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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: 418
Gots: 1,933 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,802 | Reviews: 3,513
Photo of putnam
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After a glass of Lion Stout...this has a warmer tone to the color of the head and warmer, woodier aromas as well. The liquid is suprisingly light in color. Raw cocoa and coffee beans, like kahlua, with a little green bean, pine nut, and cherry jam on the nose. Now licorice and cough syrup...Rich, round, sweet chocolate fudge. Burned chocolate cookies. A nice assertive bitterness on the medium-long finish.

Photo of xsiow52
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Scrapss
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

So Ol' Rasputin. We finally meet. Poured into a rinse prepared turbinator style glass from a 12oz. bottle at room temp bottle and glass.

A: FANTASTIC. Huge rocky three finger tan head with dark-as-night body. not brooding, quite still for the head that poured. beautiful. Leaves thin wispy, soapy lacing with a 2mm disc through out.

S: roasted coffee, chocolate, mocha, toffee, caramel, some phenolic tar and figgy fruit scents. Many volatile organic compounds float northward to my waiting olfactory glands. On the verge of a malt bomb at room temp.

T: taste follows nose, with deep chocolate, toffee, coffee, deeply roasted malt. More fig. there is an almost indistinct spice from this yeast.

M: Not as thick as I hoped. Still pleasing moderate-thick body. creamy as head would indicate. slightly medium finish, not dry nor a maltbomb finish. ultimate finish is that volatile malt/hot booze.

O: fine example of the style. balanced in many ways, and complex. A "try" for sure.

Photo of tito42
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to an imperial pint.

A: Rich espresso with a cocoa colored head. The head is thick and foamy. Slight particulate and carbonation visible.

S: Plum, grape, toffee, black pepper, tobacco, espresso.

T: Tobacco, peat, earthy hops, toffee, roasted espresso, lots of alcohol.

M: Medium bodied with a dry finish and lots of warmth from the alcohol.

O: Wonderful appearance and inviting aroma. Taste is just a little harsh on the palate at first but smooths as the beer warms. The alcohol isn't masked much. Still, a nice palette of flavors makes for a complex beer. Great RIS for the price point.

Photo of xseanprimex
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into an American pint.

A: This brew pours an immense head that is a sandy tan and lasts FOREVER!!! Maps well down the side of the glass. The dark black beer is almost impenetrable by light. Exactly what an imperial Russian stout should look like, and lives up to it's dark and mysterious namesake.

S: Dark and malty, it has a slightly bitter smell to it. Good smell.

T: Boozy. The dark malts are strong and up front with the good solid bitterness. The 9% ABV is tough in a good way.

M: Great and oily like the appearance clues to. The carbonation adds to a spicy and burning feel.

O: A really good brew. The look and smell are great, with a solid taste that is perfect for a cold, harsh winter.

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a Mad Elf tulip glass from a 12oz stubby brown bottle with a crimped cap.

Had a half glass of beer and head from a medium pour.Opaque black with a slight brownish hue. Creamy tan head with good retention leaving a creamy coating throughout the beer. No lacing just a tiny speck or two.

Moderate aromas,lots of maltyness,very roasty,chard wood,burnt carmell,bakers chocolate and tinge of alcohol and a somewhat of a mustyness,

Burnt bittersweet carmell taste,roasty, woody/earthy has a clean mid-taste followed by an intense sharp bitterness with strong unsweetened chocolate notes with a warming booziness not overwhelming but definate. A nice balance and fairly complex

Has a light/airy feel for the style,very creamy has a juicy booziness. A sipper that goes down with ease. Not a beer i would drink more than one or two of,but enjoyable none the less.

Photo of FleeVT
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle, no date.

A: Pours a jet inky black with a nice tan head that sticks to the side of the glass, your esophagus, and coats the intestines.

S: Milk chocolate, espresso, and alcohol; put all of that in a pot and slow roast it and you're getting close to the nose on this one.

T: Espresso oils are first and most prominent throughout. Chocolate sweetness makes an appearance and a balanced alcohol and hop bitter finish take you home. There is a lot to this beer and you can focus on something different every sip.

M: Heavy carbonation for an RIS. Medium to heavy body that almost wants to be chewed.

D: Yes please. Give me a cold evening, a fire, and 2 Rasputins. This is a treat that I could only enjoy once in a while.

Photo of biboergosum
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Is the titular seer divining something with his hand, or merely wiping his brow?

This beer pours a deep, dark black abyss, with a slight hint of red cola at the edges, and then only when held to direct light, and a head that comes in at about two pudgy fingers of puffy, creamy, and fizzy beigeness, which leaves a solid ring of jagged sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells strongly of bittersweet chocolate, dry coffee beans, toasty caramel malt, ripe black fruit, earthy, leafy hops, and a slight metallic alcohol astringency. The taste is bitter dark chocolate, toasted caramel biscuits, roasted, and sort of charred coffee, a heavy, yet dry plum and date fruitiness, gritty molasses, and a small, insidiously innocuous alcohol twang.

The carbonation is on the low side, just a low-key frothiness apparent, the body big, dense, and smooth, in a simmeringly menacing sort of manner. It finishes off-dry, some retreating chocolate and settling hop notes closing things out - the booze warming continues its charade of being barely noticeable (ok, 'very well integrated').

A pretty stellar RIS, the chocolate, malt, fruit, and booze all playing nice like there was no revolution in sight, just yer typical drunken dalliances with the tsarina. Oh yes, old Grigori would indeed be proud.

Photo of socon67
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this at a beer sampling today.

This pours very nicely for a RIS. The smell is a very nice mocha/toffee mix. I was impressed with the taste, specifically how unlike others of the type it wasw silky smooth. I can taste a coffee and sweet blend of dark chocolate.

The drinkability of this beer is incredible. You really could have a few of these, though I didn't. Overall I'd put this up against many of the big Russian Stouts and say it would fare well. I'm curious if I kept some for a year how it would mellow.

Photo of MiScusi
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap and poured into a tulip at The Library Bar in downtown Los Angeles. Poured jet black with a brown head. Smell was all that imperial stout stuff- roasted barley and chocolate are the main things. The taste was very rich with a pretty big roastiness. Had a nice slick mouthfeel but didn't overwhelm with thickness or syrupyness. A very good tasting stout, much different than what I experienced from the bottle I tried a few months ago. Ratings have been updated.

Bottled version 12.16.07

A- Poured into a pint glass, a nice dark brown to black, can be seen through at the bottom of the glass and had a fluffy light-tan head.

S- The smell was pretty faint but definitely roasty and slightly acidic. This was much more tilted toward the roast then other RIS's which tend to be sweeter to me (ie Stone)

T- Roasty with a deep bitter chocolate second half. There is just a bit of alcohol at the very end. On about my 8th sip, something happened and the taste just became unbearable. At first it was an average, maybe even slightly above average beer to me, but at that point it turned to something that was making me sick having in my mouth. The taste just became a big alcohol and astringent mess. I don't know what it was but I couldn't finish half this glass.

M- Exceptionally smooth, the carbonation you know is there, it wasn't flat by any means, but in the mouth you don't get one hint of carbonation as it is all hidden under a blanket of malts.

D- I had to pour it out. Didn't even get through half of the beer. I would not seek this out again. This specific RIS may be for some people, but it isn't for me.


Photo of BigIrishman
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap into pint glass

Appearance: Jet black with caramel colored head, not too much lace.

Smell: Nice, espresso with some chocolate and a bit of a tangy bitterness to it.

Taste: Very similar to the smell, very espressoish with some anise and a bit of caramel in the background.

Mouthfeel: Very thick, what you would expect from an RIS.

Drinkability: Not as high as I would usually rank a RIS, mostly because there was a reasonably noticeable alcohol presence.

Notes: Very enjoyable. but not the most standoutish of RIS's.

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, blinding black; lumpy tan head; massive, streaky tan lacing throughout. Cocoa, dark burnt malts and smokey almonds graze the nose. The initial sips are sweet chocolate, yeasty malts and light roast coffee beans. The body quickly turns creamy and slick. Caramel, brown sugar and dark roasted malts combine for a massively flavored full bodied beer! Velvet-like smoothness; oh so tender hints of left coast perfumy hops with a large smokey malt backbone and finish. Mild, warming notes of alcohol. A roof-raising, sessionable, well marketed RIS--do you need more?

Photo of bwood06
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

A - Pitch black. Tan and white layered 2 finger head. Very creamy in appearance. 4.5/5

S - Chocolate, toffee and coffee. Dark toasted malt. Toasted bread. Very muted. 3.5/5

T - Toffee and chocolate. Toasted bread. Slight bitterness on the back end. 4/5

M - Very thick and chewy. Very creamy. Heavy body which matches with this style of beer. 4.5/5

O - Great beer especially with dessert. Bitterness was more than expected. 4/5

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass, no freshness date.

A: Pours a deep dark amber almost black, with a thick tan head that fades into a thickish cap with very nice lacing. A decent cascading effect when first poured into glass fades when head forms, very pretty beer.

S: I could smell this stuff as soon as I opened this thing. When it finally all gets in the glass a big chocolate aroma greets the nose, lingering a bit longer over the glass and with a bit of agitation fermented fruits begin to appear, apples and grapes tied together with a thick carmel scent, very inviting.

T/MF: I'm not used to drinking stouts but I have to say that this is not only one of the best stouts I've tasted, but one of the best beers I've ever had. That being said the beer slides over the entire pallate, super rich and creamy as to be expected, incredibly thick and pleasing. The tastes are everywhere and beautifly balanced, coffee and chocolate appear first with sweet molasas and carmel, I almost don't want to swallow because this beer tastes so good. There are also nice hints of fruit that helps balance the intense chocolate and coffee flavors, excellent, excellent beer.

D: No matter what the occasion I would have no qualms about drinking this beer, though I imagine it would be even better paired with some rich chocolates while sitting in a big high backed chair with a large bearskin rug covering the floor next to a roaring fire.

Still I would recommend this beer to everyone, it puts all the other stouts I've tried to shame and has rekindled my intrest in this style

Photo of Mandrake
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out quite thick, though not as close to motor oil as some recent imperial stouts I've seen. Hints of ruby red peek from around the edges of my glass, and the darkish tan head is light a frothy, lasting well but leaving little lacing. Nose is obviously well-hopped, with citrus and fruit notes hovering over the menacingly dark chocolate. Treacle and plum sit in the mix as well, fabulously complex and alluring. Taste is a minor step back, as the hops step forward and the vinous character takes a distinct back seat to the slam of coffee and chocolate. Still there is a nice note of tobacco in the mix, which keeps it lively and interesting. Mouthfeel is nice and thick, not overpowering though, and drinkability is solid. Very good stout, has everything you're looking for without necessarily being at the very top rank in its category.

Photo of fitzy84
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank it at Moan and Dove. It poured out deliciously dark looking and settled to a thin head. Sharp malts were definitely sensed almost with some hops. There was a beautiful sense of roasted flavors overall. The taste had a bitter and creamy attribute to it. It seemed a tiny bit off being so bitter but it was still really enjoyable. The drink was surprisingly thin for a Russian imperial stout. It also had a slightly crisp aftertaste! Overall this was a wonderfully relaxing drink for the evening.

Photo of Beejay
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark dark brown-black. Nice creamy tan head.. looks delicious.

S: That smells nice.. Dark, roasted coffee, bourbon..

T: Smokey and dark.. Sweet. The finish is nice, with a mellowed smoke taste.

M: Thick and heavy.

D: Predictably good. This would go great with some creme brulee..

Photo of Mlkluther
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with lots of beige head that lingers and leaves a little bit of lacing.

Nose has chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, vanilla.

Taste follows with a little bit of licorice or anise. A little bit of cocoa powder taste and feel. Creamy and rich.

Excellent beer.

Photo of soco7tyx7
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with 1 finger tan head. leaves some nice lacing throughout
S - Espresso, raisin and other dark fruits, sweet alcohol
T - Espresso, raisin, bitter chocolate finish, very mild alcohol
M - Medium body, creamy feeling with a smooth finish
D - A great RIS. good to sip on, but wouldn't want to drink more than one or two in a session

Photo of nathanho
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Beware the high ABV Old Rasputin...I swear, each bottle has an actual "Little Old Rasputin" who finds his way into your head, causing much confusion and havoc, especially if more than one or two gather there at the same time - which is to be expected, given the crazy old coot's rasputation, I mean, reputation and all...See, he's up to his old trick's again, that wily Old Rasputin...

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: Black as my soul. 2 inch head my fault on the pour and great retention and lacing throughout

Smell: Bitter chocolate and coffee upfront with just a hint of hops

Taste: Same as the nose. Roasted malts and bitter chocolate upfront with a bit of coffee in the middle

Mouthfeel: Full body low carbonation and a bit thick and syrupy

Overall: Let me start off by saying fresh I do not care for this beer at all so I decided to age a couple for 1 1/2 years and it was the best decision I could have made. The flavor profile is so much nicer and the alcohol burn is gone. I really really enjoyed this beer so much that I actually cracked another one and put some vanilla bean ice cream in it and made a beer float and it was absolutely amazing.

Photo of BillHaverchuck
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep dark brown, almost pitch black
nice big tan wooden colored head
smells of chocolate and coffee, the slightest hint of earthy hops, mostly roasty scents
surprising smooth and drinkable for such a rich scent
again, roasty espresso flavors paired with dark rich cocoa
this is a deliciously rich, drinkable beer

Photo of simonjohansson
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: fruity, flowery cascade (or other american) hops, chocolate, coffee, syrup, some cream and dried fruits. Maybe somekind of notes of burnt meat or smoke, as well. Nice smell, anyways.

Taste: notes of coffee and fine dark chocolate, nice bitterness, heavy but not brutal, I'd say; syrup, smoked meat, nuts and those hops again.

Overall: one of the best stouts Ive had. Only thing I didnt like that much was the hop profile. I dont think stouts should have flowery citrus hops. It doesnt fit, in my opinion.

Photo of ksmi116
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black with a medium tan head, Looks typical of a stout

S - Toasted malt, coffee, faint hops

T - More of the smell, toasted/burnt malt, some espresso taste, hops are present in the back of the taste

M - Coats the mouth very well, but not overwhelmingly. Creamy as well. Very satisfying stout

O - Great example of a RIS, and on of the best pairings of beer/food, after a mesquite barbeque pork loin. Very delightful.

Photo of mrmanning
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing Derek! Much appreciated. Opaque black, finger if mocha head. Minute lacing. Dark, bitter chocolate aroma profile, roasted coffee beans, anise, with a mild hop presence. Licorice, toffee chocolate, bitters, milky, smooth mouthfeel. High medium body, silky mouthfeel, with great balance. Highly drinkable. Thanks again Hyde!

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