Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

3,688 Reviews
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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Reviews: 3,688 | Ratings: 12,084
Photo of Yargerilla
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Still one of my favorites after all these years. Outside of BA imperial stouts and spiced/specialty stouts, you can't get much more delicious than this. It's toasty, chocolatey, nice bitterness, strong enough, and has the mouthfeel that makes this a go-to nightcap/dessert beer for me. I would say 'desert island' beer, but then I'd be drunk all the time on that island, at 9%.

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Photo of Jim60203
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An outstanding RIS. I like to use it in a Juniper berry based marinade for pork and chicken (just dunked a couple of pork loins in it for tonight) and the meats turns out amazing. The head is a joy to wait for as it falls, the smell is light malt and it's smooth while retaining all of the expected flavor and then some.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased a 6pk from Champagne's in Warren MI for $10.00. Served at cellar temperature in a tulip. Aged nearly 2yrs.

A- Opens well and pours a huge 1" high medium brown colour head that lasts forever and a day before film out. Very dark brown colour

S- Heat even after nearly 2yrs.

T- Chocolate, burnt smokiness, heat, sugar and more heat! This one stays as hot as the day I got them after nearly 2yrs.

M- Creamy good

O- Nice brew. Complex but nothing sticks out at you. Good to have some in the cellar for a switch up.

Food Pairing

This nice big brew went well with........ Braised beef short rib in a tomato sauce.


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Photo of Bruno74200
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Balanced, fruity, roasty. This a real RIS, aggressive but so well craft. The roast malt is balanced with the citrus hops. The smell is delicious. Great great stuff

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Photo of Kobold
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours a proper admixture of angelic suicide and blood; the black, inscrutable dent revealed when a boulder on the fiend's frozen lake is dug out of its ditch; the swatch of some god-primeval's mourning cloak; oil powering the cavalcade galloping towards Revelation.

Smell: The reek is of confusion, phobia, and midnight blitzkrieg. Chocolate factories incinerated to charcoal; scorched earth at its most evil and intense; memories of milk on the lips of a dying man; flickers of knife sweat as it quick-slits the cord linking body and soul; bread immolating itself to save the bakery; wood chips reaching into the furious atmosphere discombobulated; branches bled of all resin embracingthe air snapping; succubus licked tootsie roll pushed with unrelenting, though magically gentle, force deep into my mouth; sooty licorice and a chunk of boot from the first Hun gunned down discovered in grandfather's box of curios from the Great War; an undecayed grape dropping out of an emperor's tomb.

Taste: For a moment my throat became the conduit to an Awakened World. Then in dropped desperately baked burnt cookies exploding soil and secret coffee bean maps. Where aroma slashes the nostrils the taste is an unroughened arch, a passageway of absolute angles. Autumn fruits that have conspired to hide among the roots of their trees to witness the bitter-sweet passage of light into darkness; insatiable shifting of motion and stillness, euphoria and angst, leather whips and feathers; mud, of ancient origin, shuddering with the promise of rare life; baker's chocolate about to either destroy a cake or elevate it to saturnine tastes; syrup punched with wooden knuckles;

Feel: A sense of my breath being held hostage in a closet between fire and some oblivion hole.

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Photo of MMOSNN
4.71/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look - completely black with a gigantic brown head that is super creamy. There is some great lacing, and it has effervescent bubbles for days.
Smell - coffee, roasted malts, chocolate, and caramel.
Taste - roasted malts and coffee are overpowering, but there are some notes of chocolate and caramel as well. There's a bitter aftertaste, but it's more of a coffee bitterness as opposed to hops.
Feel - great carbonation, somewhat chewy body, but definitely smooth finish.
Overall, this is a superb stout. If you like strong coffee characteristics, then this is the perfect beer for you.

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Photo of zshaft
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

pours jet black with nice frothy head. dissipates slowly. nose is nice charcoal and burnt malts with some licorace and pepper in there. mouthfeel is perfect with just right amount of carbonation. up front I seem to get some light hop prescence giving way to multiple layers of toasted malts with some sweetness layered in there making this a rather lighter tasteing russian than others I have had. ends with light dry licorace and leather prescence. overall very well done russian. all the typical flavors are there but not quite as bold as other russian stouts. very easy drinking for 9 percent as alcohol is well hidden. not my favorite as I prefer stone and founders but a must try if you like the style.

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Photo of rvshaff
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a smooth, darker beer that is frankly delightful. I really don't even know how to describe it because I'm not much of a connoisseur (yet) but it's easier/lighter to drink than a Guinness but doesn't sacrifice any of the flavor. Just do yourself a favor and try it.

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Photo of BeerStud187
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Really really good beer for the price. Look, there are better beers out there with barrel aging and what not, but this is a really really good beer and about a quarter of the price of comparable beers. It packs a punch and is full of rich chocolate, coffee, stouty goodness. You taste, notice the alcohol, but it's smoothed out by the roasty goodness.

I was disappointed by the barrel aged versions of this that do not compare to other barrel aged competitors, but for a straight up RIS, this is the standard and very very good. If you have not had this, try this first and then compare all future offerings of the style against this.

You will not be disappointed.

Good stuff!

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Photo of Jaypeajus
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours like a thinned out motor oil. Into a mini snifter. Nice foamy head, good lacing. Smells of bitter roasted coffee, charred chocolates and burnt vanilla/sugar cookie. Coffee very upfront on taste, warming bitterness to it. Smokiness comes out as it warms. I'm growing into liking coffee being heavily present in a non BA RIS. this is pleasant, not like my first experience with this several months back, I remember thinking day old Hardee's coffee would be preferred over this. Feel is a bit thin for my preference, still pretty close to being really darn good tho. Overall it's a 4 for me, which is saying a lot by my ratings, I tend to stay away from 4+ on most beers, just overly critical I suppose. Got a good local source to keep this in rotation.

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Photo of davidperez
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a Duvel tulip, it pours a deep, dark as night black with a two-finger brown head, foamy, with excellent retention. This beer leaves a beautiful lacing.

Such a delicious and intense bouquet. Huge cacao nibs and roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, vanilla, plums.

This beer is awe-inspiring.
Nice and pleasant carbonation upfront.
A predominantly bitter beer, but its flavor feels somewhat balanced by the multifaceted sweetness. So rounded, the bevy of notes coexist in perfect harmony.
Coffee liquor, chocolate, cacao nibs, vanilla, caramel, roasted malts, just a hint of plums. Short after, that hoppy and roasted bitterness prevails, and it leads towards the aftertaste.
The finish is predominantly bitter with notes of dark chocolate and malty roastiness. It is a very long aftertaste, and that bitterness coats your palate in a scrumptious manner reminiscent of smoke.
Full body, creamy, chewy and smooth.

What a finesse, a world class beer for sure.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the growler via Jungle Jim's in a Delirium snifter. This fine RIS pours a coal black with a modest head of light tan foam that settles to a thick ring, thin layer, and very nice lacing. Nose of bakers chocolate, caramel, subtle char, vanilla, and coffee with deep roasted malts. Flavors exceed the nose with coffee and bakers cocoa on the front and sides, char hits nicely in the middle and fades into the back with subtle herbal hops and bakers cocoa, light vanilla, and subtle booze and subtle cream....well hidden alcohol. Excellent mouth feel, full mouth feel, fading creaminess, and a bitter malt finish. A stout drinkers stout....then again, if you are a stout drinker I need not tell you this.




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Photo of Kubishark
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap, nitro. I had heard so much about this beer, and was incredibly excited to try it. Gorgeous completely black appearance with a little tan head. Smells very boozy. I know it's 9%, but I've had high ABV beers that don't smell so boozy. Tastes super boozy too. Kinda shocked me. Not what I expected. Booziness has been hidden so well behind other flavors in other big beers like this, why am I getting so much booze now? Not that that ruins it, I like alcohol after all, but still. Feels as heavy as a beer can get. Overall I'd like to try this again NOT on nitro and come back and see if my rating needs updating. I want to love Old Rasputin, but after this first experience with it, I'm left wanting more from it.

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Photo of bakkus
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance as black as Rasputin's soul. When smelling this you know there is a serious amount of alcohol in your glass. Complicated feel on the tongue, heavy roast, strong coffee and barley wine. Will have it once or twice a year, but never 2 on the same night. That will end badly.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into snifter. It pours a dark mahogany with a thick, mocha-colored head and extensive lacing. It smells of roasted malt, chocolate, burnt coffee, caramel, and pepper. The taste features all of the above but adds a significant malt bitterness. Unlike some stouts the bitterness isn't just at the finish; it's throughout the sip. As the glass warms, the baker's chocolate and burnt coffee grounds become more evident and there is a little more caramel at the finish. This stout is creamy, moderately carbonated, and while the 9% ABV is high in absolute terms, when compared to a lot of higher ABV barrel-aged stouts, this one seems moderate. Overall, it is a unique and delicious RIS, well deserving of its World Class BA Score.

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Photo of erk0607
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Black-brown, opaque with a dark tan head that lingers around, medium fine carbonation
Smell: Chocolatey, malty, but not overpowering or very aromatic, I had to concentrate on smelling it
Taste: Dark, malty, chocolatey followed by coffee, definitely on the bitter side of things, but like a good stout, not much hop bitterness, just the malt bitterness.
Feel: You can feel a bit of some alcohol burn, but you can not blatantly taste it. It's smooth, thick, on the heavier side, almost a bit creamy?
Overall: It's very enjoyable and I can not wait to see what aging a few bottles of this does to the flavor profile. Would get again.

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Photo of Khaymanbb
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I first had this in bottles from my local liquor store, as I was sampling all the types of stouts he could get in a 1/6 barrel. Then I got a 1/6 bl and there is a slight increase in rating:
L: poured chocolate brown/black, with large head that dissipated slowly (I hard poured it, shouldn't do that...)
S: not much of an aroma, slightly malty with hint of vanilla and chocolate
T: very good. Can really get the chocolate and vanilla flavors, with some notes of coffee and possibly almonds? Slightly nutty, but in a good way. Not too fond of beers with nut flavors
F: These can be quaffed like nobodies business, just beware: the 9% ABV will kick in and drop you on the floor if you're not taking these slowly.
O: Very good stout.
Nitro keg:
L: had gas too high, so head was creamy tan half glass. Reset gas, did a Guinness pour, and whole new world. Top 1/2 inch thick marshmallowy cream, below that thick bubbled creamy head, then dark chocolate color beer.
S: Not much of a noticeable smell at all.
T: Super creamy, smooth, flavors of good stout beer with very slight chocolate and vanilla. Absolutely delicious. You will get a slight sharp alcohol taste as well, due to the high ABV, but nothing like a vodka or bourbon. It's noticeable, which is odd when drinking a beer.
F: One of my new favorites. Guy was out of LH Milk Stout, offered this for same price. Now it's my 3rd favorite over the prior and Guinness.
O: A great beer that needs to be in everyone's fridge or kegerator. Also will get you crazy hammered if you drink it like a normal beer. So be careful...

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

had this on nitro at five horses tavern in boston. really nice stout ... beautiful nitro waterfall made me so pumped to taste. getting a big roastyness, some woody notes, and light chocolate and vanilla on the nose. taste is similar, very rich. perfection on the feel, thick and velvety smooth.

pretty different from the bottle. mouthfeel wasnt as smooth or thick, but there was a lot more roasty and bitter espresso flavors, hoppy even. either way very enjoyable and excellent stout!

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Photo of cbenson
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours jet black like motor oil. Has a small, quickly dissipating brown head with no lacing or carbonation. Not the most beautiful I've seen.
S: Dark chocolate, malty, and slightly citric with a presence of alcohol.
T: Strong notes of chocolate with a hint of vanilla and a balanced alcohol taste. Fantastic but I wish the aftertaste carried a bit more.
F: Full-bodied and creamy with a wonderful carbonated fizzle. Excellent!
O: This is a rich and satisfying stout with an excellent mouthfeel. I wish it pushed the bitters a bit more.

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Photo of jaypaul522
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is pretty perfect stout. Poured dark black with big head. Smell of roasted malts, with only vague hints of other flavoring. The taste was full, complex but the malts weren't buried by chocolate or coffee. Feel is very full bodied, and the finish is a creamy after-taste of the malts. Great beer.

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Photo of kculrich
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a 12oz. bottle, undated as best I can tell. Served in a tulip.

Pours a deep-dark chocolate with a plum aura. An excellent three-finger head of whipped mocha foam has very good retention and leaves thick sheets of heavy lacing sliding down the glass.

Smells of cocoa, copper, oranges and leaf mould.

The taste is lush and full, toasted grains and fruit juice, raisins, walnuts and tobacco. A solid malty backbone with high-notes of slick, roasted bitterness and very little aftertaste.

Feel is smooth, medium-full bodied and mouth coating with just enough carbonation to get the job done.

Overall, an excellent, beautifully bitter RIS. Although, at 9% abv, it should have been a sipper, it was so damn easy to drink that I done drunk it right up. Whoops.

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Photo of Squire123
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Black with a red tinge around the edges, tan cap with very good lacing.

Aroma: Spicy hops over roasted malt. A hard to describe malt sweetness beneath layers of coffee and roasted malt.

Taste: Bitter hops, bitter roast malt, bitter coffee yet there's a malt richness going on as well.

Texture: Full and maybe even slightly fuller than full.

Overall: Roasty, burnt toasty, expresso yet with an underlying rich malt core. It is, as the name states, both Imperial and Stout.

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Photo of MizterJawsh
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at there taproom and bottled into a bomber many times.
First bottle.

L - Nice dark black with brown accents. Pours a brownish tan head, wish it had a slightly bit more head to give it that perfect look but its enough.

S - Very malty smell, chocolate with a little bit of cherry. It smells like a strong stout should. However the smell fades kind of fast.

T - WOW! First off it just hits you with that nice maltyness that you could smell, followed by a nice balance of coffee and chocolate with a little bit of vanilla and tobacco underneath. Just an awesome balance of bitter and sweet flavors.

F - That malt just crisps your tongue so nicely, it feels like a stout and taste like a stout.

On Tap
Poured into a 10 oz tulip glass
L - It looks so much cleaner, it pours a crisp tan foamy head that balances with the blackness of the stout itself. Overall its beautiful to look at.

S - Mostly the same however the maltyness is a little bit more pronounced, the smell of coffee hits you more.

T - Oh my damn, I didn't think it could get any better but I was wrong, after already being a huge fan of the bottle version the tap was phenomenal, the coffee and chocolate hit with a more robust flavoring that counteract the bitterness of the end of the beer. It tastes like a stout poured from heaven itself.

F - So much more smooth, I feel like I could drink it all day. The tan head itself is so foamy and soft it pronouncing a wonderful coffee flavor, the feeling of the foam you get from an espresso. Overall its just a fantastic beer.

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Photo of Ginagee68
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at JL Beers in a flight and enjoyed the full-bodied flavor higher alcohol content so I don't think I would be able to drink more than just the flight good with 5 ounces. But great beer taste would have it again but just don't feel I could drink a full pint.

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Photo of goodbeer4cheap
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed from draft most recently in early April. A very consistent time to time beer could be described as a dessert beer. Look- thick, dark, decent carbonation and head. Smell - chocolate, malt, sweetness, reassuring. Taste- I get chocolate and a slight coffee, a large sweet malty is also there which is lovely. Feel-pure heavy dessert beer. Fantastic beer I enjoy time to time in special moments in life. April was both it's on tap status and the birth of my first niece.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,084 ratings.
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