Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,540 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,540
Hads: 11,419
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 513
Gots: 2,442 | FT: 55
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,540 | Hads: 11,419
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: i think i can see through it but thats my mind playing light tricks again. orangey-mocha head with remnants of carbonated activity on the surface. probably has some bubbles in the body.

aroma: chocolate syrup malt and wood. surprisingly light in the nose and this lessens my fear of such a monster brew.

mouthfeel: wow. tingling from what appears to be hops, powerful cringing bitterness from dark roasted coffee grounds. nutty. sweetness and tartness back it all up and add balance. alcohol becomes noticable in the taste after a few sips, definitely unwelcome. strongly flavored with little-to-no lingering obscenity or bitterness that i would associate with spoil.

delicately balanced, a true achievement.

 729 characters

Photo of sitarist
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brownish purple, almost black. One inch tan head fades quickly to a faint ring. No lacing.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, grape candy, powdered sugar, with a smoky undertone.

Taste of coffee, chocolate, candied jellys, burnt caramel, there is also a hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is thick with a carbonation bite at first becoming creamy.

Its drinkable and warming with good flavors but it doesn't beg you to take another sip. The mouthfeel does not work well with the flavors.

 494 characters

Photo of TXHops
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1.090 OG, 8.9% ABV.

An amazing beer, but only a good Imperial Stout when tasted side by side with Storm King and Brooklyn Black Chocolate. Instense, warming and full bodied (like it ought to be) it just wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. Check out my article on my mini Imperial Stout challenge which documents more fully my impression of this beer...

 357 characters

Photo of dank203
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I do love this beer. in fact, formative beer for me. however; ive tried blackout stout, I've tried expedition. to me, those two rate higher, even avery Czar. just not according to BA. still I respect this beer fully, one of the first imp stouts I've had

lot of bitterness, dark bitter chocolate, coffee beans, hops. creamy, bountiful carbonation. it is good, really good.

still, not my favorite! but a beer I'll still always come back to

 440 characters

Photo of bigman147
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Like black gold, texas tea. This beer is black. At least 3 inches of head from the pour, quickly settles to some clump dark brown foam with good lacing.

Aroma: Smells of dark coffee. A slight burnt roasted character. Some chocolate and dark fruits (plums, dates, cherries). Alcohol is present and gives the aroma a sharp wineyness.

Taste: Good body. Malt is balanced by alot of bitterness. Hop bitterness is pervasive but some black malt character. Assertive is probably the best descriptor. Alcohol warmth was present but subdued.

Mouthfeel: One of the things I had a problem with this beer was the carbonation. I found it sharp and forced. It cut through the creamy malty taste and didn't fit my expectations. .

Drinkability: Not sure how RIS and Drinkability will ever go hand in hand. This 9% ABV beer is ean excellent winter warmer. Strong and balanced. One maybe two in the evening and life will be grand.

 930 characters

Photo of Ricelikesbeer
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a huge, billowing head. Jet black and hard to see through. The head is cloudy with huge bubbles. It smells very chocolate like, with a little roasted flavor and earth. When you sip it sweetness immediatly fills your mouth, and coats your tongue. Almost too sweet for my taste in Imperial stouts, but nonetheless delicious and drinkable. Mouthfeel is very smooth and goes down easy. Not too thick. It is very inviting and you could drink plenty of it if it weren't for the high abv.

 492 characters

Photo of jamie2dope
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of those beers I have had lots of times, but never bothered to review. It poured into a mini Old Rasputin pint glass a dark brown, with ruby hues toward the bottom of the glass. Aroma was filled with milk chocolate, sweet bread and powdered sugar. Taste starts off rather sweet, with more of the milk chocolate coming through. Towards the end it becomes a bit more roasty and bitter, leaving a burnt coffee flavor on the palate. I would say the body of this beer is medium for an Imperial Stout. Alcohol does not seem prominent at all. A four pack of this brew did well for me. This is a great brew that is always reliable. Cheers

 642 characters

Photo of jmichaeldesign
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black with a two finger head that lingers longer than I had expected. This is partially due to being a little warmer than it should be, and a sub par pour.

Smell is fantastic. The chocolate is right there in your face without being overwhelming.

Taste is not quite as strong as other imperial stouts I've had. Very well balanced. A little bit of hoppiness. Aftertaste is all chocolate.

Mouthfeel is good. A little too carbonated for the style in my opinion.

It's incredibly drinkable for an imperial stout. The flavor isn't cloying, but it's too carbonated for me.

Overall a great beer. I'd definitely buy it again. A great nightcap or first beer of the night.

 690 characters

Photo of Risser09
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - 2008

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with absolutely no highlights. The head rises 1/2" and is light brown in color. A tiny bit of lace remains after the head recedes calmly.

Smell: Heavy malt aroma and plenty of dark fruits. Cherry, plum, apricot and raisin. There is also a sweet chocolate aroma, almost like chocolate milk.

Taste: Subtle flavors of milk chocolate, roasted malt, licorice and coffee. Slight hop addition gives some IBUs. Nice balance, but not overly complex.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavily bodied, ample carbonation, and a lot of RIS qualities. Belly warming alcohol, ample sweetness.

Drinkability: A decent brew. I expected more based upon word of mouth, but am left wanting more complexity. At least its not cloyingly sweet.

 805 characters

Photo of Sephiroth
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the last bottle of a 4-pack that I bought about two years ago. Why am I just now drinking it? Because I hated it then.

Pours with very little head, the beer is dark brown, no lacing. Smells roasty and chocolatey, some vinous notes.

The taste has really dried out. Slightest touch of oxidation, roasted and chocolate malt. Mouthfeel has thinned, but is still chewy. Highly drinkable.

 398 characters

Photo of ricke
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving date: 2009-01-16. Served in snifter.

Presentation: 355 ml bottle with nice, and quite freaky, artwork on the label: A picture of one of history's most enigmatic and mythical persons, Grigorij Rasputin, surrounded by a quote in Russian (haven't been able to figure out what it says, though).

Appearance: The pour is jet-black with a 2 cm brown head that settles rather quickly, leaving a brown coat over the beer. Small but thick lacings sticks to the glass. I love how the beer reacts when I swirl the glass, it just keeps reproducing a small but dense coat of brown foam.

Smell: A very prominent character of roasted barley. Aromas of coffee and dark chocolate are there as well. The smell is slightly bitter as well. Overall, this one has a rather sharp and robust profile, regarding smell.

Taste: A big and bold taste of roasted barley is coupled with bitter chocolate and notes of coffee. Some sweet flavors are present to. It has a significant hop character, with a nice and sweet malty background. The finish is a nice mixture of bitter hops and sweet chocolate. It hides the alcohol very well, considering its strength.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, full-bodied and medium carbonation.

Drinkability: This is one big imperial stout. A very good beer with a powerful and aggressive profile, pleasant aromas and nicely balanced flavors. Highly recommended.

 1,365 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle on an unexpected stop at the Moan N' Dove driving home from the four-day music festival "Gathering of the vibes" at Seaside park in Bridgeport, CT. A great way to end such a gret weekend.
Poured into a big hefty mug.

AP: Looks amazing, big, deep dark body with a large mocha brown head that dissiptes real-sloooow. This is what a RIS should look like.

Nose: A really nice aromatic balance is obvious with big musty oak and chocolate with vanilla malt and a very distictive herbalized hop profile that is not as aromatic as some really big RIS that i've had.

Flavor: Once again. the balance of the flavors is the really impressive part, I've had much bolder RIS's with big heat and very sweet malt or very intense hop profile's, this one is a seemingly perfect balance of the flavor's. Not as bold as some with a very nice chocoalte-coffee and vanilla malt riding shot-gun to the ever-present natural oak-wood mild bitterness. I think the earthy hop flavor of this one is almost just-right, very noticable but not over-powering in anyway. This flavor is a total team effort that has no big ego super-star A-ROD to demand your attention constantly.

Feel: Full body for sure, just as hefty and thick as it should be, could be more so, but that's not the point, it's pretty dang right-on. The big-fat constant head makes for a creamy experience.

DA: At 9% this one drinks rather easy, and is made even easier with it's great balance.

 1,463 characters

Photo of Roguer
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Motor-oil black brew with an enormous dark brown head, with very impressive retention and very nice lacing. Can't imagine a stout looking any better.

Aroma is a little puzzling: some grape-like booziness, with dark malts behind, a little like a burnt brownie.

Sharp and bitter bite to the flavor, initially heavy on barley flakes and a sharp booziness following the nose. Strong notes of burnt coffee and dark cacao on the back-end.

Full-bodied and complex, but a hair thinner than I expected.

A standard among stouts, Old Raspy doesn't disappoint. It's not thick and rich and chocolatey like some of the in vogue stouts, and it doesn't have a bourbon bite. That said, it embodies the basics of what a solid stout should: dark malty character, burnt coffee bite. I look forward to having the rest of the pack with some age on them.

 835 characters

Photo of vickersspitfire
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost pitch black when held up to the light, its topped off with a thick light brown head and simply stays put and eventually develops into an even layer of bubbles surrounded by some really good lacing. Coffee, roasted malts, chocolate and brown sugar come through, caramel and butter aromas are hidden and the smell is masked by a general scent of mild sweetness. Crisp when it hits your tongue, it’s bitter over all and has a medium-to-heavy mouth feel. The roasted malts are well evident in the aftertaste and on the side of your mouth; mild chocolate flavors are present throughout, not a bad stout at all. The aftertaste lingers on for a while, this is when you can taste the alcohol, it’s not bad. More flavors start coming out as it warms up, mild prunes, raisins; the malts now take a back seat.

 809 characters

Photo of cherokeedan
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into Imperial pint glass. Pours pitch black with the slightest hint of brown near the edges. Thick one inch rusty brown colored head sits matter of factly on top and wont go away. I smell chocolate and coffee and malt and even some hops.

Taste is of dark chocolate, coffee, and there are definitely some hops in there. Quite unusual for this style, but not so much that it makes it bad, just enough so that you know its there. Actually its a nice suprise for a hop head like myself. Feels very smooth in the mouth with a fair amount of carbonation.

Finishes dry with a roasted coffee and caramel and hoppy aftertaste. Very impressive beer and pleasantly surpised by the amount of hops. Very nice and somewhat unique representation of the style. I think I'll have another. Cheers!!

 804 characters

Photo of Crosby
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This got poured from a 12oz. bottle and the head is great, sticks around forever. Black as night and a pretty good aroma. It has alot of chocolate, malt and alcohol. Drinks easy but two or three is enough... maybe. All in all this is a good beer for any time of the year.

 271 characters

Photo of devilben02
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin is like casting Maggie Gyllenhaal to play Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight: she wasn't a particularly sexy choice to take over the part, but was very believable in the role and gave a solid overall performance that was better than her predecessor. Similarly, Old Rasputin isn't the sexiest imperial stout to pick off the shelves, maybe because it seems to be fairly widely available and cheaper than many options in the style. When you do give it a try, though, it certainly delivers and could be considered a benchmark against which other imperial stouts are compared.

From the beginning, it has the perfect color for an imperial stout, with a deep, dark opaque black/brown color and a fluffy mocha-colored cap. The aroma is likewise a terrific example of what an imperial stout should smell like, with notes of dark bittersweet chocolate and heavily roasted malts. The flavor is also packed with dark chocolate, malts that are roasted to the point of charring, and a dark caramel sweetness. The body is a bit thin, but it is smooth and warming. Overall, not intriguing or different, but it is a well-constructed, flavorful, and enjoyable example of the style.

 1,174 characters

Photo of WanderingFool
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin fills the glass with a deep black color and forms a big creamy tan head on top. As the foam dissolves thick nets of lace stick to the sides. The aroma is all malt. Notes of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee are present.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is creamy with a fizzy carbonated tingle on the middle of the tongue. The flavor has lots of roasted malt and chocolate flavors. Towards the end some nutty notes and a mild bitterness move in, which helps balance out all the malt. Once gone the roasted malt and bitter notes linger on the palate.

For an Imperial Stout this beer had quite a head with a slightly subdued aroma. The mouthfeel is terrific and the flavor hid the 9% alcohol well.

 712 characters

Photo of cfrances33
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a GI tulip on 7/17/12.

Pour: Darkest Brown while not quite black. Two and a half fingers khaki head that sticks around well but leaves no lacing.

Smell: Roasty malts, booze, chocolate.

Taste: Dark fruits with roasted espresso bitterness and some chocolate. Light booze.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and rich, slight warmth.

Overall: A textbook RIS, and very enjoyable. Even better that its AVAILABLE. Don't pass this up in favor of a mediocre seasonal simply because its always on shelves.

 514 characters

Photo of JWU
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tumbler glass.

A- Deep, dark brown/black. No light penetrates it. A nice dark tan head caps it nicely.

S- Dark malts with a sweet kick. Some hops are there as well. Certainly can smell some alcohol as well.

T- Heavy does of dark malt, and coffee. Some light chocolate notes as well. Significant bitterness and alcohol hit mid sip. I find the bitterness just a bit intrusive.

M- Thick, rich, and coating. Pretty much what you want in an RIS.

O- An overall very good stout. A little heavy on the roasty bitterness for my personal taste.

 567 characters

Photo of HOPPYKC
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. No bottled on or bb date available on bottle.

A- Pours dark and fully opaque. A nice small amount of tan to light brown head. Shows no signs of carbonation.

S- Coffee and carbonation. I get a small amount of chocolate and dark fruits. Raisins.

T- A lot of malt and chocolate. Coffee.

M&D- A full flavored and textured brew. I nice malt addition.

 378 characters

Photo of mashedpotatoes
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brutal, strong and complicated and I'm not talking about my ex-girlfriend. This beer it the real deal. I should preface my review by stating, this is by far my favorite label design ever. Just by looking at the artwork you know you've gotten yourself into something serious, kinda like a mix between, satanism/black magic/and an orgy.

All that being said, this is not my favorite stout, however, it is an extremely admirable stout. I don't even know where to begin. It's kinda like expensive artwork. You stand in awe of it yet you can just throw it around.

The appearance is jet black. Period. The smell is complicated; chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toffee, molasses, the whole nine yards. The smell is like a flower garden in hell. Figure it out. The taste is complex and mechanical like something from a Tim Burton movie but with a twinge of bitterness due to the high Abv%. Mouthfeel is thick and strong as it should be. Drinkability I'm going to have to say is not as high as other Stouts. Simply due to the sharpness and complexity, you just can't pound these down, you have to enjoy one or two of them and think about it for a while.

 1,140 characters

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pitch black with a giant light tan, creamy and fizzy head that lasted many minutes. Crazy lacing.

S: Coffee. Mild.

T: Light to moderate sweetness and moderate bitterness. Nice bittersweet chocolate with a bitter finish. Not as complex as I was hoping for though.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Silky smooth and slightly warm going down.

O: A solid above average Russian Imperial. The look and mouthfeel stood out to me.

 460 characters

Photo of Brideshead
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

 667 characters

Photo of drseamus
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this beer in the bottle at Mahars.

A: It pours a very dark brown with a ruby glow when held to the light. There is a small dark mocha head that disappears everywhere but the edges.

A: The aroma isn't as strong as I would like, but it has good coffee and malt aromas with a strong sweet background.

T: The flavor is much like the aroma, with a very sweet background containing a bunch of malt and chocolate. There is a bite in the end of the taste from the roasted malt and hop bitterness. Unfortunately the alcohol is detectable in the flavor.

M: This is a good full bodied beer, although the alcohol presence does detract slightly.

D: The drinkability is decent, but the high ABV does limit it.

 716 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,540 ratings.