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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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8,372 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8372
Reviews: 3289
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%

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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 8,372 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of YumYumGumGum


4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nitro tap served at crossroads coffee and icecream on southside richmond, va.

A: black with three finger superfine nitro head

S: booze! Barleyish caramel chocolate mix.

T: no caramel just imperial grain and some chocolate and black coffee

M: awesome, creamy texture and greating carbonation with a medium lacing for a substantial stout.

O: highly recommend on nitro. Average in bottle.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-20-2011 05:45:23 | More by YumYumGumGum
Photo of cosmo4u

New York

4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap at the yardhouse in yonkers NY 11/12/11

Dark as night. Lower carbonation level due to the high alcohol content. Chocolate aroma with hints of licorice. Incredible flavour!! Coffee at first, with a smooth sweet chocolate middle, then a little warming with a gentle chocolate finish. The alcohol certaintly does not overpower. Mouthfeel is perfect, not too thin, but not too syrupy. Overall this is sweeter than other imperial stouts that I have tried, but with good balance. This truly is one of the world’s great beers! Thanks to Brian for serving me this remarkable beer.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-14-2011 21:05:58 | More by cosmo4u
Photo of Gatch


4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taste of Tops in Tempe, AZ.

A - Black as black can be. Thick, fluffy, latte-like head. Sits there for a long time as tall as it started. Well, until I took a sip a few minutes after the pour. Incredible.

S - Coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt smack your brain. I'm inclined to describe the nose as creamy.

T - Thick, creamy roasted malt. Chocolate. Coffee. Slight alcohol. Amazing.

M - Smooth, creamy. Like a milkshake. Your mouth becomes filled with a residual roasty taste.

While Old Rasputin is great out of the bottle and the regular tap, nitro-tap puts it on another level.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-07-2011 06:29:19 | More by Gatch
Photo of jvillefan


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer on nitro at Davis Beer Shoppe in Davis, CA.

A: Amazing, witth a light brown head that initially takes up the entire glass. After two minutes the head disappated to about three fingers. If you get this on nitro watch as the head melts into one of the best beers you've ever had.

S: The smell is slightly less then impressive. There is malt, hops, and alcohol, but is is not that strong.

T: Awesome. The dominate flavor is malt but it is perfectly balanced with hops, citrus, and caramel. After a while the chocolatly undertones come out and make this beer amazing.

M: This beer fills the mouth the way a beer should. It is viscous despite the high alcohol. The nitro is an awesome addition to this beer.

O: if you have not had had this beer on nitro then you have not had a stout. This is beer should be placed among the elite.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-02-2011 02:24:40 | More by jvillefan
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

@ Flying Saucer

I'm not usually one for Nitro beers, but I was feeling adventurous and decided to give an old classic a try. Pours black with a typically thick, dense, stable slab of a head on top that leaves much lacing on the glass. Nearly no aroma at first, but then a semi-sweet chocolate aroma emerges with an increased dark fruitiness as it warms. Tasty from the start...I think maybe a bigger stout like this is what I need from a nitro tap. Lots of chocolaty roast and a gentle creamy sweetness. Feels a little less than full bodied this way, but still obviously very smooth and floaty in the mouth. Whereas most nitro I come across is rather mild and bland, this is not...it works! It also reminds me that I need to revisit this widely available, great stout more often.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-01-2011 12:25:47 | More by wedge
Photo of 57md


3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thick and creamy head. Like with many nitros, you must wait until the beer settles before taking your first sip - but, the great visual effect of the beer settling makes the wait bearable.

The aroma is roasty with some general sweetness. The first sip yields a hearty beer with a bitter roasted finish that has a slight alcohol burn on the back end. As one drinks this gem down, the foam ring remnants divulge the size of each delicious gulp.

Since its an imperial, it could have a stronger roast profile, but no need to nitpick.

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-28-2011 07:42:30 | More by 57md
Photo of dbmata


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a phenomenal beer. Have had it many times, it is by far best on tap. You get a far sweeter flavor profile from the draught then you do from the bottle. The bottle gives a slightly more bitter and toastier flavor.

Appearance: Black as night, perfectly stouty.
Smell: Biscuity and toasty. You can smell the slight bitterness from the dark malts.
Taste: Bitter, dark, toasty and a small chocolate nib flavor. Nice malt backbone, and a slight but non-descript bitter from the hops.
Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, as it should be. Perfect mouthfeel, coats your mouth and doesn't let you forget it.
Overall: Great beer, one of my favorites. Have had it many times and draught is best. It is the model of a RIS, and holds up well to extended aging.

Serving type: on-tap

10-25-2011 02:46:39 | More by dbmata
Photo of nickfromsacto


4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The only decent beer on tap this night, unfortunately this place doesn't clean out their lines very often.

A whole pint for just five bucks, though.

Poured about two fingers of dark golden head that lingered and lined the walls of my glass until the second round. Unable to see through this dark-dark beer. The smell makes a lot of sense for this particular style: the essence of dark chocolate, roasted almonds and the strong scent of ethanol. It feels a little spicey coming in and warm going down. Not sure about the hops, are there any? Should there be any? Who knows. I don't care because overall this is an awesome beer for the high alcohol and dark chocolate lovers a staple for the cooler holidays and beer float nights.

I have missed my chance to have this on nitro ... Twice.

Cheers and enjoy

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2011 22:54:13 | More by nickfromsacto
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an engine oil black color with a very thick, toffee colored creamy head of foam. The head is very dense and lingering.

Aromas begin with malted chocolate, cocoa powder, roasted graininess, some creme and mild coffee.

The tastes begin with creamy layers of malt balls and coffee wrapped in an earthy wet blanket of flavor. Waves of creamy coffee with a slightly watery middle balanced by some ample hopping and roasted malt bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied, with medium carbonation. Lighter on the palate than I remember from the bottle but it improves the drinkability.

Overall this is an exceptional stout, overlooked in today's saturated dark beer craft world because of it continuous availability, but a real treat to find on draft at a local bar in my town.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2011 13:38:33 | More by claspada
Photo of ZenAgnostic


4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Tapped into a pint glass at Lowbrow.

Appearance - Black body, medium brown one-finger head with enormous retention and stick.

Smell - Nutty, coffee malt. Slight alcohol underneath. Well balanced.

Taste - Coffee, chocolate, alcohol. Very roasty and lactic.

Mouthfeel - Creamy. Totally full bodied. Coats the tongue.

Overall Drinkability - I want to give this beer all 5's, but since I'm rating it in style, it has some pretty stiff competition.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2011 01:07:16 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of One2Remeber


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Filled my growler a couple hours ago, pouring into a tulip.

A: Pours a rich, creamy thick head with a tint of light espresso. Dark as could be with light carbonation bubbles raising to the top.

S: Rich caramel, black licorice with some creamy milk chocolate notes to balance out the high alcohol undertone.

T: I'm glad there is great head retention because as the first sip hits your lips you get a fluffy marshmallow feel. Follows is an explosive taste of rich dark chocolate, with an alcohol presence only at the end that blends with the black licorice. Very complex taste overall, yet masterfully balanced resulting in a hell of a treat for the ol' pallet.

M: Not really bitter, alcohol presence is more like a smooth whiskey than a high alcohol beer (ex: barelywine). Extremely robust taste takes over the mouth feel but does not dominate to the point its unbearable or one sided towards a characteristic, which makes it very enjoyable.

O: Not my first Old Rasputin and not my last. This is my staple Russian Imperial Stout, not the best one I've had (Marshal Zhukov is out of this world from Cigar City:), but one that is readily available which gets brownie points. If you add a touch of Rogue's Chocolate Stout and a shot of espresso to Old Rasputin you will thank me for the recommendation.

Serving type: growler

09-29-2011 06:03:02 | More by One2Remeber
Photo of vfgccp

New York

4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

-Nitro tap-

A – Ridiculous, tempurpedic-pillow of a head stuck around at 2 inches high for almost 15 minutes till the glass was empty. Great lace. Almost pitch black body.

S – Malty with a deep pumpernickel breadiness, a touch of milk chocolate, and a tang of bitter roast.

T – Dark chocolate into a dark bready malt. A nice, solid woody bitter ramps up to balance the profile in the center. Full roasty finish with lingering sweet cream and molasses.

M – The pillow of foam lends a fantastic creaminess to the mouthfeel. Medium-full body starts a bit lighter than you’d expect, but quickly fills out to end rich and smooth.

O – Delicious, big, complex, and well balanced. Could use a shade more integration between the flavors, but this is still one the best beers I’ve ever had on tap.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-29-2011 03:20:12 | More by vfgccp
Photo of jzeilinger


4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours an engine oil black color with a very thick, toffee colored creamy head of foam. The head is very dense and lingering.

S - Malted chocolate, cocoa, small traces of warm pete, some creme, and mild coffee.

T - Creamy layers of malt balls and coffee wrapped in an earthy wet blanket of flavor. Waves of creamy coffee with a watery middle, and very generous pine bitterness finish with a moderate lingering bitterness.

M - Medium thin bodied, really needs to be thicker.

O - An exceptional stout, a little too thin, but one I could drink all of the time.

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2011 06:16:12 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of gatornation


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at busters

A- pours a dark black color with a 2 finger creamy khaki head ,nice sticky lacing

S- roasted malt.semi-sweet chocolate,vanilla bean,caramel and toffee

T- a delight for a RIS..so smooth with chocolate,roasted malts/hops with some coffe and cocoa notes

M- velvet smooth with medium/light carbonation coffee and vanilla

O- a delicious easy to drink and tasty RIS

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2011 22:24:16 | More by gatornation
Photo of JackieTH


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black, with a cap of rich mocha brown head. There is a coffee, vanilla, roasted malt and a hint of alcohol in the nose. Taste is slightly chocolate, espresso, roasty malt, dark fruit and subtle vanilla. Very well balanced with a hoppy bitterness that matches the sweet elements. Creamy carbonation and a medium heavy body is very nice for the style. The ABV comes through at the end. It's warming. Also a subtle bitterness is re-established. Very pleasant finish.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2011 21:01:42 | More by JackieTH
Photo of blackcompg


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a pint of this on tap at Slyce Coal Fired Pizza Company in Wauconda, IL - really nice beer menu, pizza is bar none the best I've EVER had (also had a pint of PumKing)...

Appearance - Came to me in a pint with a finger of rich, creamy mocha head. Beer was a Deep dark rich black coffee, could not see thru the glass. Over half a finger of head remained thru the session leaving thick foamy lace rings.

Smell - Black roasted coffee, dark chocolate, slite licorice, hint of dark ripe fruit.

Taste - OMG!!! Dark fresh ground/brewed french roast coffee, semi-sweet rich dark chocolate, burnt toffee, black licorice, touch of dark fruits, some roasty dry pumpernickel breadcrust in the finish. I literally don't pick up any of the ABV (9%) in this at all, warms the insides thru the session though. So complex and well balanced!

Mouthfeel - Medium to full, rich and silky smooth, mouth-coating, and lo-carb makes this feel downright creamy. Some slight bittering and drying long into the finish.

Overall - I have not had many imperial stouts YET - that will change after this incredible experience. Old Rasputin was Fantastic on tap, Highly Recommend, already looking forward to meeting up with friends at Slyce while enjoying pints of this in the coming fall/winter months.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2011 14:11:42 | More by blackcompg
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite the classic US RIS. Coming back to it on tap.

Presentation: 10 oz draft serving. The menu notes the main characteristic of the brew and Alc. by Vol. (10.5%) Served into a snifter.

A - Black pour with an rich creamy head, nice retention with a good surface memory and rich lacing.

S - Soft nose on this draft serving, a touch too cold to shine, roasted notes, chocolate, coffee...

T - Luckily the flavor is not half as shy as the nose began with long roasted notes, touch of coffee, more so of coffee with a nicely woven bitterness… touches of dark fruits under the roasted current.

M - Full body with medium-soft carbonation, rather creamy with a nice lingering bitterness.

O - Quite the great sipper, it does not let down despite the touch competition.

Notes: Nice opportunity to revisit it on tap… One of those invitational brews that stays up there, always worth a revisit. And for what it is the price-quality ratio of this serving is fantastic.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2011 00:38:24 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of antlerwrestler19


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours oily pitch black with a half finger caramel mocha head that is super creamy - as I begin to take sips it leaves an impermeable coat of lace around the glass - excellent. The smell is coffee roast, chocolate malt, and burnt sugars - nice, roasty, and inviting. The flavors are no surprise - roasted malt, dark bitter and semisweet chocolate, dark fruits that have a bit of tang to them at the back of the tongue and bitter hops play through nicely as well - altogether very roasty and faintly smokey flavor. The mouthfeel is creamy like whole or chocolate milk and there is a presence of the alcohol. This beer is delicious I've had it on tap and bottled numerous times but finally got the audacity to review it. Love this beer and I'm glad its so readily available.


Serving type: nitro-tap

09-07-2011 03:12:43 | More by antlerwrestler19
Photo of brewski101


4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the second time I have had this beer. I don't drink stouts too often but the bar was featuring it. The pour was done well as the bartender gave it a litle rest prior to filling the pint to the top. The foam appeared and dissipated in about a minute. Color was quite dark. Flavors of coffee and chocolate. Well balanced. More importantly - the aroma and taste was consistent with the last time I've had it. Had this with the dessert and found it to be a good pairing.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2011 20:50:14 | More by brewski101
Photo of WillCarrera


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Nitro tap at Jupiter in Berkeley.

A- Pour just about black, totally opaque, with a huge turbulent khaki head. The head on this beer is amazing, it eventually settles to an incredibly creamy, khaki layer about a finger deep. Produces a heavy coating of lace.

S- Lots of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, some vanilla.

T- The flavor here is massive. The malts are big and heavily roasted, with fistfuls of roasted coffee beans with some chocolate and char. Hops become more noticeable once you can get past the malts, some citrus is hidden in there. Finishes dry with some sweetness and a lot of alcohol, which is just a bit warming.

M- I can hardly even describe this. Full bodied and unbelievably smooth and creamy. The nitro produces a thick, rich feel. It mellows out after a while but the first few sips are like drinking a milkshake.

O- My first nitro experience and I'm really impressed. This beer retains all of the great flavors of a Russian Imperial stout but the feel on this brew is really incredible.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-18-2011 01:43:58 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of StayWounded

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am a little bias as this is one of my go-to beers. I've had it both on-tap and in the bottle multiple times.

A- Looks as a Russian Imperial should. Deep, dark body, with a strong mocha head that lingers well.

S- Lots going on here. Dark fruits, coffee, chocolate, a nice roasty smell. You can definitely smell the warmth of the alcohol on this one.

T- On-tap the flavors coalesce in a more subtle way, very nicely. It is bold as a Russian Imperial should be, and the warming heat hits the back of the throat. I can see that being a problem for some drinkers, but it is nice, especially during winter months (and even more so when you live on a mountain). The primary flavors are the chocolate and coffee and the dark fruits, bitterness comes though with a bit of sweetness towards the middle to end.

M- Very warm and smooth with a bit of thickness. The bottle is a bit less smooth and less, thick. The warmth is the stand out characteristic.

Overall- I've got to say this is one of my favorite beers. Affordable given other options and very drinkable. Excellent during winter and excellent for night in.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2011 23:27:57 | More by StayWounded
Photo of Gambrinus1184


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on nitro-tap in a snifter glass at Mikro in Hamden, Conn.

A: Black as night with a dense, two-finger head of creamy, tan foam which left chunks of lace on the glass and persisted throughout the finish.

S: Roasted black malt, spicy fruity notes, chocolate, raisin and a whiff of booze to add complexity.

T: Bitter, herbal, roasted malt flavor that gives off espresso bean, cocoa nib and fig flavors. Lots to work with here as a bitter, herbal hop rushes the palate, lending earthy, tobacco leaf qualities to the mix. Finishes bittersweet with some clingy, dark sugars and a smooth, creamy roasted aftertaste.

M: Creamy, full-bodied stout with a bit to chew on as well. Very smooth, deep and complex.

O: For the barleywine fan in your life, Old Rasputin is almost as good as it gets. The nitro-tap presentation here adds another dimension of complexity and enjoyment to the mix. Dangerously drinkable at 9% ABV, this stout is a favorite to have on hand during the cold winter months but is a treat for a dreary summer evening as well.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-07-2011 17:00:28 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of nickthetick


4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours an opaque black with a tan hockey puck for a head that leaves lacing comparable to the gfs french maid outfit.

S: solid chocolates, dark and robust. Coffee and toffee.

T: a lot like the nose. It starts with some dark chocolate. It fallows through with some oak and earthy notes and bitterness.

MF: thick, creamy, chewy, and as filling as dinner.

O: a lot like the bottle, more of a feel in the mouth and more to the nose, still an awesome beer that can not be overlooked.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2011 02:16:57 | More by nickthetick
Photo of DabblinWiscCraft


3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Passed to me in a pint glass, a deep roasted coffee or cola color with an espresso crema head about 3/4 inch that really sticks around, leaving nice lacing. Roasted coffee and caramel notes are at the front in the nose. There's a bit of sourness and some hop complexity in the mix, as well. Very nice dark chocolate undertones. The taste has rich, dark roasted caramel malts at the fore. There's a burst of quite enjoyable hop zest following this, which is almost completely enveloped by a somewhat syrupy molasses taste with pure alcohol showing through. Unfortunately, this flavor closely resembles cough syrup. The finish has roasted coffee mingling with hop bitterness and more subtle dark chocolate. Certainly, more hop flavor than I expected from a Russian Imperial Stout. The mouthfeel is very smooth throughout and medium-bodied. It's just a bit too syrupy for my liking--again, it's hard to get past that cough syrup sensation happening toward the back. But, overall, this is a very pleasant feel for a beer of this style.

It was a real treat to find this on tap at Von Trier on North Avenue in Milwaukee, as I've rarely seen it around town. In some ways it lived up to the hype surrounding it, but in others it was a bit disappointing. It has more hops than most beers of this style, but that isn't really a detraction for me. I disliked the fact that too much alcohol was showing through and producing that medicinal or cough syrup effect. But, otherwise, it was a very smooth and complex stout that was engaging on every level.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2011 08:14:29 | More by DabblinWiscCraft
Photo of CBlack85

South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On nitro-tap at Duckworths in Charlotte. Served in a small chalice

The beer comes out from the bar black as midnight, with very few dark ruby highlights. There is about two fingers worth of dense, tightly packed dark tan head that slowly recedes leaving behind sheets of lacing.

The aroma is comprised of roasted malts with lots of chocolate and coffee, with hints of vanilla. There is quite a hop presence for a RIS. The alcohol is mildly present in the nose, but not overwhelmingly so.

The flavor is much bigger than the aroma would lead you to believe. Loaded with heavily roasted malts and chocolate, and accented by coffee and a slightly burnt quality. The hop presence is quite bright and noticable. The citrusy hop character seems to meld well with the roasty and chocolatey flavors that define this beer. Almost too much hop presence... Almost. Full bodied and creamy with a silky feel on the toungue. Finishes sweet with just a slight alcohol burn.

Remarkably drinkable.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-19-2011 20:24:23 | More by CBlack85
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,372 ratings.