1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  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

9,692 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,692
Reviews: 3,351
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 292
Gots: 1,233 | FT: 38
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: 9,692 | Reviews: 3,351 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nukem5
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a fantastic black as night, coffee color with a rich brown cap of foam about 3/4 thick in my snifter glass. The look is so wonderful, absolutely no light passes thru glass.Thick clouds of foam cling to the walls of the glass.

S: Aroma is of rich coffee, roasty malts, nutty with hints of licorice.

T: First sip and POW tons of coffee, licorice, roasted malts... everything I expected to taste and in full abundant quantities. There is also a slight earthy taste almost floral hoppy.

M: Warming full bodied and luxurious feeling dancing on the pallet, slight chewy feel.

O: Definitely a drinker an excellent representation of the style.

nukem5, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

A- Very dark, 2 finger tan mocha colored head, excellent lacing
S- Chocolate, Vanilla, sweet, raison, molasses and dark fruit as well, excellent aroma
T- Caramel, chocolate, bitter cocoa, roasted malt, nice coffee finish.
M- Full mouth feel, fills your palate, very thick and smooth.
O- Quit delicious, very smooth, easy to drink for an Imperial Stout, really solid.

Chriscrundwell12, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of CPeterson
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A -- A pitch black brew that pours to produce a dense head reducing to a mild froth and leaves thick lacing.

S -- Hefty sweetness backed by thick earthy tones and smoke.

T -- Big and herbaceous up front, almost detect anise and clove, with a huge dark fruit tone that fades into boozy dryness. A light amount of smoke in the finish.

M -- Hefty and pungent, just what one would expect from the style. A little twinge of earthy bitterness lingers for a while. The carbonation level just keeps it from being syrupy.

D -- Definitely worth a try, a well constructed brew.

CPeterson, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of afksports
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yum. One of the best Russian Imperial Stouts that you can get in a 4pack almost anywhere in NYC at a reasonable price. Those are solid, solid, factors for me when evaluating a beer. Especially considering all the costs that this beer trading is getting me into.

North Coast's Old Rasputin pours a black medium to full body with dark brown edges and a moderate tan head. It's sudsy with a swirl, and has a crazy good malty and toasty aroma that jumps out from the glass. Dark and rich, the taste profile isn't wide, but the rich malts it hits on the head. The hops it nails too, with just the right balance to let you know the hops are there, but not overpowering. It's a big beer, albeit its short 12oz bottle. And with 18 proof, it's not that you'll do more than sip -- unless you're cool with binging.

Then again, I did sorta just blow through this glass right now. Hmm. Something has to do with the way he's holding his hand on his forehead.

afksports, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of MaximalC
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours seal brown with a bountiful mocha head composed of fairly large bubbles. Plenty of lacing lingers as the head recedes. Aroma is very present; a bountiful blend of chocolate, alchol, and hops. Roasted malt and bitter hops are at the forefront flavor-wise, with some chocolate and coffee playing more of a complementary role. Alcoholic warmth comes through in the finish, along with lingering bitterness. This is actually a little hoppier than I prefer a stout to be, but not surprising for a west coast offering. Either way, the bitterness is not outrageous, and it still leaves enough room for the lovely roasted malt to be appreciated. There's also a good amount of carbonation that lends a velvety texture to the brew. The thickness here is about right for a RIS, and the lingering stickiness gets my stamp of approval as well. Old Rasputin is certainly a tasty beer, though the slightly excessive bitterness keeps it from quite living up to the gorgeous presentation.

MaximalC, May 13, 2012
Photo of macster
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black and opaque under a thick and tight tan head. Superb retention with some streaky lacing.

Aromas of espresso, dark roasted malts and bitter-sweet chocolate emerge at once. Notes of raisin, molasses, vanilla bean and figs linger in the background.

Mouthfeel was moderately full, but a tad too fizzy for a big RIS. A bit thicker and creamier would really make it.

First sip was a bit surprising relative to this stout's considerable bitterness and bite. This was not a negative, but most Imperial Stout's I've had have leaned toward the sweeter side. Flavors very reminiscent of the aroma with lots of roasted and black patent malts, charred wood and dark dried fruits along with a generous addition of hops to give it a long, dryish finish. Alcohol integrates very nicely.

A superb west coast Imp. Russian Stout indeed

macster, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of tillmac62
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with a magnificent head. Lacing and retention are also outstanding. The nose is sweet dark chocolate, roast and hints of dark fruit and smoke. Almost full bodied with a very smooth, almost creamy, texture. Borderline normal carbonation level with just a touch of effervescence on the finish. The flavor profile is well balanced and a bit complex, but not as complex as FIS or Wulver. It begins with sweet dark chocolate which flows into a roast and hop bitterness. The middle has a molasses note. The finish is smooth and leaves you with an alcoholic burn at the back of the throat that lingers quite long. Less hops would allow the dark fruit flavor to materialize and add to complexity.

tillmac62, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of vette2006c5r
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin poured black, with a good sized head. I found the smell to be a bit offensive, smelling like stale bread and cheese, however that did not take away from the taste. It had a great "stout" taste, no extra flavors (which isnt really a bad thing), just a very strong "stout" taste. It was easy to drink even though it was a heavier beer, only real downside to this beer was the price, but a very good buy.

vette2006c5r, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of LuckySevens82
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz stubby brown bottle with a b/w picture of the mad monk.
Pours a deep brown, nearly black, with a light brown whisp of a head. Lacing, is however, very nice.
Smell is roasted malts, chocolate and coffee (boy oh boy is it coffee).
Very smooth, espresso, chocolate, caramel, and just a hint of alcohol.
This beer is quite deceptive. At 9% abv, I would expect to taste more of the alcohol that is present. Nevertheless, the folks at North Coast have done a fantastic job hiding the alcohol. This makes the beer sneaky, perhaps not unlike the monk himself.
This is a great beer, will definitely be added to my list of favorites (especially since it's now available in FL...yay!)

LuckySevens82, May 16, 2004
Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz, 2010 vintage (can't believe I have never formally reviewed this one)
Riedel tulip

A: Pours a deep dark black color. Coming out of the bottle some reddish hues. Half finger of medium tan head. Immediately leaving some lacing sheeting.

S: Dark fruit. Prunes, plums, figs. Some alcohol still. Roasted malts. Dark chocolate. Not a lot of coffee.

T: Up front, dark chocolate bitterness. Very pleasant. Surprisingly not getting as much dark fruit in the flavor. More roasted malts. That nice mixture of dark chocolate bitterness and light sweetness. Lingering flavor. Finish is fairly long. Still tasting the cocoa.

M: Full bodied, but easy drinking for ris.

inlimbo77, Aug 16, 2013
Photo of beertastegood
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark black with a tall creamy tan head that sticks around for a long time. Aromas of burnt coffee, malt and slight alcohol. Very intriguing.

Tastes of burnt coffee and black malt, with a pleasant bitterness and a dry finish. More carbonation than I expected, but it goes well with the flavor. The high alcohol content is not as evident as it was in the nose; I could not even discern the slightest alcohol flavor. Drinkability is understandably low - but really, one of these bad boys is all you need. A wonderfully complex and tasty stout. I will have to check out more beers from North Coast, as this was my first.

beertastegood, Mar 08, 2005
Photo of mpedara429
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Black in color and poured out with three fingers of lights brown head. Good retention and lacing.

S: Chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and a hint of dark fruit.

T: Dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and raisins. A good amount of bitterness. Not as sweet as some others.

M: Medium bodied and creamy. Low to medium carbonation. I had expected it to be a bit thicker and fuller bodied.

O: A very good beer. My only complaint is that it was not thicker. I could see myself drinking this again as it is priced better than a lot of other imperial stouts of similar caliber, but it's not my favorite of the style.

mpedara429, Oct 07, 2012
Photo of eagles22
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

this is a solid RIS

Appearance: wonderful bitch black...with a 2 finger tan head...lacing all the way down to the last sip

Smell: of toffee and roasted malts lots of them and some hops in the background

Taste: is lots of roasted malts and also dark chocolate..

Mouthfeel: very silky goes down smooth..and also you dont get a burn from the alcohol for a 9% beer..leaves you wanting more and more of this great stuff

Drinkability: i could drink a couple but not so much

one of my favorite RIS beats brooklyns any day and im a big fan of brooklyn

eagles22, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of starflyer58
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So, there are few out there that might dare pair a beer with a song... but as this is my first review on BeerAdvocate, I'm going in a different direction and begin this review with just such a suggestion.

There's a group called Justice. and they have a song entitled Waters Of Nazareth. If there were a soundtrack to drinking a North Coast Old Rasputin, this would be it.

Pours a chunky darkness as if from the veins of some evil entity that, on the day it was created, refused to ever meet it's maker again.

The aroma hits you with heavy melodies of coffee-infused chocolate, possibly alcohol-soaked raisins.

The taste comes at you with burnt maltiness, burnt coffee, bitter hops, caramelized sugar, oaky finish?

Jesus, God... Don't mess with this beer.

starflyer58, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of CharlieMurphy
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Chalice

2/15/11

A-4.5: DARK opaque black with half a finger of tan head that doesn't go away

S-3.0: Kind of a let down. It's hard to smell too much of what's going on. I only get malt with some faint roastiness and maybe a tiny hint of vanilla.

T-4.5: Bam! There's everything that I couldn't smell bursting out. HUGE dry roasted coffee beans, then more subdued chocolate malt then vanilla. Awesome.

M-4.5: Bold and filling upon drinking but surprisingly mild and barely there after many sips

D-4.0: Drinkability is excellent, if it weren't for the ABV slowing me down, I could have this all day. Damn good.

Total = 4.1

8/9/11

"Oh NOOO! It's Old Raspy!!!"

A-4.5: warm light brownie brown head on black body. Retains.

S-5.0: Smells sooo delicious. Chocolate, molasses, salt, cookies, figs, oatmeal, and some perfectly muted hops. Mouthwatering.

T-4.0: Hops coupled with carbonation here first and in the driver seat with some roastiness smoldering from the get-go then igniting in the middle. Some tiny sweet kick hits 3/4 through that makes me smack my tongue within my mouth. Best with some age?

M-4.0: not drying, not cloying, not tasting like 8% abv. Refreshing and well crafted even with the atypically higher carbonation (atleast as a wave at the beginning)

O-4.5: fucking classic.

Total = 4.33

CharlieMurphy, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of throwthechaff
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
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

throwthechaff, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of Meerkey
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black/dark brown, opaque. Thin beige head.

S: Dark chocolate and alcohol. Coffee and roasted malts.

T: So chocolatey! Dark and heavy. Espresso beans, some sweet malts, hint of hops. A little spicy.

M: Heavy and bitter, aftertaste a little too sticky sweet.

D: Very. I recommend it.

Meerkey, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of KBomb
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin pours out of the bottle like motor oil: thick and black as night. A fairly large head of soapy brown foam sits atop (especially considering the style). Clings to the glass like maple syrup. ORIS defines "exceptional appearance".

Smell is full of roasted malt, nuanced by hints of chocolate and a little booziness. Some caramel aroma grows as the beer warms up a little.

Taste is slightly restrained for the style, but no flavors feel out of place. A little char to the roasted malt, some coffee-like bitterness, and a note of hops. This beer's only fault is that the malt sweetness hides a little too well.

Slick, creamy mouthfeel. Moderately heavy, but not unexpected considering its design.

A solid RIS. Its what a stout aspires to be.

KBomb, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of Lurkerson
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nitro tap into a tulip.

A - she's a beauty! Almost pitch black, decent head, golden lacing

S - a bit more mellow than my eyes led me to think. Coffee, dark chocolate, sweet malts
T- deliciously bitter and chocolaty but well balanced with noticeable maltiness.

M - smooth and lingering, almost filmy

O - fantastic RIS. I'm very pleased with this beer and would definitely order again

Lurkerson, Feb 06, 2013
Photo of Carolvs
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bottle into a standard ale glass: Dense, impenetrable, pitch-black with a foamy mocha head that lasted a while (although not quite as long as some other reviewers have noted--but many of those had the advantage of drinking on-tap).

Strong notes of licorice and spice--but two of the myriad flavors that spike your palate. Overall, this is a knock-out beer, exploding with flavor, and pretty intense with its 9%+ alcohol content. Hard to imagine a beer gourmond not loving this beer unless you're not keen on stouts. Few rivals to this baby, a real delight.

Carolvs, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of SerialHiker
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours the darkest possible brown, though it looks black…mocha colored head about a finger width formed and hung around…it’s thick and full of tiny bubbles…really nice lacing…a good looking brew! (4.5/5)

Smell: Full of roasted malts accompanied by coffee, cocoa, toffee, dark fruit and a touch of alcohol heat, which becomes more apparent as the beer warms…(4/5)

Taste: Much like the nose…starts with heavy roasted malts and fades into roasted espresso bitterness…mild dark fruit (plum, fig) sweetness, toffee, cocoa, alcohol heat all come through at some point adding nicely to the overall flavor…certainly warming my belly as I drink more...not overly hoppy…(4.25/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium to lots of carbonation…wet and mildly chewy…some alcohol heat on the palate…finishes with a dry bitterness…(4.25/5)

Overall: This is a good brew...it’s hard for me to say it’s the best imperial stout I’ve ever had, kinda feels like a run-of-the-mill upper level stout in smell, flavor and mouthfeel quite comparable to say Left Hand’s Fade to Black (which I love)…with that said, it definitely is an upper eschelon brew that deserves all the kudos it receives from beer aficionados…a very drinkable brew that I would consider sessionable, 1, 2 or even 3 would be a very happy night and one that would warm the belly as an indoor fire would warm the face…highly recommended, I’m excited to see how this beer after a year or more in my cellar will evolve…(4.25/5)

SerialHiker, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of Abilow33
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer poored with an extremely thick light brown head. The smell was fantastic. It had a very strong smell like chocolate and molasses. The taste hit the taste buds in the back of my mouth and hung around a long time after. I will be buying this beer in the future.

Abilow33, Aug 08, 2013
Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep black with one full finger of frothy khaki colored head. The foam takes a bit to settle, and there is a ton of lacing left on the glass as it drinks.

S: The nose is roasted malt, burnt toast, and caramel. Some of the chocolate notes begin to come through as it warms. Smells good.

T: I initially get a smooth sweetness, a touch of spice, and as it progresses a bit, I get some chocolate.

M: Full bodied beer. Sweet, coating, and a solid amount of carbonation (maybe more than I really want).

O: Really nice Imp Stout. This was one of the first beers that got me into the style. I'm glad I went back to try it again. Would drink again/10.

trxxpaxxs, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I always noticed that this beer was highly rated on this website and now I see why.. it's freakin delicious. It was only $2.29 for a single and worth every penny. A nice brown head, lacing all the way down. Great chocolate and burnt type aromas. Very smooth and balanced, goes down way too easy. A great beer... definitely in my top 5.

oriolesfan4, Dec 07, 2008
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
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,692 ratings.