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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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3,656 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: 3,656 | Ratings: 11,955
Photo of Valmor88
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with a chocolate colored head that takes up half of the glass at first. Excellent head retention. You could take a shower and come back and it would still be there.

S: Roasted malts and chocolate and prevalent. Coffee/caramel and alcohol hints are the next most noticeable. Near the end there are some fruity esters, but I can't identify what kinds.

T: Toasty flavor. Dark chocolate with coffee/toffee and alcohol. Again, something fruity at the finish, but it's underscored by the big roasted coffee flavor also at the finish. Wow.

M: Full bodied. You get some warmth from the alcohol, but it's certainly in the background to all of the flavors.

O: One of the better Russian Imperial Stouts that I've had. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of RappAttack
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown with a tan head the eventually dissipates

S: rosted coffee with a hint of vanilla

T: vary malty with some coffee and vanilla mixed in, nice bitter finish

M: thinner than others i have had almost refreshing like the way chocolate milk is

O: one of my favorites,when i dont feel like spending money on founders Breakfast stout this is my close second

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Photo of BSK_ONE
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown as you would expect from a stout. Creaming long lasting head
S: honestly, didn't smell more than the whiffs of coffee and chocolate
T: Here is where the experience changes. First sip, first 3 seconds, nothing. I was thinking, blah. Then the flavor explosion happened! Complex, rapidly changing tastes. Coffee, caramel, dark fruits, some alcohol, some sweetness. Delicious!
M: Warm, smooth, complete.
O: Really like this beer a lot. It's complexity is what sets it apart. The flavored change dramatically 3 times.

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Photo of PZuke
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice black Imperial stout body with a slightly tan head. It smelled like coffee and a little bit of chocolate. The taste was very smooth with light carbonation and a very heavy taste of coffee/espresso and a little bit of chocolate. I could see how the coffee taste could be overpowering for some. I’m not a huge stout fan but I could actually drink a couple of these and have no problem. A brew that even Rasputin himself could be proud of.

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

Pours an absolute opaque black with a thin tan head which laces the glass nicely. Equal amounts of roasted malty goodness and alcohol in nose, maybe some traces of sweetness as well. Again, roasted maltiness in taste with very strong coffee like flavours. Very sweet and alcoholic in taste. However, it is very smooth and drinkable. Definately full bodied and very rich. Overall, a very impressive brew. Very strong in both character and abv. One of my favourites in the style, although I am none too experienced with imperial stouts.

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Photo of jorjoria
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus Chalice.

A: The beer pour a rich slightly transparent dark brown. The carbonation is very light and only about a cm of light brown head formed and the quickly dissipated after pouring. The beers carbonation continued to be released from the bottom of the glass as I consumed.

S: Great light chocolate orders with a hint a alcohol as well as some coffee note. Not all that overpowering.

T: Just an incredibly rich malty flavor hit you right away. There are some great coffee notes to beer particularly in the after taste. I also really enjoy how this beer was hopped its not overpowering and complement the other flavors quit nicely.

M: The creaminess of this beer is amazing. I coat the inside of the mouth with just a wonderful array a flavor and complexity.

Note: This beer is great out of the bottle but was a huge treat when I had it for the first time on tap.

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

Between this and Stone Russian Stout I am now a fan of the this style. The beer pours like black crude. Thick and dark with creamy tan head. Smelling immeditely after opening the bottle I definately get a smell of smoke, chocolate, and malt. The taste is slightly bitter at first but then goes on to sweet smokiness. Hints of smoked almonds and a bit of coco. You can definately taste the alcohol in the background. Moutfeel is not bad at all either. I prefer Stone Russian Stout by just a hair because the Russian Stout has just a tiny but more alcohol bite which I prefer. But don't get me wrong I would drink either happily. The drinkability is a tiny bit better with Old Rasputin but some of that might be because it comes in smaller bottles so its a little more cold then having a 22 of Stone sitting there getting warm.

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

This is a serious stout, that has a lot going for it. It is NOT a one-dimensional bitter bomb like Guinness. Instead, you get hit with a nice combo of sweet, bitter, and tart.

A: Practically pitch black. This looks like a serious hard core stout.

S: Bitter coffee, caramel, toasty

T: Bitter coffee, chocolate, caramel, slight brown sugar, nutty

M: Big, bold body with balanced but moderate carbination.

D: Drinkable one at a time, or perhaps up to 2. A little too big of a beer to drink a lot at once, and the alchohol content approaches weak wines.

Overall, an outstanding stout that is very nicely balanced and multi-dimensional.

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

I would like to start with the label. Pretty darn cool label. A little weird having Mr Rasputin staring at me while I drank his beer. North Coast Brewing Company has put out some nice labels.
a-dark molasses with a nice smoky brown head.
s-a slight alcohol scent, maybe some chocolate with a touch of burnt molasses.
t-good amount of hops, chocolate, touch of alcohol on the finish.
m- creamy but with a good amount of fiz.
d- I only bought one and wish I had bought more. Only MGDs left in the fridge. Oh well, in this economy a $6 six pack of MGDs seem to beat out a $10 four pack of Old Rasputin. I'm glad I can try at least one.

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Photo of seancake
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this at a local grocery, in a 4pk of 12-oz. bottles. Not cheap.

This beer? This is the bad-ass that Rasputin was. It completely lives up to its name. Poisoned, shot multiple times and stuffed down an ice-hole into a freezing river... that's what it took to kill Rasputin, the mad monk.

This sucker pours black as night and thickish, not a lot of carbonation that I could see or taste. Tan rocky head for days, and lasting; some lace. Smells like dark chocolate and coffee and dark roasty malt, strong and black. Black like the pit of Hades that Rasputin probably occupies now...

Taste? This sucker is not hiding the fact that it's strong on the alky. Oh no. No Belgian deception for Rasputin. It's bad and strong and dark.. this is Mike Tyson in a bottle. Chocolate and coffee and the usual stout suspects, only magnified and amped. Only sessionable if you're over 6 feet tall and about 200+ pounds. Otherwise? Do so at your own risk. It'll go down, because it's stoutily-smooth, but BEWARE.

(I did like this, but am in awe of its strength. This is one to respect, for sure. And enjoy, AND bless the beer-gods for.)

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Photo of moz9
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent stout. Poured a 12oz bottle into an English tulip pint. Pours black w a thick brown head. It's not a motor oil pour like w some heavier stouts.

The smell is chocolate w the slightest hint of coffee. Not overly nutty or malty / smoky like other stouts.

The taste and mouthfeel are great. It's fairly light bodied bit yet the finish is warm and memorable. The aftertaste really settles well and is probably the best quality of this beer.

As the bros said in their review this is the perfect chill beer. Very drinkable stout.

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

A - Pours dark as night with a flat-lined half-inch tan head.

S- The first smell is all bittersweet chocolate. The second is of hops, and fresh roasted espresso beans.

T - First sip is chocolate, chocolate, and then more chocolate....giving way to a roasted bitterness followed by a huge hop bite, especially for a Russian Imperial Stout. Second sip is still more bitter, from both hops and roasted malt. It really lingers for a big stout.

M - Huge chewy and silky smooth mouthfeel to start then it thins out as the bitterness kicks in.

D - There's so much going on with each sip that it hides the alcohol very well, and makes it such a drinkable beer. The chocolate makes it such a sweet beer, like a dessert. And the creamy mouthfeel makes it even more inviting. I bet this beer wouldn't be bad on nitro.

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

I have been wanting to try this one for quite some time, and I recently received a bottle from a friend. So lets jump right into this one.

Look: Opaque black body with a creamy coffee head with good retention and lacing. Simply beautiful

Smell: Immediately gives off the scents of rich medium roasted coffee/coffee ice cream, rich dark chocolate, toasted wheat and bread, roasted nuts, oak, vanilla, and a very slight hint of red wine. Marvelous aroma.

Taste: WOW, the first thing I get is Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. Although its pretty obvious, coffee is the dominating flavor in this brew, but the coffee does allow the flavors of dark chocolate, charred oak, vanilla, toasted bread and nuts to seep into the taste. Its big and malty up front with the perfect amount of hop bitterness at the finish and a nice amount of warmth form the alcohol, and gives off a slight flavor of red wine and orange rinds. Simply Delicious

Mouthfeel: Its thick, smooth, has the perfect on tongue sensation/level of carbonation, and is warm going down. It feels wonderful going down.

Drinkability: Too drinkable, I would have No Problem having a 4 pack of these all in one night. The flavor, texture, and consistency of this stout are downright incredible.

This is without a doubt, one of if not the best stout(s) I've ever had.

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Photo of abeerwiseguy
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another top brew from North Coast Brewery at Fort Bragg, CA. Label listed 9% ABV.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint bar glass it was midnight black with 2 fingers of brown dense foam that left thick lacing as it dissipated.

Very noticeable aromas of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee beans greet the nose.

Tastes of coffee, chocolate, and some slight sweetness that hinted of dark fruit like prunes.

This beer was very viscous and has one of the most lingering marvelous flavor profiles I have had with a stout. Very flavorful and intense, I was tasting the flavors for several minutes after each sip. I must get more. So much beer...so little time.

Kudos to North Coast.

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Photo of JeanPaulValley
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very excited to finally try this beer. I've only within the last year really started drinking great beers, and have become quite a stout-head. This was a huge WANT for me, and finally found it at a beer deli last night.

A- Motor oil black. Poured from a bottle, left a lot of tan head that was thick and slow to dissipate. A ton of intricate lacing left on the glass

S-Strong coffee and roasted malt, with a backing of chocolate and alcohol. Everything an Imperial Stout should smell like.

T- Very strong coffee and chocolate, segwaying into a bite of hops and alcohol. The alcohol taste isn't boozy, but well balanced and leaves a nice warming sensation.

M- Almost milkshake thick. The warming alcohol gives a very pleasant mouthfeel.

Overall- Rarely does a beer live up to its hype, but Old Rasputin totally did for me. My only regret is that I wasn't able to have it on tap for my first time, as I'm sure that would only amplify the already awesome quality of this beer. Very highly recommend.

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

Appearance: Licorice with a vanilla/beige head.

Aroma: Bold notes of roasted coffee and malt, with not-too-subtle hints of dark chocolate.

Flavor: Much like the aroma, but stronger; deep-roasted with a subtle (strange, because there was a stronger presence in the aroma) dark chocolate aftertaste which slowly changes to hints of dark smoked grains. In truth, I was not expecting it to dissipate so quickly - the aftertaste of dark smoked grains quickly became somewhat...'off'; I was hoping for the chocolate/malt notes to really come forward after letting it rest on my palate, but instead, it became somewhat bitter - not what I would expect from any Imperial Stout.

Mouthfeel: Fairly moderate carbonation - smooth, full-bodied, but somewhat dry after a while.

Overall: This was my first from North Coast Brewing, and a good choice to get my 'foot in the door'. To any die-hard fans of Imperial Stouts: make this a staple in your collection. Personally, I may need to revisit this one after a while because while it is good, I was not entirely impressed - particularly in terms of flavor/mouthfeel. But as stated above, if you love Imperial Stouts: get it and enjoy!

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed on tap after a fine meal...

Appearance--All that one would look for. Black as night--check. Pleasing tan head--check. Persistent sticky lacing--check.

Smell--Wonderfully complex--smoke, chocolate, and alcohol notes all very pronounced and providing a pleasing warning shot for the faint of heart.

Taste--Perhaps more aggressive than I generally like in this style, so the rating here (4.5) is a compromise--My "personal" meter wanted to render a "4" but because this is an unapologetic Russian Stout, I "averaged" that with the "5" it might garner from someone that isn't quite the wimp I am. Strong burnt sugar, coffee, chocolate, and vanilla notes, with a creaminess that gradually increases as it comes closer to room temperature. Very little "hop" balance, but that's fine, because the "booziness" and carbonation carry the day.

Feel--Big, chewy, and creamy. A perfect sipping beer. I would have said "perfect" on the score if it had just a tad more dryness on the finish.

Overall--Nothing much to say in summary other than, this is one of the finest imperial stouts I've tasted--even if it's a tad more aggressive than what I normally enjoy. For the style--a paragon.

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Photo of StuFox
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not as thick as it looks. That being said, damn, this tastes good. Not quite the flavor level of the Founders' or Sammy Smith's Imperial Stouts, but delicious none the less. It has a bitternes and smokey character that few other beers have. Less solid of a body as those beers too. That, of course, still makes it thicker than carro syrup, but hey, let's keep this beer fighting against brews of the same weight class. Everyone should try this once, it's a good time.

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

Wow, Old Rasputin greets you himself with a hand raised high (some sort of signal to those in the know), unyielding eyes and a few words left not understood. The brew on the other hand I understand as a great imperial stout. I didn't expect it.

The pour was an espresso color (oils and all) with a short lived, short head much like the tail of an espresso pour. What lace remained was like a milk mustache -- just there. The nose collected in greatness - semi-sweet chocolate mocha...thank you roasted malts. For such a dark, light filtering beverage the carbonation went throughout. The mouth was soft, round, full.

I pause to let the temperature come down a bit - to allow for all to come through and called zatte bie who was walking the Haight /Ashbury scene, filling my senses in another way.

The time warp was a wonderful excursion. Old Rasputin exceeds itself. The nose softens, the taste broadens and the sharp and/or high tones balance. All became bigger yet softened. What was initially a hoppy finish with a high squeal followed by a dry note with a metal element transformed. I found Rasputin to be balanced from nose to finish. The appropriate temp made for a most boastful review. This was a good brew.

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Photo of blackthistle
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin has a wonderful, thick, brown head and a rich, deep, black color. It has a strong, thick and creamy malt flavor that is both sweet and bitter, with a mild roasted/burnt aftertaste and a roasty aroma. This imperial stout has a full-bodied consistency with an alcoholic warmth that will bring a smile to your face and a nice warm glow to your cheeks on a cold winter night. It finishes with a big hop bitterness that lingers. Brussels lace stays on the sides of the glass right to the bottom. Old Rasputin is an excellent example of the imperial stout style.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a brandy snifter.

Jet black, used motor oil color with an average sized cream colored head. Lacing is solid.

Smell is malty; very roasted chocolately smell. I think I will have to let the beer warm some more before I can pick anything else out.

Taste is almost immediately coffee, with chocolate following, finished by an almost (raisin?) rum like followthrough. Alcohol warms in the finish. Very clean tasting beer but with lots of flavor. Hop bitterness is present but not in the fore; malt is the leading character in this play.

Medium to high carbonation and jam packed with flavor give the feeling of drinking a meal. Very full-bodied beer. The 9%abv is definately noticeable.

I will be drinking this again. Now I can say that I understand the hype surrounding this beer!

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Photo of latercol
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure why I waited so long to review this. This is a good beer that I have regularly.

Looks- it is basically black with a tan head and good lacing.

Smell- Cofee and chocolate.

Taste. more coffee and chocolate gets better as it warms.

Mouth feel - smooth and rich feel. Very good.

Drimkibility. this one takes a while. It is a good one to have after dinner and savor it for a while. it relaxes me... Might have something to do with the alcohol content:) Overall a great beer at a great price.

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Photo of jmacdaddy2008
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought a single of this beer earlier tonight. This was one of the first beers for me when I converted from cheap beer.

Color- dark brown

Head-thick,tan two finger foam/ the residue left on side of glass suggests a thicker consistency

Aroma-a little floral pretty complex almost a woodsy smell

Taste-oaky or bourbon flavor/some hints of coffee heavy bitterness in the end and alcohol taste was present.

After trying many other russian imperial stouts I would have to say this one is worthy of an occassional buy, but doesn't stand out among the elites.

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Photo of Whadawookie
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my all-time favorites. Poured into a pint glass, I had no trouble making a ridiculous perfectly foamy tan head that sat upon the black sea of liquid. Lacing is great and you have a sudsy film floating around the whole time your drinking, which might not be as long as you might expect with a strong brew like this. It has a very strong, roasted character. It smells almost woodsy or yeasty. There is coffee in there somewhere, perhaps even espresso? It has a decent hop bite too. Alcohol is present but not overwhelming for me. Definitely a sipper, it's just overwhelming with flavor and so damn heavy. It really stays on the tongue too. By far my favorite I've had by this brewery. I am going to try my hand at brewing a clone of this later this week. Looking at the grain bill, I can see why it is such an intense beer.

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Photo of cruzmissile72
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this at Cask Republic in New Haven, CT on tap into a snifter.

It arrived as a lovely dark color with a nice tan head that lasted throughout. Nice lacing. Nice bitterness balanced well by the creaminess and a pronounced alcohol bite at the finish. This was my first time drinking this--hopefully many more to come. Definitely a sipper at 9% alcohol.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 11,955 ratings.
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