Myths surrounding the enigmatic Russian monk Grigory Rasputin have managed to survive to the present day. He supposedly had mystical powers that allowed him to survive being poisoned and shot, before succumbing to death after being thrown into a river. While the truth is certainly less interesting, North Coast Brewing has worked some magic with their Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout.
Old Rasputin hits the glass with a midnight black hue and a thin mocha head. It has amazing head retention and laces down the glass nicely. The nose is dominated by roasted malt and chocolate with very little subtlety. The flavor is roasted malts with chocolate and coffee very overt, but also has a very subtle stone fruit flavor that’s almost like cherries. This is definitely not a fruit beer by any means, but it is so much more subtle and balanced than your run of the mill stout.
I’ve been drinking this beer for many years, and it is one of the best non-barrel aged stouts out there. I’m enjoying one right now after shoveling my driveway clear of snow.