Beer Review: Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Old Rasputin put a spell on me...lame, I know


ABV: 9%
SRM: ~35

As I’ve stated in previous posts, I’m really beginning my exploration into stouts and porters. As a guy who has never liked coffee, stouts haven’t been of much interest due to the majority having what I relate to a coffee aroma and a strong coffee flavor. With that being said, I can say that the stout flavor is really growing on me and I plan to review significantly more in the future.

This beer was bought at a no name bar…which pleasantly surprised me with a decent list of bottled beers. This beer poured a decent tannish colored head, nothing outstanding but respectable from what I’ve seen come from other stouts. Initially it appeared as though this beer was as black as night…completely opaque but after holding it up to a bright light it looked as though there was some brown. As I drank, the beer actually had solid lacing throughout the glass.

The aroma wasn’t as strong as I had anticipated considering the color and the alcohol content. I did notice some caramel, a bit of roasted coffee scent, some alcohol, and maybe some chocolate. The beer had a nice smelling aroma, but was rather lackluster when it comes to the amount of overall aroma.

The taste was somewhat sweet with a definite light coffee flavor. There was a strong dark chocolate flavor that was nicely intertwined with some strong, but pleasant, caramel maltyness. I didn’t notice an real hop presence. The beer had some obvious hop bitterness, but no real hop flavor or aroma. I really enjoyed the flavor profile overall. I don’t like coffee as I stated earlier, but this stout wasn’t focused on coffee flavor rather a dark chocolate, malty caramel flavor. The flavor may have been aided by the excellent mouthfeel, which was thick but not too much. The carbonation was more than most stouts I’ve had but it felt like a nice touch as the beer maintained smoothness.

Overall, this beer was pretty complex with a variety of flavors and aromas. The alcohol, sitting at 9%, makes this a tough beer to drink continuously, but I think I could easily drink 2-3 in a sitting without getting burnt out or feeling like Old Rasputin is getting to rich.

Grade: 9.5/10 (A-)

An excellent stout overall. I’m definitely looking forward to my next one, which I hope is soon. If you’re trying to expand your stout palate, try and Old Rasputin and hope you’re at a bar that’s doing 2 for 1’s as you’ll want another.

Just a quick FYI, here’s a LINK that gives a brief explanation of who Rasputin was, what he did, and some of his historical significance.

Sorry for the picture quality, the bar wasn’t well lit and my IPhone doesn’t have a flash.

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