Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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world-class
3,641 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:
3,641
Ratings:
11,894
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
18.46%
 
 
Wants:
572
Gots:
2,824
For Trade:
57
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Reviews: 3,641 | Ratings: 11,894
Photo of Bang34
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, I tried this brew after seeing it on the "Top Brews" list on this site. I have always been a fan of Stouts and being from Mendocino County, CA just one hour's drive from the birthplace of this beer, it seemed like a match made in heaven. If I could find it. A while back I remembered seeing this brew on the rack at my local Safeway. But when I finally decided to try it, guess what, it was nowhere to be found. After about a month of absence from the shelf, it was finally there. I bought 2 four-packs, just in case it disappeared again.

Now, the rating. Appearance, black, dark, stout-like, with a tanish brown head that sticks around and gives a nice creamyness and lace. The aroma, malty coffeeness comes to mind with a hint of Chocolate. Taste, creamy, chocolaty , coffee like with an after warmth of the alcohol. Even so, this is so smooth, you woul not believe that it is 8.9%.

Brewed in the historic logging and fishing town of Fort Bragg Califonia. Part of the Karate Kid III was filmed there as was the Kurt and Goldie Flick "Overboard" but it is probably most famous for being the final stop of the Skunk Train. I only whis I had found this beer sooner. Along with Anderson Valley's Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, it is one of my favorites. Available in four packs, and with the alcohol content and thickness, believe me, that is all you will need.

I moved to Missouri about 2 1/2 years ago and really miss this beer. It is availsble in my hometown, the small Hamlet of Gualala at the local Supers and I buy it whenever I get back there. On one of my last trips home I was able to get my Mom and Step Dad to take me to lunch at the brewery and they were impressed with this brew as well.

Missouri Import laws don't let any craft Cali brews in, save Pyramid and Sierra Nevada thanks to St. Louis based AB. Man, I miss this beer.

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Photo of Doppel07
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Translucent deep dark burgundy with a foamy tan head. I've never seen a prettier beer. Aroma is of chocolate, hazelnuts, raisins, and alcohol. My wife said it smells like a Swiss candy bar. Bold and aggressive flavors of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate and aged port. Nice finish with a strong mochaccino aftertaste. Thick and rich palate. This beer becomes increasingly bitter as the flavors build and is a long, slow, and pleasing sipper. Strongest elements are of espresso and port.

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Photo of iron78
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

black like a stout should be, dark brown at the edges in some light. with a thick creamy tan head.
rich chocolate and coffee aroma with a touch of what might be mint.
the toasted grain comes through giving nice coffee flavor with out being overly bitter. well balanced and complex enough to be interesting.
is thick, with out the syrup feel. doesn't leave the mouth coated, but has good body.
nice alchol warmth lasts but again is balanced enough not to overpower.
suprised me with how much i liked it. will try again some evening infront of a fire.

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Photo of tfp4268
1.62/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I know this beer gets rave reviews, however...

I have enjoyed other RIS's but this one is just plain ugh.

It looks good enough, very dark brown, almost black, ruby around the edge against a light. Nice brown two finger head, goes down to a pretty lace after a while.

Smell is a little strange, very fruity, but not much else.

Taste...ARRRGH! Fruit and alcohol, kinda like Boone's Farm or something. Yuck!

Mouthfeel is as it should be, kinda thick, but not really thick.

Drinkability Well...I bought four of these, and have managed to choke down two, but the other two are probobly destined for the trash hopper.

Like I said, I have enjoyed other RIS's before, Sam Smith's is my fave, but I think Old Rasp is a little high on the ABV at 9%. It makes it too heavy more my taste buds to handle.

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Photo of AmorousAngel
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured opaque black with a small brownish head. Small brownish ring remained around the glass for most of the life of the drink.

Predominantly coffee and alcohol aroma with hints of chocolate.

Lovely roasted malt flavor and coffee followed by stong hops. The flavor really lingers for a while after each sip.

Very smooth feel, with just a bit of a burn from the alcohol.

Not as heavy as some imperial stouts I've tried. Very good for sipping. I would probably rate this higher if the hops were a little less apparent.

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Photo of baxterbrew
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So, I'm about to brew a RIS so I thought I'd stop at the local beer store. Picked up this crazy looking bottle with the cursing Rasputin on the label.

Poured it out into a pint glass and it is darker than dark...blacker than black. A hint of red when brought to a bright light. The head is voluptuous but fades quickly with minimal lacing.

The smell is pure, unadulterated malt with a hint of come hither alcohol. I was a little intimidated but it drew me in. It said, 'come closer, I won't hurt you."

The taste is very complex. There is a strong coffee/espresso taste upfront and you can definitely get the hops - they are kickin' maybe a little too much (dry hopped maybe?). Very astringent, almost made me want to pucker. The thing that really surprised me was the overwhelming sweetness of the aftertaste. Sugary almost overpowers the hops. You're left with a mix of the sweet and the bitter. Nice warmness in the belly when the alcohol rams its way home. One of those beers that makes you sit and think on what made this happen.

Mouthfeel is there and very heavy but not as heavy as one would think in a beer this heavy. There is an oily component but the astringency drives it away.

Drinkability- wouldn't want to drink more than a couple. Might be scary!

A very good beer especially given the style. This one is a good one to show new BAs. So much going on.

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Photo of roscoehnj
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Georgous, black, nice big head.

However you smell it before you see it. Really big nose with coffee, choclate and the usual suspects.

Nice roasted coffee and dark alcohol (scotch or bourbon) taste with a long finish. Big hop bite on the finish too. I love hops but they may be a bit overdone here (don't think I've ever said that before).

Mouthfeel is big and rich.

An excellent RIS. I like this a lot but it as not as complex as the very best.

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Photo of myost88
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first ever Review and also my first ever RIS!

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a British Imperial Pint.

Appearance- completely black with no hints of anything else even when held to light. Head poured just over two inches and is dark brown, very chunky. Leaves lace all down the glass as you drink

Smell- Coffee, Dark roasty malts. Two big surprises for me. Considering everything I've read or heard about the style, I didn't expect the hops in the nose (though it is certainly welcome). Also, not as much chocolate as I expected.

Taste- Ah there's the chocolate I missed in the smell! Very malty with a nice little hop bitterness coming through on the back of the tongue. Extremely balanced and very tasty!

Mouthfeel- Rich, thick, and creamy just like a stout should be. This however takes it to that next level of creaminess. It reminded me of drinking egg nog if that makes sense.

Drinkability- You wouldnt know it was 9% unless you read the label. Alcohol is hidden very well. This is very rich and definately a slow sipping beer. Left me wanting another!

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Photo of Rchap1
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle to a straight-sided pint glass.

A: Black, black black. Almost oily. Not too thick of a head (think the color of those brown Carhartt pants), but it laced wonderfully and stuck around to the last sip.

S: You can definitely smell the alcohol in this one. I'd say that's the dominant smell, but there's coffee and malt there too. Maybe a tiny hint of orange too.

T: This is pretty much what I rate the flavor of other RIS's from. My standard, if you will. Pretty boozy, and the kind of flavor that makes you shudder a little bit. I love it! The finish is full of coffee and bitter chocolate.

M: Very, very full mouthfeel. Pretty light on the carbonation, but it's very full.

D: Be careful with this one, 'cause it'll knock you on your ass. I can handle maybe two of these in a sitting, but it's almost a challenge. It's such a powerful beer that it can be tough to hve more than one sometimes.

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Photo of JAStheAce
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark tan 2 inches of head that border on brown. This may be the darkest head on any beer I have ever seen and some reddish streaks as well . Black colored beer very opaque no light can shine through this sexy darkness.

S - mocha, coffee, chocolate

T - Espresso coffee with some milk and dark chocolate undertones. Toasty and a little creamy

M - medium to heavy mouthfeel

D - at first i thought it was rather light for a stout but it gets heavier and more complex as itwarms and the flavors become even more pronounced

Overall, one of the best stouts I have ever had. Rasputin knows how t do it because the alcohol is very well disguised but tis is some great beer to sip on at night and put you to a peaceful slumber

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Photo of BigBigPickle
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a beer!!!

Sitting at the bar in Yia Yia's - Lincoln, Nebraska. A dark night wet with rain and melting snow. And this place, a holy beacon for a traveler stranded in Lincoln ...

But I digress. The first beer I ordered was Old Rasputin. Not sure why I haven't picked this up yet. I truthfully was unaware it was so easy to find in my hometown, Chicago.

A beautiful pour - dark chocolate with a toasty tan topper. A gorgeous beer, smelling strongly of chocolate with a hints of coffee and fruit esters.

The first sip is eye-opening as this is a big beer wit great coffee and enormous chocolate notes right up front. It also possesses an amazing hoppy front and a velvety smooth finish. I kid you not, this is so thick and full it tastes like dirt would taste if dirt tasted good.

Drink up my friends, this is a beer to fill your fridge, share with friends, and cherish until it is no longer with us.

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Photo of zee3are0
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

An impressive example of a Russian Stout.

A - Dark!

S - Rich in scent, the malts overpower the hops, as is proper with a good stout

T - Almost "meaty" it's so rich. This beer is to roasted grains what Stone IPA is to hops - a clear example of when excessive still isn't too much.

M - The tang at the end of the sip is offset by the pleasant feel of light carbonation. Ideal.

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

12 oz bottle

A - Very very dark with tan/brown head the quickly leaves

S - Good aroma of Coffe, chocolate a bit of alcohol

T - Taste is very similar to the aroma, first taste slightly bitter, but smoothed up nicely thereafter.

M - Mouth feel was full bodied but with enough creamy texture to make it smooth.

D - Very well done and will be drunk again.

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

As you would expect the beer is opaque with a decent tan head that leaves a bit of lacing as you go.

The nose is full of chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, sweet toffee and a bit of smoke.

The taste differs greatly from some of the bigger stouts I've been drinking lately, a whole lot of burnt grains and hops up front mellowing through the chocolate and coffee with a warm, dry finish. Lots of big flavors going on, huge role played by the hops (75 IBUs) in this stout along with the grains to make this deliciously bitter but the body remains fairly thin for 9% ABV, not as velvety as you would hope.

Verdict? Great stout, this had a lot of hype behind it and for the most part it lived up to all I counts and was a divergence from my expectations which made this a whole lot more interesting to drink. This is the kind of beer that will get you through those cold winter nights in the kremlin.

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Photo of mattjv
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours pitch black, looks like an eclipse held up to a bright light. Frothy and robust 2 finger tan head.

S-Sweet malty backbone, accented by many other aromas. Roasted coffee, sweet chocolate, and dark fruit are all present. Solvent alcohol presence lingers in the background.

T-Starts off with thick malt presence, semi-sweet chocolate and nutty flavors. Not as sweet as the aroma hinted at. Roasted malts quickly come in strong with assertive coffee and smoky
bitterness. Herbal hops on the finish with another round of bitterness. Mild alcohol spice and warmth, for 9% it is kept very well in check. Aftertaste is smoky and slightly dry.

M- Assertive carbonation, prickly on the tongue. Thick and silky smooth mouthfeel, drinks similar to an oatmeal stout.

O-A great imperial stout, satisfying on every measure. Tons of flavor without anything overwhelming, highly recommended.

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Photo of XxNitExX
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours the color of oil, with a nice 3 musketeer inside colored head. Beautiful lacing down my tulip glass.

S - Strongly of roast and dark roasted coffee. I slight alcohol tinge, that becomes more apparent as it warms. Dark chocolate present towards the end.

T - Starts with a nice hit or roast, with some chocolate notes early. Bit of alcoholic bite follows with a very wonderful DARK roasted coffee flavor to finish. Taste lingers on the tongue just like a nice sip of joe.

M - Perfectly carbonated, but not too syrupy and thick like some RIS can be. Lingers for quite awhile with its powerful coffee taste.

O - Wonderful readily available RIS. A great go to for those cold nights (or early mornings). For what its worth I do not notice alot of chocolate, but my friend who hates chocolate thinks its very potent and avoids it just for a heads up.

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Photo of Valmor88
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with a chocolate colored head that takes up half of the glass at first. Excellent head retention. You could take a shower and come back and it would still be there.

S: Roasted malts and chocolate and prevalent. Coffee/caramel and alcohol hints are the next most noticeable. Near the end there are some fruity esters, but I can't identify what kinds.

T: Toasty flavor. Dark chocolate with coffee/toffee and alcohol. Again, something fruity at the finish, but it's underscored by the big roasted coffee flavor also at the finish. Wow.

M: Full bodied. You get some warmth from the alcohol, but it's certainly in the background to all of the flavors.

O: One of the better Russian Imperial Stouts that I've had. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of RappAttack
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown with a tan head the eventually dissipates

S: rosted coffee with a hint of vanilla

T: vary malty with some coffee and vanilla mixed in, nice bitter finish

M: thinner than others i have had almost refreshing like the way chocolate milk is

O: one of my favorites,when i dont feel like spending money on founders Breakfast stout this is my close second

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Photo of BSK_ONE
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown as you would expect from a stout. Creaming long lasting head
S: honestly, didn't smell more than the whiffs of coffee and chocolate
T: Here is where the experience changes. First sip, first 3 seconds, nothing. I was thinking, blah. Then the flavor explosion happened! Complex, rapidly changing tastes. Coffee, caramel, dark fruits, some alcohol, some sweetness. Delicious!
M: Warm, smooth, complete.
O: Really like this beer a lot. It's complexity is what sets it apart. The flavored change dramatically 3 times.

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Photo of MikeyBadnews
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not a huge Stout, let alone Imperial stout guy but decided why not celebrate this Irish holiday with an Irish beer named after a Russian, made in America. Melting pot my friends... Pretty solid beer, makes you work though and the alcohol is pretty poignant.

Pours like a liquid abyss , inescapable darkness with an chocolate-espresso foam head that poured a rich 3 fingers thick.

Smells of strong alcohol, with varying notes of burnt coffee, prune and dirty roadside puddle, solid but imperfect as the alcohol burn wipes out some of the more refined and subdued scents.

The taste offers no alcohol burn as its resigned to the back of the throat and not the tongue and doesn't interfere with the mouth feel. Creamy chocolate covered fruit flavor meshed with coffee grinds that doesn't go down overly easy but doesn't kick your ass either.

Not bad, not bad at all... I'm a legitimate fan and wish I had this beer to kick back with after a night of shoveling over the winter. Really warms and comforts you, a dark blanket that isn't for session drinking, but good for one or two on a frosty night.

Cheers!

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Photo of enjambed
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

My first review!

Served slightly chilled from bottle into stem glass.

appearance: Being a stout, you're not going to see anything surprising here, but it still looks very appetizing, like a fresh espresso. Black as night, a moderate pour produces an average sized, bubbly khaki/light brown head that settles down to a layer of foam.

smell: Roasted malts, coffee, maybe a bit of alcohol, very nice

taste: Chocolate, black licorice, and (my favorite) dark fruits or raisins come through here along with the coffee, ending with some good warmth from the alcohol. I gotta have some of this in the winter! It's a big stout for sure, but I don't find the flavor overpowering.

mouthfeel: Not as thick as I was expecting, more on the medium side, but it doesn't get in the way

overall: Old Rasputin is a nice, big imperial stout. I usually don't drink beers this big, and was surprised by how long it took to finish a bottle. The flavors are well balanced and it's not gonna wreck your palate, but having two in a short time period will definitely knock you off your donkey. Not exactly a beer you'd have at a party, but it's good sipping during a movie or reading a book (it will take half the movie to finish).

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Photo of PZuke
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice black Imperial stout body with a slightly tan head. It smelled like coffee and a little bit of chocolate. The taste was very smooth with light carbonation and a very heavy taste of coffee/espresso and a little bit of chocolate. I could see how the coffee taste could be overpowering for some. I’m not a huge stout fan but I could actually drink a couple of these and have no problem. A brew that even Rasputin himself could be proud of.

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

Pours an absolute opaque black with a thin tan head which laces the glass nicely. Equal amounts of roasted malty goodness and alcohol in nose, maybe some traces of sweetness as well. Again, roasted maltiness in taste with very strong coffee like flavours. Very sweet and alcoholic in taste. However, it is very smooth and drinkable. Definately full bodied and very rich. Overall, a very impressive brew. Very strong in both character and abv. One of my favourites in the style, although I am none too experienced with imperial stouts.

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

12oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus Chalice.

A: The beer pour a rich slightly transparent dark brown. The carbonation is very light and only about a cm of light brown head formed and the quickly dissipated after pouring. The beers carbonation continued to be released from the bottom of the glass as I consumed.

S: Great light chocolate orders with a hint a alcohol as well as some coffee note. Not all that overpowering.

T: Just an incredibly rich malty flavor hit you right away. There are some great coffee notes to beer particularly in the after taste. I also really enjoy how this beer was hopped its not overpowering and complement the other flavors quit nicely.

M: The creaminess of this beer is amazing. I coat the inside of the mouth with just a wonderful array a flavor and complexity.

Note: This beer is great out of the bottle but was a huge treat when I had it for the first time on tap.

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

Between this and Stone Russian Stout I am now a fan of the this style. The beer pours like black crude. Thick and dark with creamy tan head. Smelling immeditely after opening the bottle I definately get a smell of smoke, chocolate, and malt. The taste is slightly bitter at first but then goes on to sweet smokiness. Hints of smoked almonds and a bit of coco. You can definately taste the alcohol in the background. Moutfeel is not bad at all either. I prefer Stone Russian Stout by just a hair because the Russian Stout has just a tiny but more alcohol bite which I prefer. But don't get me wrong I would drink either happily. The drinkability is a tiny bit better with Old Rasputin but some of that might be because it comes in smaller bottles so its a little more cold then having a 22 of Stone sitting there getting warm.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,641 ratings.
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