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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

8,379 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(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
Ratings: 8,379 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of WetCoaster
WetCoaster

California

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I almost fell into my cart when I saw that Old R had found its way back to shelves of Safeway--happy days are here again. In honor of this most joyous occasion, I thought I'd review it.

Appearance: A deep mahogany that takes on a nice ruby glow in the light, although it's not as dark as many stouts. The carbonation is fine and mild, and the head is tan and short lived. There isn't much lacing, oddly, but there is a collar that lasts throughout.

Smell: "Booming" does not come close to describing the aroma of this brew; even ice cold, it fills the room. Initially, it's one tight ball of sweet, dark fruit. As it warms, it begins to unwind. The darkness is still there, figs and raisins come on strong. There is also surprisingly strong Myer's rum-like alcohol in the nose. There is the usual molasses, caramel and a perplexing "maybe it's chocolate, maybe it's not" undertone. Finally, there is also a sharp, almost chardonnay aroma--hops? You'll notice this one.

Taste/Mouthfeel: No real surprises here; it tastes pretty much like it smells. In a word, chocolate-covered raisins. It's pretty straightforward, but you'll find some smokiness. Deep into the finish, a drying hoppiness emerges. Not surprisingly, the mouthfeel is medium/full with a sticky coating, although the carbonation is sharp enough to keep it lively.

Drinkability: It's a wonderfully tasty beer that's lighter than you might expect. But at almost 9%, it'd be a rough session.

While I really enjoyed this beer, it didn't quite have the "wow" factor I might have expected. Still, if you kick back, pour an inch or two at a time into a good tasting glass and spend and hour or so with Rasputin, he'll be your buddy for life.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2004 06:08:24 | More by WetCoaster
Photo of HopHeadKen
HopHeadKen

Iowa

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This stout pours with a thick foamy cascading head, creamy and light Brown. The color looks black but has a rich dark amber around the edges when viewed in bright light (in a sunny beer garden).

The smell is malt; taste is malt and sweet. For a beer with 8.9% ABV It doesn't taste alcoholic, but does have a roasted coffee chocolate aftertaste with a smooth light mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2004 13:11:15 | More by HopHeadKen
Photo of IronDjinn
IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alright, I get to round the reviews for this up to 300. I've been waiting to try one of these since I first found out about it in 1995 or '96. You see, as twisted as it sounds, I'm a big fan of Rasputin. Back in art college I had a 3 by 4 foot oil painting of him commisioned, and the painter did such a good job that those icy penetrating eyes follow you around the room, no matter where you are. I've read every bio, I'm your A-Z man when it comes to Rasputin, fact and fiction. I even popped Boney M into the CD player to write this review. It was a shame how he carried on...

Poured out of 12 oz stubbie type bottle, a pointilist ink rendering of an infamous portrait of Grigory Efimovich Rasputin. The body is impermeable to light, pitch black like a moonless Siberian midnight sky above a Gulag camp. A thick and creamy tan head crowns it, and later subsides to a thickish cap. A lattice-work of lacing left in it's way.

The aroma is comprised of roasted malt, coffee, dry dark chocolate, licorice root, fermented orange peel, and a sweet booziness, although not very overpowering. I can barely pick up a bit of lactose sweetness as well.

The first sip warms the heart and soothes the soul, I've been hypnotized from the start. Coffee and dry chocolate are apparent up front, followed by a base of roasted malt, boozy orange rind in the middle, with a dry semi-spicy finish of licorice and pepper. The alcohol can be tasted hiding beneath all of this, but does not detract.

This is a very luscious experience regarding the mouthfeel, the body is full and sensuous, it rolls smoothly over the tongue with the slightest alcohol kick on the aftertaste.

Highly drinkable stuff all year round, but I'd love to have a stock of this to soothe me in the winter time. I'm very impressed, the wait was worth it, but I want more now. Lucky are the people in Vancouver, where I had to go to pick some of this up here in Canada.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2004 16:32:59 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of Crotor
Crotor

California

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin comes out with a big and highly distinct wiff of slightly musty, gamey malt. Opaque black with a low, tan head and slight amber windowpanes, it has a first class appearance.

Rasputin is suprisingly dry and has an expertly balanced body for a beer this big, making for top drinkability. Hops are definately present, but only to the level necessary to compliment the malt. Sharp, roasty mocha and toffee flavors are in the forground here, backed by a restrained caramel sweetness. I can detect no fruit, though a touch of currant would not go awry.

Truly a masterful beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2004 01:07:00 | More by Crotor
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

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 orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm sitting her drinking one right now and all I can says is, WOW. This is one of the best stouts I have ever had the pleasure of drinking outside of fresh from the tap at a brewpub. An incredibly flavorful mix of coffee, chocolate, hops and more. The smell is intoxicating and just begs for you to savor it. I'm very glad I found this brew and I will be getting more soon. Cheers to North Coast Brewing Co. for brewing an incredible stout. I definetely recommend anyone who enjoys stout to run out and try this now!

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2004 01:19:52 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of sitbooboosit
sitbooboosit

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance is a dark brown to black with brown head that foamed nicely at first with a few large bubbles developing.
aroma is of dark roasted barley and hints of coffee.
tastes very much a coffee with what seems to me a hint of dark fruits. an alcohol pepperiness is quite apparent. the beer finishes with the same peppery flavour that eases into a strong hoppy bite. very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2004 06:12:14 | More by sitbooboosit
Photo of mobyfann
mobyfann

Ohio

3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Paid $1.99 for a 12oz. bottle...

The appearence on this defines the qualities of a good stout, almost black-like base, with a dark brown head, retains well, laces well, little carbonation going on... well done. I love the smell of this stout, dark chocolates, dark-roasted coffee, hints of caramel and a few other spices and candy flavors.

The taste was pretty good, giving up what the aroma gave off until the aftertaste kicks in, and then you taste alcohol, thus lowering it's drinkability to just average, the mouthfeel is a step above that, but that kind of goes with the style.

Final Thought: Storm King is 9.1%, this is 8.9%, same ballpark, but the alcohol in the taste ruins the total picture... still sticking with Victory for a Domestic Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2004 22:42:38 | More by mobyfann
Photo of jlervine
jlervine

Georgia

4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured near perfect black with only very faint ruby brown tinges on the edges of the glass. Tan head formed, but sank quickly beneath the surface leaving a smattering of Belgian lace. Ring of foam stayed the course through the entire pint.

The aroma is chocolate malt, plums, raisins, alcohol, thick graininess. Kind of vinous, coffee and toffee notes come through as it gets closer to room temperature. And did I mention alcohol?

The taste is strong on roasted malt and chocolate, with a nutty character to it. Strong alcohol flavor. Balancing sweetness fights with the alcohol in the finish. As it warms, the alcohol leads the way, lightly burning the nostrils and numbing the tongue. Then the onslaught of thick dark malts slides over top of it and down your throat. Hops are there for the party, but are playing the part of wallflowers. Yeah, they are there and in great number, but they are watching the fight rather than being a truly active participant.

Carbonation tingles the tip of your tongue while the alcohol and roast grains wreak havoc on the roof of your mouth. Not quite as mouthcoating as other impys I've had, but it tries hard enough. When the beer warms further, the alcohol just numbs your mouth while the carbonation tickles it. The dark malts coat the palate while the hops and roasted grains do their part to squeegee it off again, ready for the next sip.

An absolute pleasure to drink - slowly.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2004 00:28:21 | More by jlervine
Photo of Bruiser81
Bruiser81

Kansas

3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a solid black color with an extremely thick head. Very sticky beer. Tons of lacing.
Aroma is dominated by dark malt. Little hints of dark chocolate accent the malt.
The taste is powerful. Lots of malt with little bits of coffee, dark chocolate, and dark fruit. The finish is almost sweet, maybe a little like black licorice. Spice from the alcohol lingers throughout the whole beer.
A very thick beer, almost chewy. Also very smooth.
A little too big to drink more than one though.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2004 01:49:03 | More by Bruiser81
Photo of silenius
silenius

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a dark brown/black with a crimson red where the light manages to peek through. The head is 2 fingers thick for a short time and then dissapates to a patina on the top. A substantial collar follows the beer as it retreats in the glass.

I only got some minor soy sauce, figs, molasses, and most of all fusel alcohol on the nose. Nothing big and nothing impressive.

Taste is bolder and bigger than the nose. First thing I taste is chocolate covered espresso beans dipped in grain alcohol with some spiced rum notes, molasses, figs, and it finishes with an espresso bitterness. Pretty good, but the alcohol taste detracts. My 4.5 is generous, but this beer ranks better than just under a 4.0, so I fudged a little.

Mouthfeel is a tiny prickle at first then a creaminess that ends with a drying note making me want to take another sip. The alcohol warmth makes me hesitate knowing that if I drink this too fast, I'll be whoo-ha'ed quickly.

Drinkability suffers from the very noticeable alcohol, but I'll definitely buy another.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2004 16:13:50 | More by silenius
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
bigbeerdrinka

Germany

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours with a nice thick dirty white head which grows to about an inch and laces the glass completely. The beer itself is a dark pitch black which no light can be seen through.

Smell: Dark roasted malts, minor caramel, a bit of cocoa and a medium alcohol presence are present in the nose.

Taste: A nice bittersweet chocolate flavor hits intially which follows with a nice roasty flavor from the dark malts. There's also a bit of a biscuit like flavor in the mix, and a bit of smoke which adds a nice complexion to the brew. This beer finishes with a strong warm alcohol sensation that warms the mouth, and a nice bitter hop finish that keeps things in check.

Mouthfeel: This brew is medium to light bodied with minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall a very drinkable beer for such a strong alcohol tone towards the finish. Fits the style well and the malts help back up this beautiful beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2004 03:21:16 | More by bigbeerdrinka
Photo of beertaster13
beertaster13

Washington

2.88/5  rDev -33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Wow this review is going to be all over the board. Old Rasputin pours a black hole dark that is chilling to look at, very nocturnal. The tan thick mocha head is amazing, by far the best head I have seen in sometime, the lacing coats the glass, almost feels like it becomes the glass. The smell is amazing, mocha caramel and hints of dark ghiradelli chocolates. Picked up cinnamon and toasted marshmellow characters as well. The taste was very dry and weak, the roasted malts were bland and dry, alcohol was easy to pick up on, the bitterness outweighed the sweetness a little to much. A full bodied stout and very dry. Nice to look at and warming on those chilly days, but a true stout will make you crave it all times of the year, this was not one of them.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2004 05:28:08 | More by beertaster13
Photo of mattcrill
mattcrill

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with ruby edges and a tan lacing. This is a good looking stout. Smells of prominent carmel and roasted malts lead to my anticipation. Tastes malty and has a hint of dried fruit to finish. A nice balance of malts and sweetness. This is another beer that makes me sad when I get to the bottom of the glass. This is a fantastic beer. I would highly recommend this brew to anyone. Drink it all if you can find it!

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2004 04:17:41 | More by mattcrill
Photo of cbl2
cbl2

New York

3.63/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:

Pouts out of the bottle a dark brown, but is more of a black with hints of mahogany once in the glass. Topped by a thin, yet lingering tan head. Nice viscosity.

Smell:

Smells like a winner with roast coffee dominating, a sweet malt backbone also makes its presence known, with a touch of smoke as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Not as smooth and creamy as I would like, but the flavors pack a wallup. Alcohol is there and lets you know it, accompanied by an unsweetened coffee ice cream flavor. This one needs to cellar a little while. A bit harsh now, though with potential.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2004 23:02:41 | More by cbl2
Photo of meathookjones
meathookjones

Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was the first Imperial Stout I ever tried, had it a few years ago that turned me on to the style and haven’t had it since for some reason. So I decided to pick it up and see what I thought of it now. Pours an opaque black color with a decent tan head. Not much retention, but it does leave a bit of lacing. Aroma is brimming with dark chocolate and coffee flavors with a bit of sweetness in there as well. The flavor is a bit mild with chocolate and coffee being at the forefront and a bit of hop bitterness as well. The alcohol defiantly comes out the more this one warms. This has a full-bodied mouthfeel with light carbonation. Overall a good imperial stout but there are plenty out there that I would prefer.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2004 13:55:39 | More by meathookjones
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Completely black, except at the bottom of my glass where there is a brown glowing base through the murky beer. Big tan head that sticks to the sides of my glass in a cobweb pattern. Smells of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, raisins, and a tinge of alcohol. Flavor is just a kick to the teeth. Like drinking an extra strong cup of coffee, with a good amount of alcohol and hops bitterness thrown in for good measure. Very big beer, the best Imperial Stout I have had, tastes more like a stout than Sammy Smith's. I like this one, and would recommend it to any stout fan.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2004 23:14:03 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of marcobrau
marcobrau

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a small goblet with minimal foaming. Opaque in color. Aroma of espresso. Starts with intense coffee and chocolate flavors, then more chocolate, almost burnt chocolate until a long bitter finish laced with alcohol. Mouthfeel and body are almost similar to a fuller bodied wine such as a cabernet. The most memorable character of this beer is its profound bitterness in the finish. I've had this on tap before and I think I enjoyed more off a tap than out of the bottle. It went especially well with some Mississippi Mudcake. On its own, and out of the bottle, it comes across as a bitter strong stout and bit brash. Still, a damn fine stout.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2004 01:56:02 | More by marcobrau
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with blonde head. Roasty, salt and bitter and high acid. In sip: Cinammon, rye bread, bittersweet chocolate, fruit,licorice. Could be less hoppy. Medium plus texture.

Had 4.5 years later and certainly stands up over time. There are more "big" RIS but for a bitter coffee one, this is the classic.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2004 05:00:50 | More by Sammy
Photo of jahred
jahred

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to beerluvr and BIF 6.0 for this bottle!

Pours a dark black color with a medium, dark tan head. The head disappears fairly quickly, leaving behind traces of tan foam on my glass. The scent is particularly strong. Burnt fruit, malts and alcohol.

The taste at first is surprisingly milky and rich, followed by a burnt malt taste, then more sweet milk flavors. As the beer warms, most of these goes away, leaving me with oily burnt malts, perhaps some chocolate, and what I might even call peanut butter flavors! Towards the end of the glass, I got some nice hop notes that finished off the beer wonderfully. Throughout I got the typical (and enjoyable) imperial stout tingles on my tongue. Yum.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2004 22:49:08 | More by jahred
Photo of Tballz420
Tballz420

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew has a black body, with some reddish hues. Large brown foam head, leaves sheets of lace behind in its wake. The scent is big chocolate malt. The chocolate malts also dominate the taste, the wingers are some bitter hop and slight alcohol spice. Full creamy mouthfeel. This is a great big bold stout without any of the flavors being overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2004 20:48:19 | More by Tballz420
Photo of hobbes2112
hobbes2112

Texas

4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Finally getting around to reviewing this beer while it was in my hand.

Poured into a pint glass, no snifters were available.

Almost no head even with a slightly abusive pour. Black as they come in the glass, slight cola color around the top edges. Smell is of the roasted barley, coffee and anise.

The taste backs up the aroma, it is a very bitter and heavy. Sweet coffee with malt lead into a dry and bitter hop.

Not the easiest beer in the world to drink, but worth every sip.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2004 02:12:08 | More by hobbes2112
Photo of henrysunset
henrysunset

Washington

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2004 02:23:52 | More by henrysunset
Photo of andyo
andyo

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow...this is a great beer! I'm not too big on imperials (yet) as I don't particularly care for the high alcohol content. I had been eying this ber at my local supermarket for months. It seems as if the same 4-packs have been sitting onthe shelf for about 4 months, so, on a whim I talked to the manager and asked if she wouldn't mind breaking a 4-pack for me so I could "sample" this beer and see if I liked it. She was really cool, and said "only for you". Nice.

On to the beer-

This one poured jet black, and when held up to the light exposed the slightest hint of ruby red around the edges. The head was a nice gray pillowy delight. The aroma that came off of this beer was one of the sweetest smells I have ever experienced in a beer. it seriously smelled like hot cocoa. Mmm....too bad it was 87 degrees outside...hard to imagine hot cocoa in the midst of spring, but the smell of this beer took me back to the cold winters of my native Ohio. Oh yeah, the beer. Sorry. The taste of this beer was quite big! Nice and sticky in the mouthfeel, with a smooth chocalate, rum, and toffee flavors. Not roasty like other's I've tried. I thoroughly enjoyed holding this one in my mouth and experiencing the complexity of this brew. Slight alcohol taste which I could do without, but other than that, a stellar brew!

Looks like I need to go back to the market and pick up the other 3 I left behind!

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2004 16:44:35 | More by andyo
Photo of LuckySevens82
LuckySevens82

Florida

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz stubby brown bottle with a b/w picture of the mad monk.
Pours a deep brown, nearly black, with a light brown whisp of a head. Lacing, is however, very nice.
Smell is roasted malts, chocolate and coffee (boy oh boy is it coffee).
Very smooth, espresso, chocolate, caramel, and just a hint of alcohol.
This beer is quite deceptive. At 9% abv, I would expect to taste more of the alcohol that is present. Nevertheless, the folks at North Coast have done a fantastic job hiding the alcohol. This makes the beer sneaky, perhaps not unlike the monk himself.
This is a great beer, will definitely be added to my list of favorites (especially since it's now available in FL...yay!)

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2004 01:36:57 | More by LuckySevens82
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,379 ratings.