Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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95
world-class
3,639 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:
3,639
Ratings:
11,886
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
18.46%
 
 
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572
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Reviews: 3,639 | Ratings: 11,886
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.

Slàinte!

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

A: Pitch black and thick appearing. About a two finger tan head with significant retention. A big, heavy looking beer.

S: Huge smell that spreads around the room. Tons of chocolate and coffee, plenty of sweet/syrupy molasses, and a rich burnt finish.

T: Not as sweet as the smell, but a big rich beginning, mostly coffee and malt. A bit of the chocolate in the middle, along with some bitterness, and then a huge toasted finish.

MF: A bit bubbly for a stout. Huge, thick and chewy, but maybe not quite as smooth as others in this style. The alcohol makes its presence known, but doesn't take over.

D: Not my favorite of this style, but a solid brew. The flavor has a nice balance with the slight bitterness which in some ways makes it easier to drink. A bit overcarbonated for my taste. This may be more drinkable than other Imperials because the alcohol isn't as big and the flavor isn't as over the top. For me, though, if I'm gonna drink an RIS, I'd just as soon have the huge alcohol and huge flavor.

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

North Coast Brewing Co. - Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, poured into a Craftgeer snifter.

Look - Pours a thinner brown-black and settles black with a good sized soapy head. Sticky chunky lacing.

Smell - Cola, some chocolate and coffee, definite dark fruits.

Taste - Taste is malt with bitter coffee and just a touch of chocolate. A little thin but generally outstanding.

Mouthfeel - Thin but full-medium bodied. Rests dry and bitter. Medium carbonation. Good drinkability.

Overall - This is one of the pioneers of the style, and it's not lacking in flavor or complexity. Still, there are a better RIS out there now. As an intro to the style, this is a great place to start.

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Photo of walkinginplace
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Black with a hint of brown head and significant lacing. Pretty cool, honestly.

S: Strong scent of hops with fainter notes of malt, caramel, and dark chocolate

T: The first taste is a sweet caramel and dark chocolate taste. Molasses and general bitterness follow while the malt and alcohol stand out in the aftertaste.

F: Medium to thick bodied. Fairly heavy but smooth.

Overall: Hits all the right notes but the aftertaste is a bit too bitter for my tastes. All in all, I'm a fan and definitely look forward to trying some again.

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

Old Rasputin Russia Imperial Stout is greatly improved with tap serving. Pitch black; opaque. Darker than Guinness and three times its density, ten times the flavor.

The head retains its shape and tan color for a long time, and I see why this is beloved: complex, roasty, warming, but is just a bit too thin on the palate . Perhaps it's a psychological thing, but I expect a big Russian imperial to coat the tongue like motor oil; like Dark Lord. This is drier and spicier than DL. Spicy and peppery finish, this stout stays on the palate a long time. And for stout lovers, I see the appeal. It's just not my favorite style.

Enjoyed this on tap at the Black Dog in Urbana, IL, which is highly recommended: see my Beerfly review.

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

A: poured black as night with a half finger of brown head and left a little bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: Lots going on here but off the bat i was greeted by coffee and chocolate notes but it also had some nice roastiness too. there was a little oat character and slight booze as well.

T: like the nose a combination of coffee, roastiness, and chocolate flavors strike first alongside oats with a bit of booze that finishes off hoppy bitter.

M: The was full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a roasty, sweet, slight astringent, boozy, and sticky finish.

D: it drank pretty decent and have not been let down everytime I have this beer. overall a good stout offering from the north coast.

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

Very dark with a small tan creamy head which disappeared soon after and left little lacing.

Smelled of chocolate and coffee, along with a hint of alcohol.

Tasted as it smelled, although the alcohol was a bit more pronounced, especially as it warmed up. Nicely balanced.

Very smooth mouthfeel, slippery and creamy. Full bodied. You know this one is in your mouth. Very nice.

This is an excellent brew for this time of year, but probably a bit too much for the warmer months (especially here in Vegas). A couple of these will make you feel all warm and toasty inside.

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle.

Creamy looking head, tannish in color. Good head retention. Lacing sticks to side of glass. Beer is very dark brown, almost solid black, cannot see through it.

Smell is thick with chocolate flavors. Smells like it would be a very sweet drink.

Excellent mouth feel, with a decent amount of carbonation that sort of bites the tongue.

Initial taste is very sweet but immediately becomes bitter as you swallow. Finishes with an excellent roasty flavor that stays on your tongue. Almost has a salty taste that lingers.

Drinkability is good considering the finish leaves you wanting another sip for the initial sweetness.

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

This is an intense beer. A deep dark red with a yellow/brown head. Sticky lace. The head dwindled quickly. Aroma is of hops, roasted malt and coffee. Tastes of roasted malt, coffee and a biting hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied; creamy with a biting finish and a lingering hop representation.

A good Imperial Stout, however, it is not as well balanced as others in its class.

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

9% ABV
75 IBUs
12 oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a big snifter. Although, I am big supporter of bottle dating, I don't criticize North Coast in deeming dating Old Rasputin irrelevant, because it will hold up for years, and yet won't be "too hot & rough" fresh. This is one of my earliest, but still favorite, Russian Imperial Stouts and I am very excited to review this! Let's get down to business!

Appearance 5/5
Pours in a clear and very dark brown stream from the bottle that gives an impression of pitch black in the glass, with a big, dense, dark mocha colored head that receded into a rather thin one but left excellent lacing on the glass. Towards the end, the head was thinner, but still was much more than a tiny collar! The lacing didn't stick around, but that's forgivable for an Imperial Stout.

Aroma 3/5
I have never been a fan of this beer's aroma even though I have had it at innumerable occasions and I like this beer quite a bit overall. The aroma I detect is of sweet malts with no particular character, but just a slight bias towards roast. It has a certain smoothness to it though. As the beer got to room temperature, alcoholic sweetness became obvious.

Taste 4/5
Taste is however, very good, so you may ignore my comments on aroma. Starts slightly sweet with a dark, roasty, richness that takes a dark chocolate character in the aftertaste, along with the persistent roast. Also, they have hopped this one generously, and the finish is quite bitter; the roast and hops make it quite clean for an Imperial Stout. A coffee like acidity is notable as the temperature rises. So is alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel 4/5
More body and lower carbonation would be welcome. Otherwise, it's flawless.

Drinkability 5/5
It tastes good, and finishes fairly clean. I could have another bottle. A RIS that's any more drinkable is doing it wrong!

Other
Never disappointing, amazingly priced, this is a beer I will continue to drink. Never say die!

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

A very seductive stout that pours dark and rich like cocoa. Difficult to judge the clarity due to its obscure nature but the head left me wanting. Not as abundant as I would have expected with no lacing and almost no retention.

Aromas were pleasing and beautifully harmonized. A well balance marriage of fruits and malt open the nostrils to let in heady vapours of alcohol. Quite nice.

The beer is medium in body despite its rich texture and provides a warming alcohol reflux after being swallowed. Soft malt up front is followed by fruitiness reminescent of black berries and currants. It finishes with a decidedly alcoholic bitterness supported by hoppy burnt character which hangs around for some time.

For me this is a solid imperial stout. It has an enticing character but is not too powerful. Complexity develops as the beer warms which keeps me interested and wanting another.

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Photo of schro126
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle on the recommendation of the clerk at my local beer store. It pours opaque with a nice dark tan head. The aroma is full of dried fruit and bitter dark malts with chocolaty undertones.
The mouthfeel is thick and velvety everything you are looking for in a RIS. The taste starts with roasty malts and smooths to a clean finish with a residual sugar that lingers. After half a glass the alcohal starts to make an appearance with a warming sensation in the chest.
Overall this is a good RIS, nothing mindblowing but a good example of the style.

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Photo of mjtiernan
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

Bottled 2011?

A: Beer is completely black and with a tan two finger head. Foam reduces gradually leaving plenty of cap and extensive lacing behind. There’s just something about the appearance of an Old Raspy that makes it look more appealing than most other stouts. Beyond inviting.

S: Chocolate, roasted black malt, nuttiness, some grassy hops and a touch of phenol.

T: Nutty and roasty up front. Transitions to dry semi-sweet chocolate and hops. Roasted malt returns and pairs with the alcohol for a bitter, warming finish.

M: Just the way I love my stouts....creamy (not oily or syrupy) and perfectly carbonated. I don’t see much room for improvement here.

O: A great affordable, readily-available beer for the winter months. Very drinkable, but also flavorful and warming. Seems like a great beer to experiment with food pairings.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I normally steer clear of nitro taps, but curiosity got the better of me last night at the Library Ale House. Served in an Old Rasputin nonic, which was a nice touch.

Thoroughly opaque black hole of a body crowned by two fat fingers of light tan, thick mocha fizz. Perpetual retention, cake-batter-like lacing, though no real legs to speak of.

Almost sour roast malt, lightly burnt bread, subtle esters from the alcohol, and a touch of weeds and citrus from the hops.

Over-roasted coffee, bread crusts, and a pungent mineral note that seems to be emphasized with this serving type. Unsweetened baker's chocolate and scalded milk lead into the surprisingly dry, almost dusty finish (vaguely brings to mind river stones, cheap hotel ice, old carpets, and other assorted phantoms). While strongly bitter, the hops don't jump out at you - a very carefully balanced beer.

Thick, soft, uniform body though a bit "artificial" in its presentation especially considering the purity of ingredients and skill in craftsmanship - I'd much prefer to see this on-cask. If I'm going to abandon my (perhaps idealized) notions of product integrity, why not go all the way and head down to The Golden State for one of their Old Rasputin beer floats?

A clean, rich, strong, yet subtle brew - highly drinkable especially considering the robust ABV and IBU.

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Photo of drunkenmess
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Looks, smells, tastes, and feels like one of the better imperial stouts I've tasted in a long time. Very impressed, the name was kinda intimidating. But sooo glad I finally tried it. Superb

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,639 ratings.
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