Saturday, December 15, 2007

A New Low - North Coast Old Rasputin

This Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast has been sitting in my fridge for a few months and I've been anxious to try it, given the fact that when I first got into beer and started exploring stouts this was the beer many told me was a benchmark of the style. I've found this not to be the case for my own tastes.

It started off pretty good initially. The appearance, a dark brown to black with a good looking fluffy head was what I expected, nothing wrong there. The smell was a pretty mellow acidic roasted malt aroma, nothing too wrong there. The taste even started out pretty good too. I detected a great amount of roastiness with a bitter chocolate and mild alcohol finish. As it stood this beer wasn't all that bad (not great either). On about the 8th sip or so everything went crazy. The taste became astringent and alcohol-y. I gave it a few minutes to try and recalibrate my senses and on the next sip I got the same thing. It was making me nauseous. I had to dump more than half the beer down the drain. If you had asked me before I uncapped this sucker, that would have been the last thing I would have ever thought I'd have to do. As it stands right now, it's tied with St. Pauli Girl as my lowest ranked beer.

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