Old Rasputin | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old RasputinOld Rasputin
BA SCORE
4.3/5
Outstanding
12,496 Ratings
Old RasputinOld Rasputin
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:
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.

Added by kbub6f on 01-18-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#566
Reviews:
3,782
Ratings:
12,496
pDev:
10.23%
Bros Score:
4.38
 
 
Wants:
628
Gots:
3,212
Trade:
49
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12,496 |  Reviews: 3,782
Photo of schnauzeborne
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin used to be my favorite beer. One day, I bought a four-pack of OR and a 24 oz. bottle of Guinness Extra Stout, then settled in for the night with what I felt was an adequate amount of good beer. Looking back, I was quite surprised with the similarities between the two beers. In retrospect, Old Rasputin is basically Guinness without the acidic, bitter aftertaste. I know that some people drink Guinness specifically for that vinegary taste, which comes from the brewery reusing samples of their products from previous centuries, so it would be completely understandable if some people prefer Guinness to North Coast Old Rasputin. In my opinion, OR's smoothness and unadulterated chocolate after-taste is highly desirable, and outdoes Guinness by a long-shot. Still, it helped me to realize that there are better options out there. I would recommend Samuel Smith's Oatmeal stout for anyone looking for the next level of delicious stout. For anyone that loves Old Rasputin's taste specifically because of its ability to be delicious while hiding a high alcohol content, I would suggest Weyerbacher's "old Heretic" or "Heresy" stouts, because even though they do not match the sheer tastiness of Old Rasputin, they definitely hide their ABV better than any other beer I have come across, and are in some ways reminiscent of OR's flavor profile.

Old Rasputin, herself, though . . . I highly recommend her. Pick this up whenever you get the chance.

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Photo of rousee
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Nice to have a beer like this. Pours a black cola color with a small head of dark tan and it diminishes quickly.

Smell is a fabulous blend of nuts like hazels, cashews, almonds, etc. very well balanced with some slight fruit tints.

Taste is a malty chcocolate, licorice, toffee, caramel type thingy with some cherry hints on the back much like a good piece of dark chocolate would.

The mouthfeel is too sticky and syrupy. Drinkability is about avg or a little better than avg for this style.

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Photo of Bingja18
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of AnPiobaire
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a 4 pack of Old Rasputin not knowing anything about it at the time. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Upon first pouring it into the glass it pours a nice rich opaque brown/black, with a nice head that slowly recedes and some moderate lacing.

The nose is a mixture of roasted malt, chocolate, raisin, and some hoppy bitterness.

The taste is roasted malts quickly followed by a hoppy bitter finish. This brew is lighter then the color and pour would lead on and had much more carbonation then I anticipate in a Russian Imperial Stout, but that did not stop this brew from delighting the taste buds.

I would certainly be into this again and would definately love to get a hold of it in a growler from a nitro tap. This isn't in my top 5 of Imperial Stouts but it is a very nice selection for those of you wanting an enjoyable beer. Enjoy!!!

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Photo of Shawnxa3
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of drummerdwzp
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of takemetothelion
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last beer I'm trying of the night as a gift from my brother, Picked up at bootleggers. Im a fan of the high alcohol content and a stout is the perfect thing to send me into bliss, so I'll our it into a tulip and rock out.

A- One finger head rises to the top. It's literally as black as black can get. No visible carbonation. Good lacing.

S- not that strong of a nose. Though chocolate and yeast are popping pretty strongly. The chocolate is actually like a strong potent "pure cocoa". Definitely a lot of alcohol coming through.

T- Dry, malt chocolate, alcohol is hidden fairly well, but it really blends nicely with the overall taste. Kind of a bitter dark cocoa. Loving this one. This one is definitely warming me up. Not a creamy stout but it works.

MF- Like I said not very creamy, yet still full and flat with not much carbonation. Let's you really taste that cocoa, the definite highlight of the drink.

Overall, this stout is really deserving of the high ratings it got, world class for sure.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with three inches of tan head that leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is roasted malt. I get some burnt popcorn, cocoa, and black coffee.

I taste roasted malt flavors of burnt popcorn and black coffee in the finish.

Full mouthfeel

It is nice to have a well done stout. I have had so many bourbon barrel or coffee or chocolate et cetera that I almost forgot how good a simple RIS can be. And I can't believe I have not reviewed this in the seven years that I have been on BA.

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Photo of TheProgGuy
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PatrickJR
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into oversized snifter. I wasn't too impressed with the flavor directly out of the fridge, so I let this warm up to just under room temperature.

A - Completely opaque black. Even in the snifter, about a finger of brown head forms with pretty decent retention considering the high ABV. Lots of lace.

S - Overripe dark fruits with a hint of caramel. Deep chocolate aromas as well accented by smoke and wood. A whiff of alcohol hits with a suggestion of floral and earthy hops. There was actually a much less pronounced malt presence and a much stronger hop aroma while the brew was refrigerator temperature.

T - The caramel and chocolate wash over the palate at first with an undertone of fruit. Smoke/wood hits briefly, and then a wallop of rum-like alcohol takes hold, leading to a very earthy hop finish. The burnt flavor of the roasted malt along with the hops make for an intensely bitter finish.

M - Full to medium bodied, with moderate to low carbonation.

D - This is a big, intense brew, one certainly being enough. Finishing the glass might be a chore, though the flavors are very much in harmony with each other.

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Photo of HosP
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you Scottfrie for extra!

A- Poured black with a small tan head that left rather quickly.

S- Good aroma of chocolate and coffee with roasted malts.

T- Nice smooth taste of malts. Chocolate up front with slight hints of citrus hops. Mocha finish towards the end. Very nice flavor.

M- Full body with little carbonation. Very smooth drink that hides the alcohol.

D- Very solid RIS. Good flavor but nothing overpowering. Could drink a few of these easily.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very nice example of an American RIS, with the bitterness/hop level ramped up a good bit.

Pours an engine oil black in color, totally opaque in my pint glass with a brown head that fizzled down into a thin swirl atop the pint. Lots of sticky lacing. Nose is very, very, nice, nutty and fruity with lots of coffee and cocoa character, complex and multi-layered. Taste is very good as well, initially reminds me of chocolate covered raisins, but quickly overtook by a milk chocolate tone and a strong roasted coffee flavor. Mouthfeel is heavy, very full bodied and complex. Drinkability is quite high as it warms and the bittnerness recedes, at cooler temps there is a definate unbalance, but at proper temps it's marvelous. Overall a bit too overdone with the hop presence, in my humble opinion it's just not necessary or warranted.

Slàinte!

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Photo of x63x77
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown, very opaque. Nice rich creamy brown head from the nitro-tap, fine lacing all the way to the end of the glass.

Smell: Warm roasted malty goodness. Nose had a nice sweetness about it that balanced the hops well

Taste: Spectacular. The nitro-tap makes all the difference with this beer. I have also had it from a bottle which is good, but the tap version had all of the freshness and bright, warm flavor I have no come to expect from this beer. Personally, I would like to see a bit more hops, especially from a west coast company.

Mouth Feel: Silky smooth, liquid velvet. Smooth light nitrogen carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down smooth, tiny tight nitrogen bubbles help make this very much not filling.

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Photo of dmmichaud
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Morey
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first run-in with this beer.

Pours an opaque pitch black with a frothy tan (leaning towards brown) head that leaves behind some impressive lace for a beer that weighs in @ 9%. Rings are forming around the inside of the glass with each sip.

Offers an aroma filled with burnt sugar and dark chocolate. Not in your face, but present and pleasant.

The taste is surprisingly smooth. Loads of hop flavor add to the richness of the barley making for a flavorful beer. The bitterness from the hops lingers on in the finish.

Full bodied silky-smooth mouthfeel.

For a beer that is so full of flavor, bitterness, and alcohol it goes down very easily.

Morey's Bottom Line: Have wanted to try this for a while. I'm not a stout guy, but I love sampling all kinds of styles. This is one tasty stout. I like it better than most others that I have tried.

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Photo of Cpmitchno1
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of clabaugh
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep ebony with a modest, light khaki colored head. Lacing is very faint, and almost nonexistent by the beer's end.

Smell: A rich nutty aroma emerges right away. Dark chocolate bursts through as well. Hops are difficult to distinguish in the midst of this full maltiness.

Taste: Here dark chocolate predominates. The tongue also recognizes some mocha, while confirming the nuttiness that introduced itself in the smell. The dark chocolate provides a pleasant bitterness, which the hops tend to intensify. Nicely balanced overall.

Mouthfeel: Nice and chewy. A fine body, probably medium for a stout. Not the heaviest I've had. The carbonation is rather subdued.

Drinkability: The alcohol is definitely pronounced in this 9% abv stout. It provides a warming sensation through one's throat and down into the belly. Very pleasant texture, and inviting enough for me to have a couple more.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured very dark from the bottle with a tan head, good lacing. bouqet was impressive with the expected chocolate, espresso, toffee, and dark dried fruit notes. west coast hops also were present but subtle against these dominant aromas. a little sweet upfront but not for long as the astringent roasty flavors and subtle bittering of the hops rush in to make this beer a bit drier than i expected. alcohol warming somewhat noticeable at the end. full-bodied, naturally. i like my dark, heavy beers to present with a little more residual sweetness than this, however. still a very nice beer. not very sessionable due to the body/abv but quite tasty.

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Photo of Lledd
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into 12oz Hill Farmstead Snifter

A: Black. Quickly dissipating 1/3" head. (I rated three on appearance because honestly, what is an above average appearance?)

S: Not much aroma. Roasted malts, alcohol, slight dark chocolate. Pleasant.

T: Dark chocolate - bitter on the sip, toasted oats and thick malt on the aftertaste. Slight sweetness on the finish but predominantly malty and roasty. Slight hint of leather. 9% abv hidden well.

M: Very fine carbonation. Smooth and mouthwatering. Thick and creamy.

O: This is my go-to stout. It's well balanced, complex, high abv when you need the job done, and drinkable. There are a few better stouts but this is available year round and packs a punch for the price.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am a big fan of the Imperial Stout, so I was looking forward to this one. Pours a dark dark brown with no transparency. The head is tannish and poured to a thickeness of 1 inch. There is a fair amount of sticky lace at the top of the glass that goes away toward the bottom.

The aroma is of strong coffee, a bitter smell. Very malty and toffee smelling as well. The taste is much like a bitter, strong coffee. It is not thick as some stouts I have tasted. The aftertaste is like a bitter dark chocolate. The one thing apparent in the taste is the strong alcohol flavor. At 9%, it is not surprising, although some beers are better at masking the alcohol flavor than others. This one does not hide it, thus the reason for the drinkability sliding down the scale a little.

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Photo of WhatIsFear
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black and thick appearing. About a two finger tan head with significant retention. A big, heavy looking beer.

S: Huge smell that spreads around the room. Tons of chocolate and coffee, plenty of sweet/syrupy molasses, and a rich burnt finish.

T: Not as sweet as the smell, but a big rich beginning, mostly coffee and malt. A bit of the chocolate in the middle, along with some bitterness, and then a huge toasted finish.

MF: A bit bubbly for a stout. Huge, thick and chewy, but maybe not quite as smooth as others in this style. The alcohol makes its presence known, but doesn't take over.

D: Not my favorite of this style, but a solid brew. The flavor has a nice balance with the slight bitterness which in some ways makes it easier to drink. A bit overcarbonated for my taste. This may be more drinkable than other Imperials because the alcohol isn't as big and the flavor isn't as over the top. For me, though, if I'm gonna drink an RIS, I'd just as soon have the huge alcohol and huge flavor.

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Photo of Mnteti
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JMScowcroft
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

North Coast Brewing Co. - Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, poured into a Craftgeer snifter.

Look - Pours a thinner brown-black and settles black with a good sized soapy head. Sticky chunky lacing.

Smell - Cola, some chocolate and coffee, definite dark fruits.

Taste - Taste is malt with bitter coffee and just a touch of chocolate. A little thin but generally outstanding.

Mouthfeel - Thin but full-medium bodied. Rests dry and bitter. Medium carbonation. Good drinkability.

Overall - This is one of the pioneers of the style, and it's not lacking in flavor or complexity. Still, there are a better RIS out there now. As an intro to the style, this is a great place to start.

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Photo of Eddybx_
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,496 ratings