1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,379 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8379
Reviews: 3289
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%

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)
View: Beers (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,379 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Boilermaker88


3.15/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presented in a 12oz. brown bottle as pictured. This beer allows no light to penetrate its inky black depths. A short-lived mocha colored head rose and fell as quickly as Italy changes governments, leaving minor lace behind.
The aroma is a withering blend of bitter coffee grounds, alcohol, roasted black malt, wet leather, and dark fruit.
This brew has a pronounced bitterness to it, far more than I expected. There are hints of bakers chocolate and coffee mixed with some prune/date flavors but the overall effect is rather out of balance. An astringent alcohol taste fires a parting shot along with a mild warmth.
Feel is medium with a real rawness from the alcohol.
Well, if this is what Rasputin was drinking the night he was killed, it explains why he was so difficult to take down. Old Rasputin has a rugged, hard edge to it that cuts into its drinkability. Overall, not bad but I've had some I've liked better. I'll drink them instead.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2003 04:20:20 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of Frozensoul327


3.15/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first Russian Imperal Stout. Poured out to a black coffee color with a nice, full brown foamy head that was well lived. Notes of lace were all about inside the glass. Aromas similar to whisky were first noted, as were indications of chocolate and coffee. Flavor was full and rich, with notes of molassas, cocoa and coffee, with some smokey elements to it as well. The big drawback for me with this beer was the alcohol. Way too present, as it almost overpowered the other flavors. Very hard to ignore. Full and thick mouthfeel was similar to what I would imagine having motor oil in your mouth being like. I guess i'd have another, but certainly not right after having one. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2005 23:42:45 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of Cresant


3.15/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. undated, brown bottle into a Duvel glass. The body was darkest brown and the modest 1/2" head faded rather quickly.

Smell was sweet roasted malts. Coffee grounds. Chocolate.

Taste reflected the aromas. Tangy sweet baking chocolate. Finished long with a bittersweet aftertaste. This one was not as complex as I had anticipated.

Mouthfeel was zesty with mouthfilling carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2007 09:01:16 | More by Cresant
Photo of Seru1


3.15/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle Serving from Georgia poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- Dark Blackish Brown With a creamy Browinsh Tan Head. Just rich enough

Smell- Big smells of coffee with chocolate notes. Lots of roasty and woodsy aromas make me think they used American oaks

Taste- Roasted malts hit you like a slap in the face. Coffee flavor mixed with bitter chocolate round out this big flavored beer. Very Bitter.

Mouthfeel- It really coats the tongue and fills the whole mouth it's a nice big beer.

Drinkability- Abit bitter during cold weather I could probably have a few. But in other weather one a day is about the most I could have.

Notes: This was my first russian imperial stout. And it was not at all what I expected. I had heard they were sweet. But I certainly didn't pick that up.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 18:09:41 | More by Seru1
Photo of hoppyweasel311


3.15/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Dark black with tan head.
Smell- Dark roasted malts, coffee
Taste- Bitter, black licorice, coffee,booze.
Feel- Too much carbonation in my opinion

This is a one and done beer.. This is my first Imperial Stout and I didn't really like it that much

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 22:51:23 | More by hoppyweasel311
Photo of AdamPenna

New York

3.15/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm a little disappointed actually. It's only slightly better than Guinness Extra Stout. I always catch a kind of eggy scent off stouts which I dislike. The head was impressive and the color pitch black--benighted, I would say. Others compliment the alcohol kick, but I didn't sense much of it. Malt is big but not much sweetness, which is good. Burnt. This is my first review of a stout so I may need to return and revise. Maybe my batch was old? Not unpleasant just not what I had hoped.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 19:28:14 | More by AdamPenna
Photo of Phillyduke


3.18/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Black as night with a two-finger head of mocha colored foam that settles into a thin coating on the surface of the beer. Fizzy lacing slides down the sides of the glass.

S: Alcohol sensation burns the nose. Dark roasted malts and chocolate round out a somewhat sour scent.

T: Burnt toast and dark malt with hints of chocolate and a nice hop bite. Alcohol is most definitely noticeable with each sip. Slightly hot and acidic. Bitter hop finish lingers and builds in the mouth over time.

M: A little on the thin side and slightly more carbonated than I would have liked.

D: I couldn't have more than one of these. Far too 'hot' to enjoy with the overwhelming sensation of alcohol. Definitely needs to mellow out a bit. Would like to revisit this beer after some down time, as it obviously has impressed many people. Not my favorite RIS by a longshot, though.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2008 02:07:55 | More by Phillyduke
Photo of beckje01


3.18/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

This is my second review of Old Rasputin this time on nitro.

A- Black with a very very creamy head.

S- Ok something just isn't quite correct for the style, maybe the nitro.

T- Malty yet light, some hops which goes well. Overall a good taste for a RIS.

M- Super smooth but its nitro so can't mess that up.

D- Ok on drinkable its overall just an ok RIS much better on nitro then other version so make sure to try it if you get the chance.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-10-2008 06:02:31 | More by beckje01
Photo of timherremans


3.18/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Could not find a best buy date, it is possible this case contained older, past date stouts?

appearance - Poured into a goblet at about 50 degrees F. Dark beige colored large head. Dissipated very slowly. Lacing was near perfection. A dark deep black stout with only a slight notice of brown hues on the edge. Looks very nice.

smell - Alcohol, yeast, roasted malt. In that order. Overall the aroma is not that apparent and I had to take many deep sniffs. And couldn't make out that much going on with it.

taste - Alcohol is upfront. I can hardly taste the malt, alcohol does not subside, all the way to the finish. It does seem to mask the complexity that this beer possibly has. That leaves me sort of questioning the flavors.

mouthfeel - Low carbonation and quite smooth. the low c02 works well for this stout. Not too thin, a little chewy.

overall - I am not sure if it is this batch but it does not have that much flavor. It does seem like mine were pretty damn potent and above 9% ABV. Not sure if that is even possible. I just found this stout, good for a nice buzz but the flavors just were not there. I probably wouldn't buy it again. I have had another beer (Belgian golden ale) from North Coast called the "Pranqster" and that one is delicious.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2011 01:06:21 | More by timherremans
Photo of PorterLambic


3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a very dark brown, with a dark tan head that reduced to a film. Good lacing.
Smell was just hops and coffee.
Taste was somewhat better, coffee, chocolate, malt, strong(!) alcohol. A decent balance but ...
Mouthfeel was smooth, creamy, full-bodied but the aftertaste was a little bitter with alcohol obvious all over the place.
Drinkability is alright but, because of the high octane, would only do it once in a while. Not a bad beer by any stretch, just not consumable often.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2004 03:34:53 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of bcolflesh


3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was just too bitter for me to drink as a standalone - I realize now that most "craft" beer drinkers are looking for super bitter beers, so I can see the popularity of this - but it is not for me. Would be a good accompaniment to a heavy meal that would mask the bitter flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2008 13:28:31 | More by bcolflesh
Photo of Takahiro


3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Bottle into my Tulip

A: looks pitch dark with a 2" thick foam after an aggressive pour.

S: coffee, toffee, roasted malt, burned malt, dark fruit, alcohol

T: roasted & astringent malt characters and huge bitterness from hops. Hop bitterness seem to be in a bit ahead of the game. This bitterness lingers on the tongue for quite a while with a little bit of alcohol sweetness.

M: silky smooth at first, but the bitterness sticks.

D: although it feels dry beer, it's also quite bitter. It is a good sipping beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2010 04:18:27 | More by Takahiro
Photo of alexipa


3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Absolutely opaque black with lots of lacing and a small film of head.

S: Feint espresso/coffee with some chocolate backing it up. Burnt malts.

T: A burnt malt taste hits first which I didn't love. Tons of bitterness, almost a black IPA if you ask me... (nobody asked me).

M: Creamy with great carbonation. A little too boozy and thick.

O: Pretty good RIS but really not executed as well as I thought given the reviews. Definitely one of my least favorite RIS I've had to date, but I seem to like them all.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 05:34:42 | More by alexipa
Photo of Chris-MOC9


3.2/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

My Go-To cheap stout with high alc.

The color is a nice dark color normal to stouts.

I thought it had an acceptable smell, nothing to write home about.

Has a nice chocolate/ coffee-ness to it, but it can have a bit of a bitter after taste.

overall, best bang for your buck for an imperial stout with high alc.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2013 02:00:19 | More by Chris-MOC9
Photo of Naugled

New York

3.23/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served in tall flute from bottle

a: nice appearance just better than avg. opaque black, dark brown head, thick and creamy but doesn't last, and carbonation is low

s: nice roasty sweet smell, some molasses comes through

t: very bitter, ashy and sweet, some tar but not overly sweet, overly bitter aftertaste with a slight warming affect

m: full creamy mouthfeel

d: average for a RIS, it's not cloying or too hot, but way over bitter. Aging would do this beer wonders.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2009 21:46:05 | More by Naugled
Photo of gillagorilla


3.23/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a Flying Dog goblet (no date)

A: In the glass it is a completely opaque black but on the pour it is a very dark brown that leaves a finger mocha head that dwindles quickly. There is a tiny bit of lacing.

S: Smells like a nice yeasty malt that smells a bit like burnt toast. There is a decent, sweet malt backbone with a bit of espresso and a hint of dark chocolate.

T: There is a mess of flavors in here that all seem to fight for the lead. It is how it smells with a solid backbone of malt that tries to introduce other flavors like chocolate and coffee, but they don't work here. The aftertaste is no good at all, but it is a first for me, it is like a bitter chocolate taste. This one is just really hard to describe and not in a good way.

M: It has a really weird mouthfeel, like it can't decide what its texture is. I don't like it at all. It is all swirling smoothness with run of coarse bubbles at the end, but it is different each time. Worst of all it changes and messes with the taste a lot.

O: I did not like this at all. It isn't the worst stout I have had, but it is pretty close.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 00:16:47 | More by gillagorilla
Photo of Opethsprite


3.25/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Beautiful brown that glistens with supple red highlights, but alas, the head is nonexistent. There is a scent of tart berries (blueberries and cranberries, I believe) and quite an array of hops on the nose. The alcohol is strong, but under it lies a serious chocolate scent with a twinge of licorice. The taste is LOADED with alcohol. Too much for my little tastebuds. The sweetness is still there under all of that alcohol and hops. But still. It's definitely not terribly offensive. Just....it tastes best at nearly room temp where the alcohol is more subdued.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2005 00:18:53 | More by Opethsprite
Photo of BlindPig


3.25/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It poured with a 1/4" tan head. Black and deep brown. Head fades at medium pace to a thin lacing.
S- Coffee aromas mixed in with some deep rich malts.
T-Bit of coffee flavor with really nothing else. Coffee flavor wasn't to strong and grew in after taste. The whole overall flavors were not to strong at all. There was also a little bitterness in aftertaste.
M- More carbonation than I expected. Had about medium carbonation and a medium body. Was sticky also.
D- It was a very simple beer lacking complexity. Not to strong flavors. Not much going on with the beer at all. Smelled good though. Is drinkable but nothing special at all.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2006 16:54:24 | More by BlindPig
Photo of ccrida


3.25/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter, Old Rasputin is pitch black with a moderate, creamy tan head that subsided to a thick collar with a thin surface skim and pretty thick lace.
The aroma is moderate, chocolate, a bit of cola and a boozy backdrop.
The taste is rich and robust, very roasty up front, some chocolate in the middle and a bitter very bitter finish. Really none of the sweetness from the nose at first, although it struggles to emerge as it warms. I bought 8 of these to lay down, but wanted to have a fresh one first (I've only had this once before, on draft, a few months ago). I think it is pretty young and probably not reached it's full potential. I'm curious to see how long I can hang on to these and how well much they develop.
The mouthfeel is not as thick as it looks, creamy and pretty carbonated.
This is not to drinkable right now. Take your time and sip one, and you'll have had enough. I imagine they don't go down much faster with age, but are more enjoyable. Time will tell...or hopefully, a beer fest has a vintage barrel so I won't have to wait so long, and will still have this somewhat fresh in my mind!

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 04:54:57 | More by ccrida
Photo of iabeerbaron


3.25/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smokey smell comes out right away to me and then I get the chocolate and caramel smell. Taste of dark chocloate, malts, smoke. Flavor is bitter but not overwhelming. Strong but good. It's been a while since I've had this and I plan on trying again because I think my rating will increase.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 19:34:13 | More by iabeerbaron
Photo of BeefyMee


3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks really good. It's got that classic black body and a head that sprang up out of nowhere to be the perfect size. I was interested by the aroma of this beer. It smells distinctly of cocoa, and I can't stress distinctly enough. I've never had a beer with the same smell. There's also some alcohol in the aroma. The taste was a little disappointing. The chocolatey aspect remained but was masked to some degree by the overt alcohol flavor. It was like some kind of strong chocolate liqueur. Still not a bad beer, it just need to settle down a bit.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2004 04:10:40 | More by BeefyMee
Photo of Overlord


3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Delicious, solid stout.

Pours a deep black, somewhat small, but long-lasting, whiteish head. It's a pretty beer, but that's the best thing about it.

Chocolate and coffee aroma flavors ... not as bitter as many stouts, though not as strong tasting either. Mouthfeel was a bit thin, but there was a touch of hops and more than a touch of roasty bitterness. Ugh. Too much roast, too acrid, not enough chocolate or sweetness to balance it.

A really overrated stout.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2007 04:34:05 | More by Overlord
Photo of charlesw

New York

3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A really deep, dark brown. Opaque, of course. Deep and dark foam and lasting lace.

Smells like wet loam with a hint of cedar. Caramel malts and mold (as part of the loam, eh?). Burned coffee.

Tastes like smoke flavor with some overly sweetened burned coffee thrown in.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2008 23:53:01 | More by charlesw
Photo of mortarit

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have had this beer before but never rated it. When I first sampled this beer I wasn't ready for it. I really didn't like it due to inexperience to the style. Now I have developed a taste and can be more understanding of the style.
So I went to browse the beer shelves and notice this one needed to be retried.

I like these stouts for their heads. They have big head on the pour but goes away fairly quickly, which is good. I really don't like heads for drinking only for show and appearance.
The color is dark and robust.
This one has a very sharp bite at first but disapates through the drink. Basically, the alcohol isn't hidden from the other ingredients.
I like the style but not fond of the particular one. I do think it reflects the style's representation.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2008 00:38:10 | More by mortarit
Photo of BarrytheBear


3.28/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black and lacy, like lingerie

Emits an odd, though pleasant, bubble guminess with a smack of toffee

Paired with a sharp cheddar, I can't help but taste Bazooka Joe. Odd. Mild chocolate and Skor bars. Do they still make those?

Hides booze well. Sweet, drinkable, perplexing.

Just not a big fan of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2009 23:56:36 | More by BarrytheBear
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,379 ratings.