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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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8,372 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8372
Reviews: 3289
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%

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: 8,372 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of brushpig


3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found a 4 pack at Trader Joes in Chicago, but you can find it almost everywhere here.

The appearance is interesting, very very shimmering black with a tan head that unfortunately diminishes rather quickly.

The aroma is like dark espresso coffee with a light friut smell as well. Not too powerful.

This is a very good imperial stout, with it's coffee like flavors, chocalate, and alcohol bite, however the fruity flavors left a strange aftertaste in my mouth. Nothing too terrible. Still a very fine beer

Wouldn't have to many of them in one sitting,a little overwhelming.
But worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2006 14:48:46 | More by brushpig
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a four finger light brown head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Totally black color, no highlights. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Flavor is nearly sweet coffee, with a burnt coffee finish, not bad but not enough beef for a RIS. $2.50 for a 12oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 22:16:33 | More by jdhilt
Photo of ChrisPro


3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On nitro tap at North Coast brewpub on 6/28/09. Pours solid black, creamy mocha head. Hints of chocolate, but dominated by coffee aroma. Mild sweetness with bitter coffee finish and a little slick on the tongue. Solid, well above average, imperial stout.

Note: factoring in the bottle price, this beer is exceptional!

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-29-2010 02:09:02 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of JosiahS


3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a small snifter glass. Pitch black in appearance with a thin brown ring at the top. The aroma has chocolate, espresso, black licorice, a bit of hops as well as a tang. The alcohol is noticeable.

The first thing i notice when tasting this is a bit of bitterness right up front followed quickly by alcohol which seems to merry with a very roasted malt character that i can describe only as black licorice and dark chocolate. There is a charcoal-like bitterness that carries through the beer and lingers at the end along with some dark chocolate. Mouth-feel is smooth in texture, full bodied with low carbonation.

Drinkability is low on this one. This beer is alcoholic on first impression but as the temperature rises, the dark chocolate and alcohol seem to mix rather nicely making for a smooth, enjoyable stout.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2010 23:12:55 | More by JosiahS
Photo of Allpe45


3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from a 12oz bottle, no freshness/bottled date that I can find

The room is dark, but this appears fairly black with a short but sturdy head, and a bit of lacing.

Hop forward in the nose, with plenty of roasted malt and barley, and a bit of alcohol.

Sweet roasted malt up front with faint mocha to back it up. herbal tea-like hops in the finish along with some alcohol burn.

Medium-high bodied with low but noticeable carbonation. Somewhat creamy but not over the top.

Great value and an excellent example of the style, but not stellar.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 02:31:45 | More by Allpe45
Photo of HiroProtagonist


3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Raspy was served from a stubby 12 oz. bottle. In a pint glass, the beer was black (deep ruby edge accents with backlighting), and was topped by a thin but persistant light brown head. The nose yielded deep-roasted-choco-molasses aromas that were accompanied by enticing though subtle notes of sasparilla, vanilla, and toasted sesame oil. Little sign of esters in the nose. The taste consisted of a rich dark-roasted cocoa-chocolate malt profile that was joined by some nice sharp dark cherry and plum notes that helped cut through initial roastiness. A robust smokey cocoa-bitter dark chocolate flavor dominates the subtle fruitiness in the finish, which left some rather flat lingering dark chocolate notes. The flavors are tasty and rich as expected, but I was dissapointed in the lack of complexity and interesting accents. I thought the finish was a bit too "smoky" as well. The body was appropriately smooth and full for the style. Old Rasputin is a full-flavored and robust Russian imperial stout, but for me lacks some of the important details found in many other examples of the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2004 04:57:29 | More by HiroProtagonist
Photo of edskirk3


3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a couple of these over the weekend. There are Cyrillic letters on the label. I'd try to translate but I really want to taste this stuff. There is no freshness information.

Pours viscously opaque black into a brandy glass. A creamy dark brown head adorns the infinitely dark body. It's real sticky and nearly tattoos the glass with its lace.

The aroma is surprisingly dominated by Cascade hops instead of chocolate or coffee like I had expected. The taste also has a hoppy bite to it, as well as a deep bitterness of dark chocolate. Several levels of bitterness blossom across the tongue and linger after each sip.

All the bitterness makes me think this is a fresh bottle. I'd like to see how this ages. I'll try to wait as long as I can but, realistically, I don't see myself holding out past the holidays.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2007 03:48:18 | More by edskirk3
Photo of goatgoat


3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black with garnet highlights. Pours a creamy coffee head about three fingers high that falls slowly leaving a little sticky lace.
Dark fruit aroma. A hop sharpness only barely makes it through the malt.
Deep malt sweetness takes a while to give into hops bitterness. Malts fight back in the finish, blending with a slight alcohol astringency.
Silky smooth and full beer.

Decent RIS, but not one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 05:02:14 | More by goatgoat
Photo of SteveS1

New York

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the bottle to a glass-
Look: Pitch black, only a hint of red at the edges. Thick bubbly brown head, little retention.

Smell: Sweet, malty, cherry, and yes, a bit of alcohol.

Taste: The taste begins with a dark cherry flavor, then fades quickly into a roasted chocolate. Aftertaste is of bitter alcohol.

Feel: Thick, heavy, a little carbonation.

Drink: The strong alcohol content and flavor keeps this from being any more than a sip and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2009 03:35:19 | More by SteveS1
Photo of Bendurgin


3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Appearance is black with a nice mocha colored head that is about an inch. The smell reveals a dark fruits; dates and a nice caramel smell lingers in the nostrils. I get a bit of bitterness and some nice roasted malts a cocoa flavors. Also dark fruits that I smelled. Certainly the dates coming to the tongue and some nice roasted malts. I wish it were a little more roasty. Not as full bodied as I expected and a little more carbonation than I expected as well. Nothing offensive though. The nine percent ABV is well hidden. This is a very drinkable RIS, it's not hot going down and the dark fruits make it very pleasent.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2010 14:51:41 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of Satchboogie

New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes reviewed on 12/6/10 (re-reviewed 3/23/11):
12oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass

A: Pours pitch black and completely opaque. Huge 2-finger foamy mocha head on a fairly aggressive pour. Sticks around for a while. Has a little lacing. Picture perfect looking stout.

S: A TON of dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee. Molasses/burnt sugar, bitter hops. A lot of bitterness coming out of the nose

T: Tastes very similar to the nose. Dark, bitter chocolate, coffee, and molasses are strong. There's a ton of robust dark roasted malt, almost on the verge of char. The hops are quite strong, mainly floral and leafy. The alcohol is definitely evident and makes it just a little boozy. The finish is dry and has that bitter leafy hop astringency. There's just a ton of bitterness in this, a bit too much for my taste (for a stout).

M: Medium carbonation, body seems a little thin, it is chewy, but overall, not that smooth or viscous.

O: Not a bad RIS, certainly a great value, but a bit too bitter for my taste with too much leafy hop presence. A couple years on this could really do wonders.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2010 21:33:41 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of Azurescens


3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours jet black with thin light brown head that fades quickly leaving some lacing around glass.

S: Lots of alcohol in the aroma with molasses and roasted barley. The dominant alcohol smell stings my nose and makes it harder to pick up other aromas.

T: Slightly hot but not nearly as strong as the nose. Molasses, roasted barley with some dark fruit and chocolate coat my tongue with each sip. Smooth up front and finishes with a bitter kick.

M: Full bodied with some carbonation, smooth and slightly chewy.

O: Above average imperial stout, but no real robust dominant flavors that jump out at you. Pretty good all around besides the strong alcohol in the nose.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 02:57:55 | More by Azurescens
Photo of angrybabboon

Rhode Island

3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cheers once again to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle

Appearance: Black, with a moderately-sized beige/light tan head, leaves wisps of lacing

Smell: A lot of different aromas here - burnt malts, somewhat charred, very roasted - burnt, dark coffee - dark chocolate and some cocoa - hoppy, too - herbal and grassy, with orange and grapefruit rind - the hop profile is not what I'm looking for, but I imagine that it will drop over time

Taste: Follows the smell, with a ton of burnt - burnt malts, chocolate malts, bitter dark chocolate, burnt coffee, char - burnt orange and grapefruit rinds - combined bitterness from the burnt malts and the hops is actually a little harsh - lingering bitterness, too

Mouthfeel: Medium body, above average carbonation, very smooth, somewhat dry

Overall: Good, not that amazing

The RIS style is inundated with ridiculously thick, absurdly ridiculous monsters. This is not one of them, and it isn't supposed to be. It's a good for what it is, but I am not a huge fan of the hops and overall lack of depth of the malts. This does work well in cooking chili, however.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 05:58:29 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of rangerred


3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on nitro at mellow mushroom in Johnson City, TN

Arrived looking like a typical nitro pour with an off-white creamy head. Body was solid black.

Aroma had pleasant notes of coffee and dark chocolate. Also a slight hint of smoke in there.

The flavor had loads of cocoa and a slight bit of coffee. Lots of roasted malt and unfortunately, a decent amount of alcohol. I kind of feel like the nitro may have hindered the flavor somewhat because I didn't find this all that spectacular. I will have to pick up a bottle sometime to see if my opinion is any different.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-21-2012 02:09:59 | More by rangerred
Photo of nsheehan


3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Rasputin on Cask at Flying Saucer Austin
North Coast BC
Goblet (13.5oz probably)

A - Sandy-tan head with great retention. Dark full brown color. Completely opaque.

S - Light coffee from roasted malt, cocoa, and an earthiness, I think leather. The alcohol is extremely well-hidden (in both smell and taste).

T - Follows smell, but the roast is gentler and more apparent, and there's some brown sugar like sweetness. There's some refinement but also some muddledness. I think I just don't like certain aspects of many stouts. There's some bitterness that is very dark chocolate like.

M - Full bodied but not very heavy. Very smooth, silky even. Heavy and a little chewy.

D - It's a sipper. Easy to see how people would love this beer a lot. I don't find it very complex, but there's quality; also my taste preferences differ from many others (I'm not a fan of roast).
4.75, 3.25, 3.75, 4, 3.5.
After some time (about 30 minutes) I taste some orange. The beer retains itself well and is still silky with no signs of alcohol.

Serving type: cask

08-18-2013 16:42:36 | More by nsheehan
Photo of CommanderOfAwesome


3.66/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

2013 bottle ,no bottle date but I purchased it in aug 2013 so I assume it's a 2013 bottle.

A: Pours a dark brown, with a nice 2 finger brown khaki color head. When pouring I notice a reddish hue to the beer.

S: This bottle has a bit of oxidation on it which I tend to be fairly sensitive to unfortunately. Getting some nice chocolate and coffee bitterness to it as well.

T: Getting a lot of coffee and chocolate. Roasty notes coming from this beer. Also getting a nutty taste to it as well.

M: This is where the beer falls apart to me. I'm a stickler for mouthfeel and this beer fails here. Now Stone is reengineering their Ruinination for the modern pallate and I think North Coast needs to do this with old raspy. The BA version is thin as shit and this is right there with it.

O: Decent babies first RIS, though the mouthfeel is severely lacking. 10 yrs ago I'm sure this was a beast, but now it has the mouthfeel of coca cola. Had the BA version on tap and holy shit is that thin as hell, this isn't much different but least its affordable. Decent but nothing to write home about in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 17:04:33 | More by CommanderOfAwesome
Photo of bigjohn

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The thing that struck me most about this beer was the strong presence of the alcohol, both in the taste and in the after effects. This is certainly a complex beer with a strong coffee and chocolate bitterness. The appearance is nearly black, a slight tinge of dark red is visible when held up to the light. The smell is potent and prepares the drinker for the flavor to come. This is definitely a well crafted beer that is full of flavor. However, I marked it down in some areas mainly because of personal tastes. I found it somewhat difficult to drink because of the strong almost burning presence of the alcohol. I have had other high alcohol beers before and not been put off by the alcohol, I am not sure why I was by this one. Overall it is definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2003 05:57:53 | More by bigjohn
Photo of iron78


3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

black like a stout should be, dark brown at the edges in some light. with a thick creamy tan head.
rich chocolate and coffee aroma with a touch of what might be mint.
the toasted grain comes through giving nice coffee flavor with out being overly bitter. well balanced and complex enough to be interesting.
is thick, with out the syrup feel. doesn't leave the mouth coated, but has good body.
nice alchol warmth lasts but again is balanced enough not to overpower.
suprised me with how much i liked it. will try again some evening infront of a fire.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2005 20:36:00 | More by iron78
Photo of Damian


3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured an amber brown/black with a small head that faded quickly. Virtually no lacing present.

Smell was very malty rich and hoppy with hints of dark chocolate, coffee and toffee.

Taste was espresso-like, hoppy and bitter, with the bitterness becoming more intense as the beer moved along the palate. Alcohol flavor was very strong.

Mouthfeeel was full bodied and heavy. Moderate carbonation.

Definitely a sipping beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2006 02:34:03 | More by Damian
Photo of atigerlife


3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with some red highlights. A nice one finger brown head sits on top. Head dissipates rather quickly. Good lacing.

Aroma is of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, toffee and some hazelnut. Interesting.

Taste is dominated by bitter dark coffee. Also some dark chocolate, roasted malts and some alcohol at the end.

Mouthfeel has a medium body and lightly dry at the end.

Overall, this is an interesting brew that I wouldn't mind having again. The high alcohol level would rule it out as a session beer, but good for sipping.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2007 18:57:16 | More by atigerlife
Photo of ktrillionaire


3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I used to love Rasputin, now I just like it. That about sums it up.

A - Black as night with a tan wispy head and a bit of transient lacing.

S - To qualify as anything above a third-tier offering, the smell is far too oxidized, along with overly pungent notes from the hop. Vague de rigueur nuances of chocolate and coffee grinds are present, as well.

T - The taste is slighty above average, but the flavor is saucy, and that isn't good in this case. The palette is of heavily roasted and oxidized malts, with suggestions of spent coffee grinds, malted milk, chocolate, spicy and herbal hops, and celery-coriander. As exciting as it sounds, it isn't.

M - I don't really like the mouthfeel. It has a nearly macro feel; it is similar to Yuengling's Black & Tan. That is the wrong territory, RIS!

D - Still a pretty solid brew, but quality-wise it is not much better than SN Pale Ale or SA Boston Lager; it is like a grocery store RIS. But the aforementioned brews are way drinkable...

If anyone feels the need to point out that comparing RIS, Pale Ale and Vienna Lager is like comparing apples, oranges and kiwis, let me save you some time. Don't.

Recently I have been feeling like the on-tap version was underwhelming, because I expect this stuff to be stellar; I guess it has been a few years since I've really had a few of the bottles, and I was wrong, the bottles are definitely inferior to the tap.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 23:25:29 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of danmcg62


3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep black color with a finger and a half width mocha color head. A nice looking brew. This is how I like my stouts to look.

S-Really rich dark chocolate comes to mind first. Coffee beans and fresh bread come to mind as well. Black licorice is there too. Nice smelling brew.

T-The coffee flavor is what hits me first. Swishing the brew around in my mouth really brings out the chocolate flavor. Mild nutty flavor and mild hops as well.

M-Really thick, milkshake type feel in the mouth. Mild alcohol taste.

O-Overall this is a solid brew. Decent smell and flavor. Definitely need to take your time with this one at 9% ABV. Sip this one slow.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 02:17:04 | More by danmcg62
Photo of BucannonXC5


3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a pint glass at my house on Nov. 27, 2012 (purchased for $2.09 at BevMo in La Mesa, Calif. (San Diego) on Nov. 27, 2012). Mahogany black with 3-4 fingers of tan head that lasted for quite some time. Good and thick retention on the top and the sides of the glass.

Smelled a sharp bite of alcohol first. That was followed by coffee, roasted coffee beans, roasted nuts, hazelnut, dark caramel, toffee and dark chocolate.

Tasted that sharp bite of alcohol up front, like the smell. Really a liquor type of alcohol, maybe vodka. Also coffee, hazelnut, toffee, dark chocolate and caramel. Nice warming finish.

Full body. Creamy slick texture. Average-to-above average carbonation. Long warm finish with some bitterness.

I’ve always seen this beer in the stores and I finally pulled the trigger tonight. It was basically what I expected, which is an average Russian Imperial Stout. And that’s coming from a guy who probably overrates all RIS’s. EDIT: This grew on my as it went down. I upped a couple of ratings.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 03:24:50 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of DavidBart

New York

3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had a bottle at Sampler BK into a tall tulip glass. No born on/best by date that I can find.

Deep black. No light penetrating through this even when held up to the sky. Slight head, that rather quickly dissipates, leaving some lacing around the glass. Nice aroma, predominantly coffee. Taste is pretty much along the same lines. Not a bad beer but I was a bit disappointed having seen the high score before picking this bottle up. Might be a great choice, if you're a connoisseur of the style, but for me it's just blah. Had better, had worse.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 21:40:07 | More by DavidBart
Photo of kelticblood


3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is my 100th review so I thought I'd choose something worth remembering.

The pour yielded a 1 inch off-white head that reduced to about a 1/2 inch and stayed.As It reduced it left a solid ban of sticky lace around my glass.The color is an opaque black.Alcohol is evident on the nose and in the taste almost right away.wheeew this is strong.Long very bitter finish.Full bodied with a thick mouthfeel.Alcohol makes the mouthfeel somewhat harsh..The alcohol and the strong hop bitterness seems to hide any real flavor here.Very creamy with a rolling texture.Hints of chocolate and coffee are noted on the taste.Very malty with a dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2003 23:22:24 | More by kelticblood
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,372 ratings.