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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.

10,172 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,172
Reviews: 3,383
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 331
Gots: 1,447 | FT: 44
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,172 | Reviews: 3,383 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdubjacket
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Stella Artois chalice. Pours a deep brown -almost black with a chocolate brown head. Smells like chocolate and coffee. Taste is quite good. Very well balanced between the chocolate and coffee. Hops and malts are very well balanced in this one. Mouthfeel is very creamy. Don't know if I could drink more than one of these at a time, but if I had to, I wouldn't be opposed to it. One of the better imperial stouts that I've had in a while.

jdubjacket, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of happygnome
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: pours a deep dark black color with about a quarter inch of toffee tan head that doesnt dissapear but leaves a good amount of lacing around the edge of the glass as the level of beer in the glass falls with every sip.
s: roasted malts, sweet cocoa aroma mixed with a strong coffe smell. there is a subtle hint of alcohol in the nose
t: strong flavor of roasted malts, cocoa flavor is storong as is the coffee flavor. hints of alcohol can be detected in the flavor
m: full bodied beer with little carbonatoin

overall, wow i loved this, if it wasnt so expensive (about $2.50/bottle i believe) id have it in my fridge more often deffinatly a very solid brew

happygnome, Mar 31, 2008
Photo of blackjack000
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The stout pours out as a dark rum color and sits in the glass as a glistening coal black. A thick and tall creamy head forms, with beautiful, textured dimples within. After the beer pours, the head and beer sits in a beautiful, unyielding stasis, as if it would remain at this consistency forever. As the stout is drank, beautiful tiers of lacing sit on the glass like layers of a bustle dress. To the last, some head remains and clings to the edges after each tip of the glass. The beer's appearance matches it's wonderful taste perfectly.

Smell: Deep and aromatic alcoholic brown sugar scents come up initially. Brown sugar bubbles up from a pan and starts to burn into a hard coating. A smell like oak barrels full of Caribbean rum comes up with the alcohol scent heavy underneath. When drawn through the mouth, the scent feels deep and almost like wilting flowers.

Taste: Rich, roasted coffee beans; age-conditioned oak beams scavenged from Old World furniture; harsh baker's chocolate; molasses poured from a mason jar; a twist of old-time liquorice thrown in for good measure. As the beer slightly warms, a strong and bitter coffee comes out.

Mouthfeel: The beer feels thick and chewy as the sip draws back into my throat. The stout sticks to the contours of my tongue and reluctantly leave several seconds after the swallow.

Drinkability: The beer was very large. A person would not feel tempted to consume much of this beer in one sitting. However, not much of this imperial stout is required to content a person's senses.

blackjack000, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of Rootdog316
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a jet inky black with a nice tan head that sticks to the side of the glass, your esophagus, and coats the intestines. Milk chocolate, espresso, and alcohol; put all of that in a pot and slow roast it and you're getting close to the nose on this one. Espresso oils are first and most prominent throughout. Chocolate sweetness makes an appearance and a balanced alcohol and hop bitter finish take you home. There is a lot to this beer and you can focus on something different every sip.

Rootdog316, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of Pencible
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This poured with a medium brown head and had a very nice chocolate scent. The texture was thick and heavy, as you would expect, but it wasn't overly strong or too heavy like Rogue's imperial stout. It had tons of bittersweet/dark chocolate flavor with a bit of hops in the aftertaste. The alcohol wasn't too apparent, and there actually wasn't much coffee in the flavor either. It was super smooth and overall very well balanced, which made this surprisingly easy to drink. A wonderful drink - maybe my favorite stout to date?

Pencible, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of ckeegan04
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into pilsner glass.

A - Black as black can be. Nice thick brown head that just wont leave. Excellent lacing down the glass.

S - Roasted malts and coffee. Not an overpowering aroma at all.

T - Coffee is the dominant flavor to go along with the nice toasted taste. Slight chocolate sweetness at the end as well.

M/D - Rich, creamy, and smooth. Moderate carbonation. Very very good

ckeegan04, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of churchillps
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 12oz bottle. Black as night, tan head that lingers forever. Thick and creamy. Smells and tastes of espresso, dark malts, chocolate, and some subtle hops. Pretty dry, thick and creamy. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Paid $2.50 for this sucker and would gladly pay again. Great for the winter time, but I could do this in the summer too!

churchillps, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of Andrewtherooster
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - This thing is black. Nice dark tan head from the get-go. Small bubbles float up from the abyss.

S - The smell is very subtle. I get a hint of licorice and the alcohol. The texture of the smell, it's smoothness and balance, seems like a red wine.

T - I was intimidated by this beer at first, but I like something challenging. There is so much complexity and subtlety to it. I can taste coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and the aforementioned licorice (black licorice, mind you). Old Rasputin has a lot to him that kept me intrigued throughout the entire experience.

M - Slight hint of carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. No alcohol burn.

D - Old Rasputin isn't for everyone, but I certainly enjoyed it. It's a good beer to sit down and invest yourself in. I don't think I could have more than a couple of these before I had to call it a night. It's a beer I would love to have again.

Andrewtherooster, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of CHADMC3
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours beautiful ebony with a frothy tan head, subsiding to lively lacing which in the center resembles an erupting geyser. I'm expecting this beer to have as much character as the man himself.

Quite a complex mix of aromas: Most noticeable is the chocolate and coffee aroma followed by a crisp hop scent. Also some roasted hints.

Wow! I let this warm for about 15 minutes prior to indulging. More roasted character on the palate than I anticipated; still obvious flavors of chocolate and coffee beans. Let this legend dance on your palate and the hops become more apparent.

There is so much to enjoy about this beer, very lively on the palate with a fair amount of carbonation and hop bitterness that lingers.

This will become a favorite in the RIS style; easy to enjoy, and equally dangerous. The beer is much easier to take down than the legend of the individual.

CHADMC3, Mar 22, 2008
Photo of Avryle
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours like the devil himself- rich, tempting & sexy as sin. This sucka's coal black with a fluffy dark tan head eventually dissapating until there's a consistant thin cap.

S - Chocolatey roast. Chocolatey malt. A bittersweet chocolate dominates the nose.

T - Roasted malt with bittersweet chocolate & hops on the finish. Fresh bottle leaves a boozy burn down the throat.

M - Full bodied & creamy though finishes a bit on the dry side. Light carbonation.

D- Oh, I could have one or seventy more.

Avryle, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of FleeVT
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle, no date.

A: Pours a jet inky black with a nice tan head that sticks to the side of the glass, your esophagus, and coats the intestines.

S: Milk chocolate, espresso, and alcohol; put all of that in a pot and slow roast it and you're getting close to the nose on this one.

T: Espresso oils are first and most prominent throughout. Chocolate sweetness makes an appearance and a balanced alcohol and hop bitter finish take you home. There is a lot to this beer and you can focus on something different every sip.

M: Heavy carbonation for an RIS. Medium to heavy body that almost wants to be chewed.

D: Yes please. Give me a cold evening, a fire, and 2 Rasputins. This is a treat that I could only enjoy once in a while.

FleeVT, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of csmiley
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours dark brown and opaque. No light gets through this one. Got an inch of head with average retention and excellent lacing.

S - Chocolate is the biggest part of the aroma. Espresso and roasted notes sit in the background and give the aroma a nice balance.

T - Espresso really comes through in the flavor. It gives way to bittersweet chocolate and roasted flavors. The distant background has some alcohol and oak.

M - Medium to full bodied. Carbonation is just right. Starts out creamy with a alightly dry finish.

D - Drinkability is very good. North Coast hit it out of the park with this one. Recommended.

csmiley, Mar 17, 2008
Photo of Tdizzle
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Poured into a tulip glass, this beer pours black with a creamy dark-tan head that sticks around for the duration of the beer, leaving some really thick lacing on the glass.

S- It's all here. Rich dark chocolate, roasted malts and coffee with a bit of vanilla sweetness. Notes of hops ad dark fruits are less prominent. The alcohol begins to peak through as the beer warms.

T- A superb balance of bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee with a mild hop and cocoa bitterness on the finish, which is fairly dry for such a rich beer.

M- Smooth, creamy and coating with more lively carbonation than I expected.

D- This is a huge beer, but it drinks lighter than you might expect. The finish leaves you wanting more after every sip and the alcohol is so well-hidden you'll rub your eyes after seeing that it's 9%.

A classic in my book.

Tdizzle, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of joezak5
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OK, I've sponged off this masterpiece of a website long enough. I need to review my all-time favorite that I've found thanks to BA.

A - Poured into a Duvel Tulip that was freshly rinsed and dried. Black as night with a densely packed tan head billowing over the lip of the glass. An exquisite sight.

S - Roasty, roasty, roasty... Syrupy chocolate roastiness. I wish I had an air freshener with this scent.

T - Dark malty with bitter chocolate coming through. Hops sneak in on the swallow. Take a deep breath in the mouth, exhale through the nose puts yourself right back in the barley roaster. Perfection.

M - Very heavy and full bodied. Puckering on this gives a sweet hoppy flavor that was hiding.

D - This is my "if you had one beer to drink for the rest of your life" beer. And for the 4 pack price at Wegmans in Princeton, NJ of $6.99 (it's now $7.99; glad I stocked up) it's a bargain.

joezak5, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of stephens101
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First tried this about a year ago before I started reviewing, and have been meaning to get back to it. Seriously glad I did, and I waited to damn long. Pours black with red hues. Has a good two-finger creamy tan head. Great retention and lacing. Smells of dark chocolate and roasted malts. Tastes of caramel and toffee at the forefront followed by a slight hop bitterness that fits in perfectly. Being a neophyte, the complexity of the smell and taste is more than I can tackle description wise. Mouth-feel is sinewy, creamy and smooth. Probably the tastiest stout I've ever had. You can tell someone put some effort in this bad boy. Sprints head to head to the finish with the Rogue Shakespeare stout being edged out by a length.

stephens101, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of PhageLab
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at a 46 degree angle in a tulip glass.

A - Motor oil for the most part. Made for a massive head of froth that simply refused to dissipate. Lacing was immaculate.

S - Complex nose of raw chocolate, dark fruits, and the tinge of hops. This aroma is worth taking several moments to absorb it all, especially if served chilled. Chances are you won't even catch most of the scents until it hits room temp.

T - Rich flavorful profile of fruit notes with a dry, bitter hop backing. Finishes with a toasty, dry malt flavour. Although the alcohol warms, it does not shine through in the body. Outstanding.

M - Full bodied, nice carbonation level which adds to the crispness, no residuies, dry finish.

D - Dangerously drinkable, had I several more of these I'd be content. Amazing brew that honestly impressed me in every aspect. Reco.

PhageLab, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of macster
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black and opaque under a thick and tight tan head. Superb retention with some streaky lacing.

Aromas of espresso, dark roasted malts and bitter-sweet chocolate emerge at once. Notes of raisin, molasses, vanilla bean and figs linger in the background.

Mouthfeel was moderately full, but a tad too fizzy for a big RIS. A bit thicker and creamier would really make it.

First sip was a bit surprising relative to this stout's considerable bitterness and bite. This was not a negative, but most Imperial Stout's I've had have leaned toward the sweeter side. Flavors very reminiscent of the aroma with lots of roasted and black patent malts, charred wood and dark dried fruits along with a generous addition of hops to give it a long, dryish finish. Alcohol integrates very nicely.

A superb west coast Imp. Russian Stout indeed

macster, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of shroompod
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aggressively poured this has a nice tan head that sticks around. Very dark of course.

Smell is mainly hoppy , slight detection of burnt/dark malts.

Initially this beer has a decent amount of hops that transform from floral bitterness and yields to a dark bitter chocolate, bitter coffee , and finally just a hint of sweetness.

Beer has a thick mouthfeel , bitterness lingers. Good carbonation.

Overall a very nice RIS , highly recommended.

shroompod, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of JWFokker
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle, this is a very dark stout. It's as black as any I've ever had and the head that forms is a solid tan. The nose is mostly roasted malts and coffee with a bit of hops. The flavor is more of the same, but with greater intensity. The hops really come out in the aftertaste. I'd say this is one of the hoppier Imperial Russian Stouts that I've had. Surprisingly, at 9% ABV, there's no aroma or taste of alcohol. It's completely overwhelmed by the malt and hops. The mouthfeel isn't as thick as most Imperial Russian Stouts, which is neither a good or a bad thing. It just is. I'd rate the drinkability higher, but the hoppiness of this one gets to me after a while. I still recommend this one highly.

JWFokker, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of ScottUCF84
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pint glass.

A- Very, very dark. Quite possibly the darkest I've ever had. Hold it up to the light and you can barely make out a ruby hue. Thick, dark tan head that stuck around for a while. Beautiful.

S- Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and some hops in the end.

T-A lot like it smelled... roasted, bitter malt, chocolate and coffee. I always wonder why people mention raisins in their beer reviews.. but there it was waiting for me in Old Rasputin... just a touch at the end, along with some bitter hops. Let it warm and you can really taste that extra ABV.

M- A bit syrupy, but once you get the ball rolling, a creamy treat.

D- Kind of filling, and after a few I wouldn't recommend driving. I'd say one is enough, but that one is oh so delicious.

ScottUCF84, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of brewgetter
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black, can't even see a flashlight through it! Dark tan head that sticks around, nice lacing.

I get cherries in the smell, with coffee, raisins, caramel, and dark rosted malt...nothin wrong aith that.

Taste starts out sweet and roasty with piney, citrusy hops late and in the finish.

Mouthfeel is superb, lush and smooth, carbonation is just right.

A fantastic brew, not quite the best RIS I've had(darkness...so far) but the mere fact that North Coast makes it widely available all year long hitches it up a notch.

brewgetter, Mar 07, 2008
Photo of Traquairlover
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Dark mahogany, almost impenetrable black, large tan head with excellent retention, lacing left on glass.

S = Strong smells of black strap molasses and Turkish coffee.

T = Sweet molasses at the front of the tongue, creamy dark chocolate milkshake at mid-palate and bitter coffee in the long aftertaste

M = Heavy bodied, low carbonation, excellent mouthcoating.

D = I really liked this and would definitely recommend it. Could not imagine drinking more than one though given the strong bitterness in the finish and the heavy feel of the drink not to even mention the ABV.

Traquairlover, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of Lothore
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep blackish color with a nice, pillowy, creamy brown head.

S- Smell starts with rich roasted malts and moves into a deep spiciness which gives way to a sweet maltiness.

T- Starts off with unassuming sweet malt and then a coffee flavor grabs hold and moves into a bit of bitter hops at the end. Dark chocolate in the background all the way through.

M- Thinner than your average RIS with quite a bit of carbonation.

D- Let me just put it out there that I am not a huge RIS fan. I like them from time to time, but they aren't my bread and butter. This seemed a lot less menacing than some of the other ones out there so i'd say this is a good one for people who are looking to get into the style.

Lothore, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of BigRedN
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from the stubby 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is black. Even when held to the light nothing comes through. My pour produced a thick brown head, at least one inch in height. Head slowly fades to a solid cover and leaves sheets of lacing. Just amazing.

Smell: Big bold burst of roasted malt aromas. Chocolate, roasted coffee beans. A faint hint of piney hop aromas as well.

Taste: The taste of this beer follows the scent. Brings the malt right up front with a bang. Roasted malt, chocolate and coffee, not sweet malts, a touch bitter. There is also a blast of hop bitterness on the finish. Even at 9% ABV this is not boozy.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, yet surprisingly this one does not feel overly heavy to me. Smooth going down a touch dry at the end. The 9% alcohol is fairly well hidden, although after two I feel it a little.

Drinkability: Typically, big, high ABV beers do not get high drinkability ratings for me. However, this one is an exception. I like malty beers and this one has what I like in spades. I was surprised to see this in Nebraska, and am happy that this RIS is a permanent part of the line up (usually I see this as a seasonal or one off beer).

BigRedN, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of DHGranstrand
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with nice foamy head. Good lacing with nice foam retention.

Smells burnt.. not sure of what, but I do like the aroma.

Tastes like burnt malt with very nice hop flavor up front. I almost thought it tasted like burnt hops.

Excellent mouthfeel, great viscosity.

This beer has an unusually strong burnt aroma/taste of malt/hops upfront. I love the nice hoppy flavors that immediately overtake the burnt malt presence.

I am going to have another!!

DHGranstrand, Mar 04, 2008
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,172 ratings.