Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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3,524 Reviews

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Reviews: 3,524
Hads: 11,305
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 498
Gots: 2,344 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,524 | Hads: 11,305
Photo of TastyTaste
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Completely black, except at the bottom of my glass where there is a brown glowing base through the murky beer. Big tan head that sticks to the sides of my glass in a cobweb pattern. Smells of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, raisins, and a tinge of alcohol. Flavor is just a kick to the teeth. Like drinking an extra strong cup of coffee, with a good amount of alcohol and hops bitterness thrown in for good measure. Very big beer, the best Imperial Stout I have had, tastes more like a stout than Sammy Smith's. I like this one, and would recommend it to any stout fan.

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Photo of Peter_Anderson
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thick velvety smooth mouth feel. Hits of chocolate, coffee and dark malt. Slightly more bitter for a stout than what I was expecting, but an excellent beer.

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Photo of hint_of_beerotica
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%

Served on nitro in a pint glass at rendevious coffee house on the 5th of december.

A- completely obscures the light on an opaque black shade as beautiful as the heavens. Perfect half inch of leather hughed head.

S- a hearty dose of malty roasted hops followed by a sweet cream.

T- this Beauty had all of the good points of old rasputin with a tone down soy sauce flavor of the original which makes it more balanced. Cream is the prevalent flavor in addition to coffee malt toffee caramel chocolate and just a minor salty soy flavor preceeding the finish of big toasted hop goodness and malt.

O- a great improvement over the original when on nitro as it is wonderfully balanced and a great representation on the style.

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin!

This brew is as dark as the man himself!

Extremely dark and with a head that lasts for quite a long time. Coffee and Dark Chocolate tastes that mix well with the heavy hop flavor. Strong beer for strong taste.

Probably one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I have had, and have had many times before... and will have many many times again.

I enjoyed this beer in a mug at a slightly chilled temperate, maybe about 58 degrees.

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Photo of veratyr9
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured it carefully into a typical pint beerglass. pours very black, with a typical amount of head, dark brown/tan in color

Smells like.... well i just jumped right into drinking it

Tastes amazing. I have been going stout to stout looking for that one that just drops my jaw on the spot. this is it. Very roasted, rich, dark-type bitter flavor. a lot of breweries aim for this and screw it all up creating a bad bitter beer. North Coast brewing hit it dead on. Perfect type of bitter in a stout, no sour. The whole dark, slight coffee/chocolate thing.... spot on. out of the last dozen and a half or so stouts I've sampled this past summer, without question Old Rasputin takes the prize

It's 9%, and i've now had my fair share of them. I'm feeling quite fine. I have to say this is a much more enjjoyable feeling than other beers. The side effect is that you know you've drank them. they hit you, they hit you hard, you feel them in your gut. its like eating a loaf of bread that gets you drunk. i love this beer hah :D

Thank you Cheers wine and spirits in Chanhassen, MN for FINALLY stocking this. I have found my favorite imperial and I will be buying much more in the future!

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Photo of jhammel01
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dense dark black with no light penetrating at all!. Keeps a nice thick layer of lace when its 2 finger head goes down..its a bit off white - brown

This beer smells of coffee and chocolate with maybe a hint of hop bitterness...
Tastes of roasted grains and roasted malt with chocolate and coffee. The chocolate is not over powering but very prominent. Its definitely a "dark" chocolate. Perhaps some hop bitterness either from that or the coffee. It finishes with a bit of alcohol burn....well..warmth. An awesomely complex!!

The mouthfeel is thick and almost chewy. Its great! Nice and smooth as well.

Defintely one of my top favorites and by far my favorite stout.

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Photo of tylerprince
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A second Old Rasputin review. Had the pleasure of trying this on tap after a year of cellaring. DBGB, Bowery and Houston, NYC. This review is pretty much a copy of my first with some major changes:

A: Pours a beautiful matte black. No light gets through. After a cascade, a frothy 2-finger mocha head remains, with good retention. This gives way to a beautiful lacing.

S: Chocolate up front, roasted malts. Hop presence has certainly faded compared to the fresh bottle, and has been replaced by a coffee-like aroma. Much stronger than out of the bottle.

T: WOW. So much character, but still with all the flavors of a stout. Roasted malts and chocolate throughout, with coffee flavors much more powerful after the cellaring. The second 5.0 I have ever awarded for taste - this is simply perfect.

M: Creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Finishes with some foam. Other stouts with this much flavor are generally sippers...this one is so smooth you can drink at your own leisure.

O: One of the best stouts I've tried. I only wish it were easier to find - it's lack of ubiquity is astonishing given its status in the beer world as the archetypal RIS.

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Photo of brewski101
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the second time I have had this beer. I don't drink stouts too often but the bar was featuring it. The pour was done well as the bartender gave it a litle rest prior to filling the pint to the top. The foam appeared and dissipated in about a minute. Color was quite dark. Flavors of coffee and chocolate. Well balanced. More importantly - the aroma and taste was consistent with the last time I've had it. Had this with the dessert and found it to be a good pairing.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass

A: Liquid onyx. Very nice 1" light tan color

S: Roast, roast, and more roast.

T: Oh my. Present yet very balanced roast. Plus a hint of semi-sweet-bitter chocolatey goodness. Bitterness gently creeps in on the after-taste. Doesn't taste like a 9% ABV.

M: Thick yet not overdone. The taste is definitely a lingerer, the kind of way a scantily clad lingerie model would linger in the morning.. only this isn't fantasy land.

D: At 9%, you're going to want to be careful with this. But should I have the opportunity to put a few of these away, I definitely would. Tremendous representation of the RIS.

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Photo of tony223366
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Darkest brown with a 2 finger fluffy tan head. Really gorgeous beer. Great lacing!

S: Nice roasted chocolate and malts. Lots of hops too. Way more than I thought I'd get. The aroma really pulls me in and made me want to take my first sip.

T: Really rich roasted malts and chocolate. Lots of chocolate. But hops play a large role too. They come in first and get overpowered by the chocolate and a hint of coffee... then the bitterness lingers on the finish.

M: Lots of carbonation. Medium body and very creamy.

O: Wow, I've actually gotten by living in California for 3 years and I've never tried this. It was way better than I thought it would be. I really enjoyed the hop bitterness they through in paired with the decadent brownie flavors.

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Photo of Libeertarian
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very opaque, solid black (but like dark roasted coffee where I can coax it thin with sloshing) with fine, frothy head the color of desert mud — light orange mixed with brown. Retains quite well for being poured into a snifter. Smell is primarily boozy, chocolatey sweet, but also roasty and toasty, with twinge of licorice. So far, a very enticing beer. Taste is smokey, meaty, earthy throughout. Dig deeper and you will uncover the cocoa you expected as well as smoke tartness and smoke bitterness. It's highly carbonated, but only gently prickling. Rich and full, a little less smooth than others of the style. Very viscous, sticky, astringent, and warming. Were it not for the bubbles that keep coming back up to wet your whistle, this beer would have an incredibly dry finish. World-class, indeed!

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to bnuno I'm having my first Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout and my first beer of this style. What an awesome trade.

Poured into a pint glass instead of a snifter glass.

A: While I was pouring this beer I've let a "wow" coming out of my lungs - such a beautiful beer. A dense dark brown colored body with a big caramelized head that left some lacing. Nice thing here.
S: Real coffee (instead of high roasted malt), nuts and chocolate.
T: It kinda tastes like a nice expresso with some chocolate bar by its side. It's really good.
M: I've seen some other beers that like to balance the sweet and bitter, but nothing like this. It's beautifully sugary at the beginning and awesomely bitter at the end of the sip. The 75 IBUs are just awesome, I've never had a beer with so much IBUs but this is extremely well done.
O: For the first Russian Imperial Stout, I'm truly impressed. Never tasted nothing like this.

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Photo of Sudmissle
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great stout that probably is the flagship brew of North Coast Brewery. Pours a black/brown color with a dense foamy head reminding me of real whipped cream stirred in. Very thick mouthfeel that lingers on the palate. This beer has 8.9% alcohol, but it is not apparent in the taste because it is so smooth. The alcohol is only slightly noticeable in the aftertaste. A quality blend of toasted wheat bread and coffee notes with a lace that clings to the glass as well as the tongue. This is a very competitive stout overall.

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Photo of BeerBob
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout pours a tar black from a 12 fl. oz. dark brown glass bottle with a pry off cap.

Head of micro fine foam went to about two fingers and stayed around in a diminishing form during the entire consumption. Lacing of foam was in ample abundance during the review.

Nose is of delicious raisins and figs, with just the slightest of metallic notes.

Palate is of a viscous fig and coffee with the alcohol making its presents known just before the bite of carbonation appears.

If one were to want to impress dinner guests with an above average brew, this would be it.

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Photo of Jinholic
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Jet black body 1 finger of mocha head didn't get a lot of lacing but it was thick.

Smell - Coffee and chocolate big up front with some dark fruit in the back maybe plum.

Taste - Same as the smell but oh so nice, its a great blend of coffee and chocolate malts. The abv in this just doesn't come out in the taste till it warms a bit and even then its only a warming feeling going down.

Mouthfeel - Silky and smooth not dry at all for 9% either. Full body stout thats creamy all the way down.

Overall - One of the best stouts I've ever had I wish more stouts tasted like this. Big props to the brewery on this I haven't liked a stout this much since SS oatmeal stout. That said go grab one and see for yourself.

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Photo of xuptygm
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Upon pouring this beer looks and smells amazing. Black as night big frothy brown head. Sweet roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and alcohol aromas. Smells very complex and delightful.

Very(!) smooth drinking. Starts out tasting of roasted (almost burnt) malt with a little bitterness (I presume from the hops), but then finishes with a very complex smooth chocolate coffee finish.

After taking a few drinks I noticed that the beer leaves a very faint lacing, and the head begins to recede. After warming a bit the beer just keeps getting better. It evolves into a bittersweet chocolate finish that somehow tastes bitter yet equally sweet. I would drink this at room temperature to get the full effect.

One of the best R.I.S. I have had the pleasure of drinking. A classic beer for sure.

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Photo of beertunes
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a beautiful black, with a lovely cascade ascending into 3/4 inch of dark tan head that had excellent retention and left a moderate amount of lacing.

Rich roasted malt aromas greet the nose, without the annoying coffee notes so often found in brews of this type. Those deep scents translate into a glorious flavor on the tongue. Nothing exotic, edgy, radical or extreme, just the exact stout experience you're looking for.

The body is wonderfully full, smooth, textured and coats the tongue like a well-worn jacket. Easily drinkable, this is one of the big stouts I have several of in a row. Truly a world-class brew, if this is not available locally it's certainly worth much effort to obtain it by whatever means at your disposal.

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Photo of chalsk
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Actually had the barrel aged many times before I tried this one. Pours a black color with a generous caramel colored head. Has an aroma of dark fruit and coffee, with hints of caramel and citrus. Sweet citrusy start. Then bitter. Velvety, malty chocolate finish. Great thick, creamy mouthfeel. Very tasty. One of the best out there.

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Photo of mattjv
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours pitch black, looks like an eclipse held up to a bright light. Frothy and robust 2 finger tan head.

S-Sweet malty backbone, accented by many other aromas. Roasted coffee, sweet chocolate, and dark fruit are all present. Solvent alcohol presence lingers in the background.

T-Starts off with thick malt presence, semi-sweet chocolate and nutty flavors. Not as sweet as the aroma hinted at. Roasted malts quickly come in strong with assertive coffee and smoky
bitterness. Herbal hops on the finish with another round of bitterness. Mild alcohol spice and warmth, for 9% it is kept very well in check. Aftertaste is smoky and slightly dry.

M- Assertive carbonation, prickly on the tongue. Thick and silky smooth mouthfeel, drinks similar to an oatmeal stout.

O-A great imperial stout, satisfying on every measure. Tons of flavor without anything overwhelming, highly recommended.

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Photo of KyleVick4
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep and dark pitch black with a creamy tan head. Good head retention and nice belgian lace. Honestly, I dont hold appearance ins that high of regards, but I was pretty impressed.

Coffee overpowering coffee with maybe some liquorice and chocolates. Maybe maybe a hop or a herb somewhere but very subtle

Unbelieveable. Wow. In two words: Best Ever. I was totally taken aback by the taste. It was rich and silky but not to the point where it no longer tasted like beer. It was a good coffee taste which was enjoyable (says a lot since I dont like coffee). The beer is heavy but not too heavy, notes of alcohol can be detected, but not to much. There is a lingering aftertaste of chocolate and coffee. Tremendous.

Thick and mildy creamy. Feels a little heavy.

After the first sip you want more. It is pretty heavy and good to savor. There is a feel of alcohol which does kind of make it less drinkable but the taste is so amazingly good and smooth that it is easily overlooked.

Easily one of my top three beers of all time. Hands down the best Imperial Stout I have ever had.

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Photo of Morris729
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black ruby color with a creamy tan colored head that fades into a nice full lace. Nose is sweet roasted malts and grains, dark fruit, licorice, and some noticeable alcohol. A thick and full-bodied brew with tastes of roasted malts, burnt coffee, sweet raisins, and bitter dark chocolate. Sweet aftertaste seems to last forever (or at least until the next sip). A very nice brew, especially in the wintertime.

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Photo of blackthistle
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin has a wonderful, thick, brown head and a rich, deep, black color. It has a strong, thick and creamy malt flavor that is both sweet and bitter, with a mild roasted/burnt aftertaste and a roasty aroma. This imperial stout has a full-bodied consistency with an alcoholic warmth that will bring a smile to your face and a nice warm glow to your cheeks on a cold winter night. It finishes with a big hop bitterness that lingers. Brussels lace stays on the sides of the glass right to the bottom. Old Rasputin is an excellent example of the imperial stout style.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic imperial stout. Smooth and creamy, complex palate, and well-balanced enough to keep the 8% ABV from being overwhelming. Arguably the best stout I've had this year.

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Photo of daledeee
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another fine beer unavailable in Iowa. GRRRR!!! Thank god for Beer advocate leading me the right way. I saw this in Wisconsin. Thought I would try it. What a treasure!!.

Pours absolutely dark. Could not get any light from a 75 watt bulb to shine through. Nice tan head. The head stays with nice lace. Nose is exceptional. Roasted malt, smoke, chocolate. The taste and mouthfeel are the real appeal here. This is creamy at first with a dark chocolate and dark caramel. The hop bitterness finish is really nice. This is a very complex beer. The creamy start and hoppy somewhat dry finish is a real paradox. The alchohol is hidden well.

As time goes by I like stouts more and more and this is one of the best.

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Photo of seangroves
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Very dark, almost black in color. Poured with about an inch of an almost caramel head. Very carbonated and has a very inviting presence to it. Retains the head for a matter of minutes.

Very strong smell as soon as the bottle was opened and the beer was poured. When brought to the nose it is quite easy to smell the sweet aroma of the roasted/chocolate malts (smells as an almost balanced degree of chocolate malt v. roasted, with maybe a minor upper hand to roasted) with an almost citrous-type hoppiness to it.

Very smooth in tasting, goes down easily despite the high ABV of the beer; not a typical strong beer in the high degree of its smoothness. Very strong taste of the malts followed by the citrus of the hops. Obviously that it was brewed in Russian Imperial manner with a focus on your darker roasted malt but it also has a pleasant balance of hops to counter the increased use of malt in the beer. Malts are very well balanced with the chocolate prevailing paired with the taste of roasted malt. Very true to Russian Stout fashion with a surprising degree of hops used to balance the beer.

Feels like a very light, smooth beer. Easy on the palate but alive on your tongue with the malt/hop mix. Feels slightly over carbonated but with this beer the extra carbonation isn't overally out of place.

This beer is considerably easy to drink. This is a beer best suited for sipping. Especially on a cold night, this would be the beer to sit with and enjoy the evening. Very easy to drink another one, and as it warms it does add to the taste to a slight degree, given the style of the beer. I would highly recommend.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,524 ratings.