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

8,384 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8384
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: 8,384 | Reviews: 3,289 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft at The Nook in Huntsville, AL.

Near black with a thick, beige head that leaves a thick sheet of lacing all over the glass. The aroma is of heavy roast, slightly charred, with subtle chocolates. The flavor is slightly smoky, with chocolate notes. The finish brings an interesting combination of charred roast and hop bitterness. A classic beer and a tasty stout. I will always go back to this brew.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2011 04:18:55 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of legalpete19340
legalpete19340

Virginia

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Came pitch black in the pint. Thick and intimidating with a massive head that was so thick it seemed like frosting. This is a lacing monster covering nearly every part of the glass when I was done.

S: Shoe leather, molasses, earthy hop notes, slight bit of smoke.

T: Booze, wood, smoke, peat, burnt malt. Extreme cappuccino creaminess and coffee in the middle. More of those earthy hop notes and bittersweet baking chocolate.Ends with a burnt sweetness.

M: Perfect: thick, heavy, creamy, chewy but drinkable.

O: This is a monster! How I forgot. Dark and heavy with great burnt malt and hop profile. It excels for me in a world of syrupy RIS' that have gone over the top sweet. A welcome relief. How lucky that I can get it all the time.

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2011 03:59:26 | More by legalpete19340
Photo of StoneTSR
StoneTSR

Colorado

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Retention on this thing is amazing. Half way through the glass it still has a decent little head and the lacing covers about 85% of the opposite side of the glass. The color is pitch black with a bit of a red tint towards the bottom of glass.

S: Coffee and chocolate aromas dominate with a little hop aroma coming through.

T: Nice and chocolaty with some strong coffee notes and a solid, bitter smack of hops for the finish. This is delicious.

M: The Old Rasputin feels like you are drinking a cloud - light, fluffy and very, very easy drinking. There is nothing about this beer that makes it seem like 9%.

O: Wow. I am very pleased and impressed. I am becoming a bigger and bigger Imperial Stout fan and this is serving to continue that trend. Dynamite beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2011 22:46:38 | More by StoneTSR
Photo of Lemke10
Lemke10

Wisconsin

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

I had a 12oz glass on tap at Hollywood Casino in Joliet, IL for $4 in Spring 2010.

Pours a very dark brown color with a good thick head of chocolate colored foam. Has a strong scent of roasted malts and hops. The taste was heavy and long lasting. I was really surprised to see some foam stick around til the very end. Definetly a must try!

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2011 15:06:07 | More by Lemke10
Photo of BeerNinja007
BeerNinja007

New Hampshire

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap last night at Three Penny Taproom, Montpelier VT. $6 for a ~10oz draft pour.

A: Clear nearly black brew gives a slight mahogany-red glow around the edges in dim bar lighting, so I presume it isn't completely opaque. Lovely dense tan head, super thick and creamy. Looks like it came from a nitro tap (but I forgot to ask if this was true). Super thick carpet of smooth dense lace covers the sides of the glass.

S: Good dose of dark, astringent, roasted barley and bitter cocoa powder. Mostly dry. Slight dry grass/ hay hop.

T: Same as the smell, plus a bit of light thin sweetness of candied fruit, tart raspberries and currents. A bit of dry smoke and a modest earth/herb hop both add some bite and depth but aren't major players. Long finish has lingering soft dark cocoa and smoke, and some residual sweet slickness, like the aftertaste from chocolate-raspberry liquor (if there is such a thing).

M: Mostly dry, smooth and creamy, moderate thickness, but balanced by a bit of light bitter fruity sweetness. Fairly lightbodied for a RIS. Soft mellow carbonation.

D: Hugely drinkable, not filling or overly sweet. Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2011 02:40:13 | More by BeerNinja007
Photo of 9InchNails
9InchNails

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice head retention. Dark color body with ruby highlights. The head looks creamy and delicious.

Some chocalate and coffee with a hint of cherry coming in the aroma. Nice smell as it warms with a smokiness that my brother pointed out.

The taste is delicious. Vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, coffee and chocalate mixing very well. I taste a little bit of alcohol nothing over the top.

Feels great in the mouth. Medium body. Goes down nice.

I could have another. Seems to get a little heavy but nonetheless a very tasty beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2011 02:02:50 | More by 9InchNails
Photo of LazyL
LazyL

British Columbia (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When in California..why not drink from the tap of goodness as much as possible.
Black with a nice mocha creamy foam. The nose is all stout, coffee, cola, molasses. The taste is not quite up to the nose but has a nice roasty malt and espresso flavour. There is a slightly sour note and its creamy, dry and has a smokey charred finish. This is a decent stout but there is no way that this is 9%. The ABV is very well hidden.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2011 04:25:56 | More by LazyL
Photo of output01x
output01x

Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received in a pint glass on tap at the Brew Kettle.

A tan colored two-finger head of miniscule bubbles sits atop a pitch-black body. The head retention is fantastic as it never completely fades no matter how empty the glass becomes. The lacing coats the glass almost entirely. Truly a fantastic and somewhat intimidating looking beer.

Scents of roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate and a little coffee are there, although not as strong as they could have been.

The flavors follow the nose in all respects. Malt, chocolate, and coffee are there but I would have liked them to be bolder. The 9% ABV is well masked and is only apparent as a slight warmth. A slight bitterness also persists at the end of each sip.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy but not sticky. Not alot, but just enough carbonation help move it along. The beer coats your mouth and makes you remember each sip until you take another.

While I would have liked this beer to have bolder flavors, it is still quite refreshing for the style and has excellent drinkability. I could definitely have multiples in one sitting, which is quite impressive for a stout.

All in all, an excellent RIS with great drinkability. My only complaint is the mildness of the flavor. It was almost like drinking a 1% chocolate milk. I have heard claims that this beer ages well and I am definitely interested in seeing how this would affect it.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2011 20:43:51 | More by output01x
Photo of zrab11
zrab11

Indiana

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

A-Pours a dark blackish purple color with a small head!

S- HAs a pine,molasses and boozy smell

T-Hits you witha bitter licorious taste upfront andthen ends with some nice cocoa flavor

M-Think bodied with good carbonation

D-Very good beer. Has a stong boozy taste but the other flavors come through so it balences quite nicely. Would get this again

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2011 17:31:37 | More by zrab11
Photo of NorCalYeti
NorCalYeti

California

4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

taste- roasted malts, chocolate

color- deep chestnut, appears black

clarity- clear, although opaque to the naked eye

smell- chocolate and coffee aroma

body- smooth

appearance- slightly off-white creamy head, great lace retention

overall impression- complex flavors

notes and comments- this beer also ages well

beer spy- north coast brewing company, fort bragg ca, 2/13/11, 10 oz. glass

glassware: imperial pint

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2011 00:04:53 | More by NorCalYeti
Photo of chilly460
chilly460

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Opaque black with red/brown highlights at the edge of the glass. Nice medium brown head dissipates to a thick film, leaves a nice lace.

N- Very heavy dark chocolate, espresso, cocoa powder, some deep raisin or licorice, and heavy bread yeast notes.

T- Similar to the aroma, lots of dark chocolate and sharp coffee. Heavy molasses and malts. Liked this quite a bit, it's right on the edge of bitterness I like in an RIS, but not over the edge. Gets very warm with alcohol as it warms up, a complex beer.

M- This is a smooth thick beer, tight fluffy head, very nice feel to it.

D- Love the fact that you can get this beer anywhere, and at an affordable price. I'm a little wimpy when it comes to heavy roasted malts, this is on the border but was very easy drinking for me.

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2011 01:27:38 | More by chilly460
Photo of bnes09
bnes09

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesone ink black color. Huge, frothy tan head which will not quit. Layers the glass in copious lacing.

Huge aroma of coffee, bourbon, and delicate balance of herbal hop. Very intriguing.

Hops are incredibly high in this one. Lots of citric and herbal flavors. Massive roasted coffee flavor fights with the hops for dominance. Hint of bourbon whiskey flavor hits the tongue. Alcohol is highly disguised.

Medium, somewhat full body. Fairly low carbonation, yet fitting for the style. Smooth.

This is an excellent example of a well crafted Russian imperial. Extremely tasty and complex. Hoppier than most others I have tried.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2011 21:33:36 | More by bnes09
Photo of Fenris244
Fenris244

Texas

4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jet black with 2 finger tan head, ther retention is monsterous, the head will not subside, over halfway through the head is still every bit as thick as if it had just been poured

Chocolate, coffee and bitter roasted malt, that's all I could smell, I was expecting a more complex aroma from old raspy

Coffee and bitter malt flavors come through quite strongly, chocolate flavors come through as well, also the finish leaves a mineral taste and I got a toffee flavor as the beer warmed. The alcohol makes itself known but is nicely restrained by the other flavors in the beer.

Clings to my mouth buy keeps from being overly viscous, good sipping beer

Drinkability for an imperial stout is pretty good, I'll be getting this again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2011 23:08:38 | More by Fenris244
Photo of salvo
salvo

Indiana

4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin Russia Imperial Stout is greatly improved with tap serving. Pitch black; opaque. Darker than Guinness and three times its density, ten times the flavor.

The head retains its shape and tan color for a long time, and I see why this is beloved: complex, roasty, warming, but is just a bit too thin on the palate . Perhaps it's a psychological thing, but I expect a big Russian imperial to coat the tongue like motor oil; like Dark Lord. This is drier and spicier than DL. Spicy and peppery finish, this stout stays on the palate a long time. And for stout lovers, I see the appeal. It's just not my favorite style.

Enjoyed this on tap at the Black Dog in Urbana, IL, which is highly recommended: see my Beerfly review.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2011 14:53:03 | More by salvo
Photo of bbeane
bbeane

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- On tap at Trooper Thorns... starts with a huge creamy head with great retention. Beer is black in color

S- Not overly aromatic... mostly coffee and chocolate

T- Not much sweet maltyness to this one,has a burnt bitter taste and like the nose it's mostly coffee and chocolate in the finish

M- Creamy, full bodied with light carbonation

D- Well, being that the last time I was here I drank this stuff all night, I'd say it's relatively drinkable... but it definitely gets you f'd up

CHEERS!!

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2011 03:41:17 | More by bbeane
Photo of abc3
abc3

California

4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

See how I rated drinkability as "exceptional"? That's a problem...here's why:

I recently had my 44th birthday party (37 per my fake ID). Anyway, I served old Rasputin on tap for my beer-minded friends and a lager for the rest of the crowd. Now keep in mind, my friends know me a one who serves big, bitter, high alcohol "sipping beer".

And when they drank ORIRS, they noticed how smoooth this beer is. Yes, it is not for the faint-hearted, but compared to a west coast barleywine or a double IPA, it tastes quite innocent. Chocolate and espresso flavors, medium mouthfeel and the look of Guiness...this stuff is like everclear & punch is to frat boys hitting on little sisters.

By the time they drank 3, my sister started motor-boating my nieghbor, and my best friend (a professional bartender) blacked out. (yes he had whiskey too). The next morning...he was seriously pissed at me..claiming I should have warned him how desceptively strong this delicious brew is. Guilty as charged.

For BA readers, be warned. There are stronger brews out there. But none that hide the alcohol behind so much flavor. To those who enjoy a very stout stout..this is one of my favorites.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2011 02:13:27 | More by abc3
Photo of Brownshoe
Brownshoe

Massachusetts

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the North Coast Brewpub in Ft. Bragg. It was like beer heaven. I suppose this is the closest I'll ever get to Russian royalty. So smooth. So rich. It might be the best beer I've ever had. I wish I lived a little closer to California.

It's good from the bottle too.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2011 00:53:42 | More by Brownshoe
Photo of dcook11
dcook11

California

5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice thick two finger head that daes into thick webbed lacing that adornes the snifter. A sexy beer, definitly one of the best ive seen. The beers color is pitch black, their is no tints of red or light that comes through. The nose is of dark chocolate, some vanilla, hops, and ample malt sweetness. The taste is about the same as the smell with a very creamy mouthfeel. One of the best bangs for your buck.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2011 06:10:41 | More by dcook11
Photo of brewmudgeon
brewmudgeon

Wisconsin

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

old rasputin

a 4-4.5 nearly opaque dark brown, tawny head leaves a swirly cap and branching lace.

s 4.5 semi-sweet chocolate, tobacco. you know it's warming to the proper temperature when the fudgy brownies begin making their appearance.

t 4-4.5 deeply roasted at first, but it yields to a complex brownie explosion. there are even hops in there fighting hard to be heard. a little undisguised alc comes through here and there.

m 4 seems too thin at first but gets chewier with time.

d 4.5 a classic. and a good base for the addition of other flavors if desired.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2011 23:58:45 | More by brewmudgeon
Photo of SkunkWorks
SkunkWorks

New York

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

Review is from notes.

Served in a snifter at the World of Beer in Orlando, Florida. Was my second round of the day and decided to go for something nostalgic; Old Rasputin was the first Russian Imperial Stout I remember having... this time it'll be on draught instead of in a bottle!

Look: black with a dark, dark red highlight at the bottom when held to the light. A thin layer of light brown foam sits on the top and literally retains forever. I was served my glass first, waited for my two companions to be served their glasses to let the beer warm a bit, and still the foam was there. Incredible considering the style.

Smell: I see why this beer got me into the Russian Imperial Stout style so easily already. Bittersweet chocolate dominates. Hints of coffee and hops are there as well but this is intensely chocolatey.

Taste: Follows the nose nicely. The chocolate flavor stands out heavily but the hops and coffee flavors come out a bit more, though it is not over powering with either. Absolutely delicious. No hint of alcohol or dark fruit, which is a quality I happen to like about this one.

Feel: medium to full bodied, quite creamy, no alcohol warmth and tending towards sweet rather than bitter. Carbonation is low and spot on for the style.

Drink: quite incredibly drinkable. I definitely thought about drinking one or two more of these after I finished my glass, if only I didn't have to leave the bar!

Overall, absolutely amazing. The great thing about Old Raspution continues to be the fact that it can stand side to side with world class Russian Imperial Stouts despite being affordable and easy to find, without all the release day, hype, and low bottle counts. I am glad I saw this on tap and maybe I'll pick up a four pack of this again in the near future to revisit this one more fully.

On a side note, I am glad that this one has held up against my palate as I've grown over the past two years as a craft beer drinker. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2011 22:38:27 | More by SkunkWorks
Photo of bboelens
bboelens

Florida

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

Had on tap at world of beer, poured into a pint glass

A- Dark dark brown, bordering on black, with huge head that lasts, a menacing Rasputin looks as though he is either about to karate chop me or make the sign of the cross on the glass.

S- Heavy chocolate presence, malts and coffee as well

T- Chocolate, coffee, very bitter, overall a good taste with a stingy finish.

M- Bites and stings the tongue in a good way, carbonation and the bitterness come into play heavily here.

D- With a high ABV this is definitely not a session beer, but overall it makes for a beer that everyone should try at least once.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2010 07:55:44 | More by bboelens
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

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

Served from tap into a 4oz tumbler. Poured black with a minimal light tan head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt and coffee beans. The flavor was of coffee, cream, and roasted malt. It was heavy on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this is a very nice brew. Goes down nice and smooth. Actually leaves a nice feel on the palate as well upon swallowing. This is a definite must try if you have not done so already.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2010 18:58:36 | More by thagr81us
Photo of littlesgtpepper
littlesgtpepper

Washington

4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2010 04:19:39 | More by littlesgtpepper
Photo of jmeador85
jmeador85

Texas

4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Definitely a stout. One thing that never fails to impress me about Old Rasputin is the lingering head. It's still there when I finish drinking a 22 oz weizen glass, and I drink Old Rasputin slowly.

Smell - Many nuances that I'm at a loss to describe. You can tell, with certitude, that this beer is going to have some bite from the smell, but it's masking a complex flavor beneath.

Taste - This, too, could be described many ways. An amateur would say it's bitter, but beyond the bitterness is a bouquet of flavors that most people will appreciate.

Mouthfeel - Old Rasputin definitely has an aftertaste. The bitterness of the beer seems accentuated when you swallow, but I don't find it overwhelming. The mouthfeel makes you want another sip/gulp.

Drinkability - Definitely drinkable. Very good. Very strong, too.

Verdict - This is one of my favorite stouts. I tried this beer in December I believe, and a group of guys I know were drinking it so I thought I'd do the same. Well, the guys had a few more, and these Flying Saucer regulars staggered over to Barnes and Noble across the street where they sat in comfort and sobered up before driving home. This beer is strong. Drink with caution.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2010 19:16:32 | More by jmeador85
Photo of dball
dball

Virginia

4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent stout. It has it all. The appearance off the draft is decadent. The smell, taste, feel and drinkability embody an imperial stout. It also drinks very smooth for being a huge beer. It has a true stout flavor without added flavors of other coffee or chocolate stouts. This is the real deal.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2010 02:28:05 | More by dball
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 8,384 ratings.