1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  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.

10,201 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,201
Reviews: 3,384
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 333
Gots: 1,464 | FT: 44
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,201 | Reviews: 3,384 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CHSLBrew
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

A-An attractive deep black and opaque beer with a deep brown head rising above. Head dissipated quickly into a thin layer of bubble on top. This beer appears to coat the sides of the glass when swirled, indicative of it's thickness.

S-Strongly of chocolate and roasty malts, with some dark fruitiness. No appreciable hop aromas.

T-Starts with a ver chocolatey and roasted malt oriented flavor, followed by esters and a very present bitterness. Some of this assertive bitter could be due to some astringency from roasted malts.

M-Low-moderate carbonation, appropriate to style, with a chewy, heavy mouthfeel (again, indicated by the coating of the sides of the glass). Alcohol warmth noticeable at the end of the taste.

D-Drinkable, in that it's a good beer, and it makes me want to have another one. Of course, being a little heavier could get in the way of enjoying too many in a sitting, but this is a very enjoyable beer to sip on during a cold winter evening.

CHSLBrew, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of Shumista
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my snifter.

A- Old Rasputin pours a thick, syrupy, pitch black color with a 1 inch tan head. Huge amounts of lacing stick to the sides of the glass as the beer is drank.
S- Not as good as I was expecting. Vanilla, coffee, and chocolate are all there, but not as strong as I expected. There is an odd almost metallic smell as well.
T- The taste makes up for the slightly off aroma. Very sweet, lots of chocolate, coffee and roasted malts. The aftertaste is sweet and a touch bitter.
M- Thick, creamy and good carbonation. I don't really notice the high ABV except for a slight warming in the back of the throat.
D- I don't think I would ever drink more than two RIS's and this is no exception. It may be slightly more drinkable than other RIS's if I had to rank it though.

Overall, a great beer that I will certainly buy again the next time I am looking for a sipper, especially with the coming of the cold weather.

Shumista, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of RJUGA03
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had the beer on tap at Brixie's bar in Brookfield,IL. (The bar turned me into a craft brew snobb, but that's for another date.) I found the beer to be black in appearence with a typical crawling stout head. On the initial sip I noticed a bitter hard alcoholish stout/ malty beginning iwth a choclatey milkshake like robust finish (hoppy). I give the beer an A.

RJUGA03, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of hawkseven
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle

First experience with a RIS.

A- Black !!!with a thin (1/4 inch) mocha head

S- Coffee and chocolate, smells tasty and inviting.

T- very chocolate-y with a bitter coffe after taste, mild smokiness, definitly 9% ABV

M- creamy and thick, with a slight carbonation bite.

D- very good, need to pair this with a meal probably something fatty instead of drinking by itself. Very impressed with this brew. I will look for it again.

hawkseven, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of beckje01
3.18/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

This is my second review of Old Rasputin this time on nitro.

A- Black with a very very creamy head.

S- Ok something just isn't quite correct for the style, maybe the nitro.

T- Malty yet light, some hops which goes well. Overall a good taste for a RIS.

M- Super smooth but its nitro so can't mess that up.

D- Ok on drinkable its overall just an ok RIS much better on nitro then other version so make sure to try it if you get the chance.

beckje01, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of ibbjamin
3.38/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $7.99 for a 4 pack of 12 oz. bottles from BevMo in San Jose, CA. Poured one of the bottles into a snifter.

Quarter inch tan head. Somewhat fizzy, but does not seem too carbonated. The beer is black with minimal head retention. Some lacing.

Alcohol and a complex malt blend in the nose. Roasty and some chocolate.

Taste is of nicely roasted malts. Not as complex as the nose.

Mouth is more carbonated than I expected. Pleasant. Medium body and a bit thinner for a RIS.

A bit overrated IMO. There are better RISs than this.

ibbjamin, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of JasonA
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an oil black with solid 2 fingers of thick mocha head. Staying power with lacing.

Deep roasted malt. Rum raison, dry hops.

Yummy. Need I say more? Rum raison, roasted dry malt. Definitely baking chocolate.

Smooth. Extremely well balanced with the carbonation.

Well. Something could be better here, not exactly sure what it is, but there is something missing. Maybe a bit more malt.

Would love to find this on draft.

JasonA, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of chuckd123
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this on tap and in bottles several times now, and it never disappoints. As expected, it pours a deep, thick black-as-night black color, with a dark brown 1/2 finger head. Laces up somewhat and lasts.

The smell has hints of coffee, maybe even toffee, some slight chocolate, malt and alcohol. As with most imperial stouts, the alcohol is right there for you, no hiding it in this thing.

The taste has to be textbook spot on for the style. You notice a coffee-ish flavor blended nicely with the malt right off, and the alcohol nose isn't far behind.

Mouthfeel is excellent, no sting from the alcohol, just a very (very) smooth, somewhat creamy feel to it. Excellent.

I've not found any imperial stouts I would call sessionable, and this is no exception. A tad on the heavy side, and the alcohol catches up to you pretty fast. I'd recommend spending the better part of 45mins to an hour on each of these, and after 2 you'll probably want to call it quits.

Excellent example of the style, well done North Coast.

chuckd123, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of katan
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz undated bottle

A - Pours dark as night with a strong mocha colored head. Very well retained.

S - Reminds me of chocolate and caramel notes - backed up with some roasted barley sweetness.

T - Very chocolately throughout the flavor profile. Mid-stream is a well defined sweetness. Ends with a lingering after taste of something like smoke. Aftertaste is dominated by bitterness.

M - Creamy and thick - coats the mouth completely. The after taste strength would indicate that some of the bitter balance has left a strong hop oil base.

D - While the flavors are certainly pleasing, this beer is certainly a sipper. Not high on the ABV bell curve for the RIS category, it still is potent enough to be more of a loaner night beer.

Fantastic beer - one I guess I'll have to do more importing of to Iowa over the winter.

katan, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of ncvbc
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark pour, close to black with ruby brown hues around the edges. Somewhat frothy tan head, not too dense and settles to a ring. Good smell of molasses, raisin, light roast and ash, and chocolate with a cocoa. Taste is pretty good. Much of what was noted in the nose but with a bit much bitterness. A bit heavy on the booze, especially for a lighter RIS. Mouth is more toward medium than full, not thin but the bitterness keeps it from being to creamy. One isn't a problem but two or more might be a task.

ncvbc, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of Chelsea1905
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poued very dark, was in a dark pub when I tried it, but almost no light breaking through this dark mahogany beauty. Think white-brown head, that left substantial lacing

Smelled like a stout, chocolate and malts, but a sliht hoppy-citrus note in there too

Hops and floral mixture, which was really suprising, then the malt and chocolate hit after.

Heavy, full meal-like mouthfeel.

Drank a couple and that was good enough. A little too heavy for a session beer, but nice for just a couple

Chelsea1905, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of BretSikkink
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany colored with highlights, tight head doesn't budge in the snifter glass. Good lacing, but it's gone by the time this big beer is.

Aromas of chocolate, slightly roasted but not as dark as some. Tiny whiff of coffee. On the tongue it's very hoppy and bitter while also bringing loads of chocolate sweetness.

Somewhat chewy and full, but not quite the best - very little carbonation, which is fine, but it might help cleanse the palate of the harsher aspects of the brew.

BretSikkink, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of allergictomacros
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black. Dense brown head of foam and good lacing.

S - Dark, roasty aromas predominate. Molasses, dark frut and berries, some graininess and metal.

T - Very wine like and fruity with roasted character as well. Mixed berries, coffee. Not overly sweet and alcohol is well hidden.

M - Carbonation is sharp, which seems to lighten the body somewhat.

D - Pretty good, but not my favorite. Could be a victim of raised expectations. Feels light for a RIS and flavour is solid but not mindblowing.

allergictomacros, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of gford217
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the beers that got me started on craft beer and just getting around to reviewing it. Bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours black as night with only a hint of light penetrating the edges leaving a mahogany hue. The huge tan head sits atop the blackness for a long, long while leaving big sheets of lacing.

The aroma is of massive dark roasted malts, bakers chocolate and licorice. There is also a pretty sizable hop kick in the nose up front as well, mainly citrus.

The taste also starts with an interesting citrus hop kick but it quickly gives way to the bittersweet chocolate and dark roasted malts. There is a hint of coffee as well as dark fruits.

The mouthfeel is sticky and lingers for ages, just coating the mouth with the massive malt and hop battle on the palate.

This is a great example of an RIS and old standby. Highly recommended.

gford217, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of vrazionale
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours thickly, with a slight head that quickly dissipates. The brew's color is nearly opague, like a cup of dark-roasted coffee.

S - Again, dark-roasted coffee, and a pleasantly bitter dark chocolate. Only a very slight hint of smokiness.

T - Not to keep harping the same point, but the taste is very similar to the pleasure of eating chocolate with a cup of good coffee. This gave me an idea - I tried a piece of (baking) bittersweet chocolate that was lying around the house with this brew - I thought the beer interacted very well with the chocolate. But I digress. Without chocolate, there is only a slight acidity on the finish, with hardly any alcohol taste.

M - A bit unsatisfying, but creamy and smooth. The finish was a little less lingering that I might like, but overall, an outstanding Russian Imperial Stout. Surprisingly high in carbonation, but I found that this made the texture a little more complex and interesting.

D - An outstanding, enjoyable brew. Take your time with this one. What the hell, I might as well use the coffee analogy once more: drink this beer as you would a cup of coffee on a lazy morning.

vrazionale, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of n00tz
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Friggin' Dark thick body with a tight brown foamy head. Undetectable carbonation.

S - Bitter coffee and a sharp fruity scent like a champagne. Slight smoke.

T - Dark roasted coffee bitterness, creamy hot chocolatey, slight hint of the alcohol with some mellow fruitiness like dried figs.

M - Thick body, I have to convince those that I've shared with that they are not drinking oil. Smooth going down, palate clears but the mouth stays coated like a light syrup. Fantastic stout.


n00tz, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of webmanspidey
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with pinkish lacing on top. Picture perfect appearance.
Dark malt, raisin, chocolate smell. Very smooth roasted malt taste. Chocolate, coffee, etc Very very drinkable. Only slight taste of alcohol in a 9% ABV beer. Excellent beer, excellent stout.

webmanspidey, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of JBogan
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark with a small tan creamy head which disappeared soon after and left little lacing.

Smelled of chocolate and coffee, along with a hint of alcohol.

Tasted as it smelled, although the alcohol was a bit more pronounced, especially as it warmed up. Nicely balanced.

Very smooth mouthfeel, slippery and creamy. Full bodied. You know this one is in your mouth. Very nice.

This is an excellent brew for this time of year, but probably a bit too much for the warmer months (especially here in Vegas). A couple of these will make you feel all warm and toasty inside.

JBogan, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of beerbart
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is, to me, a really delicious beer. I've been lovin' the dark ones, porters and stouts, a lot. And this one tops the list at present.

It's deep dark and serious. It makes cheese, caramels, chocolate, even pie, taste better. It's like taking a swim in a pool of warm molasses, watching your favorite horror movie, laughing at funereal humor, dancing with your best friend. 'Cause you can. 'Cause it's good to do.

You like a stout? Try it. You'll like it.

Shoot me now, I'll die happy.

beerbart, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of ectomorph
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle out of a "Never Say Die" 4 pack.

A - Poured into a pint glass this is jet black with a large dark tan head that has been staring at me for 5 minutes now.

S - Espresso and chocolate are the 1st things to mind. Roasty caramel sweetness. Epitome of 'mouth watering'.

T - Rich roasted coffee and caramel malts. Alcohol in the nose on the finish. Dark chocolate is picked up on the 2nd pull. Excellent.

M - Very complex and big bodied with that head cushioning each sip.

D - Is there a better brew for the winter? I doubt it.

ectomorph, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of DoctorDog
3.13/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz. bottle into an over sized wine glass. No freshness or bottling date indicated, which I presume is fairly inconsequential.

A- Deep brown/black in appearance. Pours with a bare minimum off-white head, which fades quickly, leaving a thin ring. Minimal lacing.

S- Alcohol, coffee, and vague hints molasses, though taken as a whole, all are fairly muted. After ~1/2 an hour, molasses odor become more prominent.

T- Crisp as it hits, but then quickly followed by alcohol and burnt/hoppy bitterness. Alcohol hit and bitters mellow as it warms, and the essence of coffee flavors become more present and pleasant.

M- Medium/high carbonation. Fairly smooth.

D- Moderate. In my book, this is a "one glass slow-sipper" of a beer.

Future outlook: Possible that I would pick this up again for rare-occasion sipping, though not something that would rank prominently for regular imbibing.

DoctorDog, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of CaptainIPA
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P: Presented in a 12 oz., brown stubby bottle with a label depicting the Mad Monk himself in the midst of dark, psychic meditation. Cryptic Russian lettering wraps around the bottom half of label. Evil stuff. No freshness dating.

A: Pours an opaque ebony color with a two-finger, caramel-colored head that fades to a thin rim of foam. Great lacing.

S: Chocolate malt, coffee, and a whiff of alcohol. A hint of wet wool. (That's a first.)

T: Roasted malts, semi-sweet chocolate and coffee. Bittering hops in the middle. Notes of malted milk balls and blackstrap molasses. Alcohol is well-concealed. Finishes with a snap of licorice.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth and creamy. Generous carbonation on the tongue.

D: At 9% ABV, not exactly sessionable - but a great sipper that's appropriate for this time of year.

CaptainIPA, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of Dalem
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is dark one. Almost black in color and just a sliver of light getting through. Half inch head that faded fairly quick but leaving slight cap when done and some spotty lacing that lasted all the way through the glass. A creamy, malty chocolate aroma with a touch of something that reminded me of hazelnuts and liquorice on the nose. The complex and pleasing scent alone had a very warming effect and made looking forward to the taste even more..and damn what a taste it is! A huge & flavorful dark roasted coffee taste up front followed by a tasty warm malt flavor. The finish is an interesting contrast in the complexities with a dry, hoppy bitterness and the liquorice nuances coming out. As it warms a bit in the glass even more of these little details come out making this a great one to sip on as the days get colder and the wind howls louder.
Though the brew itself has a bit more of a carbonation texture than in other stouts I usually go for, which makes it a little less "oily" feeling I guess, there is still a nice creamy and full body to it.

Dalem, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a brandy snifter glass. No freshness date on the bottle.

This brew pours a nice big, creamy head, with a very deep black color. Nose is an interesting blend of roasted malt hints with chocolate and a fair amount of alcohol.

The sip starts off with a heavy dose of roasted, chocolate malt flavors that quickly blend with a hit of alcohol and hop bite. This brew's potency actually hits the nasal cavity almost like a good glass of red wine, but despite the strong alcohol presence, keeps everything well in balance. Hint of alcohol and hope bitterness round everything out at the end. The mouthfeel of this big brew is truly outstanding. Creamy, yet not too heavy, full malt body, but not overdone. Without a doubt, this beer has one of the best balanced mouthfeels of any brew I have ever had.

At a whopping 9% ABV, this is no doubt a sipping brew. Best enjoyed in a snifter glass, at cellar temp, with slow, thoughtful sips. I bought a single bottle of this to give it a try, and I am very glad I did. For the cold months approaching, I plan to buy more, as this is one of the ultimate winter splurges out there.

AustinBeerLvr, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of william5586
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black, thick, small tan head that leaves some lace that slides down the glass after you take a drink.

S: roasted coffee

T: coffee for sure but not to much. chocolate. sweet to start off then the alcohol hits at the end. It warms and doesn't try to hide at all.

M: thick, creamy, sticks in your mouth

D: pretty drinkable. only wish i had the extra cash to buy it more often.

william5586, Oct 22, 2008
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,201 ratings.