Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

3,701 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: 3,701 | Ratings: 12,126
Photo of mudshark698
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am drinking this out of a 12oz bottle. When poured into a glass, it comes out a beautiful shade of black. No light passes through it and it has an ample head which clears pretty quickly.
This beer has great flavor which adds to its drinkability. I have gotten myself into trouble with Old Rasputin more than a few times. It has a great upfront flavor of roasted barley and malt. Not too bitter, bitterness is definitely present. Coffee flavor on the back.
Great mouth feel. Nice and smooth.
Smell is decadent. Nice coffee notes, burnt sugar, prunes.

This is a great RIS. Not too complex, and thoroughly forthcoming. Smooth as silk.

 636 characters

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

12 oz bottle, Russian writing encircling the image of Rasputin on the label.

This beer poured a dark brown black color that when held to the light, some penetrated casting a ruby glow on the edges. The head was thick, rich and creamy resembling in all aspects, even the color of the inside of a Milky Way candy bar. It left a lace behind that was sheety and lacey in different spots of the inside of the glass. The aromas that came from the glass were fairly complex, changing with each degree of temperature. I nosed coffee, dark and roasted malts, caramel, chocolates, slight fruits, some burnt chocolate, wood ash and alcohol. All smells seemed to couple up with each other and accent each other very well. The tastes were just as complex as the aromas and seemed to get only better as it warmed. I tasted bitter hops, burnt and regular coffees, roasted malts, caramel (slight), chocolates, alcohols, flowers, wood ash and some slight dark fruits. The first sip had some bitter hops to it, then an explosion of flavors all through the middle and then ended the same way it started. This is one complex beer. Big, full, creamy, lovely, luxurious and fabulous. Lives up to its name and its history behind it. The Czars would be proud.

 1,238 characters

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

I consider this the textbook version of Russian Imperial Stouts. To be a good one you'd need to be close to this one. To be a great one, you'd need to exceed it.
The pour gives way to what looks like it could be a mixture of cola and coffee. Nose is full of roastiness, and dark fruits like plums and raisins. There's a bit of tartness in the nose that I don't care for. Taste is layer upon layer of different kinds of chocolate, sweet chocolate, bakers choclate, and cocoa. This is offset by a bit of molasses and some tartness. The tartness seems a bit out of place. Mouthfeel is near perfect with light carbonation to welcome the liquid to the tongue. If this wasn't so strong I'd definitely session it. Kudos North Coast!

 727 characters

Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

very good imperial stout with lots of roasted, malty, coffee/chocolate flavors.
a must drink for any stout lovers, if you haven't already, which you should.

 156 characters

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

smell: one word- amazing. no beer has invited me more to try its bubbly goodness than this. cocoa, caramel, espresso, and hints of its alcohol. So its the best beer ever....good times! Definatly good times.
Appearance: very nice and dark color, very attractive.
Taste: yummy...period. very intence, brings out a lot of espresso flavors. Can't even describe in words. Recommend to just try it for yourself!
Drinkability: like I said above...very yummy! Try, definatly try this one..you'll be amased!

 499 characters

Photo of BenHesk12
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easily one of the best imperial stout's I've ever had. Enjoyed out of a nitro tap, Old Rasputin has perfectly balanced flavors of bitter dark chocolate and coffee, as well as a surprisingly high alcohol content of 9%. Pours deep black with a creamy brown head, the low carbonation allows for full enjoyment of this delectable stout. Gentle mouthfeel and strong flavors that leave little to be desired. Can't think of a RIS I'd rather sip on a cold winter night than old rasputin

 478 characters

Photo of Surefire
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a serious stout, that has a lot going for it. It is NOT a one-dimensional bitter bomb like Guinness. Instead, you get hit with a nice combo of sweet, bitter, and tart.

A: Practically pitch black. This looks like a serious hard core stout.

S: Bitter coffee, caramel, toasty

T: Bitter coffee, chocolate, caramel, slight brown sugar, nutty

M: Big, bold body with balanced but moderate carbination.

D: Drinkable one at a time, or perhaps up to 2. A little too big of a beer to drink a lot at once, and the alchohol content approaches weak wines.

Overall, an outstanding stout that is very nicely balanced and multi-dimensional.

 639 characters

Photo of Doshkin
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


a - extremely dark brown. looks black until you get towards the end, which is always a sad sight. abundant, thick, caramel colored head that leaves great lacing.

s - exactly how a stout should smell: dark, roasted, slightly coffee and mildly chocolate

t - wonderfully dark, bitter, and roasted. the bitterness lingers for a long time.

m - thick and fittingly carbonated. for the amount of bitterness, it doesn't dry out the mouth, which is always nice.

o - this is seriously the epitome of a stout. highly recommended in all regards!

 545 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bm0095 for the bottle.

Good lawd does this look nice. Absolute black as night with a huge cream colored head. Lace was so thick I could not see through the glass. Perfect look for an Imperial Stout,Perfect. Smell started with a hint of chocolate, some coffee, maybe even some dark fruity smells hidden in there, nice overal aroma.

As for the taste, hmmm.Big Flavors right off the bat. Roasted, caramel sweetness, The alcohol can definatly be tasted and this is warm going down, yummy. Coffee undertones as well as the tiniest hint of chocolate, I mean tiny but it is there. Very nicely carbonated, and thick. This is a definate sipper. The abv custs down on what you may be able to drink but not what you think you can! I could really drink this on every cold night. Big beer here folks, very nicely done!

 821 characters

Photo of irishtimepiece
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.
Pitch black except for ruby hues at the edges. Thick tan head that recedes slowly, but lasts the whole way down. Lacing is very good. Smells strongly of roasted coffee and very dark chocolate, some caramel. Tastes very strongly of roasted coffee with hints of sweet caramel, but the chocolate from the smell is missing from the taste. Alcoholic bite right at the end that I like very much. Mouthfeel is right where it should be for a stout. The only thing really holding this brew back is it's drinkability. With an alcohol content of 9%, I can't see myself drinking more than 2 a night. Overall, one of my favorites. Even at 7 dollars a 4 pack, it's worth it.

 686 characters

Photo of beerman21
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is wonderful. It pours black with expresso brown head that dissipates quickly leaving a sticking lasing to my glass. Smell is of roasted malts, expresso, deep soil and black powder. Taste is similar to its smell of expresso (most prominent) and roasted malts and warming alcohol aftertaste. Love this brew anytime I'm craving a stout i go for Rasputin.

 362 characters

Photo of FreshHawk
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark black with deep mahogany and ruby hues on the edges. Huge, thick, creamy, sticky, full, sandy colored head. Great retention that finally settles into a nice, full, creamy layer of lace.

S - Rich roasted malt with lots of coffee and chocolate aroma. Some dark fruit, specifically raisin. Chocolate and espresso dominate the nose though.

T - Rich roasted malt taste come out strong. Chocolate is very strong with a good amount of coffee as well. Mid sip, a good amount of hops come out as well with a nice grassy and slight citrus taste to it. Some burnt brown sugar is present. Nice earthy bitterness to it. Slight alcohol burn toward the end along with a good amount of roasted and burnt malt.

M - Full body with a good level of carbonation. Very silky and smooth feel. Very rich feel.

D - Easy to drink although it is definitely a sipper. A bit bitter, but balanced out pretty well with some of the sweeter taste (although the bitter flavors win out). Alcohol heat is a little strong though.

Notes: Very enjoyable stout. A surprising amount of hops come out. Very strong roasted and burnt malt taste. A great stout, especially given the price.

 1,158 characters

Photo of jizdepski
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

what a great stout. ive been wanting to review ole raspy for some time. poured into a brooklyn pint. served at somewhere around 50-55 degrees. the body is black as jet. held to light not much shines through; i tried. somewhat bourbony, ruby edges. really appealing and one of the better looking imperial stouts out there. nice coffee tan head. smells are aggressive. sweet and smokey, with a roasted coffee aroma; also some burnt toffee and caramel. hops are definitely in the mix as well. the taste is outstanding for the style. its hoppy, but it plays nicely with a heavy dose of roasty caramel malts. nice bitterness on different planes. very rich. the sweetness is there but certainly termpered; im getting some raisin and caramel. the finish is bittersweet and has a lingering alcohol burning warmth with some reassuring hop accompaniment. does taste more aggressive up front than on the back end, where it tames out, as if the word tame could accurately apply here. mouthfeel on this one is dynamite. perfectly carbonated, delicately smooth yet still sharp as a tack. the drinkability scores quite high, for the style of course its wonderful, and at 9% abv its not that tasking.

 1,184 characters

Photo of Getinthevan
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Needless to say, this stuff kicks ass! What a great stout!

Appearance is motor oil city. It pours silky smooth straight from the bottle and is very brown/murky black in appearance. The lacing is very nice on the glass and also retains a nice, small head in between sips. A great looking beer.

Smell is of fine rich malts, chocolate and coffee. This stuff is certainly as natural as you can get.

Taste is awesome. This really tingles in the mouth for a few moments and all the chocolate coffee flavors really come alive. It's a nice blend of froth and flavor and certainly goes down nice. Very well done!

Mouthfeel is great. Very frothy, thick, full and pleasant. Flavors retain well after it has been swallowed. A certainly great stout!

Drinkability is beyond great. You can down a few of these in one sitting, get a nice buzz and just be happy for the rest of the afternoon. It doesn't matter what season it is, this stuff is great any time of the year!

 959 characters

Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark pour huge head 3 fingers s:
deep cocoa and coffee t: just as it smells with a slight alcohol finish f: creamy and rich O: great stout great price

 156 characters

Photo of Rschis16
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black color and a mountain of a slowly dissapating tan head. Heavy lacing on the glass and excellent head retention. Looks amazing. Smells of dark roasted malts and some strong coffee and chocolate. Coffee is prominent in the taste as well as dark chocolate and a strong twinge of alcohol that doesn't overwhelm at all.
A fairly bitter aftertaste is left in the mouth but it is pleasant and warming, not annoying. While the taste rivals any other stout I've ever had as the best, the mouthfeel of Old Rasputin is so smooth and creamy that it literally feels like I'm drinking silk. It makes the beer in the end, because the taste, smell and appearance of this beer are all great, but the mouthfeel makes the beer special. Drinkability is relatively high for how strong a beer this is. Overall this is a beer that I will buy again and again when I'm in a stout mood.

 873 characters

Photo of ExplosivoSR
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to snifter. First time with 'Ole Raspy, and North Coast in general.

A - Pours jet black. No light penetration at all. 1 1/2 fingers of creamy mocha head. Great lacing that lasts the entire glass.

S -Biscuity malts, chocolate, roastiness, slight booze tinge. Smells slightly fruity, but I can't quite tell which fruit.

T - Right up front with roasted matls, with toffee and chocolate in there as well. Booze on the finish is belly-warming.

M - Very smooth and creamy, with a pretty full body.

O - Very impressed with this beer. On the smoother side of the IRS spectrum (from what I've had), and it works very well.

 625 characters

Photo of RodBurg
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Took a trip to Big Bear this past weekend and after the incredibly average beer experience I had at Oktoberfest I was chomping at the bit when I saw the bar I wandered into was serving Old Ras on tap. Poured a pitch black with a beautiful brown head that left fat lace rings with each sip.

Strong chocolate, roasted malt, espresso, and anise were pouring off this one.

Tastes were incredible and very blatant. Heavy chocolate and espresso bean followed by licorice and hop-like bitterness. Thick and chewy, this one is a sipper. Finishes with chocolate malt flavors and a nice alcohol warmth.

Old Ras has been one of my top fives for a while now and it was all the better being I hadn't had it in months. Excellent.

 720 characters

Photo of midnite2sixman
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black in color with an amazing brown sugar colored, moon cratered head with staying power.

Roasty roasty and toasty malts. Tiny notes of bitter chocolate, west coast style coffee, creamy chocolate.

Taste is creamy coffee, bitter chocolate, a decent amount of smoke somehow.

Mouthfeel is oh so smooth on this one. A huge beer, a huge amount of flavor, and it yet it finishes with ease. What a gem!

I Have to back up the general opinion on this one. One helluva stout!

 476 characters

Photo of brureview
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first time I tried this beer, it was refrigerated in the store, and drunk shortly afterwards. The beer tastes a bit bitter at a colder serving temperature.

This tasting was totally different. It was served at about 50-55, which makes a big difference. The color is a dark chocolate, with a four fingered head and a slight honey smell.

The mouth feel is a bit carbonated and more malty with warming.

The highlight of this beer is its finish: a complex nutty lemon, chocolate mixed with dark coffee. The flavors intensify with warming.

This is a great beer: serve warm!

 575 characters

Photo of becktone
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After walking about two miles to pay my rent in very unfavorable conditions here in Cincinnati, I finally returned to my humble abode and asked myself "What do I have in my fridge that can warm me up after that?" At about 35F outside and winds that made walking down a hill one of Hurcules' 12 Labors, I hoped I had something very dark, malty and strength imbuning in my fridge. As I looked in my fridge I almost started to sigh, and lo and behold forgotten in the back corner behind some other sixers I find I've an ample supply of Old Rasputin. Here are my thougts.

The pour is dark-black infact- With a tan creamy three finger head this brew looks just too good. Head begins to receed in size to a stable one finger size leaving some sweet looking lace along the sides of the glass.

Aroma is strong, sweet, and alcoholic. A robust chocolate character comes through and maybe a little bit of a coffee aroma as well, other notable smells are dark fruits, maybe some prunes. No hop aroma, or roasted bitterness aroma. All in all a great smelling brew.

Oh yes, this lifts my spirit and warms the soul. Strong sweet malty backbone gives real character and life to this brew. Chocolate malts take the foreground in this brew's flavor profile. Just a tad of hop flavor in the back of this one, one of the noble varieties I should think. Just there in the back, fleeting. Tastes great, but more complexitiy would add more to this brew....My upper body is now pretty much thawed, but my lower body is still pretty cool.

The body of this RIS is thick and full bodied and creamy just the way it should be. Carbonation levels are fairly low as benefits the style. I'll most likely buy this brew again. It is great to warm up with after coming in out of the cold and being pounded by the elements. Not something that I could sit around and drink all day, and it shouldn't be. I don't think that any RIS is meant to be that way. Definitely something to slowly savor. However, I also know that there are other RIS's that represent the style differently and I would definitely love to try those before I came back to this one, but I would not be adverse to another go-round with this brew.

 2,189 characters

Photo of schroederm
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had the privilege of drinking this beer on nitro, so my opinions are a little skewed by the benefits of serving this kind of beer in that manner. First off, it looks fantastic. The head is full, looks sort of like chocolaty whipped cream with a sheen across its surface. Dark as night. Smells quite good, with a little bit of alcohol coming through roasty notes. Tastes even better than it smells: excellent maltiness, nice bitter finish, notes of anise, chocolate, and coffee.

The mouthfeel is really what did it for me, again, probably due to nitrogen. Exceptionally creamy, perfect level of carbonation. Avoided swallowing as long as I could bear...

Overall: great RIS, I highly recommend it. If you live in the Boston area, get over to Deep Ellum, where they have it on nitro consistently.

 797 characters

Photo of Ruger
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with a thick tan head and looks completely black until you hold it up to the light and then a little bit of red lingers through on the lower part of the glass, lacing is heavy all around the glass.

S - Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and alot of booze.

T - Coffee, chocolate and dark fruits with a slight bitter aftertaste, and alcohol which is mild and doesn't overwhelm the flavor but leaves a slight pleasant warmth down the throat.

M - Smooth with a slight oily feel and low carbonation.

 505 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

-Nitro tap-

A – Ridiculous, tempurpedic-pillow of a head stuck around at 2 inches high for almost 15 minutes till the glass was empty. Great lace. Almost pitch black body.

S – Malty with a deep pumpernickel breadiness, a touch of milk chocolate, and a tang of bitter roast.

T – Dark chocolate into a dark bready malt. A nice, solid woody bitter ramps up to balance the profile in the center. Full roasty finish with lingering sweet cream and molasses.

M – The pillow of foam lends a fantastic creaminess to the mouthfeel. Medium-full body starts a bit lighter than you’d expect, but quickly fills out to end rich and smooth.

O – Delicious, big, complex, and well balanced. Could use a shade more integration between the flavors, but this is still one the best beers I’ve ever had on tap.

 806 characters

Photo of leedorham
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was buying a cart full of different brews and thought I was done when I saw this four-pack of 12 ouncers sitting askew behind another. It was the last one. The bright souls of my ancestors had lit the path for me tonight.

The brew pours almost black with a reddish-brown tint when light shines through. 2mm tan head that mostly dissipates. A thin layer of foam remains to give moderate lacing.

The aroma malty sweet. Like nearly burnt sugar.

It tastes exceptionally smooth. Full hop character rises through strong roasted coffee and caramel flavor. I have trouble sipping this beer. It is like candy. The alcohol is present but I notice it more as it warms my stomach than in my mouth. I had planned on letting the other 3 bottles age but it will be a struggle.

 771 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.