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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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10,544 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,544
Reviews: 3,446
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 379
Gots: 1,723 | FT: 47
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 (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,544 | Reviews: 3,446 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Docer
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a little 4-pack of this at a QFC... kept hearing a lot about it.. just hadn't seen it up here until now..

- Poured slightly heavily into my pint glass... nice mocha head that settled down to a nice pinky thickness.. Totally dark.. can't see a thing through it... looks great!

- What a great scent! I can smell some fantastic hops in this... it smells very fresh... and if you said you mixed a fresh hop IPA with a guinness.. I wouldn't doubt you.. this doesn't smell at all like a 9% stout... which is a good thing! Slight roasty chocolate malt.. but very faint at all..

- Nice bitter chocolate malt.. sweet and bitter hop bite.. lovely bitter afterbite.. can't taste the 9% Alc. at all... very smooth..

- Bitter bomb of a stout but not sour or tart... slight chewyness, and dry... what a stout ought to be...

- Super good, and super drinkable... flavor digs into the tongue and doesn't let go for awhile... overall one of the most drinkable RIS's I have tried.

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

12oz bottle, picked up from Deluxe Foods in Aptos, CA in June 2009.

A - Coffee black, with just a shade of color around the edges when held up to the light. Struggled to muster a one-finger head, decent lacing on the glass.

S - Alcohol, burnt sugar, coffee. Very pleasant. As it warms it gets sweeter and sweeter.

T - Not as sweet as it smells, which is welcome -- so many RIS seem a bit too sweet for me. Dark coffee, some earthy overtones. And alcohol. Wasn't sure about it at first, but as I get past the halfway mark it's growing on me.

M - Not as thick as I had imagined. Some alcohol burn, seems grainy for some reason, and oily. But it works for the most part.

D - Definitely warming me up. The high ABV makes me think I should stick to just one, but as I finish the first I'm already craving another.

Overall, I have to say that I really liked this beer. Worthy of the hype, especially for the price. I think I'll be stopping by for another couple 4-packs.

Photo of hardy008
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a huge foamy 4+ finger tan head with great retention. The color is dark black, but allows shades of ruby to show through.

Smell - Chocolate, coffee, and dark roasted malt.

Taste - Just like the smell. Has a sweet taste with some bitterness at the end for balance.

Mouthfeel - Rich, smooth, creamy, and full bodied.

Drinkability - Highly drinkable and highly recommended.

Photo of mudshark698
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am drinking this out of a 12oz bottle. When poured into a glass, it comes out a beautiful shade of black. No light passes through it and it has an ample head which clears pretty quickly.
This beer has great flavor which adds to its drinkability. I have gotten myself into trouble with Old Rasputin more than a few times. It has a great upfront flavor of roasted barley and malt. Not too bitter, bitterness is definitely present. Coffee flavor on the back.
Great mouth feel. Nice and smooth.
Smell is decadent. Nice coffee notes, burnt sugar, prunes.

This is a great RIS. Not too complex, and thoroughly forthcoming. Smooth as silk.

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

I opened the bottle and immediately was greeted by a wonderful smell of bread and alcohol. I poured the beer into a glass. There was a lot of head (around 3 fingers). The beer was very thick and dark. When I held it up to the light, not much passed through. The head foam was very stiff. The beer had a high enough viscosity to cling to the sides of the glass when swirled a bit. The initial taste had hints of sweet fruitiness, but was quickly replaced with a nice strong bitter taste of malt. There was a hint of an aftertaste that I could do without. Overall, the stout was very drinkable. This is one of the thickest, darkest stouts I have ever seen. I liked the style of the label as well.

Photo of Cylinsier
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour from a 12 oz. Came out a little thick looking and poured black as tar. When held up to the light...well, light doesn't pass through it. Its like dark matter. The head was nothing but a tiny bit of lacing but it never really goes away and its a light nut brown color.

Smells very rich! Caramel and smokey malts, along with a hint of brown sugar and fig.

The taste is smokey and dry, nuts and wood-like flavors. The aftertaste is like sweetened coffee. Warms a bit on the way down but not a hint of alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel is very thick but surprisingly fizzy.

This is an extremely unique beer and a real treat. The higher than normal ABV means you probably can't drink a whole bunch, but man is it worth finding and trying. This is one full bodied and tasty beer.

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

pitch balck dark brown head

smells of roasted malt toffee chocolate and coffee

flavor dominated by roasted malt undertones of chocolate coffee booze and toffee

thick and carbonated well

very smooth always willing to have another

this is probably one of favorite beers that is produced though out the year and is available almost any where in the country

Photo of northaustin
3.62/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a schnifter. slight head with a thick lacing. pours an almost black with dark brown head.

smell is pretty standard. to be honest im struggling to think of a way to describe it. its as grainy as i expected from an imperial stout but nothing too strong or noticeable.

the alchohol is masked very well and isnt so sweet that it gives you that heartburny feeling.

mouthfeel and drinkability are superb. much smoother and thin than other russian imperial stouts. incomparable to other commercially availabe beers of the style.

Photo of BZero007
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Re Reviewed 6/3/09

Poured in to a Guinness Stout glass.

Pours a solid black color with a brown head that forms very good and needs no help. Aroma is strong for a dark stout with chocolate and coffe back ground which I would have to attribute to the great head formation and carbonation. Taste was great and was not over bearing but was a an excellent RIS for me with out the prominent coffe flavor. Chocolate, dark fruits, and roasted coffe and malts power this brews flavor for me. Coffee came was in the background for me. Everything is very balanced and the Alcohol is well hidden and may sneak up on you with out noticing. I have to say that the carbonation is very strong and almost a bit to strong. Excellent brew and will continue to purchase.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Fresh Bottle:

Pours a completely opaque, jet-black color. Almost two-fingers of creamy, cappucino colored foam create the head. Retention is excellent and lacing is in sticky, thick lines.

Big dark chocolate covered caramels. Good hints of dark coffee. Slight booziness. Hints of dark cherries. Nice roastiness.

Massive dark chocolate covered dark roasted coffee beans. Light touches of heavy cream. Espresso notes. Huge roasted malt profile. Good dose of charred grain flavor. Very light hints of caramel and black cherries.

Solid full-bodied brew. Very smooth and delightfully creamy. This is exactly how beer should feel.

Very drinkable. The 9%ABV is very well hidden inside this one. Not really even a whole lot of warming effect, which is surprising, at this ABV level.

Notes on 1-year old bottle:

Looks very similar to fresh, including head and lacing.
Smell has totally mellowed/evened out. Much sweeter now, with caramel and molasses moving to the forefront and coffee and chocolates taking the backseat.
The roasted malts are still prominent in the taste. The coffee, chocolate, molasses and caramel are on an equal level, beneath the roastiness.
Body is still excellent.
Drinkability is still high.

Photo of jera1350
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep cola color with huge dark tan bubbly head that hangs around for a long time. Some sticky lacing.

S- Chocolate, cola, creamy and sweet. Deep caramel and roasted malt.

T- Similar to the smell. A little more coffee comes through. Warm alcohol taste is present. Nice clean finish with a bit of hops.

M- Very smooth. Maybe a bit thin for the style. Carbonation seems to be perfect.

D- This has to be as drinkable as any 9% RIS can be. It's a sipper, but is delightful.

Photo of brow1901
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black in color with a dark tan head. The beer has amazing retention and great lacing.

S- Strong scents of chocolate hit me right away. Toffee blends neatly with a faint bourbon smell.

T- Wow lots of hop flavor hiding in this beer. Then the malt hits (chocolate and coffee). Finally the alcohol warms and washes every thing away. Bittersweet and bourbon, the bourbon isn't very strong this should be noted.

M- Good light carbonation to the keep the beer alive. Great dry finish in the throat.

D- A really drinkable stout. Great all around beer.

Photo of jjanega08
3.89/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A= pours a depp black with a perfect two finger head that's a dark tan almost brown color. Great thick marshmellowy retention and lacing.
S= dark coffee and chocolate some figs and darkfruit. Not as pungent as I wanted or expcected. There's also a touch of booze.
T= dark toasted malts up front sort of burnt smokyness as well. Dark chocolate touches and is followed by lots of coffee. There's a lot of dark fruits as well. Really underrated flavor.
M= thick and chewy with a suprisingly crisp finish. Coats the entire mouth well.
D= great brew. Could be a littlesmoother really great overall though sort of reminds me of why I started drinking good beer.

Photo of farrago
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Close to two finger head on the pour, rich brown color, dissipates into a thin layer across the surface but the lacing is super-sticky and longlasting. Easily reaches blackness in color, no real change in hue to be found, opaque, like duh. Bitter chocolate and coffee bean, nuts and cherry, plum fruit fill up the nose, has a distinct mineral and grass element to it which gives it an erect bearing, overall roasted feel gives it lift and an agreeable verve. Medium to full-bodied, prickly carbonation disperses the weight nicely. Black licorice, dark chocolate, coffee bean and brazil nuts give it some breadth. The hops give it a sour twist and slight grain, straw flavoring, floral at turns. Carbonation also brings out a little minerally edge. Has more of a cleansing feel than you'll find in most RIPs. Not pushy through the finish, a decided good thing.

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

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony, loaded head and creamy froth.

smell: no hops, and slight chocolate aromas

taste: rich and slight chocolate roasted flavors but had a smooth rich taste, Very Dry, not sweet at all.

mouthfeel: thick, creamy, good carbonation and very tasty

drinkability: One of the top imperial stouts out there. Loved and will drink again

Photo of nighthawk
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with no freshness date poured into imperial pint glass.

Pours a dark, opaque black with a creamy, frothy large head that is resilient. Some sticky lacing is left in clumps.

Aroma is very dark - roasted grains, dark roasted coffee and dark chocolate mix with a dose of alcohol and subtle hints of dark cherry.

Taste is a velvety smooth, creamy mix of dark chocolate and charred grains, sweetening a bit with some creamier chocolate, dark cherry and maybe a hint of caramel. Finish is semi-dry lingering burnt grains with just a touch of further chocolate sweetness.

Mouthfeel is really creamy, but the carbonation surprises me near the finish, giving the beer a lively feel. Feels like it sticks and crawls around your mouth, coats it very nicely.

Drinkability is remarkable for a beer of such strength. The roasted flavours dominate but are a hallmark of the style. It's a creamy, chocolatey melange that pleases me to no end. A very nice treat to cap off a night.

Photo of TexIndy
3.87/5  rDev -10%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass after letting warm up. No dating info. It was a very deep mahogany color. Good lacing. It had about 3 fingers of dark brown head that very, very slowly settled into a constant thick foam.

The aroma was surprisingly muted. Got some chocolate malt and coffee in the back with a strong whiff of alcohol. Other reviews described a more pronounced aroma so not sure what it wrong on this particular bottle. What is there is good but needed more of the chocolate and coffee to stand out to offset the phenol. The taste was much better than the aroma with the flavors standing out more. Again, it could have used some more choc/coffee to offset the alcohol taste. Nice bitter finish. Mouthfeel was nice and creamy with good carbonation and the bitter finish.

Overall, a really good but not outstanding RIS. Not sure if I got a bad sample so will try again to be sure. Do give high recommend. Need to resample to set the rotation but unless better it would only be an occasional and that would mainly be since it's one of the few good RIS that I can get here in 12oz bottles.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Stemmed Glass. No date.

A - One finger dark and dense tan head with a completely opaque body. Not much to look at, but fits the style well.

S - Dark roasted chocolate malts with some cocoa and coffee notes but also very dry wheat with a little alcohol spicy burn.

T - Hearty and rich of dark, heavily roasted chocolate malts. So heavily roasted that there is a very bitter coffee-like flavor going on. Strong spicy alcoholic finish.

M - Viscous and full-bodied, it's not syrupy, but it sure is a thick beer. Bitter and slightly astringent on the finish as well as dry.

D - Good beer that deserves time for sipping and warming for nuances to be pulled out. Hard drinkability but a very good sipper.

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

Pours very thick, llooks and has the consistency of used motor oil. The only other beer I've had that this resembles is Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. Very black, if there's any other color here, I don't have enough light to reveal it. Head is short and brown, dissipates quickly.

Smell is strong, lots of coffee and chocolate there. Also there is a sweetness there, a bit of toffee, maybe some raising and molasses as well. Quite a bit going on.

Complex taste, there's a lot of chocolate there, as well as coffee. Reminds me of what you taste when you drink a good coffee while eating a high quality piece of chocolate, the coffee and chocolate are distinct, yet compliment each other well. Finishes with a bold hops taste, and a bit of alcohol warming.

Feel is quite solid, could stand to be a touch thicker, but leaves you with no doubt this is a serious beer.

It would be hard to drink a lot of this at one sitting due to the strength, but this is another of what I have termed a reward beer. Too good to just drink casually ,this one is one to savor and enjoy as a special treat.

Photo of merryjoulton
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black, but light still comes through in the edges as a translucent brown. I like my RIS to be pitch black :) Smells of toffee, chocolate, roasted malts, and a hint of bacon grease. Taste is superb, super heavy in roasty notes and chocolate mocha. Feels thick and full, drinkability is high.

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma - Sweet malt with roasted malts

Appearance - Poured dark with a light brown head that stuck around for a while.

Taste - Slight bitter hop finish with plenty of roasted malt. Lots of roasted malt actually. Is it good? Kinda, but this strikes me as a middle of the road R.I.S. nothing special.

Mouthfeel - Relatively full bodied

Drinkability - Yes.

Photo of jsh420
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours almost black with a good 2 finger tan head that leaves spotted lacing

smell isnt as strong as i would like but smells sweet and hints of coffee and chocolate

taste is very complex sweet fruit/alcohol with big roasted malts followed by coffeee and bitter chocolate

mouthfeel is full body but lighter then most RIS - good carbonation that leaves a nice and creamy finish

drinkability is scary for a 9%abv beer and a stout

overall solid ris that is priced right and i hope it says that way

Photo of MVotter
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma from the opening of the bottle: smokey, black licorice, sweet malts

Aroma after the pour: coffee, molasses

Old Rasputin pours into a tall pils glass with a gigantic, thick, dark-tan head; settles back to 2+ fingers in a minute. The body of the beer is black coffee, impervious to light.

The taste begins sweet and malty; delicious coffee and molasses notes follow, and a bit of a bitter chocolate kick.

The mouthfeel is superb; medium gravity, moderate carbonation, extremely palate-friendly.

Old Rasputin brings a 9% abv and masks the alcohol very well. It's a delicious, very drinkable RIS.

This is one hell of an impressive brew!

Photo of DiabolikDUB
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from Bottle into Pint glass.

Pours absolutely midnight black with a one inch mocha head that moderately dissipates into a thin layer around glass. The Aroma is filled with dark chocolate and roasted malts with some light coffee scent in there as well. The flavor has an upfront roastiness with some chocolate and some dried fruits has the flavors linger and ends with a nice bitterness. This is a heavy bodied beer that coats your mouth with every sip. Every time I get the chance to have this beer its always a good night.

Photo of stoutfiend27
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle received as extra courteous of Ghengis22..poured into St. Feuillien wide mouth glass...how ive missed a review of this ill never know since ive purchased it many many times...

a-pitch black with a espresso colored head that fell after a minute or so...nice lacing...

s-roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, and caramel, faintest hops, quite aromatic

t-chocolate and roast up front, followed by coffee and caramel and a nice hop sting in the end..

m-thick and chewy just like i love my ris...nice carbonation..warms as it goes down and is quite oily

d-during the winter i could warm up with these all night...now with our warm days and chilly nights only one late...

top notch...one of the best...

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,544 ratings.