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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.

3,540 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,540
Hads: 11,417
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 513
Gots: 2,441 | FT: 55
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 (29) | 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: 3,540 | Hads: 11,417
Photo of mdwalsh
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A great 1+ finger head that you don't often find in this style of brew. Not something I take off for lacking, but give credit for having. I even see some active carbonation in there. It is, as one would hope, Black and black and black and black. I like it very much.

S: Dark, sweet fruit, some malt and maybe a hint of roasted barley? No hops, no overwhelming roast. I really get the smell of cooking chocolate, such as making fudge or melting chocolate for dipping fruit. Very good, not quite perfect though.

T: More sweet fruit, not so much on the raisin side but more so the cooked apple and plum sort of taste. Absolutely no sign of alcohol. If you told me this was an NA beer, I wouldn't doubt you. I don't get the gritty dryness of a roasted malt or anything. I really, really like this beer.

M: Proper thickness, not too thin, not to rich or creamy. It does have a mild carbonation bite and a little tingle afterward which is kinda funny, but all in all pretty good.

D: Very good taste, very doable, but the abv limits its true drinkability. But for the style, very good.

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

Poured bottle into Sam Adams Pint Glass.

Appearance - Very dark with nice 3 finger tan head

Smell - Very smokey with hints of chocolate and malt.

Taste - If this beer were a whiskey it would be a 20+ year aged very high quality single malt scotch. Smokey, bold and very complex. This is a beer I could envision Ivy League professors sitting around drinking at the end of a day.
It has an excellent balance of chocolate and malts balanced out with hints of hops in the aftertaste. For 9% APV, the alcohol is extremely well disguised. The only negative I can say about the taste is that it still tastes like an American craft beer with the flavors that don't replicate as a Brisish beer. Aside from the "Americanized" craftbrew flavors its a great beer.

Mouthfeel - Creamy and rich. Excellent.

Drinkability - With a well balance of malt/hops and a well disguised 9%, this is one bold complex beer that is easy to drink. Well done!

Overall - This is a great strong, manly, beer to store away in your cellar and pull a few out some day when a good friend or family member is over to share.

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

A - Black. Solid black - nothing gets through save for just a teensy bit of light at the bottom of my glass. Head is a deep tan/leather in color, thick and very rich looking. As I drink there's a ton of lace left behind.

S - Dark chocolate is the strongest scent coming out of the nose. There's hints of coffee and a bit of malts, but the chocolate dominates.

T - Taste is amazing. There's touches of chocolate, espresso, some dark fruits, and a bit of hops. The flavor profile is very deep and very rich. The lingering alcohol is quite warming. If this wasn't 9% abv I'd sip on it all night long.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit thin at first, but about midway through a thick, sticky, syrupy quality comes through. Just a bit of carbonation. Very nice.

O - I'm drinking this by itself, but it would go great with a big meal. Despite the high abv it's quite easy drinking ... perhaps a bit dangerous. Definitely a beer that I'll be buying again.

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

Black body, BIG brownish head. Took a bunch of pours before I could empty the bottle.

Pronounced, grassy hop aroma, I can smell the chocolate, and the alcohol.

First taste: THICK mouthfeel. I found myself unconsciously chewing to get it down. First of these I’ve been able to taste the carbonation on. Quite bitter, but it’s more under control than the Victory. Flavor profile takes 5+ full seconds to roll around my tongue. It’s like there’s a beginning, a middle, a bridge, a climax, and a denouement. Starts quite sweet and chocolatey, then becoming more bitter, going through a black coffee phase and then . . . almost like the char on a grilled steak? Hard to describe, but deep and rich flavor. Does leave a bitter aftertaste, but it’s not as oppressive as some imperial stouts. My mouth still chews automatically with every swig, haha.

Without question the best imperial stout I’ve tried so far. I’m starting to see why imperials have a cult following.

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Photo of lpgarcia8
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Probably my favorite beer. Great taste, nice, dark, rich, light hop, coffee/chocolate taste. Awesome name, awesome brewery. Really high aclohol content. I would reccomend this beer to anyone, and I do all the time. Have quickly converted all my friends to it. Pretty expensive but worth every penny.

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

12oz squaty bottle

Appearance: Black, little to no head.

Smell: Chocolate coffee malt and alcohol.

Taste: Coffee, roasted malt but light on the alcohol taste i was expecting. Full body almost thick. but overall great beer.
not sure about quanity but sure has the quality. a last beer of the nigh sit and watch tv listen to music beer. mmm mmm good.

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

Poured from bottle into conical pint glass.

A: Midnight black, opaque, thick-looking, with a big attractive tan head which never left. Almost certainly the thickest and most tenacious lacing I have ever seen, like the folds of a silk curtain.

S: Cocoa, coffee, and slightly boozy. Very mild-smelling.

T: Coffee and bitter chocolate, bittersweet roasted barley finish with a very mild boozy character again. Very clean finish, perfectly balanced.

M: Just the minimal carbonated smoothness I expect in a stout. This aspect mixed with the clean finish makes it D dangerous.

D: It's -9F outside and... I think I will pour another.

This is really a gem of a beer, perfect for wintertime sipping. Frighteningly I can and will session this beer. Now all I need is a fireplace.

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Photo of mttaylor1066
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

You can read the particulars below, but my review will be brief:

This is the best balanced beer I have ever tasted. Intoxicating... and that's not the alcohol talking.

... and I don't even like Russian Imperial Stout. This one will spoil you for all others.

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

This was served at cellar temperature at Falling Rock tap house in Denver.
Dark, black body with dark tan head of two fingers which lowered to one finger and laced nicely.
Smell of coffee and chocolate with malt roast and biscuit.
Taste was wonderful. Just the right balance between coffee, chocolate, hops and malt. Nothing dominated which rendered the feel smooth and soft. The alcohol presented itself and then retreated into the flavors.
Very easy drinking for a RIS. Very good.

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Photo of CochonKing
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Pours a thick black with a chocolate colored head that is around 1 inch. Excellent lacing. - 5

Smell - Chocolate, Coffee, Espresso and strong dark malt. Caramelized sugars and roasted nuts - 4.5

Taste - Coffee and chocolate with dark malt back bone. Soy sauce on the palate as well. 4.75

Mouthfeel - Full bodied creamy beer with light bubbles. Excellent on the palate - 5.0

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Photo of Tonedef
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Always my go to imperial stout..black as motor oil nice amount of carbonation and tastes like a chocolate espresso bomb...at 9 bucks a 4 pack its almost always in my fridge..

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

Got it on-tap -- the nitro-tap -- at the Lionheart in Albany on 4/23/08.

A: Body is black -- dark black -- but with a hint of crimson on the edges when backlit. A thick, foamy 1.5-finger tan head rests on top with great staying power. As expected, it leaves behind sheets of lacing all the way down the glass.

S: First impression is roasted malt with a hint of chocolate. Also hints of anise and black licorice. Pleasant all around, but not terribly strong on the nose. I suspect the serving temperature may have had something to do with that (it was a little colder than I like my RIS's to be); as it warmed I got stronger chocolate in the aroma. . . .

T: First impression: roasted malt and coffee, with dark chocolate at the back of the mouth. Then I get some black licorice on the front sides of the tongue, a touch of alcohol warmth at the back end of the sip and a dry, coffee-like bitterness coating the back and roof of my mouth. As it warms it becomes more chocolatey.

M: Wow. Heavy in weight but creamy. The nitro-tap has turned this into one smoooth-drinking experience.

D: Excellent. Again, the addition of the nitro has smoothed out any rough edges, and for this fan of chocolatey flavors in my RIS's, I find it actually becomes easier to drink as it warms and the chocolate becomes more dominant. The pint was gone much too fast. . . .

Notes: Normally I don't bother adding a 2nd review of a beer just because I get it from a different source (i.e., on-tap vs. the bottle). But having this on the nitro tap made for a substantially different experience and I was glad I'd brought pen and paper along to memorialize that experience. Truly excellent -- on more than one occasion I took a sip, shook my head and said something like "damn, that is one excellent beer." Kudos to the Lionheart for getting this. . . .

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

A - Pours jet black color with a thick, two finger, creamy burnt caramel colored head. Completely opaque.

S - I'm getting hints of dark malts, dark chocolate, and licorice.

T - The taste is amazing. Its thick, chewy and creamy. It finishes a bit bitter with a smokey undertone. The alcohol is very well hidden since i'm not feeling a warming effect, nor does it taste boozey as others RIS's have.

M - Full bodied, medium carbonation. Thick, and chewy. Almost reminds me of Ports old viscosity. Kind of like a old used motor oil that you could drink that would taste good.

D - This is a great example of this style. While the beer has a fairly high ABV of 9%, It's very easy to drink and i find myself having to remember that this is a sipper, not a gulper (even though i want to). This beer is very accessible and cheap for me and that makes it one of my absolute favorite RIS's.

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

Poured into a tulip.

A: Wow. Black as night with a thin, dark caramel, half finger head that dissipated quickly leaving almost no lace to speak of. I tried to shine a 9 led super bright flash light through it and saw nothing. How awesome is that?

S: The smell is of roasted coffee, dark fruits, and dark bitter chocolate, with a punch of alcohol. In a word, fantastic!

T: Explosive roasted coffee, and dark fruits on the start, leading almost immediately into dark bitter chocolate. Followed by a nice hoppy bitterness and warm alcohol. The alcohol is accompanied by the taste of burbon and then coffe on the finish. I was then left with a lingering bitter chocolate and coffe after that is just wonderful. There are hints of spicy flavors throughout. I picked up some clove, star anise, and an almost hot black peper somewhere in the middle, that lingered just under the coffe after. There really is far too much here for a novice like me.

M: Nice and heavy. Coats the mouth well, and gives a lovely warming sensation.

D: Highly drinkable, in small quantities. This may be the best beer I have yet to put in my mouth, but I will struggle to finish 12oz. It is no session beer; at 9% ABV, but it is a very very special drink. I just really love this beer!

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

A - Poured a very dark brown pretty much black color with a brown head that leaves lacing

S - Great malt with chocolate smell

T - Awesome taste malt with a chocolate and coffee flavor finishes with some hops

M - Very creamy and smooth very little carbonation

D - Is very high great taste I think this is the best beer that I've reviewed yet I think I'll have another after this one

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Photo of AllHoppedUp84
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had anxiously awaited my first shot at this brew. Served on-tap at New Albanian Brewery. Poured a deep black with a two-finger head that was khaki-colored. Head retained very nicely and gripped to every inch of the glass. Aroma was somewhat hoppy but chocolate and coffee blasted through. Taste was much like the aroma, being dominated by chocolate and coffee with some nice hops up front. This brew masked the 9% very well. Medium-bodied and very smooth from start to finish. I typically am a hop-bomb IPA drinker and haven't experienced too many RIS but I was pleasantly surprised with this brew. Definitely will keep me coming back for more in the future. A must-try.

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Photo of tryemdad
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On a cold winter's night I dreamed of a coastal cottage, Northern Europe...I can hear the storm surge a few meters away....fire slowly dwindling....I swirl the stout in my glass...savoring every last drop...

THIS is THAT stout.

Near-perfection. It doesn't suffer from "too much chocolate," "too much coffee," there's not too much of anything. Just the perfect amount of stoutness.

Now I know better, but a few decades ago I would have imagined that this would be what Guinness tasted like....

The nitro tap pour results in an absolutely perfect appearance: pure black, 1/2 inch of caffe latte head. The nose is warm Manhattan Special soda, for the Brooklyn/NYC folks...

Unbelievably smooth. Don't ever pass this up on tap!

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

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
Head : Thick hard and filled with flavor.
Body : Dark dARk darK thick merky almost death like.
Taste : Rich maty burnt hops Slight bitter. Coffe like.

The end was warm with alittle dryness.
Verry good drink whish they had it where I live. " Mabey I'll Move"!

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

Ol' Raspy pours into my trusty Full Sail pint glass black as night with a very impressive big, chestnut head. The foam takes its sweet time settling, leaving this looking like an amazing, huge shot of dark-roast espresso. After the second and final pour, the head never goes away. This is a perfect-looking brew! Great lacing.

My very first impressions of the smell are of cherry and chocolate. But the massive maltiness hits me quickly, and there is definitely some caramel. I haven't had many RISs, but I believe the nose here is a bit subtle compared to the others I know. Still quite good though. Check that - after warming up for about 45 minutes out of the fridge, this thing has opened up enough to earn an extra half point.

The taste blew my mind. Jeez. This is exceptional. The hops were a pleasant surprise. What an amazing complexity! Thick and velvety smooth on the tongue this beer goes down way too easy for a 9%er. I could totally go for another right away! World Class.

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Photo of blynes75
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a pint glass at a temperature of 45 degrees. Jet black with a 1" caramel colored head that left very sticky lacing with every sip.

S: Smell is of strong roasted malts with hints of expresso and dark chocolate.

T: Smooth...very smooth. Tastes just like it smells. Each sip is an adventure that starts with big roasted malts and expresso and leaves hints of dark chocolate & molasses on the palate. Finish is that of moderate hoppiness that completes this beer wonderfully.

M: Not too thick, not too thin but very creamy. Coats the mouth and the mild carbonation makes it very silky and smooth. This is one of the best beer experiences I have had.

D: For a RIS this is the most drinkable I have had. The relatively strong 9% abv is hidden very well. If the first one didn't leave its mark every time, it would be hard not to have 2 or 3 or....

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Photo of JackStraw22
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Nearly pitch black body, inch and a half of caramel colored head. Retention and lacing were both nice.

Smell: Chocolate/mocha, coffee, and roasted malts galore hit the nose. Slight citrusy and fruity aromas sneek in underneath.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Wow! This stuff knocks you on your ass then kicks you in the face. And that never felt so good. There's so much going on it's hard to know where to start. The hops are loud and fierce. The roasted malts are king in this, though. Burnt wood, coffee, mocha all come through nice and balanced. Mouthfeel is bold and creamy. Maybe a slightly dry finish with the alcohol, but it all works.

Drinkability: I wish I had gotten a growler of this when I had the chance, cause that would go down no problem.

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

Appearance: very thick and heavy.
Smell: gave off almost chocolately smell
taste: has abit of a coffee aftertaste to it.
mouthfeel: heavy, very heavy
drinkability: Excellent beer to drink. Can't drink more then maybe 2 or you wont be able to drive home.

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

Poured into a pint glass with a nice creamy tan head that stays the entire session. The color is opaque and nontransparent. The aroma is of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. The taste is as good or better than any RIS I have had to date (I do have 2 Stone RIS's in the fridge waiting to be unleashed). The roasted coffee and dark chocolate shine through as there is a touch of milk chocolate. The mouthfeel is thick and full. The drinkability is great for two and then your to full to drink another.

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

S: Cool little four pack with a picture of the unkillable Rasputin daring you to drink this beer. Poured into a goblet and allowed to settle for 10 minutes.

A: Pitch black with a frothy almond colored head.

S: Coffee, with hints of roasted malty goodness.

T: Awesome. So much flavor from this little bad boy. Malty, roasted unsweetened cocoa, maybe some mollases coming through. Tasty and goes great with a nice medium rare steak.

M: Initially it comes on thick in an epic kind of way, then warms in the mouth and settles back to unleash the flavors.

D: Highly. The alcohol is a ghost in this stout which deceives its 9% content. I know stouts are primarily a winter beer but this thing can be enjoyed in the summer too. As the beer warms it unleashes even more flavors.

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Photo of atrus138
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh...One of my all-time favorites. Haven't had one of these in a while.

Looks amazing. Straight up black, though turns brown at the edges when held up to a light. One and a half inch khaki head. Impressive lacing. Smell is overwhelmingly sweet chocolate. Amazing. There are also hints of coffee, caramel, and toffee, but they are a bit more subdued. There is also a strong hop presence. Taste - it's like there's a party in my mouth and everyone's rich and tasty. Huge flavor. Chocolate mostly, as the smell made quite clear. A meal in itself. Great, thick beer with enough carbonation to keep it lively. A great beer to sip and contemplate, read, or enjoy a chat with a close friend. Don't have too many of these. I did a double-take when I saw the ABV - it's very well hidden here. One of my favorites that I will keep coming back to often.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,540 ratings.