I am officially kicking off this stout season with one of the beers that got it all started for me. I was really into big stouts when I first began exploring the world of beer and this was among the first to really blow me away.
Beer Name: Old Rasputin
Brewer: North Coast Brewing Company
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Description: The description offered by the brewery is short and to the point: It’s a rich, intense brew with big complex flavors and a warming finish. The going rate for this beer in my area $10.99 for a 4-pack of 12 oz. bottles.
Appearance: Poured a deep black body topped off by about a finger’s worth of tan foam. The head slowly faded down to lacing across the top as the beer went on.
Smell: An inviting combination of lightly sweet and roasty malts.
Taste: Intense and dark. The aforementioned malts really stood out, as did hints of dark fruit and a big helping bittersweet dark chocolate. The finish had a healthy bitterness to it, once again showcasing bittersweet dark chocolate in conjunction with roasted coffee. As the beer sat for a bit, a warm alcohol presence built up towards the end; just enough to become noticed without taking over the beer.
Mouthfeel: On the thicker side and smooth despite some tiny bubbles on the edges of each sip.
Hype: Hype is the wrong word for this beer. Although widely respected and held in high regard, it may get taken for granted a bit on account of being so readily available.
Overall: Just as good as I recall. It still has a place among my all time favorites and I definitely recommend trying this out if you haven’t before. Don’t pass this one up.