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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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10,551 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,551
Reviews: 3,449
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 381
Gots: 1,731 | FT: 47
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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,551 | Reviews: 3,449 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jerone
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, almost black where only a slight bit of color comes through the edges. There is also a mocha colored one and a half finger head, really good looking beer.

S - The smell is is dark malts, chocolate and dark fruit, yum!

T - Taste starts out with some slightly sweet dark roasted malts and then turns into bitter dark chocolate and a hint of coffee and dark fruit. Big flavors that are very tasty

M - full bodied beer with a silky creamy texture, feels very good in the mouth.

O - A very good RIS with big flavor. This is what you think of when you think of a stout.

Photo of peensteen
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Near jet black, ring of tan head, no lace to speak of. Smell is of big roasty malts, coffee, bakers chocolate, molasses, light dark sugary sweetness. Taste is of big roasted malts, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, long roasted finish, coffee grinds in aftertaste, light alcohol at points. Med-high carbonation, smooth and creamy, rich feel, would be perfect if the carbonation was toned down a bit. Really solid and hard to find faults in this, solid RIS.

Photo of claspada
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an engine oil black color with a very thick, toffee colored creamy head of foam. The head is very dense and lingering.

Aromas begin with malted chocolate, cocoa powder, roasted graininess, some creme and mild coffee.

The tastes begin with creamy layers of malt balls and coffee wrapped in an earthy wet blanket of flavor. Waves of creamy coffee with a slightly watery middle balanced by some ample hopping and roasted malt bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied, with medium carbonation. Lighter on the palate than I remember from the bottle but it improves the drinkability.

Overall this is an exceptional stout, overlooked in today's saturated dark beer craft world because of it continuous availability, but a real treat to find on draft at a local bar in my town.

Photo of manitouman84
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick as molasses as it pours, fills the glass as a deep black ruby with a thick tan 3 finger head, very good retention and lacing throughout. Surprised to at how hop forward the aroma is. Floral, blackberry, chocolate, oaky, earthy, boozy, caramel maltiness. Bitter hop bite up front, chocolate, roasted caramel, molasses, brown sugar, boozy, woody, chalky, smokey on the tongue. Very smooth finish for all the flavor, good full body, but does not overload the palate. Light warming down the hatch. Let this one warm up a bit, wonderful served at cellar temps, flavors really coming pouring out. Love it.

Photo of bdkucharski
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a little too roughly into a pint glass, resulting in me having to wait a few minutes to finish filling pouring.

A - Black with brown barely around the edges, brown head (and you can have as much as you want depending on how you pour).

S - Alcohol and malt

T - Alcohol, caramel, roast, and malt. The roast falls into the category I refer to as 'fireplace'. This is a little much when it is cold, but as you would expect, as it warms it all comes together in a nice package.

M - Thick, with a little tickle from the carbonation, very nice.

O - I wish I knew the age on this, but since I don't I'll just have to pick up one or two 4-packs so I can try a bottle every 3 months or so. One of the better wide-spread RIS out there I have had.

Photo of BeerFiend2002
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Body is black as a moonless night. Two finger of frothy mocha-colored head.

S- Roasted notes. Hints of chocolate and espresso. Good smelling brew.

T- The best part of the beer. Its roasted malt and chocolate up front with some espresso notes peeking in. At 9% ABV, the booziness is not overpowering at all, but you can tell its there.

M- Medium-heavy. Goes down smooth. Not quite as rich and full as one might expect.

O- A shining example of a good Russian Imperial Stout. This is a real treat and a shame that my local wholesaler doesnt carry it. Very well-priced, as I can get this CA beer here in singles here in PA for about $3 a bottle.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A: Black as night, no perceptible light makes it through this beer. Rocky mocha colored head recedes rather quickly but leaves very nice lacing down the glass.

S: Chocolate, coffee and deep roasted malts dominate the nose. Smells very rich, with some boozy alcohol.

T: Dark chocolate and espresso with a dark cacao like bitterness. Slightly burnt, charcoal kind of flavors make their way in toward the finish, along with some warming alcohol. Your left with clean coffee and dark chocolate in the aftertaste that last until you drink again.

M: Big and full bodied, with fine bubbled carbonation that gives this beer a smooth, creamy mouth feel.

O: A big beer that does not disappoint. I can certainly see how this beer has gained it's cult status. I would recommend this to anyone who's into big stouts and would buy it again.

Photo of Oldscramch
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looks black in the glass, with reddish brown at the top and bottom; can't see a damn thing through this beer. Light tan tracing of head around the rim.

Smell: Sweet. Malty, but with more hops than I was expecting in this beer. The alcohol does not come through in the taste.

Taste: Fairly bitter coffee taste that lingers in the mouth; not at all a bad thing, considering how well it plays with the overall flavour.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, not too light. clean, but hearty. There's a tingle on the tongue for a while afterwords.

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

Sampled on October 8, 2011. The pour is remarkably black with a decent, silky tan head. The aroma is mildly malted and pleasantly hopped with a bit of licorice and a scent that makes me think of a wooden barrel. The body is medium to bold. The flavor has a mellower than usual malty taste for a Russian Imperial with a vibrant bitter but dry hopped ending. All the good things that people say about this one are true.

Photo of LuthersMug
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Silky smooth dark black pour. Rich and creamy chocolate head. Wonderful lacing.

S - Fresh bitter chocolate with a bit of toasted malt.

T - Toasted malts, a bit of cocoa.

M - This beer is very smooth and fresh, feels like liquid chocolate. Very filling.

O - A very tasty stout, very enjoyable.

Photo of BigCheese
4.61/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this bottle is a bit old, looked like it had been on shelf for a little while, tough to know for sure.

A: Pours a thick ink black. Pours a pretty thick head that is a cardboard colored head. Literally leaves a wall of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Dark Chocolate malts, oak, whisky, booze, hints of fruit maybe cherry/rasins.

Taste: Get hit with some sweet/slightly bitterness. Quickly changes to rich dark chocolate, hot chocolate (euro kind), burnt crust, honey bourbon, taste lingers for a while. For a really long time. Hop bitterness doesnt come through until it warms, beer really evolves as it warms. I'd drink this just below room temp for ideal consumption.

Mouthfeel: quite carbonated. A tad boozy but not in an unpleseant way. Once beer settles and warms its incredibly thick/syrupy. Could easily take down 2, maybe 3 of these, after that flavor/alcohol would be a bit overwhelming.

O: A perfect cold weather beer. Its got a great boozy warmness to it. Flavor evolves as beer warms which keeps taste buds interested. Taste lingers for a long time. One of the best brews I've ever had. A must try.

Photo of Jesstyr
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer enjoyed in a Orval chalice.

Pours deep dark black, very impressive, exactly what you'd hope for. Head holds excellently - dark brown, holds well, finger of head throughout. Nose is smoky, with a great burnt malt nature to it. Excellent for winter.

Taste is like the nose, burnt malt, but with a nice balance of hops in there that gives this drink a unique flavor to it beyond the standard russian imperial stout. Full, thick body, gas like - not the best stout body I've head, but a formidable competitor. Overall a great drink that is best paired with a great meal.

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Tapped into a pint glass at Lowbrow.

Appearance - Black body, medium brown one-finger head with enormous retention and stick.

Smell - Nutty, coffee malt. Slight alcohol underneath. Well balanced.

Taste - Coffee, chocolate, alcohol. Very roasty and lactic.

Mouthfeel - Creamy. Totally full bodied. Coats the tongue.

Overall Drinkability - I want to give this beer all 5's, but since I'm rating it in style, it has some pretty stiff competition.

Photo of TrapFan11
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just finished my second 12 oz bottle of this and DAMN is that good. Most of my experience with beer has been with Belgian strong Ales, in particular all of the Trappist beers along with similar Belgian brands and American beers in the Belgian style. My two favorite beers are Rochefort 10 and St Bernardus 12. In recent years I've been trying different Stouts and Porters and, although I don't have tremendous experience with them yet, I'm quickly discovering the world of flavors out there that go beyond the various dark fruits and assorted sugars that accompany your typical Dubbles, Triples and Quadruples.

A fellow shopper at the market recommended Old Rasputin Imperial Stout to me and I've been blown away by how something so roasted and bitter can at the same time be sweet and smooth. From the get go this beer is thick, viscous, and oily, not that that's to it's detriment. In fact the wonderful chewiness just hooks you into discovering the many wonderful facets of the beer. Immediately you taste the full intensity of the coffee, toffee, roasted malts and baker's chocolate it has. There's a burnt quality to the malt that, along with providing a pleasant bitterness, also includes the required sweetness that is reminiscent of a burnt s'mores marshmallow rather than anything unpleasant. Then there's the coffee flavor. I tend to drink really dark, black coffee and this beer has loads of that toasty, smokey and bitter flavor that I cherish. Finally there's the great Christmas toffee and dark chocolate flavors that blend seamlessly with the sweetness and bitterness of the other flavors and tie everything together nicely.

Also quite remarkable it this beer's head, which is truly like a silky pillow. I can easily say that the foam tasted and felt in my mouth like a liquid marshmallow. I've never had a beer whose head was that silky, smooth, and sweet. I couldn't believe it was beer foam.

In the short amount of time I've been exploring Imperial Stouts I can easily say that this the best I've come across so far. I'm happy to give it my highest recommendation.

Photo of rundocrun
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours like a bottle full of midnight darkness. Completely opaque with no highlights to speak of. Yields nearly 3 fingers of dark khaki colored head that lasts forever. Lots of lacing stuck to the glass and good amount of alcohol legs to this beer.

S - Coffee and dark, almost burnt caramel aromas are most noticeable. Hints of dark chocolate, raisins and burnt bread come through as well. Big booziness comes through with warming.

T - There is an immense bitter coffee and burnt grain presence up front. Slightly fruity booziness cascades in toward the middle along with more dry grainy bitterness. A very complex caramely and oh-so-slightly nutty malt body darts in and around everything else. Warmth lasts through the finish and is complimented nicely by a rich, slightly biting espresso flavor.

M - Very thick, viscous body to this beer. It's not often that I run across a stout (even a RIS) that matches the "motor oil" description in both looks and texture! Despite the thickness, the carbonation remains balanced enough that it doesn't detract from the complex flavor profile of the beer.

Overall- this is a truly excellent beer. A first-class representative of the style.

Photo of neophilus
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown with an intense mocha colored head that erupts in the glass. Hints of ruby sparkle in the light. Need some time to let the foam settle down. The aroma is sweet and spicy, more hop character than I was expecting. Underneath flowed a current of roasted bitterness, barely detectable against the strong hop smell.

The first sip greeted me with full bodied roast flavor. Thick and sweet but a balanced hop bitterness to keep the flavor clean. The beer is surprisingly smooth and easy drinking. The body is heavy but doesn't stick to the mouth, washing away with a firm bitterness from the hopping.

As the beer warms more fruity flavors emerge. Notes of raisins and plums against the roasted backdrop. It lends some depth to the flavor but continues to wash away cleanly with a smooth body and bitter aftertaste on the palate.

This beer was a little bit of a surprise. A good dose of hop aroma up front anchored by the roasted scent. A strong backbone of hop bitterness and roast carries a fruity undertone. The mouthfeel was rich and smooth but washed away cleanly. Aftertaste left a firm bitterness that cleaned up the strong flavors and begged another sip.

Enjoying more than one of these is easy, if not dangerous because of the well hidden abv.

Photo of fox227
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice two fingered tan head, and a pitch black color. Looks like an Imperial Stout!

S: Robust chocolate, espresso, and a bit of grassy hops.

T: I love this beer. Love it, love it, love it. This is the perfect Imperial Stout that is somehow not too thick, very drinkable, and delicious. I'm getting vanilla, milk chocolate, coffee - no dark fruits. However, The perfect balance of recognizable flavors is what makes this beer so good. It's not too complex, but still a joy for the palate.

M: Like I said above, not too thick - but very full. Finish leaves some traces of the alcohol in the back of my throat, betraying its 9% status.

O: Why buy any other Impy Stout? This is 7.99 a four pack, and it stands tall with all the limited, and the expensive. Old Rasputin: truly a dangerous brew.

Photo of kcinlober
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

color is dark chocolate brown. the head pours about a thumbs-width high and leaves a standard residue on the sides. head is brownish-caramel, but not a very strong aroma.

the way this beer sits on your palate is phenomenal. Roasted malts and some bitterness from the hops comes first followed by a chocolate/coffee aftertaste and the real weight of the hops. Very well balanced and a challenging mouthfeel for those who aren't used to imperial stouts. heavy but well balanced; like a good broadsword

Photo of One2Remeber
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Filled my growler a couple hours ago, pouring into a tulip.

A: Pours a rich, creamy thick head with a tint of light espresso. Dark as could be with light carbonation bubbles raising to the top.

S: Rich caramel, black licorice with some creamy milk chocolate notes to balance out the high alcohol undertone.

T: I'm glad there is great head retention because as the first sip hits your lips you get a fluffy marshmallow feel. Follows is an explosive taste of rich dark chocolate, with an alcohol presence only at the end that blends with the black licorice. Very complex taste overall, yet masterfully balanced resulting in a hell of a treat for the ol' pallet.

M: Not really bitter, alcohol presence is more like a smooth whiskey than a high alcohol beer (ex: barelywine). Extremely robust taste takes over the mouth feel but does not dominate to the point its unbearable or one sided towards a characteristic, which makes it very enjoyable.

O: Not my first Old Rasputin and not my last. This is my staple Russian Imperial Stout, not the best one I've had (Marshal Zhukov is out of this world from Cigar City:), but one that is readily available which gets brownie points. If you add a touch of Rogue's Chocolate Stout and a shot of espresso to Old Rasputin you will thank me for the recommendation.

Photo of vfgccp
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

-Nitro tap-

A – Ridiculous, tempurpedic-pillow of a head stuck around at 2 inches high for almost 15 minutes till the glass was empty. Great lace. Almost pitch black body.

S – Malty with a deep pumpernickel breadiness, a touch of milk chocolate, and a tang of bitter roast.

T – Dark chocolate into a dark bready malt. A nice, solid woody bitter ramps up to balance the profile in the center. Full roasty finish with lingering sweet cream and molasses.

M – The pillow of foam lends a fantastic creaminess to the mouthfeel. Medium-full body starts a bit lighter than you’d expect, but quickly fills out to end rich and smooth.

O – Delicious, big, complex, and well balanced. Could use a shade more integration between the flavors, but this is still one the best beers I’ve ever had on tap.

Photo of Doshkin
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


a - extremely dark brown. looks black until you get towards the end, which is always a sad sight. abundant, thick, caramel colored head that leaves great lacing.

s - exactly how a stout should smell: dark, roasted, slightly coffee and mildly chocolate

t - wonderfully dark, bitter, and roasted. the bitterness lingers for a long time.

m - thick and fittingly carbonated. for the amount of bitterness, it doesn't dry out the mouth, which is always nice.

o - this is seriously the epitome of a stout. highly recommended in all regards!

Photo of baconbourbon
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pitch black, excellent lacing and head. It sticks to the glass like fly paper. This is one of the best looking stouts.

Smell - A wonderful aroma of coffee and chocolate. It smells great.

Taste - A mixture of coffee and chocolate up front with a slightly burnt finish. Fabulous.

Mouthfell - Smooth, full bodied, drinkable. All of the essentials are there.

Overall - This is an all around fantastic beer. I honestly cannot find much wrong with it.

Photo of Rangerator
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a lot of hype, with having such a large following I had to cave in and try it. Poured into a snifter from a bottle, beautiful black body with a stunning imperial stout head. First sip..boom lots of carbination almost too much almost burned my mouth, I didnt like that so I let it sit for a few minutes to warm up and still too much carbination which I did not enjoy at all kind of killed it for me. Good beer just too much carb definitely a lot of other Imperials out there that are better. Check out Moylans Imperial its a lot more satisfying.

Photo of Retail1LO
2.99/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. I started drinking this fairly soon after it came out of the fridge. I started rating it and it really wasn't doing much for me, and the scores reflected it. I started to wonder how much of that was a result of it being too cold. So I've been letting it warm up, and giving it little nips every few minutes. It's starting to come around. I think I might take the rest of the six pack out of the fridge and just keep it at room temp. This had a nice, luscious, two finger crown at the top. The head seemed more fizzy than creamy. The nose is pretty faint. I all but inhaled beer through my nose trying to extract some kinda discernible characteristic, but I couldn't. It doesn't smell bad, so much as it just doesn't smell. The first thing I notice with the taste is the booze. The 9% is in your face, and not even remotely hidden. Some slight coffee notes, but mostly just...booze. When it was cold, the mouthfeel was very carbonated and really unpleasant. As it's warmed, it's gotten much creamier and coats the mouth with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Over all, I just don't get the fuss. I have three bottles left with which to form a different opinion, however. If it changes, I'll be back to edit..but right now, this just really isn't my thing.

Photo of chocosushi
3.71/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz->Hoegaarden Hexagon
A ~ Pours black with a tall cap of mocha-foam head that rises half in inch out of the glass, decending ever so slowly. Impressing structure & retention.

S ~ Earthy hops, tree resins, roasted malt, cocoa powder, with
a little note on the back reminiscent of Raisinettes.

T ~ Mmmm rich charred malts with a rich backbone of American hops lending gentle tropical fruit & resin notes. Burnt wood, french-roast coffee grounds, black pepper, & charred veggies throughout.

M ~ Bold & roasty/ashy in terms of maltyness. Easy drinking for 9 percent. Feels better on the palette as it warms up. Great balance.

D ~ A solid stout for a very reasonable price. I could see this moving into six pack over the next few years. Purchased often.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,551 ratings.