Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,620 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,620
Ratings:
11,784
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
18.46%
 
 
Wants:
560
Gots:
2,764
For Trade:
53
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,620 | Ratings: 11,784
Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with no light coming through. Has a huge creamy dark head that goes away slowly. Can smell the roasted malts and dark fruits. Tastes like how it smells.

 163 characters

Photo of dqderrick
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 4.5
So dark. The head is perfect cocoa in color. Lacing is great.

Smell - 5.0
The scent did exactly as I want a beer smell to do... make me long for the first sip. Smelled like a perfect RIS.

Taste - 4.5
Why is it not a 5.0? I wanted more bite. But damn if they didn't nail the flavor profile of a RIS that I was looking to for.

Mouthfeel - 5.0
Killer. The carbonation and bite on my tongue is great. I love this style of beer and North Coast nailed it.

Drinkability - 5.0
My rating here makes up for my 4.5 on taste. I could drink all 4 of these in one sitting. Granted, the 9.0% would leave me hungover the next day...

I saw this beer mention time and time again on the forums here at BA. When at my local Bevmo, I'd always bypass it for other selections. But, this recent experience will force me to always keep one or two at least in my cellar. I plan to share this beer with others that have not tasted it yet.

 934 characters

Photo of mgaddy
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing. One of my favorite cold weather beers.
It is so good. You have to go out and try a bottle of this. You just have to.

Appearance. Beautiful dark, nearly black with a tan head that retains incredibly well throughout the entire glass, leaving lacing behind the entire way.

Smell. Chocolatey goodness. Maltiness. Some hints of other great aromas that i can't put my finger on.

Taste. Incredible. More chocolate and coffee flavors. Not overly bitter.

Mouthfeel. Delicious. I want to drink this stuff all the time. So smooth and creamy.

Drinkability. Absolutely drinkable. Check this out if you haven't already.

 623 characters

Photo of rvisual
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I don't pretend to be a connoisseur, but I've had many ales, lagers, pilseners, stouts, porters etc. over the years and OR gets my vote for "best overall" generally available.

 176 characters

Photo of isaac
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. stubby to pint glass.

A - Wow. Very, very dark. I'm still hesitant to say black, since there are some red tones in there, but... maybe black is the right color to use. brown, pillowy head of 2 fingers that sinks first in the middle and then slowly down the side of glass.

S - sweet, roasted malts and chocolate dominate the smell, however there is a clear, citric-hops aroma as well. alcohol also makes an appearance.

T - delicious. begins with coffee and chocolate tones that slowly transitions into hop bitterness, finished with a sweet, almost cookie-like flavor. i give this a 4.5, though, and not a 5, because there is an odd hint of soy-sauce in the aftertaste that is a bit displeasing.

M - smooth, medium to heavy mouthfeel with high carbonation hitting the back of the palate and warming alcohol down the throat.

D - a very enjoyable beer, to say the least. i've had this both in the bottle and in a glass, and i must say that the latter is certainly preferable. old rasputin is truly helping me relax before bed.

 1,044 characters

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temperature.

L - Jet black with a 1 finger brown wispy and foamy head that doesn't stay around too long. Very nice lacing, though.

S - The first thing I smell is chocolate. There's definitely good amounts of roasted malt and hints of coffee. Maybe the tiniest bit of alcohol present, but not much, and also a slight hint of hops.

T - Simply delicious. The sweetness of the chocolate balances well with the bitterness of the roasted malt and coffee flavors. Some hop flavors may be contributing to the bitterness as well. Very good balance between the sweetness and bitterness.

F - Medium-to-full bodied, not much as far as carbonation, and a dry, slightly bitter, slightly astringent, slightly warming finish from the roasted malt, coffee, and alcohol. Light creamy texture.

O - This was a great beer. If you are a stout-lover, I highly recommend this one. Very, very tasty and hides the alcohol extremely well. I'd love to come back to this one.

 996 characters

Photo of YankChef
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my eagles mug. No freshness date

Appearance: Pours a mean looking pitch black with a one inch puffy, foamy chocolate milk color. lacing is very nice.

Aroma: Smells roasty of dark bittersweet couverture chocolate and dark grain (barley and rye). There is also a pretty heavy coffee note, but almost a sweet coffee like a frapucinno.

Taste: One the front it is almost sweet with the coffee and chocolate flavors melding with other complex notes of dried fruit and toasted candied walnuts and pecans. Then the balancing bitterness kicks in from the very healthy amount of hops in here to leave a bitter astringent feeling in the mouth that really makes you salivate. This beer is definitely "dry". Kind of stings the tounge on the finish, with an almost metallic taste.

Mouthfeel: Full and rounded, it really coats the mouth and is just fat and chunky.

Overall: In the world of RIS, this one just plain kicks ass. It has all of the body and flavor to represent the style with pride, a truly world class beer from North Coast. Very Highly Recommended (But you already knew that... Didn't you?)

 1,123 characters

Photo of 86MonteSS
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For a beer that isn't opaque (a very dark reddish brown when I held it up to the light), this is superiorly robust. The smell is one of the most enticing I've ever encountered, and the taste follows up with gusto. So many of the imperial stouts I've had have been sweet almost to the point of nausea but nay, Rasputin was a hardier fellow. Poisoned, shot, beaten, and drowned, he lives.

...In a bottle.

Let me tell you something: If I ever wake up and realize I'm a hemophiliac, I'm jumpin' in the ol' Monte Carlo and zooming out to Half Time to buy another bottle of Old Rasputin. Na zdorovia, comrade!

 609 characters

Photo of jackorain
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this bottle since the summer of 2005. Just split it with my mother-in-law.

Poured into oversized whine glasse, for a lack of tulip or snifter.

A-dark thick black, what little head poured out immediately fell to a thin ring that provided some lacing. Almost no light gets through.

S-Unbeleiveable aroma, coffe, chocolate, dark roasted malt and hop.

T-very dark roasted malt hits strong right up front, followed by a nce hop bite. I'd imagine the hops may have even dissapated some over the year I have held it. Molasses, coffe, chocolate on the very long lingering finish. really good.

M-thick, full body, coats mouth wonderfully.

D-about as good as an RIS can be. I wish I had another.

 712 characters

Photo of MattyV
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thick inky dark-brown/black, creamy khaki head, good spotty lacing.
Smell is a mixture of roasted malt, nuts, coffee, and herbal/fruitiness.
Taste doesn't hold back, lots of bitter roasted malt, dark chocolate, and dark roasted coffee. Fair bit of hoppy bitterness is also apparent. Alcohol's hardly noticeable at first, but gets more boozy as it warms. The booziness doesn't detract from the experience, it fits with the huge flavours going on. There's a nice nutty flavour that lingers for a long time on the tongue.
Substantial rich body, good carbonation.

This is a fantastic powerful RIS. Nice big flavours, perfect for sipping on cold winter nights. The hops play a prominent role and mesh nicely with the malt profile to create many layers of complexity. It's going to be hard to age the rest of these for very long!

 824 characters

Photo of HardTarget
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stubby 12 oz. brown bottle, no date, Cyrillic lettering but “Product of the U.S.A.”, and abv listed at 8.9% (oh momma!). Aged this one a good year in my cellar.
Aroma: Rich malt, rum soaked raisins, burnt chocolate and a nut aroma, somewhat like almonds.
Appearance: Glass is an opaque black with some brown edges showing trace amounts of carbonation coming up to feed a very thin collar of dark tan head. The collar persisted through the beer, but left no lace.
Flavor: Outrageous! Scandalous! Divine! Insane! All of the above. A syrupy dark roasted and toasted malt taste that quickly shows a rum raisin heart that is attacked and pierced by an acidic hop spike. I also get some black cherry and wood flavors as well. Very intense and heavy flavor, I can see this as a ‘love or hate’ beer.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, surprisingly light given the dark rich taste. Carbonation is firm.
Overall Impression: When the world has beaten, berated, shot, stabbed and thrown you into a frozen river, this beer will revive you and help you overcome. It is one of my favorites (can you tell?) and was a gateway for my life as a BA. Drinkability is more along the lines of “I want this beer again, later”. An amazing beer I can’t recommend strongly enough.

 1,254 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Midnight black with a creamy tan head....the nose on this beer is outstanding...I just want to smell it and smell it and smell it, but I figured I'd better get around to drinking it too. The nose is very heavy on the hops, with a wonderful blend of spicy, earthy, herbal hops..some chocolate on the nose too.. The hops shine through on the buds as well, but there is an excellent chocolate bite to it also...like dark semi-sweet chocolate..Body is thick, but not over thick like Bell's Expedition...this is pretty drinkable in my opinion...the only drawback to me is there is some alcohol taste evident..It finishes with the hop bite, but also with a smooth butterscotchy texture...I really like this one...rates right up there with the best..

 745 characters

Photo of IPAlmighty
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Man, this is good. That crazy bastard that inspired the name should be proud. The booze is masterfully masked, it's hard to find fault in this brew. When I have customers looking for an Imperial Stout, I direct them to this with no reservations.

 245 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damn hotels for not having the proper glassware!
Pitch black pour with more than 2 finger light brown fluffy head. Sticky lace much later on.
Big chocolate and sweet coffee in the smell, roasted malts, alcohol (coffee-liquorish, actually), lower dark fruit.
A fruity flash at the start, with juicy plums and figs, raisin, some orange, quickly pushed away by espresso, dark chocolate, slight caramel and rich, very rich roasted malts. Dark spices, citrus peel, woody notes with some oaky vanilla. Obvious hops in the finish, but the bitterness comes from the burnt roast. So some charcoal notes and burnt coffee expected in the aftertaste.
Smooth sipper, creamy, alcohol is nicely hidden, tho some ethanol is (ok, rarely) felt. Medium carbonation. Just a bit of crispness.
Perfect example in its style, balanced and rich.

 820 characters

Photo of HochFliegen
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Now this is my kind of beer. When I poured it reminded me of a syrup it looked so dark and thick. I was hoping it tasted as good as it looked. It was black! It carried a nice brown head that just hung around the top of the beer. So far so good.
The smell was quite potent. It had a hint of alchol in the nose but was was mixed really well with the chocolate and rasin like smell. It had a slight tart smell as well.
This beer packs a punch in the flavor. I have to start with the ending since it is so much of the flavor in my opinion. It lingers for awhile with a tart/bitter sweetness that I enjoyed. The start is felt right away as soon as it hit my tounge. I could taste hints of chocolate and almost grapefruit/citrus like tones in there mixed with a nice malt flavor.
This is one of my new favorite beers.

 816 characters

Photo of alexgash
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark brown--nearly black. Capped by a dense, creamy, cocoa brown head that laces the glass nicely. Beautiful. Aromas explode out of the tulip glass. Roaseted coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, and dark sugary fruit mix seamlessly with an assertive pine-accented hop component. A wonderful smelling beer! Rich, roasted malt flavors up front meld with some sweetish, overripe dark fuits. Light chocolate coffee notes pick up right before a big rush of bitter hops. Cascadey and delcious, they provide nice balance. Finish is hop bitter, with vinous notes, tannins, and some warming alcohol. An excellent, full-bodied stout, that's right up there with the best of them.

 681 characters

Photo of ncfranklin
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A : Pitch black with a great two finger brown foam head. Lacing is nice. This is the expected appearance of a famous RIS. It pours with a milky look to it.

S : Chocolate dominates the nose, but roasted malt, coffee, and notes of vanilla hide beneath. I'm not detecting a bit of hops.

T : Ah, there are the bitter hops. They tend to tussle with a burnt roasted malt flavor before succumbing to coffee, chocolate and sugar. It's a bit overbearing how many things are mixing here to create a unique flavor, nothing ever takes the reigns. The finish gets a final bite of bitter hope with a burnt note.

As the beer warms lots of things change. The hop profile fades almost completely as a sweet malt takes over with almost a chocolate milkness to it.

M : Thick and slick, nice to slosh around and roll over each taste bud.

D : Lives up to the reputation. Scarily drinkable at a 9%, but a meal all in itself.

A must.

 920 characters

Photo of FrostyMug
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious, one of the best of the always available beers. Beer is a deep jet black color with a light tan/creme head. Beer has a great bitter coffee/dark chocolate taste to it with a good amount of carbonation. The beer is very smooth and refreshing for the style without losing its bitter Russian Imperial character.

 320 characters

Photo of ribby
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yesterday i drank Founders Imperial, so this review is influenced by the memory of that excellent stout. (A head to head tasting would be nice, but Holy moly, a 10.5 and a 9.0, maybe i got to clean up the house and invite about 20 people over for a proper stout tasting with about 5 bottles of imperials and some sessions for after...)

Any way, back to the review. This is solid black as a stout should be, with a two finger brown head. The aroma is a good balance of both dark malt and hop scents. My personal prejudice is that a stout is about the dark malt, to me, Old Rasputin's aroma is properly on the malty side.

The taste is well balanced. Compared to the Founder's imperial, some hops bitterness shows through, but the high alcohol is not evident in the taste; at only 9% instead of 10.5%, it is a little easier to hide.

This is certainly one of the great American stouts by reputation, and it lives up to the reputation in my tasting. I have a few more American stouts on my agenda, and then a Guinness Extra for reference.

 1,038 characters

Photo of alovesupreme
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, I have never seen a more beautiful, more appetizing beer then Old Rasputin on tap. Darkness with a perfect creamy head that resembles whip cream on hot chocolate.

Roasted aromas, chocolate and coffee.

I can tell this beer is on nitro, its almost like drinking an extremely flavorful Guiness, with all aspects enhanced. Very roasted, coffee, a little chocolate with a lingering creamy roasted aftertaste.

Absolutely amazing. Old Rasputin on Nitro is pretty much as good as it gets.

 490 characters

Photo of MmmIPA
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ive had the CZAR and now its time for RASPUTIN! Lets see who wins! Very black body with a small thin tan head that fells fast.Chocolate is the main smell I get out of it.There is some fruit smells under the chocolate.The taste is dynamite! The taste is fruit and expresso and damn good.I taste some bitter chocolate in the aftertaste.The mouthful is slick and thick and tasty,did I mention that already? I dont know if I could drink multiple of these cause of the abv content but it is pretty well hidden,let see when it warms.I think OLD RASPY won this war.I would say to the people who want to know what is compares between,its more bolder then Stormking but not as Czar.Very good indeed.

 690 characters

Photo of Zorro
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a super black brew, a 500-watt bulb shows that this is clear with reddish highlights. If you have a 500 watt bulb or a Laser.

Smells sweet and malty, lots of flowery perfume too. I also smell chocolate, coffee and fruit.

Nice tastes of chocolate, and coffee. Sweeter flavors too like prunes, Nice but not quite what the Samuel Smith's version is.

Mouthfeel is very good.

Drinkable for what it is, a Beer H-bomb.

 429 characters

Photo of beervana1858
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have probably purchased this beer 6-7 times and have been impressed by it every time. Surely there are more elite stouts out there that I have not yet found but it may just bet hat this has everything that I look for in a stout. It has a rich flavor with a slight dark chocolate taste that resonates on your tongue for quite a while after finishing. IT isn't quite sweet but it isn't overly bitter either. Overall a great stout and I will definitely keep it on the grocery list.

 480 characters

Photo of chanokokoro
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter from a 12 oz bottle.

A: Black as night. Beautiful tan head, great retention

S: Robust roasted malt mixed with chocolate, coffee and a hint of vanilla.

T: Huge roasted malt that finishes in a tantalizing bitterness.

M: Perfect body. Coats the mouth like a hand in a glove. Wonderful!

O: Old Rasputin is a true classic, a truly amazing Russian Imperial Stout.

 384 characters

Photo of TrippnFiasco
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Jet black, absolutely gorgeous. Dark brown head, pours with about 3-finger head that slowly dissipates. BEAUTIFUL lacing that sticks to the glass throughout the entire drink.

S: Smells like a nice espresso, with a fairly strong smokiness. Slight alcohol bite comes through, surprising for the (relatively) low ABV for this Imperial.

T: Delicious woody, smoked maltiness. Slight hop bite coming through, separate from alcohol. Very dark, very tasty.

M: Very creamy, full-bodied. Nice smoothness

D: One glass per sitting is perfect. Very drinkable for an Imperial Stout.

 578 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,620 ratings.