Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

12,141 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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Reviews: 3,702 | Ratings: 12,141
Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This one has a couple years on it.
L- Pours a very dark brown impenetrable to light. A one-finger, creamy, tan head with next to no carbonation.
S- Roasted coffee, caramel malt, cocoa.
T- Bitter coffee dominates with black licorice transitioning into bitter hop. Dark chocolate. Bitterness resinates up the nose.
F- One of the best warming feeling I have had. Very slight alcohol burn.
O- Awesome Russian stout. Just as they should be.

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Photo of PlinyMeNow
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle. Opaque jet black: I held the glass directly up to the sun and couldn't detect a glimmer through it! Head is a nice smooth frothy brown and sticks around. Aroma is an intoxicating mix of roasted coffee and bittersweet cocoa with burnt caramel and some booze. Taste is all of the above in a fairly dry package with a bit of booziness high in the back of the palate and some bitter hops lower in the back and in the finish, without much linger. Great balance. Feel is not quite as creamy as I would like for the style, but still medium to full bodied, with moderate not-too-low carbonation which I do like.
It seems to get better every time I drink it. Why does a Russian or American imperial stout have to have 14% or higher alcohol to crack the BA250? I don't get it.

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Photo of kevin3046
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a nice medium head that stays nice and frothy that sticks to the glass. Lacing is thick and sticky. Has a smell of dryness and brown sugar and caramel. Moderate carbonation with decent creaminess. Carbonation weakens as it is consumed. Nice toasty malty flavor with hints of brown sugar and caramel. Moderate hop profile that has a dry finish. A very good stout, but the creaminess seemed a little thin to me.

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Photo of princessbay710
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The label is exceptionally attractive. Pitch black pour, light colored micro foam decorated with pearls of macro bubbles. Smell is warm and ancient, yet slight, may be due to a stuffy nose. Taste is tip-of-the-tongue godly, definitely in my top 5. The mouthfeel is creamy yet refreshingly carbonated. This beer changes rapidly with exposure, new hints and undertones with separated sips, though I suggest you finish it quite quickly, as to not lose it's integrity. Great Buzz. Fantastic Beer.

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Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rapustin has been a long sought after beer for me, jokingly using the "Rasputin" name in regular conversation referencing beer purchases with my girlfriend.

This beer is black with a light light tan head (quite big) with micro bubbles in tan spraying all over as lacing.

The smell is of roasted malts, maybe some roasted chocolate, and also a bit of oats. This smell brings home the taste, a mash of roasted malts and many darker flavors while maintaining a minor hop bitterness that does not linger. Goes down easy and maintains a surprisingly light mouth feel.

I really enjoy this beer but I don't think it is something I haven't had before. It feels reallly good, by the time you are finishing number 2 (I drink fast). I think it deserves a good rating but it isn't absolutely blowing my mind. That being said it is really good, that can't be denied. I will likely buy again sometime, but it's no immediate concern. It did cost over $10 for a 4 pack. Maybe if it came in a 6, I'd feel a little more convinced. Good beer!

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Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tap at NCBC in Fort Bragg CA. Quite possibly my favorite nitro imperial stout! Not sweet at all with much depth to the flavor! Oh, yes, I'll have another!

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Photo of BeerBobber
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black with no ruby at the bottom of my tulip bowl. Barely 1 finger of a creamy light brown head. Great lacing all down the glass.

Smells strongly of stone fruits and toasted malts. A bit of an earthy aroma here as well, could this be some hoppiness?

Taste is toasted malts with some bitter from hops and a slight alcohol warming in the back of the mouth.

The mouth is the lighter side of medium with a bit of a lingering bitter finish.

Overall this is a very nicely done Russian Imperial Stout. For fans of the bigger and heavier stouts this is a must buy and try. My hat is off to the North Coast brewers for providing me and my wife with such a tasty beverage.

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Photo of nickropewalk
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very dark color with thick creamy head. This is a stout that almost anyone can drink, even if they don't like them. Strong coffee and dark chocolate flavor with a hint of malt. It has a really good bitter flavor from the coffee and dark chocolate. Many companies compare their stouts they make against this because it is so well made.

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Photo of richdeneault
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this at University of Beer in Davis, March 4, 2017.

Rich and dark beer, smooth drinking - it can fool you with that 9%, so don't drink too fast :)

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Photo of Drunk-Monkey-Candyholic
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Not going to lie bought it because the ratings on beeradvocate and the high alcohol %. I've had 4 over the last 2 weeks. The first was the best... right after work and thirsty poured a little fast but head didn't over flow glass so off to a good start. Taste like a stout should be...not as smooth as some others but still a good after work beer. Goes down easy but 1 is enough. Overall good but not good enough to buy again... too many other beers to try.

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Photo of Weisenbeer
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not a "dark beer guy," but this was a party leftover which had to be consumed. Very good. Chocolate, malt and coffee tastes abound. Thin for the beer type, the ABV is completely undetectable. Thumbs up from a "hoppy" guy.

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Photo of michaelsmayhem
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Got my hands on this from Bevmo!

Poured into a snifter glass at slightly warmer than refrigerator temperature. Produced a nice tall light brown head that lasted several minutes after pouring. The color is of the same opaqueness as black coffee. Smells light roasted malts as many others have said. The taste is just great. One of the best imperial stouts I have tried. Some imperial stouts have me a bit of a bite and unwelcome aftertaste (Lagunitas Imperial Stout) but this Old Rasputin goes done very smoothly. Gives a pleasant, somewhat sweet aftertaste.

I can absolutely recommend this beverage, even for those who are not dark beer fans.

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Photo of Blackop555
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with medium, thick, brown head that lasts

Smells chocolate, roasted malts, light earthy hops and light alcohol.

Tastes toasted malts, dark chocolate, light coffee and a light bitterness. Finish is dry with a long bitter roasted linger and a hint of pine. Full body with lower medium smooth and creamy carbonation

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Photo of Stoutmaster9
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A steady go to brew for me. Had a pint or three back in the 90s, strayed until several months ago.
Goes especially well with the rain, but I plan on savoring Old Rasputin year round, until the end of Time ...
Poured into a big mouth wine glass, enjoyed with a chocolate muffin.

Black with a few nice bubble streams, bubbly tan head, nice lacing too.

Smells slightly malty, with a bit of toasty bread, chocolate and coffee.

A complex taste, roasty-refined. Similar to the smell, subtle and delicious.

Truly Imperial: high quality, easily available and low cost, with a well deserved majestic reputation!

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours total black with a shortlived espresso head. Dark chocolate and coffee with maple syrup in the nose. The taste is roasty, with rich chocolate notes. Pinesol and lemony hops provide great balance. Tobacco and leather notes in the background. The mouthfeel is medium full with a light carbonation. Moderate bitterness and dark chocolate and roasted barley in the long finish.

A very nice RIS, very much to style with plenty of complexity and balance. Any dark beer fan should seek it out.

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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 thebeers
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a pretty solid black color with a giant three-plus fingers of lasting tan foam that leave heavy webbed lacing.

Nutty, lightly-roasted malts, chocolate and a little coffee stand out in the aroma. These continue to the taste where they mix with a stronger, more charred-malt flavor, some pretty strong hop bitterness, a slight vegetal flavor and a kiss of alcohol on the backend.

It's medium-to-heavy bodied with strong carbonation in play in the mouthfeel.

To me, this is a beer that would have seemed world class fifteen years ago. The vegetal note and the not-quite-perfect carbonation level knock it a bit in my scoring, but I really appreciate the charred, bitter qualities in this one and can definitely see why it's beloved.

Packaged on 12142016.

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Photo of jds16
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle. Nice tan head, a ring lingers long after pouring. Smells of chocolate, dark roasted coffee, and a little smoky. Well-integrated roasted malt and dark chocolate. Fairly bitter. Thick and slick motor oil feel is exactly what I want from my imperial stouts. Pretty much a benchmark for the style.

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Photo of Dulahan
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As the first Imperial Stout I had, this is my benchmark in many ways. It's got a nice, spicy edge to it along with being thick as can be. If it has a downside it can be a bit harsh at times, definitely a sipper. But that's not really a bad thing given how strong this stuff is! Highly recommended, and I love how readily available it is. there are better Imperial Stouts out there, but few so consistently available. Especially outside of Rare Beer Festivals.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I saw this in my local liquor store and knew I had to at least grab one. I wish I had grabbed more...

Beautifully dark, thick head, and good lacing make for a visually appealing beer. The smell was distinctive to most other Russian imperials but with a good scent of booziness to tingle the nose. The mouthfeel was somewhere between medium and full-bodied but with carbonation that did not necessarily distract from the overall experience. The taste was not my best of Russian imperials I have had, but I'm pretty sure it's up there. Overall, it's an impressive beer that is well worth the hype found within this hallowed site.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: One of the best looking stouts I have ever seen. A pitch black beer that pours a huge, three finger khaki colored head that laces the glass exceptionally well. Head retention is superb, and lasts for a good 10 minutes before finally settling down.

Aroma: Lots of dark chocolate and roasted malt with hints of coffee and sweet vanilla. A tiny hint of piney hops and notions of fine tobacco. A little bit of alcohol on the nose as well. A great smelling stout.

Taste: Extremely pleasant. The flavor is predominantly consistent of a creamy, dry, dark roasted malt flavor. I'm getting bittersweet gourmet dark chocolate, rich connecticut tobacco, old leather, hints of vanilla beans, coffee and very very faint notions of sugar cookies. As it warms resinous, piney sensations from the hops assert themselves.

Feel: Full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and velvety. Crisp (for an RIS).

Overall: Probably my favorite russian imperial of all time. Very hearty and complex, with deep notes of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt. The mouthfeel and taste are really perfect for the style. The flavor is intricate, robust and creamy without the mouthfeel being too unctuous or slimy. Just dry enough so as to not leave you reaching for a glass of water, and crisp enough to enjoy during the warmer months without being too watery and thin.

This beer isn't for everyone but if you have a palate for dark chocolate and imperial stouts this is one you'll really enjoy.

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

First, I had this in a bottle (of course,) so I am rating it as that, not comparing it to a draft beer.

Local liquor store stocks these in four packs, so glad.

This is an exceptional beer. Great flavors, no weaknesses. Best all-around stout I have had. competes with my other favorite widely available stout maker, Samuel Smith.

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Photo of Xamonline
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle, Purchased in Chicago, served in a 20oz Becker Glass

L: black motor oil with thick, dirty brown head that laces beautifully as it dissipates

S: hops then chocolate

T: so much going on yet so composed; smooth / effervescent / chocolate / bitter

M: medium body and surprisingly effervescent

O: complex with many of the great qualities of a russian imperial without the weight and thickness. one of the most sessionable of this variety i've had

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

Serving: 12 oz bottle ("11082016") poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter glass.

Appearance: Inky black with fringes of dark brown. Builds a nice head of khaki foam that slowly recedes to streaky lace

Smell: Deeply roasted grains, light woodsmoke and emerging alcohol as it warms.

Taste: Complex malt body with layers of roasted and burnt grains, espresso and some bittersweet chocolate in the close. A healthy dose of earthy, bitter, herbal hops keeps any sweetness in check.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and smooth with just enough carbonation.

Overall: Big, bold and complex; definitely lives up to its reputation as a classic RIS.

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Photo of Oopssorryy
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark brown, and settles to a pitch black hue, with a large, thick light tan head resting on top. The head has impressive body, and real staying power, lingering long after most Stouts would have given up. Lacing is prevalent and sticky, leaving rings in the glass as I down the brew. No light passes through even when held up to direct light. The nose is much sweeter than I expected. Very fruity, up front with a softly bitter roast note hiding in the background.

The flavor is full of subtleties, with no one flavor really standing out to me. First sip, and I got a sweet malt that reminded me of bakers chocolate in a way. Next sip was full of bitter roast and hints of licorice. Each mouth full went back and forth between these two flavors, and upon swallowing I got a swell of dark fruit, presently sweet, with a warming alcohol note right at the end. The finish, in contrast to the swallow, is bitter malt that sticks to your tongue flavoring subsequent sips, altering the initial flavors. I feel as if I get hints of coffee here, but that may well be in my head as I know there is none in this fantastic beer.

The beer is a bit thinner than I expected, but still what I'd call a thick beer. There is mild carbonation that you can detect, but it in no way takes anything away from the ultra smooth feel of this beer. Overall this has to be one of the top beers I've had, Stout or not.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,141 ratings.
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