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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12,453 |  Reviews: 3,771
Photo of Manoftyr
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours from 12oz bottle into pint glass

Appearence-pours a slick dark brown into my glass, an impressive mocha head rises and leaves some rich lacing as it recedes.

Aroma-Chocolate and heavily roasted malt dominate mingling with some coffee aromas and a streak of citricy hops. Some alcohol creeps up towards the finish.

Taste-Bittersweet chocolate and citric hoppiness mingle with the chocolate inevitably overwhelming but not after the hops put up a good fight and ensure they leave an impact upon the flavor. There's some espresso-like flavors as well but they're not quite as pronounced as the chocolate.

Mouthfeel-Rather thin for an Imperial Stout in my honest opinion, it's not this beer's major selling point.

Drinkability-Dangerously drinkable for the ABV, pace yourself with this one as the light mouthfeel and the bittering hops can certainly disguise this beer's alcohol strength and make you forget you're drinking a 9% Imperial Stout.

Notes-Honestly, I find this beer a tad overrated; I like it, but it doesn't blow me away or anything. It's main selling point, at least to me, is it's surprising drinkability. I also think it could benefit considerably from turning down the hops and turning up the chocolate malt.

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Photo of gphelps70
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

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

Poured from a bottle into my imperial pint glass.

A: A dark almost black color with a beautiful light brown head. Nice glass lacing as the head subsides.

S: I'm not sure why others don't smell what I did, but right up front I smell hops. Maybe I had a really fresh bottle, but there was no mistaking the initial hop smell. From there when I kept sniffing I picked up the sweet roasted malt with coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate and the sweet burnt caramel smell.

T: Incredible. Once again, hops bitterness right off the bat, but as the beer settles in your mouth you get the traditional stout flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, caramel and the malt. Nice finish that lasts on this beer with some alcohol presence, but far from offensive. This is one complex excellent tasting beer.

M: Great mouthfeel, the alcohol is there and you can taste it as it finishes in your mouth, but it's just really enjoyable.

D: Excellent, boy I could easily put away many of these (if I could stay upright).

Overall this is an excellent stout. I am new to this style of beer, but no doubt hands down this is a favorite of mine. I'm a hop guy and I just loved the upfront hops in this beer. Well done North Coast, cheers to you. I see me drinking a lot of this beer in the future.

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

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A - Deep coffee color with nice creamy tan head with just a small bit of lacing.

S - Nice malty smell with hints of chocolate and coffee. Has a good solid roasted smell as well.

T - Immediately get that nice roasted malt. It follows with a nice coffee taste along with subtle but good chocolate hints.

M - Creamy full bodied beer. Very little carbonation. Chewy.

D - Solid. Definitely a drinkable stout.

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

On tap at the Alibi Room in Vancouver.

A: Carmel coloured head which hung around for a few minutes. The liquid itself is a dark chocolate colour.

S: Malt and dark chocolate.

T: Bitter malt and black coffee with a boozy finish.

M: Low fine carbonation. Somewhat soapy.

O: Good beer but could be better balanced. For beers with this high level of alcohol, I prefer ones that are somewhat sneakier and smoother and do a better job of masking the alcohol.

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Photo of wd40
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having this beer fresh on tap makes a world of difference. The hops were still a bit alive and the interplay between bitter and sweet was great. The sweet maltiness came through with hints of chocolate, caramel and coffee. There is a pleasing viscous thickness to this beer like molasses that really adds to the sweetness of the malts. Very drinkable. Appearance is jet black with a dark brown head that quickly dissipates. Definitely must have again.

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

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a dark black with a big tan head with good retention that fades leaving lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of roasty aromas like cocoa, malt, and coffee. There's a milk chocolate feel to the nose which is very inviting.

T: The taste starts with a roasty chocolate flavor and then a sharp bitterness. On the finish is loads of roasted malt, coffee, and a bit of vanilla.

M: The feel is creamy and medium bodied. Rather light for a RIS and that really detracts from the beer in my opinion.

D: Good roasty aromas and flavors and not much alcohol in the nose or taste. The ABV would probably make this hard to put down too many though.

This is almost like an imperial porter instead of a stout. The mouthfeel is lighter than what I come to think of when I thik of a RIS. Recommended if you can get it. Ten Fidy is still my favorite though.

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Photo of irishking1977
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Menacing, black liquid that forms a rather large tan head. Once the head dissipates, it leaves moderate lacing along the glass.

S: The aroma of bitter chocolate, malt and somewhere in the background some alcohol.

T: For such a study looking brew, this one is not as heavy as it might seem. Robust malts and bitter chocolates dominate the taste, along with a minor alcohol bite at the end. Warming, and very drinkable.

M: A bit chalky, and somewhat warming in that alcohol bite, but just mildly. Stout mouthfeel for a stout.

D: Bold and hardy brew that defies it's own name by being a highly drinkable stout. Putting back three or four of these would not be a problem, especially in the colder winter months.

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Photo of calebroberts811
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My local beer dealer told me that if I didn't try this immediately, I wouldn't be allowed to shop at his store anymore. So I bought it.

A - I had to remind myself that I wasn't changing my oil. Darkest brown/completely black that allows no light to escape, beautiful tan two-finger head, the color of espresso crema.

S - Strong notes of espresso, chocolate, toffee, and a subtler herbal character, like roasted vegetables. Weirdly enough, I smelled a slight hint of teriyaki in the background.

T - There's a burnt caramel introduction on the initial taste that turns in to the smooth coating of the roasted malts across the palette. On the backend, it tastes more like "coffee breath" than coffee itself combined with booze and dark fruits/roasted vegetables.

M - Just enough carbonation to carrying this thick and greasy beer down your throat. Definitely heavy-bodied and I'll be tasting this for awhile.

O - The best Imperial Stout I've had thus far and will probably be the litmus tests for future tastings within the style. Good stuff.

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

A - Pours an opaque black with a thick dark tan head, looks really good. Leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

T - Chocolate with a little bitterness and some hints of roasted nuts. Aftertaste is a little bitter. The alcohol is well hidden in this beer, it doesn't taste real boozy to me.

D - Really good brew, the alcohol really creeps up on you though. Which isn't a bad thing. I would probably stop at two or three of these before quitting.

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Photo of hopluva1
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter @ 50*

A 2 finger tan head hangs around on a black beer, looks great!
Aroma is intense roasted barley,maybe some coffee, with some resin from hops. The flavor is big roasted malt, alcohol, and hop bitterness. This is a big beer, everything about it is big. In my opinion it is heavy on the roasted barley and needs a little balance.The aroma and flavor are roasted barley, with hop bitterness, both of which are a little harsh.

This beer was meant for aging. It is waiting for its journey across the pond to mellow, like a true Russian imperial Stout.

Age it and it will be great!

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

The Russian Imperial Stout pours a midnight black, nice dark khaki head. Decent lacing. Smell is strong roasted malts and coffee. Alcohol and hops in there as well. Some sweet chocolate. Taste is the roasted malts and chocolate. Some alcohol here as well. Good balance between the sweet and bitter.Mouthfeel starts full and finishes fairly dry. Very enjoyable. An extremely drinkable stout.

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

Got as an extra in trade with Ben4881, thanks man!!
12oz to standard pint, pours black as night opaque, foamy tan head retains nicely - very nice looking

smells of bitter roasty malts, alcohol heat, light hops in the back

taste is roasty bitter malts, hot alcohol in the front, tobacco, dark fruit, creamy yet thin, chocolate, smoke, earthy, coffee, nicely balanced, very drinkable for a high abv

mouthfeel is thinner than most RIS, but makes up for it with the abundance of flavors, bitter, roasty and creamy with hot alcohol and hop finish, a very nice RIS :D

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

Dark dark dark brown, not black. Roasted alcoholic nose. Roasted malt flavor followed by a strong alcohol and hop bite. A very good imperial, true to the form. Storm King still is King of the Imperials.

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

Pours a near black with a dark tan rocky head that leaves sheets of lacing down the glass. The lace is thick and vinuous and slowly creeps down the glass. Quite nice.

The smell is of alcohol and fruit.

Flavor is of heavily roasted malts and apples. Alcohol plays into this beer rather well, and the hop bitterness brings it all together. For an imperial stout I think this one may be a bit sweet. Still quite good, mind you.

Near syrupy mouthfeel with large bubbles, big beer for sure. Pleasing to drink, and for a 9% beer it wasn't too much effort to finish a bottle.

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

Reviewed from notes 1/14/2011

A: coffee, hint of alcohol, malts

Ap: black, with a 2 finger mocha colored head, nice lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, slight bite/crispness

Af: coffee, slight alcohol burn, roasted malts

O: well balanced, true to the style


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Photo of doughanson78
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an edit of my original review as I've tried others and developed a taste I wanted to give this another shot.

My first Russian Imperial Stout. 12oz. bottle poured into a 16oz. Snifter.

A: Pitch black. HUGE fluffy 3 finger head. Light brown in color. Beautiful lacing. Head dissipates super slowly.

S: Very dark chocolate. Roasted malts. Faint bitter hops. Faint hints of coffee.

T: Bitter chocolate and coffee up front. Nicely roasted. Light alcohol warming throughout. Very light sweetness.

M: Full-bodied. Fairly creamy. Alcohol warming but not bad.

O: A very good Russian Imperial. If your not into the sweet chocolate IS's than this is definitely up your alley. Original post: (I was pretty disappointed with this beer. Maybe I just don't have the taste for Imperial Stouts yet. Loved the one Oatmeal Stout I tried. Got a Great Divide Yeti I'm gonna give a shot. Maybe I'll develop a taste for it.)

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Photo of pbr85
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jet black witha two inch tan head. Head stays around for a while but there is little to no lacing.

Smell: Smell is dominated by chocolatey malts with alcohol scents in the background.

Taste: Roasty, toasty, burnt breads that lingers in the mouth with a sweet, fruity flavor mixed in.

Mouthfeel: Not as thick as I was expecting, or as carbonated, but it goes down smooth.

Drinkability: A pretty good stout, one that I would buy again but probably not on a regular basis. I could probably drink a few of these in a night.

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

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

Appearance: Pours nearly opaque with a sizeable brown head that is reluctant to abate. Lacing remains through the testing.
Smell: Roasted malt aroma, some chocolate and coffee in the nose.
Taste: Surge of bitter dark chocolate and espresso predominate. Bitterness lasts through the tasting, but does not take away from the experience. Finishes clean.
Mouthfeel: Creamy mouthfeel. Not slick.
Drinkability: A great change-of-pace for this DIPA fan. Not a great session beer- better served as a sipper.

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

A- Solid black, light large tan head, solid head retention to.

S- Solid roast malt, hints of coffee a bit of toffee.

T- Big heavy roasted malts, that is about it actually. Big thick chewy coffee. A hint of marshmallow. I'm kind of a little disappointed, I mean its a good Imperial stout but there is no pazas. I guess I expect more from my Imperial stout.

M- Chewy, robust, not syrupy which is a solid plus.

O- Its probably one of the best 7.99 4 packs of imperial stout you can get. Really My rating should be a little higher, I just remember this being a little taster before.

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

A: pitch black with a big creamy/fluffy coffee hued head. i can see carbonation sitting on the bottom with fine bubbles rising on the sides.

S: vanilla, toffee, chocolate, and french roast.

T: rich and hearty. slightly metallic. black cherries. bitter, acidic roasted coffee. im sure some cellaring would assist in both the metallic and acidic components.

M: nice and mild. well-suited for the style.

D: overall a very good RIS that is pretty easy to find at most bottle shops. ive read that this is a good one to put away for some time and it will really enhance some nuances in the flavor so get some and do just that, i know i will.

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Photo of Marcos_Graziano001
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Had to re-review this, unsure of my previous review.

Pours out deep, dark brown and sits the same in the glass, only showing a tinge of crimson on the sides. Fluffy tan head stands atop with very nice lacings on the sides.

Smells of cinnamon, deeply roasted malts with that tinge of alcohol deep inside your nose. You sort of know what's coming your way... Cocoa, caramel and brown sugar linger about.

Tastes of chocolate, caramel and a light sour/acidicness. Nice, rounded flavors of roasted malts. Alcohol presents itself as a major player and comes through the dark roasted grains. Finished bitter with malty sweetness continuing on after swallowing.

Quite smooth in the mouth. Rich and easy to handle carbonation. Big, full-body.

A nightcap all the way to bed.

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