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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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BA SCORE
96
world-class

10,523 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,523
Reviews: 3,440
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 380
Gots: 1,702 | FT: 47
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 (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,523 | Reviews: 3,440 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of semibaked
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour into a curved pint glass

A - It is a RIS so of course it pours black duh! It produces about a couple of inches of light airy foam from an aggressive pour into the glass.

S - Roasted malt sweetness, molasses, weak coffee, and vanilla.

T - First thing I notice is the hop bitterness which I didn't expect but it is good, some dark chocolate and light caramel.

M - Pretty much like coffee nothing great at all.

D - Goes down easy especially for a RIS, but there are alot better choices in the style than this, but it is a good price for the quality.

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

A - Deep brown with a two finger fluffy,light brown head. The head stays two fingers for the 15 minutes I didn't touch the beer. Once I started imbibing the head slowly receded leaving lacing down the side of the glass and on the surface of the beer. Rarely do I give a 5 in appearance and this one really deserves it

S - roasted malt without pretention. Alcohol hides in the background. Can't sit here and talk about the subtle chocolates, coffees, and dark fruits which it fine by me. Sometimes beer is beer.

T/M - roasted malt with a chewy feel and slight alcohol heat a the finish. Smokiness throughout the beer. Not overly sweet which is nice for a RIS.

D - I kinda wish it were a lower ABV that way I could have a few more without worrying about my liver. Great beer.

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

Appearance: A deep, inky black body that allows no light whatsoever to pass through. Up top, two fingers of tan head that fade slowly and leaves great lacing on the way down.

Aroma: Rich and roasty malt, bittersweet chocolate, black coffee, dark fruit, a splash of citrusy hops, and a good dose of alcohol.

Flavor: As the aroma promised, this has a huge malt body. The malt features lots of chocolaty, deep-roasted, smoky, and dark fruit notes. Accompanying the malt are citrusy, juicy, and mildly bitter hops that keep everything balanced rather well. Bittersweet chocolate and bitter hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A velvety medium-full body with smooth medium-bodied carbonation and some moderate warmth from the alcohol. Dries nicely in the finish.

Drinkability: Drinks a little faster than many Imperial Stouts, though still a bit of a sipper.

Verdict: Old Rasputin may not be the biggest Russian Imperial Stout out there, but it's solid, balanced well, very drinkable, and thoroughly enjoyable. While I usually don't mention price, it's well-worth mentioning that this is a terrific value.

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

Poured from 12 oz. bottle

Look: jet black

Smell: dark chocolate, coffee, hint of caramel

Taste: Amazing, that is what a Russian Imp Stout should taste like. Chocate and coffee mixed with dark fruit, sweeter finish.

Mouthful: Powerful with a slight booziness, but not distracting.

Drinkability: Oh man, I like to start a nice winter night with one, but to have more than 2 would push it.

Again, just a great RIS not to be missed.

Photo of kifn2
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - some brownish tints on the edges but opaque in the middle. It has a surprisingly large tan head that sustains well. This is not common in the style, but not unpleasant at all. The labelling is beautiful in my humble opinion.

s - it smells just as an RIS should. Toasty with hints of dark fruits. The scents volatize quickly.

t - Most RIS's lack a nutty quality. This beer is exceptional in that it captures it. The roasted flavor is wonderful with all of the requisite coffee and chocolate flavors. Another exceptional quality is that they've managed to eliminate any burnt flavor and still keep all of the good dark malt character. There is some slight bitterness from the roasted malt, but it is there as a complement to the overall taste. It's not a "bad" bitterness, for what it's worth.

m - tongue coating and full bodied. Mild carbonation, yet it's not "sticky"

d - appropriate for style.

Overall, an exceptional beer and an outstanding example of the style. Technically, this beer is brewed with the utmost tender loving care.

Photo of soco7tyx7
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with 1 finger tan head. leaves some nice lacing throughout
S - Espresso, raisin and other dark fruits, sweet alcohol
T - Espresso, raisin, bitter chocolate finish, very mild alcohol
M - Medium body, creamy feeling with a smooth finish
D - A great RIS. good to sip on, but wouldn't want to drink more than one or two in a session

Photo of irishking1977
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Menacing, black liquid that forms a rather large tan head. Once the head dissipates, it leaves moderate lacing along the glass.

S: The aroma of bitter chocolate, malt and somewhere in the background some alcohol.

T: For such a study looking brew, this one is not as heavy as it might seem. Robust malts and bitter chocolates dominate the taste, along with a minor alcohol bite at the end. Warming, and very drinkable.

M: A bit chalky, and somewhat warming in that alcohol bite, but just mildly. Stout mouthfeel for a stout.

D: Bold and hardy brew that defies it's own name by being a highly drinkable stout. Putting back three or four of these would not be a problem, especially in the colder winter months.

Photo of JoePat
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a pitch black with a DARK brown head that causes me to stop pouring half way through so it it fits in the glass.
I smell choclate and coffee from the roasted malts.
It tastes like bitter chocolate and some coffee too. This beer is an exelent example of a stout.
Do to it being sucha great stout the drinkability suffers a little but it makes up for it with flavor and it creamy mouth feel.

Photo of oceanman
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unknown amount of time in the cellar. Maybe a year? Could be more.

Dark body, tan head with a mean tint of red.

Burst of fruits, marshmallow, and chocolate. Undertones of coffee, brown sugar. Very impressive.

Deep dark roasty flavor. Just like espresso on the finish. Alcohol politely announces its presence. Definitely has some bite to it.

A beer to chew on, but not in the softest way. Slightly grating, but not quite bitter. Nice low to moderate carbonation.

Always a classic, but seems like age hasn't helped it (besides the nose). Now I need a fresh one.

Photo of NewGeneric
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My Old Faithful, amazing it's taken me this long to review it.
Not sure how old the bottle is, I've had it for close to a year.
Poured into my Delirium tremens tulip.

A: Pours pitch black with no visible light coming through. Whatsoever. Filled up with thin, quickly-fading head that leaves a thorough layer of lacing across the glass.

S: Chocolate! Wow, I know it's been a while since I've had a Raspy, but I don't ever remember smelling this much chocolately goodness! Almost like a creamy, milk chocolate, that leaves some subtle roasty scents as it fades. Mmm...

T: Yum. Taste abounds with flavor everywhere. Nice bitter, dark chocolate up front, following by mild coffee, dark fruits (plums, cherries, etc.), and huge roasted barley. Everything blends so well, each flavor just complementing the next. Grand.

M: This beer is incredibly smooth, the only issue is that it is just ever so slightly off on each degree. It could stand a hint more body, a hint less carbonation, and a hint less bitterness. But just a hint. Almost perfect.

D: Each sip leaves me craving more. Period. End of story.

Photo of manbrognig74
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Very black, motor oil consistency. Thin tan head disappears quickly. Super attractive lacing. The lacing matched me drink for drink.

S-Slight cholate smell, slighlty creamy smell, slightttly.

T-This was slightly aged. Initial taste of chocolate with a slight bitterness. Alcohol hits slightly on the nose after it goes down. Almost a vanilla extract taste. Leaves a great after taste, still tasting the beer after it was drank. More and more alcohol hit towards the final three or so drinks.

MF- Thick and creamy like your drinking a melted milk shake almost. About as enjoyable as a R.I.S should be in feel.

D- Very drinkable... Could take down a few of these bottles possibly all four before it filled me up. Overall a veryyy good brew and highly recommended.

Photo of keanex
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought this at a local Canals while sampling new beers. I've heard good things so I figured I'd check it out.

This is beautiful looking beer, black with a thick tan head that gets very uneven at the top, rather bumpy. The head is strong, lasts a decent time, doesn't disappear like some beers. Grabs to the side of my pint glass.

Smell was actually rather weak, but a slight chocolate scent, very pleasant. The taste is rather brilliant, this is a very balanced beer with little alcohol taste, especially for a 9% beer. Slight chocolate flavor to it, much like the scent. Feels great in the mouth, slightly thick and lingers for a bit. This beer is highly drinkable, I could gladly enjoy two or more.

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

Another beauty on tap at House of 1,000 Beers in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a shaker: a thick black, no highlights I noticed. Thin but foamy tan head, soft gauzy lacing.

Smells of dark chocolate & roast coffee, mild booze, with a marshmellow sweetness backing it up.

Taste is rich & complex: smooth chocolate & caramel up front, quickly turns roasted & slightly bitter, then rounds out & become sweet & creamy like chocolate meringues. Alcohol brings some heat. Ends up very toasty & even in the aftertaste -- full of flavor without wearing out the tastebuds.

Mouthfeel is smooth & creamy, full-bodied. Some heat & bite from the booze.

This is a great beer, but powerful. Consume with caution. I thoroughly enjoyed this, but one is satisfying.

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

Pours like I am changing my oil but hey, it is an imperial stout. Appearance: extremely dark!
Smell: smells good to me
Taste: Definitely a stout, taste some chocolate hints and malt
Mouthfeel: Fells fine!
Drinkability: The first one goes down good but at 9% ABV I wouldn't recommend more than two at a sitting.

North Coast has done a good job with this, I will definitely be hunting for this again.

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

Appearance: A finger of dark tan head on top of a beautiful ebony beer. Lacing is left behind and the head dissipates slowly.

Smell: Big roasty aroma with malt sweetness in the background. A bit of coffee aroma and some chocolate as well. There is a tiny bit of dark fruit, like raisin apparent.

Taste: The flavor is very rounded and well mixed. There is a bitter roastyness to the finish, but through there is almost a oatmeal stout like flavor. The sweet malt is really balanced by the roast bitterness and there is a certain dark chocolate flavor to the beer. There is a bit of caramel flavor, which plays nicely with the chocolate, forming a coffee like flavor. Really enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a good amount of carbonation and a big full body. There is a certain smooth, silky feeling to the beer. It is definietly a sipper.

Drinkability: This beer is rather interesting. It has the mouthfeel of a huge killer RIS, but at 9% abv has a lower abv than quite a few examples of the style. I am not saying that it is sessionable by any means, but it is really nice to be able to not have to resort to a beer above 10% if I want an RIS.

This is a relaxing sipper that can just be enjoyed, while providing the complexity need for you to stay hooked.

Photo of 4000qtrap
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: Draft, 25cl

Smell: Chocolate and coffee that comes off as very lively rather than dark and somber. Toasted grains are prominent, rather than being too burnt or roasty which is unique. Also some orange oil essence and slight tobacco notes. Raisin appears as it warms and some overripe, washed rind cheese.

Taste: Incredibly intense flavors. Overall pretty dry with burnt espresso bean characteristics. 4 flavor stages . At first its very smooth and creamy like many stouts. Then the flavor accelerates becoming quite bitter and highly reminiscent of eating lightly dark chocolate malt dipped espresso beans. There are some caramelized malt notes in there too that balance nicely. Then there is a brief wave of one of the best coffee flavors in a beer I've ever had. This then progresses to an even more bitter but also very dry stage with pleasantly bitter, roasty caramelized malt profile that is delightful and intense. Lingers forever.

Notes: This beer is driven by dry espresso flavors that are simply delicious. However its not too dry so as to hurt drinkability. The roast flavors, bitterness, and sweetness all work to enhance one another and is very delicious.

Photo of ralree
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Completely black, dark brown head, great retention and lacing is decent.

S: Sweet chocolate, very rich toasted malt, some dark fruit in the background, raisins, vanilla. This one smells great.

T: Very nice smoky, toasty flavor with some nice hops. Alcohol not as noticeable as I thought it would be. After swallowing, tastes like a campfire. A bit fruity and sweet on the front-end, which is nice. Flavor stays with you for a while.

M: Thick and creamy. Carbonation slightly above average, but fine. Slightly astringent. Heavy body.

D: Alcohol starts to kick in quick with the Imperial, as it should. Goes down very easy for the style.

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

After drinking the XII version a while back, picking this up was a no-brainer - especially as I found it at $9.95 for a four-pack in a Victoria government liquor store (sometimes the darnedest beers turn up in BC).

This is my third bottle. Anxious about reports of a non-existent head, my first bottled was poured from 6 inches with vigorous swirling, and I ended up with the stout equivalent of an Ibiza Foam Party. This third bottle was poured on the cautious side of usual, but still produced a thick three inches of head that diminished to half a finger that stayed throughout. Lacing is thick and permanent, and it looks beautiful for it.

This smells lighter than many imperial stouts (Peche Mortel and XII are my benchmarks, however, and they are very robust) and yeast is prominent. As well as familiar burned tones, there's a deep woody odor reminiscent of an old school desk.

It's more effervescent than other RIS I've had, which explains the head. It really blooms in the mouth -- which is a bit too much at first, but it settles down after a few sips. The taste is sensational. It is very bitter, but more charcoal than hops. It avoids the sweetness many RIS ride upon, delivering 75% cocoa chocolate, powerful molasses, and baking-soda astringency.

The beer is far less complex than the XII, which makes me reflect on how beautiful that beer really was. But at this price, this is a sensational RIS that makes no mistakes. I will buy a lot of this, especially as Peche Mortel is all gone and Brooklyn Brewery Chocolate Imperial Stout is harder to come by in BC recently...

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

I don't know what took me so long to try this brew once I started exploring RIS. Could it have been the 12 oz. bottles? I think every other RIS I had previous to Old Rasputin was a bomber or, in a few cases, a special release like The Abyss, etc. Could I have been looking down my nose at that 4-pack of Old Rasputin tucked in with the IPAs, pale ales, and the like and thought, "It's just some run-of-the-mill beer"? If I was thinking this, shame on me.

It poured dark and oily with a nice chocolatey looking head. I instinctively let it warm just a bit after taking a bottle from the refrigerator. It smelled like molasses with just the hint of cloves. It tasted like milk chocolate, tobacco, and dried fruits. With the smell and first sip, I expected a syrupy mouthfeel. I was wrong --- damned brain. It had a medium body with just the right amount of carbonation.

Is there alcohol in this RIS? Couldn't taste it at all. I drank 3 of them right off. Felt the effects in the morning. Ouch.

Photo of Iloverasputin
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is my first review here, and I am a relative beer novice (I used to prefer wine). That was until I had my first taste of Old Rasputin. This beer has introduced me to the wonderful complexity and taste of craft beers.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, it appears pitch black. A wonderful, toffee colored head develops about two finger widths thick, and dissipates into a creamy top that lingers to the last drop.

Smells of chocolate and malt. Taste is much of the same with a slight hazelnutty, biscutty taste in there as well. Not much in the way of hops, but I prefer the malt taste anyway.

Mouthfeel is medium, definitely not thin, but not syrupy either. Just right imo. You don't really notice the alcohol so much in the taste, but it sneaks up on you a little bit and leaves you with a nice warm relaxed feeling.

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

appears black - really black with a beautiful thick tan head mmm

aroma is nutty hazelnuts?, roasty - coffee, choc, dark fruits - cherry, vanilla, plum, deliciousss.

tastes like a stellar stout - smooth and thick with layers of all of what was mentioned above - smooth dark fruitiness that is slowly overpowered by the dark roasted malts - coffee, toffee, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, with a deliciously bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is thick and slightly sweet with a resinous and bitter finish

Overall this is one of my favorite stouts and probably my favorite stout that is released year round. mmmm

Photo of gloriousglo2
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If the Czarina had been drinkin' Old Raspy instead of listening to his quacky advice on Hematology, history would have been much different. Poured into my Great Lakes BC pint glass, and allowed to sit for about 10 minutes to warm up. Zippo head, and black. Smells like 2 day old coffee grounds, which personally, I find appealling. Very smooth, no aftertaste, faint burnt something-or-other taste. Paid about $44 for a case.

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

Old Rasputin. I bought it for the title and the bottle and luckily the beer itself didn't disapoint. It's a traditional stout and pours super dark with a dark brown head. Smell was malty and strong and taste matched the smell perfectly. It's one of those beers that tastes pretty familiar, but it's just done very well and drinks super clean and super smooth. Unlike most stouts, this one didn't annoyingly linger in my mouth after swallowed. Some of these beers will do that and basically "film" in your mouth for a bit. This one didn't. If you like a stout, this one might be as good and consistant a stout as I've ever tried. Great beer. OLD RASPY!
*sidenote: i didn't catch much of a "dark fruit" or really much of anything but that traditional tofee malt taste. Maybe in the backend of the taste there was just a hint, but certainly not much

Photo of Pabs311
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark as night, light can't get through this it's so dark. tick, creamy creamed coffee head. Sits for about a minute or two and leaves some great lacing on the glass.

S- Coffee, toffee, dark berry fruits & some chocolate are all there. not an overpowering nose, but very pleasing. as the beer warms, it changes from one to another. complex and gives u new things every time take a smell.

T- taste has everything that the nose has. very complex and layered. the layers peel back as the beer warms. there's a little bit of bitter hoppyness in the finish. overall well balanced beer.

M/D- Very moutfilling. coats ur palate very well and is smooth finishing in comparison to some RI's i've had. All around great beer.

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

12 oz btl poured into tasting glass. Maybe one of my favorite bottle labels of all time.

Somehow I've managed to avoid this beer until now. Not sure how it happened, but I picked up a 4pak to ensure that I right this wrong.

A: Black. No light appears to be getting through this one. Beautiful mocha head with a tight bead comes from a moderately forceful pour. Head reduced to clinging lace after a minute or so. Great looking beer.

S: Dark fruit. Slightly boozy. I'm not picking up much, but this beer is still a bit cold. As the beer warms the raisiny scents yield to lighter, sweeter fruits. Candied apple and pear make an appearance.

T: Big & bold. Exactly what one would expect given the look and smell of this beer. So much flavor that its difficult to isolate specifics...very complex. Wonderful black coffee bitterness in the finish.

M: Poorly executed RIS's have a thin, spirit-like feel...Old Raspy does not. Fulfilling. Carbonation is spot on. Each sip begs for another.

D: This is a big beer, but I think it drinks exactly as it should. Alcohol isn't hidden, but it doesn't feel hotter than it should, either.

Great representation of the style. A classic that is oft overlooked b/c of the hype surrounding so many others in this class. When it comes to RIS, Raspy is a beer by which others should be measured.

Given the availability and price, there is no reason not to have some of this in your fridge. I can't believe it took me so long to try this beer.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,523 ratings.