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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 ragekage23
3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a- deep brown with a nice light brown fluffy head

s- toasted malts, coffee

t/m- very unexpectedly bitter, light hops, plum is apparent, fueled by the toasted malts and strong coffee, paired with a not-too-strong carbonation

d- great example of what makes a RIS so tasty

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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 radioscooter
3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blacker than the blackest night in the glass. A semi-soft pour garners an astounding 4 finger head that isn't going anywhere 3 minutes later. You could float a toy boat on top.

Aroma is less present, I smell the coffee and the Earth, and a few bitter hops. A little musty actually. Not much else. And not strongly even when snuffling big.

Taste is subdued, like the aroma. Good, not my favorite taste but very good. Coffee for sure, some dark roasty chocolate, there's a malt squeezing in there somewhere but very subtly blended. No overthrows of flavor on either end, which I assume is a good thing. Me, I'm looking for sweeter, but with this RIPA - I understand.

Booze is well hidden, but creeps up on you.

The mouthfeel is great, but dry and leaves a bit of a secondary hops taste as it departs. Good for some, not for me. Still - I understand.

Very respectable. It would get higher marks form me but the mustiness is a little off-putting.

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

Served on-tap.

A: The head blooms beautifully and lingers resiliently–it seems to stick to the sides of the glass as if it were starch. Pitch dark brown with only a glimmer of dark red when held up to light.

S: Very strong–almost smells somewhere in between a 75%-100% Dark Chocolate. Hops aromas barely shine through.

T: Complex. Flavors include the Crema of a Ristretto Espresso Shot; Dark, Dark Chocolate; and fresh cream. Ends with some sweet hops.

M: Nice, but on the boundary between "rich" and "sticky"

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Photo of taylorhamrick
3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, but still I can see some ruby hints around the edges, may be lighter/different in color than the average RIS. The head is kind of thin (<1cm) and dense, which leaves bits of lacing down as I drink. The smell is filled with sweetness, but deep in there are dried fruits (maybe from some esters or the black patent), the roasted barley - coffee type smell, and a light nose of chocolate. I can imagine a better smell, in terms of complexity, this one is about normal, but because its so intense, the smell is very much more inviting. The taste is very complex, and includes all of the usual suspects. The first sip has this dark, overripe plum taste, almost a hint of slick dark tartness, but with a pleasant sweetness. Then comes the coffee flavor, just flavor - no bitterness, and the sweetness still lingers, up until the last bite of chocolate. A roastiness fills as it goes down, again with the dried fruits, but overall pleasant. The mouthfeel is nice, pretty full, but kind of slick, this one fits the bill in terms out mouthfeel, but isn't a standout. An easy drinker for sure, I mean, you have to sip, but easy, good for the style. Recommended for an easily accessible RIS.

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Photo of CTbrew32
3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pitch black with a mocha head

Aroma- Heavy on the milk chocolate with slight coffee notes too.

Taste- Much more balanced between the chocolate and coffee than the nose lets on. Roasted barely/coffee noticeable at first then it leads into creamy chocolate in the finish.

Feel- On the thinner side for a imperial stout and a bit too creamy of a texture.

Overall- A very good imperial stout, but not quite as full bodied and full flavored as some other imperial stouts. Yet, this still has a lot going for it such as its balance between chocolate and coffee, its drinkability (no alcohol noticeable), and the price point ($9). (89/100)

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Photo of jjanega08
3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A= pours a depp black with a perfect two finger head that's a dark tan almost brown color. Great thick marshmellowy retention and lacing.
S= dark coffee and chocolate some figs and darkfruit. Not as pungent as I wanted or expcected. There's also a touch of booze.
T= dark toasted malts up front sort of burnt smokyness as well. Dark chocolate touches and is followed by lots of coffee. There's a lot of dark fruits as well. Really underrated flavor.
M= thick and chewy with a suprisingly crisp finish. Coats the entire mouth well.
D= great brew. Could be a littlesmoother really great overall though sort of reminds me of why I started drinking good beer.

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Photo of scar
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An amazing beer and terrific in a special very American way. Taste and look were the best part of the beer,with smell lacking for an Imperial Stout.
My opinion is that even though this is an American Classic, this beer is really an over grown American/Foreign Extra Stout.

Imperial Stouts are billed as having aromas of dark fruit, burnt sugar, and aggressive yeast aromas and traditionally if true "English Stouts" don't have such a heavy Rbarley/coffee note.

Despite this, the beer was soooo drinkable and I love idea of an overgrown carrying a big stick stout.

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Photo of realmpel
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a dark reddish brown head about half an inch high. Beautiful appearance.

Flavors of bitter chocolate and roasted grains hit me first. I took the first sip cold, but as this beer warms it develops nicely, losing some of the bitterness over time. The smell develops as it warms, too. From now on I will cool this beer to just under room temperature and end it.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was one of the first "big" beers I had a few years ago, but I haven't had it for quite a long time. Old Rasputin is one of those beers that it's easy to take for granted, given it's fairly wide availability. Ran into it on tap today, and decided to give an old friend a try. Served in a chalice glass.

The pour yields little head (perhaps due to the width of the chalice opening), but the carbonation is surprisingly zesty and long lasting. The head lingers til the end with a bit of lacing. The beer itself is near black and opaque

Nothing jumps out aroma-wise other than nicely toasted malt and chocolate, but the first sip reveals a lively combination of bitter chocolate, milk chocolate, fig newtons, raisins, and a nice bitter bite of hops on the finish.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, as the zippy carbonation makes up for a thinner body than I expected. At 9%, the drinkability is pretty dangerous- this one goes down nice and smooth!

Very solid beer, and again, one that it's easy to take for granted without the buzz of a seasonal release. Good stuff, and I'm glad to have found it on tap. I'm planning on grabbing a 4-pack or two to throw in the cellar and see what happens. Nice to see you again, old friend!

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Photo of EricCioe
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stuff pours pretty black. It looks very nice with a small, espresso-crema looking head. The nose is a bit weak, pretty much smelling a non-descript brown. The taste is the best part here, some coffee and chocolate notes, not overly sweet or bitter, but pretty well balanced except for the coffee which stands out front. The mouthfeel is fuzzy and full, pretty nice. I like it, and the price is certainly right compared to other RIS.

EDIT - Each time I have this I like it less. I like my stouts on the less bitter side, I guess. I've got one stashed in the cellar for a year or more so that I can do a side by side with a fresh bottle and see if that helps it for me.

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Photo of etaggie09
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Great head retention. left tons of lacing on the glass. Even on a bad pour the head stayed fairly well. The beige head slowly reduces to form a small cap. Body is deep black with barely a garnet hue only when it is held to direct light. looks clear.

Aroma: Smell is kind of like a baltic porter. Has a very vinous aroma but with a more pronounced roastiness than in a porter. Some alcohol, roasted coffee bean, dark malt, plum, and apple. A pleasant aroma.

Flavor: strongly roasted with a porter like background. has similar flavor characterisitcs of the baltic only it reverses the roles of the roastiness and the fruitiness, bringing the roastiness to the foreground. Not overly bitter or sweet, but a bit unbalanced it seems. Quite clean with a moderately bitter finish. Very clean and straightforward.

Mouthfeel: Full, but a bit too carbonated. It has a nice body, but the carbonation bite takes a little bit away from it. Still, it is nice and smooth, and better, I think, than the mouthfeel of Samuel Smith's.

Drinkability: Quite easy. This gives you a straightforward flavor with a decent body that you'd expect from a stout. The warmth from the alcohol is very nice.

Notes: I have yet to be impressed by an imperial stout. I have not tried the best ones, only Samuel Smith's and this one, but I much prefer barleywines. They balance out flavors and don't try to overload you on one. This is a nice after dinner beer, but I don't think I'll be buying it again any time soon. As far as I'm concerned, Shakespeare Stout is a good enough stout for me.

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Photo of CraigS119
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

serving type: bottle; poured into snifter

A- Rich dark pour with a one-finger, toffee-colored head that lingers and laces down the glass

A- Sweet, creamy, malty aroma. Deep resin, with subtle leafy/piney notes

F- Fronted with coffee, caramel, and toasted toffee malts; distinct, but not overwhelming, toasty, bitter followthrough

M- Very smooth, liquidy-velvet fullness with just a bit of carbonation. One of the best mouthfeels I've experienced.

O- A sweet and strong blend, that's not over-powering. Well-balanced. An exemplar of RISs.

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Photo of karengarys
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this because it was listed in BA's top 100. I'm not a stout person, but I was out to try anything, and this was available.


It pours black, a nice and clear. No head in the pour, but a 1/4" brown top emerges from nowhere. It is quite appealing! The head doesn't stay around, and there is no real lacing. A slight foam ring hangs around for a while.

Smell - I notice a lot of chocolate. Some coffee.

Mouthfeel is rich, but slightly creamy and alcoholey at the end.

Taste is quite thick. A syrupy chocolate sits on the tongue, and resolves into a slightly sweet and buttery finish. There is a strong alcohol overtone in the finish. There is very little unpleasant aftertaste.

This is an interesting mix. Stout like with a huge alcohol overtone in the finish. Lots of chocolate. Some coffee. If you are into any of these aspects of a beer, you MUST try this. If you are NOT, but like to experiment, do give this a try anyway - it is worth experiencing even if it isn't your style.

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Photo of PEIBeerGuy
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, smooth black / brown, with a three-finger, creamy, brown head that laces all the way to the bottom.

Smells of coffee, dark chocolate, and rye bread.

Also tastes of coffee, dark chocolate, rye bread... and a bit of red wine / merlot, I thought. Although the 9% is hidden pretty well, it does come through with a bit of a wine or even liqueur taste... didn't care for that part of it.

It's got a bit of an alcoholic burn at the start, but it's fairly subtle. It feels pretty smooth, and the carbonation is fine. I didn't care much for the aftertaste / feel.

It's a pretty nice beer. Definitely some substance to it.

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Photo of mjohn27603
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a slight reddish tinge. Small head indicates the low carbonation common in this style. Aroma is of chocolate and roasted character but a little short of perfect. Taste is on the bitter side. Some chocolate. I must say I enjoy Bell's Expedition Stout more it has some fig or prune tastes that add another layer of complexity to the mix. High alcohol is present and noticeable. I did enjoy this at night on the first day of our first snow that stuck. I did the the atmosphere right.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into snifter glass

Pours a deep, inky black with a buoyant coffee brown head. Slowly dissolves into a thin layer of tanned film with plenty of spots and streaks of lacing around the glass.

Plenty of roasted malt with some hop bitterness in the nose, assorted scents of baker's chocolate and toffee.

A surprising amount of hops up front with a decent dose of bitterness. Roasted malt flavors hold down the base with a thick serving of caramel. Some bittersweet dark chocolate and a touch of syrupy molasses. More hop bitterness with a flair of boozy warmth in the finish.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, fairly creamy and a bit dry on the palate. Nice, pleasant drinking, the alcohol is warm but not over the top. I definitely prefer this beer with some age on it, but fresh is still pretty tasty as well.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours two fingers of tan head over a dense black body. Lacing stays. And stays.

Aromas of burnt malts, some coffee and dark chocolate

Taste is quite dry. bitter chocolate, with firm bitterness. I prefer sweeter, richer styles.

Better as it warms. Creamy mouthfeel, alcohol well hidden.

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Photo of trevorwideman
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to demcorhip for getting this one for me.

Pours black as night with a 3/4 inch tan head off of a stiff pour. Lots of lace and good head retention throughout. Mostly sweet aroma with a coffee roasted bitterness, cocoa. A bit of chocolate and a bit of lactic sourness balancing with some juicier notes in the background. Smells good, straightforward and clinical stylewise.

Taste is good, but a little raw for my liking. There's a distinct background note of rubber beneath the inital whack of lactic sourness and bitter roast that assaults the palate. Bitter cocoa and milk chocolate. Bittersweet with a schwack of flavour and a big alcohol burn going down. This is still a bit rough for my liking, very flavourful though. Body is heavy, but not too heavy, carbonation is zippy, and finish is dry and satisfying. This is a drinkable stout, is small quantites of course, but it goes down pretty well. This bottle is still a bit rough though, and I'll be cellaring my other bottle to see how it holds up.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Total Wine in Chantilly, VA. This bottle's been sitting in my (dark, cool) closet for a few months - poured into a Watou chalice.

Appearance: A deep, thick brownish-black beer - a few shades white of black - with a fast fading coffee-colored head, streaky, runny lacing.

Aroma: Chocolate and coffee, a little woody smoke, higher-weight alcohols. Fairly subdued.

Taste: Very interesting - lots of burnt and smoky notes here, more so than in most other RISs I've tried; a few faint lighter toasted notes (dark coffee, bitter chocolate), but the smoky notes really dominate this one. A earthy, grassy hoppiness abounds for the last half of the sip, jarringly so at first (I thought the bottle was infected!), but it grows on you a little. Slightly harsh alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Bigger bubbles than I'm used to in an RIS, but it's still largely uniform and therefore smooth. Mouth itself is thick and syrupy, creamy and velvety, but maybe a little thinner than many RISs.

Drinkability: Lower in abv% than other RISs, and pretty interesting. A well crafted beer, especially if you like the darker, more highly-toasted RISs.

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Photo of enfield249
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Dark, with ruby highlights. 1/2 finger of tan head

S - I can't get much, but then I never can.

T - Bitter was my first impression. Made my eyes water for some readson. Dark Choc. Sweet in parts.

M - Good. Not to thick. About like a IMP. Stout should be.

D - I wouldn't want one every day, or even once a month. Once a year, for sure.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.87/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass after letting warm up. No dating info. It was a very deep mahogany color. Good lacing. It had about 3 fingers of dark brown head that very, very slowly settled into a constant thick foam.

The aroma was surprisingly muted. Got some chocolate malt and coffee in the back with a strong whiff of alcohol. Other reviews described a more pronounced aroma so not sure what it wrong on this particular bottle. What is there is good but needed more of the chocolate and coffee to stand out to offset the phenol. The taste was much better than the aroma with the flavors standing out more. Again, it could have used some more choc/coffee to offset the alcohol taste. Nice bitter finish. Mouthfeel was nice and creamy with good carbonation and the bitter finish.

Overall, a really good but not outstanding RIS. Not sure if I got a bad sample so will try again to be sure. Do give high recommend. Need to resample to set the rotation but unless better it would only be an occasional and that would mainly be since it's one of the few good RIS that I can get here in 12oz bottles.

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Photo of cbarrett4
3.87/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from tap at Horse Brass Pub in Portland:

Pours with a disappointing head fading into a lackluster lace, but with a good, rich, dark hue. Smells richly of licorice, molasses, espresso, and some dark chocolate. A little funky on the nose and that carries through the palate, possibly from the kind of hops they used. Decent texture but abrasive on the finish.

Overall good, but probably better out of the bottle with some conditioning.

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Photo of mdquigley
3.87/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Manhattan, KS "Rock-a-belly-Deli." Review written from notes.

Enjoyed from a 12 oz tumbler.

Appearance: Severely dark with a mystical creamy tan 2.5" head that transitions into the body.

Smell: Slight coffee, roasted nose. Aroma was slighter than expected.

Taste: Espresso and cocoa nibs up front. The taste was very balanced and much sweeter than I expected. It is not a dry stout but much more similar to a milk stout.

Mouthfeel: Creamy! Mouth-coating and full bodied.

Drinkability: I detected no alcohol for such a high ABV %.Thus, this can be drunk and drunk. Just watch out!

Overall: A very delicious and creamy beverage. A real special find.

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Photo of Kemmerlin
3.87/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark black and pours a huge foamy head that surprised me by how quick it grew and how long it stuck around I mean it is still there and it left awesome lacing down the glass.

S: Smells like a wet drunk dog. There is a faint tobacco scent but other than that it smells just like a wet drunk dog.

T: Burnt cigar and charcoal are the characteristics most defining in this brew which is a welcome relief from the typical chocolate and molasses flavors you get from a stout. The aftertaste is very earthy and still leaves a burnt wood taste in the mouth for a very long period of time. Basically this is a taste that keeps on giving.

M: At first the alcohol is very strong and almost over powering but it mellows out as you continue to consume. The flavors blend well with the mouth feel which is mostly gritty and earthy but good to swallow.

D: At first I thought it would be a little hard to swallow with the smell being so bad and the alcohol being very present but it really does mellow out and becomes a lot more drinkable as time goes on. I suggest watching out for the quick rising head and let it air out for about 5-10 minutes before you take your first sip.

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