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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,484 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,484
Reviews: 3,337
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 273
Gots: 1,150 | FT: 34
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,484 | Reviews: 3,337 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brad007


4.68/5  rDev +8.8%

Kind of weird to be reviewing a beer at 4am but I'm still fully awake so why not?

Pours a pitch black color with a nice, brown one-finger head. Definitely right for the style.

The aroma is thick and roasty with a hint of chocolate and dark fruits. Somewhat creamy as well.

Taste is very roasty with hints of chocolate, coffee and dark fruits. Smooth and creamy and it finishes with a decent amount of bitterness at the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel is bitterness followed by creamy chocolate. Very smooth. Does not overpower.

I think this is a very drinkable Imperial Stout. I was expecting it to be harsh because there's no way to tell how old it is. However, that isn't the case. I better pick up some more to age while it's still available. As for personal preferences, it does have that creaminess in the mouthfeel that I desire and a good balance of roasted malt and hops. Excellent.

08-15-2008 08:13:34 | More by Brad007
Photo of SeanRedd

New Jersey

4.85/5  rDev +12.8%

A kingdom within a 12 oz serving. A plethora of generosity expressed through a robust, chocolate-expresso environment. Sweet syrup delivered crisp. An aroma to inebriate the senses, a behemoth of flavor. Bitter toward the rear; an invaluable balance to the grand, indulgent flavor provided up front. Spectacular! A beacon of light that illuminates Russian Imperial Stouts, the royalty of dark beer.

08-15-2008 03:33:50 | More by SeanRedd
Photo of Greggy


4.47/5  rDev +4%

A- Pours a silky and fluffy 2 finger head into my large snifter. The head is tan colored and the body is pitch black. As the beer recedes, it leaves some nice lacing.

S- First off, I get a huge hopiness reminiscent of pine and pineapple. I also get a big dark chocolate, some vanilla, and some nice spiciness.

T- This beer starts of with a bitter dry chocolate and slight vanilla with a nice big hopiness of pine then moves into a nice dry chocolate and hoppy finish. Nice.

M- Carbonation is a bit more than low which makes me think it could be a bit less. I would love to see a thicker, smoother mouthfeel, but overall, this is good.

D- There is 9% in here somewhere. Pairs great with dessert or an chocolate. Definitely a great, widely available russian impy.

08-15-2008 02:34:35 | More by Greggy
Photo of Kraken


3.93/5  rDev -8.6%

Reviewed from notes. Again, the internet is great, dont know how I lived without it. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. FYI I love every North Coast product I have had so far. Pours an absolute Jet black, ebony, with 3 fingers of latte colored head. Head is thick and viscous, not much lacing but good head retention.
Nose- The scent of this one is something special. Nose is thick, like you walked in a coffee roasting, coco packing, pine tar factory. Hops enice you to taste.
Taste- Like a mouth full of coffee chocalte pine needles. But very smooth. Long bitter finish.
Mouthfeel- Coats the mouth in a very pleasant way but not cloying, not as heavy as it looks. Again the finish wonderful.
Drinkablity-Not as heavy as the color would indicate. But I think 2 wouild be more the enough. Alcohol is nicely hidden but noticable. Currently second fav RIS behing Stone.

08-15-2008 01:10:04 | More by Kraken
Photo of beachbum1975


4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

12 oz brown bottle poured for me at Fox and the Hound in Mason, OH. No freshness date.... I love the packaging, very noble and almost ominous.

An easy pour produced a nice, creamy, tan 2 finger head. Highly active, frothy bubbling on the head for a few minutes. Nice and sticky lacing remained through the glass. Color is black with the slightest dark brown and possibly ruby hues when put up into the light. Viscosity is high on this one - not a sludge bomb. Looks like a nice example of a Russian Imperial Stout.

Sniffing on this guy reveals a delightful blend of dark chocolates, coffee grinds, lactose creaminess and molasses.

The taste is what you'd expect after smelling it, no surprises. To summarize the taste, this is a richly flavored, heavily roasted coffee, roasted grains, bittersweet chocolates, a healthy dose of smoke and charcoal finishing with some crisp (non-floral) hops. Flavor is nice because it doesn't linger in my mouth forever. I got very little alcohol in the taste, as the prominent roasted flavors hid it well.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for the menacing color and creamy head of this beer. Very drinkable and enjoyable, but don't let the 9% ABV creep up and kick your ass.

08-14-2008 14:45:16 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of jwinship83


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

A Black body with a small coffee like head that disappears rather swiftly.

S- roasted malts and chocolate are the main smells here.

T- smooth roasted malts and slight chocolate scent up front with a hoppy finish and a light coffee aftertaste. excellent. the faintest taste of alcohol.

M- thick and creamy with enough carbonation. very smooth.

D- smooth, great taste, well balanced and without the burning that one would expect from something with 9% ABV. i could, and have, drink this one all night before i get sick of it. an obvious classic (i think its on BA top 100 list) that any stout lover should check out.

08-12-2008 03:59:46 | More by jwinship83
Photo of mixcat


4.8/5  rDev +11.6%

Great Beer. A
This is a strong beer and about 9% packs a punch.
It has a very good taste. Rich, bitter and sweet well balanced.
Its worth its high price and one of my favorite beers. I wish more stores carried it.
If you havent tried it and love dark stouts this one is for you.

08-10-2008 15:17:00 | More by mixcat
Photo of ShrLSU


4.47/5  rDev +4%

A - Poured a syrupy black like used motor oil. Had a nice dark tan head which settled and left nice lacing and a thin foam layer on top.

Smell: Roasted & sweet caramel malts and coffee. A slight chocolate scent as well.

Taste: Bitter chocolate hit me first. Then the sweet malts kicked in followed by a slight hop bitterness. If finished with a nice coffee and bitter chocolate flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very full bodied and creamy. Definitely a sipper.

Drinkability: I'm glad we got this beer back in south Louisiana. This is one of the best drinking stouts around. A blessing brought over from the west coast!

08-10-2008 05:10:44 | More by ShrLSU
Photo of hooligan


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

Pitch black beer with a burnt-coffee and milk head that settles to a wispy lace on top after a sip or two.

I can smell cherries, plums, and faint licorice. Not a lot of hop in the smell besides some astringency at the top end, but that could also be the alcohol.

Burnt toffee with a hint of cherry invades the palate with a faint overripe plum flavor towards the finish... which is cut by a very sharp, very crisp, but otherwise unknown hop. Quite a bit of warming alcohol throughout.

Rich and thick with a very slight, porter-like fizz at the back end.

One of my all time favorites. This one was enjoyed during a huge saturday breakfast, and it makes me feel bad for all those poor suckers drinking coffee today.

08-09-2008 13:02:56 | More by hooligan
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

This is a mean pour into a Yeti snifter. Black as a puma, mega-thick brown frothy head with fine bubbles. Awesome looking beer.

Huuuuge nose. Raisins, expresso, black cherries, chocolate milkshake and raspberries.

Mmmm...choooocolate, Mmmmm...beeeer. If only Homer could have one of these! Huge roasty malted barley flavor with a fair amount of hop juice. Damn near perfect. Slight alcohol presence, but not overbearing. Full mouthfeel, silky smooth and well balanced.

Should be a mainstay in everyone's fridge, fo sho!

08-09-2008 04:31:39 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Stonebreaker


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%

Appearance: Motor oil they say, but how unappetizing, thick syrupy black. decent head that recedes quickly to a nice lacing.

Smell: Reminds me of the Arrogant Bastard, chocolate, malt sweetness, prunes. Delish.

Taste: First the chocolate hits you, then a little burnt notes then the sweetness of the malt then the bitterness from the hops a little prune, a little alcohol then burnt chocolate and prune in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy thick and rich.

Drinkability: I'm not finished with the first one but ooooh is it good and the stress of my day is melting away, a sipping brew, 2 of these will loosen up an evening for sure.

08-07-2008 23:45:55 | More by Stonebreaker
Photo of elniko


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured into snifter glass

A: Dark, dark, dark. Very small amount of tan head with lacing.

S: Incredibly fragrant, strong coffee tones in the nose.

T & M: Wow, my beer journey has led me to my first RIS and I knew this was the first one I wanted to try. I used to strongly dislike stouts and porters but my tastes have changed so much that I love this beer. Very smooth coffee tones up front but a nice amount of bitterness in the mouthfeel. I also agree with other reviewers in that there is some smokiness as well. I now see why RIS as a whole and especially Old Rasputin specifically are well regarded.

D: Drinkable but I'm not sure I could drink more than one in a sitting due to the ABV and the overall thickness of the brew.

08-07-2008 02:28:36 | More by elniko
Photo of prsguitarsr4me

New York

4.78/5  rDev +11.2%

One of my favorite RISs - easily ranks up there with brews like The Abyss, Peche Mortel, Goose Island, etc. It pours BLACK and it is a very heavy drinker. The taste is just about as good as it gets for me, as are the smell and look of the beer. Its got some chocolate, espresso, even some fruity undertones - the whole sip is just awesome. A bit more hoppy than other Imperial Stouts, but I love it -- very particular taste. Great with some chocolate.

Old Rasputin will always be especially special to me as it was not only the first craft beer I ever had, but also the first Imperial Stout I ever had, which is now my favorite style. This is the beer that got me hooked on beer, and it is still one of my all time favorites.

08-07-2008 02:03:20 | More by prsguitarsr4me
Photo of CrellMoset


3.9/5  rDev -9.3%

Bottle from Total Wine in Chantilly, VA. This bottle's been sitting in my (dark, cool) closet for a few months - poured into a Watou chalice.

Appearance: A deep, thick brownish-black beer - a few shades white of black - with a fast fading coffee-colored head, streaky, runny lacing.

Aroma: Chocolate and coffee, a little woody smoke, higher-weight alcohols. Fairly subdued.

Taste: Very interesting - lots of burnt and smoky notes here, more so than in most other RISs I've tried; a few faint lighter toasted notes (dark coffee, bitter chocolate), but the smoky notes really dominate this one. A earthy, grassy hoppiness abounds for the last half of the sip, jarringly so at first (I thought the bottle was infected!), but it grows on you a little. Slightly harsh alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Bigger bubbles than I'm used to in an RIS, but it's still largely uniform and therefore smooth. Mouth itself is thick and syrupy, creamy and velvety, but maybe a little thinner than many RISs.

Drinkability: Lower in abv% than other RISs, and pretty interesting. A well crafted beer, especially if you like the darker, more highly-toasted RISs.

08-05-2008 04:05:27 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of haygood


4.08/5  rDev -5.1%

I love stouts and porters so for a 9% Stout, it was pretty good.

Nice dark black with a tan head. Aroma not too overpowering. Not too thick.

The high alc isn't overpowering.

This was highly recommended by Jim the Beerguy at Chan's Wine World in Destin.

Only had 2 4 pks left, so I grabbed them.

I will buy this again when I get outside MS.

08-05-2008 02:14:01 | More by haygood
Photo of GilGarp


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Pours slowly from a 12oz. brown bottle into the center of the sam adams glass. It's rich and thick, almost completely black, creamy light brown head, good retention, and some lacing.

Aroma is mostly malty with some hops; more than I would have expected in a russian imperial stout. It's roasty like coffee and slighty sweet smelling.

Flavor is awesome and just what a russian imperial stout should be. Lots of roasted/toasted malts, chocolate, and coffee. It's sweet at first but followed by a strong, dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is appropriate and drinkability is good for the style.

This is a special beer and I'm glad I picked up a 4 pack. They should age nicely.

08-04-2008 23:33:55 | More by GilGarp
Photo of drxandy


4.03/5  rDev -6.3%

Got as an extra in trade with Ben4881, thanks man!!
12oz to standard pint, pours black as night opaque, foamy tan head retains nicely - very nice looking

smells of bitter roasty malts, alcohol heat, light hops in the back

taste is roasty bitter malts, hot alcohol in the front, tobacco, dark fruit, creamy yet thin, chocolate, smoke, earthy, coffee, nicely balanced, very drinkable for a high abv

mouthfeel is thinner than most RIS, but makes up for it with the abundance of flavors, bitter, roasty and creamy with hot alcohol and hop finish, a very nice RIS :D

08-04-2008 19:29:51 | More by drxandy
Photo of PatrickJR

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -7%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into oversized snifter. I wasn't too impressed with the flavor directly out of the fridge, so I let this warm up to just under room temperature.

A - Completely opaque black. Even in the snifter, about a finger of brown head forms with pretty decent retention considering the high ABV. Lots of lace.

S - Overripe dark fruits with a hint of caramel. Deep chocolate aromas as well accented by smoke and wood. A whiff of alcohol hits with a suggestion of floral and earthy hops. There was actually a much less pronounced malt presence and a much stronger hop aroma while the brew was refrigerator temperature.

T - The caramel and chocolate wash over the palate at first with an undertone of fruit. Smoke/wood hits briefly, and then a wallop of rum-like alcohol takes hold, leading to a very earthy hop finish. The burnt flavor of the roasted malt along with the hops make for an intensely bitter finish.

M - Full to medium bodied, with moderate to low carbonation.

D - This is a big, intense brew, one certainly being enough. Finishing the glass might be a chore, though the flavors are very much in harmony with each other.

08-04-2008 07:14:32 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of MrMonkey

New Hampshire

4.43/5  rDev +3%

On tap @ Novare Res in Portland, ME.

Pours jet black with a beautiful cascade, producing a thick and creamy three-finger mocha head. Great retention and lacing.

Big nose of coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and a hint of red fruits.

Taste is dark red fruits and bittersweet chocolate before some roasted malts, a hint of smoke, and coffee. Barely a hint of any hops, except in the dry finish, which has notes of espresso and a mild bitterness.

Creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel. Thick, but very smooth.

Very enjoyable, but definitely a sipper. This is the perfect dessert beer!

08-02-2008 20:23:24 | More by MrMonkey
Photo of swizzlenuts


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

With a pitch black pour and a good inch thick head, Old Rasputin looks mighty fine! Great lacing on the beer as well; the nose is pretty much loaded with dark chocolate malts. There is a great bittering chocolate taste and hints of coffee initially, while the beer ends with a bitterness from the hops and coffee. The bitterness is simply addicting, and is making me want to drink it. The alcohol is completely covered up! The beer is thick and slightly creamy, solid for a RIS. There is a lot of flavours in the beer, and it's definitely drinkable.

07-31-2008 22:50:53 | More by swizzlenuts
Photo of nwshull


4.53/5  rDev +5.3%

Poured into a oversized wine glass.

Appearance: It is a deep blackish-brown with a head darker than most beers body. The head settled thick about 1/2 inch high.

Smell: It smells like a strong dark chocolate

Taste: It has an initial taste of bitter chocolate with a hint of coffee followed by aftertaste of half way between hops and the previous described flavors. High Alcohol is well masked

Mouthfeel: It is a thick mouthfeel to start with carbonation moderate, it ends rather velvety.

Drinkability: It is a pleasure to drink but I generally only want to drink one a night.

Overall this is my favorite Imperial Stout.

07-31-2008 21:43:05 | More by nwshull
Photo of 1fastz28


4.55/5  rDev +5.8%

me oh my, why i waited so long to try this i have no idea, but i pity myself for not. pours as black as a december night, no light can pass through, a yummy brown thick head lingers around for while too. smell is awesome, very strong and potent some sweet malt aroma as well as a smokey flavor. taste is a like a smoke porter almost, has a bacony flavor to it, and who doens't love bacon. mouthfeel is perfect, i love thicker, more syrupy beers and this one has it, drinkability is lower just because of its potentancy

07-31-2008 03:34:49 | More by 1fastz28
Photo of Stinkypuss


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Poured on tap into a snifter. Light khaki head with a lot of lace. Tastes like saltwater toffee, coffee, chocolate, slight bitter hop. Full bodied and beautiful. Creamy and smooth. Just a slight alcohal bite. Very drinkable and would definately have again.

07-31-2008 01:59:46 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of kinger


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

My motto is the darker the better, and this time I have met my match. I have heard about Ol' Rasputin and as soon as I stumbled across this fine brew I purchased a couple. Drawn to the great name and label I was intrigued in the high alcohol content. Pours easily with a thin head. This beer is very aromatic and has a thick consistency. The flavor is wonderfully complex to say the least. I was very surprised to discover that the overall flavor hides the strong alcohol content really well. To date this is the best stout I have ever enjoyed. I Will definately keep a few of these in stock for my personal enjoyment. \Additional rating on 12-10-07 of (2) cellared bottles, exact age is uncertain. Opaque, rich brown pour with a 1" thick lasting dark tan head and amazing lacing. Aromas of dark bitter chocolate, chilled coffee, and sharp hops. Alcohol is detectable to the nose. This beer is very full bodied and bitter-sweet. Thick and creamy with a light alcohol burn and smooth finish. Rich flavors of coffee, fudge, burnt and nutty malts. Large chocolate presence and a firm bitterness, the hop flavor really breaks through once the beer warms up some. One of the the first imperial stouts I sampled, and after a couple years it still remains high on the list.

07-29-2008 19:08:22 | More by kinger
Photo of QuentinCompson


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

12 oz bottle into Orval chalice

A - Head always surprises me, creeps up; ends up a nice malty whopper finger head atop a thick opaque stout; sheet film lacing

S - Chocolatey malts, mainly

T-M - Super malty nose into nicely carbed, toasted hops; chocolatey, smokey, coffee thickness; an almost wild blueberry note creeping up nicely; super tasty

D - Love this one. Like to save'm for the right times.

07-29-2008 05:31:59 | More by QuentinCompson
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,484 ratings.