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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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10,801 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,801
Reviews: 3,513
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 417
Gots: 1,933 | FT: 53
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,801 | Reviews: 3,513
Photo of rickmick
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Opened the bottle then poured into a hefty mug.

A thick head hangs around for a couple of minutes, then flees. The brew is very black. Enticing. Not much going on in the aroma department.

This is extremely tasty. Not terribly complex, but a very nice barleyish flavor dominates the finish. Mouthfeel is phenomenal--one of the best feeling beers I've ever had. Drinkable for a RIS.

One of the best RISs around.

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

I've had this fine beer before, but haven't had a chance to review it yet. Enjoyed in a snifter.

A: 3 fingers of a dark tan head that's bubbly and inviting. The body is pitch black, with the head sliding so slowly down and ever so gorgeous. There's a nice thick cap of retention, too.
S: Roasted super bitter dark chocolate, ripe berries, lightly roasted espresso bean. Very malt heavy, as expected. A bit of alcohol on the nose.
T: Flavors are huge on chocolate and espresso. Massive, really. Some of the most intensely concentrated combination of these flavors I've ever experienced. Lots of alcohol, but it's mellowed in each sip by the chocolate.
M: Heavy mouthfeel and high carbonation. Tons of bittersweet residuals.
D: Damn...this is really incredible. An amazing beer, and available all year long. If you haven't tried it...what's taking so long?!

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

Rather creepy looking 12 oz bottle poured into a smuttynose big beer tulip. I love the packaging on this beer. "Never say die"

Pours Jet black, with a big, fluffy head that practically explodes out of the beer and refuses to leave once it arrives.

Smell is dominated by dark chocolate. There is raspberry, some bready notes but overall quite sweet on the nose, reminiscent of a raspberry chocolate bar.

Taste is RICH with coffee, raisin, dark chocolate, some toast. Quite a clean finish with some breadiness left on the palate. Some hops on the finish become increasingly noticeable as the brew warms a bit. Alcohol is shockingly well masked and is not particularly prominent at all, save a slight finishing warmth.

Mouthfeel is somewhat syrupy, but not overly heavy or thick as I had expected it to be. Very low on the carb, unexpectedly clean and crisp on the tongue.

Rich, bold and delicious, am I wrong in still being a bit underwhelmed? This is a fine beer, but considering its following and the hype surrounding it, I was expecting something completely mind-blowing, which I did not quite get. What I did find was an all around tasty, drinkable stout that I will gladly keep around as a dependable standby now that I've figured out where to find it in my area.

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

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
North Coast Brewing Co.
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.00 %
bottle>pint glass @ E Street week of 9/23/09

Appearance is almost identical to Old #38 in color, very dark brown/black with a nice creamy tan head.
Smell/Aroma is dark roasted malty-ness with coffee and cocoa notes in a fine symphony for the nose.
Tastes as it smells and then some, with a full bodied roasty finish.
Mouthfeel is full body with low carbonation as expected.

Cocoa is a forward flavor in this stout balanced by a harmony of citus hop notes. Just the way I like an RIS.
Exceptional drinkability for a RIS, not 100% sessionable, but complex enough to make it a 5.0 if you pace yourself and respect this big bold brew!

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

Totally worth all the hype that this beer gets. This Russian Imperial Stout is a must try. Very dark in color, almost black smells of dark chocolate. Has a slight hop bitterness to as well. Very drinkable even though the 9% abv. A very good beer to sip and appreciate

Photo of Darkhorse09
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, nearing black. Some ruby highlights when held to light. Dark tan head, tiny bubbles, with great lacing all the way down the glass. Doesn't last too long, as expected.

The nose is all about dark chocolate. Some malt, very subtle molasses aromas and coffee as well. Smells as though I am in for a treat!

Chocolate on the palate as well! Hoppy bitterness and coffee/chocolate burnt malt flavors make this a tasty brew. Espresso and dark choloclate totally dominatem filled out by a everpresent hoppiness.

Heavy, silky mouthfeel. Definitely a sipper. Low carbonation and smooth finish, leaving just enough flavor in the mouth. Very drinkable, even with the high ABV. Delicious!

Photo of mikel52588
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into dogfish heads signature glass, has a nearly black hue with a color fingerlength latte colored head and thin lacing

Smell: Really needed to let this beer warm up a little, because at first it smelled like pure alcohol. There is a strong aroma of dark coffee; cacoa is in there too with some other spices.

Taste: It tastes like straight up a 80% cacoa dark chocolate bar, but at the same time it also taste like espresso, it's a quite interesting combination to say the least. The aftertaste is similar to the ones you would get from a combo of coffee and cacoa with its unique bitterness.

Mouthfeel: This beer is oh so smooth, it has rich creaminess of a latte; the body is on the heavy side and the carbonation is light. Aftertaste lingers for a while, but isn't too bad.

Drinkability: Its quite drinkable. For having 9% abv this one goes down smooth, I don't know if I would session with this beast, but it's definitely tasty. It would be interesting to try with café food.

Photo of craftaholic
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a stout 12 oz'r into a snifter. This brew is dark as night and its dismal head starts off as a half finger length of creamy tan colored froth and then is quickly swallowed up by the noir abyss.

Smell: It smells like the equivalent of a mocha java milkshake and grinded coffee beans. There are sweet roasted malts all swirling around in this 'latte' that envelope your sense of smell along with burn it with some phenolic esters that linger in the swill.

Taste: Tastes like a nice smooth espresso with burnt malted grains. There is a touch of hoppy bitterness but is matched by a prevalent mix of sweetness that works well with the extremely rich dark cocoa presence. It has such a wide range of complexities that really swirl around in this opaque stout. The finish is slight tinges of ethanol and very heavy molasses.

Mouthfeel: Has a nice big body with a syrupy smooth coating. Froths as its leaves the mouth and leaves touches of bitter and a coating of oils. Practically crawls down your throat and clings to all sides of your esophagus begging to hang around.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable for its depth and potency. Doesn't drink like a beer but rather like something you'd find on par with your local hole-in-the-wall coffee spot a.k.a. well crafted and highly chocolate-esq espresso-like beverage.

Overall: A very rich and complex RIS that is extremely balanced and would be a great brew to accompany dessert, maybe even replace it. Throw on a little whip cream and you have a highly enjoyable adult 'cremé de putin'

Photo of Crosby
3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This got poured from a 12oz. bottle and the head is great, sticks around forever. Black as night and a pretty good aroma. It has alot of chocolate, malt and alcohol. Drinks easy but two or three is enough... maybe. All in all this is a good beer for any time of the year.

Photo of sirdrinkwell
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a: deep, dark brown/black appearance with nice tanned head.

s: the nose on this brew is actually pretty active for a stout, with a malty sweetness and even hop presence

t: superb chocolate and coffee taste, extremely smooth with just enough bite of alcohol to remind you that you're drinking a real brew.

m: mouthfeel on this is extremely smooth, with an appropriate amount of carbonation to allow the mouthful to flow over the palate comfortably.

d: i'm not sure where i've been hiding all this time, but this is a superbly drinkable stout that i will get my hands on as much as possible. highly recommended, sout lovers hit the jackpot with this one!

Photo of shivtim
3.61/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pretty good stout that is none-the-less overly popular.
Poured into a pint. Thick black/brown, with a good cafe au lait head.
Nose is overly sweet, but with some nice strong malts and even a bit of hop character that shines through.
Taste is syrupy, oily dark malts, well roasted, with some sugary sweetness. Slight ethanol on the end.
Good foamy mouthfeel, and decent drinkability except for the ABV. Like I said, decent stout.

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

12oz bottle. Is the titular seer divining something with his hand, or merely wiping his brow?

This beer pours a deep, dark black abyss, with a slight hint of red cola at the edges, and then only when held to direct light, and a head that comes in at about two pudgy fingers of puffy, creamy, and fizzy beigeness, which leaves a solid ring of jagged sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells strongly of bittersweet chocolate, dry coffee beans, toasty caramel malt, ripe black fruit, earthy, leafy hops, and a slight metallic alcohol astringency. The taste is bitter dark chocolate, toasted caramel biscuits, roasted, and sort of charred coffee, a heavy, yet dry plum and date fruitiness, gritty molasses, and a small, insidiously innocuous alcohol twang.

The carbonation is on the low side, just a low-key frothiness apparent, the body big, dense, and smooth, in a simmeringly menacing sort of manner. It finishes off-dry, some retreating chocolate and settling hop notes closing things out - the booze warming continues its charade of being barely noticeable (ok, 'very well integrated').

A pretty stellar RIS, the chocolate, malt, fruit, and booze all playing nice like there was no revolution in sight, just yer typical drunken dalliances with the tsarina. Oh yes, old Grigori would indeed be proud.

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

A-Pitch black pour with a one finger mocha head that left just a bit of lacing.

S-Coffee, dark chocolate, plums & figs.

T-Tastes just like the nose with a bit of hotness but not in a bad way. It compliments this beer.

M-Heavy & creamy yet slick with an oily finish and perfect carb level for me.

D-For a big beer, it is surprisingly drinkable.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. stubby bottle poured into a glass.

Appearnce is opaque black with a small brown head with average retention. Aroma is strong coffee and espresso notes. Some citrus and lemongrass notes also come in in smaller amounts. Taste hits with rich espresso and black coffee notes. There is a good hop character that adds some nicely balanced citrus notes. Some slight dark fruit sweetness is also mildly present. Complex yet extraordinarily well balanced. Mouthfeel is full bodied with strong carbonation. Despite a high ABV and rich flavors, this is drinkable. The booze is well hidden and the flavor does not tire.

Overall, a great, rich, complex, balanced RIS. A classic in my book.

Photo of Pinto21
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: black as coal. maybe blacker. Ok light tan head on the pour.

S: dark coca and some dark roast coffee, a bit of dark fruits too but not a huge aroma coming off

T: Oh man the taste makes up for the lack of aroma. Roasted right up front with a bit of coffee. Dark chocolate coming in right after, and doesnt go away for a while. Then the dark roast astringentness. Finishes off with a bit of warming alcohol. Can't taste the alcohol, just feel it. SO GOOD.

MD: Great drinkability for a RIS at 9%. nice smoothness to it, which makes the mouthfeel great.

Photo of twaddlac
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours pitch black, no head and a little lace.

S- Anise, dark chocolate, cherries, slight coffee and toffee

T- Dark 99% cacao initially, aftertaste the bitterness slightly fades but is still very noticeable. Strong coffee, slight anise. Very strong and bitter!

M- Very heavy body, mild carbonation with a film that is left in your mouth for a long time!

D- Very strong and bitter but very drinkable!! One really good beer that I would definitely recommend!

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

On-tap at Manhattan, KS "Rock-a-belly-Deli." Review written from notes.

Enjoyed from a 12 oz tumbler.

Appearance: Severely dark with a mystical creamy tan 2.5" head that transitions into the body.

Smell: Slight coffee, roasted nose. Aroma was slighter than expected.

Taste: Espresso and cocoa nibs up front. The taste was very balanced and much sweeter than I expected. It is not a dry stout but much more similar to a milk stout.

Mouthfeel: Creamy! Mouth-coating and full bodied.

Drinkability: I detected no alcohol for such a high ABV %.Thus, this can be drunk and drunk. Just watch out!

Overall: A very delicious and creamy beverage. A real special find.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a huge fluffy tan head that sticks around forever. Smells of roasted malt dark fruits chocolate, toffee, and a touch of alcohol. Spicy earthy hop in the aroma as well. Taste is heavy coffee, espresso, chocolate, and dark fruits. Leaves a slight ash and slight alcohol in the finish along with a lingering roasted bitterness. Medium to thick body and finishes a bit dry for my taste. Creamy smooth mouthfeel with light carbonation. This one tastes and smells great, but I found it to be a little light in body. 9% alcohol is well hidden and this is a dangerously drinkable stout.

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ever heard the disco/metal song "Rasputin" by Finish "battle metal" band Turisas?--that's what I'm thinking about. Opaque black with a muddy brown head. Weak retention for a stout.

Intense roast malt with merlot dark fruit, iced coffee and brown sugar. Ditto for the taste. You can sense the alcoholic presence by the ridiculously roasty and bold coverup. Nevertheless, it stays hidden so well.

Nice big stout without being fancy.

Photo of icetrauma
4.64/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my first exp. at a Russian Imperial Stout. I can say that I have had limited exposure to stouts. Only prev. exp. has been with Guiness, not impressed, and Peg Leg Stout, which I found quite delicious.

Poured up into a pint glass. Poured as expected. A deep black color with a dark tan 2 finger head. First notes were that of espresso and dark roasted malt.

Taste was seriously yummy. As with smell the first flavor to hit the palate was that of roasted espresso and malts. Finished off with a nice touch of hopiness that lingured around after the beer was on its journey.

This stout will def. be a welcomed edition into my beer fridge.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle

Pours a deep, almost black color - a dark tan head - nearly 1 inch.

The nose has a lot of roasted malt, a hint of smoke, some hoppy notes and a hint of sweet licorice

The roasted malt dominates the flavor, very well balanced - a bit oily with a bitter-sweet mix between a hint of hops and a hint of anise. Overall a bit smoky too. Really good

Thick and full feel, somewhere between creamy and oily.

I can, and will again, drink this all night

Photo of ocelot2500
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown with some light shining through to give it a slight ruby highlight. Tight light brown head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Smells is mostly chocolate, with some roasted, coffee flavors underneath.

Tastes of the chocolate upfront with some hops on the backend. Again, the roasted flavors are mostly of the chocolate variety. The hops add a slight citrus note, but I find it to help balance out the chocolate.

Mouthfeel is full, smooth, and creamy.

Photo of Jwale73
3.6/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip. Poured one shade shy of black with a quarter inch tan-colored head that dissipates into a skim with a solid band around the edges. Nose was very mild and subdued - some malt, some brown sugar and a hint of hops. Taste reveals chocolate malt, brown sugar, molasses, black licorice and a definite hops presence. Mouthfeel was just shy of medium-bodied, but a bit too much carbonation for the style - I like my RIS's lightly carbonated and oily/viscous. Alcohol is well-hidden on this beer, but a little too much hops in the mix for my liking. Nonetheless, a solid, readily available offering.

Photo of nectar14
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From nitro at Toronado SD.

A: Pours black with a nice tan head, settling with a creamy foam and cascading bubbles, like I've seen Guinness do. Looks like a textbook stout.
S: Dark, malty, toasty, a bit nutty and chocolately. Everything in the right place.
T: More complete and complex than I've had this from bottle. Roasted grain, touch of coffee, chocolate, and walnut.
M: Carries some bitterness to contrast the malty, roasted flavors. Finishes with some bite. Full in body. Again, textbook.
D: Satisfying, solid, great stout. Doesn't blow me away, but when you're looking for a good stout, this is a great go-to beer.
Thumbs up.

Photo of nickd717
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into snifter. This is a good readily available RIS that you can always find at BevMo.

A - Pours black with a legitimate tan head and decent lacing.

S - Roast, chocolate, and freshly brewed coffee. A hint of hops as well.

T - Flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee, a hint of dark fruits, and a sweet alcoholic finish. Some mild piney hops are present, and these provide substantial bitterness.

M - Palate fairly thick and oily, yet not nearly as much as some of the really big American imperial stouts. Hop bitterness adds a little nice roughness to it.

D - Average-plus for the style.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,801 ratings.