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

9,151 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,151
Reviews: 3,321
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 247
Gots: 996 | FT: 32
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: 9,151 | Reviews: 3,321 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beerzebub
Beerzebub

California

4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black, dense tan head that persists and leaves some lace. Smells of chocolate, raisins, buttery toffee, sweet coffee, molasses cookie, cinnamon, dark rum, solvent. Layer upon layer, becoming indescribable. Some compound in durian? Paint? No, I can't pin it down. In any case, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This smell is veryy complex, yet completely cohesive. One of my favorite smells of any beer I have had.

Taste matches nose well, only missing something ephemeral that I cannot pin down. Luscious flavor and mouthfeel. Chewy and delicious. Cohesive. Alcohol is noticeable, but very well integrated. Perfect touch of roasty bitterness. Finish lingers, with rum-raisiny alcohol taking over.

This is an immensely enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2006 06:41:34 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of Doomcifer
Doomcifer

Rhode Island

4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As usual, pulled one these babies right out of the cupboard and got a glass to accompany it.

Pours a black as midnight black, looking like overused motor oil. Great brown head that sticks around, leaving behind great lacing. Smells of dark chocolate, rasin sweetness, hints of alcohol...hard to stop smelling really. One of the best tasting Imperial Stouts I've ever had. Tastes of dark chocolate, coffee, malty sweetness, with a light hop dryness hitting you in the middle, ending off with an alcohol warming and lots of hop bitterness. The coffee/chocolate overtones staying with your palate long after each sip. Mouthfeel was pretty oily and thick, but not sludge like thick as would be expected from the appearance. Very pleasant creaminess and not too much carbonation. I've tried many Imperial Stouts as it is a favorite genre of mine, and Old Rasputin blows many out of the water. It's not that hard to find around where I live and the price isn't exhorbitant either. Northcoast should be proud of this exemplary brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2006 16:59:29 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of sinstaineddemon
sinstaineddemon

Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - this stout pours midnight black with a half finfer of caramel colored head, too dark to notice any carbonation

S - dark chocolate aromas mixed with dark fruits, like raisins, above a strong alcohol aroma

T - a taste reveals a coffee characteristic not present in the nose, it is very tasty, the chocolate/raisiny/alcohol flavor is strong up front, but then melts into the aforementiond coffee flavor which persists into the aftertaste, very nice

M&D - smooth and silky, very tasty, the only drawback is that the ABV is highish and the alcohol flavor is rather strong, but a great stout

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2006 16:38:10 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of hunteraw
hunteraw

China

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

Appearance: absolutely opaque, good tan head, wish I'd had a new glass to see some lacing...

Smell: roast, chocolate, coffee, pretty much exactly what you expect to find in a stout.

Taste: Again, a very well-balanced stout and a fine ambassador for the style to new stout drinkers, I'd imagine. Alcohol is extremely well-hidden. Dry hop finish, just what I want.

Mouthfeel: exceptionally smooth. lighter than I anticipated, but good!

Drinkability: best RIS i've had so far!

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2006 23:35:07 | More by hunteraw
Photo of hanco005
hanco005

Minnesota

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

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A—solid black, just hints of light shine in at the bottom, a 2 inch thick , ice cream looking beige head, fades away slowly, lacing is in thick sheets

S—chocolate and alcohol, some coffee and bread tones, too, a touch of licorice, very fragrant and makes my mouth water

T—chocolate is strongest, followed by the alcohol and coffee, all flavors combine for a wonderful taste!

M—thick and creamy, full bodied, perfect carbonation

D—can’t drink a lot of it due to the high ABV, but this is perfect for the style, I think. A great nightcap.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2006 17:17:40 | More by hanco005
Photo of HoustonTX
HoustonTX

Texas

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

12oz. bottle poured into Chimay goblet.

A - Incredibly dark brown, white frothy head. Nice head, and lacing retention.

S - Licorice malt/strong alcohol/chocolate/spicey notes.

T&M - Full-bodied. Taste upfront has tones of chocolate, infused with a strong alcoholic bite. Hop bitterness is definitely there upfront, and also near the end. Medicinal phenols bring a sharp bite to the palate. Licorice waves come upfront and near the end, spicey and awakening on the palate. Burnt tones, earthy and nutty also come through. Aftertaste is smooth and creamy with a small amount of bitter, that slowly fades to dry and then lingers for a good while.

D - Great for such a big beer.

An excellent Russian Imperial Stout, has a lot of compexity and depth. Rich, satisfying, and friendly on the palate. Definitely check this one out.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2006 22:31:30 | More by HoustonTX
Photo of Damian
Damian

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured an amber brown/black with a small head that faded quickly. Virtually no lacing present.

Smell was very malty rich and hoppy with hints of dark chocolate, coffee and toffee.

Taste was espresso-like, hoppy and bitter, with the bitterness becoming more intense as the beer moved along the palate. Alcohol flavor was very strong.

Mouthfeeel was full bodied and heavy. Moderate carbonation.

Definitely a sipping beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2006 02:34:03 | More by Damian
Photo of acrawf6
acrawf6

Louisiana

4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out pitch black with foamy tan head. Nice lacing.

Aroma. Strong licorice aroma. Under that it has very nice chocolate smell with espresso notes to it. It is an interesting smell because I see it as sweet and dry at the same time. Hops really give this a nice crispness, yet it seems creamy. Very interesting.

Taste. Very nice RIS. Starts off with a nice bitterness, thick flavors of malts too, very roasted malts, and some bits of burnt malts. Also has a slight yeasty and waxy character to it. As it warms up, I get a good amount more of the licorice tastes to it. Aftertaste is roasted malts with black coffee hints with a nice warming.

Mouthfeel. Very full mouthfeel, creamy and chewy. Nice amount of carbonation. Balance is excellent- I’m overwhelmed with both the malt character and the hops.

Overall. A great RIS and an incredible beer! A perfect sipper, yet I’m drinking this quicker than I expected, I could probably finish it in about 30-40 minutes. Just great balance and great flavors. One excellent beer I am glad I can pick up in baton rouge.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2006 02:56:29 | More by acrawf6
Photo of gnoff
gnoff

Sweden

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from 12 fl oz bottle courtesy of a friend, traded from the USA.

Dark red color, brown head.
Alcohol and chocolate scent, sweet.
Strong sweet and burnt taste, burnt and coffee after taste.
Warming alcohol feeling.
Very big palate.
Raissin taste as well.
Medium high bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2006 10:02:37 | More by gnoff
Photo of brushpig
brushpig

Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found a 4 pack at Trader Joes in Chicago, but you can find it almost everywhere here.

The appearance is interesting, very very shimmering black with a tan head that unfortunately diminishes rather quickly.

The aroma is like dark espresso coffee with a light friut smell as well. Not too powerful.

This is a very good imperial stout, with it's coffee like flavors, chocalate, and alcohol bite, however the fruity flavors left a strange aftertaste in my mouth. Nothing too terrible. Still a very fine beer

Wouldn't have to many of them in one sitting,a little overwhelming.
But worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2006 14:48:46 | More by brushpig
Photo of dancinwillie
dancinwillie

Wisconsin

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

My first review, so here goes:

appearance: dark black, with an off white head that drops to 1/8 inch, and stays put.

smell: chocolate, roasted grains, maybe a hint of alcohol, but not overwhelming.

taste: pretty much as in the nose, without much of the alcohol coming through. Nice and chewy, maybe some oatmeal, or other head grains. Good balance between bitter, and sweet. I could drink a few of these, and not feel like I'd overdone it.

Overall, a fine example of the style, and another fine beer from North Coast.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2006 04:39:24 | More by dancinwillie
Photo of tfp4268
tfp4268

Kentucky

1.55/5  rDev -64%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I know this beer gets rave reviews, however...

I have enjoyed other RIS's but this one is just plain ugh.

It looks good enough, very dark brown, almost black, ruby around the edge against a light. Nice brown two finger head, goes down to a pretty lace after a while.

Smell is a little strange, very fruity, but not much else.

Taste...ARRRGH! Fruit and alcohol, kinda like Boone's Farm or something. Yuck!

Mouthfeel is as it should be, kinda thick, but not really thick.

Drinkability Well...I bought four of these, and have managed to choke down two, but the other two are probobly destined for the trash hopper.

Like I said, I have enjoyed other RIS's before, Sam Smith's is my fave, but I think Old Rasp is a little high on the ABV at 9%. It makes it too heavy more my taste buds to handle.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2006 14:14:25 | More by tfp4268
Photo of TheBeerWolf
TheBeerWolf

Nevada

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

Between this and Stone Russian Stout I am now a fan of the this style. The beer pours like black crude. Thick and dark with creamy tan head. Smelling immeditely after opening the bottle I definately get a smell of smoke, chocolate, and malt. The taste is slightly bitter at first but then goes on to sweet smokiness. Hints of smoked almonds and a bit of coco. You can definately taste the alcohol in the background. Moutfeel is not bad at all either. I prefer Stone Russian Stout by just a hair because the Russian Stout has just a tiny but more alcohol bite which I prefer. But don't get me wrong I would drink either happily. The drinkability is a tiny bit better with Old Rasputin but some of that might be because it comes in smaller bottles so its a little more cold then having a 22 of Stone sitting there getting warm.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2006 00:10:10 | More by TheBeerWolf
Photo of andrewm190
andrewm190

North Carolina

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

This is quite the beer. The Abv is one of the most intense experiences one will have with this beer. The benefit (besides the obvious) is that having such a high abv encourages the drinker to drink at a moderate pace and thus enjoy the taste that the beer has to offer. I am a big fan of the darker beers and this one is one of my new favorites.
The smell is unique and powerful.
The taste is strong and more complex than simply a high abv content. there are two distinct tastes with an underlying chocolaty taste.
The mouthfeel is very nice. the alcohol does tend to make its presence felt a little bit, but the beer leaves a nice coating in the aftertaste.
Its a drinkable beer; its a little intense.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2006 03:12:20 | More by andrewm190
Photo of Poser
Poser

Alabama

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

I picked this one up in Atlanta.

Appearance: Darkest beer I've seen so far. I held it up to a 100W bulb and couldn't see anything. Has a good, dark head.

Smell: Very chocalate-like with strong aromas of expresso and malts.

Taste: The malts hit you like a brick. It tastes a lot like a chocolate expresso. The aftertaste stays with you for a very long time.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied

Drinkability: It's hard to drink more than one in a single sitting. High ABV and full body makes you want a glass of water.

Overall, I was very impressed with this stout. I would recommend it to anyone. It's is probably the best RIS I've had so far for taste and smell.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2006 04:51:10 | More by Poser
Photo of fank2788
fank2788

Connecticut

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

I would like to start by saying that this is my first russian imperial stout so I don't have anything to compare this beer to but I'll do my best.
I poured this from the bottle into a glass and was really impressed with the deep black color, it has only a hint of ruby hues if you hold it up to a light. The head is a dark khaki tan that laces the glass nicely. The smell is really complex roasted and chocolate malts dominate. The first couple of sips present a bitterness that seems almost overwhelming but this soon mellows out once you become used to it and then you can really taste the chocolate malt flavors. Despite the high alcohol content the alcohol isn't that noticable but the beer does have a nice warming quality. I don't know if I would want to try drinking more than one in a sitting just because of the really powerful flavor but it is definitely one i'll buy again.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2006 02:09:36 | More by fank2788
Photo of Orrshow
Orrshow

Alberta (Canada)

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

Appearance – This Stout is as black as they come with a plentiful amount of tan head. It stays reasonably well on the top and leaves some lacing.

Smell – Strong roasted malts on the nose to begin. There is some chocolate, toasted coffee bean, alcohol, and earthiness as well. A good effect which makes me anxious to sip.

Taste – Very roasted malt and burnt wood flavors kick you right in the ass when you take a sip of this. There is more coffee flavor than I expected from the smell which is pretty nice. I can taste slight amounts of chocolate as well along with a pleasant bitterness. A very slight hint of prunes arises as well. On top of it all alcohol makes itself known in a nice warm way. This beer tastes excellent.

Mouthfeel – A decent mouthfeel. Carbonation was slightly high but I could get over that because this one was nice and creamy.

Drinkability – Great. I had an easy time here.

This is a robust and balanced ale which I’m glad to have acquired. Makes me want to try more of this style in a huge way.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2006 15:27:25 | More by Orrshow
Photo of MSchae1017
MSchae1017

Georgia

4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was tasted in a imperial pint glass from a bottle.

This beer pours jet black with a creamy tan head that holds amazingly well the whole way down the glass and leaves some impressive lace. The smell is sweet roasted and dark chocolate malts. A very nice very strong flavor. The taste is also great. Fully of dark roasted malts and chocolate malts. There is a great sweetness to this beer which is immediately balanced by some huge bitterness. The mouthfeel is exceptional. This can be described as chewey and creamy. Just fantastic. Overally Highly drinkable. A fantastic RIS.

And as I close I wanted to give you this quote from Seinfeld "The Suicide"

If you named a kid Rasputin do you think that would have a negative effect on his life?

...not in this case

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2006 23:21:59 | More by MSchae1017
Photo of 51mmz0rz
51mmz0rz

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Totally black, nice foamy tan head. Some lacing.

S: Complex malt roastyness, sweetness, and some alcohol.

T: Malts up front, real bitter hoppy aftertaste, followed by roasty malts (coffee and chocolate are defiantly there) that linger.

M: Moderate carbonation and pretty full mouthfeel.

D: The bitterness seems to build here, and the high abv makes it tough to drink more than one.

Not a big fan of the hoppy bitterness, but the coffee and chocolate flavors that jump out are delicious.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2006 06:39:15 | More by 51mmz0rz
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer twice today, once on-tap at a restaurant (too cold, served in a pint glass), once at home (warmer 12 oz. bottle poured to pint glass). Reviews would be similar, tho at home was the better version: warmer = more taste & aroma.

A: Almost perfectly black, with the faintest hints of copper red at the edges. One finger light tan-colored head. A beautiful stout.

S: Rich coffee and chocolate, grows more intense the warmer the beer gets.

T: The chocolate and coffee are here with a definite lingering sweetness. Heavy bittering hops initially which evolve into the sweeter flavors. Alcohol warming and fruit flavors come out with warming. A decadent group of well-balanced flavors.

M: Medium/full body. Slightly thick & heavy for a stout. Lingering bittersweetness. Mild carbonation.

D: So delicious, worthy of more than one. A sipping beer due to higher abv, but a beer I could (and did) have more than one of.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2006 19:13:55 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of Erdinger2003
Erdinger2003

Iowa

4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Westmalle trappist piece of stemware.

It pours out a small fluffy head that has a wonderfull lacing. Also a jet black color that is traditional of Russian Imperial Stouts.

It smells like coffee and dark cocoa and a little sweet. A sweet licorice and fruitiness that are just great. I believe I smell black currants which were described in the Dark Lord, but I have not had any before.

The taste is sweet and bitter at the same time with spiciness. Coffee (expresso), licorice, dark fruit, and flowery hops are all flavors that hit me very nicely.

Mouthfeel is very nice and smooth, smooth and a little creamy feel is in it.

I am glad this is now in Roots, because I will wish to have it at least once a month, very nice.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2006 04:36:35 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of instrumentality
instrumentality

California

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

Poured a thick brown-black with three fingers of creamy brown head that settled into a thin pool of lace of various shades of white and brown.

The odor conjured images of chocolate malt with a shot of espresso.

The smells translated well to my palate, somewhat bitter with the added flavor of red wine.

Initial mouthfeel seemed a bit chalky, oddly enough, but intensity-wise, it was pretty mellow with only a slight burn of alcohol and minimal carbonation. The aftertaste was just a bit too strong and coating, a bitter mix of espresso and red wine.

I was disappointed to find that this brew smelled better than it tasted--not that the taste was bad, but I expected more. To take a more positive spin on this, for an RIS, it's well balanced and fairly easy to drink.

I'll probably save the last couple bottles of my four-pack and let them age a bit. I have a feeling a little time will make this one a real treat.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2006 03:36:58 | More by instrumentality
Photo of gbarron
gbarron

Georgia

4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a squatty 12 oz. bottle, no dating.

A - very, very dark and black but not quite opaque. When held up to direct light, deep ruby and amber hues emerge. Head is very thick and tight, lightly tan and creamy like froth on coffee.

S - rich smell of roasted grains, nuts, coffee beans. Backed up by firm earthy hop aroma, English hops. Hints of alcohol. Smells like a stout.

T - I have rarely given out 5's, but this one deserves it in the taste category. Rich and very complex. Initial malt sweetness like bitter, dark chocolate mixed with licorice, espresso, dark fruits, followed by assertive hop bitterness and earthy hop flavor. Extremely well balanced beer. Warming aftertaste of alcohol. Lots of different flavors bouncing around in my mouth on this one.

M - very, very smooth and silky despite alcohol content. Very full bodied mouthfeel, but not overwhelming. Alcohol is slightly warming. Carbonation is moderate to low. Slightly sweet finish.

D - amazing brew, give it a try. Despite higher alcohol and full body, I could drink several of these in an evening and not tire of it.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2006 01:49:36 | More by gbarron
Photo of Liquids
Liquids

Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks delicious, dark black with a red-brown hue peeking out from the bottom of the glass, with a massive, bubly and creamy head that is comparable to the color of, say, wheat bread, for lack of a better comparative. Smells like an american variation on the grassy english ale aroma--more piney and resinous--but the aroma is rather gentle for an imperial stout. Hmm. More like a straght ahead stout. The taste is malty and focused, with a charred finish that tastes, again, mostly like a standard stout. This may have some time on it, in which case, considering style, this is how it would taste after reaching Russia. The expectedly intense hops have mellowed out I think, comparing it to when I had it fresh on tap months prior. The hops again are american, piney, and slightly floral even. Mouthfeel is medium and well- or possibly over- carbonated. Stout like in feel, not as heavy as anticipated, but not light either. Overall, I am not a fan of the hop profile here. Nor do I love the less than smooth, charred malts that acompany it in the finish. This is a very good beer, but it is not the best of style. Tastes more like an american stout than an imperial stout, but it somehow hides the 8% well. I love the label and russian phrases. North Coast is consistently good, despite brewing beers that don't personally appeal to my palate enough to be my pick as favorites given their style. Drinking this left me dreaming of Storm King, which I find delicious both on tap and in the bottle, while this was absolutely better on tap.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2006 16:04:43 | More by Liquids
Photo of JBStith
JBStith

North Carolina

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

Old Rasputin. I've had it in both bottle and draft, but bottle most recently. As I remember, it wass slightly better on draft. However, this is an exceptional beer regardless of serving type.

A: Dark like crude oil with nice tan head. Initial head is about 1/4 inch with slight retention and lacing.

S: Acrid smell of dark roasted coffe and black patent malts.

T: Similar to smell. Great roasted, coffee and acrid flavors supported by slight malt and good bitterness. Alcohol was not readily noticeable, but became more apparent as the beer warmed up. Became slightly sweeter as well.

M: Mouthfeel was not too heavy, though heavier than most regular stouts.

D: Due to high alchol content, I don't recommend drink more than 1-2 of these per session. However, very drinkable from a flavor and body point of view.

Overall, a very nice example of Russian Imperial Stout. I will have this again and recommend it to others, esopecially stout fans. Great beer!

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2006 15:11:54 | More by JBStith
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,151 ratings.