Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

3,696 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: 3,696 | Ratings: 12,111
Photo of cbenson
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours jet black like motor oil. Has a small, quickly dissipating brown head with no lacing or carbonation. Not the most beautiful I've seen.
S: Dark chocolate, malty, and slightly citric with a presence of alcohol.
T: Strong notes of chocolate with a hint of vanilla and a balanced alcohol taste. Fantastic but I wish the aftertaste carried a bit more.
F: Full-bodied and creamy with a wonderful carbonated fizzle. Excellent!
O: This is a rich and satisfying stout with an excellent mouthfeel. I wish it pushed the bitters a bit more.

 542 characters

Photo of jaypaul522
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is pretty perfect stout. Poured dark black with big head. Smell of roasted malts, with only vague hints of other flavoring. The taste was full, complex but the malts weren't buried by chocolate or coffee. Feel is very full bodied, and the finish is a creamy after-taste of the malts. Great beer.

 300 characters

Photo of kculrich
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a 12oz. bottle, undated as best I can tell. Served in a tulip.

Pours a deep-dark chocolate with a plum aura. An excellent three-finger head of whipped mocha foam has very good retention and leaves thick sheets of heavy lacing sliding down the glass.

Smells of cocoa, copper, oranges and leaf mould.

The taste is lush and full, toasted grains and fruit juice, raisins, walnuts and tobacco. A solid malty backbone with high-notes of slick, roasted bitterness and very little aftertaste.

Feel is smooth, medium-full bodied and mouth coating with just enough carbonation to get the job done.

Overall, an excellent, beautifully bitter RIS. Although, at 9% abv, it should have been a sipper, it was so damn easy to drink that I done drunk it right up. Whoops.

 765 characters

Photo of Squire123
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Black with a red tinge around the edges, tan cap with very good lacing.

Aroma: Spicy hops over roasted malt. A hard to describe malt sweetness beneath layers of coffee and roasted malt.

Taste: Bitter hops, bitter roast malt, bitter coffee yet there's a malt richness going on as well.

Texture: Full and maybe even slightly fuller than full.

Overall: Roasty, burnt toasty, expresso yet with an underlying rich malt core. It is, as the name states, both Imperial and Stout.

 493 characters

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

Had this on tap at there taproom and bottled into a bomber many times.
First bottle.

L - Nice dark black with brown accents. Pours a brownish tan head, wish it had a slightly bit more head to give it that perfect look but its enough.

S - Very malty smell, chocolate with a little bit of cherry. It smells like a strong stout should. However the smell fades kind of fast.

T - WOW! First off it just hits you with that nice maltyness that you could smell, followed by a nice balance of coffee and chocolate with a little bit of vanilla and tobacco underneath. Just an awesome balance of bitter and sweet flavors.

F - That malt just crisps your tongue so nicely, it feels like a stout and taste like a stout.

On Tap
Poured into a 10 oz tulip glass
L - It looks so much cleaner, it pours a crisp tan foamy head that balances with the blackness of the stout itself. Overall its beautiful to look at.

S - Mostly the same however the maltyness is a little bit more pronounced, the smell of coffee hits you more.

T - Oh my damn, I didn't think it could get any better but I was wrong, after already being a huge fan of the bottle version the tap was phenomenal, the coffee and chocolate hit with a more robust flavoring that counteract the bitterness of the end of the beer. It tastes like a stout poured from heaven itself.

F - So much more smooth, I feel like I could drink it all day. The tan head itself is so foamy and soft it pronouncing a wonderful coffee flavor, the feeling of the foam you get from an espresso. Overall its just a fantastic beer.

 1,557 characters

Photo of Ginagee68
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at JL Beers in a flight and enjoyed the full-bodied flavor higher alcohol content so I don't think I would be able to drink more than just the flight good with 5 ounces. But great beer taste would have it again but just don't feel I could drink a full pint.

 266 characters

Photo of goodbeer4cheap
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed from draft most recently in early April. A very consistent time to time beer could be described as a dessert beer. Look- thick, dark, decent carbonation and head. Smell - chocolate, malt, sweetness, reassuring. Taste- I get chocolate and a slight coffee, a large sweet malty is also there which is lovely. Feel-pure heavy dessert beer. Fantastic beer I enjoy time to time in special moments in life. April was both it's on tap status and the birth of my first niece.

 480 characters

Photo of Grindelvasdrum
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into glass stein.
A-Black, half finger brown head with aggressive pour, nice lacing.
S-Sweet malt, baker's chocolate, big coffee aroma dominates.
T-Extremely complex blend of sweet & bitter, chocolate, big coffee, also an almost sour tart sweetness that suggests a slight Bing cherry aspect at moments. Extraordinarily complex profile contrasting the range of the palate. I hardly notice the 9% abv.

M-Medium carbonation & decent creaminess.
O-Wonderful holiday sipping beer!

 492 characters

Photo of Whey2Hoppy
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep black color with red tinting around the edges of the glass, and with a thick, foiamy, espresso colored head. Textbook stout appearance. Coffee and burnt roasted malts in the aroma with dark, bitter chocolate. Taste follows the nose, but it's much more bitter and roasty than I expected. Slight alcohol kick in the finish, but there's an amazing balance of those bitter roasty coffee flavors and slight malty sweetness. Medium, slightly viscous body that goes down surprisingly smooth. Definitely one of the better stouts out there, and it is deserving of much of the praise that it receives.

 604 characters

Photo of Guppy314
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, thick with maltyness. Plus a nice kick (which implies you won't be drinking these all night long). Full-bodied with no bothersome aftertaste, so really nice overall. No odd tastes like: quinine, or coffee, or nuts ... just a good proper Stout taste.

 255 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an awesome and thick black beer with just a hint of dark brown towards the edge, sits with a 1" brown top head, provides excellent lace down the side. Aroma was just tons of burnt chocolate malt.

Big blast of roasted malt, relatively high amount of c hops, coffee notes from the roasting. Bitterness is substantial but not a problem. Covers alcohol very well. Great mouthfeel, thick, consistent, not oppressive.

Very affordable and one of the few reasons North Coast is still relevant. Would continue to bang again just as I have this one for almost 20 years.

 575 characters

Photo of adamhdg
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Delicious dark chocolate color with a nice coffee colored head. Smells of dark, smoky grains. Tasting notes include coffee, licorice, molasses, and chocolate. Easy drinking with light carbonation. Overall, the best stout I've had to date.

 238 characters

Photo of MusaJames
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It doesn't get any better in this in this style of beer. Imagine Guinness extra stout to the 20th power. The look and flavor are astounding. Please forgive my inability to articulate everything that is going on with this beer. Take it easy when you drink this beer as the alcohol content is 9%.

 298 characters

Photo of MattinHouston
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

If you like stout beers such as Guinness extra stout, this is like that plus higher abv and better flavor. Bought it at the local grocery, anytime I want a good stout I pick this up. Full of flavors, like a fine coffee / expreso and alcohol as a bonus. No other way to describe it - coffee lovers delight, dark, tasty, potent.

 329 characters

Photo of bbtkd
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, 9% ABV, 75 IBU. Pours thick and black with lots of tan head that lasts, nice lacing. Nose is malt and coffee, palate is coffee with some malt, moderate coffee bitter finish. Not really noting the alcohol. Does not seem like 75 IBU of bitterness. Nice mouthfeel. Probably the best RIS I've had. Gets better as it warms.

 367 characters

Photo of Martin194
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark, big dark tan head

Smell: Hints of coffee

Taste: Roasty, slight hints of coffee, maybe a little chocolate, leaves a warm, bitter aftertaste

Feel: Average carbonation, doesn't distract from taste, nothing much to report

Overall: A very good stout, my personal favorite stout as of now

 303 characters

Photo of Nferry2
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Admittedly i had much higher expectations for Mr Rasputin but perhaps it was that anticipation or maybe the pizza I ate with him that let me down. Rasputin pours black crowned by a creamy brown head that quickly dissipates into the black abyss. The nose is a complex blend of molassas, honey, stonefruits, and alchohol. The taste is even more complex journey through three distinct sessions. Session one is a bold tongue lashing of coffee, malt, burnt popcorn, and alcholol. The second act softens into a sweet chocolate base with notes of dried fig and cherry. The third act is marked by a mild bitterness, salts, and toffee as the malt sweetness fades. Mouthfeel is sharp, bitter, and thick on the front but tingly and dry on the finish. In the end, although Rasputin was pleasant company for this meal he's probably not a friend I'll invite over again anytime soon.

 869 characters

Photo of Sandalwood
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016, pours a very brown to black color with a thin off white head. There is a bit of a soapy lacing. The odor for me is roasted malts, dark chocolate, nutty, coffee, vanilla, slightly chalky, slight woods. The taste for me is roasted malts, bitter chocolate, nutty, coffee, dry, slightly earthy, woods, bitterness throughout.

 329 characters

Photo of davidfcr1
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beer is very dark with a relatively thick consistency. Smell is pleasant, although you can get a sense of the high alcohol level. Very unique taste, just the right amount of richness if one likes stout beers. Light enough not to be overwhelming, yet it still achieves an abundant feel while drinking it.

The is my favorite imperial stout and I have tried every other one I can get my hands on, but nothing comes close to Old Rasputin.

 436 characters

Photo of crisis1290
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout -North Coast Brewing by far is one of the best Russian Imperials I have ever tasted. This is a super dark beer. No light getting through this bad boy. Nice dark pour with a brownish head.
Super creamy and very well balanced. This beer is so good. It is an all year around beer. Forget the old habit of no stouts when it warms up. As this beer warms, it tastes even better. Regardless of the 9.0 ABV, it is well hidden.
In fact, it might be too well hidden !! You can never go wrong with this work of art ! I liked it so much I grabbed a case and put a few away to age ! The ratings , for sure match the quality. One taste and you will be hooked !

 684 characters

Photo of TheNerd
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Damn near perfect.
Thick head, color halfway between khaki and chocolate milk. Opaque black. Lagging clings to the glass as head dissipates. Coco and coffee in both the nose and pallet. Big full mouth feel with some light carbonation on the edges. Aroma sings with every sip. Big and beautiful but bizarrely approachable. I can't think of a better imperial stout off the top of my head

 385 characters

Photo of KatyBeerGuy
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass from tap. 3 inch head settled to two inches. Left clouds of foam on the glass as it was going down. Only black and fairly well carbonated. I expected this beer to be heavy, but it wasn't. Abv is very well hidden, and the fast is of slight malt and slight chocolate.


 306 characters

Photo of sjdevel
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A deep shade of black with a black hue. 2 finger head coming out of a 12-ounce bottle with a slightly aggressive pour. No light what-so-ever getting through this one. The foam is a nice deep tan/khaki color. Great head retention. Bubble replenishment is great.

Very rich coffee, hops, and chocolate. There is a fair amount of sweet syrup that wafts up as well. There is a slight smoky smell along with a bit of caramel.

A good deal of hop bitterness cuts through right up front. Then it kicks into sweet caramel, coffee, toffee, chocolate, and hops (rich and savory, not bitter). There is a nice roasted/smoky flavor in there. The sweetness starts to fade out, and some hop bitterness seems to come back as it dries out. I was left with a very nice aftertaste when the flavors die out. Tastes of smoked grains, caramel syrup, and hops linger on.

Very rich, thick, and full bodied. Never goes flat and a bit oily.

This is an amazing beer. I have seen this beer in the top beers list for a while. I can see why. This beer is very good with many complex flavors. There are sweet flavors, bitter flavors, slightly fruity, hoppy, and smoky. This tastes like a mixture of a few beers: Black IPA, Brown Porter, Chocolate Stout, Coffee Stout, and a Milk Stout. Very impressive. I bought this in a 4 – pack (as I normally only purchase singles of beers) and will definitely polish off the pack and purchase more in the future. This just may become one of my favorites.

 1,546 characters

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

A great overall RIS. Quite possibly the benchmark for American brewed Russian Imperial Stout.

It pours as black as a Siberian moonless night. Excellent balance of chocolate, coffee, raisin and cocoa. Comes on bitter but finishes smooth, creamy and malty. Excellent full flavored Stout.

Had from a bottle.

 310 characters

Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black. Crowned with a creamy mocha brown head that lasts forever and leaves sheets of tan lacing along the glass. A black beauty.
The aroma, like the appearance, is a black abyss that beckons you in. You get loads of sweet dark chocolate, licorice, caramel, figs, raisins, and soy sauce balanced by an intense bitterness of petrychor, black coffee, leather, and tobacco smoke.
The palate delivers. You get tons of dark chocolate, cocoa powder, burnt toast, caramel, a little of soy sauce, fig, plum, raisin, burnt sugar, and black coffee. The balance between sweet and bitter is perfection. Finishes decidedly bitter, yet complex, with lingering notes of baking chocolate and espresso.
The mouthfeel is creamy, silky smooth, and ridiculously awesome to drink.

Overall: A hell of a beer. One of the best imperial stout, non-barrel aged, I could imagine. Absolutely beautiful.

 890 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,111 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.