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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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10,705 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,705
Reviews: 3,489
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 399
Gots: 1,851 | 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: 10,705 | Reviews: 3,489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TulipSnifter
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is about a year old bottle.

Appearance: it is dark brown to black with a great cap.

Smell: I smell a lot of coffee and malts.

Taste: I'm catching a ton of coffee and Molasses.

Mouth feel: It seems to be heavy but smooth at the same time.

Drink ability: It sips nice and easy.

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

This is just about the most dead-on you can get for a Russian Imperial Stout (which is a specific type of brew to begin with) - but that being said, a flawless beer for anyone who appreciates a great stout.

A: can't see-through-it-black beer; creamy caramel-colored foam head, two fingers thick in a Duvel tulip... did the room just get darker?

S: dark roast malt; earthy rich

T: not bitter, smooth, not that sweet - perfectly balanced; wet burnt wood; of course, some chocolate undertones

M: faint carbonation keeps it light; satisfying linger that is dark and roasty

D: you feel healthier after you drink it

If you see it, and you like a good stout (especially an Imperial Russian), then buy some. It's only an $11 4-pack in my area, which is dirt-cheap for what you're getting.

Ah, Mother Russia...

Photo of JLeege
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a snifter

Appearance- Pour is black with a 2 finger tan head. When held to the light nothing is entering this, just deep dark and beautiful. The head sticks around for ever, it won't move! Leaving good sticky lace. Appearance wise, this is perfect for an impy stout.

Smell- Roasted malts, some bitter coffee, sweet chocolate

Taste- Lots of roast up front, with a subtle dark fruityness in the middle. Caramel and toffee notes in there as well. Sweet overall, with a slightly bitter coffee finish. Some slight alcohol is noticed as it warms.

Mouthfeel- smooth and creamy, but this actually a bit lighter than I was anticipating.

Overall- this is a very solid imperial stout. With a great low price tag, this should be in constant rotation. This bumps up the drinkability for me as well.

Photo of chalsk
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Actually had the barrel aged many times before I tried this one. Pours a black color with a generous caramel colored head. Has an aroma of dark fruit and coffee, with hints of caramel and citrus. Sweet citrusy start. Then bitter. Velvety, malty chocolate finish. Great thick, creamy mouthfeel. Very tasty. One of the best out there.

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yum. Pours black with brown edges. Light tan head that sticks around the edges and leaves the slightest bit of lacing. The aroma is more vanilla, toffee, and chocolate than expected. The flavor is great rich chocolate and vanilla with a nice balance of bittering hops. Toffee and burnt caramel flavors in the middle and ends with bitterness from hops and roasted malts. Thick and luxourious over the tongue. Dry with just a touch of hotness from booze, without being boozy. Very sipable for an RIS.

Photo of kagent777
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle purchased from the Utah State Liquor Store.

Appearance: Black, the first beer that I can see no other color in, the light does not penetrate through the pint glass. This is black beer that has a sandy colored head which very slowly recedes and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Dark roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. I can also pick up the alcohol.

Taste: So complex. A pleasant bitterness from the roasted malts. The choco/coffee flavors linger in the middle with a long pleasant bitter finish. As it warms, a slight sweetness emerges with a hint of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: The body is just right for the style. The carbonation lifts the drinker above some of the bitterness.

Drinkability: It would be hard to drink more than three of these in a sitting, but I certainly would try. This is such a good beer at a reasonable price

Photo of ramseye4
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a smallish light brown head. Smells of very dark roasts, a little bit of coffee, spices and nuts. Taste is of chocolate, delicious dark burnt malts and a bit bitter in the aftertaste. The taste is not as complex as some other stouts I have had, but the simplicity works for it. Excellent carbonation and smooth drinkability.

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

Poured into pint glass.

A: Dark coffee color with 1/4 inch head that fades to a collar around the edge.

S: Solid coffee smell to it. That's about all I can pick out.

T: Very good. Espresso taste. Surprisingly not astringent for the ABV.

M: Medium to full. Good amount of carbonation.

D: I agree with the other user who said this beer had scary good drinkability. This drinks very well for a 9%.

Overall, this is a perfect beer for those little reward yourself moments (weekends, good days at work, bad days at work, etc).

Photo of awalk1227
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 10/18/10

Poured into Chimay Goblet

A: Looks like dark roast coffee. Opaque black with a tan head that leaves a light brown collar.

S: Dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, toasted nuts, toffee.

T: Chocolate, hints of espresso. Lots of malt. Warmth from the alcohol at the end, in a very good way.

F: Tingle from the carbonation. I feel it has a lighter body than the taste and presence of alcohol would suggest. It coats the top of the mouth, but not the whole thing, and without a full mouth feel.

D: Great for 9%, I've had some RIS's that were way less drinkable at this ABV. Great as a night cap.

Photo of jlmarshall
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark, deep brown, almost black with a thin sandlewood colored head. Has a very deep, sweet smell of burnt malted grains and molasses with a hint of grapes and spices. The mouth feel is quite sticky from the sugars and very warm. The taste follows the smell and very pleasant with sweet, sugary, burnt grains and caramel and surprising peppery, spicey aftertaste. This is a fantastic beer, but probably a little too heavy for an everyday beer.

Photo of Teleweizen2
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a very dark opaque color with a huge tightly packed dark tan head.

S - most noticable aroma is of semi-sweet dark chocolate with some roasty coffee undertones.

T - follows the nose with a very intense chocolate malty sweetness and a nice balacing coffee bitterness.

M - rich and creamy. full bodied. Slightly higher carb than in
most stouts but it really works for this brew.

D - very easy drinking. Scary easy at 9%. No trace of alcohol. And it is balanced so well.

Photo of lovetranquillity
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Black hole of doom with planet sucking depth. Khaki colored head.

Alcohol, espresso, toffee, malt, vanilla, cocoa

Alcohol, coffee, espresso bitterness, hop bitterness, sweet malt, sweet roasted coffee, hints of berry, toffee, chocolate.

Thick, medium carbonated, smooth, syrupy.

The alcohol is a little too apparent in order to make it highly drinkable.

Very very good. My favorite easy to find RIS.

Photo of jorg2619
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin is a classic RIS that I needed to have. The appearance is light absorbing black hole with a tan to slightly darker head. The smell is intoxicating with roasted yet smooth malt notes, and a hint of slight chocolate/ coffee notes. The taste is very clean the roasted malt flavor is subdued, allowing a creamy coffee flavor to dominate at the back of my tongue. I detect some bitter hop flavors framing the malt masterpiece of this North Coast Beer. The mouthfeel is pleasant and substantial. I would really love to find a case of this beer and drink a few every month to remember how a RIS should taste!

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

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of reviewing for me is returning to a beer after a long period of sampling other standouts in the style. RIS is an especially portent style for such revision, with its massive complexity and depth. On to Rasputin in a snifter, after nearly a year of mostly Stone, Ten Fidy, and any other barreled/double stouts to come my way.

Pours slick and creamy, a darkly tan head swirling about on top. Booze is apparent in the smell, something I may be in the minority for liking. Other than that it's all roasty coffee/chocolate goodness, with powerful bursts of fruit, some licorice, and possibly oak/vanilla. A great scent that I am not too patient to surrender for a taste.

My first thought is: too bubbly. A few swirls to kick this back and I'm met with a smoother vehicle in which to glean these flavors. I am instantly reminded of Sam Smith, but that fruity, roasted malt profile so prevalent in his beers has been pumped up and rounded out considerably here with chocolate and coffee notes.

I get an occasional twang of metal as well, but also oatmeal, pepper, milk and bitter hops. Hops push through the finish in a way some will love but is kind of distracting for me. This hop character creates a certain dryness and the beer stays rather thin for its abv. The alcohol is not masked as well as the best in class manage and I think the bitterness factor adds to this.

If you like the English style stouts and enjoy a bitter RIS this will be right up your alley. A great deal for a 4-pack but not entirely satisfying to my palette. More coffee and sugar, please.

EDIT: Bumping up the taste and mouthfeel dimensions as this beer really comes into its own as it warms. Sweeter and richer. Nice!

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

A - Pours black with a thick dense head. Great looking beer.

S - Alcohol, malts, Espresso.

T - Chocolate, espresso, malts. Alcohol with a slight bitterness.

M - Chewy and thick; how it should be.

D - Not nearly as high as I wish it was.

Superb stout!

Photo of mkorpal
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown, with oak red on the edges, borderline black. Dark tan head, half an inch, retains well and leaves some lacing.

Smell of chocolate dominates the nose, with coffee rounding it out. Much like hot chocolate and Kahlua.

Taste is more coffee forward. Dry coffee flavor, with some chocolate backing it up. Much like black coffee with some chocolate liquor.

bitter coffee-like mouthfeel, which dry's out the beer towards the end.

Dryness knocks the drinkability of this brew down a notch. Still pretty damn good.

Photo of bbkd3b
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been looking forward to this one for a while. So, I bought a bottle, yanked my pint glass from the cabinet, and started the great routine.

A - Pours a darker-than-night black, with no light getting through at all. A nice, caramel-colored head sustained for a decent time before leaving a scattered amount sitting at the top... The lacing sort of dropped down, but a great looking beer, really.

S - Wow... lots of really nice scents. Mostly espresso, along with caramel and toffee.... some dark chocolate and a slight booziness are there, too, but not at the front of things. Welcoming.

T - Wait... where did that berry-like start come from? It wasn't in the nose at all! Don't know, but it didn't last long, as the aforementioned espresso took control of the show. Nice, sweet, and bitter all at once. Seriously, it tastes like berries dipped in mocha. Nice combinations. Finish is clean, along with the aftertaste of coffee. Goes down easy... tiniest hint of alcohol.

M - Nice, creamy body with a really warming finish. This is a great beer for winter, and Missouri is starting to cool down... so, yeah, I'll welcome that. Carbonation was a bit too sharp for a beer in this style, I think.

D - It tastes really good, but I never considered imperials to be very drinkable brews... especially the heavier ones. 9% ABV ensures that a couple will be a good bet for relaxed nights.

Overall/notes: I've heard a lot about this beer, and all positive. Doesn't really disappoint! I once had this... It was a long time ago, before I had any sort of experience with stouts, and "good" beer was a relatively new experience. Couldn't stand it. Couple of years later, and here I am, drinking it down and enjoying the evening. Experiences like these are great reminders of how far my palette has come!

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

The last of the Autumn tasting I had at Grapevine in Fort Mill, SC.

Poured into a pint with a pitch black color. Soft creamy head that lingers.

Other than subtle coffee notes the nose is mild and almost indistinguishable.

The nose doesn't give away the stellar complexity of flavors. Currants, bittersweet chocolate, with toasty malts and a wonderful bitter finish. I seemed to notice some bourbon layers in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel is thick and sumptuous with great balance between alcohol and flavor. The beer is so complex it makes you want to keep it rolling around in your mouth to see what else you taste.

A superb imperial stout.

Photo of Augustiner719
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours jet black, medium viscosity with a nice tan 2 finger hard that recedes to leave a tinge of lacing. The aroma has rich roasted malts, a slight marshmallow scrent with vanilla and cocoa powder. Flavor has espresso, milk chocolate, a hint of vanilla and some malted candy type flavors. Nice mouthfeel with a good palate coating component but a tad too high on the carbonation for me. Overall this is a g

Photo of OmygodOmmegang
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An evil looking bottle with a drawing of Rasputin and some Russian words
This is one black beer baby. And for a gross looking old man on the label, it gave good head.

Nice malty nose.

Smooth, potent and espresso like with a high burnt malt and hop bitterness that finishes on the sweet side to say the least.

This is not an "intro beer." If you try to get your girlfriend hooked on beer, this is not a good first choice. For my money, it's an awesome beer with chocolate cake!

Serving type: bottle

Photo of Yesac
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Appears black in my pint glass, large brown sand in color.

S- Dark sharp roasted malt, chocolate, bitter hops. Smells delicious.

T- Roasted malt nose, luscious chocolate center, roasted coffee bean, black licorice, strong hop bitterness dry finish.

M- Medium/thick body, silky, dry sticky finish, leaves a good coating of flavor on the palate.

D- Slightly to bitter for my liking. The roasted malt and coffee bean is strong, however that is just a piece of this brews complexity which makes for a delightful challenge on the palate.

Photo of stimulus
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle (4 pack) into a snifter.

A: Pours jet black with a one finger tan head that leaves a light lacing down the edges of the glass.
S: Dark chocolate and coffee.
T: The bitterness of the chocolate and coffee is followed by a bit of sweetness and hop bitterness and finishes with bitter coffee.
M: Heavy body, but not overly so for the style, and carbonation is just where it should be.
D: This is great for a readily available inexpensive imperial stout, great to cellar or even drink a couple in a night.

Photo of hophead247
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick black with a nice light brown head. good lacing. light only gets through around the edges. aroma salty espresso and toffee with a hint of alcohol. Flavor sweet salted toffee with a hint of bitter espresso and some acidity. Beautiful transition into a great finish. Bitter espresso dry slightly acidic and salty with just a hint of sweetness and just enough alcohol to add a nice warm touch. Full bodied. Carbonation seemed to be just a little too much when i first opened this one but after fifteen minutes or so it settles down to a nice creamy texture. One of the first imperial stouts i had and still one of the best. I forgot how good this beer is.

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

A- totally black with a coffee colored head.

S- roasty malt and some alcohol. Hints of coffee and chocolate.

T- Tastes like strong coffee and alcohol, but the alcohol is not over the top.

M- Really smooth creamy mouthfeel. Flavor lingers on the palate.

D- Such a nice drinking stout. No overpowering flavors, just a classic RIS. The only drawback is the 9% will leave you forgetting how awesome this beer is.

Photo of MeMyselfNAles7
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first RIS and I still love it like the first time. North Coast took it out of the park with this great RIS.

Pours a dark amber brew with a full rich and creamy brown crown. Roasted malts, coffe and dark/sweet cocoa beans with a well hidden alchol scent. Strong overpowering roated malts taste, with some hints of coffe, cocoa beans and alchol towards the end. Very pronounced malts and alchol. Strong tasting brew, kicking you off with coffe, roasted malts, the cocoa beans finishing off with a dry and bitter aftertaste. Good drinkability but due to the abv% it should't be taken lightly. Heavy rich beer that becomes heavier as it warms up. A heavy hitter which is beer haven for the strong brews lovers.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,705 ratings.