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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.

9,020 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,020
Reviews: 3,317
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 243
Gots: 950 | 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: 9,020 | Reviews: 3,317 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DeeMented


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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a glass beer mug.

The beer poured a dark, rich black that refused to let any light through. The head was thick and tan. It looked like it was going to pour with a thin head, but it kept growing after the pour, until it peaked all thick and frothy. All manner of lacing followed it down.

It's going to sound strange, but this beer smelled as dark as it looked. Strong toasted, (almost burned), malts dominated, but there was a hint of licorice, a bit of coffee, and a bit of chocolate that all merged together, so the nose was different for each sniff.

The mouthfeel wasn't as heavy as it looked. It was carbonated well enough to lighten it up. Kind of a medium feel.

The taste followed the complexity of the nose. It began with the sweet, toasted malts, and finished with more of a hops/coffee bitterness than I expected. Don't read that as a bad thing. The finish left me feeling warm and flushed. There was a lingering scorched chocolate flavor that lingered after the bitterness faded.

As it warmed, the flavors harmonized a bit more, but the hops bite always dominated the finish.

A good, big beer, this is made for sipping slowly. I've found it pairs quite nicely with warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2009 22:01:38 | More by DeeMented
Photo of haddon


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: had another bottle 12/28/10 and wow! tasted like a totally different beer. not sure if my palate has changed or what but I love it.

Appearance- 3.5/4.5- very frothy 3-finger head
smell- 3.5/4- same notes but more pronounced
Taste- 3.5/4.5- very multi-layered and delicious


A- pours dark almost black in color not much of a head. minimal lacing down the glass

S- toasted nuts, malts, coffee and chocolate

T- molasses, strong malty backbone. bitter chocolate and espresso

M- very smooth on the palate. medium body with good amount of carbonation

D- really good RIS. has a lot of flavors for a stout. very enjoyable

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2009 02:14:37 | More by haddon
Photo of heath1agnew


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

A- great black color with a thick tan head and good lacing.

S- dark fruits, a bit of a metallic smell.

T&M- dark chocolate and coffee, with a nice bitter finish. mouthfeel is not too heavy.

D- good drinkability for russian imperial.

finally got hold of another great beer, they are hard to come by where i live.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2009 20:05:51 | More by heath1agnew
Photo of Long813

Ontario (Canada)

4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

G: Pint

A: Thumb of head in a dark mocha colour. Head retention was stellar, with fine lacing. Pitch black body

S: Chocolate, caramel, molasses, alcohol, coffee

T: Roasted malt., coffee, chocolate, molasses

M: Full bodied, creamy texture, low carbonation, with very little evidance of alcohol

D: Unlike other of this style, the alcohol content is masked very well making this easier to drink more of. The complexity of flavours are perfectly balanced creating a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2009 16:45:22 | More by Long813
Photo of Psyopticon


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Was in bottle, but could tell this was a pretty dark beer.

Smell - Some dark roasted malts. Caramel and Molasses.

Taste - BAM! Damn good taste. Can taste some hints of Molasses, chocolate, coffee, and caramel.

Mouthfeel - Pretty syrupy... But doesn't make it bad. Light carbonation. Full bodied.

Drinkability - This is a damn good beer. And is probably one of my new favorite stouts. But the high ABV makes this a one drink only thing. I'm pretty buzzed while writing this. :D


Serving type: bottle

10-08-2009 19:24:38 | More by Psyopticon
Photo of grayburn

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is really one of the first RIS' that I tried, finally coming back to it, excellent beer.
Pours a midnight black with a smallish tan crown that fades a little too quickly.
The smell and taste are dominated by the roastiness and chocolatey grain flavour that have made this style so f'in popular. Excellent blending of flavors, everything really melds together in this brew, there is plenty of hop bittering to keep things from being overly sweet.
The mouthfeel is rich and creamy, definitely my favorite characteristic of this beer.
The drinkability is pretty good, about as good as can be expected from such a big beer. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2009 18:00:25 | More by grayburn
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Matilda Glass

Pours ½ finger of dark tan head. Fades down to a thin layer leaving some lace rings. Color is a dark chocolate brown, pretty much black.

Aroma: Chocolate malts, coffee, some heat, dark dried fruits, molasses. Burnt, roasted malts. A very well done RIS.

Taste: Very syrupy, chocolate malts, roasted malts, coffee, dark dried fruits, cherries. Too syrupy for me.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and syrupy. Full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends with a burnt roasted malt aftertaste.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer, but I have had far better RIS. This one seems to be a syrupy mess. I will easily get this again because it is decent and the price is low.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2009 22:02:25 | More by mothman
Photo of siradmiralnelson


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into New Belgium Globe glass.

A. Poured 3 fingers of thick dark tan head. Leaves massive amounts of lacing on the side of the glass. Head retention was great. Took close to 5 minutes to go down. Color is pure black.

S. Smell is amazing. Chocolate, caramel, molasses, alcohol, coffee, roastiness.

T. Taste is big on the roasted malt. Coffee, chocolate, alcohol, molasses. High ABV is masked pretty well.

M. Mouthfeel is full bodied. Nice creamy mouthfeel. Leaves a sweet coating on the mouth.

D. This one goes down smooth. Old Rasputin is a full rich beer, so im not sure I would want more than one in a sitting. That being said it is definitely one to keep coming back to. I would say that this is one of the best examples of the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2009 00:18:04 | More by siradmiralnelson
Photo of Wegbier


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

finally drinking the last one, which i bought back in March 09.

a- black as black can be with a mocha froth head, small and reduces to to nearly nothing. no lacing to speak of

s- chocolate licorice coffee, so subtle and smooth

t- similarly so chocolaty smooth all the way through, dark chocolate, light amount of licorice, some caramel coffee. I remember it being packed full of coffee when it was fresh. so much cream

m- smooth and very lightly carbonated with a full mouth. very friendly alcohol on the finish. long long after taste of dark bitter chocolate, excellent.

so drinkable not too heavy for as full and flavorful as it is.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2009 23:03:25 | More by Wegbier
Photo of natelocc787


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

Old Rasputin...In my circle the name says it all. Nice thick, black/brown body with about every shade of brown visible in the head. A large head emerges after the pour smelling of roasted malt, espresso, milk chocolate and dark chocolate and vanilla bean. As the head fizzles slowly, thick chunks of milk chocolate mousse lace appear at the sides of the glass and craters are formed at the zenith. The taste is magnificent: graham cracker, molasses, espresso, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, hot fudge syrup and light toffee. All flavors complement the roasty black malt backbone. Very thick and chewy as a top notch RIS should be. Luxurious mouthfeel. Very invigorating as it fulfills all expectations. Simply put, still the RIS all others are judged by.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2009 02:56:10 | More by natelocc787
Photo of Spineypanda


4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin!

This brew is as dark as the man himself!

Extremely dark and with a head that lasts for quite a long time. Coffee and Dark Chocolate tastes that mix well with the heavy hop flavor. Strong beer for strong taste.

Probably one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I have had, and have had many times before... and will have many many times again.

I enjoyed this beer in a mug at a slightly chilled temperate, maybe about 58 degrees.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2009 00:37:53 | More by Spineypanda
Photo of t3hcho53non3


4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark black color with a good one fingered head that quickly subsides but leaves supple lacing throughout the glass.

S: Malty sweetness, bready, roasted oak

T: Very rich earthy flavor that goes down remarkably smooth and at the end of the palate a roastiness that ends on a dry note

M: Very full bodied with little to no carbonation

D: Very drinkable and the evolution of this brew warrants a second go around.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2009 20:23:43 | More by t3hcho53non3
Photo of GRG1313


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

Bottle version of the three version taste test this night (Nitro, regular tap and bottle).

Black with a thick pillow like head. As nice as the tap but not as firm as the nitro;

Nose of bitter dark chocolate and fresh espresso. Nose from the bottle is actually a bit more assertive than on tap or nitro. Also has a bit more of a hop character than the tap.

Again however, great flavors of bitter chocolate, coffee/espresso and malt/toffee/carmel with hints of bitter and roasted grains.

Medium to full mouthfeel with a bit of creamy character.

Long coffee/espresso bitter chocolate finish. An all around great drink.

Bottle version is my least favorite but, having said that, I'll drink the bottle version any time! Very nice beer!

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2009 06:28:55 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Duttonic


3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is strong. It reminds me a lot of black licorice. Great appearance and mouthfeel, but I had trouble downing a pint of it.

The smell was intense and dark, but inviting. I would like to try this out of a bottle rather than from a tap to see if there is a noticeable difference in taste. Worth trying if you enjoy stouts.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2009 21:28:21 | More by Duttonic
Photo of smallbatchbrewer

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark caramel/coffee color with .5 inch head that settled fast into a short layer of bubbly head

S- Malty, sweet bread, some oak as well

T- Dark roasted flavors, some yeast and coffee as well

M- Rich, with a slight presence of tannin just enough to pull a little moisture out of the pallet. This one is creamy and finishes a bit dry

D- For a darker beer it has a lot going on, could very well be sessionable but at 9%abv, watch out

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2009 03:39:16 | More by smallbatchbrewer
Photo of Bajasith


3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow... Poured very dark with a slight two finger head.

As I do with all my first taste beers, the light test... strong thin gold rim obove dark reddish tint body.

Strong fruity smell, almost like a red wine with slight sulfuric lingering aroma... which made this beer very appealing.

Very strong earthy flavor that goes down very smooth. Very little lingering burnt aftertaste which makes this beer very drinkable. I really enjoyed drinking this beer for the first time.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2009 20:57:41 | More by Bajasith
Photo of Casey10


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

Wow this was on sale for 7.99 a 4 pack so excited to try this at a great pricepoint as well.

A - Pours a dark black with a two finger head.

S - slight chocolate, faint notes of burnt ends.

T - Nice, smooth chocolate, based on other stouts this one is topps, really good.

M - Frothy, chocolate, nice really nice

D - Could drink this over and over as is a really nice stout not to turn down !

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2009 01:23:30 | More by Casey10
Photo of diamondc


4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin is definitely one of the best values in craft beer today. A four-pack only set me back $9 and change.

No bottled on or best buy date anywhere on the bottle or case.

This beer looks magnificent in a over-sized pint glass. Motor oil black, with a ruby red tint when held up to the light. The head stays around for a while .. mocha colored valleys and peaks of foam with sticky lacing.

The first smell is unexpectedly of ripe dark fruits .. sour, red fleshed plums and black cherries. The prerequisite aromas of coffee and cocoa are present in the background.

The roasted malts are the highlight here .. lots of dark chocolate and cocoa nib flavors. Vanilla, caramel, and licorice all come into play with a moderate amount of pine-y hops at the end.

One of the most drinkable Russian imperial stouts out there. Despite having a high ABV %, the alcohol is unnoticeable. The roastedness never detracts from the drinkability. With a lot of different flavors coming out from cold to room temperature, this beer is a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2009 07:31:32 | More by diamondc
Photo of apbarwood


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

Pours like motor oil with a light-tan head. It goes away fairly quickly but there's a decent amount of lace for a higher ABV beer. Aromas of roasted coffee and the darkest chocolate imaginable. Very pleasant but not as aromatic as it could have been. There's a ton of depth in the flavor with the roasted notes taking the forefront. The coffee/bittersweet chocolate flavor starts with a dark cherry fruit flavor peaking through in the middle. It was very subtle but it was there. The finish came on nicely with a roasted coffee bitterness. Nice, chewy mouthfeel that made me feel like there was ground up coffee and cocoa powder floating in the beer. One of the most delicious stouts I've had to date. A definite must try and something I'll drink again.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2009 03:48:52 | More by apbarwood
Photo of rickmick


4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Opened the bottle then poured into a hefty mug.

A thick head hangs around for a couple of minutes, then flees. The brew is very black. Enticing. Not much going on in the aroma department.

This is extremely tasty. Not terribly complex, but a very nice barleyish flavor dominates the finish. Mouthfeel is phenomenal--one of the best feeling beers I've ever had. Drinkable for a RIS.

One of the best RISs around.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2009 01:27:40 | More by rickmick
Photo of washburnkid

New York

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

I've had this fine beer before, but haven't had a chance to review it yet. Enjoyed in a snifter.

A: 3 fingers of a dark tan head that's bubbly and inviting. The body is pitch black, with the head sliding so slowly down and ever so gorgeous. There's a nice thick cap of retention, too.
S: Roasted super bitter dark chocolate, ripe berries, lightly roasted espresso bean. Very malt heavy, as expected. A bit of alcohol on the nose.
T: Flavors are huge on chocolate and espresso. Massive, really. Some of the most intensely concentrated combination of these flavors I've ever experienced. Lots of alcohol, but it's mellowed in each sip by the chocolate.
M: Heavy mouthfeel and high carbonation. Tons of bittersweet residuals.
D: Damn...this is really incredible. An amazing beer, and available all year long. If you haven't tried it...what's taking so long?!

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2009 23:52:27 | More by washburnkid
Photo of MisterSH


4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rather creepy looking 12 oz bottle poured into a smuttynose big beer tulip. I love the packaging on this beer. "Never say die"

Pours Jet black, with a big, fluffy head that practically explodes out of the beer and refuses to leave once it arrives.

Smell is dominated by dark chocolate. There is raspberry, some bready notes but overall quite sweet on the nose, reminiscent of a raspberry chocolate bar.

Taste is RICH with coffee, raisin, dark chocolate, some toast. Quite a clean finish with some breadiness left on the palate. Some hops on the finish become increasingly noticeable as the brew warms a bit. Alcohol is shockingly well masked and is not particularly prominent at all, save a slight finishing warmth.

Mouthfeel is somewhat syrupy, but not overly heavy or thick as I had expected it to be. Very low on the carb, unexpectedly clean and crisp on the tongue.

Rich, bold and delicious, am I wrong in still being a bit underwhelmed? This is a fine beer, but considering its following and the hype surrounding it, I was expecting something completely mind-blowing, which I did not quite get. What I did find was an all around tasty, drinkable stout that I will gladly keep around as a dependable standby now that I've figured out where to find it in my area.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2009 22:32:13 | More by MisterSH
Photo of unclejimbay


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

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
North Coast Brewing Co.
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.00 %
bottle>pint glass @ E Street week of 9/23/09

Appearance is almost identical to Old #38 in color, very dark brown/black with a nice creamy tan head.
Smell/Aroma is dark roasted malty-ness with coffee and cocoa notes in a fine symphony for the nose.
Tastes as it smells and then some, with a full bodied roasty finish.
Mouthfeel is full body with low carbonation as expected.

Cocoa is a forward flavor in this stout balanced by a harmony of citus hop notes. Just the way I like an RIS.
Exceptional drinkability for a RIS, not 100% sessionable, but complex enough to make it a 5.0 if you pace yourself and respect this big bold brew!

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2009 19:18:21 | More by unclejimbay
Photo of throwthechaff


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

Totally worth all the hype that this beer gets. This Russian Imperial Stout is a must try. Very dark in color, almost black smells of dark chocolate. Has a slight hop bitterness to as well. Very drinkable even though the 9% abv. A very good beer to sip and appreciate

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2009 01:23:46 | More by throwthechaff
Photo of Darkhorse09

New York

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

Very dark brown, nearing black. Some ruby highlights when held to light. Dark tan head, tiny bubbles, with great lacing all the way down the glass. Doesn't last too long, as expected.

The nose is all about dark chocolate. Some malt, very subtle molasses aromas and coffee as well. Smells as though I am in for a treat!

Chocolate on the palate as well! Hoppy bitterness and coffee/chocolate burnt malt flavors make this a tasty brew. Espresso and dark choloclate totally dominatem filled out by a everpresent hoppiness.

Heavy, silky mouthfeel. Definitely a sipper. Low carbonation and smooth finish, leaving just enough flavor in the mouth. Very drinkable, even with the high ABV. Delicious!

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2009 17:08:39 | More by Darkhorse09
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,020 ratings.