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: 12,085
Photo of malcontent
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An exceptionally dark beer with a head so thick it could be meringue which in turn gives way to some very even lacing. It’s been so long since I’ve had this beer but now it’s all coming back to me!

Roasted malts dominate the nose with accompanying coffee, chocolate, liquorice & even dark berry overtones. This is setting the bar pretty high & I’m a little concerned I’ll be let down upon tasting…

…And I’d be wrong! Oh, this viscous, delectable drink is every bit as good as I remember. Creamy & almost sweet at first, becoming bitter (but in the best sense of the word) after spreading across the palate. The malt presence is intense & the alcohol is certainly detectable, but every flavor works so well together that it’s hard not to love. To add to the sin-factor, I paired this with a little dark chocolate & have to say that I prefer the beer on its own. An exceptional brew whose only detractor is that it doesn’t lend itself to all-night consumption (although at 9% ABV, that could be a very short night!).

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Photo of xav33
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
12 oz bottle
Recent bottling(?), relished 09/06
Medium pour in an English pint glass.

Poured black with outer dark ruby brown edges with a huge light brown frothy mostly lasting head with good lacing.

Smelt of heavy dark chocolate with light dark berry and moderate piney hops.

Taste was upfront medium milk chocolate sweetness, and light banana sweetnes and bitter burnt malt, followed by a bitter ascent into the harsh burnt piney bitterness of the malts (and hops?), keeping its medium chocolatey sweet backbone throughout and dies slightly vinous trailing behind, leaving only the initial chocolatey taste and some roasted character. Mouthfeel was medium to full, creamy coating and velvety, soft carbonation, with light astringency and light alcoholic warmth.

Overall, this beer is like grabbing a handful of fruit and spice flavored dark chocolates and jamming them in your mouth. Excellent!

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Photo of Drew966
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout pours jet black with a thin tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is dominated by dark chocolate. Creamy, smooth mouthfeel, the flavor has dark chocolate notes and coffee notes as well. The alcohol seems well hidden. Excellent beer, recommended.

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Photo of techdiver
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Minimal head and carbonation. Smell and taste place it high as being a drinkable brew. Though lack of carbonation has left me critical of some other stouts, it is a non-issue here as I really didn't miss it. Once again I seem to have made a proper choice in that I have a whole case of this to enjoy.

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

Appearance- Not quite black. Hues of reddish brown. Head is a bit on the small side, and the color is tan.

Smell- Chocolate fudge/pudding, flowery hop essence if you smell for it, hints of alcohol esters.

Taste- The flavors seem to change every sip. Sometimes they are dominated by alcohol esters to remind you how big this beer is. Other times a mellow chocolate pudding flavor comes through more. Coffee-like notes, but not too bitter. I get the feeling that a lot of hops are hidden beneath the other flavors.

Mouthfeel- Cant imagine it being better.

Drinkability and other notes- This beer keeps you wanting more. The alcohol is very upfront, but it tastes excellent. I could see this beer possibly getting better with age.

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Photo of leedorham
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was buying a cart full of different brews and thought I was done when I saw this four-pack of 12 ouncers sitting askew behind another. It was the last one. The bright souls of my ancestors had lit the path for me tonight.

The brew pours almost black with a reddish-brown tint when light shines through. 2mm tan head that mostly dissipates. A thin layer of foam remains to give moderate lacing.

The aroma malty sweet. Like nearly burnt sugar.

It tastes exceptionally smooth. Full hop character rises through strong roasted coffee and caramel flavor. I have trouble sipping this beer. It is like candy. The alcohol is present but I notice it more as it warms my stomach than in my mouth. I had planned on letting the other 3 bottles age but it will be a struggle.

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Photo of gonzo138
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark black with a small amount of red mixed in if you hold it up to the light, nice cramy brownish head that doesnt stay around too long but retains very well

S- Smells of rich almost earthy chocolate malted sweetness

T- very rich chocolate/coffee-ish taste nice sweet desert taste

M- very, very thick, coats mouth, suprisinglty carbonated, taste stays in mouth for moderate amount of time

D- Something to slowly enjoy, have bought plenty of this beer and plan to buy plenty more

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Photo of thelagerheads
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just as Pluto is no longer recognized as a planet sometime in the not too distant future macro brews will not be considered the KING OF BEERS but rather dwarves in an ever growing universe. Then the true forebearers and rightful heirs of the past (stouts, porters, ales, etc.) will once again become the standard bearers. With this brew that future is already here. This heady stout has a potent sludge of choc-smoke-offee and is more like a dreamquest than a heavy beverage. Smoke is rising through the fog laden hills and the old spirits are churning skyward to meet the Gods in the newly refined air.

I may have met my match here though as I dozed off for a few minutes in the tub clutching my notepad! If Breckenridge Vanilla Stout is the high watermark then this is me undertow and drowning. The Beer Cave of American brews (so far!)!!!

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Photo of mmcave
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark blackest coffee and a tan head with light high lights on edges. The head is mild and seems it will slowly fade except on the edges. Sents of coffee, caramel, dark chocolate and hops. The taste is robust, well balanced, coffee and chocolate present with a tinge of bitterness. The finish is little bitter, but only in the best way as in a great after taste. This is a nice beer, I would definitely buy it again.

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Photo of w1n0
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great effort from the people at North Coast.

appearance: pitch black (even against light), a modest tan head.

smell: green tea, corriander and toasted nut notes.

taste: a plesantly light bitter chocolate and red berry notes bound together with a smooth coffee and toffey finish. light in the gut with little to no blote.

mouthfeel: moderate weight, chewy.

drinkability: one of the best russian imperial style stouts ive had.

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Photo of phisig137
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black, with ruby hints around the edges, and a two finger creamy head. Nice retention and lacing.

Aroma is cocoa-ey, and filled with scents of roasted barley, and a bit of coffee. Toffee also pops out, along with a hint of burnt toast. Only the smallest hint of alcohol present.

Flavor is smooth, and dominated by coffee nuances behind the roasted grain. Chocolate is also present, along with a hoppy finish. Dry finish, balanced between roasted grain and (what taste like noble) hops.

Mouthfeel is creamy and heavy. Begs for another sip. Drinkability is pretty good considering the ABV and heft of the beer.

Yet another fantastic beer from North Coast. They almost never disappoint.

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Photo of GimpyCane
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearence: poured burnt caramel brown w/ a 1/2 inch light brown head. Looks alot like molasses and left virtually no lace.

smell: got an intense whiff of roasted coffee and burnt caramel, also has a nice hint of alcohol present.

taste and mouthfeel: loved how it starts off w/ a creamy sweet caramel and ends hoppy harsh almost tart, medium to full body w/ a fizzy carbonation feel. Great hint of alcohol on tongue that wondered on my tongue for several minutes.

drinkability: nice sipping beer

Overall, I like this Russian Imperial Stout alot, especially at room temperature. While it is smooth to drink, it's quite intense and well balance w/ roasted elements, alcohol and body. Careful the ABV is 9% and will kick you in the ass.

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Photo of RedChrome
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured an almost ink blank with only a hint of red at edges in the light. Half inch tan head stayed a few minutes. No noticable carbonation. Minimal lacing.

The scent of this beer has a huge chocolate strength. There is a strong alcohol smell. Subtle not of dates and caramel finish the aroma off with a complex hit.

A very strong tasting beer. The flavors of chocolate strike the tongue quite strongly. There is also a very strong bite of the alcohol. There is a lingering taste of bready raisins.

A nice thick beer. Hangs to the sides of the mouth. Not much carbonation to move flavors.

Quite a good beer in the style. A little to strong for an everyday beer. Would go very nice as an enjoyable beer with a cigar as an afer dinner drink. If looking for something in this style, don't pass this up.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.32/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It poured with a 1/4" tan head. Black and deep brown. Head fades at medium pace to a thin lacing.
S- Coffee aromas mixed in with some deep rich malts.
T-Bit of coffee flavor with really nothing else. Coffee flavor wasn't to strong and grew in after taste. The whole overall flavors were not to strong at all. There was also a little bitterness in aftertaste.
M- More carbonation than I expected. Had about medium carbonation and a medium body. Was sticky also.
D- It was a very simple beer lacking complexity. Not to strong flavors. Not much going on with the beer at all. Smelled good though. Is drinkable but nothing special at all.

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

The Setting:
Sitting at my friend Scott's house with this beer, playing some xbox 360 and killing zombies...with the occasional hand of uno.

Beer pours a nice dark brown with a hefty head that seems to stay relatively firm, ala rootbeer float. Smell is very roasty!

Taste is very smooth at first, sweet and mocha-y. Then it grows into a pretty heavy alcohol finish...a bit of a burner really. Mouth is really round; the tongue really fills up with flavor.

This is a great return beer. But not a session beer.

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Photo of kmbaker
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

holy smokes i forgot how much i like this beer! Brian 700 hooked me up with one the other night and it was like finding an old 20 dollar bill in my laundry from way back when. anyhow on with it....

pours a dark rich black. light cream mocha head, residing into a thin and consistent lacing leaving some oily blotches here in there on the surface.. thats what i like to see on a stout!

Notes of vanilla and bourbon and the nose mixed with whiffs of black patent

taste: chocolate to snappy and zesty black patent sort of smokiness and finishes with what comes to me as an anise characteristic spiking the front of the palette as the robust smokey notes work on the peripheral of the tastebuds. aftertaste lingers and finishes with what you would expect from a shot of expresso.
creamy mouthfeel somewhat oily.

dangerously drinkable for this caliber of beer.

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Photo of jackorain
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this bottle since the summer of 2005. Just split it with my mother-in-law.

Poured into oversized whine glasse, for a lack of tulip or snifter.

A-dark thick black, what little head poured out immediately fell to a thin ring that provided some lacing. Almost no light gets through.

S-Unbeleiveable aroma, coffe, chocolate, dark roasted malt and hop.

T-very dark roasted malt hits strong right up front, followed by a nce hop bite. I'd imagine the hops may have even dissapated some over the year I have held it. Molasses, coffe, chocolate on the very long lingering finish. really good.

M-thick, full body, coats mouth wonderfully.

D-about as good as an RIS can be. I wish I had another.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with a creamy tan head that sticks all over the glass. Dark roasted malt aroma with a bit of cocoa, coffee and nuts. Taste is smooth with a lot of roasted malt, a bit of bitter chocolate, coffee and hops. There is a seemingly never ending bitterness to the finish. Overall, North Coast really did an excellent job with this RIS and should be commended.

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Photo of Brian700
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Again another beer I got from nflmvp a few days ago.

This one pours dark black with a brown head that doesn't leave to much in the way of lacing.

The aroma is of coffee, black patent, bitter chocolate, alcohol.

The flavor is chocolate and coffee mixed whith alcohol and plum. There is a nice alcohol warming but it isn't as chewy as I thought it would be.

The mouthfeel is nice and creamy. It is full bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a very drinkable beer especially for an imperial stout. Definately worth picking up.

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Photo of MLegendre
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Jet black with some slight transparencies towards the bottom of the glass. Very thin tan head that disapates before it even gets anywhere.

S: Very very roasty which I love. Chocolate, toffee, coffee... pretty much anything you would expect from a IRS, only WAY roastier!

T: First taste the roasted malts and chocolate dominate the palate followed by some licorice and a slight sting of alcohol. Aftertaste is very bitter like a strong coffee leaving the tongue throbbing and begging for more. Sticks to the tongue like glue. I can taste it for a long, long time after I've swallowed. A little alchol burn is noticable after a while, but for the most part it's pretty well hidden. As it warms the malts become stronger while the alcohol becomes weaker. Tastes better and better as you drink it.

M: There is a slight burn of alcohol on the way down, but not too bad. Carbonation is a little high.

D: This has quickly became one of my favorite beers of all time. I can drink it like water and I drink it very often. Very easy to drink for something of such high ABV. I really can't see it getting much better than this.

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Photo of LordChesterfield
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been hearing about this beer for a while and I finally was lucky enough to find a fourpack at hyvee for 9 bucks. I went back a few days later and not a trace was left. It pours black. Not inky black like some others but dark enough. The amazing part is that you can see the bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass to the top! I don't know what is causing it and it's the firts time i've ever seen in it. Head retention is pretty good not that I care. It smells like the typical Imperial stout, burnt. It tastes pretty complex for suck a heavy beer. I can detect a bit of citrus and rose on the front of the toungue. Maybe a little bitter for my taste but still delicious. The picture of Rasputin on the front is great. I'm surprised I found this in august as i usually thing of imperial stout as a winter drink.

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Photo of surfmanjim
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured absolutely pitch black into the venerable old globe glass, with little head and a small amount of lacing. The smell is of dark chocolate and coffee with a matching, very dry taste and noticeable alcohol in the finish. The mouth feel is very heavy and silky. As enjoyable as this beer is, I don’t think that I would tempt fate by having two, but this is easily a beer that one could have in place of a brandy and desert after a good meal.

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Photo of uconnalum2
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I looked forward to trying this beer. It poured black with only a small head that went down to mostly a ring around the glass. I held it up to a lamp and could not see any light coming through at all. It had a roasted smell similar to coffee beans. The taste started bitter and then turned to coffee and some bitter, dark chocolate. There is some alcohol in the aftertaste and it lasted a long time. The mouthfeel is the most interesting thing about this beer. It is smooth, oily and thick and coats the inside of your mouth. This is a slow sipper. It went down easier as it warmed up (and maybe as it warmed me up). Overall, this is an intense beer. The bitterness, heaviness and ABV keeps me from having too many. I'd like to try one that has aged to see if it smooths out a bit.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revisited 1 Feb 15

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, very nice carbonation with a nice one-finger creamy/fizzy med tan head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing and a huge island in the middle of the glass. The nose is malty, with some very nice dark notes (chocolate, toffee, and some coffee), slight vanilla. The taste is very nice, malty, dark stuff. Medium body, with a slight dry finish, ABV is hidden very well for a 9% brew. Overall a very tasty brew, it's been here in UT for a few years, and I'm very glad it is. Highly recommended RIS at a very nice price per 12 oz. bottle.

A - Pours a nice black color, lots of carbonation, small fizzy head which dissapates quickly, not much lacing at all.

S - Scents of roasted malts, and toffee/caramel.

T - The taste is slightly bitter and of roasted malts and caramel.

M - Medium body.

D - Very drinkable. This is a very tasty RIS, North Coast is a very nice brewer.

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Photo of biercircus
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty stinking good RIP. The high alcohol balances well with the complex dark chocolate and coffee flavor. My wife made me let her sip while eating dark chocolate. I tried some too, and it really complemented it well.

A- I saw it poured into a cup, but it was dark outside, and I just had a bottle.

S- sweet, chocolaty coffee smell, molasses, liquorice, hops

T- complex malty chocolate coffee, alcohol peeking through

M- heavy, creamy, bubbly. Takes a while to drink because it's so heavy. Some carbonation.

D- Very good sipper. Shouldn't drink fast. Very well-balanced flavors. Awesome beer.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,085 ratings.
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