Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Brewery: North Coast (CA)
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 9%
Grade: A-

This is a perfectly executed Russian Imperial Stout. Nothing crazy going on here, beyond the beyond the inherent craziness of drinking a 9% ABV stout meant for Russians. The taste is massive. It's a stout imperalized and Russianalized and stoutalized in every way. 

Old Rasputin is the ideal combination of dry and yet still tantalizingly sweet, lingering from the huge amount of malt that went into making this. Dry and sweet are, of course, things that go very well with the roastyness of a stout. There's a good deal of bitterness in there too, and I'm sure the IBUs are actually quite high, given how many other things are going on to mask their taste. But I would not call this a hoppy stout, at all; they're there mostly for balance, to create an appropriate dry mouthfeel, and add some undertones of dark fruit. Again — all as an imperial stout should be.

For a beer packing this much heat, Old Rapsutin isn't overly rich, though. It's got a nice creamy mouthfeel, a pleasant consistency in line with a much smaller stout, and an aftertaste that passes deliciously and quickly. If you like stouts, you'll really like this one. If you like imperial stouts, you'll really like this one.

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