Beer Review: Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout [North Coast]

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout [North Coast]

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
Brewery: North Coast Brewing Co. (Fort Bragg, CA)
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.0%

I didn’t think it would happen so quick, but the recent decrease in temperatures has already had me craving a strong stout. What better way to satisfy this urge than with the legendary Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout?

This beer from North Coast Brewing Co. has won numerous awards and medals from all sorts of beer festivals, including SEVEN gold medals at the World Beer Championships. It holds an “A” rating on BeerAdvocate and a 100 overall score on RateBeer. The praise is unanimous.

Folks, this beer lives up to the hype. It is as dark as they come, almost motor oil in appearance, and it has plenty of ABV at 9%. Its aroma brings traditional smells of coffee and chocolate. The taste is a terrific blend of the two flavors, and has a creamy mouthfeel. As other complexities start to come through, the stout leaves a lingering myriad of flavors. The hops become noticeable, but are balanced out by an overlying sweetness. If you dig deeper, there are hints of dark fruits and molasses as well. Seriously, this is a never-ending adventure.

Old Rasputin’s alcohol content is noticeable, but never becomes overwhelming. This is a perfect winter beer, best for those days when you wish to remain indoors while watching the snow fall outside. Bold, rich and well-balanced, this Russian imperial stout is more than worthy of its reputation. Bring it on, Old Man Winter!


Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout [Great Divide]

Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout

Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout
Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Company (Denver, Colorado)
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.5%

Oh man, do I love oak aged beers! I don’t know if I am just now noticing them or if they have exploded in popularity lately, but I seem to have been finding more oak aged brews than ever before. Great Divide’s Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout is the “sophisticated sibling” to the brewery’s regular Yeti Imperial Stout. I haven’t tried the regular stout so I won’t be able to compare between the two, but judging by the quality of this beer I am sure it’s great.

This oak aged stout pours very dark, almost completely black but with a mocha-colored head. Upon tasting, many different flavors come through. I noticed hints of chocolate and dark coffee, as well as a subtle vanilla touch that is caused by the oak aging. The tastes of roasted malts and hops are also prominent. The lingering aftertaste is strong and a little bitter, but I love it. This is a very easy Russian Imperial Stout to drink.

Compared to other similar stouts, Yeti is reasonably priced for a 22oz bottle. At 9.5% ABV, you definitely get your money’s worth as well. This is one of the better stouts I have had lately, and if you have any interest in oak-aged beers you really should give this a try.


Apparently there are also espresso oak aged and chocolate oak aged versions of this stout. Looks like I am going to have to take another trip to the beer depot!