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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

10,802 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,802
Reviews: 3,513
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 417
Gots: 1,932 | 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: 10,802 | Reviews: 3,513
Photo of CASK1
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle into a tulip glass. Essentially black. Tall, fluffy tan head, fades to a thin layer on the top of the beer. Slight metallic aroma. Coffee roast aroma, some low chocolate notes. Hop aroma is hidden by the roast malt. Incredible flavor. Complex mix of roast coffee, chocolate, and burnt malt. Slightly sweet up front, with a long, slow, build of hop bitterness. Low alcohol flavor belies the strength. Medium body makes this beer dangerously drinkable. One of my favorite "go to" high ABV beers.

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

Pours a deep pitch black color with a mocha colored head and tons of residual lacing. Smells of malts, dark fruits, and roasted goodness. Tastes much the same with prunes, plums, roasted malts, a little smokiness, strong hops and some hints of coffee. Mouthfeel is very nice and drinkability is high.

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

Thank to my best friend and fellow BA member "BeerConnoiseur" I was able to try this brew for the first time. Thanks, Pat! Drank from a Dogfish Head Signature Glass

A - Pours used motor oil black. Nice one finger beige head that disapates after a few minutes but retains a nice ring of creamy froth around the edges. Leaves a slight sticky lacing on the side of the glass.

S - After letting it sit for a few minutes, a nice coffee, chocolate smell is really present. I've got a good feeling about this beer already!

T - Yes! What a big, robust stout. Coffee, expresso, choclate and burnt malts are the predominate flavors. Nice ending that is bitter but not off-putting. The longer this brew warms up, the more the flavors come out. The 9% alcohol is well disguised.

M - Very creamy and thick but not syrupy. Good amount of carbonation. My pallet is overwhelmed with the combination of flavors.

D - An awesome stout! This is so robust that I can't call it a session beer by any means but that isn't a bad thing. This is just so good tasting that you don't want to rush through it.

Overall - Highly recommended. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Reminds me a lot of the Black Chocolate Stout from Brooklyn Brewing that I reviewed a few days ago. This is a bit better, in my opinion, although both got an A from me. A perfect brew for a winter afternoon or evening.


Photo of andrenaline
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one sticking around for some time. Figured the weather is perfect for it being -25 and snowy! Poured into a snifter.

A - Pours pitch black, thin layer of tan coloured head, little retention and little lacing.

S - Milk chocolate, espresso, caramel, toffee and the slightest scent of cherries. Smells incredible.

T - This stuff is as close to chocolate milk as you can get in terms of beer. The milk chocolate shines through, and is followed by a generous serving of espresso beans that lingers on the tongue. The 9% ABV in incredibly well hidden, showing only the slightest amount of heat and sweetness. The coffee flavours definitely become more prominent as it warms.

M - A bit of a bite to it, likely due to the alcohol, but nice carbonation on the body which keeps it light, and it goes down smooth.

D - Normally with stronger brews like this, one would be enough for me. This, however, I could drink all night. The ABV is nicely hidden, it's full of flavour and nicely balanced between the chocolate and coffee malts. Very delicious, and I can understand why this one is so well rated.

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

A- This brew is BLACK. I don't think it's possible to get much of any light through it. Poured a dark, syrup like brown with slightly thinner consistency. The head is something to be admired. A dark cream color. Very thick. Soft, creamy texture. Once you take a drink, it's not exactly going anywhere, either.

S- Can definitely smell the roasted tones, as well as what seems like some lighter, woody/nutty tones. Definitely has hints of the higher alcohol content present.

T- A wonderful mix of roasted maltiness, a touch of nut, and a bit of sweetness (akin to a dark chocolate) after swallowing, but before the aftertaste fully kicks in. Aftertaste retains the roast, yet has a hint of what feels like a touch of hopiness.

M- Very smooth, yet lacks the "creamy" the head had suggested. Carbonation has been kept low, but feels like it's at just the right level to add a comfortable bite. Has some characteristic weight, but nothing excessive.

D- As others have said, this is not a session brew simply because of the alcohol content. The four pack it comes in is sufficient for 2 people to enjoy without losing sight of the high points of the beer. If I ever see this on tap, rest assured I will be buying a round for anyone with me.

Photo of Cheesemoose
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured one into my Duvel tulip.

Midnight black, no light is getting through this one. Mocha head with a good few fingers, though it dissipates into a fine film. A little clinging as it settles out.

Dark chocolate cherries on the nose with a bit of mocha coffee flavor in the background. Roasted malts and a nice creamy character. No alcohol aromas what so ever. Impressive.

Starts with a strong bitterness, though it mellows into the chocolate/cherry flavors that slowly becomes a coffee finish. intriguing and complex, though not so much that one would want to leave this merely as a dessert or digestif. This one could easily accompany a strong meal, or even a pasta dish as the savor flavor would play off the acidity of the tomato sauce.

A lot of residual flavor, settles on the tongue, and after a few minuties, you feel prepared for another go. Alcohol is nonexistent throughout. Outstanding. Though, at 9% ABV I would leave this as a finisher, and not an all night affair.

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

A - Pours jet black with a nice thickness, big tan colored head just rises to the top of the glass and leaves a thick lacing as it dissipates.

S- Sweet, coffee, dark chocalate, raisins.

T - Sweet with a nice bitterness hits the tongue followed by a blast of coffee and dark chocolate. Alcohol is definitely present but not overbearing.

M - Fulled bodied, thick, and smooth. nice carbonation for an Imperial. I like this stout because it has a nice warming affect in the back of throat and in the chest as this one goes down.

D - Rich, smooth, and filling. This Stout is not for amateurs...for the big boys only...one or two qnd you are feeling the affects.

Overall this is one of the best Stouts I have ever tasted. I thouroughly enjoyed it.


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

12 oz stubby brown bottle.

Pours midnight black with a tan creamy head. Leaves some lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, leafy hops, and slight molasses.

The taste of this beer is exceptional. Starts off with a big malt bill and a slight coffee, followed by a fairly pronounced chocolate note, which gets more prominent as it warms. Finishes with that classic roasted note and also combined with a fairly strong earthy and leafy hop presence.

Has a nice feel to it, fairly carbonated with a body that is on the lighter side of heavy-bodied. Not too thick.

Besides the hidden 9% ABV, this one is SO drinkable. I can't even call this a sipper, it's so hard to not drink a lot.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle, out of a 4-pack. The stout produces a significant 1/4-1/2" head, thin but prominent. Very opaque and dark beer to go along with creamy-tan head. Initial smell yields aromas of oak/nutty undertones, with a kind of musty coffee and chocolate theme. There was minimal forward taste, and the beer has a quick, sharp aftertaste. There is a smooth coffee flavor, that has a balanced bitterness throughout the beer, but the flavor is short-lived. It truly seems to skip from the initial flavor straight to aftertaste. It does leave a strong, thick residue on the glass, which goes well with the strength of a stout. Overall, a very drinkable beer.

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

A - pours a thick viscous honey syrup that's half way between fresh and used motor oil. Thick poofy spongy dense head like eggshell carton. The lacing makes lovely circles of sediment down my glass that look like the Grand Canyon.

S - rich honey malts and caramelized apples. After warming some fig smells came out. Simple smells, yes. But it just makes you feel good.

T - foretastes are of sweet malts and caramel but also deep roasted malts. They cooked this one a fair amount and left it on the pot maybe too long. It tastes a bit like burnt wort It's got a bitterness to it that can't be all due to hops. But that's just the middle, it comes around at the end with and aftertaste is mildly savory; oaky and sweet at the same time.

M - crystalline head tickles the tounge while the creamy milky textures massages the throat. Very smooth.

D - bitterness aside this is s great beer. Would go fantastically with a meaty stew or a turkey dinner. A hearty English style beer of this magnitude really needs some hearty pub food to go with it. Potatoes, sausage, tons of gravy.

Photo of bboelens
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at world of beer, poured into a pint glass

A- Dark dark brown, bordering on black, with huge head that lasts, a menacing Rasputin looks as though he is either about to karate chop me or make the sign of the cross on the glass.

S- Heavy chocolate presence, malts and coffee as well

T- Chocolate, coffee, very bitter, overall a good taste with a stingy finish.

M- Bites and stings the tongue in a good way, carbonation and the bitterness come into play heavily here.

D- With a high ABV this is definitely not a session beer, but overall it makes for a beer that everyone should try at least once.

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.95/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first sampling of this coincided with my chance discovery of Monk's Cafe in Philly. At the time (2003-2004), I was living in Center City, piss poor, and longing for good beer. One fine day, riding my bike around in explorer mode, I found myself coming up upon the unmistakable awning and neon sign for said cafe - got little money, but let's do it. I'm desperate! - This may have been the very first time in my life I had been presented with a beer menu, the content of which I wasn't familiar with 90-95% of. Looking to cheaper and more interesting sounding beers, I ordered one Rasputin to go (at about $7 or $9, if I remember right). So off I go on my bike back up 16th st to my studio apt, giddy with delight or delightfully giddy. Get home - and I can't recall actually pouring it - and I find myself eying up one intimidating pint of darkness. The rest is...you know.

Old Rasputin will make a man out of you (Rip Van Winkle, for one). Always pours with an explosive, swelling head, big and busty, and the perfect shade of ash and gravel. Scummy, sparkling lacing. The liquid is impenetrably black - a charred void. Black death. The aroma hits you instantaneously, even from a foot or more away. More of a Baltic Porter scent than a bitter, dry stout. What I get is dark chocolate cake dipped in dark chocolate, mellow espresso, grain just lightly singed, and wafting among these scents, a faint grassy/piney hop presence. Oh, and a clean, vodka-like alcohol aroma, more and more as it warms. Flavor-wise, I'm not sure what you can improve upon, considering the style and imagery conjured up by the namesake of the beer. Cold and black. A sultry bitterness - by way of hops, dark chocolate, and dark malt. Velvety smooth feel and vague molasses character, with surprisingly potent fruitiness and almost citrus hop flavors as it warms. While this doesn't need to warm up much to express its fabulous complexities, the alcohol makes itself quite apparent in the aftertaste and feel past a certain degree. Once in awhile, this can be somewhat off-putting. For the most part, you really want this though. Carbonation, at its levels, is ideal and maintains excitement on the tongue - never any cloying sweetness or heavy feeling. That, and the warm prick of ethyl, round out an expertly crafted brew. So difficult to put this into perspective...when you've had 2 or 3.

Photo of emmasdad
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been wanting to pick this one up again for awhile now, but I always pass it by for something else, figuring it'll be there next time. And it always is. My mistake, as this is probably one of the best imperial stout values out there.

Poured a deep, dark brown, nearly black, with a little tan head. Aromas of bitter dark chocolate, roasted malt and coffee. On the palate, full bodied, with flavors of dark chocolate, espresso, earthy hops and roasted malt.

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

Appears pitch black, weak brown head... however, it laces decent.

Smell is dominated by bitter-sweat chocolate. After letting it warm a few minutes one begins to notice fig or plum like fruit notes.

The taste is a creamy dark roasted delight. Sweet chocolate flavours are most prevalent. I appreciate that there is also a bit of hop presence at the end.

The beer is cream and smooth in the mouth. It is medium bodied and has a nice bitter finish. The after-taste is a nice dark chocolate residue.

This beer is very drinkable and affordable. It certainly gives you more bang for your buck the the Surly Darkness which I so desired... I would say that I have become part of the "cult following" :D

Photo of Kylito87
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok the moment I have been working for Review # 50 lol I know I am still a n00b but it is a big milestone for me. So I figured I would do one of my all time favorite beers that I haven't got around to reviewing.

Appearance- Midnight black with toffee colored head. Rediculous lacing and a craggy foamy head head that stays the whole entire way through.

Smell- Rich dark chocolate and coffee with a bold roasted dark malt character. There is a hint caramel and sweet fruit as well.

Taste- Expresso with a nice dark chocolate finish. The beer has nice bold roasty coffee kick up front and it is finishes with a bitter sweet chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Super thick. Very syrupy with a very prominant carbonation level. This beer is very slick and oily on the pallete. It makes your lips stick together. Very heavy beer. It would only take a couple of these before you couldn't drink anymore. Definitely a meal in glass.

Drinkability- Well like I said 2 maybe 3 and that is about it. These are so good that it is a beer that I like to take my time and savor every drop. I can never walk away from this beer it has been one of my all time favorites for a very long time. I would love to get a couple of these wax the necks over and lay them down for a year maybe two and see how it matures. Bottom line it is amazing try it.

Photo of mikeg67
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle. Pours black with a thick, brown, long lasting head. Aroma is of coffee, chocolate, dry fruit, molasses, and roasted malt. Taste is similar to the aroma. Full, creamy, thick body. Long, espresso coffee finish. This is a classic, delicious brew.

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

poured into a tulip.


beer is a nice dark black color. head is frothy brown and leaves a lot of lacing.


big roasted notes of coffee and chocolate. I'm getting some slight dark fruit in there like raisins. Smell isn't overwhelming but noticeable


roasted coffee...some dark chocolate in there with a little sweetness and a nice little bite of bitterness finishes it off. A great tasting beer.


about full bodied. a nice amount of carbonation. a little tingle on the tongue from carbonation and bitterness.


very high. probably the standard in Imperial Stouts. Not many things bad with this beer. It's nothing I'd spend my life savings on, but I can see myself grabbing a 4pack of this once a month. The price and availability make it very high as well.

Photo of FanofHefe
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip. Dark black in color with a dark tan one finger head. Dissipates fairly quickly leaving a little lacing.

Nice aroma of sweet dark fruit, and roasted malt. Not overpowering and only a hint of alcohol.

Tasty flavors of coffee, chocolate, roasted malt blend well in this brew. A just a hint of alcohol that reminds me of bourbon or brandy.

Goes down pretty easy for the abv. I really like that this is a highly rated beer that seems to be highly available.

Photo of JizackFH
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black. had a nice big frothy tan head on it that left very good lacing on the glass.

S - Smells of dark chocolate, coffee, roasty, a little grainy, and there is a touch of alcohol present.

T - Very roasty, with notes of chocolate and coffee. The finish is bitter, but just the right amount of bitterness. The alcohol is present in the taste, but it's not overwhelming by any means.

M - The mouthfeel is great. Its a full bodied beer, but it isn't as thick as I thought it would be. It has good carbonation, and it also has a creamy quality to it.

D - This is a very drinkable beer. It goes down very smooth, and it leaves you wanting more after every sip. I love this beer, it is absolutely a great RIS. It is very drinkable, even with the 9% ABV. I definitely recommend this one, it is one of my favorite beers for sure. Great job North Coast. Cheers.

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

A-Looks perfect. Deep, dark black with a hint of brown around the edges. Excellent frothy head that refuses to die.

S-Big roasty, coffee, dark chocolate notes. Detecting some hops as well. Black licorice. Burnt malts and a slight hint of alcohol.

T-Quite the individual taste. A very strong taste. Surprising amount of bitterness which I am a fan of. Coffee, rich chocolate, dried fruits, licorice. Roasted and burnt. Light whiskey flavor. Finishes bitter.

M-Not as thick as I was expecting. Not disappointed, but definately surpised.

D-A big beer. One of the more drinkable stouts I've tried considering my limited experience with the style.

Deserving of the high praise. And a pretty good deal too.

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

Poured into my swashbuckle brewing pintglass.

A- Cola black looking appearance. Good effervescense as you can hear the carbonation and bubbles hitting the surface. Tan head, banishes faster than I'd like it to.

S- Molasses, and flavored coffee. Mostly hazelnut. A combination of nutty and fruity aroma's make a presence.

T- One of the most unique tasting stouts I've ever had. The biggest difference in this beer, to me, is almost a berry flavor. Never have I had a fruit taste come through in a stout. Another flavor that seems to be uncommon is mint. Dark chocolate and expresso/coffe shine. Upon further drinking those two are the most dominant flavors. Malts are present, I think malts are becoming my favorite ingredient in beer.

M- Medium bodied. Coffee mouthfeel, hard to explain because a cold coffee doesn't taste like this.

D- A good stout. High abv, well masked, many unigue flavors. I feel llke this was modeled off of coffee and they threw in some flavors your not used to for a stout. They work good, but theres nothing thats ground breaking with this. Recommended, but not world class.

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

Pours deep black, with just a touch of garnet at the edges. A low tan head just barely persists at the edge of the glass.

The aroma? Where to start... Deep roasty burnt espresso and dark chocolate predominate, but there is plenty of inviting supporting players like dark cherry, caramel, currant, raisin and fruitcake. The list goes on and on. There is a mild to moderate earthy hop aroma and a touch of spiciness.

The flavor is every bit as fun and complex. It starts with a touch of dark malt that quickly surrenders to the bitterness of strong coffee and unsweetened chocolate. Hop flavor and bitterness is substantial and the swallow is warming and complex. The finish is a nice lingering melange of toasty maltiness, dark Christmas fruits, and a substantial lingering bitterness from both the hops and the roast malt.

The mouthfeel is full and coating, with a moderate carbonation level that helps to counter the body a bit. There is some alcohol warming, but it is not harsh.

A classic example of the style. Well made. This is big and bold and complex, but balanced.

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

You mean you haven't tried this yet? Shame on you.

Pours black as night. Not quite as motor oil-ish as, say, Victory Storm King, but you won't find much darker than this. Held up to light, I see no ruby on the edges of the glass. Just black.

I like this beer too much at this point to take time to smell it. Sorry.

Taste - Burnt chocolate. Hey, I don't have the most developed palette, but dang. I taste dark chocolate. I taste espresso. I taste something burnt...but in a good way. I don't like burnt toast but I sure as hell like whatever is in this brew.

Mouthfeel - ooh so thick and so satisfying.

Drinkability - well, nothing's perfect I guess. This beer is SO good. But the 9% alcohol is evident, no way around it. Two of these in a night and I'm done. I tend to stop at one. No need for more. My mouth thinks I just smoked a cigar. Except in the morning, it won't still feel icky.

On the positive side, it keeps me from drinking too much. There is enough enjoyment in one bottle of Old Rasputin to last an hour.

An exceptional beer.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint.

A: Perfectly black with a big latte head.

S: Dark roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Its just loaded with big malt flavour and personality.

T: Follows the nose to a tee. Chocolate, coffee, big malt profiles and heavy booze.

D: Its a big beer and doesn't attempt to hide it. Its well balanced, but the alcohol is definitely there.

Overall: An excellent beer. Tasty and sweet, with a huge coffee and chocolate presence. This is a timeless classic and being amazingly cheap and available, there is no reason not to drink this. Recommended!

Photo of Kinsman
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surprised to see that I had no review listed for Old Raspy, so here we go.

Really, an impressive looking stout with a perfectly black body. Crowned with a sticky coffee-with-cream colored head, about 3 fingers thick to start. Retention wasn't as much as I would have liked, but it still provided plenty of foamy stickiness and lace.

Aroma begins with a slightly grainy roasted aroma before sweeter chocolate scents come in. Plenty of coffee aromas to go along with this too.

Old Raspy is not as chocolate as some stouts but not as coffee flavored as some either. It seems to sit somewhere perfectly in between with a great balance of sweet, bitter, and roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy and a bit chewy. Overall, this stout is one of the best widely available stouts, and you don't have to wait in line at 3am just to give it a try. Great everyday drinker.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,802 ratings.