Old Rasputin

California
United States
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
87
Aroma:
23 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Appearance:
6 / 6
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
15 / 20
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.

The Old Rasputin brand image is a drawing of Rasputin with a phrase in Russian encircling it — A sincere friend is not born instantly.

Profile

ABV: 
9.0%
IBUs: 
75
Served at: 
50°
Judges Review 
BC Review's picture
Judges Rating:
87
Aroma:
23 / 24
Appearance:
6 / 6
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
15 / 20

Tucked away from the big city hubbub just north of the San Francisco Bay Area, Fort Bragg’s North Coast Brewing Company is a heavy hitter, perennially turning out a range of superb beers, including Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. Dominated by stingingly sharp espresso notes, the aroma also provides smooth caramel and toffee touches, along with hints of milk chocolate. Pete pulled some floral, rose petal-like notes out from amid the coffee and toffee, and he was impressed by the brewer’s ability to largely conceal the prodigious alcohol in the aroma. Tom detected a hint of sourness but ascribed it to a high roasted barley content rather than anything untoward, noting that it contributed to the aroma’s deep complexity. Not surprisingly, this beer drops from the bottle cloaked in jet black, as dark as a moonless midnight. Yet, there are glimmers of ruby around the edges, and it is capped by a velvety tan head that persists in the glass ’til the final sip. The flavor of this beer is all about roastiness, balanced by malty sweetness and punctuated by an ethanol kick at the back end. Tim was pleasantly surprised by the right-out-front bitterness and its artful interaction with the dark coffee and cocoa flavors, yet he felt the beer could have used more residual sweetness to make it a bit more interesting. Contrary to Tim, Rick found the beer to be a bit too astringent with somewhat coarse, unintegrated flavors lurking behind the faint caramel sweetness. If you’re planning a waterside bonfire for a chilly fall evening, the smokiness and alcohol warming of Old Rasputin make it the ideal choice.