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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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

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10,712 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,712
Reviews: 3,489
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 403
Gots: 1,858 | FT: 49
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 (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,712 | Reviews: 3,489 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

Not a big stout fan, but I figured this one was worth trying.
Very creamy looking head. Big and fluffy at first but quickly faded to a lasting tan ring around the glass.
Very nice aroma from this brew as soon as I opened the bottle. Chocolate and roasted nuts. Some sour fruit. Sweet molasses.
Taste is a little tangy at first sip. Then roasted flavors and semi-sweet chocolate. Ends with a significant amount of bitterness, especially for a Russian imperial.
Silky mouthfeel. Smooth. Nice level of carbonation. Expected for the style.
Cited as one of the best Russian imperial stouts.I definitely agree this beer is "up there", though it's not outstanding IMO.

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a heavenly black heavy brew with a half inch bubble head that subsides to a thin covering. Aromas carry that dark roasted smell paired with some dark chocolate and a good deal of alcohol. Texture isn't all to heavy and high carbonation brings down the mouthfeel and drinkability a bit. I enjoy these heavier beers with a bit less. Anyway, flavors are particularly drying and hoppy towards the end with the carbonation and alcohol both making quite a sting. I really enjoy the roasted flavors, I just wish the bubbliness would be decreased as well as the body increase.

Photo of amvrana
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sugeknight6289
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into standard pint glass.

Pours black with nice carbonation. The brown head bubbles then turn to a delicious fluff. No light is able to be seen through this baby. No alochol legs apparent.

Reeks of chocolate, hints of coffee with that thick molasses and dark fruits. Slight hops also play throughout. That nice rich, familiar RIS smell. Reminds me of a Stone IRS.

Hop biterness roles in the front of the tongue followed by dark chocolate/coffee. The flavors meld together well but it almost seems like the hop over power the rich flavors in the background.

Creamy, with medium carbonation. The biterness plays down the throat but is smoothed over the dark flavors of slight fruit, chocolate and coffee.

With such an afforable and just price, I will be picking this brew up again in the future, just not going out of my way to seek it out.

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

A: Jet black, one finger mocha head dissipating into a thick ring.

S: Distinct cocoa and espresso beans, some hops dancing around as well.

T: My first sip was way too cold, alcohol surprised me - and a somewhat muted palate. After only a short time in the glass Raspy revealed heavily roasted malts, cocoa, and fresh coffee beans. Sharp hop bitterness mid palate (almost juicy), warming finish. Initial slap of alcohol is now hidden, thankfully. Well balanced.

M: "Medium bodied" as far as stouts go, pretty well carbed. Fits the flavor profile nicely, though.

D: Probably too good for 9%.

Photo of Drew966
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout pours jet black with a thin tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is dominated by dark chocolate. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel, the flavor has dark chocolate notes and coffee notes as well. The alcohol seems well hidden. Excellent beer, recommended.

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

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. No freshness date. Purchased as 4-pack from Harris Teeter (Charlottesville, VA) for $9.99.

A: Nearly black with ruby edges with 1/2-finger tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves a few spots of lace.

S: Strong aromas of bitter dark chocolate and cold coffee mingle with black bread with light berry alcohol and leafy hops notes

T: A big, traditional RIS with medicinal, bourbon dark malt notes taking charge but coated with heavy bittersweet chocolate and black coffee with some leafy hops thrown in. Alcohol contributes a berry-cherry note as well.

M: Thick and viscous but not as chewy as you might imagine. A little oatmeal in the mix might cut the light astringency and give this a little more smoothness.

D: A classic stout which I like better in the bottle for temperature control purposes. It has a heavy medicinal quality with a pretty boozy profile overall, but the bitter chocolate and coffee notes are artfully woven in. I'm going to leave a few of these for a few months and try them serially every 3-4 months to see if there is much evolution.

12/5/2009: Consumed after a Founders Breakfast Stout, and the contrast is substantial. Much sweeter and boozier with a more traditional dark malt sweetness with a more bitter chocolate component with a light bourbon note. Not much different than the fresh OR.

Photo of 44leaves
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%

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

Photo of khelmstetter
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%

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

Pours with a decent amount of head, especially for a RIS, and a black color. Smell is a delicious mix of rich, roasted malts and chocolate. Taste is sweet, malty, and roasted with coffee notes and a nice, balanced hop finish. Medium-bodied mouthfeel with solid carbonation. Nicely drinkable, especially for the style as it is ONLY 9% ABV and smooth.

Photo of SudNut
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours to a disturbingly dark concoction with a tan head about two fingers thick quickly dispersing to a thin head over the top.

A toot of suds is like smelling a malty dark mocha with a couple of extra shots of espresso. I detect roasted malt, dark semi-sweet chocolate, coffee and a bit of alcohol.

Nice big gulp and aaahhhh almost exactly like it smells the order of taste some times clashes though, roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee and alcohol respectively. Sometimes it seems the chocolate and coffee switch seats on the bus. Also there is an undertone of hops near the finish, good stuff!

Creamy medium body with a touch of stickiness to the mouthfeel, it almost feels like painting a coat of beer on your tongue, although just for a moment.

This beer has above average drinkability and I will have another. The fact is I can only endure so much real coffee and this beer tastes like coffee. One or two is great any more than that is too much for my taste.


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

Picked up a four pack because the price was right. No bottle date to be seen..Not sure how I feel about a beer calling itself a cult classic but that's ok let's get to it..

The pour is damn near black. More head than I imagined leading into some lacing.

Smell is big dark chocolate and malts, booze, burnt chocolate cake with dark fruits.

Taste offers creamy chocolate with a really nice roasted character, sturdy amounts of bitterness and more booze in the aftertaste.

Creamy and smooth, warming finish.

Glad I got to try this one. Would pick it up again

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

A: Opaque black with a small mocha head.
S: On the nose,mainly toasted malts, chocolate, nuts, vanilla and ashes.
T: Palate on chocolate, ocffee, molasses. Quite sweet and rich. Light bitterness on the aftertaste, a bit herbal.
M: Medium bodied, slightly oily, a bit sticky. The alcohol can be felt.
O; An imperial stout quite classic, relatively easy to drink, but without a real uniqueness.

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

Interesting looking RIS, being that it is not a glass full of squid ink. Very dark brown, to be sure, but I can see through the edges, with are bottle glass brown. Very little head to speak of, off-white and thin. Smells yeasty, like dark bread, with a big roasted malt note

Tastes of clean, round roasted malt all the way through, with some coffee edges and a wee hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is very creamy and consistent.

Wow. So that's a really good, even-handed Russian imperial stout that does its work without tasting like a bag of sugar. Beauty of a label, too, with the spooky little wave from the Mad Monk.

Photo of DuffDadddy
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of auee92
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma: Sweet, bitter, dark chocolate with hints of licorice and alcohol

Appearance: Pours rich black with enormous head that settles into a nice, tan finger of frothy luxury

Taste: Medium sweetness up front giving way to a lightly bitter aftertaste

Palate: Light bodied with a thin oily texture, finishing with a long bitter finale.

Overall: A very good imperial stout

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

From notes drank on 3-17-09
Poured a used motor oil like color, a mocha head that faded fast but left some lacing
Smell was deep dark roasted barley and some coffee
Taste was big roasted coffee and barley with a nice hop bitterness and alcohol presence in the finish
Mouthfeel was over carbonated and a bit to thin for my preferences but not terrible
Drinkability was good but having more than one of these would have shot me for the night...

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: This beer is pretty much jet black, with minimal signs of carbonation. I struggled to get much of a head, maybe because I poured it too carefully, but what I got was a nice caramel brown.

S: I get alot of charred malt aroma, with vague hints of unsweetened chocolate. The coffee is definitely there, too. This is what I imagined it would be like, and it smells great.

T: OK, I must admit that this is only my second ever RIS (I've also had the one from Stone), so I didn't quite know what I was looking for. There is an immediate black coffee/dark chocolate taste, accompanied by a related bitterness. However, the bitterness doesn't stick around for long, only on the edges of the tongue. It is followed with a mild malty sweetness. It's interesting how the different tastes seem to move around your mouth.

M: I am surprised by the amount of carbonation here. I was expecting something a little flatter and heavier. I'd say it's got a medium body that gives way to an oily texture accompanying the aftertaste. Not quite what I had in mind for a beer this powerful.

D: I thoroughly enjoyed this beer, even though some of the elements surprised me. If I hadn't known this was 9% ABV, you wouldn't be able to convince me; the alcohol is hidden behind all the other flavors, and it goes down so smoothly. Other brewers need to try this and take note.

Photo of kcillini77
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wow - this is one tasty brew, and the price is not too bad either.

Pours deep black with a huge head into a Duvel tulip.

Smell is of coffee, maybe a little english toffee, cocoa nibs, and a bit of fusel alcohol.

Taste is roasted coffee, some cocoa powder, and maybe a little bourbon. Aftertaste is mostly coffee-like.

Alcohol is warming and apparent, and there is a lot of carbonation here, so the mouthfeel suffers a bit.

Overall, a great beer and a great value.

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

A - Very dark, tan head, no light shines through.

S - Chocolate and malt. Possibly a slight bit of licorice.

T - Just as it smells, chocolate, heavy dark malts. Very tasty.

M - Not quite syrupy, but heavy as most RIS' are.

O - A very good RIS. One of the best for it's price.

Photo of tuckevalastin
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pitch black with hardly any tan head

S: Has a mild scent. Smells of chocolate and roasted coffee

T: Lots of chocolate and coffee and decent hoppy bitterness. The roasty malt flavors dominate the bitterness though.

M: A full bodied beer with moderate bitterness. Nice and creamy with a warming alcohol feel but not enough to overwhelm the flavors.

D: Definetly a sipper.

Overall, I'm happy to have found this one and consider it to be a very good stout.

Photo of tigg924
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: huge beautiful head, opaque, dark brown

Smell: complex: malt, dark chocolate, sugar, wood, some espresso

Taste: It follows the smell but with a noticeable dose of alcohol.. The sweetness is surprising...It is almost like a milk stout and then the alcoholic bite..The aftertaste alternates between the burnt taste and the sweetness

Mouthfeel: smooth, thick body, creamy, with a sweet finish, then a hit of alcohol, followed by a bitter alcoholic finish

Drinkability: A nice and complex RIS. Not my favorite in the style, but up there...I will have this again, but due to the noticeable high ABV--probaly would only have one or two in a sitting..Excellent RIS.

Photo of weonfire
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark dark brown, opaque, HUGE fluffy mocha head, patchy lacing

S - Roasty dark chocolate, coffee

T - initial: Roasty (4/10) dark chocolate, caramel, honey, expresso, dry malt, vanilla. finish: roasty nuts, coffe, touch of smoke. roastyness does linger a bit. hops is low (2/10)

M - Frothy, real creamy, high viscosity, even has a touch of velvet, med/full body

O - Nose leads you to believe this might be a roasty beer. While it does have some roast, not as much as thought. I find this to be an excellent brew. While i personally don't like the roast beers - it had just a touch more than I like and it could be a bit sweeter. Appearance, while poured vigorously,was spectacular. Mouth is excellent. I do wish the nose was better. Overall, very good.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,712 ratings.