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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,522 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,522
Hads: 11,298
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 498
Gots: 2,341 | FT: 56
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,522 | Hads: 11,298
Photo of kirok1999
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Ruddy black with 1/2" lacing that sticks to the glass.

Smell- Slightly sweet maltiness, chocolate and a little coffee.

Mouthfeel- Thick and viscous, lingering on the palate.

Taste- Bitter chocolate, slight coffee with enough hop bitterness to balance the wonderful malt sweetness. A near perfect R.I.S., perhaps a bit much for the fainthearted.

One of my favorite R.I.S's but the price makes it a little hard to justify when I can get a 6 pack of Storm King for the same price as 4 Old Rasputin. Try it, learn to love it.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Almost pure black in color with just the slightest ruby notes around the edge. Very fine bubble tan head that drops to a thin film. Smell and taste of burnt chocolate with a plum note. Also some alchohol on the nose. The burnt chocolate gives it an almost smokey note. Smooth mouthfeel with a nice bitter aftertaste. A nice winter brew that will warm you up on the coldest night.

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Photo of doppelmeup
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this in a pint glass. Poured very dark, nearly black, with a half inch head.

Nice hoppy aroma. Also hints of coffee and chocolate.

Very nice flavor. Rich, but not overpowering. Not too sweet. Coffee and chocolate tastes, balanced by a pleasant bitterness which cleansed the palate after swallowing. Although a high alcohol content, it didn't overpower the beer.

Smooth, clean finish. Didn't linger in the mouth.

An excellent beer, although it would be hard to drink a lot of these in a row.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Stone IPA glass. Deep black color with 1-finger beige head on top.

Strong hops aroma. Taste is awesome. Roasted malt flavor (but not burned or smoked) with hops. I detected chocolate and coffee flavors too.

Great beer from a great company. Pranqster is also good.

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Photo of Matthew
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this was quite a suprise. I hadn't heard of this beer and picked it up randomly to try. I'm glad I did.
Pours black with a huge fluffy tan/brown head. A great looking beer.
The biggest aromas I found were of dark chocolate, burnt coffee, and a light sweetness all wrapped together to make this a great smelling beer.
Sooo smooth. There is a sweetness up front followed by a chocolatey coffee flavor and a nice hoppiness to balance it out. There is a alcohol warming but is shown up by the sweetness in this beer. All of these flavors really compliment each other really well and better than alot of other Russian Imperial stouts I've tried. This is without a doubt an exceptional beer.

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Photo of drewmprs
3.39/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First whiff was of chocolate coffee and alcohol. This was definitely a thinking man's beer, not one meant for chugging. I had it after a few erdinger's and it brought a welcome change to my palate. This beer is a bit too strong for me, I like my stouts a little smoother like rogue's shakespeare. Rasputin had a bit of a gamey taste to it, like uncooked rabbit and veal. It was a pleasure to drink this beer on tap, i like watching the bartender do the double pour. Bartender also told me this beer goes well as a half and half or black and tan mixer. I don't know about that, the complexity of this beer is unmatched, and i wouldn't want to sully it with Harp's or Bass.

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Photo of clabaugh
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep ebony with a modest, light khaki colored head. Lacing is very faint, and almost nonexistent by the beer's end.

Smell: A rich nutty aroma emerges right away. Dark chocolate bursts through as well. Hops are difficult to distinguish in the midst of this full maltiness.

Taste: Here dark chocolate predominates. The tongue also recognizes some mocha, while confirming the nuttiness that introduced itself in the smell. The dark chocolate provides a pleasant bitterness, which the hops tend to intensify. Nicely balanced overall.

Mouthfeel: Nice and chewy. A fine body, probably medium for a stout. Not the heaviest I've had. The carbonation is rather subdued.

Drinkability: The alcohol is definitely pronounced in this 9% abv stout. It provides a warming sensation through one's throat and down into the belly. Very pleasant texture, and inviting enough for me to have a couple more.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color topped by a creamy brown head that clings nicely to the glass. Rich aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, a touch of bitter hops, and a bit of a vinous character. Palate is deeply complex and somewhat earthy. Truly, it tastes as black as it looks: a huge malty backbone is met towards the finish with a good complement of bittering hops for a touch of balance. Notes of milk chocolate, oak, espresso, and a touch of molasses. Body is rich, velvety, and creamy, with very little of the oiliness that seems to permeate many Russian stouts. The alcohol packs a punch, for sure, but this is most certainly a beer to be savored (preferably with a Five Star chocolate-hazelnut bar). Once you start, you're in for the long haul. Enjoy.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out a rich black with ruby hues with a thin tan head that slowly dissipated to a thin layer of bubbles. Aromas are of roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, toasty malts, slight smoke, and marashino cherries. Taste is of sweet, dark chocolate chased with some strong, black coffee. There is some toasted malt in there as well as cherry candy and dried fruits. Finishes a bit smoky with pleasent astringent bitterness and a bit of a lactic acid twang. I detect a bit of citrus and pine in the hops very faintly, although these hops come out more in the burps. This beer really needs to sit a while before the mouthfeel is anywhere near decent. When its freshly poured and a bit too cool, it's thin and prickly, but just letting it sit a while and come closer to room temp., it becomes a bit fuller and mellows out a bit. Still, it could be better. Really drinkable RIS that has tons of flavor and a decent mouthfeel, once it warms up.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The evil monk was sampled on tap in a proleterian pint glass in Frisco's in Columbia. Poured an opaque black, like the heart of the wicked one. Like the Neva River itself, it was impassable to the light of day. A thick, lucious dark tan head and excellent retention/lacing stealthily masked the high ABV.

Aroma was mostly of bitter roasted malts, with just a bit of sweetness in the background. Interesting, it was just as complex served slightly chilled on tap as it was cellar temperature at home. Cream and sugar laden roasted coffee was followed by bitter chocolates. Toffee in the middle was literally beat down with some ashy coffee grounds onthe finish. Hefty, strong, memorable.

Bitter and acidic at times, it still finished like a nicely done cream and sugar coffee. Smoother than one would expect, and very drinkable.

Overall: Razzy was drugged, poisoned, beaten and shot, but only died after being wrapped in a carpet and thrown in the river. He grew from a womanizing peasant thief to a “holy man” helping the czar’s family with both the needs of a hemophilic son and the decisions for war with Austria. This is a beer that weirdly does it's namesake proud.

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Photo of jslot38
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bottle is pretty bad ass looking with a picture of Old Rasputin himself. Some cryptic looking Russian embodies the outer shell of the relief. Anyways, enough on the bottle, lets talk beer. Pours jet black with a one inch toffee head. If you listen closely you can hear the carbonation rising to the frothy head. As it sits for a moment for all to gaze upon the head slowly disappears. Some lacing holds to the sides.

Smell: Espresso beans, certainly. Mild dark chocolate backbone lofts around your nostrils. A toffe'ish smell is noticable.

Taste: Slight notes of caramel, which surprised me, but stuck to the tongue, I am a fan of this. But where is the chocolate that I smell? Lets let her warm up... Ah yes, there it is, slight hints of dark unsweetened chocolate, but not overwhelming at all. Buttery, somewhat oiled hops are quickly joined and overtaken by a beautiful roasted barley purity.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation that was oh so prevelant with that first sip fades away as the beer warms up, which is strongly suggested. This allows it to slicken out. Lovely as it goes down and lingers on for quite some times.

Drinkability: No more drinkable, no less drinkable than any other stout I've had in the past.

Notes: A pretty sweet looking beer at first pour, definitly let it warm up and then linger in your mouth to obsorb the full flavour.

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Photo of cracgor
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Almost stark black with a fine sticky tan head. Looks very impressive...just like I expect beer to. Smells a little too sweet and hoppy for what an imperial stout should be. I like them meatier and full of roasted flavors. This is an interesting taste. As far as matching what I expect it is not. It is sweeter...almost milky. Very tasty, but lacks a lot of the rich roasted complexities I enjoy. It tastes like hops might overshadow the malts too much. It is a very full bodied beer. Almost a cake like texture to it. Alcohol just lightly warms the stomach and mouth. Excellent mouthfeel. This is a very drinkable beer. I would feel good sharing it with just about anyone.

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Photo of claytri
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a rich mahogony with a dark tan head. It has a full bodied aroma that is a wonderful mix of dark malt and fruits. The taste is a bold malt with a bit of bitter roastieness then has an alcohol burn for a finish. Not quite as sweet as I like my RIS, but a nice change of pace. The feel is appropriately heavy and quite smooth, even creamy. I will definately be back for more. I had a serious thirst for a RIS this summer and the store I went to only had this in stock. I have now enjoyed the first 3 from the 4pack and I think I'll set the other one down for a while. I'd like to see if the cherry aroma will show in the taste as it ages.

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Photo of blitz134
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black body...only the hints of Coke brown around the edges. Small light tan head on the pour, reduced to pockets of bubbles after a few minutes.

Sweet wine like aroma of dark grapes. Overtones of chocolate and some hints of toasted malts. Hints of alcohol come through and blend well with the aroma. Simple aroma but pleasing. Taste is loaded with toasted flavors. Big hits of chocolate and toffee with coffee coming through as well, quite the contrast to the aroma. Alcohol contributes a bit of a biting burn at the end, but doesn't really detract. Definately a sipper.

Mouthfeel is a little thinner than most stouts, but I find this to be typical of Russian Imperials. Drinkability is good. The alcohol feeling on the stomach limits this.

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Photo of Derek
3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Ruby-black, tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Fruity, sherry, slightly solventy.

T: Dark, burnt chocolate, molases, coffee and a little fruit. Balanced to the bitter side, but a nice depth of flavour.

M: Moderate to full body, moderate carbonation, slightly oily.

D: Maybe even a little below average.

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Photo of Bumpon10s
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After well over a month of not reviewing to make my taste and views more finite, I thought this was a good beer to start up once again.

A - Pours black with the slightest ring on the outside of the glass and a slightly thin consistency. It appears to be solid, the surface is so blemish free.

S - Lots of coffee and chocolate. I noticed deep fruit upon decanting, but no longer once poured.

T - I've had this on tap, and the bottle isn't any less. Once more, lots of coffee and chocolate. It could be what I had to eat prior to this, but it is finishing a bit sour, the score won't reflect this, but simply making note.

M - Much thicker in the mouth than it looked during the pour. I am a bit more impressed now. Very slippery upon enrty with a tingle going down, well done.

D - The drinkability of this beer increases with each sip. It gets smoother and better as it goes. I hate having the same beer one after another, but I could sure see it happening with this.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally saw this around here at random. I was picking up beer for a concert tailgate and I wasn't even at the good liquor store in my area and saw a lone four pack in the top shelf of a cooler so I had to snag it.

12 Ounce bottle poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - A dark oily black with a tight one finger head. Some tiny bublles rush up the side. Lacing sheets the walls of the glass like crazy.

S - Big roasted malt aroma with a candy smell that I can't identify. It's wierd but it seems like all of the malt smells are backed by roasted marshmellow aromas. Very unisue.

T - Wow definitely not what I especet but a very nice flavor nonetheless. A very roasted beginning that makes way to pure espresso flavoring. After that a bit of the sweetness with a tiny alchohol kick comes in. At the end a hop bitterness with a roasted charcet lingers. Definitely an interesting effects since there isn't much of a hop character in the taste. Still that sweetness that really reminds me of roasting marshmellows lead the way and hangs on throughout.

M A great smooth feeling on the tongue.

D - A great one to sip and savor. The sweetness makes you want to sip this one really slowly and relax.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep opaque black. Nice small bubbled head clears to a fine lace that lasts forever. Scents of chocolate, carmel, vanilla and perhaps figs <?>.
Very little carbonation in the mouth, creamy and smooth feel.
Tastes of chocolate, espresso, and alcohol.
Mega alcohol warmth burs a long time afterwards deep in the chest.
Aftertaste of mlt and bitter chocolate.
Very nice stout.
One is enough....two would have an old man naked on the table singing rap. Not a pretty sight.
I was drinking another Rasputin tonight and wanted to re-review. Actually, my review would still be 4.5 across the board. This is an excellent beer....not the best...I still like Stone more...but an excellent, EXCELLENT beer available every day of the week, at a reasonable price.. I'm changing drinkability because I'm pretty sure I could keep my clothes on and definately can drink more than one of these a night.

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Photo of BillyB
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent Imperial Stout! Dark brown to almost black color with a thick frothy tan head. Opaque.
Smells of chocolate, caramel, vanilla and very strong alcohol scent.
Again a very strong alcohol taste just like in the aroma but it doesn't take too much away from the overall. I expect alcohol in an imperial stout anyway. Kind of a coffe-ish cappuccino flavor with hints of vanilla.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth going down. Not much carbonation and a slight alcohol warmth.
Drinkability is good but is a little hindered by the strong alcohol taste and smell.

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Photo of Phatz
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't believe in a perfect 5 but I had a real hard time not giving this beer a perfect score. Serve in a pint glass at just below room temp.

Appearance: When you crack open the bottle and pour into your pint glass it initially looks black, until you hold it up to the light you'll notice it is very dark brown and completely opaque (no light gets through this one). Fantastic 3-4 figure head, super frothy. The head is a light brown very tasty foam that lingers for a while and as it fades away, leaves behind thick evidence, that it was there, clinging to the slides of the glass.

Smell: Amazing, enticing smell. Dark roast, mocha coffee. Truly, it made my mouth water at the very sent of it. A complex -- sweet, toasty malty aroma that just echoes in your nose. WOW! Upon further contemplation, there is a slight hint of vanilla and caramel, then its back to the chocolate coffee.

Taste: The taste is just as magnificent as the smell would suggest. It is complex and interesting. As stouts go this is not TOO sweet but just sweet enough. When I think about the taste I come up with: black and toasted yet sweet vanilla chocolate coffee. Whatever all that means. I think this is one of my absolute favorite flavors. Then, to make matters even more heightened; I broke out some dark chocolate Christmas morsels, and snaked on them as I finished my beer. The way they complimented each other was out of this world; divine, or some shit like that. Incredible!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was near perfect. I like stouts, but most stouts (at least the ones I like) are very heavy, thick, syrupy and sticky in the mouth. Some ice cream or pie helps wash them down. Not for 'Old Rasputin'. This beer is medium bodied, but light for a stout that tastes this dark. It makes this dangerously easy to drink.

Drinkability: While I love most everything about stouts, they are usually not the highest scoring on the drinkability because they are so sweet and so heavy. They taste great but then your full. This beer may be heavier than many, yet as stouts go, (in my experience) this may be the most drinkable, easy down the hatch beer (that is a RIS) I’ve found yet!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of NClifestyle
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a good one!
On tap at Brixx tonight. After a pint or two, I had to switch to something creamy. This was it.
Dark, but not quite black, medium tan head, tight bubbles.
Smells of dark chocolate and alcohol.
Taste was coffee, but somewhat harsh, a hit of alcohol, some creamy sweetness, and an earthy, not exactly hoppy flavor that i'm not exactly sure about. In any case, this tasted great.
Mouthfeel is medium, creamy, smooth, with some alcohol warmth and tingles everywhere.
A great beer, definitely go back, but can't have too many in a row. Only got one tonight.


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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a jet black opaque body that has tiny little bubbles rising on the edge of the glass. The tan head that is creamy and smooth so fades into a wisp around the rim.

S- Smells of dark roasted and toasted malts are combined with some notes of raisins, coffee and a faint hint of tar. The finish has a nice green spicy quality perhaps from hops.

T- This beer has a slight sour note in the beginning with deep roasted malt and to toasted malt flavors aswell. The hint of coffee and some caramel notes are also the taste. The finish has a dark malt bitterness combined with some hop bitterness.

M- The mouthfeel is medium-full with some creamy texture to it. The alcohol is smooth and soft with a faint hint of astringency.

D- This is a nice big stoic beer that has lots of dark roasted layers. There is a nice creamy quality that makes it drink like a meal.

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Photo of Joey7F
3.61/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

My first Russian Imperial Stout

A - Black with streeks of reddish brown where the light hits, almost brown head
S - Alcohol, coffee, alcohol and more alcohol
T - Coffee, alcohol, alcohol and more alcohol. If the alcohol was better concealed I would have rated it a 5. Very tasty stout, but the alcohol was a bit distracting
M - Very thick, almost like a doppelbock
D - After one, I was done for the night.


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Photo of SteveO1231
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a four pack at BevMo.

Pours an opaque jet black with little red highlights. Thick foamy tan head with nice bubbly lacing.

Great aroma of roasted and chocolate malts. I can smell the alcohol and hints of black coffee.

Great roasted malt flavors. Sweet hints of caramel and toffee. Tart bitterness of black coffee and chocolate. I can taste and feel the alcohol on my palate and in my belly. Nice dry stout finish. Very nice, a sipper at 9% ABV.

Very good RIStout. Great dessert beer, I enjoyed it with a slice of pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream.

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Photo of riversider76
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown almost black. Tan head,nice lacing. Smell is of roasted coffee,and carmel. Mouthfeel is fairly thick,and rich. Taste is bittersweet, and smooth with a great finish. I was drinking the beer on a cold,snowy November night,and it sure warmed me up!

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