Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,507 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,507
Hads: 11,224
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 478
Gots: 2,268 | FT: 56
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 (25) | 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: 3,507 | Hads: 11,224
Photo of Hautacam
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown/black....huge tan head..foamy ..cascades..laces and drops slowly to a film.
Smells of aromatic hops ..coffee and alcohol.
Tastes sweet at first, then hops punch in ....pretty bitter....coffee, unsweetened chocolate,alcohol, anise and chalk.
Mouthfeel is heavy, chewy and a bit powdery...medium carbonation. Hop bitter lasts into aftertaste.
One of these will do fine...it's heavy stuff...very , very good.
Glad I've got the other three to look forward to. (477 characters)

Photo of cproioi
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful black color with a brown towards the surface.
S: Sorry I can't really answer this one I'm coming off of a cold and my nose isn't up to par for this question yet.
T: A great Mocha taste that should be paired with a dark rich chocolate cake. This is one of my favorite pairing of foods and beer.
M: A little heavy but nothing that I would turn my nose up at by any means.
D: I had no problem drinking it I thought it was wonderful but it is not a beer for those just getting into the beer snobbery. It's a big powerful beer that must be handled with care. (570 characters)

Photo of cameraman
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass, a dark opaque black, slightly brown, with a small caramel colored head. The scent of chocolate and coffee are very nice aroma, that is followed by a twinge of hops. The taste starts with the chocolate and the sweetness of the malt. It ends with a slight coffee bitterness, with a touch of hops. In the mouth it is rich and full bodied, it has the texture of two percent milk and seemingly coats the tongue, which allows the the flavor to linger. This is a very good beer, there are many imperial stouts, this one may stands the closest to the style. (591 characters)

Photo of Lnedrive14
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an opaque black with a thick tan head. Creamy looking.

S/T: Quite a robust brew - strong palate of chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, coffee, and quite a bit of hops round out the aftertaste (I was quite surprised by this - I drank this bottle a bit warmer than the last few and for some reason I think it really brought out the hop characteristics). Finishes strong with hops and a touch of sweetness.

M/D: Eh - not sure what to say here. A fine example of the style, but didn't leave me begging for more. Glad I had a 4-pack, but I am not rushing to buy more. (577 characters)

Photo of custardcb
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich black body with mahogany head. Nice foamy head rest on top of the brew as it slowly deconstructs itself. It leaves a thin film on top and around the edges of my pint glass.

The aroma is rich with coffee, vanilla, espresso and chocolate malts. No hop presence is evident, this is nothing but a rich flavorful malt The moutful is smoothe and slightly creamy. A small bitter tinge is evident but this is true imperial stout. All the flavors from the nose ar ethere and mesh together in such a mellow nice way. A couple of these is a meal in itself. A treat that should never been had in abundance so that you may really savor the souts very nature. (662 characters)

Photo of greenjeff4141
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the first time I've had Old Rasputin but not the first imperial stout. It pours dark dark black with a nice head and good lacing until the last sips. The smell is of the dark roasty flavors that hide within, and the taste follows suit, very rich and bitter with charcoal and dark choclate flavors. Almost like a cold espresso.

I liked the beer, not my favorite of the dark ones but a pleasure nonetheless. (418 characters)

Photo of ddarity
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great Beer. Served in traditional pint glass.
Nice style appropriate dark garnet color. Perfect carbonation.. not too much or too little. Nice roasted grainy aroma. This is a pleasantly robust beer. Great blend of flavors.. nutty or woody come to mind. Some hints of chocolate, and a roasted coffe.
It has a fairly dry finish. I rate this one highly drinkable. I am wishing that I had one more. (397 characters)

Photo of RJLarse
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up an Old Rasputin in a specialty shop to taste, review and enjoy. I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler.

Pours black and opaque. Two fingers of rich brown head is quite resilient. The head produces moderate lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell is fairly robust and slightly sweet, with an aroma of malt, brown sugar and molasses. The smell of alcohol is also present.

The taste is very strong, rich and robust. It tastes like sweet coffee, with hints of unsweetened chocolate and malt. There is also a somewhat bitter finish. The aftertaste is both sweet and bitter at the same time.

The mouth feel is think heavy and syrupy.

This is a drinkable beer, but heavy, filling and a little long on ABV. It’s good but I wouldn’t want to have it very often, not more than one or two in a sitting, and I wouldn’t want to drink them very fast. Certainly not an every day experience. (913 characters)

Photo of ski271
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown letting no light through except on the edges. The head is very small, light tan, creamy and quickly diminishing to a ring. But still it leave some good rings of lacing early on. The smell is on the mild side for an imperial stout. Lots of darks bread accompanied by chocolate, light coffee and light molasses. The taste is of moderately sweet roasted (slightly burnt) malts supported by alcohol and some light herbal hops. More chocolate and more coffee than in the nose. The slightly astringent finish combined with the warming alcohol give your cheeks and tongue a bit of a tingle. It has a full body, slick texture and soft, low carbonation. As far as the style goes, this isn’t a heavy-hitter. But again as far as the style goes, this is rather easy drinking. Nicely done. I’d definitely drink this again… if I ever find it again. (853 characters)

Photo of BeerRun13
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours a dark almost black color that allows no light through in pint glass. A nice thick head forms, tan in color with a dark outer ring. The head falls a bit, but stays a little creamy on top.
Coffe and dark chocolate aromas are evident first. There is also a hint of cherry. Smells good.
Defineitely coffe and roasted chocolate flavors. There is a wonderfull fruity flavor behind it all... at first I thought maybe cherry but it is defineitely more of a berry flavor... maybe blackberrys, either way it tends to show more as it warms. A bit of hop spice shows through and there is a bit of hop bitterness. Still most of the bitterness comes from the roasted barley.
This Russian Imperial Stout is medium to full bodied. Very well balanced flavors make this beer a real treat.
I was dissapointed that they were only available in a 4-pack, and that was before I even got to try one... I'm headed back to the store. (931 characters)

Photo of audiojon
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this is one hell of a brew. The 9% is not noticeable at all, but the chocolate flavors sure are! Appearance is good, but should have a larger head, especially considering this is a well carbonated brew. Scent is of chocolate, taste is of chocolate, but also some coffee flavor in there. There is a nice balance of hops and malt (malt being dominant here of course) that makes this brew very drinkable. I really can't get past the chocolate flavor here, this is almost a chocolate stout imo. Very good for the style, I was shocked at how quickly I finished this bottle.

Recommended, but how much I'm not sure, as I've yet to try many russian imperial stouts. (666 characters)

Photo of MrSeth
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

App: pours with spots of carbonated activity which finally forms a cream-coffee colored head. It settles quickly and leaves just a thin ring of suds around the glass. The body is an opaque black, except for the faintest hints of brown highlight at the edges.

Sm: pure cocoa powder, Van Leer chocolate, rich and earthy Tamari soy.

Ta: a full malt start, smooth texture while those toasty malt flavors become a bit bitter at the end. Not amazingly complex, but not boring either. The malty and bitter flavors take a little getting used to before the balance of this stout can really be appreciated. The malt hides at first and the hops stick out, in the end it works well and is very enjoyable.

Mf: Heavy, smooth, well carbonated despite the appearance of being flat.

Da: The bitter, somewhat sticky finish takes away some degree of the drinkability for me. I love stouts and a nice long finish is always welcome, but here it is a bit exagerated. (957 characters)

Photo of Maestro
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very, very dark brown. Only a hint of light passes through the top. The head is a thin, bubbly tan that leaves quite a lacing on the glass.

Smell: Chocolate, coffee, floral hops, a bit of freshly baked bread.

Taste: Roasted malts seem to be very prevalent, along with espresso and chocolate notes. There is some raisin and date flavor at the back of the tounge. Alcohol comes out as you make your way through the beer.

Mouthfeel: Near perfect. This beer is definitely full-bodies but gives a very dry impression, leaving your mouth feeling cleansed.

Drinkability: Unreal! You would never guess the alcohol in this one. Beware. (650 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours out black, with a thick tan head that slowly fades to a thin ring of lace.

Smell: The aroma is a rich, vibrant framework containing scents of licorice, espresso, sweet chocolate, and ripe, vinous fruits.

Taste: Flavors Ahoy! Bitterness and black roasted malts fight for attention. Hints of molasses, toffee, mocha, and spice help to round out the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied; feels heavy on the tongue. Rich, smooth mouthfeel. The ABV provides for a warming, satisfying finish.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable. For anyone who's had this beer before, let me just say: Booyah!

If you haven't had this beer before... Try it: Today! (661 characters)

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a heavenly black heavy brew with a half inch bubble head that subsides to a thin covering. Aromas carry that dark roasted smell paired with some dark chocolate and a good deal of alcohol. Texture isn't all to heavy and high carbonation brings down the mouthfeel and drinkability a bit. I enjoy these heavier beers with a bit less. Anyway, flavors are particularly drying and hoppy towards the end with the carbonation and alcohol both making quite a sting. I really enjoy the roasted flavors, I just wish the bubbliness would be decreased as well as the body increase. (574 characters)

Photo of Optimat0r
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

this is my second review of old rasputin; the first came a long time ago when i was less experienced so i figured this one deserved another shot. im glad i did.
appearance - deep red, very dark, moderate foaming, cant find any flaws in it at all.

smell - first a tinge of hoppiness then chocolate and coffee blend in nicely.

taste - damn this is maybe the best RIS ive had so far. very rich but not TOO rich...basically a perfect blend of chocolate, malts, and hops...perfectly balanced.

drinkability - is great at first really cold, but it gets a bit too bitter and fuel-tasting after a while. this is one of the better RIS, but its good just every now and then (672 characters)

Photo of bkett01
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured nearly black with a minor head which refused to leave the surface. A dull coffee/chocolate smell with a hint of hops is present. The taste is quite the combination of flavors ranging from coffee to fruit. I noted a smooth chocolate start balanced with cherry/coffee/and dark roasted malts that finished with a clearly evident hop character. I would prefer more hops over the coffee, but still an enjoyable brew here. Very interesting combination, and a great start to the "new to me" world of imperial stouts. (516 characters)

Photo of zjungleist
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice appearance. Muted brown/black, with a great tan head and nice lacing. The smell is fairly hoppy, but with some some softness to them, and of course, very roasted malts and a very slight fruitiness. Excelent complex flavor, burnt malts, coffee, nice hops, and the lingering flavor of dry, bitter chocolate. The mouthfeel is slighly thick, but very velevety. No oiliness, but just dry enough to cut the thickness. This is a pretty freakin good imperial stout, but too complex and rich to drink much of. (505 characters)

Photo of crwills
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

My last bottle (although I may have another one in storage). Might pick up some more this week when I'm back in the US!

Poured a thick, rich brown (almost black) into a standard pint glass. 1/2 inch tan head that sticks around for a bit.

Smells is surprisingly hoppy, with notes of bitter cocoa and unripe cherries. Other wild berries as well. A bit of caramel, and some noticeable alcohol.

Tastes very strong compared to some other Imperial Russian stouts. Bitter but well balanced. Strong espresso flavours especially, with the typical chocolate and dark fruits. A bit of caramel. However, the one thing I'd complain about with this particular brew (and why I don't like it as much as some others of the style) is how upfront the alcohol is in the flavour as it warms. Really decreases flavour and drinkability scores for me, unfortunately, although it's still a killer beer.

Excellent smooth mouthfeel though, and a pleasant bitter aftertaste with slight brown-sugary notes. Food note: Tastes great with some good pecan pie. (1,041 characters)

Photo of orfeu
3.4/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Barely translucent dark brown with ruby-garnet highlights and a thick, frothy espresso crema head. Clean smelling aromas of chocolate and light roasted coffee; toasted grains and earthy piney hops. Dark coffee flavors predominate at first. Spicy pinecone hops mixed with an acidic vinous quality overtake during the middle. Bitter coffee finish, but hops ride it on through to the sour mineral aftertaste. Alcohol warms down the throat. Moderate body, a bit thin for the style, actually, and somewhat slick. Seems as if it could be dry, if the sour finish didn't get in the way. This acidity mellows somewhat at about mid-bottle. Much less interesting than I expected. Underwhelming, to say the least. (701 characters)

Photo of akajimmyd
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Not much head and only a small crown. No lacing. Totally black and opaque.

Smell – Like overripe dark fruit. Alcohol. Whiffs of coffee malts.

Taste/Mouthfeel – Strong coffee taste. Some tart dark fruits. Very, very dry feel. Variety of malts and sustained hop backbone. Full body. Boozy finish.

Drinkability – Warms the belly. This is a very full RIS, you could not have more that two but it is very tasty and interesting. (449 characters)

Photo of etenbus
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Never Say Die is the motto of this stout. For the man who helped bring down the Romanov dynasty it's appropos. For this ale, let's hope it rings true.

The pour brings a hush, with the body of the beer acting as a cushion and sound absorber. It looks like Quaker State 10W/30W. I could not see any light through the glass. The head is dark caramel in colour and lasts halfway through the beer.

The aroma brings notes of bitter chocolate, hickory, and leather. There is a slight musty smell that is not unappetizing; it adds an earthy quality to the ale.

The flavour brings the malt up front. It is somewhat smoky and has an espresso dryness. The hops dry it out. It has a big punch of malt and hops paired well--neither dominates the other.

The mouthfeel is rounded, soft, and thick, like a stout should be.

It does not drink like a 9% ale, like some 9% Belgians I've tasted that leave me with a headache forming. I'm ready for another. (951 characters)

Photo of tattooedtolley
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

OnTap thanks to Baja Bean, I have had it in the bottle as well but this will be my review of the on tap version.

Appearance: Super black, no light coming through this beer. Frothy tan head lived briefly and left tons of tan lacing.

Smell: Mostly roasted malts and some chocolate. Slight coffee aroma.

Taste: Sweet maltiness of the roasted malts with some chocolate. Some hops present which helps calm down the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Big body on this one, which is certainly expected after watching the pour.

Drinkability: Obviously not a session beer, but not a bad bar price tag and certainly not over the top in price at the beer store. I like this beer very much and recommend it to anyone who likes stouts. (729 characters)

Photo of eph
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There is a fabulous bar out in western Massachusetts that caries this on tap. It was served in a goblet and was a thick black color with a dark brown head. It smelled of roasted coffee, almonds, chocolate, and a hint of alcohol. This beer has a good heavy mouth feel with a mellow carbonation that gives it an almost creamy feel when you swallow. It has a thick chocolate malt taste with a few shots of espresso to boot. After I swallowed I noticed a bit of a sweet dull fruit finish to it, not overly hoppy for sure. This beer was a great experience, I would recommend it as a sipping beer to fully enjoy... and the 9.0 abv has a way of sneaking up on you if you over drink this brew. Enjoy! (692 characters)

Photo of mcowgill
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love the label on this beer. Could be the scariest looking guy I've ever seen on a beer bottle. The beer pours a nice black color with a smallish head that disappears quickly. The aroma is of roasted malts, chocolate and alcohol. This is a mighty fine tasting brew with a huge malty flavor and a nice hint of hops too. I would say this is one of the best Imperial Stouts out there. It's very drinkable indeed. (411 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,507 ratings.