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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,627 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,627
Ratings:
11,821
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
18.46%
 
 
Wants:
564
Gots:
2,791
For Trade:
55
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: 3,627 | Ratings: 11,821
Photo of abc3
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

See how I rated drinkability as "exceptional"? That's a problem...here's why:

I recently had my 44th birthday party (37 per my fake ID). Anyway, I served old Rasputin on tap for my beer-minded friends and a lager for the rest of the crowd. Now keep in mind, my friends know me a one who serves big, bitter, high alcohol "sipping beer".

And when they drank ORIRS, they noticed how smoooth this beer is. Yes, it is not for the faint-hearted, but compared to a west coast barleywine or a double IPA, it tastes quite innocent. Chocolate and espresso flavors, medium mouthfeel and the look of Guiness...this stuff is like everclear & punch is to frat boys hitting on little sisters.

By the time they drank 3, my sister started motor-boating my nieghbor, and my best friend (a professional bartender) blacked out. (yes he had whiskey too). The next morning...he was seriously pissed at me..claiming I should have warned him how desceptively strong this delicious brew is. Guilty as charged.

For BA readers, be warned. There are stronger brews out there. But none that hide the alcohol behind so much flavor. To those who enjoy a very stout stout..this is one of my favorites.

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

Pours a black color with a creamy tan head. Lots of lacing and coat the glass well.

Smells of chocolate and coffee. Nicely sweet and malty. Smells great.

Taste is of cocoa and hints of coffee and vanilla. Roasted malt and even light malt comes through brilliantly.

Super creamy and delicious. Very amazing and smooth.

This is a great beer. Great after a nice meal. Really awesome flavor and feel. Truly a wonderful brew

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

had on tap in a large snifter at the ginger man in sono.

It was jet black with an incredible "nitro" looking dense tan head.

the nose of sweet malt and cocoa.

The taste is incredible. Rich and velvety dark chocolate, sweet roasted malt, and a slight licorice finish. truly incredibly stout here

The mouth feel was full and engulfed my tongue with flavor and girth.

Cant say enough about this beer. It is great in a bottle and stellar fresh on tap.

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Photo of bonbini26
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a thick dark dark brown, loses some points because of the minimal head that forms, however that small head follows the beer all the way down, with excellent lacing coverage

S- Sweet candy like, licorice, faint hints of chocolate

T- So complex, yet so balanced, a true interpretation of this style. Oak, roasted malt, coffee

M- Silky smooth at first, but finishes with a nice bitterness

D- A true beer for this time a year, i great sipper on a cold winter night

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

Okay, this is the best beer that I've had recently. I really hadn't read about it, although I should have. But it was a really pleasant surprise. The liquor store clerk didn't want to sell me the four-pack because it was very dusty. I'm glad I didn't let it sway my buying decision.

This is a very dark, almost black and opague stout with a medium sized brown head huge lacing. There are a lot of hints of flavors in the nose, but the roasted maltiness comes through more than anything else. There are hints of chocolate and coffee.

The taste is unbelievably smooth with a real roasted quality but rich chocolate, coffee, caramel, and fruity undertones. There is some hint of bitter hops or bitter chocolate at the end.

It is thick in the mouth and very satisfying almost like a meal. I finished the four-pack quickly and will be heading back for more of the dusty gem.

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

The stubby bottle in a little four-pack belies how huge this beer is. Yeah, Rasputin looks cool, but the real stuff comes with the syrupy pour into a pint glass. Medium, very brown head with decent retention. Very dark lace, also has medium lasting length. The beer itself is very dark, not quite black.

Very rich, sweet smell dominated by chocolate. I also detect an undercurrent of earthy hops, possibly even yeast? Some alcohol present in the aroma, as well.

Taste is sweet, earthy, explosive, complex, prolonged. Wow, lots going on here. Lots of dark chocolate and some coffee. Not a mocha though. More like bitter baker's chocolate melted in espresso. The dark roasted malt manages to be very sweet while tasting burnt. Hops are also surprisingly strong and bitter. It's earthy, very well complimenting the baker's chocolate malts. Tastes keep lingering long after swallowing.

Mouthfeel is very thick, full and creamy. Little carbonation. Surprisingly little alcohol bite or taste for being 9%. It's there, but it's masked. I more realized it after I finished the glass.

Wow, this is an excellent stout. It's powerful, a meal to itself, but doesn't punish. Extremely well balanced. I'll be coming back to this one.

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

This beer grew on me. Pours deep dark black with maybe a hint of purple shade ? Nice big tan foamy head, faded into a thin head but fell down the glass nicely. Smells of roasted malt, toffee, coffee. Big roasted coffee taste, strong bitter finish that stays on your tongue.The taste expanded as the beer warmed, don't let the first sip, get you down. The alcohol makes it taste thinner than other stouts. Cool bottle and label. I bought this based on other beer advocates reviews. It is very good.

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

i love sipping one of these at the end of the evening - this is what one looks for in a russian impy stout - tasty alcoholic goodness feels like it goes down my gi tract like it goes down the sides of it's glass, slow and easy with a creamy coating - a perfect winter nitecap - real good stuff.

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Photo of megahurts4
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

North Coast Brewing Co. Old Rasputin

Appearance: Dark and black, huge head, lots of lacing

Smell: floral hops, coffee, slight chocolate

Taste: very malty, floral hops, and a prominent coffee and chocolate finish

Mouthfeel: Heavy with a slight bitter finish

Bottom line:
A great stout. Smooth and not overbearing in the slightest.

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

Wow! I really love this one. Pretty much in the same league as Brooklyn Black Chocolate. Got two more in my "beer cellar" and I have high hopes for them.

Almost Black/Red color with a nice beige head.

Smells amazing, full on raisins, hops, sweetness, fudge, vanilla and some rosted malts.

The taste is pretty similar to the smell, but is much more roasted and bitter tones in the taste than the smell. Medium palate, not thin - not thick.

Amazing beer! This is a so called "must try".

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

this is the first and i would say best imperial stout i have ever had.i just cracked another tonight and it never disapoints.
black as all heck apperance with a nice smokey smell.very smooth considering the alcohol content.what else can i say but,its yummy!

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

Poured near perfect black with only very faint ruby brown tinges on the edges of the glass. Tan head formed, but sank quickly beneath the surface leaving a smattering of Belgian lace. Ring of foam stayed the course through the entire pint.

The aroma is chocolate malt, plums, raisins, alcohol, thick graininess. Kind of vinous, coffee and toffee notes come through as it gets closer to room temperature. And did I mention alcohol?

The taste is strong on roasted malt and chocolate, with a nutty character to it. Strong alcohol flavor. Balancing sweetness fights with the alcohol in the finish. As it warms, the alcohol leads the way, lightly burning the nostrils and numbing the tongue. Then the onslaught of thick dark malts slides over top of it and down your throat. Hops are there for the party, but are playing the part of wallflowers. Yeah, they are there and in great number, but they are watching the fight rather than being a truly active participant.

Carbonation tingles the tip of your tongue while the alcohol and roast grains wreak havoc on the roof of your mouth. Not quite as mouthcoating as other impys I've had, but it tries hard enough. When the beer warms further, the alcohol just numbs your mouth while the carbonation tickles it. The dark malts coat the palate while the hops and roasted grains do their part to squeegee it off again, ready for the next sip.

An absolute pleasure to drink - slowly.

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

Appearance: Blacker than Rasputin's heart, totally opaque liquid which lets no light pass. Dark tan head which stays around for a long time and leaves lacing all the way down the snifter.
Aromas of bitter chocolate and hops and some alcohol
Taste: Hop bitterness in front and hops in the finish, hoppier than I remember in the past. Dark chocolate, espresso notes all meld together with the hops as the beer warms. The chocolate becomes especially prominent the warmer the beer becomes.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, especially as the beer warms.
Couldn't handle more than one of these a night so drinkability suffers a bit.
This is one big ass mofo on an imperial stout, one of the very best, a marvelous representative of the style.

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

Pours pitch black with a decent tan head with some lacing. Nice big warm cocoa smell. It's taste has quite a bit of cocoa flavor to it with bittersweet malty taste and a slightly smokey finish. It has a nice big body and goes down smoothly. Enjoying this beer very much.

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Photo of culver501
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Dark black brown in color, thick dark tan head

S-licorice, cocoa,

T-thick, syrupy, sweet roasted malt, bitter cocoa, alcohol, dark chocolate

M-pretty thick, bittersweet

D-This is delicious in moderation, best paired with a dessert, one of the best versions of this style

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Photo of champ103
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown/black in color with a large tan, frothy, and fluffy head that stays all the way down the glass. Leaves lots of lace down the glass as well. This can't look any better.
S: A little one dimensional. Lots of chocolate, coffee, and sweet malt.
T: Big roasted malt flavor with chocolate and coffee. Maybe some dark fruits. Very creamy, thick and rich. Fantastic.
D: Great. The ABV is well hidden with all the flavors. Very smooth and easy to drink. I can drink this all day.

I can't even describe how much I love this beer. Hands down the best RIS I have had, and maybe the best stout in general.

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Very dark brown/black hue with small, creamy light brown head, excellent lacing throughout
S- Chocolate and coffee aroma with strong caramel/roasty malts
T- WOW! Sweet chocolate malts dominate, coffee roastedness tones, subtle bitter hops pop up near the end, very chewy and nicely balanced
M- Very full-bodied stout, creamy/chewy texture with soft carbonation
D- Surprisingly drinkable for a rather heavy stout, the 9% abv is masked mostly by delicious chewy hops, this brew could be a great post-dinner drink but the strong sweet malts makes it tough to drink several in one setting

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Photo of BrokenEdge
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best stouts I've had. Everything about it is intense but not overwhelming. Pours dark, dark brown with a light tan head. Head was huge and fluffy, much more than I had anticipated. Smells like dark and milk chocolate, coffee grounds, burnt toast. Taste is similar, not as chocolatey as the smell lead me to believe: flavors of black coffee, dark chocolate, smoke, molasses, licorice...I could go on all day dissecting this beer. Super complex and it only gets better as it warms. Feel is creamy, smooth, and full. I got a 4 pack and I'm really looking forward to aging the other 3 and seeing how they change.

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Photo of Gtwreck45
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: dark, almost opaque black pour. Decent sized off white frothy head that leaves lacing on the glass
S: lots of coffee smell along with the roasty barley type smell you'd expect from an imperial stout
T: very roasted taste with more coffee and cocoa flavors. Touch of pleasant hop bitterness as well. F: lingering flavor really carries out the roasted flavors. good full mouthfeel
O: a standout imperial stout. This one seems to fly under the radar, but I this holds its own in a tasting against any other non-BA imperial stout.

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Photo of heath1agnew
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- great black color with a thick tan head and good lacing.

S- dark fruits, a bit of a metallic smell.

T&M- dark chocolate and coffee, with a nice bitter finish. mouthfeel is not too heavy.

D- good drinkability for russian imperial.

finally got hold of another great beer, they are hard to come by where i live.

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

This is it, the beer that started it all. Old Rasputin has such a personal appeal to me, we have shared many a night together and I can't help but feel in the presence of an old friend when I pour that 12 ouncer into its appropriate Old Rasputin North Coast nonic pint glass. This isn't so much a review as it is a love letter.

First, there's the color. My dad used to drink Guinness and say it was as black as Hitler's soul. If that was the case, whose soul is as pitch black as the opaque liquid before me? This is void of space dark crowned with an impressive three fingers of fluffy light brown celestial foam that gently dissipates to leave a thin corona of light atop this black beast.

Old Raspy's nose really shines. There are the requisite notes of black coffee and cocoa that one would expect but it is in the complexity of sweet notes that this brew asserts its dominance. I can't describe all the elements but I'll try to do it justice by stating that there is a warm toffee ambiance that radiates from my glass.

A quaff of this stout is best described as velvety smooth. If Barry White made beer, this is what it would taste like. Viscous enough to have body but liquid enough to avoid adjectives like jammy, Old Raspy disappears with a satisfactory level of bubbleage and harmony.

The flavor of this beer is a little old fashioned as compared to some of its more hyped up cousins. While it lacks in the dark fruits category it shines in the area of malt. Biscuity, bready, and toasted are words that quickly come to mind. The sweetness is also evident with touches of vanilla and candied sugar. There is some bittering, as the hops play their hand at the beers finish, though they remain merely character actors in this beers screenplay.

This is not a sipping beer for experienced RIS drinkers. Its relative light body and minimal bitterness make for a remarkably sessionable Imperial Stout. There is an associated danger with this brew however, that 9% ABV is not a joke.

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Photo of Nostrajonus
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A-Dark brown pour with a two finger creamy tan head that sticks around for the long haul. Foamy thick lacing follws the beer down to the bottom as you drink.

S- Rich roasted malts with some subtle dark chocolate smells.

T- This thing is mallllty. The grain really comes through, and the dark chocolate smell is present on the palate as well.

M- The texture is perfect. The nitrogen conditioning gives this brew a creaminess that is unbeatable. Full points for mouthfeel.

O-This is a great beer. Anyone who thinks Guinness is stout (I love Guinness, but lets be honest) should drink this wonderful North Coast creation, and reevaluate.

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Photo of hoppyFreshness
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

This is my favorite russian imperial stout. It tastes incredible and goes down easy (especially on nitro). A little too easy. This beer tends to put the demon in me and the spirit of old Grigori Rasputin comes out in full effect. Dire consequences rapidly ensue.

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

12oz bottle out of a "Never Say Die" 4 pack.

A - Poured into a pint glass this is jet black with a large dark tan head that has been staring at me for 5 minutes now.

S - Espresso and chocolate are the 1st things to mind. Roasty caramel sweetness. Epitome of 'mouth watering'.

T - Rich roasted coffee and caramel malts. Alcohol in the nose on the finish. Dark chocolate is picked up on the 2nd pull. Excellent.

M - Very complex and big bodied with that head cushioning each sip.

D - Is there a better brew for the winter? I doubt it.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,627 ratings.