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Review of North Coast Old Rasputin

29 Apr
Tonight, I must share with you my review of North Coast Old Rasputin.  This is a beer that always seems to get excellent marks in the craft beer world.  An underground classic, if you will.  I, personally, have never had it and I can’t wait to see how it stands up.

Old Rasputin is brewed by the North Coast Brewing Company (northcoastbrewing.com) in Fort Bragg, California.  It’s a Russian Imperial Stout that seems to have an aura all its own.  Not to mention a wicked label.

Some info from the brewery.

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. 

I can’t wait any longer!!!!

A relatively strong beer at 9.0% ABV that pours from a 12 oz. bottle.

Once I got it in the glass, the presentation was of a very dark brown/black color with minimal ruby highlights around the edges and bottom of the pint.  A gorgeous tan head that was of excellent size, very fluffy, creamy and smooth looking.  Prolonged retention and extensive lacing that relaxed to a smooth film, which lasted for the duration.

The aroma revealed ample amounts of roasted malt.  Boisterous tones of chocolate and coffee smack the nostrils along with a burnt tone of grain or barley.  Some dark fruit is there, but it seems to be inhibited a bit to let the flavor of the malt really stand out.  With that in mind, it does however, reveal a rich and sweet nose after it warms to room temperature.  It smells good!!!

With the taste, I found more of the dark fruit tones than I did in the aroma, but the burnt grain, coffee and chocolate do fall in line nicely.  A taste of tobacco, but not much really.  Small alcohol flavorings are observed, nevertheless they are not bothersome.  They only add to the intricacy.  A touch of bitterness brings up the rear to further balance the overall tone of flavor.

The mouthfeel was medium/full, dry, chewy and smooth.  Almost viscous like with nice carbonation.  The alcohol was an enjoyable smooth burn at the back of the throat, which gave way to a warmth deep in the chest.  The palate was blanketed very well so as not to let me rush the drink, but rather to savor and contemplate. 

Man!!!  This is really a great brew that did not disappoint.  It’s rich, bold and smooth.  The alcohol was there for a few sips, then after a few minutes it became practically non-existent.  This beer is easy to drink and enjoyable.  Old Rasputin never gets boring and only increases in complexity as it warms.  The high ABV and alcohol flavoring may discourage some, but for me it’s an all around great beer that is worth the money.  I most certainly appreciated it.  I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t pick this up again.  You should definitely give it a try if you favor Stouts.  It’s a good one for sure.

Let me know what you think if you have tried it.

Thanks.

Score:  4.5 out of 5
Grade:  A 

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8 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2011 in Country: USA, North Coast

 

8 responses to “Review of North Coast Old Rasputin

  1. Timothy Brown

    April 29, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    This is a spectacular brew. Had it on nitro this afternoon. Tasty and mellow for its abv.

     
  2. Timothy Brown

    April 29, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    This is a spectacular brew. Had it on nitro this afternoon. Tasty and mellow for its abv.

     
  3. shrews824

    April 30, 2011 at 4:35 am

    Yes. I thought it was outstanding. I tend to favor Stouts anyway, so this was right up my alley. Next time I see it I will definitely get another couple of bottles. One to drink and one to cellar.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Cheers.

    Scott

     
  4. shrews824

    April 30, 2011 at 4:35 am

    Yes. I thought it was outstanding. I tend to favor Stouts anyway, so this was right up my alley. Next time I see it I will definitely get another couple of bottles. One to drink and one to cellar.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Cheers.

    Scott

     
  5. Sud Savant

    April 30, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    One of my favorites – stout or otherwise. I'll let you know when I review it, too!

     
  6. Sud Savant

    April 30, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    One of my favorites – stout or otherwise. I'll let you know when I review it, too!

     
  7. shrews824

    April 30, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Sud Savant,

    Do that!!! I would love to read how you interpreted the brew. It's a gem for sure.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     
  8. shrews824

    April 30, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Sud Savant,

    Do that!!! I would love to read how you interpreted the brew. It's a gem for sure.

    Cheers,
    Scott

     

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