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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.

8,354 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8354
Reviews: 3288
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: 8,354 | Reviews: 3,288 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of gueuzeonhigh


3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've got four Russian Imperials in front of me... ahhh!

A.Le Coq 2001
Old Rasputin
Rogue XS
Weyerbacher Old Heathen

Old Rasputin---
Pours with a slight head.
A reddish African Mahogany brown color in my tasting glass.
A meager nose- the dry alcohol is the most notable element followed by the bitter tones of hops surrounded by slight sprinkles of malt.

This beer had wonderful heavy long lasting flavor, but light bodied. The "carbonization" helps produce a tart feel on my palate with a bitter stance of hops then bounded by definite malt notes. If I were blindfolded I'd declare this beer a Russian Imperial Stout.

Long finish that dissipates with its dry alcohol character as the ending cadence. The living finish cleansed my palate and left my taste buds yearning for the next sip.

In my opinion, this is beer third to the A.Lee Coq 2001.
Doesn't have the flavor complexity of the A.Lee Coq 2001 nor the body / and overall mouthfeel.

Regardless a wonderful Imperial stout indeed!

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2003 04:29:39 | More by gueuzeonhigh
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to say this is the best imperial stout I have had so far,pours a deep borwn but not quite black with a light almond colored head,aroma is burnt with some rasin notes.The taste is a bombshell very buttery and rum-like with some light earthy tones,love the butteriness of this beer along with the rum flavor.A real complex brew that is pretty easy to drink for the alcohol content,what a real nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2003 02:42:18 | More by oberon
Photo of bigjohn

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The thing that struck me most about this beer was the strong presence of the alcohol, both in the taste and in the after effects. This is certainly a complex beer with a strong coffee and chocolate bitterness. The appearance is nearly black, a slight tinge of dark red is visible when held up to the light. The smell is potent and prepares the drinker for the flavor to come. This is definitely a well crafted beer that is full of flavor. However, I marked it down in some areas mainly because of personal tastes. I found it somewhat difficult to drink because of the strong almost burning presence of the alcohol. I have had other high alcohol beers before and not been put off by the alcohol, I am not sure why I was by this one. Overall it is definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2003 05:57:53 | More by bigjohn
Photo of mschofield


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

Pours black (brown at the edges), with a small mocha head, Head rapily settles to a small cap, laces quite stickily.
Smell of alcohol, strong coffee, and almost a little smoke.
Tastes like expresso - strong coffee with the attending bitterness, roasted molasses and a touch of black cherry. Chocolate and a more roasted taste develops as it warms.
Carbonated on the pour, but flat and full in the mouth.

This is a nice change of pace beer, a good imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2003 17:18:33 | More by mschofield
Photo of CharlesRiver


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

Solid black in color with a 1/2 inch creamy tan head. Served from a 12oz stubby bottle from my cellar (50ish Degrees?)

The smell is chocolate and coffee as well as some of the alcohol coming through. The alcohol kind of hits you right away with this one. It leaves in the middle and then comes back for that warming feeling in the end. The beginning is coffee and chocolate. The middle is where the bitterness comes in. Nice! The ending is more coffee and alcohol than anything to me.

I recently purchased this four pack so I am assuming it is pretty fresh. Doesn't appear to be bottle conditioned but I think that I will cellar the other 3 for awhile. Just to see how they do.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2003 23:29:12 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of Admiraldinty


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black, although not opaque black, but dark, dark ruby when held to light with a huge tan foam that sticks to the glass. Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee, very sweet. Very rich and full taste. At first there is a bit of hop bitterness, then the malty sweetness, chocolate and coffee. Ends dry with an alcohol finish. Velvety mouthfeel. Wow, this one is for the ages. A great imperial stout and not at all overpowering. This beer can sneak up on you though.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2003 03:53:19 | More by Admiraldinty
Photo of Anglewood


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this beer on nitro and in the bottle, IMHO it is best out of the tap. It was served in a 12 oz. Pilsner, which in size may be appropriate, but I would prefer a beefy pint glass.

This beer pours well, and ends up with a nice tan head over a black body. Some residual cascade is attractive, and the head hangs around for a little while. A sniff reveals malty chocolate notes with a little coffee. The taste is the same, with some hops and a little crisper than expected. Finish is malty again with a slight alcohol warm. After a couple it will sneak up on you. Overall body is not too heavy, and it has a good mouthfeel.

Among my favorite beers by North Coast, brewed an hours drive from my town back home. A good beer for relaxing, but not one to go all night on. Overall a fine imperial.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-17-2003 07:48:03 | More by Anglewood
Photo of merlin48


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

Wow! This stout is a handful. Pours very dark and opaque, with an imposing head that warns of what is to follow. Plenty of lacing.

Aroma is of dark chocolate, molasses, coffee, toffee, and alchohol.

Mouthfull is complicated, smooth and fulfilling. Nice balance of roasted malts, hops, and an essence of prunes that jumps into the mix somehow. Slightly bitter hoppy aftertaste.

I'm new to imperial stouts, but this one is very drinkable. Perfect companion to an open fireplace. Rasputin will leave you with a nice warm feeling, as you might expect from the abv.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2003 19:21:17 | More by merlin48
Photo of Darkale


4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is an uneven beer. The aroma is exceptional -- sweet, like the sweetest and creamiest milk chocolate, high in the nose and powdery.

Excellent appearance, too. Thick, typical stout head, cratered and foamy like a root beer float, with excellent lacing.

But, thin and slightly gritty in the mouth. Not thick and chewy enough to be Imperial, I don't think. Taste is burning cocoa and chocolate, sour on the edge, but a wash of sweetness overall.

Not a bad stout, but lacks the fullness and breadth to be an imperial. An excellent stout overall, and many no doubt will overlook the thinness in deference to its amazing sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2003 16:02:25 | More by Darkale
Photo of 86MonteSS


4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For a beer that isn't opaque (a very dark reddish brown when I held it up to the light), this is superiorly robust. The smell is one of the most enticing I've ever encountered, and the taste follows up with gusto. So many of the imperial stouts I've had have been sweet almost to the point of nausea but nay, Rasputin was a hardier fellow. Poisoned, shot, beaten, and drowned, he lives.

...In a bottle.

Let me tell you something: If I ever wake up and realize I'm a hemophiliac, I'm jumpin' in the ol' Monte Carlo and zooming out to Half Time to buy another bottle of Old Rasputin. Na zdorovia, comrade!

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2003 06:14:32 | More by 86MonteSS
Photo of SetarconeX


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

Visually, this is a beautiful beer. Jet black, with a nice brown head. Looks great. Smells brunt to a crisp. This isn't just any stout, this one's nice and toasty. Not for the faint of heart.

Taste is not too different than the taste would lead you think. The alcohol is perhaps a little more obvious than I'd like it too be, but considering the freakishly high ABV on this one, it's impressive how much it's been minimized.

A good Imperial Stout, though one that goes to your head quickly. Give it a try, if just for the ominous picture on the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2003 03:20:32 | More by SetarconeX
Photo of edchicma


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

One strong brew...but boy, is there something different going on here! The smell was malty with some alcohol hints, but it was a different kind of malt, not only sweet but with a smoothness that I haven't encountered before. Poured a jet black with a nice chunky head that laced nicely. I'm not an expert, but I can sense something complex going on with this brew...sweetness,,,chocolate..coffee...alcohol, but blended so beautifully, it was a rare pleasure.

I'm not a strong brew fan, but the mouthfeel was equally impressive for its strength. True, it's a sipper, but warm and full-bodied. For what it is, very drinkable for the high abv. Everyone should try a bottle, and if you are really brave try two!

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2003 01:38:34 | More by edchicma
Photo of IrishRedRock


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one hell of an Imperial, but does not stand up to a few that I've had. I was hoping it would be right up there at the top, but it's not quite.

Pours with zero carbonation, and not as thick as expected. No head retention and has a dark brown body. Held to the light it has a ruby glow to it. Nice chocolatey aroma with notes of sweet candy and hops. Flavor follows in kind. Bitter dark chocolate gives way to a nice roasted malt flavor, followed by a crisp hop finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, but is somewhat spritzy and could be better. A damn fine Imperial, though honestly I expected a little more. Nonetheless, definitely worth seeking out, especially if you love beers of this delightful style.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2003 06:14:43 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of saltydog

New York

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:Dark, opaque, the head is a dark brown and very retentive. Smell: Malt sweetness, roasted malts, and hops, in a pretty nice balance. Taste: Big roastiness in front, then, hops, then sweetness at the end...which is very odd, as sweetness is usually the first thing you taste. Works great, though! Mouthfeel is rich, thick and creamy, with a little residual dryness from the roasted malts. Obviously not something you would knock back many pints of it, but it still is easy to drink for an imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2003 04:25:07 | More by saltydog
Photo of grynder33


3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a beautiful dark color, a coffee chocolate aroma, initialy a smooth velvety feel in the mouth, but the CO2 started coming on strong. The first tastewas complex, fruit chocolate carmel, but then a big bitter alcohol taste started building in the back of my throat and became unpleasant. This is good stuff, but you probaly have to sip it slower than Scotch Whiskey

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2003 11:08:51 | More by grynder33
Photo of avylover


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My 100th Review, and a worthy beer to go with it. My wife "is proud." An american brew that is carried by a local bar that stictly carries only imports. Guess they saw the light on this one.

Pours thick & black with some ruby highlights when held up to the light. Nice frothy tan head that gave the "waterfall" effect upon pouring. Aroma is strong in the malt department. Very sweet, yet there are some hops to calm things down a bit. An alcohol bite clears up the sinuses. This is one beer that's full of taste. Starts off with a deep sweet maltiness, followed by some hop bitterness fighting back, ending with a nice roasted malt aftertaste. There is some fruitiness in there all the while just trying to make things even more interesting. Decent carbonation that gives way to a nice slick mouthfeel, with a quite sticky aftertaste. Very drinkable stout, and dangerous at that. I could drink this all night....and end up with a rough morning. Great Beer...'nuff said

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2003 01:27:20 | More by avylover
Photo of Gueuzedude


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

Thick, oily and black, definite brown head, that is quite meringue like, tops this brew. A sweet roast malt aroma emanates from my glass, followed by a note of coffee. Quite thick, though not overly so. Strong malt presence, definite roast malt character as well. This beer is like chewing on a roast malt kernel, it has the same after taste and everything. Even though thick and malty the roast character lets this beer finish like it is quite dry. There is a bit of oiliness in this beer. The beer is very smooth, yet still carbonated. Almost a cola not to this as it first hits my mouth.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2003 22:21:05 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of HossMcGraw


4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great Imperial. The head is surprisingly huge. Very dark brown color. Not much aroma detected. The taste is very similar to Storm King, only not as cloying. Dark fruits and roasted malts, with a nice hoppy aftertaste. Drinkability is high. I think I could have about three is one sitting. In summation, better than Storm King, not as good as Willy Shakes.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2003 21:06:21 | More by HossMcGraw
Photo of Dantes

New Jersey

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

Package: 12oz. crowned brown bottle, labeled 8.9% ABV; no date information. Black and gold label with a forbidding portrait of a greeting or saluting Rasputin. Russian inscription I can sound out but not translate.

Cost: $5.49 a 4-Pack at Total Wines

Presentation: Imperial Pint glass at ~50º

Appearance: Opaque, but of a slightly lighter brown than the typical imperial stout. More like a bittersweet chocolate than ebony. Copious gunsmoke on opening. Generated a medium-dense one-finger cocoa head, which resolved into a patchy slick.

Smell: This exhibited a deep, rich, roasted malt aroma, with some coffee and chocolate notes. Surprisingly subdued hops.

Taste: Good first impression. A bit sweeter than I expected, with lots of different sensations happening at once: coffee, bittersweet chocolate, nuts, malty sweetness, and just enough hops to keep it interesting but not so as to be intrusive. Much less espresso–like than the Storm King. More like a Sam Smith’s. As it warmed, the more fruity elements came to the fore, with currants, prunes, and some gentle eau-de-vie warmth. Medium finish despite the relatively light body.

Mouthfeel: This was somewhat roughly carbonated and not as thick or creamy as I expected. Certainly doesn’t have the viscosity of an Expedition or Sam Smith’s, but the flavor makes up for a lot. Similar in body to a Storm King, but with better balance.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for an imperial stout. The relatively light body allows for an extra one, and it has a nice balance of flavors (not too hoppy, not too espresso-like). Alcohol is unobtrusive.

Backwash: I have to say that I enjoyed this MUCH more than the Storm King. I found that it had better balance, allowing the perception of many different flavors. It has all of the flavor and is smoother. Perhaps the Storm King is a beer better sampled after aging (I have some from last year for comparison), while this is ready to go now. The lighter body and slight sweetness remind me of Perkuno's Hammer. I’d love to try some of the Millennium Edition, as it is described as being very thick. Unfortunately, I passed on the one bottle of it that I saw. I can imagine how something like this kept Rasputin alive under the ice of the Neva.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2003 18:38:37 | More by Dantes
Photo of WVbeergeek


4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First introduced to this one early on in my beer advocacy, feels good to return to an old friend. Appearance: Pours deep viscous black toned deep purple ruby highlights full tan two finger sized head perfect looking beer, oh so nice with perfect evenly laced foam. Aroma: Deep cocoa, espresso infused, undertones of alcohol infused fruit along with a great bready sweet malt tone this is one awesome imperial stout in my opinion it sets the bar. Taste: Wow complex swirling spiral of flavor alcohol infused fruit, doses of hardcore strong coffee notes, and dark chocolate playing the tie the flavors together predominantly bitter from the dark roasts there are some hops evident in the flavor. Creamy balanced mix of so many flavors works so well, gotta love the Ol' Raspy. Mouthfeel: Full bodied syrupy goodness of massive flavors this is one extraordinary beer, a must try. Drinkability: No questions as to it's placement on the top 50 beer list, this one does it so well remaining amazingly drinkable and flavorful is the key for an Imperial stout not cloying in anyway and you yearn for another one the glass is empty that's what it's all about.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2003 19:06:14 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of pio


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

damn near opaque beer with just a tint of amber around the edges. the tan and amber head was strong and stout leaving a very impressive lace. scents of caramel, toffee, espresso, pumpernickel, rye and a half dozen roses.balanced scents, also the alcohol is evident and warming. a sweet start of caramel, coffee, espresso, molasses, a dark bready malt that brings a roasty sweetness before it dries up and gets a warm bitter, similiar to a cafe au lait. the mouthfeel was so creamy and rich, just a few bubbles making it so silky and oh how nice. what a hearty beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2003 22:34:00 | More by pio
Photo of guinness33

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this is one of the oddest reviews i'm probably ever gonna have to make, with my ratings all over the map, pretty much. this brew is made exceptionally well. it looks damn near perfect, with a dark as night pour and an awesome tan head that provides an equally awesome cascading effect. so far, a damn near perfect beer. smells of coffee, chocolate, roatsed malt with hints of fruitiness (raisins, perhaps?). nothing that blew me out of the water, but a good, solid smell nonetheless. the taste, while obviously appealing to most drinkers, just wasn't for me. i don't like coffee to begin withm and the coffee taste here simply overpowered all other tastes too much. the other dominant flavour here was the alcohol, which was surprising since the smell gave hardly any indication of, and at 8.9%, i figured it'd be all over the place with this one. it's a generally smooth brew overall, but i can't say that i'd be able to have any more than one at a time, and would probably only try this again on a rare occasion. i was surprisingly disappointed here...like i said, a well made brew, just not my cup of tea (or coffee, in this case).

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2003 23:48:35 | More by guinness33
Photo of Quaffer


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

Appearance: A very cool looking label, complete with some Russian text and a picture of the mad monk himself. This beer poured a deep black that showed its true, ruby nature when held up to the light. The tan head rose up big and rough, but smoothed out and became dense as it settled back down. It was very slow to dissipate and never completely disappeared, leaving a thick cap of foam floating on top of the obsidian liquid. There was no lace left on the glass. Overall, I was surprised at the amount of head and its retention qualities. Many imperial stouts don't "behave" this way.

Smell: The main aromas were exactly what I expected: coffee, chocolate, and cream. After the head had settled down, a underlying toasted aroma emerged that contained hints of cinnamon and allspice. Very strange, but not bad at all. Also, there were hints of plums and cherries. There was no alcohol present on the nose, which surprised me since this beer tops out at almost 9.0%.

Mouthfeel: I half to say that this beer breaks into the full-bodied catagory, something that I rarely run into. It was very full in the mouth with a nice, creamy, slightly fuzzy, texture to it. There was a great smoothness that gave way to a numbing tingle caused by the alcohol.

Taste: On my first drink I was assaulted by a myriad of flavors. They were so numerous and intense that I had troubled picking them out. After my pallet had acclimated itself, I became aware of flavors of dark coffee, deep roasted malts, alcohol, and a tart cherry fruitiness. On the aftertaste was a lingering bitterness that was the only evidence of hops that I could find in the flavor. As the beer got really warm, the aforementioned alcohol gained some spicy characteristics and became more pronounced.

This is a helluva beer. A great change of pace from the wussy beers that I have been drinking lately. Too bad this stuff isn't available here in Wichita.

Thanks Bruiser!

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2003 22:58:24 | More by Quaffer
Photo of Sudmissle


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

A great stout that probably is the flagship brew of North Coast Brewery. Pours a black/brown color with a dense foamy head reminding me of real whipped cream stirred in. Very thick mouthfeel that lingers on the palate. This beer has 8.9% alcohol, but it is not apparent in the taste because it is so smooth. The alcohol is only slightly noticeable in the aftertaste. A quality blend of toasted wheat bread and coffee notes with a lace that clings to the glass as well as the tongue. This is a very competitive stout overall.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2003 01:30:27 | More by Sudmissle
Photo of winomark


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

Appearance: Black, with little or no light seeping through the glass. Dark and inviting.

Smell: Freshly brewed coffee, vanilla and molasses. No overpowering alcohol smell, nice and maltly.

Taste: Coffee all over the palate, with some nice malty sweetness. Slight alcohol taste in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Quite rich and coating, but not cloying by any means.

Drinkablilty: Not something you can sit down and drink a few of at a time, but overall, a very enjoyable beer to be savored while watching football on a cool autumn day. I will seek this beer out again, and enjoy it as often as possible.

P.S. I am glad this was such a great beer that I made it my first review.


Serving type: bottle

09-28-2003 20:48:16 | More by winomark
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,354 ratings.