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: 11,418
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: 11,418
Photo of MisterStout
4.66/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The technical reviews below make it plainly obvious that this is an exceptional RIS. A few comments, though:

The first thing I noticed other than the midnight color and the very substantial head was the smell. Sniff it, and your nose tells your palate to pucker up. I started drinking mine pretty cold, then let it stand for a few minutes to warm up. As it warms, the burnt malt gives way (slightly) for the bitter chocolate to intensify. About halfway through the glass, you really begin to appreciate the lace--an intricate spider web made of creamy goodness.

I love this stuff.

 583 characters

Photo of sjambok1
4.66/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aah, before I get to the actual review, let me say finding this brew has been one of the high points of my beer drinking experiences. It's hard to beat something thats this good.

A: Dark as cole, poured with a two finger head of dark brown, like treebark.

S: Strong, nutty, with plenty of hops and a hint of coffe.

T: Strong as any stout I've ever had, close to perfect. Tastes of coffe, hops and a very earthy taste.

MF: Excellent. Smooth and full

D: Great, but strong. Good beer for occasions, but if I were to be drinking more than 2, Id have drink Red Seal

 575 characters

Photo of JGuzzle
4.66/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a nitro tap into a tulip glass which I understand is the ultimate way to enjoy this brew.

A - Deep black in color, completely opaque. Beautiful 3/4 inch of foamy caramel colored head sitting on top which persists throughout the consumption (it shrinks but was there to the last sip). Tiny caramel colored nitrogen bubbles persistently rise from the bottom of the glass every time it is picked up and put down. The appearance is truly a spectacle.

S - Roasted malts and hints of cocoa.

T - Some sweet maltiness in the front end. Very faint amount of hops tasted in the finish. The 9% alcohol is masked very well. I get some hints of cocoa as well.

M - Velvety smooth. If you manage to get some of the head on its own it can almost feel like a milkshake. Light carbonation, great full body.

O - This might be one of the greatest beer experiences I've ever had. Certainly the best stout. If you find this on a nitro tap somewhere, do not pass it up.

 963 characters

Photo of flyingvrod
4.66/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle to a nice two finger light brown head that slowly falls to a quarter of an inch with good lacing and black as pitch

the smell is earthy with the bold malt and coffee

the taste is not as strong as some other stouts but so well balanced without a burnt or overpowering chocolate as some have the hops are at the back of this one quite subtle the abv is hidden almost too well

the mouthfeel is great nice and crisp without coating the pallette carbonation is just right not flat at all like others

this stout is one of the best i have ever had i could drink this more than a few times a week excellent beer!

 636 characters

Photo of timtheenchanta
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with a large tan colored tightly bubbled head. Thick sticky lacing. TREMENDOUS coffee smell. Lots of roasted malt. Heavy roasted malt and ample alcohol taste. Jet black coffee taste. Slight hop balance in the finish. An overall great impy stout. This is a beer you should pick up if you get a chance.

 310 characters

Photo of t3hcho53non3
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark black color with a good one fingered head that quickly subsides but leaves supple lacing throughout the glass.

S: Malty sweetness, bready, roasted oak

T: Very rich earthy flavor that goes down remarkably smooth and at the end of the palate a roastiness that ends on a dry note

M: Very full bodied with little to no carbonation

D: Very drinkable and the evolution of this brew warrants a second go around.

 424 characters

Photo of cktison
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

scary as hell bottle into a pint glass.
a) dark, but not that dark, no light through, but mahogany on the edges. creamy, frothy, fluffy head that clings to the glass. it looks serious...
s) chocolate espresso. cinnamon hints. bit of tartness from the alcohol.
t) here's where that chocolate gets you. its like drinking desert. but still, the hopiness is there, a bit of citrus on the front of the mouth. warms to more fruitness - a chocolate covered raspberry of a beer if there was one. delicious.
m) the natural carbonation balances out the tremendous power of the beer, nice and creamy, but not heavy. finishes clean and dry.

this is a really, really great imperial stout. what a beer for a dark, cold, winter night by the fire.

 734 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from oracle as part of No BS BIF. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/4" brown head over the barely translucent reddish dark brown brew. Head is down an uneven layer of bubbles pretty quick, with slow-falling lacing. Aroma is heavy, rich dark malts, chocolate and coffee doing battle, just what you expect and want in the style. Taste follows along in the same vein, but even better with the slow warm on the swallow. Mouthfeel is velvety, and drinkability is excellent. This one is ranked highly for a reason.

 564 characters

Photo of stoutmasterjames
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now I'm a fledgling beer reviewer, so don't be too hard on me. I judge a beer mostly on taste and that's why Old Rasputin gets so many high marks from me. The smell of this stuff is great too. I can't resist taking a wiff when I crack open a bottle. The taste is complex, full, chocolatey, hint of strong black coffee. Finish a tad dry, but the suggestion of sweet in the beginning more than compensates for this. Mouthfeel wonderful, might be the high APV that gives it a wee bit of listerine intensity. I can drink these all day long. As an enjoyer of stouts, this beer strikes me as highly drinkable though not everyone will share this opinion. It is worth note that after about three or four bottles you can look at the label and almost see Rasputin working his wicked magics upon you. All and all this is a stellar beer, one of my personal faves that no fan of stouts should pass up without giving it a try. High APV always a plus in my book too. 9% Hot diggity! Will warm you in the winter for sure.

 1,005 characters

Photo of ebrauser
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very exceptional dark brown with a thinner brown head that didn't fully develop

Aroma: Chocolaty flavors flavors come off strong but there are hints of citrus and fruit, reminiscent of chocolate -covered oranges or raspberries

Flavor/Mouthfeel: Heavy body (though not as heavy as would be thought with the ABV and style) begins with the brooding of chocolate and alcohol leading into a complex finish of roasted malt and a grainy, alcoholic aftertaste. As the drinking continues, more coffee tones appear as some of I became less sensitive to the stronger flavors.

Overall: A great sipping beer and example of the style.

 635 characters

Photo of MartzMimic
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours a deep blackish brown with a creamy head. Loads of lacing in the glass. Big aroma of coffee and chocolate. The taste is spot-on the same, with some dark fruit joining in. Nice bit of bitterness on the finish. Nice thick, oily mouth. This is everything a stout should be, and one of my favorites.

 301 characters

Photo of ClassicBrad
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I remember being VERY satisfied with this on draft and when I saw a bottle of it for $2.50....!!!! Come on, that's pretty much free when it comes to a beer this good.

Drew it into a snifter and watched the oily head build up and shrink to a layer that leaves a very wet and sporatic lacing on the glass.

The aromatics hint of coffee, chocolate and black licorice but not very strongly.

Taste is full blown chocolate malts with espresso and black licorice. Very well balanced and complex.

Mouthfeel lets the beer explode its flavors in your mouth and simply adds just another exciting part of the beer. Tends to lend itself to the carbonated side for this style.

Drinkability, for a 9% ABV beverage, is outstanding. Aside from the fact that you're going to be drunk, you'll still be wanting to keep tasting it.

 815 characters

Photo of ckollias
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a porter glass.

A: Pours a pitch black hue with a thick, brown, 3-finger head that slowly dissipates down the side glass leaving a nice trail and ending in a solid lace.

S: Great malty aroma with a solid chocolate and coffee overtones.

T: Dark rich ale with a generous sweetness and a roasted malt bitterness. Strong chocolate and coffee overtones, with a nice dark fruit background. Finishes on the dry side.

M: Very strong and boozy. Smooth and silky with a thick body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent Imperial Stout. Doesn't get much better than this.

 596 characters

Photo of MacDomer
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my standard pint glass. This one is about a year and a half old - more due to forgetting that it was there than actually making an attempt to cellar it.

A - Dark tan two-finger head even with a soft pour. Dark as night, but not quite black. Hints of dark chocolate brown around the edges. A light brown, thiner lacing all the way through. Appears very thick.

S - Rich and complex. Coffee, expresso, licorice, and chocolate. A bit of alcohol and very faint hops.

T - Delicious! Complex with many layers of coffee, dark espresso, chocolate bitterness and dark roasted malts. Bitter though the finish with some hops and roasted bitterness, and a bit warming .

M - This is a pretty full beer with moderate carbonation, which really makes it smooth. Finish is very long.

D - Very high! This is great, and it has aged well.

 835 characters

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Sycamore last night, I was pleasently surprised when it was served to me in the appropriate snifter glass.
I didn't take any notes or anything so these are just the broad strokes.

It was basically the same off the tap as it was out of the bottle, except the texture was even more velvety delicious.

Worth trying off the tap, basically the same but a little bit better.
It was so good I just had to pull out a bottle today and review it again.

 463 characters

Photo of Slynger
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with a thick tan head which dissipates quickly.
The nose is strong of unsweetened chocolate first and foremost. Dark fruits and espresso follow closely behind. Piney hops fill this one out.
The taste follows the nose flawlessly. Bitter chocolate, roasted coffee, fig and prune, with a pine / citrus hop finish. Glorious.
The mouthfeel is slick and bordering on creamy.
This is an old classic and the first RIS that I ever tasted. Rock solid, one of my absolute favorites.

 491 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Teresa's Next door on Nitro at the Beer Geek brunch, Served chilled in a large snifter

A - Deep black, opaque like a black hole w/ 2 fingers of whipped chocolate mousse for a head.

S- Slight port aroma, deep plum, tobacco, cocoa, vanilla, coffee and caaramel

M - Lots of creaminess in the feel w/ smooth vanilla and spice. Lots of charred malt textures w/ mild sweetness in the finish and mild alcohol accent

T - Bitter cocoa, dark toffee, french pressed french roast coffee, caramel and high amounts of vanilla flavor-earthy bean like elements. A dark brown sugar, molasses and cocoa mix w/ mild caramel, dark plum fruit notes and hints of roasted barley. There is the taste of dark rum as the alchohol is present in the finish, with mild sweetness at around room temp.

D - Well brewed RIS w/ nitro usage I actually enjoyed. I am not normally a fan of the Nitro, but in this stout it is fantastic, Old Rasputin is a top -notch ale any way you cut it.

 971 characters

Photo of dredz_126
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
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!

 259 characters

Photo of MichaelGreene
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is a great beer.

Look like coffee with head, deep rich chocolate colored head. I felt like I was diving into a rich cappuccino, chunky thick head, which dissipated nearly completely, but is still hanging around a little.

Smells like coffee. Has hints of chocolate in the aroma and taste. Roasted flavor. Nice medium carbonation. Good bitter aftertaste that isnt too strong and doesn't stick around for too long after.

Something I really like about this beer, is that it isn't too syrupy, it has a certain dryness while still being thick and deep. I like that.

Overall very drinkable, I look forward to taking a trip up the coast and visiting this brewery later this summer.

 690 characters

Photo of DaliQualiti
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The smell is cocoa pebbles and quality, light roast iced coffee.. with 2 sugars. After the first sip, your mouth feels the way a running fondue fountain looks, coated with flavor and a syrupy smoothness, but unlike a fondue fountain - it dissipates quickly. After a few sips, I noticed the flavor doesn't stick around for long and constantly leaves you craving the next one.

I'm stopping...

Obviously, if youre on this page, you're interested. So do yourself a favor, jump on the boat and give it a whirl. You wont be disappointed!

 534 characters

Photo of jampics2
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A modern day classic. Perhaps the epitome of the style!

A jet-black glass of gold sits infront of me. A huge frothy head never goes away.

Smells amazing. Chocolate, roasted malts, creamy goodness.

Taste is just the bees knees. Sweet chocolate, bitter dark chocolate, roasted malts all mixed in immaculate proportions. Bitterness only accentuates the sweetness. Holy cow, this is so smooth! Rasputin was one of the first RIS's I ever had and, on nitro tap, it's hands down the purest example of perfect RIS flavor and balance I've ever had.

Mouthfeel is milkshake thick, carb (nitro) is perfect. Drinkability is unheard of for this kind of business.

 652 characters

Photo of Telix
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head chalice.

A: Pours a deep rich black, with a nice thick fluffy chocolate tan head after an aggressive pour. Pronounced lacing forms on the glass.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, very aromatic.

T: Creamy, chocolate roastiness with a great sourish sharp hop tang. Milky, creamy texture. The finish has a pronounced roastiness with a balancing sweetness. A bit fruity behind the roast, with some solid sweetness. The balance is quite good, it's very complex and nuanced.

M: Silky smooth, clean, mouth-filling, creamy, great.

D: Super flavorful, incredible mouthfeel, great aromatics, a super solid imperial stout available everywhere at a great price.

 700 characters

Photo of beerbellydaddy
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

First of all the name - Old Rasputin - is absolutely perfect for an Imperial Stout. This offers a full creamy head when initially poured and abundant lacing traces the glass above the beer. It does not linger too long. The smell is mild but classic stout - earthy, chocolate, and maybe fig. The taste is what counts and it is nearly perfect with hints of rich dark chocolate, dry fruit, and malt, balanced with an initial mildly acidic bitterness that dissolves into the dark chocolate finish. Old Rasputin is bold, balanced, full, and creamy with minimal effervescence. This is one of the best stouts I've tasted.

 621 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a chalice.

Pours a very dark and opaque motor-oil black, very thick and viscuious. The head is small but very creamy and fine. Nose is rich and malty lots of nutty and roasty notes with some very light booze on the finish.

I poured it straight from the fridge, very cold and for this too cold so I'm letting it sit for a bit, I reccomend it. Taste is great, very rich and it's god lots of deep nutty and rich smokey flavors. Burnt coffee and toast are there. Mouthfeel is very rich and full, super creamy one of the best stouts ive had. Much better than the much priced big brother XII

 611 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First introduced to this one early on in my beer advocacy, feels good to return to an old friend. Appearance: Pours deep viscous black toned deep purple ruby highlights full tan two finger sized head perfect looking beer, oh so nice with perfect evenly laced foam. Aroma: Deep cocoa, espresso infused, undertones of alcohol infused fruit along with a great bready sweet malt tone this is one awesome imperial stout in my opinion it sets the bar. Taste: Wow complex swirling spiral of flavor alcohol infused fruit, doses of hardcore strong coffee notes, and dark chocolate playing the tie the flavors together predominantly bitter from the dark roasts there are some hops evident in the flavor. Creamy balanced mix of so many flavors works so well, gotta love the Ol' Raspy. Mouthfeel: Full bodied syrupy goodness of massive flavors this is one extraordinary beer, a must try. Drinkability: No questions as to it's placement on the top 50 beer list, this one does it so well remaining amazingly drinkable and flavorful is the key for an Imperial stout not cloying in anyway and you yearn for another one the glass is empty that's what it's all about.

 1,149 characters

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