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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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10,804 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,804
Reviews: 3,514
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 419
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,804 | Reviews: 3,514
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.

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

vintage 2.5 year old bottle (from the date i bought it, not sure when it was bottled)

poured into a tulip

pours jet black with a nice cocoa head that really hangs around. fills the entire tulip and just sits there. i mean, it seriously refuses to budge. lacing just caked the glass.

very rich. lots of chocolate, coffee, toffee, caramel, truffle candies, very rich all around.

taste is much like the smell, only sweeter. this really has blended well. lots of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt. hints of caramel and toffee beneath. light citrus hop finish.

very smooth, nothing harsh about this. i always felt when fresh, it had a roughness (not that i am complaining, i love it). the body feels a bit thinner than i recall though. carbonation has a bit of a bite. sweetness lines the teeth and gums.

time treated this well, this is really delicious. really no trace of the alcohol what so ever. i plan on aging some more of these.

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

This brew pours a motor oil black. We get a nice medium brown colored head of two fingers, which retains for a bit, then dissipates into a bubbly film across the top of the liquid. Spotty and sparse lacing appears as we sip. The aroma is huge in roasty malts. There is typical dark chocolate and a healthy alcoholic aroma, with subtle hints of fresh coffee bean wafting in and out. Hops are also abundant, making for a balance through the nose. The taste buds are assaulted with deeply roasted malts at the very front. Therein mixes a bittersweet dark chocolate that is more bitter than sweet. This affectively rolls back on the palate through the middle of the taste. Here there is also a curious organicness to it. There is dark, peppery spice, and incredibly subtle flavors almost similar to a vegetable juice (tomato and cucumber come to mind). The finish is robustly malty, but cleanly hoppy, and a bit sweet. As the sip departs the drinker breathes coffee remnants, ghostly hops, and more roasted malt. The body is full, with an almost syrupy feel. The carbonation is light and, while the mouth is left coated, once that dissolves it is dried. The abv is nice and high, as it should be, and this warming beer is a sipper.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its robust attitude. The aroma was dark and foreboding, but also inviting with its sweetness of hops. The taste is very much the same way, but is nicely balanced and complex. This is a delicious brew and, if you only have one or two of them, it becomes difficult to kill.

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

I had the joy of having two of these at a nice restaurant with a good team of co-workers. Poured dark as coffee. Only 1/8" of head but that head seemed immortal. Smell and taste are packed with chocolate and dark roasted malts. Just a delightful example of Russian Imperial Stout. Even one of the non-beer drinkers at the table begrudgingly tried it and agreed they really liked it.

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

A dark brown color which turns pitch black in the glass after pouring from a short, stubby 12 oz bottle with the "mad monk" and ABV on the label, no freshness date.
A decent head that dissipates quickly after pouring. The aroma is high on roasted malts and coffee.
Smooth, silky mouthfeel with taste high on coffee, akin to burnt/roasted coffee along with roasted nuts, dark extra bitter cocoa/chocolate and finishing with a sharp bitter (hoppy) aftertaste. The taste gets better as the beer warms up. Very good lacing along the glass as I sipped it.
The ABV content slowly makes its presence felt as the beers warms you up. This is a solid imperial stout, absolutely delicious.
It is definitely a sipper and a must-have for any stout lover. Very highly recommended.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: Mahogany, or close to midnight black color, with an evil ruby tint in just the very edge of the glass. A smooth, creamy brown head cascades a little bit before forming and retains nicely. Thick sticky lace clings all over the glass.

Smell: A whole spectrum of roasted malt, great coffee and vanilla aromas, and a bit of chocolate.

Taste: Dark roasted and chocolate malt starts, then espresso sneaks in, bringing in a ton of dark chocolate and some vanilla flavors. The coffee bitterness lingers into the finish, with a bit of spice and citrusy hops to finish it out.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, creamy carbonation, just the slightest bit sticky. Slight alcoholic burn on the way down. Leaves my tongue tingling a bit as well.

Drinkability: Aside from how awesome it is to drink a beer whose namesake may or may not have brought down the Romanov dynasty, this is just a damn good beer. Very drinkable, even at 9%.

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

12oz Bottle

My 300th beer review; looking forward to the next 300.

Appearance - The beer pours a dark brown/black colour with a very large frothy and rocky light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is very nice lacing running down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to disappear.

Smell - coffee, malts, chocolate, hops, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - The beer doesn't have a whole lot of carbonation, but it feels very light and creamy on the palette. It's packed full of chocolate and coffee flavour mixed with malts. There is also a lot of bitterness from the coffee and the hops. The beer gives a warming feeling in my chest but the alcohol isn't really detectable. The beer finishes with little bit of a peppery/spicy aftertaste.

Drink - This is a flavour packed full bodied beer that is a must try. It's extremely drinkable and perfect during the winter/colder months.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a becker glass. The color is a deep, completely opaque black; no light passed through when I held it to my lamp. A thick, three-finger head of cappuccino-colored foam developed and dissipated very slowly to leave a ring around the edge.

Smell: Loads of roasted glory. Roasted chocolate, coffee, and caramel malts. There is also a nice toffee and molasses sweetness to keep the aroma balanced. There are also hints of dark berries: to me it smelled like blueberry and raspberry. There is a little dark fruit in the mix as well. It is a very enticing aroma.

Taste: More roasted glory, and the first sip was a shock of burnt bitterness; the overpowering intensity, though, passed after a couple sips. Roasted chocolate and coffee malts. The caramel from the smell is there, but it instead adds a touch of sweetness. The taste is nutty and also features flavors of dark fruit (perhaps plum), toffee, molasses, and vanilla. Way deep down, at the very end of each sip, is a noticeable alcohol edge that tickles the back of the throat, but it is very faint and does nothing to interfere with the other flavors.

Drinkability: Excellent beer. It is very complex, flavorful, and warming. Drink six of these and I will guarantee you will wake up with a headache (at least I will).

Photo of allrizz
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the first RIS I've tasted and it is quite impressionable.

One of the reviews said the head reminded him of a reversed oil spill. I can't help but to agree. When I poured this bottle the first impression I got was that it looked like I spilled oil, not that that is a bad thing, looks are deceiving.

The head stayed at about two fingers and slowly dissipated. The color was very dark, which I like.

When I sniffed the glass the flavors that aroused my senses were molasses, coffee, and caramel.

The flavors I tasted were chocolate, coffee, molasses, and caramel all brought together with a nutty finish.

Without doubt a very bold flavor that remained with me after I finished the glass.

I recommend Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. I may even try brewing a batch myself. :)

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,804 ratings.