Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,701 Reviews
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
northcoastbrewing.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,701
Ratings:
12,126
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.28%
 
 
Wants:
587
Gots:
2,976
For Trade:
53
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,701 | Ratings: 12,126
Photo of vitrael
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into conical pint glass.

A: Midnight black, opaque, thick-looking, with a big attractive tan head which never left. Almost certainly the thickest and most tenacious lacing I have ever seen, like the folds of a silk curtain.

S: Cocoa, coffee, and slightly boozy. Very mild-smelling.

T: Coffee and bitter chocolate, bittersweet roasted barley finish with a very mild boozy character again. Very clean finish, perfectly balanced.

M: Just the minimal carbonated smoothness I expect in a stout. This aspect mixed with the clean finish makes it D dangerous.

D: It's -9F outside and... I think I will pour another.

This is really a gem of a beer, perfect for wintertime sipping. Frighteningly I can and will session this beer. Now all I need is a fireplace.

 775 characters

Photo of hitter114
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into Tulip
A: Very dark, not quite black but 95% of the way there
S: Smells amazing of simple roasted malts and great hop profile for the nose. Got a chocolate smoke smell going
T: Just as good as it smells. Burns just a little, but the perfect amount. Hops and malts balance it out brilliantly
M: Sharp and bitty as expected. Could be slightly smoother but for 9%, what do you expect?

Overall: One of my favorite Russian Imperial I have had. Great mix of hops, malt, roasty, chocolate/barbecue smoke taste. Buy this beer if you like beer.

 561 characters

Photo of beerbellydaddy
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

First of all the name - Old Rasputin - is absolutely perfect for an Imperial Stout. This offers a full creamy head when initially poured and abundant lacing traces the glass above the beer. It does not linger too long. The smell is mild but classic stout - earthy, chocolate, and maybe fig. The taste is what counts and it is nearly perfect with hints of rich dark chocolate, dry fruit, and malt, balanced with an initial mildly acidic bitterness that dissolves into the dark chocolate finish. Old Rasputin is bold, balanced, full, and creamy with minimal effervescence. This is one of the best stouts I've tasted.

 621 characters

Photo of RobertTheRogue
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pitch black with a very fluffy tan head that sticks around and leaves a good amount of lacing

S: malts, coffee, dark fruits, chocolate

T: dark chocolate and bitter espresso followed by sweet fruit like dates or raisins, gives way to a dry and slightly bitter finish

M: medium bodied, slightly carbonated, warming alcohol sensation

O: Being that the imperial stout is my new favorite style of beer, I have to say this is one the best I've tried so far. It is more mellow than some of the others I tried, and is a bit more heavy on the coffee flavors. I will definitely be coming back for more. In fact, I think I'll have another right now.

 645 characters

Photo of goodbeer4cheap
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed from draft most recently in early April. A very consistent time to time beer could be described as a dessert beer. Look- thick, dark, decent carbonation and head. Smell - chocolate, malt, sweetness, reassuring. Taste- I get chocolate and a slight coffee, a large sweet malty is also there which is lovely. Feel-pure heavy dessert beer. Fantastic beer I enjoy time to time in special moments in life. April was both it's on tap status and the birth of my first niece.

 480 characters

Photo of MHurley
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Pours black in color with great size tan head. Smell of toffee and raisins with hints of alcohol and chocolate with a very high and thin lacing. Very bold on taste but yet smooth with complex flavors. Great imperial stout

 221 characters

Photo of Ahypercube
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Old Rasputin is an old favorite. Time for a review! Into a goblet...

L: Looks like expresso; super dark, but not too thick or syrupy. Tons of very fine, frothy head that acquires multiple colors, ranging from khaki to cappuccino. Great retention: the lacing formed a nice flat ring around the top of the glass with dripping tendrils.

S: Smoke is immediately apparent, quickly turning into dark roast coffee and gaining sweeter notes of raisin, plumb, and molasses, finishing in a tart blackberry. Favorite scent profile I've found in a stout. Love that dark fruit. Could do with even more.

T: Upon first sip, again smoke is immediately apparent, but the fruit takes over from there with definite plum and blackberry (molasses and vanilla also make a short cameo). Unfortunately, the fruit is quickly demolished by strong expresso notes, which become increasingly dry and salty, until ending in a salty, bitter dark chocolate. Definitely a tasty finish, I just wish the middle of the palate were slightly longer.

F: Not as thick or creamy as a typical stout, but this beer is not very sweet, which is preferable to me. Perhaps this is a necessary trade-off?

O: A fantastic stout. And the only good and affordable one that's widely available (at least in California).

 1,270 characters

Photo of Big_Neezy
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A great overall RIS. Quite possibly the benchmark for American brewed Russian Imperial Stout.

It pours as black as a Siberian moonless night. Excellent balance of chocolate, coffee, raisin and cocoa. Comes on bitter but finishes smooth, creamy and malty. Excellent full flavored Stout.

Had from a bottle.

 310 characters

Photo of Oopssorryy
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark brown, and settles to a pitch black hue, with a large, thick light tan head resting on top. The head has impressive body, and real staying power, lingering long after most Stouts would have given up. Lacing is prevalent and sticky, leaving rings in the glass as I down the brew. No light passes through even when held up to direct light. The nose is much sweeter than I expected. Very fruity, up front with a softly bitter roast note hiding in the background.

The flavor is full of subtleties, with no one flavor really standing out to me. First sip, and I got a sweet malt that reminded me of bakers chocolate in a way. Next sip was full of bitter roast and hints of licorice. Each mouth full went back and forth between these two flavors, and upon swallowing I got a swell of dark fruit, presently sweet, with a warming alcohol note right at the end. The finish, in contrast to the swallow, is bitter malt that sticks to your tongue flavoring subsequent sips, altering the initial flavors. I feel as if I get hints of coffee here, but that may well be in my head as I know there is none in this fantastic beer.

The beer is a bit thinner than I expected, but still what I'd call a thick beer. There is mild carbonation that you can detect, but it in no way takes anything away from the ultra smooth feel of this beer. Overall this has to be one of the top beers I've had, Stout or not.

 1,403 characters

Photo of custardcb
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich black body with mahogany head. Nice foamy head rest on top of the brew as it slowly deconstructs itself. It leaves a thin film on top and around the edges of my pint glass.

The aroma is rich with coffee, vanilla, espresso and chocolate malts. No hop presence is evident, this is nothing but a rich flavorful malt The moutful is smoothe and slightly creamy. A small bitter tinge is evident but this is true imperial stout. All the flavors from the nose ar ethere and mesh together in such a mellow nice way. A couple of these is a meal in itself. A treat that should never been had in abundance so that you may really savor the souts very nature.

 662 characters

Photo of beerogre
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

 632 characters

Photo of memory
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap that laid a nice half inch head. Appeared dark coffee with a bitter chocolate note to it's nose. Taste typical of an Imperial stout sweetness but this to me was a real dessert ale because I could only drink one or two at the most.
Had a full bittersweet taste that left a long pleasant taste on the tongue.
A nice stout for desert after a meal.

 359 characters

Photo of drewmprs
3.39/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First whiff was of chocolate coffee and alcohol. This was definitely a thinking man's beer, not one meant for chugging. I had it after a few erdinger's and it brought a welcome change to my palate. This beer is a bit too strong for me, I like my stouts a little smoother like rogue's shakespeare. Rasputin had a bit of a gamey taste to it, like uncooked rabbit and veal. It was a pleasure to drink this beer on tap, i like watching the bartender do the double pour. Bartender also told me this beer goes well as a half and half or black and tan mixer. I don't know about that, the complexity of this beer is unmatched, and i wouldn't want to sully it with Harp's or Bass.

 671 characters

Photo of kevd193213
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours black with a chocolate head. Decent carbonation. Aroma is of roasted malt, chocolate, syrup, and hops. Taste of hops, with a heavy roasted malt backbone. Notes of chocolate, dark fruits, syrup, and alcohol. Very dry finish, with a nice hop bitterness. Surprisingly medium mouthfeel, I was expecting something to chew on but exceptionally drinkable.

 367 characters

Photo of Sconnie
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite simply a fantastic beer. Looked great; black with a nice creamy head, just like a stout should. Smelled of strong hops with a background of roasty maltyness. The taste kicks you right in the mouth; tons of flavor in all departments. Hoppy, roasty, with some chocolate malt sweetness. It's very filling and would be hard to drink more then one, but the 9% abv is covered up very well. Probably the best stout i've ever had.

 428 characters

Photo of dnolan36
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well tonight I decided to try my first Old Rasputin. I just started getting back into stouts and I am almost sad I have started with this one since it was so good. Well, anyways, here it goes.

When I opened the bottle, it poured black into my glass with about a finger of dark, rich brown head. The sight was quite lovely.

When I first brought the glass to my nose there was a nice chocolatety, nutty aroma. I sat the glass back down for about 20 minutes for it to warm up some and then smelled it again. The second time there was a faint vanilla/mocha smell, with a hint of malts and coffee.

The taste matched the smell almost. It had a dark chocolate, mocha, malty feel to it.

This was overall an excellent beer from opening it to drinking it. I could definitely enjoy several of these. However, I am still sipping on the one that I am using to write this review.

 870 characters

Photo of JAStheAce
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark tan 2 inches of head that border on brown. This may be the darkest head on any beer I have ever seen and some reddish streaks as well . Black colored beer very opaque no light can shine through this sexy darkness.

S - mocha, coffee, chocolate

T - Espresso coffee with some milk and dark chocolate undertones. Toasty and a little creamy

M - medium to heavy mouthfeel

D - at first i thought it was rather light for a stout but it gets heavier and more complex as itwarms and the flavors become even more pronounced

Overall, one of the best stouts I have ever had. Rasputin knows how t do it because the alcohol is very well disguised but tis is some great beer to sip on at night and put you to a peaceful slumber

 731 characters

Photo of smallbatchbrewer
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark caramel/coffee color with .5 inch head that settled fast into a short layer of bubbly head

S- Malty, sweet bread, some oak as well

T- Dark roasted flavors, some yeast and coffee as well

M- Rich, with a slight presence of tannin just enough to pull a little moisture out of the pallet. This one is creamy and finishes a bit dry

D- For a darker beer it has a lot going on, could very well be sessionable but at 9%abv, watch out

 437 characters

Photo of joeworrall
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This "Russian Imperial Stout" is a classic. Incredible body, aroma and flavor make it one of the best, if not the best, stouts I have ever had.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a large tulip glass, the thick foamy head almost overflows the top of the 20 oz glass! it settled down to about a finger thick, but maintained the tiny bubbles and lacing on the side of the glass.

The aroma is toasted malt with strong coffee and some chocolate hints. The flavor is mostly toasty and coffee, but just slightly bitter. Aftertaste is also slightly bitter, but in a good way.

Soon, I am going to start a quest for the perfect stout, and am sure that this one will be in the top 10 if not higher!

 687 characters

Photo of GrinkoN
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

L: Very dark black, brownish head,

S: Roasted Malt and chocolate, some fruityness

T/F: Chocolate, sweet and bitter together, roasted malt, coffee. Feels heavy, dense, and rich

O: I loved it, very good beer, love it

 217 characters

Photo of Stoutmaster9
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A steady go to brew for me. Had a pint or three back in the 90s, strayed until several months ago.
Goes especially well with the rain, but I plan on savoring Old Rasputin year round, until the end of Time ...
Poured into a big mouth wine glass, enjoyed with a chocolate muffin.

Black with a few nice bubble streams, bubbly tan head, nice lacing too.

Smells slightly malty, with a bit of toasty bread, chocolate and coffee.

A complex taste, roasty-refined. Similar to the smell, subtle and delicious.

Truly Imperial: high quality, easily available and low cost, with a well deserved majestic reputation!

 611 characters

Photo of TroyS
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was a bit shocked to find this Old Rasp Shout in the new beer and wine store locally; the new shop here in good ol' Blackfoot, Idaho mostly carries America's favorite lawn-mower brews and "fine wines, " but only carries a small percentage of truly envious brews to date. One benefit of this particular store is that it's in Blackfoot, Idaho, which is where I live now...Just kidding....kinda;) The benefit is that they charge a very fair price for the few great beers that they keep in stock. What more could you ask for, right?

This true Russian imperial stout is a great "evening beer," and I say that not because it's such a "warm beer," but because it's really light on the tongue yet memorable. This is a very nutty brew. This beer also carries a lot of coffee like robust flavor, but is lightened w/booze. I was taking the last sips of an Alaskan Ipa when I opened this bottle of Rasputin. Normally I'd pour it into a regular pint glass, dimpled mug, or a tulip, but after taking a whiff and a quick sip from the bottle, I decided to enjoy this one in a Chimay glass.

Nice and dark yet light in mouth feel. Chocolate + chocolate + more chocolate is super nice and roasty. Old Rasp Stout drinks like a cool cappichino. A bit heavy on the alcohol and light on the hopps, however a great....no....fantastic nutty Imperial Russian stout if you ask me;) I think that the only thing missing is a bit heavier mouth. When I say that it's "light," what I'm really trying to say is that it's not very thick, but warm and thinner than I'd like to see from this Russian Imperial Stout. Delicious! Who could ask more of a fine beer that's ready to go out of Blackfoot, Idaho? NOTHING:)

 1,683 characters

Photo of Klgkenny
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a transparent, thick glassed tumbler; medium aggressive pour.

Pour produced a medium sized tan head which receded after 2-3 minutes leaving behind spotty lacing. The beer is almost black. It does not let any light pass through.

Aroma of copper is most prominent, with secondary aromas of earth and charred wood.

Tastes of copper and earth. As it rolls around the mouth slight taste of hops and chocolate, just the barest of hints.

Feels like a lightly carbonated zero weight oil in the mouth.

This is a highly drinkable beer, but everything seems just a little short of bold. It's just one or two points outside of extraordinary. I wouldn't turn it down if it were free, but there has to be something better from the genre.

 740 characters

Photo of bluetravlr
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Walked home from work at 1am in the pouring rain with this beer in hand. Ah . . . it is good to be home.

A: Nice two full fingers of initial tan/rootbeer colored head. Almost completely black. This beer hardly lets any light through at all but upon further inspection a slight rich-brown coloration can be observed. The head stays with you till the end leaving rich, if not abundant, lacing.

S: Note of anise and sweetbread and coffeee are what first come to mind. Also, some roasted oats and chestnuts and maybe a bit of freshly cut grass?

T: Very similar to the nose. Initially a little sweet with flavors of both toffee and caramel. This sweetness rides to the finish but is enhanced by overlapping layers of coffee, dried leaves, burnt brush, but mostly a grassy bitterness that is most notable in the finish . . . with a hint of lemon rind. Overall, kind of like a nutty cinnamon roll, yet, obviously much more complex.

M: Thick bodied, though average for a stout, mostly due to the sweetness. A little heavy on the carbonation for a stout. A lingering dryness due to the grassy bitterness of the hops

D: The alcohol is pretty well masked. However, perhaps ironically, the sweetness and bitterness detract from this beers sessionability. Instead of blending together in harmony the sweet and bitter qualities of this beer seem to be at odds with one another.

This review, as shown in the ratings, is not meant to dismiss in any way the quality of this beer. It is extremely interesting . . . and in more ways than one delicious. Just not as balanced as some of my favorite stouts.

 1,592 characters

Photo of tyanow
4.15/5  rDev -3%
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.

 448 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,126 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe