Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,646 Reviews
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,646
Ratings:
11,921
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
18.46%
 
 
Wants:
578
Gots:
2,830
For Trade:
56
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Reviews: 3,646 | Ratings: 11,921
Photo of GrinkoN
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

L: Very dark black, brownish head,

S: Roasted Malt and chocolate, some fruityness

T/F: Chocolate, sweet and bitter together, roasted malt, coffee. Feels heavy, dense, and rich

O: I loved it, very good beer, love it

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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 TroyS
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was a bit shocked to find this Old Rasp Shout in the new beer and wine store locally; the new shop here in good ol' Blackfoot, Idaho mostly carries America's favorite lawn-mower brews and "fine wines, " but only carries a small percentage of truly envious brews to date. One benefit of this particular store is that it's in Blackfoot, Idaho, which is where I live now...Just kidding....kinda;) The benefit is that they charge a very fair price for the few great beers that they keep in stock. What more could you ask for, right?

This true Russian imperial stout is a great "evening beer," and I say that not because it's such a "warm beer," but because it's really light on the tongue yet memorable. This is a very nutty brew. This beer also carries a lot of coffee like robust flavor, but is lightened w/booze. I was taking the last sips of an Alaskan Ipa when I opened this bottle of Rasputin. Normally I'd pour it into a regular pint glass, dimpled mug, or a tulip, but after taking a whiff and a quick sip from the bottle, I decided to enjoy this one in a Chimay glass.

Nice and dark yet light in mouth feel. Chocolate + chocolate + more chocolate is super nice and roasty. Old Rasp Stout drinks like a cool cappichino. A bit heavy on the alcohol and light on the hopps, however a great....no....fantastic nutty Imperial Russian stout if you ask me;) I think that the only thing missing is a bit heavier mouth. When I say that it's "light," what I'm really trying to say is that it's not very thick, but warm and thinner than I'd like to see from this Russian Imperial Stout. Delicious! Who could ask more of a fine beer that's ready to go out of Blackfoot, Idaho? NOTHING:)

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Photo of Klgkenny
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a transparent, thick glassed tumbler; medium aggressive pour.

Pour produced a medium sized tan head which receded after 2-3 minutes leaving behind spotty lacing. The beer is almost black. It does not let any light pass through.

Aroma of copper is most prominent, with secondary aromas of earth and charred wood.

Tastes of copper and earth. As it rolls around the mouth slight taste of hops and chocolate, just the barest of hints.

Feels like a lightly carbonated zero weight oil in the mouth.

This is a highly drinkable beer, but everything seems just a little short of bold. It's just one or two points outside of extraordinary. I wouldn't turn it down if it were free, but there has to be something better from the genre.

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Photo of bluetravlr
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Walked home from work at 1am in the pouring rain with this beer in hand. Ah . . . it is good to be home.

A: Nice two full fingers of initial tan/rootbeer colored head. Almost completely black. This beer hardly lets any light through at all but upon further inspection a slight rich-brown coloration can be observed. The head stays with you till the end leaving rich, if not abundant, lacing.

S: Note of anise and sweetbread and coffeee are what first come to mind. Also, some roasted oats and chestnuts and maybe a bit of freshly cut grass?

T: Very similar to the nose. Initially a little sweet with flavors of both toffee and caramel. This sweetness rides to the finish but is enhanced by overlapping layers of coffee, dried leaves, burnt brush, but mostly a grassy bitterness that is most notable in the finish . . . with a hint of lemon rind. Overall, kind of like a nutty cinnamon roll, yet, obviously much more complex.

M: Thick bodied, though average for a stout, mostly due to the sweetness. A little heavy on the carbonation for a stout. A lingering dryness due to the grassy bitterness of the hops

D: The alcohol is pretty well masked. However, perhaps ironically, the sweetness and bitterness detract from this beers sessionability. Instead of blending together in harmony the sweet and bitter qualities of this beer seem to be at odds with one another.

This review, as shown in the ratings, is not meant to dismiss in any way the quality of this beer. It is extremely interesting . . . and in more ways than one delicious. Just not as balanced as some of my favorite stouts.

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Photo of tyanow
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Yum! I drink this at home and on tap it's plenty better.

Almost black with a soft full head.

Full coffee and toasty grain aroma.

The rich and full (understatement) body taste is appreciated throughout the mouth and for literally minutes after I swallow.

It's an Imperial so the it fills your senses but few do it this well.

In my mind this is the premier American version of this style. Anyone who can suggest a good rival, please let me know.

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

A - Pours thick with just enough head to dust up the great aroma

S - Rich coffee, with a hint of the sweetness of chocolate. Alcohol comes through hot in the end.

T - Sweet and rich with roasted malts and coffee coming through strongest. Warming alcohol finish does not overwhelm the pallet .

M – Great creamy texture that fills the mouth.

O – Overall this was a great beer. I’m really enjoying the imperial stouts in general but this is one of the best examples. If someone is looking to try an imperial stout for the first time this would be one of my top suggestions.

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Photo of RnRManifesto
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours about as black as can be with a 3 finger foamy tan head. Lacing sticks to the glass all the way down.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, burnt toast. Some sweetness. Complex.

Taste follows the smell. Some bitterness and some sweetness, a perfectly balanced beer that hides the high ABV very well. Sweetness up front, bitterness at the back end, neither one overwhelming, a seamless transition.

Mouthfeel is velvety smooth.

Never had one of these before and I'm very impressed.

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Photo of REGreenBTRB
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first review!

Appearance: Pitch black with a two and a half finger, super creamy head. It leaves a nice lacing around the glass (pint - though I do prefer beers like this in a snifter or tulip).

Smell: I get a strong presence of dark chocolate, coffee, and a lot of smoky malt. Smells absolutely wonderful!

Taste: As with the smell, a LOT of dark chocolate flavor, malt. For being a 9% beer I only pick up on the alcohol slightly. I'm not picking up as much coffee as I did when I put a nose on it. The chocolate is just so prevalent, and that's awesome.

Mouthfeel: Heavy with some carbonation.

Overall: As a mega stout fan, this is one of my favorites thus far. A wonderful stout, and it's easily available year-round, even in Arkansas :). It's kind of like Young's on steroids. The chocolate is by far the most present though not overpowering. It's a wonderful beer. This is definitely something I'll be keeping in my fridge.

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Photo of bensiff
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poors a dark brown to black color with a quickly dissipating dark mocha colored head. Aroma is complex with a distinct roasted character, coffee, chocolate, and I even venture to say the slightest hint of toffee hiding in the mix.

The taste is complex as the aroma and almost as enjoyable. It rolls on the tongue lightly until it hits the back where the flavor kicks in fully. The roasted malt has a smokey character, bitter chocolate, espresso, and a kick of hop to round off the flavors. The finish is dominated by the high alcohol of this brew and is a lesser beer for it. The mouthfeel is not as smooth as I expect from this type of beer and is my largest complaint. Overall this is an enjoyable beer for those in a slow sipping mood and worth revisitting time and again.

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Photo of TheLastEngineer
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased from Shangy's. Poured into a regular pint glass.

A: Dark as all get-out. Something to behold... made the glass look like it had been painted black on the inside. 2 fingers of tan head, persistent lacing.

S: Quite boozy (imagine that!) with lots of roasted coffee and some dark chocolate. As it warmed, got too complex for my nose to properly analyze. Lots going on under that alcohol smell.

T: Surprisingly good, especially given the assaulting nature of Russian Imperials. Not as much hops as others I've tried. Was expecting more of a boozy taste, but found lots of sweet, bitter, and even creamy flavors.

M: Not too heavy, with enough carbonation to keep things clean. Not easy to do with so much power.

D: About as good as you can get for this style. I've finished other imperials out of principal... leave no respectable beer unfinished. I can drink 2-3 of these and not regret it too much, although the avalanche of dark flavors might render my tastebuds useless for the next week.

Impressive beer. I applaud North Coast for not dumbing this one down one bit. I'm still not a big fan of the style, but this is my favorite Russian Imperial Stout by a solid margin.

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

Never Say Die is the motto of this stout. For the man who helped bring down the Romanov dynasty it's appropos. For this ale, let's hope it rings true.

The pour brings a hush, with the body of the beer acting as a cushion and sound absorber. It looks like Quaker State 10W/30W. I could not see any light through the glass. The head is dark caramel in colour and lasts halfway through the beer.

The aroma brings notes of bitter chocolate, hickory, and leather. There is a slight musty smell that is not unappetizing; it adds an earthy quality to the ale.

The flavour brings the malt up front. It is somewhat smoky and has an espresso dryness. The hops dry it out. It has a big punch of malt and hops paired well--neither dominates the other.

The mouthfeel is rounded, soft, and thick, like a stout should be.

It does not drink like a 9% ale, like some 9% Belgians I've tasted that leave me with a headache forming. I'm ready for another.

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Photo of muffguy4beer
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Black, pitch black in color. Head did not appear at first but then it cascaded up into a not light brown inch thick head.

Smell: Charcoal briquettes, root beer barrels, alcohol and grape pixie stix are all present in the smell.

Taste: Starts off like sweet strong coffee, still am getting a grapey/raisin hint as I swallow. Nice hop bitterness balances out the sweetness of the beer. Complex taste consisting of light smokiness, chocolate, sweetness, coffee, and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body. Appropriate carbonation.

Drinkability: One or two of these max in one sitting. I loved it but its very powerful in all aspects so I probably would max out at 2 in a session. Fantastic seasonal, perfect for a cold new england winter.

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Photo of DHGranstrand
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with nice foamy head. Good lacing with nice foam retention.

Smells burnt.. not sure of what, but I do like the aroma.

Tastes like burnt malt with very nice hop flavor up front. I almost thought it tasted like burnt hops.

Excellent mouthfeel, great viscosity.

This beer has an unusually strong burnt aroma/taste of malt/hops upfront. I love the nice hoppy flavors that immediately overtake the burnt malt presence.

I am going to have another!!

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Photo of ABHatter
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Grand Marnier snifter. Impressive fluffy dark tan/rust colored head sits on top and lasts for several minutes, good carbonation with beautiful creamy lace on the glass. The lace sort of disappears half way through the glass. Smell is of dark chocolate, espresso/Dark roasted coffee, mild alcohol aroma on the end.
T&M-Taste is absolutely outstanding! Mocha seems to be the best explanation. Loads of bittersweet chocolate, Dark Roasted coffee with a semi sweet kind of finish. Mouthfeel is quite creamy, leaving a great balance of sweetness & bitterness all around. Drinkability is also quite nice. At 9% I could definitly not pound these, but drinking 2 of these consecutively wouldn't be a problem. IMO this a widely available world class beer that can certainly run with the big boys within it's category, a must try for anyone who enjoys a super high quality RIS.

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Photo of drnknmnky
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

snifter

A - Poured dark opaque brown, tall tan coffee colored head
formed and slowly dissipated into a strong collar and creamy goodness.

S - roasted malts, coffee, hints of chocolate, sweetness, dark fruits.

T - Good, and tasty. Strong malft flavor strong roasted bitter. sweetness in the beginning and a light hoppy bitter combined with a strong roasted profile of the barley.

M - Strong, good body, would have liked it alittle more viscous, but good. Carbonation good, not too much but present.

D - very good, highly recommended. One of my favorite RISs out. 9.00% ABV doesn't taste like. Try one now or just have another if you've already had it.

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Photo of SpencerSauce
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a beer. Brought one of these to a kegger and it was very out of place. Partly because id walk around with my own pint glass i brought. I offered some to a girl i know and she actually liked the chocolate taste she got. Though it is a meal in a glass. I even met a beer advocate at the party and we had a good convo on hefeweizens.

A- black but not thick like motor oil. brown head and lots of it by the way i poured this one.
The head after a while is replaced by a brown film covering the beer until finish and it seems that same film of foam is deposited in the bottom after being drank.

S- heavy one the coffee but not dark esspresso. a milk choco smell not an86% cacoa. Also can discern a malt thing going on, but maybe thats just the chocolate playing with my nose.

T- Contrary to the smell i get a dark chocolate taste,with a coffee the strength of a reg french roast. This is a thick milky creamy coffee kind of beer. You can tell its a malt explosion without an extremely malty finish. If your on the same frequebcy as me.

M- This is a thick monster, not as thick as a palo santo marron though, and its just a brown ale. I always say a beer is what a brewer wants it to be. Its all at their discrepency. But this beer is by no means a light one. I would only want to drink a couple of these in a row. and thats maybe.

D- not too easy. I love RIS but one can only stand so much cake before one throws up. Rasputin is like cake. Very rich and decadent. While on the other side. Alcoholic and sharp. Its the best of both worlds.

Rasputin was a pyschic, healer, scholar, political advisor, corrupt rebel, intelectual, and loving father. He was a pilgrim from the time he was 18 when he was in a monastary repenting a theft for 3 months. After that theyre are records of him healing people similar to the way jesus did. When he was assinated it took them many tries. First he was stabbed and his guts where spilled out. After primitive surgery ( remember this is 200 years before the civil war) he was walking again. Then he was poisened with cyanide when he was thought too powerful an advisor .en shot later in life, then when that failed they beat him into uncounsciosness and he was thrown into the same river his brother and sister at different times had drowned in. Autopsy claims rasputins reason of death drowning.

Not fatal shooting,stabbing, poisening, or beating. The water in the lungs is only a peice of evidence that leads to the autopsy claims.

Now you know why it says never die on the box.

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Photo of ChugsMugs
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- black, slight ruby red hues on edges, creamy tan head that leaves rings of lacing.

S- Up front the sweetness of raisin, slight plum, yet with hoppy floral notes,some chocolate or roasted malts.

T- Alcoholic yet well balanced. Presence of dark fruits quickly covered by a roasted malt finish. Slightest chocolate with a splash of surprising hop bitterness.

M- Goes down extra smooth coating the entire mouth and tongue with a buffet of flavor.

D- After several sessions of these I now understand what all the hype was about. For a 9% beer I am torn bewtween worried or delighted at how easily this beer goes down.

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Photo of jhughes23
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Bottle Poured into a 16oz. Tulip Glass

Pours a Dark Black, almost motor oil black but not quite. Starts with a nice thick mocha colored head that dissipates down to a decent thin layer on top. Laces nicely throughout.

The Aroma is definitely of dark chocolates and roasted malts and coffee. The Roasted Malts seems most prominent with a hint of vanilla.

The Flavor is very dry and bitter upfront mellowing out with a roasted chocolate and vanilla. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, but there are RIS out there that have a smoother mouthfeel. The alcohol is prominent but not as much as you would expect. Over time this will calm down and the mouthfeel will improve.

Definitely a sipper that has many more layers as it warms up.

By far in my top 5 RIS. But it has to be #1 if you factor in the Price.

I would be hard pressed to find a better best buy than this one.

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Photo of ncsutton
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served into a pint glass from a bottle.

A - Very dark mocha/coffee appearance with a thick head.

S - Very malt and coffee smell, a bit of an alcohol smell as well

T - Malts and a hint of coffee flavor at the end. It is a very strong and complex flavor, definitely something you need to take your time with.

M - Almost no hint of carbination. Very thick, yet smooth, i know that doesn't sound possible but thats what I think

O - I haven't had many Russian Imperial Stouts to compare with but this is by far my favorite

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

Recommended by a stranger in a liquor store. It quickly became the base point by which I rate beers. This has everything, terrific flavors and aroma, and quite potent. More importantly....this is not a gimmick beer, no rye whiskey, no bourbon barrel ageing, but beer as its supposed to be!!!!

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Photo of Andrewtherooster
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - This thing is black. Nice dark tan head from the get-go. Small bubbles float up from the abyss.

S - The smell is very subtle. I get a hint of licorice and the alcohol. The texture of the smell, it's smoothness and balance, seems like a red wine.

T - I was intimidated by this beer at first, but I like something challenging. There is so much complexity and subtlety to it. I can taste coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and the aforementioned licorice (black licorice, mind you). Old Rasputin has a lot to him that kept me intrigued throughout the entire experience.

M - Slight hint of carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. No alcohol burn.

D - Old Rasputin isn't for everyone, but I certainly enjoyed it. It's a good beer to sit down and invest yourself in. I don't think I could have more than a couple of these before I had to call it a night. It's a beer I would love to have again.

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Photo of andrewt960
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lets start off by saying this was a weather inspired choice. Tropical Storm Hanna Has arrived and I needed something with some depth and character. This beer has it.
A: Black, with a chocolate brown head. I mean black.
S: Malty, roasted malts, slightly burnt. Not much alcoholconsidering the 9%.
T: Very nice, much more enjoyable than other I.S. that I have tried, and better than Brooklyn. Roasted, toasted, and burnt notes coming through in every sip. I think I can detect some notes of hops in the aftertaste, but not sure.
M:Carbonated. Very nice mouthfeeth for this style beer.
D: I would love to try this beer again and share it with a stout fan. My dad would have been the perfect guy to share this one with.

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Photo of QuentinCompson
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into Orval chalice

A - Head always surprises me, creeps up; ends up a nice malty whopper finger head atop a thick opaque stout; sheet film lacing

S - Chocolatey malts, mainly

T-M - Super malty nose into nicely carbed, toasted hops; chocolatey, smokey, coffee thickness; an almost wild blueberry note creeping up nicely; super tasty

D - Love this one. Like to save'm for the right times.

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

Oh boy, the Tsar of Beer. Looked at the label three seperate times to see where it was brewed. Yup, Fort Bragg California!

A- Dark, Dark with a beautiful four finger head that waited around for a good long time.

S- Malt, chocolate, burnt brown sugar.

T- What a wonderful rich creamy chocolate.

M- Great carbonation and thick and rich. Would be amazing in the winter.

D- One of the best ever! A classic and well worth the praise.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 11,921 ratings.
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