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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.

9,154 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,154
Reviews: 3,321
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 247
Gots: 996 | FT: 32
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)
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Ratings: 9,154 | Reviews: 3,321 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of edchicma


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One strong brew...but boy, is there something different going on here! The smell was malty with some alcohol hints, but it was a different kind of malt, not only sweet but with a smoothness that I haven't encountered before. Poured a jet black with a nice chunky head that laced nicely. I'm not an expert, but I can sense something complex going on with this brew...sweetness,,,chocolate..coffee...alcohol, but blended so beautifully, it was a rare pleasure.

I'm not a strong brew fan, but the mouthfeel was equally impressive for its strength. True, it's a sipper, but warm and full-bodied. For what it is, very drinkable for the high abv. Everyone should try a bottle, and if you are really brave try two!

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2003 01:38:34 | More by edchicma
Photo of IrishRedRock


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one hell of an Imperial, but does not stand up to a few that I've had. I was hoping it would be right up there at the top, but it's not quite.

Pours with zero carbonation, and not as thick as expected. No head retention and has a dark brown body. Held to the light it has a ruby glow to it. Nice chocolatey aroma with notes of sweet candy and hops. Flavor follows in kind. Bitter dark chocolate gives way to a nice roasted malt flavor, followed by a crisp hop finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, but is somewhat spritzy and could be better. A damn fine Imperial, though honestly I expected a little more. Nonetheless, definitely worth seeking out, especially if you love beers of this delightful style.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2003 06:14:43 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of saltydog

New York

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:Dark, opaque, the head is a dark brown and very retentive. Smell: Malt sweetness, roasted malts, and hops, in a pretty nice balance. Taste: Big roastiness in front, then, hops, then sweetness at the end...which is very odd, as sweetness is usually the first thing you taste. Works great, though! Mouthfeel is rich, thick and creamy, with a little residual dryness from the roasted malts. Obviously not something you would knock back many pints of it, but it still is easy to drink for an imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2003 04:25:07 | More by saltydog
Photo of grynder33


3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a beautiful dark color, a coffee chocolate aroma, initialy a smooth velvety feel in the mouth, but the CO2 started coming on strong. The first tastewas complex, fruit chocolate carmel, but then a big bitter alcohol taste started building in the back of my throat and became unpleasant. This is good stuff, but you probaly have to sip it slower than Scotch Whiskey

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2003 11:08:51 | More by grynder33
Photo of avylover


4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My 100th Review, and a worthy beer to go with it. My wife "is proud." An american brew that is carried by a local bar that stictly carries only imports. Guess they saw the light on this one.

Pours thick & black with some ruby highlights when held up to the light. Nice frothy tan head that gave the "waterfall" effect upon pouring. Aroma is strong in the malt department. Very sweet, yet there are some hops to calm things down a bit. An alcohol bite clears up the sinuses. This is one beer that's full of taste. Starts off with a deep sweet maltiness, followed by some hop bitterness fighting back, ending with a nice roasted malt aftertaste. There is some fruitiness in there all the while just trying to make things even more interesting. Decent carbonation that gives way to a nice slick mouthfeel, with a quite sticky aftertaste. Very drinkable stout, and dangerous at that. I could drink this all night....and end up with a rough morning. Great Beer...'nuff said

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2003 01:27:20 | More by avylover
Photo of Gueuzedude


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

Thick, oily and black, definite brown head, that is quite meringue like, tops this brew. A sweet roast malt aroma emanates from my glass, followed by a note of coffee. Quite thick, though not overly so. Strong malt presence, definite roast malt character as well. This beer is like chewing on a roast malt kernel, it has the same after taste and everything. Even though thick and malty the roast character lets this beer finish like it is quite dry. There is a bit of oiliness in this beer. The beer is very smooth, yet still carbonated. Almost a cola not to this as it first hits my mouth.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2003 22:21:05 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of HossMcGraw


4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great Imperial. The head is surprisingly huge. Very dark brown color. Not much aroma detected. The taste is very similar to Storm King, only not as cloying. Dark fruits and roasted malts, with a nice hoppy aftertaste. Drinkability is high. I think I could have about three is one sitting. In summation, better than Storm King, not as good as Willy Shakes.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2003 21:06:21 | More by HossMcGraw
Photo of Dantes

New Jersey

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

Package: 12oz. crowned brown bottle, labeled 8.9% ABV; no date information. Black and gold label with a forbidding portrait of a greeting or saluting Rasputin. Russian inscription I can sound out but not translate.

Cost: $5.49 a 4-Pack at Total Wines

Presentation: Imperial Pint glass at ~50º

Appearance: Opaque, but of a slightly lighter brown than the typical imperial stout. More like a bittersweet chocolate than ebony. Copious gunsmoke on opening. Generated a medium-dense one-finger cocoa head, which resolved into a patchy slick.

Smell: This exhibited a deep, rich, roasted malt aroma, with some coffee and chocolate notes. Surprisingly subdued hops.

Taste: Good first impression. A bit sweeter than I expected, with lots of different sensations happening at once: coffee, bittersweet chocolate, nuts, malty sweetness, and just enough hops to keep it interesting but not so as to be intrusive. Much less espresso–like than the Storm King. More like a Sam Smith’s. As it warmed, the more fruity elements came to the fore, with currants, prunes, and some gentle eau-de-vie warmth. Medium finish despite the relatively light body.

Mouthfeel: This was somewhat roughly carbonated and not as thick or creamy as I expected. Certainly doesn’t have the viscosity of an Expedition or Sam Smith’s, but the flavor makes up for a lot. Similar in body to a Storm King, but with better balance.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for an imperial stout. The relatively light body allows for an extra one, and it has a nice balance of flavors (not too hoppy, not too espresso-like). Alcohol is unobtrusive.

Backwash: I have to say that I enjoyed this MUCH more than the Storm King. I found that it had better balance, allowing the perception of many different flavors. It has all of the flavor and is smoother. Perhaps the Storm King is a beer better sampled after aging (I have some from last year for comparison), while this is ready to go now. The lighter body and slight sweetness remind me of Perkuno's Hammer. I’d love to try some of the Millennium Edition, as it is described as being very thick. Unfortunately, I passed on the one bottle of it that I saw. I can imagine how something like this kept Rasputin alive under the ice of the Neva.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2003 18:38:37 | More by Dantes
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First introduced to this one early on in my beer advocacy, feels good to return to an old friend. Appearance: Pours deep viscous black toned deep purple ruby highlights full tan two finger sized head perfect looking beer, oh so nice with perfect evenly laced foam. Aroma: Deep cocoa, espresso infused, undertones of alcohol infused fruit along with a great bready sweet malt tone this is one awesome imperial stout in my opinion it sets the bar. Taste: Wow complex swirling spiral of flavor alcohol infused fruit, doses of hardcore strong coffee notes, and dark chocolate playing the tie the flavors together predominantly bitter from the dark roasts there are some hops evident in the flavor. Creamy balanced mix of so many flavors works so well, gotta love the Ol' Raspy. Mouthfeel: Full bodied syrupy goodness of massive flavors this is one extraordinary beer, a must try. Drinkability: No questions as to it's placement on the top 50 beer list, this one does it so well remaining amazingly drinkable and flavorful is the key for an Imperial stout not cloying in anyway and you yearn for another one the glass is empty that's what it's all about.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2003 19:06:14 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of pio


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

damn near opaque beer with just a tint of amber around the edges. the tan and amber head was strong and stout leaving a very impressive lace. scents of caramel, toffee, espresso, pumpernickel, rye and a half dozen roses.balanced scents, also the alcohol is evident and warming. a sweet start of caramel, coffee, espresso, molasses, a dark bready malt that brings a roasty sweetness before it dries up and gets a warm bitter, similiar to a cafe au lait. the mouthfeel was so creamy and rich, just a few bubbles making it so silky and oh how nice. what a hearty beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2003 22:34:00 | More by pio
Photo of guinness33

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this is one of the oddest reviews i'm probably ever gonna have to make, with my ratings all over the map, pretty much. this brew is made exceptionally well. it looks damn near perfect, with a dark as night pour and an awesome tan head that provides an equally awesome cascading effect. so far, a damn near perfect beer. smells of coffee, chocolate, roatsed malt with hints of fruitiness (raisins, perhaps?). nothing that blew me out of the water, but a good, solid smell nonetheless. the taste, while obviously appealing to most drinkers, just wasn't for me. i don't like coffee to begin withm and the coffee taste here simply overpowered all other tastes too much. the other dominant flavour here was the alcohol, which was surprising since the smell gave hardly any indication of, and at 8.9%, i figured it'd be all over the place with this one. it's a generally smooth brew overall, but i can't say that i'd be able to have any more than one at a time, and would probably only try this again on a rare occasion. i was surprisingly disappointed here...like i said, a well made brew, just not my cup of tea (or coffee, in this case).

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2003 23:48:35 | More by guinness33
Photo of Quaffer


4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A very cool looking label, complete with some Russian text and a picture of the mad monk himself. This beer poured a deep black that showed its true, ruby nature when held up to the light. The tan head rose up big and rough, but smoothed out and became dense as it settled back down. It was very slow to dissipate and never completely disappeared, leaving a thick cap of foam floating on top of the obsidian liquid. There was no lace left on the glass. Overall, I was surprised at the amount of head and its retention qualities. Many imperial stouts don't "behave" this way.

Smell: The main aromas were exactly what I expected: coffee, chocolate, and cream. After the head had settled down, a underlying toasted aroma emerged that contained hints of cinnamon and allspice. Very strange, but not bad at all. Also, there were hints of plums and cherries. There was no alcohol present on the nose, which surprised me since this beer tops out at almost 9.0%.

Mouthfeel: I half to say that this beer breaks into the full-bodied catagory, something that I rarely run into. It was very full in the mouth with a nice, creamy, slightly fuzzy, texture to it. There was a great smoothness that gave way to a numbing tingle caused by the alcohol.

Taste: On my first drink I was assaulted by a myriad of flavors. They were so numerous and intense that I had troubled picking them out. After my pallet had acclimated itself, I became aware of flavors of dark coffee, deep roasted malts, alcohol, and a tart cherry fruitiness. On the aftertaste was a lingering bitterness that was the only evidence of hops that I could find in the flavor. As the beer got really warm, the aforementioned alcohol gained some spicy characteristics and became more pronounced.

This is a helluva beer. A great change of pace from the wussy beers that I have been drinking lately. Too bad this stuff isn't available here in Wichita.

Thanks Bruiser!

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2003 22:58:24 | More by Quaffer
Photo of Sudmissle


4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great stout that probably is the flagship brew of North Coast Brewery. Pours a black/brown color with a dense foamy head reminding me of real whipped cream stirred in. Very thick mouthfeel that lingers on the palate. This beer has 8.9% alcohol, but it is not apparent in the taste because it is so smooth. The alcohol is only slightly noticeable in the aftertaste. A quality blend of toasted wheat bread and coffee notes with a lace that clings to the glass as well as the tongue. This is a very competitive stout overall.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2003 01:30:27 | More by Sudmissle
Photo of winomark


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black, with little or no light seeping through the glass. Dark and inviting.

Smell: Freshly brewed coffee, vanilla and molasses. No overpowering alcohol smell, nice and maltly.

Taste: Coffee all over the palate, with some nice malty sweetness. Slight alcohol taste in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Quite rich and coating, but not cloying by any means.

Drinkablilty: Not something you can sit down and drink a few of at a time, but overall, a very enjoyable beer to be savored while watching football on a cool autumn day. I will seek this beer out again, and enjoy it as often as possible.

P.S. I am glad this was such a great beer that I made it my first review.


Serving type: bottle

09-28-2003 20:48:16 | More by winomark
Photo of Boilermaker88


3.15/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presented in a 12oz. brown bottle as pictured. This beer allows no light to penetrate its inky black depths. A short-lived mocha colored head rose and fell as quickly as Italy changes governments, leaving minor lace behind.
The aroma is a withering blend of bitter coffee grounds, alcohol, roasted black malt, wet leather, and dark fruit.
This brew has a pronounced bitterness to it, far more than I expected. There are hints of bakers chocolate and coffee mixed with some prune/date flavors but the overall effect is rather out of balance. An astringent alcohol taste fires a parting shot along with a mild warmth.
Feel is medium with a real rawness from the alcohol.
Well, if this is what Rasputin was drinking the night he was killed, it explains why he was so difficult to take down. Old Rasputin has a rugged, hard edge to it that cuts into its drinkability. Overall, not bad but I've had some I've liked better. I'll drink them instead.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2003 04:20:20 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of ellman


4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz squaty bottle

Appearance: Black, little to no head.

Smell: Chocolate coffee malt and alcohol.

Taste: Coffee, roasted malt but light on the alcohol taste i was expecting. Full body almost thick. but overall great beer.
not sure about quanity but sure has the quality. a last beer of the nigh sit and watch tv listen to music beer. mmm mmm good.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2003 00:19:58 | More by ellman
Photo of beergeek279


4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is a very dark brown/hint of red, with a good creamy head. The smell is fantastic....the smell of anise and coffee. The taste is just as fantastic...the predominant taste of coffee mixes with a nutty flavor as well as the licorice/anise taste. Mouthfeel is very smooth. As for drinkability, I couldn't drink as many of these as I would want to!

Mmmm...imperial stout...truly one of the great treats of the beer world. Though I sadly don't get to enjoy its unique pleasures enough, when I do it's a treat to be savored. North Coast truly makes an imperial stout up there with the best of them, and this is certainly one I'll have again.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2003 03:08:34 | More by beergeek279
Photo of slitherySOB

Ontario (Canada)

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

Thanks too Brent, I was finally able to consume this long sought after beverage. Just the look through the bottle let you knew, this is a beer not to be reckoned with. The old picture of the monk himself teases, just teases you to try and dare consume this liquid concoction. The beer pours a very dark black. The only thing blacker than this liquid is my ex girlfriend's heart. When held too the light, this beer shows a shimmer of blood ruby. Only problem in presentation? Next to no head. Just a little film of bubbles, which does last throughout drinking. Scent, oh the scent. The nostrils are kicked in the sinuses with roasted malts, dark chocolate, arabica coffee beans, bitter hops, raisins, plums, prunes, red grapes, and various spices from around the world. One could write an essay on the olfactory pleasure of this beer. Taste is very damn similar too smell, though hops were stronger in the tongue than on the nose. This is actually very hoppy tasting. Like an IPA turned stout. But that roast malt is still their, ever so powering, ever so warm. Coffee and chocolate entwine together in this erotic dance that would leave any man's scrotum with a case of rigomortis. The fruits act as a sweet song, which the coffee and chocolate dance too. Spices are the final touch, the decorations on the ballroom walls. Just beautiful, damn beautiful. The mouthfeel is hard too explain. It's strong, but neither thick nor syrupy. Though this is not flattering to the brew at all, it's like gasoline. Gasoline is like oil, both are fuel, but oil is thick and gasoline is not. I shall definitely be drinking this again, if I can find it again. A beer meant to be enjoyed like an old port or hand crafted cigar. Any more than one at a sitting is simply too much of a good thing.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2003 04:55:41 | More by slitherySOB
Photo of clvand0


1.85/5  rDev -57%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Usually I'm not a fan of Imperial Stouts, but this one looked cool and I was hooked into buying it for the looks and name. Pours a very dark color with a moderate sized tan head that dies off after a few minutes. Leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma was burned malts and coffee/chocolate and some sort of spiciness (odd for an imperial stout?). This is a big beer. The flavor was majorly strong. Way too strong for my taste buds to accept. Tastes of alcohol, burned malts, slight spiciness, and maybe a little fruitiness. Didn't care much for it.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2003 14:22:34 | More by clvand0
Photo of assurbanipaul


1.88/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I want to like this beer. Really, I do. I'm crazy about imperial stouts and I read the praise everyone has for this beer, but I can't help but think that I'm unlucky enough to keep purchasing skunked beer upon skunked beer.

Sharper than other imperial stouts, spicer and hoppier than I would prefer. Acrid taste, almost far too sharp to be palatable. Sample has drain pour written all over it, but I've bought this beer three different times during the past year with the same experience.

If ever I can find good things to say about Rasputin, I will joyfully update and upgrade my ratings. But until then, this is just nasty.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2003 16:31:17 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of RBorsato


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

Very very dark reddish-brown with lots of ruby red highlights and a moderate to low brown head. Decent carbonation for the style and OK lace rings. Burnt grains and alcohol aroma. There is a dark fruit aroma when the beer is younger. Burnt malt flavor dominates with ripe dark fruitiness and alcohol present. Medium-full bodied with an intense bittersweet finish and warming sensation.

Per N.C website: 75 IBUs

Gold Medal - Imperial Stout - 2002 GABF
Bronze Medal - Imperial Stout - 2001 GABF
Gold Medal - Imperial Stout - 1999 GABF

'01' Embossed on bottle bottom & '02' Embossed on bottle bottom
Tasted: 09/09/2003

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2003 20:36:19 | More by RBorsato
Photo of beerguy101


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black color, medium head. Aroma is chocolate and roasted malts. Roasted malts, lightly hopped. Roasted malt flavor very pronounced, slightly dry taste as well. Big and Bold Stout. Finish is crisp and malty. Aftertaste is dry and there is a very slight metallic tinge. Very pleasant finish. NICE stout.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2003 02:32:05 | More by beerguy101
Photo of Mustard

District of Columbia

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Chubby, 12oz. brown bottle with no "bottled on" or "best before" warning; stray single purchased for $1.79 from the West LA Whole Foods on National and Barrington. "A heartfelt friend does not come about suddenly" scrawled in Russian afront the label.

Appearance: Entirely opaque; fine, half-inch, cocoa-brown head; moderate ring style lacing; not much in the way of head retention.

Aroma: Largely of chocolate and dark, rum-drenched fruits.

Taste: Sweet; big notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate; discernible hints of vanilla, licorice, grain and prune-like fruits; tight, tasty, carbonized-barley bitterness in the finish; vinous; faintly phenolic.

Notes: By all means the equal of top notch Impy's like Victory's Storm King, Bear Republic's Big Black Bear and Stone's IS. Love the finish.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2003 08:52:05 | More by Mustard
Photo of kevinl6

South Carolina

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

This is one kick ass imperial!!! It is a 12oz bottle with a hypnotizing pic of Rasputin on the label. I had this one immediately after Stone's Imperial, and thought this one was at least as good, if not better. Jet black appearance, pretty much on par with other top imperials I've had. A very strong aroma consisting mainly of alcohol and burnt coffee. Tasted pretty much just as it smelled, and was a nice combination of the two (alcohol and coffee). I had no problems with a bottle of this, and I did want at least one more of these when I was finished! A must try for imperial lovers.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2003 04:02:58 | More by kevinl6
Photo of PZuke


3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice black Imperial stout body with a slightly tan head. It smelled like coffee and a little bit of chocolate. The taste was very smooth with light carbonation and a very heavy taste of coffee/espresso and a little bit of chocolate. I could see how the coffee taste could be overpowering for some. I’m not a huge stout fan but I could actually drink a couple of these and have no problem. A brew that even Rasputin himself could be proud of.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2003 18:56:00 | More by PZuke
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,154 ratings.