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: 12,130
Photo of evanackerman
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this stout pours a very opaque black with no light escaping through its murky darkness, head is thck and tan colored and has good retention, rings of lace are left behind as beer is consumed.

arom is far more complex than most stouts i've had. there are notes of figs, caramel, hops, and alcohol, a very pleasant aroma overall.

taste is very complex, hop bitterness up front followed by roasted barley and figs, next comes a pleasing warmth from the alcohol, the finish is long and dominated by chocolate and hop bitterness. a truly satisfying flavor profile.

mouthfeel is very good, smooth and a bit oily, very viscous brew with just the right carbonation to maintain a degree of crispness.

overall, this is my favorite imperial stout so far, it strikes a lovely balance of flavors as far as i'm concerned. definitely a must try beer.

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

a - dark color, nearly complete black...typical of RISs; short tan head that didn't last too long; not much by way of lacing

s - alcohol very evident, roasted malt, coffee

t - coffee and roasted malts, like the aroma, the finish is dominated by lingering alcohol taste, but not unpleasant

m - minimal carbonation; pretty chewy

d - very drinkable for an RIS; the alcohol is evident, but not overwhelming, and the front end of the taste is very pleasant and complex

I really enjoyed this beer. I don't think it's on par with the "top" RISs, but very respectable nonetheless. I like that this is relatively affordable and easy to find.

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Photo of MagicLantern
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Pint Glass.

A: Four fingers of head! Thick creamy tan head that faded over several minutes. 1/2" of lace coats thick and evenly across the glass. As drank, lace continued to coat glass. Half way through beer, lace continued to cling to top of the glass and coat the entire glass all they way down. A Bback beer held up to the light, this had the *slightest* red translucence. This was a fantastic looking beer.

S: Notes are sparse here. "Malty? Spices." That's all I wrote. It was pleasant, but nothing that merits more detail.

T: Smooth and creamy. Chocolate over coffee flavors. Moderately chocolatey with a sharp coffeesque bitter finish accented by a slight tase of spices. Alchohol is well hidden by coffee like flavors.

M: Light carbonation tingles and smooths the beer. Incredibly well balanced. The bitter after taste is slight

D: The combination of pleasant flavors and great mouthfeel combine to make this a very well balanced beer. This makes the beer very easy to drink. I don't typically think of stouts as a casual beer, but this one is a great reminder of how pleasant a dark beer can be.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This will be my second of three planned reviews of this beer. My only problem with it, is that is has too much hop bitterness when fresh. It's almost like eating mouthfulls of grapefruit and chocolate pieces together and washing them down with coffee. Not exactly my idea of a tasty treat. So, what I have planned, is to rate this aged about 6 months, and then again in a year. So far, tonights session shows that Rasputin does, with time, improve. The 6 month old example poured the same colour as a fresh one, obviously. The smell, however, seemed noticeably sweeter. Lots of stewed fruit and loads of chocolate and caramel. The taste, while improved, still has that hop bitterness that I am trying to age away. Mouthfeel was nice and smooth and drinkability was a bit better than a fresh example. We'll see what 12 - 14 months worth of aging does to Rasputin around Christmas '06 or Jan. '07.

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Photo of Shaw
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours totally black with a substantial tan head that reduces to a thin layer with lovely lacing. This beer looks very nice.

It smells of caramel, toffee and roasted malts.

The taste is creamy, with many complex roasted flavors competing. The alcohol flavors are there but aren't as obvious as in other beers of the style. Very nice!

The body is wonderfully creamy.

Overall this is an excellent RIS. It's widely available, which gives you very little excuse to not try it.

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Photo of dustified1234567
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Black with a finger and a half of yellow brown head. It leaves a foam on the sides of the glass.

S- Strong hops smell and a little malty.

T- Malty coffee flavor that was really very good.

M- Fee carbonation start at the center of my tongue and spread out to my cheeks. Thick.

D- Drink slow to enjoy it. Very good Russian Imperial stout and I would definitely go and grab a few more.

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Photo of Freshie
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a genre I have been wanting to get into for awhile. Heard so many great things I couldn't resist no longer.

Pours a beautiful dark black colour with tan creamy head. Laces very well.

Smells of roasted caramel malt, and a hint of fruit.

Tastes very smooth, with strong espresso or coffee flavour and chocolate, that gradually gives way to a more tangy hoppiness.

The alcohol is masked well by the ingrediants and only shows it's head slightly. The roasted coffee flavour stays with you as you drink.

Very smooth and very flavourful.

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Photo of badbeer
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown to almost black in color with a tan head that dissipates leaving some lacing. Nose is bursting with chocolate, coffee, maybe a hint of vanilla and cherry in there as well. Chocolate, espresso, and molasses with a hop bitterness in the end make up the taste. Mouthfeel has pretty low carbonation, maybe a little less would make it perfect, definately full bodied and thick. This beer is just wonderful, I definately need to get some more.

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

Stouts are becoming more and more one of my favorite styles and the Rasputin is near the top of the list. This baby pours black. Big thick head that mostly diminishes. Big time strong coffee aroma and wonderful dark chocolate. Taste matches the smell, for the most part. Not much of an alcohol taste, but one can feel the warmth. This is right on style. I've had this on tap and in the bottle. This is great and relatively cheap and accessible RIS.

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Photo of bort11
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love the label design on this bottle. That crazy mad monk staring out from a smoky haze, I think that alone does a lot for the near-legendary status of this stout.

A- Poured into an Imperial pint glass. Pefectly black in the center. Dark reddish tints on the edges. Thick and creamy tan head, about a finger high from my pour. It receeds a little fast for me, but maintians a tight lace which makes up for it.

S- Espresso aromas POP! I can smell that from an arms length. Chocolate notes linger and some spices hint around the edges.

T- Excellent follow through from the smell. Espresso, chocalate, some maltiness, finishes with some hop bitterness. A little alcohol warmth. very well balanced.

M- It feels a little overcarbonated to me, but that is the only drawback. There is a chewiness to it that a RIS should have.

D- This is an all around great stout and one of my favorites. With this session, I had it with a slice of DQ ice cream cake. Oh man, that's good. This is a great dessert beer by itself, but it added to the overall enjoyment. Now that my local beer store is carying North Coast beers, I will keep this on hand.

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4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The name and bottle caught my attention immediedately while I was shopping.

The pour on this beer was perfect, with a thin tan head that developed. Once poured, it was completely opaque when held to the light.

The smell was strong with noticable aromas of roasted malt and alcohol.

The taste on this beer is out of this world. It is very complex with coffee and chocolate taste to this stout. At the end the hops come through with a slight bitterness, but not overwhelming.

The mouthfeel on this was the low point of this beer for me. It seemed a little thin. However, a mouthfeel such as this could be considered a strong point in a beer that did not have such a complex taste.

The drinkability of this beer is great in my book. I would not want to drink more than 3 or so. But if you like the style, and don't mind a strong taste of alcohol, then this is an imperial stout to enjoy after a long day.

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Photo of irishtimepiece
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.
Pitch black except for ruby hues at the edges. Thick tan head that recedes slowly, but lasts the whole way down. Lacing is very good. Smells strongly of roasted coffee and very dark chocolate, some caramel. Tastes very strongly of roasted coffee with hints of sweet caramel, but the chocolate from the smell is missing from the taste. Alcoholic bite right at the end that I like very much. Mouthfeel is right where it should be for a stout. The only thing really holding this brew back is it's drinkability. With an alcohol content of 9%, I can't see myself drinking more than 2 a night. Overall, one of my favorites. Even at 7 dollars a 4 pack, it's worth it.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vigorous pour from the interestingly-shaped 12 ounce bottle yielded a large, firm tan head that lasts well and sticks to the glass as it tightens and becomes rocky; all this over an almost completely opaque black-ruby body. Don't call what it leaves on the glass "lacing," but rather "sheeting"!

Aroma is superb: vinous, figgy, chocolate-covered cherries with espresso. Is that cinnamon back there? Maybe some pink peppercorns? Definitely some caramel malt. Mmmm.

The taste fell off a bit from the aroma -- it smelled more complex than it tasted. The fruity notes seemed absent from the taste. Mind you, it's still good, but not up to "sniff."

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I thought -- still good, just not a chewy as I was hoping.

Good drinkability for an RIS, at only 9%. Definitely worth the price.

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Photo of kohoutek
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Ebony darkness. Only the slightest light penetration. Lovely tan head, but it quickly dissipates into a coagulated, large bubbled, foam replica of Pangea.

S: Dark roast, vinous malty alcoholic stone fruit with molasses chocolate ashy husky whiffs. Yeasty Vegemite beef bullion. Malt acidity beckons a sip.

T: Sweet coffee, ash, molasses, herbal hops, lingering bitterness, large warm yeasty presence, dark cocoa chocolate milkshake. Graham crackers and wheaten scones lurk in the shadows. The finish is rounded by iron aerosols left over from John Henry's frenetic activities.

M: Sweet, cleanly balanced with bitterness, herbs, iron. If sipped and swallowed it appears thin and quaffable. If tossed about in the mouth it awakens with a silken, mouthfilling foam.

D: Very nice. The bitterness, roast acidity and herbal nuances sweep this large, sweet beer down the pipes.

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Photo of plaid75
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into an imperial pint glass. A beautiful dark brown hue with a thick two finger caramel head. Poor head retention but superior lacing.

The smell is a robust toasted barley aroma. Strong hints of coffee and subtle hints of cocoa.

The taste mirrors the aroma. A very rich roasted coffee flavor with significant lingering coffee and cocoa flavors. Pleasant flavor lasts minutes after the sip. A suprisingly slight alcohol taste considering the ABV. The balance is very good in this stout - just enough hop to moderate the roasted flavor.

The mouthfeel is rich and long lasting. The lingering flavors produce a prolonged mouthfeel.

A very drinkable 9.00% ABV beer.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I consider this the textbook version of Russian Imperial Stouts. To be a good one you'd need to be close to this one. To be a great one, you'd need to exceed it.
The pour gives way to what looks like it could be a mixture of cola and coffee. Nose is full of roastiness, and dark fruits like plums and raisins. There's a bit of tartness in the nose that I don't care for. Taste is layer upon layer of different kinds of chocolate, sweet chocolate, bakers choclate, and cocoa. This is offset by a bit of molasses and some tartness. The tartness seems a bit out of place. Mouthfeel is near perfect with light carbonation to welcome the liquid to the tongue. If this wasn't so strong I'd definitely session it. Kudos North Coast!

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Photo of Graham21
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Black, when in direct light casts a dark red tint. Head was three fingers high and dissipated to 1/2 cm of beautiful cream that coats the glass.

S- Nose has chocolate undertones, rich with roasted malts, smells like a rassberry truffel. coffee is also present present.

T- Very rich in flavors, definite coffee and chocolate flavors, i also tasted hops and alcohol, and maybe some raisins and brown sugar. Very Rich flavors.

This beer is everything i expect from an imperial stout, very thick, rich, and tasty.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle. Old Rasputin pours out a nearly black color with a huge brown head. Strong aroma of coffee, molasses, chocolate, and fruit. The flavor is very roasty with bitter coffee. Chocolate, licorice, and peat. Finishes acidic, with noticable hop flavor. Mouthfeel is slightly thinner than expected, but it works well with this beer. Drinkability is quite good. If you're a fan of roasty stouts, this is definitely one to try.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

[about $3 for a 12oz. single at Downtown Wine and Spirits]

Black that becomes a very dark red when held up to the light. Airy khaki head that sticks and stays with consistent small light bubbles. Wow, the smell! Fruit salad. Strong mangos and raspberries. Chocolate and roasted coffee beans too. Very appetizing. Flavor is smoother chocolate with subtle herbs and growing alcohol spice. Finishes dry, but still present. Light and fluffy for the style. Smooth but a bit chalky. Alcohol pokes through, but not too much.

Wow - I had this a long time ago and did not remember or realize what a great beer it is. And a super bargain too! Cheers to North Coast.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This highly regarded specimen of an imperial stout pours solid black and feaures a frothy brown head and impressively sticky lacing. Nose is deep and rich with coffee and milk chocolate flavors. The aroma improves considerably as the beer warms, culminating in a frosty chocolate milkshake aroma.
Taste is pure coffee and dark malt. Alcohol is hidden brilliantly by a wall of flavors, all of them complementing each other about as well as possible. It's moments like these you realize the brilliance of buying a four pack as opposed to hunting around for a single. It's going to be a pretty sweet night...
What can you say? This is pretty amazing. Go get some, no matter how much you have to shell out. If you like stout and you haven't tried this, you are not being all you can be as a stout drinker. What are you waiting for? Go get some..

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Photo of Hautacam
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown/black....huge tan head..foamy ..cascades..laces and drops slowly to a film.
Smells of aromatic hops ..coffee and alcohol.
Tastes sweet at first, then hops punch in ....pretty bitter....coffee, unsweetened chocolate,alcohol, anise and chalk.
Mouthfeel is heavy, chewy and a bit powdery...medium carbonation. Hop bitter lasts into aftertaste.
One of these will do fine...it's heavy stuff...very , very good.
Glad I've got the other three to look forward to.

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Photo of cproioi
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful black color with a brown towards the surface.
S: Sorry I can't really answer this one I'm coming off of a cold and my nose isn't up to par for this question yet.
T: A great Mocha taste that should be paired with a dark rich chocolate cake. This is one of my favorite pairing of foods and beer.
M: A little heavy but nothing that I would turn my nose up at by any means.
D: I had no problem drinking it I thought it was wonderful but it is not a beer for those just getting into the beer snobbery. It's a big powerful beer that must be handled with care.

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

A 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass, a dark opaque black, slightly brown, with a small caramel colored head. The scent of chocolate and coffee are very nice aroma, that is followed by a twinge of hops. The taste starts with the chocolate and the sweetness of the malt. It ends with a slight coffee bitterness, with a touch of hops. In the mouth it is rich and full bodied, it has the texture of two percent milk and seemingly coats the tongue, which allows the the flavor to linger. This is a very good beer, there are many imperial stouts, this one may stands the closest to the style.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an opaque black with a thick tan head. Creamy looking.

S/T: Quite a robust brew - strong palate of chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, coffee, and quite a bit of hops round out the aftertaste (I was quite surprised by this - I drank this bottle a bit warmer than the last few and for some reason I think it really brought out the hop characteristics). Finishes strong with hops and a touch of sweetness.

M/D: Eh - not sure what to say here. A fine example of the style, but didn't leave me begging for more. Glad I had a 4-pack, but I am not rushing to buy more.

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Photo of custardcb
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich black body with mahogany head. Nice foamy head rest on top of the brew as it slowly deconstructs itself. It leaves a thin film on top and around the edges of my pint glass.

The aroma is rich with coffee, vanilla, espresso and chocolate malts. No hop presence is evident, this is nothing but a rich flavorful malt The moutful is smoothe and slightly creamy. A small bitter tinge is evident but this is true imperial stout. All the flavors from the nose ar ethere and mesh together in such a mellow nice way. A couple of these is a meal in itself. A treat that should never been had in abundance so that you may really savor the souts very nature.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,130 ratings.
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