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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

9,932 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,932
Reviews: 3,363
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 304
Gots: 1,341 | FT: 42
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,932 | Reviews: 3,363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joeworrall
4.86/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This "Russian Imperial Stout" is a classic. Incredible body, aroma and flavor make it one of the best, if not the best, stouts I have ever had.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a large tulip glass, the thick foamy head almost overflows the top of the 20 oz glass! it settled down to about a finger thick, but maintained the tiny bubbles and lacing on the side of the glass.

The aroma is toasted malt with strong coffee and some chocolate hints. The flavor is mostly toasty and coffee, but just slightly bitter. Aftertaste is also slightly bitter, but in a good way.

Soon, I am going to start a quest for the perfect stout, and am sure that this one will be in the top 10 if not higher!

joeworrall, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of charlzm
4.86/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Consumed 07/05/08 at Verdugo Bar, Los Angeles CA.

Very dark brown with exceptional clarity (yes, it's true): deep garnet and ruby highlights when held to light. One finger creamy tan nitro head that sticks around forever.

Aroma is awesome: dark semi-sweet chocolate, coffee and even a subtle red grape character.

Texture is velvety smooth.

The flavor is substantial roasted dark malts, resulting in a profile similar to the nose: bittersweet chocolate, rich roasted coffee with a hint of cream and sugar and restrained but noticeable bitterness on the aftertaste.

Sublime and drinkable as anything I have ever had, the glass was drained far too soon on this one.

charlzm, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of Labeorphile
4.86/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass. Jet black pour leaving a giant foamy head that lingers for a long time, and leaves sticky lacing sliding down the sides of the glass.

Aroma is amazing. Malt, some buried hops, coffee and dark chocolate. The smell was so amazing, I literally sat there with my nose in the glass for about 5 minutes before taking my first sip.

Flavor lived up to smell. Malty goodness with hints of coffee fading to some subtle hoppiness, then with dark chocolate bitterness showing back up at the finish.

Mouth feel is a little thin for style, but carbonation is surprisingly nice. Good lingering warmth down the throat.

A really great beer that I am glad I bought in a 4 pack instead of a single.

Labeorphile, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of willPS21
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This RI stout is fantastic. The drinkability is probably higher than almost any RIS or IS or IPA I've had, or should I say any beer of 8.1%+. I like the bitterness and tang which separates it from most RI's, there is a crisper finish to me and a hint of welcome metallic tones. It almost seems like someone added a few tablespoons of Newcastle to this one. Additionally, there's a bit of sweetness which comes in the form of distinctive carmel. The texture in the mouth is a bit less viscous than the Stone, my permanent reference point, but also a bit less round and unified. Again one could say mouthfeel is heading towards Newcastle or even Guiness ever so slightly (and just slight enough). Besides that rare nutty-metallic tang, Rasputin has lovely dark malty flavors with the coffee/chocolate/toffee somewhere and just enough herbal notes to round it off. It's rare that a beer can avoid overdoing the hoppy and floral tones to my liking while still including them, and this one does it to perfection. If you're a fan of floral tones, I've noticed those flavors are more pronounced as you approach room temperature, where the beer seems more oily and chewy.

willPS21, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of Magpie14
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: a huge erupting head resulted as my pour was somewhat reckless. This volcanic cap was brown sugar in color, foamed, chunky, and lasting. Lacing was intricate and consisted of the usual strands, blobs, globs, and the like. The body poured dark walnut, burnt sienna, and black. A great look in the class

S: luscious fudge-like chocolate dominates with heavily roasted malts a close second. Even some green cones can be smelled as well as ground coffee beans. This is spot on!

T: mildly bitter chocolate drizzled coffee beans and fudge brownies mixed with blackened (borderline burnt) roasted malts. Tremendous conglomeration of flavors! However, amidst the black look, rich chocolate, and malty flavors a few hops have a well placed wallop on the tongue. Hops are grassy greens with a squeeze or two of citrus. I find the balance to be very nice. This stout maintains a rich complex profile with a ample supply of hops. It never gets overly tangy or real bitter, it stays nice and sweet

M: this is my ideal stout consistency...heavy! Chewy, viscous, and velvet on the tongue. Carbonation is right where it should be and never in the way of the delicate creamed goodness

D: by and far one of the best stouts in the business, I will never tire of this beer! This is my staple beer and I love being able to get it on tap close by, an angel pooping on your tongue!

Magpie14, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of roopy40
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Black and murky. Thick, white, foamy head with staying power surrounds the first few inches of the glass and settles over time to leave a beautiful spider web of lace all around the glass.

Smell - Dark roasted malt, hints of black licorice, chocolate, and caramel sweetness. Hint of vanilla was also present.

Taste - Wonderful roasted malt flavors, chocolate bliss, roasted coffee and a caramel/toffee candy stickiness left on your lip.

Mouthfeel - Medium to bold in body and great carbonation. Roasted coffee up front and the hints of bitter chocolate dances on your taste buds as it finishes.

Drinkability - Very much so. I was smitten at the first sip. Love at first drink? Can it be? I picked up a single at first just to try this and found myself grabbing a 4pak immediately on my next shopping trip. I don't know if it was his hand that hypnotized me when I was looking at the bottle or what happened exactly, but I will buy this over and over for the price, ABV and quality you get.

roopy40, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of Troyone
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one has slipped through my normal change up of beers. I'm surprised I have not reviewed this before.

The appearance is black with an amber hue, to difficult to see carbonation, and the slightly tan head is minimal to nothing.

Roasted molasses and caramel malt smell, with some chocolate and coffee, and possibly lime and pine hops.

Moderately sweet and bitter, lightly acidic, roasted molasses, chocolate, and coffee malt with some pine and lime hops.

Full bodied, slightly creamy and syrupy texture, lively and soft carbonation, and has a smooth slightly metallic and alcoholic finish (hate when that happens).

The drinkablility is excellent for the 8.9 abv. and especially for a R.I. Stout.

Troyone, Aug 15, 2005
Photo of sdj5
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is black with a very small tan head. The glass has quite a bit of tan lacing on the side. The smell is of burnt caramel, chocolate, toast, dark fruit. The taste is very complex, dark fruit sweetness, roasted malt, coffee bitterness. It feels good in the mouth with a good amount of carbonation and a rich heaviness. It is a beer that one drinks slowly because of its strength and richness. It may be my favorite beer.

sdj5, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of Lupin
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My third tasting of this brew. 12oz bottle kept at standard fridge temperature. Rasputin's hypnotic techniques have reined me in. I love this brew, but I can only take one in at a time.

Pours an utterly opaque black coffee. I violently throw the last 5 ounces or so in to coax out a 1"+ roasted sandy head. Minor lacing at the top of the glass. Easily the best smelling brew I have ever sampled.

The taste is utterly dominated by a raw, dark chocolate. There is no other way to describe it. It even leaves the same dry feeling on your tongue that a bar of any dark chocolate will provide. Bitter bitter bittersweet.

I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who likes beer and coffee or beer and chocolate of any type. I warned my dad, who loves dark chocolate, that he'd better drink the bottle I offered him that night or else it was liable to disappear from the fridge. My willpower is such that the same bottle has just been reviewed.

Lupin, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of srv33
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark amber pour, almost no head. fine lacing. Rich complex smells of dark chocolate, bourbon, a hint of mint, and caramel. Taste is beautifully complex, multilayered. First notes of chocolate and bourbon, then a bit of leather, light tobacco, mellowing to caramel. Tastes like KBS's brother. As a result I like it just about the same! Its a little more mellow, though, which in some ways I like more, though on the other hand KBS is more rich.

srv33, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of Matt1553
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is certainly one of the best Stouts to come out of California--on par with Parabola and Big Bear Black Stout. Deceptively drinkable given the alcohol content, although I prefer my Stouts a bit thicker to the bite. The taste is sublime, with the slightest bit of chocolate aftertaste. A world class beer.

Rating: 9.6

Matt1553, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of dciBA
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours a nice and black with a fingers worth of light brown head that holds on for a while. Smells of smooth milk chocolate and burnt malt. Just a hint of hops.

Taste is simply perfect for the style. Lots of chocolate, coffee and plenty of earthy hops. Just the right amount of hop balance really. Very creamy and smooth in the mouth and not a hint of the high ABV. This beer always sneaks up on me when I have it on tap. So easy to toss back a pint and not even realize how much alcohol it has. I'm glad to be enjoying this one at home, but I think the draft version is slightly better. I can't help but think if I had never had this on tap then I would probably rate the bottle version perfect.

dciBA, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of beyah
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours out Black as night, brown head, this is on stout, stout.

S- Roasted Malts come forward, you can tell this is not a wimpy brew.

T- Finally an RIS that is not too sweet, very well balanced roast flavor and a slight alcohol and hop end. Well balanced.

M- Perfect mouthfeel for the style, rich not thin.

O- This is the standard by which all RIS should be judged. I like this style a lot and this is my go to beer for this style.

beyah, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of ad5os
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bought beer in store.

Beer has a deep dark color and is full and thick. Thick head. Smells sweet. Color is a dark black color.

Flavor is rather malty with a good amount of bitterness. Smell is chocolaty and sweet.

Very well made and crafted. Friend of mine bought this me a year ago and it is one of the best imperial stouts I have every had.

ad5os, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of halo21
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass nice and dark; no light coming through on this one. The head didn't maintain long, but rarely does on imperial stouts.

Smell: Dark, earthy, coffee, chocolate; very smooth. Not much by way of alcohol which is surprising weighing in at a hefty 9%

Taste: Glorious. Full flavored. This is as fine as the best espresso on earth and blended like a well aged cigar. I always forget how much I love this beer and am very happy to have that surprise.

Mouthfeel: A little carbonation; I would say it is a heavy bodied beer but not too over powering.

Drinkability: Surprisingly high; for me the only way I would be able to consume more would be to have a nitrogen version of this or a still beer version.

Easily one of my favorite beers of all time as well as the quintessential example of what a Russian imperial stout should be all about.

halo21, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of Ultrarunner100
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%

Ultrarunner100, Tuesday at 10:52 PM
Photo of PaulfromNoVa
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Caught my eye on a visit to Cape Fear Wine and Beer, picked up a few bottles, and returned to the B&B.

I'm with Todd: a freakin' evil looking bottle, with the iconic image of the Mad Monk conferring a blessing - perhaps casting out the young Prince Alexander's hemophilia but just as likely laying a Holy Whammy upon any who deign to imbibe this magical elixir...but the Cyrillic inscription (and, frankly, Cyrillic looks ominous to Westerners, like vestigial Klingon) is heartwarming: "One does not become an intimate friend in single evening."

Poured into a pub pint, but in increments - partially a straight pour, letting the head froth up, inches high, which subsided rather quickly to a persistent lacing. Body is black as pitch: held up to light, nothing penetrates. A liquid black hole: what secrets does it conceal? Awesome.

Nose is a first high, sweetish, hoppy-fruity. The dark toasted malt comes through in second place. Surprising.

Taste is of a magnificently balanced imperial stout, thickly sweetishly bitter, broken down into flavors easily associated with the word "black" - molasses, licorice, dark, dark, chocolate, roasted tree nuts, burnt toast with a thin coat of current jam, oatmeal with raisins (?)... The 9 percent ABV is hidden somewhere but has an unctuous invigorating taste of a wonderful health beverage, the kind of specialist marvel for which one has to visit exclusive spas to enjoy the privilege of drinking.

I finished the bottle 10 minutes ago and its finish lingers on my palate. I kid you not. The mouthfeel is characterized by implicit carbonation, sufficient to give the profound weight of the stout a wisp of airy lightness.

Compared to this, Guiness Stout is club soda...

It is sub-freezing in Wilmington, our room is like a meat locker, I half-expect to see a side of beef in the wardrobe, but this remarkable brew is cosseting in its warmth. I'd very much like another. My glass cries out for renewal, but the cupboard is bare, the bottle empty, Old Rasputin vanquished, no more. A pity. But the delight lingers, as will the memory. And thanks to the wonderful North Coast Brewing Company, a memory that may be renewed.

PaulfromNoVa, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of hanco005
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A—solid black, just hints of light shine in at the bottom, a 2 inch thick , ice cream looking beige head, fades away slowly, lacing is in thick sheets

S—chocolate and alcohol, some coffee and bread tones, too, a touch of licorice, very fragrant and makes my mouth water

T—chocolate is strongest, followed by the alcohol and coffee, all flavors combine for a wonderful taste!

M—thick and creamy, full bodied, perfect carbonation

D—can’t drink a lot of it due to the high ABV, but this is perfect for the style, I think. A great nightcap.

hanco005, Jul 26, 2006
Photo of 12owls
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

youwza! what a great beer...pourned into a pint glass. smell was choclolaty,with some mocha/coffee. some roasted grains. the color and head at extremly attractive...frothy lighter brown chocolate head, that left beind some cooll lacing. mouthfeel is robust, light carbonation toasty flavors all over the place. taste is great, i caught coffee roast grains, some smal fruit rind inbetween the first taste, to the last. some bitterness behind thats bind everything nicely. a.b.v is not to crazy but good where it is. great beer, great stout. very very enjoyable!

12owls, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of Duhast500
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

The color is a completely opaque black with two fingers of brown head and some nice thick lacing.

The smell is pretty sweet for an Imperial Stout. Has some hints of raisins and grapes. It also has a bit of a sugary flavor as well.

The taste is pretty malty with a sweet chocolate and toffee flavor. Some nice bitter coffee flavor mixed in as well which makes for a very satisfying

The first sip was so good it was almost overwhelming. It is packed with so much malts and yet a nice pack of hop and coffee bitterness. There are chocolates, toffees, molasses, and some alcohol.

The feel of this beer is pretty light for a heavy dark beer. A good drinking beer that goes down really well.

Duhast500, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of SteveB24
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

appearance; color is a very deep, but not cloudy. brown with a tinge of red, pours a very thick, sticky, tan, head that retains well. appearance is as much as you can ask of an imperial stout.

smell; aroma is vey rich. contains notes of coffee, caramel, chocolate, bread, alcohol, hint of dark fruit.

taste; taste is coffee, burned sugar, toasted grain, alcohol, and hint of plum. there is a spicy kick as well.

mouthfeel; creamy but not overpoweringly thick, carbonation is mild. medium/ full body.

overall; taste is delicious and complex, looks great, smell delicious, an amazing imperial stout, will certainly buy again. probably the best stout i've had.

SteveB24, May 09, 2014
Photo of MisterClean
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Manderes. Too bad not nitro.

A - Pours jet black, with a moderately foamy chocolate head. Dissipates slow without much fanfare from the legs.

S - Cherries, raspberries, and milk chocolate. Just amazing!

T - Dark chocolate and black cherries. What a beer.

M - Chewy, moist, slightly gritty feeling.

D - Excellent. Had to force myself to slow down.

MisterClean, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of GClarkage
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12/09/04- On tap at the Englander in San Leandro, CA

Appearance- Pours a dark tanish-black opaque color. Great head and good lacing.

Smell- Ahhhh, lots of chocolate and lots of coffee mixed together. Both roasted to perfection.

Taste- Frickin awesome! This compares almost equally to Stone Imperial Stout IMO. I had Stone two weeks ago and needed to give this one another try to compare. Tons of chocolate and coffee swirling around in harmony. Roasted malt thrown in for good measure.

Mouthfeel- On tap this is phenomonal. Carbonation level is near perfect and after it warms up it's even more tasty. Fairly thick, but goes down like a fat guy on a waterslide. (fast) :)

Drinkability- The only drawback is that you can feel this one after you finish it. You can still have another, but two is almost too much. Always will be one of my favorites.

GClarkage, Dec 10, 2004
Photo of Crundy
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: black but a dark brown where light can pass through around the edges, thick mocha head

Smell: Chocolate, coffee, caramel roasted malt

Taste: delicious, strong coffee flavor, chocolate, quite sweet, roasted malt flavor

Mouth feel: Thick, full bodied, had a syrupy feel that kind of coats the mouth, slight bitterness of the finish

Overall: Very taste, great beer very rich powerful flavors, now when I think of how an RIS should taste it will be like this.

Crundy, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of TMB0424
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into snifter.

Pours an complete pitch black body. Black as night. Medium sized, loose, creamy coffee colored head quickly dissipates into fine outer ring. What is left of the head is only now a murky, pond-scum (but a strangely delicious looking pond-scum!). Pretty good amount of carbonation wisps up to meet the diminished head. Dense, thick lacing along my glass. Damn good looking.

Aroma of freshly brewed roasted coffee... perhaps even expresso. A light scent of ale-like fruity yeast complimented by a subtle touch of melted dark chocolate. Very rich smelling. Smokey, roasted malts as well. A light, pleasant splash of grassy, earthy hops is lurking somewhere in the background of this beastly brew as well. I'm also getting the spicy warmth of the alcohol. Exceptionally well smelling.

Taste is incredible. So many flavors just attack your palate. Rich, smooth dark chocolates blended perfectly with a bitter splash of expresso. And right in the middle of all that is a dash of fruity sweetness... but so delicate and well-placed. Fresh, ripened fruits. Plums are coming to mind. The smokey malts in the aroma are in the taste as well. The finish is refreshingly bittersweet, with a wave of alcohol warmth. Outstanding.

Mouthfeel is indescribably creamy. Talk about thick... talk about chewy. But creamy as all hell. Full bodied. The term bittersweet is used a lot... but this is the epitome of bittersweet. Unreal.

Drinkability is exceptional. The alcohol warmth and kick at the finish designates this a sipper - but a damn good sipper at that. The best Russian Imperial I've had. This is a must try for any stout lover. It's just perfectly balanced, perfectly brewed, just perfect.

TMB0424, Jan 03, 2009
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,932 ratings.