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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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10,542 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,542
Reviews: 3,445
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 379
Gots: 1,720 | 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.
View: Beers (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,542 | Reviews: 3,445 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thekevlarkid
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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?

Photo of Mauerhan
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

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.

Photo of Bananaman
4.6/5  rDev +7%
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".

Photo of sstackho
3.6/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Four 12oz bottles for $9 from Bauer Wines in Boston. Pours black, with a good head. Very good lacing. Rich nose of malts and hops. First taste is strong and warm, but the main taste is hurt by what feels like too much alcohol, so it goes down hot - and I typically have no problem with big beers. Tangy flavour. Nice lingering hop and malt aftertaste. Overall, I'm not actually enjoying this one too much. I will let its brothers age.

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

Welcome to the darkest, most ominous beer ever made. Opaque color invites you to take a dive into this abyss and lose yourself in the black waters. Deep dark chocolate aroma with coffee notes. Dark chocolate lounges on the tongue with malty aftertaste that becomes even deeper and more intriguing than the initial flavor. Deep chocolate indulgence with 9% ABV that disguises itself as an ordinary stout. The soul of Rasputin has blessed this brew to make it extraordinary.

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

On tap at Bocktown in Pittsburgh

A: Black with only slight brown hues when held up to light. This one has a nice, creamy dark brown head that laces the glass nicely!

S: Mmmm. Tons of dark coffee and chocolate in this one. I can tell the taste is going to be immaculate

T: Extremely rich and flavorful of dark coffee, cocoa, and some dark fruits as well. There is a noticeable hop bitterness in this that I absolutely love!

M,D: The heaviness is balanced by nice active carbonation and the only thing leaving me from giving a five on drinkability is the bitterness. Excellent

Photo of Brad007
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Kind of weird to be reviewing a beer at 4am but I'm still fully awake so why not?

Pours a pitch black color with a nice, brown one-finger head. Definitely right for the style.

The aroma is thick and roasty with a hint of chocolate and dark fruits. Somewhat creamy as well.

Taste is very roasty with hints of chocolate, coffee and dark fruits. Smooth and creamy and it finishes with a decent amount of bitterness at the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel is bitterness followed by creamy chocolate. Very smooth. Does not overpower.

I think this is a very drinkable Imperial Stout. I was expecting it to be harsh because there's no way to tell how old it is. However, that isn't the case. I better pick up some more to age while it's still available. As for personal preferences, it does have that creaminess in the mouthfeel that I desire and a good balance of roasted malt and hops. Excellent.

Photo of SeanRedd
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A kingdom within a 12 oz serving. A plethora of generosity expressed through a robust, chocolate-expresso environment. Sweet syrup delivered crisp. An aroma to inebriate the senses, a behemoth of flavor. Bitter toward the rear; an invaluable balance to the grand, indulgent flavor provided up front. Spectacular! A beacon of light that illuminates Russian Imperial Stouts, the royalty of dark beer.

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

A- Pours a silky and fluffy 2 finger head into my large snifter. The head is tan colored and the body is pitch black. As the beer recedes, it leaves some nice lacing.

S- First off, I get a huge hopiness reminiscent of pine and pineapple. I also get a big dark chocolate, some vanilla, and some nice spiciness.

T- This beer starts of with a bitter dry chocolate and slight vanilla with a nice big hopiness of pine then moves into a nice dry chocolate and hoppy finish. Nice.

M- Carbonation is a bit more than low which makes me think it could be a bit less. I would love to see a thicker, smoother mouthfeel, but overall, this is good.

D- There is 9% in here somewhere. Pairs great with dessert or an chocolate. Definitely a great, widely available russian impy.

Photo of Kraken
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Again, the internet is great, dont know how I lived without it. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. FYI I love every North Coast product I have had so far. Pours an absolute Jet black, ebony, with 3 fingers of latte colored head. Head is thick and viscous, not much lacing but good head retention.
Nose- The scent of this one is something special. Nose is thick, like you walked in a coffee roasting, coco packing, pine tar factory. Hops enice you to taste.
Taste- Like a mouth full of coffee chocalte pine needles. But very smooth. Long bitter finish.
Mouthfeel- Coats the mouth in a very pleasant way but not cloying, not as heavy as it looks. Again the finish wonderful.
Drinkablity-Not as heavy as the color would indicate. But I think 2 wouild be more the enough. Alcohol is nicely hidden but noticable. Currently second fav RIS behing Stone.

Photo of beachbum1975
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle poured for me at Fox and the Hound in Mason, OH. No freshness date.... I love the packaging, very noble and almost ominous.

An easy pour produced a nice, creamy, tan 2 finger head. Highly active, frothy bubbling on the head for a few minutes. Nice and sticky lacing remained through the glass. Color is black with the slightest dark brown and possibly ruby hues when put up into the light. Viscosity is high on this one - not a sludge bomb. Looks like a nice example of a Russian Imperial Stout.

Sniffing on this guy reveals a delightful blend of dark chocolates, coffee grinds, lactose creaminess and molasses.

The taste is what you'd expect after smelling it, no surprises. To summarize the taste, this is a richly flavored, heavily roasted coffee, roasted grains, bittersweet chocolates, a healthy dose of smoke and charcoal finishing with some crisp (non-floral) hops. Flavor is nice because it doesn't linger in my mouth forever. I got very little alcohol in the taste, as the prominent roasted flavors hid it well.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for the menacing color and creamy head of this beer. Very drinkable and enjoyable, but don't let the 9% ABV creep up and kick your ass.

Photo of jwinship83
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Black body with a small coffee like head that disappears rather swiftly.

S- roasted malts and chocolate are the main smells here.

T- smooth roasted malts and slight chocolate scent up front with a hoppy finish and a light coffee aftertaste. excellent. the faintest taste of alcohol.

M- thick and creamy with enough carbonation. very smooth.

D- smooth, great taste, well balanced and without the burning that one would expect from something with 9% ABV. i could, and have, drink this one all night before i get sick of it. an obvious classic (i think its on BA top 100 list) that any stout lover should check out.

Photo of mixcat
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great Beer. A
This is a strong beer and about 9% packs a punch.
It has a very good taste. Rich, bitter and sweet well balanced.
Its worth its high price and one of my favorite beers. I wish more stores carried it.
If you havent tried it and love dark stouts this one is for you.

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

A - Poured a syrupy black like used motor oil. Had a nice dark tan head which settled and left nice lacing and a thin foam layer on top.

Smell: Roasted & sweet caramel malts and coffee. A slight chocolate scent as well.

Taste: Bitter chocolate hit me first. Then the sweet malts kicked in followed by a slight hop bitterness. If finished with a nice coffee and bitter chocolate flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very full bodied and creamy. Definitely a sipper.

Drinkability: I'm glad we got this beer back in south Louisiana. This is one of the best drinking stouts around. A blessing brought over from the west coast!

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

Pitch black beer with a burnt-coffee and milk head that settles to a wispy lace on top after a sip or two.

I can smell cherries, plums, and faint licorice. Not a lot of hop in the smell besides some astringency at the top end, but that could also be the alcohol.

Burnt toffee with a hint of cherry invades the palate with a faint overripe plum flavor towards the finish... which is cut by a very sharp, very crisp, but otherwise unknown hop. Quite a bit of warming alcohol throughout.

Rich and thick with a very slight, porter-like fizz at the back end.

One of my all time favorites. This one was enjoyed during a huge saturday breakfast, and it makes me feel bad for all those poor suckers drinking coffee today.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a mean pour into a Yeti snifter. Black as a puma, mega-thick brown frothy head with fine bubbles. Awesome looking beer.

Huuuuge nose. Raisins, expresso, black cherries, chocolate milkshake and raspberries.

Mmmm...choooocolate, Mmmmm...beeeer. If only Homer could have one of these! Huge roasty malted barley flavor with a fair amount of hop juice. Damn near perfect. Slight alcohol presence, but not overbearing. Full mouthfeel, silky smooth and well balanced.

Should be a mainstay in everyone's fridge, fo sho!

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

Appearance: Motor oil they say, but how unappetizing, thick syrupy black. decent head that recedes quickly to a nice lacing.

Smell: Reminds me of the Arrogant Bastard, chocolate, malt sweetness, prunes. Delish.

Taste: First the chocolate hits you, then a little burnt notes then the sweetness of the malt then the bitterness from the hops a little prune, a little alcohol then burnt chocolate and prune in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy thick and rich.

Drinkability: I'm not finished with the first one but ooooh is it good and the stress of my day is melting away, a sipping brew, 2 of these will loosen up an evening for sure.

Photo of elniko
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter glass

A: Dark, dark, dark. Very small amount of tan head with lacing.

S: Incredibly fragrant, strong coffee tones in the nose.

T & M: Wow, my beer journey has led me to my first RIS and I knew this was the first one I wanted to try. I used to strongly dislike stouts and porters but my tastes have changed so much that I love this beer. Very smooth coffee tones up front but a nice amount of bitterness in the mouthfeel. I also agree with other reviewers in that there is some smokiness as well. I now see why RIS as a whole and especially Old Rasputin specifically are well regarded.

D: Drinkable but I'm not sure I could drink more than one in a sitting due to the ABV and the overall thickness of the brew.

Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite RISs - easily ranks up there with brews like The Abyss, Peche Mortel, Goose Island, etc. It pours BLACK and it is a very heavy drinker. The taste is just about as good as it gets for me, as are the smell and look of the beer. Its got some chocolate, espresso, even some fruity undertones - the whole sip is just awesome. A bit more hoppy than other Imperial Stouts, but I love it -- very particular taste. Great with some chocolate.

Old Rasputin will always be especially special to me as it was not only the first craft beer I ever had, but also the first Imperial Stout I ever had, which is now my favorite style. This is the beer that got me hooked on beer, and it is still one of my all time favorites.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Total Wine in Chantilly, VA. This bottle's been sitting in my (dark, cool) closet for a few months - poured into a Watou chalice.

Appearance: A deep, thick brownish-black beer - a few shades white of black - with a fast fading coffee-colored head, streaky, runny lacing.

Aroma: Chocolate and coffee, a little woody smoke, higher-weight alcohols. Fairly subdued.

Taste: Very interesting - lots of burnt and smoky notes here, more so than in most other RISs I've tried; a few faint lighter toasted notes (dark coffee, bitter chocolate), but the smoky notes really dominate this one. A earthy, grassy hoppiness abounds for the last half of the sip, jarringly so at first (I thought the bottle was infected!), but it grows on you a little. Slightly harsh alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Bigger bubbles than I'm used to in an RIS, but it's still largely uniform and therefore smooth. Mouth itself is thick and syrupy, creamy and velvety, but maybe a little thinner than many RISs.

Drinkability: Lower in abv% than other RISs, and pretty interesting. A well crafted beer, especially if you like the darker, more highly-toasted RISs.

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

I love stouts and porters so for a 9% Stout, it was pretty good.

Nice dark black with a tan head. Aroma not too overpowering. Not too thick.

The high alc isn't overpowering.

This was highly recommended by Jim the Beerguy at Chan's Wine World in Destin.

Only had 2 4 pks left, so I grabbed them.

I will buy this again when I get outside MS.

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

Pours slowly from a 12oz. brown bottle into the center of the sam adams glass. It's rich and thick, almost completely black, creamy light brown head, good retention, and some lacing.

Aroma is mostly malty with some hops; more than I would have expected in a russian imperial stout. It's roasty like coffee and slighty sweet smelling.

Flavor is awesome and just what a russian imperial stout should be. Lots of roasted/toasted malts, chocolate, and coffee. It's sweet at first but followed by a strong, dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is appropriate and drinkability is good for the style.

This is a special beer and I'm glad I picked up a 4 pack. They should age nicely.

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

Got as an extra in trade with Ben4881, thanks man!!
12oz to standard pint, pours black as night opaque, foamy tan head retains nicely - very nice looking

smells of bitter roasty malts, alcohol heat, light hops in the back

taste is roasty bitter malts, hot alcohol in the front, tobacco, dark fruit, creamy yet thin, chocolate, smoke, earthy, coffee, nicely balanced, very drinkable for a high abv

mouthfeel is thinner than most RIS, but makes up for it with the abundance of flavors, bitter, roasty and creamy with hot alcohol and hop finish, a very nice RIS :D

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,542 ratings.