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

9,909 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,909
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: 9,909 | Reviews: 3,362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass, pours a thick dark black with decent head that shrinks quickly to a thin film, and has remarkably thick brown sugar color lacing. Quite lovely. Aroma is beautiful. I don't usually find aromas that wonderful, but this is quite remarkable. Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, licorice and alocohol, perhaps a trace of brown sugar. Taste is just as great, with a complex mixture of the same hints from aroma, a potent blast of roasted malts and espresso-like aftertaste, finishes moderately thick, smooth and creamy. MF is really good, I actually get different feels from it down the glass, and the body is great. What a fantastic beer, a classic in my book.

objectivemonkey, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of thetachibro
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In the glass it is black as night with a nice sized head that falls back to next to nothing. Some chocolate in the flavor with mild malts, coffee. Not too much in the smell department. The taste is the upside of this beer. Bitter malt, coffee, espresso. Followed by the alcohol and soft hops. A very full bodied mouthfeel. I can sit down and enjoy a couple of these.

thetachibro, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of russpowell
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought a 4 pack today, decided to re-review to see how this compares to the dozens of RIS I've tried since 05:

I stand by original ratings with the following exceptions: Take a appearance down to 4.0 head retention & lacing are good not great. Taste 4.5; depth of flavor isn't quite as good as I remember... & Mouth feel seems much thinner than I recall. Still a benchmark for the style that delivers awesome value for $ taste-wise!!

Pours almost pitch black (when held to intense light goes mahogany to purple) with a whipped up tan bubbly head, Great head retention and insane lacing, a feast for the the dark beer lover's eyes.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate and licorice notes, with alcohol and roasted malts lurking in the background.

Taste: Some fruitiness, then bam! Burnt coffee taste, chocolate, molasses, hops/grainy bitterness &alcohol.

MF: Chunky, silky and just hits the marks.

Great winter-time beer that has been lapped by others in in hoppiness and abv, but not drinkability IMHO

russpowell, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rasputin stares at you through the depths of a goblet. An opaque black stare with deep tan fringes bores into your brain.
This will not be an idle encounter.
A sweet yet bitter perfume floats along the air permeating your nostrils.
::Achoo::
Distinctive. Not something you'd imagine to be appealing but convinces you otherwise.
The encounter is not meek by any standard. Charming yet repelling, both pulling you in and pushing you away.
The struggle is exhausting yet you can't help but thinking that you'll choose to cross paths again.

ommegangpbr, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of Hibernator
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

* Christmas 2005 *

Pours a jet black with some ruby colored highlights on the very bottom of the glass. Excellent shade of black and the presentation of this beer has everything I would expect from a true imperial stout. Random tan colored traces of sticky lace appear all over the glass.

Aroma is so inviting with whiffs of roasted coffee beans, creamy dairy, hops, burnt grains and juicy malts.

This is an excellent stout all day long. Flavors of espresso, chocolate, sweet sugars and smooth cream blend together. The mouthfeel is so complex with each sip providing a unique character.

Hands down, one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I've ever had. This is one of my favorite styles of beer and this is up there with the best.

Hibernator, Dec 25, 2005
Photo of deuschbag
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. cool little labeled bottle. pours a dark black with just a hint of ruby red with a light tan head. smell is chocolate more over coffee. taste is nice. the chocolate and coffee balance each other out so one or the other doesn't dominate the taste. feels very nice and mellow in the mouth. a very nice brew. i'm not much of a stout drinker but this is by far my favorite stout.

deuschbag, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of kirok1999
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Ruddy black with 1/2" lacing that sticks to the glass.

Smell- Slightly sweet maltiness, chocolate and a little coffee.

Mouthfeel- Thick and viscous, lingering on the palate.

Taste- Bitter chocolate, slight coffee with enough hop bitterness to balance the wonderful malt sweetness. A near perfect R.I.S., perhaps a bit much for the fainthearted.

One of my favorite R.I.S's but the price makes it a little hard to justify when I can get a 6 pack of Storm King for the same price as 4 Old Rasputin. Try it, learn to love it.

kirok1999, Dec 23, 2005
Photo of beermanbrian
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Almost pure black in color with just the slightest ruby notes around the edge. Very fine bubble tan head that drops to a thin film. Smell and taste of burnt chocolate with a plum note. Also some alchohol on the nose. The burnt chocolate gives it an almost smokey note. Smooth mouthfeel with a nice bitter aftertaste. A nice winter brew that will warm you up on the coldest night.

beermanbrian, Dec 22, 2005
Photo of doppelmeup
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this in a pint glass. Poured very dark, nearly black, with a half inch head.

Nice hoppy aroma. Also hints of coffee and chocolate.

Very nice flavor. Rich, but not overpowering. Not too sweet. Coffee and chocolate tastes, balanced by a pleasant bitterness which cleansed the palate after swallowing. Although a high alcohol content, it didn't overpower the beer.

Smooth, clean finish. Didn't linger in the mouth.

An excellent beer, although it would be hard to drink a lot of these in a row.

doppelmeup, Dec 21, 2005
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Stone IPA glass. Deep black color with 1-finger beige head on top.

Strong hops aroma. Taste is awesome. Roasted malt flavor (but not burned or smoked) with hops. I detected chocolate and coffee flavors too.

Great beer from a great company. Pranqster is also good.

TurdFurgison, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of Matthew
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this was quite a suprise. I hadn't heard of this beer and picked it up randomly to try. I'm glad I did.
Pours black with a huge fluffy tan/brown head. A great looking beer.
The biggest aromas I found were of dark chocolate, burnt coffee, and a light sweetness all wrapped together to make this a great smelling beer.
Sooo smooth. There is a sweetness up front followed by a chocolatey coffee flavor and a nice hoppiness to balance it out. There is a alcohol warming but is shown up by the sweetness in this beer. All of these flavors really compliment each other really well and better than alot of other Russian Imperial stouts I've tried. This is without a doubt an exceptional beer.

Matthew, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of drewmprs
3.33/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First whiff was of chocolate coffee and alcohol. This was definitely a thinking man's beer, not one meant for chugging. I had it after a few erdinger's and it brought a welcome change to my palate. This beer is a bit too strong for me, I like my stouts a little smoother like rogue's shakespeare. Rasputin had a bit of a gamey taste to it, like uncooked rabbit and veal. It was a pleasure to drink this beer on tap, i like watching the bartender do the double pour. Bartender also told me this beer goes well as a half and half or black and tan mixer. I don't know about that, the complexity of this beer is unmatched, and i wouldn't want to sully it with Harp's or Bass.

drewmprs, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of clabaugh
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep ebony with a modest, light khaki colored head. Lacing is very faint, and almost nonexistent by the beer's end.

Smell: A rich nutty aroma emerges right away. Dark chocolate bursts through as well. Hops are difficult to distinguish in the midst of this full maltiness.

Taste: Here dark chocolate predominates. The tongue also recognizes some mocha, while confirming the nuttiness that introduced itself in the smell. The dark chocolate provides a pleasant bitterness, which the hops tend to intensify. Nicely balanced overall.

Mouthfeel: Nice and chewy. A fine body, probably medium for a stout. Not the heaviest I've had. The carbonation is rather subdued.

Drinkability: The alcohol is definitely pronounced in this 9% abv stout. It provides a warming sensation through one's throat and down into the belly. Very pleasant texture, and inviting enough for me to have a couple more.

clabaugh, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of ElGordo
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color topped by a creamy brown head that clings nicely to the glass. Rich aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, a touch of bitter hops, and a bit of a vinous character. Palate is deeply complex and somewhat earthy. Truly, it tastes as black as it looks: a huge malty backbone is met towards the finish with a good complement of bittering hops for a touch of balance. Notes of milk chocolate, oak, espresso, and a touch of molasses. Body is rich, velvety, and creamy, with very little of the oiliness that seems to permeate many Russian stouts. The alcohol packs a punch, for sure, but this is most certainly a beer to be savored (preferably with a Five Star chocolate-hazelnut bar). Once you start, you're in for the long haul. Enjoy.

ElGordo, Dec 15, 2005
Photo of goochpunch
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out a rich black with ruby hues with a thin tan head that slowly dissipated to a thin layer of bubbles. Aromas are of roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, toasty malts, slight smoke, and marashino cherries. Taste is of sweet, dark chocolate chased with some strong, black coffee. There is some toasted malt in there as well as cherry candy and dried fruits. Finishes a bit smoky with pleasent astringent bitterness and a bit of a lactic acid twang. I detect a bit of citrus and pine in the hops very faintly, although these hops come out more in the burps. This beer really needs to sit a while before the mouthfeel is anywhere near decent. When its freshly poured and a bit too cool, it's thin and prickly, but just letting it sit a while and come closer to room temp., it becomes a bit fuller and mellows out a bit. Still, it could be better. Really drinkable RIS that has tons of flavor and a decent mouthfeel, once it warms up.

goochpunch, Dec 14, 2005
Photo of Dithyramb
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The evil monk was sampled on tap in a proleterian pint glass in Frisco's in Columbia. Poured an opaque black, like the heart of the wicked one. Like the Neva River itself, it was impassable to the light of day. A thick, lucious dark tan head and excellent retention/lacing stealthily masked the high ABV.

Aroma was mostly of bitter roasted malts, with just a bit of sweetness in the background. Interesting, it was just as complex served slightly chilled on tap as it was cellar temperature at home. Cream and sugar laden roasted coffee was followed by bitter chocolates. Toffee in the middle was literally beat down with some ashy coffee grounds onthe finish. Hefty, strong, memorable.

Bitter and acidic at times, it still finished like a nicely done cream and sugar coffee. Smoother than one would expect, and very drinkable.

Overall: Razzy was drugged, poisoned, beaten and shot, but only died after being wrapped in a carpet and thrown in the river. He grew from a womanizing peasant thief to a “holy man” helping the czar’s family with both the needs of a hemophilic son and the decisions for war with Austria. This is a beer that weirdly does it's namesake proud.

Dithyramb, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of jslot38
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bottle is pretty bad ass looking with a picture of Old Rasputin himself. Some cryptic looking Russian embodies the outer shell of the relief. Anyways, enough on the bottle, lets talk beer. Pours jet black with a one inch toffee head. If you listen closely you can hear the carbonation rising to the frothy head. As it sits for a moment for all to gaze upon the head slowly disappears. Some lacing holds to the sides.

Smell: Espresso beans, certainly. Mild dark chocolate backbone lofts around your nostrils. A toffe'ish smell is noticable.

Taste: Slight notes of caramel, which surprised me, but stuck to the tongue, I am a fan of this. But where is the chocolate that I smell? Lets let her warm up... Ah yes, there it is, slight hints of dark unsweetened chocolate, but not overwhelming at all. Buttery, somewhat oiled hops are quickly joined and overtaken by a beautiful roasted barley purity.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation that was oh so prevelant with that first sip fades away as the beer warms up, which is strongly suggested. This allows it to slicken out. Lovely as it goes down and lingers on for quite some times.

Drinkability: No more drinkable, no less drinkable than any other stout I've had in the past.

Notes: A pretty sweet looking beer at first pour, definitly let it warm up and then linger in your mouth to obsorb the full flavour.

jslot38, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of cracgor
3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Almost stark black with a fine sticky tan head. Looks very impressive...just like I expect beer to. Smells a little too sweet and hoppy for what an imperial stout should be. I like them meatier and full of roasted flavors. This is an interesting taste. As far as matching what I expect it is not. It is sweeter...almost milky. Very tasty, but lacks a lot of the rich roasted complexities I enjoy. It tastes like hops might overshadow the malts too much. It is a very full bodied beer. Almost a cake like texture to it. Alcohol just lightly warms the stomach and mouth. Excellent mouthfeel. This is a very drinkable beer. I would feel good sharing it with just about anyone.

cracgor, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of claytri
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a rich mahogony with a dark tan head. It has a full bodied aroma that is a wonderful mix of dark malt and fruits. The taste is a bold malt with a bit of bitter roastieness then has an alcohol burn for a finish. Not quite as sweet as I like my RIS, but a nice change of pace. The feel is appropriately heavy and quite smooth, even creamy. I will definately be back for more. I had a serious thirst for a RIS this summer and the store I went to only had this in stock. I have now enjoyed the first 3 from the 4pack and I think I'll set the other one down for a while. I'd like to see if the cherry aroma will show in the taste as it ages.

claytri, Dec 09, 2005
Photo of blitz134
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black body...only the hints of Coke brown around the edges. Small light tan head on the pour, reduced to pockets of bubbles after a few minutes.

Sweet wine like aroma of dark grapes. Overtones of chocolate and some hints of toasted malts. Hints of alcohol come through and blend well with the aroma. Simple aroma but pleasing. Taste is loaded with toasted flavors. Big hits of chocolate and toffee with coffee coming through as well, quite the contrast to the aroma. Alcohol contributes a bit of a biting burn at the end, but doesn't really detract. Definately a sipper.

Mouthfeel is a little thinner than most stouts, but I find this to be typical of Russian Imperials. Drinkability is good. The alcohol feeling on the stomach limits this.

blitz134, Dec 09, 2005
Photo of Derek
3.7/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Ruby-black, tan head, some retention & lace.

S: Fruity, sherry, slightly solventy.

T: Dark, burnt chocolate, molases, coffee and a little fruit. Balanced to the bitter side, but a nice depth of flavour.

M: Moderate to full body, moderate carbonation, slightly oily.

D: Maybe even a little below average.

Derek, Dec 06, 2005
Photo of Bumpon10s
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After well over a month of not reviewing to make my taste and views more finite, I thought this was a good beer to start up once again.

A - Pours black with the slightest ring on the outside of the glass and a slightly thin consistency. It appears to be solid, the surface is so blemish free.

S - Lots of coffee and chocolate. I noticed deep fruit upon decanting, but no longer once poured.

T - I've had this on tap, and the bottle isn't any less. Once more, lots of coffee and chocolate. It could be what I had to eat prior to this, but it is finishing a bit sour, the score won't reflect this, but simply making note.

M - Much thicker in the mouth than it looked during the pour. I am a bit more impressed now. Very slippery upon enrty with a tingle going down, well done.

D - The drinkability of this beer increases with each sip. It gets smoother and better as it goes. I hate having the same beer one after another, but I could sure see it happening with this.

Bumpon10s, Dec 05, 2005
Photo of EStreet20
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally saw this around here at random. I was picking up beer for a concert tailgate and I wasn't even at the good liquor store in my area and saw a lone four pack in the top shelf of a cooler so I had to snag it.

12 Ounce bottle poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - A dark oily black with a tight one finger head. Some tiny bublles rush up the side. Lacing sheets the walls of the glass like crazy.

S - Big roasted malt aroma with a candy smell that I can't identify. It's wierd but it seems like all of the malt smells are backed by roasted marshmellow aromas. Very unisue.

T - Wow definitely not what I especet but a very nice flavor nonetheless. A very roasted beginning that makes way to pure espresso flavoring. After that a bit of the sweetness with a tiny alchohol kick comes in. At the end a hop bitterness with a roasted charcet lingers. Definitely an interesting effects since there isn't much of a hop character in the taste. Still that sweetness that really reminds me of roasting marshmellows lead the way and hangs on throughout.

M A great smooth feeling on the tongue.

D - A great one to sip and savor. The sweetness makes you want to sip this one really slowly and relax.

EStreet20, Dec 05, 2005
Photo of IntriqKen
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep opaque black. Nice small bubbled head clears to a fine lace that lasts forever. Scents of chocolate, carmel, vanilla and perhaps figs <?>.
Very little carbonation in the mouth, creamy and smooth feel.
Tastes of chocolate, espresso, and alcohol.
Mega alcohol warmth burs a long time afterwards deep in the chest.
Aftertaste of mlt and bitter chocolate.
Very nice stout.
One is enough....two would have an old man naked on the table singing rap. Not a pretty sight.
Edit:
I was drinking another Rasputin tonight and wanted to re-review. Actually, my review would still be 4.5 across the board. This is an excellent beer....not the best...I still like Stone more...but an excellent, EXCELLENT beer available every day of the week, at a reasonable price.. I'm changing drinkability because I'm pretty sure I could keep my clothes on and definately can drink more than one of these a night.

IntriqKen, Dec 03, 2005
Photo of BillyB
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent Imperial Stout! Dark brown to almost black color with a thick frothy tan head. Opaque.
Smells of chocolate, caramel, vanilla and very strong alcohol scent.
Again a very strong alcohol taste just like in the aroma but it doesn't take too much away from the overall. I expect alcohol in an imperial stout anyway. Kind of a coffe-ish cappuccino flavor with hints of vanilla.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth going down. Not much carbonation and a slight alcohol warmth.
Drinkability is good but is a little hindered by the strong alcohol taste and smell.

BillyB, Dec 02, 2005
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,909 ratings.