Old Rasputin | North Coast Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Old RasputinOld Rasputin
12,438 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

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 12,438 |  Reviews: 3,767
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.

 669 characters

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.

 607 characters

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.

 750 characters

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.

 575 characters

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

 826 characters

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.

 987 characters

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.

 487 characters

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.

 1,618 characters

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.

 337 characters

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.

 446 characters

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.

 704 characters

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.

 909 characters

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).

 852 characters

Photo of Polysomnotech
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

A-Very deep color. Obsidian-like with a finger of caramel colored head that doesn't last.

S-Smoke, alcohol. Well balanced aroma.

T-Rich, full bodied. Chocoloate and coffee. Great hop bite.

M-Smooth but sticky. Flavor lingers for quite some time.

D-More of a after dinner beer, not something I would sit down and have a couple of.

 333 characters

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a thick, dense black, no discernible highlights, with a large and sustaining foamy and creamy tan head.

Smells like a good imperial stout should, packed with deeply roasted grain, black coffee, and bitter dark chocolate, all on top of a bed of sweet malt with a touch of fruitiness.

More of the same on the palate, with an intense roasted character that strongly suggests a cup of seriously black coffee, accompanied by earthy, bitter dark chocolate. Turns sweet mid-palate, showing creamy, milky caramel, before finishing with a quite large earthy hop bitterness. Finishes firm and dry, with a lingering roasty and hoppy bitterness.

Full bodied and firm, but shows hints of softness. Alcohol is well hidden at 9%. A well-made beer, and while far enough down my list of top imperial stouts, this proves to be a great value.

 870 characters

Photo of dhd1491
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On pour, thick and black with dense foamy tan 3-finger head on pour. Alcohol jumps out a little in the nose. In the taste there is dense smoke and caramel, mocha and lemon rind. Malty sweetness at first, then gives way quickly to bitter smoky finish. High viscosity coats the tongue. Carbonation is light, somewhat fizzy.

This is a complex and potent brew to be enjoyed like a good espresso. There are tastes present that would be unpleasant on their own, but are delicately balanced together to form a challenging, but enjoyable concoction.

I admit that stouts have generally not been my favorites, but this one is so well crafted and complex that it is impossible not to appreciate and enjoy its effect. Much like a good cigar, to me.

I am drinking this without the accompaniment of food. However, I think that this brew (and maybe all stouts) would go better with a meal or dessert. The suggested pairing for this beer is chocolate-based dessert. I'm more than willing to try that combination.


Note: Third time's the charm. Tonight (4/7/08) I had the third bottle out of the 4-pack. Really enjoyed it as a dessert beer. Aftertaste is fairly strong, smoky and bitter, but all-in-all, a very enjoyable brew. High ABV was just the right accompaniment to working on my tax returns.

 1,289 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 1/4/10

Pours dark brown, almost a dull crimson, settling near black. Two fingers of medium brown head that thins quite rapidly to a skim on top. Decent streaks of lace are left. Swirling revives a little foam. Lacing is ok but gets sporadic.

Moderately potent malt aromas that tend to be on the sweeter side of things. It kind of brings to mind chocolate milk & a creaminess reminiscent of hot chocolate. While the sweet aspect of the chocolate are most notable, there are subtle roasted undertones.

Tastes very similar to the nose; the only big difference being a slight hop twinge leading off. Roasted dark malts abound. Sweet throughout with creamy milk chocolate in the middle & on the finish. Hints of coffee bitterness in the back. Smooth all around.

Full bodied offering low carbonation that is smooth, allowing the flavors to take precedent. Faint lingering notes of roasted malts. Lacking is any appreciable alcohol heat.

Very good; not particularly complex but the whole seems greater than the sum of its parts, as it were. I imagine this ages well. Recommended.

 1,102 characters

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

A - Pours dark black with a surprisingly solid head for a stout. Head lasts for quite a while with a bit of retention throughout.

S - To start, it has a good oak, coffee, chocolate smell. As it warms, though, I can't get a whole lot other than alcohol. The smell for sure gets a bit boozy with time.

T - Great taste. The first time I had it, I thought it was a bit watery, but I can't see that in this bottle. Coffee and hints of dark chocolate are the forefront of the flavors.

M - Flavor sticks around for a while. The hearty carbonation shines through in the mouthfeel, too.

D - For the style this is pretty drinkable. Compared to most other styles, though, this is a doozie.

 684 characters

Photo of LonesomeTraveler
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

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

Opened a 12 oz. bottle and poured into a tulip glass. I had to stop 3/4 through the bottle due to a huge tan head. Nice and thick and creamy looking. Really this looks like something you would get at Starbucks. The beautiful head sits atop a jet black beer, that showed nice ruby hues en-route from the bottle.

Smells of dark roasted malts, bitter chocolate and fresh-ground dark roasted coffee. Tastes of iced coffee as it begins to warm. Creamy and chocolaty with an air of sweetness that never turns to the bitter finish you would come to expect. There is some mysterious spice to this RIS as well. Some licorice and/or anise thing that leaves the back of the throat a little tingly. Maybe a little alcohol burn in there two, but not as hot as you might think.

This is a nice big-bodied beer that lives up to its 11% billing, it begins to warm your depths as soon as you start sipping it.

Drinkable sure, I'll be sipping this one for two hours :-)

 953 characters

Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,438 ratings