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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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10,527 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,527
Reviews: 3,440
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 378
Gots: 1,704 | 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: 10,527 | Reviews: 3,440 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.56/5  rDev +6%
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
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
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
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
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
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
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
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of SQNfan
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color the beer poured a 1" thick light brown head that dissipated slowly (and never completely). The nose had scents of roasted coffee, raisins and bitter chocolate. The palate was concentrated though light on its feet. While nice, similar to the nose, the palate was fairly simple. It did build nicely from the front palate into the midpalate and then lingered with a bitter chocolate flavor. Overall, it was very nice though rather simple.

Photo of Kendo
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got it on-tap -- the nitro-tap -- at the Lionheart in Albany on 4/23/08.

A: Body is black -- dark black -- but with a hint of crimson on the edges when backlit. A thick, foamy 1.5-finger tan head rests on top with great staying power. As expected, it leaves behind sheets of lacing all the way down the glass.

S: First impression is roasted malt with a hint of chocolate. Also hints of anise and black licorice. Pleasant all around, but not terribly strong on the nose. I suspect the serving temperature may have had something to do with that (it was a little colder than I like my RIS's to be); as it warmed I got stronger chocolate in the aroma. . . .

T: First impression: roasted malt and coffee, with dark chocolate at the back of the mouth. Then I get some black licorice on the front sides of the tongue, a touch of alcohol warmth at the back end of the sip and a dry, coffee-like bitterness coating the back and roof of my mouth. As it warms it becomes more chocolatey.

M: Wow. Heavy in weight but creamy. The nitro-tap has turned this into one smoooth-drinking experience.

D: Excellent. Again, the addition of the nitro has smoothed out any rough edges, and for this fan of chocolatey flavors in my RIS's, I find it actually becomes easier to drink as it warms and the chocolate becomes more dominant. The pint was gone much too fast. . . .

Notes: Normally I don't bother adding a 2nd review of a beer just because I get it from a different source (i.e., on-tap vs. the bottle). But having this on the nitro tap made for a substantially different experience and I was glad I'd brought pen and paper along to memorialize that experience. Truly excellent -- on more than one occasion I took a sip, shook my head and said something like "damn, that is one excellent beer." Kudos to the Lionheart for getting this. . . .

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

Purchased at a Whole Foods in Atlanta, Ga as a four pack of bottles. Must say that this is a fine beer.

Black as night and allows (what appears to be) no light to penetrate. The foam
is almost brown, giving it a wonderful presentation.

Smell is of malt, chocolate, and alcohol.

Beautiful tastes of malt and chocolate, but has a fine taste of alcohol to give
you an appreciation of its power. There are bitter undertones in the after
taste, but this in no way hurts the beer.

As far as mouthfeel goes, it is a little heavy with the alcohol and does coat the mouth a bit but this is what you expect from an imperial stout.

This is not a good beer for meals in my opinion. It is going to overpower anything else that crosses your palate. It is a beer to be savored and appreciated. Fine after dinner beverage, but many can be conusmed and the price makes it just that much better.

Fine brew from a fine brewer.

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

Had this on nitro tap at the Lionheart in Albany. $3

A: Black. It was sunny outside and still no light got in. The nitro yielded two luscious fingers of off white head. Just about perfect.

S: Tons of chocolate and roasted malt. Little bit of sweetness and just enough of a hint of booze to let you know it is serious.

T: Wow. I have had this before but never on tap. The chocolate really pops out in front of everything else. The roast is there but not as prevelent as it is in the bottle.

M: Beyond sex. Super creamy. Oh man was this awesome.

D: Damn this was good. I am going to go back again this week for more. Yes I can stop whenever I want. Glad I got a small one though. The drinkability was off the charts and I would not be able to restrain myself. Thank god they had liquid gold from capt lawrence to ween me off this.

Photo of Rzzzzz
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, why is the bottle in that picture up there empty? Well, I *know* why it's empty--same reason mine's empty--but I've yet to come across a bottle of beer that looks better empty than it does full.

I emptied mine into a Chimay glass, revealing a thick black brew with a tan head that dissipated to form what I could only describe as a nebula pattern, continually evolving due to a nucleus of constantly emerging bubbles. This beer is ALIVE. And alive with flavors, as well. Dark roasted malt, chocolate, hint of fruit, coffee; sweet and rich with a bitter, dry finish. A veritable meal in a glass.

Photo of mortarit
3.33/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have had this beer before but never rated it. When I first sampled this beer I wasn't ready for it. I really didn't like it due to inexperience to the style. Now I have developed a taste and can be more understanding of the style.
So I went to browse the beer shelves and notice this one needed to be retried.

I like these stouts for their heads. They have big head on the pour but goes away fairly quickly, which is good. I really don't like heads for drinking only for show and appearance.
The color is dark and robust.
This one has a very sharp bite at first but disapates through the drink. Basically, the alcohol isn't hidden from the other ingredients.
I like the style but not fond of the particular one. I do think it reflects the style's representation.

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

Very dark brown, with a nice tan, creamy head.

Nose is highly roasted malts with dark, dark chocolate, a little black licorice and some piney hops.

Taste very much follows the nose. This one is about the roasty, black malts and hops. Rasputin is more on the dry/bitter side for the style, not much sweetness here. The most impressive thing is the finish: bitter, roasty, earthy, piney, and high cacao chocolate.

Nice full body, without too much carbonation.

A classic big stout that is thankfully available year round. Cheers!

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

Drawn into a pint glass. This beer is a very dark brown/almost black color. Tan, creamy head is a good inch when drawn from the tap. Settles to a nice 1/4 inch and simply refuses to go away. Great lace. Roasted, malty aromas of coffee, chocolate, and a hint of caramel are present along with a bit of alcohol. In a way the taste is sweet and a bit milk like in taste and texture. The taste is also exactly like the smell, but even better! Toasted malts and coffee along with chocolate and hints of caramel, and light hints of some hop bitterness and alcohol . Excellent. Has an extremely smooth and creamy mouthfeel with a full body and moderate carbonation. Perfect! Great drinkability especially with the high ABV. This beer is simply superb in just about every way!


Photo of Ben4881
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
North Coast Brewing Co.

This beer pours black as night. Absolutely no light passes through the full glass. A very thick, inviting, khaki-colored head erupts to the surface and sticks around awhile. This beer is alive! As it slowly recedes back to the surface, a beautiful lace pattern lingers on the entire surface of the glass. The lacing continues throughout the experience and a wealth of microscopic bubbles retains the 1/8 inch head down to the bottom of the glass.

My nose detects a strong, toasty, roasted aroma that is by no means overpowering. Slight chocolate and nut notes creep in with the subtle hint of coffee mixed with something sweet. A miniscule alcohol aroma dances in the background. For an imperial stout, the smell is a bull's eye.

The first mouthful is a delightful punch to the gut of delicious roasted coffee bitterness. The swallow elicits a dry finish that cleans up the bitterness and momentarily arouses a sweeter nutty flavor before the bitterness, this time more hops than roasted coffee, returns for a slight comeback. The slightly bitter hops flavored aftertaste lingers quietly at the back of the tongue, requesting another sip. The warm feeling of alcohol slides down the esophagus to the stomach.

On the palate, this stout lives up to its name. It is smooth as silk and rather thick. The notable carbonation keeps it from becoming chewy and lightens the load a bit. The carbonation does not overpower the feel, but there's enough to acknowledge its presence.

As an imperial stout, this beer's alcohol content is appropriately high. The glass seemed to disappear much quicker than I anticipated. I would definitely have another, but two would be my limit for one session. I would most certainly have one tomorrow. However, more than two in one sitting would toss me over the edge. Any fan of this style can enjoy and respect this creation.

Photo of dogboy
2.71/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thought I'd try this highly rated brew and was dissapointed. Pours good and looks ok in the glass. Smell was too much coffee on the nose and the first sip confirmed the smell. Overpowering burnt coffee taste for me. Also the beer was too thick and as I find with American stouts, too fizzy. It's ok enough and I'd like to try it on tap (or aged), but why the A?

Photo of Kemmerlin
3.87/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark black and pours a huge foamy head that surprised me by how quick it grew and how long it stuck around I mean it is still there and it left awesome lacing down the glass.

S: Smells like a wet drunk dog. There is a faint tobacco scent but other than that it smells just like a wet drunk dog.

T: Burnt cigar and charcoal are the characteristics most defining in this brew which is a welcome relief from the typical chocolate and molasses flavors you get from a stout. The aftertaste is very earthy and still leaves a burnt wood taste in the mouth for a very long period of time. Basically this is a taste that keeps on giving.

M: At first the alcohol is very strong and almost over powering but it mellows out as you continue to consume. The flavors blend well with the mouth feel which is mostly gritty and earthy but good to swallow.

D: At first I thought it would be a little hard to swallow with the smell being so bad and the alcohol being very present but it really does mellow out and becomes a lot more drinkable as time goes on. I suggest watching out for the quick rising head and let it air out for about 5-10 minutes before you take your first sip.

Photo of jmacdaddy2008
3.86/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought a single of this beer earlier tonight. This was one of the first beers for me when I converted from cheap beer.

Color- dark brown

Head-thick,tan two finger foam/ the residue left on side of glass suggests a thicker consistency

Aroma-a little floral pretty complex almost a woodsy smell

Taste-oaky or bourbon flavor/some hints of coffee heavy bitterness in the end and alcohol taste was present.

After trying many other russian imperial stouts I would have to say this one is worthy of an occassional buy, but doesn't stand out among the elites.

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

I had this brew from a 12oz brown bottle.

A= This is one serious looking beer. Sometimes I have to aggresively pour a beer to get a nice head. Not so with this beauty. I got a HUGE 2.5 inch deep tan chunky head which settled to a 1/2 inch after 10 minutes or so. This ale is coal black (no light penetrates) with a rasberry color around the edges. Very little carbonation release evident (mainly cause you can't see into this stuff!).

S= I get a lot of espresso, roasted malts, and alcohol in the aroma.

T= This is one killer beer. Tastes of roasted (verging on burnt) malt, espresso beans, and slight earthy hops. Mildly sweet finish.

MF= Very complex, with a heavy body yet it flows silkily down the throat.

D= As I said, this is one serious, killer beer. I wouldn't want more than 2 or maybe 3 in an evening, but its definitely worth the effort to find some of this!

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

Tar-black-India-ink-used-motor-oily with dirty garnet hued trimming the periphery of the seidel; three fingers of fine-bubbled, lumpy, sticky khaki head that retains as a finger-thick raft that leaves thick hash-marks at the sip-lines.

Smells of molasses, dark chocolate, strong black coffee, grapefruit, charcoal; roasty with hops and darkly sweet;

Taste is richly bittersweet, pleasantly smoky, heavy with dark malty chocolate and cut with just the right amount of piney hops to dry the finish. Licorice and strong black coffee abound.

Smooth, rich-- both tarry and silky in the mouth with a little tingle of carbonation to keep it from being too sticky.

What it ought to be. To all those who say you couldn't drink many at a sitting, drink an O.R.; rest; drink a good crisp IPA or lager 'spacer' and have at Old Rasputin again...tastes even better upon further review.

"Never Say Die!" Sez so on the four-pack. Incredible brew.

Photo of RickSawyer
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle has about 6 months in the cellar. Pours opaque dirty oil black with a carmel, tightly wound two fingers worth of pillowy head. Head holds nicely, leaving thick tracings of lace across the glass. Smell is dark chocolate, cherry syrup, buscuit, a bit of piney floral hop still coming through and some alcohol. Taste is cocoa powder, espresso, chocolate cake, a bit of grainy earth finish (this is most likely the death of the hops) with a hint of alcohol across the back of the throat. Fantastic! Creamy, coating mouthfeel. Love it fresh, seems to be aging very nicely!

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

I poured this into a Bordeaux wine glass.

A - pours a gorgeous deep brown/black with a thick, sudsy tan head (about 3 fingers) and takes a while for it to disappear.

S - Pungent! Chocolate, malt and a bit of caramel very noticeable!

T/M - A delicious, thick, milky taste - a bit sour in the aftertaste (especially if you don't let it settle in). Slight carbonation. After a few minutes, as it warms a bit, it gets smoother and pulls together nicely.

D - Overall this is a very tasty beer. The aftertaste is a little too noticeable for my tastes, but it won't keep me from buying this again.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,527 ratings.