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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.

10,199 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,199
Reviews: 3,384
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 332
Gots: 1,463 | FT: 44
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
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Ratings: 10,199 | Reviews: 3,384 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cyrock1
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pitch black with a suoer creamy looking one inch tan head.

Smell: Chocolate, toasty and roasty malt. Hints of toffee.

Taste: Bitter sweet chocolate with hints of coffee and toffee. Mild hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Semi creamy mouth-feel, nice mild cabonation.

Drinkability: Other than the alcohol content creeping up on you I would say have quite a few of these.

cyrock1, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of Gkruszewski
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

Gkruszewski, Nov 01, 2014
Photo of CJfromPhilly
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the 12 oz. bottle deep, dark brown, almost black color with a one finger tan head that dissipates into a heavy collar. Can't get a read on the carbonation that may be going on in the near blackness. Aroma is a rich, thick smell of roasted, toasty malt. There is a hint of coffee and smoke, and it's a pleasantly sweet aroma. 1st sip is a thick, rich, creamy shot of dark unsweetened chocolate, black unsweetened coffee, smoky peat, bitter hops, and alcohol! There's a lot for the tastebuds to process here! Mouthfeel is also thick, rich, & creamy. This beer is stout in every sense of the word! As for drinkability, these are so potent I think 2, maybe 3 is all I could do in one sitting, but that's not meant to be a negative. This ain't some weak-ass lager for playing quarters with! Overall, a fantastic sensory experience! Sip, savor, and enjoy!

CJfromPhilly, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of BeerNoobNC
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. The beer was dark black and produced a tan mocha head. Very malty flavor. I get a small hint of coffee or chocolate maybe, but not sure. Either way, there is a sweet taste with a little bit of a bitter bite. There is also a hint of the alcohol (which is otherwise very well-masked at 9%). I have not had many of these imperial stouts, but this is probably the best I have had so far. Very drinkable for how heavy it is, but I probably still couldn't have more than a couple.

BeerNoobNC, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of deereless
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A hard pour results in a solid half inch of thick espresso like head that dropped very slowly and left tons of sticky foam on the inside of the glass, the color is dark brown to black, a strong swirl of the glass shows some viscosity as well as some legs - 4.50, S: The initial whiff includes tons of coffee and roasted grains, I also pick up a solid presence of dark fruits - possible dates or raisins, subtle ash and mocha latte - 4.00, T: Thick and rich, overloaded with prunes and dark molasses, there is an almost buttery sweetness that is moderated by a slight grainy ash flavor, solid hop bitterness, burnt grains and coffee as well as some cocoa beans, wonderful palate all around - 4.50, M: Mouth feel is velvety and thick, faint hint of grittiness in the depths - 4.25, D: A true classic and an exceptional example of the style, one of my favorites, very drinkable - 4.50

deereless, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of kinger
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My motto is the darker the better, and this time I have met my match. I have heard about Ol' Rasputin and as soon as I stumbled across this fine brew I purchased a couple. Drawn to the great name and label I was intrigued in the high alcohol content. Pours easily with a thin head. This beer is very aromatic and has a thick consistency. The flavor is wonderfully complex to say the least. I was very surprised to discover that the overall flavor hides the strong alcohol content really well. To date this is the best stout I have ever enjoyed. I Will definately keep a few of these in stock for my personal enjoyment. \Additional rating on 12-10-07 of (2) cellared bottles, exact age is uncertain. Opaque, rich brown pour with a 1" thick lasting dark tan head and amazing lacing. Aromas of dark bitter chocolate, chilled coffee, and sharp hops. Alcohol is detectable to the nose. This beer is very full bodied and bitter-sweet. Thick and creamy with a light alcohol burn and smooth finish. Rich flavors of coffee, fudge, burnt and nutty malts. Large chocolate presence and a firm bitterness, the hop flavor really breaks through once the beer warms up some. One of the the first imperial stouts I sampled, and after a couple years it still remains high on the list.

kinger, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of madvermin
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This black concoction had a decent amount of dark brown head on top that retained quite well. Opaque and dark as night, very good looking RIS.

Smells immediately of chocolate and then coffee in the background, with some caramel in there too.

The chocolate is very dark, the coffee hits at the end after a brief hop hit. Awesome espresso bean aftertaste that makes me want to drink more. Some vague fruit/nut sweetness somewhere that makes it tastes like dessert, and I honestly would rather have a bottle of this than some fancy coffee cake thing in a restaurant.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy like a milkshake, and never gets too sticky or anything like that. Drinkability is phenomenal for being 9% abv, as the alcohol is only slightly evident as part of that coffee kick at the end. This measures up to just about any other stout out there.

madvermin, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of celticfutblclub
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A - a nice jet black body to this with a brown head that is about an eighth of an inch thick and quickly settles to a thin line for the remainder.

S - nice notes of malty biscuits and chocolate. nice roasty smell sits well in the back.

T - sweet maltiness up front with a good bit of hoppy bitterness hitting at the end. chocolate, bread, and coffee can all be tasted in there. such a tasty brew.

M - nicely full bodied. good carbonation levels.

O - one of my personal favorite russian imperial stouts that i have had to this day. it just seems to never get old and always seems to end up back in my fridge.

celticfutblclub, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't see any appreciable bottling date on the bottle, but I can definitely attest that this bottle is AT LEAST 14 months old, based on the date I bought it and subsequent cellaring. I'd probably guess it was more around 18 months, however.

A: Jet black in color with a creamy, thick, and slow-to-recede chocolate milkshake colored head. It retains quite well, with a relatively thick layer of foam retaining atop throughout in my large bowl snifter.

S: Very rich bittersweet chocolate, some light coffee, dark fruit notes, some vanilla. Quite rich and invigorating.

T&M: With age the hops have mellowed out substantially, revealing a very complex and excellent stout. Flavor starts with a confluence of dark chocolate covered black cherries, raisins, and other dark fruits before segueing into a pleasant roasted malt component. Finish is long, distinct, and savory and features espresso, dark chocolate, burnt black malt, and all kinds of wonderful dark flavors. Quite pleasant. Body is full and a tad bit oily (yet also creamy) with a restrained carbonation that just tickles the tongue.

D: Rather quaffable considering the ABV and body. This is definitely one to age, considering the sharp hoppiness when it's young.

BamaBeerBuff, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of CMW
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a jet black color with a nice size cocoa head.

S - Smells of cocoa, coffee, burnt malt, and molasses.

T - Wonderful blend of chocolate cake, coffee, and maple syrup. Finished with a slight hop bite and little alcohol burn. Very smooth.

M - Thick and buttery.

D - Very drinkable. The alcohol is misleading because I could not taste it at all.

CMW, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of LXIXME
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thick very long lasting light brown head covers a clean and clear dark brown to black colored beer.

Aroma is on the lighter side with well roasted to almost burnt grain malts and some chocolates.

A full well roasted grain malt taste with lots of dark chocolates coming through.

Slightly dry aftertaste with some of the dark malts and chocolates tastes lingering behind with this full bodied drink.

Very well done, was lucky enough to enjoy this in front of the fireplace on chilly night.

LXIXME, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of Fatehunter
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured a finger of tan head on a pitch black body.
The aroma is full of molasses with a little burnt wood and caramel. Wonderful.
The taste is incredible. Lots of burnt malt and molasses but nicely balanced, which makes it almost too easy to drink.
The texture is thick with low to moderate carbonation.
Heaven in your mouth.

Fatehunter, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of rhynosorus
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Dark, opaque, black body, very fine carbonation makes a small amount of creamy light brown head. Classic and inviting stout characteristics.

Smell - Heavy, roasty,chocolaty, and slightly smoky aroma

Taste - The thick, dark, chocolaty malt dominates the begininning of the taste and smoothy gives way to a slight bitter tinge of hops at the end of the taste. A very well balanced flavor, and drinkable. A well crafted beer and example of what a stout should be.

Mouthfeel - Thick, smooth, creamy, and delightful

Overall - A great example of a Russian Imperial stout that is readily available in most places. A must have

rhynosorus, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It's no wonder this beer is an old favorite for so many, and that they keep coming back to it. Consistently outstanding, wonderful flavors of coffee and chocolate, strong and confident. One of my favorites in one of my favorite styles, in a group that is crowded with excellent offerings. I never feel this beer lets me down. And I love it as much in the heat of summer as I do in the bleakness of winter. Like an old comrade. Za vashe zdorovie.

Beer-A-Lot, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of dill
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served on draft into a flute glass.

A - this beer was beautiful to watch settle as the creamy brown gradation gave way to a rich ebony body with a creamy tan head full of tight carbonation.

S - smells of coffee and toasted malts.

T - rich with coffee, mocha, and a touch of toastiness.

M - creamy. very creamy.

D - had this one at the end of the night and was hugely impressed by it. i can't wait to try it again.

dill, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of SamuraiJack
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An excellent American Stout. Perhaps not on par with either the Shakespeare or the Brooklyn Chocolate, but still a great beer.
On first pour we have a nearly completely opaque brew, deep, dark, black as black. The head isn't very strong or thick or creamy, but has tight and even sized bubbles. Nice cascade forms to introduce you to the pleasures to come. The aromas are nearly overwhelmingly alcoholic, but somehow balanced by the deep and rich roasted malt and dark roast espresso notes.
The first taste is oh so smooth. Flavours are dominated by coffee, charcoal, malt and bitter hops. The alcohol adds potency and spicey notes, but is still balanced. Aftertaste fades into impressive sweetness, still balanced by the ongoing espresso notes.
Mmmm.... this is a stout I could even session drink. Nice.

SamuraiJack, Feb 10, 2003
Photo of muffguy4beer
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Black, pitch black in color. Head did not appear at first but then it cascaded up into a not light brown inch thick head.

Smell: Charcoal briquettes, root beer barrels, alcohol and grape pixie stix are all present in the smell.

Taste: Starts off like sweet strong coffee, still am getting a grapey/raisin hint as I swallow. Nice hop bitterness balances out the sweetness of the beer. Complex taste consisting of light smokiness, chocolate, sweetness, coffee, and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body. Appropriate carbonation.

Drinkability: One or two of these max in one sitting. I loved it but its very powerful in all aspects so I probably would max out at 2 in a session. Fantastic seasonal, perfect for a cold new england winter.

muffguy4beer, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of fo1ksguitar
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Nitro Tap at The Royale in St. Louis

A- Extremely dark, pours large creamy head

S- Smells subtle, hints of coffee and chocolate

T- Very well balanced. Lots of coffee upfront, creamy vanilla in the middle, a little acidic on the back. Alcohol is almost completely masked.

M- Medium and sticky body, very very smooth.

O- This was really great on nitro, much better than on regular tap or bottle. It really made it a lot creamier and balanced out the stronger coffee and alcohol notes.

fo1ksguitar, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of chinchill
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass.

The well-sized dark tan head was about as dense and lovely as could be short of a nitro-can or nitro-tap. The liquid appears black with just tiny glimpses of brown at the edges when backlit. The head has excellent durability and leaves lots of light brown lacing.

Rather aromatic for a stout, with an easily detectable hop note over a rich dark malt aroma. The high ABV becomes more evident as the beer warms, but remains partially hidden. This high ABV is exceptionally well hidden in the taste and feel, however. The rich flavor, mainly from dark roasted malt, certainly contributes to the masking of alcohol flavors. There are dark chocolate and, less obvious, coffee notes in the finish. Almost no charred (burnt) taste components. Perfect sweet/bitter balance.

M - Exceptional mouthfeel, with a body that is nicely full for style, a creamy smooth texture, only the slightest alcohol tingle, and a modicum of lively tongue feel from the perfect carbonation.

O - What an excellent balance of hops and dark roasted malt, in this lively RIS! Delicious.

chinchill, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of rwathree
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip glass:

A: just about pitch black, with the slightest of dark brown hues on the edges when held to light. Yields a pillowy brown head that leaves just a bit of lace as it settles.

S: brown sugar, semisweet chocolate, pleasant alcohol fumes, molasses. Very appealing.

T: vine fruit (as in a bold red wine), bitter chocolate, alcohol heat, all rounded out by a bold, dark coffee flavor that lingers. So good.

M: Rich and full, as it should be. Can get a bit hot after a while, but that's to be expected.

O: I already knew this, but taking the time to be critical reaffirms how much I love this beer. They're two different animals, but the only Russian Imperial that equals this is Samuel Smith's. This is the standard bearer for the style.

rwathree, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of teejay76
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a dark brown/black. A couple inches of tan head.

Smell: Strong overtones of a vanilla coffee.

Taste: Bold bitter but complements with a sweet aftertaste. Hops and coffee. A heavy beer to be sure.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation, but not exactly smooth. Full flavored and filling.

Drinkability: Delicious. Won't become part of my everyday rotation but I'll definitely have again!

teejay76, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of secondtooth
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is of a fresh bottle, will follow up in 2012 with cellared tastings.

Pitch black upon pouring, with a large head of fine tan foam.
Almost no lacing to speak of, and my bottle was a little under room temp.

Nose is boozy, bourbon/whiskeylike, with definite hints of chocolate malts.

Taste is a bomb of dark chocolate, with a rich, robust and boozy finish.

Just delicious!

secondtooth, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin is not as dark as many other Imperial stouts, with luminous dark mahogany highlights beneath its creamy yellowed-tan head. And it's head retention leaves a bit to be desired as well. It does leave some thin lace, however, which is nice. And what it lacks in appearance it makes up for in aroma. It's slightly vinous with some yeasty fruitiness coming through the maltiness, followed by a touch of dark chocolate, espresso, and a waft of hops. It's quite slick, and a touch creamy, across the palate with a full body and a restrained, natural carbonation. The yeasty fruitiness carries through into the flavor with notes of prunes, plums, and berries; all backed by a massive assult of malt that offers espresso, burnt black coffee, dark caramel, and the suggestion of molasses as well as a pinch of brown sugar. It finishes with some resinous hops and a drip of black licorice before fading into a long, very dry finish. Quite nice!

NeroFiddled, Apr 21, 2005
Photo of MrKennedy
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased from Platinum Liquor, North Strathfield and poured into a Mikkeller tulip.

Visually spectacular, pouring a thick black with a "top deck" head of foam that is a darker tan down the bottom and lighter up top. Poured with two fingers of foam and settling down at a quarter-inch with some good glass lacing.

Aromas are hoppy initially, mixed with dark chocolate and some coffee. Big roasted malt smell as well which makes it enticing.

Nice mix of flavours, chocolate initially, hoppy in the middle and finishing with a touch of coffee.

Mouthfeel is great, coating the mouth, finishing with some roasted bitterness and hoppiness.

Overall, i can see why this is ranked by many as the top year-round RIS. Complex, drinkable, interesting, well balanced brew. Hats off to Palais Imports for bringing this to Australia.

MrKennedy, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of Mavajo
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an absolute black (que the similes and metaphors about sucking your soul, staring into a void, etc.) with a brown head. The head poured fairly thin, but then just kept growing until it was about two fingers thick. Fades back down relatively quickly, but eventually settles into a thick crown with a nice film over the middle.

Nose is of dark chocolate, espresso, and sweet. The taste is superb. Dark caramel malts, espresso, dark chocolate, and a subtle hint of dark fruits. This beer has every excuse to be a bitter bomb, and it does have some bitterness, but it's actually quite balanced and distinctly sweet. Complex, superb taste.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy. There's a mild amount of carbonation - you'll notice it, but it's not dominant. Subtle alcohol taste. A bit of a burn or tingle in the throat. There is a bit of a feeling/taste in the throat that reminds me of cough syrup, but it's not unpleasant.

Drinkability is tough to rate on this. It's delicious and you'll frequently find yourself sipping away on a glass of this, but it's heavy and full-bodied, so you're not exactly going to be chugging this or going back for seconds and thirds.

Mavajo, Nov 07, 2009
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,199 ratings.