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Saturday, September 25, 2010

North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout:
El Presidente warned me about North Coast Brewing's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. I seem to forget, was he warning me about the 9.0% abv? Or was he warning me about how much i would like it?
Ooh. Smooth. Rich. Intoxicating. There is a bit of some interference here, because i am outside on Labor Day weekend and someone is smoking a pipe or cigar, and I can smell a pungent almost candy like smell wafting through the air. It is interferring with my initial smell taste. There is a silky smooth quality to Old Rasputin, and I can feel it lingering on the back of my palate and warming me up. The 9.0% abv isn't immediately apparent in the taste or aftertast, but the warming qualities are there. This would certainly be a bottle of solace for the Russian banished to Siberia for crossing the mad monk.
This stout has more subtle tastes, like fine chocolate, rather than the uber-roasted flavors of a coffee stout where you can almost taste the roasted beans in your mouth. Like I said, this is more warming, more chocolately, more refined.  There is a nice smell to this beer after pouring it into a glass.
El Presidente has lectured on the properties of Russian Imperial stouts. If i can remember correctly, they tend to be more robust, more alcohol, higher quality of ingredients, because originally imperial stouts were brewed for royalty (i.e., "imperial"). I mean, if Czar Nicholas II dropped by your house, you wouldn't crack open a Bud Lite, would you?  I am not too familiar with North Coast brewery, but they have intrigued me with this one. It's almost like Old Rasputin has some kind of hypnotic hold over me. I must have another Old Rasputin.
As for representation of stouts and particularly imperial stouts, scores will be high. I am liking it better with every sip. Accessibility? I think it will score pretty decently.  As I previously said, some stouts really kill you with the roasted coffee bean flavor, which I prefer in a coffee stout.  I have chided some breweries in the past for skimping on the coffee flavor with their coffee stouts, but an imperial stout can have a little coffee, a little chocolate, little toasty, warming qualities in the right proportions, that is what I look and taste for. Style and personal preference will also be high. I wasn't taking El Presidente's word.  I was a little skeptical, but now I see the light, or rather the dark, dark beauty of Old Rasputin. I must kill the Czar. I must kill the Czar.
North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout:
Representation: .9

Accesibility: .85
Style: .9
Personal Preference: .9
Total: 3.55 Flags

Here is a little taste of the Ferment Nation archives and a glimpse of the evolution of The Ferment Nation.  Check out this image from El Presidente's review of North Coast Old Rasputin.  That was before our major photo studio upgrade.  Read El Presidente's review and compare!

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