Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout | North Coast Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
3,685 Reviews
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,685
Ratings:
12,077
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
10.28%
 
 
Wants:
588
Gots:
2,946
For Trade:
52
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 3,685 | Ratings: 12,077
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours total black with a shortlived espresso head. Dark chocolate and coffee with maple syrup in the nose. The taste is roasty, with rich chocolate notes. Pinesol and lemony hops provide great balance. Tobacco and leather notes in the background. The mouthfeel is medium full with a light carbonation. Moderate bitterness and dark chocolate and roasted barley in the long finish.

A very nice RIS, very much to style with plenty of complexity and balance. Any dark beer fan should seek it out.

 500 characters

Photo of Cramshawbar
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Argh! This is so difficult and unfair from my end. I don't like stouts, unless they offer something extra (Dragon's Milk, Peche Mortel), so any rating from me on a straight forward stout is unfair. But I still try everything I can, and of course I had to try this one.
Not bad, a little more tolerable than most, but I still don't get why all of dark chocolate's goodness disappears in beer. I like dark chocolate a lot. In fact, that is the only chocolate I like. But in beer, it becomes obtrusive and bitter in a bad way (unlike the bitter goodness of a double IPA).
The rest is obligatory: beautiful thick head with some retention and gentle lacing, bitter (blah! to me) nose and a taste that will leave stout lovers satisfied, although it may be surprisingly watery to some. Buy it with confidence.

 804 characters

Photo of thebeers
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a pretty solid black color with a giant three-plus fingers of lasting tan foam that leave heavy webbed lacing.

Nutty, lightly-roasted malts, chocolate and a little coffee stand out in the aroma. These continue to the taste where they mix with a stronger, more charred-malt flavor, some pretty strong hop bitterness, a slight vegetal flavor and a kiss of alcohol on the backend.

It's medium-to-heavy bodied with strong carbonation in play in the mouthfeel.

To me, this is a beer that would have seemed world class fifteen years ago. The vegetal note and the not-quite-perfect carbonation level knock it a bit in my scoring, but I really appreciate the charred, bitter qualities in this one and can definitely see why it's beloved.

Packaged on 12142016.

 772 characters

Photo of jds16
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle. Nice tan head, a ring lingers long after pouring. Smells of chocolate, dark roasted coffee, and a little smoky. Well-integrated roasted malt and dark chocolate. Fairly bitter. Thick and slick motor oil feel is exactly what I want from my imperial stouts. Pretty much a benchmark for the style.

 306 characters

Photo of Dulahan
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As the first Imperial Stout I had, this is my benchmark in many ways. It's got a nice, spicy edge to it along with being thick as can be. If it has a downside it can be a bit harsh at times, definitely a sipper. But that's not really a bad thing given how strong this stuff is! Highly recommended, and I love how readily available it is. there are better Imperial Stouts out there, but few so consistently available. Especially outside of Rare Beer Festivals.

 465 characters

Photo of jjamadorphd
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I saw this in my local liquor store and knew I had to at least grab one. I wish I had grabbed more...

Beautifully dark, thick head, and good lacing make for a visually appealing beer. The smell was distinctive to most other Russian imperials but with a good scent of booziness to tingle the nose. The mouthfeel was somewhere between medium and full-bodied but with carbonation that did not necessarily distract from the overall experience. The taste was not my best of Russian imperials I have had, but I'm pretty sure it's up there. Overall, it's an impressive beer that is well worth the hype found within this hallowed site.

 633 characters

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

Appearance: One of the best looking stouts I have ever seen. A pitch black beer that pours a huge, three finger khaki colored head that laces the glass exceptionally well. Head retention is superb, and lasts for a good 10 minutes before finally settling down.

Aroma: Lots of dark chocolate and roasted malt with hints of coffee and sweet vanilla. A tiny hint of piney hops and notions of fine tobacco. A little bit of alcohol on the nose as well. A great smelling stout.

Taste: Extremely pleasant. The flavor is predominantly consistent of a creamy, dry, dark roasted malt flavor. I'm getting bittersweet gourmet dark chocolate, rich connecticut tobacco, old leather, hints of vanilla beans, coffee and very very faint notions of sugar cookies. As it warms resinous, piney sensations from the hops assert themselves.

Feel: Full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and velvety. Crisp (for an RIS).

Overall: Probably my favorite russian imperial of all time. Very hearty and complex, with deep notes of bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt. The mouthfeel and taste are really perfect for the style. The flavor is intricate, robust and creamy without the mouthfeel being too unctuous or slimy. Just dry enough so as to not leave you reaching for a glass of water, and crisp enough to enjoy during the warmer months without being too watery and thin.

This beer isn't for everyone but if you have a palate for dark chocolate and imperial stouts this is one you'll really enjoy.

 1,479 characters

Photo of spursfaninla
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First, I had this in a bottle (of course,) so I am rating it as that, not comparing it to a draft beer.

Local liquor store stocks these in four packs, so glad.

This is an exceptional beer. Great flavors, no weaknesses. Best all-around stout I have had. competes with my other favorite widely available stout maker, Samuel Smith.

 332 characters

Photo of Xamonline
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle, Purchased in Chicago, served in a 20oz Becker Glass

L: black motor oil with thick, dirty brown head that laces beautifully as it dissipates

S: hops then chocolate

T: so much going on yet so composed; smooth / effervescent / chocolate / bitter

M: medium body and surprisingly effervescent

O: complex with many of the great qualities of a russian imperial without the weight and thickness. one of the most sessionable of this variety i've had

 459 characters

Photo of HipCzech
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 12 oz bottle ("11082016") poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter glass.

Appearance: Inky black with fringes of dark brown. Builds a nice head of khaki foam that slowly recedes to streaky lace

Smell: Deeply roasted grains, light woodsmoke and emerging alcohol as it warms.

Taste: Complex malt body with layers of roasted and burnt grains, espresso and some bittersweet chocolate in the close. A healthy dose of earthy, bitter, herbal hops keeps any sweetness in check.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and smooth with just enough carbonation.

Overall: Big, bold and complex; definitely lives up to its reputation as a classic RIS.

 636 characters

Photo of Oopssorryy
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark brown, and settles to a pitch black hue, with a large, thick light tan head resting on top. The head has impressive body, and real staying power, lingering long after most Stouts would have given up. Lacing is prevalent and sticky, leaving rings in the glass as I down the brew. No light passes through even when held up to direct light. The nose is much sweeter than I expected. Very fruity, up front with a softly bitter roast note hiding in the background.

The flavor is full of subtleties, with no one flavor really standing out to me. First sip, and I got a sweet malt that reminded me of bakers chocolate in a way. Next sip was full of bitter roast and hints of licorice. Each mouth full went back and forth between these two flavors, and upon swallowing I got a swell of dark fruit, presently sweet, with a warming alcohol note right at the end. The finish, in contrast to the swallow, is bitter malt that sticks to your tongue flavoring subsequent sips, altering the initial flavors. I feel as if I get hints of coffee here, but that may well be in my head as I know there is none in this fantastic beer.

The beer is a bit thinner than I expected, but still what I'd call a thick beer. There is mild carbonation that you can detect, but it in no way takes anything away from the ultra smooth feel of this beer. Overall this has to be one of the top beers I've had, Stout or not.

 1,403 characters

Photo of Hereforbeer92
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Weird to say that this is my "go to" imperial Stout. But it's widely available and still maintains a very high quality. Happy to introduce friends to imperial stouts using this beer. not the most rare or complicated stout out there, but for what it is, it's nearly perfect. Quality imperial Stout with a good AbV at an unbeatable price. Drink it all year round!

 361 characters

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

Ah dear old friend Rasputin, a go to value beer. Pitch black with a wispy ring for a head. Smells of bakers chocolate and roasty sweetness. Taste follows, roasty sweetness, bakers chocolate, prunes/mollasses? A little more hop presence and carbonation than many popular stouts. Solid easy to find offering leaving me wondering why I pay so much for more hard to find beers.

 373 characters

Photo of Ahypercube
4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Old Rasputin is an old favorite. Time for a review! Into a goblet...

L: Looks like expresso; super dark, but not too thick or syrupy. Tons of very fine, frothy head that acquires multiple colors, ranging from khaki to cappuccino. Great retention: the lacing formed a nice flat ring around the top of the glass with dripping tendrils.

S: Smoke is immediately apparent, quickly turning into dark roast coffee and gaining sweeter notes of raisin, plumb, and molasses, finishing in a tart blackberry. Favorite scent profile I've found in a stout. Love that dark fruit. Could do with even more.

T: Upon first sip, again smoke is immediately apparent, but the fruit takes over from there with definite plum and blackberry (molasses and vanilla also make a short cameo). Unfortunately, the fruit is quickly demolished by strong expresso notes, which become increasingly dry and salty, until ending in a salty, bitter dark chocolate. Definitely a tasty finish, I just wish the middle of the palate were slightly longer.

F: Not as thick or creamy as a typical stout, but this beer is not very sweet, which is preferable to me. Perhaps this is a necessary trade-off?

O: A fantastic stout. And the only good and affordable one that's widely available (at least in California).

 1,270 characters

Photo of TerryMills
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pretty good stout ,poured jet black with 1 finger light cream head.

I enjoyed it but for my taste it's not world class , too thin ,too bitter and doesn't hide the booze at all.

Would drink it again but there are several ris I would go to first...

 248 characters

Photo of Ruger_44-Redhawk
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a go to RIS that I've enjoyed for years. The smell doesn't really give off much but the taste is where it's at. This is a benchmark for the style. Thick and rich with the ABV pretty well hidden. Taste of.....this one confuses me. It's damn good, I just can't break down the flavors. Anyhow, I always have a couple of these in the back of the fridge just in case.

 376 characters

Photo of jrsqc7
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Perfectly opaque chocolate body with medium dark khaki head slowly dissipates leaving ample legs of lacing.

Taste is dark chocolate and medium roast coffee. I dunno why people are saying this tastes like espresso, the coffee flavor has that light lemon tinge I associate with medium roasts. There is plentiful hop flavor as well, however the dominant malts leave it as a sort of herbal miscellany. Unlike most imperial stouts which become sweeter as they warm, this one - due to the hops- the herbal essences become more apparent. This makes it whilst warm something like a black IPA. Mouthfeel doesn't make itself known, which is to say it's perfect.

Overall pretty good. It's a style I'm partial to as well.

 717 characters

Photo of Hallu
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great classic imperial stout. I love because it's drier than most American stouts. Usually, you get the coffe/chocolate stouts on the sweet side, or a coffee/tobacco/dark fruit stout on the boozy side. But this one has a taste and finish closer to a dry stout, which is great. Like a dry stout, it's not thick either. The nose is heavy on the coffee and dark fruits: prunes and dark grapes. A bit of cacao bitterness, but no real chocolate there. The finish is very long, roasted malt and coffee, very nice. No nuttiness at all, it's actually quite agressive, that's where you can feel its American side as opposed to English stouts. Usually a heavy stout doesn't go well with a sweet dessert, but this would definitely work because of its dryness.

 758 characters

Photo of vladdswrath
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Color is dark, dark coffee with a nice, big, creamy, beige head that cascades bubbles as you pour and laces like a boss when it's done. Aroma is chocolate, a hint of raisins, coffee, and booze. Taste follows, but the bitter roasted coffee is more forward and the sweetness is less pronounced, although it balances nicely. Lots of alcohol burn but not unpleasant, I think it's what makes this such a good wintertime sipper. Mouthfeel is somehow thin and creamy all at the same time, with lots of carbonation and tongue numbing warmth making it a very fun drink. I wouldn't want this every day, but sipping this thing as I watch the snow coming down feels just about perfect.

 673 characters

Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle,into a Cigar City snifter.

Creamy,1 finger,khaki colored head.Jet black in color with no light coming through the glass.Hard to tell if there is any carbonation.

On the nose I get alot of toffee,caramel,some chocolate and coffee.Also getting dark roasted malts,and dark fruits.

The palate follows the nose with lots of toffee,caramel,chocolate,coffee,and dark roasted malts.Tiny bit of alcohol in the finish.Also getting hints of dark fruits in the palate.

Medium / heavy body,with a dry finish,slight alcohol warming as well.

This is a very good IRS....definitely a go to.

 599 characters

Photo of Benjolovesbeer
3.35/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color is pitch black like a cold espresso, small bubbly head that soon vanishes. Body is thick like a stout should be.
Aroma is malts, chocolate, and coffee.
Taste is chocolatey, malty, nutty, and coffee but carries a slight nasty metallic taste so it's missing something in its flavor. Not the best stout but do like the fact it's a 9.0 abv but probably won't but again.

 373 characters

Photo of Ghrymm
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Well there are 3.665 reviews of this one so what can i really say? I guess if you see it buy it. a wonderful Stout. I bought a 4 pack and i am heading out to buy more.

 169 characters

Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with very nice tan head and lacing. Smells of burnt malt, coffee, and some roasted nuts. Taste is very nice, good blend of coffee, expresso, nuts and malt with a little alcohol bite. Finish is clean, little coffee notes linger with a sugary malt taste. Overall this is a nice beer, not too bad a bite and great mix of flavors.

 342 characters

Photo of RozzieBoy
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - Deep black body with a thick, deep coffee colored head. Good retention on the head/ lacing.
S - Coffee and roasty, but just right.
F - Was lighter on the palate than I anticipated from the thick pour, which I liked. Real nice mouthfeel and after taste.
T - Coffee and chocolate with a roasty taste. Wow!
O - Really good beer! It kept getting better and better as I drank it.

 388 characters

Photo of NateDyk47
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bought a single 12oz bottle, drank from a snifter.

Look: pours a black color with a couple fingers tan head, dissipating quickly into a thin lacing
Smell: roasted malt, chocolate, roasted espresso
Taste: similar to the smell, creamier than I had expected. Delicious dark chocolate aftertaste.
Feel: very smooth, easy to drink. Full bodied & moderately carbonated.

Overall: just an incredible stout. Will definitely seek this beer out again.

 445 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 12,077 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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe