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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,634 Reviews
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,634
Ratings:
11,856
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.28%
 
 
Wants:
566
Gots:
2,804
For Trade:
56
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,634 | Ratings: 11,856
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz from the Coop for about $2.25.. shared with Steven.. mine in the New Belgium tulip.

First off, wow.. very pretty lacing.. looks like a leopard skin except in reverse... brew is expected very dark brown/black.

Dark roasted malt with abundant chocolate and espresso.. citrus hops as it warms with alcohol and yeasty fruitiness.

Flavor is a very appealing mash-up of bittersweet chocolate.. French roast and dark malts.. hop bitterness plays well with the bitter grains.. and the hop profile makes me glad I'm an American.. in the middle, the citrus hops mix very well. Fantastic body and carbonation... Simply huge across the board.. everything about Rasputin is big.. fantastically tasty..

Old Rasputin is a great goto Impy Stout and a great value.. everything one would want from a West coast RIS.. I have some in the cellar just to see how they age, but this brew is great fresh... no doubt one of my favorites.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Guinness pint glass

Appearance: Pours like black motor oil, smooth and viscous, has slight caramel colored head which remains throughout drinking

Smell: smells of roasted coffee, perhaps caramel, and slight alcohol aroma

Taste: tastes of roasted goodness, coffee flavor apparent throughout, rich, alcohol present on the backend

Mouthfeel: very smooth and creamy

Drinkability: very drinkable Russian Imperial Stout, the only knock could be that the alcohol is present on the backend, otherwise it's flawless

I'd greatly recommend this beer to all

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

10 month old cellared bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Dark chocolate, mahogany color that seems relatively clear despite the darkness. Dark brown still, thick head that has great retention and slowly receding streaks of brown lacing.
S: Sharp, slightly medicinal bitter chocolate aroma with light coffee and strong hop aroma.
T: Rich, bitter coffee and chocolate flavors with a heavy helping of dark fruits (plum, etc). Strong hop flavor still persists in the finish. A dry, sweeter chocolaty flavor persists long into the finish.
M: Full, lightly carbonated body, fills the mouth and is very light and smooth.
D: Exceptional, no hint of alcohol anywhere in this beer. One of my favorite RISs, especially at price and availability. Comparable to Storm King, but I think I prefer this.

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

12 oz. bottle, #50 review.

A: Dark opaque black, with tan head, good retention. The bottle has a picture of that psychotic Russian mystic that helped put an end to Nicholas II's reign.

S: Robust, smells of heavily roasted malts/French roast coffee, dark chocolate, soy sauce, fig, raisin, a bit of citric hops, but it is faint.

T: Not as thick and robust as I would have thought. Tastes of roasted malts predominately, with good amounts of coffee and chocolate. A little to burnt for my tastes, but this is a minor technicality.

M: Smooth, rich, creamy, this is how an RIS should feel. Not overbearing, but the perfect balance of robustness and smooth dessert like feel.

D: A delicious tasty brew, worth its accolades. Not that expensive in this neck of the woods, and its even available at my local Vons. A classic brew, that is a good choice for RIS fans low on cash and looking for a thick warming dessert-type beer. Would think this would be the perfect complement to rich chocolate cake.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.6/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 fl oz bottle, poured into a Westmalle chalice.

Coal black in colour, with a thin covering of a tanned head, this turned into a couple of wisps and half a collar before very long.

The aromas and taste were very simular, dark chocolate and burnt malts, some raisins and Victoria plums were detected in the taste however, which gave it a less agressive flavour.

The body was rich and heavy, which hid the alcohol very well.

Easy to drink and interesting, not a style I have on a regular basis, but most enjoyable.

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Photo of Zorro
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a super black brew, a 500-watt bulb shows that this is clear with reddish highlights. If you have a 500 watt bulb or a Laser.

Smells sweet and malty, lots of flowery perfume too. I also smell chocolate, coffee and fruit.

Nice tastes of chocolate, and coffee. Sweeter flavors too like prunes, Nice but not quite what the Samuel Smith's version is.

Mouthfeel is very good.

Drinkable for what it is, a Beer H-bomb.

 429 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pitch black with hazelnut lining; my glass has become the sight of one big oil spill. The complexion is utterly unyielding - even when held directly into the light the beer refuses any highlights or transparency. This defines the word 'opaque'. The rustic toned carbonation seems selective about which parts of the top it chooses to amplify. Nevertheless, it's fairly thorough and leaves a coating of lacing that sticks like drying cement.

The nose is everything you'd ask for in an Imperial Stout (chocolate, espresso, heavy roast, molasses, black licorice) plus an extremely generous inclusion of hops. We're talking West Coast style hops - lively, spicy, tangy, fruity, acidic, green, fresh from the vine hops. Although they do interfere a little with all the dark chocolate and roast malt decadence, they also provide a level of sumptuousness of their own. This smell is divine.

Each sip is like drinking liquefied dark chocolate. Well, it's not that simple actually. It's like drinking liquefied dark chocolate that has been infused with a strong, heavy roast espresso and a farm's worth of macerated hop cones. There's a big spoonful of dark caramel, a layer of crunchy toffee crust and nibs of black licorice. Bittersweet notes resonate with increasing intensity on the finish. Surely if there is an ideal tasting Imperial Stout this must be it.

Words like "smooth" and "delicious" have been so overused in reviews that they've lost much of their meaning. That said, a beer like Old Rasputin comes along and there's no better, more appropriate adjectives to describe it. It not only rejuvenates these words, it might even redefine them. The flavours are luscious, the body is full, the textures vivid and the alcohol never to be seen. This whole thing just feels like a warm (decadently rich) blanket.

They may not all be easy to get your hands on, but there is no shortage of great Imperial Stouts. The bar for this style is set ridiculously high, arguably much higher than most other styles. Although Old Rasputin may no longer be recognized as one of the top, most decadent RIS it damn well should be. I've had my share of revered, highly sought after Imperial Stouts but I'd still claim this as one of my favourites. And probably always will.

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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.

 698 characters

Photo of tone77
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. No light penetrating through this beer. Smell is of malts and chocolate. Taste is complex, roasted malts, chocolate, a touch of coffee, a little bit of bitterness. Feels creamy in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall a good quality beer.

 321 characters

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

Pours black as night with a dense fine head that is a dark khaki. Really exceptional looking beer.

It has a smell of espresso, dark roasted malt, and bitter hops- really great.

Great long flavor of roasted malt, coffee, followed by a stinging bitterness with a long, long finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy, maybe a little overcarbonated and a little too light in body. The alcohol is very well hidden despite all that.

Very drinkable. I'm a sucker for anything with a long bitter finish and some complexity. If the body were a little heftier, this would be a 5 as well. I've enjoyed this beer for many years in bottles and on tap, and I think its still kickin.

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Photo of John_M
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Max's the other day, where it was every bit as wonderful as it is on tap in Ft. Bragg.

The beer pours a lovely black color with persistent, long lasting head and lacing. This beer looks very impressive. On the nose, I don't know what it is, but I'm not getting a lot. There is a hint of coffee and licorise, but that's really about it. On the palate this is a very impressive beer. The beer is very soft and creamy, with flavors of coffee, vanilla and more licorise. The licorise flavor is actually quite pronounced. The beer finishes pretty well, though you can tell the abv. is up there. This is definitely a very big beer, but on the nitro it's very soft and easy to drink.

A good solid beer from North Coast brewing. Well done.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: impenetrable blackness with a thick foamy head which cascades beautifully as it forms and then begins to settle. A nice lacing is left as it does so.

Smell: oatmeal and milk chocolate with just the subtlest hint of coffee. It's not letting me down.

Taste: alcohol, of course, which to me adds a bit of a fruity character, but at 9% I'd expect nothing less. Deeply roasted malts, again a little coffee; there's a nice bitterness which I quite like juxtaposed with the almost chocolate-stout aroma.

Mouthfeel: thick, creamy ... downright Imperial.

Drinkability: I'd have another right now if it weren't putting me to sleep at this late hour.

I love this beer.

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Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black beer with a fluffy brown head, excellent retention; lace sticks well.

Big roasty aroma with coffee and sweet toffee-like notes. Undercurrent of hoppy bitterness. Hint of anise?

Tasty combination of roasted malt, black coffee, bitter chocolate, fruity sweetness. Again the hops provide a bit of balancing bitterness and traces of booze are noticed underneath, particularly as the beer warms. Faint anise/black licorice note. Big and flavorful.

Medium bodied; perhaps even a little light for the style. Modestly sticky, carbonation on the medium-high side. I might like a bit more chewiness.

An excellent everyday imperial stout. Always affordable and available; perhaps a bit thinner and hoppier than I like this style to be.

 739 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On nitro at Capones...
Appears black with a cascading brown head that sticks around like a creamy, floating top. Tons of typical-of-nitro chunks of lacing are left all around the glass but this is just a marvel to look at.
Smell is of bitter baker's cocoa, coffee, molasses, along with a touch of fruit and bitter citrus hops. Really nice.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a yeasty fruitiness that compliments the dark malts wonderfully. It really comes together well, especially on the nitro-tap...never seen it on nitro before.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy, rich, fulfilling with just the right amount of sweetness, roastiness, and bitters all working together to a finish that is chewy and delightful.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very, very deep and dark black, with just flashes of blood-red hints at the very edges. Head is a solid, crusty cap of coffee-crema brown. Tiny streams of minuscule bubbles float up at the edges. Lacing is exceptional. An excellent looking beer.

Dark, smoky characteristics on the nose. Dusty dark chocolate, roasted grains, barnyard, even a light meaty character. It's not overly powerful, but it is dark and pleasant.

But wow, the taste is where it packs a punch. Light roasted bitterness first up, mellowing to a chocolate-coffee sweetness and a lingering chalky dryness, but still toasty and warm. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden, leaving just that residual heat on the palate. Long and drawn out on the palate, lots of complexity but all on a hearty and solid base. Mouthfeel feels just slightly too light to me, for such a heavy-flavoured beer, I was expecting something a bit smoother and creamier on the feel.

But this is a very tasty, and very robust beer. Lots of character, lots of flavour - too heavy for more than one in a sitting, but worth waiting around for the occasional sip.

 1,113 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a four finger light brown head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Totally black color, no highlights. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Flavor is nearly sweet coffee, with a burnt coffee finish, not bad but not enough beef for a RIS. $2.50 for a 12oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of corby112
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark black color with a thick, frothy coffee/tan head. Aroma dominated by roasted chocolate maltiness and coffee. Very smooth and creamy quaffable beer that masks the high ABV very well. Dark roasted chocolate maltiness throughout with coffee, oatmeal, toffee and burnt toast notes. Excellent.

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Photo of Derek
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Ruby-black, tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Fruity, sherry, slightly solventy.

T: Dark, burnt chocolate, molases, coffee and a little fruit. Balanced to the bitter side, but a nice depth of flavour.

M: Moderate to full body, moderate carbonation, slightly oily.

D: Maybe even a little below average.

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

This put the stout in stout. WOW!!! Very black beer with a nice, dark brown head that left nice lacing on the sides of the glass. Smelled mostly of coffee and dark malts. Taste started with strong coffee with a bit of alcohol, followed by lots of hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. This is a very good, strong, sipping beer. A few of these and you will be wrecked so watch out.

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

Sampled on October 8, 2011. The pour is remarkably black with a decent, silky tan head. The aroma is mildly malted and pleasantly hopped with a bit of licorice and a scent that makes me think of a wooden barrel. The body is medium to bold. The flavor has a mellower than usual malty taste for a Russian Imperial with a vibrant bitter but dry hopped ending. All the good things that people say about this one are true.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a jet black opaque body that has tiny little bubbles rising on the edge of the glass. The tan head that is creamy and smooth so fades into a wisp around the rim.

S- Smells of dark roasted and toasted malts are combined with some notes of raisins, coffee and a faint hint of tar. The finish has a nice green spicy quality perhaps from hops.

T- This beer has a slight sour note in the beginning with deep roasted malt and to toasted malt flavors aswell. The hint of coffee and some caramel notes are also the taste. The finish has a dark malt bitterness combined with some hop bitterness.

M- The mouthfeel is medium-full with some creamy texture to it. The alcohol is smooth and soft with a faint hint of astringency.

D- This is a nice big stoic beer that has lots of dark roasted layers. There is a nice creamy quality that makes it drink like a meal.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Fills a Spielgau tulip with over an inch of dense khaki head over jet black body.

S: Classic roasted malts and coffee, slightly acrid with a hint of alcohol.

T: Coffee and roast, pumpernickel bread

M: Fairly light-bodied compared to the current imperial stout style, much more akin in mouthfeel to a standard stout. Develops a bit more richness as it comes up from refrigerator temperature.

O: Very classic RIS, although it comes across a little over-attenuated these days. Personally I prefer something which leans more in the chocolate direction than the dark-roast coffee direction.

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Photo of akorsak
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle purchased from LiquidSolutions.biz (free advertising for an excellent store).

A: The ale is a deeep black color with softer brown highlights when held to light. The head is small now but was bigger on pour and has laced nicely.

S: The aroma is one of roasted malts and sweet chocolate held together by a strong alcohol presence.

T: The stout has a strong, bold presence taste-wise. The first flavors to hit the tastebuds are roasted malts and alcohol strength. The intensity of the alcohol gives way to a vinous complexity. That complexity gives up hints of chocolate and warming alcohol. My only complaint is that the flavors are not big and bold immediately, they require a bit of time to really shine.

M: The roasted complexity is very pleasing, giving the stout multiple levels of flavor that build well upon each other.

D: The drinkability is limited by the 9.0% abv. The flavors meld well together though, creating a deeply complex ale that is smooth without knocking one out.

 1,012 characters

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

A: Poured a dark opaque coal color with a tightly bound dark beige head that was mostly lasting.

S: a huge fruity aroma starting things out before yielding to dark espresso beans, and bakers chocolate.

T: The flavor was fruity and dark with raspberry like tartness that was backed by a huge palate of dark roasted malt and citrus hopping. There was some charred woodiness, dark coffee beans and some rum raisin as well. The palate was huge, robust and full of complex flavors of dark malt and fruity sweetness leaving a pleasant aftertaste that lingers long after you swallow. At 55 F brings out strong coffee flavor. Great desert beer and one that should be sipped and savored for its huge complexity of dark fruit, coffee, and chocolate providing the standard per style for all others to follow.

M: dark and slightly astingent, bitter, creamy with a full body and thick viscostity.

D: Incredible drinkability, warm, luscious, full bodied and complex warming up to release a whole new layer of flavors and complexity.

 1,025 characters

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

Finally, finally landed a bottle of this at KJ Baarons. Not sure how or why it took me this long, but review #199, lets do it!

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip. Holy cow! A huge three finger dark brown head that faded incredibly slowly resulting in a nice thick blanket. All this atop a dark black pour with a little bit of deep brown at the edges.

S - Really nice roasty malts. Big time roasted, lightly smokey carmel malts with just a hint of vanilla. There are some nice bittersweet chocolate and some good bitter hop qualities along with a strong espresso aroma.The alcohol is present on the nose though.

T - Very much like the nose. This stuff is so good. Lots of that roasty malts with a lil vanilla quality. Lots of coffee flavours (including the bitterness) along with some chocolate. Quite bitter aftertaste.

M - Quite creamy and smooth even though there is some good carbonation here. Rather surprising.

D - Wow, this is a stellar stout. Everything works so well with another. The ABV is hidden big time thanks to the coffee qualities of this stout. Very tasty.

 1,074 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,634 ratings.
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