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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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10,549 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,549
Reviews: 3,448
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 380
Gots: 1,727 | 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: 10,549 | Reviews: 3,448 | Display Reviews Only:
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

Photo of PatrickJR
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into oversized snifter. I wasn't too impressed with the flavor directly out of the fridge, so I let this warm up to just under room temperature.

A - Completely opaque black. Even in the snifter, about a finger of brown head forms with pretty decent retention considering the high ABV. Lots of lace.

S - Overripe dark fruits with a hint of caramel. Deep chocolate aromas as well accented by smoke and wood. A whiff of alcohol hits with a suggestion of floral and earthy hops. There was actually a much less pronounced malt presence and a much stronger hop aroma while the brew was refrigerator temperature.

T - The caramel and chocolate wash over the palate at first with an undertone of fruit. Smoke/wood hits briefly, and then a wallop of rum-like alcohol takes hold, leading to a very earthy hop finish. The burnt flavor of the roasted malt along with the hops make for an intensely bitter finish.

M - Full to medium bodied, with moderate to low carbonation.

D - This is a big, intense brew, one certainly being enough. Finishing the glass might be a chore, though the flavors are very much in harmony with each other.

Photo of MrMonkey
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Novare Res in Portland, ME.

Pours jet black with a beautiful cascade, producing a thick and creamy three-finger mocha head. Great retention and lacing.

Big nose of coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and a hint of red fruits.

Taste is dark red fruits and bittersweet chocolate before some roasted malts, a hint of smoke, and coffee. Barely a hint of any hops, except in the dry finish, which has notes of espresso and a mild bitterness.

Creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel. Thick, but very smooth.

Very enjoyable, but definitely a sipper. This is the perfect dessert beer!

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

With a pitch black pour and a good inch thick head, Old Rasputin looks mighty fine! Great lacing on the beer as well; the nose is pretty much loaded with dark chocolate malts. There is a great bittering chocolate taste and hints of coffee initially, while the beer ends with a bitterness from the hops and coffee. The bitterness is simply addicting, and is making me want to drink it. The alcohol is completely covered up! The beer is thick and slightly creamy, solid for a RIS. There is a lot of flavours in the beer, and it's definitely drinkable.

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

Poured into a oversized wine glass.

Appearance: It is a deep blackish-brown with a head darker than most beers body. The head settled thick about 1/2 inch high.

Smell: It smells like a strong dark chocolate

Taste: It has an initial taste of bitter chocolate with a hint of coffee followed by aftertaste of half way between hops and the previous described flavors. High Alcohol is well masked

Mouthfeel: It is a thick mouthfeel to start with carbonation moderate, it ends rather velvety.

Drinkability: It is a pleasure to drink but I generally only want to drink one a night.

Overall this is my favorite Imperial Stout.

Photo of 1fastz28
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

me oh my, why i waited so long to try this i have no idea, but i pity myself for not. pours as black as a december night, no light can pass through, a yummy brown thick head lingers around for while too. smell is awesome, very strong and potent some sweet malt aroma as well as a smokey flavor. taste is a like a smoke porter almost, has a bacony flavor to it, and who doens't love bacon. mouthfeel is perfect, i love thicker, more syrupy beers and this one has it, drinkability is lower just because of its potentancy

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a snifter. Light khaki head with a lot of lace. Tastes like saltwater toffee, coffee, chocolate, slight bitter hop. Full bodied and beautiful. Creamy and smooth. Just a slight alcohal bite. Very drinkable and would definately have again.

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

My motto is the darker the better, and this time I have met my match. I have heard about Ol' Rasputin and as soon as I stumbled across this fine brew I purchased a couple. Drawn to the great name and label I was intrigued in the high alcohol content. Pours easily with a thin head. This beer is very aromatic and has a thick consistency. The flavor is wonderfully complex to say the least. I was very surprised to discover that the overall flavor hides the strong alcohol content really well. To date this is the best stout I have ever enjoyed. I Will definately keep a few of these in stock for my personal enjoyment. \Additional rating on 12-10-07 of (2) cellared bottles, exact age is uncertain. Opaque, rich brown pour with a 1" thick lasting dark tan head and amazing lacing. Aromas of dark bitter chocolate, chilled coffee, and sharp hops. Alcohol is detectable to the nose. This beer is very full bodied and bitter-sweet. Thick and creamy with a light alcohol burn and smooth finish. Rich flavors of coffee, fudge, burnt and nutty malts. Large chocolate presence and a firm bitterness, the hop flavor really breaks through once the beer warms up some. One of the the first imperial stouts I sampled, and after a couple years it still remains high on the list.

Photo of QuentinCompson
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into Orval chalice

A - Head always surprises me, creeps up; ends up a nice malty whopper finger head atop a thick opaque stout; sheet film lacing

S - Chocolatey malts, mainly

T-M - Super malty nose into nicely carbed, toasted hops; chocolatey, smokey, coffee thickness; an almost wild blueberry note creeping up nicely; super tasty

D - Love this one. Like to save'm for the right times.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours an opaque dark black body with over an inch of light brown head that slowly dissipates. Smells roasty, with strong baker's chocolate, caramel, and a tinge of citrussy hops. Tastes very roasty with dark chocolate, hints of caramel and toffee, and just enough grassy/citrussy hop flavor and bitterness to balance the malt. Hints of alcohol in both the mouthfeel and flavor. Rich creamy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. A solid flavorful RIS for sure. I'd love to see how it ages.

Photo of Romulus141
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark, almost jet black color. No light can seem to pass through this brew. Even a delicate pour produces a large amount of head, which leaves behind heavy lacing. The head dissipates slowly. This is a really hearty looking stout.

Smell: Sweet malts are the predominant characteristic, as well as toasted coffee beans. Given the strong alcohol percentage, it is pleasing that there is no alcoholic smell to note. A quite pleasing aroma.

Taste: The flavor begins with a strong taste of malts and coffee, which gives way to a strong bite of hops. The finish is very dry, and quite forceful. This stout has a distinctive flavor, and is a good example of the style.

Mouthfeel: Full, rich, and carbonated, this has everything one could want from a stout. Pleasing.

Drinkability: The taste is great, and these are easy to drink over an evening. However, given the strength of this beer, one needs to be careful, as it is easy to have one too many.

Recommended for fans of stouts.

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

Appearance- The body is black. Blacker than Pete Rose's heart. No ruby highlights on the edges, nothing. The head was a 1-finger, dark tan affair that was creamy. It settled fairly quickly, but left behind a nice lacing.

Aroma- Lots of roasted grains with hints of dark chocolate and coffee. As expected, the aroma strengthens and becomes more complex as the glass warms.

Taste- Stong, bitter (but not unpleasant) roasted grains. Yum. Notes of coffee, bitter chocolate. Has a very dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium body (for the style, which means it's failry heavy). Good CO2 level. Really pushes the roasted notes and bittering hops to the fore-front. Coats the lips, mouth and throat well, so you get as long, lingering aftertaste. Really can't fault the Czar for loving this stuff.

Drinkability- If you like RISs, this is probably the best mass-produced one.

Photo of eweneek83
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A short, strong pour produced a GIGANTIC, creamy, coffee colored 2 finger head that compressed to a robust cappacino-like foam. Beautiful sticky lace that remained through the glass.
Coal black....the DEFINITIVE appearance of a Russian Imperial Stout.

The nose immediately reveals a blend of dark chocolate, milky coffee, molasses, & creamy malts. The smell improves as the glass warms to room temperature...

The taste is everything you'd expect after looking at it & smelling it. Coffee, bittersweet chocolate, creamy smooth malts, a hint of smoke & a beautiful, earthy hop finish. The pleasing carbonation teases the tongue. There's a hint of warmth in the swallow with a really clean, crisp finish.

The mouth isn't too heavy...but, it IS slick, full bodied & substantial. This is a MUST try if you like Russian Imperials. It has a great taste and good price too for the quality. cheers! drink this one ice cold.

Photo of Matty1918
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to deepsouth for this sample.

Pours from a bottle into a chalice.

Pours a nice dark color....no light shining through this bad boy. Not much head maybe I poured it a little colder than it should of been. The thin head that is there is dark and creamy looking. Good amount of lacing.

Aroma is of slight coffee with a big chocolate back bone. Nice roasted malts come through in the end. You can smell the alcohol too.

That first sip and you can taste the alcohol. Once that settles down it's a strong toasted malt flavor that gives way to coffee. There's a hint of molases there for a second then it gets overtaken by the alcohol and roasted malts. This is a sipper for sure. The 9% ABV doesn't hide itself.

Mouthfeel is very nice, creamy with good carbonation.

Glad I got the chance to try this. The alcohol was a little bit overpowering as it needed more of a balance. I'd buy this again. Let it age a bit and share with friends.

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

A-Very deep color. Obsidian-like with a finger of caramel colored head that doesn't last.

S-Smoke, alcohol. Well balanced aroma.

T-Rich, full bodied. Chocoloate and coffee. Great hop bite.

M-Smooth but sticky. Flavor lingers for quite some time.

D-More of a after dinner beer, not something I would sit down and have a couple of.

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poet, Magician, Healer, Prophet, Holy Monk.

12 oz. stubby into a Gold Rimmed 12oz. Stella goblet.
A short, strong pour produced a GIGANTIC, creamy, coffee colored 2 finger head that compressed to a robust cappacino-like foam. Beautiful sticky lace that remained through the glass.
Coal black....the DEFINITIVE appearance of a Russian Imperial Stout.

The nose immediately reveals a blend of dark chocolate, milky coffee, molasses, & creamy malts. The smell improves as the glass warms to room temperature...

The taste is everything you'd expect after looking at it & smelling it. Coffee, bittersweet chocolate, creamy smooth malts, a hint of smoke & a beautiful, earthy hop finish. The pleasing carbonation teases the tongue. There's a hint of warmth in the swallow with a really clean, crisp finish.

The mouth isn't too heavy...but, it IS slick, full bodied & substantial. This is a MUST try if you like Russian Imperials. This is a BIG, explicit example of the style ~ in my opinion. My first try here. This is a future stand by as it's widely distributed & affordable.
The 9% ABV limits the drinkability (for me), but warrants a frequent visit.

Photo of Zadok
3.81/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured almost a pitch black syrup. Had a half finger dark brown head for seconds after pouring. Minimal lacing as I consumed.

S-Rich malts and dark roasted coffee, alcohol squeezing through in the background. Mild Dark fruits.

T-As with the smell, deep roasted malts and dark coffee bean. Each drink is an enjoyable kick in the pants. Malty/hoppy finish. ABV comes into play pretty quickly. Baker's chocolate and dark fruit hang mildly in the distance.

M-Rich and creamy, double shot espresso cappuccino doesn't do it justice.

D-1 of these in a setting is more than enough, that being said, this is an explosion of the taste buds and should be consumed at a moderate rate. The quality and time invested is evident.

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

Poured from bottle to glass. Smells choclatey. Rich black opaque appearance. Nice head that rings around the glass until the last sip. Nice bite at first but balanced with smooth mouthfeel. Nice chocolate malt aftertaste lingers. This beer is really put together well. I wish I were more versed in beer reviews, but I'm not, and can't possibly describe the other complexities contained within this one beer. There's a lot of good stuff goin on.

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

A: Poured a dark opaque coal color with a tightly bound dark beige head that was mostly lasting.

S: a huge fruity aroma starting things out before yielding to dark espresso beans, and bakers chocolate.

T: The flavor was fruity and dark with raspberry like tartness that was backed by a huge palate of dark roasted malt and citrus hopping. There was some charred woodiness, dark coffee beans and some rum raisin as well. The palate was huge, robust and full of complex flavors of dark malt and fruity sweetness leaving a pleasant aftertaste that lingers long after you swallow. At 55 F brings out strong coffee flavor. Great desert beer and one that should be sipped and savored for its huge complexity of dark fruit, coffee, and chocolate providing the standard per style for all others to follow.

M: dark and slightly astingent, bitter, creamy with a full body and thick viscostity.

D: Incredible drinkability, warm, luscious, full bodied and complex warming up to release a whole new layer of flavors and complexity.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,549 ratings.