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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.

8,411 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8411
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: 8,411 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of eclipse54


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a large, lively, khaki-colored head comprised of large bubbles. Good retention and generous lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt, raw cocoa, oat, vanilla, and some campfire smoke. There are hints of cane sugar and plum. It tastes of roasted marshmallow (emphasis on the roast), chocolate, oat, vanilla, smoked malt, and some vanilla. The finish seems to be a subtle battle between sugar and grain notes. Mouthfeel is superb; thick and roasty with a palate-coating viscosity. A rich, moist finish. Overall, this is an excellent RIS that is made superb by its availability and affordability.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 01:07:10 | More by eclipse54
Photo of zerocrane


4.95/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into snifter from 12 oz bottle.

A - Black with a decent to undersized tan head that dissipated rather quickly

S - Get a lot of the -OH for sure with a strong roasty character. If I was going to try to find one flaw with this brew, it would be the nose.

T - Again the -OH comes in really strong at the end. In the meantime there is a roasty-delicousness to this beer that the alcohol kind of washes away in a nice finish.

M - Light mouthfeel for how big this beer is. It's not chewy, which I love.

O - Can't beat this for a year-round shelf stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 21:36:41 | More by zerocrane
Photo of Rowlaw


4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. What a great beer. Dark, heavy stout that's not overpowering. As dark as the come with a thick coffee color head. I used a tulip glass that released the aromas of hops and coffee. The flavors coat your mouth with hops coffee and cream with just a hint of chocolate. I may have a new favorite stout!

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 02:31:51 | More by Rowlaw
Photo of theteleman


4.74/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from nitro bottle into pint glass. Dark black with a brownish tan head. Smells like chocolate and coffee. Mouthfeel is thick and pleasent. Taste is Coffee, chocolate and a warming alcohol presence to finish it off. One of my favorite stouts, a great beer for a cold winter night.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

02-01-2014 08:09:02 | More by theteleman
Photo of cjgiant

District of Columbia

3.86/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I have had this before without rating, and recall enjoying it. I had the nitro for this review, so ratings are adjusted accordingly.

A: probably thanks to the nitro in part, this beer almost epitomized what I expect a stout to look like. Dark brown-to-black with great head, tan in color and sustaining, with decent lacing
S: I am missing what I expect, instead of roastiness, I am getting a wet cardboard, but it's not very strong
T: smooth, as I expect a nitro. Roasted malt has cocoa taste to begin, with some light bitterness turning it towards coffee, kinda like mocha.
M: there is a coating mild bitterness, not strong but pretty on point to me.
O: I probably have to try the regular bottle or tap to see for certain. Given some of the Imperial Stouts I've had, this is missing some bite. However, in my experience one can question how the nitro affected it. That said, I could probably get in trouble drinking a few of these down quickly and smoothly.

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-31-2014 23:36:30 | More by cjgiant
Photo of foglemgs


4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured like motor oil from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass - and that's a beautiful thing! The brew is pitch black with a tan colored head that fades but leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S: A truly lovely bouquet of malt, coffee, and chocolate, with a hint of floral undertones.

T: Simply put, this is one excellent RIS. The coffee flavor hits you right in the head, and the high (9% ABV) finishes it off.

M: Very pleasant and thick, with a sweet maltiness balanced by a dry stout finish. Exquisite.

O: One of my favorite beers, this one never disappoints. I always look for this when I'm "picking a six."

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 02:34:14 | More by foglemgs
Photo of biokid23


4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into...a steel mug while camping. I have drunk it from the bottle, in a tulip glass, and from a water glass. It is consistent in that it stays one of my favorite beers, and probably the best stout I have ever drunk. Pours dark and rich. Very boozy, has a deep flavor of coffee, chocolate, and stout. Pretty much the king of stouts...try it for yourself.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 07:02:44 | More by biokid23
Photo of fx20736

New York

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bought a 4 pak from Southtown Beverages in Rochester on 1/25/14. Poured into a Samuel Smith's pint glass at cellar temp.

appearance: Viscuos black with a towering mocha head.nice lacing.

smell: deep, deep roast, coffee, some chocolate. World Class.

taste: one of the best non barrel aged tasting beers I have ever sipped. Coffee, chocolate, molasses, charred roast. A nice hoppiness at the end acts as a rudder through this madness of flavor.

mouthfeel: unctuous, pleasing.

overall: an explosion of flavor that leaves shockwaves rippling through my soul. This is mind boggling.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 18:51:10 | More by fx20736
Photo of Ozzylizard


4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 10142013 into imperial pint glass
Aroma of roasted malts
Head large (6 cm), light brown, creamy, mostly lasting
Lacing pretty much absent
Body dark brown/black with slightly reddish overtones in a strong light
Initial flavor very much roasted malt, no hops, no diacetyl, no alcohol
Ends with a slightly bitter burnt taste
Palate is full, creamy, very soft carbonation

In 2006 I rated this beer as OK. Now I have to upgrade it to Excellent – guess by tastes have improved.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 14:31:58 | More by Ozzylizard
Photo of cambabeer


4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap, a great winter beer. I haven't really been too big into stouts but lately more so and this one is truly fantastic. Totally black color with a nice minimal carbonation and super frothy creamy head, only about a centimeter thick. Lace clings to the glass like mud.
Smells very toasty and roast from the malt. Clean and alcoholic at the same time with some spiciness. Taste is very smooth and rich almost sweeter toward the beginning but that fades away quickly with the roasted/burt malt and coffee characteristic of the middle. The finish is hoppy and still coffee like with a little milk chocolate and slightly sweet.
Super creamy mouthfeel, very light carbonation. Very worth it to pick some of this up again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2014 05:46:19 | More by cambabeer
Photo of MCain04


4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Can't believe I haven't formally reviewed this before. 12 oz bottle, no bottling date that I can see, poured into my Darkness tulip.

Dark brown pour with a light mocha frothy head with good retention and excellent lacing. Very nice in the glass.

This is aromatic even though my nose is stuffed up. Extremely roasty with strong notes of baker's chocolate. Spent coffee grains are present but more subtle. Not very hoppy.

Taste is roasty and burnt, smoky, morseso than most imperial stouts, bordering on rauchbier level of smokiness. Some bitter hops and cacao. Halfway-burnt cigar ash. Almost no alcohol, remarkable.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth body, medium carbonation, and a sticky finish, but could really use more oomph behind it. Could be fuller and creamier. Not off-putting but holds the brew up.

Overall this is renowned for it's great price point and year-round availability. Definitely the best RIS that is year-round, present everywhere, and $10/4pack. It doesn't compare to the world-class RIS's that I've had the pleasure of drinking, but I would drink this any day of the week with a smile on my face, and save some time and money while I was at it. Pick up a 4-pack with no reservations.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2014 14:06:32 | More by MCain04
Photo of happilyhopped


4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013/14 Old Rasputin (No date on bottle or packaging, but it looks pretty new) 12oz, Opened on 1/22/14 and poured into a snifter.

A - Pours black like dark chocolate and forms a nice dark tan head. Head dissipates fairly quickly though. Beer is dark, dark black and not see through. When held up to the light you can barely see through the outermost rim. What you can see through looks like burnt wood with just a hint of brown.

S - First smell i get is this raspberry jam kind of smell followed by the roasted malt and a whole lot of chocolate. Also a strong alcohol presence cuts through. Maybe a little burnt toast in there as well. But i burned toast in my house about an hour ago so it might be coming from that.

T - Right away i get the awesome roasted malt flavor followed up by heavy amounts of dark chocolate. I also get some fig and date flavors when i take a nice big sip. A bit of coffee bitterness on the finish with an alcohol heat that creeps up the throat. Mmmm!

M - Nice and creamy texture with a good amount of carbonation. Coats the mouth well but doesn't feel syrupy. I prefer a little less carbonation in my darker beers otherwise it is great.

O - Delicious as always. I love the strong bitterness i get from the coffee and dark chocolate and the mild alcohol warmth that comes on at the end. It isn't too intense, but just right. One of my favorite RIS. I get it every year around my birthday to cellar so i can do a nice vertical on my bday. This beer is both delicious fresh, and aged for a couple years.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2014 03:49:35 | More by happilyhopped
Photo of glass_house


4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Rasputin greets me from the label with his trademark piercing gaze. He fills my vessel with a liquid black pearl through which the most determined light shall not pass. It actually appears that light particles are being pulled in, perhaps through a wormhole to another dimension. One finger of tight khaki head recedes to a persistent ring of vigilant foam.

Roasted espresso beans and burnt cocoa meet dark fruits and faint molasses in the nose. The initial feel on the tongue is silky smooth, morphing first into a crisp carbonated zing, then a bittersweet dark chocolate bite. French roast coffee and dark dark chocolate dominate the flavor, while smoky caramel malt and grassy hops dance in the background. As the nectar warms, a slight alcohol heat comes through on the finish.

Overall, this is simply one of the finest [non barrel-aged] stouts I've ever had. There is never a dull moment spent with Rasputin. The aroma, texture, and flavors converge to provide an experience that never disappoints.

Будем здоровы

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2014 03:33:50 | More by glass_house
Photo of Andrew041180


4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured jet black, with a taller-than-expected, rich, creamy tan head. The head recedes slowly, and leaves spotty lacing on the glass. Attractive film hovers above the beer for the duration of the beer. Nice, but difficult to differentiate appearance in this style.

S - Very nice potency. I can smell it without jamming my entire face into the glass. Roasty malt. Dark chocolate.

T - Follows the nose. The tastes are clean readily discernible. Clean coffee, milk chocolate. Just a subtle sweetness, and no burnt notes. Just a bit of alcohol on the finish. Normally I don't like this, but it works well here.

M - I suppose it's possible for a beer to feel better, but I'm not going to split hairs here. Full-bodied. Luxurious. Goes down like silk, yet with just a hint of supporting carbonation. Love this.

O - Another eye-opening imperial stout. My second this week. At one time I held off on this beer due to 4-pack quantity and perceived high price. Those reasons have since been swept away. Truly a delicious beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2014 02:47:24 | More by Andrew041180
Photo of James773


3.94/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with a thin brown head. Most of the darker beers I've tried had very intense flavors of dark fruits and overpowering aromas, so I was surprised that this one wasn't so strong at first. The bitterness is very obvious but not unpleasant, and as you sip you can taste more coffee and dark bread flavors. Mouthfeel is not too thick, good for the taste. Definitely recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2014 02:11:52 | More by James773
Photo of BryanForrestKim


3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap.

A: The head blooms beautifully and lingers resiliently–it seems to stick to the sides of the glass as if it were starch. Pitch dark brown with only a glimmer of dark red when held up to light.

S: Very strong–almost smells somewhere in between a 75%-100% Dark Chocolate. Hops aromas barely shine through.

T: Complex. Flavors include the Crema of a Ristretto Espresso Shot; Dark, Dark Chocolate; and fresh cream. Ends with some sweet hops.

M: Nice, but on the boundary between "rich" and "sticky"

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2014 08:07:38 | More by BryanForrestKim
Photo of BSK_ONE

New Jersey

4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown as you would expect from a stout. Creaming long lasting head
S: honestly, didn't smell more than the whiffs of coffee and chocolate
T: Here is where the experience changes. First sip, first 3 seconds, nothing. I was thinking, blah. Then the flavor explosion happened! Complex, rapidly changing tastes. Coffee, caramel, dark fruits, some alcohol, some sweetness. Delicious!
M: Warm, smooth, complete.
O: Really like this beer a lot. It's complexity is what sets it apart. The flavored change dramatically 3 times.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 03:12:08 | More by BSK_ONE
Photo of tmm313


4.61/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A- Pitch black. Poured a gorgeous 2 finger head into snifter. Super creamy tan head with outstanding lacing. As head slowly fades, alcohol legs take over.

S- I get raisins, char, coffee, chocolate and booze. Sometimes I get something sweetly spicy as well. Subtleties seem to change each time. Smell is on the lighter side when cold, but strengthens as it warms. Surprising how sweet it is. Reminds me of tropical hops at times.

T- Man, there's a lot going on... As it sits on the tongue, I get a strangely sweet, tropical like flavor. Immediately as you swallow, the sweetness is replaced by a hoppy spiciness, dark fruit, coffee, and roasted malt. The finish has notes of dark chocolate, dark fruits, char, pine, and licorice. Aftertaste reminds me of earthy hops meets dark chocolate. And if I drank it again tomorrow, it would probably be different. Incredibly complex.

M- Medium body. Slick on the tongue and very drying. Crisp carbonation.

O- This is an amazing beer! It is supremely complex and exceptionally balanced. Each smell and taste is a touch different than the last. I'm so overwhelmed by details, I'm having problems finding words. One thing I can say is that I tried this when I first got into craft and didn't dig it at all. To those just starting out, if you try it and don't like it, please give it another try 1-2 years down the road. You'll be impressed.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 03:09:51 | More by tmm313
Photo of BierJager89


4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with a brown head.

S: Chocolate, roasted malt, a bit of coffee. Smells delicious.

T: Same as the nose, but more balanced, with chocolate and coffee sharing in equal parts of the deliciousness.

M: Full bodied and smooth.

O: I believe this was my first imperial stout, and it's definitely worth a try. The barrel aged version is amazing.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 18:25:08 | More by BierJager89
Photo of RyanOooh


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured caramel/light roast coffee color into stemless snifter. A gigantic, tan, frothy head even w/ side pour- was able to float a little RIS muffin top pillow for about half the glass, moderate and spotty lacing. Sexy looking brew. Smells is very licorice for me and I definitely pick up the alcohol in the nose. Delicious! Caramel, alcohol, licorice - no immediate flavors because the mouth is surprisingly thin/slick. Lots of dark chocolate/bitter finish. There's a reason so many review this beer, it's outstanding. One of the most drinkable and sip friendly RISs' made so available. Love this stuff.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 21:48:40 | More by RyanOooh
Photo of kdlz


5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - black as night with a 1 finger tan head. Beautiful lacing lasting the whole beer through.

S - roasty with chocolate, caramel

T - on the bitter side with no bite from the alcohol, extremely rounded stout. Nice roasts and definite caramel and chocolate hints. Balanced.

M - creamy just a bit bitter.

O - this is now one of my go to stouts. Very balanced, dangerously drinkable.

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-14-2014 04:21:58 | More by kdlz
Photo of ONUMello


4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Pitch black with a one-finger tan head
S: Coffee, caramel, roasted malt and bitter hops. Nice complexity
T: Bitter with burnt malt, burnt sugars and burnt hops
M: Medium-bodied, bitter
O: A solid RIS, overall I enjoyed it though it could be even better if the bitterness were toned down a bit

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 01:47:07 | More by ONUMello
Photo of silverblaze540


3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Very dark and poured with a fairly large head. Nothing is really visible through the beer. Head dissipates very quickly.

S - Very strong (and delicious) smell at first, but dissipates pretty quickly. Sweet, with strong smell of chocolate and hints of coffee.

T - Sweet when it first touches the tongue. Light carbonation and light alcohol taste. Very smooth, with good balance of flavors. Coffee and bitter aftertaste.

M - Very very thick and heavy. Not much carbonation or alcohol taste, especially for a 9%.

O - Best stout I have had. I like the initial sweetness, and the smell was very delicious when I first poured, and, with the thick head, it made my mouth water. The bitter aftertaste lingers for a bit, but it is not that strong. The head and smell dissipate quickly. Still, an enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 05:01:58 | More by silverblaze540
Photo of TreyIsWilson


4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a motor oil black with a two-finger foamy tan head.

S - Sweet roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate. Also some faint dark fruits.

T - Coffee is front and center followed by the roasted malts. Finish with a nice amount of bitter dark chocolate.

M - Full body wit medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a slight alcohol burn.

O - One of the best imperial stouts out there. A true American classic.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 02:59:33 | More by TreyIsWilson
Photo of TheBrouMaster


4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours pitch black with a khaki colored one-finger creamy head that seems to retain forever and sticks to the sides as it settles.

S- smells of melted chocolate with toffee & caramel taffy, some underlying mocha coffee, subtle roasted malt note with a bit of alcohol. Chocolate definitely shines overall

T- The chocolate flavors follow the smell with huge bitter-sweet dark chocolate, some dark fruity notes chime in around mid-palate with fig/date, coffee flavors arise near the end with a sweet and roast malt finish, with more chocolate on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation, foamy mouth feel with a crisp finish. A touch of alcohol warmth at the end

O- An American classic that often goes unheralded, yet one that we are lucky to always have available. Always a good choice

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 06:01:27 | More by TheBrouMaster
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,411 ratings.