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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.

3,526 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,526
Hads: 11,318
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 498
Gots: 2,356 | 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 (28) | 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: 3,526 | Hads: 11,318
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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Photo of TJBurgess
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a stout glass.

A: The pour was nice and think, but there was a little more caramel head and carbonation than expected. Color is right on.

S: Smells of roasted coffee and a little chocolate. Not overwhelming at all.

T: Coffee rolls over the tongue followed by roasted malt and a bit of burnt toast, though not nearly as flavorful as it could be. The 9% is very well hidden and overall balanced though.

M: The carbonation is present and keeps this a little thinner in the mouth than I like, but hides the alcohol and is still nice overall.

D: I liked this beer, and would keep some around especially at it's price point. I just don't think it's among the top of the RIS list, but it is still well above average.


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Photo of JerseyKirk
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: thick, 3 finger brown head. Pitch black. Nicely carbed.

S: dark fruit, chocolate, molasses.

T: molasses, thick black coffee, lingering bitterness, sharp alcohol bite, more booze, roastiness.

M: dry, leaves mouth feeling like a desert with a hint of alcohol emanating out.

O: would definitely stave off the cold in russia. I'm sure rasputins fermaltahyded phallace would also be engorged even in the frightfully coldest of nights. All things aside. Wonderfully drinkable. Great for the style.

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Photo of semibaked
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour into a curved pint glass

A - It is a RIS so of course it pours black duh! It produces about a couple of inches of light airy foam from an aggressive pour into the glass.

S - Roasted malt sweetness, molasses, weak coffee, and vanilla.

T - First thing I notice is the hop bitterness which I didn't expect but it is good, some dark chocolate and light caramel.

M - Pretty much like coffee nothing great at all.

D - Goes down easy especially for a RIS, but there are alot better choices in the style than this, but it is a good price for the quality.

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Photo of tittymcj
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Split Old Rasputin with William Pang (Queens, NY).

Pours out a very dark black/brown. No light gets through this one at all. Fairly thin tan head, and extremely little lacing.

The smell is, typically, a dark roasted coffee and chocolate one. However, there is a bit of fruit following up, possibly raisin.

The taste is primarily the roasted coffee, with a lot of sweet malt flavor. There is a bit of hoppy bitterness, but nothing to compete with the malts.

The mouthfeel is actually extremely light for this kind of beer. Very heavily carbonated, and this leads it to turn to foam once it hits saliva. A thin coffee-bean aftertaste lingers on the taste buds afterward.

Very drinkable beer because of it's thin body, but not one that I necessarily want to drink more than one of at a time, just because it wasn't that outstanding.

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

A- Nice, thick , pitch motor oil and tar. Quickly dissipating head that leaves a coffee film. Looks exactly the way an RIS should.

S- Very rich aroma. Coffee is definitely the star of the show, but it is happy to share the spotlight with the supporting cast: Roasted malt, smoke, burnt wood, a hint of baker's chocolate and some booze.

T- Bitter, rich, toasty roasted coffee, a hint of woodland smoke.

M- Some creamy carbonation and a bit of an oily thickness.

D- This is a man's meal of a beer, good enough to drink a whole case, just on 24 different nights.

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

Pours a dark black with mocha colored head. The head is quite frothy and sudsy and seems like a soapy lather that coats the glass quite nice. Smells of pleasant chocolate and roasty notes. Some toffee, maybe some burnt caramel aromas. A bit like black licorice. Tastes dense and thick. Lots of roasty and burnt flavors, almost charred character, are present. Feels heavy and somewhat acrid. Alcohol warmth is present in each sip. Okay tasting RIS yet a bit too much coffee burn and hot alcohol. Don't get much hop
character as they're overpowered by the roasty notes. I think this one smells and looks much better than it tastes and feels. Personally, I think there's better RIS on the market. Glad to have tried it though. A fine beer to try and sample.

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Photo of mdhobbs
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I am surprised at the varying tastes/appearance etc... of Imperial Russian Stouts. This experience was definitely a good one. A very good rich stout that pour nice and dark with very little head. There is very little fragrance with this pour so the taste will need to make or break this review. Well, it made it. A very tasty stout that does not linger too long in the mouth. Very drink-able and well worth the purchase.

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

appearance - black w/ small head
smell - really surprisingly minimal but noted alcohol
taste - burnt malt upfront, woody, dry alcohol at finish, little hops
mouthfeel - thin, dry carbonation present not overbearing
overall- good, could be thicker, not sweet fairly pure stout , not overly complex

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

one could argue that this beer single handily started the modern American Russian Imperial Stout revolution. This beer tastes poorly at anything less than cellar temp. I'll admit, that this beer has grown on me a bit throughout my 4 pack and I will no doubt buy more in the future.

A: pours a nice dark black color with a smooth tan head. Drinking this out of a wine glass at the moment

smell: pleasant smell of roasted coffee, creamy smooth malts and baked cake.

taste: it's sort of a taste you learn to love. Big whack of bitterness and roasted malts hits you up front, only slightly mellowed by some malt creaminess. There is also yeastiness in the flavor adding a sourness, quite a bit actually. This one is all about the roasty notes. Like strong coffee, you learn to like it.

mouthfeel: the cream man. it's actually very light for the abv.

drinkability: the closest thing to a session IRS. although I wouldn't session thise one, a four pack has lasted me a month, mixed in with other things. It's a solid beer, but not the best.

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Photo of codynevels
3.79/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a SA Perfect Pint class on 05/22/11

This beer pours jet black, with a thick, sticky, foamy mocha head that leaves great lacing. When poured the head foams two a finger and a half and settles at just under one finger. Absolutely no light is allowed to pass through this amazing looking beer. The smell is dominated by a great hop characteristic as well as dark fruit, coffee and roasted malt. The hops are earthy and piney. The taste is similar to the smell, with lots of bitter hops, dark chocolate, coffee and raisins. There is a nice caramel backbone as well. It finishes with piney hops. This beer is full-bodied and is rather highly carbonated. The alcohol is very well hidden in this beer, there is no alcohol burn.

Overall, this is a classic hoppy Russian Imperial Stout. Full-bodied, full alcohol, big, bold, black and hairy.

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Photo of Johnquisssssssy
3.79/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice thick oatmeal head onto a dark opaque brown nearly black. Nice lacing. I have had this on nitro as well as from bottle, as it is here. At first I felt I picked up almost a marshmallow/caramel aroma on the nose but that dissipated; It's a nice chocolate/coffee with only a hint of smoke. Everything is relatively subtle for a big beer like this; not overly sweet or smokey or boozy. Pretty much spot on for what you want in a impy stout.

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Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Appearance is black but looks like a very dark brown under light. Lots of carbonation and great lacing. Aroma is malt, both roasted and unroasted, dark chocolate, and dried fruit (figs and raisins). Taste has lots of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt. The finish has a nice bitterness with some grassy alcohol notes. You can taste the alcohol in the middle and finish but it isn't overpowering. Feel is smooth

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Photo of iamheasyouareme
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - deep brown-black, caramel head, viscous webbing

Smell - burnt malts

Taste - pure roasted malts, not much else. A strong alcohol flavor is balanced well with the burnt malts. If you look for it, you can also notice some espresso notes. Otherwise, this beer is very straightforward.

Mouthfeel - Surprisingly smooth. A slight astringency, reminiscent of a Sangiovese wine. I enjoyed the lighter body, which is not too common in this style.

Overall - Well, I had heard so many friends call this one a "classic" brew. It didn't quite live up to the hype. It's just a well done, albeit basic, RIS. Probably a good candidate for introducing a greenhorn to this style. The smokiness and drinkability might make me reach for it again on occasion, especially to warm up with during the winter months. It makes me think about starting to smoke cigars for some reason...

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,526 ratings.