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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,742 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,742
Reviews: 3,351
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 297
Gots: 1,262 | FT: 40
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,742 | Reviews: 3,351 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Alextricity
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle bought for $2.79 at Fairway Sav-Mor in Eastpointe, Michigan. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Aggressive pour turned out to be an awful idea... massive amount of head that would have been a massive foam over if not for my intense slurping action. Two finger head sticks around for a decent while before staying at one. The head is a dark brown/yellow-ish color, and has a rocky, meringue-like consistency. Surprisingly, not much lacing until the bottom of the glass. Sexy beer, though.

Smell: It's not "bursting", but it's significant ... a ton of roasty coffee with caramel notes. Some RIS's have that dark fruit aroma or taste, and this doesn't have it at all ... just some massive roast aromas.

Taste/feel: Maybe it was my slight buzz before the end of my glass (always possible), or it was just that the beer coated my mouth enough to mask some of the intense roast bitterness that I was getting, but I enjoyed this more and more as I sipped it. I was going to give the taste about a 3.5, but I bumped it up... for the style, this is almost the best one I've had. An extremely smooth feel hits the tongue, there's a quick alcohol warmth, and then you're just ushered in to some heavy roasty characteristics. Coffee. The first few ounces of this beer, I kept getting an intensely lingering WEIRD bitterness on the very back of my tongue that just wouldn't go away. As I sipped, and the beer warmed a tad, the bitterness was still there, but some semi-sweet chocolate came in to let me know why this is such a critically acclaimed RIS. Additionally, the alcohol became more apparent in a slight warming on the finish. Man. That thick feel, though...

It's August 1st. I've been drinking RIS's all summer long. I wanted something big, bold, rich. This delivered. While I wasn't initially sold, a few sips later, I really enjoy Old Rasputin.

Alextricity, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of Flounder57
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger mocha head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no clarity or bubbled seen coming up the glass. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Roasted coffee, mocha, smoke, sweet malts, a little booze, and molasses. Pretty standard RIS aroma.

Taste: Same as above with lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, low carbonation, and a little boozy.

Overall: Pretty solid RIS. Enjoyed in the past, now, and more in the future.

Flounder57, May 20, 2013
Photo of DenverHopHead
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big, dark, beautiful beer. The appearance stands out, but beyond that, nothing spectacular. The smell leaves something to be desired, which most RIS do, so don't want to be too critical. A very good tasting brew, but doesn't knock it out of the park. I like it, a lot, but I'm beginning to realize that I prefer my IPA's from Cali and my Stouts from Colorado. Many yet to try, so this can certainly change.

DenverHopHead, May 04, 2013
Photo of BeerWizard
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Not normally a stout drinker but had to check this out because of all the hype. The four packs are reasonably priced at about $8, and sport attractive black and gold packaging.

Poured into a goblet, opaque black, with a chocolate colored short head that reduces after several minutes into a thin tan film of minute bubbles. This beer is not see through at all in this glass, and only around the very edges does light start to penetrate.

Chocolate coffee aroma with hops, also jammy fruit, malty. Flavor is impactful, dark candied fruit, berry, hop bitters, choco-coffee, light mint, very much agreeing with the nose. The mouthfeel is heavy but tighter than something like a wee heavy, and not as sweet. Definitely boozy at 9%, but not setting your mouth on fire. Carbonation is low but present.

Overall, fantastic. Totally lives up to the hype.

BeerWizard, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of warriorsoul
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I have been craving an Imperial Stout, so I figured I'd finally try this bad boy...a carry over from New Beer Sunday if you will.
Cloudy dark w/ dark brown edges only in the pour. A nice full finger of creamy light brown head...lacing clings to the side of my snifter and goes nowhere.
A bit too carbonated in the nose, taking away from the olfactory experience at this point...sweet carmelized malts, cocoa, butter rum and just a touch of alcohol.
The taste is much sweeter than I was expecting, but also has a deep, dark smoked flavor within a robust coffee blend. The finish is a bit dry, but not bitter. Refreshing in its finish for the viscousity of this bad boy...it's still a few steps below Founder's Breakfast Stout, but IMHO, it is a nice substitution if you can't obtain the aforementioned.
Mouthfeel is thick, but not syrupy. The alcohol is very well hidden..only makes its way to the surface at the last few sips.
I would enjoy a couple of these, but since I am a true hophead at heart, I would not pick this for a session brew.

warriorsoul, May 24, 2005
Photo of turamarth
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Smokestack Goblet.

Appearance: Pitch black body, slight ruby on edges when held to a light. Poured a 1 1/2 finger red-ish brown head that dissipated quickly to leave a film.

Nose: Nice and malty. Hints of chocolates, coffees, leather, some hoppiness. Maybe the faintest hint of raisins or other dark dried berries.

Taste: Lots of chocolate malts. Coffee, some dark berries maybe. Some nice hoppy balance.

Mouth: Pretty smooth. Leaves the mouth pretty dry. but with some thickness.

Drink: Very tasty, and pretty drinkable for having an elevated abv.

turamarth, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of SetarconeX
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Visually, this is a beautiful beer. Jet black, with a nice brown head. Looks great. Smells brunt to a crisp. This isn't just any stout, this one's nice and toasty. Not for the faint of heart.

Taste is not too different than the taste would lead you think. The alcohol is perhaps a little more obvious than I'd like it too be, but considering the freakishly high ABV on this one, it's impressive how much it's been minimized.

A good Imperial Stout, though one that goes to your head quickly. Give it a try, if just for the ominous picture on the bottle.

SetarconeX, Nov 05, 2003
Photo of zjungleist
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice appearance. Muted brown/black, with a great tan head and nice lacing. The smell is fairly hoppy, but with some some softness to them, and of course, very roasted malts and a very slight fruitiness. Excelent complex flavor, burnt malts, coffee, nice hops, and the lingering flavor of dry, bitter chocolate. The mouthfeel is slighly thick, but very velevety. No oiliness, but just dry enough to cut the thickness. This is a pretty freakin good imperial stout, but too complex and rich to drink much of.

zjungleist, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of 20ozmonkey
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't know what the date of this bottle was, but I've been holding on to it for a little over a year now. I haven't reviewed a fresh bottle, but I have definitely had it before.

Looks very tasty. Half-finger tan head that fades and leaves bubble around the edge of the surface. Deep black color that absolutely no light is going to get through.

Surprisingly fruity notes on the smell. Light caramel and chocolate smells as well, not overpowering though.

I would say this definitely tastes different than a younger bottle. There's a blast of sweet fruity caramel on the front with bitter chocolate staying for the finish. The alcohol has smoothed out over time also.

Relative to other imperial stouts this is fairly light bodied. There's a bit of stickiness that coats your mouth, but nothing unpleasant.

Holding on to this bottle was a bit of an experiment and I would say it turned out great! I'm gonna have to grab another four pack to replace this bottle.

20ozmonkey, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of scootny
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Probably the best looking no gimmick RIS i've seen. Dark dark brown with reddish highlights. Thick prominent head that fades very slowly and leaves a light covering and lots of lace. The nose is light coffee, bigger chocolate but not quite as big as I expected. Still this is one good smelling brew with the chocolate taking me to a shop that has just opened its wares. Taste is somewhat the reverse with more coffee than chocolate. Hops are a star in this show and they will not take a back seat to anyone. Rich and smooth latte flows into an herbal and dry citrusy bittering. Finish is rather clean and quite dry. Chocolate malt notes underpin the charcoal infused java flavors. While clean the finish leaves some grapefruit and bitter black coffee. Feel is somewhat crisp with a tingly carbonation and rather chewy construction and heft. A great brew period and always welcome.

scootny, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of Mtoogs
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Mtoogs, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of waldowin
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow. This is the grand-daddy of the Imperial Stouts. Very dark, fairly bitter, and definitely a harsh, smokey taste to it. Other reviews have listed raisins in the taste, and for the initial hit, this is pretty spot on. However it gives way to a very smokey, burnt-coffee-grinds taste that fans of Imperial Stouts will like. However, know what you're getting into when you drink this beer...my first try of it a year ago resulted in instant revulsion ("Tastes like a barbecue grill" I think my words were). It's just now that I'm getting around to the masochistic appeal this beer has. I still have a hard time getting around just how much this beer tastes like it's been burned in the aftertaste. I like to think it gives me an excuse to keep drinking more (no aftertaste if you don't stop drinking).
Also, be warned, this beer is a heavy hitter. After a few bottles, you won't be contributing much to the conversation around you.

waldowin, Aug 29, 2005
Photo of jsanford
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark black with a creamy, chocolate-milk colored head. Retention is great, and it leaves behind sticky lacing on the glass. This is the standard for what a RIS should look like.
S - Dark roasted malt, dry cocoa powder and dark dried fruits (raisins, prunes and figs) with a bit of alcohol.
D - Very dark roasted (almost burnt) malt dominates, along with more dark cocoa powder. Expresso roast coffee, raisins and vanilla are in there, too. Quite a bitter finish, and there's definitely some alcohol to be found, but that fades dramatically as it warms up.
M - Creamy, medium-heavy body with low carbonation. I usually like a bit more carbonation with such a heavy beer.
D - Very drinkable, this is a perfect cold weather drink.

jsanford, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of wedge
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

@ Flying Saucer

I'm not usually one for Nitro beers, but I was feeling adventurous and decided to give an old classic a try. Pours black with a typically thick, dense, stable slab of a head on top that leaves much lacing on the glass. Nearly no aroma at first, but then a semi-sweet chocolate aroma emerges with an increased dark fruitiness as it warms. Tasty from the start...I think maybe a bigger stout like this is what I need from a nitro tap. Lots of chocolaty roast and a gentle creamy sweetness. Feels a little less than full bodied this way, but still obviously very smooth and floaty in the mouth. Whereas most nitro I come across is rather mild and bland, this is not...it works! It also reminds me that I need to revisit this widely available, great stout more often.

wedge, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of Optimat0r
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

this is my second review of old rasputin; the first came a long time ago when i was less experienced so i figured this one deserved another shot. im glad i did.
appearance - deep red, very dark, moderate foaming, cant find any flaws in it at all.

smell - first a tinge of hoppiness then chocolate and coffee blend in nicely.

taste - damn this is maybe the best RIS ive had so far. very rich but not TOO rich...basically a perfect blend of chocolate, malts, and hops...perfectly balanced.

drinkability - is great at first really cold, but it gets a bit too bitter and fuel-tasting after a while. this is one of the better RIS, but its good just every now and then

Optimat0r, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of elvisnj
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from 12oz bottle.

Looks pitch black with small dark brown head. Looks like a stout should. Smell is fantastic. Yeast and dark malts abound. Espresso and hops as well. I love the aroma of this beer.

Taste is light on the tongue for a stout but has bitter aftertaste. Not a clean hop type bitter but like a lingering espresso bitter. Tastes good but the aftertaste is just a slight drag.

The dark malts are evident in taste and hops come through nicely but not over the top. keeps a thin cream colored head throughout. All 12oz are gone in just a few minutes despite the fact that I am trying to savor this.
Overall a good showing for the style and for North Coast Brewing Co.

elvisnj, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of y2j2280
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black, motor-oil like. Very nice lace upon a good swirl.

S - Chocolate and coffe aromas. Slight alcohol on the nose.

T - Decadent chocolate flavor interlaced with strong underlying coffee currents. Slightly bitter finish.

M - Thick on the palate like a true RIS should be. Mouth-coating.

D - This is a one (or at most 2) serving experience. Too heavy for an extended session.

y2j2280, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of ChugsMugs
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- black, slight ruby red hues on edges, creamy tan head that leaves rings of lacing.

S- Up front the sweetness of raisin, slight plum, yet with hoppy floral notes,some chocolate or roasted malts.

T- Alcoholic yet well balanced. Presence of dark fruits quickly covered by a roasted malt finish. Slightest chocolate with a splash of surprising hop bitterness.

M- Goes down extra smooth coating the entire mouth and tongue with a buffet of flavor.

D- After several sessions of these I now understand what all the hype was about. For a 9% beer I am torn bewtween worried or delighted at how easily this beer goes down.

ChugsMugs, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of Canada_Dan
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Canada_Dan, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of gameface23
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Absolutely nothing wrong with the way this looks in a glass. It has everything you could want in a RIS: pitch black color and a creamy mocha colored head that leaves great lacing.

Smell: Really nice amount of black coffee/espresso and secondary smells of chocolate malt. The one thing that stops this from receiving a 5 for smell is the fact that there is a pretty apparent alcohol smell to it.

Taste: Espresso and hops with a little bit of licorice/anise flavor.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with a nice amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Good. Not cloying at all and the finish doesn't overstay its welcome.

gameface23, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of LaLaSnite
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

LaLaSnite, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of superdedooperboy
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Savored this one on-tap at The Pizza Joint in Evans, GA. (Incidentally, the only way and place I've ever enjoyed it.)

Dark black, mostly opaque, with a thick espresso-like brown head that shows wonderful retentive properties and holds tight to the walls of the vessel, leaving behind nice rings of lace.

The nose is powerfully delicious, filled with sweet and bitter chocolate notes along with a bit of coffee.

Thick and velvety smooth in body, with flavors mimicking those of the nose: creamy chocolate, both sweet milky chocolate notes as well as the dominating bittersweet dark chocolate, with a bit of espresso snap that lends a bit of dryness to the finish, which is mildly sweet as well. Roasted character, in both the nose and on the palate, is rather subdued, though it peeks through at times.

Going down smooth and satisfying, this is an imminently drinkable Imperial Stout, but drinkability can only be issued so much in a beer with 9% alcohol by volume.

A wonderful example of the style, and the one that introduced me to Russian Imperial Stout to begin with, not to mention its being the first "big beer" I ever tried, and it was love at first sip. I always come back to this one, and it never disappoints.

superdedooperboy, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of BB1313
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a pitch black, w/ a nice fluffy head and sticky lacing. Lots of chocolate malt aromas up front. Slight hop aroma as well. Tastes great! More chocolate, which has nice roasty characteristics; slightly smokey. Expresso is in the mix as well. There's a nice bitterness, but remains sweet. Mouthfeel is smooth but somewhat light for such a big beer, but I like it and it works with this beer.. carbonated and slightly chewy. Drinkability is good.. easy to drink. The flavors are more than enough to have you coming back.

Old Rasputin is definitely one of the top Imperial Stouts. Well crafted, tasty, highly recommended!

BB1313, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of cleeze
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a jet black with a nice coco colored frothy head with decent lacing

Smell was dark roasted malts. Little booze. Some coffee up in the mix as well. Very interesting

Taste was again of dark roasted malts with a tad of coffee. Dark bitter chocolate as well. Not as sweet as Kate but deffinatly comparable!

Slick and thick mouthfeel.

cleeze, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of cameraman
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass, a dark opaque black, slightly brown, with a small caramel colored head. The scent of chocolate and coffee are very nice aroma, that is followed by a twinge of hops. The taste starts with the chocolate and the sweetness of the malt. It ends with a slight coffee bitterness, with a touch of hops. In the mouth it is rich and full bodied, it has the texture of two percent milk and seemingly coats the tongue, which allows the the flavor to linger. This is a very good beer, there are many imperial stouts, this one may stands the closest to the style.

cameraman, Apr 04, 2006
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,742 ratings.