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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,384 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8384
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)
View: Beers (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 8,384 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

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

This was one of the first "big" beers I had a few years ago, but I haven't had it for quite a long time. Old Rasputin is one of those beers that it's easy to take for granted, given it's fairly wide availability. Ran into it on tap today, and decided to give an old friend a try. Served in a chalice glass.

The pour yields little head (perhaps due to the width of the chalice opening), but the carbonation is surprisingly zesty and long lasting. The head lingers til the end with a bit of lacing. The beer itself is near black and opaque

Nothing jumps out aroma-wise other than nicely toasted malt and chocolate, but the first sip reveals a lively combination of bitter chocolate, milk chocolate, fig newtons, raisins, and a nice bitter bite of hops on the finish.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, as the zippy carbonation makes up for a thinner body than I expected. At 9%, the drinkability is pretty dangerous- this one goes down nice and smooth!

Very solid beer, and again, one that it's easy to take for granted without the buzz of a seasonal release. Good stuff, and I'm glad to have found it on tap. I'm planning on grabbing a 4-pack or two to throw in the cellar and see what happens. Nice to see you again, old friend!

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2008 01:34:14 | More by PDXHops
Photo of redneckchugger


4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

nitro tap into a pint glass at jp henlys
inch of tan head, pure pack body, lacing for days
smells of malt, dark fruit, caramel
tastes the same, but a little tamer than normal, first time i have ever had this beer on tap, and maybe its the nitro, but its not as intense, this is one of my favorite beers but i am a little disapointed in this version, its smooth and drinkable, but not old raspy i know and love.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-11-2008 12:21:15 | More by redneckchugger
Photo of Kirkles


4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Strong, thick and smooth, everything a RIS should be.

I got this on nitro-tap at Magnolias in Purcellville, VA.

A: Pitch black with an amazing head. Just looking at it built my expectations to an immense level.

S: Strong. The malt hit me first, with hints of coffee. It built great anticipation for the first taste.

T: Wonderfully complex. I felt like I discovered something new each sip I took.

M: This was my favorite part. I buried the majority of my face in the head and took a good draw. It was thick, full and smooth. It was absolutely everything that I hoped for.

D: It's a fantastic brew, but so strong and thick that it fills you up quick. Not that this is a bad thing.

Overall, within my top 3 beers. Definitely the best RIS I've ever had.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-15-2008 04:45:15 | More by Kirkles
Photo of RJUGA03


4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had the beer on tap at Brixie's bar in Brookfield,IL. (The bar turned me into a craft brew snobb, but that's for another date.) I found the beer to be black in appearence with a typical crawling stout head. On the initial sip I noticed a bitter hard alcoholish stout/ malty beginning iwth a choclatey milkshake like robust finish (hoppy). I give the beer an A.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2008 07:04:57 | More by RJUGA03
Photo of beckje01


3.18/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

This is my second review of Old Rasputin this time on nitro.

A- Black with a very very creamy head.

S- Ok something just isn't quite correct for the style, maybe the nitro.

T- Malty yet light, some hops which goes well. Overall a good taste for a RIS.

M- Super smooth but its nitro so can't mess that up.

D- Ok on drinkable its overall just an ok RIS much better on nitro then other version so make sure to try it if you get the chance.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-10-2008 06:02:31 | More by beckje01
Photo of Chelsea1905


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

Poued very dark, was in a dark pub when I tried it, but almost no light breaking through this dark mahogany beauty. Think white-brown head, that left substantial lacing

Smelled like a stout, chocolate and malts, but a sliht hoppy-citrus note in there too

Hops and floral mixture, which was really suprising, then the malt and chocolate hit after.

Heavy, full meal-like mouthfeel.

Drank a couple and that was good enough. A little too heavy for a session beer, but nice for just a couple

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2008 18:13:32 | More by Chelsea1905
Photo of BretSikkink


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

Mahogany colored with highlights, tight head doesn't budge in the snifter glass. Good lacing, but it's gone by the time this big beer is.

Aromas of chocolate, slightly roasted but not as dark as some. Tiny whiff of coffee. On the tongue it's very hoppy and bitter while also bringing loads of chocolate sweetness.

Somewhat chewy and full, but not quite the best - very little carbonation, which is fine, but it might help cleanse the palate of the harsher aspects of the brew.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2008 02:32:06 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of Goregazm

Rhode Island

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


Appearance: Very dark and thick, almost like oil. Has a brownish two-finger head which lasts a long time (as in several minutes) and leaves some good lacing.

Smell: This beer smells of chocolate and molasses, and has a very sweet scent. Heavy on the malt, with a little bit of caramel in there. Has a slight bitterness in the undertone.

Taste: COFFEE. Seriously, the first thing that comes to mind is the taste of coffee. Bitter at first, then gets a little sweeter. Molasses, caramel, and toasted malts are in there. Very dark, rich, and creamy.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full, like heavy cream. Not acidic or overly carbonated. The aftertaste is very similar to coffee and cream, with no sugar.

Drinkability: This is a delicious Russian Imperial Stout, and an ideal sipper. It's also great with a snack, or while playing a game of darts or pool. If you like this kind of beer, especially one with a heavy coffee taste, check this one out. Just remember there's no caffeine in it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-22-2008 05:41:47 | More by Goregazm
Photo of kels


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

Was excited to see this on tap at The Brew Kettle in Strongsville, Ohio outside of Cleveland. Had a pint poured off a nitro tap.

Appearance: Darkest chocolate brown with a milky, froth head and good milk-chocolate colored lacing - like on hot chocolate.

Smell: Creamy coffee with hints of chocolate.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The taste is very chocolately and warming, with a hit of cream and bitter coffee beans. The alcohol is very present with a heavy finish in the aftertaste and back of the throat. A little overwhelming. Light carbonation keeps it from being too strong and adds to the clear mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This is big and heavy like a RIS should be. Don't drink a lot - just enjoy.

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-18-2008 22:53:00 | More by kels
Photo of ATLbeerDog


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

Poured jet back with a small caramel colored head from a 1/6-barrel keg. Smells of beautiful deep roasted coffee, chocolate, and deep roasted malts. First sip is sweet chocolate and a ton of coffee - lovely and delicious. Complex and somewhat creamy, its backbone is not nearly as heavy or complex as a DL but it is creamy enough to make Old Rasputin one fine World Class RIS.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2008 19:37:04 | More by ATLbeerDog
Photo of bearcamp


4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They had this on tap @ the local flying saucer.

Wow! Wow! Wow! This is a great imperial stout. I was planning on getting a different beer but got another glass of Old Rasputin. Hopefully, I can find this in a bottle somewhere..

Appearance: About a 2 inch coca tinted head. Served in a unique glass that I don't know but it was between a pint and a snifter. Almost a wide wind glass.

Smell: Strong dark malt and a hint of coffee, but this had hops. i'm a hop head so this was a good thing

Taste. Smooth, nitro carbonated very flavorful. Love the hop taste of this beer.

Mouth feel. Very thick, probably because it was on tap. Like a hoppy thicker Guinness.

Drink ability: Do you have to ask? I ordered 3 of them that night. I wanted to try other brews but this one was so good I had to have more.

This is a great beer. Great example of an imperial IPA. Will definitely try more of this style in the future. Best non-Guinness stout I've had

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-27-2008 03:45:49 | More by bearcamp
Photo of RodBurg


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

Took a trip to Big Bear this past weekend and after the incredibly average beer experience I had at Oktoberfest I was chomping at the bit when I saw the bar I wandered into was serving Old Ras on tap. Poured a pitch black with a beautiful brown head that left fat lace rings with each sip.

Strong chocolate, roasted malt, espresso, and anise were pouring off this one.

Tastes were incredible and very blatant. Heavy chocolate and espresso bean followed by licorice and hop-like bitterness. Thick and chewy, this one is a sipper. Finishes with chocolate malt flavors and a nice alcohol warmth.

Old Ras has been one of my top fives for a while now and it was all the better being I hadn't had it in months. Excellent.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-18-2008 16:18:46 | More by RodBurg
Photo of treyrab


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

On tap at Bocktown in Pittsburgh

A: Black with only slight brown hues when held up to light. This one has a nice, creamy dark brown head that laces the glass nicely!

S: Mmmm. Tons of dark coffee and chocolate in this one. I can tell the taste is going to be immaculate

T: Extremely rich and flavorful of dark coffee, cocoa, and some dark fruits as well. There is a noticeable hop bitterness in this that I absolutely love!

M,D: The heaviness is balanced by nice active carbonation and the only thing leaving me from giving a five on drinkability is the bitterness. Excellent

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2008 16:45:53 | More by treyrab
Photo of MrRetardedMonkey

New Hampshire

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Novare Res in Portland, ME.

Pours jet black with a beautiful cascade, producing a thick and creamy three-finger mocha head. Great retention and lacing.

Big nose of coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and a hint of red fruits.

Taste is dark red fruits and bittersweet chocolate before some roasted malts, a hint of smoke, and coffee. Barely a hint of any hops, except in the dry finish, which has notes of espresso and a mild bitterness.

Creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel. Thick, but very smooth.

Very enjoyable, but definitely a sipper. This is the perfect dessert beer!

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-02-2008 20:23:24 | More by MrRetardedMonkey
Photo of Stinkypuss


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

Poured on tap into a snifter. Light khaki head with a lot of lace. Tastes like saltwater toffee, coffee, chocolate, slight bitter hop. Full bodied and beautiful. Creamy and smooth. Just a slight alcohal bite. Very drinkable and would definately have again.

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2008 01:59:46 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of hoegaardenhero


4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: deep black crude with a one inch tan head; leaves light lacing

s: light roasted coffee, light grain; light cream; light grassy hops

t: dark roasted coffee; terra firma; light grassy hops; molasses; bitter burnt coffee and bitter hop kick

m: creamy anf thick; very light carb

d: a great Istout

Serving type: on-tap

07-15-2008 04:35:11 | More by hoegaardenhero
Photo of TrevorGW


3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Deep Ellum in Allston, MA. Was very thankful they had it available, since I had been meaning to try it out.

Looks wonderful in the glass. Deep, deep brown with the thick tan head.

Up front is a lovely rich and creamy experience. Perfectly carbonated and with all the fantastic stout flavor that you can imagine. The creaminess swims around your mouth. The finish is quite abrupt and bitter. This is where the hops come in. At first it was very pleasant, but I then found myself desiring more malt flavor left in my mouth.

All in all, an amazing beer experience.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-10-2008 19:37:40 | More by TrevorGW
Photo of charlzm


4.86/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Consumed 07/05/08 at Verdugo Bar, Los Angeles CA.

Very dark brown with exceptional clarity (yes, it's true): deep garnet and ruby highlights when held to light. One finger creamy tan nitro head that sticks around forever.

Aroma is awesome: dark semi-sweet chocolate, coffee and even a subtle red grape character.

Texture is velvety smooth.

The flavor is substantial roasted dark malts, resulting in a profile similar to the nose: bittersweet chocolate, rich roasted coffee with a hint of cream and sugar and restrained but noticeable bitterness on the aftertaste.

Sublime and drinkable as anything I have ever had, the glass was drained far too soon on this one.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-07-2008 01:03:34 | More by charlzm
Photo of chileman13

New Mexico

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

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a samuel smith glass.
A-black with edge of mahagoney wher the light can get through. 1" tan head that laces out.
A-Roasted malt with chocolate, coffee and brandy/alcohol notes
T- As it smells with earthy hops.
M-Smooth perfect carbonation for style.
D- very drinkable, with a knowledge of high alcohol content.
Great stout!

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2008 02:21:40 | More by chileman13
Photo of kkipple

South Carolina

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

Enjoyed on nitro-tap at the Flying Saucer in Columbia, SC.

Arrived in a fine looking branded Old Rasp pint glass, sporting a gorgeous 2 finger tall toffee-tan head. The head is amazingly dense and milkeshake like. It was fun to draw pictures in with a straw. But I digress. The beer is pretty darn dark, not *quite* black, and the contrast between light and dark in the glass is a thing of joy. Did I mention the sticky lace that runs down the glass as the beer goes? This is a beaut.

Tastes of heavy one-note roasted grains and rich coffee. Molasses, burnt raisins and a little astringency tickles the palate. The bitter hops are there but seem toned down from what I recall. Malt sweetness is complimentary and nicely balanced for me. Bittersweet and cunning, as it warms a few new flavors trickle out -- chocolate, alcohol, and a dry, almost chalky note.

On nitro-tap, the mouthfeel is hideously creamy. Smooth and very lightly carbonated, which makes it all the more easy to drink. It's a little thinner than I remember, but no matter, the big roasty finish with a hint of sweetness lingers and keeps me coming back for more.

Oh yeah, the nose. Grainy, roasty and boozy, this is simple and respectable for the style. Sweet, simple, strong, safe. It doesn't go for the jugular immediately, but the sheer drinkability of this means it may betray you later.

Old Rasputin on nitro is wickedly different from the bottle, and like the vile priest himself, sneaks up on you and gets under your skin. I had two pints before I knew what was happening. Taste at your own risk!

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-19-2008 00:39:53 | More by kkipple
Photo of JonathanL7890


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

Served at the Flying Saucer in Austin.
Poured a 4 finger cascading head into an old rasputin glass. (OT -- is that guy giving the loser sign or what???). Loved that glass. It took all my good upbringing not to nick it.
Appearance. Thick motor oil black with a tan head.
Smell: Not much - - a bit malty.
Taste: chocolate, roast malts. a little hop bitterness at the back of my palate.
Mouthfeel: creamy, smooth, thick, silky.
Drinkability. Not too boozy for an RIS.

Overall, this is a very nice RIS. The nitrotap made it quite interesting. Not as complex in the malt profile as some I have had. This is definitely a staple in my beer collection.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-18-2008 23:10:04 | More by JonathanL7890
Photo of gunnerman


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

Had this on nitro tap at the Yard House PBG, FL. Poures an amazing motor oil black with a foamy frothy nitro head that stays the entire time, Beatiful looking beer. The smell was pretty intense with ints of malty molasses prunes and also a bit of chocolate in the nose. Taste was even better, roasted malt character that goes down very smooth with hints of oak in there as well. This is a damn fine stout one of the best that I have ever tried and just amazing on Nitro tap.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-11-2008 12:19:39 | More by gunnerman
Photo of blakesell


4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the nitro tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a solid jet black with a three finger head of solid tan that doesn't dissipate for a solid five minutes. Lacing clings to the sides of the glass and doesn't let up.

Smell- Roasted smoky malts and slight hops. Head is sticking in my moustache giving a bit more in the way of aroma. Milk chocolate and black patent malts very similar to a malted milk ball. Slight prune and fig, LOTS of black licorice.

Taste- Creamy, black licorice, black and milk chocolate, caramel, creamer, dark chocolate again, light vanillanin, chocolate milk, prunes, figs, brown sugar, light burnt malts, dark burnt malts, black patent, 350L+ torched malts. Good lord this is sweet.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, full-bodied, smooth, well carbonated. Excellent.

Drinkability- Wow. Nitro tap is the way to go on this delicious elixer. I will be ordering this again before it's too late.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-06-2008 18:02:47 | More by blakesell
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2008 19:37:18 | More by dill
Photo of Kendo

New York

4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got it on-tap -- the nitro-tap -- at the Lionheart in Albany on 4/23/08.

A: Body is black -- dark black -- but with a hint of crimson on the edges when backlit. A thick, foamy 1.5-finger tan head rests on top with great staying power. As expected, it leaves behind sheets of lacing all the way down the glass.

S: First impression is roasted malt with a hint of chocolate. Also hints of anise and black licorice. Pleasant all around, but not terribly strong on the nose. I suspect the serving temperature may have had something to do with that (it was a little colder than I like my RIS's to be); as it warmed I got stronger chocolate in the aroma. . . .

T: First impression: roasted malt and coffee, with dark chocolate at the back of the mouth. Then I get some black licorice on the front sides of the tongue, a touch of alcohol warmth at the back end of the sip and a dry, coffee-like bitterness coating the back and roof of my mouth. As it warms it becomes more chocolatey.

M: Wow. Heavy in weight but creamy. The nitro-tap has turned this into one smoooth-drinking experience.

D: Excellent. Again, the addition of the nitro has smoothed out any rough edges, and for this fan of chocolatey flavors in my RIS's, I find it actually becomes easier to drink as it warms and the chocolate becomes more dominant. The pint was gone much too fast. . . .

Notes: Normally I don't bother adding a 2nd review of a beer just because I get it from a different source (i.e., on-tap vs. the bottle). But having this on the nitro tap made for a substantially different experience and I was glad I'd brought pen and paper along to memorialize that experience. Truly excellent -- on more than one occasion I took a sip, shook my head and said something like "damn, that is one excellent beer." Kudos to the Lionheart for getting this. . . .

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-24-2008 14:23:42 | More by Kendo
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,384 ratings.