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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: 11,417
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 513
Gots: 2,441 | 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: 11,417
Photo of bboelens
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at world of beer, poured into a pint glass

A- Dark dark brown, bordering on black, with huge head that lasts, a menacing Rasputin looks as though he is either about to karate chop me or make the sign of the cross on the glass.

S- Heavy chocolate presence, malts and coffee as well

T- Chocolate, coffee, very bitter, overall a good taste with a stingy finish.

M- Bites and stings the tongue in a good way, carbonation and the bitterness come into play heavily here.

D- With a high ABV this is definitely not a session beer, but overall it makes for a beer that everyone should try at least once.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle that I've been sitting on for about six months. The color was dark black with a decent tan head. Smell was a little roasty. The taste was good with some roastiness also. The mouth-feel was not great as the beer seemed a little thin. I was planning on aging some of this but I am not sure it is worth it. Good RIS but not my favorite.

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Photo of TrevorGW
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Deep Ellum in Allston, MA. Was very thankful they had it available, since I had been meaning to try it out.

Looks wonderful in the glass. Deep, deep brown with the thick tan head.

Up front is a lovely rich and creamy experience. Perfectly carbonated and with all the fantastic stout flavor that you can imagine. The creaminess swims around your mouth. The finish is quite abrupt and bitter. This is where the hops come in. At first it was very pleasant, but I then found myself desiring more malt flavor left in my mouth.

All in all, an amazing beer experience.

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Photo of Satchboogie
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From notes reviewed on 12/6/10 (re-reviewed 3/23/11):
12oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass

A: Pours pitch black and completely opaque. Huge 2-finger foamy mocha head on a fairly aggressive pour. Sticks around for a while. Has a little lacing. Picture perfect looking stout.

S: A TON of dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee. Molasses/burnt sugar, bitter hops. A lot of bitterness coming out of the nose

T: Tastes very similar to the nose. Dark, bitter chocolate, coffee, and molasses are strong. There's a ton of robust dark roasted malt, almost on the verge of char. The hops are quite strong, mainly floral and leafy. The alcohol is definitely evident and makes it just a little boozy. The finish is dry and has that bitter leafy hop astringency. There's just a ton of bitterness in this, a bit too much for my taste (for a stout).

M: Medium carbonation, body seems a little thin, it is chewy, but overall, not that smooth or viscous.

O: Not a bad RIS, certainly a great value, but a bit too bitter for my taste with too much leafy hop presence. A couple years on this could really do wonders.

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Photo of Rayek
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A very hoppy American take on an Imperial Stout.

A: Deep brown, bordering on black. Thick, dense and rocky carmel colored head. Leaves a heavy lace.

S: Powerful cirus hop aromas. Lots of grapefruit with some lemon along for the ride. Faint burnt malt, chocolate and coffee scents.

T: Hops hit right away. Grapefruit bitterness up front and continuing through to the end. Charcoal and coffee flavors come on late. Nice warmth going down. Finishes bitter and dry.

M: Medium body that belies the beers strength. Right amount of carbonation. Feels a little slick.

D: If you like heavily hopped Imperials, this is your beer. I like them a little more balanced. Still a very nice representation of the style. After drinking this, I had one of the worst headaches I've ever experienced. And I only drank one.

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Photo of bluetravlr
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Walked home from work at 1am in the pouring rain with this beer in hand. Ah . . . it is good to be home.

A: Nice two full fingers of initial tan/rootbeer colored head. Almost completely black. This beer hardly lets any light through at all but upon further inspection a slight rich-brown coloration can be observed. The head stays with you till the end leaving rich, if not abundant, lacing.

S: Note of anise and sweetbread and coffeee are what first come to mind. Also, some roasted oats and chestnuts and maybe a bit of freshly cut grass?

T: Very similar to the nose. Initially a little sweet with flavors of both toffee and caramel. This sweetness rides to the finish but is enhanced by overlapping layers of coffee, dried leaves, burnt brush, but mostly a grassy bitterness that is most notable in the finish . . . with a hint of lemon rind. Overall, kind of like a nutty cinnamon roll, yet, obviously much more complex.

M: Thick bodied, though average for a stout, mostly due to the sweetness. A little heavy on the carbonation for a stout. A lingering dryness due to the grassy bitterness of the hops

D: The alcohol is pretty well masked. However, perhaps ironically, the sweetness and bitterness detract from this beers sessionability. Instead of blending together in harmony the sweet and bitter qualities of this beer seem to be at odds with one another.

This review, as shown in the ratings, is not meant to dismiss in any way the quality of this beer. It is extremely interesting . . . and in more ways than one delicious. Just not as balanced as some of my favorite stouts.

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Photo of BeerThursdays
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black as night, think tan head. Dissipates slowly and leave a thin layer on the top of the beer. Some lacing. Decent looking.

S - Black Licorice, Coffee, Chocolate, and darker fruits.

T - A Lot more bitterness than I expected from the scent. Roasted malt, hops are presented very well. Some chocolate and coffee as well. Maybe some candy, like a caramel.

M - Good amount of alcohol comes though. Lighter body, but still very nice.

O - Very good stout, one of the better ones you can find in Delaware on a regular basis.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black colored beer with almost no head. Aroma is comprised of a strong chocolate and coffee mix. The chocolate and coffee also hits you right at the first sip along with some roastiness. A bit too much bitterness at the end for my liking though. Carbonation is bit weak and body is strong which was expected. Overall, this is a very good drink but maybe not as much as some make it out to be…

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3.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. The bottle bears no date but the label is classic.

A: Pretty decent creamy head, very brown in color, about 1.5 fingers thick. It lasted for the entire beer; I love when that happens. High expectations for lacing were met, covering the walls of my pint glass in sheets. The body was dark black (as if that makes any sense) and completely opaque.

S: Very heavy malt character, somewhere in between roasted and burnt. Cocoa is the dominating aroma. As with many of my favorite RISs, this one has a distinguishable hop presence, albeit light, but I pick up on some grass, pine and an intriguing lemony tarragon note. Fantastic. So far. Something weird going on with the yeast, which is heavy and soapy in the first place, (not that I ever minded that), but there is an out of place meaty/briny/olivey note that I never smelled before. It wasn't completely off putting but odd nonetheless. Plus a little hot in the nose.

T: Good thing the yeast didn't translate directly to the palate, which I found to be on par with, if not quite nice for a RIS. Noticeable alcohol, woody & smokey with some tobacco, tar and black licorice. There is a long drawn out finish, moderately bitter and salty at the same time with a mineral component as well.

M: Full body, thick, chewy texture with a pleasantly dry finish. This beer becomes especially creamy as the temperature rises plus a few swirls to wear the effervescence out. This one finishes a little warm.

D: A very drinkable RIS, this one will not rock the boat.

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Photo of brewyou2
3.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

well, it's a stout.

smells like roasted cocoa beans, head like rocky sea foam, feels like velvet across my tongue and tastes like an unsweetened, dark chocolate brownie with powdered sugar on top. I will stock more of these in my cellar when I get my allowance.

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Photo of roblowther
3.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The latest in my foray into Russian Imerpial Stouts, trying to discover why they so dominate the "best beers in the world" lists. It pours pitch black with a medium tan head that is dense and creamy and leaves one of the densest lacings I've seen. Smell is musty wood, leather, raisins, and oranges. The taste is surprisingly sweet, and not at all acrid or burnt as so many others I have tried. It tastes of coffee, soft malt, leather, and a pleasant chalkiness. The mouthfeel is a good balance of carbonation and chewiness. The drinkability is limited by the bitter finish. This fades nicely through the aftertaste, but it is a bit intense for a while. Probably the best of the style I've tried, but I suppose I'm just not a true believer.

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Photo of beerbiatchMD
3.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A: dark and thick, color of a black bowling ball. 2 fingers of mocha-colored head leaves great lacing.

S: burbon, chocolate, and plum predominate. Some oaky notes as it warms. Roasty malts. To me the nose is the best part by far.

T: bitter dark chocolate and burbon predominate up front and at mid-palate. Some coffee in there as well and perhaps some black licorice. A bit hashed than I would like.

M: rather crisp with the alcohol heat but overall smooth. Perhaps a bit high on the carbonation. Not bad though.

O: a good stout but not my favorite. Pretty strong, could maybe benefit from some age. I believe they also barrel-age this one and I see why.

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Photo of Willibomb
3.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am not a huge stout drinker, but this one was quite enjoyable, my only hangup was that it was upfront with a very strong alcohol taste that took a few drinks to blunt. As the bottle went down, it became more of a 4.5 beer, but the first hit is only a 3.0 beer if you catch my drift.

Color was the first thing I noticed, it is very dark as an imperial stout should be, and had a blended head from white to tan.

Also like many stouts, there was a chocolate/coffee smell which was probably the best feature of this beer.

Taste, was much like I mentioned before. The taste evolves from the first drink to the last, so don't judge this one until the bottle is empty!

Mouthfeel was smooth, but still a bit harsh alcohol-wise which lead to....

Drinkability which I scored low due to the fact that after one, I was ready to move on despite the overall pleasant experiance after my first drink.

Overall, I think this beer is worth trying, I think North Coast produced a winner in this stout, but only buy it if you are into stouts, which if you are reading this, is probably true.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of mjw06
3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

In a mediocre approach to this, I can best describe this beer by applying it to the "King of Stouts" in the manner that Budweiser is the "King of Beers." I can imagine Old Rasputin is what happens when the flavor of Guinness Foreign Extra meets the feel of Guinness Draught. But that's way to simple. Old Rasputin has an amazing full-bodied thick and creamy mouth that just isn't present in any other stout I've ever encountered. Somehow, the best of many worlds is what you get with Old Rasputin. Nevertheless, the taste packed an unpleasant bitterness on the swallow that I judged to be an imperfection and I was also disappointed with the alcohol, not that it was present, but rather its location on the palate. These of course are personal peculiarities that others may in fact love. I'd like to try this beer again however, exceptionally paired.

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Photo of Zadok
3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured almost a pitch black syrup. Had a half finger dark brown head for seconds after pouring. Minimal lacing as I consumed.

S-Rich malts and dark roasted coffee, alcohol squeezing through in the background. Mild Dark fruits.

T-As with the smell, deep roasted malts and dark coffee bean. Each drink is an enjoyable kick in the pants. Malty/hoppy finish. ABV comes into play pretty quickly. Baker's chocolate and dark fruit hang mildly in the distance.

M-Rich and creamy, double shot espresso cappuccino doesn't do it justice.

D-1 of these in a setting is more than enough, that being said, this is an explosion of the taste buds and should be consumed at a moderate rate. The quality and time invested is evident.

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Photo of squaremile
3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a standby for a lot of folks including myself. When I want an RIS and want to spend $2, Old Raspy is there, like a non-pretentious gradeschool friend. Black pour, small/medium head, some lacing, and the nose is roasted malts and coffee. The flavor is much more of the same with espresso dominating. On nitro tap the punch is relaxed and the mouthfeel is foamy goodness.

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Photo of mwearl
3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very dark brown/black color - cannot see light through it. Head is less than an inch and doesn't last long. The taste is bitter as expected and the first couple of sips have a noticeable alcohol flavor. Very good beer with dark chocolate. If rating of 9% ABV is accurate then why do I fee so buzzed after sipping just one?! Two would put me over the top. This is a good beer if you love dark bitters (which I do).

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Photo of ism
3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nearly opaque black with ruby highlights -- a halogen desklamp behind it. A creamy beige-orange head with excellent retention, given the ABV. Leaves pretty lacing all the way in rings. Faint aroma, chocolate and alcohol, a hint of coffee. Light body, with low carbonation, ho-hum. Flavor is just on the sweet side, chocolate malts, with espresso emerging as it goes down smooth, finishing with a slight hop bitterness and alcohol. The body becomes more full as it warms. The head and lacing is still there.

Ol' Rasputin on the label is hypnotizing me and making my ratings go up... must... resist... Not as powerful as Brooklyn's Choco Stout or Victory Storm King, but a good, robust stout.

Great way to finish my taxes and welcome the Springtime.

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Photo of albertjr21
3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I just tried this for the first time last night and was satisifed...for the most part...Into a goblet glass, it revealed a solid black color under a dark beige creamy head. It carried a sweet nose of dark roasted malt with a strong note of cocoa and faint hint of dark berry fruit. A crisp and bright upfront feel leads to a dark roasted earthy cocoa dominated center into a slowly resonating echo of an espresso bean finish. There are finishing notes of earthy dark fruit, perhaps fig, and dark chocolate. An overall good beer in my book. I'd be interested though to experience this with perhaps a less carbonated feel and was hoping for the creamier feel I'd tried in previous I.R.S.

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Photo of younger35
3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drank out of a regular ol' pint glass. Served it slighty too cold but it quickly warmed to a suitable temperature.

Appearance- Looked awesome. Poored a nicer head than I'm used to seeing off of a Imperial Stout. A very dark, chocolaty brown with pretty good lacing.

Smell- Had a very deep burnt malt smell. Wiffs of chocolate and nuts in the background.

Taste- Burnt. That is the first thing that jumps into my head. Was unsure at first if I even liked the taste but after a few more sips I was convinced. Pretty tasty. The roasted malts overtake this beer with very burnt like qualities. A nutty, chocolaty malt flavor comes through, tasting very much like the smell. A mild hop bitterness balances it pretty well. Was surprised I couldn't taste much of a alcohol undertone.

Mouthfeel- A nice creamy, malty body to it. But I was very surprised by how carbonated this beer was. More carbonated than any other Imperial I've had. Didn't really like it to much. Maybe I just fear change.

Drinkability- Overall, I think the beer was pretty good. A couple drinks into this I was really enjoying it. Other than it being a hair overcarbonated for me, it's a solid Imperial Stout.

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Photo of bkett01
3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured nearly black with a minor head which refused to leave the surface. A dull coffee/chocolate smell with a hint of hops is present. The taste is quite the combination of flavors ranging from coffee to fruit. I noted a smooth chocolate start balanced with cherry/coffee/and dark roasted malts that finished with a clearly evident hop character. I would prefer more hops over the coffee, but still an enjoyable brew here. Very interesting combination, and a great start to the "new to me" world of imperial stouts.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark black in color with an inch thick tightly knit head. Brussels lacing. Aroma of dark roasted barley. The flavor is comprised of dark bakers chocolate,roasted barley, and fig. The mouth is creamy and silky smooth. There's a lingering bitterness from the roasted barley and hops after the fade.

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Photo of hreb
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cold 12oz bottle poured into pint glass. Beer pours a dark cola-brown color, agitating just enough to produce a medium-sized brown head with a hint of red.

Aroma is not as strong as it could be: coppery, nutty, with a hint of caramel. The hops are immediately more apparent in the first sip than they are in the nose. The flavor balances out and carries the alcohol well: hazelnut and citrus. The flavors are big but not numerous. It's complex, but not interesting. I have to say this beer is overrated. This beer executes well, but it's not easy to make a highly bitter imperial stout -- it requires a lot of the beer.

Revisting my review from February 3, 2009 (above) four and a half months later: I kept around a bottle from the same batch and let it age in the fridge. This time I'm trying it in a wide-mouth Chimay glass. One thing which is immediately apparent this time is the deep, nutty, coffee aroma. I do find the beer a litlte more enjoyable than I recall, but I still think it's a very good, but not great, beer.

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Photo of trekbiker3000
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

As a person that enjoys stouts I looked forward to trying this brew. The color wasn't as black as I expected, but still a very nice dark brown. Before I was finished admiring the appearance and nice frothy head, I caught a whiff of the sweet malt aroma, and a hint of the alcohol.

A rich malty flavor, but there was a noticeable alcohol kick. The roasted malts really come through. The carbonation seemed a little rough, but ok. As for the drinkability, I would find it hard to have more than one or two of these at a sitting.

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