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

3,511 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,511
Hads: 11,228
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 478
Gots: 2,272 | 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: 11,228
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: i think i can see through it but thats my mind playing light tricks again. orangey-mocha head with remnants of carbonated activity on the surface. probably has some bubbles in the body.

aroma: chocolate syrup malt and wood. surprisingly light in the nose and this lessens my fear of such a monster brew.

mouthfeel: wow. tingling from what appears to be hops, powerful cringing bitterness from dark roasted coffee grounds. nutty. sweetness and tartness back it all up and add balance. alcohol becomes noticable in the taste after a few sips, definitely unwelcome. strongly flavored with little-to-no lingering obscenity or bitterness that i would associate with spoil.

delicately balanced, a true achievement. (729 characters)

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

A very pleasant imperial stout. Pours nice and dark into the glass, with a very nice tan and foamy head. The head retention was brief. But a bit of swirling easily recreates the head for enjoyment, with each raising. Smell is a wonderful mixture of malt sweetness, bitter hops, and alcohol. The taste is much more than pleasant. However, at very limited points the alcohol content is unmasked, something my palate prefers not to notice-but this does not detract from the wonders of this fine beverage. A enjoyable mouthfeel...a thick enough beverage. exceptional drinkability! Certainly worth seeking out and sampling. Enjoy! (625 characters)

Photo of dungaree
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a smooth dark black color with a creamy head. Smells of toasted malt, hoppy bite, and alcohol. Tastes of bitter hops, alcohol, warmth, chewy, malty, and thick. Finishes with taste of alcohol and hoppy flavor. The alcohol hits quickly and stays a long time. Excellent beer. (278 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Completely opaque blackness with a brown, two finger head. Nice.

Really rich bitter malt smell. Roasted chocolate and espresso and burnt barley. Deep and strong and complex.

Roasted barley and alcohol dominate all the way through while dark chocolate flavor sweeps in up front, coffee in the back followed by hops and an earthy tobacco aftertaste. Fantastic.

This is an easy drinking RIS, too. Easily one of the best you're going to find. (448 characters)

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

Appearance: Dark, night-ly black. Medium head that quickly dissipated after the pour into an imperial pint glass. Lots of residual lacing though.

Nose: Wow. Very rich. Roasted barley. Extra-strong coffee smells. Extremely aromatic.

Taste: Burnt coffee and well-roasted barley, unsweetened chocolate. Finish is bitter hops mingling with the well-roasted coffee tastes.

Mouthfeel: Good body. Much heavier than (say) Guinness, but lighter than (say) Victory Storm King.

Drinkability: Dangerously drinkable, esp for almost 9% ABV. Very flavorful.

Absolutely worth a drink if you like stouts. (604 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark brown--nearly black. Capped by a dense, creamy, cocoa brown head that laces the glass nicely. Beautiful. Aromas explode out of the tulip glass. Roaseted coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, and dark sugary fruit mix seamlessly with an assertive pine-accented hop component. A wonderful smelling beer! Rich, roasted malt flavors up front meld with some sweetish, overripe dark fuits. Light chocolate coffee notes pick up right before a big rush of bitter hops. Cascadey and delcious, they provide nice balance. Finish is hop bitter, with vinous notes, tannins, and some warming alcohol. An excellent, full-bodied stout, that's right up there with the best of them. (681 characters)

Photo of beertastegood
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark black with a tall creamy tan head that sticks around for a long time. Aromas of burnt coffee, malt and slight alcohol. Very intriguing.

Tastes of burnt coffee and black malt, with a pleasant bitterness and a dry finish. More carbonation than I expected, but it goes well with the flavor. The high alcohol content is not as evident as it was in the nose; I could not even discern the slightest alcohol flavor. Drinkability is understandably low - but really, one of these bad boys is all you need. A wonderfully complex and tasty stout. I will have to check out more beers from North Coast, as this was my first. (632 characters)

Photo of karst
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this"staretz," or holy man out as a absolute blackness. Only the direct sun refracts a deep mystic brown red peasant hue from its edges. Rich aromas predict assassination of the Imperial Family of beers. Born in Siberia on the banks of the Tura River and renowned for his drunkenness, stealing and womanizing were activities Rasputin in fact was developing into a rake, a man with a debauched, and endless, sexual appetite. This brew will change you in a similar way. This extreme aromatic stout is truely a liquid full of flavors. Rasputin was an advocate of the renegade sect within the Orthodox faith, the Skopsty trying to reach God was through sinful actions practicing "sin to drive out sin." A awesome brewed RIS to drive out all other RIS's this miracle worker's powerful aroma and stong flavors hypnotize and cause the bleedings for the ultimate RIS to stop. Old Rasputin will gain your undivided support.
During Rasputin's fateful last evening, the conspirators drugged, poisoned, beat and shot him. Yet the staretz survived all these and actually died by drowning when his body, wrapped in a carpet was thrown into the Moika Canal on the Neva River. As you wrap your self in its 8.9 abv rug of thick run of coffee, chocolate, dark-roasted malts and hop weave and throw yourself into its dark velvet fluid, enjoy your ultimate plunge into darkness and sinful bliss as you overthrow all other Russian imperials. (1,430 characters)

Photo of gbontrag
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

That's a figgy pudding in a glass. Thick brown beer meringue hangs around for a few minutes then dissolves. The lace is more of an old tattered quilt. That's a brown beer.
Smells like figs, like date pudding with a carmelly crust, and a small hot espresso. Don't dismiss the appearance of alcohol.
It's so carmelly and fruity and malty.... Rich, sweet raspberry, milk chocolate ganache gives way to toasted malts all dark and smokey. The alcohol twists this all up into a robust bitterness with a metallic edge. A kind beer spliff. (533 characters)

Photo of bark
3.84/5  rDev -10.3%
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 stjarnflikka
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a thick, chocolate coloured foam that stays for some time. Some carbonation running along the edges of the glass.

Smell comes on quite malty. Sweet fruit traces are present together with some sourness and chocolate. Nice alcoholic presence together with raspberries and black currant perhaps. Some hops present here aswell, perhaps grapefruit in there aswell. Dont know, just great smell on this.

Runs over tastebuds with quite so much burned malts. Chocolate mixed with coffee tones in faintly leaving place for sweet and harsh traces lifted by carbonation. Nice, fruity taste with a bitter harsh aftertaste give a nice bitter aftertaste with a warming alcoholic prescence. Sweet, yet burned and rough. Excellently balanced in there.

Really pleasant brew this rasputin. truly a masterpiece in a bottle, just missing some of that harshness and burned flavour (this is after all an imperial). Thats just being a pain in the ass though, wonderful brew, wonderful stout. (997 characters)

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

Wow, Old Rasputin greets you himself with a hand raised high (some sort of signal to those in the know), unyielding eyes and a few words left not understood. The brew on the other hand I understand as a great imperial stout. I didn't expect it.

The pour was an espresso color (oils and all) with a short lived, short head much like the tail of an espresso pour. What lace remained was like a milk mustache -- just there. The nose collected in greatness - semi-sweet chocolate mocha...thank you roasted malts. For such a dark, light filtering beverage the carbonation went throughout. The mouth was soft, round, full.

I pause to let the temperature come down a bit - to allow for all to come through and called zatte bie who was walking the Haight /Ashbury scene, filling my senses in another way.

The time warp was a wonderful excursion. Old Rasputin exceeds itself. The nose softens, the taste broadens and the sharp and/or high tones balance. All became bigger yet softened. What was initially a hoppy finish with a high squeal followed by a dry note with a metal element transformed. I found Rasputin to be balanced from nose to finish. The appropriate temp made for a most boastful review. This was a good brew. (1,226 characters)

Photo of carln26
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light absorbing black color with a thin tan head. The head leaves an intricate lace pattern down the side of the glass. The aromas of roasted malt waft up from the glass. I catch hints of the malt from a good 2 ft away. It has espresso, and black cherry notes throughout the aroma. The flavor has a plesant hop bite up front. The malt kicks in immediately after. Coffee, chocolate. I don’t catch the black cherry in the flavor. The level of bitterness and the alcohol give this an almost spicy character. Very bright, smooth mouth feel. A little too much alcohol to give it a high drinakbility, None the less a great beer. (623 characters)

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

Was able to give this brew a try the other evening, my first experience with Old Rasputin. It pored to a pitch-black color allowing no light to filter through. Had a frothy dark tan head that was slow to break down leaving a nice amount of lacing through the first half of the brew. The aromas are of dark malts, coffee or espresso, dark fruit, chocolate and a few other things that seem to be hard to pinpoint. The taste is very warming as you do notice a nice slight alcohol flavor that goes perfect with the tastes of chocolate and coffee and has the right amount of hop at the end. This is a very good brew one to be enjoyed during the cold winter. Now with the accolades for this brew here is a little take away, I do feel that I have had better Imperial Stouts in the past but this is right up there! (806 characters)

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

Pours deep black with a tight tan head that holds well. Smell is alcohol, roasted malt, chocolate, and a bit of espresso. Flavor is very nice. The alcohol comes through, but so do the big roasted malts, and the aftertaste is full of chocolaty goodness. There's a hint of citrus rind on the tongue that rounds things out nicely. And again, each sip finishes with a big chocolate burst. Medium mouthfeel complements these flavors very nicely. Surprisingly drinkable for a stout its size; I think I really dig this one! (516 characters)

Photo of beersarang
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near black with a dark tan rocky head that leaves sheets of lacing down the glass. The lace is thick and vinuous and slowly creeps down the glass. Quite nice.

The smell is of alcohol and fruit.

Flavor is of heavily roasted malts and apples. Alcohol plays into this beer rather well, and the hop bitterness brings it all together. For an imperial stout I think this one may be a bit sweet. Still quite good, mind you.

Near syrupy mouthfeel with large bubbles, big beer for sure. Pleasing to drink, and for a 9% beer it wasn't too much effort to finish a bottle. (577 characters)

Photo of Riggo
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is deep, dark brown to black and opaque. Definitely one of the darkest beers ever. Head is creamy and tight and colored a chocolately-beige. Smell is cedary, burnt ash, espresso, and olives. On palate, notes of bubblegum, bitter, dark chocolate, smoky/peaty, bitter, tangy and sweet. Finish is bitter, and fruity. Mouthfeel on this one is thick, viscous, syrupy. Impressive.

This is a big beer. Packed with character (and alcohol), it's not for the faint of heart. A first-rate sipping beer. (506 characters)

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

Black like a Spinal Tap album cover with a head that is more tan than expected. The head dissapears rather quickly and leaves thin lacing.

Hearty aromas of roasted malt and dark chocolates with some hop in the end. Very nice.

Tastes much like it smells with the hops being more pronounced in the finish. I know the alcohol is in there, but I can't taste it.

Has a very balanced, almost velvety mouthfeel. More, but not too much, carbonation than most examples of this style. Adds a nice touch that shows attention to detail on the part of the brewer.

Drinkable? Oh yeah!

I'm really impressed by what I have seen from this brewery. Rasputin was one of the more interesting characters in Russian history. Its very fitting that someone would chose to name a brew with such character after him. (805 characters)

Photo of Wonka
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 FL. OZ.
ALC./VOL. 9%

Appearance – almost flat black; nice tan head that dissipates to a thin line but is firm enough to run some light lace

Smell – roasted malts, caramel, black coffee, some black licorice and a cut of rye

Taste – roasted malts, semi-sweet chocolate and a tinge of alcohol but it hangs in the back; bitterness and roasted flavors along with the light alcohol run through the end

Mouthfeel – full; silky smooth; light wisp of carbonation; very satisfying; not too thick or too dry; this is on the mark

Drinkability – the smoothness and beautiful finish create a fabulous Russian Imperial Stout experience (644 characters)

Photo of medic25
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally found this beer in New York; tough to find in CT....
Pours a pitch black, with a slight brown head that quickly dissipates.
Delicious, roasted malt flavor. Little hint of hops; for the high alcohol volume it really isn't an overwhelming part of the flavor. Picked up a taste of raisins too. Nice smooth mouthfeel, and not a huge aftertaste. This is a beer I could see drinking all night. This was my first experience with a Russian imperial; big difference from the Irish stouts I'm used to, but definitely a beer I'd drink again. (540 characters)

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

Wish the bottle had a bottled date. It's the same as the one pictured on BA, but the words "Old Rasputin" are in black and not gold. It was also just delevered to the beer store that day, not sure how much that goes towards quality control, but at least it was not on a shelf for the past 9 months. The beer poured into the glass a midnight black in color. Light was not even making it around the edges of the beer. A finger-width head formed on top of the beer, then dissipated to ring the glass. Stringy lace would form in small amounts around the glass as well. The aroma is of malts and burnt toffee. Also, just a touch of smoke. The taste is chocolate, old coffee, and malt. Hops come through in the aftertaste. Alcohol is just slightly present in the mouthfeel, but not in such a bad way. The only problem I foresee with drinking this beer is that it is kind of overwhelming and you will lose your taste buds after too long. (930 characters)

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

Presentation: 12 oz short bottle with a drawing of Rasputin surrounded by some Russian text. No freshness (vintage?) info.

Appearance: No light getting through here - completely black, with a dark tan colored head. Fades relatively quickly to leave a thin lace.

Smell: Aroma of cocoa and coffee with a slight nuttiness.

Taste: Mmm .. yummy. Lots of roasted flavor. Smooth and drinkable despite the high ABV. Great mouthfeel - slightly thick but not overly so - low carbobnation level that works great. Some great hop flavor manages to sneak in - must have been lots in there to make it over the great malty flavors.

Overall impression: Wow .. very nice stout. This is highly drinkable for the style - great for a winter night. This would also make a fantastic companion to a nice strong cigar .. in fact, time to crack another and light up! (854 characters)

Photo of necoadam
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh yeah!

Poured out a nice solid black color with a tan head.

Smell consisted of lots and lots of coffee/espresso aromas. Roasted malts also come through. A hint of earth can be found in the background.

Taste was good. Big roasted malt flavors ride through the beginning and almost into the aftertaste. Some hops thrown in to balance it out. Big flavors in this one. The coffee comes through underlying the malts in the middle. Quite nice.

Mouthfeel was medium to full bodied. Carbonation was on the light side to make the flavors show up.

A nice evening sipper for sure. Didn't except to see the flavors to show so much muscle. A nice surprise. (661 characters)

Photo of dauss
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 fl.oz. brown bottle. Picture of Rasputin on the label, with Russian words. No freshness date or stamp. Says it is 9% ABV, even though on North Coast's website it says its 8.9%.

Appearance: Pitch black. Small and thick tan head. Good retention with a lot of lace.

Nose: First whiff and it is full of alcohol, almost burns the nose. Chocolate and burnt and acrid roasted malt smell. Probably has a lot of Black Patent.

Taste: Starts with sweet maltiness. Upfront alcohol bitterness. Very roasty, tons of chocolate and some coffee. Light bitterness throughout, and sweet finish.

Notes: Tasty, a little solventy alcohol flavors, definitely needs some cellaring. (686 characters)

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

An exceptional imperial stout. Pours almost like a viscous expresso with very little head out of the bottle. Smell is overwhelmingly 'chocolate' like with a slight coffee aroma. My first impression when sipping it is hops and lots of hops. I prefer my imperial stouts with a strong hop backbone to support the loads of roasted malts otherwise the alcohol presence is overwhelming and they tend to be on the 'sweet side'. In this case there is a great balance and the alcohol isn't as noticeable. Overall is very similar to Storm King Stout by Victory Brewing. I highly recommend this beer to any imperial stout fan. (615 characters)

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