Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,639 Reviews
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

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

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:
3,639
Ratings:
11,885
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
18.46%
 
 
Wants:
572
Gots:
2,818
For Trade:
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Reviews: 3,639 | Ratings: 11,885
Photo of Jwicker
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought from Randall's in fairview heights, IL, 4 pack for 10$, surprisingly a great deal.
Among stouts, Russian imperial are my favorite, and among imperial stouts, old rasputin is my favorite. Oh man, where to begin with this brilliant beverage.
The jet black appearance lets you know as soon as you pop open that bottle, you're in for a wild ride. I usually pour this into my special stout glass. The look is just great. Once poured, a dark tan foam more delicious than any cappuccino you have ever seen, immediately covers the top of the drink. Once you start drinking a glass of this, a wonderful division of carbonation fills your mouth from drink one until done.
-THE SMELL is very faint for me, then again it may be because I'm getting really buzzed after one bottle. But the main hints of fresh coffee grounds and chocolate syrup definitely scream out.
-THE TASTE is incredible. The first time I had this I was amazed. VERY dark, and VERY strong taste. Kick in the nuts at first, but it's Beautiful. In detail, it tastes like I'm drinking a slightly hoppy iced mocha with extra dark expresso shots. Very delicious.
-THE FEEL is pretty heavy. This stout is thick and it will set nicely. An instant warmer.
Leaves a nice strong taste In your mouth.
I always look forward to getting some more Rasputin. Incredible stout.
If your are a stout drinker, this is hands down one of the best, if not the best.

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Photo of BigCheese
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this bottle is a bit old, looked like it had been on shelf for a little while, tough to know for sure.

A: Pours a thick ink black. Pours a pretty thick head that is a cardboard colored head. Literally leaves a wall of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Dark Chocolate malts, oak, whisky, booze, hints of fruit maybe cherry/rasins.

Taste: Get hit with some sweet/slightly bitterness. Quickly changes to rich dark chocolate, hot chocolate (euro kind), burnt crust, honey bourbon, taste lingers for a while. For a really long time. Hop bitterness doesnt come through until it warms, beer really evolves as it warms. I'd drink this just below room temp for ideal consumption.

Mouthfeel: quite carbonated. A tad boozy but not in an unpleseant way. Once beer settles and warms its incredibly thick/syrupy. Could easily take down 2, maybe 3 of these, after that flavor/alcohol would be a bit overwhelming.

O: A perfect cold weather beer. Its got a great boozy warmness to it. Flavor evolves as beer warms which keeps taste buds interested. Taste lingers for a long time. One of the best brews I've ever had. A must try.

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Photo of hopphead31415
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I once tried this beer in a four-pack that was chilled down real good. It was my first time getting a brew that was in a four-pack, so it was a bit interesting. This brew boasts 9.0% ABV, but I have heard people say it drinks more like a 10-11% so watch out. It has 75 IBUs, but has plenty of sweetness so don’t worry.

Look-It pours a deep dark black. It leaves an initially thick head that has a copper tinge. It later disappears and leaves little to no lacing on the glass.

Smell-The aroma is roasted coffee, chocolate, toffee, and caramel with a slight acidity. It smells strongly of the rich creamy malts and a bite from the alcohol.

Taste-The coffee, chocolate, toffee, licorice, and spices are abundant smells that are cut with a vengeance by a sharp whiskey-like bite from the ample alcohol. The hops that linger afterwards are bitter but are also accompanied by a spicy aftertaste like nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, black licorice, some cola, candied plums, and raisins.

Mouthfeel-It has a thick, chewy, rich, creamy, full-bodied, and smooth/silky mouthfeel. But it also has some noticeable fizz from the medium ambient carbonation. There is a lingering smoked wood coating on the tongue that has resins similar to cedar and red oak.

Overall-It is a very nice beer, but you better pour it or get it on tap. The aromas come out clean and complement the taste if your olfactory system is primed with the smell. The alcohol is quite powerful so watch out, but cuts the sweet full-bodied malt backbone that is freckled with a plethora of delicious spices and flavors as I describe above. This beer really deserves the Imperial Stout name and it is easily a world class beer. The bros give it a top score and I will as well. Cheers!

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Photo of keithmurray
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance -dark brown, nearly black body and khaki colored head

Smell - espresso, molasses, caramel, dark chocolate

Taste - dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, caramel, vanilla

Mouthfeel - Full bodied, viscous, sweetness upfront from the caramel/chocolate, balanced by the coffee and bitterness in the back. Despite the hefty body, it is easy to drink

Overall - this is a benchmark beer for the style in my opinion. Price and availability considered, there isn't much reason to hunt all of the limited releases in this style when you could just grab this off of any shelf. A beer that frankly deserves more respect in the community.

Price Point - $10.99/4 pack 12 oz bottles

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Photo of cactusjuggalo
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try one last night when my shipment arrived at work. Poured out of the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Blacker than night apperance with a slight head one very tasty lookin brew.

Smell was exactly what i come to expect from a good RIS coffee and chocolate.

Good lord this is a good beer. It has this perfect bitter taste to it thats not to extreme and not to light. Just rich and full.

As far as mouthfeel goes it is quite smooth and enjoyable.

Man i could drink this all night but at 9% rasputin is a sneaky one that can creep up on you quick. Drink with caution my friends.

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Photo of sevenarts
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very very dark, with a nice tan head and strong sticky lacing.

S: Coffee, chocolate, some hops and sweet flavors. Interesting.

T/M: It smells good, but it tastes even better. This is a really complex taste profile, with coffee/chocolate stout maltiness blending with hop bitterness and floral flavors, and a bit of alcohol warming on the back end. Each sip seems to explode in the mouth, offering up multiple layers of intense flavors. It has a nice creamy stout feel but the taste is what's really distinctive.

O: A really powerful RIS that really stands out.

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Photo of nortmand
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black, with a very stable brown head.

Roast dominates the aroma. Coffee and chocolate as well.

Milk chocolate up front, turns into a rounded roast by mid tongue. Leaves a bitter roast aftertaste with a bit of metallic character.

Extra full, lucious body, smooth as silk. Big ass drinkable beer. So clean.

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Photo of Rzzzzz
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, why is the bottle in that picture up there empty? Well, I *know* why it's empty--same reason mine's empty--but I've yet to come across a bottle of beer that looks better empty than it does full.

I emptied mine into a Chimay glass, revealing a thick black brew with a tan head that dissipated to form what I could only describe as a nebula pattern, continually evolving due to a nucleus of constantly emerging bubbles. This beer is ALIVE. And alive with flavors, as well. Dark roasted malt, chocolate, hint of fruit, coffee; sweet and rich with a bitter, dry finish. A veritable meal in a glass.

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Photo of jfdean
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'm fortunate enough that my local bar has been keeping Old Ras on nitro-tap for some time now. Whenever the mood strikes for something rich, dark, creamy, and with enough alcohol in it to relax for the night, I head over.

The beer arrives with a body that is pitch black topped with a immaculate tan head. The smell is more roasty than anything with a subtle malty sweetness you can pick up. You are unlikly to make it through the head on the first sip, but don't let that dissuade you... The head itself is a treat being insanely smooth with a much lighter feel to it while keeping the notes of chocolate, roast and malt that await in the beer proper. Savor the sips of Old Ras because on tap it is candy. You will finish a glass without thinking about it, and with everybody else doing the same it might not be long before the keg kicks.

If you see Old Ras on tap, get it. No ifs ands or buts.

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Photo of SeamusDoyle
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep black color with a large dark brown head. The aroma was a beautiful mix of espresso, chocolate, bitter hops, and roasted grain,some alcohol crept in. The flavor was intense woody/charcoal, chocolate, coffee, roasted grain, tobacco, hops bitterness. The feel was surprisingly crisp and bubbly that made this beer feel not as big as it is. Very wet finish that coats the tongue and throat.

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Photo of Shimbabwe
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, deep, brown, almost black, liquid pours from the bottle into an oversized wine glass—quite a challenge at room temperature, as the mountainous khaki head quickly boils to four fingers, nearly overwhelming its container. This bubbly froth slowly reintegrates over several minutes, leaving sticky rings of lace around the circumference of the goblet.


The emanating aroma is quite fruity for a stout, consisting of plums and raisins, with a touch of alcohol and piney hops; minimal coffee and chocolate on the nose.


Initial flavor is of sweet and dark fruits, then mocha and espresso, followed by a faint alcohol taste that subsequently yields to burnt chocolate and bitter hops, both of which linger all the way to the next sip. The hoppy bitterness pleasantly surprises and compliments the “charcolaty” flavors, while nicely balancing the mild sweetness of this brew.


Mouth feel at room temperature is rich, creamy, and somewhat thick—but not overwhelmingly so—with little carbonation; very decent for the style.


I’m a big fan of the style; and, this is one of my favorites. It’s well worth $10 a four-pack.

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Photo of bifrostguard
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pitch black with a long lasting tan head that can get as big as you make it. Nice thick viscosity when disturbed. Lacing chases the liquid surface down to the bottom.

S-Roasted Coffee, toffee, caramel and most interestingly of all floral hops.

T-After being shocked by the aromatic hop presence, I was even more amazed by the complex layers of flavor that this beverage has to offer. At the forefront is chocolate, roasted coffee, malt and complimentary hop bitterness. An alcohol burn follows that is absolutely perfection.

M- Medium to thick, creamy with plenty of carbonation to keep things interesting.

D-Very easy to drink despite the alcohol presence. A smooth and creamy imperial stout.

A cult classic that is worthy of the tag!

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Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with no light coming through. Has a huge creamy dark head that goes away slowly. Can smell the roasted malts and dark fruits. Tastes like how it smells.

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Photo of dqderrick
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 4.5
So dark. The head is perfect cocoa in color. Lacing is great.

Smell - 5.0
The scent did exactly as I want a beer smell to do... make me long for the first sip. Smelled like a perfect RIS.

Taste - 4.5
Why is it not a 5.0? I wanted more bite. But damn if they didn't nail the flavor profile of a RIS that I was looking to for.

Mouthfeel - 5.0
Killer. The carbonation and bite on my tongue is great. I love this style of beer and North Coast nailed it.

Drinkability - 5.0
My rating here makes up for my 4.5 on taste. I could drink all 4 of these in one sitting. Granted, the 9.0% would leave me hungover the next day...

I saw this beer mention time and time again on the forums here at BA. When at my local Bevmo, I'd always bypass it for other selections. But, this recent experience will force me to always keep one or two at least in my cellar. I plan to share this beer with others that have not tasted it yet.

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Photo of mgaddy
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing. One of my favorite cold weather beers.
It is so good. You have to go out and try a bottle of this. You just have to.

Appearance. Beautiful dark, nearly black with a tan head that retains incredibly well throughout the entire glass, leaving lacing behind the entire way.

Smell. Chocolatey goodness. Maltiness. Some hints of other great aromas that i can't put my finger on.

Taste. Incredible. More chocolate and coffee flavors. Not overly bitter.

Mouthfeel. Delicious. I want to drink this stuff all the time. So smooth and creamy.

Drinkability. Absolutely drinkable. Check this out if you haven't already.

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Photo of rvisual
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I don't pretend to be a connoisseur, but I've had many ales, lagers, pilseners, stouts, porters etc. over the years and OR gets my vote for "best overall" generally available.

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Photo of isaac
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. stubby to pint glass.

A - Wow. Very, very dark. I'm still hesitant to say black, since there are some red tones in there, but... maybe black is the right color to use. brown, pillowy head of 2 fingers that sinks first in the middle and then slowly down the side of glass.

S - sweet, roasted malts and chocolate dominate the smell, however there is a clear, citric-hops aroma as well. alcohol also makes an appearance.

T - delicious. begins with coffee and chocolate tones that slowly transitions into hop bitterness, finished with a sweet, almost cookie-like flavor. i give this a 4.5, though, and not a 5, because there is an odd hint of soy-sauce in the aftertaste that is a bit displeasing.

M - smooth, medium to heavy mouthfeel with high carbonation hitting the back of the palate and warming alcohol down the throat.

D - a very enjoyable beer, to say the least. i've had this both in the bottle and in a glass, and i must say that the latter is certainly preferable. old rasputin is truly helping me relax before bed.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.

L - Jet black with a 1 finger brown wispy and foamy head that doesn't stay around too long. Very nice lacing, though.

S - The first thing I smell is chocolate. There's definitely good amounts of roasted malt and hints of coffee. Maybe the tiniest bit of alcohol present, but not much, and also a slight hint of hops.

T - Simply delicious. The sweetness of the chocolate balances well with the bitterness of the roasted malt and coffee flavors. Some hop flavors may be contributing to the bitterness as well. Very good balance between the sweetness and bitterness.

F - Medium-to-full bodied, not much as far as carbonation, and a dry, slightly bitter, slightly astringent, slightly warming finish from the roasted malt, coffee, and alcohol. Light creamy texture.

O - This was a great beer. If you are a stout-lover, I highly recommend this one. Very, very tasty and hides the alcohol extremely well. I'd love to come back to this one.

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Photo of YankChef
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my eagles mug. No freshness date

Appearance: Pours a mean looking pitch black with a one inch puffy, foamy chocolate milk color. lacing is very nice.

Aroma: Smells roasty of dark bittersweet couverture chocolate and dark grain (barley and rye). There is also a pretty heavy coffee note, but almost a sweet coffee like a frapucinno.

Taste: One the front it is almost sweet with the coffee and chocolate flavors melding with other complex notes of dried fruit and toasted candied walnuts and pecans. Then the balancing bitterness kicks in from the very healthy amount of hops in here to leave a bitter astringent feeling in the mouth that really makes you salivate. This beer is definitely "dry". Kind of stings the tounge on the finish, with an almost metallic taste.

Mouthfeel: Full and rounded, it really coats the mouth and is just fat and chunky.

Overall: In the world of RIS, this one just plain kicks ass. It has all of the body and flavor to represent the style with pride, a truly world class beer from North Coast. Very Highly Recommended (But you already knew that... Didn't you?)

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Photo of 86MonteSS
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For a beer that isn't opaque (a very dark reddish brown when I held it up to the light), this is superiorly robust. The smell is one of the most enticing I've ever encountered, and the taste follows up with gusto. So many of the imperial stouts I've had have been sweet almost to the point of nausea but nay, Rasputin was a hardier fellow. Poisoned, shot, beaten, and drowned, he lives.

...In a bottle.

Let me tell you something: If I ever wake up and realize I'm a hemophiliac, I'm jumpin' in the ol' Monte Carlo and zooming out to Half Time to buy another bottle of Old Rasputin. Na zdorovia, comrade!

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Photo of jackorain
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this bottle since the summer of 2005. Just split it with my mother-in-law.

Poured into oversized whine glasse, for a lack of tulip or snifter.

A-dark thick black, what little head poured out immediately fell to a thin ring that provided some lacing. Almost no light gets through.

S-Unbeleiveable aroma, coffe, chocolate, dark roasted malt and hop.

T-very dark roasted malt hits strong right up front, followed by a nce hop bite. I'd imagine the hops may have even dissapated some over the year I have held it. Molasses, coffe, chocolate on the very long lingering finish. really good.

M-thick, full body, coats mouth wonderfully.

D-about as good as an RIS can be. I wish I had another.

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Photo of MattyV
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thick inky dark-brown/black, creamy khaki head, good spotty lacing.
Smell is a mixture of roasted malt, nuts, coffee, and herbal/fruitiness.
Taste doesn't hold back, lots of bitter roasted malt, dark chocolate, and dark roasted coffee. Fair bit of hoppy bitterness is also apparent. Alcohol's hardly noticeable at first, but gets more boozy as it warms. The booziness doesn't detract from the experience, it fits with the huge flavours going on. There's a nice nutty flavour that lingers for a long time on the tongue.
Substantial rich body, good carbonation.

This is a fantastic powerful RIS. Nice big flavours, perfect for sipping on cold winter nights. The hops play a prominent role and mesh nicely with the malt profile to create many layers of complexity. It's going to be hard to age the rest of these for very long!

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Photo of HardTarget
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stubby 12 oz. brown bottle, no date, Cyrillic lettering but “Product of the U.S.A.”, and abv listed at 8.9% (oh momma!). Aged this one a good year in my cellar.
Aroma: Rich malt, rum soaked raisins, burnt chocolate and a nut aroma, somewhat like almonds.
Appearance: Glass is an opaque black with some brown edges showing trace amounts of carbonation coming up to feed a very thin collar of dark tan head. The collar persisted through the beer, but left no lace.
Flavor: Outrageous! Scandalous! Divine! Insane! All of the above. A syrupy dark roasted and toasted malt taste that quickly shows a rum raisin heart that is attacked and pierced by an acidic hop spike. I also get some black cherry and wood flavors as well. Very intense and heavy flavor, I can see this as a ‘love or hate’ beer.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, surprisingly light given the dark rich taste. Carbonation is firm.
Overall Impression: When the world has beaten, berated, shot, stabbed and thrown you into a frozen river, this beer will revive you and help you overcome. It is one of my favorites (can you tell?) and was a gateway for my life as a BA. Drinkability is more along the lines of “I want this beer again, later”. An amazing beer I can’t recommend strongly enough.

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Photo of ZAP
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Midnight black with a creamy tan head....the nose on this beer is outstanding...I just want to smell it and smell it and smell it, but I figured I'd better get around to drinking it too. The nose is very heavy on the hops, with a wonderful blend of spicy, earthy, herbal hops..some chocolate on the nose too.. The hops shine through on the buds as well, but there is an excellent chocolate bite to it also...like dark semi-sweet chocolate..Body is thick, but not over thick like Bell's Expedition...this is pretty drinkable in my opinion...the only drawback to me is there is some alcohol taste evident..It finishes with the hop bite, but also with a smooth butterscotchy texture...I really like this one...rates right up there with the best..

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Photo of IPAlmighty
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Man, this is good. That crazy bastard that inspired the name should be proud. The booze is masterfully masked, it's hard to find fault in this brew. When I have customers looking for an Imperial Stout, I direct them to this with no reservations.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,639 ratings.
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