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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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10,723 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,723
Reviews: 3,493
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 403
Gots: 1,863 | FT: 50
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: 10,723 | Reviews: 3,493 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of littlekidlover
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I used to drink this a lot on tap at the Map Room in Chicago. It was not until recently when I moved to a neighborhood that lacks good beer selection in every store that I realized how much I truly love this beer. By chance a liquor store near me that has a paltry craft beer selection happens to carry this. The appearance is "none more black" even held up to the light BLACK! There is a medium tan head which quickly goes away. It smells mostly of coffee and dark chocolate, maybe a little burnt caramel and oak. The taste is everything in the smell, add a little dried fruit and hop bite. Mouth feel is silky and a little sticky with enough hops to balance it out to not be "sticky sweet" I could pretty much drink this beer until the high alcohol knocked me out, it is not difficult to drink at all.

Photo of Sean9689
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a tan head into a tulip. Milk chocolate, roasted nuts, and a little hint of alcohol on the nose. Taste is sweet chocolate with a little kick of alcohol, I really like this one. Mouthfeel is rich and thick, perfect for this RIS. I had another glass right after the first, so I will def revisit this one often.

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

Pours a nice deep brown in color -- Can definitely catch a little light through it around the corners of the glass. Not pitch black like some of the bigger stouts. Nice head that quickly receeds into lacing. Lots of carbonation.

Lots of chocolate and dark malt in the nose.

Really nice smooth taste. Has a lot of that same flavor of the dark roasted and chocolate malt. The taste lingers for what seems like an eternity.

Excellent smooth mouthfeel. Very well rounded and balanced RIS overall. Definitely one I will be going back to.

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

A- Pours an inky, opaque black with abut a half inch of light brown head. Laces moderately.

S- Roasted malt, chocolate, slightly boozy, some hop presence (piney, mainly). Maybe some dark fruit lingering in the background.

T- Coffee, dark chocolate, sweet and roasted malt, light alcohol bite (gives it a slight sweet kick), hops are far less present than in the nose, but there is a slight piney finish. Pleasant and good. Finishes slightly prickly from the alcohol. Thinking about pulling the trigger on the 4.5... ok I did.

M- Thick. Creamy. Very nice.

D- Goes down smooth. Definitely a good sipper and enjoyable stout. Well-crafted beer.

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

12 oz bottle, tulip glass

Pours very dark, nearly opaque. The head is wonderfully thick and has great retention. It is tan and creamy.

Aroma of malts and coffee. very slight hop fragrance.

Coffee and bittersweet chocolate hits you immediately. The toasted malt flavor is also present, as well as the alcohol. there is something slightly tangy that I cannot describe, but it is great.

Nice smooth mouthfeel and easy to drink. I love the flavors in this IRS...I also like its bottle.

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

Very nice! This is one of the reasons I fell in love with the RIS style!

A - Very dark, nearly black. The head retention on this beer is ridiculous. Kept its head for nearly a full two minutes, then settled nicely to a thin padding of creamy brown goodness. Also note that the head is made up of very tight, small bubbles. This usually signifies a long natural fermentation and conditioning (without the use of adjuncts to spur conditioning)

S - Great, great aromas. Licorice, dark Belgian candi, fruits and esters peeking through (a little bit of banana and lemon rind, maybe); slight hop astringency backed up with the roasty coffee smells you would hope to have in your stouts. Very nice.

T - What can I say? You've just got to bend the knee to this one. Let it wash over you and deliver everything that the aroma promises. Truly fantastic and complex.

M - Pretty nice mouthfeel. A little sticky (which is alright); slight astringency from the alcohol and hop characters.

D - I would give this a 5, but it's a bit too alcoholic to warrant more than two (unless of course you're home - then drink 'til your heart's content). Though for the style, you can't expect much less than 8-9% ABV, so I'm not saying it's wrong. Definitely a sip-and-savor beer. And a damn good one, at that.

For my money, I put this one right behind Sam Smith's RIS, and ahead of Victory's Storm King RIS. Seek and enjoy!

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

A - Pours completely black. No hints of light around the edges. A moderate dark cream head that leaves some lacing.

S - Dark fruits, like blueberries and raisins. Some chocolate. Very slight hop spiciness amongst a very strong dark malt backbone. Very appealing and exemplary of the style.

T/M - Flavors don't quite come through as they do in the smell. Rich and smooth but not heavy. Chocolate comes through in the aftertaste, as does the fruit. The hops come through stronger in the flavor than the smell. Pleasant.

D - High alcohol, but easy to drink. Wouldn't drink more than one per sitting, but would have one every night. :P

On edit: Mouthfeel in some bottles has a biting carbonation that needs some mellowing out before flavors start coming through.

Photo of seand
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large stemless red wine glass.

Appearance: Pours solid very dark brown, maybe black. Two finger tan head, which disappears leaving a thin film on the top. Good lacing.

Smell: Sweet, complex but not overpowering. Hints of french vanilla coffee.

Taste: Taste is subtle and complex, hiding the alcohol well. Somewhat sweet, with mild but detectable hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Great, light carbonation, a little bit of stickiness, definitely complements the taste.

Drinkability: Goes down easy, but the high ABV means you don't want to go through too many.

My first Russian Imperial Stout, and I will be trying more of the style.

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

black/dark brown, almost opaque with a huge tan head! looks luscious.

smells like chocolate, coffee, light caramel, hops.

tastes huge, malty, chocolate/coffee, bitter finish w/alcohol punch.

wow. a nice stout. also leaves a nice lacing on snifter.

a great beer. especially for the price and availibility.

Photo of Jtschupp04
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a trappist glass

looks like: root beer float.

smells like: cherry chocolate coffee.

tastes like: nutty cocoa.

feels like: cold foamy cappuccino

drinks like: french pressed coffee

i love stouts and this one enforced the love and lust for more delectables that you can't see through.

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

Pours a complete black with no highlights and two fingers worth of tan head.

Smell is roasted malts and chocolate.

Taste is pretty much equal to the smell. Raosted malts, chocolate, and dried fruit.

Mouthfeel is somewhat light for an RIS but it is smooth and drinkable. Pretty balanced. Nice smooth finish and the 9%abv is well hidden.

This is a verygood Russian Imperial Stout. I recommend to any fan of the style.

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

I would like to start with the label. Pretty darn cool label. A little weird having Mr Rasputin staring at me while I drank his beer. North Coast Brewing Company has put out some nice labels.
a-dark molasses with a nice smoky brown head.
s-a slight alcohol scent, maybe some chocolate with a touch of burnt molasses.
t-good amount of hops, chocolate, touch of alcohol on the finish.
m- creamy but with a good amount of fiz.
d- I only bought one and wish I had bought more. Only MGDs left in the fridge. Oh well, in this economy a $6 six pack of MGDs seem to beat out a $10 four pack of Old Rasputin. I'm glad I can try at least one.

Photo of DBoone
3.11/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very nice appearance. Dark, almost black, not much head or carbonation when poured vigoressly in a brandy snifter. Khaki colored head with little lacing.
There was hints of chocolate and dark roasted barley and very little hops.
The taste was of very dark roasted barley with a moderate amount of bitterness noticed on the back of the palate mostly due to dark roasted malt.
This beer had a nice light mouthfeel for a russian imperial stout. Not much aftertaste and coating on the tongue.
Only drink 1 or 2 of these in a session.

Photo of Seru1
3.16/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle Serving from Georgia poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- Dark Blackish Brown With a creamy Browinsh Tan Head. Just rich enough

Smell- Big smells of coffee with chocolate notes. Lots of roasty and woodsy aromas make me think they used American oaks

Taste- Roasted malts hit you like a slap in the face. Coffee flavor mixed with bitter chocolate round out this big flavored beer. Very Bitter.

Mouthfeel- It really coats the tongue and fills the whole mouth it's a nice big beer.

Drinkability- Abit bitter during cold weather I could probably have a few. But in other weather one a day is about the most I could have.

Notes: This was my first russian imperial stout. And it was not at all what I expected. I had heard they were sweet. But I certainly didn't pick that up.

Photo of dfolmste
4.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looking forward to try out my new Sam Adams snifter.

Appearance: Pours a jet black with creamy coffee head. The head looks like it is going to rise up, but instead disappears instantly. For a beer with 9% ABV this is to be expected.

Smell: Alcohol mixed with dark fruit. Smells like a liquor. Chocolate, ice cream, raisin and cherry. Smells like liquid dessert. Extremely complex and delicious.

Taste: Amazing! The delicious smell cannot even compete with the taste. Everything I named in the smell plus a cast of others. Impossible to put in words. Get this and try it if available.

Mouthfeel: Remarkably smooth with the taste covering all parts of the tongue. First hits sweet, then bitter roasted coffee and chocolate. Not a bit of astringency or off flavors. Probably over 7 different flavors in one sip. I want to try and describe all the flavors, but I want to drink more.

Drinkability: A beer to be savored and analyzed. Would be the perfect dessert after a fancy meal or a warming beverage after long day of skiing. The winter would be the ideal time to consume. Due to the alcohol and body of this beer, it is best enjoyed in moderation.

I loved this beer. Plus the glass looks great.

Photo of roblowther
3.82/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The latest in my foray into Russian Imerpial Stouts, trying to discover why they so dominate the "best beers in the world" lists. It pours pitch black with a medium tan head that is dense and creamy and leaves one of the densest lacings I've seen. Smell is musty wood, leather, raisins, and oranges. The taste is surprisingly sweet, and not at all acrid or burnt as so many others I have tried. It tastes of coffee, soft malt, leather, and a pleasant chalkiness. The mouthfeel is a good balance of carbonation and chewiness. The drinkability is limited by the bitter finish. This fades nicely through the aftertaste, but it is a bit intense for a while. Probably the best of the style I've tried, but I suppose I'm just not a true believer.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint glass. This RIS poured a dark black with a 1 1/2 finger mocha head that lasted forever. It smelled of roasted malts, chocolate and a faint smell of coffee. The taste is dominated by bitter chocolate up front. That quickly changes to a creamy roasted malt/coffee finish. This beers seems to stay on your tongue for a while. This is an awesome RIS and a bargain at its price. Everyone should search this beer out if it is available in their area.

Photo of wiseguy142
3.71/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black, oily with a rocky/creamy mocha head. Lacing actually looks like lace.. weird connection. Lookin pretty good so far.

Aroma is fruity and sweet.. slight touch of alcohol. Lacking in roasted grain aroma. A little vanilla and cream. Could be stronger, or the beer could be a little cold.

Taste has a pleasant chocolate flavor with a very slight alcohol bite. Dry in the finish, like a good porter. Malt and alcohol sort of stick to your tongue. Freshly roasted coffee towards the end. As it warms up a little more balanced milky sweetness and bitterness from the roasted malt comes through which is nice. All is a little subdued though, was looking for something a little more flashy.

Pretty light mouthfeel. Rush of carbonation towards the end of the sip. Disappointing, should be thicker.

This beer's got some good flavors but some of them need to be more pronounced. I would even scale this back a bit and up the body and it'd be a great porter.

Photo of dukedevil0
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had out of a 12oz bottle at Cleo's in Chicago, IL.

A: pours dark black with some nice mocha colored head that settles a little bit

S: smells like milk chocolate, slight coffee and roasted malts

T: a little more of the roastiness comes though in the flavor, but not overbearing...other flavors are the same as the smell

M: a little on the thin side of creamy, highly carbed

D: solid flavor, hard to taste the alcohol content, and the short side of creaminess helps the easy to drink factor

Photo of IMincedTheKing
3.76/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque chocolate brown with a head like tightly packed brown sugar. Some bubbles can be seen crawling up the glass.

The smell is roasty and yeasty with some coffee and chocolate.

It tastes somewhat malty, but the rest of the flavors are overpowered by drying citric hops and a dominant aftertaste of chocolate. It feels thick and full in the mouth, almost like a milkshake.

A big bold beer, but I think it's a little too over-the-top (in flavor, mouthfeel, and ABV), to be extremely drinkable.

Photo of CityBoy1986
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. (355 ml) bottle.

The pour is a very dark brown with the faintest hint of ruddy hues near the bottom of the glass. An inch of head slowly recedes into a more manageable size, but it never really goes away. Lacing is on the good side.

The nose is mostly coffee and chocolate with some burnt notes. There is a tiny hint of alcohol. The taste is more of the same; again the alcohol is well-hidden. A mild bitterness is present throughout the sip.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy without too much carbonation. Drinkability is good considering the ABV (and ABW, for that matter). If I didn't know the alcoholic content (and had more than one bottle), I could drink at least a few of these.

This is a nice example of the style that seems to fit even on a warm April night. If this were available locally, it would be a staple of the fridge.

Photo of hokies1999
4.76/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer had an amazing jet-black appearance with a reddish head that just never quit! I couldn't believe the head was not brown/black to match the beer but had a definite red hue. The beer had a wonderful coffee like aroma but that drew me in but didn't knock me off my feet when compared to its other attributes.

The taste just blew me away. An amazing toasted malty sweetness on the nose with espresso, dark chocolate and maybe, just maybe a touch or raisin or caramelized sugar in the middle with a slight alcohol taste in the finish to let you know this beer packed a punch. The mouth feel was exceptional, best beer I've ever had (with Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout a close 2nd) in this category. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy. I didn't think a beer could be this creamy without the addition of oatmeal, but North Coast did it somehow.

Drinkability...I can drink this beer each and every winter night! Obviously b/c of the dark malt and heavy/creamy mouthfeel, this is not a summer (think 90F and 70% RH) beer. But on those cold Northern NY nights, this work of art will chase those winter blues away!

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

Picked up a single at the Beer Stop in West Hazleton. Poured from a stubby 12 ounce bottle into my shaker glass. Appears a nearly opaque black color with an inch of tight ecru head. Minimal lacing sticks to the inside of my glass as I make my way to the bottom. Smells and tastes of rich, dark roasted grains, caramelized malts, milk chocolate, bitter coca powder, fresh coffee beans, grassy hops, and molasses. Rich and full bodied with medium carbonation. Slight alcohol burn from start to finish. A really great RIS. It's year round availability is a plus as well.

Photo of Nick3
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is a syrupy, liquid black with a small chocolate brown head that disappears quickly. Smell is coffee, molasses, chocolate, and roasted malts. Taste is smooth, rich malts up front with a slightly bitter finish that's accompanied by hints of dark chocolate. Alcohol warms and lingers in the finish as well. Carbonation dances across the toungue and leaves you wanting more. Beer is sticky and chewy in the mouth. A great RIS but fell a bit short compared to the Stone I had last night.

Photo of britzdog
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

loking for a good stout ??? then skip this one . if you are looking for an exceptional stout then stop right here. pour it out and it looks like the black color in the sidebars you see on these pages. brown head with a long lasting lacing. burnt chocolate and roasted malts greet you nose. very little carbonation almost none to speak of. and what a great taste. you will not be disappointed with this selection

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,723 ratings.