Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
3,654 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: 3,654 | Ratings: 11,953
Photo of cowace2
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I call it "motor oil stout". Thick like syrup, pouring it is a joy. Head is very dark and thick, feels and looks great.

Both smell and taste are dominanted by roasted malts. Seems like chocolate and coffee. Great combination; it is obvious they spent a long time perfecting the malt combo and they hit this one out of the park.

Ideal balance between sweetness and dryness. 9% is definitely not apparent. Very easy to drink considering how thick and strong it is.

Personally I think this is one of the premier stouts brewed in America. Use it to scare off your Bud Light swilling friends and then sit back and enjoy.

 625 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A nice dark stout with a rich color and very pleasant, stouty smell. The taste is complex, but not heavy and without any bitterness. It sits nicely in the mouth and goes down smooth as velvet and strong as a truck. I highly recommend it to anybody who loves porters and stouts.

 277 characters

Photo of Lagaffe74
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured it in a brandy snifter. Gorgeous deep opaque robe. Tan head that took its little time to disappear. Nose was full of roasted malts and dark chocolate. Very rich on the palate with notes of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. Nice finish. Outstanding!!

 256 characters

Photo of budgood1
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours out an opaque dark brown colour...beautiful. ruby tinted tan head appears and sticks frothfully. lots of lace. aroma of fuitcake and cherries...monster cookies, rum, port wine, etc. taste is oh so tasty and amazing with its layered toffee and caramel goodness and with its fig flavoured rum soaked fruit cake nuances. enough dark roasted features to satisfy. then comes the amazingly well balanced hoppiness...seems so integrated but defined. this has a lot of norhtwest hop character...but so definitely more baltic porter than imperial stout. this ranks right up there with the all time faves of style and celebrity. i can see why i was blown away when first reviewing this beer years ago...it still boggles the mind. full bodied, silky mouthfeel, and an alcohol warmth in the finish. damn tasty. drinkability rocks. i love it.

 835 characters

Photo of olegv40
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black, with a gigantic brown head thats with you till the end. Smells of roasted oats and barley, with a sour component. Tastes of chocolate and espresso, initially very dry, but finishes sweet. If you appreciate a good stout, you should give this a try.

 260 characters

Photo of tonistruth
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a very dark brown, possibly black. Tan two finger head, good retent, the head finally recedes to a foam ring, and some solid lacing remains on the glass on you drink.

S- roasted and burnt malts, chocolate, coffee

T- sweet burnt malts with an alcoholic burn toward the finish, chocolate, rich aftertaste. Alcohol becomes much more evident as the brew warms.

M- medium body, good level of carbonation, smooth, warm

D- you can taste the 9%, but didnt really feel. dangerously easy drinking here. yummy brew, i'd recommend to stout lovers

 555 characters

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, blinding black; lumpy tan head; massive, streaky tan lacing throughout. Cocoa, dark burnt malts and smokey almonds graze the nose. The initial sips are sweet chocolate, yeasty malts and light roast coffee beans. The body quickly turns creamy and slick. Caramel, brown sugar and dark roasted malts combine for a massively flavored full bodied beer! Velvet-like smoothness; oh so tender hints of left coast perfumy hops with a large smokey malt backbone and finish. Mild, warming notes of alcohol. A roof-raising, sessionable, well marketed RIS--do you need more?

 567 characters

Photo of jaxon53
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served slightly below room temperature in a pint glass. Poured a shiny, used motor oil like jet black. Left a frothy coffee brown colored head about three quarters of an inch high. Head slowly dissapeared into a brown gob in the center of the glass. Sweet aromas of chocolates, roasted coffee beans, and a touch of freshly baked cookies. Had a wonderful taste as well. Flavors of roasted chocolate malt, bitter roasted coffee beans, some dark chocolates, and vanilla extract. A small hint of well hidden alcohol and a little bit of carbonation. Mouthfeel was thick and full with an explosion of flavor. Also a pretty drinkable russian imperial stout.

 650 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer after drinking a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, and I think this one suffers a little in comparison. A black color with a fairly small head. Coffee, sweet chocolate aroma. An espresso taste, some chocolate. I thought it was a little on the sharp side. Still, a pretty enjoyable stout.

 301 characters

Photo of zuggy9
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This excellent stout pours a thick creamy black with light carbonation and a rich tan head that laces nicely. It has a hearty smell of roasted malt and toffee notes. No missing the alcohol. The taste is fantastic -- creamy and sweet with a nice alcohol punch. The aftertaste is pleasant. Very nice mouthfeel and very thick. Even at the high ABV it drinks well and it's easy to have a few before consciousness is sacrificed.

 423 characters

Photo of linecook12
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Duvel Tulip

Pours a rich, creamy head with even carbonation. Opaque chocolate color with a caramel-tan head. Aroma is of coffee and balsamic vinegar. Flavor has notes of burned sugar, some hoppiness but that hoppiness is mostly masked by the over-powering smoky malt. Mouthfeel is wonderful, creamy and smooth. Overall, a nice, smooth R.I.S. without being noticablely bitter. Although, not the most complex flavor profile either. That said, I am anxious to see how it will age.


 511 characters

Photo of mithrascruor
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a very heavy and creamy black, with minimal carbonation and a dark tan head that fades into a thick lace. Looks really rich and enticing.

Smell: The beer has a strong, bold aroma of roasted malts, together with toffee and a slight hint of alcohol.

Taste: Immediately I notice how rich this beer is; very creamy with roast malts and toffee. Some alcohol is present in the taste as well, and the aftertaste is bittersweet.

Mouthfeel: Again, very creamy... and thick-bodied. Possibly a bit too creamy, but it is still very good.

Drinkability: Alcohol does tend to hit fairly quick (taste-wise), as it is quite strong. But as long as you take it slow it works just fine.

Overall this is a really exciting and interesting imperial stout, and a great starting point with this style. Some may find it a bit too strong, either taste-wise or alcohol-wise, but if that doesn't scare you go ahead and try it!

 967 characters

Photo of srrn
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown with coffee and plums in the nose. Slick mouthfeel with good carbonation. Minimal lacing on glass. Burnt roasted malts followed by dark chocolate and coffee with a pleasant bitter aftertaste. Exceptional. This is one of my 'go to' beers for the RIP style..

 273 characters

Photo of EPICAC
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as night with a thick, creamy, brown head that retains as a quarter-inch layer leaving patchy lace.

Smell: Strong roasted aromas of chocolate and coffee as well as some hops.

Taste: There are nice flavors of chocolate throughout, as well as some tart fruitiness. The finish is roasted with notes of coffee as well as some hops.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and creamy with low to moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a high alcohol RIS, but I definitely wanted more when I finished the bottle.

 521 characters

Photo of IceAce
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark enough that the midday sun cannot begin to manage to punch through. Foam collar is deep tan and short-lived w/o lacing.

Nose is alcoholic with deeply roasted malt conveying dark unsweetened chocolate, toffee, and freshly ground coffee beans.

Entry is creamy and possesses a dry, chalky mouthfeel. Midtaste leads with hot unhidden alcohol before it settles in with a blanket of chocolate. The finish sports a fleeting hoppy note, more chocolate, and a warming glow.

 476 characters

Photo of stephendr
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle- color of India ink , small coffee color head - nose of chocolate (sweet and baking ), iodine , coffee , anis , dark fruit , mocha , and malts – taste of milk chocolate , vanilla , prunes, figs and coco – sweet chewy body- aftertaste anis, coffee, coco

 268 characters

Photo of jmichaeldesign
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black with a two finger head that lingers longer than I had expected. This is partially due to being a little warmer than it should be, and a sub par pour.

Smell is fantastic. The chocolate is right there in your face without being overwhelming.

Taste is not quite as strong as other imperial stouts I've had. Very well balanced. A little bit of hoppiness. Aftertaste is all chocolate.

Mouthfeel is good. A little too carbonated for the style in my opinion.

It's incredibly drinkable for an imperial stout. The flavor isn't cloying, but it's too carbonated for me.

Overall a great beer. I'd definitely buy it again. A great nightcap or first beer of the night.

 690 characters

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

Poured from the 12 oz. brown glass bottle into a tall chilled pilsner glass,(thats the glass they brought me.) The dark brown liquid passes no light through. The dark white head quickly dissapates to almost none, while leaving a nice Brussels lace down the glass. The smell is of roast chocolate malt and bread. The taste is quite warming, of roast chocolate malt with very little hop. Mouthfeel is quite good given the size of this beer. It seems I could session this beer for at least an hour, if not all night

Once again, bravo North Coast,


 559 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A black brew with dark brown highlights is capped by a solid looking thick brown 1 and 1/2 finger head that sticks around for quite some time. Thick waves of lace coat the glass.

S - Solid scents of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and roasted grains fill the nostrils. This is actually pretty mellow smelling, and the high alcohol level is not detectable. Burnt notes are there also.

T - Wonderfully full flavors of roasted cereal grains, chocolate, firewood, hickory, coffee, and tobacco. The taste is very bitter, but balanced by a little bit or chocolatey sweetness. This is really the most pleasant stout that I've had!

M - Full bodided, sweet and dextriny and first, slighty spicy and warming from the alcohol, and very dry on the finish. This stuff wicks the moisture away from you mouth and leaves you clucking, trying to make more spit. Wonderful.

D - Despite the alcohol content and strong roasty burnt flavors, I believe that this is about the most drinkable stout ever. Give me more!

 1,010 characters

Photo of xymyl
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very deep red/black with a creamy light tan and ever-present head and good carbonation, with small to very small bubbles.

Aroma is a clean singular hop aroma drifting in among fresh bread (or even fresh bread immediately made into toast), coffee and a little milk chocolate.

Taste is full of rich sweet notes (brown sugar, rasins, plumbs, a slight apple note and some other fruity notes that I just can't match) coffee, a tiny hint of milk chocolate and a bigger bite of dark chocolate, hops surface at times but generally I don't notice them, after that the alcohol shows up (just a bit) and then it all dries out.

Body is medium full/full and is very drinkable to someone like myself. Would be a sharing beer for some due to the richness. Overall a great (easy drinking without sacrificing flavor) Russian Imperial Stout.

 833 characters

Photo of scottoale
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh on nitro and served in a pint glass...WOW, a beautiful imperial stout of black-ass brown with incredibly thick and creamy, cocoa butter lace. The 1" thick head forms after a beautiful cascading display occurs, the kind that only nitrogen carbonation is capable of...buttercream froth. Fat, juicy rings of the stuff mark each sip of this fine looking brew.

Burnt and roasty dark malt smell is bluntly bitter and comprised of dark, black French Roast coffee and a heap of baker's chocolate...breakfast or dessert anyone?

The intake of a very short lasting sweetness is anise or black licorice if you will, followed by instant roast bitterness...an awesome tasty dark malt that is mostly black French Roast coffee (nearly espresso) with heavy bitter chocolate notes...rich and roasty to the finish. Very tasty I.S. with a smooth and creamy big body, accompanied by a well hidden, high dose of you guessed it...alcohol.

Great appearance, good smelling, excellent taste and mouthfeel lead up to an imperial stout that is all too drinkable...especially when on tap and charged with nitrogen...love this stuff!

 1,118 characters

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves an espresso-foam colored head of about one finger in depth, and has very good retention, and good spotty lacing. Body is almost black, being the deepest possible brown. Looks very beuatiful.

Smell - the nose is filled with roasted, smokey malt and dark crusted malt bread, as well as chocolate, figs, raisins, plums, dark dried fruits, and spicy, medicinal alcohol. Mouthwatering.

Taste - pretty much as promised by the nose, with the additon of caramel swirling throughout, and a slight lemony hop twang at times. Again, roasted, smokey malt with taste of dark dried fruits such as raisins and figs, and some ripe ones like plums. Malt bread baked long enough to almost burn the crust, with some chocolate and caramel to go along with the fruits, all in a swirl, with spicy, medicinal alcohol tying it all together. Delicious. And no harshness from the alcohol at all - it's well integrated into the taste, being pretty well hidden, only by lending its big spicy medicinal flavor do you know it's there.

Mouthfeel - full bodied, smooth, chewy at times - sort of " fluffy ", like when one eats puffed grain cereal.

Drinkability - this is an excellent ale, with well hidden abv. Very hearty, and delicious. It's that abv that holds down sessionability, so it's a sipper to be enjoyed slowly with only a couple of servings at a given session - but do so often, I will.

 1,414 characters

Photo of Minkybut
3.45/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tumbler at 5o degrees. Beer was black as night. Smell was dark roasted malty nutty smoke laced like wood fire smell. Head went away rather quick. I though this was a right strong stout a little bitter for my taste, but stout folks I think will like and shuld try it. I most likely will not purchase again though.

 326 characters

Photo of kzczp0
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich dark brown like espresso. Fine beaded head that lays at a half inch or more for a few minutes and then recedes to circle the glass with minor lacing over entire surface.

Smell is exquisitely rich, strong of roast malts, cigar and alcohol. Taste is straight on with dry feel over palate and not a complexity of flavors but rather intense burnt malt and bitterness from alcohol that does not change. I am not complaining about the taste. It is completely as expected.

The brew gets a little flat for carbonation quicklly which is to be expected but not a big change from beginning. As the beer warms I notice increase of chocolate and some hoppiness. This is an excellent Imperial. 2 or 3 of these would make for an interesting evening with good friends.

 773 characters

Photo of jletts
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased this tasty beer at the local PCC at a bargain price of $1.75. Served in a pint glass at about 50 degrees.

Appearance: Poured a very dark reddish brown, which is perceived as black in all but the brightest lighting, with a large yellow-brown head.

Smell: Earthy. Smells of dark leather and peat, some cloves and hops, and just a hint of sweetness, maybe sugar or vanilla.

Taste: Burnt sour cherry, cocoa. Charred and a little smokey at the end where the alcohol finally comes in, though not overpoweringly so.

Mouthfeel: medium body, a little syrupy.

Drinkability: An excellent Imperial Stout, but a little high in ABV to drink too many. But it is very drinkable because it is so tasty!

 712 characters

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 11,953 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!