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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.

8,387 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8387
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
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Ratings: 8,387 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BeerDazed


4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at one of the local craft brew bars. Served in a special Old Rasputin-labeled glass. A little on the small side, but this is a RIS.

Beautiful appearance. A deep, dark, rich black with a thick, tan-colored head. If they were looking for the most photogenic beer of the night, this was the one. As volume decreased, lacing very apparent.

The smell...Roasty is the first word that came to mind. Darkened maltiness with a definite coffee overtone. Some chocolate in there too.

The taste...Fantastic! Starting with roasty malty goodness along with some dark chocolate notes, and finishing with the coffee near the end. Full-bodied, but not too carbonated. Once it warmed up a bit, almost got a bit of a dark fruit aroma and taste too. Creamy, full, and an excellent winter warmer. The 9% abv was very well hidden. This was a meal in itself.

I have had some other RIS, but this one really stands out. Everything about it was just splendid. I have a feeling that when people think Russian Imperial Stout, good ol' Old Rasputin will come to mind.

So...If your name happens to be Rasputin, you're in good company!

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2014 13:26:42 | More by BeerDazed
Photo of cambabeer


4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap, a great winter beer. I haven't really been too big into stouts but lately more so and this one is truly fantastic. Totally black color with a nice minimal carbonation and super frothy creamy head, only about a centimeter thick. Lace clings to the glass like mud.
Smells very toasty and roast from the malt. Clean and alcoholic at the same time with some spiciness. Taste is very smooth and rich almost sweeter toward the beginning but that fades away quickly with the roasted/burt malt and coffee characteristic of the middle. The finish is hoppy and still coffee like with a little milk chocolate and slightly sweet.
Super creamy mouthfeel, very light carbonation. Very worth it to pick some of this up again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2014 05:46:19 | More by cambabeer
Photo of BryanForrestKim


3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap.

A: The head blooms beautifully and lingers resiliently–it seems to stick to the sides of the glass as if it were starch. Pitch dark brown with only a glimmer of dark red when held up to light.

S: Very strong–almost smells somewhere in between a 75%-100% Dark Chocolate. Hops aromas barely shine through.

T: Complex. Flavors include the Crema of a Ristretto Espresso Shot; Dark, Dark Chocolate; and fresh cream. Ends with some sweet hops.

M: Nice, but on the boundary between "rich" and "sticky"

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2014 08:07:38 | More by BryanForrestKim
Photo of wildcatboy


4.81/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I've had this beer a handful of times. On tap, in bottle, on nitro. Every time I know ordering that it's a classic but I am continually impressed. If you like stouts this is a must try. North Coast sets the bar and sets it high with this one. Smooth smooooth drink.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2013 01:45:28 | More by wildcatboy
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

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

Had on-tap at Ancora New Orleans. Served in a New Belgium goblet.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a full inch of frothy light brown head that retains very well before slowly melting away to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a large bump of surface foam. Wisps of lacing stick to the glass.

S- Rich roasty cocoa aroma with notes of vanilla, coffee and even black cherry.

T- I always forget how sweet this beer is. The black cherry continues on with the flavor and mingles with the dark roast creating a chocolate-covered cherry type of effect. There are also notes of anise and more vanilla in the finish. Moderate hop bitterness.

M- Thick and somewhat creamy with medium carbonation and a full body.

O- A classic version of the style. While I prefer it on nitro-pour if having it on-tap, it's just fine with CO2.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2013 01:44:32 | More by Immortale25
Photo of mick303

Ontario (Canada)

4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin on tap at Zeitgeist. smell of coffee and roasty malt, taste is super creamy with a thorough bitterness and dark malt with toffee sweetness toward the end, great balance and drinkability. This is so creamy and smooth for the strength, no perceptible alcohol just a rich full bodied stout, light creamy carbonation and lots of rich roasty flavor. Keeps a creamy head till the end. Not much bad to say about this beer, tons of rich balanced flavor, great character. Would definitely have again.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2013 16:43:42 | More by mick303
Photo of rallens


4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorites, I call it "Old Reliable" just for fun. I am reviewing this for the serving type "on-tap", however I have had it bottled as well, and it never let's me down in either form. Very rich flavor, with a smooth after taste (not pruny tasting). Highly recommended for all, even if you don't care for Stouts.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2013 23:12:41 | More by rallens
Photo of TCmichigan


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a pint glass, b/c the pubtender was nice... and their pints hold more than their snifters.

Appearance- The darkest shade of brown you can hit before it becomes black. The head was the color of a solid chocolate milk.

Smell- Didn't take the time to smell it so much as drink it, so, yeah. Ignore my comment on this category.

Taste- Roast malt with caramel & brown sugar, with a booze-ish/chocolately aftertaste. Not at all a bad thing. Lets you know it's doing what it should. Head itself tastes like chocolate and brown sugar.

Mouthfeel- A bit thinner than most stouts I like to enjoy, but still amazing. Low carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall- Something I could have a couple of and be set for the night. An amazing attempt at a quality stout from the folks at North Coast.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2013 21:34:02 | More by TCmichigan
Photo of Jdbateman83


1.91/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 1.25

This review will be far from the norm, and doesn't reflect bad on the beer, but my own taste. I do respect this beer for its amazing scores, style, complexity... But with all that being said; I couldn't finish my glass. I tried this beer at the Yardouse with a friend. I hate bitterness, I like smooth, complex, deep, slight hops, lots of malt, type beers. Aboslutely way to bitter for me. I try and finish every beer, even if I don't like it, because I want to be sure I don't like it. I left half of a pint glass with this and the Yardhouse bartender gave me a refund. Not MY cup of tea.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2013 04:10:42 | More by Jdbateman83
Photo of JackDempsy


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

I don't know why you do not have this beer in your top 25. This has to be the best Imperial Stout that I have ever had. In my opinion this beer cannot be improved upon!

I am more of an Pale Ale or IPA person, but if I see this on a beer list at a restaurant, I have to have it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2013 15:56:46 | More by JackDempsy
Photo of MartzMimic


4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours a deep blackish brown with a creamy head. Loads of lacing in the glass. Big aroma of coffee and chocolate. The taste is spot-on the same, with some dark fruit joining in. Nice bit of bitterness on the finish. Nice thick, oily mouth. This is everything a stout should be, and one of my favorites.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2013 03:01:32 | More by MartzMimic
Photo of MarkQ617


4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It was awesome. Had on tap at Slate. I could've used a darker look, but a very pretty looking beer. The smell wakes you up like a black cup of joe, and the taste of the beer has a nice chocolate flavor to match the coffee. Amazingly smooth mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2013 23:08:37 | More by MarkQ617
Photo of delta490


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

A- black as your soul. Deep mocha head is creamy and lasts a looong time. Leaves huge lacing.
S- Roasted coffee notes are wonderful. Subtle hints of chocolate blend in.
T- A thing of beauty. The same chocolate and coffee notes from the aroma blend together perfectly.
M- so smooth. A rich fullness. Not oily or slick.
O- this thing is perfection. Hides it big ABV behind a delicious wall of flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2013 06:57:38 | More by delta490
Photo of Fusion7777


4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very approachable dark RIS with a thick head, dark cocoa, roasted malt flavors, and a touch of dark fruit. Creamy and full-bodied with a velvety texture. Alcohol fairly well-hidden. Available year-round and compares favorably to some more hyped-up limited release stouts.

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2013 01:50:42 | More by Fusion7777
Photo of natescape


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 thrash420


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

This is the only beer I would ever give a perfect score to. Never before has such a masterpiece been crafted. It is said that one even gains intelligence from drinking this wonderful brew.

A: Oh man the waiter brought me a schooner of motor oil again, atop sat an inch of thick tan head. As I sipped, it laced amazingly. When the whole 16oz was gone, it was still laced head to toe like a magnificent art piece.

S: Deep roasted hops with caramel and coffee aromas with light spices filled my senses, followed by a barely noticeable alcohol smell. It was delectable and made my mouth water.

T: Given the alcohol content and other imperials I've had, I expected a much more bitter harsher taste. This was quite the opposite, it was smooth and delicious, very easy to drink and enjoy. An amateur beer drinker could enjoy this just as much as our seasoned vets.

M: This would have only felt better in my mouth if it was vagina. It wasnt sticky, wasn't too thick nor too thin. It was perfect, absolutely perfect.

Overall: 100/100. 2 thumbs up. Worlds most perfect beer in this category

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2012 18:52:49 | More by thrash420
Photo of cruzmissile72


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

I had this at Cask Republic in New Haven, CT on tap into a snifter.

It arrived as a lovely dark color with a nice tan head that lasted throughout. Nice lacing. Nice bitterness balanced well by the creaminess and a pronounced alcohol bite at the finish. This was my first time drinking this--hopefully many more to come. Definitely a sipper at 9% alcohol.

Serving type: on-tap

08-29-2012 23:21:06 | More by cruzmissile72
Photo of kevinsane

4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first experience with a stout was a Guinness which I did not particularly enjoy. This beer however, Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, has completely changed my opinion in regards to the Stout category.

Appearance : Poured a deep robust black/brown color with around a centimeter and half of thick tan head, which as it emptied, left several dense layers of foam.

Smell : A rich melody of chocolate, coffee and what I assume was the residuals of alcohol. Simple, yet very enjoyable.

Taste : A sophisticated yet conservative mix of chocolate, black coffee and possibly toffee? It's taste is mysterious yet familiar and is one of my favorite aspects of this beer.

Mouth : The first sips are in my opinion the most enjoyable. The thick foamy head acts as an appetizer to an entirely delicious dark beer , combined with a sturdy 9% alch by vol rating which leaves nothing to be desired.

Overall : It may seem as though I am gushing over this beer and frankly that is because I am. It was thoroughly enjoyable from the first to last sip, and I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially on a cold night.


Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2012 06:15:44 | More by kevinsane
Photo of GuitarRob22

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

I have had this beer on-tap and from the bottle and I have to say, this is what a stout is all about. Dark chocolaty and bold. The 75+ IBUs and 9% alcohol are hidden behind a fantastic flavor. The head is tan and allows for fantastic aromatherapy while drinking. Highly recommended.

From the bottle this beer does seem to be lacking some of the finer details of flavor found when it is on-tap.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2012 02:10:13 | More by GuitarRob22
Photo of TheRealBigC


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin stands as being the creamiest imperial stout in my experience thus far. It's quite interesting - the alcohol is noticeable and there is a touch of hops in there as well, but the foamy head and rich body come closer to a Young's stout than, say, the Stone Imperial Stout. And indeed, there is a chocolate profile which makes for a tasty, tasty beer. The only downside for me was the lack of strength of smell. I got some whiffs of malt and chocolate, but it didn't knock me back. I'll blame it on the glassware choice of the bar (regular pint glass) and not dock too much for it.

Serving type: on-tap

07-30-2012 07:23:54 | More by TheRealBigC
Photo of Bierguy5


4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at South Park Tavern. Very deep brown, nearly black. Thin mocha head looks inviting. Eventually a thin collar forms, and some spots of lace.

Roasty notes, espresso and dark chocolate. Caramel, dark fruit and some earthy, almost ashy notes.

Roasted malts and fairly dry up front. Espresso notes, bittersweet dark chocolate and some caramel. Not much dark fruit. Bitter roasty notes linger for a while, just like a nice espresso at the end of a meal.

Great body, with a lower amount of carbonation. Alcohol is hidden very well in this. I really like the dark chocolate/espresso character in this. Well made.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2012 23:59:51 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pot at Terminus. From notes.

A - Poured black with a khaki one finger heat. Good rings of lace and a film of retention.

S - Coffee seemed strong with lot's of chocolate. Simple but enjoyable.

T - Chocolate, booze, chocolate covered coffee beans. layers of chocolate and roastiness.

M - Really smooth, mild carbonation and a medium to full body.

O/D - Nice but lacking depth. Don't get me wrong though, this was a good Impy Stout and really easy to drink. Just left me wanting more as I felt like it had the potential for greatness.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2012 06:32:47 | More by tbeckett
Photo of tylerprince


4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A second Old Rasputin review. Had the pleasure of trying this on tap after a year of cellaring. DBGB, Bowery and Houston, NYC. This review is pretty much a copy of my first with some major changes:

A: Pours a beautiful matte black. No light gets through. After a cascade, a frothy 2-finger mocha head remains, with good retention. This gives way to a beautiful lacing.

S: Chocolate up front, roasted malts. Hop presence has certainly faded compared to the fresh bottle, and has been replaced by a coffee-like aroma. Much stronger than out of the bottle.

T: WOW. So much character, but still with all the flavors of a stout. Roasted malts and chocolate throughout, with coffee flavors much more powerful after the cellaring. The second 5.0 I have ever awarded for taste - this is simply perfect.

M: Creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Finishes with some foam. Other stouts with this much flavor are generally sippers...this one is so smooth you can drink at your own leisure.

O: One of the best stouts I've tried. I only wish it were easier to find - it's lack of ubiquity is astonishing given its status in the beer world as the archetypal RIS.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2012 22:56:23 | More by tylerprince
Photo of Jamesthebrit


4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Super dark and creamy. Head looks like hot chocolate.
S: Roasty, chocolatey, hints of alchohol.
T: Doesn't drink like an imperial at all. Super smooth with roasty chocolate. A kick of alchohol finishes it off but it doesn't linger. A nice finishing touch.
M: Perfect. Sits with a perfect amount of bubbles and the nice flavors really come through.

Overall a great beer. I was reluctant to try it because usually imperials have too much ABV for me but this one did a great job of working in compliment with it. A must try.

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2012 15:07:06 | More by Jamesthebrit
Photo of williamjbauer

West Virginia

4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap served in a pint glass

A - Obsidian with ruby tint and some stray photons passing through edges. Two finger ecru head with excellent head retention and great lacing

S - faint smell of roasted coffee and dark chocolate with alcohol in background

T - Extremely smooth the whole way with roasted barley and chocolate in the front and nice EtOH the whole way through. Not as bold as I expected but so smooth. Very little bitterness

M - full body moderate carbonation creamy and smooth

O - Fantastic Imperial stout. One of my favorites but still not as good as The Abyss.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2012 14:32:11 | More by williamjbauer
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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,387 ratings.