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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.

3,525 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,525
Hads: 11,313
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 498
Gots: 2,353 | 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: 3,525 | Hads: 11,313
Photo of Cubsfan1087
2.85/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I didn't enjoy Old Rasputin, to the point where I almost wasn't even going to bother reviewing it. Obviously, it's a highly regarded beer on here, but it wasn't for me. The taste is what turned me off. It is very bitter. The high alcohol content is not hidden at all, like you will see in other beers. I found the drinkability to be extremely low. This is a beer I probably won't try again.

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Photo of Nicknackpaddywack
2.87/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

WAY OVER-RATED micro-brewed high alcohol content export extra-stout. Character is way too busy on tongue back-outside tastebuds. After-taste all over the place.

I like a simple ultra-strong Cohiba extra-vigoroso torpedo maduro cigar. This beer is way too tootie-fruity to go with my favorite simple but strong cigar.

I much prefer best match: Leinenkugel's Big Eddy from original Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin brewry spring brewed seasonally with year on bottleneck band - cigar bands come off on way into humidor.

Rasputin is SISSY GIRLY Stout only good for fruit cake. I cannot believe the rating Rasputin gets here & I've lived in many places in the world to acquire local appreciation for water, ingredients & process characteristics.

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Photo of 3leggeddub
2.88/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

If I trawl the old memory banks I think good ol' Rasputin was one of the first imperial stouts that I had and the one thing I've always liked is the way it looked. Pitch black with a respectably thick tan head that thins down to a thin cover that leaves sticky lacing all the way down. No light getting through this stuff at all. The nose is pretty appealing with sweet notes of dark fruit like plum or raisin. Of course at 9% ABV you can definitely smell the booze in there.

To be blunt the first sip of Rasputin is a kick in the mouth. The carbonation is sharp and hits your tongue first. After that it's big bitterness around the edges. There's a coffee flavor that goes beyond dark roasted into burnt. The word acrid comes to mind to describe the first third of the bottle. The fruit in the nose are pretty much nowhere to be found in the taste. As you make your way through the bottle your palette starts to get used to the bitterness. With that acclimatization comes the realization that Rasputin has a nice velvety body that bitterness aside is very pleasant. Flavor-wise you notice some fleeting hints of unsweetened baker's chocolate and a touch of roasted malt. Lingering underneath that is an earthy, chalky aftertaste that isn't all together unpleasant. Aside from the bitterness there's little other flavor in here to hang a hat on and enjoy.

Put all of this together and Rasputin is a decent imperial stout, but personally I don't see it as balanced, complex or amazing as many others do. For those still trying to find their preference in the world of RIS's I would recommend trying Rasputin at least once to see if a more bitter stout is for you.

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Photo of tbart428
2.88/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The beer pours pitch black. The head is light brown when first poured then settles to a off white colored foam. The smell is of roasted grain but all in all not much of a smell. The first taste is intense roasted flavors followed by a intense bitterness of hops.Neither one of the intense flavors in this beer are all that appealing to me. As I drink this beer the drinkability of this beer is decreasing with each sip. The beer is increadibly roasty at first then it transitions into a very bitter flavor from the hops and then it finishes with alcohol. The beer is intense in the mouth it is increadibly rough with the bittering hops. Overall the beer is a good night cap beer that is ggod to drink once in awhile. Compared to other RIPS it is slightly better than average. Worth trying and would buy again. I live in Portland Maine and buy this beer off tap at Novre Res and have to say off tp this beer is increadible. The flavors are subdued a lot and there is more of a balanced flavor. To end this review worth trying nothing amazing but is pretty good.

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Photo of JamesBerry
2.88/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This one has a black cola-like coloring with a brownish/orange head. Immediately after opening the bottle, a strong chocolate smell emerges. The taste is intensely bitter, like baker's chocolate, but with noticeable amounts of alcoholic tone. Old Rasputin has a tannic mouthfeel, like sucking a teabag or coffee grounds. Not as creamy or as say, a porter or (non-Imperial) stout, but admittedly, the taste mellows out significantly after the first half. Not exactly what I'd call a session beer. This is more of an experience than just any beer.

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Photo of Contagion
2.91/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is black in color, and appears to be very dense. Light doesn't pass through at all. An inch thick head formed when poured into the glass. The headed faded into a film at the top of the beer, and left some nice lacing on the side of the glass as it was drank.

The smell is of roasted malts and bitter black coffee. There are some flowery hops that combine with the malts to give it a mild soapy scent. The taste starts with a strong citrus hop flavor uncharacteristic of most stouts. There are bitter chocolate and coffee roasted malts undertones. The bitterness bites on the sides of the tongue, but as the beer warms to room temperature it becomes less noticeable. The after taste coats the mouth with a hoppy flavor.

This is a full bodied beer that has some creaminess to it. Carbonation is pleasant.

This is not what I was expecting in a stout. I never thought it would be this hoppy, this is kind of like a stout for someone that likes IPAs. It has the bitterness of the IPA and the thickness of a stout. This is not my style of beer. I really don't see myself going for another one of these. It's not a bad beer, just not to my tastes.

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Photo of cjhofelt
2.93/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is almost opaque (as a stout should be) but if you shine a bright enough light to it, it's actually magenta in color. Thin head that fades to a thin film.

The smell is hard to describe. It's fruity on top of a strong malt aroma. I'm not so sure I like it.

Well, it's not too bad. There's a tasty maltyness up front followed by a fruity flavor then finishes up with coffee, chocolate, and finally, something like, well, a bit like Juicey-Fruit gum and alcohol, as one of the low reviewers said. In some ways, this tastes a bit like a winter warmer. There's also sort of a back flavor here that's reminiscent of other North Coast beers. I'm not sure what to call it other than the North Coast taste.

Heavy mouthfeel, a bit chewey and syrupy. Not a real thirst quencher, more of a hunger quencher.

Something good to drink on a chilly night. I like it, but I've had better RIS. Worth a try.

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Photo of maxson924
2.95/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Apparently I'm the only person on the entire first page that's rating this below a 4.0. I certainly buy this on occasion but I don't see the "world-class" aspect of it. A bit TOO dry and strong for me.

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Photo of Pdu8s
2.99/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- The best part about this beer is how it looks. It is extremely dark, almost black, with a brown head. It looks delicious

S- Not much of a smell, but what you can smell is pretty similar to the taste.

T- Roasty, Tofee taste apparent, but it definitely gets overwhelmed by the alcohol taste. It has a warming finish, but this beer, to me, was too bitter and tasted too strongly of alcohol. Had an almost soap-like taste.

M- Not as thick as you might think, has a creamy consistency.

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Photo of Retail1LO
2.99/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. I started drinking this fairly soon after it came out of the fridge. I started rating it and it really wasn't doing much for me, and the scores reflected it. I started to wonder how much of that was a result of it being too cold. So I've been letting it warm up, and giving it little nips every few minutes. It's starting to come around. I think I might take the rest of the six pack out of the fridge and just keep it at room temp. This had a nice, luscious, two finger crown at the top. The head seemed more fizzy than creamy. The nose is pretty faint. I all but inhaled beer through my nose trying to extract some kinda discernible characteristic, but I couldn't. It doesn't smell bad, so much as it just doesn't smell. The first thing I notice with the taste is the booze. The 9% is in your face, and not even remotely hidden. Some slight coffee notes, but mostly just...booze. When it was cold, the mouthfeel was very carbonated and really unpleasant. As it's warmed, it's gotten much creamier and coats the mouth with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Over all, I just don't get the fuss. I have three bottles left with which to form a different opinion, however. If it changes, I'll be back to edit..but right now, this just really isn't my thing.

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Photo of PintOh1759
3/5  rDev -29.7%

Nose- ALCOHOL!!! right to the face, ignorant in your face smell. Some chocolate if you search far and deep into your nostrils. Some smokey hints but not overwhelming. Maybe a little raisin.

Apperance- Black as night with a thick creamy Mocha colored head.

Taste- Smokey Malts, Some hop presence, burnt sugar, DARK bitter chocolate, and an after taste of chewing tobacco a very rough hang around dry alch taste that is impossible to place in the same category as anything else.

Overall this beer is okay and i may drink another one day but the lingering tobacco taste does throw me off a bit

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Photo of kpoole25
3/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle to glass. Looks like molasses, head is a foamy version of same. Really liked the nose, coffee meets juicy fruit, I thought that was the best part. Huge, rich flavors, coffee and chocolate, sweet, but carbonation seemed flat (although it still had a huge head several minutes in) and was unbalanced in the alcohol, just too much for the flavors to contain. Got tiresome to drink, sort of like work to get through this, although the overall power was impressive.

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Photo of beertaster13
3.02/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Wow this review is going to be all over the board. Old Rasputin pours a black hole dark that is chilling to look at, very nocturnal. The tan thick mocha head is amazing, by far the best head I have seen in sometime, the lacing coats the glass, almost feels like it becomes the glass. The smell is amazing, mocha caramel and hints of dark ghiradelli chocolates. Picked up cinnamon and toasted marshmellow characters as well. The taste was very dry and weak, the roasted malts were bland and dry, alcohol was easy to pick up on, the bitterness outweighed the sweetness a little to much. A full bodied stout and very dry. Nice to look at and warming on those chilly days, but a true stout will make you crave it all times of the year, this was not one of them.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Appearance- dark black with a thin almost non-existant head.
Smell- strong sugar, molasses and coal. Hints of fruit, raisin and Prune.
Taste- immediate burnt charcoal followed by thick sugary syrup.
Mouthfeel- cloying and sweet.

Overall- a decent Stout by, by no means, a great one! Too sweet and too syrupy. If this could be mellowed just a little!

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.03/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours near black on the pour with a nice half inch head. Smell is hops, roasted coffee and some dark malts. Taste is just way too much hops for my liking. Just not my style. I prefer my stouts on the unhoppy side. I appreciate it, but just not for me.

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Photo of atlason
3.03/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

33cl bottle into tulip.

A: Dark brown with just a thion touch of brownish head, leaving some lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, strong alcohol.

T: Intense hop bitterness dominates on top of a super dense roasted malt base. Warming alcohol with a slight yeast character that I would usually call Belgian. In spite of this it seems underattenuated and sweet.

M: Thick, tarry and syrupy with pretty slight carbonation. You would think this would be hard to drink but it is oh so pleasant.

O: Not too used to this style but I guess they are going for as much malt and hops as possible in a stout. They succeeded.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.03/5  rDev -29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: A great example of an imperial stout: it pours mighty-nigh unto black, with a thick, brown head of froth that has good retention and decent glass lacing.

S: Black-strap molasses up front, sweet toffee and dried dates supporting.

T: Initially rich grain transitioning into sweet malt, but this pleasant flavor lasted just about 1 second before being rudely kicked aside by a harsh and acrid bitterness, with phenolic and fatty/soapy flavors in the long finish (unpleasantly long!)

M: Moist, smooth, and nicely carbonated when it first hits the tongue; but like the taste, the pleasant mouthfeel yields to a noticeable burn from the alcohol and an unpleasant astringent feel that lingers too long in the mouth.

O: What looked and smelled promising really failed to deliver. If this is what the Russians were drinking in 1917, it's no wonder they revolted! If I'm in the mood for an imperial stout, I'll pay a pretty penny for Samuel Smith's offering; but I couldn't get more than 25% of this one down before pouring it into the compost bin -- I'll be returning the bottle to the store for a refund!

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Photo of Bitter_Echo
3.05/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark, can't-see-light-through-it-dark-Cola kind of way, with fine, dark and persistent head with moderate lacing. Nose is dark, substantial, sweet, aged with moderate alcohol presence and roasted malt (need I tell?). Taste is strong, cooked, char-like coffee, dark chocolate, some dried fruit and plum-like flavors, and ethanol prominence, but well balanced with a bitterness that is decidedly not really a hoppy kind of bitterness after all. Taste profile does not modulate considerably over time. Mouth-feel is meal-like, substantive and filling. Pleasant overall, but I'm not so much big on the style, thinking I need to have a more refined taste in cheese to go along with this steak-of-a-beer-like brew.

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Photo of SanWrencho
3.06/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An OK brew but too aggressive and unbalanced and not malty enough to be a great stout IMHO. This brewery can produce some intriguing beers (Pranqster) but this one is too over the top. A better example of this style would be Zywiec Porter. Sometimes less *is* more.

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Photo of Vierenner
3.06/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was expecting more from this beer -- the writeup at the store claimed very high marks from BA. I found it to be bitter and somewhat harsh. There is a bit of sweetness, but it's overshadowed by other, more powerful taste sensations. On a positive note, it pours with a very nice head ... disappearing after a minute or so as expected.

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Photo of Mechphisto
3.08/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- A nice, rich opaque black pour. Not too thick of a head, but a nice soft tan. Doesn't last long, but keeps a lacing a decent time.

S- A toasted chocolate coffee smell. Rich, deep smell. Not complex, per se, but the notes change as you smell it and as it warms up.

T- Just like it smells, rich chocolate coffee--but a HEAVY toasted nut taste as well. Very bitter, almost burnt nut taste. Like a coffee brewed with ground burnt nuts with a touch of chocolate.

M- Very creamy, rich, thick. Chewable. Bitter on the back of the palate but doesn't stay around longer than appreciated.

D- Can only handle one, being very thick, stout, filling. You want to drink it slow and savor it (I dare anyone to drink it fast,) which helps that the taste and aroma changes as the temperature changes. Unfortunately it gets TOO bitter toward room temperature.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.1/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Black ichor completely opaque. Transmission depth of only a few millimeters. This beer is dark. A thick dark tan head dissappeared slowly leaving no lacing behind.

Smell - Molasses, dates and malt. Delicious odor, but not very strong.

Taste - An upfront sweet flavor. The date flavor hits first then a molasses, cocoa and espresso tone joins. A mossy bitterness lets you down after the more dominant flavors. I think the beer would be better with a less potent bitter aftertaste - of at least a different flavor than moss. The espresso flavor and the bitterness dominant at higher temperature.

Mouthfeel - The alcohol stings the tongue. Stouts should be viscous or creamy, this one was a little thin for my taste. Not terrible though.

Drinkability - Would pair well with many foods, but the bitterness starts to accumulate making a full 12 oz a tad difficult to finish (although still very nice).

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Photo of DBoone
3.11/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very nice appearance. Dark, almost black, not much head or carbonation when poured vigoressly in a brandy snifter. Khaki colored head with little lacing.
There was hints of chocolate and dark roasted barley and very little hops.
The taste was of very dark roasted barley with a moderate amount of bitterness noticed on the back of the palate mostly due to dark roasted malt.
This beer had a nice light mouthfeel for a russian imperial stout. Not much aftertaste and coating on the tongue.
Only drink 1 or 2 of these in a session.

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Photo of beckje01
3.12/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

This is my second review of Old Rasputin this time on nitro.

A- Black with a very very creamy head.

S- Ok something just isn't quite correct for the style, maybe the nitro.

T- Malty yet light, some hops which goes well. Overall a good taste for a RIS.

M- Super smooth but its nitro so can't mess that up.

D- Ok on drinkable its overall just an ok RIS much better on nitro then other version so make sure to try it if you get the chance.

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Photo of tayner
3.13/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle.

black with a off white/tan head, laced nice

smell was of roasted malts and alcohol

tasted like i was drinking burnt malt, ash, and lighter fluid.

The mouthfeel was hot, thick, motor oil mixed with lighter fluid.

I couldnt even finish my one bottle. I am not sure why this is rated so high, but i think if i drank any more of this it would make me look like the old dude on the bottle.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,525 ratings.