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 Bammo22
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is officially my first attempt at reviewing, so bear with me! I'd also like to state, this tasting was my first real foray into this style. (Not an easy beer to review being such an amateur.) I've had a few of your standard American & English Stouts, and of course, plenty of Guinness & Murphy's. Actually I have had the pleasure of tasting a RIS before, FFF's Dark Lord on Memorial Day this year. However this was after I had PLENTY of my friend's homebrewed Saison & Belgium Pale. To say the least, it was like I was hit with a ton of bricks when I had Dark Lord. I figured if I'd just sit down and give this style a real try, it knew it might be something I'd like. So with all that in mind, on to my review...

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

It poured a thick black, motor oil-ish body, with a little less than a one finger, dark tan head. The head dissipated fairly quick into a thin film, not much lacing. Little carbonation.

Still training my nose to pick up on various notes. Bittersweet chocolate is evident, coffee, roasted malts, and dark fruits.

The taste is very similar to the smell and the alcohol is well hidden, considering it's strength.

Feels a bit oily, but still smooth and creamy. A nice finish on the tongue to last, but also leaves you wanting more!

Very drinkable for a beer this complex. I would even recommend it to my Mom, who I just turned on to easy-going Belgium Wit's and the like, and who's once idea of a great beer was Corona.

I look forward to exploring other RIS's and Double Stouts. Till we meet again, Ol' Rasputin...

 1,579 characters

Photo of MeMyselfNAles7
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first RIS and I still love it like the first time. North Coast took it out of the park with this great RIS.

Pours a dark amber brew with a full rich and creamy brown crown. Roasted malts, coffe and dark/sweet cocoa beans with a well hidden alchol scent. Strong overpowering roated malts taste, with some hints of coffe, cocoa beans and alchol towards the end. Very pronounced malts and alchol. Strong tasting brew, kicking you off with coffe, roasted malts, the cocoa beans finishing off with a dry and bitter aftertaste. Good drinkability but due to the abv% it should't be taken lightly. Heavy rich beer that becomes heavier as it warms up. A heavy hitter which is beer haven for the strong brews lovers.

 719 characters

Photo of soco7tyx7
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with 1 finger tan head. leaves some nice lacing throughout
S - Espresso, raisin and other dark fruits, sweet alcohol
T - Espresso, raisin, bitter chocolate finish, very mild alcohol
M - Medium body, creamy feeling with a smooth finish
D - A great RIS. good to sip on, but wouldn't want to drink more than one or two in a session

 338 characters

Photo of nasty31
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

120zer poured into snifter.

A- Black in color with a nice 3 finger creamy tan head. Leaves nice lacing in a perfect ring around the glass. This looks tasty

S- I get a strong chocolate roasted malt and alcohol smell on this one. Smells the way a good stout should.

T- Very bitter at first on the tongue then finishes with a nice subtle sweetness. Chocolate and malty flavor are prominent. The alcohol is not noticeable at all and the flavors blend very well together.

M-Thick and creamy mouth feel just the right amount of carb.

This is an awesome stout that is perfectly put together. Nothing about this stout is over the edge in flavor. Drinking a few bottles of this in one sitting is not a problem at all. Goes down smooth and tastes even smoother.

 756 characters

Photo of farlieonfootie
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin pours a pitch dark black, with a two fingered, milk chocolate head that looks as if it's gonna stay awhile, and leaves behind epic lacing. I get malt, licorice and other dark stuff on the nose; Old Rasputin smells kinda boozy.

And the taste? Wow! Liquid heaven. Very complex, and oh, so smooth, like a velvet hammer. This stuff could kill you. I taste hops, roasted malts, and then rich, dark chocolate before the long, sweet finish. This beer is not for everyone: Big Boys only need apply. It's one of my absolute favorites; it just doesn't get any better than this.

 582 characters

Photo of anth0ny
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a light brown head, skimpy lacing. Smell is lots and lots of sweet roasted malt. More roasty flavor with an equal amount of bittering hops. The finish is all lingering hops. Very simple taste, 50/50 balance. No trace of heat in this 9% abv.
Solid mouthfeel. A 'hoppier' stout, definitely a solid brew.

 325 characters

Photo of Marc280
3.61/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Has a rich full flavour but in my opinion is overly bitter without being balanced...Did get slightly better as it warmed but i think there are better beers out there in this style.

 180 characters

Photo of VT9091
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands-down THE BEST Russian Imperial Stout in existence. Black. Thick. Rich. Boozey. Oily. Not much of a head. Would love to drink two but can't do it.

 151 characters

Photo of Erlkoenig
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a very dark brown, opaque, with a huge foamy khaki head. Head dissipates slowly. Lacing not so sticky. It certainly looks like it tastes.

S: There's quite a bit of toasty espresso in the nose, very much the kind of sharp alcoholic smell I expect from a RIS.

T: Wonderfully bitter espresso and chocolate hit you up front. Hints of caramel and earthy hops linger in the back. Roasted malts permeate the palate. Alcohol is quite present. Hop bitterness in the finish lingers a while.

M: Full-bodied, not too creamy. Alcohol is assertive and warming. Appropriate, I think, for the style.

O: Definitely a great RIS. Deliciously toasty, warming for the coming winter. A fine example of the style.

 703 characters

Photo of ellman
4.73/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz squaty bottle

Appearance: Black, little to no head.

Smell: Chocolate coffee malt and alcohol.

Taste: Coffee, roasted malt but light on the alcohol taste i was expecting. Full body almost thick. but overall great beer.
not sure about quanity but sure has the quality. a last beer of the nigh sit and watch tv listen to music beer. mmm mmm good.

 358 characters

Photo of tozerm
4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! I sampled this from a jockey box on nitro at a beer festival. Talk about a glass of pure love! The head was thick, dense, and creamy. I loved the floor show of bubbles cascading down the glass. Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, this tasted absolutely wonderful. Rich mouthfeel that hit every single taste bud in my mouth. It's good in the bottle, but if you get a chance get it on tap!

 389 characters

Photo of redwolf1
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured four 12-ounce bottles of Old Rasputin over the course of a week to give me some time to properly judge the contents. Dark black charcoal in color with a rich frothy light mocha head, which was thicker than I had anticipated. Moderate lacing around the glass. There was a subtle smokiness in the aroma after pouring; however, the smell of dark roasted malts and coffee abound afterwards. As for taste, a little bitter at first, which mellowed with time. A very good beer to sink your teeth into, real chewy. Didn't get that warm alcohol feeling while drinking this one like you do with some others, so I would say that the alcohol is pretty well hidden until you finish the bottle. For overall drinkability though, I would think some people would stop with one or two. At 9%ABV, it will hit you. Good thing, it comes only in 4-packs in my area.

 850 characters

Photo of jobyone
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted with 5 other imperial stouts. Pours black with large frothy brown head. The aroma has nice chocolate and coffee with a hint of caramel. The flavor is sweet to start with a bit of bitterness coming after. Nice creamy texture. The finish is a bit short. Easy to drink but not as complex as the best.

 304 characters

Photo of TequilaSauer
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The mere definition of a bargain RIS, Old Rasputin has been satisfying my dark beer cravings for years. I figured I might as well go ahead and review it.

It's a beautiful looking stout, about as perfect as it gets. Light head retention sitting atop an abyss of black nothing.

Smell is nice, milk chocolate and toffee dominate with little else to report. Good, not great.

Attacks with a creamy chocolate pudding that lingers pleasantly on the palette for quite some time. There's a slight alcohol tinge but it only adds to the deliciousness. Eventually, the chocolate fades into a smooth hoppiness with a slightly smokey finish. It's not the most complex stout in the world, but it's intense, yet pleasant and elegant. It is the perfect late night, after-dinner stout, in my opinion.

It's a silky, magnificent brew that always delights the senses and never offends. It's not a beer you could drink one after the other, but it's one that is always worth having in the fridge. Old Rasputin is in a word, essential.

 1,015 characters

Photo of MartyMaltose
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fabulous product. If you're up for analogy...Old Rasputin : Guinness :: Vietnamese iced coffee : chocolate milk. It's like a gift from heaven. The description "jet-black" is apt both in its positive full-bodied/rich aspects and the mild negative of being a tad oily/boozy. You can buy this at World Market for a very reasonable price considering the premium quality.

 366 characters

Photo of BillHaverchuck
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep dark brown, almost pitch black
nice big tan wooden colored head
smells of chocolate and coffee, the slightest hint of earthy hops, mostly roasty scents
surprising smooth and drinkable for such a rich scent
again, roasty espresso flavors paired with dark rich cocoa
this is a deliciously rich, drinkable beer

 320 characters

Photo of H1N1
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a little forcefully into a pint glass.

A- It poured black with 3 fingers of chocolate milk coloured head. Its really dark. Light doesn't get through.

S- Really malty. Coffee is most apparent. Chocolate is there too. A little fruity undertone. Kind of like black cherry. Smells dark and sweet.

T- The first thing that hits my taste buds is coffee. Very malty and full tasting. The coffee taste subsides, leaving the chocolate and some vanilla. Then comes a little hop back, which is the only trace of hops I get while drinking this. Very faint, but it balances the taste very well.

M- Thick and full. A little carbonation, but not much. I could stand to have it a bit thicker, but I still love the mouth feel.

D- very drinkable. Currently my favourite russian imperial stout. Very solid drink. Big fan.

 818 characters

Photo of jc85
3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz into a Pint glass

Appearance- Poured a nice dark black, with a great 1 finger of light brown head that left nice lacing on the glass.

Smell- Some coffee smell but alot of alcohol is coming through in the nose.

Taste- Tastes like nice creamy coffee, but the sting of the alcohol is alot in this one.

Mouthfeel- Love the mouthfeel on this one, nice and creamy. Covers alot of the alcohol just with the mouthfeel.

Drinkability- This is a solid brew, but its definitly a sipper. Hopefully the alcohol bit will go away with some time in the cellar.

 567 characters

Photo of Brewmeist
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old rasputin...a legendary beer, and not without good cause. Beer poured to one of the most wonderfully plump heads i've seen in a good while. A staple RIS, with history to boot. Hints of cocoa, smooth, with a somewhat bitter afterbite. Strongly recommend this strong stout to anyone that is lucky enough to find it!

 316 characters

Photo of kcinlober
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

color is dark chocolate brown. the head pours about a thumbs-width high and leaves a standard residue on the sides. head is brownish-caramel, but not a very strong aroma.

the way this beer sits on your palate is phenomenal. Roasted malts and some bitterness from the hops comes first followed by a chocolate/coffee aftertaste and the real weight of the hops. Very well balanced and a challenging mouthfeel for those who aren't used to imperial stouts. heavy but well balanced; like a good broadsword

 500 characters

Photo of Lucidious
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a "tall-tulip" glass from Enegren Brewing Co.

A | BLACK. Looks thick, fat, mocha head spilled over even with a gentle pour.

S | Roasted malts, grains, alcohol. Sweet, almost chocolate, espresso.

T | Crisp start to a dark roasted/burnt espresso & malt. Bitter hop finish to balance the sweet espresso. Little of the alcohol is sensed until after taste. This is a heavy beer.

M | Medium-full bodied, not syrupy, leaves sticky saliva. Bitterness builds on the back of the tongue.

O | A great, strong stout for a cold winter day. I served straight from the fridge, I'd let it warm up just a little before starting. Very strong, very bold, well balanced and not short on flavor.

 695 characters

Photo of kissmybunniebutt
4.49/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looked almost like squid ink in the bottle - very impressive indeed. It had a nice bitter coffee, burnt sugary quality in it's aroma. And the smell was very indicative of the taste. Nice, bitter, deep, and full. The mouthfeel was surprisingly bright, considering it's richness. Very well done.

 293 characters

Photo of Sudmissle
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great stout that probably is the flagship brew of North Coast Brewery. Pours a black/brown color with a dense foamy head reminding me of real whipped cream stirred in. Very thick mouthfeel that lingers on the palate. This beer has 8.9% alcohol, but it is not apparent in the taste because it is so smooth. The alcohol is only slightly noticeable in the aftertaste. A quality blend of toasted wheat bread and coffee notes with a lace that clings to the glass as well as the tongue. This is a very competitive stout overall.

 524 characters

Photo of bobquick
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One is great, two and the world is happy, three...that's what my friend calls "a fist in the eye". Full flavored, dark and pure. Tasty alone or with a meal. Hamburgers are especially good with this beer. Truly a great beer, even if you only want one.

 250 characters

Photo of hops1337
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm reviewing the nitro version although i have had way more of it bottles and regular draft. Had this at the green frog in the 'ham. First thing i noticed was how smooth it was. Damn i could drink a lot of this stuff! Way smoother than the bottles. Still had all the taste and complexity of the bottle version, just way easier to drink. I just love the tobacco flavor of old ras, i don't know why. One of my favorites of all time, hands down...

 445 characters

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