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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,408 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8408
Reviews: 3289
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)
View: Beers (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 8,408 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mvanaskie13


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass, color is black, solid, head is tan, mixture of bubble sizes, dense a lot of nice lacing - this looks delicious.

Aroma is subdued, mostly malt sweetness, as it warms some roast, chocolate, coffee and toast.

Taste is exceptional: clean malt balance between the pale malts, roast, chocolate and coffee flavors; hops are earthy, fresh, not overpowering in flavor but provide the bitterness to compensate the sweetness. Hardly any alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel is great, nice lingering roast and chocolate flavors, some coffee, not cloying; bitterness balances well and carbonation is mild to keep flavors present for a while.

Overall, this is one of the best RISs: great flavor, nice aroma, perfect lingering mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2013 00:24:05 | More by mvanaskie13
Photo of Roguer


3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Motor-oil black brew with an enormous dark brown head, with very impressive retention and very nice lacing. Can't imagine a stout looking any better.

Aroma is a little puzzling: some grape-like booziness, with dark malts behind, a little like a burnt brownie.

Sharp and bitter bite to the flavor, initially heavy on barley flakes and a sharp booziness following the nose. Strong notes of burnt coffee and dark cacao on the back-end.

Full-bodied and complex, but a hair thinner than I expected.

A standard among stouts, Old Raspy doesn't disappoint. It's not thick and rich and chocolatey like some of the in vogue stouts, and it doesn't have a bourbon bite. That said, it embodies the basics of what a solid stout should: dark malty character, burnt coffee bite. I look forward to having the rest of the pack with some age on them.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 02:18:54 | More by Roguer
Photo of 1sophrosyne1


4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed over 25 minutes from a tulip glass.

It pours a reflective black core with cordovan edges that warm the ring that remains after the cap has fallen. Bubbly, light tan head with very leggy, patchy lacing.

The nose is full of roasted coffee and malt. It's chocolatey and a touch flinty, too. Hints of toffee and currant are present. Clean, fresh, and cool…there's a suggestion of the hops you anticipate to come out later.

The start is malted caramel, followed closely by acidic, light roast coffee. Those standard flavors then sit back for a bit and allow earthen sweetness to come in with a touch of currants and prunes. Then it's balanced by bitterness and salicylate that folds into coffee again with a finish and aftertaste of heavily roasted almonds, black walnuts, and Brazil nuts all so thick you can nearly crunch them.

The body is full and carbonation about mid-level. It spreads in the mouth fast and flat with a metallic essence enhanced by the wintergreen. Bubbles are more apparent on the tongue after it starts creamy. The dance it does all over the mouth is my favorite element.

Since this RIS seems a touch one-dimensional to me--essentially a roasted mixed nut iced coffee, I'm happy to drink it as or with dessert in cooler months. But, despite the reputation, I don't think this particular brew stands alone as a superior representative of the style. It's very good, but doesn't make my day.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2013 21:40:51 | More by 1sophrosyne1
Photo of rgturtle


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 Mises85


4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served this at around 60 degrees in a brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with 3 inches of head that laced beautifully.

Aroma: roasted malt, cocoa, black pepper, slight alcohol, touch of espresso, ever so slight 100% cacao chocolate. No burnt malt aroma.

Taste: Roasty, espresso, cococa, touch of guinness character. Midway, some alcohol bite although not too much.

Final results: Definitely one of my favorite imperial stouts. I love how it does not have a burnt flavor and instead the malt has a "grilled" like character. the coffee and chocolate work beautifully although the roastiness is the star. Definitely would drink again but too many beers out there that I need to try. Not hoppy but just enough hops so that there isn't too much sweetness. A plus for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 02:39:09 | More by Mises85
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

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 02:01:36 | More by Matt1553
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 00:21:30 | More by ZagZagg
Photo of CTbrew32


4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

p-three finger head that lingers for a few minutes

a-pitch black with a mocha colored head

s-strong coffee with a bit of dark chocolate sweetness coming through

t-coffee forward but with a milk chocolate flavor to balance the roasty malt and coffee.

m-thick with barely any carbonation

o-the coffee isn't too strong which is a big plus to me. A little more sweetness from the chocolate would make this perfect, but overall its a well balanced RIS with big flavor.


Serving type: bottle

12-19-2013 04:34:02 | More by CTbrew32
Photo of bsjapost


4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I do not enjoy Stouts, but this is close to a perfect example of an Imperial Stout. Chocolate, Coffee, Nuttiness, and bitterness close to 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate. Creamy feel in the mouth. It is smooth with a bite. If you enjoy Stouts this is for you. Try it with Oysters. If you are like me and do not like stouts, just eat the oysters.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 02:42:58 | More by bsjapost
Photo of BastardKing24


4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a almost jet black with some head and a lasting ring with lacing.

Smell is milk chocolate, dark fruit, roasted barley, vanilla, toast, cocoa, a sort of fruity smell, maybe yeasty.

Taste is one of my favorites, with a big dark malt swig, just a huge chocolate and coffee hit, with plenty of complex flavors to keep you company while it warms and changes a bit.
This is one of my favorite imperial stouts as it has all the flavors I've come to love from big beers and also a complex roasty profile that tickles my fancy. It's sort of like narwhal but its just a tad better to me.

Mouthfeel is perfect and feels just right for this beer. It's superb with medium carbonation and a thick feel that gives it just the right amount of viscosity to blend well with the flavors and alcohol level. 9% fits just right as its not quite a session beer but it allows you to have a few in one sitting and feel alright.

Huge letdown as my local store ran out and this is my last one, oh well I'll have to wait I guess lol. Try this beer if you haven't, you won't regret it.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2013 03:10:58 | More by BastardKing24
Photo of Drankin


5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If I could afford it, I would drink this every single day. Easily my favorite beer of all time.Bread read, raisins, chocolate, coffee, spices, and the perfect boozy finish are enough to make this beer seem like a staple food. The only other brew I could compare to Old Rasputin is Sierra Nevada Narwhal. But since that one is harder to find, I stick by my claim of this being the best beer in the world.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 19:48:37 | More by Drankin
Photo of mdhobbs


3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I am surprised at the varying tastes/appearance etc... of Imperial Russian Stouts. This experience was definitely a good one. A very good rich stout that pour nice and dark with very little head. There is very little fragrance with this pour so the taste will need to make or break this review. Well, it made it. A very tasty stout that does not linger too long in the mouth. Very drink-able and well worth the purchase.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 19:12:22 | More by mdhobbs
Photo of dtivp

West Virginia

4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with a one finger thick foamy mocha head that fades slowly to a thick cap with moderate lacing.

Aroma dark roasted malt, sweet dark fruits and hints of alcohol.

Taste of dark malt, black coffee, sweet chocolate, a slight hop bitterness and a nice alcohol warming at the end.

Mouth Feel is Medium leaning heavy body with low carbonation, creamy smooth. As the beer comes to room temperature the booziness and sweetness increases.

Overall this is a very good Russian Imperial Stout. This was a great pick for my first North Coast Beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 00:33:34 | More by dtivp
Photo of South2NW


4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz poured into nonic pint

A: dark, basically black. Thick tan head that leaves good lacing.

S: dark fruits, some chocolate, and booze on the back end.

T: roasty coffee/espresso, malty, and dark fruits. Booze on the finish that warms you up.

M: fairly thick, but still nice and smooth. Low carbonation. Creamy. Boozy flavor increases as it warms.

O: great stout. Would like to try it on nitro. Very well balanced, but complex flavors. Will continue to buy this and try to pick up some of it's hidden tastes.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 03:51:45 | More by South2NW
Photo of walkinginplace

North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Black with a hint of brown head and significant lacing. Pretty cool, honestly.

S: Strong scent of hops with fainter notes of malt, caramel, and dark chocolate

T: The first taste is a sweet caramel and dark chocolate taste. Molasses and general bitterness follow while the malt and alcohol stand out in the aftertaste.

F: Medium to thick bodied. Fairly heavy but smooth.

Overall: Hits all the right notes but the aftertaste is a bit too bitter for my tastes. All in all, I'm a fan and definitely look forward to trying some again.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 02:25:38 | More by walkinginplace
Photo of BeerWithMike


4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this one last year and comes in a 4-pack. Bought a single 12 ounce bottle last week to sample. Drinking it now on 12/5/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours pretty close to a bitch black in color with a 1-finger tan head. Lots of lacing is seen with each sip. The aroma is of dark roasted malts with a hint of toffee and coffee. The taste is about the same with a stronger alcohol slightly hoppy dark espresso finish. NOT sweet at all. A good sipping brew and NOT a chugging one.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 00:32:53 | More by BeerWithMike
Photo of Archimetez


4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black, head is cream colored and holds for a while with nice lacing on edge of the glass.

S: Sweet toffee and roasted malt smell with hint of alcohol on the back end which if more prominent as it warms up.

T: Smooth with a moderate thickness, roasted malt, toffee, coffee and sweetness. Alcohol can be appreciated as it warms up.

M: Great body the finishes nicely and cleanly. To my taste buds, I get a hint of alcohol when it warmed up.

O: FANTASTIC. The alcohol is a minor issue and only when warms up, especially at 10%. I need to age one of these and see how it turns out in about a year or two. I don't know if my patience can last much longer than that.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 22:10:48 | More by Archimetez
Photo of Earpe

North Carolina

4.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at my local Total Wine for the first time a couple months ago....this will be one of my go to favorite RIS when i cannot locate the Narwhal. Dark color, dark fruit, charred/coffee flavor. I truly love this stout, unfortunately it is about $10 for a 4 pack. Very nice drink-ability. Smooth, it is not my top RIS, but it is in my top five and definitely one I will not turn down.

Very nice on a cool fall/winter evening or as a night cap.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 15:39:34 | More by Earpe
Photo of Richardbeerlover


3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark stout. Nice dark color and the taste is neutral. Only the slightest of sweetness. Good flavor with just the right amount of carbonation. Enjoyed this. Nothing really stood out as being exceptional to me except that the high ABV really gives you a nice wack.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 04:12:33 | More by Richardbeerlover
Photo of Uniobrew31


4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured completely black with a nice tan head. Smelled roasty, almost smokey. Tasted great. Lots of dark malt notes, well balanced slightly bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel is lacking compared to the rest of the characteristics of this beer. It was a bit syrupy imho. The 9% abc was well hidden as well. I will be buying this one again soon.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 03:50:19 | More by Uniobrew31
Photo of WhiteHillsStore


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'll start off by saying that I am a huge fan of super dark beers, and that I know that it is not everyone's favorite type. That being said, this is one of my favorites. Especially for a beer that is easy to acquire year round here in CT. The pour is great with pitch black liquid and a nice brown head. The profiles of coffee and dark chocolate are very strong and give a great aftertaste. I love pairing this beer with red meats, although I drink this alone quite a bit. North Coast is a great brewery with an eclectic selection but this will probably remain as my favorite of theirs for some time.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 04:08:44 | More by WhiteHillsStore
Photo of BeerWizard


4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 06:28:15 | More by BeerWizard
Photo of hopflyer


4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle with etching 31050530. Pours pitch black, light tan head. Its an RIS.

Dark fruit aroma, some raisin, and prunes. Some alcohol but hidden way backstage on this one.

taste is espresso-like in bitterness up front and follows up with semi-sweet chocolate mixed in with dark dried fruit like the prunes picked up in the aroma. Smooths out as it warms and the upfront bitterness backs off.

Not overly carbonated but more so than I was expecting. Pretty new to stouts so not sure what the goal is here. For me, it work here. Thickens as it warms and leaves stickiness on my lips.

Like I said, pretty new to stouts. I like this beer especially on a day like today, raw and cold. I'll certainly go for this again and it seems to have opened me up to more than the ipa/dipa that are usually my go to's

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 02:18:07 | More by hopflyer
Photo of Whiteweasel


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle bought in 2009, drank in Nov 2013, drank from a pint glass.

Appearance: Thick, deep black, viscous, motor oil appearance. Not a single ray of light is getting through this beer. About 1 finger of light, brown creamy head. Not enough head to really leave much lacing. Very appealing

Smell: Primary smell is a heavy maltiness, with a raisin-like sweetness. Typical roasted cocoa and coffee bean flavours are there, but fruits and malts have become stronger over 4+ years. Slight ethanol warmth is present, with a slight bit of phenol.

Taste: Lots of roasted body, from the first taste through after you've swallowed it. Very coffee heavy but without the bitterness. A faint malty sweetness, mixing with the dark cocoa flavour. Very little bitterness at first, but hits you later. More and more butterscotch-y diacetyl as you go.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous. Lots of booziness, almost over the top after a while. Tenacious aftertaste. Nice and creamy.

Overall: Very good, always enjoy these, but the time definitely changed this beer. Whisky-like characteristics are emphasized a lot more, and the roasted malt notes have been subdued in favour of a powerful boozy bitterness. A dangerous beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 01:48:22 | More by Whiteweasel
Photo of -MK-

New York

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looking at this beer, for what it is (an imperial stout) - I have had no better example of the type. The alcohol is noticable, and gives quite the kick to the balls on the initial sip- but the flavor of it is rounded out with complexity, showing malts (perfectly balanced in the beer), spices, and chocolate. The flavor is SO complex and dense I am at a loss for descriptions trying to do it justice. Add to this the silky, creamy goodness that makes you want to keep sipping. The creaminess on this beer is so remarkable, that I can't think of anything I have ever had that compares. The only detraction might be that its heavy in notcing the alcohol in the flavor- but its an imperial stout, so this beer ends up being everything it should be.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 18:32:01 | More by -MK-
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,408 ratings.