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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.

9,201 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,201
Reviews: 3,325
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 252
Gots: 1,012 | FT: 32
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,201 | Reviews: 3,325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DuqTroops


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

Appearance - very dark beer. could not see through it at all.

Smell - lots of coffee, chocolate and hops/malt complexities.

Taste - great tasting stout! perfect balance with all of the previous complexities.

Mouthfeel - good night cap.

Drinkability - night cap beer!

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2006 19:07:32 | More by DuqTroops
Photo of rtratzlaff

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: 1/2" tan head composed of very tiny bubbles dissipates and leaves an island of head that floats in the glass for a good while. Black body with miniscule amounts of ruby light slivers coming through the edges.

S: Sweet ripe fruit, banana, raisin

T: Dark chocolate and coffee grinds, raisin-like sweetness, finishes with the bitterness of dark/espresso roasted coffee

M: Thick barleywine-like mouthfeel

D: This is a slow drinking beer. Slowly sip and enjoy.

Wish I had this a few months back during the cold weather. I'll have to revisit this next winter.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2006 14:59:54 | More by rtratzlaff
Photo of moklett

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with an almost purple tinge and 3 fingers of caramel-colored head. Smells of coffee, caramel, and grapes (reminds me of something like a shiraz from the wine world). Tastes unlike it smells. I taste wood and oak, although the coffee and caramel is still present. High marks for mouthfeel - it is creamy and lingers nicely. The alcohol is masked nicely - especially at first - but it becomes more present as the beer warms. Overall, a nice representation of the style but not astounding.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2006 01:26:18 | More by moklett
Photo of Lupin


4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My third tasting of this brew. 12oz bottle kept at standard fridge temperature. Rasputin's hypnotic techniques have reined me in. I love this brew, but I can only take one in at a time.

Pours an utterly opaque black coffee. I violently throw the last 5 ounces or so in to coax out a 1"+ roasted sandy head. Minor lacing at the top of the glass. Easily the best smelling brew I have ever sampled.

The taste is utterly dominated by a raw, dark chocolate. There is no other way to describe it. It even leaves the same dry feeling on your tongue that a bar of any dark chocolate will provide. Bitter bitter bittersweet.

I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who likes beer and coffee or beer and chocolate of any type. I warned my dad, who loves dark chocolate, that he'd better drink the bottle I offered him that night or else it was liable to disappear from the fridge. My willpower is such that the same bottle has just been reviewed.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2006 00:28:28 | More by Lupin
Photo of Bitterbill


4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle a pitch black(with reddish tones) having a fairly large head of foam that dissipated slowly leaving just a fine layer.

The smell is of roasted barley with some malty sweetness and notes of coffee.

The taste is huge! Lots of roasted barley, chocolate, and coffee with some grain and a bit of anise. Very very complex and very rewarding to my taste buds. I've had this one a few times in the past and it never fails to impress me with its flavour and how well it hides the rather substantial 9%abv.

Bottom line: This is a world class sample of the style that is a *must* to try.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2006 01:10:56 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of nectarkeeper


3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Old Rasputin on tap at the Brickstore on a lazy tuesday afternoon.
this beast of a beer poured out velvety, greasy, dark and mysterious, with a tannish head that held up all the way down to the last sip.

i found marshmallows and smoke in the front, with burnt dark chocolate and dried dark fruits going down. halfway in, the dark-fruit character really took over, still laced with that nice bitter-burnt tingle. overall, really nicely balanced and totally enjoyable, but slow drinking with that thick-as-night mouthfeel...and one was plenty!

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2006 16:39:27 | More by nectarkeeper
Photo of mmmbeer


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

Finally reviewing this beer. This was one of my first better beers (before I was a BA) and I have tried it since both in the bottle and on-tap, and even have one aging, but somehow haven't reviewed it. 12 oz. stubby with no freshness date. It pours almost black with a quarter-inch of light brown head that reduces to a collar and doesn't leave much lacing. It smells of big, dark roasted malts, cocoa, chocolate, blackberry, and chocolate-covered cherries. It tastes like coffee, dark, unsweet chocolate, and lots of hops (green, piney, leafy, oily, maybe citric) that contribute a big bitterness. The beer has a good balance, with lots of malts and hops, on top of a medium to thick body that leaves a very long finish. A great beer that I will always come back to revisit.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2006 19:14:26 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

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

Pours quite dark with a strong redness to it. In the glass it appears black, and keeps up a creamy tan head. More head retention than I expect from a high alcohol beer of this style. Lacing left everywhere.

My nose detects alcohol and an almost burnt malt aroma. Bitter chocolate and charcoal. Coffee bean becomes more and more prevelant the warmer the beer gets.

Smooth into the mouth, this is fairly sweet overall. Dark roasted coffee flavour with a hint of vanilla. Finishes with a bit of charcoal and alcohol, warming the throat all the way to the belly. Alcohol is not overdone though, it feels very appropriate.

This beer is relatively thick and carbonation is low. Both good for the style, but nothing extraordinary here.

Quite nice, perhaps my favourite of the Imperial Stouts I've had. One more thank you to orrshow for giving me the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2006 03:26:42 | More by elricorico
Photo of Fish113d


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

Pouring into a tulip glass from a bottle a bit chilled, it pours a black color with a brown, dense 1/4" surface layer that sat on top of the brew for most of the tasting.

Aroma leads on a bit of black liquorice (sp.); roasty chocolate aromas also are prominent. A decent amount of alcohol hits my sinuses as well. A slight oak aroma also.

Sipping, it reveals a lot of roasty nuttiness (almonds) w/ dark baker's chocolate. Lots of coffee w/ a dry oak barrel flavor also seems to come across my palate. On the finish, I sense a bit of the black liquorice flavor i was smelling just a few minutes earlier.

Mouthfeel is overall, nicely balanced. Carbonation is nice; very drying finish. A bit of alcohol on my palate; huge body!

Overall, the hype around this one is well deserved. At 9%, I know I can't drink as much as I'd like to, but this is a great sipping brew!

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2006 15:40:11 | More by Fish113d
Photo of jetfanzee

New York

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

A: Liquid Midnight in the glass. No light gets through this dark black pour. About half an inch of foamy tan head that slowly melts into a ring around the glass, nice lacing as you drink.

S: Strong coffee, dark chocolate, and a slight licorice smell on first sniff. Maybe some toffee but just a hint.

T: Sweetness as this beauty first hits the tongue, but the bitterness of the hops stops it from being overwhelming. Slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat along with the hops leaves your mouth calling for the next sip.

M: A little thinner than I would have thought from the color and head. Also a little more carbonation than I usually like, but it helps cut through the sweet start.

D: This beer definitely wants to travel in groups! One just won't do it. I don't know if I want this all night, but 2 after a hard day will definitely take the edge off. Overall Highly enjoyable, and a great way to end a tough day or a great meal.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2006 03:30:45 | More by jetfanzee
Photo of EvilKeith


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into the pint a deep dark brown color with ruby highlights. Head was two fingers of short-lived tan light foam that formed over a brief cascade. Head faded to a thick cap with heavy lacing.

Smell was chocolate malt, a charred smokiness (malt) and sweet caramel.

Medium bodied. Lighter than I expected for the style, but nice. Creamy mouthfeel. Mild carbonation.

This very well may be the most drinkable RIS I have ever had. Drinks like a stout with half the ABV. I'm impressed.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2006 03:11:23 | More by EvilKeith
Photo of mcallister


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

A dark dark highly carbonated nearly black but more brown liquid dredges from it's bottle. A faint tan head dissapears almost as soon as it appears leaving spotty thin lacing and a rim around the edges.

Smells of bitter cooking choclate, black currant, roasted chocolate malt, roasted coffee, vanilla, and a dense hop aroma.

Tastes of a bitter dark choclate bar. With a big roasted malt component and grainy drying hops to help balance. A finish of coffee, some smoke, burnt flavors, heavy cream, and a few choice dark fruits. Very big and complex with no apparent RS. Very dry. Alcohol leave a slight burn in the chest but otherwise very well hidden

Mouthfeel is very dry and somewhat bitter. A terrific contrast to the RIS i've been sampling lately.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2006 22:30:01 | More by mcallister
Photo of Backer2004

North Carolina

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

Here is the biggest problem I could find with Old Rasputin. I drank this one side by side with the Raspberry Weyerbacher, which has currently taken over as the best reviewed beer in Backer2004's history to this point. It's just an outstanding beer when paired with white and dark chocolate but didn't complement as well as the aformentioned. Lovely deep dark color, nice mix of caramel and chocolate taste, rather easy to drink. Will definitely search for this one and try my own bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2006 00:51:34 | More by Backer2004
Photo of Westsidethreat


4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Just a picturesque head. Tall, tan and creamy. Makes me teary eyed. Floating on a pitch black moat that defies definition. Too dark to see whats going on in there....lets move to the next step

S: Roasted malts and chocolate cheesecake. Brings to mind chocolate eclairs with fresh pastry dough and sweet cream. Liquid dessert coming right up.

T: Just great. Begins a balanced smooth freefall across the palate...making a play for one of the smoothest Imperial stouts then switches gears into a sultry sweetness...only just for a moment until the hops bitterness sends a swaggering dash down the center of the tongue then finally relenquishs control to the roasted malt burnt character that massages the side-back of the tongue. Truly a journey

M: Everything I could hope for. Thick, creamy, velvety across the tongue

D: Massively complex. Abundantly tasty. A masterpiece of a beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2006 07:45:28 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of wingman14


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

Pours black with a dark tan head, which was very small. Sweet chocolate and burnt aromas, this has a more powerful smell for a russian imperial stout. Taste is very powerful, sweeter than most, with a noticable alcohal flavor (not suprising considering the ABV). A bitter aftertaste leaves you wanting more. A good balance in flavor, not much carbonation which adds to the mouthfeel. I could have a couple of these after dinner or for a nice nightcap. This is not to pricey and is well worth trying. A great russian imperial stout to start out on, not to much ABV, but enough flavor to tell you if you like the style. Do yourself a favor and try this beer. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2006 02:35:20 | More by wingman14
Photo of HimerMan

New Jersey

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

12oz bottle. In a Brooklyn Pint Glass.

Awesome pour, black with a dark tan head. Alcohol already noticeable.

Strong flavor with dark chocolate and coffee, with a harsh bitterness that comes directly from the alcohol. Hops do come through at the end of each sip - and definitely at higher temperatures (though not invisible at colder).

Overall - an excellent imperial stout. Really what they should taste like - however, not easy to have the stringent alcohol many times in a night.

Buying this beer is a solid imperial stout choice.


Serving type: bottle

05-19-2006 15:48:26 | More by HimerMan
Photo of dfried


4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured a deep, oily black, without much color around the edges and a carmel colored head. The smell was pretty complex with lots of tones of malts, roasted to sweet, and a slight hop presence. The taste was the standout character of this beer for me. Very coffee and chocolaty, both bitter roast and sweet. It is very deep and creamy. The alcohol is apparent but not overpowering. Not the most drinkable, but a few can be fine.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2006 13:09:09 | More by dfried
Photo of hero27


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

12 oz bottle. 9% abv.

Pours a menacing dark mahogany color. Bubbles cascade up & down to form a perfect head of frothy tan foam (that seems to have the staying power of Rasputin himself)..it just will not die.
Smell is dominant dark roasted malts with fresh ground coffee & black licorice tagging along. The taste has more of a hop kick than you'd expect, and creates a nice bitterness. As this approaches room temperature, it really matures into the beer it's supposed to be, with the dark chocolate flavors keeping you yearning for more.
I always pick up some of this when I find it..unfortunately, I can't get it in my immediate area yet. Always mentioned among the great stouts, this is one that is certainly worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2006 05:52:21 | More by hero27
Photo of jwc215


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

From 12 oz. bottle, poured black with thin tan head that became a well-retained lacing.
The aroma was robust with roasted coffee, black currants and a hint of chocolate with a noticeable alcohol bite.
The taste was of robust, rich coffee - on the thick side. There were hints of black currents and some plum-like fruitiness in the background. There was a great balance of bitter and sweet with a touch of smoky charcoal. Overall, the taste was very well-balanced, rich and complex.
Some of the complexities were slightly masked by the alcohol. There was a touch of sweet stickiness at the finish, though it began more bitter.
It was very drinkable - a worthwhile and delicious treat!

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2006 21:32:02 | More by jwc215
Photo of DogFood11


3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What would you expect from nitro and old rasputin....well the appearance is lovely, dark , rich, frothy, excellent retention...etc.

I found that the nitro detracted from what is truly good about this brew. Normally this brew has a nice hop presence, almost over the top. Roasty, charred and good. On the nitro, while all these characterstics are there, just expect them to be dumbed down.

Notes: excellent beer. Why is it on nitro? No reason, in my opinion this is just a way to market it as a guinness...I heard this many times throughout the night...bartender " its similair to a guiness but slightly stronger" ...ok.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-13-2006 04:37:38 | More by DogFood11
Photo of evanackerman


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

this stout pours a very opaque black with no light escaping through its murky darkness, head is thck and tan colored and has good retention, rings of lace are left behind as beer is consumed.

arom is far more complex than most stouts i've had. there are notes of figs, caramel, hops, and alcohol, a very pleasant aroma overall.

taste is very complex, hop bitterness up front followed by roasted barley and figs, next comes a pleasing warmth from the alcohol, the finish is long and dominated by chocolate and hop bitterness. a truly satisfying flavor profile.

mouthfeel is very good, smooth and a bit oily, very viscous brew with just the right carbonation to maintain a degree of crispness.

overall, this is my favorite imperial stout so far, it strikes a lovely balance of flavors as far as i'm concerned. definitely a must try beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2006 23:17:55 | More by evanackerman
Photo of WeisGuy

New York

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

a - dark color, nearly complete black...typical of RISs; short tan head that didn't last too long; not much by way of lacing

s - alcohol very evident, roasted malt, coffee

t - coffee and roasted malts, like the aroma, the finish is dominated by lingering alcohol taste, but not unpleasant

m - minimal carbonation; pretty chewy

d - very drinkable for an RIS; the alcohol is evident, but not overwhelming, and the front end of the taste is very pleasant and complex

I really enjoyed this beer. I don't think it's on par with the "top" RISs, but very respectable nonetheless. I like that this is relatively affordable and easy to find.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2006 01:08:32 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of MagicLantern


4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Pint Glass.

A: Four fingers of head! Thick creamy tan head that faded over several minutes. 1/2" of lace coats thick and evenly across the glass. As drank, lace continued to coat glass. Half way through beer, lace continued to cling to top of the glass and coat the entire glass all they way down. A Bback beer held up to the light, this had the *slightest* red translucence. This was a fantastic looking beer.

S: Notes are sparse here. "Malty? Spices." That's all I wrote. It was pleasant, but nothing that merits more detail.

T: Smooth and creamy. Chocolate over coffee flavors. Moderately chocolatey with a sharp coffeesque bitter finish accented by a slight tase of spices. Alchohol is well hidden by coffee like flavors.

M: Light carbonation tingles and smooths the beer. Incredibly well balanced. The bitter after taste is slight

D: The combination of pleasant flavors and great mouthfeel combine to make this a very well balanced beer. This makes the beer very easy to drink. I don't typically think of stouts as a casual beer, but this one is a great reminder of how pleasant a dark beer can be.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2006 18:08:58 | More by MagicLantern
Photo of SilentSabre

North Dakota

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

This will be my second of three planned reviews of this beer. My only problem with it, is that is has too much hop bitterness when fresh. It's almost like eating mouthfulls of grapefruit and chocolate pieces together and washing them down with coffee. Not exactly my idea of a tasty treat. So, what I have planned, is to rate this aged about 6 months, and then again in a year. So far, tonights session shows that Rasputin does, with time, improve. The 6 month old example poured the same colour as a fresh one, obviously. The smell, however, seemed noticeably sweeter. Lots of stewed fruit and loads of chocolate and caramel. The taste, while improved, still has that hop bitterness that I am trying to age away. Mouthfeel was nice and smooth and drinkability was a bit better than a fresh example. We'll see what 12 - 14 months worth of aging does to Rasputin around Christmas '06 or Jan. '07.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2006 21:55:17 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of Shaw


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

Pours totally black with a substantial tan head that reduces to a thin layer with lovely lacing. This beer looks very nice.

It smells of caramel, toffee and roasted malts.

The taste is creamy, with many complex roasted flavors competing. The alcohol flavors are there but aren't as obvious as in other beers of the style. Very nice!

The body is wonderfully creamy.

Overall this is an excellent RIS. It's widely available, which gives you very little excuse to not try it.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2006 05:28:34 | More by Shaw
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,201 ratings.