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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.

9,642 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,642
Reviews: 3,349
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 288
Gots: 1,216 | FT: 38
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: 9,642 | Reviews: 3,349 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Craboo
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%

Pours thick black with a creamy brown head. Aroma of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate.

Carbonation is a bit heavy, breaking up what would have been a nicely silky mouthfeel.

First taste brings burnt malt, followed by cocoa powder, finishing with an alcohol warming raisin flavor and delicious hop bitterness that seems to hang on to my tongue like a pro rodeo bucking bronc rider (It's a nice ride!).

This is North Coast Brewing's signature beer!

Craboo, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of Adamthome1
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%

My, oh my. Needless to say I was thrilled when I saw that my grocer was carrying a Russian Imperial Stout. This is my first. I love stouts and porter's but where I live the selection is not great.

This beer pours a great head (my myspace picture is a fresh pour into a snifter glass). The aroma is respectable, the taste is dominated by dark chocolate, it's a pretty sweet beer. It reminds me of Rogue's Chocoloate Stout but is not quite as complex and bites harder than the Rogue Choc. Stout. However, it does not fee like 9% alcohol that is for sure.

This is one of my new favorites, my only request would be a little more bitterness or a second malt flavor to jump out other than just the dark chocolate. As is it is very drinkable and worth the price.

Adamthome1, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of Soneast
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%

This pours a pitch-black color. The head was quite explosive, even with a fairly gentle pour I ended up with about a 3 finger, light brown colored head. Had to wait for the head to die down a bit to finish pouring the rest of the bottle. Just thick and creamy, leaving large pillows of bubbles on the glass as I drink the beer. By the end of my beer the entire glass was just coated with the brown colored head.

A thick, earthy roasted malt aroma up front. A sort of resinous, dark chocolate aroma in the background.

A burnt/bittered chocolate flavor initially. Sweet, roasted malts throughout and a very nice balanced bitter hop flavor that ends with a delectable sweetness on the palate. I'll be frank, this tastes AWESOME! Well balanced and it has a complexity that I trust is only going to improve with age.

This beer has a thick, filling character. The carbonation is very well balanced with the heaviness of the beer. This just tastes so good and I love the aftertaste. Another great stout to compliment the cold, snowy weather we've been contending with in central Wisconsin for the past few weeks. This is 9% ABV? Coulda fooled me, cause you sure can't taste it. It's a sipper, for sure, but something that I could sip on all day.

*EDIT 12/25/09*
Add a year to this beer....and holy crap is it amazing. I thought it was good before. Now...it may very well be my favorite stout. Just delicious! Screw Rasputin XII, it doesn't get much better than this. And when you consider this beer currently has 2044 reviews and still retains it's A grade, that really says something. Considering it's deliciousness and availability...this is a world class beer, without a doubt.

Soneast, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of dgriffis
5/5  rDev +16.3%

This beer by name alone sounds very ominous, however I think it is one the best stouts available. This beer is definitely not for the weak, or for people who can't appreciate the style. This beer starts with a rich molasses pour, that is as black as black can get; great cascade into the dark tan/ light brown head. The smell is of rich black roasted malts, with hints of rye and oats. I know each person is different, some prefer to sip this beer; but I can't help but almost chug it, if that says anything about the drinkability. If you haven't had this beer you owe it to yourself to pick up a four pack, chill to proper temperature and enjoy!

dgriffis, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of kevd193213
4.43/5  rDev +3%

12oz bottle. Pours black with a chocolate head. Decent carbonation. Aroma is of roasted malt, chocolate, syrup, and hops. Taste of hops, with a heavy roasted malt backbone. Notes of chocolate, dark fruits, syrup, and alcohol. Very dry finish, with a nice hop bitterness. Surprisingly medium mouthfeel, I was expecting something to chew on but exceptionally drinkable.

kevd193213, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of saintwarrick
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

Pours a very dark brown with a light tannish brown head, it's thick but not as opaque or as thick as some others from this style. Aroma has the usual chocolate and brownie characteristics, but it doesn't overwhelm as a lemony citric aroma is also present from the hops. Taste hits like fudge cake and dark chocolate, coating the tongue before the citrus from the hops hits, a unique taste I find for this style, at least in my experience. Finishes dark and bitter with an undercurrent of sweetness like a nugget of dark chocolate.

Mmmm, very tasty and worthy of its reputation, but i would still put Brooklyn BCS and Ted Fidy in front of this particular brew.

saintwarrick, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of ritzkiss
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%

Pours dark with a 1/2 inch head. Thick aroma with molasses, toffee, toast, hops, hints of chocolate all coming out. First taste is like drifting into heaven. Sweet but not too much so, complex like the best women, dark like a starless night. Warning: Makes one wax poetic.

Medium finish, good lacing. Has 9% but is one of those beers that'll sweet talk you, only to steal your wallet later.

One of these bad boys usually satisfies but could easily be a 'session' sipper for the hardy. Great with chocolate, by a fire, or under the stars. Honestly, one of the best beers I've had. Dark and delicious.

ritzkiss, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of yesyouam
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

Old Rasputin is a black beer with an amber hue with a light brown whipped head. The retention and lacing are great. The aroma is of dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, resiny wood, mint and licorice. It is full bodied, soft and sparkling and leaves the tongue dry. The initial flavor is like salmiakki, followed by the roasty elements. It fades to a spicy alcoholic warmth. This is a classic, probably the first Imperial Stout I ever had, about 7 or 8 years ago.
(rated Aug 7, 2007)

yesyouam, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of kaseydad
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

North Coast Brewing is one of the best breweries in my opinion. The Old Rasputin is one of the best and easy to drink stouts out there. The label has Rasputin giving me the "ok" to drink it. Love the beard!

Poured into a snifter and can't see through the thing. Dark as night with an aroma of roasty (not sure if that's a word) coffee with hints of dark chocolate. Goes down smooth without the harsh aftertaste some stouts produce. Lace clings to glass after sip. Awesome beer!

Another fine beer from Fort Bragg!

kaseydad, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of cvfish
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%

A - Poured a very dark black, that produced a tan head that retained well and left a nice lace around the glass

S - Licorce, some roasted chocolate malts

T - Light taste of roasted chocolate malts, some more of raisins and licorce

M - Medium bodied, light carbonation

D - Alright RIS, body feels more like a Irish Dry to me though

cvfish, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of Reaper16
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%

bottle poured into pint glass.

Super-dark, just the tiniest hint of brown at the very bottom of the glass. Otherwise, its entirely black. Two-finger head like a tan colored leather car seat that dissipated relatively quickly. Lacing was incredible, though. A beauty to look at.

Wasn't blown away by the aromas. Chocolate malt with a roasted character, sure. Small hint of coffee. A bit of alcohol. Some raisin, but I had to hunt for it.

Taste is a different story. What was fleeting in the smell is assuredly there on the tongue. Chocolate washes over the mouth in waves. A surprising floral hop character says 'hello' for long enough to kiss the sides of the tongue and linger until the beer finishes strong with toffee and dark fruit. None of the flavors, except for perhaps chocolate malt, were as strong as desired, but everything was quite lovely and balanced.

The first sip had an heavy alcohol note, but the 9% ABV was hardly noticeable after that, especially as the beer warmed. There is a strong temptation to drink more than you should. Mouthfeel was pretty good, not too awfully thick but still with a desirable stickiness.

Old Rasputin probably deserves its canonical spot as a point of constant comparison, a standard-bearer, for the style. It seems impossible to be displeased by it.

Reaper16, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of AleWerks
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

One of the classic American Stouts available.

Aroma: Figs, prunes, dark malt, coffee, roasted grains

Appearance: Black with tan head that laced nicely.

Flavor: Big dark malt flavor with hints of fig, prune, cherry, and roast.

Mouthfeel: The big malt gives a rich mouthfeel that finishes sweet.

Overall: A great beer to have on a cold winter night. Fantastic.

AleWerks, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of bonbini26
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%

A- Pours a thick dark dark brown, loses some points because of the minimal head that forms, however that small head follows the beer all the way down, with excellent lacing coverage

S- Sweet candy like, licorice, faint hints of chocolate

T- So complex, yet so balanced, a true interpretation of this style. Oak, roasted malt, coffee

M- Silky smooth at first, but finishes with a nice bitterness

D- A true beer for this time a year, i great sipper on a cold winter night

bonbini26, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of Klgkenny
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%

Poured into a transparent, thick glassed tumbler; medium aggressive pour.

Pour produced a medium sized tan head which receded after 2-3 minutes leaving behind spotty lacing. The beer is almost black. It does not let any light pass through.

Aroma of copper is most prominent, with secondary aromas of earth and charred wood.

Tastes of copper and earth. As it rolls around the mouth slight taste of hops and chocolate, just the barest of hints.

Feels like a lightly carbonated zero weight oil in the mouth.

This is a highly drinkable beer, but everything seems just a little short of bold. It's just one or two points outside of extraordinary. I wouldn't turn it down if it were free, but there has to be something better from the genre.

Klgkenny, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of jas0n50
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%

A: Pitch black and opaque, the head is think tall and frothy, though it dissipates quickly. Nice lacing up and down the glass.
S: Strong but not an overpowering rich malty aroma. It has a nice chocolaty smell.
T: Dark chocolate and roasted coffee bittersweetness; it has a great depth of flavor and is well balanced. A bit of a nutty finish as well.
M: A thik, milky and substantial mouthfeel; it sticks a bit too much to the palate for my taste, but not too bad
D: While I probably wouldn't want to drink more than one or two of these at a time, I enjoyed drinking this one all the way through. Overall this is a really good beer that I'll definitely drink again.

jas0n50, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of PDXHops
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%

This was one of the first "big" beers I had a few years ago, but I haven't had it for quite a long time. Old Rasputin is one of those beers that it's easy to take for granted, given it's fairly wide availability. Ran into it on tap today, and decided to give an old friend a try. Served in a chalice glass.

The pour yields little head (perhaps due to the width of the chalice opening), but the carbonation is surprisingly zesty and long lasting. The head lingers til the end with a bit of lacing. The beer itself is near black and opaque

Nothing jumps out aroma-wise other than nicely toasted malt and chocolate, but the first sip reveals a lively combination of bitter chocolate, milk chocolate, fig newtons, raisins, and a nice bitter bite of hops on the finish.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, as the zippy carbonation makes up for a thinner body than I expected. At 9%, the drinkability is pretty dangerous- this one goes down nice and smooth!

Very solid beer, and again, one that it's easy to take for granted without the buzz of a seasonal release. Good stuff, and I'm glad to have found it on tap. I'm planning on grabbing a 4-pack or two to throw in the cellar and see what happens. Nice to see you again, old friend!

PDXHops, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of colts9016
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

Appearance: Black thick oily dark tan one finger head.
Nose: toasted malt, chocolate, coffee, molasses, yeasty, a nice citrus and esters. There are hints of chalk, and musty earth.
Taste is coffee, chocolate, toasted malt. sweet yeasty, grapefruit, molasses, and esters. There are hints of dirt, chalk dust and powder.
Overall: This a complex beer with a bitter hoppy finish. Wonderful Full body beer. Balanced for the most part.

colts9016, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of simonjohansson
4.13/5  rDev -4%

Smell: fruity, flowery cascade (or other american) hops, chocolate, coffee, syrup, some cream and dried fruits. Maybe somekind of notes of burnt meat or smoke, as well. Nice smell, anyways.

Taste: notes of coffee and fine dark chocolate, nice bitterness, heavy but not brutal, I'd say; syrup, smoked meat, nuts and those hops again.

Overall: one of the best stouts Ive had. Only thing I didnt like that much was the hop profile. I dont think stouts should have flowery citrus hops. It doesnt fit, in my opinion.

simonjohansson, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of Pauly2X
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%

A- Opaque black, one finger tan head.

S- Rich roasted malts, some vinous fruit aromas as well.

T- Assertive chocolate malts with an underlying roast character. Some citrusy hops show up at midpoint then trail off to a balanced finish.

M- Full bodied and rich sharp carbonation.

D- The balanced finish helps greatly with drinkability.

A very solid Imperial Stout. For better or worse, this shouls be the comparison for all other Imperial Stouts.

Pauly2X, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of redneckchugger
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%

nitro tap into a pint glass at jp henlys
inch of tan head, pure pack body, lacing for days
smells of malt, dark fruit, caramel
tastes the same, but a little tamer than normal, first time i have ever had this beer on tap, and maybe its the nitro, but its not as intense, this is one of my favorite beers but i am a little disapointed in this version, its smooth and drinkable, but not old raspy i know and love.

redneckchugger, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of bowersdm
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%

This was my first Russian Imperial Stout and it's still my favorite.

A - Black as black can be. A small head appeared and stayed. It wasn't a great head, though.

S - chocolate, dark and semisweet, alcohol, roasted malt, oh and alcohol.

T - chocolate (both of the aforementioned styles) and some coffee that wasn't noticeable on the nose, noticeable but not unpleasant burn of alcohol, and a lingering bitter finish, but not overly bitter.

M - great. thick and creamy. I can only imagine how orgasmic this would be on nitro-tap.

D - the pronounced alcohol taste puts a damper on putting a few of these down. It's a very flavorful and basically amazing beer. The only drawback is the fact that the taste lingers for quite a while (around an hour, or at least it did with me.)

Great beer. Drink it. now.

bowersdm, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of 3leggeddub
2.78/5  rDev -35.3%

If I trawl the old memory banks I think good ol' Rasputin was one of the first imperial stouts that I had and the one thing I've always liked is the way it looked. Pitch black with a respectably thick tan head that thins down to a thin cover that leaves sticky lacing all the way down. No light getting through this stuff at all. The nose is pretty appealing with sweet notes of dark fruit like plum or raisin. Of course at 9% ABV you can definitely smell the booze in there.

To be blunt the first sip of Rasputin is a kick in the mouth. The carbonation is sharp and hits your tongue first. After that it's big bitterness around the edges. There's a coffee flavor that goes beyond dark roasted into burnt. The word acrid comes to mind to describe the first third of the bottle. The fruit in the nose are pretty much nowhere to be found in the taste. As you make your way through the bottle your palette starts to get used to the bitterness. With that acclimatization comes the realization that Rasputin has a nice velvety body that bitterness aside is very pleasant. Flavor-wise you notice some fleeting hints of unsweetened baker's chocolate and a touch of roasted malt. Lingering underneath that is an earthy, chalky aftertaste that isn't all together unpleasant. Aside from the bitterness there's little other flavor in here to hang a hat on and enjoy.

Put all of this together and Rasputin is a decent imperial stout, but personally I don't see it as balanced, complex or amazing as many others do. For those still trying to find their preference in the world of RIS's I would recommend trying Rasputin at least once to see if a more bitter stout is for you.

3leggeddub, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of Bung
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

Black pour, not much light or coloring even around the edges. Solid brown head. Roasty aromas, some red fruit and barrel aroma also. Fairly carbonated, but ends up being somewhat creamy. Roast/burnt malts, bakers chocolate, dark red fruit/port wine flavors. Med/full bodied. Finishes real clean and warm. The standout in the North Coast stable

Bung, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of magictrokini
4.47/5  rDev +4%

An excellent beer. Pours like a 40-weight after driving 5,000 miles. Scent of coffee and chocolate, with just right amount of raisin and date. Taste is coffee and burnt malts, caramel anf vanilla. Long finish. This brew is almost like a combination of Stone's version mixed with Speedway Stout.

magictrokini, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

A- This is very jet black, with a finger width and a half of tan fluffy head. This is very much like one would expect to get from a RIS in terms of the appearance.

S- I'm getting a great coffee and chocolate smell with a hint of vanilla. There is a slight anise smell too, which I'm excited about, I'm a fan of anise in RIS beers. I'm also getting a some hop smell, lets see if that is there with the taste.

T- The coffee taste is there in the beginning...stays in the middle of the taste, but is more of a force in the end. The chocolate taste is slight, and I'm getting some cherry there with it as well. The anise smell didn't stay with the taste. The taste is good, a bit more coffee then I would want, I guess its not the amount of coffee that is there, but the bitterness that results. I do like the sweetness that is there from time to time though.

M- This is slightly dry, and I feel kinda a weird coating over my mouth.

D- Very drinkable, and tasty. I'm glad this is regularly released in my area.

Wetpaperbag, Dec 10, 2008
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,642 ratings.