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.

10,712 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,712
Reviews: 3,489
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 403
Gots: 1,858 | 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: 10,712 | Reviews: 3,489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Wegbier
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

finally drinking the last one, which i bought back in March 09.

a- black as black can be with a mocha froth head, small and reduces to to nearly nothing. no lacing to speak of

s- chocolate licorice coffee, so subtle and smooth

t- similarly so chocolaty smooth all the way through, dark chocolate, light amount of licorice, some caramel coffee. I remember it being packed full of coffee when it was fresh. so much cream

m- smooth and very lightly carbonated with a full mouth. very friendly alcohol on the finish. long long after taste of dark bitter chocolate, excellent.

so drinkable not too heavy for as full and flavorful as it is.

Photo of natelocc787
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin...In my circle the name says it all. Nice thick, black/brown body with about every shade of brown visible in the head. A large head emerges after the pour smelling of roasted malt, espresso, milk chocolate and dark chocolate and vanilla bean. As the head fizzles slowly, thick chunks of milk chocolate mousse lace appear at the sides of the glass and craters are formed at the zenith. The taste is magnificent: graham cracker, molasses, espresso, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, hot fudge syrup and light toffee. All flavors complement the roasty black malt backbone. Very thick and chewy as a top notch RIS should be. Luxurious mouthfeel. Very invigorating as it fulfills all expectations. Simply put, still the RIS all others are judged by.

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

Old Rasputin!

This brew is as dark as the man himself!

Extremely dark and with a head that lasts for quite a long time. Coffee and Dark Chocolate tastes that mix well with the heavy hop flavor. Strong beer for strong taste.

Probably one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I have had, and have had many times before... and will have many many times again.

I enjoyed this beer in a mug at a slightly chilled temperate, maybe about 58 degrees.

Photo of t3hcho53non3
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark black color with a good one fingered head that quickly subsides but leaves supple lacing throughout the glass.

S: Malty sweetness, bready, roasted oak

T: Very rich earthy flavor that goes down remarkably smooth and at the end of the palate a roastiness that ends on a dry note

M: Very full bodied with little to no carbonation

D: Very drinkable and the evolution of this brew warrants a second go around.

Photo of GRG1313
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle version of the three version taste test this night (Nitro, regular tap and bottle).

Black with a thick pillow like head. As nice as the tap but not as firm as the nitro;

Nose of bitter dark chocolate and fresh espresso. Nose from the bottle is actually a bit more assertive than on tap or nitro. Also has a bit more of a hop character than the tap.

Again however, great flavors of bitter chocolate, coffee/espresso and malt/toffee/carmel with hints of bitter and roasted grains.

Medium to full mouthfeel with a bit of creamy character.

Long coffee/espresso bitter chocolate finish. An all around great drink.

Bottle version is my least favorite but, having said that, I'll drink the bottle version any time! Very nice beer!

Photo of Duttonic
3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is strong. It reminds me a lot of black licorice. Great appearance and mouthfeel, but I had trouble downing a pint of it.

The smell was intense and dark, but inviting. I would like to try this out of a bottle rather than from a tap to see if there is a noticeable difference in taste. Worth trying if you enjoy stouts.

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

A- Dark caramel/coffee color with .5 inch head that settled fast into a short layer of bubbly head

S- Malty, sweet bread, some oak as well

T- Dark roasted flavors, some yeast and coffee as well

M- Rich, with a slight presence of tannin just enough to pull a little moisture out of the pallet. This one is creamy and finishes a bit dry

D- For a darker beer it has a lot going on, could very well be sessionable but at 9%abv, watch out

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

Wow... Poured very dark with a slight two finger head.

As I do with all my first taste beers, the light test... strong thin gold rim obove dark reddish tint body.

Strong fruity smell, almost like a red wine with slight sulfuric lingering aroma... which made this beer very appealing.

Very strong earthy flavor that goes down very smooth. Very little lingering burnt aftertaste which makes this beer very drinkable. I really enjoyed drinking this beer for the first time.

Photo of Casey10
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow this was on sale for 7.99 a 4 pack so excited to try this at a great pricepoint as well.

A - Pours a dark black with a two finger head.

S - slight chocolate, faint notes of burnt ends.

T - Nice, smooth chocolate, based on other stouts this one is topps, really good.

M - Frothy, chocolate, nice really nice

D - Could drink this over and over as is a really nice stout not to turn down !

Photo of diamondc
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin is definitely one of the best values in craft beer today. A four-pack only set me back $9 and change.

No bottled on or best buy date anywhere on the bottle or case.

This beer looks magnificent in a over-sized pint glass. Motor oil black, with a ruby red tint when held up to the light. The head stays around for a while .. mocha colored valleys and peaks of foam with sticky lacing.

The first smell is unexpectedly of ripe dark fruits .. sour, red fleshed plums and black cherries. The prerequisite aromas of coffee and cocoa are present in the background.

The roasted malts are the highlight here .. lots of dark chocolate and cocoa nib flavors. Vanilla, caramel, and licorice all come into play with a moderate amount of pine-y hops at the end.

One of the most drinkable Russian imperial stouts out there. Despite having a high ABV %, the alcohol is unnoticeable. The roastedness never detracts from the drinkability. With a lot of different flavors coming out from cold to room temperature, this beer is a sipper.

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

Pours like motor oil with a light-tan head. It goes away fairly quickly but there's a decent amount of lace for a higher ABV beer. Aromas of roasted coffee and the darkest chocolate imaginable. Very pleasant but not as aromatic as it could have been. There's a ton of depth in the flavor with the roasted notes taking the forefront. The coffee/bittersweet chocolate flavor starts with a dark cherry fruit flavor peaking through in the middle. It was very subtle but it was there. The finish came on nicely with a roasted coffee bitterness. Nice, chewy mouthfeel that made me feel like there was ground up coffee and cocoa powder floating in the beer. One of the most delicious stouts I've had to date. A definite must try and something I'll drink again.

Photo of rickmick
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Opened the bottle then poured into a hefty mug.

A thick head hangs around for a couple of minutes, then flees. The brew is very black. Enticing. Not much going on in the aroma department.

This is extremely tasty. Not terribly complex, but a very nice barleyish flavor dominates the finish. Mouthfeel is phenomenal--one of the best feeling beers I've ever had. Drinkable for a RIS.

One of the best RISs around.

Photo of washburnkid
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this fine beer before, but haven't had a chance to review it yet. Enjoyed in a snifter.

A: 3 fingers of a dark tan head that's bubbly and inviting. The body is pitch black, with the head sliding so slowly down and ever so gorgeous. There's a nice thick cap of retention, too.
S: Roasted super bitter dark chocolate, ripe berries, lightly roasted espresso bean. Very malt heavy, as expected. A bit of alcohol on the nose.
T: Flavors are huge on chocolate and espresso. Massive, really. Some of the most intensely concentrated combination of these flavors I've ever experienced. Lots of alcohol, but it's mellowed in each sip by the chocolate.
M: Heavy mouthfeel and high carbonation. Tons of bittersweet residuals.
D: Damn...this is really incredible. An amazing beer, and available all year long. If you haven't tried it...what's taking so long?!

Photo of MisterSH
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rather creepy looking 12 oz bottle poured into a smuttynose big beer tulip. I love the packaging on this beer. "Never say die"

Pours Jet black, with a big, fluffy head that practically explodes out of the beer and refuses to leave once it arrives.

Smell is dominated by dark chocolate. There is raspberry, some bready notes but overall quite sweet on the nose, reminiscent of a raspberry chocolate bar.

Taste is RICH with coffee, raisin, dark chocolate, some toast. Quite a clean finish with some breadiness left on the palate. Some hops on the finish become increasingly noticeable as the brew warms a bit. Alcohol is shockingly well masked and is not particularly prominent at all, save a slight finishing warmth.

Mouthfeel is somewhat syrupy, but not overly heavy or thick as I had expected it to be. Very low on the carb, unexpectedly clean and crisp on the tongue.

Rich, bold and delicious, am I wrong in still being a bit underwhelmed? This is a fine beer, but considering its following and the hype surrounding it, I was expecting something completely mind-blowing, which I did not quite get. What I did find was an all around tasty, drinkable stout that I will gladly keep around as a dependable standby now that I've figured out where to find it in my area.

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

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
North Coast Brewing Co.
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.00 %
bottle>pint glass @ E Street week of 9/23/09

Appearance is almost identical to Old #38 in color, very dark brown/black with a nice creamy tan head.
Smell/Aroma is dark roasted malty-ness with coffee and cocoa notes in a fine symphony for the nose.
Tastes as it smells and then some, with a full bodied roasty finish.
Mouthfeel is full body with low carbonation as expected.

Cocoa is a forward flavor in this stout balanced by a harmony of citus hop notes. Just the way I like an RIS.
Exceptional drinkability for a RIS, not 100% sessionable, but complex enough to make it a 5.0 if you pace yourself and respect this big bold brew!

Photo of throwthechaff
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Totally worth all the hype that this beer gets. This Russian Imperial Stout is a must try. Very dark in color, almost black smells of dark chocolate. Has a slight hop bitterness to as well. Very drinkable even though the 9% abv. A very good beer to sip and appreciate

Photo of Darkhorse09
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, nearing black. Some ruby highlights when held to light. Dark tan head, tiny bubbles, with great lacing all the way down the glass. Doesn't last too long, as expected.

The nose is all about dark chocolate. Some malt, very subtle molasses aromas and coffee as well. Smells as though I am in for a treat!

Chocolate on the palate as well! Hoppy bitterness and coffee/chocolate burnt malt flavors make this a tasty brew. Espresso and dark choloclate totally dominatem filled out by a everpresent hoppiness.

Heavy, silky mouthfeel. Definitely a sipper. Low carbonation and smooth finish, leaving just enough flavor in the mouth. Very drinkable, even with the high ABV. Delicious!

Photo of mikel52588
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into dogfish heads signature glass, has a nearly black hue with a color fingerlength latte colored head and thin lacing

Smell: Really needed to let this beer warm up a little, because at first it smelled like pure alcohol. There is a strong aroma of dark coffee; cacoa is in there too with some other spices.

Taste: It tastes like straight up a 80% cacoa dark chocolate bar, but at the same time it also taste like espresso, it's a quite interesting combination to say the least. The aftertaste is similar to the ones you would get from a combo of coffee and cacoa with its unique bitterness.

Mouthfeel: This beer is oh so smooth, it has rich creaminess of a latte; the body is on the heavy side and the carbonation is light. Aftertaste lingers for a while, but isn't too bad.

Drinkability: Its quite drinkable. For having 9% abv this one goes down smooth, I don't know if I would session with this beast, but it's definitely tasty. It would be interesting to try with café food.

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

Appearance: Poured from a stout 12 oz'r into a snifter. This brew is dark as night and its dismal head starts off as a half finger length of creamy tan colored froth and then is quickly swallowed up by the noir abyss.

Smell: It smells like the equivalent of a mocha java milkshake and grinded coffee beans. There are sweet roasted malts all swirling around in this 'latte' that envelope your sense of smell along with burn it with some phenolic esters that linger in the swill.

Taste: Tastes like a nice smooth espresso with burnt malted grains. There is a touch of hoppy bitterness but is matched by a prevalent mix of sweetness that works well with the extremely rich dark cocoa presence. It has such a wide range of complexities that really swirl around in this opaque stout. The finish is slight tinges of ethanol and very heavy molasses.

Mouthfeel: Has a nice big body with a syrupy smooth coating. Froths as its leaves the mouth and leaves touches of bitter and a coating of oils. Practically crawls down your throat and clings to all sides of your esophagus begging to hang around.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable for its depth and potency. Doesn't drink like a beer but rather like something you'd find on par with your local hole-in-the-wall coffee spot a.k.a. well crafted and highly chocolate-esq espresso-like beverage.

Overall: A very rich and complex RIS that is extremely balanced and would be a great brew to accompany dessert, maybe even replace it. Throw on a little whip cream and you have a highly enjoyable adult 'cremé de putin'

Photo of Crosby
3.96/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This got poured from a 12oz. bottle and the head is great, sticks around forever. Black as night and a pretty good aroma. It has alot of chocolate, malt and alcohol. Drinks easy but two or three is enough... maybe. All in all this is a good beer for any time of the year.

Photo of sirdrinkwell
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a: deep, dark brown/black appearance with nice tanned head.

s: the nose on this brew is actually pretty active for a stout, with a malty sweetness and even hop presence

t: superb chocolate and coffee taste, extremely smooth with just enough bite of alcohol to remind you that you're drinking a real brew.

m: mouthfeel on this is extremely smooth, with an appropriate amount of carbonation to allow the mouthful to flow over the palate comfortably.

d: i'm not sure where i've been hiding all this time, but this is a superbly drinkable stout that i will get my hands on as much as possible. highly recommended, sout lovers hit the jackpot with this one!

Photo of shivtim
3.61/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pretty good stout that is none-the-less overly popular.
Poured into a pint. Thick black/brown, with a good cafe au lait head.
Nose is overly sweet, but with some nice strong malts and even a bit of hop character that shines through.
Taste is syrupy, oily dark malts, well roasted, with some sugary sweetness. Slight ethanol on the end.
Good foamy mouthfeel, and decent drinkability except for the ABV. Like I said, decent stout.

Photo of biboergosum
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Is the titular seer divining something with his hand, or merely wiping his brow?

This beer pours a deep, dark black abyss, with a slight hint of red cola at the edges, and then only when held to direct light, and a head that comes in at about two pudgy fingers of puffy, creamy, and fizzy beigeness, which leaves a solid ring of jagged sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells strongly of bittersweet chocolate, dry coffee beans, toasty caramel malt, ripe black fruit, earthy, leafy hops, and a slight metallic alcohol astringency. The taste is bitter dark chocolate, toasted caramel biscuits, roasted, and sort of charred coffee, a heavy, yet dry plum and date fruitiness, gritty molasses, and a small, insidiously innocuous alcohol twang.

The carbonation is on the low side, just a low-key frothiness apparent, the body big, dense, and smooth, in a simmeringly menacing sort of manner. It finishes off-dry, some retreating chocolate and settling hop notes closing things out - the booze warming continues its charade of being barely noticeable (ok, 'very well integrated').

A pretty stellar RIS, the chocolate, malt, fruit, and booze all playing nice like there was no revolution in sight, just yer typical drunken dalliances with the tsarina. Oh yes, old Grigori would indeed be proud.

Photo of Lerxst
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pitch black pour with a one finger mocha head that left just a bit of lacing.

S-Coffee, dark chocolate, plums & figs.

T-Tastes just like the nose with a bit of hotness but not in a bad way. It compliments this beer.

M-Heavy & creamy yet slick with an oily finish and perfect carb level for me.

D-For a big beer, it is surprisingly drinkable.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. stubby bottle poured into a glass.

Appearnce is opaque black with a small brown head with average retention. Aroma is strong coffee and espresso notes. Some citrus and lemongrass notes also come in in smaller amounts. Taste hits with rich espresso and black coffee notes. There is a good hop character that adds some nicely balanced citrus notes. Some slight dark fruit sweetness is also mildly present. Complex yet extraordinarily well balanced. Mouthfeel is full bodied with strong carbonation. Despite a high ABV and rich flavors, this is drinkable. The booze is well hidden and the flavor does not tire.

Overall, a great, rich, complex, balanced RIS. A classic in my book.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,712 ratings.