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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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10,355 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,355
Reviews: 3,396
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 353
Gots: 1,551 | FT: 47
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)
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,355 | Reviews: 3,396 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Proteus93
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown/black pour with light golden brown, rolling & frothy head. Nice and sticky - good retention.

S: Rich coffee & chocolate aromas. Very malty. Quite full and big.

T: Roasted coffee bean (like a strong, dark roast), dark chocolate, and a rich smoky flavour.

M: Some reasonable weight to the body.. creamy and full with a smooth and slick finish.

D: Smooth sipping, though big enough to take at just one or two at a time. I'll be trying it out again.

Photo of TheTrevor
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured pitch black with a big steady three-finger dark tan head that remained for the whole time I drank the beer. The smell is mostly roasted malts with some chocolate and coffee notes with the chocolate becoming more prominent as the beer warmed. This beer doesn't screw around, the taste starts off with sweet chocolate that's quickly dispersed by some bitter coffee taste and finished by a punch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is thick and slippery with some warming from the alcohol. This is a very powerful beer, which means I couldn't imagine drinking more than one at a time but not for lack of quality.

Photo of morebeergood
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap last night at Deep Ellum. I saw they had this on nitro tap, so I figured it was worth a re-visit. Pours with a huge frothy head, that unfortunately got so big that it spilled onto the table. The smell was what I expected, a symphony of roasted coffee and chocolate. The taste was even more delicious. I have had this beer before on tap, and I love it. But the nitro makes it that much more smoother and silky. Tastes like a chocolate imperial stout milkshake. Goes down way too fast for a 9% beer. One of my favorite RIS on the market. The nitro makes it that much better.

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

A: Poured into a snifter, deep black color with brownish head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Initial smell of sweet malts and caramel. As it lightens the smell of coffee and chocolate emerge and some bitterness from the alcohol.

T: Chocolate malts induce a luxurious sweet taste that is met quickly by the coffee biterness and alcohol to make this one amazingly balanced and tasty treat.

M: very creamy and thick, loved how it coated the tongue and mouth

D: note, do not session, might end up with headache, bloated stomach, and extreme dehydration...kidding...kind of

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

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured an impenetrable blackness into a chalice with a thin, dark head. The smell was of roasted malt and alcoholic esters. Alcohol was the predominant flavor initially, with roasted malt in the middle and a nice lingering hop bitterness at the end. This is a full-bodied beer, with a great balance between the alcohol, malt, and hop components. Very drinkable.

Photo of mnstorm99
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice black pour with a good tan head that stick around very well, and the lacing was nice throughout as well.
Little hoppy on the nose and smokey, spicy notes in the hops.
Flavor is of smokey coffee malts (but not overly smokey), a touch of spicey hops rounds it out, this one is overly sweet like some RIS can be, nice change.
great chewy thick mouthfeel as expected with this type of beer, this is a pretty easy drinking RIS, overall a great beer.

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

Appearance: It pours nearly jet black in color. Head is creamy, chocolaty brown and a massive two and a half fingers deep. Excellent retention and lacing.

Smell: Chocolate and roasted malt blend extremely well with coffee scent. Malty and sweet smelling. Perhaps a hint of toasted nut. Hops are more noticeable than I would've expected, but far from overpowering. Didn't pick up any alcohol on the nose.

Taste: Chocolate malts provide an initial sweet taste that is pretty well balanced out by the bitter/sour coffee flavor. Very creamy and smooth. Light hop bitterness and toasted nut flavors and complexity and depth.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied to thick. Carbonation is excellent and abv is perfect for this beer. It's extremely smooth and drinkable despite the 9% abv. Overall, this is damn fine beer. Highly recommended.

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

On tap at the Capital Ale House (Richmond, VA).

Pours a deep black with just the smallest amount of red highlights around the bottom and a thin creamy tan head that retained beautifully and left thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is thick with notes of chocolate, deep roasted malts, dark fruits and hop bitterness.

The flavor profile is deep with chocolate sweetness, espresso notes, and dark fruit tartness. The real highlight of this beer though is the combo of burnt and hop bitterness that pervades throughout. A honestly think that this beer almost achieves a perfect balance of the sweet and bitter. The mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy with just a touch of warmth. That 10.5% is insanely hidden, making for a most smooth and drinkable experience.

IMO, Old Rasputin is one of the most underrated beers on the market right now. Just packed with all the flavors you would want in an RIS but in one hugely drinkable package. Plus you can usually find some fantastic prices on this at the store. For the money, one of the best beers on the market.

Photo of Strix
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with barely dark ruby edges and a huge head that lasts forever.

Smells of roasted flavors and chocolate.

Roasted flavors dominate this, with the bitterness of very dark chocolate and hops and a bit of alcohol. Long-lasting bitter aftertaste is nice.

Feel is nice and smooth. Perhaps a little less dense than I expect in a RIS.

Definitely a nice one. It could stand to have the bitterness dialed back a bit to let some of the malt shine through, but I can't complain too much.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thick, coffee ice cream-colored head that sticks around for a while. Espresso-dark and thick - coats the mug nicely. Mild, dry aroma with toasted-burnt but pleasant crispy malt. Taste is very dry with slight bitterness on the palate. Deep, dark roasted backbone that's very warming to the senses. Strong espresso roast tones. Slight metallic aftertaste (packaging?). No overly alcoholic flavor - this is very well balanced. This stuff coats the mouth - even though it's a little dry and bitter at times it's very thick and soothing. Very well-made to enjoy in moderation.

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

A - Wow! Massive head!! Really over poured this one easily. Thick brown foam head like malt. Looks like a sponge from the side. Good retention and sticks on glass. Looks like liquid chocolate and very inviting. Very black.
S - Smells like scorched dark chocolate, roasted malt and liquor. Very strong aroma.
T - Holy $*^! - very full flavor. Mild bitterness at back of tongue. Slightly sour on the sides. Roasted goodness like drinking a fired almond.
M - Lightly carbonated. Well balanced. A little bite on the back of the tongue. Feels slightly heavy.
D - I LOVE THIS BEER! So much character!! This is my first Imperial Stout, and I have to be honest, I was a little scared. The aroma almost made my knees shake. BUT, this is very drinkable and I'm enjoying every drop. I'll be picking up a sixer next time.

Photo of BMan1113VR
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A little bit disappointed by this one, good beer, but I find the reputation to be better than the actual product. Pours the standard Imperial black, with a large creamy head and excellent lacing (could see every sip taken). Aroma is strong malts with some light piney hops and even a bit of clove. Taste is of bitter coffee grounds. It has an exceptionally long after taste, with a slightly warming alcoholic finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and the carbonation is flat. As for the super stouts I feel that this is a good product, but nothing compared to Great Divide's Yeti. Still good, and that is coming from a non-Stout drinker.

Photo of JEdmund
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black like espresso with a quickly rising head. The bubbles come up quickly and are tiny, giving the head a lighter body that dissipated a little quicker (or maybe I just drank it off because the glass was so full). I could see lots of little fizz bubbles coming up to the head, and those are certainly felt when drinking it.

Malt, roasted/toasty, a little spicy, some dried/candied fruit, coffee; not overly big like other imperials (Yeti)

Taste & Mouthfeel
So impressive from the first sip - it goes down so nicely it just begs to be drank quickly. It feels really fizzy in mouth, but not like it's going to turn to foam either (it's hard to explain, but a good quality). There's a big upfront flavor of roasted malts, followed by dark chocolate, finishing with an espresso and hop bitterness, and finally, the aftertaste is even more of chocolate and some coffee. It has a peppery quality to it, although it doesn't sting at all unpleasantly. The whole thing is so pleasantly balanced it's unreal. It's almost too smooth to think you're drinking an imperial; however, the flavors are big enough to make you aware.

This is one of the best Russian Imperials I've ever had. I haven't had lots to try from though to be fair, however, it is in my top two, tied with GD's Yeti.


3-Year Tasting - '07 Bottle, cellared December 2007, tasted on February 1, 2011 (during a blizzard!)

Tasted at 55F

Immediately amazed by the strong head that forms and the lively aroma; aroma is still strong with cocoa and coffee. Flavor is still robust, though certainly not to the degree of a fresh bottle. What strikes me of its difference is it seems a bit thinner in body (though still has good carbonation) and the finish has a bit of a metallic edge to it. But the finish isn't off-putting; in fact, it has a fairly assertive bitterness still. It's leaving thick lace curtains! Getting good chocolate and coffee flavor throughout. Maybe a hint of some woodiness too. I'm pretty impressed with how well this beer has held up and consider it a success.

Photo of animal69
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

my 4th. or 5th. impy ; pours a cherry-coke black w/ a thick brown head which lasts a good bit leaving plenty of lacing in my nonic ; a strong smell of dark caramel, hops and nuts, some fruitiness detected as well ; a rich, malt filled delight w/ hops abound, a coffee-like note runs through the deep roasted/nutty/toasty malts, pleasingly balanced w/ floral hops, a bit of a date/prune type flavor at the finish ; rich med-full body well balanced w/ the flavor, moderate co2 level, enough to support the head and make the flavor last ; an excellent brew, after this one and storm king, i'm tempted to change my fav. style....

Photo of fitzy84
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank it at Moan and Dove. It poured out deliciously dark looking and settled to a thin head. Sharp malts were definitely sensed almost with some hops. There was a beautiful sense of roasted flavors overall. The taste had a bitter and creamy attribute to it. It seemed a tiny bit off being so bitter but it was still really enjoyable. The drink was surprisingly thin for a Russian imperial stout. It also had a slightly crisp aftertaste! Overall this was a wonderfully relaxing drink for the evening.

Photo of cer40
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I sampled this brew out of a 12oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. It poured jet black with a thick frothy dark tan head. LOTS of lacing. Smells like a good RIS. Rich, roasty, and toasty. Taste has bittersweet chocolate notes. Lots of hop bitterness in this beer. Alcohol warms on the tail end. mouthfeel is rich and velvety. I would love to have another but try drinkin many at 9% and you may be in trouble.

Photo of cfleisher
2.4/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Never thought I'd say this, but this beer was too highly hopped for me. Nice dark espresso color and low carbonation, smelled of caramel malt, but could barely taste it. I love highly hopped beers (Stone's Ruination is a favorite) but not so much with the stouts and this could have been so much more if the malt could come forward a little.

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

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Pours a dark, dense, brownish black. The smell is roasty and strong of malts. Taste is real good, reminiscent of a melted coffee been, chilled, expresso beer. Clearly a roasted malt with a medium dense mouthfeel. Overall this is beautifully balanced between its smoothness and bold taste. This is a great beer, and for what I've seen the greats beers priced at this is a steal.

Photo of teamizm
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a dark, espresso color. Very deep brown with a slight head.

S - Very strong smell of toasted malts. A very apparent alcohol smell as well.

T - Slightly astringent taste when it initially hits your mouth, followed a bitter aftertaste. The taste of alcohol is also very strong. A slight taste of burnt malts comes through as well.

M - Astringent, not overly carbonated, but definitely tingles your tongue.

D - At 9.00% ABV, its more drinkable than World Wide Stout, but still not something you can drink on a daily basis. Good beer to complement a desert, although will likely overpower many meals.

Photo of jobyone
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted with 5 other imperial stouts. Pours black with large frothy brown head. The aroma has nice chocolate and coffee with a hint of caramel. The flavor is sweet to start with a bit of bitterness coming after. Nice creamy texture. The finish is a bit short. Easy to drink but not as complex as the best.

Photo of esch
2.73/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Deliciously dark. Ruby slices through when held up to the light. Persistant pillowy cappuccino colored head.

S: Cocoa, wet sugar, tons of toasted malt, definite hop florals.

T: I first get a hint of dried cherries that fades fast into (diet) cola with a harshly bitter aspartame.

M: Medium-moderate body. Medium-moderate carbonation.

D: I really want to like this beer but the chemical flavors are really off-putting. Tasting was comprised of a newly purchased bottle and one from my cellar. I'll have to give this beer a revisit.

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

Thanks Floydster for this beer.

I used to drink this beer more frequently, before I got into trading, and this was one of the beers that got me hooked into this particular style. I haven't had one of these in months. Let's see how it holds up now.

Pours jet black with a huge 3 finger thick head that slowly trickles down. The foam takes a few minutes to "settle" to an inch of foam and leaves behind thick soapy lacing behind.

Smells of citrus hops upfront, I forgot how hoppy this RIS is. Great toasted and bready malts in the background with some notes of toffee and milk chocolate. It smells like a citrus flavored chocolate. There are also some dark fruits hiding in the back along with some grains and a touch of alcohol.

Tastes of bitter chocolate with some citrus and deeply roasted barley finish. Lots of burnt toast and hops as well. Dark fruits and some alcohol. Tastes a little rough actually. I'm picking up some flavors of alcohol soaked raisins.

Great carbonation and almost silky mouthfeel.

Sadly, this one isn't what I remembered it to be and it's not even among my top 10 or 15 RIS I've tasted. Tastes too rough, the alcohol is a bit intrusive and it could use a sweeter chocolate taste instead of the dry, dark and bitter taste.

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

A- sweet bubble action like millions of gumballs cascading downwards. tan head is puffy and creamy like frothed chocolate milk with great retention, hanging over the thick pitch black body like an evil donut storm cloud and a ring of lace along the lip of the glass that seems to drip down forever. held up to the light, the faintest hints of rosewood and mahogany can be seen at the bottom of the glass.

S- roasted malts and chocolate, woodsy and herbal with a bit of coffee here and there. tart smoked currants and prunes. smells like there's a good deal of hops in there too, as there should be. citric, floral, and slightly piney is a nice contrast against the big load of malt. bitter oranges dipped an molasses, and some aromas similar to kahlua or tia maria.

T- tart fruity roasted malt starts to become sweet before it's neutralized by sharp hop bite. pine and deep dark citrus peel take over becoming pungent making way for fruity vodka-like alcohol solvents to become apparent. as the hops get re-balanced by the dark malt, the after taste smoothes out to woody and herbal and a lil smokey like old furniture and burning rosemary. some cigar as well, and old charred tobacco pipe, this brew is only sweet for a half second, the rest of the way it's dry and complex and i could probably taste new things for hours.

MF- this is one rich and luxurious brew, not quite creamy, but more like drinking melted chocolate mixed with poorly filtered coffee. seemingly grainy texture is so thick and viscous that it just comes together with the beautiful amount of carbonation the make a dense full bodied brew.

D- smooth, profound, and very easy to drink, one might go through a bottle so fast trying to decipher it's complexities that a minor dizzied feeling becomes recognizable. on that note, drink the whole 4 pack and i bet old rasputin will be comin for that ass.

Photo of tayner
3.1/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle.

black with a off white/tan head, laced nice

smell was of roasted malts and alcohol

tasted like i was drinking burnt malt, ash, and lighter fluid.

The mouthfeel was hot, thick, motor oil mixed with lighter fluid.

I couldnt even finish my one bottle. I am not sure why this is rated so high, but i think if i drank any more of this it would make me look like the old dude on the bottle.

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

It's not very often you pick up a bottle of beer at a supermarket and it turns out to be this good and a great value. Really dark brown with a decent brownish suddsy head, but glows a warm umber when you shine the light through it - clear without sediment.

In the style, heavy on the espresso and chocolate, but not sweet, yet off-dry. Good mouth-coating density makes this a sipping beer for thoughtful reflection and a hunk of blue cheese.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,355 ratings.