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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

9,643 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,643
Reviews: 3,349
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 288
Gots: 1,216 | FT: 38
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: 9,643 | Reviews: 3,349 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Andreji
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

So much talk about this old russian fellow around here certainly aroused my interest so I brought one of these back home from the states and have kept it cellared now for about 4 months (hey, that's a record for me, mind you).

I decided to pop this one open on a sunny bogota afternoon while on break from my rural internship.

No less mystical than i expected it at first, very, very sombre pour with little to absolutely no transparency. head is dirty, very very dark and frothy, savage and very difficult to fully attain. by the looks of this, from the bottle with an old photo of this infamous russian character to the last bit of the very unpredictable pour, this beer retains an air of uneasyness- a brilliant one at it. kudos, this has to be one of the most peculiar and unique looking beers i've poured.

The smell is really hard to understand as well. a post-imperial russia industrious metallic pungency hides an underlying sugary, burnt caramel feel. dark cacao seems to be very present throughout.

The taste is great. very very smokey feel with underlying alcohol roasted sugar feel, strong dark coffee and a stingy bitterness attacks the side of the tongue through the whole deal. I hate to sound cheesy, but it arouses the senses very thoroughly. and the feel is amazing, thick bodied, fizzy, like the bottom of a cup of fresh ground coffee.

It gets to you quick, through, and you'll know you've been struck by this dark-souled russian when you least expect it. not a session beer, not a kind-tasting belgian, this beer is a monster you'll find yourself hunting down again and again.

Andreji, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of Ellbert
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Appearance: This beer is very dark, what do you expect from an Imperial Stout?

Smell: Very impressive. A lot of coffee roastedness, some alcohol, and a little bit of fruity sweetness, just a little.

Taste: Everything an imperial stout should be. Rich, chocolaty, coffee like, molasses... Mmmm. Alcohol is noticable.

Mouthfeel: Very thik and rich, Mmmm....

Drinkability: Not very drinkable. Mostly because of the alcohol and the richness of the beer.

Ellbert, Aug 22, 2003
Photo of John_M
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Had this on tap at Max's the other day, where it was every bit as wonderful as it is on tap in Ft. Bragg.

The beer pours a lovely black color with persistent, long lasting head and lacing. This beer looks very impressive. On the nose, I don't know what it is, but I'm not getting a lot. There is a hint of coffee and licorise, but that's really about it. On the palate this is a very impressive beer. The beer is very soft and creamy, with flavors of coffee, vanilla and more licorise. The licorise flavor is actually quite pronounced. The beer finishes pretty well, though you can tell the abv. is up there. This is definitely a very big beer, but on the nitro it's very soft and easy to drink.

A good solid beer from North Coast brewing. Well done.

John_M, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of BarleyWineRox
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours pitch black with a deep toffee head into my Duvel tulip. Very, very faint bready nose. As it warms nose is coming out a bit more giving off some roasty chocolate espresso notes. Time for a taste. Oh gosh! So much complexity after such a weak nose. Crazy! Chocolate, espresso, caramel, liquorish, mulled over with carbonation, with a tart bittering hop finish that I just love! Fantastique!

BarleyWineRox, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of GRPunk
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- An aggressive pour leaves more than a 2 finger head that slowly drops to a thick lace leaving great, fluffy, sticky spots on the glass. The body was nearly jet black with dark brown edges.

S- Raisin-like. Sweet liquor scents(brandy perhaps?) and coffee with a touch of toffee and bitter chocolate.

T- Deep-strong coffee flavor with hints of dark chocolate and toffee, with some resin-like hops that hit late.

M- Thick, yet soft feel with a slight bite from the hops and alcohol that leaves a warming sensation.

D- Definite sipper, but great flavor will bring me back.

GRPunk, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of RedHaze
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

From notes 16nov05:

Pours pitch black with no hints of light shining through around the edges. Theres's a thick two finger head that's slow to recede, and leaves behind a rocky cap that never fades away. Lots of thick lacing.

Smell; notes of coffee, chocolate, licorice, roasted malts and a slightly burned toast smell.

Taste; Chocolate, coffee, a touch of vanilla, a little bitter at first from the roasted malts, but that smooths out alot as it warms up. Nice thick, rich and creamy mouthfeel. This is a really good stout, just wish I could go back and get some more.

RedHaze, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of jahred
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Many thanks to beerluvr and BIF 6.0 for this bottle!

Pours a dark black color with a medium, dark tan head. The head disappears fairly quickly, leaving behind traces of tan foam on my glass. The scent is particularly strong. Burnt fruit, malts and alcohol.

The taste at first is surprisingly milky and rich, followed by a burnt malt taste, then more sweet milk flavors. As the beer warms, most of these goes away, leaving me with oily burnt malts, perhaps some chocolate, and what I might even call peanut butter flavors! Towards the end of the glass, I got some nice hop notes that finished off the beer wonderfully. Throughout I got the typical (and enjoyable) imperial stout tingles on my tongue. Yum.

jahred, Jun 03, 2004
Photo of terrabyte
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours a very dark black with a medium tan head.

Aroma is rich with malt and sweet mocha chocolate.

Flavor is a deep, very rich chocolate. This is one of the richest chocolates I've tasted in a beer. Blends well with a dark oak flavor, hints of chocolate, a caramel smoothness, and roasted malts. Surprisingly, not on the sweet side, just rich. The alcohol bite also works with the flavors, not against it or even as a 'result'.

Mouthful is medium and full. Low carbonation.

Very drinkable. Very enjoyable.

terrabyte, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of DoppleJock
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

-01/07/2010
-12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark, dark, dark! Fully opaque when I held the glass up to light. Formed a rich, dark tan head that seemed to spontaneously appear out of nowhere when I finished my pour. A really nice start.

S: Hints of dark chocolate and bold coffee flavors.

T: First sip offered a bold, roasty coffee taste with a only a slight malty aftertaste, which I liked about it. You know, however, that you're drinking something with a more complex flavor with continued sips.

M: The beer started out really smooth. In fact, the first sip released a pleasant carbonation feel right on the tip of the tongue, which was a really nice surprise. However, the smoothness I first felt gave way to the stronger characteristics of the beer with repeated sips. By the end of the glass, the beer was feeling rather heavy.

D: Upon first sip, I felt like cracking open another bottle before I was even finished with the first. There's a lot going on here that I'm sure I didn't even catch this round of trying the beer (this was my second time trying Old Rasputin). Upon finishing my glass, however, I found one bottle to be more than enough.

Verdict: Overall it's really good, but due to the heavy feeling of the beer, a 4-pack of Old Rasputin could probably last me a week instead of a night. Some beers beg you to finish them all in one sitting, but patience seems to be a virtue with the few Russian Imperial Stouts I've tried.

DoppleJock, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of JMforman
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

A- Black with a healthy tan head and good lacing

S- Chocolate, booze, old hops, coffee, dark fruit

T- Chocolate, roasted malt, espresso, dark fruit, alcohol

M- THICK. Very heavy and coating. Fantastic mouthfeel.

D- Quite. Makes me want to stroke my beard.

JMforman, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of kkipple
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Enjoyed on nitro-tap at the Flying Saucer in Columbia, SC.

Arrived in a fine looking branded Old Rasp pint glass, sporting a gorgeous 2 finger tall toffee-tan head. The head is amazingly dense and milkeshake like. It was fun to draw pictures in with a straw. But I digress. The beer is pretty darn dark, not *quite* black, and the contrast between light and dark in the glass is a thing of joy. Did I mention the sticky lace that runs down the glass as the beer goes? This is a beaut.

Tastes of heavy one-note roasted grains and rich coffee. Molasses, burnt raisins and a little astringency tickles the palate. The bitter hops are there but seem toned down from what I recall. Malt sweetness is complimentary and nicely balanced for me. Bittersweet and cunning, as it warms a few new flavors trickle out -- chocolate, alcohol, and a dry, almost chalky note.

On nitro-tap, the mouthfeel is hideously creamy. Smooth and very lightly carbonated, which makes it all the more easy to drink. It's a little thinner than I remember, but no matter, the big roasty finish with a hint of sweetness lingers and keeps me coming back for more.

Oh yeah, the nose. Grainy, roasty and boozy, this is simple and respectable for the style. Sweet, simple, strong, safe. It doesn't go for the jugular immediately, but the sheer drinkability of this means it may betray you later.

Old Rasputin on nitro is wickedly different from the bottle, and like the vile priest himself, sneaks up on you and gets under your skin. I had two pints before I knew what was happening. Taste at your own risk!

kkipple, May 19, 2008
Photo of scottum
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours out blackish black with a nice big tan head. A very nice Imperial Stout. Burnt malts rule this brew like a tzar. Hop bitter balances out the malts. This is a potent brew and complex beyond my taste. Not the best Imperial Stout out there, but a damn good one!

scottum, Apr 17, 2003
Photo of bbb099
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Jet black with a little brown hue. Coke-like upon pouring. Relatively small amount of mocha colored head that created a nice lacing.

S - Good amount of roasted malt odor but still smells a little sweet (root beer-ish). Also a little alcohol on the side, but not too much.

T - Mostly roasted, dark malt coming through with some vanilla sweetness on the side. Finishes clean and crisp with smoky aftertaste. Very mild booziness but you can feel the alcohol warmth going down.

M - Full bodied. Moderate carbonation.

D - Solid stout. Stays true to the style. As drinkable as it gets for 9% abv.

bbb099, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of EvilKeith
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Poured into the pint a deep dark brown color with ruby highlights. Head was two fingers of short-lived tan light foam that formed over a brief cascade. Head faded to a thick cap with heavy lacing.

Smell was chocolate malt, a charred smokiness (malt) and sweet caramel.

Medium bodied. Lighter than I expected for the style, but nice. Creamy mouthfeel. Mild carbonation.

This very well may be the most drinkable RIS I have ever had. Drinks like a stout with half the ABV. I'm impressed.

EvilKeith, May 25, 2006
Photo of fsimcox
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours a very deep, dark, rick black. When I hold it up to the light, I see nothing but black. Thick creamy tan head, dissipates very slowly. Significant lacing down the glass.

Smells of bitter-sweet chocolate, some smoky malt and a hint of brown sugar, and maybe some roast coffee bean and black cherry. Smell is significant, and strong. I can smell the alcohol.

Taste is complex. Creamy malt and chocolate up front, some smoke and coffee, and smokey black cherry and chocolate finish. Hints of bitter-sweet chocolate and coffee in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is creamy, some alcohol, rich, full bodied, and a very rich taste.

A very complex and enjoyable beer. This beer would be great with a chocolate cheesecake, or by its self on a cold winter night.

fsimcox, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of mavbrew
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Poured into my Brooklyn snifter, giving the DFH snifter the rest for the night.

A: Deep black in color with a dark brown, finger thick foamy head that slowly dissipates, leaving nice lacing down the glass.

S: Has a very sweet smell to it, chocolates and dark fruits seem to be present in the nose as well. Faint scents of roasted and caramel malts.

T: Has a bit of an alcohol taste up front, similar to the smell with a very sweet taste as well. The chocolates and dark fruits seem to hit the palate together. Roasted malts come alive in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with an average amount of carbonation. It is a little thick but also smooth.

D: A smooth drink for a higher ABV, the alcohol is noticeable, but it is not overpowering. A very good stout to say the least.

mavbrew, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of utopiajane
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Poured perfectly opaque. Black with a fantastic creamy ,mocha colored head that fell off too slow and left rocky crags before a rich collar and cap. Excellent retention that you would expect from a stout and beautiful thick, sticky lace. Nose is genuine stout with roasted coffee some dark fruits and a good measure of alcohol.A bit of chocolate to tempt you. Smoky and inviting. Taste is heavenly. Chocolate, coffee malt, roasted, smoky, hints of vanilla and a delightful bitter. Not too thin, and drinks creamy and smooth. The alcohol is on the palate but it’s welcome. It’s a little boozy and who would mind with a flavor like this. Grand, with an aftertaste that boasts of it’s malt character and strength. Sweet and smoky like a fire on a cold night, burnt a little and some dark chocolate too. Fine and excellent.

utopiajane, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of spoons
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

On tap. Fathers Office.

Appearance is dark, dark, dark. has a great small bubbles keeping the coffee colored head and lacing around for a while.

Smells of roasted malt, espresso, chocolate, and hint of caramel.

taste. A big chocolate/coffe taste that only gets better as it warms. Has some burnt malt bitterness that balances the overall sweetness of this beer. this great beer.

spoons, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of bridgetowhophead
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Old Rasputin! Picked up a 4-pack on sale for $7.49; I will try not to let the amazingness of that bargain influence my rating.

A: Poured into a tulip. Nearly pitch black color with a very pretty 2 finger tan head that unfortunately doesn't last too long. Makes a surprising amount of lacing for a 9% abv beer.

S: Fails to deliver what I expect for an RIS. I get dark roasted malt and a little chocolate.

T&M: Above and beyond the smell. The finish is especially superb with black malt coating the palate and throat. Mouthfeel is beautifully syrupy and creamy.

D: As drinkable as many 5% regular stouts.

bridgetowhophead, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of Mosstrooper
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Poured from 12oz bottle into Macado's "Halloween 2009" branded American pint glass.

Appearance: Jet black with a light brown 2-finger head that stays a long time and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate notes, and tart alcohol.

Taste: Sweet, roasted malts throughout. Finishes with sweet coffee flavors and bitterness that isn't apparent until after the finish, lingering in the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied and very smooth. Chewy, with a sticky finish.

Drinkability: Definitely a beer brewed for sipping. This is full of flavor and is delightful to drink.

Mosstrooper, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of IPAescotch
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

An exceptional example to all brewers of how to blend coffee with beer while doing credit to each. For an IPA man i found this to be right up my alley. Welcome bitterness, and the darkness is not overwhelmingly sweet or malty. Poured more head than i expected, and the darkness of the beer rivals none

IPAescotch, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a used engine oil like black, completely opaque, with a two+ finger light brown head that has some mild guinness-like cascading action. As head dissipates, it leaves raindrop like holes scattered across the top.

Smell is of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, roasted malt, dark fruit, booze and a grapefruit hop presence.

Taste is primarily of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, and grapefruit hops. The alcohol is noticeable, but the big chocolate presence really cuts through the booze.

Full bodied and thick, however it has a fizzy quality.

Drinkability is par for the course for a RIS.

After looking at my empty glass, a large, sticky ring holds strong at the top of the glass and leaves some spider web like lacing. Real cool looking.

ColForbinBC, May 09, 2008
Photo of Oldscramch
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Appearance: Looks black in the glass, with reddish brown at the top and bottom; can't see a damn thing through this beer. Light tan tracing of head around the rim.

Smell: Sweet. Malty, but with more hops than I was expecting in this beer. The alcohol does not come through in the taste.

Taste: Fairly bitter coffee taste that lingers in the mouth; not at all a bad thing, considering how well it plays with the overall flavour.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, not too light. clean, but hearty. There's a tingle on the tongue for a while afterwords.

Oldscramch, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of Goliath
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours black and completely opaque with a thin layer of frothy brown head sitting on top. Good retention and small bits of lacing.

The aroma is nice. Roasted malts confront the drinker showing mostly chocolate and coffee tones. This ones a little boozy too.

The taste is great. Burnt malts, again with chocolate and coffee dominating. Pretty boozy.

Mouthfeel is too thin. It's medium bodied and highly carbonated, it would be much more appealing if it were full bodied and still.

Drinkability is moderate. Flavor is nice, but the alcohol is on the high end and does limit this brew.

Goliath, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of JoePat
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

This beer pours a pitch black with a DARK brown head that causes me to stop pouring half way through so it it fits in the glass.
I smell choclate and coffee from the roasted malts.
It tastes like bitter chocolate and some coffee too. This beer is an exelent example of a stout.
Do to it being sucha great stout the drinkability suffers a little but it makes up for it with flavor and it creamy mouth feel.

JoePat, Feb 26, 2010
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,643 ratings.