Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
3,648 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: 3,648 | Ratings: 11,931
Photo of riversider76
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown almost black. Tan head,nice lacing. Smell is of roasted coffee,and carmel. Mouthfeel is fairly thick,and rich. Taste is bittersweet, and smooth with a great finish. I was drinking the beer on a cold,snowy November night,and it sure warmed me up!

 269 characters

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

This is currently on tap at My Place in Newtown, CT. Thanks Mark.

The tap is very intriquing. It shows an old Russian gentleman (presumably Rasputin) in black & white with his right hand raised to the crown of his head which I gather is some type of religious symbol. The top of the tap is like the top of a tower. Wish I could explain this more intricately.

Smells and tastes a lovely coffee aroma/malt. Creamy cappuchino looking head. This one is too smooth when the keg is very fresh. Puts the drinkability through the roof for how heavy the brew is.

Pitch black with rose hues at the edges of the glass when held in the light. The bitterness in this beer is balanced so right. It's like a siren calling to you in the night.

Seek this one out on tap. My apologies for the haphazardly written review. I was pretty inebriated at the time.

 855 characters

Photo of RedHaze
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From notes 16nov05:

Pours pitch black with no hints of light shining through around the edges. Theres's a thick two finger head that's slow to recede, and leaves behind a rocky cap that never fades away. Lots of thick lacing.

Smell; notes of coffee, chocolate, licorice, roasted malts and a slightly burned toast smell.

Taste; Chocolate, coffee, a touch of vanilla, a little bitter at first from the roasted malts, but that smooths out alot as it warms up. Nice thick, rich and creamy mouthfeel. This is a really good stout, just wish I could go back and get some more.

 578 characters

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

Big aroma. Tons of roast malt. Some dried plum fruitiness, coffee, burnt sugar. No hops which is good for the style.

Deep black, with some red highlights when held to bright light. Small head but lasting around the edges. Kicks up when you swirll the glass.

Strong bitter flavor from dark roast malt. Ballaced out with lots of sweet base malt. Great fruit flavor and fermentation. Dried cherries, smokey esters. Hop bitterness is pretty high, no hop flavor, in style. Some hot alcohol.

Body is a little low for Imp. Stout. Slightly warming and creamy on the tongue.

Big sipping beer. A little smaller than some Imp. Stouts but it's a classic take on the style.

 672 characters

Photo of cheers2beers
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance: This beer poured a dark,black liquid with a tannish caramel like head.Slightly cascading in my glass,and lots of laceing clinging to the sides.

Aroma:The nose is of dark chocolate,roasted coffee bean,butter infused oats and supremely disguised alcohol. A very pleasureable moment indeed.

Taste: Chocolate all over the palate.As this beer warms the alcohol lets itself be known,but not too over powering.Caramel,butterscotch,and a long enticing bitter hop finish.A true masterpiece.(Applaudes)

Mouthfeel: Chewy,syrupy, low carbonation,but would have liked to see a little thicker mouthfeel.

Drinkability: The urge was to pound this beer, but I had to actively slow down and appreciate all of its amazing characteristics. Go out and buy this immediately. A truly orgasmic experience, I want more!


 867 characters

Photo of jmz62565
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a dark black with a large head and nice lacing.The smell is very strong with roasted malt and some coffee and chocolate.The taste is truely unbelievable.This is an outstanding beer.You get the full roasted malt flavor with just a hint of coffee and chocolate that's very creamy
The m/f feel is heavy with a full flavor and texture.I don't think I could have too many of these,but man, are they good.
This is one of the best beers I've had in a long time.BUY IT!!!

 476 characters

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

Pours a deep brown to black with ruby highlights and a thin tan head. Little to no lacing.

Smell is complex with a mixture of coffee, dark malts, chocolate and dark fruit.

The flavor is hearty and filling, as a stout should be. There is an excellent balance between the sweet and bitter flavors.

Mouthfeel is creamy and good. Carbonation is slight but acceptable.

Drinkability is excellent. I bought the 4 pack and I'm ready to finish the first and start on the second. If you like stouts then you will like this brew.

 530 characters

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

The typical, awesome dark brown/black of an Imperial Stout. It had a small tan head which dissapated quickly, left medium lacing, and smelled of sweet coffee and caramel.
It tasted somewhat hoppy, with hints of sweet furits, roasted malt, coffee, bitter chocolate. The taste was somewhat more pleasant than other Imperial Stouts I've had, but I can't exactly place what was different; I'm going to say it as the balance of the flavors. It had almost a candy sweetness that countered the bitter very well.
It was also not as biting in the mouthfeel as some other Imperials. It finished actually refreshing and as tasty as the first taste.

 641 characters

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

Served from a bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: Poured a midnight black with a cascading toffee colored head almost 2 inches high. Laced like spider webs throughout the beer drinking session.

Smell: Huge amounts of coffee, chocolate and general fruity goodness. Fantastic sweet floral maltyness stands forth and demands that we "Respect my Authority!"

Taste: No surprises here great maltyness supporting coffee, chocolatey fruity goodness.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer is fantastically thick and oily a pleasing full bodied beer. This will go down great when the deep freeze of winter is on.

 611 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 iron78
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
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 palma
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a big stout fan, but I figured this one was worth trying.
Very creamy looking head. Big and fluffy at first but quickly faded to a lasting tan ring around the glass.
Very nice aroma from this brew as soon as I opened the bottle. Chocolate and roasted nuts. Some sour fruit. Sweet molasses.
Taste is a little tangy at first sip. Then roasted flavors and semi-sweet chocolate. Ends with a significant amount of bitterness, especially for a Russian imperial.
Silky mouthfeel. Smooth. Nice level of carbonation. Expected for the style.
Cited as one of the best Russian imperial stouts.I definitely agree this beer is "up there", though it's not outstanding IMO.

 668 characters

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a rich deep black color that doesn’t look like it is capable of passing any light through it. There was a half inch tan head of small bubbles that sat around for about a minute. Finally there was a small thin ring left on top of the beer

Aroma: Nutty toasty roasty and just about any other adjetives that I can think of that end in “Y”. There is a noticeable plum and other ripe fruit presence along with some floral presence that I would guess is from hops. As the beer warms a bit, you can notice the hops a lot more

Taste: This is a very revolving flavor. It starts out with a mild sweet flavor, and soon there is a sharp roasty presence that sets in. Just as soon as you think that the roasty flavor is going to be around for a while, there is an assertive nutty and toasty flavor that oozes down your throat for the finish. There is a mild alcoholic burn that sets in somewhere around the syrupy finish to linger around for quite some time.

Opinion: This is a really nice beer. It is a bit milder than some of the American micro-brews version. It has a lot nuttier flavor and a whole lot more depth of malt character than most. The flavor is multilayered, so if you pay attention, you can taste at least three different beers in just this one.

 1,278 characters

Photo of ghostwalker
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Almost completely black. I can barely see some color highlights of dark brown and possibly dark, dark red by holding it up to the light. 2 fingers of thick and foamy tan head. Leaves very thick and sticky lacing.

Nose is rich and dark with roasted malt. Heavy on the coffee and smoky as well.

Flavor is intense! The deep rich RIS profile, coffee, chocolate, caramel/toffee, but also very smoky. Very bitter aftertaste from a bold dash of hops, but also carries a hint of sweet black cherry. Complex and nuanced, I will probably get different flavors on subsequent tastings.

Mouthfeel is chewy and viscous. It's not nearly the motor oil consistency of Stone RIS, but very nice nonetheless and a fine example of the style.

Drinkability is good. The smokiness would limit my ability to have more than a couple, but it will find a new regular place in my beer fridge rotation.

 886 characters

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

Pours a deep black color with ruby highlights. Creamy 2 finger head with huge gobs of lacing.

Caramel and malt understones in the nose, with some chocolate and berries in the background.

Huge taste... tremendously berry-filled with a bit of a kick of toffee in the back end. Very nice, but somewhat atypical of a RIS IMO.

Big thick malty mouthfeel. Reminds me of Guinness on the tongue.

Very drinkable for an RIS.... absolutely lovely brew, although I seem to remember it being slightly better out of the bottle.

 524 characters

Photo of cubedbee
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, not dated, poured into a snifter. Pours an extremely deep brown, practically pitch black, absolutely opaque even when held up to the light. Retention is decent, as is lacing. Smell is somewhat subdued, but is a nice mix of baking chocolate, ameretto, and coffee. Taste is excellent, a very nice roasted expresso, rich bittersweet chocolate, a roasted malt base, and a finish with a slight taste of alcohol. Very rich and luscious. Thick chewy mouthfeel, leaving a dry, lingering finish. This is a suberb stout, the best tasting Imperial I've had, a really great beer I'm glad I got my hands on.

 608 characters

Photo of soulgrowl
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Intensely dark burgundy-brown; almost black. Opaque even when held up to the light, with a fiery brick-red glow along the edges. The head is frothy and resilient, its color a dark, coffee-stained, cinnamon-infused beige, very reminiscent of a double capuccino. Overall, the beer would match nicely with a ski lodge.

Smell: Aroma is surprisingly subtle and subdued compared to the beer's visual impact. It is earthy and natural, with campfire-like burnt tones. The bitter combination of chocolate and coffee and sweet overtones of maple trees foreshadow the beer's complicated taste.

Taste: Wonderful! Chocolate and espresso provide the beer's foundation, covered with an intense, burnt-to-perfection malt flavor. Then there is a layer of stewed fruit-and-vegetable sweetness (especially cherries). An undercurrent of almond (specifically amaretto and marzipan) pops up now and then. Lingering finish retains roasty and nutty elements in your mouth for a long time. Amazing! This would go so well with dark wheat toast spread with Nutella, or with any dark chocolate. Might also be good with some kind of flaky pastry, like a Danish, turnover, or kringle.

Mouthfeel: Although the beer is very viscous, it is not as creamy as I expected due to its medium-sized bubbles. Probably for the best, since the lightness helps keep the beer from being too overwhelming. After you swallow and lick your lips, the beer still clings to you.

Drinkability: The high alcohol content and richness of this beer make it something that demands to be drank slowly and deliberately, but the flavor is so enchanting that it wouldn't be hard to knock back more than a few of these between dinner and bedtime.

 1,708 characters

Photo of phishgator
4.73/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass with a nice creamy tan head that stays the entire session. The color is opaque and nontransparent. The aroma is of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. The taste is as good or better than any RIS I have had to date (I do have 2 Stone RIS's in the fridge waiting to be unleashed). The roasted coffee and dark chocolate shine through as there is a touch of milk chocolate. The mouthfeel is thick and full. The drinkability is great for two and then your to full to drink another.

 506 characters

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

Coffee and chocolate tastes dualing, with coffee getting the slight advantage. A little dry. Some roasted malt and nut flavors popping up here and there. The head's bubbles are precise and poppable, rather than creamy. There is a nice lingering aftertaste, but the flavors don't over stay their welcome. Despite its alcohol content and robust character, Old Rasputin doesn't fatigue the taste buds. You can have a few and enjoy each one more than the last...just remember that 8.9% will catch up on you quick. Old Rasputin is still a mystical favorite.

 552 characters

Photo of unknownlamer
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

This is quite possibly the most attractive beer I have ever poured. It is a thick deep black with an ever so slight hint of ruby around the edges with a nice brown head that laces really nicely.

The smell is delicious. Very strong and roasty, a bit chocolately, and really toffee like. The taste follows up strongly. It's thick and syrupy in the mouth with a very strong roasted flavor. A bit of coffee and a mild chocolate flavor comes through along with a bit of a burnt fruit flavor. The only fault I can find in the taste is that the finish has a bit too much bitterness for my taste. After a few sips the alcohol warmth hit my stomach strongly. This goes well with a chilly winter day.

There is a downside to this. The flavor is perhaps a bit too strong, and it is hard to drink this at anything faster than a snails pace. More than one (*maybe* two) of these is a bit too much for my palate to handle.

 913 characters

Photo of Silenus
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a beautiful beer! This Imperial Stout pours a beautiful black with a thin caramel head. The aromas are of chocolate and coffee. The flavors are surprisingly smooth for a beer of this ABV. It has a full mouthfeel with a long, dry finish of burnt toast. The hops are perfectly balanced with the dark roasted malts. BALANCE is the key! Take my advice though, don’t have this with a sweet cookie for dessert ... match it with a piece for dark bitter chocolate. Excellent!

 473 characters

Photo of allengarvin
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out an oily black appearance with a light coating of tan foam across the top. Nose is filled with ripe, sweet fruity aroma and rich, velvety maltiness. First taste is slightly roasted malt with creamy cocoa and toffeeish notes. Lots of bitterness, but there's a lot of malt to pit it against. Dries out a bit at the end, with a modest acidity. Full-bodied, warming with a creamy, soft texture.

 399 characters

Photo of Bcant
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a rocky brown head. Smells strongly of dark chocolate underlined with liquorices root. A few alcoholic whiffs but that is expected for a beer that’s 9 percent. While there is a hint of alcohol in the bouquet the palate is incredibly dry for a stout this strong; dominate flavors: coca, French-press dark roast coffee and sherry whit hints of oak and port. Viscous and chewy, this Siberian coats the mouth but is not too oily.

 443 characters

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

Old Rasputin, my little friend in the stubby 12oz. bottle. Deep and dark, a black that matches the nefarious deeds performed by the Mad Monk. Except the bottled version sports a halo, one made of pale brown foam.

Smells of chocolate malts, with a nice vanilla-bean twang and earthy hoppiness.

Taste just screams decadence. Rich and creamy chocolate, like a liquid Hershey's Kiss coating the back of my mouth, with a distinct roasted malt taste. Overshadowing everything is a surprising hoppiness, reminding me that this is Northern California's take on a classic style.

This is one of my anytime beers. Always available, always enjoyable. For just under seven bucks, a four pack can spend a few days in my fridge. The 12oz size is nice, too. I don't think I've ever seen another RIS in this size, for this price. I can totally see the czars of old Russia lounging around, drinking this tasty brew out of huge goblets while serving girls spoon caviar into their mouths.

 977 characters

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

After a hard night at work, I celebrated the end of the day by cracking this stubby bottle open and carefully pouring it into my Baldwin-Wallace College standard pint glass.
Old Rasputin - does anybody remember the movie HBO did about the now dead Russian legend starring the bad guy from the original Die Hard movie? - poured with a finger of thick, off white head that retained mediocrely well and left some lacing down the side of the glass. The beer is the thick blackness of the empty theatres I had left behind at work: hiding and betraying no secrets, forever comlex. The aroma was thick was and heavy on roasted malts with a little alcohol peaking through. I took a sip, a big sip to be honest, of the syrupy, full bodied brew and allowed it to wash over my tongue. The flavor seemed to attack and hold my senses at bay: strong coffee flavors, with well roasted malts, and a alcohol finish. Old Rasputin and I sat around the family room and finished the evening in style. After finishing the beer, fully enjoyed, I wanted nothing less than another of the same exact beer and scolded myself for not purchasing more than a single bottle of this brew. I will be returning to this one as the seasons change and the temperature drops. A real treat, and dangerously drinkable as far as this style and this ABV goes.

 1,318 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 11,931 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 Fest® 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!