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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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10,728 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,728
Reviews: 3,493
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 404
Gots: 1,863 | FT: 50
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 (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,728 | Reviews: 3,493 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of heygeebee
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours two fingers of tan head over a dense black body. Lacing stays. And stays.

Aromas of burnt malts, some coffee and dark chocolate

Taste is quite dry. bitter chocolate, with firm bitterness. I prefer sweeter, richer styles.

Better as it warms. Creamy mouthfeel, alcohol well hidden.

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

appearance - a great looking russian. black as the night and nice tan head that goes into some artwork with its lacing.

smell - roasted malts, chocolate, alcohol, earthy coffee

taste - chocolate malts, a bit of warming alcohol, light caramel, nothings too strong

mouthfeel - creamy and smooth. the mouthfeel is almost a 5. best part of the beer.

Photo of iamheasyouareme
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - deep brown-black, caramel head, viscous webbing

Smell - burnt malts

Taste - pure roasted malts, not much else. A strong alcohol flavor is balanced well with the burnt malts. If you look for it, you can also notice some espresso notes. Otherwise, this beer is very straightforward.

Mouthfeel - Surprisingly smooth. A slight astringency, reminiscent of a Sangiovese wine. I enjoyed the lighter body, which is not too common in this style.

Overall - Well, I had heard so many friends call this one a "classic" brew. It didn't quite live up to the hype. It's just a well done, albeit basic, RIS. Probably a good candidate for introducing a greenhorn to this style. The smokiness and drinkability might make me reach for it again on occasion, especially to warm up with during the winter months. It makes me think about starting to smoke cigars for some reason...

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

A great standby RIS or a new one if you've not tried it... pours a midnight black oily substgance with a thin dirty looking layer of head...less than half a finger.... smells and tastes of dark roasted malts with hints of dark chocolate mixed with the slightest presence of coffee grains... a somewhat thick, smooth drinking substance that opens up and provides more character as it warms up.... when in doubt, old rasputin is the way to go!

Photo of smulkowski
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

For some reason, this bottle was more highly carbonated than usual. Billowing tan head over a jet black beer, dissipating relatively quickly. The smell is a bit sweet, but mostly thick roasty malt, with a burnt edge.

Flavor is roasty, thick and rich, with some alcohol burn. Vague undercurrents of fruit, pronounced with the warming of the beer. Not as complex as many RIS beers, but excellent, especially when compared to the widely distributed examples.

Mouthfeel is relatively thick, as would be expected, but still may be a bit thin for the style. This is a very enjoyable beer - I think it might be a good example for neophytes to very strong dark beers. If you're a greenhorn and are looking to expand your beer-drinking, check this one out.

Photo of Dan3279
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been eyeing this RIS for a while now and I finally picked up one and I am finally enjoying it after sitting on it for a few months. I poured the beer into my DFH snifter to find a body that was black as night with a small tan covered head that dissipated quickly.

The aroma was what I expected and hoped for. chocolate, coffee, dried fruits and malts. The taste of this beer is just fantastic, as it warms up it gets better and better. This is a great RIS and very close to the top of my list of favorites.

This is an easy beer to drink, it is on the heavy side with a decent amount of carbonation but the alcohol is balanced in very well. Overall this is a fantastic beer and I am going to make sure that I have a few bottles in the house at all times. Its great to be able to get a solid RIS at a great price on a regular basis.

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

12 oz bottle to nonic

A: Black with a slightly reddish tint, rich brown foam with solid lacing down the sides

S: fairly sweet with a hint of non-sweetened cocoa and carob

T: dark, dried cherries, clean alcohol flavor, esp as it warms, dark cocoa (think choc. covered cherries when warmed up), grassy finish

M: Smooth, no bite at all, semi-dry on the tongue but no sign of cloying tannins

O: Delicious, on-point porter.

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

A- Solid black, light large tan head, solid head retention to.

S- Solid roast malt, hints of coffee a bit of toffee.

T- Big heavy roasted malts, that is about it actually. Big thick chewy coffee. A hint of marshmallow. I'm kind of a little disappointed, I mean its a good Imperial stout but there is no pazas. I guess I expect more from my Imperial stout.

M- Chewy, robust, not syrupy which is a solid plus.

O- Its probably one of the best 7.99 4 packs of imperial stout you can get. Really My rating should be a little higher, I just remember this being a little taster before.

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

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into a tulip. Pours jet black w/ plenty of head. Tan head that evens out nicely. The nose is lots of dark roasted malt & alcohol. Has a sweetness to it. Some coffee & chocolate in it as well.

The taste is just like the nose. Toffee & a huge helping of dark malt. Pretty decent bitterness to balance out, or at least try to, the monster that lies within. The middle has a nice sweetness to it that gives way to a moderate alcohol burn on the back end. Has a bit of a dry finish. Mouthfeel is chewy. A sipper for sure. This actually dries out the palate too much.

Overall, a very good RIS. I'd like to try this w/ a year on it to ease off the burn. Even two years out. Prosit!

Photo of mjw06
3.81/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

In a mediocre approach to this, I can best describe this beer by applying it to the "King of Stouts" in the manner that Budweiser is the "King of Beers." I can imagine Old Rasputin is what happens when the flavor of Guinness Foreign Extra meets the feel of Guinness Draught. But that's way to simple. Old Rasputin has an amazing full-bodied thick and creamy mouth that just isn't present in any other stout I've ever encountered. Somehow, the best of many worlds is what you get with Old Rasputin. Nevertheless, the taste packed an unpleasant bitterness on the swallow that I judged to be an imperfection and I was also disappointed with the alcohol, not that it was present, but rather its location on the palate. These of course are personal peculiarities that others may in fact love. I'd like to try this beer again however, exceptionally paired.

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

Look: Black as my soul. 2 inch head my fault on the pour and great retention and lacing throughout

Smell: Bitter chocolate and coffee upfront with just a hint of hops

Taste: Same as the nose. Roasted malts and bitter chocolate upfront with a bit of coffee in the middle

Mouthfeel: Full body low carbonation and a bit thick and syrupy

Overall: Let me start off by saying fresh I do not care for this beer at all so I decided to age a couple for 1 1/2 years and it was the best decision I could have made. The flavor profile is so much nicer and the alcohol burn is gone. I really really enjoyed this beer so much that I actually cracked another one and put some vanilla bean ice cream in it and made a beer float and it was absolutely amazing.

Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The menacing picture of Rasputin on the bottle is an appropriate start to this intimidating beer. Appearance is completely black; totally opaque with a big dark tan head. Chocolate scents are strong, with a slight alcohol smell on the nose as well. The chocolate carries into the taste, but is really overpowered by the hops - perhaps a bit too much. There is a grape or fig taste lingering in the background, with a surge of bitterness in the finish. Not quite what I was expecting. Mouthfeel is full-bodied. A good beer overall, but a very bold and heavy one that I'd not drink on a regular basis.

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

A - Pours with a thick tan head and looks completely black until you hold it up to the light and then a little bit of red lingers through on the lower part of the glass, lacing is heavy all around the glass.

S - Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and alot of booze.

T - Coffee, chocolate and dark fruits with a slight bitter aftertaste, and alcohol which is mild and doesn't overwhelm the flavor but leaves a slight pleasant warmth down the throat.

M - Smooth with a slight oily feel and low carbonation.

Photo of Jeffo
3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My man Doopie brough some of these back on his last trip to the USA. I've had this beer several times and reviewed it back in 2009, so it was time for a re-review. To be honest, I'm never quite sure what I think of this one.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A black, but not quite pitch black, pour yields a three finger, medium looking tan head with great retention. Black body with higher levels of carbonation for the style. Head slowly fades to a thick cap and clings to the sides. A full wisp and ring remain until the end and leaves some nice lacing down the glass. Nice looking stout.

SMELL: A decent strength nose of roasted malts and lots of baker’s chocolate. Brunt malt, caramel as well, with plenty of flowery hops. A hoppy, roasted, chocolaty nose. Very good and appealing, but needs to be slightly more forceful for world class status.

TASTE: Not nearly as impressive as the nose. Some roasted malt up front but only touches of chocolate at the swallow. A bit empty through the middle. A spicy and very hop bitter finish with plenty of floral and pine flavors. Not much roasted or chocolate flavor for an imperial stout, and lots of hoppy and spicy booze at the swallow. Medium strength and lingering aftertaste is spicy, bitter, with lots of hop and some booze as well. The roasted and stout components, which were nicely present in the nose, are very mute here. It’s like they forgot this was an imperial stout while they were hopping the shit out of it.

PALATE: Medium-full body and quite creamy smooth on the palate. Goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Good feel for the style.

OVERALL: Make no mistake about it, this is a tasty and enjoyable beer. It’s just not a tasty and enjoyable imperial stout. This is an extremely hoppy brew, but it’s extremely hoppy at the expense of being extremely stout. If you like hoppy stout-like beers, this is definitely one worth tracking down. As far as imperial stout beer is concerned, however, this one is certainly lacking some of the patented flavors that define the style. This is certainly a brew I’ll have again, but not if I’m craving an imperial stout. Thanks for doing the legwork on this one Doops!

Photo of doughanson78
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an edit of my original review as I've tried others and developed a taste I wanted to give this another shot.

My first Russian Imperial Stout. 12oz. bottle poured into a 16oz. Snifter.

A: Pitch black. HUGE fluffy 3 finger head. Light brown in color. Beautiful lacing. Head dissipates super slowly.

S: Very dark chocolate. Roasted malts. Faint bitter hops. Faint hints of coffee.

T: Bitter chocolate and coffee up front. Nicely roasted. Light alcohol warming throughout. Very light sweetness.

M: Full-bodied. Fairly creamy. Alcohol warming but not bad.

O: A very good Russian Imperial. If your not into the sweet chocolate IS's than this is definitely up your alley. Original post: (I was pretty disappointed with this beer. Maybe I just don't have the taste for Imperial Stouts yet. Loved the one Oatmeal Stout I tried. Got a Great Divide Yeti I'm gonna give a shot. Maybe I'll develop a taste for it.)

Photo of shanblur
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this before, but recently bought a 4 pack so a figured I would add a review. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Can't imagine a better looking beer. Dark black with a fluffly tan head which lingers and eventually fades into islands of foam with plenty of patterend lacing.

S - Dark roasted malt smell with sweet malts with some chocolate and coffee notes

T - Dark and rich chocolate and roasted malt flavor with hints of coffee. A nice warm alcohol finish.

M - Dense, with a lingering carbonation

A Great example of why this is my favorite style of beer. Excellent when paired with the right food, but also a spectacular brew by itself. Will enjoy many more over the coming years. Glad this is available locally for only 8.99 a four pack.

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

-from the notes and poured from a 12 ounce bottle
A - black is beautiful, especially with a big brown head on the top.
S - sweet nutty roasted dark chocolate malts.
T - amazing amount of malt complexity happening with this one. The dark chocolate is incredible!
M - thick but I wouldn't expect any less considering the malt load.
D - excellent dessert beer

Photo of ghetto90007
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into my Gulden Draak gold-rimmed tulip. The gold rim and golden dragon emblem look spectacular against the blackness of this beer.

Pours as black as can be, but notably this brew does not take on the viscous quality some beers this dark have. Light brown head.

Smell of substantial roasted malt, hint of sweetness and chocolate.

This is a tasty delicious beer. Burnt malt flavors, dark chocolate, espresso. Finish is intense coffee, drifting into a melded hop bitterness and some chocolate sweetness. Just tasty and the right balance between straightforwardness and complexity, making it very drinkable while also having a substantial mettle.

More or less full-bodied beer with decent level of carbonation that keeps things from weighing down.

A nice beer that I frequently go to when I'm in the mood for a nice, chocolatey stout.

Photo of mikestan06
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me start by saying North Coast is one of my favorite breweries, and Old Raspy is one of my favorite beers for good reason. At just $7.99/ 4pk, it's easily the most affordable and available RIS I've ever found.

A- Black black black, opaque with a thick, creamy mocha head that I just can't take my eyes off of.

S- Roasted malts take over; heavy coffee notes, chocolate.

T- God, I love stouts, and this is a beautiful explanation of why. Bitter dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and a hint of smoke. It's chewy and thick, yet dangerously drinkable at 9% ABV.

Be careful. Rasputin is a clever monk, and he'll creep up on you before you anticipate it.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.86/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black with brown highlights. Amazing khaki head that stays for much longer than expected.

The smell isn't what was expected. I pick up a slight bit of alcohol but mostly hops. A roasty citrus.

The taste is also very hop forward. As well as most of the roast leaning towards the bitter side of things. The alcohol comes through much more than I remember.

The body is on the lighter side and has a semi-dry finish.

Photo of DavidST
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Old Rasputin and I go way back and I have a nostalgic attachment to it. I'm pretty sure 5 or 6 or so years ago, trying one of these was the experience which got me moved off of Guinness / Shiner and onto trying different craft beers.

I poured a pretty aggressive pour into an over sized wine glass. The head was a nice brown color 2 fingers thick, it quickly went away and leaves a nice thick lazing, there is also a thin layer of foam which lingers around the edges and stays on top. The color is pitch black, even around the edges no light gets in, beautiful.

The smell is wonderful, mostly coffee, dark roasted malts and barely hops.

The feel is great, tingling carbonation / alcohol, semi thick and velvety.

The taste is amazing, one of my all time favorites. Up front I'm hit with tasty chocolate / coffee and roasted malts, on the way down there is some nice hoppy / bitterness. A very well balanced marvelous taste, the higher alcohol is well hidden. It gets even more complex as it warms up (although then the alcohol isn't as well hidden).

Overall, I love this beer. I still think it would make my top 5 all time favorites and at only $9 for a 4 pack, its price is hard to beat.

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

Bottle to snifter. First time with 'Ole Raspy, and North Coast in general.

A - Pours jet black. No light penetration at all. 1 1/2 fingers of creamy mocha head. Great lacing that lasts the entire glass.

S -Biscuity malts, chocolate, roastiness, slight booze tinge. Smells slightly fruity, but I can't quite tell which fruit.

T - Right up front with roasted matls, with toffee and chocolate in there as well. Booze on the finish is belly-warming.

M - Very smooth and creamy, with a pretty full body.

O - Very impressed with this beer. On the smoother side of the IRS spectrum (from what I've had), and it works very well.

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

12 oz bottle poured into brandy snifter. Label on this is probably my favorite to date. North Coast Brewing Co logo is also my favorite to date as well, really solid design work here.

Pours jet black, outlined by jet black with a hue of jet black. Big 2 finger coffee tan sexy frothy head that sinks down to a thin layer - never leaves the glass. Lacing rings stick to the glass as consumed.

Wow, chocolate malts, biscuit, toffee, roasted woody notes & booze on the nose. Very complex brew. Smells pretty damn good.

I get sweet biscuity malts up front right off the glass. Followed up by chocolate roast & soul warming booze on the back end. This is one tasty beer - I almost need, not want, NEED to stop typing & just enjoy the shit out of this!

Thick, creamy, silky smooth. Spot on with what a RIS should be (at least in my mind).

Got this in a 4pak, last one on the shelf in a RARE find! Cost me $10 for the 4pak. Hell of a price for an amazing beer. I will be looking to get this one again and again.

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

I bought a bottle of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout last week for $2.49 at The Lager Mill. I have never tried this beer before or any beers from North Coast Brewing, so I am interested to see what this beer and brewery have to offer. No visible bottling date but I think it's a 2011 vintage. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a snifter.

A- I like the label on this beer, it's pretty eye catching and classic looking. It poured a good looking pitch black color that resembled used motor oil. It had three fingers worth of fluffy tan head that died down to a thick layer that stayed the rest of the time.

S- I pick up loads of black coffee and dark chocolate aromas from the heavily roasted malts and it has a little bit of sweetness that resembles molasses. There was a slight presence of dark fruits along with a little bit of alcohol. This a pretty robust smelling beer that was dominated by the chocolate and coffee, I couldn't pick up any hops in the aroma.

T- Wow this is one robust tasting brew. The heavily roasted malts impart large amounts of dark bitter chocolate and the coffee takes on an espresso like flavor which I really liked. The molasses, brown sugar, and dark fruits are there but they are subtle and take a backseat to all the chocolate and coffee. The alcohol was hidden pretty well on this brew and was slightly warming. On the finish there is a very firm bitterness with a slight earthy hop flavor.

M- Chewy, slightly creamy, and pretty full bodied, just like it should be. The carbonation was on the high side and I didn't mind it.

Overall I thought this was a very good RIS. Old Rasputin seems to live up to all the hype very easily and is pretty much all the things a good RIS should be. As it stands now this has to be one of the better RIS's I have had but Founder's Imperial Stout remains my favorite of this style, but Old Rasputin came pretty close. Everything was pretty spot on for it's style and the only thing I would have changed would be a little milder bitterness but I am sure six months to one year in the cellar could take care of that. This may become one of my go to RIS's, it is just so much more available then Founders Imperial Stout. If you are a fan of stouts then this is a must try, it sets a nice standard for RIS's. This beer made for a good first impression from North Coast and I now see why this beer gets so many high regards, combined with price and availability it makes for one damn fine brew, can't wait to see what else North Coast is working with.

Photo of calcio360jrd
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin RIS is by far one of the best RIS u can get your hands on, and for the money, probably the best RIS you can get.

Pours traditional motor oil black with a slight retetion of a nice off white head. That wonderful smell of a RIS are present, roasty chocolate and maltiness overpower your senses. The taste of this one i thik makes it stand out, some RIS have a sweetness in the back of the pallette, i find this on the tongue of Old Rasputin, just a hint of a dark fruit taste to round out this wonderful beer.

Easy to get around me, and still the one i gravitate towards

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,728 ratings.