Old Rasputin | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Old RasputinOld Rasputin
BA SCORE
4.3/5
Outstanding
12,466 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:
3,773
Ratings:
12,466
pDev:
10.23%
Bros Score:
4.38
 
 
Wants:
625
Gots:
3,194
Trade:
49
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12,466 |  Reviews: 3,773
Photo of OCSA_1978
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of claspada
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an engine oil black color with a very thick, toffee colored creamy head of foam. The head is very dense and lingering.

Aromas begin with malted chocolate, cocoa powder, roasted graininess, some creme and mild coffee.

The tastes begin with creamy layers of malt balls and coffee wrapped in an earthy wet blanket of flavor. Waves of creamy coffee with a slightly watery middle balanced by some ample hopping and roasted malt bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied, with medium carbonation. Lighter on the palate than I remember from the bottle but it improves the drinkability.

Overall this is an exceptional stout, overlooked in today's saturated dark beer craft world because of it continuous availability, but a real treat to find on draft at a local bar in my town.

 804 characters

Photo of Chipotle
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NODAK
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is rich with heavy caramel maltiness...molasses...chocolate...perhaps some alcohol. Very thick. If an aroma could be chewy, this would be it.

A thick beer in the mouth, it definitely doesn't disappoint in the character department. No crispness up front, but the aggressive maltiness impresses at first. Very rich malts...molasses...sweet, caramel malts....some dark chocolate in the flavor profile as well. Powerful. Finish is sweet with some astringency right off the bat even when cold due to the high ABV. The exhale certainly will let you know this isn't a small beer. Small hoppy bitter bite at the end, but is an afterthought after all the other tastes.

It's tasty for sure. This is definitely what I like in an imperial stout. It's hard to go wrong with this. The drinkability will suffer a bit due to the high ABV and the aforementioned astringency, but it shines overall.

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Photo of Tiger1833
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Great stout, but it's a little to bitter for my taste.

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Photo of Spider889
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Black, not too thick, nice tan head of less than a finger's height.

Smells of dark fruit, fig and rasin, alcohol, and dark roasted malts.

The taste is cartinaly alcohol forward, rasin, coffee, and sweet chocolate malts.

On the lighter side of being medium bodied, very smooth on the way down.

As far as drinkability goes, you feel the alcohol the whole way. It certainly is not an unpleasant feature; however I would have to stop at two unless I wanted to get drunk off of Old Raspy.

Easy to find, I wonder why it took me years to come back and give this beer another go. Certainly worth the praise...

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Photo of kohoutek
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Ebony darkness. Only the slightest light penetration. Lovely tan head, but it quickly dissipates into a coagulated, large bubbled, foam replica of Pangea.

S: Dark roast, vinous malty alcoholic stone fruit with molasses chocolate ashy husky whiffs. Yeasty Vegemite beef bullion. Malt acidity beckons a sip.

T: Sweet coffee, ash, molasses, herbal hops, lingering bitterness, large warm yeasty presence, dark cocoa chocolate milkshake. Graham crackers and wheaten scones lurk in the shadows. The finish is rounded by iron aerosols left over from John Henry's frenetic activities.

M: Sweet, cleanly balanced with bitterness, herbs, iron. If sipped and swallowed it appears thin and quaffable. If tossed about in the mouth it awakens with a silken, mouthfilling foam.

D: Very nice. The bitterness, roast acidity and herbal nuances sweep this large, sweet beer down the pipes.

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Photo of BrewsandBlues
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of beagle75
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Draft service with nitrogen propulsion at Yard House in Irvine.

A: Opaque black color with over one finger of dense and persistent beige foam head. Heavy, continuous sheeting of lace remains on the glass.

S: Generic dark roast is present, with a weak charcoal and mineral snap. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins sweet, with concentrated roasted grain and semi-sweet Hershey's syrup. Acidity is very restrained into the middle, where a whiff of dark fruit emerges. The finish is remarkably mild for the style, slightly spirituous, with easy-going bitterness that seems as tied to the roasted barley as to earthy hops. A fine thread of dark olive brine lingers on the palate.

M: Thick viscosity, smooth and creamy on the palate, with very low carbonation.

D/O: Before imperial stouts were cool, there was North Coast's Old Rasputin. I remember the first time I tried it during Winter 2001-2002--when craft beer meant Sierra Nevada pale ale, Alaskan amber, Widmer wheat, or whatever stout I could get at the local brewpubs--and it was shocking to the senses. I may have thought that no beer should taste as this does. Now the beer endures, and it offers an honest look at how my palate has changed in a decade. Now (and especially on nitro-tap) it is a mellow and even old-fashioned take on the style, with a drinkability that is off the charts compared to its contemporaries. While some strong members of the porter-styles seem to struggle to separate roasty from smoky qualities, this is all roast and no smoke. It is chocolatey at the front-end, with a small finish that leaves room for that dessert such a beer is expected to accompany so well.

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Photo of Nhoelzen
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of kell50
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of orangesol
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on nitro-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours used motor oil black with a thin, almost non-existent, head leaving thin rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Plenty of dark roasted malt blends well with the coffee, chocolate, and a faint hint of dark fruits. Some vanilla and cream sweetness helps keep things balanced as much as possible. Very nice nose.

T - Flavors are very similar to the nose. Rich coffee and cocoa dominate this one with some vanilla sweetness offering a bit of balance. Very rich, dark malted texture in the finish lingers for some time. If anything it was a bit thin, and given the nitro serving I can't see how that can happen..maybe too cold? Either way I have had this before, it is one of my favorites, and I will have it again. Hopefully those will be better than this one...

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderately low carbonation for being on nitro. Not the thick, creamy, stout I was expecting to receive when I ordered it to say the least.

D - Still very high. Even with the carb issues this is still one of my go to stouts. I was more disappointed in the pour than I was in the beer. I will have to re-review this one at a later time...

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Photo of Greels
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Lukasbane
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wowie zowie, that was good. I wonder how it would taste on tap

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Photo of PDXAmbassador
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of macrosmatic
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Had on nitro-tap at Redlight Redlight. Served in a 10 oz. glass shaped like a nonic pint pint glass.

A: Very dark brown, and opaque. Creamy dark tan nitro head, but much of the nitrogen movement within the beer had dissipated by the time I got the glass.

S: Coffee, dark cacao. Rich maltiness and a creamy sweetness. Not a huge aroma, but nice when you work at it a bit.

T: Sweet dark-roasted coffee, cacao, and big roasted malts without being overly bitter. Some toffee and a lactose-like sweetness throughout. Mild roasted bitterness in hang.

M: The body is on the thin side for style and the nitro-tap serving. Creamy mouthfeel, and alcohol is well-hidden for style.

O: Truly a quality, easily accessible example of style, but it didn't quite live up to my high expectations for having it on nitro.

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Photo of gkunkle
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Brickhouse a few months back, reviewing from chicken-scratch on the back of a receipt. Served in a pint glass with a one finger light tan head. Body of the beer is black, though I think a deep brown would be a better descriptor, as it's not truly a jet black. Aroma is of dark sweet malts, roasted malts, chocolate, caramel. When I sip the beer I get flavors of dark chocolate, roasted notes, bitterness, malt sweetness. Body is not as thick as expected considering the smell and the high ABV. I am generally not an RIS kind of guy, but this was one of the first imperial stouts I have enjoyed.

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Photo of applky
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz stubby bottle

Black and opaque as tar. Very viscous. Sticky dark brown head. Bready, toasted malts dominate the nose and become almost burnt in the mouth. Lots of dried, dark fruit. Terrific mouthfeel -- very rich -- but tough going down (a single 12oz bottle feels like more than enough beer). Definitely an overrated beer, but still a very good one; a great example of an RIS. Not as good as Storm King or Stone IRS, but still very good.

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Photo of bensiff
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poors a dark brown to black color with a quickly dissipating dark mocha colored head. Aroma is complex with a distinct roasted character, coffee, chocolate, and I even venture to say the slightest hint of toffee hiding in the mix.

The taste is complex as the aroma and almost as enjoyable. It rolls on the tongue lightly until it hits the back where the flavor kicks in fully. The roasted malt has a smokey character, bitter chocolate, espresso, and a kick of hop to round off the flavors. The finish is dominated by the high alcohol of this brew and is a lesser beer for it. The mouthfeel is not as smooth as I expect from this type of beer and is my largest complaint. Overall this is an enjoyable beer for those in a slow sipping mood and worth revisitting time and again.

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Photo of Jaisell
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- This is very jet black, with a finger width and a half of tan fluffy head. This is very much like one would expect to get from a RIS in terms of the appearance.

S- I'm getting a great coffee and chocolate smell with a hint of vanilla. There is a slight anise smell too, which I'm excited about, I'm a fan of anise in RIS beers. I'm also getting a some hop smell, lets see if that is there with the taste.

T- The coffee taste is there in the beginning...stays in the middle of the taste, but is more of a force in the end. The chocolate taste is slight, and I'm getting some cherry there with it as well. The anise smell didn't stay with the taste. The taste is good, a bit more coffee then I would want, I guess its not the amount of coffee that is there, but the bitterness that results. I do like the sweetness that is there from time to time though.

M- This is slightly dry, and I feel kinda a weird coating over my mouth.

D- Very drinkable, and tasty. I'm glad this is regularly released in my area.

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Photo of RDHerm
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an incredibly deep and dark brown, so murky that no light gets through. Has a thick, coffee brown head that has excellent lacing. It thins out after a while, but it remains solid throughout.

An unexpectedly weak aroma. Some notes of coffee, roasted malts, and dark chocolate, but there's not too much going on here.

Strong taste of roasted malts, with hints of coffee, bitter chocolate, and hops. Starts out sweet and rich, with a nice hoppy bitterness to the finish. There is also the slightest bit of alcohol warmth.

Medium/heavy in body. Exceptionally smooth and doesn't dry out the palate too much like a lot of stouts, but a little too much carbonation keeps it from being perfect.

Great taste, nice finish, and not terribly heavy, just make sure the alcohol content doesn't catch up with you.

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Photo of Myotus
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

LOOK: Pours with a half finger's worth of tan foam that halves itself after 35 seconds. Beer is extremely black in color. It's difficult to make out the orange tint. There is a subtle amount of rising bubbles along the sides of the glass. Lacing is high, but thin.
SMELL: Strong aromas of toffee, raisins, and plums stand out. Beyond those, lie mild aromas of molasses and coffee, subtle bittersweet chocolate, and hints of alcohol.
TASTE: Strong flavors of toffee, raisins, and plums combine to create the initial taste (as my nose would of guessed). Strong molasses flavors along with mild coffee and bittersweet chocolate eneter immediately after as initial flavors persist. As all flavors fade into the after taste, bittersweet chocolate flavors become angry and lose their sweetness and end up being very bitter.
FEEL: Full-bodied and moderately carbonated. This goes down somewhat smooth and creamy. Finishes moderately dry, though (lame!).
NOTE: Slightly too bitter for me. Loved how I couldn't taste the alcohol that my nose perceived.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a four-pack at Whole Foods recently. This is one of those Top 100 beers that I've had plenty of times but never took the time to review. Served in a Surly pint glass.

A - Pours with a finger of light mocha foam that dissipates to a thin haze. Body is black with the faintest glint of red-brown at the fringes of the glass. There are a few fingers of lace left behind as the beer slowly disappears from my glass.

S - Dark roasted malt, dark fruits, dark chocolate, light caramel, and maybe a bit of salty soy. There's actually a bit of light floral hoppiness to it as well - guessing this was a relatively fresh batch.

T - The taste has a lot of roast bitterness to it, accentuated by espresso and dark chocolate notes. There are some floral hop and licorice notes as well. Verges on burnt and acrid, as there isn't much balancing sweetness. Maybe a bit of alcohol here too. Bitterness lingers well into the aftertaste.

M - Too much harsh carbonation - I remember this being much better on nitro. The body is gritty, then chewy. Body is viscous and full, and finishes a little bit heavy.

D - I'm don't think I'd have more than one of these in a session. The first half of the beer went down pretty quick, but the carbonation bloat and burnt flavors got a little overwhelming after that. Think I'll stick to the nitro from now on.

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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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Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 12,466 ratings