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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.

3,525 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,525
Hads: 11,313
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 498
Gots: 2,354 | 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: 3,525 | Hads: 11,313
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very, very deep and dark black, with just flashes of blood-red hints at the very edges. Head is a solid, crusty cap of coffee-crema brown. Tiny streams of minuscule bubbles float up at the edges. Lacing is exceptional. An excellent looking beer.

Dark, smoky characteristics on the nose. Dusty dark chocolate, roasted grains, barnyard, even a light meaty character. It's not overly powerful, but it is dark and pleasant.

But wow, the taste is where it packs a punch. Light roasted bitterness first up, mellowing to a chocolate-coffee sweetness and a lingering chalky dryness, but still toasty and warm. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden, leaving just that residual heat on the palate. Long and drawn out on the palate, lots of complexity but all on a hearty and solid base. Mouthfeel feels just slightly too light to me, for such a heavy-flavoured beer, I was expecting something a bit smoother and creamier on the feel.

But this is a very tasty, and very robust beer. Lots of character, lots of flavour - too heavy for more than one in a sitting, but worth waiting around for the occasional sip.

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Photo of biegaman
4.77/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pitch black with hazelnut lining; my glass has become the sight of one big oil spill. The complexion is utterly unyielding - even when held directly into the light the beer refuses any highlights or transparency. This defines the word 'opaque'. The rustic toned carbonation seems selective about which parts of the top it chooses to amplify. Nevertheless, it's fairly thorough and leaves a coating of lacing that sticks like drying cement.

The nose is everything you'd ask for in an Imperial Stout (chocolate, espresso, heavy roast, molasses, black licorice) plus an extremely generous inclusion of hops. We're talking West Coast style hops - lively, spicy, tangy, fruity, acidic, green, fresh from the vine hops. Although they do interfere a little with all the dark chocolate and roast malt decadence, they also provide a level of sumptuousness of their own. This smell is divine.

Each sip is like drinking liquefied dark chocolate. Well, it's not that simple actually. It's like drinking liquefied dark chocolate that has been infused with a strong, heavy roast espresso and a farm's worth of macerated hop cones. There's a big spoonful of dark caramel, a layer of crunchy toffee crust and nibs of black licorice. Bittersweet notes resonate with increasing intensity on the finish. Surely if there is an ideal tasting Imperial Stout this must be it.

Words like "smooth" and "delicious" have been so overused in reviews that they've lost much of their meaning. That said, a beer like Old Rasputin comes along and there's no better, more appropriate adjectives to describe it. It not only rejuvenates these words, it might even redefine them. The flavours are luscious, the body is full, the textures vivid and the alcohol never to be seen. This whole thing just feels like a warm (decadently rich) blanket.

They may not all be easy to get your hands on, but there is no shortage of great Imperial Stouts. The bar for this style is set ridiculously high, arguably much higher than most other styles. Although Old Rasputin may no longer be recognized as one of the top, most decadent RIS it damn well should be. I've had my share of revered, highly sought after Imperial Stouts but I'd still claim this as one of my favourites. And probably always will.

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Photo of John_M
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Max's the other day, where it was every bit as wonderful as it is on tap in Ft. Bragg.

The beer pours a lovely black color with persistent, long lasting head and lacing. This beer looks very impressive. On the nose, I don't know what it is, but I'm not getting a lot. There is a hint of coffee and licorise, but that's really about it. On the palate this is a very impressive beer. The beer is very soft and creamy, with flavors of coffee, vanilla and more licorise. The licorise flavor is actually quite pronounced. The beer finishes pretty well, though you can tell the abv. is up there. This is definitely a very big beer, but on the nitro it's very soft and easy to drink.

A good solid beer from North Coast brewing. Well done.

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

This put the stout in stout. WOW!!! Very black beer with a nice, dark brown head that left nice lacing on the sides of the glass. Smelled mostly of coffee and dark malts. Taste started with strong coffee with a bit of alcohol, followed by lots of hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. This is a very good, strong, sipping beer. A few of these and you will be wrecked so watch out.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revisited 1 Feb 15

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, very nice carbonation with a nice one-finger creamy/fizzy med tan head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing and a huge island in the middle of the glass. The nose is malty, with some very nice dark notes (chocolate, toffee, and some coffee), slight vanilla. The taste is very nice, malty, dark stuff. Medium body, with a slight dry finish, ABV is hidden very well for a 9% brew. Overall a very tasty brew, it's been here in UT for a few years, and I'm very glad it is. Highly recommended RIS at a very nice price per 12 oz. bottle.

A - Pours a nice black color, lots of carbonation, small fizzy head which dissapates quickly, not much lacing at all.

S - Scents of roasted malts, and toffee/caramel.

T - The taste is slightly bitter and of roasted malts and caramel.

M - Medium body.

D - Very drinkable. This is a very tasty RIS, North Coast is a very nice brewer.

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Photo of plaid75
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into an imperial pint glass. A beautiful dark brown hue with a thick two finger caramel head. Poor head retention but superior lacing.

The smell is a robust toasted barley aroma. Strong hints of coffee and subtle hints of cocoa.

The taste mirrors the aroma. A very rich roasted coffee flavor with significant lingering coffee and cocoa flavors. Pleasant flavor lasts minutes after the sip. A suprisingly slight alcohol taste considering the ABV. The balance is very good in this stout - just enough hop to moderate the roasted flavor.

The mouthfeel is rich and long lasting. The lingering flavors produce a prolonged mouthfeel.

A very drinkable 9.00% ABV beer.

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

A - Very dark. Thick, creamy foam.

S - Very chocolaty. Slight coffee aroma. Sweet malts.

T - Can taste the alcohol but not overwhelmingly for an imperial stout. Coffee with slight chocolate. A bit toasty.

M - silky smooth. slightly carbonated.

D - As I continue to drink it, the alcohol becomes more prevalent. Still remarkably smooth for a 9% ABV. Couldn't drink more than one, but that is par for the course with imperial stouts in general.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.66/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a four finger light brown head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Totally black color, no highlights. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Flavor is nearly sweet coffee, with a burnt coffee finish, not bad but not enough beef for a RIS. $2.50 for a 12oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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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 kscaldef
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Fills a Spielgau tulip with over an inch of dense khaki head over jet black body.

S: Classic roasted malts and coffee, slightly acrid with a hint of alcohol.

T: Coffee and roast, pumpernickel bread

M: Fairly light-bodied compared to the current imperial stout style, much more akin in mouthfeel to a standard stout. Develops a bit more richness as it comes up from refrigerator temperature.

O: Very classic RIS, although it comes across a little over-attenuated these days. Personally I prefer something which leans more in the chocolate direction than the dark-roast coffee direction.

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

A 12 oz bottle purchased from LiquidSolutions.biz (free advertising for an excellent store).

A: The ale is a deeep black color with softer brown highlights when held to light. The head is small now but was bigger on pour and has laced nicely.

S: The aroma is one of roasted malts and sweet chocolate held together by a strong alcohol presence.

T: The stout has a strong, bold presence taste-wise. The first flavors to hit the tastebuds are roasted malts and alcohol strength. The intensity of the alcohol gives way to a vinous complexity. That complexity gives up hints of chocolate and warming alcohol. My only complaint is that the flavors are not big and bold immediately, they require a bit of time to really shine.

M: The roasted complexity is very pleasing, giving the stout multiple levels of flavor that build well upon each other.

D: The drinkability is limited by the 9.0% abv. The flavors meld well together though, creating a deeply complex ale that is smooth without knocking one out.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

-Nitro tap-

A – Ridiculous, tempurpedic-pillow of a head stuck around at 2 inches high for almost 15 minutes till the glass was empty. Great lace. Almost pitch black body.

S – Malty with a deep pumpernickel breadiness, a touch of milk chocolate, and a tang of bitter roast.

T – Dark chocolate into a dark bready malt. A nice, solid woody bitter ramps up to balance the profile in the center. Full roasty finish with lingering sweet cream and molasses.

M – The pillow of foam lends a fantastic creaminess to the mouthfeel. Medium-full body starts a bit lighter than you’d expect, but quickly fills out to end rich and smooth.

O – Delicious, big, complex, and well balanced. Could use a shade more integration between the flavors, but this is still one the best beers I’ve ever had on tap.

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Photo of Duff27
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage

A- A thin mid-mocha head resides on a black beer. Average head retention and some lacing.

S- Deep cocoa aromas with some hops involved.

T- Rich chocolate maltiness, hint of coffee. Hop heavy on the tail end of each sip. ABV detectors would agree witht he stated 9%abv.

M- Medium to medium thick mouthfeel, creamy. Adequate carbonation for an impy stout..

D/O- Now this is a meal in a glass. Easily accessible in Anywhere, USA. This wins 'best bang for your buck' constantly. One of my first loves in the world of craft beer...can't believe it took me this long to get a review in of it.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz from the Coop for about $2.25.. shared with Steven.. mine in the New Belgium tulip.

First off, wow.. very pretty lacing.. looks like a leopard skin except in reverse... brew is expected very dark brown/black.

Dark roasted malt with abundant chocolate and espresso.. citrus hops as it warms with alcohol and yeasty fruitiness.

Flavor is a very appealing mash-up of bittersweet chocolate.. French roast and dark malts.. hop bitterness plays well with the bitter grains.. and the hop profile makes me glad I'm an American.. in the middle, the citrus hops mix very well. Fantastic body and carbonation... Simply huge across the board.. everything about Rasputin is big.. fantastically tasty..

Old Rasputin is a great goto Impy Stout and a great value.. everything one would want from a West coast RIS.. I have some in the cellar just to see how they age, but this brew is great fresh... no doubt one of my favorites.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured pure black with a nitro draft head. Mild dark fruit and malt aroma. Absolutely smooth with a slightly sweet flavor. Well integrated roasted malt, dark dried fruit, light coffee and chocolate. The nitro turns the usual well melded flavors of this stout into a super creamy delight. Very good in the bottle and exceptional on nitro-tap.

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

A: poured black as night with a half finger of brown head and left a little bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: Lots going on here but off the bat i was greeted by coffee and chocolate notes but it also had some nice roastiness too. there was a little oat character and slight booze as well.

T: like the nose a combination of coffee, roastiness, and chocolate flavors strike first alongside oats with a bit of booze that finishes off hoppy bitter.

M: The was full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a roasty, sweet, slight astringent, boozy, and sticky finish.

D: it drank pretty decent and have not been let down everytime I have this beer. overall a good stout offering from the north coast.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Guinness pint glass

Appearance: Pours like black motor oil, smooth and viscous, has slight caramel colored head which remains throughout drinking

Smell: smells of roasted coffee, perhaps caramel, and slight alcohol aroma

Taste: tastes of roasted goodness, coffee flavor apparent throughout, rich, alcohol present on the backend

Mouthfeel: very smooth and creamy

Drinkability: very drinkable Russian Imperial Stout, the only knock could be that the alcohol is present on the backend, otherwise it's flawless

I'd greatly recommend this beer to all

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

Jet black beer with a fluffy brown head, excellent retention; lace sticks well.

Big roasty aroma with coffee and sweet toffee-like notes. Undercurrent of hoppy bitterness. Hint of anise?

Tasty combination of roasted malt, black coffee, bitter chocolate, fruity sweetness. Again the hops provide a bit of balancing bitterness and traces of booze are noticed underneath, particularly as the beer warms. Faint anise/black licorice note. Big and flavorful.

Medium bodied; perhaps even a little light for the style. Modestly sticky, carbonation on the medium-high side. I might like a bit more chewiness.

An excellent everyday imperial stout. Always affordable and available; perhaps a bit thinner and hoppier than I like this style to be.

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

A - Black body with fading tan head. Nice lacing.

S - Sweet chocolate covered hops. Chocolate syrup. Dark grainy bread and sweet sugar.

T - Nice hop burst up front. Some roasty flavors and silky chocolate. Slight warming effect of the alcohol on the way down. Sweet mocha and faint raisin aftertaste.

M - This beer turns into chocolate foam when you let it sit in your mouth, making a soft foamy feel. The body is medium and its semi dry.

O - Good robust stout. Standard warm, rich flavored RIS. Roasty, rich and warm on the way down.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from oracle as part of No BS BIF. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/4" brown head over the barely translucent reddish dark brown brew. Head is down an uneven layer of bubbles pretty quick, with slow-falling lacing. Aroma is heavy, rich dark malts, chocolate and coffee doing battle, just what you expect and want in the style. Taste follows along in the same vein, but even better with the slow warm on the swallow. Mouthfeel is velvety, and drinkability is excellent. This one is ranked highly for a reason.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: impenetrable blackness with a thick foamy head which cascades beautifully as it forms and then begins to settle. A nice lacing is left as it does so.

Smell: oatmeal and milk chocolate with just the subtlest hint of coffee. It's not letting me down.

Taste: alcohol, of course, which to me adds a bit of a fruity character, but at 9% I'd expect nothing less. Deeply roasted malts, again a little coffee; there's a nice bitterness which I quite like juxtaposed with the almost chocolate-stout aroma.

Mouthfeel: thick, creamy ... downright Imperial.

Drinkability: I'd have another right now if it weren't putting me to sleep at this late hour.

I love this beer.

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

A: Poured a dark opaque coal color with a tightly bound dark beige head that was mostly lasting.

S: a huge fruity aroma starting things out before yielding to dark espresso beans, and bakers chocolate.

T: The flavor was fruity and dark with raspberry like tartness that was backed by a huge palate of dark roasted malt and citrus hopping. There was some charred woodiness, dark coffee beans and some rum raisin as well. The palate was huge, robust and full of complex flavors of dark malt and fruity sweetness leaving a pleasant aftertaste that lingers long after you swallow. At 55 F brings out strong coffee flavor. Great desert beer and one that should be sipped and savored for its huge complexity of dark fruit, coffee, and chocolate providing the standard per style for all others to follow.

M: dark and slightly astingent, bitter, creamy with a full body and thick viscostity.

D: Incredible drinkability, warm, luscious, full bodied and complex warming up to release a whole new layer of flavors and complexity.

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Photo of beertunes
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a beautiful black, with a lovely cascade ascending into 3/4 inch of dark tan head that had excellent retention and left a moderate amount of lacing.

Rich roasted malt aromas greet the nose, without the annoying coffee notes so often found in brews of this type. Those deep scents translate into a glorious flavor on the tongue. Nothing exotic, edgy, radical or extreme, just the exact stout experience you're looking for.

The body is wonderfully full, smooth, textured and coats the tongue like a well-worn jacket. Easily drinkable, this is one of the big stouts I have several of in a row. Truly a world-class brew, if this is not available locally it's certainly worth much effort to obtain it by whatever means at your disposal.

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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 tone77
3.48/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. No light penetrating through this beer. Smell is of malts and chocolate. Taste is complex, roasted malts, chocolate, a touch of coffee, a little bit of bitterness. Feels creamy in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall a good quality beer.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,525 ratings.