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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.

9,947 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,947
Reviews: 3,365
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 305
Gots: 1,347 | FT: 43
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: 9,947 | Reviews: 3,365 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hctap00
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a red wine glass. Not the best for head retention, but all that was clean.

Pretty standard imperial stout appearance. Pitch black. Solid tan that fades to a thin lacing.

Aroma is not overpowering, but still has a lot going on. Roasted malt and some coffee first. Dark chocolate. Fruity also, cherry and the licorice/anise I get from good stouts.

Pretty bitter up front, with some coffee flavors. Good roasted malt flavor. Sweeter through the middle, but still very astringent. A bit harsher than I would like with the bitterness. Finishes fairly smooth, with some of the fruitiness from the aroma. A nice alcohol warmth to it. Coffee and roasted malt lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel is a bit puckering. Felt like I was drinking red wine at times.

Overall very enjoyable. Not my favorite. I would drink a Ten FIDY first, but I still enjoy this one. Given its availability and reasonable price, definitely one to keep around.

hctap00, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of Dayman766
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Opaque; nice, thin head retention the entire time I drank it (which didn't take too long)
S- Roasted malts with a hint of chocolate; standard for a RIS
T- Fabulous complexity; seamlessly blends together the dark malts, coffee, chocolate, faint cherries, and alcohol (noticeable but inviting)
M- Exceptionally smooth and creamy yet thick
O- Lovely brew to have any time in the winter. It's fairly straightforward, yet with delightful complexity that continues to invite you for another sip.

Dayman766, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of musicforairports
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into a snifter.

Pours black, nice head, leaves a bunch of lacing.

Smell is great for the style--roasty, chocolate-y, coffee, a hint of burnt flavor.

Coffee, chocolate, burnt barley notes and some creamy milky notes. Flavor is full but tails off quickly on the finish.

Medium mouthfeel, decently carbonated for the style...not as thick as some stouts, but not thin, either.

Definitely one of the go-to imperial stouts out there; affordable and easy to find.

musicforairports, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of ThickNStout
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

ThickNStout, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of BeerDocT
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chilled, wide-mouthed glass.

-Appearance 4.0: Poured out a jet black, with no brown highlights. Its cream-colored head shrunk, but stayed around on top. Beautiful color contrast between the head and the color of the brew.

-Smell 3.5: Nice bouquet. I primarily smell toasted grains, but there is a nice undercurrent of chocolate. Very promising.

-Taste 4.5: Sweet taste up front, with a nice alkaline hoppiness and a slight bitterness. There is also a very pleasant sourness. Lots of caramel, chocolate and toasted barley after swallowing...long aftertaste of toasted grains. Just a bit too sweet for me, but delicious nonetheless with a depth of flavor that must be experienced first-hand.

-Mouthfeel 4.0: Good mouthfeel. The carbonation present in this beer serves to balance the high alcohol content that otherwise would have been noticeable. Still has a slight burning sensation in the mouth, but it is not distracting.

-Overall 4.0: Excellent stout. These "Imperial" or "Russian Imperial" stouts all have a relatively high alcohol content, but this is balanced by a depth of flavor and a drinkability not common in other high-alcohol brews. Really, these could be viewed as "dark triples," due to the amount of ingredients that go into each beer. "Old Rasputin" is highly recommended. If you can find this beer, it is worth the monetary investment.

BeerDocT, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of mooseo
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into tulip.

A - Jet black with a small dense tan head.

S - Pleasant aroma of roasted malt and sweet milk chocolate. I also detect some coffee and fruity hops.

T - Roasted malt and sweet chocolate up front, followed by dark fruits and a strong coffee bitterness. There's a surprising amount of hops in this brew. Finishes with a blend of charred malts, coffee and some mild bitterness.

M - Full bodied, silky smooth, light carbonation. Warming alcohol.

O - An excellent imperial stout. Offers an array of rich, complex flavors. This beer is meant to be savored. Awesome label too.

mooseo, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of GR_Rick
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice and dark brown; can't get any light through the beer. Poured with a nice big tan colored head that stayed around quite a while and left significant lacing on the glass.

S: Smells nice and sweet (perhaps a little brown sugar or caramel) for such a big, heavy stout. Hints of chocolate and roasty malt. Not as aromatic as I prefer, but a good smelling beer.

T: Not overly complex flavor, but nice and mild for the style. Easy drinking flavor without too much alcohol until the finish, where you first get a little bit of sweetness (chocolate?), and then just a hint of lingering bitterness.

M: Not much to say,but this is where the beer shines for me. Very nice, full, creamy feel. Nice and smooth, exactly like I would hope for.

O: An excellent beer, that's very easy to drink for such a big and dark style. Nothing here stands out in the plethora of "barrel aged" and "specialty" imperial stouts, but I can't find anything wrong with it either. This is a very solid offering for those seeking something that is brewed to style, relatively easy to drink, and not over done with the ABV or complexity in flavors.

GR_Rick, Jul 25, 2012
Photo of PicoPapa
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm shocked that I haven't reviewed this one yet since I've had it so many times.

On nitro-tap at The Engine Room. Pours a dark brownish black color with a huge creamy head over an inch thick lots of lacing. The aroma is lots of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Earthy.The taste is dark chocolate and bitter black coffee at first followed by the roasted malts and some hints of smoke. More bitter dark chocolate towards the end with nice roasted notes. Moderate alcohol presence. Velvety and creamy mouthfeel from the nitro. Overall, outstanding Russian Imperial Stout.

PicoPapa, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of BostonHops
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ deep ellum, allston (boston) MA. [review from notes]

appearance is a dark, opaque brown/borderline black w/ a solid two-finger mocha-toned head. nice retention and lacing. great looking stout.

aroma is heavy with roasted malts; notes of coffee and chocolate as well, with the slightest suggestion of hops. nose is substantiated by the flavor profile with the roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee pulling through in that order. again, very faint but perceptible hop presence. smooth, velvety moutfeel; moderately carbed. decent drinkability as far as russian imperial stouts go.

tasty brew, easily an upper tier RIS, though IMO doesn't quite distinguish itself enough to rival the best of the best. still, you won't find a better beer for your money.

original review on: 09-27-2010

BostonHops, May 15, 2012
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%

Excited to try this one.

Poured for appearance.

Appearance (5) : This is quite possibly the most amazing head i've ever seen on any beer. Thick, thick almond colored cream like lacing and head that I can dip my finger into and lick like it's a rootbeer float. The lacing just sticks and the body is as black as night. Absolutely fantastic.

Smell (4.75) : Sweet black licorice, dark chocolate, roasted coffee bean. You can smell a hint of sour ale.

Taste (4) : Woof. What a strong beer this is! Roasted bean to start, a body of dark chocolate, and then morphing into total alcohol. 9% is right. I'll be falling out of my chair by the end of this review. It's got a good body and a good flavor, but the alcohol flavor is like chasing it with a shot of straight Russian Vodka.

Mouthfeel (4) : Creamy, heavy, soft, full-bodied. Minimal carbonation to keep it smooth. You can almost chew this beer.

Overall (4.23) : This beer is super heavy on the alcohol - again, like drinking a shot of vodka to chase your beer. That knocks this beer down a rung or two for me. But the flavor, style, and body are there. This is a beer worthy of a try.

The-Adjunct-Hippie, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of MightyMonk
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle.
Dark, blackish pour with a nicely building head of tan that sits a while with good lacing.

The aroma is strong with hints of chocolate, coffee, sweet malt, pepper and more that I cant get a handle on. Great aroma.

The taste is powerful in a very good way. It hints of floral notes while delivering chocolate tones and some cinnamon hints, coffee again and some alcohol in the back end. Overall a winning combination. As the beer warms it enhances the rich flavors.

It has a creamy feel and well rounded carbonation that enhances its complexity.

This is a great beer. period

MightyMonk, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of ms11781
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No date on the bottle but I have it marked as purchased in December of 2009 so it's at least 2 years old. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours black as night, with a massive 3 finger foam head that dissipates rather quickly. A nice cap is left, however and it leaves nice lacing on the glass. The oddest feature is that the head is a very light tannish color. Very surprising for a beer so dark. I'm almost certain that when fresh the head tends to be quite darker, maybe a lighter shade of brown. Either way, it's an excellent looking beer.

There was a massive black licorice aroma when I held the freshly poured beer up to my nose. As the beers warms it disappears completely. The nose evolves into a hugely roasty, slightly smoky aroma. There are hints of chocolate here as well.

The taste has the same characteristics as the nose but is considerably different. There is a touch of some semisweet chocolate upfront before the roasty flavors takes over. The roastiness quickly turns into a bitter, smoky and acrid flavor. The bitterness sticks to the tongue at the finish, almost like a really bitter DIPA.

Feels a bit thin, relative to style. Overall it's somewhere between the highest end of medium and the lower end of heavy. It really does feel like both at different times. Surprisingly, the carbonation still feels prickly on the tongue. Pretty amazing for a 2 year old beer.

Overall, this is still a good beer two years later, though it may be a bit past it's prime. This is the last beer of a 4 pack that I have had over the past 2 years and it shows that the beer is probably best within the first 15 or so months of bottling. As I said, still a very good beer even at 2 years, but it's heading downhill. That being said, the scores from this bottle should give an idea of how good it is when it's fresher.

ms11781, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Phylomatic
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First "Imperial" beer I've tried.

Appearance: Ahhh...lets just say I understand why its an Imperial beer. If Darth Vader was drinking its blackedy black goodness it would blend in with his outfit, unless it was in front of his blippidy blip lighty light thing. The froth at the top would stand out too...its not black, but pretty close. What you would videy the blackest a cloud in the sky could get.

Smell: eh..I couldn't smell anything...

Taste: As always with one of my reviews, I can't quite put to words what I taste so I'll just blurt out some words. Sweet..or bittersweet with 75 percent sweet, 25 percent bitter. Hazelnut? I know, weird, right? coffee, chocolate and more chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Smoooth. It's funny really the way it teases. It's just a hint of the taboo, not too much to turn you off.

Drinkability: Dangerous. I could drink it all night. I would not drink this on a farm.

Phylomatic, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of freystout17
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very complex in a pleasant way. Burnt caramel, hops, coffee notes, and a somewhat "woody-earthy" quality. One of the best all around RIS you can buy. The quality from this brewer is very constent; I have never had a "bad" lot from this company. This brew always lives up to its great reputation. Very reasonably priced at about 9 bucks per 4 pack.

freystout17, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of denver10
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thumbs width mocha head. A nice rich aroma of chocolate, roasted barley, and vanilla. Flavor matched the aroma to a tee. The build up of roasted barley and chocolate climaxed in a very impressive finish. A nice creamy medium body. Overall, consider me impressed. Worthy of the hype.

denver10, Jul 05, 2012
Photo of PaleZombie
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A - Almost jet black with slight ruby tinges coming through at the edges of the glass. Nice 2 fingers of thick creamy tan head.

S - Roasted malts, bitter sweet chocolate, some dark fruits(rasins and plums) a little bit of coffee, and slight alcohol notes. Very nice.

T - Taste is very similar to the nose but I detect more of the bitersweet chocolate and dark fruit in the taste than the nose. Bitter coffee finish on this one.

M - Very nice and creamy on the heavy side. Medium carbonation. So smooth.

O - For the price this is an awesome RIS. It is a sipper though, its so heavy and syrupy yet so good. I think this may become a regular in my fridge.Gets better when it approaches room tempurature.

PaleZombie, Jun 06, 2013
Photo of facundoCNB
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured this jet black syrup into a tulip glass, got a finger of dark brown head which made some nice lacing. a beautiful looking beer.
smells of roasted nuts, coffee, cocoa, almost a coca cola type scent. very unique smell.
a bitter, yet subtle dark roasted coffee flavor up front. nutty overtones, a subtle vanilla aftertaste. very mellow and drinkable. no sign of the alcohol in the taste.
full body, low carbonation, silky smooth.
a really good stout, no question about it. this bottle is from 2011 (a year and change old) so it's a bit more subtle than it is fresh. even fresh, this is a great stout.

facundoCNB, Dec 14, 2012
Photo of ChiPool
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass.

Old Raspy: review long time coming. Smell of burnt raisins, chocolate malts, . Poured jet black, and a generous amount of carmel colored head. More carbonated than would be expected. What a brew, when it comes to the taste. Roasty malts, but a backbone of hops on this one: an inverse of the IPAs that predominate. This is a complex character: strong stout roasty flavor, but not too boozy. This review is from the bottle: must have from nitro tap!

ChiPool, Oct 25, 2012
Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Re-review. Poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Pours a textbook black color with very faints hints of a lighter brown shade near the edges. Retention from the mocha colored head is about average, but there are some nice rings of lacing left on the glass.

S: Big roast notes dominate the brew, with splotches of coffee, chocolate, hops, soy, and a touch of alcohol all around. Very hard to fault how this smells.

T: Compared with how I served the other bottles (refrigerator cold), chilling it lightly and allowing it to warm up really helped open up its character. Much like the smell, it's incredibly roasty, with lots of bitter dark chocolate, roasted malt, soy, with a noticeably hoppy finish that meshes extremely well. There's a little booze on the back end, but it never gets out of hand. The only real complaint I have is that it's not a paragon of perfect balance.

Even though it's a summery day with thunderstorms lurking around, sipping this somewhat out of season doesn't feel out of place - the hallmark of a great beer.

M: It's a little thin for an imperial stout, but it does a great job of coating the mouth like a proper RIS should. Sufficient carbonation, no more, no less.

O: This is a beer that screams "serve me at the right temperature!" Having it too cold will cause it to become far too bitter and hard to drink. Letting it warm up gives it a chance to show off some of its complexities. The fact that it's easy to find and a great value in the RIS world (got this 4 pack at $8.99, and I've seen it as low as $6.99 in VA) makes it panacea for those who don't/can't chase distribution trucks just to have a shot at purchasing KBS.

ThisWangsChung, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of Omnium
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pure black with two fingers of milky tan head, big thick lacing all around the sides.
S - Dark roasted chocolates, hazelnut, a tad skunky, some milk chocolate, sweet roasted malt.
T - Lush creamy milky chocolate tones bitter roasts that make for a nice balance.
M - Velvet creamy milky, amazing.
O - One of the best RIS you can get its super silky smooth full chocolate flavor.

Omnium, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of ZagZagg
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into pint glass

A: Half a finger head, with weak lacing. There doesn’t appear to be much carbonation at all. Vaguely translucent, giving off a subtle crimson glow. Looks like crude oil.

S: Roasted malt, chocolate, bitter coffee. A remote sweetness lurks somewhere in this layered aroma.

T: Initial malt flavor, maybe some caramel, coffee bean bitterness but well balanced. Might be some toffee. Has a transient sweetness possibly from some dark fruits, prunes? The hoppiness presents itself when allowed to mature on the tongue a bit.

M: Not as thick as I expected, very light carbonation. Not very dry, smooth with little after taste. A creamier character arrives as it approaches room temperature.

O: After engaging in some debauchery with old Rasputin, I can say I’m up for round two. This is an excellent stout for wintertime drinkin’. This was recommended to me by a rando in my local beer distributor, and I’m glad I took him up on it. A must try as far as imperial stouts are concerned. Until we meet again.

ZagZagg, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of Guess2814
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great beer! I love the label.. Dark look with a coffee bean taste and smell. Not a huge mouthful but it has a nice stout taste that's smooth but packs a punch. I need to have a few more to get a better judgement but for the couple of times I've had it. I like it.

Guess2814, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of clay_i
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%

clay_i, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of Mweddle
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%

Mweddle, Aug 28, 2014
Photo of nUgZ
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown/black color with a half finger head and some lacing.

S: Very sweet smelling roasted malts, espresso, dark chocolate, and some fruit as well.

T: Lots of roasted malts, espresso, dark chocolate, and some hops. Nice bitterness for a stout. The alcohol is well hidden.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

O: This is a very solid RIS. I'll gladly drink it anytime.

nUgZ, Jan 08, 2013
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,947 ratings.