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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.

8,378 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8378
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: 8,378 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of trolification

New Jersey

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

The first time i had this beer i couldnt drink it. i would deffinately say if you're not use to drinking heavy beers dont start with this one, pace yourself up to it.

I poured a bottle into the snifter the head was VERY impressive and slowly goes down. The color is pitch black and i love black beers, took a wiff and it was very hoppy i gota grassy hop smell from it. the taste this time around was not over whelming at all it was very well balanced to me. Its not thick either nice an light with a high abv deffinately an all time fav in the winter

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 00:33:30 | More by trolification
Photo of MeadDrinker


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

A wonderfully well-balanced beer, full of flavor, roasted malts with a slight smokey sweet taste. For a modernized Imperial Stout it is the perfect example. North Coast Brewing has done a wonderful job on this style of brew and is one of many perfect reflections of an old world taste able to be shared with the modern world.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 08:00:20 | More by MeadDrinker
Photo of U2FAN


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

One of my favorites, particularly in the colder months. However, there is never a bad time to enjoy this beer

Has a little kick, but not overwheliming.

Hints of worcestershire, licorice, and dark chocolate.

This is good on its own but can be paired well with a light meal.

I've had it on tap and from a 12oz bottle. I always prefer the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 23:01:05 | More by U2FAN
Photo of Brownshoe


4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the North Coast Brewpub in Ft. Bragg. It was like beer heaven. I suppose this is the closest I'll ever get to Russian royalty. So smooth. So rich. It might be the best beer I've ever had. I wish I lived a little closer to California.

It's good from the bottle too.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2011 00:53:42 | More by Brownshoe
Photo of TallPaul07


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: very dark and oil like. A nice thick and foamy head on this one with a cream/ tan color. Really nice lacing

Smell: smoky/roasted malt definitely comes out

Taste: pretty strong roasted malt on the front end with a pretty bitter/chocolately finish - a bit of a tongue punisher with a bitter finish. Complex flavors really mask the ABV.

Mouthfeel: a nice and thick stout with pretty solid carbonation per the style

Drinkability: very good, but drinking more than one or two could be quite the task due to how big this stout is and the fact that the bitter finish wrecks your pallette.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2011 04:04:08 | More by TallPaul07
Photo of mightyheadbrew


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

Old Rasputin should, as probably does, serve as a benchmark for all RIS on the market. It is one of the most drinkable stouts I have enjoyed and has all of the positive markers we beer enthusiasts enjoy. It pours dark, with a head to match. The aroma is of dark roast coffee, chocolate, hint of anise, smoke. It is smooth and rich in the mouth. The taste is sublime, without being overwhelming, and although it's a stout, care was taken to preserve a hop finish. I know most Americans enjoy their beer cold, but PLEASE, drink Old Rasputin as close to room temperature as you can tolerate. It's the only way to experience all of the complexity this beer truely has to offer.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2011 19:36:04 | More by mightyheadbrew
Photo of Tyler08

New Hampshire

3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark pour from a bottle into a wide-mouth bubble glass. Light brown head and smooth look. Copper lacing.

S: Chocolate and coffee aroma with a hint of dark fruit. delightful.

T: Again, chocolate and coffee taste with a nice dark fruit flavor. There is a bit if heat on the back end of a sip, which complements this beer nicely.

M: Decent mouthful, but not as overpowering as I thought it would be.

D: As any Russian Imperial Stout, one or two bottles may be enough. Delightful and enjoyable to the palate.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 22:34:29 | More by Tyler08
Photo of lloyd83


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

On the nitro-tap at Binny's South Loop.

Looks amazing with tiny, dark khaki bubbles floating up through the dark liquid and settling into a fantastic half-inch head at the top.

Scents of coffee, malt, general roastiness comes out.

Tastes delicious...Roasted coffee, chocolate, sweet, and thick. Coats the mouth well in this format. Definitely want to keep drinking them.

Moderate amount of alcohol burn is noticeable, but doesn't take away from the overall excellent character of the beer. If anything, it's a nice reminder of the abv and that I shouldn't ask for a million pours.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-08-2011 19:29:47 | More by lloyd83
Photo of Rocketman8911


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

The beer is super dark. So dark that when you hold it up to the light you can't see the light through it. It also has a beautiful mocha brown head that is 2 fingers high.

The smell is of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, carmel, and dark fruits.

The taste is roasted malts with chocolate and coffee notes and finishes with a nice hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium not to thick and not thin with a nice amount of carbonation that isn't over welling.

Overall this is a beer that isn't for the faint of heart. It is for someone who appreciates a really complex beer that can savor this beer slowly.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 05:48:10 | More by Rocketman8911
Photo of Lexiconical

New York

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

You want complexity? This beer has astonishing complexity. Gave as a gift to my father, a wine drinker, and it aced the test. It has different tastes at different moments, like a great wine.

That said, I have not had other Russian Imperial Stouts, so what I liked about it might just be trait of the style.

Astonishing molasses color and thickness. Smell not up to the rest of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 15:10:28 | More by Lexiconical
Photo of trumpy


3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Second time trying this Stout, and its a nice beer. Close enough to jet black in colour, but the head is a light off white. it hangs around for a fair time though. Nose is coffee, dark chocolate, with a hint of the alcohol. In the mouth its all creamy aniseed with a roasted coffee aftertaste that ends with nice bitterness. The mouthfeel is pretty good, the carbonation is mild and suits the style. If you swill it around like you would a wine, then its actually pretty creamy. There is a definate hit of warm alcohol at the back end though, but thats not a surprise. A nice stout to sip, but just shaded by Green flash double stout.
I saw another review that said it was USD $8.99 a 4 pack! here in Australia its $8 a bottle! WTF!!

Seriously though, its great to see this style of beer available here now. Just a shame about the price.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2012 09:40:42 | More by trumpy
Photo of LBeaux

New York

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

Black body, BIG brownish head. Took a bunch of pours before I could empty the bottle.

Pronounced, grassy hop aroma, I can smell the chocolate, and the alcohol.

First taste: THICK mouthfeel. I found myself unconsciously chewing to get it down. First of these I’ve been able to taste the carbonation on. Quite bitter, but it’s more under control than the Victory. Flavor profile takes 5+ full seconds to roll around my tongue. It’s like there’s a beginning, a middle, a bridge, a climax, and a denouement. Starts quite sweet and chocolatey, then becoming more bitter, going through a black coffee phase and then . . . almost like the char on a grilled steak? Hard to describe, but deep and rich flavor. Does leave a bitter aftertaste, but it’s not as oppressive as some imperial stouts. My mouth still chews automatically with every swig, haha.

Without question the best imperial stout I’ve tried so far. I’m starting to see why imperials have a cult following.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 02:29:46 | More by LBeaux
Photo of JGuzzle


4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a nitro tap into a tulip glass which I understand is the ultimate way to enjoy this brew.

A - Deep black in color, completely opaque. Beautiful 3/4 inch of foamy caramel colored head sitting on top which persists throughout the consumption (it shrinks but was there to the last sip). Tiny caramel colored nitrogen bubbles persistently rise from the bottom of the glass every time it is picked up and put down. The appearance is truly a spectacle.

S - Roasted malts and hints of cocoa.

T - Some sweet maltiness in the front end. Very faint amount of hops tasted in the finish. The 9% alcohol is masked very well. I get some hints of cocoa as well.

M - Velvety smooth. If you manage to get some of the head on its own it can almost feel like a milkshake. Light carbonation, great full body.

O - This might be one of the greatest beer experiences I've ever had. Certainly the best stout. If you find this on a nitro tap somewhere, do not pass it up.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-15-2013 14:24:58 | More by JGuzzle
Photo of JeanPaulValley


4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very excited to finally try this beer. I've only within the last year really started drinking great beers, and have become quite a stout-head. This was a huge WANT for me, and finally found it at a beer deli last night.

A- Motor oil black. Poured from a bottle, left a lot of tan head that was thick and slow to dissipate. A ton of intricate lacing left on the glass

S-Strong coffee and roasted malt, with a backing of chocolate and alcohol. Everything an Imperial Stout should smell like.

T- Very strong coffee and chocolate, segwaying into a bite of hops and alcohol. The alcohol taste isn't boozy, but well balanced and leaves a nice warming sensation.

M- Almost milkshake thick. The warming alcohol gives a very pleasant mouthfeel.

Overall- Rarely does a beer live up to its hype, but Old Rasputin totally did for me. My only regret is that I wasn't able to have it on tap for my first time, as I'm sure that would only amplify the already awesome quality of this beer. Very highly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2013 18:19:39 | More by JeanPaulValley
Photo of Curloftheburl


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is such a reliable stout. Consistent through the years this pours a dark dark brown with a light mocha head. Smells roasty and of dark chocolate and coffee beans. Slight bourbon alcohol warming on the finish. Love thus stout, great value at 8.99 a four pack.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2013 03:32:32 | More by Curloftheburl
Photo of dredz_126

North Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great looking bottle. Bought it using the beer advocate rating system. Pours very beautifully. Has a sweet chocolaty and caramel element in the smell. As far as taste; very smooth, velvety. The high alchohol content is very well hidden. A new favorite indeed!

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 20:10:29 | More by dredz_126
Photo of biokid23


4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into...a steel mug while camping. I have drunk it from the bottle, in a tulip glass, and from a water glass. It is consistent in that it stays one of my favorite beers, and probably the best stout I have ever drunk. Pours dark and rich. Very boozy, has a deep flavor of coffee, chocolate, and stout. Pretty much the king of stouts...try it for yourself.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 07:02:44 | More by biokid23
Photo of Rowlaw


4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. What a great beer. Dark, heavy stout that's not overpowering. As dark as the come with a thick coffee color head. I used a tulip glass that released the aromas of hops and coffee. The flavors coat your mouth with hops coffee and cream with just a hint of chocolate. I may have a new favorite stout!

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 02:31:51 | More by Rowlaw
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 Anglewood


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

I have had this beer on nitro and in the bottle, IMHO it is best out of the tap. It was served in a 12 oz. Pilsner, which in size may be appropriate, but I would prefer a beefy pint glass.

This beer pours well, and ends up with a nice tan head over a black body. Some residual cascade is attractive, and the head hangs around for a little while. A sniff reveals malty chocolate notes with a little coffee. The taste is the same, with some hops and a little crisper than expected. Finish is malty again with a slight alcohol warm. After a couple it will sneak up on you. Overall body is not too heavy, and it has a good mouthfeel.

Among my favorite beers by North Coast, brewed an hours drive from my town back home. A good beer for relaxing, but not one to go all night on. Overall a fine imperial.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-17-2003 07:48:03 | More by Anglewood
Photo of braubeater


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

Appearance is very dark, opaque, with a subtle, fine-bubble head that remains thought the session. Very impressive lacing on the glass.

Aroma is subdued (hop-wise) with chocolate notes coming through assertively.

Initial taste is dry, with a slight alcoholic tinge followed by a parched feeling on the back of the tongue, but the malty residue and faint hop aroma provide a well-balanced finish.

This is probabably the most drinkable Imperial Stout I have ever encountered. This makes my top 10 list.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2006 03:17:09 | More by braubeater
Photo of denali99755


4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First off, the bottle was remarkably unimpressive for such a heavy-hitting beer. Coming from familiarity with Belgians and the bottle styles of the Rogue brewery, this beer's standard-issue brown bottle belies its singularly impressive quality. I do like the label, though, and especially the 'never say die' inscription.

Pours like stouts I'm used to, pretty smooth, with minimal head (although my pouring style is inconsistent at best, so it's hard to judge). And it's, well, dark like an Imperial should be.

Aroma is crisp and tart, with some definite hops and chocolate. Maybe some coffee? The nose might be a tiny bit more bitter than I would love.

But the taste--terrific. Nice and round, hugely full-bodied, with chocolate and coffee, but the hoppy bitterness (for me) balances the heavy bottom-end perfectly. This is my kind of beer. And it is remarkably light on its feet for a 9-percenter--dangerously so. I could drink a lot of this, and quickly. Love it.

Mouthfeel is smooth except for an odd almost grittiness that I experienced much more in the tap beer, but is still present from the bottle. Slightly odd--but the bottled version goes down smoother. Better, by my taste.

Like I said, I could drink way too much of this beer, way too quickly. The nice hoppy top end balances out a very big, meaty flavor. A definite 5.

This beer, from the bottle, might even surpass my other two favorite stouts--Alameda's Black Bear XX Nitro and Rogue's Shakespeare--although I have a hard time shaking my affection for Oregon breweries. All around, though, this is a terrific offering.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2006 23:15:07 | More by denali99755
Photo of w1n0


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

Another great effort from the people at North Coast.

appearance: pitch black (even against light), a modest tan head.

smell: green tea, corriander and toasted nut notes.

taste: a plesantly light bitter chocolate and red berry notes bound together with a smooth coffee and toffey finish. light in the gut with little to no blote.

mouthfeel: moderate weight, chewy.

drinkability: one of the best russian imperial style stouts ive had.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2006 06:15:37 | More by w1n0
Photo of exitor


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

A - Poured almost pitch black, with a caramel color shining through at the bottom.

S - Amazing - A raspberry fudge sundae with hints of coffee.

T - Same flavors as it smelled, with more emphasis on the coffee. Finished slightly bitter.

M - Nice balance of carbonation and smoothness, almost creamy.

D - So drinkable, especially for a beer this thick. Could even be a daily drinker.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2007 07:59:56 | More by exitor
Photo of cherokeedan


4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into Imperial pint glass. Pours pitch black with the slightest hint of brown near the edges. Thick one inch rusty brown colored head sits matter of factly on top and wont go away. I smell chocolate and coffee and malt and even some hops.

Taste is of dark chocolate, coffee, and there are definitely some hops in there. Quite unusual for this style, but not so much that it makes it bad, just enough so that you know its there. Actually its a nice suprise for a hop head like myself. Feels very smooth in the mouth with a fair amount of carbonation.

Finishes dry with a roasted coffee and caramel and hoppy aftertaste. Very impressive beer and pleasantly surpised by the amount of hops. Very nice and somewhat unique representation of the style. I think I'll have another. Cheers!!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2008 03:48:47 | More by cherokeedan
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,378 ratings.