Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.3/5
Outstanding
12,333 Ratings
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:
Produced in the tradition of 18th Century English brewers who supplied the court of Russia’s Catherine the Great, Old Rasputin seems to develop a cult following wherever it goes. It’s a rich, intense brew with big complex flavors and a warming finish.


Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#501
Reviews:
3,750
Ratings:
12,333
pDev:
10.23%
Bros Score:
4.38
 
 
Wants:
614
Gots:
3,098
Trade:
49
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 12,333 |  Reviews: 3,750
Photo of beerguy101
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black color, medium head. Aroma is chocolate and roasted malts. Roasted malts, lightly hopped. Roasted malt flavor very pronounced, slightly dry taste as well. Big and Bold Stout. Finish is crisp and malty. Aftertaste is dry and there is a very slight metallic tinge. Very pleasant finish. NICE stout.

 301 characters

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

Presentation: Chubby, 12oz. brown bottle with no "bottled on" or "best before" warning; stray single purchased for $1.79 from the West LA Whole Foods on National and Barrington. "A heartfelt friend does not come about suddenly" scrawled in Russian afront the label.

Appearance: Entirely opaque; fine, half-inch, cocoa-brown head; moderate ring style lacing; not much in the way of head retention.

Aroma: Largely of chocolate and dark, rum-drenched fruits.

Taste: Sweet; big notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate; discernible hints of vanilla, licorice, grain and prune-like fruits; tight, tasty, carbonized-barley bitterness in the finish; vinous; faintly phenolic.

Notes: By all means the equal of top notch Impy's like Victory's Storm King, Bear Republic's Big Black Bear and Stone's IS. Love the finish.

 823 characters

Photo of kevinl6
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one kick ass imperial!!! It is a 12oz bottle with a hypnotizing pic of Rasputin on the label. I had this one immediately after Stone's Imperial, and thought this one was at least as good, if not better. Jet black appearance, pretty much on par with other top imperials I've had. A very strong aroma consisting mainly of alcohol and burnt coffee. Tasted pretty much just as it smelled, and was a nice combination of the two (alcohol and coffee). I had no problems with a bottle of this, and I did want at least one more of these when I was finished! A must try for imperial lovers.

 588 characters

Photo of PZuke
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice black Imperial stout body with a slightly tan head. It smelled like coffee and a little bit of chocolate. The taste was very smooth with light carbonation and a very heavy taste of coffee/espresso and a little bit of chocolate. I could see how the coffee taste could be overpowering for some. I’m not a huge stout fan but I could actually drink a couple of these and have no problem. A brew that even Rasputin himself could be proud of.

 444 characters

Photo of Doppel07
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
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 taez555
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark black body with a slight red tint in the right light. It had a thick creamy light brown/tannish head.

The nose was rather sweet. Slightly earthy. Brown sugar, molases, dark malts, alcohol. It was actually a little tricky to make out, not as prominant as I expected.

The taste was a very meaty full bodied. Very fine high level of carbonation. A very sharp initial roasted barley bitterness started it off. It was almost metallic. Burnt chocolate, unsweetened chocolate. Coffee beans. An intense coffee/espresso bean type bitterness. The sort of bitterness you get when chomping on dry espresso beans all day. Or like overly bitter black coffee. Some nice earthy hop flavors. But mostly just the intense coffee flavor and bitterness.

This beer ended bitter, but a bit more subdued. It deffinatly took it's time to fade.

Overall it's not a bad beer by any means. A classic Russian Imperial Stout. Extremely drinkable. But just a little too much of the coffee bitterness for me.

 1,011 characters

Photo of Ellbert
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: This beer is very dark, what do you expect from an Imperial Stout?

Smell: Very impressive. A lot of coffee roastedness, some alcohol, and a little bit of fruity sweetness, just a little.

Taste: Everything an imperial stout should be. Rich, chocolaty, coffee like, molasses... Mmmm. Alcohol is noticable.

Mouthfeel: Very thik and rich, Mmmm....

Drinkability: Not very drinkable. Mostly because of the alcohol and the richness of the beer.

 461 characters

Photo of jtw5877
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brownish black sort of color. A very quickly diminishishing tannish head tops this beer. Deep dark roasted aromas and flavors, Chocolate, coffee,and a bit of caramel, toffee, and something deep and dark which I can't put a finger on. One solid beer, it may not look the best, but it tastes like heaven.

 320 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – The solid black body was covered quickly with a beautiful, brown head that left a little lacing on the glass.

Smell – Big espresso bean aroma with mature malts and sticky molasses.

Taste – More espresso and a dash of chocolate mix well with the burnt malty base. I would have liked to have tasted a little more sweetness at the finish (the molasses smell was a tease), but that’s splitting hairs. This is an excellent stout.

Mouthfeel – Creamy smooth with little carbonation. This one travels through the mouth quite well.

Drinkability – IIf you like stout, you’ll like this offering from North Coast. I could suck these down all night.

 668 characters

Photo of chaduvel
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow! Old Rasputin himself is staring me down daring me to partake in this brew. Pours pitch black with a thick dimpled head that stays around and rings the glass for eternity. Smells of roasted malts some sweetness and the alcohol is in there as well. Taste, woa! Intense bitter, almost that of espresso, sweet maltiness is intense with a warming bite of bitter and alcohol for the finish. Basically all flavors are intense, but well balanced. Not for the faint of heart. A most excellent Imperial Stout!

 504 characters

Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a midnight black with a medium thickness tan head. The aroma is intriging with bubblegum like esters and tons of alcohol with a bit of chocolate and a piney hop character.
Flavor is intense with a slightly metallic chocolate and roasted barley malt profile accompanied by a strong pine hop flavor with a sweet finish. Has tons of alcohol and this definetly adds to the body by increasing the length of time the flafors linger. Very drinkable but also very intensly flavored and alcoholic, would probably go very good with dessert.

 537 characters

Photo of Rumrunner
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle
This stout is for the rough rider in us all. Read your history.

It pours a deep dark color. Light is almost impenetrable. The head is mostly brown with slight white hues. A tall head with some lacing. The scent is strong coffee bean with some chocolate and a burnt toast quality at the end of the smells. A great nose.

The flavors are complex. A heavy coffee taste. Very coffee bean. The burnt toast quality is there but the chocolate that was apparent in the nose is overwhelmed and has disappeared. A very rich flavor that stays for a while. The aftertaste lingers just a bit too long.

It feels heavy and strong in the mouth. Nice bite for a stout. This stout pushes the limits in my opinion. The only negative is a bit of an alcohol bite to it. This stout will definately find its way in to my fridge. I am also happy to report that there is no sweetness attributed to the after taste as many stouts have. Some stout drinkers like a sweetness ending I do not.

A very well thoughout stout. I just cannot say enough about it.

 1,055 characters

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

Old Raspution poured an opaque black with reddish highlights and a light chocolate head that coated the glass with plenty of lace. Aroma was toasted grains with chocolate and coffee along with some alcohol hiding in the background. The taste started with plenty of sweet malt up front and then moved to roasted and black malt flavors. This was followed by flavors of coffee, chocolate, and some dried fruit flavors blending with the roasted malt flavors and just a wee hint of hop bitterness. The finish was very smooth with the caramel and chocolate flavors coming to the fore front. Aftertaste was a mix of all of the above and a much more noticeable alcohol taste. Mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with a full body and an alcohol warmth to it.
Overall a very complex stout that leaves you with a smile and a glow. Not as balanced as I would have liked (seemed a little rough around the edges) but none the less a quality Imperial Stout worth the search.

 956 characters

Photo of granger10
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drinking this only confirms the fact that imp. stouts are my favorite. This was a great brew. Professionally crafted for sure. Very complex. Dark color but not as dark as expedition and with a little more head on it. The aroma seemed faded and it was not extremely thick which was it's only downfall. Other than that this was a very complex brew. Had a definite licorice taste to it and very apparent hop bitterness. A coffee taste was there and it was of strongly burnt coffee at that. Milky chocolate mixed with the coffee. It finished with a bittersweet chocolatyness that might have been the most perfect finish I have experienced. Amazing!

 644 characters

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

Even on a summer day...

This beer is quite formidable as it pours into the pint. No ruddy edges, no hints of weakness. Nice bit of head that doesn't stick around long; probably knows too much.

The smell is enticing. Coffee, Warmth, Cocoa, Toast. Is this a beer, or am I waking from a dream to breakfast? The first sip greets the tongue with a warm kiss. The breadth of malt flavors is amazing, and the spices and body compliment the beer.

12 oz is really an ideal serving, though a pair make for a full evening.

 521 characters

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

Dark and foreboding, like its namesake. Smell is enticing, malty and robust, with the alcohol coming through. Taste is a wee bit hoppy for my taste in an imperial stout, just wasn't expecting it. Maybe a few more of these will change my opinion on that count. A remarkable brew for sure, just not exactly what I was expecting for the style...

 342 characters

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

Black in color with a big tan head. Aroma is roasty and very hoppy. Taste is of roasted coffee, but is hard to detect under the bitterness from the abundant hops. This is a very hoppy imperial stout. Very enjoyable though. Not very expensive for the quality of this beer. Possible one of the best values out there.

 314 characters

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

Notes: Unknown Vintage. Probably Old! This beer poured a remarkably dark black colour that was totally opaque. It had a thick tan head as well. The aromas were all over the board but I smelled coffee, chocolate, dark-roasted malts, and hops. The taste was great....a perfect melange of the above mentioned aromas into one swiriling liquid full of flavor! The mouthfeel was thick and chewy and the drinkability was excellent for an Imperial stout.

This stuff rocks!!!
-F

 473 characters

Photo of woemad
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a bottle of this on my birthday at Tony Roma's in Kennewick, WA. It was easily the only decent thing I had there, and almost made up for the crappy service. This is a BIG beer, dark and mysterious looking in a glass. The smell is of roasted malt with coffee and dark chocolate. It tastes like it smells, with a little bit of a hop zing adding sharpness and keeping the drinker from being completely overwhelmed by the malt. This would probably go great after a meal and accompanied by a good cigar. I really enjoyed drinking it but would never have more than one per sitting, as its just too much.

 603 characters

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

I had this one in a 12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep black with a dark tan finger of foam. There is only a slight bit of lacing on the glass. The smell is rich in burnt malt and caramel. The taste has a bit of roasted coffee, with a bit of a hops finish to balance. There is also a slight alcohol taste present. The mouthfeel is pretty strong and heavy. The drinkability is also fair for this massive Russian Imperial.

 447 characters

Photo of far333
3.6/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This one's powerful, starting with the scary illustration of the Russian cleric himself on the label. Pours a deep brown color, with flashes of ruby where the light gets through. Head is an inch high, light brown, big and frothy. Rich aroma of chocolate, toasted malt, and alcohol. Bitter coffee flavor greets the tongue, followed by a strong alcohol finish. Not much room left for other flavors. I'm half way through the glass, and the head remains, accompanied by wavy lacing down the sides of the glass. Not for the faint of heart.

 534 characters

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

Let me start by saying I got a hell of a deal on a single of this at Safeway for $0.92 because the cashier rang me up wrong. I, being the good beer-loving citizen I am, did not correct her:)
75 IBU.

Clear, ink-black brew forms a tan head atop fine bubbles with poor retention and OK lacing. Aroma is extremely rich...roasted sharp grain, similar in ilk to Kalamazoo stout, espresso, black patent, and a nice touch of whiskey. There is a peculiar woody dryness to the aroma. Taste is phenomenal..this is especially silken and roasted, but not burnt and thin, with a very smooth and even hoppiness. The mouthfeel is full and chewy with a dense body. Bitterness and hop flavor are in perfect balance with the malts. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The alcohol is noted in vapor, but not so in taste. This is probably one of the best examples of Russian Imperial Stout that I've had. It gets better as it warms. This is one of those beers that deserves every GABF and WBC medal it's earned. This is an uncommonly good beer.

 1,024 characters

Photo of rastaman
3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Quite big and complex. Roasty, licorice aroma, with more hops in the aroma than i expected, quite aromatic. The palate is quite thick and roasty, with some licorice and raisins, with quite a few hops to finish, the finish is even a bit citric. Nice bitter finish. Flavours don't quite blend however.

 299 characters

Photo of kindestcut
3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The Old Rastputin poured black...an impenetrable void as black as coal. The dark tan head was quite active and lasted several minutes as I allowed the beer to warm before tasting.

Man, I could tell by the aroma that this was going to be a kick in the nuts...again, compliment or insult? I dunno. The beer smelled like a cookout. Just replace the steak with malt and you got it. "One malt burger! Well done!" This beer is like roasted malt incranate.

OK, now, the taste. BAM! Down on the floor I go! In reality, I don't remember much from the first taste. It was so overwhelming, I had to gather my thoughts...including, do I really like this or not? I decided to walk away for a few minutes to gather myself and return. I'm glad I did.

After a few more sips, this beer is beginning to grow on me. The flavor is overwhelming. Espresso, a hint of chocolate, alcohol in the distance (which would be pretty dangerous for a beer with a 8.9% ABV but you can't chug this!) and a bitter finish. This is a beer that kicks your ass, follows you home and sleeps with your wife.

The mouthfeel is very good...creamy and chewy...like coffee taffy. The beer is actually easily sipped (I wanted to say drinkable but it's too harsh for a gulp) after a few minutes. However, the drinkability is pretty low for me given the strength of this bad boy.

I feel like I just saw a disturbing, yet brilliant movie. I acknowledge the genius but I don't know how much I truly liked it. I don't think I did but I could be wrong....

 1,507 characters

Photo of jcalabre
3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally sampled on 15 June 2002. It pours a very dark brown. The taste is full of burnt coffee & chocolate flavors, but in my opinion, they are not as nice as other imperials, like Victory Storm King, Alesmith Speedway or Stone Russian Imperial. I think it was OK, nothing special

 283 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,333 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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