1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.

10,710 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,710
Reviews: 3,489
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.23%
Wants: 402
Gots: 1,856 | FT: 49
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 (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,710 | Reviews: 3,489 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JMD
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black as night, with rocky dark tan head. Heavy lacing down the glass.

S: Toasted malt, chocolate, expresso. Hints of toffee and ripe fruit. A touch of hops as well.

T: Same as the smell, toasted malt, fresh-brewed expresso, and dark bitter chocolate. Also some carmel and molasses that give a sweetness to this beer. Finishes with a nice hop bite.

M: Full bodied, smooth and creamy.

D: For being such a full-bodied, full-flavored brew, they go down pretty easy. A great RIS.

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

Bottle Pours a good black with a creamy lasting light brown head. The head produces great lacing. Has a great aroma of chocolate, mocha, coffee and hints of alcohol. Has a good carbonation. The flavors are excellent. Very well blended and the alcohol is well hidden. Nice mix of sweet chocolate and tart coffee. Has a thick texture. A bold solid finish with a real good aftertaste. Had this one on vacation and it is awesome.

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

Yum! I drink this at home and on tap it's plenty better.

Almost black with a soft full head.

Full coffee and toasty grain aroma.

The rich and full (understatement) body taste is appreciated throughout the mouth and for literally minutes after I swallow.

It's an Imperial so the it fills your senses but few do it this well.

In my mind this is the premier American version of this style. Anyone who can suggest a good rival, please let me know.

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

A: Pours an opaque mahogany color that produces a nice rich ruby/brown head that dissipates verrry slowly and leaves a brown lacing

S: The nose is bitter right off the bat with burnt malts, bitter-sweet chocolate, coffee, molasses, cocoa, hops and espresso

T: Much hoppier and bitter than I expected. Huge roasted notes, chocolate, coffee, caramel, molasses, and burnt malts

MF/D: Super chewy, oily, silky, creamy, and just delicious.

A little bitter for me, but those who love hops will love this one

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

North Coast is a little underwhelming as a whole, but this is probably their crowning jewel in their rotation. Here is my review:

A: Pours a pitch black color. Very thick with a nice tan head. Lacing is very prominent.

S: Smells very malty with a nice roastyness. Hints of chocolate and coffee, but not overpowering.

T: Very flavorful and tasty Imperial Stout. Lots of roasted malts with a nice smoke character. Chocolate is more dominant than the coffee, but is blended very well. Nothing really overpowers in the flavor, its very well balanced overall. Not nearly as intense as say Founders Imperial Stout, Great Divide Yeti, or Bells Expedition, but an excellent offering nonetheless.

M: Full-bodied and coats the mouth nicely. I have had thicker beers, but this is very nice overall.

D: Full-bodied and full of flavor, this is one you will revisit often. However more than one at a time is not recommended. Very smooth and tasty.

Fairly common and widely available, this is one that almost anybody can enjoy. There are better Imperial Stouts available, but this is always a solid performer and well worth the money. Highly recommended.

Photo of wd40
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having this beer fresh on tap makes a world of difference. The hops were still a bit alive and the interplay between bitter and sweet was great. The sweet maltiness came through with hints of chocolate, caramel and coffee. There is a pleasing viscous thickness to this beer like molasses that really adds to the sweetness of the malts. Very drinkable. Appearance is jet black with a dark brown head that quickly dissipates. Definitely must have again.

Photo of 1santore
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one exceptional beer. Being a newcomer to "better beer" I'm just now finding Russian Imperial Stouts. Of the stouts I've tried this has to be the best. It pours thick and black. The taste is incredible. The mouth feel is very light and smooth, but this is one drinkable beer.

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this last night out of a 12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Have heard good things as Cost Plus World Market has it on sale for $7 for a 4-pack, so hey, made for a good pick-up for the burgeoning beer collection.

Appearance: Brown-black, like a stout-porter, and with a nice, one-finger tan head. Laced very nicely down the glass too, definitely looked the part of a RIS.

Smell: Chocolaty, slight coffee, and earthy. You can smell a bit of smoke too, and reminds me of a nice, sit-by-the-fire smell.

Taste: Roasted barley malts and bready, smoky taste wash over the palate with markedly low bitterness to it in comparison to other Imperial Stouts, and not in a bad way.

Mouthfeel: Not overly thick or heavy as RIS tend to be and I expect, but this was lighter and made more of a drinker than a sipper. Finishes very clean and with a hint of coffee left at the end.

Drinkability: For the style, it's up there. Much, much more drinkable as far as having more than one goes, and I could certainly enjoy more than one of these in a row, and for this style, that's saying something. Lighter than the Stone Imperial Stout and the BBXXI as far as dark and complex brews go, but this does improve the drinkability as well as it goes down much more smoothly and drinks like a champ.

Photo of association330
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with a darkly humorous label featuring a sketch of Rasputin himself, apparently about to invoke some sort of curse.

A - Pours pitch black, and I do mean pitch black. A pinky of creamy brown head settles to a luxurious looking cap. Excellent fingers of lacing stick to the glass.

S - The unmistakable characteristics of burnt barley - intense coffee and bitter chocolate, a little smokiness. There's a bit of hops as well. Oddly, it doesn't smell particularly sweet. I'm kind of missing the usual hit of dark fruit and molasses here, though I know they are not required to be true to the style.

T - Smoky roasted barley flavors abound. Coffee and bitter chocolate dominate, with some dark fruit notes and a rather hoppy finish. Hop/coffee bitterness lingers. Alcohol is present and it pleasantly tingles the throat.

M - Medium-heavy body and medium-high carbonation. Thick, creamy, and pleasant swallow. Warming alcohol effect.

D - Not as "dessert beer" sweet as many other attempts at the style, which is a refreshing change. Very enjoyable and definitely a beer I'd have again from time to time.

Photo of sethmeister
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle with no date, though I believe I bought this approx a year ago so it has some aging.

Pours into my tulip glass opaque black w/ big foamy 2 finger tan head.

Scent is lightly sweet and fruity. Raspberries? floral notes.

Taste is sweet, smooth and fruity. Dark fruits, raisins, plums(?). Some lighter sweeter fruit. I;d swear there are raspberries. Vanilla, anise. Doughy bread or cookie batter. Milk and dark chocolate. Molasses. Very smooth and silky. A nice hop bitterness still peeks through at the end.

Silky mouthfeel

Drinkability is very good though the alc warming is pronounced.

Although I neglected to review it then, this was delicious fresh. It strikes me as a bit softer and fruitier with a year of cellaring on it and is still quite a delicious RIS.

Photo of dmfrench
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A unique, hoppy, complex, and excellent RIS.

A: Nearly opaque reddish brown with a tight, fairly persistent two finger dark khaki head. Good lacing at first, but loses steam.

S: Baker's chocolate and a bit of burnt malt... hints of hops and alcohol.

T: Kinda the reverse of the nose... quite hoppy for an RIS, and slightly warm... chocolate and burnt malt are underneath... salty and very complex with some flavors I can't quite place... another reviewer said anise, and I could see that.

M: Silky and rough at the same time... the carbonation carries the flavors well.

D: Goes down as easily as such a weighty beer can.

Photo of flannelman808
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had this on a Nitro tap... yum...

Look: This beer pours very dark and has a deep tan head. Extra creamy coming off the nitro.

Smell: Smells like toffee and coffee and coco. Chocolate malts. I smell soy sauce as well and a little tangyness... very complex.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and warming. This beer coats the tongue and throat.

Taste: Toffee and sweet malts. I get a very Dark chocolate flavor as well. This beer starts sweet but is very balanced...The hop presence bites the tongue as the beer finishes. Very good stuff!

Drinkability: I love this beer but its best had as a dessert perhaps with chocolate or ice cream.

Photo of jrallen34
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a tap into a chalice

This beer is beautiful to look at with a dark body and creamy head that lasts for a while. The color is pitch black with a tan head.

It smells like coffee with a hint of sweetness and a touch of alcohol.

Its tastes strongly of coffee with a balance of chocolate. Its a great combination of sweet and bitter.

A very fine stout.

Photo of BierFan
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a flute.

Appearance: Black body with a dark tan head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Rich and decadent aroma. Roasted coffee with a bit of alcohol.

Taste: Seems kind of a modest RIS. Alcohol is well hidden in the taste. Not an abundance of sweetness or roastiness. It's just a damn fine and well made example of a very popular style.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than what I usually like from imperial stouts, but it helps the beer to go down smooth.

Photo of Contagion
2.91/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is black in color, and appears to be very dense. Light doesn't pass through at all. An inch thick head formed when poured into the glass. The headed faded into a film at the top of the beer, and left some nice lacing on the side of the glass as it was drank.

The smell is of roasted malts and bitter black coffee. There are some flowery hops that combine with the malts to give it a mild soapy scent. The taste starts with a strong citrus hop flavor uncharacteristic of most stouts. There are bitter chocolate and coffee roasted malts undertones. The bitterness bites on the sides of the tongue, but as the beer warms to room temperature it becomes less noticeable. The after taste coats the mouth with a hoppy flavor.

This is a full bodied beer that has some creaminess to it. Carbonation is pleasant.

This is not what I was expecting in a stout. I never thought it would be this hoppy, this is kind of like a stout for someone that likes IPAs. It has the bitterness of the IPA and the thickness of a stout. This is not my style of beer. I really don't see myself going for another one of these. It's not a bad beer, just not to my tastes.

Photo of NODAK
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is rich with heavy caramel maltiness...molasses...chocolate...perhaps some alcohol. Very thick. If an aroma could be chewy, this would be it.

A thick beer in the mouth, it definitely doesn't disappoint in the character department. No crispness up front, but the aggressive maltiness impresses at first. Very rich malts...molasses...sweet, caramel malts....some dark chocolate in the flavor profile as well. Powerful. Finish is sweet with some astringency right off the bat even when cold due to the high ABV. The exhale certainly will let you know this isn't a small beer. Small hoppy bitter bite at the end, but is an afterthought after all the other tastes.

It's tasty for sure. This is definitely what I like in an imperial stout. It's hard to go wrong with this. The drinkability will suffer a bit due to the high ABV and the aforementioned astringency, but it shines overall.

Photo of rfgetz
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black as night with Khaki head and nice rings.

S - Roasted malt with slight coffee and chocolate tones

T - Roasted and toasted grains, cereal quality. A little bit of bitter, sweet and sour dancing around on the palate.

M - Viscous and full bodies, coats the mouth but doesnt linger

D - Very drinkable for the ABVs and not too overpowering.

Photo of rapidsequence
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle from a 4 pack bought at my local Kroger for 9 bucks. 9 bucks!

Appearance: Completely black, nice tan head that lasts all the way down.

Smell: Roasty, espresso, bittersweet chocolate.

Taste: Delicious bitter chocolate and roasty malts. Hops presence is not absent, nor is the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Its pretty full with lots of tingly carbonation. I prefer an even fuller, syrupy mouthfeel, but its very good.

Drinkablilty: It gets a perfect mark from me because its an excellent RIS, but its value is incredible, and its available at my grocery store in Virginia.

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

12oz into tulips.

A- dark, maybe opaque. Head is creamy latte-colored, with decent staying power.

S- bitter, with sweet, roasty and smokey notes, which, together, remind me of jerky. Also a background alcohol aroma, but fairly faint.

T- dry roast flavors of malt and well-hidden alcohol, edged with caramel. After the swallow is a lingering aftertaste of dark chocolate and something that reminds me of spring water, which is perfect alongside the chocolate.

M- not heavy, not syrupy, but also not too light. smooth and silky and nice, though slightly 'warm' on the palate.

D- I don't think I could drink more than one of these, but I do think I may buy some more.

Photo of Patrick999
3.86/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I always see this on the supermarket shelves, a BA Top 100 beer, but never pick it up. This time, I picked it up. Here we go:

This one is going into the snifter. Pours a suitably opaque black/brown, with a very nice cap of espresso crema-like foam.

Aromatics are a bit muted, consisting mostly of caramel macchiato and light carob.

Taste is mostly roasted coffee with some earthy hop bitterness. Sweet, but dried out pretty well by the roastiness.

Feel is creamy, but not poetically so.

Solid imperial stout, but I'm going out on a limb to say it's a bit overrated, especially given this site's adoration for the RIS style.

Photo of donmonkey1
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours black with a really nice frothy brown head. The head isn't going anywhere soon either. Excellent lacing. I can tell immediately by looking at this beer that it's got to be great.

Smell: Chocolate, molasses, nutty.

Taste: Nutty, coffee, raisin, molasses. There's a sweetness with a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Thick and a bit stingy.

Drinkability: This is an outstanding beer but it's like rich chocolate, you can only handle so much at one time. I'm sure I could manage to hold quite a bit though if I put my mind to it.

Photo of Liverpool08
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is a beautiful midnight black with a nice mocha colored head. Sweet smells of coffee and a hint of the alchohol. Super taste. Has the elements of coffee, chocolate, and English toffee. Nice creamy malt flavors that coat the mouth. What a great beer to end the evening with.
Very very easy to drink. A top-notch RIS!!

Photo of spartan30
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first BA review!
I'm pleased to have the opportunity to review one of my favorite styles not to mention a beer I've been dying to try!

The appearance was exactly what you'd expect of the style dark and inviting with a half inch of rusty colored head with some lacing.

The smell was wonderful, a pleasant bouquet of chocolate,raisins and molasses with a pleasantly balanced roasted aroma bringing it all together.

The taste didn't disappoint either. This brew is a dessert all by itself. It has an alcoholic modesty and a rich complex flavor that could win over the most resistant to the style.

The mouth feel was a bit lighter than I expected not coating the mouth like others of the same style but again, the taste more than makes up for this.

Good drinkability a hardy beer but gentle and not overly boozy. Definitely a bargain for the quality. This is a beer that will remain a staple in my fridge.

Photo of Phylomatic
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First "Imperial" beer I've tried.

Appearance: Ahhh...lets just say I understand why its an Imperial beer. If Darth Vader was drinking its blackedy black goodness it would blend in with his outfit, unless it was in front of his blippidy blip lighty light thing. The froth at the top would stand out too...its not black, but pretty close. What you would videy the blackest a cloud in the sky could get.

Smell: eh..I couldn't smell anything...

Taste: As always with one of my reviews, I can't quite put to words what I taste so I'll just blurt out some words. Sweet..or bittersweet with 75 percent sweet, 25 percent bitter. Hazelnut? I know, weird, right? coffee, chocolate and more chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Smoooth. It's funny really the way it teases. It's just a hint of the taboo, not too much to turn you off.

Drinkability: Dangerous. I could drink it all night. I would not drink this on a farm.

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

A. Served at the pub in Fort Bragg, in a 10 oz glass, perfect 2 finger head, slight off white. Beer is flat black. Laces well.

S. Only area this beer lacks, is a bit flat, not to may notes other then vanilla.

T. Well balanced, just the right amounts of roasted malts and molasses to give it the perfect flavor profile.

M. Perfect, creamy buttery, feels like the entire glass of stout could slide down my throat in on gulp.

O. My go to Stout. The nitrification at the brewery enhances the amazingness of this beer.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 10,710 ratings.