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: 12,125
Photo of williamherbert
3.47/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color is a deep deep dark dark brown ... almost black. There is a massive chocolate brown ice cream float-style head. The color is utterly impenetrable.

The scent is heavy but sweet. Has a very dark malty aroma, but with a slight sweetness that is a nice counterpoint. There is a very hard, alcoholic smell. I can tell this is going to be strong.

The taste is a karate kick of alcohol to the taste buds. A very deep coffee flavor. Very harsh. Need an appreciation for stouts and/or a strong palate to appreciate this baby.

It's a syrupy and thick feel. Leaves a heavy residue on the tongue. It's a very good beer, but it's a one-and-done for this advocate. It's way too heavy for me to have more than one per night. Maybe one per month.

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

Finally got my hands on this one.
I wasn't let down.
Pours a deep, cocoa black in the glass with light brown head.
Smells are amazing- chocolate, coffee, toffee, almost fruity.
Tastes almost crunchy, thick, delicious. The caramely malts cling to your tongue and then race down my throat.
This ain't your daddy's stout, that's for sure.

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

Had on tap that laid a nice half inch head. Appeared dark coffee with a bitter chocolate note to it's nose. Taste typical of an Imperial stout sweetness but this to me was a real dessert ale because I could only drink one or two at the most.
Had a full bittersweet taste that left a long pleasant taste on the tongue.
A nice stout for desert after a meal.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from oracle as part of No BS BIF. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/4" brown head over the barely translucent reddish dark brown brew. Head is down an uneven layer of bubbles pretty quick, with slow-falling lacing. Aroma is heavy, rich dark malts, chocolate and coffee doing battle, just what you expect and want in the style. Taste follows along in the same vein, but even better with the slow warm on the swallow. Mouthfeel is velvety, and drinkability is excellent. This one is ranked highly for a reason.

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

Old Rasputin pours a virtually opaque espresso brown color. Its head; rich, foamy, and deep mocha in color, hangs tough for a few moments. Rich and viscous, it covers the inside of the glass with an unctuous coating. Essences of roasted chicory and hazelnuts soar from the glass. Well-roasted malts and vanillin are in attendance as well, as there are hints of some oak also; a nose reminiscent of Weyerbacher’s "Prophesy". The taste is creamy, soft and unctuous in the mouth. Profound flavors of roasted carob and coffee offset by slightly bittersweet chocolate round out the package here. Amazingly drinkable for a brew of such concentration and depth, the medium body, light bitterness, and very soft acids make this a brew to engorge one self with. An iconic textbook version of the style. Truly a taste sensation!

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Photo of ryantupy
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I finally got around to picking this one up and as soon as I tasted it I quickly got plenty more. This was a simply amazing stout with tons of character and complexity. It poured a straight black hue with a rocky brown head. Smelled of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. It tasted great it was smooth with flovors of chocolate, coffee, smoked and burnt malt, hints of hops, even a sweet little finish. All around loved this beer.

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Photo of onsite416
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a= Pour is black, with a surprising light tan head.

s= roasted malts & coffee

t= initial taste is: sweet with a hop finish a bit bitter at the end. Very nice.

m= Smooth full flavor of coffee and malt. Not over powering

d= This was an excellent stout. Could easily drink more than one.

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Photo of pavandal
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had heard great things about this beer, and after finding a great new local distributor, I bought some.

Beer pours black, with a 2cm head that looks almost reddish. Looks delicious already! Lacing is pretty evident as the beer goes down.

The smell is very complex, with strong coffee and fruity scents most prevalent.

When sipped, mouth is overcome by a citrus-like flavor, followed by chocalates. Aftertaste is a strong coffee/mocha flavor. Lots of sweet flavors. Delicious!

Slightly heavy on the mouth, but that is to be expected when drinking a strong stoudt.

All in all, my new favorite beer. But don't have too many, in fact, one is probably sufficient. Drink this one at the end of the day. ABV is a little high, and having 3 of these would keep you out of the drivers seat.

Anyways, I only have one word to describe this: Excellent!

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Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A: Dark, rubied mahogany, with an ephemeral cap of rocky cream-colored froth.

S: Baker's chocolate, alcohol, espresso, and luscious, incredible roasty notes. After aeration, toffee and caramel show a bit of sweetness.

T: Burnt roastiness leads to very dark chocolate and burnt espresso, finishing with a dark, berried sweetness masking the alcohol. No matter how many times I have this one, it continues to surprise me with new aspects and complexities. A classic, and deserving of this score.

M: Medium body, char sticks around in the palate long after each sip. This one asserts its presence long after the glass is empty.

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

Appearance: Black as night in my oversized wine glass. Just a little burgundy coming through at the base of the glass. Fabulous head stays with you forever.

Smell: Somewhat faint, but reminiscent of coffee, chocolate cake, and raisins.

Taste: Mocha takes over, with a little plum. Leaves a dry finish that reminds you that you're drinking a very potent beer. Little acidity on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Velvety & malty. Feels good.

Drinkability: One is enough, but that one is extremely satisfying. No one will ever mistake this for Coors.

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

This was served at cellar temperature at Falling Rock tap house in Denver.
Dark, black body with dark tan head of two fingers which lowered to one finger and laced nicely.
Smell of coffee and chocolate with malt roast and biscuit.
Taste was wonderful. Just the right balance between coffee, chocolate, hops and malt. Nothing dominated which rendered the feel smooth and soft. The alcohol presented itself and then retreated into the flavors.
Very easy drinking for a RIS. Very good.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle at 45 degrees; a reddish-black color with a thick, foamy head.

S - A roasted mocha rounds out the aroma. Simple, yet powerful.

T - The coffee taste is more dominant than the chocolate, but both are washed out by a bready alcohol flavor. Alcohol also isn't too strong, but it's the dominant taste. Finishes strong with a malty aftertaste.

M - A thick, RIS body that is completed with the high alcohol content rounds out a wonderful warming feel.

D - A good cold weather, one-serving beer. One of my top RIS selections and an excellent representation of North Coast.

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Photo of pkaeding
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured it from the 12 oz bottle into a mug, and the first thing I noticed was the very dark black color, and the thick brown head. After a minute or so, the head subsided somewhat, leaving an even lacing, and lightening in color to more of a cream color.

The dark, roasty coffee/cocoa aromas hit you first, with a faint bready aroma in the back. It is a very inviting smell, but you know from the first whiff that it will take a long time to finish this beer.

There are some sweet malty notes, but the flavor is dominated by the roasty/bitter notes that finish out. It reminds me a lot of baker's chocolate. There is a faint flavor of alcohol, but the bitterness balances it out. The mouthfeel is very thick, but not to the extreme. This is a very heavy beer.

The finish lingers for several seconds, and you will want to savor it until it subsides before having another sip. Then you will definitely want another sip.

This is a great beer that I would definitely try again. However, you will most likely not want more than one of these in a night.

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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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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,125 ratings.
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