Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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3,648 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:
3,648
Ratings:
11,929
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.28%
 
 
Wants:
577
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2,834
For Trade:
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Reviews: 3,648 | Ratings: 11,929
Photo of np_wizard
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I got a pint of this on tap in San Francisco. The aroma was very satisfying, and paired strongly with the soft foam head that sweetened my first sip. It wasn't too bitter, or overly heavy for a stout, and the dark brown/almost black color was complimented by the continual foaming of the head even after I had finished the first third of the beer. I was very satisfied, and would definitely recommend this beer.

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Photo of Larry6767
2.77/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 1.75

I think mine must have been a bad batch. It tasted like straight toothpaste. It had the look, feel and smell of a great RIS. However, when I drank it, it was one of the more revolting beers I've had in the last 6 months. Drain poor. This may get deleted, maybe not. But this is a 100% real review of this beer. I was extremely unimpressed.

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Photo of darklager
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is definitely something to behold. It pours beautifully with a nice head that sticks around for a while. The aroma is chocolate and alcohol. While the alcohol is present in the aroma, it is well masked in the taste. It is a strong brew, worthy of drinking slow and savoring every last drop. It finishes slightly bitter, and the strength of this beer is pretty great, so I don't think I'd want more than a couple at one sitting. It would be great in the evening to sip on while unwinding.

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

I tried this interesting stout at my favorite local pizza pub/watering hole. It was on draught, served in a brandy snifter of all things.

Appearance was very good, with a nice creamy dark complexion and creamy head (perhaps exaggerated somewhat by the dimensions of my snifter). There were a few air bubbles mixed in, and the beverage was less opaque than I would have expected.

Aroma was good, again perhaps concentrated by the snifter. Notes of malt and chocolate.

The flavor will come as quite a surprise to Guinness drinkers (remember this is Imperial Stout... ;). A bold combination of sherry, malt, coffee, and chocolate. Pleasant, lingering aftertaste of caffe corretto.

Mouthfeel was excellent: smooth and creamy with no burn or cloying on the roof of the mouth.

I also have to rate the drinkability quite highly for a stout, though it is certainly best sipped rather than gulped. I would not have known it was 9% alcohol if I hadn't read it on this page.

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

loking for a good stout ??? then skip this one . if you are looking for an exceptional stout then stop right here. pour it out and it looks like the black color in the sidebars you see on these pages. brown head with a long lasting lacing. burnt chocolate and roasted malts greet you nose. very little carbonation almost none to speak of. and what a great taste. you will not be disappointed with this selection

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

Pours pitch black, can't even see a flashlight through it! Dark tan head that sticks around, nice lacing.

I get cherries in the smell, with coffee, raisins, caramel, and dark rosted malt...nothin wrong aith that.

Taste starts out sweet and roasty with piney, citrusy hops late and in the finish.

Mouthfeel is superb, lush and smooth, carbonation is just right.

A fantastic brew, not quite the best RIS I've had(darkness...so far) but the mere fact that North Coast makes it widely available all year long hitches it up a notch.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip. Beer was allowed to warm for 30 or so minutes before sweet, sweet consumption.

A: Beer pours an absolutely opaque, pitch black. Looks kinda like motor oil, but not the clean stuff. The stuff that you left in for 3,000 too many miles. A luscious mocha head two fingers in height forms and lingers for quite a while before settling to about a half finger. Beautiful lacing appears with each sip.

S: Aroma is rich in dark chocolate and hops. Hops smell citrusy to me. There are some dark fruits thrown in there as well, which complement the aforementioned scents quite nicely. A touch of alcohol stings the nostrils (in a good way) as well.

T: Those citrus hops dominate the taste early in the sip. They give way to some bitter dark chocolate. It's like a one two punch of bitterness from hops and roasted malts. Just an incredible sensation in a stout. I can pick out those dark fruits and a little bit of black coffee notes as well. Just an amazing beer.

M: Smooth, rich, creamy, coating. Where doth I begin? Beer just feels awesome moving around the mouth with every sip. Beer is also thick and a little chewy.

D: Well, the beer definitely disappeared from my glass pretty quickly. The 9.0% ABV will creep up on you a little, so be cautious when having more than one. Perfect as a before bed sipper.

O: In my humble and unimportant opinion, Old Rasputin in the perfect interpretation of a Russian Imperial Stout. It takes the already awesome style and throws aggressive hopping into the mix. It's in your face with flavors from start to finish. A perfect way to end a night OR start a day.

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Photo of IceEyes
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've been drinking Old Rasputin for years. It's one of my favorite standby beers for long winter nights when I feel like drinking something dark and strong. The flavor is bursting with roasted goodness, yet it's still smooth and creamy with an easy drinkability. Strong aroma of fresh roasted grains, chocolate, coffee, and spice. NOt overly hopped like some stouts, but well balanced. And it's just as good during warm weather. Black as midnight. Great beer.

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Photo of wschumac
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance was jet black with light brown head 1 finger. Very nice retention. Lacing all the way to the bottom.

Smell from this reminded me a little to much of hops. But after letting it breathe. roasted malt ever present with coffee. A little hoppy.

Tasted a little too bitter, it was my first russian imperial so not sure what to expect. But very rich with hop aftertaste.

Excellent in the mouth and smooth expected a little fuller but light compared to its color.

Would come back to this one definitely after trying out some others.

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

Pours a nice deep brown in color -- Can definitely catch a little light through it around the corners of the glass. Not pitch black like some of the bigger stouts. Nice head that quickly receeds into lacing. Lots of carbonation.

Lots of chocolate and dark malt in the nose.

Really nice smooth taste. Has a lot of that same flavor of the dark roasted and chocolate malt. The taste lingers for what seems like an eternity.

Excellent smooth mouthfeel. Very well rounded and balanced RIS overall. Definitely one I will be going back to.

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

I opened the bottle and immediately was greeted by a wonderful smell of bread and alcohol. I poured the beer into a glass. There was a lot of head (around 3 fingers). The beer was very thick and dark. When I held it up to the light, not much passed through. The head foam was very stiff. The beer had a high enough viscosity to cling to the sides of the glass when swirled a bit. The initial taste had hints of sweet fruitiness, but was quickly replaced with a nice strong bitter taste of malt. There was a hint of an aftertaste that I could do without. Overall, the stout was very drinkable. This is one of the thickest, darkest stouts I have ever seen. I liked the style of the label as well.

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Photo of allanplaysguitar
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This was one of the beers that got me into craft beer.

Color is deep all but black in and opaque.

Aroma is sharp yet and pungent, but in the best way possible.

Taste is rich, bitter coffee toasted goodness.

Mouthfeel is very think and silky.

Overall it is a beer worth trying again and again.

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Photo of melloashello
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into glass.
Pours very dark with a tan head. Beautiful appearance, coffee like.
The aroma was amazing. My friend across from me could smell it and noted how good it smelled and demanded a sip.
Tasted of smokey and burnt mocha, a little hops and a tad spicy.
The mouthfeel was nice and creamy with a soft carbonation. It was the perfect balance, keeping the alcohol hidden but still noticed.
I am a big fan of Russian Imperial Stouts and I could drink this beer throughout the night, but be careful with it's 9% ABV. It will hit you when you least expect it.
Overall, a fantastic beer.

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Photo of Brideshead
3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Let's start with first impressions: This big beer makes a big impression on appearance. Dark and sinister looking, the rough-textured mocha-colored head sits atop the black body like a Russian fur cap. The bottle art featuring a drawing of Rasputin doesn't hurt the overall effect either. Lacing is full and sticky.

The scent is of a distinctly toasted, malty quality. A yeastiness also meets the nose. The big scent is followed up by an even bigger flavor. Thick malts, yeast, burnt coffee and an exceptionally sticky mouthfeel combine to create a hearty drinking experience. A treat not to be taken lightly, and not likely to be consumed in very large quantities.

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

A - Pours jet black with a nice thickness, big tan colored head just rises to the top of the glass and leaves a thick lacing as it dissipates.

S- Sweet, coffee, dark chocalate, raisins.

T - Sweet with a nice bitterness hits the tongue followed by a blast of coffee and dark chocolate. Alcohol is definitely present but not overbearing.

M - Fulled bodied, thick, and smooth. nice carbonation for an Imperial. I like this stout because it has a nice warming affect in the back of throat and in the chest as this one goes down.

D - Rich, smooth, and filling. This Stout is not for amateurs...for the big boys only...one or two qnd you are feeling the affects.

Overall this is one of the best Stouts I have ever tasted. I thouroughly enjoyed it.

Slainte!

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Photo of TuffNut87
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the beers that lives up to the hype, the mysterious Cyrillic and the mad monk on the label. The half inch head was formed by millions of miniscule bubbles. The smooth potency of the flavor makes it stand out. I am an Edmund Fitzgerald fan, and this stout is so much better. My first North Coast brew, so I will have to sample more via the great selection/make your own six at Andersons.

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Photo of dweideman
3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a large frothy light-medium brown mostly lasting head. Aroma was extremely sweet – I detected dark cherry, ripened banana and a slight hint of citrus. Initially a light sweet taste with lively carbonation followed by moderate bitterness. The roasted malts really came through late in the finish with dark chocolate the predominant flavor. I really enjoyed the different aromas of this offering.

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Photo of mrbosworth
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick sandy head, with dense bubbles float above an opaque mahoghany chalice of Old Rasputin. A great coffee roasted, toasted molasses smooth flavor and rich body, with a smoky aftertaste, define imperial stouts. Vanilla, oaky flavors give way to a spicy bitter finish as the beer warms. It becomes drier and maltier and tastier near the end. I love this beer, if you hadn't noticed.

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Photo of Bootscraper
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At another board this beer was talked about and raved up and down for some time. I just thought it was awesome that it pays tribute to Rasputin.
Served a little bit over 50 degrees F in pint glass listening to The Best of Mountain.
Pours like motor oil, and looks like motor oil in the glass. Seriously, this thing is as black as 4-chan's humor and opaque even when held right beside a light bulb. Beautiful. A 2 cm bubbly (but very creamy) very tan head sprung up, and briefly continued to rise after the pour. After a good 5 minutes, it had shrunk to just a thin layer, and stayed that way for a good while down the glass. The lacing was pretty steady, and clung on for dear life, not going anywhere for quite some time. For as much as this beer was hyped up, I was honestly expecting a little bit more impressive head, so at this point I'm wondering what I did wrong.
The smell was modest, yet what was there was robust. I had the Thelonious Monk beer by this same brewery, and they both had the same "barbecue" smell to it. I'm assuming now that it is roasted malt. There is also some cappuccino right behind it.
The taste, unsurprisingly, is a very roasted, charred one. It progresses towards the finish, along with some dark fruit flavors. Throughout the entirety of each sip, that creamy coffee is slightly present, as well as alcohol. The alcohol actually blends with the flavors nicely though, so it is hidden quite nicely. At most, it puts up a slight sting in the back of your throat at the swallow, but it mostly just translates to a pleasantly warming feeling. If nothing else, it comes off as a very dark chocolate (at least in the after-taste).
The mouth-feel is pretty darn smooth, considering how upfront and robust this beer is in general. It's also fairly full-bodied, and I enjoy the low carbonation levels and yet there is a very slight tingly feeling to accent this nicely. This is pretty damn syrupy as well, at least for a stout... though I understand that this particular style is supposed to be quite sticky from the addition of much more malt.
In all, I guess this is quite drinkable if you enjoy a beer of this style on this caliber. I'm in my second and determining that this would be best accompanied with a rich dinner, but I am having no trouble sipping through this.

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

A: This stuff pours black as night with little to no light shining through. Where it does, you can see this uber dark brown elixer for what it truly is. Gives up about a finger of head that recedes quickly to leave a nice thin layer of light brown froth like one would expect on hot chocolate, but darker. Leaves little lacing, but what's there is appreciated.

S: Coffee, roasted nuts, some caramel, and the overwhelming STINK (I used to be a baker, so I use this term affectionately) of yeasty rising bread. This stuff smells fantastic, it definitely gives the impression of being exactly what stouts are sometimes thought to be, liquid bread. Roasty, toasty, sweet and yeasty are all words that apply here.

T: A bit less hop presence and bitterness than I typically associate with a Russian Imperial Stout, but this lends to the drinkability by a truckload. Coffee, caramel and roasted walnuts are the major flavors I'm getting here. A little bit of a cocoa flavor is detectable, while at the same time that yeastyness seems to carry over in to the taste as well, suggesting a crusty bread-to-be rising in a warm proof box. Fan-freaking-tastic.

M: Somewhat creamy, very very smooth, and a perfectly comfortable level of hoppy bitterness that doesn't hang out on the tongue for too long. Lovely.

D: I could kill a 4 pack of this by myself in a few hours. The 9% is hidden so well you're liable to be dancing on the coffee table with a lampshade on your head at 3 AM before you even realize that you've had enough. So smooth, pretty creamy, and really delicious. But it did leave me wanting... a little.

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Photo of mcnabb0001
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with Rasputin on the label putting a communist curse on everyone that drinks this.

A - pours jet black with a nice thickness, big tan colored head just rises to the top of the glass and leaves a thick lacing as it dissipates.

S- sweet, coffee, dark chocalate, dark fruit (raisons) actually the sweet alcohol smell stings the nose a little.

T - nice bitterness hits the tongue followed by a blast of coffee and dark chocalate. Sharp sweetness rides the chocalate coffee wave down the throat. Alcohol is definitely present but not overbearing.

M - fulled bodied, thick, and smooth. nicely carbonated for an Imperial with a nice warming affect in the back of throat and in the chest as this one goes down.

D - Rich, smooth, and filling. This Stout is big and boozy. One maybe two are all I need of this Imperial.

Overall this is one of the best I have had it ranks top not sure if I Old Rasputin or BBCS better at this point

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Photo of sirdillon
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours black with quite a bit of carbonation. Big frothy(!) light tan head that sticks around pretty well. Leaves a beautiful dark lacing around the glass as I sip. Good stuff.

S- Like if you made a hop tea in a dark chocolate mocha. Except not much coffee. This is one of my favorite smelling beers out there, definitely one of a kind. Pine, dank marijuana, roasted barley, dark chocolate and a bit of alcohol heat are all there. Not much sweetness to be found. The alcohol is a bit prominent, but it's a fair trade off for a walk through the marijuana chocolate forest that is Old Rasputin.

T- Lots of hops and lots of deeply roasted coffee flavors. Finishes with a sensation of hop resin and coffee. Not much sweetness to be found, but very drinkable. There's some alcohol in the taste, but it's not too unpleasant.

M- This may be the weak aspect of this beer. I'd say it has a bit too much carbonation for an imperial stout, and has a somewhat light mouthfeel because of that. However, this is infinitely more drinkable than most imperial stouts because of this as well. Lots of hop resins coat the mouth, leaving a bit of a bitter aftertaste. Not cloying or syrupy in the least.

O- By far the best beer for the money that I've found thus far. Has a very distinctive and refined taste and smell. It's not perfect, but this is one of my favorite beers, and in my opinion it deserves great affection.

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Photo of jagoffyinzer
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black with a thick head that dissipates to a thin layer. Great lacing on the edges and good head retention though it slowly fades as you drink. Carbonation is right on for the style.

S: A nice malty chocolate hits your nose and dances with some vanilla and alcohol. Also getting some roast and coffee notes.

T: Greeted with a vibrant roast flavor with a bitter back bone. Some alcohol notes on the finish. The roast flavor also plays counter part to some underlying chocolate.

M: This is initially very creamy and smooth but the finish is quite dry, almost too dry.

D: It is pretty hefty but this an Imperial Stout, it's not made to session. For the ABV it's not upfront and in your face like it is with some other beers of this style. It is masked very well with the roast aroma and flavor, it sticks out where it should.

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

S: Cool little four pack with a picture of the unkillable Rasputin daring you to drink this beer. Poured into a goblet and allowed to settle for 10 minutes.

A: Pitch black with a frothy almond colored head.

S: Coffee, with hints of roasted malty goodness.

T: Awesome. So much flavor from this little bad boy. Malty, roasted unsweetened cocoa, maybe some mollases coming through. Tasty and goes great with a nice medium rare steak.

M: Initially it comes on thick in an epic kind of way, then warms in the mouth and settles back to unleash the flavors.

D: Highly. The alcohol is a ghost in this stout which deceives its 9% content. I know stouts are primarily a winter beer but this thing can be enjoyed in the summer too. As the beer warms it unleashes even more flavors.

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Photo of itlnstallion11
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- I was lucky to first try this beer from a nitro tap. It poured a motor oil black with a thick tan head I could rest a penny on.

S- great smell, barley, milk chocholate, some oatmeal hints, black licorice, some dark fruits, with a nice roast finish

T- ton of Malts, some plum, molasses, chocolate, hints of coffee with a pleasant wood burn bitter ending.

M- full bodied thick milkshake

O- an awesome stout, one of my new favorites. Alcohol is masked well and the taste is not overbearing. The balance of sweetness an bitterness is one of almost perfection, I'm utterly in love with this beer. Get one.

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Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 11,929 ratings.
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