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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.

8,384 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8384
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,384 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
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
Photo of Slammy


3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours an opaque, deep brown-black with a 1/2 caramel head that dissipates relatively quickly. There is some lacing, but it is not very pronounced.

S - Toffe, burnt caramel, dark roasted coffee beans, the smell of a wheat field right before harvest.

T - Surprising taste of citrus on the first sip, which is not that present on subsequent sips. Wonderful dried wheat notes with a mild alcohol finish. Definitely not a sweet beer, but well balanced with some slight bitterness toward the end.

M - Strong carbonation on the tip of the tongue quickly turns into a creamy feel. On the more viscous side, but certainly not as thick as some in the same genre.

O - I wanted a rich, complex beer for this mid-November evening and this did the trick. While it's not the best Russian Imperial Stout that I have tasted, it is worth of its reputation and well worth trying. I'll probably buy this again in the future.

Notes: Poured from a 12 oz bottle. 4-pack of 12oz bought for $8.99 in Oregon.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 01:15:14 | More by Slammy
Photo of Drankin


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

If I could afford it, I would drink this every single day. Easily my favorite beer of all time.Bread read, raisins, chocolate, coffee, spices, and the perfect boozy finish are enough to make this beer seem like a staple food. The only other brew I could compare to Old Rasputin is Sierra Nevada Narwhal. But since that one is harder to find, I stick by my claim of this being the best beer in the world.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 19:48:37 | More by Drankin
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 IgnorantBastard


4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first RIS that I have the pleasure to taste. And I liked it alot. The best aspect is the chocolate mid palate. Other than that, the earthiness and undistinct nose offers no delite that an IPA might offer. But, if you have surpassed the blah-say of so many crafted brews, this will open your eyes.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2006 08:17:07 | More by IgnorantBastard


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

The name and bottle caught my attention immediedately while I was shopping.

The pour on this beer was perfect, with a thin tan head that developed. Once poured, it was completely opaque when held to the light.

The smell was strong with noticable aromas of roasted malt and alcohol.

The taste on this beer is out of this world. It is very complex with coffee and chocolate taste to this stout. At the end the hops come through with a slight bitterness, but not overwhelming.

The mouthfeel on this was the low point of this beer for me. It seemed a little thin. However, a mouthfeel such as this could be considered a strong point in a beer that did not have such a complex taste.

The drinkability of this beer is great in my book. I would not want to drink more than 3 or so. But if you like the style, and don't mind a strong taste of alcohol, then this is an imperial stout to enjoy after a long day.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2006 03:07:04 | More by ILOVESTOUTS
Photo of nectarkeeper


3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Old Rasputin on tap at the Brickstore on a lazy tuesday afternoon.
this beast of a beer poured out velvety, greasy, dark and mysterious, with a tannish head that held up all the way down to the last sip.

i found marshmallows and smoke in the front, with burnt dark chocolate and dried dark fruits going down. halfway in, the dark-fruit character really took over, still laced with that nice bitter-burnt tingle. overall, really nicely balanced and totally enjoyable, but slow drinking with that thick-as-night mouthfeel...and one was plenty!

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2006 16:39:27 | More by nectarkeeper
Photo of linecook12


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

12oz bottle into a Duvel Tulip

Pours a rich, creamy head with even carbonation. Opaque chocolate color with a caramel-tan head. Aroma is of coffee and balsamic vinegar. Flavor has notes of burned sugar, some hoppiness but that hoppiness is mostly masked by the over-powering smoky malt. Mouthfeel is wonderful, creamy and smooth. Overall, a nice, smooth R.I.S. without being noticablely bitter. Although, not the most complex flavor profile either. That said, I am anxious to see how it will age.


Serving type: bottle

12-31-2006 19:40:50 | More by linecook12
Photo of sjambok1


4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aah, before I get to the actual review, let me say finding this brew has been one of the high points of my beer drinking experiences. It's hard to beat something thats this good.

A: Dark as cole, poured with a two finger head of dark brown, like treebark.

S: Strong, nutty, with plenty of hops and a hint of coffe.

T: Strong as any stout I've ever had, close to perfect. Tastes of coffe, hops and a very earthy taste.

MF: Excellent. Smooth and full

D: Great, but strong. Good beer for occasions, but if I were to be drinking more than 2, Id have drink Red Seal

Serving type: growler

01-29-2007 18:55:33 | More by sjambok1
Photo of doubledslc


3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

I like Pale Ale in general, but there is always room for a stout in my belly. The character of this beer is as intimidating as a Russian soothe-sayer with one eye, but it lingers like the burn from a roasted jalapeno pepper on your pallet. It's been like 100 everyday here in the SLC so a stout isn't the first beer I would grab off the shelf, but as soon as it starts snowing again, I'm sure I'll get my stout on.

Peace off!

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2007 01:13:12 | More by doubledslc
Photo of feilb


4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a nice four pack from murray's.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brown. Almost opaque, not quite black, but very dark. Shows a nice fluffy cream head that stick around a couple minutes before diminishing into a very nice lace that sticks to the sides of the glass.

Smell: A pleasant yet subtle nose with a roasty smell with hints of mocha and slight hints of garlic, though this flavor isn't borne out in the taste.

Taste: Very smooth and creamy, definitely pick up the roast and the mocha here, not much bitterness and no discernible astringency in spite of its relatively high ABV.

Mouthfeel: A good creamy smooth mouthfeel without being oily or sticky. Substantial as a good stout should be, but not overwhelmingly so.

Drinkability: Not a session beer, but it goes down with a smooth finish. Its hefty and substantial, but not epic.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2007 05:37:28 | More by feilb
Photo of pennsybrau


3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into 20oz pint glass.

A-Deep dark brown, nearly black color. The head was caramel colored about one inch thick which quickly dissipated into a thin layer which remained for the duration. Nice dark lacing.

S-Hearty malty aroma, smelled of coffee with hints of chocolate. Very nice but not enough to hide Rasputin's high alcohol content.

T-There is a lot going on here. Strong coffee flavor, very malty with a bitter finish which dissipated as quickly as the head did. Then left with a pleasant malty aftertaste.

M-Carb balance is nice. Has a bitter coating that eventually turns into a warming sensation.

D-Goes down smooth but the alcohol is apparent. A very nice nightcap or a bedtime sipper.

I would not recommend this for a session. It would be very long night.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2008 15:21:42 | More by pennsybrau
Photo of vpunk


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

After first trying this mighty brew at the brewery, I now have it for dessert at every beer tasting I host.

Black as night with a luscious brown head - most unique head I've ever seen.

Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and slight alcohol all crawl up to the nose.

For such a strong beer, the taste is amazing, vanilla and chocolate with plenty of roastiness, yet not overpowering.

Feels like drinking a milkshake, so creamy and smooth, you want to savor it as long as possible.

Excellent beer to finish a meal, especially with a piece of dark chocolate.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2008 17:33:16 | More by vpunk
Photo of jbsmth


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

This Northern California brewed Russian Imperial Stout is one of my favorite beers. Old Rasputin is absolutely deliciously overwhelming with roasted malt and alcohol. It should really be poured into a glass first so the beautiful brown head can be enjoyed. Despite being 9% alcohol, this beer is surprisingly easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2008 09:57:15 | More by jbsmth
Photo of jas0n50


4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black and opaque, the head is think tall and frothy, though it dissipates quickly. Nice lacing up and down the glass.
S: Strong but not an overpowering rich malty aroma. It has a nice chocolaty smell.
T: Dark chocolate and roasted coffee bittersweetness; it has a great depth of flavor and is well balanced. A bit of a nutty finish as well.
M: A thik, milky and substantial mouthfeel; it sticks a bit too much to the palate for my taste, but not too bad
D: While I probably wouldn't want to drink more than one or two of these at a time, I enjoyed drinking this one all the way through. Overall this is a really good beer that I'll definitely drink again.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2008 02:23:43 | More by jas0n50
Photo of blynes75


4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a pint glass at a temperature of 45 degrees. Jet black with a 1" caramel colored head that left very sticky lacing with every sip.

S: Smell is of strong roasted malts with hints of expresso and dark chocolate.

T: Smooth...very smooth. Tastes just like it smells. Each sip is an adventure that starts with big roasted malts and expresso and leaves hints of dark chocolate & molasses on the palate. Finish is that of moderate hoppiness that completes this beer wonderfully.

M: Not too thick, not too thin but very creamy. Coats the mouth and the mild carbonation makes it very silky and smooth. This is one of the best beer experiences I have had.

D: For a RIS this is the most drinkable I have had. The relatively strong 9% abv is hidden very well. If the first one didn't leave its mark every time, it would be hard not to have 2 or 3 or....

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 22:35:29 | More by blynes75
Photo of About2Crash


4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holy Crap. This is black as night. I am no expert on finding the little nuances, so I can only tell you my first instincts. But it is big and smoky. Dark chocolate hits the pallat. Very smooth taste in the middle, but the surrounding flavor is very thick and rocky if that makes any sense. The picture of Rasputin on the bottle seems to be laughing at me, daring me to take another sip. I like it.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2009 01:38:41 | More by About2Crash
Photo of evilsoda


4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a decent tan head with some lacing. Nice big warm cocoa smell. It's taste has quite a bit of cocoa flavor to it with bittersweet malty taste and a slightly smokey finish. It has a nice big body and goes down smoothly. Enjoying this beer very much.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 01:14:20 | More by evilsoda
Photo of IAmNinjor


4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a word, this beer is very very full. The taste, mouthfeel, color, alcohol - all very full.

I liked the pour a lot, and the color of the head against the almost black liquid made the bubbles sparkle against the glass after every drink.

The smell wasn't very strong, but was good.

The taste was great. Very rich and solid. You could taste the alcohol, but not in a bad way. This was really an ideal beer to take slow and enjoy on a cold day.

Overall a very good beer, but not for the faint of heart. Here's a full review:


Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 16:21:16 | More by IAmNinjor
Photo of HumulusLupuLust


4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: hm, a R.I.S.... it's black. espresso-crema brown head, some lacing.

Smell: smokey, roasted malts; raw cocoa nibs, slight alcohol, detergent/soap, peat, caramel, rose petals, some oats, charred "something"

Taste: nice carbonation, crisp on the tip of the tongue, unsweetened cocoa nibs, soggy mash/oats, chalky-nutty mouthfeel, sediment residue on tongue like espresso, powdery on the sides of the tongue, dry finish, roasted malts on exhale.

One of the R.I.S. that i get excited about seeing in my glass... or rather, not:)

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2010 02:01:38 | More by HumulusLupuLust
Photo of Bolendak

North Carolina

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

At first sight I couldn't imagine why anyone would want to pay nearly ten dollars for a four pack of 12 oz bottles of this beer. However, after taking home some Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, I was pleasantly surprised by this North Coast Brew. It had a very nutty and dark smell with very low carbonation. I really enjoyed drinking this beer and after finishing all of them, I quickly realized why they only come in a four pack. As an NC native, I drink a lot of Duck Rabbit Milk Stout and I found Old Rasputin to be kind of a heavier thicker version of duck rabbit. I wonder if it comes on tap and if so where can I get some???

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2010 06:18:47 | More by Bolendak
Photo of jmeador85


4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Definitely a stout. One thing that never fails to impress me about Old Rasputin is the lingering head. It's still there when I finish drinking a 22 oz weizen glass, and I drink Old Rasputin slowly.

Smell - Many nuances that I'm at a loss to describe. You can tell, with certitude, that this beer is going to have some bite from the smell, but it's masking a complex flavor beneath.

Taste - This, too, could be described many ways. An amateur would say it's bitter, but beyond the bitterness is a bouquet of flavors that most people will appreciate.

Mouthfeel - Old Rasputin definitely has an aftertaste. The bitterness of the beer seems accentuated when you swallow, but I don't find it overwhelming. The mouthfeel makes you want another sip/gulp.

Drinkability - Definitely drinkable. Very good. Very strong, too.

Verdict - This is one of my favorite stouts. I tried this beer in December I believe, and a group of guys I know were drinking it so I thought I'd do the same. Well, the guys had a few more, and these Flying Saucer regulars staggered over to Barnes and Noble across the street where they sat in comfort and sobered up before driving home. This beer is strong. Drink with caution.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2010 19:16:32 | More by jmeador85
Photo of Brewingbanjos


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

Syrupy black pour with one finger of espresso crema-colored head. Nose is immediate chocolate with dark fruit behind it. The taste and mouthfeel are full and thick from front to back. Chocolate-covered dark cherries come to mind in the taste with a sustained yet subtle presence of alcohol throughout. This is truly fantastic and goes down a little too easy. I think I will have another...

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 03:57:02 | More by Brewingbanjos
Photo of iskivolkl


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

The appearance is great. It is a deep black color with a nice thick brown head. Head was about an inch thick immediately following the pour, head retention could be slightly improved, but all in all a stellar appearance.

The smell is good, Lots of dark-roasted malt smell, not much hoppyness, not detecting a lot of anything else.

At first sip it's mostly just dark malt with a strong coffee aftertaste. Taking a larger swig (and a little more time) there is a fairly strong fruity presence followed by a lingering bitter coffee aftertaste.

The beer is surprisingly less viscous than you might think. It's not strongly carbonated and this imparts a watery feel on the tongue.

Overall drinkability is good. Even if you're not usually one for stouts, it's definitely worth a taste. Works well as a stand-alone or dessert beer when one has lots of time to digest and dissect the different flavors.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2010 02:18:51 | More by iskivolkl
Photo of bluecoat


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

As far as stouts go, this is pretty good. Hopped up but not too much for my taste. Hops are mild and spicy, but not overpowering. As for the malt, it has notes of anise, espresso, and mollases. Very well balanced as far as stouts go. Very drinkable, even if it's not my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 07:00:10 | More by bluecoat
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,384 ratings.