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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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BA SCORE
96
world-class

10,705 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,705
Reviews: 3,489
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 399
Gots: 1,851 | FT: 49
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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,705 | Reviews: 3,489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerWizard
4.17/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of GOBLIN
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 05Harley
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on: ?? (case only, not listed on the bottle)

Purchased @ Johnson's Market Place, New Durham NH

Price - $10.99/sixer

Pours near black with red edges. A three finger light tan fluffy head quickly emerges and sticks around. Slowly the long lasting froth leaves behind copias amounts of lacing indicating the fill line.

The aroma isn't as strong as the appearance would suggest. Hints of roasted malt, earthy hops and mocha tease the nose.

The flavor is bitter chocolate, burnt barley, coffe and black licorice. A bit more dark fruit would add some sweetness and tone down the noticeable rum taste.

The mouthfeel is rich, silky smooth and creamy with a medium body. Nicely carbonated which adds to the character. Finishes warm and bitter with a slow drying finish thanks to the hops.

Overall a good offering and one I'm happy to be able to purchase right here in state.

Photo of samtrillo
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of zjungleist
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of GarrisWH
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours basically black and opaque with a finger or so of tan head. Nice retention and leaves some lacing behind.

S - Roasted, dark malt aromas with coffee and some bittersweet chocolate qualities coming through. There is also a hint of dark fruit, raisins perhaps, as well as some hop character. Slight alcohol presence on the nose as well.

T - Rich, roasted malt flavors come through first, with mostly a robust coffee quality as well as some of the bittersweet chocolate. The dark fruit character is not lost in the flavor either, coming through a bit. Ample hop flavor in this one, with a good bit of bitterness coming through as the malts subside. Finish is rather dry and leaves some lingering bitterness - as well as some of the roasted, coffee flavors - into the aftertaste.

M - Full bodied and smooth. Light on the carbonation, which fits this one nicely.

D - A hopped-up, nicely done RIS with plenty of flavor. A very good all around brew.

Photo of Segelstrom
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
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

Photo of bluejacket74
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter, the beer pours very dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. The head doesn't stick around for too long, but the lacing is OK. The aroma is roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. It tastes like coffee, roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate. The beer also has a good lingering bitter hoppy finish, with nice balance. Mouthfeel is medium/full, and it's creamy and has just the right amount of carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's nice and smooth. Alcohol is noticeable, but not bad. IMO, it's a good RIS, I'd recommend it to others to try.

Photo of waldowin
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of jsanford
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
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
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
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 HoustonTX
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into Chimay goblet.

A - Incredibly dark brown, white frothy head. Nice head, and lacing retention.

S - Licorice malt/strong alcohol/chocolate/spicey notes.

T&M - Full-bodied. Taste upfront has tones of chocolate, infused with a strong alcoholic bite. Hop bitterness is definitely there upfront, and also near the end. Medicinal phenols bring a sharp bite to the palate. Licorice waves come upfront and near the end, spicey and awakening on the palate. Burnt tones, earthy and nutty also come through. Aftertaste is smooth and creamy with a small amount of bitter, that slowly fades to dry and then lingers for a good while.

D - Great for such a big beer.

An excellent Russian Imperial Stout, has a lot of compexity and depth. Rich, satisfying, and friendly on the palate. Definitely check this one out.

Photo of y2j2280
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
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 JordanC
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Loved the dark appearance that was strangely obvious as a dark dark brown, but not black

Smell lacked a bit, perhaps because it was too cold at first. As it warmed, the roasty smell of malts and sweet molasses came through

Loved the coffee hints and chocolaty taste. Went incredibly with a slice of coffee-ice cream cake

I thought it was slightly over carbonated, but not distractingly so. A good thickness on the tongue that lingered

This is a highly recommended beer. One of my favorites, especially since it comes in 12 ounce bottles and so many good stouts are 22 ouncers

Photo of ThickNStout
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Lucky's (Woodstock, GA). 7.99/ 4 pack. No bottling date but I bought the pack last June so we're looking at a minimum of one year old. Served in a Founders snifter. 

Pours almost pure black with 2 fingers of dense mocha tan head. Good consistent lacing. 

Smells of dark fruit, cocoa, burnt sugar and roasted malts. 

Nice bittersweet plum and dark chocolate up front. Notes of cherry, coffee, smoke, anise and burnt wood. Great blend of all the flavors I expect in a Russian imperial stout. Alcohol is lurking in the background but never dominates. 

Creamy medium full feel with moderate carbonation. Long bitter cocoa malty aftertaste. 

A truly classic Russian imperial stout. It is the standard to which I hold all others. It's not the best around by any means but it's readily available enough that if a stout isn't at least this good, it has no business in my cellar. If you're a stout fan and for some reason you haven't tried this one, it's past time you get out there and give it a try. Like most Russian imperial stouts, Old Rasputin is great fresh and even better with some age on it.

Photo of superdedooperboy
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
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 djhowell
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Pours black, completely opaque. Surprisingly thick milk chocolate colored head that retains pretty well.

S Roasted malts dominate the smell, mixed with a little chocolate and coffee.

T Has a great balance of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and a little bit of the hops. A little alcohol warmth.

M Medium bodied, I expected something a little thicker. Well carbonated.

D Very drinkable despite the high alcohol content. I could see myself sipping on 2-3 of these on a quiet night at home with a movie.

Photo of PhiloPsych
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this while at the Newport Beach Brewing Company. It was poured by from a bottle by my server (table side). The head disappeared almost immediately. The nose was roasted, slightly smokey, a little burnt. The mouthfeel wasn’t as creamy as some stouts--but not thin or watery at all. This stout was not dry, rather a bit sticky and syrupy. The moderately strong alcohol (8.9%) was not noticeable at all. The taste was very nice. Many porters are too burnt for my taste, this one had a definitely detectable burnt flavor in the finish, but it only enhanced the total flavor of the beer for me. I really liked this one.

Photo of soju6
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep chocolate color with a large tan head that is creamy and good lacing.

S: Has a rich malt aroma with chocolate and some coffee mixed in.

T: More malt flavor with coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Seems to be a subtle bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Full body that is thick and creamy. No hint of alcohol. Very well balanced.

O: Great way to finish the day.

Photo of HotHands
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours black as night with a very large tan head.

S - chocolate and coffee, with maybe a hint of tobacco.

T - roasted malt, coffee, and a bit of chocolate up front, giving way to licorice flavors. Some toasted nut flavors thrown in the mix too. A bit of subdued sweetness. Finish is bitter and a bit boozy.

M - creamy but not too slick, with nice carbonation.

D - Yeah, it's a sipper like most imperial stouts, but it is well balanced and not too sweet.

This is a great imperial stout available at a great price. Imperial stouts are not my go to style but I enjoyed this regardless. I'd also be interested in trying this with a bit of age on it to see the boozy flavors mellowed out.

Photo of JackieTH
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black, with a cap of rich mocha brown head. There is a coffee, vanilla, roasted malt and a hint of alcohol in the nose. Taste is slightly chocolate, espresso, roasty malt, dark fruit and subtle vanilla. Very well balanced with a hoppy bitterness that matches the sweet elements. Creamy carbonation and a medium heavy body is very nice for the style. The ABV comes through at the end. It's warming. Also a subtle bitterness is re-established. Very pleasant finish.

Photo of scifan
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours jet black with a small light brown head.
Smells very nice, getting nice sweet malts, coffee aromas coming through from roasted barley, also some dark chocolate.
Taste very similar to smell. At first I'm getting sweet dark malts, and chocolate flavors, then the some bitterness from the roasted barley. This is how RIS's are supposed to taste this beer sets the standard for a "regular" RIS.
Feels nice and smooth and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Goes down nice and easy without a hint of alcohol.

Photo of maniaczak
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zeledonia
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark chocolate brown, almost black. Shows some reddish-brown edges when held to a light. The medium-tan head is so buoyant and fluffy it nearly overflowed my glass, and I had to wait several minutes for it to subside. Even then it left a layer of foam with a collar of lace.

Smell is surprisingly fruity for a stout; blackberries, backed up by some chocolate. Really nice combination of malt and hop aromatics, though it is a bit weak on the nose. I like a little more punch from a RIS than this one offers, but what's there is quite good.

Taste is hoppier than I expected, but not overly so. Dark fruits, chocolate, and some slightly smoky dark malts.

Mouthfeel is great - medium-thick, but smooth and light in the mouth thanks to the carbonation, which gives it a nice small-bubble creaminess.

This is a darn good imperial stout. It's fruity and hoppy, but still well-balanced, and the thick but light mouthfeel is really nice. The alcohol is completely invisible. Likely to become a staple.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,705 ratings.