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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,522 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,522
Hads: 11,299
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 499
Gots: 2,341 | FT: 56
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 (27) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,522 | Hads: 11,299
Reviews by jeff1973:
Photo of jeff1973
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Hair of the Dog tulip.

A - Nice dark pitch black w/ a light tan head. Lots of lacing.

S - Dark roasty, bitter malts and a little burnt sugar.

T - Roasty, leathery, then a touch of sweet dark chocolate and dark fruits. Really dries out at the end with a little alcohol warmth.

M - Medium to low carbonation. Not quote silky. Enough carbonation to still tickle.

D - Medium. Richness of the malt and warming of the alcohol doesn't let you chug this one. It begs you to enjoy it.

Solid beer. Good taste and satisfies that imperial stout urge on a budget.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Rivarol
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

When I'm in doubt,
There's no disputin',
I reach for a stout
Called Old Rasputin

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Photo of tectactoe
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a shade of black, barely dark brown around the very top and edges of the beer - looks super viscous and thick as hell. Leather-tan head, super thick with little fine bubbles; great definition and nice retention.

The chocolate aroma is noticeable even before putting your nose to the glass. Huge bouts of unsweetened, dark cocoa beans and bittersweet, black coffee/espresso beans as a secondary note. Big-time roasted malt aromas fill your head, leaving a silky smooth and buttery feeling before even taking a sip.

First sip, chocolate amasses on the palate to a huge degree; dense and deep - not like a milk chocolate bar, more like a less-sweet version of dark chocolate, raw cocoa beans, dry cocoa powder. The chocolate gives way fairly quickly to a charred, woody, nutty flavor; oak and nuts, just toasted to hell and burnt to a crisp. Some slightly bitter coffee is in the background, maybe more like espresso - very strong, deep, rich, and dense.

The woody flavor lasts until the end and even begins to take on a smokey character after a bit. A few seconds before the final moments of the sip, the bitterness of the hops start to come alive, and are very noticeable here, unlike many RIS's where the hops are almost nowhere to be seen. They take on a very herbal, leafy, and grassy profile, playing hand-in-hand with the bitterness from the unsweetened cocoa and coffee flavors earlier.

The bitterness from the hops grows and fades out - the aftertaste is a combination of the herbal burn, charred and smokey wood, slight tobacco, and an overall roasted-character finish. Overall, a very dry, bitter, and nearly harsh finish which is supported by some underlying sweetness from the malt. Alcohol warmth is notable at seemingly random times, but never impedes or distracts. Thick and creamy body, silky smooth, robust, and rich. Medium carbonation, slightly higher than many other RIS's.

Wow, a truly complex beer, and very true to it's style. This RIS is unique enough to stand out and that's what has allowed it to make a name for itself. Nice, noticeable bitterness and herbal hop presence which goes unnoticed in so many brews of this style - very refreshing for a change of pace. Slow sipper at 9.0% ABV, but the alcohol plays well with the palate and never gets overbearing. Bottom line: if you like RIS's - stock up on this.

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Photo of DJBlunt
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite beer on the planet PERIOD...... Everything about this beer is top notch. I was fortunate enough to work for a distribution company that carried North Coast products. One taste of Rasputin and I was hooked. My only issue is that it only comes in 4 packs :)

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Photo of popopine
4.74/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Holy coffee-chocolate-licorice-flavor mother of god -- this one is big indeed. Nice deep black color. Medium head. (Hint of cat pee aroma not so great but easy enough to look past). 1st one and certainly not my last. i was going to try and float a pils on top but that would just f-it up.

Like a good Guinness on steroids.

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Photo of LouZ
4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

First taste was poured from draft (nitro) a couple weeks ago, and while it was very good I just don't prefer the flat feeling of a nitro beer so I held off on rating until I could try the original version. I enjoy the feel of carbonation. I later found it again, regular draft, and it was absolutely delicious. I would go so far as to say it's of the best year-round Russian Imperial Stouts I've had to date. A must try if you have not already.

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Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to say this is the best imperial stout I have had so far,pours a deep borwn but not quite black with a light almond colored head,aroma is burnt with some rasin notes.The taste is a bombshell very buttery and rum-like with some light earthy tones,love the butteriness of this beer along with the rum flavor.A real complex brew that is pretty easy to drink for the alcohol content,what a real nice beer.

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Photo of TrapFan11
4.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just finished my second 12 oz bottle of this and DAMN is that good. Most of my experience with beer has been with Belgian strong Ales, in particular all of the Trappist beers along with similar Belgian brands and American beers in the Belgian style. My two favorite beers are Rochefort 10 and St Bernardus 12. In recent years I've been trying different Stouts and Porters and, although I don't have tremendous experience with them yet, I'm quickly discovering the world of flavors out there that go beyond the various dark fruits and assorted sugars that accompany your typical Dubbles, Triples and Quadruples.

A fellow shopper at the market recommended Old Rasputin Imperial Stout to me and I've been blown away by how something so roasted and bitter can at the same time be sweet and smooth. From the get go this beer is thick, viscous, and oily, not that that's to it's detriment. In fact the wonderful chewiness just hooks you into discovering the many wonderful facets of the beer. Immediately you taste the full intensity of the coffee, toffee, roasted malts and baker's chocolate it has. There's a burnt quality to the malt that, along with providing a pleasant bitterness, also includes the required sweetness that is reminiscent of a burnt s'mores marshmallow rather than anything unpleasant. Then there's the coffee flavor. I tend to drink really dark, black coffee and this beer has loads of that toasty, smokey and bitter flavor that I cherish. Finally there's the great Christmas toffee and dark chocolate flavors that blend seamlessly with the sweetness and bitterness of the other flavors and tie everything together nicely.

Also quite remarkable it this beer's head, which is truly like a silky pillow. I can easily say that the foam tasted and felt in my mouth like a liquid marshmallow. I've never had a beer whose head was that silky, smooth, and sweet. I couldn't believe it was beer foam.

In the short amount of time I've been exploring Imperial Stouts I can easily say that this the best I've come across so far. I'm happy to give it my highest recommendation.

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Photo of Todd
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A freakin' evil looking 12 oz. bottle with a sketching of Rasputin and some Russian words (probably a hex on all who partake of the stout within).

Black as night, with a brown chunky head that seems to crawl, rather than stick, to the pint glass. A very impressive cascading effect when poured.

Highly roasted malt aromas and alcoholic to the nose.

Smooth, potent and espresso like with a high burnt malt and hop bitterness that finishes on the sweet side to say the least.

Very complex, and true to its style. Well worth the $3.00 (+/-) paid for the single bottle, and I'd definitely buy it again. Not a beer for the faint of heart, but rather barley wine lovers and chocolate fanatics.

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Photo of hophugger
3.59/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a motor oil chocolate brown, very deep. Head is amazing, like the top of a rootbeer float, tan and chunky. Lacing is some of the most amazing I have seen, it is thick and glues itself to the sides of the glass!!. Aroma is of malt, roasted coffee, spice and a hint of chocolate. Taste is bold, with burnt malt/coffee being predominant. Could have used with a little more roast and less burnt. Alcohol is pretty well hidden for a 9% ABV. The undertones of coffee, spice and light chocolate would have been better if it wasn't for the overwhelming burnt bitterness. Ok, I guess it wants to be more, and I am trying, once I get the bitterness off my palate..

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Photo of Snaefridur
3.56/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Jet black, with a 2 finger light brown head, which dissipated quickly.

Smell - nothing stands out, just a bit of alcohol, though not as overwhelming as I'd expected

Taste - starts off with a bitter bite, in the way of a strong coffee, with noticeable (but not overwhelming) alcohol present. This fades into a roasted flavor, and leaves a bitterness on the back of the tongue for a bit.

Feel - It is smooth,not very carbinated, texture is more water than cream, but not very watery.

Overall: This is an OK stout. I don't know how it compares to other RIS's, since this is only the second one that I've tasted. I drink alot of regular stouts, however, and love em. I bought Old Rasputin because of the hype; I thought this was going to be either an "I really LOVE it" or "Omg, I HATE it!" beer, based on the reviews. However, I just feel in the middle. It's not bad, I'll enjoy drinking the bottles I have, and I might buy it again, but I won't be in a rush to do so. It's simply OK.

I was expecting a lot more complexity, but really, I think it's kind of bland. I've tasted stouts with a lot more flavor than this, and I've also had stouts that have a much harder alcohol bit than this. To the reviewers going on about the "kick in the mouth" alcohol experience....I really don't experience that, personally. This is a typical stout. Maybe some people are just used to drinking light beers?

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Photo of yetijosie
4.84/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had the nitro. Excellent! Nice and creamy.

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Photo of SebD
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beer review # 800

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice creamy tan head that dies down slowly and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, espresso, molasses, light floral/earthy hops and very faint vanilla.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has roasted malts, coffee/espresso, dark chocolate, molasses, earthy hops, light vanilla and very faint dark fruit.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by great flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of OldManMetal
3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a beautiful beer: a long-lived gigantic pebbly tan head that leaves extensive, complex lacing on a pitch-black body with sullen ruby highlights. The nose is subdued roasted malt- molasses and toffee- faintly sweet with alcohol undertones. The palate is alcohol and bitter roasted malt- mostly molasses and bitter, bitter chocolate- with the alcohol notes gaining traction towards the back of the palate. The finish is a flash of chocolate followed by a beer-defining roasted bitterness that lingers forever. Mouthfeel is a bit thinnish for the full body, but creamy and warming, and peppery from some very fizzy carbonation.

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Photo of GregJ
3.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thick tan head. Smells of dark roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate and some booziness. Head has a nice creamy texture, tastes of coffee, chocolate, dark roast and burnt malts, molasses and a little hop pine. Heavy body, light carbonation and a coffee/burnt malt aftertaste.

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Photo of cambabeer
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap, a great winter beer. I haven't really been too big into stouts but lately more so and this one is truly fantastic. Totally black color with a nice minimal carbonation and super frothy creamy head, only about a centimeter thick. Lace clings to the glass like mud.
Smells very toasty and roast from the malt. Clean and alcoholic at the same time with some spiciness. Taste is very smooth and rich almost sweeter toward the beginning but that fades away quickly with the roasted/burt malt and coffee characteristic of the middle. The finish is hoppy and still coffee like with a little milk chocolate and slightly sweet.
Super creamy mouthfeel, very light carbonation. Very worth it to pick some of this up again.

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Photo of TalbottCrowell
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite beer in the world

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Photo of zeff80
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours out black with a two-finger, mocha colored head. It left a little lacing.

S - It smelled very chocolaty and malty.

T - It tasted of raosted malts and chocolate. It also had a slight bitter coffee-like taste. An interesting contrast between the sweet chocolate flavors and the bitter coffee.

M - Very soft and smooth. It is a heavy beer.

D - It is a very good stout. It is very powerful in terms of ABV, which is a slight drawback. I wanted to have many more but two was my limit.

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Photo of tfp4268
1.62/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I know this beer gets rave reviews, however...

I have enjoyed other RIS's but this one is just plain ugh.

It looks good enough, very dark brown, almost black, ruby around the edge against a light. Nice brown two finger head, goes down to a pretty lace after a while.

Smell is a little strange, very fruity, but not much else.

Taste...ARRRGH! Fruit and alcohol, kinda like Boone's Farm or something. Yuck!

Mouthfeel is as it should be, kinda thick, but not really thick.

Drinkability Well...I bought four of these, and have managed to choke down two, but the other two are probobly destined for the trash hopper.

Like I said, I have enjoyed other RIS's before, Sam Smith's is my fave, but I think Old Rasp is a little high on the ABV at 9%. It makes it too heavy more my taste buds to handle.

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Photo of hopphead31415
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I once tried this beer in a four-pack that was chilled down real good. It was my first time getting a brew that was in a four-pack, so it was a bit interesting. This brew boasts 9.0% ABV, but I have heard people say it drinks more like a 10-11% so watch out. It has 75 IBUs, but has plenty of sweetness so don’t worry.

Look-It pours a deep dark black. It leaves an initially thick head that has a copper tinge. It later disappears and leaves little to no lacing on the glass.

Smell-The aroma is roasted coffee, chocolate, toffee, and caramel with a slight acidity. It smells strongly of the rich creamy malts and a bite from the alcohol.

Taste-The coffee, chocolate, toffee, licorice, and spices are abundant smells that are cut with a vengeance by a sharp whiskey-like bite from the ample alcohol. The hops that linger afterwards are bitter but are also accompanied by a spicy aftertaste like nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, black licorice, some cola, candied plums, and raisins.

Mouthfeel-It has a thick, chewy, rich, creamy, full-bodied, and smooth/silky mouthfeel. But it also has some noticeable fizz from the medium ambient carbonation. There is a lingering smoked wood coating on the tongue that has resins similar to cedar and red oak.

Overall-It is a very nice beer, but you better pour it or get it on tap. The aromas come out clean and complement the taste if your olfactory system is primed with the smell. The alcohol is quite powerful so watch out, but cuts the sweet full-bodied malt backbone that is freckled with a plethora of delicious spices and flavors as I describe above. This beer really deserves the Imperial Stout name and it is easily a world class beer. The bros give it a top score and I will as well. Cheers!

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Photo of Premo88
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into nonic

L: black ... it's so dark that even up to sunlight you can barely see through the edges; beautiful thick tan head of foam, about 1-inch thick and sticking and lacing like paint; a work of art

S: sweet chocolate, maybe prunes, some wood ... charred oak wood ... coffee ... the dark malt notes are fantastic, nothing overly burnt but dark, leaning toward raisins

T: chocolate, coffee, darker fruits -- prunes and raisins ... it leaves a chocolately aftertaste; really meaty red wine (?); there's some good woody notes in here, almost burnt wood, but it's not overly bitter ... the "burnt" is kept in check nicely by the sweetness

F: surprisingly light for such a big-tasting brew; good carbonation; it's not slick or thick like many big stouts ... I love it.

O: this might be the best American-made Russian imperial I've tried, and it's as good as any "big" stout/porter I've tried, barrel-aged or not. it's a full-on assault of dark malt flavor -- nothing is overly burnt or bitter, yet it's not too sweet either. a wonderful beer I've slept on too long, and my new go-to big stout. the fact that it's so easy to get *and* comes in 12 oz. four-packs is greatness.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours an oily jet black with a finger and a half of tan, creamy head with swirls of white cream within, nice thick whispy lacing.
S - Chocolate, coffee, vanilla, slightly smokey, roasted malts and an interesting, freshy earthiness.
T - Absolutely delicious, but be sure and let it warm up a bit first. Malts, coffee, slightly chocolate, quite sweet, a little bitterness at the end. Full bodied and very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.
O - A damned good, 5 star stout. A real treat for a cold autumn or winter day.
V - Quite hard to find and expensive, but must be experienced at least once within your life time.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I poured this into a pint glass.
The appearance was a jet black color with a thin half finger of off white to slight tan foamy head. There was a gentle spider web lacing sticking but ending up sliding a bit into the beer.
The smell had some nice roasty to sweet chocolates with a decent amount of light roasty coffee.
The taste was mainly sweet with a nice roasty chocolate quality to it. There is also a nice long dry chocolate aftertaste with a very satisfying sweet finish.
The mouthfeel seems to be fairly creamy and sweet.
Overall, so glad to have this again tonight for a nice touch of a revisit and that I have three more of these to cherish.

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Photo of greencrush
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This one poured a deep brown, nearly black, with a thick sudsy tan head that left excellent lacing down the glass. This was poured from a cold bottle into your run of the mill dinner glass; nothing special. A moderately vigoroua pour is needed with this one, go to hard, and you'll easily overflow your glass.
The first wiff out of the freshly opened bottle comes across sweet and chocolaty, which, to be honest, is what I was expecting. The arouma only grows stronger as the brew is poured.
"Wow", my literal response to the first sip. Sweet chocolaty flavours erupt upon the palate, giving way to coffee and char. Only after swallowing do the hoppy, bitter flavours that I personally prefer in a breq emerge. It may take a few sips for the true cacao flavours of this one to emerge. I may have to bring this one back to WV with me.

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Photo of mchegash
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - 4.75/5
A massive amount of very dark tan froathy head. Color is basically pure black. Looks delicious and inviting.

Smell - 3.75/5
A huge smell with deep rich malts, some chocolate, along with some hop bitterness and slight alcohol aromas. Earthy. Slightly sweet.

Taste - 4.25/5
Massive taste, deep, dark roasty chocolate flavors. Very smoky. A slight sweetness, along with a slight metallic tinge, making the taste a little earthy. Slight to moderate hoppiness.

Mouthfeel - 4.5/5
Fairly full bodied, goes down very smooth, very creamy. Carbonation is on the lighter side of things, but still very pleasant. I feel that a higher level or carbonation would detract from the ability to taste this delicious beer.

Overall - 4.25/5
Overall this was a very good beer. Probably not my favorite Russian Imperial Stout, I think there are some better ones out there. In particular, this one was a little too hoppy for me. I want straight massive malty flavor, and for me, any hoppiness in a stout takes away from that. Anyway, definitely worth a try for all stout/imperial stout lovers.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,522 ratings.