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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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10,709 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,709
Reviews: 3,489
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 402
Gots: 1,854 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,709 | Reviews: 3,489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rudzud
4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally, finally landed a bottle of this at KJ Baarons. Not sure how or why it took me this long, but review #199, lets do it!

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip. Holy cow! A huge three finger dark brown head that faded incredibly slowly resulting in a nice thick blanket. All this atop a dark black pour with a little bit of deep brown at the edges.

S - Really nice roasty malts. Big time roasted, lightly smokey carmel malts with just a hint of vanilla. There are some nice bittersweet chocolate and some good bitter hop qualities along with a strong espresso aroma.The alcohol is present on the nose though.

T - Very much like the nose. This stuff is so good. Lots of that roasty malts with a lil vanilla quality. Lots of coffee flavours (including the bitterness) along with some chocolate. Quite bitter aftertaste.

M - Quite creamy and smooth even though there is some good carbonation here. Rather surprising.

D - Wow, this is a stellar stout. Everything works so well with another. The ABV is hidden big time thanks to the coffee qualities of this stout. Very tasty.

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

From a bottle.

Black as night with a light tan head, leaving behind some lovely lacing. Beautiful.

A nice coffee/chocolate smell. Not too overpowering, but definitely evident. Very nice.

Taste is fantastic. Like most people say, malt, chocolate, and coffee. A nice bit of warmth to go with the 9% ABV. Wouldn't guess a 9% ABV though.

A bit more carbonation than I would think in the mouth, but it's still really rich and thick in the mouth.

For me, I don't drink stouts too often. Usually like to have a nice meaty meal, which is something I don't have too often. But when I wanna have a stout, especially a RIS, this is an absolute go-to beer. Fantastic. Could drink this often.

Photo of 9InchNails
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice head retention. Dark color body with ruby highlights. The head looks creamy and delicious.

Some chocalate and coffee with a hint of cherry coming in the aroma. Nice smell as it warms with a smokiness that my brother pointed out.

The taste is delicious. Vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, coffee and chocalate mixing very well. I taste a little bit of alcohol nothing over the top.

Feels great in the mouth. Medium body. Goes down nice.

I could have another. Seems to get a little heavy but nonetheless a very tasty beer.

Photo of LazyL
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When in California..why not drink from the tap of goodness as much as possible.
Black with a nice mocha creamy foam. The nose is all stout, coffee, cola, molasses. The taste is not quite up to the nose but has a nice roasty malt and espresso flavour. There is a slightly sour note and its creamy, dry and has a smokey charred finish. This is a decent stout but there is no way that this is 9%. The ABV is very well hidden.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.
A: Pours a rich, deep, dark brown that is just shy of black in color. There is a nice thick, foamy head that bubbles from the bottom.
S: Rich roasted malts in the nose with some espresso character.
T: This beer tastes like roasted malt, espresso, chocolate heaven. Bitter espresso and dark chocolate starts the sip with some sweet roasted malts sneaking in in the middle. There is a slight alcohol finish.
M: This is a thick, well carbonated beer. Very smooth and rich.
D: Overall, this is an excellent beer. I really enjoy this stout!

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Jet black and totally opaque with a dense, fluffy tan head.

Aroma-Roasted aromas of coffee and bittersweet chocolate blend with pleasant earthy hop undertones.

Flavor-Bittersweet chocolate is quickly overtaken by rich, roasted coffee flavors. Coffee grounds and burnt espresso lingers on well into the finish.

Mouthfeel-Thick, full body is nearly chewy, though the moderate carbonation keeps this beer from seeming heavy.

I think this might have been the first RIS I ever had, and I've drank a lot of it since then. This is a lovely example of the style, and a fantastic beer.

Photo of HOPPYKC
3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. No bottled on or bb date available on bottle.

A- Pours dark and fully opaque. A nice small amount of tan to light brown head. Shows no signs of carbonation.

S- Coffee and carbonation. I get a small amount of chocolate and dark fruits. Raisins.

T- A lot of malt and chocolate. Coffee.

M&D- A full flavored and textured brew. I nice malt addition.

Photo of output01x
3.91/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received in a pint glass on tap at the Brew Kettle.

A tan colored two-finger head of miniscule bubbles sits atop a pitch-black body. The head retention is fantastic as it never completely fades no matter how empty the glass becomes. The lacing coats the glass almost entirely. Truly a fantastic and somewhat intimidating looking beer.

Scents of roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate and a little coffee are there, although not as strong as they could have been.

The flavors follow the nose in all respects. Malt, chocolate, and coffee are there but I would have liked them to be bolder. The 9% ABV is well masked and is only apparent as a slight warmth. A slight bitterness also persists at the end of each sip.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy but not sticky. Not alot, but just enough carbonation help move it along. The beer coats your mouth and makes you remember each sip until you take another.

While I would have liked this beer to have bolder flavors, it is still quite refreshing for the style and has excellent drinkability. I could definitely have multiples in one sitting, which is quite impressive for a stout.

All in all, an excellent RIS with great drinkability. My only complaint is the mildness of the flavor. It was almost like drinking a 1% chocolate milk. I have heard claims that this beer ages well and I am definitely interested in seeing how this would affect it.

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

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. This specific bottle provided by 603BeerMe, thanks Clark!

A - Pours into the glass and as it fills it extinguishes all light through it, and despite my trying, I can't seem to find any highlights here. Even the head of this beer is magical as a relatively normal pour unleashes a 3-fingered, tan head, comprised of tightly condensed bubbles giving it a nice, creamy look. Retention is great as well as it lasts for several minutes and when it finally settles it still leaves about a half-finger ring around the edge. Additionally, this beer leaves sheer curtains of lace, covering almost the entire circumference. I haven't seen such great lacing since Pretty Thing's Babayaga, which was extremely impressive. This is just a fantastic looking beer.

S - The nose is full of roasted malts, bittersweet baker's chocolate, and a bitterness that could be attributed to either the chocolate or some slight hops. It's a bit acrid, almost similar to smelling a pot of coffee that is a few hours old. Some alcohol also comes into play near the back.

T - The taste really lives up to the smell. A lot of coffee comes into play at first before getting tamed by the malts. Tons of dark chocolate follow and I'm getting a nice roast as well. I am also getting some hops, but not to the extent of something like Great Divide's Yeti or Victory's Storm King, just a slight hop bitterness to complement the bitterness in the chocolate and alcohol, which again makes an appearance at the end. The finish is long and bitter with a lot of chocolate still lingering. This beer is extremely solid; it's not going to blow your mind with delicate, exotic intricacies, but if you want a tasty beer that does the style justice at an excellent price point, look no further.

M - Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Actually a bit lighter and less chewy than I would've expected, but it still does feel great in the mouth and it leaves a coating and long finish to remember it by.

D - Drinkability is high. For anyone looking to get into Russian Imperial Stouts, I wouldn't recommend anything else besides this. It scores high for me on all facets, and for the price point it can't be beat. This will be a regular staple for me when looking for a solid representation in the style.

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

Pitch black with a light brown creamy head that is very inviting. I have to be a little lenient on the aroma because some is lost when a beer is served via nitrogen. All I can discern is roasted malts with a slight licorice edge. The flavor is somewhat muted with burnt malt, chocolate, and a slight metallic flavor. The nitrogen thins out what would normally be a substantial body. I usually feel that what is lost in putting a beer on nitro is made up for with the creaminess that is imparted. In the case of Old Rasputin, I really would stick to drinking it with normal CO2. While tasty, not as good as the original.

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

This stout is definitely on the complex side. A subtle but noticeably floral hop character is one of the sneakier characteristics that contribute to the stout's unique qualities. The mouthfeel is substantial, due to residual sugars that also leave some sexy, sticky lace.

I like the intense dried fruit aroma that blends well with hints of cocoa and fruitier Ethiopian coffee beans. Somewhere along the line, there is a kind of smokiness in the back of the throat deal, and while it is pleasant, I found there was a strange, faint chalkiness or musty property in the mouth. Not texturally, but from a flavor perspective.

On the whole, this beer is a warming, strong ale that I am happy to say protects me from the Ithaca cold!

Photo of bamadog
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Went to Friday Night Flights at Party Town in Florence, KY and met one of the brewmasters from North Coast -- super cool guy. They had several NC offerings offered at the growler station, couldn't really pass this one up (plus they were giving away free NC pint glass -- friggin' sweet!). Review is from notes taken on 2/25/2011 and poured from the growler to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is darkest brown/near black and it starts with a thin 1/2 finger dark tan head that fades quickly to nothing other than an incomplete skim floating on the surface; body is, of course, entirely opaque and seems to engulf the light around it; big swaths and spots of lacing are left on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Definitely a California beer -- lots of hops abound from this RIS and it's definitely hoppier than I remember from the bottle (I'd like to add that on the second night from the growler, the hops seemed more subdued and the roasty malts really came out more) followed by the burnt roasty and bittersweet bakers-like chocolate with a bit of a cocoa powder scent to it as well; interestingly enough there is also a bit of a metallic and earthy presence.

Taste: I'm going to say it... I think I prefer this one from the bottle. It's still good overall, but just a personal preference. The first night, the bitter metallic earthiness is really up front and the roastiness is thin with a bit of a faint bittersweet chocolate aspect to it. Fortunately, it seems to have settled down a bit over night (not sure what accounted for the change, perhaps my palate was just cleaner the second night?) and while the hops were still present and providing a nice grassy bitterness, the malts showed up and provided a robust earthy nuttiness with some burnt coffee/espresso roast and bittersweet chocolate and a bit of dry cocoa powder.

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium weight and fairly smooth and creamy; the strong metallic bite the first kind of distracts me and takes away from this, but the second night is very enjoyable as I remember it being; a thick sticky coating is left all over the mouth and a bit of a grittiness is left on the teeth; belly is just a little warm from the 9% ABV.

Drinkability: Definitely good, but like most RISs, the weight and ABV pull it down a bit. Definitely a great beer for a cold night and ultimately, it's kind of one of the defining beers of the style.

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

Poured into a tulip.

A: Wow. Black as night with a thin, dark caramel, half finger head that dissipated quickly leaving almost no lace to speak of. I tried to shine a 9 led super bright flash light through it and saw nothing. How awesome is that?

S: The smell is of roasted coffee, dark fruits, and dark bitter chocolate, with a punch of alcohol. In a word, fantastic!

T: Explosive roasted coffee, and dark fruits on the start, leading almost immediately into dark bitter chocolate. Followed by a nice hoppy bitterness and warm alcohol. The alcohol is accompanied by the taste of burbon and then coffe on the finish. I was then left with a lingering bitter chocolate and coffe after that is just wonderful. There are hints of spicy flavors throughout. I picked up some clove, star anise, and an almost hot black peper somewhere in the middle, that lingered just under the coffe after. There really is far too much here for a novice like me.

M: Nice and heavy. Coats the mouth well, and gives a lovely warming sensation.

D: Highly drinkable, in small quantities. This may be the best beer I have yet to put in my mouth, but I will struggle to finish 12oz. It is no session beer; at 9% ABV, but it is a very very special drink. I just really love this beer!

Photo of radioscooter
3.89/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blacker than the blackest night in the glass. A semi-soft pour garners an astounding 4 finger head that isn't going anywhere 3 minutes later. You could float a toy boat on top.

Aroma is less present, I smell the coffee and the Earth, and a few bitter hops. A little musty actually. Not much else. And not strongly even when snuffling big.

Taste is subdued, like the aroma. Good, not my favorite taste but very good. Coffee for sure, some dark roasty chocolate, there's a malt squeezing in there somewhere but very subtly blended. No overthrows of flavor on either end, which I assume is a good thing. Me, I'm looking for sweeter, but with this RIPA - I understand.

Booze is well hidden, but creeps up on you.

The mouthfeel is great, but dry and leaves a bit of a secondary hops taste as it departs. Good for some, not for me. Still - I understand.

Very respectable. It would get higher marks form me but the mustiness is a little off-putting.

Photo of teromous
3.71/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black like looking through a piece of coal. It is accompanied with a creamy tan head that goes away pretty fast.

S: It smells very toasty with a slight musty scent and a little earthy. There's something in the smell that puts me off. I wasn't completely sold on the scent. I could pick up hops but the aromatics were much to bland.

T: Very very robust toasted flavor with a very distinct hop flavor. The hop flavor can really punch through the bold roasted flavor. I keep taking a sip to get that surprise hop-pop. What I like is that the hop flavor really finds its place and stays in it. It's not too subtle or overpowering.

M: I get a "sticky" malty aftertaste which isn't a bad thing it's just something I noticed. It coats the mouth well and is carbonated just right. It's very smooth with a little bite at the end from the grain and hop bitterness.

D: I could drink more of this, but it's not something I would drink one after another. It's very strong and would go well by itself as a sipper or with something with a robust flavor like smoked cheese and sausage.

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

A: pitch black with a big creamy/fluffy coffee hued head. i can see carbonation sitting on the bottom with fine bubbles rising on the sides.

S: vanilla, toffee, chocolate, and french roast.

T: rich and hearty. slightly metallic. black cherries. bitter, acidic roasted coffee. im sure some cellaring would assist in both the metallic and acidic components.

M: nice and mild. well-suited for the style.

D: overall a very good RIS that is pretty easy to find at most bottle shops. ive read that this is a good one to put away for some time and it will really enhance some nuances in the flavor so get some and do just that, i know i will.

Photo of beerman207
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Ok...so north coast brewing came to Party town this past Friday. They put Old Rasputin on tap!

A: This thing pours like motor oil into my glass - nice 1 finger tan head that leaves skim as it leaves the glass

S: Smoke, malt, mollases, coffee

T: Chocolate, malt, smoke, raisin, and some burnt sugar

M: Mild - could be a little thicker - seems thin to me considering it being from draft

D: Ok....regardless of the mouthfeel this beer is fantastic. I have a growler full tonight and it's going to be polished off. Great offering.

Photo of foogerd
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black body with a one inch head caramel colored head.

S- Roasted malts and lactose notes.

T- Dark roasted coffee some chocolate, hops are present in the middle and at the finish turns the chocolate flavor into a dark bitter flavor.

M- Proves that you dont have to brew an engine oil of a beer to taste and feel great.

D- Great for the style, one of the most drinkable RIS out there.

Photo of Digimaika2
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful one finger thick foam head. Pitch black!

S: Dark roasted coffee, chocolate, and picking up some faint dark fruits. Lingering alcohol aroma. Very pleasing.

T: Dark chocolate and coffee up front, with some smokiness, and finishing with an appealing bitterness. Picking up a unique sour/sweet tartness. Very well balanced. Overall a complex and delicious tasting imperial stout.

M: Thick and viscous. Full bodied with medium carbonation. Great mouthfeel.

D: Very drinkable. Alcohol is present, but not overpowering. Would definitely purchase again.

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

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass. Long overdue.

Pours pitch black, light brown head of about two fingers, nice lacing. Fantastic retention, nice lingering brown cap.

Nose is sharply roasty right from the beginning, almost a bit burnt, with the hops adding a bit of a dry, leafy bitterness. Wee bit of burnt sugar also. Just a bit of a piney note underneath. Nice.

Taste is big right off the bat, hoppy, piney and a bit minty over a big, robustly sharp roast. Again, almost burnt, fairly robust bitterness with a densely dark espresso roast. Mintiness from the hops is still there. Just a tiny bit of alcohol in there, almost no heat. Burnt sugar with a deep, dark fruit presence lingers on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, hops cut it a bit, long, lingering bitterness. Fantastic drinkability, alcohol just disappears. Big, brash hop presence is just a bit dominant, but overall, a hard one not to like. Doesn't have the smooth, rich body I'd look for, but this one is aggressive and brash.

Photo of zrab11
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a dark blackish purple color with a small head!

S- HAs a pine,molasses and boozy smell

T-Hits you witha bitter licorious taste upfront andthen ends with some nice cocoa flavor

M-Think bodied with good carbonation

D-Very good beer. Has a stong boozy taste but the other flavors come through so it balences quite nicely. Would get this again

Photo of secondtooth
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is of a fresh bottle, will follow up in 2012 with cellared tastings.

Pitch black upon pouring, with a large head of fine tan foam.
Almost no lacing to speak of, and my bottle was a little under room temp.

Nose is boozy, bourbon/whiskeylike, with definite hints of chocolate malts.

Taste is a bomb of dark chocolate, with a rich, robust and boozy finish.

Just delicious!

Photo of Landfill21
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my trusted guinness pint glass. Poured into a nice dark black color with a fingernail head that stays throughout the session.

Has a smell of malt, roasted nuts and chocolate. Has a taste of malts, mild berries, chocolate and malt.

Has a medium mouthfeel and a nice drinkibility. This is a nice stout that I would recommend.

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

Appearance: Beautiful. I managed to get a nice multicolored head with bright white on the top and the more brownish head on the bottom. I have some constant foam on the top. I see some medium lacing on the glass, which is good. The dark black color reminds of what dark chocolate looks like. I got a nice dark dark brown almost dark chocolate when I poured it.

Smell:I get a nice light whiff of roasted malts. For me, the dominant flavor appears to be the dark chocolate mixed with malts.

Taste: ORGASM!!! I get roasted malts mixed with dark chocolate . I can taste the alcohol a little bit but enough that it balances the other flavors. Frankly, I like the balance.

Mouthfeel: Wonderful light carbonation when you first drink it followed by a silky finish.

Drinkability: Definitely drinkable. I wish I had tried this earlier in the winter. The wonderful smell with the beautiful presentation, not to mention the price makes this beer a winner. To be honest, I think this stout is definitely an improvement over an espresso with bourbon poured in it.

Photo of Brianjames16
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Gorgeous pitch black body with a creamy light tan head. A lot of bubbles rise to the top from the pour and settle at top. Nice lacing on the glass sticks around.

S - Huge roasty ,malty ,chocolate aroma here. The aroma alone from this beer will warm you up on a cold night. I can also smell some of the alcohol coming through but its not overwhelming.

T - WOW! A beautiful balance of roasted malts, chocolate, and warmth (not so much a taste but that's what I get). The alcohol gives it the strength while the other components add elegance to this complex brew.

M- Velvety and silky mouthfeel. Goes down super smooth with some carbonation on the tongue.

D- This beer must be enjoyed slowly and consciously in order to get the full experience. Maybe one or two on a lazy cold night . Wonderful experience !

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,709 ratings.