Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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

3,512 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,512
Hads: 11,236
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 485
Gots: 2,277 | 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: 3,512 | Hads: 11,236
Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Rock solid black, with the slightest edge of brown transparency, building up a full tan head that is extraordinarily persistent. The lacing literally coats the glass to start, leaving a pattern down the glass.

S - Dark fruits and chocolate, hops in the form of floral notes, and a strong hit of alcohol.

T - Following the nose, the start is plum and raisin, with bittersweet chocolate. There is a distinct rise of hop bitterness in the middle, along with hints of toasted bread. The close fades back to black coffee acidity, a bit of char, and a hint of citrus zest.

M - The feel is slick and full, while the warmth in the close is a reminder that this is an imperial stout, a heavy hitter.

O - Old Raspy delivers a robust RIS experience, without barrels. It uses fairly robust hopping, to great effect, and avoids the mistake of some hoppy stouts by fully integrating the hop into the stout elements of roasted malts. (930 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%

Poured from a bottle with no clear freshness dating; into a pint glass.
Appearance - as dark as 4AM, with the slightest bit of light coming in at the bottom of the glass. Head is a toasted marshmallow pillow! Lacing is phenomenol!
Smell - a blend of cream, milk and dark chocolate.
Taste - more coffee and espresso and less chocolate compared to the nose. Some vanilla and dark chocolate that eventually shows up.
Feel - a coffee and dark chocolate bitterness, followed by a creamy yet roasted marshmallow coat on the tongue. Complex from first sip to last; this has a frame that could handle a much bigger ABV!
Overall - high quality brew, though I have a few others higher on my list. (686 characters)

Photo of Kishanti
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Pours black with a sudsy chestnut head. Nose is dark and syrupy with a light medicinal astringency: cocoa bean, espresso, roasted malt, everclear. Crisp and straightforward when gulped: bitter, effervescent, and warming, with lingering hops, chocolate, malt. Readily coats the mouth and increases in sweetness aerated.

Old Rasputin is one of my go-to beers and one of the (several) reasons I first fell in love with North Coast. A potent, heady, mysteriously drinkable warmer. (477 characters)

Photo of humuloner22
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I have seen this one around for a while, but honestly I did not know what it was. I have been more hardcore into stouts lately and I felt that it was time to expand my horizons. I honestly purchased this beer on blind faith. I had no idea what I was purchasing and had no idea the high reviews it received on here.

Appearance: pours black as widows dreams, no light at all, large amount of head, it could have been the Bell's tulip I poured it into. The head remains fairly substantial and is a khaki caramel color.

Smell: Boozy at first, but nice chocolate and coffee aromas are in there. Definitely a more coco driven stout than coffee though. Sweet caramel and malts are also in there and maybe some vanilla.

Taste: It does have some alcohol burn, but its a 9% beer, however I have had 9% beers that had no burn at all. Good mild coffee, dark chocolate and vanilla notes, but the vanilla definitely takes a back seat to the chocolate. This is pretty boozy beer. I get a lot of alcohol in this one though. Its not really well hidden and it is also kind of on the thin side but not too much, I would prefer this one be a bit thicker on the mouth.

Overall: Solid beer, I have had better stouts, I am a bit surprised at the high ratings on here, but I guess that is because it has been around a while. Its good but not great. My main problem is that the booze is not all that well hidden. (1,392 characters)

Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%

12 oz bottle.Poured a very dark brown.Smell is a light coffee unsweetened chocolate.Light licorice.Taste is coffee and some bitterness.It wasn`t bad but I would not say it was better than say Ten-Fidy or Imperial Russian Stout from Stone.But it worth a try. World class I just don`t see it. (290 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: [4.00] Slick black looking liquid with an impressive 2 1/2 finger head. The head is tan and creamy looking with tiny, dense bubbles. The bottle lists the ABV (9%) but there is no date.

S: [4.25] The nose is chocolate with more chocolate.

T: [4.25] The taste is milk chocolate up front then after some time it is bitter-sweet chocolate at the back. There is a smokey element to the taste also. There are also some hints of dark fruits that become more prominent as it warms.

M: [3.00] Tangy on the tongue (not as smooth as I expected). There is dry sense to the finish.

O: [4.00] Very night flavor profile with chocolate and smoke. The 9% ABV is well hidden. The mouthfeel was the only thing that wasn't in the great range is is a little more carbonated and prickly than I expected. Overall this is a really good beer. Well crafted and nice to sip on. (871 characters)

Photo of doktorhops
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can North Coast be my beer messiah when Founders Breakfast Stout is out of stock at Plonk? I ask myself, seemingly knowing the answer is “no” but wanting nonetheless for there to be another Stout as good as FBS. For starters Rasputin, apart from being a wily-old/long dead Russian monk is a Russian Imperial Stout (the beer not the person), and RIS’s are a bold adventurous lot brewed by the English to sate the wild palates of bold Slavic Czars... who knows, Rasputin may have it.

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Rasputin was a dark, scraggily-haired and slightly menacing monk. This beer has personified old-raspy well with its jet-deep chocolate body and a tan head that leaves Sanskrit writing, in the form of lace, inside the glass... I’m a Buddhist and I’m freaking out right now wondering if this is some sort of Beer-Dharma. 10/10.

S: Dusty chalk upfront, with roasted coffee bean, more chalk, notes of bitter herbal hops with hop resin notes and a hint of bitter cacao nibs. The aroma is heady and luscious, like some malevolent lover who will bring you to the peak of beer ecstasy only to abandon in their own nefarious plot like some pawn... only: you want to be a pawn to this brew. 10/10.

T: Finally! A cacao master to FBS’s Kona coffee awesomality... and yes I invented that word specifically to piss off OED. Where FBS rules the coffee Stout roost, Rasputin puts a dark chocolate boot in your throat and says “drink me bastard, you know you want to!” (and “yes” I do). There are some bold chocolate notes with a bitter herbal finish, much more bitter than FBS. That said there’s quite a bit of finesse and complexity with this Rasputin (although the original Rasputin was also quite bitter and complex as well). 9/10.

M: Mid to heavy bodied with a chewy, dense carbonation, close to Founders body but lacking that Overall Oatmeal Creaminess (that OOC). 8/10.

D: Like a big Stout blanket this brew coats your tongue and makes you feel that you have made an excellent choice in Stouts, like all great Stouts should do. Is it enough to de-perch FBS? The question burning on all the lips of the people who’ve tried FBS but not Rasputin... it is a great brew, almost worthy of de-throning FBS but it is missing a slight “Ce n'est pas la vache qui crie le plus fort qui donne le plus de lait.” (I secretly hope someone translates that). 8/10.

Food match: Hens eggs, the large ones. Also cigars, the smoky ones, would match well. (2,489 characters)

Photo of Big_Beers
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Appearance. Oil dark with thick small beaded tan head.. aroma. Dark fruit sweet molasses. Taste . Very sweet up front followed by very slight bitter fruit and leave a the palate with a Kona coffee taste. Overall. This beer is now in my solid rotation which is a few select beers ..This made me fall back in love with American craft beer after a long Belgium stretch (482 characters)

Photo of Jasper14
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

It comes in a short, stubby, fearless looking bottle with a design that belongs in the Kremlin.
Pours very dark brown with a frothy mocha head that refuses to dissipate, leaving clouds of lacing on the glass.
Aroma is roasty: notes of dark chocolate, black coffee, slight raisin, toffee, mellow hops and faint alcohol.
Taste is bitter, sweet, rich - notes of dark chocolate, espresso, slight fruit. Mouthfeel is thick. Medium finish: sweet, bitter.

Excellent beer, definitely on of the great Imperial Stouts; very good for a brunch. (533 characters)

Photo of mr-jj
4.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've had this beer many times. When it is available on nitro, it's really hard for me to choose anything else. It pours nearly pure black with a tan head. The retention and lacing are excellent. The aroma is delicious - coffee and cocoa with floral hops adding complexity. The flavor lives up the nose. It's an explosion of coffee and cocoa malts with a great hop presence that balances the sweet malt. It finishes with a mild bitterness of coffee and floral hops. Really complex flavors. The body is medium-full with a real smooth creaminess on nitro. I'm a huge fan of this beer. (593 characters)

Photo of DaliQualiti
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The smell is cocoa pebbles and quality, light roast iced coffee.. with 2 sugars. After the first sip, your mouth feels the way a running fondue fountain looks, coated with flavor and a syrupy smoothness, but unlike a fondue fountain - it dissipates quickly. After a few sips, I noticed the flavor doesn't stick around for long and constantly leaves you craving the next one.

I'm stopping...

Obviously, if youre on this page, you're interested. So do yourself a favor, jump on the boat and give it a whirl. You wont be disappointed! (534 characters)

Photo of ColdBassHonkey
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Pours almost jet black, with the slightest dark brown hue. The head rises quickly, frothing into a dark tan. The aromas are overwhelming in a great way: cocoa, roasted malts, and coffee come through the strongest. The malts smoothly hit the palate first, followed by the balanced hops and malts. An oaky finish has a tinge of a tobacco taste, followed briefly by notes of espresso and dark chocolate. Truly an exceptional beer! Although it sounds counter intuitive with the coffee/espresso flavors, this is a great bedtime brew. The best RIS out there, IMHO. (565 characters)

Photo of illpass78
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a stout glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark, forbidding black with some noticeable carbonation and a big leathery tan head. It looks like what it is - a beer that's not for the weak.

Aroma: Tons of dark, bitter chocolate and espresso in the nose with some noticeable floral hops. It has a complex yet subtle aroma that lingers in the nose. Some smoke, some burnt coffee beans, some very dark fruit.

Taste: Espresso leads the way with some hop grassiness and dark chocolate also right there. Finishes dry with a nice alcohol burn. That dark, unsweet chocolate taste lingers on the palate after the drink is gone. Smells and tastes linger in the memory, too.

Mouthfeel: For a big, deep, flavorful beer, it's surprisingly approachable in terms of heaviness. It's heavy, but it's not steak in a glass.

Overall: A stout to savor and enjoy. Complex and flavorful, and up to the hype. (911 characters)

Photo of Catracho5
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 12 ounce bottle poured into an Old Rasputin 10 ounce nonic glass

Appearance: Jet black with a tan colored head, lots of lacing, sticks throughout the glass while I enjoy this brew.

Smell: The bottle I am rating is fresh, getting some hops on the front of the aroma, getting some coffee, malted roast aromas in the middle and end.

Taste: Hops on the front, coffee, chocolate roast in the middle, with bitterness at the end. The roasted chocolate malts linger with the bitterness, very nice. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick, covers the palate, great mouthfeel, not watery at all, but not too thick. Very dry on the palate. Lots of carbonation, tiny bubbles.

Overall: This beer is world class, fresh it has a lot of hops for an imperial stout, with some age, the hops reside and more of the roasted chocolate elements of the beer come forward. Love this beer, one of my all time favorites, and a prime example of a Russian Imperial Stout, a must try! (962 characters)

Photo of mrjez
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at TNT Taisho opening party.
L: dark, very dark, and a big fluffy tan head that won't quit.
S: plenty of chocolate and coffee, no real surprises here.
T: those same smells come through in the taste, along with a bitterness that feels like a strong-roasted coffee, and quality bitter dark chocolate.
F: it's quite dry and roasty, very full-bodied, yet can be drank a quite quickly, with a smoothness that keeps drawing you in for another sip.
O: excellent imperial stout that even hits the spot in the summer months. (522 characters)

Photo of iwebspy
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Deep black color. Mediocre head. Taste is very complex. Bitter. Smokey wood flavor. Hints of coffee, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa, and tobacco. Overall very impressive stout. My favorite RIS. (197 characters)

Photo of uvachief
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Dark. Tastes like cigars and cigarettes blended with coffee. Brutally strong and nice burn. Dark black. Nice full 3 fingers head. Can't drink more than 2 unless you are outside freezing. I can't rate it nearly as high as Ten Fidy (235 characters)

Photo of yarnbomb
4/5  rDev -6.5%

It's very good, to be sure. It's just not my favorite. Maybe I just can't forget that first awful, spoiled one I had all those years ago before I learned to love a good Imperial beer. (183 characters)

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In the aroma is a great deal of bread crust and brown sugar, chocolate, mocha, and a touch of prune and citrus after a couple minutes. Pours a large, frothy, long-lasting, deep tan head; the body is jet black. The initial flavor is sweet, roasted, ashy malt, but a variety of intense flavors soon comes through. The overtones include alcohol, which is quite noticeable but well integrated for 9%, and a dark, fruity/molasses-like quality. There is also a rich, bread crust-like malt sweetness. The bitterness is more noticeable in the aftertaste, accompanied by a toasty, peanut shell-like maltiness. It is certainly full bodied, almost viscous, with just a little bite from the minimal carbonation and a little bit of husky astringency from the roasted malt.

Fantastically well structured and largely well balanced. Lots of intense flavors that work well together to produce an overall pleasurable drinking experience. It's certainly not a quaffing beer; this one is just right for sipping and savoring. (1,006 characters)

Photo of seedyone
4/5  rDev -6.5%

From bottle at Home. Visually it pours a rich viscous lively opaque black with a deep tanned cap. Slight chocolate in the aroma. No burn & faint bitterness that are vanquished by a sweetish smokiness. The most dominate trait is deliciousness.

Very good. Very adult. Dispensaries should require double proof of age because the kids won't like it....all the more for me.

09/19/12 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. With out a doubt this is a nighcap. All the hallmarks of not just a completely satisfying brew, but the extremes of flavor & kick (mere 9% list ABV notwithstanding) ass brew.

Forgive me North Coast but blending this in a Black & Tan w/ something like an Stones Arrogant Bastard is a present day highway to hell. Perilous adventures await. (750 characters)

Photo of smacgaha
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Appearance - poured from bottle to snifter. Pitch black with almost no transparency except for the very edges when held up to the light. Poured with a light had that dissipated slowly with a beautiful tan color.

Scent - Chocolate and coffee. There's a slight metallic tinge, which goes against my memory.

Taste - Lots of chocolate, some coffee, a ton of heavily-roasted malt and a warming but masked amount of alcohol. The metallic off-flavor is a bit more present and somewhat troubling.

Mouthfeel - Crazy high gravity as expected. The bite from the carbonation slightly detracts from the flavor, but that seems to just be a personal preference.

Overall - This is exactly what I'd expect in a Russian imperial stout save for the coppery character, which seems like it might be a glassware problem or something. Old Rasputin is to the Russian imperial stout as Sierra Nevada is to the pale ale; it's just a great representation of the style. (945 characters)

Photo of Slamms
4.75/5  rDev +11%

The brothers say, "not for the faint of heart", but for this style, remarkably easy drinking, as all the wood, chocolate, coffee, etc is mitigated by an overall delicate refinement, belied by the chunky head clearly visible through the dark bottle. Really, the overriding aftertaste is something of fruit, though the bitterness is pronounced as well, the hops probably preserving the taste, as it tastes like it was bottled yesterday. But the bitterness as with everything is perfectly calibrated, not too much, not too little. So much more refined and unobtrusive, than say Guinness, but ironically more intense than Guinness (how does that work). Hard to fathom how something this perfectly calibrated originated in America. (731 characters)

Photo of Nostradrunkus
4.75/5  rDev +11%

The quintessential beginners stout, Old Rasputin manages to be an incredibly complex and refreshing drink while simultaneously disguising its high alcohol content.

This one pours a distinct blackness that reassures you that you are drinking a legitimate stout. There is a faint tan head that thins to a lacing on top of the beer within a short amount of time after the pour.

The aroma is complex, but is best categorized by a chocolatey espresso smell that serves as a great prelude to the flavor.

Taste is fantastic. I often find myself recommending this to those that think of guinness first when they hear the word stout. Upon drinking, you're immediately confronted with the chocolate and espresso flavors that dominate the aroma of this stout. This fades into a complex mix of flavor with a faint underlying soy sauce taste to round out the many other flavors at play. Alcohol is barely noticeable, but it contributes a subtle herbal heat that amplifies the other flavors.

I really believe this beer is one of the best hybrids of availability, cost, and flavor in the stout class. It tends to be easy to find, and it is also usually one of the cheaper options among the legitimate stouts. I often find myself reaching for a pack of Old Rasputin to pair with traditional meat and potatoes type meals, and I will continue to do so as long as they keep brewing this excellent Russian Imperial Stout. (1,406 characters)

Photo of WAbeerfiend
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%

Poured into a tumbler in late 2013.

A: Opaque black. Motor oil. 2 finger head.

S: Coffee, bitterness.

T: Sweet chocolate, roasty malt, bitterness on the back end.

O: This was ok at first, but then the bitterness took over and I wasn't enjoying it. There was a little bit of alcohol burn in the nostrils. I ended up drain pouring it because of the bitterness. (362 characters)

Photo of MisterGone
4.75/5  rDev +11%

A joyful cup of coffee, this one. Like many of this ilk, it does better with some temperature control: improves as it warms. Malts develop well, not too sweet. Bitterness is appropriate for the roast. Higher ABV masked by the depth of flavor, thus caveat emptor. (262 characters)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,512 ratings.