Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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world-class
3,640 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:
3,640
Ratings:
11,891
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
18.46%
 
 
Wants:
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Reviews: 3,640 | Ratings: 11,891
Photo of becktone
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After walking about two miles to pay my rent in very unfavorable conditions here in Cincinnati, I finally returned to my humble abode and asked myself "What do I have in my fridge that can warm me up after that?" At about 35F outside and winds that made walking down a hill one of Hurcules' 12 Labors, I hoped I had something very dark, malty and strength imbuning in my fridge. As I looked in my fridge I almost started to sigh, and lo and behold forgotten in the back corner behind some other sixers I find I've an ample supply of Old Rasputin. Here are my thougts.

The pour is dark-black infact- With a tan creamy three finger head this brew looks just too good. Head begins to receed in size to a stable one finger size leaving some sweet looking lace along the sides of the glass.

Aroma is strong, sweet, and alcoholic. A robust chocolate character comes through and maybe a little bit of a coffee aroma as well, other notable smells are dark fruits, maybe some prunes. No hop aroma, or roasted bitterness aroma. All in all a great smelling brew.

Oh yes, this lifts my spirit and warms the soul. Strong sweet malty backbone gives real character and life to this brew. Chocolate malts take the foreground in this brew's flavor profile. Just a tad of hop flavor in the back of this one, one of the noble varieties I should think. Just there in the back, fleeting. Tastes great, but more complexitiy would add more to this brew....My upper body is now pretty much thawed, but my lower body is still pretty cool.

The body of this RIS is thick and full bodied and creamy just the way it should be. Carbonation levels are fairly low as benefits the style. I'll most likely buy this brew again. It is great to warm up with after coming in out of the cold and being pounded by the elements. Not something that I could sit around and drink all day, and it shouldn't be. I don't think that any RIS is meant to be that way. Definitely something to slowly savor. However, I also know that there are other RIS's that represent the style differently and I would definitely love to try those before I came back to this one, but I would not be adverse to another go-round with this brew.

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Photo of schroederm
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had the privilege of drinking this beer on nitro, so my opinions are a little skewed by the benefits of serving this kind of beer in that manner. First off, it looks fantastic. The head is full, looks sort of like chocolaty whipped cream with a sheen across its surface. Dark as night. Smells quite good, with a little bit of alcohol coming through roasty notes. Tastes even better than it smells: excellent maltiness, nice bitter finish, notes of anise, chocolate, and coffee.

The mouthfeel is really what did it for me, again, probably due to nitrogen. Exceptionally creamy, perfect level of carbonation. Avoided swallowing as long as I could bear...

Overall: great RIS, I highly recommend it. If you live in the Boston area, get over to Deep Ellum, where they have it on nitro consistently.

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Photo of Ruger
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with a thick tan head and looks completely black until you hold it up to the light and then a little bit of red lingers through on the lower part of the glass, lacing is heavy all around the glass.

S - Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and alot of booze.

T - Coffee, chocolate and dark fruits with a slight bitter aftertaste, and alcohol which is mild and doesn't overwhelm the flavor but leaves a slight pleasant warmth down the throat.

M - Smooth with a slight oily feel and low carbonation.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

-Nitro tap-

A – Ridiculous, tempurpedic-pillow of a head stuck around at 2 inches high for almost 15 minutes till the glass was empty. Great lace. Almost pitch black body.

S – Malty with a deep pumpernickel breadiness, a touch of milk chocolate, and a tang of bitter roast.

T – Dark chocolate into a dark bready malt. A nice, solid woody bitter ramps up to balance the profile in the center. Full roasty finish with lingering sweet cream and molasses.

M – The pillow of foam lends a fantastic creaminess to the mouthfeel. Medium-full body starts a bit lighter than you’d expect, but quickly fills out to end rich and smooth.

O – Delicious, big, complex, and well balanced. Could use a shade more integration between the flavors, but this is still one the best beers I’ve ever had on tap.

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Photo of leedorham
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was buying a cart full of different brews and thought I was done when I saw this four-pack of 12 ouncers sitting askew behind another. It was the last one. The bright souls of my ancestors had lit the path for me tonight.

The brew pours almost black with a reddish-brown tint when light shines through. 2mm tan head that mostly dissipates. A thin layer of foam remains to give moderate lacing.

The aroma malty sweet. Like nearly burnt sugar.

It tastes exceptionally smooth. Full hop character rises through strong roasted coffee and caramel flavor. I have trouble sipping this beer. It is like candy. The alcohol is present but I notice it more as it warms my stomach than in my mouth. I had planned on letting the other 3 bottles age but it will be a struggle.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass

A: pours a deep black with a very nice frothy head that is a medium brown color and lingers quite a long time, leaves a nice amount of lacing

S: nice deep chocolate and coffee notes

T: truely a beautiful representation of the style, great coffee/chocolate hints, great depth of flavor

D/M: smooth across the pallet, incredibly complex, little carbonation tingle, drinks beatufully and with the perfect level of heaviness

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Photo of Rumrunner
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle
This stout is for the rough rider in us all. Read your history.

It pours a deep dark color. Light is almost impenetrable. The head is mostly brown with slight white hues. A tall head with some lacing. The scent is strong coffee bean with some chocolate and a burnt toast quality at the end of the smells. A great nose.

The flavors are complex. A heavy coffee taste. Very coffee bean. The burnt toast quality is there but the chocolate that was apparent in the nose is overwhelmed and has disappeared. A very rich flavor that stays for a while. The aftertaste lingers just a bit too long.

It feels heavy and strong in the mouth. Nice bite for a stout. This stout pushes the limits in my opinion. The only negative is a bit of an alcohol bite to it. This stout will definately find its way in to my fridge. I am also happy to report that there is no sweetness attributed to the after taste as many stouts have. Some stout drinkers like a sweetness ending I do not.

A very well thoughout stout. I just cannot say enough about it.

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Photo of Earpe
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at my local Total Wine for the first time a couple months ago....this will be one of my go to favorite RIS when i cannot locate the Narwhal. Dark color, dark fruit, charred/coffee flavor. I truly love this stout, unfortunately it is about $10 for a 4 pack. Very nice drink-ability. Smooth, it is not my top RIS, but it is in my top five and definitely one I will not turn down.

Very nice on a cool fall/winter evening or as a night cap.

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Photo of gafferjohn
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a large brown head that sticks around for ever.
Not alot in the aroma; dark roasted malt with some floral hop undertone. A Little chocolate.
Taste is awesome. Dark chocolate perfectly balanced with dark roast malt and bitter hops. finishes with a little heat. Overall a beautiful brew !
Washes over my tongue leaving a lasting bitterness that is very pleasing.
Could have 2 or 3 before switching to something else. Will definitely have this again.

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Photo of onewetpaw
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- The nose is a little understated. I get some coffee and roast.

A- Pitch black with a thin rich brown colored head.

F- Dark chocolate and deep roasty flavors are present. There's some bitterness, but it's subdued. Not harsh or overly astringent. The malt flavors are there, but not residual sweetness.

M- Low to average carbonation. Nice full body, without being cloying. Actually a pretty dry taste, like accented by the mild astrigent character of the roast malts.

O- An awesome beer. It's everything you could want in a Russian Imperial Stout. I love the fact that it's big and strong, but there's not a hot alcohol flavor and that the roast flavors are present, but the beer avoids being too harsh. It's a drinkable version that I'd come back to.

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Photo of tchenery
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beer looks amazing. Dark, brown almost black opaque appearance. Nice rich creamy tan head.

It smells like roasted marshmallow. The taste is very rich and full. It tastes like chocolate and coffee. This would make an excellent dessert beer. The 9% alcohol is well hidden. I expected a pretty good burn, but it is very smooth.

This might be the best stout I've had.

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Photo of Buildscharacter
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What's not to love about this beer. I would have to say that this and Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout are two of my favorite brews.

The brew is black as night with a nice brownish head that just screams for you to throw it back. The bottle is quite with old Rasp just pointing his two fingers at you.

The taste of this beer is just amazing. And not to mention that of the 100 times or so that I've had this great beer, it's never failed to impress, so you know that quiality and consistnecy go together.

Very malty and thick in your mouth with great chocolate and coffee undertones. It's just so mellow and well balanced that you really can't find anything to complain about. Also, while hovering in the high alcohol region it makes you feel great after a single bottle. Love this beer. Not for the faint of pallet.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This may be one of my favorite Imperial Stouts. I have had it many times but am just now getting around to reviewing it. Mmmm. Pours a very nice opaque black color with a thickness like hot maple syrup. Nice, dirty white head of about one finger forms and leaves lacing all the way down the side of the glass.

Aroma is chocolate and coffee and alcohol and dark fruits. Raisins and figs stand out. Some fruity esters. Chocolate seems to be the dominant flavor and of course the alcohol becomes more noticeable as the beer warms.

Nice chocolate flavors with some nice fruitiness. Coffee and caramel tones. Full of raisins.

This is a wonderful impy stout. It would have been nice to have this on a cold day, as I have before, but I was a little excited about the 65 degree weather here in NC today. Been a little cool lately. Definitely go out and get some of this.

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Photo of Ben4881
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
North Coast Brewing Co.

Appearance:
This beer pours black as night. Absolutely no light passes through the full glass. A very thick, inviting, khaki-colored head erupts to the surface and sticks around awhile. This beer is alive! As it slowly recedes back to the surface, a beautiful lace pattern lingers on the entire surface of the glass. The lacing continues throughout the experience and a wealth of microscopic bubbles retains the 1/8 inch head down to the bottom of the glass.

Smell:
My nose detects a strong, toasty, roasted aroma that is by no means overpowering. Slight chocolate and nut notes creep in with the subtle hint of coffee mixed with something sweet. A miniscule alcohol aroma dances in the background. For an imperial stout, the smell is a bull's eye.

Taste:
The first mouthful is a delightful punch to the gut of delicious roasted coffee bitterness. The swallow elicits a dry finish that cleans up the bitterness and momentarily arouses a sweeter nutty flavor before the bitterness, this time more hops than roasted coffee, returns for a slight comeback. The slightly bitter hops flavored aftertaste lingers quietly at the back of the tongue, requesting another sip. The warm feeling of alcohol slides down the esophagus to the stomach.

Mouthfeel:
On the palate, this stout lives up to its name. It is smooth as silk and rather thick. The notable carbonation keeps it from becoming chewy and lightens the load a bit. The carbonation does not overpower the feel, but there's enough to acknowledge its presence.

Drinkability:
As an imperial stout, this beer's alcohol content is appropriately high. The glass seemed to disappear much quicker than I anticipated. I would definitely have another, but two would be my limit for one session. I would most certainly have one tomorrow. However, more than two in one sitting would toss me over the edge. Any fan of this style can enjoy and respect this creation.

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Photo of eph
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There is a fabulous bar out in western Massachusetts that caries this on tap. It was served in a goblet and was a thick black color with a dark brown head. It smelled of roasted coffee, almonds, chocolate, and a hint of alcohol. This beer has a good heavy mouth feel with a mellow carbonation that gives it an almost creamy feel when you swallow. It has a thick chocolate malt taste with a few shots of espresso to boot. After I swallowed I noticed a bit of a sweet dull fruit finish to it, not overly hoppy for sure. This beer was a great experience, I would recommend it as a sipping beer to fully enjoy... and the 9.0 abv has a way of sneaking up on you if you over drink this brew. Enjoy!

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Photo of codewarrior
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz from a 4-pack, poured into a pint-glass.

Was first introduced to this beer on-tap at 99 bottles, in Santa Cruz, CA. I recall it being even better on tap, unfortunately I have yet to find a tapper of it in Denver (although I've heard Falling Rock has tapped this from time to time).

A: Pitch black, to the point of being reflective (Rasputin is a black mirror into your own soul!). Rich, creamy head, not going anywhere.

S: Biting, chocolatey. hint of licorice. Man, this beer smells strong, a lot strong.

T: Warm, warm, chocolatey goodness. Solid finish. Lingers in the mouth. It seems to be true that you can't kill Old Rasputin.

F: Smooth ... ****ing smooth. Good lord, this is a lush beer.

D: All around fantastic stout.

This is the kind of beer that inspires men to great heights of cheesiness.

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Photo of Pinto21
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: black as coal. maybe blacker. Ok light tan head on the pour.

S: dark coca and some dark roast coffee, a bit of dark fruits too but not a huge aroma coming off

T: Oh man the taste makes up for the lack of aroma. Roasted right up front with a bit of coffee. Dark chocolate coming in right after, and doesnt go away for a while. Then the dark roast astringentness. Finishes off with a bit of warming alcohol. Can't taste the alcohol, just feel it. SO GOOD.

MD: Great drinkability for a RIS at 9%. nice smoothness to it, which makes the mouthfeel great.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 16 oz Schlafly nonic...

A: An opaque, dark brew. brown-black with a huge, thick cappucino-colored head. The froth remains through the entire drink and leaves behind creamy lacing. It is a modern-art masterpiece!

S: Rich with toffee, cocoa, and refreshing hops that carry a slight citrus smell.

T: Rich chocolate and honey with a fade of lemon, glazed donuts and caramel.

M: A smooth, creamy entry leads to a lively carbonation that has a lightly drying and resiny hop finish

Overall, this beer is the hop-lovers stout. I'm not saying it's all hops. This is a true Russian Imperial! It just announces its U.S. roots with the delicious hop textures.

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Photo of Wackyfoot
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the darkest pours I've ever seen, thick and heavy with a medium brown head. Massive hits of coffee beans and bitter chocolate with just a slight hint of the alcohol buried beneath it all. How I miss my youthful days when I used to regularly drink four of these a night. Probably the most pleasant drunk I've ever had. Your beer drinking life is not complete if you've never had this one. Also Rasputin's beard is a hero to mine, just saying.

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Photo of goom
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Given its reputation, I was slightly disappointed, until I let the beer warm properly.

Pitch black, with a tight brown head. Leaves some nice lacing which creeps down the glass as I drink.

Massive nose. Chocolate and coffee, roasty malt, plenty of hops, a touch of sweet fruits, slight alcohol.

Taste is similar to the nose, chocolate and coffee pair with big roasty flavour, and bitter hops all assault you. Some dark fruits sweeten the finish and a touch of alcohol.

Medium to Full bodied, perfect carbonation. Not too thick, certainly not watery, the beer seems to coat the mouth beautifully.

I'm not too far into stout territory but this beer is fantastic, exceptional example of the style. Don't make the mistake of serving this too cold.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is quite a substantial beer. Pours jet black, of course, with a thin head which dissipates almost immediately -- your first clue to the alcohol content of this beer, in case you missed the tiny 8.9% ABV on the bottom of the label.

Alcohol is present in the aroma as well, but surprisingly, only on rather close inspection. The scent that hits you in the face is the highly roasted malt. Deep, intoxicating and luxurious aroma, with hints of black cherries.

The beer is as bit rough on the tongue, but I'm not sure this is even a fault. Coffee-like flavors of malt with a surprisingly high hop bitterness. Alcohol warming sensation and a nice, sweet aftertaste. Full bodied in the extreme. Approach this beer with respect!

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Photo of andrenaline
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one sticking around for some time. Figured the weather is perfect for it being -25 and snowy! Poured into a snifter.

A - Pours pitch black, thin layer of tan coloured head, little retention and little lacing.

S - Milk chocolate, espresso, caramel, toffee and the slightest scent of cherries. Smells incredible.

T - This stuff is as close to chocolate milk as you can get in terms of beer. The milk chocolate shines through, and is followed by a generous serving of espresso beans that lingers on the tongue. The 9% ABV in incredibly well hidden, showing only the slightest amount of heat and sweetness. The coffee flavours definitely become more prominent as it warms.

M - A bit of a bite to it, likely due to the alcohol, but nice carbonation on the body which keeps it light, and it goes down smooth.

D - Normally with stronger brews like this, one would be enough for me. This, however, I could drink all night. The ABV is nicely hidden, it's full of flavour and nicely balanced between the chocolate and coffee malts. Very delicious, and I can understand why this one is so well rated.

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Photo of drrone
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet

A - Pours a sexy completely black liquid, which liberates a 2 finger light brown head that slowly faded and left light lacing.

S- great nose of chocolate, mocha, light vanilla and light malt. great nose

T - Awesome wave of mostly the same as the taste. Chocolate, coffee and malt. Very nice.

M - Full bodied and lightly chewy. Drinks well.

O - After trying many very good RIS, this still satisfies and impresses. It is worth finding and drinking on a regular basis.

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Photo of aqualung23
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a textbook perfect example of a RIS. Dark and beautiful in color, nice beige head, amazing smell, perfect mouthfeel. I loved the coffee notes and the dryness, perfectly hopped with what I assume to be KEG (something english for sure). My only negative is that it was a little boozy for 9%, where I have tasted smoother stouts with a higher ABV. Regardless, that's just a personal preference and this is an absolutely amazing representation of the RIS style.

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Photo of TheBrouMaster
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours pitch black with a khaki colored one-finger creamy head that seems to retain forever and sticks to the sides as it settles.

S- smells of melted chocolate with toffee & caramel taffy, some underlying mocha coffee, subtle roasted malt note with a bit of alcohol. Chocolate definitely shines overall

T- The chocolate flavors follow the smell with huge bitter-sweet dark chocolate, some dark fruity notes chime in around mid-palate with fig/date, coffee flavors arise near the end with a sweet and roast malt finish, with more chocolate on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation, foamy mouth feel with a crisp finish. A touch of alcohol warmth at the end

O- An American classic that often goes unheralded, yet one that we are lucky to always have available. Always a good choice

Serving type: bottle

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,640 ratings.
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