1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

9,408 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,408
Reviews: 3,332
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 269
Gots: 1,112 | FT: 35
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,408 | Reviews: 3,332 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BillyB
BillyB

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev 0%

Excellent Imperial Stout! Dark brown to almost black color with a thick frothy tan head. Opaque.
Smells of chocolate, caramel, vanilla and very strong alcohol scent.
Again a very strong alcohol taste just like in the aroma but it doesn't take too much away from the overall. I expect alcohol in an imperial stout anyway. Kind of a coffe-ish cappuccino flavor with hints of vanilla.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth going down. Not much carbonation and a slight alcohol warmth.
Drinkability is good but is a little hindered by the strong alcohol taste and smell.

12-02-2005 21:56:02 | More by BillyB
Photo of Phatz
Phatz

Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +11.2%

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!

12-02-2005 08:05:50 | More by Phatz
Photo of NClifestyle
NClifestyle

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%

This is a good one!
On tap at Brixx tonight. After a pint or two, I had to switch to something creamy. This was it.
Dark, but not quite black, medium tan head, tight bubbles.
Smells of dark chocolate and alcohol.
Taste was coffee, but somewhat harsh, a hit of alcohol, some creamy sweetness, and an earthy, not exactly hoppy flavor that i'm not exactly sure about. In any case, this tasted great.
Mouthfeel is medium, creamy, smooth, with some alcohol warmth and tingles everywhere.
A great beer, definitely go back, but can't have too many in a row. Only got one tonight.

cheers...

12-02-2005 04:42:04 | More by NClifestyle
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -3.5%

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a jet black opaque body that has tiny little bubbles rising on the edge of the glass. The tan head that is creamy and smooth so fades into a wisp around the rim.

S- Smells of dark roasted and toasted malts are combined with some notes of raisins, coffee and a faint hint of tar. The finish has a nice green spicy quality perhaps from hops.

T- This beer has a slight sour note in the beginning with deep roasted malt and to toasted malt flavors aswell. The hint of coffee and some caramel notes are also the taste. The finish has a dark malt bitterness combined with some hop bitterness.

M- The mouthfeel is medium-full with some creamy texture to it. The alcohol is smooth and soft with a faint hint of astringency.

D- This is a nice big stoic beer that has lots of dark roasted layers. There is a nice creamy quality that makes it drink like a meal.

12-02-2005 00:31:58 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Joey7F
Joey7F

Florida

3.6/5  rDev -16.3%

My first Russian Imperial Stout

A - Black with streeks of reddish brown where the light hits, almost brown head
S - Alcohol, coffee, alcohol and more alcohol
T - Coffee, alcohol, alcohol and more alcohol. If the alcohol was better concealed I would have rated it a 5. Very tasty stout, but the alcohol was a bit distracting
M - Very thick, almost like a doppelbock
D - After one, I was done for the night.

--Joey

11-26-2005 19:47:23 | More by Joey7F
Photo of SteveO1231
SteveO1231

Connecticut

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

Grabbed a four pack at BevMo.

Pours an opaque jet black with little red highlights. Thick foamy tan head with nice bubbly lacing.

Great aroma of roasted and chocolate malts. I can smell the alcohol and hints of black coffee.

Great roasted malt flavors. Sweet hints of caramel and toffee. Tart bitterness of black coffee and chocolate. I can taste and feel the alcohol on my palate and in my belly. Nice dry stout finish. Very nice, a sipper at 9% ABV.

Very good RIStout. Great dessert beer, I enjoyed it with a slice of pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream.

11-26-2005 04:30:02 | More by SteveO1231
Photo of riversider76
riversider76

New York

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours a very dark brown almost black. Tan head,nice lacing. Smell is of roasted coffee,and carmel. Mouthfeel is fairly thick,and rich. Taste is bittersweet, and smooth with a great finish. I was drinking the beer on a cold,snowy November night,and it sure warmed me up!

11-26-2005 02:57:53 | More by riversider76
Photo of deBeers
deBeers

California

4.35/5  rDev +1.2%

This is currently on tap at My Place in Newtown, CT. Thanks Mark.

The tap is very intriquing. It shows an old Russian gentleman (presumably Rasputin) in black & white with his right hand raised to the crown of his head which I gather is some type of religious symbol. The top of the tap is like the top of a tower. Wish I could explain this more intricately.

Smells and tastes a lovely coffee aroma/malt. Creamy cappuchino looking head. This one is too smooth when the keg is very fresh. Puts the drinkability through the roof for how heavy the brew is.

Pitch black with rose hues at the edges of the glass when held in the light. The bitterness in this beer is balanced so right. It's like a siren calling to you in the night.

Seek this one out on tap. My apologies for the haphazardly written review. I was pretty inebriated at the time.

11-24-2005 02:42:21 | More by deBeers
Photo of RedHaze
RedHaze

Nebraska

4.2/5  rDev -2.3%

From notes 16nov05:

Pours pitch black with no hints of light shining through around the edges. Theres's a thick two finger head that's slow to recede, and leaves behind a rocky cap that never fades away. Lots of thick lacing.

Smell; notes of coffee, chocolate, licorice, roasted malts and a slightly burned toast smell.

Taste; Chocolate, coffee, a touch of vanilla, a little bitter at first from the roasted malts, but that smooths out alot as it warms up. Nice thick, rich and creamy mouthfeel. This is a really good stout, just wish I could go back and get some more.

11-22-2005 20:53:28 | More by RedHaze
Photo of czechsaaz
czechsaaz

Washington

4.72/5  rDev +9.8%

Big aroma. Tons of roast malt. Some dried plum fruitiness, coffee, burnt sugar. No hops which is good for the style.

Deep black, with some red highlights when held to bright light. Small head but lasting around the edges. Kicks up when you swirll the glass.

Strong bitter flavor from dark roast malt. Ballaced out with lots of sweet base malt. Great fruit flavor and fermentation. Dried cherries, smokey esters. Hop bitterness is pretty high, no hop flavor, in style. Some hot alcohol.

Body is a little low for Imp. Stout. Slightly warming and creamy on the tongue.

Big sipping beer. A little smaller than some Imp. Stouts but it's a classic take on the style.

11-21-2005 01:42:21 | More by czechsaaz
Photo of cheers2beers
cheers2beers

Texas

4.85/5  rDev +12.8%

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance: This beer poured a dark,black liquid with a tannish caramel like head.Slightly cascading in my glass,and lots of laceing clinging to the sides.

Aroma:The nose is of dark chocolate,roasted coffee bean,butter infused oats and supremely disguised alcohol. A very pleasureable moment indeed.

Taste: Chocolate all over the palate.As this beer warms the alcohol lets itself be known,but not too over powering.Caramel,butterscotch,and a long enticing bitter hop finish.A true masterpiece.(Applaudes)

Mouthfeel: Chewy,syrupy, low carbonation,but would have liked to see a little thicker mouthfeel.

Drinkability: The urge was to pound this beer, but I had to actively slow down and appreciate all of its amazing characteristics. Go out and buy this immediately. A truly orgasmic experience, I want more!


-cheers2beers-

11-20-2005 02:17:45 | More by cheers2beers
Photo of jmz62565
jmz62565

Connecticut

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

This pours a dark black with a large head and nice lacing.The smell is very strong with roasted malt and some coffee and chocolate.The taste is truely unbelievable.This is an outstanding beer.You get the full roasted malt flavor with just a hint of coffee and chocolate that's very creamy
The m/f feel is heavy with a full flavor and texture.I don't think I could have too many of these,but man, are they good.
This is one of the best beers I've had in a long time.BUY IT!!!

11-19-2005 03:51:16 | More by jmz62565
Photo of Blakaeris
Blakaeris

Iowa

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

Pours a deep brown to black with ruby highlights and a thin tan head. Little to no lacing.

Smell is complex with a mixture of coffee, dark malts, chocolate and dark fruit.

The flavor is hearty and filling, as a stout should be. There is an excellent balance between the sweet and bitter flavors.

Mouthfeel is creamy and good. Carbonation is slight but acceptable.

Drinkability is excellent. I bought the 4 pack and I'm ready to finish the first and start on the second. If you like stouts then you will like this brew.

11-15-2005 23:49:40 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of sinistrsam
sinistrsam

Maryland

4.45/5  rDev +3.5%

The typical, awesome dark brown/black of an Imperial Stout. It had a small tan head which dissapated quickly, left medium lacing, and smelled of sweet coffee and caramel.
It tasted somewhat hoppy, with hints of sweet furits, roasted malt, coffee, bitter chocolate. The taste was somewhat more pleasant than other Imperial Stouts I've had, but I can't exactly place what was different; I'm going to say it as the balance of the flavors. It had almost a candy sweetness that countered the bitter very well.
It was also not as biting in the mouthfeel as some other Imperials. It finished actually refreshing and as tasty as the first taste.

11-12-2005 16:54:44 | More by sinistrsam
Photo of nlmartin
nlmartin

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%

Served from a bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: Poured a midnight black with a cascading toffee colored head almost 2 inches high. Laced like spider webs throughout the beer drinking session.

Smell: Huge amounts of coffee, chocolate and general fruity goodness. Fantastic sweet floral maltyness stands forth and demands that we "Respect my Authority!"

Taste: No surprises here great maltyness supporting coffee, chocolatey fruity goodness.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer is fantastically thick and oily a pleasing full bodied beer. This will go down great when the deep freeze of winter is on.

11-11-2005 19:25:36 | More by nlmartin
Photo of beerogre
beerogre

New York

4.47/5  rDev +4%

This is a class beer.

Every so often I come across a beer that I just gulp down with no regard to its strength, because it's just so damn good. This is one of those beers. As I drink this beer I sit in my chair, shaking my head and exhaling audibly after each sip, at the excellence that is this beer.

You can have your IPAs, your best bitters and all the rest of 'em, because for my money you just can't beat a quality Imperial Stout like this one.

If Victor Kiam had still been around today and drunk this beer he would have forgotten all about his Remmington Microscreen and bought this company instead. Believe you me.

11-11-2005 04:21:21 | More by beerogre
Photo of iron78
iron78

Wisconsin

3.65/5  rDev -15.1%

black like a stout should be, dark brown at the edges in some light. with a thick creamy tan head.
rich chocolate and coffee aroma with a touch of what might be mint.
the toasted grain comes through giving nice coffee flavor with out being overly bitter. well balanced and complex enough to be interesting.
is thick, with out the syrup feel. doesn't leave the mouth coated, but has good body.
nice alchol warmth lasts but again is balanced enough not to overpower.
suprised me with how much i liked it. will try again some evening infront of a fire.

11-10-2005 20:36:00 | More by iron78
Photo of palma
palma

New York

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%

Not a big stout fan, but I figured this one was worth trying.
Very creamy looking head. Big and fluffy at first but quickly faded to a lasting tan ring around the glass.
Very nice aroma from this brew as soon as I opened the bottle. Chocolate and roasted nuts. Some sour fruit. Sweet molasses.
Taste is a little tangy at first sip. Then roasted flavors and semi-sweet chocolate. Ends with a significant amount of bitterness, especially for a Russian imperial.
Silky mouthfeel. Smooth. Nice level of carbonation. Expected for the style.
Cited as one of the best Russian imperial stouts.I definitely agree this beer is "up there", though it's not outstanding IMO.

11-10-2005 05:25:19 | More by palma
Photo of SkeeterHawk
SkeeterHawk

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +3%

Appearance: Pours a rich deep black color that doesn’t look like it is capable of passing any light through it. There was a half inch tan head of small bubbles that sat around for about a minute. Finally there was a small thin ring left on top of the beer

Aroma: Nutty toasty roasty and just about any other adjetives that I can think of that end in “Y”. There is a noticeable plum and other ripe fruit presence along with some floral presence that I would guess is from hops. As the beer warms a bit, you can notice the hops a lot more

Taste: This is a very revolving flavor. It starts out with a mild sweet flavor, and soon there is a sharp roasty presence that sets in. Just as soon as you think that the roasty flavor is going to be around for a while, there is an assertive nutty and toasty flavor that oozes down your throat for the finish. There is a mild alcoholic burn that sets in somewhere around the syrupy finish to linger around for quite some time.

Opinion: This is a really nice beer. It is a bit milder than some of the American micro-brews version. It has a lot nuttier flavor and a whole lot more depth of malt character than most. The flavor is multilayered, so if you pay attention, you can taste at least three different beers in just this one.

11-08-2005 03:51:20 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of ghostwalker
ghostwalker

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev 0%

Almost completely black. I can barely see some color highlights of dark brown and possibly dark, dark red by holding it up to the light. 2 fingers of thick and foamy tan head. Leaves very thick and sticky lacing.

Nose is rich and dark with roasted malt. Heavy on the coffee and smoky as well.

Flavor is intense! The deep rich RIS profile, coffee, chocolate, caramel/toffee, but also very smoky. Very bitter aftertaste from a bold dash of hops, but also carries a hint of sweet black cherry. Complex and nuanced, I will probably get different flavors on subsequent tastings.

Mouthfeel is chewy and viscous. It's not nearly the motor oil consistency of Stone RIS, but very nice nonetheless and a fine example of the style.

Drinkability is good. The smokiness would limit my ability to have more than a couple, but it will find a new regular place in my beer fridge rotation.

11-07-2005 01:12:09 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of nickss
nickss

Texas

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

Pours a deep black color with ruby highlights. Creamy 2 finger head with huge gobs of lacing.

Caramel and malt understones in the nose, with some chocolate and berries in the background.

Huge taste... tremendously berry-filled with a bit of a kick of toffee in the back end. Very nice, but somewhat atypical of a RIS IMO.

Big thick malty mouthfeel. Reminds me of Guinness on the tongue.

Very drinkable for an RIS.... absolutely lovely brew, although I seem to remember it being slightly better out of the bottle.

11-06-2005 21:48:45 | More by nickss
Photo of cubedbee
cubedbee

Maryland

4.3/5  rDev 0%

12 oz bottle, not dated, poured into a snifter. Pours an extremely deep brown, practically pitch black, absolutely opaque even when held up to the light. Retention is decent, as is lacing. Smell is somewhat subdued, but is a nice mix of baking chocolate, ameretto, and coffee. Taste is excellent, a very nice roasted expresso, rich bittersweet chocolate, a roasted malt base, and a finish with a slight taste of alcohol. Very rich and luscious. Thick chewy mouthfeel, leaving a dry, lingering finish. This is a suberb stout, the best tasting Imperial I've had, a really great beer I'm glad I got my hands on.

11-04-2005 01:21:11 | More by cubedbee
Photo of soulgrowl
soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

4.68/5  rDev +8.8%

Appearance: Intensely dark burgundy-brown; almost black. Opaque even when held up to the light, with a fiery brick-red glow along the edges. The head is frothy and resilient, its color a dark, coffee-stained, cinnamon-infused beige, very reminiscent of a double capuccino. Overall, the beer would match nicely with a ski lodge.

Smell: Aroma is surprisingly subtle and subdued compared to the beer's visual impact. It is earthy and natural, with campfire-like burnt tones. The bitter combination of chocolate and coffee and sweet overtones of maple trees foreshadow the beer's complicated taste.

Taste: Wonderful! Chocolate and espresso provide the beer's foundation, covered with an intense, burnt-to-perfection malt flavor. Then there is a layer of stewed fruit-and-vegetable sweetness (especially cherries). An undercurrent of almond (specifically amaretto and marzipan) pops up now and then. Lingering finish retains roasty and nutty elements in your mouth for a long time. Amazing! This would go so well with dark wheat toast spread with Nutella, or with any dark chocolate. Might also be good with some kind of flaky pastry, like a Danish, turnover, or kringle.

Mouthfeel: Although the beer is very viscous, it is not as creamy as I expected due to its medium-sized bubbles. Probably for the best, since the lightness helps keep the beer from being too overwhelming. After you swallow and lick your lips, the beer still clings to you.

Drinkability: The high alcohol content and richness of this beer make it something that demands to be drank slowly and deliberately, but the flavor is so enchanting that it wouldn't be hard to knock back more than a few of these between dinner and bedtime.

11-02-2005 23:18:28 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of phishgator
phishgator

Florida

4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Poured into a pint glass with a nice creamy tan head that stays the entire session. The color is opaque and nontransparent. The aroma is of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. The taste is as good or better than any RIS I have had to date (I do have 2 Stone RIS's in the fridge waiting to be unleashed). The roasted coffee and dark chocolate shine through as there is a touch of milk chocolate. The mouthfeel is thick and full. The drinkability is great for two and then your to full to drink another.

10-26-2005 03:17:14 | More by phishgator
Photo of GnomeKing
GnomeKing

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%

Coffee and chocolate tastes dualing, with coffee getting the slight advantage. A little dry. Some roasted malt and nut flavors popping up here and there. The head's bubbles are precise and poppable, rather than creamy. There is a nice lingering aftertaste, but the flavors don't over stay their welcome. Despite its alcohol content and robust character, Old Rasputin doesn't fatigue the taste buds. You can have a few and enjoy each one more than the last...just remember that 8.9% will catch up on you quick. Old Rasputin is still a mystical favorite.

10-25-2005 01:58:03 | More by GnomeKing
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,408 ratings.