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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.

9,418 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,418
Reviews: 3,332
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 269
Gots: 1,120 | FT: 35
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: 9,418 | Reviews: 3,332 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of soco7tyx7

New York

4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

A - Black with 1 finger tan head. leaves some nice lacing throughout
S - Espresso, raisin and other dark fruits, sweet alcohol
T - Espresso, raisin, bitter chocolate finish, very mild alcohol
M - Medium body, creamy feeling with a smooth finish
D - A great RIS. good to sip on, but wouldn't want to drink more than one or two in a session

02-26-2010 21:47:45 | More by soco7tyx7
Photo of irishking1977

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -6.3%

A: Menacing, black liquid that forms a rather large tan head. Once the head dissipates, it leaves moderate lacing along the glass.

S: The aroma of bitter chocolate, malt and somewhere in the background some alcohol.

T: For such a study looking brew, this one is not as heavy as it might seem. Robust malts and bitter chocolates dominate the taste, along with a minor alcohol bite at the end. Warming, and very drinkable.

M: A bit chalky, and somewhat warming in that alcohol bite, but just mildly. Stout mouthfeel for a stout.

D: Bold and hardy brew that defies it's own name by being a highly drinkable stout. Putting back three or four of these would not be a problem, especially in the colder winter months.

02-26-2010 03:48:51 | More by irishking1977
Photo of JoePat


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

This beer pours a pitch black with a DARK brown head that causes me to stop pouring half way through so it it fits in the glass.
I smell choclate and coffee from the roasted malts.
It tastes like bitter chocolate and some coffee too. This beer is an exelent example of a stout.
Do to it being sucha great stout the drinkability suffers a little but it makes up for it with flavor and it creamy mouth feel.

02-26-2010 03:08:33 | More by JoePat
Photo of oceanman


4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

Unknown amount of time in the cellar. Maybe a year? Could be more.

Dark body, tan head with a mean tint of red.

Burst of fruits, marshmallow, and chocolate. Undertones of coffee, brown sugar. Very impressive.

Deep dark roasty flavor. Just like espresso on the finish. Alcohol politely announces its presence. Definitely has some bite to it.

A beer to chew on, but not in the softest way. Slightly grating, but not quite bitter. Nice low to moderate carbonation.

Always a classic, but seems like age hasn't helped it (besides the nose). Now I need a fresh one.

02-25-2010 23:54:05 | More by oceanman
Photo of NewGeneric


4.8/5  rDev +11.6%

My Old Faithful, amazing it's taken me this long to review it.
Not sure how old the bottle is, I've had it for close to a year.
Poured into my Delirium tremens tulip.

A: Pours pitch black with no visible light coming through. Whatsoever. Filled up with thin, quickly-fading head that leaves a thorough layer of lacing across the glass.

S: Chocolate! Wow, I know it's been a while since I've had a Raspy, but I don't ever remember smelling this much chocolately goodness! Almost like a creamy, milk chocolate, that leaves some subtle roasty scents as it fades. Mmm...

T: Yum. Taste abounds with flavor everywhere. Nice bitter, dark chocolate up front, following by mild coffee, dark fruits (plums, cherries, etc.), and huge roasted barley. Everything blends so well, each flavor just complementing the next. Grand.

M: This beer is incredibly smooth, the only issue is that it is just ever so slightly off on each degree. It could stand a hint more body, a hint less carbonation, and a hint less bitterness. But just a hint. Almost perfect.

D: Each sip leaves me craving more. Period. End of story.

02-25-2010 06:47:50 | More by NewGeneric
Photo of manbrognig74


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

A-Very black, motor oil consistency. Thin tan head disappears quickly. Super attractive lacing. The lacing matched me drink for drink.

S-Slight cholate smell, slighlty creamy smell, slightttly.

T-This was slightly aged. Initial taste of chocolate with a slight bitterness. Alcohol hits slightly on the nose after it goes down. Almost a vanilla extract taste. Leaves a great after taste, still tasting the beer after it was drank. More and more alcohol hit towards the final three or so drinks.

MF- Thick and creamy like your drinking a melted milk shake almost. About as enjoyable as a R.I.S should be in feel.

D- Very drinkable... Could take down a few of these bottles possibly all four before it filled me up. Overall a veryyy good brew and highly recommended.

02-25-2010 03:08:50 | More by manbrognig74
Photo of keanex

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Bought this at a local Canals while sampling new beers. I've heard good things so I figured I'd check it out.

This is beautiful looking beer, black with a thick tan head that gets very uneven at the top, rather bumpy. The head is strong, lasts a decent time, doesn't disappear like some beers. Grabs to the side of my pint glass.

Smell was actually rather weak, but a slight chocolate scent, very pleasant. The taste is rather brilliant, this is a very balanced beer with little alcohol taste, especially for a 9% beer. Slight chocolate flavor to it, much like the scent. Feels great in the mouth, slightly thick and lingers for a bit. This beer is highly drinkable, I could gladly enjoy two or more.

02-24-2010 03:26:05 | More by keanex
Photo of OneDropSoup


4.28/5  rDev -0.5%

Another beauty on tap at House of 1,000 Beers in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a shaker: a thick black, no highlights I noticed. Thin but foamy tan head, soft gauzy lacing.

Smells of dark chocolate & roast coffee, mild booze, with a marshmellow sweetness backing it up.

Taste is rich & complex: smooth chocolate & caramel up front, quickly turns roasted & slightly bitter, then rounds out & become sweet & creamy like chocolate meringues. Alcohol brings some heat. Ends up very toasty & even in the aftertaste -- full of flavor without wearing out the tastebuds.

Mouthfeel is smooth & creamy, full-bodied. Some heat & bite from the booze.

This is a great beer, but powerful. Consume with caution. I thoroughly enjoyed this, but one is satisfying.

02-23-2010 22:21:32 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of jhtipton


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%

Pours like I am changing my oil but hey, it is an imperial stout. Appearance: extremely dark!
Smell: smells good to me
Taste: Definitely a stout, taste some chocolate hints and malt
Mouthfeel: Fells fine!
Drinkability: The first one goes down good but at 9% ABV I wouldn't recommend more than two at a sitting.

North Coast has done a good job with this, I will definitely be hunting for this again.

02-23-2010 08:14:07 | More by jhtipton
Photo of OnThenIn


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Appearance: A finger of dark tan head on top of a beautiful ebony beer. Lacing is left behind and the head dissipates slowly.

Smell: Big roasty aroma with malt sweetness in the background. A bit of coffee aroma and some chocolate as well. There is a tiny bit of dark fruit, like raisin apparent.

Taste: The flavor is very rounded and well mixed. There is a bitter roastyness to the finish, but through there is almost a oatmeal stout like flavor. The sweet malt is really balanced by the roast bitterness and there is a certain dark chocolate flavor to the beer. There is a bit of caramel flavor, which plays nicely with the chocolate, forming a coffee like flavor. Really enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a good amount of carbonation and a big full body. There is a certain smooth, silky feeling to the beer. It is definietly a sipper.

Drinkability: This beer is rather interesting. It has the mouthfeel of a huge killer RIS, but at 9% abv has a lower abv than quite a few examples of the style. I am not saying that it is sessionable by any means, but it is really nice to be able to not have to resort to a beer above 10% if I want an RIS.

This is a relaxing sipper that can just be enjoyed, while providing the complexity need for you to stay hooked.

02-23-2010 03:41:25 | More by OnThenIn
Photo of 4000qtrap


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

Source/Serving: Draft, 25cl

Smell: Chocolate and coffee that comes off as very lively rather than dark and somber. Toasted grains are prominent, rather than being too burnt or roasty which is unique. Also some orange oil essence and slight tobacco notes. Raisin appears as it warms and some overripe, washed rind cheese.

Taste: Incredibly intense flavors. Overall pretty dry with burnt espresso bean characteristics. 4 flavor stages . At first its very smooth and creamy like many stouts. Then the flavor accelerates becoming quite bitter and highly reminiscent of eating lightly dark chocolate malt dipped espresso beans. There are some caramelized malt notes in there too that balance nicely. Then there is a brief wave of one of the best coffee flavors in a beer I've ever had. This then progresses to an even more bitter but also very dry stage with pleasantly bitter, roasty caramelized malt profile that is delightful and intense. Lingers forever.

Notes: This beer is driven by dry espresso flavors that are simply delicious. However its not too dry so as to hurt drinkability. The roast flavors, bitterness, and sweetness all work to enhance one another and is very delicious.

02-22-2010 04:21:12 | More by 4000qtrap
Photo of ralree


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%

A: Completely black, dark brown head, great retention and lacing is decent.

S: Sweet chocolate, very rich toasted malt, some dark fruit in the background, raisins, vanilla. This one smells great.

T: Very nice smoky, toasty flavor with some nice hops. Alcohol not as noticeable as I thought it would be. After swallowing, tastes like a campfire. A bit fruity and sweet on the front-end, which is nice. Flavor stays with you for a while.

M: Thick and creamy. Carbonation slightly above average, but fine. Slightly astringent. Heavy body.

D: Alcohol starts to kick in quick with the Imperial, as it should. Goes down very easy for the style.

02-21-2010 01:59:23 | More by ralree
Photo of pnkHoody

British Columbia (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -5.1%

After drinking the XII version a while back, picking this up was a no-brainer - especially as I found it at $9.95 for a four-pack in a Victoria government liquor store (sometimes the darnedest beers turn up in BC).

This is my third bottle. Anxious about reports of a non-existent head, my first bottled was poured from 6 inches with vigorous swirling, and I ended up with the stout equivalent of an Ibiza Foam Party. This third bottle was poured on the cautious side of usual, but still produced a thick three inches of head that diminished to half a finger that stayed throughout. Lacing is thick and permanent, and it looks beautiful for it.

This smells lighter than many imperial stouts (Peche Mortel and XII are my benchmarks, however, and they are very robust) and yeast is prominent. As well as familiar burned tones, there's a deep woody odor reminiscent of an old school desk.

It's more effervescent than other RIS I've had, which explains the head. It really blooms in the mouth -- which is a bit too much at first, but it settles down after a few sips. The taste is sensational. It is very bitter, but more charcoal than hops. It avoids the sweetness many RIS ride upon, delivering 75% cocoa chocolate, powerful molasses, and baking-soda astringency.

The beer is far less complex than the XII, which makes me reflect on how beautiful that beer really was. But at this price, this is a sensational RIS that makes no mistakes. I will buy a lot of this, especially as Peche Mortel is all gone and Brooklyn Brewery Chocolate Imperial Stout is harder to come by in BC recently...

02-20-2010 05:29:00 | More by pnkHoody
Photo of BuckeyeOne


4.28/5  rDev -0.5%

I don't know what took me so long to try this brew once I started exploring RIS. Could it have been the 12 oz. bottles? I think every other RIS I had previous to Old Rasputin was a bomber or, in a few cases, a special release like The Abyss, etc. Could I have been looking down my nose at that 4-pack of Old Rasputin tucked in with the IPAs, pale ales, and the like and thought, "It's just some run-of-the-mill beer"? If I was thinking this, shame on me.

It poured dark and oily with a nice chocolatey looking head. I instinctively let it warm just a bit after taking a bottle from the refrigerator. It smelled like molasses with just the hint of cloves. It tasted like milk chocolate, tobacco, and dried fruits. With the smell and first sip, I expected a syrupy mouthfeel. I was wrong --- damned brain. It had a medium body with just the right amount of carbonation.

Is there alcohol in this RIS? Couldn't taste it at all. I drank 3 of them right off. Felt the effects in the morning. Ouch.

02-20-2010 05:26:28 | More by BuckeyeOne
Photo of Iloverasputin


4.7/5  rDev +9.3%

This is my first review here, and I am a relative beer novice (I used to prefer wine). That was until I had my first taste of Old Rasputin. This beer has introduced me to the wonderful complexity and taste of craft beers.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, it appears pitch black. A wonderful, toffee colored head develops about two finger widths thick, and dissipates into a creamy top that lingers to the last drop.

Smells of chocolate and malt. Taste is much of the same with a slight hazelnutty, biscutty taste in there as well. Not much in the way of hops, but I prefer the malt taste anyway.

Mouthfeel is medium, definitely not thin, but not syrupy either. Just right imo. You don't really notice the alcohol so much in the taste, but it sneaks up on you a little bit and leaves you with a nice warm relaxed feeling.

02-20-2010 04:26:12 | More by Iloverasputin
Photo of Zaplt


4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

appears black - really black with a beautiful thick tan head mmm

aroma is nutty hazelnuts?, roasty - coffee, choc, dark fruits - cherry, vanilla, plum, deliciousss.

tastes like a stellar stout - smooth and thick with layers of all of what was mentioned above - smooth dark fruitiness that is slowly overpowered by the dark roasted malts - coffee, toffee, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, with a deliciously bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is thick and slightly sweet with a resinous and bitter finish

Overall this is one of my favorite stouts and probably my favorite stout that is released year round. mmmm

02-20-2010 00:07:52 | More by Zaplt
Photo of gloriousglo2


4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

If the Czarina had been drinkin' Old Raspy instead of listening to his quacky advice on Hematology, history would have been much different. Poured into my Great Lakes BC pint glass, and allowed to sit for about 10 minutes to warm up. Zippo head, and black. Smells like 2 day old coffee grounds, which personally, I find appealling. Very smooth, no aftertaste, faint burnt something-or-other taste. Paid about $44 for a case.

02-18-2010 23:45:33 | More by gloriousglo2
Photo of ironchefchris


4.28/5  rDev -0.5%

Old Rasputin. I bought it for the title and the bottle and luckily the beer itself didn't disapoint. It's a traditional stout and pours super dark with a dark brown head. Smell was malty and strong and taste matched the smell perfectly. It's one of those beers that tastes pretty familiar, but it's just done very well and drinks super clean and super smooth. Unlike most stouts, this one didn't annoyingly linger in my mouth after swallowed. Some of these beers will do that and basically "film" in your mouth for a bit. This one didn't. If you like a stout, this one might be as good and consistant a stout as I've ever tried. Great beer. OLD RASPY!
*sidenote: i didn't catch much of a "dark fruit" or really much of anything but that traditional tofee malt taste. Maybe in the backend of the taste there was just a hint, but certainly not much

02-18-2010 13:32:38 | More by ironchefchris
Photo of Pabs311


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

A- Dark as night, light can't get through this it's so dark. tick, creamy creamed coffee head. Sits for about a minute or two and leaves some great lacing on the glass.

S- Coffee, toffee, dark berry fruits & some chocolate are all there. not an overpowering nose, but very pleasing. as the beer warms, it changes from one to another. complex and gives u new things every time take a smell.

T- taste has everything that the nose has. very complex and layered. the layers peel back as the beer warms. there's a little bit of bitter hoppyness in the finish. overall well balanced beer.

M/D- Very moutfilling. coats ur palate very well and is smooth finishing in comparison to some RI's i've had. All around great beer.

02-18-2010 00:53:42 | More by Pabs311
Photo of AdamGarcia


4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

12 oz btl poured into tasting glass. Maybe one of my favorite bottle labels of all time.

Somehow I've managed to avoid this beer until now. Not sure how it happened, but I picked up a 4pak to ensure that I right this wrong.

A: Black. No light appears to be getting through this one. Beautiful mocha head with a tight bead comes from a moderately forceful pour. Head reduced to clinging lace after a minute or so. Great looking beer.

S: Dark fruit. Slightly boozy. I'm not picking up much, but this beer is still a bit cold. As the beer warms the raisiny scents yield to lighter, sweeter fruits. Candied apple and pear make an appearance.

T: Big & bold. Exactly what one would expect given the look and smell of this beer. So much flavor that its difficult to isolate specifics...very complex. Wonderful black coffee bitterness in the finish.

M: Poorly executed RIS's have a thin, spirit-like feel...Old Raspy does not. Fulfilling. Carbonation is spot on. Each sip begs for another.

D: This is a big beer, but I think it drinks exactly as it should. Alcohol isn't hidden, but it doesn't feel hotter than it should, either.

Great representation of the style. A classic that is oft overlooked b/c of the hype surrounding so many others in this class. When it comes to RIS, Raspy is a beer by which others should be measured.

Given the availability and price, there is no reason not to have some of this in your fridge. I can't believe it took me so long to try this beer.

02-17-2010 21:38:44 | More by AdamGarcia
Photo of HURTemHIZZY


4.3/5  rDev 0%

Pours pretty much black, and very dense. nice deep tan two finger head. Head leaves great lacing down the glass. Smells very nice, with a great blend of chocolate, toffe, and a bit of a dark fruity smell. Taste follows suit, but with a bit more complexity. the fruit in the aroma is more prominent in the flavor, and some coffee is noticeable. I loved this stout, a fantastic brew.

02-17-2010 01:57:01 | More by HURTemHIZZY
Photo of twoheartedheel

North Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +12.3%

I'm a hop head by nature, but this beer probably opened my horizons to heavy stouts and porters. Incredible smell and taste. Chocolate, coffee, toffee in massive amounts...and then it melts away in half a second.

I had no idea this was the gold standard for it's style of beer, but I certainly understand why. I had this with a tappas-style menu and 4 different plates of food, and it went fine with all 4. Obviously lends itself to desserts and pairing with nutty/dark meat dishes.

The granddaddy of Imperial stouts.

02-15-2010 19:34:50 | More by twoheartedheel
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


4.28/5  rDev -0.5%

Sampled at Creekside Brewing Co. in San Luis Obispo last night.

Served in an Old Rasputin nonic.

Appearance: Pitch black body with a tall, dense, pile of brown foam on top. Head retention is a m a z i n g. While I've always loved the look of Old Rasputin, I've never seen one quite like this. The nitro does some pretty incredible things for it. Great lacing. Fantastic colors. Perfect!

Smell: Tons of roasted malt and dark chocolate with milder suggestions of coffee, pine, lactose, floral hops, and fruity esters.

Taste: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, black coffee, dulled pine, and mild burnt notes. Very roasty and robust with solid, long-lasting bitterness. Pretty intense. The nitro seems to make it roastier than normal. I like.

Mouthfeel: I think I might like this on plain CO2 better. This version is softer and creamier, but I actually miss the bite. Full, rich, and robust with a long-lasting bitter-roasty aftertaste.

Drinkability: Pretty rough, but really flavorful. This took awhile to get through, but I'll definitely be ordering it again.

02-14-2010 18:22:12 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.3/5  rDev 0%

Poured from 12oz bottle into Maredsous chalice.

A - Poured a thick sludgey black with a thin tan head that disappeared quickly and had slippery lacing. Black as night, even when held to the light.

S - There we go! Dark fruit medley with hints of cherry, grape and a toffee-like topping.

T - Caramel, roasted malts dominate the flavor. The alcohol and dark fruit flavors are in the background of the taste.

M - Lively vibe with a nice kick. Leaves a bittery dark chocolate-like aftertaste. Very dry.

D - Very enjoyable RIS. This is definitely one to reach for.

02-14-2010 02:48:51 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of willPS21

West Virginia

4.88/5  rDev +13.5%

This RI stout is fantastic. The drinkability is probably higher than almost any RIS or IS or IPA I've had, or should I say any beer of 8.1%+. I like the bitterness and tang which separates it from most RI's, there is a crisper finish to me and a hint of welcome metallic tones. It almost seems like someone added a few tablespoons of Newcastle to this one. Additionally, there's a bit of sweetness which comes in the form of distinctive carmel. The texture in the mouth is a bit less viscous than the Stone, my permanent reference point, but also a bit less round and unified. Again one could say mouthfeel is heading towards Newcastle or even Guiness ever so slightly (and just slight enough). Besides that rare nutty-metallic tang, Rasputin has lovely dark malty flavors with the coffee/chocolate/toffee somewhere and just enough herbal notes to round it off. It's rare that a beer can avoid overdoing the hoppy and floral tones to my liking while still including them, and this one does it to perfection. If you're a fan of floral tones, I've noticed those flavors are more pronounced as you approach room temperature, where the beer seems more oily and chewy.

02-12-2010 07:13:37 | More by willPS21
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,418 ratings.