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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,667 Reviews
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
northcoastbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,667
Ratings:
11,992
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
18.46%
 
 
Wants:
582
Gots:
2,875
For Trade:
54
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Reviews: 3,667 | Ratings: 11,992
Photo of Newglarusguy
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is probably one of the more heralded stouts brewed in the US, and I think with good reason. What makes it more unusual is that it's an imperial stout, which isn't that common. Very malty, giving it a powerful sweetness, and it has a deep roasted coffee flavor. It's got 8.9% ABV, but don't worry, you'll sober up when you see the picture of Rasputin on the label. Man, he is one creepy bastard. Look at Rasputin, and then turn the bottle one way or the other, and I swear, the eyes follow you...Not even John Ashcroft gives me the paranoid willies like this label (begin Tommy Chong-like rant against the government in 3, 2, 1...).

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Photo of pat61
4.91/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap at Muddy Waters, Bryant Lake Bowl and Pig & Fiddle and have had from a bottle.
L: Pours bright deep dark coffee brown under a 2” persistent, clingy, frothy foam collar.
S: Chocolate, dark sugar, coffee, dark dried fruit, and and a hint of wine on the nose.
T: Chocolate coffee flavors sweetened with molasses and seasoned with dark dried fruit with a slight tartness in the background. Dark roast bitterness augments the hop bitterness on the finish.
F: Full body to chewy, medium carbonation
O: Very fine Russian Imperial Stout. I think I like the draft version a little better than the bottled because the flavors come out more.

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Photo of rgturtle
4.91/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finding a 4-pack of this covered in dust at a local package store was like winning the lottery.

A - Dark brown, with little carbonation, maybe a quarter-inch head.
S - Huge and lingering on the nose. Toffee, cocoa, espresso.
T - The nose paid off in the taste -- sweet but complex; the coffee didn't overwhelm.
M - A little chewy; not syrupy.
O - This is the best stout I've had in a while -- I found myself wanting to spend more time decoding the various scents. I'd stock up on this -- if you can find it.

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Photo of itlnstallion11
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- I was lucky to first try this beer from a nitro tap. It poured a motor oil black with a thick tan head I could rest a penny on.

S- great smell, barley, milk chocholate, some oatmeal hints, black licorice, some dark fruits, with a nice roast finish

T- ton of Malts, some plum, molasses, chocolate, hints of coffee with a pleasant wood burn bitter ending.

M- full bodied thick milkshake

O- an awesome stout, one of my new favorites. Alcohol is masked well and the taste is not overbearing. The balance of sweetness an bitterness is one of almost perfection, I'm utterly in love with this beer. Get one.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black. Crowned with a creamy mocha brown head that lasts forever and leaves sheets of tan lacing along the glass. A black beauty.
The aroma, like the appearance, is a black abyss that beckons you in. You get loads of sweet dark chocolate, licorice, caramel, figs, raisins, and soy sauce balanced by an intense bitterness of petrychor, black coffee, leather, and tobacco smoke.
The palate delivers. You get tons of dark chocolate, cocoa powder, burnt toast, caramel, a little of soy sauce, fig, plum, raisin, burnt sugar, and black coffee. The balance between sweet and bitter is perfection. Finishes decidedly bitter, yet complex, with lingering notes of baking chocolate and espresso.
The mouthfeel is creamy, silky smooth, and ridiculously awesome to drink.

Overall: A hell of a beer. One of the best imperial stout, non-barrel aged, I could imagine. Absolutely beautiful.

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Photo of BKotch
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Now this is a stout. Black as night with a firm brown head. Flavors abound -- rum, raisins and a strong hit of alcohol. A perfect nightcap in a brandy snifter.

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Photo of Brent
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

For a Russian imperial, this stout was actually a little more mild than I expected. Lots of chocolate, and a hint of vanilla in the finsih. Tremendous depth of flavor. The mouthfeel was surprisingly light for the heft of the beer.

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Photo of cowace2
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I call it "motor oil stout". Thick like syrup, pouring it is a joy. Head is very dark and thick, feels and looks great.

Both smell and taste are dominanted by roasted malts. Seems like chocolate and coffee. Great combination; it is obvious they spent a long time perfecting the malt combo and they hit this one out of the park.

Ideal balance between sweetness and dryness. 9% is definitely not apparent. Very easy to drink considering how thick and strong it is.

Personally I think this is one of the premier stouts brewed in America. Use it to scare off your Bud Light swilling friends and then sit back and enjoy.

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Photo of RussianImperial
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got this exceptional beer in the cool 4-pack. pours out a dark brown and has some nice lacing around the glass.

beer smells of chocolate, anise and licorice (heaven).

up-front there is a bit of a bite, but after a few drinks the bite is gone. this stout is good below 50 degrees and is better as it warms. Chocolate and Licorice are present in the middle with the warming of the Alcohol for the finish.

Mouthfull is medium, not as thick as you'd expect from such a good Russian Stout, but you get past that very quickly.

The drinkability of this beer is scary, it goes down very smooth with a big flavor that is hard to put down. This is a very good Russian Stout,the best beer from North Coast Brewing. I will be buying this beer again and again.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), 2-3 weeks in my fridge, sat 30 minutes before pouring (the longest 30 minutes of my life). I've got one in the cellar for next year, but if I ever run out upstairs, that baby's a goner.

This is my all-time favorite beer. It just makes me happy from first sip to last. I'm always nervous when I open a bottle that it can't live up to the impression the last one left on me. Ok, enough.

Rasputin pours with a coarse tan head that clings to the glass as it collapses. Pour it hard to get cascading, but then pay the price of having to wait or wade through the head to get to the prize. Once the head is gone, it's gone for good. All that's left is a black hole where your glass used to be. Speaking of black, you'd better drink this in a well-lit place so you don't lose it.

Roasted, sweetish, somewhat fruity nose. It doesn't smell that strong. The alcohol is hiding, but somehow you can sense the evil lurking.

It's a mistake to start this one cold, but it opens up surprisingly fast. The start is maltacular. The middle is strong and complex: is that coffee? chocolate you ask? Just as you think you've pinned the tail on the palate, the alcohol kicks you in the head for being such a pompous ass. "Here, have some hops and shut the f--- up! Pansy."

I'm giving this a 4.5 on drinkability because not only can you only drink one, you can't drink any other beer when you're done. That also saves the perfect 5/5 for the beer I'll never find.

I can die now.

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Photo of Danno48
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought this beast at world market. I'm pouring it into a chalice at 45 degrees F.

She pours as black as black can be. You know when you put it up to a light bulb to see the red hues... well there aren't any. Sexy, thick, and creamy head.

My smell is not the best but you smell like a spicy mocha or something close... maybe a little bit of anise.

First off... every flavor has that hint of alcohol but there is so much flavor it isn't a big deal.
Dry and woodsy... like spiced tree bark. Earthy and effervescent. It has a great... I'm not sure how to say this, but a dirty? taste to it. I really enjoy the lack of sweetness that I have had from all the stouts I have had this year.

Doesn't cling at all like you would think by pouring it out. But so flavorful that you just gotta sip it.

This stout is freaking awesome... All you can think when you are drinking it is "Damn, this is splendidly different!"

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Photo of jmeador85
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Definitely a stout. One thing that never fails to impress me about Old Rasputin is the lingering head. It's still there when I finish drinking a 22 oz weizen glass, and I drink Old Rasputin slowly.

Smell - Many nuances that I'm at a loss to describe. You can tell, with certitude, that this beer is going to have some bite from the smell, but it's masking a complex flavor beneath.

Taste - This, too, could be described many ways. An amateur would say it's bitter, but beyond the bitterness is a bouquet of flavors that most people will appreciate.

Mouthfeel - Old Rasputin definitely has an aftertaste. The bitterness of the beer seems accentuated when you swallow, but I don't find it overwhelming. The mouthfeel makes you want another sip/gulp.

Drinkability - Definitely drinkable. Very good. Very strong, too.

Verdict - This is one of my favorite stouts. I tried this beer in December I believe, and a group of guys I know were drinking it so I thought I'd do the same. Well, the guys had a few more, and these Flying Saucer regulars staggered over to Barnes and Noble across the street where they sat in comfort and sobered up before driving home. This beer is strong. Drink with caution.

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Photo of OddNotion
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my DFH Signature Glass. Oh boy I have been waiting to review this for a long time now!This particular bottle is roughly a year old.

Appearance: Pours a black body reminiscent of coffee where it is a dark dark brown around the edges. No head to speak of but there is a nice lacing around the circumference of the glass.

Smell: This is one of my favorite stout smells. It is sweet and inviting. Lots of dark malt, a little roasty, and very chocolatey.

Taste: One of the few imperial stouts that I love even at fridge temperature! Slight hints of coffee are just trumped by the chocolate flavor. A good amount of malt sweetness and no bitterness to speak of. Old Rasputin has a very distinct taste in comparison to other stouts I have had. 9% alcohol is completely hidden.

Mouthfeel. Carbonation is just slightly higher than I like in my stouts and it could use a little more viscosity. However I am very picky on the mouthfeel with my stouts and this one is not far off. Decent level of creaminess.

Overall: Year round Russian Imperial Stout at about $10 a 4 pack after tax. I will gladly get this any time. I wish I bought it more but always get caught in the seasonal stout assault and lose a lot of my desire for stouts come spring and summer. This is my go to stout in the summer when the craving does hit. Available everywhere I go. Buy it, you will not be disappointed if you like big stouts.

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Photo of sunshineunicorn
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into snifter glass
A: black with slightest tan head (less than 1/2 finger) which dissapates quickly over the volume yet rings the edges.
S: very powerful, strongly present scent overall.. chocolate and coffee with sweet malty hints.
T: wow. very full-bodied, matches the smell quite closely. Chocolate/coffee combination fades to sweet malt with tiniest hing of hops.. the alcohol comes through but powerful flavor largely distracts me from noticing the alcohol presence at first. aftertaste is elegant mix of both sweet and bitter chocolate.
M: thick, yet fairly smooth for the heavy taste- medium/low carbonation.
O: excellent.. a great Russian Imperial Stout, one of the best of the style IMO. Multiple strong flavors balance well- no one flavor overpowers the others (including the alcohol content). Great nose and visually appealing, overall a great presentation which is followed through with solid taste.

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Photo of Guppy314
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, thick with maltyness. Plus a nice kick (which implies you won't be drinking these all night long). Full-bodied with no bothersome aftertaste, so really nice overall. No odd tastes like: quinine, or coffee, or nuts ... just a good proper Stout taste.

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Photo of MinTock
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I've been drinking stouts for years ,and this is my favorite by far. My year round goto imperial stout. The alcohol is hidden while the subtle taste of the black strap rises in the background

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Photo of ajm5108
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Velvety milk-like mouthfeel, medium coffee flavor with well balanced burnt malt...bitterness doesnt linger...a rich smooth stout with weight and flavor but doesnt knock you over like some

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Photo of sheeley
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The appearance is the most memorable aspect of this beer for me. Especially on tap, it really exemplifies what I feel an imperial stout should look like. The body is black as night and the head is beautiful and creamy, with a tint of dark red/purple. That tint in the foam is one of the most telling signs for me. Loved this beer: dark, creamy, malty, and delicious. One of my top five beers currently. Highly recommended for any and all stout lovers.

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Photo of anarchia
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black with a thick, creamy, ugly brown head. By ugly I mean beautiful, of course. Aroma is smoked wood, roasted coffee, vanilla, chocolate, burnt sugar--and maybe I'm just fantasizing here, in a Rasputin trance, but I pick up a faint, savory aroma that reminds me of bacon in the oven. Thick and syrupy with an acidic bite at the end that whispers "sip some more, sip some more!" Smokey, sweet, burnt, complex, chocolate, wood, hints of spice even (nutmeg & cinnamon). This has been and continues to be my go-to Imperial Stout. Others might be stronger but none hit me the way Old Rasputin does, even after all these years. Seems like a lot of people agree.

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Photo of natescape
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Managed to find this on tap at CBS Scene in Foxoboro, MA. I had never tried it before, and was completely blown away. Served in a standard pint glass, the beer arrived black as midnight in a cave on a cloudy night with a blindfold on. It had a thick, rich finger-width head with an aroma of deep smoked malt and hints of chocolate and espresso. Mouthfeel was rich, slightly chewy, and utterly fulfilling. Tasting it was like entering another world... smooth, deep, just hoppy enough to add a little something extra. The flavor lingered for a while afterwards ... a blessing.

I'm normally a hop freak, but this may just be the best beer I've ever had. I can't wait to go back and have it again.

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Photo of Forb
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle thanks to Whole Foods!

Appearance: Almost dark as night! Pours a darkness that's riddled with a frothy thickness of brown; the head and lacing showing the coffee brown hue most pronouncedly.

Smell: Roast, roast, roast! is what the malt throws out at first impression amid this plethora of scents. Only after this stage do the finer, more subtle elements of coffee, dark fruit, and chocolate present themselves.

Taste: Roasted malt is the immediate presence with the espresso and a very dark chocolate quickly following suite in this ensemble of decadence that finishes with a hop bitterness coming in at the finally to close this crisp and extremely drinkable stout. Alcohol content remains well hidden for a 9%.

Mouthfeel: If I could compare this to coffee it'd be similar to a vienna roast in the sense of "rich but smooth" but clearly far more complex in additional quality. Medium carbonation with a medium to full body.

Overall: Amazingly smooth for such a delicious richness! Even a more skeptical craft beer consumer would give this one an easy A!

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Photo of carlborch
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a solid black with a thick, ultra creamy tan-brown head of about 2 inches. The head is persistent and settles in at 1.5 inches. The initial nose suggest dark roast, coffee, chocolate and chicory. The body is medium-full to full. The initial taste expounds on the coffee and chocolate notes with added sweet notes that suggest a confection. The middle notes are full, creamy and rich followed by a smooth lingering. The rich, sweet, roasted notes moderate the bitter hops which are noticeable but not overpowering. This is a multi-layered, rich, ale. The alcohol is evident and provides warmth in the finish. This is not a session beer despite the moreish tendencies. Nice, broad Belgian lace forms. Yes, I will return to it.

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Photo of Matt1553
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is certainly one of the best Stouts to come out of California--on par with Parabola and Big Bear Black Stout. Deceptively drinkable given the alcohol content, although I prefer my Stouts a bit thicker to the bite. The taste is sublime, with the slightest bit of chocolate aftertaste. A world class beer.

Rating: 9.6

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Photo of VaterRoss
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on-tap at Flying Saucer Raleigh

Pours a beautiful three layers: a black bottom, a black/brown middle where the nitro effect is on full display with large round bubbles cascading downwards, and a creamy tan head that leaves extremely strong speckled creamy lace. Wow. Smell is a good amount of roasted malt: some dark chocolate, cream, hints of coffee. Taste has lots of the RIS metallic sharpness and a big warming alcohol presence. Good amount of roast malt, coffee, in the taste with some nice liquorice. As it warms the liquorice really comes out and complements to beer nicely. Mouthfeel is uber creamy and quite low carb.

This is the prettiest beer I have ever seen and definitely the best RIS I have had a chance to drink. In the dark world I think I prefer Founder's Breakfast Stout, but when compared to Old Rasputin the coffee, oatmeal, and chocolate almost come off as gimmicky. Old Rasputin is a legend and must have.

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Photo of moistnugget
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours into an almost obsidian black, with a thick, tan head that develops on top, leaving slight lacing. Perfect. Smell, to my nose, is of roasted coffee and chocolate notes, with a definite booziness.

Taste is absolutely wonderful. A very powerful and richly roasted malt is upfront; it has quite a kick. This melds into a bitter chocolate middle that smooths as you to sip away. This has a LONG, tasty aftertaste of dark grains, espresso, and more bittersweet chocolate notes. The feel thick and creamy, with a pleasant warming quality that sticks around long with the aftertaste.

Overall: This is an incredible stout. If you are looking for a robust, powerful stout, then Rasputin RIS is for you.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 11,992 ratings.
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