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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.

10,162 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,162
Reviews: 3,381
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 328
Gots: 1,443 | FT: 44
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,162 | Reviews: 3,381 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kbeals
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A vigorous pour reveals a jet black beer adorned by plenty of creamy brown sugar colored head. Excellent lacing and head retention throughout the session.

S- Toffee, bitter dark chocolates, a complex malt bill, both roasted and sweet, just a touch of alcohol.

T- Lots of roasted flavors, a burnt taste common to RIS's. A bit of bitterness and a dry finish to round it out. There is some alcohol flavor to it, but it's not overwhelming.

M- Very smooth with little carbonation. Heavy body.

D- The high ABV is a little detrimental to its drinkability, but I could probably drink more of these. A definite recommendation.

kbeals, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of sd42790
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For starters, I got a Russian friend to translate the phrase on the label; it had been bothering me. It states "A true, hearty friend won't be born suddenly".

A- Pitch black, with a coffee brown head. Great cascading bubbles.

S- Pure roasted chocolatey malts on the nose, with an alcohol singe that betrays the 9% ABV.

T- Upfront roasted malts bring the bitter coffee and dark chocolate, with a nice balance of hop bitterness to subdue the raging malts. On the tail end I detected sweetness, reminiscent of raisin, blackcurrant, and port wine. Sublime balance.

M- Thick but not oily on the palette, subdued by a considerable effervescence.

D- I'd have no problem pounding two or three, but beyond that I could see it getting pretty saturating on the palette. However, extreme drinkability is not an aim of this genre of beer, so that sits well with me.

Of the three RIS's that I have had (Old Rasp, Boulevard, Dark Lord), I find this one a nice equilibrium, the Boulevard a bit too thin, the Dark Lord, while delicious, was extremely thick, perhaps impeding on drinkability. Therefore, I put it at the top until I can get my hands on a bottle of Kate the Great.

sd42790, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of drink1121
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Yard House in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

This was one of the best out of the 8 beer survey that night. I like this one because it was the strongest served in pint size. I like the different type of glassware, i.e. a chalice, but they use it to give you less beer.
Anyways, great looking stout, as I think stout are usually very good looking beers. Somewhat fruity taste. I tasted this next to a Rogue Nut Brown and the Rogue was more like a coffee/nutty, where is this was more fruit forward.

I could have a few of these a night. I will def gt one everytime i go there.

drink1121, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of Vonerichs
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, practcially black, with a huge toffee colored head and great lacing. Great looking beer.

Strong nose of heavily roasted coffee followed by dark chocolate.

One of the best tasting RIS's around. Burnt malt and espresso up front, followed by a sweet and slightly bitter dark chocolate and toffee flavors.

This one is super smoothe and thick. Really good mouthfeel that leaves a bitter aftertaste.

As rich as this it, it is very drinkable and I can easily throw back a few in a sitting. The only downside it that it's very filling.

Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite RIS's that I will continue to by on a regular basis. This one's well worth the price.

Vonerichs, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of Magpie14
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: a huge erupting head resulted as my pour was somewhat reckless. This volcanic cap was brown sugar in color, foamed, chunky, and lasting. Lacing was intricate and consisted of the usual strands, blobs, globs, and the like. The body poured dark walnut, burnt sienna, and black. A great look in the class

S: luscious fudge-like chocolate dominates with heavily roasted malts a close second. Even some green cones can be smelled as well as ground coffee beans. This is spot on!

T: mildly bitter chocolate drizzled coffee beans and fudge brownies mixed with blackened (borderline burnt) roasted malts. Tremendous conglomeration of flavors! However, amidst the black look, rich chocolate, and malty flavors a few hops have a well placed wallop on the tongue. Hops are grassy greens with a squeeze or two of citrus. I find the balance to be very nice. This stout maintains a rich complex profile with a ample supply of hops. It never gets overly tangy or real bitter, it stays nice and sweet

M: this is my ideal stout consistency...heavy! Chewy, viscous, and velvet on the tongue. Carbonation is right where it should be and never in the way of the delicate creamed goodness

D: by and far one of the best stouts in the business, I will never tire of this beer! This is my staple beer and I love being able to get it on tap close by, an angel pooping on your tongue!

Magpie14, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of blynes75
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a pint glass at a temperature of 45 degrees. Jet black with a 1" caramel colored head that left very sticky lacing with every sip.

S: Smell is of strong roasted malts with hints of expresso and dark chocolate.

T: Smooth...very smooth. Tastes just like it smells. Each sip is an adventure that starts with big roasted malts and expresso and leaves hints of dark chocolate & molasses on the palate. Finish is that of moderate hoppiness that completes this beer wonderfully.

M: Not too thick, not too thin but very creamy. Coats the mouth and the mild carbonation makes it very silky and smooth. This is one of the best beer experiences I have had.

D: For a RIS this is the most drinkable I have had. The relatively strong 9% abv is hidden very well. If the first one didn't leave its mark every time, it would be hard not to have 2 or 3 or....

blynes75, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of Kromes
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a thick brown head that stick to the sides of the glass. Sweet chocolate roasted malt and fruit aromas. This may be gross but the smell reminded me of straight Skoal chew spit. Kind of unappetizing and I wish I hadn't have made that connection. However the flavor totally redeemed the beer and made up for the aroma. Chocolate cream and dark roast burnt coffee beans with just the right amount of slight hop bitterness at the finish. There is an unsweetened dark chocolate flavor that lingers. Incredibly tasty. Could not detect any alcohol warmth or flavor in this beer.

Kromes, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of bskrtz
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 ounce bottle to large, open challice.

A) Very dark --black. No light passes through. Good head with decent carbonation. May have more to do with the skill of the pourer

S) Burnt coffee, spices, brown sugar

T) Very complex. The burnt coffee dominates but distinct taste of dark chocolate, raisons & caramel

M) Thick, effervescent with little alcohol on the tongue

D) A very good interpretation of Russian Imperial Stout

bskrtz, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black and lacy, like lingerie

Emits an odd, though pleasant, bubble guminess with a smack of toffee

Paired with a sharp cheddar, I can't help but taste Bazooka Joe. Odd. Mild chocolate and Skor bars. Do they still make those?

Hides booze well. Sweet, drinkable, perplexing.

Just not a big fan of this beer.

BarrytheBear, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of carp420
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

longtime beer drinker, first time reviewer

poured into a pint glass, this liquid comes out damn near black with a brown frothy head two fingers deep that lingers on the top somewhat and laces the glass all the way down

it smells like a nice stout, immediately the roasted malts come to the nose followed by a nice coffee smell, can barely smell the boose

very good flavor to this beer, mainly near burnt malts ,lots of coffee, creamy dark chocolate incorporated with a nutty flavor, the high abv doesn't affect the flavor of of the beer

feels perfect in the mouth, not to thick, a nice big creamy beer.

not a session beer but i could drink alot more of these beers and i will

carp420, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of turnblom79
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great Russian Imperial Stout flavor. I really enjoyed this one compared to other RIS because the alcohol taste was barely there unlike some others. This was very dark and thick, but I was still able to put a nice head on it when pouring. The taste was very chocolaty with nice coffee tones, and a nice smooth finish.

turnblom79, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of BarrelO
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A: Black with an off-white head that quickly fades and leaves good lacing.

S: Roasted coffee, some hops, a little bit of chocolate.

T: Big time espresso-like blast of roastiness. Hops are quite a bit more noticeable than usual for the style. Also hints of bittersweet chocolate.

M: Feels creamy, but the hops dry out the mouth.

D: This has got to be the coffee-est beer I've ever had that didn't actually have coffee in it. This is also the beer that taught me the importance of the proper serving temperature. When served cold, it's a decent stout. After it's warmed up, it's one of the best beers on Earth.

BarrelO, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of johnmichael712
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured out of a 12. oz bottle into a nonic glass. This beer pours an opaque mahogany color with ruby tints around the edges and it allows light through when backlit with a lamp. The dark khaki colored head starts is absolutely gargantuan in size and rises from the depths of the glass the way a nitro-bottle or nitro-can pour does. The head has a wonderfully soft, pillowy texture and takes a long time to dissipate. As I'm drinking this beer a moderate amount of lace is left clinging onto the glass for dear life.

Smell: My first sniff of the nose reminds me a lot of Victory's Storm King Russian Imperial Stout because the hops dominate the nose in a similar way, but in subsequent sniffs the aroma of bittersweet chocolate is dominant. There is also a strong roasted malt presence in the nose, and hints of coffee, molasses, and brown sugar.

Taste: This beer starts off with a wonderful chocolate and malt flavor with a hint of espresso (the usual chocolate/espresso flirtation that Imperial Stouts have) and finishes with a very light citrusy hop flavor and a good amount of alcohol warmth. I disagree entirely with those that say this beer is too hoppy, as I found the hops to be very toned down and much more subtle than Storm King. Dominated instead by intense chocolate and roasted malt flavors, this is one exceptionally delicious beer. I wish I had a better grasp of the English language to more fully describe this beer, but it doesn't really matter because only sampling this beer yourself will truly do it justice.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is where this beer truly shines, and to rate it at anything lower than a five would be criminal. My first sip took my breath away with how creamy, luxurious, silky, multiple other adjectives, this beer feels on my tongue. This silkiness is supplemented by an insanely thick and chewy body and a very light amount of carbonation that makes this beer feel more like drinking a melted chocolate bar than drinking a beer. This is definitely the best "feeling" beer I've ever drank, and if I could give it a six I would.

Drinkability: One of the most drinkable stouts out there. There isn't even a slight mention of the 9% alcohol, and the smooth, lavish mouthfeel mixed with the decadent chocolaty taste make it possible to quaff this brew all night long. At the moment I'm having a tough time imagining a more perfect night than sitting in front of a fire with a good book drinking a couple of these baddies.

Notes: At the time of my review this beer is sitting at number eighty-nine on the best of BA list just above Storm King, thus I was expecting something qualitatively similar to Storm King. Boy was I wrong. This beer is superior in every way, and is one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts out there. It definitely deserves to be higher on the best of BA list, and right now only Stone's Imperial Russian Stout seems to be the equal of this beer in the RIS category. If you ever see this beer in the store do yourself a favor a pick up more than one. You won't be disappointed.

johnmichael712, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle to 22oz snifter.

A: Pours jet black with a nice puffy brown head with good retention leaving nice lacing and spots clinging to the glass every time you take a sip.

S: Strong roasted malts with high amounts of alcohol with noticeable hops and coffee.

T: Big flavor. Roasted malts hit upfront turning into espresso with a bitter chocolate finish with a bit of a hop bitterness tagging along. Not as much alcohol comes out in the flavor as does the nose.

Overall: Great mouthfeel, great carbonation which helps bring out the wonderful flavor over this heavy and silky bodied stout. Very drinkable for the style, the alcohol doesn't slow down and it's not overpowering at all. Very good beer.

AdmiralDiaz, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pitch black with hazelnut lining; my glass has become the sight of one big oil spill. The complexion is utterly unyielding - even when held directly into the light the beer refuses any highlights or transparency. This defines the word 'opaque'. The rustic toned carbonation seems selective about which parts of the top it chooses to amplify. Nevertheless, it's fairly thorough and leaves a coating of lacing that sticks like drying cement.

The nose is everything you'd ask for in an Imperial Stout (chocolate, espresso, heavy roast, molasses, black licorice) plus an extremely generous inclusion of hops. We're talking West Coast style hops - lively, spicy, tangy, fruity, acidic, green, fresh from the vine hops. Although they do interfere a little with all the dark chocolate and roast malt decadence, they also provide a level of sumptuousness of their own. This smell is divine.

Each sip is like drinking liquefied dark chocolate. Well, it's not that simple actually. It's like drinking liquefied dark chocolate that has been infused with a strong, heavy roast espresso and a farm's worth of macerated hop cones. There's a big spoonful of dark caramel, a layer of crunchy toffee crust and nibs of black licorice. Bittersweet notes resonate with increasing intensity on the finish. Surely if there is an ideal tasting Imperial Stout this must be it.

Words like "smooth" and "delicious" have been so overused in reviews that they've lost much of their meaning. That said, a beer like Old Rasputin comes along and there's no better, more appropriate adjectives to describe it. It not only rejuvenates these words, it might even redefine them. The flavours are luscious, the body is full, the textures vivid and the alcohol never to be seen. This whole thing just feels like a warm (decadently rich) blanket.

They may not all be easy to get your hands on, but there is no shortage of great Imperial Stouts. The bar for this style is set ridiculously high, arguably much higher than most other styles. Although Old Rasputin may no longer be recognized as one of the top, most decadent RIS it damn well should be. I've had my share of revered, highly sought after Imperial Stouts but I'd still claim this as one of my favourites. And probably always will.

biegaman, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of sliverX
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes drank on 3-17-09
Poured a used motor oil like color, a mocha head that faded fast but left some lacing
Smell was deep dark roasted barley and some coffee
Taste was big roasted coffee and barley with a nice hop bitterness and alcohol presence in the finish
Mouthfeel was over carbonated and a bit to thin for my preferences but not terrible
Drinkability was good but having more than one of these would have shot me for the night...

sliverX, Mar 22, 2009
Photo of JonMich13
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A = Jet black with a one finger dark tan head that retreated rather quickly. Decent lacing that stuck around for the whole deal.

S = Very nice sweet fruits and chocolate. Coffee and malts also ever present. Nice balanced aroma.

T = Wonderful sweet fruit and chocolate notes to start. Warm coffee and hints of chocolate bloom in the middle, with a mild hop bitter to finish.

M = This is where I feel like this one lacks slightly. A little more thin on the palate than I would expect. I guess I was hoping for it to be a little creamier and chewy.

D = Excellent drinkability. ABV is well hidden. Could go for another right now.

All told, a great example of this style, and henceforth a staple in my fridge.

JonMich13, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of Risser09
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - 2008

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with absolutely no highlights. The head rises 1/2" and is light brown in color. A tiny bit of lace remains after the head recedes calmly.

Smell: Heavy malt aroma and plenty of dark fruits. Cherry, plum, apricot and raisin. There is also a sweet chocolate aroma, almost like chocolate milk.

Taste: Subtle flavors of milk chocolate, roasted malt, licorice and coffee. Slight hop addition gives some IBUs. Nice balance, but not overly complex.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavily bodied, ample carbonation, and a lot of RIS qualities. Belly warming alcohol, ample sweetness.

Drinkability: A decent brew. I expected more based upon word of mouth, but am left wanting more complexity. At least its not cloyingly sweet.

Risser09, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
2.4/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 8/5/2008 (bottle):

Pours an inky black colored body, with a gray brown head, with some good lacing but not very lasting. Aroma has some alcohol and some dark malts, nuttiness. Malty taste and some dustiness. Somewhat hot. Some dark chocolate. Too much for me.

jujubeast6000, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Opaque black liquid with a big, frothy, tan head

S- Lots of roasted barley reminds me of coffee. Some complexity arises with dark fruits and hints of alcohol

T- Delicious mix of sweet malt, bitter hop, and tart yeast/alcohol characteristics. I can't find anything wrong with this beer. Perhaps it is too tasty

M- A mouth-full of chewy, full-bodied goodness

D- Drinkable enough to pair with dinner and filling enough to solo as dessert

EnojysAnyBeer, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of daftafne
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a mini tulip, it is an almost black liquid with a finger of dark tan head which is not resilient. The smell is not very strong despite being served just slightly chilled. Smells of vanilla coffee/espresso, caramel. Taste begins a bit sweet then some hop bitterness, roasted malts, coffee/espresso and finishes nice and bitter. The alcohol warmth was fairly prominent near the end of the glass as it warmed. Light carbonation and a medium to medium-heavy body. The drinkability is limited by the 9% ABV. Very good classical interpretation of the style.

daftafne, Mar 17, 2009
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Thick dark brown syrup. Can see reds against the light. Thick tan head that sat a while and laced beautifully.

S: Sweet roasted chocolate and coffee aroma with some earthy hops on top.

T: Bitter dark chocolate and sweet coffee malts. An earthy hoppy background and lingering bitterness and sweetness. a small taste of alcohol underneath. very well balanced.

MF: Thick syrupy drink that goes down very smooth. Leaves you snacking your lips for another.

D: This brew has everything you could hope for in an Imperial Stout. Very good.

CHILLINDYLAN, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black with almost no head. Not much lacing.

Smell is great. Very pleasent roasty aroma. Slightly sweet smelling. Lots of chocolate and coffee.

Tastes just as it smells. This RIS is a little more on the roasty side of the spectrum.

Mouthfeel is good. No complaints.

Overall a heavy beer that I couldn't drink alot of but it is very tasty.

PeprSprYoFace, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of delmarnate
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost black and with a syrupy appearance. Dark brown head that fades quickly. The smell is overpowering. You know what you are in for. The first sip is heavily bitter and smooth in feel. more bitterness in the aftertaste with a hint of coffee and chocolate. An excellent beer. Not for stout beginners, but everything that a stout lover wants and loves about the style.

delmarnate, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of Riccymon
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a syrupy black from the bottle with a finger of wicked, dark brown head that dissipates to a film. Right after the pour, I smell plenty of hops, but soon the smell is mostly musty and earthy. On first sip, Old Rasputin is a massive, chewy beer. Early on, I taste loads of bitter chocolate, but the finish is mostly grassy hops and a little alcohol. As this warms, however, I begin to taste coffee and some plum and apple flavors. For the style, I think drinkability is above average, because the flavor, hoppiness, and booziness are not over the top like in others I've tried.

An all-around delicious beer, and for the price, it absolutely can't be beat.

Riccymon, Mar 13, 2009
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,162 ratings.