Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

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

3,511 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,511
Hads: 11,235
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 486
Gots: 2,279 | 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: 3,511 | Hads: 11,235
Photo of Windigo
4.71/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I don't know if I've been so pleasantly surprised by a dark....and I do mean DARK beer, ever in my life. It had that nifty rich head, which is a walnut color and it sat thick and tidy on top of the brew. The color was as black as night and very smooth feeling for something I was expecting to be heavy and syrupy. The powerful coffee opener was magical, there was NO BITTER BITE at the tail end. I was entranced. I broke out some organic white chocolate bark from Baltimore with almonds and blueberries it. The pairing was incredible. I don't get this excited about beers. I can't wait to carry it at the bar!!! (611 characters)

Photo of NickT2121
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - poured into snifter. Poured a dark dark almost burnt motor oil color. With a mocha 1 head with small bubbles. Head diminished quickly. The color was solid black with almost no Amber or Moahagany at the bottom lacing very thick

S - very malty chocolate notes, plum, brown sugar, boozey scent, vanilla, coffee, burnt grains. Very complex and amazing smells

T - Roasted malts upfront with a chocolate coffee taste on the end with caramel sweetness. So goood. The finishing taste changes to me. I get vanilla one sip, caramel the other, malt and coffee the other

M - thick silky creamy feel very heavy. This Stout is very bubbly.

O - this imperial Stout is a sipper and is very good. The flavors are always changing on my palate and always amazed by every sip. The only thing not making it perfect was the carbonation it was overwhelming at first but after letting it sit for a bit the flavors busted and the carbonation died down.. Great stout

Enjoy (957 characters)

Photo of johnnyd10vt
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic imperial stout. Smooth and creamy, complex palate, and well-balanced enough to keep the 8% ABV from being overwhelming. Arguably the best stout I've had this year. (173 characters)

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

appearance is a dark brown to black with brown head that foamed nicely at first with a few large bubbles developing.
aroma is of dark roasted barley and hints of coffee.
tastes very much a coffee with what seems to me a hint of dark fruits. an alcohol pepperiness is quite apparent. the beer finishes with the same peppery flavour that eases into a strong hoppy bite. very enjoyable. (387 characters)

Photo of astrasday
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. Near black. One finger, khaki head retains well with a nice lacing.

Smell. Dark chocolate, raisins, roasted malts, vanilla, biscuit and hints of alcohol.

Taste. Coffee is the most present on the palate. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, biscuits and hops. There is also some serious booze going on in here, especially when it warms up a bit. Very warming taste. Lovely.

Mouthfeel. Full bodied, creamy, smooth with a nice amount of carbonation to give it a strong backbone.

Drinkability. This is a potent offering that drinks easy but certainly one that I need to pace myself with. I see myself finishing this off after a nice big meal as a desert. Taking my time, savoring the flavors and let the warmth it has to offer wash over me. (781 characters)

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

Was looking for another beer when I spotted this gem. Having only heard of it's wonders, I immediately bought a bottle.

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Beer was not super chilled, but still fairly cold.

First impression, WOW!! Super dark color. Nice dark head of about 2.5".

The head dissippated as I wrote the start of the review. Smells wonderful, like a strong oatmeal/imperial.

Lacing appears to be very prevalent.

first sip...had to take 2. Very complex. Nice sweetness to go with the hops. subtle chocolate and carmel. Nice big finish with a touch of spiciness. Big round oatmeal taste.

I wish I had bought the pack now instead of just a single.

Mouthfeel is thick, but not too heavy. Although it's a super complex flavor, it's still easy to drink. The finish sits very long.

I may have found one of my new favorite beers.

**edit**

I can imagine cellaring this beer and it will only grow. Some bottle time on this would be nice. (964 characters)

Photo of carp420
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

longtime beer drinker, first time reviewer

poured into a pint glass, this liquid comes out damn near black with a brown frothy head two fingers deep that lingers on the top somewhat and laces the glass all the way down

it smells like a nice stout, immediately the roasted malts come to the nose followed by a nice coffee smell, can barely smell the boose

very good flavor to this beer, mainly near burnt malts ,lots of coffee, creamy dark chocolate incorporated with a nutty flavor, the high abv doesn't affect the flavor of of the beer

feels perfect in the mouth, not to thick, a nice big creamy beer.

not a session beer but i could drink alot more of these beers and i will (680 characters)

Photo of vegantreats
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a glass, this beer was darker then my cast iron skillet. Truly beautiful color to this beer!
Almost no head was left a minute after pouring, just a slight ring around the glass. Though, immediately after pouring a light brown foaminess was present.
The notes in this beer changed throughout, upon pouring I was hit with an oceany seaweed saltiness which, after a minute, turned into heady roasted chocolate malt scent. Finally I was left with a slight hint of burnt coffee. A deep inhalation will let the drinker take note of the alcohol present.
This beer is thick with an almost creamlike consistency.
The taste; wow, even a minute after a sip of this beer my taste buds feel like they are fizzing with flavor, very deep strong taste throughout the whole palate.
This is a great beer if you like stouts, if you don't like very heavy heady beer, I wouldn't even try this beer. Personally, I love stouts, and have very rarely had a stout better then this one, in fact only one comes to mind, though it isn't available where I live.
I would, and do, drink this beer often. This is by far the best stout available in Hawaii! (1,156 characters)

Photo of jjhbrfdds
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black as coal with a tiny head,smells of coffee and roasted malts a small bite of cocoa,This is a well balanced stout lots of malt and hop character,just the right amount of alcohol on the exhale,easy drinker readily available and fair priced make this a cornerstone in my fridge (285 characters)

Photo of EA728
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: nice black color with a brown/tan head that fades immediately.

S: chocolate, coffee, with just a bit of hops

T: smooth chocolatey, hints of toffee, subtle hops, and an after taste of very mild booze

M: very enjoyable, medium high carbonation, but not thick at all.

O: very nice RIS, not my favorite, but perfect for a social gathering. will come back to this RIS. (371 characters)

Photo of EricHeff
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the Old Rasputin bottle. It just looks like a manly beer.
It pours out a dark dark brown color with about 1 fingers worth of light brown head. The smells are amazing.
The taste is pretty darn good. Defiantly one of the better Imperial Stouts out there. Its complex, but not too much. Subtle hints in chocolate are there and then gone and it leaves you with a warn alcohol taste. You get a great carbonation that makes this beer very drinkable. (451 characters)

Photo of homersimpson67
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Since it is 36 degrees and snowing on this lovely May 1st day here in Minnesota
thought perhaps this bottle of stout might be appropriate and was I right.

Poured a twelve ounce bottle of this lovely black and brownish brew into my favorite
drinking vessel. A beautiful lingering brownish copper foam that settles quickly with a little lacing on the sides. It then settles and bubbles of alcohol rise to the surface.

Smells of roasted coffee and maple bacon, very inviting indeed on a cold winter(spring) evening.

Taste is a wonderful bitter with a smooth chocolate smoke aftertaste, not normally such a huge malt guy but damn this is good right now!

Hits my tongue with a sharp bitterness that quickly fads to sweetness and maybe even some black cherry.

Overall very impressive, and at 9% very drinkable, goes down very smoothly, yes sir I may have another.

Thanks to my beer guy for this one, I will pick up more asap! (928 characters)

Photo of Beertinez
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet glass. It pours extremely thick like oil. A deep chocolate brown that looks black until its held up to the light. A mocha color head with about 2 fingers worth of head that eventually disappears into a half-finger head.

As soon I poured it, I got a bitter chocolate aroma. As It warms while I'm sipping, I'm getting scents of darker fruits like this dark red wine I once had. Kind of like plums.

The taste is nice and bold! A strong roasted flavor comes through and as It finishes, it combines with the earthy hop notes that kind of tickled my tongue. Very enjoyable. Like the aroma, as it warms, I'm starting to get those dark fruits. Plum and a touch raisin. It starts to finish like a wine. The alcohol is starting to come out a little but it gives you a pleasant warming feeling.

Thick yet strangely easy to drink. 9% ABV and as it warms, you can definitely sense it.

A very well-crafted stout. I had an Imperial Stout before and was not impressed but this brew definitely redeemed the style in my books. I wish I had some of this during the blizzard we had recently here in Chicago because this feels like a great beer to have in the cold. Highly recommended! (1,210 characters)

Photo of ccoyle
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a chilled pint glass. I read on BA somewhere that chilled glasses are no-no, but I like them, so what can I say?

Appearance: VERY dark brown, almost black, almost completely opaque. Pouring into the glass produced a good 2" of tan head that lasted a long while and left very persistent lacing.

Smell: One of the weaker points for me, perhaps because I didn't use the requisite glass type. Definitely the coffee/chocolate smell typical of the type, but not pronounced.

Taste: Coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt. A moderate hoppiness followed by a surprising citrus-like tanginess. Definitely good stuff.

Feel: Velvety smooth and lightly carbonated.

Overall: Lives up to the hype, in my estimation (such as that is). The relatively high ABV kinda sneaks up on you - you don't notice it at all for the first half a glass, but you definitely don't want to chug one before heading off to do anything requiring good coordination! (951 characters)

Photo of shu
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

i saw the word 'wow' in more than one review and i agree completely. took me a while to get around to trying this but it will definitely be on my regulars list from now on. understand, i only gave this beer a 4.75 b/c i don't believe the 'perfect' beer exists...but this is VERY close. i am typically an ale guy but really like the stouts. as far as i'm concerned this moved past my favorite ales. just an overall satisfying experience. northcoast has got something going on for sure...i was already a fan of brother thelonious. (528 characters)

Photo of Nostrajonus
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A-Dark brown pour with a two finger creamy tan head that sticks around for the long haul. Foamy thick lacing follws the beer down to the bottom as you drink.

S- Rich roasted malts with some subtle dark chocolate smells.

T- This thing is mallllty. The grain really comes through, and the dark chocolate smell is present on the palate as well.

M- The texture is perfect. The nitrogen conditioning gives this brew a creaminess that is unbeatable. Full points for mouthfeel.

O-This is a great beer. Anyone who thinks Guinness is stout (I love Guinness, but lets be honest) should drink this wonderful North Coast creation, and reevaluate. (639 characters)

Photo of sheeley
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The appearance is the most memorable aspect of this beer for me. Especially on tap, it really exemplifies what I feel an imperial stout should look like. The body is black as night and the head is beautiful and creamy, with a tint of dark red/purple. That tint in the foam is one of the most telling signs for me. Loved this beer: dark, creamy, malty, and delicious. One of my top five beers currently. Highly recommended for any and all stout lovers. (451 characters)

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

This beer looks amazing. Held up to a light, it's dark as can be. The thick head, with its copper color, contrasts beautifully. Caramel and chocolate aromas and some others I can't quite pin. Plenty to think about with each sip. Mouth feel is nice and creamy, which complements the chocolate flavors. It's like a lightly carbonated mudslide. I give a 4 instead of 5 on taste because I feel it's a tad too bitter. I like bitter but with the chocolate creaminess my tongue goes looking for sweetness, which makes the bitterness come as a shock. Overall, though, I find this a really great beer that keeps my senses engaged from start to finish. (642 characters)

Photo of 50wolves
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a dimpled beer mug, pours very dark with small head that is brown. I find this a more astringent beer than most stouts, flavour is stronger than more recently tasted stouts as well. Would recommend for a drink however if have had better stouts, namely stone imperial. (279 characters)

Photo of cyraxx
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a light brown creamy head that is very inviting. I have to be a little lenient on the aroma because some is lost when a beer is served via nitrogen. All I can discern is roasted malts with a slight licorice edge. The flavor is somewhat muted with burnt malt, chocolate, and a slight metallic flavor. The nitrogen thins out what would normally be a substantial body. I usually feel that what is lost in putting a beer on nitro is made up for with the creaminess that is imparted. In the case of Old Rasputin, I really would stick to drinking it with normal CO2. While tasty, not as good as the original. (619 characters)

Photo of Deadstar
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite Russian Imperials for a few different reasons; it's one of the more affordable offerings in the style, it's very tasty, and while not the most over the top or out of the ordinary, it's dang solid.

I poured this out of the bottle into a snifter. The color is almost black, minus some deep amber around the outside of the glass. The head faded away quickly, leaving only a remnant of itself to float around on top of the beer.

Smell: Dark fruits, roasted malt.

Taste: Much like the smell would indicate, there's a lot of dark/dried fruit flavor here, followed up with a solid roasted malt backbone; hop bitterness was right where it needed to be.

Mouthfeel: Relatively light but slick, leaves the mouth coated between drinks. Carbonation was spot on for the style.

Drinkability: I could drink a few of these in a sitting, but I feel that the strong flavors and the higher ABV would limit me to one or two.

Solid beer, very affordable. Great stuff. (979 characters)

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

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Dark, dark brown with very nice, light tan head that had great retention for it's style.

Sweet malty smell with beautiful roasted coffee hints.

Full, rich flavor of roasted malts. Lots of coffee and chocolate with a little fruitiness. Almost wish there was just a little more bitterness, but this really is almost perfect.

Not really thick, just a great creamy mouthfeel.

I don't know if I could find a more "drinkable" RIS. I really want to find this on draught now. (513 characters)

Photo of BenJames1984
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First time trying this. After hearing a lot of hype and rants, I've decided to give her a whirl.

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance- Black as night. Tan colored head lingers on the surface, leaving a nice lacing.

Smell- Coffee notes. Roasted malts. A nice, bitter sweet aroma.

Taste- A complexity of coffee, chocolate, and sweet, roasted malts.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, with low-medium carbonation.

Drinkability- This one was pretty strong. Good stuff, but this is definitely an occasional beer for me. (507 characters)

Photo of Chapter40z
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Extremely dark and completely opaque, A full 2 fingers of dark brown head, retained well and left a solid line of lacing.

S. Yeasty bread smell at first , then graduated to a roasted coffee.

T. Strong roasted notes of coffee and nutty backgrounds. Covers the 9% abv very nicely. A very solid imperial stout.

M. Not overly carbonated, slightly creamy with a full heavy body.

D. Very drinkable almost dangerously so with a 9% abv, I'd likely finish this 4 pack and still be willing to drink another. Great beer would recommend. (532 characters)

Photo of smulkowski
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

For some reason, this bottle was more highly carbonated than usual. Billowing tan head over a jet black beer, dissipating relatively quickly. The smell is a bit sweet, but mostly thick roasty malt, with a burnt edge.

Flavor is roasty, thick and rich, with some alcohol burn. Vague undercurrents of fruit, pronounced with the warming of the beer. Not as complex as many RIS beers, but excellent, especially when compared to the widely distributed examples.

Mouthfeel is relatively thick, as would be expected, but still may be a bit thin for the style. This is a very enjoyable beer - I think it might be a good example for neophytes to very strong dark beers. If you're a greenhorn and are looking to expand your beer-drinking, check this one out. (783 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,511 ratings.