Old Rasputin | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old RasputinOld Rasputin
BA SCORE
4.3/5
Outstanding
12,463 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:
#545
Reviews:
3,774
Ratings:
12,463
pDev:
10.23%
Bros Score:
4.38
 
 
Wants:
625
Gots:
3,192
Trade:
49
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12,463 |  Reviews: 3,774
Photo of Kurt_van
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

4 pack bought in Fort Bragg, CA. 03-2018

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

9% ABV
75 IBUs
12 oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a big snifter. Although, I am big supporter of bottle dating, I don't criticize North Coast in deeming dating Old Rasputin irrelevant, because it will hold up for years, and yet won't be "too hot & rough" fresh. This is one of my earliest, but still favorite, Russian Imperial Stouts and I am very excited to review this! Let's get down to business!

Appearance 5/5
Pours in a clear and very dark brown stream from the bottle that gives an impression of pitch black in the glass, with a big, dense, dark mocha colored head that receded into a rather thin one but left excellent lacing on the glass. Towards the end, the head was thinner, but still was much more than a tiny collar! The lacing didn't stick around, but that's forgivable for an Imperial Stout.

Aroma 3/5
I have never been a fan of this beer's aroma even though I have had it at innumerable occasions and I like this beer quite a bit overall. The aroma I detect is of sweet malts with no particular character, but just a slight bias towards roast. It has a certain smoothness to it though. As the beer got to room temperature, alcoholic sweetness became obvious.

Taste 4/5
Taste is however, very good, so you may ignore my comments on aroma. Starts slightly sweet with a dark, roasty, richness that takes a dark chocolate character in the aftertaste, along with the persistent roast. Also, they have hopped this one generously, and the finish is quite bitter; the roast and hops make it quite clean for an Imperial Stout. A coffee like acidity is notable as the temperature rises. So is alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel 4/5
More body and lower carbonation would be welcome. Otherwise, it's flawless.

Drinkability 5/5
It tastes good, and finishes fairly clean. I could have another bottle. A RIS that's any more drinkable is doing it wrong!

Other
Never disappointing, amazingly priced, this is a beer I will continue to drink. Never say die!

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

A very seductive stout that pours dark and rich like cocoa. Difficult to judge the clarity due to its obscure nature but the head left me wanting. Not as abundant as I would have expected with no lacing and almost no retention.

Aromas were pleasing and beautifully harmonized. A well balance marriage of fruits and malt open the nostrils to let in heady vapours of alcohol. Quite nice.

The beer is medium in body despite its rich texture and provides a warming alcohol reflux after being swallowed. Soft malt up front is followed by fruitiness reminescent of black berries and currants. It finishes with a decidedly alcoholic bitterness supported by hoppy burnt character which hangs around for some time.

For me this is a solid imperial stout. It has an enticing character but is not too powerful. Complexity develops as the beer warms which keeps me interested and wanting another.

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Photo of schro126
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle on the recommendation of the clerk at my local beer store. It pours opaque with a nice dark tan head. The aroma is full of dried fruit and bitter dark malts with chocolaty undertones.
The mouthfeel is thick and velvety everything you are looking for in a RIS. The taste starts with roasty malts and smooths to a clean finish with a residual sugar that lingers. After half a glass the alcohal starts to make an appearance with a warming sensation in the chest.
Overall this is a good RIS, nothing mindblowing but a good example of the style.

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Photo of BigE90
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a frosted pint glass, 1 finger head, good chocolate color, disappeared quickly though.

Nice and dark like a stout should be

A deep roasted almost burnt smell, swirl it around and hops come through

There is some substance here as I call it when it lingers in my mouth afterwards. A good medium body feel, some bitterness comes at the finish. Just a slight taste of chocolate and hint of the alcohol.

The finish lingers so you know you are drinking a heavier beer

Overall a very drinkable RIS. Probably would not buy again but at the same time I would not turn one down. The bitterness is the only real thing that is turning me off about it.

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Photo of MAD_Hippies_Life
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of daftafne
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a mini tulip, it is an almost black liquid with a finger of dark tan head which is not resilient. The smell is not very strong despite being served just slightly chilled. Smells of vanilla coffee/espresso, caramel. Taste begins a bit sweet then some hop bitterness, roasted malts, coffee/espresso and finishes nice and bitter. The alcohol warmth was fairly prominent near the end of the glass as it warmed. Light carbonation and a medium to medium-heavy body. The drinkability is limited by the 9% ABV. Very good classical interpretation of the style.

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Photo of tempest
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Westy chalice and it looks beautiful. Smells and drinks with a mellow chocolate and roasted malt backbone. It's a nice flavor, but I can't pull a lot of depth from it. Still, it has a wonderful chocolate taste and makes for a great dessert beer and for a RIS it's relatively affordable.

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Photo of californiakulak
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I poured a bottle of this beer into a Firestone pint glass.

A. Beautiful dark brown in color, almost black. The head was a light brown color. It looked creamy and lasted a good amount of time.

S. It had a strong roasted malt aroma. It also had some coffee scents. Perhaps some dark chocolate as well.

T. Roasted malts and alcohol. Very good tasting beer. Some sweetness and a little dark chocolate as well.

M. Warming alcohol and a little bitterness. A full bodied creamy like feeling comes with this beer.

D. Average drinkability. It is pretty heavy and I couldn't see myself having many more than one at a sitting. Also the abv would get you if you had too many.

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Photo of Gobblegon
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Photo of oxmasterscream
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appeared nearly black with dark brown highlights if angled correctly; a half finger tan head which left a nice, thick lacing as I drank. Aroma was spice, chocolate and raisins with a hint of prune. Taste up front was sweet, burnt dark malts, spicy and tangy in the middle with a nice bitter coffee finish, coupled with a warming from the high ABV. Mouth was thick and a little syrupy, not as syrupy as I would've liked though. Carbonation covered the tongue nicely. Taste wasn't as complex and exciting as I would've expected for an imperial stout but nonetheless, still quite good and not to be overlooked.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Stemmed Glass. No date.

A - One finger dark and dense tan head with a completely opaque body. Not much to look at, but fits the style well.

S - Dark roasted chocolate malts with some cocoa and coffee notes but also very dry wheat with a little alcohol spicy burn.

T - Hearty and rich of dark, heavily roasted chocolate malts. So heavily roasted that there is a very bitter coffee-like flavor going on. Strong spicy alcoholic finish.

M - Viscous and full-bodied, it's not syrupy, but it sure is a thick beer. Bitter and slightly astringent on the finish as well as dry.

D - Good beer that deserves time for sipping and warming for nuances to be pulled out. Hard drinkability but a very good sipper.

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Photo of jws6w7
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin poured into Nonic Pint Glass
A - Poured a thick black color with a huge 3 finger mocha color head.

S - Rich roasted malt aroma, cocoa, toffee, small hop aroma

T - Yep, rich roasty malts, coffee, chocolate, smokey taste, hop bitterness in there as well, very complex

M - Great mouthfeel, pretty heavy I would say, good carbonation

D - Big sipper due to the 9%abv, very warming going down, great RIS

Overall, a great beer with complex roasted malts and a hop bitterness, i really enjoyed this beer. Definitely gonna enjoy one of these come colder winter time.

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Photo of tzieser
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: poured from a 12oz bottle into a sam smith's nonic glass. thick, two finger tan head. black motor oil in color. outstanding.

s: huge nose of roasted malts; roasted coffee grounds, dark chocolate and coca powder undertones, floral hoppy backbone.

t: roasted malts up front. great coffee and chocolate flavors, hops are noticible, but delicious. nice complex flavor here-- and the alcohol is very well hidden. has all the signature traits of a good RIS, and then some.

m&d: smooth and creamy mouthfeel. drinkability is good, especially for an RIS. pretty easy to finish a 4 pack, but i'm gonna put the other two away for a couple years, i think.

a great Russian Imperial Stout. a perfect example of the style. up there with Victory's Storm King as my favorite US brewed RIS. i need to try more of North Coast's offerings

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Photo of cascadian93
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Photo of mntlover
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black but lots of redish highlights around edges so not the darkest RIS but a nice 3 finger coco colored head that falls to ringed bubbles and laces like crazy give this baby great looks even if its not the darkest.

Aroma is sweet roasted malts lots of chocolate some light coffee underneath the sweetness. Under lying citrus hops coming thru the roasted malt also some of the usual fruitiness in RIS's.

Taste is roasted malt lots good chocolate flavors coming thru fairly smooth but touches of gritiness. Coffee flavors come out after the sweet chocolate peaks and mingle with the fairly large amount of hops citrus grapefruit and pine resin mixed for the finish, some light alcohol apears in the finish also. Overall a pretty decent tasting RIS somewhere in the middle of the pack.

Mouthfeel is good going on full but not quite smooth but decent.

Drinkability is good definitely worth trying, but it wouldn't replace my favorites I try to keep on hand for the winter.

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Photo of Cinderbike
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours like black coffee with tan head, some lacing.

S - Fresh roasted coffee, freshly torched wood, toffee, caramel, and cocoa.

T - Roast and chocolate, alcohol hotness, and lighter notes of caramel, peanut, and hay. Very heavy on roast character.

M - Not thin, not cloyingly thick. Average carbonation for a beer of this style and ABV.

O - For the easy-to-get stouts, this is pretty good, especially given the price. It's a bit hot fresh, but aged would probably be much better.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love RIS’s. And when I saw that a 4-pack was only $10, I was definitely excited. Eager to see if this could become a nice go-to.

A: Slight brown hues, almost pitch black. Beautiful dark tan head that completely laces the glass. Quite a lot of carbonation is visible; a fair amount of bubbles stick to the side of the glass.

S: Carmel and chocolate at first, biscuity undertones follow. Nice and welcoming. The 9% ABV is completely hidden.

T: The first thing to come out is a smooth, warming, alcoholic spiciness. Sweet malts and coffee are very, very miniscule, but still there. Then, surprisingly, hops finish it off. A nice bitter finish. There are some other sweet flavors that become more apparent with each sip – chocolate and a hint of dark fruits (underlying yeast, I’m sure). Still, the prominent flavors are definitely spicy alcohol blending into bitterness. It’s a transition that goes a little too quickly for my taste. It makes this obviously well-crafted stout seem less complex than it actually is. You can tell there are many different elements in each taste, but you really have to work to seek them out from under the blanket of the biggest flavors.

M: The carbonation is one of the first things you notice in this brew. It adds a sensation that works to bring out the big spiciness of the alcohol. This may be another reason why the hops and alcohol are so prominent; the carbonation definitely beefs up these aspects.

O: This is a big beer. Its biggest elements, however, can substantially diminish its complexity. Still, a very nice RIS. I would love to have this on-tap sometime.

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Photo of strandm
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Landfill21
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my trusted guinness pint glass. Poured into a nice dark black color with a fingernail head that stays throughout the session.

Has a smell of malt, roasted nuts and chocolate. Has a taste of malts, mild berries, chocolate and malt.

Has a medium mouthfeel and a nice drinkibility. This is a nice stout that I would recommend.

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Photo of mirish72
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had picked this up in a mixed six. To be honest I haven't been too impressed by North Coast's other offerings, but I had high hopes for this one and wasn't disappointed.

Pours jet black with little head into a Portsmouth snifter. Smells great, chocolately, lots of malts and other good stuff in a RIS. Overall, it was really nicely done, with a nice even taste, without the sweetness that sometimes creeps into some RIS.

Definitely a keeper.

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Photo of ocmpoma
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours out a dark black with a thick, tan head that sticks around a bit and leaves plenty of lacing.

S- not a lot of aroma, but there's definitely chocolate, caramel, and toffee in there, all with a distinct roasted character.

T- delicious. Bitter, roasted nuts and toffee with hints of coffee, the back of my palate really enjoys this beer. Taste is long and lingering.

M- great mouthfeel, too. Not too heavy, but certainly an in-your-face, up front feeling. It's almost chewy, but in a very good way.

D- drinkable, yes, but not excessively so. I've had RISs that were smoother; Old Rasputin's mouthfeel and taste make me rather savour this one. Not a session beer for me, but one of my favorites.

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Photo of kinupanda
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snifter pour from bottle. A solid dark coffee color with good opaqueness. There is a noticeably concave two-finger head that quickly settles into a one-finger collar that laces moderately. An inviting chocolate scent, but possibly too sweet. Excellent body with coffee characteristics and some hoppy bitterness. The finish is a dark cacao. Not a very complex mouthfeel. While reasonably high in alcohol content, it is not overwhelming and only becomes truly noticeable in the aftertaste. Not as heavy as comparable stouts, and possibly a good session beer.

FourthBeer potential: AVERAGE, as there are plenty of more complex stouts out there. As the bottle says, though, Сердечный друг не родится вдруг, implying this has potential to grow on you.

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Photo of tehawful
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On a recent trip to a new liquor store, the picture of Rasputin directed my attention to this Imperial Stout. Being such a sucker for marketing...I couldn't resist. Rasputin pours pitch black with a dense tan head. There is a strong aroma of malt, dark fruit, chocolate and oak.

Wow, this is quite a stout. Malts are heavily roasted with hints of bitter coffee and a bit of dark chocolate, the subtle dark fruit flavor is also there. Rasputin finishes dry as the high ABV presents itself and lingers. The mouthfeel is decent, but maybe just a slight bit thinner than what I usually hope for in a stout (though still closer than a lot of the stouts out there).

Overall this is a bold but enjoyable Russian Imperial. The ABV is present, but does not ruin the experience...though I wouldn't have more than two at a time (probably a great desert beer).

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Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,463 ratings