Beer Reviews: Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

I’m of the belief that there is a type of beer for everyone. If you don’t like IPA’s, then give lambics a try. Think pilsners are too light, then head over to porters. The tastes available in beer are truly vast.

Imperial Stouts seem to occupy the far end of the taste spectrum. These aren’t light beers, as they come bold and strong in their flavors. Stouts are beers for people who like dark roasted coffee, black strap molasses, or dark chocolate.

As it happens, I’m a fan of all three.

Old Rasputin is one of those beer names that was just begging to be used. And the folks at North Coast Brewing, found in Fort Bragg, California, were the ones to make it happen.

Appearance: A deep, dark, brown, nearly black. Very opaque and pours a thick lighter brown head that lasts quite some time. Light belgian lace when the head does dissipate.

Smell: A bold roast aroma, with a bit of mocha rounding it off. Little hops apparent.

Taste: Strong roast grain taste, straddling the border of carbon tasting, but pulling back at the last minute. The finish seems to last for ages, and shows it’s true complexity there, with cocoa being somewhat prevalent, and molasses even more so, before the bitterness comes in like a bolt of lightening. Sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full, with just enough carbonation to make it lightly pop on the tongue without overwhelming the flavors of the beer itself.

Drinkability: Very little in the way of flaws make this a great example of what I believe an Imperial Stout should taste like.

Rating: A