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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.

9,648 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,648
Reviews: 3,349
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 288
Gots: 1,216 | FT: 38
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: 9,648 | Reviews: 3,349 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Strix
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%

Black with barely dark ruby edges and a huge head that lasts forever.

Smells of roasted flavors and chocolate.

Roasted flavors dominate this, with the bitterness of very dark chocolate and hops and a bit of alcohol. Long-lasting bitter aftertaste is nice.

Feel is nice and smooth. Perhaps a little less dense than I expect in a RIS.

Definitely a nice one. It could stand to have the bitterness dialed back a bit to let some of the malt shine through, but I can't complain too much.

Strix, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%

Thick, coffee ice cream-colored head that sticks around for a while. Espresso-dark and thick - coats the mug nicely. Mild, dry aroma with toasted-burnt but pleasant crispy malt. Taste is very dry with slight bitterness on the palate. Deep, dark roasted backbone that's very warming to the senses. Strong espresso roast tones. Slight metallic aftertaste (packaging?). No overly alcoholic flavor - this is very well balanced. This stuff coats the mouth - even though it's a little dry and bitter at times it's very thick and soothing. Very well-made to enjoy in moderation.

IBUnit63, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of TYE
4.47/5  rDev +4%

A - Wow! Massive head!! Really over poured this one easily. Thick brown foam head like malt. Looks like a sponge from the side. Good retention and sticks on glass. Looks like liquid chocolate and very inviting. Very black.
S - Smells like scorched dark chocolate, roasted malt and liquor. Very strong aroma.
T - Holy $*^! - very full flavor. Mild bitterness at back of tongue. Slightly sour on the sides. Roasted goodness like drinking a fired almond.
M - Lightly carbonated. Well balanced. A little bite on the back of the tongue. Feels slightly heavy.
D - I LOVE THIS BEER! So much character!! This is my first Imperial Stout, and I have to be honest, I was a little scared. The aroma almost made my knees shake. BUT, this is very drinkable and I'm enjoying every drop. I'll be picking up a sixer next time.

TYE, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of BMan1113VR
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

A little bit disappointed by this one, good beer, but I find the reputation to be better than the actual product. Pours the standard Imperial black, with a large creamy head and excellent lacing (could see every sip taken). Aroma is strong malts with some light piney hops and even a bit of clove. Taste is of bitter coffee grounds. It has an exceptionally long after taste, with a slightly warming alcoholic finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and the carbonation is flat. As for the super stouts I feel that this is a good product, but nothing compared to Great Divide's Yeti. Still good, and that is coming from a non-Stout drinker.

BMan1113VR, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of JEdmund
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Black like espresso with a quickly rising head. The bubbles come up quickly and are tiny, giving the head a lighter body that dissipated a little quicker (or maybe I just drank it off because the glass was so full). I could see lots of little fizz bubbles coming up to the head, and those are certainly felt when drinking it.

Malt, roasted/toasty, a little spicy, some dried/candied fruit, coffee; not overly big like other imperials (Yeti)

Taste & Mouthfeel
So impressive from the first sip - it goes down so nicely it just begs to be drank quickly. It feels really fizzy in mouth, but not like it's going to turn to foam either (it's hard to explain, but a good quality). There's a big upfront flavor of roasted malts, followed by dark chocolate, finishing with an espresso and hop bitterness, and finally, the aftertaste is even more of chocolate and some coffee. It has a peppery quality to it, although it doesn't sting at all unpleasantly. The whole thing is so pleasantly balanced it's unreal. It's almost too smooth to think you're drinking an imperial; however, the flavors are big enough to make you aware.

This is one of the best Russian Imperials I've ever had. I haven't had lots to try from though to be fair, however, it is in my top two, tied with GD's Yeti.


3-Year Tasting - '07 Bottle, cellared December 2007, tasted on February 1, 2011 (during a blizzard!)

Tasted at 55F

Immediately amazed by the strong head that forms and the lively aroma; aroma is still strong with cocoa and coffee. Flavor is still robust, though certainly not to the degree of a fresh bottle. What strikes me of its difference is it seems a bit thinner in body (though still has good carbonation) and the finish has a bit of a metallic edge to it. But the finish isn't off-putting; in fact, it has a fairly assertive bitterness still. It's leaving thick lace curtains! Getting good chocolate and coffee flavor throughout. Maybe a hint of some woodiness too. I'm pretty impressed with how well this beer has held up and consider it a success.

JEdmund, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of animal69
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

my 4th. or 5th. impy ; pours a cherry-coke black w/ a thick brown head which lasts a good bit leaving plenty of lacing in my nonic ; a strong smell of dark caramel, hops and nuts, some fruitiness detected as well ; a rich, malt filled delight w/ hops abound, a coffee-like note runs through the deep roasted/nutty/toasty malts, pleasingly balanced w/ floral hops, a bit of a date/prune type flavor at the finish ; rich med-full body well balanced w/ the flavor, moderate co2 level, enough to support the head and make the flavor last ; an excellent brew, after this one and storm king, i'm tempted to change my fav. style....

animal69, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of fitzy84
4.13/5  rDev -4%

Drank it at Moan and Dove. It poured out deliciously dark looking and settled to a thin head. Sharp malts were definitely sensed almost with some hops. There was a beautiful sense of roasted flavors overall. The taste had a bitter and creamy attribute to it. It seemed a tiny bit off being so bitter but it was still really enjoyable. The drink was surprisingly thin for a Russian imperial stout. It also had a slightly crisp aftertaste! Overall this was a wonderfully relaxing drink for the evening.

fitzy84, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of cer40
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%

I sampled this brew out of a 12oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. It poured jet black with a thick frothy dark tan head. LOTS of lacing. Smells like a good RIS. Rich, roasty, and toasty. Taste has bittersweet chocolate notes. Lots of hop bitterness in this beer. Alcohol warms on the tail end. mouthfeel is rich and velvety. I would love to have another but try drinkin many at 9% and you may be in trouble.

cer40, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of cfleisher
2.4/5  rDev -44.2%

Never thought I'd say this, but this beer was too highly hopped for me. Nice dark espresso color and low carbonation, smelled of caramel malt, but could barely taste it. I love highly hopped beers (Stone's Ruination is a favorite) but not so much with the stouts and this could have been so much more if the malt could come forward a little.

cfleisher, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of AMo
4.47/5  rDev +4%

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Pours a dark, dense, brownish black. The smell is roasty and strong of malts. Taste is real good, reminiscent of a melted coffee been, chilled, expresso beer. Clearly a roasted malt with a medium dense mouthfeel. Overall this is beautifully balanced between its smoothness and bold taste. This is a great beer, and for what I've seen the greats beers priced at this is a steal.

AMo, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of teamizm
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%

A - Poured a dark, espresso color. Very deep brown with a slight head.

S - Very strong smell of toasted malts. A very apparent alcohol smell as well.

T - Slightly astringent taste when it initially hits your mouth, followed a bitter aftertaste. The taste of alcohol is also very strong. A slight taste of burnt malts comes through as well.

M - Astringent, not overly carbonated, but definitely tingles your tongue.

D - At 9.00% ABV, its more drinkable than World Wide Stout, but still not something you can drink on a daily basis. Good beer to complement a desert, although will likely overpower many meals.

teamizm, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of jobyone
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%

Tasted with 5 other imperial stouts. Pours black with large frothy brown head. The aroma has nice chocolate and coffee with a hint of caramel. The flavor is sweet to start with a bit of bitterness coming after. Nice creamy texture. The finish is a bit short. Easy to drink but not as complex as the best.

jobyone, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of esch
2.73/5  rDev -36.5%

A: Deliciously dark. Ruby slices through when held up to the light. Persistant pillowy cappuccino colored head.

S: Cocoa, wet sugar, tons of toasted malt, definite hop florals.

T: I first get a hint of dried cherries that fades fast into (diet) cola with a harshly bitter aspartame.

M: Medium-moderate body. Medium-moderate carbonation.

D: I really want to like this beer but the chemical flavors are really off-putting. Tasting was comprised of a newly purchased bottle and one from my cellar. I'll have to give this beer a revisit.

esch, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of seaoflament
3.45/5  rDev -19.8%

Thanks Floydster for this beer.

I used to drink this beer more frequently, before I got into trading, and this was one of the beers that got me hooked into this particular style. I haven't had one of these in months. Let's see how it holds up now.

Pours jet black with a huge 3 finger thick head that slowly trickles down. The foam takes a few minutes to "settle" to an inch of foam and leaves behind thick soapy lacing behind.

Smells of citrus hops upfront, I forgot how hoppy this RIS is. Great toasted and bready malts in the background with some notes of toffee and milk chocolate. It smells like a citrus flavored chocolate. There are also some dark fruits hiding in the back along with some grains and a touch of alcohol.

Tastes of bitter chocolate with some citrus and deeply roasted barley finish. Lots of burnt toast and hops as well. Dark fruits and some alcohol. Tastes a little rough actually. I'm picking up some flavors of alcohol soaked raisins.

Great carbonation and almost silky mouthfeel.

Sadly, this one isn't what I remembered it to be and it's not even among my top 10 or 15 RIS I've tasted. Tastes too rough, the alcohol is a bit intrusive and it could use a sweeter chocolate taste instead of the dry, dark and bitter taste.

seaoflament, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of hustlesworth
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%

A- sweet bubble action like millions of gumballs cascading downwards. tan head is puffy and creamy like frothed chocolate milk with great retention, hanging over the thick pitch black body like an evil donut storm cloud and a ring of lace along the lip of the glass that seems to drip down forever. held up to the light, the faintest hints of rosewood and mahogany can be seen at the bottom of the glass.

S- roasted malts and chocolate, woodsy and herbal with a bit of coffee here and there. tart smoked currants and prunes. smells like there's a good deal of hops in there too, as there should be. citric, floral, and slightly piney is a nice contrast against the big load of malt. bitter oranges dipped an molasses, and some aromas similar to kahlua or tia maria.

T- tart fruity roasted malt starts to become sweet before it's neutralized by sharp hop bite. pine and deep dark citrus peel take over becoming pungent making way for fruity vodka-like alcohol solvents to become apparent. as the hops get re-balanced by the dark malt, the after taste smoothes out to woody and herbal and a lil smokey like old furniture and burning rosemary. some cigar as well, and old charred tobacco pipe, this brew is only sweet for a half second, the rest of the way it's dry and complex and i could probably taste new things for hours.

MF- this is one rich and luxurious brew, not quite creamy, but more like drinking melted chocolate mixed with poorly filtered coffee. seemingly grainy texture is so thick and viscous that it just comes together with the beautiful amount of carbonation the make a dense full bodied brew.

D- smooth, profound, and very easy to drink, one might go through a bottle so fast trying to decipher it's complexities that a minor dizzied feeling becomes recognizable. on that note, drink the whole 4 pack and i bet old rasputin will be comin for that ass.

hustlesworth, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of tayner
3.1/5  rDev -27.9%

12 oz bottle.

black with a off white/tan head, laced nice

smell was of roasted malts and alcohol

tasted like i was drinking burnt malt, ash, and lighter fluid.

The mouthfeel was hot, thick, motor oil mixed with lighter fluid.

I couldnt even finish my one bottle. I am not sure why this is rated so high, but i think if i drank any more of this it would make me look like the old dude on the bottle.

tayner, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of AylwinForbes
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

It's not very often you pick up a bottle of beer at a supermarket and it turns out to be this good and a great value. Really dark brown with a decent brownish suddsy head, but glows a warm umber when you shine the light through it - clear without sediment.

In the style, heavy on the espresso and chocolate, but not sweet, yet off-dry. Good mouth-coating density makes this a sipping beer for thoughtful reflection and a hunk of blue cheese.

AylwinForbes, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of pojo41
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%

Dark brown almost black in color with a brown fluffy head that didn't last long but, left a good lacing on the glass. Wonderful aroma of dark roasted malt, chocolate and coffee then topped off by the hop aroma.
Flavor of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee with a great hop bitterness and flavor. Excellent mouthfeel and it also hid it's 9% alcohol well. Just a tremendous beer.

pojo41, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

A-Very deep, dark brownish-black. A nice head lasted several minutes before fading, and good lacing formed as the level dropped.

S-Toasted grain, hops, malt, dark chocolate, and dried fruits, particularly raisins.

T-Hops with bitter, rich dark chocolate. Raisins and caramel are also present. The aftertaste is smooth and clean.

M-Carbonation is at ideal level, and this smooth, creamy stout strikes an impressive harmony between taste, body, and balance.

D-I had this at a tasting, and it was one of my favorites of the evening. The flavors are pleasing, the balance is notable, and it is an all-around good stout.

BoitSansSoif, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of trevorwideman
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to demcorhip for getting this one for me.

Pours black as night with a 3/4 inch tan head off of a stiff pour. Lots of lace and good head retention throughout. Mostly sweet aroma with a coffee roasted bitterness, cocoa. A bit of chocolate and a bit of lactic sourness balancing with some juicier notes in the background. Smells good, straightforward and clinical stylewise.

Taste is good, but a little raw for my liking. There's a distinct background note of rubber beneath the inital whack of lactic sourness and bitter roast that assaults the palate. Bitter cocoa and milk chocolate. Bittersweet with a schwack of flavour and a big alcohol burn going down. This is still a bit rough for my liking, very flavourful though. Body is heavy, but not too heavy, carbonation is zippy, and finish is dry and satisfying. This is a drinkable stout, is small quantites of course, but it goes down pretty well. This bottle is still a bit rough though, and I'll be cellaring my other bottle to see how it holds up.

trevorwideman, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of GJ40
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%

I'm a recovering hop addict getting reacquainted with some styles I've ignored for quite some time. So I thought I'd jump right in with an Imperial Stout.

This beer has a great dark, rich color. Maybe it's due to my experience with Belgians but I gave this one a nice slow pour and there was little to no head as a result. I probably should have been a bit more aggressive. But that was the only disappointment. The flavor is strong but I found it very smooth and balanced.

I'll definitely buy this one again and would love to try it on tap.

GJ40, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of czfreeman
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Wow! poured out a nice delicious imperial-stout-black. Retains a small 1-finger head for a few minutes. Big aromas of chocolate, coffees, dark malts. Taste is delicious. Plain and simple-cocoas, coffees, burnt malts, alcohol on the finish gives it a biting finish that leaves your palate clean and ready for more. Drinkability is high, the slight alcohol burn lightens the mouthfeel. I forced myself to only have 1, but will return to this beer again.

czfreeman, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of drperm
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%

A color like Guinness, if not darker -- a formidable appearance, staring back at you from your glass, daring you to edge closer.
A wonderfully rich nose with a surprising hint of -- heather? A dark, hoppy taste gives way to some well-balanced sweetness. An all-around excellent Imperial Stout. No joke -- try it with a Krispy Kreme sour cream doughnut. No, really.

drperm, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of John_M
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Had this on tap at Max's the other day, where it was every bit as wonderful as it is on tap in Ft. Bragg.

The beer pours a lovely black color with persistent, long lasting head and lacing. This beer looks very impressive. On the nose, I don't know what it is, but I'm not getting a lot. There is a hint of coffee and licorise, but that's really about it. On the palate this is a very impressive beer. The beer is very soft and creamy, with flavors of coffee, vanilla and more licorise. The licorise flavor is actually quite pronounced. The beer finishes pretty well, though you can tell the abv. is up there. This is definitely a very big beer, but on the nitro it's very soft and easy to drink.

A good solid beer from North Coast brewing. Well done.

John_M, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of pennsybrau
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%

Poured into 20oz pint glass.

A-Deep dark brown, nearly black color. The head was caramel colored about one inch thick which quickly dissipated into a thin layer which remained for the duration. Nice dark lacing.

S-Hearty malty aroma, smelled of coffee with hints of chocolate. Very nice but not enough to hide Rasputin's high alcohol content.

T-There is a lot going on here. Strong coffee flavor, very malty with a bitter finish which dissipated as quickly as the head did. Then left with a pleasant malty aftertaste.

M-Carb balance is nice. Has a bitter coating that eventually turns into a warming sensation.

D-Goes down smooth but the alcohol is apparent. A very nice nightcap or a bedtime sipper.

I would not recommend this for a session. It would be very long night.

pennsybrau, Jan 21, 2008
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,648 ratings.