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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.

9,939 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,939
Reviews: 3,364
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 305
Gots: 1,346 | FT: 43
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: 9,939 | Reviews: 3,364 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old rasputin

A: murky black with tan head foamy with lacing no light passes through, pretty solid example of the style

S: sweet raisin and dates with chocolate on the nose, some drying oak but not similar to an oak aged beer, if that even makes sense.

T: taste is chocolate with bittering hopiness, nice malty balance, standard coating, it is the Mario of the Kart racing world. Not exceptional but no complaints to articulate, just standard.

M: The mouthfeel its pretty impressive for such a widely distributed stout, nice coating and balance.

D: This is a well done stout, maybe its sheer availablity has prejudiced me but I dont feel that it is amazing. I wouldnt be able to have this consistently but it is a good occasional treat, the maltiness is good but just offers too much filling.

Narrative: NOBODY BUT NO BODY KICKS OLD RAZZIE OUT OF THE ROLLER RINK. Ok, keep your cool, you know that you are a smoothe debonaire guy, but how can those girls fail to see your individual aplomb and flair? It just isnt right! You have your velvet chocolate coat, your smoothe ways, your bitter discountenance but they all seem to write you off for guys in Pele Pele Jeans and southpole shirts. Where did you go wrong? Maybe it was the fencing lessons, maybe it was talking to every girl in the roller rink. Razzie you spread yourself too thin. How could I have been so stupid? Well, there's only one thing these size 11's needs and thats a sick game of redlight green light. Time to narrow the scope and impart some chocolately velvety goodness to the masses.

SubpoenaDeuces, May 27, 2011
Photo of bdo894
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a super dark chocolate color, almost like black coffee. Really cool looking. Very little head.
Smelled chocolatey and grainy, like whole wheat bread.
Tastes delish, chocolate and coke with a touch of hops. Can barely taste the high APV.
Smooth mouthfeel with a clean finish. Goes down real easy.
Overall an awesome beer, especially for something with such high alcohol. I'm loving the darker beers in general nowadays.

bdo894, May 26, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - Motor Oil deep brown with a 2-finger tan head. Some lacing and retention, but minor.

S - Coffee and wheat.

T - Coffee and Chocolate.

D - Oily, but mild.

O - Not much to go with here. Age this and enjoy!

HuskyinPDX, May 26, 2011
Photo of Jinholic
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Jet black body 1 finger of mocha head didn't get a lot of lacing but it was thick.

Smell - Coffee and chocolate big up front with some dark fruit in the back maybe plum.

Taste - Same as the smell but oh so nice, its a great blend of coffee and chocolate malts. The abv in this just doesn't come out in the taste till it warms a bit and even then its only a warming feeling going down.

Mouthfeel - Silky and smooth not dry at all for 9% either. Full body stout thats creamy all the way down.

Overall - One of the best stouts I've ever had I wish more stouts tasted like this. Big props to the brewery on this I haven't liked a stout this much since SS oatmeal stout. That said go grab one and see for yourself.

Jinholic, May 26, 2011
Photo of aval89
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into Stone IRS glass

a: thick motor oil black! nice 2 fingers worth of khaki head.. only the edges of glass let through light, but very minimal..

s: espresso beans & dark cocoa.. slight nuttiness with some vanilla..liquorice.. also some faint dark fruits.. alcohol is very well hidden.

t: upfront i get a semi-sour cherry flavor.. then i get hit with the roasty coffee-like flavors.. mild earthy hops.. slight nuttiness.. hints of vanilla & dark chocolate dominate the finish for me.. also some lingering dark fruits with some earthy hops.. every sip is different.. very robust beer!

mf: thicky, chewy & silky/creamy mouthfeel.. spot on!

o: just an excellent brew! a true classic & excellent example of the style.

note: as beer warms, i get more of a red liquorice type taste..

aval89, May 25, 2011
Photo of brendan13
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with a 3cm light brown head that falls away suprisingly rather quickly.
S - Coffee and bitter chocolate notes abound. Some nutty and vanilla hints.
T - Much like the smell up front; all coffee and chocolate bitter notes with some liquorice as well as slightly resinous piney notes. Bit of an alcohol edge as well.
M - Medium to full bodied, low to moderate carbonation. Quite bitter.
O - An impressive beer. But not as refined as I was expecting. Maybe a little aging will do it some favours.

brendan13, May 25, 2011
Photo of dcloeren
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured an extremely dark brown with highlights of mahogany on the edges with 3 fingers of creamy khaki colored head. Produced decent, spotty lacing

Smells of rich, sweet chocolate, coffee beans with espresso notes, licorice and possibly some dark fruits. Has a slightly bitter tinge at the end.

Taste follows the nose but with a great bitter aftertaste. Burnt malt stands out more so on the tongue than in the nose.

The mouthfeel was a little too thin for what I was wanting out of this beer. Very well carbonated and a slightly drying bitter aftertaste

Overall, this was a good stout. I think with a thicker body that this beer could be amazing but what can you do? Not mad that I have 2 more in my fridge, but not dying to crack them open either

dcloeren, May 25, 2011
Photo of beagle75
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Draft service with nitrogen propulsion at Yard House in Irvine.

A: Opaque black color with over one finger of dense and persistent beige foam head. Heavy, continuous sheeting of lace remains on the glass.

S: Generic dark roast is present, with a weak charcoal and mineral snap. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins sweet, with concentrated roasted grain and semi-sweet Hershey's syrup. Acidity is very restrained into the middle, where a whiff of dark fruit emerges. The finish is remarkably mild for the style, slightly spirituous, with easy-going bitterness that seems as tied to the roasted barley as to earthy hops. A fine thread of dark olive brine lingers on the palate.

M: Thick viscosity, smooth and creamy on the palate, with very low carbonation.

D/O: Before imperial stouts were cool, there was North Coast's Old Rasputin. I remember the first time I tried it during Winter 2001-2002--when craft beer meant Sierra Nevada pale ale, Alaskan amber, Widmer wheat, or whatever stout I could get at the local brewpubs--and it was shocking to the senses. I may have thought that no beer should taste as this does. Now the beer endures, and it offers an honest look at how my palate has changed in a decade. Now (and especially on nitro-tap) it is a mellow and even old-fashioned take on the style, with a drinkability that is off the charts compared to its contemporaries. While some strong members of the porter-styles seem to struggle to separate roasty from smoky qualities, this is all roast and no smoke. It is chocolatey at the front-end, with a small finish that leaves room for that dessert such a beer is expected to accompany so well.

beagle75, May 25, 2011
Photo of mjhorn
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this out of a bottle poured into a pint glass. First thing that stands out is the awesome look to the pour as the tan/brown head forms out the the opaque black beer. Ended up with about 2 fingers of creamy head. It fell back fairly quickly leaving a sticky lacking on the glass. The aroma was heavy with roasted malt, with hints of coffee and chocolate. Didn't catch any alcohol though from the 9% abv. Very smooth and creamy, with a nice balance of sweetness and chocolate, with bitterness from coffee and strong roasted malt flavors. Finishes cleanly with a slight lingering sweetness. While I didn't catch any in the nose, there is definitely a slightly warming alcohol present as you drink. Nothing overpowering or unpleasant though. Fairly light carbonation fits nicely with the rich full bodied beer. Overall I am impressed. One of the first true stouts I've tried and the introduction was well done. Might be setting the bar pretty high for the style

mjhorn, May 24, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ

A very good stout, along the lines of Guinness' extra. Plus Rasputin is on the bottle. Pours a dark brown-black with a finger of tan head that recedes to a fine layer of lace. Heavy dark malt aroma, chocolate and coffee notes. Roasty taste of dark malts, coffee, dark chocolate, with hints of licorice, tobacco, raisins, and brown sugar. A bite of bitterness and alcohol in the finish. Smooth, strong, and a very tasty drink.

Rifugium, May 22, 2011
Photo of calebroberts811
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My local beer dealer told me that if I didn't try this immediately, I wouldn't be allowed to shop at his store anymore. So I bought it.

A - I had to remind myself that I wasn't changing my oil. Darkest brown/completely black that allows no light to escape, beautiful tan two-finger head, the color of espresso crema.

S - Strong notes of espresso, chocolate, toffee, and a subtler herbal character, like roasted vegetables. Weirdly enough, I smelled a slight hint of teriyaki in the background.

T - There's a burnt caramel introduction on the initial taste that turns in to the smooth coating of the roasted malts across the palette. On the backend, it tastes more like "coffee breath" than coffee itself combined with booze and dark fruits/roasted vegetables.

M - Just enough carbonation to carrying this thick and greasy beer down your throat. Definitely heavy-bodied and I'll be tasting this for awhile.

O - The best Imperial Stout I've had thus far and will probably be the litmus tests for future tastings within the style. Good stuff.

calebroberts811, May 21, 2011
Photo of farlieonfootie
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours a pitch dark black, with a two fingered, milk chocolate head that looks as if it's gonna stay awhile, and leaves behind epic lacing. I get malt, licorice and other dark stuff on the nose; Old Rasputin smells kinda boozy.

And the taste? Wow! Liquid heaven. Very complex, and oh, so smooth, like a velvet hammer. This stuff could kill you. I taste hops, roasted malts, and then rich, dark chocolate before the long, sweet finish. This beer is not for everyone: Big Boys only need apply. It's one of my absolute favorites; it just doesn't get any better than this.

farlieonfootie, May 21, 2011
Photo of jlb502
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Though I love the style, Old Rasputin has never been a favorite of mine. Generally I've found it a little too acrid and roasted for my tastes. Well I don't know if it's me, this bottle, or some combination of the two but this particular bottle is probably the best Old Rasputin I've ever had. It's been sitting for a month which I wouldn't assume is long enough to make it so much smoother and more palatable than the rest of the four-pack, but who knows?

Looks good, smells fine but taste is where this one really shines. The best way I can describe it is Abyss Light. Licorice, molasses, a roasted quality that isn't over the top. Not too syrupy. Maybe a touch over-carbed but combined with the medium body, it makes it about as sessionable as an RIS can be.

jlb502, May 20, 2011
Photo of Beanmeister
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my first beer I have reviewed on this site. Drank out of a pint glass

A - Rich dark brow (almost black) with a mild brow head

S - The hops stood out the most

T - This was not the most complex stout I have ever had yet the flavor match the I would consider this RIS to have more of a hop character than other RIS

M - like it said on the bottle "worming finish" I couldn't put it any better myself

O - overall i thought this beer brewed well for its genera. I'm not going to go out and by cases of it but I wouldn't turn it down

Beanmeister, May 18, 2011
Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I stored this bottle in the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about a half hour before unleashing its contents into a beer snifter. It poured out black as night with a perfect, solid, dark head with big bubbles that popped and hissed like something out of Dr. Frankenstein's lab. As the head deteriorates, lacing sticks to the glass like grim death.

The aroma contained chocolate, coffee, nuts, raisins, and cookies. This beer has a crazy intense and complex flavor. You get a big hit of malt that tastes like one of those rich Viennese chocolate cakes, then it gets really creamy as it moves across your palate and evolves into a nice figgy-coffee flavor that's not overly bitter. At the finish, you taste a bit of bitter chocolate again with some holiday spice. The taste of this beer lingers for several minutes after swallowing.

This beer has earned its legendary status. It's probably the finest imperial stout I can get my hands on (at least until I make it to Dark Lords Day).

deadonhisfeet, May 18, 2011
Photo of BeerThursdays
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black as night, think tan head. Dissipates slowly and leave a thin layer on the top of the beer. Some lacing. Decent looking.

S - Black Licorice, Coffee, Chocolate, and darker fruits.

T - A Lot more bitterness than I expected from the scent. Roasted malt, hops are presented very well. Some chocolate and coffee as well. Maybe some candy, like a caramel.

M - Good amount of alcohol comes though. Lighter body, but still very nice.

O - Very good stout, one of the better ones you can find in Delaware on a regular basis.

BeerThursdays, May 17, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at The Nook in Huntsville, AL.

Near black with a thick, beige head that leaves a thick sheet of lacing all over the glass. The aroma is of heavy roast, slightly charred, with subtle chocolates. The flavor is slightly smoky, with chocolate notes. The finish brings an interesting combination of charred roast and hop bitterness. A classic beer and a tasty stout. I will always go back to this brew.

Huhzubendah, May 17, 2011
Photo of StarshipPoopers
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with about an inch of tan head. The head is frothy with large bubbles, leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Retention is decent. It dies down to a thick film after a few minutes.
S - Fresh smelling. Definitely a roasted smell, mostly of dark chocolate. Hard to detect much coffee in the nose, though it is certainly there. Smells fresh, rich and slightly bitter.
T - Quite a few flavours simultaneously. You get a very nice coffee flavour running in the background with a smokey touch to it. Opposite to that coffee bitterness is a sweet and rich chocolate taste that initially comes across as a sweet milk chocolate then dies down into a much darker chocolate flavour. Alcohol is well concealed with the rich range of flavours.
M/D - Smooth and not overly heavy. I would say it's medium bodied. Easy drinking.

I've had a few 4-packs of Old Rasputin before and they've consistently been excellent stouts. Highly recommended.

StarshipPoopers, May 16, 2011
Photo of afinepilsner
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle
9% abv

Old Rasputin was nearly black in color. It had a large brown head with good retention and sheets of lace. The smell was coffee, chocolate, and dried fruit. The taste was chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and hops. The finish was dry with a good bitterness and lingering roasted malt flavor. The mouthfeel was excellent with a full body and gentle carbonation giving it a silky and creamy texture. Overall this is an excellent Russian Imperial stout and highly recommended.

afinepilsner, May 16, 2011
Photo of mklooster
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed from a tulip glass.

A - Pours black with a very pale tan head which dissipates rapidly to an almost white color. Very fine lacing.

S - Not as prominent as some Russian Imperial Stouts. It has a slightly earthy aroma with hints of coffee.

T - Coffee, dark chocolate, burnt toast (but in a good way). There is a lingering bitterness and subtle alcohol bite.

M - The carbonation yields a biting sensation when held on the tongue. Not velvety per se, but quite pleasant.

O - A very good beer. I plan to cellar the rest of them and return in a year's time to check on their maturity.

mklooster, May 15, 2011
Photo of chicagobill13
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an awesome beer! I love Stout and I drink this beer when I am in a very good mood. Today I found it very very very cheap then the normal price I found. Nice smooth drinking imperial stout. Great taste and very easy finish stout. I found this at Trader Joe's at a very good price. Try it!

chicagobill13, May 15, 2011
Photo of nasty31
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

120zer poured into snifter.

A- Black in color with a nice 3 finger creamy tan head. Leaves nice lacing in a perfect ring around the glass. This looks tasty

S- I get a strong chocolate roasted malt and alcohol smell on this one. Smells the way a good stout should.

T- Very bitter at first on the tongue then finishes with a nice subtle sweetness. Chocolate and malty flavor are prominent. The alcohol is not noticeable at all and the flavors blend very well together.

M-Thick and creamy mouth feel just the right amount of carb.

This is an awesome stout that is perfectly put together. Nothing about this stout is over the edge in flavor. Drinking a few bottles of this in one sitting is not a problem at all. Goes down smooth and tastes even smoother.

nasty31, May 14, 2011
Photo of GoRedlegs
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle to a pub style glass.

A: Pitch black with a serious creamy mocha colored head. Frothy patches of lace.

S: Burnt oak and mild.

T: Bitter, smooth, with a bit of a dark chocolate finish.

M: Full and oily.

O: A very nice stout that I think I chilled a bit too much for the start. The flavors came out more pronounced after being glassed for about 5 minutes. Definitely worth a try.

GoRedlegs, May 13, 2011
Photo of mdvatab
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into bourdeaux glass.
No bottled-on date that I could find, but not a huge concern w/ this style...

Aroma: Fudge brownie, chocolate malt, and very prominent, herbal hops.

Appearance: Pitch black opaque espresso with a thick 2-finger pillow of tan foam stays for a while.

Flavor: Dark, dark chocolate bitterness is balanced by semi-sweet bitterness the whole time. A hint of tannic cabernet appears. Hop bitterness is prominent, but at no point is it out of control.

Mouthfeel: Bittersweetness (3/4 bitter, 1/4 sweet) coats the tongue. Very thick body with creamy carbonation.

Overall: I love this beer! It has the exact qualities I'd hope for in an imperial stout. Other brewers lend complexity to their impy stouts through flavor additions like bourbon barrel aging, coffee beans, and/or chocolate nibs. While those are delicious as well, this beer stands on its own with a masterful blend of water, barley malt, hops, and yeast.

Na Zdorovie!

mdvatab, May 13, 2011
Photo of thatsfine
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ottle from the same six-pack purchased in October and reviewed in November. Served in the same glass to keep everything the same.

A: Impenetrable black color with one finger tan head. Dissipates to a thin cap atop the beer. Lacing is still very prevalent.

S: Much more mellow than the bottle I cracked in October. The hops have died down considerably in the smell. Now the roasty, chocolate malts are front and center.

T: The hop profile has dialed down quite a bit from the fresh bottle. Now, the hop presence is in the finish and is not nearly as harsh. It adds a slightly bitter element to the finish and gives it a nice bite. The malts are much more detectable in this aged bottle.

M: Still a very thick and full bodied stout at this point. Nothing has changed.

O: In the six months since I first had this, it has really tamed and is much less boozy and hoppy. Old Rasputin was an outstanding stout six months ago and has improved mightily since then. I'm don't usually drink many stouts in the hot Arizona summer (where I'm moving back to soon) so I don't plan to have the final bottle from October 2010 until at least October 2011. I will be buying a couple more six packs of this to see if it can go the distance. Something tells me this will go pretty far.

Review from November 19, 2010 from a sixpack purchased in October.

Poured from a bottle into a SA Perfect Pint Glass... because it's the only glass that's clean. And it really works for anything. On to the review...

A: Pours nearly jet black with slight brown outlines when held to light. Thick and frothy two finger head that retains well and leaves nice lacing. 4.5

S: Smell is very chocolatey, slight coffee scent as well. Roasty. 4

T: Immediate taste is chocolate and hops. Quite hoppy, in fact. Alcohol on the back end and finally more chocolate, which remains in the aftertaste. 4

M: Thick and chewy, a bit oily. Really quite nice. 4.5

D: This drinks quite nice. I like the hop presence. The hops and alcohol are enough to make you sip and savor this brew, no matter how bad you want to keep drinking it. This has become my go-to Russian Imperial Stout. Outstanding value. 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a SA Perfect Pint Glass... because it's the only glass that's clean. And it really works for anything. On to the review...

A: Pours nearly jet black with slight brown outlines when held to light. Thick and frothy two finger head that retains well and leaves nice lacing.

S: Smell is very chocolatey, slight coffee scent as well. Roasty.

T: Immediate taste is chocolate and hops. Quite hoppy, in fact. Alcohol on the back end and finally more chocolate, which remains in the aftertaste.

M: Thick and chewy, a bit oily. Really quite nice.

D: This drinks quite nice. I like the hop presence. The hops and alcohol are enough to make you sip and savor this brew, no matter how bad you want to keep drinking it. This has become my go-to Russian Imperial Stout. Outstanding value.

thatsfine, May 10, 2011
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,939 ratings.