Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

3,701 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: 3,701 | Ratings: 12,129
Photo of tayner
3.13/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle.

black with a off white/tan head, laced nice

smell was of roasted malts and alcohol

tasted like i was drinking burnt malt, ash, and lighter fluid.

The mouthfeel was hot, thick, motor oil mixed with lighter fluid.

I couldnt even finish my one bottle. I am not sure why this is rated so high, but i think if i drank any more of this it would make me look like the old dude on the bottle.

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Photo of DoctorDog
3.13/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz. bottle into an over sized wine glass. No freshness or bottling date indicated, which I presume is fairly inconsequential.

A- Deep brown/black in appearance. Pours with a bare minimum off-white head, which fades quickly, leaving a thin ring. Minimal lacing.

S- Alcohol, coffee, and vague hints molasses, though taken as a whole, all are fairly muted. After ~1/2 an hour, molasses odor become more prominent.

T- Crisp as it hits, but then quickly followed by alcohol and burnt/hoppy bitterness. Alcohol hit and bitters mellow as it warms, and the essence of coffee flavors become more present and pleasant.

M- Medium/high carbonation. Fairly smooth.

D- Moderate. In my book, this is a "one glass slow-sipper" of a beer.

Future outlook: Possible that I would pick this up again for rare-occasion sipping, though not something that would rank prominently for regular imbibing.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.13/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I love RIS's so my review might be biased, but I'll do my best to go by the guide lines. The appreance of this is black with a tan head, large frothy head and laces as I drink it. There is aromas of cherries, chocolate, molasses, bubble gum, wine and nail polish. The taste is of roasted nuts, oak, chocolate mocha and the bitterness of hops with whipped cream. The mouthfeel is light and smooth but warms up at the end because of the alcohol. Drinkability of this in comparison to other RIS's is that it's not the best, but it's still very tasty.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.14/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner.

pitch black with half an inch of tan head that leaves rings of lacing.

roasted malt and chocolatey aroma with a touch of coffee.

medium mouthfeel with a medium carbonation; mouthfeel is slightly light and carbonation slightly high for the style. slight chocolate sweetness, then a wave of piney bitterness. hoppy bitterness is quite a contrast from the aroma. the combination of flavors is just a bit amiss. solid stout, but i've come to expect more from anything labeled as "imperial," such as a little more complexity or nuance.

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Photo of thisXwar
3.15/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

I'm sure this beer isn't really that bad in other people's opinions and I understand why. It has a good taste, and smell just seems to have an overwhelming taste of hops and as someone who isn't a fan of hops that killed my rating.

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Photo of AdamPenna
3.16/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm a little disappointed actually. It's only slightly better than Guinness Extra Stout. I always catch a kind of eggy scent off stouts which I dislike. The head was impressive and the color pitch black--benighted, I would say. Others compliment the alcohol kick, but I didn't sense much of it. Malt is big but not much sweetness, which is good. Burnt. This is my first review of a stout so I may need to return and revise. Maybe my batch was old? Not unpleasant just not what I had hoped.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.16/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a huge chocolate head about 1 and quarter inch. Pitch black in color with nice head retention and lacing through out.

Smells of rich chocolate , slight coffee and alcohol

Tastes of some chocolate and coffee. Strong alcohol taste up front with a medium bitter aftertaste

Has low to medium carbonation with a bitter mouth feel towards the end

Beer was overwhelming, too strong with the chocolate/bitter combo. Couldnt possibly drink more than one at a time. Beer is very highly rated, this was my first Imperial Stout , maybe im not accustomed to this style.

Edit - I've had this beer more over the past year and im still not very impressed with it, will age some and try again

 686 characters

Photo of Seru1
3.16/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle Serving from Georgia poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- Dark Blackish Brown With a creamy Browinsh Tan Head. Just rich enough

Smell- Big smells of coffee with chocolate notes. Lots of roasty and woodsy aromas make me think they used American oaks

Taste- Roasted malts hit you like a slap in the face. Coffee flavor mixed with bitter chocolate round out this big flavored beer. Very Bitter.

Mouthfeel- It really coats the tongue and fills the whole mouth it's a nice big beer.

Drinkability- Abit bitter during cold weather I could probably have a few. But in other weather one a day is about the most I could have.

Notes: This was my first russian imperial stout. And it was not at all what I expected. I had heard they were sweet. But I certainly didn't pick that up.

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Photo of Cresant
3.17/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. undated, brown bottle into a Duvel glass. The body was darkest brown and the modest 1/2" head faded rather quickly.

Smell was sweet roasted malts. Coffee grounds. Chocolate.

Taste reflected the aromas. Tangy sweet baking chocolate. Finished long with a bittersweet aftertaste. This one was not as complex as I had anticipated.

Mouthfeel was zesty with mouthfilling carbonation.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presented in a 12oz. brown bottle as pictured. This beer allows no light to penetrate its inky black depths. A short-lived mocha colored head rose and fell as quickly as Italy changes governments, leaving minor lace behind.
The aroma is a withering blend of bitter coffee grounds, alcohol, roasted black malt, wet leather, and dark fruit.
This brew has a pronounced bitterness to it, far more than I expected. There are hints of bakers chocolate and coffee mixed with some prune/date flavors but the overall effect is rather out of balance. An astringent alcohol taste fires a parting shot along with a mild warmth.
Feel is medium with a real rawness from the alcohol.
Well, if this is what Rasputin was drinking the night he was killed, it explains why he was so difficult to take down. Old Rasputin has a rugged, hard edge to it that cuts into its drinkability. Overall, not bad but I've had some I've liked better. I'll drink them instead.

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Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Dark black with tan head.
Smell- Dark roasted malts, coffee
Taste- Bitter, black licorice, coffee,booze.
Feel- Too much carbonation in my opinion

This is a one and done beer.. This is my first Imperial Stout and I didn't really like it that much

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first Russian Imperal Stout. Poured out to a black coffee color with a nice, full brown foamy head that was well lived. Notes of lace were all about inside the glass. Aromas similar to whisky were first noted, as were indications of chocolate and coffee. Flavor was full and rich, with notes of molassas, cocoa and coffee, with some smokey elements to it as well. The big drawback for me with this beer was the alcohol. Way too present, as it almost overpowered the other flavors. Very hard to ignore. Full and thick mouthfeel was similar to what I would imagine having motor oil in your mouth being like. I guess i'd have another, but certainly not right after having one. Worth a try.

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Photo of Phillyduke
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Black as night with a two-finger head of mocha colored foam that settles into a thin coating on the surface of the beer. Fizzy lacing slides down the sides of the glass.

S: Alcohol sensation burns the nose. Dark roasted malts and chocolate round out a somewhat sour scent.

T: Burnt toast and dark malt with hints of chocolate and a nice hop bite. Alcohol is most definitely noticeable with each sip. Slightly hot and acidic. Bitter hop finish lingers and builds in the mouth over time.

M: A little on the thin side and slightly more carbonated than I would have liked.

D: I couldn't have more than one of these. Far too 'hot' to enjoy with the overwhelming sensation of alcohol. Definitely needs to mellow out a bit. Would like to revisit this beer after some down time, as it obviously has impressed many people. Not my favorite RIS by a longshot, though.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.18/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a very dark brown, with a dark tan head that reduced to a film. Good lacing.
Smell was just hops and coffee.
Taste was somewhat better, coffee, chocolate, malt, strong(!) alcohol. A decent balance but ...
Mouthfeel was smooth, creamy, full-bodied but the aftertaste was a little bitter with alcohol obvious all over the place.
Drinkability is alright but, because of the high octane, would only do it once in a while. Not a bad beer by any stretch, just not consumable often.

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Photo of Chris-MOC9
3.19/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

My Go-To cheap stout with high alc.

The color is a nice dark color normal to stouts.

I thought it had an acceptable smell, nothing to write home about.

Has a nice chocolate/ coffee-ness to it, but it can have a bit of a bitter after taste.

overall, best bang for your buck for an imperial stout with high alc.

 314 characters

Photo of timherremans
3.19/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Could not find a best buy date, it is possible this case contained older, past date stouts?

appearance - Poured into a goblet at about 50 degrees F. Dark beige colored large head. Dissipated very slowly. Lacing was near perfection. A dark deep black stout with only a slight notice of brown hues on the edge. Looks very nice.

smell - Alcohol, yeast, roasted malt. In that order. Overall the aroma is not that apparent and I had to take many deep sniffs. And couldn't make out that much going on with it.

taste - Alcohol is upfront. I can hardly taste the malt, alcohol does not subside, all the way to the finish. It does seem to mask the complexity that this beer possibly has. That leaves me sort of questioning the flavors.

mouthfeel - Low carbonation and quite smooth. the low c02 works well for this stout. Not too thin, a little chewy.

overall - I am not sure if it is this batch but it does not have that much flavor. It does seem like mine were pretty damn potent and above 9% ABV. Not sure if that is even possible. I just found this stout, good for a nice buzz but the flavors just were not there. I probably wouldn't buy it again. I have had another beer (Belgian golden ale) from North Coast called the "Pranqster" and that one is delicious.

 1,258 characters

Photo of gillagorilla
3.2/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a Flying Dog goblet (no date)

A: In the glass it is a completely opaque black but on the pour it is a very dark brown that leaves a finger mocha head that dwindles quickly. There is a tiny bit of lacing.

S: Smells like a nice yeasty malt that smells a bit like burnt toast. There is a decent, sweet malt backbone with a bit of espresso and a hint of dark chocolate.

T: There is a mess of flavors in here that all seem to fight for the lead. It is how it smells with a solid backbone of malt that tries to introduce other flavors like chocolate and coffee, but they don't work here. The aftertaste is no good at all, but it is a first for me, it is like a bitter chocolate taste. This one is just really hard to describe and not in a good way.

M: It has a really weird mouthfeel, like it can't decide what its texture is. I don't like it at all. It is all swirling smoothness with run of coarse bubbles at the end, but it is different each time. Worst of all it changes and messes with the taste a lot.

O: I did not like this at all. It isn't the worst stout I have had, but it is pretty close.

 1,125 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.2/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My man Doopie brough some of these back on his last trip to the USA. I've had this beer several times and reviewed it back in 2009, so it was time for a re-review. To be honest, I'm never quite sure what I think of this one.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A black, but not quite pitch black, pour yields a three finger, medium looking tan head with great retention. Black body with higher levels of carbonation for the style. Head slowly fades to a thick cap and clings to the sides. A full wisp and ring remain until the end and leaves some nice lacing down the glass. Nice looking stout.

SMELL: A decent strength nose of roasted malts and lots of baker’s chocolate. Brunt malt, caramel as well, with plenty of flowery hops. A hoppy, roasted, chocolaty nose. Very good and appealing, but needs to be slightly more forceful for world class status.

TASTE: Not nearly as impressive as the nose. Some roasted malt up front but only touches of chocolate at the swallow. A bit empty through the middle. A spicy and very hop bitter finish with plenty of floral and pine flavors. Not much roasted or chocolate flavor for an imperial stout, and lots of hoppy and spicy booze at the swallow. Medium strength and lingering aftertaste is spicy, bitter, with lots of hop and some booze as well. The roasted and stout components, which were nicely present in the nose, are very mute here. It’s like they forgot this was an imperial stout while they were hopping the shit out of it.

PALATE: Medium-full body and quite creamy smooth on the palate. Goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Good feel for the style.

OVERALL: Make no mistake about it, this is a tasty and enjoyable beer. It’s just not a tasty and enjoyable imperial stout. This is an extremely hoppy brew, but it’s extremely hoppy at the expense of being extremely stout. If you like hoppy stout-like beers, this is definitely one worth tracking down. As far as imperial stout beer is concerned, however, this one is certainly lacking some of the patented flavors that define the style. This is certainly a brew I’ll have again, but not if I’m craving an imperial stout. Thanks for doing the legwork on this one Doops!

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Photo of Takahiro
3.22/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Bottle into my Tulip

A: looks pitch dark with a 2" thick foam after an aggressive pour.

S: coffee, toffee, roasted malt, burned malt, dark fruit, alcohol

T: roasted & astringent malt characters and huge bitterness from hops. Hop bitterness seem to be in a bit ahead of the game. This bitterness lingers on the tongue for quite a while with a little bit of alcohol sweetness.

M: silky smooth at first, but the bitterness sticks.

D: although it feels dry beer, it's also quite bitter. It is a good sipping beer.

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Photo of alexipa
3.22/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Absolutely opaque black with lots of lacing and a small film of head.

S: Feint espresso/coffee with some chocolate backing it up. Burnt malts.

T: A burnt malt taste hits first which I didn't love. Tons of bitterness, almost a black IPA if you ask me... (nobody asked me).

M: Creamy with great carbonation. A little too boozy and thick.

O: Pretty good RIS but really not executed as well as I thought given the reviews. Definitely one of my least favorite RIS I've had to date, but I seem to like them all.

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Photo of bcolflesh
3.24/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was just too bitter for me to drink as a standalone - I realize now that most "craft" beer drinkers are looking for super bitter beers, so I can see the popularity of this - but it is not for me. Would be a good accompaniment to a heavy meal that would mask the bitter flavor.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Argh! This is so difficult and unfair from my end. I don't like stouts, unless they offer something extra (Dragon's Milk, Peche Mortel), so any rating from me on a straight forward stout is unfair. But I still try everything I can, and of course I had to try this one.
Not bad, a little more tolerable than most, but I still don't get why all of dark chocolate's goodness disappears in beer. I like dark chocolate a lot. In fact, that is the only chocolate I like. But in beer, it becomes obtrusive and bitter in a bad way (unlike the bitter goodness of a double IPA).
The rest is obligatory: beautiful thick head with some retention and gentle lacing, bitter (blah! to me) nose and a taste that will leave stout lovers satisfied, although it may be surprisingly watery to some. Buy it with confidence.

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Photo of Cheeseboo
3.26/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a fan of imperials, so I'm not surprised I don't like this as much as most other people do. Please, don't take my opinion on this one. Try it yourself. You'll probably enjoy it more than I did.

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Photo of Naugled
3.27/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served in tall flute from bottle

a: nice appearance just better than avg. opaque black, dark brown head, thick and creamy but doesn't last, and carbonation is low

s: nice roasty sweet smell, some molasses comes through

t: very bitter, ashy and sweet, some tar but not overly sweet, overly bitter aftertaste with a slight warming affect

m: full creamy mouthfeel

d: average for a RIS, it's not cloying or too hot, but way over bitter. Aging would do this beer wonders.

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Photo of Opethsprite
3.27/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Beautiful brown that glistens with supple red highlights, but alas, the head is nonexistent. There is a scent of tart berries (blueberries and cranberries, I believe) and quite an array of hops on the nose. The alcohol is strong, but under it lies a serious chocolate scent with a twinge of licorice. The taste is LOADED with alcohol. Too much for my little tastebuds. The sweetness is still there under all of that alcohol and hops. But still. It's definitely not terribly offensive. Just....it tastes best at nearly room temp where the alcohol is more subdued.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,129 ratings.
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