Old Rasputin (North Coast Brewing)

Old Rasputin is a Russian Imperial Stout in the truest sense of the word.  Named after the “Mad Monk” of legend (who reported enjoyed this style of brew), this deliciously dark beer comes in at an impressive 9%ABV.

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.

Old Rasputin pours an obsidian black with a bulbous cola-colored head (with the last few drops running out like molasses). The foam remains forever and leaves heavy lacing to remember it by once it’s gone.  The lacing practically paints the inside of the glass brown!

The nose stays true to the style of the traditional Russian Imperials.  Malts and dark chocolate dominate the scent.  I may be crazy, but I thought I smelled a slight floral scent lingering somewhere in the bottle.

Old Rasputin assaults the palate, but in a good way!  Your senses are shifted into overdrive the minute the liquid hits your tongue.  The malt and chocolate scents blend together to create a flavor that reminded me of Riesen candies.

This is what one might call a “chewy” beer and has a stickiness that clings to the inside of your mouth.  The beer is quite drinkable (considering its thickness and high ABV), but leaves a mild dryness in the aftertaste.   This took the experience down a bit in my eyes.

For what it’s worth, Old Rasputin is a wonder of a beer.  A Russian Imperial Stout that is not only tasty, but drinkable.  I’d recommend this to a fan of Guinness to ready to take the step up to the big leagues.

Overall: 7.5 out of 10

As a RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT: 8.5 out of 10

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