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.

10,710 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,710
Reviews: 3,489
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 402
Gots: 1,855 | FT: 49
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 (21) | 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: 10,710 | Reviews: 3,489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jj311
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the pleasure of tasting this beer for my first time.
I will say that this brew is not for the faint of heart or for 'amateur' beer drinkers. If you are a big fan of mainstream beers, lagers, pale ales, and so on, then I'd suggest finding some way to sample it before purchasing if at all possible. If you appreciate a nice thick stout, this one should definitely be on your list.

Pouring it from bottle to glass, the first thing I noticed was the brilliant jet-black color topped with a thick, tan, and frothy foam head not unlike that of a cappuccino. Holding it up to the light, very little light managed to penetrate through this darkness.

The Aroma is something i can only describe as sweet and roasty. It seems to have subtle but distinctive essences of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, and alcohol.

The taste was pleasantly enjoyable with a variety of flavors.
A rich balance of roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, and a bitter hoppy taste that surprisingly compliments the other flavors.

A nice thick mouthfeel and a warm finish.

I wasn't disappointed at all in my decision to b uy this.

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

Bought a four-pack. $7.99 in San Diego.

Poured a nice near-black caramel with a nice but short lived head.

Smells of roasty malt, dark chocolate, espresso, and vanilla. As it warms I'm catching a whiff of something bourbon-like....maybe just the alcohol reacting with all the other characters.

Taste is similar to smell. I'm getting a little bit of hoppiness as well and the usual Imperial Stout characteristics. Alcohol sneaks up on you a bit.

A very drinkable stout. As I finish this one I'm contemplating grabbing another. Very tasty burps.

Glad I tried this beer - the 4-pack won't last long.

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

Near black and served in a North Coast Brewery Old Rasputin nonic glass. One of the weirdest heads I've seen on a stout. It was light brown and not particularly thick, but there were spots of tan making differently sized splotches...sort of like a rash. Odd. The lace was thin and spotty without much coverage. Maybe it was their tap lines or the tap itself.

The only difference between the smell of this RIP is that I didn't detect a ton of coffee or chocolate. It was mostly roasty toasty. Not a bad thing, but not all that complex.

The taste was nearly identical to the nose in taste. A little spice in the bitterness entered into the equation, but not strongly, even when colder than it should have been. It didn't back off as it warmed, but stayed at a nice level.

This was a bit thin for a RIP. I don't want to say watery, because it wasn't. It had the body of an Irish stout, even being incredibly smooth.

With the light body and toned down bitterness this is one of the easiest drinking RIPs I've ever had, which is dangerous...check out that abv and you'll know why. You really don't sense much of the alcohol in this.

Photo of Gobzilla
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured black as night with a half finger of brown head and left a little bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: Lots going on here but off the bat i was greeted by coffee and chocolate notes but it also had some nice roastiness too. there was a little oat character and slight booze as well.

T: like the nose a combination of coffee, roastiness, and chocolate flavors strike first alongside oats with a bit of booze that finishes off hoppy bitter.

M: The was full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a roasty, sweet, slight astringent, boozy, and sticky finish.

D: it drank pretty decent and have not been let down everytime I have this beer. overall a good stout offering from the north coast.

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

Serving type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark black, some mild traces of tan.

Smell - Typical russian stout, alcohol, malts, barly, hops and spices

Taste - Smoooth and tasty, old rasp is a classic. Stout coffee mixed with spices and hops, makes one smooth beer. I really enjoy the nut flavor aftertaste. I think the malts in this beer is what makes it orignal and tastly

Mouthfeel - For being so strong, i never get palette overload, tounge doesnt numb. I can fully enjoy this beer without being ruined

Drinkabily - Dangerously high. For as strong as it is, man i can suck down 3-4 of them if not careful. There are other stronger and more intense russian stouts but not many as tastly and drinkable. A classic, try it out

Photo of aquaphiliac
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a jet black liquid; impenetrable by light. The head is a nice coffee color, about an inch right up to the edge of my pint glass. The head retention is excellent and the lacing on the side of the glass leads down to a creamy top of the beer even when almost gone.

The aroma is a big mix of dark chocolate and malt upfront with some mild hoppy scents on the back end. Thick smell that sticks in your nostrils; very inviting.

Like the smell, there's lots of dark chocolate and roasted malt taste that dominate here. Some hoppiness is detectable and there is a very faint kick of alcohol in the aftertaste. Overall not a bitter taste (in fact somewhat sweet) but there is some bitterness on the back end. Complex throughout; definitely tastes like a BIG beer.

Not too heavy on the palate for an Imperial Stout; consistency is less thick than oil but certainly thicker than a normal stout. Compliments the chocolate taste quite nicely.

Not highly drinkable; it too me around 15 minutes to finish a glass but those 15 minutes were delicious.

Paid $8.99 for a 4-pack. Great value.

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

I love the Old Rasputin bottle. It just looks like a manly beer.
It pours out a dark dark brown color with about 1 fingers worth of light brown head. The smells are amazing.
The taste is pretty darn good. Defiantly one of the better Imperial Stouts out there. Its complex, but not too much. Subtle hints in chocolate are there and then gone and it leaves you with a warn alcohol taste. You get a great carbonation that makes this beer very drinkable.

Photo of thagr81us
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a 4oz tumbler. Poured black with a minimal light tan head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt and coffee beans. The flavor was of coffee, cream, and roasted malt. It was heavy on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this is a very nice brew. Goes down nice and smooth. Actually leaves a nice feel on the palate as well upon swallowing. This is a definite must try if you have not done so already.

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

[review from notes taken 09/17/10]

on tap @ deep ellum, allston (boston) MA.

appearance is a dark, opaque brown/borderline black w/ a solid two-finger mocha-toned head. nice retention and lacing. great looking stout.

aroma is heavy with roasted malts; notes of coffee and chocolate as well, with the slightest suggestion of hops. nose is substantiated by the flavor profile with the roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee pulling through in that order. again, very faint but perceptible hop presence. tasty brew, easily an upper tier RIS, though IMO doesn't quite distinguish itself enough to rival the best of the best.

smooth, velvety moutfeel; moderately carbed. decent drinkability, as far as russian imperial stouts go. you won't find a better beer for your money.

Photo of AdamBear
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-beautiful black, nice light tan head

S-chocolate and cocoa beans

T-wow its like rich but creamy chocolate. there's not much of a big after-taste. abv is noticeably high

M-very very smooth, almost no carbonation. surprisingly a dry finish though.

D-abv hits quickly. taste stays pretty well but gets a little bitterness to it, i enjoyed this all the way through, but more than one would be difficult to drink at a time.

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

This beer poured a dark brown color with a two finger high light brown head. The head didn't last long and was lightly coated with fine bubbles. The initial smell of the beer was of a dark chocolate roast with light coffee and malt undertones. The initial taste of the brew was that of roasted barley, chocolate, light coffee and caramel, as well as alcohol. The alcohol was noticeable, but did not detract from the quality of the present flavors. The beer was a bit creamy and had a full body with light to medium carbonation.

Overall, this was an excellent stout. I would highly recommend this to any fans of stouts.

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

12oz from a 4-pack, poured into a pint-glass.

Was first introduced to this beer on-tap at 99 bottles, in Santa Cruz, CA. I recall it being even better on tap, unfortunately I have yet to find a tapper of it in Denver (although I've heard Falling Rock has tapped this from time to time).

A: Pitch black, to the point of being reflective (Rasputin is a black mirror into your own soul!). Rich, creamy head, not going anywhere.

S: Biting, chocolatey. hint of licorice. Man, this beer smells strong, a lot strong.

T: Warm, warm, chocolatey goodness. Solid finish. Lingers in the mouth. It seems to be true that you can't kill Old Rasputin.

F: Smooth ... ****ing smooth. Good lord, this is a lush beer.

D: All around fantastic stout.

This is the kind of beer that inspires men to great heights of cheesiness.

Photo of ebrauser
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very exceptional dark brown with a thinner brown head that didn't fully develop

Aroma: Chocolaty flavors flavors come off strong but there are hints of citrus and fruit, reminiscent of chocolate -covered oranges or raspberries

Flavor/Mouthfeel: Heavy body (though not as heavy as would be thought with the ABV and style) begins with the brooding of chocolate and alcohol leading into a complex finish of roasted malt and a grainy, alcoholic aftertaste. As the drinking continues, more coffee tones appear as some of I became less sensitive to the stronger flavors.

Overall: A great sipping beer and example of the style.

Photo of CascadeConan
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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

Poured out of a 120z bottle into a stemless wine glass. Served at cellar temperature.

A-ink black body, thick and sticky dark tan head.

S-milk chocolate, warm bread,

T-burnt toast, British hop bitterness, somewhat boozy alcohol and some chocolate.

M-full and slick

D-high in alcohol flavor but you do get the other layers underneath after a few sips.

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

12oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Have you ever been inside a cave and turned off your headlamp? That's how black this brew is. A thin tan head that sticks around. Good lacing.

S: Sweet smell of cocoa, malts, and prunes. The alcohol is almost unnoticeable after letting it sit for a bit. Really inviting.

T: Dark chocolate and burnt malts. Alcohol is pronounced but not overpowering. Excellent warming finish. Sweet and dry aftertaste.

M: Wonderful mouthfeel. Silky with substance; very smooth.

D: I love this beer and could easily have another but the ABV commands respect and restraint. A really delicious brew.

Photo of littlesgtpepper
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had on top at the North Coast Brewery on 09/22/10 in a pint glass.

This beer has a mocha-colored, fluffy/smooth head that stays. This beer is black, like King Bowser's heart.

Smells of semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, and malt.

Holy God, this beer is incredible! This beer has so many flavors: dark chocolate, strong espresso, malt, black coffee, nuts, and toffee and even a hint of the Holy Lord himself. There is also a strong hop bitterness that really works to balance everything out but doesn't overtake the beer which is truly a blessing.

I could have a couple of these beers but no more since the flavors are so strong that the only thing keeping this beer from being absolutely perfect is the drinkability. Truly a phenomenal beer, especially on tap.

Photo of jfdean
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'm fortunate enough that my local bar has been keeping Old Ras on nitro-tap for some time now. Whenever the mood strikes for something rich, dark, creamy, and with enough alcohol in it to relax for the night, I head over.

The beer arrives with a body that is pitch black topped with a immaculate tan head. The smell is more roasty than anything with a subtle malty sweetness you can pick up. You are unlikly to make it through the head on the first sip, but don't let that dissuade you... The head itself is a treat being insanely smooth with a much lighter feel to it while keeping the notes of chocolate, roast and malt that await in the beer proper. Savor the sips of Old Ras because on tap it is candy. You will finish a glass without thinking about it, and with everybody else doing the same it might not be long before the keg kicks.

If you see Old Ras on tap, get it. No ifs ands or buts.

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

I have a special place in my heart for this one. I owe it to three beers for turning me onto the craft scene (in this order): Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Bigfoot, and Old Rasputin. This was the first RIS that I ever tasted, and since that day, I haven't looked back!

A: Pitch black, with only a few soapy bubbles for a head. Carbonation? - I'll let someone with night goggles decipher that.

S: Chocolate and prunes dominate the nose on this one.

T: Chocolate, licorice, with cinnamon. For some reason, I always taste cinnamon on the end of a great RIS. It starts to get fruitier the more I drink it, and the finish is mildly dry, but not too. The balance is RASPUTINTASTIC!

M: Thick and creamy, with a milkshake-like consistency. The AVB is detectable, but it just reminds me that I need to slooowww dowwwwn!

D: What can I say that I haven't already: Even after all these years, this one embodies the RIS style to me.

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

Syrupy black pour with one finger of espresso crema-colored head. Nose is immediate chocolate with dark fruit behind it. The taste and mouthfeel are full and thick from front to back. Chocolate-covered dark cherries come to mind in the taste with a sustained yet subtle presence of alcohol throughout. This is truly fantastic and goes down a little too easy. I think I will have another...

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark black with heavy and thick tan foam. Overall this is a good look. Very thick.

Smell: Chocolate and strong fruit, almost like figs. A bit spiced as well. Great smell.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Thick, heavy chocolate syrup. More figs, and maybe even some sour cherries as well. A balanced taste that I really like.

Drinkability: I finished this a lot faster than anticipated. It's a sipper that you can't stop drinking.

Overall: An awesome beer.

Photo of soupyman10
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hard one to grade down, this. Had it on nitro-tap at Meridian Pint in DC when I recognized that it was probably the best thing available, and man was I right. Huge, delicious, creamy beer. Monster thick creamy white head on top of a near-black brew. Beer is huge chocolate, roasted malt, molasses, raisins, and a hint of coffee. Had this beer many a time, but nitro-tap might be the best available option. Will definitely be grabbing it again.

Photo of Spider889
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Black, not too thick, nice tan head of less than a finger's height.

Smells of dark fruit, fig and rasin, alcohol, and dark roasted malts.

The taste is cartinaly alcohol forward, rasin, coffee, and sweet chocolate malts.

On the lighter side of being medium bodied, very smooth on the way down.

As far as drinkability goes, you feel the alcohol the whole way. It certainly is not an unpleasant feature; however I would have to stop at two unless I wanted to get drunk off of Old Raspy.

Easy to find, I wonder why it took me years to come back and give this beer another go. Certainly worth the praise...

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - tar black with one finger of brown head that dissipated to random islands with a nice ring of lacing
S - semi sweet chocolate, burnt sugar, strong roasty malt, light alcohol
T - cocoa, light mocha, very roasted malt, sugary sweet marshmallow, and very light alcohol sweetness
M - a smooth thick chewy texture, nice carbonation for a stout, rich and full all around
D - very rich in classic stout flavours, the slight sweetness is a nice feature, and the 9% ABV is very well hidden, one of the better imperials I've tried

Photo of claminat420
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

beer #3

A- pours the typical stout black with a hardy dark tan head. very frothy and leaves a good bit of lacing. commercial pour.

S- just some sweet chocolate malt with some faint alcohol.

T- some spiciness from the alcohol but for 9%abv it's not too heavy. i noticed some hop action going on but hard to describe. it's mostly dominated by the chocolate malt.

M- light to medium bodied. awesome carbonation.

D- any beer where you can be feelin good on 3 and not get such a strong alcohol coming from them deserves a solid 5 in my book.

Overall- i'm officially naming this brew ol' raspy. i will be fo sho buying a 4 pack again. and come on... 8.99 a four pack of some solid imperial stout. this brew you should surely tip your hat to.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,710 ratings.