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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.

3,522 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,522
Hads: 11,298
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 498
Gots: 2,339 | 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: 3,522 | Hads: 11,298
Photo of wcintula
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip the head erupts to the top of the glass and ceases just before overflowing. Black body with a light coffee colored head. Smells of chocolate coffee and a nuttiness, very attractive nose. The taste brings more to the table with the aforementioned smells brought to the tongue with the addition of a prominent charcoal flavor which adds a nice character to the beer. More medium bodied, I'd like something slightly more viscous. Very good.

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Photo of ttfreek
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark, slightly ruby red around the fringes. Small head for me, but i doubt i was using the right glass as i do not have alot of proper ones to use anyway. Dark taste, slight choclate taste, espeically in the head. The 9% ABV is hidden very well, and is not noticeable upon consumption. Moouthfeel is milky and frothy, and sloshing the liquid within your oral cavity causes the chocolate taste to come out a lot more, almost like a dessert. Coffe and nut flavours are apparent as well.

This was one of the first real stouts i have had that i enjoyed. Drinkability i only rated slightly above average, as the taste is really strong and the beer leaves your mouth with a slight dry feeling.

Good bargain for the price, definitely filling but not overtly so (mayube i have room enough for a second? No Doubt!)

Dora thhe Explorer could not make a better find.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into dimple glass. Pours a pitch black viscous with a thick chocolate head. Quite a bit of lacing. Aroma is of roast chocolate, coffee, licorice, dark fruits, and quite phenolic. Flavor is sweet chocolate, roast coffee, caramel, and phenols. Palate is full bodied viscous; extremely smooth. Finish is bittersweet chocolate and a little too phenolic. I can't say it's my favorite RIS.

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Photo of djaeon
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has the typical dark pour of an RIS. Very dark brown to black in appearance. Pours with little head & has little retention or lacing.

Has the pleasant dark roast coffee/dark chocolate aroma that has become so familiar.

This seems to lose the coffee aroma when you take a sip. It gives way to the dark chocolate.

Has a pretty smooth mouthfeel, with the exception of some minor bitterness. Also, this has a bit of dryness to it.

Overall, very drinkable i think. I'd definitely have another.

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Photo of JAck199
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good beer, but so many are better....the bar has been raised. Boulavard, otter creek, pretty things russian imperial stouts are in a class of their own and old Rasputin lacking the richness and maltiness found above.

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Photo of dweideman
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a large frothy light-medium brown mostly lasting head. Aroma was extremely sweet – I detected dark cherry, ripened banana and a slight hint of citrus. Initially a light sweet taste with lively carbonation followed by moderate bitterness. The roasted malts really came through late in the finish with dark chocolate the predominant flavor. I really enjoyed the different aromas of this offering.

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Photo of RWLawman
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Jet black with generous creamy head and lots of lacing left behind.

S - Absolutely delicious smell. Creamy, with chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt notes and a touch of alcohol at the end. If this beer followed the nose, I think I'd have an all-time favorite.

T - Starts with heavy roasted malts and black coffee notes, followed up with alcohol, dark chocolate, and finishes with a pine hop punch. Reminds me somewhat of a thin mint for some reason. Must be the chocolate and pine. Pretty good, but surprisingly...not my favorite imperial.

M - A lot of carbonation. Heavy mouth feel. While I typically enjoy less carbonation in my beers, I still found this to be a worthwhile experience. I've heard this beer described as a fine representation of the style, so if nothing else, try this beer for that reason.

O - Enjoyed it. I think I'd absolutely love it on draft, and will look to do so in the near future. For a bottled imperial, I was mildly impressed.

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Photo of Brew33
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin poured into my Duvel tulip.

The apperance and aroma were spot on for the style. Pitch black. Scant, brown head. The aroma was good, roasted malts, some dark fruit.

The taste was underwhelming. Fairly boring actually. A good beer but not worthy of the praise IMO. Not a lot of complexity surprisingly. The mouthfeel was good and the drinkability good also. Alcohol is masked well.

Overall, a nice beer. Not in my top 10 RIS' but a steal at $7.99 a 4 pack. Hit's the style on the head but doesn't do anything outstanding. An average RIS.

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Photo of Brew_42
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with coffee colored head.

Smells like roasted malts and coffee. Intense smell.

Tastes follows the smell. Didn't get the slight sweetness some other raters noted. Just straight up roasted malts. coffee, and a hint of dark chocolate.

Palate- Crisp and dry. Less creamy than other stouts and there is a warming touch of alcohol.

As far as stouts go this is a good one and different that other stouts I have had. I will probably buy this again.

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Photo of alysmith4
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Haven't had much of this style, but I was pleasantly surprised by it's drinkability. Very smooth, yet complex. The roasted, and slightly charred malts hit the nose, and the bite of hops and grain come through quickly in a syrupy mix. The first few sips were almost too much for me to handle, but as it warmed and as I got used to it, I was really enjoying it. To me, this seems to be a classic representative of its kind, and one that I would highly recommend.

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Photo of jlb502
3.76/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Though I love the style, Old Rasputin has never been a favorite of mine. Generally I've found it a little too acrid and roasted for my tastes. Well I don't know if it's me, this bottle, or some combination of the two but this particular bottle is probably the best Old Rasputin I've ever had. It's been sitting for a month which I wouldn't assume is long enough to make it so much smoother and more palatable than the rest of the four-pack, but who knows?

Looks good, smells fine but taste is where this one really shines. The best way I can describe it is Abyss Light. Licorice, molasses, a roasted quality that isn't over the top. Not too syrupy. Maybe a touch over-carbed but combined with the medium body, it makes it about as sessionable as an RIS can be.

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Photo of Grunewald
3.76/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet. It pours black with a thick brown head.

S - dark chocolate, coffee beans

T - tart chocolate covered coffee beans and a hint of medicinal cherry

M - low carbonation, thick and smooth with a chalky finish

D - very heavy. Having just one of these to sip is good enough for me. The astringent cherry taste can be a bit strong at times and can carry into the finish.

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Photo of IMincedTheKing
3.76/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque chocolate brown with a head like tightly packed brown sugar. Some bubbles can be seen crawling up the glass.

The smell is roasty and yeasty with some coffee and chocolate.

It tastes somewhat malty, but the rest of the flavors are overpowered by drying citric hops and a dominant aftertaste of chocolate. It feels thick and full in the mouth, almost like a milkshake.

A big bold beer, but I think it's a little too over-the-top (in flavor, mouthfeel, and ABV), to be extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Klgkenny
3.76/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a transparent, thick glassed tumbler; medium aggressive pour.

Pour produced a medium sized tan head which receded after 2-3 minutes leaving behind spotty lacing. The beer is almost black. It does not let any light pass through.

Aroma of copper is most prominent, with secondary aromas of earth and charred wood.

Tastes of copper and earth. As it rolls around the mouth slight taste of hops and chocolate, just the barest of hints.

Feels like a lightly carbonated zero weight oil in the mouth.

This is a highly drinkable beer, but everything seems just a little short of bold. It's just one or two points outside of extraordinary. I wouldn't turn it down if it were free, but there has to be something better from the genre.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.76/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Note: personal system uses whole numbers)

12oz bottle without bottling date poured into CCB snifter today 2/9/13.

Aroma: Not a particularly impressive nose- some toffee and caramel, a bit of burnt sugar. (3)

Colour: Pours a dark cola colour with a very nice 2cm brown head that sticks around for less than a minute. Lacing is very good, seductive even. (4)

Flavour: Follows the nose but much more forward. Starts off with a nice smoky maltiness, followed by the nose's toffee and caramel with some dark chocolate. The toffee dominates the finish. Very tasty but not superbly complex like some of the other RIS's can get to be. (4)

Mouthfeel: Nice thick body but closer to the medium range of the spectrum. Not particularly creamy but it isn't a BA stout. Carbonation is solid but doesn't particularly stand out. Aftertaste is a nice toffee bitterness which sticks around a while. It's a bit bitter for a stout, even a RIS. I find it interesting. (4)

Overall: A pretty good RIS, above average for the style. It would be nice if it had a better nose and wasn't as bitter to fit the style which would make it an even better brew. As it is, its year-round availability and price point makes it a very worthwhile purchase for anybody craving a shelf RIS. (4)

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Photo of jettjon
3.76/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. A vigorous pour yields an utterly opaque “pitch brown” color with a huge, milk-chocolate brown head that fades away at a moderate pace. Heavy cap and plenty of clingy lace remain. This is certainly a fine looking stout. Nose is somewhat subdued with milk chocolate, cocoa, and sweet malt in evidence. Taste is bittersweet with biting hops and toasted malts complementing a dry, dark chocolate/powdery cocoa flavor. Bitterness is high, so if that’s your cup of tea, you should enjoy this. However, I am not a fan of highly bitter stouts, so this detracted for me. There are hints of dark fruit sweetness (cherries?) but it doesn’t do much to balance the bitterness. Despite 9% ABV, no real alcohol presence. Mouth seems a bit thin for a stout but thickens as the beer warms substantially past what I’d normally serve at (typically 50-55 degrees). Semi-syrupy-creamy with mild, smooth carbonation; just not as chewy as I’d prefer. Drinkability is merely OK for me; the bitterness just turns me off.

Overall: This is a highly rated imperial stout but obviously I was not as impressed as most people have been. It’s a great looking stout to be sure, but it’s seriously aligned toward the bitter end of the spectrum, which to me overwhelms the underlying flavor complexity. Definitely allow this one to warm up for maximum viscosity and mellowness. Certainly worth a try; I’m just not certain that it lives up to its reputation. Maybe I’ll try another batch next year.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black as the night with a large, light tan head.
Nose is very rich with sweet chocolate, berries, cinnamon and a fair whack of grapefruit-like hops and woody characters.
Very similar flavours, lots more hops with grapefruit and resinous characters. Underneath is roasty malt, treacle and booze. Lots of booze. A bit too full on.
Carbonation could be a little bit higher. Body feels nicely syrupy.

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Photo of n2185
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with four fingers of tan head that recedes into a thin ring with a little lacing.

S: Lots of bitter, roasted malts up front with some orange/citrusy notes from the hops. There are notes of creamy chocolate in there as well.

T: Lots and lots of roasted malts here with notes of dark, bitter chocolate and coffee. The hops provide some extra bitterness towards the finish and there is a decent alcohol burn. The bitterness lingers around after the finish.

M: Thick body with medium carbonation that accentuates the bitter notes of this beer.

O: Overall, a solid imperial stout and a nice value for its price. It's lacking in complexity, though, with the roasted malts and hops creating a bitterness that masks any subtleties.

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Overall, not one of my favorite stouts. I guess it's because I prefer my stouts to have more of a chocolate or coffee taste to them. The Old Rasputin Stout reminded me more of a stout mixed with a nice Belgian Ale. It's still tasty, and the high alcohol content will give you a nice buzz. But I just didn't care for the fruit / raisin notes.

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Photo of vacax
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Black with a mocha colored two finger head. Retention is up high and there is a good amount of lace as well. Looking in the bottle, it appears this is not bottle conditioned, and the head reflects this in terms of density.

Nose is full of cocoa, roasted malts, wine grapes, pear, and a dash of pepper. The smell is quite fruity and sweet, though the flavor is quite balanced in comparison. The initial taste is a mixture of chocolate and grape--not too sweet because the roast kicks in quickly on the midpalate to balance and neutralize the sweet qualities. Somewhat spicy as well, maybe a bit of leather in there, or perhaps shoe polish toward the end. Bitter roast on the finish with a chlorophyll tang and a final cookielike residual affect. Pretty good job of balanced sweet and roast flavors, though a few notes that were not completely harmonious in my book. Full bodied with a medium, slightly higher than average carbonation. Awkwardly sticky.

Given the fact I paid something like two bucks for a bottle of this instead of $6-10 for most other imperial stouts it is hard to find a leg to genuinely criticize the beer. It is good product for a more "every day" imperial stout. If I absolutely crave an imperial stout I could go for one of these, but it is not something I reach for much.

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Photo of joshuadlight
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Deep dark black, thin off-white head that I expected to be bigger and darker. Not too much lacing to boot. But, it is one dark beer.

S - Cinnamon and roasted smokey malts. I was expecting a little more considering the style.

T - To me, taste is most important, and OR delivered. Chocolate, roasty malts, espresso, even the faint sweetness of marshmallows. It was full of strong flavors that we were not compromised in their individuality.

M - Pretty good for a stout. Rolled through the mouth pretty well. Not too sticky or thick.

D - I don't think I could handle 3-4 OR in a session. Too much going on with too much alcohol to contend with. Plus, I paid more than $3 a 12oz bottle for these things, which doesn't help the drinkability one bit.

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Photo of huguey
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Rare Vos glass.

Small, quickly dissapating head.

A: Black Black Black. It's a stout.

S: Call me crazy, but I smell pepperoni. Slight oilyness, saltyness, alcohol. None of this in a bad way.

T: Malt leads to smoke leads to hops. Bitterness charcteristically hoppy

M: No lingering oil, makes the bitter mouthfeel at the back of the drink go away soon.

D: Good beer, not exceptional. I had one and it certainly didn't stand on it's own.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Glass - Snifter

A - Black color with a bit of brown when held to light. Produced a 1-finger head that quickly dissipated to a thin tan ring. No lacing here, a spot & a splash is about it.

S - Raisins, dates, grape & plum fruity notes when swirled. A bit of licorice with some mild charcoal and roasted notes. Dark chocolate as well with a touch of alcohol as well.

T - Lots of charcoal & a bit alcohol burn upfront, rich dark chocolate flavors follow, not as complex as I expected. This beer finishes with pronounced alcoholic flavor & burn, from the tongue all the way down the throat! A bit more roasted & chocolaty flavors are there when it warmed, big dark chocolate flavors are dominate.

M - A bit slick and almost full bodied, allot thinner than I expected. Mild mild crispness on the tongue.

D - Well I might have a snifter or 2 after a long day. I did expect a bit more complexity for sure, I don't recommend drinking this straight out of the fridge because there's more flavors to enjoy when it's around room temp. Pretty good, not sure if I'd buy it again but I definitely recommend it. Cheers!

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Photo of Foxybrau
3.74/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm a noob to stouts, but learning fast, just don't love this one as much as so many do. Sudsy brass head that contrasts nicely to the black body. It looks fantastic. I find it a bit thin in the mouth, mostly charred and hoppy. Plenty of black coffee but I don't find the sweetness and malt. A very good beer, not world class to me, but I'll definitely give it another shot as I've loved North Coast thus far.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.74/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. bottle has a code on the bottom but no date.

pours dark brown to black and forms a one finger head right away. head retention is good but leaves very little lacing behind.

smells of coffee and floral hops with notes of apple and/or pear. has a weird medicinal quality that i can't place.

taste follows nose with big roasted malt character up front and lots of bittersweet hops in the back. some dark chocolate and burnt malts in there too. after tasting, the medicinal quality seems to be due to the alcohol content. well balanced and tastes good, but i was expecting much more flavor here.

mouthfeel is on the thick side, slightly syrupy and has more co2 than i would like. slight alcohol warming in the finish.

pretty drinkable considering the alcohol content, but not sessionable. two of these and you're likely done for the night. a pretty solid beer but not one that i feel lives up to it's reputation. i can think of a few other RIS that i would rather have than this one - bell's expedition, stone, founders...

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,522 ratings.