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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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10,692 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,692
Reviews: 3,486
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 400
Gots: 1,845 | FT: 49
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: 10,692 | Reviews: 3,486 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chicagobill13
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an awesome beer! I love Stout and I drink this beer when I am in a very good mood. Today I found it very very very cheap then the normal price I found. Nice smooth drinking imperial stout. Great taste and very easy finish stout. I found this at Trader Joe's at a very good price. Try it!

Photo of nasty31
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

120zer poured into snifter.

A- Black in color with a nice 3 finger creamy tan head. Leaves nice lacing in a perfect ring around the glass. This looks tasty

S- I get a strong chocolate roasted malt and alcohol smell on this one. Smells the way a good stout should.

T- Very bitter at first on the tongue then finishes with a nice subtle sweetness. Chocolate and malty flavor are prominent. The alcohol is not noticeable at all and the flavors blend very well together.

M-Thick and creamy mouth feel just the right amount of carb.

This is an awesome stout that is perfectly put together. Nothing about this stout is over the edge in flavor. Drinking a few bottles of this in one sitting is not a problem at all. Goes down smooth and tastes even smoother.

Photo of GoRedlegs
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle to a pub style glass.

A: Pitch black with a serious creamy mocha colored head. Frothy patches of lace.

S: Burnt oak and mild.

T: Bitter, smooth, with a bit of a dark chocolate finish.

M: Full and oily.

O: A very nice stout that I think I chilled a bit too much for the start. The flavors came out more pronounced after being glassed for about 5 minutes. Definitely worth a try.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into bourdeaux glass.
No bottled-on date that I could find, but not a huge concern w/ this style...

Aroma: Fudge brownie, chocolate malt, and very prominent, herbal hops.

Appearance: Pitch black opaque espresso with a thick 2-finger pillow of tan foam stays for a while.

Flavor: Dark, dark chocolate bitterness is balanced by semi-sweet bitterness the whole time. A hint of tannic cabernet appears. Hop bitterness is prominent, but at no point is it out of control.

Mouthfeel: Bittersweetness (3/4 bitter, 1/4 sweet) coats the tongue. Very thick body with creamy carbonation.

Overall: I love this beer! It has the exact qualities I'd hope for in an imperial stout. Other brewers lend complexity to their impy stouts through flavor additions like bourbon barrel aging, coffee beans, and/or chocolate nibs. While those are delicious as well, this beer stands on its own with a masterful blend of water, barley malt, hops, and yeast.

Na Zdorovie!

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

ottle from the same six-pack purchased in October and reviewed in November. Served in the same glass to keep everything the same.

A: Impenetrable black color with one finger tan head. Dissipates to a thin cap atop the beer. Lacing is still very prevalent.

S: Much more mellow than the bottle I cracked in October. The hops have died down considerably in the smell. Now the roasty, chocolate malts are front and center.

T: The hop profile has dialed down quite a bit from the fresh bottle. Now, the hop presence is in the finish and is not nearly as harsh. It adds a slightly bitter element to the finish and gives it a nice bite. The malts are much more detectable in this aged bottle.

M: Still a very thick and full bodied stout at this point. Nothing has changed.

O: In the six months since I first had this, it has really tamed and is much less boozy and hoppy. Old Rasputin was an outstanding stout six months ago and has improved mightily since then. I'm don't usually drink many stouts in the hot Arizona summer (where I'm moving back to soon) so I don't plan to have the final bottle from October 2010 until at least October 2011. I will be buying a couple more six packs of this to see if it can go the distance. Something tells me this will go pretty far.

Review from November 19, 2010 from a sixpack purchased in October.

Poured from a bottle into a SA Perfect Pint Glass... because it's the only glass that's clean. And it really works for anything. On to the review...

A: Pours nearly jet black with slight brown outlines when held to light. Thick and frothy two finger head that retains well and leaves nice lacing. 4.5

S: Smell is very chocolatey, slight coffee scent as well. Roasty. 4

T: Immediate taste is chocolate and hops. Quite hoppy, in fact. Alcohol on the back end and finally more chocolate, which remains in the aftertaste. 4

M: Thick and chewy, a bit oily. Really quite nice. 4.5

D: This drinks quite nice. I like the hop presence. The hops and alcohol are enough to make you sip and savor this brew, no matter how bad you want to keep drinking it. This has become my go-to Russian Imperial Stout. Outstanding value. 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a SA Perfect Pint Glass... because it's the only glass that's clean. And it really works for anything. On to the review...

A: Pours nearly jet black with slight brown outlines when held to light. Thick and frothy two finger head that retains well and leaves nice lacing.

S: Smell is very chocolatey, slight coffee scent as well. Roasty.

T: Immediate taste is chocolate and hops. Quite hoppy, in fact. Alcohol on the back end and finally more chocolate, which remains in the aftertaste.

M: Thick and chewy, a bit oily. Really quite nice.

D: This drinks quite nice. I like the hop presence. The hops and alcohol are enough to make you sip and savor this brew, no matter how bad you want to keep drinking it. This has become my go-to Russian Imperial Stout. Outstanding value.

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

Poured from a bottle out of my beer fridge at 45 degrees into a Spiegelau Stemmed Pilsner (tulip).

A: Pitch black. Thick 2-finger mocha head sits on top. Dense lacing fills the glass to the brim as the head recedes.

S: Very smooth molasses, toasted coffee, slighty boozy, although still well hidden, not much dark fruit, but you can still get a sense of it.

T: Peppery alcohol bite kicks in up front, then fades rapidly, transitioning into a deep coffee flavor, then finally decays into a bittersweet chocolate mocha finish. Definitely complex and long-lasting. Highest marks here.

M: Medium-high carbonation with plenty of very fine bubbles, which hides the ABV well.

O: Once the initial kick of the spiciness fades, the flavors mellow and reveal themselves in sequence. A fantastic brew that truly deserves its classic status. An unbelievable bargain, to boot, makes this a no-brainer as a stout staple in everyone's beer fridge. Quite possibly my favorite brew to date; I enjoy finishing the evening with this masterpiece.

Photo of lloyd83
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On the nitro-tap at Binny's South Loop.

Looks amazing with tiny, dark khaki bubbles floating up through the dark liquid and settling into a fantastic half-inch head at the top.

Scents of coffee, malt, general roastiness comes out.

Tastes delicious...Roasted coffee, chocolate, sweet, and thick. Coats the mouth well in this format. Definitely want to keep drinking them.

Moderate amount of alcohol burn is noticeable, but doesn't take away from the overall excellent character of the beer. If anything, it's a nice reminder of the abv and that I shouldn't ask for a million pours.

Photo of hosehead83
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Deep and dark with a huge head of rocky tan foam.
Aroma-Dark roasted malt, roast coffee
Taste-dark roasted coffee and malt,figs, faint smoke, hopleaf and tobacco. Rich and complex meld of semi-sweet, roastiness and hops. Sip slowly and with respect to the strength. Is that a blessing or a curse from the Mad Monk on the label? Judging from this excellent Russian Imperial, it is a blessing indeed!

Photo of atlasproaudio
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark opaque coffee brown/black with a substantial but not overblown head. Smell is nutty, roasted coffee.

Taste blew me away from the get go. Coffee, nutty, alchohol, big IBU, it's all there. It's like turning a guitar amp to 11.

My only gripe is that the alcohol taste is just a little bit on the dominant side, but that's a subjective thing (I'd like to taste maybe 10% more malt). But I appreciate that it is a big beer @ 9% ABV.

If you like Imperial Stouts, or want to try something that will put your taste buds on a fun ride this excellent beer is highly recommended.

Photo of n2185
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with four fingers of tan head that recedes into a thin ring with a little lacing.

S: Lots of bitter, roasted malts up front with some orange/citrusy notes from the hops. There are notes of creamy chocolate in there as well.

T: Lots and lots of roasted malts here with notes of dark, bitter chocolate and coffee. The hops provide some extra bitterness towards the finish and there is a decent alcohol burn. The bitterness lingers around after the finish.

M: Thick body with medium carbonation that accentuates the bitter notes of this beer.

O: Overall, a solid imperial stout and a nice value for its price. It's lacking in complexity, though, with the roasted malts and hops creating a bitterness that masks any subtleties.

Photo of Retsinis
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't recall how many times I've had this, probably a few dozen. This review is based on a recent visist to Spring Street bar in downtown Los Angeles.

A: The beer pours jet black, with a large two inch of solid cream nitro head, that sat on top like a ice cream float.

S: Roasted malt, molasses, licorice, coffee and dark choclate.

T: Some bitter dark choclate, sweet roasted malt and mollasses, and mild charred coffee.

M: medium mouth, well carbonated due to the nitro pour, creamy, and smooth.

O: Great quick pint this day. The beer is a bit different out of the bottle, Co2 draft, and nitro. Old Raspy is the staple and standard of the RIS for me, as it was the first I can remember that woke me up to just how simple the dry irish style of Guinness is in contrast, and how much more of a Stout, the RIS is.

Photo of brewemstrong
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: An aggressive pour yields a 1 finger, very dark head and a black body. Lace looks promising.

S: Dark malt that's mostly chocolate but with a touch of coffee grounds. Alcohol is fairly obvious.

T: Pretty sweet but a great flavorful blend. Molasses and chocolate assist a plum note and a touch of cinnamon.

M: Highly carbonated and the alcohol is noticeable. This is easy to drink although the finish is slightly sticky.

O: Loyal to the style, this beer is worth trying. Solid flavor blend with no real drawback other than a limited nose.

Photo of Allpe45
3.71/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from a 12oz bottle, no freshness/bottled date that I can find

The room is dark, but this appears fairly black with a short but sturdy head, and a bit of lacing.

Hop forward in the nose, with plenty of roasted malt and barley, and a bit of alcohol.

Sweet roasted malt up front with faint mocha to back it up. herbal tea-like hops in the finish along with some alcohol burn.

Medium-high bodied with low but noticeable carbonation. Somewhat creamy but not over the top.

Great value and an excellent example of the style, but not stellar.

Photo of tbrown4
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on nitro last night at Frisco Taphouse. I saw it on the short nitro list and bit. I've had this several times before, not in well over a year and never on nitro.

A - Pours beautifully black with a thick small bubble tan head that sticks through the entire tasting

S - Roasty and hop aroma

T - Coffee, dark roasted notes up front. The middle is very dry with no sweetness at all. Some bitter dark cocoa shows up towards the end. It finishes lightly bitter.

M - Medium in body, not a hint of alcohol.

O - Dangerously easy to drink. At 9% this one will sneak up on you quickly. A very enjoyable RIS that is one of the better American made versions available. Priced at $4 at Frisco, I am very happy.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

4-06-2009 - fresh bottle.

poured from 12 oz bottle at cellar temp into pint glass. pours black with some very nice looking mocha colored head. pretty nice retention. only a little bit of lacing.

on the nose, theres a lot of solvent like alcohol, chocolate, and some nice roasted malts.

big complex taste to this one. nice roasty, chocolatey malty taste in the begining that settles out to a slight hop bitterness. alcohol is a little present.

heavy mouthfeel, that for some reason, almost seems a little lighter than it actually is. very smooth for such a big beer. pretty drinkable considering the body and the ABV. but id prolly be done after 2 of these. i reccommend this to all, go get it.
4-4-4.5-4-4 = A-

4-30-2011 - about 2 years of age.

12oz. bottle pulled from my cellar that, if i remember correctly, was from the same 4 pack as the above review. purchased 4-5-2009, no bottling date, but i would imagine it has been in the bottle well over 2 years.

pours out opaque black with just a small fizzy head that pretty quickly turned into just the slightest ring. no lace, nice sticky legs however. it was a very slow pour, but there was no retention.

aromas of heavily roasted malt and dark fruits primarily. some coffee and alcohol behind.

again lots of roasted malt. also some dark fruits, rich malts, coffee, bits of cocoa, some alcohol in there, but from what i remember its subdued a bit, no longer really solvent like. hop bitterness in the finish? nice roasty choco aftertaste.

as it did 2 years ago, the mouthfeel a bit on the thin side, still chewy and big bodied, but (i hate to say it) almost a touch watery? smooth

i drank this too fast, now that the alcohol has simmered down a bit, its definatly more drinkable. it has definatly changed over time, but its not really for better or worse, i might lean just a bit towards better, but its not something i would go out of my way to age again. i do however, wish i had another right now.
3.5-4-4.5-3.5-4.5 = A-

Photo of mikeborglum
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very dark, black as night; a nice brown rocky head with good retention. Highly roasted malt aromas and alcoholic to the nose. Smooth, potent and espresso like with a high burnt malt and hop bitterness that finishes on the sweet side to say the least. Very complex, and true to its style. I love this beer and always enjoy it at the end of hard day's night!

Photo of Lauthaha
3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer taster.

Appearance: Beer pours a cola-like color with just a touch more consistency than cola. Head is brown, very frothy and active. As it recedes, it leaves unpredictable thick-spiderweb lacing. It remains at about one-finger.

Smell: It smells like cologne...haha, what kind I couldn't tell ya. Some mellow espresso bean flavor is the focus here, with a touch of dark chocolate hidden within a mostly milk-chocolate zone. Crisp alcohol and gentle prune hide underneath all of the above.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer is slightly syrupy upon entry, and brings a gentle (almost citric?) sourness. As the carbonation works its magic, the chocolate and espresso make appearances, but everything is overshadowed by a biting alcoholic presence and lack of "stout-ness." Rinses generally clean, with more of the coffee bitterness in the aftertaste.

Overall: Slightly disappointed by this beer...I'm not a fan of sour, especially in an RIS...but the sourness doesn't completely destroy the taste. I'd rather have a Stone.

Photo of FrankenBeerStein
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. 12 ounce bottle poured slowly into a pint glass, so no real head (I like it that way, hence the gentle pour). Lacing is pretty good despite the gentle pour. Breathing in the scent, one knows what imperial stouts should be. Strong malt and coffee/caramel aromas that the tastes match. A bit on the heavy side, but it IS an imperial stout and it should be. It lingers on the tongue and in the mouth with a hearty feel. Definitely a recommendable beer to anyone who likes stronger flavors and thoroughly solid beers.

Photo of hopluva1
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter @ 50*

A 2 finger tan head hangs around on a black beer, looks great!
Aroma is intense roasted barley,maybe some coffee, with some resin from hops. The flavor is big roasted malt, alcohol, and hop bitterness. This is a big beer, everything about it is big. In my opinion it is heavy on the roasted barley and needs a little balance.The aroma and flavor are roasted barley, with hop bitterness, both of which are a little harsh.

This beer was meant for aging. It is waiting for its journey across the pond to mellow, like a true Russian imperial Stout.

Age it and it will be great!

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

Poured the 12oz bottle into a chalice producing an inky black body with brown half inch head which receded to a thin blanket and some islands of foam with nice lacing on sides of glass.

Great roasted coffee, malt, barley, anise nose. Very fragrant and complex.

A strong hit of hops blends with the roasted, carmelized flavors and has a creamy texture. Mineral finish yields to a slight bitter drying at the end of a moderate finish.

Very good overall and the label is cool too.

Photo of micromaniac129
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours thick and deep brown with some ruby high light at the beer edge. Deep fairly dense brown foamy head fading to surface churning. There is plenty of lacing too.
Aroma is of rich and roasted malts with sutle hop bitterness and alcohol
Taste brew with a good solid malt bill of burnt and roasted malts some coffee and dark bitter chocolates. Hop and hop bitterness tend to weave through this brew.
A good feeling beer thats tart and bitter with warming alcohol deep into the aftertaste of this brew. A good well made beer.

Photo of mountsnow1010
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep black, with brown head, sweet lacing. Looks delicious.
S - Dried cherries, chocolate notes and tons of coffee. Hints of alcohol and some slight yeasty notes. Got some chalky notes too?
T - Lots of coffee, touches of chocolate and a fairly bitter aftertaste.
MF - Pretty sharp, could go slightly more creamy.
O - Nice beer, especially at this price. Will have to pick up a four pack.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours opaque jet black with a formidable tan head -- nice retention. Impressive lacing as well.

S: To me, the alcohol came through most strongly. Coffee came through as well, with some hints of dark chocolate sweetness.

T: A nice mixture of coffee an alcohol up front, moving into a slightly bitter and lingering chocolaty aftertaste. The sweetness from the smell really didn't come through in the taste for me.

M: Wet and alcoholic, nothing too exciting in my opinion. I would have liked a bit more creaminess.

D: Erred a bit on the boozy side for my taste.

Photo of celticfutblclub
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A - a nice jet black body to this with a brown head that is about an eighth of an inch thick and quickly settles to a thin line for the remainder.

S - nice notes of malty biscuits and chocolate. nice roasty smell sits well in the back.

T - sweet maltiness up front with a good bit of hoppy bitterness hitting at the end. chocolate, bread, and coffee can all be tasted in there. such a tasty brew.

M - nicely full bodied. good carbonation levels.

O - one of my personal favorite russian imperial stouts that i have had to this day. it just seems to never get old and always seems to end up back in my fridge.

Photo of legalpete19340
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Came pitch black in the pint. Thick and intimidating with a massive head that was so thick it seemed like frosting. This is a lacing monster covering nearly every part of the glass when I was done.

S: Shoe leather, molasses, earthy hop notes, slight bit of smoke.

T: Booze, wood, smoke, peat, burnt malt. Extreme cappuccino creaminess and coffee in the middle. More of those earthy hop notes and bittersweet baking chocolate.Ends with a burnt sweetness.

M: Perfect: thick, heavy, creamy, chewy but drinkable.

O: This is a monster! How I forgot. Dark and heavy with great burnt malt and hop profile. It excels for me in a world of syrupy RIS' that have gone over the top sweet. A welcome relief. How lucky that I can get it all the time.

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