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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.

9,015 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,015
Reviews: 3,317
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 242
Gots: 948 | 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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Ratings: 9,015 | Reviews: 3,317 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Is the titular seer divining something with his hand, or merely wiping his brow?

This beer pours a deep, dark black abyss, with a slight hint of red cola at the edges, and then only when held to direct light, and a head that comes in at about two pudgy fingers of puffy, creamy, and fizzy beigeness, which leaves a solid ring of jagged sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells strongly of bittersweet chocolate, dry coffee beans, toasty caramel malt, ripe black fruit, earthy, leafy hops, and a slight metallic alcohol astringency. The taste is bitter dark chocolate, toasted caramel biscuits, roasted, and sort of charred coffee, a heavy, yet dry plum and date fruitiness, gritty molasses, and a small, insidiously innocuous alcohol twang.

The carbonation is on the low side, just a low-key frothiness apparent, the body big, dense, and smooth, in a simmeringly menacing sort of manner. It finishes off-dry, some retreating chocolate and settling hop notes closing things out - the booze warming continues its charade of being barely noticeable (ok, 'very well integrated').

A pretty stellar RIS, the chocolate, malt, fruit, and booze all playing nice like there was no revolution in sight, just yer typical drunken dalliances with the tsarina. Oh yes, old Grigori would indeed be proud.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2009 03:18:49 | More by biboergosum
Photo of Lerxst


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

A-Pitch black pour with a one finger mocha head that left just a bit of lacing.

S-Coffee, dark chocolate, plums & figs.

T-Tastes just like the nose with a bit of hotness but not in a bad way. It compliments this beer.

M-Heavy & creamy yet slick with an oily finish and perfect carb level for me.

D-For a big beer, it is surprisingly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2009 17:31:18 | More by Lerxst
Photo of Gosox8787

New Hampshire

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

Presentation: 12 oz. stubby bottle poured into a glass.

Appearnce is opaque black with a small brown head with average retention. Aroma is strong coffee and espresso notes. Some citrus and lemongrass notes also come in in smaller amounts. Taste hits with rich espresso and black coffee notes. There is a good hop character that adds some nicely balanced citrus notes. Some slight dark fruit sweetness is also mildly present. Complex yet extraordinarily well balanced. Mouthfeel is full bodied with strong carbonation. Despite a high ABV and rich flavors, this is drinkable. The booze is well hidden and the flavor does not tire.

Overall, a great, rich, complex, balanced RIS. A classic in my book.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2009 16:21:27 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of Pinto21


4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: black as coal. maybe blacker. Ok light tan head on the pour.

S: dark coca and some dark roast coffee, a bit of dark fruits too but not a huge aroma coming off

T: Oh man the taste makes up for the lack of aroma. Roasted right up front with a bit of coffee. Dark chocolate coming in right after, and doesnt go away for a while. Then the dark roast astringentness. Finishes off with a bit of warming alcohol. Can't taste the alcohol, just feel it. SO GOOD.

MD: Great drinkability for a RIS at 9%. nice smoothness to it, which makes the mouthfeel great.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2009 02:51:22 | More by Pinto21
Photo of twaddlac


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours pitch black, no head and a little lace.

S- Anise, dark chocolate, cherries, slight coffee and toffee

T- Dark 99% cacao initially, aftertaste the bitterness slightly fades but is still very noticeable. Strong coffee, slight anise. Very strong and bitter!

M- Very heavy body, mild carbonation with a film that is left in your mouth for a long time!

D- Very strong and bitter but very drinkable!! One really good beer that I would definitely recommend!

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2009 01:16:19 | More by twaddlac
Photo of mdquigley


3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Manhattan, KS "Rock-a-belly-Deli." Review written from notes.

Enjoyed from a 12 oz tumbler.

Appearance: Severely dark with a mystical creamy tan 2.5" head that transitions into the body.

Smell: Slight coffee, roasted nose. Aroma was slighter than expected.

Taste: Espresso and cocoa nibs up front. The taste was very balanced and much sweeter than I expected. It is not a dry stout but much more similar to a milk stout.

Mouthfeel: Creamy! Mouth-coating and full bodied.

Drinkability: I detected no alcohol for such a high ABV %.Thus, this can be drunk and drunk. Just watch out!

Overall: A very delicious and creamy beverage. A real special find.

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2009 20:49:57 | More by mdquigley
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a huge fluffy tan head that sticks around forever. Smells of roasted malt dark fruits chocolate, toffee, and a touch of alcohol. Spicy earthy hop in the aroma as well. Taste is heavy coffee, espresso, chocolate, and dark fruits. Leaves a slight ash and slight alcohol in the finish along with a lingering roasted bitterness. Medium to thick body and finishes a bit dry for my taste. Creamy smooth mouthfeel with light carbonation. This one tastes and smells great, but I found it to be a little light in body. 9% alcohol is well hidden and this is a dangerously drinkable stout.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2009 00:09:56 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of donkeyrunner


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

Ever heard the disco/metal song "Rasputin" by Finish "battle metal" band Turisas?--that's what I'm thinking about. Opaque black with a muddy brown head. Weak retention for a stout.

Intense roast malt with merlot dark fruit, iced coffee and brown sugar. Ditto for the taste. You can sense the alcoholic presence by the ridiculously roasty and bold coverup. Nevertheless, it stays hidden so well.

Nice big stout without being fancy.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 18:56:07 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of icetrauma


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

This is my first exp. at a Russian Imperial Stout. I can say that I have had limited exposure to stouts. Only prev. exp. has been with Guiness, not impressed, and Peg Leg Stout, which I found quite delicious.

Poured up into a pint glass. Poured as expected. A deep black color with a dark tan 2 finger head. First notes were that of espresso and dark roasted malt.

Taste was seriously yummy. As with smell the first flavor to hit the palate was that of roasted espresso and malts. Finished off with a nice touch of hopiness that lingured around after the beer was on its journey.

This stout will def. be a welcomed edition into my beer fridge.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 14:34:28 | More by icetrauma
Photo of mhatters


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle

Pours a deep, almost black color - a dark tan head - nearly 1 inch.

The nose has a lot of roasted malt, a hint of smoke, some hoppy notes and a hint of sweet licorice

The roasted malt dominates the flavor, very well balanced - a bit oily with a bitter-sweet mix between a hint of hops and a hint of anise. Overall a bit smoky too. Really good

Thick and full feel, somewhere between creamy and oily.

I can, and will again, drink this all night

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 00:01:06 | More by mhatters
Photo of ocelot2500


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

Pours a deep brown with some light shining through to give it a slight ruby highlight. Tight light brown head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Smells is mostly chocolate, with some roasted, coffee flavors underneath.

Tastes of the chocolate upfront with some hops on the backend. Again, the roasted flavors are mostly of the chocolate variety. The hops add a slight citrus note, but I find it to help balance out the chocolate.

Mouthfeel is full, smooth, and creamy.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2009 04:00:27 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.6/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip. Poured one shade shy of black with a quarter inch tan-colored head that dissipates into a skim with a solid band around the edges. Nose was very mild and subdued - some malt, some brown sugar and a hint of hops. Taste reveals chocolate malt, brown sugar, molasses, black licorice and a definite hops presence. Mouthfeel was just shy of medium-bodied, but a bit too much carbonation for the style - I like my RIS's lightly carbonated and oily/viscous. Alcohol is well-hidden on this beer, but a little too much hops in the mix for my liking. Nonetheless, a solid, readily available offering.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2009 01:20:01 | More by Jwale73
Photo of nectar14


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

From nitro at Toronado SD.

A: Pours black with a nice tan head, settling with a creamy foam and cascading bubbles, like I've seen Guinness do. Looks like a textbook stout.
S: Dark, malty, toasty, a bit nutty and chocolately. Everything in the right place.
T: More complete and complex than I've had this from bottle. Roasted grain, touch of coffee, chocolate, and walnut.
M: Carries some bitterness to contrast the malty, roasted flavors. Finishes with some bite. Full in body. Again, textbook.
D: Satisfying, solid, great stout. Doesn't blow me away, but when you're looking for a good stout, this is a great go-to beer.
Thumbs up.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-12-2009 00:35:40 | More by nectar14
Photo of nickd717


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

Bottle poured into snifter. This is a good readily available RIS that you can always find at BevMo.

A - Pours black with a legitimate tan head and decent lacing.

S - Roast, chocolate, and freshly brewed coffee. A hint of hops as well.

T - Flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee, a hint of dark fruits, and a sweet alcoholic finish. Some mild piney hops are present, and these provide substantial bitterness.

M - Palate fairly thick and oily, yet not nearly as much as some of the really big American imperial stouts. Hop bitterness adds a little nice roughness to it.

D - Average-plus for the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2009 23:56:13 | More by nickd717
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an American pint glass.

A: Thick dark brown/black, with a tan head that lasted and laced fairly well.

S: Coffee, chocolate, woodiness, vanilla, and caramel. Very sweet overall.

T: The flavor was more balanced than the nose, with all of the aforementioned flavors evident, with a hint of alcoholic presence on the finish, but not overpowering. Very well done.

M: Like drinking thick chocolate milk; very velvety smooth on the palate.

D: With such intense flavor, it might be a little too much for sessioning, but I'd still give it a try ;-)

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-10-2009 21:49:29 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of njmoons

New Jersey

2.58/5  rDev -40%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured a very dark brown, 1 finger of foam which dissapated quickly.

The aroma was malty and overwhelmed by the spicy grapefruity smell of cascade hops. This overwhelmed the malt and heavy fruits I expect to smell in a Imperial Russian.

The taste was initially heavy malt and quickly overtaken by the hops, which took over the flavor with excessive bitterness and grapefruit flavors. This hop flavor overpowered the finish with a spicy bitter flavor that lingered on the palate.

Mouthfeel was thick and creamy appropriate to a Imperial Russian.

Due to the overwhelming hops flavors and bitterness the drinkability was relativily poor.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2009 16:23:02 | More by njmoons
Photo of pmccallum86


3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark brown/black color, almost like motor oil. Thick chocolate color head with great lacing and retention on the glass.

The smell is of rich chocolates, cocoa and coffee. Some alcohol is also present in the smell.

The taste is just like the smell very rich chocolate, like a liquid chocolate cream pie. Some toffee and caramel are also present with a warming smooth alcohol. Maybe a little light on the boldness of the flavors though.

Great mouthfeel, a thick and viscous full bodied beer. Creamy heavy texture on the tongue.

Quite a drinkable RIS, however I would prefer a little more boldness in the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2009 03:30:20 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of bminor7

New York

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

12oz bottle picked up from Stowe, VT in 2/09.

Significant accolades to North Coast Brewing for this beer...12 gold medals from various beer festivals since 1996.

Pours virtually black. Nice tan foam forms on the surface. Texture is not as thick as you would expect for a beer of this gravity - somehow they kept the viscosity down, not a bad thing! Smells a lot of chocolate and roasted malts. Some of the apparently 75 IBUs show off here as well. Tastes great - more accessible than some of the bossier RISs...with a chocolate, malty, nutty taste, followed by the alcohol and bitterness from the hops. I have not gotten this level of hops from this type of beer before. The drinkability is surprisingly good...I could see 2 or 3 of these in myself.

I remember having the first of the 6-pack of this over 6 months ago and it was a bit harsh at the time, but I believe it has improved some with age. I believe this bottle, the last, was roughly 1 year old. Highly recommended! Even the burps I get from this are appetizing.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2009 05:02:16 | More by bminor7
Photo of DaleMcMutt


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

-Tulip Glass

Pours into your glass dark, just about black. Thick, caramel colored, two-finger head which lingers nicely before dissapearing. Not much lacing left, but that doesn't detract from anything.

Smells rich. Hints of chocolate and malt. Smells sturdy and thick with hints of coffee. Extremely inviting.

The feel is smooth and creamy on the palate with a dry finish. Carbonization is mild, but well balanced with the rest of the aspects. Just the right amount in my opinion. Hops are subtle and I detect more of the roasted qualities than anything.

Definitely one you'd like to sip and savor. Full bodied and thick, but not chewy.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2009 00:46:15 | More by DaleMcMutt
Photo of Thur123


4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An opaque black with a creamy caramel colored head that's minimal in height but seems to retain just so nicely. Now the sniff...Big roasted malts and a thick kind of molasses sweetness, maybe some raisins and a bit of the hooch comes through. Smells strong and sturdy, but not too powerful...but my nose is kind of a noob anyways.

Glug glug glug

First there is a sweet taste of roasted malts and a creamy flavor...and if I'm not crazy a bit of hop bitterness lingers along with it. Just after the initial hit I get a fruity base of plums and maybe cherries. The entire profile is really well balanced and complex, in addition to being just really damn tasty. I still feel like there is a RIS out there I might like more for one reason or another but until then this is great. The mouth feel is full and just right. Also, I tasted little alcohol in this, which is an awesome benefit to such a great tasting beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2009 03:46:03 | More by Thur123
Photo of Jmoore50


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

This is one hell of a beer. I also cannot believe I have never reviewed it.

The appearance is black, with some dark brown edging. The head is a dark tan creamy froth. It leaves medium to light lacing around the glass.

The smell is good with cocoa and faint coffee smells. Also a light mocha or milky coffee smell is a strong characteristic.

The taste is great, especially for a year-around beer, how do they do it? Well served at room temperature or ABOVE is when it peaks. Malty coffee, small hints of cocoa. ABV is hidden all too well, makes it dangerous on a night out. The mouthfeel is thick, and creamy. The body looks thinner though, which tricks the mind. On tap it is a frothy malt bomb. In the bottle it is a little thinner and more drinkable. Dark roasted malts are very prominent giving it a dark grain taste. Beautiful.


Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2009 00:16:36 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of LittleDon


4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jet black with a thick tan head that last all the way to the bottom of the glass. Hints of coffee and carmelized malts in the aroma. The flavor is much of the same, with a toffee upper pallate middle. The alcohol is noticeable, but well balanced. On the sweet side, but not as much as, say Lefthand Milk Stout. There's a big mouthfeel to this one. Toasty, coffee and dark chocolate finish in the back and upper palatte. Of the 70 beers I've review thus far, this is the closest I've had to perfect.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-01-2009 04:28:31 | More by LittleDon
Photo of civilizedpsycho


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

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a solid black color with a fair, tan-colored head.

Smell: Strong roasted smell, but the alcohol gave it a bit of a medicinal smell that was a bit of a turn-off for me.

Taste: It has a roasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate, but the alcohol flavor is still perceptible, and that was a slight turn-off on the first few sips.

Mouthfeel: Has a good full body without being too thick.

Drinkability: Upon the first few sips, I did not care for this one and I felt the alcohol was too noticeable. However, as I finished my glass, this grew on me with each passing drink and now, I'm a fan.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2009 23:10:19 | More by civilizedpsycho
Photo of BayouBengal1537


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

Old Rasputin poured into Nonic Pint Glass
A - Poured a thick black color with a huge 3 finger mocha color head.

S - Rich roasted malt aroma, cocoa, toffee, small hop aroma

T - Yep, rich roasty malts, coffee, chocolate, smokey taste, hop bitterness in there as well, very complex

M - Great mouthfeel, pretty heavy I would say, good carbonation

D - Big sipper due to the 9%abv, very warming going down, great RIS

Overall, a great beer with complex roasted malts and a hop bitterness, i really enjoyed this beer. Definitely gonna enjoy one of these come colder winter time.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2009 22:52:41 | More by BayouBengal1537
Photo of Squelch

United Kingdom (England)

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jet balck. Brown head dissipating fast.

Smell: Nothing here.

Taste: compex caramel, toffee, some esters. Charcoal. astringent.

Mouthfeel: Dry. Alcoholic heat. tingly from the carb

Drinkability: A sipper. If it were less astringent, it would be much more drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2009 02:54:37 | More by Squelch
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,015 ratings.