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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.

8,355 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8355
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)
View: Beers (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 8,355 | Reviews: 3,288 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of far333


3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This one's powerful, starting with the scary illustration of the Russian cleric himself on the label. Pours a deep brown color, with flashes of ruby where the light gets through. Head is an inch high, light brown, big and frothy. Rich aroma of chocolate, toasted malt, and alcohol. Bitter coffee flavor greets the tongue, followed by a strong alcohol finish. Not much room left for other flavors. I'm half way through the glass, and the head remains, accompanied by wavy lacing down the sides of the glass. Not for the faint of heart.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2003 09:09:18 | More by far333
Photo of Mitchster


4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me start by saying I got a hell of a deal on a single of this at Safeway for $0.92 because the cashier rang me up wrong. I, being the good beer-loving citizen I am, did not correct her:)
75 IBU.

Clear, ink-black brew forms a tan head atop fine bubbles with poor retention and OK lacing. Aroma is extremely rich...roasted sharp grain, similar in ilk to Kalamazoo stout, espresso, black patent, and a nice touch of whiskey. There is a peculiar woody dryness to the aroma. Taste is phenomenal..this is especially silken and roasted, but not burnt and thin, with a very smooth and even hoppiness. The mouthfeel is full and chewy with a dense body. Bitterness and hop flavor are in perfect balance with the malts. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The alcohol is noted in vapor, but not so in taste. This is probably one of the best examples of Russian Imperial Stout that I've had. It gets better as it warms. This is one of those beers that deserves every GABF and WBC medal it's earned. This is an uncommonly good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2003 20:16:16 | More by Mitchster
Photo of rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Quite big and complex. Roasty, licorice aroma, with more hops in the aroma than i expected, quite aromatic. The palate is quite thick and roasty, with some licorice and raisins, with quite a few hops to finish, the finish is even a bit citric. Nice bitter finish. Flavours don't quite blend however.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2003 01:53:25 | More by rastaman
Photo of kindestcut

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The Old Rastputin poured black...an impenetrable void as black as coal. The dark tan head was quite active and lasted several minutes as I allowed the beer to warm before tasting.

Man, I could tell by the aroma that this was going to be a kick in the nuts...again, compliment or insult? I dunno. The beer smelled like a cookout. Just replace the steak with malt and you got it. "One malt burger! Well done!" This beer is like roasted malt incranate.

OK, now, the taste. BAM! Down on the floor I go! In reality, I don't remember much from the first taste. It was so overwhelming, I had to gather my thoughts...including, do I really like this or not? I decided to walk away for a few minutes to gather myself and return. I'm glad I did.

After a few more sips, this beer is beginning to grow on me. The flavor is overwhelming. Espresso, a hint of chocolate, alcohol in the distance (which would be pretty dangerous for a beer with a 8.9% ABV but you can't chug this!) and a bitter finish. This is a beer that kicks your ass, follows you home and sleeps with your wife.

The mouthfeel is very good...creamy and chewy...like coffee taffy. The beer is actually easily sipped (I wanted to say drinkable but it's too harsh for a gulp) after a few minutes. However, the drinkability is pretty low for me given the strength of this bad boy.

I feel like I just saw a disturbing, yet brilliant movie. I acknowledge the genius but I don't know how much I truly liked it. I don't think I did but I could be wrong....

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2003 20:17:08 | More by kindestcut
Photo of jcalabre


3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally sampled on 15 June 2002. It pours a very dark brown. The taste is full of burnt coffee & chocolate flavors, but in my opinion, they are not as nice as other imperials, like Victory Storm King, Alesmith Speedway or Stone Russian Imperial. I think it was OK, nothing special

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2003 18:45:43 | More by jcalabre
Photo of LiamStLiam

New York

2.68/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I got a good, black pour, low head.

I found it harder to drink than I expected. A lot going on in this beer, and not all of it to my taste.

I am a "smoothness" guy, and this is not a smooth beer.

I find this a difficult style to understand right now, and I know it's a hard one to do.

This is my first North Coast Beer, so I am not quite sure what to expect in the future.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2003 19:57:10 | More by LiamStLiam
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I tried to pour this one roughly but nothing doing. While the minimal tan head reduced to a mere crown on the glass very quickly, it does manage to maintain that crown quite well. Color is as dark as it gets I suppose, absolutely no light going through.

Aroma is heavy with coffee and light with alcohol notes.

Taste has a big alcohol hit in front I thought, almost too soon. The mouthfeel comes into play immediately as well, extremely smooth, heavy, thick almost like syrup, but not sweet, oh no, not at all. Past the alcohol taste comes the primary taste sensations of coffee and dark roasted malts. These mix with a mild carbonation which enhances the roasted taste, IMO. As that initial flavor surge subsides, some smoky, perhaps burnt coffee or espresso flavors emerge coupled with a hop bite to keep you honest. All that complex flavor and some nice balanced hop presence to boot. Finishes on the bitter side with remnants of charcoal lingering.

I gotta hand it to North Coast BC, this is a busy beer to drink, lots going on if you take the time to experience it.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2003 21:04:03 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of tavernjef


4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Solid black, black as a moonless night....one finger high head of super lumpy, solid crunchy top, but also looks fluffy and light, tan in color, leaves some spotty lace patches. Smell, dead on, is a great sweet dark chocolatey aroma with notes of dark fruit - banana, starfruit, mango, strawberry, and black cherry all noted. Taste is a swirling light chocolate, sweet and dark smoothness throughout, yum. Nice twinged hops in the finish that brings out just the right bitterness and dryness to say hello kindly and leave you with a smile. Feel is full and creamy with a way easy smoothness that makes this a amazingly drinkable stout. North Coast has a winner here.

Thanks to Feloniousmonk for serving this up. YUM!!!

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2003 20:29:58 | More by tavernjef
Photo of darklager


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

This beer is definitely something to behold. It pours beautifully with a nice head that sticks around for a while. The aroma is chocolate and alcohol. While the alcohol is present in the aroma, it is well masked in the taste. It is a strong brew, worthy of drinking slow and savoring every last drop. It finishes slightly bitter, and the strength of this beer is pretty great, so I don't think I'd want more than a couple at one sitting. It would be great in the evening to sip on while unwinding.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2003 09:47:48 | More by darklager
Photo of Winter


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

Pours soot black in color with a rising brown creamy head. Aroma consists of chocolate malt, alcohol and dark fruit. Luscious full-bodied mouthfeel. Taste consists of chocolate malt and coffee. Very well balanced. Alcohol makes its presence known in the finish and a slight warming effect can be felt. Finish can be a bit dry at times.

Old Rasputin definitely has quite a kick to it. Unbelievably smooth for a beer with such a high alcohol content. Definitely a benchmark Imperial Stout to judge others by.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2003 10:25:40 | More by Winter
Photo of BierReise


3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I first opened the bottle I took a little sniff. My first impression was chocolate and alcohol. Almost like a chocolate cordial. Dark chocolatey appearance small head that started to dissolve immediately. First sip was roasty tasting with bitter chocolate notes at the back. Wow this is a smooth Stout. A little on the bitter side but malt is seeming to wrestle for advantage. It's warming up now and I start to smell coffee or espresso. This is a great stout and deserving of it's wide praise. If it weren't for the bitterness I'd give it an even higher rating. Just my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2003 19:28:47 | More by BierReise
Photo of AtLagerHeads


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow! This is a really grand stout. Wanting to finally taste this bad boy, I popped the cap on its stubby little bottle. Immediately the nose of roasted aromas comes forth, beckoning me onward. The nose portends the roasted coffee and chocolate flavors that await the drinker. The pour created a huge dark beige head over an opaque black body. The head lasts and makes lots of nice lacing. Beautiful. Flavor is here in abundance giving the drinker a full force assault on the palate. Coffee. Check. Chocolate. Check. Prunes. Check. Hop bitterness. Check. This is a tour in flavors. Great stuff with great body and feel. Wow! High ABV holds down drinkability, and there's lots of bite in this brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2003 19:35:39 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of bewareOFpenguin


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

I actually drank this at room temperature, not waiting for it to chill. It poured nice and blackish, with chocolate colored bubbles. The taste was roasted malt, coffee, carmel. It had a bold taste, the ABV mixed well, not overwhelming. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2003 07:53:15 | More by bewareOFpenguin
Photo of BeerResearcher


3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This Russian Imperial Stout is dark/rich tar in color with a nice tan head. The lace cascades down in spotty trails. The aroma is a multi-directional bombardment of coffee mocha, malt, hops and alcohol. The ample citrus and metallic hops are almost overwhelming. A hint of apples and sherry-like flavors weave in and out as does coffee & chocolate. Sweet! Strongly alcoholic and complex. Almost too much at once with little thought to balance...maybe that was the intention to begin with?

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2003 20:29:14 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of MJR


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

Appearance: Pours black with garnet highlights. It's mostly opaque, with a minimal amount of light getting through. What started as a 3/8" tan cap is now a small ring around the top of the glass. No lacing whatsoever...

Smell: Very basic aroma of bitter, roasted coffee with a hint of dark fruits. A small whiff of alcohol too...

Taste: Lots of roasted grain and coffee flavors take center stage is this brew. The dark fruits that are expected in this style are here, but they're much more subdued than in most other Imperials. I taste a touch of buttery rum, as well as some toffee. The hops are there, but they don't really draw any attention away from the malts. The alcohol is well hidden. Finishes with a touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Round and smooth with a medium mouthfeel. It's too thin for the style...

Drinkability: Good for what it is...a nice, basic Imperial stout. There are much better examples to be had, but I wouldn't mind this on a cold winter night in front of the fireplace. I did expect this one to be better though...

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2003 22:03:47 | More by MJR
Photo of dwarbi

New York

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

1/2 inch thick light brown head. Most of it goes a away rather quickly, but some remains to make me happy.
What a nose! Amazing. Very solid presence in the room. Malty, a little sweet, and when you get in there, you can detect the high alcohol content, but it does take away from the effect.
Chocolatey, roasted flavor. Again, the high alcohol content is evident but does not take away from the experience.
Feels good in the mouth, but the sweetness is a little too dominant in the aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2003 15:05:18 | More by dwarbi
Photo of philipt

North Carolina

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

My goodness, I really like all types of imperial stouts, and the more I sample, I develop a greater appreciation for the style.

Nearly black in color (really dark, dark, dark, dark amber) with a rather diminutive khaki color head. Sensational aroma that is noticeable from a relatively great distance as it is poured. Smells of roasted malt, and smells quite sweet. Taste is malty as first, followed by a bready and roasted malt flavor. Tastes somewhat sweet as well. The body is thinner than hoped for. The alcohol is evident but, by no means, is it a problem.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2003 14:36:53 | More by philipt
Photo of scottum


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out blackish black with a nice big tan head. A very nice Imperial Stout. Burnt malts rule this brew like a tzar. Hop bitter balances out the malts. This is a potent brew and complex beyond my taste. Not the best Imperial Stout out there, but a damn good one!

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2003 16:25:53 | More by scottum
Photo of kelticblood


3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is my 100th review so I thought I'd choose something worth remembering.

The pour yielded a 1 inch off-white head that reduced to about a 1/2 inch and stayed.As It reduced it left a solid ban of sticky lace around my glass.The color is an opaque black.Alcohol is evident on the nose and in the taste almost right away.wheeew this is strong.Long very bitter finish.Full bodied with a thick mouthfeel.Alcohol makes the mouthfeel somewhat harsh..The alcohol and the strong hop bitterness seems to hide any real flavor here.Very creamy with a rolling texture.Hints of chocolate and coffee are noted on the taste.Very malty with a dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2003 23:22:24 | More by kelticblood
Photo of PhantomVodoo


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

Black in color with a brown creamy head that leaves lace.
Aroma of bittersweet chocolate and alcohol.

Taste of bittersweet chocolate, alcohol, and a hint of coffee. Hops there to balance.

Creamy and full-bodied.
Drinkability: This is a big beer to be savored in the proper setting. Not something to look for after you've just mowed the lawn on a 90 degree day. The alcohol is pretty evident.

Overall, this beer is quite the treat on tap. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2003 21:41:30 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of Jarod


4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, Russian writing encircling the image of Rasputin on the label.

This beer poured a dark brown black color that when held to the light, some penetrated casting a ruby glow on the edges. The head was thick, rich and creamy resembling in all aspects, even the color of the inside of a Milky Way candy bar. It left a lace behind that was sheety and lacey in different spots of the inside of the glass. The aromas that came from the glass were fairly complex, changing with each degree of temperature. I nosed coffee, dark and roasted malts, caramel, chocolates, slight fruits, some burnt chocolate, wood ash and alcohol. All smells seemed to couple up with each other and accent each other very well. The tastes were just as complex as the aromas and seemed to get only better as it warmed. I tasted bitter hops, burnt and regular coffees, roasted malts, caramel (slight), chocolates, alcohols, flowers, wood ash and some slight dark fruits. The first sip had some bitter hops to it, then an explosion of flavors all through the middle and then ended the same way it started. This is one complex beer. Big, full, creamy, lovely, luxurious and fabulous. Lives up to its name and its history behind it. The Czars would be proud.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2003 07:40:32 | More by Jarod
Photo of goz


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

Pour is a super dark black with slight hints of ruby at the edges, thick tan head that fades and leaves good lacing. Aroma is chocolate, roasted malts, and some hops (flowery, light perfume) in the end. Flavor starts with chocolate, middle the roasted malts show through, some hops towards the end. Alcohol barely shows through at the very end when it reaches it's warmest temp. Full bodied, long lasting taste. Truly outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2003 09:50:32 | More by goz
Photo of goindownsouth


4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

North Coast brings out yet another winner. A very good brew. It almost appears, to me, to be a porter-like brew. But this beer is so much more. It offers a porter-type body and consistency complete with malted aroma and flavor. There are hints of chocolate-like sweetness, but not too overbearing. If you can find it, please seek this one out. It is well worth it. Prost!

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2003 18:48:12 | More by goindownsouth
Photo of nomad


3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out just about black with light tan head that doesn't amount to much. Real rocky and frothy lace that dies fairly fast and eventually turns into a nothing of a lace. For the nosey stuff, it had an interesting turn on the common imperial stout nut scent, a lighter but more complex type of nut. Real bright fruitiness to the nose, has a citrusy kind zing to it from the very high level of hops.

As for taste, there was an almost salty type of hop bitterness with a long and multi-leveled finish: started with a quick bitterness, then turned to a fruity hoppiness which then mixed with the roasted malt flavor, and lastly it all evened out and washed over the majority of my palate. Fairly thin mouthfeel.

Overall, an overly hoppy version of the Imperial Stout. The more it opened the more malt attempted to balance the strong hops, but in the end the sharp onslaught of hoppy bitter, fruit, and salt won out. I love me a hoppy IPA, but in my opinion an Imperial should not stray too far from its malty base.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2003 15:21:01 | More by nomad
Photo of Reidrover


4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought in the 12 oz brown botle with a great lithograph of old Grigory on the label!!
Well this beer darn well looks perfect dark, dark almost pitch black beer topped by a medium tan colour heead that sinks into a large amount of lace.
The aroma of this brew is wonderful to behold..i smell vast amounts of roasted grain..some malt and a viscous alcohol aroma.
Taste is how can I say it?..out of this world
..first malt then hops..but theres great chunks of black coffee..unsweetened dark chocolate..a great but not overwhelming stuff.
Mouthfeel? how can i describe it other than to says ts almost perfect.
For such a robust beer its actually quite alright for a quiet night in by the fire..

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2003 01:30:15 | More by Reidrover
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,355 ratings.