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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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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)
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Ratings: 8,355 | Reviews: 3,288 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of bigdogplaypen


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

A Dark Black Stout that pours heavy with a two or three finger head leaving behind a dark tan lace. Bold flavor of dark roast coffee and semi sweet chocolate finishing with a slight alcohol bite. At 9% this beer should be enjoyed responsibly and drank slowly to experience all of the rich complex flavors. I usually drink one or two of these in a sitting and enjoy them alongside a good cigar and then finishing with my favorite dark chocolate. This is one of my favorite beers of all time and definitely my favorite Russian Imperial Stout. I recently spent painstaking hours translating the Cyrillic writing on the label and found that “СЕРДЕЧНЫЙ ДРУГ НЕ РОДИТСЯ ВДРУГ” means “HEART FRIEND IS NOT BORNE SUDDENLY”. I feel that this means that a dear friend is not made overnight, so I recommend that you never drink this beer alone but always try to share one with a friend in honor of the “Old Man” which had many enemies who tried killing him on several occasions and finally succeeded but not before he had his fill of women and brew. Sounds like a Brother I would have liked to hung out with.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2007 05:26:07 | More by bigdogplaypen
Photo of Gouldsby


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

poured into a dogfish head snifter out of a 12 oz bottle. one of the best cali bang for the bucks out there at $6.99 for a 4 pack...

refrigerator cold...too cold.
A: pours dark, not inky black dark but dark brown black opaque, like the coat of a wombat. small bubbles thicken but recede to ring the brown black, leaving a modest lace of mocha.

S: immediately briny hops and slight molasses hiding behind a strong co2 release. [poured very cold] as it warms, espresso and herbally bitter notes, fernet and echinacea with a suggestion of prune, and faint molasses edging in shyly.

T: immediately bitter in the mouth, receding to strong roast burnt espresso, astringent charcoal bitterness, barely a suggestion of the fruits hinted at in the nose. this is an overwhelmingly dry and earthy, bitter herbal stout. slight acidity strikes in a flash as the bitterness subsides, finishing dry fading into alcohol warmth late suggestive of melted bitter chocolate.

M: medium full mouthfeel, balanced with a medium carbonation, high for a stout of this gravity, leaves with bitter astringent dryness that mellows.

D: this is one of my go-to's, good punch and hits the hop craving in the back of my toungue. for a stout, it's lacking the robustness and dynamic layers of malt fruits that balance a beer this intensely hoppy, roasted and alcoholic. it's not inherently drinkable, but does play an enjoyable foil to a night of IPA.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 07:26:45 | More by Gouldsby
Photo of MisterStout


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

The technical reviews below make it plainly obvious that this is an exceptional RIS. A few comments, though:

The first thing I noticed other than the midnight color and the very substantial head was the smell. Sniff it, and your nose tells your palate to pucker up. I started drinking mine pretty cold, then let it stand for a few minutes to warm up. As it warms, the burnt malt gives way (slightly) for the bitter chocolate to intensify. About halfway through the glass, you really begin to appreciate the lace--an intricate spider web made of creamy goodness.

I love this stuff.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2008 06:08:52 | More by MisterStout
Photo of ad5os


4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bought beer in store.

Beer has a deep dark color and is full and thick. Thick head. Smells sweet. Color is a dark black color.

Flavor is rather malty with a good amount of bitterness. Smell is chocolaty and sweet.

Very well made and crafted. Friend of mine bought this me a year ago and it is one of the best imperial stouts I have every had.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2008 05:40:44 | More by ad5os
Photo of Kirkles


4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Strong, thick and smooth, everything a RIS should be.

I got this on nitro-tap at Magnolias in Purcellville, VA.

A: Pitch black with an amazing head. Just looking at it built my expectations to an immense level.

S: Strong. The malt hit me first, with hints of coffee. It built great anticipation for the first taste.

T: Wonderfully complex. I felt like I discovered something new each sip I took.

M: This was my favorite part. I buried the majority of my face in the head and took a good draw. It was thick, full and smooth. It was absolutely everything that I hoped for.

D: It's a fantastic brew, but so strong and thick that it fills you up quick. Not that this is a bad thing.

Overall, within my top 3 beers. Definitely the best RIS I've ever had.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-15-2008 04:45:15 | More by Kirkles
Photo of Craboo


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick black with a creamy brown head. Aroma of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate.

Carbonation is a bit heavy, breaking up what would have been a nicely silky mouthfeel.

First taste brings burnt malt, followed by cocoa powder, finishing with an alcohol warming raisin flavor and delicious hop bitterness that seems to hang on to my tongue like a pro rodeo bucking bronc rider (It's a nice ride!).

This is North Coast Brewing's signature beer!

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2008 03:00:43 | More by Craboo
Photo of sd42790


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

For starters, I got a Russian friend to translate the phrase on the label; it had been bothering me. It states "A true, hearty friend won't be born suddenly".

A- Pitch black, with a coffee brown head. Great cascading bubbles.

S- Pure roasted chocolatey malts on the nose, with an alcohol singe that betrays the 9% ABV.

T- Upfront roasted malts bring the bitter coffee and dark chocolate, with a nice balance of hop bitterness to subdue the raging malts. On the tail end I detected sweetness, reminiscent of raisin, blackcurrant, and port wine. Sublime balance.

M- Thick but not oily on the palette, subdued by a considerable effervescence.

D- I'd have no problem pounding two or three, but beyond that I could see it getting pretty saturating on the palette. However, extreme drinkability is not an aim of this genre of beer, so that sits well with me.

Of the three RIS's that I have had (Old Rasp, Boulevard, Dark Lord), I find this one a nice equilibrium, the Boulevard a bit too thin, the Dark Lord, while delicious, was extremely thick, perhaps impeding on drinkability. Therefore, I put it at the top until I can get my hands on a bottle of Kate the Great.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2009 07:48:36 | More by sd42790
Photo of mudshark698


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

I am drinking this out of a 12oz bottle. When poured into a glass, it comes out a beautiful shade of black. No light passes through it and it has an ample head which clears pretty quickly.
This beer has great flavor which adds to its drinkability. I have gotten myself into trouble with Old Rasputin more than a few times. It has a great upfront flavor of roasted barley and malt. Not too bitter, bitterness is definitely present. Coffee flavor on the back.
Great mouth feel. Nice and smooth.
Smell is decadent. Nice coffee notes, burnt sugar, prunes.

This is a great RIS. Not too complex, and thoroughly forthcoming. Smooth as silk.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2009 00:27:17 | More by mudshark698
Photo of brothercannon


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

Looks like motor oil. Tastes like something chard. Doesn't give off as strong of an alcohol smell as it should. Slides down smooth with a little carbonation bite at the end. Not a session beer but those usually aren't as fun. A must try for any stout fan.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2009 01:58:25 | More by brothercannon
Photo of beervana1858


4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have probably purchased this beer 6-7 times and have been impressed by it every time. Surely there are more elite stouts out there that I have not yet found but it may just bet hat this has everything that I look for in a stout. It has a rich flavor with a slight dark chocolate taste that resonates on your tongue for quite a while after finishing. IT isn't quite sweet but it isn't overly bitter either. Overall a great stout and I will definitely keep it on the grocery list.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2010 08:48:16 | More by beervana1858
Photo of twoheartedheel

North Carolina

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

I'm a hop head by nature, but this beer probably opened my horizons to heavy stouts and porters. Incredible smell and taste. Chocolate, coffee, toffee in massive amounts...and then it melts away in half a second.

I had no idea this was the gold standard for it's style of beer, but I certainly understand why. I had this with a tappas-style menu and 4 different plates of food, and it went fine with all 4. Obviously lends itself to desserts and pairing with nutty/dark meat dishes.

The granddaddy of Imperial stouts.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 19:34:50 | More by twoheartedheel
Photo of supermetroid


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip pint glass. Dark, black-coffee color with a thin layer of creamy head. Leaves thick splotches of remnant down the side of the glass for the entire pint.

Smells burnt, smokey, nutty. A delightfully roasted smell.

Goes down real smooth. Intense roasted-malt taste. Subtle (cascade?) hops. Burnt coffee start, chocolate finish. Boozey aftertaste. A treat.

Crisp mouthfeel, significant and persistent carbonation.

This is a heavy beer, definitely tastes like it's 9%. You can see why they sell it in four packs.

Pairs beautifully with chocolate chip cookies or vanilla ice cream.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2010 08:54:28 | More by supermetroid
Photo of BrewFanatics


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

Great stout! Might have passed Bell's Kalamazoo as my favorite stout. Poured super dark. No light getting through even on the edges. Gave it a medium-rough pour and it produced a thick, sandy brown head. Receded to leave extensive lacing. Wonderful, hoppy, caramelly, roasted malty, smokey aroma (wow, that was a lot of adjectives). Bitter, hoppy, dark chocolate, roasted coffee flavor. Very well balanced. Smooth going down. Very drinkable. Hides the 9% abv well. Great finish. Highly recommended!

Rating by Tommy from BrewFanatics.com

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2010 02:31:50 | More by BrewFanatics
Photo of jag0007


4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent first stout. Had this at a local pub, and bought a pack a few days later.

A - beautiful thick black liquid, almost syrupy. Excellent lacing and about 1 finger of tan colored head. So dark, sunlight barely penetrates the brew.

S - smells of coffee, light hint of chocolate. Sniffing it before trying makes me salivate.

T - light bitter feel, light coffee and chocolate aftertaste. Simply amazing.

M - rolls on the tongue and the carbonation is perfect. Somewhat thick compared to other darker beers.

D - a sipping/dessert beer. I may be able to handle 2-3 before I have to switch to something lighter.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2010 19:59:05 | More by jag0007
Photo of BourbonDork


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

Saw this on the shelf of my local grocery for the first time so grabbed the only two 4 packs they had.

Duvel tulip glass

Pours like used motor oil. Very little head

Swirling the beer, it virtually sticks to the side with small bubbles slowly rolling down the side the glass

This is no summer sipper. Complex and loaded with layers of flavor; roasted malt, dark coffee and bittersweet chocolate.

I poured this one a little on the cold side so as it warmed up, the flavors intensified. Deeply satisfying brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2011 17:01:21 | More by BourbonDork
Photo of shoduke


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

A- Nitro tap can make any beer look extremely enticing. Great dark color with a carmel colored head.

S- A little fruity for a stout but still exceptional.

T- Bold flavor, some chocolate and fruit notes.

M- Absolutely perfect- very smooth and creamy.

D- Usually stouts are filling after 1 or 2, but I had 3 and could have enjoyed more if I had more time.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-13-2011 04:09:24 | More by shoduke
Photo of rickalessi


3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - black w/ small head
smell - really surprisingly minimal but noted alcohol
taste - burnt malt upfront, woody, dry alcohol at finish, little hops
mouthfeel - thin, dry carbonation present not overbearing
overall- good, could be thicker, not sweet fairly pure stout , not overly complex

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2011 00:50:47 | More by rickalessi
Photo of Mamerong

Alberta (Canada)

4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Is black as hell with a huge mocha tan head that dissipates to a nice rocky creamy cap the to a half finger.

S- you get a light goldings hop smell at first then it moves into huge toasted malts, bitter chocolate and some coffee and dark fruit in the finish.

T- you start with a good hop bitterness and toasted mault astringency. moves into a good toasted mault and bitter choclate and finishes with some fruity caramel notes and slight alcohol warmth.

M- it coats your mouth all over and its dry but the carbonation is just there enough to clean the palate and leave it at just the right balance.

Overall an amazing beer. A bench mark for the style. only complaint is i can't get enough.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 03:03:05 | More by Mamerong
Photo of mingo1968


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

This poured dark as midnight with a nice soft thick head that stuck to the sides of the glass. I tastes hints of chocolate and coffee. The feel was creamy and smooth this went down very easy and at 9% i didnt taste any alcohol in the finish. I drank this with a smoked pork chop sandwich that i thought went well together. If you see this on tap i recommend giving it a try.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-19-2011 18:57:31 | More by mingo1968
Photo of TheHopfather


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

assuming 2011 bottle poured into DFH signature glass

A- pitch black with 2 finger khaki colored head. When held up to light, nothing but black is evident.

S- a bit boozy. dark fruit, with a bit of chocolate. Roasty stout aroma.

T- Dry and boozy, yet doesn't taste too "hot" if that even makes sense. Roasty stout flavor with hints of dark fruit and the classic slight coffee and chocolate.

M- Thick mouthfeel. the more mouthfeel the better in my mind, and this one does not disappoint. Quite impressive compared to my expectations.

D- This one is fairly drinkable for the style. the mouthfeel impedes it, but the taste doesn't burn out the pallet nor overpower the tastebuds.

O- without counting the value into review, this one is still a great solid RIS. I plan on getting plenty of this to age and experiment with as it is so cost effective. Buy in bulk and buy often.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 22:01:12 | More by TheHopfather
Photo of cruzmissile72


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

I had this at Cask Republic in New Haven, CT on tap into a snifter.

It arrived as a lovely dark color with a nice tan head that lasted throughout. Nice lacing. Nice bitterness balanced well by the creaminess and a pronounced alcohol bite at the finish. This was my first time drinking this--hopefully many more to come. Definitely a sipper at 9% alcohol.

Serving type: on-tap

08-29-2012 23:21:06 | More by cruzmissile72
Photo of DisasterDave

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

I'm a rookie at tasting and reviewing but want to put a few comments in so I can remember where I've been.

I was looking for something with a robust flavor and certainly hit the mark with this one. The smell was bold and pleasing suggesting lots of potential in the taste.

My first reaction to the taste was " too bitter" but that is not really the whole story. It's kind of like the first time I tasted bakers chocolate as a kid. After the initial nose wrinkle the fullness and richness of the flavor comes through and is quite pleasnt.

Down side: The after taste lingers longer than I like.

Priced like one would expect for this much flavor but a little high for every day. Over $10.00 for a four pack.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2012 01:08:36 | More by DisasterDave
Photo of DilisioYCBC


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

A- poured out black with a think tan head . No haziness. The head retained itself throughout staying tight with a layer of foam all the way down, little lacing.

S- a bunch of roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, and chocolate chip cookies. A touch of alcohol and fruitiness.

T- a lot of roasted flavors up front that seemed to mellow after it warmed a bit. Chocolate, dark dried fruit like plum, toffee, a bit of malty sweetness balancing out the bitterness of the roast. No hop bitterness. The rated bitterness sticks around for a while, then the warming comes down the esophagus bout 15 seconds after the first swallow.

M- Appropriate carbonation that makes it drink smoothly. Not as viscous as I would expect. Dry felling on the finish.

O- a great Russian Imperial Stout that packs a ton of roasted flavors, but has some nice sweet malt and toffee to meld with the stronger flavors. At 9% this is a warmer, but the alcohol does not take away at all from the brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 01:29:12 | More by DilisioYCBC
Photo of Lucidious


4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a "tall-tulip" glass from Enegren Brewing Co.

A | BLACK. Looks thick, fat, mocha head spilled over even with a gentle pour.

S | Roasted malts, grains, alcohol. Sweet, almost chocolate, espresso.

T | Crisp start to a dark roasted/burnt espresso & malt. Bitter hop finish to balance the sweet espresso. Little of the alcohol is sensed until after taste. This is a heavy beer.

M | Medium-full bodied, not syrupy, leaves sticky saliva. Bitterness builds on the back of the tongue.

O | A great, strong stout for a cold winter day. I served straight from the fridge, I'd let it warm up just a little before starting. Very strong, very bold, well balanced and not short on flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 04:08:59 | More by Lucidious
Photo of williamsgodfrey


4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Old Rasputin came out of the bottle a dark brown, nearly black, color. There was a half a finger’s worth of head, roughly the color of overly creamed coffee. The head stayed around briefly but fizzled off shortly, becoming a thin ring at the edges of the glass with an island or two of small bubbles floating around on the top of the beer. I think (I know) that I had the beer too cold when I poured it and I think that is why the head was so small. Russian Imperials should best be poured and consumed in the 50-55° F range. When I’ve enjoyed Old Rasputin in the past, at a more reasonable temperature, I remember a much more robust head that stuck around more. As I began to drink I noticed that the beer actually appeared almost red at the edges. When beer spread out on the way out of the glass with each sip I noticed a deep red or crimson to it, quite nice.

I got a big, dark, roasty, bready aroma out of my glass. Perhaps a bit of hop spiciness on the back-end. As it warmed up a bit I began to notice a lot of tobacco flavors, really near to that earthy sweetness of freshly dried and cut tobacco leaves.

This beer truly tastes wonderful. I get a lot of hop up front, not quite as sharp as a big IPA, followed by dark, roasted malt, a little boozy heat, something akin to sugar just as it starts to caramelize/burn, and finally a finish of alcohol soak chocolate covered raisins.

The mouthfeel felt pretty spot on for a Russian Imperial, it was smooth with a faint carbonation tickle with a slight amount of body.

It’s a classic and it's awesome. One of the best Russian Imperials out there, and maybe one of the first to receive widespread acclaim and distribution in the North American beer market.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 14:39:20 | More by williamsgodfrey
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,355 ratings.