Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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10,387 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,387
Reviews: 3,402
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 357
Gots: 1,585 | 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: 10,387 | Reviews: 3,402 | Display Reviews Only:
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

Photo of neobassman
2.8/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ok, here I go again, trying to decide if my dislike is for the brew or the style. I'm not a fan of Guinness, and I'm not a fan of Old Rasputin RIS for the same reasons. The appearance is enticing; this stout has an inviting syrupy pour with a rich, dark tan, modest head. The bottle opened with more carbonation than I would have expected from a stout. There is moderately sticky lacing as the head slowly subsides. The color is black and passes virtually no light, which I always find amazing for beers that are also free of cloudiness. The smell is good, but with some coffee bitterness that starts the downhill slide for me. (In the interest of full disclosure, I've never learned to like coffee, either.). This beer is all stout, but its taste has a top and bottom without a middle. The top is a prominent hops bitterness, and the bottom consists of slight saltiness with strong roasted, even burnt, flavors. What came to mind was "catmouth" because I kept trying to get it past my tongue long after the swallow. I would have expected the mouthfeel to be more creamy than it is.

If you like Guinness, you will probably really like this offering - the high Ba rating attests to this. However, it is not for me. I gave this a 3.0 overall in deference to the style, but based on personal preference I would have gone lower. So there it is. If you like bitter, cooked coffee stouts like Guinness, this may be for you and I urge you to try it. If, like me, you like rounder stouts like Young's Oatmeal Stout or an imperial like Old Heathen, this North Coast offering may not be your cup of tea.

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

Poured from bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a thick, light brown head. Smells of a little coffee, and chocolaty. A malty taste, with a coffee and chocolate character, as expected. This is a rich, creamy think beer, but very easy to drink. Very enjoyable, I'm thinking it will go very good with a nice cigar!

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

12 oz bottle into tulip glass. A: Thick and black as oil, thick tan head that retains very well. S: Burnt malts, chocolate, toffee, brown sugar, hops definitely present. T: Very strong bitter chocolate. The immediate taste is sweet caramel, cocoa, and coffee, it immediately turns bitter in a long finish. M: Thick, chewy. D: I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this is pretty great. The bitter chocolate note can be a bit overpowering, but all in all pretty drinkable. Barely noticed the high ABV.

Photo of champ103
4.61/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown/black in color with a large tan, frothy, and fluffy head that stays all the way down the glass. Leaves lots of lace down the glass as well. This can't look any better.
S: A little one dimensional. Lots of chocolate, coffee, and sweet malt.
T: Big roasted malt flavor with chocolate and coffee. Maybe some dark fruits. Very creamy, thick and rich. Fantastic.
D: Great. The ABV is well hidden with all the flavors. Very smooth and easy to drink. I can drink this all day.

I can't even describe how much I love this beer. Hands down the best RIS I have had, and maybe the best stout in general.

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

scary as hell bottle into a pint glass.
a) dark, but not that dark, no light through, but mahogany on the edges. creamy, frothy, fluffy head that clings to the glass. it looks serious...
s) chocolate espresso. cinnamon hints. bit of tartness from the alcohol.
t) here's where that chocolate gets you. its like drinking desert. but still, the hopiness is there, a bit of citrus on the front of the mouth. warms to more fruitness - a chocolate covered raspberry of a beer if there was one. delicious.
m) the natural carbonation balances out the tremendous power of the beer, nice and creamy, but not heavy. finishes clean and dry.

this is a really, really great imperial stout. what a beer for a dark, cold, winter night by the fire.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin fills the glass with a deep black color and forms a big creamy tan head on top. As the foam dissolves thick nets of lace stick to the sides. The aroma is all malt. Notes of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee are present.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is creamy with a fizzy carbonated tingle on the middle of the tongue. The flavor has lots of roasted malt and chocolate flavors. Towards the end some nutty notes and a mild bitterness move in, which helps balance out all the malt. Once gone the roasted malt and bitter notes linger on the palate.

For an Imperial Stout this beer had quite a head with a slightly subdued aroma. The mouthfeel is terrific and the flavor hid the 9% alcohol well.

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

Body is black as black can be. Thick, fluffy head.
Has strong alcohol smell, balanced with coffee and dark roasted malts.
Taste like a strong coffee. Imagine military field coffee made with very high quality ingrediants. Thick and strong to those who don't know. Hints of dark chocolate at the back and in the aftertaste. Alcohol is not noticible in the taste, but it is there.
Mouthfeel is good, not syrupy like other Russian imps, dry aftertaste.
Overall. very good. I would rate this up there with the best of them. can't wait to try this with some good dark chocolate.

Photo of number1bum
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown, pretty much black, with two inches of very creamy, pillowy coffee-colored head. Head retention is excellent, with plenty of stick on the sides and a substantial lace on top.

Smells sweet and malty, with chocolate aromas most dominant, but caramel malt molasses, and coffee, as well.

Taste is not as sweet and chocolaty as the nose indicated. There is a lot more roasted malt coming through flavor-wise than there was in the aroma. The chocolate is there, quite bittersweet, though, with a low-level of overall malt sweetness. There is an underlying hop presence that includes a bit of a citric twang and a good dose of bitterness, as well. The finish includes a lingering roasted malt/charcoal flavor and some bitterness.

The mouthfeel is full-bodied and quite creamy. Nice and smooth on the palate. Overall, this is a good beer, although I wish it were a tad sweeter, and the roasted malt/hop bitterness combo gets to be a bit wearing.

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.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,387 ratings.