Old Rasputin
North Coast Brewing Co.

Old RasputinOld Rasputin
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #31
ABV:
9%
Score:
96
Ranked #601
Avg:
4.33 | pDev: 10.16%
Reviews:
3,881
Ratings:
12,818
From:
North Coast Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  672
Gots
  3,371
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.
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Reviews: 3,881 | Ratings: 12,818 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of THE_VANDAL
THE_VANDAL from Arkansas

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

First review here.

Bought as part of a pick-6...had no idea I was grabbing such a highly-lauded brew.

Side-poured into a chilled glass mug. Head was deceptive...even after a slow roll out of the bottle, the head kept on growing, eventually with a waterfall over the rim. Coffee and lightly-overcooked crusty bread greeted the nose as if I was in a bakery that also served site-roasted coffee. Big dark grains and coffee continued on the tongue, with a light tartness coming in after the swallow. Exceptionally dry and robust on the exhale, with a lingering warmth.

This one's got balls- well worth the accolades it's received.

Yesterday at 08:53 PM
Photo of rudiecantfail
rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

L---Impenetrable dark brown color. Thick light brown head that had good retention and left excellent lacing.

S---Coffee, roasted malts and cocoa.

T---Follows the nose. Coffee, roasted grains and cocoa.

F---Thick & creamy. Feels like a serious beer.

O---An excellent beer. Checks every box for a RIS. Wifey loves it, which gives it a ratings boost.

Aug 15, 2020
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SDBeerLaw from California

4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I consider this beer to be the gold standard of Russian Imperial Stouts. The taste begins with burnt/roast malt then develops into a soft burn before finishing with the sweet notes of cocoa and coffee. A classic example of a sometimes overcomplicated style.

Jul 13, 2020
Photo of trevormajor
trevormajor from Ohio

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

Unbelievable beer! The roasted malt flavor is very intense and bitter. Poured out of a 12 oz bottle, the head was not as thick as I'd hoped but the taste is in your face full bodied. Great beer for the price!

Jul 09, 2020
Photo of Peach63
Peach63 from New York

4.61/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a 2 inch thick, creamy tan head. Heavy lacing.

Aroma of coffee, dark chocolate, roast malts, molasses.

Taste is coffee, tea, cocoa, ash, roast malt, black malt. Astringent.

Full bodied, light carbonation. Dry, astringent finish.

An outstanding stout. One of the best.

Jul 05, 2020
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UWDAWG from Washington

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

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Look- Black, light brown frothy head, average head retention and lacing.

Smell- Coffee, cocoa, roasted oats, toffee.

Taste- Coffee, roasted oats, slight cocoa.

Feel- Full body, slightly astringent, average carbonation, warm finish.

Jul 05, 2020
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wl2bill from Wisconsin

3.91/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured as expected, nice tan head, dark, and opaque. A little char on the smell otherwise as expected. The taste was of slightly burnt malt, not as smooth as others I have had. It was good after I acclimated to the char.

Jun 15, 2020
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pitch black, without the barest hint of a brown highlight even at the bottom of a snifter. Three fingers of thick dark tan head with long retention.

Smell: Strong, slightly sweet roast coffee, mild raspberry, and a whiff of alcohol.

Taste: Roast malt with an underlying coffee bitterness that lingers up to a minute on the roof of your mouth. Limited sweetness, but booziness is controlled.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, with decent carbonation.

Overall: Despite its reputation, I'm actually underwhelmed. I find the flavor somewhat one-note compared to the complexity of old ales and Belgian beers.

Jun 03, 2020
Photo of JohnniEMc
JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.07/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Looks great poured, the color and head expected in a stout. The taste has a burnt malt rather than roasted malt flavor. Alcohol can be detected and with a 9% ABV, no loss of points there. There are other Imperial Stouts that manage to deliver the same octane, but with a much smoother feel. I'll have another but I won't seek it out.

May 25, 2020
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Ernald_Elbertson from Delaware

4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drank from standard pint style glass

Look: Obviously very dark, but actually not completely opaque. Bleeds a little light when tilted, which is somewhat odd for the style. Light lacing. Khaki foam.

Smell: First note is the roasted malt. Half sweet, half roasty. Slight hint of booziness, coffee, and dark chocolate. Perhaps even a little fruity; almost like dark chocolate with a raspberry filling. Smells like the perfect example of this style.

Taste: First taste is roasted malt and coffee. Brings it into a slightly boozy middle, and a bitter yet satisfying dark chocolate finish. The IBUs lend well to the chocolate flavor here. Flavor stays with you for a while. The flavor is perhaps simple for experience stout drinkers; but sometimes simple is good. This flavor perfectly exemplifies the enjoyable aspects of an Imperial Russian: like a Guiness on steroids. Definitely more of the english/irish style base stout than an American style stout. This beer would pair fantastically with chocolate, baked goods, or charred/blackened meats.

Feel: Pretty chewy and thick. Like drinking milk, but perhaps a little light for the style. It has the chewiness, but just not as much as I would expect. Still delightful, and lends to a more drinkable and approachable Imperial Stout.

Overall: This beer is excellent. Imperial Stouts are some of the most fantastic styles of beer (American or Russian). Unfortunately they tend to be difficult to get into, as they often have extreme ABV, and many are barrel aged, giving them an even boozier flavor. Old Rasputin is a great introduction to the style, as it encapsulates the idea of an Imperial Russian Stout perfectly, but does not intimidate the drinker like other Imperials do. On the other hand, experienced Imperial Stout drinkers will find it somewhat refreshing to have such a standard drinkable Stout in the face of all the Maple Syrup, Ginger, Granola, Peanut Butter, etc flavorings and 13%+ ABVs that seem to be so popular these days.

May 18, 2020
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KRug from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Oh, Old Ras, we finally meet. I've heard a lot about this one

Pours a deep dark brown with 2 fingers of mocha colored head, slowly fades and leaves tons of lacing

Huge aromas of bitter roast, licorice, mild vanilla and coffee

Mmmmm, taste is really similar but some hops get to shine through too. Some dark sweet fruits in the beginning before the roast and hops come in to create a nice bittersweet finish

Definitely full bodied and dancing the line between roasty and creamy, this drinks super easy for the abv with mild carbonation

Overall I really enjoyed this one. Went well with a fruit and nut candy bar to bring out some of those notes, will pick it up again

May 01, 2020
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OK_Denise from Oklahoma

4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am actually drinking this as I write this opinion. Very dark and malty (duh!) but not bitter or overpowering. It has a good smell and doesn't overwhelm your taste buds. I am enjoying it. Recommend it for those interested in this style of beer.

Apr 25, 2020
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paltemose2303

4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Can't see through the beer. Extremely dark. Medium height caramel head. Head retention is great.
S: Roasty, malty aroma with intense coffee and roasted malts.
T: Intense roasted malts, dark bakers chocolate bitterness on the finish. Very balanced. You would never know 75 IBU are hiding in this beer.
F: Thick and full bodied mouthfeel. Modest carbonation.
O: This beer was more intense than a long politcal conversation with your in-laws, but tastes much better.

Apr 07, 2020
Photo of Charliethebrit
Charliethebrit from Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. black stout with good light mocha colored head the dissipates after a couple of minutes. Some lacing
Chocolatey, roasted dark malt and hint of coffee on the nose
Taste is slightly burnt coffee, bitter chocolate, slight bitterness balancing the sweetness
Well bodied imperial , and smooth
This is one of my favorite few imperial stouts. I prefer Victory Storm King, but have not seen it for a while :(
Also, I think Nightshift's imperial stouts are also better

Mar 15, 2020
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cwm51662 from Indiana

4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like this! Poured the first time with a big head- my fault- but more subdued thereafter. Great bitter chocolate, decent mouthfeel. Recently had tried the excellent Founders CBS and fell in love, but this is a great lower-price option. Definitely a top five option for me.

Mar 14, 2020
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Riff from Virginia

3.84/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head about a finger thick and takes a while to fade. Smell is roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee. Taste is dark chocolate, smoke, moderate bitterness, touch of dark fruit. Medium body. The bitterness is a bit much for me, feels like it drowns out some of the other flavors. Nice to have finally tried but not sure I'd get this again.

Mar 04, 2020
Photo of Wetdryvac
Wetdryvac

3.43/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On the lower end of stout that I'll put in my face, but good if you like really hoppy stout. I... really don't like extra hoppy anything, so this pretty much is my nemesis as far as stout goes. That said, I see why folks love it, and it's a great example of what it is.

Jan 31, 2020
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Craig-er from New Hampshire

4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Kicked up a very nice head with lacing on my glass that was 3” high. I have tasted this stout many times and am accustomed to the complexity of the dark chocolate, faint bitterness and dryness. The alcohol lingers on the aftertaste. This has always been a top 10 brew in any category.

Jan 28, 2020
Photo of 60sFolks
60sFolks from Texas

4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As winter sets in, I begin to look for dark ales, Porter's and stouts to warm the evening. Better than a Brandy or any other stout that I have come across is the world renowned selection. It is either and more satisfying for the cold months ahead. My first of many nshallah.

Jan 13, 2020
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hophead723 from California

4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the legendary beers that I first noticed my brother talking about with great interest. He immediately fell for this straightforward, powerful, complex brew that is a flawless example of the style. At the time, I knew nearly nothing about beer being only 18 but I over the years have gained the knowledge to appreciate it for what it is. Poured into a pint glass.

Look: Deep, pure black body that absorbs all light like Vanta Black. Its deep black core is absolutely impenetrable by all light. A dark, milk chocolate-colored head rests permanently atop the brew, lingering all the way down to the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Deep coffee and chocolate, smoky char, charcoal, dark fruits, and caramelized fig. The overall roasty toasty qualities on the nose are enticing and unique.

Taste/Feel: The taste follows the nose with mounds of dark fruits, hefty waves of smoky and bitter dark chocolate, light tar, tobacco, dates, candied plums, earthy hops, and slick bitterness. A tasty acrid flavor stands out that makes this a perfect pairing for smoky barbecue and smoked baked beans. The thick, smooth, heavy body does justice to the powerful flavor characteristics.

Overall: Dangerously easy-drinking brew, superbly executed with so much explosive malty goodness and smoky charm. The powerful, tooth-numbing liquid carries not only the weight of the flavor but the sterling reputation of North Coast Brewing as a top-tier brewer.

Jan 12, 2020
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JediMasterLenin from District of Columbia

4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Look: Pours pitch black with absolutely no light penetration or lightening at the edges. A thick, tight-bubbled tan head reduces slowly, leaving behind some gorgeous sticky lacing.
Smell: Roast malt, coffee, chocolate and a slight dark pitted cherry note.
Taste: Follows the nose, big hit of roast malt and coffee/dark chocolate at the start. A bit of smooth sweetness on the tail end.
Feel: Medium-thick bodied, smooth and creamy.
Overall: One of the best American examples of the style, widely available and reasonably priced. What's not to like?

Jan 10, 2020
Photo of jrc1093
jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

No bottling date present

Pours deep pitch black body with copper brown highlights and topped with two fingers of tight, almost creamy light mocha head, head retention is nearly beyond reproach, fading ever so steadily to a paper-thin cap strewn with clumpy islands, a moderate creamy cap, and a stringy spatter of bubbly lacing.

Aroma features big notes of heavily roasted malt soaked in jammy plums upfront, followed by astringent smoky coffee grounds, a dark fruit medley, and a touch of alcohol; smooth milk chocolate takes a firm hold of the background as the beer warms.

Taste profile interchanges between plummy sweetness, malty char, and dark chocolate, with an toasted pumpernickel bread and astringent spent coffee grounds back end/exhale.

Mouthfeel features a body just a touching the heavier side of medium, with moderate carbonation and persistent mild astringency coursing across the palate; dry and roasty throughout, but especially present leading to a finish teeming with boozy depth.

So blunt and embracing of its intensities it becomes an unabashed hallmark and an authentic highlighting of what defines the Russian imperial stout against its American counterpart; a standard-bearer and perpetually enjoyable take on the style for an unflinching malt profile and deceptively approachable body. As one who greatly prefers American imperial stouts, I have great respect for this beer.

Jan 07, 2020
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Allegedly from Kansas

4.94/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So I was at a bar and told the guy running the place I liked stouts, and asked for whatever he recommended. He threw out this name and I said ok because I thought it was cool.

Holy s*!t, my life was forever changed.

So far, this is the best Russian Imperial stout I have ever drank. The mouthfeel is rich, complex, but not overly thick. It's dark and beautiful, with a thick creamy head. It's so dark in the glass it looks black but when you shine light through it, it looks purple-red. The smell just doesn't quite do it justice though.

This stout is undoubtedly the best one I have ever had. I love love loooove it.

Dec 08, 2019
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pianoguy from Washington

4.87/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 Oz bottle. No bottling info.

Pours a solid black body with a thick tan head. Long lasting retention. Multiple layers of lacing

Scent is mostly coffee along with chocolate. I'm also getting a big whiff of cherries and plums.

Taste is bitter coffee and cherries. Very complex. At the same time there is a sweetness present. A little booze is detected on the taste, but very little. Remarkable considering the 9%ABV.

Nice full feel. Carbonation seems appropriate.

A complex and well crafted beer with the alcohol very well hidden. Bravo !!

Nov 23, 2019
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EJPA_0425 from California

4.91/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely incredible beer! Pours super dark with tan head. Smells of dark chocolate and coffee. Tastes pleasantly of bitter chocolate and almonds. Feels like swallowing molasses, very heavy; would not recommend eating a big meal after this. Only complaint is I wish it had a little more of a head. Otherwise, one of my favorite beers of all time.

Nov 05, 2019
Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 12818 ratings