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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

9,932 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,932
Reviews: 3,363
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 304
Gots: 1,341 | FT: 42
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: 9,932 | Reviews: 3,363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into tulip glass. A: Thick and black as oil, thick tan head that retains very well. S: Burnt malts, chocolate, toffee, brown sugar, hops definitely present. T: Very strong bitter chocolate. The immediate taste is sweet caramel, cocoa, and coffee, it immediately turns bitter in a long finish. M: Thick, chewy. D: I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this is pretty great. The bitter chocolate note can be a bit overpowering, but all in all pretty drinkable. Barely noticed the high ABV.

PlaywrightSam, Nov 01, 2007
Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Pours a good black with a creamy lasting light brown head. The head produces great lacing. Has a great aroma of chocolate, mocha, coffee and hints of alcohol. Has a good carbonation. The flavors are excellent. Very well blended and the alcohol is well hidden. Nice mix of sweet chocolate and tart coffee. Has a thick texture. A bold solid finish with a real good aftertaste. Had this one on vacation and it is awesome.

Birdiebeagle, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been aging this one for nearly two-years, something I do not routinely do, if ever at all. I actually cant even remember what caused me to beging saving and aging this one, but I got a new place and thought I'd cristen it appropriately.

Pours a pitch black in color with a head I can only describe as some sort of irridescent peanut butter brown color. Thick and heavy, just as expected.

Aromas of alcohol seems to mask any other odor that may be seeping from my glass. Smells a little more like deep red wine than it does a beer. Maybe some raisins and dark chocoalte seep through, but mainly its just alcohol.

Wow, this one is definitly a sipper. One of the most complex-tasting beers that have ever graced my lips. Drinking any faster than a snail's pace would be wasting the excellent flavors this one has to offer and any opportunity to decipher them. At the front of the palate it is fairly simple, maybe roasted malts, coffee, and alcohol. . . but as the sip continues, and onslaught of flavors pour through. It seems as every sip is a bit different than the previous one, so picking them out is a bit of a task. Dark chocolate, coffee, herbal/plant-like (maybe that is the hops), vanilla bean, raisins, dried fruits, buscuits, chalk. It seems as if the list could continue on and on.

A heavy, slick, almost oily mouthfeel. The drinkability is good if your into kicking back with a slow sipper. This one is definitly not for the faint of heart, and also definitly worth the price and effort.

jasonpeckins32, Oct 14, 2007
Photo of SargeC
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Impenetrable black brew with a foamy brown head.

Smell: I can smell this beer as it sits on the counter. Thick, malty aroma intertwined with a robust hop presence. Hints of coffee and bitter chocolate.

Taste: Chunky malt flavor with complex waves of different bitter flavors. Flavors of scorched caramel, hops, Irish oatmeal and minerals.

Mouthfeel: Hearty, full body. Very grainy finish. Very still liquid.

Drinkablity: Bold and satisfying brew with excellent craftsmanship.

SargeC, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of tripledbrew
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have drank a ton of this served from a bottle but had the chance to drink this on tap/nitro driven at winos in Bowling green Ky. Really tasty as always with the added smoothness from the nitro. Nice dark roasted malts, bitter chocolate/coffee and no real noticeable alcohol presence. Which is surprising given the fact that this beer is no slouch coming in at 9% ABV. Just a good solid RIS.

tripledbrew, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of samtrillo
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark as the night with a tanish appealing head!

S - Burnt maltiness.

T - Lots of coffee and burnt caramel. Smokey at the finish. Some mocha in their which is more apparent at colder temperatures. More coffee at room temp. A bit of licorice at the end there. Definitely a great deal going on here.

M - Smooth with some carbonation. Goes down nice.

O - Don't get me wrong, it's an awesome specimen. Slightly overrated around these parts I'd say, though.

samtrillo, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of Segelstrom
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - this stout pours to a light brown head. It is very frothy so be sure to pour slow down the side of the glass.

S - not strong or bold. rather mild for an imperial stout

T - wonderful and rich

M - carbonation is not harsh

O - recommend to all stout lovers

Segelstrom, Mar 22, 2013
Photo of andrewjraab
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Black velvet, with huge mocha head with good webbing and stick.

S - Chocolate, coffee beans, roasted malts, alcohol.

T - Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, malted milk balls, amazing complexity and many layers to the sweet chocolate. Finishes bittersweet.

O - This is the best Russian Imperial Stout I have ever had. It is amazingly smooth and the drinkability this glass of motor oil is second to none in its class. Perfect for a relaxing winter day.

andrewjraab, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of 1sophrosyne1
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed over 25 minutes from a tulip glass.

It pours a reflective black core with cordovan edges that warm the ring that remains after the cap has fallen. Bubbly, light tan head with very leggy, patchy lacing.

The nose is full of roasted coffee and malt. It's chocolatey and a touch flinty, too. Hints of toffee and currant are present. Clean, fresh, and cool…there's a suggestion of the hops you anticipate to come out later.

The start is malted caramel, followed closely by acidic, light roast coffee. Those standard flavors then sit back for a bit and allow earthen sweetness to come in with a touch of currants and prunes. Then it's balanced by bitterness and salicylate that folds into coffee again with a finish and aftertaste of heavily roasted almonds, black walnuts, and Brazil nuts all so thick you can nearly crunch them.

The body is full and carbonation about mid-level. It spreads in the mouth fast and flat with a metallic essence enhanced by the wintergreen. Bubbles are more apparent on the tongue after it starts creamy. The dance it does all over the mouth is my favorite element.

Since this RIS seems a touch one-dimensional to me--essentially a roasted mixed nut iced coffee, I'm happy to drink it as or with dessert in cooler months. But, despite the reputation, I don't think this particular brew stands alone as a superior representative of the style. It's very good, but doesn't make my day.

1sophrosyne1, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of Alextricity
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle bought for $2.79 at Fairway Sav-Mor in Eastpointe, Michigan. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Aggressive pour turned out to be an awful idea... massive amount of head that would have been a massive foam over if not for my intense slurping action. Two finger head sticks around for a decent while before staying at one. The head is a dark brown/yellow-ish color, and has a rocky, meringue-like consistency. Surprisingly, not much lacing until the bottom of the glass. Sexy beer, though.

Smell: It's not "bursting", but it's significant ... a ton of roasty coffee with caramel notes. Some RIS's have that dark fruit aroma or taste, and this doesn't have it at all ... just some massive roast aromas.

Taste/feel: Maybe it was my slight buzz before the end of my glass (always possible), or it was just that the beer coated my mouth enough to mask some of the intense roast bitterness that I was getting, but I enjoyed this more and more as I sipped it. I was going to give the taste about a 3.5, but I bumped it up... for the style, this is almost the best one I've had. An extremely smooth feel hits the tongue, there's a quick alcohol warmth, and then you're just ushered in to some heavy roasty characteristics. Coffee. The first few ounces of this beer, I kept getting an intensely lingering WEIRD bitterness on the very back of my tongue that just wouldn't go away. As I sipped, and the beer warmed a tad, the bitterness was still there, but some semi-sweet chocolate came in to let me know why this is such a critically acclaimed RIS. Additionally, the alcohol became more apparent in a slight warming on the finish. Man. That thick feel, though...

It's August 1st. I've been drinking RIS's all summer long. I wanted something big, bold, rich. This delivered. While I wasn't initially sold, a few sips later, I really enjoy Old Rasputin.

Alextricity, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of Flounder57
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger mocha head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no clarity or bubbled seen coming up the glass. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Roasted coffee, mocha, smoke, sweet malts, a little booze, and molasses. Pretty standard RIS aroma.

Taste: Same as above with lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full bodied, low carbonation, and a little boozy.

Overall: Pretty solid RIS. Enjoyed in the past, now, and more in the future.

Flounder57, May 20, 2013
Photo of DenverHopHead
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle with no clear freshness dating; into a pint glass.
Appearance - as dark as 4AM, with the slightest bit of light coming in at the bottom of the glass. Head is a toasted marshmallow pillow! Lacing is phenomenol!
Smell - a blend of cream, milk and dark chocolate.
Taste - more coffee and espresso and less chocolate compared to the nose. Some vanilla and dark chocolate that eventually shows up.
Feel - a coffee and dark chocolate bitterness, followed by a creamy yet roasted marshmallow coat on the tongue. Complex from first sip to last; this has a frame that could handle a much bigger ABV!
Overall - high quality brew, though I have a few others higher on my list.

DenverHopHead, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of BeerWizard
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Not normally a stout drinker but had to check this out because of all the hype. The four packs are reasonably priced at about $8, and sport attractive black and gold packaging.

Poured into a goblet, opaque black, with a chocolate colored short head that reduces after several minutes into a thin tan film of minute bubbles. This beer is not see through at all in this glass, and only around the very edges does light start to penetrate.

Chocolate coffee aroma with hops, also jammy fruit, malty. Flavor is impactful, dark candied fruit, berry, hop bitters, choco-coffee, light mint, very much agreeing with the nose. The mouthfeel is heavy but tighter than something like a wee heavy, and not as sweet. Definitely boozy at 9%, but not setting your mouth on fire. Carbonation is low but present.

Overall, fantastic. Totally lives up to the hype.

BeerWizard, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of warriorsoul
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I have been craving an Imperial Stout, so I figured I'd finally try this bad boy...a carry over from New Beer Sunday if you will.
Cloudy dark w/ dark brown edges only in the pour. A nice full finger of creamy light brown head...lacing clings to the side of my snifter and goes nowhere.
A bit too carbonated in the nose, taking away from the olfactory experience at this point...sweet carmelized malts, cocoa, butter rum and just a touch of alcohol.
The taste is much sweeter than I was expecting, but also has a deep, dark smoked flavor within a robust coffee blend. The finish is a bit dry, but not bitter. Refreshing in its finish for the viscousity of this bad boy...it's still a few steps below Founder's Breakfast Stout, but IMHO, it is a nice substitution if you can't obtain the aforementioned.
Mouthfeel is thick, but not syrupy. The alcohol is very well hidden..only makes its way to the surface at the last few sips.
I would enjoy a couple of these, but since I am a true hophead at heart, I would not pick this for a session brew.

warriorsoul, May 24, 2005
Photo of turamarth
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Smokestack Goblet.

Appearance: Pitch black body, slight ruby on edges when held to a light. Poured a 1 1/2 finger red-ish brown head that dissipated quickly to leave a film.

Nose: Nice and malty. Hints of chocolates, coffees, leather, some hoppiness. Maybe the faintest hint of raisins or other dark dried berries.

Taste: Lots of chocolate malts. Coffee, some dark berries maybe. Some nice hoppy balance.

Mouth: Pretty smooth. Leaves the mouth pretty dry. but with some thickness.

Drink: Very tasty, and pretty drinkable for having an elevated abv.

turamarth, Feb 09, 2009
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 zjungleist
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice appearance. Muted brown/black, with a great tan head and nice lacing. The smell is fairly hoppy, but with some some softness to them, and of course, very roasted malts and a very slight fruitiness. Excelent complex flavor, burnt malts, coffee, nice hops, and the lingering flavor of dry, bitter chocolate. The mouthfeel is slighly thick, but very velevety. No oiliness, but just dry enough to cut the thickness. This is a pretty freakin good imperial stout, but too complex and rich to drink much of.

zjungleist, Mar 15, 2006
Photo of 20ozmonkey
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't know what the date of this bottle was, but I've been holding on to it for a little over a year now. I haven't reviewed a fresh bottle, but I have definitely had it before.

Looks very tasty. Half-finger tan head that fades and leaves bubble around the edge of the surface. Deep black color that absolutely no light is going to get through.

Surprisingly fruity notes on the smell. Light caramel and chocolate smells as well, not overpowering though.

I would say this definitely tastes different than a younger bottle. There's a blast of sweet fruity caramel on the front with bitter chocolate staying for the finish. The alcohol has smoothed out over time also.

Relative to other imperial stouts this is fairly light bodied. There's a bit of stickiness that coats your mouth, but nothing unpleasant.

Holding on to this bottle was a bit of an experiment and I would say it turned out great! I'm gonna have to grab another four pack to replace this bottle.

20ozmonkey, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of scootny
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Probably the best looking no gimmick RIS i've seen. Dark dark brown with reddish highlights. Thick prominent head that fades very slowly and leaves a light covering and lots of lace. The nose is light coffee, bigger chocolate but not quite as big as I expected. Still this is one good smelling brew with the chocolate taking me to a shop that has just opened its wares. Taste is somewhat the reverse with more coffee than chocolate. Hops are a star in this show and they will not take a back seat to anyone. Rich and smooth latte flows into an herbal and dry citrusy bittering. Finish is rather clean and quite dry. Chocolate malt notes underpin the charcoal infused java flavors. While clean the finish leaves some grapefruit and bitter black coffee. Feel is somewhat crisp with a tingly carbonation and rather chewy construction and heft. A great brew period and always welcome.

scootny, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of Mtoogs
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Mtoogs, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of waldowin
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow. This is the grand-daddy of the Imperial Stouts. Very dark, fairly bitter, and definitely a harsh, smokey taste to it. Other reviews have listed raisins in the taste, and for the initial hit, this is pretty spot on. However it gives way to a very smokey, burnt-coffee-grinds taste that fans of Imperial Stouts will like. However, know what you're getting into when you drink this beer...my first try of it a year ago resulted in instant revulsion ("Tastes like a barbecue grill" I think my words were). It's just now that I'm getting around to the masochistic appeal this beer has. I still have a hard time getting around just how much this beer tastes like it's been burned in the aftertaste. I like to think it gives me an excuse to keep drinking more (no aftertaste if you don't stop drinking).
Also, be warned, this beer is a heavy hitter. After a few bottles, you won't be contributing much to the conversation around you.

waldowin, Aug 29, 2005
Photo of jsanford
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark black with a creamy, chocolate-milk colored head. Retention is great, and it leaves behind sticky lacing on the glass. This is the standard for what a RIS should look like.
S - Dark roasted malt, dry cocoa powder and dark dried fruits (raisins, prunes and figs) with a bit of alcohol.
D - Very dark roasted (almost burnt) malt dominates, along with more dark cocoa powder. Expresso roast coffee, raisins and vanilla are in there, too. Quite a bitter finish, and there's definitely some alcohol to be found, but that fades dramatically as it warms up.
M - Creamy, medium-heavy body with low carbonation. I usually like a bit more carbonation with such a heavy beer.
D - Very drinkable, this is a perfect cold weather drink.

jsanford, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of wedge
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

@ Flying Saucer

I'm not usually one for Nitro beers, but I was feeling adventurous and decided to give an old classic a try. Pours black with a typically thick, dense, stable slab of a head on top that leaves much lacing on the glass. Nearly no aroma at first, but then a semi-sweet chocolate aroma emerges with an increased dark fruitiness as it warms. Tasty from the start...I think maybe a bigger stout like this is what I need from a nitro tap. Lots of chocolaty roast and a gentle creamy sweetness. Feels a little less than full bodied this way, but still obviously very smooth and floaty in the mouth. Whereas most nitro I come across is rather mild and bland, this is not...it works! It also reminds me that I need to revisit this widely available, great stout more often.

wedge, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of Optimat0r
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

this is my second review of old rasputin; the first came a long time ago when i was less experienced so i figured this one deserved another shot. im glad i did.
appearance - deep red, very dark, moderate foaming, cant find any flaws in it at all.

smell - first a tinge of hoppiness then chocolate and coffee blend in nicely.

taste - damn this is maybe the best RIS ive had so far. very rich but not TOO rich...basically a perfect blend of chocolate, malts, and hops...perfectly balanced.

drinkability - is great at first really cold, but it gets a bit too bitter and fuel-tasting after a while. this is one of the better RIS, but its good just every now and then

Optimat0r, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of elvisnj
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from 12oz bottle.

Looks pitch black with small dark brown head. Looks like a stout should. Smell is fantastic. Yeast and dark malts abound. Espresso and hops as well. I love the aroma of this beer.

Taste is light on the tongue for a stout but has bitter aftertaste. Not a clean hop type bitter but like a lingering espresso bitter. Tastes good but the aftertaste is just a slight drag.

The dark malts are evident in taste and hops come through nicely but not over the top. keeps a thin cream colored head throughout. All 12oz are gone in just a few minutes despite the fact that I am trying to savor this.
Overall a good showing for the style and for North Coast Brewing Co.

elvisnj, Aug 24, 2011
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,932 ratings.