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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

9,910 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,910
Reviews: 3,362
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 302
Gots: 1,328 | FT: 43
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: 9,910 | Reviews: 3,362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ccrida
3.25/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter, Old Rasputin is pitch black with a moderate, creamy tan head that subsided to a thick collar with a thin surface skim and pretty thick lace.
The aroma is moderate, chocolate, a bit of cola and a boozy backdrop.
The taste is rich and robust, very roasty up front, some chocolate in the middle and a bitter very bitter finish. Really none of the sweetness from the nose at first, although it struggles to emerge as it warms. I bought 8 of these to lay down, but wanted to have a fresh one first (I've only had this once before, on draft, a few months ago). I think it is pretty young and probably not reached it's full potential. I'm curious to see how long I can hang on to these and how well much they develop.
The mouthfeel is not as thick as it looks, creamy and pretty carbonated.
This is not to drinkable right now. Take your time and sip one, and you'll have had enough. I imagine they don't go down much faster with age, but are more enjoyable. Time will tell...or hopefully, a beer fest has a vintage barrel so I won't have to wait so long, and will still have this somewhat fresh in my mind!

ccrida, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of BassAssassin
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black just like an Imperial Stout should be. Head is thinner than I would've liked, despite a strong pour.

S: Burnt caramel and roasted nuts up front. Scent of alcohol is quite strong. Hop aroma is undetectable.

T: Malt flavor is slightly sweet initially. Flavor of roasted nuts is very distinct. Hop flavor is spicy and bitter. The roasted malts add more bitterness still. However, this beer is actually very well balanced. Finishes slightly sweet. Although the alcohol is very warming the taste is hidden quite well, a surprise given its strong smell.

M: Low carbonation makes for a very smooth mouthfeel. Perfect for such a full bodied beer.

D: Good deal of alcohol warmth makes this a perfect winter sipping brew. I'd like to taste this beer side by side with Brooklyn and Storm King. In my opinion this beer deserves a place alongside those two in my fridge. Highly recommended.

BassAssassin, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of Hammarby
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black, foamy, tan head with rather big bubbles.
S: Caramel, chocolate, fudge, dark berries.
T: Licorice, charcoal, bitterness. Aftertaste the same, lingers. Tomtebrus (swedish extremely salty licorice powder).
M: Full body, moderate carboration. Dryish.
D: Very good.

This is ofcourse a very good brew, but for some reasons my expactations were so high it might have hurt the tasting. Expected deeper taste.

Hammarby, Mar 30, 2007
Photo of geographie
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a still black, with a surprise head that reaches 3 fingers in the wine glass. Head has a steady decline with some stickage, no lacing. Tiny bubbles continue to rise on the side of the glass.

smells carbonated..this is good.mild fruit lambic aroma, a bit unruly yeast. Sour and sweet toffee notes to boot.

Taste is soft upfront, although charred, sweet and sour. Sip ends with a bitter bite that nests itself to the depths of the mouth lingering for long after. There is no doubt about its potency - a vodka-like burn is felt about midway through and is felt straight to the gut. Its an interesting combination - first strong stout characteristics, followed by a purely alcohol burst cleansing the palate and finishing with a bitter end. This is quite the production. and its clear that the fellas at North Coast really want you to get to know their bittering hops.

Overall, a solid brew. One that benefits from a warmer temp - the alcoholic punch interrupted the symphony, yet highlighted other moments. A good sipper and contemplator. One per night please.

geographie, Mar 30, 2007
Photo of boblog
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Large head, which leaves tons of web like lacing. Rather striking really.

Smell- Roasted malt and lots of it.

Mouthfeel- Nice blance, fairly heavy.

Drinkablility- A strong brew, so I doubt you'll go for more than two. Really tastey though, to bad its a bit pricey, like many north coast brews.

Overall a kickass beer. A classic from a great brewery. I love Russian Imperial Stouts but this is probably my favorite.

boblog, Mar 28, 2007
Photo of kernalklink
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rasputin must have sent this one back from hell- this brew can kick some serious ass. Poured pitch black, thick and syrupy. Aromas dominated by roasted malts, alcoholic, medicinal coffee. Taste is overpowering at first- huge alcohols up front, then graduating to dark bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee and bitter cherry syrup. Finishes extremely dry, leaving an aftertaste of strong whisky and woody, earthy flavors. Haven't had anything like this before- certainly a sipping brew if there ever was one. I would have suspected the abv to be much higher, but i give the Rasputin higher marks for creating intense flavors and a fire-breathing quality without jacking up the alcohol content.

kernalklink, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of mobius024
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured as noir as the heart of darkness from a 12 oz bottle. You cannot see a flashlight held on the other side of the glass.

The Monk Rasputin lost his balls on his assassination. This beer has not. It has all the requisite Russian Imperial Stout qualities: somewhat bitter, somehow caffeinated, and so on. Its suchness as an example of the style rests in how it combines the elements. The mouth feel starts as a hoppy/espresso-ish annunciation somewhere on the outskirts of taste and rises to ride through one's oral cavity, like a Cossack cavalry charge. That done, it retires to rest on the back of the tongue, awaiting recall. I can't exactly explain how, but the story that Rasputin was a womanizing peasant mystic fits this brew ...

(Addenda: at a much later date this beer continues to satisfy; but I did not note that the lacing is apparently painted on the glass, as it seems to remain forever.)

mobius024, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of Redwood21
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a glass it has a large brown/almond colored head that slowly goes down. the beer itself is extremely dark, even when held up to light. There is a roasted coffee aroma, that for me is faint, but might be stronger than i can tell. The taste follows the aroma. There is a coffee taste, with a slight bitterness. The stout has a nice medium body that is nice on the finish. This stout is very smooth and easy to enjoy.

Redwood21, Mar 24, 2007
Photo of joe1510
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle
$6.49 6-Pack
Herman's Package Store

Old Rasputin poured the darkest of browns into my pint glass. Mahogany highlights when held directly to the light. A 2+ finger beige head formed, on an aggressive pour, that slowly faded. Left sticky lacing all the way down the glass.

The aroma is very appetizing. Lightly roasted malts with big notes of freshly ground coffee beans. Bittersweet chocolate and a mild nuttiness are also present and add to the complexity. Slight alcohol fumes show up at the backend.

Flavor is layered more than the aroma. The roasted malts set the stage for waves of chocolate followed by the freshly ground coffee beans. The nuttiness and a hint of vanilla glide through on the swallow and mellow things out before the fusel alcohol hits in the throat. A light coffee ground bitterness lingers nicely.

Body is on the heavy side of medium but is supremely smooth. Velvety with a nice alcohol warmth in the throat.

This is a very easy drinking Imp. stout. Very enjoyable and if the weather is right one I can easily drink numerous bottles of.

This is my go to stout. Easy to find and the price for such a tasty Imp. Stout is unbeatable. A classic and for good reason.

joe1510, Mar 24, 2007
Photo of kajerm
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours black, totally opaque with a thin, intriguingly asymmetric ring of tan foam; good lacing.

Huge coffee nose, with dark-roasted malt and a little bit of semisweet chocolate. Some yeasty/alcoholic spiciness.

Coffee is definitely evident from beginning to end, with some hops and even more black malt bitterness. There is a strong background flavor of dark chocolate. The alcohol is clearly evident, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The mouthfeel was initially disapointing; the palate was thin and overcarbonated, but it inexplicably settled down and turned into a proper imperial stout-- super creamy and chewy. Nice.

Drinkability is about what you'd expect for an imp, no surprises here.

kajerm, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of crayphish
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Russian Imperial Stout pours a midnight black, nice dark khaki head. Decent lacing. Smell is strong roasted malts and coffee. Alcohol and hops in there as well. Some sweet chocolate. Taste is the roasted malts and chocolate. Some alcohol here as well. Good balance between the sweet and bitter.Mouthfeel starts full and finishes fairly dry. Very enjoyable. An extremely drinkable stout.

crayphish, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of Jmamay22
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pitch black brew with a half inch of head that settles and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell - Heavy roasted malt and coffee smell.

Taste - Strong alcohol taste and coffee and hops balance out the heavy roasted malts, but clearly the malts win this battle. Alcohol can be a bit much.

Moutfeel - A sipper as its fairly heavy and a very thick rich flavor. Lightly carbonated as this sort of brew should be.

Drinkability - I could never see myself having more than one unless I was horribly snowed in with nothing better to do with my time. That said its always a great one and done.

Jmamay22, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of SacoDeToro
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the North Coast Brewpub across the street from the brewery.

The beer poured a deep coal black with a small brown head.

The aroma of the beer was full of rich coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and some faint vanilla.

The flavor of the beer was full of intense flavors that transitioned well from one to another. Coffee - Chocolate - Rich roasted malts. The hops were there in good presence, but not too intense.

The mouthfeel was thick, but not too heavy. It coated your mouth with a ton of flavor. The carbonation seemed dialed in well.

This is a great beer and a very drinkable RIS. It's an American classic and the beer that brought this style back from the brink of extinction. Cheers to Rasputin for not dying easily! In fact, he's still very well alive an kicking...

SacoDeToro, Mar 22, 2007
Photo of RevDru
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep black with a quarter-inch of light brown foam. Good head retention.

S - Semi-sweet chocolate with sweet orange notes. Slightly herbal.

T - Strong alcohol esters over coffee and chocolate. Nice bitter balance to the sweetness, but alcohol is almost too much.

M - A touch heavy, but very creamy and rich.

D - This is a one and done brew. Very good, but high ABV makes it an occasional item.

RevDru, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first Russian Imperial Stout. Will I bow down before Rasputin? Or will I persevere through the 12 oz serving? On to the beer:

It pours pitch black in a glass. One smell from the beer brings lots of flaovrs to the nose. Fruity, piney, chocolate, raw cane sugar, and alcohol flavors run around freely. This stuff is extremely complex, but I assume thats the nature of RIS's. A light roasted bitterness sits on the tongue after every sip, reminding me it's still a stout, but a very beefed-up one. At less than $2 for the bottle, it didn't drain my wallet, and I got something new and exciting.

DoubleJ, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of BradBLR
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a very dark brown (almost black) with a chocolate brown head, that lasted most of the beer with very thick lacing. The smell of this beer was a tart chocolate aroma with a toasted malt smell accompanied by a hint of hops.

The taste was very malty chocolate flavor with a slightly dry malt and with a nice kick of hops at the end. Not as sweet as some RIS's and that is a good thing, very tasty. The mouthfeel of this beer was really good, very thick almost syrup, a beer that you could literally chew on. C02 slightly week, but hardly worth noting.

Great beer, especially if you like RIS's. Give it a try!

BradBLR, Mar 19, 2007
Photo of atigerlife
3.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with some red highlights. A nice one finger brown head sits on top. Head dissipates rather quickly. Good lacing.

Aroma is of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, toffee and some hazelnut. Interesting.

Taste is dominated by bitter dark coffee. Also some dark chocolate, roasted malts and some alcohol at the end.

Mouthfeel has a medium body and lightly dry at the end.

Overall, this is an interesting brew that I wouldn't mind having again. The high alcohol level would rule it out as a session beer, but good for sipping.

atigerlife, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of wagenvolks
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from Trader Joe's in Raleigh into a tulip glass.

Jet black pour with a creamy tan head that's retained exceedingly well and leaves great lacing. Aroma has a surprisingly fruity nose: fig & plum. Of course, the roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate notes are strong on this one.

Taste is quite chocolatey and has a nice roasted maltiness to it. Feels smooth, yet full-bodied with a nice bitter coffee bite saved for the back of the tongue and throat. I'll be having this one again for sure, good taste & complexity. Drinks exceptionally well for a 9% RIS.

wagenvolks, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of kdoc8
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this on sale for $1.79 at the Franklin Market of Choice in Eugene, OR. It pours out a dark, dark black color with very little shades of red-brown. It pours with a thick, tan bubbly/creamy head and lots and lots of lacing. The smell is very subtle but complex - chocolate and roasted malts dominate. I has a bubbly mouthfeel and starts out with a taste of chocolate and then finishes with a great chocolate and coffee blended taste that just keeps going. The complexity of the taste takes a few seconds to hit you after swallowing. An excellent RI stout - almost no taste of alcohol at all.

kdoc8, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of Melchizedek
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown into an opaque black, with a big tan head that settles into a nice cap and sticky lace.

In the nose, plenty of roasted barley and resiny hop, and a strong coffee-like aroma. Not overly bitter in the mouth, but with that aroma coming through strongly. Coffee matched by a caramel malt flavor, and the mouthfeel isn't too heavy but very substantial. A little harder to find the hops than in the aroma, but they're there, helping keep things from getting sweet. Alcohol isn't prominent, but noticeable.

This is just a really tasty imperial stout all around. Can't find fault with it. I think I'll have to make it a go-to.

Melchizedek, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of pgenius
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Really dark brown with an amazing light brown head that stuck around

S - Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, a little sweet aroma was present as well

T - Strong roasted malt taste, chocolate

M - had the mouthfeel of an extremely strong coffee with a lot of bitterness, I actually even felt a slight numbing sensation immediately from the bitterness and alcohol combo

D - Pretty impressive stout, I couldn't drink more than two of these at a time, but I would get it again

pgenius, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of Cresant
3.15/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. undated, brown bottle into a Duvel glass. The body was darkest brown and the modest 1/2" head faded rather quickly.

Smell was sweet roasted malts. Coffee grounds. Chocolate.

Taste reflected the aromas. Tangy sweet baking chocolate. Finished long with a bittersweet aftertaste. This one was not as complex as I had anticipated.

Mouthfeel was zesty with mouthfilling carbonation.

Cresant, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of Bookseeb
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate in color with a light tan creamy head. Smell of roasted malts, coffee and dark chocolate with a strong roasted malt flavor with a good carbonation leaving a hefty bitter aftertaste. It's a thick, creamy stout, a good one to have on hand if your feeling bold.

Bookseeb, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of barefootbrewer
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is black and has a nice tan/cream colored head – lacing is pretty in this beer. The aroma is sweet of malt and there is some spice that I’m having trouble identifying. The taste is bold and bitter. There is plenty of malt and a slight sweetness. Coffee flavors and a hint of spice are present. This beer starts off quite intimidating, but mellows slightly as it warms and my palate adjusts. The mouthfeel is thinner than I expected – but is still on the full side. As for drinkability, this beer is a bit much for me to kick a few back in one sitting – but it is very good!

barefootbrewer, Mar 14, 2007
Photo of jrehmert
2.83/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured very dark, as expected, with about a finger of light tan head. The effervescence was short-lived. Residual sweetness was minimal. The nose was much more smoky than I had expected. I had hoped for more roasted malt, coffee, and/or chocolate malt than realized. Overall this was an average beer - Rogue RIS was a far better representative - afaic...

jrehmert, Mar 12, 2007
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,910 ratings.