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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.

3,540 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,540
Hads: 11,427
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 513
Gots: 2,453 | FT: 55
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 (29) | 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: 3,540 | Hads: 11,427
Photo of dbl_delta
3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler into pint glass. Jet black, opaque, low carbonation. Tan head. Caramel, chocolate, and coffee. Alcohol is well-hidden. This is a very, very good beer - but not my absolute favorite for the style. It's competent but not memorable.

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Photo of brendan13
3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with a 3cm light brown head that falls away suprisingly rather quickly.
S - Coffee and bitter chocolate notes abound. Some nutty and vanilla hints.
T - Much like the smell up front; all coffee and chocolate bitter notes with some liquorice as well as slightly resinous piney notes. Bit of an alcohol edge as well.
M - Medium to full bodied, low to moderate carbonation. Quite bitter.
O - An impressive beer. But not as refined as I was expecting. Maybe a little aging will do it some favours.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. Pours ebony black, minimal beige head and lacing. Nose- strong anise, slight roast. Taste- dry dark roast, some burnt malt, anise and moderate bittering hops which really show in the finish. Relatively light bodied for style, moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good given light body and lack of hotness. Nice RIS

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Photo of TheBierBand
3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a four-pack from a newly discovered beer source.... Trader Joe's in Blue Ash - suburb of Cincinnati. Not a huge selection, but some off beat brands and nice policy on singles... you can mix and match individual beers and they just charge you individual bottle pricing.

The Old Rasputin poured from the 12 oz brown bottle into a pint glass to produce a 1/2" dense tan head over a black beer.

The scent was very aromatic with shades of coffee, chocolate and malt sweetness.

The taste was very good. In keeping with style and on par with the aroma, chocolate, coffee and and nice malt sweetness prevail.

Mouthfeel: Not as heavy as expected. Carbonation is a slight bit higher than most RIS's I've had. I enjoy the chalkiness of this beer.

Drinkability: Typical of the higher ABV of most RIS... proceed with caution, but you can have as many of these as your body will allow. I will look for this again.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap (Nitro)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A beautiful sight to behold when it's brought from the bar. Black as night, unrelenting chocolate milk head that won't dare leave, thick lacing, milky, thick, and creamy appearance. Luscious and decadent.

The two main aromas are chocolate and roasted malt. The chocolate is rich and sweet while the roasted malts almost smell meaty, akin to a barbeque. There's a bit of smoke and some coffee in the nose as well, but it's mainly chocolate and roasted malt.

The taste is a bit more complex than the nose. The chocolate, roasted malts, and smoke are present along with a bit of bitter and citrus hops. It's complex, decadent, yet simple.

Creamy, milky mouthfeel.

A simple yet complex RIS. Consistent and delicious, not to mention affordable.

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Photo of output01x
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received in a pint glass on tap at the Brew Kettle.

A tan colored two-finger head of miniscule bubbles sits atop a pitch-black body. The head retention is fantastic as it never completely fades no matter how empty the glass becomes. The lacing coats the glass almost entirely. Truly a fantastic and somewhat intimidating looking beer.

Scents of roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate and a little coffee are there, although not as strong as they could have been.

The flavors follow the nose in all respects. Malt, chocolate, and coffee are there but I would have liked them to be bolder. The 9% ABV is well masked and is only apparent as a slight warmth. A slight bitterness also persists at the end of each sip.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy but not sticky. Not alot, but just enough carbonation help move it along. The beer coats your mouth and makes you remember each sip until you take another.

While I would have liked this beer to have bolder flavors, it is still quite refreshing for the style and has excellent drinkability. I could definitely have multiples in one sitting, which is quite impressive for a stout.

All in all, an excellent RIS with great drinkability. My only complaint is the mildness of the flavor. It was almost like drinking a 1% chocolate milk. I have heard claims that this beer ages well and I am definitely interested in seeing how this would affect it.

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Photo of bengore
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, deep black into a tulip glass. Small amount of cherry bronze head that dissipates slowly. Aroma reminds me of chocolate cake with booze. Taste is relatively malty, coffee, and ultimately leads to an alcohol-y aftertaste. Overall a great, strong stout that is easily available. Goes great with a strong, hearty stew or curry. Definitely a go-to.

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Photo of fmccormi
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straight pour from 12oz bottle to Luettich-balloon style glass (Bruery tulip); no freshness dating is present on the bottle, from what I can tell

Appearance (5.0): Black as night in the body, light khaki head of very, very tight, fine bubbles, that starts at 4+ finges and fades to a hazy on the top of the beer. It leaves what can only be described as textbook lacing—I swear it actually looks like some kind of ugly tan lace draped down all around the glass.

Smell (4.0): Coffee, some bitter dark chocolate, some oxidization present; thought this bottle was from June or so, but as I said, there’s no freshness date on the bottle so that’s just a guess at this point. Some grassy hops in the back. Malt body is rich and roasty, with very little sweetness underneath it—this smells menacing, and I like it.

Taste (3.5): Bitter as hell black coffee and roasted barley that turns to dark, dark chocolate on the way down. The finish is some mixture of grassy, maybe herbal hops melding pretty seamlessly with charred, blackened cereals. Not a ton of complexity, maybe, but it’s a nice break from these sickly-sweet RISs other brewers and drinkers seem to love. As it warms, seems a bit richer, fuller, and quite a bit boozier, but still very straight-forward—no surprises here.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Rich and creamy, with a heavy, velvety carbonation that coats the mouth; body is on the lighter side of full (more than medium, not quite heavy but definitely full). Very nice.

Overall (4.0): Not a bad RIS by any means—kind of a benchmark in a lot of ways. It’s not the most interesting or most complex RIS in terms of taste, but it does seem to nail some elements rather well, suggesting to me that North Coast dialed in on a very dependable RIS recipe a long time ago. Good for them, because this works. Not surprisingly, this seems like a great candidate for cask and barrel treatments.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Awesome looking Stout! Black bodied beer with a Mocha brown had that is over 2 fingers tall. The head is thick, frothy, and chunky. Heavy lacing.

Smell: Fairly one dementional nose. Mostly heavy roast from the malts resembling coffee notes and the smell of charred wood/charcoal. It still smells good though.

Taste: Moderate roasty coffee notes that are complimented with an almost equally strong moderate bitterness I assume from the hops. The hops have a bit of grassy quality to them. Some dark chocolate that is faint, but it easier to pick up when the beer gets closer to room temperature.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with a moderate carbonation that is lively for the RIS style. It works for this aggressive and robust beer.

Overall: This beer lives up to its reputation. Its a solid beer! Drank the 12th anniversary Rasputin last night and it was only fitting to follow it up with the non-barrel aged vesion tonite for comparison. Value priced for a big stout too!

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Photo of Liquids
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks delicious, dark black with a red-brown hue peeking out from the bottom of the glass, with a massive, bubly and creamy head that is comparable to the color of, say, wheat bread, for lack of a better comparative. Smells like an american variation on the grassy english ale aroma--more piney and resinous--but the aroma is rather gentle for an imperial stout. Hmm. More like a straght ahead stout. The taste is malty and focused, with a charred finish that tastes, again, mostly like a standard stout. This may have some time on it, in which case, considering style, this is how it would taste after reaching Russia. The expectedly intense hops have mellowed out I think, comparing it to when I had it fresh on tap months prior. The hops again are american, piney, and slightly floral even. Mouthfeel is medium and well- or possibly over- carbonated. Stout like in feel, not as heavy as anticipated, but not light either. Overall, I am not a fan of the hop profile here. Nor do I love the less than smooth, charred malts that acompany it in the finish. This is a very good beer, but it is not the best of style. Tastes more like an american stout than an imperial stout, but it somehow hides the 8% well. I love the label and russian phrases. North Coast is consistently good, despite brewing beers that don't personally appeal to my palate enough to be my pick as favorites given their style. Drinking this left me dreaming of Storm King, which I find delicious both on tap and in the bottle, while this was absolutely better on tap.

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Photo of JMWEB2
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged for 16 months...

A: Pours awesome chocolate black with decent lacing, looks like it should...

S: Heavy roast coffee smell, malty and chocolate.

T: Sweet malt flavor finished by deep chocolate awesome!

M: Full bodied for sure, feels good on way down..

O: Wow, flavor is awesome, drink it alone!

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Photo of AChamberlain
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into tulip glass.

A: Dark black, thick brown head. Head just sittin there, faded very slowly.

S: Roasty, chocolate. Malty.

T: Sweet malt flavor. Tons of roastiness. Delicious. Smooth sweet finish.

MF: Creamy. Thick. Silky. Perfect carbonation, not to heavy.

D: Alcohol hidden very well. Watch out it will sneak up on you. Super smooth, ultra drinkable RIS.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-extremely dark black color that lets just a hint of a red hue through. two fingers of a thiner looking dark coffee colored head that has ok retention and leaves huge lacing on the glass.

S-a lighter nose that brings chocolate first followed by a roasted malt and a touch of espresso

T-the taste brings a fair amount of chocolate, a good bit of roasted malt that immediately fades into light citrus and bitter hops at the finish

M-extremely creamy, on the lighter side of a medium body, highly carbonated but not in a bad way. hides the alchohol well

D-very tasty RIS, nothing that blows me away but extremely consisntent and for the price, not bad!! Especially driving to Vintage Estates in Ohio where it is $2.25 a bottle.

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Photo of ARoman
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

*transferred from previous notes - 1/12/2014*
On tap (nitro) poured into a stemmed tulip. Chocolate and coffee are the most pronounced and immediate aromas, accompanied by a more faint caramel aroma and a distinct ash aroma. A thick, jello-like, tan head (gotta love nitro taps!) sits on a dark, opaque black (maybe brown?) body. The head - of which a half a finger is present throughout - leaves a nice, marble-like lacing. It’s a medium bodied, sticky beer which kicks off with a caramel and dark cherry sweetness that immediately gives way to coffee and dark chocolate bitterness followed, not too long after, by a smokey / ashy finish. After a little while, when it starts to mellow out with warmth, the sweetness is not as pronounced up front, and sticks around a bit longer than just the initial taste. A touch of sourness hides in the background throughout the drink and it leaves a dry smokey, bready mouthfeel behind. Fun complexities in the taste of this one.

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Photo of craft_shannie
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: black; two finger dark khaki foamy head. i hate to say this, but i thought it would pour thicker. but, still a good looking brew.
S: roasted malts; bit of vanilla; i'm not getting a lot of complexity at all. and i've allowed it to warm plenty.
T: roasted malts; still not a lot of complexity, but solid. some coffee, chocolate, vanilla, but overwhelming roasted malts. good bitterness.
M: it's thin for the style. disappointingly so.
O: sorry, Old Rasputin. you had the great misfortunate of being second in a two RIS line-up tonight and you followed ten fidy. in all fairness, this is a solid brew, but pales in comparison in terms of looks (esp. the pour), smell, taste, and defintely the mouthfeel. old rasputin tastes more like a regular everyday stout than a Russian Imperial.

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Photo of bump8628
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I felt sorry for the poor saps sucking back pints of Guinness for the same price that I was enjoying this world class beer. This one finished things off right on St. Paddy's day at the local.

Midnight black with the beautiful nitro head and lame nitro nose. It still delivers a punch of char, coffee, burnt sugar, and earthy hop flavor, but it's smoothed out (or dumbed down depending on your perspective) by the nitrogen pour. Nice and bitter with some needed astringency from the roasted grains and a hint of ethanol warmth on the finish.

I'll take the bottled version any day, but Old Rasputin is still thoroughly enjoyable in the the nitrogen format.

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Photo of mattbk
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Thick and black. Brown thick mousse head. The foam is sticking nicely to the glass. Looks deep and rich. Amazing lacing during the tasting.

S - Roast, chocolate at first, giving way to dark fruits, raisins. Not much hops or alcohol in the nose.

T - Up front is that deep and dark roast. That gives way to some thick toffee and fudge, followed closely by an alochol burn. I'd say there was some astrigency here. The burn sort of lingers... unfortunately. I was expecting this to be better hidden.

M - Thick and filling. The beer is quite a bit chewy. Carbonation is light, but present.

O - This bottle isn't dated, but was a bit dusty on the shelf. Hard to say if this affects the review. A bit too much burn at the back end for me. I've had other RIS's that disguise this better. The burn hides the roast and sweetness that come though in the nose. Everything else about this beer was top notch.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Fills a Spielgau tulip with over an inch of dense khaki head over jet black body.

S: Classic roasted malts and coffee, slightly acrid with a hint of alcohol.

T: Coffee and roast, pumpernickel bread

M: Fairly light-bodied compared to the current imperial stout style, much more akin in mouthfeel to a standard stout. Develops a bit more richness as it comes up from refrigerator temperature.

O: Very classic RIS, although it comes across a little over-attenuated these days. Personally I prefer something which leans more in the chocolate direction than the dark-roast coffee direction.

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Photo of IceAce
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark enough that the midday sun cannot begin to manage to punch through. Foam collar is deep tan and short-lived w/o lacing.

Nose is alcoholic with deeply roasted malt conveying dark unsweetened chocolate, toffee, and freshly ground coffee beans.

Entry is creamy and possesses a dry, chalky mouthfeel. Midtaste leads with hot unhidden alcohol before it settles in with a blanket of chocolate. The finish sports a fleeting hoppy note, more chocolate, and a warming glow.

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Photo of bbeane
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- On tap at Trooper Thorns... starts with a huge creamy head with great retention. Beer is black in color

S- Not overly aromatic... mostly coffee and chocolate

T- Not much sweet maltyness to this one,has a burnt bitter taste and like the nose it's mostly coffee and chocolate in the finish

M- Creamy, full bodied with light carbonation

D- Well, being that the last time I was here I drank this stuff all night, I'd say it's relatively drinkable... but it definitely gets you f'd up


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Photo of cokes
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Dark black. Very small red huge showing through the glass. Big, thick head that recedes to a nice soapy consistency. It sticks around during the duration of the beer. Decent amount of lacing thanks to the 9% ABV.

S- Burnt dark chocolate & alcohol.

T- Same as smell. The alcohol creates a warming effect in the finish. This doesn't taste like sweet molasses or syrup, so that is a plus in my book. This beer is a lot smoother than most imperial stouts I've had. It starts of semi-dry to my taste-buds, then moves to a sweetness that is very well balanced with the rest of the beer's flavors.

M- Medium, but more towards full bodied. The finish makes the beer feel like it's stuck to the roof of your mouth and spreads to the back of the throat. The mouthfeel is what creates the warming sensation.

Overall, Old Rasputin has everything that a standard imperial stout has, but is smoother. It's less alcoholic than most in it's style, which makes it more enjoyable. It also doesn't have an extremely heavy molasses or sugary sweet syrup taste, so that's what I like about it. No where near my favorite beer, but it's damn tasty.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Opaque black in color. Fluffy two fingered tan head stays for most of the serving. Nice sticky lacing crawls all over the glass.

S: Coffee and chocolate. Sweet sugars. Bread. Warming alcohol.

T: Taste is upfront roasted coffee and bitter chocolate. Dark fruits and a perfect balance of caramel malts. More roasted coffe is finished off with a warming alcohol burn.

M: Thick and creamy. Minimal carbonation. Slighty dry.

D: Dangerously drinkable for the high alcohol content. A very nice crisp and clean Imperial Stout. Recommended.

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Photo of bifrojm
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass. Pours a beautiful thick dark brown (midnight brown?) with a nice dark caramel head that holds up for the duration.

Nice aromas of chocolate, malt, vanilla, a touch of coffee. Good smelling beer.

Tastes lovely with most of the aromas coming through on the palette, with the addition of some bourbon.

Mouthfeel is creamy with a touch of carbonation.

Drinkability is a tad low. I like this beer a lot but I don't need or want a lot of it. One is enough for sure.

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Photo of chilly460
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Opaque black with red/brown highlights at the edge of the glass. Nice medium brown head dissipates to a thick film, leaves a nice lace.

N- Very heavy dark chocolate, espresso, cocoa powder, some deep raisin or licorice, and heavy bread yeast notes.

T- Similar to the aroma, lots of dark chocolate and sharp coffee. Heavy molasses and malts. Liked this quite a bit, it's right on the edge of bitterness I like in an RIS, but not over the edge. Gets very warm with alcohol as it warms up, a complex beer.

M- This is a smooth thick beer, tight fluffy head, very nice feel to it.

D- Love the fact that you can get this beer anywhere, and at an affordable price. I'm a little wimpy when it comes to heavy roasted malts, this is on the border but was very easy drinking for me.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,540 ratings.