Old Rasputin, Ole Raspy: A Favorite Beer of Mine

Rasputin is hiding in the shadows!


The British Isles are famous for their stouts and porters. Porter and stout were some of the first commercially brewed beers in the United Kingdom. These beers are cultural treasures of these nations not just due to their appeal within the boundaries of Ireland and Brittania. Their foreign appeal led to things. Piotr (Peter) the Great, Czar of Russia, later Emperor (1682-1725) loved porter during his incognito tour of Europe. He loved this beer. Piotr loved porter so much he wanted it in Russia.

He and one of his successors: Catherine the Great (1762-1796) contracted English brewers to export beers to the Russian court. These beers became known as the Imperial Russian Stout. Imperial Russian Stouts are oftentimes attempted, but seldom done right. We are now in the midst of Autumn. We’re almost in stout season. No better time to try a beer that celebrates cold weather beer and stouts.

Beer: Old Rasputin

Beer Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Abv: 9.00%

Brewery: North Coast Brewing Company

Country of Origin: United States of America (California)

Serving Methodology: Bottle poured into pint glass

Background: This is a beer that is a favorite of mine. I have not had a reason to write about this beer until now as we are entering Autumn. As I mentioned earlier stout season is on the way. Expect to see more stouts and black ales featured on this blog.


Taste & Aroma: If you love milk chocolate, you’ll love this beer. Cocoa teases your nostrils. A neophyte to an imperial stout would probably quaff this beverage down in gulps instead of savoring it. The Chocolate is a false flag. Ole Raspy has a bite. Before you ever get a taste of anything else, the burn of booze strikes as the liquid travels from the rim of the glass to your tongue. After the burn of booze comes roasted malt, more cocoa, and ashen notes similar to that of French Roast Coffee. The finish is a secondary bite from floral hop notes. Old Rasputin is a complex ale. This is a fine beer. Anybody who gulps too much of Old Raspy is missing out of flavor. They’re going to get burned by this beer’s raging fire of flavor.

Final Analysis: On draught and from the bottle Old Rasputin is a treasure for stout lovers and craft beer fans. If you’ve not had this beer yet, you are missing out in a tremendous fashion. Have this beer.

I am including a photo of my favorite Czar: Alexander II. He emancipated all of the serfs in 1861 and was known as Alexander the Liberator. He was later assassinated. Imagine Russia if he would have lived. Alexander III, his son undid his accomplishments and reforms. If he had not perhaps the Soviet Union could have been avoided. 

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