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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.

9,631 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,631
Reviews: 3,349
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 288
Gots: 1,211 | 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: 9,631 | Reviews: 3,349 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beeragent
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a snifter. The beer pours an opaque black, forming a 1/4 inch mocha head, leaving medium rings of lace. The aroma is heavily consisted of roasted malts and coffee. The taste is just amazing!! Strong roasted malt bitterness, coffee, and good amount of chocolate sweetness. Alcohol is not detectible, suprisingly being 9%. Mouthfeel is thick and extremely smooth. No harsh finish associated with other RIS. Drinkability is high, except for the abv. I think drinking a few of these would do it for one night. This is thee best Russian Imperial Stout that I have had the pleasure of drinking. A bit expensive, but well worth the price.

beeragent, May 01, 2007
Photo of BACTAdam
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

I went with this brew totally blindly, not having read any reviews and not having any expectations. Here is what I found...

A- Dark as night. Charcoal black with only the slightest hints of brown with a dark copper head. Head was medium but faded fairly quickly to thin.

S- Smells of dark coffee with hints of dark chocolate.

T- Old Rasputin is a whirlwind of flavor. Honestly, at the start, I was puzzled by it. Quite bitter for a stout with sort of a burnt taste. Made me pucker a bit from the bitterness and I wasn't crazy about it. By mid-glass and as the beer warmed, the true amazing flavors come out and I was sold. The alcohol burn becomes more apparent but I also get notes of espresso, dark and milk chocolate and a nice sweetness I love in imperial stouts. By the end, I was begging for more.

M- A very solid mouthfeel- heavy, makes you feel like you're drinking a beer and not water.

D- What to say about drinkability. It's certainly not a session beer but it's very drinkable for an imperial stout. The alcohol doesn't start to kick in til mid-glass so it's deceiving. Still, one or two of these per session is more than enough.

Overall, this is a high quality Imperial Stout. Not my ultimate favorite but still excellent.

BACTAdam, Dec 04, 2007
Photo of hrockefeller
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Bought bottle at Northside Indianapolis Kahn's as my introduction to the imperial stout style. I have had quite a few stouts, but this is my first review as I felt I should develop my tastes a little first.

Appearance: Opaque black, with a 1/2" head on initial pour. Head dissipates rather quickly into a thin layer that clings slightly to the glass.

Smell: Complex smell that is heavy with alcohol ( I realize this states the obvious a bit when the brew is 9% ABV). Other dominant scents include chocolate and coffee. Hints of fruity smells including raisins. Very toasty/bready.

Taste: Wow! The presence of alcohol does not seem to be as dominant with the taste as it was with the smell, allowing the other flavors to make their presence known. The toastiness and chocolate really come out at this point with a nice balance of hop flavor that allows for a somewhat dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, leaves my taste buds craving more.

Drinkability: If it wasn't for the high alcohol content, I think I could easily make this a session beer. Leaves a clean, dry feeling that prepares you for the next drink.

This has instantly become one of my favorite beers. I was a little unsure, as I am somewhat partial to milk/sweet stouts. However, if this example is any indication of what to expect, imperial stouts may just take their rightful place on the throne.

hrockefeller, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of DemoniChris
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

DemoniChris, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of treque
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

A: a deep brown almost black clour, with a big off-white head, i would say a sand colour, made of wide bubble, with good retention.

S: a nice roasted very deep but also a sweet notes, probalby from dark fruits, and some caramel malts

T: some alcohol presence, deep roasted, Some sweet notes i would say from caramel malts, and some smoky notes.

Medium-high body

treque, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of micromaniac129
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours thick and deep brown with some ruby high light at the beer edge. Deep fairly dense brown foamy head fading to surface churning. There is plenty of lacing too.
Aroma is of rich and roasted malts with sutle hop bitterness and alcohol
Taste brew with a good solid malt bill of burnt and roasted malts some coffee and dark bitter chocolates. Hop and hop bitterness tend to weave through this brew.
A good feeling beer thats tart and bitter with warming alcohol deep into the aftertaste of this brew. A good well made beer.

micromaniac129, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of Lemke10
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

I had a 12oz glass on tap at Hollywood Casino in Joliet, IL for $4 in Spring 2010.

Pours a very dark brown color with a good thick head of chocolate colored foam. Has a strong scent of roasted malts and hops. The taste was heavy and long lasting. I was really surprised to see some foam stick around til the very end. Definetly a must try!

Lemke10, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of OnThenIn
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Appearance: A finger of dark tan head on top of a beautiful ebony beer. Lacing is left behind and the head dissipates slowly.

Smell: Big roasty aroma with malt sweetness in the background. A bit of coffee aroma and some chocolate as well. There is a tiny bit of dark fruit, like raisin apparent.

Taste: The flavor is very rounded and well mixed. There is a bitter roastyness to the finish, but through there is almost a oatmeal stout like flavor. The sweet malt is really balanced by the roast bitterness and there is a certain dark chocolate flavor to the beer. There is a bit of caramel flavor, which plays nicely with the chocolate, forming a coffee like flavor. Really enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a good amount of carbonation and a big full body. There is a certain smooth, silky feeling to the beer. It is definietly a sipper.

Drinkability: This beer is rather interesting. It has the mouthfeel of a huge killer RIS, but at 9% abv has a lower abv than quite a few examples of the style. I am not saying that it is sessionable by any means, but it is really nice to be able to not have to resort to a beer above 10% if I want an RIS.

This is a relaxing sipper that can just be enjoyed, while providing the complexity need for you to stay hooked.

OnThenIn, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of MrDanno96
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Was very excited to get to try one of my favorite RISs on tap for the first time.

A: Poured pitch black with a beautiful 2 finger off-white head. Tons of foamy lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Rich coffee immediately hits the nose, intermingled with dark chocolate, espresso, and roasted malts. Smells great!

T: Lots of coffee and espresso up front - more than I get when drinking it from the bottle. Dark chocolate and toasty malts are in the background too. A little booze is also detectable, but doesn't detract from the flavor. ]

M: Little carbonation, but so incredibly smooth. I couldn't believe how easy this went down! I want to drink it all night.

D: I think I like the flavor of the bottled version just a bit more, but this is an extraordinary stout no matter how you drink it. If you have the opportunity to try this on draft, do it! One of the best Russian Imperials out there.

MrDanno96, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of urwithdave
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

On tap at world of beer. Poured into a ccb snifter.
A-black as midnight. A solid 2" of head. Solid retention and crazy lacing left.

S-dark roasted malts. Coffee and dark chocolate.

T-bittnerness from dark chocolate. Roasted malts and hints of vanilla. Alcohol is present, however its not as strong as I was expecting with such a high abv.

M- nice and creamy. With just enough carbonation. A slight burn is present in my nose and throat.

D- A good sipper. I don't think I would drink more then 2 in a row. Abv wouldn't allow me to have to many anyways.

urwithdave, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of kemoarps
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours blaaack with a foamy tan/brown head that fades from massive to a pillowy crown that laces the sides of the glass beautifully.

The first note off the nose is black licorice, and you can catch the alcohol on the backend. In between, there are notes of dark chocolate and burnt malts

You certainly taste the alcohol as well. it comes across somewhat sweet initially, that fades into a bakers chocolate cacao. Roasted malts across the second and third acts give way to a hoppy bitterness that balances out the back end. Well balanced.

a drinkability that belies the 9%, even though you can taste it. Smoothe and well balanced with good carbonation levels. This does not necessarily make it a sessionable beer per se, but it is certainly drinkable for a big RIS. Definitely worth picking up a four pack.

kemoarps, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of Durge
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

At Jameson Tavern in Freeport, ME this famous brew is near pitch black with a modest light brown head and similar lacing. The aroma says chocolatey herbal hop and some alcohol. The flavor offers charcoal raisin and prune hop bite. There's brown bread molasses and wine-like qualities that hint at a barleywine. Near full bodied but for a fairly intense beer it's drinkable.

Durge, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of beerguy101
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Black color, medium head. Aroma is chocolate and roasted malts. Roasted malts, lightly hopped. Roasted malt flavor very pronounced, slightly dry taste as well. Big and Bold Stout. Finish is crisp and malty. Aftertaste is dry and there is a very slight metallic tinge. Very pleasant finish. NICE stout.

beerguy101, Sep 06, 2003
Photo of EA728
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

A: nice black color with a brown/tan head that fades immediately.

S: chocolate, coffee, with just a bit of hops

T: smooth chocolatey, hints of toffee, subtle hops, and an after taste of very mild booze

M: very enjoyable, medium high carbonation, but not thick at all.

O: very nice RIS, not my favorite, but perfect for a social gathering. will come back to this RIS.

EA728, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of mmcave
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours dark blackest coffee and a tan head with light high lights on edges. The head is mild and seems it will slowly fade except on the edges. Sents of coffee, caramel, dark chocolate and hops. The taste is robust, well balanced, coffee and chocolate present with a tinge of bitterness. The finish is little bitter, but only in the best way as in a great after taste. This is a nice beer, I would definitely buy it again.

mmcave, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of jorg2619
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Old Rasputin is a classic RIS that I needed to have. The appearance is light absorbing black hole with a tan to slightly darker head. The smell is intoxicating with roasted yet smooth malt notes, and a hint of slight chocolate/ coffee notes. The taste is very clean the roasted malt flavor is subdued, allowing a creamy coffee flavor to dominate at the back of my tongue. I detect some bitter hop flavors framing the malt masterpiece of this North Coast Beer. The mouthfeel is pleasant and substantial. I would really love to find a case of this beer and drink a few every month to remember how a RIS should taste!

jorg2619, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of Onenote81
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Finally getting around to trying this beer. I keep passing it up in the store, but now I wonder why I waited so long.

Poured into my snifter a dark thick black with a thin tan head on top. No retention, and very little sticky lacing. Smells of big coffee overtones, roasted cocoa beans, and dark bread. The mouth is bit spritzy for the style, but it finishes creamy and smooth.

This is a freaking stellar RIS. Big coffee presence that finishes with a bitter dark chocolate twang. There is absolutely nothing harsh about this. The roasted characteristics are mellow and very subtle. This is one of the most drinkable big dark beers I've ever had. I will make sure this is most always in my fridge from here on out. Great beer.

Onenote81, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of riversider76
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours a very dark brown almost black. Tan head,nice lacing. Smell is of roasted coffee,and carmel. Mouthfeel is fairly thick,and rich. Taste is bittersweet, and smooth with a great finish. I was drinking the beer on a cold,snowy November night,and it sure warmed me up!

riversider76, Nov 26, 2005
Photo of dsigmon
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

A: Poured into a snifter, deep black color with brownish head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Initial smell of sweet malts and caramel. As it lightens the smell of coffee and chocolate emerge and some bitterness from the alcohol.

T: Chocolate malts induce a luxurious sweet taste that is met quickly by the coffee biterness and alcohol to make this one amazingly balanced and tasty treat.

M: very creamy and thick, loved how it coated the tongue and mouth

D: note, do not session, might end up with headache, bloated stomach, and extreme dehydration...kidding...kind of

dsigmon, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of chuckd123
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Have had this on tap and in bottles several times now, and it never disappoints. As expected, it pours a deep, thick black-as-night black color, with a dark brown 1/2 finger head. Laces up somewhat and lasts.

The smell has hints of coffee, maybe even toffee, some slight chocolate, malt and alcohol. As with most imperial stouts, the alcohol is right there for you, no hiding it in this thing.

The taste has to be textbook spot on for the style. You notice a coffee-ish flavor blended nicely with the malt right off, and the alcohol nose isn't far behind.

Mouthfeel is excellent, no sting from the alcohol, just a very (very) smooth, somewhat creamy feel to it. Excellent.

I've not found any imperial stouts I would call sessionable, and this is no exception. A tad on the heavy side, and the alcohol catches up to you pretty fast. I'd recommend spending the better part of 45mins to an hour on each of these, and after 2 you'll probably want to call it quits.

Excellent example of the style, well done North Coast.

chuckd123, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of irisier
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Appearance: Looks thick. Opaque black, not even a hint of colour at the edges. Ok head for a high gravity beer. Nice milky coffee colour.

Smell: Coffee and chocolate with some sharp roasted malt aroma and some faint smokiness.

Taste: Slightly sweet dark malts upfront, followed quickly by roasted malt and charred bitterness. Hops are definitely there, but do not play a leading role in the flavors. A bit of rich coffee flavor is evident also. Bittersweet on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth, but definitely full bodied and a bit thick. Perfect for sipping. Warming.

Impressions: Quite good, I love charry tastes in beer and this one certainly has that. Pretty well balanced.

irisier, May 30, 2010
Photo of AlcahueteJ
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

A - Pours dark as night with a flat-lined half-inch tan head.

S- The first smell is all bittersweet chocolate. The second is of hops, and fresh roasted espresso beans.

T - First sip is chocolate, chocolate, and then more chocolate....giving way to a roasted bitterness followed by a huge hop bite, especially for a Russian Imperial Stout. Second sip is still more bitter, from both hops and roasted malt. It really lingers for a big stout.

M - Huge chewy and silky smooth mouthfeel to start then it thins out as the bitterness kicks in.

D - There's so much going on with each sip that it hides the alcohol very well, and makes it such a drinkable beer. The chocolate makes it such a sweet beer, like a dessert. And the creamy mouthfeel makes it even more inviting. I bet this beer wouldn't be bad on nitro.

AlcahueteJ, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of rtaps
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

pours black with a 1 finger hight head tan in color. medium retention. leaving behind spotty lacing

nice coffee/chocolate/ nutty aroma

coffee a little smokey, nutty, and chocolate on the plate

pretty light bodied for a stout higher carbonation than expected but very easy to drink

overall. solid russian imperial

rtaps, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of boblog
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Appearance- Large head, which leaves tons of web like lacing. Rather striking really.

Smell- Roasted malt and lots of it.

Mouthfeel- Nice blance, fairly heavy.

Drinkablility- A strong brew, so I doubt you'll go for more than two. Really tastey though, to bad its a bit pricey, like many north coast brews.

Overall a kickass beer. A classic from a great brewery. I love Russian Imperial Stouts but this is probably my favorite.

boblog, Mar 28, 2007
Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a very dark black color with almost no carbonation. No light at all getting through and a little bit of an off brown colored head that left after about a minute.

s - Smells largely of coffee. Also got a little bit of chocolate and a little bit of alcohol.

t - Has a good, definitely coffee taste. It was actually a lot smoother than I was expecting. Also getting a bit of chocolate in the taste, but not really tasting the alcohol which is nice.

m - Rich and creamy, with very little carbonation. Full bodied and a great feel.

d - Overall I really liked it. It was a lot smoother than I was expecting and considering the high ABV, it goes down real easy. Would definitely buy again.

mdfb79, Jan 18, 2010
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,631 ratings.