Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

12,207 Ratings
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:
Produced in the tradition of 18th Century English brewers who supplied the court of Russia’s Catherine the Great, Old Rasputin seems to develop a cult following wherever it goes. It’s a rich, intense brew with big complex flavors and a warming finish.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

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Ratings: 12,207 |  Reviews: 3,722
Photo of LumpyGuitar
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a solid black. At first there appeared to be no head, but after a few seconds head formed, which I found both interesting and awesome. Head has good retention at a fingers width, is nut brown in color, and is thick and foamy.

Smell is strong with roasted malt, oatmeal, chocolate and molasses.

Taste is well built, starting with the bittersweet from the roasted malt. The flavor mellows into a roasted nut with chocolate hints, and as the beer warms the flavors become a bit more harsh.

Mouthfeel is heavy bodied with a very thick and syrupy feel. As I poured the last sip the beer hung onto the bottle like it didn't want to let go.

Drinkability is good. This is a great stout, no wonder its won so many medals. Goes down pretty easy too, considering the ABV.

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

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter, this looks real good. Black with a light brown head, body is as near opaque as I've ever seen in a beer: there's no light coming through and there is minimal lacing. Smells like coffee, smells sweet. Really tastes like a coffee, has that bitter coffee acidity on the back of the tongue. Leads to a chocolatey burp. This beer stands up nicely to and complements well my dad's Christmas English Toffee. 9.0% is well hidden, I feel like I could put down quite a few of these.

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

This stout is definitely on the complex side. A subtle but noticeably floral hop character is one of the sneakier characteristics that contribute to the stout's unique qualities. The mouthfeel is substantial, due to residual sugars that also leave some sexy, sticky lace.

I like the intense dried fruit aroma that blends well with hints of cocoa and fruitier Ethiopian coffee beans. Somewhere along the line, there is a kind of smokiness in the back of the throat deal, and while it is pleasant, I found there was a strange, faint chalkiness or musty property in the mouth. Not texturally, but from a flavor perspective.

On the whole, this beer is a warming, strong ale that I am happy to say protects me from the Ithaca cold!

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

Pours black (brown at the edges), with a small mocha head, Head rapily settles to a small cap, laces quite stickily.
Smell of alcohol, strong coffee, and almost a little smoke.
Tastes like expresso - strong coffee with the attending bitterness, roasted molasses and a touch of black cherry. Chocolate and a more roasted taste develops as it warms.
Carbonated on the pour, but flat and full in the mouth.

This is a nice change of pace beer, a good imperial stout.

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

Pours a dark black-brown with only the slightest red hue when held up to the light. Thick bubbly brown head with good retention.

Dark chocolate, coffee, nutty, and roasted caramel/toffee aroma..

Somewhat mellow and understated for the style, but still a full-flavored brew. The citrus hops are the first thing I notice, along with the full and complex malts. Bitter chocolate and coffee with healthy, but not overpowering alcohol flavors.

Creamy but somewhat syrupy full-bodied mouthfeel. This is probably the most drinkable RIS I've tasted too, since the flavors are so subdued and there is almost no bitter aftertaste.

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

Opaque, silky black pour with no head.

Roasted barley and medium roasted coffee along with a whiff of alcohol on the nose.

Creamy texture and velvety on the tongue; bitter roasted coffee upfront with a milk chocolate middle and a touch of roast astringency on the bittersweet finish. Alcohol barely presents itself.

Medium to full bodied and carbonated; flavors work exceptionally well together. A little tongue drying but oh so smooth; not harsh at all.

Bottom line; a great no frills imperial stout that is highly drinkable.

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

Pours a dark brown color with a very thick light tan head that settles fairly slowly. Aroma is surprisingly hoppy, along with some cocoa notes. Tate has some roasted coffee flavors, along with some oakey notes as well. Maybe even a faint bit of licorice ? Hmm... Mouthfeel is a tad bit light for such a flavorful brew. A very nice RIS. Would certainly be agreeable to having this again.

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage poured out of a 12oz. bottle into a snifter. Black cap, and black label with a menacing picture of Rasputin on the front. Awesome pic!

Apperance - Pours a jet black with a half finger tan head. Lacing glides down the glass as tilted when drinking.

Smell - Coffee, and chocolate straight up. No messing around.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Espresso and chocolate smack you right up front. A bitter chocolate though. Smooth on the tounge, and almost silky. Smoothness holds on right through the finish with some sweetness.

Drinkability - I was expecting a lot from this brew, and needless to say I was not disappointed. Drink with respect or Rasputin will put you to sleep.

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Photo of Pauly2X
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Opaque black, one finger tan head.

S- Rich roasted malts, some vinous fruit aromas as well.

T- Assertive chocolate malts with an underlying roast character. Some citrusy hops show up at midpoint then trail off to a balanced finish.

M- Full bodied and rich sharp carbonation.

D- The balanced finish helps greatly with drinkability.

A very solid Imperial Stout. For better or worse, this shouls be the comparison for all other Imperial Stouts.

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

Dark brown, almost black body. Thick brown head, with excellent retention. Aroma thick with roasted malt, raisin, and molasses with undertones of the 8.9% alcohol coming through. Good flavor, roasted malt dominates with a nice bitter finish. Alcohol apparent in flavor, but less so than in the smell. Thick beer, but not really heavy or oily. This is a good choice for an after dinner/late evening relaxation beer.

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

Pours from 12oz bottle into pint glass

Appearence-pours a slick dark brown into my glass, an impressive mocha head rises and leaves some rich lacing as it recedes.

Aroma-Chocolate and heavily roasted malt dominate mingling with some coffee aromas and a streak of citricy hops. Some alcohol creeps up towards the finish.

Taste-Bittersweet chocolate and citric hoppiness mingle with the chocolate inevitably overwhelming but not after the hops put up a good fight and ensure they leave an impact upon the flavor. There's some espresso-like flavors as well but they're not quite as pronounced as the chocolate.

Mouthfeel-Rather thin for an Imperial Stout in my honest opinion, it's not this beer's major selling point.

Drinkability-Dangerously drinkable for the ABV, pace yourself with this one as the light mouthfeel and the bittering hops can certainly disguise this beer's alcohol strength and make you forget you're drinking a 9% Imperial Stout.

Notes-Honestly, I find this beer a tad overrated; I like it, but it doesn't blow me away or anything. It's main selling point, at least to me, is it's surprising drinkability. I also think it could benefit considerably from turning down the hops and turning up the chocolate malt.

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Photo of gphelps70
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

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

Poured from a bottle into my imperial pint glass.

A: A dark almost black color with a beautiful light brown head. Nice glass lacing as the head subsides.

S: I'm not sure why others don't smell what I did, but right up front I smell hops. Maybe I had a really fresh bottle, but there was no mistaking the initial hop smell. From there when I kept sniffing I picked up the sweet roasted malt with coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate and the sweet burnt caramel smell.

T: Incredible. Once again, hops bitterness right off the bat, but as the beer settles in your mouth you get the traditional stout flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, caramel and the malt. Nice finish that lasts on this beer with some alcohol presence, but far from offensive. This is one complex excellent tasting beer.

M: Great mouthfeel, the alcohol is there and you can taste it as it finishes in your mouth, but it's just really enjoyable.

D: Excellent, boy I could easily put away many of these (if I could stay upright).

Overall this is an excellent stout. I am new to this style of beer, but no doubt hands down this is a favorite of mine. I'm a hop guy and I just loved the upfront hops in this beer. Well done North Coast, cheers to you. I see me drinking a lot of this beer in the future.

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

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A - Deep coffee color with nice creamy tan head with just a small bit of lacing.

S - Nice malty smell with hints of chocolate and coffee. Has a good solid roasted smell as well.

T - Immediately get that nice roasted malt. It follows with a nice coffee taste along with subtle but good chocolate hints.

M - Creamy full bodied beer. Very little carbonation. Chewy.

D - Solid. Definitely a drinkable stout.

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

On tap at the Alibi Room in Vancouver.

A: Carmel coloured head which hung around for a few minutes. The liquid itself is a dark chocolate colour.

S: Malt and dark chocolate.

T: Bitter malt and black coffee with a boozy finish.

M: Low fine carbonation. Somewhat soapy.

O: Good beer but could be better balanced. For beers with this high level of alcohol, I prefer ones that are somewhat sneakier and smoother and do a better job of masking the alcohol.

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Photo of wd40
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having this beer fresh on tap makes a world of difference. The hops were still a bit alive and the interplay between bitter and sweet was great. The sweet maltiness came through with hints of chocolate, caramel and coffee. There is a pleasing viscous thickness to this beer like molasses that really adds to the sweetness of the malts. Very drinkable. Appearance is jet black with a dark brown head that quickly dissipates. Definitely must have again.

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

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a dark black with a big tan head with good retention that fades leaving lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of roasty aromas like cocoa, malt, and coffee. There's a milk chocolate feel to the nose which is very inviting.

T: The taste starts with a roasty chocolate flavor and then a sharp bitterness. On the finish is loads of roasted malt, coffee, and a bit of vanilla.

M: The feel is creamy and medium bodied. Rather light for a RIS and that really detracts from the beer in my opinion.

D: Good roasty aromas and flavors and not much alcohol in the nose or taste. The ABV would probably make this hard to put down too many though.

This is almost like an imperial porter instead of a stout. The mouthfeel is lighter than what I come to think of when I thik of a RIS. Recommended if you can get it. Ten Fidy is still my favorite though.

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Photo of irishking1977
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Menacing, black liquid that forms a rather large tan head. Once the head dissipates, it leaves moderate lacing along the glass.

S: The aroma of bitter chocolate, malt and somewhere in the background some alcohol.

T: For such a study looking brew, this one is not as heavy as it might seem. Robust malts and bitter chocolates dominate the taste, along with a minor alcohol bite at the end. Warming, and very drinkable.

M: A bit chalky, and somewhat warming in that alcohol bite, but just mildly. Stout mouthfeel for a stout.

D: Bold and hardy brew that defies it's own name by being a highly drinkable stout. Putting back three or four of these would not be a problem, especially in the colder winter months.

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Photo of calebroberts811
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My local beer dealer told me that if I didn't try this immediately, I wouldn't be allowed to shop at his store anymore. So I bought it.

A - I had to remind myself that I wasn't changing my oil. Darkest brown/completely black that allows no light to escape, beautiful tan two-finger head, the color of espresso crema.

S - Strong notes of espresso, chocolate, toffee, and a subtler herbal character, like roasted vegetables. Weirdly enough, I smelled a slight hint of teriyaki in the background.

T - There's a burnt caramel introduction on the initial taste that turns in to the smooth coating of the roasted malts across the palette. On the backend, it tastes more like "coffee breath" than coffee itself combined with booze and dark fruits/roasted vegetables.

M - Just enough carbonation to carrying this thick and greasy beer down your throat. Definitely heavy-bodied and I'll be tasting this for awhile.

O - The best Imperial Stout I've had thus far and will probably be the litmus tests for future tastings within the style. Good stuff.

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

A - Pours an opaque black with a thick dark tan head, looks really good. Leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

T - Chocolate with a little bitterness and some hints of roasted nuts. Aftertaste is a little bitter. The alcohol is well hidden in this beer, it doesn't taste real boozy to me.

D - Really good brew, the alcohol really creeps up on you though. Which isn't a bad thing. I would probably stop at two or three of these before quitting.

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Photo of hopluva1
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter @ 50*

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

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

Age it and it will be great!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,207 ratings.
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