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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
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,634 | Ratings: 11,856
Photo of trevorwideman
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to demcorhip for getting this one for me.

Pours black as night with a 3/4 inch tan head off of a stiff pour. Lots of lace and good head retention throughout. Mostly sweet aroma with a coffee roasted bitterness, cocoa. A bit of chocolate and a bit of lactic sourness balancing with some juicier notes in the background. Smells good, straightforward and clinical stylewise.

Taste is good, but a little raw for my liking. There's a distinct background note of rubber beneath the inital whack of lactic sourness and bitter roast that assaults the palate. Bitter cocoa and milk chocolate. Bittersweet with a schwack of flavour and a big alcohol burn going down. This is still a bit rough for my liking, very flavourful though. Body is heavy, but not too heavy, carbonation is zippy, and finish is dry and satisfying. This is a drinkable stout, is small quantites of course, but it goes down pretty well. This bottle is still a bit rough though, and I'll be cellaring my other bottle to see how it holds up.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Total Wine in Chantilly, VA. This bottle's been sitting in my (dark, cool) closet for a few months - poured into a Watou chalice.

Appearance: A deep, thick brownish-black beer - a few shades white of black - with a fast fading coffee-colored head, streaky, runny lacing.

Aroma: Chocolate and coffee, a little woody smoke, higher-weight alcohols. Fairly subdued.

Taste: Very interesting - lots of burnt and smoky notes here, more so than in most other RISs I've tried; a few faint lighter toasted notes (dark coffee, bitter chocolate), but the smoky notes really dominate this one. A earthy, grassy hoppiness abounds for the last half of the sip, jarringly so at first (I thought the bottle was infected!), but it grows on you a little. Slightly harsh alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Bigger bubbles than I'm used to in an RIS, but it's still largely uniform and therefore smooth. Mouth itself is thick and syrupy, creamy and velvety, but maybe a little thinner than many RISs.

Drinkability: Lower in abv% than other RISs, and pretty interesting. A well crafted beer, especially if you like the darker, more highly-toasted RISs.

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Photo of enfield249
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Dark, with ruby highlights. 1/2 finger of tan head

S - I can't get much, but then I never can.

T - Bitter was my first impression. Made my eyes water for some readson. Dark Choc. Sweet in parts.

M - Good. Not to thick. About like a IMP. Stout should be.

D - I wouldn't want one every day, or even once a month. Once a year, for sure.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass after letting warm up. No dating info. It was a very deep mahogany color. Good lacing. It had about 3 fingers of dark brown head that very, very slowly settled into a constant thick foam.

The aroma was surprisingly muted. Got some chocolate malt and coffee in the back with a strong whiff of alcohol. Other reviews described a more pronounced aroma so not sure what it wrong on this particular bottle. What is there is good but needed more of the chocolate and coffee to stand out to offset the phenol. The taste was much better than the aroma with the flavors standing out more. Again, it could have used some more choc/coffee to offset the alcohol taste. Nice bitter finish. Mouthfeel was nice and creamy with good carbonation and the bitter finish.

Overall, a really good but not outstanding RIS. Not sure if I got a bad sample so will try again to be sure. Do give high recommend. Need to resample to set the rotation but unless better it would only be an occasional and that would mainly be since it's one of the few good RIS that I can get here in 12oz bottles.

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Photo of cbarrett4
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from tap at Horse Brass Pub in Portland:

Pours with a disappointing head fading into a lackluster lace, but with a good, rich, dark hue. Smells richly of licorice, molasses, espresso, and some dark chocolate. A little funky on the nose and that carries through the palate, possibly from the kind of hops they used. Decent texture but abrasive on the finish.

Overall good, but probably better out of the bottle with some conditioning.

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Photo of mdquigley
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Manhattan, KS "Rock-a-belly-Deli." Review written from notes.

Enjoyed from a 12 oz tumbler.

Appearance: Severely dark with a mystical creamy tan 2.5" head that transitions into the body.

Smell: Slight coffee, roasted nose. Aroma was slighter than expected.

Taste: Espresso and cocoa nibs up front. The taste was very balanced and much sweeter than I expected. It is not a dry stout but much more similar to a milk stout.

Mouthfeel: Creamy! Mouth-coating and full bodied.

Drinkability: I detected no alcohol for such a high ABV %.Thus, this can be drunk and drunk. Just watch out!

Overall: A very delicious and creamy beverage. A real special find.

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Photo of Kemmerlin
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark black and pours a huge foamy head that surprised me by how quick it grew and how long it stuck around I mean it is still there and it left awesome lacing down the glass.

S: Smells like a wet drunk dog. There is a faint tobacco scent but other than that it smells just like a wet drunk dog.

T: Burnt cigar and charcoal are the characteristics most defining in this brew which is a welcome relief from the typical chocolate and molasses flavors you get from a stout. The aftertaste is very earthy and still leaves a burnt wood taste in the mouth for a very long period of time. Basically this is a taste that keeps on giving.

M: At first the alcohol is very strong and almost over powering but it mellows out as you continue to consume. The flavors blend well with the mouth feel which is mostly gritty and earthy but good to swallow.

D: At first I thought it would be a little hard to swallow with the smell being so bad and the alcohol being very present but it really does mellow out and becomes a lot more drinkable as time goes on. I suggest watching out for the quick rising head and let it air out for about 5-10 minutes before you take your first sip.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass, warmed up to room temp.

A: Pours a pitch black body with a light tan head that rises to a pinky finger in height. Retention is short, as expected for an impy stout, leaving a thin collar around the edges.

S: Even when cold, it's pretty pungent. The hops are quite prominent, lending an earthy citrus presence that blends beautifully with roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate. Hints of anise tease the nose.

T: Chocolate-dominated, by far. Silky, delicious dark chocolate that complements both the roasted coffee and earthy hop bitterness. I pick up citrus as well; it's unusual to me that I've grown to enjoy citrus and chocolate flavors in the past couple of months. I used to hate that clash, before. There is a light anise note in the finish, where the chocolate makes a resurgence. Coffee bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: Light-medium bodied. Not exactly viscous, but full in flavor. Silky feel owing to low carbonation.

D: A fantastic deal; I often find 4-packs under $8 and this most recent one cost $6. Great quality, fantastic pricing. It's great to revisit it and enjoy a staple for once. These days, it is outclassed by bigger, heavier interpretations of the style. But those beers also tend to be significantly more expensive, and not so much more enjoyable that this ceases to be a good deal.

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Photo of Grin
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The smell is strong but nothing characteristic. The initial sip was bitter with a strong, almost cough syrup taste but I noticed the rich chocolate after letting it breath for about 5 minutes. The texture is smooth and thick with a light bite of carbonation.

Ultimately, a favorite but not a regular. I would say, better suited for the winter months.

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Photo of Chizoad
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark, inky totally opaque. Beige head with small retention. Looks good.

Fantastic smell! Flowers, blueberries, coffee (especially the bitterness), but malt dominates. Love the fruit in this, a really pleasant surprise. I let a few others smell this and nobody agreed with me, so I'm probably full of it.

The malt dominates again, and the hoppy bitterness completes an excellent flavor. Lots of depth here with layers of the malt.

Nice carbonation, good but not great mouthfeel. Probably just personal preference, as I like lighter mouthfeel. It's a stout, so for the style, I can't complain.

Not particularly drinkable, I definitely couldn't have more than one of these given the density and relatively high ABV%. While it lasted, was quite drinkable, but that was the end of the line.

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Photo of baggio
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a duvel chalice. Color is dark brown/black white a nice lacing that stays there for the duration.

Smells heavily of a potent dark coffee, bitter chocolate and alcohol.

Taste is complex but is dominated by coffee, chocolate and a kick-ass
bitternes that is a wee bit too heavy. I think this beer could use a little
less hops because it feels a little out of balance. I would definitely recommend this beer for people that enjoy a heavy stout but i would not
drink more than one bottle of it per night or it would be too much. I'm gonna see how this beer tastes after a year in my pantry.

Btw the russian text on the bottle means "Good friends doesn't come easily (fast)".

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Photo of spoony
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A-A normal pour produces a one-plus-finger head of dirty, mocha-colored foam. The foam hangs around for a bit before settling into a ring. The beer is pitch-black. No light gets through this stuff.

S-The smell is a relatively simple, but pleasing, mixture of dark chocolatey roasted malt scents with a lightly bitter coffee component. There is a touch of caramel in there, too.

T-Taste is dark, roasted malts with a semi-sweet chocolate flavor being the most identifiable for me. There is a touch of cold coffee, as well. The finish is lightly bitter (a touch of hops) but sweetens as it fades. I thought the flavor was a touch simple and metallic for an RIS.

M-A little light for the style with some prickly, fine carbonation. The feel works against this beer, I think.

O-It has been a year or two since my last Raspy, and the beer is mostly as I remember it: a decent, widely available RIS, but nothing I would seek out. This beer doesn't have the same complexities as Ten Fidy or Narwhal, but if you are fan of the classic, roasted, mildly bitter malt flavor, look no further. I suppose this brew earns points for being true to the classic style. This is not a bad beer, but it has been out-paced by the competition.

 1,260 characters

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

Poured into a tulip. (Closest glass nearby)

Yeah, no light is escaping this one. Kind of an odd thing to give a high appearance on, but I think you know where I'm coming from on a stout like this. :-)

The carbonation was pretty much spot on, nice small bubbles. I think I was surprised by the smell, not as strong as I was expecting. A little charcoal and bitter chocolate aroma.

The taste was very smooth, not overpowering. Somehow, I was hoping for some more complexity to shine through, but the variety of subtle flavors was dominated in my nose by the charcoal taste.

I was surprised how masked that 9% is. Doesn't feel like it at all. I'm not sure I'd ever session an imperial stout, but it's as likely a candidate as you're gonna find.

Regardless, it's good stuff.

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

A - This thing is black. Nice dark tan head from the get-go. Small bubbles float up from the abyss.

S - The smell is very subtle. I get a hint of licorice and the alcohol. The texture of the smell, it's smoothness and balance, seems like a red wine.

T - I was intimidated by this beer at first, but I like something challenging. There is so much complexity and subtlety to it. I can taste coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and the aforementioned licorice (black licorice, mind you). Old Rasputin has a lot to him that kept me intrigued throughout the entire experience.

M - Slight hint of carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. No alcohol burn.

D - Old Rasputin isn't for everyone, but I certainly enjoyed it. It's a good beer to sit down and invest yourself in. I don't think I could have more than a couple of these before I had to call it a night. It's a beer I would love to have again.

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

Pours black. Very nice appearance with a kahki head that leaves some lacing.

The roast is predominant with both smell and taste. There is a aroma of dark chocolate in the back ground. Burnt espresso on the finish.

Mouthfeel is nice enough. Long dry, bitter finish.

Overall this is a nice RIS. I would like a little less roast and a little more sweetness. I am a little let down by this legend of RIS.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours opaque jet black with a formidable tan head -- nice retention. Impressive lacing as well.

S: To me, the alcohol came through most strongly. Coffee came through as well, with some hints of dark chocolate sweetness.

T: A nice mixture of coffee an alcohol up front, moving into a slightly bitter and lingering chocolaty aftertaste. The sweetness from the smell really didn't come through in the taste for me.

M: Wet and alcoholic, nothing too exciting in my opinion. I would have liked a bit more creaminess.

D: Erred a bit on the boozy side for my taste.

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

Poured the 12 oz. bottle into a pub glass.

A: Black with almost two fingers of milk chocolate colored head. Thin stickey lacing lines the glass.

A: Chocolate, roasted coffee malts, caramel, and espresso. Earthy hops balance the nose nicely.

T: The coffee and chocolate stand out in the begining, the molasses and caramel show up in the middle, and the earthy hops and alcohol give the beer a very nice bitter, warming finish.

M&D: The mouthfeel is outstanding. Creamy and rich, with a perfect amount of carbonation. This is a very good RIS. 9% ABV is just right. Wouldn't session this, but sipping on a couple of these to end a night is just what the doctor ordered. Skal.

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

Pitch black with a light brown creamy head that is very inviting. I have to be a little lenient on the aroma because some is lost when a beer is served via nitrogen. All I can discern is roasted malts with a slight licorice edge. The flavor is somewhat muted with burnt malt, chocolate, and a slight metallic flavor. The nitrogen thins out what would normally be a substantial body. I usually feel that what is lost in putting a beer on nitro is made up for with the creaminess that is imparted. In the case of Old Rasputin, I really would stick to drinking it with normal CO2. While tasty, not as good as the original.

 619 characters

Photo of Patrick999
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I always see this on the supermarket shelves, a BA Top 100 beer, but never pick it up. This time, I picked it up. Here we go:

This one is going into the snifter. Pours a suitably opaque black/brown, with a very nice cap of espresso crema-like foam.

Aromatics are a bit muted, consisting mostly of caramel macchiato and light carob.

Taste is mostly roasted coffee with some earthy hop bitterness. Sweet, but dried out pretty well by the roastiness.

Feel is creamy, but not poetically so.

Solid imperial stout, but I'm going out on a limb to say it's a bit overrated, especially given this site's adoration for the RIS style.

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

Pours a black with brown highlights. Amazing khaki head that stays for much longer than expected.

The smell isn't what was expected. I pick up a slight bit of alcohol but mostly hops. A roasty citrus.

The taste is also very hop forward. As well as most of the roast leaning towards the bitter side of things. The alcohol comes through much more than I remember.

The body is on the lighter side and has a semi-dry finish.

 423 characters

Photo of crazybrody06
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle that I let sit on the counter for about 30 minutes, into a mug.

Poured a very dark black color, no light coming through this baby. BIG head took a few minutes to get all the enitre bottle into the glass. The head was the color of chocolate milk. Im still looking at the lace the head left even though the glass is almost empty.

The smell was a mix of sweet chocolate and coffee, dirt (not really as bad as it sounds)

Taste was of dark chocolates, coffee, chalk, some hints of fruits.

This is not really my favorite style of beer so I couldnt drink more then one, but was impressed that I actually finished the entire bottle in about 20 minutes.

Mouthfeel was full and nice without carbonation.

 725 characters

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.

 558 characters

Photo of alex_hart
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: black black black with a tannish, brown half finger head that dissipates quickly. Beautiful, thick lacing throughout the duration of the glass.

Smell: Burnt coffee, dark cocoa, sweet malt, and a hint of toffee.

Taste: Follows the nose almost to a T. Burnt coffee right off the bat, then the cocoa comes in along with the sweet malt. Slight bitterness on the tip of the tongue, but not overbearing at all. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy. slight carbonation twinge on the tongue. Leaves a bit of slick residue on the finish.

Overall: This is a pretty good RIS. There is a lot of hype about this one, but it isn't the best thing I have ever had. It is inexpensive (under $8 for a 4 pack) so it is worth the try. Everyone's palate is different! cheers!

 773 characters

Photo of Glibber
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black coffee with a dark foam that shrinks down to a small surface cover. Faint smell, coffee, sherry, little burn in the belly. Not to much sweetness, but not too bitter. Very mellow for the alcohol content. Nice sipping beer. My friends really liked it as well.

 269 characters

Photo of CaskofFlyingDog
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: black with red hues peaking out the bottom and a wimpish head

Smell: Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with a sour note

Taste Dark Chocolate and lots of it.There's probably some spice in there but i can't detect it.

Mouthfeel: thick with some graininess and a some alchohol

Drinkability: I could have about two then my stool would turn completely black.

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