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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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10,544 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,544
Reviews: 3,446
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 379
Gots: 1,725 | 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: 10,544 | Reviews: 3,446 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of xuptygm
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Upon pouring this beer looks and smells amazing. Black as night big frothy brown head. Sweet roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and alcohol aromas. Smells very complex and delightful.

Very(!) smooth drinking. Starts out tasting of roasted (almost burnt) malt with a little bitterness (I presume from the hops), but then finishes with a very complex smooth chocolate coffee finish.

After taking a few drinks I noticed that the beer leaves a very faint lacing, and the head begins to recede. After warming a bit the beer just keeps getting better. It evolves into a bittersweet chocolate finish that somehow tastes bitter yet equally sweet. I would drink this at room temperature to get the full effect.

One of the best R.I.S. I have had the pleasure of drinking. A classic beer for sure.

Photo of fields336
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: completely black, dark as night, opaque, with a tight khaki 3 finger creamy, thick head sitting on top of the beer, leaves small amount of lacing as it fades

S: Coffee, dark chocolate, toffee, sweet malts present. Not much hop presence, but some slight grassy, earthy presence maybe. there is a dark woody smell as well. Almost smells like bourbon or brandy as it warms.

T: espresso beans in the taste, with a ton of bitter dark chocolate as well, there is a really awesome hop bitterness/alcohol burn at the back of the tongue. leaves a lingering bitterness and a dark earthy aftertaste. Really nice

M: Full bodied, but really delicious. Tastes like a dark chocolate hershey bar with cocoa beans. It's a great tasting beer.

O: Great beer, that is readily available. Highly recommended

Photo of phideltashaggy
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a recently cleaned standard pint glass.

(note) this is my first RIS, so keep that in mind.

A-Beautiful beer; black as night with a thick, brown head.

S- The nose is mainly chocolate with some molasses and a little hoppiness

T- Lots of bitterness. A little chocolate and a little alcohol. A roastiness stays on the palate long after the sip is through.

MF- This is what I expect from my stouts, the feel is thick as can be without being too creamy.

Overall, I like this beer. I live in Memphis, so I'll wait until winter to try it again, but it's a really good beer.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 3 finger milk chocolate head, thick lace.. Very black.

S: Very roasted with a sharp sweet note resembling dark fruit filling.

T: Dark chocolate is the major player here. Roast and coffee as well with toffee mixed in. I am also getting a dark fruit finish, like the aroma, with a cherry-like thick syrupy filling would taste.

M: Thick bodied and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Very nice aroma. One of the best imperial stouts I have had. Excellent all the way around.

Photo of jrenihan
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a frothy tan head. Dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a tan film.

Big and enveloping smell that is noticeable as soon as the bottle is opened. Cocoa, roasted malt, a bit of a woody scent. A little bit of alcohol.

Taste is similar to the nose, but even better. Lots of chocolate, a bit of vanilla, a touch of hoppy bitterness, and a bunch of roasted malt all through. A very minimal bit of booze- pretty well hidden considering the beer's strength. All mixed together beautifully, a wonderful beer. Finish is bittersweet chocolate. An absolutely lovely stout.

Body is nice and full bodied, just as an imperial stout should be. Slightly more carbonated than I would like, but only just.

Overall, a truly fantastic beer and a gem of an imperial stout. Can't go wrong with this one.

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

The basic walkthrough is something like this:

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout pours great from a 12 fl. oz. bottle. As soon as the head begins to form the full bouquet is there from its smokey dark malt earth tones to its chocolatey sweetness and of course its 09% ABV--it is all there immediately and it's a beautiful thing.

The head is nice and thick--a good three finger head--but its airyness--that which gave us that beautiful strong bouquet--of course means it dies off pretty quick. What's left behind if a pretty, light, chocolate colored lace that hangs in there the whole time.

From the first sip I was in love with this beer's body and mouthfeel. It's got a perfect carbonation, leaving a potentially heavy beer lighter than one would expect. The mouthfeel however ends up being a bit creamy and in that way it's a pretty awesome ride to go from that unexpected crisp lightness to the obvious feel you want and expect from a stout.

The taste from beginning to end is full and certainly a bit more alcoholic than I like, but in a great way the somewhat higher alcohol content compliments the mouthfeel of this beer and certainly makes the "warm finish" they advertise on the bottle happen.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout is an experience for sure. And while I prefer a crisper, hoppier beer this certainly got my attention and has 'warmed' me up to stouts that much more.

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

Served into a pint glass from a bottle.

A - Very dark mocha/coffee appearance with a thick head.

S - Very malt and coffee smell, a bit of an alcohol smell as well

T - Malts and a hint of coffee flavor at the end. It is a very strong and complex flavor, definitely something you need to take your time with.

M - Almost no hint of carbination. Very thick, yet smooth, i know that doesn't sound possible but thats what I think

O - I haven't had many Russian Imperial Stouts to compare with but this is by far my favorite

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

picked up a four-pack from the Safeway near Alaska Junction in West Seattle for a whooping 8.49. stupid good price. poured 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

pours a wonderful mocha colored, inch and a half head with moderate tan lacing. coffee black, with coca cola like bubbles and flow. opaque in glass with caramel tint when light hits. absolutely no light penetrates this beer.

smells of strong, roasting cocoa, malt and firewood. a nice milk-and-creamy coffee aroma with cherry-like overtones.

chocolaty on-bringing, lacquer hint imperial stouts tend to have. malty, a faint spicy - almost cinnamon - vibe.

frothy hot chocolate feel, brisk aftertaste with a great, clean finish.

THE Imperial Stout brewers should look up to, respect, and admire.

Photo of brewskifan55
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Been hankering for this old wizard ever since meeting him in Sydney's Wine shop in New Orleans a few months ago.

Appearance: Expresso colored, 2 finger head that lingers

Smell: Malt heaven with portions of chocolate and coffee on the side; a superb olfactory sensation that beckons to take your time with this one.

Taste: Rich, complex. Coffee, malt, toffee, chocolate and chicory. The alcohol creeps in and gives you a warm haze.

Mouthfeel: heavy, really coats the tongue

Overall: Old Raspy simply knocks your socks off. It's like good sex: overwhelming, caught up in the moment, with a nice lingering feeling afterwards that you've just had one of the finest creations on earth.

Photo of brewski101
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the second time I have had this beer. I don't drink stouts too often but the bar was featuring it. The pour was done well as the bartender gave it a litle rest prior to filling the pint to the top. The foam appeared and dissipated in about a minute. Color was quite dark. Flavors of coffee and chocolate. Well balanced. More importantly - the aroma and taste was consistent with the last time I've had it. Had this with the dessert and found it to be a good pairing.

Photo of mattboyer182
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Thick black pour with a thin head.

S - Has a great chocolatey coffee smell.

T - Just like the smell. Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and an alcohol burn at the end.

M - Very thick. On the lower end of carbonation.

O - Great stout. Just the way a RIS should be.

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

A: Black body with a nice creamy mocha head(medium dissipation).

S: Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, coffee, and dark fruits(raisins).

T: Taste of dark chocolate, citrus, vanilla, roasted sweet malt, followed by a dash of hops. Dark chocolate is dominate in aftertaste.

M: Very carbonated, alcohol is very apparent but warming, smooth, and full bodied.

O: Very nice drink. Probably my 3rd favorite stout. I would defiantly recommend and buy. Yeti and the stone Russian Imperial stout are on my top, but this is still a damn good beer. Defiantly pick this one up.

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

A: Great look to it. mice and dark...didn't give it a 5 though cause it isn't motor oil dark...maintains a really good head

S: Very hoppy to smell, guessing a pretty high ibu...alcohol smell, nice smoked malt smell. Hoppy is the thing that comes to ming

T: Very hoppy compared to others...little cocoa...very little coffee

M: Not as creamy as I would like...Nice creamy head but one you get to the substance very dry...still though i'll kill a four pack

O: Great rendition of the style, definitively one of the top three I have had..just wish it was little creamier and full bodied. Needs maybe another .5% Abv...but still nothing to rag about here

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

As I go through the last 25 or so beers on the Beer of Fame list, I am experiencing easy-to-find brews that I should have tried years ago. Old Rasputin is one of them. Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. Dense dark brown color, very little light coming through. Good sized frothy tan head with good retention and thick bands of lacing. A good looking beer. Smell is pretty robust as well, mostly roasted malts and caramel malt.

Taste is outstanding. Malts rule but there is a good chocolate presence and HOPS!!! There is a good bitterness in the finish that enhances the experience. A great blend of flavors.

Mouthfeel is rich with a hops bite at the end. There is a warming alcohol presence as well that does not take from the drinking experience.

This is a really good RIS.

Photo of Converge
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a 16oz tulip. Here goes my first RIS!

A - Pours with a thick, three-and-a-half-finger head, dark mocha in color. Totally black color for the beer. Probably the darkest beer I've ever seen. Good head retention and fantastic lacing.

S - Tons of roasted malt, rich dark chocolate, and crisp floral hops. I'm actually surprised at how prominent the hops are on the nose.

T - Whoa! Talk about full flavored. Upfront this beer is packed with roasted and burnt malt, espresso bitterness, and subtle but sharp hops. First sip finishes with a thick, warm, roasted bitterness that just assaults the palate. After the initial shock to my taste-buds, this stout shows a sweeter side as well. I can pick out a strong chocolate flavor very easily, as well as notes of dark fruit and molasses. The alcohol is pretty warming, but the actual taste of the booze is masked incredibly well under this barrage of dark flavors. The crisp, floral hops give the finish a clean, almost herbal feel without feeling too astringent for my palate. A touch of brown sugar and caramel is also present near the end. Very well crafted flavor profile here.

M - Heavy body, really viscous with a creaminess to it as well. Decent amount of carbonation as well. Finishes quite dry from all of the bitter flavors present, but not too dry. Warm alcohol presence is also detectable, but certainly doesn't hint to a 9.0% ABV. Towards the end, the feeling even becomes fairly sticky. Strong and full bodied without being too overwhelming. Could have been a bit smoother, however.

D - As mentioned, this beer is my introduction into RIS's, and I definitely enjoyed my first. I must admit I'm not too fond of overly-hoppy beers, and I had my doubts on this one after the hoppy aroma, but the flavor turned out to be very well balanced and carefully crafted. Deceptively easy to drink too, making this one a bit of a sipper for a guy like me. This one really is a monster, but a tasty one at that. I'm happy to have three more bottles sitting around.

Photo of elvisnj
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from 12oz bottle.

Looks pitch black with small dark brown head. Looks like a stout should. Smell is fantastic. Yeast and dark malts abound. Espresso and hops as well. I love the aroma of this beer.

Taste is light on the tongue for a stout but has bitter aftertaste. Not a clean hop type bitter but like a lingering espresso bitter. Tastes good but the aftertaste is just a slight drag.

The dark malts are evident in taste and hops come through nicely but not over the top. keeps a thin cream colored head throughout. All 12oz are gone in just a few minutes despite the fact that I am trying to savor this.
Overall a good showing for the style and for North Coast Brewing Co.

Photo of draheim
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle (no dates or codes, but purchased earlier this year) poured into a snifter. Pitch black color with a light brown loose head the quickly dissipates to a tan ring around the glass.

Aroma is rich, roasty dark malt, cocoa, and a whiff of booze.

First sip is bitter dark roasty malt and bitter dark chocolate. Nice dry bitterness on the finish. As it warms it just gets better. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth.

What I really like about Old Rasputin is its purity, simplicity. This is a rock-solid, clean, straightforward RIS that exemplifies the style.

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
2.12/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

First, I must disclose that this is my first Russian Imperial Stout and if this is typical of the style, I won't be having too many more! This brew has in it's favor an almost black color and a nice rich aroma, you can smell the alchohol. But, it's all about the taste! This tasted far too bitter and hoppy, and left a horrible aftertaste in the back of the mouth!
Again , I enjoy sweet stouts, like Murphy's, so make your judgements accordingly!!

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

On Nitro tap at Jupiter in Berkeley.

A- Pour just about black, totally opaque, with a huge turbulent khaki head. The head on this beer is amazing, it eventually settles to an incredibly creamy, khaki layer about a finger deep. Produces a heavy coating of lace.

S- Lots of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, some vanilla.

T- The flavor here is massive. The malts are big and heavily roasted, with fistfuls of roasted coffee beans with some chocolate and char. Hops become more noticeable once you can get past the malts, some citrus is hidden in there. Finishes dry with some sweetness and a lot of alcohol, which is just a bit warming.

M- I can hardly even describe this. Full bodied and unbelievably smooth and creamy. The nitro produces a thick, rich feel. It mellows out after a while but the first few sips are like drinking a milkshake.

O- My first nitro experience and I'm really impressed. This beer retains all of the great flavors of a Russian Imperial stout but the feel on this brew is really incredible.

Photo of HoppySuds
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours thick with just enough head to dust up the great aroma

S - Rich coffee, with a hint of the sweetness of chocolate. Alcohol comes through hot in the end.

T - Sweet and rich with roasted malts and coffee coming through strongest. Warming alcohol finish does not overwhelm the pallet .

M – Great creamy texture that fills the mouth.

O – Overall this was a great beer. I’m really enjoying the imperial stouts in general but this is one of the best examples. If someone is looking to try an imperial stout for the first time this would be one of my top suggestions.

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

This is yet again another classic. I must also admit a bias. Old Rasputin is what got me into craft beer about a year ago. Its still as good as the day we first met. :-)

Appearance: Dark as night. Pours a stout the way an imperial stout should look; a generous amount of dark chocolate color head that leaves lacing down the glass. Brilliant head; one of my favorite heads. The head is frothy on the underside and it is like cream on the top side. After the froth subsides, there is still a good quarter to a half inch of creamy head that sticks. It was just begging me to sip it; so I did!

Smell: Dark coffees, dark fruits, special dark chocolates, and pleasantly burnt roasts of malt. And HOPS damn it! HOPS!

Taste: It is absolutely sensory overload. Once again, dark coffees, darker fruits (figs, dates, etc), special dark chocolates, dark roasts of malt, and an ever faint hint of molasses. On the front (which does not last very long) are the fruiter flavors, but very quickly comes this huge rush of kick-your-ass flavor of the roasted ingredients. It finishes bitter, and is held together by this hoppy brilliance. It has an almost spicy quality to it. I imagine because of the higher ABV that it has some esters in it. Hence the spiciness. The hops nail the dark roasts and fruits to my palate. The bitter darks with the semi-sweetness of the chocolates and dark fruits give it a cult flavor that few will comprehend the greatness!

Mouth: It has an above average amount of carbonation for a Russian Imperial Stout. Probably a bit more than what one should be used to. It adds to the spiciness of the esters and gives the bitterness of the hops a sensory kick on the palate.

Overall: This brew kicks my ass. I'm a IPA/APA drinker and so I love hops. But I also love artisan dark roasts of coffee. This is the necrobaby of these two worlds for me. I've been converted to the cult of Rasputin. Old Rasputin RIS will always have a special place in my fridge or in my collection. It is a beer-drinkers treasure and every drop should be savored. I believe that I could session this beer. Not because I'm going to be drinking more than 3-4 pints of it, but because it demands respect and that you cherish its company while it is there. This isn't your one night stand; wham, bam, thank you mam-- this is a beer that deserves to be cherished and treated like the gem that it is. This brew and I have a long life together. Cheers mate!

Photo of StayWounded
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am a little bias as this is one of my go-to beers. I've had it both on-tap and in the bottle multiple times.

A- Looks as a Russian Imperial should. Deep, dark body, with a strong mocha head that lingers well.

S- Lots going on here. Dark fruits, coffee, chocolate, a nice roasty smell. You can definitely smell the warmth of the alcohol on this one.

T- On-tap the flavors coalesce in a more subtle way, very nicely. It is bold as a Russian Imperial should be, and the warming heat hits the back of the throat. I can see that being a problem for some drinkers, but it is nice, especially during winter months (and even more so when you live on a mountain). The primary flavors are the chocolate and coffee and the dark fruits, bitterness comes though with a bit of sweetness towards the middle to end.

M- Very warm and smooth with a bit of thickness. The bottle is a bit less smooth and less, thick. The warmth is the stand out characteristic.

Overall- I've got to say this is one of my favorite beers. Affordable given other options and very drinkable. Excellent during winter and excellent for night in.

Photo of match1112
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours from bottle to pint glass black as can be, an aggressive pour results in too much head flowing over the glass. smells of malts, roasted coffee and dark fruits. taste is amazing, more roasted coffee and caramel malts with a slight bittterness and burn from booze. mouthfeel is thick rich and creamy. lots of carbonation. overall one of my faves that i cant believe i havn't reviewed yet.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on nitro-tap in a snifter glass at Mikro in Hamden, Conn.

A: Black as night with a dense, two-finger head of creamy, tan foam which left chunks of lace on the glass and persisted throughout the finish.

S: Roasted black malt, spicy fruity notes, chocolate, raisin and a whiff of booze to add complexity.

T: Bitter, herbal, roasted malt flavor that gives off espresso bean, cocoa nib and fig flavors. Lots to work with here as a bitter, herbal hop rushes the palate, lending earthy, tobacco leaf qualities to the mix. Finishes bittersweet with some clingy, dark sugars and a smooth, creamy roasted aftertaste.

M: Creamy, full-bodied stout with a bit to chew on as well. Very smooth, deep and complex.

O: For the barleywine fan in your life, Old Rasputin is almost as good as it gets. The nitro-tap presentation here adds another dimension of complexity and enjoyment to the mix. Dangerously drinkable at 9% ABV, this stout is a favorite to have on hand during the cold winter months but is a treat for a dreary summer evening as well.

Photo of PrivateEquity
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Awesome black body with Aeolus head. Lacing is nice but doesn't stay long. Very inviting.

S - Dark roasted nose. Small of chocolate.

T - Dark roasted malt. Bitterness is definitely there. Aftertaste is a little salty.

M - great thickness, solid carbonation.

O - Always pleased when I pop open this beer. Intense beer. Great sipper.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,544 ratings.