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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,384 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8384
Reviews: 3289
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%

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 (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,384 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of LiquidAmber


4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured pure black with a nitro draft head. Mild dark fruit and malt aroma. Absolutely smooth with a slightly sweet flavor. Well integrated roasted malt, dark dried fruit, light coffee and chocolate. The nitro turns the usual well melded flavors of this stout into a super creamy delight. Very good in the bottle and exceptional on nitro-tap.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-02-2012 23:00:56 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


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

For a small, unassuming looking bottle, there is one mighty beer contained inside.
Old Rasputin himself stares at you with “those eyes” from the simple looking brown, black and white label, whilst doffing his right hand in a kind of salute to the brave souls that are tasting this beer for the first time – myself included. Am I to be yet another Virgin to add to the “Mad Monks” long and varied list, I wonder?!.
The beer pours a color twixt a very deep oily-brown and an almost bituminous black color. Once poured, the body of the beer lets little light through, although a deep brown red- hue can be detected from the refracted light at the edges of the glass. Atop this darkest of beers sits a regal looking fluffy brown-tan head that remains a solid ½” throughout, though dies a little towards the end. The smooth looking velvet creamy head looks fantastic and hints at the smoothness of this beer.
Immediately I poured this beer, I thought to myself “liquorice”, for the fresh pungent smell of this fine root-extract flavoring filled the air around my desk. Malt is perceptible in the nose at the start, with some roast character, although surprisingly I found the aromas to be less pungent than expected. A powerful introduction, an assault on the tongue almost, tells you that this is a beer that you don’t mess with. A marvellous strong roast coffee flavour interspersed with roast malt flavours, roll around together in the mouth and punch the cheeks. This is a fighting beer. Deep, dark chocolately middle, with a hard-wood, oaky dry bitter finish that leaves hints of raisins and liquorice on the palate. The beer leaves a warming trace that slowly tracks the path of the fluid as it descends the gullet, a warmth that would quell any Siberian winter. Fantastic. A bloody marvellous Imperial Stout.

More Russian than a Vodka Breakfast….
More Imperial that Darth Vader’s Dark Side….
And More Stout than John Candy….

A truly hypnotic beer that clearly has Rasputinious powers of influence.
It has me well and truly under its spell that’s for sure!

A fine libation from North Coast Brewing. Excellent!!!

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2002 21:59:44 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of jrallen34


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

I drank this from a tap into a chalice

This beer is beautiful to look at with a dark body and creamy head that lasts for a while. The color is pitch black with a tan head.

It smells like coffee with a hint of sweetness and a touch of alcohol.

Its tastes strongly of coffee with a balance of chocolate. Its a great combination of sweet and bitter.

A very fine stout.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2009 15:51:35 | More by jrallen34
Photo of dgilks


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

Liquorice, chocolate and a hint of coffee are the predominant aromas. Fairly sweet and not all that roasty.

Pitch black with a small, creamy tan head. Nice.

Really, chocolatey and syrupy. There's a nice roast character to the finish. The liquorice note comes through as well. Really nice and elegant.

Medium-full body with moderately-low carbonation. Almost perfect.

A really nice RIS. There's great flavour here and it isn't over the top. Just a simple, elegant beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 10:26:39 | More by dgilks
Photo of cokes


3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It pours a black body with just the faintest hints of scarlet on the edge. Curiously transparent when held to light. Shifts towards ruby. Head is light tan and relatively thin.
Mocha nose with amaretto, port, earth and powerful cascades.
Taste is all over the map. Big time bitterness from the roasted coffee/dark chocolate, as well as from the hops (cascades). This is counteracted by some pronounced sweetness in the form of more (milk) chocolate, black grapes, hazelnut and evident alcohol, in the form of vanilla liqueur. Nicely roasty and vinous up front, but it lacks "stick", as the flavors seem to drop out quickly. Espresso notes linger, acridly, post-swallow joining with the chewed pill hop notations.
Pretty thin for an Imperial. Over carbonated too.
Nevertheless, this has quite a bit going for it, and it's quite a fascinating drinking experience in the fattened porter realm. It hasn't the depth nor the body to qualify as an elite Imperial Stout.
Price-wise, though, this hits the spot, and its widespread availability is a bonus.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2002 00:55:16 | More by cokes
Photo of nickfl


4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque black body with a large, thick and creamy khaki colored head that possesses exceptional staying power.

S - Spicy, velvety aroma of hops combined with dark, chocolate malt. Slight floral notes and a bit of coffee and caramel.

T - Begins with smooth, mouth coating hop bitterness, quickly followed by roasted malt flavors of coffee, charcoal, and roast barley and a nice sweet note right in the middle. Strong dark grain bitterness and moderate alcohol warmth in the finish with lingering notes of dark caramel, smoke, and perhaps a bit of tobacco.

M - Smooth fairly thick body with moderately low carbonation. There is some astringency from the grain and hops, but much less than you might expect.

D - This is a beer to slowly sip and savour as the dark flavors only truly show themselves when the beer begins to warm. It is immensely enjoyable, though I would not want more than one in a sitting. The most remarkable aspect is the long, complex finish; it is reminiscent of a good cigar more than any other beer I have experienced. I had the last of the glass with a few pieces of dark, bittersweet chocolate; it was a nice match and had the interesting effect of bringing the hop character of the beer to the front.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2007 07:24:27 | More by nickfl
Photo of champ103


4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown/black in color with a large tan, frothy, and fluffy head that stays all the way down the glass. Leaves lots of lace down the glass as well. This can't look any better.
S: A little one dimensional. Lots of chocolate, coffee, and sweet malt.
T: Big roasted malt flavor with chocolate and coffee. Maybe some dark fruits. Very creamy, thick and rich. Fantastic.
D: Great. The ABV is well hidden with all the flavors. Very smooth and easy to drink. I can drink this all day.

I can't even describe how much I love this beer. Hands down the best RIS I have had, and maybe the best stout in general.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2007 18:01:29 | More by champ103
Photo of blackie


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

enjoyed this beer quite a few times, but never rated...

a: tulip serving, a dense mocha head lingers long atop the black bodied beer

s: rich charred roasts with deep currents of dark coffee and pure cocoa, dark chocolate drenched fruits, sweet alcohol, clean citrusy hop profile, a lovely, classic ris aroma

m: silky carbonation on a medium-full body

t: extra dark chocolates coating caramel and a dry, bitter coffee comprise the bulk of the flavor, not very sweet - quickly drying to intense flavors of burnt barley and a pithy moderate bitterness, great stuff here

d: no problem as the abv is present but totally appropriate - a readily available, hype-free ris

single picked up somewhere along the way - had this one for about a year now

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 03:40:02 | More by blackie
Photo of TurdFurgison


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

Poured from a bottle into a Stone IPA glass. Deep black color with 1-finger beige head on top.

Strong hops aroma. Taste is awesome. Roasted malt flavor (but not burned or smoked) with hops. I detected chocolate and coffee flavors too.

Great beer from a great company. Pranqster is also good.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2005 20:22:05 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of woosterbill


4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: A vigorous pour from on high results in a midnight-black body supporting two and a half inches of dense brown foam. Impressive retention and thick sheets of lacing. Spot on for the style, there's really nothing to mark off for here. Awesome looking brew.

S: Sweet, smooth, and strong. Coffee, chocolate, raisins, spice, and general roasted deliciousness. Beautiful.

T: Largely follows the nose, with a bit of hop bitterness on the finish balancing out the huge roasted malt sweetness. Strong coffee aftertaste with no astringency. Fantastic.

M: Nice and full bodied with a good amount of carbonation; the bubbles come across surprisingly sharp, though. Not bad, but not great.

D: The bitterness of the finish keeps the the sweetness from being overwhelming, leading to a great overall drinkability. Definitely one of the more quaffable RISs I've come across. Superb.

Notes: This is such a great beer, it's hard to believe that it's so readily available and affordable. Old Raspy is my go-to RIS, and very few others have surpassed it period, much less in terms of price and availability. I'd have a real dilemma if FBS were distributed in CT, but $8 for a 4-pack of Old Raspy is a hell of a lot better than $12 and a tank of gas for as many Breakfast Stouts and a trip to MA. Major props to North Coast for brewing such a great all around beer.


Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 02:29:58 | More by woosterbill
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2009 00:09:56 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of Alieniloquium


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

On tap at World of Beer in WPB, FL. Served in a snifter.

Appearance - Jet black with a two finger cream colored head. The head slowly recedes to a foam that coats the surface of the beer. What more could you look for in an RIS?

Smell - Dark chocolate and coffee. Some hops come through, as this seems to be an RIS that is hopped to hell. Very nice aroma. Even my wine-drinking sister could smell the coffee in this when she took a whiff.

Taste - Dark chocolate and coffee again up front. Roasty flavors abound throughout the drink. Not a hint of sweetness to it. It finishes with a long hop bitterness. Great flavor, although it is extremely bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Creamy and chewy. Great texture as it goes down. My only complaint is the bitterness in the finish. It's tough to put this away quickly because of it. Not that I'm looking to put it away quickly...

Overall - The bitterness is its only flaw. Otherwise, a fantastic RIS. Amazing that it is this good and this easy to come by.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2011 03:34:17 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

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

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass.

The well-sized dark tan head was about as dense and lovely as could be short of a nitro-can or nitro-tap. The liquid appears black with just tiny glimpses of brown at the edges when backlit. The head has excellent durability and leaves lots of light brown lacing.

Rather aromatic for a stout, with an easily detectable hop note over a rich dark malt aroma. The high ABV becomes more evident as the beer warms, but remains partially hidden. This high ABV is exceptionally well hidden in the taste and feel, however. The rich flavor, mainly from dark roasted malt, certainly contributes to the masking of alcohol flavors. There are dark chocolate and, less obvious, coffee notes in the finish. Almost no charred (burnt) taste components. Perfect sweet/bitter balance.

M - Exceptional mouthfeel, with a body that is nicely full for style, a creamy smooth texture, only the slightest alcohol tingle, and a modicum of lively tongue feel from the perfect carbonation.

O - What an excellent balance of hops and dark roasted malt, in this lively RIS! Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 23:46:30 | More by chinchill
Photo of francisweizen


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

Notes: Unknown Vintage. Probably Old! This beer poured a remarkably dark black colour that was totally opaque. It had a thick tan head as well. The aromas were all over the board but I smelled coffee, chocolate, dark-roasted malts, and hops. The taste was great....a perfect melange of the above mentioned aromas into one swiriling liquid full of flavor! The mouthfeel was thick and chewy and the drinkability was excellent for an Imperial stout.

This stuff rocks!!!

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2003 13:59:14 | More by francisweizen
Photo of FosterJM


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

186th review on BA
bottle to snifter

App- A very deep dark brown with an impressive 1 finger medium brown bubbly head. Lacing all over the glass.

Smell- Coffee, roast, dark chocolate and small hops

Taste- Hoppy on the forefront with a citrusy tinger. It works well together and then on the back you get the roast, chocolate coffee.

Mouth- Full bodied with a a medium carbonation. A very well done aftertaste. It goes down so smooth. Very rich as well.

Drink- 9% isn't noticable at all. A great way to end the day and such a value for a beer as well. Good things come in small packages. What a great 12oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 06:38:40 | More by FosterJM
Photo of tpd975


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

A: It pours nice and slowly into the glass producing a HUGE head, had to slow the pour down so that the head could stay within the glass. It is dark as night with tons thick beautiful lacing stuck to the side of the glass. I have no idea if there are any bubbles inside due to the darkness of the brew, but the way the head sticks around I would guess there are.

S: The smell is very nice, dark charcoaled roasted malt, there is also coffee, with a wonderful buttery sweet chocolate aroma mixed in. There are also sweet fruits, dark fruits, and a big blast of hops.

T: Very nice. This beer is soo creamy. It has the wonderful flavor of a dark mocha cappuccino. The chocolate is so nice in this one. Up front, but married nicely to the coffee. This is silk chocolate cake in a bottle. The finish is bold with nice hoppy bitterness. Great

M: Rich, Creamy, Silky Smooth. Has enough body to make it stick to the mouth and throat, which is a very good thing.

D: It goes down very nicely for a RIS. There is no hint of the ABV. It's a great drinking stout come summer or winter.

Overall: I have loved this beer since the first time I popped one open. It is very big on taste yet not too over the top. The flavors and aroma keep pulling me back to the glass. The flavors are soo complex, and they seem to hit you in waves. One sip is dark chocolate and coffee, the next may be sweet dark fruits and buttery chocolate.... So complex with so many flavors. It is so boldly subtle, I can't really explain it. It is one of the best stout's out there and deserving of its place in the top 100.

I just popped open a second bottle with a slice of chocolate mocha cake, and a dollop of birthday cake ice cream.... Yummmm. North Coast you RULE! Gotta go buy some more, because I just put down both of my bottles in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2007 19:47:39 | More by tpd975
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

My 300th beer review; looking forward to the next 300.

Appearance - The beer pours a dark brown/black colour with a very large frothy and rocky light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is very nice lacing running down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to disappear.

Smell - coffee, malts, chocolate, hops, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - The beer doesn't have a whole lot of carbonation, but it feels very light and creamy on the palette. It's packed full of chocolate and coffee flavour mixed with malts. There is also a lot of bitterness from the coffee and the hops. The beer gives a warming feeling in my chest but the alcohol isn't really detectable. The beer finishes with little bit of a peppery/spicy aftertaste.

Drink - This is a flavour packed full bodied beer that is a must try. It's extremely drinkable and perfect during the winter/colder months.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2010 23:43:36 | More by spinrsx
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/5/08. Bottle. Pours black with a small light tan head. Aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, cookie dough, caramel, nougat, and truffles. Wow. Flavor of roast, coffee, and bitter hops. Sweet roasted malt emerges as the beer warms. A bit heavy (alcohol-wise). Good impy!
8/4/8/4/15 (3.9/5)

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2008 15:16:58 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2009 01:20:01 | More by Jwale73
Photo of alexgash


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

Pours a deep, dark brown--nearly black. Capped by a dense, creamy, cocoa brown head that laces the glass nicely. Beautiful. Aromas explode out of the tulip glass. Roaseted coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, and dark sugary fruit mix seamlessly with an assertive pine-accented hop component. A wonderful smelling beer! Rich, roasted malt flavors up front meld with some sweetish, overripe dark fuits. Light chocolate coffee notes pick up right before a big rush of bitter hops. Cascadey and delcious, they provide nice balance. Finish is hop bitter, with vinous notes, tannins, and some warming alcohol. An excellent, full-bodied stout, that's right up there with the best of them.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2005 02:09:26 | More by alexgash
Photo of AgentZero


3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very black, with tan sneaking through on the edges. Nice tan head, with some pretty lacing going down the sides.

S - A little smoke on this one. Malts and chocolate come through. I expect this one to be a little bitter.

T - Definately some coffee, burnt chocolate on this one. The bitter comes through, but in a good way.

M - Full, thick. Just what you'd expect from this.

D - Goes down pretty easily, but couldn't do a whole lot of these.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2009 03:25:36 | More by AgentZero
Photo of Brent


4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

For a Russian imperial, this stout was actually a little more mild than I expected. Lots of chocolate, and a hint of vanilla in the finsih. Tremendous depth of flavor. The mouthfeel was surprisingly light for the heft of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2001 22:54:10 | More by Brent
Photo of GClarkage


4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12/09/04- On tap at the Englander in San Leandro, CA

Appearance- Pours a dark tanish-black opaque color. Great head and good lacing.

Smell- Ahhhh, lots of chocolate and lots of coffee mixed together. Both roasted to perfection.

Taste- Frickin awesome! This compares almost equally to Stone Imperial Stout IMO. I had Stone two weeks ago and needed to give this one another try to compare. Tons of chocolate and coffee swirling around in harmony. Roasted malt thrown in for good measure.

Mouthfeel- On tap this is phenomonal. Carbonation level is near perfect and after it warms up it's even more tasty. Fairly thick, but goes down like a fat guy on a waterslide. (fast) :)

Drinkability- The only drawback is that you can feel this one after you finish it. You can still have another, but two is almost too much. Always will be one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2004 01:28:51 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Mebuzzard


4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was served at cellar temperature at Falling Rock tap house in Denver.
Dark, black body with dark tan head of two fingers which lowered to one finger and laced nicely.
Smell of coffee and chocolate with malt roast and biscuit.
Taste was wonderful. Just the right balance between coffee, chocolate, hops and malt. Nothing dominated which rendered the feel smooth and soft. The alcohol presented itself and then retreated into the flavors.
Very easy drinking for a RIS. Very good.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2006 21:02:38 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of Brenden


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

The color is black, and the head pours a full thick head that retains very nicely and leaves some pretty incredible sticky lacing all over the glass.

The smell is malts and a hot of alcohol with something like licorice and a hint of bitter dark chocolate.

The alcohol is strong in this one. The toasted malt is also prevalent; this is probably the "maltiest" beer I've ever had. If you really give it some time on your palate the malt, hops bitterness, and light sweetness with really make themselves evident so that the complexity can truly be appreciated. Very nicely balanced.

The mouthfeel is thick and smooth with a pleasant alcoholic sting to it. A great combination of thickness, alcohol, bitterness and toastiness.

This one is a definite must.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 17:40:25 | More by Brenden
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,384 ratings.