1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

9,922 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,922
Reviews: 3,363
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 302
Gots: 1,333 | FT: 42
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: 9,922 | Reviews: 3,363 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EPICAC
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as night with a thick, creamy, brown head that retains as a quarter-inch layer leaving patchy lace.

Smell: Strong roasted aromas of chocolate and coffee as well as some hops.

Taste: There are nice flavors of chocolate throughout, as well as some tart fruitiness. The finish is roasted with notes of coffee as well as some hops.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and creamy with low to moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a high alcohol RIS, but I definitely wanted more when I finished the bottle.

EPICAC, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of IceAce
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark enough that the midday sun cannot begin to manage to punch through. Foam collar is deep tan and short-lived w/o lacing.

Nose is alcoholic with deeply roasted malt conveying dark unsweetened chocolate, toffee, and freshly ground coffee beans.

Entry is creamy and possesses a dry, chalky mouthfeel. Midtaste leads with hot unhidden alcohol before it settles in with a blanket of chocolate. The finish sports a fleeting hoppy note, more chocolate, and a warming glow.

IceAce, Dec 26, 2006
Photo of stephendr
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle- color of India ink , small coffee color head - nose of chocolate (sweet and baking ), iodine , coffee , anis , dark fruit , mocha , and malts – taste of milk chocolate , vanilla , prunes, figs and coco – sweet chewy body- aftertaste anis, coffee, coco

stephendr, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of jmichaeldesign
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black with a two finger head that lingers longer than I had expected. This is partially due to being a little warmer than it should be, and a sub par pour.

Smell is fantastic. The chocolate is right there in your face without being overwhelming.

Taste is not quite as strong as other imperial stouts I've had. Very well balanced. A little bit of hoppiness. Aftertaste is all chocolate.

Mouthfeel is good. A little too carbonated for the style in my opinion.

It's incredibly drinkable for an imperial stout. The flavor isn't cloying, but it's too carbonated for me.

Overall a great beer. I'd definitely buy it again. A great nightcap or first beer of the night.

jmichaeldesign, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of barleyman
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. brown glass bottle into a tall chilled pilsner glass,(thats the glass they brought me.) The dark brown liquid passes no light through. The dark white head quickly dissapates to almost none, while leaving a nice Brussels lace down the glass. The smell is of roast chocolate malt and bread. The taste is quite warming, of roast chocolate malt with very little hop. Mouthfeel is quite good given the size of this beer. It seems I could session this beer for at least an hour, if not all night

Once again, bravo North Coast,

barleyman

barleyman, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of pmcadamis
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A black brew with dark brown highlights is capped by a solid looking thick brown 1 and 1/2 finger head that sticks around for quite some time. Thick waves of lace coat the glass.

S - Solid scents of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and roasted grains fill the nostrils. This is actually pretty mellow smelling, and the high alcohol level is not detectable. Burnt notes are there also.

T - Wonderfully full flavors of roasted cereal grains, chocolate, firewood, hickory, coffee, and tobacco. The taste is very bitter, but balanced by a little bit or chocolatey sweetness. This is really the most pleasant stout that I've had!

M - Full bodided, sweet and dextriny and first, slighty spicy and warming from the alcohol, and very dry on the finish. This stuff wicks the moisture away from you mouth and leaves you clucking, trying to make more spit. Wonderful.

D - Despite the alcohol content and strong roasty burnt flavors, I believe that this is about the most drinkable stout ever. Give me more!

pmcadamis, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of xymyl
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very deep red/black with a creamy light tan and ever-present head and good carbonation, with small to very small bubbles.

Aroma is a clean singular hop aroma drifting in among fresh bread (or even fresh bread immediately made into toast), coffee and a little milk chocolate.

Taste is full of rich sweet notes (brown sugar, rasins, plumbs, a slight apple note and some other fruity notes that I just can't match) coffee, a tiny hint of milk chocolate and a bigger bite of dark chocolate, hops surface at times but generally I don't notice them, after that the alcohol shows up (just a bit) and then it all dries out.

Body is medium full/full and is very drinkable to someone like myself. Would be a sharing beer for some due to the richness. Overall a great (easy drinking without sacrificing flavor) Russian Imperial Stout.

xymyl, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of scottoale
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh on nitro and served in a pint glass...WOW, a beautiful imperial stout of black-ass brown with incredibly thick and creamy, cocoa butter lace. The 1" thick head forms after a beautiful cascading display occurs, the kind that only nitrogen carbonation is capable of...buttercream froth. Fat, juicy rings of the stuff mark each sip of this fine looking brew.

Burnt and roasty dark malt smell is bluntly bitter and comprised of dark, black French Roast coffee and a heap of baker's chocolate...breakfast or dessert anyone?

The intake of a very short lasting sweetness is anise or black licorice if you will, followed by instant roast bitterness...an awesome tasty dark malt that is mostly black French Roast coffee (nearly espresso) with heavy bitter chocolate notes...rich and roasty to the finish. Very tasty I.S. with a smooth and creamy big body, accompanied by a well hidden, high dose of you guessed it...alcohol.

Great appearance, good smelling, excellent taste and mouthfeel lead up to an imperial stout that is all too drinkable...especially when on tap and charged with nitrogen...love this stuff!

scottoale, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of ultralarry2006
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves an espresso-foam colored head of about one finger in depth, and has very good retention, and good spotty lacing. Body is almost black, being the deepest possible brown. Looks very beuatiful.

Smell - the nose is filled with roasted, smokey malt and dark crusted malt bread, as well as chocolate, figs, raisins, plums, dark dried fruits, and spicy, medicinal alcohol. Mouthwatering.

Taste - pretty much as promised by the nose, with the additon of caramel swirling throughout, and a slight lemony hop twang at times. Again, roasted, smokey malt with taste of dark dried fruits such as raisins and figs, and some ripe ones like plums. Malt bread baked long enough to almost burn the crust, with some chocolate and caramel to go along with the fruits, all in a swirl, with spicy, medicinal alcohol tying it all together. Delicious. And no harshness from the alcohol at all - it's well integrated into the taste, being pretty well hidden, only by lending its big spicy medicinal flavor do you know it's there.

Mouthfeel - full bodied, smooth, chewy at times - sort of " fluffy ", like when one eats puffed grain cereal.

Drinkability - this is an excellent ale, with well hidden abv. Very hearty, and delicious. It's that abv that holds down sessionability, so it's a sipper to be enjoyed slowly with only a couple of servings at a given session - but do so often, I will.

ultralarry2006, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of Minkybut
3.4/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tumbler at 5o degrees. Beer was black as night. Smell was dark roasted malty nutty smoke laced like wood fire smell. Head went away rather quick. I though this was a right strong stout a little bitter for my taste, but stout folks I think will like and shuld try it. I most likely will not purchase again though.

Minkybut, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of kzczp0
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich dark brown like espresso. Fine beaded head that lays at a half inch or more for a few minutes and then recedes to circle the glass with minor lacing over entire surface.

Smell is exquisitely rich, strong of roast malts, cigar and alcohol. Taste is straight on with dry feel over palate and not a complexity of flavors but rather intense burnt malt and bitterness from alcohol that does not change. I am not complaining about the taste. It is completely as expected.

The brew gets a little flat for carbonation quicklly which is to be expected but not a big change from beginning. As the beer warms I notice increase of chocolate and some hoppiness. This is an excellent Imperial. 2 or 3 of these would make for an interesting evening with good friends.

kzczp0, Dec 14, 2006
Photo of jletts
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased this tasty beer at the local PCC at a bargain price of $1.75. Served in a pint glass at about 50 degrees.

Appearance: Poured a very dark reddish brown, which is perceived as black in all but the brightest lighting, with a large yellow-brown head.

Smell: Earthy. Smells of dark leather and peat, some cloves and hops, and just a hint of sweetness, maybe sugar or vanilla.

Taste: Burnt sour cherry, cocoa. Charred and a little smokey at the end where the alcohol finally comes in, though not overpoweringly so.

Mouthfeel: medium body, a little syrupy.

Drinkability: An excellent Imperial Stout, but a little high in ABV to drink too many. But it is very drinkable because it is so tasty!

jletts, Dec 13, 2006
Photo of jbramley
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving Date:
11 December 2006

Presentation:
Short, brown 12oz bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance:
Pours a dark brown, with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smell:
Smells of slightly overcooked coffee with a hint of sweetness.

Taste:
Smooth, tingles the tongue. Sweet espresso flavors followed by bitter chalky feel towards the back of the mouth. Creaminess at the front. Hints of a cocoa.

Notes:
A very enjoyable stout. Getting down into the beer allows the nose to be engulfed in the delectable aromas wafting up from the brew before the wonderful flavor hits the lips. Enjoy this one as it warms up.

jbramley, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of Franchise
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This offering from North Coast pours a onyx color leaving a tan head that is thick and luxurious. The aroma is strong hop citrus and earthy licorise feel followed by a sweet chocolate essence. The taste starts syrupy bitter with herbal hops that are abundant in this gem. The taste continues with marshmallow, chocolate, coffee roasted beans come though this brew. The finish is bitter espresso, but that caramel cooked sugar sweetness helps balance this big bitter beer. Overall this is an outstaning stout one that should be in my fridge year round. I paired this baby with a gourmet chocolate chip cookie and it was delicious.

Franchise, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of tjthresh
3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours and inky opaque black with a brown head that disapates to a ring. Molasses, smoke, bitter dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, chewing tobacco, spicey hops and alcohol in the nose. Prunes, very bitter, chocolate grit. Light smoke. Rather thin. Higher carbonation for the style. Slick and oily. Very good.

tjthresh, Dec 10, 2006
Photo of dedrinker
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this beer from start to finish. It's a blessing that it is available year 'round. It smells of yeast/ fresh dough and roasted malts. Bitter chocolate, a little coffe. Tastes roasty, chocolate, hint of coffee and every once in a while - licorice. More hop bitters and more roast distinguishes this one from its British relative, but this has to bridge the gap as well as being an all around benchmark for the style.

dedrinker, Dec 10, 2006
Photo of maundythirsty
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting looking RIS, being that it is not a glass full of squid ink. Very dark brown, to be sure, but I can see through the edges, with are bottle glass brown. Very little head to speak of, off-white and thin. Smells yeasty, like dark bread, with a big roasted malt note

Tastes of clean, round roasted malt all the way through, with some coffee edges and a wee hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is very creamy and consistent.

Wow. So that's a really good, even-handed Russian imperial stout that does its work without tasting like a bag of sugar. Beauty of a label, too, with the spooky little wave from the Mad Monk.

maundythirsty, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of MVassar
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as pitch in most of the glass, with a lovely dark ruby outline. After some beautiful cascading fireworks there's a most respectable medium-amber head, and fine lacing.

Some roasted malt, which is sweet and toasty. A hint of black coffee, and some unsweetened cocoa powder.

Plenty of well-roasted malt, chocolate, sweetened coffee extract, and even a touch of hops in the finish to provide a kick in the pants.

RIch and creamy at the start, with some serious bitter hops to balance things out.

This is a kick-ass, make-your-head-spin stout that is so smooth and supple that it qualifies as "dangerously easy to drink." Godspeed.

MVassar, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark as night, looks thick. Really large head: foamy, thick, brown. Great retention.

Rich chocolate, coffee, toffee, and mild floral hop bouquet. Sticky sweet.

Rich. All the advertised aromas strike. Mild fruit, dark and ripe. Pronounced American hop flavors in the end: floral and citric.

Thick and smooth. Moderate oral foamation. Almost no carbonation.

Impressively rich and deep array of flavors at first taste. So strong is Old Rasputin that this effect is lost near the end as my tongue slips into submission. I really like the hop flavors, they are a nice touch. Definitely worth a retry.

MrHungryMonkey, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of Dizzy
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark, faint garnett highlights when held up to light. Lots of tan head with plenty of lacy. Aroma is a wonderful blend of chocolate and toffee with some fruitiness. Taste is carmel like initially, with some fruitiness. Dark, roasted malts dominate the finish and the alcohol becomes evident. Full bodied with moderate carbonation. I like this one, but I wouldn't want more than one. In addition to the high alcohol, too much roasted malt bitterness accumulates to enjoy more than one.

Dizzy, Dec 04, 2006
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A hard pour of Old Rasputin produces two fingers of curiously striped head with a two-tone fade that prety-much is the same color as the white and tan parts of espresso froth. Disappointingly, the show is over in a few seconds and I am left with only a thing ring around the glass, with minimal strings of lace. The nose is spicy hop, earthy chocolate, coacoa, just a little coffee, dark brown sugar, molasses, and fig or date. Very little roasted aroma.

This beer is suprisingly light on the palate. I would describe it as a creamy blend of coffee, sweet milk chocolate, roasted grain, and then just a touch of roasted bitter that makes way for a little suprise. There is a twang of tart rasberry flavor in the finish. A very subtle molasses flavor shows itself as the beer warms. The aftertaste leaves a very gentle, lingering roastiness mixed with alcohol warmth. This is a very smooth and layered beer.

The artful blending of flavors makes reviewing it kind of a chore because it is difficult to dissect exactly what you taste, and it is so smooth you just want to gulp it down. In fact if I have one complaint of this brew, it is that for an Imperial Stout it is almost a little too smooth, lacking a certain "oomph" factor on the palate. All this combined with creamy, silky-smooth mouthfeel make this a dangerously drinkable Imp. Stout, and it would be all to easy to end up smashed, knocking these back like nothing.

JudgeRoughneck, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass

A: Liquid onyx. Very nice 1" light tan color

S: Roast, roast, and more roast.

T: Oh my. Present yet very balanced roast. Plus a hint of semi-sweet-bitter chocolatey goodness. Bitterness gently creeps in on the after-taste. Doesn't taste like a 9% ABV.

M: Thick yet not overdone. The taste is definitely a lingerer, the kind of way a scantily clad lingerie model would linger in the morning.. only this isn't fantasy land.

D: At 9%, you're going to want to be careful with this. But should I have the opportunity to put a few of these away, I definitely would. Tremendous representation of the RIS.

AWolfAtTheDoor, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of AaronHomoya
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a decent amount of head, especially for a RIS, and a black color. Smell is a delicious mix of rich, roasted malts and chocolate. Taste is sweet, malty, and roasted with coffee notes and a nice, balanced hop finish. Medium-bodied mouthfeel with solid carbonation. Nicely drinkable, especially for the style as it is ONLY 9% ABV and smooth.

AaronHomoya, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of Grundle20
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
I've said beers pour black before, well I lied, this beer pours BLACK. Light can almost not pass through the glass. It's thick black beer with a creamy nut colored head.

Smell:
Primarilly burnt chocolate and coffee in scent but there are some very minor cherry and biscuit notes. Pretty much what you would expect but good and balanced none the less.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
There is a very strong flavor of good dark chocolate. While beers to me tend to taste more like bakers chocolate this really tastes like good edible dark chocolate. The beer drinks incredibly smooth with bitter stings on the front and sides of my tongue. The finish is again chocolatey only with a little coffee in the mix. There is a full on aftertaste to this beer which I don't really like but the beer itself is good enough for me to look past this.

Drinkability:
Pretty much everything about this beer says not so drinkable aside from the taste. High ABV and an unclean finish are really what takes away from this for me, but it's a really tasty beer and would probably serve a stout fan well in terms of drinkability.

Bottom Line:
A pretty awesome stout. Not exactly my cup of tea but this was an enjoyable drinking experience and I would recommend this to anybody looking for something good or any fan os stouts.

Grundle20, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of becktone
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After walking about two miles to pay my rent in very unfavorable conditions here in Cincinnati, I finally returned to my humble abode and asked myself "What do I have in my fridge that can warm me up after that?" At about 35F outside and winds that made walking down a hill one of Hurcules' 12 Labors, I hoped I had something very dark, malty and strength imbuning in my fridge. As I looked in my fridge I almost started to sigh, and lo and behold forgotten in the back corner behind some other sixers I find I've an ample supply of Old Rasputin. Here are my thougts.

The pour is dark-black infact- With a tan creamy three finger head this brew looks just too good. Head begins to receed in size to a stable one finger size leaving some sweet looking lace along the sides of the glass.

Aroma is strong, sweet, and alcoholic. A robust chocolate character comes through and maybe a little bit of a coffee aroma as well, other notable smells are dark fruits, maybe some prunes. No hop aroma, or roasted bitterness aroma. All in all a great smelling brew.

Oh yes, this lifts my spirit and warms the soul. Strong sweet malty backbone gives real character and life to this brew. Chocolate malts take the foreground in this brew's flavor profile. Just a tad of hop flavor in the back of this one, one of the noble varieties I should think. Just there in the back, fleeting. Tastes great, but more complexitiy would add more to this brew....My upper body is now pretty much thawed, but my lower body is still pretty cool.

The body of this RIS is thick and full bodied and creamy just the way it should be. Carbonation levels are fairly low as benefits the style. I'll most likely buy this brew again. It is great to warm up with after coming in out of the cold and being pounded by the elements. Not something that I could sit around and drink all day, and it shouldn't be. I don't think that any RIS is meant to be that way. Definitely something to slowly savor. However, I also know that there are other RIS's that represent the style differently and I would definitely love to try those before I came back to this one, but I would not be adverse to another go-round with this brew.

becktone, Dec 01, 2006
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 9,922 ratings.