Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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

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10,380 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,380
Reviews: 3,401
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 357
Gots: 1,577 | 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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Ratings: 10,380 | Reviews: 3,401 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of kwakwhore
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Blacker than Rasputin's heart, totally opaque liquid which lets no light pass. Dark tan head which stays around for a long time and leaves lacing all the way down the snifter.
Aromas of bitter chocolate and hops and some alcohol
Taste: Hop bitterness in front and hops in the finish, hoppier than I remember in the past. Dark chocolate, espresso notes all meld together with the hops as the beer warms. The chocolate becomes especially prominent the warmer the beer becomes.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, especially as the beer warms.
Couldn't handle more than one of these a night so drinkability suffers a bit.
This is one big ass mofo on an imperial stout, one of the very best, a marvelous representative of the style.

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

A - Opaque black body with a large, thick and creamy khaki colored head that possesses exceptional staying power.

S - Spicy, velvety aroma of hops combined with dark, chocolate malt. Slight floral notes and a bit of coffee and caramel.

T - Begins with smooth, mouth coating hop bitterness, quickly followed by roasted malt flavors of coffee, charcoal, and roast barley and a nice sweet note right in the middle. Strong dark grain bitterness and moderate alcohol warmth in the finish with lingering notes of dark caramel, smoke, and perhaps a bit of tobacco.

M - Smooth fairly thick body with moderately low carbonation. There is some astringency from the grain and hops, but much less than you might expect.

D - This is a beer to slowly sip and savour as the dark flavors only truly show themselves when the beer begins to warm. It is immensely enjoyable, though I would not want more than one in a sitting. The most remarkable aspect is the long, complex finish; it is reminiscent of a good cigar more than any other beer I have experienced. I had the last of the glass with a few pieces of dark, bittersweet chocolate; it was a nice match and had the interesting effect of bringing the hop character of the beer to the front.

Photo of drumrboy22
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Great Divide Yeti tulip glass.

Had a huge, brown head that left moderate lacing on the glass. Beer was dark black.

Aroma was roasted coffee, chocolate and dark fruits. Somewhat earthy and woody.

Taste was huge. Chocolate, espresso and roasted malts, with a long, slightly bitter finish. Could use some time in the cellar to allow the alcohol to mellow out.

Really tasty beer. I'd love to taste their oak-aged version. Great RIS.

Photo of crazybrody06
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle that I let sit on the counter for about 30 minutes, into a mug.

Poured a very dark black color, no light coming through this baby. BIG head took a few minutes to get all the enitre bottle into the glass. The head was the color of chocolate milk. Im still looking at the lace the head left even though the glass is almost empty.

The smell was a mix of sweet chocolate and coffee, dirt (not really as bad as it sounds)

Taste was of dark chocolates, coffee, chalk, some hints of fruits.

This is not really my favorite style of beer so I couldnt drink more then one, but was impressed that I actually finished the entire bottle in about 20 minutes.

Mouthfeel was full and nice without carbonation.

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

12oz brown bottle -> pint
Vintage 2006

Pours black with a one inch thin dark tanned head which settles quickly to a solid layer of dirty soap suds. Chunky patches of lace.

Nose: Strong dark plum, chalky cocoa, alcohol,

Chewy mouth with some crisp carbonation. Huge chocolate malts, coffee and dark fruits all meld together to provide a roasted goodness that is quite satisfying. Nice smooth bitterness on the finish, but lacking any hop flavors.

A top notch impy, can't wait till try my other bottle some time in 2008.
NFL kick off 2007, Go Steelers!!

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

A inky black beer with an off-white very thin head.

Smell of coffee and soy sauce, with a rather mild roasted smell on top. The usage of chocolate malt is really smooth, but makes the beer smell a bit burned. A real sniffer.

Taste is full of nice coffee, more burned or roast in the taste than in the smell. A distinct maltbitterness, which is not sharp determines most of this beer's character. The hops are overshadowed by the malty roast, so bitterness and hoppy notes are not really detectable. Somewhere I heard that some typical US hops are in this beer, but I can't seem to taste any citric hops. Body is pretty full and drinkability is not great, but really suits the beer style. A great beer.

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

A. Dark as deepest and darkest cave. Very nice sea foam head that stays for quite a while which leaves some of its web sticking to the sides of the glass.

S. A nice roasted malt aroma to the nose.

T. Has an awesome dark chocolate finish.

M. Leaves its mark on tip of the tongue and back of the throat.

D. It has a high abv but doesn't make it apparent until you have finished a couple. One of the better imperial stouts. Very little hop characteristics. Nice and dry and complex.

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

12 ounce bottle purchased from Cost Plus World Market

Poured into old beer mug

Very dark, could barely see threw it when held up to the light

Good beer with a strong bite and not too sweet

Really want to try the oak-aged tenth anniversary of this beer

Good beer from North Coast Brewing

Photo of jayfarley3
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had on nitro-tap, served in a pint glass. appearance is a pitch black with a big creamy tan head. smells very good good, lots of roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, and a bit of alcohol. tastes is very good, chocolate, coffee, and some malty sweetness, the high alcohol is covered up very well. mouthfeel is full-bodied and creamy smooth. this is an excellent stout, one of my favorites.

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

12oz. bottle

Pours a rich used-motor oil black with a creamy cocoa head that thins. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet and roasty with a nice chocolate smell and mild coffee tones. Slightly boozy as it warms.

Sweet roasted malt taste upfront leading into a nice light blend of cocoa and espresso. A hint of hops midway through with a bitter bite that lasts through the finish and a bit beyond- but still sweet as it finishes. A little bit of booze as it warms.

Full body, solid carbonation.

For a rather large beer, this has a nice drinkability. I may not want 2 in a row, but I could easily drink 2 over the course of an evening and the subsequent evenings. Definitely one for RIS fans to try if they somehow are not already familiar.

Photo of chadspivey
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a new belgium goblet.

A: Black with a brown 1 inch head. Brilliant lacing

S: what a smell! roasted chocolate malts with hints of vanilla. maybe a small hint of dark coffee.

T: dark, almost burnt coffee notes. Dark chocolates and the alcohol is present. Gotta love those roasted malts...

M: Full body and plenty of carbonation. very nice.

D: for an RIS at 9 percent, it's plenty drinkable.

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

pours a dark chocolate brown/black color, with ruby red highlights, under a massive tan colored head that remains for the duration. great looking brew.

smell is dominated by roasted black and chocolate malts, with notes of coffee and alcohol. very bold in the nostrils, without a hop to note at all.

taste is of roasted malts, with notes of black malts, caramel malts, chocolate malts, roasted and burnt in character. very complex flavors, but overall a very smooth profile. the alcohol is well masked, which adds to drinkability.

mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied, with a light bite from alcohol and CO2, but overall pretty smooth on the palate.

drinkability is decent. for a 9% APV, this brew is rather drinkable. smooth in character and bold on the palate aren't usually condusive to a drinkable brew, but this one pulls it off nicely. cheers!

Photo of crookedhalo
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For some reason, I was almost positive I'd reviewed this one before. Pours an opaque deepest brown to black color with a decent light brown head. Good lacing. Complex aromas of roasted barley, chocolate malts, left-coasted hops, blackberry, and some bakers' chocolate. Full-on roastiness with hints of salty soy sauce and espresso. Some sweetness creeps in as it warms. High alpha hops provide a dry and bitey finish. Alcohol is completely hidden. Carbonation is at a good level to cut the thickness. Overall, a very nice RIS with loads of character. Again, I'm surprised I haven't reviewed this one maybe because it has a lasting, familiar character that draws the drinker back to it.

Photo of joebrewer
2.4/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this on a nitro tap at Sunset Grill. The next day I also had a bottle and found that I liked the bottle better. The nitro made the beer smoother, but I don't think that's what makes the beer. The carbonation of the bottle matched with the strong flavors in this beer while the nitro felt like it was trying to mellow a big beer.

Overall I'm not a big fan of Rasputin. It seems to be especially harsh for it's alcohol content. I also find that after about 2/3 of the way through the beer I wish I was done. The flavor profile isn't complex enough to carry me through.

Photo of franksnbeans
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours extremely dark brown if not black with a little ruby when held to a light. Gynormous chocolate milk head that goes nowhere for a very long time. Laces throughout. Smells of roasted nuts, ground coffee, cocoa and a hint of alcohol and smoke. Though all the smells present themselves in the taste, the smoke and alcohol stand out more than I would like. Dont get me wrong, this is tasty but the complexity is not as much as I would like. Full in the mouth with a smooth as silk finish. Great sipper with a meal. An outstanding impy stout to say the least.

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

Pours dark brown nearly opaque, translucent edges show held in the light.

Sweet dark roast malt, some alcohol,coffee, caramel,cocoa, with tingly cedar edges.

Sweet mocha coffee,citrus(lime), bitter hop,

Chewy drying cocoa caramel foamy head adds to flavor and texture of this medium-body stout.

Every sip so smooth, it have to be good.

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

A - pitch black, creamy tan head sits on top. Surprised to see visible carbonation. Big gobs of lace stick to my glass.

S - lucious chocolate, hazelnut. Not a lot of roast, but it is an excellent aroma.

T - Oh man, is this smooth. The chocolate flavour is so deep and refined, with just the right amount of sweetness. Hops are noticable, but blend in perfectly. Not overly bitter or roasty.

M - Full and creamy, yet not heavy.

D - This one is a slow sipper, but it is a joy to drink.

I haven't tried many Imperial Stouts, but this is the best I've had so far. This beer is not overly roasty, yet it still retains all of the stout character. Almost like a cranked up version of a really good oatmeal stout, very smooth, very balanced. Excellent.

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

Got this in a nice four pack from murray's.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brown. Almost opaque, not quite black, but very dark. Shows a nice fluffy cream head that stick around a couple minutes before diminishing into a very nice lace that sticks to the sides of the glass.

Smell: A pleasant yet subtle nose with a roasty smell with hints of mocha and slight hints of garlic, though this flavor isn't borne out in the taste.

Taste: Very smooth and creamy, definitely pick up the roast and the mocha here, not much bitterness and no discernible astringency in spite of its relatively high ABV.

Mouthfeel: A good creamy smooth mouthfeel without being oily or sticky. Substantial as a good stout should be, but not overwhelmingly so.

Drinkability: Not a session beer, but it goes down with a smooth finish. Its hefty and substantial, but not epic.

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

From the bottle on an unexpected stop at the Moan N' Dove driving home from the four-day music festival "Gathering of the vibes" at Seaside park in Bridgeport, CT. A great way to end such a gret weekend.
Poured into a big hefty mug.

AP: Looks amazing, big, deep dark body with a large mocha brown head that dissiptes real-sloooow. This is what a RIS should look like.

Nose: A really nice aromatic balance is obvious with big musty oak and chocolate with vanilla malt and a very distictive herbalized hop profile that is not as aromatic as some really big RIS that i've had.

Flavor: Once again. the balance of the flavors is the really impressive part, I've had much bolder RIS's with big heat and very sweet malt or very intense hop profile's, this one is a seemingly perfect balance of the flavor's. Not as bold as some with a very nice chocoalte-coffee and vanilla malt riding shot-gun to the ever-present natural oak-wood mild bitterness. I think the earthy hop flavor of this one is almost just-right, very noticable but not over-powering in anyway. This flavor is a total team effort that has no big ego super-star A-ROD to demand your attention constantly.

Feel: Full body for sure, just as hefty and thick as it should be, could be more so, but that's not the point, it's pretty dang right-on. The big-fat constant head makes for a creamy experience.

DA: At 9% this one drinks rather easy, and is made even easier with it's great balance.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,380 ratings.