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:
#564
Reviews:
3,782
Ratings:
12,496
pDev:
10.23%
Bros Score:
4.38
 
 
Wants:
628
Gots:
3,213
Trade:
49
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12,496 |  Reviews: 3,782
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First introduced to this one early on in my beer advocacy, feels good to return to an old friend. Appearance: Pours deep viscous black toned deep purple ruby highlights full tan two finger sized head perfect looking beer, oh so nice with perfect evenly laced foam. Aroma: Deep cocoa, espresso infused, undertones of alcohol infused fruit along with a great bready sweet malt tone this is one awesome imperial stout in my opinion it sets the bar. Taste: Wow complex swirling spiral of flavor alcohol infused fruit, doses of hardcore strong coffee notes, and dark chocolate playing the tie the flavors together predominantly bitter from the dark roasts there are some hops evident in the flavor. Creamy balanced mix of so many flavors works so well, gotta love the Ol' Raspy. Mouthfeel: Full bodied syrupy goodness of massive flavors this is one extraordinary beer, a must try. Drinkability: No questions as to it's placement on the top 50 beer list, this one does it so well remaining amazingly drinkable and flavorful is the key for an Imperial stout not cloying in anyway and you yearn for another one the glass is empty that's what it's all about.

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Photo of pio
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

damn near opaque beer with just a tint of amber around the edges. the tan and amber head was strong and stout leaving a very impressive lace. scents of caramel, toffee, espresso, pumpernickel, rye and a half dozen roses.balanced scents, also the alcohol is evident and warming. a sweet start of caramel, coffee, espresso, molasses, a dark bready malt that brings a roasty sweetness before it dries up and gets a warm bitter, similiar to a cafe au lait. the mouthfeel was so creamy and rich, just a few bubbles making it so silky and oh how nice. what a hearty beer.

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Photo of AsburyParkJMH
3.61/5  rDev -16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this is one of the oddest reviews i'm probably ever gonna have to make, with my ratings all over the map, pretty much. this brew is made exceptionally well. it looks damn near perfect, with a dark as night pour and an awesome tan head that provides an equally awesome cascading effect. so far, a damn near perfect beer. smells of coffee, chocolate, roatsed malt with hints of fruitiness (raisins, perhaps?). nothing that blew me out of the water, but a good, solid smell nonetheless. the taste, while obviously appealing to most drinkers, just wasn't for me. i don't like coffee to begin withm and the coffee taste here simply overpowered all other tastes too much. the other dominant flavour here was the alcohol, which was surprising since the smell gave hardly any indication of, and at 8.9%, i figured it'd be all over the place with this one. it's a generally smooth brew overall, but i can't say that i'd be able to have any more than one at a time, and would probably only try this again on a rare occasion. i was surprisingly disappointed here...like i said, a well made brew, just not my cup of tea (or coffee, in this case).

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Photo of Quaffer
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A very cool looking label, complete with some Russian text and a picture of the mad monk himself. This beer poured a deep black that showed its true, ruby nature when held up to the light. The tan head rose up big and rough, but smoothed out and became dense as it settled back down. It was very slow to dissipate and never completely disappeared, leaving a thick cap of foam floating on top of the obsidian liquid. There was no lace left on the glass. Overall, I was surprised at the amount of head and its retention qualities. Many imperial stouts don't "behave" this way.

Smell: The main aromas were exactly what I expected: coffee, chocolate, and cream. After the head had settled down, a underlying toasted aroma emerged that contained hints of cinnamon and allspice. Very strange, but not bad at all. Also, there were hints of plums and cherries. There was no alcohol present on the nose, which surprised me since this beer tops out at almost 9.0%.

Mouthfeel: I half to say that this beer breaks into the full-bodied catagory, something that I rarely run into. It was very full in the mouth with a nice, creamy, slightly fuzzy, texture to it. There was a great smoothness that gave way to a numbing tingle caused by the alcohol.

Taste: On my first drink I was assaulted by a myriad of flavors. They were so numerous and intense that I had troubled picking them out. After my pallet had acclimated itself, I became aware of flavors of dark coffee, deep roasted malts, alcohol, and a tart cherry fruitiness. On the aftertaste was a lingering bitterness that was the only evidence of hops that I could find in the flavor. As the beer got really warm, the aforementioned alcohol gained some spicy characteristics and became more pronounced.

This is a helluva beer. A great change of pace from the wussy beers that I have been drinking lately. Too bad this stuff isn't available here in Wichita.

Thanks Bruiser!

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Photo of Sudmissle
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great stout that probably is the flagship brew of North Coast Brewery. Pours a black/brown color with a dense foamy head reminding me of real whipped cream stirred in. Very thick mouthfeel that lingers on the palate. This beer has 8.9% alcohol, but it is not apparent in the taste because it is so smooth. The alcohol is only slightly noticeable in the aftertaste. A quality blend of toasted wheat bread and coffee notes with a lace that clings to the glass as well as the tongue. This is a very competitive stout overall.

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Photo of winomark
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black, with little or no light seeping through the glass. Dark and inviting.

Smell: Freshly brewed coffee, vanilla and molasses. No overpowering alcohol smell, nice and maltly.

Taste: Coffee all over the palate, with some nice malty sweetness. Slight alcohol taste in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Quite rich and coating, but not cloying by any means.

Drinkablilty: Not something you can sit down and drink a few of at a time, but overall, a very enjoyable beer to be savored while watching football on a cool autumn day. I will seek this beer out again, and enjoy it as often as possible.

P.S. I am glad this was such a great beer that I made it my first review.

Mark

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.18/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presented in a 12oz. brown bottle as pictured. This beer allows no light to penetrate its inky black depths. A short-lived mocha colored head rose and fell as quickly as Italy changes governments, leaving minor lace behind.
The aroma is a withering blend of bitter coffee grounds, alcohol, roasted black malt, wet leather, and dark fruit.
This brew has a pronounced bitterness to it, far more than I expected. There are hints of bakers chocolate and coffee mixed with some prune/date flavors but the overall effect is rather out of balance. An astringent alcohol taste fires a parting shot along with a mild warmth.
Feel is medium with a real rawness from the alcohol.
Well, if this is what Rasputin was drinking the night he was killed, it explains why he was so difficult to take down. Old Rasputin has a rugged, hard edge to it that cuts into its drinkability. Overall, not bad but I've had some I've liked better. I'll drink them instead.

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Photo of ellman
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz squaty bottle

Appearance: Black, little to no head.

Smell: Chocolate coffee malt and alcohol.

Taste: Coffee, roasted malt but light on the alcohol taste i was expecting. Full body almost thick. but overall great beer.
not sure about quanity but sure has the quality. a last beer of the nigh sit and watch tv listen to music beer. mmm mmm good.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is a very dark brown/hint of red, with a good creamy head. The smell is fantastic....the smell of anise and coffee. The taste is just as fantastic...the predominant taste of coffee mixes with a nutty flavor as well as the licorice/anise taste. Mouthfeel is very smooth. As for drinkability, I couldn't drink as many of these as I would want to!

Mmmm...imperial stout...truly one of the great treats of the beer world. Though I sadly don't get to enjoy its unique pleasures enough, when I do it's a treat to be savored. North Coast truly makes an imperial stout up there with the best of them, and this is certainly one I'll have again.

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Photo of slitherySOB
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks too Brent, I was finally able to consume this long sought after beverage. Just the look through the bottle let you knew, this is a beer not to be reckoned with. The old picture of the monk himself teases, just teases you to try and dare consume this liquid concoction. The beer pours a very dark black. The only thing blacker than this liquid is my ex girlfriend's heart. When held too the light, this beer shows a shimmer of blood ruby. Only problem in presentation? Next to no head. Just a little film of bubbles, which does last throughout drinking. Scent, oh the scent. The nostrils are kicked in the sinuses with roasted malts, dark chocolate, arabica coffee beans, bitter hops, raisins, plums, prunes, red grapes, and various spices from around the world. One could write an essay on the olfactory pleasure of this beer. Taste is very damn similar too smell, though hops were stronger in the tongue than on the nose. This is actually very hoppy tasting. Like an IPA turned stout. But that roast malt is still their, ever so powering, ever so warm. Coffee and chocolate entwine together in this erotic dance that would leave any man's scrotum with a case of rigomortis. The fruits act as a sweet song, which the coffee and chocolate dance too. Spices are the final touch, the decorations on the ballroom walls. Just beautiful, damn beautiful. The mouthfeel is hard too explain. It's strong, but neither thick nor syrupy. Though this is not flattering to the brew at all, it's like gasoline. Gasoline is like oil, both are fuel, but oil is thick and gasoline is not. I shall definitely be drinking this again, if I can find it again. A beer meant to be enjoyed like an old port or hand crafted cigar. Any more than one at a sitting is simply too much of a good thing.

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Photo of clvand0
1.91/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Usually I'm not a fan of Imperial Stouts, but this one looked cool and I was hooked into buying it for the looks and name. Pours a very dark color with a moderate sized tan head that dies off after a few minutes. Leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma was burned malts and coffee/chocolate and some sort of spiciness (odd for an imperial stout?). This is a big beer. The flavor was majorly strong. Way too strong for my taste buds to accept. Tastes of alcohol, burned malts, slight spiciness, and maybe a little fruitiness. Didn't care much for it.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
1.94/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I want to like this beer. Really, I do. I'm crazy about imperial stouts and I read the praise everyone has for this beer, but I can't help but think that I'm unlucky enough to keep purchasing skunked beer upon skunked beer.

Sharper than other imperial stouts, spicer and hoppier than I would prefer. Acrid taste, almost far too sharp to be palatable. Sample has drain pour written all over it, but I've bought this beer three different times during the past year with the same experience.

If ever I can find good things to say about Rasputin, I will joyfully update and upgrade my ratings. But until then, this is just nasty.

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

Very very dark reddish-brown with lots of ruby red highlights and a moderate to low brown head. Decent carbonation for the style and OK lace rings. Burnt grains and alcohol aroma. There is a dark fruit aroma when the beer is younger. Burnt malt flavor dominates with ripe dark fruitiness and alcohol present. Medium-full bodied with an intense bittersweet finish and warming sensation.

Per N.C website: 75 IBUs

Awards:
Gold Medal - Imperial Stout - 2002 GABF
Bronze Medal - Imperial Stout - 2001 GABF
Gold Medal - Imperial Stout - 1999 GABF

'01' Embossed on bottle bottom & '02' Embossed on bottle bottom
Tasted: 09/09/2003

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Photo of beerguy101
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black color, medium head. Aroma is chocolate and roasted malts. Roasted malts, lightly hopped. Roasted malt flavor very pronounced, slightly dry taste as well. Big and Bold Stout. Finish is crisp and malty. Aftertaste is dry and there is a very slight metallic tinge. Very pleasant finish. NICE stout.

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Photo of Mustard
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Chubby, 12oz. brown bottle with no "bottled on" or "best before" warning; stray single purchased for $1.79 from the West LA Whole Foods on National and Barrington. "A heartfelt friend does not come about suddenly" scrawled in Russian afront the label.

Appearance: Entirely opaque; fine, half-inch, cocoa-brown head; moderate ring style lacing; not much in the way of head retention.

Aroma: Largely of chocolate and dark, rum-drenched fruits.

Taste: Sweet; big notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate; discernible hints of vanilla, licorice, grain and prune-like fruits; tight, tasty, carbonized-barley bitterness in the finish; vinous; faintly phenolic.

Notes: By all means the equal of top notch Impy's like Victory's Storm King, Bear Republic's Big Black Bear and Stone's IS. Love the finish.

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Photo of kevinl6
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one kick ass imperial!!! It is a 12oz bottle with a hypnotizing pic of Rasputin on the label. I had this one immediately after Stone's Imperial, and thought this one was at least as good, if not better. Jet black appearance, pretty much on par with other top imperials I've had. A very strong aroma consisting mainly of alcohol and burnt coffee. Tasted pretty much just as it smelled, and was a nice combination of the two (alcohol and coffee). I had no problems with a bottle of this, and I did want at least one more of these when I was finished! A must try for imperial lovers.

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Photo of PZuke
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice black Imperial stout body with a slightly tan head. It smelled like coffee and a little bit of chocolate. The taste was very smooth with light carbonation and a very heavy taste of coffee/espresso and a little bit of chocolate. I could see how the coffee taste could be overpowering for some. I’m not a huge stout fan but I could actually drink a couple of these and have no problem. A brew that even Rasputin himself could be proud of.

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Photo of Doppel07
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Translucent deep dark burgundy with a foamy tan head. I've never seen a prettier beer. Aroma is of chocolate, hazelnuts, raisins, and alcohol. My wife said it smells like a Swiss candy bar. Bold and aggressive flavors of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate and aged port. Nice finish with a strong mochaccino aftertaste. Thick and rich palate. This beer becomes increasingly bitter as the flavors build and is a long, slow, and pleasing sipper. Strongest elements are of espresso and port.

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Photo of taez555
3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark black body with a slight red tint in the right light. It had a thick creamy light brown/tannish head.

The nose was rather sweet. Slightly earthy. Brown sugar, molases, dark malts, alcohol. It was actually a little tricky to make out, not as prominant as I expected.

The taste was a very meaty full bodied. Very fine high level of carbonation. A very sharp initial roasted barley bitterness started it off. It was almost metallic. Burnt chocolate, unsweetened chocolate. Coffee beans. An intense coffee/espresso bean type bitterness. The sort of bitterness you get when chomping on dry espresso beans all day. Or like overly bitter black coffee. Some nice earthy hop flavors. But mostly just the intense coffee flavor and bitterness.

This beer ended bitter, but a bit more subdued. It deffinatly took it's time to fade.

Overall it's not a bad beer by any means. A classic Russian Imperial Stout. Extremely drinkable. But just a little too much of the coffee bitterness for me.

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Photo of Ellbert
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: This beer is very dark, what do you expect from an Imperial Stout?

Smell: Very impressive. A lot of coffee roastedness, some alcohol, and a little bit of fruity sweetness, just a little.

Taste: Everything an imperial stout should be. Rich, chocolaty, coffee like, molasses... Mmmm. Alcohol is noticable.

Mouthfeel: Very thik and rich, Mmmm....

Drinkability: Not very drinkable. Mostly because of the alcohol and the richness of the beer.

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Photo of jtw5877
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brownish black sort of color. A very quickly diminishishing tannish head tops this beer. Deep dark roasted aromas and flavors, Chocolate, coffee,and a bit of caramel, toffee, and something deep and dark which I can't put a finger on. One solid beer, it may not look the best, but it tastes like heaven.

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

Appearance – The solid black body was covered quickly with a beautiful, brown head that left a little lacing on the glass.

Smell – Big espresso bean aroma with mature malts and sticky molasses.

Taste – More espresso and a dash of chocolate mix well with the burnt malty base. I would have liked to have tasted a little more sweetness at the finish (the molasses smell was a tease), but that’s splitting hairs. This is an excellent stout.

Mouthfeel – Creamy smooth with little carbonation. This one travels through the mouth quite well.

Drinkability – IIf you like stout, you’ll like this offering from North Coast. I could suck these down all night.

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Photo of chaduvel
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow! Old Rasputin himself is staring me down daring me to partake in this brew. Pours pitch black with a thick dimpled head that stays around and rings the glass for eternity. Smells of roasted malts some sweetness and the alcohol is in there as well. Taste, woa! Intense bitter, almost that of espresso, sweet maltiness is intense with a warming bite of bitter and alcohol for the finish. Basically all flavors are intense, but well balanced. Not for the faint of heart. A most excellent Imperial Stout!

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a midnight black with a medium thickness tan head. The aroma is intriging with bubblegum like esters and tons of alcohol with a bit of chocolate and a piney hop character.
Flavor is intense with a slightly metallic chocolate and roasted barley malt profile accompanied by a strong pine hop flavor with a sweet finish. Has tons of alcohol and this definetly adds to the body by increasing the length of time the flafors linger. Very drinkable but also very intensly flavored and alcoholic, would probably go very good with dessert.

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Photo of Rumrunner
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle
This stout is for the rough rider in us all. Read your history.

It pours a deep dark color. Light is almost impenetrable. The head is mostly brown with slight white hues. A tall head with some lacing. The scent is strong coffee bean with some chocolate and a burnt toast quality at the end of the smells. A great nose.

The flavors are complex. A heavy coffee taste. Very coffee bean. The burnt toast quality is there but the chocolate that was apparent in the nose is overwhelmed and has disappeared. A very rich flavor that stays for a while. The aftertaste lingers just a bit too long.

It feels heavy and strong in the mouth. Nice bite for a stout. This stout pushes the limits in my opinion. The only negative is a bit of an alcohol bite to it. This stout will definately find its way in to my fridge. I am also happy to report that there is no sweetness attributed to the after taste as many stouts have. Some stout drinkers like a sweetness ending I do not.

A very well thoughout stout. I just cannot say enough about it.

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