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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,910 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,910
Reviews: 3,362
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 302
Gots: 1,328 | FT: 43
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,910 | Reviews: 3,362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RickKrumenacker
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black as night. One-finger, chocolate milk colored head. Great lacing throughout the beer.

S: Initially boozy. Dark chocolate and intense roasted coffee as it warms. I think that I also picked up some molassas.

T: Strong dark coffee dominates the flavor, but it doesn't mask the alcohol. A little bitter.

M: Tighter carbonation than expected. Warming on the back of the throat. A little thinner than I expected.

D: Stong and intense flavors mean that you will spend a little bit of time finishing this one. Very good.

RickKrumenacker, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a tan head that has a wonderful oil layer on top. Really nice looking brew. The smell is even better, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. The taste continues the trip to Chocolate town with hints of coffee and caramel to boot. This is an intense beer, you really take your time with it and one is probably plenty, but I really enjoyed it. I've never been a stout guy, but this is a couple in a row that I've enjoyed. I would definetly have this beer again, it would be a great dessert after a meal.

SwiftyMcBeer, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of TMB0424
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into snifter.

Pours an complete pitch black body. Black as night. Medium sized, loose, creamy coffee colored head quickly dissipates into fine outer ring. What is left of the head is only now a murky, pond-scum (but a strangely delicious looking pond-scum!). Pretty good amount of carbonation wisps up to meet the diminished head. Dense, thick lacing along my glass. Damn good looking.

Aroma of freshly brewed roasted coffee... perhaps even expresso. A light scent of ale-like fruity yeast complimented by a subtle touch of melted dark chocolate. Very rich smelling. Smokey, roasted malts as well. A light, pleasant splash of grassy, earthy hops is lurking somewhere in the background of this beastly brew as well. I'm also getting the spicy warmth of the alcohol. Exceptionally well smelling.

Taste is incredible. So many flavors just attack your palate. Rich, smooth dark chocolates blended perfectly with a bitter splash of expresso. And right in the middle of all that is a dash of fruity sweetness... but so delicate and well-placed. Fresh, ripened fruits. Plums are coming to mind. The smokey malts in the aroma are in the taste as well. The finish is refreshingly bittersweet, with a wave of alcohol warmth. Outstanding.

Mouthfeel is indescribably creamy. Talk about thick... talk about chewy. But creamy as all hell. Full bodied. The term bittersweet is used a lot... but this is the epitome of bittersweet. Unreal.

Drinkability is exceptional. The alcohol warmth and kick at the finish designates this a sipper - but a damn good sipper at that. The best Russian Imperial I've had. This is a must try for any stout lover. It's just perfectly balanced, perfectly brewed, just perfect.

TMB0424, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of thegodfather2701
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into a snifter and it had a thick tan head. It smells strong of espresso and dark chocolate. It tastes just like it smells, strong espresso and dark chocolate. There is a hint of alcohol as it warms the back of the throat. This beer is thick and creamy almost like a meal in of itself. One of the most robust stouts I have tried to date.

thegodfather2701, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of damienblack
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick and black, your standard RIS appearance with a consistency like chocolate syrup. Nice little tan head with good retention. Has that cocoa powder smell, with the idea that "you are about to get your ass whooped by a huge stout." We'll see if that holds true.

First impression: someone robbed a tin of 90% cocoa powder and poured it in here. It's like the superconcentrated intense chocolate experience of Weyerbacher XIII, except I don't have to choke it down. A little hop presence to balance out the chocolate/coffee, and that's it. Nice and coating without being overly cloying, and no crappy aftertaste to speak of, which is quite a feat when you consider the ABV and intense flavors. A great sessionable RIS.

damienblack, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of sanjosey19
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh so smooth. Pours nice and thick with a caramel colored head that dissipates fast. Smells like you would expect it to, roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. Mouthfeel is great, so nice and smooth, not too carbonated. Some alcohol taste present, but still very drinkable. Overall, this tastes like a very good RIS, but the quality lies in how well is drinks. One of my favorites. I got to go to the brewery in Fort Bragg CA, and had four of these with dinner...amazing.

sanjosey19, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of oakbluff
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. Pours ebony black, minimal beige head and lacing. Nose- strong anise, slight roast. Taste- dry dark roast, some burnt malt, anise and moderate bittering hops which really show in the finish. Relatively light bodied for style, moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good given light body and lack of hotness. Nice RIS

oakbluff, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of mattffrost
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into glass

Appearance Beer is a black cloudy color. Head is a nice tan color. Head lingers on for quite awhile. I dont see a lot of carbonation bubbles through glass not sure if the beer is to dark to see these or there are just not a lot of bubbles.

Smell Nice chocolate aroma is the first smell I get. A hint of coffee is also present.

Taste A chocolate taste is present. Sweet malt is also tasted. Finishes a little bitter. Very smooth beer that is mild as well. Does not taste like a 9.00% but I know it is.

Mouthful Ultra low carbonation, a very smooth beer.

Drikability For a Russian stout goes down pretty good. A little to rich to drink to fast, must be sipped, a very nice beer.

mattffrost, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of Wackyfoot
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the darkest pours I've ever seen, thick and heavy with a medium brown head. Massive hits of coffee beans and bitter chocolate with just a slight hint of the alcohol buried beneath it all. How I miss my youthful days when I used to regularly drink four of these a night. Probably the most pleasant drunk I've ever had. Your beer drinking life is not complete if you've never had this one. Also Rasputin's beard is a hero to mine, just saying.

Wackyfoot, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of Reagan1984
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick brown head with excellent retention. Virtually black beer.
Thick walls of lacing.

Aroma is heavenly. Smells a bit like Kaluha. Some deep dark coffee, a bit of alcohol. There is also some sweetness that almost makes me think of coffee syrup. (From Rhode Island)

Strong roasted grains up front. You get a real sense of this and its just shy of burnt. Like a deep espresso. Then some alcohol comes in to warm your heart. Is the finish big bitter hops or dark roasted malts? I think its both. The sweetness is there and enough to balance the dark notes.

Its almost creamy and has a thick body. Huge mouth feel.
I enjoy splitting a bottle with my wife.

Very good.

Note, had this on nitro-tap at Deep Ellum last week. It was even better in that format.

Reagan1984, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of rgrholmes168
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured like every stout should. I got a nice two finger head that never fully went away. What part left the glass had a nice touch of lace down the side.

The color was black and there was no carbonation to be seen. The dark roasted barley and the chocolate came through the beer immediately. A very nice aroma to this beer. The smell definitely had me looking forward to tasting this beer.

Very thick fully bodied beer, that had a touch of bitterness coming right through. The smokey, dark taste was really impressive. I thought that I got some coffee flavor breaking through the beer, which made for a nice aftertaste.

rgrholmes168, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of Nipitato
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: The beer slides into the glass. Jet black. Dark tan head with no retention. This beer has serious legs.

S: Espresso and dark chocolate malt aromas waft out of my snifter. Very rich and boozy.

T: Dark chocolate malt flavor. A bolt of hob bitterness strikes at the middle and carries through and lingers. Coffee and espresso. Roasted flavor is restrained not harsh. Very complex and layered with plenty of booze.

MF: Thick and silky smooth. Dry finish. Well attenuated.

D, notes: Not sure I waited so long to try this classic. Very good. Despite its weight and full taste an easy to sip beer that does not sit in the gut.

Nipitato, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of wheelinshirt
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz stubby brown bottle from Abe's in Bethlehem. Cost me $2.50 which I think is a real steal.

Pours pitch black with a big, cascading ,cocoa colored head. Retention is great and leaves a bunch of lacing down the side of the glass. Amazing looking.

Smell is rich and full of dark roasted malts and booze. Very nice but not complex enough to get a 5. I think my sense of smell is fairly weak, though.

Tastes of rich roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, a nice boozy kick. This is amazing. There really isn't anything here that you wouldn't expect or wouldn't want. Basically a perfect RIS.

Mouthfeel is full, rich, creamy. The foam was thick, too. It was like eating stout ice cream.

Drinkabilty is awesome. This is a big beer (9%) and it is really big on taste, but I could easily drink a couple in a night. The hardest part was stopping myself from getting too tipsy and waking up with a hangover. Highly recommended. You could easily spend double or triple what you would on this just to get a beer of lesser quality. One of the best beers I have ever had.

wheelinshirt, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of mugglesandhops
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter on Christmas Eve. Poured a Very dark, opaque black with a thin tan head that faded fast but comes back strong with a swirl of the glass. smells of bitter chocolate, some prunes maybe, and a hint of caramel. Tastes of some bitter chocolate as well. very drinkable for a RIS. mouthfeel is fizzy rather than thick and creamy like other RIS I have had.

mugglesandhops, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/5/08. Bottle. Pours black with a small light tan head. Aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, cookie dough, caramel, nougat, and truffles. Wow. Flavor of roast, coffee, and bitter hops. Sweet roasted malt emerges as the beer warms. A bit heavy (alcohol-wise). Good impy!
8/4/8/4/15 (3.9/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of trafordboy
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours with an inch and a half of frothy, billowy tan head. Retention is pretty good- halfway through I've still got a nice thin layer which leaves impressive and sticky lace. As for color: it's black. What else is there to say?

Smells of roasted malts and booze. Hints of smoke, chocolate, and coffee.

Tastes of darkly roasted malts, dark coffee (sumatran, e.g.), with a perfectly complimenting sweet side to it.

A bit more carbonated than I would like (and the bottle more so than on tap, if I remember correctly). Still pretty smooth, though.

Goes down easy for an RIS. Excellent beer.

trafordboy, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of brewcrew76
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Thick black with a creamy brown and nice rings of lace left behind.

S - Semisweet chocolate, roasted malts, hints of coffee and licorice.

T - Semisweet chocolate, slightly bitter coffee and roasted malts.

M - Smooth and creamy. Well carbonated that makes it a touch fizzy at times.

D - This is a nice easy drinking RIS versus the big chewey meals in a bottle. Simple but very nice.

brewcrew76, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of Craboo
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick black with a creamy brown head. Aroma of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate.

Carbonation is a bit heavy, breaking up what would have been a nicely silky mouthfeel.

First taste brings burnt malt, followed by cocoa powder, finishing with an alcohol warming raisin flavor and delicious hop bitterness that seems to hang on to my tongue like a pro rodeo bucking bronc rider (It's a nice ride!).

This is North Coast Brewing's signature beer!

Craboo, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of Adamthome1
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My, oh my. Needless to say I was thrilled when I saw that my grocer was carrying a Russian Imperial Stout. This is my first. I love stouts and porter's but where I live the selection is not great.

This beer pours a great head (my myspace picture is a fresh pour into a snifter glass). The aroma is respectable, the taste is dominated by dark chocolate, it's a pretty sweet beer. It reminds me of Rogue's Chocoloate Stout but is not quite as complex and bites harder than the Rogue Choc. Stout. However, it does not fee like 9% alcohol that is for sure.

This is one of my new favorites, my only request would be a little more bitterness or a second malt flavor to jump out other than just the dark chocolate. As is it is very drinkable and worth the price.

Adamthome1, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of Soneast
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours a pitch-black color. The head was quite explosive, even with a fairly gentle pour I ended up with about a 3 finger, light brown colored head. Had to wait for the head to die down a bit to finish pouring the rest of the bottle. Just thick and creamy, leaving large pillows of bubbles on the glass as I drink the beer. By the end of my beer the entire glass was just coated with the brown colored head.

A thick, earthy roasted malt aroma up front. A sort of resinous, dark chocolate aroma in the background.

A burnt/bittered chocolate flavor initially. Sweet, roasted malts throughout and a very nice balanced bitter hop flavor that ends with a delectable sweetness on the palate. I'll be frank, this tastes AWESOME! Well balanced and it has a complexity that I trust is only going to improve with age.

This beer has a thick, filling character. The carbonation is very well balanced with the heaviness of the beer. This just tastes so good and I love the aftertaste. Another great stout to compliment the cold, snowy weather we've been contending with in central Wisconsin for the past few weeks. This is 9% ABV? Coulda fooled me, cause you sure can't taste it. It's a sipper, for sure, but something that I could sip on all day.

*EDIT 12/25/09*
Add a year to this beer....and holy crap is it amazing. I thought it was good before. Now...it may very well be my favorite stout. Just delicious! Screw Rasputin XII, it doesn't get much better than this. And when you consider this beer currently has 2044 reviews and still retains it's A grade, that really says something. Considering it's deliciousness and availability...this is a world class beer, without a doubt.

Soneast, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of dgriffis
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer by name alone sounds very ominous, however I think it is one the best stouts available. This beer is definitely not for the weak, or for people who can't appreciate the style. This beer starts with a rich molasses pour, that is as black as black can get; great cascade into the dark tan/ light brown head. The smell is of rich black roasted malts, with hints of rye and oats. I know each person is different, some prefer to sip this beer; but I can't help but almost chug it, if that says anything about the drinkability. If you haven't had this beer you owe it to yourself to pick up a four pack, chill to proper temperature and enjoy!

dgriffis, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of kevd193213
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours black with a chocolate head. Decent carbonation. Aroma is of roasted malt, chocolate, syrup, and hops. Taste of hops, with a heavy roasted malt backbone. Notes of chocolate, dark fruits, syrup, and alcohol. Very dry finish, with a nice hop bitterness. Surprisingly medium mouthfeel, I was expecting something to chew on but exceptionally drinkable.

kevd193213, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of saintwarrick
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a light tannish brown head, it's thick but not as opaque or as thick as some others from this style. Aroma has the usual chocolate and brownie characteristics, but it doesn't overwhelm as a lemony citric aroma is also present from the hops. Taste hits like fudge cake and dark chocolate, coating the tongue before the citrus from the hops hits, a unique taste I find for this style, at least in my experience. Finishes dark and bitter with an undercurrent of sweetness like a nugget of dark chocolate.

Mmmm, very tasty and worthy of its reputation, but i would still put Brooklyn BCS and Ted Fidy in front of this particular brew.

saintwarrick, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of ritzkiss
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark with a 1/2 inch head. Thick aroma with molasses, toffee, toast, hops, hints of chocolate all coming out. First taste is like drifting into heaven. Sweet but not too much so, complex like the best women, dark like a starless night. Warning: Makes one wax poetic.

Medium finish, good lacing. Has 9% but is one of those beers that'll sweet talk you, only to steal your wallet later.

One of these bad boys usually satisfies but could easily be a 'session' sipper for the hardy. Great with chocolate, by a fire, or under the stars. Honestly, one of the best beers I've had. Dark and delicious.

ritzkiss, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of yesyouam
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin is a black beer with an amber hue with a light brown whipped head. The retention and lacing are great. The aroma is of dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, resiny wood, mint and licorice. It is full bodied, soft and sparkling and leaves the tongue dry. The initial flavor is like salmiakki, followed by the roasty elements. It fades to a spicy alcoholic warmth. This is a classic, probably the first Imperial Stout I ever had, about 7 or 8 years ago.
(rated Aug 7, 2007)

yesyouam, Dec 17, 2008
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,910 ratings.