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: 12,126
Photo of Dmann
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This has to be the most easy to drink Imperial Stout I've ever had. It poured an almost opaque black with a awesome brown head that was so big I had to wait a few minutes for it to die down. The smell was of dark chocolate and hops. The taste was just about the same as the smell, with a perfect mix of coffee flavors in there. The thing I loved about this brew is that it was powerful but not overpowering. I could sit back and enjoy the whole 4 pack in one sitting, even though they are 8.9% a piece! Great beer!

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Photo of dmgallag
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


A - dark and sexy...just like a stout should be.

S - coffee and chocolate hints touch the nose... Probably more coffee than anything.

T - outstanding... Hits you upfront with a coffee shot and then settles into a chocolate background. Delicious and heavy this is a stout you pay attention to.

M - for as bold as the taste is....mouthfeel is a little bit watery. Not bad, just unexpected.

O - Do yourself a favor and pick this up. Not a session beer... Too heavy... But incredibly enjoyable in small doses. Enjoy!

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Photo of godless1one
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance - black as night, brown uneven head

smell - molasses, chocolate, anise, coffee, and roasted malt

taste - sweet first, mixed with the anise and coffee, a drink is followed by a light bitter aftertaste which is colored by anise and chocolate primarily

mouthfeel - thick, smooth, and creamy, decent carbonation, pleasantly heavy

drinkability - I could drink these every day, but they are particularly enjoyable in the cold because of the pleasant warmth that spreads through your body as you drink (thar be alcohol!)

To date this is my favorite brew. I've yet to find a single beer/ale which compares in terms of flavor and overall awesomeness. Although this winter I will be trying the Abyss, so Rasputin's top seat my be in danger.

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Photo of bort11
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love the label design on this bottle. That crazy mad monk staring out from a smoky haze, I think that alone does a lot for the near-legendary status of this stout.

A- Poured into an Imperial pint glass. Pefectly black in the center. Dark reddish tints on the edges. Thick and creamy tan head, about a finger high from my pour. It receeds a little fast for me, but maintians a tight lace which makes up for it.

S- Espresso aromas POP! I can smell that from an arms length. Chocolate notes linger and some spices hint around the edges.

T- Excellent follow through from the smell. Espresso, chocalate, some maltiness, finishes with some hop bitterness. A little alcohol warmth. very well balanced.

M- It feels a little overcarbonated to me, but that is the only drawback. There is a chewiness to it that a RIS should have.

D- This is an all around great stout and one of my favorites. With this session, I had it with a slice of DQ ice cream cake. Oh man, that's good. This is a great dessert beer by itself, but it added to the overall enjoyment. Now that my local beer store is carying North Coast beers, I will keep this on hand.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first sampling of this coincided with my chance discovery of Monk's Cafe in Philly. At the time (2003-2004), I was living in Center City, piss poor, and longing for good beer. One fine day, riding my bike around in explorer mode, I found myself coming up upon the unmistakable awning and neon sign for said cafe - got little money, but let's do it. I'm desperate! - This may have been the very first time in my life I had been presented with a beer menu, the content of which I wasn't familiar with 90-95% of. Looking to cheaper and more interesting sounding beers, I ordered one Rasputin to go (at about $7 or $9, if I remember right). So off I go on my bike back up 16th st to my studio apt, giddy with delight or delightfully giddy. Get home - and I can't recall actually pouring it - and I find myself eying up one intimidating pint of darkness. The rest is...you know.

Old Rasputin will make a man out of you (Rip Van Winkle, for one). Always pours with an explosive, swelling head, big and busty, and the perfect shade of ash and gravel. Scummy, sparkling lacing. The liquid is impenetrably black - a charred void. Black death. The aroma hits you instantaneously, even from a foot or more away. More of a Baltic Porter scent than a bitter, dry stout. What I get is dark chocolate cake dipped in dark chocolate, mellow espresso, grain just lightly singed, and wafting among these scents, a faint grassy/piney hop presence. Oh, and a clean, vodka-like alcohol aroma, more and more as it warms. Flavor-wise, I'm not sure what you can improve upon, considering the style and imagery conjured up by the namesake of the beer. Cold and black. A sultry bitterness - by way of hops, dark chocolate, and dark malt. Velvety smooth feel and vague molasses character, with surprisingly potent fruitiness and almost citrus hop flavors as it warms. While this doesn't need to warm up much to express its fabulous complexities, the alcohol makes itself quite apparent in the aftertaste and feel past a certain degree. Once in awhile, this can be somewhat off-putting. For the most part, you really want this though. Carbonation, at its levels, is ideal and maintains excitement on the tongue - never any cloying sweetness or heavy feeling. That, and the warm prick of ethyl, round out an expertly crafted brew. So difficult to put this into perspective...when you've had 2 or 3.

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Photo of Vancoubeer
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Man this beer is what a Russian Imperial stout should be. Taste outstanding. looks dark as night. Feels the way it should and it smells similar to dark coffee / dark chocolate. The flavor is full on roasted goodness. Why pass this one up? Just get it.

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Photo of Eeroomnhoj
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My friend gave me a few bottles of beer for Christmas and I started with the darkest first. Great tasting beer, one I would have again and again, just not on the same day. Maybe some people are different but one is enough for me. It poured jet black and had a fairly thick head. It tasted real heavy on the first sip so I knew I was in for a treat. The beer did leave a taste in my mouth but so does a good cigar. Definitely a winter sitting by the fire beer.

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Photo of artdob
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is the stuff. My desert island brewski. The one that sent me into a panic nearly 14 years ago when I first stumbled on this brew from a then unknown micro brewery when I was living outside of Columbus Ohio. I was immediately taken in by this beer and quickly, shuddered to think, oh my, what if this brewery doesn't make it? And that thought sent me exploring the world of home brewing to see if I could personally brew something that came close to this, in the event, heaven forbid, that Old Rasputin would cease to be.

The good news is that I was able to come close enough so I feel prepared if that horrible day ever comes. But even better news, I haven't had to resort to that workaround. Old Rasputin lives!

Pours an exotic black with a tan head that tops the beer nicely before evolving into a layer of a tan sudsy blanket that drapes this brew. Oh yes, and I always drink this one at cellar temperature, never chilled, in a snifter as well.

Nose is spectacular, inviting with notes of chocolate cake, licorice, and roasty espresso.

On the palate, this is like a slice of liquid black forest torte, nicely balanced with roasty and sweet tones.

Mouthfeel is nice with very light carbonation. Wouldn't want any more for this style. A nice warmer this one.

Overall, nothing else but a top score for my personal all time favorite beer. If there were a beer hall of fame, this would be my inductee. Rasputin lives.

Sto lat North Coast (get yer Polish dictionary handy here).

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Photo of hitter114
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into Tulip
A: Very dark, not quite black but 95% of the way there
S: Smells amazing of simple roasted malts and great hop profile for the nose. Got a chocolate smoke smell going
T: Just as good as it smells. Burns just a little, but the perfect amount. Hops and malts balance it out brilliantly
M: Sharp and bitty as expected. Could be slightly smoother but for 9%, what do you expect?

Overall: One of my favorite Russian Imperial I have had. Great mix of hops, malt, roasty, chocolate/barbecue smoke taste. Buy this beer if you like beer.

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Photo of deapokid
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From my first glance into the dark and imposing eyes of Rasputin on the label of this majestic imperial stout, I knew I was in for one hell of a ride.

Lucky for me, I got a four-pack of it for Christmas and almost cried tears of joy when I ripped it from the packaging.

From tip of the bottle to the bottom of the glass, Old Rasputin pours a rich dark-brown/molasses-y coloring that resembles coffee with a light dose of cream. Its rich brown head smells of caramel and nuts and it offers up a profoundly robust flavor that smacks of classic stout taste with a nice punch of alcohol to round it out.

This little number was no slouch and it lived up to all of my expectations. It's powerful, flavorful and delightfully nuanced: it's definitely become an all-time favorite and one most stouts should aspire to be more like.

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Photo of bobaguilar
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The head has an incredible creamyness akin to the feel of a rootbeer float. Coffee and chocolate flavors, with a smoothness and satisfying aftertaste. One of my favorites.

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Photo of princessbay710
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The label is exceptionally attractive. Pitch black pour, light colored micro foam decorated with pearls of macro bubbles. Smell is warm and ancient, yet slight, may be due to a stuffy nose. Taste is tip-of-the-tongue godly, definitely in my top 5. The mouthfeel is creamy yet refreshingly carbonated. This beer changes rapidly with exposure, new hints and undertones with separated sips, though I suggest you finish it quite quickly, as to not lose it's integrity. Great Buzz. Fantastic Beer.

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Photo of zerocrane
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into snifter from 12 oz bottle.

A - Black with a decent to undersized tan head that dissipated rather quickly

S - Get a lot of the -OH for sure with a strong roasty character. If I was going to try to find one flaw with this brew, it would be the nose.

T - Again the -OH comes in really strong at the end. In the meantime there is a roasty-delicousness to this beer that the alcohol kind of washes away in a nice finish.

M - Light mouthfeel for how big this beer is. It's not chewy, which I love.

O - Can't beat this for a year-round shelf stout.

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Photo of seh410
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black with a bubbly mocha colored head. The head looks frothy and creamy. Not light coming through at all.

Aroma: Coffee, roasted caramelly malts, chocolate

Taste/Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Starts heavy on the coffee and then finishes with a sweet and roasted malty caramel with notes of chocolate kind of woven through the whole thing

Notes: Awesome, delicious beer. Extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Stoutmaster9
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A steady go to brew for me. Had a pint or three back in the 90s, strayed until several months ago.
Goes especially well with the rain, but I plan on savoring Old Rasputin year round, until the end of Time ...
Poured into a big mouth wine glass, enjoyed with a chocolate muffin.

Black with a few nice bubble streams, bubbly tan head, nice lacing too.

Smells slightly malty, with a bit of toasty bread, chocolate and coffee.

A complex taste, roasty-refined. Similar to the smell, subtle and delicious.

Truly Imperial: high quality, easily available and low cost, with a well deserved majestic reputation!

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Photo of MaddenDalyBrokaw
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Darker than night. Rich malty aromas. On the palate we begin with moderately placed roasted barley tones, then comes the warm hops with chocolate and coffee, followed by the even warmer alcohol. Lingering roasted barley. A real beast of a beer.

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Photo of zomatic
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite beer. Rich, dark imperial stout, bitter with hints of coffee & chocolate. So dark brown that you can't see through it if held up to a bright light. Great stuff.

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Photo of davidperez
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a Duvel tulip, it pours a deep, dark as night black with a two-finger brown head, foamy, with excellent retention. This beer leaves a beautiful lacing.

Such a delicious and intense bouquet. Huge cacao nibs and roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, vanilla, plums.

This beer is awe-inspiring.
Nice and pleasant carbonation upfront.
A predominantly bitter beer, but its flavor feels somewhat balanced by the multifaceted sweetness. So rounded, the bevy of notes coexist in perfect harmony.
Coffee liquor, chocolate, cacao nibs, vanilla, caramel, roasted malts, just a hint of plums. Short after, that hoppy and roasted bitterness prevails, and it leads towards the aftertaste.
The finish is predominantly bitter with notes of dark chocolate and malty roastiness. It is a very long aftertaste, and that bitterness coats your palate in a scrumptious manner reminiscent of smoke.
Full body, creamy, chewy and smooth.

What a finesse, a world class beer for sure.

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Photo of badbeer
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown to almost black in color with a tan head that dissipates leaving some lacing. Nose is bursting with chocolate, coffee, maybe a hint of vanilla and cherry in there as well. Chocolate, espresso, and molasses with a hop bitterness in the end make up the taste. Mouthfeel has pretty low carbonation, maybe a little less would make it perfect, definately full bodied and thick. This beer is just wonderful, I definately need to get some more.

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Photo of cabsandking
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The nose offers plenty of anticipation with prunes, molasses and prunes. Thick mouth. The beginning is smokey, earthy, toasted malts. Bittersweet chocolate notes. A little sharp tartness rounds out the hops balance. Towards the bottom some traces of woodsy oak, port wine, and even cherry come through. This beer I will definitly drink again, and probably North Coast's top beer.

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Photo of Durtdiggler
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into tulip glass. A dark black pour with wonderful, frothy 2 finger head, big lacing. Inviting.

Complex aroma of molasses, roasted coffee, some chocolate backed by balanced hop bitterness.

Taste starts coffee like fading into molasses finishing dry with big hops. The hops stay with you along time. Taste moves from one element to the other and leaves nothing to want. Complex and powerful flavors.

Mouth feel is creamy, effervescent all balanced.

Perhaps there are more recent, unique takes on this style with bourbon barrel aging and vanilla overtones but this beer represents the standard for Russian Imperial Stout. One of my fravorite all time beers. Never had an off bottle.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Into a pint glass (also in a nonic, and also a chalice, nothing changes with this beast):

A: pitch black body with a very thick two finger off-white head, lacing is pretty thick as well

S: very good roasted malt with good coffee aromas mixed delicately in so not to overdue the aroma, chocolate, vanilla come out as the beer warms

T: light hops, and coffee along with the roasted malt, chocolate and vanilla again, it gets sweeter as it goes, slight caramel in the taste as well

M: medium to heavy, not sessionable, alcohol felt, dry bitter aftertaste and a dry finish

O: of all the times I have this beer, the numbers never change, this was awesome and still is.

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Photo of cyguyjg
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

On nitro, Appearance: unmistakably Imperial - dark as Midnight with a tinge of Garnet. Thick creamy lasting tan head, both medium and tiny bubbles, generous lacing along the sides of the glass. Aroma: I get a little cola and a little coffee. Taste: a bit of chocolate -- not too much. Hops make an understated appearance at the finish. Feel: full but very palatable; alcohol present and adds to the body but not overpowering. Doesn't get any better than this.

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Photo of bigkahunas4
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Tulip glass.

Brew came out of the bottle jet black, not too thick, not too thin. Dark cookie head starts at about 2 fingers, and settles down to a voluptuous half finger. Spotty, sticky lacing that really clings to the glass. The aroma on this out of the bottle was huge, and now as the glass settles about a yard away, butterscotch is just flowing under my nose. Upon further inspection I detect some sttrrronnggg vanilla and a dark roast.

This elixir is incredibly creamy, bringing immense sweetness to the front of the mouth. Big sweet malts like I've never tasted before in a stout/RIS - tons of oaked vanilla. As this bubbly brew begins to settle on the tongue, bitter coffee nibs take control of the palate. A slight smokiness to the brew as well. Alcohol is apparent, but masked incredibly.

Certainly the best RIS I've ever had, and according to others, it perhaps is the best out there. Just incredible balance, and enjoyment with every stage of that balance for me. Honestly, I'm not a huge stout guy - but this one is just making me drool. I dislike the finish of most stouts - but this one just hits it on the head. Give me more!

Pretty sure the ratings I'm giving this will make it my top rated beer. You know, maybe not my favorite ever, but as far as RIS and Stouts go - this is just leagues above anything else I've had.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black. Medium brown head that dissipates quickly. Beautiful roasty aroma. Also get a bit of smoke on the nose. There's some burnt malt tastes. Very strong bitterness. I love that in an Imperial. The IBU must be approaching 100 in this brew. Incredible malt load balances nicely with the hops. A bit of alcohol dangles on the tongue nicely. This is everything I look for in an Imperial Stout. Not as viscous as Bell's Expedition, but tremendous in its own right. One of my all time favorites. This is in the elite category of microbrewed Imperials that I have tried (along with Bell's Expedition and Rogue).

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,126 ratings.
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