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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.

3,523 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,523
Hads: 11,304
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,523 | Hads: 11,304
Photo of devilben02
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin is like casting Maggie Gyllenhaal to play Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight: she wasn't a particularly sexy choice to take over the part, but was very believable in the role and gave a solid overall performance that was better than her predecessor. Similarly, Old Rasputin isn't the sexiest imperial stout to pick off the shelves, maybe because it seems to be fairly widely available and cheaper than many options in the style. When you do give it a try, though, it certainly delivers and could be considered a benchmark against which other imperial stouts are compared.

From the beginning, it has the perfect color for an imperial stout, with a deep, dark opaque black/brown color and a fluffy mocha-colored cap. The aroma is likewise a terrific example of what an imperial stout should smell like, with notes of dark bittersweet chocolate and heavily roasted malts. The flavor is also packed with dark chocolate, malts that are roasted to the point of charring, and a dark caramel sweetness. The body is a bit thin, but it is smooth and warming. Overall, not intriguing or different, but it is a well-constructed, flavorful, and enjoyable example of the style.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin fills the glass with a deep black color and forms a big creamy tan head on top. As the foam dissolves thick nets of lace stick to the sides. The aroma is all malt. Notes of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee are present.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is creamy with a fizzy carbonated tingle on the middle of the tongue. The flavor has lots of roasted malt and chocolate flavors. Towards the end some nutty notes and a mild bitterness move in, which helps balance out all the malt. Once gone the roasted malt and bitter notes linger on the palate.

For an Imperial Stout this beer had quite a head with a slightly subdued aroma. The mouthfeel is terrific and the flavor hid the 9% alcohol well.

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Photo of cfrances33
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a GI tulip on 7/17/12.

Pour: Darkest Brown while not quite black. Two and a half fingers khaki head that sticks around well but leaves no lacing.

Smell: Roasty malts, booze, chocolate.

Taste: Dark fruits with roasted espresso bitterness and some chocolate. Light booze.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and rich, slight warmth.

Overall: A textbook RIS, and very enjoyable. Even better that its AVAILABLE. Don't pass this up in favor of a mediocre seasonal simply because its always on shelves.

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Photo of JWU
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tumbler glass.

A- Deep, dark brown/black. No light penetrates it. A nice dark tan head caps it nicely.

S- Dark malts with a sweet kick. Some hops are there as well. Certainly can smell some alcohol as well.

T- Heavy does of dark malt, and coffee. Some light chocolate notes as well. Significant bitterness and alcohol hit mid sip. I find the bitterness just a bit intrusive.

M- Thick, rich, and coating. Pretty much what you want in an RIS.

O- An overall very good stout. A little heavy on the roasty bitterness for my personal taste.

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Photo of HOPPYKC
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. No bottled on or bb date available on bottle.

A- Pours dark and fully opaque. A nice small amount of tan to light brown head. Shows no signs of carbonation.

S- Coffee and carbonation. I get a small amount of chocolate and dark fruits. Raisins.

T- A lot of malt and chocolate. Coffee.

M&D- A full flavored and textured brew. I nice malt addition.

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Photo of mashedpotatoes
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brutal, strong and complicated and I'm not talking about my ex-girlfriend. This beer it the real deal. I should preface my review by stating, this is by far my favorite label design ever. Just by looking at the artwork you know you've gotten yourself into something serious, kinda like a mix between, satanism/black magic/and an orgy.

All that being said, this is not my favorite stout, however, it is an extremely admirable stout. I don't even know where to begin. It's kinda like expensive artwork. You stand in awe of it yet you can just throw it around.

The appearance is jet black. Period. The smell is complicated; chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toffee, molasses, the whole nine yards. The smell is like a flower garden in hell. Figure it out. The taste is complex and mechanical like something from a Tim Burton movie but with a twinge of bitterness due to the high Abv%. Mouthfeel is thick and strong as it should be. Drinkability I'm going to have to say is not as high as other Stouts. Simply due to the sharpness and complexity, you just can't pound these down, you have to enjoy one or two of them and think about it for a while.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pitch black with a giant light tan, creamy and fizzy head that lasted many minutes. Crazy lacing.

S: Coffee. Mild.

T: Light to moderate sweetness and moderate bitterness. Nice bittersweet chocolate with a bitter finish. Not as complex as I was hoping for though.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Silky smooth and slightly warm going down.

O: A solid above average Russian Imperial. The look and mouthfeel stood out to me.

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Photo of Brideshead
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Let's start with first impressions: This big beer makes a big impression on appearance. Dark and sinister looking, the rough-textured mocha-colored head sits atop the black body like a Russian fur cap. The bottle art featuring a drawing of Rasputin doesn't hurt the overall effect either. Lacing is full and sticky.

The scent is of a distinctly toasted, malty quality. A yeastiness also meets the nose. The big scent is followed up by an even bigger flavor. Thick malts, yeast, burnt coffee and an exceptionally sticky mouthfeel combine to create a hearty drinking experience. A treat not to be taken lightly, and not likely to be consumed in very large quantities.

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Photo of drseamus
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this beer in the bottle at Mahars.

A: It pours a very dark brown with a ruby glow when held to the light. There is a small dark mocha head that disappears everywhere but the edges.

A: The aroma isn't as strong as I would like, but it has good coffee and malt aromas with a strong sweet background.

T: The flavor is much like the aroma, with a very sweet background containing a bunch of malt and chocolate. There is a bite in the end of the taste from the roasted malt and hop bitterness. Unfortunately the alcohol is detectable in the flavor.

M: This is a good full bodied beer, although the alcohol presence does detract slightly.

D: The drinkability is decent, but the high ABV does limit it.

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Photo of jobyone
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of uconnalum2
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I looked forward to trying this beer. It poured black with only a small head that went down to mostly a ring around the glass. I held it up to a lamp and could not see any light coming through at all. It had a roasted smell similar to coffee beans. The taste started bitter and then turned to coffee and some bitter, dark chocolate. There is some alcohol in the aftertaste and it lasted a long time. The mouthfeel is the most interesting thing about this beer. It is smooth, oily and thick and coats the inside of your mouth. This is a slow sipper. It went down easier as it warmed up (and maybe as it warmed me up). Overall, this is an intense beer. The bitterness, heaviness and ABV keeps me from having too many. I'd like to try one that has aged to see if it smooths out a bit.

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Photo of Hammarby
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black, foamy, tan head with rather big bubbles.
S: Caramel, chocolate, fudge, dark berries.
T: Licorice, charcoal, bitterness. Aftertaste the same, lingers. Tomtebrus (swedish extremely salty licorice powder).
M: Full body, moderate carboration. Dryish.
D: Very good.

This is ofcourse a very good brew, but for some reasons my expactations were so high it might have hurt the tasting. Expected deeper taste.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a very dark almost opaque brown with a chocolate 1 finger head. The head only lasted a few minutes. Smell had hints of oakiness, along with very slight raspberry aromas hiding in the milk chocolate mocha scent. Taste was both dark wheat bread, and burnt chocolate at the same time. Slightly bitter in the mouth with a little acidity on the toungue that detracted from the mouthfeel. Overall was fairly drinkable, but the alcohol content did hit a little stronger than would have been expected.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a deep ruby red beer with a one finger tan head... about what I expected in appearance, although for a Russian Imperial Stout I thought it might be a tad darker.

The aroma was somewhat sweet, with prominent dark raisins, and hints of dark malt. I expected more roasted character... but what I got was good, in its own way.

The taste... DEFINITE Imperial stout. Very strong roasted malt, with a not-quite-coffee aftertaste. Good stuff.

VERY good mouthfeel... nice and full and chewy. had to take off a bit for drinkability though, it was just too strong. I don't know if I would want a second one.

But it sure didn't taste like it had an ABV that high.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black as night with Khaki head and nice rings.

S - Roasted malt with slight coffee and chocolate tones

T - Roasted and toasted grains, cereal quality. A little bit of bitter, sweet and sour dancing around on the palate.

M - Viscous and full bodies, coats the mouth but doesnt linger

D - Very drinkable for the ABVs and not too overpowering.

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Photo of Slammy
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours an opaque, deep brown-black with a 1/2 caramel head that dissipates relatively quickly. There is some lacing, but it is not very pronounced.

S - Toffe, burnt caramel, dark roasted coffee beans, the smell of a wheat field right before harvest.

T - Surprising taste of citrus on the first sip, which is not that present on subsequent sips. Wonderful dried wheat notes with a mild alcohol finish. Definitely not a sweet beer, but well balanced with some slight bitterness toward the end.

M - Strong carbonation on the tip of the tongue quickly turns into a creamy feel. On the more viscous side, but certainly not as thick as some in the same genre.

O - I wanted a rich, complex beer for this mid-November evening and this did the trick. While it's not the best Russian Imperial Stout that I have tasted, it is worth of its reputation and well worth trying. I'll probably buy this again in the future.

Notes: Poured from a 12 oz bottle. 4-pack of 12oz bought for $8.99 in Oregon.

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Photo of trumpy
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Second time trying this Stout, and its a nice beer. Close enough to jet black in colour, but the head is a light off white. it hangs around for a fair time though. Nose is coffee, dark chocolate, with a hint of the alcohol. In the mouth its all creamy aniseed with a roasted coffee aftertaste that ends with nice bitterness. The mouthfeel is pretty good, the carbonation is mild and suits the style. If you swill it around like you would a wine, then its actually pretty creamy. There is a definate hit of warm alcohol at the back end though, but thats not a surprise. A nice stout to sip, but just shaded by Green flash double stout.
I saw another review that said it was USD $8.99 a 4 pack! here in Australia its $8 a bottle! WTF!!

Seriously though, its great to see this style of beer available here now. Just a shame about the price.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Passed to me in a pint glass, a deep roasted coffee or cola color with an espresso crema head about 3/4 inch that really sticks around, leaving nice lacing. Roasted coffee and caramel notes are at the front in the nose. There's a bit of sourness and some hop complexity in the mix, as well. Very nice dark chocolate undertones. The taste has rich, dark roasted caramel malts at the fore. There's a burst of quite enjoyable hop zest following this, which is almost completely enveloped by a somewhat syrupy molasses taste with pure alcohol showing through. Unfortunately, this flavor closely resembles cough syrup. The finish has roasted coffee mingling with hop bitterness and more subtle dark chocolate. Certainly, more hop flavor than I expected from a Russian Imperial Stout. The mouthfeel is very smooth throughout and medium-bodied. It's just a bit too syrupy for my liking--again, it's hard to get past that cough syrup sensation happening toward the back. But, overall, this is a very pleasant feel for a beer of this style.

It was a real treat to find this on tap at Von Trier on North Avenue in Milwaukee, as I've rarely seen it around town. In some ways it lived up to the hype surrounding it, but in others it was a bit disappointing. It has more hops than most beers of this style, but that isn't really a detraction for me. I disliked the fact that too much alcohol was showing through and producing that medicinal or cough syrup effect. But, otherwise, it was a very smooth and complex stout that was engaging on every level.

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Photo of CascadeConan
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As you would expect the beer is opaque with a decent tan head that leaves a bit of lacing as you go.

The nose is full of chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, sweet toffee and a bit of smoke.

The taste differs greatly from some of the bigger stouts I've been drinking lately, a whole lot of burnt grains and hops up front mellowing through the chocolate and coffee with a warm, dry finish. Lots of big flavors going on, huge role played by the hops (75 IBUs) in this stout along with the grains to make this deliciously bitter but the body remains fairly thin for 9% ABV, not as velvety as you would hope.

Verdict? Great stout, this had a lot of hype behind it and for the most part it lived up to all I counts and was a divergence from my expectations which made this a whole lot more interesting to drink. This is the kind of beer that will get you through those cold winter nights in the kremlin.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark black with foamy, creamy, carmel-colored 2-3 finger head. Great lacing lines the glass.

S - Smell seemed to be a good mixture of sweet roastyness. Notes of chocolate fudge, coffee, and even a hint of sweet nuts. A delightful, robust smell.

T - Somewhat of a chocolate-tobacco mixture, as if I was smoking a flavored cigar. The sweetness up front fades into a complex smokey/roastedness that's actually quite enjoyable. As I let it sit, I'm able to sense some more of a dark fruit taste, almost raisiny.

M - Not as thick as I actually expected. The beer coats the mouth ever so slightly, but is smooth and light in a way.

D - I'm not sure where they are hiding the alcohol in this, but it's remarkably drinkable. Of course, it's a full beer, so it's not easy to sit and down, but a perfect beer to just enjoy.

Overall - A great beer, highly recommend it.

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Photo of Jedimaster1
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer tastes much different on tap than it does from the bottle. Btw, I had it at the Yard House in Rancho.

A: It looks exactly like a Guinness. Same look in a pint glass -- especially the darkened head.

S: Guinness again!

T: Tastes like a thick, creamy, alcoholy Guinness. Definitely a stout similar to the Irish Stouts -- could it be an Imperial Guinness? lol. Little too much alcohol in the taste, but still a good imperial stout.

M: The alcohol definitely resonates in the mouth. Takes the enjoyment away from the next sip.

D: With the ABV at 9%, not too many of these can be taken in a sitting without not being able to walk upright.

This is a fine brew. The funny thing is, to me it is an Imperial Guinness on tap, but an Imperial Stout from the bottle -- definitely different based on how you have it. Great brew. The only caveat, as others have mentioned, is the alcohol that sometimes comes to the forefront of this fine brew. Still recommended if you have never tried it on tap.

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Photo of depechemode1983
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

apperance-pitch black in color. medium tan head

smell- pungent, mollases, sour smelling...light alcohol

taste- coffee high malt flavor with light hops.

mouthfeel-semi thick low carbonation mouthfeel somewhat creamy

notes- a very strong beer. not something i would make a session beer. a good brew to have every now and then im my opinion.

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Photo of ncstateplaya
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: As dark as used motor oil, when poured into a glass a golden brown head erupts but receeds to a nice wispy cap of the surface. In line with the head, the lacing was minimal (would have rated higher if the head held up, possibly my glass???).

Smell: I thought the nose was dominated by roasted nuts with hints of coffee. There is a little bitterness that is pleasing to the nose. The alcohol is masked, but can be found with deep breaths.

Taste: Bitter, but contained. Slights flavors of coffee accompany the hoppy bitterness. Creamy malts create a nice backbone. The finish is characterized by biscuity flavors and coffee. The alcohol goes surprisingly undetected.

Mouthfeel: It is lighter bodied than I had expected, but still nice. It has moderately high carbonation, and stays lively in the mouth. Nice and smooth with a coating effect throughout the mouth.

Drinkability: I would have to say this isn't the most enjoyable nor tastiest RIS I have had. But I will point out that it is a very drinkable beer that I could solely enjoy for the evening, albeit it would be a short evening at 9%.

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Photo of ThePortlander
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I can see why this is so popular. Roasted malts balanced by a pleasant bitterness, with tones of complexity to boot. It also warms nicely, which allows the chocolate and coffee flavors to bloom. The bottle I had wasn't especially creamy, to my disappointment. I think I'll revisit Old Rasputin with the hope the I'll get a better bottle, but this is how I feel about it for now.

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Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Matilda Glass

Pours ½ finger of dark tan head. Fades down to a thin layer leaving some lace rings. Color is a dark chocolate brown, pretty much black.

Aroma: Chocolate malts, coffee, some heat, dark dried fruits, molasses. Burnt, roasted malts. A very well done RIS.

Taste: Very syrupy, chocolate malts, roasted malts, coffee, dark dried fruits, cherries. Too syrupy for me.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and syrupy. Full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends with a burnt roasted malt aftertaste.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer, but I have had far better RIS. This one seems to be a syrupy mess. I will easily get this again because it is decent and the price is low.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,523 ratings.