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: 11,430
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 514
Gots: 2,454 | 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 (26) | 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: 11,430
Photo of Derek
3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Ruby-black, tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Fruity, sherry, slightly solventy.

T: Dark, burnt chocolate, molases, coffee and a little fruit. Balanced to the bitter side, but a nice depth of flavour.

M: Moderate to full body, moderate carbonation, slightly oily.

D: Maybe even a little below average.

 318 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on October 8, 2011. The pour is remarkably black with a decent, silky tan head. The aroma is mildly malted and pleasantly hopped with a bit of licorice and a scent that makes me think of a wooden barrel. The body is medium to bold. The flavor has a mellower than usual malty taste for a Russian Imperial with a vibrant bitter but dry hopped ending. All the good things that people say about this one are true.

 417 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Totally black with clear, ruby highlights topped by a lace of medium brown head. Looks nice all the way down due to moderate lacing and good head retention for what's there. Vinous alcohol aroma, lots of roast coffee, dark chocolate and overall maltiness with a moderate hoppiness. The flavour starts malty sweet, bitterness appears at the mid-point along with chocolate and alcohol warmth. The finish is very roasted and dry, with bitterness contributed by the dark malts. Creamy, viscous texture, full bodied. The alcohol flavour melds well with the malt character, leaving you with a very drinkable stout.

 608 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle a pitch black(with reddish tones) having a fairly large head of foam that dissipated slowly leaving just a fine layer.

The smell is of roasted barley with some malty sweetness and notes of coffee.

The taste is huge! Lots of roasted barley, chocolate, and coffee with some grain and a bit of anise. Very very complex and very rewarding to my taste buds. I've had this one a few times in the past and it never fails to impress me with its flavour and how well it hides the rather substantial 9%abv.

Bottom line: This is a world class sample of the style that is a *must* to try.

 610 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with a creamy tan head that sticks all over the glass. Dark roasted malt aroma with a bit of cocoa, coffee and nuts. Taste is smooth with a lot of roasted malt, a bit of bitter chocolate, coffee and hops. There is a seemingly never ending bitterness to the finish. Overall, North Coast really did an excellent job with this RIS and should be commended.

 369 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass dec17 2009

A black with a thumbs worth of mocha head that falls to a 1/4inch film fairly quickly and leaves only a patch or two of lace

S smoke, chocolate, coffee and some booze

T not far off the smell but a little licorice perhaps and the alcohol is hidden a little better then on the nose

M thick creamy goodness, oh dear that sounds wrong yet feels quite right

D for the strength it's a little dangerous with out doubt, sinks like a ship and oh so worth trying.

I'm wondering if my glass was dirty, cause if so this may have been a rare A+ looks average but well ahead in all other departments. doesn't cost a fortune either here in Alberta making it just that much better, drink, think, repeat

 739 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally, finally landed a bottle of this at KJ Baarons. Not sure how or why it took me this long, but review #199, lets do it!

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip. Holy cow! A huge three finger dark brown head that faded incredibly slowly resulting in a nice thick blanket. All this atop a dark black pour with a little bit of deep brown at the edges.

S - Really nice roasty malts. Big time roasted, lightly smokey carmel malts with just a hint of vanilla. There are some nice bittersweet chocolate and some good bitter hop qualities along with a strong espresso aroma.The alcohol is present on the nose though.

T - Very much like the nose. This stuff is so good. Lots of that roasty malts with a lil vanilla quality. Lots of coffee flavours (including the bitterness) along with some chocolate. Quite bitter aftertaste.

M - Quite creamy and smooth even though there is some good carbonation here. Rather surprising.

D - Wow, this is a stellar stout. Everything works so well with another. The ABV is hidden big time thanks to the coffee qualities of this stout. Very tasty.

 1,074 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a super opaque black, little bit of red on the edges, creamy dark brown head and lots of lace. Smells like dark roasted malt, hops, coffee and chocolate. Taste is sublime, lots of roasted coffee, hops, dark chocolate finish. Very thick and full, perfect mouthfeel and carbonation, amazing beer. Reminded me of Rogue Imperial Stout a lot but smoother. Thanks for the taste DrJay.

 384 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black. Medium brown head that dissipates quickly. Beautiful roasty aroma. Also get a bit of smoke on the nose. There's some burnt malt tastes. Very strong bitterness. I love that in an Imperial. The IBU must be approaching 100 in this brew. Incredible malt load balances nicely with the hops. A bit of alcohol dangles on the tongue nicely. This is everything I look for in an Imperial Stout. Not as viscous as Bell's Expedition, but tremendous in its own right. One of my all time favorites. This is in the elite category of microbrewed Imperials that I have tried (along with Bell's Expedition and Rogue).

 629 characters

Photo of pat61
4.91/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap at Muddy Waters, Bryant Lake Bowl and Pig & Fiddle and have had from a bottle.
L: Pours bright deep dark coffee brown under a 2” persistent, clingy, frothy foam collar.
S: Chocolate, dark sugar, coffee, dark dried fruit, and and a hint of wine on the nose.
T: Chocolate coffee flavors sweetened with molasses and seasoned with dark dried fruit with a slight tartness in the background. Dark roast bitterness augments the hop bitterness on the finish.
F: Full body to chewy, medium carbonation
O: Very fine Russian Imperial Stout. I think I like the draft version a little better than the bottled because the flavors come out more.

 648 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - Motor Oil deep brown with a 2-finger tan head. Some lacing and retention, but minor.

S - Coffee and wheat.

T - Coffee and Chocolate.

D - Oily, but mild.

O - Not much to go with here. Age this and enjoy!

 250 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big badass black and brown color, brown foam head, great lacing. Burnt aroma.

Burnt taste, massive. A little hoppy. Coffee dominates, choco comes after that. Good bitterness, yet thick and slick. Minimal alcohol presence relatively speaking. Gets easier to drink throughout, great price compared to all the other "to the extreme special release" IS out there. Take a lesson boys, this is how you bring the best product at the best price to the consumer.

 454 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter, the beer pours very dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. The head doesn't stick around for too long, but the lacing is OK. The aroma is roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. It tastes like coffee, roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate. The beer also has a good lingering bitter hoppy finish, with nice balance. Mouthfeel is medium/full, and it's creamy and has just the right amount of carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's nice and smooth. Alcohol is noticeable, but not bad. IMO, it's a good RIS, I'd recommend it to others to try.

 564 characters

Photo of spinrsx
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

My 300th beer review; looking forward to the next 300.

Appearance - The beer pours a dark brown/black colour with a very large frothy and rocky light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is very nice lacing running down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to disappear.

Smell - coffee, malts, chocolate, hops, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - The beer doesn't have a whole lot of carbonation, but it feels very light and creamy on the palette. It's packed full of chocolate and coffee flavour mixed with malts. There is also a lot of bitterness from the coffee and the hops. The beer gives a warming feeling in my chest but the alcohol isn't really detectable. The beer finishes with little bit of a peppery/spicy aftertaste.

Drink - This is a flavour packed full bodied beer that is a must try. It's extremely drinkable and perfect during the winter/colder months.

 966 characters

Photo of bark
3.84/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The colour is pitch dark; the beige-brown foam forms a thin compact head.

The smell is dry and robust with flavours of coffee, lemons, liquorice, roasted malt, white bread, and porridge rolled oats.

The carbonation is fresh and surprisingly strong, but it suits the beer fine.

The first taste is a creamy one with a touch of cocoa. It develops into a dry, very bitter flavour with some citric notes. The body is rather weak, or is it just hiding below all that bitterness? The aftertaste is long and generous with a touch of alcohol, a sourish, burned bitterness and some black coffee.

A fine (very American) stout, but I could wish for some more body.

 667 characters

Photo of dgilks
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Liquorice, chocolate and a hint of coffee are the predominant aromas. Fairly sweet and not all that roasty.

Pitch black with a small, creamy tan head. Nice.

Really, chocolatey and syrupy. There's a nice roast character to the finish. The liquorice note comes through as well. Really nice and elegant.

Medium-full body with moderately-low carbonation. Almost perfect.

A really nice RIS. There's great flavour here and it isn't over the top. Just a simple, elegant beer.

 472 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Kind of weird to be reviewing a beer at 4am but I'm still fully awake so why not?

Pours a pitch black color with a nice, brown one-finger head. Definitely right for the style.

The aroma is thick and roasty with a hint of chocolate and dark fruits. Somewhat creamy as well.

Taste is very roasty with hints of chocolate, coffee and dark fruits. Smooth and creamy and it finishes with a decent amount of bitterness at the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel is bitterness followed by creamy chocolate. Very smooth. Does not overpower.

I think this is a very drinkable Imperial Stout. I was expecting it to be harsh because there's no way to tell how old it is. However, that isn't the case. I better pick up some more to age while it's still available. As for personal preferences, it does have that creaminess in the mouthfeel that I desire and a good balance of roasted malt and hops. Excellent.

 894 characters

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

Nitro tap pour at Barleyhouse poured into a snifter.

(A)- Poured fairly thick and cascaded beautifully into a pitch black color with a milky - white foamy head that stuck around for quite some time. Tons of lacing left behind as it was consumed.

(S)- Rich aromas of roasted malts, coffee, molasses, and mocha. Smooth and sweet smelling.

(T)- A combination of a creamy smooth maltiness and a dry roasted background. Molasses, cocoa, and raisin all over the place.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. So smooth and creamy going down. The Nitro-tapping really created a nice smooth creamy feel to go along with the rich and roasted maltiness of the beer.

(D)- Dangerously drinkable for the style in this form. I could have had this all day during the game. Rich and malty with a creamy smooth center. I love this beer out of the bottle, but Nitro tap might be even better.

 882 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 TurdFurgison
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Stone IPA glass. Deep black color with 1-finger beige head on top.

Strong hops aroma. Taste is awesome. Roasted malt flavor (but not burned or smoked) with hops. I detected chocolate and coffee flavors too.

Great beer from a great company. Pranqster is also good.

 297 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick, midnight black with little head and little lacings. This stuff is thick. A strong malt smell of roasted, coffee, some chocolate, probably some other malts like bread or toasted could be in there. Incredibly smooth when you first sip it, the roasted and chocolate malts really kick in. Definitely a sipper. Full-bodied and slightly creamy (although you could slightly syrupy as well), this beer passes over the tongue leaving behind that malty goodness and finishes with a firm, dry backbite. If it weren't for the ABV I could drink this all day.

 560 characters

Photo of claspada
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an engine oil black color with a very thick, toffee colored creamy head of foam. The head is very dense and lingering.

Aromas begin with malted chocolate, cocoa powder, roasted graininess, some creme and mild coffee.

The tastes begin with creamy layers of malt balls and coffee wrapped in an earthy wet blanket of flavor. Waves of creamy coffee with a slightly watery middle balanced by some ample hopping and roasted malt bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied, with medium carbonation. Lighter on the palate than I remember from the bottle but it improves the drinkability.

Overall this is an exceptional stout, overlooked in today's saturated dark beer craft world because of it continuous availability, but a real treat to find on draft at a local bar in my town.

 804 characters

Photo of glid02
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nitro-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours black with a large and cascading brown head. The head slowly recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, smooth dark chocolate, and very light leafy hops. As the beer warms the aroma sweetens a bit.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although a bit more complex. Lightly roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by semi-sweet chocolate flavors. Midway through the sip the chocolate flavors sweeten a bit and are joined by very mild amounts of vanilla. Finally, hints of leafy hops come into play right before a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is great. It's got a very viscous thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall I was surprised at how much the nitro-tap changed this beer and even more surprised at how it positively affected it. Well worth a shot.

 938 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Old Rasputin has a dark appearance - no clarity at all - with very little head evident. The smell was low key, sporting some hints of coffee especially. The taste, like other imperial stouts, had coffee and chocolate in it. However, the hops flavor was fairly strong and kind of overwhelmed the others. Mouthfeel was sharp and tingly. In general, this is a drinkable beer. I didn't like quite as much as Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout, mainly due to the hops content.

 470 characters

Photo of jrallen34
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a tap into a chalice

This beer is beautiful to look at with a dark body and creamy head that lasts for a while. The color is pitch black with a tan head.

It smells like coffee with a hint of sweetness and a touch of alcohol.

Its tastes strongly of coffee with a balance of chocolate. Its a great combination of sweet and bitter.

A very fine stout.

 371 characters

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