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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.

9,138 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,138
Reviews: 3,321
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 247
Gots: 991 | FT: 32
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: 9,138 | Reviews: 3,321 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StlHopHead77


4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a primordial,pitch black with 2 fingers of stiff,creamy,chocolate mousse-like,beige head with great staying power that left thick,uniform rings of lacing on the glass.

S-Smells of strong,high quality,black coffee,burnt sugar,dark dried fruit and bitter,burnt toast.Some hints of hop presence but very faint.

T-Dark roasted malts,more strong coffee and dark chocolate.

M-Good viscosity.Thick,full,chewy and creamy.

D-A great sipper but also just smooth enough to overdue it.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 22:25:33 | More by StlHopHead77
Photo of kinupanda


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

Snifter pour from bottle. A solid dark coffee color with good opaqueness. There is a noticeably concave two-finger head that quickly settles into a one-finger collar that laces moderately. An inviting chocolate scent, but possibly too sweet. Excellent body with coffee characteristics and some hoppy bitterness. The finish is a dark cacao. Not a very complex mouthfeel. While reasonably high in alcohol content, it is not overwhelming and only becomes truly noticeable in the aftertaste. Not as heavy as comparable stouts, and possibly a good session beer.

FourthBeer potential: AVERAGE, as there are plenty of more complex stouts out there. As the bottle says, though, Сердечный друг не родится вдруг, implying this has potential to grow on you.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 07:35:22 | More by kinupanda
Photo of dcook11


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

Pours a nice thick two finger head that daes into thick webbed lacing that adornes the snifter. A sexy beer, definitly one of the best ive seen. The beers color is pitch black, their is no tints of red or light that comes through. The nose is of dark chocolate, some vanilla, hops, and ample malt sweetness. The taste is about the same as the smell with a very creamy mouthfeel. One of the best bangs for your buck.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2011 06:10:41 | More by dcook11
Photo of bosox941827

North Carolina

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

12oz stubby bottle into Guinness imperial pint glass; poured cold and warmed as it tasted. Gotta say, one of the more compelling labels I've seen; it feels as though Grigori Rasputin is judging me as I pour the beer.
A - Dark as night; even held directly to a light, yields only the slightest hint of reddish brown on the edge; throws off a rocky head on the pour which slowly dissipates to a lingering lace.
S - Cocoa powder, black licorice, molasses and roastiness....can't wait to taste it
T - Surprised by the earthy hoppiness in this one. North Coast website doesn't say, but I'm guessing there's a healthy dose of Simcoe hops in here. But first impression is of sweet, roasted malts; molasses, coffee aftertaste (but not really *flavor*) and then that nice earthy bitterness, which lingers for as long as you can stand to wait for the next sip. The roasted malt flavor also mixes in with the hoppy linger. Aftertaste is quite similar to some Black IPAs I've had...
M - Medium amount of carbonation and not very heavy feeling despite look and ABV
D - This is definitely a sipper and an enjoyer; you don't want to session this and it's not in the job description
What a fantastic beer; absolutely LOVE the mixture of roasty malts and drying hops; great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 01:40:09 | More by bosox941827
Photo of Impfan


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

Nice opaque pour, big blooming tan head, creamy medium body, lots of coffee, chocolate, dried figs, and a ton of roast. Super long, dry, roasty finish, and a big hit of acidity ala Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.. Terrific stuff that is thankfully available all year long!

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 22:21:59 | More by Impfan
Photo of rdilauro


3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Just another stout to add to my tastings this winter. Honestly, I was not totally impressed with this one. I tasted it before looking at any of the ratings.
It poured very nicely, total black, creamy head. It had faint hints of coffee and chocolate. I was somewhat disappointed at this point. Then the taste, it was good, enjoyable but not something to get excited about. What I really found missing, was that it wasnt big. It did not fill my mouth as many other bigger stouts have done. Considering this, it also finished very small, which was another reason I did not rate this one that well.
It is totally drinkable, my co-workers really enjoyed this one, it is just not the one for me

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 16:39:44 | More by rdilauro
Photo of zoso1967


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

Old Rasputin pours one of the deepest and darkest browns that I have ever seen. It is pretty much like used motor oil in color. This brew has a very nice head that possesses wonderful staying power and leaves gobs of lace as it recedes into the dark liquid.

The aroma is bursting with bitter cocoa and roasty coffee. It also has a definite hop presence that is quite citrusy and slightly earthy. Some chalk, a pinch of vanilla and a rumor of alcohol round out this beer's nose.

One sip and it is easy to see why this is such a popular beer. Astringent roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, citrus hops, molasses, leather and a hint of dark fruit are all flavor components. This beer has tons of stuff going on, but everything seems quite well balanced. There is not even a hint of the ABV and the balance of bitter and sweet is right on.

The mouthfeel is on the lightest edge of full, with the beer having a nice chewy sort of texture. It is fairly coating, yet does not leave a whole lot of stickiness on the palate, finishing dry overall. Some hops and plenty of astringent roasty notes hang around for the aftertaste.

I am really regretting that I had not tried this beer for so long. It has a lot to offer and is a great example of the style. I especially appreciate that it is hoppy, but not overly so like say a fresh Storm King. This really allows the roasted malt to show through while still giving it that little something extra. This is definitely recommended and is a great winter brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 13:31:22 | More by zoso1967
Photo of Meerkey


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

A: Black/dark brown, opaque. Thin beige head.

S: Dark chocolate and alcohol. Coffee and roasted malts.

T: So chocolatey! Dark and heavy. Espresso beans, some sweet malts, hint of hops. A little spicy.

M: Heavy and bitter, aftertaste a little too sticky sweet.

D: Very. I recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 04:52:38 | More by Meerkey
Photo of InebriatedJoker


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

Poured into tulip from 12 oz bottle - no best by date visible.

Poured a deep black w/ thick two finger head that held retention for what seemed forever,excellent webbing as the lace lowered,good carbonation.

Taste - Toasted malts with burnt coffee ,bitter chocolate
slight hops /mild boozy aftertaste.

Drinkability - Well blended and balanced just enough flavors to pull off the high abv % - Tackles your tongue with exotic flavors.
Extremely drinkable - I recommend drinking it slowly as to enjoy all of it's complex flavors.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2011 00:03:53 | More by InebriatedJoker
Photo of tobin


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

A great stout that made me want to try and brew my own version of it!

Pours a black/brown color with a dense foamy head.

A quality blend of toasted wheat bread and coffee notes with a lace that clings to the glass as well as the tongu

Very thick mouthfeel that lingers on the palate. This beer has 8.9% alcohol, but it is not apparent in the taste because it is so smooth. The alcohol is only slightly noticeable in the aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 20:03:50 | More by tobin
Photo of shir0043


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

This is a great RIS. Smell is roasted grains, biscuit, coffee, and hops in the background.

Flavor is much like the smell (only much stronger) with the roasted grains, biscuit flavors, and strong dark chocolate. The bitterness of this beer almost perfectly balances the malt.
One thing that sets this RIS apart from the rest is that it's much dryer than others that I have tried in the past. Don't get me wrong, I love a big malty RIS but this is really a nice change for the style. Also, the 9%+ ABV is very well hidden which makes this a very drinkable beer.

The mouthfeel for this beer is on the medium side most likely due to the dryness of the beer.

One final note, I love it when big beers come in 12oz bottles instead of exclusively coming in bombers. It makes it much easiest to enjoy a beer when I at home without my beer drinking buddies. Plus it almost always a better value. I'll be buying this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 03:04:47 | More by shir0043
Photo of DrewZ926

New York

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

disclaimer: my favorite RIS to date

a- nice dark body with about an inch of khaki head

s- very complex malt profile with a whiff of something floral. cocoa is also very present.

t- damn. so much going on here. starts out with the big roasted malt profile. tasting some rich dark cocoa and coffee. finishes off strong on the fruits, picking up some figs, dates, and raisins.

m- slightly carbed and a medium body that felt light but coating at the same time.

d- extremely drinkable. quite dry and no cloying sweetness whatsoever.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 06:34:03 | More by DrewZ926
Photo of brewmudgeon


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

old rasputin

a 4-4.5 nearly opaque dark brown, tawny head leaves a swirly cap and branching lace.

s 4.5 semi-sweet chocolate, tobacco. you know it's warming to the proper temperature when the fudgy brownies begin making their appearance.

t 4-4.5 deeply roasted at first, but it yields to a complex brownie explosion. there are even hops in there fighting hard to be heard. a little undisguised alc comes through here and there.

m 4 seems too thin at first but gets chewier with time.

d 4.5 a classic. and a good base for the addition of other flavors if desired.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2011 23:58:45 | More by brewmudgeon
Photo of FosterJM


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

186th review on BA
bottle to snifter

App- A very deep dark brown with an impressive 1 finger medium brown bubbly head. Lacing all over the glass.

Smell- Coffee, roast, dark chocolate and small hops

Taste- Hoppy on the forefront with a citrusy tinger. It works well together and then on the back you get the roast, chocolate coffee.

Mouth- Full bodied with a a medium carbonation. A very well done aftertaste. It goes down so smooth. Very rich as well.

Drink- 9% isn't noticable at all. A great way to end the day and such a value for a beer as well. Good things come in small packages. What a great 12oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 06:38:40 | More by FosterJM
Photo of THECPJ


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

Reviewed from notes 1/14/2011

A: coffee, hint of alcohol, malts

Ap: black, with a 2 finger mocha colored head, nice lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, slight bite/crispness

Af: coffee, slight alcohol burn, roasted malts

O: well balanced, true to the style


Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 03:36:58 | More by THECPJ
Photo of JamesS


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

Pours an excellent deep black with wonderful tan head and very nice lacing. Excellent deep malty scent with wonderfully huge roasted grain aromas and a slight hint of chocolate. Excellent taste, with a huge malt kick, wonderful roasted grains, a small chocolate hit at the end, and a nice hit of hops that comes through just a bit at the end as well; no alcohol tinge, either, which was a huge bonus. Went down entirely too smooth for such a high ABV brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 19:54:13 | More by JamesS
Photo of CuriousMonk


3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into dimple glass. Pours a pitch black viscous with a thick chocolate head. Quite a bit of lacing. Aroma is of roast chocolate, coffee, licorice, dark fruits, and quite phenolic. Flavor is sweet chocolate, roast coffee, caramel, and phenols. Palate is full bodied viscous; extremely smooth. Finish is bittersweet chocolate and a little too phenolic. I can't say it's my favorite RIS.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 17:14:47 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of mttaylor1066


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

You can read the particulars below, but my review will be brief:

This is the best balanced beer I have ever tasted. Intoxicating... and that's not the alcohol talking.

... and I don't even like Russian Imperial Stout. This one will spoil you for all others.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 19:53:44 | More by mttaylor1066
Photo of tykees88


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

A- dark brown to black creamy head great lacing.

S- HOPS! I smell hops in a RIS. the coffee smell is not in the forefront. I also get plenty of malts barleys and some chocolate maybe

T- It's a barley front with a hop finish. Totally different than other RIS that I have had before. I like this it's not what I would expect.

M- A bigger beer of course.

D- A couple of these no problem. Would love it on Nitro tap i would assume.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 19:04:37 | More by tykees88
Photo of BigHeavy


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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip. Beer was allowed to warm for 30 or so minutes before sweet, sweet consumption.

A: Beer pours an absolutely opaque, pitch black. Looks kinda like motor oil, but not the clean stuff. The stuff that you left in for 3,000 too many miles. A luscious mocha head two fingers in height forms and lingers for quite a while before settling to about a half finger. Beautiful lacing appears with each sip.

S: Aroma is rich in dark chocolate and hops. Hops smell citrusy to me. There are some dark fruits thrown in there as well, which complement the aforementioned scents quite nicely. A touch of alcohol stings the nostrils (in a good way) as well.

T: Those citrus hops dominate the taste early in the sip. They give way to some bitter dark chocolate. It's like a one two punch of bitterness from hops and roasted malts. Just an incredible sensation in a stout. I can pick out those dark fruits and a little bit of black coffee notes as well. Just an amazing beer.

M: Smooth, rich, creamy, coating. Where doth I begin? Beer just feels awesome moving around the mouth with every sip. Beer is also thick and a little chewy.

D: Well, the beer definitely disappeared from my glass pretty quickly. The 9.0% ABV will creep up on you a little, so be cautious when having more than one. Perfect as a before bed sipper.

O: In my humble and unimportant opinion, Old Rasputin in the perfect interpretation of a Russian Imperial Stout. It takes the already awesome style and throws aggressive hopping into the mix. It's in your face with flavors from start to finish. A perfect way to end a night OR start a day.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 05:09:40 | More by BigHeavy
Photo of sacrelicio


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

This is the best Russian Imperial Stout that could ever exist. It is roasty, toasty, chocolatey, coffee tasting, sweet, bitter, smooth and balanced. It is absolutely perfect in every way.

The stout pours jet black, brown edges, chocolate milk head, about a finger thick (the dark chocolate milk, just like I like to make it) that laces nicely.

The smell is roasty, toasty, chocolatey. Perfect melding of notes. The taste is roasty, toasty, chocolatey, coffee tasting, sweet, bitter, smooth and balanced. The flavors knit together so perfectly, it brings tears to my eyes. Perfect.

Mouthfeel is full but not heavy or cloying. The drinkability is perfect. Amazing in every way. Stupendous.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 05:03:27 | More by sacrelicio
Photo of Grin

Alberta (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The smell is strong but nothing characteristic. The initial sip was bitter with a strong, almost cough syrup taste but I noticed the rich chocolate after letting it breath for about 5 minutes. The texture is smooth and thick with a light bite of carbonation.

Ultimately, a favorite but not a regular. I would say, better suited for the winter months.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 03:20:28 | More by Grin
Photo of xpoweruser


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

Appearance: Very dark ruby red/brown, looks like black. Nice Dark brown head.

Aroma: Complex with lots of roast, chocolate, coffee and some dark fruits. Some floral hops come though.

Taste: Very complex and robust, chocolate, coffee, roast and a hint of dark fruit flavors. Also has a nice spicy hop kick to it, a bit dry, very nice. Slight alcohol kick, warms a little going down.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, maybe a little creamy, full-bodied. A little high on the carbonation, but it's not a deal breaker.

Drinkability: Awsome beer! Very complex, rich and robust.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 01:36:58 | More by xpoweruser
Photo of Vierenner


3.05/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was expecting more from this beer -- the writeup at the store claimed very high marks from BA. I found it to be bitter and somewhat harsh. There is a bit of sweetness, but it's overshadowed by other, more powerful taste sensations. On a positive note, it pours with a very nice head ... disappearing after a minute or so as expected.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 00:25:44 | More by Vierenner
Photo of SkunkWorks

New York

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

Review is from notes.

Served in a snifter at the World of Beer in Orlando, Florida. Was my second round of the day and decided to go for something nostalgic; Old Rasputin was the first Russian Imperial Stout I remember having... this time it'll be on draught instead of in a bottle!

Look: black with a dark, dark red highlight at the bottom when held to the light. A thin layer of light brown foam sits on the top and literally retains forever. I was served my glass first, waited for my two companions to be served their glasses to let the beer warm a bit, and still the foam was there. Incredible considering the style.

Smell: I see why this beer got me into the Russian Imperial Stout style so easily already. Bittersweet chocolate dominates. Hints of coffee and hops are there as well but this is intensely chocolatey.

Taste: Follows the nose nicely. The chocolate flavor stands out heavily but the hops and coffee flavors come out a bit more, though it is not over powering with either. Absolutely delicious. No hint of alcohol or dark fruit, which is a quality I happen to like about this one.

Feel: medium to full bodied, quite creamy, no alcohol warmth and tending towards sweet rather than bitter. Carbonation is low and spot on for the style.

Drink: quite incredibly drinkable. I definitely thought about drinking one or two more of these after I finished my glass, if only I didn't have to leave the bar!

Overall, absolutely amazing. The great thing about Old Raspution continues to be the fact that it can stand side to side with world class Russian Imperial Stouts despite being affordable and easy to find, without all the release day, hype, and low bottle counts. I am glad I saw this on tap and maybe I'll pick up a four pack of this again in the near future to revisit this one more fully.

On a side note, I am glad that this one has held up against my palate as I've grown over the past two years as a craft beer drinker. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2011 22:38:27 | More by SkunkWorks
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,138 ratings.