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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.

8,372 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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Ratings: 8,372 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Nostrajonus


4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A-Dark brown pour with a two finger creamy tan head that sticks around for the long haul. Foamy thick lacing follws the beer down to the bottom as you drink.

S- Rich roasted malts with some subtle dark chocolate smells.

T- This thing is mallllty. The grain really comes through, and the dark chocolate smell is present on the palate as well.

M- The texture is perfect. The nitrogen conditioning gives this brew a creaminess that is unbeatable. Full points for mouthfeel.

O-This is a great beer. Anyone who thinks Guinness is stout (I love Guinness, but lets be honest) should drink this wonderful North Coast creation, and reevaluate.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-15-2014 03:27:21 | More by Nostrajonus
Photo of cjgiant

District of Columbia

3.86/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I have had this before without rating, and recall enjoying it. I had the nitro for this review, so ratings are adjusted accordingly.

A: probably thanks to the nitro in part, this beer almost epitomized what I expect a stout to look like. Dark brown-to-black with great head, tan in color and sustaining, with decent lacing
S: I am missing what I expect, instead of roastiness, I am getting a wet cardboard, but it's not very strong
T: smooth, as I expect a nitro. Roasted malt has cocoa taste to begin, with some light bitterness turning it towards coffee, kinda like mocha.
M: there is a coating mild bitterness, not strong but pretty on point to me.
O: I probably have to try the regular bottle or tap to see for certain. Given some of the Imperial Stouts I've had, this is missing some bite. However, in my experience one can question how the nitro affected it. That said, I could probably get in trouble drinking a few of these down quickly and smoothly.

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-31-2014 23:36:30 | More by cjgiant
Photo of kdlz


5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - black as night with a 1 finger tan head. Beautiful lacing lasting the whole beer through.

S - roasty with chocolate, caramel

T - on the bitter side with no bite from the alcohol, extremely rounded stout. Nice roasts and definite caramel and chocolate hints. Balanced.

M - creamy just a bit bitter.

O - this is now one of my go to stouts. Very balanced, dangerously drinkable.

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-14-2014 04:21:58 | More by kdlz
Photo of mscottjohnston


5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled at the Farmers Cabinet in Philly. Off nitro this beer is untouchable. Massive two finger head blends slowly and beautifully. I've had it from a standard tap and a bottle but nitro is a whole other experience. Body is silky smooth and creamy. I've encountered lots of beer and very few can be considered perfect; this is one that can. A+

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-14-2013 14:21:43 | More by mscottjohnston
Photo of tryemdad


4.74/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On a cold winter's night I dreamed of a coastal cottage, Northern Europe...I can hear the storm surge a few meters away....fire slowly dwindling....I swirl the stout in my glass...savoring every last drop...

THIS is THAT stout.

Near-perfection. It doesn't suffer from "too much chocolate," "too much coffee," there's not too much of anything. Just the perfect amount of stoutness.

Now I know better, but a few decades ago I would have imagined that this would be what Guinness tasted like....

The nitro tap pour results in an absolutely perfect appearance: pure black, 1/2 inch of caffe latte head. The nose is warm Manhattan Special soda, for the Brooklyn/NYC folks...

Unbelievably smooth. Don't ever pass this up on tap!

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-06-2013 17:07:10 | More by tryemdad
Photo of William85


4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I've had this beer a few times before in the bottle, so I was excited to see it on nitro-tap at a nearby barbecue join (bitterroot in Ballard).

Wow. The flavors in this beer are amazing -- lush chocolate and coffee notes stand out, supported by a fairly intense hop layer. I recall being just as impressed by the flavors with the regular bottle version of Old Rasputin, but the nitro definitely adds a lot to the experience.

The beautiful 2-finger head at the top of my pour was amazingly substantial -- almost completely unaffected by my first couple of sips -- and the texture of this beer is correspondingly creamy/velvety, leaving a pristine lacing trail all the way down the glass.

This is a great beer, as all of the other reviews proclaim, I would heartily recommend the nitro-tap version.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-23-2013 20:01:51 | More by William85
Photo of bambam2517


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the nitro-tap to a 12oz. chalice at Whole Foods.

A - Dark coffee brown body with a chocolate milky waterfall pour settling into a creamy head on top.

S - Roasted malt, toffee, semi-sweet chocolate.

T - Delicious. Reminscent of a milk stout, some nuttiness, and that semi-sweet chocolate cuts in at the end.

M - Sweetness from the malt is balanced out by a lightly bitter aftertaste. Very creamy.

O - While not as roaring bold and complex as other RIS ive had, this brew has a nice clarity in development and i enjoy the way the flavors unfold as its consumed. Worth getting excited over.

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-11-2013 05:13:45 | More by bambam2517
Photo of Rhower


4.29/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

An overall fun & outstanding experience with a pint glass of this renowned RIS.

A: Enjoyed this for my first time on a nitro-tap (I know, don't be jealous) at the West
Reading Tavern. The thick, creamy head settled itself into a two-fingered, pillowy soft
foam that lingered for the entire session. Black, dense, motor-oil appearance with a
pleasant "drink me" syrup viscosity. 4

S: Smoke, caramel, and malt. Very rich in the nose with a nearly buttery warmth - much like
the appearance, the nose of this brew begs a hearty quaff. 4.5

T: A burnt caramel front, melding with a back-end tobacco hint that finishes with a malty
flare. The place where this beer veered for me - not into anything even remotely
unpleasant, but just a slight let down - was at it's close as it warmed. Where the first
half of the beer, experienced at a pleasant just beyond cold temperature soared. I found that the beer took on a sour finish as it warmed. Not bitter - not deeper in it's malt character - just ... sour. Surprisingly, I found I wouldn't nurse this beer toward warmth in future pints, but would rather enjoy the full glass before it struck that final chord. 4

M: A beautiful aspect of this beer; it's heavy, dense, buttery soft feel in the mouth. From
start to finish, each sip is very easy - never touching on a place where the alcohol draws
on the mouth. It is one of the smoothest drinking RIS I've ever had. 4.75

O: This is one of those "kid at Christmas" beers. If I walk into a bar and see this on the
draught list, my excitement soars and my knees start to jump ... from first sip to last
(albeit a little faster "last" than on this visit), an exceptional brew! 4.5

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-29-2013 17:51:31 | More by Rhower
Photo of StArnoldFan


4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I had this on Nitro about a month ago at Nobi Public House in Clear Lake, reviewing from notes. The pour on this was simply amazing. It had about an inch of head that was so thick I could sit a quarter on it without sinking and remained for the duration of my glass. Dark black in color with that awesome mocha head that lingered. Not much on the nose but the taste was of chocolate and mild coffee hints. Easily one of, if not the thickest stouts I'v ever had. Anytime I see this on Nitro, I will have a glass.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-14-2013 23:40:40 | More by StArnoldFan
Photo of itlnstallion11


4.89/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- I was lucky to first try this beer from a nitro tap. It poured a motor oil black with a thick tan head I could rest a penny on.

S- great smell, barley, milk chocholate, some oatmeal hints, black licorice, some dark fruits, with a nice roast finish

T- ton of Malts, some plum, molasses, chocolate, hints of coffee with a pleasant wood burn bitter ending.

M- full bodied thick milkshake

O- an awesome stout, one of my new favorites. Alcohol is masked well and the taste is not overbearing. The balance of sweetness an bitterness is one of almost perfection, I'm utterly in love with this beer. Get one.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-03-2013 06:53:37 | More by itlnstallion11
Photo of JGuzzle


4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a nitro tap into a tulip glass which I understand is the ultimate way to enjoy this brew.

A - Deep black in color, completely opaque. Beautiful 3/4 inch of foamy caramel colored head sitting on top which persists throughout the consumption (it shrinks but was there to the last sip). Tiny caramel colored nitrogen bubbles persistently rise from the bottom of the glass every time it is picked up and put down. The appearance is truly a spectacle.

S - Roasted malts and hints of cocoa.

T - Some sweet maltiness in the front end. Very faint amount of hops tasted in the finish. The 9% alcohol is masked very well. I get some hints of cocoa as well.

M - Velvety smooth. If you manage to get some of the head on its own it can almost feel like a milkshake. Light carbonation, great full body.

O - This might be one of the greatest beer experiences I've ever had. Certainly the best stout. If you find this on a nitro tap somewhere, do not pass it up.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-15-2013 14:24:58 | More by JGuzzle
Photo of brewtus


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Had it on nitro a few days ago. You can read all the other reviews about how solid this beer is but if you have a chane to drink this nitro, do it. To think that such a thick beer could be so velvety and smooth. This stout is a benchmark for stouts and fortunately available all the time but its really perfect for nitro.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-12-2013 03:01:02 | More by brewtus
Photo of Lurkerson


4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nitro tap into a tulip.

A - she's a beauty! Almost pitch black, decent head, golden lacing

S - a bit more mellow than my eyes led me to think. Coffee, dark chocolate, sweet malts
T- deliciously bitter and chocolaty but well balanced with noticeable maltiness.

M - smooth and lingering, almost filmy

O - fantastic RIS. I'm very pleased with this beer and would definitely order again

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-06-2013 20:27:53 | More by Lurkerson
Photo of begforme4484


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

On nitro-tap at Tyler's Taproom in Apex, NC.

The beer is black as can be with a really thick creamy head. The head clung to the glass all the way down like it was painted on. It had thicker rings showing where each sip was.

Smelled of cocoa/coffee/roasted goodness.

The taste was different than normal Old Raspy. It still had the cocoa, coffee, and deep roasted malt complexities, but it drank like a milkshake. A Russian Imperial Stout ice cream.

Great mouthfeel, creamy and very full bodied.

I originally only planned on having one of these but felt compelled to enjoy two.

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-26-2012 19:51:15 | More by begforme4484
Photo of Treebs


4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On on Nitro at Wild Monk. Served in a snifter.

A: Pours a jet black color with a perfectly smooth and creamy tan head. The head sticks around for the entire time and leaves huge sticky sheets of lace. Just a beautiful looking beer.

S: Nice and robust roasted malts. There is some bitter bakers chocolate in there with a little bit of fudge.

T: The taste follows the nose but is a tad more complex. Nice roasted malts and bitter bakers chocolate up front. Sweet dark fruits are more present in the taste, almost like a caramel glazed prune. As the beer warms it gets a little sweet with some milk chocolate presents itself in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a little chew. Nice creamy mouthfeel with a medium carbonation level.

O: Very great balance of roast, chocolate and sweetness. Having it on nitro gives it a creamier mouthfeel and a must try for an Rasputin fan.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-29-2012 13:45:16 | More by Treebs
Photo of DNICE555


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

On tap at the cask republic with The Larse. Norman brought us over the label from the keg. It said "30 percent nitro and 70 percent C02". Guiness is 40 percent nitro. Very interesting. I had never had the old rasputin on nitro before. It was very tasty. It was still delicious as usual and the nitro provided a little extra smoothness.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-18-2012 21:29:04 | More by DNICE555
Photo of LiquidAmber


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

Poured pure black with a nitro draft head. Mild dark fruit and malt aroma. Absolutely smooth with a slightly sweet flavor. Well integrated roasted malt, dark dried fruit, light coffee and chocolate. The nitro turns the usual well melded flavors of this stout into a super creamy delight. Very good in the bottle and exceptional on nitro-tap.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-02-2012 23:00:56 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of rangerred


3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on nitro at mellow mushroom in Johnson City, TN

Arrived looking like a typical nitro pour with an off-white creamy head. Body was solid black.

Aroma had pleasant notes of coffee and dark chocolate. Also a slight hint of smoke in there.

The flavor had loads of cocoa and a slight bit of coffee. Lots of roasted malt and unfortunately, a decent amount of alcohol. I kind of feel like the nitro may have hindered the flavor somewhat because I didn't find this all that spectacular. I will have to pick up a bottle sometime to see if my opinion is any different.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-21-2012 02:09:59 | More by rangerred
Photo of DrinkSlurm


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

Poured from tap into pint at Yardhouse Hallandale Beach. Pours a pitch black with thick tan head. It looks fantastic. Smells of clean roasted marshmallow malts and grain. Taste is of roasted grainy malts. Slightly chocolatey but mostly bitter malts. Some sweet campfire roasted mallow notes.
This beer on nitro is soo smooth so I gave it a 5 for mouthfeel. Its smooth without being too airy. Overall, great brew and I probably gave it a bigger number due to the nitro tap.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-18-2012 23:13:26 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of estlinska


4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on Nitro at The Pantry on 4/23/13. Poured into a standard shaker :(. Pours black as coal with nice big creamy khaki colored head. No light can escape this black hole of a beer. It leaves reams of thick creamy head on the glass with some light lacing as well. The nitro gives this beer a more evened out nose but also pulls away from some of the aromatics. It still smells great with a smoky coffee and fresh baked chocolate chip cookie. There is a hint of alcohol on the nose but not overwhelming. The taste is very nice. I love what a nitro does to a good stout. The beer is slightly sweet with some bitter malt flavor melding well with some well placed hop bitterness that takes a slightly woody taste. The mouthfeel is creamy and full bodied. Very slight alcohol burn. I really like this beer and I think the nitro is a different experience for an already world class beer.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-22-2012 15:26:23 | More by estlinska
Photo of BostonHops


4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ deep ellum, allston (boston) MA. [review from notes]

appearance is a dark, opaque brown/borderline black w/ a solid two-finger mocha-toned head. nice retention and lacing. great looking stout.

aroma is heavy with roasted malts; notes of coffee and chocolate as well, with the slightest suggestion of hops. nose is substantiated by the flavor profile with the roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee pulling through in that order. again, very faint but perceptible hop presence. smooth, velvety moutfeel; moderately carbed. decent drinkability as far as russian imperial stouts go.

tasty brew, easily an upper tier RIS, though IMO doesn't quite distinguish itself enough to rival the best of the best. still, you won't find a better beer for your money.

original review on: 09-27-2010

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-15-2012 22:28:23 | More by BostonHops
Photo of macrosmatic


4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Had on nitro-tap at Redlight Redlight. Served in a 10 oz. glass shaped like a nonic pint pint glass.

A: Very dark brown, and opaque. Creamy dark tan nitro head, but much of the nitrogen movement within the beer had dissipated by the time I got the glass.

S: Coffee, dark cacao. Rich maltiness and a creamy sweetness. Not a huge aroma, but nice when you work at it a bit.

T: Sweet dark-roasted coffee, cacao, and big roasted malts without being overly bitter. Some toffee and a lactose-like sweetness throughout. Mild roasted bitterness in hang.

M: The body is on the thin side for style and the nitro-tap serving. Creamy mouthfeel, and alcohol is well-hidden for style.

O: Truly a quality, easily accessible example of style, but it didn't quite live up to my high expectations for having it on nitro.

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-10-2012 05:18:23 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of DCon


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

Enjoyed on-NITRO-tap @ the Royale - Food & Spirits in St. Louis, MO for $4.50. Tapped from the Black/Gold Tap handle w/ Mr Rasputin on it into a 12oz Stemmed Goblet Glass.

Aroma- Tons of cocoa and a nice, clean roasted aroma comes across in this one. You can even smell the creaminess here! Very nice and smooth to the nose.

Appearance- Pours a 1.5, creamy head that has long lasting retention. Has the most opaque brown colored body possible.

Flavor- Roast, deep chocolate, smooth coffee richness, and well balanced beer are all characteristics of this one. Malt made this one up. Medium bitterness finishes up this quite enjoyable brew.

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied due to unreal creaminess, Light Carbonation, SMOOTH, and has tons of malt that stay forever on the palate.

Overall Impression- Wow! While having enjoyed this one many times in bottle form, I never had nitro until the other night. Huge creaminess and enjoyed every sip. Definitely recommend finding this on nitro and enjoying one or two.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-29-2012 01:24:37 | More by DCon
Photo of tripledbrew


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

I have drank a ton of this served from a bottle but had the chance to drink this on tap/nitro driven at winos in Bowling green Ky. Really tasty as always with the added smoothness from the nitro. Nice dark roasted malts, bitter chocolate/coffee and no real noticeable alcohol presence. Which is surprising given the fact that this beer is no slouch coming in at 9% ABV. Just a good solid RIS.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-19-2012 04:51:53 | More by tripledbrew
Photo of VaterRoss

North Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on-tap at Flying Saucer Raleigh

Pours a beautiful three layers: a black bottom, a black/brown middle where the nitro effect is on full display with large round bubbles cascading downwards, and a creamy tan head that leaves extremely strong speckled creamy lace. Wow. Smell is a good amount of roasted malt: some dark chocolate, cream, hints of coffee. Taste has lots of the RIS metallic sharpness and a big warming alcohol presence. Good amount of roast malt, coffee, in the taste with some nice liquorice. As it warms the liquorice really comes out and complements to beer nicely. Mouthfeel is uber creamy and quite low carb.

This is the prettiest beer I have ever seen and definitely the best RIS I have had a chance to drink. In the dark world I think I prefer Founder's Breakfast Stout, but when compared to Old Rasputin the coffee, oatmeal, and chocolate almost come off as gimmicky. Old Rasputin is a legend and must have.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-18-2012 20:45:59 | More by VaterRoss
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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,372 ratings.