Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

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95
world-class
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:
18.46%
 
 
Wants:
577
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2,834
For Trade:
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Reviews: 3,648 | Ratings: 11,929
Photo of newsage
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

THEE Russian Imperial Stout!! But with all the other Breweries that have copied this style since and that have barrel aged it, Well it should be barrel age really, it smoothes it out a bit and adds refinement to what is a strong hearty beer not for the timid or faint of heart! If you Don't like Thick Stouts don't buy this.

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Photo of SanWrencho
3.06/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An OK brew but too aggressive and unbalanced and not malty enough to be a great stout IMHO. This brewery can produce some intriguing beers (Pranqster) but this one is too over the top. A better example of this style would be Zywiec Porter. Sometimes less *is* more.

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Photo of ColdBassHonkey
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Pours almost jet black, with the slightest dark brown hue. The head rises quickly, frothing into a dark tan. The aromas are overwhelming in a great way: cocoa, roasted malts, and coffee come through the strongest. The malts smoothly hit the palate first, followed by the balanced hops and malts. An oaky finish has a tinge of a tobacco taste, followed briefly by notes of espresso and dark chocolate. Truly an exceptional beer! Although it sounds counter intuitive with the coffee/espresso flavors, this is a great bedtime brew. The best RIS out there, IMHO.

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

I love a nice Imperial Stout. This one wasn't one of the best I have ever had, but still a very good choice.
It poured black as night. Almost impossible to see through.
The aromas are smokey. Hints of coffee and chocolate peek through.
The flavor is bittersweet and chocolatey and slightly watered down for an Imperial Stout. Not thick in mouthfeel or flavor, but the taste is somewhat notable.
Definitely a good choice for dessert or as a winter warmer but by far not my favorite.

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Photo of icetrauma
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my first exp. at a Russian Imperial Stout. I can say that I have had limited exposure to stouts. Only prev. exp. has been with Guiness, not impressed, and Peg Leg Stout, which I found quite delicious.

Poured up into a pint glass. Poured as expected. A deep black color with a dark tan 2 finger head. First notes were that of espresso and dark roasted malt.

Taste was seriously yummy. As with smell the first flavor to hit the palate was that of roasted espresso and malts. Finished off with a nice touch of hopiness that lingured around after the beer was on its journey.

This stout will def. be a welcomed edition into my beer fridge.

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Photo of esch
2.83/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Deliciously dark. Ruby slices through when held up to the light. Persistant pillowy cappuccino colored head.

S: Cocoa, wet sugar, tons of toasted malt, definite hop florals.

T: I first get a hint of dried cherries that fades fast into (diet) cola with a harshly bitter aspartame.

M: Medium-moderate body. Medium-moderate carbonation.

D: I really want to like this beer but the chemical flavors are really off-putting. Tasting was comprised of a newly purchased bottle and one from my cellar. I'll have to give this beer a revisit.

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

Poured absolutely pitch black into the venerable old globe glass, with little head and a small amount of lacing. The smell is of dark chocolate and coffee with a matching, very dry taste and noticeable alcohol in the finish. The mouth feel is very heavy and silky. As enjoyable as this beer is, I don’t think that I would tempt fate by having two, but this is easily a beer that one could have in place of a brandy and desert after a good meal.

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Photo of BACTAdam
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I went with this brew totally blindly, not having read any reviews and not having any expectations. Here is what I found...

A- Dark as night. Charcoal black with only the slightest hints of brown with a dark copper head. Head was medium but faded fairly quickly to thin.

S- Smells of dark coffee with hints of dark chocolate.

T- Old Rasputin is a whirlwind of flavor. Honestly, at the start, I was puzzled by it. Quite bitter for a stout with sort of a burnt taste. Made me pucker a bit from the bitterness and I wasn't crazy about it. By mid-glass and as the beer warmed, the true amazing flavors come out and I was sold. The alcohol burn becomes more apparent but I also get notes of espresso, dark and milk chocolate and a nice sweetness I love in imperial stouts. By the end, I was begging for more.

M- A very solid mouthfeel- heavy, makes you feel like you're drinking a beer and not water.

D- What to say about drinkability. It's certainly not a session beer but it's very drinkable for an imperial stout. The alcohol doesn't start to kick in til mid-glass so it's deceiving. Still, one or two of these per session is more than enough.

Overall, this is a high quality Imperial Stout. Not my ultimate favorite but still excellent.

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Photo of cactusjuggalo
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try one last night when my shipment arrived at work. Poured out of the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Blacker than night apperance with a slight head one very tasty lookin brew.

Smell was exactly what i come to expect from a good RIS coffee and chocolate.

Good lord this is a good beer. It has this perfect bitter taste to it thats not to extreme and not to light. Just rich and full.

As far as mouthfeel goes it is quite smooth and enjoyable.

Man i could drink this all night but at 9% rasputin is a sneaky one that can creep up on you quick. Drink with caution my friends.

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Photo of pnkHoody
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After drinking the XII version a while back, picking this up was a no-brainer - especially as I found it at $9.95 for a four-pack in a Victoria government liquor store (sometimes the darnedest beers turn up in BC).

This is my third bottle. Anxious about reports of a non-existent head, my first bottled was poured from 6 inches with vigorous swirling, and I ended up with the stout equivalent of an Ibiza Foam Party. This third bottle was poured on the cautious side of usual, but still produced a thick three inches of head that diminished to half a finger that stayed throughout. Lacing is thick and permanent, and it looks beautiful for it.

This smells lighter than many imperial stouts (Peche Mortel and XII are my benchmarks, however, and they are very robust) and yeast is prominent. As well as familiar burned tones, there's a deep woody odor reminiscent of an old school desk.

It's more effervescent than other RIS I've had, which explains the head. It really blooms in the mouth -- which is a bit too much at first, but it settles down after a few sips. The taste is sensational. It is very bitter, but more charcoal than hops. It avoids the sweetness many RIS ride upon, delivering 75% cocoa chocolate, powerful molasses, and baking-soda astringency.

The beer is far less complex than the XII, which makes me reflect on how beautiful that beer really was. But at this price, this is a sensational RIS that makes no mistakes. I will buy a lot of this, especially as Peche Mortel is all gone and Brooklyn Brewery Chocolate Imperial Stout is harder to come by in BC recently...

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

-Tulip Glass

Pours into your glass dark, just about black. Thick, caramel colored, two-finger head which lingers nicely before dissapearing. Not much lacing left, but that doesn't detract from anything.

Smells rich. Hints of chocolate and malt. Smells sturdy and thick with hints of coffee. Extremely inviting.

The feel is smooth and creamy on the palate with a dry finish. Carbonization is mild, but well balanced with the rest of the aspects. Just the right amount in my opinion. Hops are subtle and I detect more of the roasted qualities than anything.

Definitely one you'd like to sip and savor. Full bodied and thick, but not chewy.

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Photo of tobin
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great stout that made me want to try and brew my own version of it!

Pours a black/brown color with a dense foamy head.

A quality blend of toasted wheat bread and coffee notes with a lace that clings to the glass as well as the tongu

Very thick mouthfeel that lingers on the palate. This beer has 8.9% alcohol, but it is not apparent in the taste because it is so smooth. The alcohol is only slightly noticeable in the aftertaste.

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Photo of AlexCorleone
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Definitely black with a thin layer of delectable, malty chocolaty head that dissipates rather quickly, pooling slightly in the center of the glass and radiating outwards as the glass progresses.

S - Definitely vanilla dominates; coffee and chocolate follows, with heavily roasted malts, brown sugar, and alcohol undercurrents that sting the nose.

T - Again vanilla and coffee are protagonists, followed by dark chocolate. Roasted malts, finish rather bitter and alcoholic, with pleasing warmth.

M - Full-bodied and smoked feel.

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

Note: The first Imperial Stout I have ever had. Also the only other stout I have ever had was Guinness.

A- Completely Opaque. As black as I have ever seen a beer. 3 finger head.
S- Both a mocha and malt aroma.
T- Malt, chocolate. Very balanced. Not overpower for me, considering I have never had anything like it before.
M- Medium, not real heavy.
D- 2-3 is enough but could drink more.

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

bottle poured into Sierra Nevada tulip glass.

Another old favorite. I've finally decided to age one or two...

Jet black with a dark brown head that lingers fairly nicely. Nose delivers everything one might want in a stout- roasted malt, tobacco (?), cocoa.

Coffee and chocolate reign over an mild iron flavor kingdom. Very complex. Very rich.

Mouthfeel is as rich as the pour might suggest. Big and syrupy, yet smooth. ABV might as well be session-esque.

Truly fantastic beer. Fully deserving of any accolades it receives.

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

The basic walkthrough is something like this:

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout pours great from a 12 fl. oz. bottle. As soon as the head begins to form the full bouquet is there from its smokey dark malt earth tones to its chocolatey sweetness and of course its 09% ABV--it is all there immediately and it's a beautiful thing.

The head is nice and thick--a good three finger head--but its airyness--that which gave us that beautiful strong bouquet--of course means it dies off pretty quick. What's left behind if a pretty, light, chocolate colored lace that hangs in there the whole time.

From the first sip I was in love with this beer's body and mouthfeel. It's got a perfect carbonation, leaving a potentially heavy beer lighter than one would expect. The mouthfeel however ends up being a bit creamy and in that way it's a pretty awesome ride to go from that unexpected crisp lightness to the obvious feel you want and expect from a stout.

The taste from beginning to end is full and certainly a bit more alcoholic than I like, but in a great way the somewhat higher alcohol content compliments the mouthfeel of this beer and certainly makes the "warm finish" they advertise on the bottle happen.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout is an experience for sure. And while I prefer a crisper, hoppier beer this certainly got my attention and has 'warmed' me up to stouts that much more.

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

4 pack from Bevmo in West Hollywood, Ca. No freshness date.

Poured into a snifter. I've had this beer a couple of times over the years, but I figured it was time to give it a proper review.

A: Dark as night, with a thick, creamy head. ( no innuendo intended). Alot of carbonation from the bottom of the bottle, which I think may have affected my tasting score. ALOT of lacing to the sides of the glass.

S: Toasted acorn, some coffee, and subtle chocolate notes. There is a stronger presence of roasted sugar/caramel than chocolate or coffee in my opinion. Alcohol is present.

T: Massive cocoa and toasted caramel notes at the front. A bitter and boozy bite towards the end of the taste. Some coffee notes linger around, but this is a chocolate milkshake on steroids for sure. I have had this on tap, and know how rich and velvety this things can get under the BEST conditions. But, I am not completely BLOWN away in bottle form.

M: Chocolate milk feel in the mouth.

O: A good stout to have on a cold night. 9% ABV and the price per bottle(1.99/per in a 4 pack) make this an incredibly good deal for such a highly alcoholic, and well made beer. A

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Photo of dredz_126
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great looking bottle. Bought it using the beer advocate rating system. Pours very beautifully. Has a sweet chocolaty and caramel element in the smell. As far as taste; very smooth, velvety. The high alchohol content is very well hidden. A new favorite indeed!

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Photo of BeerStud187
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Really really good beer for the price. Look, there are better beers out there with barrel aging and what not, but this is a really really good beer and about a quarter of the price of comparable beers. It packs a punch and is full of rich chocolate, coffee, stouty goodness. You taste, notice the alcohol, but it's smoothed out by the roasty goodness.

I was disappointed by the barrel aged versions of this that do not compare to other barrel aged competitors, but for a straight up RIS, this is the standard and very very good. If you have not had this, try this first and then compare all future offerings of the style against this.

You will not be disappointed.

Good stuff!

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

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance:
Very dark, almost black in color. Poured with about an inch of an almost caramel head. Very carbonated and has a very inviting presence to it. Retains the head for a matter of minutes.

Smell:
Very strong smell as soon as the bottle was opened and the beer was poured. When brought to the nose it is quite easy to smell the sweet aroma of the roasted/chocolate malts (smells as an almost balanced degree of chocolate malt v. roasted, with maybe a minor upper hand to roasted) with an almost citrous-type hoppiness to it.

Taste:
Very smooth in tasting, goes down easily despite the high ABV of the beer; not a typical strong beer in the high degree of its smoothness. Very strong taste of the malts followed by the citrus of the hops. Obviously that it was brewed in Russian Imperial manner with a focus on your darker roasted malt but it also has a pleasant balance of hops to counter the increased use of malt in the beer. Malts are very well balanced with the chocolate prevailing paired with the taste of roasted malt. Very true to Russian Stout fashion with a surprising degree of hops used to balance the beer.

Mouthfeel:
Feels like a very light, smooth beer. Easy on the palate but alive on your tongue with the malt/hop mix. Feels slightly over carbonated but with this beer the extra carbonation isn't overally out of place.

Drinkability:
This beer is considerably easy to drink. This is a beer best suited for sipping. Especially on a cold night, this would be the beer to sit with and enjoy the evening. Very easy to drink another one, and as it warms it does add to the taste to a slight degree, given the style of the beer. I would highly recommend.

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Photo of gloriousglo2
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If the Czarina had been drinkin' Old Raspy instead of listening to his quacky advice on Hematology, history would have been much different. Poured into my Great Lakes BC pint glass, and allowed to sit for about 10 minutes to warm up. Zippo head, and black. Smells like 2 day old coffee grounds, which personally, I find appealling. Very smooth, no aftertaste, faint burnt something-or-other taste. Paid about $44 for a case.

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Photo of kgrober
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The last of the Autumn tasting I had at Grapevine in Fort Mill, SC.

Poured into a pint with a pitch black color. Soft creamy head that lingers.

Other than subtle coffee notes the nose is mild and almost indistinguishable.

The nose doesn't give away the stellar complexity of flavors. Currants, bittersweet chocolate, with toasty malts and a wonderful bitter finish. I seemed to notice some bourbon layers in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel is thick and sumptuous with great balance between alcohol and flavor. The beer is so complex it makes you want to keep it rolling around in your mouth to see what else you taste.

A superb imperial stout.

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Photo of mingo1968
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured dark as midnight with a nice soft thick head that stuck to the sides of the glass. I tastes hints of chocolate and coffee. The feel was creamy and smooth this went down very easy and at 9% i didnt taste any alcohol in the finish. I drank this with a smoked pork chop sandwich that i thought went well together. If you see this on tap i recommend giving it a try.

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Photo of willPS21
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This RI stout is fantastic. The drinkability is probably higher than almost any RIS or IS or IPA I've had, or should I say any beer of 8.1%+. I like the bitterness and tang which separates it from most RI's, there is a crisper finish to me and a hint of welcome metallic tones. It almost seems like someone added a few tablespoons of Newcastle to this one. Additionally, there's a bit of sweetness which comes in the form of distinctive carmel. The texture in the mouth is a bit less viscous than the Stone, my permanent reference point, but also a bit less round and unified. Again one could say mouthfeel is heading towards Newcastle or even Guiness ever so slightly (and just slight enough). Besides that rare nutty-metallic tang, Rasputin has lovely dark malty flavors with the coffee/chocolate/toffee somewhere and just enough herbal notes to round it off. It's rare that a beer can avoid overdoing the hoppy and floral tones to my liking while still including them, and this one does it to perfection. If you're a fan of floral tones, I've noticed those flavors are more pronounced as you approach room temperature, where the beer seems more oily and chewy.

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Photo of PaulfromNoVa
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Caught my eye on a visit to Cape Fear Wine and Beer, picked up a few bottles, and returned to the B&B.

I'm with Todd: a freakin' evil looking bottle, with the iconic image of the Mad Monk conferring a blessing - perhaps casting out the young Prince Alexander's hemophilia but just as likely laying a Holy Whammy upon any who deign to imbibe this magical elixir...but the Cyrillic inscription (and, frankly, Cyrillic looks ominous to Westerners, like vestigial Klingon) is heartwarming: "One does not become an intimate friend in single evening."

Poured into a pub pint, but in increments - partially a straight pour, letting the head froth up, inches high, which subsided rather quickly to a persistent lacing. Body is black as pitch: held up to light, nothing penetrates. A liquid black hole: what secrets does it conceal? Awesome.

Nose is a first high, sweetish, hoppy-fruity. The dark toasted malt comes through in second place. Surprising.

Taste is of a magnificently balanced imperial stout, thickly sweetishly bitter, broken down into flavors easily associated with the word "black" - molasses, licorice, dark, dark, chocolate, roasted tree nuts, burnt toast with a thin coat of current jam, oatmeal with raisins (?)... The 9 percent ABV is hidden somewhere but has an unctuous invigorating taste of a wonderful health beverage, the kind of specialist marvel for which one has to visit exclusive spas to enjoy the privilege of drinking.

I finished the bottle 10 minutes ago and its finish lingers on my palate. I kid you not. The mouthfeel is characterized by implicit carbonation, sufficient to give the profound weight of the stout a wisp of airy lightness.

Compared to this, Guiness Stout is club soda...

It is sub-freezing in Wilmington, our room is like a meat locker, I half-expect to see a side of beef in the wardrobe, but this remarkable brew is cosseting in its warmth. I'd very much like another. My glass cries out for renewal, but the cupboard is bare, the bottle empty, Old Rasputin vanquished, no more. A pity. But the delight lingers, as will the memory. And thanks to the wonderful North Coast Brewing Company, a memory that may be renewed.

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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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