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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: 11,426
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 513
Gots: 2,451 | 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: 11,426
Photo of CTbeerboy
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- This brew pours a deep chocolate without about 1.5-2 fingers of khaki head that disappears quite quickly.
S- You get lots of dark roasty espresso and coffe notes. Tan leather and dark chocolate cake come to mind as well. There is definitely a smokiness in the background as well that plays really nice.
T- Dry, almost spiky on the front of the tongue on my first few sips. This soon mellows out and you really get the espresso and chocolate notes on the back of the tonge. There are some nice dark fruit notes (maybe plum or black cherry) in the center palate.
M- Very dry and lingers long after the beer has gone down your throat.
O- Overall, this is a very good (and popular) Russian Imperial Stout that is quite easy to find everywhere. It smells good, tastes great and is definitely worth pursuing.

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Photo of freystout17
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very complex in a pleasant way. Burnt caramel, hops, coffee notes, and a somewhat "woody-earthy" quality. One of the best all around RIS you can buy. The quality from this brewer is very constent; I have never had a "bad" lot from this company. This brew always lives up to its great reputation. Very reasonably priced at about 9 bucks per 4 pack.

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Photo of smacgaha
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Appearance - poured from bottle to snifter. Pitch black with almost no transparency except for the very edges when held up to the light. Poured with a light had that dissipated slowly with a beautiful tan color.

Scent - Chocolate and coffee. There's a slight metallic tinge, which goes against my memory.

Taste - Lots of chocolate, some coffee, a ton of heavily-roasted malt and a warming but masked amount of alcohol. The metallic off-flavor is a bit more present and somewhat troubling.

Mouthfeel - Crazy high gravity as expected. The bite from the carbonation slightly detracts from the flavor, but that seems to just be a personal preference.

Overall - This is exactly what I'd expect in a Russian imperial stout save for the coppery character, which seems like it might be a glassware problem or something. Old Rasputin is to the Russian imperial stout as Sierra Nevada is to the pale ale; it's just a great representation of the style.

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Photo of niday2288
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pitch black pout that is thick out of the bottle with a two finger head that is dark khaki.
S-Nose is coffe and semi sweet chocolate
T-Hint of dark chocolate and roasted malts with a slight hop undertone to add bitterness
M-thick with little effervesecence
O-Pretty good. I would take a couple others over this if I were stranded on an island, but all in all pretty good.

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Photo of foglemgs
4.81/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured like motor oil from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass - and that's a beautiful thing! The brew is pitch black with a tan colored head that fades but leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S: A truly lovely bouquet of malt, coffee, and chocolate, with a hint of floral undertones.

T: Simply put, this is one excellent RIS. The coffee flavor hits you right in the head, and the high (9% ABV) finishes it off.

M: Very pleasant and thick, with a sweet maltiness balanced by a dry stout finish. Exquisite.

O: One of my favorite beers, this one never disappoints. I always look for this when I'm "picking a six."

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Photo of mdhobbs
3.8/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I am surprised at the varying tastes/appearance etc... of Imperial Russian Stouts. This experience was definitely a good one. A very good rich stout that pour nice and dark with very little head. There is very little fragrance with this pour so the taste will need to make or break this review. Well, it made it. A very tasty stout that does not linger too long in the mouth. Very drink-able and well worth the purchase.

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Photo of Zenvortex
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours like old motor oil with foamy head that dissipates quickly - splotchy lacing Lite molasses nose, Strong coffee taste with moderate bitterness - big flavors all working well, Great non-slimy mouth feel - ok carbonation, Overall a good example of this often overlooked style - not for everyone but I'll take another one

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Photo of Umassgrad98
3.67/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So my girlfriend ordered a dragons milk and I ordered this. It had a bit of a harsh bite that lingered in my mouth. Was expecting a more traditional type stout and was a bit disappointed. Not terrible but regret ordering the dragons milk after tasting hers.

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Photo of esurreal
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Over the course of the last year or so I have tried more beers than I have in my entire life. This beer is one of the best I have tried. It's taste is biting, strong, and delicious.

The appearance is extremely black. No light passing through at all. On of the darkest I have encountered thus far. The head is a little small, but that's the least of my worries.

The smell gave this one away. I knew it was a winner. Coffee, chocolate, and raisins is what I smell the most. It smells incredible. A good strong smell.

Tastes like a really good stout. Guiness who? Seriously, it has it's own league. Very good bite in every sip. I can taste the beer each time it hits my tounge. With some beers I can taste them for a little while, but eventually I grow numb to their taste. Not so with this one. Chocolate and coffee with an ever so present slip of alcohol burn. I love the taste of this one.

Mouthfeel is creamy and good. Just like it should be. I could easily make this the only beer I ever drink again, but who would want to do that. Overall you can't go wrong with this brew.

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Photo of jmichaeldesign
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black with a two finger head that lingers longer than I had expected. This is partially due to being a little warmer than it should be, and a sub par pour.

Smell is fantastic. The chocolate is right there in your face without being overwhelming.

Taste is not quite as strong as other imperial stouts I've had. Very well balanced. A little bit of hoppiness. Aftertaste is all chocolate.

Mouthfeel is good. A little too carbonated for the style in my opinion.

It's incredibly drinkable for an imperial stout. The flavor isn't cloying, but it's too carbonated for me.

Overall a great beer. I'd definitely buy it again. A great nightcap or first beer of the night.

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Photo of jjmunro
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

A: A beautiful midnight black, as expected for Imperial Stouts. A healthy, mocha head shrank, but remained throughout the beer.

S: I was not overwhelmed by the smell. I was able to pick up apples and brown sugar. The only facet of the beer that I was not wow'ed by. There is a distinct smell, but it was just kind of average for me.

T: Rich and earthy taste that is instantly quite impressive. It was a pleasing, lingering taste that was not overpowering by any stretch of the imagination, a rarity for many American Imperial Stouts. This beer was extremely well crafted, the alcohol content was designed to be apparent, but surprisingly smooth for the style. Many compliments to the brewers of this fine stout.

M: Again, very nice for the style. Unlike many Imperial Stouts, there was not that lingering heavy aftertaste that can detract from the beer.

D: Remarkably drinkable for the style. Superbly smooth on the palate. Could easily drink 2 or 3 in a session.

Fantastic, fantastic beer. I wish all Russian Imperial Stouts could possess this smoothness and construction.

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Photo of Phylomatic
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First "Imperial" beer I've tried.

Appearance: Ahhh...lets just say I understand why its an Imperial beer. If Darth Vader was drinking its blackedy black goodness it would blend in with his outfit, unless it was in front of his blippidy blip lighty light thing. The froth at the top would stand out too...its not black, but pretty close. What you would videy the blackest a cloud in the sky could get.

Smell: eh..I couldn't smell anything...

Taste: As always with one of my reviews, I can't quite put to words what I taste so I'll just blurt out some words. Sweet..or bittersweet with 75 percent sweet, 25 percent bitter. Hazelnut? I know, weird, right? coffee, chocolate and more chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Smoooth. It's funny really the way it teases. It's just a hint of the taboo, not too much to turn you off.

Drinkability: Dangerous. I could drink it all night. I would not drink this on a farm.

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Photo of ImBOBtheBEERguy
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

At Canal Street Pub:

The barkeep told me this was from an aged 5 gal keg pulled on the nitro tap. WOW

This beer was a deep black with nice light brown head and lace. Its hard to describe the flavor, balance and finish due to total taste bud satisfaction. Smoooth, tasty, rich, and relaxing! Mmmmm


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Photo of sgraham4
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- beautifully dark black with a brown head that lace nicely on the glass

S- malty & sweet coffee notes

T- GREAT flavor- very full and rich with a nice maly character and a coffee taste that lingers wonderfully on the palate. reaaalllyy good

M- Nice and full

D- favorite Imperial Stout, hands down. Certainly a beer for any dark beer lover or any beer drinker alike!

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

This beer is the first imperial I ever had and it still remains my favorite. Old Rasputin is big, rich, chocolate, coffee, roasted goodness that never lets up. it's the perfect, kick back and slowly sip beer for me and I really don't say that often. So by far, if you're looking for a go big or go home kind of Russian, look no further.

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Photo of mgmvh
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

smell: one word- amazing. no beer has invited me more to try its bubbly goodness than this. cocoa, caramel, espresso, and hints of its alcohol. So its the best beer ever....good times! Definatly good times.
Appearance: very nice and dark color, very attractive.
Taste: yummy...period. very intence, brings out a lot of espresso flavors. Can't even describe in words. Recommend to just try it for yourself!
Drinkability: like I said above...very yummy! Try, definatly try this one..you'll be amased!

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Photo of Bartian
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upon opening the Old Rasputin, I was immediately struck by the wonderfully dark, full pour - like a stream of black gold flowing into the glass.

At first, second and third glance, the beer is black as midnight with tight seems of carbonation flowing throughout. The head set at about an inch with a color of dark tan and very strong lacing.

The smell was prototypical Russian Stout but with a bit extra in the dark chocolate and licorice arena - a real treat . . . so much so that I actually had to remember to drink it.

The first drink was pleasent with no indication of the greatness that I've heard for years. But as the glass emptied the score improved. Whether it is the abundance of alcohol or the overriding complexity of the drink, it improves like the finest of coffees and cigars.

The mouthfeel is striking, the syrup that is called a beer surrounds the tongue like an impenetrable forecfield; drifting away only after several seconds of bliss.

As for drinkability, the balance is surprising given the complexity of the beer. Without any overly biting flavors like molasses, anice, chocolate or otherwise, the drink flows as smooth as silk. But the high alcohol content means drinker beware . . too much of a good thing can make Rassy a dull boy!

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Photo of brewski101
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the second time I have had this beer. I don't drink stouts too often but the bar was featuring it. The pour was done well as the bartender gave it a litle rest prior to filling the pint to the top. The foam appeared and dissipated in about a minute. Color was quite dark. Flavors of coffee and chocolate. Well balanced. More importantly - the aroma and taste was consistent with the last time I've had it. Had this with the dessert and found it to be a good pairing.

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

12oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Have you ever been inside a cave and turned off your headlamp? That's how black this brew is. A thin tan head that sticks around. Good lacing.

S: Sweet smell of cocoa, malts, and prunes. The alcohol is almost unnoticeable after letting it sit for a bit. Really inviting.

T: Dark chocolate and burnt malts. Alcohol is pronounced but not overpowering. Excellent warming finish. Sweet and dry aftertaste.

M: Wonderful mouthfeel. Silky with substance; very smooth.

D: I love this beer and could easily have another but the ABV commands respect and restraint. A really delicious brew.

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Photo of bifrojm
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass. Pours a beautiful thick dark brown (midnight brown?) with a nice dark caramel head that holds up for the duration.

Nice aromas of chocolate, malt, vanilla, a touch of coffee. Good smelling beer.

Tastes lovely with most of the aromas coming through on the palette, with the addition of some bourbon.

Mouthfeel is creamy with a touch of carbonation.

Drinkability is a tad low. I like this beer a lot but I don't need or want a lot of it. One is enough for sure.

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Photo of scar
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An amazing beer and terrific in a special very American way. Taste and look were the best part of the beer,with smell lacking for an Imperial Stout.
My opinion is that even though this is an American Classic, this beer is really an over grown American/Foreign Extra Stout.

Imperial Stouts are billed as having aromas of dark fruit, burnt sugar, and aggressive yeast aromas and traditionally if true "English Stouts" don't have such a heavy Rbarley/coffee note.

Despite this, the beer was soooo drinkable and I love idea of an overgrown carrying a big stick stout.

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

12oz into Imperial Pint

A: Pitch black, light brown head.

S: Heavy roasted coffee beans and cocoa.

T: Intense molasses and bitter coffee beans, followed by a significant alcohol burn.

M: Heavy but not too viscous.

D: I could put away a 4-pack of these in a night...

This is easily the best stout-for-your-buck on the market.

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Photo of BeastofWotan
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Damn fine brew.

Appearance: Pours jet black. Pretty sexy one finger head that almost looks like the beer is topped with a tan milkshake.

Smell: As soon as I popped open the bottle, before pouring, I was pleasantly assaulted by the aroma of chocolate, with a bit of coffee.

Taste: Chocolate dominates the first moments of the tasting, leaving a mildly bitter coffee aftertaste. The flavors are strong, this is definitely not a bland beer. Phenomenal.

Mouthfeel: Thick, but not overly so. A noticeable amount of carbonation which leaves a nice tingling on the tongue.

Drinkabilitiy: This beer is very smooth, but filling. I imagine that after a few I wouldn't want to drink or eat anything for hours.

All in all, a terrific RIS. I'd beat a small child to get this on tap.

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Photo of TallPaul07
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: very dark and oil like. A nice thick and foamy head on this one with a cream/ tan color. Really nice lacing

Smell: smoky/roasted malt definitely comes out

Taste: pretty strong roasted malt on the front end with a pretty bitter/chocolately finish - a bit of a tongue punisher with a bitter finish. Complex flavors really mask the ABV.

Mouthfeel: a nice and thick stout with pretty solid carbonation per the style

Drinkability: very good, but drinking more than one or two could be quite the task due to how big this stout is and the fact that the bitter finish wrecks your pallette.

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Photo of martincm
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Absolutely gorgeous. The head has such a frothy characteristic and retains itself very well.

S- Dark and malty, just like a good stout . I can easily distinguish the alcohol with an added hop character.

T- Luckily, I smell more alcohol than I can taste. Nice balance of hops upfront, from there a nice kick of charred/roasted tastes, then balancing out with smooth malt finish.

M- Nice frothy feeling, very drinkable.

O- I am not a humongous stout fan, but this one performs quite well in my books.

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