Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
12,278 Ratings
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:
Produced in the tradition of 18th Century English brewers who supplied the court of Russia’s Catherine the Great, Old Rasputin seems to develop a cult following wherever it goes. It’s a rich, intense brew with big complex flavors and a warming finish.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

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Ratings: 12,278 |  Reviews: 3,736
Photo of sgoodship
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My friend Brian gave me this because he thought I would like it. He was right. Cheers Brian!

A: Proud looking stout. Poured an extremely large, really dark coffee stained bubbly head. Surprised by how audible the carbonation was. Lovely oily black liquid with a nice amount of ruby red showing through against the light. Lacing is great but doesn't really stick. Head dissipates to a thin dusting and eventually to a ring.

S: For me, the big malt and alcohol strength came across loudest at first. Coffee was very dominant throughout. From time to time, I got a slight phenolic reading too.

T: Massive roasted chocolate malt taste. Strong coffee, anice, licorice & dark fruit. It is not all bitter though, there is also some crystal type sweetness there too. The alcohol was pretty well masked at first but it started coming through as sherry or port toward the end of the drink. The aftertaste was a little too acidic for me but moved swiftly into a lasting bitter coffee and hop that was pleasing. Nice and chewy with plenty of complexity to keep you thinking.

M: Full bodied. Slickness that coats the mouth. Generally very smooth and creamy apart from the liveliness of the carbonation.

D: In the spirit of it being imperial, I felt like it was a very rich and high quality RIS. It was lovely and warming. Rasputin is a great label for it - it certainly had a mysterious aspect to it. I don't find this style highly drinkable, I like to have one once in a while. Having said that, it was an easy drink to put to rest. A fine brew that I'll happily pick up again in future.

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Photo of mattffrost
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into glass

Appearance Beer is a black cloudy color. Head is a nice tan color. Head lingers on for quite awhile. I dont see a lot of carbonation bubbles through glass not sure if the beer is to dark to see these or there are just not a lot of bubbles.

Smell Nice chocolate aroma is the first smell I get. A hint of coffee is also present.

Taste A chocolate taste is present. Sweet malt is also tasted. Finishes a little bitter. Very smooth beer that is mild as well. Does not taste like a 9.00% but I know it is.

Mouthful Ultra low carbonation, a very smooth beer.

Drikability For a Russian stout goes down pretty good. A little to rich to drink to fast, must be sipped, a very nice beer.

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Photo of skillerified
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black as night in the middle, but some burgundy-red tints around the edges. Head is about a finger and a half and tan. Fades fairly quickly, but leaves a ton of lacing on the glass.

Licorice, malt and hop start off the nose. Some vinous notes. Also a distinct dark fruit scent that seems different from the vinous scents. Maybe a touch of chocolate too.

First sip ... whoa! There's a lot going on here. The fruity flavors seem to hit first, followed by a strong dark coffee-like taste. A bit of a spicy alcohol bite. Then there's a chocolate note on the finish.

Mouthfeel is very interesting. There's a distinct sweet part early, then a grapefruit like bitterness in the middle that lasts through the finish. Then there's a different kind of bitterness toward the end that fades just before the finish. It's amazing that it feels so different from front to back.

That grapefruit bitterness really bugs me and will hinder the drinkability for me, but otherwise this is a fine stout. I wouldn't have any problem putting one down from time to time.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a midnight black with a thick, tan 2-finger head that dies down into a thick, sticky lacing.

Smell - Roasty. Chocolate and coffee. A bit of astringent alcohol comes through as well.

Taste - Strong, dark and roasted bitter chocolate and coffee malts. Alcohol shines through mid-taste, before being devoured by the bitter aftertaste, which gets stronger the warmer the beer gets.

Mouthfeel - Thick and a bit intimidating. Almost hard to get down once the beer warms. Best to drink it while it's cold.

Overall - A classic, straight forward Russian Imperial. There's nothing fancy about this one, and sip after sip becomes a bit of a menacing chore, though a chore that's enjoyable in a masochistic sense. It's a beer that feels stronger than the 9% label would have you believe. I consider Old Rasputin to be the standard by which all RIS's should be judged.

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Photo of asabreed
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4-pack purchased for around $7. This is sampled from one of those bottles.

Appearance: What I expected from a stout with such a solid reputation. An off-white / tan and mocha-colored head, big and frothy. Body is dark black and opaque.

Smell: Lots of things going on when it warms. Raisins, honey, coffee, dark and burned chocolate malt, slight toffee, slight berry. Doesn't smell too sweet, but rather melds everything together quite well.

Taste: Poweful on the burned and chocolate malt, but not overbearing. Slight berries and sweetness mix with the malt character for an interesting complexity. Drink this at celler temperature for sure, as I only had mine in the fridge for about 30 minutes, and halfway through the glass -- as the slightly colder temperature's gotten back down to cellar temperature -- there's already so much more going on. Lingering aftertaste that stays nicely on the back of the tongue with some burned and sweet notes.

Mouthfeel: For as much of a whopper of a stout this is, it's not really heavy, but maintains creaminess and balanced carbonation levels. Pretty excellent.

Drinkability: This is rich stout, and one that would be a waste make a session of, not to mention the high ABV. Can't wait to try it with a rich dessert.

North Coast continues to impress me with their solid representations of almost all the styles they do. For me they're up there with Rogue, Victory, DFH, Great Lakes, and Stone. I just wish they'd add some more style / variety to their line-up, so hopefully the coming years will provide that.

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Photo of MuFugga
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jmerloni
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice jet black color with just huge head for an imperial stout that has ridiculous retention and lacing. One of the most impressive heads I've seen on a beer, never mind a stout.

S - Chocolate, coffee, toffee, but not as potent as most imperial stouts. Pretty mild.

T - Follows the nose fairly well. Flavors are subtle and not overpowering. An additional licorice taste is detectable on the swallow. A real nice bitter finish. Somewhat alcoholic but it doesn't interfere with what North Coast is trying to do with this brew.

M - Very good mouthfeel. Whole and full and balanced. Pretty smooth with a warming alcoholic swallow. I like it a lot.

D - This beer is big and filling with a high ABV. I would get this again.

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Photo of HalfFull
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a pint glass, the Nitro tap helps this beer along nicely. Pours a deep black with an inch of mocha head. Good retention and generous amounts of lacing follow and continue to the bottom of the glass.

Smell has the chocolate nose of the bottle but without the notes of alcohol.

More chocolate on the tongue and with a long lingering roasted malt finish, including a nice freshly grated chocolate texture. Medium bodied in the feel and has a slightly slick finish, though smoother than from the bottle. High carbonation of the bottle isn't present here, allowing for a smoother feel and better retention of the nitro induced carbonation.

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Photo of bbkd3b
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been looking forward to this one for a while. So, I bought a bottle, yanked my pint glass from the cabinet, and started the great routine.

A - Pours a darker-than-night black, with no light getting through at all. A nice, caramel-colored head sustained for a decent time before leaving a scattered amount sitting at the top... The lacing sort of dropped down, but a great looking beer, really.

S - Wow... lots of really nice scents. Mostly espresso, along with caramel and toffee.... some dark chocolate and a slight booziness are there, too, but not at the front of things. Welcoming.

T - Wait... where did that berry-like start come from? It wasn't in the nose at all! Don't know, but it didn't last long, as the aforementioned espresso took control of the show. Nice, sweet, and bitter all at once. Seriously, it tastes like berries dipped in mocha. Nice combinations. Finish is clean, along with the aftertaste of coffee. Goes down easy... tiniest hint of alcohol.

M - Nice, creamy body with a really warming finish. This is a great beer for winter, and Missouri is starting to cool down... so, yeah, I'll welcome that. Carbonation was a bit too sharp for a beer in this style, I think.

D - It tastes really good, but I never considered imperials to be very drinkable brews... especially the heavier ones. 9% ABV ensures that a couple will be a good bet for relaxed nights.

Overall/notes: I've heard a lot about this beer, and all positive. Doesn't really disappoint! I once had this... It was a long time ago, before I had any sort of experience with stouts, and "good" beer was a relatively new experience. Couldn't stand it. Couple of years later, and here I am, drinking it down and enjoying the evening. Experiences like these are great reminders of how far my palette has come!

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Photo of ckornmannn
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a bottle into a tulip: nearly black, no light getting through. molasses, toast, vanilla, on the nose. Taste follows: malt forward, vanilla, molasses, tobacco. An excellent imperial stout!

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed via notes from a while ago.

Appearance - Pours out black as night, very similar to the used Mobile 1 5W-30 drained from the SpdKilz TT Z06 after two thousand miles! Less than a finger of head that is mocha in color. Amazing lacing - stays the entire drink.

Smell - Immediately I am struck by the coffee sent. I smell some dark fruits (cherries) in my nose also - though not much. A lingering alcohol smell is notable also.

Taste - Like I am drinking a bitter coffee with semi-sweet chocolate/cocoa. First sip is hard for me to handle (for the first ever one - subsequent Old R's I'm prepared for and enjoy the first sip greatly). The alcohol is present but is not a put off and is not prevalent with the initial sip - more of an after "thought."

Mouthfeel - Quite thick - decent amount of carbonation. This is a very heavy beer and is almost syrupy (but not quite).

Drinkability - Don't think I could have more than two of these in a sitting but at 9% abv that should create a quite nice feeling for me. Overall quite drinkable and again, not a session beer but I can't wait to enjoy this when the California nights turn a bit colder during fall. For now I have to settle for the summer heat outside.

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Photo of trevorpost
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of soco89ziegler
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MattwyLee
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BeerGodz
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: Black, with a mocha brown head, and good lacing

Smell: Coffee, dark fruit, toffee, and a touch of chocolate

Taste: Up Front: Roasted malts. Finish: Dark fruit, alcohol, espresso

Mouthfeel: Full body, rich and creamy, with low carbonation

Drinkability: Very good considering the style

Overall Impression: At one time this was my favorite R.I.S. What can I say, it still kicks ass!

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Photo of scottyshades
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque mahogany color that produces a nice rich ruby/brown head that dissipates verrry slowly and leaves a brown lacing

S: The nose is bitter right off the bat with burnt malts, bitter-sweet chocolate, coffee, molasses, cocoa, hops and espresso

T: Much hoppier and bitter than I expected. Huge roasted notes, chocolate, coffee, caramel, molasses, and burnt malts

MF/D: Super chewy, oily, silky, creamy, and just delicious.

A little bitter for me, but those who love hops will love this one

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Photo of biggred1
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Very dark brown with a merangue-like three fingers of dark tan head that leaves fine lace on the glass.

S-Sweet and smoky burnt maltiness,faint lemongrass hops and cocoa.

T/M-BIG toasted malty chocolate and mocha coffee flavors with a decent bitter hop bite to balance.Warming alcohol in the finish.

M-Thick and chewy,very creamy.

D-One of my faves especially around the holidays.Very well made,worth eleven bucks a 4-pack.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thick, coffee ice cream-colored head that sticks around for a while. Espresso-dark and thick - coats the mug nicely. Mild, dry aroma with toasted-burnt but pleasant crispy malt. Taste is very dry with slight bitterness on the palate. Deep, dark roasted backbone that's very warming to the senses. Strong espresso roast tones. Slight metallic aftertaste (packaging?). No overly alcoholic flavor - this is very well balanced. This stuff coats the mouth - even though it's a little dry and bitter at times it's very thick and soothing. Very well-made to enjoy in moderation.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A- A muddy, deep pitch black coffee with a creamy mocha head.

S- Definitive coffee. Back tones of chocolate. Slight fruity smell with overtones of rosted malt.

T- Again, coffee. An earthy licorice rich with complex flavors. Strong aftertaste of cocoa. Hints of vanilla. A little too alcoholy.

M- Thick and creamy

D- Definitely a sipping beer. A good stout. Big, filling and thick. A good beer for cold weather. Strong on the back of the tounge with alcohol. Definitely have to drink it slow.

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Photo of rynej23
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of alcstradamus
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This has so many reviews by now that I can't make any descriptions that haven't been repeated a hundred times already. So I'll just give my overall thoughts.

The first time I tried Old Rasputin I was in love with it. I was still very new in the craft beer world, and hadn't had many (or maybe any) of the top rated stouts in the world. Rasputin was an afforable, roasty, flavorful monster that I latched onto. Since then, I have had the pleasure of trying many gigantic imperial stouts and I no longer feel the same love for the Rasputin.

However, I still find it to be a very nice beer. Nice roastiness without tasting too burnt...not enough body to really make me happy but at least its not thin....awesome drinkability for a 9% beer. This is a beer that is perfect for beginners and still very good for veterans.

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Photo of brewemstrong
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: An aggressive pour yields a 1 finger, very dark head and a black body. Lace looks promising.

S: Dark malt that's mostly chocolate but with a touch of coffee grounds. Alcohol is fairly obvious.

T: Pretty sweet but a great flavorful blend. Molasses and chocolate assist a plum note and a touch of cinnamon.

M: Highly carbonated and the alcohol is noticeable. This is easy to drink although the finish is slightly sticky.

O: Loyal to the style, this beer is worth trying. Solid flavor blend with no real drawback other than a limited nose.

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Photo of jdg204
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally had a shot at one of the legends so I had to take a stab at it. My first North Coast and not my last as their distribution is increasing in my area.

A: Pitch black with a nice mocha head that stuck around.

S: Roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee.

T: Off the bat you get the coffee and chocolate but soon the hops take over (lacks balance imo), really socks it to you.

M: Good consistency and texture, nice sipping beer.

D: Good brew overall, but didn't quite live up to the hype surrounding it. I enjoyed it but the hops were just way out of balance and sunk it for me. I've just had better RIS's, but this is pretty unique so give it a shot if you can get it.

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Photo of wlfmaldon1
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gubbt
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, with a nice tan, creamy head.

Nose is highly roasted malts with dark, dark chocolate, a little black licorice and some piney hops.

Taste very much follows the nose. This one is about the roasty, black malts and hops. Rasputin is more on the dry/bitter side for the style, not much sweetness here. The most impressive thing is the finish: bitter, roasty, earthy, piney, and high cacao chocolate.

Nice full body, without too much carbonation.

A classic big stout that is thankfully available year round. Cheers!

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,278 ratings
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