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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.

9,008 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,008
Reviews: 3,316
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 242
Gots: 947 | FT: 31
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: 9,008 | Reviews: 3,316 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of benclimbs


4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black with a brown head and tons of lacing

Nose isn't too heavy, coffee cocoa, cinnamon and alcohol

taste is dried fruit, intricate espresso notes, chocolate with a bitter alcohol finish

mouthfeel is beautiful, silky and thick

a very nice imperial stout

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 03:23:31 | More by benclimbs
Photo of schro126


4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle on the recommendation of the clerk at my local beer store. It pours opaque with a nice dark tan head. The aroma is full of dried fruit and bitter dark malts with chocolaty undertones.
The mouthfeel is thick and velvety everything you are looking for in a RIS. The taste starts with roasty malts and smooths to a clean finish with a residual sugar that lingers. After half a glass the alcohal starts to make an appearance with a warming sensation in the chest.
Overall this is a good RIS, nothing mindblowing but a good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2009 04:37:27 | More by schro126
Photo of ShadesOfGray


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

Picked up a case Christmas Eve and wasted no time to open one up. Poured from a 12oz short bottle into my Westvleteren chalice. Pours very thick black, oil consistency. Very good strong smell while pouring...that of espresso. Provides a finger to 2 finger brown head that slowly disapates and leaves sticky thick lacing.

Aroma is dark chocolate, espresso/coffee, and roasted malts. Aroma isn't as strong as I thought it would be from the pour, but a very sweet pleasant aroma. Here goes...down the hatch...

Very solid espresso flavors. Roasted malts and sugars, not as sweet as other big name stouts like Abyss and KBS...but great and clean in it's own way. Leaves a sweet coffee flavor on the tongue.

Medium body, not as thick as it looked like it was going to be, but very satisfying and creamy.
Very good Russian Imperial Stout! A must try...this will be a regular beer at my house!

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2009 02:34:30 | More by ShadesOfGray
Photo of robobor


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

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter, this looks real good. Black with a light brown head, body is as near opaque as I've ever seen in a beer: there's no light coming through and there is minimal lacing. Smells like coffee, smells sweet. Really tastes like a coffee, has that bitter coffee acidity on the back of the tongue. Leads to a chocolatey burp. This beer stands up nicely to and complements well my dad's Christmas English Toffee. 9.0% is well hidden, I feel like I could put down quite a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2009 04:01:41 | More by robobor
Photo of augustgarage


4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I normally steer clear of nitro taps, but curiosity got the better of me last night at the Library Ale House. Served in an Old Rasputin nonic, which was a nice touch.

Thoroughly opaque black hole of a body crowned by two fat fingers of light tan, thick mocha fizz. Perpetual retention, cake-batter-like lacing, though no real legs to speak of.

Almost sour roast malt, lightly burnt bread, subtle esters from the alcohol, and a touch of weeds and citrus from the hops.

Over-roasted coffee, bread crusts, and a pungent mineral note that seems to be emphasized with this serving type. Unsweetened baker's chocolate and scalded milk lead into the surprisingly dry, almost dusty finish (vaguely brings to mind river stones, cheap hotel ice, old carpets, and other assorted phantoms). While strongly bitter, the hops don't jump out at you - a very carefully balanced beer.

Thick, soft, uniform body though a bit "artificial" in its presentation especially considering the purity of ingredients and skill in craftsmanship - I'd much prefer to see this on-cask. If I'm going to abandon my (perhaps idealized) notions of product integrity, why not go all the way and head down to The Golden State for one of their Old Rasputin beer floats?

A clean, rich, strong, yet subtle brew - highly drinkable especially considering the robust ABV and IBU.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-23-2009 16:08:20 | More by augustgarage
Photo of wknight167


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

Apearance - Pours near black with just a hint of red when held up to the light. A one finger, fine bubble light brown head lasts longer than the beer does. Lacing is more like a wall than anything else.

Nose- Solid roast malt, coffee, chocolate with some nuttiness and sweetness showing through.

Palate- Slightly sweeter than expected, but not in a bad way. Tastes as you would expect from the nose, but with toffee, and licorice notes.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, FULL bodied, medium carbonation.

Drinkability- Finishing one makes me want another.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2009 09:58:23 | More by wknight167
Photo of dciBA


4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours a nice and black with a fingers worth of light brown head that holds on for a while. Smells of smooth milk chocolate and burnt malt. Just a hint of hops.

Taste is simply perfect for the style. Lots of chocolate, coffee and plenty of earthy hops. Just the right amount of hop balance really. Very creamy and smooth in the mouth and not a hint of the high ABV. This beer always sneaks up on me when I have it on tap. So easy to toss back a pint and not even realize how much alcohol it has. I'm glad to be enjoying this one at home, but I think the draft version is slightly better. I can't help but think if I had never had this on tap then I would probably rate the bottle version perfect.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2009 01:29:29 | More by dciBA
Photo of MbpBugeye


4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my new Sam Adam's perfect pint glass.

A- Big rocky reddish tan head sits atop a black as night body. The head has excellent retention especially for this style, it leaves pretty decent lacing.

S- Raisiny and fruity on top of bourbony alcohol. It is off set by some smokey roastiness and chocolate.

T- Rich, creamy chocolate, wood, smoke, licorice, and some hop bitterness on the back end

M- Pretty nice body. Smooth, creamy and a bit sticky.

D- One of the most drinkable RIS's out there.

This was my first RIS I ever tasted. Since then the style has become one of my most favorites and this beer has become one of my staples. You should try it on nitro tap!

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 04:42:34 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of hoplover82


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

First of all, I barely ever give a beer a perfect score, but I can't find anything wrong with this beer. It is truly oustanding.

A-Pours pitch black with a mdium to small, creamy espresso crema colored head that has excellent retention and strong thick lacing. Very enticing appearance indeed.

S-The aroma is so beautiful with sweet roasted barely, toffee and notes of caramel. Maybe also some faint earthy hops in the back. No alcohol detected.

T-And the flavor is nothing short of awesome. Roasted barely, and toffee and sweet caramel and noticable bitterness from some slightly earthy hops to balance everything. No alcohol detected. There seems to be some licorice in the flavor that I did not get in the aroma. hmmm

M-This beer has a huge body and is oh so creamy and smooth. There is no harshness at all.

D-If this beer was 5% abv, I could drink this all day and night. But low and behold, it's 9% abv, so I might be able to have 2 in a night. But I love just sippin this sniffer glass full of OR RIS. Perfect RIS indeed. WOW....

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 04:09:29 | More by hoplover82
Photo of montageman


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

Poured into a tulip.

When the weather gets cold, there are few beers I enjoy more than Old Rasputin. Big, bold, & intense, but drinkable and balanced. Chocolate & coffee are the dominant flavors - notes of vanilla & black licorice are present as well. A perfect after dinner beer & with 9% ABV the warming qualities make it an ideal winter libation. Highest recommendation.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 02:30:15 | More by montageman
Photo of cbarrett4


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

Poured from tap at Horse Brass Pub in Portland:

Pours with a disappointing head fading into a lackluster lace, but with a good, rich, dark hue. Smells richly of licorice, molasses, espresso, and some dark chocolate. A little funky on the nose and that carries through the palate, possibly from the kind of hops they used. Decent texture but abrasive on the finish.

Overall good, but probably better out of the bottle with some conditioning.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2009 02:40:13 | More by cbarrett4
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass dec17 2009

A black with a thumbs worth of mocha head that falls to a 1/4inch film fairly quickly and leaves only a patch or two of lace

S smoke, chocolate, coffee and some booze

T not far off the smell but a little licorice perhaps and the alcohol is hidden a little better then on the nose

M thick creamy goodness, oh dear that sounds wrong yet feels quite right

D for the strength it's a little dangerous with out doubt, sinks like a ship and oh so worth trying.

I'm wondering if my glass was dirty, cause if so this may have been a rare A+ looks average but well ahead in all other departments. doesn't cost a fortune either here in Alberta making it just that much better, drink, think, repeat

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2009 08:30:20 | More by wordemupg
Photo of fropones


4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours nearly black with just the slightest hint of red around the edges. 2.5 fingers of mocha head with great retention. Beautiful lacing.

S - Loads of roasted roasted malt. Chocolate and coffee. Surprising amount of citrus aromas from the hops.

T - More bittersweet chocolate and burnt malt, and coffee, and delicious. Some hop bitterness as well. Very balanced, neither the bitterness nor the burnt-ness from the malt is too overpowering.

M - Damn this is creamy and smooth. Low carbonation.

D - Dangerously drinkable for 9%. A bit warming from the alcohol. Keeps me warm on these cold winter nights.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 03:30:36 | More by fropones
Photo of TommyW


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

A- Black body with a tall tan head that clings to the glass.

S- Roasted and burnt malts with some light notes of alcohol.

T- roasted and burnt bread crusts with a slightly noticeable hop profile. The hops and burnt flavor create a dry but still sweeter finish.

M- Creamy and smooth feel with a nice carbonation.

D- An awesome RIS; a great sipper on a cold day.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 18:36:53 | More by TommyW
Photo of parkeak0

District of Columbia

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

Most certainly one of the best known and most loved RIS, as evidenced by the 2000+ reviews before this one. One of the beers that got me into the craft scene. Dark as night, rich, immensely complex, it doesn't get much better than this for the style. Chances are, you've had it before, but if you haven't, I highly recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2009 07:41:16 | More by parkeak0
Photo of cnjohn19

North Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

got this beer over great conversation at dain's place in durham...pours a dark opaque with little to no head...looks thick and bold...smells of nutty sweetness, a tad of coffee beans, and def. get the alcohol...

and DAMN this beer is delicious...consistent, sweet, and very bold...malty with a smooth aftertaste...both me and my company commented how good this stout is...good work

again, smooth, bold, and full bodied all the way down...very surprised i drank this brew, considering i usually savor russian imperials...

overall, get this beer in the cold months anytime you can...you'll thank me and the others on here...

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2009 02:08:20 | More by cnjohn19
Photo of dudecandle

New York

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

A: Opaque black body with dark tan, thick, huge head with excellent retention, lacing, and cap.

S/T: Vanilla, toasted grain over chocolate, smoke, a dose of dark fruit. Smell gets a bit boozy and nutty as it opens up. On the taste, the booze doesn't dominate quite as well, but the nuts and fruit dominate the finish.

M: Full, sticky body, with an incredibly long finish.

D: Rasputin delivers a huge collection of flavors, all in great balance with each other, and still somehow never overwhelms. If I had one, I could probably enjoy a full 4-pack, assuming it wouldn't knock me out first. Brilliant.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2009 04:36:43 | More by dudecandle
Photo of wnh


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

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a thick, dense black, no discernible highlights, with a large and sustaining foamy and creamy tan head.

Smells like a good imperial stout should, packed with deeply roasted grain, black coffee, and bitter dark chocolate, all on top of a bed of sweet malt with a touch of fruitiness.

More of the same on the palate, with an intense roasted character that strongly suggests a cup of seriously black coffee, accompanied by earthy, bitter dark chocolate. Turns sweet mid-palate, showing creamy, milky caramel, before finishing with a quite large earthy hop bitterness. Finishes firm and dry, with a lingering roasty and hoppy bitterness.

Full bodied and firm, but shows hints of softness. Alcohol is well hidden at 9%. A well-made beer, and while far enough down my list of top imperial stouts, this proves to be a great value.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2009 01:13:58 | More by wnh
Photo of earthboundagain


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

From Notes:

A. Deep brown almost black. Deep brown head was not huge, but the lacing crawled across the glass and stuck like glue.

S. Big roasted malts, with some dark cocoa. The promise of hidden dark fruits is there as well.

T. Huge maltiness, roasted style. A great mix of bitter chocolate and some dark fruits. This beer has a simple but complex flavor.

M. A full bodied creaminess, with some stickiness. You can taste the nice warming alcohol. Some graininess to this puppy as well.

D. Well I am not going to say that this is a session beer because it is not, it's big and boozy and it taste as good as it warms up. This is a night cap special.

Notes: It has Rasputin on the bottle what more do you need. This great beer and is a corner stone in the world of Russian Imperial Stouts.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 21:35:08 | More by earthboundagain
Photo of Mosstrooper


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

Poured from 12oz bottle into Macado's "Halloween 2009" branded American pint glass.

Appearance: Jet black with a light brown 2-finger head that stays a long time and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate notes, and tart alcohol.

Taste: Sweet, roasted malts throughout. Finishes with sweet coffee flavors and bitterness that isn't apparent until after the finish, lingering in the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied and very smooth. Chewy, with a sticky finish.

Drinkability: Definitely a beer brewed for sipping. This is full of flavor and is delightful to drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 18:55:29 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of wahhmaster


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an inky black color with a thick frothy tan head. The head dissipates very slowly and leaves remarkable lacing.

Smell: Strong smells of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. The chocolate smells are bittersweet, almost like dark chocolate.

Taste: Subdued up front, it gains intensity as it moves to the back of your mouth. Chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and a hint of fruit (plum maybe?) come out towards the end. The result is a pleasing chocolaty aftertaste and coffee-ish burps.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, and full-bodied. Goes down smooth.

Drinkability: A great stout!! As tasty and complex as you could expect. The high alcohol content makes this potent stuff, so I'd probably only have one at a time. Nevertheless, this is one of the best beers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 16:43:23 | More by wahhmaster
Photo of billshmeinke


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

12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Pitch black. 2 finger khaki/cream head. Sticky lacy down the glass.

S: Chocolate, molasses, vanilla.

T: Roasted malts, espresso, dark chocolate bitterness up front. Vanilla, molasses and caramel sweetness midway. Some hop/smokey bitterness on the back end.

M: Full bodied. Medium-high carbonation. Warm alcohol on the throat. Very good.

D: Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2009 09:53:26 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of AndyAvalanche


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

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass. This beer pours black in color, only slight highlights of dark brown while pouring it. There is a tan colored head, similar to a cola head just less fizzy. It goes away only after a few minutes. I didn't expect to see much lacing to it, but it has a different sort of stick to it. It's almost like a syrupy consistency that every so slowly slides back down to the liquid on each sip you take. The aroma has quite a bit going on and in my opinion is much better from the bottle than on tap. As most RIS's there is a great deal of chocolate in the smell as well as the roasted malts and some roasted coffee too. The hops really stand out in the smell however, and are probably the most dominant feature. It took me several sips before I noticed how strong the hop taste was. Initially you taste the dark chocolate and roasted coffee. It's well malted too, but overpowered by the coffee and chocolate. After the 3rd sip or so, the hops again become a more dominant feature of the flavor. It's still a very tasty beer, a great combination of all the ingredients. The mouthfeel was good, but after awhile, the hops leave your moth just the slightest bit too dry. Its still full bodied while at the same time being a little silky, but it's still certainly more dry than it needs to be. This is still a very drinkable RIS, or beer in general. Consensus...I think I like it a little better from the bottle, but I'd never turn either down!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2009 22:28:02 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of argock


4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. No freshness date. Purchased as 4-pack from Harris Teeter (Charlottesville, VA) for $9.99.

A: Nearly black with ruby edges with 1/2-finger tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves a few spots of lace.

S: Strong aromas of bitter dark chocolate and cold coffee mingle with black bread with light berry alcohol and leafy hops notes

T: A big, traditional RIS with medicinal, bourbon dark malt notes taking charge but coated with heavy bittersweet chocolate and black coffee with some leafy hops thrown in. Alcohol contributes a berry-cherry note as well.

M: Thick and viscous but not as chewy as you might imagine. A little oatmeal in the mix might cut the light astringency and give this a little more smoothness.

D: A classic stout which I like better in the bottle for temperature control purposes. It has a heavy medicinal quality with a pretty boozy profile overall, but the bitter chocolate and coffee notes are artfully woven in. I'm going to leave a few of these for a few months and try them serially every 3-4 months to see if there is much evolution.

12/5/2009: Consumed after a Founders Breakfast Stout, and the contrast is substantial. Much sweeter and boozier with a more traditional dark malt sweetness with a more bitter chocolate component with a light bourbon note. Not much different than the fresh OR.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2009 03:41:01 | More by argock
Photo of chickenm

British Columbia (Canada)

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

Pours a dark brown color with a decent tan color head. Aromas of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and bitter espresso. Great taste, the bitterness is perfectly balanced in this. Very warming from the alcohol but not too overwelming. Very chewy mouthfeel. An extremely tasty Imperial Stout, highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2009 22:09:35 | More by chickenm
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,008 ratings.