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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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10,805 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,805
Reviews: 3,514
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 420
Gots: 1,936 | 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.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,805 | Reviews: 3,514
Photo of DannyDan
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours out a nice blackish brown that has a thick tan head with very good lacing and retention. The lacing clings nicely to my beer mug.
The Smell is a pleasant chocolate aroma with some alcohol.
The taste is dark chocolate, some hops mixed in and as it warms the alcohol comes out more. Also some bitter malts in the back and a slight dark fruity taste when it warms up a bit.
The mouthfeel is a nice creamy texture that leaves the mouth slightly dry.
This is a very drinkable beer for stout lovers. If you love chocolate and you are a stout fan than this is a must for you. One of the Allstrom brothers also said barley wine drinkers would like this, but can't make my own opinion on that since I only tasted one barley wine.

Photo of imagese
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pulled a cellared bottle that was purchased 06/09

Poured into IRS snifter

A- medium pour produced a fluffy 3 finger creamy coffee colored head that sat on top of the dark dark ruby colored brew. The head faded slowly, hung around as a thin patch, and laced like a champ

S- semi sweet chocolate, coffee, liquorice, and roasted dark fruit. Aging appears to muddle the scent of this amazing beer a bit, but still nice

T- heavy dark plum dipped in chocolate followed by coffee bitterness, heavy roasted malt, and a slight boozy burn

M- carbonation is still present, and the full bodied roasty goodness is still kickin'

D- If I didn't want to age the others longer, I'd keep 'em coming!!!

Photo of TallPaul07
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: very dark and oil like. A nice thick and foamy head on this one with a cream/ tan color. Really nice lacing

Smell: smoky/roasted malt definitely comes out

Taste: pretty strong roasted malt on the front end with a pretty bitter/chocolately finish - a bit of a tongue punisher with a bitter finish. Complex flavors really mask the ABV.

Mouthfeel: a nice and thick stout with pretty solid carbonation per the style

Drinkability: very good, but drinking more than one or two could be quite the task due to how big this stout is and the fact that the bitter finish wrecks your pallette.

Photo of mindlucent2007
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin pours black with some dark brown visible around the edges of my chalice and a quarter-inch tan head that quickly breaks up. This looks very developed with strong retention. There are roasty and sweet smells of coffee and chocolate. I'm impressed by the extremely well-balanced and complex taste due to the kick of the hops blending in so nicely with the roasty profile. Medium carbonation and an easy sipper for 9% abv. so look out. This is no joke of a Russian Imperial Stout and it is the perfect winter night brew.

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

Pours a black as night with a fluffy two inch tan head that resembles whipped cream, lots of lacing.
Exactly what an RIS should look like.
The aroma is outstanding, dark chocolate, roasted malt
Taste, Oh ya! chocolate, charcoal, bitter chocolate and is that a hint of hops? I think so!
Alcohol is subdued to the point of nonexistence.
Creamy and tight carbonation make every sip a pleasure, what a nice stout.

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

Saw this on the shelf of my local grocery for the first time so grabbed the only two 4 packs they had.

Duvel tulip glass

Pours like used motor oil. Very little head

Swirling the beer, it virtually sticks to the side with small bubbles slowly rolling down the side the glass

This is no summer sipper. Complex and loaded with layers of flavor; roasted malt, dark coffee and bittersweet chocolate.

I poured this one a little on the cold side so as it warmed up, the flavors intensified. Deeply satisfying brew.

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

A- Pours a very dark black with a thin head. Decent carbonation. A little bit of lace.

S- Chocolate and dark malt character as well as a large amount of hops for the style. A hint of booze and coffee.

T- Good amounts of chocolate and coffee, with a surprising amount of hop bitterness. One of the hoppiest IRS's I've tried. Leaves a nice bitter finish that works really well next to the cocoa.

M- Smooth full character. Slightly sticky. Carbonation seems just right.

D- Fairly drinkable considering the bitterness. Leaves a really solid aftertaste as well. Possibly a bit too full to be entirely drinkable, but at the same time it's one of the best things it has going for it. More of a sipper. Has some residual alcohol heat.

Photo of BB1313
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a pitch black, w/ a nice fluffy head and sticky lacing. Lots of chocolate malt aromas up front. Slight hop aroma as well. Tastes great! More chocolate, which has nice roasty characteristics; slightly smokey. Expresso is in the mix as well. There's a nice bitterness, but remains sweet. Mouthfeel is smooth but somewhat light for such a big beer, but I like it and it works with this beer.. carbonated and slightly chewy. Drinkability is good.. easy to drink. The flavors are more than enough to have you coming back.

Old Rasputin is definitely one of the top Imperial Stouts. Well crafted, tasty, highly recommended!

Photo of sweemzander
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nitro tap pour at Barleyhouse poured into a snifter.

(A)- Poured fairly thick and cascaded beautifully into a pitch black color with a milky - white foamy head that stuck around for quite some time. Tons of lacing left behind as it was consumed.

(S)- Rich aromas of roasted malts, coffee, molasses, and mocha. Smooth and sweet smelling.

(T)- A combination of a creamy smooth maltiness and a dry roasted background. Molasses, cocoa, and raisin all over the place.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. So smooth and creamy going down. The Nitro-tapping really created a nice smooth creamy feel to go along with the rich and roasted maltiness of the beer.

(D)- Dangerously drinkable for the style in this form. I could have had this all day during the game. Rich and malty with a creamy smooth center. I love this beer out of the bottle, but Nitro tap might be even better.

Photo of PaulfromNoVa
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Caught my eye on a visit to Cape Fear Wine and Beer, picked up a few bottles, and returned to the B&B.

I'm with Todd: a freakin' evil looking bottle, with the iconic image of the Mad Monk conferring a blessing - perhaps casting out the young Prince Alexander's hemophilia but just as likely laying a Holy Whammy upon any who deign to imbibe this magical elixir...but the Cyrillic inscription (and, frankly, Cyrillic looks ominous to Westerners, like vestigial Klingon) is heartwarming: "One does not become an intimate friend in single evening."

Poured into a pub pint, but in increments - partially a straight pour, letting the head froth up, inches high, which subsided rather quickly to a persistent lacing. Body is black as pitch: held up to light, nothing penetrates. A liquid black hole: what secrets does it conceal? Awesome.

Nose is a first high, sweetish, hoppy-fruity. The dark toasted malt comes through in second place. Surprising.

Taste is of a magnificently balanced imperial stout, thickly sweetishly bitter, broken down into flavors easily associated with the word "black" - molasses, licorice, dark, dark, chocolate, roasted tree nuts, burnt toast with a thin coat of current jam, oatmeal with raisins (?)... The 9 percent ABV is hidden somewhere but has an unctuous invigorating taste of a wonderful health beverage, the kind of specialist marvel for which one has to visit exclusive spas to enjoy the privilege of drinking.

I finished the bottle 10 minutes ago and its finish lingers on my palate. I kid you not. The mouthfeel is characterized by implicit carbonation, sufficient to give the profound weight of the stout a wisp of airy lightness.

Compared to this, Guiness Stout is club soda...

It is sub-freezing in Wilmington, our room is like a meat locker, I half-expect to see a side of beef in the wardrobe, but this remarkable brew is cosseting in its warmth. I'd very much like another. My glass cries out for renewal, but the cupboard is bare, the bottle empty, Old Rasputin vanquished, no more. A pity. But the delight lingers, as will the memory. And thanks to the wonderful North Coast Brewing Company, a memory that may be renewed.

Photo of jizdepski
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

what a great stout. ive been wanting to review ole raspy for some time. poured into a brooklyn pint. served at somewhere around 50-55 degrees. the body is black as jet. held to light not much shines through; i tried. somewhat bourbony, ruby edges. really appealing and one of the better looking imperial stouts out there. nice coffee tan head. smells are aggressive. sweet and smokey, with a roasted coffee aroma; also some burnt toffee and caramel. hops are definitely in the mix as well. the taste is outstanding for the style. its hoppy, but it plays nicely with a heavy dose of roasty caramel malts. nice bitterness on different planes. very rich. the sweetness is there but certainly termpered; im getting some raisin and caramel. the finish is bittersweet and has a lingering alcohol burning warmth with some reassuring hop accompaniment. does taste more aggressive up front than on the back end, where it tames out, as if the word tame could accurately apply here. mouthfeel on this one is dynamite. perfectly carbonated, delicately smooth yet still sharp as a tack. the drinkability scores quite high, for the style of course its wonderful, and at 9% abv its not that tasking.

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

COLOR: Obscuro (Característico de el estilo Stout) una cabeza café que desaparease de inmediato
AROMA: Chocolate, Toffe. Excelente y marcado aroma
SABOR:Es muy marcado el sabor a caramelo y chocolate, el LARGO se persive una sensación muy peculiar a caffe la cual también es muy típico del estilo Stout, la malta tostado chocolate le da un sabor muy agradable y el Lupulo y la fermentación un excelente amargor y cuerpo

Photo of diomz88
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S - chocolate, toffee, malty, hoppy, it smells great!
A - pitch black. One finger tan head that disappears right away.
T - malty, dark coffee in flavor with hints of bitter chocolate, caramel. Hops is intense and will hit the palate right away but gradually disappears.
M - very smooth, medium bodied, bitterness at start but none at finish
D - very drinkable and cheap, like milk! Really!

Photo of vitrael
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into conical pint glass.

A: Midnight black, opaque, thick-looking, with a big attractive tan head which never left. Almost certainly the thickest and most tenacious lacing I have ever seen, like the folds of a silk curtain.

S: Cocoa, coffee, and slightly boozy. Very mild-smelling.

T: Coffee and bitter chocolate, bittersweet roasted barley finish with a very mild boozy character again. Very clean finish, perfectly balanced.

M: Just the minimal carbonated smoothness I expect in a stout. This aspect mixed with the clean finish makes it D dangerous.

D: It's -9F outside and... I think I will pour another.

This is really a gem of a beer, perfect for wintertime sipping. Frighteningly I can and will session this beer. Now all I need is a fireplace.

Photo of liamt07
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Futile amongst the 2600+ other reviews out there, but I enjoyed this one a shit ton. 341ml bottle into a tulip, enjoyed January 13. Thanks to my girlfriend for picking this one up on the other side of the country.

Poured pitch black, no light could penetrate this. Moderately brown head, with a couple fingers of head leaving behind some reasonable retention and some nice lacing. Aroma is complex, all kinds of chocolate, rich dark fruits, some vanilla sweetness and a slight suggestion of the alcohol. Taste has less chocolate in the nose and a more prominent coffee flavour. Some bitterness as a result of this, with more rich dark fruits in the finish. Great interplay between the bitterness and sweetness. Great mouthfeel and no sense of the alcohol, rapid drinkability allowing me to yearn for more bottles of this!

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

A- Black with a healthy tan head and good lacing

S- Chocolate, booze, old hops, coffee, dark fruit

T- Chocolate, roasted malt, espresso, dark fruit, alcohol

M- THICK. Very heavy and coating. Fantastic mouthfeel.

D- Quite. Makes me want to stroke my beard.

Photo of cjacobsen
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black color with a creamy tan head. Lots of lacing and coat the glass well.

Smells of chocolate and coffee. Nicely sweet and malty. Smells great.

Taste is of cocoa and hints of coffee and vanilla. Roasted malt and even light malt comes through brilliantly.

Super creamy and delicious. Very amazing and smooth.

This is a great beer. Great after a nice meal. Really awesome flavor and feel. Truly a wonderful brew

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

Had this on tap at the North Coast Brewpub in Ft. Bragg. It was like beer heaven. I suppose this is the closest I'll ever get to Russian royalty. So smooth. So rich. It might be the best beer I've ever had. I wish I lived a little closer to California.

It's good from the bottle too.

Photo of StlHopHead77
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a primordial,pitch black with 2 fingers of stiff,creamy,chocolate mousse-like,beige head with great staying power that left thick,uniform rings of lacing on the glass.

S-Smells of strong,high quality,black coffee,burnt sugar,dark dried fruit and bitter,burnt toast.Some hints of hop presence but very faint.

T-Dark roasted malts,more strong coffee and dark chocolate.

M-Good viscosity.Thick,full,chewy and creamy.

D-A great sipper but also just smooth enough to overdue it.

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

Snifter pour from bottle. A solid dark coffee color with good opaqueness. There is a noticeably concave two-finger head that quickly settles into a one-finger collar that laces moderately. An inviting chocolate scent, but possibly too sweet. Excellent body with coffee characteristics and some hoppy bitterness. The finish is a dark cacao. Not a very complex mouthfeel. While reasonably high in alcohol content, it is not overwhelming and only becomes truly noticeable in the aftertaste. Not as heavy as comparable stouts, and possibly a good session beer.

FourthBeer potential: AVERAGE, as there are plenty of more complex stouts out there. As the bottle says, though, Сердечный друг не родится вдруг, implying this has potential to grow on you.

Photo of dcook11
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice thick two finger head that daes into thick webbed lacing that adornes the snifter. A sexy beer, definitly one of the best ive seen. The beers color is pitch black, their is no tints of red or light that comes through. The nose is of dark chocolate, some vanilla, hops, and ample malt sweetness. The taste is about the same as the smell with a very creamy mouthfeel. One of the best bangs for your buck.

Photo of bosox941827
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz stubby bottle into Guinness imperial pint glass; poured cold and warmed as it tasted. Gotta say, one of the more compelling labels I've seen; it feels as though Grigori Rasputin is judging me as I pour the beer.
A - Dark as night; even held directly to a light, yields only the slightest hint of reddish brown on the edge; throws off a rocky head on the pour which slowly dissipates to a lingering lace.
S - Cocoa powder, black licorice, molasses and roastiness....can't wait to taste it
T - Surprised by the earthy hoppiness in this one. North Coast website doesn't say, but I'm guessing there's a healthy dose of Simcoe hops in here. But first impression is of sweet, roasted malts; molasses, coffee aftertaste (but not really *flavor*) and then that nice earthy bitterness, which lingers for as long as you can stand to wait for the next sip. The roasted malt flavor also mixes in with the hoppy linger. Aftertaste is quite similar to some Black IPAs I've had...
M - Medium amount of carbonation and not very heavy feeling despite look and ABV
D - This is definitely a sipper and an enjoyer; you don't want to session this and it's not in the job description
What a fantastic beer; absolutely LOVE the mixture of roasty malts and drying hops; great stuff.

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

Nice opaque pour, big blooming tan head, creamy medium body, lots of coffee, chocolate, dried figs, and a ton of roast. Super long, dry, roasty finish, and a big hit of acidity ala Guinness Foreign Extra Stout.. Terrific stuff that is thankfully available all year long!

Photo of rdilauro
3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Just another stout to add to my tastings this winter. Honestly, I was not totally impressed with this one. I tasted it before looking at any of the ratings.
It poured very nicely, total black, creamy head. It had faint hints of coffee and chocolate. I was somewhat disappointed at this point. Then the taste, it was good, enjoyable but not something to get excited about. What I really found missing, was that it wasnt big. It did not fill my mouth as many other bigger stouts have done. Considering this, it also finished very small, which was another reason I did not rate this one that well.
It is totally drinkable, my co-workers really enjoyed this one, it is just not the one for me

Photo of zoso1967
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours one of the deepest and darkest browns that I have ever seen. It is pretty much like used motor oil in color. This brew has a very nice head that possesses wonderful staying power and leaves gobs of lace as it recedes into the dark liquid.

The aroma is bursting with bitter cocoa and roasty coffee. It also has a definite hop presence that is quite citrusy and slightly earthy. Some chalk, a pinch of vanilla and a rumor of alcohol round out this beer's nose.

One sip and it is easy to see why this is such a popular beer. Astringent roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, citrus hops, molasses, leather and a hint of dark fruit are all flavor components. This beer has tons of stuff going on, but everything seems quite well balanced. There is not even a hint of the ABV and the balance of bitter and sweet is right on.

The mouthfeel is on the lightest edge of full, with the beer having a nice chewy sort of texture. It is fairly coating, yet does not leave a whole lot of stickiness on the palate, finishing dry overall. Some hops and plenty of astringent roasty notes hang around for the aftertaste.

I am really regretting that I had not tried this beer for so long. It has a lot to offer and is a great example of the style. I especially appreciate that it is hoppy, but not overly so like say a fresh Storm King. This really allows the roasted malt to show through while still giving it that little something extra. This is definitely recommended and is a great winter brew.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,805 ratings.