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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: 11,432
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 515
Gots: 2,454 | 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 (26) | 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
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Reviews: 3,540 | Hads: 11,432
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with blonde head. Roasty, salt and bitter and high acid. In sip: Cinammon, rye bread, bittersweet chocolate, fruit,licorice. Could be less hoppy. Medium plus texture.

Had 4.5 years later and certainly stands up over time. There are more "big" RIS but for a bitter coffee one, this is the classic.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a pitch black color. I could not see any light through the beer. 1 inch chocolate milk colored head. Nice ring lacing.

S - Smells of bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee/espresso beans, and surprisingly like soy sauce.

T - Bittersweet chocolate, bitter espresso, coffee aftertaste.

M - Good carbonation. Thick and creamy.

D - Very good. Tasty RIS that I will get again.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle version of the three version taste test this night (Nitro, regular tap and bottle).

Black with a thick pillow like head. As nice as the tap but not as firm as the nitro;

Nose of bitter dark chocolate and fresh espresso. Nose from the bottle is actually a bit more assertive than on tap or nitro. Also has a bit more of a hop character than the tap.

Again however, great flavors of bitter chocolate, coffee/espresso and malt/toffee/carmel with hints of bitter and roasted grains.

Medium to full mouthfeel with a bit of creamy character.

Long coffee/espresso bitter chocolate finish. An all around great drink.

Bottle version is my least favorite but, having said that, I'll drink the bottle version any time! Very nice beer!

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 3 finger milk chocolate head, thick lace.. Very black.

S: Very roasted with a sharp sweet note resembling dark fruit filling.

T: Dark chocolate is the major player here. Roast and coffee as well with toffee mixed in. I am also getting a dark fruit finish, like the aroma, with a cherry-like thick syrupy filling would taste.

M: Thick bodied and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Very nice aroma. One of the best imperial stouts I have had. Excellent all the way around.

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Photo of metter98
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured jet black with a two finger high creamy light brown head that took a long time to die down into lacy patterns of bubbles covering the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are moderate aromas of dark roasted malts, chocolate and coffee in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a significant amount of bitterness in it. Notes of coffee beans particularly stand out in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and rather rich on the palate. There is some dryness in the finish and warming from the alcohol.
D: The alcohol is noticeable but fairly well masked, which doesn't make it too difficult to drink. This is a great beer to sip during the winter months.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

well hidden alcohol for an imperial. pours deep brown like dark chocolate and mildly carbonated with a mocha head only half an inch thick. smells imperial. strong, roasty, and complex. powerful taste just a little bitter from the roast. genuine russian imperial, probably the definitiion of the style, all grainy and boozey. yummm, but i coudnt drink the whole four pack, no chance

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Photo of Knapp85
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I knew what this was going to look like after having it from the bottle a few times before. The Nitro just sets this brew off right from the start. It's got the deep black stout look to it. With a wonderfully thick creamy tan head that leaves a fantastic lacing down the glass. The smell has some pine on the nose with a deep roasted aroma following after. The taste is explosive, it's hoppy and has a masterful chocolate taste. The finish is dry and smoother than just about any beer I've ever had. The mouthfeel is creamy, heavy and silky smooth. Overall I never wanna have this from a bottle again. If you see this on Nitro it's a must have!

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Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearnace: Tar black with a bit of ruby peeking through when put in front of a light source; a modest head that webs the glass with lacing

Smell: Roasted malt, chocolate and espresso

Taste: The flavor explodes in your mouth - at first you get the coffee and chocolate and then, after the swallow, the bitter hops kick in along with the alcohol; after the warmth and the bitterness fades, the chocolate tones linger and comfort

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A lovely, warming stout for the cold weather months; a big beer and not for the faint-hearted

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

This is THE staple of Russian Imperial Stouts that paved the way for unreal American stout brewers of this depth, boldness, and aggression.

The beer pours with a deep onyx black color, a 1" froathy tan head that rises to the top of the tulip and proves to be steadfast til the end. A fair amount of lacing, soft legging, and retention.

Strong aromas of roasted malts, burnt toast, deeply roasted coffee, and waves of burnt cocoa. Truely aggressive, attacking the nose.

Equally strong flavors favor the espresso character, while the burnt toast and cocoa provide complex flavor to the highly roasted grains. Milder fruity flavors of plumbs, dates, licorcie, and raisons round out the roughter grain-related tastes very well. Not to be outdone, the hops also provide a piney, light resin tone to the finsihing flavors. Lightly acidic flavors later remind me of bitter coffee once more.

Sweet, smooth, creamy textures conjure up a full and round body with a billowing and expansive initial mouthfeel. The beer settles and allows the hops, acid, and light sourness to cause a lightening in the body to allow for ease in drinking. Hop bitterness begins to gain dominance over the astringent coffee, toasty bite. The light warmth of 9% abv. kinda gets lost in the complex flavors and textures.

Very well attenuated and controlled yeast character made this beer a Godfather of Stouts and continues to outlast newer Stouts with its restraint and boldness. Always a pleasure to see this beer in my glass.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first RIS I had as a serious craft-beer drinker. I had thought they were a little too heavy and off-putting in the past, but this one really turned me to the light. A big thank you to the local Trader Joe's for offering singles of this one.

A: Black with a brown head and some good lacing.

S: Roasted dark malts and a little bit of alcohol.

T: Good espresso flavors meld with the roasted malt. Some hops make their way in and overall it's slightly sweet.

M: Fairly thick and well-carbonation. Nice and creamy.

D: Pretty drinkable. A very, very good introduction to the style, and one I plan on offering to many other beginners.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black colored beer with almost no head. Aroma is comprised of a strong chocolate and coffee mix. The chocolate and coffee also hits you right at the first sip along with some roastiness. A bit too much bitterness at the end for my liking though. Carbonation is bit weak and body is strong which was expected. Overall, this is a very good drink but maybe not as much as some make it out to be…

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Photo of largadeer
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nitro-tap, served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pitch-black with a huge, dense and frothy nitro head.

Smell: Dark chocolate and burnt grains.

Taste & mouthfeel: Unbelievably rich and creamy. Baker's chocolate, espresso, toast and chocolate pudding. Hops are very much present in the finish, providing a balancing bitterness.

Drinkability: Not necessarily sessionable, but as close as I've found in an imperial stout. Despite the high ABV, this is incredibly smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Is the titular seer divining something with his hand, or merely wiping his brow?

This beer pours a deep, dark black abyss, with a slight hint of red cola at the edges, and then only when held to direct light, and a head that comes in at about two pudgy fingers of puffy, creamy, and fizzy beigeness, which leaves a solid ring of jagged sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells strongly of bittersweet chocolate, dry coffee beans, toasty caramel malt, ripe black fruit, earthy, leafy hops, and a slight metallic alcohol astringency. The taste is bitter dark chocolate, toasted caramel biscuits, roasted, and sort of charred coffee, a heavy, yet dry plum and date fruitiness, gritty molasses, and a small, insidiously innocuous alcohol twang.

The carbonation is on the low side, just a low-key frothiness apparent, the body big, dense, and smooth, in a simmeringly menacing sort of manner. It finishes off-dry, some retreating chocolate and settling hop notes closing things out - the booze warming continues its charade of being barely noticeable (ok, 'very well integrated').

A pretty stellar RIS, the chocolate, malt, fruit, and booze all playing nice like there was no revolution in sight, just yer typical drunken dalliances with the tsarina. Oh yes, old Grigori would indeed be proud.

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Photo of zeff80
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours out black with a two-finger, mocha colored head. It left a little lacing.

S - It smelled very chocolaty and malty.

T - It tasted of raosted malts and chocolate. It also had a slight bitter coffee-like taste. An interesting contrast between the sweet chocolate flavors and the bitter coffee.

M - Very soft and smooth. It is a heavy beer.

D - It is a very good stout. It is very powerful in terms of ABV, which is a slight drawback. I wanted to have many more but two was my limit.

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Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to say this is the best imperial stout I have had so far,pours a deep borwn but not quite black with a light almond colored head,aroma is burnt with some rasin notes.The taste is a bombshell very buttery and rum-like with some light earthy tones,love the butteriness of this beer along with the rum flavor.A real complex brew that is pretty easy to drink for the alcohol content,what a real nice beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, menacing mahogany with ruby highlights and a medium brown cascading head that would make a nitro pour proud. Initially four-fingers-and-a-thumb in size, the cap looks as if it'll last for a good, long while. Dark brown lace--some of the darkest I've ever seen--coats the glass, but doesn't last all that long.

The nose abounds with bittersweet chocolate. Yes, there's some coffee; yes, there's heavily roasted malt and hops; but chocolate is king as far as the aroma is concerned. On the palate, hops return with a vengeance. "Regicide or death!" they scream as they pound away at King Cocoa... sorry, I got carried away there for a moment. A huge quantity of heavily roasted black malt results in a constellation of flavors that includes bittersweet chocolate, espresso and anise. Each and every one fills the mouth with Godiva-like goodness.

Even with all that malt, the citric hoppiness is unrelenting and is at least as prominent as in a middle-aged Storm King. Strangely enough, I'd prefer to see the hops ratcheted back a few notches in this beer, something that I never thought I'd say.

The mouthfeel is akin to heavily silky melted chocolate and is some kind of chewy, as befits an Imperial stout. Those who don't believe this is a true Imperial stout have different standards than I do. Nearly unnoticed carbonation is a perfect capper on a nearly perfect mouthfeel.

Old Rasputin is a mega hoppy stout, perhaps a tad too hoppy. It's definitely not for the faint of heart or the faint of palate. Proceed only if you enjoy immensely flavorful, luxurious stouts that could fairly constitute a meal in and of themselves. Old Raspy is North Coast's best beer, I do believe.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bm0095 for the bottle.

Good lawd does this look nice. Absolute black as night with a huge cream colored head. Lace was so thick I could not see through the glass. Perfect look for an Imperial Stout,Perfect. Smell started with a hint of chocolate, some coffee, maybe even some dark fruity smells hidden in there, nice overal aroma.

As for the taste, hmmm.Big Flavors right off the bat. Roasted, caramel sweetness, The alcohol can definatly be tasted and this is warm going down, yummy. Coffee undertones as well as the tiniest hint of chocolate, I mean tiny but it is there. Very nicely carbonated, and thick. This is a definate sipper. The abv custs down on what you may be able to drink but not what you think you can! I could really drink this on every cold night. Big beer here folks, very nicely done!

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Photo of nickfl
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque black body with a large, thick and creamy khaki colored head that possesses exceptional staying power.

S - Spicy, velvety aroma of hops combined with dark, chocolate malt. Slight floral notes and a bit of coffee and caramel.

T - Begins with smooth, mouth coating hop bitterness, quickly followed by roasted malt flavors of coffee, charcoal, and roast barley and a nice sweet note right in the middle. Strong dark grain bitterness and moderate alcohol warmth in the finish with lingering notes of dark caramel, smoke, and perhaps a bit of tobacco.

M - Smooth fairly thick body with moderately low carbonation. There is some astringency from the grain and hops, but much less than you might expect.

D - This is a beer to slowly sip and savour as the dark flavors only truly show themselves when the beer begins to warm. It is immensely enjoyable, though I would not want more than one in a sitting. The most remarkable aspect is the long, complex finish; it is reminiscent of a good cigar more than any other beer I have experienced. I had the last of the glass with a few pieces of dark, bittersweet chocolate; it was a nice match and had the interesting effect of bringing the hop character of the beer to the front.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe I've yet to write a few for Ol' Raspy. Here it goes...

A: I poured the bottle into my Cigar City snifter to reveal the beautiful and familiar jet black, viscous liquid that is Old Rasputin. A small mocha colored head sits atop the darkness.

S: Great aromas of chocolate, coffee, a roasted nuttiness, and hints of vanilla. A wonderful combination of sweet and bitter aromas.

T: The taste very much follows the nose, and I'm quite glad it does. Once again, a great balance between sweet coffee and vanilla flavors melds well with bitter coffee and a roasted, bordering on burnt, taste.

M: Now this is a full bodied beer. Very little in the way of carbonation, the way it should be, and this gives the beer that thick, creamy mouthfeel you are looking for in an RIS.

D: I personally find this to be one of the more drinkable beers in the RIS style, but that doesn't make it a beer you're going to drink 6 of. A great beer and I've decided to finally put some away to age, even though I love it fresh.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours out black, with a thick tan head that slowly fades to a thin ring of lace.

Smell: The aroma is a rich, vibrant framework containing scents of licorice, espresso, sweet chocolate, and ripe, vinous fruits.

Taste: Flavors Ahoy! Bitterness and black roasted malts fight for attention. Hints of molasses, toffee, mocha, and spice help to round out the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied; feels heavy on the tongue. Rich, smooth mouthfeel. The ABV provides for a warming, satisfying finish.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable. For anyone who's had this beer before, let me just say: Booyah!

If you haven't had this beer before... Try it: Today!

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

On tap at Armsby Abbey

A: Big thick and slow fading head dark almost black with touch of molases color

N: Nose has lots of chocolate and oatmeal and touch of alcohol

T: Taste is very complex and starts with thick dark chocolate and slight oats with a strong alcohol, some sweet caramel and touch of dark fruit like fig, a slight chalkiness cuts through as well but is followed with a slight creamy banana

M: Mouth is very thick and creamy and coats the whole mouth

F: Finish has a nice hop character, it finishes slightly sweet like molases, a touch of spice, and more alcohol, stout, and chocolate linger for a while

Final thoughts: This is one, if not the most, favorite stout of mine. I love how rich, thick and dark it is. Some hop character and chocolate as well as fruits like fig and banana. It's really complex, an experience in itself.

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

On tap at the Capital Ale House (Richmond, VA).

Pours a deep black with just the smallest amount of red highlights around the bottom and a thin creamy tan head that retained beautifully and left thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is thick with notes of chocolate, deep roasted malts, dark fruits and hop bitterness.

The flavor profile is deep with chocolate sweetness, espresso notes, and dark fruit tartness. The real highlight of this beer though is the combo of burnt and hop bitterness that pervades throughout. A honestly think that this beer almost achieves a perfect balance of the sweet and bitter. The mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy with just a touch of warmth. That 10.5% is insanely hidden, making for a most smooth and drinkable experience.

IMO, Old Rasputin is one of the most underrated beers on the market right now. Just packed with all the flavors you would want in an RIS but in one hugely drinkable package. Plus you can usually find some fantastic prices on this at the store. For the money, one of the best beers on the market.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a GameWorks shaker pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for another shot at this brew!

This bottle served as a coda to our Hallowe'en mini-tasting. It pours a nice onyx topped by a finger of light tan/dark ecru foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, toasted rye bread, pumpernickel, and a light flash of molasses. The taste is nearly identical, though heavier on the roasted malts. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a somewhat thick and chewy feel. Overall, a very nice bit o' stout, one that drinks way the hell too easily for its (and my) own good.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin is not as dark as many other Imperial stouts, with luminous dark mahogany highlights beneath its creamy yellowed-tan head. And it's head retention leaves a bit to be desired as well. It does leave some thin lace, however, which is nice. And what it lacks in appearance it makes up for in aroma. It's slightly vinous with some yeasty fruitiness coming through the maltiness, followed by a touch of dark chocolate, espresso, and a waft of hops. It's quite slick, and a touch creamy, across the palate with a full body and a restrained, natural carbonation. The yeasty fruitiness carries through into the flavor with notes of prunes, plums, and berries; all backed by a massive assult of malt that offers espresso, burnt black coffee, dark caramel, and the suggestion of molasses as well as a pinch of brown sugar. It finishes with some resinous hops and a drip of black licorice before fading into a long, very dry finish. Quite nice!

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I always noticed that this beer was highly rated on this website and now I see why.. it's freakin delicious. It was only $2.29 for a single and worth every penny. A nice brown head, lacing all the way down. Great chocolate and burnt type aromas. Very smooth and balanced, goes down way too easy. A great beer... definitely in my top 5.

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