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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

9,748 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,748
Reviews: 3,351
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 298
Gots: 1,261 | FT: 40
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,748 | Reviews: 3,351 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OttoPeeWee
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good stout. Probably a notch below my favorite Guiness Foreign Extra Stout. The look is black with brown head that dissapates. Smells like dark chocolate, cigar and toasted bread. The taste is thick and similar to the smell-dark chocolate tobacco, but with a nice hop bitterness that is very balanced.

OttoPeeWee, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of ferrari29
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured from bottle into Pint glass

A - Beer poured with a two+ dark beige colored foam; frothy and immediately latched onto every piece of glass it could; dark brown, black colored body; no visible carbonation; appears very viscous at first glance, but is more fluid that originally perceived

S - Deep roasted malt scents; licorice jelly beans; subtle hints of cinnamon and ginger; refreshing and clean; chocolate; smoked malt scents; some coffee; scents of coffee come out the nose after a couple of sips, retro-olfaction, really the first experience with this after drinking heavily

T - Espresso/deep coffee notes; roasted malt and chocolaty; some bitterness in the aftertaste, but touch of dark chocolate in the front of the palate; dark fruit and bitter dark chocolate taste; coffee notes come coat the mucus in my throat

M - Slightly silky, liquidly toward the back-end of the mouth; not much bubbly; expected more frothiness; goes down rather quick; bitter hops rattle the sides of the tongue a bit

D - Good drink, makes a fantastic RIS; can't go wrong with this one; North Coast is definitely a leader in the field of micro brewing; deservedly so

ferrari29, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of sirdillon
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours black with quite a bit of carbonation. Big frothy(!) light tan head that sticks around pretty well. Leaves a beautiful dark lacing around the glass as I sip. Good stuff.

S- Like if you made a hop tea in a dark chocolate mocha. Except not much coffee. This is one of my favorite smelling beers out there, definitely one of a kind. Pine, dank marijuana, roasted barley, dark chocolate and a bit of alcohol heat are all there. Not much sweetness to be found. The alcohol is a bit prominent, but it's a fair trade off for a walk through the marijuana chocolate forest that is Old Rasputin.

T- Lots of hops and lots of deeply roasted coffee flavors. Finishes with a sensation of hop resin and coffee. Not much sweetness to be found, but very drinkable. There's some alcohol in the taste, but it's not too unpleasant.

M- This may be the weak aspect of this beer. I'd say it has a bit too much carbonation for an imperial stout, and has a somewhat light mouthfeel because of that. However, this is infinitely more drinkable than most imperial stouts because of this as well. Lots of hop resins coat the mouth, leaving a bit of a bitter aftertaste. Not cloying or syrupy in the least.

O- By far the best beer for the money that I've found thus far. Has a very distinctive and refined taste and smell. It's not perfect, but this is one of my favorite beers, and in my opinion it deserves great affection.

sirdillon, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of ADZA
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Definately one brew thats been on my list for a little bit and finally get to knock it off and it pours a dark as night black hue with beautiful carbonation that leaves behind a two finger creamy coffee laced head and heaps of lacing,the smell is oak,strong black liquorice,strong mocha malts and dark fruity hops,it has a lucious creamy full bodied well carbonated mouthfeel and starts off with tastes of creamy cappicino,bitter mocha,dark bitter belgian chocolate and finished with a dark fruity hoppy bitterness that really warms you up and the alcohol is really only sensed with the finishing warmness and on a cold night like tonight in the hills its truly appreciated the only downfall from tasting this is that i dont have another one therefore the next brew has alot to top cheers.

ADZA, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of shangwang
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my DFH snifter. No date on the bottle that I can find.

This was the first time I've tried anything brewed by Lost Coast. After this experience, I will be looking for more.

Old Rasputin was a deep brown-black color, and poured with over a finger of thick chocolate milk head. It left heavy lacing on the glass and the head stuck around for quite a long while. It had a great smell- roasted coffee, honey, and chocolate were all present. The taste was ridiculously complex. It started with chocolate bitterness, roasted malt, and earthy wood, but then at the back end of the taste there was an intense sweetness that matched the honey and chocolate smells. In my experience sweetness typically precedes bitterness, but this beer was quite the opposite, which I really enjoyed. There was some lingering bitterness the whole way through the finish, but nothing unpleasant. Mouthfeel was creamy, thick, and chewy.

Wow. This is a heavy hitter- the intense tastes and a heavy mouthfeel make for a beer I typically would only want one of, but I found myself desiring more after I finished the 12oz bottle. Very complex, but tasty. Definitely will be looking forward to having this one again, as well as some other offerings from Lost Coast.

shangwang, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of Avantyawn
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown black, nice thick brown head. Looks typical of the style

S: Cream, chocolate, grains, smells much like a Cafe Latte. Slight eggy sulfur scent.

T: Creamy smooth balanced chocolaty malty RIS. Slightly sour bitterness.

M: Mouthfeel is good but a tad thin for my taste for the style.

O: Overall, this is a wonderful yearly RIS. Not much to say about this other than it's really very tasty and easy to obtain. Well done. If only the mouthfeel were a bit thicker this would be nearly perfect.

Avantyawn, May 31, 2011
Photo of mattjv
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours pitch black, looks like an eclipse held up to a bright light. Frothy and robust 2 finger tan head.

S-Sweet malty backbone, accented by many other aromas. Roasted coffee, sweet chocolate, and dark fruit are all present. Solvent alcohol presence lingers in the background.

T-Starts off with thick malt presence, semi-sweet chocolate and nutty flavors. Not as sweet as the aroma hinted at. Roasted malts quickly come in strong with assertive coffee and smoky
bitterness. Herbal hops on the finish with another round of bitterness. Mild alcohol spice and warmth, for 9% it is kept very well in check. Aftertaste is smoky and slightly dry.

M- Assertive carbonation, prickly on the tongue. Thick and silky smooth mouthfeel, drinks similar to an oatmeal stout.

O-A great imperial stout, satisfying on every measure. Tons of flavor without anything overwhelming, highly recommended.

mattjv, May 31, 2011
Photo of ElderRasputin
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this at whole foods on my way home from work the other night. Came in a 4 pack of 12 ounce bottles with paper labeling.

T: Tastes of dark chocolate and coffee with a little bit of raisin mixed with a malty complex aftertaste that finishes slighty bitter but smooth.

S: Strong brewed dark coffee with a little bit of chocolate and burnt oak. Has a sharpness to it of alcohol and slight fruitiness.

A: Very dark almost pure black in body with beige carbonation that comes up through the glass to form a tan two finger head. The had retains very nicely.

M: Mouthfeel is creamy smooth that is also heavy with sharp medium carbonation.

O: overall is a very complex and heavy style stout that I think does justice to russian imperial stout. one my most favorite beers and I will be buying this regularly.

ElderRasputin, May 30, 2011
Photo of MikeM40
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a DFH Signature glass from a 12oz bottle. This beer pours black with a large lingering tan head that leaves lots of lacing. Noticeable aromas of roasted malt,chocolate,coffee,cherries,and anise rise from the glass. Strong roasted flavors,coffee,dark chocolate,with hints of dark fruits and plums. This beer also has a deep bitter component with a rich character. The only real knock on this beer is that the mouthfeel was a bit thin for an Imperial stout,if it was more viscous it would be an A+ beer to me. Any alcohol flavor is well hidden among the well balanced complexities and the great bitter coffee/licorice finish.

MikeM40, May 28, 2011
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old rasputin

A: murky black with tan head foamy with lacing no light passes through, pretty solid example of the style

S: sweet raisin and dates with chocolate on the nose, some drying oak but not similar to an oak aged beer, if that even makes sense.

T: taste is chocolate with bittering hopiness, nice malty balance, standard coating, it is the Mario of the Kart racing world. Not exceptional but no complaints to articulate, just standard.

M: The mouthfeel its pretty impressive for such a widely distributed stout, nice coating and balance.

D: This is a well done stout, maybe its sheer availablity has prejudiced me but I dont feel that it is amazing. I wouldnt be able to have this consistently but it is a good occasional treat, the maltiness is good but just offers too much filling.

Narrative: NOBODY BUT NO BODY KICKS OLD RAZZIE OUT OF THE ROLLER RINK. Ok, keep your cool, you know that you are a smoothe debonaire guy, but how can those girls fail to see your individual aplomb and flair? It just isnt right! You have your velvet chocolate coat, your smoothe ways, your bitter discountenance but they all seem to write you off for guys in Pele Pele Jeans and southpole shirts. Where did you go wrong? Maybe it was the fencing lessons, maybe it was talking to every girl in the roller rink. Razzie you spread yourself too thin. How could I have been so stupid? Well, there's only one thing these size 11's needs and thats a sick game of redlight green light. Time to narrow the scope and impart some chocolately velvety goodness to the masses.

SubpoenaDeuces, May 27, 2011
Photo of bdo894
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a super dark chocolate color, almost like black coffee. Really cool looking. Very little head.
Smelled chocolatey and grainy, like whole wheat bread.
Tastes delish, chocolate and coke with a touch of hops. Can barely taste the high APV.
Smooth mouthfeel with a clean finish. Goes down real easy.
Overall an awesome beer, especially for something with such high alcohol. I'm loving the darker beers in general nowadays.

bdo894, May 26, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - Motor Oil deep brown with a 2-finger tan head. Some lacing and retention, but minor.

S - Coffee and wheat.

T - Coffee and Chocolate.

D - Oily, but mild.

O - Not much to go with here. Age this and enjoy!

HuskyinPDX, May 26, 2011
Photo of Jinholic
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Jet black body 1 finger of mocha head didn't get a lot of lacing but it was thick.

Smell - Coffee and chocolate big up front with some dark fruit in the back maybe plum.

Taste - Same as the smell but oh so nice, its a great blend of coffee and chocolate malts. The abv in this just doesn't come out in the taste till it warms a bit and even then its only a warming feeling going down.

Mouthfeel - Silky and smooth not dry at all for 9% either. Full body stout thats creamy all the way down.

Overall - One of the best stouts I've ever had I wish more stouts tasted like this. Big props to the brewery on this I haven't liked a stout this much since SS oatmeal stout. That said go grab one and see for yourself.

Jinholic, May 26, 2011
Photo of aval89
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into Stone IRS glass

a: thick motor oil black! nice 2 fingers worth of khaki head.. only the edges of glass let through light, but very minimal..

s: espresso beans & dark cocoa.. slight nuttiness with some vanilla..liquorice.. also some faint dark fruits.. alcohol is very well hidden.

t: upfront i get a semi-sour cherry flavor.. then i get hit with the roasty coffee-like flavors.. mild earthy hops.. slight nuttiness.. hints of vanilla & dark chocolate dominate the finish for me.. also some lingering dark fruits with some earthy hops.. every sip is different.. very robust beer!

mf: thicky, chewy & silky/creamy mouthfeel.. spot on!

o: just an excellent brew! a true classic & excellent example of the style.

note: as beer warms, i get more of a red liquorice type taste..

aval89, May 25, 2011
Photo of brendan13
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with a 3cm light brown head that falls away suprisingly rather quickly.
S - Coffee and bitter chocolate notes abound. Some nutty and vanilla hints.
T - Much like the smell up front; all coffee and chocolate bitter notes with some liquorice as well as slightly resinous piney notes. Bit of an alcohol edge as well.
M - Medium to full bodied, low to moderate carbonation. Quite bitter.
O - An impressive beer. But not as refined as I was expecting. Maybe a little aging will do it some favours.

brendan13, May 25, 2011
Photo of dcloeren
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured an extremely dark brown with highlights of mahogany on the edges with 3 fingers of creamy khaki colored head. Produced decent, spotty lacing

Smells of rich, sweet chocolate, coffee beans with espresso notes, licorice and possibly some dark fruits. Has a slightly bitter tinge at the end.

Taste follows the nose but with a great bitter aftertaste. Burnt malt stands out more so on the tongue than in the nose.

The mouthfeel was a little too thin for what I was wanting out of this beer. Very well carbonated and a slightly drying bitter aftertaste

Overall, this was a good stout. I think with a thicker body that this beer could be amazing but what can you do? Not mad that I have 2 more in my fridge, but not dying to crack them open either

dcloeren, May 25, 2011
Photo of beagle75
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Draft service with nitrogen propulsion at Yard House in Irvine.

A: Opaque black color with over one finger of dense and persistent beige foam head. Heavy, continuous sheeting of lace remains on the glass.

S: Generic dark roast is present, with a weak charcoal and mineral snap. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins sweet, with concentrated roasted grain and semi-sweet Hershey's syrup. Acidity is very restrained into the middle, where a whiff of dark fruit emerges. The finish is remarkably mild for the style, slightly spirituous, with easy-going bitterness that seems as tied to the roasted barley as to earthy hops. A fine thread of dark olive brine lingers on the palate.

M: Thick viscosity, smooth and creamy on the palate, with very low carbonation.

D/O: Before imperial stouts were cool, there was North Coast's Old Rasputin. I remember the first time I tried it during Winter 2001-2002--when craft beer meant Sierra Nevada pale ale, Alaskan amber, Widmer wheat, or whatever stout I could get at the local brewpubs--and it was shocking to the senses. I may have thought that no beer should taste as this does. Now the beer endures, and it offers an honest look at how my palate has changed in a decade. Now (and especially on nitro-tap) it is a mellow and even old-fashioned take on the style, with a drinkability that is off the charts compared to its contemporaries. While some strong members of the porter-styles seem to struggle to separate roasty from smoky qualities, this is all roast and no smoke. It is chocolatey at the front-end, with a small finish that leaves room for that dessert such a beer is expected to accompany so well.

beagle75, May 25, 2011
Photo of mjhorn
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this out of a bottle poured into a pint glass. First thing that stands out is the awesome look to the pour as the tan/brown head forms out the the opaque black beer. Ended up with about 2 fingers of creamy head. It fell back fairly quickly leaving a sticky lacking on the glass. The aroma was heavy with roasted malt, with hints of coffee and chocolate. Didn't catch any alcohol though from the 9% abv. Very smooth and creamy, with a nice balance of sweetness and chocolate, with bitterness from coffee and strong roasted malt flavors. Finishes cleanly with a slight lingering sweetness. While I didn't catch any in the nose, there is definitely a slightly warming alcohol present as you drink. Nothing overpowering or unpleasant though. Fairly light carbonation fits nicely with the rich full bodied beer. Overall I am impressed. One of the first true stouts I've tried and the introduction was well done. Might be setting the bar pretty high for the style

mjhorn, May 24, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ

A very good stout, along the lines of Guinness' extra. Plus Rasputin is on the bottle. Pours a dark brown-black with a finger of tan head that recedes to a fine layer of lace. Heavy dark malt aroma, chocolate and coffee notes. Roasty taste of dark malts, coffee, dark chocolate, with hints of licorice, tobacco, raisins, and brown sugar. A bite of bitterness and alcohol in the finish. Smooth, strong, and a very tasty drink.

Rifugium, May 22, 2011
Photo of calebroberts811
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My local beer dealer told me that if I didn't try this immediately, I wouldn't be allowed to shop at his store anymore. So I bought it.

A - I had to remind myself that I wasn't changing my oil. Darkest brown/completely black that allows no light to escape, beautiful tan two-finger head, the color of espresso crema.

S - Strong notes of espresso, chocolate, toffee, and a subtler herbal character, like roasted vegetables. Weirdly enough, I smelled a slight hint of teriyaki in the background.

T - There's a burnt caramel introduction on the initial taste that turns in to the smooth coating of the roasted malts across the palette. On the backend, it tastes more like "coffee breath" than coffee itself combined with booze and dark fruits/roasted vegetables.

M - Just enough carbonation to carrying this thick and greasy beer down your throat. Definitely heavy-bodied and I'll be tasting this for awhile.

O - The best Imperial Stout I've had thus far and will probably be the litmus tests for future tastings within the style. Good stuff.

calebroberts811, May 21, 2011
Photo of farlieonfootie
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours a pitch dark black, with a two fingered, milk chocolate head that looks as if it's gonna stay awhile, and leaves behind epic lacing. I get malt, licorice and other dark stuff on the nose; Old Rasputin smells kinda boozy.

And the taste? Wow! Liquid heaven. Very complex, and oh, so smooth, like a velvet hammer. This stuff could kill you. I taste hops, roasted malts, and then rich, dark chocolate before the long, sweet finish. This beer is not for everyone: Big Boys only need apply. It's one of my absolute favorites; it just doesn't get any better than this.

farlieonfootie, May 21, 2011
Photo of jlb502
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Though I love the style, Old Rasputin has never been a favorite of mine. Generally I've found it a little too acrid and roasted for my tastes. Well I don't know if it's me, this bottle, or some combination of the two but this particular bottle is probably the best Old Rasputin I've ever had. It's been sitting for a month which I wouldn't assume is long enough to make it so much smoother and more palatable than the rest of the four-pack, but who knows?

Looks good, smells fine but taste is where this one really shines. The best way I can describe it is Abyss Light. Licorice, molasses, a roasted quality that isn't over the top. Not too syrupy. Maybe a touch over-carbed but combined with the medium body, it makes it about as sessionable as an RIS can be.

jlb502, May 20, 2011
Photo of Beanmeister
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my first beer I have reviewed on this site. Drank out of a pint glass

A - Rich dark brow (almost black) with a mild brow head

S - The hops stood out the most

T - This was not the most complex stout I have ever had yet the flavor match the I would consider this RIS to have more of a hop character than other RIS

M - like it said on the bottle "worming finish" I couldn't put it any better myself

O - overall i thought this beer brewed well for its genera. I'm not going to go out and by cases of it but I wouldn't turn it down

Beanmeister, May 18, 2011
Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I stored this bottle in the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about a half hour before unleashing its contents into a beer snifter. It poured out black as night with a perfect, solid, dark head with big bubbles that popped and hissed like something out of Dr. Frankenstein's lab. As the head deteriorates, lacing sticks to the glass like grim death.

The aroma contained chocolate, coffee, nuts, raisins, and cookies. This beer has a crazy intense and complex flavor. You get a big hit of malt that tastes like one of those rich Viennese chocolate cakes, then it gets really creamy as it moves across your palate and evolves into a nice figgy-coffee flavor that's not overly bitter. At the finish, you taste a bit of bitter chocolate again with some holiday spice. The taste of this beer lingers for several minutes after swallowing.

This beer has earned its legendary status. It's probably the finest imperial stout I can get my hands on (at least until I make it to Dark Lords Day).

deadonhisfeet, May 18, 2011
Photo of BeerThursdays
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black as night, think tan head. Dissipates slowly and leave a thin layer on the top of the beer. Some lacing. Decent looking.

S - Black Licorice, Coffee, Chocolate, and darker fruits.

T - A Lot more bitterness than I expected from the scent. Roasted malt, hops are presented very well. Some chocolate and coffee as well. Maybe some candy, like a caramel.

M - Good amount of alcohol comes though. Lighter body, but still very nice.

O - Very good stout, one of the better ones you can find in Delaware on a regular basis.

BeerThursdays, May 17, 2011
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,748 ratings.