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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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10,804 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,804
Reviews: 3,514
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 418
Gots: 1,933 | FT: 53
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: 10,804 | Reviews: 3,514
Photo of camp0474
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 2/4/11

A: Pours a pitch black with a nice frothy tan coffee colored head. Decent head retention and good sticky lacing.

S: Toasty alts with a sweet backbone. Smells of bitter coffee, molasses, slight dark fruits, and faint alcohol detectable.

T: Coffee, sweet dark fruits. Faint chocolate. Hop bitterness near the finish. Slight alcohol burn. Solid balance of all of the flavors. Hides the abv well.

M: Medium to thick body. Good fine carbonation.

D: A well balanced RIS and goes down easy. A welcomed slight alcohol warmth. Great cold weather stout.

Photo of Jadjunk
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

#100. The first of many grand milestones, and well celebrated with one of the best-known Russian Imperial Stouts. Surprisingly well available in most stores that carry a decent beer selection around here, I got this in a single 12 oz. bottle at Five Points in Athens.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter at room temp.

(Appearance) Almost an explosive pour! 3 finger depth creamy thick foamy head that nearly crowns the glass. Retention is quite nice; it will take quite a while for this head to die down. Head thickens and crowns in the center as the sides die down, leaving thin stringy lacing everywhere. Color is a solid black; no light penetration anywhere. I also can't see any carbonation, but it would be hard to make out anyways. A thoroughly satisfying appearance. 4.5

(Smell) Subtle coffee tones, cocoa, caramel, toffee and dark fruits and nuts in no particular order mesh beautifully to create some wonderfully balanced culmination. Smoky and roasted textures encompass the brew. There may also be some bitterness from some earthy hops. I figured that being in this snifter would have boosted the intensity of the brew, but it is still lacking a bit in potency. What I smell however is intriguing and pleasing. 4

(Taste) A nice roasted nutty coffee bitter beginning follows to a hazy smoky finish. Quite intensely pleasing. Good deal of bitter and sweet characteristics. The balance is great. I like it. 4.5

(Mouthfeel) A bit heavy creamy mouthfeel with some slightly prickly texture possibly from the alcohol which is otherwise well hidden from taste. Complements the style well. 4.5

(Drinkability) Warming and quite heavy on the palate, I couldn't imagine having more than two or three in a single session. ABV is on the higher end and this is quite filling. Otherwise, there are no factors that would keep me from wanting another of these. 4

Verdict: I enjoyed this. It was very complex and flavorful. It's worth getting. Here's to the next 100. A (4.35)

Photo of gfreed
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good, but not grrreat! winter beer, and a pleasant way to finish off a we-got-a-babysitter-and-went-to-see-"The King's Speech" date with my wife. Dark as a moonless night, and a decent aroma of coffee (albeit somewhat old coffee) and chocolate with a peculiar scent of lavender, which seems totally out of place but added a nice tilt to the beer. The bitterness is, relatively speaking, rather low but still elbows the malt and chocolate to the side. And then there's the ginormous head that never really goes away and is so puffy and thick that it made me want to lay my head into it and take a nap. With a dry finish and a come-from-behind alcohol smack, this is a good winter beer but somehow comes up short-- it lacks the complexity I prefer at this ABV. Good for the price.

Photo of modernartblues
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from Notes

12oz bottle into a Duvel Tulip

A: black-brown body with a 1" off white head, a bit of lacing, but head retention was minimal

S: decent, chocolate, coffee, roastiness...not as roasty as other RIS, I pick up a bit of citrusy hops as well

T: not overly complex, but gets better as it warms, coffee, chocolate, dark fruits- plum...this doesn't quite do it for me. It's good (especially for the price), but drank this the night after a Stone RIS and the two just don't compare. Stone kicks this beers a** by a wide margin.

M: thick, but not overly so. good, not great for a RIS (I prefer them viscously thick).

D: I don't crave another one, which given the alcohol is not that bad a thing, but this doesn't make my best of style....

Photo of Brunite
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amost black....some ruby edge.

S: Roasty of malts, burnt coffee and dark bakers chocolate

T: Excellent. No heavy sweetness. Roasted coffee and chocolate dominates here. Some nice hoppiness finishes. A lasting chocolate brownie flavor.

M: Medium.

D: As far as the style...very good. A great sipper.

Photo of SHODriver
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours very thick. Color is black with an ample and fairly slow to recede tan head. The head sticks around for awhile and recedes to a thin pool.
S: It took awhile for the nose to reveal itself on this one but I'm picking up some coffee and chocolate notes with a touch of roast malt smell
T: Beergasm. Starts off a little slow but quickly builds to some sweet chocolate flavors, a smidge of burnt sugar, and a hint of coffee. Lingering roasty aftertaste is very enjoyable and leaves you wanting more.
M: Very thick and almost creamy. Maybe a touch chewy with just enough carbonation to keep it from feeling flat as it dances around the tongure
D: One is quite enjoyable, two would be pushing it and three would be a challenge. This isn't a session beer by any means. More of a night cap or dessert beer.

Overall: A fantastic representation of a Russian Imperial Stout by the people at North Coast. This beer delivers a knock out punch to the taste buds and sits a bit heavy on the stomach and induces what can best be described as a beer coma.

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

A - Pours a very dark black with foamy, creamy, carmel-colored 2-3 finger head. Great lacing lines the glass.

S - Smell seemed to be a good mixture of sweet roastyness. Notes of chocolate fudge, coffee, and even a hint of sweet nuts. A delightful, robust smell.

T - Somewhat of a chocolate-tobacco mixture, as if I was smoking a flavored cigar. The sweetness up front fades into a complex smokey/roastedness that's actually quite enjoyable. As I let it sit, I'm able to sense some more of a dark fruit taste, almost raisiny.

M - Not as thick as I actually expected. The beer coats the mouth ever so slightly, but is smooth and light in a way.

D - I'm not sure where they are hiding the alcohol in this, but it's remarkably drinkable. Of course, it's a full beer, so it's not easy to sit and down, but a perfect beer to just enjoy.

Overall - A great beer, highly recommend it.

Photo of HarrisonDean
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/06/2009

I woke up one morning in September and realized that winter has started its long march back. Which is perfect, since us beer lovers have an entire category of beers designed to warm and relax, strong beers of character and fortitude. Old Rasputin, a Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing, is one such source of comfort on a chilly fall evening.

The bottle art is a mixture of black and gold, with a somber portrait of Rasputin glaring out with clear, intense eyes above his notorious shaggy beard; this beer embodies the spirit of the mischievous, mad monk. Poured into a tulip glass, this stout appears to be impenetrably black with a nice inch of fluffy, dark coffee head. The body swirling around is heavy and oily, holding firm as the head slowly retreats to a persistent ring at the top of the glass. The aroma is dominated by dry, yeasty dark chocolate that accommodates some coffee and fruit tones and rises above its originating roasted malt.

Each sip is extremely creamy; the body explodes and releases in the mouth. Initially, the flavors are those of sweet but dark coffee malts and raisins. Later, the body settles and shows its massive roasted malt content with some buttering hops along for the ride. Around this time you notice that the beer packs quite an alcoholic punch, but definitely takes a back seat to the grain content. This dark, malty rush gives way to the yeast-laden dark chocolate from the aroma which lingers before the bitterness of the roasted malts returns to the tongue. Fortunately, sweet mocha accompanies the finish, making this an intense but drinkable beer. Of course, if you are new to stouts, you might want to try something less devious instead.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aren't well all so lucky that this beer is widely distributed and very reasonably priced. A winner I always go back to.

A: Pours out a Dark brown color, but is black in the glass. An amazing finger-two fingers of tan head retain for a while, and leave sticky tan lacing on the sides of the glass. Excellent.

S: The smell is a very roasty and savory sweet one, and a great textbook smell of the RIS style- a fat fudge note, charred black malt, coffee grounds, tobacco-cigar aromas, dark bread, some hop bitters, and smoke combine to make this great stout aroma.

T: I love that this beer has a flavor profile that seems to give an impression on all the taste buds slowly, moving from front to back. The front has the immediate biting roast and coffee like flavors which then move to a chocolatey and smoky malt rich center and then a slowly appearing bittersweet hop tinged, toasted feeling back of the palate. Other notes of tobacco, a little caramel, and some alcohol sweetness are there as well. A very finely crafted beer.

M: The mouth is pretty good, medium bodied with a good helping of carbonation, more than I usually like in a stout. The only weak point in this beer, though I've had aged bottles that I remember being smoother.

D: This is an excellent RIS that I would certainly give as a starter into the RIS style. Well done North Coast to produce this beer so well year after year.

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

On the pour, the beer is a somewhat translucent, dark brown, but the result is a glass of black beer. 3 finger, espresso-colored head. Solid lacing.

Aroma is big sweet malts with noticeable coffee roast. Fairly rich and complex aroma with fruit and nuts present as well.

Taste follows the aroma. All the flavors come through at once. Coffee and rich chocolate malts with molasses and syrupy flavors too. Dry nuttiness. The fruits in the aroma don't make it to the flavor--drowned out by the roast and richer malts maybe.

Thin for it's flavor. Creamy with a bit of bite in the carbonation.

Photo of Tyler08
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark pour from a bottle into a wide-mouth bubble glass. Light brown head and smooth look. Copper lacing.

S: Chocolate and coffee aroma with a hint of dark fruit. delightful.

T: Again, chocolate and coffee taste with a nice dark fruit flavor. There is a bit if heat on the back end of a sip, which complements this beer nicely.

M: Decent mouthful, but not as overpowering as I thought it would be.

D: As any Russian Imperial Stout, one or two bottles may be enough. Delightful and enjoyable to the palate.

Photo of Arinthos
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark black with a huge tan head light carbonation.

s- Very malty with hints of coffee and chocolate.

M- full body

T- malt and chocolate ( a big taste) creamy almost syrup like and mild alcohol undertones.

D- I like this not my normal go to beer I can see this being a great beer in my rotation.

Photo of Beertinez
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet glass. It pours extremely thick like oil. A deep chocolate brown that looks black until its held up to the light. A mocha color head with about 2 fingers worth of head that eventually disappears into a half-finger head.

As soon I poured it, I got a bitter chocolate aroma. As It warms while I'm sipping, I'm getting scents of darker fruits like this dark red wine I once had. Kind of like plums.

The taste is nice and bold! A strong roasted flavor comes through and as It finishes, it combines with the earthy hop notes that kind of tickled my tongue. Very enjoyable. Like the aroma, as it warms, I'm starting to get those dark fruits. Plum and a touch raisin. It starts to finish like a wine. The alcohol is starting to come out a little but it gives you a pleasant warming feeling.

Thick yet strangely easy to drink. 9% ABV and as it warms, you can definitely sense it.

A very well-crafted stout. I had an Imperial Stout before and was not impressed but this brew definitely redeemed the style in my books. I wish I had some of this during the blizzard we had recently here in Chicago because this feels like a great beer to have in the cold. Highly recommended!

Photo of CharlieMurphy
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Chalice


A-4.5: DARK opaque black with half a finger of tan head that doesn't go away

S-3.0: Kind of a let down. It's hard to smell too much of what's going on. I only get malt with some faint roastiness and maybe a tiny hint of vanilla.

T-4.5: Bam! There's everything that I couldn't smell bursting out. HUGE dry roasted coffee beans, then more subdued chocolate malt then vanilla. Awesome.

M-4.5: Bold and filling upon drinking but surprisingly mild and barely there after many sips

D-4.0: Drinkability is excellent, if it weren't for the ABV slowing me down, I could have this all day. Damn good.

Total = 4.1


"Oh NOOO! It's Old Raspy!!!"

A-4.5: warm light brownie brown head on black body. Retains.

S-5.0: Smells sooo delicious. Chocolate, molasses, salt, cookies, figs, oatmeal, and some perfectly muted hops. Mouthwatering.

T-4.0: Hops coupled with carbonation here first and in the driver seat with some roastiness smoldering from the get-go then igniting in the middle. Some tiny sweet kick hits 3/4 through that makes me smack my tongue within my mouth. Best with some age?

M-4.0: not drying, not cloying, not tasting like 8% abv. Refreshing and well crafted even with the atypically higher carbonation (atleast as a wave at the beginning)

O-4.5: fucking classic.

Total = 4.33

Photo of bum732
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Dark fruit with some citrus, coffee, some dark chocolate, leafy hoppiness.

L: Dark black, dark tan head with decent retention, ok lacing.

T: Bittersweet chocolate-like malt with some fruity backbone. Medium-high bitterness leading to a touch of caramel sweetness before ashy dry finish.

M: Medium mouthfeel, medium-carbonation. Alcohol slightly noticeable.

Very dry RIS and hoppy. Different from the numbers of cloying sweet stouts, a nice change. Can't wait to see what age does to this.

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

taste- roasted malts, chocolate

color- deep chestnut, appears black

clarity- clear, although opaque to the naked eye

smell- chocolate and coffee aroma

body- smooth

appearance- slightly off-white creamy head, great lace retention

overall impression- complex flavors

notes and comments- this beer also ages well

beer spy- north coast brewing company, fort bragg ca, 2/13/11, 10 oz. glass

glassware: imperial pint

Photo of chilly460
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Opaque black with red/brown highlights at the edge of the glass. Nice medium brown head dissipates to a thick film, leaves a nice lace.

N- Very heavy dark chocolate, espresso, cocoa powder, some deep raisin or licorice, and heavy bread yeast notes.

T- Similar to the aroma, lots of dark chocolate and sharp coffee. Heavy molasses and malts. Liked this quite a bit, it's right on the edge of bitterness I like in an RIS, but not over the edge. Gets very warm with alcohol as it warms up, a complex beer.

M- This is a smooth thick beer, tight fluffy head, very nice feel to it.

D- Love the fact that you can get this beer anywhere, and at an affordable price. I'm a little wimpy when it comes to heavy roasted malts, this is on the border but was very easy drinking for me.

Photo of BeerCon5
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a thick very creamy dark brown head, very sticky lacing.

The scent is of roasted malt, sweet dark chocolate, dark fruit, and notes of coffee.

The taste is first of sweet dark chocolate, followed by pronounced alcohol, roasted malt, coffee notes, finishes with a dry cocoa taste.

Full bodied, chewy and thick, very low carbonation.

Probably one of the best RIS I've had, great complex flavor, lots to taste with every sip. I will definitely look for this again.

Photo of mweso2000
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Old Rasputin is one of my favorite beers. It pours a dark black with a one finger tan head that settles into a ring of lace. Aromas of chocolate, coffee malt a slight hint of licorice, and a little bit of fruitiness. This beer is a full frontal assault on the taste buds and successfully accomplishes the mission. The taste is full of roasted malt, a bit of mocha sweetness with a slight amount of hop bitterness at the end. Full bodied flavor with medium carbonation. Watch out the 9% abv will sneak up and hit you in the ass! This beer is not for everyone. It has very strong and bold flavors. If you are a stout fan, I have yet to find a better example of a beer in this class and this is a MUST try.

Photo of Gushue3
3.94/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- deep black looks medium/thick body with enormous brown/caramel head. isnt leaving.

S- lots of roasted malt, black licorice, light hop scent.

T- big boozy taste up front with bitterness hiding in there that shows up on the finish and lingers.

M- feels really smooth, tiny carbonation. almost chalky like a red wine on the tongue after the finish.

D- oh yea. as long as i dont comatose from the ABV i can drink this all night

Photo of shoduke
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Nitro tap can make any beer look extremely enticing. Great dark color with a carmel colored head.

S- A little fruity for a stout but still exceptional.

T- Bold flavor, some chocolate and fruit notes.

M- Absolutely perfect- very smooth and creamy.

D- Usually stouts are filling after 1 or 2, but I had 3 and could have enjoyed more if I had more time.

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

Unknown date, probably from last 6 months. Drank from a big snifter. After a vigorous pour, there was a towering three fingers of cola-colored head that stuck around for awhile. The liquid was piano black.

Taking a big whiff from the glass left my nose full of roasty toasty malts, coffee, chocolate and caramel aromas. The taste was fairly sweet - brown sugar, caramel maltiness and some dark fruitiness. There was also a little bit of vanilla and an overall chewy roastiness to it.

There was a creamy and highly carbonated feel in the mouth after taking a swig of this, with a dry finish. This was a solid and highly drinkable RIS.

Photo of Dhren1979
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage: 2010

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle poured into a Tulip glass.

A: Pours an inky, black w/only the slightest hints of mahagony red at the edges.

S: Coffee. Roasted coffee malts. A hint of bitter hops present irself and is quite welcomed and a surprise.

T: The dry taste of coffe makes itself known right away. Dry roasted malts. A slight bitterness presents itself but quickly disappears.

M: A wonderful coating of my mouth. So smooth and silky...a great sipper.

D: Oh why is this my last one??!! This needs to be in the fridge at all times!!

Photo of bnes09
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesone ink black color. Huge, frothy tan head which will not quit. Layers the glass in copious lacing.

Huge aroma of coffee, bourbon, and delicate balance of herbal hop. Very intriguing.

Hops are incredibly high in this one. Lots of citric and herbal flavors. Massive roasted coffee flavor fights with the hops for dominance. Hint of bourbon whiskey flavor hits the tongue. Alcohol is highly disguised.

Medium, somewhat full body. Fairly low carbonation, yet fitting for the style. Smooth.

This is an excellent example of a well crafted Russian imperial. Extremely tasty and complex. Hoppier than most others I have tried.

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

A- Very opaque and dark root beer brown with a little red coming through near the edges of the glass on the bottom. head pours two fingers thick and is a tan/caramel color, it dissipates to a thick film, but leaves a nice lace.

N- Caramel, and chocolate malts, some raisin/prune/date esters, and some dark bread yeast notes.

T- Much like the nose, but there is a bit of piney hops in the taste that I wasn't expecting, but it's mild presence is rather nice. it gets a little tart/bitter toward the end, but in a good way.

M- Pretty damn smooth. Just coarse enough to let you know that there are a few hops in there. it's a little on the thin side for it's style but not so much so that it's off putting, actually if anything makes it easier to down the brew.

D- a pretty good RIS, and it's availability make it nice also. I enjoy drinking this, and I'm sure I'll be into more of it before I leave this wretched island in this awful backward state that I'm currently stuck in (big island of hawaii if you were wondering)

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,804 ratings.