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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.

9,516 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,516
Reviews: 3,341
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 275
Gots: 1,164 | FT: 34
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: 9,516 | Reviews: 3,341 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HotHands


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%

A - pours black as night with a very large tan head.

S - chocolate and coffee, with maybe a hint of tobacco.

T - roasted malt, coffee, and a bit of chocolate up front, giving way to licorice flavors. Some toasted nut flavors thrown in the mix too. A bit of subdued sweetness. Finish is bitter and a bit boozy.

M - creamy but not too slick, with nice carbonation.

D - Yeah, it's a sipper like most imperial stouts, but it is well balanced and not too sweet.

This is a great imperial stout available at a great price. Imperial stouts are not my go to style but I enjoyed this regardless. I'd also be interested in trying this with a bit of age on it to see the boozy flavors mellowed out.

12-22-2010 03:43:40 | More by HotHands
Photo of BeerLover99


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%

A: deep black, trace head lays on top, subtle lacing.

S: chocolate, licorice, coffee, roasted nuts, carmel molasses, with booze aroma in background.

T: sweet, boozy, and hint of bitter. chocolate, coffee, toasted nuts + toffee, hint of smokiness, mild vanilla. incredibly complex flavors that almost trick your tongue with each sip. What a flavorful adventure.

M: big, heavy body with firm carbonation, but still goes down with ease.

D: amazing sipper! The booze will warm you with ease and the flavors will warm your soul.

12-21-2010 02:06:28 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of ThePorterSorter


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

Terrifically dark and and rich. There was an impressive head that formed initially, but it quickly withered. Held up to the light there is only 12am blackness. Lacing is prevalent down the sides of the glass.

Smells sugary sweet and rich. There is a malty goodness that this beer gives off, but you can almost tell that drinking it will present a new element of bitterness. Very velvety smooth smelling, almost milky, which makes this beer seem more like a meal in a glass than just a drink accompaniment.

Tastes nice and bitter with a great balance. Upfront creaminess and a very nice following aftertaste. I definitely was reminded of all of the best stouts I've ever had while drinking this. The beer is supreme, and it exemplifies its class. There is great depth of flavor followed by tremendous balance. I get notes of milk chocolate, rich, roasted coffee, and a bitter hoppiness.

Smooth beer that you can either sip or gulp. Try it cool or room temp., it's still going to be a tremendous beer. You would probably benefit the most from trying this beer before a big meal because it is very dense. However, this beer feels like a dessert, so if you can handle the challenge, make a move and you will definitely feel good about turning down the tiramisu for a beer of this caliber.

This beer feels like a dark chocolate smoothie that hides the 9% abv very well. I drank it up before finishing this review and definitely would get it again. Super stoutilicious and great for the cold winter months. Try the beer once, you will be sold on it as well as stouts in general. All other beers in its class will have to work that much harder to make an impression.

12-18-2010 04:50:18 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of hooliganlife


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

vintage 2.5 year old bottle (from the date i bought it, not sure when it was bottled)

poured into a tulip

pours jet black with a nice cocoa head that really hangs around. fills the entire tulip and just sits there. i mean, it seriously refuses to budge. lacing just caked the glass.

very rich. lots of chocolate, coffee, toffee, caramel, truffle candies, very rich all around.

taste is much like the smell, only sweeter. this really has blended well. lots of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt. hints of caramel and toffee beneath. light citrus hop finish.

very smooth, nothing harsh about this. i always felt when fresh, it had a roughness (not that i am complaining, i love it). the body feels a bit thinner than i recall though. carbonation has a bit of a bite. sweetness lines the teeth and gums.

time treated this well, this is really delicious. really no trace of the alcohol what so ever. i plan on aging some more of these.

12-18-2010 02:39:46 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of TheBrewo


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

This brew pours a motor oil black. We get a nice medium brown colored head of two fingers, which retains for a bit, then dissipates into a bubbly film across the top of the liquid. Spotty and sparse lacing appears as we sip. The aroma is huge in roasty malts. There is typical dark chocolate and a healthy alcoholic aroma, with subtle hints of fresh coffee bean wafting in and out. Hops are also abundant, making for a balance through the nose. The taste buds are assaulted with deeply roasted malts at the very front. Therein mixes a bittersweet dark chocolate that is more bitter than sweet. This affectively rolls back on the palate through the middle of the taste. Here there is also a curious organicness to it. There is dark, peppery spice, and incredibly subtle flavors almost similar to a vegetable juice (tomato and cucumber come to mind). The finish is robustly malty, but cleanly hoppy, and a bit sweet. As the sip departs the drinker breathes coffee remnants, ghostly hops, and more roasted malt. The body is full, with an almost syrupy feel. The carbonation is light and, while the mouth is left coated, once that dissolves it is dried. The abv is nice and high, as it should be, and this warming beer is a sipper.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its robust attitude. The aroma was dark and foreboding, but also inviting with its sweetness of hops. The taste is very much the same way, but is nicely balanced and complex. This is a delicious brew and, if you only have one or two of them, it becomes difficult to kill.

12-18-2010 00:59:43 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of MoreThanWine


4.47/5  rDev +4%

I had the joy of having two of these at a nice restaurant with a good team of co-workers. Poured dark as coffee. Only 1/8" of head but that head seemed immortal. Smell and taste are packed with chocolate and dark roasted malts. Just a delightful example of Russian Imperial Stout. Even one of the non-beer drinkers at the table begrudgingly tried it and agreed they really liked it.

12-17-2010 10:28:06 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of CaptDavyJones

New York

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

A dark brown color which turns pitch black in the glass after pouring from a short, stubby 12 oz bottle with the "mad monk" and ABV on the label, no freshness date.
A decent head that dissipates quickly after pouring. The aroma is high on roasted malts and coffee.
Smooth, silky mouthfeel with taste high on coffee, akin to burnt/roasted coffee along with roasted nuts, dark extra bitter cocoa/chocolate and finishing with a sharp bitter (hoppy) aftertaste. The taste gets better as the beer warms up. Very good lacing along the glass as I sipped it.
The ABV content slowly makes its presence felt as the beers warms you up. This is a solid imperial stout, absolutely delicious.
It is definitely a sipper and a must-have for any stout lover. Very highly recommended.

12-17-2010 06:19:04 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of KickInTheChalice


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: Mahogany, or close to midnight black color, with an evil ruby tint in just the very edge of the glass. A smooth, creamy brown head cascades a little bit before forming and retains nicely. Thick sticky lace clings all over the glass.

Smell: A whole spectrum of roasted malt, great coffee and vanilla aromas, and a bit of chocolate.

Taste: Dark roasted and chocolate malt starts, then espresso sneaks in, bringing in a ton of dark chocolate and some vanilla flavors. The coffee bitterness lingers into the finish, with a bit of spice and citrusy hops to finish it out.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, creamy carbonation, just the slightest bit sticky. Slight alcoholic burn on the way down. Leaves my tongue tingling a bit as well.

Drinkability: Aside from how awesome it is to drink a beer whose namesake may or may not have brought down the Romanov dynasty, this is just a damn good beer. Very drinkable, even at 9%.

12-17-2010 04:26:47 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

12oz Bottle

My 300th beer review; looking forward to the next 300.

Appearance - The beer pours a dark brown/black colour with a very large frothy and rocky light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is very nice lacing running down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to disappear.

Smell - coffee, malts, chocolate, hops, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - The beer doesn't have a whole lot of carbonation, but it feels very light and creamy on the palette. It's packed full of chocolate and coffee flavour mixed with malts. There is also a lot of bitterness from the coffee and the hops. The beer gives a warming feeling in my chest but the alcohol isn't really detectable. The beer finishes with little bit of a peppery/spicy aftertaste.

Drink - This is a flavour packed full bodied beer that is a must try. It's extremely drinkable and perfect during the winter/colder months.

12-16-2010 23:43:36 | More by spinrsx
Photo of TheQuietMan22


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Appearance: Straight pour into a becker glass. The color is a deep, completely opaque black; no light passed through when I held it to my lamp. A thick, three-finger head of cappuccino-colored foam developed and dissipated very slowly to leave a ring around the edge.

Smell: Loads of roasted glory. Roasted chocolate, coffee, and caramel malts. There is also a nice toffee and molasses sweetness to keep the aroma balanced. There are also hints of dark berries: to me it smelled like blueberry and raspberry. There is a little dark fruit in the mix as well. It is a very enticing aroma.

Taste: More roasted glory, and the first sip was a shock of burnt bitterness; the overpowering intensity, though, passed after a couple sips. Roasted chocolate and coffee malts. The caramel from the smell is there, but it instead adds a touch of sweetness. The taste is nutty and also features flavors of dark fruit (perhaps plum), toffee, molasses, and vanilla. Way deep down, at the very end of each sip, is a noticeable alcohol edge that tickles the back of the throat, but it is very faint and does nothing to interfere with the other flavors.

Drinkability: Excellent beer. It is very complex, flavorful, and warming. Drink six of these and I will guarantee you will wake up with a headache (at least I will).

12-15-2010 23:21:23 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of allrizz


4.13/5  rDev -4%

This is the first RIS I've tasted and it is quite impressionable.

One of the reviews said the head reminded him of a reversed oil spill. I can't help but to agree. When I poured this bottle the first impression I got was that it looked like I spilled oil, not that that is a bad thing, looks are deceiving.

The head stayed at about two fingers and slowly dissipated. The color was very dark, which I like.

When I sniffed the glass the flavors that aroused my senses were molasses, coffee, and caramel.

The flavors I tasted were chocolate, coffee, molasses, and caramel all brought together with a nutty finish.

Without doubt a very bold flavor that remained with me after I finished the glass.

I recommend Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. I may even try brewing a batch myself. :)

12-15-2010 00:18:38 | More by allrizz
Photo of Satchboogie

New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%

From notes reviewed on 12/6/10 (re-reviewed 3/23/11):
12oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass

A: Pours pitch black and completely opaque. Huge 2-finger foamy mocha head on a fairly aggressive pour. Sticks around for a while. Has a little lacing. Picture perfect looking stout.

S: A TON of dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee. Molasses/burnt sugar, bitter hops. A lot of bitterness coming out of the nose

T: Tastes very similar to the nose. Dark, bitter chocolate, coffee, and molasses are strong. There's a ton of robust dark roasted malt, almost on the verge of char. The hops are quite strong, mainly floral and leafy. The alcohol is definitely evident and makes it just a little boozy. The finish is dry and has that bitter leafy hop astringency. There's just a ton of bitterness in this, a bit too much for my taste (for a stout).

M: Medium carbonation, body seems a little thin, it is chewy, but overall, not that smooth or viscous.

O: Not a bad RIS, certainly a great value, but a bit too bitter for my taste with too much leafy hop presence. A couple years on this could really do wonders.

12-14-2010 21:33:41 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of TCHopCraver


3.98/5  rDev -7.4%

Reviewed from notes written on 11/28/10.

Rasputin has the prototypical RIS look. The body has a deep black hue with a slight mocha-brown tint. A dense dark khaki to mocha head sits at a one-finger hight above that body. The head takes a while to fade and leaves a cloudy and bubbly, full-covering film of froth. The lacing is phenomenal - sticky, sizzling with carbonation, substantial, and sexy.

Roasted malts with a bit of a nutty tinge tickle my nostrils at first whiff. Behind those scents lie a hearty acidic coffee aroma, and just a hint of dark chocolate. Very subtle notes of plum and blackberry also infiltrate my nose.

The bitter flavors of the roasted malt, coffee, nuttiness, and a slight hop presence zap the tip of my tongue and sides of my mouth, while the deeper flavor of plum and dark chocolate massage the fat of my tongue. I've had this beer several times prior to reviewing, and I don't remember it being this roasty and bitter. Perhaps this bottle is really fresh and the roasted malt and hops haven't mellowed out yet. The roasty-ness and bitterness do outweigh the deep, coating sweet flavors in this bottle, for sure, and it is to the overall detriment of the taste.

The feel in my mouth is puckering and coating at the same time. It is a pretty medium to full feel on the broad of my tongue with a crisp and biting, cleansing feeling on the sides of my palate. This has got to be a really fresh bottle, as I think there is a huge bittering hop presence.

The drinkability of this bottle is tough to rate for me because I know I've had Rasputin before when it has been much less bitter and more drinkable. I think I need to start a campaign for all breweries to label when the beer was bottled. I have had too many disappointing bottles of beer because there is no bottling date on the label. For me, this was too roasty and hoppy, but I have had Rasputin when it is not that way. What's a beer drinker to do?

12-13-2010 22:34:30 | More by TCHopCraver
Photo of svendryden


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

Obtained my 4-pack based on a friends suggestion. So glad I heeded it. Filled my pint glass with over an inch of head, took quite awhile to pour, increasing the anticipation.

A - Deep black with a slight tint of amber. A foamy tan head that makes this beer look like an inverted oil spill. I love that my wife cringes when I drink it because she can't imagine consuming something so menacing.

S - Dark chocolatey, the kind I would normally steer clear of in solid form, but always smells great. Also it's got the morning roasted coffe scent going. And finally a hint of smokiness.

T - As with the smell, strong chocolate followed by the coffee finish. A bitterness that's welcoming.

M - Smooth and full. Not the thickess as one would assume from the look, but enough that your mouth is coated after a few drinks and you can continue to swallow air and it tastes like your still drinking the beer. Near Perfect.

D - I expected a moderatley slow drink, but surprisingly the 9.0 ABV doesn't stand out. I find myself sadened that in the time it took to write the review I seem to have finished the beer. This 4-pack could go very quickly indeed.

12-12-2010 19:54:19 | More by svendryden
Photo of Army


4.68/5  rDev +8.8%

a: Head builds to a ¼ inch of rusty tan foam and is sustained throughout drinking. A lacy network of foam surrounds the glass as the black fluid is drained. Numerous large bubbles continue to feed into the head throughout.

s: Sweet chocolate caramel aroma predicts the flavors to follow.

t: Coffee and chocolate flavors dominate the flavor with sweet caramel backgrounds. There is a bitterness and bite to this brew that is well balanced by the malty sweetness.

m: Big bubbles and very full body contribute to the velvet smooth feel.

d: Bitter coffee aftertaste leaves you wanting another drink. Its warm and enticing flavor and feel are perfect for a cold winter night. A very hardy beer of sustenance.

12-11-2010 16:13:49 | More by Army
Photo of optimistictour


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

This was probably my first RIS and I never knew it. At a place called Barcade in Brooklyn, I perused an immaculately populated rotating menu of brews and chose the one which sounded heaviest. Along with the description of the many ways it took to kill the titular Russian, the menu mentioned dark chocolate and coffee bitterness, and a snifter glass. I was intrigued enough to order two.

But this isn't a review of that beer. This is me, a year later, experiencing my now-favorite style via a 4 pack purchased at the highly dependable Ladd's & Co. in Norton Shores, MI.

I've got to say, it stands up to almost any beer out there with the visuals. Midnight black with a serious dark tan head, the kind of oily pouring action that excites my taste buds, it's a looker. Maybe not the very best but it's up there.

Smell is beyond solid. But it's a sort of monolithic goodness, with a lack of distinctive signature - just a huge awesome coffee chocolate bitter smoky olfactory massage. It's a treat but not so interesting, you know?

Taste is like some sort of pirate spokesman for the RIS world. It says, here lay vast treasures, arggghhh, that welcome you in with the rich aroma of fresh brewed coffee and a healthy dollop of semi-sweet chocolate, roasting atop golden boughs of majestic maltiness.

Mouthfeel is, to put it lightly, superb. This thing seems to have a perfect balance of carbonation and heaviness. It's thick but washes away quickly. Basically, yeah, combined with the taste it's a winner here too.

Drinkability is off the charts for something resting around 9% abv. This thing could easily pass for a porter in the 6% range. That is, until you've had a few...

12-11-2010 06:46:16 | More by optimistictour
Photo of mattgreger


4.47/5  rDev +4%

Had this brew at Capone's on Nitro

This brew poured as black as it gets. There is absolutely no light coming through on this brew. This brew had a huge mocha color head that mushroomed over the top of the glass. Throughout the drink, the lacing walled the sides of the glass, even remaining when the brew was gone.

Wow, malts. The aroma hits you at the start. It has a nice sweet flavor with a nice hearty alcohol backbone. There is a caramel, chocolate and coffee malts present, maybe more. There is also a touch of some dark fruits as well, especially prunes.

As expected, the malt character shined through in the taste, as they did in the aroma. The chocolate malts dominate the brew. There is a bit of the dark fruits present in the taste, but the malts push them to teh back of the brew. This brew is very sweet for a stout, especially with one with such a high ABV. There is not really alcohol burn. So this brew has a nice bold flavor.

The mouthful on this one is very creamy. It coats very well, and goes done very easily. The chocolate taste stays for quite a while. It has a nice bold brew, with a nice sweet/chocolate finish.

This brew is a pretty good drink, especially for the ABV. Its not overly think, but creamy and goes down super easy. Its not a chugger by any means, but a great brew to take a gulps of. An amazing stout.

12-11-2010 04:12:05 | More by mattgreger
Photo of MuddyMcGinny

New Jersey

4.65/5  rDev +8.1%

12 oz. bottle angry pour to a English nonic.

Motor oil Black Sabbath black with a HUGE 2+ finger head that almost flowed over, didn't mean to pour too hard - oops!, but a firm hearty insane mocha colored froth with a hint of commie reddish ruby overtone... ha!... comes back strong on a good swirl o' the glass when halfway thru with really good lacing as well.

Nose of bitter coffee and sweetness of malt. Medium-firm body with robust flavors throughout... a little smoke and fire, obvious coffee bitter, malts and dark fruit earthiness. Alcohol hidden very well. A good bite on the tongue at first sip but mellows to malty awesomeness as the pint dwindles.

Had a bottle at Downtown Bar & Grill Brooklyn for the first time in a while and just had to pick up a four pack today. One of my all time favorites. Would give 5's across the board but only the beer gods can create a perfect beer! Well done.

12-11-2010 02:41:20 | More by MuddyMcGinny
Photo of GarrettMD

New York

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

A - As black as it gets. I don't even see any light coming through the edges of the glass. Half finger mocha colored head, falls to a layer of similarly colored bubbles. Lots of visible carbonation rising up on the sides of the glass.

S - Malts malts and more malts. Smells sweet with a good alcohol backbone. Coffee chocolate and caramel are the main malt aromas. Some dark fruits come through as well.

T - Those malt characters are definitely carried through the taste. Chocolate dominates this time though. Dark fruits are pushed way to the back to make room for the malts. Still tastes very sweet for a stout this high in ABV. No noticeable alcohol burn though this is a rather old bottle so that could have faded with time.

M - Creamy, coats the mouth and slides down the throat very easily. Chocolate taste lingers for a long time. Finish, like the rest of the beer, is sweet and chocolate-y.

D - Very good drinkability for the ABV. Not too thick, not too hot to take larger gulps, though not a beer I would want to go through too quickly. Fantastic overall beer, one of my favorite stouts.

12-10-2010 01:09:37 | More by GarrettMD
Photo of ryan1788a5


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Midnight black with a two-finger tan head. Great retention, patchy lacing.

S: Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, hints of vanilla, earthy and herbal hops with suggestions of pine and mint. Subtle hints of plums and dark berries. Woody and smokey aromas too.

T: Roasted malts, dark chocolate, plum, black raspberries, earthy and herbal hops with a touch of pine. Long finish is nutty, woody, and very smokey with some roasted coffee thrown in for good measure. Warming alcohol sensation soothes the palate and the soul.

M: Moderately thick, very smooth and creamy.

D: This is a sipper, as befits the style.

Notes: Excellent. This was one of my first favorites, and that still holds true. This beer has been around for a long time, and it still holds up to the competition.

12-09-2010 19:24:55 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of ixodus

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -8.6%

A: Pitch black with a small tan head that disappears rather quick. Leaves little lacing.

S: Very aromatic. Chocolate, Coffee, Roasted Malts. Your typical RIS.

T: Loads of dark chocolate, deep roasted malts and coffee. I also got some notes of anise.

M: Full bodied, creamy and smooth.

D: Very drinkable

12-09-2010 03:43:52 | More by ixodus
Photo of mbusster88

New York

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%

Poured into tulip from 12oz bottle.

A: Jet black body with no apparent carbonation. Tan head is very thick and holds up for a while. Lacing is forming very well on the glass as well.

S: Definitely get the typical RIS smells, chocolate and coffee dominate this. Nice roasted aroma is not overpowering, but really gives extra character to the beer. Actually get some astringent aromas from the hops in the back.

T/M: Very malty up front with tons of chocolate. Then get some coffee bitterness and some dark chocolate notes. Very smooth body, and some hop characters hiding in the background of this one.

D: Great RIS that has wonderful flavor, and a great aroma profile. This one is a must have if you have not had it before.

12-08-2010 02:00:51 | More by mbusster88
Photo of chicagoabbot


4.68/5  rDev +8.8%

Well they finally made a beer as black as the devil's soul and it's quite simply tops. It's 6 degrees outside tonight and the floor of my basement keeps Old Rasputin at the perfect drinking temperature. You can usually find a few of these in my fridge even in the summer, really wonderful. I love Samuel Smith's RIS and other examples of the style, but Old Rasp is the one I always seem to grab off the shelf.

12-07-2010 04:34:32 | More by chicagoabbot
Photo of bucklemyshoe


4.03/5  rDev -6.3%

I'm finally getting around to reviewing this even though I've enjoyed it many times.

12 oz. bottle at 45* into a snifter.

A: This obviously pours pitch black with a finger and a half of small-bubbled, khaki-colored head. It actually looks similar to FBS but the lacing doesn't quite match up.

S: The nose is of chocolate, espresso, dark fruits, perhaps some licorice; the typical repertoire of the style.

T: The taste shows the notes of coffee and chocolate, but the sweet and sour dark fruits that take over set it apart from most imperial stouts.

M: This is surprisingly light on the palate which is definitely a negative aspect. On the plus side, it does not show any boozy heat or stickiness.

D: This is a solid RIS that retails at a better price than most, and it pairs very well with chocolate.

12-06-2010 04:10:36 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of bluecoat


4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

As far as stouts go, this is pretty good. Hopped up but not too much for my taste. Hops are mild and spicy, but not overpowering. As for the malt, it has notes of anise, espresso, and mollases. Very well balanced as far as stouts go. Very drinkable, even if it's not my favorite.

12-05-2010 07:00:10 | More by bluecoat
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,516 ratings.