Old Rasputin | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old RasputinOld Rasputin
12,464 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: 12,464 |  Reviews: 3,774
Photo of HoppyMcStout
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very thick and dark blackish hue with a deep tan head. Smelled of chocolate and maybe currants? The taste offers a sharp coffee-like bitterness that balanced the sweetness. Let it warm a little and of course it gets even better. This is becoming a go-to RIS for me as it's readily available, year-round no less. Some of the other breweries would do well to take a lesson from Northcoast and offer a pleasant RIS 12 months a year!

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Photo of thebeers
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a pretty solid black color with a giant three-plus fingers of lasting tan foam that leave heavy webbed lacing.

Nutty, lightly-roasted malts, chocolate and a little coffee stand out in the aroma. These continue to the taste where they mix with a stronger, more charred-malt flavor, some pretty strong hop bitterness, a slight vegetal flavor and a kiss of alcohol on the backend.

It's medium-to-heavy bodied with strong carbonation in play in the mouthfeel.

To me, this is a beer that would have seemed world class fifteen years ago. The vegetal note and the not-quite-perfect carbonation level knock it a bit in my scoring, but I really appreciate the charred, bitter qualities in this one and can definitely see why it's beloved.

Packaged on 12142016.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle at 45 degrees; a reddish-black color with a thick, foamy head.

S - A roasted mocha rounds out the aroma. Simple, yet powerful.

T - The coffee taste is more dominant than the chocolate, but both are washed out by a bready alcohol flavor. Alcohol also isn't too strong, but it's the dominant taste. Finishes strong with a malty aftertaste.

M - A thick, RIS body that is completed with the high alcohol content rounds out a wonderful warming feel.

D - A good cold weather, one-serving beer. One of my top RIS selections and an excellent representation of North Coast.

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Photo of Ourbrew
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of yourunclewalt
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"If Clint Eastwood were to whip me to death and put that in a bottle, you would get this beer." - Mike 'Peanut' Ruller, August, 2007.

A - Thick, deep tan pillowy head on top of a pitch black, murky body.

S - Brown sugar, floral hops, fusel / vodka tinge

T - Very bittery brown sugar / vodka, bit of caramel and chocolate to finish. Extremely malty, imperial to type with the slightest hint of bittering hops in the aftertaste

M - Thicky, creamy, milky stout body. Little bit of carbonation and alcohol spoils the finish, however.

D - This is supremely delicious. An after-dinner / cordial for sure, not even close to sessionability. Probably comparable to the Sam Smith's Imp. Stout.

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

A: Pitch black just like an Imperial Stout should be. Head is thinner than I would've liked, despite a strong pour.

S: Burnt caramel and roasted nuts up front. Scent of alcohol is quite strong. Hop aroma is undetectable.

T: Malt flavor is slightly sweet initially. Flavor of roasted nuts is very distinct. Hop flavor is spicy and bitter. The roasted malts add more bitterness still. However, this beer is actually very well balanced. Finishes slightly sweet. Although the alcohol is very warming the taste is hidden quite well, a surprise given its strong smell.

M: Low carbonation makes for a very smooth mouthfeel. Perfect for such a full bodied beer.

D: Good deal of alcohol warmth makes this a perfect winter sipping brew. I'd like to taste this beer side by side with Brooklyn and Storm King. In my opinion this beer deserves a place alongside those two in my fridge. Highly recommended.

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Photo of mmellow12
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

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

Poured from bottle into tulip. Dark black in color with a dark tan one finger head. Dissipates fairly quickly leaving a little lacing.

Nice aroma of sweet dark fruit, and roasted malt. Not overpowering and only a hint of alcohol.

Tasty flavors of coffee, chocolate, roasted malt blend well in this brew. A just a hint of alcohol that reminds me of bourbon or brandy.

Goes down pretty easy for the abv. I really like that this is a highly rated beer that seems to be highly available.

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Photo of bdkucharski
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a little too roughly into a pint glass, resulting in me having to wait a few minutes to finish filling pouring.

A - Black with brown barely around the edges, brown head (and you can have as much as you want depending on how you pour).

S - Alcohol and malt

T - Alcohol, caramel, roast, and malt. The roast falls into the category I refer to as 'fireplace'. This is a little much when it is cold, but as you would expect, as it warms it all comes together in a nice package.

M - Thick, with a little tickle from the carbonation, very nice.

O - I wish I knew the age on this, but since I don't I'll just have to pick up one or two 4-packs so I can try a bottle every 3 months or so. One of the better wide-spread RIS out there I have had.

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Photo of eweneek83
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A short, strong pour produced a GIGANTIC, creamy, coffee colored 2 finger head that compressed to a robust cappacino-like foam. Beautiful sticky lace that remained through the glass.
Coal black....the DEFINITIVE appearance of a Russian Imperial Stout.

The nose immediately reveals a blend of dark chocolate, milky coffee, molasses, & creamy malts. The smell improves as the glass warms to room temperature...

The taste is everything you'd expect after looking at it & smelling it. Coffee, bittersweet chocolate, creamy smooth malts, a hint of smoke & a beautiful, earthy hop finish. The pleasing carbonation teases the tongue. There's a hint of warmth in the swallow with a really clean, crisp finish.

The mouth isn't too heavy...but, it IS slick, full bodied & substantial. This is a MUST try if you like Russian Imperials. It has a great taste and good price too for the quality. cheers! drink this one ice cold.

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Photo of andrew8626
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of UTCengOwl
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this a ton of times and strangely I've never reviewed it. A classic that's available everywhere. This is the last of a 4-pack I've had in my fridge for about 4 months. Poured it into my Great Divide balloon glass.

This beer just looks awesome. Poured with a HUGE tan head. Still waiting for it to die down a bit. This isn't even on Nitro and I love the head. Just a classic, dark, awesome stout look.

The nose has some thickness to it, but I know from having this before that it's a bit misleading. Chocolate is the major note. Some smoke and hops, too. As it warms, the chalky dryness comes through.

The beer is a very classic RIS. Maybe a bit hoppier and chalkier than I would prefer. Comes across as a bit dry and astringent. Good depth of flavor... guessing this could use another 6 months to smooth out the hops. In fact, the depth of the beer at this point should tell me something about the quality. Still, it doesn't convey the RIS flavors that I like to find.

Old Rasputin is a good, standard RIS. Maybe a bit hoppier and chalkier than I would prefer, but there's nothing off about it. Very solid and something I'm not sad to see in my fridge... especially for the price point!

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Photo of yamar68
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle standard pint:

A perfect looking imperial stout - inky pitch black with a swelling medium brown head that leaves thick, distinct laces. Classic.

All sorts of roasted goodness. Milk chocolate, mild coffee, subtly sweet, brown sugar, super smooth and far from harsh.

More smoky roast on the tongue... an incredible display of balance in a style that easily loses its footing. Chocolate, coffee and caramel. There really isn't one lead role, though.

Exceedingly smooth, masterfully balanced. I would love to see more experimentation with Old Raspy as the base.

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Photo of YumYumGumGum
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nitro tap served at crossroads coffee and icecream on southside richmond, va.

A: black with three finger superfine nitro head

S: booze! Barleyish caramel chocolate mix.

T: no caramel just imperial grain and some chocolate and black coffee

M: awesome, creamy texture and greating carbonation with a medium lacing for a substantial stout.

O: highly recommend on nitro. Average in bottle.

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Photo of redneckchugger
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

nitro tap into a pint glass at jp henlys
inch of tan head, pure pack body, lacing for days
smells of malt, dark fruit, caramel
tastes the same, but a little tamer than normal, first time i have ever had this beer on tap, and maybe its the nitro, but its not as intense, this is one of my favorite beers but i am a little disapointed in this version, its smooth and drinkable, but not old raspy i know and love.

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Photo of JLeege
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a snifter

Appearance- Pour is black with a 2 finger tan head. When held to the light nothing is entering this, just deep dark and beautiful. The head sticks around for ever, it won't move! Leaving good sticky lace. Appearance wise, this is perfect for an impy stout.

Smell- Roasted malts, some bitter coffee, sweet chocolate

Taste- Lots of roast up front, with a subtle dark fruityness in the middle. Caramel and toffee notes in there as well. Sweet overall, with a slightly bitter coffee finish. Some slight alcohol is noticed as it warms.

Mouthfeel- smooth and creamy, but this actually a bit lighter than I was anticipating.

Overall- this is a very solid imperial stout. With a great low price tag, this should be in constant rotation. This bumps up the drinkability for me as well.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

My 300th beer review; looking forward to the next 300.

Appearance - The beer pours a dark brown/black colour with a very large frothy and rocky light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is very nice lacing running down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to disappear.

Smell - coffee, malts, chocolate, hops, vanilla

Taste & Mouth - The beer doesn't have a whole lot of carbonation, but it feels very light and creamy on the palette. It's packed full of chocolate and coffee flavour mixed with malts. There is also a lot of bitterness from the coffee and the hops. The beer gives a warming feeling in my chest but the alcohol isn't really detectable. The beer finishes with little bit of a peppery/spicy aftertaste.

Drink - This is a flavour packed full bodied beer that is a must try. It's extremely drinkable and perfect during the winter/colder months.

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Photo of grdahl
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very alcoholic...I know thats what an imperial stout is all about , but for me it ruined the taste a bit...reminded me a lot of guinness with a kick...I'll stick with Mackeson

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Photo of macher0
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Surprisingly, this is the first I've had of this ale

A. Pours black with a thick, frothy, amber head that retreats to a mega frothy rim with excellent laces.

S. The nose is dominated by dark roasted malts and hops. Flavors of licorice, burnt toast, charcoal, and booze.

T. The palette certainly goes along with the nose. The flavors are dominated by roasted near burning malts. The major notes are licorice, biscuits, grain, hops, and more licorice.

M. Very smooth and silky. High carbonation. Full body.

O. Very nice. I can see how this established itself as an old school staple stout. The major setback is the roasted to the point of burnt presence in the nose and palate. Otherwise very nice.

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Photo of Floyd80108
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Samuel906
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a beer that I've had many many times before, but never got around to writing a review for it. All around one of my favorite RIS. Pours a deep dark red with some mild khaki color head. Smell is great, but a tad benign compared to other heavy stouts. Malt, chocolate syrup, and vanilla. Huge toasted flavor, with lots of malt and milk chocolate. Good balance of sweet and bitter. Just a hint of alcohol. Little thinner in the mouth that one may expect, but also means it's not overly sticky. Overall, a great beer that's widely available. One of my favorites.

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Photo of engagechad
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottles purchased as a 4 pack from Wegmans in Leesburg, VA - poured into a pint

Pours dark as night with a MASSIVE head that never dies.. Beautiful brown head.
Smells complex with dark fruity notes and chocolate, taste follows with malt sweetness, maintaining great balance. Feels great and over all this experience was good, but nothing like on tap. on tap it's out of this world.

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Photo of fscottkey
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: [4.00] Slick black looking liquid with an impressive 2 1/2 finger head. The head is tan and creamy looking with tiny, dense bubbles. The bottle lists the ABV (9%) but there is no date.

S: [4.25] The nose is chocolate with more chocolate.

T: [4.25] The taste is milk chocolate up front then after some time it is bitter-sweet chocolate at the back. There is a smokey element to the taste also. There are also some hints of dark fruits that become more prominent as it warms.

M: [3.00] Tangy on the tongue (not as smooth as I expected). There is dry sense to the finish.

O: [4.00] Very night flavor profile with chocolate and smoke. The 9% ABV is well hidden. The mouthfeel was the only thing that wasn't in the great range is is a little more carbonated and prickly than I expected. Overall this is a really good beer. Well crafted and nice to sip on.

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Photo of KAP1356
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Wally839
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,464 ratings