Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
12,369 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: 12,369 |  Reviews: 3,755
Photo of mklooster
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed from a tulip glass.

A - Pours black with a very pale tan head which dissipates rapidly to an almost white color. Very fine lacing.

S - Not as prominent as some Russian Imperial Stouts. It has a slightly earthy aroma with hints of coffee.

T - Coffee, dark chocolate, burnt toast (but in a good way). There is a lingering bitterness and subtle alcohol bite.

M - The carbonation yields a biting sensation when held on the tongue. Not velvety per se, but quite pleasant.

O - A very good beer. I plan to cellar the rest of them and return in a year's time to check on their maturity.

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Photo of BeerFiend2002
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Body is black as a moonless night. Two finger of frothy mocha-colored head.

S- Roasted notes. Hints of chocolate and espresso. Good smelling brew.

T- The best part of the beer. Its roasted malt and chocolate up front with some espresso notes peeking in. At 9% ABV, the booziness is not overpowering at all, but you can tell its there.

M- Medium-heavy. Goes down smooth. Not quite as rich and full as one might expect.

O- A shining example of a good Russian Imperial Stout. This is a real treat and a shame that my local wholesaler doesnt carry it. Very well-priced, as I can get this CA beer here in singles here in PA for about $3 a bottle.

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Photo of do_ob
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pitch black in color with a 2+ finger head of mocha foam. Big bitter choclate and roasted malt on the nose with notes of tobacco and dark fruit. Quite dense and incredibly smooth. Creeping choclatey bitterness initially, gradually engulfing the palate in an unstoppable wave of rich flavor. There's a subtle sweetness in there, in the shadows. Amidst these polarizing characteristics is a deep, dark roastiness that engulfs, even dominates the later portion of this beer. The aftertaste sees a smokey, raw coffee bean-like flavor emerge, which hangs around for quite a while after the beer is gone.

A very well-made, enjoyable, and traditional RIS. Within the style, this one easily stands up to Founders IS and SN Narwhal.

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Photo of Tallboy
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass it is an elegant black with a ballanced flavor but a tad sweet compared to other stouts. A nice smell to invigorate as your tastebuds take a journey of bliss with hints of raisens,chocolate,coffe and a robust and complex mouthfeel that will warm your body head to toe[great winter time beverage]
This is one of the Best Russian Stout's that I Ihave had the pleasure to run across, and you will not be disapointed .

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Crude black in color with very thick silky dark brown head, the head withstands with good retention before slowly subsiding to an eternal foamy crown that won’t die down and leaving lots of lacing patch and spot.

Very rich chocolate that tends to be dark rather than milky along with cocoa nibs, black coffee with slight sourness, and roasted take the lead. Then I get fudge, dark bread, cocoa powder, burnt caramel, sweet dark fruits, mint, and licorice. Lightly charred nut too and a little bit smoked but not in kind of meaty also with some significant touch of leafty and grassy hop.

It is heavily roasted through the palate sensation together with notes of dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, black coffee with slight sourness, fudge, dark bread, burnt caramel, sweet dark fruits, mint, licorice, charred nut, slightly smoked, all mostly from malt. Hop is there so upright with its leafty, herbal, and persistent grassy bitterness that comes from both hop and roasted malt.

Rather full body with smooth and just slight viscous mouthfeel but somehow a bit watery, the carbonation is low while the feeling is well-rounded and good to carry the complexity and intensity of all the characters. Finish is very dry and pleasant.

Great RIS and perfect example to the style, it is rich, deep, and complex. Apart from its typical deep yet intense roasted, coffee, and chocolate, you will also get so bold hop characters of grass, herbal, and big bitter kick.

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Photo of herman77
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with a thick, foamy tan head. Tons of sticky lacing everywhere.

S: Deep roasted malt, sweet coco, coffee and a little alcohol.

T: Bitterness and sweetness in a phenomenal balance. Long, slightly warm finish from the alcohol. Lots of roasted malt, along with rich carmel malt, molasses, coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Hop bitterness is also prevalent.

M: Fuller body with moderate, yet tight carbonation bubbles. Very smooth feeling.

D: Very drinkable for a RIS being 9% ABV. Its just so tasty and well balanced, the slightly warming of the alcohol is not a deterrent at all, if anything, it makes the drinkability better in this sort of stout. Great for the winter.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

taste- roasted malts, chocolate

color- deep chestnut, appears black

clarity- clear, although opaque to the naked eye

smell- chocolate and coffee aroma

body- smooth

appearance- slightly off-white creamy head, great lace retention

overall impression- complex flavors

notes and comments- this beer also ages well

beer spy- north coast brewing company, fort bragg ca, 2/13/11, 10 oz. glass

glassware: imperial pint

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ouncer into an old raspy pint glass...

A - Poures black with a two finger dark tan head. Got to love the head retention on this one. Follows you all the way to the bottom. Love the appearance of this beer...

S - Lots of dark chocolate and coffee notes. Also pick up a sweet smell. Maybe molasses...

T - Taste pretty much follows the nose. Lots of dark chocolate notes up front followed by a sweeter taste of vanilla. Dark brewed coffee comes through at the end followed by the warm bite of alcohol. This is one beer that I buy on a regular basis, and I have noticed that sometimes the alcohol bite at the end is a little more pronounced than other times. Usually these fly of the shelves where i purchase them, so I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with them aging on the shelves. Either way, this is a great tasting beer...

M - Thick and creamy. Full-bodied...

D - An exceptional RIS at an affordable price. Need I say more? Definitely one of my go to beers...


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Photo of kalosjakar
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a toffee colored creamy head.

I got a huge wave of toffee while pouring this. Smells incredible.

Smells like sweet sugar and toffee. Getting some chocolate and a hint of vanilla bean.

Taste is bitter up front before the flavor of bittersweet dark chocolate and coffee (didnt see this coming, got zero coffee on the nose). Theres a bit of alcohol sting but the sweetness soothes it all. Great imperial stout, will buy again.

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Photo of ShawnL
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kagent777
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle purchased from the Utah State Liquor Store.

Appearance: Black, the first beer that I can see no other color in, the light does not penetrate through the pint glass. This is black beer that has a sandy colored head which very slowly recedes and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Dark roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. I can also pick up the alcohol.

Taste: So complex. A pleasant bitterness from the roasted malts. The choco/coffee flavors linger in the middle with a long pleasant bitter finish. As it warms, a slight sweetness emerges with a hint of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: The body is just right for the style. The carbonation lifts the drinker above some of the bitterness.

Drinkability: It would be hard to drink more than three of these in a sitting, but I certainly would try. This is such a good beer at a reasonable price

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Photo of jeffthecheff
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Black color with an impressively dark head. It's a dark brown in color and leaves great, brown sugar lacing down the sides. The head keeps great for the whole glass.

I think I've had fresher bottles of this beer before, because I remember it being more hoppy. It smells great now, too. It has the typical coffee and chocolate aromas, but leans more towards a burnt, coffee like roast. The hops are in the background, adding a slight grassy element that makes it refreshing.

The flavor has a strong, bitter roast to it. The finish is bitter from both coffee flavored black malts and a lot of hops. The sweetness lies behind all the dry, bitter notes and adds just a touch of chocolate. A tiny bit of citrus hops are found on the finish, but don't add too much to it.

The mouthfeel is heavy and thick all the way through, with the heavy roast notes playing a nice contrast. It's smooth all the way, with carbonation just a bit on the high side. This beer is on the low end abv-wise for Imperial Stouts, but it feels a bit higher. This beer paired well with a chocolate cake. The dry aspects made it a refreshing pairing while at the same time being very rich.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pure black, giant mocha head which took far too long to dissipate(but gave the beer some warming time).

Smells of malt, roasted nuts, slightly boozy, with some coffee, bitter chocolate, and a hint of anise(might be the booze).

Tastes thickly of great malts, dark and roasty, good presence of coffee and dark chocolate are there too. Very tasty.

Feels good, plenty of carbonation, yet coats the tongue, full bodied and a little boozy burn. My least favorite part of the beer, but still good.

Overall a great beer, not a bad choice for my fiftieth review. Bold and intense flavors really make this an excellent beer, one I will enjoy for years to come.


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Photo of Moose90
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a 20oz tulip pint glass.

A - Pours thick and dark, leaves a nice 1" foamy light brown head. Standard stout, plus a bit extra. Just sitting there it looks delicious. Head fades to thin layer, but leaves great lacing.

S - A lot of hop from a stout, somewhat unexpected. The usual dark roast coffee, and chocolate do come through. I also pick up on some solid black licorice on this one, and a little burnt toast.

T - Really dark roasted malt character, almost burnt, yet not off-putting. Starts strong and bitter, and fades to a nice dry stout full of coffee, licorice and molasses.

M - Carbonated a tad more than some other stouts, but this helps to balance out the minimal alcohol bite. Makes for an enjoyable beer. It is full, rich, and chewy, but not cloying or sticky. I like this.

O - So glad I finally tracked this beer down. It has lived up to the hype and I imagine some age on it would make it even better. Absolutely great beer.

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Photo of LilTobyRuby
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautifully dark opaque black. Solid stout flavor, not too boozey with a slight bitter finish that lingers. Fantastic mouth feel

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Poured a syrupy black with with a big fluffy light brown - mocha head. A gorgeuos looking stout. The head retention was pretty good. It held a sizeable head more than half way through the beer. The lacing was moderate.

S - This one didnt have a big aroma, but it was pleasant nonetheless. I pickup bits of dark chocolate and coffee. There is also just a little hop-citrus smell and a touch of alcohol present.

T - Wow, a roasty chocolate flavor is the first thing I notice followed by an equally present coffee taste. Also I get a little bit of caramel, kinda like a riesen candy chew (excellent). Not much in the way of hops, but there is a touch of hop bitterness. A light bit of alcohol warnth comes through, but not as much as the 9% alcohol would suggest.

M - Kind od chewy, like riesen chew in your mouth.

D - This has become my stand by RIS. It is very drinkable, borderline sessionable. A very tasty brew.

Notes - For about 2$ a 12oz bottle this is a good value as well.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Rock solid black, with the slightest edge of brown transparency, building up a full tan head that is extraordinarily persistent. The lacing literally coats the glass to start, leaving a pattern down the glass.

S - Dark fruits and chocolate, hops in the form of floral notes, and a strong hit of alcohol.

T - Following the nose, the start is plum and raisin, with bittersweet chocolate. There is a distinct rise of hop bitterness in the middle, along with hints of toasted bread. The close fades back to black coffee acidity, a bit of char, and a hint of citrus zest.

M - The feel is slick and full, while the warmth in the close is a reminder that this is an imperial stout, a heavy hitter.

O - Old Raspy delivers a robust RIS experience, without barrels. It uses fairly robust hopping, to great effect, and avoids the mistake of some hoppy stouts by fully integrating the hop into the stout elements of roasted malts.

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Photo of WJVII
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to my wife for picking up a 4-pack of this for me.

Poured into a pint glass this brew is thick, creamy, the color of oil, and has a 3 in chocolate brown head that leaves stickiness all down the glass as you drink it down. The aroma is complex with sweet raisin, prune, some chocolate, and coffee. The taste is just as complex with a front of chocolate and coffee. There is a bitterness that follow this brew and the finish is smooth dark roasted chocolate. The mouthfeel is a little thinner than expected, but is smooth, even with the frothy head. This is more than exceptional, this is close to the standard that a Russian Imperial Stout should be.

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Photo of mingo1968
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured dark as midnight with a nice soft thick head that stuck to the sides of the glass. I tastes hints of chocolate and coffee. The feel was creamy and smooth this went down very easy and at 9% i didnt taste any alcohol in the finish. I drank this with a smoked pork chop sandwich that i thought went well together. If you see this on tap i recommend giving it a try.

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Photo of Foxman
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a deep, dank, rich brown, almost, but not quite, black. There are opulent deep ruby highlights at the edges and udner the head. Speaking of head, it's quick and light brown, mottled in texture, and it soon fades to cirrus wisps of frothy vellum. There's spotty, rapidly dwindling lacing.

The aroma powers foward with dense, raw espresso currents, dark, bitter, and almost burnt. There is a deep roasted grain sweetness right behind. A dark chocolate essence pokes its head through intermittently. There are dusky earth tones at the finish, along with a poignant hops bitterness.

The tidal wave of dense flavor begins with an intense roasted and burnt maltiness backed by a black coffee bitterness. The malt delivers a fleeting but memorable earthen sweetness quickly upstaged by a second surge of bitterness, this time from the hops. There's a very distant, almost obscured, port character accompanied by the mouth-and-throat-warming glow of alcohol. Chocolate slips through late, giving way to an almost tongue-numbing dry hops bitterness that lingers just long enough to make its mark. Quite simply, the overall flavor is not especially complex, but it packs some serious testosterone.

It's thick bodied, oily and syrupy, not only coating, but providing a tangibly chewy texture on the palate. Roasted grain and hops bitterness charge the tongue and back of mouth with an almost electric tingle.

This is something the Russians obviously must not do half-assed, if this domestic offering is any gauge. This is thick, dark, full-bore flavor, never dancing, but rather plowing straight foward. The muli-layered bitterness is capably offset by a lesser but poignant underlying sweetness. The dense balance makes a grand impression, and despite the hefty ABV, more than one is virtually a certainty. I may not be a czar, but this down-to-earth elixir is welcome in my dacha anytime!

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Photo of NEhophead
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

20 oz on tap at Mahar's.

Thin, creamy brown head that lingers for a moment. Beautiful tan, ringed lacing throughout the glass. Opaque engine oil black in color.

The aroma is a roasted chocolate malt character with bits of dark fruit and nuts; cherry, coffee, almond.

Big roasted malt character at first. Dark chocolate, almond, hazlenut. Met by a high hop profile creating an espresso and light cream flavor. Dark bitterness followed by an aftertaste of cherries, dates, and hazlenut.

Full bodied; slick and mellow on the palate. Syrup-like with almost no carbonation: exactly what I look for in an imperial stout.

An automatic choice when you can find it on tap, but very filling. The 20 oz pint glass was perfect to enjoy this one, but having another was out of the question.

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Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of illidurit
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep black with brown highlights. Great cascading head that leaves nice lacing. Intense roastiness on the nose as well as some coffee. This has everything a good imperial stout should have: chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, subtle alcohol warmth. A decent hop kick in the finish but it melds into a syrupy sweet chocolate note. Very full bodied, substantial carbonation, no alcohol taste. I'd say this is definitely a tier below the Stone IRSs and Storm Kings of the world, but it's still excellent and widely available to boot.

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Photo of harpus
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours very dark brown almost black

S: roasted malts with hints of chocolate and coffee

T: roasty malts flavor with hints of chocolate. Great well rounded ballanced flavor

M: very full body, but not sticky

D: This beer will be gone before you know it, is goes down so easy, just watch how many you have.

This was one of the first Russian Imperial Stout, I had tried. I judge other RIS to this one. I was so shock and suprised by the flavor one the first sip.

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Photo of majorbase2
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown, nearly black color with a very large thick, brown head. Good retention. After receding, a thin brown head still remains. Leaves a ton of lacing, all the way up to the rim.

Aroma is heavy on roasted malts and booze. Roasted coffee and chocolate malts. Hint of vanilla and some smokiness. Some dark fruits, aged cherry and fig.

Taste follows the nose. Dominated by heavily roasted coffee and chocolate. Very smooth despite the heavy roast. There is quite a bit of alcohol warmth, but not much bite. Some fig notes and just the slightest hint of some lighter fruits as well.

Rich, creamy full body. Syrupy, but still goes down smooth, especially for its ABV and style.

Overall, a great example of a well done RIS, with a decent price tag and availability, its a good bet. Hold up pretty well on humid summer nights, which is always good for a Stout.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,369 ratings
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