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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.

9,662 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,662
Reviews: 3,349
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 289
Gots: 1,220 | FT: 38
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,662 | Reviews: 3,349 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CharlesRiver
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Solid black in color with a 1/2 inch creamy tan head. Served from a 12oz stubby bottle from my cellar (50ish Degrees?)

The smell is chocolate and coffee as well as some of the alcohol coming through. The alcohol kind of hits you right away with this one. It leaves in the middle and then comes back for that warming feeling in the end. The beginning is coffee and chocolate. The middle is where the bitterness comes in. Nice! The ending is more coffee and alcohol than anything to me.

I recently purchased this four pack so I am assuming it is pretty fresh. Doesn't appear to be bottle conditioned but I think that I will cellar the other 3 for awhile. Just to see how they do.

CharlesRiver, Nov 24, 2003
Photo of Admiraldinty
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black, although not opaque black, but dark, dark ruby when held to light with a huge tan foam that sticks to the glass. Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee, very sweet. Very rich and full taste. At first there is a bit of hop bitterness, then the malty sweetness, chocolate and coffee. Ends dry with an alcohol finish. Velvety mouthfeel. Wow, this one is for the ages. A great imperial stout and not at all overpowering. This beer can sneak up on you though.

Admiraldinty, Nov 21, 2003
Photo of Anglewood
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this beer on nitro and in the bottle, IMHO it is best out of the tap. It was served in a 12 oz. Pilsner, which in size may be appropriate, but I would prefer a beefy pint glass.

This beer pours well, and ends up with a nice tan head over a black body. Some residual cascade is attractive, and the head hangs around for a little while. A sniff reveals malty chocolate notes with a little coffee. The taste is the same, with some hops and a little crisper than expected. Finish is malty again with a slight alcohol warm. After a couple it will sneak up on you. Overall body is not too heavy, and it has a good mouthfeel.

Among my favorite beers by North Coast, brewed an hours drive from my town back home. A good beer for relaxing, but not one to go all night on. Overall a fine imperial.

Anglewood, Nov 17, 2003
Photo of merlin48
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow! This stout is a handful. Pours very dark and opaque, with an imposing head that warns of what is to follow. Plenty of lacing.

Aroma is of dark chocolate, molasses, coffee, toffee, and alchohol.

Mouthfull is complicated, smooth and fulfilling. Nice balance of roasted malts, hops, and an essence of prunes that jumps into the mix somehow. Slightly bitter hoppy aftertaste.

I'm new to imperial stouts, but this one is very drinkable. Perfect companion to an open fireplace. Rasputin will leave you with a nice warm feeling, as you might expect from the abv.

merlin48, Nov 09, 2003
Photo of Darkale
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is an uneven beer. The aroma is exceptional -- sweet, like the sweetest and creamiest milk chocolate, high in the nose and powdery.

Excellent appearance, too. Thick, typical stout head, cratered and foamy like a root beer float, with excellent lacing.

But, thin and slightly gritty in the mouth. Not thick and chewy enough to be Imperial, I don't think. Taste is burning cocoa and chocolate, sour on the edge, but a wash of sweetness overall.

Not a bad stout, but lacks the fullness and breadth to be an imperial. An excellent stout overall, and many no doubt will overlook the thinness in deference to its amazing sweetness.

Darkale, Nov 06, 2003
Photo of 86MonteSS
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For a beer that isn't opaque (a very dark reddish brown when I held it up to the light), this is superiorly robust. The smell is one of the most enticing I've ever encountered, and the taste follows up with gusto. So many of the imperial stouts I've had have been sweet almost to the point of nausea but nay, Rasputin was a hardier fellow. Poisoned, shot, beaten, and drowned, he lives.

...In a bottle.

Let me tell you something: If I ever wake up and realize I'm a hemophiliac, I'm jumpin' in the ol' Monte Carlo and zooming out to Half Time to buy another bottle of Old Rasputin. Na zdorovia, comrade!

86MonteSS, Nov 05, 2003
Photo of SetarconeX
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Visually, this is a beautiful beer. Jet black, with a nice brown head. Looks great. Smells brunt to a crisp. This isn't just any stout, this one's nice and toasty. Not for the faint of heart.

Taste is not too different than the taste would lead you think. The alcohol is perhaps a little more obvious than I'd like it too be, but considering the freakishly high ABV on this one, it's impressive how much it's been minimized.

A good Imperial Stout, though one that goes to your head quickly. Give it a try, if just for the ominous picture on the bottle.

SetarconeX, Nov 05, 2003
Photo of edchicma
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One strong brew...but boy, is there something different going on here! The smell was malty with some alcohol hints, but it was a different kind of malt, not only sweet but with a smoothness that I haven't encountered before. Poured a jet black with a nice chunky head that laced nicely. I'm not an expert, but I can sense something complex going on with this brew...sweetness,,,chocolate..coffee...alcohol, but blended so beautifully, it was a rare pleasure.

I'm not a strong brew fan, but the mouthfeel was equally impressive for its strength. True, it's a sipper, but warm and full-bodied. For what it is, very drinkable for the high abv. Everyone should try a bottle, and if you are really brave try two!

edchicma, Nov 04, 2003
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one hell of an Imperial, but does not stand up to a few that I've had. I was hoping it would be right up there at the top, but it's not quite.

Pours with zero carbonation, and not as thick as expected. No head retention and has a dark brown body. Held to the light it has a ruby glow to it. Nice chocolatey aroma with notes of sweet candy and hops. Flavor follows in kind. Bitter dark chocolate gives way to a nice roasted malt flavor, followed by a crisp hop finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, but is somewhat spritzy and could be better. A damn fine Imperial, though honestly I expected a little more. Nonetheless, definitely worth seeking out, especially if you love beers of this delightful style.

IrishRedRock, Oct 31, 2003
Photo of saltydog
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:Dark, opaque, the head is a dark brown and very retentive. Smell: Malt sweetness, roasted malts, and hops, in a pretty nice balance. Taste: Big roastiness in front, then, hops, then sweetness at the end...which is very odd, as sweetness is usually the first thing you taste. Works great, though! Mouthfeel is rich, thick and creamy, with a little residual dryness from the roasted malts. Obviously not something you would knock back many pints of it, but it still is easy to drink for an imperial stout.

saltydog, Oct 29, 2003
Photo of grynder33
3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a beautiful dark color, a coffee chocolate aroma, initialy a smooth velvety feel in the mouth, but the CO2 started coming on strong. The first tastewas complex, fruit chocolate carmel, but then a big bitter alcohol taste started building in the back of my throat and became unpleasant. This is good stuff, but you probaly have to sip it slower than Scotch Whiskey

grynder33, Oct 28, 2003
Photo of avylover
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My 100th Review, and a worthy beer to go with it. My wife "is proud." An american brew that is carried by a local bar that stictly carries only imports. Guess they saw the light on this one.

Pours thick & black with some ruby highlights when held up to the light. Nice frothy tan head that gave the "waterfall" effect upon pouring. Aroma is strong in the malt department. Very sweet, yet there are some hops to calm things down a bit. An alcohol bite clears up the sinuses. This is one beer that's full of taste. Starts off with a deep sweet maltiness, followed by some hop bitterness fighting back, ending with a nice roasted malt aftertaste. There is some fruitiness in there all the while just trying to make things even more interesting. Decent carbonation that gives way to a nice slick mouthfeel, with a quite sticky aftertaste. Very drinkable stout, and dangerous at that. I could drink this all night....and end up with a rough morning. Great Beer...'nuff said

avylover, Oct 27, 2003
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thick, oily and black, definite brown head, that is quite meringue like, tops this brew. A sweet roast malt aroma emanates from my glass, followed by a note of coffee. Quite thick, though not overly so. Strong malt presence, definite roast malt character as well. This beer is like chewing on a roast malt kernel, it has the same after taste and everything. Even though thick and malty the roast character lets this beer finish like it is quite dry. There is a bit of oiliness in this beer. The beer is very smooth, yet still carbonated. Almost a cola not to this as it first hits my mouth.

Gueuzedude, Oct 26, 2003
Photo of HossMcGraw
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great Imperial. The head is surprisingly huge. Very dark brown color. Not much aroma detected. The taste is very similar to Storm King, only not as cloying. Dark fruits and roasted malts, with a nice hoppy aftertaste. Drinkability is high. I think I could have about three is one sitting. In summation, better than Storm King, not as good as Willy Shakes.

HossMcGraw, Oct 23, 2003
Photo of Dantes
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Package: 12oz. crowned brown bottle, labeled 8.9% ABV; no date information. Black and gold label with a forbidding portrait of a greeting or saluting Rasputin. Russian inscription I can sound out but not translate.

Cost: $5.49 a 4-Pack at Total Wines

Presentation: Imperial Pint glass at ~50º

Appearance: Opaque, but of a slightly lighter brown than the typical imperial stout. More like a bittersweet chocolate than ebony. Copious gunsmoke on opening. Generated a medium-dense one-finger cocoa head, which resolved into a patchy slick.

Smell: This exhibited a deep, rich, roasted malt aroma, with some coffee and chocolate notes. Surprisingly subdued hops.

Taste: Good first impression. A bit sweeter than I expected, with lots of different sensations happening at once: coffee, bittersweet chocolate, nuts, malty sweetness, and just enough hops to keep it interesting but not so as to be intrusive. Much less espresso–like than the Storm King. More like a Sam Smith’s. As it warmed, the more fruity elements came to the fore, with currants, prunes, and some gentle eau-de-vie warmth. Medium finish despite the relatively light body.

Mouthfeel: This was somewhat roughly carbonated and not as thick or creamy as I expected. Certainly doesn’t have the viscosity of an Expedition or Sam Smith’s, but the flavor makes up for a lot. Similar in body to a Storm King, but with better balance.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for an imperial stout. The relatively light body allows for an extra one, and it has a nice balance of flavors (not too hoppy, not too espresso-like). Alcohol is unobtrusive.

Backwash: I have to say that I enjoyed this MUCH more than the Storm King. I found that it had better balance, allowing the perception of many different flavors. It has all of the flavor and is smoother. Perhaps the Storm King is a beer better sampled after aging (I have some from last year for comparison), while this is ready to go now. The lighter body and slight sweetness remind me of Perkuno's Hammer. I’d love to try some of the Millennium Edition, as it is described as being very thick. Unfortunately, I passed on the one bottle of it that I saw. I can imagine how something like this kept Rasputin alive under the ice of the Neva.

Dantes, Oct 21, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First introduced to this one early on in my beer advocacy, feels good to return to an old friend. Appearance: Pours deep viscous black toned deep purple ruby highlights full tan two finger sized head perfect looking beer, oh so nice with perfect evenly laced foam. Aroma: Deep cocoa, espresso infused, undertones of alcohol infused fruit along with a great bready sweet malt tone this is one awesome imperial stout in my opinion it sets the bar. Taste: Wow complex swirling spiral of flavor alcohol infused fruit, doses of hardcore strong coffee notes, and dark chocolate playing the tie the flavors together predominantly bitter from the dark roasts there are some hops evident in the flavor. Creamy balanced mix of so many flavors works so well, gotta love the Ol' Raspy. Mouthfeel: Full bodied syrupy goodness of massive flavors this is one extraordinary beer, a must try. Drinkability: No questions as to it's placement on the top 50 beer list, this one does it so well remaining amazingly drinkable and flavorful is the key for an Imperial stout not cloying in anyway and you yearn for another one the glass is empty that's what it's all about.

WVbeergeek, Oct 19, 2003
Photo of pio
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

damn near opaque beer with just a tint of amber around the edges. the tan and amber head was strong and stout leaving a very impressive lace. scents of caramel, toffee, espresso, pumpernickel, rye and a half dozen roses.balanced scents, also the alcohol is evident and warming. a sweet start of caramel, coffee, espresso, molasses, a dark bready malt that brings a roasty sweetness before it dries up and gets a warm bitter, similiar to a cafe au lait. the mouthfeel was so creamy and rich, just a few bubbles making it so silky and oh how nice. what a hearty beer.

pio, Oct 16, 2003
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this is one of the oddest reviews i'm probably ever gonna have to make, with my ratings all over the map, pretty much. this brew is made exceptionally well. it looks damn near perfect, with a dark as night pour and an awesome tan head that provides an equally awesome cascading effect. so far, a damn near perfect beer. smells of coffee, chocolate, roatsed malt with hints of fruitiness (raisins, perhaps?). nothing that blew me out of the water, but a good, solid smell nonetheless. the taste, while obviously appealing to most drinkers, just wasn't for me. i don't like coffee to begin withm and the coffee taste here simply overpowered all other tastes too much. the other dominant flavour here was the alcohol, which was surprising since the smell gave hardly any indication of, and at 8.9%, i figured it'd be all over the place with this one. it's a generally smooth brew overall, but i can't say that i'd be able to have any more than one at a time, and would probably only try this again on a rare occasion. i was surprisingly disappointed here...like i said, a well made brew, just not my cup of tea (or coffee, in this case).

SixpointJMH, Oct 14, 2003
Photo of Quaffer
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A very cool looking label, complete with some Russian text and a picture of the mad monk himself. This beer poured a deep black that showed its true, ruby nature when held up to the light. The tan head rose up big and rough, but smoothed out and became dense as it settled back down. It was very slow to dissipate and never completely disappeared, leaving a thick cap of foam floating on top of the obsidian liquid. There was no lace left on the glass. Overall, I was surprised at the amount of head and its retention qualities. Many imperial stouts don't "behave" this way.

Smell: The main aromas were exactly what I expected: coffee, chocolate, and cream. After the head had settled down, a underlying toasted aroma emerged that contained hints of cinnamon and allspice. Very strange, but not bad at all. Also, there were hints of plums and cherries. There was no alcohol present on the nose, which surprised me since this beer tops out at almost 9.0%.

Mouthfeel: I half to say that this beer breaks into the full-bodied catagory, something that I rarely run into. It was very full in the mouth with a nice, creamy, slightly fuzzy, texture to it. There was a great smoothness that gave way to a numbing tingle caused by the alcohol.

Taste: On my first drink I was assaulted by a myriad of flavors. They were so numerous and intense that I had troubled picking them out. After my pallet had acclimated itself, I became aware of flavors of dark coffee, deep roasted malts, alcohol, and a tart cherry fruitiness. On the aftertaste was a lingering bitterness that was the only evidence of hops that I could find in the flavor. As the beer got really warm, the aforementioned alcohol gained some spicy characteristics and became more pronounced.

This is a helluva beer. A great change of pace from the wussy beers that I have been drinking lately. Too bad this stuff isn't available here in Wichita.

Thanks Bruiser!

Quaffer, Oct 12, 2003
Photo of Sudmissle
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great stout that probably is the flagship brew of North Coast Brewery. Pours a black/brown color with a dense foamy head reminding me of real whipped cream stirred in. Very thick mouthfeel that lingers on the palate. This beer has 8.9% alcohol, but it is not apparent in the taste because it is so smooth. The alcohol is only slightly noticeable in the aftertaste. A quality blend of toasted wheat bread and coffee notes with a lace that clings to the glass as well as the tongue. This is a very competitive stout overall.

Sudmissle, Oct 07, 2003
Photo of winomark
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black, with little or no light seeping through the glass. Dark and inviting.

Smell: Freshly brewed coffee, vanilla and molasses. No overpowering alcohol smell, nice and maltly.

Taste: Coffee all over the palate, with some nice malty sweetness. Slight alcohol taste in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Quite rich and coating, but not cloying by any means.

Drinkablilty: Not something you can sit down and drink a few of at a time, but overall, a very enjoyable beer to be savored while watching football on a cool autumn day. I will seek this beer out again, and enjoy it as often as possible.

P.S. I am glad this was such a great beer that I made it my first review.


winomark, Sep 28, 2003
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.15/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presented in a 12oz. brown bottle as pictured. This beer allows no light to penetrate its inky black depths. A short-lived mocha colored head rose and fell as quickly as Italy changes governments, leaving minor lace behind.
The aroma is a withering blend of bitter coffee grounds, alcohol, roasted black malt, wet leather, and dark fruit.
This brew has a pronounced bitterness to it, far more than I expected. There are hints of bakers chocolate and coffee mixed with some prune/date flavors but the overall effect is rather out of balance. An astringent alcohol taste fires a parting shot along with a mild warmth.
Feel is medium with a real rawness from the alcohol.
Well, if this is what Rasputin was drinking the night he was killed, it explains why he was so difficult to take down. Old Rasputin has a rugged, hard edge to it that cuts into its drinkability. Overall, not bad but I've had some I've liked better. I'll drink them instead.

Boilermaker88, Sep 26, 2003
Photo of ellman
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz squaty bottle

Appearance: Black, little to no head.

Smell: Chocolate coffee malt and alcohol.

Taste: Coffee, roasted malt but light on the alcohol taste i was expecting. Full body almost thick. but overall great beer.
not sure about quanity but sure has the quality. a last beer of the nigh sit and watch tv listen to music beer. mmm mmm good.

ellman, Sep 18, 2003
Photo of beergeek279
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is a very dark brown/hint of red, with a good creamy head. The smell is fantastic....the smell of anise and coffee. The taste is just as fantastic...the predominant taste of coffee mixes with a nutty flavor as well as the licorice/anise taste. Mouthfeel is very smooth. As for drinkability, I couldn't drink as many of these as I would want to!

Mmmm...imperial stout...truly one of the great treats of the beer world. Though I sadly don't get to enjoy its unique pleasures enough, when I do it's a treat to be savored. North Coast truly makes an imperial stout up there with the best of them, and this is certainly one I'll have again.

beergeek279, Sep 17, 2003
Photo of slitherySOB
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks too Brent, I was finally able to consume this long sought after beverage. Just the look through the bottle let you knew, this is a beer not to be reckoned with. The old picture of the monk himself teases, just teases you to try and dare consume this liquid concoction. The beer pours a very dark black. The only thing blacker than this liquid is my ex girlfriend's heart. When held too the light, this beer shows a shimmer of blood ruby. Only problem in presentation? Next to no head. Just a little film of bubbles, which does last throughout drinking. Scent, oh the scent. The nostrils are kicked in the sinuses with roasted malts, dark chocolate, arabica coffee beans, bitter hops, raisins, plums, prunes, red grapes, and various spices from around the world. One could write an essay on the olfactory pleasure of this beer. Taste is very damn similar too smell, though hops were stronger in the tongue than on the nose. This is actually very hoppy tasting. Like an IPA turned stout. But that roast malt is still their, ever so powering, ever so warm. Coffee and chocolate entwine together in this erotic dance that would leave any man's scrotum with a case of rigomortis. The fruits act as a sweet song, which the coffee and chocolate dance too. Spices are the final touch, the decorations on the ballroom walls. Just beautiful, damn beautiful. The mouthfeel is hard too explain. It's strong, but neither thick nor syrupy. Though this is not flattering to the brew at all, it's like gasoline. Gasoline is like oil, both are fuel, but oil is thick and gasoline is not. I shall definitely be drinking this again, if I can find it again. A beer meant to be enjoyed like an old port or hand crafted cigar. Any more than one at a sitting is simply too much of a good thing.

slitherySOB, Sep 16, 2003
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,662 ratings.