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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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10,698 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,698
Reviews: 3,487
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 401
Gots: 1,847 | 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: 10,698 | Reviews: 3,487 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rawfish
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black into a NB globe glass with three fingers high of amazing head, mocha and whipped consistency. No cascading effect and spotty but tight lacing.

Rather light aroma for an RIS but components are all there, predominant chocolate and coffee but paired with cherries, dark fruits, molasses and even pecans. Rather boozy and syrupy as well.

Sweet but not cloying, chocolate predominant, in fact very little coffee to speak of in the initial taste. This is coupled with some caramel, cherry and nuttiness. The after taste comes in late but rather strong, not of hop bitterness but coffee and charred almonds. Unlike the nose, alcohol is well hidden.

Medium heavy mouthfeel, velvety smooth almost creamy and lacking in carbonation.

A slow sipper meant to be savored and a great value to boot, under $8 for four of these bottles. Pleasant all around and a good portal into the world of RIS.

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

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours nearly pitch black with three fingers of lumpy, toasted brown foam. Very nice lacing and good visible carbonation. Nose is rich and sweet with notes of coffee, cocoa, a little caramel, and some alcohol. Thick like chocolate milk on the palate with excellent carbonation. Not much hop character. The malt isn't overbearing, allowing dark chocolate flavors to play on the palate and become more pronounced in the finish. Very easy to drink for 9% abv. The mouthfeel and palate are very well rounded so you don't feel super weighed down. Still, its obvious why they only sell it in 4-packs. Its a big brew meant for moderation and special occasions. Happy Friday to me :)

Photo of AnPiobaire
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a 4 pack of Old Rasputin not knowing anything about it at the time. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Upon first pouring it into the glass it pours a nice rich opaque brown/black, with a nice head that slowly recedes and some moderate lacing.

The nose is a mixture of roasted malt, chocolate, raisin, and some hoppy bitterness.

The taste is roasted malts quickly followed by a hoppy bitter finish. This brew is lighter then the color and pour would lead on and had much more carbonation then I anticipate in a Russian Imperial Stout, but that did not stop this brew from delighting the taste buds.

I would certainly be into this again and would definately love to get a hold of it in a growler from a nitro tap. This isn't in my top 5 of Imperial Stouts but it is a very nice selection for those of you wanting an enjoyable beer. Enjoy!!!

Photo of MattyG85
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Very black with a slight amount of light shining through the bottom. Big creamy tan head with great retention and good lacing. The head retention is surprising for an imperial stout.

Smell: Strong scent of roasted malts and chocolate with noticeable floral hops. Very hoppy for an imperial stout.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee, sweet dried fruit, and a hint of molasses. Toasted bread and mild grapefruit hop bitterness. Not as hoppy as it smells.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with medium carbonation. Alcohol is hidden well.

Overall: An exceptional stout across the board.

Photo of JayAre46
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation 12 oz poured into a stone IRS tulip, black as night, producing 2 1/2 fingers of a light tan colored heaven like flotation device, good lacing but wanted better. will do

A - Blast of roasted malts and dark chocolate immediately fill the nose, not a lot of hops but sweet anger and from where we stand this beer reminds me of a Knighted Cavalry uniformly hauling ass over a green plain ready to crush skulls.

T - Roasted Malts then a flash of hops swallowed by the chocolate, hints of coffee with a touch of chocolate covered spike crushing cherry, little heat but not over powering dark chocolate and roasted malts dominate.

M - full bodied greatness, im now to the point of imagining my little black knighted cavalry flowing over the hills effortlessly with piercing swords coating the mouth and controlling the moderate carbonation while taming the warming alcohol in a synchronized formation.

O - This is a great representation of the style, for the big stout fan this is an all time must have, my favorite beer for the winter. Now introducing Team-o-Knighted-Beasts, we graze on the weak and board the domination station, I give you Old Rasputin...

well done North Coast.

Photo of deadbody
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. $7 for the 4 pack on sale I was expecting decent. Instead I get exceptional. Pours a dark black with a huge head, recedes to a thin layer of foam with lacing all up and down the glass. Smells great, not a hint of booze in the 9% ABV hog. Taste is good, a bit too much burnt but not bad. Nice and subtle, no booze taste. Mouthfeel is great, thick and rich. Almost bready.

Overall, this is a hell of a value, and I will be picking it up regularly.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter

A- Pours black with a vicious dark tan head. Thick, fluffy head which resembles a pillowy sky. Nice sticky lacing and great head retention.

S- Smells of chocolate and molasses. Balances out with a floral hop presence. Plenty of sweet, chocolaty malt. I can taste the richness through the smell.

T- Full blast of roasted malt and chocolate with a bitter hop finish. The chocolate and toffee sweetness is followed by a floral hop finish. Amazing balance. Not too one sided or overpowering.

M- Creamy, smooth and perfectly balanced. Reminiscent of a piece of velvet chocolate cake. Leaves a rich, thick coat on the palate. Carbonation is in tune with the style.

D- Because of how smooth it is for an RIS, this one can easily be enjoyed one delicious sip at a time. Exquisite creaminess. One of the richest and boldest RIS's one can find. It still amazes and pleases me that this is available year round.

Photo of Mario61Aler
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Where to begin?

A- as black as it gets with a 2" head that is a rich milk chocolate color that fades to a nice lace rim that is still there 5 minutes after the pour!

S- Chocolate malt cream complex yummy waiting to taste it.

T- deep rich malts that fade to choclate, hardly any alcohol taste at all. This could spell trouble in the overall category.

M- wow and wow again soft and velvety clean at the end with a standing taste left over that begs for more.

O- This is a sipper for sure, 9% ABV, and finishes clean, rich and warm. Its like being wrapped in a soft blanket on a chily spring night. No flowers here just GREAT BEER!

Photo of engagechad
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottles purchased as a 4 pack from Wegmans in Leesburg, VA - poured into a pint

Pours dark as night with a MASSIVE head that never dies.. Beautiful brown head.
Smells complex with dark fruity notes and chocolate, taste follows with malt sweetness, maintaining great balance. Feels great and over all this experience was good, but nothing like on tap. on tap it's out of this world.

Photo of ehammond1
3.91/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap (Nitro)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A beautiful sight to behold when it's brought from the bar. Black as night, unrelenting chocolate milk head that won't dare leave, thick lacing, milky, thick, and creamy appearance. Luscious and decadent.

The two main aromas are chocolate and roasted malt. The chocolate is rich and sweet while the roasted malts almost smell meaty, akin to a barbeque. There's a bit of smoke and some coffee in the nose as well, but it's mainly chocolate and roasted malt.

The taste is a bit more complex than the nose. The chocolate, roasted malts, and smoke are present along with a bit of bitter and citrus hops. It's complex, decadent, yet simple.

Creamy, milky mouthfeel.

A simple yet complex RIS. Consistent and delicious, not to mention affordable.

Photo of flipper2gv
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a lot to BEERchitect for this one!

A: Pours deep black with a generous two finger mocha head. Head looks a bit foamy with very good retention and really good lacing.

S: The first thing that strikes me with this beer is the hops. There are a LOT of hops in this. Very strong citrus notes right off the bat with notes of lime, grapefruit and a little bit of pineapple. But there are also a lot of "normal" imperial stout in the smell too: roasted barley, coffee, dark chocolate, licorice and molasses. With all the hops, it's nice to see it's still quite sweet. Great smelling beer. Strength is medium.

T: The hops are much less strong in the taste than in the smell. There is still traces of very dry (as in not sweet) lime juice and grapefruit, not much pineapple. What you're left with is a massive attack of powder cocoa. Coffee is also a huge player in this beer. Molasses and licorice are quite strong too. Light vanilla and maybe maple syrup. Still, a very dry imperial stout that makes me think of a better Simple Malt Imperial Stout.

M: I like my imperial stouts bigger but this, with all the dryness, is not as bad as it may seem. The medium body with medium to strong carbonation actually fits ok with the beer.

O: This is a very enjoyable Imperial Stout. I have the feeling this beer ages very well and maybe helps out the sugar to come out a little bit more. But still, this beer has a lot of character and isn't your typical Imperial Stout. Drinkability is really good also.

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

Pours a deep, dark chocolate brown, almost black. Shows some reddish-brown edges when held to a light. The medium-tan head is so buoyant and fluffy it nearly overflowed my glass, and I had to wait several minutes for it to subside. Even then it left a layer of foam with a collar of lace.

Smell is surprisingly fruity for a stout; blackberries, backed up by some chocolate. Really nice combination of malt and hop aromatics, though it is a bit weak on the nose. I like a little more punch from a RIS than this one offers, but what's there is quite good.

Taste is hoppier than I expected, but not overly so. Dark fruits, chocolate, and some slightly smoky dark malts.

Mouthfeel is great - medium-thick, but smooth and light in the mouth thanks to the carbonation, which gives it a nice small-bubble creaminess.

This is a darn good imperial stout. It's fruity and hoppy, but still well-balanced, and the thick but light mouthfeel is really nice. The alcohol is completely invisible. Likely to become a staple.

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

A- 4.5 True to the style, this stout is a super-dark brown, nearly black color. It has a decently sized dark tan head on the pour that dissipates but leaves a nice bubbly ring around the edges of the glass. It is distinctly more bubbly than creamy. There is fine, sticky lacing left on the snifter's edges throughout.

S- 4 Chocolate, coffee and roasted malts come to mind, followed by a hint of booze and wood. It is intriguing because I can't get enough of it; not the strongest scent in the world. It does improve as it warms, however.

T- 4 More powerful than the aroma, this brew's taste is sweet and rich. Again, I get chocolate and dark malt but not really any coffee. There is a fair amount of heat that unfortunately becomes a little overbearing after awhile. It leaves a dry finish.

M- 4 Old Rasputin is a damn near full-bodied beer that is fairly heavy. It isn't the smoothest to take down because of its heat. The carbonation is fine.

D- 3.5 Truthfully, I don't think I could do more than one of these bad boys. It is a bear of a beer. It means business. I think its flavors are intense and it is clearly powerful at 9% ABV. However, I wish it were a bit more intricate. I'm glad I tried it though, and it may be better for you if you're a fan of the style in general.

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

12 oz bottle

Pour a dark brown with a light brown-tan head. The head makes a fairly audible bubbling sound and dissipates slowly.

Smells like chocolate and coffee. Kinda smell an alcohol.

Sweet to a smoky finish. Warming alcohol at the close. Dark chocolate/coffee to bitter to alcohol. The coffee has a caramel character to it. Fig in the malt. Some dark fruit, maybe raisin. It complexities make this enjoyable.

Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Smooth medium carbonation.

Overall a very good stout. I like it.

Photo of Auracom
3.62/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into my trusty C&B tulip on April 3rd, 2011.

Pours a very dark brown coloring, nearly black but not quite, with a finger-and-a-half light brown head. Decent retention for the ABV, slowly breaks down to a thin white coating with concentrated alcohol feet on the sides. Great lacing on this badboy. Doesn't look oily or quite as thick as many other imperial stouts I've tasted.

The aroma is predominantly coffee, roasted almonds, milk chocolate (moreso than dark chocolate), slight lactose, *minimal* citrus, and a little bit of alcohol. Not getting a whole lot of complexity with additional nuances such as spices.

The drink has more roasted notes than the aroma and more emphasis on the dark chocolate character with a lot of bitter bite at the backend. The dk. chocolate carries through to the aftertaste and is really nice. Less coffee notes. Some hops but I'm attributing more of the bitterness to the chocolate. ABV is slightly present but rather-well hidden. I can tell it's under 10%.

Mouthfeel is pretty textbook - medium/med. heavy body, smooth, appropriate carbonation. Neither truly thick nor chewy.

For an RIS, it drinks relatively easiy. The slightly lower ABV hides well and it's not really overbearing on the palate. Is it enjoyable? Yes. Is it safe? Yes. Is it too safe? Perhaps. Next to Founder's IS, this is the most standard-smelling and tasting imperial stout that I've tried, but it doesn't really shine in any particular category. FIS offers considerably more in complexity and flavor. The best quality for Raspy is in the smell; I'm really enjoying that milk chocolate aroma. It's a very nice entry into the style and I ought to have tried it earlier. Bonus points for absolute ease in finding this all over the place.

Photo of bpw28
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Small Chocolate Head that seemed to fade off quickly, Black with Mahogany Brown on sides when put to the light. Nice Lacing.

Nose: Strong Strong Caramel, Coffee, Fig, Bready, Hint of Dark Chocolate, Mint?

Taste: Smooth on the tounge, Coffee, Strong Roasty, Woods, Molasses, Prune, Banana finish, a nice finish of just enough bitter to get you to enjoy.

Final Thoughts: I like this alot. It's Smooth, complex, and warms you up.

Food Pairing: Grilled Foods, Beef, Spiced Pork, Curry, Full Body Cheeses, Lamb, Seitan, Ham, Spicy Cold Cuts, Chocolate, Pumpkin

Photo of Kelly88
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into an old Rasputin pint glass.

A- pours a dark brown that settles into a black bodied brew. Dark khaki head that is dripping lace all over the glass. Ruby highlights seep through the edges.

S- a dash of citrus hops is covered quickly with bitter coffee. Chocolate and pine round out the finish.

T- Loads of citrus hops for a stout. Chocolate and more hops battle for control. More chocolate is starting to assert itself as the beer warms. Roasty malts with bitter coffee as the beer slides down your throat

M- a little light for my liking. There is a stinging carbonation that is present at the end. This mouthfeel makes for a good drinking stout but leaves something to be desired in the body.

Overall a solid imperial stout. Nice mix of hops and malts That really balance nicely to create an interesting and tasty brew.

Photo of rickalessi
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - black w/ small head
smell - really surprisingly minimal but noted alcohol
taste - burnt malt upfront, woody, dry alcohol at finish, little hops
mouthfeel - thin, dry carbonation present not overbearing
overall- good, could be thicker, not sweet fairly pure stout , not overly complex

Photo of robbrandes
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle

nearly black in color; tight, brown head; good, not great retention.

the smell was the high point for me. wonderful blend of coffee-caramel, malty warmth and just enough hops to keep it honest. i'm not sure it 'opened up' as it warmed but the malt really pops out after 10~15 minutes in the air.

raspy is a big beer, and makes no bones about it. great mix of warm alcohol, nutty-roasted malt and a pretty big pop of burnt wood at the back end. NICE!

mouthfeel is my only hesitation here. a bit thin, and the carbonation is slighty harsh.

overall a great beer, i'll now have to invest in another sixer and age it.

Photo of lawlerj
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my tulip glass.

A - pours a dark, sinister looking pitch black with a dark tan two finger head. The head lingers for quite a while on top. I'm intimidated, but intrigued at the same time. I feel like this is going to be epic.

S - alcohol, roasty/malty barley with a bit of hop bite. Not overly complex, but smells good.

T - mmmm, good. Overall, a somewhat smoky flavor. Coffee and espresso w/ the roasted malt and just a hint of dark chocolate. Not too much, but enough to balance the coffee tones. Definitely more chocolate on the aftertaste, which I like and was a bit unexpected. The taste, as it should be is where this beer shines.

M - medium/full bodied, silky with actually a bit more carbonation than I expected. It felt a little fizzier than I had anticipated but wasn't bad at all. I might have preferred it to be a bit smoother, but that's kind of nitpicky. Again, the flavor is what dominates.

D - at a high ABV and full bodied mouthfeel, with a challenging (but very good!) flavor, I wouldn't want to drink more than one or MAYBE two on the coldest of winter nights, but this is a very enjoyable beer and one I've been wanting to try for a long time. I've had one other beer from this brewery which I really enjoyed - I'll have to try some of their other lineup.

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

A: Black pour with a big bubbly brown head. Very nice retention and lacing.

S: Big coffee flavor with a lot of hops. A sweetness is throughout, from cocoa I would assume. Smells better than the on tap version to me.

T: The hoppiness from the smell is prevalent in the taste. It starts off with the chocolate malts, perhaps a bit of roastiness. The coffee flavor comes next and leaves a nice dry finish.

MF: Lots of carbonation in this one. Heavily bodied and hardly a hint of alcohol.

O: I was really impressed by this one. I had it on tap a few weeks ago and was underwhelmed. Perhaps my palate was a bit off that night.

Photo of timherremans
3.19/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Could not find a best buy date, it is possible this case contained older, past date stouts?

appearance - Poured into a goblet at about 50 degrees F. Dark beige colored large head. Dissipated very slowly. Lacing was near perfection. A dark deep black stout with only a slight notice of brown hues on the edge. Looks very nice.

smell - Alcohol, yeast, roasted malt. In that order. Overall the aroma is not that apparent and I had to take many deep sniffs. And couldn't make out that much going on with it.

taste - Alcohol is upfront. I can hardly taste the malt, alcohol does not subside, all the way to the finish. It does seem to mask the complexity that this beer possibly has. That leaves me sort of questioning the flavors.

mouthfeel - Low carbonation and quite smooth. the low c02 works well for this stout. Not too thin, a little chewy.

overall - I am not sure if it is this batch but it does not have that much flavor. It does seem like mine were pretty damn potent and above 9% ABV. Not sure if that is even possible. I just found this stout, good for a nice buzz but the flavors just were not there. I probably wouldn't buy it again. I have had another beer (Belgian golden ale) from North Coast called the "Pranqster" and that one is delicious.

Photo of azdback
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my tulip glass. Deep dark black. No highlights to speak of. Two fingers of coco creamy colored and sticky looking head. Peaks and valleys are great. Lacing looks like a spider web.

Dark malts, molasses, dark roasted coffee, smokey? A bit tart. No alcohol.. at least for now.

Taste is initially dark, bitter chocolate. A bit of booze. Some tartness maybe of a dried cherry? A bit of a nutty taste way at the end.

The mouth is a bit weak as far as the "chew" factor. It is well carbonated for the style. A bit dry at the end. The nuttyness is there too.

Overall I really enjoyed this one (and the hundred or so I've had before). I had yet to sit down and actually grade it so I'm a little surprised at my score, but I would definitely recommend this one.

Photo of soju6
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep chocolate color with a large tan head that is creamy and good lacing.

S: Has a rich malt aroma with chocolate and some coffee mixed in.

T: More malt flavor with coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Seems to be a subtle bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Full body that is thick and creamy. No hint of alcohol. Very well balanced.

O: Great way to finish the day.

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

Holy smokes this is a nice stout! Poured brownish-black in color with a small dark tan head. A mellow alcohol and fruity notes make a soft aroma. This is one full-bodied stout starting with roasted coffee and creamy malt flavors. Very smooth overall and the alcohol isn't as apparent in the taste as in the aroma. At 9% this is very drinkable on this cold rainy afternoon. If not for a lingering bitter aftertaste I would have rated it higher.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,698 ratings.