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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.

8,405 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8405
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
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Ratings: 8,405 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of theteleman


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

Poured from nitro bottle into pint glass. Dark black with a brownish tan head. Smells like chocolate and coffee. Mouthfeel is thick and pleasent. Taste is Coffee, chocolate and a warming alcohol presence to finish it off. One of my favorite stouts, a great beer for a cold winter night.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

02-01-2014 08:09:02 | More by theteleman
Photo of SlothB77


4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

Has the standard coffee, chocolate, creamy flavor of a Russian Imperial Stout. Here's the kicker: the distinctive flavor that sets it apart from other RIS'? A mix of a flavor of cherries. Chocolate, coffee, cream and cherries.

A distinctive RIS. Excellent.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

01-12-2013 04:21:24 | More by SlothB77
Photo of dank203

New Jersey

3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I do love this beer. in fact, formative beer for me. however; ive tried blackout stout, I've tried expedition. to me, those two rate higher, even avery Czar. just not according to BA. still I respect this beer fully, one of the first imp stouts I've had

lot of bitterness, dark bitter chocolate, coffee beans, hops. creamy, bountiful carbonation. it is good, really good.

still, not my favorite! but a beer I'll still always come back to

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 23:01:38 | More by dank203
Photo of GinjaSlice


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

A: great looking dark dark brown beer with a nice thick tan head and crazy good lacing
S: smells like a nice cup of coffee with some chocolate and a after hint of alcohol
T: Taste goes along with the smell, with an initial bitter coffee taste balanced by some malt and dark chocolate flavors with a delicous after taste that stays on the tongue. and almost no alcohol taste
m: really good mouthfeel for such a dark high abv beer

O: one of my top stouts right up there with founders breakfast and ten fidy

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 00:31:27 | More by GinjaSlice
Photo of lochef81


4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is my third offering in a tasting of Russian Imperial Stouts. This one pours a deep near black mahogany with a large and thick tan head that gives way to a nice film and substantial lacing. The nose is lighter than expected with the expected notes of coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, and dark caramel. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy but lighter than the pour and nose make one expect. It is medium bodied and coats the mouth in a most enjoyable and satisfying way without being thick and sticky. The flavor is a wonderful blend of dark cacao, roasted coffee, and sweet caramely malts. This is a damn well crafted beer and it is very understandable why it is one of the benchmarks of the style. This is the first of my four way tasting that I feel is perfect now and doesn't need any age on it.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 05:06:02 | More by lochef81
Photo of ThePaintedGrey


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle poured into imperial pint glass. - drinking this one at about 55 - 60 degrees. No refrigeration here.

A: A very deep mahogany hue that's nearly black, but some blood red highlights shine through during the iPhone flashlight test. A dense, rocky, YooHoo colored head is ENORMOUS even without an aggressive pour. Takes ages to settle down to a 3/4" head that remains for nearly the entirety of the experience. Impressive splotches of dark beige lacing left behind. The most impressive part of Old Rasputin's aesthetics, however, was probably the cascading effect during the pour. A delight to watch the nearly-black liquid manifest itself.

S: Chocolate domination here, very reminiscent to the 70% cacao chocolate bar I had earlier, actually. Some roasted malts and medium-roast coffee come through, but never make it out of the backseat due to the chocolately reign. A little bit of raw anise seed as well.

T: The initial flavor here reminds me a lot of one of my personal favorite beverages: dark roast coffee, served black with a square of 80% cacao chocolate dropped in and dissolved. Awfully specific I know, but I know what I taste. The bitterness of that combination is quickly balanced by some sweet and slightly roasted malts to give this one an overall rich, dessert-like profile. Hops aren't usually something I look for in stouts and they're usually something I could go without in stouts, but Old Rasputin has some piney spice peering through in the finish, atop of some warm, peppery booze. After taste is bitter black coffee, slightly smoky, and a hint of tobacco.

M: Full-bodied, subdued carbonation, wonderfully creamy texture. Not quite as chewy as I hoped for, but absolutely no disappointment here overall. Alcohol is definitely apparently though; not shrouded as well as others.

O: It's easy to see why Old Rasputin is a fan-favorite amongst its style. It provides a perfectly accessible flavor profile with a textbook mouthfeel. Truly a wonderful brew that I'm sure will be revisited again and most definitely recommended to others.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 03:12:15 | More by ThePaintedGrey
Photo of JAFoley

New Hampshire

4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a solid black caramel body with three fingers of tan head. Incredible retention and lots of lacing.

S - Sweet, caramel, cherries, and bread.

T - Floral bitters rush forward followed by cherry, caramel, and smokey malts. Alcohol slips in at the end.

M - Full body and moderate carbonation. Very sticky and smooth.

O - Fantastic stout. Really glad it's making it to the east coast.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2014 21:46:46 | More by JAFoley
Photo of iheartmyTHO


3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Overall, not one of my favorite stouts. I guess it's because I prefer my stouts to have more of a chocolate or coffee taste to them. The Old Rasputin Stout reminded me more of a stout mixed with a nice Belgian Ale. It's still tasty, and the high alcohol content will give you a nice buzz. But I just didn't care for the fruit / raisin notes.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 21:31:26 | More by iheartmyTHO
Photo of dcmchew


4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damn hotels for not having the proper glassware!
Pitch black pour with more than 2 finger light brown fluffy head. Sticky lace much later on.
Big chocolate and sweet coffee in the smell, roasted malts, alcohol (coffee-liquorish, actually), lower dark fruit.
A fruity flash at the start, with juicy plums and figs, raisin, some orange, quickly pushed away by espresso, dark chocolate, slight caramel and rich, very rich roasted malts. Dark spices, citrus peel, woody notes with some oaky vanilla. Obvious hops in the finish, but the bitterness comes from the burnt roast. So some charcoal notes and burnt coffee expected in the aftertaste.
Smooth sipper, creamy, alcohol is nicely hidden, tho some ethanol is (ok, rarely) felt. Medium carbonation. Just a bit of crispness.
Perfect example in its style, balanced and rich.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2014 12:20:25 | More by dcmchew
Photo of NickT2121


4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - poured into snifter. Poured a dark dark almost burnt motor oil color. With a mocha 1 head with small bubbles. Head diminished quickly. The color was solid black with almost no Amber or Moahagany at the bottom lacing very thick

S - very malty chocolate notes, plum, brown sugar, boozey scent, vanilla, coffee, burnt grains. Very complex and amazing smells

T - Roasted malts upfront with a chocolate coffee taste on the end with caramel sweetness. So goood. The finishing taste changes to me. I get vanilla one sip, caramel the other, malt and coffee the other

M - thick silky creamy feel very heavy. This Stout is very bubbly.

O - this imperial Stout is a sipper and is very good. The flavors are always changing on my palate and always amazed by every sip. The only thing not making it perfect was the carbonation it was overwhelming at first but after letting it sit for a bit the flavors busted and the carbonation died down.. Great stout


Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 01:39:05 | More by NickT2121
Photo of SanWrencho


3.05/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An OK brew but too aggressive and unbalanced and not malty enough to be a great stout IMHO. This brewery can produce some intriguing beers (Pranqster) but this one is too over the top. A better example of this style would be Zywiec Porter. Sometimes less *is* more.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 05:33:14 | More by SanWrencho
Photo of myelo


4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a bottle poured into a plastic cup (I was in a hotel …you do what you gotta do).

Opaque black with a tall, medium brown persistent head.

Aroma is dark chocolate, coffee and roasted malt with citrus hops.

Big flavor: chocolate and espresso, malt sweetness and moderate hop bitterness which balance the ethanol very well. Hint of oak

Mouthfell is thick and smooth, with oily creaminess, ethanol warmth but again, perfectly balanced.

The overall impression is a great balance between big, roasted malt, moderately high hop bitterness and ethanol.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 23:02:17 | More by myelo
Photo of PsilohsaiBiN

New York

4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No bottled on date, so I'm assuming this is either late '13 or early '14, but I could be wrong.

Appearance: Pours Shaq black with a nice, bubbly finger of khaki head.

Smell: Sweet roast with some hops for balance, dark chocolate, dark fruit, graham cracker. Really good.

Taste: Semi-sweet roast over dark chocolate begins the drink. The middle shows a bit of hop bite, followed by a nice muted iteration of the beginning, that fades out with a mild graham cracker element in the finish. There is a bit of heat at the end, but it belies the actual abv. This drinks nice and smooth.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, but of course not in the realm of BCBS or Huna...it's still thick enough to be hearty but nothing viscous that you're struggling to choke down.

Overall: A classic for a reason, easy drinking for a higher abv and tastes good. Would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 01:24:24 | More by PsilohsaiBiN
Photo of MikeyBadnews


4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not a huge Stout, let alone Imperial stout guy but decided why not celebrate this Irish holiday with an Irish beer named after a Russian, made in America. Melting pot my friends... Pretty solid beer, makes you work though and the alcohol is pretty poignant.

Pours like a liquid abyss , inescapable darkness with an chocolate-espresso foam head that poured a rich 3 fingers thick.

Smells of strong alcohol, with varying notes of burnt coffee, prune and dirty roadside puddle, solid but imperfect as the alcohol burn wipes out some of the more refined and subdued scents.

The taste offers no alcohol burn as its resigned to the back of the throat and not the tongue and doesn't interfere with the mouth feel. Creamy chocolate covered fruit flavor meshed with coffee grinds that doesn't go down overly easy but doesn't kick your ass either.

Not bad, not bad at all... I'm a legitimate fan and wish I had this beer to kick back with after a night of shoveling over the winter. Really warms and comforts you, a dark blanket that isn't for session drinking, but good for one or two on a frosty night.


Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 02:00:23 | More by MikeyBadnews
Photo of Oakengroves


4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - A dark, foreboding back with an off-color, dull head.

Smell - A deep, earthy roasted malt scent. Very appetizing.

Taste - An outstanding dark, earthy flavor interrupted occasionally by a mixture of grain and chocolate. Delightful!

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

Drinkability - One of the most drinkable Imperial stouts on the market.

Overall - The gold standard for imperial stouts, and very, very difficult to beat for the price.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 02:06:09 | More by Oakengroves
Photo of MV_CHI-NS


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

Appearance: Licorice with a vanilla/beige head.

Aroma: Bold notes of roasted coffee and malt, with not-too-subtle hints of dark chocolate.

Flavor: Much like the aroma, but stronger; deep-roasted with a subtle (strange, because there was a stronger presence in the aroma) dark chocolate aftertaste which slowly changes to hints of dark smoked grains. In truth, I was not expecting it to dissipate so quickly - the aftertaste of dark smoked grains quickly became somewhat...'off'; I was hoping for the chocolate/malt notes to really come forward after letting it rest on my palate, but instead, it became somewhat bitter - not what I would expect from any Imperial Stout.

Mouthfeel: Fairly moderate carbonation - smooth, full-bodied, but somewhat dry after a while.

Overall: This was my first from North Coast Brewing, and a good choice to get my 'foot in the door'. To any die-hard fans of Imperial Stouts: make this a staple in your collection. Personally, I may need to revisit this one after a while because while it is good, I was not entirely impressed - particularly in terms of flavor/mouthfeel. But as stated above, if you love Imperial Stouts: get it and enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 19:21:59 | More by MV_CHI-NS
Photo of BeerDazed


4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at one of the local craft brew bars. Served in a special Old Rasputin-labeled glass. A little on the small side, but this is a RIS.

Beautiful appearance. A deep, dark, rich black with a thick, tan-colored head. If they were looking for the most photogenic beer of the night, this was the one. As volume decreased, lacing very apparent.

The smell...Roasty is the first word that came to mind. Darkened maltiness with a definite coffee overtone. Some chocolate in there too.

The taste...Fantastic! Starting with roasty malty goodness along with some dark chocolate notes, and finishing with the coffee near the end. Full-bodied, but not too carbonated. Once it warmed up a bit, almost got a bit of a dark fruit aroma and taste too. Creamy, full, and an excellent winter warmer. The 9% abv was very well hidden. This was a meal in itself.

I have had some other RIS, but this one really stands out. Everything about it was just splendid. I have a feeling that when people think Russian Imperial Stout, good ol' Old Rasputin will come to mind.

So...If your name happens to be Rasputin, you're in good company!

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2014 13:26:42 | More by BeerDazed
Photo of aqualung23


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

This is a textbook perfect example of a RIS. Dark and beautiful in color, nice beige head, amazing smell, perfect mouthfeel. I loved the coffee notes and the dryness, perfectly hopped with what I assume to be KEG (something english for sure). My only negative is that it was a little boozy for 9%, where I have tasted smoother stouts with a higher ABV. Regardless, that's just a personal preference and this is an absolutely amazing representation of the RIS style.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2014 00:05:44 | More by aqualung23
Photo of NolantheBondFan


4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black as all hell with a nice brown head. Looks delicious.
N: Not a whole lot of smell, but when you get a whiff of it, man, you want it. Smells like a good Stout. Coffee and Chocolatey.
T: Roast Coffee and a bit of chocolate. Strong, it can get a little overwhelming if you aren't prepared.
M: Light carbonation, not as smooth as I would like, but still good.
O: One of the first beers I really loved, it is the definition of Imperial Stout. When I think Russian Imperial Stout, I think Old Rasputin.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2014 18:29:58 | More by NolantheBondFan
Photo of reebtaerG


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12oz bottle into New Belguim globe no date on bottle

A-Pours a deep dark hueless brown, big foamy 2 finger mocha head settles and rings.

S-Pungent aroma of dark chocolate and burnt dark malt, a whiff of dark fruit.

T-Sweet bitter smooth chocolate, robust dark roast, bitter coffee bean.

M-Mouthfeel has average carbonation, full bodied, moderately hopped. Intense and powerful yet ABV mostly hidden.

O-This is a great RIS it was my first RIS of many years ago and I constantly still love it. Perfect for yet another snowy night.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 03:01:42 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of polloenfuego

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 12 oz bottle to a snifter.

A: pours near black with a full three finger head that is off white, fluffy and full. The head breaks slowly leaving fantastic lacing and a thin film of bubbly foam.

S: roasts, coffee, malts and chocolate.

T: coffee, burnt caramel, bitter cocoa, and some hops perhaps sneak in there too.

M: very smooth feel with medium carbonation.

O: a solid RIS. The experience starts with the look which is fantastic and carries through all the other senses smell taste and feel. Happy to find this on my recent beer expedition to NY and I will consider buying and sharing more when I take my next one.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 17:48:20 | More by polloenfuego
Photo of samtrillo


4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark as the night with a tanish appealing head!

S - Burnt maltiness.

T - Lots of coffee and burnt caramel. Smokey at the finish. Some mocha in their which is more apparent at colder temperatures. More coffee at room temp. A bit of licorice at the end there. Definitely a great deal going on here.

M - Smooth with some carbonation. Goes down nice.

O - Don't get me wrong, it's an awesome specimen. Slightly overrated around these parts I'd say, though.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 06:22:08 | More by samtrillo
Photo of therackman


4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: jet black, 1.5 finger tan head head with good retention, lacing
N: roast malt, chocolate, not much to the nose
T: roasted malts, chocolate, coffee aftertaste, dry
M: smooth, light small bubbles of carbonation
O: so much flavor, like dessert, sets the bar for other RIS

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2014 02:24:57 | More by therackman
Photo of MaddenDalyBrokaw


4.94/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Darker than night. Rich malty aromas. On the palate we begin with moderately placed roasted barley tones, then comes the warm hops with chocolate and coffee, followed by the even warmer alcohol. Lingering roasted barley. A real beast of a beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2014 01:33:16 | More by MaddenDalyBrokaw
Photo of Jsteez


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

Poured into a snifter. Sipped it slow and thoughtfully, just the way I like it.

Appearance was black as night; perhaps a black licorice color; beautiful buttermilk cream head which dissipated into a thin tan surface. Minimal lacing on the glass.

Smelled like burnt barley; burnt malt; a little smoky, but not too much; dark chocolate notes, grass, wood; black coffee; burnt caramel.

The taste was like heaven; sweet at the front, bittersweet in the backend; balanced. Black brown sugared chocolate; grassy and woody; a little smoky. Perhaps a little piney and resinous. Roasted barley malt; burnt sugar; burnt malt. Burnt caramel; burnt brown sugar. A slight, yet pleasant, bitter taste lingers throughout consumption. There was even some brown crusty bread.

The body was velvet and smooth; full bodied, yet highly satisfactory. It was curved in just the right places; warm and satisfying, chewy, even. She did me well.

Great beer for a perfect Valentine's evening. Sipped it thoughtfully. Very high quality stout that is worth drinking. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 08:52:40 | More by Jsteez
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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,405 ratings.