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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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10,719 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,719
Reviews: 3,492
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 403
Gots: 1,861 | FT: 50
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.
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,719 | Reviews: 3,492 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of parkeak0
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Most certainly one of the best known and most loved RIS, as evidenced by the 2000+ reviews before this one. One of the beers that got me into the craft scene. Dark as night, rich, immensely complex, it doesn't get much better than this for the style. Chances are, you've had it before, but if you haven't, I highly recommend it.

Photo of cnjohn19
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

got this beer over great conversation at dain's place in durham...pours a dark opaque with little to no head...looks thick and bold...smells of nutty sweetness, a tad of coffee beans, and def. get the alcohol...

and DAMN this beer is delicious...consistent, sweet, and very bold...malty with a smooth aftertaste...both me and my company commented how good this stout is...good work

again, smooth, bold, and full bodied all the way down...very surprised i drank this brew, considering i usually savor russian imperials...

overall, get this beer in the cold months anytime you can...you'll thank me and the others on here...

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

A: Opaque black body with dark tan, thick, huge head with excellent retention, lacing, and cap.

S/T: Vanilla, toasted grain over chocolate, smoke, a dose of dark fruit. Smell gets a bit boozy and nutty as it opens up. On the taste, the booze doesn't dominate quite as well, but the nuts and fruit dominate the finish.

M: Full, sticky body, with an incredibly long finish.

D: Rasputin delivers a huge collection of flavors, all in great balance with each other, and still somehow never overwhelms. If I had one, I could probably enjoy a full 4-pack, assuming it wouldn't knock me out first. Brilliant.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a thick, dense black, no discernible highlights, with a large and sustaining foamy and creamy tan head.

Smells like a good imperial stout should, packed with deeply roasted grain, black coffee, and bitter dark chocolate, all on top of a bed of sweet malt with a touch of fruitiness.

More of the same on the palate, with an intense roasted character that strongly suggests a cup of seriously black coffee, accompanied by earthy, bitter dark chocolate. Turns sweet mid-palate, showing creamy, milky caramel, before finishing with a quite large earthy hop bitterness. Finishes firm and dry, with a lingering roasty and hoppy bitterness.

Full bodied and firm, but shows hints of softness. Alcohol is well hidden at 9%. A well-made beer, and while far enough down my list of top imperial stouts, this proves to be a great value.

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

From Notes:

A. Deep brown almost black. Deep brown head was not huge, but the lacing crawled across the glass and stuck like glue.

S. Big roasted malts, with some dark cocoa. The promise of hidden dark fruits is there as well.

T. Huge maltiness, roasted style. A great mix of bitter chocolate and some dark fruits. This beer has a simple but complex flavor.

M. A full bodied creaminess, with some stickiness. You can taste the nice warming alcohol. Some graininess to this puppy as well.

D. Well I am not going to say that this is a session beer because it is not, it's big and boozy and it taste as good as it warms up. This is a night cap special.

Notes: It has Rasputin on the bottle what more do you need. This great beer and is a corner stone in the world of Russian Imperial Stouts.

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Macado's "Halloween 2009" branded American pint glass.

Appearance: Jet black with a light brown 2-finger head that stays a long time and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate notes, and tart alcohol.

Taste: Sweet, roasted malts throughout. Finishes with sweet coffee flavors and bitterness that isn't apparent until after the finish, lingering in the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied and very smooth. Chewy, with a sticky finish.

Drinkability: Definitely a beer brewed for sipping. This is full of flavor and is delightful to drink.

Photo of wahhmaster
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an inky black color with a thick frothy tan head. The head dissipates very slowly and leaves remarkable lacing.

Smell: Strong smells of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. The chocolate smells are bittersweet, almost like dark chocolate.

Taste: Subdued up front, it gains intensity as it moves to the back of your mouth. Chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and a hint of fruit (plum maybe?) come out towards the end. The result is a pleasing chocolaty aftertaste and coffee-ish burps.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, and full-bodied. Goes down smooth.

Drinkability: A great stout!! As tasty and complex as you could expect. The high alcohol content makes this potent stuff, so I'd probably only have one at a time. Nevertheless, this is one of the best beers I've had.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Pitch black. 2 finger khaki/cream head. Sticky lacy down the glass.

S: Chocolate, molasses, vanilla.

T: Roasted malts, espresso, dark chocolate bitterness up front. Vanilla, molasses and caramel sweetness midway. Some hop/smokey bitterness on the back end.

M: Full bodied. Medium-high carbonation. Warm alcohol on the throat. Very good.

D: Very drinkable.

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

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass. This beer pours black in color, only slight highlights of dark brown while pouring it. There is a tan colored head, similar to a cola head just less fizzy. It goes away only after a few minutes. I didn't expect to see much lacing to it, but it has a different sort of stick to it. It's almost like a syrupy consistency that every so slowly slides back down to the liquid on each sip you take. The aroma has quite a bit going on and in my opinion is much better from the bottle than on tap. As most RIS's there is a great deal of chocolate in the smell as well as the roasted malts and some roasted coffee too. The hops really stand out in the smell however, and are probably the most dominant feature. It took me several sips before I noticed how strong the hop taste was. Initially you taste the dark chocolate and roasted coffee. It's well malted too, but overpowered by the coffee and chocolate. After the 3rd sip or so, the hops again become a more dominant feature of the flavor. It's still a very tasty beer, a great combination of all the ingredients. The mouthfeel was good, but after awhile, the hops leave your moth just the slightest bit too dry. Its still full bodied while at the same time being a little silky, but it's still certainly more dry than it needs to be. This is still a very drinkable RIS, or beer in general. Consensus...I think I like it a little better from the bottle, but I'd never turn either down!

Photo of argock
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. No freshness date. Purchased as 4-pack from Harris Teeter (Charlottesville, VA) for $9.99.

A: Nearly black with ruby edges with 1/2-finger tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves a few spots of lace.

S: Strong aromas of bitter dark chocolate and cold coffee mingle with black bread with light berry alcohol and leafy hops notes

T: A big, traditional RIS with medicinal, bourbon dark malt notes taking charge but coated with heavy bittersweet chocolate and black coffee with some leafy hops thrown in. Alcohol contributes a berry-cherry note as well.

M: Thick and viscous but not as chewy as you might imagine. A little oatmeal in the mix might cut the light astringency and give this a little more smoothness.

D: A classic stout which I like better in the bottle for temperature control purposes. It has a heavy medicinal quality with a pretty boozy profile overall, but the bitter chocolate and coffee notes are artfully woven in. I'm going to leave a few of these for a few months and try them serially every 3-4 months to see if there is much evolution.

12/5/2009: Consumed after a Founders Breakfast Stout, and the contrast is substantial. Much sweeter and boozier with a more traditional dark malt sweetness with a more bitter chocolate component with a light bourbon note. Not much different than the fresh OR.

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

Pours a dark brown color with a decent tan color head. Aromas of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and bitter espresso. Great taste, the bitterness is perfectly balanced in this. Very warming from the alcohol but not too overwelming. Very chewy mouthfeel. An extremely tasty Imperial Stout, highly recommended!

Photo of nas5755
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'09 in my Sam Adams perfect pint

As soon as this brew hits my glass I can smell the chocolate syrup aroma wafting towards my nose and I'm loving it. The head is impressive. The color is a deep, deep brown, bordering on black. The taste is fantastic, very smooth, light carbonation a little alcohol hotness that would have dissipated with age, lots of coffee and chocolate flavors blended together, a faint nutty hazelnut flavor. This beer has a wonderful thickness fades as the flavors melt away on the mouth.

I love this brew. I prefer it with some age on it, but wanted to review it fresh.

Photo of CMiller683
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at the store without realizing what I had. Bought it as part of a build-a-six-pack. No freshness date listed. Served from a 12oz bottle into a standard glass. Creepy looking bottle with a shot of Rasputin on the front, circled by some Russian wording. Gold colored detail.

A - Pours a very thick, smooth, motor-oil black. Follows with a thick, creamy espresso head with a lace that crawls down the glass. Completely opaque and a threatening looking beer.

S - A deep, roasty, burnt maltiness that smacks you in the face. Scents of espresso and a little bit of chocolate and nuts. Tends to fade a bit as you drink it

T - A very intense flavor. Carries a burnt/smoked maltiness to it. Brings a bite of alcohol that is almost too much to make a good balance. Has a level of bitterness that really makes this beer. Without it, I don't think it would be nearly as good.

M - An almost foamy feel to it. Very thick and heavy. A good balance of carbonation and an explosion of flavor in the back of your mouth that is simply great. Leaves a chocolately mocha aftertaste with a sweet finish, but tends to be a little thick and sticky. The alcohol brings out the nutty/espresso flavors.

D - An outstanding Imperial Stout, and definitely not an all day beer. Something to kick back and relax on a special occasion, like thanksgiving or christmas! A great beer for those that love chocolate/espresso and don't mind a beer that bites back.

Photo of californiakulak
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I poured a bottle of this beer into a Firestone pint glass.

A. Beautiful dark brown in color, almost black. The head was a light brown color. It looked creamy and lasted a good amount of time.

S. It had a strong roasted malt aroma. It also had some coffee scents. Perhaps some dark chocolate as well.

T. Roasted malts and alcohol. Very good tasting beer. Some sweetness and a little dark chocolate as well.

M. Warming alcohol and a little bitterness. A full bodied creamy like feeling comes with this beer.

D. Average drinkability. It is pretty heavy and I couldn't see myself having many more than one at a sitting. Also the abv would get you if you had too many.

Photo of portia99
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours an opaque black with a finger of mocha colored head. Head is a touch on the loose side and dies down after about a minute to a nice collar and some islands of bubbles in the middle.

S - Some coffee, creamy and roasty. Some fruityness and touch of sugar and brown sugar in the aroma too.

T - Full of coffee, a good amount of alcohol, a bit of prunes. Lots of dark roasted malts, bakers chocolate, bitterness from the malt and alsosome hoppy bitterness too. Overall, a a slightly sweet impression left behind, caramelly, brown sugary and refined sugar. Very well balanced.

M - Good mouthfeel, medium bodied and a little bit thick on the tongue. A touch oily and slippery on the tongue. Not as thick as some other RIS's out there. Carbonation is medium - gives a creamy impression and a lingering tingle in the center of the tongue after the swallow.

D - Very well balanced RIS. Plenty of dark roasted flavors and dark fruits and lots of hops to balance. Not hoppy at all, but enough there to offset the sweetness from the malts. 9.0% alcohol is hidden quite well...makes this one a bit dangerous.

Very, very good RIS...challenging the Stone RIS as my favorite "everyday" RIS..

Photo of cagocubs
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a sexy black with a walloping tan head that lingers in its awesomeness.

S: Toasty chocolate, malts, coffee, and earthy scent.

T: Very pleased with this beer. The toasted malt, chocolate, and coffee traits flow through. Not overwhelming or overdone. Good balance of kick and sustain.

M: Smooth, silky, and perfect balance of acid.

D: Great beer that has a close to perfect balance.

Photo of jhammel01
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dense dark black with no light penetrating at all!. Keeps a nice thick layer of lace when its 2 finger head goes down..its a bit off white - brown

This beer smells of coffee and chocolate with maybe a hint of hop bitterness...
Tastes of roasted grains and roasted malt with chocolate and coffee. The chocolate is not over powering but very prominent. Its definitely a "dark" chocolate. Perhaps some hop bitterness either from that or the coffee. It finishes with a bit of alcohol burn....well..warmth. An awesomely complex!!

The mouthfeel is thick and almost chewy. Its great! Nice and smooth as well.

Defintely one of my top favorites and by far my favorite stout.

Photo of rtepiak
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour was not as voluminous as expected but still had a head on it that wasn't as dark as in bottle form. off white mocha. nose was quite interesting blend of coffee and chocolate... as well as some interesting herbal traits. anise and a grain earthy quality. much more subtle. much more complex. palate was roasted chocolate and a coffee bitter that also blended with a acidic tobacco earth quality. nice mix. acidic quality blended also with the stale fruit that i would expect from a nice english porter. grape apple like. very nicely blended but surprisingly disappointing body coming from a nitro...

i don't know if the beer is to blame. the keg seemed a bit older.

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle served in a chalice.

Enjoyed in a restaurant in San Francisco.

A: Pours a deep opaque black forming a nice bubbled beige head with good retention but not much lacing left in the glass

S: Strong roasted malts but also very hoppy in the nose. Strong notes of dark chocolate, some coffee, licorice, alcohol, grassy hops and earthy yeasts

T: Follows the nose. Strong notes of roasted malts, dark chocolate, mocha and licorice. In overall, a dry and bitter taste. Bitterness is more from the roasted malts than from the hops but still a quite hoppy stout

M: Heavy and creamy body. Quite oily. Medium carbonation. Roasted aftertaste

O: Very drinkable. American masterpiece

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

This was my first experience with North Coast...at least the first that I can remember...barely. Grabbed a 4-pack with my buddy to go play a round of disc golf and ended up losing 3 discs between the two of us. Maybe it was the cold weather but this was verrry drinkable for an Imperial Stout. An extremely well balanced brew and tasty brew. I could sit here and name all those typical Imperial Stout flavors that were prevalent up front...but what I most remember is this text conversation afterwards:

Jon: "Curse thee Rasputin!"
Me: "lol why?"
Jon "I don't remember..."


Photo of james1968
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A truly excellent Stout. The flavor is exceptional. I am sincerely impressed with this one, and glad it is available year round. I love Stouts, and the funny thing is, I have seen it on the shelves many times and thought "maybe next time",but I finally decided to try it and now I am a big fan. If you are in the mood for an awesome Stout, (regardless of price or availability)do yourself a favor and try Old Rasputin. You will be glad you did.

Photo of dbossman
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pretty black with a medium tan head; nice full head with good lacing

S: Strong, sweet roasted malts; there are the typical chocolate and coffee undertones; but the beautiful sweet roasted malts dominate

T: A strong malt taste with subtle hops; it's actually very balanced in its approach; there is a creamy mocha flavor that is prevalent

M: Creamy with even coating and balanced carbonation

D: For a 9% RIS this beer is the bomb for its ability to be consumed; God, I love this beer for its flavor, accessibility, and price; it doesn't get any better than this when you consider those three things.

Photo of billab914
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured nearly black with a small tan head that all but disappeared shortly. Not much lacing on the glass. Excellent aroma of caramel, chocolate and roasted malts. Taste has a lot of coffee and bitter chocolate coming through. Nicely carbonated and a nice creamy mouthfeel as well.Excellent RIS, especially for the price and availability. I've purchased this one many times and will continue to do so.

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

had on tap in a large snifter at the ginger man in sono.

It was jet black with an incredible "nitro" looking dense tan head.

the nose of sweet malt and cocoa.

The taste is incredible. Rich and velvety dark chocolate, sweet roasted malt, and a slight licorice finish. truly incredibly stout here

The mouth feel was full and engulfed my tongue with flavor and girth.

Cant say enough about this beer. It is great in a bottle and stellar fresh on tap.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle pours a dark black with a decent amount of foam. Smells of dark malts/espresso coffee thats consistent in other imperial stouts. Taste is similiar and the right amount of thickness. Full bodied and packs solid flavour. Quite easy to drink as the abv% wasn't noticed at all. Glad I got to try this one, just wishing I grabbed a second bottle. Very nice stout.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,719 ratings.