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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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10,713 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,713
Reviews: 3,490
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 402
Gots: 1,859 | 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: 10,713 | Reviews: 3,490 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jokelahoma
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at Old Chicago in Olathe, KS.

Poured into a small brandy snifter/tulip style glass. Came to me completely opaque black and a decent sized creamy head that lasted the entire way to the bottom.

The smell on this one is fantastic. It's full of dark fruits, roasted grains, a bit of pleasant hop aroma... it's everything you can really ask for from the aroma of an Imperial Stout. Extremely appetizing, and enough to make your mouth water.

The taste doesn't let you down, either. Up front you get hit with a healthy dose of roasted malt flavor, followed by the sweetness of the base malts. That sweetness stays throughout the sip, but it balanced nicely by the deceptively high level of bitterness, both from the hops and from the more astringent character of the darker malts. The darker fruit aromas also make their presence known in the flavor, giving the beer a plum/currant note that is very nice on the tongue. And to top it all off, there's really no hint of the 9% ABV in the taste. It's way too easy to drink, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, now is it?

The mouthfeel was a tad lighter than I had expected. Not light, by any means, but lighter than one might think an Imperial Stout would be. This both aids the drinkability of the beer, and disappoints in some odd way. Overall, though, it isn't a big hindrance to the enjoyment.

This one is really, really well made. Sweet without being cloying, well balanced, not trying to be grabbing you by the throat and screaming "Imperial Stout Here! Bet you can't drink me!". It's very well put together, easy to drink, satisfying, and just generally a very, very good beer. Highly recommended.

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

Grabbed a 4-pack in Sept 2007 and sat on two bottles for a while. This is one of them.

A: A very black Old Rasputin under an inch thick cap of brown head that leaves a nice pattern of foam along the side of my 22oz snifter.

S: On the nose, there is some rich chocolate, absolutely gorgeous. Not very dark, there's some creaminess and a hint of coffee to back it up. Some sherry-like oxidation is present, adding to the complexity. Mellow and wonderfully well-balanced, this beer's a charm.

T: After drinking as many BA imperials as I've had in the past week, it's remarkable how wonderful a straight up imperial stout is! Smooth, soft medium dark chocolate with a hint of sweetness, a little bit of cream and a wonderfully bitter finish. Oxidation isn't as noticeable as it was on the nose. There is some licorice that's noticeable as it warms up, though. All told, wonderfully mellow.

M: Moderate in body with carbonation that's solid (maybe a little bit too much) and an excellent finish

D: Wow. This is one dangerously drinkable beer. Definitely stocking up on this.

**Edit 03 August 2012**
This is my final bottle from that 4-pack from Sept 2007.

The nose has taken on a decidedly roasty, ashy and unsweetened cocoa tinge. Mildly fruity, not particularly oxidized, but it is mellow. The palate opens fruity with mild raisins along with heavily roasted grains, a little char and a little ash. Pretty intense. The mid-palate has fallen off, it's too mellow and lacking in character. Medium in body with a roasty, mildly ashy and moderately fruity finish that's also got some cocoa and caramel, this feels nice on the palate. Solid stuff, I need to revisit this fresh.

Photo of likethetaste
2.15/5  rDev -50%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

WOW! I got this beer as gift at Christmas. I really looked forward to trying this. It poured a beautiful dark color with lovely long lasting foam. I smelled it and it just had a wonderful dark chocolate bready smell. But then I tasted it! YIKES.
This had a horrible bitter taste. The aftertaste was just terrible. I could not drink this and enjoy it at all! I was greatly disappointed. Apparently I just do not have the same taste buds as others who reviewed this but It was just awful tasting to me and I have tried many stouts.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into pint glass

A - Poured a nice deep black with a caramel colored head with good retention and quite a bit of lacing.

S - Intense chocolate and coffee notes in the nose. Some minor scents of caramel and molasses.

T - I really enjoyed this beer. It burst of chocolate and roasted malts up front with a sweet feel and lingering bitterness as it goes down. Kept me sipping trying to put my finger on the taste.

M - Phenomenal all around. Full bodied, smooth and creamy.

D - It has a moderately high drinkability. The higher ABV is quite welcome on a cold winter day.

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

A- Dark. impenetrably black with a medium brown way too bubbly head that has decent retention. what you would expect from an imperial stout, but definitely nothing special in the category (im thinking abyss, ten fidy, BCS, etc.).

S- coffee and roasted malts. burnt smell that is quite nice.

T- very good. not as much coffee as expected but very malty. somewhere between sweet and bitter, i cant figure out which, and the lingering aftertaste adds to the confusion. all i know is that i like it, whatever it is. a very small hint of dark fruits. A little too much carbonation.

M- overly carbonated. full-bodied, although a bit less than other RISs i enjoy. also not quite as smooth as i like the style, but still very good.

my favorite year-round beer.

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

A: Pours black as night. One-finger, chocolate milk colored head. Great lacing throughout the beer.

S: Initially boozy. Dark chocolate and intense roasted coffee as it warms. I think that I also picked up some molassas.

T: Strong dark coffee dominates the flavor, but it doesn't mask the alcohol. A little bitter.

M: Tighter carbonation than expected. Warming on the back of the throat. A little thinner than I expected.

D: Stong and intense flavors mean that you will spend a little bit of time finishing this one. Very good.

Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a tan head that has a wonderful oil layer on top. Really nice looking brew. The smell is even better, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. The taste continues the trip to Chocolate town with hints of coffee and caramel to boot. This is an intense beer, you really take your time with it and one is probably plenty, but I really enjoyed it. I've never been a stout guy, but this is a couple in a row that I've enjoyed. I would definetly have this beer again, it would be a great dessert after a meal.

Photo of TMB0424
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into snifter.

Pours an complete pitch black body. Black as night. Medium sized, loose, creamy coffee colored head quickly dissipates into fine outer ring. What is left of the head is only now a murky, pond-scum (but a strangely delicious looking pond-scum!). Pretty good amount of carbonation wisps up to meet the diminished head. Dense, thick lacing along my glass. Damn good looking.

Aroma of freshly brewed roasted coffee... perhaps even expresso. A light scent of ale-like fruity yeast complimented by a subtle touch of melted dark chocolate. Very rich smelling. Smokey, roasted malts as well. A light, pleasant splash of grassy, earthy hops is lurking somewhere in the background of this beastly brew as well. I'm also getting the spicy warmth of the alcohol. Exceptionally well smelling.

Taste is incredible. So many flavors just attack your palate. Rich, smooth dark chocolates blended perfectly with a bitter splash of expresso. And right in the middle of all that is a dash of fruity sweetness... but so delicate and well-placed. Fresh, ripened fruits. Plums are coming to mind. The smokey malts in the aroma are in the taste as well. The finish is refreshingly bittersweet, with a wave of alcohol warmth. Outstanding.

Mouthfeel is indescribably creamy. Talk about thick... talk about chewy. But creamy as all hell. Full bodied. The term bittersweet is used a lot... but this is the epitome of bittersweet. Unreal.

Drinkability is exceptional. The alcohol warmth and kick at the finish designates this a sipper - but a damn good sipper at that. The best Russian Imperial I've had. This is a must try for any stout lover. It's just perfectly balanced, perfectly brewed, just perfect.

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into a snifter and it had a thick tan head. It smells strong of espresso and dark chocolate. It tastes just like it smells, strong espresso and dark chocolate. There is a hint of alcohol as it warms the back of the throat. This beer is thick and creamy almost like a meal in of itself. One of the most robust stouts I have tried to date.

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

Pours thick and black, your standard RIS appearance with a consistency like chocolate syrup. Nice little tan head with good retention. Has that cocoa powder smell, with the idea that "you are about to get your ass whooped by a huge stout." We'll see if that holds true.

First impression: someone robbed a tin of 90% cocoa powder and poured it in here. It's like the superconcentrated intense chocolate experience of Weyerbacher XIII, except I don't have to choke it down. A little hop presence to balance out the chocolate/coffee, and that's it. Nice and coating without being overly cloying, and no crappy aftertaste to speak of, which is quite a feat when you consider the ABV and intense flavors. A great sessionable RIS.

Photo of sanjosey19
4.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh so smooth. Pours nice and thick with a caramel colored head that dissipates fast. Smells like you would expect it to, roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. Mouthfeel is great, so nice and smooth, not too carbonated. Some alcohol taste present, but still very drinkable. Overall, this tastes like a very good RIS, but the quality lies in how well is drinks. One of my favorites. I got to go to the brewery in Fort Bragg CA, and had four of these with dinner...amazing.

Photo of oakbluff
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. Pours ebony black, minimal beige head and lacing. Nose- strong anise, slight roast. Taste- dry dark roast, some burnt malt, anise and moderate bittering hops which really show in the finish. Relatively light bodied for style, moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good given light body and lack of hotness. Nice RIS

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

Bottle poured into glass

Appearance Beer is a black cloudy color. Head is a nice tan color. Head lingers on for quite awhile. I dont see a lot of carbonation bubbles through glass not sure if the beer is to dark to see these or there are just not a lot of bubbles.

Smell Nice chocolate aroma is the first smell I get. A hint of coffee is also present.

Taste A chocolate taste is present. Sweet malt is also tasted. Finishes a little bitter. Very smooth beer that is mild as well. Does not taste like a 9.00% but I know it is.

Mouthful Ultra low carbonation, a very smooth beer.

Drikability For a Russian stout goes down pretty good. A little to rich to drink to fast, must be sipped, a very nice beer.

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

One of the darkest pours I've ever seen, thick and heavy with a medium brown head. Massive hits of coffee beans and bitter chocolate with just a slight hint of the alcohol buried beneath it all. How I miss my youthful days when I used to regularly drink four of these a night. Probably the most pleasant drunk I've ever had. Your beer drinking life is not complete if you've never had this one. Also Rasputin's beard is a hero to mine, just saying.

Photo of Reagan1984
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick brown head with excellent retention. Virtually black beer.
Thick walls of lacing.

Aroma is heavenly. Smells a bit like Kaluha. Some deep dark coffee, a bit of alcohol. There is also some sweetness that almost makes me think of coffee syrup. (From Rhode Island)

Strong roasted grains up front. You get a real sense of this and its just shy of burnt. Like a deep espresso. Then some alcohol comes in to warm your heart. Is the finish big bitter hops or dark roasted malts? I think its both. The sweetness is there and enough to balance the dark notes.

Its almost creamy and has a thick body. Huge mouth feel.
I enjoy splitting a bottle with my wife.

Very good.

Note, had this on nitro-tap at Deep Ellum last week. It was even better in that format.

Photo of rgrholmes168
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured like every stout should. I got a nice two finger head that never fully went away. What part left the glass had a nice touch of lace down the side.

The color was black and there was no carbonation to be seen. The dark roasted barley and the chocolate came through the beer immediately. A very nice aroma to this beer. The smell definitely had me looking forward to tasting this beer.

Very thick fully bodied beer, that had a touch of bitterness coming right through. The smokey, dark taste was really impressive. I thought that I got some coffee flavor breaking through the beer, which made for a nice aftertaste.

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

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: The beer slides into the glass. Jet black. Dark tan head with no retention. This beer has serious legs.

S: Espresso and dark chocolate malt aromas waft out of my snifter. Very rich and boozy.

T: Dark chocolate malt flavor. A bolt of hob bitterness strikes at the middle and carries through and lingers. Coffee and espresso. Roasted flavor is restrained not harsh. Very complex and layered with plenty of booze.

MF: Thick and silky smooth. Dry finish. Well attenuated.

D, notes: Not sure I waited so long to try this classic. Very good. Despite its weight and full taste an easy to sip beer that does not sit in the gut.

Photo of wheelinshirt
4.76/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz stubby brown bottle from Abe's in Bethlehem. Cost me $2.50 which I think is a real steal.

Pours pitch black with a big, cascading ,cocoa colored head. Retention is great and leaves a bunch of lacing down the side of the glass. Amazing looking.

Smell is rich and full of dark roasted malts and booze. Very nice but not complex enough to get a 5. I think my sense of smell is fairly weak, though.

Tastes of rich roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, a nice boozy kick. This is amazing. There really isn't anything here that you wouldn't expect or wouldn't want. Basically a perfect RIS.

Mouthfeel is full, rich, creamy. The foam was thick, too. It was like eating stout ice cream.

Drinkabilty is awesome. This is a big beer (9%) and it is really big on taste, but I could easily drink a couple in a night. The hardest part was stopping myself from getting too tipsy and waking up with a hangover. Highly recommended. You could easily spend double or triple what you would on this just to get a beer of lesser quality. One of the best beers I have ever had.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter on Christmas Eve. Poured a Very dark, opaque black with a thin tan head that faded fast but comes back strong with a swirl of the glass. smells of bitter chocolate, some prunes maybe, and a hint of caramel. Tastes of some bitter chocolate as well. very drinkable for a RIS. mouthfeel is fizzy rather than thick and creamy like other RIS I have had.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/5/08. Bottle. Pours black with a small light tan head. Aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, cookie dough, caramel, nougat, and truffles. Wow. Flavor of roast, coffee, and bitter hops. Sweet roasted malt emerges as the beer warms. A bit heavy (alcohol-wise). Good impy!
8/4/8/4/15 (3.9/5)

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours with an inch and a half of frothy, billowy tan head. Retention is pretty good- halfway through I've still got a nice thin layer which leaves impressive and sticky lace. As for color: it's black. What else is there to say?

Smells of roasted malts and booze. Hints of smoke, chocolate, and coffee.

Tastes of darkly roasted malts, dark coffee (sumatran, e.g.), with a perfectly complimenting sweet side to it.

A bit more carbonated than I would like (and the bottle more so than on tap, if I remember correctly). Still pretty smooth, though.

Goes down easy for an RIS. Excellent beer.

Photo of brewcrew76
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Thick black with a creamy brown and nice rings of lace left behind.

S - Semisweet chocolate, roasted malts, hints of coffee and licorice.

T - Semisweet chocolate, slightly bitter coffee and roasted malts.

M - Smooth and creamy. Well carbonated that makes it a touch fizzy at times.

D - This is a nice easy drinking RIS versus the big chewey meals in a bottle. Simple but very nice.

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

Pours thick black with a creamy brown head. Aroma of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate.

Carbonation is a bit heavy, breaking up what would have been a nicely silky mouthfeel.

First taste brings burnt malt, followed by cocoa powder, finishing with an alcohol warming raisin flavor and delicious hop bitterness that seems to hang on to my tongue like a pro rodeo bucking bronc rider (It's a nice ride!).

This is North Coast Brewing's signature beer!

Photo of Adamthome1
4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My, oh my. Needless to say I was thrilled when I saw that my grocer was carrying a Russian Imperial Stout. This is my first. I love stouts and porter's but where I live the selection is not great.

This beer pours a great head (my myspace picture is a fresh pour into a snifter glass). The aroma is respectable, the taste is dominated by dark chocolate, it's a pretty sweet beer. It reminds me of Rogue's Chocoloate Stout but is not quite as complex and bites harder than the Rogue Choc. Stout. However, it does not fee like 9% alcohol that is for sure.

This is one of my new favorites, my only request would be a little more bitterness or a second malt flavor to jump out other than just the dark chocolate. As is it is very drinkable and worth the price.

Photo of Soneast
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours a pitch-black color. The head was quite explosive, even with a fairly gentle pour I ended up with about a 3 finger, light brown colored head. Had to wait for the head to die down a bit to finish pouring the rest of the bottle. Just thick and creamy, leaving large pillows of bubbles on the glass as I drink the beer. By the end of my beer the entire glass was just coated with the brown colored head.

A thick, earthy roasted malt aroma up front. A sort of resinous, dark chocolate aroma in the background.

A burnt/bittered chocolate flavor initially. Sweet, roasted malts throughout and a very nice balanced bitter hop flavor that ends with a delectable sweetness on the palate. I'll be frank, this tastes AWESOME! Well balanced and it has a complexity that I trust is only going to improve with age.

This beer has a thick, filling character. The carbonation is very well balanced with the heaviness of the beer. This just tastes so good and I love the aftertaste. Another great stout to compliment the cold, snowy weather we've been contending with in central Wisconsin for the past few weeks. This is 9% ABV? Coulda fooled me, cause you sure can't taste it. It's a sipper, for sure, but something that I could sip on all day.

*EDIT 12/25/09*
Add a year to this beer....and holy crap is it amazing. I thought it was good before. Now...it may very well be my favorite stout. Just delicious! Screw Rasputin XII, it doesn't get much better than this. And when you consider this beer currently has 2044 reviews and still retains it's A grade, that really says something. Considering it's deliciousness and availability...this is a world class beer, without a doubt.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,713 ratings.