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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.

9,947 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,947
Reviews: 3,365
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 305
Gots: 1,347 | FT: 43
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
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Ratings: 9,947 | Reviews: 3,365 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scottyg354
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black, Black and more Black. 1/2" Head that last a short time.

S:Malty and Roasty with a good hop presense.

T:Malty and Toasted. Hoppy yet smooth. Strong Dark Chocolate taste.

M: Heavy and Smooth.

O: Good beer for a cold night. I would recommend.

scottyg354, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of jwhancher
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black with mocha colored head. The head is quite frothy and sudsy and seems like a soapy lather that coats the glass quite nice. Smells of pleasant chocolate and roasty notes. Some toffee, maybe some burnt caramel aromas. A bit like black licorice. Tastes dense and thick. Lots of roasty and burnt flavors, almost charred character, are present. Feels heavy and somewhat acrid. Alcohol warmth is present in each sip. Okay tasting RIS yet a bit too much coffee burn and hot alcohol. Don't get much hop
character as they're overpowered by the roasty notes. I think this one smells and looks much better than it tastes and feels. Personally, I think there's better RIS on the market. Glad to have tried it though. A fine beer to try and sample.

jwhancher, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of pigc
2.35/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thought I would give this classic RIS my own review...

A - Pours as black as night with huge three finger mocha colored head.

S - Molasses, brown sugar, chocolate, cocoa, slight piney hops.

T - Starts out with sharp alcohol followed by bitter hops. Wow, this taste really throws me. I'm picking up very little chocolate or coffee. Malt seems to have abandoned the seen. Very hot, like drinking pure alcohol with no flavor.

M - Medium to thick. Oily and resinous.

O - This beer started off so well with the appearance and smell then just went way south with the taste. Not balanced at all. This may be my first drain pour and I can't believe it's on such a highly rated beer as this. I'm thinking I must have picked up a bad bottle or something. This beer is a hot, alcoholic mess. So disappointed. Glad I only picked up a single!

pigc, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.15/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Dark black with tan head.
Smell- Dark roasted malts, coffee
Taste- Bitter, black licorice, coffee,booze.
Feel- Too much carbonation in my opinion

This is a one and done beer.. This is my first Imperial Stout and I didn't really like it that much

hoppyweasel311, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of tony223366
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Darkest brown with a 2 finger fluffy tan head. Really gorgeous beer. Great lacing!

S: Nice roasted chocolate and malts. Lots of hops too. Way more than I thought I'd get. The aroma really pulls me in and made me want to take my first sip.

T: Really rich roasted malts and chocolate. Lots of chocolate. But hops play a large role too. They come in first and get overpowered by the chocolate and a hint of coffee... then the bitterness lingers on the finish.

M: Lots of carbonation. Medium body and very creamy.

O: Wow, I've actually gotten by living in California for 3 years and I've never tried this. It was way better than I thought it would be. I really enjoyed the hop bitterness they through in paired with the decadent brownie flavors.

tony223366, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of brewyou2
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

well, it's a stout.

smells like roasted cocoa beans, head like rocky sea foam, feels like velvet across my tongue and tastes like an unsweetened, dark chocolate brownie with powdered sugar on top. I will stock more of these in my cellar when I get my allowance.

brewyou2, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of Whadawookie
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my all-time favorites. Poured into a pint glass, I had no trouble making a ridiculous perfectly foamy tan head that sat upon the black sea of liquid. Lacing is great and you have a sudsy film floating around the whole time your drinking, which might not be as long as you might expect with a strong brew like this. It has a very strong, roasted character. It smells almost woodsy or yeasty. There is coffee in there somewhere, perhaps even espresso? It has a decent hop bite too. Alcohol is present but not overwhelming for me. Definitely a sipper, it's just overwhelming with flavor and so damn heavy. It really stays on the tongue too. By far my favorite I've had by this brewery. I am going to try my hand at brewing a clone of this later this week. Looking at the grain bill, I can see why it is such an intense beer.

Whadawookie, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of Gatch
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taste of Tops in Tempe, AZ.

A - Black as black can be. Thick, fluffy, latte-like head. Sits there for a long time as tall as it started. Well, until I took a sip a few minutes after the pour. Incredible.

S - Coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt smack your brain. I'm inclined to describe the nose as creamy.

T - Thick, creamy roasted malt. Chocolate. Coffee. Slight alcohol. Amazing.

M - Smooth, creamy. Like a milkshake. Your mouth becomes filled with a residual roasty taste.

While Old Rasputin is great out of the bottle and the regular tap, nitro-tap puts it on another level.

Gatch, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of MONKandTUCK
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep black with an out of control foamy latte head.

A - Blast of hops - not sure what kind, but a softer C-hop variety, I guess. Then there's some roasted malts warning me of what's to come.

T - When it's cool I pick up the hops, just like I wanted to. Good, they're zesty. I hear American varietals were used, I don't mind that.
When the beer is warm enough to be enjoyed: sweet, smooth malt. Kinda tastes English. It's very flavorful, but not overly sweet or roasty. The finish has some bite to it.... acrid towards the end of the beer. Other than that, it's not overly interesting. I don't think it's too young, I just think this a tame beer. Some heat at the end makes the beer fun.

M - It's smooth and full-bodied. The beer doesn't weigh you down, though. Plus the finish is dry. Definitely Chico.

O - This beer drinks tooo easy. On the one hand, it's nice having a 9% behemoth just glide away. On the other hand, I wish there were more of interest in this beer. Maybe I'm spoiled, but for as taut as this beer is, I wish there were something more to it. I think the yeast is too boring, the crystal malt could impart a little more pit-fruit flavor, and the roasted character could be a slightly more aggressive.

Sure, for anyone like me on a seasonal Doppelbock binge right now, this will compare to a bull out of the pen. But as far as RIS's go, its tame than usual.

Fine beer. It leaves a hoppy-acrid linger at the back of my palate that not other beer will match for a long time to come.

MONKandTUCK, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of JustinAniello
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch black with a three finger cream colored head. Dissipates to a nice foam and lacing along the sides.

S - Mocha and a caramel from the roasted malts. Piney hops fades in and out.

T - A slightly sweet chocolate at first. A mild caramel followed by a bitter hop finish.

M - Full body with light carbonation. Slightly creamy, good for the style.

O - This is a good overall beer. Nice flavors and silky body. Excellent depth to the aroma. A little less of the piney, bitter hops would improve it in my eyes, but other than that it is a great beer.

JustinAniello, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of seesnow3
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour-Basically black with a medium brown head, thick, luscious and creamy head, completely opaque, thick lacing, is this crude oil? Head doesn’t hold that well but the lacing is REALLY thick

Nose-Chocolate, coffee, dark caramel malts, everything that is dark is in this beer

Palate-A little bit of sweet up front, a ton of sour and a moderate amount of bitter. Semi-sweet, almost scorched chocolate, actually only light coffee, but dark roast, incredibly dark caramel malts and grains. There is also a hint of fruity flavor

Body-Thick, creamy, heavy and syrupy, incredibly smooth and rich, luscious texture. Somehow a decent amount of effervescence. This is an incredible beer, I love this stuff and would get it again in a heartbeat.

seesnow3, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of jvillefan
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer on nitro at Davis Beer Shoppe in Davis, CA.

A: Amazing, witth a light brown head that initially takes up the entire glass. After two minutes the head disappated to about three fingers. If you get this on nitro watch as the head melts into one of the best beers you've ever had.

S: The smell is slightly less then impressive. There is malt, hops, and alcohol, but is is not that strong.

T: Awesome. The dominate flavor is malt but it is perfectly balanced with hops, citrus, and caramel. After a while the chocolatly undertones come out and make this beer amazing.

M: This beer fills the mouth the way a beer should. It is viscous despite the high alcohol. The nitro is an awesome addition to this beer.

O: if you have not had had this beer on nitro then you have not had a stout. This is beer should be placed among the elite.

jvillefan, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of wedge
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

@ Flying Saucer

I'm not usually one for Nitro beers, but I was feeling adventurous and decided to give an old classic a try. Pours black with a typically thick, dense, stable slab of a head on top that leaves much lacing on the glass. Nearly no aroma at first, but then a semi-sweet chocolate aroma emerges with an increased dark fruitiness as it warms. Tasty from the start...I think maybe a bigger stout like this is what I need from a nitro tap. Lots of chocolaty roast and a gentle creamy sweetness. Feels a little less than full bodied this way, but still obviously very smooth and floaty in the mouth. Whereas most nitro I come across is rather mild and bland, this is not...it works! It also reminds me that I need to revisit this widely available, great stout more often.

wedge, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of gregb13
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this one tonight after a session in the pool (heated) and spa. I'd had it before but didn't remember much. To start with, it pours like motor oil with a small mocha head. Nice retention and lacing. Nose is very inviting; lightly bitter hop, roasty malt and a little booze. Taste is fairly complex; bitter (back end) hops and espresso, some dark bitter chocolate, moderate booze. Bitterness lingers a little more than I'd like, but it's hard to be perfect. Mouthfeel is velvety, with a medium-full body. A sipper for sure, especially at 9%. Overall this is very good. Would seek out again for sure.

Addendum: This tastes very similar to Deschutes Black Butte porter (which is also very good) with more booze. Similar hop profile. Booze booze and more booze, and some licorice. Not very complex. Where's the beef? Give me control of the brewery and I could produce one hell of an inviting stout. Why can't these guys do the same?

gregb13, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of gabedivision
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle to a SA Imperial Series Snifter glass. Bottle about a year old.

Pours a motor oil black, with a weak looking 1 finger head, lots of slime and sticky bubbles. Big hops on the nose, followed by bitter coffee bean, bitter dark chocolate, vanilla milk chocolate, toasted malts. Chocolatety mayhem in my mouth right now, coffee/espresso, nice alcohol warming bitter coffee bean finish . Full bodied, creamy, smooth. Overall this beer was great, this beer aged well and tasted less like a coffee milk shake (as i thought it did fresh) and more like a great RIS. Very complex, rich and inviting.

gabedivision, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of Hophead717
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Total black with a 1.5 finger finger mocha head. Nice lacing as the beer clings to the sides of the glass after each sip.

S: Deep notes of dark chocolate and roasted malt. Light coffee scents can be detected when searched for, but they take a backseat here.

T: A nice combination of roasted malts upfront and dark chocolate. Both are deep flavors that work very well in tandem. Hints of espresso flavor emerge, but they largely follow the roasted malt flavor. Bitterness from the hops may also be present, but it's difficult to tell for sure because of the prevalence of the roasted malt flavor. As the beer warms, the espresso become a bit more noticeable on the finish.

M: Full bodied, with medium-to-heavy carbonation. It's a nice beer to drink.

O: Make no mistake, this is a RIS. Some stouts/porters can be a bit lighter or a bit sweeter...this is neither. A very good beer and, though I haven't explored RIS-es a lot as of yet, I definitely think it's a winner. This was the first from a four pack-I look forward to the rest!

Hophead717, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of cmq103
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 0z. bottle into a Duvel Belgian Tulip glass. I bought this at the Beer Store in Southampton PA. I will say it was worth the drive over from NJ, as they have one of the larger selections of craft beers that I've seen in the area.

Appearance: A typical jet black thicker pour, as expected with the style. I nice, thick 3/4" cola colored head impressed me resulting from only a moderately aggressive pour. Lacing was spotty, but decent as my glass emptied. The head eventually reduced to a thin light brown ring after a few minutes at room temperature.

Smell: Right off the bat, this reminded me a lot of the Storm King Imperial Stout, which is a hoppier Imperial Stout. I get dark bittersweet chocolate, followed by burnt roasted malts then a definitive hoppy and unsweetened espresso aroma. I also detect a slight booziness in the finish, which become more prominent as the beer warms.

Taste: Like the nose, bitter unsweetened dark chocolate, espresso coffee, dark fruits, and caramel. Light roasted, almost burnt, malts and a surprisingly bitter hoppy finish. I prefer my RIS just a tad sweeter to tame the hoppy bite. The alcohol is well hidden and doesn't expose itself until the beer gets closer to room temperature.

Mouthfeel: Definitely a full-bodied brew. Smooth, but with a dry bitter finish. Carbonation is moderate.

Overall: This is a sipper for sure with the higher ABV. I'm glad I tried it but my "go-to" RIS is still Brooklyn Black Chocolate. I would still say it's a "must try" for fans of the RIS style but I prefer my Imperial Stouts with a little less hop bite.

cmq103, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of SawDog505
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 16 oz snifter. Pours a slick black, with a 3 inch sticky mocha head, tons of lacing. Smell coffee, chocolate, some pine, and a hint of alcohol. Taste is all that, more piney hops than the smell would lead on. Body isn't the biggest, but nice. Perfect amount of life, helps it's dribkability. Temperature is so important to allow this beers flavors to completely shine, close to 55 is best. Lives up to the hype, most reviews I have ever noticed for this style.

SawDog505, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of VncentLIFE
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

well its cold as hell for the first time since i moved to NC, so a nice RIS is in order!

Pours as back as i think ive seen. Full inch thick head that looks like mocha.

Smells bitter and hoppy for a stout, and I like it. I get hints of bitter black coffee.

For something that isnt an IPA, holy shit this thing is bitter. I get bittering noble hops as well bitter chocolate and black coffee. Not overly complex, as the hops and bitter flavors take over. After exhaling, I can feel a creamy smooth texture in the body, which is a nice accent to the assault of multiple sources of bitterness. The roasty malt is really only an afterthought since its overshadowed pretty heavily by the hops. A bit boozy on the back end, but for the ABV its just about right.

The more you drink it, the more the coffee comes out. Its rather impressive. The bitter hops are really almost taken over by coffee and smokey roasty malt.

A nice hop forward stout that is nice on a cold night.

VncentLIFE, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of XxNitExX
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours the color of oil, with a nice 3 musketeer inside colored head. Beautiful lacing down my tulip glass.

S - Strongly of roast and dark roasted coffee. I slight alcohol tinge, that becomes more apparent as it warms. Dark chocolate present towards the end.

T - Starts with a nice hit or roast, with some chocolate notes early. Bit of alcoholic bite follows with a very wonderful DARK roasted coffee flavor to finish. Taste lingers on the tongue just like a nice sip of joe.

M - Perfectly carbonated, but not too syrupy and thick like some RIS can be. Lingers for quite awhile with its powerful coffee taste.

O - Wonderful readily available RIS. A great go to for those cold nights (or early mornings). For what its worth I do not notice alot of chocolate, but my friend who hates chocolate thinks its very potent and avoids it just for a heads up.

XxNitExX, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of beersteak
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours the color of Brent crude. Fluffy off-white head.

Nose is hard to identify. I don't drink a lot of stout. Toasty coffee.

Taste is powerful but smooth. It delivers a tingling sensation on the tongue that warms into that characteristic toasted, slightly bitter chocolate/coffee finish.

Mouthfeel is dominated by that tingling sensation. It's addictive.

Old Rasputin truly is black gold. This beer is also one of the best values in my collection at 9 bucks for a four pack, compared to 14 - 15 for anything else that's similar in quality and size. Very highly recommended.

beersteak, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of JMWEB2
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged for 16 months...

A: Pours awesome chocolate black with decent lacing, looks like it should...

S: Heavy roast coffee smell, malty and chocolate.

T: Sweet malt flavor finished by deep chocolate awesome!

M: Full bodied for sure, feels good on way down..

O: Wow, flavor is awesome, drink it alone!

JMWEB2, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of MNJR
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is delicious, powerhouse beer making at it's finest. Dark chocolate flavors abound and the mouthfeel is sublime. I can't really say I've had a better stout. Creamy, smooth, exceptionally rich, and the aftertaste that seems to linger forever is better than anything I've had in this style of beer. Let it warm up a bit and it only gets better. Perfect companions: a nice maduro cigar and a shot of fine whisky. It gets no better.

MNJR, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of 57md
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thick and creamy head. Like with many nitros, you must wait until the beer settles before taking your first sip - but, the great visual effect of the beer settling makes the wait bearable.

The aroma is roasty with some general sweetness. The first sip yields a hearty beer with a bitter roasted finish that has a slight alcohol burn on the back end. As one drinks this gem down, the foam ring remnants divulge the size of each delicious gulp.

Since its an imperial, it could have a stronger roast profile, but no need to nitpick.

57md, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of Valmor88
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with a chocolate colored head that takes up half of the glass at first. Excellent head retention. You could take a shower and come back and it would still be there.

S: Roasted malts and chocolate and prevalent. Coffee/caramel and alcohol hints are the next most noticeable. Near the end there are some fruity esters, but I can't identify what kinds.

T: Toasty flavor. Dark chocolate with coffee/toffee and alcohol. Again, something fruity at the finish, but it's underscored by the big roasted coffee flavor also at the finish. Wow.

M: Full bodied. You get some warmth from the alcohol, but it's certainly in the background to all of the flavors.

O: One of the better Russian Imperial Stouts that I've had. Very easy to drink.

Valmor88, Oct 27, 2011
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,947 ratings.