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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

3,623 Reviews
For Trade:
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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: 3,623 | Ratings: 11,790
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.31/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black and lacy, like lingerie

Emits an odd, though pleasant, bubble guminess with a smack of toffee

Paired with a sharp cheddar, I can't help but taste Bazooka Joe. Odd. Mild chocolate and Skor bars. Do they still make those?

Hides booze well. Sweet, drinkable, perplexing.

Just not a big fan of this beer.

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Photo of Overlord
3.31/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Delicious, solid stout.

Pours a deep black, somewhat small, but long-lasting, whiteish head. It's a pretty beer, but that's the best thing about it.

Chocolate and coffee aroma flavors ... not as bitter as many stouts, though not as strong tasting either. Mouthfeel was a bit thin, but there was a touch of hops and more than a touch of roasty bitterness. Ugh. Too much roast, too acrid, not enough chocolate or sweetness to balance it.

A really overrated stout.

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Photo of Tbn2
3.31/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

Eye Candy-Vary delicious looking. Black as used motor oil. Very rich brown head rises after hard pour and leaves plenty of lacing all the way to the last drop.

Nose Candy-Somewhat atypical of a stout smell with a rather big presence (for a stout IMO) of hops. Coffee and chocolate malts present and a good toasted grain flavor there as well.

Tongue Candy-Good and solid at the beginning. The coffee flavor hits you off the bat and sits well. At the end of the taste, an earthy flavor of hops comes out and fights against the malts. I wish there was a better balance here between hop and malt flavoring. Body seems a little light and a touch over-carbonated for my likes. I would still recommend this beer and look forward to trying other North Coast Brews...

Hooray Beer!

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Photo of BlindPig
3.32/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It poured with a 1/4" tan head. Black and deep brown. Head fades at medium pace to a thin lacing.
S- Coffee aromas mixed in with some deep rich malts.
T-Bit of coffee flavor with really nothing else. Coffee flavor wasn't to strong and grew in after taste. The whole overall flavors were not to strong at all. There was also a little bitterness in aftertaste.
M- More carbonation than I expected. Had about medium carbonation and a medium body. Was sticky also.
D- It was a very simple beer lacking complexity. Not to strong flavors. Not much going on with the beer at all. Smelled good though. Is drinkable but nothing special at all.

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Photo of wedge6128
3.32/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A bit to strong of a bite in the beginning very pleasant flavors in the middle coffee, hops, something else I cant put my finger on, the after taste is almost unpleasantly bitter.

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Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.33/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours deep black with no light shining through and a dark brown thin head that doesn't fade away, but clings to the glass until the last sip.

Aroma has dark fruit and dark cocoa. Roasted malts is the main attraction with a slight pine that smells more like the alcohol coming through.

The taste has some nice components working: espresso, dark chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malts. These flavors are well balanced but I'm thrown off by an astringent aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is oily, slightly creamy and full. Low carbonation is very pleasant.

I've been waiting to try this brew for a while and have to say I'm disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high, or the bottle needed to mellow a bit. Overall, the unbalanced alcohol taste and smell left me wishing I cellared the bottle. But will give this another chance.

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Photo of papat444
3.33/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Seany for this one.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance: Huge mocha head forms, very bubbly with a black body, Foam doesn't really seem to move much. Long drapes of foam.

Smell: Espresso beans, chocolate, straddles the sweet and bitter with some baker's chocolate shavings.

Taste: Rich, slight licorice, bitter sweet chocolate but then the over the top roasted coffee permeates the flavor. Too unbalanced to be properly enjoyed.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is prickly, body is a beast yet manageable but the finish is quite abrasive and bitter, almost bordering on astringent.

Overall: The unbalanced harshness is too much for my liking. Overshadows the other potential good flavors.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.33/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a little overrated by other users IMO. I had not read any reviews on this beer before drinking it at the bar. It had a nice apperance. Everything else was decent and slightly above average. Nice chocolate maltiness, but the alcohol is too dominant and needs balance. It needs a little more hoppiness to it as well. This beer was ok, but I think I'd pass on it for a different RIS.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.33/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks really good. It's got that classic black body and a head that sprang up out of nowhere to be the perfect size. I was interested by the aroma of this beer. It smells distinctly of cocoa, and I can't stress distinctly enough. I've never had a beer with the same smell. There's also some alcohol in the aroma. The taste was a little disappointing. The chocolatey aspect remained but was masked to some degree by the overt alcohol flavor. It was like some kind of strong chocolate liqueur. Still not a bad beer, it just need to settle down a bit.

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Photo of mortarit
3.33/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have had this beer before but never rated it. When I first sampled this beer I wasn't ready for it. I really didn't like it due to inexperience to the style. Now I have developed a taste and can be more understanding of the style.
So I went to browse the beer shelves and notice this one needed to be retried.

I like these stouts for their heads. They have big head on the pour but goes away fairly quickly, which is good. I really don't like heads for drinking only for show and appearance.
The color is dark and robust.
This one has a very sharp bite at first but disapates through the drink. Basically, the alcohol isn't hidden from the other ingredients.
I like the style but not fond of the particular one. I do think it reflects the style's representation.

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Photo of charlesw
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A really deep, dark brown. Opaque, of course. Deep and dark foam and lasting lace.

Smells like wet loam with a hint of cedar. Caramel malts and mold (as part of the loam, eh?). Burned coffee.

Tastes like smoke flavor with some overly sweetened burned coffee thrown in.

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Photo of JesteR14
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Very very dark brown. Coffee colored bubbles. even putting it to the light, nothing gets through this stout.

S- Its got a pretty good smell. Dark toasted malts, coffee, maybe a little bit of hops?

T- Exactly what i thought it was going to be. Very strong toasted malt flavor with a backing of coffee. I feel like i need to drink this first thing in the morning with an omelet (Not a bad idea..) Strong boozyness with this beer..It gets extra points for finishing sweet and sort of easy...

M- The favor of coffee just lasts overall in my mouth. Its strong and very robust.

D- not my favorite style, but a decent sipper.

Not my favorite style, but a well done beer none the less

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Photo of jeffmonarch
3.36/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Dark dark brown with a really thick caramel colored head that stays forever.

S - Strong chocolate smell. A lot of hops.

T - Rich chocolate taste followed by hops, hops and some more hops. Strong finish.

M - Good carbonation, good flavor, the finish is a little to much hops. It stays in your mouth long after.

D - Not impressed. It has good flavor but i don't like the finish.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.37/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Blind Tasting, thanks Ecrvich It pours very dark brown, definitely not opaque with an off-white film that sticks to the glass rather well. Aroma is assertively malty which shows as bubblegum, melon, milk and candy flavours. Hop profile is rather chalky, dry and alcohol is not particularly well hidden. Fruity palate with watermelon, pepper. This is a complex beer with a sweet side that I love, but I just can't get myself to appreciate this astringent, chalky and roasty sour hoppiness and very obvious alcohol. It just doesn't work with me. Medim bodied with rather intense carbonation. Another beer that doesn't measure up to my expectations which I start to guess are simply to high.

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Photo of biglite351
3.37/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - dark as night with a brown head that leaves lacing.

S - heavy roasted malts with chocolate and coffee.

T - a little hop. Roasted malts with a little chocolate.

M - medium coating. Has a carbonated feel like a pop.

D - it is okay but only a couple.

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Photo of gueuzer
3.38/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

App- Thick black pour. Dark tan had that climbs the glass.

Sm- Heavy roasted malts.

Ta- Dark roasted malts washed over by espresso. Lots of bittering hops. There is not much residual sweetness considering the style and ABV.

MF- Thick.

DR- The ABV is well hidden. Would be very drinkable, but the hops are so strong, it would be hard for me to have another one.

Overall, the hops kill too much of the other flavors going on in this beer. The other three beers in the four pack will be going down to the cellar for at least a year.

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Photo of dnichols
3.38/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into a mug.

A: The beer poured a creaamy and nearly black hue. Even back lit I could find not color other than black. An aggressive pour resulted in a massive sticky milk chocolate head of more than four fingers. The head receded leaving a beautiful tan lacing.

S: It smells of bitter dark chocolate, thick molasses, a hint of black licorice, and a deep smoky aroma that reminded me of my last campfire after I doused it with water.

T: It reminds me a a quad chocolate latte on the front end. That is folled by a rich bitter chocolate bite.Finally, there is a dry finish accented by a smoky sour flavor that lingers long after swallowing.

M: It was medium to full bodied. I didn't detect much carbonation but there was an alcohol drying in my mouth after swallowing and a a lingering bitterness that began pleasantly but developed into a sour taste that was not appealing.

D: I have yet to develop an appreciation for stouts. This one was enjoyable through the first half of the bottle then the bitterness got to me. A small 12 ounce serving is about enough for me.

Comment: For years I equated stouts with the bottles of Guinness my Irish friend would try to foist on me. Granted my palate was immature, but I never developed a taste. This stout was better than those lost to my memory but I did not enjoy it enough to become a regular stout consumer.

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Photo of drewmprs
3.39/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First whiff was of chocolate coffee and alcohol. This was definitely a thinking man's beer, not one meant for chugging. I had it after a few erdinger's and it brought a welcome change to my palate. This beer is a bit too strong for me, I like my stouts a little smoother like rogue's shakespeare. Rasputin had a bit of a gamey taste to it, like uncooked rabbit and veal. It was a pleasure to drink this beer on tap, i like watching the bartender do the double pour. Bartender also told me this beer goes well as a half and half or black and tan mixer. I don't know about that, the complexity of this beer is unmatched, and i wouldn't want to sully it with Harp's or Bass.

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Photo of Marraybay
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was interesting, but not as enjoyable as Blvd's "Dark Truth." Poured a dark black with a decent head and lacing. Smell was largely roasty with some sweet brown sugar notes. Nice mouth feel: very filling, but for me, just not enough sweetness pushing-back against the heavy roasted bitterness: Still much better in that regard though as compared to some of the Sam Smith brews, etc: Note - Very pronounced lingering coffee bitterness on the palate long after the deed was done. Definitely felt the 9.00 afterwards as well.

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Photo of orfeu
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
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 marieli
3.41/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle. Started at 56d. Looked good, but smell and taste were strong alcohol. Not distinguishing chocolate or coffee to me. Alcohol tended to dominate. Mouthfeel is on thinner side, maybe medium. Creaminess and more thickness would have helped perhaps. My friend loves this beer and picks up chocolate from it. I did not and was disappointed based on ratings it has received. I would much prefer the flavorful and much more balanced Courage or Samuel Smith Imperial Stouts.

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.41/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a dark brown with ruby hints behind it. Head is less than a finger and recedes very quickly to a tiny layer of foam. The smell is chocolatey spice, but it is also very alcoholic too. Very little hops or malts are evident. The taste is actually very sweet, and it actually tastes like a less tasteful stout with a shot of whisky in it, adding a heavy alcoholic and sweet taste to it. Besides that there are some fruity tones to it, but I really cant get by that initial sweet alcoholicness. The mouthfeel is medium body with plenty of carbonation, which is fine. However, I find this beer tasting way too alcoholic to me.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.42/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $7.99 for a 4 pack of 12 oz. bottles from BevMo in San Jose, CA. Poured one of the bottles into a snifter.

Quarter inch tan head. Somewhat fizzy, but does not seem too carbonated. The beer is black with minimal head retention. Some lacing.

Alcohol and a complex malt blend in the nose. Roasty and some chocolate.

Taste is of nicely roasted malts. Not as complex as the nose.

Mouth is more carbonated than I expected. Pleasant. Medium body and a bit thinner for a RIS.

A bit overrated IMO. There are better RISs than this.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.42/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass. The beer is pitch black with a thick dark espresso foamy head that takes forever to dissipate. Good sticky lacing persists. The beer smells like alcohol, big time. But through that is bitter chocolates and perhaps roasted malts. The beer tastes warm and boozy up front. After that, raisins, bitter chocolate, and burnt malts. A slightly smokey presence is also noted. The mouthfeel is bright, carbonated, and dry.

Overall, the alcohol just ruins everything for me here. It's in the smell, the mouthfeel, and the taste. Doesn't leave much room leftover for taste ... I know my viewpoint clashes with nearly every BA out there, but that's why it's MY viewpoint.

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Photo of Onceeven
3.42/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, yeah... Is this maybe the freakiest looking bottle of beer out there. Old R. kept staring out at me from my fridge and giving me the willies.. so I had to get rid of it..

This beer is quite dark, but doesn't seem as impenetrably black as other stouts. Thin mocha colored head, that dissipated quickly, but left thick lacing.
You can smell the alchol on this one, along with a subtle smokiness from the roasted malt. Also a hint of coffee.
The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, which is one reason I love stouts. That along with the warming effect of the alcohol makes this one a good one to sip on a cold night.
Wow, big flavor here. Initial tartness or sourness as it hits the tongue, then mellows a bit turning sweet, only to surge back with a big alcoholic hop finish.

A complex brew, but with a bit too much emphasis on the alcohol. It seems to dominate the other flavors to a point where the overall effect is compromised. Good, not great.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,623 ratings.