Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

12,190 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

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Ratings: 12,190 |  Reviews: 3,720
Photo of Retsinis
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't recall how many times I've had this, probably a few dozen. This review is based on a recent visist to Spring Street bar in downtown Los Angeles.

A: The beer pours jet black, with a large two inch of solid cream nitro head, that sat on top like a ice cream float.

S: Roasted malt, molasses, licorice, coffee and dark choclate.

T: Some bitter dark choclate, sweet roasted malt and mollasses, and mild charred coffee.

M: medium mouth, well carbonated due to the nitro pour, creamy, and smooth.

O: Great quick pint this day. The beer is a bit different out of the bottle, Co2 draft, and nitro. Old Raspy is the staple and standard of the RIS for me, as it was the first I can remember that woke me up to just how simple the dry irish style of Guinness is in contrast, and how much more of a Stout, the RIS is.

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Photo of Tpain518
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Redgoatman
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of cgwami
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sonicdescent
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours none more black with a thick and creamy tan head. Leaves a ton of lacing. Simply beautiful.

Smells strongly of coffee and chocolate. Hop presence found in the taste doesn't have much place here.

Tastes of..coffee, chocolate, and a nice bitter hoppy finish. This is definitely a hop-forward stout.

Thick bodied and medium carbonation with a warming sensation.

Very good, very easy to find, but as it warms the hops tend to overtake the other flavors making it more difficult to drink as I prefer hops take a backseat if any seat in my stouts.

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Photo of mckeowbc
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A good Russian Imperial Stout, but not my favorite beer ever. Perhaps Russian Imperials just aren't my style. It's a good beer, but too maybe too rich for my blood, both in alcohol content and cost.

A - Pours a very dark brown that ends up black in the glass, topped by ample amounts of chunky caramel colored head.
S - Smell is complex, sweet with hints of burnt coffee, chocolate and a noticeable amount of alcohol in the nose.
T - The alcohol comes through in the taste but the chocolate, coffee and malt come along for the ride. In a way I felt like I was drinking a scotch or a bourbon. Nice, but if I want a glass of scotch I'll have a glass of scotch.
M - Mouthfeel is just about right for a big Imperial Stout. Heavy and full but not syrupy.
D - Too big to be really drinkable. A good imperial stout, but the taste wasn't my favorite and the amount of alcohol made this a special occasion beer.

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Photo of Zulujive
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Oxymoron
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found a recipe on Old Raspy and brewed it, so I decided to compare and contrast. And then compare. And then compare some more. The pour is a creamy with a very black color that when held to the light has a feint brown hue. A good mahogany brown head that is pretty soapy and good lacing.

The nose is rich with maltiness. Mostly a chocolate smell but some stronger astringent malts are present as well. Some coffee and a hint of caramel on the end.

The taste has a strong malt flavor. The astringency comes out stronger then the nose would indicate. A good bite that is enhanced with a light earthy bitterness. Bigger coffee notes but there are some lighter milky aftertones at the back end that kind of clash. I also picked up some roasted nut flavors.

The body is full but some of the milkiness brings it down a bit. Some phenolics are present, but not suprising with the high ABV. A viscous feel as well. Overall it's a good brew to clone and well worth to drink.

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Photo of benclimbs
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black with a brown head and tons of lacing

Nose isn't too heavy, coffee cocoa, cinnamon and alcohol

taste is dried fruit, intricate espresso notes, chocolate with a bitter alcohol finish

mouthfeel is beautiful, silky and thick

a very nice imperial stout

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into Weyerbacher tulip.

A - Pours a nearly black color with a finger and a half of dense tan head. Great retention and beautiful lacing.

S - Roasty malts, oak, coffee creamer, and trace amounts of pine.

T - Robust malt profile with burnt chocolate, wort, bitter coffee, and candied pecans. Starts sweet and moves towards bitter with a little bit of pine on the aftertaste. Very good stout.

M - Very smooth with great carbonation and a medium feel.

O - This is a staple in my fridge. Roasty is what comes to mind as far as flavor and aroma. The price is a bonus here and I always appreciate it when imperial stouts are offered in 12 oz. bottles. I give North Coast a lot of credit for making a top notch RIS with wide distribution and a reasonable cost. Good stuff.

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Photo of cosmo4u
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap at the yardhouse in yonkers NY 11/12/11

Dark as night. Lower carbonation level due to the high alcohol content. Chocolate aroma with hints of licorice. Incredible flavour!! Coffee at first, with a smooth sweet chocolate middle, then a little warming with a gentle chocolate finish. The alcohol certaintly does not overpower. Mouthfeel is perfect, not too thin, but not too syrupy. Overall this is sweeter than other imperial stouts that I have tried, but with good balance. This truly is one of the world’s great beers! Thanks to Brian for serving me this remarkable beer.

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Photo of Nutleybeer
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out into the glass with a rich, foamy head. It has a strong, potent smell with the essence of vanilla and bourbon. The color is jet black.

Go for a taste. The beer has a heavy, thick body, packed with flavors. The alcohol is not subtle here. It smacks you pretty hard, but at the same time there is a smooth drinkability in each sip.

A very mild hoppy tingle lingers on my tongue.

Excellent beer. Strong. As I noted, the 9% ABV is not well hidden, but it never takes away from the flavor. This is really good, quality beer.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass:

P: Pours a very dark brown from this cool ass looking bottle, and sits nearly opaque black in the glass. The tannish colored light brown head is about 1 ½ inches deep, with tiny bubbles frolicking about. Not great head retention, probably due to the high ABV, but actually pretty decent considering. Fits the bill of an RIS.

A: Big whiffs reveal the scents of bitter-sweet chocolate, coffee, molasses, roasted malts, and a nice hop presence as well. Not as robust as I was hoping for, though.

T: The chocolate reigns supreme here, followed by the coffee. The hops make their arrival about halfway in and threaten to overtake the regime, as a nice amount of hop spice kicks down the door and introduces itself. The balance that is subsequently achieved here is superb. Great roasted malts upfront, followed by the hops which levels the playing field and provides a nice and spicy bite on the tongue on its retreat. The more I drink it, though, the hops seem to overstep their boundaries and get in the way of the RIS show a little too much. Still, this is well done and very tasty!

M: I would classify the mouthfeel of Old Rasputin as full-bodied, chewy, rich, and an absolutely pleasantly creamy treat for the palate.

D: Personally, I could drink this one as a session beer, but then again I love me some stout!

Notes: The Old Rasputin provides a nice balance between the roasted chocolate and coffee malts, and the hop bitterness. Although it's a little too hoppy for my tastes, it's still a real winner in my book! And a great QPR beer as well (4-pack for only $7.99). For anyone who loves stouts, and especially Russian Imperial Stouts, this one should be on your short list of beers that you must indulge in.

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Photo of wuthrichj15
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad stout. Did not live up to the hype for me. Not a bad beer overall but I liked Founders Imperial Stout way better. Pours dark black with a small tan head. Taste is chocolate, roasted malts, booze. Bitter aftertaste. Pretty good feel. Overall a good beery but doesn't live up to the hype

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Photo of snpub540
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown almost black hue. pretty much motor oil in color with a brown head. Leaves very little lacing on the glass.

Smells much like dark fruits, some brown sugar, and coffee. Also some caramel and toffee notes.

Taste was very much coffee and chocolate. Alot of smokiness in there and some oak in the finish. Very delicious.

Mouthfeel was slightly syrupy and did a good job of coating the palate. Drinkability was good as the alcohol is subdued but it creeps up on you.

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Photo of CityBoy1986
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. (355 ml) bottle.

The pour is a very dark brown with the faintest hint of ruddy hues near the bottom of the glass. An inch of head slowly recedes into a more manageable size, but it never really goes away. Lacing is on the good side.

The nose is mostly coffee and chocolate with some burnt notes. There is a tiny hint of alcohol. The taste is more of the same; again the alcohol is well-hidden. A mild bitterness is present throughout the sip.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy without too much carbonation. Drinkability is good considering the ABV (and ABW, for that matter). If I didn't know the alcoholic content (and had more than one bottle), I could drink at least a few of these.

This is a nice example of the style that seems to fit even on a warm April night. If this were available locally, it would be a staple of the fridge.

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Photo of Young_John
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just gotta drink this one warm to appreciate it. Too cold and it's flavor and mouthfeel don't come across

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted Blind against Narwhal. Preferred Narwhal.

A - Fills the glass with a brew that is as black as the darkest night. Holds a creamy beige head which dwindles to a dainty but longlasting lacing.

S - Predominated by smoked oak, peat, tar and more smoke. Subtle hints of coffee.

T - As expected, I got a lots of burnt/smoked flavours here. Roasted malt, charred wood, moderate bitterness. Would have liked more vanilla or molasses to balance the abrasiveness.

M - Quite thick, but a touch more carbonated than I would have liked. Could have been a bit creamier.

O - Pretty good but slightly disappointed, as based on reputation, I would have expected this to dominate Narwhal. Just goes to show the value of a blind tasting.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass. Long overdue.

Pours pitch black, light brown head of about two fingers, nice lacing. Fantastic retention, nice lingering brown cap.

Nose is sharply roasty right from the beginning, almost a bit burnt, with the hops adding a bit of a dry, leafy bitterness. Wee bit of burnt sugar also. Just a bit of a piney note underneath. Nice.

Taste is big right off the bat, hoppy, piney and a bit minty over a big, robustly sharp roast. Again, almost burnt, fairly robust bitterness with a densely dark espresso roast. Mintiness from the hops is still there. Just a tiny bit of alcohol in there, almost no heat. Burnt sugar with a deep, dark fruit presence lingers on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, hops cut it a bit, long, lingering bitterness. Fantastic drinkability, alcohol just disappears. Big, brash hop presence is just a bit dominant, but overall, a hard one not to like. Doesn't have the smooth, rich body I'd look for, but this one is aggressive and brash.

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Photo of Commandogeraldo
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass after allowing beer to rise to a temperature of about 50 degrees. Head was three fingers thick, faded after a couple of minutes. Very full flavor, I was impressed with how it had sweetness coming through in the midst of the coffee overtones. Speaking of, that's what this reminded me of: a well-made cup of black coffee, but with more going on, and no need for milk or sugar. I also mark this as part of my evolution as a beer drinker, because a few years ago I would not have been able to appreciate a stout of this caliber.

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Photo of wschumac
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance was jet black with light brown head 1 finger. Very nice retention. Lacing all the way to the bottom.

Smell from this reminded me a little to much of hops. But after letting it breathe. roasted malt ever present with coffee. A little hoppy.

Tasted a little too bitter, it was my first russian imperial so not sure what to expect. But very rich with hop aftertaste.

Excellent in the mouth and smooth expected a little fuller but light compared to its color.

Would come back to this one definitely after trying out some others.

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Photo of zrbeer1579
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

EDIT: Updated review

Appearance: Just black with a one and half finger light mocha dense creamy head that lasted for a quite a while.

Aroma: Roasted and burnt malts. Dark chocolate and some coffee. And some dark fruits as well.

Taste: Dark roasted chocolate and coffee. Burnt malts. A slight of dark fruits. Nice bitterness throughout the flavors . Finish have a lingering roasted chocolate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy bodied. Almost creamy but the carbonation feels a bit too much.

Overall: Even through the stout it's not as intense as I thought it would be (and as described on the bottle); it tasted good. I definitely would not mind having it again.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from Trader Joe's in Raleigh into a tulip glass.

Jet black pour with a creamy tan head that's retained exceedingly well and leaves great lacing. Aroma has a surprisingly fruity nose: fig & plum. Of course, the roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate notes are strong on this one.

Taste is quite chocolatey and has a nice roasted maltiness to it. Feels smooth, yet full-bodied with a nice bitter coffee bite saved for the back of the tongue and throat. I'll be having this one again for sure, good taste & complexity. Drinks exceptionally well for a 9% RIS.

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Photo of NolantheBondFan
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black as all hell with a nice brown head. Looks delicious.
N: Not a whole lot of smell, but when you get a whiff of it, man, you want it. Smells like a good Stout. Coffee and Chocolatey.
T: Roast Coffee and a bit of chocolate. Strong, it can get a little overwhelming if you aren't prepared.
M: Light carbonation, not as smooth as I would like, but still good.
O: One of the first beers I really loved, it is the definition of Imperial Stout. When I think Russian Imperial Stout, I think Old Rasputin.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of bulletrain76
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Almost black, dark brown with a scant brown head. Aroma has powerful licorice and roasted malts. The flavor is big and roasty with coffee bitterness; quite dry in the finish, and the hops blend in and don't overwhelm the balance. Full palate with fizzy carbonation. Very drinkable for an imperial, but intense and rich, dry and bitter. Goes nicely with chocolate desserts. (3.8) Rerate: This is damn good on tap. More dark chocolate and less hop bitterness, though still balanced nicely and very drinkable.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,190 ratings.
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