When the weather starts to turn chilly here in Ohio, a change also starts in my beer preferences. The IPAs, pale ales, and other hoppy styles of brew start to take a backseat to the more malty, darker, heavier ales that will warm the soul in the cool fall air. For some reason, this is just a normal shift of life. Anyway, a beer that has always been on my list for this time of year, but never ended up on my palate was this:
Enter North Coast Brewing Company’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. This is a mammoth of a beer, just the way I like it: Dark, heavy on the alcohol content, and a pleasure on the taste buds. At 9% alcohol, this is not your grandfather’s Guinness. Not that there is anything wrong with Guinness, it is a fine brew, but Old Raspy is a whole new ballgame. At double the alcohol content, there are flavors that you will taste that you would never dream of in a normal stout. Hints of chocolate, alcohol and roasted coffee all blend together nicely and also add a nice warming sensation. Such a delightful beer is meant to be taken in slowly. In my opinion, it makes for a great fire pit beer.
This is a style of beer that was made for the long voyage from England to Russia in the 18th century. With such a great taste to this beer, you can tell the folks over at North Coast really know what they are doing, and that they really have an appreciation for history. Especially beer history. This one is a classic.