1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

9,674 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,674
Reviews: 3,350
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 289
Gots: 1,223 | FT: 38
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,674 | Reviews: 3,350 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mavbrew
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Brooklyn snifter, giving the DFH snifter the rest for the night.

A: Deep black in color with a dark brown, finger thick foamy head that slowly dissipates, leaving nice lacing down the glass.

S: Has a very sweet smell to it, chocolates and dark fruits seem to be present in the nose as well. Faint scents of roasted and caramel malts.

T: Has a bit of an alcohol taste up front, similar to the smell with a very sweet taste as well. The chocolates and dark fruits seem to hit the palate together. Roasted malts come alive in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with an average amount of carbonation. It is a little thick but also smooth.

D: A smooth drink for a higher ABV, the alcohol is noticeable, but it is not overpowering. A very good stout to say the least.

mavbrew, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of utopiajane
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured perfectly opaque. Black with a fantastic creamy ,mocha colored head that fell off too slow and left rocky crags before a rich collar and cap. Excellent retention that you would expect from a stout and beautiful thick, sticky lace. Nose is genuine stout with roasted coffee some dark fruits and a good measure of alcohol.A bit of chocolate to tempt you. Smoky and inviting. Taste is heavenly. Chocolate, coffee malt, roasted, smoky, hints of vanilla and a delightful bitter. Not too thin, and drinks creamy and smooth. The alcohol is on the palate but it’s welcome. It’s a little boozy and who would mind with a flavor like this. Grand, with an aftertaste that boasts of it’s malt character and strength. Sweet and smoky like a fire on a cold night, burnt a little and some dark chocolate too. Fine and excellent.

utopiajane, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of spoons
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap. Fathers Office.

Appearance is dark, dark, dark. has a great small bubbles keeping the coffee colored head and lacing around for a while.

Smells of roasted malt, espresso, chocolate, and hint of caramel.

taste. A big chocolate/coffe taste that only gets better as it warms. Has some burnt malt bitterness that balances the overall sweetness of this beer. this great beer.

spoons, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of bridgetowhophead
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin! Picked up a 4-pack on sale for $7.49; I will try not to let the amazingness of that bargain influence my rating.

A: Poured into a tulip. Nearly pitch black color with a very pretty 2 finger tan head that unfortunately doesn't last too long. Makes a surprising amount of lacing for a 9% abv beer.

S: Fails to deliver what I expect for an RIS. I get dark roasted malt and a little chocolate.

T&M: Above and beyond the smell. The finish is especially superb with black malt coating the palate and throat. Mouthfeel is beautifully syrupy and creamy.

D: As drinkable as many 5% regular stouts.

bridgetowhophead, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of Mosstrooper
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Macado's "Halloween 2009" branded American pint glass.

Appearance: Jet black with a light brown 2-finger head that stays a long time and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate notes, and tart alcohol.

Taste: Sweet, roasted malts throughout. Finishes with sweet coffee flavors and bitterness that isn't apparent until after the finish, lingering in the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied and very smooth. Chewy, with a sticky finish.

Drinkability: Definitely a beer brewed for sipping. This is full of flavor and is delightful to drink.

Mosstrooper, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of IPAescotch
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An exceptional example to all brewers of how to blend coffee with beer while doing credit to each. For an IPA man i found this to be right up my alley. Welcome bitterness, and the darkness is not overwhelmingly sweet or malty. Poured more head than i expected, and the darkness of the beer rivals none

IPAescotch, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a used engine oil like black, completely opaque, with a two+ finger light brown head that has some mild guinness-like cascading action. As head dissipates, it leaves raindrop like holes scattered across the top.

Smell is of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, roasted malt, dark fruit, booze and a grapefruit hop presence.

Taste is primarily of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, and grapefruit hops. The alcohol is noticeable, but the big chocolate presence really cuts through the booze.

Full bodied and thick, however it has a fizzy quality.

Drinkability is par for the course for a RIS.

After looking at my empty glass, a large, sticky ring holds strong at the top of the glass and leaves some spider web like lacing. Real cool looking.

ColForbinBC, May 09, 2008
Photo of Oldscramch
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looks black in the glass, with reddish brown at the top and bottom; can't see a damn thing through this beer. Light tan tracing of head around the rim.

Smell: Sweet. Malty, but with more hops than I was expecting in this beer. The alcohol does not come through in the taste.

Taste: Fairly bitter coffee taste that lingers in the mouth; not at all a bad thing, considering how well it plays with the overall flavour.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, not too light. clean, but hearty. There's a tingle on the tongue for a while afterwords.

Oldscramch, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of Goliath
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black and completely opaque with a thin layer of frothy brown head sitting on top. Good retention and small bits of lacing.

The aroma is nice. Roasted malts confront the drinker showing mostly chocolate and coffee tones. This ones a little boozy too.

The taste is great. Burnt malts, again with chocolate and coffee dominating. Pretty boozy.

Mouthfeel is too thin. It's medium bodied and highly carbonated, it would be much more appealing if it were full bodied and still.

Drinkability is moderate. Flavor is nice, but the alcohol is on the high end and does limit this brew.

Goliath, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of JoePat
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a pitch black with a DARK brown head that causes me to stop pouring half way through so it it fits in the glass.
I smell choclate and coffee from the roasted malts.
It tastes like bitter chocolate and some coffee too. This beer is an exelent example of a stout.
Do to it being sucha great stout the drinkability suffers a little but it makes up for it with flavor and it creamy mouth feel.

JoePat, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is HUGE. The flavors are intensly amazing. The deep dark black that pours out immediately fills the air with a heavy dose of sweet and toffee-like aromas. This beer to me seems very complex...if you take just a small sip, the sweetness is very evident and somewhat single layered. With a larger sip, more layers seem to expose themselves and the high ABV becomes increasingly evident. In a sense, I would have to say that reviewing this intensely flavored stout could vary greatly by your drinking style. IMHO, this is one of the hardest beers to truly appreciate because of its power. Definately not a beer to waste on a friend who says "sure I'll take one of those....I love the way Guiness tastes"

ALESwhatCURESya, Aug 13, 2004
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very, very deep and dark black, with just flashes of blood-red hints at the very edges. Head is a solid, crusty cap of coffee-crema brown. Tiny streams of minuscule bubbles float up at the edges. Lacing is exceptional. An excellent looking beer.

Dark, smoky characteristics on the nose. Dusty dark chocolate, roasted grains, barnyard, even a light meaty character. It's not overly powerful, but it is dark and pleasant.

But wow, the taste is where it packs a punch. Light roasted bitterness first up, mellowing to a chocolate-coffee sweetness and a lingering chalky dryness, but still toasty and warm. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden, leaving just that residual heat on the palate. Long and drawn out on the palate, lots of complexity but all on a hearty and solid base. Mouthfeel feels just slightly too light to me, for such a heavy-flavoured beer, I was expecting something a bit smoother and creamier on the feel.

But this is a very tasty, and very robust beer. Lots of character, lots of flavour - too heavy for more than one in a sitting, but worth waiting around for the occasional sip.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of PrinceDarren
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barrel Aged Old Rasputin RIS was tapped at Bavarian Lodge tonight. Unfortunately, it was a very small keg so it was entirely gone in 15 minutes, no exaggeration.

Nose was oak, oak, oak. Just the way I like it. Roasted malt aromas too.

Tasted dry for a RIS with a bit of woodiness and moderate roasted malt with touch of coffee and a wee bit of dark chocolate. Predominately oak/malt though.

The regular RIS is average by itself but the oak definitely kicked it up an interesting level. It was dry enough that I could have drank another, if only they hadn't run out so quickly... Good stuff.

PrinceDarren, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of Bruce0920
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Bruce0920, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of numenor1
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, though not opaque and lightens up a bit around the endges. Head is thin tan and isn't leaving a lot of lacing for me. Aroma is pretty nice, some dark espresso roastiness and bitter chocolate, with a slight touch of hops. Taste is fantastic. Very roasty, fairly dry (for an impy). Starts of full of roastiness, espresso and bitter chocolate, some slight fruit midway, then the hops emerge through the finish coupled with a slight alcoholic spicyness. It doesn't suffer from being too sweet like some impy's i've had do. It's very nice. Perhaps that's why the body is a bit thinner than expected, but that's a tradeoff I can make. A very very good stout. Alcohol is noticeable in the finish, but not a problem

numenor1, Sep 20, 2005
Photo of kawilliams81
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Half Acre snifter.

A- pours black with a huge 3" dark tan head. Huge trails, clumps and blotches of lacing all over the glass.

S- chocolate, roast, bitter coffee, anise, and big pine aroma.

T- bitter chocolate, roasted malts, some coffee and bitter pine.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Nice creamy feel with a crisp finish.

O- very good RIS. Probably the best option for a RIS that is easy to find and available even at none beer bars.

kawilliams81, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"A dear friend is not to be found instantly."

OK, I'll finally review this beer. I've had this on draft, in the bottle, aged, fresh, on cask, under nitro, this particular incarnation is a relatively new bottle. Poured into a snifter.

Beer is black and forms a 1 finger head of brown medium bubbles. Head leaves lacing on the glass. Carbonation is a mystery. Looks good for an RIS. BTW, I love the label of this beer.

Aroma is slightly sweet with some roast, overall its a little weak.

Full bodied and really smooth. Nice roast character at the back some sweetness up front. Coffee and roast. Finishes cleanly but there is a lingering bitterness. Nice palate connectivity, carbonation adds body but not any sourness. Overall its a wonderful beer. As far as availability and price, its hard to miss out on Old Raspy.

drabmuh, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of nukem5
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a fantastic black as night, coffee color with a rich brown cap of foam about 3/4 thick in my snifter glass. The look is so wonderful, absolutely no light passes thru glass.Thick clouds of foam cling to the walls of the glass.

S: Aroma is of rich coffee, roasty malts, nutty with hints of licorice.

T: First sip and POW tons of coffee, licorice, roasted malts... everything I expected to taste and in full abundant quantities. There is also a slight earthy taste almost floral hoppy.

M: Warming full bodied and luxurious feeling dancing on the pallet, slight chewy feel.

O: Definitely a drinker an excellent representation of the style.

nukem5, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

A- Very dark, 2 finger tan mocha colored head, excellent lacing
S- Chocolate, Vanilla, sweet, raison, molasses and dark fruit as well, excellent aroma
T- Caramel, chocolate, bitter cocoa, roasted malt, nice coffee finish.
M- Full mouth feel, fills your palate, very thick and smooth.
O- Quit delicious, very smooth, easy to drink for an Imperial Stout, really solid.

Chriscrundwell12, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of CPeterson
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A -- A pitch black brew that pours to produce a dense head reducing to a mild froth and leaves thick lacing.

S -- Hefty sweetness backed by thick earthy tones and smoke.

T -- Big and herbaceous up front, almost detect anise and clove, with a huge dark fruit tone that fades into boozy dryness. A light amount of smoke in the finish.

M -- Hefty and pungent, just what one would expect from the style. A little twinge of earthy bitterness lingers for a while. The carbonation level just keeps it from being syrupy.

D -- Definitely worth a try, a well constructed brew.

CPeterson, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of afksports
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yum. One of the best Russian Imperial Stouts that you can get in a 4pack almost anywhere in NYC at a reasonable price. Those are solid, solid, factors for me when evaluating a beer. Especially considering all the costs that this beer trading is getting me into.

North Coast's Old Rasputin pours a black medium to full body with dark brown edges and a moderate tan head. It's sudsy with a swirl, and has a crazy good malty and toasty aroma that jumps out from the glass. Dark and rich, the taste profile isn't wide, but the rich malts it hits on the head. The hops it nails too, with just the right balance to let you know the hops are there, but not overpowering. It's a big beer, albeit its short 12oz bottle. And with 18 proof, it's not that you'll do more than sip -- unless you're cool with binging.

Then again, I did sorta just blow through this glass right now. Hmm. Something has to do with the way he's holding his hand on his forehead.

afksports, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of MaximalC
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours seal brown with a bountiful mocha head composed of fairly large bubbles. Plenty of lacing lingers as the head recedes. Aroma is very present; a bountiful blend of chocolate, alchol, and hops. Roasted malt and bitter hops are at the forefront flavor-wise, with some chocolate and coffee playing more of a complementary role. Alcoholic warmth comes through in the finish, along with lingering bitterness. This is actually a little hoppier than I prefer a stout to be, but not surprising for a west coast offering. Either way, the bitterness is not outrageous, and it still leaves enough room for the lovely roasted malt to be appreciated. There's also a good amount of carbonation that lends a velvety texture to the brew. The thickness here is about right for a RIS, and the lingering stickiness gets my stamp of approval as well. Old Rasputin is certainly a tasty beer, though the slightly excessive bitterness keeps it from quite living up to the gorgeous presentation.

MaximalC, May 13, 2012
Photo of macster
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black and opaque under a thick and tight tan head. Superb retention with some streaky lacing.

Aromas of espresso, dark roasted malts and bitter-sweet chocolate emerge at once. Notes of raisin, molasses, vanilla bean and figs linger in the background.

Mouthfeel was moderately full, but a tad too fizzy for a big RIS. A bit thicker and creamier would really make it.

First sip was a bit surprising relative to this stout's considerable bitterness and bite. This was not a negative, but most Imperial Stout's I've had have leaned toward the sweeter side. Flavors very reminiscent of the aroma with lots of roasted and black patent malts, charred wood and dark dried fruits along with a generous addition of hops to give it a long, dryish finish. Alcohol integrates very nicely.

A superb west coast Imp. Russian Stout indeed

macster, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of tillmac62
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with a magnificent head. Lacing and retention are also outstanding. The nose is sweet dark chocolate, roast and hints of dark fruit and smoke. Almost full bodied with a very smooth, almost creamy, texture. Borderline normal carbonation level with just a touch of effervescence on the finish. The flavor profile is well balanced and a bit complex, but not as complex as FIS or Wulver. It begins with sweet dark chocolate which flows into a roast and hop bitterness. The middle has a molasses note. The finish is smooth and leaves you with an alcoholic burn at the back of the throat that lingers quite long. Less hops would allow the dark fruit flavor to materialize and add to complexity.

tillmac62, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of vette2006c5r
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin poured black, with a good sized head. I found the smell to be a bit offensive, smelling like stale bread and cheese, however that did not take away from the taste. It had a great "stout" taste, no extra flavors (which isnt really a bad thing), just a very strong "stout" taste. It was easy to drink even though it was a heavier beer, only real downside to this beer was the price, but a very good buy.

vette2006c5r, Mar 10, 2010
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,674 ratings.