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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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3,655 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: 3,655 | Ratings: 11,954
Photo of William85
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I've had this beer a few times before in the bottle, so I was excited to see it on nitro-tap at a nearby barbecue join (bitterroot in Ballard).

Wow. The flavors in this beer are amazing -- lush chocolate and coffee notes stand out, supported by a fairly intense hop layer. I recall being just as impressed by the flavors with the regular bottle version of Old Rasputin, but the nitro definitely adds a lot to the experience.

The beautiful 2-finger head at the top of my pour was amazingly substantial -- almost completely unaffected by my first couple of sips -- and the texture of this beer is correspondingly creamy/velvety, leaving a pristine lacing trail all the way down the glass.

This is a great beer, as all of the other reviews proclaim, I would heartily recommend the nitro-tap version.

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Photo of 50wolves
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a dimpled beer mug, pours very dark with small head that is brown. I find this a more astringent beer than most stouts, flavour is stronger than more recently tasted stouts as well. Would recommend for a drink however if have had better stouts, namely stone imperial.

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Photo of sachsich
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this one in a bottle for the first time. We cant get beers over 6% in south carolina, so i had to snag a couple when i was up in charlotte nc. this beer has so much character i dont know where to start. its a wonderful beer that you want to sit back and enjoy every sip you take

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

A: Jet black with a thick, creamy tan head. Good amount of lacing left on the glass with each sip.

S: Coffee and roasted malts dominate with hints of chocolate.

T: Roasted coffee and chocolate mingle with a little bit of hop flavor to create an absolutely delicious taste.

M: Creamy and thick with a very smooth finish.

D: So tasty, it demands multiple servings. The ABV might be high but the nitro-tap makes it go down so smooth, you don't feel it until you realized you've finished the darn glass in record time.

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

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours an opaque black with a brownish head that subsides rather quickly.

Smells of roasted coffee, charcoal, and slightly chocolate. Hop and alcohol smell are secondary but distinguishable.

Taste is dry charcoal-like with dark, roasty flavors of coffee and small traces of chocolate.

Mouthfeel is fairly light with little carbonation.

Drinkablity is very good being a dark 10% ABV beer - I could drink a four pack of these.

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

Deep dark brown, with oak red on the edges, borderline black. Dark tan head, half an inch, retains well and leaves some lacing.

Smell of chocolate dominates the nose, with coffee rounding it out. Much like hot chocolate and Kahlua.

Taste is more coffee forward. Dry coffee flavor, with some chocolate backing it up. Much like black coffee with some chocolate liquor.

bitter coffee-like mouthfeel, which dry's out the beer towards the end.

Dryness knocks the drinkability of this brew down a notch. Still pretty damn good.

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Photo of chicagobill13
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an awesome beer! I love Stout and I drink this beer when I am in a very good mood. Today I found it very very very cheap then the normal price I found. Nice smooth drinking imperial stout. Great taste and very easy finish stout. I found this at Trader Joe's at a very good price. Try it!

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

From the first pour. Chocolate light brown head that disolves leaving a clean line throughout. Great drink all the way through. With a mild sweet hint of chocolate that melts away with a good sharp finish after every drink. Smooth all the way through. 9%, you can taste it. With this amount of ABV it is a cool kick back beer, and something to enjoy any time. Room temp. for sure.

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

I got this one in order to see if it could be a good candidate for my first beer to try aging. I think it's worthy.

A - Great. Very delicious looking. Caramel head, dark black body. yeah, Definitely a pro stout.

S - Not too powerful, but interesting. Sweet candies, dried dates, licorice; all covered with an intense roast smell.

T - INTENSE! POwerful alcohol bite jumps through right away. It's definitely not hidden. Roasted all the way through. Coffee, burt chocolate. Very tastey and changes with temp.

M - very drinkable for such a high abv stout.

O - I think I want to see what the rest of this 4-pack will taste like in another year. If I can wait that long...

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

A- poured out black with a think tan head . No haziness. The head retained itself throughout staying tight with a layer of foam all the way down, little lacing.

S- a bunch of roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, and chocolate chip cookies. A touch of alcohol and fruitiness.

T- a lot of roasted flavors up front that seemed to mellow after it warmed a bit. Chocolate, dark dried fruit like plum, toffee, a bit of malty sweetness balancing out the bitterness of the roast. No hop bitterness. The rated bitterness sticks around for a while, then the warming comes down the esophagus bout 15 seconds after the first swallow.

M- Appropriate carbonation that makes it drink smoothly. Not as viscous as I would expect. Dry felling on the finish.

O- a great Russian Imperial Stout that packs a ton of roasted flavors, but has some nice sweet malt and toffee to meld with the stronger flavors. At 9% this is a warmer, but the alcohol does not take away at all from the brew.

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

Super solid Stout. Mild carbonation (you don't want a Stout fizzy anyway). Nice black color, with dark tan head. Chocolate, caramel, and roast is what I tasted. Just enough kick alcohol-wise to know you've got your hands on something. Great brew!!!!

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Photo of Rcaros
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Finger of tan head with mixed bubbles. Poured dark brown black in the glass. Unable to see and carbonation.

Chocolate is up front on the nose, nice roasty notes, mild coffee notes

Very nice roasty notes up front on the taste, bitter chocolate, heavy espresso, nice mildly sweet finish

Mouth feel is not what i want from a stout. Wish itneas thicker

Over very delicious

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Photo of LiamStLiam
2.71/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I got a good, black pour, low head.

I found it harder to drink than I expected. A lot going on in this beer, and not all of it to my taste.

I am a "smoothness" guy, and this is not a smooth beer.

I find this a difficult style to understand right now, and I know it's a hard one to do.

This is my first North Coast Beer, so I am not quite sure what to expect in the future.

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Photo of JamesBerry
2.88/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This one has a black cola-like coloring with a brownish/orange head. Immediately after opening the bottle, a strong chocolate smell emerges. The taste is intensely bitter, like baker's chocolate, but with noticeable amounts of alcoholic tone. Old Rasputin has a tannic mouthfeel, like sucking a teabag or coffee grounds. Not as creamy or as say, a porter or (non-Imperial) stout, but admittedly, the taste mellows out significantly after the first half. Not exactly what I'd call a session beer. This is more of an experience than just any beer.

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Photo of ASymon13
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a thick, viscous black. No light passes through it. It also has a large, wonderful brown head to it. Excellent appearance. It has a giant aroma of roast and chocolate. Some coffee and alcohol are also noticable.

In the taste there is a lot more coffee than I had thought from the aroma. The roast also takes a front seat, while the sweet chocolate nose is lost in the taste. There is also some strong hop bitterness to it. The alcohol begins to come through on the end of it, and it has an extremely dry finish. The flavors really do not quite blend together as nicely as they should, but it is still excellent. The body is medium-full, and the carbonation works for it. Very good brew.

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

Like Guinness with a kick, a must try. This has all the smooth taste of a creamy stout with the after kick of bitterness like from arrogant bastards ale. Dark rich coffee flavor with a smokey chocolate hints. This is something to drink very slow and savor.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours with an inch and a half of frothy, billowy tan head. Retention is pretty good- halfway through I've still got a nice thin layer which leaves impressive and sticky lace. As for color: it's black. What else is there to say?

Smells of roasted malts and booze. Hints of smoke, chocolate, and coffee.

Tastes of darkly roasted malts, dark coffee (sumatran, e.g.), with a perfectly complimenting sweet side to it.

A bit more carbonated than I would like (and the bottle more so than on tap, if I remember correctly). Still pretty smooth, though.

Goes down easy for an RIS. Excellent beer.

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Photo of danny013
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a 16 oz. English style tankard. Pours a deep black body with light hints of brown around the edges, topped with a thick 2-finger brown head. Head falls into the beer and leaves a nice .25" cake over the beer for half the brew and thins out after. Great lacing.

Smell is mainly of a complex malt/chocolate balance, some sweet hints with a big dark chocolate aroma with some roasted grains thrown in. Hops are present, assertive to push through that malt base, somewhat citrusy, piney. Very nice and complex.

Taste is as big and complex as the aroma. Some slight astringency up front initially, gives way almost immediately to a big, dark chocolate malt base. Roasted grains push through, hops tagging along. Good mix of roasted grains and hop bitterness push the huge initial maltiness back and take control, revealing another facet of this brew. Hops are a mix of citrus and some gentle pine. After swallowing the beer a light, tingly carbonation is left on the tongue that brings through some pleasant roasted grains and more hop bitterness, along with a nice warming sensation from the alcohol. Alcoholic warmth left all down the throat. Dark chocolate flavors linger on the tongue. Wow.

Mouthfeel is great, thick, viscous body with a perfect carbonation level to move this thick beer around the palate.

Drinkability is great. A delicious, complex ale to sit and sip and pick out it's gentle nuances. Not something to drink more than 2 of. Perfect for cold evenings, I'm going to let a bottle or two of this rest until winter time here.

Overall, a fantastic, complex ale that will knock your socks off with it's aroma/flavors as well as it's ABV. Not for the lighthearted, this is definitely something to be savored.

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Photo of MisterSH
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rather creepy looking 12 oz bottle poured into a smuttynose big beer tulip. I love the packaging on this beer. "Never say die"

Pours Jet black, with a big, fluffy head that practically explodes out of the beer and refuses to leave once it arrives.

Smell is dominated by dark chocolate. There is raspberry, some bready notes but overall quite sweet on the nose, reminiscent of a raspberry chocolate bar.

Taste is RICH with coffee, raisin, dark chocolate, some toast. Quite a clean finish with some breadiness left on the palate. Some hops on the finish become increasingly noticeable as the brew warms a bit. Alcohol is shockingly well masked and is not particularly prominent at all, save a slight finishing warmth.

Mouthfeel is somewhat syrupy, but not overly heavy or thick as I had expected it to be. Very low on the carb, unexpectedly clean and crisp on the tongue.

Rich, bold and delicious, am I wrong in still being a bit underwhelmed? This is a fine beer, but considering its following and the hype surrounding it, I was expecting something completely mind-blowing, which I did not quite get. What I did find was an all around tasty, drinkable stout that I will gladly keep around as a dependable standby now that I've figured out where to find it in my area.

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Photo of tehawful
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On a recent trip to a new liquor store, the picture of Rasputin directed my attention to this Imperial Stout. Being such a sucker for marketing...I couldn't resist. Rasputin pours pitch black with a dense tan head. There is a strong aroma of malt, dark fruit, chocolate and oak.

Wow, this is quite a stout. Malts are heavily roasted with hints of bitter coffee and a bit of dark chocolate, the subtle dark fruit flavor is also there. Rasputin finishes dry as the high ABV presents itself and lingers. The mouthfeel is decent, but maybe just a slight bit thinner than what I usually hope for in a stout (though still closer than a lot of the stouts out there).

Overall this is a bold but enjoyable Russian Imperial. The ABV is present, but does not ruin the experience...though I wouldn't have more than two at a time (probably a great desert beer).

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

Poured into a tulip glass from 12oz bottle.

Looks pitch black with small dark brown head. Looks like a stout should. Smell is fantastic. Yeast and dark malts abound. Espresso and hops as well. I love the aroma of this beer.

Taste is light on the tongue for a stout but has bitter aftertaste. Not a clean hop type bitter but like a lingering espresso bitter. Tastes good but the aftertaste is just a slight drag.

The dark malts are evident in taste and hops come through nicely but not over the top. keeps a thin cream colored head throughout. All 12oz are gone in just a few minutes despite the fact that I am trying to savor this.
Overall a good showing for the style and for North Coast Brewing Co.

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Photo of GrittyMug345
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on nitro at Novare Res in Portland, ME, poured into a 16oz shaker pint. A very tight one finger head the color of coffee ice cream on top of a pitch black body, the head dies verry slowly down to a half finger and remains, the lacing left behind throughout is more like sheeting. The nose is of sweet toffee, roasty malt, and cocoa powder. The flavor is more fo the same, with a nice touch of espresso, a raisiny sweetness, followed by a bitter cocoa/espresso finish, there is also a hint of earth in there somewhere. The mouthfeel is superb, very creamy, nice and thick but not syrupy, very smooth. Drinkability is great for what this is, by no means a session beer but it is not intended to be, a perfect dessert beer.

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Photo of irisier
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Looks thick. Opaque black, not even a hint of colour at the edges. Ok head for a high gravity beer. Nice milky coffee colour.

Smell: Coffee and chocolate with some sharp roasted malt aroma and some faint smokiness.

Taste: Slightly sweet dark malts upfront, followed quickly by roasted malt and charred bitterness. Hops are definitely there, but do not play a leading role in the flavors. A bit of rich coffee flavor is evident also. Bittersweet on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth, but definitely full bodied and a bit thick. Perfect for sipping. Warming.

Impressions: Quite good, I love charry tastes in beer and this one certainly has that. Pretty well balanced.

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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 bengore
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, deep black into a tulip glass. Small amount of cherry bronze head that dissipates slowly. Aroma reminds me of chocolate cake with booze. Taste is relatively malty, coffee, and ultimately leads to an alcohol-y aftertaste. Overall a great, strong stout that is easily available. Goes great with a strong, hearty stew or curry. Definitely a go-to.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 11,954 ratings.
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