Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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3,654 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: 3,654 | Ratings: 11,951
Photo of hopluva1
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter @ 50*

A 2 finger tan head hangs around on a black beer, looks great!
Aroma is intense roasted barley,maybe some coffee, with some resin from hops. The flavor is big roasted malt, alcohol, and hop bitterness. This is a big beer, everything about it is big. In my opinion it is heavy on the roasted barley and needs a little balance.The aroma and flavor are roasted barley, with hop bitterness, both of which are a little harsh.

This beer was meant for aging. It is waiting for its journey across the pond to mellow, like a true Russian imperial Stout.

Age it and it will be great!

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Photo of crayphish
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Russian Imperial Stout pours a midnight black, nice dark khaki head. Decent lacing. Smell is strong roasted malts and coffee. Alcohol and hops in there as well. Some sweet chocolate. Taste is the roasted malts and chocolate. Some alcohol here as well. Good balance between the sweet and bitter.Mouthfeel starts full and finishes fairly dry. Very enjoyable. An extremely drinkable stout.

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

Got as an extra in trade with Ben4881, thanks man!!
12oz to standard pint, pours black as night opaque, foamy tan head retains nicely - very nice looking

smells of bitter roasty malts, alcohol heat, light hops in the back

taste is roasty bitter malts, hot alcohol in the front, tobacco, dark fruit, creamy yet thin, chocolate, smoke, earthy, coffee, nicely balanced, very drinkable for a high abv

mouthfeel is thinner than most RIS, but makes up for it with the abundance of flavors, bitter, roasty and creamy with hot alcohol and hop finish, a very nice RIS :D

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Photo of boblinneman
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark dark dark brown, not black. Roasted alcoholic nose. Roasted malt flavor followed by a strong alcohol and hop bite. A very good imperial, true to the form. Storm King still is King of the Imperials.

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

Pours a near black with a dark tan rocky head that leaves sheets of lacing down the glass. The lace is thick and vinuous and slowly creeps down the glass. Quite nice.

The smell is of alcohol and fruit.

Flavor is of heavily roasted malts and apples. Alcohol plays into this beer rather well, and the hop bitterness brings it all together. For an imperial stout I think this one may be a bit sweet. Still quite good, mind you.

Near syrupy mouthfeel with large bubbles, big beer for sure. Pleasing to drink, and for a 9% beer it wasn't too much effort to finish a bottle.

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

Reviewed from notes 1/14/2011

A: coffee, hint of alcohol, malts

Ap: black, with a 2 finger mocha colored head, nice lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, slight bite/crispness

Af: coffee, slight alcohol burn, roasted malts

O: well balanced, true to the style


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Photo of doughanson78
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an edit of my original review as I've tried others and developed a taste I wanted to give this another shot.

My first Russian Imperial Stout. 12oz. bottle poured into a 16oz. Snifter.

A: Pitch black. HUGE fluffy 3 finger head. Light brown in color. Beautiful lacing. Head dissipates super slowly.

S: Very dark chocolate. Roasted malts. Faint bitter hops. Faint hints of coffee.

T: Bitter chocolate and coffee up front. Nicely roasted. Light alcohol warming throughout. Very light sweetness.

M: Full-bodied. Fairly creamy. Alcohol warming but not bad.

O: A very good Russian Imperial. If your not into the sweet chocolate IS's than this is definitely up your alley. Original post: (I was pretty disappointed with this beer. Maybe I just don't have the taste for Imperial Stouts yet. Loved the one Oatmeal Stout I tried. Got a Great Divide Yeti I'm gonna give a shot. Maybe I'll develop a taste for it.)

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Photo of pbr85
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jet black witha two inch tan head. Head stays around for a while but there is little to no lacing.

Smell: Smell is dominated by chocolatey malts with alcohol scents in the background.

Taste: Roasty, toasty, burnt breads that lingers in the mouth with a sweet, fruity flavor mixed in.

Mouthfeel: Not as thick as I was expecting, or as carbonated, but it goes down smooth.

Drinkability: A pretty good stout, one that I would buy again but probably not on a regular basis. I could probably drink a few of these in a night.

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

Appearance: Pours nearly opaque with a sizeable brown head that is reluctant to abate. Lacing remains through the testing.
Smell: Roasted malt aroma, some chocolate and coffee in the nose.
Taste: Surge of bitter dark chocolate and espresso predominate. Bitterness lasts through the tasting, but does not take away from the experience. Finishes clean.
Mouthfeel: Creamy mouthfeel. Not slick.
Drinkability: A great change-of-pace for this DIPA fan. Not a great session beer- better served as a sipper.

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Photo of Dlish
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Solid black, light large tan head, solid head retention to.

S- Solid roast malt, hints of coffee a bit of toffee.

T- Big heavy roasted malts, that is about it actually. Big thick chewy coffee. A hint of marshmallow. I'm kind of a little disappointed, I mean its a good Imperial stout but there is no pazas. I guess I expect more from my Imperial stout.

M- Chewy, robust, not syrupy which is a solid plus.

O- Its probably one of the best 7.99 4 packs of imperial stout you can get. Really My rating should be a little higher, I just remember this being a little taster before.

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

A: pitch black with a big creamy/fluffy coffee hued head. i can see carbonation sitting on the bottom with fine bubbles rising on the sides.

S: vanilla, toffee, chocolate, and french roast.

T: rich and hearty. slightly metallic. black cherries. bitter, acidic roasted coffee. im sure some cellaring would assist in both the metallic and acidic components.

M: nice and mild. well-suited for the style.

D: overall a very good RIS that is pretty easy to find at most bottle shops. ive read that this is a good one to put away for some time and it will really enhance some nuances in the flavor so get some and do just that, i know i will.

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

Had to re-review this, unsure of my previous review.

Pours out deep, dark brown and sits the same in the glass, only showing a tinge of crimson on the sides. Fluffy tan head stands atop with very nice lacings on the sides.

Smells of cinnamon, deeply roasted malts with that tinge of alcohol deep inside your nose. You sort of know what's coming your way... Cocoa, caramel and brown sugar linger about.

Tastes of chocolate, caramel and a light sour/acidicness. Nice, rounded flavors of roasted malts. Alcohol presents itself as a major player and comes through the dark roasted grains. Finished bitter with malty sweetness continuing on after swallowing.

Quite smooth in the mouth. Rich and easy to handle carbonation. Big, full-body.

A nightcap all the way to bed.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There is one happy snifter glass, cozying up around the big creamy, coffee head. The rest of the glass is jet black, while thick patches of lace cling to the walls of the glass.

The roasted malts dominate, with an accompaniment of caramel and sweet molasses. But what is this, hints of spruce is suspect.

The bitterness, is rather surprising here. Some acidity is present, with roasted espresso and unsweetened chocolate. A strong alcohol finish helps clear the palate.

Yeah, this one is full bodied, and chewy. Very impressive.

Find a place in the rotation for this one. It lives up to the mysterious nature of it's namesake. Perhaps best with a sirloin, or a strong flavored roast.

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Photo of AnPiobaire
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a 4 pack of Old Rasputin not knowing anything about it at the time. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Upon first pouring it into the glass it pours a nice rich opaque brown/black, with a nice head that slowly recedes and some moderate lacing.

The nose is a mixture of roasted malt, chocolate, raisin, and some hoppy bitterness.

The taste is roasted malts quickly followed by a hoppy bitter finish. This brew is lighter then the color and pour would lead on and had much more carbonation then I anticipate in a Russian Imperial Stout, but that did not stop this brew from delighting the taste buds.

I would certainly be into this again and would definately love to get a hold of it in a growler from a nitro tap. This isn't in my top 5 of Imperial Stouts but it is a very nice selection for those of you wanting an enjoyable beer. Enjoy!!!

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Photo of takemetothelion
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last beer I'm trying of the night as a gift from my brother, Picked up at bootleggers. Im a fan of the high alcohol content and a stout is the perfect thing to send me into bliss, so I'll our it into a tulip and rock out.

A- One finger head rises to the top. It's literally as black as black can get. No visible carbonation. Good lacing.

S- not that strong of a nose. Though chocolate and yeast are popping pretty strongly. The chocolate is actually like a strong potent "pure cocoa". Definitely a lot of alcohol coming through.

T- Dry, malt chocolate, alcohol is hidden fairly well, but it really blends nicely with the overall taste. Kind of a bitter dark cocoa. Loving this one. This one is definitely warming me up. Not a creamy stout but it works.

MF- Like I said not very creamy, yet still full and flat with not much carbonation. Let's you really taste that cocoa, the definite highlight of the drink.

Overall, this stout is really deserving of the high ratings it got, world class for sure.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with three inches of tan head that leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is roasted malt. I get some burnt popcorn, cocoa, and black coffee.

I taste roasted malt flavors of burnt popcorn and black coffee in the finish.

Full mouthfeel

It is nice to have a well done stout. I have had so many bourbon barrel or coffee or chocolate et cetera that I almost forgot how good a simple RIS can be. And I can't believe I have not reviewed this in the seven years that I have been on BA.

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Photo of PatrickJR
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into oversized snifter. I wasn't too impressed with the flavor directly out of the fridge, so I let this warm up to just under room temperature.

A - Completely opaque black. Even in the snifter, about a finger of brown head forms with pretty decent retention considering the high ABV. Lots of lace.

S - Overripe dark fruits with a hint of caramel. Deep chocolate aromas as well accented by smoke and wood. A whiff of alcohol hits with a suggestion of floral and earthy hops. There was actually a much less pronounced malt presence and a much stronger hop aroma while the brew was refrigerator temperature.

T - The caramel and chocolate wash over the palate at first with an undertone of fruit. Smoke/wood hits briefly, and then a wallop of rum-like alcohol takes hold, leading to a very earthy hop finish. The burnt flavor of the roasted malt along with the hops make for an intensely bitter finish.

M - Full to medium bodied, with moderate to low carbonation.

D - This is a big, intense brew, one certainly being enough. Finishing the glass might be a chore, though the flavors are very much in harmony with each other.

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Photo of HosP
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you Scottfrie for extra!

A- Poured black with a small tan head that left rather quickly.

S- Good aroma of chocolate and coffee with roasted malts.

T- Nice smooth taste of malts. Chocolate up front with slight hints of citrus hops. Mocha finish towards the end. Very nice flavor.

M- Full body with little carbonation. Very smooth drink that hides the alcohol.

D- Very solid RIS. Good flavor but nothing overpowering. Could drink a few of these easily.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very nice example of an American RIS, with the bitterness/hop level ramped up a good bit.

Pours an engine oil black in color, totally opaque in my pint glass with a brown head that fizzled down into a thin swirl atop the pint. Lots of sticky lacing. Nose is very, very, nice, nutty and fruity with lots of coffee and cocoa character, complex and multi-layered. Taste is very good as well, initially reminds me of chocolate covered raisins, but quickly overtook by a milk chocolate tone and a strong roasted coffee flavor. Mouthfeel is heavy, very full bodied and complex. Drinkability is quite high as it warms and the bittnerness recedes, at cooler temps there is a definate unbalance, but at proper temps it's marvelous. Overall a bit too overdone with the hop presence, in my humble opinion it's just not necessary or warranted.


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Photo of x63x77
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown, very opaque. Nice rich creamy brown head from the nitro-tap, fine lacing all the way to the end of the glass.

Smell: Warm roasted malty goodness. Nose had a nice sweetness about it that balanced the hops well

Taste: Spectacular. The nitro-tap makes all the difference with this beer. I have also had it from a bottle which is good, but the tap version had all of the freshness and bright, warm flavor I have no come to expect from this beer. Personally, I would like to see a bit more hops, especially from a west coast company.

Mouth Feel: Silky smooth, liquid velvet. Smooth light nitrogen carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down smooth, tiny tight nitrogen bubbles help make this very much not filling.

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Photo of Morey
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first run-in with this beer.

Pours an opaque pitch black with a frothy tan (leaning towards brown) head that leaves behind some impressive lace for a beer that weighs in @ 9%. Rings are forming around the inside of the glass with each sip.

Offers an aroma filled with burnt sugar and dark chocolate. Not in your face, but present and pleasant.

The taste is surprisingly smooth. Loads of hop flavor add to the richness of the barley making for a flavorful beer. The bitterness from the hops lingers on in the finish.

Full bodied silky-smooth mouthfeel.

For a beer that is so full of flavor, bitterness, and alcohol it goes down very easily.

Morey's Bottom Line: Have wanted to try this for a while. I'm not a stout guy, but I love sampling all kinds of styles. This is one tasty stout. I like it better than most others that I have tried.

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Photo of clabaugh
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep ebony with a modest, light khaki colored head. Lacing is very faint, and almost nonexistent by the beer's end.

Smell: A rich nutty aroma emerges right away. Dark chocolate bursts through as well. Hops are difficult to distinguish in the midst of this full maltiness.

Taste: Here dark chocolate predominates. The tongue also recognizes some mocha, while confirming the nuttiness that introduced itself in the smell. The dark chocolate provides a pleasant bitterness, which the hops tend to intensify. Nicely balanced overall.

Mouthfeel: Nice and chewy. A fine body, probably medium for a stout. Not the heaviest I've had. The carbonation is rather subdued.

Drinkability: The alcohol is definitely pronounced in this 9% abv stout. It provides a warming sensation through one's throat and down into the belly. Very pleasant texture, and inviting enough for me to have a couple more.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured very dark from the bottle with a tan head, good lacing. bouqet was impressive with the expected chocolate, espresso, toffee, and dark dried fruit notes. west coast hops also were present but subtle against these dominant aromas. a little sweet upfront but not for long as the astringent roasty flavors and subtle bittering of the hops rush in to make this beer a bit drier than i expected. alcohol warming somewhat noticeable at the end. full-bodied, naturally. i like my dark, heavy beers to present with a little more residual sweetness than this, however. still a very nice beer. not very sessionable due to the body/abv but quite tasty.

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Photo of Lledd
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into 12oz Hill Farmstead Snifter

A: Black. Quickly dissipating 1/3" head. (I rated three on appearance because honestly, what is an above average appearance?)

S: Not much aroma. Roasted malts, alcohol, slight dark chocolate. Pleasant.

T: Dark chocolate - bitter on the sip, toasted oats and thick malt on the aftertaste. Slight sweetness on the finish but predominantly malty and roasty. Slight hint of leather. 9% abv hidden well.

M: Very fine carbonation. Smooth and mouthwatering. Thick and creamy.

O: This is my go-to stout. It's well balanced, complex, high abv when you need the job done, and drinkable. There are a few better stouts but this is available year round and packs a punch for the price.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am a big fan of the Imperial Stout, so I was looking forward to this one. Pours a dark dark brown with no transparency. The head is tannish and poured to a thickeness of 1 inch. There is a fair amount of sticky lace at the top of the glass that goes away toward the bottom.

The aroma is of strong coffee, a bitter smell. Very malty and toffee smelling as well. The taste is much like a bitter, strong coffee. It is not thick as some stouts I have tasted. The aftertaste is like a bitter dark chocolate. The one thing apparent in the taste is the strong alcohol flavor. At 9%, it is not surprising, although some beers are better at masking the alcohol flavor than others. This one does not hide it, thus the reason for the drinkability sliding down the scale a little.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 11,951 ratings.
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