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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.3/5
Outstanding
12,330 Ratings
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:
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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#501
Reviews:
3,748
Ratings:
12,330
pDev:
10.23%
Bros Score:
4.38
 
 
Wants:
614
Gots:
3,096
Trade:
49
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12,330 |  Reviews: 3,748
Photo of bmillen22
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 4 pack about 4 months ago and I am on the third one and am finally around to reviewing it. This is a really good beer for the price and it can be found pretty much anywhere.

A- Poured into my Stone Russian Imp St. glass. Poured it hard to give it a 2" head. It hung around for a bit and then turned into a thick lacing for the rest of the drink.

s- smell is decent. Roasted malts and a pinch of coffee.

T- In my mind it tastes just like a good imp stout should. Strong taste of dark roasted malts. Somewhat bitter finish, but like a smooth coffee. Can't taste the Alcohol, which at 9% that is pretty good.

M- thick and creamy, but not too thick. Real nice.

D- Very good for the style. I could have 2 of these in a sitting. I would have a fat buzz though becuase I am feeling it a little after one.

Well done North Coast. Keep the price right and I will make this one of my go to RIS's.

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Photo of pnkHoody
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After drinking the XII version a while back, picking this up was a no-brainer - especially as I found it at $9.95 for a four-pack in a Victoria government liquor store (sometimes the darnedest beers turn up in BC).

This is my third bottle. Anxious about reports of a non-existent head, my first bottled was poured from 6 inches with vigorous swirling, and I ended up with the stout equivalent of an Ibiza Foam Party. This third bottle was poured on the cautious side of usual, but still produced a thick three inches of head that diminished to half a finger that stayed throughout. Lacing is thick and permanent, and it looks beautiful for it.

This smells lighter than many imperial stouts (Peche Mortel and XII are my benchmarks, however, and they are very robust) and yeast is prominent. As well as familiar burned tones, there's a deep woody odor reminiscent of an old school desk.

It's more effervescent than other RIS I've had, which explains the head. It really blooms in the mouth -- which is a bit too much at first, but it settles down after a few sips. The taste is sensational. It is very bitter, but more charcoal than hops. It avoids the sweetness many RIS ride upon, delivering 75% cocoa chocolate, powerful molasses, and baking-soda astringency.

The beer is far less complex than the XII, which makes me reflect on how beautiful that beer really was. But at this price, this is a sensational RIS that makes no mistakes. I will buy a lot of this, especially as Peche Mortel is all gone and Brooklyn Brewery Chocolate Imperial Stout is harder to come by in BC recently...

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Photo of Norvelljeff
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of gclark_43
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Chris33
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of afausser
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours an opaque plum with a fluffy finger of chocolate head and a sheet of fine lacing that glitters down the side of the glass as it's drunk, leaving minuscule traces of where it's been on the side of the glass. The head disappears in the first few minutes and leaves a very still top with wisps of chocolate foam on the top. Very fine carbonation bubbles can be seen near the top of the pour going into the head. Not half bad for the ABV.

Smell: Smells dark, with dark chocolate, wood, smoke, and earth notes. Slight cherry and raisin notes, along with a hint of anise and vanilla syrup. A bit metallic.

T: Dark fruits tempered with heavy coffee and a roasted nutty flavor along with burnt toast. Initially quite hot and with coffee and hops aftertaste. Creamy and slightly minty and sweet as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Very light and fine carbonation bubbles in a very heavy beer. Nice and creamy.

Drinkability: Not awful, but I didn't like this one as much as i would have expected to.

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Photo of Redwood21
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a glass it has a large brown/almond colored head that slowly goes down. the beer itself is extremely dark, even when held up to light. There is a roasted coffee aroma, that for me is faint, but might be stronger than i can tell. The taste follows the aroma. There is a coffee taste, with a slight bitterness. The stout has a nice medium body that is nice on the finish. This stout is very smooth and easy to enjoy.

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Photo of Retsinis
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
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 -5.1%

Photo of Redgoatman
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of cgwami
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sonicdescent
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
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 -5.1%
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 -5.1%

Photo of Oxymoron
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
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 -5.1%
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 -5.1%
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 -5.1%
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.

 582 characters

Photo of Nutleybeer
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
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 -5.1%
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.

 1,766 characters

Photo of wuthrichj15
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
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

 295 characters

Photo of snpub540
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

 483 characters

Photo of CityBoy1986
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
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 -5.1%
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

105 characters

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
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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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,330 ratings
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