Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial StoutOld Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
94%
Liked This Beer
4.3 w/ 12,258 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:
#496
Reviews:
3,735
Ratings:
12,258
Liked:
11,526
Avg:
4.3/5
pDev:
10.23%
Alströms:
4.38
 
 
Wants:
608
Gots:
3,052
Trade:
50
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 12,258 |  Reviews: 3,735
Photo of kell50
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

Served on nitro-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours used motor oil black with a thin, almost non-existent, head leaving thin rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Plenty of dark roasted malt blends well with the coffee, chocolate, and a faint hint of dark fruits. Some vanilla and cream sweetness helps keep things balanced as much as possible. Very nice nose.

T - Flavors are very similar to the nose. Rich coffee and cocoa dominate this one with some vanilla sweetness offering a bit of balance. Very rich, dark malted texture in the finish lingers for some time. If anything it was a bit thin, and given the nitro serving I can't see how that can happen..maybe too cold? Either way I have had this before, it is one of my favorites, and I will have it again. Hopefully those will be better than this one...

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderately low carbonation for being on nitro. Not the thick, creamy, stout I was expecting to receive when I ordered it to say the least.

D - Still very high. Even with the carb issues this is still one of my go to stouts. I was more disappointed in the pour than I was in the beer. I will have to re-review this one at a later time...

 1,196 characters

Photo of Greels
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Lukasbane
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wowie zowie, that was good. I wonder how it would taste on tap

62 characters

Photo of PDXAmbassador
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of macrosmatic
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Had on nitro-tap at Redlight Redlight. Served in a 10 oz. glass shaped like a nonic pint pint glass.

A: Very dark brown, and opaque. Creamy dark tan nitro head, but much of the nitrogen movement within the beer had dissipated by the time I got the glass.

S: Coffee, dark cacao. Rich maltiness and a creamy sweetness. Not a huge aroma, but nice when you work at it a bit.

T: Sweet dark-roasted coffee, cacao, and big roasted malts without being overly bitter. Some toffee and a lactose-like sweetness throughout. Mild roasted bitterness in hang.

M: The body is on the thin side for style and the nitro-tap serving. Creamy mouthfeel, and alcohol is well-hidden for style.

O: Truly a quality, easily accessible example of style, but it didn't quite live up to my high expectations for having it on nitro.

 827 characters

Photo of gkunkle
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Brickhouse a few months back, reviewing from chicken-scratch on the back of a receipt. Served in a pint glass with a one finger light tan head. Body of the beer is black, though I think a deep brown would be a better descriptor, as it's not truly a jet black. Aroma is of dark sweet malts, roasted malts, chocolate, caramel. When I sip the beer I get flavors of dark chocolate, roasted notes, bitterness, malt sweetness. Body is not as thick as expected considering the smell and the high ABV. I am generally not an RIS kind of guy, but this was one of the first imperial stouts I have enjoyed.

 617 characters

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

From a 12oz stubby bottle

Black and opaque as tar. Very viscous. Sticky dark brown head. Bready, toasted malts dominate the nose and become almost burnt in the mouth. Lots of dried, dark fruit. Terrific mouthfeel -- very rich -- but tough going down (a single 12oz bottle feels like more than enough beer). Definitely an overrated beer, but still a very good one; a great example of an RIS. Not as good as Storm King or Stone IRS, but still very good.

 452 characters

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

Poors a dark brown to black color with a quickly dissipating dark mocha colored head. Aroma is complex with a distinct roasted character, coffee, chocolate, and I even venture to say the slightest hint of toffee hiding in the mix.

The taste is complex as the aroma and almost as enjoyable. It rolls on the tongue lightly until it hits the back where the flavor kicks in fully. The roasted malt has a smokey character, bitter chocolate, espresso, and a kick of hop to round off the flavors. The finish is dominated by the high alcohol of this brew and is a lesser beer for it. The mouthfeel is not as smooth as I expect from this type of beer and is my largest complaint. Overall this is an enjoyable beer for those in a slow sipping mood and worth revisitting time and again.

 778 characters

Photo of Jaisell
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

A- This is very jet black, with a finger width and a half of tan fluffy head. This is very much like one would expect to get from a RIS in terms of the appearance.

S- I'm getting a great coffee and chocolate smell with a hint of vanilla. There is a slight anise smell too, which I'm excited about, I'm a fan of anise in RIS beers. I'm also getting a some hop smell, lets see if that is there with the taste.

T- The coffee taste is there in the beginning...stays in the middle of the taste, but is more of a force in the end. The chocolate taste is slight, and I'm getting some cherry there with it as well. The anise smell didn't stay with the taste. The taste is good, a bit more coffee then I would want, I guess its not the amount of coffee that is there, but the bitterness that results. I do like the sweetness that is there from time to time though.

M- This is slightly dry, and I feel kinda a weird coating over my mouth.

D- Very drinkable, and tasty. I'm glad this is regularly released in my area.

 1,013 characters

Photo of RDHerm
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an incredibly deep and dark brown, so murky that no light gets through. Has a thick, coffee brown head that has excellent lacing. It thins out after a while, but it remains solid throughout.

An unexpectedly weak aroma. Some notes of coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolate, but there's not too much going on here.

Strong taste of roasted malts, with hints of coffee, bitter chocolate, and hops. Starts out sweet and rich, with a nice hoppy bitterness to the finish. There is also the slightest bit of alcohol warmth.

Medium/heavy in body. Exceptionally smooth and doesn't dry out the palate too much like a lot of stouts, but a little too much carbonation keeps it from being perfect.

Great taste, nice finish, and not terribly heavy, just make sure the alcohol content doesn't catch up with you.

 808 characters

Photo of Myotus
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

LOOK: Pours with a half finger's worth of tan foam that halves itself after 35 seconds. Beer is extremely black in color. It's difficult to make out the orange tint. There is a subtle amount of rising bubbles along the sides of the glass. Lacing is high, but thin.
SMELL: Strong aromas of toffee, raisins, and plums stand out. Beyond those, lie mild aromas of molasses and coffee, subtle bittersweet chocolate, and hints of alcohol.
TASTE: Strong flavors of toffee, raisins, and plums combine to create the initial taste (as my nose would of guessed). Strong molasses flavors along with mild coffee and bittersweet chocolate eneter immediately after as initial flavors persist. As all flavors fade into the after taste, bittersweet chocolate flavors become angry and lose their sweetness and end up being very bitter.
FEEL: Full-bodied and moderately carbonated. This goes down somewhat smooth and creamy. Finishes moderately dry, though (lame!).
NOTE: Slightly too bitter for me. Loved how I couldn't taste the alcohol that my nose perceived.

 1,044 characters

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

I picked up a four-pack at Whole Foods recently. This is one of those Top 100 beers that I've had plenty of times but never took the time to review. Served in a Surly pint glass.

A - Pours with a finger of light mocha foam that dissipates to a thin haze. Body is black with the faintest glint of red-brown at the fringes of the glass. There are a few fingers of lace left behind as the beer slowly disappears from my glass.

S - Dark roasted malt, dark fruits, dark chocolate, light caramel, and maybe a bit of salty soy. There's actually a bit of light floral hoppiness to it as well - guessing this was a relatively fresh batch.

T - The taste has a lot of roast bitterness to it, accentuated by espresso and dark chocolate notes. There are some floral hop and licorice notes as well. Verges on burnt and acrid, as there isn't much balancing sweetness. Maybe a bit of alcohol here too. Bitterness lingers well into the aftertaste.

M - Too much harsh carbonation - I remember this being much better on nitro. The body is gritty, then chewy. Body is viscous and full, and finishes a little bit heavy.

D - I'm don't think I'd have more than one of these in a session. The first half of the beer went down pretty quick, but the carbonation bloat and burnt flavors got a little overwhelming after that. Think I'll stick to the nitro from now on.

 1,345 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 oceanman
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unknown amount of time in the cellar. Maybe a year? Could be more.

Dark body, tan head with a mean tint of red.

Burst of fruits, marshmallow, and chocolate. Undertones of coffee, brown sugar. Very impressive.

Deep dark roasty flavor. Just like espresso on the finish. Alcohol politely announces its presence. Definitely has some bite to it.

A beer to chew on, but not in the softest way. Slightly grating, but not quite bitter. Nice low to moderate carbonation.

Always a classic, but seems like age hasn't helped it (besides the nose). Now I need a fresh one.

 564 characters

Photo of kvadiat
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cnealc
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

$3.75 for a bottle at Kennedy’s Irish Pub and Curry House (which is an extremely strange place). Pitch black pour, with a small mocha head. Malt, dark fruit and licorice in the nose. Huge roasted flavour with chocolate and espresso. The alcohol is a little too apparent for my liking. Huge full palate with perfect carbonation. We have a winner.

 346 characters

Photo of ExtraStout
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holy smokes this is a nice stout! Poured brownish-black in color with a small dark tan head. A mellow alcohol and fruity notes make a soft aroma. This is one full-bodied stout starting with roasted coffee and creamy malt flavors. Very smooth overall and the alcohol isn't as apparent in the taste as in the aroma. At 9% this is very drinkable on this cold rainy afternoon. If not for a lingering bitter aftertaste I would have rated it higher.

 443 characters

Photo of haygood
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love stouts and porters so for a 9% Stout, it was pretty good.

Nice dark black with a tan head. Aroma not too overpowering. Not too thick.

The high alc isn't overpowering.

This was highly recommended by Jim the Beerguy at Chan's Wine World in Destin.

Only had 2 4 pks left, so I grabbed them.

I will buy this again when I get outside MS.

 345 characters

Photo of sgoodship
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My friend Brian gave me this because he thought I would like it. He was right. Cheers Brian!

A: Proud looking stout. Poured an extremely large, really dark coffee stained bubbly head. Surprised by how audible the carbonation was. Lovely oily black liquid with a nice amount of ruby red showing through against the light. Lacing is great but doesn't really stick. Head dissipates to a thin dusting and eventually to a ring.

S: For me, the big malt and alcohol strength came across loudest at first. Coffee was very dominant throughout. From time to time, I got a slight phenolic reading too.

T: Massive roasted chocolate malt taste. Strong coffee, anice, licorice & dark fruit. It is not all bitter though, there is also some crystal type sweetness there too. The alcohol was pretty well masked at first but it started coming through as sherry or port toward the end of the drink. The aftertaste was a little too acidic for me but moved swiftly into a lasting bitter coffee and hop that was pleasing. Nice and chewy with plenty of complexity to keep you thinking.

M: Full bodied. Slickness that coats the mouth. Generally very smooth and creamy apart from the liveliness of the carbonation.

D: In the spirit of it being imperial, I felt like it was a very rich and high quality RIS. It was lovely and warming. Rasputin is a great label for it - it certainly had a mysterious aspect to it. I don't find this style highly drinkable, I like to have one once in a while. Having said that, it was an easy drink to put to rest. A fine brew that I'll happily pick up again in future.

 1,582 characters

Photo of mattffrost
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into glass

Appearance Beer is a black cloudy color. Head is a nice tan color. Head lingers on for quite awhile. I dont see a lot of carbonation bubbles through glass not sure if the beer is to dark to see these or there are just not a lot of bubbles.

Smell Nice chocolate aroma is the first smell I get. A hint of coffee is also present.

Taste A chocolate taste is present. Sweet malt is also tasted. Finishes a little bitter. Very smooth beer that is mild as well. Does not taste like a 9.00% but I know it is.

Mouthful Ultra low carbonation, a very smooth beer.

Drikability For a Russian stout goes down pretty good. A little to rich to drink to fast, must be sipped, a very nice beer.

 708 characters

Photo of skillerified
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black as night in the middle, but some burgundy-red tints around the edges. Head is about a finger and a half and tan. Fades fairly quickly, but leaves a ton of lacing on the glass.

Licorice, malt and hop start off the nose. Some vinous notes. Also a distinct dark fruit scent that seems different from the vinous scents. Maybe a touch of chocolate too.

First sip ... whoa! There's a lot going on here. The fruity flavors seem to hit first, followed by a strong dark coffee-like taste. A bit of a spicy alcohol bite. Then there's a chocolate note on the finish.

Mouthfeel is very interesting. There's a distinct sweet part early, then a grapefruit like bitterness in the middle that lasts through the finish. Then there's a different kind of bitterness toward the end that fades just before the finish. It's amazing that it feels so different from front to back.

That grapefruit bitterness really bugs me and will hinder the drinkability for me, but otherwise this is a fine stout. I wouldn't have any problem putting one down from time to time.

 1,058 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a midnight black with a thick, tan 2-finger head that dies down into a thick, sticky lacing.

Smell - Roasty. Chocolate and coffee. A bit of astringent alcohol comes through as well.

Taste - Strong, dark and roasted bitter chocolate and coffee malts. Alcohol shines through mid-taste, before being devoured by the bitter aftertaste, which gets stronger the warmer the beer gets.

Mouthfeel - Thick and a bit intimidating. Almost hard to get down once the beer warms. Best to drink it while it's cold.

Overall - A classic, straight forward Russian Imperial. There's nothing fancy about this one, and sip after sip becomes a bit of a menacing chore, though a chore that's enjoyable in a masochistic sense. It's a beer that feels stronger than the 9% label would have you believe. I consider Old Rasputin to be the standard by which all RIS's should be judged.

 878 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 94% out of 100 with 12,258 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.