Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,687 Reviews
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
northcoastbrewing.com

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:
3,687
Ratings:
12,083
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.28%
 
 
Wants:
587
Gots:
2,947
For Trade:
52
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,687 | Ratings: 12,083
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 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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Photo of lovetranquillity
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Black hole of doom with planet sucking depth. Khaki colored head.

Alcohol, espresso, toffee, malt, vanilla, cocoa

Alcohol, coffee, espresso bitterness, hop bitterness, sweet malt, sweet roasted coffee, hints of berry, toffee, chocolate.

Thick, medium carbonated, smooth, syrupy.

The alcohol is a little too apparent in order to make it highly drinkable.

Very very good. My favorite easy to find RIS.

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Photo of brendanbeer
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a. lovely darkness. head lasts in all its dark brown glory.

s. chocolate, coffee, alcohol. yummy.

t. oh man! chocolate and coffee playfully integrate with the bitter hoppy alcohol flavors. roasty and toasty and delicious. something about the profile of this stout is just spot on for me. i love this.

m. nice n smooth baby with a perfect abv linger.

d. its not just drinkable. its a must drink for me. this beer reminds me how good beer can taste, and continues to impress me as vividly as the first time i had it... blew my limited beer mind then, and still shines now.

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass

A - Pours pitch black with two fingers of tan head that never fully settle, beautiful sticky lacing

S - overloaded with bitter chocolate and coffee, not a hint of booze, and a nice malt presence

T - Perfect balance of Coffee and Chocolate, nice dark malt character as well

M - Really light considering it's ABV. nice carb, althought I like my heavy stouts a little flatter.

O - This to me is the benchmark RIS. Every time I have one it's extremely enjoyable and insanely easy drinking.

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Photo of D11
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from bottle into tulip

A- pours black (no light coming through) with a two finger cocoa colored head. nice lacing

S- roasted malt, almost a smoked food smell and spicy wood.
complexity changes as it warms. becomes sweeter; syrup

T- smokey malt, caramel, hops, chocolate, and some coffee on the end of the drink

M- medium to thick bodied. very nice feeling

O- this brew is excellent. my first RIS and i enjoyed it very much. comparatively one of the cheaper(price) RIS' that ive seen available also. this is definately worth trying.

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Photo of takemetothelion
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last beer I'm trying of the night as a gift from my brother, Picked up at bootleggers. Im a fan of the high alcohol content and a stout is the perfect thing to send me into bliss, so I'll our it into a tulip and rock out.

A- One finger head rises to the top. It's literally as black as black can get. No visible carbonation. Good lacing.

S- not that strong of a nose. Though chocolate and yeast are popping pretty strongly. The chocolate is actually like a strong potent "pure cocoa". Definitely a lot of alcohol coming through.

T- Dry, malt chocolate, alcohol is hidden fairly well, but it really blends nicely with the overall taste. Kind of a bitter dark cocoa. Loving this one. This one is definitely warming me up. Not a creamy stout but it works.

MF- Like I said not very creamy, yet still full and flat with not much carbonation. Let's you really taste that cocoa, the definite highlight of the drink.

Overall, this stout is really deserving of the high ratings it got, world class for sure.

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Photo of PintOh1759
3/5  rDev -29.9%

Nose- ALCOHOL!!! right to the face, ignorant in your face smell. Some chocolate if you search far and deep into your nostrils. Some smokey hints but not overwhelming. Maybe a little raisin.

Apperance- Black as night with a thick creamy Mocha colored head.

Taste- Smokey Malts, Some hop presence, burnt sugar, DARK bitter chocolate, and an after taste of chewing tobacco a very rough hang around dry alch taste that is impossible to place in the same category as anything else.

Overall this beer is okay and i may drink another one day but the lingering tobacco taste does throw me off a bit

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Photo of 50wolves
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a dimpled beer mug, pours very dark with small head that is brown. I find this a more astringent beer than most stouts, flavour is stronger than more recently tasted stouts as well. Would recommend for a drink however if have had better stouts, namely stone imperial.

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Photo of boblinneman
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark dark dark brown, not black. Roasted alcoholic nose. Roasted malt flavor followed by a strong alcohol and hop bite. A very good imperial, true to the form. Storm King still is King of the Imperials.

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

An excellent American Stout. Perhaps not on par with either the Shakespeare or the Brooklyn Chocolate, but still a great beer.
On first pour we have a nearly completely opaque brew, deep, dark, black as black. The head isn't very strong or thick or creamy, but has tight and even sized bubbles. Nice cascade forms to introduce you to the pleasures to come. The aromas are nearly overwhelmingly alcoholic, but somehow balanced by the deep and rich roasted malt and dark roast espresso notes.
The first taste is oh so smooth. Flavours are dominated by coffee, charcoal, malt and bitter hops. The alcohol adds potency and spicey notes, but is still balanced. Aftertaste fades into impressive sweetness, still balanced by the ongoing espresso notes.
Mmmm.... this is a stout I could even session drink. Nice.

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

Beware the high ABV Old Rasputin...I swear, each bottle has an actual "Little Old Rasputin" who finds his way into your head, causing much confusion and havoc, especially if more than one or two gather there at the same time - which is to be expected, given the crazy old coot's rasputation, I mean, reputation and all...See, he's up to his old trick's again, that wily Old Rasputin...

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Photo of mwearl
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very dark brown/black color - cannot see light through it. Head is less than an inch and doesn't last long. The taste is bitter as expected and the first couple of sips have a noticeable alcohol flavor. Very good beer with dark chocolate. If rating of 9% ABV is accurate then why do I fee so buzzed after sipping just one?! Two would put me over the top. This is a good beer if you love dark bitters (which I do).

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Photo of irishtimepiece
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.
Pitch black except for ruby hues at the edges. Thick tan head that recedes slowly, but lasts the whole way down. Lacing is very good. Smells strongly of roasted coffee and very dark chocolate, some caramel. Tastes very strongly of roasted coffee with hints of sweet caramel, but the chocolate from the smell is missing from the taste. Alcoholic bite right at the end that I like very much. Mouthfeel is right where it should be for a stout. The only thing really holding this brew back is it's drinkability. With an alcohol content of 9%, I can't see myself drinking more than 2 a night. Overall, one of my favorites. Even at 7 dollars a 4 pack, it's worth it.

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Photo of Mechphisto
3.08/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- A nice, rich opaque black pour. Not too thick of a head, but a nice soft tan. Doesn't last long, but keeps a lacing a decent time.

S- A toasted chocolate coffee smell. Rich, deep smell. Not complex, per se, but the notes change as you smell it and as it warms up.

T- Just like it smells, rich chocolate coffee--but a HEAVY toasted nut taste as well. Very bitter, almost burnt nut taste. Like a coffee brewed with ground burnt nuts with a touch of chocolate.

M- Very creamy, rich, thick. Chewable. Bitter on the back of the palate but doesn't stay around longer than appreciated.

D- Can only handle one, being very thick, stout, filling. You want to drink it slow and savor it (I dare anyone to drink it fast,) which helps that the taste and aroma changes as the temperature changes. Unfortunately it gets TOO bitter toward room temperature.

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

A- Just like a stout should be. Dark rich coffee color with just a hint of deep amber. Head pours thick and creamy, sticks around for a beat or two and leaves a nice lacing.

S- Peacans, Coffee, Chocolate, and just a hint of smoke.

T- I love the complexity of this beer. Earthy notes of roasted walnuts or pecans. Chocolate, plenty of coffee with light hints of sweetness in the backround.

M- Smooth and rich, viscus, and just a bit of heat in the end of this one.

D- This has to be one of my favs right after Rogue's Shakespear Stout. This one is a close second. If you havent tried it yet, your missing out.

Wavz

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Photo of wanker
3.45/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It is mandatory that you let this beer warm before drinking it - what a difference it makes.

When I take my first sips right from the fridge, the hops are way too harsh, making the beer unbalanced and killing the other flavors. But -- if you let it warm up some -- the hops mellow out and the other flavors come through. The beer then becomes nice and balanced.

This is a good, complex imperial stout. A bit too syrupy in the finish for me, but not as syrupy as Samuel Smiths.

Given the choice, I'd prefer Victory Storm King, my favorite impy stout. But if Storm King is unavailable, this is a good second choice.

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Photo of johnmichael712
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured out of a 12. oz bottle into a nonic glass. This beer pours an opaque mahogany color with ruby tints around the edges and it allows light through when backlit with a lamp. The dark khaki colored head starts is absolutely gargantuan in size and rises from the depths of the glass the way a nitro-bottle or nitro-can pour does. The head has a wonderfully soft, pillowy texture and takes a long time to dissipate. As I'm drinking this beer a moderate amount of lace is left clinging onto the glass for dear life.

Smell: My first sniff of the nose reminds me a lot of Victory's Storm King Russian Imperial Stout because the hops dominate the nose in a similar way, but in subsequent sniffs the aroma of bittersweet chocolate is dominant. There is also a strong roasted malt presence in the nose, and hints of coffee, molasses, and brown sugar.

Taste: This beer starts off with a wonderful chocolate and malt flavor with a hint of espresso (the usual chocolate/espresso flirtation that Imperial Stouts have) and finishes with a very light citrusy hop flavor and a good amount of alcohol warmth. I disagree entirely with those that say this beer is too hoppy, as I found the hops to be very toned down and much more subtle than Storm King. Dominated instead by intense chocolate and roasted malt flavors, this is one exceptionally delicious beer. I wish I had a better grasp of the English language to more fully describe this beer, but it doesn't really matter because only sampling this beer yourself will truly do it justice.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is where this beer truly shines, and to rate it at anything lower than a five would be criminal. My first sip took my breath away with how creamy, luxurious, silky, multiple other adjectives, this beer feels on my tongue. This silkiness is supplemented by an insanely thick and chewy body and a very light amount of carbonation that makes this beer feel more like drinking a melted chocolate bar than drinking a beer. This is definitely the best "feeling" beer I've ever drank, and if I could give it a six I would.

Drinkability: One of the most drinkable stouts out there. There isn't even a slight mention of the 9% alcohol, and the smooth, lavish mouthfeel mixed with the decadent chocolaty taste make it possible to quaff this brew all night long. At the moment I'm having a tough time imagining a more perfect night than sitting in front of a fire with a good book drinking a couple of these baddies.

Notes: At the time of my review this beer is sitting at number eighty-nine on the best of BA list just above Storm King, thus I was expecting something qualitatively similar to Storm King. Boy was I wrong. This beer is superior in every way, and is one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts out there. It definitely deserves to be higher on the best of BA list, and right now only Stone's Imperial Russian Stout seems to be the equal of this beer in the RIS category. If you ever see this beer in the store do yourself a favor a pick up more than one. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of ocmpoma
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours out a dark black with a thick, tan head that sticks around a bit and leaves plenty of lacing.

S- not a lot of aroma, but there's definitely chocolate, caramel, and toffee in there, all with a distinct roasted character.

T- delicious. Bitter, roasted nuts and toffee with hints of coffee, the back of my palate really enjoys this beer. Taste is long and lingering.

M- great mouthfeel, too. Not too heavy, but certainly an in-your-face, up front feeling. It's almost chewy, but in a very good way.

D- drinkable, yes, but not excessively so. I've had RISs that were smoother; Old Rasputin's mouthfeel and taste make me rather savour this one. Not a session beer for me, but one of my favorites.

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Photo of bridgetowhophead
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin! Picked up a 4-pack on sale for $7.49; I will try not to let the amazingness of that bargain influence my rating.

A: Poured into a tulip. Nearly pitch black color with a very pretty 2 finger tan head that unfortunately doesn't last too long. Makes a surprising amount of lacing for a 9% abv beer.

S: Fails to deliver what I expect for an RIS. I get dark roasted malt and a little chocolate.

T&M: Above and beyond the smell. The finish is especially superb with black malt coating the palate and throat. Mouthfeel is beautifully syrupy and creamy.

D: As drinkable as many 5% regular stouts.

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Photo of TulipSnifter
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is about a year old bottle.

Appearance: it is dark brown to black with a great cap.

Smell: I smell a lot of coffee and malts.

Taste: I'm catching a ton of coffee and Molasses.

Mouth feel: It seems to be heavy but smooth at the same time.

Drink ability: It sips nice and easy.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,083 ratings.
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