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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

8,354 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8354
Reviews: 3288
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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Ratings: 8,354 | Reviews: 3,288 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dogfishhead1117
dogfishhead1117

Florida

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite all time stouts. As a big fan of this type of beer, this one takes the cake.

Pours slowly with little carbonation and a beautiful black color capped with a rich, mocha colored, frothy head.

The smell is really complex, hints of brown sugars and burnt grain infused with chocolate and some great malts and definately some coffee.

Taste is fantastic. Goes down very easy, despite its being 9%abv, and the chocolate undertones and rich grains really make this one a treat. The coffee infusion is present in the aftertaste. It's a cult classic for a reason and remains one of the best RIS' of all time.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2009 19:24:26 | More by dogfishhead1117
Photo of RussianImperial
RussianImperial

California

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got this exceptional beer in the cool 4-pack. pours out a dark brown and has some nice lacing around the glass.

beer smells of chocolate, anise and licorice (heaven).

up-front there is a bit of a bite, but after a few drinks the bite is gone. this stout is good below 50 degrees and is better as it warms. Chocolate and Licorice are present in the middle with the warming of the Alcohol for the finish.

Mouthfull is medium, not as thick as you'd expect from such a good Russian Stout, but you get past that very quickly.

The drinkability of this beer is scary, it goes down very smooth with a big flavor that is hard to put down. This is a very good Russian Stout,the best beer from North Coast Brewing. I will be buying this beer again and again.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2010 05:08:39 | More by RussianImperial
Photo of carlborch
carlborch

Michigan

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a solid black with a thick, ultra creamy tan-brown head of about 2 inches. The head is persistent and settles in at 1.5 inches. The initial nose suggest dark roast, coffee, chocolate and chicory. The body is medium-full to full. The initial taste expounds on the coffee and chocolate notes with added sweet notes that suggest a confection. The middle notes are full, creamy and rich followed by a smooth lingering. The rich, sweet, roasted notes moderate the bitter hops which are noticeable but not overpowering. This is a multi-layered, rich, ale. The alcohol is evident and provides warmth in the finish. This is not a session beer despite the moreish tendencies. Nice, broad Belgian lace forms. Yes, I will return to it.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2010 18:12:09 | More by carlborch
Photo of jmeador85
jmeador85

Texas

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Definitely a stout. One thing that never fails to impress me about Old Rasputin is the lingering head. It's still there when I finish drinking a 22 oz weizen glass, and I drink Old Rasputin slowly.

Smell - Many nuances that I'm at a loss to describe. You can tell, with certitude, that this beer is going to have some bite from the smell, but it's masking a complex flavor beneath.

Taste - This, too, could be described many ways. An amateur would say it's bitter, but beyond the bitterness is a bouquet of flavors that most people will appreciate.

Mouthfeel - Old Rasputin definitely has an aftertaste. The bitterness of the beer seems accentuated when you swallow, but I don't find it overwhelming. The mouthfeel makes you want another sip/gulp.

Drinkability - Definitely drinkable. Very good. Very strong, too.

Verdict - This is one of my favorite stouts. I tried this beer in December I believe, and a group of guys I know were drinking it so I thought I'd do the same. Well, the guys had a few more, and these Flying Saucer regulars staggered over to Barnes and Noble across the street where they sat in comfort and sobered up before driving home. This beer is strong. Drink with caution.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2010 19:16:32 | More by jmeador85
Photo of Brownshoe
Brownshoe

Massachusetts

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the North Coast Brewpub in Ft. Bragg. It was like beer heaven. I suppose this is the closest I'll ever get to Russian royalty. So smooth. So rich. It might be the best beer I've ever had. I wish I lived a little closer to California.

It's good from the bottle too.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2011 00:53:42 | More by Brownshoe
Photo of OddNotion
OddNotion

New Jersey

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my DFH Signature Glass. Oh boy I have been waiting to review this for a long time now!This particular bottle is roughly a year old.

Appearance: Pours a black body reminiscent of coffee where it is a dark dark brown around the edges. No head to speak of but there is a nice lacing around the circumference of the glass.

Smell: This is one of my favorite stout smells. It is sweet and inviting. Lots of dark malt, a little roasty, and very chocolatey.

Taste: One of the few imperial stouts that I love even at fridge temperature! Slight hints of coffee are just trumped by the chocolate flavor. A good amount of malt sweetness and no bitterness to speak of. Old Rasputin has a very distinct taste in comparison to other stouts I have had. 9% alcohol is completely hidden.

Mouthfeel. Carbonation is just slightly higher than I like in my stouts and it could use a little more viscosity. However I am very picky on the mouthfeel with my stouts and this one is not far off. Decent level of creaminess.

Overall: Year round Russian Imperial Stout at about $10 a 4 pack after tax. I will gladly get this any time. I wish I bought it more but always get caught in the seasonal stout assault and lose a lot of my desire for stouts come spring and summer. This is my go to stout in the summer when the craving does hit. Available everywhere I go. Buy it, you will not be disappointed if you like big stouts.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2011 05:23:05 | More by OddNotion
Photo of Forb
Forb

Nebraska

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle thanks to Whole Foods!

Appearance: Almost dark as night! Pours a darkness that's riddled with a frothy thickness of brown; the head and lacing showing the coffee brown hue most pronouncedly.

Smell: Roast, roast, roast! is what the malt throws out at first impression amid this plethora of scents. Only after this stage do the finer, more subtle elements of coffee, dark fruit, and chocolate present themselves.

Taste: Roasted malt is the immediate presence with the espresso and a very dark chocolate quickly following suite in this ensemble of decadence that finishes with a hop bitterness coming in at the finally to close this crisp and extremely drinkable stout. Alcohol content remains well hidden for a 9%.

Mouthfeel: If I could compare this to coffee it'd be similar to a vienna roast in the sense of "rich but smooth" but clearly far more complex in additional quality. Medium carbonation with a medium to full body.

Overall: Amazingly smooth for such a delicious richness! Even a more skeptical craft beer consumer would give this one an easy A!

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 03:00:56 | More by Forb
Photo of VaterRoss
VaterRoss

North Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on-tap at Flying Saucer Raleigh

Pours a beautiful three layers: a black bottom, a black/brown middle where the nitro effect is on full display with large round bubbles cascading downwards, and a creamy tan head that leaves extremely strong speckled creamy lace. Wow. Smell is a good amount of roasted malt: some dark chocolate, cream, hints of coffee. Taste has lots of the RIS metallic sharpness and a big warming alcohol presence. Good amount of roast malt, coffee, in the taste with some nice liquorice. As it warms the liquorice really comes out and complements to beer nicely. Mouthfeel is uber creamy and quite low carb.

This is the prettiest beer I have ever seen and definitely the best RIS I have had a chance to drink. In the dark world I think I prefer Founder's Breakfast Stout, but when compared to Old Rasputin the coffee, oatmeal, and chocolate almost come off as gimmicky. Old Rasputin is a legend and must have.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-18-2012 20:45:59 | More by VaterRoss
Photo of NuclearDolphin
NuclearDolphin

Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Jet/Opaque Black, so dark I can see my reflection very clearly on the glass. It's got a dark brown foamy head that builds up rather quickly once you star pouring it. The head and lacing retention is excellent, one of the best I have ever seen!

Smell - Rich Chocolate and Cocoa scents with some yeasts, coffee, and roasted malt notes. There are also hints of some fruity and butterscotch notes! It strikes a fine balance between Roast and Sweetness

Taste - Very rich chocolate with some surprisingly strong coffee notes. The flavor is backed up by a strong roasted malts along with sweet yeasts & fruity/butterscotch notes. I've had a few Russian Imperial Stouts, and this ranks right up there with Darkness in terms of flavor!

Mouthfeel - Pretty heavy in body, but the carbonation is light and it feels very smooth and creamy when drinking. This has got to be the smoothest and easiest to drink Russian Imperial Stout I have ever had!

Overall - To put it simply: Amazing. This is one time where I cannot find anything truly wrong with this beer! It's got a excellent look, smell and taste. To top it all off, it's incredibly easy to drink! I'll go ahead and say that this one of the best beers I have ever had and the best Russian Imperial Stout I have ever had!

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 04:18:40 | More by NuclearDolphin
Photo of sunshineunicorn
sunshineunicorn


4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into snifter glass
A: black with slightest tan head (less than 1/2 finger) which dissapates quickly over the volume yet rings the edges.
S: very powerful, strongly present scent overall.. chocolate and coffee with sweet malty hints.
T: wow. very full-bodied, matches the smell quite closely. Chocolate/coffee combination fades to sweet malt with tiniest hing of hops.. the alcohol comes through but powerful flavor largely distracts me from noticing the alcohol presence at first. aftertaste is elegant mix of both sweet and bitter chocolate.
M: thick, yet fairly smooth for the heavy taste- medium/low carbonation.
O: excellent.. a great Russian Imperial Stout, one of the best of the style IMO. Multiple strong flavors balance well- no one flavor overpowers the others (including the alcohol content). Great nose and visually appealing, overall a great presentation which is followed through with solid taste.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 03:19:19 | More by sunshineunicorn
Photo of moistnugget
moistnugget

Florida

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours into an almost obsidian black, with a thick, tan head that develops on top, leaving slight lacing. Perfect. Smell, to my nose, is of roasted coffee and chocolate notes, with a definite booziness.

Taste is absolutely wonderful. A very powerful and richly roasted malt is upfront; it has quite a kick. This melds into a bitter chocolate middle that smooths as you to sip away. This has a LONG, tasty aftertaste of dark grains, espresso, and more bittersweet chocolate notes. The feel thick and creamy, with a pleasant warming quality that sticks around long with the aftertaste.

Overall: This is an incredible stout. If you are looking for a robust, powerful stout, then Rasputin RIS is for you.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2012 04:38:34 | More by moistnugget
Photo of Danno48
Danno48

West Virginia

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought this beast at world market. I'm pouring it into a chalice at 45 degrees F.

She pours as black as black can be. You know when you put it up to a light bulb to see the red hues... well there aren't any. Sexy, thick, and creamy head.

My smell is not the best but you smell like a spicy mocha or something close... maybe a little bit of anise.

First off... every flavor has that hint of alcohol but there is so much flavor it isn't a big deal.
Dry and woodsy... like spiced tree bark. Earthy and effervescent. It has a great... I'm not sure how to say this, but a dirty? taste to it. I really enjoy the lack of sweetness that I have had from all the stouts I have had this year.

Doesn't cling at all like you would think by pouring it out. But so flavorful that you just gotta sip it.

This stout is freaking awesome... All you can think when you are drinking it is "Damn, this is splendidly different!"

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2012 17:07:19 | More by Danno48
Photo of natescape
natescape

Massachusetts

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Managed to find this on tap at CBS Scene in Foxoboro, MA. I had never tried it before, and was completely blown away. Served in a standard pint glass, the beer arrived black as midnight in a cave on a cloudy night with a blindfold on. It had a thick, rich finger-width head with an aroma of deep smoked malt and hints of chocolate and espresso. Mouthfeel was rich, slightly chewy, and utterly fulfilling. Tasting it was like entering another world... smooth, deep, just hoppy enough to add a little something extra. The flavor lingered for a while afterwards ... a blessing.

I'm normally a hop freak, but this may just be the best beer I've ever had. I can't wait to go back and have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2012 14:43:56 | More by natescape
Photo of anarchia
anarchia

Oregon

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black with a thick, creamy, ugly brown head. By ugly I mean beautiful, of course. Aroma is smoked wood, roasted coffee, vanilla, chocolate, burnt sugar--and maybe I'm just fantasizing here, in a Rasputin trance, but I pick up a faint, savory aroma that reminds me of bacon in the oven. Thick and syrupy with an acidic bite at the end that whispers "sip some more, sip some more!" Smokey, sweet, burnt, complex, chocolate, wood, hints of spice even (nutmeg & cinnamon). This has been and continues to be my go-to Imperial Stout. Others might be stronger but none hit me the way Old Rasputin does, even after all these years. Seems like a lot of people agree.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 03:06:08 | More by anarchia
Photo of Rowlaw
Rowlaw

Pennsylvania

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. What a great beer. Dark, heavy stout that's not overpowering. As dark as the come with a thick coffee color head. I used a tulip glass that released the aromas of hops and coffee. The flavors coat your mouth with hops coffee and cream with just a hint of chocolate. I may have a new favorite stout!

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 02:31:51 | More by Rowlaw
Photo of rgturtle
rgturtle

Massachusetts

4.91/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finding a 4-pack of this covered in dust at a local package store was like winning the lottery.

A - Dark brown, with little carbonation, maybe a quarter-inch head.
S - Huge and lingering on the nose. Toffee, cocoa, espresso.
T - The nose paid off in the taste -- sweet but complex; the coffee didn't overwhelm.
M - A little chewy; not syrupy.
O - This is the best stout I've had in a while -- I found myself wanting to spend more time decoding the various scents. I'd stock up on this -- if you can find it.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2013 01:09:23 | More by rgturtle
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black. Medium brown head that dissipates quickly. Beautiful roasty aroma. Also get a bit of smoke on the nose. There's some burnt malt tastes. Very strong bitterness. I love that in an Imperial. The IBU must be approaching 100 in this brew. Incredible malt load balances nicely with the hops. A bit of alcohol dangles on the tongue nicely. This is everything I look for in an Imperial Stout. Not as viscous as Bell's Expedition, but tremendous in its own right. One of my all time favorites. This is in the elite category of microbrewed Imperials that I have tried (along with Bell's Expedition and Rogue).

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2002 02:10:35 | More by Bighuge
Photo of badbeer
badbeer

Iowa

4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown to almost black in color with a tan head that dissipates leaving some lacing. Nose is bursting with chocolate, coffee, maybe a hint of vanilla and cherry in there as well. Chocolate, espresso, and molasses with a hop bitterness in the end make up the taste. Mouthfeel has pretty low carbonation, maybe a little less would make it perfect, definately full bodied and thick. This beer is just wonderful, I definately need to get some more.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2006 20:51:25 | More by badbeer
Photo of cabsandking
cabsandking

Ohio

4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The nose offers plenty of anticipation with prunes, molasses and prunes. Thick mouth. The beginning is smokey, earthy, toasted malts. Bittersweet chocolate notes. A little sharp tartness rounds out the hops balance. Towards the bottom some traces of woodsy oak, port wine, and even cherry come through. This beer I will definitly drink again, and probably North Coast's top beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2006 17:55:03 | More by cabsandking
Photo of Newglarusguy
Newglarusguy

Wisconsin

4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is probably one of the more heralded stouts brewed in the US, and I think with good reason. What makes it more unusual is that it's an imperial stout, which isn't that common. Very malty, giving it a powerful sweetness, and it has a deep roasted coffee flavor. It's got 8.9% ABV, but don't worry, you'll sober up when you see the picture of Rasputin on the label. Man, he is one creepy bastard. Look at Rasputin, and then turn the bottle one way or the other, and I swear, the eyes follow you...Not even John Ashcroft gives me the paranoid willies like this label (begin Tommy Chong-like rant against the government in 3, 2, 1...).

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2007 02:10:09 | More by Newglarusguy
Photo of JerzDevl2000
JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Saw this at a local liquor store and was amazed that this was actually being sold in my neck of the woods. I heard good things about this on here, and even though I'm not an aficianado of this style, and it's not the time of the year to drink stouts, I took the plunge and gave this a shot. Thankfully, I made the right choice, as I'm having to pace my drinking. That's the only way I've had any left in my glass, as I write this review!

The pour was one of the best I've ever seen or smelled - hands down. A nice, deep brown hue could be seen with some light around the edges. The roasted, toffee-like aroma filled my glass and quite a bit outside of that, as the head nearly overflowed. The sight of the bubbles and their long-lasting duration was quite a sight to behold, and the taste lived up to that and the smell that I could discern. The toffee was present there too, with notes of dark chocolate, caramel, and coffee tossed in. What amazed me the most was the smoothness. The few stouts that I've had all had one thing in common, and that was their bite. Alcohol could be felt front to back, and it didn't take long before the flavors were overpowered by that trait. In this case, that never happened. The flavors lingered beautifully and the dark chocolate lingered long after I finished each sip. It was only when I started to feel buzzed did I realize how strong this was.

Yes, I know that I'm not the most experienced when I come to this style, but I'd have to wholeheartedly say that this is worth the hype and a great introduction to this style for novices like me. The mouthfeel is enjoyable and solid, and there's not bitterness to be felt here. Just richly deep layers of flavor, and plenty to ponder between sips. No wonder this comes in 4-packs - I'm not quite sure that I could handle six of these!

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2007 08:06:41 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of bigkahunas4
bigkahunas4

Massachusetts

4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Tulip glass.

Brew came out of the bottle jet black, not too thick, not too thin. Dark cookie head starts at about 2 fingers, and settles down to a voluptuous half finger. Spotty, sticky lacing that really clings to the glass. The aroma on this out of the bottle was huge, and now as the glass settles about a yard away, butterscotch is just flowing under my nose. Upon further inspection I detect some sttrrronnggg vanilla and a dark roast.

This elixir is incredibly creamy, bringing immense sweetness to the front of the mouth. Big sweet malts like I've never tasted before in a stout/RIS - tons of oaked vanilla. As this bubbly brew begins to settle on the tongue, bitter coffee nibs take control of the palate. A slight smokiness to the brew as well. Alcohol is apparent, but masked incredibly.

Certainly the best RIS I've ever had, and according to others, it perhaps is the best out there. Just incredible balance, and enjoyment with every stage of that balance for me. Honestly, I'm not a huge stout guy - but this one is just making me drool. I dislike the finish of most stouts - but this one just hits it on the head. Give me more!

Pretty sure the ratings I'm giving this will make it my top rated beer. You know, maybe not my favorite ever, but as far as RIS and Stouts go - this is just leagues above anything else I've had.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2009 01:46:59 | More by bigkahunas4
Photo of sgraham4
sgraham4

North Carolina

4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- beautifully dark black with a brown head that lace nicely on the glass

S- malty & sweet coffee notes

T- GREAT flavor- very full and rich with a nice maly character and a coffee taste that lingers wonderfully on the palate. reaaalllyy good

M- Nice and full

D- favorite Imperial Stout, hands down. Certainly a beer for any dark beer lover or any beer drinker alike!

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 03:21:59 | More by sgraham4
Photo of Durtdiggler
Durtdiggler

Illinois

4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into tulip glass. A dark black pour with wonderful, frothy 2 finger head, big lacing. Inviting.

Complex aroma of molasses, roasted coffee, some chocolate backed by balanced hop bitterness.

Taste starts coffee like fading into molasses finishing dry with big hops. The hops stay with you along time. Taste moves from one element to the other and leaves nothing to want. Complex and powerful flavors.

Mouth feel is creamy, effervescent all balanced.

Perhaps there are more recent, unique takes on this style with bourbon barrel aging and vanilla overtones but this beer represents the standard for Russian Imperial Stout. One of my fravorite all time beers. Never had an off bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2011 01:44:32 | More by Durtdiggler
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

4.93/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Into a pint glass (also in a nonic, and also a chalice, nothing changes with this beast):

A: pitch black body with a very thick two finger off-white head, lacing is pretty thick as well

S: very good roasted malt with good coffee aromas mixed delicately in so not to overdue the aroma, chocolate, vanilla come out as the beer warms

T: light hops, and coffee along with the roasted malt, chocolate and vanilla again, it gets sweeter as it goes, slight caramel in the taste as well

M: medium to heavy, not sessionable, alcohol felt, dry bitter aftertaste and a dry finish

O: of all the times I have this beer, the numbers never change, this was awesome and still is.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 01:51:29 | More by BeerKangaroo
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,354 ratings.