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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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10,804 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,804
Reviews: 3,514
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 419
Gots: 1,933 | FT: 53
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,804 | Reviews: 3,514
Photo of jeff1973
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Hair of the Dog tulip.

A - Nice dark pitch black w/ a light tan head. Lots of lacing.

S - Dark roasty, bitter malts and a little burnt sugar.

T - Roasty, leathery, then a touch of sweet dark chocolate and dark fruits. Really dries out at the end with a little alcohol warmth.

M - Medium to low carbonation. Not quote silky. Enough carbonation to still tickle.

D - Medium. Richness of the malt and warming of the alcohol doesn't let you chug this one. It begs you to enjoy it.

Solid beer. Good taste and satisfies that imperial stout urge on a budget.

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

Old Rasputin:
Finally I get to reviewing a classic oldie but goodie. Poured from a 12OZ botella into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Very dark with a tinge of ruby-red showing when held to the light. An aggressive pour results in a huge root-beer-float type head. The lacing is casklike beautiful.

Aroma: Hops, roasted malt, chocolate and dark fruits. The hop presence in this beer is very pleasant it gives the impression that this beer is fresh even if it isn’t.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, carbonation is minimal in this beer, there is a slight coffee sourness in the finish.

Taste: Bitterness right up front, lots of coffee and chocolate. The chocolate note is perfect in this young beer. I Think with a year of age this beer will be fantastically smooth. The taste is also reminiscent to an Abyss in that it has a bit of saltiness in the finish. The bourbon barreling of the Abyss, of course, makes that beer much more complex than the Old Rasps. I wonder how my Old Raspy XIIth anniversary will compare to my 2009 Abyss, we'll see!

Overall: This is one of the most consistent and affordable Imperial Russian Stouts out there. In addition, it is available in 12OZ bottles! I had this beer at room temperature and I loved it! It’s no barrel aged stout but then again a 12OZ bottle of Old Raspy is only 1/6 the price of many of the popular imperial IRS bombers!

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

12 oz. bottle, purchased from a good bottle shop, 7/2011, unknown bottling date as I did not have access to the “mother case” were the date is located. Stored in a temperature controlled environment since purchase.

Poured into a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Thick one finger head when first poured, which settles into a thin cap, easily revived with a swirl, a lively stout, tan colored head, deep black/brown color. Classic look for an IRS.

The smell hits you first with deep roasted coffee malt, intense dark unsweetened chocolate, vanilla, and as it warms some yeast sneaks out, rather complex and extremely enjoyable.

Incredibly rich flavor of roasted malt, distinct coffee and dark semi-sweet chocolate. DELICIOUS! Not overly sweet at all which I find to be very refreshing. Wonderfully balanced bitterness waits for you in the middle, are there some hops here? I think so. As this stout warms the chocolate intensifies, but you never lose that great balancing bitterness. Full bodied mouth feel, though you certainly do not notice the 9% ABV.

Very long finish of chocolate/coffee/malt, coats the mouth, and lasts forever. First class.

You really can’t ask for a whole lot more from an RIS. This is just flat out delicious! Despite the strength of this stout, or maybe because of it, I find it very easy to drink several of these back to back. It’s so good! As seems the norm for me, I feel the sweet spot temp wise is 55 degrees, when everything starts to explode from the glass. If you are a fan of RIS, this is one to search for, IMO.

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

Just an excellent brew. I bought a 4-pack and poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. It was at about 45 degrees when I poured, smelled, and started checking it out.

It poured black and beautiful. I was intrigued and gave it a deep smell.. coffee with roasted malts is what I detected, in strong amounts. Wonderful smell and I could tell it was something that I would want to drink, and in fact I've brewed several stouts looking for this sort of "in your face" roasted/coffee aroma.

I tasted it and was not disappointed, just a wonderful Imperial Stout.

Heavy roasted flavor and coffee notes. Any carmel or chocolaty notes were beaten down by the omnipresent roasted malt. The taste would linger, and was really in-your-face. It was telling me that it was not to be messed with, when a strong, but pleasant, alcoholic-type aftertast slapped my taste buds into shape.

This beer seemed to have a good amount of IBU's, which the malt calms down a bit, but then the roasted malts bring the percieved bitterness back up to balance it perfectly.

I was very impressed by this beer. It tastes like the Imperial Stout that I've been trying to make.

I look forward to drinking the other 3.

Photo of antlerwrestler19
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours oily pitch black with a half finger caramel mocha head that is super creamy - as I begin to take sips it leaves an impermeable coat of lace around the glass - excellent. The smell is coffee roast, chocolate malt, and burnt sugars - nice, roasty, and inviting. The flavors are no surprise - roasted malt, dark bitter and semisweet chocolate, dark fruits that have a bit of tang to them at the back of the tongue and bitter hops play through nicely as well - altogether very roasty and faintly smokey flavor. The mouthfeel is creamy like whole or chocolate milk and there is a presence of the alcohol. This beer is delicious I've had it on tap and bottled numerous times but finally got the audacity to review it. Love this beer and I'm glad its so readily available.


Photo of McNealc31
4.76/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Old Rasputin pours black as onyx and is completely opaque with a huge, rocky, dark beige head. The flavor is massive and complex. Lots of roasted and bitter notes with a little bit of expected coffee and chocolate. I also got some dark fruits, like currants. The finish is long, lingering, dry, and woody.

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

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass.

The well-sized dark tan head was about as dense and lovely as could be short of a nitro-can or nitro-tap. The liquid appears black with just tiny glimpses of brown at the edges when backlit. The head has excellent durability and leaves lots of light brown lacing.

Rather aromatic for a stout, with an easily detectable hop note over a rich dark malt aroma. The high ABV becomes more evident as the beer warms, but remains partially hidden. This high ABV is exceptionally well hidden in the taste and feel, however. The rich flavor, mainly from dark roasted malt, certainly contributes to the masking of alcohol flavors. There are dark chocolate and, less obvious, coffee notes in the finish. Almost no charred (burnt) taste components. Perfect sweet/bitter balance.

M - Exceptional mouthfeel, with a body that is nicely full for style, a creamy smooth texture, only the slightest alcohol tingle, and a modicum of lively tongue feel from the perfect carbonation.

O - What an excellent balance of hops and dark roasted malt, in this lively RIS! Delicious.

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark, tan head, no light shines through.

S - Chocolate and malt. Possibly a slight bit of licorice.

T - Just as it smells, chocolate, heavy dark malts. Very tasty.

M - Not quite syrupy, but heavy as most RIS' are.

O - A very good RIS. One of the best for it's price.

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

I got this one in order to see if it could be a good candidate for my first beer to try aging. I think it's worthy.

A - Great. Very delicious looking. Caramel head, dark black body. yeah, Definitely a pro stout.

S - Not too powerful, but interesting. Sweet candies, dried dates, licorice; all covered with an intense roast smell.

T - INTENSE! POwerful alcohol bite jumps through right away. It's definitely not hidden. Roasted all the way through. Coffee, burt chocolate. Very tastey and changes with temp.

M - very drinkable for such a high abv stout.

O - I think I want to see what the rest of this 4-pack will taste like in another year. If I can wait that long...

Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer always pours so well it makes me wonder why it needs to be served on nitro. Dark body with a hugely attractive mocha head. Light doesn't make it fully through, but it does give off an almost deep ruby glow in the right angles. Great lacing from this one.

S: Dark malts, molasses, lots of roast. In fact most of the other aromas found could probably be labeled as "burnt". Burnt caramel, burnt chocolate, burnt hops, so on. Alcohol doesn't hide to well in this one. There is a certain level of earthiness here that is hard to describe.

T: Surprise, its a roast bomb. French roast coffee, baker's chocolate, high alpha hops. If you can get past the dark roast there's a dark fruit sweetness that can be found. I keep saying roast because its clearly the highlight, but there are enough subtleties to keep this one interesting especially as it warms.

M: Now I remember why this is always on nitro. For such a big stout the body on this one is a weird combination of high carbonation and a thinner body. Each sip leaves you with a drying warming sensation from the dark (somewhat astringent) roast and alcohol.

O: This was one of the first beers to really pull me into the craft beer world. It has a cult following for a reason and at $8 or less a four pack it is a great bargain. I do wish there was some medium between out of the bottle and on nitro though.

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.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,804 ratings.