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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

9,677 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,677
Reviews: 3,350
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 289
Gots: 1,225 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,677 | Reviews: 3,350 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gameface23
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Absolutely nothing wrong with the way this looks in a glass. It has everything you could want in a RIS: pitch black color and a creamy mocha colored head that leaves great lacing.

Smell: Really nice amount of black coffee/espresso and secondary smells of chocolate malt. The one thing that stops this from receiving a 5 for smell is the fact that there is a pretty apparent alcohol smell to it.

Taste: Espresso and hops with a little bit of licorice/anise flavor.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with a nice amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Good. Not cloying at all and the finish doesn't overstay its welcome.

gameface23, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of LaLaSnite
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

LaLaSnite, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of superdedooperboy
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Savored this one on-tap at The Pizza Joint in Evans, GA. (Incidentally, the only way and place I've ever enjoyed it.)

Dark black, mostly opaque, with a thick espresso-like brown head that shows wonderful retentive properties and holds tight to the walls of the vessel, leaving behind nice rings of lace.

The nose is powerfully delicious, filled with sweet and bitter chocolate notes along with a bit of coffee.

Thick and velvety smooth in body, with flavors mimicking those of the nose: creamy chocolate, both sweet milky chocolate notes as well as the dominating bittersweet dark chocolate, with a bit of espresso snap that lends a bit of dryness to the finish, which is mildly sweet as well. Roasted character, in both the nose and on the palate, is rather subdued, though it peeks through at times.

Going down smooth and satisfying, this is an imminently drinkable Imperial Stout, but drinkability can only be issued so much in a beer with 9% alcohol by volume.

A wonderful example of the style, and the one that introduced me to Russian Imperial Stout to begin with, not to mention its being the first "big beer" I ever tried, and it was love at first sip. I always come back to this one, and it never disappoints.

superdedooperboy, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of BB1313
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a pitch black, w/ a nice fluffy head and sticky lacing. Lots of chocolate malt aromas up front. Slight hop aroma as well. Tastes great! More chocolate, which has nice roasty characteristics; slightly smokey. Expresso is in the mix as well. There's a nice bitterness, but remains sweet. Mouthfeel is smooth but somewhat light for such a big beer, but I like it and it works with this beer.. carbonated and slightly chewy. Drinkability is good.. easy to drink. The flavors are more than enough to have you coming back.

Old Rasputin is definitely one of the top Imperial Stouts. Well crafted, tasty, highly recommended!

BB1313, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of cleeze
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a jet black with a nice coco colored frothy head with decent lacing

Smell was dark roasted malts. Little booze. Some coffee up in the mix as well. Very interesting

Taste was again of dark roasted malts with a tad of coffee. Dark bitter chocolate as well. Not as sweet as Kate but deffinatly comparable!

Slick and thick mouthfeel.

cleeze, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of cameraman
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass, a dark opaque black, slightly brown, with a small caramel colored head. The scent of chocolate and coffee are very nice aroma, that is followed by a twinge of hops. The taste starts with the chocolate and the sweetness of the malt. It ends with a slight coffee bitterness, with a touch of hops. In the mouth it is rich and full bodied, it has the texture of two percent milk and seemingly coats the tongue, which allows the the flavor to linger. This is a very good beer, there are many imperial stouts, this one may stands the closest to the style.

cameraman, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of kdmorse
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black, topped with a creamy chocolate head. Looked perfect from the pour and the smell and taste did not disappoint. Filled the mouth, stomach, and soul like a hearty meal in a glass. Roasted malts take the lead, but so many tastes to be enjoyed. Not as big on hops as other American Impy Stouts, but a great balance. Easy to drink, and only gets easier after a few. Luckily it only comes in a 4-pack because the 5th would seem easy tonight, but not so easy in the morning.

Note: One of the first "true" craft beers that I purchased in college. Bought because of the impressive alcohol content not knowing what I was getting in to. Had a difficult time finishing the 4-pack, but now it is one of my favorite RIS next to Stone.

kdmorse, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of tykees88
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- dark brown to black creamy head great lacing.

S- HOPS! I smell hops in a RIS. the coffee smell is not in the forefront. I also get plenty of malts barleys and some chocolate maybe

T- It's a barley front with a hop finish. Totally different than other RIS that I have had before. I like this it's not what I would expect.

M- A bigger beer of course.

D- A couple of these no problem. Would love it on Nitro tap i would assume.

tykees88, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Do not see any dates on North Coast beers. I have however aged this one particular bottle for a year in my cellar.

A - Poured out of the bottle a dark brown but once in the glass its definitely opaque and completely black with a two finger frothy brownish mocha head that left beautiful lacing on the glass.

S - Soft on the nose with a dark malt bill of coffee followed by dark chocolate and a deep roast quality. Under that there is some anise and raisin notes and a sweetness that makes itself known.

T - Right away is a rich coffee bitterness, dark chocolate and the strong roastiness comes through, followed by the residual sweetness that cleanses the bitterness and holds on to the palate. A definite sipper.

M - Nice soft pillowy feel with a medium full body and a bitterness that lingers on the tongue.

O - This is a classic Stout that is a definite big beer sipper. An intense flavor explosion that last in your mouth. I recommend this one for all stout lovers and is must try fro any beer connoisseur. I think I liked this more when it was fresh but definitely nice to age. Try this one Cheers!

DrinkMoreBigBeers, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of obrike
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this one over a year ago at an Alamo drafthouse theater but did not review...just bought a 4-pack at Specs.

I think this is easily the best looking, most intense strong stout i've had the honor of pouring. A huge rocky tan head forming over a deep BLACK brew. The lacing on this one blows away other Imp Stouts I've had in the past...just perfect.

A fresh, albeit uncomplicated scent of mostly chocolate, followed by a bit of coffee. A slight hint of bitter hops, could be the alcohol though, as well.

Taste follows scent. Good, but did not blow me away. A super clean beer...the chocolate malt dominates...a nice bitter kick at the end. This one doesn't have some of the complexities that I really liked in Stone IRS or even Yeti. However, the Raspy is uber-smooth on the backend, booze is barely noticeable...and still a top notch Imp stout, especially considering the affordability.

This is one not to be missed if you're looking to dip your toes into an IRS.

obrike, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of Andreji
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So much talk about this old russian fellow around here certainly aroused my interest so I brought one of these back home from the states and have kept it cellared now for about 4 months (hey, that's a record for me, mind you).

I decided to pop this one open on a sunny bogota afternoon while on break from my rural internship.

No less mystical than i expected it at first, very, very sombre pour with little to absolutely no transparency. head is dirty, very very dark and frothy, savage and very difficult to fully attain. by the looks of this, from the bottle with an old photo of this infamous russian character to the last bit of the very unpredictable pour, this beer retains an air of uneasyness- a brilliant one at it. kudos, this has to be one of the most peculiar and unique looking beers i've poured.

The smell is really hard to understand as well. a post-imperial russia industrious metallic pungency hides an underlying sugary, burnt caramel feel. dark cacao seems to be very present throughout.

The taste is great. very very smokey feel with underlying alcohol roasted sugar feel, strong dark coffee and a stingy bitterness attacks the side of the tongue through the whole deal. I hate to sound cheesy, but it arouses the senses very thoroughly. and the feel is amazing, thick bodied, fizzy, like the bottom of a cup of fresh ground coffee.

It gets to you quick, through, and you'll know you've been struck by this dark-souled russian when you least expect it. not a session beer, not a kind-tasting belgian, this beer is a monster you'll find yourself hunting down again and again.

Andreji, Jul 24, 2009
Photo of Ellbert
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: This beer is very dark, what do you expect from an Imperial Stout?

Smell: Very impressive. A lot of coffee roastedness, some alcohol, and a little bit of fruity sweetness, just a little.

Taste: Everything an imperial stout should be. Rich, chocolaty, coffee like, molasses... Mmmm. Alcohol is noticable.

Mouthfeel: Very thik and rich, Mmmm....

Drinkability: Not very drinkable. Mostly because of the alcohol and the richness of the beer.

Ellbert, Aug 22, 2003
Photo of John_M
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Max's the other day, where it was every bit as wonderful as it is on tap in Ft. Bragg.

The beer pours a lovely black color with persistent, long lasting head and lacing. This beer looks very impressive. On the nose, I don't know what it is, but I'm not getting a lot. There is a hint of coffee and licorise, but that's really about it. On the palate this is a very impressive beer. The beer is very soft and creamy, with flavors of coffee, vanilla and more licorise. The licorise flavor is actually quite pronounced. The beer finishes pretty well, though you can tell the abv. is up there. This is definitely a very big beer, but on the nitro it's very soft and easy to drink.

A good solid beer from North Coast brewing. Well done.

John_M, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of BarleyWineRox
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a deep toffee head into my Duvel tulip. Very, very faint bready nose. As it warms nose is coming out a bit more giving off some roasty chocolate espresso notes. Time for a taste. Oh gosh! So much complexity after such a weak nose. Crazy! Chocolate, espresso, caramel, liquorish, mulled over with carbonation, with a tart bittering hop finish that I just love! Fantastique!

BarleyWineRox, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of GRPunk
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- An aggressive pour leaves more than a 2 finger head that slowly drops to a thick lace leaving great, fluffy, sticky spots on the glass. The body was nearly jet black with dark brown edges.

S- Raisin-like. Sweet liquor scents(brandy perhaps?) and coffee with a touch of toffee and bitter chocolate.

T- Deep-strong coffee flavor with hints of dark chocolate and toffee, with some resin-like hops that hit late.

M- Thick, yet soft feel with a slight bite from the hops and alcohol that leaves a warming sensation.

D- Definite sipper, but great flavor will bring me back.

GRPunk, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of RedHaze
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From notes 16nov05:

Pours pitch black with no hints of light shining through around the edges. Theres's a thick two finger head that's slow to recede, and leaves behind a rocky cap that never fades away. Lots of thick lacing.

Smell; notes of coffee, chocolate, licorice, roasted malts and a slightly burned toast smell.

Taste; Chocolate, coffee, a touch of vanilla, a little bitter at first from the roasted malts, but that smooths out alot as it warms up. Nice thick, rich and creamy mouthfeel. This is a really good stout, just wish I could go back and get some more.

RedHaze, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of jahred
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to beerluvr and BIF 6.0 for this bottle!

Pours a dark black color with a medium, dark tan head. The head disappears fairly quickly, leaving behind traces of tan foam on my glass. The scent is particularly strong. Burnt fruit, malts and alcohol.

The taste at first is surprisingly milky and rich, followed by a burnt malt taste, then more sweet milk flavors. As the beer warms, most of these goes away, leaving me with oily burnt malts, perhaps some chocolate, and what I might even call peanut butter flavors! Towards the end of the glass, I got some nice hop notes that finished off the beer wonderfully. Throughout I got the typical (and enjoyable) imperial stout tingles on my tongue. Yum.

jahred, Jun 03, 2004
Photo of terrabyte
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black with a medium tan head.

Aroma is rich with malt and sweet mocha chocolate.

Flavor is a deep, very rich chocolate. This is one of the richest chocolates I've tasted in a beer. Blends well with a dark oak flavor, hints of chocolate, a caramel smoothness, and roasted malts. Surprisingly, not on the sweet side, just rich. The alcohol bite also works with the flavors, not against it or even as a 'result'.

Mouthful is medium and full. Low carbonation.

Very drinkable. Very enjoyable.

terrabyte, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of DoppleJock
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

-01/07/2010
-12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark, dark, dark! Fully opaque when I held the glass up to light. Formed a rich, dark tan head that seemed to spontaneously appear out of nowhere when I finished my pour. A really nice start.

S: Hints of dark chocolate and bold coffee flavors.

T: First sip offered a bold, roasty coffee taste with a only a slight malty aftertaste, which I liked about it. You know, however, that you're drinking something with a more complex flavor with continued sips.

M: The beer started out really smooth. In fact, the first sip released a pleasant carbonation feel right on the tip of the tongue, which was a really nice surprise. However, the smoothness I first felt gave way to the stronger characteristics of the beer with repeated sips. By the end of the glass, the beer was feeling rather heavy.

D: Upon first sip, I felt like cracking open another bottle before I was even finished with the first. There's a lot going on here that I'm sure I didn't even catch this round of trying the beer (this was my second time trying Old Rasputin). Upon finishing my glass, however, I found one bottle to be more than enough.

Verdict: Overall it's really good, but due to the heavy feeling of the beer, a 4-pack of Old Rasputin could probably last me a week instead of a night. Some beers beg you to finish them all in one sitting, but patience seems to be a virtue with the few Russian Imperial Stouts I've tried.

DoppleJock, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of JMforman
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Black with a healthy tan head and good lacing

S- Chocolate, booze, old hops, coffee, dark fruit

T- Chocolate, roasted malt, espresso, dark fruit, alcohol

M- THICK. Very heavy and coating. Fantastic mouthfeel.

D- Quite. Makes me want to stroke my beard.

JMforman, Jan 21, 2011
Photo of kkipple
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on nitro-tap at the Flying Saucer in Columbia, SC.

Arrived in a fine looking branded Old Rasp pint glass, sporting a gorgeous 2 finger tall toffee-tan head. The head is amazingly dense and milkeshake like. It was fun to draw pictures in with a straw. But I digress. The beer is pretty darn dark, not *quite* black, and the contrast between light and dark in the glass is a thing of joy. Did I mention the sticky lace that runs down the glass as the beer goes? This is a beaut.

Tastes of heavy one-note roasted grains and rich coffee. Molasses, burnt raisins and a little astringency tickles the palate. The bitter hops are there but seem toned down from what I recall. Malt sweetness is complimentary and nicely balanced for me. Bittersweet and cunning, as it warms a few new flavors trickle out -- chocolate, alcohol, and a dry, almost chalky note.

On nitro-tap, the mouthfeel is hideously creamy. Smooth and very lightly carbonated, which makes it all the more easy to drink. It's a little thinner than I remember, but no matter, the big roasty finish with a hint of sweetness lingers and keeps me coming back for more.

Oh yeah, the nose. Grainy, roasty and boozy, this is simple and respectable for the style. Sweet, simple, strong, safe. It doesn't go for the jugular immediately, but the sheer drinkability of this means it may betray you later.

Old Rasputin on nitro is wickedly different from the bottle, and like the vile priest himself, sneaks up on you and gets under your skin. I had two pints before I knew what was happening. Taste at your own risk!

kkipple, May 19, 2008
Photo of scottum
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out blackish black with a nice big tan head. A very nice Imperial Stout. Burnt malts rule this brew like a tzar. Hop bitter balances out the malts. This is a potent brew and complex beyond my taste. Not the best Imperial Stout out there, but a damn good one!

scottum, Apr 17, 2003
Photo of bbb099
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Jet black with a little brown hue. Coke-like upon pouring. Relatively small amount of mocha colored head that created a nice lacing.

S - Good amount of roasted malt odor but still smells a little sweet (root beer-ish). Also a little alcohol on the side, but not too much.

T - Mostly roasted, dark malt coming through with some vanilla sweetness on the side. Finishes clean and crisp with smoky aftertaste. Very mild booziness but you can feel the alcohol warmth going down.

M - Full bodied. Moderate carbonation.

D - Solid stout. Stays true to the style. As drinkable as it gets for 9% abv.

bbb099, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of EvilKeith
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into the pint a deep dark brown color with ruby highlights. Head was two fingers of short-lived tan light foam that formed over a brief cascade. Head faded to a thick cap with heavy lacing.

Smell was chocolate malt, a charred smokiness (malt) and sweet caramel.

Medium bodied. Lighter than I expected for the style, but nice. Creamy mouthfeel. Mild carbonation.

This very well may be the most drinkable RIS I have ever had. Drinks like a stout with half the ABV. I'm impressed.

EvilKeith, May 25, 2006
Photo of fsimcox
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep, dark, rick black. When I hold it up to the light, I see nothing but black. Thick creamy tan head, dissipates very slowly. Significant lacing down the glass.

Smells of bitter-sweet chocolate, some smoky malt and a hint of brown sugar, and maybe some roast coffee bean and black cherry. Smell is significant, and strong. I can smell the alcohol.

Taste is complex. Creamy malt and chocolate up front, some smoke and coffee, and smokey black cherry and chocolate finish. Hints of bitter-sweet chocolate and coffee in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is creamy, some alcohol, rich, full bodied, and a very rich taste.

A very complex and enjoyable beer. This beer would be great with a chocolate cheesecake, or by its self on a cold winter night.

fsimcox, Dec 30, 2010
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,677 ratings.