Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

12,207 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: 12,207 |  Reviews: 3,722
Photo of jcflorian
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Near-black brown, absorbs all light. Respectable moderate cafe-colored head that recedes but leaves some appetizing residue. Looks thick.

S: Dark but not burnt malt, cocoa. Those are the only components I detect, but wow, do they fill the nose!

T: Mmmm... chocolate and dark malt, some sweet dark molasses yet carries a decidedly bitter finish, long and pleasing. Smoky toffee. So dark. Delicious. Alcohol is hidden very well, and I'm pleased not to get any sweetness from things like prunes, which I usually don't enjoy.

M: Creamy, smooth. The bit of carbonation disrupts its smoothness somewhat, but not enough to make it disappointing.

O: This is considered a standard for Imperial Stouts for a reason. Very dark and straightforward, thick palate in both taste and mouthfeel yet easy to drink. You can smell an opened bottle from across the room. Can't go wrong with a pack of this.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Union Brew House. Poured into a 10 oz. glass. Pours jet black with a thin, creamy tan head. Smells of bitter chocolate, burnt coffee and some burnt sugar. Taste is wonderful. Good amount of chocolate and coffee with a nice, smooth sugary, malty finish. Nice creamy mouthfeel, but not thick- rather thin and drinkable. Wonderful beer that I probably first tried 10 years ago and is still great today.

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Photo of WS_Transplant
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ramrod666
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

old rasputin pours a deep mohogany with decent head that dissapates to ring at the edge of me goblet quickly. the smell is heavy of coffee and alcohol. at 8.9% it is definatly a warmer. taste is heavy chocolate/ coffee with astrong alcohol and hops in the finish. almost overwhelmingly so. it fits so well with the style. an excellent example. mouthfeel is thick with little carbonation, warming. drinkability is good. semi-sweet chocolate and strong hop flavors make for a terrific ruskie imperial stout. berzerker.

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Photo of KBlodorn
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 4000qtrap
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: Draft, 25cl

Smell: Chocolate and coffee that comes off as very lively rather than dark and somber. Toasted grains are prominent, rather than being too burnt or roasty which is unique. Also some orange oil essence and slight tobacco notes. Raisin appears as it warms and some overripe, washed rind cheese.

Taste: Incredibly intense flavors. Overall pretty dry with burnt espresso bean characteristics. 4 flavor stages . At first its very smooth and creamy like many stouts. Then the flavor accelerates becoming quite bitter and highly reminiscent of eating lightly dark chocolate malt dipped espresso beans. There are some caramelized malt notes in there too that balance nicely. Then there is a brief wave of one of the best coffee flavors in a beer I've ever had. This then progresses to an even more bitter but also very dry stage with pleasantly bitter, roasty caramelized malt profile that is delightful and intense. Lingers forever.

Notes: This beer is driven by dry espresso flavors that are simply delicious. However its not too dry so as to hurt drinkability. The roast flavors, bitterness, and sweetness all work to enhance one another and is very delicious.

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Photo of goalie33
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 13oz tulip glass.
A: Pours like motor oil. Pitch black beer, not even a hint of light around the edges. Two finer mocha head slowly fizzles away to a thin layer coating the top of the beer. I can't even see if there are a lot of carbonation bubbles in the beer. leaves a ton of lacing in the glass.
S: A lot of hops up front along with roasted espresso malts.
T: There is a lot going on here. First, I get bitter coffee. In the middle of the tongue, I get hints of chocolate and some sweetness from dark fruits. The finish is a dry hop bitterness.
M/D: Very thick, full body really coats the mouth. This beer has very little in the way of carbonation. Very drinkable. Hides the alcohol well.

This is one of the most balanced and complex RIS I've ever had. There is a very strong hop presence along with strong coffee flavors. Overall, an outstanding beer.

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Photo of Gtg642
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BARFLYB
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a regular pint glass. 1st from a 4-pack

A- Old rasputin is a dark brew, black as night. Some spots of brown can be seen on the surface A very hard pour yielded a nice 1 inch tan head that faded with ease. Around the glass thin patterns of lace are seen.

S- This RIS has a roasty aroma along with a milk chocolate creaminess. Bittersweet. A bit of licorice and even less on the dark fruit which I don't get much of. Some old coffee as well. Roasted malts all throughout and hops to round it out.

T- Starting off I get a bunch of roasted coffee with malt backing with some hops too add. As I got into it the chocolate came out more with warming as well as a bit of bitterness. Some of the alcohol comes out as well in this 9%er, but rasputin is delicious non the less.

M- Medium to slightly full bodied. This one is smooth as hell & creamy. A bit of carbonation as some warming takes place 6oz in. Nothing overpowering though except a slight bitterness. Great stuff.

D- 9% is nothing to scoff at but this is so good I would gladly drink it till I couldn't no more, in the spirit of Rasputin's story. This one is more on the creamy side and not too harsh making it almost chuggable, although I don't advise that.

One of the best RIS i've had this winter!!

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Photo of ScottUCF84
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pint glass.

A- Very, very dark. Quite possibly the darkest I've ever had. Hold it up to the light and you can barely make out a ruby hue. Thick, dark tan head that stuck around for a while. Beautiful.

S- Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and some hops in the end.

T-A lot like it smelled... roasted, bitter malt, chocolate and coffee. I always wonder why people mention raisins in their beer reviews.. but there it was waiting for me in Old Rasputin... just a touch at the end, along with some bitter hops. Let it warm and you can really taste that extra ABV.

M- A bit syrupy, but once you get the ball rolling, a creamy treat.

D- Kind of filling, and after a few I wouldn't recommend driving. I'd say one is enough, but that one is oh so delicious.

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Photo of Liverpool08
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is a beautiful midnight black with a nice mocha colored head. Sweet smells of coffee and a hint of the alchohol. Super taste. Has the elements of coffee, chocolate, and English toffee. Nice creamy malt flavors that coat the mouth. What a great beer to end the evening with.
Very very easy to drink. A top-notch RIS!!

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Photo of Goregazm
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Appearance: Very dark and thick, almost like oil. Has a brownish two-finger head which lasts a long time (as in several minutes) and leaves some good lacing.

Smell: This beer smells of chocolate and molasses, and has a very sweet scent. Heavy on the malt, with a little bit of caramel in there. Has a slight bitterness in the undertone.

Taste: COFFEE. Seriously, the first thing that comes to mind is the taste of coffee. Bitter at first, then gets a little sweeter. Molasses, caramel, and toasted malts are in there. Very dark, rich, and creamy.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full, like heavy cream. Not acidic or overly carbonated. The aftertaste is very similar to coffee and cream, with no sugar.

Drinkability: This is a delicious Russian Imperial Stout, and an ideal sipper. It's also great with a snack, or while playing a game of darts or pool. If you like this kind of beer, especially one with a heavy coffee taste, check this one out. Just remember there's no caffeine in it.

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Photo of GJ40
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a recovering hop addict getting reacquainted with some styles I've ignored for quite some time. So I thought I'd jump right in with an Imperial Stout.

This beer has a great dark, rich color. Maybe it's due to my experience with Belgians but I gave this one a nice slow pour and there was little to no head as a result. I probably should have been a bit more aggressive. But that was the only disappointment. The flavor is strong but I found it very smooth and balanced.

I'll definitely buy this one again and would love to try it on tap.

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Photo of mgdeth
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This beer is essentially black. Just a thin slice of light reflects its way in throught the bottom of the glass. The thick tan head drops quickly, leaving some lace.

Smell - Roasty and malty. I do not detect a hop aroma. Inviting.

Taste - This one has a taste that knocks you on your ass, just the way I remember it from back in 1997. A strong, roasty, coffee flavor dominates this beer. There is also a bit of a salty taste, which is strange. Somehow, it seems to fit with the flavor explosion this beer always promises, but can be a bit distracting. I also detect a chocolate flavor in the aftertaste, Delightful.

Mouthfeel - Thick and meaty. This is not a first-time beer for macro swillers by any means.

Drinkability - This beer is surpisingly drinkable, but watch out for that 9% alcohol. My guess is that less experienced craft beer drinkers will find this less drinkable.

Comments - This beer more or less rules. Run out and buy some. Now. At one point in my life, this was the most intense beer experience imaginabe. Today, it is not far off from that.

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Photo of Lare453
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A this beer is dark, opaque with a light brown head. Looks fantastic

S malty, dark bitter chocolate, light booze, coffee

T WOW AMAZING!!! Slightly dry malty beginning, with a drier coffee middle and a bitter chocolate ending.m the aftertaste a lightly boozi, and dark bitter chocolate.

M medium viscosity, drying and a nice carbonation.

O one of my top 5 stouts ever. This beer is amazing and I drink it frequently and recommend it often.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a riedel snifter

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Photo of ABHatter
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Grand Marnier snifter. Impressive fluffy dark tan/rust colored head sits on top and lasts for several minutes, good carbonation with beautiful creamy lace on the glass. The lace sort of disappears half way through the glass. Smell is of dark chocolate, espresso/Dark roasted coffee, mild alcohol aroma on the end.
T&M-Taste is absolutely outstanding! Mocha seems to be the best explanation. Loads of bittersweet chocolate, Dark Roasted coffee with a semi sweet kind of finish. Mouthfeel is quite creamy, leaving a great balance of sweetness & bitterness all around. Drinkability is also quite nice. At 9% I could definitly not pound these, but drinking 2 of these consecutively wouldn't be a problem. IMO this a widely available world class beer that can certainly run with the big boys within it's category, a must try for anyone who enjoys a super high quality RIS.

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Photo of hunteraw
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: absolutely opaque, good tan head, wish I'd had a new glass to see some lacing...

Smell: roast, chocolate, coffee, pretty much exactly what you expect to find in a stout.

Taste: Again, a very well-balanced stout and a fine ambassador for the style to new stout drinkers, I'd imagine. Alcohol is extremely well-hidden. Dry hop finish, just what I want.

Mouthfeel: exceptionally smooth. lighter than I anticipated, but good!

Drinkability: best RIS i've had so far!

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Photo of RealityGrill
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into Imperial Pint

A: Pitch black, light brown head.

S: Heavy roasted coffee beans and cocoa.

T: Intense molasses and bitter coffee beans, followed by a significant alcohol burn.

M: Heavy but not too viscous.

D: I could put away a 4-pack of these in a night...

This is easily the best stout-for-your-buck on the market.

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Photo of pootz
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours black, light will not penetrate through the glass, Rich mocha colored cap that lasts and laces.

Aroma is ambrosia: dark cocoa, coffee, plumbs, burnt toffee and a deep grassy tone over some sweetness.

The flavor has all the tastes expected in an imperial stout but in spades, and this makes for a very complex amalgam of flavor mid palate and this changes as it warms with every warming sip giving a new set of tastes impressions... here are just some of the notable tastes: dark chocolate, mocha, cherry pipe tobacco, burnt toffee, licorice, anise, figs, prunes, toasted bundt cake, smoked cherry wood...wonderful complexity.

JUst when I think the market is flooded with too many micro Impys, along comes a big full bodied version with a viscous mouth feel hugely complex. One if the better American Imperial Russian stouts.

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Photo of nas5755
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'09 in my Sam Adams perfect pint

As soon as this brew hits my glass I can smell the chocolate syrup aroma wafting towards my nose and I'm loving it. The head is impressive. The color is a deep, deep brown, bordering on black. The taste is fantastic, very smooth, light carbonation a little alcohol hotness that would have dissipated with age, lots of coffee and chocolate flavors blended together, a faint nutty hazelnut flavor. This beer has a wonderful thickness fades as the flavors melt away on the mouth.

I love this brew. I prefer it with some age on it, but wanted to review it fresh.

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Photo of birderbeerer
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the pour, the beer is a somewhat translucent, dark brown, but the result is a glass of black beer. 3 finger, espresso-colored head. Solid lacing.

Aroma is big sweet malts with noticeable coffee roast. Fairly rich and complex aroma with fruit and nuts present as well.

Taste follows the aroma. All the flavors come through at once. Coffee and rich chocolate malts with molasses and syrupy flavors too. Dry nuttiness. The fruits in the aroma don't make it to the flavor--drowned out by the roast and richer malts maybe.

Thin for it's flavor. Creamy with a bit of bite in the carbonation.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Black body with a small coffee like head that disappears rather swiftly.

S- roasted malts and chocolate are the main smells here.

T- smooth roasted malts and slight chocolate scent up front with a hoppy finish and a light coffee aftertaste. excellent. the faintest taste of alcohol.

M- thick and creamy with enough carbonation. very smooth.

D- smooth, great taste, well balanced and without the burning that one would expect from something with 9% ABV. i could, and have, drink this one all night before i get sick of it. an obvious classic (i think its on BA top 100 list) that any stout lover should check out.

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Photo of mithrascruor
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a very heavy and creamy black, with minimal carbonation and a dark tan head that fades into a thick lace. Looks really rich and enticing.

Smell: The beer has a strong, bold aroma of roasted malts, together with toffee and a slight hint of alcohol.

Taste: Immediately I notice how rich this beer is; very creamy with roast malts and toffee. Some alcohol is present in the taste as well, and the aftertaste is bittersweet.

Mouthfeel: Again, very creamy... and thick-bodied. Possibly a bit too creamy, but it is still very good.

Drinkability: Alcohol does tend to hit fairly quick (taste-wise), as it is quite strong. But as long as you take it slow it works just fine.

Overall this is a really exciting and interesting imperial stout, and a great starting point with this style. Some may find it a bit too strong, either taste-wise or alcohol-wise, but if that doesn't scare you go ahead and try it!

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Photo of McDiddyPop
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite impy stouts, it is high time I finally review this thing. It pours a dark ebony with a thick creamy brown head that slowly diminishes.A small amount of lacing sticks around while I drink. The smell is of dark roasted malts, coffee and a slight hint of chocolate. The taste is very rich and dark with a mild alcohol warmth at the back of the throat. Moderate carbonation and a full-bodied feel that finishes with a slightly charred finish. All in all, a wonderful quaff to be enjoyed regularly.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,207 ratings.
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