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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.

3,522 Reviews

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Reviews: 3,522
Hads: 11,299
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 498
Gots: 2,342 | 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: 3,522 | Hads: 11,299
Photo of seesnow3
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour-Basically black with a medium brown head, thick, luscious and creamy head, completely opaque, thick lacing, is this crude oil? Head doesn’t hold that well but the lacing is REALLY thick

Nose-Chocolate, coffee, dark caramel malts, everything that is dark is in this beer

Palate-A little bit of sweet up front, a ton of sour and a moderate amount of bitter. Semi-sweet, almost scorched chocolate, actually only light coffee, but dark roast, incredibly dark caramel malts and grains. There is also a hint of fruity flavor

Body-Thick, creamy, heavy and syrupy, incredibly smooth and rich, luscious texture. Somehow a decent amount of effervescence. This is an incredible beer, I love this stuff and would get it again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of Shiredave
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I just shared this beer with a friend - because his fave beer is Youngs Dbl Choc. Stout. He now has a new fave.
I wont waste time waxing poetic - Im sure it has all been posted before. This is THE Imperial stout - at least from the USofA.
Full of roasty/ toasty burnt chocolate flavor - immensley complex and drinkable with a reasonable alcohol content.
If you like robust stouts and Porters, and havent tried and Old Raspy, do yourself ( and a friend maybe) a favor and find it.
Absolutely Outstanding!!!

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Photo of Graham5161986
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours a gorgeous pitch black with a thick dark tan head which has excellent retention and leaves a good amount o sticky lacing on my glass. Smell is of rich, tasty dark chocolate with a touch of caramel and some coffee notes as well. Taste is of rich, chocolate and coffee with a bitter twang of hops in the background throughout. Little hints of dark fruit, plum and cherry on the mid palate and one of the smoothest, chocolaty, yet dry finish I have ever tasted. Wow, mouthfeel is full bodied and very creamy - again, what an incredibly creamy, dry finish - beautiful. This is my first time having this beer and I'm speechless - this is an amazing RIS that I will be cellaring and would not hesitate for a second to purchase again. True class.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Pours with very little head. Beer itself is an absolute pitch black color, no light at all escapes this beer.

Smell- Deep dark malty nose with subtle hints of alcohol.

Taste- Very complex flavors, sweet candied fruit, coffee, hint of spicyness from lovely hops. Truly delightful, alcohol leaves hint on warmth on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Fills palate completely with warm dark malt flavors and its full and chompy.

Drinkability- One of the most enjoyable RIS Ive ever had this one just melts in your mouth, definitly a repeat buy.

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Photo of Lagaffe74
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured it in a brandy snifter. Gorgeous deep opaque robe. Tan head that took its little time to disappear. Nose was full of roasted malts and dark chocolate. Very rich on the palate with notes of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. Nice finish. Outstanding!!

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Photo of Thanby
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Black as night" really is the best way to describe it. Thick, rocky, dark tan head, some active carbonation visible. Head dies very slowly and leaves a thick coating on the glass.

Smells of rich roasted malts and chocolate. Very smoky, but not ashy like some Imperial Stouts. Hint of caramel in the background.

I think I'm in love. First taste is bold, roasted malt, followed closely by the chocolate and caramel. The perfect amount of bitterness (in my opinion) for a strong stout, coming from the roast and smokiness.

Creamy, thick body, more carbonation than I would expect but it's not unpleasant. The three main flavors just roll around on the tongue in perfect harmony. There's something about how they roasted the malt that strikes me as very pleasing, but unfortunately I don't have enough experience with stout production to know what it is.

Overall this is a stout-lover's dream. Not for a weak stomach, because it has a hefty bitterness and high ABV that shamelessly displays itself in the taste, but it is just one hell of an enjoyable drink. I was planning to follow it up with a pint of Guinness but now I'm thinking it simply won't do my taste buds justice after this.

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Photo of Brewingbanjos
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Syrupy black pour with one finger of espresso crema-colored head. Nose is immediate chocolate with dark fruit behind it. The taste and mouthfeel are full and thick from front to back. Chocolate-covered dark cherries come to mind in the taste with a sustained yet subtle presence of alcohol throughout. This is truly fantastic and goes down a little too easy. I think I will have another...

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Photo of benloho
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle had been in the cellar for 3 years. Time to partake!

Appearance: Gorgeous jet black pour into a tulip glass. Nice 2 finger tan head, super tight bubbles create a thick creamy look. Gorgeous figure to it after 3 years in the cellar.
Aroma: Boom! The nose on this one is an absolute gem! Rich, complex dark chocolate, cocoa, dark fruits, specifically figs, molasses, and a bit of roastiness. Each sniff brought out a deeper texture to the aroma, like it was building off of each previous smell.
Taste: Smooth and refined tastes that pleased my palate very much. All of the aforementioned aromas put to the tongue; a backbone of bitter bakers chocolate, and a bit of brown sugar. A licorice like middle of the mouth flavor gives way to roasty malt and slight coffee bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Rich, yet smooth. Complex body with a milkshake texture almost, yet very drinkable. Its wonderful when a high grav beer is drinkable yet best enjoyed when sipped as it warms. This beer cellars beautifully, I recommend it. Next one I do will be 5 years.

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Photo of delmarnate
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours almost black and with a syrupy appearance. Dark brown head that fades quickly. The smell is overpowering. You know what you are in for. The first sip is heavily bitter and smooth in feel. more bitterness in the aftertaste with a hint of coffee and chocolate. An excellent beer. Not for stout beginners, but everything that a stout lover wants and loves about the style.

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Photo of ryanonline
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is black as black gets, with a rocky thin head with moderate retention and great lacing. Looks very bubbly odd for an imperial Russian.

Smells like a delicious espresso with raisins and hops and chocolate.

Taste is the same but with the hops up front and the chocolate-espresso flavor in the finish. Sort of fruity too.

The mouthfeel is bubbly and syrupy, with a thick body. Very dry finish.

This is incredibly drinkable for a RIS. Its got a little bit much on the carbonation but otherwise it has nice body and doesn't hurt the palette to much.

Wow, I'm really impressed with old Rasputin. Its been a while since I've had stones' Russian imperial but if memory serves this ranks up there.

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Photo of bjoyce12
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Unbelievable. Pours out black. Not brown, not deep amber, but black. Very thick foam head with staying power. Aroma is one of freshly baked dark bread. The outstanding quality of this ale is in its taste. The best comparison I can make is that it is like drinking a loaf of fresh rye bread. The rye really comes through, but with a smooth velvety texture. Any harsh bitterness of rye hops has been balanced away. You really need to sit and enjoy this one slowly. Its smoothness and balance provide a great mouthfeel. I selected a slightly lower grade for drinkability, because it is a heavy ale. Great wintertime drink.

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Photo of leantom
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

They don't make 'em like this anymore. The beer that introduced me to the RIS. Here goes:

A: Wow. Pours pitch-black; absolutely no light gets through. The head is absolutely massive. It's dark, fluffy, and more than two inches thick. It also recedes super slowly, leaving a ton of lacing in its wake.

S: Burnt malt through and through. Lots of bitter, dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Splendid.

T: Thick and creamy roasted coffee. Burnt malt. The bitterest of dark chocolates. Rich in dark soil and tobacco. Overall, a splendid concoction.

F: Thick and creamy, like the taste. Perfect.

O: Like I said, they don't make 'em like this anymore.

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Photo of BayerischBier
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Black crude oil colored filling slowly your glass. Remember Hitchhiker's Guide through the Galaxy's black spaceship? Shiny but absorbing the light! Some mocca/coffee colored head on top

S - a mix of chocolate and roasted coffee touches the nose. touch of alcohol makes you expect a heavy stout

T - same as the smell: chocolate and coffee reaches your taste buds, alcohol takes over and fulfills the taste experience.

M - heavy almost oily mouthfeel but well balanced carbonation

D - Great! Can I have another one?

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Photo of beerSexualizer
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Creamy tan head with a couple fingers of volume. Black brown in colour like when midnight closes it's eyes.

Smells of fruity hops, dark chocolate, and coffee.

Tastes like black licorice that goes from subtly sweet to agressively bitter. Dark chocolate is around before the bitterness takes over. Nice lacing that thins to almost nothing as it drys.

Mouth feel is subtle then quickly errupts into an effervescent coating which follows the sweet to strong bitter profile.

Get this beer and drink it. Strong alcohol, black colour, and formidable bitterness are all staples of this style. F**k yeah.

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Photo of Bang34
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, I tried this brew after seeing it on the "Top Brews" list on this site. I have always been a fan of Stouts and being from Mendocino County, CA just one hour's drive from the birthplace of this beer, it seemed like a match made in heaven. If I could find it. A while back I remembered seeing this brew on the rack at my local Safeway. But when I finally decided to try it, guess what, it was nowhere to be found. After about a month of absence from the shelf, it was finally there. I bought 2 four-packs, just in case it disappeared again.

Now, the rating. Appearance, black, dark, stout-like, with a tanish brown head that sticks around and gives a nice creamyness and lace. The aroma, malty coffeeness comes to mind with a hint of Chocolate. Taste, creamy, chocolaty , coffee like with an after warmth of the alcohol. Even so, this is so smooth, you woul not believe that it is 8.9%.

Brewed in the historic logging and fishing town of Fort Bragg Califonia. Part of the Karate Kid III was filmed there as was the Kurt and Goldie Flick "Overboard" but it is probably most famous for being the final stop of the Skunk Train. I only whis I had found this beer sooner. Along with Anderson Valley's Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, it is one of my favorites. Available in four packs, and with the alcohol content and thickness, believe me, that is all you will need.

I moved to Missouri about 2 1/2 years ago and really miss this beer. It is availsble in my hometown, the small Hamlet of Gualala at the local Supers and I buy it whenever I get back there. On one of my last trips home I was able to get my Mom and Step Dad to take me to lunch at the brewery and they were impressed with this brew as well.

Missouri Import laws don't let any craft Cali brews in, save Pyramid and Sierra Nevada thanks to St. Louis based AB. Man, I miss this beer.

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Photo of NefariousR
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

A - Pours an incredibly dark black with absolutely no light visible. There's a thinnish tan head that dissipated fairly quickly.

S - Dark chocolate, malt, and some coffee notes. Overall a very nice, sweet aroma.

T - Very strong roasted coffee taste, rounded out by malty sweetness. Afterward the alcohol warms the sinuses just slightly.

M - Sticky, but not incredibly thick; medium-bodied.

D - A classic, one of the best RIS I've tasted, and at 9% ABV it is deceptively drinkable. Highly recommended for stout lovers.

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Photo of Moooose
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Just wanted to say this is the beer that you don't drink everyday, this is a Russian imperial stout, it's a very nice beer and whoever on this forum is saying that when you pour it, a thick one inch foam layer is created and does not go away is just simply someone who knows nothing about pouring beer I ve had it so many times and poured it perfectly without having any foam, this is a great stout beer and if you like stout, this will be a nice choice the alcohol in it is 9% so 3 of them will get you a great buzz, the taste is fine too, you can easily drink it, very smooth for a stout, whoever says otherwise about the taste means they like lager because if you are that person that drinks lager all the time then stout and IPA won't taste good to you
This beer is rated in my opinion at minimum a 4.5 out of 5

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Photo of maedhros09
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Deep black with generous frothy dark tan head that settles to a film with groups of bubbles in the middle and lacing at the edge. Sediment noted in the bottle.

Smell: Dry roastiness, perhaps some straw or dried flowers.

Taste: Very mildly sweet, roasted malt, caramel, bitter chocolate, light fruit-like acidity. Finishes with a mild bittersweetness. Alcohol is very well disguised. A fine palate of perfectly balanced pleasant flavors.

Feel: Medium-thick body with smooth mouthfeel, fine carbonation.

Overall: Definitely opens up a lot as it warms - aromas were very stifled at fridge temp. Recommend serving at cellar temp. An all-around winner - no surprises, just a very well-rounded smooth-drinking imperial stout.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A hard pour of Old Rasputin produces two fingers of curiously striped head with a two-tone fade that prety-much is the same color as the white and tan parts of espresso froth. Disappointingly, the show is over in a few seconds and I am left with only a thing ring around the glass, with minimal strings of lace. The nose is spicy hop, earthy chocolate, coacoa, just a little coffee, dark brown sugar, molasses, and fig or date. Very little roasted aroma.

This beer is suprisingly light on the palate. I would describe it as a creamy blend of coffee, sweet milk chocolate, roasted grain, and then just a touch of roasted bitter that makes way for a little suprise. There is a twang of tart rasberry flavor in the finish. A very subtle molasses flavor shows itself as the beer warms. The aftertaste leaves a very gentle, lingering roastiness mixed with alcohol warmth. This is a very smooth and layered beer.

The artful blending of flavors makes reviewing it kind of a chore because it is difficult to dissect exactly what you taste, and it is so smooth you just want to gulp it down. In fact if I have one complaint of this brew, it is that for an Imperial Stout it is almost a little too smooth, lacking a certain "oomph" factor on the palate. All this combined with creamy, silky-smooth mouthfeel make this a dangerously drinkable Imp. Stout, and it would be all to easy to end up smashed, knocking these back like nothing.

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Photo of icetrauma
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my first exp. at a Russian Imperial Stout. I can say that I have had limited exposure to stouts. Only prev. exp. has been with Guiness, not impressed, and Peg Leg Stout, which I found quite delicious.

Poured up into a pint glass. Poured as expected. A deep black color with a dark tan 2 finger head. First notes were that of espresso and dark roasted malt.

Taste was seriously yummy. As with smell the first flavor to hit the palate was that of roasted espresso and malts. Finished off with a nice touch of hopiness that lingured around after the beer was on its journey.

This stout will def. be a welcomed edition into my beer fridge.

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Photo of skipxtracer
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First time trying old Rasputin. Poured very dark brown though not black with tan head that died fairly quickly leaving a lot of lacing. Great aroma of coffee and leather. Mouthfeel is perfect, crisp. This is a really well balanced stout. Taste definitely has chocolate and coffee notes but mostly just delicious malts. Not over poweringly anything but delicious beer.

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Photo of acrawf6
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out pitch black with foamy tan head. Nice lacing.

Aroma. Strong licorice aroma. Under that it has very nice chocolate smell with espresso notes to it. It is an interesting smell because I see it as sweet and dry at the same time. Hops really give this a nice crispness, yet it seems creamy. Very interesting.

Taste. Very nice RIS. Starts off with a nice bitterness, thick flavors of malts too, very roasted malts, and some bits of burnt malts. Also has a slight yeasty and waxy character to it. As it warms up, I get a good amount more of the licorice tastes to it. Aftertaste is roasted malts with black coffee hints with a nice warming.

Mouthfeel. Very full mouthfeel, creamy and chewy. Nice amount of carbonation. Balance is excellent- I’m overwhelmed with both the malt character and the hops.

Overall. A great RIS and an incredible beer! A perfect sipper, yet I’m drinking this quicker than I expected, I could probably finish it in about 30-40 minutes. Just great balance and great flavors. One excellent beer I am glad I can pick up in baton rouge.

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Photo of jiggahertz
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep dark brown, a half finger head eventually presents itself after a stiff pour. The head quickly subsides and no lacing is present.

S: sweet toffee, chocalate and beautiful roasted malts dominate the nose. Alcohol finishes off with a kick.

T: big cocoa start, followed by coffee, malty goodness.

M: full bodied low carbonation. Sweet finish with a definite alcohol overtone.

D: just an awesome pour. Very drinkable for all this beer packs.

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Photo of Theheroguy
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow this is great beer, very rich and complex I regret having waited so long to try it.

In terms of appearance it's everything a stout should be deep black with an enduring and respectable but not thick head.

This beer is like drinking a malty dark chocolate bar. The malt and some fruitiness are first flavors you taste but the rich chocolate quickly assumes its role. This beer is seriously delicious.

The only thing bad about this beer is that is smells incredibly boozy. The 9% alcohol is hidden from the tongue but not from your nose.

It is expensive but well worth the price.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours think like motor oil. So black it's like staring into a black hole. A nice three finger milk chocolate colored head. Some lacing, but honestly it's as if the beer would rather cling to ITSELF than the glass.

S - Nice weighty aroma of burnt grains, charcoal, molasses, wood. Tantalizing.

T - A complex blend of dark cocoa nubs, brown sugar, burnt toast, charcoal, raisins, and espresso, with a refreshing bit of bitterning hops coming out right at the end. Yes, you can actually taste the hops in this stout. What a concept! Alcohol carries all the way through, becoming more present as it warms, and the aftertaste of bitter hops and chocolate goes on for what seems like days. Stunning.

M- Velvety and chewy. Low carbination suits the taste elements and alcohol content perfectly. Finishes slightly dry.

O - This is one amazing stout, and one of the more complex I have tasted. The extra hopping really adds something that many stouts are missing in my opinion. If you truly enjoy big, slightly boozy blasts of dark/burnt/bitter flavors, this one is for you! Highly recommended.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,522 ratings.