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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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10,808 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,808
Reviews: 3,515
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 421
Gots: 1,938 | FT: 53
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,808 | Reviews: 3,515
Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer is almost black in color and builds a sturdy head with staying power. A very attractive beer which is very inviting.

The smell is rich and strong and gives you a hint of what to expect from the aroma.

I could taste the feel of coffee,chocolate and banana under the cover of a strong bitterness which increased as longer the beer stayed in the mouth. Certainly a great stout, yet for my personal taste a little bit too strong in character.

After one beer I had enough and did not feel to have more, yet tasted one more anyways and remarkably the second beer tasted better, because I got used to the beers bite.

great stout

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque, silky black pour with no head.

Roasted barley and medium roasted coffee along with a whiff of alcohol on the nose.

Creamy texture and velvety on the tongue; bitter roasted coffee upfront with a milk chocolate middle and a touch of roast astringency on the bittersweet finish. Alcohol barely presents itself.

Medium to full bodied and carbonated; flavors work exceptionally well together. A little tongue drying but oh so smooth; not harsh at all.

Bottom line; a great no frills imperial stout that is highly drinkable.

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

Old Raspy coming out of a nitro-tap at Bodega in Columbus, Ohio.

Appearance: Creamy, shiny, very dark and opaque. A good-size head that remains. Incredible lacing that hugs and coats the glass.

Smell: Milk, roastiness, chicory.

Taste: More malts and some coffee followed by a gentle bitterness.

Mouthfeel: The nitro creaminess is present throughout. Full body despite the smoothness, though. A pleasant throat burn and a bitterness that lingers. A little filling.

Drinkability: Good but not great. I love this beer but I wouldn't have lots of it. The nitro presentation is my favorite- much better than a bottle (which is a little harsh) and regular draft.

Photo of nataku00
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pitch black beer with a finger of brown, dense head. Head retention is impressive for a stout as it does not dissipate from the initial pour for a good 10 minutes, even when taking a sip. A little carbonation can be seen at the surface of the glass, but it's hard to see due to how black this beer is.

Nose is dark roasted and caramel malts, with a little dark chocolate as well. You can almost taste the beer, with how thickly the aroma of the beer coats your nose after taking a big sniff from the glass.

Taking a sip, the dark roasted malts are there. Not as bitter as I had expected, and the flavor transforms as you warm the beer in your mouth, as the malt sweetens slightly and finishes almost like a warm cup of semisweet cocoa. As it warms further, there is a little expresso at the back of the throat accompanying a little bit of alcohol.

Really rich, full bodied beer, requiring small sips so that you can really enjoy how the beer's taste transforms as it reacts to the heat of your body.

The Old Rasputin would be an enjoyable introduction to RIS style for people looking to graduate from regular stouts. A good tasting beer with an enjoyable aroma and mouth feel.

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

A - This stuff pours with an opaque BLACK body...nice and dark. My pour wasn't especially aggressive, but this brew produced an ambitious 3 finger dark tan head. Looks delicious!

S - This smells absolutely delectable. Chocolate is foremost in the aroma, followed by some roasted malts. The chocolate gives a nice sweet aroma that plays so nicely with just a twinge of the roasted malt. Wow, can't wait drink this.

T & M - The aroma built me up and the flavor certainly did not let me down. That huge chocolate body is accented by a bit more roasted malt than the nose let on, and then accentuated with some slight hop bitterness toward the end. Yummy. Full bodied and the alcohol is well masked. Creamy mouthfeel with a bit of bitter chocolate aftertaste.

D - This is a beautiful example of the RIS style. Very drinkable and a brew for North Coast to be proud of.

Photo of culver501
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Dark black brown in color, thick dark tan head

S-licorice, cocoa,

T-thick, syrupy, sweet roasted malt, bitter cocoa, alcohol, dark chocolate

M-pretty thick, bittersweet

D-This is delicious in moderation, best paired with a dessert, one of the best versions of this style

Photo of larryi86
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Pitch black with a two finger tan head that stays and sticks to the sides of the glass.

S- Getting figs/dark fruit smell with a hint of alcohol up front, getting hints of roasted malts, coffee and dark chocolate.

T- Just great. The roasted malts and coffee really come out right away with a hint of chocolate and dark fruit flavors. Well balanced and a small bitter bit in the finish.

M- Nice medium body and slick, carbonation is a little too much.

D- Wow, just a great beer. The 9% ABV is completely hidden in the taste, making this very easy to drink. It has great complexity but is not to the point were have one is enough. I feel that I could easily drinking a whole four pack in a night if I wanted. I have been been just walking by it for the past 3 or 4 months saying that I will try it soon, I will not be walking by it again!

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

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout pours a tar black from a 12 fl. oz. dark brown glass bottle with a pry off cap.

Head of micro fine foam went to about two fingers and stayed around in a diminishing form during the entire consumption. Lacing of foam was in ample abundance during the review.

Nose is of delicious raisins and figs, with just the slightest of metallic notes.

Palate is of a viscous fig and coffee with the alcohol making its presents known just before the bite of carbonation appears.

If one were to want to impress dinner guests with an above average brew, this would be it.

Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a mug from a Nitro Tap at Hollingshead yesterday.

The North Coast Old Rasputin pours a pitch black in the mug with a very thick (almost like a chocolate milkshake) froth that cascades for almost 2 minutes! Needless to say, the beer had amazing head retention & beautiful lacing. The nose is pronounced, yet subtle & inviting with aromas of chocolate, mocha, vanilla, caramel, espresso, molasses, mild hop resin, & a mild alcohol sent that follows through on the palate. The beer has a full, yet extremely creamy body, smooth hop bitterness (more like a drying sensation), and long finish. In the past, I have thoroughly enjoyed this beer & must admit that this is one of my favorite beers. However, the beer gets even better from the nitro tap! Highest Recommendation!

Photo of DovaliHops
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pors a pitch black with small tan head. Aroma has STRONG chocolate scent with hints of black licorice and espresso. Maybe a bit of vanilla and some toasted malts. Not much hop profile. This smells amazing. I've had this beer on many occasions and always loved it. Taste is very robust with chocolate and toffee. A bit of sweet vanilla and I'm getting some oak-like flavors. A bit of coffee as well. Great flavors...so well balanced. The mouthfeel is bit more crisp and light than a lot of IRSs...but still ver pleasant. I think it is this unique mouthfeel that makes this one of the most highly drinkable IRSs out there.

Photo of EricCioe
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stuff pours pretty black. It looks very nice with a small, espresso-crema looking head. The nose is a bit weak, pretty much smelling a non-descript brown. The taste is the best part here, some coffee and chocolate notes, not overly sweet or bitter, but pretty well balanced except for the coffee which stands out front. The mouthfeel is fuzzy and full, pretty nice. I like it, and the price is certainly right compared to other RIS.

EDIT - Each time I have this I like it less. I like my stouts on the less bitter side, I guess. I've got one stashed in the cellar for a year or more so that I can do a side by side with a fresh bottle and see if that helps it for me.

Photo of kylehayworth
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer about 8 months ago, without any real knowledge, I decided to try it again, and see if I liked it better...

A: The apperance is dark black, with hues of deep brown and chocolate. The head forms nice and quick with a darker brown/tan tone.

S: It smells of faint alcohol but more so chocolate with mild coffee/vanilla/caramel.

T: I pick up a lingering alochol taste on the finish. Before it gets there though, lots of caramel and vanilla. Robust coffee and chocolate. It got a lot smoother once it warmed up a bit, but still a lot boozy, the notes did get more noticable.

M/D: The carbonation was moderate, but I didn't find it very thick and creamy. It seemed thin and watery. I didn't hate this beer, the texture just seemed a little strange.

Photo of dgilks
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Liquorice, chocolate and a hint of coffee are the predominant aromas. Fairly sweet and not all that roasty.

Pitch black with a small, creamy tan head. Nice.

Really, chocolatey and syrupy. There's a nice roast character to the finish. The liquorice note comes through as well. Really nice and elegant.

Medium-full body with moderately-low carbonation. Almost perfect.

A really nice RIS. There's great flavour here and it isn't over the top. Just a simple, elegant beer.

Photo of allanplaysguitar
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This was one of the beers that got me into craft beer.

Color is deep all but black in and opaque.

Aroma is sharp yet and pungent, but in the best way possible.

Taste is rich, bitter coffee toasted goodness.

Mouthfeel is very think and silky.

Overall it is a beer worth trying again and again.

Photo of gregshead
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black color, 2 fingers of head. A thick layer of tan/chocolate ice cream colored foam remains behind.

S - Roasted grains and very faint chocolate smell. Not much smell but Stout aren't known for their smell.

T- Chocolate and roasted grains. A very rich stout. A tiny bit of bite at the end.

M - Thick & Smooth, very smooth and creamy. Could not ask for more.

D - Wow. For this type of beer, it might be one of the most drinkable imperial stout. I leave room for a contender but I would have a very hard time passing this beer up if I see it on a menu or bar list.

Photo of metter98
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured jet black with a two finger high creamy light brown head that took a long time to die down into lacy patterns of bubbles covering the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are moderate aromas of dark roasted malts, chocolate and coffee in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a significant amount of bitterness in it. Notes of coffee beans particularly stand out in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and rather rich on the palate. There is some dryness in the finish and warming from the alcohol.
D: The alcohol is noticeable but fairly well masked, which doesn't make it too difficult to drink. This is a great beer to sip during the winter months.

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

A: A hard pour results in a solid half inch of thick espresso like head that dropped very slowly and left tons of sticky foam on the inside of the glass, the color is dark brown to black, a strong swirl of the glass shows some viscosity as well as some legs - 4.50, S: The initial whiff includes tons of coffee and roasted grains, I also pick up a solid presence of dark fruits - possible dates or raisins, subtle ash and mocha latte - 4.00, T: Thick and rich, overloaded with prunes and dark molasses, there is an almost buttery sweetness that is moderated by a slight grainy ash flavor, solid hop bitterness, burnt grains and coffee as well as some cocoa beans, wonderful palate all around - 4.50, M: Mouth feel is velvety and thick, faint hint of grittiness in the depths - 4.25, D: A true classic and an exceptional example of the style, one of my favorites, very drinkable - 4.50

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

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout has a thin, creamy, light brown head and a very dark black appearance. Carbonation is low, and lacing is minimal. The aroma is toffee, and some sweet cream shows up. Taste is of very dark roasted barley malt and highly bitter hops. Alcohol is very strong in the middle and spreads across the taste profile, and is one of the most noticeable characteristics with this beer. Mouth-feel is heavy and thick. Old Rasputin finishes wet and dense. Overall, I liked it and would have it again on a limited basis.


Photo of godless1one
4.95/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance - black as night, brown uneven head

smell - molasses, chocolate, anise, coffee, and roasted malt

taste - sweet first, mixed with the anise and coffee, a drink is followed by a light bitter aftertaste which is colored by anise and chocolate primarily

mouthfeel - thick, smooth, and creamy, decent carbonation, pleasantly heavy

drinkability - I could drink these every day, but they are particularly enjoyable in the cold because of the pleasant warmth that spreads through your body as you drink (thar be alcohol!)

To date this is my favorite brew. I've yet to find a single beer/ale which compares in terms of flavor and overall awesomeness. Although this winter I will be trying the Abyss, so Rasputin's top seat my be in danger.

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

Ahhhh... drinking this lovely stout makes me long for a winter afternoon, where I can just sit on the patio, listen to the leaves rustle and sip this delicious goodness. Anyway, its still hot as balls here, but I picked some up 'cause I love the stuff.

A: Poured from the bottle into a Delirium Tremens snifter/tulip... Jet black, opaque - no light shall pass through the depths of Old Rasputin. Holding it up to light, I feel like I'm examining an 8-ball. Head is brown and somewhat frothy, but it recedes to a few islands of thin foam in the middle of the glass, leaving some sheets of slowly cascading, sparkling tan lace on the glass.

S: When I take a good whiff of Old Raspy, I get an aroma that is dominated by dark chocolate, burned malts, thick molasses and a hint of alcohol. Damn!

T: Mmmm - so tasty... Heavy dark chocolate up front - I love it. Espresso and brownie batter on the end. An impressive hop bite on the finish, but also some of that molasses / burnt sugar sweetness. Nice lingering bitterness that doesn't overpower.

M: Pretty freakin' perfect for the style, if you ask me. Close to full-bodied... a nice thickness, if you will. Good carbonation, too - it seems like a lot of RIS's are a little dead, carbo-wise - but this one has just a touch of zing that really adds another dimension. Also, not super sticky on the palate, which I appreciate.

D: May have mentioned this before, but I love this beer! I can sit back and sip it all day. Ridiculously drinkable RIS. A good one to have on a crisp afternoon... superb.

Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Typical RIS black, 1 finger deep brown head, non-transparent

S - Tons of roasted malt, sweet molasses, toasted nuts

T - Light sugar/molasses, coffee, nuts, candied marshmallow, very dry hops at end.

M/D - Heavy body, great carbonation, awesome flavor profile/palate transition. too easy to drink and no alcohol feel/flavor.

Photo of Erish
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into an English pint glass.

A: opaque, coffee-colored, the head is dark tan and very small, there is no cap but decent lacing.

S: coffee, molasses, caramel, chocolate, maraschino cherries, damp dark earth, nutmeg.

T: the coffee, cherries, and chocolate dominate up front, the molasses follows quickly, and the finish is deep, long, and amazing, with espresso, unsweetened dark chocolate, a woodsy hop bite, fruit wood smoke, alcohol, and a whisper of soy sauce.

M: medium to heavy bodied, silky, abundant carbonation and distinct hop bite.

D: An amazing stout. The finish lasts forever!

Photo of bsp77
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Extremely dark brown with thin tan head and intermittent lacing.

Smell: Molasses predominately, with dark chocolate, soy sauce, coffee, alcohol and a touch of woody earthiness (even though it is not barrel-aged).

Taste: Dark chocolate, roasted barley and coffee, with a semi-burnt molasses undercurrent throughout. Ends with a bite from the burnt molasses, roasted malt and English hops.

Feel: Full body, smooth and creamy, and quite warming. A very slight chalkiness keeps it from a perfect score here.

Drinkability: While not quite the best, this is still the quintessential American-made RIS. A smooth and luxurious sipper.

Photo of fastsrt
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle to snifter

A: black, thick tan head, laces the glass

S: rich roasty, sweet, coffee,

T: Roasted malts, smooth starts off sweet and finishes in perfect balance between bitterness and alcohol. i use this beer as a basis for many beers of this style this is a grand example of of the style.

M: perfect carbonation, full body and enjoyable finish.

D: I love this brew and a 4 pack will go down in an evening. I have been drinking this one for a long time and just decided to post a review.

Photo of herman77
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with a thick, foamy tan head. Tons of sticky lacing everywhere.

S: Deep roasted malt, sweet coco, coffee and a little alcohol.

T: Bitterness and sweetness in a phenomenal balance. Long, slightly warm finish from the alcohol. Lots of roasted malt, along with rich carmel malt, molasses, coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Hop bitterness is also prevalent.

M: Fuller body with moderate, yet tight carbonation bubbles. Very smooth feeling.

D: Very drinkable for a RIS being 9% ABV. Its just so tasty and well balanced, the slightly warming of the alcohol is not a deterrent at all, if anything, it makes the drinkability better in this sort of stout. Great for the winter.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,808 ratings.