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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.

10,349 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,349
Reviews: 3,396
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 351
Gots: 1,545 | 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)
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,349 | Reviews: 3,396 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pwoods
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review based on notes:

On nitro-tap at Dilly Deli on 10/20. Served in a 10oz. tulip.

A: Body is as black as motor oil. 1/2+ finger light tan head on top stays fluffy for quite some time. Beautiful thin lacing.

S: Deep roasted coffee beans and bitter dark German chocolate. Dark sweet chocolates trying to come through but not much. Not detecting any alcohol.

T/M: As expected, huge amounts of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. Bitter seems to come more from the black strong bitter coffee taste. Just a very slight sweetness suggests the Dark fruits I was picking up on. Body isn't as thick as I would have expected but has a great creamy feeling to it.

D: Tastes even better on tap and a perfect after dinner drink. 1 of these as an after dinner treat or desert is the perfect application for this beer.

Photo of bigman147
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Like black gold, texas tea. This beer is black. At least 3 inches of head from the pour, quickly settles to some clump dark brown foam with good lacing.

Aroma: Smells of dark coffee. A slight burnt roasted character. Some chocolate and dark fruits (plums, dates, cherries). Alcohol is present and gives the aroma a sharp wineyness.

Taste: Good body. Malt is balanced by alot of bitterness. Hop bitterness is pervasive but some black malt character. Assertive is probably the best descriptor. Alcohol warmth was present but subdued.

Mouthfeel: One of the things I had a problem with this beer was the carbonation. I found it sharp and forced. It cut through the creamy malty taste and didn't fit my expectations. .

Drinkability: Not sure how RIS and Drinkability will ever go hand in hand. This 9% ABV beer is ean excellent winter warmer. Strong and balanced. One maybe two in the evening and life will be grand.

Photo of Trueant1
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown/black. Has a frothy 3 finger dark tan head that goes down quickly leaving rings and chunks on the glass. I Swirled this one around at least 20 times to see the amazing lacing paterns.

Smells of milk chocolate, dark fruits, alcohol, and cherries with a lot of dark roasted/smokey malts. This smells heavenly.

Tates better than the perfect 5 score I gave it. BItter, chocolate, coffie, sweet...all that I expect from a ris. The difference of this one compared to other ris is is is SO easy to conusme. Smooth.

The mouthfeel is silky smooth. Light carbonation. Bitter sweet aftertaste that has alcohol reveled along side.

Not the most complex RIS, howerver, one of the best I have ever had. This is now In my top 5 list.

A masterpiece!

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

12oz bottle purchased from Shangy's. Poured into a regular pint glass.

A: Dark as all get-out. Something to behold... made the glass look like it had been painted black on the inside. 2 fingers of tan head, persistent lacing.

S: Quite boozy (imagine that!) with lots of roasted coffee and some dark chocolate. As it warmed, got too complex for my nose to properly analyze. Lots going on under that alcohol smell.

T: Surprisingly good, especially given the assaulting nature of Russian Imperials. Not as much hops as others I've tried. Was expecting more of a boozy taste, but found lots of sweet, bitter, and even creamy flavors.

M: Not too heavy, with enough carbonation to keep things clean. Not easy to do with so much power.

D: About as good as you can get for this style. I've finished other imperials out of principal... leave no respectable beer unfinished. I can drink 2-3 of these and not regret it too much, although the avalanche of dark flavors might render my tastebuds useless for the next week.

Impressive beer. I applaud North Coast for not dumbing this one down one bit. I'm still not a big fan of the style, but this is my favorite Russian Imperial Stout by a solid margin.

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

Presentation: A 12 oz. squat brown bottle, ALC/Vol. 9%, in fine print on the side of the bottle Label has a great ink drawing of ol’ Rasputin himself staring out with his upraised left hand, as if blessing all those who are going to partake.

Appearance: Pours like India ink with a light chocolate foamy head that dissipates to a complete light frothy cover with a heavy soapsuds lace from the top of the pour down to the very bottom of the glass and last sip.

Smell: An intense and deep bouquet of dark roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate without a hint of grain.

Taste: The taste explodes in the mouth hitting the entire palate at once. Surprisingly light, the intense bittersweet chocolate and espresso taste is without a hint of sweetness or milk. Although high in alcohol at 9%, the aftertaste is smooth and dry.

Drinkability: The owner of Tops Liquor Store in Tempe, AZ suggested this as one of his favorites. I agree as this is a wonderful beer to recommend to others and one that makes the three thumbs up list if having more than a few at one sitting! A real gem!

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been aging this one for nearly two-years, something I do not routinely do, if ever at all. I actually cant even remember what caused me to beging saving and aging this one, but I got a new place and thought I'd cristen it appropriately.

Pours a pitch black in color with a head I can only describe as some sort of irridescent peanut butter brown color. Thick and heavy, just as expected.

Aromas of alcohol seems to mask any other odor that may be seeping from my glass. Smells a little more like deep red wine than it does a beer. Maybe some raisins and dark chocoalte seep through, but mainly its just alcohol.

Wow, this one is definitly a sipper. One of the most complex-tasting beers that have ever graced my lips. Drinking any faster than a snail's pace would be wasting the excellent flavors this one has to offer and any opportunity to decipher them. At the front of the palate it is fairly simple, maybe roasted malts, coffee, and alcohol. . . but as the sip continues, and onslaught of flavors pour through. It seems as every sip is a bit different than the previous one, so picking them out is a bit of a task. Dark chocolate, coffee, herbal/plant-like (maybe that is the hops), vanilla bean, raisins, dried fruits, buscuits, chalk. It seems as if the list could continue on and on.

A heavy, slick, almost oily mouthfeel. The drinkability is good if your into kicking back with a slow sipper. This one is definitly not for the faint of heart, and also definitly worth the price and effort.

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

Appearance: Dark black stout that lets no light pass. Less than a finger of dark head that does not stick around for long.

Smell: Nice sweet dark fruit aroma. A good bit of alcohol is present as well.

Taste: Very nice mix of sweetness, roasted chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and a nutty taste at the start. Finishes a bit hoppy, which adds a good bit of complexity to the beer.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy. Good thickness, and a good amount of taste lingers after each swallow.

Drinkability: Very good RIS which does not fall into the trap of being too overwhelming in terms of thickness and/or ABV. Good complexity to the flavor makes this easy to drink a few of before they catch up with you.

Photo of genog
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Third pint at Bodega, and I was starting to feel good!

Pours a rich, deep, dark opaque black color with a cascading tan head that flows from the bottom to the top creating an illusion like a lava lamp. In my slowly deteriorating state I was memorized watching this take place. Smell is of roasted malt, milk chocolate, a cup of cappuccino too. Taste is of chocolate and smokeyness. This one is absolutely smooth and delicious. I only gave it a 4 for drink ability because it was so rich I had trouble toward the end of the glass. If it was only a 12 oz taste I might have had an easier time.

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

Bottle poured jet black with an off white head (tan) which turned to a nice coating of lace . The aromas of dark chocolate and roasted malts filled my head thru the snifter. It was wonderfuly full and creamy on the palate . flavors of roasted malt , coco and coffee up front with a light hops finish . Complex is a very good word for this Imperial Stout for the price it is also a great bargin

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

The first thing I thought when I tasted this was wow! This is the stout I've been in search of for a long time. Pours an inky black that doesn't give up any light. Thick fine textured head with a malty, chocolate/vanilla aroma. Incredibly creamy mouthfeel with a rich, robust flavor. Hints of chocolate, vanilla and licorice show their presence here and there. Very complex and tasty. Hides the alchohol very well. Easy to drink and demanding of respect.

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

A: Solid black and capped with a full inch of light brown head. Exceptional lacing. A pleasure to watch disappear.

S: Big rich malts balanced with coffee and a rum like sweetness. Bitter chocolate slides in under the radar.

T: The sweet and bitter wrestle for my focus. Dextrinous malts make and early push, but the earthy english hops prove to be the ones with staying power. The balance is not immediate, bit plays out over the course every sip.

M: As full of a mouthfeel as I could hope for, laced with the perfect touch of activity.

D: A big ass beer. I love it, but I respect it more.

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

a- very dark, nice pour and is in a cool looking bottle, i enjoy how the head when settled some is left.

s-good coffee, chocolate smell, not overpowering and compliements the beer taste

t-one of the best stouts i have had, and is a very good cal beer, it has a slightly bitter end taste, but looking at the alcohol content it is prob. from the alcohol and not the hopps.

m- its nice and thick and a great sipping beer

d- i could have a couple of these in one sitting and from reading some other reviews i will def. be looking for this one on tap.

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

I had this beer from the tap at Bodega in Columbus, OH. I have had this beer from the bottle in the past and thought it was great, but it completely blew me away from the tap!!

From the draft into a pint glass in front of me at the bar. The beer was black as tar with a thick, rich, velvety, creamy, tan head. The beer was given to me with about 3-4 inches of head which settled down nicely. Absolutely a beautiful pour - looked like Guiness only this one has some taste. Very rich smell with hints of coffee, burnt malts, toffee - very complex. Rich chocolatey taste with a great creamy mouthfeel and a nice bit of alcoholic burn. Beautiful beer with a taste to match - great from the bottle - excellent from the tap. If you like stouts give this a try.

Photo of geetlord
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark thick black with a thick and creamy brown head. It smelled strongly of coffee chocolate and somewhat of alcohol. The flavor here is intense. Dark roasted coffee and dark unsweetened chocolate dominate, there is also a toasted sweetness like roasted marshmallows that are almost burnt(the best kind). The finish is smooth with a touch of alcohol. This is currently my favorite stout

Photo of Douglas14
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW, this beer is amazing. It pours black and oil like (but slightly less than other RIS's). Has an amazing dark tan head that is fluffy and dense and leaves pretty good webbing. The smell is very complex with caramel, coffee, chocolate, burnt woods, and many other dark scents. The taste is even better, same flavors as listed above but more concentrated. Its absolutely amazing ,and pretty much beyond words that I can express right now. Amazing, one of my favorites.

Photo of Jedimaster1
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer tastes much different on tap than it does from the bottle. Btw, I had it at the Yard House in Rancho.

A: It looks exactly like a Guinness. Same look in a pint glass -- especially the darkened head.

S: Guinness again!

T: Tastes like a thick, creamy, alcoholy Guinness. Definitely a stout similar to the Irish Stouts -- could it be an Imperial Guinness? lol. Little too much alcohol in the taste, but still a good imperial stout.

M: The alcohol definitely resonates in the mouth. Takes the enjoyment away from the next sip.

D: With the ABV at 9%, not too many of these can be taken in a sitting without not being able to walk upright.

This is a fine brew. The funny thing is, to me it is an Imperial Guinness on tap, but an Imperial Stout from the bottle -- definitely different based on how you have it. Great brew. The only caveat, as others have mentioned, is the alcohol that sometimes comes to the forefront of this fine brew. Still recommended if you have never tried it on tap.

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

Appearance- This beer poured a deep brown color with ruby hue. Had a nice 2 inch, off white head.

Smell- Smelled of roasted malts and milk chocolate.

Taste- Taste was same as smell!

Mouthfeel- Heavy body with little carbonation

Drinkability- Wow what an awesome beer. A great beer to drink when winter has arrived.

Photo of dnichols
3.35/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into a mug.

A: The beer poured a creaamy and nearly black hue. Even back lit I could find not color other than black. An aggressive pour resulted in a massive sticky milk chocolate head of more than four fingers. The head receded leaving a beautiful tan lacing.

S: It smells of bitter dark chocolate, thick molasses, a hint of black licorice, and a deep smoky aroma that reminded me of my last campfire after I doused it with water.

T: It reminds me a a quad chocolate latte on the front end. That is folled by a rich bitter chocolate bite.Finally, there is a dry finish accented by a smoky sour flavor that lingers long after swallowing.

M: It was medium to full bodied. I didn't detect much carbonation but there was an alcohol drying in my mouth after swallowing and a a lingering bitterness that began pleasantly but developed into a sour taste that was not appealing.

D: I have yet to develop an appreciation for stouts. This one was enjoyable through the first half of the bottle then the bitterness got to me. A small 12 ounce serving is about enough for me.

Comment: For years I equated stouts with the bottles of Guinness my Irish friend would try to foist on me. Granted my palate was immature, but I never developed a taste. This stout was better than those lost to my memory but I did not enjoy it enough to become a regular stout consumer.

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

A - Darker than dark. Not coffee black, but nearly squid ink black with just a hint of brown overtones. Two finger head the color of a good roux that settles around the edges first while the puck in the center tries to hang on for all its might.

S - Coffee is the dominant smell, but I get just a whiff of cedar

T - I was a bit taken aback by the hops that hit right up front. Not really in a bad way just unexpected. The hops usually hit second in the RISs I remember most. I like this better I think it balances well with the burnt malts

M - Medium heavy mouthfeel more like a great porter than a heavier stout. I think its the upfront hops that cut the richness right off the top.

D - I feel the alcohol in my belly although its well hidden on my palate. Couldn't drink more than maybe two in a sitting which leaves me with this dilemma...With the barbeque I'm about to have, another one of these or the Ofallon Smoke I was originally planning on...Stayed tuned to find out.


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

At Canal Street Pub:

The barkeep told me this was from an aged 5 gal keg pulled on the nitro tap. WOW

This beer was a deep black with nice light brown head and lace. Its hard to describe the flavor, balance and finish due to total taste bud satisfaction. Smoooth, tasty, rich, and relaxing! Mmmmm


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

Had this on tap at Taco Mac and was blown away with it

A - This was the most pleasing eye candy I've ever seen out of a beer..it came to the table with the look of a Guinness pour with a dark bottom, a tan middle and then a thick creamy light tan head that was like a pillow, leaving a stick full ring of dried foam down the sides..it wasn't even lace it was thicker than that

S - The smell was big with mocha and a roast chocolate smell with hints of toast and just a bit of hops

T - The taste was amazing big statement of mocha and chocolate and roasted malts with the perfect amount of hops

M - Creamy and thick and luxuriant

D - It was one of the very best beers I've had thus far along my journey and I have to believe having it on draft was the perfect way to go..this was so good I will seek it out again and again

Photo of Overlord
3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Delicious, solid stout.

Pours a deep black, somewhat small, but long-lasting, whiteish head. It's a pretty beer, but that's the best thing about it.

Chocolate and coffee aroma flavors ... not as bitter as many stouts, though not as strong tasting either. Mouthfeel was a bit thin, but there was a touch of hops and more than a touch of roasty bitterness. Ugh. Too much roast, too acrid, not enough chocolate or sweetness to balance it.

A really overrated stout.

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

What can I say about old Rasputin that hasn't already been said? That crazy bastard inspired what is probably the finest Imperial Stout I've ever tasted. That said, it is not for the weak of heart. Tread lightly, ye who enter here...

Pours near-black with some ruby highlights in there. Light brown dense head leaves some lacing the color of creamy coffee. Nice. It would make a lot of sense if there was a part of Heaven that smelled like this, but I really like dark chocolate. Actually, North Coast should team up with a NorCal chocolate company to make an Old Rasputin bar... Hmm... Um, I guess I also get some coffee, maybe some esters and hops. It's kind of hard to tell. Definitely a wee bit of booze, which should prepare you for the 9% ABV that will hit you shortly.

Tastes amazing -- huge roast malt characteristics (a strongly choco-mocha), intense hopping. Would be a five if not for the booziness. Bit o' licorice? Why not? Thick and chewy, sticky and sweet, somewhat dry and bitter finish. Part of me wants to give this beer all fives, but it's real strong. I know that's what makes it "Imperial" (what with the not freezing on the way to the czar), but maybe somehow it could be incorporated better into the flavors? I don't know -- sometimes I'm drinking this and wonder if someone dropped a shot of Everclear in it without telling me. Regardless, the biggest, baddest Imperial I've ever had (though I've yet to try the World-Wide monster... maybe for Chanukkah?

Photo of trekbiker3000
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

As a person that enjoys stouts I looked forward to trying this brew. The color wasn't as black as I expected, but still a very nice dark brown. Before I was finished admiring the appearance and nice frothy head, I caught a whiff of the sweet malt aroma, and a hint of the alcohol.

A rich malty flavor, but there was a noticeable alcohol kick. The roasted malts really come through. The carbonation seemed a little rough, but ok. As for the drinkability, I would find it hard to have more than one or two of these at a sitting.

Photo of Willibomb
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am not a huge stout drinker, but this one was quite enjoyable, my only hangup was that it was upfront with a very strong alcohol taste that took a few drinks to blunt. As the bottle went down, it became more of a 4.5 beer, but the first hit is only a 3.0 beer if you catch my drift.

Color was the first thing I noticed, it is very dark as an imperial stout should be, and had a blended head from white to tan.

Also like many stouts, there was a chocolate/coffee smell which was probably the best feature of this beer.

Taste, was much like I mentioned before. The taste evolves from the first drink to the last, so don't judge this one until the bottle is empty!

Mouthfeel was smooth, but still a bit harsh alcohol-wise which lead to....

Drinkability which I scored low due to the fact that after one, I was ready to move on despite the overall pleasant experiance after my first drink.

Overall, I think this beer is worth trying, I think North Coast produced a winner in this stout, but only buy it if you are into stouts, which if you are reading this, is probably true.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,349 ratings.