browse the beer shelves and notice this one needed to be retried.

I like these stouts for their heads. They have big head on the pour but goes away fairly quickly, which is good. I really don't like heads for drinking only for show and appearance.
The color is dark and robust.
This one has a very sharp bite at first but disapates through the drink. Basically, the alcohol isn't hidden from the other ingredients.
I like the style but not fond of the particular one. I do think it reflects the style's representation.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2008 00:38:10 | More by mortarit
Photo of BarrytheBear


3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black and lacy, like lingerie

Emits an odd, though pleasant, bubble guminess with a smack of toffee

Paired with a sharp cheddar, I can't help but taste Bazooka Joe. Odd. Mild chocolate and Skor bars. Do they still make those?

Hides booze well. Sweet, drinkable, perplexing.

Just not a big fan of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2009 23:56:36 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Seany for this one.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance: Huge mocha head forms, very bubbly with a black body, Foam doesn't really seem to move much. Long drapes of foam.

Smell: Espresso beans, chocolate, straddles the sweet and bitter with some baker's chocolate shavings.

Taste: Rich, slight licorice, bitter sweet chocolate but then the over the top roasted coffee permeates the flavor. Too unbalanced to be properly enjoyed.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is prickly, body is a beast yet manageable but the finish is quite abrasive and bitter, almost bordering on astringent.

Overall: The unbalanced harshness is too much for my liking. Overshadows the other potential good flavors.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2012 02:24:08 | More by papat444
Photo of Opethsprite


3.25/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Beautiful brown that glistens with supple red highlights, but alas, the head is nonexistent. There is a scent of tart berries (blueberries and cranberries, I believe) and quite an array of hops on the nose. The alcohol is strong, but under it lies a serious chocolate scent with a twinge of licorice. The taste is LOADED with alcohol. Too much for my little tastebuds. The sweetness is still there under all of that alcohol and hops. But still. It's definitely not terribly offensive. Just....it tastes best at nearly room temp where the alcohol is more subdued.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2005 00:18:53 | More by Opethsprite
Photo of BlindPig


3.25/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It poured with a 1/4" tan head. Black and deep brown. Head fades at medium pace to a thin lacing.
S- Coffee aromas mixed in with some deep rich malts.
T-Bit of coffee flavor with really nothing else. Coffee flavor wasn't to strong and grew in after taste. The whole overall flavors were not to strong at all. There was also a little bitterness in aftertaste.
M- More carbonation than I expected. Had about medium carbonation and a medium body. Was sticky also.
D- It was a very simple beer lacking complexity. Not to strong flavors. Not much going on with the beer at all. Smelled good though. Is drinkable but nothing special at all.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2006 16:54:24 | More by BlindPig
Photo of ccrida


3.25/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter, Old Rasputin is pitch black with a moderate, creamy tan head that subsided to a thick collar with a thin surface skim and pretty thick lace.
The aroma is moderate, chocolate, a bit of cola and a boozy backdrop.
The taste is rich and robust, very roasty up front, some chocolate in the middle and a bitter very bitter finish. Really none of the sweetness from the nose at first, although it struggles to emerge as it warms. I bought 8 of these to lay down, but wanted to have a fresh one first (I've only had this once before, on draft, a few months ago). I think it is pretty young and probably not reached it's full potential. I'm curious to see how long I can hang on to these and how well much they develop.
The mouthfeel is not as thick as it looks, creamy and pretty carbonated.
This is not to drinkable right now. Take your time and sip one, and you'll have had enough. I imagine they don't go down much faster with age, but are more enjoyable. Time will tell...or hopefully, a beer fest has a vintage barrel so I won't have to wait so long, and will still have this somewhat fresh in my mind!

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 04:54:57 | More by ccrida
Photo of iabeerbaron


3.25/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smokey smell comes out right away to me and then I get the chocolate and caramel smell. Taste of dark chocloate, malts, smoke. Flavor is bitter but not overwhelming. Strong but good. It's been a while since I've had this and I plan on trying again because I think my rating will increase.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 19:34:13 | More by iabeerbaron
Photo of Naugled

New York

3.23/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served in tall flute from bottle

a: nice appearance just better than avg. opaque black, dark brown head, thick and creamy but doesn't last, and carbonation is low

s: nice roasty sweet smell, some molasses comes through

t: very bitter, ashy and sweet, some tar but not overly sweet, overly bitter aftertaste with a slight warming affect

m: full creamy mouthfeel

d: average for a RIS, it's not cloying or too hot, but way over bitter. Aging would do this beer wonders.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2009 21:46:05 | More by Naugled
Photo of gillagorilla


3.23/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a Flying Dog goblet (no date)

A: In the glass it is a completely opaque black but on the pour it is a very dark brown that leaves a finger mocha head that dwindles quickly. There is a tiny bit of lacing.

S: Smells like a nice yeasty malt that smells a bit like burnt toast. There is a decent, sweet malt backbone with a bit of espresso and a hint of dark chocolate.

T: There is a mess of flavors in here that all seem to fight for the lead. It is how it smells with a solid backbone of malt that tries to introduce other flavors like chocolate and coffee, but they don't work here. The aftertaste is no good at all, but it is a first for me, it is like a bitter chocolate taste. This one is just really hard to describe and not in a good way.

M: It has a really weird mouthfeel, like it can't decide what its texture is. I don't like it at all. It is all swirling smoothness with run of coarse bubbles at the end, but it is different each time. Worst of all it changes and messes with the taste a lot.

O: I did not like this at all. It isn't the worst stout I have had, but it is pretty close.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 00:16:47 | More by gillagorilla
Photo of PorterLambic


3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a very dark brown, with a dark tan head that reduced to a film. Good lacing.
Smell was just hops and coffee.
Taste was somewhat better, coffee, chocolate, malt, strong(!) alcohol. A decent balance but ...
Mouthfeel was smooth, creamy, full-bodied but the aftertaste was a little bitter with alcohol obvious all over the place.
Drinkability is alright but, because of the high octane, would only do it once in a while. Not a bad beer by any stretch, just not consumable often.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2004 03:34:53 | More by PorterLambic
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,363 ratings.