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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.

10,173 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,173
Reviews: 3,383
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 331
Gots: 1,447 | 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
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Ratings: 10,173 | Reviews: 3,383 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a St. Feuillien goblet.

A: Pitch black with a dark khaki head that's very creamy and bubbly. Copious amounts of lace present.

S: Big aromas of roasted malt, dark roast coffee, bitter dark chocolate, dark fruit, and fresh cut grass/green hops.

T: Burnt black malt, coffee, dark chocolate, spicy hops, ripe plums, figs, molassas, and fresh green/resinous hops. Masterful!

M: Creamy, spicy, bitter, and at the same time, sweet.

D: Goes down so smooth and easy, this is incredible!

GbVDave, Nov 29, 2007
Photo of DIM
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: A very dark brown when held up to the light, not quite black. Pours with a big medium tan head that fades fairly quickly leaving some lace behind.

s: Roasty smokey cocoa with alcohol are the most noticeable smells. Some sweetness here also.

t: A fantastic combination of semi-sweet dark chocolate and bitter hops dominate. Or maybe thats just unsweetened cocoa? Hint of coffee at the end.

m: Absolute perfection here. The carbonation and viscosity are spot on.

d: I'd like to always have some of these in stock. The price is not reflected in the score, but this is a world class beer for a bargain price of less than $2 a bottle.

DIM, Nov 28, 2007
Photo of armock
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a very dark brown pretty much black color with a brown head that leaves lacing

S - Great malt with chocolate smell

T - Awesome taste malt with a chocolate and coffee flavor finishes with some hops

M - Very creamy and smooth very little carbonation

D - Is very high great taste I think this is the best beer that I've reviewed yet I think I'll have another after this one

armock, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of brdc
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this small capped bottle into a snifter.

Dark, but not pitch black, this one has an occasional dark red highlight going through the darkness. It has a creammy, light brown head with average retention and some lacing.
aves a bit to be desired as well.
Nice aroma of dark chocolate, some fruity hoppiness and coffee opens way to a full-bodied brew, with bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened and at times burnt coffee and a bitter, dry hoppy finish.
Nice, but the aftertaste is slightly unbalanced, dry and hoppy, at least for me.

brdc, Nov 22, 2007
Photo of BMoney575
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 11-19-07

Pours a thick, absolutely pitch black, with a fizzy brown head that lasts for ages and settles to a thin film.

Smell is huge roasted malts. Big aromas of coffee and anise, with a subtle chocolate and a nice oakiness. Very good.

Taste is huge RIS. Sweet, roasty malt backed by massive dark flavors of coffee, anise, and maybe a subtle fruitiness. Very woody, and surprisingly bitter on the finish. No perceptible alcohol, very smooth and slick.

Mouthfeel is great, thick and creamy with more carbonation than you might expect.

Drinkability is surprisingly good for a beer this big.

Overall, a fantastic example of the style. Great right now, I'm betting it will be astounding with age.

BMoney575, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Sycamore last night, I was pleasently surprised when it was served to me in the appropriate snifter glass.
I didn't take any notes or anything so these are just the broad strokes.

It was basically the same off the tap as it was out of the bottle, except the texture was even more velvety delicious.

Worth trying off the tap, basically the same but a little bit better.
It was so good I just had to pull out a bottle today and review it again.

BradLikesBrew, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of Atron67
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured a clear but pitch black body with a heavy build up of about 2 inches of brown foam. As the foam fell a strong lacing was left behind.

S- had a wonderfully fragrant roasted and malty scents pouring out of it, bitterness and roasted flavors give a delicious smell.

T- a heavily roasted scents build up immediately on top of the strong maltiness of the stout. the strong roasted flavors give a delicious flavor which then slowly fades off.

M- there was a strong, tightknit carbonation on the top, and there was a full body, not quite syrup but was thick.

D- a solid stout, very delicious

Atron67, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of jeonseh
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

black, like strong coffee, with a cappuccino colored head that really is quite lovely; leaves lacing all the way down the glass and the head maintained the whole time. the taste really is what makes this a great buy and i was happy to find it. at first you get hit with a sweet chocolate taste and then after that one gets the taste of almost a deep burnt coffee that offsets the sweet that initially hits the tongue as i was sitting here typing this the burnt coffee taste has almost transformed into the deep cocoa taste of a deep deep chocolate; this mixed with just the right amount of carbonation that seems to fit the contrasts of tastes very well. I think the whole taste pattern also goes well with the amount of alcohol in the brew as the alcohol sort of hits and adds flavor to the lasting taste. moreover, it really does warm you and make you feel like you just enjoyed that cup of strong coffee.

jeonseh, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of Gehrig
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An impressive, complex, tasty Russian Imperial Stout, Old Rasputin is the antithesis of nastiness represented by its namesake. It pours a very dark brown, with a finger thick of long-lasting head and a latticed froth that adheres to the pint glass throughout consumption--impressive. The smell and taste are bold, hoppy, and rich with malt, chocolate, coffee, and maybe caramel--strong but smooth in taste and texture. The finish is wonderful, and I'm ruing the fact that I only picked up one in a sampler pack at the local Piccadilly.

Very tasty, helping me bounce back strong from being under the weather yesterday. Easily one of the best stouts I've had, and right at and near the the top of Russian Imperials I've had the good fortune to have tried. Definitely a great find, more than worth the try, and don't make the mistake of buying just one. Get the pack. You won't be sorry.

Gehrig, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of bigdogplaypen
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A Dark Black Stout that pours heavy with a two or three finger head leaving behind a dark tan lace. Bold flavor of dark roast coffee and semi sweet chocolate finishing with a slight alcohol bite. At 9% this beer should be enjoyed responsibly and drank slowly to experience all of the rich complex flavors. I usually drink one or two of these in a sitting and enjoy them alongside a good cigar and then finishing with my favorite dark chocolate. This is one of my favorite beers of all time and definitely my favorite Russian Imperial Stout. I recently spent painstaking hours translating the Cyrillic writing on the label and found that “СЕРДЕЧНЫЙ ДРУГ НЕ РОДИТСЯ ВДРУГ” means “HEART FRIEND IS NOT BORNE SUDDENLY”. I feel that this means that a dear friend is not made overnight, so I recommend that you never drink this beer alone but always try to share one with a friend in honor of the “Old Man” which had many enemies who tried killing him on several occasions and finally succeeded but not before he had his fill of women and brew. Sounds like a Brother I would have liked to hung out with.

bigdogplaypen, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of edskirk3
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a couple of these over the weekend. There are Cyrillic letters on the label. I'd try to translate but I really want to taste this stuff. There is no freshness information.

Pours viscously opaque black into a brandy glass. A creamy dark brown head adorns the infinitely dark body. It's real sticky and nearly tattoos the glass with its lace.

The aroma is surprisingly dominated by Cascade hops instead of chocolate or coffee like I had expected. The taste also has a hoppy bite to it, as well as a deep bitterness of dark chocolate. Several levels of bitterness blossom across the tongue and linger after each sip.

All the bitterness makes me think this is a fresh bottle. I'd like to see how this ages. I'll try to wait as long as I can but, realistically, I don't see myself holding out past the holidays.

edskirk3, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of drewbage
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled fresh bottles and poured into a Belgian tulip.

Opaque, black and very little brown head.

Aroma of pine, chocolate and dark fruit.

Big roasty coffeesque beer with a strong bright bitterness that rides through the thick body of the beer and leaves briskly finished that lingers with a bite

drewbage, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of Tomas77
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is well made. An almost black color but not quite opaque. A creamy,brownish tan head is persistant throughout with lace following along nicely.

Initial milk chocolate aroma up front especially when swirled at around 55 degrees. This is followed by some mild roast and coffee notes.

More roast in the flavor than chocolate followed by a bitter espresso like taste at the back of the tongue. Burnt and acrid as you go on. Probably from the roasted barley. A little sweet also which is nice.

A very smooth full bodied beer. A creamy,slick feeling on the tongue. Alcohol shows up later in the finish but is well hidden until then. Good balance between hops and malts.

Just a good beer.

Tomas77, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of stcules
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is absolutely black, opaque. A scarce finger of foam coffe and milk color.
The smell is beautiful, enveloping. Coffee, cocoa. Creamy, inviting, intriguing, soft, smooth. Very pleasant.
The taste, a bit less enveloping, and a bit more sharp. Anyway, good, full. Cocoa, cappuccino. Not too bitter.
Very smooth.
Good body, with notes of a creamy, dense cappuccino.
In the aftertaste some hop bitterness notes, and also a root-like bitterness, and, maybe, artichoke.

stcules, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of r00tarded
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is my closer any time I'm out and its on tap.

You can have a line up of beers and if you end your evening with this beer, you've done well for yourself. This beer is the equivalent of a fresh from the oven molten chocolate cake, home made vanilla ice cream and an espresso all at once.

Dark, rich, mellow, smooth, flavorful, not overpowering but yet full of flavor... when it's placed in front of you take your time appreciating it in its glory.

r00tarded, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of likestoswallow
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, pours an opaque dark brown, with an ample tan head that dissipates slowly. Aroma is rich with molasses, coffee and some chocolate. Notable flavors are coffee, roasted malts, some black licorice and walnuts set in a bitter hoppy backdrop. mouthfeel was medium up front, but it filled-out and left a very full, creamy, satisfying aftertaste by finish. Big finish with mostly dark bitter chocolate flavors. Overall: this is stout the way stout was meant to be. Recommended

likestoswallow, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of neobassman
2.8/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ok, here I go again, trying to decide if my dislike is for the brew or the style. I'm not a fan of Guinness, and I'm not a fan of Old Rasputin RIS for the same reasons. The appearance is enticing; this stout has an inviting syrupy pour with a rich, dark tan, modest head. The bottle opened with more carbonation than I would have expected from a stout. There is moderately sticky lacing as the head slowly subsides. The color is black and passes virtually no light, which I always find amazing for beers that are also free of cloudiness. The smell is good, but with some coffee bitterness that starts the downhill slide for me. (In the interest of full disclosure, I've never learned to like coffee, either.). This beer is all stout, but its taste has a top and bottom without a middle. The top is a prominent hops bitterness, and the bottom consists of slight saltiness with strong roasted, even burnt, flavors. What came to mind was "catmouth" because I kept trying to get it past my tongue long after the swallow. I would have expected the mouthfeel to be more creamy than it is.

If you like Guinness, you will probably really like this offering - the high Ba rating attests to this. However, it is not for me. I gave this a 3.0 overall in deference to the style, but based on personal preference I would have gone lower. So there it is. If you like bitter, cooked coffee stouts like Guinness, this may be for you and I urge you to try it. If, like me, you like rounder stouts like Young's Oatmeal Stout or an imperial like Old Heathen, this North Coast offering may not be your cup of tea.

neobassman, Nov 06, 2007
Photo of buffettfan
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a thick, light brown head. Smells of a little coffee, and chocolaty. A malty taste, with a coffee and chocolate character, as expected. This is a rich, creamy think beer, but very easy to drink. Very enjoyable, I'm thinking it will go very good with a nice cigar!

buffettfan, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into tulip glass. A: Thick and black as oil, thick tan head that retains very well. S: Burnt malts, chocolate, toffee, brown sugar, hops definitely present. T: Very strong bitter chocolate. The immediate taste is sweet caramel, cocoa, and coffee, it immediately turns bitter in a long finish. M: Thick, chewy. D: I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this is pretty great. The bitter chocolate note can be a bit overpowering, but all in all pretty drinkable. Barely noticed the high ABV.

PlaywrightSam, Nov 01, 2007
Photo of champ103
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown/black in color with a large tan, frothy, and fluffy head that stays all the way down the glass. Leaves lots of lace down the glass as well. This can't look any better.
S: A little one dimensional. Lots of chocolate, coffee, and sweet malt.
T: Big roasted malt flavor with chocolate and coffee. Maybe some dark fruits. Very creamy, thick and rich. Fantastic.
D: Great. The ABV is well hidden with all the flavors. Very smooth and easy to drink. I can drink this all day.

I can't even describe how much I love this beer. Hands down the best RIS I have had, and maybe the best stout in general.

champ103, Oct 30, 2007
Photo of cktison
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

scary as hell bottle into a pint glass.
a) dark, but not that dark, no light through, but mahogany on the edges. creamy, frothy, fluffy head that clings to the glass. it looks serious...
s) chocolate espresso. cinnamon hints. bit of tartness from the alcohol.
t) here's where that chocolate gets you. its like drinking desert. but still, the hopiness is there, a bit of citrus on the front of the mouth. warms to more fruitness - a chocolate covered raspberry of a beer if there was one. delicious.
m) the natural carbonation balances out the tremendous power of the beer, nice and creamy, but not heavy. finishes clean and dry.

this is a really, really great imperial stout. what a beer for a dark, cold, winter night by the fire.

cktison, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of WanderingFool
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin fills the glass with a deep black color and forms a big creamy tan head on top. As the foam dissolves thick nets of lace stick to the sides. The aroma is all malt. Notes of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee are present.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is creamy with a fizzy carbonated tingle on the middle of the tongue. The flavor has lots of roasted malt and chocolate flavors. Towards the end some nutty notes and a mild bitterness move in, which helps balance out all the malt. Once gone the roasted malt and bitter notes linger on the palate.

For an Imperial Stout this beer had quite a head with a slightly subdued aroma. The mouthfeel is terrific and the flavor hid the 9% alcohol well.

WanderingFool, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of Homerbag
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body is black as black can be. Thick, fluffy head.
Has strong alcohol smell, balanced with coffee and dark roasted malts.
Taste like a strong coffee. Imagine military field coffee made with very high quality ingrediants. Thick and strong to those who don't know. Hints of dark chocolate at the back and in the aftertaste. Alcohol is not noticible in the taste, but it is there.
Mouthfeel is good, not syrupy like other Russian imps, dry aftertaste.
Overall. very good. I would rate this up there with the best of them. can't wait to try this with some good dark chocolate.

Homerbag, Oct 26, 2007
Photo of number1bum
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown, pretty much black, with two inches of very creamy, pillowy coffee-colored head. Head retention is excellent, with plenty of stick on the sides and a substantial lace on top.

Smells sweet and malty, with chocolate aromas most dominant, but caramel malt molasses, and coffee, as well.

Taste is not as sweet and chocolaty as the nose indicated. There is a lot more roasted malt coming through flavor-wise than there was in the aroma. The chocolate is there, quite bittersweet, though, with a low-level of overall malt sweetness. There is an underlying hop presence that includes a bit of a citric twang and a good dose of bitterness, as well. The finish includes a lingering roasted malt/charcoal flavor and some bitterness.

The mouthfeel is full-bodied and quite creamy. Nice and smooth on the palate. Overall, this is a good beer, although I wish it were a tad sweeter, and the roasted malt/hop bitterness combo gets to be a bit wearing.

number1bum, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of pwoods
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review based on notes:

On nitro-tap at Dilly Deli on 10/20. Served in a 10oz. tulip.

A: Body is as black as motor oil. 1/2+ finger light tan head on top stays fluffy for quite some time. Beautiful thin lacing.

S: Deep roasted coffee beans and bitter dark German chocolate. Dark sweet chocolates trying to come through but not much. Not detecting any alcohol.

T/M: As expected, huge amounts of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. Bitter seems to come more from the black strong bitter coffee taste. Just a very slight sweetness suggests the Dark fruits I was picking up on. Body isn't as thick as I would have expected but has a great creamy feeling to it.

D: Tastes even better on tap and a perfect after dinner drink. 1 of these as an after dinner treat or desert is the perfect application for this beer.

pwoods, Oct 23, 2007
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,173 ratings.