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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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10,361 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,361
Reviews: 3,397
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 355
Gots: 1,559 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001)
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,361 | Reviews: 3,397 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SuperSpy
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is pitch black with a short but thick brown head.

There are lots of deep, dark roasted aromas as well as enough alcohol to burn the nostrils just a little. Nothing sweet, nothing fruity, this thing just smells big, roasted and evil. I like it.

Definitely a big beer. All of that roast from the aroma is there but I also taste espresso, peppery spices and the alcohol warms the throat all the way down. It finishes sweeter than the aroma would suggest, but it's delicious.

This is one damned good beer.

Photo of jhughes23
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Bottle Poured into a 16oz. Tulip Glass

Pours a Dark Black, almost motor oil black but not quite. Starts with a nice thick mocha colored head that dissipates down to a decent thin layer on top. Laces nicely throughout.

The Aroma is definitely of dark chocolates and roasted malts and coffee. The Roasted Malts seems most prominent with a hint of vanilla.

The Flavor is very dry and bitter upfront mellowing out with a roasted chocolate and vanilla. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, but there are RIS out there that have a smoother mouthfeel. The alcohol is prominent but not as much as you would expect. Over time this will calm down and the mouthfeel will improve.

Definitely a sipper that has many more layers as it warms up.

By far in my top 5 RIS. But it has to be #1 if you factor in the Price.

I would be hard pressed to find a better best buy than this one.

Photo of Lemke10
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had a 12oz glass on tap at Hollywood Casino in Joliet, IL for $4 in Spring 2010.

Pours a very dark brown color with a good thick head of chocolate colored foam. Has a strong scent of roasted malts and hops. The taste was heavy and long lasting. I was really surprised to see some foam stick around til the very end. Definetly a must try!

Photo of d4114
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black; 2 fingers of creamy tan

S- Big coffee notes; At first it can be a little strong but after a little you really get the complexity; A little sweetness and some alcohol

T- At the front you get a really bitter and chard flavor; The middle you get coffee or espresso with a hint of alcohol; The alcohol is masked very well; At the back you are left with a smooth, dry bitterness

M- Medium to heavy bodied; Would have thought it would have been more thick and viscous; Warms back of mouth and throat

O- Really good complex beer that you can get year round

Photo of BigE90
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a frosted pint glass, 1 finger head, good chocolate color, disappeared quickly though.

Nice and dark like a stout should be

A deep roasted almost burnt smell, swirl it around and hops come through

There is some substance here as I call it when it lingers in my mouth afterwards. A good medium body feel, some bitterness comes at the finish. Just a slight taste of chocolate and hint of the alcohol.

The finish lingers so you know you are drinking a heavier beer

Overall a very drinkable RIS. Probably would not buy again but at the same time I would not turn one down. The bitterness is the only real thing that is turning me off about it.

Photo of beerandcycling88
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A This beer is pitch black with a 2 finger brown head with decent retention and lacing.

S The nose of the beer is pretty nice. There are notes of chocolate, roast and coffee.

T Tastes of chocolate, roasted coffee, with some pine from the hops in the finish.

M Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, very easy to drink for a Russian Imperial.

Overall this is a great beer. It might not be the best RIS but it is an excellent representation of the style and fairly easy to find at a reasonable price which makes it a great go to stout.

Photo of OddNotion
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my DFH Signature Glass. Oh boy I have been waiting to review this for a long time now!This particular bottle is roughly a year old.

Appearance: Pours a black body reminiscent of coffee where it is a dark dark brown around the edges. No head to speak of but there is a nice lacing around the circumference of the glass.

Smell: This is one of my favorite stout smells. It is sweet and inviting. Lots of dark malt, a little roasty, and very chocolatey.

Taste: One of the few imperial stouts that I love even at fridge temperature! Slight hints of coffee are just trumped by the chocolate flavor. A good amount of malt sweetness and no bitterness to speak of. Old Rasputin has a very distinct taste in comparison to other stouts I have had. 9% alcohol is completely hidden.

Mouthfeel. Carbonation is just slightly higher than I like in my stouts and it could use a little more viscosity. However I am very picky on the mouthfeel with my stouts and this one is not far off. Decent level of creaminess.

Overall: Year round Russian Imperial Stout at about $10 a 4 pack after tax. I will gladly get this any time. I wish I bought it more but always get caught in the seasonal stout assault and lose a lot of my desire for stouts come spring and summer. This is my go to stout in the summer when the craving does hit. Available everywhere I go. Buy it, you will not be disappointed if you like big stouts.

Photo of thegodfather1076
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served out of a 12oz. bottle dispensed into a glass....

Presentation - Awesome label and artwork!

Appearance - Pours black with a 2 finger brown head that leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Smell - Smells of dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted smokey malts.

Taste - Tastes of roast coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Has a very nice hoppy finish. The high alcohol content(9.8% ABV) is masked very well within the taste of the beer.

Mouthfeel - Lighter bodied than expected while still having a creamy mouthfeel. Light carbonation.

Drinkability - Drinkable because of the lighter feel and and good flavor but prob could only drink a few because of the alcohol content.

My first RIS and I loved it would def recommend! May be a bit intense for an amateur beer drinker and those that do not have a great love for stouts.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

A- Very dark, 2 finger tan mocha colored head, excellent lacing
S- Chocolate, Vanilla, sweet, raison, molasses and dark fruit as well, excellent aroma
T- Caramel, chocolate, bitter cocoa, roasted malt, nice coffee finish.
M- Full mouth feel, fills your palate, very thick and smooth.
O- Quit delicious, very smooth, easy to drink for an Imperial Stout, really solid.

Photo of sugeknight6289
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into standard pint glass.

Pours black with nice carbonation. The brown head bubbles then turn to a delicious fluff. No light is able to be seen through this baby. No alochol legs apparent.

Reeks of chocolate, hints of coffee with that thick molasses and dark fruits. Slight hops also play throughout. That nice rich, familiar RIS smell. Reminds me of a Stone IRS.

Hop biterness roles in the front of the tongue followed by dark chocolate/coffee. The flavors meld together well but it almost seems like the hop over power the rich flavors in the background.

Creamy, with medium carbonation. The biterness plays down the throat but is smoothed over the dark flavors of slight fruit, chocolate and coffee.

With such an afforable and just price, I will be picking this brew up again in the future, just not going out of my way to seek it out.

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

Appearance. Dark brown, nearly black with a finger and a half of foamy, chocolate-tan head that leaves some nice lacing.

Smell. Dark chocolate, grassy hops, burnt sugar and a little rubbing alcohol.

Taste. Bitter cocoa, grassy hops, black licorish, booze and a nice bitter coffee finish.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with solid medium, bubbly carbonation.

Overall. Great RIS. Pretty easy drinker considering the fullness of body and flavour.

Photo of Azurescens
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours jet black with thin light brown head that fades quickly leaving some lacing around glass.

S: Lots of alcohol in the aroma with molasses and roasted barley. The dominant alcohol smell stings my nose and makes it harder to pick up other aromas.

T: Slightly hot but not nearly as strong as the nose. Molasses, roasted barley with some dark fruit and chocolate coat my tongue with each sip. Smooth up front and finishes with a bitter kick.

M: Full bodied with some carbonation, smooth and slightly chewy.

O: Above average imperial stout, but no real robust dominant flavors that jump out at you. Pretty good all around besides the strong alcohol in the nose.

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

Growler from my local store into pint glass

A - Pours a pitch black with a finger of nice brown head. Very impressive lacing.

S - Clean coffee aroma with some chocolate and a roasted malt backing.

T - Really impressive. There's coffee, a lot of chocolate, roasted malt, and a nice hint of dark fruit. Sweet chocolate is the dominant flavor here. Even has some hop to it, just the right amount. Some alcohol, but not much. Going to let it warm up and see how it blossoms.

M - Nice and thick, spot on for the style. Stays pretty wet throughout. Creamy and almost chewy.

O - Overall a very delicious beer. Incredible for something so widely available and relatively inexpensive. The value and availability make this the go-to "everyday" beer in the RIS style, but it's not diminished in any way. It is simultaneously really easy to get and impossibly complex and delicious.

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

Pours pitch black into a NB globe glass with three fingers high of amazing head, mocha and whipped consistency. No cascading effect and spotty but tight lacing.

Rather light aroma for an RIS but components are all there, predominant chocolate and coffee but paired with cherries, dark fruits, molasses and even pecans. Rather boozy and syrupy as well.

Sweet but not cloying, chocolate predominant, in fact very little coffee to speak of in the initial taste. This is coupled with some caramel, cherry and nuttiness. The after taste comes in late but rather strong, not of hop bitterness but coffee and charred almonds. Unlike the nose, alcohol is well hidden.

Medium heavy mouthfeel, velvety smooth almost creamy and lacking in carbonation.

A slow sipper meant to be savored and a great value to boot, under $8 for four of these bottles. Pleasant all around and a good portal into the world of RIS.

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

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours nearly pitch black with three fingers of lumpy, toasted brown foam. Very nice lacing and good visible carbonation. Nose is rich and sweet with notes of coffee, cocoa, a little caramel, and some alcohol. Thick like chocolate milk on the palate with excellent carbonation. Not much hop character. The malt isn't overbearing, allowing dark chocolate flavors to play on the palate and become more pronounced in the finish. Very easy to drink for 9% abv. The mouthfeel and palate are very well rounded so you don't feel super weighed down. Still, its obvious why they only sell it in 4-packs. Its a big brew meant for moderation and special occasions. Happy Friday to me :)

Photo of AnPiobaire
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a 4 pack of Old Rasputin not knowing anything about it at the time. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Upon first pouring it into the glass it pours a nice rich opaque brown/black, with a nice head that slowly recedes and some moderate lacing.

The nose is a mixture of roasted malt, chocolate, raisin, and some hoppy bitterness.

The taste is roasted malts quickly followed by a hoppy bitter finish. This brew is lighter then the color and pour would lead on and had much more carbonation then I anticipate in a Russian Imperial Stout, but that did not stop this brew from delighting the taste buds.

I would certainly be into this again and would definately love to get a hold of it in a growler from a nitro tap. This isn't in my top 5 of Imperial Stouts but it is a very nice selection for those of you wanting an enjoyable beer. Enjoy!!!

Photo of MattyG85
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Very black with a slight amount of light shining through the bottom. Big creamy tan head with great retention and good lacing. The head retention is surprising for an imperial stout.

Smell: Strong scent of roasted malts and chocolate with noticeable floral hops. Very hoppy for an imperial stout.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee, sweet dried fruit, and a hint of molasses. Toasted bread and mild grapefruit hop bitterness. Not as hoppy as it smells.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with medium carbonation. Alcohol is hidden well.

Overall: An exceptional stout across the board.

Photo of JayAre46
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation 12 oz poured into a stone IRS tulip, black as night, producing 2 1/2 fingers of a light tan colored heaven like flotation device, good lacing but wanted better. will do

A - Blast of roasted malts and dark chocolate immediately fill the nose, not a lot of hops but sweet anger and from where we stand this beer reminds me of a Knighted Cavalry uniformly hauling ass over a green plain ready to crush skulls.

T - Roasted Malts then a flash of hops swallowed by the chocolate, hints of coffee with a touch of chocolate covered spike crushing cherry, little heat but not over powering dark chocolate and roasted malts dominate.

M - full bodied greatness, im now to the point of imagining my little black knighted cavalry flowing over the hills effortlessly with piercing swords coating the mouth and controlling the moderate carbonation while taming the warming alcohol in a synchronized formation.

O - This is a great representation of the style, for the big stout fan this is an all time must have, my favorite beer for the winter. Now introducing Team-o-Knighted-Beasts, we graze on the weak and board the domination station, I give you Old Rasputin...

well done North Coast.

Photo of deadbody
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. $7 for the 4 pack on sale I was expecting decent. Instead I get exceptional. Pours a dark black with a huge head, recedes to a thin layer of foam with lacing all up and down the glass. Smells great, not a hint of booze in the 9% ABV hog. Taste is good, a bit too much burnt but not bad. Nice and subtle, no booze taste. Mouthfeel is great, thick and rich. Almost bready.

Overall, this is a hell of a value, and I will be picking it up regularly.

Photo of dgugliuzza
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 oz. bottle into a snifter

A- Pours black with a vicious dark tan head. Thick, fluffy head which resembles a pillowy sky. Nice sticky lacing and great head retention.

S- Smells of chocolate and molasses. Balances out with a floral hop presence. Plenty of sweet, chocolaty malt. I can taste the richness through the smell.

T- Full blast of roasted malt and chocolate with a bitter hop finish. The chocolate and toffee sweetness is followed by a floral hop finish. Amazing balance. Not too one sided or overpowering.

M- Creamy, smooth and perfectly balanced. Reminiscent of a piece of velvet chocolate cake. Leaves a rich, thick coat on the palate. Carbonation is in tune with the style.

D- Because of how smooth it is for an RIS, this one can easily be enjoyed one delicious sip at a time. Exquisite creaminess. One of the richest and boldest RIS's one can find. It still amazes and pleases me that this is available year round.

Photo of Mario61Aler
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Where to begin?

A- as black as it gets with a 2" head that is a rich milk chocolate color that fades to a nice lace rim that is still there 5 minutes after the pour!

S- Chocolate malt cream complex yummy waiting to taste it.

T- deep rich malts that fade to choclate, hardly any alcohol taste at all. This could spell trouble in the overall category.

M- wow and wow again soft and velvety clean at the end with a standing taste left over that begs for more.

O- This is a sipper for sure, 9% ABV, and finishes clean, rich and warm. Its like being wrapped in a soft blanket on a chily spring night. No flowers here just GREAT BEER!

Photo of engagechad
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottles purchased as a 4 pack from Wegmans in Leesburg, VA - poured into a pint

Pours dark as night with a MASSIVE head that never dies.. Beautiful brown head.
Smells complex with dark fruity notes and chocolate, taste follows with malt sweetness, maintaining great balance. Feels great and over all this experience was good, but nothing like on tap. on tap it's out of this world.

Photo of ehammond1
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap (Nitro)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A beautiful sight to behold when it's brought from the bar. Black as night, unrelenting chocolate milk head that won't dare leave, thick lacing, milky, thick, and creamy appearance. Luscious and decadent.

The two main aromas are chocolate and roasted malt. The chocolate is rich and sweet while the roasted malts almost smell meaty, akin to a barbeque. There's a bit of smoke and some coffee in the nose as well, but it's mainly chocolate and roasted malt.

The taste is a bit more complex than the nose. The chocolate, roasted malts, and smoke are present along with a bit of bitter and citrus hops. It's complex, decadent, yet simple.

Creamy, milky mouthfeel.

A simple yet complex RIS. Consistent and delicious, not to mention affordable.

Photo of flipper2gv
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a lot to BEERchitect for this one!

A: Pours deep black with a generous two finger mocha head. Head looks a bit foamy with very good retention and really good lacing.

S: The first thing that strikes me with this beer is the hops. There are a LOT of hops in this. Very strong citrus notes right off the bat with notes of lime, grapefruit and a little bit of pineapple. But there are also a lot of "normal" imperial stout in the smell too: roasted barley, coffee, dark chocolate, licorice and molasses. With all the hops, it's nice to see it's still quite sweet. Great smelling beer. Strength is medium.

T: The hops are much less strong in the taste than in the smell. There is still traces of very dry (as in not sweet) lime juice and grapefruit, not much pineapple. What you're left with is a massive attack of powder cocoa. Coffee is also a huge player in this beer. Molasses and licorice are quite strong too. Light vanilla and maybe maple syrup. Still, a very dry imperial stout that makes me think of a better Simple Malt Imperial Stout.

M: I like my imperial stouts bigger but this, with all the dryness, is not as bad as it may seem. The medium body with medium to strong carbonation actually fits ok with the beer.

O: This is a very enjoyable Imperial Stout. I have the feeling this beer ages very well and maybe helps out the sugar to come out a little bit more. But still, this beer has a lot of character and isn't your typical Imperial Stout. Drinkability is really good also.

Photo of zeledonia
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark chocolate brown, almost black. Shows some reddish-brown edges when held to a light. The medium-tan head is so buoyant and fluffy it nearly overflowed my glass, and I had to wait several minutes for it to subside. Even then it left a layer of foam with a collar of lace.

Smell is surprisingly fruity for a stout; blackberries, backed up by some chocolate. Really nice combination of malt and hop aromatics, though it is a bit weak on the nose. I like a little more punch from a RIS than this one offers, but what's there is quite good.

Taste is hoppier than I expected, but not overly so. Dark fruits, chocolate, and some slightly smoky dark malts.

Mouthfeel is great - medium-thick, but smooth and light in the mouth thanks to the carbonation, which gives it a nice small-bubble creaminess.

This is a darn good imperial stout. It's fruity and hoppy, but still well-balanced, and the thick but light mouthfeel is really nice. The alcohol is completely invisible. Likely to become a staple.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,361 ratings.