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

9,918 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,918
Reviews: 3,363
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 301
Gots: 1,332 | 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: 9,918 | Reviews: 3,363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of timtheenchanta
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with a large tan colored tightly bubbled head. Thick sticky lacing. TREMENDOUS coffee smell. Lots of roasted malt. Heavy roasted malt and ample alcohol taste. Jet black coffee taste. Slight hop balance in the finish. An overall great impy stout. This is a beer you should pick up if you get a chance.

timtheenchanta, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a jet black with a light tan head that falls into a slight lace around the rim.
the aroma is very rich and malty, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, toffee.
the flavor is very rich, malty, coffee, toffee, hopsack, chocolate, spice, herbal.
the mouthfeel is perfect for the style, coats the inside of your mouth.
beer is very drinkable, best for a cold night, goes well with water crackers and munster.

plaztikjezuz, Feb 06, 2006
Photo of KyleVick4
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
Deep and dark pitch black with a creamy tan head. Good head retention and nice belgian lace. Honestly, I dont hold appearance ins that high of regards, but I was pretty impressed.

Smell:
Coffee overpowering coffee with maybe some liquorice and chocolates. Maybe maybe a hop or a herb somewhere but very subtle

Taste:
Unbelieveable. Wow. In two words: Best Ever. I was totally taken aback by the taste. It was rich and silky but not to the point where it no longer tasted like beer. It was a good coffee taste which was enjoyable (says a lot since I dont like coffee). The beer is heavy but not too heavy, notes of alcohol can be detected, but not to much. There is a lingering aftertaste of chocolate and coffee. Tremendous.

Mouthfeel:
Thick and mildy creamy. Feels a little heavy.

Drinkability:
After the first sip you want more. It is pretty heavy and good to savor. There is a feel of alcohol which does kind of make it less drinkable but the taste is so amazingly good and smooth that it is easily overlooked.

Easily one of my top three beers of all time. Hands down the best Imperial Stout I have ever had.

KyleVick4, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of Prufrock
3.13/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner.

pitch black with half an inch of tan head that leaves rings of lacing.

roasted malt and chocolatey aroma with a touch of coffee.

medium mouthfeel with a medium carbonation; mouthfeel is slightly light and carbonation slightly high for the style. slight chocolate sweetness, then a wave of piney bitterness. hoppy bitterness is quite a contrast from the aroma. the combination of flavors is just a bit amiss. solid stout, but i've come to expect more from anything labeled as "imperial," such as a little more complexity or nuance.

Prufrock, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of jorjoria
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus Chalice.

A: The beer pour a rich slightly transparent dark brown. The carbonation is very light and only about a cm of light brown head formed and the quickly dissipated after pouring. The beers carbonation continued to be released from the bottom of the glass as I consumed.

S: Great light chocolate orders with a hint a alcohol as well as some coffee note. Not all that overpowering.

T: Just an incredibly rich malty flavor hit you right away. There are some great coffee notes to beer particularly in the after taste. I also really enjoy how this beer was hopped its not overpowering and complement the other flavors quit nicely.

M: The creaminess of this beer is amazing. I coat the inside of the mouth with just a wonderful array a flavor and complexity.

Note: This beer is great out of the bottle but was a huge treat when I had it for the first time on tap.

jorjoria, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of Byeast
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark , dark choclaty brown/black. Head was light brown, slow to build, but impressive once it did. Nice sticky lacing was left as it went down. Aroma is of much coffee/ espresso , chocolate , dark fruit and malt. Nice! Taste is of the same qualities , with espresso being the strongest throughout ; also a nice hop bitterness and warming finish of alchohol. Wow this is very complex .... and Good! My first Russian Imperial Stout , definatly NOT my last. I only wish the weather was colder at the moment , down here in FL.

Byeast, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of tastybeer
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks pretty black to me. Nice cocoa brown head and lacing to the rim of the glass. Sweet chocolate to the nose. Espresso coffee and a slight light + sweet fruitiness. Robust dark chocolate floods the palate along with some nuts and definite coffee. Pretty sweet, but not too sweet. Nice and velvety smooth and also very very drinkable for a stout.

Though this review is based on a bottle I had this on tap at some point. It was awesome. Real thick and full. Mmmm.

tastybeer, Feb 01, 2006
Photo of Shovelbum
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A creamy light mocha 1” head over a solid black body. Head all but recedes except for a ring around the edge which ensures a nice thin film of lace. Aromas of citric and floral hops mingle with sweet and roasted malts and a substantial vinous fruit quality. Flavors of sweet and slight tart vinous up front give way to a subtly sweet and bitter dark chocolate character. Espresso notes in the aftertaste. Waves of complexity! There is a moderate hop bitterness in the background providing just the right amount of balance. Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel, with a trace of dryness in the finish and several lingering flavors.

This is one complex stout. It has such incredible depth, balance and complexity that drinking it is a bit of an adventure— and a pleasing one at that!

Shovelbum, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of skillerified
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black as night in the middle, but some burgundy-red tints around the edges. Head is about a finger and a half and tan. Fades fairly quickly, but leaves a ton of lacing on the glass.

Licorice, malt and hop start off the nose. Some vinous notes. Also a distinct dark fruit scent that seems different from the vinous scents. Maybe a touch of chocolate too.

First sip ... whoa! There's a lot going on here. The fruity flavors seem to hit first, followed by a strong dark coffee-like taste. A bit of a spicy alcohol bite. Then there's a chocolate note on the finish.

Mouthfeel is very interesting. There's a distinct sweet part early, then a grapefruit like bitterness in the middle that lasts through the finish. Then there's a different kind of bitterness toward the end that fades just before the finish. It's amazing that it feels so different from front to back.

That grapefruit bitterness really bugs me and will hinder the drinkability for me, but otherwise this is a fine stout. I wouldn't have any problem putting one down from time to time.

skillerified, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of pjwilson
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one could argue that this beer single handily started the modern American Russian Imperial Stout revolution. This beer tastes poorly at anything less than cellar temp. I'll admit, that this beer has grown on me a bit throughout my 4 pack and I will no doubt buy more in the future.

A: pours a nice dark black color with a smooth tan head. Drinking this out of a wine glass at the moment

smell: pleasant smell of roasted coffee, creamy smooth malts and baked cake.

taste: it's sort of a taste you learn to love. Big whack of bitterness and roasted malts hits you up front, only slightly mellowed by some malt creaminess. There is also yeastiness in the flavor adding a sourness, quite a bit actually. This one is all about the roasty notes. Like strong coffee, you learn to like it.

mouthfeel: the cream man. it's actually very light for the abv.

drinkability: the closest thing to a session IRS. although I wouldn't session thise one, a four pack has lasted me a month, mixed in with other things. It's a solid beer, but not the best.

pjwilson, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of VoodooBrew
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased a 4 pack of this beer in September of 2005, and amazingly I am only now drinking the last one.

For the most part this beer appears jet black, but shows some deep ruby-chestnut when held up to direct light.

There is chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit on the nose, perhaps cherry. I detect some hops, but this is not a prominent aroma. The aroma is overall quite nice.

The initial flavor is deep roasted barley, with an aftertaste of hops- and barley-derived bitterness. This roasted quality subsides somewhat after a few sips, but it rests in the aftertaste. The flavor is good, but not quite as complex as I think it could be for the style. Frankly I think the roasted barley is a little over-done, but that's partly just my opinion.

This is still certainly a very solid beer, but man it's tough for any Imperial Stout to stand up to Victory's Storm King...

VoodooBrew, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of maddamish
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Minimal head with a careful pour. Turns into thick lacing right away and stays that way all the way to the bottom of the glass. Pours out a thick brownish/black liquid with motor oil consistency.

Caramel and green apple notes dominate in the nose.

The taste was strong with alcohol. Along with that comes an iced coffee type of taste with espresso notes, chocolate in the background. There is a bitterness in the aftertaste that was pleasant.

The mouthfeel is perfect with this stout. Thick and creamy.

A great treat indeed. I will be buying this again. I cannot wait to try it on tap.

maddamish, Jan 26, 2006
Photo of kingjames1
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hands down the best Russian Imperial Stout I've had. Smells wonderfully rich and balanced. I smell dark breads, dark chocolate, and dark, rich coffee. Everything about this is dark and rich. But what is so remarkable to me is that there is no element of unpleasant bitterness (I often detect something approaching bile in many stouts). As I sip it, there is some definite hops bitterness, but it complements the sweet, roasted malts so well. Wow. Very balanced and pleasant. Surely this is the standard of RIS.

Awesome. Not as thick as some Imperial Stouts, and perhaps for that reason, very drinkable (at 9%!).

kingjames1, Jan 26, 2006
Photo of AltBock
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. stubby bottle with a picture of Rasputin doing what I believe is the sign of the cross. He was also doing this sign when they pulled him out of the river after he was poisoned, shot, and drowned. On the side of his picture is some russian, which I can not read. No date on the bottle what so ever.

Appearance: Poured a pitch black color with very few ruby highlights through it. You can find these ruby highlights only if you really look for them. I only got a little skim of tan colored foam, but did leave some traces of lace around my Snifter.

Smell: I was expecting this beer to be rich in roasted malt and roasted coffee beans, but to my surprise it was vey fruity. I believe the cherries were the most predominate in the fruit aroma. Behind these fruits was just a little bit of roasted malt. The one smell I thought was going to be the most predominate was just in the background.

Taste: The taste was unlike the smell, it had plenty of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and this all ended with a dry fruity bitter alcohol aftertaste. Very good and very unusual.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was alot like Rasputin, that strong roasted malt aftertaste did not die until I drank some water.

Drinkability: Overall an excellent beer, but since this at a strong 9% ABV this is definitely not an everyday beer and only good once in a great while. A 4-pack is more than enough for me.

AltBock, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of redwolf1
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured four 12-ounce bottles of Old Rasputin over the course of a week to give me some time to properly judge the contents. Dark black charcoal in color with a rich frothy light mocha head, which was thicker than I had anticipated. Moderate lacing around the glass. There was a subtle smokiness in the aroma after pouring; however, the smell of dark roasted malts and coffee abound afterwards. As for taste, a little bitter at first, which mellowed with time. A very good beer to sink your teeth into, real chewy. Didn't get that warm alcohol feeling while drinking this one like you do with some others, so I would say that the alcohol is pretty well hidden until you finish the bottle. For overall drinkability though, I would think some people would stop with one or two. At 9%ABV, it will hit you. Good thing, it comes only in 4-packs in my area.

redwolf1, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of dweideman
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a large frothy light-medium brown mostly lasting head. Aroma was extremely sweet – I detected dark cherry, ripened banana and a slight hint of citrus. Initially a light sweet taste with lively carbonation followed by moderate bitterness. The roasted malts really came through late in the finish with dark chocolate the predominant flavor. I really enjoyed the different aromas of this offering.

dweideman, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of Enola
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out a thick dark black. It had creamy tan colored head. The smell is sweet and malty. Hints of the alcohol come through. The taste is roasted grain with a big alcohol finish. The alcohol is not as overpowering as others of the style. The mouthfeel is decent but due to the higher ABV it is somewhat diminished. I could drink these again. I would not want to slam these down but an occasional one would hit the spot.

Enola, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Head is slow to develop, then quick to dissappear. Leaves a dark tan ring. Beer color is dark and black. Decent carbonation visible.

S: Lightly smoky, sweet chocolaty malt aromas

T: Starts out with toasty sensation and quickly turns dry with a unique chocolaty sweetness. This then evaporates into a mildly bitter finish. After a few more sips the bitterness catches up to me and is very moderate. The alcohol is clearly well hidden.

M: It has a good deal more carbonation than it appears. Very smooth, fairly thick, but not chewy, it's just rich.

D: Highly recommended, a perfect balance of flavors, nothing is overdone. I really like the sweetness of the malt, it's brief, making you come back for more...

bennetj17, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a - dark molasses brown. fine bubble head that lasts. good lacing on sides of the glass.

s - Strong mocha chocolate

t - Taste is just like the smell. There is a toast malt sweetness that is full of chocolate. aftertaste remains for a long time and eventually fades to a slight bitterness on the back of the tongue.

m - Full and oily. Not thin, pleasant carbonation.

d - A keeper. Could drink a lot of these.

CDBeerDisappear, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of braubeater
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is very dark, opaque, with a subtle, fine-bubble head that remains thought the session. Very impressive lacing on the glass.

Aroma is subdued (hop-wise) with chocolate notes coming through assertively.

Initial taste is dry, with a slight alcoholic tinge followed by a parched feeling on the back of the tongue, but the malty residue and faint hop aroma provide a well-balanced finish.

This is probabably the most drinkable Imperial Stout I have ever encountered. This makes my top 10 list.

braubeater, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of baiser
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours motor oil black, with a thick, creamy brown head, wonderful lacing, great retention. Looks like a rich espresso. Roasted malt, alcoholic aromas. Taste is something else. Smooth, rich, creamy, espresso flavours, molasses and a heavy roasted and almost burnt flavour. Finishes dry, bitter and satisfying. Lots of complexity, flavour but still extremely easy to drink. Great body and mouthfeel. One of the best imp stouts I've had.

baiser, Jan 20, 2006
Photo of scooter231
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark dark brown with tan head, very dark and mysterious. Smells deliiicious with chocolate filling my nostrils begging me to sip! And sip I do, and it is, in fact, also, delicious. Chocolately and caramely and espresso-y. A bitter finish completes the taste cycle. Mouthfeel is bubbly and fluffy, very clean and smooth. Very drinkable, though too sweet after a while. And did I mention how sneaky this is? At almost 9 percent, it's definitely sneaky.

scooter231, Jan 17, 2006
Photo of pbr85
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jet black witha two inch tan head. Head stays around for a while but there is little to no lacing.

Smell: Smell is dominated by chocolatey malts with alcohol scents in the background.

Taste: Roasty, toasty, burnt breads that lingers in the mouth with a sweet, fruity flavor mixed in.

Mouthfeel: Not as thick as I was expecting, or as carbonated, but it goes down smooth.

Drinkability: A pretty good stout, one that I would buy again but probably not on a regular basis. I could probably drink a few of these in a night.

pbr85, Jan 17, 2006
Photo of hrockefeller
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought bottle at Northside Indianapolis Kahn's as my introduction to the imperial stout style. I have had quite a few stouts, but this is my first review as I felt I should develop my tastes a little first.

Appearance: Opaque black, with a 1/2" head on initial pour. Head dissipates rather quickly into a thin layer that clings slightly to the glass.

Smell: Complex smell that is heavy with alcohol ( I realize this states the obvious a bit when the brew is 9% ABV). Other dominant scents include chocolate and coffee. Hints of fruity smells including raisins. Very toasty/bready.

Taste: Wow! The presence of alcohol does not seem to be as dominant with the taste as it was with the smell, allowing the other flavors to make their presence known. The toastiness and chocolate really come out at this point with a nice balance of hop flavor that allows for a somewhat dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, leaves my taste buds craving more.

Drinkability: If it wasn't for the high alcohol content, I think I could easily make this a session beer. Leaves a clean, dry feeling that prepares you for the next drink.

This has instantly become one of my favorite beers. I was a little unsure, as I am somewhat partial to milk/sweet stouts. However, if this example is any indication of what to expect, imperial stouts may just take their rightful place on the throne.

hrockefeller, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of Tallboy
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass it is an elegant black with a ballanced flavor but a tad sweet compared to other stouts. A nice smell to invigorate as your tastebuds take a journey of bliss with hints of raisens,chocolate,coffe and a robust and complex mouthfeel that will warm your body head to toe[great winter time beverage]
This is one of the Best Russian Stout's that I Ihave had the pleasure to run across, and you will not be disapointed .

Tallboy, Jan 13, 2006
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,918 ratings.