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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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10,362 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,362
Reviews: 3,397
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 354
Gots: 1,562 | FT: 47
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)
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,362 | Reviews: 3,397 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of supercolter
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is great very dark and thick looking, little to no carbonation.
Smell and taste are similar, but taste is a bit stronger. There is a very malty coffee up front, some tobacco, and a hint of bitter chocolate. Some slight dark fruit as well. Mouthfeel is good as well, medium to heavy body. Goes down much smoother than any other RIS I have had.

Photo of Slatetank
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Teresa's Next door on Nitro at the Beer Geek brunch, Served chilled in a large snifter

A - Deep black, opaque like a black hole w/ 2 fingers of whipped chocolate mousse for a head.

S- Slight port aroma, deep plum, tobacco, cocoa, vanilla, coffee and caaramel

M - Lots of creaminess in the feel w/ smooth vanilla and spice. Lots of charred malt textures w/ mild sweetness in the finish and mild alcohol accent

T - Bitter cocoa, dark toffee, french pressed french roast coffee, caramel and high amounts of vanilla flavor-earthy bean like elements. A dark brown sugar, molasses and cocoa mix w/ mild caramel, dark plum fruit notes and hints of roasted barley. There is the taste of dark rum as the alchohol is present in the finish, with mild sweetness at around room temp.

D - Well brewed RIS w/ nitro usage I actually enjoyed. I am not normally a fan of the Nitro, but in this stout it is fantastic, Old Rasputin is a top -notch ale any way you cut it.

Photo of SteveS1
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the bottle to a glass-
Look: Pitch black, only a hint of red at the edges. Thick bubbly brown head, little retention.

Smell: Sweet, malty, cherry, and yes, a bit of alcohol.

Taste: The taste begins with a dark cherry flavor, then fades quickly into a roasted chocolate. Aftertaste is of bitter alcohol.

Feel: Thick, heavy, a little carbonation.

Drink: The strong alcohol content and flavor keeps this from being any more than a sip and enjoy.

Photo of mirish72
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had picked this up in a mixed six. To be honest I haven't been too impressed by North Coast's other offerings, but I had high hopes for this one and wasn't disappointed.

Pours jet black with little head into a Portsmouth snifter. Smells great, chocolately, lots of malts and other good stuff in a RIS. Overall, it was really nicely done, with a nice even taste, without the sweetness that sometimes creeps into some RIS.

Definitely a keeper.

Photo of AccidentalKate
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A deep, dark, brown, nearly black. Very opaque and pours a thick lighter brown head that lasts quite some time. Light belgian lace when the head does dissipate.

Smell: A bold roast aroma, with a bit of mocha rounding it off. Little hops apparent.

Taste: Strong roast grain taste, straddling the border of carbon tasting, but pulling back at the last minute. The finish seems to last for ages, and shows it's true complexity there, with cocoa being somewhat prevalent, and molasses even more so, before the bitterness comes in like a bolt of lightening. Sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full, with just enough carbonation to make it lightly pop on the tongue without overwhelming the flavors of the beer itself.

Drinkability: Very little in the way of flaws make this a great example of what I believe an Imperial Stout should taste like.

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

Pours black with a light brown head that quickly fades, but continues to seep up.

Big malty aroma, mainly cocoa with vanilla.

Wonderful flavor - chocolate malt, espresso, vanilla, dark red fruit, slightly sweet with about as much hop flavor as you'll find in any RIS out there. Good cohesion. Hops and roasted malt contribute to a long, fairly bitter finish.

Medium bodied for the style, and sticky with plenty of carbonation.

This is a standby for good reason.

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

P: '08 bottle poured into a sample glass.

A: Poured a deep dark amber with a slight, dark tan colored head that dissipated quickly. Very little carbonation which lead to a relatively fine head leaving little lacing.

S: sweet dark chocolate, roasted coffee, alcohol, and just a hint of some sort of dark fruit.

T: Opens sweet and malty leading to a chocolately middle with a hint of roasted raisin flavor. Ends alcoholic but there is almost no aftertaste.

M: medium bodied for an RIS with a coarsity that doesn't match its carbonation.

D: this one definitely lived up to the hype. Complex and befitting of the RIS style I can't wait to have another.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness dating on bottle or label. Single purchased from local health foods store for $2.29.

A-Pours a deep, dark brown almost black hue with a two finger, creamy tan head with great retention and heavy lacing. A gorgeous craft beer.

S-Deep, dark chocolate and toasted malts and organic Turkish apricots. Also reminded me of chocolate pudding cake my mother used to make when I was a kid. The smell is wonderful.

T-Disappointing, in that it was not equal to the anticipation I expected from the aroma. Quite bitter with only a slight fruity finish. Improved as it warmed. Not a complex as I would have liked.

M-Robust, but very smooth with medium to full body. Warming due to the alcohol.

D-Good for a RIS, but not great. I like this and always want more when I finish a single 12 oz. bottle, but it doesn't achieve the rich complexity it aspires to.

I love the label with depiction of Rasputin and transliterated Russian text. Makes me think of snow and winter.

Photo of mdwalsh
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A great 1+ finger head that you don't often find in this style of brew. Not something I take off for lacking, but give credit for having. I even see some active carbonation in there. It is, as one would hope, Black and black and black and black. I like it very much.

S: Dark, sweet fruit, some malt and maybe a hint of roasted barley? No hops, no overwhelming roast. I really get the smell of cooking chocolate, such as making fudge or melting chocolate for dipping fruit. Very good, not quite perfect though.

T: More sweet fruit, not so much on the raisin side but more so the cooked apple and plum sort of taste. Absolutely no sign of alcohol. If you told me this was an NA beer, I wouldn't doubt you. I don't get the gritty dryness of a roasted malt or anything. I really, really like this beer.

M: Proper thickness, not too thin, not to rich or creamy. It does have a mild carbonation bite and a little tingle afterward which is kinda funny, but all in all pretty good.

D: Very good taste, very doable, but the abv limits its true drinkability. But for the style, very good.

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

the benchmark for the style.
pours thick, black, and viscous, with a respectable tan-brown head.
smells like a coffee shop that also makes wonderful chocolate-chip cookies. sounds weird, but i've been to a couple, and thats what it reminds me of.
tastes sweet, roasty, creamy, and sinful. strong coffee up front, bitter chocolate with a hint of anise (not overpowering as in some RIS's) and with a sweet cream finish.
mouthfeel is decently creamy. carbonation is subtle.
drinkability is good for the style. dangerously smooth when a beer this strong should be more of a sipper.

a regular in my rotation. the best value as far as imperial stouts go. though i havent had brooklyn's BCS in a while so i hold the right to reverse that statement.
one of the best RIS's, and one of the best stouts overall.

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

Pours out quite thick, though not as close to motor oil as some recent imperial stouts I've seen. Hints of ruby red peek from around the edges of my glass, and the darkish tan head is light a frothy, lasting well but leaving little lacing. Nose is obviously well-hopped, with citrus and fruit notes hovering over the menacingly dark chocolate. Treacle and plum sit in the mix as well, fabulously complex and alluring. Taste is a minor step back, as the hops step forward and the vinous character takes a distinct back seat to the slam of coffee and chocolate. Still there is a nice note of tobacco in the mix, which keeps it lively and interesting. Mouthfeel is nice and thick, not overpowering though, and drinkability is solid. Very good stout, has everything you're looking for without necessarily being at the very top rank in its category.

Photo of Anthony1
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a snifter

this thing pours like motor oil. a deep deep coco color with a whispy tan head.

smells like a chocolate expresso. Lots of coco, roasted malt, coffee. main up front aroma is the chocolate though. tastes very roasted coffee malts. full bodied, very creamy and chewey. Almost like a coffee chocolate milk shake. very rich and enjoyable. giving stone IRS a run for its money, but i think stone still has the lead in my heart.

Photo of mwagner1018
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Looks like a nice pint of dark roast Italian coffee, deep dark chocolate, almost black...frothy heady, that lingers and reintroduces itself with a light swirl.

S- Deep coffee notes, butter nut, caramel.

T- Awesome...chocolate malt notes, smooth, creamy, notes of scotch, oak, woody and sharp, but extremely well balanced.

M- Complex, bitter, vanilla, buttery...very nice body.

D- Wow, drank half a glass...great sipping beer, dark and whicked...in a great way...deep and balanced...very very nice beer. Drinkable if you are going to have 1...

Photo of AgentZero
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very black, with tan sneaking through on the edges. Nice tan head, with some pretty lacing going down the sides.

S - A little smoke on this one. Malts and chocolate come through. I expect this one to be a little bitter.

T - Definately some coffee, burnt chocolate on this one. The bitter comes through, but in a good way.

M - Full, thick. Just what you'd expect from this.

D - Goes down pretty easily, but couldn't do a whole lot of these.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not much else can be said for this beer. For my own purposes thogh here's what I think. Poured into an imperial pint glass it's dark brown nearly black in color. The head is about 1 inch thick that is tan in color. The aroma is chocolate and coffee. Roast malt with a fresh baked preztle hint to it. The flavor is a delicious blend of coffee and chocolate. Hints of bready malt shine through as well. A moderate hop bite sneaks in at the end. I feel it has a medium body to full body that never feels heavy considering the style. This is one of the most drinkable RIS I've ever had. It's not cloyingly sweet or thick and syrupy like this style tends to lean towards. I could see downing a few of these. Although the higher ABV might have a thing to say in my descision.

Photo of Onenote81
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting around to trying this beer. I keep passing it up in the store, but now I wonder why I waited so long.

Poured into my snifter a dark thick black with a thin tan head on top. No retention, and very little sticky lacing. Smells of big coffee overtones, roasted cocoa beans, and dark bread. The mouth is bit spritzy for the style, but it finishes creamy and smooth.

This is a freaking stellar RIS. Big coffee presence that finishes with a bitter dark chocolate twang. There is absolutely nothing harsh about this. The roasted characteristics are mellow and very subtle. This is one of the most drinkable big dark beers I've ever had. I will make sure this is most always in my fridge from here on out. Great beer.

Photo of cnally
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

I have had this before, but I have never had the chance to review. So let's dip into this mean bastard!

The appearance is wickedly amazing--pitch black and a massive tan head, with plenty of lacing.

A woodsy aroma, coffee, chocolate, burnt wood, with a bit of nuttiness, but dark nuts like walnut and brazil nuts.

You can take the flavor many ways. Here is my take. The mocha, bitter, burnt wood, oaty flavor is deep, and dark. Evil. It is oppressive in its intensity. Old Rasputin wants to bring you to your knees. It wants you to say, "This is too much smoke flavor at the finish!" Or, "This is making my head spin!" And there are few beers that can bring you into its world. Old Rasputin is one of those.

The feel is heavy, sticky and like oil. Thick and viscous.

This may be, for all its amazing qualities, the least drinkable great beer. The flavor is so intense and sharp that drinking it is truly a chore. It is the difference for me between Old Rasputin being the finest beer I have had in my life, to it being a great beer that I rarely find myself purchasing.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Really dark brown. Pours into a 2 finger greyinsh brown, frothy head. Settles fairly slowly, but leaves a little foam on the surface. Heavy initial lacing slowly retreats back into the brew leaving some remnants on the sides of the glass.

S: Roasted malt, dark bittersweet chocolate, a little almond, a little butterscotch, and a smoky woody tone.

T: Dark roasted coffee (very prominent) and bittersweet chocolate. Has a pungent hoppiness, and strong alcohol flavor. Almost like really malty, but not not sweet Kahlua.

M: Thick, hearty, and robust. Again, strong alcohol envelops the whole palette. Leaves a pungent, but by no means overpowering, peaty aftertaste.

D: Very good brew to sip and savor.

Ok, this brew has awesome atmosphere. Beautiful dark brown pour, with a nice little foamy head. Nose is full, complex, and very pleasing. A real treasure trove of components. Flavor is likewise full and pleasing, although more simple. Nice balance though. Overall, this is a great quaff.

Photo of flagmantho
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: impenetrable blackness with a thick foamy head which cascades beautifully as it forms and then begins to settle. A nice lacing is left as it does so.

Smell: oatmeal and milk chocolate with just the subtlest hint of coffee. It's not letting me down.

Taste: alcohol, of course, which to me adds a bit of a fruity character, but at 9% I'd expect nothing less. Deeply roasted malts, again a little coffee; there's a nice bitterness which I quite like juxtaposed with the almost chocolate-stout aroma.

Mouthfeel: thick, creamy ... downright Imperial.

Drinkability: I'd have another right now if it weren't putting me to sleep at this late hour.

I love this beer.

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

poured into a snifter,pitch black with a nice tan head.nose is dark fruit,roasted coffee,a bit of earthiness,slight alcohol,and dark chocolate.taste is very similar to the nose,with up front bitter chocolate,a bit of carmelized sugar,coffee,and more dark chocolate and slight warming alcohol in the finish.mouthfeel is ever so slightly thin in comparison to other RIS i've had, but this is still very good.

Photo of dogfishhead1117
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite all time stouts. As a big fan of this type of beer, this one takes the cake.

Pours slowly with little carbonation and a beautiful black color capped with a rich, mocha colored, frothy head.

The smell is really complex, hints of brown sugars and burnt grain infused with chocolate and some great malts and definately some coffee.

Taste is fantastic. Goes down very easy, despite its being 9%abv, and the chocolate undertones and rich grains really make this one a treat. The coffee infusion is present in the aftertaste. It's a cult classic for a reason and remains one of the best RIS' of all time.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed via notes from a while ago.

Appearance - Pours out black as night, very similar to the used Mobile 1 5W-30 drained from the SpdKilz TT Z06 after two thousand miles! Less than a finger of head that is mocha in color. Amazing lacing - stays the entire drink.

Smell - Immediately I am struck by the coffee sent. I smell some dark fruits (cherries) in my nose also - though not much. A lingering alcohol smell is notable also.

Taste - Like I am drinking a bitter coffee with semi-sweet chocolate/cocoa. First sip is hard for me to handle (for the first ever one - subsequent Old R's I'm prepared for and enjoy the first sip greatly). The alcohol is present but is not a put off and is not prevalent with the initial sip - more of an after "thought."

Mouthfeel - Quite thick - decent amount of carbonation. This is a very heavy beer and is almost syrupy (but not quite).

Drinkability - Don't think I could have more than two of these in a sitting but at 9% abv that should create a quite nice feeling for me. Overall quite drinkable and again, not a session beer but I can't wait to enjoy this when the California nights turn a bit colder during fall. For now I have to settle for the summer heat outside.

Photo of craytonic
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep black with ruby highlights, decent head

Smell: Chocolate, fudge, roasted malt, coffee

Taste: Roasted black malt, chocolate, coffee, licorice, plums

Mouthfeel: Bit chewy, but nothing like those who dominate the style, a bit sweet and sticky

Drinkability: average for the style

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

On nitro-tap at North Coast on 7/16/09.

A - Black onyx body with a hint of deep ruby around the bottom and a perfect finger's width of dense, creamy tan froth that just retained amazingly and deposited a thick web of psychedelic lace all around the glass. A beautiful nitro pour indeed!

S - Chocolate and roasted malt with hints of hazlenuts and licorice. Subtle coffee notes and dark fruit emerge in the background. An earthy hop presence is also apparent, albeit quite restrained.

T - Luscious sweet and semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa up front with lots of roasted goodness and a prominent nutty character suggesting hazlenuts. Earthy, leafy hops impart an herbal aspect, which extends into the finish and, along with a coffee character, provides ample bitterness.

M - Medium to full bodied with a super creamy, smooth texture and soft carbonation akin to a cask pour. Moderately dry, bitter finish with some residual sweetness on the palate. Minimal alcohol warmth, especially for a 9% RIS.

D - Fantastic RIS indeed, and especially smooth and drinkable on nitro. Yum! Subtle yet complex in all of its delicious, velvety smooth glory.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A flagship Impy Stout. Great consistancy on batches, good distribution, and overall a great true-to-style RIS.
Had this brew as a halfpint at the North Coast Brewing in Fort Bragg.
Deep deep brown, not black, and barely any light gets through it.

Aroma is a crazy cocoa bomb, with some coffee dryness and espresso.

Some alcohol warming from the 9%er and waves of chocolate, coffee, roasted burnt malt, and some sugary molassas sweetness.

Thick syrupy mouthfeel, not as potent as abyss or dark lord, but it's up there. A good slow sipper of a beer.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,362 ratings.