Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

3,688 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: 3,688 | Ratings: 12,086
Photo of kohoutek
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Ebony darkness. Only the slightest light penetration. Lovely tan head, but it quickly dissipates into a coagulated, large bubbled, foam replica of Pangea.

S: Dark roast, vinous malty alcoholic stone fruit with molasses chocolate ashy husky whiffs. Yeasty Vegemite beef bullion. Malt acidity beckons a sip.

T: Sweet coffee, ash, molasses, herbal hops, lingering bitterness, large warm yeasty presence, dark cocoa chocolate milkshake. Graham crackers and wheaten scones lurk in the shadows. The finish is rounded by iron aerosols left over from John Henry's frenetic activities.

M: Sweet, cleanly balanced with bitterness, herbs, iron. If sipped and swallowed it appears thin and quaffable. If tossed about in the mouth it awakens with a silken, mouthfilling foam.

D: Very nice. The bitterness, roast acidity and herbal nuances sweep this large, sweet beer down the pipes.

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Photo of plaid75
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into an imperial pint glass. A beautiful dark brown hue with a thick two finger caramel head. Poor head retention but superior lacing.

The smell is a robust toasted barley aroma. Strong hints of coffee and subtle hints of cocoa.

The taste mirrors the aroma. A very rich roasted coffee flavor with significant lingering coffee and cocoa flavors. Pleasant flavor lasts minutes after the sip. A suprisingly slight alcohol taste considering the ABV. The balance is very good in this stout - just enough hop to moderate the roasted flavor.

The mouthfeel is rich and long lasting. The lingering flavors produce a prolonged mouthfeel.

A very drinkable 9.00% ABV beer.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I consider this the textbook version of Russian Imperial Stouts. To be a good one you'd need to be close to this one. To be a great one, you'd need to exceed it.
The pour gives way to what looks like it could be a mixture of cola and coffee. Nose is full of roastiness, and dark fruits like plums and raisins. There's a bit of tartness in the nose that I don't care for. Taste is layer upon layer of different kinds of chocolate, sweet chocolate, bakers choclate, and cocoa. This is offset by a bit of molasses and some tartness. The tartness seems a bit out of place. Mouthfeel is near perfect with light carbonation to welcome the liquid to the tongue. If this wasn't so strong I'd definitely session it. Kudos North Coast!

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Photo of Graham21
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Black, when in direct light casts a dark red tint. Head was three fingers high and dissipated to 1/2 cm of beautiful cream that coats the glass.

S- Nose has chocolate undertones, rich with roasted malts, smells like a rassberry truffel. coffee is also present present.

T- Very rich in flavors, definite coffee and chocolate flavors, i also tasted hops and alcohol, and maybe some raisins and brown sugar. Very Rich flavors.

This beer is everything i expect from an imperial stout, very thick, rich, and tasty.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle. Old Rasputin pours out a nearly black color with a huge brown head. Strong aroma of coffee, molasses, chocolate, and fruit. The flavor is very roasty with bitter coffee. Chocolate, licorice, and peat. Finishes acidic, with noticable hop flavor. Mouthfeel is slightly thinner than expected, but it works well with this beer. Drinkability is quite good. If you're a fan of roasty stouts, this is definitely one to try.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

[about $3 for a 12oz. single at Downtown Wine and Spirits]

Black that becomes a very dark red when held up to the light. Airy khaki head that sticks and stays with consistent small light bubbles. Wow, the smell! Fruit salad. Strong mangos and raspberries. Chocolate and roasted coffee beans too. Very appetizing. Flavor is smoother chocolate with subtle herbs and growing alcohol spice. Finishes dry, but still present. Light and fluffy for the style. Smooth but a bit chalky. Alcohol pokes through, but not too much.

Wow - I had this a long time ago and did not remember or realize what a great beer it is. And a super bargain too! Cheers to North Coast.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This highly regarded specimen of an imperial stout pours solid black and feaures a frothy brown head and impressively sticky lacing. Nose is deep and rich with coffee and milk chocolate flavors. The aroma improves considerably as the beer warms, culminating in a frosty chocolate milkshake aroma.
Taste is pure coffee and dark malt. Alcohol is hidden brilliantly by a wall of flavors, all of them complementing each other about as well as possible. It's moments like these you realize the brilliance of buying a four pack as opposed to hunting around for a single. It's going to be a pretty sweet night...
What can you say? This is pretty amazing. Go get some, no matter how much you have to shell out. If you like stout and you haven't tried this, you are not being all you can be as a stout drinker. What are you waiting for? Go get some..

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Photo of Hautacam
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown/black....huge tan head..foamy ..cascades..laces and drops slowly to a film.
Smells of aromatic hops ..coffee and alcohol.
Tastes sweet at first, then hops punch in ....pretty bitter....coffee, unsweetened chocolate,alcohol, anise and chalk.
Mouthfeel is heavy, chewy and a bit powdery...medium carbonation. Hop bitter lasts into aftertaste.
One of these will do fine...it's heavy stuff...very , very good.
Glad I've got the other three to look forward to.

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Photo of cproioi
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful black color with a brown towards the surface.
S: Sorry I can't really answer this one I'm coming off of a cold and my nose isn't up to par for this question yet.
T: A great Mocha taste that should be paired with a dark rich chocolate cake. This is one of my favorite pairing of foods and beer.
M: A little heavy but nothing that I would turn my nose up at by any means.
D: I had no problem drinking it I thought it was wonderful but it is not a beer for those just getting into the beer snobbery. It's a big powerful beer that must be handled with care.

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Photo of cameraman
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass, a dark opaque black, slightly brown, with a small caramel colored head. The scent of chocolate and coffee are very nice aroma, that is followed by a twinge of hops. The taste starts with the chocolate and the sweetness of the malt. It ends with a slight coffee bitterness, with a touch of hops. In the mouth it is rich and full bodied, it has the texture of two percent milk and seemingly coats the tongue, which allows the the flavor to linger. This is a very good beer, there are many imperial stouts, this one may stands the closest to the style.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an opaque black with a thick tan head. Creamy looking.

S/T: Quite a robust brew - strong palate of chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, coffee, and quite a bit of hops round out the aftertaste (I was quite surprised by this - I drank this bottle a bit warmer than the last few and for some reason I think it really brought out the hop characteristics). Finishes strong with hops and a touch of sweetness.

M/D: Eh - not sure what to say here. A fine example of the style, but didn't leave me begging for more. Glad I had a 4-pack, but I am not rushing to buy more.

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Photo of custardcb
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich black body with mahogany head. Nice foamy head rest on top of the brew as it slowly deconstructs itself. It leaves a thin film on top and around the edges of my pint glass.

The aroma is rich with coffee, vanilla, espresso and chocolate malts. No hop presence is evident, this is nothing but a rich flavorful malt The moutful is smoothe and slightly creamy. A small bitter tinge is evident but this is true imperial stout. All the flavors from the nose ar ethere and mesh together in such a mellow nice way. A couple of these is a meal in itself. A treat that should never been had in abundance so that you may really savor the souts very nature.

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Photo of greenjeff4141
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the first time I've had Old Rasputin but not the first imperial stout. It pours dark dark black with a nice head and good lacing until the last sips. The smell is of the dark roasty flavors that hide within, and the taste follows suit, very rich and bitter with charcoal and dark choclate flavors. Almost like a cold espresso.

I liked the beer, not my favorite of the dark ones but a pleasure nonetheless.

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Photo of ddarity
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great Beer. Served in traditional pint glass.
Nice style appropriate dark garnet color. Perfect carbonation.. not too much or too little. Nice roasted grainy aroma. This is a pleasantly robust beer. Great blend of flavors.. nutty or woody come to mind. Some hints of chocolate, and a roasted coffe.
It has a fairly dry finish. I rate this one highly drinkable. I am wishing that I had one more.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up an Old Rasputin in a specialty shop to taste, review and enjoy. I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler.

Pours black and opaque. Two fingers of rich brown head is quite resilient. The head produces moderate lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell is fairly robust and slightly sweet, with an aroma of malt, brown sugar and molasses. The smell of alcohol is also present.

The taste is very strong, rich and robust. It tastes like sweet coffee, with hints of unsweetened chocolate and malt. There is also a somewhat bitter finish. The aftertaste is both sweet and bitter at the same time.

The mouth feel is think heavy and syrupy.

This is a drinkable beer, but heavy, filling and a little long on ABV. It’s good but I wouldn’t want to have it very often, not more than one or two in a sitting, and I wouldn’t want to drink them very fast. Certainly not an every day experience.

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Photo of ski271
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown letting no light through except on the edges. The head is very small, light tan, creamy and quickly diminishing to a ring. But still it leave some good rings of lacing early on. The smell is on the mild side for an imperial stout. Lots of darks bread accompanied by chocolate, light coffee and light molasses. The taste is of moderately sweet roasted (slightly burnt) malts supported by alcohol and some light herbal hops. More chocolate and more coffee than in the nose. The slightly astringent finish combined with the warming alcohol give your cheeks and tongue a bit of a tingle. It has a full body, slick texture and soft, low carbonation. As far as the style goes, this isn’t a heavy-hitter. But again as far as the style goes, this is rather easy drinking. Nicely done. I’d definitely drink this again… if I ever find it again.

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Photo of BeerRun13
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours a dark almost black color that allows no light through in pint glass. A nice thick head forms, tan in color with a dark outer ring. The head falls a bit, but stays a little creamy on top.
Coffe and dark chocolate aromas are evident first. There is also a hint of cherry. Smells good.
Defineitely coffe and roasted chocolate flavors. There is a wonderfull fruity flavor behind it all... at first I thought maybe cherry but it is defineitely more of a berry flavor... maybe blackberrys, either way it tends to show more as it warms. A bit of hop spice shows through and there is a bit of hop bitterness. Still most of the bitterness comes from the roasted barley.
This Russian Imperial Stout is medium to full bodied. Very well balanced flavors make this beer a real treat.
I was dissapointed that they were only available in a 4-pack, and that was before I even got to try one... I'm headed back to the store.

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Photo of audiojon
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this is one hell of a brew. The 9% is not noticeable at all, but the chocolate flavors sure are! Appearance is good, but should have a larger head, especially considering this is a well carbonated brew. Scent is of chocolate, taste is of chocolate, but also some coffee flavor in there. There is a nice balance of hops and malt (malt being dominant here of course) that makes this brew very drinkable. I really can't get past the chocolate flavor here, this is almost a chocolate stout imo. Very good for the style, I was shocked at how quickly I finished this bottle.

Recommended, but how much I'm not sure, as I've yet to try many russian imperial stouts.

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Photo of MrSeth
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

App: pours with spots of carbonated activity which finally forms a cream-coffee colored head. It settles quickly and leaves just a thin ring of suds around the glass. The body is an opaque black, except for the faintest hints of brown highlight at the edges.

Sm: pure cocoa powder, Van Leer chocolate, rich and earthy Tamari soy.

Ta: a full malt start, smooth texture while those toasty malt flavors become a bit bitter at the end. Not amazingly complex, but not boring either. The malty and bitter flavors take a little getting used to before the balance of this stout can really be appreciated. The malt hides at first and the hops stick out, in the end it works well and is very enjoyable.

Mf: Heavy, smooth, well carbonated despite the appearance of being flat.

Da: The bitter, somewhat sticky finish takes away some degree of the drinkability for me. I love stouts and a nice long finish is always welcome, but here it is a bit exagerated.

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Photo of Maestro
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very, very dark brown. Only a hint of light passes through the top. The head is a thin, bubbly tan that leaves quite a lacing on the glass.

Smell: Chocolate, coffee, floral hops, a bit of freshly baked bread.

Taste: Roasted malts seem to be very prevalent, along with espresso and chocolate notes. There is some raisin and date flavor at the back of the tounge. Alcohol comes out as you make your way through the beer.

Mouthfeel: Near perfect. This beer is definitely full-bodies but gives a very dry impression, leaving your mouth feeling cleansed.

Drinkability: Unreal! You would never guess the alcohol in this one. Beware.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
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 dreadnatty08
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a heavenly black heavy brew with a half inch bubble head that subsides to a thin covering. Aromas carry that dark roasted smell paired with some dark chocolate and a good deal of alcohol. Texture isn't all to heavy and high carbonation brings down the mouthfeel and drinkability a bit. I enjoy these heavier beers with a bit less. Anyway, flavors are particularly drying and hoppy towards the end with the carbonation and alcohol both making quite a sting. I really enjoy the roasted flavors, I just wish the bubbliness would be decreased as well as the body increase.

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Photo of Optimat0r
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

this is my second review of old rasputin; the first came a long time ago when i was less experienced so i figured this one deserved another shot. im glad i did.
appearance - deep red, very dark, moderate foaming, cant find any flaws in it at all.

smell - first a tinge of hoppiness then chocolate and coffee blend in nicely.

taste - damn this is maybe the best RIS ive had so far. very rich but not TOO rich...basically a perfect blend of chocolate, malts, and hops...perfectly balanced.

drinkability - is great at first really cold, but it gets a bit too bitter and fuel-tasting after a while. this is one of the better RIS, but its good just every now and then

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Photo of bkett01
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured nearly black with a minor head which refused to leave the surface. A dull coffee/chocolate smell with a hint of hops is present. The taste is quite the combination of flavors ranging from coffee to fruit. I noted a smooth chocolate start balanced with cherry/coffee/and dark roasted malts that finished with a clearly evident hop character. I would prefer more hops over the coffee, but still an enjoyable brew here. Very interesting combination, and a great start to the "new to me" world of imperial stouts.

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Photo of zjungleist
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice appearance. Muted brown/black, with a great tan head and nice lacing. The smell is fairly hoppy, but with some some softness to them, and of course, very roasted malts and a very slight fruitiness. Excelent complex flavor, burnt malts, coffee, nice hops, and the lingering flavor of dry, bitter chocolate. The mouthfeel is slighly thick, but very velevety. No oiliness, but just dry enough to cut the thickness. This is a pretty freakin good imperial stout, but too complex and rich to drink much of.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,086 ratings.
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