North Coast Brewing Company’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout was yet another one of those beers that I have heard a lot about, but until last week, had yet to try. The Old Rasputin has been rated a total of 2,914 times on Rate Beer with an overall score of 100, and it’s been rated a total of 3,127 times on Beer Advocate with an overall score of 95. To say that this beer has an excellent reputation would be an understatement.
North Coast Brewing has the following to say about the Old Rasputin:
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.
That’s a very straightforward and no nonsense description of this beer. Let’s see if the Old Rasputin lives up to its reputation…
- Appearance: Deep, dark mahogany color with ruby red highlights. Thick, creamy one inch head that lingers for a really long time. Lots of tan colored lacing remains on the glass as you drink it down.
- Aroma: Rich dark chocolate and espresso. Hints of black licorice and dried fruit.
- Taste: Very smooth and creamy. Fizzy carbonation. All of the aromas carry through to the palate. A harmonious blend of dark chocolate and dark coffee flavors. The boozy nature of this beer doesn’t kick in until the finish. It leave you all warm and fuzzy feeling with a pleasantly bitter aftertaste.
- ABV: 9%
North Coast’s Old Rasputin is one seriously flavorful beer! It is also exactly as the brewer described. How often does that happen? I enjoyed this beer from start to finish and look forward to one day trying it on tap. I will definitely buy this again.