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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

10,802 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,802
Reviews: 3,513
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 417
Gots: 1,932 | FT: 53
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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,802 | Reviews: 3,513
Photo of Dudon
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of VoodooBrew
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased a 4 pack of this beer in September of 2005, and amazingly I am only now drinking the last one.

For the most part this beer appears jet black, but shows some deep ruby-chestnut when held up to direct light.

There is chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit on the nose, perhaps cherry. I detect some hops, but this is not a prominent aroma. The aroma is overall quite nice.

The initial flavor is deep roasted barley, with an aftertaste of hops- and barley-derived bitterness. This roasted quality subsides somewhat after a few sips, but it rests in the aftertaste. The flavor is good, but not quite as complex as I think it could be for the style. Frankly I think the roasted barley is a little over-done, but that's partly just my opinion.

This is still certainly a very solid beer, but man it's tough for any Imperial Stout to stand up to Victory's Storm King...

Photo of MikeyBadnews
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not a huge Stout, let alone Imperial stout guy but decided why not celebrate this Irish holiday with an Irish beer named after a Russian, made in America. Melting pot my friends... Pretty solid beer, makes you work though and the alcohol is pretty poignant.

Pours like a liquid abyss , inescapable darkness with an chocolate-espresso foam head that poured a rich 3 fingers thick.

Smells of strong alcohol, with varying notes of burnt coffee, prune and dirty roadside puddle, solid but imperfect as the alcohol burn wipes out some of the more refined and subdued scents.

The taste offers no alcohol burn as its resigned to the back of the throat and not the tongue and doesn't interfere with the mouth feel. Creamy chocolate covered fruit flavor meshed with coffee grinds that doesn't go down overly easy but doesn't kick your ass either.

Not bad, not bad at all... I'm a legitimate fan and wish I had this beer to kick back with after a night of shoveling over the winter. Really warms and comforts you, a dark blanket that isn't for session drinking, but good for one or two on a frosty night.


Photo of Yesac
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Appears black in my pint glass, large brown sand in color.

S- Dark sharp roasted malt, chocolate, bitter hops. Smells delicious.

T- Roasted malt nose, luscious chocolate center, roasted coffee bean, black licorice, strong hop bitterness dry finish.

M- Medium/thick body, silky, dry sticky finish, leaves a good coating of flavor on the palate.

D- Slightly to bitter for my liking. The roasted malt and coffee bean is strong, however that is just a piece of this brews complexity which makes for a delightful challenge on the palate.

Photo of beerphilosopher
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wide-mouth wine glass from a shorty bottle ... Almost black mahogony color with a great chocolate-colored head ... imperial looking indeed. Nose is of cocoa, roasted coffee, espresso, and sweet malt. Almost no hop aromas in the nose. Taste is completely consistent with the aroma ... rich, sweet, and complex with dark malt ... almost black strap mollases flavors ... yet smooth and nutty in the finish. Thick, heavy body with little carbonation. A huge stout in the imperial style ... an acquired taste, which I have certainly acquired. Very strong, very rich, and very good. A superlative example of the style ... and east to get to boot!

Photo of Phil-T_Phil_30
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of mbusster88
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip from 12oz bottle.

A: Jet black body with no apparent carbonation. Tan head is very thick and holds up for a while. Lacing is forming very well on the glass as well.

S: Definitely get the typical RIS smells, chocolate and coffee dominate this. Nice roasted aroma is not overpowering, but really gives extra character to the beer. Actually get some astringent aromas from the hops in the back.

T/M: Very malty up front with tons of chocolate. Then get some coffee bitterness and some dark chocolate notes. Very smooth body, and some hop characters hiding in the background of this one.

D: Great RIS that has wonderful flavor, and a great aroma profile. This one is a must have if you have not had it before.

Photo of MCain04
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of BigOldOaf
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of RodneyMMilton
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of hajenaD
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of detlefchef
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage, tasted on 8/2/10

I haven't had a fresh bottle in a while, so I'm not sure if this is typical of the beer or just shows what happens after a year. But the alcohol was very subdued and the beer really didn't seem particularly rich. Oh it smelled rich as hell, but it finished downright clean and tangy. Which was cool enough, I suppose, but more like I would expect from a Porter than a RIS.

Deep, dark, and nearly absent of color. Fine coffee-cream head. Smells of blood and grilled meats. Sweet Turkish coffee on the palate. Oddly un-rich, actually. Even tangy on the finish.

Food pairing: Mexican porchetta (slow-roasted pork shoulder, wrapped around aromatics)

Photo of avalon07
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Old Rasputin has a dark appearance - no clarity at all - with very little head evident. The smell was low key, sporting some hints of coffee especially. The taste, like other imperial stouts, had coffee and chocolate in it. However, the hops flavor was fairly strong and kind of overwhelmed the others. Mouthfeel was sharp and tingly. In general, this is a drinkable beer. I didn't like quite as much as Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout, mainly due to the hops content.

Photo of Suds
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Impenetrable, solid black color with a thin, lasting light brown head. Somewhat vinuous aroma, with heavy smells of coffee and chocolate. Taste is initially sweet: roasted and burnt malts. Very faint grain. Alcohol, which is hidden in the smell, comes forth in the mid-taste, and presents a pleasant warming.. Hop bitterness is strong and crisp. Finish is relatively dry. Soft and full mouthfeel. This is a very drinkable and complex beer. There’s a lot of interactive, well-balanced flavors in this beer. It’s a pure treat.

Photo of sampsonw
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of RocketCityVol
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of Brackh
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black. Smells like roasted toasted malt. Bitter up front. A little bit of chocolate. Super malty. It isn't overpowering in any department. Gets better as it warms up a bit. Good solid balanced beer.

Photo of thegodfather1076
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served out of a 12oz. bottle dispensed into a glass....

Presentation - Awesome label and artwork!

Appearance - Pours black with a 2 finger brown head that leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Smell - Smells of dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted smokey malts.

Taste - Tastes of roast coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Has a very nice hoppy finish. The high alcohol content(9.8% ABV) is masked very well within the taste of the beer.

Mouthfeel - Lighter bodied than expected while still having a creamy mouthfeel. Light carbonation.

Drinkability - Drinkable because of the lighter feel and and good flavor but prob could only drink a few because of the alcohol content.

My first RIS and I loved it would def recommend! May be a bit intense for an amateur beer drinker and those that do not have a great love for stouts.

Photo of ONUMello
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
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

Photo of Ironstutz
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Didier
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of hambone
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Bfarr
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin is as dark as you would expect with a deep umber foam that dissipates fairly quickly. Big chocolate aroma with a little molasses and floral undertones. As with the aroma, it has a big chocolate malt taste upfront with a significant and surprising hop presence. A nice coffee and slightly sweet alcohol taste with fuzzy carbonation finishes it off. This doesn't have the thick mouth coating feel I've typically gotten from this style. Instead it's kind of tacky and a little dirty but in a good way.

In short, I think this beer has something for everyone. Whatever you have a preference for you'll find a litlle bit in here combined with other good flavors and aromas and feels all relatively balanced and smooth drinking. I think this accounts for it's overall crowd pleasing nature. And I say that with the utmost respect.

Photo of WetCoaster
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I almost fell into my cart when I saw that Old R had found its way back to shelves of Safeway--happy days are here again. In honor of this most joyous occasion, I thought I'd review it.

Appearance: A deep mahogany that takes on a nice ruby glow in the light, although it's not as dark as many stouts. The carbonation is fine and mild, and the head is tan and short lived. There isn't much lacing, oddly, but there is a collar that lasts throughout.

Smell: "Booming" does not come close to describing the aroma of this brew; even ice cold, it fills the room. Initially, it's one tight ball of sweet, dark fruit. As it warms, it begins to unwind. The darkness is still there, figs and raisins come on strong. There is also surprisingly strong Myer's rum-like alcohol in the nose. There is the usual molasses, caramel and a perplexing "maybe it's chocolate, maybe it's not" undertone. Finally, there is also a sharp, almost chardonnay aroma--hops? You'll notice this one.

Taste/Mouthfeel: No real surprises here; it tastes pretty much like it smells. In a word, chocolate-covered raisins. It's pretty straightforward, but you'll find some smokiness. Deep into the finish, a drying hoppiness emerges. Not surprisingly, the mouthfeel is medium/full with a sticky coating, although the carbonation is sharp enough to keep it lively.

Drinkability: It's a wonderfully tasty beer that's lighter than you might expect. But at almost 9%, it'd be a rough session.

While I really enjoyed this beer, it didn't quite have the "wow" factor I might have expected. Still, if you kick back, pour an inch or two at a time into a good tasting glass and spend and hour or so with Rasputin, he'll be your buddy for life.

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting, in that the first one tastes a little powdery, without the "bottom end" that a great stout (such as Speedway or Expedition) has. However, by the time I'm halfway through the second one, it's a beauty. Has a bit of that powdered chocolate taste that you find in lighter stouts, but improves as you go (ABV, warming?). Not overly bitter or dry. Overall an excellent stout, but I have had better. Glad that it's available, and I like the brewery. I wish Speedway was local. For now, I prefer Yeti.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,802 ratings.