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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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10,518 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,518
Reviews: 3,438
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 382
Gots: 1,700 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,518 | Reviews: 3,438 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tedpeer
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Huge head on pour that subsided into a 1/2 inch coffee tan head. Pours very dark, near black. Thick lacing.

S - Chocolate

T - Chocolate. Aftertaste is not to bitter.

M - Thick. Alcohol bite at the end. A little more carbonation then I like

D - Because of the ABV, definately a sipper.
Reason for update:

Did a blind tasting of 7 RISs.

Night Tripper, Czar, and Stone RIS tied for First. Siberian Night and Old Rasputin tied for 4th, and Ten FIDY and Expedition tied for 6th. Based on these results I've changed my numbers.

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

This is one powerful, beautifully crafted beer. It is not for the faint of heart, but it is everything a Russian Imperial Stout should be.

Pours an oily black with a thin beige head. The aroma is powerfully malty, with a sharp bite of cherrywood smoke.

The flavor is vast, with a massive attack of bitter, earthy smoke and a huge, round undertone of sweetness.

The mouthfeel is enormous, resiny and thick, clinging to the tongue long after the beer is down your throat. It finishes with smoke and a satisfying alcohol bite on the top of your moth.

This is an amazing beer that will stand up to food, or survive aging, like a fine port.

Photo of zdk9
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black- nothing less than. A finger of tiny-bubbled foam covers the blackness. Some decent spiderweb lacing. A beautiful beer.

S- Somewhat weak aroma. Burnt malt, a hint of cherries, liqour- maybe even rum.

T- Much stronger. Roasted flavors of dark intense coffee. Brown sugar. Burned raisins. A touch of soy sauce. Good.

M- A decent amount of creaminess, good carbonation level.

D- I full flavored RIS. Though I wish the aroma was stronger, this one is a keeper.

Photo of thequeen711
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle a very very dark colour...wouldn't call is black...maybe deep chocolate, with a tan head that disappeared slowly. My nose predicted aromas of chocolate, coffee, caramel, and just a hint of hops. A superb blend from North Coast to make this Russian Imperial Stout one of the best.

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

Enjoyed on nitro-tap at the Flying Saucer in Columbia, SC.

Arrived in a fine looking branded Old Rasp pint glass, sporting a gorgeous 2 finger tall toffee-tan head. The head is amazingly dense and milkeshake like. It was fun to draw pictures in with a straw. But I digress. The beer is pretty darn dark, not *quite* black, and the contrast between light and dark in the glass is a thing of joy. Did I mention the sticky lace that runs down the glass as the beer goes? This is a beaut.

Tastes of heavy one-note roasted grains and rich coffee. Molasses, burnt raisins and a little astringency tickles the palate. The bitter hops are there but seem toned down from what I recall. Malt sweetness is complimentary and nicely balanced for me. Bittersweet and cunning, as it warms a few new flavors trickle out -- chocolate, alcohol, and a dry, almost chalky note.

On nitro-tap, the mouthfeel is hideously creamy. Smooth and very lightly carbonated, which makes it all the more easy to drink. It's a little thinner than I remember, but no matter, the big roasty finish with a hint of sweetness lingers and keeps me coming back for more.

Oh yeah, the nose. Grainy, roasty and boozy, this is simple and respectable for the style. Sweet, simple, strong, safe. It doesn't go for the jugular immediately, but the sheer drinkability of this means it may betray you later.

Old Rasputin on nitro is wickedly different from the bottle, and like the vile priest himself, sneaks up on you and gets under your skin. I had two pints before I knew what was happening. Taste at your own risk!

Photo of JonathanL7890
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at the Flying Saucer in Austin.
Poured a 4 finger cascading head into an old rasputin glass. (OT -- is that guy giving the loser sign or what???). Loved that glass. It took all my good upbringing not to nick it.
Appearance. Thick motor oil black with a tan head.
Smell: Not much - - a bit malty.
Taste: chocolate, roast malts. a little hop bitterness at the back of my palate.
Mouthfeel: creamy, smooth, thick, silky.
Drinkability. Not too boozy for an RIS.

Overall, this is a very nice RIS. The nitrotap made it quite interesting. Not as complex in the malt profile as some I have had. This is definitely a staple in my beer collection.

Photo of Portertime
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Such a good imperial, you can never go wrong with this beer. Had it the first time in Fort Myers. Srved it slighty chilled in my Samuel Smith pub glass. Poured a bittersweet choclate brown with a milk chocolate colored head that left some fine lacing. Aromas of roasted malts and baker's chocolate waft my nose. Taste has the alcohol edge in the finish with smokey, roasted chocolate malts in the front. A great after dinner quaff.

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

Ol' Raspy pours into my trusty Full Sail pint glass black as night with a very impressive big, chestnut head. The foam takes its sweet time settling, leaving this looking like an amazing, huge shot of dark-roast espresso. After the second and final pour, the head never goes away. This is a perfect-looking brew! Great lacing.

My very first impressions of the smell are of cherry and chocolate. But the massive maltiness hits me quickly, and there is definitely some caramel. I haven't had many RISs, but I believe the nose here is a bit subtle compared to the others I know. Still quite good though. Check that - after warming up for about 45 minutes out of the fridge, this thing has opened up enough to earn an extra half point.

The taste blew my mind. Jeez. This is exceptional. The hops were a pleasant surprise. What an amazing complexity! Thick and velvety smooth on the tongue this beer goes down way too easy for a 9%er. I could totally go for another right away! World Class.

Photo of nasty15108
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a sinister looking 12oz. bottle into a mini snifter.

A - Poured black with a tanish brown head. The head quickly subsided and formed a spotty film and left scattered lacework.

S - Aroma of roasted malt and dark chocolate with ample alcohol in the finish.

T - Malty with a slight sweetness and a fair amount of smoke upfront followed by a bitter chocolatly finish. This stout is well balanced and delicious.

MF&D - Full bodied and sticky. A lip smacker after every sip. I think Rasputin has cast a spell on me. Pour some over vanilla ice cream, I did! Highly recommended.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.03/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours near black on the pour with a nice half inch head. Smell is hops, roasted coffee and some dark malts. Taste is just way too much hops for my liking. Just not my style. I prefer my stouts on the unhoppy side. I appreciate it, but just not for me.

Photo of mashedpotatoes
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brutal, strong and complicated and I'm not talking about my ex-girlfriend. This beer it the real deal. I should preface my review by stating, this is by far my favorite label design ever. Just by looking at the artwork you know you've gotten yourself into something serious, kinda like a mix between, satanism/black magic/and an orgy.

All that being said, this is not my favorite stout, however, it is an extremely admirable stout. I don't even know where to begin. It's kinda like expensive artwork. You stand in awe of it yet you can just throw it around.

The appearance is jet black. Period. The smell is complicated; chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toffee, molasses, the whole nine yards. The smell is like a flower garden in hell. Figure it out. The taste is complex and mechanical like something from a Tim Burton movie but with a twinge of bitterness due to the high Abv%. Mouthfeel is thick and strong as it should be. Drinkability I'm going to have to say is not as high as other Stouts. Simply due to the sharpness and complexity, you just can't pound these down, you have to enjoy one or two of them and think about it for a while.

Photo of tronester
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black into a pint glass. The head is medium sized and tan in color. Smells of toasted grain. Taste is rich, molasses, espresso, and chocolate. There is an earthy hop presence as well. The beer is quite well balanced with the malt sweetness, and the bitterness from the specialty malts and hops. Mouthfeel is rich, carbonation levels are a bit high though. The alcohol presence is minimal, this is quite a drinkable beer. One of the best tasting RIS's I have had, highly recommended.

Photo of gunnerman
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on nitro tap at the Yard House PBG, FL. Poures an amazing motor oil black with a foamy frothy nitro head that stays the entire time, Beatiful looking beer. The smell was pretty intense with ints of malty molasses prunes and also a bit of chocolate in the nose. Taste was even better, roasted malt character that goes down very smooth with hints of oak in there as well. This is a damn fine stout one of the best that I have ever tried and just amazing on Nitro tap.

Photo of maximum12
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single. Mistake!

Pours an amberish...no wait, that's something else. This is black. Dark. Cute little head on it. Smells very good, one of the first beers I've tried that I can actually smell a touch of chocolate, a shade of coffee.

Tastes fantastic! Smooth & creamy & malty, with a hint of the hop & coffee & chocolate all wending its way silkily down the back of the throat.

Feels like someone stroking the back of my throat with a velvet finger. Goes down nicely, clearly a sipper, but one I could sip for a while. I wonder how it will go with my corn dogs.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a used engine oil like black, completely opaque, with a two+ finger light brown head that has some mild guinness-like cascading action. As head dissipates, it leaves raindrop like holes scattered across the top.

Smell is of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, roasted malt, dark fruit, booze and a grapefruit hop presence.

Taste is primarily of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, and grapefruit hops. The alcohol is noticeable, but the big chocolate presence really cuts through the booze.

Full bodied and thick, however it has a fizzy quality.

Drinkability is par for the course for a RIS.

After looking at my empty glass, a large, sticky ring holds strong at the top of the glass and leaves some spider web like lacing. Real cool looking.

Photo of Donnie2112
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: black with a brownish off white head and lacing sits with about a 1/4 inch of head, very few bubbles going up the glass

smell extremely sweet caramelly malt smell, some alcohol, a bit of citrusy floral hops in there

taste: coffee comes to mind a definate toasted malt flavor, well balanced with the coffee, toasted cocoa flavor contrasting nicely with a bit of citrus hop flavor in there.

mouthfeel: rather light, pretty fizzy for a stout. a bit astringent on the finish

drinkability: finishes nice and clean after the nice big toasty maltiness pretty damn good.

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

Pours a jet black color with a sizable tan head, leaves a good deal of patchy lacing with a layer of foamy retention on top.

Smell is of roasted malt with a coffee presence.

Taste is very creamy with a good roasted malt presence, chocolate is more prevalent than the smell indicated which adds a good deal of sweetness, the alcohol is well hidden unlike some RIS's that I've had, good level of carbonation that's not too low or too high to ruin any creamy smoothness, easily my go-to RIS now that it's available in Maine.

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

Deathly black with a huge initial head fading into tow full fingers. Thick, copiuos lacing.

Initial aroma is roast and coffee, then a swirl reveals dark fruit and a hint of alcohol.

Licorice, alcohol, raisin, and burnt toffee are the most prominent flavors. Big warming alcohol burst in the stomach is great.

Big alcohol dryness in the mouthfeel. The carbonation is a touch high, this should be almost flat. Great example, though.

Wonderful example, even if it's a very big example. Highly recommended.

Photo of blakesell
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the nitro tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a solid jet black with a three finger head of solid tan that doesn't dissipate for a solid five minutes. Lacing clings to the sides of the glass and doesn't let up.

Smell- Roasted smoky malts and slight hops. Head is sticking in my moustache giving a bit more in the way of aroma. Milk chocolate and black patent malts very similar to a malted milk ball. Slight prune and fig, LOTS of black licorice.

Taste- Creamy, black licorice, black and milk chocolate, caramel, creamer, dark chocolate again, light vanillanin, chocolate milk, prunes, figs, brown sugar, light burnt malts, dark burnt malts, black patent, 350L+ torched malts. Good lord this is sweet.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, full-bodied, smooth, well carbonated. Excellent.

Drinkability- Wow. Nitro tap is the way to go on this delicious elixer. I will be ordering this again before it's too late.

Photo of rgdgerard
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a good 1" of creamy head over a midnight base into my snifter, which fairly rapidly subsides leaving a thin layer of lace that lasts the whole beer.

Pronounced coffee smell and taste, like a smooth expresso with assertive hops. Has a reasonably light mouthfeel for a stout, and is not overly alcoholic in taste. Really smooths out a lot when it warms up.

Photo of biggred1
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Very dark brown with a merangue-like three fingers of dark tan head that leaves fine lace on the glass.

S-Sweet and smoky burnt maltiness,faint lemongrass hops and cocoa.

T/M-BIG toasted malty chocolate and mocha coffee flavors with a decent bitter hop bite to balance.Warming alcohol in the finish.

M-Thick and chewy,very creamy.

D-One of my faves especially around the holidays.Very well made,worth eleven bucks a 4-pack.

Photo of Phillyduke
3.18/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Black as night with a two-finger head of mocha colored foam that settles into a thin coating on the surface of the beer. Fizzy lacing slides down the sides of the glass.

S: Alcohol sensation burns the nose. Dark roasted malts and chocolate round out a somewhat sour scent.

T: Burnt toast and dark malt with hints of chocolate and a nice hop bite. Alcohol is most definitely noticeable with each sip. Slightly hot and acidic. Bitter hop finish lingers and builds in the mouth over time.

M: A little on the thin side and slightly more carbonated than I would have liked.

D: I couldn't have more than one of these. Far too 'hot' to enjoy with the overwhelming sensation of alcohol. Definitely needs to mellow out a bit. Would like to revisit this beer after some down time, as it obviously has impressed many people. Not my favorite RIS by a longshot, though.

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

This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite beers.

The appearance is awesome. Poured black, with an inch of tan/orange head.

Smelled of dark mocha. Has a very deep, fine dark chocolate undertone.

The taste is of thick dark chocolate, with a few dozen shots of expresso. As it warms up, the chocolate becomes more pronounced and much richer. This beer as a lot of alcohol, but you would never know that by taste alone.

Mouthfeel is great. Very thick and creamy.

Two of these would definitely be enough for one sitting. It's extremely heavy.

This beer is unreal. One of the best stouts I have ever had. It's something I will reserve for special occasions.

Photo of jar2574
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep purplish-black in color, with no light getting through. Nice purplish-tan head that sinks slowly into the beer but leaves a great film on the sides.

Roasted malt smell. A nice earthiness.

An excellent beer. Roasted malts dominate, with slight acidity. Heavy and creamy rather than light and bubbly. Like a meal in each beer. Looks great the whole way down, with rings left along the sides fo the glass.

Nice work. Probably better for winter months than spring and summer. And the acidity lowers its drinkability, because that gets a little old. But it's a very good stout. And the alcohol is really well hidden, so watch out!

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

served on draft into a flute glass.

A - this beer was beautiful to watch settle as the creamy brown gradation gave way to a rich ebony body with a creamy tan head full of tight carbonation.

S - smells of coffee and toasted malts.

T - rich with coffee, mocha, and a touch of toastiness.

M - creamy. very creamy.

D - had this one at the end of the night and was hugely impressed by it. i can't wait to try it again.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,518 ratings.