Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,608 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,608
Ratings:
11,748
Avg:
4.27
pDev:
18.5%
 
 
Wants:
552
Gots:
2,735
For Trade:
52
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

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Reviews: 3,608 | Ratings: 11,748
Photo of pmcadamis
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A black brew with dark brown highlights is capped by a solid looking thick brown 1 and 1/2 finger head that sticks around for quite some time. Thick waves of lace coat the glass.

S - Solid scents of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and roasted grains fill the nostrils. This is actually pretty mellow smelling, and the high alcohol level is not detectable. Burnt notes are there also.

T - Wonderfully full flavors of roasted cereal grains, chocolate, firewood, hickory, coffee, and tobacco. The taste is very bitter, but balanced by a little bit or chocolatey sweetness. This is really the most pleasant stout that I've had!

M - Full bodided, sweet and dextriny and first, slighty spicy and warming from the alcohol, and very dry on the finish. This stuff wicks the moisture away from you mouth and leaves you clucking, trying to make more spit. Wonderful.

D - Despite the alcohol content and strong roasty burnt flavors, I believe that this is about the most drinkable stout ever. Give me more!

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Photo of sgtaxt
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a stunning obsidian black. Mocha colored, one finger head that dissipates quickly leaving just a ring of foam and minimal lacing. Beautiful beer.

Smell: Coffee and dark malts. Some fruit scents that remind me of red wine. Also a bit of a sour, acidic smell right at the end (maybe the alcohol?).

Taste: Espresso, bold roast (almost burnt) flavor, bitterness balanced by warm chocolate flavors. The 9% ABV is apparent without being overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body paired with med-high carbonation makes this beer creamy and satisfying. Taste and carbonation linger in the mouth.

Overall: My first imperial stout so I don't have much to compare it to, but this beer is outstanding no matter how you look at it.

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Photo of Caj1
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Man oh man, am I glad I found this at the package store. I will have to beg the manager to keep stocking it.

A: Beautiful. Cascading pour is reminiscent of a Guinness but the bubbles don't waterfall since there isn't nitrogen infused. A two-inch caramel head that refuses to die. Becomes pillowy and leaves minimal lacing. The foam slides down the side of the glass and recollects on top of the beer. Beer is a deep, deep red-brown from what little I can see on the edge of the mug but the body is black. Light does not penetrate.

S: warm and malty sweet like some graham cracker and allspice. Light fruitiness probably from hops since yeast is probably killed by the higher ABV. A little bit of grass and earth. Slight alcohol vapor takes it to the head.

T: VERY rich and complex. Toasted biscuit or sweetbuns with good rounded coffee notes and some dark chocolate depth. Slight bitterness from hops and toasted grain. Malt is sweet and bready without being cloying. Slight alcohol astringency helps cut the malt stickiness and the dark toast flavors linger for a long time.

M: Rich, full-bodied and creamy from foam. Alcohol helps dry the palate a little and cuts the sticky malt and sugar and it leaves a nice bite after enveloping the mouth in rich softness.

Beautiful beer and well worth the $2.50 (plus tax!) per bottle. Very few bad notes here and they are just nitpicks. It could use a point or so less ethanol but it leaves a lovely buzz so it is worth it. Also I would enjoy slightly more chocolate but again that is subjective. Great stuff. If this was on tap I would be in heaven. I will try to make this a staple.

Good health, great beer.

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Photo of MuddyMcGinny
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle angry pour to a English nonic.

Motor oil Black Sabbath black with a HUGE 2+ finger head that almost flowed over, didn't mean to pour too hard - oops!, but a firm hearty insane mocha colored froth with a hint of commie reddish ruby overtone... ha!... comes back strong on a good swirl o' the glass when halfway thru with really good lacing as well.

Nose of bitter coffee and sweetness of malt. Medium-firm body with robust flavors throughout... a little smoke and fire, obvious coffee bitter, malts and dark fruit earthiness. Alcohol hidden very well. A good bite on the tongue at first sip but mellows to malty awesomeness as the pint dwindles.

Had a bottle at Downtown Bar & Grill Brooklyn for the first time in a while and just had to pick up a four pack today. One of my all time favorites. Would give 5's across the board but only the beer gods can create a perfect beer! Well done.

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Photo of VictorWisc
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a large snifter (this time--used different glassware every time with largely the same results).

Color pitch black. Thick latte foam with plenty of staying power and lots of lacing, resembling crema.

Nose of good espresso and roasted dark malts. This is followed by pecan notes, with a hint of orange, then a hit of booze--this comes across even in a snifter, which is supposed to concentrate the bouquet.

Taste starts out as strong espresso and that remains throughout. Bitter cocoa notes with dark tea thrown in, a bit of orange zest and pecans mingled with both dark and sweet malts, with hints of caramel and vanilla. Coffee comes through in the finish with more citrus and a hint of pepper. Lingering aftertaste of dark malts and finally some pumpernickel bread, but then shuts off clean. Nice complexity and balance.

Body is big and toasty, almost oily so, again, a comparison with top espresso. Mild but everpresent carbonation. Alcohol is hidden very well, aside from the boozy aroma and a bit of heat in the finish.

This is a beautiful product. I first came across it by accident, while looking for a different impy stout. This stood out because of the name, the artwork and it was $3 less for 4-pack (almost an aberration in MA). I'm much more than $3 richer for it now. This is about as close to a 5 as a regular beer gets (the only distraction is a somewhat boozy nose, and not because of the vessel). I keep going back to the well after that serendipitous moment and it tastes better every time.

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Photo of Jwicker
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought from Randall's in fairview heights, IL, 4 pack for 10$, surprisingly a great deal.
Among stouts, Russian imperial are my favorite, and among imperial stouts, old rasputin is my favorite. Oh man, where to begin with this brilliant beverage.
The jet black appearance lets you know as soon as you pop open that bottle, you're in for a wild ride. I usually pour this into my special stout glass. The look is just great. Once poured, a dark tan foam more delicious than any cappuccino you have ever seen, immediately covers the top of the drink. Once you start drinking a glass of this, a wonderful division of carbonation fills your mouth from drink one until done.
-THE SMELL is very faint for me, then again it may be because I'm getting really buzzed after one bottle. But the main hints of fresh coffee grounds and chocolate syrup definitely scream out.
-THE TASTE is incredible. The first time I had this I was amazed. VERY dark, and VERY strong taste. Kick in the nuts at first, but it's Beautiful. In detail, it tastes like I'm drinking a slightly hoppy iced mocha with extra dark expresso shots. Very delicious.
-THE FEEL is pretty heavy. This stout is thick and it will set nicely. An instant warmer.
Leaves a nice strong taste In your mouth.
I always look forward to getting some more Rasputin. Incredible stout.
If your are a stout drinker, this is hands down one of the best, if not the best.

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Photo of BigCheese
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this bottle is a bit old, looked like it had been on shelf for a little while, tough to know for sure.

A: Pours a thick ink black. Pours a pretty thick head that is a cardboard colored head. Literally leaves a wall of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Dark Chocolate malts, oak, whisky, booze, hints of fruit maybe cherry/rasins.

Taste: Get hit with some sweet/slightly bitterness. Quickly changes to rich dark chocolate, hot chocolate (euro kind), burnt crust, honey bourbon, taste lingers for a while. For a really long time. Hop bitterness doesnt come through until it warms, beer really evolves as it warms. I'd drink this just below room temp for ideal consumption.

Mouthfeel: quite carbonated. A tad boozy but not in an unpleseant way. Once beer settles and warms its incredibly thick/syrupy. Could easily take down 2, maybe 3 of these, after that flavor/alcohol would be a bit overwhelming.

O: A perfect cold weather beer. Its got a great boozy warmness to it. Flavor evolves as beer warms which keeps taste buds interested. Taste lingers for a long time. One of the best brews I've ever had. A must try.

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Photo of hopphead31415
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I once tried this beer in a four-pack that was chilled down real good. It was my first time getting a brew that was in a four-pack, so it was a bit interesting. This brew boasts 9.0% ABV, but I have heard people say it drinks more like a 10-11% so watch out. It has 75 IBUs, but has plenty of sweetness so don’t worry.

Look-It pours a deep dark black. It leaves an initially thick head that has a copper tinge. It later disappears and leaves little to no lacing on the glass.

Smell-The aroma is roasted coffee, chocolate, toffee, and caramel with a slight acidity. It smells strongly of the rich creamy malts and a bite from the alcohol.

Taste-The coffee, chocolate, toffee, licorice, and spices are abundant smells that are cut with a vengeance by a sharp whiskey-like bite from the ample alcohol. The hops that linger afterwards are bitter but are also accompanied by a spicy aftertaste like nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, black licorice, some cola, candied plums, and raisins.

Mouthfeel-It has a thick, chewy, rich, creamy, full-bodied, and smooth/silky mouthfeel. But it also has some noticeable fizz from the medium ambient carbonation. There is a lingering smoked wood coating on the tongue that has resins similar to cedar and red oak.

Overall-It is a very nice beer, but you better pour it or get it on tap. The aromas come out clean and complement the taste if your olfactory system is primed with the smell. The alcohol is quite powerful so watch out, but cuts the sweet full-bodied malt backbone that is freckled with a plethora of delicious spices and flavors as I describe above. This beer really deserves the Imperial Stout name and it is easily a world class beer. The bros give it a top score and I will as well. Cheers!

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Photo of keithmurray
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance -dark brown, nearly black body and khaki colored head

Smell - espresso, molasses, caramel, dark chocolate

Taste - dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, caramel, vanilla

Mouthfeel - Full bodied, viscous, sweetness upfront from the caramel/chocolate, balanced by the coffee and bitterness in the back. Despite the hefty body, it is easy to drink

Overall - this is a benchmark beer for the style in my opinion. Price and availability considered, there isn't much reason to hunt all of the limited releases in this style when you could just grab this off of any shelf. A beer that frankly deserves more respect in the community.

Price Point - $10.99/4 pack 12 oz bottles

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Photo of cactusjuggalo
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try one last night when my shipment arrived at work. Poured out of the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Blacker than night apperance with a slight head one very tasty lookin brew.

Smell was exactly what i come to expect from a good RIS coffee and chocolate.

Good lord this is a good beer. It has this perfect bitter taste to it thats not to extreme and not to light. Just rich and full.

As far as mouthfeel goes it is quite smooth and enjoyable.

Man i could drink this all night but at 9% rasputin is a sneaky one that can creep up on you quick. Drink with caution my friends.

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Photo of sevenarts
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very very dark, with a nice tan head and strong sticky lacing.

S: Coffee, chocolate, some hops and sweet flavors. Interesting.

T/M: It smells good, but it tastes even better. This is a really complex taste profile, with coffee/chocolate stout maltiness blending with hop bitterness and floral flavors, and a bit of alcohol warming on the back end. Each sip seems to explode in the mouth, offering up multiple layers of intense flavors. It has a nice creamy stout feel but the taste is what's really distinctive.

O: A really powerful RIS that really stands out.

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Photo of nortmand
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black, with a very stable brown head.

Roast dominates the aroma. Coffee and chocolate as well.

Milk chocolate up front, turns into a rounded roast by mid tongue. Leaves a bitter roast aftertaste with a bit of metallic character.

Extra full, lucious body, smooth as silk. Big ass drinkable beer. So clean.

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Photo of Rzzzzz
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, why is the bottle in that picture up there empty? Well, I *know* why it's empty--same reason mine's empty--but I've yet to come across a bottle of beer that looks better empty than it does full.

I emptied mine into a Chimay glass, revealing a thick black brew with a tan head that dissipated to form what I could only describe as a nebula pattern, continually evolving due to a nucleus of constantly emerging bubbles. This beer is ALIVE. And alive with flavors, as well. Dark roasted malt, chocolate, hint of fruit, coffee; sweet and rich with a bitter, dry finish. A veritable meal in a glass.

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Photo of jfdean
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'm fortunate enough that my local bar has been keeping Old Ras on nitro-tap for some time now. Whenever the mood strikes for something rich, dark, creamy, and with enough alcohol in it to relax for the night, I head over.

The beer arrives with a body that is pitch black topped with a immaculate tan head. The smell is more roasty than anything with a subtle malty sweetness you can pick up. You are unlikly to make it through the head on the first sip, but don't let that dissuade you... The head itself is a treat being insanely smooth with a much lighter feel to it while keeping the notes of chocolate, roast and malt that await in the beer proper. Savor the sips of Old Ras because on tap it is candy. You will finish a glass without thinking about it, and with everybody else doing the same it might not be long before the keg kicks.

If you see Old Ras on tap, get it. No ifs ands or buts.

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Photo of SeamusDoyle
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep black color with a large dark brown head. The aroma was a beautiful mix of espresso, chocolate, bitter hops, and roasted grain,some alcohol crept in. The flavor was intense woody/charcoal, chocolate, coffee, roasted grain, tobacco, hops bitterness. The feel was surprisingly crisp and bubbly that made this beer feel not as big as it is. Very wet finish that coats the tongue and throat.

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Photo of Shimbabwe
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, deep, brown, almost black, liquid pours from the bottle into an oversized wine glass—quite a challenge at room temperature, as the mountainous khaki head quickly boils to four fingers, nearly overwhelming its container. This bubbly froth slowly reintegrates over several minutes, leaving sticky rings of lace around the circumference of the goblet.


The emanating aroma is quite fruity for a stout, consisting of plums and raisins, with a touch of alcohol and piney hops; minimal coffee and chocolate on the nose.


Initial flavor is of sweet and dark fruits, then mocha and espresso, followed by a faint alcohol taste that subsequently yields to burnt chocolate and bitter hops, both of which linger all the way to the next sip. The hoppy bitterness pleasantly surprises and compliments the “charcolaty” flavors, while nicely balancing the mild sweetness of this brew.


Mouth feel at room temperature is rich, creamy, and somewhat thick—but not overwhelmingly so—with little carbonation; very decent for the style.


I’m a big fan of the style; and, this is one of my favorites. It’s well worth $10 a four-pack.

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Photo of bifrostguard
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pitch black with a long lasting tan head that can get as big as you make it. Nice thick viscosity when disturbed. Lacing chases the liquid surface down to the bottom.

S-Roasted Coffee, toffee, caramel and most interestingly of all floral hops.

T-After being shocked by the aromatic hop presence, I was even more amazed by the complex layers of flavor that this beverage has to offer. At the forefront is chocolate, roasted coffee, malt and complimentary hop bitterness. An alcohol burn follows that is absolutely perfection.

M- Medium to thick, creamy with plenty of carbonation to keep things interesting.

D-Very easy to drink despite the alcohol presence. A smooth and creamy imperial stout.

A cult classic that is worthy of the tag!

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Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with no light coming through. Has a huge creamy dark head that goes away slowly. Can smell the roasted malts and dark fruits. Tastes like how it smells.

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Photo of dqderrick
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 4.5
So dark. The head is perfect cocoa in color. Lacing is great.

Smell - 5.0
The scent did exactly as I want a beer smell to do... make me long for the first sip. Smelled like a perfect RIS.

Taste - 4.5
Why is it not a 5.0? I wanted more bite. But damn if they didn't nail the flavor profile of a RIS that I was looking to for.

Mouthfeel - 5.0
Killer. The carbonation and bite on my tongue is great. I love this style of beer and North Coast nailed it.

Drinkability - 5.0
My rating here makes up for my 4.5 on taste. I could drink all 4 of these in one sitting. Granted, the 9.0% would leave me hungover the next day...

I saw this beer mention time and time again on the forums here at BA. When at my local Bevmo, I'd always bypass it for other selections. But, this recent experience will force me to always keep one or two at least in my cellar. I plan to share this beer with others that have not tasted it yet.

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Photo of mgaddy
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing. One of my favorite cold weather beers.
It is so good. You have to go out and try a bottle of this. You just have to.

Appearance. Beautiful dark, nearly black with a tan head that retains incredibly well throughout the entire glass, leaving lacing behind the entire way.

Smell. Chocolatey goodness. Maltiness. Some hints of other great aromas that i can't put my finger on.

Taste. Incredible. More chocolate and coffee flavors. Not overly bitter.

Mouthfeel. Delicious. I want to drink this stuff all the time. So smooth and creamy.

Drinkability. Absolutely drinkable. Check this out if you haven't already.

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Photo of rvisual
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I don't pretend to be a connoisseur, but I've had many ales, lagers, pilseners, stouts, porters etc. over the years and OR gets my vote for "best overall" generally available.

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Photo of isaac
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. stubby to pint glass.

A - Wow. Very, very dark. I'm still hesitant to say black, since there are some red tones in there, but... maybe black is the right color to use. brown, pillowy head of 2 fingers that sinks first in the middle and then slowly down the side of glass.

S - sweet, roasted malts and chocolate dominate the smell, however there is a clear, citric-hops aroma as well. alcohol also makes an appearance.

T - delicious. begins with coffee and chocolate tones that slowly transitions into hop bitterness, finished with a sweet, almost cookie-like flavor. i give this a 4.5, though, and not a 5, because there is an odd hint of soy-sauce in the aftertaste that is a bit displeasing.

M - smooth, medium to heavy mouthfeel with high carbonation hitting the back of the palate and warming alcohol down the throat.

D - a very enjoyable beer, to say the least. i've had this both in the bottle and in a glass, and i must say that the latter is certainly preferable. old rasputin is truly helping me relax before bed.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.

L - Jet black with a 1 finger brown wispy and foamy head that doesn't stay around too long. Very nice lacing, though.

S - The first thing I smell is chocolate. There's definitely good amounts of roasted malt and hints of coffee. Maybe the tiniest bit of alcohol present, but not much, and also a slight hint of hops.

T - Simply delicious. The sweetness of the chocolate balances well with the bitterness of the roasted malt and coffee flavors. Some hop flavors may be contributing to the bitterness as well. Very good balance between the sweetness and bitterness.

F - Medium-to-full bodied, not much as far as carbonation, and a dry, slightly bitter, slightly astringent, slightly warming finish from the roasted malt, coffee, and alcohol. Light creamy texture.

O - This was a great beer. If you are a stout-lover, I highly recommend this one. Very, very tasty and hides the alcohol extremely well. I'd love to come back to this one.

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Photo of YankChef
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my eagles mug. No freshness date

Appearance: Pours a mean looking pitch black with a one inch puffy, foamy chocolate milk color. lacing is very nice.

Aroma: Smells roasty of dark bittersweet couverture chocolate and dark grain (barley and rye). There is also a pretty heavy coffee note, but almost a sweet coffee like a frapucinno.

Taste: One the front it is almost sweet with the coffee and chocolate flavors melding with other complex notes of dried fruit and toasted candied walnuts and pecans. Then the balancing bitterness kicks in from the very healthy amount of hops in here to leave a bitter astringent feeling in the mouth that really makes you salivate. This beer is definitely "dry". Kind of stings the tounge on the finish, with an almost metallic taste.

Mouthfeel: Full and rounded, it really coats the mouth and is just fat and chunky.

Overall: In the world of RIS, this one just plain kicks ass. It has all of the body and flavor to represent the style with pride, a truly world class beer from North Coast. Very Highly Recommended (But you already knew that... Didn't you?)

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Photo of 86MonteSS
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For a beer that isn't opaque (a very dark reddish brown when I held it up to the light), this is superiorly robust. The smell is one of the most enticing I've ever encountered, and the taste follows up with gusto. So many of the imperial stouts I've had have been sweet almost to the point of nausea but nay, Rasputin was a hardier fellow. Poisoned, shot, beaten, and drowned, he lives.

...In a bottle.

Let me tell you something: If I ever wake up and realize I'm a hemophiliac, I'm jumpin' in the ol' Monte Carlo and zooming out to Half Time to buy another bottle of Old Rasputin. Na zdorovia, comrade!

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,608 ratings.