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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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10,797 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,797
Reviews: 3,512
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 417
Gots: 1,930 | 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: 10,797 | Reviews: 3,512
Photo of JamesS
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an excellent deep black with wonderful tan head and very nice lacing. Excellent deep malty scent with wonderfully huge roasted grain aromas and a slight hint of chocolate. Excellent taste, with a huge malt kick, wonderful roasted grains, a small chocolate hit at the end, and a nice hit of hops that comes through just a bit at the end as well; no alcohol tinge, either, which was a huge bonus. Went down entirely too smooth for such a high ABV brew.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.77/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into dimple glass. Pours a pitch black viscous with a thick chocolate head. Quite a bit of lacing. Aroma is of roast chocolate, coffee, licorice, dark fruits, and quite phenolic. Flavor is sweet chocolate, roast coffee, caramel, and phenols. Palate is full bodied viscous; extremely smooth. Finish is bittersweet chocolate and a little too phenolic. I can't say it's my favorite RIS.

Photo of mttaylor1066
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

You can read the particulars below, but my review will be brief:

This is the best balanced beer I have ever tasted. Intoxicating... and that's not the alcohol talking.

... and I don't even like Russian Imperial Stout. This one will spoil you for all others.

Photo of tykees88
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- dark brown to black creamy head great lacing.

S- HOPS! I smell hops in a RIS. the coffee smell is not in the forefront. I also get plenty of malts barleys and some chocolate maybe

T- It's a barley front with a hop finish. Totally different than other RIS that I have had before. I like this it's not what I would expect.

M- A bigger beer of course.

D- A couple of these no problem. Would love it on Nitro tap i would assume.

Photo of BigHeavy
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip. Beer was allowed to warm for 30 or so minutes before sweet, sweet consumption.

A: Beer pours an absolutely opaque, pitch black. Looks kinda like motor oil, but not the clean stuff. The stuff that you left in for 3,000 too many miles. A luscious mocha head two fingers in height forms and lingers for quite a while before settling to about a half finger. Beautiful lacing appears with each sip.

S: Aroma is rich in dark chocolate and hops. Hops smell citrusy to me. There are some dark fruits thrown in there as well, which complement the aforementioned scents quite nicely. A touch of alcohol stings the nostrils (in a good way) as well.

T: Those citrus hops dominate the taste early in the sip. They give way to some bitter dark chocolate. It's like a one two punch of bitterness from hops and roasted malts. Just an incredible sensation in a stout. I can pick out those dark fruits and a little bit of black coffee notes as well. Just an amazing beer.

M: Smooth, rich, creamy, coating. Where doth I begin? Beer just feels awesome moving around the mouth with every sip. Beer is also thick and a little chewy.

D: Well, the beer definitely disappeared from my glass pretty quickly. The 9.0% ABV will creep up on you a little, so be cautious when having more than one. Perfect as a before bed sipper.

O: In my humble and unimportant opinion, Old Rasputin in the perfect interpretation of a Russian Imperial Stout. It takes the already awesome style and throws aggressive hopping into the mix. It's in your face with flavors from start to finish. A perfect way to end a night OR start a day.

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

This is the best Russian Imperial Stout that could ever exist. It is roasty, toasty, chocolatey, coffee tasting, sweet, bitter, smooth and balanced. It is absolutely perfect in every way.

The stout pours jet black, brown edges, chocolate milk head, about a finger thick (the dark chocolate milk, just like I like to make it) that laces nicely.

The smell is roasty, toasty, chocolatey. Perfect melding of notes. The taste is roasty, toasty, chocolatey, coffee tasting, sweet, bitter, smooth and balanced. The flavors knit together so perfectly, it brings tears to my eyes. Perfect.

Mouthfeel is full but not heavy or cloying. The drinkability is perfect. Amazing in every way. Stupendous.

Photo of Grin
3.87/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The smell is strong but nothing characteristic. The initial sip was bitter with a strong, almost cough syrup taste but I noticed the rich chocolate after letting it breath for about 5 minutes. The texture is smooth and thick with a light bite of carbonation.

Ultimately, a favorite but not a regular. I would say, better suited for the winter months.

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

Appearance: Very dark ruby red/brown, looks like black. Nice Dark brown head.

Aroma: Complex with lots of roast, chocolate, coffee and some dark fruits. Some floral hops come though.

Taste: Very complex and robust, chocolate, coffee, roast and a hint of dark fruit flavors. Also has a nice spicy hop kick to it, a bit dry, very nice. Slight alcohol kick, warms a little going down.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, maybe a little creamy, full-bodied. A little high on the carbonation, but it's not a deal breaker.

Drinkability: Awsome beer! Very complex, rich and robust.

Photo of Vierenner
3.06/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was expecting more from this beer -- the writeup at the store claimed very high marks from BA. I found it to be bitter and somewhat harsh. There is a bit of sweetness, but it's overshadowed by other, more powerful taste sensations. On a positive note, it pours with a very nice head ... disappearing after a minute or so as expected.

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

Review is from notes.

Served in a snifter at the World of Beer in Orlando, Florida. Was my second round of the day and decided to go for something nostalgic; Old Rasputin was the first Russian Imperial Stout I remember having... this time it'll be on draught instead of in a bottle!

Look: black with a dark, dark red highlight at the bottom when held to the light. A thin layer of light brown foam sits on the top and literally retains forever. I was served my glass first, waited for my two companions to be served their glasses to let the beer warm a bit, and still the foam was there. Incredible considering the style.

Smell: I see why this beer got me into the Russian Imperial Stout style so easily already. Bittersweet chocolate dominates. Hints of coffee and hops are there as well but this is intensely chocolatey.

Taste: Follows the nose nicely. The chocolate flavor stands out heavily but the hops and coffee flavors come out a bit more, though it is not over powering with either. Absolutely delicious. No hint of alcohol or dark fruit, which is a quality I happen to like about this one.

Feel: medium to full bodied, quite creamy, no alcohol warmth and tending towards sweet rather than bitter. Carbonation is low and spot on for the style.

Drink: quite incredibly drinkable. I definitely thought about drinking one or two more of these after I finished my glass, if only I didn't have to leave the bar!

Overall, absolutely amazing. The great thing about Old Raspution continues to be the fact that it can stand side to side with world class Russian Imperial Stouts despite being affordable and easy to find, without all the release day, hype, and low bottle counts. I am glad I saw this on tap and maybe I'll pick up a four pack of this again in the near future to revisit this one more fully.

On a side note, I am glad that this one has held up against my palate as I've grown over the past two years as a craft beer drinker. Cheers!

Photo of mempath
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

first pour wasn't vigorous enough...second half of bottle i poured with vigor and it swelled and laced like a royal rogue of the courts. big splotchy network around the sides. this stuff is so dark, held up to the sun, i can't see but a tinge of deep deep red. wow.

toasted roasted burnt caramel and coffee bean notes. a sense of hops keeping it elevated and from sinking into the beautiful morass...

so full-bodied, tangy, hoppy, malty, sweet, bitter...the symphony that all have proclaimed to have experienced is true. dark fruit. nuts. i promised folks at work that if our workday was cancelled for snow (i teach) i would have this for breakfast. slightly edges Founders own b'fst stout... for all it's strength, there is the gentleness of a lamb. first timers into the stout realm are welcome!

mouthfeel is spot on and can't be separated from the tasting experience. 9%abv? can't tell. therefore quite drinkable and a session brew for anarchists and scalawags and aficionados of intrigue. tarot. duels. subterfuge...

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

A -

S - An extremely dark roasted malty aroma, with a hint of alcohol too.

T - Flavors are excellent; starting out with creamy chocolate and roasted coffee flavors, evolving with nutty flavors as well; addition of alcohol actually contributes positively overall to the beer's flavors; 9% alcohol content is very well matched with the sweet aspects to provide a strong flavor; very powerful and lasting flavors of coffee and dark chocolate, with some dark fruity and acidic tastes at the very end

M - again, due to the alcohol, a nice warming sensation washes over me after about the 3rd swig; thick but surprisingly not sticky afterfeel in my mouth; very pleasant

D - If the empty bottles didn't let me know how many I drank, I'd've easily died of alcohol poisoning. Seriously, though, this beer is dangerously easy to drink.

This might be one of my favorite beers. Period.

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

Yum. One of the best Russian Imperial Stouts that you can get in a 4pack almost anywhere in NYC at a reasonable price. Those are solid, solid, factors for me when evaluating a beer. Especially considering all the costs that this beer trading is getting me into.

North Coast's Old Rasputin pours a black medium to full body with dark brown edges and a moderate tan head. It's sudsy with a swirl, and has a crazy good malty and toasty aroma that jumps out from the glass. Dark and rich, the taste profile isn't wide, but the rich malts it hits on the head. The hops it nails too, with just the right balance to let you know the hops are there, but not overpowering. It's a big beer, albeit its short 12oz bottle. And with 18 proof, it's not that you'll do more than sip -- unless you're cool with binging.

Then again, I did sorta just blow through this glass right now. Hmm. Something has to do with the way he's holding his hand on his forehead.

Photo of albertjr21
3.81/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I just tried this for the first time last night and was satisifed...for the most part...Into a goblet glass, it revealed a solid black color under a dark beige creamy head. It carried a sweet nose of dark roasted malt with a strong note of cocoa and faint hint of dark berry fruit. A crisp and bright upfront feel leads to a dark roasted earthy cocoa dominated center into a slowly resonating echo of an espresso bean finish. There are finishing notes of earthy dark fruit, perhaps fig, and dark chocolate. An overall good beer in my book. I'd be interested though to experience this with perhaps a less carbonated feel and was hoping for the creamier feel I'd tried in previous I.R.S.

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

This beer pours a black color with a 2 finger tan thick and sticky head. The aroma contains some burnt malt characteristics with a flowery hoppy smell as well. The aromas with burnt malty characteristics including coffee and chocolate and then moves to a hoppy bitterness which is stronger than I expected. The mouthfeel leaves a little harshness on the top of your mouth, but nothing bad. Overall a great beer!

Photo of U2FAN
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorites, particularly in the colder months. However, there is never a bad time to enjoy this beer

Has a little kick, but not overwheliming.

Hints of worcestershire, licorice, and dark chocolate.

This is good on its own but can be paired well with a light meal.

I've had it on tap and from a 12oz bottle. I always prefer the bottle.

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

Appearance- Pitch black with a brown sugar head that dissipate quickly to a film. Lacing is all over the place.

Small- What you would expect from a RIS- chocolate, coffee. With addition of alcohol and hops.

Taste- Lots of hop character in this one. I think the coffee and chocolate flavors take a back seat in this RIS, which is a little backwards usually.

Mouthfeel- Good mouthfeel. I tend to like them a little thicker, but that is just me.

Drinkability- At 9% I would stick with one, but it is not so boozy that I wouldn't consider another.

The first time I had this beer I was just getting into craft brews and I drain poured this one. Now that I am a little more versed in beer I can appreciate it a lot better.

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

Bottle poured into a Beer Mug:

Ahhh, this is what I'm talking about. How a I.R.S. should taste and feel

A: Great lacing, good amount of dark tan head, and typical dark color for a stout

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

T: Excellent. None of that sick molasses sweetness found in some others of the style. Roasted coffee and chocolate dominates here. Some good hoppiness finishes it off and stays with you. Excellent and Delicious

M: Huge. Complex, full and creamy

D: Well, as far as IRS go, this is about as good as it gets.


Photo of mjsheehan08
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin

Pours a black body which is 99% darkness with a little light escaping. Very little head that hangs around and leaves walls of lace around my snifter. 

Aroma is really present in this brew.  Chocolate and malty sweetness, and some booze. Alot of hop presence in the nose as well. 

Taste is smooth and full and sweet. Very very chocolatey.  This is a really well balanced RIS. Sweet as hell, yet a lot of good bitterness from the hops and they work really well together. Aftertaste has very strong coffee notes that didn't come out in the beginning, not until it warmed down a little bit did it make itself know.

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

A - Pours a jet black color with a nice size cocoa head.

S - Smells of cocoa, coffee, burnt malt, and molasses.

T - Wonderful blend of chocolate cake, coffee, and maple syrup. Finished with a slight hop bite and little alcohol burn. Very smooth.

M - Thick and buttery.

D - Very drinkable. The alcohol is misleading because I could not taste it at all.

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

A wonderfully well-balanced beer, full of flavor, roasted malts with a slight smokey sweet taste. For a modernized Imperial Stout it is the perfect example. North Coast Brewing has done a wonderful job on this style of brew and is one of many perfect reflections of an old world taste able to be shared with the modern world.

Photo of bubseymour
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured bottle into Sam Adams Pint Glass.

Appearance - Very dark with nice 3 finger tan head

Smell - Very smokey with hints of chocolate and malt.

Taste - If this beer were a whiskey it would be a 20+ year aged very high quality single malt scotch. Smokey, bold and very complex. This is a beer I could envision Ivy League professors sitting around drinking at the end of a day.
It has an excellent balance of chocolate and malts balanced out with hints of hops in the aftertaste. For 9% APV, the alcohol is extremely well disguised. The only negative I can say about the taste is that it still tastes like an American craft beer with the flavors that don't replicate as a Brisish beer. Aside from the "Americanized" craftbrew flavors its a great beer.

Mouthfeel - Creamy and rich. Excellent.

Drinkability - With a well balance of malt/hops and a well disguised 9%, this is one bold complex beer that is easy to drink. Well done!

Overall - This is a great strong, manly, beer to store away in your cellar and pull a few out some day when a good friend or family member is over to share.

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

A- black, slight ruby red hues on edges, creamy tan head that leaves rings of lacing.

S- Up front the sweetness of raisin, slight plum, yet with hoppy floral notes,some chocolate or roasted malts.

T- Alcoholic yet well balanced. Presence of dark fruits quickly covered by a roasted malt finish. Slightest chocolate with a splash of surprising hop bitterness.

M- Goes down extra smooth coating the entire mouth and tongue with a buffet of flavor.

D- After several sessions of these I now understand what all the hype was about. For a 9% beer I am torn bewtween worried or delighted at how easily this beer goes down.

Photo of SnowGoon99
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: bottle into a Stella Artois glass

Pours a no-nonsense black. Massive dark tan head that lingers all the way down the glass. Simply a great sight. Aromas that come through include roastiness with some alcohol notes and hints of chocolate. Also included are slight floral notes.

Roastiness dominates the flavors with almost no note of the alcohol. Some chocolate is in there too but restrained. A little surprised the body wasn't fuller than it was. Could've been a byproduct of the carbonation level. Just wasn't what it could've been. But it did make for a very drinkable beer despite being a big one. Very surprising but it's a good surprise.

Overall a really nice beer. Could've used some tweaks here or there. Really just ended up being a really alcoholic robust porter to me. Nothing that would identify it as a RIS. Still makes for a great beer to drink.

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

A -
black body cant see through thick tan head stays real well

S -
highly roasted malt aromas and alcoholic to the nose

T -
deep roasted malts bittersweet chocolate

M -
thick creamy and smooth its the way all stouts should feel

D -
this beer is awesome one of my favorite stouts now i have also had this beer out of a bottle and i prefer it that way
out of a nitro tap flavors are kind of mellowed out of the bottle they are much bolder which is awesome

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,797 ratings.