Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

10,387 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,387
Reviews: 3,402
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 357
Gots: 1,587 | FT: 47
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001)
View: Beers (22) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,387 | Reviews: 3,402 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of keanex
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought this at a local Canals while sampling new beers. I've heard good things so I figured I'd check it out.

This is beautiful looking beer, black with a thick tan head that gets very uneven at the top, rather bumpy. The head is strong, lasts a decent time, doesn't disappear like some beers. Grabs to the side of my pint glass.

Smell was actually rather weak, but a slight chocolate scent, very pleasant. The taste is rather brilliant, this is a very balanced beer with little alcohol taste, especially for a 9% beer. Slight chocolate flavor to it, much like the scent. Feels great in the mouth, slightly thick and lingers for a bit. This beer is highly drinkable, I could gladly enjoy two or more.

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another beauty on tap at House of 1,000 Beers in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a shaker: a thick black, no highlights I noticed. Thin but foamy tan head, soft gauzy lacing.

Smells of dark chocolate & roast coffee, mild booze, with a marshmellow sweetness backing it up.

Taste is rich & complex: smooth chocolate & caramel up front, quickly turns roasted & slightly bitter, then rounds out & become sweet & creamy like chocolate meringues. Alcohol brings some heat. Ends up very toasty & even in the aftertaste -- full of flavor without wearing out the tastebuds.

Mouthfeel is smooth & creamy, full-bodied. Some heat & bite from the booze.

This is a great beer, but powerful. Consume with caution. I thoroughly enjoyed this, but one is satisfying.

Photo of jhtipton
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours like I am changing my oil but hey, it is an imperial stout. Appearance: extremely dark!
Smell: smells good to me
Taste: Definitely a stout, taste some chocolate hints and malt
Mouthfeel: Fells fine!
Drinkability: The first one goes down good but at 9% ABV I wouldn't recommend more than two at a sitting.

North Coast has done a good job with this, I will definitely be hunting for this again.

Photo of OnThenIn
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A finger of dark tan head on top of a beautiful ebony beer. Lacing is left behind and the head dissipates slowly.

Smell: Big roasty aroma with malt sweetness in the background. A bit of coffee aroma and some chocolate as well. There is a tiny bit of dark fruit, like raisin apparent.

Taste: The flavor is very rounded and well mixed. There is a bitter roastyness to the finish, but through there is almost a oatmeal stout like flavor. The sweet malt is really balanced by the roast bitterness and there is a certain dark chocolate flavor to the beer. There is a bit of caramel flavor, which plays nicely with the chocolate, forming a coffee like flavor. Really enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a good amount of carbonation and a big full body. There is a certain smooth, silky feeling to the beer. It is definietly a sipper.

Drinkability: This beer is rather interesting. It has the mouthfeel of a huge killer RIS, but at 9% abv has a lower abv than quite a few examples of the style. I am not saying that it is sessionable by any means, but it is really nice to be able to not have to resort to a beer above 10% if I want an RIS.

This is a relaxing sipper that can just be enjoyed, while providing the complexity need for you to stay hooked.

Photo of 4000qtrap
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: Draft, 25cl

Smell: Chocolate and coffee that comes off as very lively rather than dark and somber. Toasted grains are prominent, rather than being too burnt or roasty which is unique. Also some orange oil essence and slight tobacco notes. Raisin appears as it warms and some overripe, washed rind cheese.

Taste: Incredibly intense flavors. Overall pretty dry with burnt espresso bean characteristics. 4 flavor stages . At first its very smooth and creamy like many stouts. Then the flavor accelerates becoming quite bitter and highly reminiscent of eating lightly dark chocolate malt dipped espresso beans. There are some caramelized malt notes in there too that balance nicely. Then there is a brief wave of one of the best coffee flavors in a beer I've ever had. This then progresses to an even more bitter but also very dry stage with pleasantly bitter, roasty caramelized malt profile that is delightful and intense. Lingers forever.

Notes: This beer is driven by dry espresso flavors that are simply delicious. However its not too dry so as to hurt drinkability. The roast flavors, bitterness, and sweetness all work to enhance one another and is very delicious.

Photo of ralree
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Completely black, dark brown head, great retention and lacing is decent.

S: Sweet chocolate, very rich toasted malt, some dark fruit in the background, raisins, vanilla. This one smells great.

T: Very nice smoky, toasty flavor with some nice hops. Alcohol not as noticeable as I thought it would be. After swallowing, tastes like a campfire. A bit fruity and sweet on the front-end, which is nice. Flavor stays with you for a while.

M: Thick and creamy. Carbonation slightly above average, but fine. Slightly astringent. Heavy body.

D: Alcohol starts to kick in quick with the Imperial, as it should. Goes down very easy for the style.

Photo of pnkHoody
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After drinking the XII version a while back, picking this up was a no-brainer - especially as I found it at $9.95 for a four-pack in a Victoria government liquor store (sometimes the darnedest beers turn up in BC).

This is my third bottle. Anxious about reports of a non-existent head, my first bottled was poured from 6 inches with vigorous swirling, and I ended up with the stout equivalent of an Ibiza Foam Party. This third bottle was poured on the cautious side of usual, but still produced a thick three inches of head that diminished to half a finger that stayed throughout. Lacing is thick and permanent, and it looks beautiful for it.

This smells lighter than many imperial stouts (Peche Mortel and XII are my benchmarks, however, and they are very robust) and yeast is prominent. As well as familiar burned tones, there's a deep woody odor reminiscent of an old school desk.

It's more effervescent than other RIS I've had, which explains the head. It really blooms in the mouth -- which is a bit too much at first, but it settles down after a few sips. The taste is sensational. It is very bitter, but more charcoal than hops. It avoids the sweetness many RIS ride upon, delivering 75% cocoa chocolate, powerful molasses, and baking-soda astringency.

The beer is far less complex than the XII, which makes me reflect on how beautiful that beer really was. But at this price, this is a sensational RIS that makes no mistakes. I will buy a lot of this, especially as Peche Mortel is all gone and Brooklyn Brewery Chocolate Imperial Stout is harder to come by in BC recently...

Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I don't know what took me so long to try this brew once I started exploring RIS. Could it have been the 12 oz. bottles? I think every other RIS I had previous to Old Rasputin was a bomber or, in a few cases, a special release like The Abyss, etc. Could I have been looking down my nose at that 4-pack of Old Rasputin tucked in with the IPAs, pale ales, and the like and thought, "It's just some run-of-the-mill beer"? If I was thinking this, shame on me.

It poured dark and oily with a nice chocolatey looking head. I instinctively let it warm just a bit after taking a bottle from the refrigerator. It smelled like molasses with just the hint of cloves. It tasted like milk chocolate, tobacco, and dried fruits. With the smell and first sip, I expected a syrupy mouthfeel. I was wrong --- damned brain. It had a medium body with just the right amount of carbonation.

Is there alcohol in this RIS? Couldn't taste it at all. I drank 3 of them right off. Felt the effects in the morning. Ouch.

Photo of Iloverasputin
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is my first review here, and I am a relative beer novice (I used to prefer wine). That was until I had my first taste of Old Rasputin. This beer has introduced me to the wonderful complexity and taste of craft beers.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, it appears pitch black. A wonderful, toffee colored head develops about two finger widths thick, and dissipates into a creamy top that lingers to the last drop.

Smells of chocolate and malt. Taste is much of the same with a slight hazelnutty, biscutty taste in there as well. Not much in the way of hops, but I prefer the malt taste anyway.

Mouthfeel is medium, definitely not thin, but not syrupy either. Just right imo. You don't really notice the alcohol so much in the taste, but it sneaks up on you a little bit and leaves you with a nice warm relaxed feeling.

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

appears black - really black with a beautiful thick tan head mmm

aroma is nutty hazelnuts?, roasty - coffee, choc, dark fruits - cherry, vanilla, plum, deliciousss.

tastes like a stellar stout - smooth and thick with layers of all of what was mentioned above - smooth dark fruitiness that is slowly overpowered by the dark roasted malts - coffee, toffee, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, with a deliciously bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is thick and slightly sweet with a resinous and bitter finish

Overall this is one of my favorite stouts and probably my favorite stout that is released year round. mmmm

Photo of gloriousglo2
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If the Czarina had been drinkin' Old Raspy instead of listening to his quacky advice on Hematology, history would have been much different. Poured into my Great Lakes BC pint glass, and allowed to sit for about 10 minutes to warm up. Zippo head, and black. Smells like 2 day old coffee grounds, which personally, I find appealling. Very smooth, no aftertaste, faint burnt something-or-other taste. Paid about $44 for a case.

Photo of ironchefchris
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin. I bought it for the title and the bottle and luckily the beer itself didn't disapoint. It's a traditional stout and pours super dark with a dark brown head. Smell was malty and strong and taste matched the smell perfectly. It's one of those beers that tastes pretty familiar, but it's just done very well and drinks super clean and super smooth. Unlike most stouts, this one didn't annoyingly linger in my mouth after swallowed. Some of these beers will do that and basically "film" in your mouth for a bit. This one didn't. If you like a stout, this one might be as good and consistant a stout as I've ever tried. Great beer. OLD RASPY!
*sidenote: i didn't catch much of a "dark fruit" or really much of anything but that traditional tofee malt taste. Maybe in the backend of the taste there was just a hint, but certainly not much

Photo of Pabs311
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark as night, light can't get through this it's so dark. tick, creamy creamed coffee head. Sits for about a minute or two and leaves some great lacing on the glass.

S- Coffee, toffee, dark berry fruits & some chocolate are all there. not an overpowering nose, but very pleasing. as the beer warms, it changes from one to another. complex and gives u new things every time take a smell.

T- taste has everything that the nose has. very complex and layered. the layers peel back as the beer warms. there's a little bit of bitter hoppyness in the finish. overall well balanced beer.

M/D- Very moutfilling. coats ur palate very well and is smooth finishing in comparison to some RI's i've had. All around great beer.

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

12 oz btl poured into tasting glass. Maybe one of my favorite bottle labels of all time.

Somehow I've managed to avoid this beer until now. Not sure how it happened, but I picked up a 4pak to ensure that I right this wrong.

A: Black. No light appears to be getting through this one. Beautiful mocha head with a tight bead comes from a moderately forceful pour. Head reduced to clinging lace after a minute or so. Great looking beer.

S: Dark fruit. Slightly boozy. I'm not picking up much, but this beer is still a bit cold. As the beer warms the raisiny scents yield to lighter, sweeter fruits. Candied apple and pear make an appearance.

T: Big & bold. Exactly what one would expect given the look and smell of this beer. So much flavor that its difficult to isolate specifics...very complex. Wonderful black coffee bitterness in the finish.

M: Poorly executed RIS's have a thin, spirit-like feel...Old Raspy does not. Fulfilling. Carbonation is spot on. Each sip begs for another.

D: This is a big beer, but I think it drinks exactly as it should. Alcohol isn't hidden, but it doesn't feel hotter than it should, either.

Great representation of the style. A classic that is oft overlooked b/c of the hype surrounding so many others in this class. When it comes to RIS, Raspy is a beer by which others should be measured.

Given the availability and price, there is no reason not to have some of this in your fridge. I can't believe it took me so long to try this beer.

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pretty much black, and very dense. nice deep tan two finger head. Head leaves great lacing down the glass. Smells very nice, with a great blend of chocolate, toffe, and a bit of a dark fruity smell. Taste follows suit, but with a bit more complexity. the fruit in the aroma is more prominent in the flavor, and some coffee is noticeable. I loved this stout, a fantastic brew.

Photo of twoheartedheel
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a hop head by nature, but this beer probably opened my horizons to heavy stouts and porters. Incredible smell and taste. Chocolate, coffee, toffee in massive amounts...and then it melts away in half a second.

I had no idea this was the gold standard for it's style of beer, but I certainly understand why. I had this with a tappas-style menu and 4 different plates of food, and it went fine with all 4. Obviously lends itself to desserts and pairing with nutty/dark meat dishes.

The granddaddy of Imperial stouts.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at Creekside Brewing Co. in San Luis Obispo last night.

Served in an Old Rasputin nonic.

Appearance: Pitch black body with a tall, dense, pile of brown foam on top. Head retention is a m a z i n g. While I've always loved the look of Old Rasputin, I've never seen one quite like this. The nitro does some pretty incredible things for it. Great lacing. Fantastic colors. Perfect!

Smell: Tons of roasted malt and dark chocolate with milder suggestions of coffee, pine, lactose, floral hops, and fruity esters.

Taste: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, black coffee, dulled pine, and mild burnt notes. Very roasty and robust with solid, long-lasting bitterness. Pretty intense. The nitro seems to make it roastier than normal. I like.

Mouthfeel: I think I might like this on plain CO2 better. This version is softer and creamier, but I actually miss the bite. Full, rich, and robust with a long-lasting bitter-roasty aftertaste.

Drinkability: Pretty rough, but really flavorful. This took awhile to get through, but I'll definitely be ordering it again.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Maredsous chalice.

A - Poured a thick sludgey black with a thin tan head that disappeared quickly and had slippery lacing. Black as night, even when held to the light.

S - There we go! Dark fruit medley with hints of cherry, grape and a toffee-like topping.

T - Caramel, roasted malts dominate the flavor. The alcohol and dark fruit flavors are in the background of the taste.

M - Lively vibe with a nice kick. Leaves a bittery dark chocolate-like aftertaste. Very dry.

D - Very enjoyable RIS. This is definitely one to reach for.

Photo of willPS21
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This RI stout is fantastic. The drinkability is probably higher than almost any RIS or IS or IPA I've had, or should I say any beer of 8.1%+. I like the bitterness and tang which separates it from most RI's, there is a crisper finish to me and a hint of welcome metallic tones. It almost seems like someone added a few tablespoons of Newcastle to this one. Additionally, there's a bit of sweetness which comes in the form of distinctive carmel. The texture in the mouth is a bit less viscous than the Stone, my permanent reference point, but also a bit less round and unified. Again one could say mouthfeel is heading towards Newcastle or even Guiness ever so slightly (and just slight enough). Besides that rare nutty-metallic tang, Rasputin has lovely dark malty flavors with the coffee/chocolate/toffee somewhere and just enough herbal notes to round it off. It's rare that a beer can avoid overdoing the hoppy and floral tones to my liking while still including them, and this one does it to perfection. If you're a fan of floral tones, I've noticed those flavors are more pronounced as you approach room temperature, where the beer seems more oily and chewy.

Photo of Lunch
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz. bottle purchased at the Perfect Pour in Columbia, Maryland into my North Coast snifter at the appropriate temperature (02/03/10).

A: Pours a very dark shade brown that is virtually black capped off with a tan head that rises about two fingers. Great retention and lacing.

S: Nice bouquet of chocolate, espresso, coffee, roasted malt, and dark chocolate. Good aroma , but subtle at times.

T: Flavor profile consisting of chocolate, coffee, espresso, dark bitter chocolate, and some faint citrus hops.

M: Great amount of creaminess and fullness with appropriately low carbonation. Silky and smooth.

D: This is a beer I could drink all day and considering its competitive price, this is a great value. The 9% abv. is hidden in taste, but it is still there.

Overall I this has to be one of the best fairly wide distributed Imperial Stouts on the market. Highly recommended.

Photo of rwf08
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in a tremens glass.

A: Dark, no light shines through. tight head on the edge head dissipates quickly.

S: Roasty, some alcohol, burnt sugar, and dark chocolate.

T: Same as above with a nice warming on the finish.

M: medium body, not very viscous, and dry on the finish.

D: For the style I say very drinkable. This is a sipping beer to be enjoyed over a period of time longer than a commercial break. I could sip on this all night as long as I had food.

Overall I call this a benchmark for RIS. There are better ones out there with other flavors, and techniques added but as far as a standard I'd say this is your beer. Drink this and enjoy some fondue with apples and sausage.

Photo of MOB210SA
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Regular pour resulted a single finger of deep cocoa brown head that retains great and stays a full even sheet atop. Eventally fading to a good ring. A menacing deep black in color. Almost impossible to see light through, besides when held up and peering through the top.

Absolutely delicious waves of fresh roasted coffee beans, chocolate and roasted malts. A sweet almost fruit covered chocolate, like chocolate covered strawberries is minor. Cocoa, light nuttiness. Hops are there. Similar in smell to a chocolate coffee desert. Absolutly great.

Amazing. Old Rasputin is an instant favorite. This is hands down one of the best IRS I have ever had. Just loads of chocolate deliciousness. Great chocolate covered coffee beans. Has almost a barrel aged flavor. Nice hoppy, coffee bean finish. So much complex dark flavors. Its all balanced really nicely.

Full bodied, really thick and almost syrupy. Super rich and delicious. Its so smooth and drinkable though. This beer is like an amazing desert. If you like stouts, there is no way you should ever pass this up.

Photo of BlackBearForge
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 12-25-2007

Old Rasputin pours a deep black with amber glints around the edges, a huge cocoa colored head builds leaving loads of sticky lacing.

The aroma is rich malty chocolate with a touch of licorice and nice floral hops.

The taste profile is dense and powerful, huge malts flavored of dark chocolate, a touch of licorice, very hoppy with a clean bitter finish. Alcohol is felt as a pleasing warmth and a mild aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, chewy and creamy with fine light carbonation.

A very good RIS and a great bargain in an RIS to boot. Highly recomended!

Photo of xanok
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's been a while since I've had an Old Man Raspy. 12oz bottle poured into my favorite Stone snifter.

A-Like most stouts, jet black. Head is a dark tan that doesn't go away easily. Lacing is very nice.

S-Caught a whiff of dark fruit up front which was more prominent than previous times I've had this beer. The usual chocolate and roasted malts follow.

T-The taste follows the smell. Dark fruits first, followed by chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and some whiskey. Nice warming feeling as it goes down.

M-Pretty full bodied, even for something this smooth. A bit on the heavier side carbonation-wise compared to other RIS's I've been drinking lately.

D-Smooth as mentioned, but not as smooth as other RIS's. The high abv isn't too noticeable, but you'll get that buzz quickly.

What more can be said about Old Raspy, a beer that has over 2000 reviews now? It's a classic RIS, and probably the best RIS for the price. Cannot beat $8.59 for a 4 pack.

Photo of backfat
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

NEVER SAY DIE! the guy behind the counter practically told me old rasputin's life story when buying this. very entertaining. North coast and Indiana broke up momentarily which sucked for about six months, but things are back up again i can enjoy the old rasp and red seal year round again. Pours opaque black sabbath, dear lord. one finger sand colored head with fantastic lacing. smells sexy, potent, and strong, like perfection. Heavenly nutmeg, coffee, candy, and love. The mouthfeel is the best part. creamy and delicious. very very drinkable for only 8.99 a four pack.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,387 ratings.