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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

10,543 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,543
Reviews: 3,445
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 380
Gots: 1,722 | 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:
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: 10,543 | Reviews: 3,445 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of webbcreative
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 24, 2009
Bottle. Pours a murky blackness with a small head that's nice and dark as well. Aroma is nice and roasty and malty with a bit of dark fruitiness and sugar. Flavor is great - chocolate, coffee, tons of malt, and a pleasant small bitterness. Good thick mouthfeel. Everything you'd expect and want in an imperial stout.

Photo of superdedooperboy
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Savored this one on-tap at The Pizza Joint in Evans, GA. (Incidentally, the only way and place I've ever enjoyed it.)

Dark black, mostly opaque, with a thick espresso-like brown head that shows wonderful retentive properties and holds tight to the walls of the vessel, leaving behind nice rings of lace.

The nose is powerfully delicious, filled with sweet and bitter chocolate notes along with a bit of coffee.

Thick and velvety smooth in body, with flavors mimicking those of the nose: creamy chocolate, both sweet milky chocolate notes as well as the dominating bittersweet dark chocolate, with a bit of espresso snap that lends a bit of dryness to the finish, which is mildly sweet as well. Roasted character, in both the nose and on the palate, is rather subdued, though it peeks through at times.

Going down smooth and satisfying, this is an imminently drinkable Imperial Stout, but drinkability can only be issued so much in a beer with 9% alcohol by volume.

A wonderful example of the style, and the one that introduced me to Russian Imperial Stout to begin with, not to mention its being the first "big beer" I ever tried, and it was love at first sip. I always come back to this one, and it never disappoints.

Photo of halo21
4.87/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass nice and dark; no light coming through on this one. The head didn't maintain long, but rarely does on imperial stouts.

Smell: Dark, earthy, coffee, chocolate; very smooth. Not much by way of alcohol which is surprising weighing in at a hefty 9%

Taste: Glorious. Full flavored. This is as fine as the best espresso on earth and blended like a well aged cigar. I always forget how much I love this beer and am very happy to have that surprise.

Mouthfeel: A little carbonation; I would say it is a heavy bodied beer but not too over powering.

Drinkability: Surprisingly high; for me the only way I would be able to consume more would be to have a nitrogen version of this or a still beer version.

Easily one of my favorite beers of all time as well as the quintessential example of what a Russian imperial stout should be all about.

Photo of Richardberg
3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Very dark liquid with a big creamy head. Didn't last too long but still much nicer than the average imperial.

S: lots of dark malts from toasted to burnt, brown sugar, cinnamon, ethanol

T: a lot of bitterness I wasn't expecting from the smell. Alcohol is very present.

M: coats the mouth nicely, but not especially creamy or full. No carbonation to speak of once the head dissipates.

D: nice beer overall but the ABV would keep me from having more than 1. If the taste were exceptional or the weight better hidden I might press onward, but that's not the case.

Photo of joshuadlight
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Deep dark black, thin off-white head that I expected to be bigger and darker. Not too much lacing to boot. But, it is one dark beer.

S - Cinnamon and roasted smokey malts. I was expecting a little more considering the style.

T - To me, taste is most important, and OR delivered. Chocolate, roasty malts, espresso, even the faint sweetness of marshmallows. It was full of strong flavors that we were not compromised in their individuality.

M - Pretty good for a stout. Rolled through the mouth pretty well. Not too sticky or thick.

D - I don't think I could handle 3-4 OR in a session. Too much going on with too much alcohol to contend with. Plus, I paid more than $3 a 12oz bottle for these things, which doesn't help the drinkability one bit.

Photo of uno99
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared a bottle with my Brother. No date on bottle

A: poured moderately into my Guinness glass reveals a huge tan head that sticks around for the entire experience. swirling it around a bit gives you just an idea how thick this beer is. it sticks to the sides of the glass like glue

S: Roasted malt and coffee. Acidic.

T: Roasted malt/coffee upfront with chocolate near the end but then things get really bitter with the hops. This beer really kicks your ass.

M: very thick. almost like a beer concentrate, yet dry finish

D: A good sipper, not one Id drink repeatedly.

Photo of mralphabet
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Number 50 for me....

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Black.... Black . Poured pretty hard and got 2 or 3 finger head.... Dark tan head with beautiful lacing...

S: Strong coffee, dark bitter chocolate, roasted malt and a hint of vanilla or toffee.

T: The most upfront taste is the coffee, followed closely by a dark bitter chocolate.... I think the vanilla or toffee are hidden in the creaminess of the brew.... The roasted malt and hops follow up nicely but are not to over powering.... the aftertaste is a little bitter but not overly so....

M: Full bodied, thick & creamy, very smooth with a nice amount of carbonation.

D: This is not a multi-drinking type of brew... Something this bold and strong should be savored... Take your time sit back and enjoy the beautiful brew....

Photo of TheBear11D
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a large, foamy long lasting dark chocolate brown head.

The alcohol is present in the smell, but fairly covered by the chocolate and caramel malt.

A sweet chocolate malt flavor up front that holds. A hint of bread right before the alcohol comes through and leaves a bittersweet flavor in the aftertaste.

Medium body brew. The high ABV really thins out the beer yet adds to the beers smoothness.

Although the alcohol stands out, the beer has a great taste and is very smooth. A beer that is worth revisiting.

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

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours an opaque black with a brownish head that subsides rather quickly.

Smells of roasted coffee, charcoal, and slightly chocolate. Hop and alcohol smell are secondary but distinguishable.

Taste is dry charcoal-like with dark, roasty flavors of coffee and small traces of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is fairly light with little carbonation.

Drinkablity is very good being a dark 10% ABV beer - I could drink a four pack of these.

Photo of latercol
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure why I waited so long to review this. This is a good beer that I have regularly.

Looks- it is basically black with a tan head and good lacing.

Smell- Cofee and chocolate.

Taste. more coffee and chocolate gets better as it warms.

Mouth feel - smooth and rich feel. Very good.

Drimkibility. this one takes a while. It is a good one to have after dinner and savor it for a while. it relaxes me... Might have something to do with the alcohol content:) Overall a great beer at a great price.

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

Complex aroma of coffee, chocolate and fruit. Appearance was perfect. Poured black hue with large tan creamy head that lasted to the finish with excellent lacing. Full bodied flavor and finish that was consistent with all the aroma.

The complete stout in a bottle. Thank you North Coast.

Photo of jdg204
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally had a shot at one of the legends so I had to take a stab at it. My first North Coast and not my last as their distribution is increasing in my area.

A: Pitch black with a nice mocha head that stuck around.

S: Roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee.

T: Off the bat you get the coffee and chocolate but soon the hops take over (lacks balance imo), really socks it to you.

M: Good consistency and texture, nice sipping beer.

D: Good brew overall, but didn't quite live up to the hype surrounding it. I enjoyed it but the hops were just way out of balance and sunk it for me. I've just had better RIS's, but this is pretty unique so give it a shot if you can get it.

Photo of cottonkoozie
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black, I can't see light through this. The head could last longer though and I wouldn't mind having more lacing either.

S - Great smell. Lots of different malt smells. I smell some chocolate, some coffee, and some roasted almost woody smells.

T - Great taste. Good balance of malts similar to the smell. I can taste some chocolate, and some coffee malts. There is also a toasted wood taste, even a few malts to balance.

M - Good full feel. Can't really see carbonation, but you can feel it. Very full feel.

D - Low, but typical for the style to me. One of these is great, but one is pretty much all I want.

I used to hate dark beers, but recently I have discovered how great they can be. This is amazing. Great flavor. I will buy this again, and probably try more of this style.

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

Had on tap at Union Brew House. Poured into a 10 oz. glass. Pours jet black with a thin, creamy tan head. Smells of bitter chocolate, burnt coffee and some burnt sugar. Taste is wonderful. Good amount of chocolate and coffee with a nice, smooth sugary, malty finish. Nice creamy mouthfeel, but not thick- rather thin and drinkable. Wonderful beer that I probably first tried 10 years ago and is still great today.

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

Staying true to the style, this one's loaded with flavors and aromas. Smoked and roasted coffee and grains are most prominent, with a variety of complimenting flavors as well. Dark chocolate, sweet caramel, some light spices, rich dark fruits and raisins.

Certainly not a way to test the waters of dark beers, but if you love complex stouts, this one will hit the spot.

Thick without feeling syrupy. Smooth and still creamy, and a little frothy. It strikes great balance and makes for one great beer.

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

One of my favorite impy stouts, it is high time I finally review this thing. It pours a dark ebony with a thick creamy brown head that slowly diminishes.A small amount of lacing sticks around while I drink. The smell is of dark roasted malts, coffee and a slight hint of chocolate. The taste is very rich and dark with a mild alcohol warmth at the back of the throat. Moderate carbonation and a full-bodied feel that finishes with a slightly charred finish. All in all, a wonderful quaff to be enjoyed regularly.

Photo of Hoagie1973
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbnooshay for the bottle.

Black as night with a massive caramel-colored head. Nice and lumpy with good sticky lace. Great retention; stays until the end.

Chocolate malt aroma with some espresso and slightly sharp hops. Smells awesome! Alcohol is well masked and doesn't come through much in the nose at first, but shows itself a bit as it warms.

Well roasted coffee and molasses. Has a heavy sweetness while nicely balanced by a strong hop presence. A little char/smokiness. Residual sweetness in the finish; this is also where the alcohol shows up and provides a nice warming sensation as well as lending a hand with a little balancing bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thick, chewy, and full. Soft carbonation is just right.

Great RIS in the same vein as Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. A BIG beer; not for the beginner.

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

Poured a jet black with a nice coco colored frothy head with decent lacing

Smell was dark roasted malts. Little booze. Some coffee up in the mix as well. Very interesting

Taste was again of dark roasted malts with a tad of coffee. Dark bitter chocolate as well. Not as sweet as Kate but deffinatly comparable!

Slick and thick mouthfeel.

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

Pours a deep viscus black, no head, I wish it had a nice lasting head, what little it had for a few seconds was a deep tan.

Smells very winey, raisins, plums maybe. I get lost in these crazy beers, but I recognize a good thing when I see it.

Taste is good, but not what I've come to expect from RISs.

Thick viscous feel, very drinkable for what it is.

Photo of theghost3
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My 100th review, and this is the perfect beer. Pours an opaque black with a thick, frothy cafe au lait head. Lots of lacing.

The smell is strong of roasted coffee malts & dark fruits. The taste is very complex--coffee, dark chocolate, some bitter roasted malts, then followed by raisins & dried fruits.

Mouthfeel is smooth & thick at first, but then there is some acidity at the end brought out by the alcohol warmth.

This is a drinkable RIS. Perfectly complex & strong.

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

A: Dark dark brown-black. Nice creamy tan head.. looks delicious.

S: That smells nice.. Dark, roasted coffee, bourbon..

T: Smokey and dark.. Sweet. The finish is nice, with a mellowed smoke taste.

M: Thick and heavy.

D: Predictably good. This would go great with some creme brulee..

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


A - Poured dark opaque brown, tall tan coffee colored head
formed and slowly dissipated into a strong collar and creamy goodness.

S - roasted malts, coffee, hints of chocolate, sweetness, dark fruits.

T - Good, and tasty. Strong malft flavor strong roasted bitter. sweetness in the beginning and a light hoppy bitter combined with a strong roasted profile of the barley.

M - Strong, good body, would have liked it alittle more viscous, but good. Carbonation good, not too much but present.

D - very good, highly recommended. One of my favorite RISs out. 9.00% ABV doesn't taste like. Try one now or just have another if you've already had it.

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

I was attracted to this brew for the simple fact that it was titled "Old Rasputin." At that time, I did not know anything really about Russian Imperial Stout. Having fell in love with the brew immediately, I became a regular drinker of the stuff and also moved on the other brands of RIS. This opened the gateway to my favorite style of beer, Russian Imperial Stout.

A: Poured black, very black, yet filtered, with a deep brown two finger head. Nice carbonation. Moderate lacing is present.

S: Smell is rich of coffee, currants, bitter-burnt malts, dark chocolate, raisins with hints of alcohol.

T: Rich and very sweet with currants and chocolate. The flavor is also moderate on the alcohol but is matched with the moderate sweetness of the brew.

M: Thick and syrupy but very drinkable and simply delicious.

D: I prefer my Russian Stouts to the brink of freezing but the flavors are unlocked as the brew approaches 45-55 degrees and it becomes more drinkable.

Its great but not of the same quality of some of the more expensive Russian Stouts. Still great and is one of the best things I can get in Jacksonville, Arkansas(since no one here seems to enjoy anything but natty ice and bud light).

Just as a side note, I don't recommend aging the stuff. I doesn't hold very well over several months. I think you have to seek out richer brews, this one is a bit too "light" for good aging.


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

Poured into pint glass - and a wonderful one inch head developed. Perfect inky coloring. Head dissipates into a nice laced skin. Excellent roasted malt nose. Taste starts with a smokey note, growing into a nice roasted malt finish. Mid notes of hops quickly fade, but add excellent balance. Heavily carbonated. Very rich. Alcohol levels very well masked by flavors.

A bit too carbonated, kills the smoothness I desire, but a very, very good RIS.

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

Poured into Smokestack Goblet.

Appearance: Pitch black body, slight ruby on edges when held to a light. Poured a 1 1/2 finger red-ish brown head that dissipated quickly to leave a film.

Nose: Nice and malty. Hints of chocolates, coffees, leather, some hoppiness. Maybe the faintest hint of raisins or other dark dried berries.

Taste: Lots of chocolate malts. Coffee, some dark berries maybe. Some nice hoppy balance.

Mouth: Pretty smooth. Leaves the mouth pretty dry. but with some thickness.

Drink: Very tasty, and pretty drinkable for having an elevated abv.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,543 ratings.