Old Rasputin | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old RasputinOld Rasputin
12,453 Ratings
Old RasputinOld Rasputin

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

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

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Ratings: 12,453 |  Reviews: 3,771
Photo of BierReise
3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I first opened the bottle I took a little sniff. My first impression was chocolate and alcohol. Almost like a chocolate cordial. Dark chocolatey appearance small head that started to dissolve immediately. First sip was roasty tasting with bitter chocolate notes at the back. Wow this is a smooth Stout. A little on the bitter side but malt is seeming to wrestle for advantage. It's warming up now and I start to smell coffee or espresso. This is a great stout and deserving of it's wide praise. If it weren't for the bitterness I'd give it an even higher rating. Just my opinion.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow! This is a really grand stout. Wanting to finally taste this bad boy, I popped the cap on its stubby little bottle. Immediately the nose of roasted aromas comes forth, beckoning me onward. The nose portends the roasted coffee and chocolate flavors that await the drinker. The pour created a huge dark beige head over an opaque black body. The head lasts and makes lots of nice lacing. Beautiful. Flavor is here in abundance giving the drinker a full force assault on the palate. Coffee. Check. Chocolate. Check. Prunes. Check. Hop bitterness. Check. This is a tour in flavors. Great stuff with great body and feel. Wow! High ABV holds down drinkability, and there's lots of bite in this brew.

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

I actually drank this at room temperature, not waiting for it to chill. It poured nice and blackish, with chocolate colored bubbles. The taste was roasted malt, coffee, carmel. It had a bold taste, the ABV mixed well, not overwhelming. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer.

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

This Russian Imperial Stout is dark/rich tar in color with a nice tan head. The lace cascades down in spotty trails. The aroma is a multi-directional bombardment of coffee mocha, malt, hops and alcohol. The ample citrus and metallic hops are almost overwhelming. A hint of apples and sherry-like flavors weave in and out as does coffee & chocolate. Sweet! Strongly alcoholic and complex. Almost too much at once with little thought to balance...maybe that was the intention to begin with?

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Photo of MJR
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours black with garnet highlights. It's mostly opaque, with a minimal amount of light getting through. What started as a 3/8" tan cap is now a small ring around the top of the glass. No lacing whatsoever...

Smell: Very basic aroma of bitter, roasted coffee with a hint of dark fruits. A small whiff of alcohol too...

Taste: Lots of roasted grain and coffee flavors take center stage is this brew. The dark fruits that are expected in this style are here, but they're much more subdued than in most other Imperials. I taste a touch of buttery rum, as well as some toffee. The hops are there, but they don't really draw any attention away from the malts. The alcohol is well hidden. Finishes with a touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Round and smooth with a medium mouthfeel. It's too thin for the style...

Drinkability: Good for what it is...a nice, basic Imperial stout. There are much better examples to be had, but I wouldn't mind this on a cold winter night in front of the fireplace. I did expect this one to be better though...

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Photo of dwarbi
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1/2 inch thick light brown head. Most of it goes a away rather quickly, but some remains to make me happy.
What a nose! Amazing. Very solid presence in the room. Malty, a little sweet, and when you get in there, you can detect the high alcohol content, but it does take away from the effect.
Chocolatey, roasted flavor. Again, the high alcohol content is evident but does not take away from the experience.
Feels good in the mouth, but the sweetness is a little too dominant in the aftertaste.

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

My goodness, I really like all types of imperial stouts, and the more I sample, I develop a greater appreciation for the style.

Nearly black in color (really dark, dark, dark, dark amber) with a rather diminutive khaki color head. Sensational aroma that is noticeable from a relatively great distance as it is poured. Smells of roasted malt, and smells quite sweet. Taste is malty as first, followed by a bready and roasted malt flavor. Tastes somewhat sweet as well. The body is thinner than hoped for. The alcohol is evident but, by no means, is it a problem.

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Photo of scottum
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out blackish black with a nice big tan head. A very nice Imperial Stout. Burnt malts rule this brew like a tzar. Hop bitter balances out the malts. This is a potent brew and complex beyond my taste. Not the best Imperial Stout out there, but a damn good one!

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Photo of kelticblood
3.59/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is my 100th review so I thought I'd choose something worth remembering.

The pour yielded a 1 inch off-white head that reduced to about a 1/2 inch and stayed.As It reduced it left a solid ban of sticky lace around my glass.The color is an opaque black.Alcohol is evident on the nose and in the taste almost right away.wheeew this is strong.Long very bitter finish.Full bodied with a thick mouthfeel.Alcohol makes the mouthfeel somewhat harsh..The alcohol and the strong hop bitterness seems to hide any real flavor here.Very creamy with a rolling texture.Hints of chocolate and coffee are noted on the taste.Very malty with a dry finish.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black in color with a brown creamy head that leaves lace.
Aroma of bittersweet chocolate and alcohol.

Taste of bittersweet chocolate, alcohol, and a hint of coffee. Hops there to balance.

Creamy and full-bodied.
Drinkability: This is a big beer to be savored in the proper setting. Not something to look for after you've just mowed the lawn on a 90 degree day. The alcohol is pretty evident.

Overall, this beer is quite the treat on tap. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Jarod
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, Russian writing encircling the image of Rasputin on the label.

This beer poured a dark brown black color that when held to the light, some penetrated casting a ruby glow on the edges. The head was thick, rich and creamy resembling in all aspects, even the color of the inside of a Milky Way candy bar. It left a lace behind that was sheety and lacey in different spots of the inside of the glass. The aromas that came from the glass were fairly complex, changing with each degree of temperature. I nosed coffee, dark and roasted malts, caramel, chocolates, slight fruits, some burnt chocolate, wood ash and alcohol. All smells seemed to couple up with each other and accent each other very well. The tastes were just as complex as the aromas and seemed to get only better as it warmed. I tasted bitter hops, burnt and regular coffees, roasted malts, caramel (slight), chocolates, alcohols, flowers, wood ash and some slight dark fruits. The first sip had some bitter hops to it, then an explosion of flavors all through the middle and then ended the same way it started. This is one complex beer. Big, full, creamy, lovely, luxurious and fabulous. Lives up to its name and its history behind it. The Czars would be proud.

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

Pour is a super dark black with slight hints of ruby at the edges, thick tan head that fades and leaves good lacing. Aroma is chocolate, roasted malts, and some hops (flowery, light perfume) in the end. Flavor starts with chocolate, middle the roasted malts show through, some hops towards the end. Alcohol barely shows through at the very end when it reaches it's warmest temp. Full bodied, long lasting taste. Truly outstanding.

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

North Coast brings out yet another winner. A very good brew. It almost appears, to me, to be a porter-like brew. But this beer is so much more. It offers a porter-type body and consistency complete with malted aroma and flavor. There are hints of chocolate-like sweetness, but not too overbearing. If you can find it, please seek this one out. It is well worth it. Prost!

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Photo of nomad
3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out just about black with light tan head that doesn't amount to much. Real rocky and frothy lace that dies fairly fast and eventually turns into a nothing of a lace. For the nosey stuff, it had an interesting turn on the common imperial stout nut scent, a lighter but more complex type of nut. Real bright fruitiness to the nose, has a citrusy kind zing to it from the very high level of hops.

As for taste, there was an almost salty type of hop bitterness with a long and multi-leveled finish: started with a quick bitterness, then turned to a fruity hoppiness which then mixed with the roasted malt flavor, and lastly it all evened out and washed over the majority of my palate. Fairly thin mouthfeel.

Overall, an overly hoppy version of the Imperial Stout. The more it opened the more malt attempted to balance the strong hops, but in the end the sharp onslaught of hoppy bitter, fruit, and salt won out. I love me a hoppy IPA, but in my opinion an Imperial should not stray too far from its malty base.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought in the 12 oz brown botle with a great lithograph of old Grigory on the label!!
Well this beer darn well looks perfect dark, dark almost pitch black beer topped by a medium tan colour heead that sinks into a large amount of lace.
The aroma of this brew is wonderful to behold..i smell vast amounts of roasted grain..some malt and a viscous alcohol aroma.
Taste is how can I say it?..out of this world
..first malt then hops..but theres great chunks of black coffee..unsweetened dark chocolate..a great but not overwhelming stuff.
Mouthfeel? how can i describe it other than to says ts almost perfect.
For such a robust beer its actually quite alright for a quiet night in by the fire..

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Photo of Bang34
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, I tried this brew after seeing it on the "Top Brews" list on this site. I have always been a fan of Stouts and being from Mendocino County, CA just one hour's drive from the birthplace of this beer, it seemed like a match made in heaven. If I could find it. A while back I remembered seeing this brew on the rack at my local Safeway. But when I finally decided to try it, guess what, it was nowhere to be found. After about a month of absence from the shelf, it was finally there. I bought 2 four-packs, just in case it disappeared again.

Now, the rating. Appearance, black, dark, stout-like, with a tanish brown head that sticks around and gives a nice creamyness and lace. The aroma, malty coffeeness comes to mind with a hint of Chocolate. Taste, creamy, chocolaty , coffee like with an after warmth of the alcohol. Even so, this is so smooth, you woul not believe that it is 8.9%.

Brewed in the historic logging and fishing town of Fort Bragg Califonia. Part of the Karate Kid III was filmed there as was the Kurt and Goldie Flick "Overboard" but it is probably most famous for being the final stop of the Skunk Train. I only whis I had found this beer sooner. Along with Anderson Valley's Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, it is one of my favorites. Available in four packs, and with the alcohol content and thickness, believe me, that is all you will need.

I moved to Missouri about 2 1/2 years ago and really miss this beer. It is availsble in my hometown, the small Hamlet of Gualala at the local Supers and I buy it whenever I get back there. On one of my last trips home I was able to get my Mom and Step Dad to take me to lunch at the brewery and they were impressed with this brew as well.

Missouri Import laws don't let any craft Cali brews in, save Pyramid and Sierra Nevada thanks to St. Louis based AB. Man, I miss this beer.

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

Black with a big brown head that leaves its trail all over the glass. Chocolate hits your nose, and then comes a big blast of hops. Raosty malts also find there way into this fine aroma. Very spicy and roasty at the same time.

This brew is loaded with flavor. It is rich and full-bodied. Chocolate and roasty malts start you out. Then, spicy hops come in like crazy to make this one complex brew. It is very creamy in the finish. The flavors are intense and could wake you up in the morning. This is simply a near perfect brew.

I was shocked to find 2 of my friends that do not like a lot of hops, or stouts enjoy this brew. Who would have thought. You throw together 2 things people like and then they like it.

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

Pours with a massive tan colored head that slowly settles over just-short-of-opaque dark, dark ruby liquid. The nose is chock full of aromas of chocolate, malt, some coffee, and hoppy goodness. The taste is a mind-blowing blend of bitter and milk chocolates, roasted maltiness, espresso, tobacco and hop bitterness that just assaults your palate. Some alcohol is tasted in the fabulously long and satisfying finish, on par with the best Imperial Stouts & recommended to the extreme!

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

Deep, dark brown with ruby highlights. Has a light brown head that settles. The aroma that hits me first is a strong milk chocolatey aroma, followed by the roasted malt with hints of coffee. I detect alcohol at the end. The flavor is roasty, with hints of coffee. It has a very alcoholic flavor like that of rum. It is oily/buttery in texture. It finished very dry with a burnt malt and hop bitterness that stays with you. A very good warming beer.

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Photo of 49degrees
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I’ve never really fancied stout beers. I’ve tried a small handful over the years, but never found myself attracted to what the style had to offer. I could probably even count on my fingers the number of stouts that I’ve tried. Having become quite the hophead and Barley Wine fan in recent months, it was about time I started to take a real serious look at what stouts have to offer. Several weeks back I had the chance to split a bottle of Rogue’s Imperial Stout with a fellow Beerfly at the Rogue brewery in Issaquah, WA – at little more than a 1/4 bottle, it was little to truly test my taste buds with, but the initial impact was definitely applauded.

Having played with real Russian beer earlier in the evening, I thought I’d tackle a Russian Imperial Stout “Old Rasputin” to be specific. In a single word – IMPRESSIVE! Now I know the Old Rasputin is a highly regarded stout, but I’ll have to admit, my taste buds, palette, stomach and the rest of me was really ready for this one. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sold in traditional 12oz dark brown, stubby bottles, the label features a sketched image of Rasputin to help prepare the drinker for battle. This brew pours exceptionally dark black, not quite as heavy a pour as some stouts, but suitable characteristics nonetheless. The head is a thick dark creamy consistency that sticks around for a long period of time.

This beer has an incredible rich aroma packed full of robust hints of chocolate, coffee, plenty of hops, and even some subtle fruit essence in the bouquet. An extremely appetizing aroma that makes you want to dive right in.

Taste wise, it delivers everything that one would hope based on the initial inspection of sight and smell. Very rich, intense flavors of dark roasted coffee (very bitter like many of Starbucks blends), a strong but even chocolate flavor which works well with the nutty flavors that come through in the brew too. There’s an almost spicy hint that this beer leaves on the palette, something I’m thinking it a result of the roasted malts, 8.9% alcohol and bitter hops. Its an interesting flavor that works very very well.

This brew is a super drink that worked well tonight as an after dinner relaxer and would make for a perfect winter warmer. Kudos to North Coast Brewing Company for this stellar addition. I wasn’t a stout drinker before Rasputin, but if this is what the world of stout beer is all about, consider me converted.

[ STATS:>> 12 oz bottle / ABV: 8.9% abv / PRICE: $3.19 USD ]

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

Presentation: 12oz. amber bottle with Old Rasputin himself daring me to attempt to conquer the liquid contained within. Dare I venture further?

Appearance: If evil was a liquid, this would be it. Poured a insanely dark and dastardly color. When held up to the light, a wonderful ruby tint around the edges is revealed. Amazing.

Smell: Chocolate...coffee...and a little alcohol. Very, very nice.

Taste: Wow. Where to begin? Silky chocolate flavors mixed with a chewy malty sweetness. The flavor is large and in your face, asking what kind of a beer drinker you think you are to dance with this brew.

Mouthfeel: A lovely Swedish massage for the palate. The incredible smoothness of this beer make for a frothy, silky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I was amazed at how much better this beer tasted as it warmed up. I lacked the willpower to just let it sit...I'm not worthy. The alcohol gives a great warming feeling and the smoooooooooth aftertaste make for one spectacular beer. Must get another one.

Note: Finally found this on tap at Brew's Cafe in Granville, OH. Even better from the tap. I could even bump up the Taste and Mouthfeel. An excellent beer.

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Photo of jeffboo
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm slowly coming to the end of my Imperial stout bottles available in MN. Old Rap is black with red streaks in the light, with a smallish tan head. The aroma is roasted malt first followed by cocoa and hints of dark fruits (raisins).Chocolate and roasted coffee flavors come forth with a little sweet malt and a touch of bitterness. The body is medium-full that is nice for the style and it finishes long and roasty.Not as complex as the best but a nice drink at the end of a long cold day.

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Photo of paceyourself
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holy smokes this is a great stout! Poured brownish-black in color with a small dark tan head. A mellow alcohol and fruity notes make a soft aroma. This is one full-bodied stout starting with roasted coffee and creamy malt flavors. Very smooth overall and the alcohol isn't as apparent in the taste as in the aroma. At 8.9% this is very drinkable on this cold rainy afternoon. Thanks Morris729 for the sample.

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Photo of stirgy
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought A four pack at Canals in New Jersey for $8.99

Wow, what a beer! Poured a midnight black with an amazingly dense and creamy head. Fresh roasted coffee, dark chocolate and alcohol on the nose. The taste is of heavy hops, roasted barley and alcohol. An easy sippin' brew. I haven't tasted too many IS's, but this comes close to what I would call perfect.

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Photo of stoutman
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Aroma is most interesting with notes of coffee, nuts and brandy. It pours thick and is darkest brown with garnet edges...beautiful canyoned mocha head...Lace like sea-foam...Rich roastiness and subtle candy sweetness that is tempered with that warm brandy-like kick. Awfully smooth gong down...amusing Blackstrap tang hovers behind wisps of hop essence as a last remark. This is simply a superior product.

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Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,453 ratings