Old Rasputin
North Coast Brewing Co.

Old RasputinOld Rasputin
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #32
ABV:
9%
Score:
96
Ranked #646
Avg:
4.33 | pDev: 10.16%
Reviews:
3,931
Ratings:
12,935
From:
North Coast Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  685
Gots
  3,381
SCORE
96
World-Class
Old RasputinOld Rasputin
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 3,931 | Ratings: 12,935 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of PathofChaos
PathofChaos from Maryland

4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance:
Intensely dark, russet brown with a light-tan head so voluptuously foamy it ought to consider a modeling career. Retention is strong. The lace begins as a solid, sandy wall that, oh-so-slowly, slips down to become a delicate, dotted weave.

Bouquet:
Like slipping into a wetsuit woven from toasted malts, then heedlessly cannonballing into a pool of black coffee and fudgy, dark chocolate. The first breath drawn upon resurfacing brings with it the aroma of a distant, walnut woodsmoke.

Feel:
A heavy, stone-smooth bridge over a murmuring brook of carbonation.

Taste:
A landslide of dark malts rushes you down a slope of heavily charred hops; in the end, flinging you back into that fudgy pool of brazenly black coffee. The aftertaste is infused with the same, deeply nutty wood-smoke found in the bouquet.

Overall:
Enjoy with a chocolate chip cookie and experience exponential wood-smoke flavor.

Jul 13, 2021
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SABERG from Massachusetts

4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an undated 12 oz bottle into the test glass
A - Black, cobalt color, lovely tan cap that stays through the entire experience.
S - Char, bakers chocolate, some dark fruit, hints of fig, raisan, some pumpernickle toast
T - Very much in line with the aromatics, with a kiss of anise in the mix
M - Light on the palate, with a staedy bitter presence that holds the sweet potential at bay
O - Simply wonderful, a bold and subdued stout that will be in full rotation in this home

Jul 08, 2021
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Alexparker505

4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried in bottle and stout cup.

Trying this beer in whatever form, it is clear that it has a powerful flavor and taste. The dark chocolate coffee flavor with a hint of caramel and creamy overall feel makes it stand out from other stouts I’ve had.

I really appreciate it’s versatility for being able to be enjoyed while hot or cold which comes in handy although I would consider it more of a winter beer. Very small to no carbonation with a hidden alcohol flavor which can make it dangerous.

One of my favorite stouts so far

Jun 29, 2021
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mshanecrowe from Mississippi

4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Strong flavor with a hint of coffee and chocolate. Slightly creamy. I usually don’t like double/strong strouds, but this is very good. Will put it on my short list. Very smooth for 9%.

Jun 23, 2021
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oldmankoch from Tennessee

4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can't believe I've never rated this beer. Probably my 50th bottle of Raspy over the years. Will say I notice a difference between the Can (Gordon Biersch and Bottle (North Coast). Glass all the way with this dude. Beautiful balance of malt & hops. Lots of smoke/char bite that's held in check by the chocolate & coffee from the malts. Well done!

Jun 16, 2021
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Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a single 12ozbottle $2.69 Whole Foods
No bottle date found
Smell of chocolate, then smoke, then caramel
Dark black color
Heavy, thick, creamy mouthfeel
Medium carbonation
Taste of roasted smoky malt, black coffee
Overall a nice stout.

Jun 11, 2021
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reknirdsuomynona from Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint can poured into a pint mug

A - Not quite pitch black. Very dark brown in color. Three fingers worth of solid head on a slow pour that settles to a few millimeters that stick around. Some nice lacing is present.

S - Rich, toasted caramel and brown sugar notes are dominant. Hop aroma is absent and the scent of alcohol is unfortunately noticeable which is honestly kind of disappointing and surprising for such dark beer even at this gravity.

T - That's more like it. A punch of strong earthy flavors. The rich earthy hops are first on the tongue. Midway through the malts kick in and rounds out the experience with a spicy and sweet profile that feels more like a holiday beer than a stout. Charred coffee notes seem to appear and grow stronger as the beer warms. No alcohol flavor to be found. There is an unfortunate metallic aftertaste present though. It's the same one I get after using my well water in a batch. It's a shame, everything else here is solid.

M - Somewhat light in body for such a strong and dark beer. It's not light but it's definitely medium bodied. Expected more heft here. A pint would be more than doable with a big meal.

Solid stout at a decent price. Definitely feels like more of a holiday beer though. No idea if there was something wrong with this can but the metal flavor makes me suspect something is amiss with the water quality. Either way, it was still enjoyable.

Jun 08, 2021
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HopHunterCL from Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours super dark almost black with few highlights. Generous slowly receding tan head.
Aroma of burnt coffee, dark chocolate, dusty leather, tobacco and ash.
Bold roasted flavor. Little if any sweetness. I get brown bread and prune in addition to the dark roasted coffee and chocolate. Great depth of flavor with a nice bitterness.
Full bodied and smooth. Booze is well hidden. A little alcohol burn on the exhale.
This is the standard for RIS in my opinion. Widely available and a great value. This will definitely be a mainstay in my fridge.

Jun 07, 2021
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simonrgilbert57 from California

3.99/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Overall a good beer but not my favorite of its genre. Look is everything you want from a russian imperial stout--quite dark body and light brown head with a good head and lacing. Smell is decent but signals nothing notable other than a hefty body. The taste is there in the beginning, but the back of the mouth is a bit too boozy. Overall it's good but not great.

May 09, 2021
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1BrewBacca from Georgia

4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours a deep, dark, almost black, carob brown with a thick, frothy, one inch tall tortilla brown head that clings to the sides of the glass as it melts to a thin cloud bank cover.
Smell and Taste: Chocolatey-malty caramel with some coffee thrown in . . . or maybe Malty coffee-chocolate with some caramel thrown in . . . or what ever. Low end sweetness with a slightly bitter aftertaste as if you just finished off a mouth full of special dark chocolate.
Feel: Carbonation is at a perfect level to complement and dissolve an oily mouth feel.
Overall: One Great Stout. Looking forward to many more when I'm not exploring different ones.

May 08, 2021
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GrandpaMiltysMalts from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A fine sippin' beer. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip. 2 finger head that looked like it would dissipate, but held up well; lacing for mine was also quite good.
Look: Typical espresso, but not as thick as others in the style (dittto for feel - excellent, not syrupy),
Smell: I want to say chocolate, but it's not, more like dark roasted malt.
Taste: Clearly a west coast interpretation of the style, but in this case, the hops are forefront without being intimidating. Zero sweetness. Your eyes are telling you to taste chocolate but it wasn't there for me.

What struck me first, and most, was the malt/hops transition. For my palate, most beers are "there's the malt, ahh, and then here comes the hops" ... can be a little binary. In this beer, the malt/hop transition was tight, almost one continuous flavor. I can see why this has a cult following. I tried this because of a recent BA thread comparing Old Rasputin vs. Breakfast Stout. I would have to vote for the latter, but this is still an excellent beer.

May 06, 2021
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Iamaskier from Idaho

4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a can. Pour feels smooth. Color is black walnut. Head is full and fluffy, light brown in color. Beautiful. Smell is boozy coco with a hint of caramel. Taste is as expected: extra dark chocolate, toasted malt, a nice hop presence, and coffee notes. The sweetest part of this is upfront with the chocolate, while the finish is a lasting bitterness that’s on the dry side. Alcohol is present, but the warmth is masked. Feel is smooth, but not as creamy as a nitro.
This beer is everything a Russian imperial should be. Full bodied, bitter, dry. It’s strong, but balanced enough to keep you coming back. Utterly delicious.

Apr 25, 2021
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Wanderingspider

4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time trying this. Warm and pretty dry. It's got balance with dark chocolate, prune and a bit of spice. Lingering coffee bitterness on the finish. Would get again when I'm in the mood for a rich stout.

Apr 21, 2021
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spectru from Florida

4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

March 22, 2021 - Solid black with a firm tan head, lace; aroma is smooth and sweet; Mouthfeel is wonderful for a stout. It is sparkly!; Taste is tangier than usual for stouts. It's different, a difference in a stout that I like.

Mar 22, 2021
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Mendonka from Massachusetts

4.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is an exceptional stout by any standards. This is my go to weekend fire beer. Not too sweet with an amazing malty anise smell that translates over to the finish. It's a great beer cold out of the fridge, but it's an exceptional beer once it warms a bit in your hand.

Mar 19, 2021
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TheDrifter29 from Pennsylvania

4.81/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My go-to Stout even though it is a RIV. Great to drink warm or cold. I found a 4 pack I stashed away while cleaning the basement last year and enjoyed all of them which made the job much easier.

Mar 18, 2021
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Siriusfisherman from Vermont

4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On Nitro.

L: Pitch black with a creamy light brown head that lasts forever, and gobs of lacing.

S: Roasted coffee, dark berry, dark chocolate, and fresh baked dark bread.

T/M: Big bitterness up front, moves into drying coffee and dark chocolate notes, leather, Ash, and dark heavy bread. The mouthfeel is super creamy and full bodied, finishes dry.

Overall: It took me a while to review it, but this is one of the best Imperial stouts money can buy. Very complex but surprisingly easy drinking. World's class is an understatement.

Mar 16, 2021
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alexaedita from Utah

5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has been reviewed thousand times. I will keep it short.
If I had to drink one stout - I would struggle not to pick this one. It is a World Class beer indeed. It takes time to achieve this. I give credit to North Coast for trying and essentially succeeding. It is an excellent stout.

Mar 04, 2021
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taint67 from Georgia

4.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For Stout fans.....this is just awesome. I will admit some high gravity beers are a little too much for me. This beer is dark and beautiful. Sweet and malty but not too sweet and malty. Dark and burnt and astringent, but it doesn't go to far. Alcohol warmth. Great explosive flavors, but they all come together is a tasty harmony, a masterpiece. $9.99 for a 4 pack at my beer place The Depot in Rome Ga and worth every single penny. My 3 favorite stouts so far, this one, Rogue Shakespeare, and Guinness Foreign.

Feb 27, 2021
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md3kcn from Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a crystal snifter. Purchased as a 4-pack at a Marathon gas station for $11.99.

L - Deep molasses to black in color. A one-finger, sticky and lacy pumpernickel head. Poured thickly.
S - Very malty smell. Coffee, toffee, and chocolate notes are prominent. Slight hazelnut.
T - Roasted nuts, espresso, caramel, chocolate, and stone fruit hit you right away. Burnt oats, followed by a mellow yeastiness. Bitter notes are present for sure, but not overwhelming.
F - Full-bodied. Thick. Chewy. Low carbonation, but in the way you can tell it's heavy.
O - One of my favorites. A definite contender for "best winter beer ever". I would say it's a dessert beer if it wasn't as bitter as it is. Serve this with a very good-quality steak and asparagus. Everything in this beer played out perfectly. It's pretty rich, though; I'd have one every once in a while. Strong, too! Highly recommend.

Feb 24, 2021
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LeBron_James from Canada (ON)

4.9/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If I could only have one beer for the rest of my life, this would be the one...

I can see why people call this the quintessential imperial stout.
Look is black with nice brown asymmetrical head. Head leaves no lacing.
The smell on this is very very nice. Roasted malt and coffee notes from the malt.
The taste is the best part of this beer. The alcohol is completely hidden which makes this dangerous to drink. Very easy to go through 4 packs of this. The taste is this beautiful roasted/caramel malt with some chocolate notes on the back. This beer is balanced very well. Not too bitter, not too sweet, perfect drinking and I'm in awe.
The mouthfeel of this beer is the upper standard among imperial stouts. Low-medium carbonation that starts to fade after half an hour or so in the glass. Full bodied and great mouthfeel. It feels nice and heavy especially for a 9%.

Overall, this beer is definitely a must try. It is not the most complex but I think that is a big reason for so many people to say this is their favourite beer ever, including myself now. There are no added flavours of things like maple, licorice, etc. This is super drinkable, affordable, actually quite complex without any adjunct flavouring, and not dependent on the occasion or food pairing. I ALWAYS have some of these in the house.

Feb 22, 2021
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jockstrappy from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque cola brown, almost black. Creamy beige head with sticky lacing. Nose is roast dominant, with coffee and dark chocolate. Flavor is more complex, the roast profile includes dark chocolate, coffee and raw cocoa. A little earthy and smoky at the same time. A subtle brown sugar like background sweetness lends excellent balance. Mild carbonation , viscous body, roasty aftertaste, sticky on the palate.

A lot going on in here, but it’s certainly well executed, and worthy of its benchmark status.

Feb 14, 2021
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SB2017 from Iowa

4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Instant classic in its class. The bitter burnt flavor up front is immediately mellowed by this beer's unctuous body and complex, malty, yeasty business. Nuts, coffee, and chocolate linger indefinitely. Drink this in the winter.

Feb 04, 2021
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BennyPhD from Texas

4.9/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Without a doubt, this is my standard by which I measure all other Russian Imperial Stouts (RSI). It has been my favorite RSi since my first over 15 years ago. I will say I have many other RSIs that I considered good, but only one that I consider has equaled North Coast Brewery RSI and that was Stone Brewery Totalitarian RSI. Old Rasputin is still my standard and I can't say enough about it being the best on the market. If you have half a mind to try it.....well, that's all it takes.

Feb 02, 2021
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hbeimers from Minnesota

4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly opaque dark pour with a quickly dissipating tan head. The alcohol level is hidden by the strong bitterness. Subtle nut and chocolate notes, especially in the aroma. Not too heavy at all for the style. Delicious.

Jan 31, 2021
Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 12935 ratings