1. The BeerAdvocate Store is back! Pre-order your stuff now. Items begin shipping Dec 15. Christmas deadline = Dec 18 @ 5pm EST.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.

10,349 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,349
Reviews: 3,396
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 351
Gots: 1,545 | 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 (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: 10,349 | Reviews: 3,396 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pmccallum86
3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark brown/black color, almost like motor oil. Thick chocolate color head with great lacing and retention on the glass.

The smell is of rich chocolates, cocoa and coffee. Some alcohol is also present in the smell.

The taste is just like the smell very rich chocolate, like a liquid chocolate cream pie. Some toffee and caramel are also present with a warming smooth alcohol. Maybe a little light on the boldness of the flavors though.

Great mouthfeel, a thick and viscous full bodied beer. Creamy heavy texture on the tongue.

Quite a drinkable RIS, however I would prefer a little more boldness in the flavor.

Photo of bminor7
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up from Stowe, VT in 2/09.

Significant accolades to North Coast Brewing for this beer...12 gold medals from various beer festivals since 1996.

Pours virtually black. Nice tan foam forms on the surface. Texture is not as thick as you would expect for a beer of this gravity - somehow they kept the viscosity down, not a bad thing! Smells a lot of chocolate and roasted malts. Some of the apparently 75 IBUs show off here as well. Tastes great - more accessible than some of the bossier RISs...with a chocolate, malty, nutty taste, followed by the alcohol and bitterness from the hops. I have not gotten this level of hops from this type of beer before. The drinkability is surprisingly good...I could see 2 or 3 of these in myself.

I remember having the first of the 6-pack of this over 6 months ago and it was a bit harsh at the time, but I believe it has improved some with age. I believe this bottle, the last, was roughly 1 year old. Highly recommended! Even the burps I get from this are appetizing.

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

-Tulip Glass

Pours into your glass dark, just about black. Thick, caramel colored, two-finger head which lingers nicely before dissapearing. Not much lacing left, but that doesn't detract from anything.

Smells rich. Hints of chocolate and malt. Smells sturdy and thick with hints of coffee. Extremely inviting.

The feel is smooth and creamy on the palate with a dry finish. Carbonization is mild, but well balanced with the rest of the aspects. Just the right amount in my opinion. Hops are subtle and I detect more of the roasted qualities than anything.

Definitely one you'd like to sip and savor. Full bodied and thick, but not chewy.

Photo of Thur123
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An opaque black with a creamy caramel colored head that's minimal in height but seems to retain just so nicely. Now the sniff...Big roasted malts and a thick kind of molasses sweetness, maybe some raisins and a bit of the hooch comes through. Smells strong and sturdy, but not too powerful...but my nose is kind of a noob anyways.

Glug glug glug

First there is a sweet taste of roasted malts and a creamy flavor...and if I'm not crazy a bit of hop bitterness lingers along with it. Just after the initial hit I get a fruity base of plums and maybe cherries. The entire profile is really well balanced and complex, in addition to being just really damn tasty. I still feel like there is a RIS out there I might like more for one reason or another but until then this is great. The mouth feel is full and just right. Also, I tasted little alcohol in this, which is an awesome benefit to such a great tasting beer.

Photo of Jmoore50
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one hell of a beer. I also cannot believe I have never reviewed it.

The appearance is black, with some dark brown edging. The head is a dark tan creamy froth. It leaves medium to light lacing around the glass.

The smell is good with cocoa and faint coffee smells. Also a light mocha or milky coffee smell is a strong characteristic.

The taste is great, especially for a year-around beer, how do they do it? Well served at room temperature or ABOVE is when it peaks. Malty coffee, small hints of cocoa. ABV is hidden all too well, makes it dangerous on a night out. The mouthfeel is thick, and creamy. The body looks thinner though, which tricks the mind. On tap it is a frothy malt bomb. In the bottle it is a little thinner and more drinkable. Dark roasted malts are very prominent giving it a dark grain taste. Beautiful.


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

Jet black with a thick tan head that last all the way to the bottom of the glass. Hints of coffee and carmelized malts in the aroma. The flavor is much of the same, with a toffee upper pallate middle. The alcohol is noticeable, but well balanced. On the sweet side, but not as much as, say Lefthand Milk Stout. There's a big mouthfeel to this one. Toasty, coffee and dark chocolate finish in the back and upper palatte. Of the 70 beers I've review thus far, this is the closest I've had to perfect.

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

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a solid black color with a fair, tan-colored head.

Smell: Strong roasted smell, but the alcohol gave it a bit of a medicinal smell that was a bit of a turn-off for me.

Taste: It has a roasted malt flavor with hints of chocolate, but the alcohol flavor is still perceptible, and that was a slight turn-off on the first few sips.

Mouthfeel: Has a good full body without being too thick.

Drinkability: Upon the first few sips, I did not care for this one and I felt the alcohol was too noticeable. However, as I finished my glass, this grew on me with each passing drink and now, I'm a fan.

Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin poured into Nonic Pint Glass
A - Poured a thick black color with a huge 3 finger mocha color head.

S - Rich roasted malt aroma, cocoa, toffee, small hop aroma

T - Yep, rich roasty malts, coffee, chocolate, smokey taste, hop bitterness in there as well, very complex

M - Great mouthfeel, pretty heavy I would say, good carbonation

D - Big sipper due to the 9%abv, very warming going down, great RIS

Overall, a great beer with complex roasted malts and a hop bitterness, i really enjoyed this beer. Definitely gonna enjoy one of these come colder winter time.

Photo of Squelch
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jet balck. Brown head dissipating fast.

Smell: Nothing here.

Taste: compex caramel, toffee, some esters. Charcoal. astringent.

Mouthfeel: Dry. Alcoholic heat. tingly from the carb

Drinkability: A sipper. If it were less astringent, it would be much more drinkable.

Photo of OlRasputin989
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 16 oz Schlafly nonic...

A: An opaque, dark brew. brown-black with a huge, thick cappucino-colored head. The froth remains through the entire drink and leaves behind creamy lacing. It is a modern-art masterpiece!

S: Rich with toffee, cocoa, and refreshing hops that carry a slight citrus smell.

T: Rich chocolate and honey with a fade of lemon, glazed donuts and caramel.

M: A smooth, creamy entry leads to a lively carbonation that has a lightly drying and resiny hop finish

Overall, this beer is the hop-lovers stout. I'm not saying it's all hops. This is a true Russian Imperial! It just announces its U.S. roots with the delicious hop textures.

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

Appearance: Pours a dense black with a thick brown head (reddish tint around edge of head).
Smell: A very malty, almost roasted scent. Straight up with pleasant hints of chocolate and stronger hints of coffee.
Taste: Somewhat of a chocolate covered coffee bean. With a bit of a cherry and tartness. Definitely taste the alocohol but not in a bad way. Delicious!
Mouthfeel: A nice smooth, thick, creaminess with a tiny bit of sweet tingling of a light carbonation in the end.
Drinkablity: The more I have the more the cherry comes through. Its somewhat heavy (expected) but it balances out very well. It goes down well especially for the abv.

An excellent brew! I highly recommend it especially for a later in the evening drink. Something I would stock up a bit on for the winter.

Photo of Grunewald
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet. It pours black with a thick brown head.

S - dark chocolate, coffee beans

T - tart chocolate covered coffee beans and a hint of medicinal cherry

M - low carbonation, thick and smooth with a chalky finish

D - very heavy. Having just one of these to sip is good enough for me. The astringent cherry taste can be a bit strong at times and can carry into the finish.

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

Appearance is great very dark and thick looking, little to no carbonation.
Smell and taste are similar, but taste is a bit stronger. There is a very malty coffee up front, some tobacco, and a hint of bitter chocolate. Some slight dark fruit as well. Mouthfeel is good as well, medium to heavy body. Goes down much smoother than any other RIS I have had.

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

I had this at Teresa's Next door on Nitro at the Beer Geek brunch, Served chilled in a large snifter

A - Deep black, opaque like a black hole w/ 2 fingers of whipped chocolate mousse for a head.

S- Slight port aroma, deep plum, tobacco, cocoa, vanilla, coffee and caaramel

M - Lots of creaminess in the feel w/ smooth vanilla and spice. Lots of charred malt textures w/ mild sweetness in the finish and mild alcohol accent

T - Bitter cocoa, dark toffee, french pressed french roast coffee, caramel and high amounts of vanilla flavor-earthy bean like elements. A dark brown sugar, molasses and cocoa mix w/ mild caramel, dark plum fruit notes and hints of roasted barley. There is the taste of dark rum as the alchohol is present in the finish, with mild sweetness at around room temp.

D - Well brewed RIS w/ nitro usage I actually enjoyed. I am not normally a fan of the Nitro, but in this stout it is fantastic, Old Rasputin is a top -notch ale any way you cut it.

Photo of SteveS1
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the bottle to a glass-
Look: Pitch black, only a hint of red at the edges. Thick bubbly brown head, little retention.

Smell: Sweet, malty, cherry, and yes, a bit of alcohol.

Taste: The taste begins with a dark cherry flavor, then fades quickly into a roasted chocolate. Aftertaste is of bitter alcohol.

Feel: Thick, heavy, a little carbonation.

Drink: The strong alcohol content and flavor keeps this from being any more than a sip and enjoy.

Photo of mirish72
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had picked this up in a mixed six. To be honest I haven't been too impressed by North Coast's other offerings, but I had high hopes for this one and wasn't disappointed.

Pours jet black with little head into a Portsmouth snifter. Smells great, chocolately, lots of malts and other good stuff in a RIS. Overall, it was really nicely done, with a nice even taste, without the sweetness that sometimes creeps into some RIS.

Definitely a keeper.

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

Appearance: A deep, dark, brown, nearly black. Very opaque and pours a thick lighter brown head that lasts quite some time. Light belgian lace when the head does dissipate.

Smell: A bold roast aroma, with a bit of mocha rounding it off. Little hops apparent.

Taste: Strong roast grain taste, straddling the border of carbon tasting, but pulling back at the last minute. The finish seems to last for ages, and shows it's true complexity there, with cocoa being somewhat prevalent, and molasses even more so, before the bitterness comes in like a bolt of lightening. Sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full, with just enough carbonation to make it lightly pop on the tongue without overwhelming the flavors of the beer itself.

Drinkability: Very little in the way of flaws make this a great example of what I believe an Imperial Stout should taste like.

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

Pours black with a light brown head that quickly fades, but continues to seep up.

Big malty aroma, mainly cocoa with vanilla.

Wonderful flavor - chocolate malt, espresso, vanilla, dark red fruit, slightly sweet with about as much hop flavor as you'll find in any RIS out there. Good cohesion. Hops and roasted malt contribute to a long, fairly bitter finish.

Medium bodied for the style, and sticky with plenty of carbonation.

This is a standby for good reason.

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

P: '08 bottle poured into a sample glass.

A: Poured a deep dark amber with a slight, dark tan colored head that dissipated quickly. Very little carbonation which lead to a relatively fine head leaving little lacing.

S: sweet dark chocolate, roasted coffee, alcohol, and just a hint of some sort of dark fruit.

T: Opens sweet and malty leading to a chocolately middle with a hint of roasted raisin flavor. Ends alcoholic but there is almost no aftertaste.

M: medium bodied for an RIS with a coarsity that doesn't match its carbonation.

D: this one definitely lived up to the hype. Complex and befitting of the RIS style I can't wait to have another.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness dating on bottle or label. Single purchased from local health foods store for $2.29.

A-Pours a deep, dark brown almost black hue with a two finger, creamy tan head with great retention and heavy lacing. A gorgeous craft beer.

S-Deep, dark chocolate and toasted malts and organic Turkish apricots. Also reminded me of chocolate pudding cake my mother used to make when I was a kid. The smell is wonderful.

T-Disappointing, in that it was not equal to the anticipation I expected from the aroma. Quite bitter with only a slight fruity finish. Improved as it warmed. Not a complex as I would have liked.

M-Robust, but very smooth with medium to full body. Warming due to the alcohol.

D-Good for a RIS, but not great. I like this and always want more when I finish a single 12 oz. bottle, but it doesn't achieve the rich complexity it aspires to.

I love the label with depiction of Rasputin and transliterated Russian text. Makes me think of snow and winter.

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

A: A great 1+ finger head that you don't often find in this style of brew. Not something I take off for lacking, but give credit for having. I even see some active carbonation in there. It is, as one would hope, Black and black and black and black. I like it very much.

S: Dark, sweet fruit, some malt and maybe a hint of roasted barley? No hops, no overwhelming roast. I really get the smell of cooking chocolate, such as making fudge or melting chocolate for dipping fruit. Very good, not quite perfect though.

T: More sweet fruit, not so much on the raisin side but more so the cooked apple and plum sort of taste. Absolutely no sign of alcohol. If you told me this was an NA beer, I wouldn't doubt you. I don't get the gritty dryness of a roasted malt or anything. I really, really like this beer.

M: Proper thickness, not too thin, not to rich or creamy. It does have a mild carbonation bite and a little tingle afterward which is kinda funny, but all in all pretty good.

D: Very good taste, very doable, but the abv limits its true drinkability. But for the style, very good.

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

the benchmark for the style.
pours thick, black, and viscous, with a respectable tan-brown head.
smells like a coffee shop that also makes wonderful chocolate-chip cookies. sounds weird, but i've been to a couple, and thats what it reminds me of.
tastes sweet, roasty, creamy, and sinful. strong coffee up front, bitter chocolate with a hint of anise (not overpowering as in some RIS's) and with a sweet cream finish.
mouthfeel is decently creamy. carbonation is subtle.
drinkability is good for the style. dangerously smooth when a beer this strong should be more of a sipper.

a regular in my rotation. the best value as far as imperial stouts go. though i havent had brooklyn's BCS in a while so i hold the right to reverse that statement.
one of the best RIS's, and one of the best stouts overall.

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

Pours out quite thick, though not as close to motor oil as some recent imperial stouts I've seen. Hints of ruby red peek from around the edges of my glass, and the darkish tan head is light a frothy, lasting well but leaving little lacing. Nose is obviously well-hopped, with citrus and fruit notes hovering over the menacingly dark chocolate. Treacle and plum sit in the mix as well, fabulously complex and alluring. Taste is a minor step back, as the hops step forward and the vinous character takes a distinct back seat to the slam of coffee and chocolate. Still there is a nice note of tobacco in the mix, which keeps it lively and interesting. Mouthfeel is nice and thick, not overpowering though, and drinkability is solid. Very good stout, has everything you're looking for without necessarily being at the very top rank in its category.

Photo of Anthony1
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a snifter

this thing pours like motor oil. a deep deep coco color with a whispy tan head.

smells like a chocolate expresso. Lots of coco, roasted malt, coffee. main up front aroma is the chocolate though. tastes very roasted coffee malts. full bodied, very creamy and chewey. Almost like a coffee chocolate milk shake. very rich and enjoyable. giving stone IRS a run for its money, but i think stone still has the lead in my heart.

Photo of mwagner1018
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Looks like a nice pint of dark roast Italian coffee, deep dark chocolate, almost black...frothy heady, that lingers and reintroduces itself with a light swirl.

S- Deep coffee notes, butter nut, caramel.

T- Awesome...chocolate malt notes, smooth, creamy, notes of scotch, oak, woody and sharp, but extremely well balanced.

M- Complex, bitter, vanilla, buttery...very nice body.

D- Wow, drank half a glass...great sipping beer, dark and whicked...in a great way...deep and balanced...very very nice beer. Drinkable if you are going to have 1...

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,349 ratings.