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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.

9,214 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,214
Reviews: 3,326
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 254
Gots: 1,017 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,214 | Reviews: 3,326 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reed415


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

A - Pours a very dark brown with a finger of Mocha Head

S - Dark Chocolate, Roasted Malt

T - Amazing, Very Malty with a nice balance of Hops, Its like a warm cup of cocoa on a frigid day.

M - Perfect Carbonation and Very full bodied

D - This beer makes feel warm all over and takes me to my happy place

Definitely Recommend

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2007 23:58:12 | More by Reed415
Photo of mshallah

New Hampshire

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short stubby brown 12oz bottle with Rasputin in grainy black and white waving a protection spell at the drinker. Let us hope it's not a hex spell. The first time I grabbed this was 1992 when I was in my "I'll buy that because it's something I've never tried" phase. I'm still in that phase it seems. Appearance is a perfect black brew with a little bit of light sneaking in at the edges and a beautiful tan head with lots of sticky retention. This is probably my favorite smelling imperial stout; mocha, malted milk and dark chocolate aromas dominate. Tastes are these same flavors but with an alcohol warmth and a hoppy balance. Old rasputin is creamier than most imperial stouts and has a thick mouthfeel. Drinkability is high for the style but this is still a sipping beer. One of my favorite west coast breweries, North Coast set the standard on imperial stouts with this now classic brew. I've never gotten a bad or skunked bottle in 15 years so if you see it here on the east coast it is a must try.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2007 15:26:56 | More by mshallah
Photo of mdm46410


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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a thick deep brown with a good-sized tan head that slowly diminished. Leaves some nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, and just a bit of alcohol. Taste is a mixture of coffee, chocolate, some vanilla, and a bit of earthy roasted malts. A bit of hops gives it a nice quick bitter finish. Lingering tastes of coffee and chocolate. Full bodied. Maybe a little bit too much carbonation for my tastes. Overall, this is a very well done beer. Maybe not the best of the imperial stouts, but definately worthy of a try.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2007 22:26:18 | More by mdm46410
Photo of jettjon


3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. A vigorous pour yields an utterly opaque “pitch brown” color with a huge, milk-chocolate brown head that fades away at a moderate pace. Heavy cap and plenty of clingy lace remain. This is certainly a fine looking stout. Nose is somewhat subdued with milk chocolate, cocoa, and sweet malt in evidence. Taste is bittersweet with biting hops and toasted malts complementing a dry, dark chocolate/powdery cocoa flavor. Bitterness is high, so if that’s your cup of tea, you should enjoy this. However, I am not a fan of highly bitter stouts, so this detracted for me. There are hints of dark fruit sweetness (cherries?) but it doesn’t do much to balance the bitterness. Despite 9% ABV, no real alcohol presence. Mouth seems a bit thin for a stout but thickens as the beer warms substantially past what I’d normally serve at (typically 50-55 degrees). Semi-syrupy-creamy with mild, smooth carbonation; just not as chewy as I’d prefer. Drinkability is merely OK for me; the bitterness just turns me off.

Overall: This is a highly rated imperial stout but obviously I was not as impressed as most people have been. It’s a great looking stout to be sure, but it’s seriously aligned toward the bitter end of the spectrum, which to me overwhelms the underlying flavor complexity. Definitely allow this one to warm up for maximum viscosity and mellowness. Certainly worth a try; I’m just not certain that it lives up to its reputation. Maybe I’ll try another batch next year.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2007 23:30:02 | More by jettjon
Photo of EmilNoldSinclair


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

Gave this sucker a hard pour and got a nice head out of it that retained decently enough. The head is tan brown and the bubbles are very small and leave a few occasional strands clinging to the glass. An almost opaque black motor oil appearance, but held up to the light it looks like a very very dark reddish brown.
Sweet smell of prunes, raisins, dark chocolate (standard), and ethanol. Nice.
An initial flash of bitterness that mellows out in the middle to the typical dark chocolate taste but also with a sweetness like currants. The aftertaste smooths out even more. Very pleasant.
Full bodied with medium carbonation.
Can hardly taste the alcohol, and could drink this until I die. It feels like a session beer until you realize that it's twice the abv.
This is a good imperial stout available year around, but I either prefer something with stronger flavor (Stone) or complexity (Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout).

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2007 02:55:24 | More by EmilNoldSinclair
Photo of Cascadia


4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a four pack of these this winter and just finished my last one. Yummy. I always look forward to this beer. Poured it into a pint glass, absolutely black and abysmal, just perfect for the style. Smelled of burnt coffee and bbq'd meat (maybe that's casue I'm hungry). Tastes of chocolate and coffee, with a nice little bit of heat at the end, warms the belly nicely. Overall, a very nice beer. I've heard about the 10th anniversary release of some oak-aged rasputin, but alas, it has never showed in Eugene.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2007 22:03:23 | More by Cascadia
Photo of ndekke39


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

Bought a 12 oz bottle to consume by myself. No bottling or best-by date on it. Poured into a brandy snifter - I don't know if this is the proper glassware, but I love how it opens up the flavors and warms it. Nice, oily black color, completely opaque, with a thin, tan head. Very good retention - left rings around the glass. Smells and tastes of all sorts of dark wonderfulness: cherries, dark roast coffee, some dark chocolate, raisins, red grapes. At times the aromas reminded me of a great red wine - a tad woody, smoky, and spicy. Lots of complexity all around, and the flavors and aromas changed as it warmed up in my hand. Thick, heavy mouthfeel - not too creamy - it fits the character well. Overall, a very drinkable beer - highly recommended. A wonderful, complex drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2007 22:00:08 | More by ndekke39
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Saw this at a local liquor store and was amazed that this was actually being sold in my neck of the woods. I heard good things about this on here, and even though I'm not an aficianado of this style, and it's not the time of the year to drink stouts, I took the plunge and gave this a shot. Thankfully, I made the right choice, as I'm having to pace my drinking. That's the only way I've had any left in my glass, as I write this review!

The pour was one of the best I've ever seen or smelled - hands down. A nice, deep brown hue could be seen with some light around the edges. The roasted, toffee-like aroma filled my glass and quite a bit outside of that, as the head nearly overflowed. The sight of the bubbles and their long-lasting duration was quite a sight to behold, and the taste lived up to that and the smell that I could discern. The toffee was present there too, with notes of dark chocolate, caramel, and coffee tossed in. What amazed me the most was the smoothness. The few stouts that I've had all had one thing in common, and that was their bite. Alcohol could be felt front to back, and it didn't take long before the flavors were overpowered by that trait. In this case, that never happened. The flavors lingered beautifully and the dark chocolate lingered long after I finished each sip. It was only when I started to feel buzzed did I realize how strong this was.

Yes, I know that I'm not the most experienced when I come to this style, but I'd have to wholeheartedly say that this is worth the hype and a great introduction to this style for novices like me. The mouthfeel is enjoyable and solid, and there's not bitterness to be felt here. Just richly deep layers of flavor, and plenty to ponder between sips. No wonder this comes in 4-packs - I'm not quite sure that I could handle six of these!

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2007 08:06:41 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of grub

Ontario (Canada)

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

kirok1999 hooked me up with this one. thanks mark!

pours very dark brown, nearly opaque, with a small very dense tan head. the head quickly falls to a thin film and ring around the glass. spotty lace.

aroma is great. bit of alcohol. roast. lots of dark chocolate. coffee. caramel sweetness.

taste is great. nice warming alcohol. lots of roast, not quite ashy. bittersweet chocolate. espresso. medium bitterness level. light caramel sweetness. big bread and biscuit malt. as it warms the flavour fills out a little, adding in some dark fruit - cherry, date, bit of raisin.

mouthfeel is good. medium well integrated carbonation. nice big body. above average astringency.

drinkability is good. balanced and very enjoyable. glad i finally got to try this one. thanks again mark!

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2007 01:32:07 | More by grub
Photo of akahn


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

Pours opaque dark brown with not much of a lasting head, but good lace. The smell of this beer is astounding--I get a really clear licorice smell from it, which is great. The flavor is solid as well, sweet, smooth, creamy, almost reminds me of an Oreo cookie somehow. Really drinkable for this style--bitterness is in check, alcohol isn't even detectable!

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2007 03:01:39 | More by akahn
Photo of PhiloPsych


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

I had this while at the Newport Beach Brewing Company. It was poured by from a bottle by my server (table side). The head disappeared almost immediately. The nose was roasted, slightly smokey, a little burnt. The mouthfeel wasn’t as creamy as some stouts--but not thin or watery at all. This stout was not dry, rather a bit sticky and syrupy. The moderately strong alcohol (8.9%) was not noticeable at all. The taste was very nice. Many porters are too burnt for my taste, this one had a definitely detectable burnt flavor in the finish, but it only enhanced the total flavor of the beer for me. I really liked this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2007 16:12:16 | More by PhiloPsych
Photo of ttu94


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

I purchased this beer at store based on the glowing reviews that I have seen here. This is a mean beer and will leave you feeling loopy. Looks good and dark with a solid head. smell is strong as it should be. Tastes POW. Like coffee in a beer. Hops, lots of thngs going on here. At first I don't like it but it gets better and better. In fact its really good don't drink too many though or you will forget how to type.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2007 04:42:13 | More by ttu94
Photo of BeerZack

North Carolina

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

Completely opaque black with frothy brown head.

Smells of roasted coffee, toffee, chocolate, maybe a little nutty and some alcohol.

Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, creme brule, some spice and dark fruit also show up in this complex taste experience. Good hop bitterness on the finish to leave you wanting more.

Really nice, leaves a whole bitterness in your mouth after each drink that gives the impression of a bittersweet chocolate coating rather than gripping hop lupulin. Easy to see why so many people use the word "complex" when describing this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2007 05:19:39 | More by BeerZack
Photo of ArrogantB


3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle that I've been sitting on for about six months. The color was dark black with a decent tan head. Smell was a little roasty. The taste was good with some roastiness also. The mouth-feel was not great as the beer seemed a little thin. I was planning on aging some of this but I am not sure it is worth it. Good RIS but not my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2007 15:57:27 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of SaltyLime


4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - it's a Russian Imperial Stout, if you don't already know how nice these look, you better go out and get one!

Smell - Robust malts and solid presence of alcohol.

Taste - I was holding the bottle up to read while I sipped this from a pint glass at a friend's house. Then I felt the beer punch me in the face. I had a couple of other much larger bottles on standby to drink after this one and mistakingly made the bad correlation of little bottle / little beer.Do not make the same mistake. This had a quality mix of ingredients. Two big swigs and I already started to wobble. My alibi is that we were hauling rocks for a landscaping project.

Mouthfeel - Solid. Nice thickness. Left a film of flavors inside my mouth. Not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing. But I wasn't trying to suck it off my tongue like when you get something too yeasty.

Drinkability - This is becoming my favorite, but I can't drink too many at a time. Respect it, I think Rasputin would have.

Scores edited after going home and trying this beer with a little more energy.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2007 16:11:25 | More by SaltyLime
Photo of beeragent


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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a snifter. The beer pours an opaque black, forming a 1/4 inch mocha head, leaving medium rings of lace. The aroma is heavily consisted of roasted malts and coffee. The taste is just amazing!! Strong roasted malt bitterness, coffee, and good amount of chocolate sweetness. Alcohol is not detectible, suprisingly being 9%. Mouthfeel is thick and extremely smooth. No harsh finish associated with other RIS. Drinkability is high, except for the abv. I think drinking a few of these would do it for one night. This is thee best Russian Imperial Stout that I have had the pleasure of drinking. A bit expensive, but well worth the price.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2007 00:28:39 | More by beeragent
Photo of baxterbrew


4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So, I'm about to brew a RIS so I thought I'd stop at the local beer store. Picked up this crazy looking bottle with the cursing Rasputin on the label.

Poured it out into a pint glass and it is darker than dark...blacker than black. A hint of red when brought to a bright light. The head is voluptuous but fades quickly with minimal lacing.

The smell is pure, unadulterated malt with a hint of come hither alcohol. I was a little intimidated but it drew me in. It said, 'come closer, I won't hurt you."

The taste is very complex. There is a strong coffee/espresso taste upfront and you can definitely get the hops - they are kickin' maybe a little too much (dry hopped maybe?). Very astringent, almost made me want to pucker. The thing that really surprised me was the overwhelming sweetness of the aftertaste. Sugary almost overpowers the hops. You're left with a mix of the sweet and the bitter. Nice warmness in the belly when the alcohol rams its way home. One of those beers that makes you sit and think on what made this happen.

Mouthfeel is there and very heavy but not as heavy as one would think in a beer this heavy. There is an oily component but the astringency drives it away.

Drinkability- wouldn't want to drink more than a couple. Might be scary!

A very good beer especially given the style. This one is a good one to show new BAs. So much going on.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2007 23:32:56 | More by baxterbrew
Photo of Fugazme


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

from notes:

Dark, dark... black...

what little head there was went fast, but left an awesome swirlability with great legs and delicious carbonation comings and goings...

Aroma is chocolatey and roasty... great malty nose with sweet caramel and touches of alcohol.

Silky mouthfeel...

Cocoa upfront on the taste... smooth sweetness in the middle and a bitter bite on the swallow... flavor meanders between the sweet and bitternes with a cutting alcohol burn. I dig it.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2007 15:55:03 | More by Fugazme
Photo of MrMcGibblets


4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured very dark from the bottle with a tan head, good lacing. bouqet was impressive with the expected chocolate, espresso, toffee, and dark dried fruit notes. west coast hops also were present but subtle against these dominant aromas. a little sweet upfront but not for long as the astringent roasty flavors and subtle bittering of the hops rush in to make this beer a bit drier than i expected. alcohol warming somewhat noticeable at the end. full-bodied, naturally. i like my dark, heavy beers to present with a little more residual sweetness than this, however. still a very nice beer. not very sessionable due to the body/abv but quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2007 02:20:13 | More by MrMcGibblets
Photo of MiguelMandingo


4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my fourth review, and my first for a RIS. I have tried to sample a few RISs over the past several weeks to get a feel for the style before trying to write a review for one. So far I have really enjoyed how complex they tend to be. Oak Aged Yeti, Stormking, along with Old Rasputin have been my favorites so far.

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Not bad looking for a stout (but tends to scare off anyone that I drink it in front of that hasn't experienced the glory that is a RIS). It is opaque coffee black in color with a foamy milk chocolate 1 1/2 finger head. The head doesn't last as long as I would like, and there is no lacing to speak of - which is where it loses points with me. When I swirl the glass the beer washes any would-be lacing from the glass and leaves oily black streaks.

Smell - The smell is awesome. Coffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and alcohol.

Taste - This is another one of those beers that smells pretty much just like it tastes. It had an spresso and roasted malt front that bleeds into dark chocolate and hops end.

Mouthfeel - This isn't the thickest beer I have had, but it is pretty thick. It coats the mouth with a pretty oily texture. The carbonation saves it for me - just enough to break up the oil so-to-speak.

Drinkability - It has a pretty good drinkability despite the mouthfeel. It goes down very smooth, very easy. It took about 30 minutes for me to finish, but I would probably limit myself to 2 of these in a night.

Overall a very good beer. I was impressed. And not a bad RIS to start with if you have never experienced the style. Try pairing it with some dark chocolate after a hearty meal - it makes an excellent dessert.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2007 02:46:02 | More by MiguelMandingo
Photo of shadow1961


3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

North Coast Brewing's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout pours out
a lovely thick chocolate colored head over an opaque black brew. The
nose is raisin, coffee, and booze. Carbonation is steady. The flavor is
coffee up front, with a sharp finish of bitter chocolate and hops. The
alcohol (9% by volume) is well moderated by the strong flavors of the
beer. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light for such a dark brew, and a bit
dry as well. The aftertaste is grassy hop. A good beer to brood over in
the dead of winter, but since it's spring, a good candidate for aging.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2007 07:21:57 | More by shadow1961
Photo of drseamus

New York

3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this beer in the bottle at Mahars.

A: It pours a very dark brown with a ruby glow when held to the light. There is a small dark mocha head that disappears everywhere but the edges.

A: The aroma isn't as strong as I would like, but it has good coffee and malt aromas with a strong sweet background.

T: The flavor is much like the aroma, with a very sweet background containing a bunch of malt and chocolate. There is a bite in the end of the taste from the roasted malt and hop bitterness. Unfortunately the alcohol is detectable in the flavor.

M: This is a good full bodied beer, although the alcohol presence does detract slightly.

D: The drinkability is decent, but the high ABV does limit it.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2007 22:01:22 | More by drseamus
Photo of alysmith4

District of Columbia

3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Haven't had much of this style, but I was pleasantly surprised by it's drinkability. Very smooth, yet complex. The roasted, and slightly charred malts hit the nose, and the bite of hops and grain come through quickly in a syrupy mix. The first few sips were almost too much for me to handle, but as it warmed and as I got used to it, I was really enjoying it. To me, this seems to be a classic representative of its kind, and one that I would highly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2007 18:46:33 | More by alysmith4
Photo of david131


4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Gorgeous. Black and thick liquid with some visible carbonation bubbles around the edge. A spectacular light brown head forms and maintains itself for a great deal of time.

S- Chocolate, coffee, a massive amount of roastiness. A little bit of hops noticeable. A tiny bit of booze pokes its little head out as well.

T- Great roastiness, chocolate, and coffee. The aftertaste lingers for a massive amount of time. Impressive.

M- The carbonation really lightens things up here and helps enhance the flavor. A little on the dry side.

D- I always forget how good this is. I really don't give this enough credit. A must try for any Imperial Stout fan.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2007 01:11:16 | More by david131
Photo of guinness72384


4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very, very good beer. Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass

A: Upon pouring I was very impressed. Jet black with a solid 1.5 inch tan head with great lacing...very sticky.

S: Smell was quite good, fairly strong espresso aromas with hints of chocolate in there as well.

T: This is what really set me off. Exceptional taste. Very strong espresso flavor. I would have to say that, for me, this was the strongest flavored stouts I have tried thus far. Very impressed

M: Quite a smooth beer. Goes down very easy. Not much "bite" at all for such a strong flavor.

D: I will most definately be enjoying this beer in the near future. I hope this will persuade others to give this very good stout a chance.


Serving type: bottle

04-16-2007 20:51:56 | More by guinness72384
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,214 ratings.