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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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10,355 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,355
Reviews: 3,396
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 353
Gots: 1,551 | FT: 47
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)
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,355 | Reviews: 3,396 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

Photo of dd43
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

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

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.

Photo of y2j2280
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black, motor-oil like. Very nice lace upon a good swirl.

S - Chocolate and coffe aromas. Slight alcohol on the nose.

T - Decadent chocolate flavor interlaced with strong underlying coffee currents. Slightly bitter finish.

M - Thick on the palate like a true RIS should be. Mouth-coating.

D - This is a one (or at most 2) serving experience. Too heavy for an extended session.

Photo of alexn33
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of ChugsMugs
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- black, slight ruby red hues on edges, creamy tan head that leaves rings of lacing.

S- Up front the sweetness of raisin, slight plum, yet with hoppy floral notes,some chocolate or roasted malts.

T- Alcoholic yet well balanced. Presence of dark fruits quickly covered by a roasted malt finish. Slightest chocolate with a splash of surprising hop bitterness.

M- Goes down extra smooth coating the entire mouth and tongue with a buffet of flavor.

D- After several sessions of these I now understand what all the hype was about. For a 9% beer I am torn bewtween worried or delighted at how easily this beer goes down.

Photo of Canada_Dan
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

Photo of LaLaSnite
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

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!

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.

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.

Photo of Whatup14
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

Photo of JohnofUpton
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,355 ratings.