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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,378 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8378
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,378 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2007 00:26:24 | More by neobassman
Photo of jrehmert


2.83/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured very dark, as expected, with about a finger of light tan head. The effervescence was short-lived. Residual sweetness was minimal. The nose was much more smoky than I had expected. I had hoped for more roasted malt, coffee, and/or chocolate malt than realized. Overall this was an average beer - Rogue RIS was a far better representative - afaic...

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2007 01:49:56 | More by jrehmert
Photo of beertaster13


2.88/5  rDev -33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Wow this review is going to be all over the board. Old Rasputin pours a black hole dark that is chilling to look at, very nocturnal. The tan thick mocha head is amazing, by far the best head I have seen in sometime, the lacing coats the glass, almost feels like it becomes the glass. The smell is amazing, mocha caramel and hints of dark ghiradelli chocolates. Picked up cinnamon and toasted marshmellow characters as well. The taste was very dry and weak, the roasted malts were bland and dry, alcohol was easy to pick up on, the bitterness outweighed the sweetness a little to much. A full bodied stout and very dry. Nice to look at and warming on those chilly days, but a true stout will make you crave it all times of the year, this was not one of them.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2004 05:28:08 | More by beertaster13
Photo of tbart428


2.88/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The beer pours pitch black. The head is light brown when first poured then settles to a off white colored foam. The smell is of roasted grain but all in all not much of a smell. The first taste is intense roasted flavors followed by a intense bitterness of hops.Neither one of the intense flavors in this beer are all that appealing to me. As I drink this beer the drinkability of this beer is decreasing with each sip. The beer is increadibly roasty at first then it transitions into a very bitter flavor from the hops and then it finishes with alcohol. The beer is intense in the mouth it is increadibly rough with the bittering hops. Overall the beer is a good night cap beer that is ggod to drink once in awhile. Compared to other RIPS it is slightly better than average. Worth trying and would buy again. I live in Portland Maine and buy this beer off tap at Novre Res and have to say off tp this beer is increadible. The flavors are subdued a lot and there is more of a balanced flavor. To end this review worth trying nothing amazing but is pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 04:21:21 | More by tbart428
Photo of Contagion


2.88/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is black in color, and appears to be very dense. Light doesn't pass through at all. An inch thick head formed when poured into the glass. The headed faded into a film at the top of the beer, and left some nice lacing on the side of the glass as it was drank.

The smell is of roasted malts and bitter black coffee. There are some flowery hops that combine with the malts to give it a mild soapy scent. The taste starts with a strong citrus hop flavor uncharacteristic of most stouts. There are bitter chocolate and coffee roasted malts undertones. The bitterness bites on the sides of the tongue, but as the beer warms to room temperature it becomes less noticeable. The after taste coats the mouth with a hoppy flavor.

This is a full bodied beer that has some creaminess to it. Carbonation is pleasant.

This is not what I was expecting in a stout. I never thought it would be this hoppy, this is kind of like a stout for someone that likes IPAs. It has the bitterness of the IPA and the thickness of a stout. This is not my style of beer. I really don't see myself going for another one of these. It's not a bad beer, just not to my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2009 02:44:18 | More by Contagion
Photo of kpoole25


2.93/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle to glass. Looks like molasses, head is a foamy version of same. Really liked the nose, coffee meets juicy fruit, I thought that was the best part. Huge, rich flavors, coffee and chocolate, sweet, but carbonation seemed flat (although it still had a huge head several minutes in) and was unbalanced in the alcohol, just too much for the flavors to contain. Got tiresome to drink, sort of like work to get through this, although the overall power was impressive.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 05:39:30 | More by kpoole25
Photo of cjhofelt


2.95/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is almost opaque (as a stout should be) but if you shine a bright enough light to it, it's actually magenta in color. Thin head that fades to a thin film.

The smell is hard to describe. It's fruity on top of a strong malt aroma. I'm not so sure I like it.

Well, it's not too bad. There's a tasty maltyness up front followed by a fruity flavor then finishes up with coffee, chocolate, and finally, something like, well, a bit like Juicey-Fruit gum and alcohol, as one of the low reviewers said. In some ways, this tastes a bit like a winter warmer. There's also sort of a back flavor here that's reminiscent of other North Coast beers. I'm not sure what to call it other than the North Coast taste.

Heavy mouthfeel, a bit chewey and syrupy. Not a real thirst quencher, more of a hunger quencher.

Something good to drink on a chilly night. I like it, but I've had better RIS. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2007 04:45:14 | More by cjhofelt
Photo of TappaKeggaBrew


2.95/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: A great example of an imperial stout: it pours mighty-nigh unto black, with a thick, brown head of froth that has good retention and decent glass lacing.

S: Black-strap molasses up front, sweet toffee and dried dates supporting.

T: Initially rich grain transitioning into sweet malt, but this pleasant flavor lasted just about 1 second before being rudely kicked aside by a harsh and acrid bitterness, with phenolic and fatty/soapy flavors in the long finish (unpleasantly long!)

M: Moist, smooth, and nicely carbonated when it first hits the tongue; but like the taste, the pleasant mouthfeel yields to a noticeable burn from the alcohol and an unpleasant astringent feel that lingers too long in the mouth.

O: What looked and smelled promising really failed to deliver. If this is what the Russians were drinking in 1917, it's no wonder they revolted! If I'm in the mood for an imperial stout, I'll pay a pretty penny for Samuel Smith's offering; but I couldn't get more than 25% of this one down before pouring it into the compost bin -- I'll be returning the bottle to the store for a refund!

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 02:04:39 | More by TappaKeggaBrew
Photo of Retail1LO


3/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. I started drinking this fairly soon after it came out of the fridge. I started rating it and it really wasn't doing much for me, and the scores reflected it. I started to wonder how much of that was a result of it being too cold. So I've been letting it warm up, and giving it little nips every few minutes. It's starting to come around. I think I might take the rest of the six pack out of the fridge and just keep it at room temp. This had a nice, luscious, two finger crown at the top. The head seemed more fizzy than creamy. The nose is pretty faint. I all but inhaled beer through my nose trying to extract some kinda discernible characteristic, but I couldn't. It doesn't smell bad, so much as it just doesn't smell. The first thing I notice with the taste is the booze. The 9% is in your face, and not even remotely hidden. Some slight coffee notes, but mostly just...booze. When it was cold, the mouthfeel was very carbonated and really unpleasant. As it's warmed, it's gotten much creamier and coats the mouth with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Over all, I just don't get the fuss. I have three bottles left with which to form a different opinion, however. If it changes, I'll be back to edit..but right now, this just really isn't my thing.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 02:51:13 | More by Retail1LO
Photo of Pdu8s


3/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- The best part about this beer is how it looks. It is extremely dark, almost black, with a brown head. It looks delicious

S- Not much of a smell, but what you can smell is pretty similar to the taste.

T- Roasty, Tofee taste apparent, but it definitely gets overwhelmed by the alcohol taste. It has a warming finish, but this beer, to me, was too bitter and tasted too strongly of alcohol. Had an almost soap-like taste.

M- Not as thick as you might think, has a creamy consistency.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 06:15:03 | More by Pdu8s
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Appearance- dark black with a thin almost non-existant head.
Smell- strong sugar, molasses and coal. Hints of fruit, raisin and Prune.
Taste- immediate burnt charcoal followed by thick sugary syrup.
Mouthfeel- cloying and sweet.

Overall- a decent Stout by, by no means, a great one! Too sweet and too syrupy. If this could be mellowed just a little!

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2006 21:46:30 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of Mechphisto


3.03/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- A nice, rich opaque black pour. Not too thick of a head, but a nice soft tan. Doesn't last long, but keeps a lacing a decent time.

S- A toasted chocolate coffee smell. Rich, deep smell. Not complex, per se, but the notes change as you smell it and as it warms up.

T- Just like it smells, rich chocolate coffee--but a HEAVY toasted nut taste as well. Very bitter, almost burnt nut taste. Like a coffee brewed with ground burnt nuts with a touch of chocolate.

M- Very creamy, rich, thick. Chewable. Bitter on the back of the palate but doesn't stay around longer than appreciated.

D- Can only handle one, being very thick, stout, filling. You want to drink it slow and savor it (I dare anyone to drink it fast,) which helps that the taste and aroma changes as the temperature changes. Unfortunately it gets TOO bitter toward room temperature.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2007 02:00:45 | More by Mechphisto
Photo of FtownThrowDown


3.03/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours near black on the pour with a nice half inch head. Smell is hops, roasted coffee and some dark malts. Taste is just way too much hops for my liking. Just not my style. I prefer my stouts on the unhoppy side. I appreciate it, but just not for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2008 00:08:08 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of atlason

New York

3.03/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

33cl bottle into tulip.

A: Dark brown with just a thion touch of brownish head, leaving some lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, strong alcohol.

T: Intense hop bitterness dominates on top of a super dense roasted malt base. Warming alcohol with a slight yeast character that I would usually call Belgian. In spite of this it seems underattenuated and sweet.

M: Thick, tarry and syrupy with pretty slight carbonation. You would think this would be hard to drink but it is oh so pleasant.

O: Not too used to this style but I guess they are going for as much malt and hops as possible in a stout. They succeeded.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2011 05:03:10 | More by atlason
Photo of Vierenner


3.05/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was expecting more from this beer -- the writeup at the store claimed very high marks from BA. I found it to be bitter and somewhat harsh. There is a bit of sweetness, but it's overshadowed by other, more powerful taste sensations. On a positive note, it pours with a very nice head ... disappearing after a minute or so as expected.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 00:25:44 | More by Vierenner
Photo of Bitter_Echo


3.05/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark, can't-see-light-through-it-dark-Cola kind of way, with fine, dark and persistent head with moderate lacing. Nose is dark, substantial, sweet, aged with moderate alcohol presence and roasted malt (need I tell?). Taste is strong, cooked, char-like coffee, dark chocolate, some dried fruit and plum-like flavors, and ethanol prominence, but well balanced with a bitterness that is decidedly not really a hoppy kind of bitterness after all. Taste profile does not modulate considerably over time. Mouth-feel is meal-like, substantive and filling. Pleasant overall, but I'm not so much big on the style, thinking I need to have a more refined taste in cheese to go along with this steak-of-a-beer-like brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2012 23:11:14 | More by Bitter_Echo
Photo of SanWrencho


3.05/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An OK brew but too aggressive and unbalanced and not malty enough to be a great stout IMHO. This brewery can produce some intriguing beers (Pranqster) but this one is too over the top. A better example of this style would be Zywiec Porter. Sometimes less *is* more.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 05:33:14 | More by SanWrencho
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Black ichor completely opaque. Transmission depth of only a few millimeters. This beer is dark. A thick dark tan head dissappeared slowly leaving no lacing behind.

Smell - Molasses, dates and malt. Delicious odor, but not very strong.

Taste - An upfront sweet flavor. The date flavor hits first then a molasses, cocoa and espresso tone joins. A mossy bitterness lets you down after the more dominant flavors. I think the beer would be better with a less potent bitter aftertaste - of at least a different flavor than moss. The espresso flavor and the bitterness dominant at higher temperature.

Mouthfeel - The alcohol stings the tongue. Stouts should be viscous or creamy, this one was a little thin for my taste. Not terrible though.

Drinkability - Would pair well with many foods, but the bitterness starts to accumulate making a full 12 oz a tad difficult to finish (although still very nice).

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2005 18:32:26 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of tayner


3.1/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle.

black with a off white/tan head, laced nice

smell was of roasted malts and alcohol

tasted like i was drinking burnt malt, ash, and lighter fluid.

The mouthfeel was hot, thick, motor oil mixed with lighter fluid.

I couldnt even finish my one bottle. I am not sure why this is rated so high, but i think if i drank any more of this it would make me look like the old dude on the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 12:42:23 | More by tayner
Photo of DBoone


3.1/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very nice appearance. Dark, almost black, not much head or carbonation when poured vigoressly in a brandy snifter. Khaki colored head with little lacing.
There was hints of chocolate and dark roasted barley and very little hops.
The taste was of very dark roasted barley with a moderate amount of bitterness noticed on the back of the palate mostly due to dark roasted malt.
This beer had a nice light mouthfeel for a russian imperial stout. Not much aftertaste and coating on the tongue.
Only drink 1 or 2 of these in a session.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2009 01:00:24 | More by DBoone
Photo of quasimoto


3.13/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I love RIS's so my review might be biased, but I'll do my best to go by the guide lines. The appreance of this is black with a tan head, large frothy head and laces as I drink it. There is aromas of cherries, chocolate, molasses, bubble gum, wine and nail polish. The taste is of roasted nuts, oak, chocolate mocha and the bitterness of hops with whipped cream. The mouthfeel is light and smooth but warms up at the end because of the alcohol. Drinkability of this in comparison to other RIS's is that it's not the best, but it's still very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2005 15:57:54 | More by quasimoto
Photo of Prufrock


3.13/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner.

pitch black with half an inch of tan head that leaves rings of lacing.

roasted malt and chocolatey aroma with a touch of coffee.

medium mouthfeel with a medium carbonation; mouthfeel is slightly light and carbonation slightly high for the style. slight chocolate sweetness, then a wave of piney bitterness. hoppy bitterness is quite a contrast from the aroma. the combination of flavors is just a bit amiss. solid stout, but i've come to expect more from anything labeled as "imperial," such as a little more complexity or nuance.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2006 05:18:16 | More by Prufrock
Photo of DoctorDog


3.13/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz. bottle into an over sized wine glass. No freshness or bottling date indicated, which I presume is fairly inconsequential.

A- Deep brown/black in appearance. Pours with a bare minimum off-white head, which fades quickly, leaving a thin ring. Minimal lacing.

S- Alcohol, coffee, and vague hints molasses, though taken as a whole, all are fairly muted. After ~1/2 an hour, molasses odor become more prominent.

T- Crisp as it hits, but then quickly followed by alcohol and burnt/hoppy bitterness. Alcohol hit and bitters mellow as it warms, and the essence of coffee flavors become more present and pleasant.

M- Medium/high carbonation. Fairly smooth.

D- Moderate. In my book, this is a "one glass slow-sipper" of a beer.

Future outlook: Possible that I would pick this up again for rare-occasion sipping, though not something that would rank prominently for regular imbibing.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2008 03:00:08 | More by DoctorDog
Photo of angelmonster


3.13/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a huge chocolate head about 1 and quarter inch. Pitch black in color with nice head retention and lacing through out.

Smells of rich chocolate , slight coffee and alcohol

Tastes of some chocolate and coffee. Strong alcohol taste up front with a medium bitter aftertaste

Has low to medium carbonation with a bitter mouth feel towards the end

Beer was overwhelming, too strong with the chocolate/bitter combo. Couldnt possibly drink more than one at a time. Beer is very highly rated, this was my first Imperial Stout , maybe im not accustomed to this style.

Edit - I've had this beer more over the past year and im still not very impressed with it, will age some and try again

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 00:23:29 | More by angelmonster
Photo of Jeffo


3.13/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My man Doopie brough some of these back on his last trip to the USA. I've had this beer several times and reviewed it back in 2009, so it was time for a re-review. To be honest, I'm never quite sure what I think of this one.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A black, but not quite pitch black, pour yields a three finger, medium looking tan head with great retention. Black body with higher levels of carbonation for the style. Head slowly fades to a thick cap and clings to the sides. A full wisp and ring remain until the end and leaves some nice lacing down the glass. Nice looking stout.

SMELL: A decent strength nose of roasted malts and lots of baker’s chocolate. Brunt malt, caramel as well, with plenty of flowery hops. A hoppy, roasted, chocolaty nose. Very good and appealing, but needs to be slightly more forceful for world class status.

TASTE: Not nearly as impressive as the nose. Some roasted malt up front but only touches of chocolate at the swallow. A bit empty through the middle. A spicy and very hop bitter finish with plenty of floral and pine flavors. Not much roasted or chocolate flavor for an imperial stout, and lots of hoppy and spicy booze at the swallow. Medium strength and lingering aftertaste is spicy, bitter, with lots of hop and some booze as well. The roasted and stout components, which were nicely present in the nose, are very mute here. It’s like they forgot this was an imperial stout while they were hopping the shit out of it.

PALATE: Medium-full body and quite creamy smooth on the palate. Goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Good feel for the style.

OVERALL: Make no mistake about it, this is a tasty and enjoyable beer. It’s just not a tasty and enjoyable imperial stout. This is an extremely hoppy brew, but it’s extremely hoppy at the expense of being extremely stout. If you like hoppy stout-like beers, this is definitely one worth tracking down. As far as imperial stout beer is concerned, however, this one is certainly lacking some of the patented flavors that define the style. This is certainly a brew I’ll have again, but not if I’m craving an imperial stout. Thanks for doing the legwork on this one Doops!

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 12:47:48 | More by Jeffo
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,378 ratings.