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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.

9,505 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,505
Reviews: 3,339
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 272
Gots: 1,162 | FT: 34
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: 9,505 | Reviews: 3,339 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akahn


4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

Pours opaque dark brown with not much of a lasting head, but good lace. The smell of this beer is astounding--I get a really clear licorice smell from it, which is great. The flavor is solid as well, sweet, smooth, creamy, almost reminds me of an Oreo cookie somehow. Really drinkable for this style--bitterness is in check, alcohol isn't even detectable!

05-14-2007 03:01:39 | More by akahn
Photo of PhiloPsych


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

I had this while at the Newport Beach Brewing Company. It was poured by from a bottle by my server (table side). The head disappeared almost immediately. The nose was roasted, slightly smokey, a little burnt. The mouthfeel wasn’t as creamy as some stouts--but not thin or watery at all. This stout was not dry, rather a bit sticky and syrupy. The moderately strong alcohol (8.9%) was not noticeable at all. The taste was very nice. Many porters are too burnt for my taste, this one had a definitely detectable burnt flavor in the finish, but it only enhanced the total flavor of the beer for me. I really liked this one.

05-13-2007 16:12:16 | More by PhiloPsych
Photo of ttu94


4/5  rDev -7%

I purchased this beer at store based on the glowing reviews that I have seen here. This is a mean beer and will leave you feeling loopy. Looks good and dark with a solid head. smell is strong as it should be. Tastes POW. Like coffee in a beer. Hops, lots of thngs going on here. At first I don't like it but it gets better and better. In fact its really good don't drink too many though or you will forget how to type.

05-13-2007 04:42:13 | More by ttu94
Photo of BeerZack

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Completely opaque black with frothy brown head.

Smells of roasted coffee, toffee, chocolate, maybe a little nutty and some alcohol.

Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, creme brule, some spice and dark fruit also show up in this complex taste experience. Good hop bitterness on the finish to leave you wanting more.

Really nice, leaves a whole bitterness in your mouth after each drink that gives the impression of a bittersweet chocolate coating rather than gripping hop lupulin. Easy to see why so many people use the word "complex" when describing this one.

05-12-2007 05:19:39 | More by BeerZack
Photo of ArrogantB


3.83/5  rDev -10.9%

12 oz bottle that I've been sitting on for about six months. The color was dark black with a decent tan head. Smell was a little roasty. The taste was good with some roastiness also. The mouth-feel was not great as the beer seemed a little thin. I was planning on aging some of this but I am not sure it is worth it. Good RIS but not my favorite.

05-07-2007 15:57:27 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of SaltyLime


4.72/5  rDev +9.8%

Appearance - it's a Russian Imperial Stout, if you don't already know how nice these look, you better go out and get one!

Smell - Robust malts and solid presence of alcohol.

Taste - I was holding the bottle up to read while I sipped this from a pint glass at a friend's house. Then I felt the beer punch me in the face. I had a couple of other much larger bottles on standby to drink after this one and mistakingly made the bad correlation of little bottle / little beer.Do not make the same mistake. This had a quality mix of ingredients. Two big swigs and I already started to wobble. My alibi is that we were hauling rocks for a landscaping project.

Mouthfeel - Solid. Nice thickness. Left a film of flavors inside my mouth. Not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing. But I wasn't trying to suck it off my tongue like when you get something too yeasty.

Drinkability - This is becoming my favorite, but I can't drink too many at a time. Respect it, I think Rasputin would have.

Scores edited after going home and trying this beer with a little more energy.

05-04-2007 16:11:25 | More by SaltyLime
Photo of beeragent


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a snifter. The beer pours an opaque black, forming a 1/4 inch mocha head, leaving medium rings of lace. The aroma is heavily consisted of roasted malts and coffee. The taste is just amazing!! Strong roasted malt bitterness, coffee, and good amount of chocolate sweetness. Alcohol is not detectible, suprisingly being 9%. Mouthfeel is thick and extremely smooth. No harsh finish associated with other RIS. Drinkability is high, except for the abv. I think drinking a few of these would do it for one night. This is thee best Russian Imperial Stout that I have had the pleasure of drinking. A bit expensive, but well worth the price.

05-01-2007 00:28:39 | More by beeragent
Photo of baxterbrew


4.72/5  rDev +9.8%

So, I'm about to brew a RIS so I thought I'd stop at the local beer store. Picked up this crazy looking bottle with the cursing Rasputin on the label.

Poured it out into a pint glass and it is darker than dark...blacker than black. A hint of red when brought to a bright light. The head is voluptuous but fades quickly with minimal lacing.

The smell is pure, unadulterated malt with a hint of come hither alcohol. I was a little intimidated but it drew me in. It said, 'come closer, I won't hurt you."

The taste is very complex. There is a strong coffee/espresso taste upfront and you can definitely get the hops - they are kickin' maybe a little too much (dry hopped maybe?). Very astringent, almost made me want to pucker. The thing that really surprised me was the overwhelming sweetness of the aftertaste. Sugary almost overpowers the hops. You're left with a mix of the sweet and the bitter. Nice warmness in the belly when the alcohol rams its way home. One of those beers that makes you sit and think on what made this happen.

Mouthfeel is there and very heavy but not as heavy as one would think in a beer this heavy. There is an oily component but the astringency drives it away.

Drinkability- wouldn't want to drink more than a couple. Might be scary!

A very good beer especially given the style. This one is a good one to show new BAs. So much going on.

04-30-2007 23:32:56 | More by baxterbrew
Photo of Fugazme


4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

from notes:

Dark, dark... black...

what little head there was went fast, but left an awesome swirlability with great legs and delicious carbonation comings and goings...

Aroma is chocolatey and roasty... great malty nose with sweet caramel and touches of alcohol.

Silky mouthfeel...

Cocoa upfront on the taste... smooth sweetness in the middle and a bitter bite on the swallow... flavor meanders between the sweet and bitternes with a cutting alcohol burn. I dig it.

04-27-2007 15:55:03 | More by Fugazme
Photo of MrMcGibblets


4/5  rDev -7%

poured very dark from the bottle with a tan head, good lacing. bouqet was impressive with the expected chocolate, espresso, toffee, and dark dried fruit notes. west coast hops also were present but subtle against these dominant aromas. a little sweet upfront but not for long as the astringent roasty flavors and subtle bittering of the hops rush in to make this beer a bit drier than i expected. alcohol warming somewhat noticeable at the end. full-bodied, naturally. i like my dark, heavy beers to present with a little more residual sweetness than this, however. still a very nice beer. not very sessionable due to the body/abv but quite tasty.

04-27-2007 02:20:13 | More by MrMcGibblets
Photo of MiguelMandingo


4.03/5  rDev -6.3%

This is my fourth review, and my first for a RIS. I have tried to sample a few RISs over the past several weeks to get a feel for the style before trying to write a review for one. So far I have really enjoyed how complex they tend to be. Oak Aged Yeti, Stormking, along with Old Rasputin have been my favorites so far.

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Not bad looking for a stout (but tends to scare off anyone that I drink it in front of that hasn't experienced the glory that is a RIS). It is opaque coffee black in color with a foamy milk chocolate 1 1/2 finger head. The head doesn't last as long as I would like, and there is no lacing to speak of - which is where it loses points with me. When I swirl the glass the beer washes any would-be lacing from the glass and leaves oily black streaks.

Smell - The smell is awesome. Coffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and alcohol.

Taste - This is another one of those beers that smells pretty much just like it tastes. It had an spresso and roasted malt front that bleeds into dark chocolate and hops end.

Mouthfeel - This isn't the thickest beer I have had, but it is pretty thick. It coats the mouth with a pretty oily texture. The carbonation saves it for me - just enough to break up the oil so-to-speak.

Drinkability - It has a pretty good drinkability despite the mouthfeel. It goes down very smooth, very easy. It took about 30 minutes for me to finish, but I would probably limit myself to 2 of these in a night.

Overall a very good beer. I was impressed. And not a bad RIS to start with if you have never experienced the style. Try pairing it with some dark chocolate after a hearty meal - it makes an excellent dessert.

04-26-2007 02:46:02 | More by MiguelMandingo
Photo of shadow1961


3.98/5  rDev -7.4%

North Coast Brewing's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout pours out
a lovely thick chocolate colored head over an opaque black brew. The
nose is raisin, coffee, and booze. Carbonation is steady. The flavor is
coffee up front, with a sharp finish of bitter chocolate and hops. The
alcohol (9% by volume) is well moderated by the strong flavors of the
beer. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light for such a dark brew, and a bit
dry as well. The aftertaste is grassy hop. A good beer to brood over in
the dead of winter, but since it's spring, a good candidate for aging.

04-25-2007 07:21:57 | More by shadow1961
Photo of drseamus

New York

3.98/5  rDev -7.4%

Got this beer in the bottle at Mahars.

A: It pours a very dark brown with a ruby glow when held to the light. There is a small dark mocha head that disappears everywhere but the edges.

A: The aroma isn't as strong as I would like, but it has good coffee and malt aromas with a strong sweet background.

T: The flavor is much like the aroma, with a very sweet background containing a bunch of malt and chocolate. There is a bite in the end of the taste from the roasted malt and hop bitterness. Unfortunately the alcohol is detectable in the flavor.

M: This is a good full bodied beer, although the alcohol presence does detract slightly.

D: The drinkability is decent, but the high ABV does limit it.

04-20-2007 22:01:22 | More by drseamus
Photo of alysmith4

District of Columbia

3.78/5  rDev -12.1%

Haven't had much of this style, but I was pleasantly surprised by it's drinkability. Very smooth, yet complex. The roasted, and slightly charred malts hit the nose, and the bite of hops and grain come through quickly in a syrupy mix. The first few sips were almost too much for me to handle, but as it warmed and as I got used to it, I was really enjoying it. To me, this seems to be a classic representative of its kind, and one that I would highly recommend.

04-20-2007 18:46:33 | More by alysmith4
Photo of david131


4.47/5  rDev +4%

A- Gorgeous. Black and thick liquid with some visible carbonation bubbles around the edge. A spectacular light brown head forms and maintains itself for a great deal of time.

S- Chocolate, coffee, a massive amount of roastiness. A little bit of hops noticeable. A tiny bit of booze pokes its little head out as well.

T- Great roastiness, chocolate, and coffee. The aftertaste lingers for a massive amount of time. Impressive.

M- The carbonation really lightens things up here and helps enhance the flavor. A little on the dry side.

D- I always forget how good this is. I really don't give this enough credit. A must try for any Imperial Stout fan.

04-20-2007 01:11:16 | More by david131
Photo of guinness72384


4.58/5  rDev +6.5%

A very, very good beer. Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass

A: Upon pouring I was very impressed. Jet black with a solid 1.5 inch tan head with great lacing...very sticky.

S: Smell was quite good, fairly strong espresso aromas with hints of chocolate in there as well.

T: This is what really set me off. Exceptional taste. Very strong espresso flavor. I would have to say that, for me, this was the strongest flavored stouts I have tried thus far. Very impressed

M: Quite a smooth beer. Goes down very easy. Not much "bite" at all for such a strong flavor.

D: I will most definately be enjoying this beer in the near future. I hope this will persuade others to give this very good stout a chance.


04-16-2007 20:51:56 | More by guinness72384
Photo of dogger6253


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

A half inch of light, tan head tops this blackness, pure black body; no hints of any other color. The foamy head falls quickly, but leaves its mark behind on the glass, also staying as a thin ring until the end.

The first scent I picked up on was chocolate, shortly followed by coffee. Roasted malts take the stage as the aroma works its way into fruity smells, such as figs and oranges. After warming a little, floral hops come into play. No scent really overpowers the blend, very well-balanced aroma. Very subtle, but wonderfully complex.

Roasted is an understatement, charred malt is the first to come followed by burnt coffee grounds. This is the most roasted, toasted beverage I've ever had. There is a dry hops taste toward the finish, topped off with a citrusy sweetness. Also notable in the flavor are dark chocolate and alcohol.

Heavy, full-bodied with a slight dryness at the end. Pretty minimal amount of carbonation, not even noticeable. The alcohol can be a little much at times, making its drinkability fall. I wouldn't suggest this to casual beer drinkers, but I would recommend it to anyone that has a taste for stouts or appreciates the style. Personally, I would drink this again, but I might choose another RIS over this.

04-13-2007 04:52:43 | More by dogger6253
Photo of dherling

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured out a near black opaque color with a creamy cappucino head. The nose offered some serious malts, chocolate, coffee, but also hops a plenty, grapefruit and piney. The taste is charcoal, mollasses, bbq, smoke, coffee, chocolate, and even a little sour cherry. lots of fun things going on here. Almost has too thin of a mouthfeel for a stout, more porter like with good tight carbonation. Very drinkable for a big, heavy, complicated beer like this.

04-13-2007 03:42:27 | More by dherling
Photo of Stoneman78


4.63/5  rDev +7.7%

A- Very dark brown/black hue with small, creamy light brown head, excellent lacing throughout
S- Chocolate and coffee aroma with strong caramel/roasty malts
T- WOW! Sweet chocolate malts dominate, coffee roastedness tones, subtle bitter hops pop up near the end, very chewy and nicely balanced
M- Very full-bodied stout, creamy/chewy texture with soft carbonation
D- Surprisingly drinkable for a rather heavy stout, the 9% abv is masked mostly by delicious chewy hops, this brew could be a great post-dinner drink but the strong sweet malts makes it tough to drink several in one setting

04-08-2007 02:01:50 | More by Stoneman78
Photo of MuenchenerKindl


4.43/5  rDev +3%

Poured from a 1yr old 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is a almost black with ok carbonation. The head is a small pinky then fades to a thin brown pad, it leaves no lace.

The Smell is very good dark roasty, sweet, and boozy.

The taste is also very good this brew seems to mellow and the harshness fades with time. Lots of great dark roasty taste. Light bitter hops in the finish complement the great malty goodness. Dark chocolate, and espresso dominate.

The mouthfeel is smooth and a bit less then full body, The carbonation had faded a bit.

The drinkability is vrey good, what a great brew. Prosit und Zum Wohl. MK

04-07-2007 03:36:02 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of willjschmidt


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Jet black with a thick light brown head.

S: Coffee aroma with the smell of roasted malts.

T: A very smooth and complex beer. This is an excellent sipping beer to kick back and relax with. It goes down easy with a slightly sweet aftertaste. The bitter hops and the roasted malts are very well balanced to make this a very easy to drink beer. The taste is very complex with the flavors of espresso being on the front of the tongue.

M: Chewy and creamy with a very nice amount of carbonation.

D: This was my first RIS and I loved it. This is a very drinkable beer and the 9% is hidden extremely well. It is smooth and well balanced. I can't wait to try some more (picking up some Stone RIS this weekend!).

04-06-2007 02:37:55 | More by willjschmidt
Photo of Braudog


4.47/5  rDev +4%

12oz’er that poured solid midnight black with a maroon tinge and a gigantic head that just wouldn’t budge. The rosy aroma is of dark cherries and chocolate. The bitter chocolate manages to predominate the first swallow, but looming in the background is a tangle of alcohol, espresso and even some dry hop grassiness. This is a complex and interesting stout, worthy of its high ratings. (#2764, 3/31/2007)

03-31-2007 22:41:52 | More by Braudog
Photo of ccrida


3.25/5  rDev -24.4%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter, Old Rasputin is pitch black with a moderate, creamy tan head that subsided to a thick collar with a thin surface skim and pretty thick lace.
The aroma is moderate, chocolate, a bit of cola and a boozy backdrop.
The taste is rich and robust, very roasty up front, some chocolate in the middle and a bitter very bitter finish. Really none of the sweetness from the nose at first, although it struggles to emerge as it warms. I bought 8 of these to lay down, but wanted to have a fresh one first (I've only had this once before, on draft, a few months ago). I think it is pretty young and probably not reached it's full potential. I'm curious to see how long I can hang on to these and how well much they develop.
The mouthfeel is not as thick as it looks, creamy and pretty carbonated.
This is not to drinkable right now. Take your time and sip one, and you'll have had enough. I imagine they don't go down much faster with age, but are more enjoyable. Time will tell...or hopefully, a beer fest has a vintage barrel so I won't have to wait so long, and will still have this somewhat fresh in my mind!

03-31-2007 04:54:57 | More by ccrida
Photo of BassAssassin


4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

A: Pitch black just like an Imperial Stout should be. Head is thinner than I would've liked, despite a strong pour.

S: Burnt caramel and roasted nuts up front. Scent of alcohol is quite strong. Hop aroma is undetectable.

T: Malt flavor is slightly sweet initially. Flavor of roasted nuts is very distinct. Hop flavor is spicy and bitter. The roasted malts add more bitterness still. However, this beer is actually very well balanced. Finishes slightly sweet. Although the alcohol is very warming the taste is hidden quite well, a surprise given its strong smell.

M: Low carbonation makes for a very smooth mouthfeel. Perfect for such a full bodied beer.

D: Good deal of alcohol warmth makes this a perfect winter sipping brew. I'd like to taste this beer side by side with Brooklyn and Storm King. In my opinion this beer deserves a place alongside those two in my fridge. Highly recommended.

03-31-2007 00:54:45 | More by BassAssassin
Photo of Hammarby


3.95/5  rDev -8.1%

A: Pitch black, foamy, tan head with rather big bubbles.
S: Caramel, chocolate, fudge, dark berries.
T: Licorice, charcoal, bitterness. Aftertaste the same, lingers. Tomtebrus (swedish extremely salty licorice powder).
M: Full body, moderate carboration. Dryish.
D: Very good.

This is ofcourse a very good brew, but for some reasons my expactations were so high it might have hurt the tasting. Expected deeper taste.

03-30-2007 20:18:41 | More by Hammarby
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,505 ratings.