1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,372 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8372
Reviews: 3289
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%

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 (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 8,372 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of augustgarage


4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I normally steer clear of nitro taps, but curiosity got the better of me last night at the Library Ale House. Served in an Old Rasputin nonic, which was a nice touch.

Thoroughly opaque black hole of a body crowned by two fat fingers of light tan, thick mocha fizz. Perpetual retention, cake-batter-like lacing, though no real legs to speak of.

Almost sour roast malt, lightly burnt bread, subtle esters from the alcohol, and a touch of weeds and citrus from the hops.

Over-roasted coffee, bread crusts, and a pungent mineral note that seems to be emphasized with this serving type. Unsweetened baker's chocolate and scalded milk lead into the surprisingly dry, almost dusty finish (vaguely brings to mind river stones, cheap hotel ice, old carpets, and other assorted phantoms). While strongly bitter, the hops don't jump out at you - a very carefully balanced beer.

Thick, soft, uniform body though a bit "artificial" in its presentation especially considering the purity of ingredients and skill in craftsmanship - I'd much prefer to see this on-cask. If I'm going to abandon my (perhaps idealized) notions of product integrity, why not go all the way and head down to The Golden State for one of their Old Rasputin beer floats?

A clean, rich, strong, yet subtle brew - highly drinkable especially considering the robust ABV and IBU.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-23-2009 16:08:20 | More by augustgarage
Photo of wknight167


4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apearance - Pours near black with just a hint of red when held up to the light. A one finger, fine bubble light brown head lasts longer than the beer does. Lacing is more like a wall than anything else.

Nose- Solid roast malt, coffee, chocolate with some nuttiness and sweetness showing through.

Palate- Slightly sweeter than expected, but not in a bad way. Tastes as you would expect from the nose, but with toffee, and licorice notes.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, FULL bodied, medium carbonation.

Drinkability- Finishing one makes me want another.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2009 09:58:23 | More by wknight167
Photo of cbarrett4


3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from tap at Horse Brass Pub in Portland:

Pours with a disappointing head fading into a lackluster lace, but with a good, rich, dark hue. Smells richly of licorice, molasses, espresso, and some dark chocolate. A little funky on the nose and that carries through the palate, possibly from the kind of hops they used. Decent texture but abrasive on the finish.

Overall good, but probably better out of the bottle with some conditioning.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2009 02:40:13 | More by cbarrett4
Photo of rtepiak


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour was not as voluminous as expected but still had a head on it that wasn't as dark as in bottle form. off white mocha. nose was quite interesting blend of coffee and chocolate... as well as some interesting herbal traits. anise and a grain earthy quality. much more subtle. much more complex. palate was roasted chocolate and a coffee bitter that also blended with a acidic tobacco earth quality. nice mix. acidic quality blended also with the stale fruit that i would expect from a nice english porter. grape apple like. very nicely blended but surprisingly disappointing body coming from a nitro...

i don't know if the beer is to blame. the keg seemed a bit older.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-25-2009 14:18:27 | More by rtepiak
Photo of OatmattStout


4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had on tap in a large snifter at the ginger man in sono.

It was jet black with an incredible "nitro" looking dense tan head.

the nose of sweet malt and cocoa.

The taste is incredible. Rich and velvety dark chocolate, sweet roasted malt, and a slight licorice finish. truly incredibly stout here

The mouth feel was full and engulfed my tongue with flavor and girth.

Cant say enough about this beer. It is great in a bottle and stellar fresh on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2009 02:49:52 | More by OatmattStout
Photo of erosier


4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a dark black with a very thick, medium sized, tan colored head that laces the glass all the way down. Really thick and creamy looking.
S: Smells of deep roasted malts, hints of chocolate, coffee, caramel. Really well balanced aroma.
T: Like the smell it has a very well mixed malt base of deep roasted malts, not too bitter and not too sweet, then chocolate, coffee, and caramel flavors with a very clean tasting aftertaste.
M: Very creamy, very rich, warming, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable beer even with the high abv as all the flavors and aromas blended very well for a really good beer. Adding the nitro-tap to it doesn't hurt either.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-09-2009 11:32:42 | More by erosier
Photo of Aenema


4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours pitch black with a tan head and minimal lacing.
Smell - Roasted malts, coffee and alcohol.
Taste - Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla. Deep and rich.
Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with a smooth, creamy feel and light to moderate carbonation. Fine bubbles.
Drinkability - Very rich, filling.
Overall - Delicious, intensely flavored beer with an incredibly smooth mouthfeel.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-06-2009 04:31:35 | More by Aenema
Photo of GrittyMug345


4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on nitro at Novare Res in Portland, ME, poured into a 16oz shaker pint. A very tight one finger head the color of coffee ice cream on top of a pitch black body, the head dies verry slowly down to a half finger and remains, the lacing left behind throughout is more like sheeting. The nose is of sweet toffee, roasty malt, and cocoa powder. The flavor is more fo the same, with a nice touch of espresso, a raisiny sweetness, followed by a bitter cocoa/espresso finish, there is also a hint of earth in there somewhere. The mouthfeel is superb, very creamy, nice and thick but not syrupy, very smooth. Drinkability is great for what this is, by no means a session beer but it is not intended to be, a perfect dessert beer.

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-30-2009 17:36:05 | More by GrittyMug345
Photo of squaremile


3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a standby for a lot of folks including myself. When I want an RIS and want to spend $2, Old Raspy is there, like a non-pretentious gradeschool friend. Black pour, small/medium head, some lacing, and the nose is roasted malts and coffee. The flavor is much more of the same with espresso dominating. On nitro tap the punch is relaxed and the mouthfeel is foamy goodness.

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-18-2009 07:35:31 | More by squaremile
Photo of Duttonic


3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is strong. It reminds me a lot of black licorice. Great appearance and mouthfeel, but I had trouble downing a pint of it.

The smell was intense and dark, but inviting. I would like to try this out of a bottle rather than from a tap to see if there is a noticeable difference in taste. Worth trying if you enjoy stouts.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2009 21:28:21 | More by Duttonic
Photo of mdquigley


3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Manhattan, KS "Rock-a-belly-Deli." Review written from notes.

Enjoyed from a 12 oz tumbler.

Appearance: Severely dark with a mystical creamy tan 2.5" head that transitions into the body.

Smell: Slight coffee, roasted nose. Aroma was slighter than expected.

Taste: Espresso and cocoa nibs up front. The taste was very balanced and much sweeter than I expected. It is not a dry stout but much more similar to a milk stout.

Mouthfeel: Creamy! Mouth-coating and full bodied.

Drinkability: I detected no alcohol for such a high ABV %.Thus, this can be drunk and drunk. Just watch out!

Overall: A very delicious and creamy beverage. A real special find.

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2009 20:49:57 | More by mdquigley
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.6/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip. Poured one shade shy of black with a quarter inch tan-colored head that dissipates into a skim with a solid band around the edges. Nose was very mild and subdued - some malt, some brown sugar and a hint of hops. Taste reveals chocolate malt, brown sugar, molasses, black licorice and a definite hops presence. Mouthfeel was just shy of medium-bodied, but a bit too much carbonation for the style - I like my RIS's lightly carbonated and oily/viscous. Alcohol is well-hidden on this beer, but a little too much hops in the mix for my liking. Nonetheless, a solid, readily available offering.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2009 01:20:01 | More by Jwale73
Photo of nectar14


4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From nitro at Toronado SD.

A: Pours black with a nice tan head, settling with a creamy foam and cascading bubbles, like I've seen Guinness do. Looks like a textbook stout.
S: Dark, malty, toasty, a bit nutty and chocolately. Everything in the right place.
T: More complete and complex than I've had this from bottle. Roasted grain, touch of coffee, chocolate, and walnut.
M: Carries some bitterness to contrast the malty, roasted flavors. Finishes with some bite. Full in body. Again, textbook.
D: Satisfying, solid, great stout. Doesn't blow me away, but when you're looking for a good stout, this is a great go-to beer.
Thumbs up.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-12-2009 00:35:40 | More by nectar14
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an American pint glass.

A: Thick dark brown/black, with a tan head that lasted and laced fairly well.

S: Coffee, chocolate, woodiness, vanilla, and caramel. Very sweet overall.

T: The flavor was more balanced than the nose, with all of the aforementioned flavors evident, with a hint of alcoholic presence on the finish, but not overpowering. Very well done.

M: Like drinking thick chocolate milk; very velvety smooth on the palate.

D: With such intense flavor, it might be a little too much for sessioning, but I'd still give it a try ;-)

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-10-2009 21:49:29 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of Jmoore50


4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one hell of a beer. I also cannot believe I have never reviewed it.

The appearance is black, with some dark brown edging. The head is a dark tan creamy froth. It leaves medium to light lacing around the glass.

The smell is good with cocoa and faint coffee smells. Also a light mocha or milky coffee smell is a strong characteristic.

The taste is great, especially for a year-around beer, how do they do it? Well served at room temperature or ABOVE is when it peaks. Malty coffee, small hints of cocoa. ABV is hidden all too well, makes it dangerous on a night out. The mouthfeel is thick, and creamy. The body looks thinner though, which tricks the mind. On tap it is a frothy malt bomb. In the bottle it is a little thinner and more drinkable. Dark roasted malts are very prominent giving it a dark grain taste. Beautiful.


Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2009 00:16:36 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of LittleDon


4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jet black with a thick tan head that last all the way to the bottom of the glass. Hints of coffee and carmelized malts in the aroma. The flavor is much of the same, with a toffee upper pallate middle. The alcohol is noticeable, but well balanced. On the sweet side, but not as much as, say Lefthand Milk Stout. There's a big mouthfeel to this one. Toasty, coffee and dark chocolate finish in the back and upper palatte. Of the 70 beers I've review thus far, this is the closest I've had to perfect.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-01-2009 04:28:31 | More by LittleDon
Photo of Slatetank


4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-25-2009 17:08:00 | More by Slatetank
Photo of ffejherb


4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On nitro-tap at North Coast on 7/16/09.

A - Black onyx body with a hint of deep ruby around the bottom and a perfect finger's width of dense, creamy tan froth that just retained amazingly and deposited a thick web of psychedelic lace all around the glass. A beautiful nitro pour indeed!

S - Chocolate and roasted malt with hints of hazlenuts and licorice. Subtle coffee notes and dark fruit emerge in the background. An earthy hop presence is also apparent, albeit quite restrained.

T - Luscious sweet and semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa up front with lots of roasted goodness and a prominent nutty character suggesting hazlenuts. Earthy, leafy hops impart an herbal aspect, which extends into the finish and, along with a coffee character, provides ample bitterness.

M - Medium to full bodied with a super creamy, smooth texture and soft carbonation akin to a cask pour. Moderately dry, bitter finish with some residual sweetness on the palate. Minimal alcohol warmth, especially for a 9% RIS.

D - Fantastic RIS indeed, and especially smooth and drinkable on nitro. Yum! Subtle yet complex in all of its delicious, velvety smooth glory.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-12-2009 21:39:11 | More by ffejherb
Photo of SurlyDuff


4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A flagship Impy Stout. Great consistancy on batches, good distribution, and overall a great true-to-style RIS.
Had this brew as a halfpint at the North Coast Brewing in Fort Bragg.
Deep deep brown, not black, and barely any light gets through it.

Aroma is a crazy cocoa bomb, with some coffee dryness and espresso.

Some alcohol warming from the 9%er and waves of chocolate, coffee, roasted burnt malt, and some sugary molassas sweetness.

Thick syrupy mouthfeel, not as potent as abyss or dark lord, but it's up there. A good slow sipper of a beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2009 21:29:25 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of FLBeerGuy


4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a sniffer at Broken Barrel Tavern, where it's on tap all the time. Pours a pitch black with a thin tan head which dissipated quickly, left very little lacing.

Smell is strong, dark chocolate, coffee and some alcohol.

Taste is dark chocolate & malty with a thick and creamy mouthfeel

To me, this is a very drinkable beer, I could put down many of these. However the ABV doesn't make this a good session beer, which is why it took a small hit on the drinkability rating.

This is truly a great stout, one of the best IMHO...if you like a strong heavy stout.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2009 03:02:24 | More by FLBeerGuy
Photo of jlindros


4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Armsby Abbey

A: Big thick and slow fading head dark almost black with touch of molases color

N: Nose has lots of chocolate and oatmeal and touch of alcohol

T: Taste is very complex and starts with thick dark chocolate and slight oats with a strong alcohol, some sweet caramel and touch of dark fruit like fig, a slight chalkiness cuts through as well but is followed with a slight creamy banana

M: Mouth is very thick and creamy and coats the whole mouth

F: Finish has a nice hop character, it finishes slightly sweet like molases, a touch of spice, and more alcohol, stout, and chocolate linger for a while

Final thoughts: This is one, if not the most, favorite stout of mine. I love how rich, thick and dark it is. Some hop character and chocolate as well as fruits like fig and banana. It's really complex, an experience in itself.

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2009 01:05:16 | More by jlindros
Photo of ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into 14.5oz tulip at Deep Ellum in Allston, MA. Enjoyed with a pretzel and beer chese, along with whole-seed spicy mustard. If you go there, get the pretzel. moving on...

A- Motor-oil black, a nice, thick, creamy head (thanks to the nitro)

S- Expresso, coffee essence, deep roasted barley, cocoa sugars.. lots of goodness.

T- Fantastic. Follows the nose... this stuff is pretty damn near perfect.

M- Outstanding, the Nitro-Tap takes this beer to beyond the stratosphere. 5 of 5.

D- Moderate to moderately high, filling, but oh so good. One of my more memorable beers. Nitro and Old Raspy are like peanut butter and jelly.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-04-2009 00:18:00 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of beertunes


4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a beautiful black, with a lovely cascade ascending into 3/4 inch of dark tan head that had excellent retention and left a moderate amount of lacing.

Rich roasted malt aromas greet the nose, without the annoying coffee notes so often found in brews of this type. Those deep scents translate into a glorious flavor on the tongue. Nothing exotic, edgy, radical or extreme, just the exact stout experience you're looking for.

The body is wonderfully full, smooth, textured and coats the tongue like a well-worn jacket. Easily drinkable, this is one of the big stouts I have several of in a row. Truly a world-class brew, if this is not available locally it's certainly worth much effort to obtain it by whatever means at your disposal.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-01-2009 21:30:37 | More by beertunes
Photo of tyanow


4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Yum! I drink this at home and on tap it's plenty better.

Almost black with a soft full head.

Full coffee and toasty grain aroma.

The rich and full (understatement) body taste is appreciated throughout the mouth and for literally minutes after I swallow.

It's an Imperial so the it fills your senses but few do it this well.

In my mind this is the premier American version of this style. Anyone who can suggest a good rival, please let me know.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2009 03:37:53 | More by tyanow
Photo of wd40

New York

4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having this beer fresh on tap makes a world of difference. The hops were still a bit alive and the interplay between bitter and sweet was great. The sweet maltiness came through with hints of chocolate, caramel and coffee. There is a pleasing viscous thickness to this beer like molasses that really adds to the sweetness of the malts. Very drinkable. Appearance is jet black with a dark brown head that quickly dissipates. Definitely must have again.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2009 02:06:10 | More by wd40
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,372 ratings.