Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select 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: 11,417
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 513
Gots: 2,439 | 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: 11,417
Photo of seancake
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this at a local grocery, in a 4pk of 12-oz. bottles. Not cheap.

This beer? This is the bad-ass that Rasputin was. It completely lives up to its name. Poisoned, shot multiple times and stuffed down an ice-hole into a freezing river... that's what it took to kill Rasputin, the mad monk.

This sucker pours black as night and thickish, not a lot of carbonation that I could see or taste. Tan rocky head for days, and lasting; some lace. Smells like dark chocolate and coffee and dark roasty malt, strong and black. Black like the pit of Hades that Rasputin probably occupies now...

Taste? This sucker is not hiding the fact that it's strong on the alky. Oh no. No Belgian deception for Rasputin. It's bad and strong and dark.. this is Mike Tyson in a bottle. Chocolate and coffee and the usual stout suspects, only magnified and amped. Only sessionable if you're over 6 feet tall and about 200+ pounds. Otherwise? Do so at your own risk. It'll go down, because it's stoutily-smooth, but BEWARE.

(I did like this, but am in awe of its strength. This is one to respect, for sure. And enjoy, AND bless the beer-gods for.)

 1,123 characters

Photo of techdiver
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Minimal head and carbonation. Smell and taste place it high as being a drinkable brew. Though lack of carbonation has left me critical of some other stouts, it is a non-issue here as I really didn't miss it. Once again I seem to have made a proper choice in that I have a whole case of this to enjoy.

 300 characters

Photo of RyanK252
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into New Belgium globe

A: Dark as a moonless night. No light passes through whatsoever, just how a proper stout should be. An aggressive pour yields a healthy amount of frothy brown head that fades, but laces nicely.

S: I get a lot of dark chocolate, some coffee, and a nice almost fruity sweetness. A little booze comes out at is warms.

T: Deep dark chocolate and coffee, perfect amount of bitterness to balance the sweetness. Delicious!

M: Body more on the heavy side, but smooth and creamy.

O: I'm spoiled to have this regularly available in my area. Excellent example of the style.

 600 characters

Photo of exitor
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured almost pitch black, with a caramel color shining through at the bottom.

S - Amazing - A raspberry fudge sundae with hints of coffee.

T - Same flavors as it smelled, with more emphasis on the coffee. Finished slightly bitter.

M - Nice balance of carbonation and smoothness, almost creamy.

D - So drinkable, especially for a beer this thick. Could even be a daily drinker.

 394 characters

Photo of grittybrews
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I haven't reviewed this yet?! Poured a syrupy black into a Duvel tulip with an inch of dark tan head that receded fairly quickly. Very nice roasty aroma of chocolate and coffee.

Slightly high carbonation balances a creamy, full mouthfeel. Intense flavors of sweet molasses and black licorice followed by lingering coffee, tobacco, and dark chocolate on the dry, slightly bitter finish. ABV well-hidden, emerging slightly as the beer warms.

A wonderful stout that I've enjoyed many times.

 489 characters

Photo of MadScientist
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A black beer with a cream, persistent light brown head that leave lacing on the glass.

S: The strong, rich aroma of dark roasted grains and unsweetened chocolate dominate the aroma with and underling aroma of prunes and alcohol. There is a moderate citrus hops aroma.

T: Again a rich roasted malt and alcohol dominate backed up by flavors of roasted coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate and a dark fruity ester mainly of plums. There is a moderate hop bitterness with the balance being bitter and roasted. There is some malt sweetness mid-palate but it is overtaken by a hops and dark grain bitterness with unsweetened chocolate and roastiness lingering into the aftertaste.

M: A silk, smooth and creamy full bodied beer with moderately-light carbonation. There isn't as much warmth as the nose suggests but it is definitely there.

O: Dessert in a glass at least for me it is but there isn't much sweetness which suits me fine. A beer that highlights dark, rich roasted malt, alcohol with hints of chocolate and coffee.

 1,026 characters

Photo of Raven3464
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Old Rasputin has a beautiful pitch black body and pours a two inch brown, foamy head.

Smell: Sweet roasted malts, dark coffee beans, bitter chocolate, and a pinch of alcohol are all apparent.

Taste: Flavors and then more flavors! The taste cycles among flavors of sweet roasted malts, bitter chocolate, coffee, and some kind of dark fruit, almost like raisins. This is probably the most complex stout I've ever tasted and yet so smooth. There is a slight burn from the alcohol in the aftertaste, which just adds to the complexity in my opinion.

Mouth feel: The beer feels creamy and heavy, just like a stout should.

Overall: Once again, this is a complex, flavorful stout. I was expecting it to be good, but not this good.

 740 characters

Photo of bowersdm
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first Russian Imperial Stout and it's still my favorite.

A - Black as black can be. A small head appeared and stayed. It wasn't a great head, though.

S - chocolate, dark and semisweet, alcohol, roasted malt, oh and alcohol.

T - chocolate (both of the aforementioned styles) and some coffee that wasn't noticeable on the nose, noticeable but not unpleasant burn of alcohol, and a lingering bitter finish, but not overly bitter.

M - great. thick and creamy. I can only imagine how orgasmic this would be on nitro-tap.

D - the pronounced alcohol taste puts a damper on putting a few of these down. It's a very flavorful and basically amazing beer. The only drawback is the fact that the taste lingers for quite a while (around an hour, or at least it did with me.)

Great beer. Drink it. now.

 807 characters

Photo of SaltyLime
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - it's a Russian Imperial Stout, if you don't already know how nice these look, you better go out and get one!

Smell - Robust malts and solid presence of alcohol.

Taste - I was holding the bottle up to read while I sipped this from a pint glass at a friend's house. Then I felt the beer punch me in the face. I had a couple of other much larger bottles on standby to drink after this one and mistakingly made the bad correlation of little bottle / little beer.Do not make the same mistake. This had a quality mix of ingredients. Two big swigs and I already started to wobble. My alibi is that we were hauling rocks for a landscaping project.

Mouthfeel - Solid. Nice thickness. Left a film of flavors inside my mouth. Not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing. But I wasn't trying to suck it off my tongue like when you get something too yeasty.

Drinkability - This is becoming my favorite, but I can't drink too many at a time. Respect it, I think Rasputin would have.

Scores edited after going home and trying this beer with a little more energy.

 1,079 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well well the famous Old Rasputin has finally hit my area! Lets see if it backs up the hype

A - Wow decent head for an imperial. Motor oil looking goodness.
S - Chocolate and Carmel malts.
T - Bitter coffee hit first but smooth to a chocolate taste.
M - End is not as bitter as expected. Alcohol warms the belly.
D - Four pack anyone? As one of the oldest imperial company's I ever had this beer is a keeper. Will squeeze in a bottle every now and again.

 456 characters

Photo of geexploitation
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours black as coal with a rich dark tan head. Huge aroma of roasted malt, burnt chocolate and even a bit of toffee. It's an intimidating smell, and portends that the beer will be big tasting... as it turns out to be. "Big" doesn't say it, though: more like humongous. First it's bitterness from the malt (and, I assume, some hops), with tons of espresso. Then the palate shifts forward in the mouth for some coffee and even a bit of fruit (dried strawberries?). The finish is long and active, with an alcoholic burn and malt bitterness left over at the back of the mouth. With all this, you might think that this beer would be a bit rough on the palate, but that's not the case. It's no oatmeal stout, but given the massive flavors and roasted malt presence, this beer glides through the mouth rather well.

Overall: a huge, wonderful beer that will knock your socks off. Instead of Rasputin, call it the Big Jim Slade of beers.

 944 characters

Photo of stjarnflikka
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a thick, chocolate coloured foam that stays for some time. Some carbonation running along the edges of the glass.

Smell comes on quite malty. Sweet fruit traces are present together with some sourness and chocolate. Nice alcoholic presence together with raspberries and black currant perhaps. Some hops present here aswell, perhaps grapefruit in there aswell. Dont know, just great smell on this.

Runs over tastebuds with quite so much burned malts. Chocolate mixed with coffee tones in faintly leaving place for sweet and harsh traces lifted by carbonation. Nice, fruity taste with a bitter harsh aftertaste give a nice bitter aftertaste with a warming alcoholic prescence. Sweet, yet burned and rough. Excellently balanced in there.

Really pleasant brew this rasputin. truly a masterpiece in a bottle, just missing some of that harshness and burned flavour (this is after all an imperial). Thats just being a pain in the ass though, wonderful brew, wonderful stout.

 997 characters

Photo of happygnome
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: pours a deep dark black color with about a quarter inch of toffee tan head that doesnt dissapear but leaves a good amount of lacing around the edge of the glass as the level of beer in the glass falls with every sip.
s: roasted malts, sweet cocoa aroma mixed with a strong coffe smell. there is a subtle hint of alcohol in the nose
t: strong flavor of roasted malts, cocoa flavor is storong as is the coffee flavor. hints of alcohol can be detected in the flavor
m: full bodied beer with little carbonatoin

overall, wow i loved this, if it wasnt so expensive (about $2.50/bottle i believe) id have it in my fridge more often deffinatly a very solid brew

 658 characters

Photo of hustlesworth
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- sweet bubble action like millions of gumballs cascading downwards. tan head is puffy and creamy like frothed chocolate milk with great retention, hanging over the thick pitch black body like an evil donut storm cloud and a ring of lace along the lip of the glass that seems to drip down forever. held up to the light, the faintest hints of rosewood and mahogany can be seen at the bottom of the glass.

S- roasted malts and chocolate, woodsy and herbal with a bit of coffee here and there. tart smoked currants and prunes. smells like there's a good deal of hops in there too, as there should be. citric, floral, and slightly piney is a nice contrast against the big load of malt. bitter oranges dipped an molasses, and some aromas similar to kahlua or tia maria.

T- tart fruity roasted malt starts to become sweet before it's neutralized by sharp hop bite. pine and deep dark citrus peel take over becoming pungent making way for fruity vodka-like alcohol solvents to become apparent. as the hops get re-balanced by the dark malt, the after taste smoothes out to woody and herbal and a lil smokey like old furniture and burning rosemary. some cigar as well, and old charred tobacco pipe, this brew is only sweet for a half second, the rest of the way it's dry and complex and i could probably taste new things for hours.

MF- this is one rich and luxurious brew, not quite creamy, but more like drinking melted chocolate mixed with poorly filtered coffee. seemingly grainy texture is so thick and viscous that it just comes together with the beautiful amount of carbonation the make a dense full bodied brew.

D- smooth, profound, and very easy to drink, one might go through a bottle so fast trying to decipher it's complexities that a minor dizzied feeling becomes recognizable. on that note, drink the whole 4 pack and i bet old rasputin will be comin for that ass.

 1,875 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Completely black, except at the bottom of my glass where there is a brown glowing base through the murky beer. Big tan head that sticks to the sides of my glass in a cobweb pattern. Smells of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, raisins, and a tinge of alcohol. Flavor is just a kick to the teeth. Like drinking an extra strong cup of coffee, with a good amount of alcohol and hops bitterness thrown in for good measure. Very big beer, the best Imperial Stout I have had, tastes more like a stout than Sammy Smith's. I like this one, and would recommend it to any stout fan.

 570 characters

Photo of Peter_Anderson
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thick velvety smooth mouth feel. Hits of chocolate, coffee and dark malt. Slightly more bitter for a stout than what I was expecting, but an excellent beer.

 158 characters

Photo of hint_of_beerotica
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%

Served on nitro in a pint glass at rendevious coffee house on the 5th of december.

A- completely obscures the light on an opaque black shade as beautiful as the heavens. Perfect half inch of leather hughed head.

S- a hearty dose of malty roasted hops followed by a sweet cream.

T- this Beauty had all of the good points of old rasputin with a tone down soy sauce flavor of the original which makes it more balanced. Cream is the prevalent flavor in addition to coffee malt toffee caramel chocolate and just a minor salty soy flavor preceeding the finish of big toasted hop goodness and malt.

O- a great improvement over the original when on nitro as it is wonderfully balanced and a great representation on the style.

 721 characters

Photo of Spineypanda
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin!

This brew is as dark as the man himself!

Extremely dark and with a head that lasts for quite a long time. Coffee and Dark Chocolate tastes that mix well with the heavy hop flavor. Strong beer for strong taste.

Probably one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I have had, and have had many times before... and will have many many times again.

I enjoyed this beer in a mug at a slightly chilled temperate, maybe about 58 degrees.

 445 characters

Photo of veratyr9
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured it carefully into a typical pint beerglass. pours very black, with a typical amount of head, dark brown/tan in color

Smells like.... well i just jumped right into drinking it

Tastes amazing. I have been going stout to stout looking for that one that just drops my jaw on the spot. this is it. Very roasted, rich, dark-type bitter flavor. a lot of breweries aim for this and screw it all up creating a bad bitter beer. North Coast brewing hit it dead on. Perfect type of bitter in a stout, no sour. The whole dark, slight coffee/chocolate thing.... spot on. out of the last dozen and a half or so stouts I've sampled this past summer, without question Old Rasputin takes the prize

It's 9%, and i've now had my fair share of them. I'm feeling quite fine. I have to say this is a much more enjjoyable feeling than other beers. The side effect is that you know you've drank them. they hit you, they hit you hard, you feel them in your gut. its like eating a loaf of bread that gets you drunk. i love this beer hah :D

Thank you Cheers wine and spirits in Chanhassen, MN for FINALLY stocking this. I have found my favorite imperial and I will be buying much more in the future!

 1,182 characters

Photo of jhammel01
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dense dark black with no light penetrating at all!. Keeps a nice thick layer of lace when its 2 finger head goes down..its a bit off white - brown

This beer smells of coffee and chocolate with maybe a hint of hop bitterness...
Tastes of roasted grains and roasted malt with chocolate and coffee. The chocolate is not over powering but very prominent. Its definitely a "dark" chocolate. Perhaps some hop bitterness either from that or the coffee. It finishes with a bit of alcohol burn....well..warmth. An awesomely complex!!

The mouthfeel is thick and almost chewy. Its great! Nice and smooth as well.

Defintely one of my top favorites and by far my favorite stout.

 676 characters

Photo of tylerprince
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A second Old Rasputin review. Had the pleasure of trying this on tap after a year of cellaring. DBGB, Bowery and Houston, NYC. This review is pretty much a copy of my first with some major changes:

A: Pours a beautiful matte black. No light gets through. After a cascade, a frothy 2-finger mocha head remains, with good retention. This gives way to a beautiful lacing.

S: Chocolate up front, roasted malts. Hop presence has certainly faded compared to the fresh bottle, and has been replaced by a coffee-like aroma. Much stronger than out of the bottle.

T: WOW. So much character, but still with all the flavors of a stout. Roasted malts and chocolate throughout, with coffee flavors much more powerful after the cellaring. The second 5.0 I have ever awarded for taste - this is simply perfect.

M: Creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Finishes with some foam. Other stouts with this much flavor are generally sippers...this one is so smooth you can drink at your own leisure.

O: One of the best stouts I've tried. I only wish it were easier to find - it's lack of ubiquity is astonishing given its status in the beer world as the archetypal RIS.

 1,166 characters

Photo of brewski101
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the second time I have had this beer. I don't drink stouts too often but the bar was featuring it. The pour was done well as the bartender gave it a litle rest prior to filling the pint to the top. The foam appeared and dissipated in about a minute. Color was quite dark. Flavors of coffee and chocolate. Well balanced. More importantly - the aroma and taste was consistent with the last time I've had it. Had this with the dessert and found it to be a good pairing.

 474 characters

Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass

A: Liquid onyx. Very nice 1" light tan color

S: Roast, roast, and more roast.

T: Oh my. Present yet very balanced roast. Plus a hint of semi-sweet-bitter chocolatey goodness. Bitterness gently creeps in on the after-taste. Doesn't taste like a 9% ABV.

M: Thick yet not overdone. The taste is definitely a lingerer, the kind of way a scantily clad lingerie model would linger in the morning.. only this isn't fantasy land.

D: At 9%, you're going to want to be careful with this. But should I have the opportunity to put a few of these away, I definitely would. Tremendous representation of the RIS.

 663 characters

Photo of tony223366
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Darkest brown with a 2 finger fluffy tan head. Really gorgeous beer. Great lacing!

S: Nice roasted chocolate and malts. Lots of hops too. Way more than I thought I'd get. The aroma really pulls me in and made me want to take my first sip.

T: Really rich roasted malts and chocolate. Lots of chocolate. But hops play a large role too. They come in first and get overpowered by the chocolate and a hint of coffee... then the bitterness lingers on the finish.

M: Lots of carbonation. Medium body and very creamy.

O: Wow, I've actually gotten by living in California for 3 years and I've never tried this. It was way better than I thought it would be. I really enjoyed the hop bitterness they through in paired with the decadent brownie flavors.

 749 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very opaque, solid black (but like dark roasted coffee where I can coax it thin with sloshing) with fine, frothy head the color of desert mud — light orange mixed with brown. Retains quite well for being poured into a snifter. Smell is primarily boozy, chocolatey sweet, but also roasty and toasty, with twinge of licorice. So far, a very enticing beer. Taste is smokey, meaty, earthy throughout. Dig deeper and you will uncover the cocoa you expected as well as smoke tartness and smoke bitterness. It's highly carbonated, but only gently prickling. Rich and full, a little less smooth than others of the style. Very viscous, sticky, astringent, and warming. Were it not for the bubbles that keep coming back up to wet your whistle, this beer would have an incredibly dry finish. World-class, indeed!

 803 characters

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