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

9,900 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,900
Reviews: 3,362
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 302
Gots: 1,324 | 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: 9,900 | Reviews: 3,362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bassmantin
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly dark brown/black with a moderate tan head.

Smell is excellent, very roasty, dark, and chocolatey. This is an extremely intense beer with a pretty intense alcohol taste on the finish. What a densely-packed flavor explosion. The drinkability is a little low on this one, but I don't mind all that much because that's not what I'm looking for in an Imperial Stout.

Side note: I had that at Bada Boomz in downtown Indianapolis. I originally asked for a Stone IRS (2004), which they had on their menu but were out of. The waitress gave me this instead and told me the bartender said it was pretty much the same thing. I was pretty pissed by that.

bassmantin, Mar 04, 2008
Photo of kaseydad
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

North Coast Brewing is one of the best breweries in my opinion. The Old Rasputin is one of the best and easy to drink stouts out there. The label has Rasputin giving me the "ok" to drink it. Love the beard!

Poured into a snifter and can't see through the thing. Dark as night with an aroma of roasty (not sure if that's a word) coffee with hints of dark chocolate. Goes down smooth without the harsh aftertaste some stouts produce. Lace clings to glass after sip. Awesome beer!

Another fine beer from Fort Bragg!

kaseydad, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of ksimons
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-inky black with a thick tan head that leaves some lacing on the side of the glass

S-roasted malts with some alcohol coming through

T-rich roasted malts with a burnt hops aftertaste, some chocolate sweetness, very smooth

M-dry, medium body, low carbonation

D-one of the best of this style, perfect for a rainy day

ksimons, Apr 17, 2010
Photo of henrysunset
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Beautiful black glass of beer, reddish tinge in the light. pours with a decent head of tan bubbles. Scent is initially hoppy and alcoholic, but chocolate malts are present too.

Initial taste has noticeable hoppy bitterness and alcohol. Great chocolatey aftertaste, totally coats the tongue and throat. Mouthfeel is thich and rich.

drinkability is really high, as is the alcohol content... So prepare for a good night.

henrysunset, May 23, 2004
Photo of Torps
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rough, mocha two finger head. Nothing extraordinary. The head dissipated rather quickly and left a modest amount of lacing. Very dark brew as is expected for a RIS.

Aroma is very nice. Dark chocolate, and espresso. Sweet, and malty. Tinge of metallic lingers as does the apparent ABV.

This is a very pleasant RIS. I'm not a big fan of certain RIS's that dominate too much with coffee flavors. Old Raspy is very balanced.

Mouthfeel is chewy and the carbonation is spot on. Nothing to detract from the experience of this fine RIS.

There is no date on the bottle so I can't say whether this is fresh or not but I'll certainly be saving a couple bottles for aging.

Torps, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of Teleweizen2
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a very dark opaque color with a huge tightly packed dark tan head.

S - most noticable aroma is of semi-sweet dark chocolate with some roasty coffee undertones.

T - follows the nose with a very intense chocolate malty sweetness and a nice balacing coffee bitterness.

M - rich and creamy. full bodied. Slightly higher carb than in
most stouts but it really works for this brew.

D - very easy drinking. Scary easy at 9%. No trace of alcohol. And it is balanced so well.

Teleweizen2, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of xanok
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's been a while since I've had an Old Man Raspy. 12oz bottle poured into my favorite Stone snifter.

A-Like most stouts, jet black. Head is a dark tan that doesn't go away easily. Lacing is very nice.

S-Caught a whiff of dark fruit up front which was more prominent than previous times I've had this beer. The usual chocolate and roasted malts follow.

T-The taste follows the smell. Dark fruits first, followed by chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and some whiskey. Nice warming feeling as it goes down.

M-Pretty full bodied, even for something this smooth. A bit on the heavier side carbonation-wise compared to other RIS's I've been drinking lately.

D-Smooth as mentioned, but not as smooth as other RIS's. The high abv isn't too noticeable, but you'll get that buzz quickly.

What more can be said about Old Raspy, a beer that has over 2000 reviews now? It's a classic RIS, and probably the best RIS for the price. Cannot beat $8.59 for a 4 pack.

xanok, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of TallPaul07
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: very dark and oil like. A nice thick and foamy head on this one with a cream/ tan color. Really nice lacing

Smell: smoky/roasted malt definitely comes out

Taste: pretty strong roasted malt on the front end with a pretty bitter/chocolately finish - a bit of a tongue punisher with a bitter finish. Complex flavors really mask the ABV.

Mouthfeel: a nice and thick stout with pretty solid carbonation per the style

Drinkability: very good, but drinking more than one or two could be quite the task due to how big this stout is and the fact that the bitter finish wrecks your pallette.

TallPaul07, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of hctap00
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a red wine glass. Not the best for head retention, but all that was clean.

Pretty standard imperial stout appearance. Pitch black. Solid tan that fades to a thin lacing.

Aroma is not overpowering, but still has a lot going on. Roasted malt and some coffee first. Dark chocolate. Fruity also, cherry and the licorice/anise I get from good stouts.

Pretty bitter up front, with some coffee flavors. Good roasted malt flavor. Sweeter through the middle, but still very astringent. A bit harsher than I would like with the bitterness. Finishes fairly smooth, with some of the fruitiness from the aroma. A nice alcohol warmth to it. Coffee and roasted malt lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel is a bit puckering. Felt like I was drinking red wine at times.

Overall very enjoyable. Not my favorite. I would drink a Ten FIDY first, but I still enjoy this one. Given its availability and reasonable price, definitely one to keep around.

hctap00, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of Dayman766
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Opaque; nice, thin head retention the entire time I drank it (which didn't take too long)
S- Roasted malts with a hint of chocolate; standard for a RIS
T- Fabulous complexity; seamlessly blends together the dark malts, coffee, chocolate, faint cherries, and alcohol (noticeable but inviting)
M- Exceptionally smooth and creamy yet thick
O- Lovely brew to have any time in the winter. It's fairly straightforward, yet with delightful complexity that continues to invite you for another sip.

Dayman766, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of musicforairports
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into a snifter.

Pours black, nice head, leaves a bunch of lacing.

Smell is great for the style--roasty, chocolate-y, coffee, a hint of burnt flavor.

Coffee, chocolate, burnt barley notes and some creamy milky notes. Flavor is full but tails off quickly on the finish.

Medium mouthfeel, decently carbonated for the style...not as thick as some stouts, but not thin, either.

Definitely one of the go-to imperial stouts out there; affordable and easy to find.

musicforairports, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of ThickNStout
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Lucky's (Woodstock, GA). 7.99/ 4 pack. No bottling date but I bought the pack last June so we're looking at a minimum of one year old. Served in a Founders snifter. 

Pours almost pure black with 2 fingers of dense mocha tan head. Good consistent lacing. 

Smells of dark fruit, cocoa, burnt sugar and roasted malts. 

Nice bittersweet plum and dark chocolate up front. Notes of cherry, coffee, smoke, anise and burnt wood. Great blend of all the flavors I expect in a Russian imperial stout. Alcohol is lurking in the background but never dominates. 

Creamy medium full feel with moderate carbonation. Long bitter cocoa malty aftertaste. 

A truly classic Russian imperial stout. It is the standard to which I hold all others. It's not the best around by any means but it's readily available enough that if a stout isn't at least this good, it has no business in my cellar. If you're a stout fan and for some reason you haven't tried this one, it's past time you get out there and give it a try. Like most Russian imperial stouts, Old Rasputin is great fresh and even better with some age on it.

ThickNStout, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of BeerDocT
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chilled, wide-mouthed glass.

-Appearance 4.0: Poured out a jet black, with no brown highlights. Its cream-colored head shrunk, but stayed around on top. Beautiful color contrast between the head and the color of the brew.

-Smell 3.5: Nice bouquet. I primarily smell toasted grains, but there is a nice undercurrent of chocolate. Very promising.

-Taste 4.5: Sweet taste up front, with a nice alkaline hoppiness and a slight bitterness. There is also a very pleasant sourness. Lots of caramel, chocolate and toasted barley after swallowing...long aftertaste of toasted grains. Just a bit too sweet for me, but delicious nonetheless with a depth of flavor that must be experienced first-hand.

-Mouthfeel 4.0: Good mouthfeel. The carbonation present in this beer serves to balance the high alcohol content that otherwise would have been noticeable. Still has a slight burning sensation in the mouth, but it is not distracting.

-Overall 4.0: Excellent stout. These "Imperial" or "Russian Imperial" stouts all have a relatively high alcohol content, but this is balanced by a depth of flavor and a drinkability not common in other high-alcohol brews. Really, these could be viewed as "dark triples," due to the amount of ingredients that go into each beer. "Old Rasputin" is highly recommended. If you can find this beer, it is worth the monetary investment.

BeerDocT, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of mooseo
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into tulip.

A - Jet black with a small dense tan head.

S - Pleasant aroma of roasted malt and sweet milk chocolate. I also detect some coffee and fruity hops.

T - Roasted malt and sweet chocolate up front, followed by dark fruits and a strong coffee bitterness. There's a surprising amount of hops in this brew. Finishes with a blend of charred malts, coffee and some mild bitterness.

M - Full bodied, silky smooth, light carbonation. Warming alcohol.

O - An excellent imperial stout. Offers an array of rich, complex flavors. This beer is meant to be savored. Awesome label too.

mooseo, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of GR_Rick
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice and dark brown; can't get any light through the beer. Poured with a nice big tan colored head that stayed around quite a while and left significant lacing on the glass.

S: Smells nice and sweet (perhaps a little brown sugar or caramel) for such a big, heavy stout. Hints of chocolate and roasty malt. Not as aromatic as I prefer, but a good smelling beer.

T: Not overly complex flavor, but nice and mild for the style. Easy drinking flavor without too much alcohol until the finish, where you first get a little bit of sweetness (chocolate?), and then just a hint of lingering bitterness.

M: Not much to say,but this is where the beer shines for me. Very nice, full, creamy feel. Nice and smooth, exactly like I would hope for.

O: An excellent beer, that's very easy to drink for such a big and dark style. Nothing here stands out in the plethora of "barrel aged" and "specialty" imperial stouts, but I can't find anything wrong with it either. This is a very solid offering for those seeking something that is brewed to style, relatively easy to drink, and not over done with the ABV or complexity in flavors.

GR_Rick, Jul 25, 2012
Photo of PicoPapa
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm shocked that I haven't reviewed this one yet since I've had it so many times.

On nitro-tap at The Engine Room. Pours a dark brownish black color with a huge creamy head over an inch thick lots of lacing. The aroma is lots of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Earthy.The taste is dark chocolate and bitter black coffee at first followed by the roasted malts and some hints of smoke. More bitter dark chocolate towards the end with nice roasted notes. Moderate alcohol presence. Velvety and creamy mouthfeel from the nitro. Overall, outstanding Russian Imperial Stout.

PicoPapa, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of BostonHops
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ deep ellum, allston (boston) MA. [review from notes]

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. smooth, velvety moutfeel; moderately carbed. decent drinkability as far as russian imperial stouts go.

tasty brew, easily an upper tier RIS, though IMO doesn't quite distinguish itself enough to rival the best of the best. still, you won't find a better beer for your money.

original review on: 09-27-2010

BostonHops, May 15, 2012
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%

Excited to try this one.

Poured for appearance.

Appearance (5) : This is quite possibly the most amazing head i've ever seen on any beer. Thick, thick almond colored cream like lacing and head that I can dip my finger into and lick like it's a rootbeer float. The lacing just sticks and the body is as black as night. Absolutely fantastic.

Smell (4.75) : Sweet black licorice, dark chocolate, roasted coffee bean. You can smell a hint of sour ale.

Taste (4) : Woof. What a strong beer this is! Roasted bean to start, a body of dark chocolate, and then morphing into total alcohol. 9% is right. I'll be falling out of my chair by the end of this review. It's got a good body and a good flavor, but the alcohol flavor is like chasing it with a shot of straight Russian Vodka.

Mouthfeel (4) : Creamy, heavy, soft, full-bodied. Minimal carbonation to keep it smooth. You can almost chew this beer.

Overall (4.23) : This beer is super heavy on the alcohol - again, like drinking a shot of vodka to chase your beer. That knocks this beer down a rung or two for me. But the flavor, style, and body are there. This is a beer worthy of a try.

The-Adjunct-Hippie, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of MightyMonk
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle.
Dark, blackish pour with a nicely building head of tan that sits a while with good lacing.

The aroma is strong with hints of chocolate, coffee, sweet malt, pepper and more that I cant get a handle on. Great aroma.

The taste is powerful in a very good way. It hints of floral notes while delivering chocolate tones and some cinnamon hints, coffee again and some alcohol in the back end. Overall a winning combination. As the beer warms it enhances the rich flavors.

It has a creamy feel and well rounded carbonation that enhances its complexity.

This is a great beer. period

MightyMonk, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of ms11781
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No date on the bottle but I have it marked as purchased in December of 2009 so it's at least 2 years old. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours black as night, with a massive 3 finger foam head that dissipates rather quickly. A nice cap is left, however and it leaves nice lacing on the glass. The oddest feature is that the head is a very light tannish color. Very surprising for a beer so dark. I'm almost certain that when fresh the head tends to be quite darker, maybe a lighter shade of brown. Either way, it's an excellent looking beer.

There was a massive black licorice aroma when I held the freshly poured beer up to my nose. As the beers warms it disappears completely. The nose evolves into a hugely roasty, slightly smoky aroma. There are hints of chocolate here as well.

The taste has the same characteristics as the nose but is considerably different. There is a touch of some semisweet chocolate upfront before the roasty flavors takes over. The roastiness quickly turns into a bitter, smoky and acrid flavor. The bitterness sticks to the tongue at the finish, almost like a really bitter DIPA.

Feels a bit thin, relative to style. Overall it's somewhere between the highest end of medium and the lower end of heavy. It really does feel like both at different times. Surprisingly, the carbonation still feels prickly on the tongue. Pretty amazing for a 2 year old beer.

Overall, this is still a good beer two years later, though it may be a bit past it's prime. This is the last beer of a 4 pack that I have had over the past 2 years and it shows that the beer is probably best within the first 15 or so months of bottling. As I said, still a very good beer even at 2 years, but it's heading downhill. That being said, the scores from this bottle should give an idea of how good it is when it's fresher.

ms11781, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Phylomatic
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First "Imperial" beer I've tried.

Appearance: Ahhh...lets just say I understand why its an Imperial beer. If Darth Vader was drinking its blackedy black goodness it would blend in with his outfit, unless it was in front of his blippidy blip lighty light thing. The froth at the top would stand out too...its not black, but pretty close. What you would videy the blackest a cloud in the sky could get.

Smell: eh..I couldn't smell anything...

Taste: As always with one of my reviews, I can't quite put to words what I taste so I'll just blurt out some words. Sweet..or bittersweet with 75 percent sweet, 25 percent bitter. Hazelnut? I know, weird, right? coffee, chocolate and more chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Smoooth. It's funny really the way it teases. It's just a hint of the taboo, not too much to turn you off.

Drinkability: Dangerous. I could drink it all night. I would not drink this on a farm.

Phylomatic, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of freystout17
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very complex in a pleasant way. Burnt caramel, hops, coffee notes, and a somewhat "woody-earthy" quality. One of the best all around RIS you can buy. The quality from this brewer is very constent; I have never had a "bad" lot from this company. This brew always lives up to its great reputation. Very reasonably priced at about 9 bucks per 4 pack.

freystout17, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of denver10
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thumbs width mocha head. A nice rich aroma of chocolate, roasted barley, and vanilla. Flavor matched the aroma to a tee. The build up of roasted barley and chocolate climaxed in a very impressive finish. A nice creamy medium body. Overall, consider me impressed. Worthy of the hype.

denver10, Jul 05, 2012
Photo of PaleZombie
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A - Almost jet black with slight ruby tinges coming through at the edges of the glass. Nice 2 fingers of thick creamy tan head.

S - Roasted malts, bitter sweet chocolate, some dark fruits(rasins and plums) a little bit of coffee, and slight alcohol notes. Very nice.

T - Taste is very similar to the nose but I detect more of the bitersweet chocolate and dark fruit in the taste than the nose. Bitter coffee finish on this one.

M - Very nice and creamy on the heavy side. Medium carbonation. So smooth.

O - For the price this is an awesome RIS. It is a sipper though, its so heavy and syrupy yet so good. I think this may become a regular in my fridge.Gets better when it approaches room tempurature.

PaleZombie, Jun 06, 2013
Photo of facundoCNB
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured this jet black syrup into a tulip glass, got a finger of dark brown head which made some nice lacing. a beautiful looking beer.
smells of roasted nuts, coffee, cocoa, almost a coca cola type scent. very unique smell.
a bitter, yet subtle dark roasted coffee flavor up front. nutty overtones, a subtle vanilla aftertaste. very mellow and drinkable. no sign of the alcohol in the taste.
full body, low carbonation, silky smooth.
a really good stout, no question about it. this bottle is from 2011 (a year and change old) so it's a bit more subtle than it is fresh. even fresh, this is a great stout.

facundoCNB, Dec 14, 2012
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,900 ratings.