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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.

9,914 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,914
Reviews: 3,362
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 302
Gots: 1,331 | FT: 43
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: 9,914 | Reviews: 3,362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of froghop
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a jet black with a mountainous brown head, excellent lacing.

smell is of cocoa, coffee, touch of licorice, and a touch of hazelnut.

taste is smooth, milk and dark chocolate, touch of caramel, and coffee bean, ends a little bitter and somewhat dry.

froghop, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of ClassicBrad
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I remember being VERY satisfied with this on draft and when I saw a bottle of it for $2.50....!!!! Come on, that's pretty much free when it comes to a beer this good.

Drew it into a snifter and watched the oily head build up and shrink to a layer that leaves a very wet and sporatic lacing on the glass.

The aromatics hint of coffee, chocolate and black licorice but not very strongly.

Taste is full blown chocolate malts with espresso and black licorice. Very well balanced and complex.

Mouthfeel lets the beer explode its flavors in your mouth and simply adds just another exciting part of the beer. Tends to lend itself to the carbonated side for this style.

Drinkability, for a 9% ABV beverage, is outstanding. Aside from the fact that you're going to be drunk, you'll still be wanting to keep tasting it.

ClassicBrad, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of bcolflesh
3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was just too bitter for me to drink as a standalone - I realize now that most "craft" beer drinkers are looking for super bitter beers, so I can see the popularity of this - but it is not for me. Would be a good accompaniment to a heavy meal that would mask the bitter flavor.

bcolflesh, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of GlassCityBrewer
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is the first imperial I ever had and it still remains my favorite. Old Rasputin is big, rich, chocolate, coffee, roasted goodness that never lets up. it's the perfect, kick back and slowly sip beer for me and I really don't say that often. So by far, if you're looking for a go big or go home kind of Russian, look no further.

GlassCityBrewer, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of BigJTrucker
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a very thick light tan head that settles fairly slowly. Aroma is surprisingly hoppy, along with some cocoa notes. Tate has some roasted coffee flavors, along with some oakey notes as well. Maybe even a faint bit of licorice ? Hmm... Mouthfeel is a tad bit light for such a flavorful brew. A very nice RIS. Would certainly be agreeable to having this again.

BigJTrucker, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of mcfisty
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance=Opaque, full beige head at first simmering down to a very thin ring.

Aroma= Blasts out cocoa, coffee, well roasted malts, very pleasant and soothing. No alcohols showing themselves yet. Some hops just letting you know their there.

Flavor= coffee and rich roasted malts at first with the dark bittersweet chocolate flavor coming in behind. A faint hint of raisins in the finish. More and more coming out as it warms.

Mouthfeel = A bit thin and prickly in my opinion. Not as viscous as I like my big boys to be.

Drinkability= First one going down really smooth, alcohol already warming half way through...Ill let you know later tonight ;)

mcfisty, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of bifrostguard
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pitch black with a long lasting tan head that can get as big as you make it. Nice thick viscosity when disturbed. Lacing chases the liquid surface down to the bottom.

S-Roasted Coffee, toffee, caramel and most interestingly of all floral hops.

T-After being shocked by the aromatic hop presence, I was even more amazed by the complex layers of flavor that this beverage has to offer. At the forefront is chocolate, roasted coffee, malt and complimentary hop bitterness. An alcohol burn follows that is absolutely perfection.

M- Medium to thick, creamy with plenty of carbonation to keep things interesting.

D-Very easy to drink despite the alcohol presence. A smooth and creamy imperial stout.

A cult classic that is worthy of the tag!

bifrostguard, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of BarleyMine
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is definitely a stout-standing brew that pours a deep brown with a "chocolate foam" head that disipates rather quickly to a mere thin line and has sticky, on-the-move lacing. It smells of chocolate syrup with toasted/smokey notes and slight hints of a freshly rained on forest. The flavors are of toasted malts with chocolate tones and prevalant alcohol with a slight hoppy bitterness. Presents medium carbonation with a pleasant, lingering palate.

BarleyMine, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of steelcutoats
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


FINALLY THE RUSSIAN INPERIAL STOUT I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!!! When I saw this bad boy on the shelf I was ecstatic. I rushed home and poured a 12 oz. bottle into my prized tasting snifter. There was a creamy mocha colored head that slowly settled, with a good amount of lacing on the inside of the glass. The actual color of the beer was jet black, absolutely devoid of any light penetrating the brew itself. The aroma was amazing, dark chocolate notes along with roasted malts. The taste was absolutely exquisite. Very smooth, not a hint of alcohol, with tastes of chocolate malts, espresso, and a subtle hop background. This beer is definitely one to stock up on and enjoy throughout the cold winter months.

steelcutoats, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of andrewt960
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lets start off by saying this was a weather inspired choice. Tropical Storm Hanna Has arrived and I needed something with some depth and character. This beer has it.
A: Black, with a chocolate brown head. I mean black.
S: Malty, roasted malts, slightly burnt. Not much alcoholconsidering the 9%.
T: Very nice, much more enjoyable than other I.S. that I have tried, and better than Brooklyn. Roasted, toasted, and burnt notes coming through in every sip. I think I can detect some notes of hops in the aftertaste, but not sure.
M:Carbonated. Very nice mouthfeeth for this style beer.
D: I would love to try this beer again and share it with a stout fan. My dad would have been the perfect guy to share this one with.

andrewt960, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of SickBrew
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from by the bottle in Vancouver, WA in a 12 oz bottle.

A very dark beer, black with a fair blond head. Nose is rich roasted malts with a touch of hops and espresso in there. Flavor is complex and full and heavy on roasted malts. Finishes nice and dry. A good beer for one of those long winter days but I don't think a could drink more than one in a sitting. As far as stouts go this was not my favorite but worth trying none the less.


SickBrew, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of Jayli
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice beer!
Pours a dark, dark black - no light passes through. There is about an inch tan colored head to it.
There is the scent of coffee with hints of chocolate...same with the taste - coffee and chocolate highlights. There is a slightly bitter aftertaste, though that doesn't stick around.
Overall a pretty drinkable beer.

Jayli, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of Clydesdale
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a midnight black, with no light shining through whatsoever. A rolling brown head slowly rises as it's poured.

S: Whiffs of alcohol, burnt/roasted malt, perhaps some caramel and coffee.

T: Big and potent. Espresso and dark chocolate, with lots of burnt malts. A nice kiss of bitter hops finishes the sip along with some definite sweetness. Alcohol flavor becomes more prevalent as the beer warms.

M: Thick and super chewy, with very tight carbonation.

D: Very very tasty, but probably not something you'd session, obviously. One of my favorites, for sure.

Clydesdale, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of danny013
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a 16 oz. English style tankard. Pours a deep black body with light hints of brown around the edges, topped with a thick 2-finger brown head. Head falls into the beer and leaves a nice .25" cake over the beer for half the brew and thins out after. Great lacing.

Smell is mainly of a complex malt/chocolate balance, some sweet hints with a big dark chocolate aroma with some roasted grains thrown in. Hops are present, assertive to push through that malt base, somewhat citrusy, piney. Very nice and complex.

Taste is as big and complex as the aroma. Some slight astringency up front initially, gives way almost immediately to a big, dark chocolate malt base. Roasted grains push through, hops tagging along. Good mix of roasted grains and hop bitterness push the huge initial maltiness back and take control, revealing another facet of this brew. Hops are a mix of citrus and some gentle pine. After swallowing the beer a light, tingly carbonation is left on the tongue that brings through some pleasant roasted grains and more hop bitterness, along with a nice warming sensation from the alcohol. Alcoholic warmth left all down the throat. Dark chocolate flavors linger on the tongue. Wow.

Mouthfeel is great, thick, viscous body with a perfect carbonation level to move this thick beer around the palate.

Drinkability is great. A delicious, complex ale to sit and sip and pick out it's gentle nuances. Not something to drink more than 2 of. Perfect for cold evenings, I'm going to let a bottle or two of this rest until winter time here.

Overall, a fantastic, complex ale that will knock your socks off with it's aroma/flavors as well as it's ABV. Not for the lighthearted, this is definitely something to be savored.

danny013, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of HopDerek
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Grapevine, poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a thick jet black with some reddish purple hues in light with 1 finger of creamy tan head, good retention, nice lacing as well as some oily residue. Smells of chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malt, licorice, and coffee. Tastes of chocolate, roasted malt, raisins, figs, and cherries with a finish of anise, espresso, and a slight alcohol kick. Medium full in body, low in carbonation. Smooth and creamy with nice chocolate and roasted notes and a good bitterness. Dangerously easy to drink, more of a hearty dessert beer for me, but it can hold its own against any of the harder to find RIS.

HopDerek, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of IceEyes
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've been drinking Old Rasputin for years. It's one of my favorite standby beers for long winter nights when I feel like drinking something dark and strong. The flavor is bursting with roasted goodness, yet it's still smooth and creamy with an easy drinkability. Strong aroma of fresh roasted grains, chocolate, coffee, and spice. NOt overly hopped like some stouts, but well balanced. And it's just as good during warm weather. Black as midnight. Great beer.

IceEyes, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of Goliath
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black and completely opaque with a thin layer of frothy brown head sitting on top. Good retention and small bits of lacing.

The aroma is nice. Roasted malts confront the drinker showing mostly chocolate and coffee tones. This ones a little boozy too.

The taste is great. Burnt malts, again with chocolate and coffee dominating. Pretty boozy.

Mouthfeel is too thin. It's medium bodied and highly carbonated, it would be much more appealing if it were full bodied and still.

Drinkability is moderate. Flavor is nice, but the alcohol is on the high end and does limit this brew.

Goliath, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of SimplySinister
2.35/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Black and Opaque. Similiar to other Russian imperial stouts. Fair carbonation and a very nice head.

S - Full bodied, complex. Notes of Barleywine, Malt, and licorice.

T - OR tastes of malt and barelywine. Unlike other Russian Imperials OR seems to lack deep mocha/coffee notes. It reminds me of a Russian Imperial version of Skullsplitter.

M - Thick.

D - I am not impressed with OR's drinkability. While I could easily drink multiple Samuel Smith Imperials, it seems that I can just not stomach OR.

All in all, fans of barleywine and malt with adore this brew. On the other hand, I dislike it.

SimplySinister, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of HoppyMcStout
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very thick and dark blackish hue with a deep tan head. Smelled of chocolate and maybe currants? The taste offers a sharp coffee-like bitterness that balanced the sweetness. Let it warm a little and of course it gets even better. This is becoming a go-to RIS for me as it's readily available, year-round no less. Some of the other breweries would do well to take a lesson from Northcoast and offer a pleasant RIS 12 months a year!

HoppyMcStout, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of SLeffler27
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There is one happy snifter glass, cozying up around the big creamy, coffee head. The rest of the glass is jet black, while thick patches of lace cling to the walls of the glass.

The roasted malts dominate, with an accompaniment of caramel and sweet molasses. But what is this, hints of spruce is suspect.

The bitterness, is rather surprising here. Some acidity is present, with roasted espresso and unsweetened chocolate. A strong alcohol finish helps clear the palate.

Yeah, this one is full bodied, and chewy. Very impressive.

Find a place in the rotation for this one. It lives up to the mysterious nature of it's namesake. Perhaps best with a sirloin, or a strong flavored roast.

SLeffler27, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of thekevlarkid
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of the bottle an opaque black through which no light would pass. Cascades into the glass too, damn! Voluminous, foamy, three finger head of brown bubbles displayed nice retention with very sticky bands of lacing like mocha garters all the way down my glass. Rich aromas of sweet malts, roasted malts, coffee and some alcohol. Flavors were also fearless, lots of freshly roasted coffee, roasted malt and a high hop bitterness. Some unsweetened chocolate appears as the brew warms and the 9% ALC becomes more apparent. Very smooth on the palate with a perfectly balanced malt/hop ratio and low carbonation helping to give this one a high drinkability. Bold and almost evil in character, this beer is everything a Russian Imperial should be and not for the faint of heart.

thekevlarkid, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of PatronWizard
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Wife told everyone to bring me a unique beer for my birthday. This is one of the three BA Top 100s I scored. Lets do it...

Guess what....it's dark. Fairly black. Nice mocha head. Began to thin out.

Stout smell.

Well the flavor is more commanding than the smell. Not that the smell is bad, but the taste kicks it up a notch. Bam!It's actually a bit too cold right now so I'll let it warm. *Lets it warm* Bitter in a chocolaty way. Coffee of course, possibly some black licorice.

After warming for some time, the aroma filled out with some dark cherries and alcohol but the mouthfeel got even smoother.

Overall: good, but after Stone IRS what else is there?

PatronWizard, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of Mauerhan
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i poured this little bottle of magic into a snifter. pours a thick black with a solid two finger burlap colored head that stayed thick for at least five minutes, i got a little floating island of head down to the bottom. nice lacing. the smell is great hints of coffee chocolate,brown sugar, molasses with a hint of alcohol. the flavor of this beer is great. i get hit by the chocolate, nice and bitter, i can feel a bit of the alcohol in the back of my mouth. full flavor. the subtle aftertaste lingers for quite some time. great mouthfeel. the beer is an easy drinker. with the scents and the variety of flavors on this beer i would say its a journey. i would love to cook with this sometime.

Mauerhan, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of kbnooshay
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured an incredibly dark black color with only the slightest red highlights poking through when held up to light. The billowing beige/brown head hung around for a few minutes with some linear lacing around the glass.

S: Light alcoholic whiff at first. Overall this is a rich smelling brew with hints of coffee and chocolate.

T: The flavor here is also rich, the chocolate flavor is slightly bitter(i love bitter dark chocolate flavor). There is a light hop punch, could use more.

MF/D: Full bodied beer. Very very smooth and creamy. I would only have one of these but it is a delight.

I have had a lot of amazing russian imperial stouts over the last years and this one is closer to the top than the bottom. The best ive ever had usually have a tad more hop bite to balance out the deathly malt and chocolateiness.

kbnooshay, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of Bananaman
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! I really love this one. Pretty much in the same league as Brooklyn Black Chocolate. Got two more in my "beer cellar" and I have high hopes for them.

Almost Black/Red color with a nice beige head.

Smells amazing, full on raisins, hops, sweetness, fudge, vanilla and some rosted malts.

The taste is pretty similar to the smell, but is much more roasted and bitter tones in the taste than the smell. Medium palate, not thin - not thick.

Amazing beer! This is a so called "must try".

Bananaman, Aug 21, 2008
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,914 ratings.