1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

10,723 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,723
Reviews: 3,493
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 403
Gots: 1,863 | FT: 50
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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-18-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,723 | Reviews: 3,493 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearnace: Tar black with a bit of ruby peeking through when put in front of a light source; a modest head that webs the glass with lacing

Smell: Roasted malt, chocolate and espresso

Taste: The flavor explodes in your mouth - at first you get the coffee and chocolate and then, after the swallow, the bitter hops kick in along with the alcohol; after the warmth and the bitterness fades, the chocolate tones linger and comfort

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A lovely, warming stout for the cold weather months; a big beer and not for the faint-hearted

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark color that very little light comes through, giving an almost purplish hue. Nose is malty and slightly sweet with a roasted coffee edge. Taste is thick with barely a touch of sweetness. Mouthfeel is thick, but smooth. Even at 9%, it's very drinkable. Another smooth brew by North Coast.

Photo of beermebeerman
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a brandy snifter.

Jet black, used motor oil color with an average sized cream colored head. Lacing is solid.

Smell is malty; very roasted chocolately smell. I think I will have to let the beer warm some more before I can pick anything else out.

Taste is almost immediately coffee, with chocolate following, finished by an almost (raisin?) rum like followthrough. Alcohol warms in the finish. Very clean tasting beer but with lots of flavor. Hop bitterness is present but not in the fore; malt is the leading character in this play.

Medium to high carbonation and jam packed with flavor give the feeling of drinking a meal. Very full-bodied beer. The 9%abv is definately noticeable.

I will be drinking this again. Now I can say that I understand the hype surrounding this beer!

Photo of kmbaker
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

holy smokes i forgot how much i like this beer! Brian 700 hooked me up with one the other night and it was like finding an old 20 dollar bill in my laundry from way back when. anyhow on with it....

pours a dark rich black. light cream mocha head, residing into a thin and consistent lacing leaving some oily blotches here in there on the surface.. thats what i like to see on a stout!

Notes of vanilla and bourbon and the nose mixed with whiffs of black patent

taste: chocolate to snappy and zesty black patent sort of smokiness and finishes with what comes to me as an anise characteristic spiking the front of the palette as the robust smokey notes work on the peripheral of the tastebuds. aftertaste lingers and finishes with what you would expect from a shot of expresso.
creamy mouthfeel somewhat oily.

dangerously drinkable for this caliber of beer.

Photo of Fish113d
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pouring into a tulip glass from a bottle a bit chilled, it pours a black color with a brown, dense 1/4" surface layer that sat on top of the brew for most of the tasting.

Aroma leads on a bit of black liquorice (sp.); roasty chocolate aromas also are prominent. A decent amount of alcohol hits my sinuses as well. A slight oak aroma also.

Sipping, it reveals a lot of roasty nuttiness (almonds) w/ dark baker's chocolate. Lots of coffee w/ a dry oak barrel flavor also seems to come across my palate. On the finish, I sense a bit of the black liquorice flavor i was smelling just a few minutes earlier.

Mouthfeel is overall, nicely balanced. Carbonation is nice; very drying finish. A bit of alcohol on my palate; huge body!

Overall, the hype around this one is well deserved. At 9%, I know I can't drink as much as I'd like to, but this is a great sipping brew!

Photo of hawks10
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into my Old Rasputin pint glass...

Pours black with a huge amount of fluffy tan head, pretty typical color but much more head than most imperial stouts...A thin cap of head lasts for the whole drink and leaves a good amount of lacing, again, pretty atypical of an RIS...

Smells of sweet chocolate, a bit of a roasty malt aroma with a tiny bit of coffee thrown in there. A bit of a maple syrup smell peeks out with a mild bitter hop smell...

A bit of a stale thin coffee taste at first with some bitter dark chocolate. A bit of burnt toast and a bitter hop flavor that lingers for a bit...

Not quite as thick on the palette as the pour would indicate...almost more like a regular stout, not an imperial stout. Decent carbonation and a nice slight warming alcohol presence...

A very good value beer, easy to drink and a regular for me...

Photo of perrymarcus
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[review from notes taken 09/17/10]

on tap @ deep ellum, allston (boston) MA.

appearance is a dark, opaque brown/borderline black w/ a solid two-finger mocha-toned head. nice retention and lacing. great looking stout.

aroma is heavy with roasted malts; notes of coffee and chocolate as well, with the slightest suggestion of hops. nose is substantiated by the flavor profile with the roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee pulling through in that order. again, very faint but perceptible hop presence. tasty brew, easily an upper tier RIS, though IMO doesn't quite distinguish itself enough to rival the best of the best.

smooth, velvety moutfeel; moderately carbed. decent drinkability, as far as russian imperial stouts go. you won't find a better beer for your money.

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this last night out of a 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Have heard good things as Cost Plus World Market has it on sale for $7 for a 4-pack, so hey, made for a good pick-up for the burgeoning beer collection.

Appearance: Brown-black, like a stout-porter, and with a nice, one-finger tan head. Laced very nicely down the glass too, definitely looked the part of a RIS.

Smell: Chocolaty, slight coffee, and earthy. You can smell a bit of smoke too, and reminds me of a nice, sit-by-the-fire smell.

Taste: Roasted barley malts and bready, smoky taste wash over the palate with markedly low bitterness to it in comparison to other Imperial Stouts, and not in a bad way.

Mouthfeel: Not overly thick or heavy as RIS tend to be and I expect, but this was lighter and made more of a drinker than a sipper. Finishes very clean and with a hint of coffee left at the end.

Drinkability: For the style, it's up there. Much, much more drinkable as far as having more than one goes, and I could certainly enjoy more than one of these in a row, and for this style, that's saying something. Lighter than the Stone Imperial Stout and the BBXXI as far as dark and complex brews go, but this does improve the drinkability as well as it goes down much more smoothly and drinks like a champ.

Photo of barczar
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Been in the fridge a couple years, so...

Pours an opaque black brown with a dense, frothy one inch mocha head that lingers indefinitely. When it dissipates, it leaves thick, sticky sheets of lacing.

Dark fruit, a touch of soy, roast malt, and chocolate start the aroma. Deeply toasted, nutty scents are accentuated by sorghum sweetness and earthy notes, finishing with a touch of coffee grounds. Malted milk balls and licorice emerge. There's a touch of plasticy phenols.

Flavor is dominated by deeply roasted malt, lightly sweet, which becomes chocolatey mid palate, and finishes charred, a touch acrid, and fairly bitter. Underlying notes of dark cherries surface, adding complexity. Toasted, nutty notes and dark chocolate are evident in the aftertaste.

Body is thick and smooth, with low carbonation and substantial alcohol warmth. There's a bit of astringency at the finish.

Aside from some light phenol presence, an excellent brew. It's more bitter and dry at the finish than I recall. Good complexity, but the bitterness is offputting to me.

Photo of Citadel82
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

YUUUMY!

Pours black as the night along the Volga where the evil monk was done in...

Thick long lasting tan head left a solid sheath of tan lacing in its wake...

Smell of malt and damp earth in the nose with faint floral backdrop.

Tastes of carmel malt and toffee, then black espresso with chocolate and hardwood charcoal notes.

This is a wonderful complex brew and well woorth seeking out for a taste. After pouring it has minimal carbonation but a thick substantial feel to it.

Very drinkable.

Photo of tcfishler
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black color, high foamy head with strong lacing.

Nose is dry with strong notes of licorice, with an accent of citrus rind.

In the mouth, it starts with a bit of sweet chocolate, then dries fairly rapidly into a strong coffee-laden finish, complicated by some hop bitterness and slight astringency. Alcohol can barely be sensed, and only when the beer is chewed vigorously. Mouthfeel is highly pleasurable, with perfectly gauged carbonation.

This stout definitely leans to the dry side of the spectrum. However, it is balanced enough to be remarkably drinkable. The extent to which the alcohol is hidden is admirable as well. I think it would shine best with food, however.

Photo of alkemy
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Super dark brown color that stops light coming through fairly efficiently. The head is dark tan and about a finger tall. Smells really good. Lots of burnt, roasted malts. I get lots of bitter chocolate. It's kinda like chocolate espresso. There's also a touch of anise that shows itself again in the taste. Taste really resembles the aroma. Chocolate seems a bit sweeter on the tongue than in the nose. There's an additional hint of cherries in the flavor. A bit too much carbonation and I'd rather see it slightly thicker, but that's getting a little nitpicky.

Photo of Kelly88
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into an old Rasputin pint glass.

A- pours a dark brown that settles into a black bodied brew. Dark khaki head that is dripping lace all over the glass. Ruby highlights seep through the edges.

S- a dash of citrus hops is covered quickly with bitter coffee. Chocolate and pine round out the finish.

T- Loads of citrus hops for a stout. Chocolate and more hops battle for control. More chocolate is starting to assert itself as the beer warms. Roasty malts with bitter coffee as the beer slides down your throat

M- a little light for my liking. There is a stinging carbonation that is present at the end. This mouthfeel makes for a good drinking stout but leaves something to be desired in the body.

Overall a solid imperial stout. Nice mix of hops and malts That really balance nicely to create an interesting and tasty brew.

Photo of dnolan36
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well tonight I decided to try my first Old Rasputin. I just started getting back into stouts and I am almost sad I have started with this one since it was so good. Well, anyways, here it goes.

When I opened the bottle, it poured black into my glass with about a finger of dark, rich brown head. The sight was quite lovely.

When I first brought the glass to my nose there was a nice chocolatety, nutty aroma. I sat the glass back down for about 20 minutes for it to warm up some and then smelled it again. The second time there was a faint vanilla/mocha smell, with a hint of malts and coffee.

The taste matched the smell almost. It had a dark chocolate, mocha, malty feel to it.

This was overall an excellent beer from opening it to drinking it. I could definitely enjoy several of these. However, I am still sipping on the one that I am using to write this review.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Complex aroma of coffee, chocolate and fruit. Appearance was perfect. Poured black hue with large tan creamy head that lasted to the finish with excellent lacing. Full bodied flavor and finish that was consistent with all the aroma.

The complete stout in a bottle. Thank you North Coast.

Photo of stoutfiend27
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle received as extra courteous of Ghengis22..poured into St. Feuillien wide mouth glass...how ive missed a review of this ill never know since ive purchased it many many times...

a-pitch black with a espresso colored head that fell after a minute or so...nice lacing...

s-roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, and caramel, faintest hops, quite aromatic

t-chocolate and roast up front, followed by coffee and caramel and a nice hop sting in the end..

m-thick and chewy just like i love my ris...nice carbonation..warms as it goes down and is quite oily

d-during the winter i could warm up with these all night...now with our warm days and chilly nights only one late...

top notch...one of the best...

Photo of greenmonstah
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from my local store into pint glass

A - Pours a pitch black with a finger of nice brown head. Very impressive lacing.

S - Clean coffee aroma with some chocolate and a roasted malt backing.

T - Really impressive. There's coffee, a lot of chocolate, roasted malt, and a nice hint of dark fruit. Sweet chocolate is the dominant flavor here. Even has some hop to it, just the right amount. Some alcohol, but not much. Going to let it warm up and see how it blossoms.

M - Nice and thick, spot on for the style. Stays pretty wet throughout. Creamy and almost chewy.

O - Overall a very delicious beer. Incredible for something so widely available and relatively inexpensive. The value and availability make this the go-to "everyday" beer in the RIS style, but it's not diminished in any way. It is simultaneously really easy to get and impossibly complex and delicious.

Photo of icetraxx
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a 7-finger or so head that dissipates into an extremely creamy 3 finger head over time. The massive head was probably due to my quick pouring action. The head lasts the entire beer, even if you drink it slowly. The beer appears to be as black as the night.

S: Caramel, fruity hops, molasses, and roasted malt dominate the aroma. This beer is nicely aromatic thanks to the 9% ABV.

T: The taste starts slightly sweet and a caramely with a nice kick of fruity hops. The flavor quickly becomes hoppy bitter and finishes with a dry hoppy crispness. The first few sips reveal a lingering bitter tongue. The alcohol is very well hidden for 9% ABV. No dark fruits, complexity generally suffers.

M: Thick & creamy, perfectly carbonated.

D: High for the style, and definitely high for 9% ABV. Be careful, this one could get you in trouble. Easy drinking.

O: The second example of this style that I've ever had and already a favorite.

Photo of Scotchboy
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 12/27/10. 12oz bottle, New Belgium globe.

Pours dark brown but is compeltely black in the glass, no light around the edges. Almost two fingers of brown head, covered with small bubbles. Head retreats slowly and leaves nice, consistent lacing. Very attractive stout.

Initial smell is dark roasted malts, followed by bitter chocolates. The alcohol is there, but lightly and beautifully. There is a small sweetness as well that reminds me of chocolate milk.

Taste is dark and rich. Sweet and bitter malts. The lactose-like sweetness is still there too. A few warm hops on the tongue mix with the alcohol, which is barely discernable. The more is warms, the more I can pick up on a cold coffee flavor. There is an ever so slight smokiness to the finish as well. Complex.

MF: Impressive as well. Initially it is very creamy in my opinion. Smooth, wet, then a tiny bit sticky. Oily? I like it.

Drinkability is high for a RIS. I could of had two.

Photo of bighoppymonster
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an absolute opaque black with a thin tan head which laces the glass nicely. Equal amounts of roasted malty goodness and alcohol in nose, maybe some traces of sweetness as well. Again, roasted maltiness in taste with very strong coffee like flavours. Very sweet and alcoholic in taste. However, it is very smooth and drinkable. Definately full bodied and very rich. Overall, a very impressive brew. Very strong in both character and abv. One of my favourites in the style, although I am none too experienced with imperial stouts.

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've got to say, nitro-tap really changes this beast.

This is probably the most intense, thick, beautiful looking Nitro pour I've ever had the pleasure of gazing at. Dark blackness with effervescence of the gods fueling a truly never-ending frosting-like cap. The curtains of lacing are epic.

Aroma, as some nitro tends toward, leaves a bit to be desired. vanilla, rich malt, cocoa nibs. mild, creamy, not bad.

Taste is surprising... heavily roasty, charred coffee, and an impressive hop presence. Nitro really adds a stunning depth to this luscious brew. possibly it's fresher - thus a bit hoppier - than I'm used to, but this has a stunning hop presence that really transforms this from what I'm used to into something ephemeral. I'm missing the leather, smoke, peat and rich chocolate, but it's been pleasantly replaced with piney, resinous and bright hops. Digging it.

Mouth is solid, with ample carbonation from the nitro, yet it retains some of that old rasputininess. thick, a bit viscous, and touch of syrup, and some lingering bitterness. Lovely.

All in all, nitro has done some interesting things to one of my old standbys. The hops are definitely accentuated, turning this into a surprisingly rounded and balanced RIS. Which I like... although i almost miss the heavy coffee, chocolate, and rich malt that i'm used to.

Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. Wow! What a beautiful pour. Two fingers of caramel head and BLACK, and I mean black. The head begins to fade as it warms and leaves behind thick, egg-white lacing. Thicker than I've experienced before. The foam left behind looks like crema on an espresso.

The smell is smokey with roasted malts but it's hard to make out any of the other aromas. Taste's smokey also, but there's chocolate and some balanced to light hops as well. The roasted malts dominate. I like that there's no burnt flavors. This is really a great tasting stout. As it warms the flavors increase, but this is not an intense beer. It's low key in a very good way. I'll be darned if I can pick up any alcohol taste at all. How did they hide 9% ABV?

The mouthfeel is luscious with low carbonation, and may be the ale's best quality. It would be easy to drink 2 or 3 of these, but I had not had anything to eat. I could feel the alcohol kicking my arse, so I settled for only one. That makes the drinkability hard to rate.

If you like stouts you have to try Old Rasputin. It may be the best stout I've ever had. Keep in mind that I'm a newbie, but this seems more like an American RIS than an English version. The hops are definitely present and play a role in the flavor.

Too bad they named this great stout after an infamous fellow like Rasputin. They even put his ugly mug on the label.

Photo of Yellolab2010
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%

Photo of iRun2Beer
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zdk9
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black- nothing less than. A finger of tiny-bubbled foam covers the blackness. Some decent spiderweb lacing. A beautiful beer.

S- Somewhat weak aroma. Burnt malt, a hint of cherries, liqour- maybe even rum.

T- Much stronger. Roasted flavors of dark intense coffee. Brown sugar. Burned raisins. A touch of soy sauce. Good.

M- A decent amount of creaminess, good carbonation level.

D- I full flavored RIS. Though I wish the aroma was stronger, this one is a keeper.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,723 ratings.