Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop 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.

3,540 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,540
Hads: 11,427
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 18.5%
Wants: 514
Gots: 2,453 | FT: 55
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 (29) | 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: 3,540 | Hads: 11,427
Photo of FrankenBeerStein
4.82/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. 12 ounce bottle poured slowly into a pint glass, so no real head (I like it that way, hence the gentle pour). Lacing is pretty good despite the gentle pour. Breathing in the scent, one knows what imperial stouts should be. Strong malt and coffee/caramel aromas that the tastes match. A bit on the heavy side, but it IS an imperial stout and it should be. It lingers on the tongue and in the mouth with a hearty feel. Definitely a recommendable beer to anyone who likes stronger flavors and thoroughly solid beers.

 531 characters

Photo of baconbourbon
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pitch black, excellent lacing and head. It sticks to the glass like fly paper. This is one of the best looking stouts.

Smell - A wonderful aroma of coffee and chocolate. It smells great.

Taste - A mixture of coffee and chocolate up front with a slightly burnt finish. Fabulous.

Mouthfell - Smooth, full bodied, drinkable. All of the essentials are there.

Overall - This is an all around fantastic beer. I honestly cannot find much wrong with it.

 462 characters

Photo of Kevin73
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is one of my go-to stouts. I can usually find it in most supermarkets and bottle shops and it is consistently delicious! Pours deeply opaque with the slightest tinge of red. Pours with a thick sturdy head with tons of lacing. Looks absolutely gorgeous in the glass. Roasted malts, coffee, baker's chocolate, raisin. The alcohol is not so apparent in the smell but in taste you definitely get a nice shot of heat. Surprisingly on the sweeter side but exceptionally well balanced.

 483 characters

Photo of greenjeff4141
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the first time I've had Old Rasputin but not the first imperial stout. It pours dark dark black with a nice head and good lacing until the last sips. The smell is of the dark roasty flavors that hide within, and the taste follows suit, very rich and bitter with charcoal and dark choclate flavors. Almost like a cold espresso.

I liked the beer, not my favorite of the dark ones but a pleasure nonetheless.

 418 characters

Photo of jp62099
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Stone Russian IMP glass, black of course, brownish head, good retention. Smells wonderful, roasty malts, chocolate and hints of coffee. Tastes rich with a smooth fill, alcohol is not overly apparent. Lots going on here more for my novice palate. Good beer.

 270 characters

Photo of Squaretooth
3.64/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Wonderful Fruity smell with a nice coffee and chocolate nose. Poured into a Westmalle goblet this average looking RIS is thin and dark leaving a dark tan and thin head. The head, however light it is, remains throughout the drink and leaves very nice even lacing all the way down the glass. Strong coffee flavor with the slightest hint of chocolate it has a mouthfeel with a slightly bitter carbonated sting that coats your gullet like castor oil. Alcohol is a bit noticeable but not overpowering and perfectly acceptable at 9% ABV. This is more of a stout than imperial stout in my opinion. I don’t see myself getting this one again, but I’ll finish out the 4 pack and drink it under varying conditions before my final decision.

 730 characters

Photo of Ninjabrew
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured in to a DFH snifter produced 1/2" dark tan head on top of a dark chocolate brown beer.

Smell: Awesome! Smells of chocolate covered raisons with a hint of choclate covered cherries.

Taste: Very Good, starts malty with super-sweet choclate finish.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth! With the perfect amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: While I really love this beer, I'am not likely to drink more than one of these. This is like dessert not only because of the sweet taste but because you are so full by time you finish the first one. A very filling beer!

 569 characters

Photo of dfolmste
4.84/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looking forward to try out my new Sam Adams snifter.

Appearance: Pours a jet black with creamy coffee head. The head looks like it is going to rise up, but instead disappears instantly. For a beer with 9% ABV this is to be expected.

Smell: Alcohol mixed with dark fruit. Smells like a liquor. Chocolate, ice cream, raisin and cherry. Smells like liquid dessert. Extremely complex and delicious.

Taste: Amazing! The delicious smell cannot even compete with the taste. Everything I named in the smell plus a cast of others. Impossible to put in words. Get this and try it if available.

Mouthfeel: Remarkably smooth with the taste covering all parts of the tongue. First hits sweet, then bitter roasted coffee and chocolate. Not a bit of astringency or off flavors. Probably over 7 different flavors in one sip. I want to try and describe all the flavors, but I want to drink more.

Drinkability: A beer to be savored and analyzed. Would be the perfect dessert after a fancy meal or a warming beverage after long day of skiing. The winter would be the ideal time to consume. Due to the alcohol and body of this beer, it is best enjoyed in moderation.

I loved this beer. Plus the glass looks great.

 1,200 characters

Photo of DeeMented
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a glass beer mug.

The beer poured a dark, rich black that refused to let any light through. The head was thick and tan. It looked like it was going to pour with a thin head, but it kept growing after the pour, until it peaked all thick and frothy. All manner of lacing followed it down.

It's going to sound strange, but this beer smelled as dark as it looked. Strong toasted, (almost burned), malts dominated, but there was a hint of licorice, a bit of coffee, and a bit of chocolate that all merged together, so the nose was different for each sniff.

The mouthfeel wasn't as heavy as it looked. It was carbonated well enough to lighten it up. Kind of a medium feel.

The taste followed the complexity of the nose. It began with the sweet, toasted malts, and finished with more of a hops/coffee bitterness than I expected. Don't read that as a bad thing. The finish left me feeling warm and flushed. There was a lingering scorched chocolate flavor that lingered after the bitterness faded.

As it warmed, the flavors harmonized a bit more, but the hops bite always dominated the finish.

A good, big beer, this is made for sipping slowly. I've found it pairs quite nicely with warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies.

 1,253 characters

Photo of mckeowbc
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A good Russian Imperial Stout, but not my favorite beer ever. Perhaps Russian Imperials just aren't my style. It's a good beer, but too maybe too rich for my blood, both in alcohol content and cost.

A - Pours a very dark brown that ends up black in the glass, topped by ample amounts of chunky caramel colored head.
S - Smell is complex, sweet with hints of burnt coffee, chocolate and a noticeable amount of alcohol in the nose.
T - The alcohol comes through in the taste but the chocolate, coffee and malt come along for the ride. In a way I felt like I was drinking a scotch or a bourbon. Nice, but if I want a glass of scotch I'll have a glass of scotch.
M - Mouthfeel is just about right for a big Imperial Stout. Heavy and full but not syrupy.
D - Too big to be really drinkable. A good imperial stout, but the taste wasn't my favorite and the amount of alcohol made this a special occasion beer.

 903 characters

Photo of jj311
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the pleasure of tasting this beer for my first time.
I will say that this brew is not for the faint of heart or for 'amateur' beer drinkers. If you are a big fan of mainstream beers, lagers, pale ales, and so on, then I'd suggest finding some way to sample it before purchasing if at all possible. If you appreciate a nice thick stout, this one should definitely be on your list.

Pouring it from bottle to glass, the first thing I noticed was the brilliant jet-black color topped with a thick, tan, and frothy foam head not unlike that of a cappuccino. Holding it up to the light, very little light managed to penetrate through this darkness.

The Aroma is something i can only describe as sweet and roasty. It seems to have subtle but distinctive essences of dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, and alcohol.

The taste was pleasantly enjoyable with a variety of flavors.
A rich balance of roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, and a bitter hoppy taste that surprisingly compliments the other flavors.

A nice thick mouthfeel and a warm finish.

I wasn't disappointed at all in my decision to b uy this.

 1,122 characters

Photo of WalterHeisenberg
4.98/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle aggressive pour into pint glass
A: dark black oil like with coffe colored head good lacing/ retention looks fantastic!
S: coffe dark chocolate slight alcohol burnt caramel vanilla smells great
T: roasty toasty malty up front chocolate coffe cream then finishes hoppy bitter.Wow !
M: creamy yet not quite as thick as I expected silky smooth
O: yeah wow. I'm converted. this is no doubt the best beer I've ever had. And the reviews say this is above average. What's top shelf taste like?? I'm in for life with the RIS.

 523 characters

Photo of 50wolves
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a dimpled beer mug, pours very dark with small head that is brown. I find this a more astringent beer than most stouts, flavour is stronger than more recently tasted stouts as well. Would recommend for a drink however if have had better stouts, namely stone imperial.

 279 characters

Photo of grdahl
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very alcoholic...I know thats what an imperial stout is all about , but for me it ruined the taste a bit...reminded me a lot of guinness with a kick...I'll stick with Mackeson

 175 characters

Photo of Bang34
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, I tried this brew after seeing it on the "Top Brews" list on this site. I have always been a fan of Stouts and being from Mendocino County, CA just one hour's drive from the birthplace of this beer, it seemed like a match made in heaven. If I could find it. A while back I remembered seeing this brew on the rack at my local Safeway. But when I finally decided to try it, guess what, it was nowhere to be found. After about a month of absence from the shelf, it was finally there. I bought 2 four-packs, just in case it disappeared again.

Now, the rating. Appearance, black, dark, stout-like, with a tanish brown head that sticks around and gives a nice creamyness and lace. The aroma, malty coffeeness comes to mind with a hint of Chocolate. Taste, creamy, chocolaty , coffee like with an after warmth of the alcohol. Even so, this is so smooth, you woul not believe that it is 8.9%.

Brewed in the historic logging and fishing town of Fort Bragg Califonia. Part of the Karate Kid III was filmed there as was the Kurt and Goldie Flick "Overboard" but it is probably most famous for being the final stop of the Skunk Train. I only whis I had found this beer sooner. Along with Anderson Valley's Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, it is one of my favorites. Available in four packs, and with the alcohol content and thickness, believe me, that is all you will need.

I moved to Missouri about 2 1/2 years ago and really miss this beer. It is availsble in my hometown, the small Hamlet of Gualala at the local Supers and I buy it whenever I get back there. On one of my last trips home I was able to get my Mom and Step Dad to take me to lunch at the brewery and they were impressed with this brew as well.

Missouri Import laws don't let any craft Cali brews in, save Pyramid and Sierra Nevada thanks to St. Louis based AB. Man, I miss this beer.

 1,855 characters

Photo of Doppel07
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Translucent deep dark burgundy with a foamy tan head. I've never seen a prettier beer. Aroma is of chocolate, hazelnuts, raisins, and alcohol. My wife said it smells like a Swiss candy bar. Bold and aggressive flavors of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate and aged port. Nice finish with a strong mochaccino aftertaste. Thick and rich palate. This beer becomes increasingly bitter as the flavors build and is a long, slow, and pleasing sipper. Strongest elements are of espresso and port.

 489 characters

Photo of iron78
3.67/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 555 characters

Photo of tfp4268
1.62/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I know this beer gets rave reviews, however...

I have enjoyed other RIS's but this one is just plain ugh.

It looks good enough, very dark brown, almost black, ruby around the edge against a light. Nice brown two finger head, goes down to a pretty lace after a while.

Smell is a little strange, very fruity, but not much else.

Taste...ARRRGH! Fruit and alcohol, kinda like Boone's Farm or something. Yuck!

Mouthfeel is as it should be, kinda thick, but not really thick.

Drinkability Well...I bought four of these, and have managed to choke down two, but the other two are probobly destined for the trash hopper.

Like I said, I have enjoyed other RIS's before, Sam Smith's is my fave, but I think Old Rasp is a little high on the ABV at 9%. It makes it too heavy more my taste buds to handle.

 812 characters

Photo of AmorousAngel
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured opaque black with a small brownish head. Small brownish ring remained around the glass for most of the life of the drink.

Predominantly coffee and alcohol aroma with hints of chocolate.

Lovely roasted malt flavor and coffee followed by stong hops. The flavor really lingers for a while after each sip.

Very smooth feel, with just a bit of a burn from the alcohol.

Not as heavy as some imperial stouts I've tried. Very good for sipping. I would probably rate this higher if the hops were a little less apparent.

 529 characters

Photo of baxterbrew
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So, I'm about to brew a RIS so I thought I'd stop at the local beer store. Picked up this crazy looking bottle with the cursing Rasputin on the label.

Poured it out into a pint glass and it is darker than dark...blacker than black. A hint of red when brought to a bright light. The head is voluptuous but fades quickly with minimal lacing.

The smell is pure, unadulterated malt with a hint of come hither alcohol. I was a little intimidated but it drew me in. It said, 'come closer, I won't hurt you."

The taste is very complex. There is a strong coffee/espresso taste upfront and you can definitely get the hops - they are kickin' maybe a little too much (dry hopped maybe?). Very astringent, almost made me want to pucker. The thing that really surprised me was the overwhelming sweetness of the aftertaste. Sugary almost overpowers the hops. You're left with a mix of the sweet and the bitter. Nice warmness in the belly when the alcohol rams its way home. One of those beers that makes you sit and think on what made this happen.

Mouthfeel is there and very heavy but not as heavy as one would think in a beer this heavy. There is an oily component but the astringency drives it away.

Drinkability- wouldn't want to drink more than a couple. Might be scary!

A very good beer especially given the style. This one is a good one to show new BAs. So much going on.

 1,385 characters

Photo of roscoehnj
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Georgous, black, nice big head.

However you smell it before you see it. Really big nose with coffee, choclate and the usual suspects.

Nice roasted coffee and dark alcohol (scotch or bourbon) taste with a long finish. Big hop bite on the finish too. I love hops but they may be a bit overdone here (don't think I've ever said that before).

Mouthfeel is big and rich.

An excellent RIS. I like this a lot but it as not as complex as the very best.

 449 characters

Photo of parkeak0
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Most certainly one of the best known and most loved RIS, as evidenced by the 2000+ reviews before this one. One of the beers that got me into the craft scene. Dark as night, rich, immensely complex, it doesn't get much better than this for the style. Chances are, you've had it before, but if you haven't, I highly recommend it.

 328 characters

Photo of myost88
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first ever Review and also my first ever RIS!

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a British Imperial Pint.

Appearance- completely black with no hints of anything else even when held to light. Head poured just over two inches and is dark brown, very chunky. Leaves lace all down the glass as you drink

Smell- Coffee, Dark roasty malts. Two big surprises for me. Considering everything I've read or heard about the style, I didn't expect the hops in the nose (though it is certainly welcome). Also, not as much chocolate as I expected.

Taste- Ah there's the chocolate I missed in the smell! Very malty with a nice little hop bitterness coming through on the back of the tongue. Extremely balanced and very tasty!

Mouthfeel- Rich, thick, and creamy just like a stout should be. This however takes it to that next level of creaminess. It reminded me of drinking egg nog if that makes sense.

Drinkability- You wouldnt know it was 9% unless you read the label. Alcohol is hidden very well. This is very rich and definately a slow sipping beer. Left me wanting another!

 1,068 characters

Photo of Rchap1
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle to a straight-sided pint glass.

A: Black, black black. Almost oily. Not too thick of a head (think the color of those brown Carhartt pants), but it laced wonderfully and stuck around to the last sip.

S: You can definitely smell the alcohol in this one. I'd say that's the dominant smell, but there's coffee and malt there too. Maybe a tiny hint of orange too.

T: This is pretty much what I rate the flavor of other RIS's from. My standard, if you will. Pretty boozy, and the kind of flavor that makes you shudder a little bit. I love it! The finish is full of coffee and bitter chocolate.

M: Very, very full mouthfeel. Pretty light on the carbonation, but it's very full.

D: Be careful with this one, 'cause it'll knock you on your ass. I can handle maybe two of these in a sitting, but it's almost a challenge. It's such a powerful beer that it can be tough to hve more than one sometimes.

 911 characters

Photo of BigBigPickle
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a beer!!!

Sitting at the bar in Yia Yia's - Lincoln, Nebraska. A dark night wet with rain and melting snow. And this place, a holy beacon for a traveler stranded in Lincoln ...

But I digress. The first beer I ordered was Old Rasputin. Not sure why I haven't picked this up yet. I truthfully was unaware it was so easy to find in my hometown, Chicago.

A beautiful pour - dark chocolate with a toasty tan topper. A gorgeous beer, smelling strongly of chocolate with a hints of coffee and fruit esters.

The first sip is eye-opening as this is a big beer wit great coffee and enormous chocolate notes right up front. It also possesses an amazing hoppy front and a velvety smooth finish. I kid you not, this is so thick and full it tastes like dirt would taste if dirt tasted good.

Drink up my friends, this is a beer to fill your fridge, share with friends, and cherish until it is no longer with us.

 908 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 3,540 ratings.