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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,692 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,692
Reviews: 3,351
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 292
Gots: 1,233 | FT: 38
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,692 | Reviews: 3,351 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Patrick999
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I always see this on the supermarket shelves, a BA Top 100 beer, but never pick it up. This time, I picked it up. Here we go:

This one is going into the snifter. Pours a suitably opaque black/brown, with a very nice cap of espresso crema-like foam.

Aromatics are a bit muted, consisting mostly of caramel macchiato and light carob.

Taste is mostly roasted coffee with some earthy hop bitterness. Sweet, but dried out pretty well by the roastiness.

Feel is creamy, but not poetically so.

Solid imperial stout, but I'm going out on a limb to say it's a bit overrated, especially given this site's adoration for the RIS style.

Patrick999, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of donmonkey1
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours black with a really nice frothy brown head. The head isn't going anywhere soon either. Excellent lacing. I can tell immediately by looking at this beer that it's got to be great.

Smell: Chocolate, molasses, nutty.

Taste: Nutty, coffee, raisin, molasses. There's a sweetness with a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Thick and a bit stingy.

Drinkability: This is an outstanding beer but it's like rich chocolate, you can only handle so much at one time. I'm sure I could manage to hold quite a bit though if I put my mind to it.

donmonkey1, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of Liverpool08
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is a beautiful midnight black with a nice mocha colored head. Sweet smells of coffee and a hint of the alchohol. Super taste. Has the elements of coffee, chocolate, and English toffee. Nice creamy malt flavors that coat the mouth. What a great beer to end the evening with.
Very very easy to drink. A top-notch RIS!!

Liverpool08, Jul 02, 2009
Photo of spartan30
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first BA review!
I'm pleased to have the opportunity to review one of my favorite styles not to mention a beer I've been dying to try!

The appearance was exactly what you'd expect of the style dark and inviting with a half inch of rusty colored head with some lacing.

The smell was wonderful, a pleasant bouquet of chocolate,raisins and molasses with a pleasantly balanced roasted aroma bringing it all together.

The taste didn't disappoint either. This brew is a dessert all by itself. It has an alcoholic modesty and a rich complex flavor that could win over the most resistant to the style.

The mouth feel was a bit lighter than I expected not coating the mouth like others of the same style but again, the taste more than makes up for this.

Good drinkability a hardy beer but gentle and not overly boozy. Definitely a bargain for the quality. This is a beer that will remain a staple in my fridge.

spartan30, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of Phylomatic
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First "Imperial" beer I've tried.

Appearance: Ahhh...lets just say I understand why its an Imperial beer. If Darth Vader was drinking its blackedy black goodness it would blend in with his outfit, unless it was in front of his blippidy blip lighty light thing. The froth at the top would stand out too...its not black, but pretty close. What you would videy the blackest a cloud in the sky could get.

Smell: eh..I couldn't smell anything...

Taste: As always with one of my reviews, I can't quite put to words what I taste so I'll just blurt out some words. Sweet..or bittersweet with 75 percent sweet, 25 percent bitter. Hazelnut? I know, weird, right? coffee, chocolate and more chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Smoooth. It's funny really the way it teases. It's just a hint of the taboo, not too much to turn you off.

Drinkability: Dangerous. I could drink it all night. I would not drink this on a farm.

Phylomatic, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A. Served at the pub in Fort Bragg, in a 10 oz glass, perfect 2 finger head, slight off white. Beer is flat black. Laces well.

S. Only area this beer lacks, is a bit flat, not to may notes other then vanilla.

T. Well balanced, just the right amounts of roasted malts and molasses to give it the perfect flavor profile.

M. Perfect, creamy buttery, feels like the entire glass of stout could slide down my throat in on gulp.

O. My go to Stout. The nitrification at the brewery enhances the amazingness of this beer.

DwnTwnBwn, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of BenJames1984
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First time trying this. After hearing a lot of hype and rants, I've decided to give her a whirl.

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance- Black as night. Tan colored head lingers on the surface, leaving a nice lacing.

Smell- Coffee notes. Roasted malts. A nice, bitter sweet aroma.

Taste- A complexity of coffee, chocolate, and sweet, roasted malts.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, with low-medium carbonation.

Drinkability- This one was pretty strong. Good stuff, but this is definitely an occasional beer for me.

BenJames1984, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of brothercannon
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks like motor oil. Tastes like something chard. Doesn't give off as strong of an alcohol smell as it should. Slides down smooth with a little carbonation bite at the end. Not a session beer but those usually aren't as fun. A must try for any stout fan.

brothercannon, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


A: Pours black as night with a very brief but
beautiful head that is a brown that is
muddy red when hed to the light.

S: Coffee, sweet malt, and hints of cocoa.
Underlying sweetness of fruit maybe raisin.

T: Really Good. All of the aromas are
appropriately translated in the flavors.
The pallet is blessed with malt coffee
heaven. The sweetness is present at intro-
duction and a slight hop is there to say

M: Really great carbonation with a full bodied
and a near perfect consistency, not at all
thin while not nearly heavy.

D: The 9% ABV makes this a professionals' beer
so be careful because once you start it is
very difficult to stop.

ArrogantDeadGuy, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of theboozecruise
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. Dark chocolatey brown color with a tan head that lingered. very nice.

The aroma is a dominant malty chocolate. Delicious.

The taste follows through on the aroma. A little bit muted though... I wish more malty chocolate flavors came through.

At 9% I wouldn't WANT to drink a lot of these in one sitting, but it's good enough to.

theboozecruise, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of x63x77
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown, very opaque. Nice rich creamy brown head from the nitro-tap, fine lacing all the way to the end of the glass.

Smell: Warm roasted malty goodness. Nose had a nice sweetness about it that balanced the hops well

Taste: Spectacular. The nitro-tap makes all the difference with this beer. I have also had it from a bottle which is good, but the tap version had all of the freshness and bright, warm flavor I have no come to expect from this beer. Personally, I would like to see a bit more hops, especially from a west coast company.

Mouth Feel: Silky smooth, liquid velvet. Smooth light nitrogen carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down smooth, tiny tight nitrogen bubbles help make this very much not filling.

x63x77, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of joejost
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh boy, the Tsar of Beer. Looked at the label three seperate times to see where it was brewed. Yup, Fort Bragg California!

A- Dark, Dark with a beautiful four finger head that waited around for a good long time.

S- Malt, chocolate, burnt brown sugar.

T- What a wonderful rich creamy chocolate.

M- Great carbonation and thick and rich. Would be amazing in the winter.

D- One of the best ever! A classic and well worth the praise.

joejost, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of lukymann
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Quite a pleasure to have this brew on nitro-tap... grabbed it at Deep Ellum in Allston.

A - After the beer settles out it is dark and largely opaque with a great creamy khaki colored, inch-thick head. Looked like a great dessert beer if ever I've seen one.

S - Earthy smell with overtones of chocolate. Roasted malts are unsurprisingly prevalent.

T - Excellent. Strong Espresso and chocolate flavors at the front that settle into a burnt malt residue on your tongue. A good representation of the style.

F - Two words: Creamy goodness. The smoothness of this beer on nitro is hard to describe (and it is well matched to the beer's flavor). As good as this beer is from the bottle, this presentation went well beyond surpassing my expectations.

D - The 9% ABV is not all that apparent as you're drinking. As tempting as it was to have more than one, this is not really a session beer and I moved on to something slightly less robust.

lukymann, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of samie85
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A- Black as night with a cratery, khaki-colored head.

S- Roasted coffee and dark chocolate malt aromas are heavily present as well as a slightly bready aroma.

T- All roast upfront just like the smell. It has also has a slight alcohol taste towards the end, yet not an unpleasant one.

M- Not as thick or oily as I'm used to with other RIS's. It's a little too thin for my taste and the carbonation contributes to this. After excessive swirling, it feels a lot smoother.

D- Pretty high for a RIS. I think the alcohol would catch up to me after a few of these.

samie85, Jun 19, 2009
Photo of Offa
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful, rich, somewhat assertive, yet balanced and smooth imperial stout with nice copelxity.

Black, this has a huge dark tan head slowly shrinking to a thin, syrupy foamy top and foamy, uneven lace.

The aroma is rich, dark toast, rich bittersweet chocolate, stwed fermented prunes, wet potting soil, blackstrap mollasses - very rich and very nice.

The taste is simlar, rich fermented prunes and currants stewed with bvlackstrap molasses, along with dark toast, dark chocolate, singed leaves, peppery-anise spice. It has solid sweetness but it's not too sweet or thick and has just enough spicey bitterness and alcoholic spicey warmh to balance, with lingering, mellow spicey bitterness. The alcohol is noticeable but smooth.

Offa, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of myost88
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first ever Review and also my first ever RIS!

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a British Imperial Pint.

Appearance- completely black with no hints of anything else even when held to light. Head poured just over two inches and is dark brown, very chunky. Leaves lace all down the glass as you drink

Smell- Coffee, Dark roasty malts. Two big surprises for me. Considering everything I've read or heard about the style, I didn't expect the hops in the nose (though it is certainly welcome). Also, not as much chocolate as I expected.

Taste- Ah there's the chocolate I missed in the smell! Very malty with a nice little hop bitterness coming through on the back of the tongue. Extremely balanced and very tasty!

Mouthfeel- Rich, thick, and creamy just like a stout should be. This however takes it to that next level of creaminess. It reminded me of drinking egg nog if that makes sense.

Drinkability- You wouldnt know it was 9% unless you read the label. Alcohol is hidden very well. This is very rich and definately a slow sipping beer. Left me wanting another!

myost88, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of MadTown1000
3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark and thick and heavy into a pint glass with the kind of dissipating-from-the-bottom-up foam you generally see with nitro-cans. The several inches of brown-white large-bubble foam that remain on top just stay there. Given 2 minutes, about 2/3 of it is still there, with major lacing along the part that's receded. The beer itself is a very dark chocolate brown with almost no hint of translucency.

The smell out of the bottle is sweet, roasted caramel malt, not quite the chocoalte or coffee flavors I've noted on some other imperial stouts. Not quite as strong as I've noted on some others either. Almost as strong out of the glass as out of the bottle. Quite inviting.

Taste is a touch more bitter than I like in the style. It's got a bit of a sting to it, and the bitter sticks around longer than the aforementioned sweet caramel malt and other swirling accompanying flavors. Most prominent note is something like roasted espresso beans. It's tasty, but not what I'd hold up as an exemplar of the style. If you like your sweet paired with bitter, though, it might be just for you.

MadTown1000, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the Sam Adams glass.

A - What a beauty! Poured a very dark almost oily looking black with a thick 1.5 in head that has medium sized bubbles and is tan in color. Retention is great. Very nice lacing.

S - Smell of dark roasted malts. Coffee and chocolate are very present. Sweet alcohol is present as well.

T - Very warm and inviting chocolate tastes almost like biting into a cake. Nice roasted dryness in the middle of the tongue and some mild alcoholic sweetness is there as well. It's hard to put into words how good this beer tastes. Hop character is very mild and towards the end. Some hints of coffee as well.

M - Creamy and smooth. Good CO2. Complex and as full bodied as it can get..

D - One a night for me is enough! Great beer!

JoEBoBpr, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of teejay76
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a dark brown/black. A couple inches of tan head.

Smell: Strong overtones of a vanilla coffee.

Taste: Bold bitter but complements with a sweet aftertaste. Hops and coffee. A heavy beer to be sure.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation, but not exactly smooth. Full flavored and filling.

Drinkability: Delicious. Won't become part of my everyday rotation but I'll definitely have again!

teejay76, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of dismal
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Pours pitch black with a one finger light tan head. The head stays around for quite some time and leaves some lacing down the glass. Smells faintly of coffee, roasted malts, smells pretty good. Taste is good. Roasted malts hit first followed by chocolate and ends with a mellow coffee taste and an aftertaste of coffee. For a decently high ABV beer this one hides the alcohol pretty good. Easily drinkable. A really great RIS, not the best I've had but I still enjoy it a lot.

dismal, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of aristeros
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had one of these a few weeks ago and I knew I had to have another.

Pours pitch black into my pint glass. About a finger of tan-orange head that fades, lots of lacing. No visible carbonation. Looks fantastic. I smell dark fruits, roasted sweet malts, and coffee. Didn't smell the alcohol I was expecting.

Big roasted coffee flavor, full-bodied with a surprising amount of carbonation. Some dark fruit. Hides its ABV well; excellent drinkability. A little bitter on the back end, which is fine, but I don't like the smoky quality.

It's near-perfect. Wouldn't have it with a meal because I would lose interest in my food.

aristeros, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of JAStheAce
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark tan 2 inches of head that border on brown. This may be the darkest head on any beer I have ever seen and some reddish streaks as well . Black colored beer very opaque no light can shine through this sexy darkness.

S - mocha, coffee, chocolate

T - Espresso coffee with some milk and dark chocolate undertones. Toasty and a little creamy

M - medium to heavy mouthfeel

D - at first i thought it was rather light for a stout but it gets heavier and more complex as itwarms and the flavors become even more pronounced

Overall, one of the best stouts I have ever had. Rasputin knows how t do it because the alcohol is very well disguised but tis is some great beer to sip on at night and put you to a peaceful slumber

JAStheAce, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of Docer
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a little 4-pack of this at a QFC... kept hearing a lot about it.. just hadn't seen it up here until now..

- Poured slightly heavily into my pint glass... nice mocha head that settled down to a nice pinky thickness.. Totally dark.. can't see a thing through it... looks great!

- What a great scent! I can smell some fantastic hops in this... it smells very fresh... and if you said you mixed a fresh hop IPA with a guinness.. I wouldn't doubt you.. this doesn't smell at all like a 9% stout... which is a good thing! Slight roasty chocolate malt.. but very faint at all..

- Nice bitter chocolate malt.. sweet and bitter hop bite.. lovely bitter afterbite.. can't taste the 9% Alc. at all... very smooth..

- Bitter bomb of a stout but not sour or tart... slight chewyness, and dry... what a stout ought to be...

- Super good, and super drinkable... flavor digs into the tongue and doesn't let go for awhile... overall one of the most drinkable RIS's I have tried.

Docer, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of djmichaelk
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, picked up from Deluxe Foods in Aptos, CA in June 2009.

A - Coffee black, with just a shade of color around the edges when held up to the light. Struggled to muster a one-finger head, decent lacing on the glass.

S - Alcohol, burnt sugar, coffee. Very pleasant. As it warms it gets sweeter and sweeter.

T - Not as sweet as it smells, which is welcome -- so many RIS seem a bit too sweet for me. Dark coffee, some earthy overtones. And alcohol. Wasn't sure about it at first, but as I get past the halfway mark it's growing on me.

M - Not as thick as I had imagined. Some alcohol burn, seems grainy for some reason, and oily. But it works for the most part.

D - Definitely warming me up. The high ABV makes me think I should stick to just one, but as I finish the first I'm already craving another.

Overall, I have to say that I really liked this beer. Worthy of the hype, especially for the price. I think I'll be stopping by for another couple 4-packs.

djmichaelk, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of hardy008
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a huge foamy 4+ finger tan head with great retention. The color is dark black, but allows shades of ruby to show through.

Smell - Chocolate, coffee, and dark roasted malt.

Taste - Just like the smell. Has a sweet taste with some bitterness at the end for balance.

Mouthfeel - Rich, smooth, creamy, and full bodied.

Drinkability - Highly drinkable and highly recommended.

hardy008, Jun 10, 2009
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,692 ratings.