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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3,523 Reviews

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Reviews: 3,523
Hads: 11,304
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 498
Gots: 2,343 | 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: 3,523 | Hads: 11,304
Photo of Garzan72
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bottle into a glass. Had a pretty nice color and a great dark head. Tasted great and left a nice thick coating on the back of my throat (which I really like). Mouthfeel was awesome with a nice creaminess to it. As far as drinkability I give it a 2 thumbs up. I will definitley be bringing this one to the counter again.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is a very dark brown/hint of red, with a good creamy head. The smell is fantastic....the smell of anise and coffee. The taste is just as fantastic...the predominant taste of coffee mixes with a nutty flavor as well as the licorice/anise taste. Mouthfeel is very smooth. As for drinkability, I couldn't drink as many of these as I would want to!

Mmmm...imperial stout...truly one of the great treats of the beer world. Though I sadly don't get to enjoy its unique pleasures enough, when I do it's a treat to be savored. North Coast truly makes an imperial stout up there with the best of them, and this is certainly one I'll have again.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured an incredibly dark black color with only the slightest red highlights poking through when held up to light. The billowing beige/brown head hung around for a few minutes with some linear lacing around the glass.

S: Light alcoholic whiff at first. Overall this is a rich smelling brew with hints of coffee and chocolate.

T: The flavor here is also rich, the chocolate flavor is slightly bitter(i love bitter dark chocolate flavor). There is a light hop punch, could use more.

MF/D: Full bodied beer. Very very smooth and creamy. I would only have one of these but it is a delight.

I have had a lot of amazing russian imperial stouts over the last years and this one is closer to the top than the bottom. The best ive ever had usually have a tad more hop bite to balance out the deathly malt and chocolateiness.

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Photo of zuggy9
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This excellent stout pours a thick creamy black with light carbonation and a rich tan head that laces nicely. It has a hearty smell of roasted malt and toffee notes. No missing the alcohol. The taste is fantastic -- creamy and sweet with a nice alcohol punch. The aftertaste is pleasant. Very nice mouthfeel and very thick. Even at the high ABV it drinks well and it's easy to have a few before consciousness is sacrificed.

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Photo of ryantupy
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I finally got around to picking this one up and as soon as I tasted it I quickly got plenty more. This was a simply amazing stout with tons of character and complexity. It poured a straight black hue with a rocky brown head. Smelled of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. It tasted great it was smooth with flovors of chocolate, coffee, smoked and burnt malt, hints of hops, even a sweet little finish. All around loved this beer.

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Photo of generallee
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. There is no other info on the label.

Appearance: It pours thick, dark and slowly from the bottle. This very deep dark brown to nearly black liquid (like old motor oil) turns jet black in the glass with a modest one finger thick tan head. The creamy head hangs on very well and leaves lots of spotty lace patterns on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is full of sweet and roasty malt character with rich dark chocolate notes, heavily toasted/burnt malt and a nice suggestion of warm alcohol.

Taste/Palate: Its flavor is every bit as deep and roasted as the aroma. The full body offers rich chocolaty, burnt coffee and heavy toasted notes wrap up in a blanket of mellow alcohol warmth. It is also balanced by some nice herbal hop bitterness that plays off some malt bitterness. The palate is heavy and chewy with soft mild carbonation. This soft carbonation is just enough to keep it moving nicely over the tongue.

Notes: Overall it's a classic well made and well balanced example of an Imperial Stout.

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Photo of mempath
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

first pour wasn't vigorous enough...second half of bottle i poured with vigor and it swelled and laced like a royal rogue of the courts. big splotchy network around the sides. this stuff is so dark, held up to the sun, i can't see but a tinge of deep deep red. wow.

toasted roasted burnt caramel and coffee bean notes. a sense of hops keeping it elevated and from sinking into the beautiful morass...

so full-bodied, tangy, hoppy, malty, sweet, bitter...the symphony that all have proclaimed to have experienced is true. dark fruit. nuts. i promised folks at work that if our workday was cancelled for snow (i teach) i would have this for breakfast. slightly edges Founders own b'fst stout... for all it's strength, there is the gentleness of a lamb. first timers into the stout realm are welcome!

mouthfeel is spot on and can't be separated from the tasting experience. 9%abv? can't tell. therefore quite drinkable and a session brew for anarchists and scalawags and aficionados of intrigue. tarot. duels. subterfuge...

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Photo of mdvatab
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into bourdeaux glass.
No bottled-on date that I could find, but not a huge concern w/ this style...

Aroma: Fudge brownie, chocolate malt, and very prominent, herbal hops.

Appearance: Pitch black opaque espresso with a thick 2-finger pillow of tan foam stays for a while.

Flavor: Dark, dark chocolate bitterness is balanced by semi-sweet bitterness the whole time. A hint of tannic cabernet appears. Hop bitterness is prominent, but at no point is it out of control.

Mouthfeel: Bittersweetness (3/4 bitter, 1/4 sweet) coats the tongue. Very thick body with creamy carbonation.

Overall: I love this beer! It has the exact qualities I'd hope for in an imperial stout. Other brewers lend complexity to their impy stouts through flavor additions like bourbon barrel aging, coffee beans, and/or chocolate nibs. While those are delicious as well, this beer stands on its own with a masterful blend of water, barley malt, hops, and yeast.

Na Zdorovie!

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured pure black with a nitro draft head. Mild dark fruit and malt aroma. Absolutely smooth with a slightly sweet flavor. Well integrated roasted malt, dark dried fruit, light coffee and chocolate. The nitro turns the usual well melded flavors of this stout into a super creamy delight. Very good in the bottle and exceptional on nitro-tap.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very opaque dark pour with thin, clingy brown head. Aroma is heavily roasted and coffee notes. Incredibly smooth with barely noticible alcohol - remarkable given the content. Instead, flavors are strongly parrallel to aromas - again with coffee and roasted maltiness. This is delicious. One of my favorites amongst my favorite style.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A great 1+ finger head that you don't often find in this style of brew. Not something I take off for lacking, but give credit for having. I even see some active carbonation in there. It is, as one would hope, Black and black and black and black. I like it very much.

S: Dark, sweet fruit, some malt and maybe a hint of roasted barley? No hops, no overwhelming roast. I really get the smell of cooking chocolate, such as making fudge or melting chocolate for dipping fruit. Very good, not quite perfect though.

T: More sweet fruit, not so much on the raisin side but more so the cooked apple and plum sort of taste. Absolutely no sign of alcohol. If you told me this was an NA beer, I wouldn't doubt you. I don't get the gritty dryness of a roasted malt or anything. I really, really like this beer.

M: Proper thickness, not too thin, not to rich or creamy. It does have a mild carbonation bite and a little tingle afterward which is kinda funny, but all in all pretty good.

D: Very good taste, very doable, but the abv limits its true drinkability. But for the style, very good.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured bottle into Sam Adams Pint Glass.

Appearance - Very dark with nice 3 finger tan head

Smell - Very smokey with hints of chocolate and malt.

Taste - If this beer were a whiskey it would be a 20+ year aged very high quality single malt scotch. Smokey, bold and very complex. This is a beer I could envision Ivy League professors sitting around drinking at the end of a day.
It has an excellent balance of chocolate and malts balanced out with hints of hops in the aftertaste. For 9% APV, the alcohol is extremely well disguised. The only negative I can say about the taste is that it still tastes like an American craft beer with the flavors that don't replicate as a Brisish beer. Aside from the "Americanized" craftbrew flavors its a great beer.

Mouthfeel - Creamy and rich. Excellent.

Drinkability - With a well balance of malt/hops and a well disguised 9%, this is one bold complex beer that is easy to drink. Well done!

Overall - This is a great strong, manly, beer to store away in your cellar and pull a few out some day when a good friend or family member is over to share.

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Photo of BigDRS
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black. Solid black - nothing gets through save for just a teensy bit of light at the bottom of my glass. Head is a deep tan/leather in color, thick and very rich looking. As I drink there's a ton of lace left behind.

S - Dark chocolate is the strongest scent coming out of the nose. There's hints of coffee and a bit of malts, but the chocolate dominates.

T - Taste is amazing. There's touches of chocolate, espresso, some dark fruits, and a bit of hops. The flavor profile is very deep and very rich. The lingering alcohol is quite warming. If this wasn't 9% abv I'd sip on it all night long.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit thin at first, but about midway through a thick, sticky, syrupy quality comes through. Just a bit of carbonation. Very nice.

O - I'm drinking this by itself, but it would go great with a big meal. Despite the high abv it's quite easy drinking ... perhaps a bit dangerous. Definitely a beer that I'll be buying again.

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Photo of LBeaux
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black body, BIG brownish head. Took a bunch of pours before I could empty the bottle.

Pronounced, grassy hop aroma, I can smell the chocolate, and the alcohol.

First taste: THICK mouthfeel. I found myself unconsciously chewing to get it down. First of these I’ve been able to taste the carbonation on. Quite bitter, but it’s more under control than the Victory. Flavor profile takes 5+ full seconds to roll around my tongue. It’s like there’s a beginning, a middle, a bridge, a climax, and a denouement. Starts quite sweet and chocolatey, then becoming more bitter, going through a black coffee phase and then . . . almost like the char on a grilled steak? Hard to describe, but deep and rich flavor. Does leave a bitter aftertaste, but it’s not as oppressive as some imperial stouts. My mouth still chews automatically with every swig, haha.

Without question the best imperial stout I’ve tried so far. I’m starting to see why imperials have a cult following.

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Photo of lpgarcia8
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Probably my favorite beer. Great taste, nice, dark, rich, light hop, coffee/chocolate taste. Awesome name, awesome brewery. Really high aclohol content. I would reccomend this beer to anyone, and I do all the time. Have quickly converted all my friends to it. Pretty expensive but worth every penny.

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Photo of ellman
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz squaty bottle

Appearance: Black, little to no head.

Smell: Chocolate coffee malt and alcohol.

Taste: Coffee, roasted malt but light on the alcohol taste i was expecting. Full body almost thick. but overall great beer.
not sure about quanity but sure has the quality. a last beer of the nigh sit and watch tv listen to music beer. mmm mmm good.

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Photo of vitrael
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into conical pint glass.

A: Midnight black, opaque, thick-looking, with a big attractive tan head which never left. Almost certainly the thickest and most tenacious lacing I have ever seen, like the folds of a silk curtain.

S: Cocoa, coffee, and slightly boozy. Very mild-smelling.

T: Coffee and bitter chocolate, bittersweet roasted barley finish with a very mild boozy character again. Very clean finish, perfectly balanced.

M: Just the minimal carbonated smoothness I expect in a stout. This aspect mixed with the clean finish makes it D dangerous.

D: It's -9F outside and... I think I will pour another.

This is really a gem of a beer, perfect for wintertime sipping. Frighteningly I can and will session this beer. Now all I need is a fireplace.

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Photo of mttaylor1066
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

You can read the particulars below, but my review will be brief:

This is the best balanced beer I have ever tasted. Intoxicating... and that's not the alcohol talking.

... and I don't even like Russian Imperial Stout. This one will spoil you for all others.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was served at cellar temperature at Falling Rock tap house in Denver.
Dark, black body with dark tan head of two fingers which lowered to one finger and laced nicely.
Smell of coffee and chocolate with malt roast and biscuit.
Taste was wonderful. Just the right balance between coffee, chocolate, hops and malt. Nothing dominated which rendered the feel smooth and soft. The alcohol presented itself and then retreated into the flavors.
Very easy drinking for a RIS. Very good.

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Photo of CochonKing
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Pours a thick black with a chocolate colored head that is around 1 inch. Excellent lacing. - 5

Smell - Chocolate, Coffee, Espresso and strong dark malt. Caramelized sugars and roasted nuts - 4.5

Taste - Coffee and chocolate with dark malt back bone. Soy sauce on the palate as well. 4.75

Mouthfeel - Full bodied creamy beer with light bubbles. Excellent on the palate - 5.0

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Photo of Tonedef
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Always my go to imperial stout..black as motor oil nice amount of carbonation and tastes like a chocolate espresso bomb...at 9 bucks a 4 pack its almost always in my fridge..

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Photo of Kendo
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got it on-tap -- the nitro-tap -- at the Lionheart in Albany on 4/23/08.

A: Body is black -- dark black -- but with a hint of crimson on the edges when backlit. A thick, foamy 1.5-finger tan head rests on top with great staying power. As expected, it leaves behind sheets of lacing all the way down the glass.

S: First impression is roasted malt with a hint of chocolate. Also hints of anise and black licorice. Pleasant all around, but not terribly strong on the nose. I suspect the serving temperature may have had something to do with that (it was a little colder than I like my RIS's to be); as it warmed I got stronger chocolate in the aroma. . . .

T: First impression: roasted malt and coffee, with dark chocolate at the back of the mouth. Then I get some black licorice on the front sides of the tongue, a touch of alcohol warmth at the back end of the sip and a dry, coffee-like bitterness coating the back and roof of my mouth. As it warms it becomes more chocolatey.

M: Wow. Heavy in weight but creamy. The nitro-tap has turned this into one smoooth-drinking experience.

D: Excellent. Again, the addition of the nitro has smoothed out any rough edges, and for this fan of chocolatey flavors in my RIS's, I find it actually becomes easier to drink as it warms and the chocolate becomes more dominant. The pint was gone much too fast. . . .

Notes: Normally I don't bother adding a 2nd review of a beer just because I get it from a different source (i.e., on-tap vs. the bottle). But having this on the nitro tap made for a substantially different experience and I was glad I'd brought pen and paper along to memorialize that experience. Truly excellent -- on more than one occasion I took a sip, shook my head and said something like "damn, that is one excellent beer." Kudos to the Lionheart for getting this. . . .

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Photo of dubinsky
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours jet black color with a thick, two finger, creamy burnt caramel colored head. Completely opaque.

S - I'm getting hints of dark malts, dark chocolate, and licorice.

T - The taste is amazing. Its thick, chewy and creamy. It finishes a bit bitter with a smokey undertone. The alcohol is very well hidden since i'm not feeling a warming effect, nor does it taste boozey as others RIS's have.

M - Full bodied, medium carbonation. Thick, and chewy. Almost reminds me of Ports old viscosity. Kind of like a old used motor oil that you could drink that would taste good.

D - This is a great example of this style. While the beer has a fairly high ABV of 9%, It's very easy to drink and i find myself having to remember that this is a sipper, not a gulper (even though i want to). This beer is very accessible and cheap for me and that makes it one of my absolute favorite RIS's.

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Photo of CanonJohn
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

A: Wow. Black as night with a thin, dark caramel, half finger head that dissipated quickly leaving almost no lace to speak of. I tried to shine a 9 led super bright flash light through it and saw nothing. How awesome is that?

S: The smell is of roasted coffee, dark fruits, and dark bitter chocolate, with a punch of alcohol. In a word, fantastic!

T: Explosive roasted coffee, and dark fruits on the start, leading almost immediately into dark bitter chocolate. Followed by a nice hoppy bitterness and warm alcohol. The alcohol is accompanied by the taste of burbon and then coffe on the finish. I was then left with a lingering bitter chocolate and coffe after that is just wonderful. There are hints of spicy flavors throughout. I picked up some clove, star anise, and an almost hot black peper somewhere in the middle, that lingered just under the coffe after. There really is far too much here for a novice like me.

M: Nice and heavy. Coats the mouth well, and gives a lovely warming sensation.

D: Highly drinkable, in small quantities. This may be the best beer I have yet to put in my mouth, but I will struggle to finish 12oz. It is no session beer; at 9% ABV, but it is a very very special drink. I just really love this beer!

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Photo of armock
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a very dark brown pretty much black color with a brown head that leaves lacing

S - Great malt with chocolate smell

T - Awesome taste malt with a chocolate and coffee flavor finishes with some hops

M - Very creamy and smooth very little carbonation

D - Is very high great taste I think this is the best beer that I've reviewed yet I think I'll have another after this one

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,523 ratings.