Description: "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."— North Coast Brewing Co.
The tasting: Near black in color. When I held it up to the light, nothing passed through. The tan head had very fine bubbles, dissipated very slowly, and left lacing all over the glass. When the head subsided, it made an interesting cloud-like formation in my glass. Aroma of roasted malt, alcohol, and licorice. Deep roasted malts, alcohol, and a piney hop bitterness were dominant in flavor. Notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, and espresso played nicely in the background. At first, the taste of alcohol was "in your face". But after a few more sips, it seemed to mellow out. Medium bodied, with a creamy mouth feel, it finished with roasted malt and hop bitterness—and of course, the warming alcohol. This is one that you'll want to take some time with and slowly savor.
Rating: 4 star. Really Good! I want this again! I'd love to cellar Old Rasputin for a year or two and see what happens. I expect the alcohol and hops would round out nicely and loose a bit of their edge. I really enjoyed sampling this and other Imperial Stouts. North Coast has released special barrel-aged versions of Old Rasputin. I'd love to taste one of those...
Have you tried Old Rasputin or any other North Coast brews?