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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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10,706 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,706
Reviews: 3,489
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 399
Gots: 1,850 | FT: 49
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 (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,706 | Reviews: 3,489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kurp001
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with about one finger of light brown head that holds up for a while, then recedes, leaving minimal lacing.

The aroma is very rich; burnt coffee, vanilla, and mild chocolate hints all come through.

Like the aroma, a great deal of flavor notes come through. Roasted coffee is most apparent upfront, along with chocolate and mild vanilla notes midway. A slight bitterness is also notable on the finish.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth; full-bodied with subtle carbonation.

Old Rasputin is about as drinkable as a Russian Imperial Stout gets; its bold flavors are always enjoyable, particularly on colder days.

Photo of Duhast500
4.87/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Photo of cptierney
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is it, the beer that started it all. Old Rasputin has such a personal appeal to me, we have shared many a night together and I can't help but feel in the presence of an old friend when I pour that 12 ouncer into its appropriate Old Rasputin North Coast nonic pint glass. This isn't so much a review as it is a love letter.

First, there's the color. My dad used to drink Guinness and say it was as black as Hitler's soul. If that was the case, whose soul is as pitch black as the opaque liquid before me? This is void of space dark crowned with an impressive three fingers of fluffy light brown celestial foam that gently dissipates to leave a thin corona of light atop this black beast.

Old Raspy's nose really shines. There are the requisite notes of black coffee and cocoa that one would expect but it is in the complexity of sweet notes that this brew asserts its dominance. I can't describe all the elements but I'll try to do it justice by stating that there is a warm toffee ambiance that radiates from my glass.

A quaff of this stout is best described as velvety smooth. If Barry White made beer, this is what it would taste like. Viscous enough to have body but liquid enough to avoid adjectives like jammy, Old Raspy disappears with a satisfactory level of bubbleage and harmony.

The flavor of this beer is a little old fashioned as compared to some of its more hyped up cousins. While it lacks in the dark fruits category it shines in the area of malt. Biscuity, bready, and toasted are words that quickly come to mind. The sweetness is also evident with touches of vanilla and candied sugar. There is some bittering, as the hops play their hand at the beers finish, though they remain merely character actors in this beers screenplay.

This is not a sipping beer for experienced RIS drinkers. Its relative light body and minimal bitterness make for a remarkably sessionable Imperial Stout. There is an associated danger with this brew however, that 9% ABV is not a joke.

Photo of About2Crash
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holy Crap. This is black as night. I am no expert on finding the little nuances, so I can only tell you my first instincts. But it is big and smoky. Dark chocolate hits the pallat. Very smooth taste in the middle, but the surrounding flavor is very thick and rocky if that makes any sense. The picture of Rasputin on the bottle seems to be laughing at me, daring me to take another sip. I like it.

Photo of squaremile
3.81/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a standby for a lot of folks including myself. When I want an RIS and want to spend $2, Old Raspy is there, like a non-pretentious gradeschool friend. Black pour, small/medium head, some lacing, and the nose is roasted malts and coffee. The flavor is much more of the same with espresso dominating. On nitro tap the punch is relaxed and the mouthfeel is foamy goodness.

Photo of generalnotsew
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Thick two finger brown head that looks like chocolate milk to me. Almost solid black but a little brownish tone.

S: I seem to get hops before anything. Dark chocolate and coffee beans. Maybe a bit nutty too.

T: Tad bit of a hop bite upfront. I get more chocolate than coffee although both are prominent. Taste lingers nicely.

M: Very creamy in the mouth maybe a bit chewy. Kind of beers you almost want to swish around.

D: Takes a hit on drinkability. Not so much because of the abv but it is a bit heavy. Even sipping slowly you can pass on having to eat the rest of the night.

I think this one is about 6 months old. Not aged much but still better now than when I got it 6 months ago. Would love to try this after 2-3 years. I think this is a good gateway brew for getting into RIS.

Photo of homebrew311
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours black and viscous with a cinnamon colored head that sticks around for a while

S: wow, this is a very hop forward imperial stout. I have drank this one since I was 21, but as my palette has developed, I now can see how incredibly hoppy this is for a stout. There is also a fair amount of malty sweetness, notes of coffee, molasses, and chocolate. The heavy dose of hops gives it a deep earthy aroma.

T: initial onslaught of sweet malts that quickly turn into earthy grassy hops with a bit of heat on the end from the alcohol content. The taste pretty much matches the nose but with more complexity. The taste of hops lingers in my mouth after I swallow. Flavors are pretty well balanced, but the alcohol is definitely present (not surprising for 9%) Pretty damn delicious!

M: Thick body but not as thick as some imperial stouts. Somewhat high in carbonation for the style, but it matches the hop bitterness.

D: at 7.99 a 4pk, this is one of the more affordable imperial stouts (which happens to be my favorite style) so I find myself with this in the fridge quite often. I normally only have one in an evening as it is a very hearty brew, but I never have problem drinking it.

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

Poured into a pub glass

A: Nearly pitch black with a creamy, thick brown chunky head that leaves some descent lacing.

S: Roasted malts and a strong dark coffee and some alcohol presence...

T: Burnt toffee-like malts, deep roasted coffee/espresso and alcohol. Chocolates, a nice balance of hop bitters and malt sweetness...

M: Medium bodied, creamy and damn tasty.

D: In spite of the abv, I could really get into this one. If you like Russian Imperial Stouts, you should definitely give this a try...you won't be disappointed.

Photo of Wisconsinality
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

A- Pours a deep black with about an inch worth of head. The head is a brownish cream color and it leaves some nice lacing on the glass.
S- I can smell the toasted malts along with maybe a bit of caramel. The alcohol also peaks out just a bit more than expected.
T- Toasted malts and almost seems like a little bit of coffee. Also a bit of caramel and some alcohol. There is a small amount of bitterness on the tailend .
M- This is a nice medium bodied beer with some nice soft carbonation. Its pretty smooth and creamy.
D- The alcohol peaks through a little too much for my liking but I still enjoyed this beer. Also it is pretty strong so I wouldn't have more than 1 in a sitting.

Photo of CheckMate
3.94/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle obtained at Tully's in Wells, Maine. pours an onyx color with a half inch of coffee colored head that lasted a couple minutes and leaving a lot of lacing in its wake. scents of roasted malts, nuttiness, booziness, coffee hints, and dark chocolate. tastes of roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee notes, nutty, and a hint of booziness. moderately carbonated, leaves a roasty coffee aftertaste, and full bodied. The first sip invites another, however somewhat slowly. Seems like the type of beer that will hit you if drank too fast IMO, but perfect for this time of year. two thumbs up!


Photo of BeenJammin
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pitch black with a huge, foamy tan head that lasts long time.
S - The aroma is filled with malts and bitter dark chocolate
T - 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.
M - Medium to big mouth-feel that is not too imposing.
D - Is this beer really 9%? Dammit, that must be why this is such a glowing review.

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a glass beer mug.

The beer poured a dark, rich black that refused to let any light through. The head was thick and tan. It looked like it was going to pour with a thin head, but it kept growing after the pour, until it peaked all thick and frothy. All manner of lacing followed it down.

It's going to sound strange, but this beer smelled as dark as it looked. Strong toasted, (almost burned), malts dominated, but there was a hint of licorice, a bit of coffee, and a bit of chocolate that all merged together, so the nose was different for each sniff.

The mouthfeel wasn't as heavy as it looked. It was carbonated well enough to lighten it up. Kind of a medium feel.

The taste followed the complexity of the nose. It began with the sweet, toasted malts, and finished with more of a hops/coffee bitterness than I expected. Don't read that as a bad thing. The finish left me feeling warm and flushed. There was a lingering scorched chocolate flavor that lingered after the bitterness faded.

As it warmed, the flavors harmonized a bit more, but the hops bite always dominated the finish.

A good, big beer, this is made for sipping slowly. I've found it pairs quite nicely with warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Photo of haddon
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: had another bottle 12/28/10 and wow! tasted like a totally different beer. not sure if my palate has changed or what but I love it.

Appearance- 3.5/4.5- very frothy 3-finger head
smell- 3.5/4- same notes but more pronounced
Taste- 3.5/4.5- very multi-layered and delicious


A- pours dark almost black in color not much of a head. minimal lacing down the glass

S- toasted nuts, malts, coffee and chocolate

T- molasses, strong malty backbone. bitter chocolate and espresso

M- very smooth on the palate. medium body with good amount of carbonation

D- really good RIS. has a lot of flavors for a stout. very enjoyable

Photo of heath1agnew
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- great black color with a thick tan head and good lacing.

S- dark fruits, a bit of a metallic smell.

T&M- dark chocolate and coffee, with a nice bitter finish. mouthfeel is not too heavy.

D- good drinkability for russian imperial.

finally got hold of another great beer, they are hard to come by where i live.

Photo of Long813
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

G: Pint

A: Thumb of head in a dark mocha colour. Head retention was stellar, with fine lacing. Pitch black body

S: Chocolate, caramel, molasses, alcohol, coffee

T: Roasted malt., coffee, chocolate, molasses

M: Full bodied, creamy texture, low carbonation, with very little evidance of alcohol

D: Unlike other of this style, the alcohol content is masked very well making this easier to drink more of. The complexity of flavours are perfectly balanced creating a solid beer.

Photo of Psyopticon
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Was in bottle, but could tell this was a pretty dark beer.

Smell - Some dark roasted malts. Caramel and Molasses.

Taste - BAM! Damn good taste. Can taste some hints of Molasses, chocolate, coffee, and caramel.

Mouthfeel - Pretty syrupy... But doesn't make it bad. Light carbonation. Full bodied.

Drinkability - This is a damn good beer. And is probably one of my new favorite stouts. But the high ABV makes this a one drink only thing. I'm pretty buzzed while writing this. :D


Photo of grayburn
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is really one of the first RIS' that I tried, finally coming back to it, excellent beer.
Pours a midnight black with a smallish tan crown that fades a little too quickly.
The smell and taste are dominated by the roastiness and chocolatey grain flavour that have made this style so f'in popular. Excellent blending of flavors, everything really melds together in this brew, there is plenty of hop bittering to keep things from being overly sweet.
The mouthfeel is rich and creamy, definitely my favorite characteristic of this beer.
The drinkability is pretty good, about as good as can be expected from such a big beer. Very nice.

Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Matilda Glass

Pours ½ finger of dark tan head. Fades down to a thin layer leaving some lace rings. Color is a dark chocolate brown, pretty much black.

Aroma: Chocolate malts, coffee, some heat, dark dried fruits, molasses. Burnt, roasted malts. A very well done RIS.

Taste: Very syrupy, chocolate malts, roasted malts, coffee, dark dried fruits, cherries. Too syrupy for me.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and syrupy. Full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends with a burnt roasted malt aftertaste.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer, but I have had far better RIS. This one seems to be a syrupy mess. I will easily get this again because it is decent and the price is low.

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into New Belgium Globe glass.

A. Poured 3 fingers of thick dark tan head. Leaves massive amounts of lacing on the side of the glass. Head retention was great. Took close to 5 minutes to go down. Color is pure black.

S. Smell is amazing. Chocolate, caramel, molasses, alcohol, coffee, roastiness.

T. Taste is big on the roasted malt. Coffee, chocolate, alcohol, molasses. High ABV is masked pretty well.

M. Mouthfeel is full bodied. Nice creamy mouthfeel. Leaves a sweet coating on the mouth.

D. This one goes down smooth. Old Rasputin is a full rich beer, so im not sure I would want more than one in a sitting. That being said it is definitely one to keep coming back to. I would say that this is one of the best examples of the style.

Photo of Wegbier
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

finally drinking the last one, which i bought back in March 09.

a- black as black can be with a mocha froth head, small and reduces to to nearly nothing. no lacing to speak of

s- chocolate licorice coffee, so subtle and smooth

t- similarly so chocolaty smooth all the way through, dark chocolate, light amount of licorice, some caramel coffee. I remember it being packed full of coffee when it was fresh. so much cream

m- smooth and very lightly carbonated with a full mouth. very friendly alcohol on the finish. long long after taste of dark bitter chocolate, excellent.

so drinkable not too heavy for as full and flavorful as it is.

Photo of natelocc787
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin...In my circle the name says it all. Nice thick, black/brown body with about every shade of brown visible in the head. A large head emerges after the pour smelling of roasted malt, espresso, milk chocolate and dark chocolate and vanilla bean. As the head fizzles slowly, thick chunks of milk chocolate mousse lace appear at the sides of the glass and craters are formed at the zenith. The taste is magnificent: graham cracker, molasses, espresso, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, hot fudge syrup and light toffee. All flavors complement the roasty black malt backbone. Very thick and chewy as a top notch RIS should be. Luxurious mouthfeel. Very invigorating as it fulfills all expectations. Simply put, still the RIS all others are judged by.

Photo of Spineypanda
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin!

This brew is as dark as the man himself!

Extremely dark and with a head that lasts for quite a long time. Coffee and Dark Chocolate tastes that mix well with the heavy hop flavor. Strong beer for strong taste.

Probably one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I have had, and have had many times before... and will have many many times again.

I enjoyed this beer in a mug at a slightly chilled temperate, maybe about 58 degrees.

Photo of t3hcho53non3
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark black color with a good one fingered head that quickly subsides but leaves supple lacing throughout the glass.

S: Malty sweetness, bready, roasted oak

T: Very rich earthy flavor that goes down remarkably smooth and at the end of the palate a roastiness that ends on a dry note

M: Very full bodied with little to no carbonation

D: Very drinkable and the evolution of this brew warrants a second go around.

Photo of GRG1313
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle version of the three version taste test this night (Nitro, regular tap and bottle).

Black with a thick pillow like head. As nice as the tap but not as firm as the nitro;

Nose of bitter dark chocolate and fresh espresso. Nose from the bottle is actually a bit more assertive than on tap or nitro. Also has a bit more of a hop character than the tap.

Again however, great flavors of bitter chocolate, coffee/espresso and malt/toffee/carmel with hints of bitter and roasted grains.

Medium to full mouthfeel with a bit of creamy character.

Long coffee/espresso bitter chocolate finish. An all around great drink.

Bottle version is my least favorite but, having said that, I'll drink the bottle version any time! Very nice beer!

Photo of Duttonic
3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is strong. It reminds me a lot of black licorice. Great appearance and mouthfeel, but I had trouble downing a pint of it.

The smell was intense and dark, but inviting. I would like to try this out of a bottle rather than from a tap to see if there is a noticeable difference in taste. Worth trying if you enjoy stouts.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,706 ratings.