Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
3,656 Reviews
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

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

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,656 | Ratings: 11,955
Photo of HisDorian
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was looking for another beer when I spotted this gem. Having only heard of it's wonders, I immediately bought a bottle.

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Beer was not super chilled, but still fairly cold.

First impression, WOW!! Super dark color. Nice dark head of about 2.5".

The head dissippated as I wrote the start of the review. Smells wonderful, like a strong oatmeal/imperial.

Lacing appears to be very prevalent.

first sip...had to take 2. Very complex. Nice sweetness to go with the hops. subtle chocolate and carmel. Nice big finish with a touch of spiciness. Big round oatmeal taste.

I wish I had bought the pack now instead of just a single.

Mouthfeel is thick, but not too heavy. Although it's a super complex flavor, it's still easy to drink. The finish sits very long.

I may have found one of my new favorite beers.


I can imagine cellaring this beer and it will only grow. Some bottle time on this would be nice.

 964 characters

Photo of carp420
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

longtime beer drinker, first time reviewer

poured into a pint glass, this liquid comes out damn near black with a brown frothy head two fingers deep that lingers on the top somewhat and laces the glass all the way down

it smells like a nice stout, immediately the roasted malts come to the nose followed by a nice coffee smell, can barely smell the boose

very good flavor to this beer, mainly near burnt malts ,lots of coffee, creamy dark chocolate incorporated with a nutty flavor, the high abv doesn't affect the flavor of of the beer

feels perfect in the mouth, not to thick, a nice big creamy beer.

not a session beer but i could drink alot more of these beers and i will

 680 characters

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

Poured from a bottle into a glass, this beer was darker then my cast iron skillet. Truly beautiful color to this beer!
Almost no head was left a minute after pouring, just a slight ring around the glass. Though, immediately after pouring a light brown foaminess was present.
The notes in this beer changed throughout, upon pouring I was hit with an oceany seaweed saltiness which, after a minute, turned into heady roasted chocolate malt scent. Finally I was left with a slight hint of burnt coffee. A deep inhalation will let the drinker take note of the alcohol present.
This beer is thick with an almost creamlike consistency.
The taste; wow, even a minute after a sip of this beer my taste buds feel like they are fizzing with flavor, very deep strong taste throughout the whole palate.
This is a great beer if you like stouts, if you don't like very heavy heady beer, I wouldn't even try this beer. Personally, I love stouts, and have very rarely had a stout better then this one, in fact only one comes to mind, though it isn't available where I live.
I would, and do, drink this beer often. This is by far the best stout available in Hawaii!

 1,156 characters

Photo of jjhbrfdds
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black as coal with a tiny head,smells of coffee and roasted malts a small bite of cocoa,This is a well balanced stout lots of malt and hop character,just the right amount of alcohol on the exhale,easy drinker readily available and fair priced make this a cornerstone in my fridge

 285 characters

Photo of EA728
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: nice black color with a brown/tan head that fades immediately.

S: chocolate, coffee, with just a bit of hops

T: smooth chocolatey, hints of toffee, subtle hops, and an after taste of very mild booze

M: very enjoyable, medium high carbonation, but not thick at all.

O: very nice RIS, not my favorite, but perfect for a social gathering. will come back to this RIS.

 371 characters

Photo of EricHeff
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the Old Rasputin bottle. It just looks like a manly beer.
It pours out a dark dark brown color with about 1 fingers worth of light brown head. The smells are amazing.
The taste is pretty darn good. Defiantly one of the better Imperial Stouts out there. Its complex, but not too much. Subtle hints in chocolate are there and then gone and it leaves you with a warn alcohol taste. You get a great carbonation that makes this beer very drinkable.

 451 characters

Photo of Beertinez
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet glass. It pours extremely thick like oil. A deep chocolate brown that looks black until its held up to the light. A mocha color head with about 2 fingers worth of head that eventually disappears into a half-finger head.

As soon I poured it, I got a bitter chocolate aroma. As It warms while I'm sipping, I'm getting scents of darker fruits like this dark red wine I once had. Kind of like plums.

The taste is nice and bold! A strong roasted flavor comes through and as It finishes, it combines with the earthy hop notes that kind of tickled my tongue. Very enjoyable. Like the aroma, as it warms, I'm starting to get those dark fruits. Plum and a touch raisin. It starts to finish like a wine. The alcohol is starting to come out a little but it gives you a pleasant warming feeling.

Thick yet strangely easy to drink. 9% ABV and as it warms, you can definitely sense it.

A very well-crafted stout. I had an Imperial Stout before and was not impressed but this brew definitely redeemed the style in my books. I wish I had some of this during the blizzard we had recently here in Chicago because this feels like a great beer to have in the cold. Highly recommended!

 1,210 characters

Photo of ccoyle
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a chilled pint glass. I read on BA somewhere that chilled glasses are no-no, but I like them, so what can I say?

Appearance: VERY dark brown, almost black, almost completely opaque. Pouring into the glass produced a good 2" of tan head that lasted a long while and left very persistent lacing.

Smell: One of the weaker points for me, perhaps because I didn't use the requisite glass type. Definitely the coffee/chocolate smell typical of the type, but not pronounced.

Taste: Coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt. A moderate hoppiness followed by a surprising citrus-like tanginess. Definitely good stuff.

Feel: Velvety smooth and lightly carbonated.

Overall: Lives up to the hype, in my estimation (such as that is). The relatively high ABV kinda sneaks up on you - you don't notice it at all for the first half a glass, but you definitely don't want to chug one before heading off to do anything requiring good coordination!

 951 characters

Photo of Nostrajonus
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A-Dark brown pour with a two finger creamy tan head that sticks around for the long haul. Foamy thick lacing follws the beer down to the bottom as you drink.

S- Rich roasted malts with some subtle dark chocolate smells.

T- This thing is mallllty. The grain really comes through, and the dark chocolate smell is present on the palate as well.

M- The texture is perfect. The nitrogen conditioning gives this brew a creaminess that is unbeatable. Full points for mouthfeel.

O-This is a great beer. Anyone who thinks Guinness is stout (I love Guinness, but lets be honest) should drink this wonderful North Coast creation, and reevaluate.

 639 characters

Photo of sheeley
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The appearance is the most memorable aspect of this beer for me. Especially on tap, it really exemplifies what I feel an imperial stout should look like. The body is black as night and the head is beautiful and creamy, with a tint of dark red/purple. That tint in the foam is one of the most telling signs for me. Loved this beer: dark, creamy, malty, and delicious. One of my top five beers currently. Highly recommended for any and all stout lovers.

 451 characters

Photo of tumblingpenguin
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer looks amazing. Held up to a light, it's dark as can be. The thick head, with its copper color, contrasts beautifully. Caramel and chocolate aromas and some others I can't quite pin. Plenty to think about with each sip. Mouth feel is nice and creamy, which complements the chocolate flavors. It's like a lightly carbonated mudslide. I give a 4 instead of 5 on taste because I feel it's a tad too bitter. I like bitter but with the chocolate creaminess my tongue goes looking for sweetness, which makes the bitterness come as a shock. Overall, though, I find this a really great beer that keeps my senses engaged from start to finish.

 642 characters

Photo of BCad
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Dark brown-black heue. Good sized head of brown and white. Good looking brew.

S: Malt chocolate, toasty and sweet. Pretty mouth-watering.

T: Minimally-sweet earthy malt backbone. When coating the pallet, this beer takes a quick turn towards a sharp bitter end note, and i sort of wished that the initial taste lingered longer before going full hop-ended, boozy stout on me. If swallowed quickly, the brew leaves a nice nutty taste in your mouth, which I enjoy a lot though.

F: Creamy and fizzy

O: Decent beer, for a beer so good looking and great smelling, the taste left me feeling short-handed... I haven't had as many stouts as some people have, so maybe I am missing something! I'd drink it again, but I don't think I'd seek it out or anything though.

 774 characters

Photo of cyraxx
3.86/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a light brown creamy head that is very inviting. I have to be a little lenient on the aroma because some is lost when a beer is served via nitrogen. All I can discern is roasted malts with a slight licorice edge. The flavor is somewhat muted with burnt malt, chocolate, and a slight metallic flavor. The nitrogen thins out what would normally be a substantial body. I usually feel that what is lost in putting a beer on nitro is made up for with the creaminess that is imparted. In the case of Old Rasputin, I really would stick to drinking it with normal CO2. While tasty, not as good as the original.

 619 characters

Photo of Deadstar
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite Russian Imperials for a few different reasons; it's one of the more affordable offerings in the style, it's very tasty, and while not the most over the top or out of the ordinary, it's dang solid.

I poured this out of the bottle into a snifter. The color is almost black, minus some deep amber around the outside of the glass. The head faded away quickly, leaving only a remnant of itself to float around on top of the beer.

Smell: Dark fruits, roasted malt.

Taste: Much like the smell would indicate, there's a lot of dark/dried fruit flavor here, followed up with a solid roasted malt backbone; hop bitterness was right where it needed to be.

Mouthfeel: Relatively light but slick, leaves the mouth coated between drinks. Carbonation was spot on for the style.

Drinkability: I could drink a few of these in a sitting, but I feel that the strong flavors and the higher ABV would limit me to one or two.

Solid beer, very affordable. Great stuff.

 979 characters

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

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Dark, dark brown with very nice, light tan head that had great retention for it's style.

Sweet malty smell with beautiful roasted coffee hints.

Full, rich flavor of roasted malts. Lots of coffee and chocolate with a little fruitiness. Almost wish there was just a little more bitterness, but this really is almost perfect.

Not really thick, just a great creamy mouthfeel.

I don't know if I could find a more "drinkable" RIS. I really want to find this on draught now.

 513 characters

Photo of BenJames1984
4.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First time trying this. After hearing a lot of hype and rants, I've decided to give her a whirl.

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance- Black as night. Tan colored head lingers on the surface, leaving a nice lacing.

Smell- Coffee notes. Roasted malts. A nice, bitter sweet aroma.

Taste- A complexity of coffee, chocolate, and sweet, roasted malts.

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, with low-medium carbonation.

Drinkability- This one was pretty strong. Good stuff, but this is definitely an occasional beer for me.

 507 characters

Photo of Chapter40z
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Extremely dark and completely opaque, A full 2 fingers of dark brown head, retained well and left a solid line of lacing.

S. Yeasty bread smell at first , then graduated to a roasted coffee.

T. Strong roasted notes of coffee and nutty backgrounds. Covers the 9% abv very nicely. A very solid imperial stout.

M. Not overly carbonated, slightly creamy with a full heavy body.

D. Very drinkable almost dangerously so with a 9% abv, I'd likely finish this 4 pack and still be willing to drink another. Great beer would recommend.

 532 characters

Photo of smulkowski
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

For some reason, this bottle was more highly carbonated than usual. Billowing tan head over a jet black beer, dissipating relatively quickly. The smell is a bit sweet, but mostly thick roasty malt, with a burnt edge.

Flavor is roasty, thick and rich, with some alcohol burn. Vague undercurrents of fruit, pronounced with the warming of the beer. Not as complex as many RIS beers, but excellent, especially when compared to the widely distributed examples.

Mouthfeel is relatively thick, as would be expected, but still may be a bit thin for the style. This is a very enjoyable beer - I think it might be a good example for neophytes to very strong dark beers. If you're a greenhorn and are looking to expand your beer-drinking, check this one out.

 783 characters

Photo of Bammo22
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
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 +5.8%
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 -3%
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 MartyMaltose
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
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 nasty31
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
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 +3.3%
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 -6.5%
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

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 11,955 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.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!