Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
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: 2,345 | 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 mrkun
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on nitro at Toronado SD.

A: Stout black with really foamy tan head with very nice lacing.

S: Roasty malt with mild coffee notes.

T: The taste follows the nose with strong roasty flavors becoming more prevalent as the beer warms up.

M: Very light carbonation and ultra smooth and creamy.

O: This is great on nitro and the creaminess makes it very easy to drink.

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Photo of rickmick
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Opened the bottle then poured into a hefty mug.

A thick head hangs around for a couple of minutes, then flees. The brew is very black. Enticing. Not much going on in the aroma department.

This is extremely tasty. Not terribly complex, but a very nice barleyish flavor dominates the finish. Mouthfeel is phenomenal--one of the best feeling beers I've ever had. Drinkable for a RIS.

One of the best RISs around.

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Photo of Kanebanger
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Dark black, pours like motor oil, very nice head that lasts throughout the entire glass.

S - Chocolate and coffe aromas. Slight alcohol on the nose.

T - Chocolate and coffee taste mixed with a little bit of bitterness. A minor alcohol kick at the end.

M - Nice and thick, coats the mouth.

D - Fairly decent for a RIS, more than two might get you into some trouble though.

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Photo of jlmarshall
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark, deep brown, almost black with a thin sandlewood colored head. Has a very deep, sweet smell of burnt malted grains and molasses with a hint of grapes and spices. The mouth feel is quite sticky from the sugars and very warm. The taste follows the smell and very pleasant with sweet, sugary, burnt grains and caramel and surprising peppery, spicey aftertaste. This is a fantastic beer, but probably a little too heavy for an everyday beer.

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Photo of BrianGaynor
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first official review, so bear with me.

Appearance: pours completely jet black with a two finger tan head. Very thick pour. I personally love a thick beer so this has a lot of appeal to me.

Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate, a bit of vanilla maybe?

Taste: this doesn't hit like some of the 9.0% beers I've had in the past. Really pleasing taste of roasted malts and hints of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: as said earlier, this beer is thick. You can really feel the thickness, but it still goes down smooth.

Overall: this beer is pretty good, I am going to enjoy drinking the other three in the pack.

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Photo of JGuzzle
4.66/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a nitro tap into a tulip glass which I understand is the ultimate way to enjoy this brew.

A - Deep black in color, completely opaque. Beautiful 3/4 inch of foamy caramel colored head sitting on top which persists throughout the consumption (it shrinks but was there to the last sip). Tiny caramel colored nitrogen bubbles persistently rise from the bottom of the glass every time it is picked up and put down. The appearance is truly a spectacle.

S - Roasted malts and hints of cocoa.

T - Some sweet maltiness in the front end. Very faint amount of hops tasted in the finish. The 9% alcohol is masked very well. I get some hints of cocoa as well.

M - Velvety smooth. If you manage to get some of the head on its own it can almost feel like a milkshake. Light carbonation, great full body.

O - This might be one of the greatest beer experiences I've ever had. Certainly the best stout. If you find this on a nitro tap somewhere, do not pass it up.

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Photo of MikeyBadnews
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not a huge Stout, let alone Imperial stout guy but decided why not celebrate this Irish holiday with an Irish beer named after a Russian, made in America. Melting pot my friends... Pretty solid beer, makes you work though and the alcohol is pretty poignant.

Pours like a liquid abyss , inescapable darkness with an chocolate-espresso foam head that poured a rich 3 fingers thick.

Smells of strong alcohol, with varying notes of burnt coffee, prune and dirty roadside puddle, solid but imperfect as the alcohol burn wipes out some of the more refined and subdued scents.

The taste offers no alcohol burn as its resigned to the back of the throat and not the tongue and doesn't interfere with the mouth feel. Creamy chocolate covered fruit flavor meshed with coffee grinds that doesn't go down overly easy but doesn't kick your ass either.

Not bad, not bad at all... I'm a legitimate fan and wish I had this beer to kick back with after a night of shoveling over the winter. Really warms and comforts you, a dark blanket that isn't for session drinking, but good for one or two on a frosty night.


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Photo of InI
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

poured from bottle into glass

A: black as midnight; 2 finger head dark mocha in color; leaves good lacing as you drink

S: very roasty malty coffee like aromas smells delicious

T: malty, a little smoky espresso like at first you taste the alcohol and not in a bad way after a few the boozy taste subsides and all that remains is a delicious hot chocolate coffee like beverage that has you craving more

M: creamy and full bodied great subsistancy not too thick

O: an excellent brew; if you find this quad for under $10 you better buy it! best i've seen it is $8.99 (so far)

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Photo of Big_Beers
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Appearance. Oil dark with thick small beaded tan head.. aroma. Dark fruit sweet molasses. Taste . Very sweet up front followed by very slight bitter fruit and leave a the palate with a Kona coffee taste. Overall. This beer is now in my solid rotation which is a few select beers ..This made me fall back in love with American craft beer after a long Belgium stretch

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Photo of Dr_Leafy_Green
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass. Dark brown with tan head dissolving to a lace. Slightly sweet aroma backed by pronounced coffee and molasses. Tastes pretty much like it smells. It starts with a light sweetness on the tip of the tongue, followed by a pronounced coffee and molasses flavor. Slight hint of dark chocolate. Carbonation gives it a balanced feel.

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

They had this on tap @ the local flying saucer.

Wow! Wow! Wow! This is a great imperial stout. I was planning on getting a different beer but got another glass of Old Rasputin. Hopefully, I can find this in a bottle somewhere..

Appearance: About a 2 inch coca tinted head. Served in a unique glass that I don't know but it was between a pint and a snifter. Almost a wide wind glass.

Smell: Strong dark malt and a hint of coffee, but this had hops. i'm a hop head so this was a good thing

Taste. Smooth, nitro carbonated very flavorful. Love the hop taste of this beer.

Mouth feel. Very thick, probably because it was on tap. Like a hoppy thicker Guinness.

Drink ability: Do you have to ask? I ordered 3 of them that night. I wanted to try other brews but this one was so good I had to have more.

This is a great beer. Great example of an imperial IPA. Will definitely try more of this style in the future. Best non-Guinness stout I've had

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Photo of BarleyWineRox
4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a deep toffee head into my Duvel tulip. Very, very faint bready nose. As it warms nose is coming out a bit more giving off some roasty chocolate espresso notes. Time for a taste. Oh gosh! So much complexity after such a weak nose. Crazy! Chocolate, espresso, caramel, liquorish, mulled over with carbonation, with a tart bittering hop finish that I just love! Fantastique!

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Photo of allrizz
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the first RIS I've tasted and it is quite impressionable.

One of the reviews said the head reminded him of a reversed oil spill. I can't help but to agree. When I poured this bottle the first impression I got was that it looked like I spilled oil, not that that is a bad thing, looks are deceiving.

The head stayed at about two fingers and slowly dissipated. The color was very dark, which I like.

When I sniffed the glass the flavors that aroused my senses were molasses, coffee, and caramel.

The flavors I tasted were chocolate, coffee, molasses, and caramel all brought together with a nutty finish.

Without doubt a very bold flavor that remained with me after I finished the glass.

I recommend Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. I may even try brewing a batch myself. :)

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Photo of mobius024
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured as noir as the heart of darkness from a 12 oz bottle. You cannot see a flashlight held on the other side of the glass.

The Monk Rasputin lost his balls on his assassination. This beer has not. It has all the requisite Russian Imperial Stout qualities: somewhat bitter, somehow caffeinated, and so on. Its suchness as an example of the style rests in how it combines the elements. The mouth feel starts as a hoppy/espresso-ish annunciation somewhere on the outskirts of taste and rises to ride through one's oral cavity, like a Cossack cavalry charge. That done, it retires to rest on the back of the tongue, awaiting recall. I can't exactly explain how, but the story that Rasputin was a womanizing peasant mystic fits this brew ...

(Addenda: at a much later date this beer continues to satisfy; but I did not note that the lacing is apparently painted on the glass, as it seems to remain forever.)

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Photo of erratic
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thickest, darkest beer I've had...still hoping to try Darklord, though :) Creamy, mocha head.

Smells like coffee and chocolate. Really nice

Tastes great. Roasted malts, chocolate covered raisins, coffee and just a hint of celery. Yes, celery. Odd, but it works.

Chewy mouthfeel, smooth, low carbonation, slight astringency. The alcohol warms the throat.

High alcohol and strong flavors limit the drinkability a bit, but it tastes so damn fine, that I would keep drinking it if offered!

Overall, a top notch beer!

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Photo of ReadyFireAim
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice! This is one of the reasons I fell in love with the RIS style!

A - Very dark, nearly black. The head retention on this beer is ridiculous. Kept its head for nearly a full two minutes, then settled nicely to a thin padding of creamy brown goodness. Also note that the head is made up of very tight, small bubbles. This usually signifies a long natural fermentation and conditioning (without the use of adjuncts to spur conditioning)

S - Great, great aromas. Licorice, dark Belgian candi, fruits and esters peeking through (a little bit of banana and lemon rind, maybe); slight hop astringency backed up with the roasty coffee smells you would hope to have in your stouts. Very nice.

T - What can I say? You've just got to bend the knee to this one. Let it wash over you and deliver everything that the aroma promises. Truly fantastic and complex.

M - Pretty nice mouthfeel. A little sticky (which is alright); slight astringency from the alcohol and hop characters.

D - I would give this a 5, but it's a bit too alcoholic to warrant more than two (unless of course you're home - then drink 'til your heart's content). Though for the style, you can't expect much less than 8-9% ABV, so I'm not saying it's wrong. Definitely a sip-and-savor beer. And a damn good one, at that.

For my money, I put this one right behind Sam Smith's RIS, and ahead of Victory's Storm King RIS. Seek and enjoy!

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

Pitch black beer. Nice tan, roasted-looking and toasty smelling head.

This beer is especially good during the winter, because it's heavy and warming. But it is oh so smooth. Flows around your mouth and over your tongue softly. Drink this beer when it is snowing outside and pair with a bowl of potato soup.

I love that I can go down to the store and get this beer almost anytime. It's beautiful and full of coffee and cigar flavors that you can savor.

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Photo of cameraready
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown/black color with a nice thick tan head. Has a nice lacing effect on the glass as you drink it.

S: Has a hint of mocha/chocolate but mostly you can smell the alcohol.

T: Heavy malt flavor, mild bitterness. The roasted malts really add to the flavor.

M: Medium body with no carbonation.

D: Would get more of these in the future.

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Photo of robobor
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter, this looks real good. Black with a light brown head, body is as near opaque as I've ever seen in a beer: there's no light coming through and there is minimal lacing. Smells like coffee, smells sweet. Really tastes like a coffee, has that bitter coffee acidity on the back of the tongue. Leads to a chocolatey burp. This beer stands up nicely to and complements well my dad's Christmas English Toffee. 9.0% is well hidden, I feel like I could put down quite a few of these.

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Photo of tanousa
4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pour a dark black color, intense , small lace foam with chocolate taste , great initial presentation.

S-strong coffee aroma , some chicolate, dark fruits.
T- Again, chocolate, coffee expresso, malts and hints of molasses.
M-Medium body, great carbonation, very well done.
D- Awesome, I can share a few with my pals, no problem !

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Photo of MikeM40
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a DFH Signature glass from a 12oz bottle. This beer pours black with a large lingering tan head that leaves lots of lacing. Noticeable aromas of roasted malt,chocolate,coffee,cherries,and anise rise from the glass. Strong roasted flavors,coffee,dark chocolate,with hints of dark fruits and plums. This beer also has a deep bitter component with a rich character. The only real knock on this beer is that the mouthfeel was a bit thin for an Imperial stout,if it was more viscous it would be an A+ beer to me. Any alcohol flavor is well hidden among the well balanced complexities and the great bitter coffee/licorice finish.

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

Had this out of a bottle poured into a pint glass. First thing that stands out is the awesome look to the pour as the tan/brown head forms out the the opaque black beer. Ended up with about 2 fingers of creamy head. It fell back fairly quickly leaving a sticky lacking on the glass. The aroma was heavy with roasted malt, with hints of coffee and chocolate. Didn't catch any alcohol though from the 9% abv. Very smooth and creamy, with a nice balance of sweetness and chocolate, with bitterness from coffee and strong roasted malt flavors. Finishes cleanly with a slight lingering sweetness. While I didn't catch any in the nose, there is definitely a slightly warming alcohol present as you drink. Nothing overpowering or unpleasant though. Fairly light carbonation fits nicely with the rich full bodied beer. Overall I am impressed. One of the first true stouts I've tried and the introduction was well done. Might be setting the bar pretty high for the style

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Photo of Pdu8s
2.99/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- The best part about this beer is how it looks. It is extremely dark, almost black, with a brown head. It looks delicious

S- Not much of a smell, but what you can smell is pretty similar to the taste.

T- Roasty, Tofee taste apparent, but it definitely gets overwhelmed by the alcohol taste. It has a warming finish, but this beer, to me, was too bitter and tasted too strongly of alcohol. Had an almost soap-like taste.

M- Not as thick as you might think, has a creamy consistency.

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Photo of OdinMcHaggis
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4-pack $ 8.99

A: No smoke on opening, aggressive pour into a schooner, jet black, creamy head 1 finger thick and tan, nice retention and lacing
S: Caramel malt, sweet, coffee, boozy
T: Perfect hops, rich malt, nice finish, coffee
M: Thick with perfect carbonation, sticky with thick malted barley but not syrupy.
O: I like this beer! perfect balance, rich, 9%, and not too heavy.

I was looking forward to trying this beer. I like the label. It's made in the USA. What's not to like? I would buy more.

OK, I couldn't save any of 4-pack and there may be a new McHaggis on the way, I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of Thepumpkinpiper
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An incredible beer, yet one I think only dark-beer fanatics will enjoy.

Look: Pitch-black, beyond darkness. Generous dark tan head. Held up directly to the sunlight, not even one ray shines through this one. Intimidating.

Smell: Icy, smoky, with a huge dose of bitter roasted malt and some hops.

Taste: HUGE. A massive dose of jet-black roasted malt, spicy hops, coffee, some liquorice, bits of smoke.

Feel: Surprisingly not too oily but rather refreshing on the palate. Carbonation is inoffensive.

Overall, if you like dark beers, this is a significant one to at least try, even if it is too dark for one's taste in the end. For myself, it has rapidly become a favourite. An incredible, luxurious beer.

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