1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.

10,549 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,549
Reviews: 3,448
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 380
Gots: 1,727 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001

No notes at this time.
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: 10,549 | Reviews: 3,448 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of andyfrancis
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

God damn do I love the look of a nicely poured stout in a glass. Black with an enticing tan 3/4" head that looks like it's gonna hang around all day. Smells of dark chocolate covered fruit.

Whoa. Flavors upon flavors and they keep coming. A little bit of oak and alcohol, chocolate and cherry, with a roasted coffee finish.

Nice after dinner beer.

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

I had this beer in a pint glass poured from a bottle at the Galley in Marietta.

It is black and looks thick as it pours. It has an incredible 2 to 3 fingers of thick beige head, with great lacing.

It smells great. It has a great combination of chocolate and roasted coffee.

The taste is good, not quite what I expected from the smell. The roasted coffee flavor comes through along with a little burn from the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is good and it is real drinkable for the high alcohol content. I definitely enjoyed this beer and would be happy to have it again.

Photo of Freethyhops
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

one that should have been reviewed a while ago. served in a snifter.

a- absolutely no light coming through this black liquid. the cream colored head that was produced reduced to a film and collar. leaving nice lacing down the glass

s- supremely roasty, bitter chocolate and breadiness. light hint of dark fruit and alchohol as it warmed near room temp.

t- huge roasted coffee and chocolate. highly bitter, bready and a touch of dryness in the finish. the booze never shows its face even at room temp. amazingly well hidden ABV.

m- it's a full bodied beer but is lacking a little in the viscosity department. ample carbonation goes well with the feel of the beer.

d- $7-8 bucks a 4pk makes this an appealing beer everytime I'm looking for an impy stout. its easy enough to drink to put a couple back in a session. what else do you want? seriously

Photo of jag0007
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent first stout. Had this at a local pub, and bought a pack a few days later.

A - beautiful thick black liquid, almost syrupy. Excellent lacing and about 1 finger of tan colored head. So dark, sunlight barely penetrates the brew.

S - smells of coffee, light hint of chocolate. Sniffing it before trying makes me salivate.

T - light bitter feel, light coffee and chocolate aftertaste. Simply amazing.

M - rolls on the tongue and the carbonation is perfect. Somewhat thick compared to other darker beers.

D - a sipping/dessert beer. I may be able to handle 2-3 before I have to switch to something lighter.

Photo of kiddynamite920
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For as many of these that I've had, I figured it was time to wind down and review one.

A: Pitch black with signs of brown, the head is a tan color. Head receded a bit from about a fingers worth to a thin ring around the glass. RIS in a glass, perfect.

S: Picking up strong roasted malts, vanilla, and a woody aroma on the nose. Slight alcohol burn, but hidden behind some cherry like aromas. Big chocolate nose, reminiscent of the Brooklyn BCS.

T: A bit dry and bitter, full of roast. Chocolate and dark roast coffee come through. Some dark fruits, mostly raisins and dark cherries. Hops are quite bittering, a nice touch to this big and roasty brew. Cocoa powder seems to lend its flavor and its presence on the mouthfeel.

M: Dry, roasty, bitter and super dark and creamy. This is a Russian Imperial Stout. Great body and carbonation, just a bit of fizz that is left around the palate after swallowing. Slight heat from the alcohol.

D: As far as RIS's go, this is one of my favorites. It never disappoints on the classic flavor of what a RIS should be. Absolutely delicious and more breweries should take some notes on this one. Alcohol hidden well, ridiculously huge roasty flavor, perfect RIS.

Photo of korguy123
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Awesome 10th review. Super mini milestone!
12oz bottle poured into my favorite goblet.

A- Thick, black, beautiful pour. Zero light can survive the blackness of this brew. 1 finger dark tan head crowns the top of the beer. Lacing is wonderful.

S- Coffee, and chocolate with a hint of vanilla and brown sugar makes my mouth water with every sniff.

T- Hello flavor town! Population, ME! This is a flavor power house. Burnt coffee up front, followed by semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, molasses and brown suger.

M- Smooth and creamy just the way a stout should feel. Very sticky on the lips. Carbonation is there but it is faint enough to make a lasting impression on the tastebuds without being off putting.

D- This beer is exciting and exquisite and one is definately not enough!

This is one hell of a beer. I'm really glad I got another 3 waiting for me! Definately won't be sharing this one with my friends haha!

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

A - Black as night and gives no light when held to a source. His head is thick at more than an inch and a heavy tan color.

S - Chocolate and coffee aromas abound.

T - Thick dark coffee flavor on top of a deep chocolate that comes through each pull at different stages.

M - The feel is slightly coarse and light in my opimion. Especially for a high gravity stout such as this one. I really like a good chewy stout, especially when the flavors here are so exceptional. There is a stickiness in the finish on my lips which I do enjoy.

~ Overall this is a very good beer. There are few stouts that can brag such a robust palate. If you haven't tried this stout, you need to.

Photo of ghostee
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with three fingers worth of head. Head recedes slowly leaving thick lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell is of roasted malts, a bit hoppy, with some chocolate and vanilla.

Taste has the roasted malts with some chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit. A tiny bit boozy. A nice blend with some hops up front.

Mouthfeel is medium/heavy bodied, lower carbonation. Slick and leaves the mouth and tongue coated. A slight tongue bite up front from the hops.

Drinkability is high based on the taste, but medium based on ABV. I could have a couple of these, but at 9%, I might prefer to stop after one.

Overall this is a tasty stout, very refreshing, and has a nice amount of hops present. I can definitely see why this is so well regarded, and will be drinking this again in the future.

Photo of jeffthecheff
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Black color with an impressively dark head. It's a dark brown in color and leaves great, brown sugar lacing down the sides. The head keeps great for the whole glass.

I think I've had fresher bottles of this beer before, because I remember it being more hoppy. It smells great now, too. It has the typical coffee and chocolate aromas, but leans more towards a burnt, coffee like roast. The hops are in the background, adding a slight grassy element that makes it refreshing.

The flavor has a strong, bitter roast to it. The finish is bitter from both coffee flavored black malts and a lot of hops. The sweetness lies behind all the dry, bitter notes and adds just a touch of chocolate. A tiny bit of citrus hops are found on the finish, but don't add too much to it.

The mouthfeel is heavy and thick all the way through, with the heavy roast notes playing a nice contrast. It's smooth all the way, with carbonation just a bit on the high side. This beer is on the low end abv-wise for Imperial Stouts, but it feels a bit higher. This beer paired well with a chocolate cake. The dry aspects made it a refreshing pairing while at the same time being very rich.

Photo of ahatch551
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass, opaque and black with nice lacing beautiful beer.

Sweet malt and caramel aroma. Aroma is very subtle.

nice roasted almost coffee flavor, good flavor balance.

Good mouthfeel soft on the tongue with a nice dry finish.

Very drinkable beer only the high gravity limits the number I can drink.

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

Ahhh... a perennial favourite! The colour is mahogany brown with no head. The aroma is sharply malty with anise , coffee ground and hops. On the palate, a creamy mouth feel with loads of dark chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, chewy licorice, strong coffee, biting hops, some phenolic notes and a helluva long finish!

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

Had on nitro-tap at Apex bar in Portland, OR. Poured into a stemmed glass.

appearance - pours a thick and viscous black with a nice tan, head, lacing spans the entire length of the glass

smell - chocolate brownie, lightly roasted malts

taste - chocolate, coffee, earthy hops

mouthfeel - chewy, medium bodied, incredibly smooth

drinkability - very complex, amazing mouthfeel on nitro, really smooths out the flavors

Photo of TrippnFiasco
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Jet black, absolutely gorgeous. Dark brown head, pours with about 3-finger head that slowly dissipates. BEAUTIFUL lacing that sticks to the glass throughout the entire drink.

S: Smells like a nice espresso, with a fairly strong smokiness. Slight alcohol bite comes through, surprising for the (relatively) low ABV for this Imperial.

T: Delicious woody, smoked maltiness. Slight hop bite coming through, separate from alcohol. Very dark, very tasty.

M: Very creamy, full-bodied. Nice smoothness

D: One glass per sitting is perfect. Very drinkable for an Imperial Stout.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.87/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass, warmed up to room temp.

A: Pours a pitch black body with a light tan head that rises to a pinky finger in height. Retention is short, as expected for an impy stout, leaving a thin collar around the edges.

S: Even when cold, it's pretty pungent. The hops are quite prominent, lending an earthy citrus presence that blends beautifully with roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolate. Hints of anise tease the nose.

T: Chocolate-dominated, by far. Silky, delicious dark chocolate that complements both the roasted coffee and earthy hop bitterness. I pick up citrus as well; it's unusual to me that I've grown to enjoy citrus and chocolate flavors in the past couple of months. I used to hate that clash, before. There is a light anise note in the finish, where the chocolate makes a resurgence. Coffee bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: Light-medium bodied. Not exactly viscous, but full in flavor. Silky feel owing to low carbonation.

D: A fantastic deal; I often find 4-packs under $8 and this most recent one cost $6. Great quality, fantastic pricing. It's great to revisit it and enjoy a staple for once. These days, it is outclassed by bigger, heavier interpretations of the style. But those beers also tend to be significantly more expensive, and not so much more enjoyable that this ceases to be a good deal.

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

Pours an inky black with chestnut edges. Two fingers of mocha coloured head top this beer, displaying excellent retention, especially when considering the style, and leaving thick lines of sticky lace.

Sweet dark chocolate, oats, roasted malts, hints of coffee grains, raisons, plums, and a semi-hot ethanol character make up the nose. An assertive smell but not overpowering and very, very inviting.

A big roasted malt character greets the palate first, coating the subtle dark fruits that quickly follow and matching the dark chocolate character. The finish is quite dry with notes of coffee and cocoa powder, all of which occur over a smooth oaty taste and feel. Even as the beer warms, the alcohol is still very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is full but leans towards a more creamy and smooth feel rather than a thick and oily one, with the latter being the seemingly most common one for the style. It could be a bit richer, but it just adds to its drinkability which is ridiculously good considering both the style and ABV.

I can see why this sits on the top 5 of the most reviewed beers on this site and still retains such a high rating. Complex, very flavourful, and oh so easy to drink. I'd say this is my favourite RIS to date with Brooklyn's Black Chocolate Stout close behind. Worth EVERY penny.

Photo of Cmack15
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am just starting to get into the RIS style and thought this would be a good beer to start with. The darkness of this beer is impressive being black hole like. When you take a deep inhale of this elixir you get a breath of roasted malts that is very inviting and intriguing. The mouthfeel of this beer is thick and chewy making it a slow slipper. The taste starts out witha lsoght sweet note then the roated malts take over which is a good thing(thats what these beers are all about). Enjoy this in the winter by a fireplace at the end of the evening and you will get the full enjoyment of this brew.

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


Pours black, light will not penetrate through the glass, Rich mocha colored cap that lasts and laces.

Aroma is ambrosia: dark cocoa, coffee, plumbs, burnt toffee and a deep grassy tone over some sweetness.

The flavor has all the tastes expected in an imperial stout but in spades, and this makes for a very complex amalgam of flavor mid palate and this changes as it warms with every warming sip giving a new set of tastes impressions... here are just some of the notable tastes: dark chocolate, mocha, cherry pipe tobacco, burnt toffee, licorice, anise, figs, prunes, toasted bundt cake, smoked cherry wood...wonderful complexity.

JUst when I think the market is flooded with too many micro Impys, along comes a big full bodied version with a viscous mouth feel hugely complex. One if the better American Imperial Russian stouts.

Photo of eat
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been hoping for a chance to try this one out for a while. Thanks to ritzkiss for opening this one up after cellaring for a year and a half or so.

Old Rasputin is black and opaque. The head fades to a ring around the glass and a patchy covering with bits of lacing. Head retention could be better, but I guess that's fairly typical for a strong, old beer.

The nose is of wheaty cracker, dark chocolate, caramel, light coffee, earthy hops and tons of smoky roast. Delicious. The alcohol comes off a little hot, surprisingly. I would have thought the aging would have smoothed that away. Definitely smells imperial anyway.

Heaps of roastiness follow in the mouth. High-quality dark chocolate, light coffee, bready and wheaty. The alcohol found in the smell seems to have disapeared here. Coffee on the finish.

I'd like the body to be fuller to match the malty flavour. The feel would be fine for a less-intense stout, but this one is just so big. Not bad though; smooth medium body and moderate carbonation.

For a RIS, the drinkability is as crazy as old Rasputin himself. So smooth. If I didn't know its ABV, I would say it was sessionable but obviously this one would kick your ass if you tried.

Photo of PintOHops
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Glass - Snifter

A - Black color with a bit of brown when held to light. Produced a 1-finger head that quickly dissipated to a thin tan ring. No lacing here, a spot & a splash is about it.

S - Raisins, dates, grape & plum fruity notes when swirled. A bit of licorice with some mild charcoal and roasted notes. Dark chocolate as well with a touch of alcohol as well.

T - Lots of charcoal & a bit alcohol burn upfront, rich dark chocolate flavors follow, not as complex as I expected. This beer finishes with pronounced alcoholic flavor & burn, from the tongue all the way down the throat! A bit more roasted & chocolaty flavors are there when it warmed, big dark chocolate flavors are dominate.

M - A bit slick and almost full bodied, allot thinner than I expected. Mild mild crispness on the tongue.

D - Well I might have a snifter or 2 after a long day. I did expect a bit more complexity for sure, I don't recommend drinking this straight out of the fridge because there's more flavors to enjoy when it's around room temp. Pretty good, not sure if I'd buy it again but I definitely recommend it. Cheers!

Photo of JosiahS
3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a small snifter glass. Pitch black in appearance with a thin brown ring at the top. The aroma has chocolate, espresso, black licorice, a bit of hops as well as a tang. The alcohol is noticeable.

The first thing i notice when tasting this is a bit of bitterness right up front followed quickly by alcohol which seems to merry with a very roasted malt character that i can describe only as black licorice and dark chocolate. There is a charcoal-like bitterness that carries through the beer and lingers at the end along with some dark chocolate. Mouth-feel is smooth in texture, full bodied with low carbonation.

Drinkability is low on this one. This beer is alcoholic on first impression but as the temperature rises, the dark chocolate and alcohol seem to mix rather nicely making for a smooth, enjoyable stout.

Photo of crossovert
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. No apparent bottled on date.

Pours into my snifter a pitch black. It has a shiny, foamy tan head that sticks for a while and leaves some lacing.

The nose is filled with thick dark malt flavors such as cocoa, coffee, and roasted malt. There is also subtle fruit and caramel. It is a clean, basic RIS scent.

The taste follows, lots of cocoa and coffee. The alcohol is more pronounced on the palate than it is in the nose. It is just quintessential ris flavors. It isn't overly exciting but it is authentic and well crafted.

This is a damn good RIS though not my favorite.

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

Poured from a stubby bottle with no freshness date, into a pint glass. Poured very dark brown with tan head that stayed around for a while. Strong scents of over cooked barley, dark chocolate and coffee. Strong coffee flavors some cocoa. Nice roasted after taste. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth. Alcohol is well hidden. Drinkable nature would be limited to one for me because of the strong flavor. Very nice sipper.

Photo of gafferjohn
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a large brown head that sticks around for ever.
Not alot in the aroma; dark roasted malt with some floral hop undertone. A Little chocolate.
Taste is awesome. Dark chocolate perfectly balanced with dark roast malt and bitter hops. finishes with a little heat. Overall a beautiful brew !
Washes over my tongue leaving a lasting bitterness that is very pleasing.
Could have 2 or 3 before switching to something else. Will definitely have this again.

Photo of AJacob81
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, Ol' Raspy. My mix-a-six stalwart at Trader Joe's. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A - Looks like a Russian imperial stout. Dark, the darkest brown possible before black. A cappucino-colored head of 1.5 fingers forms and is retained for quite awhile.

S - Cocoa and coffee grounds in the nose, some roasted malt as well, but little else.

T - Bittersweet chocolate chips and roasted coffee are brought out by the toasty warmth of the alcohol. The malt becomes more prominent and is joined by raisins and dates as the beer warms.

M - Deceptively rich and full-bodied, almost milk-like in consistency. Adequate carbonation and the alcohol again leave a nice burn in the back of the throat.

D - Something between a sipper and a swigger. Compelling and warmly inviting, this is an easy brew to enjoy.

Photo of scottfrie
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours an almost black dark brown with a finger width of dense espresso colored head that reduced into a thin film.
S: Dark roasted malt and faint dark chocolate. Not particularly smelly.
T: A lot sweeter than I was expecting. Roasted malt dominates leading into a sweet sugary finish with hints of bitter hops and chocolate-espresso ice-cream. Aftertaste is sweet and creamy with a touch of alcohol warmth. I pick up notes of vanilla, caramel and licorice as well.
M: Velvety and smooth. Carbonation is gentle with a medium body. The aftertaste is bitter but balanced by the sweet malt. This reminds me of a milkshake or melted ice cream for some reason.
D: Amazing beer that is highly drinkable. Despite its rich flavors and high alcohol content you could easier polish off a few in an evening. Highly recommended.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,549 ratings.