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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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3,656 Reviews
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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

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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Reviews: 3,656 | Ratings: 11,955
Photo of WSGosset
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep black, nearly opaque with a finger-and-a-half of light tan head which recedes fairly quickly. Nice lacing around the edges.

S: Dark roasted malt with more than a hint of booze.

T: Imperial indeed! While not totally out of control, this beer's gravity is readily apparent, giving it a little bit of a cough syrup-like quality. Surprisingly bitter, though, as with many imperial stouts, I suspect this beer isn't short on hops. The bite of the alcohol and the hops begin to mellow out as the beer warms a bit.

M: Very smooth, almost slippery. Not too heavy.

O: Though this really is a very solid beer, the taste is a little on the boozy side compared to, say, Narwhal which I tend to like a bit more.

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Photo of TroyS
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was a bit shocked to find this Old Rasp Shout in the new beer and wine store locally; the new shop here in good ol' Blackfoot, Idaho mostly carries America's favorite lawn-mower brews and "fine wines, " but only carries a small percentage of truly envious brews to date. One benefit of this particular store is that it's in Blackfoot, Idaho, which is where I live now...Just kidding....kinda;) The benefit is that they charge a very fair price for the few great beers that they keep in stock. What more could you ask for, right?

This true Russian imperial stout is a great "evening beer," and I say that not because it's such a "warm beer," but because it's really light on the tongue yet memorable. This is a very nutty brew. This beer also carries a lot of coffee like robust flavor, but is lightened w/booze. I was taking the last sips of an Alaskan Ipa when I opened this bottle of Rasputin. Normally I'd pour it into a regular pint glass, dimpled mug, or a tulip, but after taking a whiff and a quick sip from the bottle, I decided to enjoy this one in a Chimay glass.

Nice and dark yet light in mouth feel. Chocolate + chocolate + more chocolate is super nice and roasty. Old Rasp Stout drinks like a cool cappichino. A bit heavy on the alcohol and light on the hopps, however a great....no....fantastic nutty Imperial Russian stout if you ask me;) I think that the only thing missing is a bit heavier mouth. When I say that it's "light," what I'm really trying to say is that it's not very thick, but warm and thinner than I'd like to see from this Russian Imperial Stout. Delicious! Who could ask more of a fine beer that's ready to go out of Blackfoot, Idaho? NOTHING:)

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yum. Pours black with brown edges. Light tan head that sticks around the edges and leaves the slightest bit of lacing. The aroma is more vanilla, toffee, and chocolate than expected. The flavor is great rich chocolate and vanilla with a nice balance of bittering hops. Toffee and burnt caramel flavors in the middle and ends with bitterness from hops and roasted malts. Thick and luxourious over the tongue. Dry with just a touch of hotness from booze, without being boozy. Very sipable for an RIS.

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Photo of Momar42
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into New Belgium globe

Had this one several times in the distant past, time to revisit and rate so here goes:

A - thick, billowy dark tan head. Good retention and nice lacing. Seeing how good it pours makes me glad I came back to it.

S - bitter chocolate struggles to make it past the large nose of char. Burnt wood and roasted malt make a slightly smaller nose than I had anticipated.

T - roasted malt makes the first impression along with the char on the tongue as well. There is a mild bitterness that balances this RIS. Finishes pretty fast and suprisingly clean. I had hoped for more complexity but it is solid nonetheless.

M - medium at best. Not cloying at all and far less full than I would have guessed. The moderate carbonation cuts the mouthfeel down. For an RIS it finishes remarkably clean.

O - first off Old Rasputin is a damn good beer and really good RIS. One of the older players in this heavily BA category, it still holds itself well against the young bucks. It is very solid for the style if fairly unremarkable. Dont mistake this as average, of which it certainly isnt. Old Rasputin just doesnt knock your socks off in any particular way. But, considering its large distribution area, year round availability, relatively cheap price point and is considerably better than MOST breweries RIS, you could do far far worse.

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Photo of schnauzeborne
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin used to be my favorite beer. One day, I bought a four-pack of OR and a 24 oz. bottle of Guinness Extra Stout, then settled in for the night with what I felt was an adequate amount of good beer. Looking back, I was quite surprised with the similarities between the two beers. In retrospect, Old Rasputin is basically Guinness without the acidic, bitter aftertaste. I know that some people drink Guinness specifically for that vinegary taste, which comes from the brewery reusing samples of their products from previous centuries, so it would be completely understandable if some people prefer Guinness to North Coast Old Rasputin. In my opinion, OR's smoothness and unadulterated chocolate after-taste is highly desirable, and outdoes Guinness by a long-shot. Still, it helped me to realize that there are better options out there. I would recommend Samuel Smith's Oatmeal stout for anyone looking for the next level of delicious stout. For anyone that loves Old Rasputin's taste specifically because of its ability to be delicious while hiding a high alcohol content, I would suggest Weyerbacher's "old Heretic" or "Heresy" stouts, because even though they do not match the sheer tastiness of Old Rasputin, they definitely hide their ABV better than any other beer I have come across, and are in some ways reminiscent of OR's flavor profile.

Old Rasputin, herself, though . . . I highly recommend her. Pick this up whenever you get the chance.

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Photo of rousee
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Nice to have a beer like this. Pours a black cola color with a small head of dark tan and it diminishes quickly.

Smell is a fabulous blend of nuts like hazels, cashews, almonds, etc. very well balanced with some slight fruit tints.

Taste is a malty chcocolate, licorice, toffee, caramel type thingy with some cherry hints on the back much like a good piece of dark chocolate would.

The mouthfeel is too sticky and syrupy. Drinkability is about avg or a little better than avg for this style.

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Photo of Melchizedek
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown into an opaque black, with a big tan head that settles into a nice cap and sticky lace.

In the nose, plenty of roasted barley and resiny hop, and a strong coffee-like aroma. Not overly bitter in the mouth, but with that aroma coming through strongly. Coffee matched by a caramel malt flavor, and the mouthfeel isn't too heavy but very substantial. A little harder to find the hops than in the aroma, but they're there, helping keep things from getting sweet. Alcohol isn't prominent, but noticeable.

This is just a really tasty imperial stout all around. Can't find fault with it. I think I'll have to make it a go-to.

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Photo of RomanW70
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall, an excellent stout. Strong dark malt, chocolate flavors with a great bitter finish. My bottle started with oddly high carbonation, but after a few minutes the carbonation settled. Great taste though. Full body with a nice bitter finish. Well balanced and strong.

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Photo of niday2288
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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 nickthetick
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours an opaque black with a tan hockey puck for a head that leaves lacing comparable to the gfs french maid outfit.

S: solid chocolates, dark and robust. Coffee and toffee.

T: a lot like the nose. It starts with some dark chocolate. It fallows through with some oak and earthy notes and bitterness.

MF: thick, creamy, chewy, and as filling as dinner.

O: a lot like the bottle, more of a feel in the mouth and more to the nose, still an awesome beer that can not be overlooked.

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Photo of bum732
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Dark fruit with some citrus, coffee, some dark chocolate, leafy hoppiness.

L: Dark black, dark tan head with decent retention, ok lacing.

T: Bittersweet chocolate-like malt with some fruity backbone. Medium-high bitterness leading to a touch of caramel sweetness before ashy dry finish.

M: Medium mouthfeel, medium-carbonation. Alcohol slightly noticeable.

Very dry RIS and hoppy. Different from the numbers of cloying sweet stouts, a nice change. Can't wait to see what age does to this.

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Photo of Kanebanger
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Dark black, pours like motor oil, very nice head that lasts throughout the entire glass.

S - Chocolate and coffe aromas. Slight alcohol on the nose.

T - Chocolate and coffee taste mixed with a little bit of bitterness. A minor alcohol kick at the end.

M - Nice and thick, coats the mouth.

D - Fairly decent for a RIS, more than two might get you into some trouble though.

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Photo of JulioH
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a classic.

Served in a glass, it pours a nice black beer. Has a bit of a foamy head. Smell is not very strong, but you get coffee and malts. Taste is straightforward, dark imperial stout. It is a bit more bitter than the usual stouts, with coffee and malts. Mouthfeel is light.

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Photo of frank4sail
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to boilermaker88 for the sample.

Rich roasty slightly metalic and sweet cocoa in the smell. Dark black opeque look medium sticky tan head. Quite a lively mouth and tongue.. also the brew is much lighter on the mouth than it looks. Initial black malt taste gives way to a a dry cocoa powder and expresso finish. A slight touch of metalic tin and sweetness is left on the tip of the tongue as well. Quite a roasty treat, it is a great night cap beer.

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Photo of david18
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this one a few times and I like it a lot. Not as great as some say it is but a very good imperial stout. I'm not sure what the difference between a Russian Imperial Stout and and American Imperial stout is (I think american has more hops) but this is one you should get if you can find it. Also, comes in 12oz bottles so if you don't like it you don't have as much to worry about.

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Photo of hydrate
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very creamy. Enough that i think the one i had may have been a nitro. Was on tap but didnt ask. Chocolate & coffee are strong & hide the ABV. Very rich. Delicious.

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Photo of smallbatchbrewer
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark caramel/coffee color with .5 inch head that settled fast into a short layer of bubbly head

S- Malty, sweet bread, some oak as well

T- Dark roasted flavors, some yeast and coffee as well

M- Rich, with a slight presence of tannin just enough to pull a little moisture out of the pallet. This one is creamy and finishes a bit dry

D- For a darker beer it has a lot going on, could very well be sessionable but at 9%abv, watch out

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Pours a rich used-motor oil black with a creamy cocoa head that thins. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet and roasty with a nice chocolate smell and mild coffee tones. Slightly boozy as it warms.

Sweet roasted malt taste upfront leading into a nice light blend of cocoa and espresso. A hint of hops midway through with a bitter bite that lasts through the finish and a bit beyond- but still sweet as it finishes. A little bit of booze as it warms.

Full body, solid carbonation.

For a rather large beer, this has a nice drinkability. I may not want 2 in a row, but I could easily drink 2 over the course of an evening and the subsequent evenings. Definitely one for RIS fans to try if they somehow are not already familiar.

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Photo of Nick3
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is a syrupy, liquid black with a small chocolate brown head that disappears quickly. Smell is coffee, molasses, chocolate, and roasted malts. Taste is smooth, rich malts up front with a slightly bitter finish that's accompanied by hints of dark chocolate. Alcohol warms and lingers in the finish as well. Carbonation dances across the toungue and leaves you wanting more. Beer is sticky and chewy in the mouth. A great RIS but fell a bit short compared to the Stone I had last night.

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Photo of Sigmund
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, courtesy of gunnfryd, who supplied it to our tasting. The ABV was 9.0%. Served at room temperature - I would prefer it just a little cooler, but not cold. Pitch black colour, moderate head. Heavily roasty aroma and flavour, with notes of liquorice and coffee. A very robust and tasty imperial stout, but not too extreme.

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Photo of Enola
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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 The3rdbeer
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a Bruery tulip a nice 1 1/2 fingers of head with nice lacing that lasts for a while. very dark brown or black.

S- Malt, toffee, dark chocolate, not as revealing as I wished

T- For me the flavors in this are a lot like a more mellow Mikkeller geek beer breakfast coffee oatmeal stout minus the great mouth feel. very well rounded here. Rolls in nicely with light coffee, little spice and dried fruits, even maybe a little anise in the after taste.

M- I hear from a lot of people(working at bevmo) that this is like the cough syrup of beers, but to me this is wonderful, not as awesome as the before mentioned Mikkeller but still really good, Medium mouth feel but nice carbonation that makes it all roll around my mouth in good fashion.

D- This is one of the better Russian Imperial Stouts that I've had this being one of my favorite styles I can say that this isn't my favorite but I could drink a 4 pack any weekend and be happy.
9% ABV makes it even better, nicely masked and fun to drink.

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Photo of anth0ny
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a light brown head, skimpy lacing. Smell is lots and lots of sweet roasted malt. More roasty flavor with an equal amount of bittering hops. The finish is all lingering hops. Very simple taste, 50/50 balance. No trace of heat in this 9% abv.
Solid mouthfeel. A 'hoppier' stout, definitely a solid brew.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I tried to pour this one roughly but nothing doing. While the minimal tan head reduced to a mere crown on the glass very quickly, it does manage to maintain that crown quite well. Color is as dark as it gets I suppose, absolutely no light going through.

Aroma is heavy with coffee and light with alcohol notes.

Taste has a big alcohol hit in front I thought, almost too soon. The mouthfeel comes into play immediately as well, extremely smooth, heavy, thick almost like syrup, but not sweet, oh no, not at all. Past the alcohol taste comes the primary taste sensations of coffee and dark roasted malts. These mix with a mild carbonation which enhances the roasted taste, IMO. As that initial flavor surge subsides, some smoky, perhaps burnt coffee or espresso flavors emerge coupled with a hop bite to keep you honest. All that complex flavor and some nice balanced hop presence to boot. Finishes on the bitter side with remnants of charcoal lingering.

I gotta hand it to North Coast BC, this is a busy beer to drink, lots going on if you take the time to experience it.

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Photo of CMiller683
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at the store without realizing what I had. Bought it as part of a build-a-six-pack. No freshness date listed. Served from a 12oz bottle into a standard glass. Creepy looking bottle with a shot of Rasputin on the front, circled by some Russian wording. Gold colored detail.

A - Pours a very thick, smooth, motor-oil black. Follows with a thick, creamy espresso head with a lace that crawls down the glass. Completely opaque and a threatening looking beer.

S - A deep, roasty, burnt maltiness that smacks you in the face. Scents of espresso and a little bit of chocolate and nuts. Tends to fade a bit as you drink it

T - A very intense flavor. Carries a burnt/smoked maltiness to it. Brings a bite of alcohol that is almost too much to make a good balance. Has a level of bitterness that really makes this beer. Without it, I don't think it would be nearly as good.

M - An almost foamy feel to it. Very thick and heavy. A good balance of carbonation and an explosion of flavor in the back of your mouth that is simply great. Leaves a chocolately mocha aftertaste with a sweet finish, but tends to be a little thick and sticky. The alcohol brings out the nutty/espresso flavors.

D - An outstanding Imperial Stout, and definitely not an all day beer. Something to kick back and relax on a special occasion, like thanksgiving or christmas! A great beer for those that love chocolate/espresso and don't mind a beer that bites back.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 11,955 ratings.
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