Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

12,159 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

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Ratings: 12,159 |  Reviews: 3,711
Photo of AgentMunky
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: Looks like a typical Russian Imperial Stout. Dark dark-brown with thin nutty-coloured head. Implacable and imposing; I look forward to drinking this beer.

S: So nice. Lightly-roasted, gently-sweet malts. There is a definitely fruity tone to the alcoholic sweetness. Some hints of chocolate and even less of coffee.

T: Deliciously tasty. A smooth, sweet beer, with surprising spicy notes appearing at the end of the taste (cinnamon and something akin to paprika spring to mind). The main taste is mildly bitter, a roasted flavour with a hint of hops. The aftertaste is slightly sticky with savoury chocolate notes opening up amidst the aforementioned spices.

M: Carbonation lightens the taste considerably, but cannot stem a creeping sticky sweetness in the aftertaste. Not unpleasant, but not a point in its favour either.

D: With the notable exception of Bell's Expedition Stout, Old Rasputin is the best Russian Imperial Stout I've ever consumed. While by no means a light fare, it is more accessible and consumable than other beers of the same style. Very drinkable and highly recommended.

EDIT: The following review is of a bottle aged in a friend's wine cellar for 14 months (and an additional month and a half sitting in my refrigerator.

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a St Bernardus goblet. Reviewed 25 December 2011. I can't find a best by date, but the neck label has almost completely peeled itself off.

4.5A: An excellent cocoa-coloured head forms an impressive crown to a coal-black beer. Utterly dark and completely opaque, this is what I like an Imperial Stout to look like. Great lacing.

5S: Mmmm, yes. Huge and boozy. Less dry than I remember, but much more fruity and alcoholic. Very similar to Bell's Expedition Stout which, in my book, is a very good thing indeed. Richer and more rewarding than I initially thought, ten minutes later I still haven't taken a sip. I'm simply letting my nose revel in these sensations. Superlative smell. Blueberries?

4T: This is more what I expected from an aged Rasputin. Moderate chocolatey bitterness with virtually no hop presence and a sweetish fruit/alcohol maintaste which trails off slowly leaving very little aftertate. Disappointing after such a monumental smell, but still quite nice.

3.75M: Thick and almost sticky. Little carbonation. Nice enough.

4.25O: A very good beer, but I'm not sure the changes in flavour advocate ageing. Most of the spice and bitterness has absented itself in favour of slow, mellow sweetness. I probably prefer a fresh bottling, but I might age another one because it changed character significantly more than the Expedition Stout after cellaring.

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Photo of ccarney2
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Jet black body that pours about a finger and a half of cappuccino head that disappears quickly into a film like head.

Smell - Sweet, roasted malts off the bat, including hints of chocolate and plum, that give way to a more refined and complex smell. Vanilla stands out in the finish as well as a bit more of the dark fruits. Hides the 9%ABV fairly well.

Taste - Starts with the sweeter dark fruits (cherry/plum) but quickly and painlessly fades into a more of a dark bitter chocolate style finish.

Mouthfeel - Moderate to low carbonation, but a fairly thick beer that coats the tongue.

Overall - Clearly this is a great imperial stout that anyone should try if they get the opportunity, but it's not only that. This beer has so many characteristics of a good stout. There is the malty sweetness up front, the bitter chocolate finish and the moderate carbonation that is included in this style. Drink this beer. Now.

Taste -

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Photo of Running4beer
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark black with a medium brown head that remains with you and your beer till the very last drop. Sweet malty chocolate roastiness and dark espresso was the combination in the aroma. Taste was similar chocolate, roasted malt, plums and espresso/really dark coffee. Very good stuff had a sweet flavor but not overly sweet, as it warmed it smoothed out and the flavors came out a little more. Easy drinking brew very little carbonation and a medium to full bodied texture. This is all good here.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep dark brown black color with a finger-plus tan-brown head. The head slowly reduces to a ring around the glass with some nice lacing left behind on the glass.

S - Aroma is full of rich roasted caramel malts and some strong coffee aroma. Almost espresso. Touch of smoky elements with a little bit of chocolate also mixed in.

T - Lots of sweet roasted and rich caramel malts and coffee flavors. Also some nice smoky flavor and a touch of chocolate. Through the middle more off the sweet caramel malts come through with some nice oak and roasted flavors alongside. The finish is full of roasted malts and coffee flavor with a touch of bitterness which linger nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate-plus carbonation. Feels fairly thick and creamy. Maybe just a hair more carbonated than expected.

D - Very drinkable. Lots of flavors that are really nicely balanced and fairly complex, but it does not drink super heavy.

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Photo of littlekidlover
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I used to drink this a lot on tap at the Map Room in Chicago. It was not until recently when I moved to a neighborhood that lacks good beer selection in every store that I realized how much I truly love this beer. By chance a liquor store near me that has a paltry craft beer selection happens to carry this. The appearance is "none more black" even held up to the light BLACK! There is a medium tan head which quickly goes away. It smells mostly of coffee and dark chocolate, maybe a little burnt caramel and oak. The taste is everything in the smell, add a little dried fruit and hop bite. Mouth feel is silky and a little sticky with enough hops to balance it out to not be "sticky sweet" I could pretty much drink this beer until the high alcohol knocked me out, it is not difficult to drink at all.

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Photo of Tomas77
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is well made. An almost black color but not quite opaque. A creamy,brownish tan head is persistant throughout with lace following along nicely.

Initial milk chocolate aroma up front especially when swirled at around 55 degrees. This is followed by some mild roast and coffee notes.

More roast in the flavor than chocolate followed by a bitter espresso like taste at the back of the tongue. Burnt and acrid as you go on. Probably from the roasted barley. A little sweet also which is nice.

A very smooth full bodied beer. A creamy,slick feeling on the tongue. Alcohol shows up later in the finish but is well hidden until then. Good balance between hops and malts.

Just a good beer.

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Photo of Sidnapolis
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of emills
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of pio
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

damn near opaque beer with just a tint of amber around the edges. the tan and amber head was strong and stout leaving a very impressive lace. scents of caramel, toffee, espresso, pumpernickel, rye and a half dozen roses.balanced scents, also the alcohol is evident and warming. a sweet start of caramel, coffee, espresso, molasses, a dark bready malt that brings a roasty sweetness before it dries up and gets a warm bitter, similiar to a cafe au lait. the mouthfeel was so creamy and rich, just a few bubbles making it so silky and oh how nice. what a hearty beer.

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Photo of BobTrout
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a rich deep black color that doesn’t look like it is capable of passing any light through it. There was a half inch tan head of small bubbles that sat around for about a minute. Finally there was a small thin ring left on top of the beer

Aroma: Nutty toasty roasty and just about any other adjetives that I can think of that end in “Y”. There is a noticeable plum and other ripe fruit presence along with some floral presence that I would guess is from hops. As the beer warms a bit, you can notice the hops a lot more

Taste: This is a very revolving flavor. It starts out with a mild sweet flavor, and soon there is a sharp roasty presence that sets in. Just as soon as you think that the roasty flavor is going to be around for a while, there is an assertive nutty and toasty flavor that oozes down your throat for the finish. There is a mild alcoholic burn that sets in somewhere around the syrupy finish to linger around for quite some time.

Opinion: This is a really nice beer. It is a bit milder than some of the American micro-brews version. It has a lot nuttier flavor and a whole lot more depth of malt character than most. The flavor is multilayered, so if you pay attention, you can taste at least three different beers in just this one.

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Photo of Mwinek
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Eltorrente
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just an excellent brew. I bought a 4-pack and poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. It was at about 45 degrees when I poured, smelled, and started checking it out.

It poured black and beautiful. I was intrigued and gave it a deep smell.. coffee with roasted malts is what I detected, in strong amounts. Wonderful smell and I could tell it was something that I would want to drink, and in fact I've brewed several stouts looking for this sort of "in your face" roasted/coffee aroma.

I tasted it and was not disappointed, just a wonderful Imperial Stout.

Heavy roasted flavor and coffee notes. Any carmel or chocolaty notes were beaten down by the omnipresent roasted malt. The taste would linger, and was really in-your-face. It was telling me that it was not to be messed with, when a strong, but pleasant, alcoholic-type aftertast slapped my taste buds into shape.

This beer seemed to have a good amount of IBU's, which the malt calms down a bit, but then the roasted malts bring the percieved bitterness back up to balance it perfectly.

I was very impressed by this beer. It tastes like the Imperial Stout that I've been trying to make.

I look forward to drinking the other 3.

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Photo of Pooba001
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stout pours black with brown edges when held to light. Nice light tan head slowly dissipates. Looks quite thick. Smell is of big roasted malt and espresso, with roasted grain and raisin.

Taste is rich and sweet like molasses, roast grain and malt provide a nice biting counterpoint. Bitter chocolate, licorice, and burnt flavors are part of the supporting cast. Gets better as it warms.

Mouthfeel is good, mouthwatering even. Drinkability is excellent for a 9% ABV Imperial Stout. This is one of the best, and probably the "best buy" of big stouts.

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Photo of masonacoats
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beautiful black with brown head and incredible retention and lacing. Perfect.

Smell: Great roasted malt, toffee, chocolate, and herbal hops aroma

Taste: Roasted malt, dark caramel/toffee are up-front, alcohol is not as apparent as 9% would lead one to believe. Excellent.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is just right; maybe a bit too prickly. Not too thick or thin. Very good.

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Photo of drnknmnky
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


A - Poured dark opaque brown, tall tan coffee colored head
formed and slowly dissipated into a strong collar and creamy goodness.

S - roasted malts, coffee, hints of chocolate, sweetness, dark fruits.

T - Good, and tasty. Strong malft flavor strong roasted bitter. sweetness in the beginning and a light hoppy bitter combined with a strong roasted profile of the barley.

M - Strong, good body, would have liked it alittle more viscous, but good. Carbonation good, not too much but present.

D - very good, highly recommended. One of my favorite RISs out. 9.00% ABV doesn't taste like. Try one now or just have another if you've already had it.

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Photo of jera1350
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep cola color with huge dark tan bubbly head that hangs around for a long time. Some sticky lacing.

S- Chocolate, cola, creamy and sweet. Deep caramel and roasted malt.

T- Similar to the smell. A little more coffee comes through. Warm alcohol taste is present. Nice clean finish with a bit of hops.

M- Very smooth. Maybe a bit thin for the style. Carbonation seems to be perfect.

D- This has to be as drinkable as any 9% RIS can be. It's a sipper, but is delightful.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pors a pitch black with small tan head. Aroma has STRONG chocolate scent with hints of black licorice and espresso. Maybe a bit of vanilla and some toasted malts. Not much hop profile. This smells amazing. I've had this beer on many occasions and always loved it. Taste is very robust with chocolate and toffee. A bit of sweet vanilla and I'm getting some oak-like flavors. A bit of coffee as well. Great flavors...so well balanced. The mouthfeel is bit more crisp and light than a lot of IRSs...but still ver pleasant. I think it is this unique mouthfeel that makes this one of the most highly drinkable IRSs out there.

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Photo of Its_Dipset_Eyy
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 3 finger milk chocolate head, thick lace.. Very black.

S: Very roasted with a sharp sweet note resembling dark fruit filling.

T: Dark chocolate is the major player here. Roast and coffee as well with toffee mixed in. I am also getting a dark fruit finish, like the aroma, with a cherry-like thick syrupy filling would taste.

M: Thick bodied and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Very nice aroma. One of the best imperial stouts I have had. Excellent all the way around.

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Photo of NEdward
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: black. thick tan head with persistent lacing long after it's gone.

S: pungent bittersweet, chocolate, slightly earthy or vegetable -- though not unpleasantly so.

T: dark chocolate, bitter, strong hints of smoke every now and again.

M: full, thick, milky, lingers

O: delicious, not overly ambitious, a truly solid beer and one that I'll be on the look out for next time I'm in the mood for a stout.

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Photo of fields336
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: completely black, dark as night, opaque, with a tight khaki 3 finger creamy, thick head sitting on top of the beer, leaves small amount of lacing as it fades

S: Coffee, dark chocolate, toffee, sweet malts present. Not much hop presence, but some slight grassy, earthy presence maybe. there is a dark woody smell as well. Almost smells like bourbon or brandy as it warms.

T: espresso beans in the taste, with a ton of bitter dark chocolate as well, there is a really awesome hop bitterness/alcohol burn at the back of the tongue. leaves a lingering bitterness and a dark earthy aftertaste. Really nice

M: Full bodied, but really delicious. Tastes like a dark chocolate hershey bar with cocoa beans. It's a great tasting beer.

O: Great beer, that is readily available. Highly recommended

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Photo of LeftHanded666
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of egajdzis
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark brown color with a medium sized light tan head. This was not opaque and significantly lighter than the Sammy Smiths IS I just had. It did, however, leave nice lacing on the glass. It had a fruity aroma of chocolate, hints of caramel and whiskey. It had a taste of chocolate and malt, alcohol and a bitter chocolate and coffee aftertaste with some whiskey as well, some carbonation was noted. It had a full finish that coated the mouth.

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Photo of dueserdo
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

If you can get this on Nitro, don't pass it up. It is one of my top 10 and a top 3 of my Nitro brews.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,159 ratings.
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