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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.

3,541 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,541
Hads: 11,433
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 515
Gots: 2,454 | 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 (26) | 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: 3,541 | Hads: 11,433
Photo of kbub6f
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), 2-3 weeks in my fridge, sat 30 minutes before pouring (the longest 30 minutes of my life). I've got one in the cellar for next year, but if I ever run out upstairs, that baby's a goner.

This is my all-time favorite beer. It just makes me happy from first sip to last. I'm always nervous when I open a bottle that it can't live up to the impression the last one left on me. Ok, enough.

Rasputin pours with a coarse tan head that clings to the glass as it collapses. Pour it hard to get cascading, but then pay the price of having to wait or wade through the head to get to the prize. Once the head is gone, it's gone for good. All that's left is a black hole where your glass used to be. Speaking of black, you'd better drink this in a well-lit place so you don't lose it.

Roasted, sweetish, somewhat fruity nose. It doesn't smell that strong. The alcohol is hiding, but somehow you can sense the evil lurking.

It's a mistake to start this one cold, but it opens up surprisingly fast. The start is maltacular. The middle is strong and complex: is that coffee? chocolate you ask? Just as you think you've pinned the tail on the palate, the alcohol kicks you in the head for being such a pompous ass. "Here, have some hops and shut the f--- up! Pansy."

I'm giving this a 4.5 on drinkability because not only can you only drink one, you can't drink any other beer when you're done. That also saves the perfect 5/5 for the beer I'll never find.

I can die now.

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Photo of Danno48
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought this beast at world market. I'm pouring it into a chalice at 45 degrees F.

She pours as black as black can be. You know when you put it up to a light bulb to see the red hues... well there aren't any. Sexy, thick, and creamy head.

My smell is not the best but you smell like a spicy mocha or something close... maybe a little bit of anise.

First off... every flavor has that hint of alcohol but there is so much flavor it isn't a big deal.
Dry and woodsy... like spiced tree bark. Earthy and effervescent. It has a great... I'm not sure how to say this, but a dirty? taste to it. I really enjoy the lack of sweetness that I have had from all the stouts I have had this year.

Doesn't cling at all like you would think by pouring it out. But so flavorful that you just gotta sip it.

This stout is freaking awesome... All you can think when you are drinking it is "Damn, this is splendidly different!"

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Photo of jmeador85
4.9/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Definitely a stout. One thing that never fails to impress me about Old Rasputin is the lingering head. It's still there when I finish drinking a 22 oz weizen glass, and I drink Old Rasputin slowly.

Smell - Many nuances that I'm at a loss to describe. You can tell, with certitude, that this beer is going to have some bite from the smell, but it's masking a complex flavor beneath.

Taste - This, too, could be described many ways. An amateur would say it's bitter, but beyond the bitterness is a bouquet of flavors that most people will appreciate.

Mouthfeel - Old Rasputin definitely has an aftertaste. The bitterness of the beer seems accentuated when you swallow, but I don't find it overwhelming. The mouthfeel makes you want another sip/gulp.

Drinkability - Definitely drinkable. Very good. Very strong, too.

Verdict - This is one of my favorite stouts. I tried this beer in December I believe, and a group of guys I know were drinking it so I thought I'd do the same. Well, the guys had a few more, and these Flying Saucer regulars staggered over to Barnes and Noble across the street where they sat in comfort and sobered up before driving home. This beer is strong. Drink with caution.

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Photo of OddNotion
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my DFH Signature Glass. Oh boy I have been waiting to review this for a long time now!This particular bottle is roughly a year old.

Appearance: Pours a black body reminiscent of coffee where it is a dark dark brown around the edges. No head to speak of but there is a nice lacing around the circumference of the glass.

Smell: This is one of my favorite stout smells. It is sweet and inviting. Lots of dark malt, a little roasty, and very chocolatey.

Taste: One of the few imperial stouts that I love even at fridge temperature! Slight hints of coffee are just trumped by the chocolate flavor. A good amount of malt sweetness and no bitterness to speak of. Old Rasputin has a very distinct taste in comparison to other stouts I have had. 9% alcohol is completely hidden.

Mouthfeel. Carbonation is just slightly higher than I like in my stouts and it could use a little more viscosity. However I am very picky on the mouthfeel with my stouts and this one is not far off. Decent level of creaminess.

Overall: Year round Russian Imperial Stout at about $10 a 4 pack after tax. I will gladly get this any time. I wish I bought it more but always get caught in the seasonal stout assault and lose a lot of my desire for stouts come spring and summer. This is my go to stout in the summer when the craving does hit. Available everywhere I go. Buy it, you will not be disappointed if you like big stouts.

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Photo of sunshineunicorn
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into snifter glass
A: black with slightest tan head (less than 1/2 finger) which dissapates quickly over the volume yet rings the edges.
S: very powerful, strongly present scent overall.. chocolate and coffee with sweet malty hints.
T: wow. very full-bodied, matches the smell quite closely. Chocolate/coffee combination fades to sweet malt with tiniest hing of hops.. the alcohol comes through but powerful flavor largely distracts me from noticing the alcohol presence at first. aftertaste is elegant mix of both sweet and bitter chocolate.
M: thick, yet fairly smooth for the heavy taste- medium/low carbonation.
O: excellent.. a great Russian Imperial Stout, one of the best of the style IMO. Multiple strong flavors balance well- no one flavor overpowers the others (including the alcohol content). Great nose and visually appealing, overall a great presentation which is followed through with solid taste.

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Photo of MinTock
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I've been drinking stouts for years ,and this is my favorite by far. My year round goto imperial stout. The alcohol is hidden while the subtle taste of the black strap rises in the background

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Photo of ajm5108
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Velvety milk-like mouthfeel, medium coffee flavor with well balanced burnt malt...bitterness doesnt linger...a rich smooth stout with weight and flavor but doesnt knock you over like some

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Photo of sheeley
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The appearance is the most memorable aspect of this beer for me. Especially on tap, it really exemplifies what I feel an imperial stout should look like. The body is black as night and the head is beautiful and creamy, with a tint of dark red/purple. That tint in the foam is one of the most telling signs for me. Loved this beer: dark, creamy, malty, and delicious. One of my top five beers currently. Highly recommended for any and all stout lovers.

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Photo of anarchia
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black with a thick, creamy, ugly brown head. By ugly I mean beautiful, of course. Aroma is smoked wood, roasted coffee, vanilla, chocolate, burnt sugar--and maybe I'm just fantasizing here, in a Rasputin trance, but I pick up a faint, savory aroma that reminds me of bacon in the oven. Thick and syrupy with an acidic bite at the end that whispers "sip some more, sip some more!" Smokey, sweet, burnt, complex, chocolate, wood, hints of spice even (nutmeg & cinnamon). This has been and continues to be my go-to Imperial Stout. Others might be stronger but none hit me the way Old Rasputin does, even after all these years. Seems like a lot of people agree.

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

Managed to find this on tap at CBS Scene in Foxoboro, MA. I had never tried it before, and was completely blown away. Served in a standard pint glass, the beer arrived black as midnight in a cave on a cloudy night with a blindfold on. It had a thick, rich finger-width head with an aroma of deep smoked malt and hints of chocolate and espresso. Mouthfeel was rich, slightly chewy, and utterly fulfilling. Tasting it was like entering another world... smooth, deep, just hoppy enough to add a little something extra. The flavor lingered for a while afterwards ... a blessing.

I'm normally a hop freak, but this may just be the best beer I've ever had. I can't wait to go back and have it again.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle thanks to Whole Foods!

Appearance: Almost dark as night! Pours a darkness that's riddled with a frothy thickness of brown; the head and lacing showing the coffee brown hue most pronouncedly.

Smell: Roast, roast, roast! is what the malt throws out at first impression amid this plethora of scents. Only after this stage do the finer, more subtle elements of coffee, dark fruit, and chocolate present themselves.

Taste: Roasted malt is the immediate presence with the espresso and a very dark chocolate quickly following suite in this ensemble of decadence that finishes with a hop bitterness coming in at the finally to close this crisp and extremely drinkable stout. Alcohol content remains well hidden for a 9%.

Mouthfeel: If I could compare this to coffee it'd be similar to a vienna roast in the sense of "rich but smooth" but clearly far more complex in additional quality. Medium carbonation with a medium to full body.

Overall: Amazingly smooth for such a delicious richness! Even a more skeptical craft beer consumer would give this one an easy A!

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

Pours a solid black with a thick, ultra creamy tan-brown head of about 2 inches. The head is persistent and settles in at 1.5 inches. The initial nose suggest dark roast, coffee, chocolate and chicory. The body is medium-full to full. The initial taste expounds on the coffee and chocolate notes with added sweet notes that suggest a confection. The middle notes are full, creamy and rich followed by a smooth lingering. The rich, sweet, roasted notes moderate the bitter hops which are noticeable but not overpowering. This is a multi-layered, rich, ale. The alcohol is evident and provides warmth in the finish. This is not a session beer despite the moreish tendencies. Nice, broad Belgian lace forms. Yes, I will return to it.

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Photo of Matt1553
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is certainly one of the best Stouts to come out of California--on par with Parabola and Big Bear Black Stout. Deceptively drinkable given the alcohol content, although I prefer my Stouts a bit thicker to the bite. The taste is sublime, with the slightest bit of chocolate aftertaste. A world class beer.

Rating: 9.6

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

on-tap at Flying Saucer Raleigh

Pours a beautiful three layers: a black bottom, a black/brown middle where the nitro effect is on full display with large round bubbles cascading downwards, and a creamy tan head that leaves extremely strong speckled creamy lace. Wow. Smell is a good amount of roasted malt: some dark chocolate, cream, hints of coffee. Taste has lots of the RIS metallic sharpness and a big warming alcohol presence. Good amount of roast malt, coffee, in the taste with some nice liquorice. As it warms the liquorice really comes out and complements to beer nicely. Mouthfeel is uber creamy and quite low carb.

This is the prettiest beer I have ever seen and definitely the best RIS I have had a chance to drink. In the dark world I think I prefer Founder's Breakfast Stout, but when compared to Old Rasputin the coffee, oatmeal, and chocolate almost come off as gimmicky. Old Rasputin is a legend and must have.

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

This beer pours into an almost obsidian black, with a thick, tan head that develops on top, leaving slight lacing. Perfect. Smell, to my nose, is of roasted coffee and chocolate notes, with a definite booziness.

Taste is absolutely wonderful. A very powerful and richly roasted malt is upfront; it has quite a kick. This melds into a bitter chocolate middle that smooths as you to sip away. This has a LONG, tasty aftertaste of dark grains, espresso, and more bittersweet chocolate notes. The feel thick and creamy, with a pleasant warming quality that sticks around long with the aftertaste.

Overall: This is an incredible stout. If you are looking for a robust, powerful stout, then Rasputin RIS is for you.

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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 johnmichael712
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured out of a 12. oz bottle into a nonic glass. This beer pours an opaque mahogany color with ruby tints around the edges and it allows light through when backlit with a lamp. The dark khaki colored head starts is absolutely gargantuan in size and rises from the depths of the glass the way a nitro-bottle or nitro-can pour does. The head has a wonderfully soft, pillowy texture and takes a long time to dissipate. As I'm drinking this beer a moderate amount of lace is left clinging onto the glass for dear life.

Smell: My first sniff of the nose reminds me a lot of Victory's Storm King Russian Imperial Stout because the hops dominate the nose in a similar way, but in subsequent sniffs the aroma of bittersweet chocolate is dominant. There is also a strong roasted malt presence in the nose, and hints of coffee, molasses, and brown sugar.

Taste: This beer starts off with a wonderful chocolate and malt flavor with a hint of espresso (the usual chocolate/espresso flirtation that Imperial Stouts have) and finishes with a very light citrusy hop flavor and a good amount of alcohol warmth. I disagree entirely with those that say this beer is too hoppy, as I found the hops to be very toned down and much more subtle than Storm King. Dominated instead by intense chocolate and roasted malt flavors, this is one exceptionally delicious beer. I wish I had a better grasp of the English language to more fully describe this beer, but it doesn't really matter because only sampling this beer yourself will truly do it justice.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is where this beer truly shines, and to rate it at anything lower than a five would be criminal. My first sip took my breath away with how creamy, luxurious, silky, multiple other adjectives, this beer feels on my tongue. This silkiness is supplemented by an insanely thick and chewy body and a very light amount of carbonation that makes this beer feel more like drinking a melted chocolate bar than drinking a beer. This is definitely the best "feeling" beer I've ever drank, and if I could give it a six I would.

Drinkability: One of the most drinkable stouts out there. There isn't even a slight mention of the 9% alcohol, and the smooth, lavish mouthfeel mixed with the decadent chocolaty taste make it possible to quaff this brew all night long. At the moment I'm having a tough time imagining a more perfect night than sitting in front of a fire with a good book drinking a couple of these baddies.

Notes: At the time of my review this beer is sitting at number eighty-nine on the best of BA list just above Storm King, thus I was expecting something qualitatively similar to Storm King. Boy was I wrong. This beer is superior in every way, and is one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts out there. It definitely deserves to be higher on the best of BA list, and right now only Stone's Imperial Russian Stout seems to be the equal of this beer in the RIS category. If you ever see this beer in the store do yourself a favor a pick up more than one. You won't be disappointed.

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

Had this on tap at the North Coast Brewpub in Ft. Bragg. It was like beer heaven. I suppose this is the closest I'll ever get to Russian royalty. So smooth. So rich. It might be the best beer I've ever had. I wish I lived a little closer to California.

It's good from the bottle too.

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

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Jet/Opaque Black, so dark I can see my reflection very clearly on the glass. It's got a dark brown foamy head that builds up rather quickly once you star pouring it. The head and lacing retention is excellent, one of the best I have ever seen!

Smell - Rich Chocolate and Cocoa scents with some yeasts, coffee, and roasted malt notes. There are also hints of some fruity and butterscotch notes! It strikes a fine balance between Roast and Sweetness

Taste - Very rich chocolate with some surprisingly strong coffee notes. The flavor is backed up by a strong roasted malts along with sweet yeasts & fruity/butterscotch notes. I've had a few Russian Imperial Stouts, and this ranks right up there with Darkness in terms of flavor!

Mouthfeel - Pretty heavy in body, but the carbonation is light and it feels very smooth and creamy when drinking. This has got to be the smoothest and easiest to drink Russian Imperial Stout I have ever had!

Overall - To put it simply: Amazing. This is one time where I cannot find anything truly wrong with this beer! It's got a excellent look, smell and taste. To top it all off, it's incredibly easy to drink! I'll go ahead and say that this one of the best beers I have ever had and the best Russian Imperial Stout I have ever had!

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

Wow. What a great beer. Dark, heavy stout that's not overpowering. As dark as the come with a thick coffee color head. I used a tulip glass that released the aromas of hops and coffee. The flavors coat your mouth with hops coffee and cream with just a hint of chocolate. I may have a new favorite stout!

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Photo of Lupin
4.87/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My third tasting of this brew. 12oz bottle kept at standard fridge temperature. Rasputin's hypnotic techniques have reined me in. I love this brew, but I can only take one in at a time.

Pours an utterly opaque black coffee. I violently throw the last 5 ounces or so in to coax out a 1"+ roasted sandy head. Minor lacing at the top of the glass. Easily the best smelling brew I have ever sampled.

The taste is utterly dominated by a raw, dark chocolate. There is no other way to describe it. It even leaves the same dry feeling on your tongue that a bar of any dark chocolate will provide. Bitter bitter bittersweet.

I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who likes beer and coffee or beer and chocolate of any type. I warned my dad, who loves dark chocolate, that he'd better drink the bottle I offered him that night or else it was liable to disappear from the fridge. My willpower is such that the same bottle has just been reviewed.

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Photo of srv33
4.87/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark amber pour, almost no head. fine lacing. Rich complex smells of dark chocolate, bourbon, a hint of mint, and caramel. Taste is beautifully complex, multilayered. First notes of chocolate and bourbon, then a bit of leather, light tobacco, mellowing to caramel. Tastes like KBS's brother. As a result I like it just about the same! Its a little more mellow, though, which in some ways I like more, though on the other hand KBS is more rich.

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Photo of beyah
4.87/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours out Black as night, brown head, this is on stout, stout.

S- Roasted Malts come forward, you can tell this is not a wimpy brew.

T- Finally an RIS that is not too sweet, very well balanced roast flavor and a slight alcohol and hop end. Well balanced.

M- Perfect mouthfeel for the style, rich not thin.

O- This is the standard by which all RIS should be judged. I like this style a lot and this is my go to beer for this style.

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Photo of halo21
4.87/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass nice and dark; no light coming through on this one. The head didn't maintain long, but rarely does on imperial stouts.

Smell: Dark, earthy, coffee, chocolate; very smooth. Not much by way of alcohol which is surprising weighing in at a hefty 9%

Taste: Glorious. Full flavored. This is as fine as the best espresso on earth and blended like a well aged cigar. I always forget how much I love this beer and am very happy to have that surprise.

Mouthfeel: A little carbonation; I would say it is a heavy bodied beer but not too over powering.

Drinkability: Surprisingly high; for me the only way I would be able to consume more would be to have a nitrogen version of this or a still beer version.

Easily one of my favorite beers of all time as well as the quintessential example of what a Russian imperial stout should be all about.

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Photo of 12owls
4.87/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

youwza! what a great beer...pourned into a pint glass. smell was choclolaty,with some mocha/coffee. some roasted grains. the color and head at extremly attractive...frothy lighter brown chocolate head, that left beind some cooll lacing. mouthfeel is robust, light carbonation toasty flavors all over the place. taste is great, i caught coffee roast grains, some smal fruit rind inbetween the first taste, to the last. some bitterness behind thats bind everything nicely. a.b.v is not to crazy but good where it is. great beer, great stout. very very enjoyable!

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,541 ratings.