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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,624 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,624
Ratings:
11,791
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
18.46%
 
 
Wants:
560
Gots:
2,767
For Trade:
53
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,624 | Ratings: 11,791
Photo of jagoffyinzer
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black with a thick head that dissipates to a thin layer. Great lacing on the edges and good head retention though it slowly fades as you drink. Carbonation is right on for the style.

S: A nice malty chocolate hits your nose and dances with some vanilla and alcohol. Also getting some roast and coffee notes.

T: Greeted with a vibrant roast flavor with a bitter back bone. Some alcohol notes on the finish. The roast flavor also plays counter part to some underlying chocolate.

M: This is initially very creamy and smooth but the finish is quite dry, almost too dry.

D: It is pretty hefty but this an Imperial Stout, it's not made to session. For the ABV it's not upfront and in your face like it is with some other beers of this style. It is masked very well with the roast aroma and flavor, it sticks out where it should.

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Photo of GoNowhere
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Cool little four pack with a picture of the unkillable Rasputin daring you to drink this beer. Poured into a goblet and allowed to settle for 10 minutes.

A: Pitch black with a frothy almond colored head.

S: Coffee, with hints of roasted malty goodness.

T: Awesome. So much flavor from this little bad boy. Malty, roasted unsweetened cocoa, maybe some mollases coming through. Tasty and goes great with a nice medium rare steak.

M: Initially it comes on thick in an epic kind of way, then warms in the mouth and settles back to unleash the flavors.

D: Highly. The alcohol is a ghost in this stout which deceives its 9% content. I know stouts are primarily a winter beer but this thing can be enjoyed in the summer too. As the beer warms it unleashes even more flavors.

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Photo of itlnstallion11
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- I was lucky to first try this beer from a nitro tap. It poured a motor oil black with a thick tan head I could rest a penny on.

S- great smell, barley, milk chocholate, some oatmeal hints, black licorice, some dark fruits, with a nice roast finish

T- ton of Malts, some plum, molasses, chocolate, hints of coffee with a pleasant wood burn bitter ending.

M- full bodied thick milkshake

O- an awesome stout, one of my new favorites. Alcohol is masked well and the taste is not overbearing. The balance of sweetness an bitterness is one of almost perfection, I'm utterly in love with this beer. Get one.

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Photo of newsage
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

THEE Russian Imperial Stout!! But with all the other Breweries that have copied this style since and that have barrel aged it, Well it should be barrel age really, it smoothes it out a bit and adds refinement to what is a strong hearty beer not for the timid or faint of heart! If you Don't like Thick Stouts don't buy this.

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Photo of ColdBassHonkey
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Pours almost jet black, with the slightest dark brown hue. The head rises quickly, frothing into a dark tan. The aromas are overwhelming in a great way: cocoa, roasted malts, and coffee come through the strongest. The malts smoothly hit the palate first, followed by the balanced hops and malts. An oaky finish has a tinge of a tobacco taste, followed briefly by notes of espresso and dark chocolate. Truly an exceptional beer! Although it sounds counter intuitive with the coffee/espresso flavors, this is a great bedtime brew. The best RIS out there, IMHO.

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Photo of Kdubzz
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of, if not THE staple Russian Imperials out there. I've never heard of anyone disliking this beer, or even having much negative to say about it in general.

Damn near jet black, with a dark, dark tan head that laces very well. Smells like heaven, heavily roasted malts with just a twinge of chocolaty sweetness. Tastes pretty much like it smells, roasty, cocoa, chocolate, a bit of dark roast coffee, with a bit of a bitter hop character in there as well. A light warming alcohol feel at the back of your throat that's pronounced, yet subtle. It's actually not as thick as one might expect, medium to medium-high mouthfeel as it warms.

If there is a more well rounded Russian Imperial Stout out there, I've not tried it. Muy delicioso.

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Photo of mudhoney
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love a nice Imperial Stout. This one wasn't one of the best I have ever had, but still a very good choice.
It poured black as night. Almost impossible to see through.
The aromas are smokey. Hints of coffee and chocolate peek through.
The flavor is bittersweet and chocolatey and slightly watered down for an Imperial Stout. Not thick in mouthfeel or flavor, but the taste is somewhat notable.
Definitely a good choice for dessert or as a winter warmer but by far not my favorite.

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Photo of icetrauma
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my first exp. at a Russian Imperial Stout. I can say that I have had limited exposure to stouts. Only prev. exp. has been with Guiness, not impressed, and Peg Leg Stout, which I found quite delicious.

Poured up into a pint glass. Poured as expected. A deep black color with a dark tan 2 finger head. First notes were that of espresso and dark roasted malt.

Taste was seriously yummy. As with smell the first flavor to hit the palate was that of roasted espresso and malts. Finished off with a nice touch of hopiness that lingured around after the beer was on its journey.

This stout will def. be a welcomed edition into my beer fridge.

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Photo of esch
2.83/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Deliciously dark. Ruby slices through when held up to the light. Persistant pillowy cappuccino colored head.

S: Cocoa, wet sugar, tons of toasted malt, definite hop florals.

T: I first get a hint of dried cherries that fades fast into (diet) cola with a harshly bitter aspartame.

M: Medium-moderate body. Medium-moderate carbonation.

D: I really want to like this beer but the chemical flavors are really off-putting. Tasting was comprised of a newly purchased bottle and one from my cellar. I'll have to give this beer a revisit.

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Photo of surfmanjim
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured absolutely pitch black into the venerable old globe glass, with little head and a small amount of lacing. The smell is of dark chocolate and coffee with a matching, very dry taste and noticeable alcohol in the finish. The mouth feel is very heavy and silky. As enjoyable as this beer is, I don’t think that I would tempt fate by having two, but this is easily a beer that one could have in place of a brandy and desert after a good meal.

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Photo of BACTAdam
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I went with this brew totally blindly, not having read any reviews and not having any expectations. Here is what I found...

A- Dark as night. Charcoal black with only the slightest hints of brown with a dark copper head. Head was medium but faded fairly quickly to thin.

S- Smells of dark coffee with hints of dark chocolate.

T- Old Rasputin is a whirlwind of flavor. Honestly, at the start, I was puzzled by it. Quite bitter for a stout with sort of a burnt taste. Made me pucker a bit from the bitterness and I wasn't crazy about it. By mid-glass and as the beer warmed, the true amazing flavors come out and I was sold. The alcohol burn becomes more apparent but I also get notes of espresso, dark and milk chocolate and a nice sweetness I love in imperial stouts. By the end, I was begging for more.

M- A very solid mouthfeel- heavy, makes you feel like you're drinking a beer and not water.

D- What to say about drinkability. It's certainly not a session beer but it's very drinkable for an imperial stout. The alcohol doesn't start to kick in til mid-glass so it's deceiving. Still, one or two of these per session is more than enough.

Overall, this is a high quality Imperial Stout. Not my ultimate favorite but still excellent.

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Photo of cactusjuggalo
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try one last night when my shipment arrived at work. Poured out of the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Blacker than night apperance with a slight head one very tasty lookin brew.

Smell was exactly what i come to expect from a good RIS coffee and chocolate.

Good lord this is a good beer. It has this perfect bitter taste to it thats not to extreme and not to light. Just rich and full.

As far as mouthfeel goes it is quite smooth and enjoyable.

Man i could drink this all night but at 9% rasputin is a sneaky one that can creep up on you quick. Drink with caution my friends.

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Photo of pnkHoody
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After drinking the XII version a while back, picking this up was a no-brainer - especially as I found it at $9.95 for a four-pack in a Victoria government liquor store (sometimes the darnedest beers turn up in BC).

This is my third bottle. Anxious about reports of a non-existent head, my first bottled was poured from 6 inches with vigorous swirling, and I ended up with the stout equivalent of an Ibiza Foam Party. This third bottle was poured on the cautious side of usual, but still produced a thick three inches of head that diminished to half a finger that stayed throughout. Lacing is thick and permanent, and it looks beautiful for it.

This smells lighter than many imperial stouts (Peche Mortel and XII are my benchmarks, however, and they are very robust) and yeast is prominent. As well as familiar burned tones, there's a deep woody odor reminiscent of an old school desk.

It's more effervescent than other RIS I've had, which explains the head. It really blooms in the mouth -- which is a bit too much at first, but it settles down after a few sips. The taste is sensational. It is very bitter, but more charcoal than hops. It avoids the sweetness many RIS ride upon, delivering 75% cocoa chocolate, powerful molasses, and baking-soda astringency.

The beer is far less complex than the XII, which makes me reflect on how beautiful that beer really was. But at this price, this is a sensational RIS that makes no mistakes. I will buy a lot of this, especially as Peche Mortel is all gone and Brooklyn Brewery Chocolate Imperial Stout is harder to come by in BC recently...

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Photo of DaleMcMutt
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

-Tulip Glass

Pours into your glass dark, just about black. Thick, caramel colored, two-finger head which lingers nicely before dissapearing. Not much lacing left, but that doesn't detract from anything.

Smells rich. Hints of chocolate and malt. Smells sturdy and thick with hints of coffee. Extremely inviting.

The feel is smooth and creamy on the palate with a dry finish. Carbonization is mild, but well balanced with the rest of the aspects. Just the right amount in my opinion. Hops are subtle and I detect more of the roasted qualities than anything.

Definitely one you'd like to sip and savor. Full bodied and thick, but not chewy.

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Photo of tobin
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great stout that made me want to try and brew my own version of it!

Pours a black/brown color with a dense foamy head.

A quality blend of toasted wheat bread and coffee notes with a lace that clings to the glass as well as the tongu

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.

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Photo of AlexCorleone
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Definitely black with a thin layer of delectable, malty chocolaty head that dissipates rather quickly, pooling slightly in the center of the glass and radiating outwards as the glass progresses.

S - Definitely vanilla dominates; coffee and chocolate follows, with heavily roasted malts, brown sugar, and alcohol undercurrents that sting the nose.

T - Again vanilla and coffee are protagonists, followed by dark chocolate. Roasted malts, finish rather bitter and alcoholic, with pleasing warmth.

M - Full-bodied and smoked feel.

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Photo of alcurtsinger
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: The first Imperial Stout I have ever had. Also the only other stout I have ever had was Guinness.

A- Completely Opaque. As black as I have ever seen a beer. 3 finger head.
S- Both a mocha and malt aroma.
T- Malt, chocolate. Very balanced. Not overpower for me, considering I have never had anything like it before.
M- Medium, not real heavy.
D- 2-3 is enough but could drink more.

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Photo of Hamsteroceros
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle poured into Sierra Nevada tulip glass.

Another old favorite. I've finally decided to age one or two...

Jet black with a dark brown head that lingers fairly nicely. Nose delivers everything one might want in a stout- roasted malt, tobacco (?), cocoa.

Coffee and chocolate reign over an mild iron flavor kingdom. Very complex. Very rich.

Mouthfeel is as rich as the pour might suggest. Big and syrupy, yet smooth. ABV might as well be session-esque.

Truly fantastic beer. Fully deserving of any accolades it receives.

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Photo of mayorwalda
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The basic walkthrough is something like this:

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout pours great from a 12 fl. oz. bottle. As soon as the head begins to form the full bouquet is there from its smokey dark malt earth tones to its chocolatey sweetness and of course its 09% ABV--it is all there immediately and it's a beautiful thing.

The head is nice and thick--a good three finger head--but its airyness--that which gave us that beautiful strong bouquet--of course means it dies off pretty quick. What's left behind if a pretty, light, chocolate colored lace that hangs in there the whole time.

From the first sip I was in love with this beer's body and mouthfeel. It's got a perfect carbonation, leaving a potentially heavy beer lighter than one would expect. The mouthfeel however ends up being a bit creamy and in that way it's a pretty awesome ride to go from that unexpected crisp lightness to the obvious feel you want and expect from a stout.

The taste from beginning to end is full and certainly a bit more alcoholic than I like, but in a great way the somewhat higher alcohol content compliments the mouthfeel of this beer and certainly makes the "warm finish" they advertise on the bottle happen.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout is an experience for sure. And while I prefer a crisper, hoppier beer this certainly got my attention and has 'warmed' me up to stouts that much more.

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Photo of rawla
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

4 pack from Bevmo in West Hollywood, Ca. No freshness date.

Poured into a snifter. I've had this beer a couple of times over the years, but I figured it was time to give it a proper review.

A: Dark as night, with a thick, creamy head. ( no innuendo intended). Alot of carbonation from the bottom of the bottle, which I think may have affected my tasting score. ALOT of lacing to the sides of the glass.

S: Toasted acorn, some coffee, and subtle chocolate notes. There is a stronger presence of roasted sugar/caramel than chocolate or coffee in my opinion. Alcohol is present.

T: Massive cocoa and toasted caramel notes at the front. A bitter and boozy bite towards the end of the taste. Some coffee notes linger around, but this is a chocolate milkshake on steroids for sure. I have had this on tap, and know how rich and velvety this things can get under the BEST conditions. But, I am not completely BLOWN away in bottle form.

M: Chocolate milk feel in the mouth.

O: A good stout to have on a cold night. 9% ABV and the price per bottle(1.99/per in a 4 pack) make this an incredibly good deal for such a highly alcoholic, and well made beer. A

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Photo of dredz_126
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great looking bottle. Bought it using the beer advocate rating system. Pours very beautifully. Has a sweet chocolaty and caramel element in the smell. As far as taste; very smooth, velvety. The high alchohol content is very well hidden. A new favorite indeed!

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Photo of seangroves
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance:
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.

Smell:
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.

Taste:
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.

Mouthfeel:
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.

Drinkability:
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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Photo of gloriousglo2
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If the Czarina had been drinkin' Old Raspy instead of listening to his quacky advice on Hematology, history would have been much different. Poured into my Great Lakes BC pint glass, and allowed to sit for about 10 minutes to warm up. Zippo head, and black. Smells like 2 day old coffee grounds, which personally, I find appealling. Very smooth, no aftertaste, faint burnt something-or-other taste. Paid about $44 for a case.

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Photo of kgrober
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The last of the Autumn tasting I had at Grapevine in Fort Mill, SC.

Poured into a pint with a pitch black color. Soft creamy head that lingers.

Other than subtle coffee notes the nose is mild and almost indistinguishable.

The nose doesn't give away the stellar complexity of flavors. Currants, bittersweet chocolate, with toasty malts and a wonderful bitter finish. I seemed to notice some bourbon layers in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel is thick and sumptuous with great balance between alcohol and flavor. The beer is so complex it makes you want to keep it rolling around in your mouth to see what else you taste.

A superb imperial stout.

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Photo of mingo1968
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured dark as midnight with a nice soft thick head that stuck to the sides of the glass. I tastes hints of chocolate and coffee. The feel was creamy and smooth this went down very easy and at 9% i didnt taste any alcohol in the finish. I drank this with a smoked pork chop sandwich that i thought went well together. If you see this on tap i recommend giving it a try.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,624 ratings.