1. The BeerAdvocate Store is back! Pre-order your stuff now. Items begin shipping Dec 15. Christmas deadline = Dec 18 @ 5pm EST.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

10,346 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,346
Reviews: 3,394
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 350
Gots: 1,545 | FT: 47
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001)
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,346 | Reviews: 3,394 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tcfishler
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black color, high foamy head with strong lacing.

Nose is dry with strong notes of licorice, with an accent of citrus rind.

In the mouth, it starts with a bit of sweet chocolate, then dries fairly rapidly into a strong coffee-laden finish, complicated by some hop bitterness and slight astringency. Alcohol can barely be sensed, and only when the beer is chewed vigorously. Mouthfeel is highly pleasurable, with perfectly gauged carbonation.

This stout definitely leans to the dry side of the spectrum. However, it is balanced enough to be remarkably drinkable. The extent to which the alcohol is hidden is admirable as well. I think it would shine best with food, however.

Photo of Kelly88
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into an old Rasputin pint glass.

A- pours a dark brown that settles into a black bodied brew. Dark khaki head that is dripping lace all over the glass. Ruby highlights seep through the edges.

S- a dash of citrus hops is covered quickly with bitter coffee. Chocolate and pine round out the finish.

T- Loads of citrus hops for a stout. Chocolate and more hops battle for control. More chocolate is starting to assert itself as the beer warms. Roasty malts with bitter coffee as the beer slides down your throat

M- a little light for my liking. There is a stinging carbonation that is present at the end. This mouthfeel makes for a good drinking stout but leaves something to be desired in the body.

Overall a solid imperial stout. Nice mix of hops and malts That really balance nicely to create an interesting and tasty brew.

Photo of dukedevil0
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had out of a 12oz bottle at Cleo's in Chicago, IL.

A: pours dark black with some nice mocha colored head that settles a little bit

S: smells like milk chocolate, slight coffee and roasted malts

T: a little more of the roastiness comes though in the flavor, but not overbearing...other flavors are the same as the smell

M: a little on the thin side of creamy, highly carbed

D: solid flavor, hard to taste the alcohol content, and the short side of creaminess helps the easy to drink factor

Photo of dnolan36
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well tonight I decided to try my first Old Rasputin. I just started getting back into stouts and I am almost sad I have started with this one since it was so good. Well, anyways, here it goes.

When I opened the bottle, it poured black into my glass with about a finger of dark, rich brown head. The sight was quite lovely.

When I first brought the glass to my nose there was a nice chocolatety, nutty aroma. I sat the glass back down for about 20 minutes for it to warm up some and then smelled it again. The second time there was a faint vanilla/mocha smell, with a hint of malts and coffee.

The taste matched the smell almost. It had a dark chocolate, mocha, malty feel to it.

This was overall an excellent beer from opening it to drinking it. I could definitely enjoy several of these. However, I am still sipping on the one that I am using to write this review.

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

Purchased from Woody's Smokes and Brews, Franklin, TN.

My first Imperial Russian Stout, and I only wish I'd bought a whole four-pack of these instead of sticking to the single.

Pours dark, dark, black with a thick brown head. The head was very foamy and dissipated only after letting the beer set for a few minutes. I also love the bottle on this one, the picture of Rasputin and the Russian writing around the bottle are pretty nifty, thus giving it a highly impressive presentation.

The aroma is very much as I expected from a stout, with a heavy coffee nose combined with subdued alcoholic notes. The alcohol was present, but worked well with the overall aroma -- I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Taste is really nice, very much like the smell, strong coffee and "stoutish" notes combined with some bitterness. As the beer warms, though, the alcohol becomes more pronounced and gives the beer an overall astringent quality, the only thing keeping this beer from getting a higher score on taste.

Mouthfeel is really fantastic, thick and full-bodied, like a velvety texture that slides around the mouth and into the throat. Quite enjoyable, and the fairly mild carbonation helps to keep this beer interesting and pleasant, but not overwhelming on the mouthfeel department.

Overall drinkability is low only because of the aforementioned astringent quality to the taste as the beer warms, and the high alcohol. I drank this one over the course of about an hour and a half, and while I enjoyed it quite a bit, I don't think I could have easily drunk two. Very nice, highly enjoyable, but not a session beer at all.

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

Complex aroma of coffee, chocolate and fruit. Appearance was perfect. Poured black hue with large tan creamy head that lasted to the finish with excellent lacing. Full bodied flavor and finish that was consistent with all the aroma.

The complete stout in a bottle. Thank you North Coast.

Photo of stoutfiend27
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle received as extra courteous of Ghengis22..poured into St. Feuillien wide mouth glass...how ive missed a review of this ill never know since ive purchased it many many times...

a-pitch black with a espresso colored head that fell after a minute or so...nice lacing...

s-roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, and caramel, faintest hops, quite aromatic

t-chocolate and roast up front, followed by coffee and caramel and a nice hop sting in the end..

m-thick and chewy just like i love my ris...nice carbonation..warms as it goes down and is quite oily

d-during the winter i could warm up with these all night...now with our warm days and chilly nights only one late...

top notch...one of the best...

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

Growler from my local store into pint glass

A - Pours a pitch black with a finger of nice brown head. Very impressive lacing.

S - Clean coffee aroma with some chocolate and a roasted malt backing.

T - Really impressive. There's coffee, a lot of chocolate, roasted malt, and a nice hint of dark fruit. Sweet chocolate is the dominant flavor here. Even has some hop to it, just the right amount. Some alcohol, but not much. Going to let it warm up and see how it blossoms.

M - Nice and thick, spot on for the style. Stays pretty wet throughout. Creamy and almost chewy.

O - Overall a very delicious beer. Incredible for something so widely available and relatively inexpensive. The value and availability make this the go-to "everyday" beer in the RIS style, but it's not diminished in any way. It is simultaneously really easy to get and impossibly complex and delicious.

Photo of bulletrain76
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Almost black, dark brown with a scant brown head. Aroma has powerful licorice and roasted malts. The flavor is big and roasty with coffee bitterness; quite dry in the finish, and the hops blend in and don't overwhelm the balance. Full palate with fizzy carbonation. Very drinkable for an imperial, but intense and rich, dry and bitter. Goes nicely with chocolate desserts. (3.8) Rerate: This is damn good on tap. More dark chocolate and less hop bitterness, though still balanced nicely and very drinkable.

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

Based on the ruby fringes (visible only with the lamp turned up to max), this seems to be a clear beer. That being said, this one is black enough to appear opaque. Topped off with a finger's worth of chocolate milk-like froth that reduces quickly to a thin but persistent and clingy layer of bronzy beige. Despite the ominous darkness, the smell is remarkably complex and pleasant. Roasted notes are lighter than expected and complemented very nicely by the scent of milk chocolate. Some bitterness up front followed by a creamy mouthfeel that succumbs again to the bitterness. A blast of alcohol warmth shows up and fades very slowly. As mentioned above, the mouthfeel is creamy, but it also maintains an astringency rather than the clingy fullness one might expect or desire from a potent stout. Roasted grains and chocolate are there as well, but again are balanced nicely by the assertive hops. This is more complex than I anticipated and is a nice change of pace among stouts.

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

A: Pours a 7-finger or so head that dissipates into an extremely creamy 3 finger head over time. The massive head was probably due to my quick pouring action. The head lasts the entire beer, even if you drink it slowly. The beer appears to be as black as the night.

S: Caramel, fruity hops, molasses, and roasted malt dominate the aroma. This beer is nicely aromatic thanks to the 9% ABV.

T: The taste starts slightly sweet and a caramely with a nice kick of fruity hops. The flavor quickly becomes hoppy bitter and finishes with a dry hoppy crispness. The first few sips reveal a lingering bitter tongue. The alcohol is very well hidden for 9% ABV. No dark fruits, complexity generally suffers.

M: Thick & creamy, perfectly carbonated.

D: High for the style, and definitely high for 9% ABV. Be careful, this one could get you in trouble. Easy drinking.

O: The second example of this style that I've ever had and already a favorite.

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

Sampled 12/27/10. 12oz bottle, New Belgium globe.

Pours dark brown but is compeltely black in the glass, no light around the edges. Almost two fingers of brown head, covered with small bubbles. Head retreats slowly and leaves nice, consistent lacing. Very attractive stout.

Initial smell is dark roasted malts, followed by bitter chocolates. The alcohol is there, but lightly and beautifully. There is a small sweetness as well that reminds me of chocolate milk.

Taste is dark and rich. Sweet and bitter malts. The lactose-like sweetness is still there too. A few warm hops on the tongue mix with the alcohol, which is barely discernable. The more is warms, the more I can pick up on a cold coffee flavor. There is an ever so slight smokiness to the finish as well. Complex.

MF: Impressive as well. Initially it is very creamy in my opinion. Smooth, wet, then a tiny bit sticky. Oily? I like it.

Drinkability is high for a RIS. I could of had two.

Photo of bighoppymonster
4.13/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of Kevin73
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is one of my go-to stouts. I can usually find it in most supermarkets and bottle shops and it is consistently delicious! Pours deeply opaque with the slightest tinge of red. Pours with a thick sturdy head with tons of lacing. Looks absolutely gorgeous in the glass. Roasted malts, coffee, baker's chocolate, raisin. The alcohol is not so apparent in the smell but in taste you definitely get a nice shot of heat. Surprisingly on the sweeter side but exceptionally well balanced.

Photo of TooGood
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Yellolab2010
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%

Photo of MikeyBadnews
4.14/5  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!

Photo of brentk56
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearnace: Tar black with a bit of ruby peeking through when put in front of a light source; a modest head that webs the glass with lacing

Smell: Roasted malt, chocolate and espresso

Taste: The flavor explodes in your mouth - at first you get the coffee and chocolate and then, after the swallow, the bitter hops kick in along with the alcohol; after the warmth and the bitterness fades, the chocolate tones linger and comfort

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A lovely, warming stout for the cold weather months; a big beer and not for the faint-hearted

Photo of sleuthdog
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into Kuhnhenn tulip

Pour: As expected this beer is a huge looking beer being ink black with a stunning creamy, fluffy milk chocolate head of three fingers. Lacing is evident as the head recedes.

Smell: Nice! Smells so chocolaty! Big time chocolate with a secondary note of roast and this is intriguing me because most RIS seem to be roast forward. There is some vanilla and molasses in here creating a somewhat sweet smell. Coffee, malts, some nuttiness, and dark fruits. Digging this nose

Taste: Smooth creamy chocolate with a sweet taste but this is very quickly followed up by a bitterness. More roasty and malts than in the nose creating a nice complexity. Some bitter coffee comes through along with some dark fruits and nut taste. Alcohol is perfectly hidden. Aftertaste I would have to say is more bitter coffee bean like than anything else.

Mouthfeel: This beer is very creamy but I'd have to say leans toward the medium spectrum actually. Thinner than I expected and carbonation seems lower.

Overall: The nose really got me excited but must admit the taste let me down slightly. I liked this beer a lot but was hoping for something a little different when I smelled it.

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

A: Pitch black with hardly any tan head

S: Has a mild scent. Smells of chocolate and roasted coffee

T: Lots of chocolate and coffee and decent hoppy bitterness. The roasty malt flavors dominate the bitterness though.

M: A full bodied beer with moderate bitterness. Nice and creamy with a warming alcohol feel but not enough to overwhelm the flavors.

D: Definetly a sipper.

Overall, I'm happy to have found this one and consider it to be a very good stout.

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

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a jet black opaque body that has tiny little bubbles rising on the edge of the glass. The tan head that is creamy and smooth so fades into a wisp around the rim.

S- Smells of dark roasted and toasted malts are combined with some notes of raisins, coffee and a faint hint of tar. The finish has a nice green spicy quality perhaps from hops.

T- This beer has a slight sour note in the beginning with deep roasted malt and to toasted malt flavors aswell. The hint of coffee and some caramel notes are also the taste. The finish has a dark malt bitterness combined with some hop bitterness.

M- The mouthfeel is medium-full with some creamy texture to it. The alcohol is smooth and soft with a faint hint of astringency.

D- This is a nice big stoic beer that has lots of dark roasted layers. There is a nice creamy quality that makes it drink like a meal.

Photo of weonfire
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark dark brown, opaque, HUGE fluffy mocha head, patchy lacing

S - Roasty dark chocolate, coffee

T - initial: Roasty (4/10) dark chocolate, caramel, honey, expresso, dry malt, vanilla. finish: roasty nuts, coffe, touch of smoke. roastyness does linger a bit. hops is low (2/10)

M - Frothy, real creamy, high viscosity, even has a touch of velvet, med/full body

O - Nose leads you to believe this might be a roasty beer. While it does have some roast, not as much as thought. I find this to be an excellent brew. While i personally don't like the roast beers - it had just a touch more than I like and it could be a bit sweeter. Appearance, while poured vigorously,was spectacular. Mouth is excellent. I do wish the nose was better. Overall, very good.

Photo of socon67
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this at a beer sampling today.

This pours very nicely for a RIS. The smell is a very nice mocha/toffee mix. I was impressed with the taste, specifically how unlike others of the type it wasw silky smooth. I can taste a coffee and sweet blend of dark chocolate.

The drinkability of this beer is incredible. You really could have a few of these, though I didn't. Overall I'd put this up against many of the big Russian Stouts and say it would fare well. I'm curious if I kept some for a year how it would mellow.

Photo of johnbonham1980
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this with a steak and root vegetable dinner. The steak was a great pairing with it, and the stout and meat played off each other in very pleasant ways.

Tons of potential here if cellared. I sense a lot of flavor that hasn't had the chance to emerge yet and will with aging.

Aroma and taste, to me, are dominated by a smoky character, raisn and dried cherry, espresso, and molasses. It's easily the best imperial stout I've had. It's remarkable to me how little it actually comes across as a 9% beer. Wonderful balance.

Awesome beer for cold nights in front of a fire. Next time I'm drinking it with a cigar, which I think will make for an awesome pairing.

Photo of nickd717
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into snifter. This is a good readily available RIS that you can always find at BevMo.

A - Pours black with a legitimate tan head and decent lacing.

S - Roast, chocolate, and freshly brewed coffee. A hint of hops as well.

T - Flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee, a hint of dark fruits, and a sweet alcoholic finish. Some mild piney hops are present, and these provide substantial bitterness.

M - Palate fairly thick and oily, yet not nearly as much as some of the really big American imperial stouts. Hop bitterness adds a little nice roughness to it.

D - Average-plus for the style.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,346 ratings.