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 socalde
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Dark mahogany with a light lace and a head that slightly lingers atop the brew. When held up to the light this brew is ebony with a hint of reddish-brown at the edges.

Smell- First thing I noticed was a bit of hoppiness followed by an overwhelming aroma of malt with a hint of sweetness (maybe chocolate?)

Mouthfeel- Creamy, lightly carbonated.

Taste- Delectable. Sweet malt taste but with a hoppy undertone. Aftertaste is delightfully malty and dark. Chocolate comes to mind when I drink this beer, as with any fine stout.

Drinkabilty- Surprisingly drinkable considering the 9% ABV label. Easier to sip compared to other brews of this calibur.

This beer holds it's own when compared to other stouts in it's league. Give this one a try if it is available to you. You will not be sorry!

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Photo of mjrtoo
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the absolute best when it comes to a Russian Imperial Stout being brewed in the US today.

It pours deep black with a good dark brown head....I give up, it's too hard to describe this complex stout, I'll leave that to others. Just buy it, drink it, and enjoy it!

Be careful, its alcohol content is high for a very smooth taste, not a bit of booze on this palate.

Thanks North Coast!

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Photo of sanjosey19
4.56/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh so smooth. Pours nice and thick with a caramel colored head that dissipates fast. Smells like you would expect it to, roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. Mouthfeel is great, so nice and smooth, not too carbonated. Some alcohol taste present, but still very drinkable. Overall, this tastes like a very good RIS, but the quality lies in how well is drinks. One of my favorites. I got to go to the brewery in Fort Bragg CA, and had four of these with dinner...amazing.

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

This is a phenomenal beer. Have had it many times, it is by far best on tap. You get a far sweeter flavor profile from the draught then you do from the bottle. The bottle gives a slightly more bitter and toastier flavor.

Appearance: Black as night, perfectly stouty.
Smell: Biscuity and toasty. You can smell the slight bitterness from the dark malts.
Taste: Bitter, dark, toasty and a small chocolate nib flavor. Nice malt backbone, and a slight but non-descript bitter from the hops.
Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, as it should be. Perfect mouthfeel, coats your mouth and doesn't let you forget it.
Overall: Great beer, one of my favorites. Have had it many times and draught is best. It is the model of a RIS, and holds up well to extended aging.

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Photo of dogfishhead1117
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite all time stouts. As a big fan of this type of beer, this one takes the cake.

Pours slowly with little carbonation and a beautiful black color capped with a rich, mocha colored, frothy head.

The smell is really complex, hints of brown sugars and burnt grain infused with chocolate and some great malts and definately some coffee.

Taste is fantastic. Goes down very easy, despite its being 9%abv, and the chocolate undertones and rich grains really make this one a treat. The coffee infusion is present in the aftertaste. It's a cult classic for a reason and remains one of the best RIS' of all time.

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Photo of Rick187
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours thick and black with a tiny tan head.

Sweet. Chocolate, coffee and maybe some kind of dark fruit.

Well all the smells are in the beer. Chocolate, coffee and some kind of sweet dark fruit.

Medium to full bodied, good carbonation. Goes down easier then I was expecting giving how thick it poured.

I don't think I could drink more then 2 of these on a very ambitious night. But definitely a good tasting beer.

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Photo of thrash420
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the only beer I would ever give a perfect score to. Never before has such a masterpiece been crafted. It is said that one even gains intelligence from drinking this wonderful brew.

A: Oh man the waiter brought me a schooner of motor oil again, atop sat an inch of thick tan head. As I sipped, it laced amazingly. When the whole 16oz was gone, it was still laced head to toe like a magnificent art piece.

S: Deep roasted hops with caramel and coffee aromas with light spices filled my senses, followed by a barely noticeable alcohol smell. It was delectable and made my mouth water.

T: Given the alcohol content and other imperials I've had, I expected a much more bitter harsher taste. This was quite the opposite, it was smooth and delicious, very easy to drink and enjoy. An amateur beer drinker could enjoy this just as much as our seasoned vets.

M: This would have only felt better in my mouth if it was vagina. It wasnt sticky, wasn't too thick nor too thin. It was perfect, absolutely perfect.

Overall: 100/100. 2 thumbs up. Worlds most perfect beer in this category

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Photo of sugeknight6289
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into standard pint glass.

Pours black with nice carbonation. The brown head bubbles then turn to a delicious fluff. No light is able to be seen through this baby. No alochol legs apparent.

Reeks of chocolate, hints of coffee with that thick molasses and dark fruits. Slight hops also play throughout. That nice rich, familiar RIS smell. Reminds me of a Stone IRS.

Hop biterness roles in the front of the tongue followed by dark chocolate/coffee. The flavors meld together well but it almost seems like the hop over power the rich flavors in the background.

Creamy, with medium carbonation. The biterness plays down the throat but is smoothed over the dark flavors of slight fruit, chocolate and coffee.

With such an afforable and just price, I will be picking this brew up again in the future, just not going out of my way to seek it out.

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Photo of messyhair42
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: poured into a Boulevard snifter. Very dark ruby with three fingers of head that quickly fade into a thin lacing.

S: Caramelized sugar, dark chocolate, and grilled meats

T: Roasty, chocolate. This beer has a lot of hops among RIS but the balance of malty to bitter is so well maintained that the hops don't have a flavor so much as add to the whole experience. The 9% alcohol is completely masked, if I didn't know better I'd session this beer.

M: Not sticking to the roof of my mouth, but the flavor says it could be. lots of bubbles.

O: Fantastic, the best example of a RIS I've ever had. also very affordable for the RIS category. This beer is a treat as much as it is a beer that I could enjoy everyday.

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Photo of timherremans
3.19/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Could not find a best buy date, it is possible this case contained older, past date stouts?

appearance - Poured into a goblet at about 50 degrees F. Dark beige colored large head. Dissipated very slowly. Lacing was near perfection. A dark deep black stout with only a slight notice of brown hues on the edge. Looks very nice.

smell - Alcohol, yeast, roasted malt. In that order. Overall the aroma is not that apparent and I had to take many deep sniffs. And couldn't make out that much going on with it.

taste - Alcohol is upfront. I can hardly taste the malt, alcohol does not subside, all the way to the finish. It does seem to mask the complexity that this beer possibly has. That leaves me sort of questioning the flavors.

mouthfeel - Low carbonation and quite smooth. the low c02 works well for this stout. Not too thin, a little chewy.

overall - I am not sure if it is this batch but it does not have that much flavor. It does seem like mine were pretty damn potent and above 9% ABV. Not sure if that is even possible. I just found this stout, good for a nice buzz but the flavors just were not there. I probably wouldn't buy it again. I have had another beer (Belgian golden ale) from North Coast called the "Pranqster" and that one is delicious.

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Photo of CTbeerboy
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- This brew pours a deep chocolate without about 1.5-2 fingers of khaki head that disappears quite quickly.
S- You get lots of dark roasty espresso and coffe notes. Tan leather and dark chocolate cake come to mind as well. There is definitely a smokiness in the background as well that plays really nice.
T- Dry, almost spiky on the front of the tongue on my first few sips. This soon mellows out and you really get the espresso and chocolate notes on the back of the tonge. There are some nice dark fruit notes (maybe plum or black cherry) in the center palate.
M- Very dry and lingers long after the beer has gone down your throat.
O- Overall, this is a very good (and popular) Russian Imperial Stout that is quite easy to find everywhere. It smells good, tastes great and is definitely worth pursuing.

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Photo of freystout17
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very complex in a pleasant way. Burnt caramel, hops, coffee notes, and a somewhat "woody-earthy" quality. One of the best all around RIS you can buy. The quality from this brewer is very constent; I have never had a "bad" lot from this company. This brew always lives up to its great reputation. Very reasonably priced at about 9 bucks per 4 pack.

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Photo of smacgaha
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Appearance - poured from bottle to snifter. Pitch black with almost no transparency except for the very edges when held up to the light. Poured with a light had that dissipated slowly with a beautiful tan color.

Scent - Chocolate and coffee. There's a slight metallic tinge, which goes against my memory.

Taste - Lots of chocolate, some coffee, a ton of heavily-roasted malt and a warming but masked amount of alcohol. The metallic off-flavor is a bit more present and somewhat troubling.

Mouthfeel - Crazy high gravity as expected. The bite from the carbonation slightly detracts from the flavor, but that seems to just be a personal preference.

Overall - This is exactly what I'd expect in a Russian imperial stout save for the coppery character, which seems like it might be a glassware problem or something. Old Rasputin is to the Russian imperial stout as Sierra Nevada is to the pale ale; it's just a great representation of the style.

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Photo of foglemgs
4.81/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured like motor oil from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass - and that's a beautiful thing! The brew is pitch black with a tan colored head that fades but leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S: A truly lovely bouquet of malt, coffee, and chocolate, with a hint of floral undertones.

T: Simply put, this is one excellent RIS. The coffee flavor hits you right in the head, and the high (9% ABV) finishes it off.

M: Very pleasant and thick, with a sweet maltiness balanced by a dry stout finish. Exquisite.

O: One of my favorite beers, this one never disappoints. I always look for this when I'm "picking a six."

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Photo of mdhobbs
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I am surprised at the varying tastes/appearance etc... of Imperial Russian Stouts. This experience was definitely a good one. A very good rich stout that pour nice and dark with very little head. There is very little fragrance with this pour so the taste will need to make or break this review. Well, it made it. A very tasty stout that does not linger too long in the mouth. Very drink-able and well worth the purchase.

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Photo of Zenvortex
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours like old motor oil with foamy head that dissipates quickly - splotchy lacing Lite molasses nose, Strong coffee taste with moderate bitterness - big flavors all working well, Great non-slimy mouth feel - ok carbonation, Overall a good example of this often overlooked style - not for everyone but I'll take another one

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Photo of np_wizard
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I got a pint of this on tap in San Francisco. The aroma was very satisfying, and paired strongly with the soft foam head that sweetened my first sip. It wasn't too bitter, or overly heavy for a stout, and the dark brown/almost black color was complimented by the continual foaming of the head even after I had finished the first third of the beer. I was very satisfied, and would definitely recommend this beer.

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Photo of esurreal
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Over the course of the last year or so I have tried more beers than I have in my entire life. This beer is one of the best I have tried. It's taste is biting, strong, and delicious.

The appearance is extremely black. No light passing through at all. On of the darkest I have encountered thus far. The head is a little small, but that's the least of my worries.

The smell gave this one away. I knew it was a winner. Coffee, chocolate, and raisins is what I smell the most. It smells incredible. A good strong smell.

Tastes like a really good stout. Guiness who? Seriously, it has it's own league. Very good bite in every sip. I can taste the beer each time it hits my tounge. With some beers I can taste them for a little while, but eventually I grow numb to their taste. Not so with this one. Chocolate and coffee with an ever so present slip of alcohol burn. I love the taste of this one.

Mouthfeel is creamy and good. Just like it should be. I could easily make this the only beer I ever drink again, but who would want to do that. Overall you can't go wrong with this brew.

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Photo of jmichaeldesign
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black with a two finger head that lingers longer than I had expected. This is partially due to being a little warmer than it should be, and a sub par pour.

Smell is fantastic. The chocolate is right there in your face without being overwhelming.

Taste is not quite as strong as other imperial stouts I've had. Very well balanced. A little bit of hoppiness. Aftertaste is all chocolate.

Mouthfeel is good. A little too carbonated for the style in my opinion.

It's incredibly drinkable for an imperial stout. The flavor isn't cloying, but it's too carbonated for me.

Overall a great beer. I'd definitely buy it again. A great nightcap or first beer of the night.

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Photo of jjmunro
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: A beautiful midnight black, as expected for Imperial Stouts. A healthy, mocha head shrank, but remained throughout the beer.

S: I was not overwhelmed by the smell. I was able to pick up apples and brown sugar. The only facet of the beer that I was not wow'ed by. There is a distinct smell, but it was just kind of average for me.

T: Rich and earthy taste that is instantly quite impressive. It was a pleasing, lingering taste that was not overpowering by any stretch of the imagination, a rarity for many American Imperial Stouts. This beer was extremely well crafted, the alcohol content was designed to be apparent, but surprisingly smooth for the style. Many compliments to the brewers of this fine stout.

M: Again, very nice for the style. Unlike many Imperial Stouts, there was not that lingering heavy aftertaste that can detract from the beer.

D: Remarkably drinkable for the style. Superbly smooth on the palate. Could easily drink 2 or 3 in a session.

Fantastic, fantastic beer. I wish all Russian Imperial Stouts could possess this smoothness and construction.

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

First "Imperial" beer I've tried.

Appearance: Ahhh...lets just say I understand why its an Imperial beer. If Darth Vader was drinking its blackedy black goodness it would blend in with his outfit, unless it was in front of his blippidy blip lighty light thing. The froth at the top would stand out too...its not black, but pretty close. What you would videy the blackest a cloud in the sky could get.

Smell: eh..I couldn't smell anything...

Taste: As always with one of my reviews, I can't quite put to words what I taste so I'll just blurt out some words. Sweet..or bittersweet with 75 percent sweet, 25 percent bitter. Hazelnut? I know, weird, right? coffee, chocolate and more chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Smoooth. It's funny really the way it teases. It's just a hint of the taboo, not too much to turn you off.

Drinkability: Dangerous. I could drink it all night. I would not drink this on a farm.

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Photo of ImBOBtheBEERguy
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

At Canal Street Pub:

The barkeep told me this was from an aged 5 gal keg pulled on the nitro tap. WOW

This beer was a deep black with nice light brown head and lace. Its hard to describe the flavor, balance and finish due to total taste bud satisfaction. Smoooth, tasty, rich, and relaxing! Mmmmm


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Photo of sgraham4
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- beautifully dark black with a brown head that lace nicely on the glass

S- malty & sweet coffee notes

T- GREAT flavor- very full and rich with a nice maly character and a coffee taste that lingers wonderfully on the palate. reaaalllyy good

M- Nice and full

D- favorite Imperial Stout, hands down. Certainly a beer for any dark beer lover or any beer drinker alike!

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

This beer is the first imperial I ever had and it still remains my favorite. Old Rasputin is big, rich, chocolate, coffee, roasted goodness that never lets up. it's the perfect, kick back and slowly sip beer for me and I really don't say that often. So by far, if you're looking for a go big or go home kind of Russian, look no further.

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Photo of mgmvh
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

smell: one word- amazing. no beer has invited me more to try its bubbly goodness than this. cocoa, caramel, espresso, and hints of its alcohol. So its the best beer ever....good times! Definatly good times.
Appearance: very nice and dark color, very attractive.
Taste: yummy...period. very intence, brings out a lot of espresso flavors. Can't even describe in words. Recommend to just try it for yourself!
Drinkability: like I said above...very yummy! Try, definatly try this one..you'll be amased!

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