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

3,576 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,576
Hads: 11,612
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 532
Gots: 2,606 | 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
Reviews: 3,576 | Hads: 11,612
Photo of AmorousAngel
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured opaque black with a small brownish head. Small brownish ring remained around the glass for most of the life of the drink.

Predominantly coffee and alcohol aroma with hints of chocolate.

Lovely roasted malt flavor and coffee followed by stong hops. The flavor really lingers for a while after each sip.

Very smooth feel, with just a bit of a burn from the alcohol.

Not as heavy as some imperial stouts I've tried. Very good for sipping. I would probably rate this higher if the hops were a little less apparent.

 529 characters

Photo of baxterbrew
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So, I'm about to brew a RIS so I thought I'd stop at the local beer store. Picked up this crazy looking bottle with the cursing Rasputin on the label.

Poured it out into a pint glass and it is darker than dark...blacker than black. A hint of red when brought to a bright light. The head is voluptuous but fades quickly with minimal lacing.

The smell is pure, unadulterated malt with a hint of come hither alcohol. I was a little intimidated but it drew me in. It said, 'come closer, I won't hurt you."

The taste is very complex. There is a strong coffee/espresso taste upfront and you can definitely get the hops - they are kickin' maybe a little too much (dry hopped maybe?). Very astringent, almost made me want to pucker. The thing that really surprised me was the overwhelming sweetness of the aftertaste. Sugary almost overpowers the hops. You're left with a mix of the sweet and the bitter. Nice warmness in the belly when the alcohol rams its way home. One of those beers that makes you sit and think on what made this happen.

Mouthfeel is there and very heavy but not as heavy as one would think in a beer this heavy. There is an oily component but the astringency drives it away.

Drinkability- wouldn't want to drink more than a couple. Might be scary!

A very good beer especially given the style. This one is a good one to show new BAs. So much going on.

 1,385 characters

Photo of roscoehnj
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Georgous, black, nice big head.

However you smell it before you see it. Really big nose with coffee, choclate and the usual suspects.

Nice roasted coffee and dark alcohol (scotch or bourbon) taste with a long finish. Big hop bite on the finish too. I love hops but they may be a bit overdone here (don't think I've ever said that before).

Mouthfeel is big and rich.

An excellent RIS. I like this a lot but it as not as complex as the very best.

 449 characters

Photo of parkeak0
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Most certainly one of the best known and most loved RIS, as evidenced by the 2000+ reviews before this one. One of the beers that got me into the craft scene. Dark as night, rich, immensely complex, it doesn't get much better than this for the style. Chances are, you've had it before, but if you haven't, I highly recommend it.

 328 characters

Photo of myost88
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first ever Review and also my first ever RIS!

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a British Imperial Pint.

Appearance- completely black with no hints of anything else even when held to light. Head poured just over two inches and is dark brown, very chunky. Leaves lace all down the glass as you drink

Smell- Coffee, Dark roasty malts. Two big surprises for me. Considering everything I've read or heard about the style, I didn't expect the hops in the nose (though it is certainly welcome). Also, not as much chocolate as I expected.

Taste- Ah there's the chocolate I missed in the smell! Very malty with a nice little hop bitterness coming through on the back of the tongue. Extremely balanced and very tasty!

Mouthfeel- Rich, thick, and creamy just like a stout should be. This however takes it to that next level of creaminess. It reminded me of drinking egg nog if that makes sense.

Drinkability- You wouldnt know it was 9% unless you read the label. Alcohol is hidden very well. This is very rich and definately a slow sipping beer. Left me wanting another!

 1,068 characters

Photo of Rchap1
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle to a straight-sided pint glass.

A: Black, black black. Almost oily. Not too thick of a head (think the color of those brown Carhartt pants), but it laced wonderfully and stuck around to the last sip.

S: You can definitely smell the alcohol in this one. I'd say that's the dominant smell, but there's coffee and malt there too. Maybe a tiny hint of orange too.

T: This is pretty much what I rate the flavor of other RIS's from. My standard, if you will. Pretty boozy, and the kind of flavor that makes you shudder a little bit. I love it! The finish is full of coffee and bitter chocolate.

M: Very, very full mouthfeel. Pretty light on the carbonation, but it's very full.

D: Be careful with this one, 'cause it'll knock you on your ass. I can handle maybe two of these in a sitting, but it's almost a challenge. It's such a powerful beer that it can be tough to hve more than one sometimes.

 911 characters

Photo of BigBigPickle
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a beer!!!

Sitting at the bar in Yia Yia's - Lincoln, Nebraska. A dark night wet with rain and melting snow. And this place, a holy beacon for a traveler stranded in Lincoln ...

But I digress. The first beer I ordered was Old Rasputin. Not sure why I haven't picked this up yet. I truthfully was unaware it was so easy to find in my hometown, Chicago.

A beautiful pour - dark chocolate with a toasty tan topper. A gorgeous beer, smelling strongly of chocolate with a hints of coffee and fruit esters.

The first sip is eye-opening as this is a big beer wit great coffee and enormous chocolate notes right up front. It also possesses an amazing hoppy front and a velvety smooth finish. I kid you not, this is so thick and full it tastes like dirt would taste if dirt tasted good.

Drink up my friends, this is a beer to fill your fridge, share with friends, and cherish until it is no longer with us.

 908 characters

Photo of zee3are0
3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

An impressive example of a Russian Stout.

A - Dark!

S - Rich in scent, the malts overpower the hops, as is proper with a good stout

T - Almost "meaty" it's so rich. This beer is to roasted grains what Stone IPA is to hops - a clear example of when excessive still isn't too much.

M - The tang at the end of the sip is offset by the pleasant feel of light carbonation. Ideal.

 378 characters

Photo of cgmees
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

A - Very very dark with tan/brown head the quickly leaves

S - Good aroma of Coffe, chocolate a bit of alcohol

T - Taste is very similar to the aroma, first taste slightly bitter, but smoothed up nicely thereafter.

M - Mouth feel was full bodied but with enough creamy texture to make it smooth.

D - Very well done and will be drunk again.

 358 characters

Photo of CascadeConan
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As you would expect the beer is opaque with a decent tan head that leaves a bit of lacing as you go.

The nose is full of chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, sweet toffee and a bit of smoke.

The taste differs greatly from some of the bigger stouts I've been drinking lately, a whole lot of burnt grains and hops up front mellowing through the chocolate and coffee with a warm, dry finish. Lots of big flavors going on, huge role played by the hops (75 IBUs) in this stout along with the grains to make this deliciously bitter but the body remains fairly thin for 9% ABV, not as velvety as you would hope.

Verdict? Great stout, this had a lot of hype behind it and for the most part it lived up to all I counts and was a divergence from my expectations which made this a whole lot more interesting to drink. This is the kind of beer that will get you through those cold winter nights in the kremlin.

 901 characters

Photo of mattjv
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours pitch black, looks like an eclipse held up to a bright light. Frothy and robust 2 finger tan head.

S-Sweet malty backbone, accented by many other aromas. Roasted coffee, sweet chocolate, and dark fruit are all present. Solvent alcohol presence lingers in the background.

T-Starts off with thick malt presence, semi-sweet chocolate and nutty flavors. Not as sweet as the aroma hinted at. Roasted malts quickly come in strong with assertive coffee and smoky
bitterness. Herbal hops on the finish with another round of bitterness. Mild alcohol spice and warmth, for 9% it is kept very well in check. Aftertaste is smoky and slightly dry.

M- Assertive carbonation, prickly on the tongue. Thick and silky smooth mouthfeel, drinks similar to an oatmeal stout.

O-A great imperial stout, satisfying on every measure. Tons of flavor without anything overwhelming, highly recommended.

 894 characters

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

A - Pours the color of oil, with a nice 3 musketeer inside colored head. Beautiful lacing down my tulip glass.

S - Strongly of roast and dark roasted coffee. I slight alcohol tinge, that becomes more apparent as it warms. Dark chocolate present towards the end.

T - Starts with a nice hit or roast, with some chocolate notes early. Bit of alcoholic bite follows with a very wonderful DARK roasted coffee flavor to finish. Taste lingers on the tongue just like a nice sip of joe.

M - Perfectly carbonated, but not too syrupy and thick like some RIS can be. Lingers for quite awhile with its powerful coffee taste.

O - Wonderful readily available RIS. A great go to for those cold nights (or early mornings). For what its worth I do not notice alot of chocolate, but my friend who hates chocolate thinks its very potent and avoids it just for a heads up.

 856 characters

Photo of Valmor88
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with a chocolate colored head that takes up half of the glass at first. Excellent head retention. You could take a shower and come back and it would still be there.

S: Roasted malts and chocolate and prevalent. Coffee/caramel and alcohol hints are the next most noticeable. Near the end there are some fruity esters, but I can't identify what kinds.

T: Toasty flavor. Dark chocolate with coffee/toffee and alcohol. Again, something fruity at the finish, but it's underscored by the big roasted coffee flavor also at the finish. Wow.

M: Full bodied. You get some warmth from the alcohol, but it's certainly in the background to all of the flavors.

O: One of the better Russian Imperial Stouts that I've had. Very easy to drink.

 748 characters

Photo of RappAttack
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown with a tan head the eventually dissipates

S: rosted coffee with a hint of vanilla

T: vary malty with some coffee and vanilla mixed in, nice bitter finish

M: thinner than others i have had almost refreshing like the way chocolate milk is

O: one of my favorites,when i dont feel like spending money on founders Breakfast stout this is my close second

 366 characters

Photo of workingclassbrew
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into a pint glass. Centimeter of brown cream, mash head. Nice thick lace clings still on the glass.

The smell of good cold coffee. Ripe black figs, and malt.

Dry on the tongue from start to finish. The sweetness is subdued by the dryness. Molasses, fig, good black rum, hops. Warm alcohol, and bourbon in the finish as the stout warmed.

I wanted something to chew on tonight, and got it with this fine malt. All I can picture is this brew coming out of a old dark stained sticky cask on a whaling ship. I believe I have taken a hour to finish this pint. It lingers on the tongue like a cigar from the night before, in a good way. Spectacular.

 663 characters

Photo of BSK_ONE
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown as you would expect from a stout. Creaming long lasting head
S: honestly, didn't smell more than the whiffs of coffee and chocolate
T: Here is where the experience changes. First sip, first 3 seconds, nothing. I was thinking, blah. Then the flavor explosion happened! Complex, rapidly changing tastes. Coffee, caramel, dark fruits, some alcohol, some sweetness. Delicious!
M: Warm, smooth, complete.
O: Really like this beer a lot. It's complexity is what sets it apart. The flavored change dramatically 3 times.

 531 characters

Photo of geofort78
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tottaly black beer with a thick tan head. Smell is toasted malt and coffe. Full body. A little sweet at first, followed for toast and coffe. Alcohol present at the end. Persistent aftertaste of coffe. Very nice beer and good drinkability.

 238 characters

Photo of PZuke
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice black Imperial stout body with a slightly tan head. It smelled like coffee and a little bit of chocolate. The taste was very smooth with light carbonation and a very heavy taste of coffee/espresso and a little bit of chocolate. I could see how the coffee taste could be overpowering for some. I’m not a huge stout fan but I could actually drink a couple of these and have no problem. A brew that even Rasputin himself could be proud of.

 444 characters

Photo of bighoppymonster
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an absolute opaque black with a thin tan head which laces the glass nicely. Equal amounts of roasted malty goodness and alcohol in nose, maybe some traces of sweetness as well. Again, roasted maltiness in taste with very strong coffee like flavours. Very sweet and alcoholic in taste. However, it is very smooth and drinkable. Definately full bodied and very rich. Overall, a very impressive brew. Very strong in both character and abv. One of my favourites in the style, although I am none too experienced with imperial stouts.

 534 characters

Photo of jorjoria
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus Chalice.

A: The beer pour a rich slightly transparent dark brown. The carbonation is very light and only about a cm of light brown head formed and the quickly dissipated after pouring. The beers carbonation continued to be released from the bottom of the glass as I consumed.

S: Great light chocolate orders with a hint a alcohol as well as some coffee note. Not all that overpowering.

T: Just an incredibly rich malty flavor hit you right away. There are some great coffee notes to beer particularly in the after taste. I also really enjoy how this beer was hopped its not overpowering and complement the other flavors quit nicely.

M: The creaminess of this beer is amazing. I coat the inside of the mouth with just a wonderful array a flavor and complexity.

Note: This beer is great out of the bottle but was a huge treat when I had it for the first time on tap.

 919 characters

Photo of TheBeerWolf
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Between this and Stone Russian Stout I am now a fan of the this style. The beer pours like black crude. Thick and dark with creamy tan head. Smelling immeditely after opening the bottle I definately get a smell of smoke, chocolate, and malt. The taste is slightly bitter at first but then goes on to sweet smokiness. Hints of smoked almonds and a bit of coco. You can definately taste the alcohol in the background. Moutfeel is not bad at all either. I prefer Stone Russian Stout by just a hair because the Russian Stout has just a tiny but more alcohol bite which I prefer. But don't get me wrong I would drink either happily. The drinkability is a tiny bit better with Old Rasputin but some of that might be because it comes in smaller bottles so its a little more cold then having a 22 of Stone sitting there getting warm.

 825 characters

Photo of Surefire
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a serious stout, that has a lot going for it. It is NOT a one-dimensional bitter bomb like Guinness. Instead, you get hit with a nice combo of sweet, bitter, and tart.

A: Practically pitch black. This looks like a serious hard core stout.

S: Bitter coffee, caramel, toasty

T: Bitter coffee, chocolate, caramel, slight brown sugar, nutty

M: Big, bold body with balanced but moderate carbination.

D: Drinkable one at a time, or perhaps up to 2. A little too big of a beer to drink a lot at once, and the alchohol content approaches weak wines.

Overall, an outstanding stout that is very nicely balanced and multi-dimensional.

 639 characters

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

I would like to start with the label. Pretty darn cool label. A little weird having Mr Rasputin staring at me while I drank his beer. North Coast Brewing Company has put out some nice labels.
a-dark molasses with a nice smoky brown head.
s-a slight alcohol scent, maybe some chocolate with a touch of burnt molasses.
t-good amount of hops, chocolate, touch of alcohol on the finish.
m- creamy but with a good amount of fiz.
d- I only bought one and wish I had bought more. Only MGDs left in the fridge. Oh well, in this economy a $6 six pack of MGDs seem to beat out a $10 four pack of Old Rasputin. I'm glad I can try at least one.

 633 characters

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

Got this at a local grocery, in a 4pk of 12-oz. bottles. Not cheap.

This beer? This is the bad-ass that Rasputin was. It completely lives up to its name. Poisoned, shot multiple times and stuffed down an ice-hole into a freezing river... that's what it took to kill Rasputin, the mad monk.

This sucker pours black as night and thickish, not a lot of carbonation that I could see or taste. Tan rocky head for days, and lasting; some lace. Smells like dark chocolate and coffee and dark roasty malt, strong and black. Black like the pit of Hades that Rasputin probably occupies now...

Taste? This sucker is not hiding the fact that it's strong on the alky. Oh no. No Belgian deception for Rasputin. It's bad and strong and dark.. this is Mike Tyson in a bottle. Chocolate and coffee and the usual stout suspects, only magnified and amped. Only sessionable if you're over 6 feet tall and about 200+ pounds. Otherwise? Do so at your own risk. It'll go down, because it's stoutily-smooth, but BEWARE.

(I did like this, but am in awe of its strength. This is one to respect, for sure. And enjoy, AND bless the beer-gods for.)

 1,123 characters

Photo of moz9
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent stout. Poured a 12oz bottle into an English tulip pint. Pours black w a thick brown head. It's not a motor oil pour like w some heavier stouts.

The smell is chocolate w the slightest hint of coffee. Not overly nutty or malty / smoky like other stouts.

The taste and mouthfeel are great. It's fairly light bodied bit yet the finish is warm and memorable. The aftertaste really settles well and is probably the best quality of this beer.

As the bros said in their review this is the perfect chill beer. Very drinkable stout.

 549 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,576 ratings.