Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

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
95
world-class

3,511 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,511
Hads: 11,238
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 488
Gots: 2,281 | FT: 56
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 (25) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,511 | Hads: 11,238
Photo of blakesell
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the nitro tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a solid jet black with a three finger head of solid tan that doesn't dissipate for a solid five minutes. Lacing clings to the sides of the glass and doesn't let up.

Smell- Roasted smoky malts and slight hops. Head is sticking in my moustache giving a bit more in the way of aroma. Milk chocolate and black patent malts very similar to a malted milk ball. Slight prune and fig, LOTS of black licorice.

Taste- Creamy, black licorice, black and milk chocolate, caramel, creamer, dark chocolate again, light vanillanin, chocolate milk, prunes, figs, brown sugar, light burnt malts, dark burnt malts, black patent, 350L+ torched malts. Good lord this is sweet.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, full-bodied, smooth, well carbonated. Excellent.

Drinkability- Wow. Nitro tap is the way to go on this delicious elixer. I will be ordering this again before it's too late. (929 characters)

Photo of IvanNewMexico
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite beer. It is strong in both taste and power, but it is an acquired taste. Once you acquire the taste, there is no going back.

Think of Guinness Stout, but stronger and more flavorful. (204 characters)

Photo of beergambit
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

At first I heard many good reviews on this wonderul beer and never had the chance until now. I am glad I had the chance to taste this great drink. From begining to end this is a smooth and rich in flavorful beer. The taste of the hops and fruit flavors were a mouthful but not as a punch to the gut but pleasent like. (317 characters)

Photo of Seanibus
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one powerful, beautifully crafted beer. It is not for the faint of heart, but it is everything a Russian Imperial Stout should be.

Pours an oily black with a thin beige head. The aroma is powerfully malty, with a sharp bite of cherrywood smoke.

The flavor is vast, with a massive attack of bitter, earthy smoke and a huge, round undertone of sweetness.

The mouthfeel is enormous, resiny and thick, clinging to the tongue long after the beer is down your throat. It finishes with smoke and a satisfying alcohol bite on the top of your moth.

This is an amazing beer that will stand up to food, or survive aging, like a fine port. (639 characters)

Photo of Tilley4
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was an incredible RIS here! Pours very dark but not totally opaque with a nice creamy 1 inch head that leaves some fairly decent lacing as well.

Smells rich and dark, like espresso. This is a very complex brew here. Aroma of fruit and licorice, malt and coffee.

This is one fine tasting stout. This is what I want a stout to taste like. Very rich and dark with a nice alcohol finish and a good warming end to it. You know you're drinking a strong beer when you drink this one. Not the strongest of stouts, but just the right amount of kick to it. The alcohol is present but it isn't overpowering or overbearing in any way.

I loved this beer. I had to travel an hour west to get the last two bottles that the store had. It was worth the trip and I guarantee you that I'll make it again. (795 characters)

Photo of bobbyc881
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Adventures of South Carolina Guy at Brickskeller in DC:

Wow. My first Imperial Stout. This was goal #1 on my journey of better beer. Being such a stout fan, I was really looking forward to this.

Appearance was decieving at first. A small, unassuming little bottle. Maybe I was expecting Beer Angels to sing... Rasputin then told me to pour, so I did. Black, black, black. A nice brown head that settled down thin. Very little carbonation.

Smell was incredible. Big roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, and a bit of alcohol...oh, 9%, we don't get that in SC.

Perfect taste. Best beer I've ever tasted. Period. Insansely complex. Chocolates, fruits, coffee, hops bitterness, and a faint reminder that there's a wad of alcohol in there.

This felt great going down, with a very pleasant sweet taste hanging around, inviting me back for more. Nice and thick.

I think these are meant to be had one at a time. So, I came back 2 days later for my second. (974 characters)

Photo of Bills453
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - black as night as this brew settles into my new Belgium tulip glass. A great and frothy 3 finger head rest atop my bear and looks the color of hot cocoa.

Smell - toasty malts, milk chocolate and cocoa all together in a fantastic pleasure filled experience for my nostrils.

Taste - very much like the smell and equally pleasure filled.

Mouthfeel - thick and creamy...smooth like budda.

Overall - such an amazing stout and perfect for a cold January dinner time! (477 characters)

Photo of wcudwight
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As black as a night coon hunting with a new moon. 1/4" tan head that quickly recedes to a heavy lace. Lace last as long as the beer.
Ohhh man this smells good. Licorice, syrup, dark fruits, rich bread and dark cocolate.
Taste is as good as the aroma. This beer has a sharper hoppy type bitterness than others of the style I've had. More of the rich chocolate flavors and less of the coffee. It's fantastic. This and Storm King are my two favorite of the style and two of the best beers I've had over all.
Mouthfeel is velvet. This beer is over a year old and that may have contributed to the slick mouthfeel.
It's a sipper and it's feeling but I gave it a 4.5 because it's so good.
I was taking inventory of my cellar and came across 2 bottles of these. They have to be over a year old and I was suprised I've not reviewed it yet. This should be a staple for you to sip on cold evenings. (892 characters)

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Westmalle trappist piece of stemware.

It pours out a small fluffy head that has a wonderfull lacing. Also a jet black color that is traditional of Russian Imperial Stouts.

It smells like coffee and dark cocoa and a little sweet. A sweet licorice and fruitiness that are just great. I believe I smell black currants which were described in the Dark Lord, but I have not had any before.

The taste is sweet and bitter at the same time with spiciness. Coffee (expresso), licorice, dark fruit, and flowery hops are all flavors that hit me very nicely.

Mouthfeel is very nice and smooth, smooth and a little creamy feel is in it.

I am glad this is now in Roots, because I will wish to have it at least once a month, very nice. (747 characters)

Photo of Oakengroves
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - A dark, foreboding back with an off-color, dull head.

Smell - A deep, earthy roasted malt scent. Very appetizing.

Taste - An outstanding dark, earthy flavor interrupted occasionally by a mixture of grain and chocolate. Delightful!

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

Drinkability - One of the most drinkable Imperial stouts on the market.

Overall - The gold standard for imperial stouts, and very, very difficult to beat for the price.

Serving type: bottle (506 characters)

Photo of Ego
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A classic in my book. Dark brown head that dissapates, beautiful lace clings to the sides, classic roast aroma with the sweetness of the alcohol quite present.

In the mouth it has just enough carbonation to make it non syrupy and also to mask the heavier alcohol content. This may be too heavy for many people but if you like dark, malty, alchol laden brew.. this is a must try.

nose:
Savor the nose in a big snifter glass, wonderfull, better than a starbucks venti hazelnut cappucino... the nose is unreal on this beer.

taste:
The malt takes over early (front of tongue) on a sip and then fades into the strong coffee notes (back of tongue).

verdict?
This is a truly a well crafted beer, highly recommended. This is hands down one of my favorites. (763 characters)

Photo of deadbody
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. $7 for the 4 pack on sale I was expecting decent. Instead I get exceptional. Pours a dark black with a huge head, recedes to a thin layer of foam with lacing all up and down the glass. Smells great, not a hint of booze in the 9% ABV hog. Taste is good, a bit too much burnt but not bad. Nice and subtle, no booze taste. Mouthfeel is great, thick and rich. Almost bready.

Overall, this is a hell of a value, and I will be picking it up regularly. (451 characters)

Photo of hawkseven
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle

First experience with a RIS.

A- Black !!!with a thin (1/4 inch) mocha head

S- Coffee and chocolate, smells tasty and inviting.

T- very chocolate-y with a bitter coffe after taste, mild smokiness, definitly 9% ABV

M- creamy and thick, with a slight carbonation bite.

D- very good, need to pair this with a meal probably something fatty instead of drinking by itself. Very impressed with this brew. I will look for it again. (442 characters)

Photo of Tdizzle
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Poured into a tulip glass, this beer pours black with a creamy dark-tan head that sticks around for the duration of the beer, leaving some really thick lacing on the glass.

S- It's all here. Rich dark chocolate, roasted malts and coffee with a bit of vanilla sweetness. Notes of hops ad dark fruits are less prominent. The alcohol begins to peak through as the beer warms.

T- A superb balance of bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee with a mild hop and cocoa bitterness on the finish, which is fairly dry for such a rich beer.

M- Smooth, creamy and coating with more lively carbonation than I expected.

D- This is a huge beer, but it drinks lighter than you might expect. The finish leaves you wanting more after every sip and the alcohol is so well-hidden you'll rub your eyes after seeing that it's 9%.

A classic in my book. (839 characters)

Photo of HattedClassic
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful. I managed to get a nice multicolored head with bright white on the top and the more brownish head on the bottom. I have some constant foam on the top. I see some medium lacing on the glass, which is good. The dark black color reminds of what dark chocolate looks like. I got a nice dark dark brown almost dark chocolate when I poured it.

Smell:I get a nice light whiff of roasted malts. For me, the dominant flavor appears to be the dark chocolate mixed with malts.

Taste: ORGASM!!! I get roasted malts mixed with dark chocolate . I can taste the alcohol a little bit but enough that it balances the other flavors. Frankly, I like the balance.

Mouthfeel: Wonderful light carbonation when you first drink it followed by a silky finish.

Drinkability: Definitely drinkable. I wish I had tried this earlier in the winter. The wonderful smell with the beautiful presentation, not to mention the price makes this beer a winner. To be honest, I think this stout is definitely an improvement over an espresso with bourbon poured in it. (1,054 characters)

Photo of ritzkiss
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark with a 1/2 inch head. Thick aroma with molasses, toffee, toast, hops, hints of chocolate all coming out. First taste is like drifting into heaven. Sweet but not too much so, complex like the best women, dark like a starless night. Warning: Makes one wax poetic.

Medium finish, good lacing. Has 9% but is one of those beers that'll sweet talk you, only to steal your wallet later.

One of these bad boys usually satisfies but could easily be a 'session' sipper for the hardy. Great with chocolate, by a fire, or under the stars. Honestly, one of the best beers I've had. Dark and delicious. (602 characters)

Photo of DanielMB
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%

This is a tremendous imperial stout. That being said, it is a little lacking in the hoppiness that characterizes most of these beer types, and it could use a little more of that. Otherwise, it's all quite solid. It pours pitch black with a small tan head that sticks around for quite a long time. It smells mostly like chocolate. The taste is similar. The overwhelming flavor in this beer is of chocolate. The mouthfeel is a little sticky and smooth, very pleasant. Overall, this is a world-class RIS that I would highly recommend to anyone. (541 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't believe in a perfect 5 but I had a real hard time not giving this beer a perfect score. Serve in a pint glass at just below room temp.

Appearance: When you crack open the bottle and pour into your pint glass it initially looks black, until you hold it up to the light you'll notice it is very dark brown and completely opaque (no light gets through this one). Fantastic 3-4 figure head, super frothy. The head is a light brown very tasty foam that lingers for a while and as it fades away, leaves behind thick evidence, that it was there, clinging to the slides of the glass.

Smell: Amazing, enticing smell. Dark roast, mocha coffee. Truly, it made my mouth water at the very sent of it. A complex -- sweet, toasty malty aroma that just echoes in your nose. WOW! Upon further contemplation, there is a slight hint of vanilla and caramel, then its back to the chocolate coffee.

Taste: The taste is just as magnificent as the smell would suggest. It is complex and interesting. As stouts go this is not TOO sweet but just sweet enough. When I think about the taste I come up with: black and toasted yet sweet vanilla chocolate coffee. Whatever all that means. I think this is one of my absolute favorite flavors. Then, to make matters even more heightened; I broke out some dark chocolate Christmas morsels, and snaked on them as I finished my beer. The way they complimented each other was out of this world; divine, or some shit like that. Incredible!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was near perfect. I like stouts, but most stouts (at least the ones I like) are very heavy, thick, syrupy and sticky in the mouth. Some ice cream or pie helps wash them down. Not for 'Old Rasputin'. This beer is medium bodied, but light for a stout that tastes this dark. It makes this dangerously easy to drink.

Drinkability: While I love most everything about stouts, they are usually not the highest scoring on the drinkability because they are so sweet and so heavy. They taste great but then your full. This beer may be heavier than many, yet as stouts go, (in my experience) this may be the most drinkable, easy down the hatch beer (that is a RIS) I’ve found yet!

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (2,209 characters)

Photo of mobius024
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured as noir as the heart of darkness from a 12 oz bottle. You cannot see a flashlight held on the other side of the glass.

The Monk Rasputin lost his balls on his assassination. This beer has not. It has all the requisite Russian Imperial Stout qualities: somewhat bitter, somehow caffeinated, and so on. Its suchness as an example of the style rests in how it combines the elements. The mouth feel starts as a hoppy/espresso-ish annunciation somewhere on the outskirts of taste and rises to ride through one's oral cavity, like a Cossack cavalry charge. That done, it retires to rest on the back of the tongue, awaiting recall. I can't exactly explain how, but the story that Rasputin was a womanizing peasant mystic fits this brew ...

(Addenda: at a much later date this beer continues to satisfy; but I did not note that the lacing is apparently painted on the glass, as it seems to remain forever.) (907 characters)

Photo of MrStark
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance is a thick dark black with a nice light grown head. It recedes after a little while leaving a little stick lacing.

Smell is quite rich. A wonderful blend of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and some dark fruits as well.

Taste is wonderful! Just like the aroma, a sweet blend of roasted coffee and malts, chocolate and a nice bitter bite from the hops. A nice feel from the alcohol on the end, especially as it warms.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy with a small amount of carbonation. Very pleasent on the tongue.

Drinkability is very good! It goes down quite smooth and has a wonderful taste. I could have several of these but I think it be better enjoyed one at a time. This is the best RIS I have had so far. Just wonderful! (796 characters)

Photo of ndekke39
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought a 12 oz bottle to consume by myself. No bottling or best-by date on it. Poured into a brandy snifter - I don't know if this is the proper glassware, but I love how it opens up the flavors and warms it. Nice, oily black color, completely opaque, with a thin, tan head. Very good retention - left rings around the glass. Smells and tastes of all sorts of dark wonderfulness: cherries, dark roast coffee, some dark chocolate, raisins, red grapes. At times the aromas reminded me of a great red wine - a tad woody, smoky, and spicy. Lots of complexity all around, and the flavors and aromas changed as it warmed up in my hand. Thick, heavy mouthfeel - not too creamy - it fits the character well. Overall, a very drinkable beer - highly recommended. A wonderful, complex drink. (780 characters)

Photo of sirdrinkwell
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a: deep, dark brown/black appearance with nice tanned head.

s: the nose on this brew is actually pretty active for a stout, with a malty sweetness and even hop presence

t: superb chocolate and coffee taste, extremely smooth with just enough bite of alcohol to remind you that you're drinking a real brew.

m: mouthfeel on this is extremely smooth, with an appropriate amount of carbonation to allow the mouthful to flow over the palate comfortably.

d: i'm not sure where i've been hiding all this time, but this is a superbly drinkable stout that i will get my hands on as much as possible. highly recommended, sout lovers hit the jackpot with this one! (659 characters)

Photo of N3rdM3t4l
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into standard pint.

A: black as black can be. About an inch of rich foamy kahki head fell into a thick ring around the glass. No light gets through this, during the pour it was deep deep brown like ebony or mahogany.

S: big roasty notes, I get notes of dates and prunes. a bit of alcohol. No hops that I can detect.

T: I love this stuff. Big toasted and roasted notes, a bit of the date flavor from the nose. Lots of hop on the finish that last a good long time.

M: thick and rich but not as heavy as its american counterparts. Smooth and dangerously drinkable.

O: deserves all the hype it gets. Holds its own and works well with foods. (653 characters)

Photo of littlesgtpepper
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had on top at the North Coast Brewery on 09/22/10 in a pint glass.

This beer has a mocha-colored, fluffy/smooth head that stays. This beer is black, like King Bowser's heart.

Smells of semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, and malt.

Holy God, this beer is incredible! This beer has so many flavors: dark chocolate, strong espresso, malt, black coffee, nuts, and toffee and even a hint of the Holy Lord himself. There is also a strong hop bitterness that really works to balance everything out but doesn't overtake the beer which is truly a blessing.

I could have a couple of these beers but no more since the flavors are so strong that the only thing keeping this beer from being absolutely perfect is the drinkability. Truly a phenomenal beer, especially on tap. (760 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is really the best imperial stout value around. Available in six packs for a reasonable price, this beer constantly amazes me with its complexity and bigness. The real treat is the sinful chocolate notes packed with hops and burnt malt. Cellar age only increases the smoothness of all the flavours. A real contender for my favourite beer. (343 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,511 ratings.