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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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10,712 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,712
Reviews: 3,489
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 402
Gots: 1,859 | FT: 49
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.
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,712 | Reviews: 3,489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stoutman88
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into glass mug

A - Black with no light passing through. Red and Brown hues along edges of glass. Impressive head of foam that is tan in color.

S - Coffee, Alcohol, Roasted grains

T - Malts taste of chocolate, coffee, caramel, and roasted grains. Alcohol is very noticable at 9% ABV. Hops are present, providing some bitterness, but roasted barley provides most of it in this beer. Clean finish, starts sweet, then bitter, ends with warmth provided by the alcohol.

M - Thick malty feel that is balanced by high alcohol presence. Decent carbonation even though it is low. Creamy Head.

D - Flavors are balanced and had lots of flavor. Does not go down as easy as lighter beers but each sip is rewarding.

Notes - A great beer to start the New Year.

Photo of TheKtulu7
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown into an opaque black beer. A generous chocolate head that settles into a thin tan film.

Smell: Some chocolate and a bit of alcohol.

Taste: Chocolate up front, adding some coffee to the back end. As it warms, it gets a bit sweeter with hints if caramel or molasses.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and warming on the tongue.

Drinkability: Pretty smooth and goes down easy for the alcohol content.

Photo of birddogg66
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a 10 oz. wine glass

A- Pours out a dark, dark, black, with no other light getting through. A brown 1" head tops the stout with great lacing.

S- A bit of a sweet nose comes through, with some dark fruit dominating, raisin, plum, and some prevalent red wine notes. As I continue into the beer more and more aromas of chocolate and coffee emerge, with a definite hint of alcohol. The dark, roasted malt really dominates.

T- Rasputin starts with a nice blast of coffee, yet there is a bit of plum, near the back of the palate. Just a very small amount of dry bitterness presents itself on the tongue. There is a very small amount of of alcohol here. The same dark malts that presented themselves in the nose, are still here to stay in the flavor.

M- Full bodied. Let me say this again. Full bodied. A bit dry toward the finish, but the flavors linger on well beyond the finish. The flavor just hangs on, and won't let go. Thank God. It's thick, and reminds me of the last bit of liquid in the coffee pot.

D- A great beer. Very true to the style. I have heard mentions of Imperial Stouts being akin to Dark Barleywines, and I agree wholeheartedly. This beer just keeps on giving throughout the glass. The flavor lingers Forever, and the nose has something different to enjoy before every sip. This is a perfect beer for hanging around a cold home, or if you are looking to enjoy just one beer for the evening. Highly recommended!

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into St. Bernardus chalice. Served @ ~55F.

A- Nice pitch black with a khaki head. Fades to a thin layer.

S- Dark roasty malts and nice hop aroma that really shines through despite the dark coffee/cocoa notes.

T- Very nice roasty flavor without the sweetness of many of the other RIS' that I've tried. I love black coffee and this has some very same characteristics that make me love it so much. This is a real no bullshit brew!

M- The hop aromas stick around real nice and the carb is perfect.

D- Very nice RIS that is nice and balanced. Not very sweet and I enjoy it a lot.

Photo of orangesol
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on nitro-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours used motor oil black with a thin, almost non-existent, head leaving thin rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Plenty of dark roasted malt blends well with the coffee, chocolate, and a faint hint of dark fruits. Some vanilla and cream sweetness helps keep things balanced as much as possible. Very nice nose.

T - Flavors are very similar to the nose. Rich coffee and cocoa dominate this one with some vanilla sweetness offering a bit of balance. Very rich, dark malted texture in the finish lingers for some time. If anything it was a bit thin, and given the nitro serving I can't see how that can happen..maybe too cold? Either way I have had this before, it is one of my favorites, and I will have it again. Hopefully those will be better than this one...

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderately low carbonation for being on nitro. Not the thick, creamy, stout I was expecting to receive when I ordered it to say the least.

D - Still very high. Even with the carb issues this is still one of my go to stouts. I was more disappointed in the pour than I was in the beer. I will have to re-review this one at a later time...

Photo of goalie33
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 13oz tulip glass.
A: Pours like motor oil. Pitch black beer, not even a hint of light around the edges. Two finer mocha head slowly fizzles away to a thin layer coating the top of the beer. I can't even see if there are a lot of carbonation bubbles in the beer. leaves a ton of lacing in the glass.
S: A lot of hops up front along with roasted espresso malts.
T: There is a lot going on here. First, I get bitter coffee. In the middle of the tongue, I get hints of chocolate and some sweetness from dark fruits. The finish is a dry hop bitterness.
M/D: Very thick, full body really coats the mouth. This beer has very little in the way of carbonation. Very drinkable. Hides the alcohol well.

This is one of the most balanced and complex RIS I've ever had. There is a very strong hop presence along with strong coffee flavors. Overall, an outstanding beer.

Photo of BeerPhan86
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very special beer and takes me back to winter a few years ago when the world of imperial stouts was opened up to me. I would rank it among the best imperial stouts I have sampled, and I always seem to pick it up a few times a winter now. Poured into my Duvel tulip glass...

A - Black as oil and completely opaque with a nice 1 finger light brown head. Very good retention on the head and sticky lacing that smothers the side of the glass.

S - An onslaught of dark roasted malts, toffee, and bitter chocolates. Hints of dark fruit and some noticeable alcohol but nothing extremely boozy.

T - Tons of roasted barley and chocolate malt with a slightly burnt aftertaste. Coffee flavors start to develop in the aftertaste and it has a slightly boozy, dry finish. Well balanced by a slightly bitter hop backbone. This is an amazing stout.

M - Thick, chewy, and lightly carbonated.

D - Definitely a flavorful sipper but nothing overpowering that you couldn't enjoy two or three. Still I usually keep it to one per session and really let the flavors open up as it warms.

If you love dark, well balanced stouts, you will no doubt enjoy this. This is a classic that can be aged in your cellar or drank fresh.

Photo of fsimcox
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep, dark, rick black. When I hold it up to the light, I see nothing but black. Thick creamy tan head, dissipates very slowly. Significant lacing down the glass.

Smells of bitter-sweet chocolate, some smoky malt and a hint of brown sugar, and maybe some roast coffee bean and black cherry. Smell is significant, and strong. I can smell the alcohol.

Taste is complex. Creamy malt and chocolate up front, some smoke and coffee, and smokey black cherry and chocolate finish. Hints of bitter-sweet chocolate and coffee in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is creamy, some alcohol, rich, full bodied, and a very rich taste.

A very complex and enjoyable beer. This beer would be great with a chocolate cheesecake, or by its self on a cold winter night.

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

2009 Vintage, nearly 2 years properly cellared. Served Room Temparture ~60ºF into a CL "Tasting Glass".

Looks as a stout should, idling after the pour into my Captain Lawrence tulipsniftermagigger. Head colored like brown sugar rises to the rim of the glass after a semi-vigorous pour. Laces nicely as it disspates leaving rings of amorphous bubbles clung to the glass' wall. Retention leaves something to be desired.

Smell has bitter chocolate, used coffee grounds and a notable boozy heat. There are also some vinous dark fruit undertones but are very subtle. Notes of molasses and some hidden gingersnap in here as well.

Taste begins with malt, bittersweet chocolate, and somewhat of a spicy heat from the alcohol and hops which i am surprised to still be in existence. Lingering bitterness and unsweetened chocolate aftertaste as well.

Mild carbonation makes its presence known throughout and especially at the finish. A notable thick mouthfeel is noted but light given the abv and style, certainly not disparaging to drink.

Drinkability certainly is not restricted by its alcohol content. It's well mellowed and is unobtrusive in everything but the very finish where it warns you of what's to come if you have too much.

Photo of Scotchboy
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 12/27/10. 12oz bottle, New Belgium globe.

Pours dark brown but is compeltely black in the glass, no light around the edges. Almost two fingers of brown head, covered with small bubbles. Head retreats slowly and leaves nice, consistent lacing. Very attractive stout.

Initial smell is dark roasted malts, followed by bitter chocolates. The alcohol is there, but lightly and beautifully. There is a small sweetness as well that reminds me of chocolate milk.

Taste is dark and rich. Sweet and bitter malts. The lactose-like sweetness is still there too. A few warm hops on the tongue mix with the alcohol, which is barely discernable. The more is warms, the more I can pick up on a cold coffee flavor. There is an ever so slight smokiness to the finish as well. Complex.

MF: Impressive as well. Initially it is very creamy in my opinion. Smooth, wet, then a tiny bit sticky. Oily? I like it.

Drinkability is high for a RIS. I could of had two.

Photo of Takahiro
3.22/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Bottle into my Tulip

A: looks pitch dark with a 2" thick foam after an aggressive pour.

S: coffee, toffee, roasted malt, burned malt, dark fruit, alcohol

T: roasted & astringent malt characters and huge bitterness from hops. Hop bitterness seem to be in a bit ahead of the game. This bitterness lingers on the tongue for quite a while with a little bit of alcohol sweetness.

M: silky smooth at first, but the bitterness sticks.

D: although it feels dry beer, it's also quite bitter. It is a good sipping beer.

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

Appearance: Darker than night with one finger of tan head and major lacing. What a stout should look like.

Smell: Intense aromas of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and licorice.

Taste: Complex blends od roasted barley and chocolate malt. A malty dream come true, which is balanced by bitterness. The alcohol is hard to detect. A stout lovers ideal brew.

Mouthfeel: Full, thick, oily, and leather-like.

Drinkability: An awesome beer that's wonderful to enjoy on a cold winter night.

Photo of ToasterChef
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A cellar temperature bottle is poured into a small snifter. The liquid is an opaque, deep brown color. The head is foamy and also brown. An impressive coat of foam and film is left behind as I swirl the beer around the glass.

A malty nose contains notes of dark chocolate and coffee beans. It is more sweet than bitter, but I wouldn't call it a sweet smell--it's more complex than that.

The taste of this beer closely mirrors its aroma. There is a powered milk chocolate taste initially. Weak coffee and dark chocolate flavors appear in the middle, before I swallow. Some bitterness appears as the beer is consumed. Some alcohol is also present at this time. The aftertaste isn't my thing; there's too much of the alcohol and coffee bitterness for me (obviously, I'm not a coffee drinker).

The mouthfeel is very impressive, considering this is a 9% ABV beer. It is a little sticky, but doesn't feel thick. Carbonation is at a good level. A little film is left coating my mouth, but it isn't as large as other beers in this style.

This is a pretty drinkable RIS. It is not overkill to purchase and consume this by the four pack. A bottle or two would be great to accompany a meal (or dessert) or on its own. The fact that this beer is readily available year-round makes it a good go to RIS.

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

a. lovely darkness. head lasts in all its dark brown glory.

s. chocolate, coffee, alcohol. yummy.

t. oh man! chocolate and coffee playfully integrate with the bitter hoppy alcohol flavors. roasty and toasty and delicious. something about the profile of this stout is just spot on for me. i love this.

m. nice n smooth baby with a perfect abv linger.

d. its not just drinkable. its a must drink for me. this beer reminds me how good beer can taste, and continues to impress me as vividly as the first time i had it... blew my limited beer mind then, and still shines now.

Photo of gskitt
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- BLACK. Tan head that doesn't move.
S- Coffee or expresso, chocolate covered cherries, roasted malt. Wow!
T- Dark bitter chocolate, warming alcohol in the back, sweetness is layered, This is great!
M- Bitterness, but baking chocolate bitterness. You want more of it.
D- Sipper, one to enjoy, lets say in the middle of a blizzard, 12-26-10.

Photo of trolification
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The first time i had this beer i couldnt drink it. i would deffinately say if you're not use to drinking heavy beers dont start with this one, pace yourself up to it.

I poured a bottle into the snifter the head was VERY impressive and slowly goes down. The color is pitch black and i love black beers, took a wiff and it was very hoppy i gota grassy hop smell from it. the taste this time around was not over whelming at all it was very well balanced to me. Its not thick either nice an light with a high abv deffinately an all time fav in the winter

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

To me, this is the ideal Russian Imperial Stout. I generally have always loved stouts, but some are over powering and nasty (Red Stripe's - I forgot the name - or Great Lakes Blackout).

This one is extremely well balanced. Not too ... anything. For some people that might make this a little lame and light weight, but I prefer it.

The head is chewy and endless. The taste is one you can drink more than one of. That says a lot for this style. Highly recommended.

Photo of steve8robin
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Won this in a secret santa trade recently. 12oz bottle, 2006 vintage...

A: Super dark black with a 1 inch mocha colored head that fades at a decent pace. Good.

S: I get some nice walnut / bourbon scents upfront with some creaminess quickly following. I get some raisin and vanilla in the middle and molasses, chocolate, and black licorice on the backend. Awesome! Perfect!

T: I get some faint raisin and chocolate upfront. Some plum and prune flavors quickly follow in the middle. Some port grapes on the backend. Decent.

M: Medium body with a good carbonation. A crisp clean finish. Very good.

D: This goes down very, very easy!

All in all, this is a great brew. I liked Old Raspty XII, but I think I like this one better! The taste is not as solid as the other categories, but not bad by any means. Definitely try if you like the style.

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

A: Black with thick tan head. Lacing that doesn't move.

S: Roasted barley, coffee and chocolate.

T: Nose comes through wonderfully with notes of licorice. Bittering hops add a nice touch. Overall, a pretty hoppy beer. Very nice.

M: Thick, creamy and coating.

D: The beer is delicious and the alcohol's presence is barely noticable, making this an incredibly drinkable RIS.

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

bottle poured into Sierra Nevada tulip glass.

Another old favorite. I've finally decided to age one or two...

Jet black with a dark brown head that lingers fairly nicely. Nose delivers everything one might want in a stout- roasted malt, tobacco (?), cocoa.

Coffee and chocolate reign over an mild iron flavor kingdom. Very complex. Very rich.

Mouthfeel is as rich as the pour might suggest. Big and syrupy, yet smooth. ABV might as well be session-esque.

Truly fantastic beer. Fully deserving of any accolades it receives.

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

Served in a snifter

A - very good looking RIS. Jet black with a really creamy looking cappuccino head. Beautiful cascade and lacing.

S - I love the smell of this beer. Heavy roasted malts, chocolate, cherries, some alcohol followed by some subtle coffee undertones and a little licorice.

T - first sip hits you with a huge wave of roasted malts followed by bitter dark chocolate and coffee. The slightest twang from the hops and carbonation is perfect. As it warms the alcohol becomes more apparent but this is still a dangerously hidden stout.

M - feel is a little light, but pleasing. Nice hoppy presence sits around on the palate for awhile.

D - this is my recommendation for anyone wanting to try their first RIS. It isn't easy to rate a mouthfeel on a stout after you have had perfection from Founders Breakfast Stout but the "Mad Monk" does everything well. For the price, drinkability, and aroma; this beer deserves it's rating.

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

A - Pours an opaque black with a thick dark tan head, looks really good. Leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

T - Chocolate with a little bitterness and some hints of roasted nuts. Aftertaste is a little bitter. The alcohol is well hidden in this beer, it doesn't taste real boozy to me.

D - Really good brew, the alcohol really creeps up on you though. Which isn't a bad thing. I would probably stop at two or three of these before quitting.

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

A - pours black as night with a very large tan head.

S - chocolate and coffee, with maybe a hint of tobacco.

T - roasted malt, coffee, and a bit of chocolate up front, giving way to licorice flavors. Some toasted nut flavors thrown in the mix too. A bit of subdued sweetness. Finish is bitter and a bit boozy.

M - creamy but not too slick, with nice carbonation.

D - Yeah, it's a sipper like most imperial stouts, but it is well balanced and not too sweet.

This is a great imperial stout available at a great price. Imperial stouts are not my go to style but I enjoyed this regardless. I'd also be interested in trying this with a bit of age on it to see the boozy flavors mellowed out.

Photo of BeerLover99
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: deep black, trace head lays on top, subtle lacing.

S: chocolate, licorice, coffee, roasted nuts, carmel molasses, with booze aroma in background.

T: sweet, boozy, and hint of bitter. chocolate, coffee, toasted nuts + toffee, hint of smokiness, mild vanilla. incredibly complex flavors that almost trick your tongue with each sip. What a flavorful adventure.

M: big, heavy body with firm carbonation, but still goes down with ease.

D: amazing sipper! The booze will warm you with ease and the flavors will warm your soul.

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

Terrifically dark and and rich. There was an impressive head that formed initially, but it quickly withered. Held up to the light there is only 12am blackness. Lacing is prevalent down the sides of the glass.

Smells sugary sweet and rich. There is a malty goodness that this beer gives off, but you can almost tell that drinking it will present a new element of bitterness. Very velvety smooth smelling, almost milky, which makes this beer seem more like a meal in a glass than just a drink accompaniment.

Tastes nice and bitter with a great balance. Upfront creaminess and a very nice following aftertaste. I definitely was reminded of all of the best stouts I've ever had while drinking this. The beer is supreme, and it exemplifies its class. There is great depth of flavor followed by tremendous balance. I get notes of milk chocolate, rich, roasted coffee, and a bitter hoppiness.

Smooth beer that you can either sip or gulp. Try it cool or room temp., it's still going to be a tremendous beer. You would probably benefit the most from trying this beer before a big meal because it is very dense. However, this beer feels like a dessert, so if you can handle the challenge, make a move and you will definitely feel good about turning down the tiramisu for a beer of this caliber.

This beer feels like a dark chocolate smoothie that hides the 9% abv very well. I drank it up before finishing this review and definitely would get it again. Super stoutilicious and great for the cold winter months. Try the beer once, you will be sold on it as well as stouts in general. All other beers in its class will have to work that much harder to make an impression.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,712 ratings.