Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you 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.

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

3,571 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,571
Hads: 11,589
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 528
Gots: 2,584 | FT: 56
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 3,571 | Hads: 11,589
Photo of HerbGuy42
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Looks: Black, inky

Smell: Smells like it tastes

Taste: Toasty/burnt malt, coffee, chocolate, maybe a tiny tiny bit fruity

Feel: Silky but thinner than expected based on appearance

Overall: A damn drinkable beer

 214 characters

Photo of Kdubzz
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of, if not THE staple Russian Imperials out there. I've never heard of anyone disliking this beer, or even having much negative to say about it in general.

Damn near jet black, with a dark, dark tan head that laces very well. Smells like heaven, heavily roasted malts with just a twinge of chocolaty sweetness. Tastes pretty much like it smells, roasty, cocoa, chocolate, a bit of dark roast coffee, with a bit of a bitter hop character in there as well. A light warming alcohol feel at the back of your throat that's pronounced, yet subtle. It's actually not as thick as one might expect, medium to medium-high mouthfeel as it warms.

If there is a more well rounded Russian Imperial Stout out there, I've not tried it. Muy delicioso.

 740 characters

Photo of hman43
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours pretty close to jet black. It has a dark brown head.

Smell: It has a strong chocolate aroma, there is some roasted elements, and some soft citrus elements. The also is the presence of strong alcohol, but it is not overwhelming.

Taste: There are flavors of roast, coffee, some chocolate, high hop flavors that provide the hop bitterness throughout the tasting process.

Feel: The is a high bitterness in that last a while and includes alcohol warming.

Overall: This is a strong, American stout with complex malt flavors and a quality hop finish.

 564 characters

Photo of buschbeer
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with three inches of tan head that leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is roasted malt. I get some burnt popcorn, cocoa, and black coffee.

I taste roasted malt flavors of burnt popcorn and black coffee in the finish.

Full mouthfeel

It is nice to have a well done stout. I have had so many bourbon barrel or coffee or chocolate et cetera that I almost forgot how good a simple RIS can be. And I can't believe I have not reviewed this in the seven years that I have been on BA.

 582 characters

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

Appearance: Dark, ruby brown color with one finger of thick tan head that fades slowly with a uniform curtain of lace.

Aroma: Roasted malt, cocoa, raisins and hints of tobacco. Textbook.

Taste: Dark roasted malt, sweet and a little creamy. Unsweetened chocolate bitterness builds towards the finish, becoming the dominate flavor with some earthy tobacco hints. Finishes lingering with mild bitterness and some nuttiness.

The Rest: A fantastic, textbook RIS. An all-time favorite!

 490 characters

Photo of GreatStoutman
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pour looks medium bodies, can see some caramel tones, turns mostly black by the time its in the glass. Huge 3+ finger head that slowly backs down, but has at least a thin top for the long haul.

Smell is roasty, malty and sweet. Not overwhelming, and not complex, but still inviting. Body is somewhat thin as expected, but good carbonation. Moderate hoppiness shows up early and comes on strong late. Stout taste is mostly malts.

Overall its a really good RIS, and really packs a hop punch.

 491 characters

Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep black, with a brown foam head, excellent retention. Aroma is of roasted malts, some chocolate and dark fruits. Taste is rich and roasty, not as complex as I expected, and a little bit weak. Same with the body of the beer, I expected a thicker beer, it was medium-low. Nice beer, not world class to me.

 312 characters

Photo of Strike00
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: pours black with a dark brown head. Nice lacing
S: Smell of roasted grains and alcohol. A slight coffee smell underneath.
T: nice roasted taste, with dark chocolate a bit of coffee underneath. A good alcohol warmth that is well balanced.
F: smooth and creamy. Fairly thick but not too much so.

O: A very good RIS. One of my favorites.

 343 characters

Photo of gandres
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle to wine glass
Appearance: pours black, dark, large head some lacing
Aroma: nice smell, aroma of toasted grains, slight scent of coffee, chocolate
Taste: Balance alcohol , not too bitter
Mouth feel:Creamy
Overall: Very good beer

 248 characters

Photo of EMH73
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a thick, well retained tan head. Aromas of roasted malt, toffee and coffee. Strong dark chocolate flavor with coffee notes. Mildly bitter finish and highly carbonated. Overall an excellent RIS.

 211 characters

Photo of Dragginballs76
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black thick caramel colored head excellent lacing head dissipates leaving a small thin head.
Smell toffee and some coffee notes very faint sweet faint chocolate
Taste dark chocolate flavor some caramel notes no hint this a 9% brew.also get some dark roasted coffee flavors
Feel not thick at all medium body no burn from the alcohol very smooth
Overall I would have as many of these as possible excellent beer.

 419 characters

Photo of MedaryvilleEscapee
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What's left to say about Old Rasputin that hasn't been said. Probably my favorite beer. There may be more obscure, fussier beers out there. But this one comes through time and time again. I like beers that have complex flavors fade in an out through the swallow. This one has all of that. Nice blend of chocolate, coffee, and fruit flavors. A great, classic beer that will never go out of style.

 402 characters

Photo of MACrist
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in May of 2015.
LOOKS: Poured into snifter, a nice 2 inch creamy dark tan head that stuck around about 5 minutes and left a nice thin layer on top of the beer. Leaves nice lacing down the glass. The beer is jet black, just a bit of light comes through around the edges of the glass when held up to the light. Good carbonation when rocking the glass back and forth.
AROMA: A floral note is the first thing I get, followed by rich dark molasses, some soy sauce, and chocolate. Coffee and a leathery quality, as well. No alcohol in the nose.
TASTE: The flavor is much bigger than the aroma with big dark chocolate, a little alcohol, licorice, coffee, molasses and that leathery quality. A slight soy sauce quality but really mild compared to other stouts in this category, that I've had.
MOUTHFEEL: Creamy and smooth, slightly dry on the very back. Not quite as thick as I was expecting, but not a bad thing. Carbonation is there but not overbearing, just enough to bring out the flavors.
OVERALL: A very pleasant RIS. Not that super gloopy thick feel you may want in the style, but lots of flavor.

 1,104 characters

Photo of DaverCS
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with 1 1/2 fingers of a light caramel colored head that lingers. Great lacing as well!

Aroma is primarily roasted malts, kiss of caramel, a bit of dark fruits, and I do get some alcohol.

I'm disappointed for the associated rating on here. Highly carbonated, relatively dry, and rather bitter. The high carbonation creates a lighter feel. The flavor is not complex -- primarily a very heavily roasted malt. The malt is not sweet; in fact it's so heavily roasted, it contributes to the bitterness. The beer transitions from a carbonation tickle, to roasted malts, to a dry bitterness with a finish of some alcohol.

Overall, it didn't hit the spot. Not complex; pretty one-noted. I see it pairing well with a coffee ice cream and a freshly baked dark chocolate brownie. It gets an 80/100.

 802 characters

Photo of Dang8701
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A great standard russian imperial stout. If you want to know what that kind of beer is supposed to be, then this is one to try. An incredible beer, balanced and flavorful, close to perfect.

 189 characters

Photo of kalosjakar
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a toffee colored creamy head.

I got a huge wave of toffee while pouring this. Smells incredible.

Smells like sweet sugar and toffee. Getting some chocolate and a hint of vanilla bean.

Taste is bitter up front before the flavor of bittersweet dark chocolate and coffee (didnt see this coming, got zero coffee on the nose). Theres a bit of alcohol sting but the sweetness soothes it all. Great imperial stout, will buy again.

 446 characters

Photo of m_hall
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A Fairly gentle poor from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. This beer is inky-black, just as an RIS should be, and topped with a thick tan head. This fell slowly into a nice raft, leaving lots of lacing in its wake

The nose is malty and sweet, chocolate, vanilla, and a slightly bourbon-like alcohol touch. There's also subtle earthy hops in the background. It's not one of those massive noses that knocks you over as soon as the cap comes off the bottle, but it's very nice just the same.

Flavors are bittersweet chocolate right up front, supported by dark-roast coffee and toasted nuts. Peppery flourishes come in near the finish, which is long and dry, with just a touch of subtle hop bitterness. An assertive but very balanced beer.

Mouth-feel is big, rich and smooth (but not syrupy or tongue-coating) with moderate carbonation. There is a very distinct alcohol warmth that lingers nicely. A sipper to be sure.

This is a beer I was very eager to try, with a large cult following. Those accolades are all richly deserved- Russian Imperial Stout is one of my personal favored styles, and I can honestly say I've only had one other that is at this level (Oskar Blues Ten FIDY.) And best of all unlike many in this style this one's available year round. Old Rasputin has become something of a benchmark, and it deserves to be.

 1,336 characters

Photo of K-Dog
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Have drank many stouts over the past month leading up to the hoildays. I have never had this before so I had high expectations for this. Let me just say I'm highly dissapointed. Not much smell to it and thought it was rather bland tasting. Many better options out there like plead the fifth and blackout stout just to name a few. Maybe it's just me but found this to be highly over rated. It's not that it's bad but mediocre for the style.

 440 characters

Photo of Antc2382
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle
This beer may make you crazy like ol' Rasputin himself. High ABV, clocking in at 9.0. This is a big, boozy beer for us beer lovers.
A: Black. No light. Little tan head which forms a ring around the lip. One of the darkest beers I've tried. S: an earthy, smoky aroma from the roasted malt and coffee tones. I pick up some of that alcohol there as well. T: very dark chocolate of a high quality gives way to strong malt and coffee undertone. F: creamy, very smooth, nice taste left in the palate of coffee. O: a huge flavored, smooth and boozy stout that purest will love to drink slowly to savor

 616 characters

Photo of groovemonster
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: blackety black . . . strong and black! you cannot see light coming through the black wonder. this is dark matter in a bottle
Smell: i really cant smell this beer but thats typical since my nose doenst work
Taste: starts creamy dark chocolate and heavy roasted barley, then fades to coffee bitterness and finishes dry. there is a ton of good flavors going on in each sip. however they are all perfectly balanced and there is no hint of an off-note.
Feel: creamy heavy bodied and perfect
Overall: i have been drinking this beer for over 15 years and i have always loved it. it is actually the beer that converted me from Coors to the the craft brew club! i have drank this from bottles and on tap and either way it is an amazing beer. i just decided it is truly perfect! if i could only drink one beer for the rest of my life this is it.

 842 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: opaque; very dark brown - virtually black; 1 finger dark tan head that receded to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: bittersweet chocolate; roasted grain;

T: bittersweet chocolate for a moment, then sweet malt; the chocolate mixes back in at the middle before coffee completely takes over at the finish; mild to moderate bitterness at the end;

M: full bodied; light to moderate creamy carbonation; moderately dry finish; smooth; ABV is well hidden;

O: really good;

 470 characters

Photo of drmeto
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.25

L:
-pours the darkest of brown with no light coming through and a big,frothy,sand-coloured head
S:
-coffee,molasses,chocolate,pepper,grassy,tobacco,nutty,herbal
T:
-coffee,mocha,bitter chocolae,grassy,tobacco,nutty,licorice,toasty finish
F:
-medium carbonation (overcarbonated)
-light to medium body
-alcohol noticeable
O:
Damn good Imperial Stout

 347 characters

Photo of Bonkinishwa
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

North Coast Brewing Co. - Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. 9% ABV. 12oz bottle poured into snifter.

Look: Non aggressive pour yielded a huge three finger khaki head on a pitch black viscous body. Sticky lacing remains.

Smell: Bitter coffee, dark cocoa, caramel, toffee, and dark malts. Very rich aromas.

Feel: Heavy bodied, with perfect carbonation and creaminess.

Taste: Immediate bitter coffee and dark cocoa, and dark malts. Those remain into the back end, where the caramel and toffee pick up, and all blend into the aftertaste. Some alcohol burn on the back as it warms up.

Overall: I actually had the Rye Barrel Aged version of this before the regular; this holds it's own extremely well compared, since both are different. Very nice blend of flavors and aromas in this that mask its ABV nicely.

 810 characters

Photo of TheElectricOne
3.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip:

Appearance: deep, dark brown bordering on black. Lighter brown highlights on the fringes of the glass, with a really fluffy and lingering head. Lots of lacing.

Aroma: mostly roastiness, not overly complex, but very deep and pronounced. A twinge of coffee/dark chocolate, but the dominant scent is roasted malt.

Taste: ticks all the components you'd expect/desire for an RIS. Begins with sweetness and caramelly flavor, moves into roasted malt and bitter coffee notes, and finishes with some dark chocolate flavor. Flavor is complex and nuanced. Delicious.

Feel: perhaps a tad thin, drinking like a heavy porter instead of a heavy stout. Could just be palate overload from drinking so many BA stouts recently.

Overall: delightful beer, exemplary of the style.

 803 characters

Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz, with very hard to read date on bottle (North Coast need to do a better job with the labeling the bottling dates on their bottles), but I believe it is Nov. of 2015. Poured into large wine glass. I tasted this beer side-by-side with a 2015 Sierra Nevada Narwhal.

Look: Pours a very dark brown, with a nice amount of beige colored head (lighter color than the Narwhal) that lasts; nice lacing.

Smell: Dark malts, sugar, a bit of dark fruits, perhaps a twinge of spiciness.

Taste: Not too complex, but plenty of dark malts, some hops, and some sweetness.

Feel: Almost like drinking chocolate milk: medium to heavy mouth-feel, and very creamy.

Overall: This is one of my go-to imperial stouts, and I have been drinking it for at least a couple of years now. I liked Narwhal better in just about every way, but this one is still a solid RIS I would be happy to sip anytime.

 879 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,571 ratings.