Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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3,523 Reviews

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Reviews: 3,523
Hads: 11,304
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 499
Gots: 2,341 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,523 | Hads: 11,304
Photo of redwolf1
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured four 12-ounce bottles of Old Rasputin over the course of a week to give me some time to properly judge the contents. Dark black charcoal in color with a rich frothy light mocha head, which was thicker than I had anticipated. Moderate lacing around the glass. There was a subtle smokiness in the aroma after pouring; however, the smell of dark roasted malts and coffee abound afterwards. As for taste, a little bitter at first, which mellowed with time. A very good beer to sink your teeth into, real chewy. Didn't get that warm alcohol feeling while drinking this one like you do with some others, so I would say that the alcohol is pretty well hidden until you finish the bottle. For overall drinkability though, I would think some people would stop with one or two. At 9%ABV, it will hit you. Good thing, it comes only in 4-packs in my area.

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Photo of dweideman
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a large frothy light-medium brown mostly lasting head. Aroma was extremely sweet – I detected dark cherry, ripened banana and a slight hint of citrus. Initially a light sweet taste with lively carbonation followed by moderate bitterness. The roasted malts really came through late in the finish with dark chocolate the predominant flavor. I really enjoyed the different aromas of this offering.

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Photo of Enola
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out a thick dark black. It had creamy tan colored head. The smell is sweet and malty. Hints of the alcohol come through. The taste is roasted grain with a big alcohol finish. The alcohol is not as overpowering as others of the style. The mouthfeel is decent but due to the higher ABV it is somewhat diminished. I could drink these again. I would not want to slam these down but an occasional one would hit the spot.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Head is slow to develop, then quick to dissappear. Leaves a dark tan ring. Beer color is dark and black. Decent carbonation visible.

S: Lightly smoky, sweet chocolaty malt aromas

T: Starts out with toasty sensation and quickly turns dry with a unique chocolaty sweetness. This then evaporates into a mildly bitter finish. After a few more sips the bitterness catches up to me and is very moderate. The alcohol is clearly well hidden.

M: It has a good deal more carbonation than it appears. Very smooth, fairly thick, but not chewy, it's just rich.

D: Highly recommended, a perfect balance of flavors, nothing is overdone. I really like the sweetness of the malt, it's brief, making you come back for more...

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Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a - dark molasses brown. fine bubble head that lasts. good lacing on sides of the glass.

s - Strong mocha chocolate

t - Taste is just like the smell. There is a toast malt sweetness that is full of chocolate. aftertaste remains for a long time and eventually fades to a slight bitterness on the back of the tongue.

m - Full and oily. Not thin, pleasant carbonation.

d - A keeper. Could drink a lot of these.

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Photo of braubeater
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is very dark, opaque, with a subtle, fine-bubble head that remains thought the session. Very impressive lacing on the glass.

Aroma is subdued (hop-wise) with chocolate notes coming through assertively.

Initial taste is dry, with a slight alcoholic tinge followed by a parched feeling on the back of the tongue, but the malty residue and faint hop aroma provide a well-balanced finish.

This is probabably the most drinkable Imperial Stout I have ever encountered. This makes my top 10 list.

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Photo of baiser
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours motor oil black, with a thick, creamy brown head, wonderful lacing, great retention. Looks like a rich espresso. Roasted malt, alcoholic aromas. Taste is something else. Smooth, rich, creamy, espresso flavours, molasses and a heavy roasted and almost burnt flavour. Finishes dry, bitter and satisfying. Lots of complexity, flavour but still extremely easy to drink. Great body and mouthfeel. One of the best imp stouts I've had.

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Photo of scooter231
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark dark brown with tan head, very dark and mysterious. Smells deliiicious with chocolate filling my nostrils begging me to sip! And sip I do, and it is, in fact, also, delicious. Chocolately and caramely and espresso-y. A bitter finish completes the taste cycle. Mouthfeel is bubbly and fluffy, very clean and smooth. Very drinkable, though too sweet after a while. And did I mention how sneaky this is? At almost 9 percent, it's definitely sneaky.

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Photo of pbr85
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jet black witha two inch tan head. Head stays around for a while but there is little to no lacing.

Smell: Smell is dominated by chocolatey malts with alcohol scents in the background.

Taste: Roasty, toasty, burnt breads that lingers in the mouth with a sweet, fruity flavor mixed in.

Mouthfeel: Not as thick as I was expecting, or as carbonated, but it goes down smooth.

Drinkability: A pretty good stout, one that I would buy again but probably not on a regular basis. I could probably drink a few of these in a night.

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Photo of hrockefeller
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought bottle at Northside Indianapolis Kahn's as my introduction to the imperial stout style. I have had quite a few stouts, but this is my first review as I felt I should develop my tastes a little first.

Appearance: Opaque black, with a 1/2" head on initial pour. Head dissipates rather quickly into a thin layer that clings slightly to the glass.

Smell: Complex smell that is heavy with alcohol ( I realize this states the obvious a bit when the brew is 9% ABV). Other dominant scents include chocolate and coffee. Hints of fruity smells including raisins. Very toasty/bready.

Taste: Wow! The presence of alcohol does not seem to be as dominant with the taste as it was with the smell, allowing the other flavors to make their presence known. The toastiness and chocolate really come out at this point with a nice balance of hop flavor that allows for a somewhat dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, leaves my taste buds craving more.

Drinkability: If it wasn't for the high alcohol content, I think I could easily make this a session beer. Leaves a clean, dry feeling that prepares you for the next drink.

This has instantly become one of my favorite beers. I was a little unsure, as I am somewhat partial to milk/sweet stouts. However, if this example is any indication of what to expect, imperial stouts may just take their rightful place on the throne.

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Photo of Tallboy
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass it is an elegant black with a ballanced flavor but a tad sweet compared to other stouts. A nice smell to invigorate as your tastebuds take a journey of bliss with hints of raisens,chocolate,coffe and a robust and complex mouthfeel that will warm your body head to toe[great winter time beverage]
This is one of the Best Russian Stout's that I Ihave had the pleasure to run across, and you will not be disapointed .

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Photo of Tupperwolf
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours from a 12oz bottle into my nonic glass with a HUGE HEAD. Be super careful on the pour because this thing just wants to rise right out of the glass. Piercing black-hole darkness reveals just a tinge of ruby when held up to the light; It actually looks somewhat clear, just incredibly black. So much whipped-cream dark tan head. Thin but super persistent lacing rings mark each and every swallow. OMG. A five if there ever was one.

Huge! huge bursting sweet chocolatey coffee malts, so much sexy, sexy stout flavor. If I try hard I might be able to pick out some hops... But it might be my imagination. This beer completely scorches my sense of smell. I have to give it a good minute of rest before going in for another whiff, which immediately burns up my scent receptors with coffee, and chocolate, and more coffee, and more chocolate. A little bit of metallic twinge.

Okay, you're kidding me, right? I think North Coast has bottled a mocha chocolate milkshake and called it beer. The taste is so intense, so strong and bittersweet with coffee and chocolate, toffee, roasted nuts. It tempts me to guzzle, and I give in for a few swallows. Wow, wow, wow. Awesome slow and savory or quick and greedy.

Mouthfeel... Like I said... milkshake. Thick, lustrous, creamy, silky. Not chewy, but full, full, swirling, frothy, creamy. Swallowing almost completely clears the palate, which is welcome - there's a lingering, almost (if I may be crude) phlegmlike sensation of sweet, delicious flavors that hangs out on the very back of the tongue and coats the throat. Soooo good. Where the heck is the alcohol? I guess it must be in my belly!

Buy, beg, panhandle, or steal for this beer. Buy out the whole shelves. I want to give it fives across the board. Do I dare? Do I dare? I dare! Utterly one of the best beers I have ever, ever had in my life. A life-changing experience!

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Photo of heyitsbyron
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received a bottle from a friend in exchange for some of my brother's homebrew. Poured into a pint glass.

I don't expect much in the way of head from high gravity stouts, but this did very well. Perhaps not as viscous as other imperial stouts, but it left about 1cm of head and the head color was a pretty tan. Beer color was a deep dark brown. The head was velvety smooth.

I didn't smell a whole lot, very little aroma. What I did smell was similar to a macro beer, maybe a bit of coffee and purple fruitiness. It's too bad. These smells are wonderful, but just not strong enough, especially considering the over the top flavors.

Taste is quite good. I think it's complex and strong, even for an imperial stout. Coffee flavors overwhelm, so do roast malts, but there is certainly a bit of dark condensed fruit. I was suprised by the latter because I haven't had many beers that taste this way, but the more I taste, the more apparent these flavors become. A few seconds after I take a sip, I get a bit of an alcohol bite. No real complaints here, and I like a good strong beer.

I like the mouthfeel, though it's not a slippery smooth as other imperial stouts I've had. Real solid body, perhaps just a touch over carbonated-- a bit unpleasant on my throat. Again, no big complaints.

I'd love to have a six pack of this beer, but it's not something I'd sit and pound consecutively. It's heavy, of course, and doesn't slide down like some other imperial stouts. A bomber would be nice, but I'm afraid I couldn't drink a less strong beer in that same evening. A great beer; it would be a joy to purchase it again.

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Photo of bahumutx
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours black with a tan creamy head.

Smell: Roasted malt and dark chocolate are the most prevalent. Also hints of coffee, fruits and slight alcohol.

Taste: The most noticeable part of the flavor is the roasted malt. There are also hints of chocolate and a coffee like bitterness and a slight sweetness. There is also an alcohol warming that is present but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Thick Mouthfeel with hardly any carbonation.

Drinkability: This is definitely a sipping beer and because of this I could only have 1 or 2 in a sitting.

This is my first beer from North Coast Brewing Company and I look forward to trying their other offerings.

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Photo of IgnorantBastard
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first RIS that I have the pleasure to taste. And I liked it alot. The best aspect is the chocolate mid palate. Other than that, the earthiness and undistinct nose offers no delite that an IPA might offer. But, if you have surpassed the blah-say of so many crafted brews, this will open your eyes.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A wonderful stout. Nicely balanced, one thing I really like (or dislike) about stouts is the roastedness of the beers body. This one was not too roasted, but it had enough bitterness to warm me up on a single digit western New England evening. Highly drinkable at %9

Purchased as a 4-pack for $8.00, a good deal. There are so many good stouts out there, I feel that this category is going to become a much more scrutinized category.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very nice example of an American RIS, with the bitterness/hop level ramped up a good bit.

Pours an engine oil black in color, totally opaque in my pint glass with a brown head that fizzled down into a thin swirl atop the pint. Lots of sticky lacing. Nose is very, very, nice, nutty and fruity with lots of coffee and cocoa character, complex and multi-layered. Taste is very good as well, initially reminds me of chocolate covered raisins, but quickly overtook by a milk chocolate tone and a strong roasted coffee flavor. Mouthfeel is heavy, very full bodied and complex. Drinkability is quite high as it warms and the bittnerness recedes, at cooler temps there is a definate unbalance, but at proper temps it's marvelous. Overall a bit too overdone with the hop presence, in my humble opinion it's just not necessary or warranted.


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Photo of whynot44
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark, almost black opaque brew with some ruby highlights and a modest tan head that disipates to a collar and thin layer but nevertheless manages to leave a very nice lacing with each swallow.

The aroma is dark roasted malt, coffee, hints of fruit.

The taste is also dark roast malt with lots of coffee flavor, hints of chocolate, raisins and plums. The finish is espresso sweetened with raisins which lingers well into the aftertaste. Nice alcohol warmth for a pleasant cool weather warmer.

Very easy to drink.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am sampling this at Kclingers with some friends and family. The beer arrives in a small pilsener glass. The beer is pitch black with a thin creamy tan head that leaves tight latticework as it receds slowly.
Aroma is roasated malt and chocolatewith some dark fruit, mostly raisins. First sip reveals a fairly thick body and super mild carbonation.
The flavor is deep and robust with dark bittersweet chocolate and some roasted malt. There is a bit of coffee and some dark fruit poking around in back as well. The coffee takes over on the finish and lingers very smooth and easy to drink. The alcohol is well hidden in this treat. Watch out if you have a few!

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.66/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark plum; clear with burgundy highlights. The light brown head is dense and creamy, rising to nearly three fingers and retaining well. The lacing will coat the glass. Dark fruits in the nose like raisins and dates. Strong bakers chocolate aroma and some fusel vapors as it warms to room temp. A hint of coffee to top off the complex aroma; but not much in the way of hops or roasted notes. The roasted barley becomes very evident in the initial taste, with a slight black patent twang. Unsweetened chocolate and faint spicy hop aftertaste mellow out the strong sweet flavor. Dark fruity alcohol is apperent in the finish, but there is enough residual sweet to hide the fusels and retain a silky mouthfeel. The thick body and low carbonation highlight an excellent balance of bold flavor and smooth mouthfeel of this nearly perfect Russian Imperial stout.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass, pours a thick dark black with decent head that shrinks quickly to a thin film, and has remarkably thick brown sugar color lacing. Quite lovely. Aroma is beautiful. I don't usually find aromas that wonderful, but this is quite remarkable. Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, licorice and alocohol, perhaps a trace of brown sugar. Taste is just as great, with a complex mixture of the same hints from aroma, a potent blast of roasted malts and espresso-like aftertaste, finishes moderately thick, smooth and creamy. MF is really good, I actually get different feels from it down the glass, and the body is great. What a fantastic beer, a classic in my book.

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Photo of thetachibro
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In the glass it is black as night with a nice sized head that falls back to next to nothing. Some chocolate in the flavor with mild malts, coffee. Not too much in the smell department. The taste is the upside of this beer. Bitter malt, coffee, espresso. Followed by the alcohol and soft hops. A very full bodied mouthfeel. I can sit down and enjoy a couple of these.

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Photo of russpowell
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought a 4 pack today, decided to re-review to see how this compares to the dozens of RIS I've tried since 05:

I stand by original ratings with the following exceptions: Take a appearance down to 4.0 head retention & lacing are good not great. Taste 4.5; depth of flavor isn't quite as good as I remember... & Mouth feel seems much thinner than I recall. Still a benchmark for the style that delivers awesome value for $ taste-wise!!

Pours almost pitch black (when held to intense light goes mahogany to purple) with a whipped up tan bubbly head, Great head retention and insane lacing, a feast for the the dark beer lover's eyes.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate and licorice notes, with alcohol and roasted malts lurking in the background.

Taste: Some fruitiness, then bam! Burnt coffee taste, chocolate, molasses, hops/grainy bitterness &alcohol.

MF: Chunky, silky and just hits the marks.

Great winter-time beer that has been lapped by others in in hoppiness and abv, but not drinkability IMHO

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rasputin stares at you through the depths of a goblet. An opaque black stare with deep tan fringes bores into your brain.
This will not be an idle encounter.
A sweet yet bitter perfume floats along the air permeating your nostrils.
Distinctive. Not something you'd imagine to be appealing but convinces you otherwise.
The encounter is not meek by any standard. Charming yet repelling, both pulling you in and pushing you away.
The struggle is exhausting yet you can't help but thinking that you'll choose to cross paths again.

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

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

* Christmas 2005 *

Pours a jet black with some ruby colored highlights on the very bottom of the glass. Excellent shade of black and the presentation of this beer has everything I would expect from a true imperial stout. Random tan colored traces of sticky lace appear all over the glass.

Aroma is so inviting with whiffs of roasted coffee beans, creamy dairy, hops, burnt grains and juicy malts.

This is an excellent stout all day long. Flavors of espresso, chocolate, sweet sugars and smooth cream blend together. The mouthfeel is so complex with each sip providing a unique character.

Hands down, one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I've ever had. This is one of my favorite styles of beer and this is up there with the best.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,523 ratings.