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

9,922 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,922
Reviews: 3,363
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 302
Gots: 1,333 | FT: 42
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: 9,922 | Reviews: 3,363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kkipple
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on nitro-tap at the Flying Saucer in Columbia, SC.

Arrived in a fine looking branded Old Rasp pint glass, sporting a gorgeous 2 finger tall toffee-tan head. The head is amazingly dense and milkeshake like. It was fun to draw pictures in with a straw. But I digress. The beer is pretty darn dark, not *quite* black, and the contrast between light and dark in the glass is a thing of joy. Did I mention the sticky lace that runs down the glass as the beer goes? This is a beaut.

Tastes of heavy one-note roasted grains and rich coffee. Molasses, burnt raisins and a little astringency tickles the palate. The bitter hops are there but seem toned down from what I recall. Malt sweetness is complimentary and nicely balanced for me. Bittersweet and cunning, as it warms a few new flavors trickle out -- chocolate, alcohol, and a dry, almost chalky note.

On nitro-tap, the mouthfeel is hideously creamy. Smooth and very lightly carbonated, which makes it all the more easy to drink. It's a little thinner than I remember, but no matter, the big roasty finish with a hint of sweetness lingers and keeps me coming back for more.

Oh yeah, the nose. Grainy, roasty and boozy, this is simple and respectable for the style. Sweet, simple, strong, safe. It doesn't go for the jugular immediately, but the sheer drinkability of this means it may betray you later.

Old Rasputin on nitro is wickedly different from the bottle, and like the vile priest himself, sneaks up on you and gets under your skin. I had two pints before I knew what was happening. Taste at your own risk!

kkipple, May 19, 2008
Photo of scottum
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out blackish black with a nice big tan head. A very nice Imperial Stout. Burnt malts rule this brew like a tzar. Hop bitter balances out the malts. This is a potent brew and complex beyond my taste. Not the best Imperial Stout out there, but a damn good one!

scottum, Apr 17, 2003
Photo of bbb099
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Jet black with a little brown hue. Coke-like upon pouring. Relatively small amount of mocha colored head that created a nice lacing.

S - Good amount of roasted malt odor but still smells a little sweet (root beer-ish). Also a little alcohol on the side, but not too much.

T - Mostly roasted, dark malt coming through with some vanilla sweetness on the side. Finishes clean and crisp with smoky aftertaste. Very mild booziness but you can feel the alcohol warmth going down.

M - Full bodied. Moderate carbonation.

D - Solid stout. Stays true to the style. As drinkable as it gets for 9% abv.

bbb099, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of EvilKeith
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into the pint a deep dark brown color with ruby highlights. Head was two fingers of short-lived tan light foam that formed over a brief cascade. Head faded to a thick cap with heavy lacing.

Smell was chocolate malt, a charred smokiness (malt) and sweet caramel.

Medium bodied. Lighter than I expected for the style, but nice. Creamy mouthfeel. Mild carbonation.

This very well may be the most drinkable RIS I have ever had. Drinks like a stout with half the ABV. I'm impressed.

EvilKeith, May 25, 2006
Photo of fsimcox
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep, dark, rick black. When I hold it up to the light, I see nothing but black. Thick creamy tan head, dissipates very slowly. Significant lacing down the glass.

Smells of bitter-sweet chocolate, some smoky malt and a hint of brown sugar, and maybe some roast coffee bean and black cherry. Smell is significant, and strong. I can smell the alcohol.

Taste is complex. Creamy malt and chocolate up front, some smoke and coffee, and smokey black cherry and chocolate finish. Hints of bitter-sweet chocolate and coffee in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is creamy, some alcohol, rich, full bodied, and a very rich taste.

A very complex and enjoyable beer. This beer would be great with a chocolate cheesecake, or by its self on a cold winter night.

fsimcox, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of mavbrew
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Brooklyn snifter, giving the DFH snifter the rest for the night.

A: Deep black in color with a dark brown, finger thick foamy head that slowly dissipates, leaving nice lacing down the glass.

S: Has a very sweet smell to it, chocolates and dark fruits seem to be present in the nose as well. Faint scents of roasted and caramel malts.

T: Has a bit of an alcohol taste up front, similar to the smell with a very sweet taste as well. The chocolates and dark fruits seem to hit the palate together. Roasted malts come alive in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with an average amount of carbonation. It is a little thick but also smooth.

D: A smooth drink for a higher ABV, the alcohol is noticeable, but it is not overpowering. A very good stout to say the least.

mavbrew, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of mrjez
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

mrjez, Oct 15, 2014
Photo of utopiajane
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured perfectly opaque. Black with a fantastic creamy ,mocha colored head that fell off too slow and left rocky crags before a rich collar and cap. Excellent retention that you would expect from a stout and beautiful thick, sticky lace. Nose is genuine stout with roasted coffee some dark fruits and a good measure of alcohol.A bit of chocolate to tempt you. Smoky and inviting. Taste is heavenly. Chocolate, coffee malt, roasted, smoky, hints of vanilla and a delightful bitter. Not too thin, and drinks creamy and smooth. The alcohol is on the palate but it’s welcome. It’s a little boozy and who would mind with a flavor like this. Grand, with an aftertaste that boasts of it’s malt character and strength. Sweet and smoky like a fire on a cold night, burnt a little and some dark chocolate too. Fine and excellent.

utopiajane, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of spoons
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap. Fathers Office.

Appearance is dark, dark, dark. has a great small bubbles keeping the coffee colored head and lacing around for a while.

Smells of roasted malt, espresso, chocolate, and hint of caramel.

taste. A big chocolate/coffe taste that only gets better as it warms. Has some burnt malt bitterness that balances the overall sweetness of this beer. this great beer.

spoons, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of bridgetowhophead
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin! Picked up a 4-pack on sale for $7.49; I will try not to let the amazingness of that bargain influence my rating.

A: Poured into a tulip. Nearly pitch black color with a very pretty 2 finger tan head that unfortunately doesn't last too long. Makes a surprising amount of lacing for a 9% abv beer.

S: Fails to deliver what I expect for an RIS. I get dark roasted malt and a little chocolate.

T&M: Above and beyond the smell. The finish is especially superb with black malt coating the palate and throat. Mouthfeel is beautifully syrupy and creamy.

D: As drinkable as many 5% regular stouts.

bridgetowhophead, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of Mosstrooper
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Macado's "Halloween 2009" branded American pint glass.

Appearance: Jet black with a light brown 2-finger head that stays a long time and leaves lots of lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate notes, and tart alcohol.

Taste: Sweet, roasted malts throughout. Finishes with sweet coffee flavors and bitterness that isn't apparent until after the finish, lingering in the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied and very smooth. Chewy, with a sticky finish.

Drinkability: Definitely a beer brewed for sipping. This is full of flavor and is delightful to drink.

Mosstrooper, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of IPAescotch
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An exceptional example to all brewers of how to blend coffee with beer while doing credit to each. For an IPA man i found this to be right up my alley. Welcome bitterness, and the darkness is not overwhelmingly sweet or malty. Poured more head than i expected, and the darkness of the beer rivals none

IPAescotch, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours a used engine oil like black, completely opaque, with a two+ finger light brown head that has some mild guinness-like cascading action. As head dissipates, it leaves raindrop like holes scattered across the top.

Smell is of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, roasted malt, dark fruit, booze and a grapefruit hop presence.

Taste is primarily of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, and grapefruit hops. The alcohol is noticeable, but the big chocolate presence really cuts through the booze.

Full bodied and thick, however it has a fizzy quality.

Drinkability is par for the course for a RIS.

After looking at my empty glass, a large, sticky ring holds strong at the top of the glass and leaves some spider web like lacing. Real cool looking.

ColForbinBC, May 09, 2008
Photo of Oldscramch
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looks black in the glass, with reddish brown at the top and bottom; can't see a damn thing through this beer. Light tan tracing of head around the rim.

Smell: Sweet. Malty, but with more hops than I was expecting in this beer. The alcohol does not come through in the taste.

Taste: Fairly bitter coffee taste that lingers in the mouth; not at all a bad thing, considering how well it plays with the overall flavour.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, not too light. clean, but hearty. There's a tingle on the tongue for a while afterwords.

Oldscramch, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of Goliath
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black and completely opaque with a thin layer of frothy brown head sitting on top. Good retention and small bits of lacing.

The aroma is nice. Roasted malts confront the drinker showing mostly chocolate and coffee tones. This ones a little boozy too.

The taste is great. Burnt malts, again with chocolate and coffee dominating. Pretty boozy.

Mouthfeel is too thin. It's medium bodied and highly carbonated, it would be much more appealing if it were full bodied and still.

Drinkability is moderate. Flavor is nice, but the alcohol is on the high end and does limit this brew.

Goliath, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of JoePat
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a pitch black with a DARK brown head that causes me to stop pouring half way through so it it fits in the glass.
I smell choclate and coffee from the roasted malts.
It tastes like bitter chocolate and some coffee too. This beer is an exelent example of a stout.
Do to it being sucha great stout the drinkability suffers a little but it makes up for it with flavor and it creamy mouth feel.

JoePat, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is HUGE. The flavors are intensly amazing. The deep dark black that pours out immediately fills the air with a heavy dose of sweet and toffee-like aromas. This beer to me seems very complex...if you take just a small sip, the sweetness is very evident and somewhat single layered. With a larger sip, more layers seem to expose themselves and the high ABV becomes increasingly evident. In a sense, I would have to say that reviewing this intensely flavored stout could vary greatly by your drinking style. IMHO, this is one of the hardest beers to truly appreciate because of its power. Definately not a beer to waste on a friend who says "sure I'll take one of those....I love the way Guiness tastes"

ALESwhatCURESya, Aug 13, 2004
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very, very deep and dark black, with just flashes of blood-red hints at the very edges. Head is a solid, crusty cap of coffee-crema brown. Tiny streams of minuscule bubbles float up at the edges. Lacing is exceptional. An excellent looking beer.

Dark, smoky characteristics on the nose. Dusty dark chocolate, roasted grains, barnyard, even a light meaty character. It's not overly powerful, but it is dark and pleasant.

But wow, the taste is where it packs a punch. Light roasted bitterness first up, mellowing to a chocolate-coffee sweetness and a lingering chalky dryness, but still toasty and warm. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden, leaving just that residual heat on the palate. Long and drawn out on the palate, lots of complexity but all on a hearty and solid base. Mouthfeel feels just slightly too light to me, for such a heavy-flavoured beer, I was expecting something a bit smoother and creamier on the feel.

But this is a very tasty, and very robust beer. Lots of character, lots of flavour - too heavy for more than one in a sitting, but worth waiting around for the occasional sip.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of PrinceDarren
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barrel Aged Old Rasputin RIS was tapped at Bavarian Lodge tonight. Unfortunately, it was a very small keg so it was entirely gone in 15 minutes, no exaggeration.

Nose was oak, oak, oak. Just the way I like it. Roasted malt aromas too.

Tasted dry for a RIS with a bit of woodiness and moderate roasted malt with touch of coffee and a wee bit of dark chocolate. Predominately oak/malt though.

The regular RIS is average by itself but the oak definitely kicked it up an interesting level. It was dry enough that I could have drank another, if only they hadn't run out so quickly... Good stuff.

PrinceDarren, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of Bruce0920
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Bruce0920, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of Beer4B
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

Beer4B, Tuesday at 09:47 PM
Photo of numenor1
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, though not opaque and lightens up a bit around the endges. Head is thin tan and isn't leaving a lot of lacing for me. Aroma is pretty nice, some dark espresso roastiness and bitter chocolate, with a slight touch of hops. Taste is fantastic. Very roasty, fairly dry (for an impy). Starts of full of roastiness, espresso and bitter chocolate, some slight fruit midway, then the hops emerge through the finish coupled with a slight alcoholic spicyness. It doesn't suffer from being too sweet like some impy's i've had do. It's very nice. Perhaps that's why the body is a bit thinner than expected, but that's a tradeoff I can make. A very very good stout. Alcohol is noticeable in the finish, but not a problem

numenor1, Sep 20, 2005
Photo of kawilliams81
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Half Acre snifter.

A- pours black with a huge 3" dark tan head. Huge trails, clumps and blotches of lacing all over the glass.

S- chocolate, roast, bitter coffee, anise, and big pine aroma.

T- bitter chocolate, roasted malts, some coffee and bitter pine.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Nice creamy feel with a crisp finish.

O- very good RIS. Probably the best option for a RIS that is easy to find and available even at none beer bars.

kawilliams81, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"A dear friend is not to be found instantly."

OK, I'll finally review this beer. I've had this on draft, in the bottle, aged, fresh, on cask, under nitro, this particular incarnation is a relatively new bottle. Poured into a snifter.

Beer is black and forms a 1 finger head of brown medium bubbles. Head leaves lacing on the glass. Carbonation is a mystery. Looks good for an RIS. BTW, I love the label of this beer.

Aroma is slightly sweet with some roast, overall its a little weak.

Full bodied and really smooth. Nice roast character at the back some sweetness up front. Coffee and roast. Finishes cleanly but there is a lingering bitterness. Nice palate connectivity, carbonation adds body but not any sourness. Overall its a wonderful beer. As far as availability and price, its hard to miss out on Old Raspy.

drabmuh, Mar 19, 2010
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,922 ratings.