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: 12,129
Photo of spursfaninla
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First, I had this in a bottle (of course,) so I am rating it as that, not comparing it to a draft beer.

Local liquor store stocks these in four packs, so glad.

This is an exceptional beer. Great flavors, no weaknesses. Best all-around stout I have had. competes with my other favorite widely available stout maker, Samuel Smith.

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Photo of Xamonline
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle, Purchased in Chicago, served in a 20oz Becker Glass

L: black motor oil with thick, dirty brown head that laces beautifully as it dissipates

S: hops then chocolate

T: so much going on yet so composed; smooth / effervescent / chocolate / bitter

M: medium body and surprisingly effervescent

O: complex with many of the great qualities of a russian imperial without the weight and thickness. one of the most sessionable of this variety i've had

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Photo of HipCzech
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 12 oz bottle ("11082016") poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter glass.

Appearance: Inky black with fringes of dark brown. Builds a nice head of khaki foam that slowly recedes to streaky lace

Smell: Deeply roasted grains, light woodsmoke and emerging alcohol as it warms.

Taste: Complex malt body with layers of roasted and burnt grains, espresso and some bittersweet chocolate in the close. A healthy dose of earthy, bitter, herbal hops keeps any sweetness in check.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and smooth with just enough carbonation.

Overall: Big, bold and complex; definitely lives up to its reputation as a classic RIS.

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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 Hereforbeer92
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Weird to say that this is my "go to" imperial Stout. But it's widely available and still maintains a very high quality. Happy to introduce friends to imperial stouts using this beer. not the most rare or complicated stout out there, but for what it is, it's nearly perfect. Quality imperial Stout with a good AbV at an unbeatable price. Drink it all year round!

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Photo of andrewh995
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark chocolate, roasted barely, smokiness, and coffee. Beautiful to look at, and incredibly enjoyable to drink. Definitely not a place to start you dark beer journey though, that is for sure. This beer is stout.

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Photo of DallasK
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ah dear old friend Rasputin, a go to value beer. Pitch black with a wispy ring for a head. Smells of bakers chocolate and roasty sweetness. Taste follows, roasty sweetness, bakers chocolate, prunes/mollasses? A little more hop presence and carbonation than many popular stouts. Solid easy to find offering leaving me wondering why I pay so much for more hard to find beers.

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Photo of Ahypercube
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Old Rasputin is an old favorite. Time for a review! Into a goblet...

L: Looks like expresso; super dark, but not too thick or syrupy. Tons of very fine, frothy head that acquires multiple colors, ranging from khaki to cappuccino. Great retention: the lacing formed a nice flat ring around the top of the glass with dripping tendrils.

S: Smoke is immediately apparent, quickly turning into dark roast coffee and gaining sweeter notes of raisin, plumb, and molasses, finishing in a tart blackberry. Favorite scent profile I've found in a stout. Love that dark fruit. Could do with even more.

T: Upon first sip, again smoke is immediately apparent, but the fruit takes over from there with definite plum and blackberry (molasses and vanilla also make a short cameo). Unfortunately, the fruit is quickly demolished by strong expresso notes, which become increasingly dry and salty, until ending in a salty, bitter dark chocolate. Definitely a tasty finish, I just wish the middle of the palate were slightly longer.

F: Not as thick or creamy as a typical stout, but this beer is not very sweet, which is preferable to me. Perhaps this is a necessary trade-off?

O: A fantastic stout. And the only good and affordable one that's widely available (at least in California).

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Photo of TerryMills
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pretty good stout ,poured jet black with 1 finger light cream head.

I enjoyed it but for my taste it's not world class , too thin ,too bitter and doesn't hide the booze at all.

Would drink it again but there are several ris I would go to first...

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Photo of Ruger_44-Redhawk
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a go to RIS that I've enjoyed for years. The smell doesn't really give off much but the taste is where it's at. This is a benchmark for the style. Thick and rich with the ABV pretty well hidden. Taste of.....this one confuses me. It's damn good, I just can't break down the flavors. Anyhow, I always have a couple of these in the back of the fridge just in case.

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Photo of jrsqc7
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Perfectly opaque chocolate body with medium dark khaki head slowly dissipates leaving ample legs of lacing.

Taste is dark chocolate and medium roast coffee. I dunno why people are saying this tastes like espresso, the coffee flavor has that light lemon tinge I associate with medium roasts. There is plentiful hop flavor as well, however the dominant malts leave it as a sort of herbal miscellany. Unlike most imperial stouts which become sweeter as they warm, this one - due to the hops- the herbal essences become more apparent. This makes it whilst warm something like a black IPA. Mouthfeel doesn't make itself known, which is to say it's perfect.

Overall pretty good. It's a style I'm partial to as well.

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Photo of Hallu
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great classic imperial stout. I love because it's drier than most American stouts. Usually, you get the coffe/chocolate stouts on the sweet side, or a coffee/tobacco/dark fruit stout on the boozy side. But this one has a taste and finish closer to a dry stout, which is great. Like a dry stout, it's not thick either. The nose is heavy on the coffee and dark fruits: prunes and dark grapes. A bit of cacao bitterness, but no real chocolate there. The finish is very long, roasted malt and coffee, very nice. No nuttiness at all, it's actually quite agressive, that's where you can feel its American side as opposed to English stouts. Usually a heavy stout doesn't go well with a sweet dessert, but this would definitely work because of its dryness.

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Photo of vladdswrath
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Color is dark, dark coffee with a nice, big, creamy, beige head that cascades bubbles as you pour and laces like a boss when it's done. Aroma is chocolate, a hint of raisins, coffee, and booze. Taste follows, but the bitter roasted coffee is more forward and the sweetness is less pronounced, although it balances nicely. Lots of alcohol burn but not unpleasant, I think it's what makes this such a good wintertime sipper. Mouthfeel is somehow thin and creamy all at the same time, with lots of carbonation and tongue numbing warmth making it a very fun drink. I wouldn't want this every day, but sipping this thing as I watch the snow coming down feels just about perfect.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle,into a Cigar City snifter.

Creamy,1 finger,khaki colored head.Jet black in color with no light coming through the glass.Hard to tell if there is any carbonation.

On the nose I get alot of toffee,caramel,some chocolate and coffee.Also getting dark roasted malts,and dark fruits.

The palate follows the nose with lots of toffee,caramel,chocolate,coffee,and dark roasted malts.Tiny bit of alcohol in the finish.Also getting hints of dark fruits in the palate.

Medium / heavy body,with a dry finish,slight alcohol warming as well.

This is a very good IRS....definitely a go to.

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Photo of Benjolovesbeer
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color is pitch black like a cold espresso, small bubbly head that soon vanishes. Body is thick like a stout should be.
Aroma is malts, chocolate, and coffee.
Taste is chocolatey, malty, nutty, and coffee but carries a slight nasty metallic taste so it's missing something in its flavor. Not the best stout but do like the fact it's a 9.0 abv but probably won't but again.

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Photo of Ghrymm
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Well there are 3.665 reviews of this one so what can i really say? I guess if you see it buy it. a wonderful Stout. I bought a 4 pack and i am heading out to buy more.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with very nice tan head and lacing. Smells of burnt malt, coffee, and some roasted nuts. Taste is very nice, good blend of coffee, expresso, nuts and malt with a little alcohol bite. Finish is clean, little coffee notes linger with a sugary malt taste. Overall this is a nice beer, not too bad a bite and great mix of flavors.

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Photo of RozzieBoy
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - Deep black body with a thick, deep coffee colored head. Good retention on the head/ lacing.
S - Coffee and roasty, but just right.
F - Was lighter on the palate than I anticipated from the thick pour, which I liked. Real nice mouthfeel and after taste.
T - Coffee and chocolate with a roasty taste. Wow!
O - Really good beer! It kept getting better and better as I drank it.

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Photo of NateDyk47
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bought a single 12oz bottle, drank from a snifter.

Look: pours a black color with a couple fingers tan head, dissipating quickly into a thin lacing
Smell: roasted malt, chocolate, roasted espresso
Taste: similar to the smell, creamier than I had expected. Delicious dark chocolate aftertaste.
Feel: very smooth, easy to drink. Full bodied & moderately carbonated.

Overall: just an incredible stout. Will definitely seek this beer out again.

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Photo of ABabbidge
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

L: Black body that lets no light through. Big, cream tan head.

S: Roasted malt and dark fruit. Chocolate sweetness that I could smell before even finished pouring the glass.

T: Roasted, almost burnt like malt flavor and espresso predominate. Chocolate is present in the finish giving it a sweet finish.

F: Smooth, but full bodied. Lingering slightly bitter dark chocolate after taste.

O: The beer started my appreciation for imperial stouts years ago. It was the first one I ever tried, and still one of the best I have ever had.

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Photo of Holderness
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L -- Jet black with a thick, tan head. Significant lacing
S -- Boozy roasted malts, barley, coffee, brown sugar, raisins, peaches, and jackfruit
T -- Dark roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, burnt sugar, almonds, and all the stone fruits
F -- Heavy, potent, flavorful
O -- A worthy classic

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Photo of Caveworm
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co. Poured from the bottle into a snifter, the head on this brew is three fingers thick medium brown, and finely bubbled , with solid lacing, and a body dark as night.

I smell generous booze amidst a very nicely brewed stout. You get the conventional notes of dark chocolate, black coffee, raisins, aromatic pipe tobacco, all with a nice-sized smack of dark rum IMO.

Tastes like a deviantly smooth, yet rich version of the aroma. The booze note sits really fantastically with the coffee&chocolate elements of the stout. Adequate warmth from the 9%, but not sharp or harsh;nice and mellow/inviting.

The mouthfeel is thick and slightly chewy with fair carbonation. This alcohol warmth is really welcome on this frigid night, I may add.

Overall, I'll rate Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co. with a well-eared 4.75. It's odd to me that I'm just now reviewing this, as it is one of the very first "big" beers I've ever had at the very start of my "craft journey", so I'd just figured this whole time that it was reviewed by yours truly long ago. Nevertheless, you all know to grab this, 'Nuff said!

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Photo of Skillron
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is my beer. I have had it aged and is my go to when i want something for after dinner or on a cold evening in winter.

Dark and thick it is not a beer that you would chug but savor. Chocolate and rasin overtones add to the deliciousness of it.

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Photo of Vader444
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle pour into tulip.

Big, black, bold, heady and generally quite lovely. Alcohol is quite obvious, as I think it should be with this style. I really like this. Only negatives are that it might be a bit over-carbonated? Great beer for the price but doesn't quite match up to my benchmark that is Founders Imperial Stout. Close though. Cheers!

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Photo of kitschiguy
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured vigorously producing a big fluffy beige head which lingered and left lots of lacing.

Lots of chocolate and coffee on the nose - very nice.

Palate is big with lots of chocolate, coffee and a slight wine note. Finish is long with an assertive bitterness and more chocolate - very nice. Mouth is great.e

Overall a very good beer - I struggled to finish a whole bottle due to the typical bitterness in American but good none-the-less. Highly recommended.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,129 ratings.
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