Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

3,688 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: 3,688 | Ratings: 12,086
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 TrippnFiasco
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Jet black, absolutely gorgeous. Dark brown head, pours with about 3-finger head that slowly dissipates. BEAUTIFUL lacing that sticks to the glass throughout the entire drink.

S: Smells like a nice espresso, with a fairly strong smokiness. Slight alcohol bite comes through, surprising for the (relatively) low ABV for this Imperial.

T: Delicious woody, smoked maltiness. Slight hop bite coming through, separate from alcohol. Very dark, very tasty.

M: Very creamy, full-bodied. Nice smoothness

D: One glass per sitting is perfect. Very drinkable for an Imperial Stout.

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

Beautiful appearance. Pitch black and heavy brown head. Awesomeness.

Smell is quite heavy on the roasted barley. Niiice.

Taste is awesome. No other way to really describe it. I was expecting something quite heavy from the aroma, but the taste was very well balanced with it's flavor. Almost sweet, but very balanced.

The mouthfeel is quite full and balanced. Good levels of carbonation make this quite an easy sipping beer.

Overall I really really enjoyed this beer. It is probably best enjoyed with a nice sweet desert. I had this for the first time with some potato chips, but trust me, if I had some cheesecake it would have paired perfectly!

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Photo of ryno09
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick chocolatey malt nose with some alcohol present. Pours exactly like IRS should, black with tan head that doesn't last long - pretty good lacing going. Taste like dark chocolate with a bit of roastiness. Not a sweet beer at all so there must be a good amount of bittering hops but no aroma hops. It finishes really smooth with a slight alcohol presence.

One of the best year round imperial stouts you can get.

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

ottle from the same six-pack purchased in October and reviewed in November. Served in the same glass to keep everything the same.

A: Impenetrable black color with one finger tan head. Dissipates to a thin cap atop the beer. Lacing is still very prevalent.

S: Much more mellow than the bottle I cracked in October. The hops have died down considerably in the smell. Now the roasty, chocolate malts are front and center.

T: The hop profile has dialed down quite a bit from the fresh bottle. Now, the hop presence is in the finish and is not nearly as harsh. It adds a slightly bitter element to the finish and gives it a nice bite. The malts are much more detectable in this aged bottle.

M: Still a very thick and full bodied stout at this point. Nothing has changed.

O: In the six months since I first had this, it has really tamed and is much less boozy and hoppy. Old Rasputin was an outstanding stout six months ago and has improved mightily since then. I'm don't usually drink many stouts in the hot Arizona summer (where I'm moving back to soon) so I don't plan to have the final bottle from October 2010 until at least October 2011. I will be buying a couple more six packs of this to see if it can go the distance. Something tells me this will go pretty far.

Review from November 19, 2010 from a sixpack purchased in October.

Poured from a bottle into a SA Perfect Pint Glass... because it's the only glass that's clean. And it really works for anything. On to the review...

A: Pours nearly jet black with slight brown outlines when held to light. Thick and frothy two finger head that retains well and leaves nice lacing. 4.5

S: Smell is very chocolatey, slight coffee scent as well. Roasty. 4

T: Immediate taste is chocolate and hops. Quite hoppy, in fact. Alcohol on the back end and finally more chocolate, which remains in the aftertaste. 4

M: Thick and chewy, a bit oily. Really quite nice. 4.5

D: This drinks quite nice. I like the hop presence. The hops and alcohol are enough to make you sip and savor this brew, no matter how bad you want to keep drinking it. This has become my go-to Russian Imperial Stout. Outstanding value. 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a SA Perfect Pint Glass... because it's the only glass that's clean. And it really works for anything. On to the review...

A: Pours nearly jet black with slight brown outlines when held to light. Thick and frothy two finger head that retains well and leaves nice lacing.

S: Smell is very chocolatey, slight coffee scent as well. Roasty.

T: Immediate taste is chocolate and hops. Quite hoppy, in fact. Alcohol on the back end and finally more chocolate, which remains in the aftertaste.

M: Thick and chewy, a bit oily. Really quite nice.

D: This drinks quite nice. I like the hop presence. The hops and alcohol are enough to make you sip and savor this brew, no matter how bad you want to keep drinking it. This has become my go-to Russian Imperial Stout. Outstanding value.

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Photo of thadbme
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark black with a finger of foam that sits arouund for a bit. Mild carbonation and bubbles are sitting on top of the beer. This is a very dark beer, I could swear light is bending around the glass.

S: Plesant smell with a slightly toasted malt on it, almost smells like a barrel aged Alcohol smell comes through just a bit, but the toasted malt is the strongest here.

T: Very bitter and nearly a burned malt taste to it. That type of taste stays with you after you take the sip. Its not entirely a bad thing, but seems to be overwhelming the rest of the beer.

M: Carbonation is there and strong flavor of the toasted malts in there. This is a heavy feeling beer.

O: I had some high hopes for this one, but I believe I'm glad I only picked up a single of this one rather than a 4 pack. The beer itself is pretty good, the smell, and look of it are good, but I dont like the fact that it hangs with you after the fact. It reminds me of a black licorice type taste hanging around.

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Photo of brewyou2
3.82/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

well, it's a stout.

smells like roasted cocoa beans, head like rocky sea foam, feels like velvet across my tongue and tastes like an unsweetened, dark chocolate brownie with powdered sugar on top. I will stock more of these in my cellar when I get my allowance.

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

I liked it. Strong taste but really well crafted. I would like to try it on tap.

(I finally had it on tap)
It was delicious and creamy. Way better then the bottle. I love this beer of tap.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Super deep black with a thin, tan head.

S: Roast and malt on the nose with a hint of licorice.

T: Deep roasty goodness with more licorice and some chocolate. Very well balanced with some alcohol warming as well.

M: Silky

D: Very drinkable for the style. Most folks would be pretty goofy if they finished the entire four pack.

Really enjoyed this beer, just a very good way to wind down a work week. A nice treat.

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Photo of ellisdee97
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a dark chocolate/motor oil black. A light coffee colored head quickly dissappears and leaves a light ring and nice lacing.

S: Strong smell of alcohol and chocolate with some hops coming through. Dark chocolate and coffee notes.

T: Heavy chocolate with a slight bitter hop bite and a kick of alcohol but nicely masked. Exceptional coffee and chocolate aftertaste, with spicy pepper.

M: Dry chocolate with a hop and alcohol bite. Exceptionally smooth.

D: For the alcohol content this is very drinkable, and not heavy as would be expected. This is one hell of a damn good beer. I will be getting this again, and as often as possible. I highly reccomend it.

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Photo of uconnalum2
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I looked forward to trying this beer. It poured black with only a small head that went down to mostly a ring around the glass. I held it up to a lamp and could not see any light coming through at all. It had a roasted smell similar to coffee beans. The taste started bitter and then turned to coffee and some bitter, dark chocolate. There is some alcohol in the aftertaste and it lasted a long time. The mouthfeel is the most interesting thing about this beer. It is smooth, oily and thick and coats the inside of your mouth. This is a slow sipper. It went down easier as it warmed up (and maybe as it warmed me up). Overall, this is an intense beer. The bitterness, heaviness and ABV keeps me from having too many. I'd like to try one that has aged to see if it smooths out a bit.

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Photo of SudNut
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours to a disturbingly dark concoction with a tan head about two fingers thick quickly dispersing to a thin head over the top.

A toot of suds is like smelling a malty dark mocha with a couple of extra shots of espresso. I detect roasted malt, dark semi-sweet chocolate, coffee and a bit of alcohol.

Nice big gulp and aaahhhh almost exactly like it smells the order of taste some times clashes though, roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee and alcohol respectively. Sometimes it seems the chocolate and coffee switch seats on the bus. Also there is an undertone of hops near the finish, good stuff!

Creamy medium body with a touch of stickiness to the mouthfeel, it almost feels like painting a coat of beer on your tongue, although just for a moment.

This beer has above average drinkability and I will have another. The fact is I can only endure so much real coffee and this beer tastes like coffee. One or two is great any more than that is too much for my taste.


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Photo of roopy40
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Black and murky. Thick, white, foamy head with staying power surrounds the first few inches of the glass and settles over time to leave a beautiful spider web of lace all around the glass.

Smell - Dark roasted malt, hints of black licorice, chocolate, and caramel sweetness. Hint of vanilla was also present.

Taste - Wonderful roasted malt flavors, chocolate bliss, roasted coffee and a caramel/toffee candy stickiness left on your lip.

Mouthfeel - Medium to bold in body and great carbonation. Roasted coffee up front and the hints of bitter chocolate dances on your taste buds as it finishes.

Drinkability - Very much so. I was smitten at the first sip. Love at first drink? Can it be? I picked up a single at first just to try this and found myself grabbing a 4pak immediately on my next shopping trip. I don't know if it was his hand that hypnotized me when I was looking at the bottle or what happened exactly, but I will buy this over and over for the price, ABV and quality you get.

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Photo of getch
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- very dark, nice pour and is in a cool looking bottle, i enjoy how the head when settled some is left.

s-good coffee, chocolate smell, not overpowering and compliements the beer taste

t-one of the best stouts i have had, and is a very good cal beer, it has a slightly bitter end taste, but looking at the alcohol content it is prob. from the alcohol and not the hopps.

m- its nice and thick and a great sipping beer

d- i could have a couple of these in one sitting and from reading some other reviews i will def. be looking for this one on tap.

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Photo of humuluslupulus8
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A: The beer was a pitch black, opaque color. There was a very thick tan head on top that lasted for a long time.

S: The smell reminded me of Black Butte Porter by Deschutes Brewery; dark and slightly sweet.

T: Old Rasputin had a dry, bitter taste similar to dark roast coffee or a quality dark chocolate. The taste was similar to porters I've drank, but there was not any level of sweetness like porters often have.

M: The mouthfeel on this beer was very good. The high specific gravity of the beer was definitely noticeable, and the creamy head added even more enjoyment to the drinking of this beer.

D: While this is a very well made beer, I think I would only want to drink it again if I was in the mood for it. I don't think the middle of summer was the best time of year for me to try it, but maybe I would want a beer like this when the weather was cold.

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Photo of vitrael
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into conical pint glass.

A: Midnight black, opaque, thick-looking, with a big attractive tan head which never left. Almost certainly the thickest and most tenacious lacing I have ever seen, like the folds of a silk curtain.

S: Cocoa, coffee, and slightly boozy. Very mild-smelling.

T: Coffee and bitter chocolate, bittersweet roasted barley finish with a very mild boozy character again. Very clean finish, perfectly balanced.

M: Just the minimal carbonated smoothness I expect in a stout. This aspect mixed with the clean finish makes it D dangerous.

D: It's -9F outside and... I think I will pour another.

This is really a gem of a beer, perfect for wintertime sipping. Frighteningly I can and will session this beer. Now all I need is a fireplace.

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Photo of hitter114
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into Tulip
A: Very dark, not quite black but 95% of the way there
S: Smells amazing of simple roasted malts and great hop profile for the nose. Got a chocolate smoke smell going
T: Just as good as it smells. Burns just a little, but the perfect amount. Hops and malts balance it out brilliantly
M: Sharp and bitty as expected. Could be slightly smoother but for 9%, what do you expect?

Overall: One of my favorite Russian Imperial I have had. Great mix of hops, malt, roasty, chocolate/barbecue smoke taste. Buy this beer if you like beer.

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Photo of beerbellydaddy
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

First of all the name - Old Rasputin - is absolutely perfect for an Imperial Stout. This offers a full creamy head when initially poured and abundant lacing traces the glass above the beer. It does not linger too long. The smell is mild but classic stout - earthy, chocolate, and maybe fig. The taste is what counts and it is nearly perfect with hints of rich dark chocolate, dry fruit, and malt, balanced with an initial mildly acidic bitterness that dissolves into the dark chocolate finish. Old Rasputin is bold, balanced, full, and creamy with minimal effervescence. This is one of the best stouts I've tasted.

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Photo of RobertTheRogue
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pitch black with a very fluffy tan head that sticks around and leaves a good amount of lacing

S: malts, coffee, dark fruits, chocolate

T: dark chocolate and bitter espresso followed by sweet fruit like dates or raisins, gives way to a dry and slightly bitter finish

M: medium bodied, slightly carbonated, warming alcohol sensation

O: Being that the imperial stout is my new favorite style of beer, I have to say this is one the best I've tried so far. It is more mellow than some of the others I tried, and is a bit more heavy on the coffee flavors. I will definitely be coming back for more. In fact, I think I'll have another right now.

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Photo of goodbeer4cheap
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed from draft most recently in early April. A very consistent time to time beer could be described as a dessert beer. Look- thick, dark, decent carbonation and head. Smell - chocolate, malt, sweetness, reassuring. Taste- I get chocolate and a slight coffee, a large sweet malty is also there which is lovely. Feel-pure heavy dessert beer. Fantastic beer I enjoy time to time in special moments in life. April was both it's on tap status and the birth of my first niece.

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Photo of Big_Neezy
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A great overall RIS. Quite possibly the benchmark for American brewed Russian Imperial Stout.

It pours as black as a Siberian moonless night. Excellent balance of chocolate, coffee, raisin and cocoa. Comes on bitter but finishes smooth, creamy and malty. Excellent full flavored Stout.

Had from a bottle.

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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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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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Photo of beerogre
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a class beer.

Every so often I come across a beer that I just gulp down with no regard to its strength, because it's just so damn good. This is one of those beers. As I drink this beer I sit in my chair, shaking my head and exhaling audibly after each sip, at the excellence that is this beer.

You can have your IPAs, your best bitters and all the rest of 'em, because for my money you just can't beat a quality Imperial Stout like this one.

If Victor Kiam had still been around today and drunk this beer he would have forgotten all about his Remmington Microscreen and bought this company instead. Believe you me.

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Photo of memory
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap that laid a nice half inch head. Appeared dark coffee with a bitter chocolate note to it's nose. Taste typical of an Imperial stout sweetness but this to me was a real dessert ale because I could only drink one or two at the most.
Had a full bittersweet taste that left a long pleasant taste on the tongue.
A nice stout for desert after a meal.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,086 ratings.
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