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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.

10,357 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,357
Reviews: 3,396
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 355
Gots: 1,553 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,357 | Reviews: 3,396 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mountdew1
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a very dark almost opaque brown with a chocolate 1 finger head. The head only lasted a few minutes. Smell had hints of oakiness, along with very slight raspberry aromas hiding in the milk chocolate mocha scent. Taste was both dark wheat bread, and burnt chocolate at the same time. Slightly bitter in the mouth with a little acidity on the toungue that detracted from the mouthfeel. Overall was fairly drinkable, but the alcohol content did hit a little stronger than would have been expected.

Photo of Thanby
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Black as night" really is the best way to describe it. Thick, rocky, dark tan head, some active carbonation visible. Head dies very slowly and leaves a thick coating on the glass.

Smells of rich roasted malts and chocolate. Very smoky, but not ashy like some Imperial Stouts. Hint of caramel in the background.

I think I'm in love. First taste is bold, roasted malt, followed closely by the chocolate and caramel. The perfect amount of bitterness (in my opinion) for a strong stout, coming from the roast and smokiness.

Creamy, thick body, more carbonation than I would expect but it's not unpleasant. The three main flavors just roll around on the tongue in perfect harmony. There's something about how they roasted the malt that strikes me as very pleasing, but unfortunately I don't have enough experience with stout production to know what it is.

Overall this is a stout-lover's dream. Not for a weak stomach, because it has a hefty bitterness and high ABV that shamelessly displays itself in the taste, but it is just one hell of an enjoyable drink. I was planning to follow it up with a pint of Guinness but now I'm thinking it simply won't do my taste buds justice after this.

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

A. Dark oil black, hardly opaque despite my best efforts. Little to no head despite best efforts.

S. Rich deep coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate and the sweet burnt caramel smell. Some hops in the background.

T. Starts with a blast of bitter hops but evolves to chocolate, coffee, caramel and malt.

M. I think they nailed the proper level of carbonation. Creamy finish but still clean.

D. Pretty strong, otherwise more drinkable.

Photo of starflyer58
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So, there are few out there that might dare pair a beer with a song... but as this is my first review on BeerAdvocate, I'm going in a different direction and begin this review with just such a suggestion.

There's a group called Justice. and they have a song entitled Waters Of Nazareth. If there were a soundtrack to drinking a North Coast Old Rasputin, this would be it.

Pours a chunky darkness as if from the veins of some evil entity that, on the day it was created, refused to ever meet it's maker again.

The aroma hits you with heavy melodies of coffee-infused chocolate, possibly alcohol-soaked raisins.

The taste comes at you with burnt maltiness, burnt coffee, bitter hops, caramelized sugar, oaky finish?

Jesus, God... Don't mess with this beer.

Photo of albern
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm just not a fan of Imperial stouts so I'm just not inclined to rave about this beer. It pours about as black as mud, not much carbonation, some retention, some lacing. The head is dirty brown. The smell is thick, oily, molasses, cherry overtones, dark roasted coffee, and sweet malts. This beer is full bodied, strong, bitter, and not for the faint at heart. Perhaps I'm the faint at heart because I couldn't imagine drinking more than one. I can appreciate the style to a point, but then it is just a strong espresso, molasses, bitter and biting roasted malt brew that just stings in the mid section. On the very tail end, some sweet malts and cherry like flavors emerge, but not until I've been hit over the head by the mid section and beyond of just bitter and strong flavors. As the beer settles a bit, the more warming alcohol notes and the sweeter malts present themselves sooner. The aftertaste is a bit over the top for me as well. The mouthfeel is pronounced and thick, but what do you expect from a beer that pours like dirty oil.

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

12oz bottle, served in a Chimay chalice.

A - Pours a dark, dark black with a deep ruby hue when put to the light. Huge 2-3 finger head of deep beige colored foam that leaves a great lacing.

S - Chocolate espresso, with hints of nuts - no hop aroma to note of.

T - Sweet chocolate and espresso like coffee notes. Nice hop presence with a great lingering bitterness that makes this beer very enjoyable.

M - Thick on viscosity and low on carbonation - perfect for this style.

D - While this one is 9%, you can actually drink more than a couple in a sitting, but be careful!

An excellent representation of this style. FKro.

Photo of Tilley4
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was an incredible RIS here! Pours very dark but not totally opaque with a nice creamy 1 inch head that leaves some fairly decent lacing as well.

Smells rich and dark, like espresso. This is a very complex brew here. Aroma of fruit and licorice, malt and coffee.

This is one fine tasting stout. This is what I want a stout to taste like. Very rich and dark with a nice alcohol finish and a good warming end to it. You know you're drinking a strong beer when you drink this one. Not the strongest of stouts, but just the right amount of kick to it. The alcohol is present but it isn't overpowering or overbearing in any way.

I loved this beer. I had to travel an hour west to get the last two bottles that the store had. It was worth the trip and I guarantee you that I'll make it again.

Photo of bushbeer75
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Since this brew has such an outstanding reputation I was wondering if it would live up to it, or if it was just “hype” – Well it sure deserves that fine rep!

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout poured an almost opaque [reddish] black color with a “bumpy” 1½ finger tan head and leaves behind some lacing. This is a complex brew with a rich intense robust palate that is creamy, buttery [smooth] with the right amount of carbonation. Old Rasputin has a light fruit aroma. The taste is dominated by dark chocolate and coffee with touches of blackberries.

Drink ability is a little lower due to its rich flavor [it hides the alcohol well] but that is NOT a bad thing! Rasputin makes for a GREAT nightcap.

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

Poured from a bottle into my imperial pint glass.

A: A dark almost black color with a beautiful light brown head. Nice glass lacing as the head subsides.

S: I'm not sure why others don't smell what I did, but right up front I smell hops. Maybe I had a really fresh bottle, but there was no mistaking the initial hop smell. From there when I kept sniffing I picked up the sweet roasted malt with coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate and the sweet burnt caramel smell.

T: Incredible. Once again, hops bitterness right off the bat, but as the beer settles in your mouth you get the traditional stout flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, caramel and the malt. Nice finish that lasts on this beer with some alcohol presence, but far from offensive. This is one complex excellent tasting beer.

M: Great mouthfeel, the alcohol is there and you can taste it as it finishes in your mouth, but it's just really enjoyable.

D: Excellent, boy I could easily put away many of these (if I could stay upright).

Overall this is an excellent stout. I am new to this style of beer, but no doubt hands down this is a favorite of mine. I'm a hop guy and I just loved the upfront hops in this beer. Well done North Coast, cheers to you. I see me drinking a lot of this beer in the future.

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,357 ratings.