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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.

3,526 Reviews

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Reviews: 3,526
Hads: 11,318
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 498
Gots: 2,355 | 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 (28) | 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: 3,526 | Hads: 11,318
Photo of homersimpson67
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Since it is 36 degrees and snowing on this lovely May 1st day here in Minnesota
thought perhaps this bottle of stout might be appropriate and was I right.

Poured a twelve ounce bottle of this lovely black and brownish brew into my favorite
drinking vessel. A beautiful lingering brownish copper foam that settles quickly with a little lacing on the sides. It then settles and bubbles of alcohol rise to the surface.

Smells of roasted coffee and maple bacon, very inviting indeed on a cold winter(spring) evening.

Taste is a wonderful bitter with a smooth chocolate smoke aftertaste, not normally such a huge malt guy but damn this is good right now!

Hits my tongue with a sharp bitterness that quickly fads to sweetness and maybe even some black cherry.

Overall very impressive, and at 9% very drinkable, goes down very smoothly, yes sir I may have another.

Thanks to my beer guy for this one, I will pick up more asap!

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Photo of Beertinez
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet glass. It pours extremely thick like oil. A deep chocolate brown that looks black until its held up to the light. A mocha color head with about 2 fingers worth of head that eventually disappears into a half-finger head.

As soon I poured it, I got a bitter chocolate aroma. As It warms while I'm sipping, I'm getting scents of darker fruits like this dark red wine I once had. Kind of like plums.

The taste is nice and bold! A strong roasted flavor comes through and as It finishes, it combines with the earthy hop notes that kind of tickled my tongue. Very enjoyable. Like the aroma, as it warms, I'm starting to get those dark fruits. Plum and a touch raisin. It starts to finish like a wine. The alcohol is starting to come out a little but it gives you a pleasant warming feeling.

Thick yet strangely easy to drink. 9% ABV and as it warms, you can definitely sense it.

A very well-crafted stout. I had an Imperial Stout before and was not impressed but this brew definitely redeemed the style in my books. I wish I had some of this during the blizzard we had recently here in Chicago because this feels like a great beer to have in the cold. Highly recommended!

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Photo of ccoyle
4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a chilled pint glass. I read on BA somewhere that chilled glasses are no-no, but I like them, so what can I say?

Appearance: VERY dark brown, almost black, almost completely opaque. Pouring into the glass produced a good 2" of tan head that lasted a long while and left very persistent lacing.

Smell: One of the weaker points for me, perhaps because I didn't use the requisite glass type. Definitely the coffee/chocolate smell typical of the type, but not pronounced.

Taste: Coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt. A moderate hoppiness followed by a surprising citrus-like tanginess. Definitely good stuff.

Feel: Velvety smooth and lightly carbonated.

Overall: Lives up to the hype, in my estimation (such as that is). The relatively high ABV kinda sneaks up on you - you don't notice it at all for the first half a glass, but you definitely don't want to chug one before heading off to do anything requiring good coordination!

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Photo of shu
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

i saw the word 'wow' in more than one review and i agree completely. took me a while to get around to trying this but it will definitely be on my regulars list from now on. understand, i only gave this beer a 4.75 b/c i don't believe the 'perfect' beer exists...but this is VERY close. i am typically an ale guy but really like the stouts. as far as i'm concerned this moved past my favorite ales. just an overall satisfying experience. northcoast has got something going on for sure...i was already a fan of brother thelonious.

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Photo of Nostrajonus
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A-Dark brown pour with a two finger creamy tan head that sticks around for the long haul. Foamy thick lacing follws the beer down to the bottom as you drink.

S- Rich roasted malts with some subtle dark chocolate smells.

T- This thing is mallllty. The grain really comes through, and the dark chocolate smell is present on the palate as well.

M- The texture is perfect. The nitrogen conditioning gives this brew a creaminess that is unbeatable. Full points for mouthfeel.

O-This is a great beer. Anyone who thinks Guinness is stout (I love Guinness, but lets be honest) should drink this wonderful North Coast creation, and reevaluate.

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Photo of sheeley
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The appearance is the most memorable aspect of this beer for me. Especially on tap, it really exemplifies what I feel an imperial stout should look like. The body is black as night and the head is beautiful and creamy, with a tint of dark red/purple. That tint in the foam is one of the most telling signs for me. Loved this beer: dark, creamy, malty, and delicious. One of my top five beers currently. Highly recommended for any and all stout lovers.

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

This beer looks amazing. Held up to a light, it's dark as can be. The thick head, with its copper color, contrasts beautifully. Caramel and chocolate aromas and some others I can't quite pin. Plenty to think about with each sip. Mouth feel is nice and creamy, which complements the chocolate flavors. It's like a lightly carbonated mudslide. I give a 4 instead of 5 on taste because I feel it's a tad too bitter. I like bitter but with the chocolate creaminess my tongue goes looking for sweetness, which makes the bitterness come as a shock. Overall, though, I find this a really great beer that keeps my senses engaged from start to finish.

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Photo of cyraxx
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a light brown creamy head that is very inviting. I have to be a little lenient on the aroma because some is lost when a beer is served via nitrogen. All I can discern is roasted malts with a slight licorice edge. The flavor is somewhat muted with burnt malt, chocolate, and a slight metallic flavor. The nitrogen thins out what would normally be a substantial body. I usually feel that what is lost in putting a beer on nitro is made up for with the creaminess that is imparted. In the case of Old Rasputin, I really would stick to drinking it with normal CO2. While tasty, not as good as the original.

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Photo of Deadstar
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite Russian Imperials for a few different reasons; it's one of the more affordable offerings in the style, it's very tasty, and while not the most over the top or out of the ordinary, it's dang solid.

I poured this out of the bottle into a snifter. The color is almost black, minus some deep amber around the outside of the glass. The head faded away quickly, leaving only a remnant of itself to float around on top of the beer.

Smell: Dark fruits, roasted malt.

Taste: Much like the smell would indicate, there's a lot of dark/dried fruit flavor here, followed up with a solid roasted malt backbone; hop bitterness was right where it needed to be.

Mouthfeel: Relatively light but slick, leaves the mouth coated between drinks. Carbonation was spot on for the style.

Drinkability: I could drink a few of these in a sitting, but I feel that the strong flavors and the higher ABV would limit me to one or two.

Solid beer, very affordable. Great stuff.

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

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Dark, dark brown with very nice, light tan head that had great retention for it's style.

Sweet malty smell with beautiful roasted coffee hints.

Full, rich flavor of roasted malts. Lots of coffee and chocolate with a little fruitiness. Almost wish there was just a little more bitterness, but this really is almost perfect.

Not really thick, just a great creamy mouthfeel.

I don't know if I could find a more "drinkable" RIS. I really want to find this on draught now.

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Photo of BenJames1984
4.76/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First time trying this. After hearing a lot of hype and rants, I've decided to give her a whirl.

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance- Black as night. Tan colored head lingers on the surface, leaving a nice lacing.

Smell- Coffee notes. Roasted malts. A nice, bitter sweet aroma.

Taste- A complexity of coffee, chocolate, and sweet, roasted malts.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, with low-medium carbonation.

Drinkability- This one was pretty strong. Good stuff, but this is definitely an occasional beer for me.

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Photo of Chapter40z
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Extremely dark and completely opaque, A full 2 fingers of dark brown head, retained well and left a solid line of lacing.

S. Yeasty bread smell at first , then graduated to a roasted coffee.

T. Strong roasted notes of coffee and nutty backgrounds. Covers the 9% abv very nicely. A very solid imperial stout.

M. Not overly carbonated, slightly creamy with a full heavy body.

D. Very drinkable almost dangerously so with a 9% abv, I'd likely finish this 4 pack and still be willing to drink another. Great beer would recommend.

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Photo of smulkowski
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

For some reason, this bottle was more highly carbonated than usual. Billowing tan head over a jet black beer, dissipating relatively quickly. The smell is a bit sweet, but mostly thick roasty malt, with a burnt edge.

Flavor is roasty, thick and rich, with some alcohol burn. Vague undercurrents of fruit, pronounced with the warming of the beer. Not as complex as many RIS beers, but excellent, especially when compared to the widely distributed examples.

Mouthfeel is relatively thick, as would be expected, but still may be a bit thin for the style. This is a very enjoyable beer - I think it might be a good example for neophytes to very strong dark beers. If you're a greenhorn and are looking to expand your beer-drinking, check this one out.

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Photo of Bammo22
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is officially my first attempt at reviewing, so bear with me! I'd also like to state, this tasting was my first real foray into this style. (Not an easy beer to review being such an amateur.) I've had a few of your standard American & English Stouts, and of course, plenty of Guinness & Murphy's. Actually I have had the pleasure of tasting a RIS before, FFF's Dark Lord on Memorial Day this year. However this was after I had PLENTY of my friend's homebrewed Saison & Belgium Pale. To say the least, it was like I was hit with a ton of bricks when I had Dark Lord. I figured if I'd just sit down and give this style a real try, it knew it might be something I'd like. So with all that in mind, on to my review...

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

It poured a thick black, motor oil-ish body, with a little less than a one finger, dark tan head. The head dissipated fairly quick into a thin film, not much lacing. Little carbonation.

Still training my nose to pick up on various notes. Bittersweet chocolate is evident, coffee, roasted malts, and dark fruits.

The taste is very similar to the smell and the alcohol is well hidden, considering it's strength.

Feels a bit oily, but still smooth and creamy. A nice finish on the tongue to last, but also leaves you wanting more!

Very drinkable for a beer this complex. I would even recommend it to my Mom, who I just turned on to easy-going Belgium Wit's and the like, and who's once idea of a great beer was Corona.

I look forward to exploring other RIS's and Double Stouts. Till we meet again, Ol' Rasputin...

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Photo of MeMyselfNAles7
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first RIS and I still love it like the first time. North Coast took it out of the park with this great RIS.

Pours a dark amber brew with a full rich and creamy brown crown. Roasted malts, coffe and dark/sweet cocoa beans with a well hidden alchol scent. Strong overpowering roated malts taste, with some hints of coffe, cocoa beans and alchol towards the end. Very pronounced malts and alchol. Strong tasting brew, kicking you off with coffe, roasted malts, the cocoa beans finishing off with a dry and bitter aftertaste. Good drinkability but due to the abv% it should't be taken lightly. Heavy rich beer that becomes heavier as it warms up. A heavy hitter which is beer haven for the strong brews lovers.

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Photo of soco7tyx7
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with 1 finger tan head. leaves some nice lacing throughout
S - Espresso, raisin and other dark fruits, sweet alcohol
T - Espresso, raisin, bitter chocolate finish, very mild alcohol
M - Medium body, creamy feeling with a smooth finish
D - A great RIS. good to sip on, but wouldn't want to drink more than one or two in a session

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Photo of nasty31
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

120zer poured into snifter.

A- Black in color with a nice 3 finger creamy tan head. Leaves nice lacing in a perfect ring around the glass. This looks tasty

S- I get a strong chocolate roasted malt and alcohol smell on this one. Smells the way a good stout should.

T- Very bitter at first on the tongue then finishes with a nice subtle sweetness. Chocolate and malty flavor are prominent. The alcohol is not noticeable at all and the flavors blend very well together.

M-Thick and creamy mouth feel just the right amount of carb.

This is an awesome stout that is perfectly put together. Nothing about this stout is over the edge in flavor. Drinking a few bottles of this in one sitting is not a problem at all. Goes down smooth and tastes even smoother.

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Photo of farlieonfootie
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours a pitch dark black, with a two fingered, milk chocolate head that looks as if it's gonna stay awhile, and leaves behind epic lacing. I get malt, licorice and other dark stuff on the nose; Old Rasputin smells kinda boozy.

And the taste? Wow! Liquid heaven. Very complex, and oh, so smooth, like a velvet hammer. This stuff could kill you. I taste hops, roasted malts, and then rich, dark chocolate before the long, sweet finish. This beer is not for everyone: Big Boys only need apply. It's one of my absolute favorites; it just doesn't get any better than this.

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Photo of anth0ny
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a light brown head, skimpy lacing. Smell is lots and lots of sweet roasted malt. More roasty flavor with an equal amount of bittering hops. The finish is all lingering hops. Very simple taste, 50/50 balance. No trace of heat in this 9% abv.
Solid mouthfeel. A 'hoppier' stout, definitely a solid brew.

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Photo of Marc280
3.61/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Has a rich full flavour but in my opinion is overly bitter without being balanced...Did get slightly better as it warmed but i think there are better beers out there in this style.

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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 tozerm
4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! I sampled this from a jockey box on nitro at a beer festival. Talk about a glass of pure love! The head was thick, dense, and creamy. I loved the floor show of bubbles cascading down the glass. Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, this tasted absolutely wonderful. Rich mouthfeel that hit every single taste bud in my mouth. It's good in the bottle, but if you get a chance get it on tap!

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Photo of redwolf1
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured four 12-ounce bottles of Old Rasputin over the course of a week to give me some time to properly judge the contents. Dark black charcoal in color with a rich frothy light mocha head, which was thicker than I had anticipated. Moderate lacing around the glass. There was a subtle smokiness in the aroma after pouring; however, the smell of dark roasted malts and coffee abound afterwards. As for taste, a little bitter at first, which mellowed with time. A very good beer to sink your teeth into, real chewy. Didn't get that warm alcohol feeling while drinking this one like you do with some others, so I would say that the alcohol is pretty well hidden until you finish the bottle. For overall drinkability though, I would think some people would stop with one or two. At 9%ABV, it will hit you. Good thing, it comes only in 4-packs in my area.

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Photo of jobyone
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted with 5 other imperial stouts. Pours black with large frothy brown head. The aroma has nice chocolate and coffee with a hint of caramel. The flavor is sweet to start with a bit of bitterness coming after. Nice creamy texture. The finish is a bit short. Easy to drink but not as complex as the best.

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Photo of TequilaSauer
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The mere definition of a bargain RIS, Old Rasputin has been satisfying my dark beer cravings for years. I figured I might as well go ahead and review it.

It's a beautiful looking stout, about as perfect as it gets. Light head retention sitting atop an abyss of black nothing.

Smell is nice, milk chocolate and toffee dominate with little else to report. Good, not great.

Attacks with a creamy chocolate pudding that lingers pleasantly on the palette for quite some time. There's a slight alcohol tinge but it only adds to the deliciousness. Eventually, the chocolate fades into a smooth hoppiness with a slightly smokey finish. It's not the most complex stout in the world, but it's intense, yet pleasant and elegant. It is the perfect late night, after-dinner stout, in my opinion.

It's a silky, magnificent brew that always delights the senses and never offends. It's not a beer you could drink one after the other, but it's one that is always worth having in the fridge. Old Rasputin is in a word, essential.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,526 ratings.