Old Rasputin | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old RasputinOld Rasputin
12,551 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: 12,551 |  Reviews: 3,796
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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Photo of purplehops
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old Raspution poured an opaque black with reddish highlights and a light chocolate head that coated the glass with plenty of lace. Aroma was toasted grains with chocolate and coffee along with some alcohol hiding in the background. The taste started with plenty of sweet malt up front and then moved to roasted and black malt flavors. This was followed by flavors of coffee, chocolate, and some dried fruit flavors blending with the roasted malt flavors and just a wee hint of hop bitterness. The finish was very smooth with the caramel and chocolate flavors coming to the fore front. Aftertaste was a mix of all of the above and a much more noticeable alcohol taste. Mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with a full body and an alcohol warmth to it.
Overall a very complex stout that leaves you with a smile and a glow. Not as balanced as I would have liked (seemed a little rough around the edges) but none the less a quality Imperial Stout worth the search.

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Photo of granger10
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drinking this only confirms the fact that imp. stouts are my favorite. This was a great brew. Professionally crafted for sure. Very complex. Dark color but not as dark as expedition and with a little more head on it. The aroma seemed faded and it was not extremely thick which was it's only downfall. Other than that this was a very complex brew. Had a definite licorice taste to it and very apparent hop bitterness. A coffee taste was there and it was of strongly burnt coffee at that. Milky chocolate mixed with the coffee. It finished with a bittersweet chocolatyness that might have been the most perfect finish I have experienced. Amazing!

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

Even on a summer day...

This beer is quite formidable as it pours into the pint. No ruddy edges, no hints of weakness. Nice bit of head that doesn't stick around long; probably knows too much.

The smell is enticing. Coffee, Warmth, Cocoa, Toast. Is this a beer, or am I waking from a dream to breakfast? The first sip greets the tongue with a warm kiss. The breadth of malt flavors is amazing, and the spices and body compliment the beer.

12 oz is really an ideal serving, though a pair make for a full evening.

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

Dark and foreboding, like its namesake. Smell is enticing, malty and robust, with the alcohol coming through. Taste is a wee bit hoppy for my taste in an imperial stout, just wasn't expecting it. Maybe a few more of these will change my opinion on that count. A remarkable brew for sure, just not exactly what I was expecting for the style...

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Photo of dmarch
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color with a big tan head. Aroma is roasty and very hoppy. Taste is of roasted coffee, but is hard to detect under the bitterness from the abundant hops. This is a very hoppy imperial stout. Very enjoyable though. Not very expensive for the quality of this beer. Possible one of the best values out there.

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

Notes: Unknown Vintage. Probably Old! This beer poured a remarkably dark black colour that was totally opaque. It had a thick tan head as well. The aromas were all over the board but I smelled coffee, chocolate, dark-roasted malts, and hops. The taste was great....a perfect melange of the above mentioned aromas into one swiriling liquid full of flavor! The mouthfeel was thick and chewy and the drinkability was excellent for an Imperial stout.

This stuff rocks!!!

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

I had a bottle of this on my birthday at Tony Roma's in Kennewick, WA. It was easily the only decent thing I had there, and almost made up for the crappy service. This is a BIG beer, dark and mysterious looking in a glass. The smell is of roasted malt with coffee and dark chocolate. It tastes like it smells, with a little bit of a hop zing adding sharpness and keeping the drinker from being completely overwhelmed by the malt. This would probably go great after a meal and accompanied by a good cigar. I really enjoyed drinking it but would never have more than one per sitting, as its just too much.

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

I had this one in a 12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep black with a dark tan finger of foam. There is only a slight bit of lacing on the glass. The smell is rich in burnt malt and caramel. The taste has a bit of roasted coffee, with a bit of a hops finish to balance. There is also a slight alcohol taste present. The mouthfeel is pretty strong and heavy. The drinkability is also fair for this massive Russian Imperial.

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Photo of far333
3.6/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This one's powerful, starting with the scary illustration of the Russian cleric himself on the label. Pours a deep brown color, with flashes of ruby where the light gets through. Head is an inch high, light brown, big and frothy. Rich aroma of chocolate, toasted malt, and alcohol. Bitter coffee flavor greets the tongue, followed by a strong alcohol finish. Not much room left for other flavors. I'm half way through the glass, and the head remains, accompanied by wavy lacing down the sides of the glass. Not for the faint of heart.

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

Let me start by saying I got a hell of a deal on a single of this at Safeway for $0.92 because the cashier rang me up wrong. I, being the good beer-loving citizen I am, did not correct her:)
75 IBU.

Clear, ink-black brew forms a tan head atop fine bubbles with poor retention and OK lacing. Aroma is extremely rich...roasted sharp grain, similar in ilk to Kalamazoo stout, espresso, black patent, and a nice touch of whiskey. There is a peculiar woody dryness to the aroma. Taste is phenomenal..this is especially silken and roasted, but not burnt and thin, with a very smooth and even hoppiness. The mouthfeel is full and chewy with a dense body. Bitterness and hop flavor are in perfect balance with the malts. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The alcohol is noted in vapor, but not so in taste. This is probably one of the best examples of Russian Imperial Stout that I've had. It gets better as it warms. This is one of those beers that deserves every GABF and WBC medal it's earned. This is an uncommonly good beer.

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Photo of rastaman
3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Quite big and complex. Roasty, licorice aroma, with more hops in the aroma than i expected, quite aromatic. The palate is quite thick and roasty, with some licorice and raisins, with quite a few hops to finish, the finish is even a bit citric. Nice bitter finish. Flavours don't quite blend however.

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Photo of kindestcut
3.48/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The Old Rastputin poured black...an impenetrable void as black as coal. The dark tan head was quite active and lasted several minutes as I allowed the beer to warm before tasting.

Man, I could tell by the aroma that this was going to be a kick in the nuts...again, compliment or insult? I dunno. The beer smelled like a cookout. Just replace the steak with malt and you got it. "One malt burger! Well done!" This beer is like roasted malt incranate.

OK, now, the taste. BAM! Down on the floor I go! In reality, I don't remember much from the first taste. It was so overwhelming, I had to gather my thoughts...including, do I really like this or not? I decided to walk away for a few minutes to gather myself and return. I'm glad I did.

After a few more sips, this beer is beginning to grow on me. The flavor is overwhelming. Espresso, a hint of chocolate, alcohol in the distance (which would be pretty dangerous for a beer with a 8.9% ABV but you can't chug this!) and a bitter finish. This is a beer that kicks your ass, follows you home and sleeps with your wife.

The mouthfeel is very good...creamy and chewy...like coffee taffy. The beer is actually easily sipped (I wanted to say drinkable but it's too harsh for a gulp) after a few minutes. However, the drinkability is pretty low for me given the strength of this bad boy.

I feel like I just saw a disturbing, yet brilliant movie. I acknowledge the genius but I don't know how much I truly liked it. I don't think I did but I could be wrong....

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Photo of jcalabre
3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally sampled on 15 June 2002. It pours a very dark brown. The taste is full of burnt coffee & chocolate flavors, but in my opinion, they are not as nice as other imperials, like Victory Storm King, Alesmith Speedway or Stone Russian Imperial. I think it was OK, nothing special

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Photo of LiamStLiam
2.71/5  rDev -37%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I got a good, black pour, low head.

I found it harder to drink than I expected. A lot going on in this beer, and not all of it to my taste.

I am a "smoothness" guy, and this is not a smooth beer.

I find this a difficult style to understand right now, and I know it's a hard one to do.

This is my first North Coast Beer, so I am not quite sure what to expect in the future.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I tried to pour this one roughly but nothing doing. While the minimal tan head reduced to a mere crown on the glass very quickly, it does manage to maintain that crown quite well. Color is as dark as it gets I suppose, absolutely no light going through.

Aroma is heavy with coffee and light with alcohol notes.

Taste has a big alcohol hit in front I thought, almost too soon. The mouthfeel comes into play immediately as well, extremely smooth, heavy, thick almost like syrup, but not sweet, oh no, not at all. Past the alcohol taste comes the primary taste sensations of coffee and dark roasted malts. These mix with a mild carbonation which enhances the roasted taste, IMO. As that initial flavor surge subsides, some smoky, perhaps burnt coffee or espresso flavors emerge coupled with a hop bite to keep you honest. All that complex flavor and some nice balanced hop presence to boot. Finishes on the bitter side with remnants of charcoal lingering.

I gotta hand it to North Coast BC, this is a busy beer to drink, lots going on if you take the time to experience it.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Solid black, black as a moonless night....one finger high head of super lumpy, solid crunchy top, but also looks fluffy and light, tan in color, leaves some spotty lace patches. Smell, dead on, is a great sweet dark chocolatey aroma with notes of dark fruit - banana, starfruit, mango, strawberry, and black cherry all noted. Taste is a swirling light chocolate, sweet and dark smoothness throughout, yum. Nice twinged hops in the finish that brings out just the right bitterness and dryness to say hello kindly and leave you with a smile. Feel is full and creamy with a way easy smoothness that makes this a amazingly drinkable stout. North Coast has a winner here.

Thanks to Feloniousmonk for serving this up. YUM!!!

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Photo of darklager
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is definitely something to behold. It pours beautifully with a nice head that sticks around for a while. The aroma is chocolate and alcohol. While the alcohol is present in the aroma, it is well masked in the taste. It is a strong brew, worthy of drinking slow and savoring every last drop. It finishes slightly bitter, and the strength of this beer is pretty great, so I don't think I'd want more than a couple at one sitting. It would be great in the evening to sip on while unwinding.

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Photo of Winter
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours soot black in color with a rising brown creamy head. Aroma consists of chocolate malt, alcohol and dark fruit. Luscious full-bodied mouthfeel. Taste consists of chocolate malt and coffee. Very well balanced. Alcohol makes its presence known in the finish and a slight warming effect can be felt. Finish can be a bit dry at times.

Old Rasputin definitely has quite a kick to it. Unbelievably smooth for a beer with such a high alcohol content. Definitely a benchmark Imperial Stout to judge others by.

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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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Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,551 ratings