1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

9,218 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,218
Reviews: 3,327
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 256
Gots: 1,022 | FT: 33
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 (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,218 | Reviews: 3,327 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BBM
BBM

New York

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

The beer pours a black color with a small tan head that doesn't stay too long. Aromas of roasted malts, some bitterness, coffee and a bit of chocolate.

If you could ever claim a beer can warm you up, this is the one. Complex dark oak flavor with nodes of coffee, chocolate, a bit of caramel, roasty malts, and yet the beer isn't sweet at all. The alcohol is hidden very well, making this a highly drinkable beer. Mouthfeel is full and chewy. This beer is thick, and here to warm you up. The perfect compliment to a cold winter night.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2006 15:44:37 | More by BBM
Photo of SudNut
SudNut

Oklahoma

4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours to a disturbingly dark concoction with a tan head about two fingers thick quickly dispersing to a thin head over the top.

A toot of suds is like smelling a malty dark mocha with a couple of extra shots of espresso. I detect roasted malt, dark semi-sweet chocolate, coffee and a bit of alcohol.

Nice big gulp and aaahhhh almost exactly like it smells the order of taste some times clashes though, roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee and alcohol respectively. Sometimes it seems the chocolate and coffee switch seats on the bus. Also there is an undertone of hops near the finish, good stuff!

Creamy medium body with a touch of stickiness to the mouthfeel, it almost feels like painting a coat of beer on your tongue, although just for a moment.

This beer has above average drinkability and I will have another. The fact is I can only endure so much real coffee and this beer tastes like coffee. One or two is great any more than that is too much for my taste.

Enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2006 03:05:48 | More by SudNut
Photo of esurreal
esurreal

Georgia

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Over the course of the last year or so I have tried more beers than I have in my entire life. This beer is one of the best I have tried. It's taste is biting, strong, and delicious.

The appearance is extremely black. No light passing through at all. On of the darkest I have encountered thus far. The head is a little small, but that's the least of my worries.

The smell gave this one away. I knew it was a winner. Coffee, chocolate, and raisins is what I smell the most. It smells incredible. A good strong smell.

Tastes like a really good stout. Guiness who? Seriously, it has it's own league. Very good bite in every sip. I can taste the beer each time it hits my tounge. With some beers I can taste them for a little while, but eventually I grow numb to their taste. Not so with this one. Chocolate and coffee with an ever so present slip of alcohol burn. I love the taste of this one.

Mouthfeel is creamy and good. Just like it should be. I could easily make this the only beer I ever drink again, but who would want to do that. Overall you can't go wrong with this brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2006 05:17:44 | More by esurreal
Photo of goschool
goschool

California

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

Appearance: The pour is dark chocolate with red hues. The light brown head starts off massive before rescinding to a thin layer covering more than half of the beer.

Smell: There are big roasted malt aromas in the nose, namely chocolate, coffee, as well as a touch of alcohol.

Taste: The taste fallows the nose to a tee. Roasted malts bring semi-sweet chocolate, coffee (a darkish, roast with low acidity like Sumatra), fruity hops in the background, and warming alcohol at finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, smooth, and creamy, yet somewhat sticky at the same time.

Drinkable: There's lots of alcohol and the flavor profile is intense, but this is much more quaffable than it has any right to be.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2006 07:23:38 | More by goschool
Photo of johnbonham1980
johnbonham1980

Idaho

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

Had this with a steak and root vegetable dinner. The steak was a great pairing with it, and the stout and meat played off each other in very pleasant ways.

Tons of potential here if cellared. I sense a lot of flavor that hasn't had the chance to emerge yet and will with aging.

Aroma and taste, to me, are dominated by a smoky character, raisn and dried cherry, espresso, and molasses. It's easily the best imperial stout I've had. It's remarkable to me how little it actually comes across as a 9% beer. Wonderful balance.

Awesome beer for cold nights in front of a fire. Next time I'm drinking it with a cigar, which I think will make for an awesome pairing.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2006 01:06:13 | More by johnbonham1980
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark black color, with a thin tan head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: It has a very rich aroma of dark chocolate and roasted malt.

T: The taste is creamy & malty with flavors of roasted coffee, dark chocolate and caramelized malt. For a beer with 9.00% ABV you sure wouldn't know it. The dark chocolate flavor comes out a little more.

M: Very, very smooth, low-to-medium carbonation, medium-to-heavy body, finish is kind of sticky.

D: Very tasty, quite easy-to-drink, not as filling as other beers in the style, this is a beer that can be a sipper or a pounder, even if the ABV creeps up on you. I think this beer is an excellent representation of style and definitely one of the better RIS's that I've had.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2006 05:39:04 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of auntfloyd
auntfloyd

New York

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

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter glass.

Pours a perfectly opaque thick black with good amount of tan head.

The smell is sweet roasted malts, chocolate, alcohol, and biter coffee.

The taste is excellent: a near-perfect blend of malty-roasty-ness, chocolate, and coffee, that is neither too sweet nor too bitter. Also, for a 9% abv beer, this surprisingly smooth.

The mouthfeel is very creamy, with just the right amount of carbonation.

This is a very drinkable beer, especially for its style. Very nice for a sipping beer on a cold day.

Overall, this is an excellent beer, and a great example for the Russian Imperial Stout (RIS? Why does IPA get an acronym and no one else does?). Very highly recommended, and right up there with the best ones I've tried (Stone and Samuel Smith)

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2006 23:55:01 | More by auntfloyd
Photo of hckyfn9999
hckyfn9999

Missouri

3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice black color with a huge tan colored head that lasts forever and leaves good lacing.

There are smells of alcohol, dark fruit and roasted malt.

The taste is burnt malt. A strong esspresso like bitterness. With notes of bittersweet dark chocolate.

The mouthfeel is full bodied.

I probably wouldnt drink more than a few of these but it is pretty drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2006 20:55:51 | More by hckyfn9999
Photo of aayooper
aayooper

Connecticut

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle - poured with a nice thick, brown head which disipated over 10 minutes as it warmed from its over refridgerated temperature. This RIS had a big, full mouth feel and flavor. Specifically, what really stood out to me as I sipped it after a big steak was a really nice burnt malt flavor followed by a smooth dark chocolate linger. Unlike some in this class, there was really no strong sense of alcohol for its high ABV. While drinking several in an evening may not be in order, one or two will really work well after a steak or on a cold winter evening.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2006 01:26:58 | More by aayooper
Photo of rsyberg01
rsyberg01

California

3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

S - Served from a 12 oz. bottle. Poured into a room temp pint. Didnt look for a best by date.

A - Black with deep garnet twinges at the edges.

S - Fruitiness with slight malts. A green beer that would do well with some sit down time. Caramel twinges that were underage. A supreme classic with a few years under its belt, but right now it is quite young.

T - Didnt quite balance out. The caramel and the bitterness clashed, but not in a significant way. Both were gentle but didnt agree with eachother. Like I said, let this hang out for a year or two.

M - A little rough, carbonation was out of wack with the gravity of the beer. All would be resolved with some time to work things out.

D - Now: Easy to drink, definitely recommended if you are at a bar that serves it. Later: It will be like drinking thinned out fruity, chocolatey, roasted coffee infused caramel, which I personally would thoroughly enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2006 05:55:20 | More by rsyberg01
Photo of uberabr
uberabr

California

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz into a snifter.

A: Deep, dark black. Creamy brown head with decent lace, settles within a few minutes. Carbonation is excellent.

S: I had to let it sit a little but it became very sweet and even citrusy.

T: A rich, roasted espresso. A hint of alcohol but in a pleasantly flavored, not malty, way…kind of like bailey’s Irish cream or even a very, very dark coffee-infused white Russian. Deep and delicious.

M: A wonderful full body. Excellent carbonation. A very drinkable stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2006 02:25:26 | More by uberabr
Photo of VelvetMonkey
VelvetMonkey

Florida

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

I poured this from the bottle into a pint glass.

A--It pours thick and coffee-black, rising into a very creamy beige head one half-inch thick. The head is so creamy it reminds me of the crema on a a well-poured cup of esspresso. Retained a good head through the entire glass and left residual rings, as well. Friggin' beautiful.

S--Sweet malty smell with strong alcohol that leads to a slightly anise smell.

T--Strong but not atringent tast of bitter-sweet chocolate finishing ever-so-slightly sweet. The rich taste remains for some time. To me, this would be a wonderful after-dinner beer. A good dessert substitute.

M--A full rich and creamy swallow. Can't ask for more.

D--It's a rich brew--one or two, and I'm more than satisfied.

This is a seriously great imperial stout. I can't think of a better version.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2006 19:11:46 | More by VelvetMonkey
Photo of williamherbert
williamherbert

New York

3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color is a deep deep dark dark brown ... almost black. There is a massive chocolate brown ice cream float-style head. The color is utterly impenetrable.

The scent is heavy but sweet. Has a very dark malty aroma, but with a slight sweetness that is a nice counterpoint. There is a very hard, alcoholic smell. I can tell this is going to be strong.

The taste is a karate kick of alcohol to the taste buds. A very deep coffee flavor. Very harsh. Need an appreciation for stouts and/or a strong palate to appreciate this baby.

It's a syrupy and thick feel. Leaves a heavy residue on the tongue. It's a very good beer, but it's a one-and-done for this advocate. It's way too heavy for me to have more than one per night. Maybe one per month.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2006 04:42:09 | More by williamherbert
Photo of MeLikeBeer
MeLikeBeer

Minnesota

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

Finally got my hands on this one.
I wasn't let down.
Pours a deep, cocoa black in the glass with light brown head.
Smells are amazing- chocolate, coffee, toffee, almost fruity.
Tastes almost crunchy, thick, delicious. The caramely malts cling to your tongue and then race down my throat.
This ain't your daddy's stout, that's for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2006 14:30:40 | More by MeLikeBeer
Photo of memory
memory

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap that laid a nice half inch head. Appeared dark coffee with a bitter chocolate note to it's nose. Taste typical of an Imperial stout sweetness but this to me was a real dessert ale because I could only drink one or two at the most.
Had a full bittersweet taste that left a long pleasant taste on the tongue.
A nice stout for desert after a meal.

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2006 02:33:03 | More by memory
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

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

12oz bottle from oracle as part of No BS BIF. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/4" brown head over the barely translucent reddish dark brown brew. Head is down an uneven layer of bubbles pretty quick, with slow-falling lacing. Aroma is heavy, rich dark malts, chocolate and coffee doing battle, just what you expect and want in the style. Taste follows along in the same vein, but even better with the slow warm on the swallow. Mouthfeel is velvety, and drinkability is excellent. This one is ranked highly for a reason.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2006 02:24:57 | More by ppoitras
Photo of barknee
barknee

New York

4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours a virtually opaque espresso brown color. Its head; rich, foamy, and deep mocha in color, hangs tough for a few moments. Rich and viscous, it covers the inside of the glass with an unctuous coating. Essences of roasted chicory and hazelnuts soar from the glass. Well-roasted malts and vanillin are in attendance as well, as there are hints of some oak also; a nose reminiscent of Weyerbacher’s "Prophesy". The taste is creamy, soft and unctuous in the mouth. Profound flavors of roasted carob and coffee offset by slightly bittersweet chocolate round out the package here. Amazingly drinkable for a brew of such concentration and depth, the medium body, light bitterness, and very soft acids make this a brew to engorge one self with. An iconic textbook version of the style. Truly a taste sensation!

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2006 00:56:05 | More by barknee
Photo of ryantupy
ryantupy

Minnesota

4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I finally got around to picking this one up and as soon as I tasted it I quickly got plenty more. This was a simply amazing stout with tons of character and complexity. It poured a straight black hue with a rocky brown head. Smelled of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and alcohol. It tasted great it was smooth with flovors of chocolate, coffee, smoked and burnt malt, hints of hops, even a sweet little finish. All around loved this beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2006 15:26:48 | More by ryantupy
Photo of onsite416
onsite416

Michigan

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

a= Pour is black, with a surprising light tan head.

s= roasted malts & coffee

t= initial taste is: sweet with a hop finish a bit bitter at the end. Very nice.

m= Smooth full flavor of coffee and malt. Not over powering

d= This was an excellent stout. Could easily drink more than one.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2006 03:04:44 | More by onsite416
Photo of pavandal
pavandal

Pennsylvania

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

I had heard great things about this beer, and after finding a great new local distributor, I bought some.

Beer pours black, with a 2cm head that looks almost reddish. Looks delicious already! Lacing is pretty evident as the beer goes down.

The smell is very complex, with strong coffee and fruity scents most prevalent.

When sipped, mouth is overcome by a citrus-like flavor, followed by chocalates. Aftertaste is a strong coffee/mocha flavor. Lots of sweet flavors. Delicious!

Slightly heavy on the mouth, but that is to be expected when drinking a strong stoudt.

All in all, my new favorite beer. But don't have too many, in fact, one is probably sufficient. Drink this one at the end of the day. ABV is a little high, and having 3 of these would keep you out of the drivers seat.

Anyways, I only have one word to describe this: Excellent!

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2006 04:46:06 | More by pavandal
Photo of BlackJeremiah
BlackJeremiah

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A: Dark, rubied mahogany, with an ephemeral cap of rocky cream-colored froth.

S: Baker's chocolate, alcohol, espresso, and luscious, incredible roasty notes. After aeration, toffee and caramel show a bit of sweetness.

T: Burnt roastiness leads to very dark chocolate and burnt espresso, finishing with a dark, berried sweetness masking the alcohol. No matter how many times I have this one, it continues to surprise me with new aspects and complexities. A classic, and deserving of this score.

M: Medium body, char sticks around in the palate long after each sip. This one asserts its presence long after the glass is empty.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2006 02:20:02 | More by BlackJeremiah
Photo of jeffjfindley
jeffjfindley

California

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

Appearance: Black as night in my oversized wine glass. Just a little burgundy coming through at the base of the glass. Fabulous head stays with you forever.

Smell: Somewhat faint, but reminiscent of coffee, chocolate cake, and raisins.

Taste: Mocha takes over, with a little plum. Leaves a dry finish that reminds you that you're drinking a very potent beer. Little acidity on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Velvety & malty. Feels good.

Drinkability: One is enough, but that one is extremely satisfying. No one will ever mistake this for Coors.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2006 05:44:54 | More by jeffjfindley
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was served at cellar temperature at Falling Rock tap house in Denver.
Dark, black body with dark tan head of two fingers which lowered to one finger and laced nicely.
Smell of coffee and chocolate with malt roast and biscuit.
Taste was wonderful. Just the right balance between coffee, chocolate, hops and malt. Nothing dominated which rendered the feel smooth and soft. The alcohol presented itself and then retreated into the flavors.
Very easy drinking for a RIS. Very good.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2006 21:02:38 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of JohnnyM2002
JohnnyM2002

Maryland

4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle at 45 degrees; a reddish-black color with a thick, foamy head.

S - A roasted mocha rounds out the aroma. Simple, yet powerful.

T - The coffee taste is more dominant than the chocolate, but both are washed out by a bready alcohol flavor. Alcohol also isn't too strong, but it's the dominant taste. Finishes strong with a malty aftertaste.

M - A thick, RIS body that is completed with the high alcohol content rounds out a wonderful warming feel.

D - A good cold weather, one-serving beer. One of my top RIS selections and an excellent representation of North Coast.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2006 02:45:08 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of pkaeding
pkaeding

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured it from the 12 oz bottle into a mug, and the first thing I noticed was the very dark black color, and the thick brown head. After a minute or so, the head subsided somewhat, leaving an even lacing, and lightening in color to more of a cream color.

The dark, roasty coffee/cocoa aromas hit you first, with a faint bready aroma in the back. It is a very inviting smell, but you know from the first whiff that it will take a long time to finish this beer.

There are some sweet malty notes, but the flavor is dominated by the roasty/bitter notes that finish out. It reminds me a lot of baker's chocolate. There is a faint flavor of alcohol, but the bitterness balances it out. The mouthfeel is very thick, but not to the extreme. This is a very heavy beer.

The finish lingers for several seconds, and you will want to savor it until it subsides before having another sip. Then you will definitely want another sip.

This is a great beer that I would definitely try again. However, you will most likely not want more than one of these in a night.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2006 02:30:12 | More by pkaeding
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,218 ratings.