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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.

8,406 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8406
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: 8,406 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Duttonic


3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is strong. It reminds me a lot of black licorice. Great appearance and mouthfeel, but I had trouble downing a pint of it.

The smell was intense and dark, but inviting. I would like to try this out of a bottle rather than from a tap to see if there is a noticeable difference in taste. Worth trying if you enjoy stouts.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2009 21:28:21 | More by Duttonic
Photo of Finatic


3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a miniature Cigar City sifter.

A:Pours a dark black with a light brown head. Very little lacing.

S: Smells of burnt malts, not much coffee or chocolate hints as some other stouts.

T: Maybe I had an off bottle, but the taste was very bland and didn't have that nice chocolate, burnt coffee taste I so desire in my stouts.

M: Very bland on the palate for me I'm afraid. Just didn't have that oomph that most good stouts have.

O: Not my favorite stout and was disappointed after hearing such good things about it.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 17:13:48 | More by Finatic
Photo of JuicesFlowing


3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass. The beer is pitch black with a thick dark espresso foamy head that takes forever to dissipate. Good sticky lacing persists. The beer smells like alcohol, big time. But through that is bitter chocolates and perhaps roasted malts. The beer tastes warm and boozy up front. After that, raisins, bitter chocolate, and burnt malts. A slightly smokey presence is also noted. The mouthfeel is bright, carbonated, and dry.

Overall, the alcohol just ruins everything for me here. It's in the smell, the mouthfeel, and the taste. Doesn't leave much room leftover for taste ... I know my viewpoint clashes with nearly every BA out there, but that's why it's MY viewpoint.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 03:04:33 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Quite big and complex. Roasty, licorice aroma, with more hops in the aroma than i expected, quite aromatic. The palate is quite thick and roasty, with some licorice and raisins, with quite a few hops to finish, the finish is even a bit citric. Nice bitter finish. Flavours don't quite blend however.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2003 01:53:25 | More by rastaman
Photo of Beaver13


3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a nearly opaque dark brown with a creamy tan head that quickly subsides to a thin layer that laces the glass some.

The aroma is roasted chocolate, dark fruits and some anise and alcohol and hops.

The flavor is roasted chocolate and some milkiness with some almost metallic alcohol (that subsides) followed by a big and dry coffee bitterness tinged with licorice. The mouthfeel is medium to full and nice and creamy.

Overall, a nice imperial. It's a little unbalanced in the flavor with alcohol and bitterness - all the elements don't come together well and play nicely. It's good, but I've had better.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2005 05:39:36 | More by Beaver13
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copped this single 12oz short, stout, fat brew from Total Wine and More in West Orange... pours a motor-oil, jet-black color with modest tan head... smell is full of dark, burnt chocolate and espresso... taste is dominated by a cocoa-powder, dark chocolate, black coffee flavor that has an unappealing bitter-sweet aftertaste... the bitterness is very noticeable, and although the 9% ABV is somewhat well-masked behind a strong dark-chocolate flavor, the taste wasn't my favorite for this style... although not bad, wasn't my absolute favorite either... a strong, rich, dark, thick brew with an overwhelming flavor that pulls through noticeably... heard good things about this brew, and although it didn't disappoint, definitely wasn't my favorite represenation of the style... Good enough to recommend... Worth a try if you're a fan of the style...

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 00:45:56 | More by dsa7783
Photo of MadTown1000


3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark and thick and heavy into a pint glass with the kind of dissipating-from-the-bottom-up foam you generally see with nitro-cans. The several inches of brown-white large-bubble foam that remain on top just stay there. Given 2 minutes, about 2/3 of it is still there, with major lacing along the part that's receded. The beer itself is a very dark chocolate brown with almost no hint of translucency.

The smell out of the bottle is sweet, roasted caramel malt, not quite the chocoalte or coffee flavors I've noted on some other imperial stouts. Not quite as strong as I've noted on some others either. Almost as strong out of the glass as out of the bottle. Quite inviting.

Taste is a touch more bitter than I like in the style. It's got a bit of a sting to it, and the bitter sticks around longer than the aforementioned sweet caramel malt and other swirling accompanying flavors. Most prominent note is something like roasted espresso beans. It's tasty, but not what I'd hold up as an exemplar of the style. If you like your sweet paired with bitter, though, it might be just for you.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2009 01:05:01 | More by MadTown1000
Photo of tone77


3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. No light penetrating through this beer. Smell is of malts and chocolate. Taste is complex, roasted malts, chocolate, a touch of coffee, a little bit of bitterness. Feels creamy in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall a good quality beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2010 14:44:24 | More by tone77
Photo of mjpolzin


3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sometimes on Beer Advocate, I think we all see a score that a beer has obtained and it affects the score that you give it when rating said beer. What I mean by this is if a beer has a good score, we are more likely to score it higher or vice versa for a bad beer. Old Rasputin was one that I made sure I bucked this trend because I did not enjoy this as much as other Imperial Stouts I have had.

I drank this beer 3-4 years ago and didn't remember much about it so I had to try it again. Unfortunately, I hoped it would have been better.

It poured a very dark black and a had a nice, big tan colored foam head. This is where things started going downhill for me. As hard as I tried to smell all of the things I like about a Russian Imperial (dark fruit, malts, booze), I only got the faintest hint of a malty stout. The taste was very hoppy up front. I tried to taste the dark fruits that usually come with a RIS and even though they were there it was a mostly watery finish. I have to say that if I tried to do a blind taste test on this beer, I am not even sure if I would know it was a RIS because it doesn't have enough of a distinctive taste.

I didn't hate this beer. I do like Imperial Stouts and they are especially good this time of year as I am reviewing this beer 2 days before Christmas. That said, there are many other Russian Imperial Stouts I would pick over this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 04:02:53 | More by mjpolzin
Photo of albern


3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm just not a fan of Imperial stouts so I'm just not inclined to rave about this beer. It pours about as black as mud, not much carbonation, some retention, some lacing. The head is dirty brown. The smell is thick, oily, molasses, cherry overtones, dark roasted coffee, and sweet malts. This beer is full bodied, strong, bitter, and not for the faint at heart. Perhaps I'm the faint at heart because I couldn't imagine drinking more than one. I can appreciate the style to a point, but then it is just a strong espresso, molasses, bitter and biting roasted malt brew that just stings in the mid section. On the very tail end, some sweet malts and cherry like flavors emerge, but not until I've been hit over the head by the mid section and beyond of just bitter and strong flavors. As the beer settles a bit, the more warming alcohol notes and the sweeter malts present themselves sooner. The aftertaste is a bit over the top for me as well. The mouthfeel is pronounced and thick, but what do you expect from a beer that pours like dirty oil.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2007 21:15:55 | More by albern
Photo of rdilauro


3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Just another stout to add to my tastings this winter. Honestly, I was not totally impressed with this one. I tasted it before looking at any of the ratings.
It poured very nicely, total black, creamy head. It had faint hints of coffee and chocolate. I was somewhat disappointed at this point. Then the taste, it was good, enjoyable but not something to get excited about. What I really found missing, was that it wasnt big. It did not fill my mouth as many other bigger stouts have done. Considering this, it also finished very small, which was another reason I did not rate this one that well.
It is totally drinkable, my co-workers really enjoyed this one, it is just not the one for me

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 16:39:44 | More by rdilauro
Photo of Richardbeerlover


3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark stout. Nice dark color and the taste is neutral. Only the slightest of sweetness. Good flavor with just the right amount of carbonation. Enjoyed this. Nothing really stood out as being exceptional to me except that the high ABV really gives you a nice wack.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 04:12:33 | More by Richardbeerlover
Photo of TruePerception


3.51/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

North Coast's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout: 9% ABV;

Appearance: pours dark rich brown, black in glass, nutty brown head;

Smell: malty, grass;

Taste/Mouthfeel: cocoa-y bitterness, black coffee, smooth/round, oaty, caramel/toasted malt;

Pretty Good.

Poured into a pint glass.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 18:58:12 | More by TruePerception
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
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
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,406 ratings.