Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

3,701 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: 3,701 | Ratings: 12,131
Photo of BeeeerProdigy30
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Exceptional stout with a full bodied flavor and crisp finish. Chocolate and coffee flavors support the beer. Smooth sweet finish owns the beer. Great after a meal.

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Photo of HappyGuy12345
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pokal glass.
Appearance: Looks like a typical stout, which is black. Approximately 1 finger of tan head.
Smell: Subtle hints of chocolate and coffee
Taste: The taste does follow the nose. When I first tried this beer, it tasted like a typical great stout (e.g. a velvety-smooth texture with hints of coffee and chocolate), but there is a bitter aftertaste, that was actually a pleasant surprise (at least to me). Definitely a bit more hops to the flavor than your average stout. The 9% ABV is hidden very well.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth going down, which is what you should expect from a top-notch stout. Moderate carbonation.
Overall: It's not hard to see why this beer has garnered such high ratings from Beer Advocate: It is a very tasty stout that is perfect for a relaxing winter's night.

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Photo of Eleaf
2.95/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Beautiful with three inch grey and brown colored head, black body color.
Taste is of bitter licorice. Medicinal/herbal tincture tasting.

A bit too harsh to be a favorite. As a stout enjoyer, it wasn't my style of stout.

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

This is a great priced beer. Dark appearance with a good head and just the right amount of carbination. Nice chocolate and coffee aroma. Taste is mild chocolate and coffee without any alcohol taste.

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Photo of BCad
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Dark brown-black heue. Good sized head of brown and white. Good looking brew.

S: Malt chocolate, toasty and sweet. Pretty mouth-watering.

T: Minimally-sweet earthy malt backbone. When coating the pallet, this beer takes a quick turn towards a sharp bitter end note, and i sort of wished that the initial taste lingered longer before going full hop-ended, boozy stout on me. If swallowed quickly, the brew leaves a nice nutty taste in your mouth, which I enjoy a lot though.

F: Creamy and fizzy

O: Decent beer, for a beer so good looking and great smelling, the taste left me feeling short-handed... I haven't had as many stouts as some people have, so maybe I am missing something! I'd drink it again, but I don't think I'd seek it out or anything though.

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Photo of Rcaros
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Finger of tan head with mixed bubbles. Poured dark brown black in the glass. Unable to see and carbonation.

Chocolate is up front on the nose, nice roasty notes, mild coffee notes

Very nice roasty notes up front on the taste, bitter chocolate, heavy espresso, nice mildly sweet finish

Mouth feel is not what i want from a stout. Wish itneas thicker

Over very delicious

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed on tap after a fine meal...

Appearance--All that one would look for. Black as night--check. Pleasing tan head--check. Persistent sticky lacing--check.

Smell--Wonderfully complex--smoke, chocolate, and alcohol notes all very pronounced and providing a pleasing warning shot for the faint of heart.

Taste--Perhaps more aggressive than I generally like in this style, so the rating here (4.5) is a compromise--My "personal" meter wanted to render a "4" but because this is an unapologetic Russian Stout, I "averaged" that with the "5" it might garner from someone that isn't quite the wimp I am. Strong burnt sugar, coffee, chocolate, and vanilla notes, with a creaminess that gradually increases as it comes closer to room temperature. Very little "hop" balance, but that's fine, because the "booziness" and carbonation carry the day.

Feel--Big, chewy, and creamy. A perfect sipping beer. I would have said "perfect" on the score if it had just a tad more dryness on the finish.

Overall--Nothing much to say in summary other than, this is one of the finest imperial stouts I've tasted--even if it's a tad more aggressive than what I normally enjoy. For the style--a paragon.

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Photo of stevoj
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Unbelievably smooth, despite the high ABV. Slick and chewy, nice mildly bitter roast grains dominate. Black with a small creamy beige head, sticky lacing. Some smoky bitterness lingers. A classic!

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Photo of citizencane
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

How some things change with time. I remember the first time I tried this thinking that it wasn't dark and oily enough for my liking, and then not giving it a second thought for a couple years until this week.

Dark and roasted malt notes. Creaminess emerges as it warms. Faint booziness but alcohol is well hidden for ABV. As I've gotten into craft beer more I've learned that all-out intensity Is not everything. This is intense yet balanced. Will drink again- probably sooner than later.

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

Black as death. Large, brown head is beautiful and persistent. Bubbly lacing all down the glass is one of the many rewards for glugging down this menacing beer.

Immediately greeting the nose are notes of bread, chocolate, mocha from the malt, and rustic and earthy qualities from the hops in support. Bitter/ baker's chocolate, more bread, toffee, treacle. Wonderful caramelized sugar and a deep, primordial earthiness.

Taste is a combination of chocolates- milk and dark, and mocha coffee. There is a biscuity component, but a rich breadiness and roast character dominate the malt bill. Bitterness is light and pleasant and cuts out toward the finish, as the beer ends with a dollop of warming alcohol and roasty-sweetness. Trace amounts of raisin and berry appear with warmth, but mostly it is the chocolate character increasing, with the roasted coffee tones never falling away. Tasty, complex, wonderful.

Full-bodied, slightly creamy. Very clean with some alcohol warmth on the finish. A very smooth after-effect allows for those delectable malt notes to hang around making music untrammeled.

One of the classic Russian Imperial Stouts, and it lives up to its legend. Incredibly complex in the malt. The rustic hops add a nice support. Something new each time I return to it.

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Photo of BeerTv
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
(ABV: 9%) (IBU: 75)

This Russian Imperial Stout is brewed in the 18th century tradition of those early Imperial Stouts produced for Catherine the Great's Russian Imperial Court. It’s safe to say this is a beer fit for royalty.

AROMA - dark chocolate, roasted coffee, bready yeast, roasted nuts, hints of raisins and dates

APPEARANCE – pitch/jet black with a frothy tan head, impressive head retention with long streaks of lacing

FLAVOR – bittersweet chocolate, dates, espresso, cinnamon, raisins, black licorice, coffee beans, roasted cocoa, plums, bitter hop pineyness finish, hop/malt ratio balanced

MOUTHFEEL – Very rich and dense, bold with a creamy medium-full body, warming alcoholic sensation, moderate carbonation

OVERALL – Great beer for the chilling Russian weather, or in most of our cases, great for winter time sipping near the fireplace. Although a high ABV at 9%, this beer is easy drinking due to the smooth creaminess of the body. A delicious example, if not THE definition, of a Russian Imperial Stout.

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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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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,131 ratings.
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