Old Rasputin | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old RasputinOld Rasputin
BA SCORE
4.3/5
Outstanding
12,466 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:
#548
Reviews:
3,773
Ratings:
12,466
pDev:
10.23%
Bros Score:
4.38
 
 
Wants:
625
Gots:
3,194
Trade:
49
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12,466 |  Reviews: 3,773
Photo of REVZEB
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Russian Imperial Stout meets west coast hopping palate. The results are delicious and memorable. First west coast stout I ever had, and it was an instant go-to favorite. Great depth of flavor and mouthfeel. Sweet and spicy in a way that is pleasing, like dry cocoa.

 269 characters

Photo of billab914
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured nearly black with a small tan head that all but disappeared shortly. Not much lacing on the glass. Excellent aroma of caramel, chocolate and roasted malts. Taste has a lot of coffee and bitter chocolate coming through. Nicely carbonated and a nice creamy mouthfeel as well.Excellent RIS, especially for the price and availability. I've purchased this one many times and will continue to do so.

 400 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ

A very good stout, along the lines of Guinness' extra. Plus Rasputin is on the bottle. Pours a dark brown-black with a finger of tan head that recedes to a fine layer of lace. Heavy dark malt aroma, chocolate and coffee notes. Roasty taste of dark malts, coffee, dark chocolate, with hints of licorice, tobacco, raisins, and brown sugar. A bite of bitterness and alcohol in the finish. Smooth, strong, and a very tasty drink.

 477 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first RIS I had as a serious craft-beer drinker. I had thought they were a little too heavy and off-putting in the past, but this one really turned me to the light. A big thank you to the local Trader Joe's for offering singles of this one.

A: Black with a brown head and some good lacing.

S: Roasted dark malts and a little bit of alcohol.

T: Good espresso flavors meld with the roasted malt. Some hops make their way in and overall it's slightly sweet.

M: Fairly thick and well-carbonation. Nice and creamy.

D: Pretty drinkable. A very, very good introduction to the style, and one I plan on offering to many other beginners.

 636 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damn hotels for not having the proper glassware!
Pitch black pour with more than 2 finger light brown fluffy head. Sticky lace much later on.
Big chocolate and sweet coffee in the smell, roasted malts, alcohol (coffee-liquorish, actually), lower dark fruit.
A fruity flash at the start, with juicy plums and figs, raisin, some orange, quickly pushed away by espresso, dark chocolate, slight caramel and rich, very rich roasted malts. Dark spices, citrus peel, woody notes with some oaky vanilla. Obvious hops in the finish, but the bitterness comes from the burnt roast. So some charcoal notes and burnt coffee expected in the aftertaste.
Smooth sipper, creamy, alcohol is nicely hidden, tho some ethanol is (ok, rarely) felt. Medium carbonation. Just a bit of crispness.
Perfect example in its style, balanced and rich.

 820 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance--The color of dark chocolate; not even opaque. Beige head that quickly goes down.

Smell--Rich chocolate malt aroma; some burnt coffee

Taste--Predominately coffee, some caramel. Excellent hop ending that perfectly balances the powerful malt.

Mouthfeel--Warm oily texture; nice hop bitterness lingering after the swallow.

Drinkability--Very true to the style. While I personally wouldn't repeatedly drink Imperial Stouts all night, this would be a top pick for this style.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Capital Ale House (Richmond, VA).

Pours a deep black with just the smallest amount of red highlights around the bottom and a thin creamy tan head that retained beautifully and left thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is thick with notes of chocolate, deep roasted malts, dark fruits and hop bitterness.

The flavor profile is deep with chocolate sweetness, espresso notes, and dark fruit tartness. The real highlight of this beer though is the combo of burnt and hop bitterness that pervades throughout. A honestly think that this beer almost achieves a perfect balance of the sweet and bitter. The mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy with just a touch of warmth. That 10.5% is insanely hidden, making for a most smooth and drinkable experience.

IMO, Old Rasputin is one of the most underrated beers on the market right now. Just packed with all the flavors you would want in an RIS but in one hugely drinkable package. Plus you can usually find some fantastic prices on this at the store. For the money, one of the best beers on the market.

 1,076 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of woodychandler
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I am baffled as to how it has taken me until now to review this beer. I wish that it were as easy as blaming it on The Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody, but this was a fairly fresh bottle that I recently scored simply to drink & review. I am scratching my head in response.

From the bottle: "Brewed in the tradition of the 18th century English brewers who supplied the Russian court of Catherine the Great."; "Old Rasputin develops a cult following wherever it goes. It's a rich, intense brew with big, complex flavors & a warming finish."

Still shaking my head, I Pop!ped the cap & began a slow, gentle pour. Once sufficiently decanted, a vigorous in-glass swirl raised three-plus fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, deep-brown head with good retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing deep brown highlights to be visible only at the edges. Nose was smoky, with notes of coffee and especially dark chocolate brownies. To be even more precise, this smelled like liquefied chocolate brownies! Wow. No wonder this is so popular. I was impressed & I hadn't even taken my first sip of this review! Mouthfeel was big, thick & creamy, a dollop on my tongue. I just let it lie there & roll around. The dark, rich chocolaty taste was like a liquefied dessert, whether brownies, chocolate mousse, chocolate ice cream, ad chocofinitum. Wow! Finish was semi-sweet since the chocolate also had a bitter edge to it. It was just a bit much for me and left me craving something that was hop-driven. An RIS just is not my bag.

 1,522 characters

Photo of krome
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of russpowell
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought a 4 pack today, decided to re-review to see how this compares to the dozens of RIS I've tried since 05:

I stand by original ratings with the following exceptions: Take a appearance down to 4.0 head retention & lacing are good not great. Taste 4.5; depth of flavor isn't quite as good as I remember... & Mouth feel seems much thinner than I recall. Still a benchmark for the style that delivers awesome value for $ taste-wise!!

Pours almost pitch black (when held to intense light goes mahogany to purple) with a whipped up tan bubbly head, Great head retention and insane lacing, a feast for the the dark beer lover's eyes.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate and licorice notes, with alcohol and roasted malts lurking in the background.

Taste: Some fruitiness, then bam! Burnt coffee taste, chocolate, molasses, hops/grainy bitterness &alcohol.

MF: Chunky, silky and just hits the marks.

Great winter-time beer that has been lapped by others in in hoppiness and abv, but not drinkability IMHO

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Photo of atrocity
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of BEER88
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of nathanmiller
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of dfhhead25
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Hayley_86
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours out black, with a thick tan head that slowly fades to a thin ring of lace.

Smell: The aroma is a rich, vibrant framework containing scents of licorice, espresso, sweet chocolate, and ripe, vinous fruits.

Taste: Flavors Ahoy! Bitterness and black roasted malts fight for attention. Hints of molasses, toffee, mocha, and spice help to round out the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied; feels heavy on the tongue. Rich, smooth mouthfeel. The ABV provides for a warming, satisfying finish.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable. For anyone who's had this beer before, let me just say: Booyah!

If you haven't had this beer before... Try it: Today!

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Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of duceswild
3/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at World of Beer in WPB, FL. Served in a snifter.

Appearance - Jet black with a two finger cream colored head. The head slowly recedes to a foam that coats the surface of the beer. What more could you look for in an RIS?

Smell - Dark chocolate and coffee. Some hops come through, as this seems to be an RIS that is hopped to hell. Very nice aroma. Even my wine-drinking sister could smell the coffee in this when she took a whiff.

Taste - Dark chocolate and coffee again up front. Roasty flavors abound throughout the drink. Not a hint of sweetness to it. It finishes with a long hop bitterness. Great flavor, although it is extremely bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Creamy and chewy. Great texture as it goes down. My only complaint is the bitterness in the finish. It's tough to put this away quickly because of it. Not that I'm looking to put it away quickly...

Overall - The bitterness is its only flaw. Otherwise, a fantastic RIS. Amazing that it is this good and this easy to come by.

 1,004 characters

Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,466 ratings