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: 2,344 | 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 BeerRun13
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours a dark almost black color that allows no light through in pint glass. A nice thick head forms, tan in color with a dark outer ring. The head falls a bit, but stays a little creamy on top.
Coffe and dark chocolate aromas are evident first. There is also a hint of cherry. Smells good.
Defineitely coffe and roasted chocolate flavors. There is a wonderfull fruity flavor behind it all... at first I thought maybe cherry but it is defineitely more of a berry flavor... maybe blackberrys, either way it tends to show more as it warms. A bit of hop spice shows through and there is a bit of hop bitterness. Still most of the bitterness comes from the roasted barley.
This Russian Imperial Stout is medium to full bodied. Very well balanced flavors make this beer a real treat.
I was dissapointed that they were only available in a 4-pack, and that was before I even got to try one... I'm headed back to the store.

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

Wow, this is one hell of a brew. The 9% is not noticeable at all, but the chocolate flavors sure are! Appearance is good, but should have a larger head, especially considering this is a well carbonated brew. Scent is of chocolate, taste is of chocolate, but also some coffee flavor in there. There is a nice balance of hops and malt (malt being dominant here of course) that makes this brew very drinkable. I really can't get past the chocolate flavor here, this is almost a chocolate stout imo. Very good for the style, I was shocked at how quickly I finished this bottle.

Recommended, but how much I'm not sure, as I've yet to try many russian imperial stouts.

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Photo of MrSeth
3.53/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

App: pours with spots of carbonated activity which finally forms a cream-coffee colored head. It settles quickly and leaves just a thin ring of suds around the glass. The body is an opaque black, except for the faintest hints of brown highlight at the edges.

Sm: pure cocoa powder, Van Leer chocolate, rich and earthy Tamari soy.

Ta: a full malt start, smooth texture while those toasty malt flavors become a bit bitter at the end. Not amazingly complex, but not boring either. The malty and bitter flavors take a little getting used to before the balance of this stout can really be appreciated. The malt hides at first and the hops stick out, in the end it works well and is very enjoyable.

Mf: Heavy, smooth, well carbonated despite the appearance of being flat.

Da: The bitter, somewhat sticky finish takes away some degree of the drinkability for me. I love stouts and a nice long finish is always welcome, but here it is a bit exagerated.

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

Appearance: Very, very dark brown. Only a hint of light passes through the top. The head is a thin, bubbly tan that leaves quite a lacing on the glass.

Smell: Chocolate, coffee, floral hops, a bit of freshly baked bread.

Taste: Roasted malts seem to be very prevalent, along with espresso and chocolate notes. There is some raisin and date flavor at the back of the tounge. Alcohol comes out as you make your way through the beer.

Mouthfeel: Near perfect. This beer is definitely full-bodies but gives a very dry impression, leaving your mouth feeling cleansed.

Drinkability: Unreal! You would never guess the alcohol in this one. Beware.

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

Appearance: Pours out black, with a thick tan head that slowly fades to a thin ring of lace.

Smell: The aroma is a rich, vibrant framework containing scents of licorice, espresso, sweet chocolate, and ripe, vinous fruits.

Taste: Flavors Ahoy! Bitterness and black roasted malts fight for attention. Hints of molasses, toffee, mocha, and spice help to round out the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied; feels heavy on the tongue. Rich, smooth mouthfeel. The ABV provides for a warming, satisfying finish.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable. For anyone who's had this beer before, let me just say: Booyah!

If you haven't had this beer before... Try it: Today!

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Photo of dreadnatty08
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a heavenly black heavy brew with a half inch bubble head that subsides to a thin covering. Aromas carry that dark roasted smell paired with some dark chocolate and a good deal of alcohol. Texture isn't all to heavy and high carbonation brings down the mouthfeel and drinkability a bit. I enjoy these heavier beers with a bit less. Anyway, flavors are particularly drying and hoppy towards the end with the carbonation and alcohol both making quite a sting. I really enjoy the roasted flavors, I just wish the bubbliness would be decreased as well as the body increase.

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Photo of Optimat0r
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

this is my second review of old rasputin; the first came a long time ago when i was less experienced so i figured this one deserved another shot. im glad i did.
appearance - deep red, very dark, moderate foaming, cant find any flaws in it at all.

smell - first a tinge of hoppiness then chocolate and coffee blend in nicely.

taste - damn this is maybe the best RIS ive had so far. very rich but not TOO rich...basically a perfect blend of chocolate, malts, and hops...perfectly balanced.

drinkability - is great at first really cold, but it gets a bit too bitter and fuel-tasting after a while. this is one of the better RIS, but its good just every now and then

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Photo of bkett01
3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured nearly black with a minor head which refused to leave the surface. A dull coffee/chocolate smell with a hint of hops is present. The taste is quite the combination of flavors ranging from coffee to fruit. I noted a smooth chocolate start balanced with cherry/coffee/and dark roasted malts that finished with a clearly evident hop character. I would prefer more hops over the coffee, but still an enjoyable brew here. Very interesting combination, and a great start to the "new to me" world of imperial stouts.

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Photo of zjungleist
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice appearance. Muted brown/black, with a great tan head and nice lacing. The smell is fairly hoppy, but with some some softness to them, and of course, very roasted malts and a very slight fruitiness. Excelent complex flavor, burnt malts, coffee, nice hops, and the lingering flavor of dry, bitter chocolate. The mouthfeel is slighly thick, but very velevety. No oiliness, but just dry enough to cut the thickness. This is a pretty freakin good imperial stout, but too complex and rich to drink much of.

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Photo of crwills
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

My last bottle (although I may have another one in storage). Might pick up some more this week when I'm back in the US!

Poured a thick, rich brown (almost black) into a standard pint glass. 1/2 inch tan head that sticks around for a bit.

Smells is surprisingly hoppy, with notes of bitter cocoa and unripe cherries. Other wild berries as well. A bit of caramel, and some noticeable alcohol.

Tastes very strong compared to some other Imperial Russian stouts. Bitter but well balanced. Strong espresso flavours especially, with the typical chocolate and dark fruits. A bit of caramel. However, the one thing I'd complain about with this particular brew (and why I don't like it as much as some others of the style) is how upfront the alcohol is in the flavour as it warms. Really decreases flavour and drinkability scores for me, unfortunately, although it's still a killer beer.

Excellent smooth mouthfeel though, and a pleasant bitter aftertaste with slight brown-sugary notes. Food note: Tastes great with some good pecan pie.

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Photo of orfeu
3.4/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Barely translucent dark brown with ruby-garnet highlights and a thick, frothy espresso crema head. Clean smelling aromas of chocolate and light roasted coffee; toasted grains and earthy piney hops. Dark coffee flavors predominate at first. Spicy pinecone hops mixed with an acidic vinous quality overtake during the middle. Bitter coffee finish, but hops ride it on through to the sour mineral aftertaste. Alcohol warms down the throat. Moderate body, a bit thin for the style, actually, and somewhat slick. Seems as if it could be dry, if the sour finish didn't get in the way. This acidity mellows somewhat at about mid-bottle. Much less interesting than I expected. Underwhelming, to say the least.

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Photo of akajimmyd
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Not much head and only a small crown. No lacing. Totally black and opaque.

Smell – Like overripe dark fruit. Alcohol. Whiffs of coffee malts.

Taste/Mouthfeel – Strong coffee taste. Some tart dark fruits. Very, very dry feel. Variety of malts and sustained hop backbone. Full body. Boozy finish.

Drinkability – Warms the belly. This is a very full RIS, you could not have more that two but it is very tasty and interesting.

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

Never Say Die is the motto of this stout. For the man who helped bring down the Romanov dynasty it's appropos. For this ale, let's hope it rings true.

The pour brings a hush, with the body of the beer acting as a cushion and sound absorber. It looks like Quaker State 10W/30W. I could not see any light through the glass. The head is dark caramel in colour and lasts halfway through the beer.

The aroma brings notes of bitter chocolate, hickory, and leather. There is a slight musty smell that is not unappetizing; it adds an earthy quality to the ale.

The flavour brings the malt up front. It is somewhat smoky and has an espresso dryness. The hops dry it out. It has a big punch of malt and hops paired well--neither dominates the other.

The mouthfeel is rounded, soft, and thick, like a stout should be.

It does not drink like a 9% ale, like some 9% Belgians I've tasted that leave me with a headache forming. I'm ready for another.

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

OnTap thanks to Baja Bean, I have had it in the bottle as well but this will be my review of the on tap version.

Appearance: Super black, no light coming through this beer. Frothy tan head lived briefly and left tons of tan lacing.

Smell: Mostly roasted malts and some chocolate. Slight coffee aroma.

Taste: Sweet maltiness of the roasted malts with some chocolate. Some hops present which helps calm down the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Big body on this one, which is certainly expected after watching the pour.

Drinkability: Obviously not a session beer, but not a bad bar price tag and certainly not over the top in price at the beer store. I like this beer very much and recommend it to anyone who likes stouts.

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

There is a fabulous bar out in western Massachusetts that caries this on tap. It was served in a goblet and was a thick black color with a dark brown head. It smelled of roasted coffee, almonds, chocolate, and a hint of alcohol. This beer has a good heavy mouth feel with a mellow carbonation that gives it an almost creamy feel when you swallow. It has a thick chocolate malt taste with a few shots of espresso to boot. After I swallowed I noticed a bit of a sweet dull fruit finish to it, not overly hoppy for sure. This beer was a great experience, I would recommend it as a sipping beer to fully enjoy... and the 9.0 abv has a way of sneaking up on you if you over drink this brew. Enjoy!

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

I love the label on this beer. Could be the scariest looking guy I've ever seen on a beer bottle. The beer pours a nice black color with a smallish head that disappears quickly. The aroma is of roasted malts, chocolate and alcohol. This is a mighty fine tasting brew with a huge malty flavor and a nice hint of hops too. I would say this is one of the best Imperial Stouts out there. It's very drinkable indeed.

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Photo of rousee
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Nice to have a beer like this. Pours a black cola color with a small head of dark tan and it diminishes quickly.

Smell is a fabulous blend of nuts like hazels, cashews, almonds, etc. very well balanced with some slight fruit tints.

Taste is a malty chcocolate, licorice, toffee, caramel type thingy with some cherry hints on the back much like a good piece of dark chocolate would.

The mouthfeel is too sticky and syrupy. Drinkability is about avg or a little better than avg for this style.

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

A beautiful pour out of the bottle. The color, black as night, is topped off with a thick caramel/white head. Head retention is great till the end and a nice Belgian lace behind is left behind.
Hints of charcoal, toffee, caramel, and chocolate emanate from this beauty and it coats the mouth with a wonderfully smooth malty sweetness that gives balance to the mouthfeel. I've found the beer to be less bitter from the bottle than it is when it's served on-tap which I found a bit odd, but I'm not complaining!! The finish is a bold coffee flavor at first but rounds out with a hint of creamy-sweetness. A great beer to sip or tip, but watch out though; with a 9% ABV its effects have tendency to sneak up on you!

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

A: Pours deep black with a small tan head that subsides to a frothy ring around my snifter. Bits of lace left on the sides.

S: Aromas of roasted malt and chocolate with a slight alcohol presence

T: Coffee flavors with earthy notes and strong bitter hop presence. The taste is rather fleet in the finish, leaving an alcoholic taste.

M: Big and heavy mouthfeel that finishes very dry. I'd like a beer of this body to be a bit less carbonated.

D: I'm a little disapointed with this after first having it on draft. Overall, it is a solid stout at a fair price ($7.99/4-pack), however I don't find it exemplary when compared to its contemporaries.

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

Drank this beer in a bottle at Summits in Sandy Springs, GA

This beer poured into a pint glass a deep pitch black/brown with a ½ “ dark tan head with good lacing. Impressive looking beer.

A very strong and tasty smelling coffee and chocolate aroma.

Very bold roasted coffee and chocolate flavors. The flavor is rich, creamy, and semi-sweet with a bit of a dry finish. Very impressive actually.

Feels a little heavy and you can sense the creamy nature of this beer.

Very drinkable beer! It’s sneaky though, you don’t taste or even get a warming from the alcohol but it hit me pretty hard since I had not eaten in a great while. I got the full effect of the 9%! Even more prepared I’d have to limit myself, this is an addictive beer.

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

Old Rasputin pours black as coal with a rich dark tan head. Huge aroma of roasted malt, burnt chocolate and even a bit of toffee. It's an intimidating smell, and portends that the beer will be big tasting... as it turns out to be. "Big" doesn't say it, though: more like humongous. First it's bitterness from the malt (and, I assume, some hops), with tons of espresso. Then the palate shifts forward in the mouth for some coffee and even a bit of fruit (dried strawberries?). The finish is long and active, with an alcoholic burn and malt bitterness left over at the back of the mouth. With all this, you might think that this beer would be a bit rough on the palate, but that's not the case. It's no oatmeal stout, but given the massive flavors and roasted malt presence, this beer glides through the mouth rather well.

Overall: a huge, wonderful beer that will knock your socks off. Instead of Rasputin, call it the Big Jim Slade of beers.

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Photo of nathanho
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Beware the high ABV Old Rasputin...I swear, each bottle has an actual "Little Old Rasputin" who finds his way into your head, causing much confusion and havoc, especially if more than one or two gather there at the same time - which is to be expected, given the crazy old coot's rasputation, I mean, reputation and all...See, he's up to his old trick's again, that wily Old Rasputin...

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Photo of Jacobob10
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A gentle pour produces a black beer with some dark ruby highlights around the edges near the glass. A virtually non-existent tan head clings to the side of the glass but disappears on it's way toward the middle. The aroma is pleasant with chocolate and roasted malts, as well as some raspberry overtones. Upon tasting it provides a dark chocolate - almost burnt - flavor with a slight alcohol finish. Bitter and a little bit hot in the mouth, this is definitely a sipping beer, but enjoyable and satisfying nonetheless.

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Photo of bighoppymonster
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an absolute opaque black with a thin tan head which laces the glass nicely. Equal amounts of roasted malty goodness and alcohol in nose, maybe some traces of sweetness as well. Again, roasted maltiness in taste with very strong coffee like flavours. Very sweet and alcoholic in taste. However, it is very smooth and drinkable. Definately full bodied and very rich. Overall, a very impressive brew. Very strong in both character and abv. One of my favourites in the style, although I am none too experienced with imperial stouts.

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