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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.

9,692 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,692
Reviews: 3,351
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 292
Gots: 1,233 | FT: 38
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: 9,692 | Reviews: 3,351 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BigCheese
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this bottle is a bit old, looked like it had been on shelf for a little while, tough to know for sure.

A: Pours a thick ink black. Pours a pretty thick head that is a cardboard colored head. Literally leaves a wall of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Dark Chocolate malts, oak, whisky, booze, hints of fruit maybe cherry/rasins.

Taste: Get hit with some sweet/slightly bitterness. Quickly changes to rich dark chocolate, hot chocolate (euro kind), burnt crust, honey bourbon, taste lingers for a while. For a really long time. Hop bitterness doesnt come through until it warms, beer really evolves as it warms. I'd drink this just below room temp for ideal consumption.

Mouthfeel: quite carbonated. A tad boozy but not in an unpleseant way. Once beer settles and warms its incredibly thick/syrupy. Could easily take down 2, maybe 3 of these, after that flavor/alcohol would be a bit overwhelming.

O: A perfect cold weather beer. Its got a great boozy warmness to it. Flavor evolves as beer warms which keeps taste buds interested. Taste lingers for a long time. One of the best brews I've ever had. A must try.

BigCheese, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of Jesstyr
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer enjoyed in a Orval chalice.

Pours deep dark black, very impressive, exactly what you'd hope for. Head holds excellently - dark brown, holds well, finger of head throughout. Nose is smoky, with a great burnt malt nature to it. Excellent for winter.

Taste is like the nose, burnt malt, but with a nice balance of hops in there that gives this drink a unique flavor to it beyond the standard russian imperial stout. Full, thick body, gas like - not the best stout body I've head, but a formidable competitor. Overall a great drink that is best paired with a great meal.

Jesstyr, Oct 07, 2011
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.

ZenAgnostic, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of TrapFan11
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just finished my second 12 oz bottle of this and DAMN is that good. Most of my experience with beer has been with Belgian strong Ales, in particular all of the Trappist beers along with similar Belgian brands and American beers in the Belgian style. My two favorite beers are Rochefort 10 and St Bernardus 12. In recent years I've been trying different Stouts and Porters and, although I don't have tremendous experience with them yet, I'm quickly discovering the world of flavors out there that go beyond the various dark fruits and assorted sugars that accompany your typical Dubbles, Triples and Quadruples.

A fellow shopper at the market recommended Old Rasputin Imperial Stout to me and I've been blown away by how something so roasted and bitter can at the same time be sweet and smooth. From the get go this beer is thick, viscous, and oily, not that that's to it's detriment. In fact the wonderful chewiness just hooks you into discovering the many wonderful facets of the beer. Immediately you taste the full intensity of the coffee, toffee, roasted malts and baker's chocolate it has. There's a burnt quality to the malt that, along with providing a pleasant bitterness, also includes the required sweetness that is reminiscent of a burnt s'mores marshmallow rather than anything unpleasant. Then there's the coffee flavor. I tend to drink really dark, black coffee and this beer has loads of that toasty, smokey and bitter flavor that I cherish. Finally there's the great Christmas toffee and dark chocolate flavors that blend seamlessly with the sweetness and bitterness of the other flavors and tie everything together nicely.

Also quite remarkable it this beer's head, which is truly like a silky pillow. I can easily say that the foam tasted and felt in my mouth like a liquid marshmallow. I've never had a beer whose head was that silky, smooth, and sweet. I couldn't believe it was beer foam.

In the short amount of time I've been exploring Imperial Stouts I can easily say that this the best I've come across so far. I'm happy to give it my highest recommendation.

TrapFan11, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of rundocrun
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours like a bottle full of midnight darkness. Completely opaque with no highlights to speak of. Yields nearly 3 fingers of dark khaki colored head that lasts forever. Lots of lacing stuck to the glass and good amount of alcohol legs to this beer.

S - Coffee and dark, almost burnt caramel aromas are most noticeable. Hints of dark chocolate, raisins and burnt bread come through as well. Big booziness comes through with warming.

T - There is an immense bitter coffee and burnt grain presence up front. Slightly fruity booziness cascades in toward the middle along with more dry grainy bitterness. A very complex caramely and oh-so-slightly nutty malt body darts in and around everything else. Warmth lasts through the finish and is complimented nicely by a rich, slightly biting espresso flavor.

M - Very thick, viscous body to this beer. It's not often that I run across a stout (even a RIS) that matches the "motor oil" description in both looks and texture! Despite the thickness, the carbonation remains balanced enough that it doesn't detract from the complex flavor profile of the beer.

Overall- this is a truly excellent beer. A first-class representative of the style.

rundocrun, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of neophilus
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown with an intense mocha colored head that erupts in the glass. Hints of ruby sparkle in the light. Need some time to let the foam settle down. The aroma is sweet and spicy, more hop character than I was expecting. Underneath flowed a current of roasted bitterness, barely detectable against the strong hop smell.

The first sip greeted me with full bodied roast flavor. Thick and sweet but a balanced hop bitterness to keep the flavor clean. The beer is surprisingly smooth and easy drinking. The body is heavy but doesn't stick to the mouth, washing away with a firm bitterness from the hopping.

As the beer warms more fruity flavors emerge. Notes of raisins and plums against the roasted backdrop. It lends some depth to the flavor but continues to wash away cleanly with a smooth body and bitter aftertaste on the palate.

This beer was a little bit of a surprise. A good dose of hop aroma up front anchored by the roasted scent. A strong backbone of hop bitterness and roast carries a fruity undertone. The mouthfeel was rich and smooth but washed away cleanly. Aftertaste left a firm bitterness that cleaned up the strong flavors and begged another sip.

Enjoying more than one of these is easy, if not dangerous because of the well hidden abv.

neophilus, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of fox227
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice two fingered tan head, and a pitch black color. Looks like an Imperial Stout!

S: Robust chocolate, espresso, and a bit of grassy hops.

T: I love this beer. Love it, love it, love it. This is the perfect Imperial Stout that is somehow not too thick, very drinkable, and delicious. I'm getting vanilla, milk chocolate, coffee - no dark fruits. However, The perfect balance of recognizable flavors is what makes this beer so good. It's not too complex, but still a joy for the palate.

M: Like I said above, not too thick - but very full. Finish leaves some traces of the alcohol in the back of my throat, betraying its 9% status.

O: Why buy any other Impy Stout? This is 7.99 a four pack, and it stands tall with all the limited, and the expensive. Old Rasputin: truly a dangerous brew.

fox227, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of kcinlober
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

color is dark chocolate brown. the head pours about a thumbs-width high and leaves a standard residue on the sides. head is brownish-caramel, but not a very strong aroma.

the way this beer sits on your palate is phenomenal. Roasted malts and some bitterness from the hops comes first followed by a chocolate/coffee aftertaste and the real weight of the hops. Very well balanced and a challenging mouthfeel for those who aren't used to imperial stouts. heavy but well balanced; like a good broadsword

kcinlober, Sep 30, 2011
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.

One2Remeber, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of vfgccp
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.

vfgccp, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of Doshkin
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


a - extremely dark brown. looks black until you get towards the end, which is always a sad sight. abundant, thick, caramel colored head that leaves great lacing.

s - exactly how a stout should smell: dark, roasted, slightly coffee and mildly chocolate

t - wonderfully dark, bitter, and roasted. the bitterness lingers for a long time.

m - thick and fittingly carbonated. for the amount of bitterness, it doesn't dry out the mouth, which is always nice.

o - this is seriously the epitome of a stout. highly recommended in all regards!

Doshkin, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of baconbourbon
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pitch black, excellent lacing and head. It sticks to the glass like fly paper. This is one of the best looking stouts.

Smell - A wonderful aroma of coffee and chocolate. It smells great.

Taste - A mixture of coffee and chocolate up front with a slightly burnt finish. Fabulous.

Mouthfell - Smooth, full bodied, drinkable. All of the essentials are there.

Overall - This is an all around fantastic beer. I honestly cannot find much wrong with it.

baconbourbon, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of Rangerator
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a lot of hype, with having such a large following I had to cave in and try it. Poured into a snifter from a bottle, beautiful black body with a stunning imperial stout head. First sip..boom lots of carbination almost too much almost burned my mouth, I didnt like that so I let it sit for a few minutes to warm up and still too much carbination which I did not enjoy at all kind of killed it for me. Good beer just too much carb definitely a lot of other Imperials out there that are better. Check out Moylans Imperial its a lot more satisfying.

Rangerator, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of Retail1LO
3/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. I started drinking this fairly soon after it came out of the fridge. I started rating it and it really wasn't doing much for me, and the scores reflected it. I started to wonder how much of that was a result of it being too cold. So I've been letting it warm up, and giving it little nips every few minutes. It's starting to come around. I think I might take the rest of the six pack out of the fridge and just keep it at room temp. This had a nice, luscious, two finger crown at the top. The head seemed more fizzy than creamy. The nose is pretty faint. I all but inhaled beer through my nose trying to extract some kinda discernible characteristic, but I couldn't. It doesn't smell bad, so much as it just doesn't smell. The first thing I notice with the taste is the booze. The 9% is in your face, and not even remotely hidden. Some slight coffee notes, but mostly just...booze. When it was cold, the mouthfeel was very carbonated and really unpleasant. As it's warmed, it's gotten much creamier and coats the mouth with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Over all, I just don't get the fuss. I have three bottles left with which to form a different opinion, however. If it changes, I'll be back to edit..but right now, this just really isn't my thing.

Retail1LO, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of chocosushi
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz->Hoegaarden Hexagon
A ~ Pours black with a tall cap of mocha-foam head that rises half in inch out of the glass, decending ever so slowly. Impressing structure & retention.

S ~ Earthy hops, tree resins, roasted malt, cocoa powder, with
a little note on the back reminiscent of Raisinettes.

T ~ Mmmm rich charred malts with a rich backbone of American hops lending gentle tropical fruit & resin notes. Burnt wood, french-roast coffee grounds, black pepper, & charred veggies throughout.

M ~ Bold & roasty/ashy in terms of maltyness. Easy drinking for 9 percent. Feels better on the palette as it warms up. Great balance.

D ~ A solid stout for a very reasonable price. I could see this moving into six pack over the next few years. Purchased often.

chocosushi, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of thadbme
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark black with a finger of foam that sits arouund for a bit. Mild carbonation and bubbles are sitting on top of the beer. This is a very dark beer, I could swear light is bending around the glass.

S: Plesant smell with a slightly toasted malt on it, almost smells like a barrel aged Alcohol smell comes through just a bit, but the toasted malt is the strongest here.

T: Very bitter and nearly a burned malt taste to it. That type of taste stays with you after you take the sip. Its not entirely a bad thing, but seems to be overwhelming the rest of the beer.

M: Carbonation is there and strong flavor of the toasted malts in there. This is a heavy feeling beer.

O: I had some high hopes for this one, but I believe I'm glad I only picked up a single of this one rather than a 4 pack. The beer itself is pretty good, the smell, and look of it are good, but I dont like the fact that it hangs with you after the fact. It reminds me of a black licorice type taste hanging around.

thadbme, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of minterro
4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Woot! woot! 99th review, gonna have to find something special to rate for number 100. Any who, last beer from the custom six pack from Big Ten party store.

A & S: big robust smell! I didn’t even put by nose to the bottle and I smelt it when I cracked it. Smell is ‘dark’ malts, rich chocolate, and a tad nutty & dark fruits. Monster sized thick, tan colored, foamy head. Hangs around about a half a finger nail, and it also leaves some lacing along the glass. The color is not intense black, but more of a charred color.

T & M: Very smoky, super rich (it would be difficult to drink more then 1 maybe 2), its quite bitter but not so much in the finish. A lot of bitter espresso. I also taste hints of spices and brown sugar. The texture is smooth. I 100% agree with the bottle, it does have a nice warming finish. One the lower side of medium bodied, low carbonation, chewy on the teeth.

O: This is one powerful beer, great by all means but powerful. I had a genetics test today… let me tell you this was the perfect thing after that test.

minterro, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of agomega
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bottle served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark black with a light brown toffee colored head. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts, coffee, and a surprising amount of chocolate aroma.

Taste: Strong roasted malt flavors. Some hints of coffee and chocolate. The finish has tons of roasted malt bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel. Could be a little thicker to provide a more decadent impression. Good carbonation.

Overall: An excellent RIS. One of my favorite beers. Hard to beat given the price and year round availability.

agomega, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of vobr0002
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- dark brown with a caramel color head that last for a while. Almost two fingers high.

S- cocoa, little bit of coffee,

T- chocalate, coffee, roasted flavor with some hop bitterness on the back end.

M- thinner body than I expected. Maybe could be a little thicker.

O- good beer. Pretty easy going down for 9% and not much alcohol taste. This is a very solid stout

vobr0002, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of TVolt1
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark with a caramel colored head.

S: Smells strongly off coffee beans, chocolate and malts.

T: Tasted very much like coffee. I also taste chocolate, cocoa, and malts. Very good taste, little bitg of alcohol taste to it.

M: good mouthfeel, medium to thick and good carbonation level.

O: overall, I like this beer. Good winter beer
and easy to drink.

TVolt1, Sep 22, 2011
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.

jzeilinger, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of nandemo1
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pitch black with a small brownish head. Lots of sticky lacing left in the glass.

Aroma is rich with dark fruits, cherry and chocolate. Glorious. Taste has a good amount of chocolate and roasted coffee. An initial mild sweetness turns toward bitter in the aftertaste. Cannot taste the alcohol, but a warming sensation comes quickly.

Medium body and pretty creamy. Lingers a while.

What an outstanding readily available brew!

nandemo1, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of EA728
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: nice black color with a brown/tan head that fades immediately.

S: chocolate, coffee, with just a bit of hops

T: smooth chocolatey, hints of toffee, subtle hops, and an after taste of very mild booze

M: very enjoyable, medium high carbonation, but not thick at all.

O: very nice RIS, not my favorite, but perfect for a social gathering. will come back to this RIS.

EA728, Sep 22, 2011
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

gatornation, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of Shagtastic
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A: Looks great with a solid black pour and a light brown head.

S: Smelled strong right out of the bottle of coffee and vanilla.

T: Just like the smell it was strong of coffee and vanilla. Absolute joy here.

M: Not too thick for a stout and easily drinkable even at 9%

O: I love this beer, it really is easy to drink and one i can see myself going back to over and over again. Fantastic brew and one i'm happy to recommend to others.

Shagtastic, Sep 20, 2011
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,692 ratings.