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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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9,165 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,165
Reviews: 3,322
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 251
Gots: 998 | FT: 32
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)
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Ratings: 9,165 | Reviews: 3,322 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nitro-tap, served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pitch-black with a huge, dense and frothy nitro head.

Smell: Dark chocolate and burnt grains.

Taste & mouthfeel: Unbelievably rich and creamy. Baker's chocolate, espresso, toast and chocolate pudding. Hops are very much present in the finish, providing a balancing bitterness.

Drinkability: Not necessarily sessionable, but as close as I've found in an imperial stout. Despite the high ABV, this is incredibly smooth and drinkable.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-16-2007 23:17:52 | More by largadeer
Photo of Night


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with some dark crimson to brown flecks. Very large, bubbly, light-brown head with a good amount of cream and lots of arced lacing. Aroma is warm and woozy: prunes, spruce resin, milk chocolate, cream, vanilla, some red wine, and lots of alcohol. Mouthfeel is juicy and creamy. Flavor is mildly sweet with chocolate and molasses backed by a somewhat milder acidic coffee / grass and a deep, rich hop spice. Notes of custard and dark fruit throughout. Deep roast with charcoal in the finish; burnt meaty aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2007 06:23:48 | More by Night
Photo of tempest


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

Served in a Westy chalice and it looks beautiful. Smells and drinks with a mellow chocolate and roasted malt backbone. It's a nice flavor, but I can't pull a lot of depth from it. Still, it has a wonderful chocolate taste and makes for a great dessert beer and for a RIS it's relatively affordable.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2007 15:05:18 | More by tempest
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

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

so 982 reviewers as of this writing. This is one rather nice imp stout. I picked up a couple of these on a beer run last weekend. I will not expand upon the many other review other than to say, hops were a bit sharper than expected and the abv was so smooth and hidden as to be a surprise. Wonderful beer! Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2007 19:15:33 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of cjhofelt


2.95/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is almost opaque (as a stout should be) but if you shine a bright enough light to it, it's actually magenta in color. Thin head that fades to a thin film.

The smell is hard to describe. It's fruity on top of a strong malt aroma. I'm not so sure I like it.

Well, it's not too bad. There's a tasty maltyness up front followed by a fruity flavor then finishes up with coffee, chocolate, and finally, something like, well, a bit like Juicey-Fruit gum and alcohol, as one of the low reviewers said. In some ways, this tastes a bit like a winter warmer. There's also sort of a back flavor here that's reminiscent of other North Coast beers. I'm not sure what to call it other than the North Coast taste.

Heavy mouthfeel, a bit chewey and syrupy. Not a real thirst quencher, more of a hunger quencher.

Something good to drink on a chilly night. I like it, but I've had better RIS. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2007 04:45:14 | More by cjhofelt
Photo of bunnyhustle


4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

First stout reviewed, not typically a fan but this was a treat. Received as a gift from an employee and was hesitant to drink due to it not normally being my style and the high alcohol content. Pours dark, virtually black, with nice thick, tan head. Head stays around and leaves great lace. Smell is of coffee mainly but some chocolate as well and a little bit of alochol (only a little). Looks good...smells good...taste...its good too. Very thick and creamy, low carbonation and strong coffee (cant pinpoint what kind as I'm not a coffee drinker) and nice taste of chocolate at the end, little bit of alcohol taste but its hidden beneath everything else. The most complex tasting beer I have ever reviewed. For being so strong and thick you hardly notice, great mouthfeel, great beer. Curious to try other examples of this style but I think I'll only be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2007 04:41:47 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of giblet


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

amazingly smooth. this beer is a very good stout. very nice smell and taste. very nice carbonation, head and lace.

to date this is the best stout that i have had the pleasure to drink. i do not drink stout often because i am a coffee drinker. sounds odd but i want my beer to be beer and my coffee to be coffee. this stout stands on its own.

excellent choice!

suckem up and movem out!


Serving type: bottle

07-10-2007 09:35:49 | More by giblet
Photo of Halcyondays


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

12 oz. bottle, #50 review.

A: Dark opaque black, with tan head, good retention. The bottle has a picture of that psychotic Russian mystic that helped put an end to Nicholas II's reign.

S: Robust, smells of heavily roasted malts/French roast coffee, dark chocolate, soy sauce, fig, raisin, a bit of citric hops, but it is faint.

T: Not as thick and robust as I would have thought. Tastes of roasted malts predominately, with good amounts of coffee and chocolate. A little to burnt for my tastes, but this is a minor technicality.

M: Smooth, rich, creamy, this is how an RIS should feel. Not overbearing, but the perfect balance of robustness and smooth dessert like feel.

D: A delicious tasty brew, worth its accolades. Not that expensive in this neck of the woods, and its even available at my local Vons. A classic brew, that is a good choice for RIS fans low on cash and looking for a thick warming dessert-type beer. Would think this would be the perfect complement to rich chocolate cake.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2007 04:16:38 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Nesued

South Carolina

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

Appearance - Served this one a bit warmer than recommended temp. I just couldn't wait to get a hold of this one. Poured a jet black color with a very big head forming upon pour. The carbonation reminded me of what the Westy 12 looked like (i.e. very small fine carbonation bubbles). The head was a very dense frothy tan coloring that clinged to the glass.

Smell - Bold aroma of sweet malt and candy. Also coming to the show was a chocolate/caramel aroma that offered a more practical frame of reference. A bit yeasty as well. Bring the beer to your nose. Note the beer's aromatic qualities. I didn't really get a sense of a hop presence.

Taste - If I closed my eyes, I would have not thought this was as dark of a malty beer as my first taste. The hop hits you square in the taste buds and marks it's turf. The citric/hop was at first both unexpected and overwhelming, but the malty body did come to the show. I didn't get a feel for the alcohol during the entire sampling.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation really didn't add much to the transportation of this beer. The body was fully due to the malt/hop one-two punch. This was a very chewy/dense beer that made it's presence known to your mouth, in a good way. As it slid down, be thinking about the hops, 'cause they will be thinking of you.

Drinkability - A nice sipping beer to end the day. I really enjoyed this one. One of my top Russian Imperial Stouts.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2007 02:14:58 | More by Nesued
Photo of iconoklaztor


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

12 oz bottle at 55 degrees

A: Great appearance! Dark stout but not much of a head. I poured it fairly fast too. What head that did appear was an amazing tan color. I wish the head was bigger

S: Smell is good! Smells like a stout. Enough said

T: Finally! The taste it great. (takes a sip) First taste is a chocolate taste and near the finish comes the coffee taste. Its well balanced and simply tasty...note the slight alcohol taste

M: The mouthfeel is nice a firm. Stays on the tounge for many mins. I like the boldness of this stout and how it takes your tounge hostage. By the time its about to surrender you take another sip and the waiting beings again!

D: not very drinkable due to the noted mouthfeel

I enjoy this stout and for 2.50 its a steal!

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2007 02:15:43 | More by iconoklaztor
Photo of OKCNittany


4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle in a pint glass

A: 3/4" tan head - beautiful black body. Head thinned fairly quickly, but left a nice lacing.

S: Rich, powerful aroma with coffee the strongest. Roasted malt & alcohol quite noticible. Some chocolate & plenty more.

T: Big, rich expresso flavor. Plenty of hoppy bitterness, but the malts win - chocolate lovers will not be disappointed. Alcohol is present, but it's completely overwhelmed by everything else going on and not a problem at all (unless you're driving). Dark fruits are present as well, but does not interfere with the roasted/burnt malts. Man I love this beer.

M: Very smooth & creamy despite the alcohol presence. Perfect (light) carbonation for the taste. A loooong lasting dry finish - very tasty & still sweet.

D: Spectacular beer - one of my top 5. I will never tire of this beer. However, hide the women and children - this beer does not fool around. Also, at 9% abv, if I ever find this beer in a bar in OKC, someone better take my keys.

The only real flaw here is that I just finished the 4-pack. Damn North Coast for not making it a 6-pack!

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2007 00:54:45 | More by OKCNittany
Photo of Mechphisto


3.03/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- A nice, rich opaque black pour. Not too thick of a head, but a nice soft tan. Doesn't last long, but keeps a lacing a decent time.

S- A toasted chocolate coffee smell. Rich, deep smell. Not complex, per se, but the notes change as you smell it and as it warms up.

T- Just like it smells, rich chocolate coffee--but a HEAVY toasted nut taste as well. Very bitter, almost burnt nut taste. Like a coffee brewed with ground burnt nuts with a touch of chocolate.

M- Very creamy, rich, thick. Chewable. Bitter on the back of the palate but doesn't stay around longer than appreciated.

D- Can only handle one, being very thick, stout, filling. You want to drink it slow and savor it (I dare anyone to drink it fast,) which helps that the taste and aroma changes as the temperature changes. Unfortunately it gets TOO bitter toward room temperature.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2007 02:00:45 | More by Mechphisto
Photo of josiahschlender


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

The stubby bottle in a little four-pack belies how huge this beer is. Yeah, Rasputin looks cool, but the real stuff comes with the syrupy pour into a pint glass. Medium, very brown head with decent retention. Very dark lace, also has medium lasting length. The beer itself is very dark, not quite black.

Very rich, sweet smell dominated by chocolate. I also detect an undercurrent of earthy hops, possibly even yeast? Some alcohol present in the aroma, as well.

Taste is sweet, earthy, explosive, complex, prolonged. Wow, lots going on here. Lots of dark chocolate and some coffee. Not a mocha though. More like bitter baker's chocolate melted in espresso. The dark roasted malt manages to be very sweet while tasting burnt. Hops are also surprisingly strong and bitter. It's earthy, very well complimenting the baker's chocolate malts. Tastes keep lingering long after swallowing.

Mouthfeel is very thick, full and creamy. Little carbonation. Surprisingly little alcohol bite or taste for being 9%. It's there, but it's masked. I more realized it after I finished the glass.

Wow, this is an excellent stout. It's powerful, a meal to itself, but doesn't punish. Extremely well balanced. I'll be coming back to this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2007 21:11:44 | More by josiahschlender
Photo of letsgopens


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love the bottle art. I'm not sure why but for some reason I have a n overwhelming urge to tattoo it on my face. Anyway, this selection pours a dark brown, near black with amber highlights and a rocky light mocha head that holds well and recedes in to a dense cap with solid lace.

The aroma is heavy and malty with coffee and and some dark cocoa in the finish. Very nice.

This is a very favorable brew. Strong and pronounced with spent coffee grounds, dark cocoa, roasty malt, and a welcomed alcoholic warmth in the finish.

Thick and moderately heavy mouthfeel. Nice and smooth. Some natural carbonation and, again, a nice warmth.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2007 01:20:26 | More by letsgopens
Photo of StonyB

New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What new can be said about this modern classic? Suffice to say, when I took a mixed 6-pack home from Andy's Corner Bar the other day, there was no doubt a bottle of this Russian Imperial heaven would be included...

12 ounce brown bottle. Cool, slightly sinister label. Oh, that rascally Rasputin...

Appearance - Silky smooth pour, generates a beautiful, rocky, two-fingered head of foam. Lacing pasted all around my goblet (had to break out the appropriate glass here). Nearly jet black, opaque. Like the perfect cake, it's almost a shame to disturb it...you just wanna stare...

Smell - If Hershey's melted one of their milk chocolate bars, and added alcohol, I still don't think it would smell more chocolaty than this. Malt bomb. Make that a malted milk bomb...

Taste - Um, wow. Combination of sweet milk chocolate, balanced by a roasty, slightly tar-like bitterness. With time, reveals some fruity notes, as well as an increasingly warming belt of alcohol. Yum.

Mouthfeel - Viscous, chewy. Just enough carbonation to remind you you're drinking a beer, not a milkshake.

Drinkability - Well, it depends on how you define drinkability. Clearly, this 9% ABV malt assault doesn't easily lend itself to sessions. But is it easy and enjoyable to drink? You bet your balalakas it is...

If the Russian Czars were around today, this might be the stout they would import. A beautifully crafted, delicious beer. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2007 01:20:10 | More by StonyB
Photo of horshack7


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

Appearance: Presentation a short twelve ounce bottle with a menacing scetching of Rasputin very neat. Pours dark like Darth Mauls heart from Star Wars. Pours a tan very chunky three fingers of head nice head rentention.

Aromas: Large amounts of very dark roasted coffee or espresso. The malts in this pint of darkness are roasted something dark wow. The chocolate notes are incredible.

Taste: The coffee chocolate and espresso flavors stand out absolutely perfectly. The dark roasted malts roam all around the palate nice and slowly. The mouthfeel is beyond creamy it's like silk remarkably smooth and smooth is an understatement.

Notes: My fellow Beer Advocates this Russian Imperial stout is the Czar of Russian Imperial stouts. Tasting this masterpeice was like an adreniline rush. Na zdorovje

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2007 01:33:08 | More by horshack7
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

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

Gave it about 30 minutes to warm up outta the frig. Pours an opaque darkness with a huge stiff tan head that resists fading. A good amount of lacing, some of it in 3-dimension.

The aroma has it's own complexity; shifting around a bit. On the initial pour the foam released a smell of hops that i wasn't expecting. It also gave off a vanilla-whiskey character. As the head settles down you get a sweet syrupy malt that's lightly roasted...like a number of double stouts i can think of.

Full bodied, the mouth feel is creamy and adequately carbonated. The flavor fills the mouth but it doesn't give you that coating sensation. The flavor is a lightly roasted malt and the complementary texture takes it to a light mocha zone. Has an enjoyably light lingering chocolate coffee aftertaste.

Quite drinkable. The 9% ABV is a real secret.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2007 21:18:14 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of bluemoonswoon


4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass, no freshness date.

A: Pours a deep dark amber almost black, with a thick tan head that fades into a thickish cap with very nice lacing. A decent cascading effect when first poured into glass fades when head forms, very pretty beer.

S: I could smell this stuff as soon as I opened this thing. When it finally all gets in the glass a big chocolate aroma greets the nose, lingering a bit longer over the glass and with a bit of agitation fermented fruits begin to appear, apples and grapes tied together with a thick carmel scent, very inviting.

T/MF: I'm not used to drinking stouts but I have to say that this is not only one of the best stouts I've tasted, but one of the best beers I've ever had. That being said the beer slides over the entire pallate, super rich and creamy as to be expected, incredibly thick and pleasing. The tastes are everywhere and beautifly balanced, coffee and chocolate appear first with sweet molasas and carmel, I almost don't want to swallow because this beer tastes so good. There are also nice hints of fruit that helps balance the intense chocolate and coffee flavors, excellent, excellent beer.

D: No matter what the occasion I would have no qualms about drinking this beer, though I imagine it would be even better paired with some rich chocolates while sitting in a big high backed chair with a large bearskin rug covering the floor next to a roaring fire.

Still I would recommend this beer to everyone, it puts all the other stouts I've tried to shame and has rekindled my intrest in this style

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2007 21:23:53 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of bgraney


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black, a few carbonation bubbles peeking through the darkness. 2-finger tan head, lots of bubble craters on top.
Rich charcoal dominates the aroma. Hints of chocolate and coffee.
Burnt charcoal flavor with a mild chocolate background. Excellent bitter-chocolate aftertaste on the tongue.
Mouthfeel is full and thick, like a layer of charred steak on the tongue. Not much expansion, a little more carbonation might spread the good stuff around.
Probably two at the most in one session. That charcoal taste, which is awesome on the first glass, doesn't seem like something I'd want to stick with for an extended period of time.
Outstanding Russian Imperial.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2007 14:30:12 | More by bgraney
Photo of Sigmund


4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, courtesy of gunnfryd, who supplied it to our tasting. The ABV was 9.0%. Served at room temperature - I would prefer it just a little cooler, but not cold. Pitch black colour, moderate head. Heavily roasty aroma and flavour, with notes of liquorice and coffee. A very robust and tasty imperial stout, but not too extreme.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2007 20:25:34 | More by Sigmund
Photo of wanker


3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It is mandatory that you let this beer warm before drinking it - what a difference it makes.

When I take my first sips right from the fridge, the hops are way too harsh, making the beer unbalanced and killing the other flavors. But -- if you let it warm up some -- the hops mellow out and the other flavors come through. The beer then becomes nice and balanced.

This is a good, complex imperial stout. A bit too syrupy in the finish for me, but not as syrupy as Samuel Smiths.

Given the choice, I'd prefer Victory Storm King, my favorite impy stout. But if Storm King is unavailable, this is a good second choice.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2007 20:00:00 | More by wanker
Photo of burnstar


4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black with a big persistant tan head, nice lacing down the glass. Aroma is dark chocolate, coffee, some spicy hop freshness and a hint of alcohol. Starts with a touch of burnt malt, some nice underlying sweetness throughout. Hops make their presence felt in the finish. It just feels like everything is big and balanced in this beer- everything in perfect proportion. It manages to be huge, delicous, and nuanced without being totally overpowering. Nice full mouthfeel. I think this is exceptionally drinkable for the style. Perhaps my favorite imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2007 03:05:24 | More by burnstar
Photo of scott


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

Starts big, and finishes big, but is a very mellow character. True to its nature, dark and heady with lots of roasted malt to the nose and tongue. Alcohol is masked nicely, but one to be aware of because these will fool you into a hallucination or two if you aren't careful. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2007 01:13:08 | More by scott
Photo of jp62099

South Carolina

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

Poured into a Stone Russian IMP glass, black of course, brownish head, good retention. Smells wonderful, roasty malts, chocolate and hints of coffee. Tastes rich with a smooth fill, alcohol is not overly apparent. Lots going on here more for my novice palate. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2007 23:16:14 | More by jp62099
Photo of harpus


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

A: pours very dark brown almost black

S: roasted malts with hints of chocolate and coffee

T: roasty malts flavor with hints of chocolate. Great well rounded ballanced flavor

M: very full body, but not sticky

D: This beer will be gone before you know it, is goes down so easy, just watch how many you have.

This was one of the first Russian Imperial Stout, I had tried. I judge other RIS to this one. I was so shock and suprised by the flavor one the first sip.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2007 22:11:58 | More by harpus
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,165 ratings.