Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,686 Reviews
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
northcoastbrewing.com

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:
3,686
Ratings:
12,079
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.28%
 
 
Wants:
587
Gots:
2,944
For Trade:
52
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Reviews: 3,686 | Ratings: 12,079
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 Dulahan
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As the first Imperial Stout I had, this is my benchmark in many ways. It's got a nice, spicy edge to it along with being thick as can be. If it has a downside it can be a bit harsh at times, definitely a sipper. But that's not really a bad thing given how strong this stuff is! Highly recommended, and I love how readily available it is. there are better Imperial Stouts out there, but few so consistently available. Especially outside of Rare Beer Festivals.

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

Mmm, one of my favorites. This classic stout pours oil black and can generate a nice two finger head with great lacing. The smell on this beer is fantastic, coffee like with tiny hints of sweetness, like vanilla and slight chocolate, little bit of alcohol too. The taste is even better. It's got a warm very small alcohol taste, and a beautiful bitter/sweet coffee taste, exceptional. The mouth feel is wonderfully creamy and smooth. Always a good beer. Whenever you see it... Buy it! At least one!!

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

Appearance: Thick and dark, verging on black, with very little light being let through. A thick coffee coloured head, which lasts for a reasonable time. Leaves a bit of lacing down the glass.

Aroma: Really nice aroma that combines a shot of coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruit, caramel, and a little bit of hops. Definitely coffee forward on the nose, but perfectly complex underneath.

Taste: Where the aroma is more coffee forward, I found the taste was quite a bit more chocolaty, with a good whack of malt and caramel. There is a bit of burnt grain somewhere in there, but not enough to become unpleasant. The hops are quite balanced, and even though a bitter dark chocolate aftertaste is present, there is enough refinement and balance that nothing is overpowered. Nice warmth from the alcohol, but again it is very well balanced, and adds to the flavour rather than distracts from it.

Mouthfeel: A little bit drier than the flavours would make you think it is, but I think that is partially due to the ABV. If I had to find a fault, it could probably be a little thicker and creamier, but that is just my preference.

Overall: Wonderful! I was wondering if this was going to live up to the rating here, and I can pleasantly report that it does. It is both easy to drink, and complex enough to savour. A really terrific stout that manages to tick every box.

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Photo of MattinHouston
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

If you like stout beers such as Guinness extra stout, this is like that plus higher abv and better flavor. Bought it at the local grocery, anytime I want a good stout I pick this up. Full of flavors, like a fine coffee / expreso and alcohol as a bonus. No other way to describe it - coffee lovers delight, dark, tasty, potent.

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

L: Pitch black body with a two finger tan head that slowly receded.

S: Dark fruits, Smoked coffee, dark chocolate.

T: Same as the nose. The smoked coffee is more apparent.

F: Medium bodied with mild carbonation, slight alcoholic burn, and creamy.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. stubby bottle that I purchased as a single at Cost Plus World Market for about $2.50 into my Murphy's Irish Red pint glass. I was really looking forward to trying this beer that I previously had on nitro-tap.

A Surprisingly little to no head despite a moderately vigorous pour in which I was trying to get a head. Body is absolutely black, letting almost no light through. I liked the look of the nitro version better which is likely the more recommended way to pour this beer.

S Dark malt, chocolate and even alcohol to the nose. I really love this smell!

T Yep, that is great! The greatest combination of dark malt, chocolate, alcohol and even some hops tastes in a classic, expertly produced beer.

M Creamy, but no carbonation made it a bit flat (see comments about lack of head). The MUCH creamier nitro-tap version solved that issue with a great, creamy feel and carbonation that stays with you all of the way through.

D Great. Really, for a style that does not lend itself to heavy drinkability, I looked down and I could not believe that I only had 1/4 of it left.

Notes: Seek out the nitro-tap for a full experience.

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Photo of chickenm
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a decent tan color head. Aromas of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and bitter espresso. Great taste, the bitterness is perfectly balanced in this. Very warming from the alcohol but not too overwelming. Very chewy mouthfeel. An extremely tasty Imperial Stout, highly recommended!

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Photo of BadBadger
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A very pleasant imperial stout. Pours nice and dark into the glass, with a very nice tan and foamy head. The head retention was brief. But a bit of swirling easily recreates the head for enjoyment, with each raising. Smell is a wonderful mixture of malt sweetness, bitter hops, and alcohol. The taste is much more than pleasant. However, at very limited points the alcohol content is unmasked, something my palate prefers not to notice-but this does not detract from the wonders of this fine beverage. A enjoyable mouthfeel...a thick enough beverage. exceptional drinkability! Certainly worth seeking out and sampling. Enjoy!

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep opaque black. Nice small bubbled head clears to a fine lace that lasts forever. Scents of chocolate, carmel, vanilla and perhaps figs <?>.
Very little carbonation in the mouth, creamy and smooth feel.
Tastes of chocolate, espresso, and alcohol.
Mega alcohol warmth burs a long time afterwards deep in the chest.
Aftertaste of mlt and bitter chocolate.
Very nice stout.
One is enough....two would have an old man naked on the table singing rap. Not a pretty sight.
Edit:
I was drinking another Rasputin tonight and wanted to re-review. Actually, my review would still be 4.5 across the board. This is an excellent beer....not the best...I still like Stone more...but an excellent, EXCELLENT beer available every day of the week, at a reasonable price.. I'm changing drinkability because I'm pretty sure I could keep my clothes on and definately can drink more than one of these a night.

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Photo of abc3
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

See how I rated drinkability as "exceptional"? That's a problem...here's why:

I recently had my 44th birthday party (37 per my fake ID). Anyway, I served old Rasputin on tap for my beer-minded friends and a lager for the rest of the crowd. Now keep in mind, my friends know me a one who serves big, bitter, high alcohol "sipping beer".

And when they drank ORIRS, they noticed how smoooth this beer is. Yes, it is not for the faint-hearted, but compared to a west coast barleywine or a double IPA, it tastes quite innocent. Chocolate and espresso flavors, medium mouthfeel and the look of Guiness...this stuff is like everclear & punch is to frat boys hitting on little sisters.

By the time they drank 3, my sister started motor-boating my nieghbor, and my best friend (a professional bartender) blacked out. (yes he had whiskey too). The next morning...he was seriously pissed at me..claiming I should have warned him how desceptively strong this delicious brew is. Guilty as charged.

For BA readers, be warned. There are stronger brews out there. But none that hide the alcohol behind so much flavor. To those who enjoy a very stout stout..this is one of my favorites.

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Photo of cjacobsen
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black color with a creamy tan head. Lots of lacing and coat the glass well.

Smells of chocolate and coffee. Nicely sweet and malty. Smells great.

Taste is of cocoa and hints of coffee and vanilla. Roasted malt and even light malt comes through brilliantly.

Super creamy and delicious. Very amazing and smooth.

This is a great beer. Great after a nice meal. Really awesome flavor and feel. Truly a wonderful brew

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Photo of OatmattStout
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had on tap in a large snifter at the ginger man in sono.

It was jet black with an incredible "nitro" looking dense tan head.

the nose of sweet malt and cocoa.

The taste is incredible. Rich and velvety dark chocolate, sweet roasted malt, and a slight licorice finish. truly incredibly stout here

The mouth feel was full and engulfed my tongue with flavor and girth.

Cant say enough about this beer. It is great in a bottle and stellar fresh on tap.

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Photo of bonbini26
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a thick dark dark brown, loses some points because of the minimal head that forms, however that small head follows the beer all the way down, with excellent lacing coverage

S- Sweet candy like, licorice, faint hints of chocolate

T- So complex, yet so balanced, a true interpretation of this style. Oak, roasted malt, coffee

M- Silky smooth at first, but finishes with a nice bitterness

D- A true beer for this time a year, i great sipper on a cold winter night

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Photo of rdrummer
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Okay, this is the best beer that I've had recently. I really hadn't read about it, although I should have. But it was a really pleasant surprise. The liquor store clerk didn't want to sell me the four-pack because it was very dusty. I'm glad I didn't let it sway my buying decision.

This is a very dark, almost black and opague stout with a medium sized brown head huge lacing. There are a lot of hints of flavors in the nose, but the roasted maltiness comes through more than anything else. There are hints of chocolate and coffee.

The taste is unbelievably smooth with a real roasted quality but rich chocolate, coffee, caramel, and fruity undertones. There is some hint of bitter hops or bitter chocolate at the end.

It is thick in the mouth and very satisfying almost like a meal. I finished the four-pack quickly and will be heading back for more of the dusty gem.

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The stubby bottle in a little four-pack belies how huge this beer is. Yeah, Rasputin looks cool, but the real stuff comes with the syrupy pour into a pint glass. Medium, very brown head with decent retention. Very dark lace, also has medium lasting length. The beer itself is very dark, not quite black.

Very rich, sweet smell dominated by chocolate. I also detect an undercurrent of earthy hops, possibly even yeast? Some alcohol present in the aroma, as well.

Taste is sweet, earthy, explosive, complex, prolonged. Wow, lots going on here. Lots of dark chocolate and some coffee. Not a mocha though. More like bitter baker's chocolate melted in espresso. The dark roasted malt manages to be very sweet while tasting burnt. Hops are also surprisingly strong and bitter. It's earthy, very well complimenting the baker's chocolate malts. Tastes keep lingering long after swallowing.

Mouthfeel is very thick, full and creamy. Little carbonation. Surprisingly little alcohol bite or taste for being 9%. It's there, but it's masked. I more realized it after I finished the glass.

Wow, this is an excellent stout. It's powerful, a meal to itself, but doesn't punish. Extremely well balanced. I'll be coming back to this one.

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Photo of StevieW
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer grew on me. Pours deep dark black with maybe a hint of purple shade ? Nice big tan foamy head, faded into a thin head but fell down the glass nicely. Smells of roasted malt, toffee, coffee. Big roasted coffee taste, strong bitter finish that stays on your tongue.The taste expanded as the beer warmed, don't let the first sip, get you down. The alcohol makes it taste thinner than other stouts. Cool bottle and label. I bought this based on other beer advocates reviews. It is very good.

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Photo of JoeBloe
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i love sipping one of these at the end of the evening - this is what one looks for in a russian impy stout - tasty alcoholic goodness feels like it goes down my gi tract like it goes down the sides of it's glass, slow and easy with a creamy coating - a perfect winter nitecap - real good stuff.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,079 ratings.
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