ghorsche (48) - Berkeley, California, USA - FEB 15, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
12oz bottle. Poured used motor oil black into a trappist glass with a light coating of deep tan bubbles on top; sticky, delicate lacing. Rich toasty malts on the nose, full of chocolate with undertones of coffee and some alcohol. The hops, strangely absent from the aroma, become <em>smashingly</em> apparent as soon as the beer hits the tongue. Can’t quite put my finger on the hop flavors (spicy-smokey?), but they are stunningly balanced with the huge roasted malts. A little acidity adds another dimension to the flavor. A little creamy, a little fizzy, and a little boozy on the palate.. I wouldn’t mind a touch more body but this is a minor complaint. Finish is acidic and bitter--reminiscent of good espresso--with a little bit of dark fruits to boot. For under $2 a bottle (in the Bay area) this is an absolutely top-notch brew. Bravo.
GarrettB (1456) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 15, 2006
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 29, 2007 It is difficult to know what to expect from a beer that takes its moniker from a Russian mad man. Granted, there are many such gentlemen who qualify under the term “Russian mad man”, but the most eminent, in at least a pre-Bolshevik cut of history, is Rasputin. If the beer’s label is genuine, then Rasputin was no friend of beauty. However, he depended not on a charisma or noble character, but his illusory and often confounding feats. That, in a way, is how I felt about North Coast’s Rasputin Imperial Stout. The dark and ruddy bottle reeks of the Russian proletariat, and reminds me of many black and white photographs depicting Russia’s ghettos and poor districts. And here we have a similarly monochrome beer; a shrouded and inky black brew fitted with a slightly brown top. The smell is a simple touch of the Imperial Stout style, complete with an abundance of coffee and a bit of the teriyaki sauce I’ve been prone to probe with my proboscis. However, something is a bit off, or rather, something is a bit eccentric about the Rasputin amongst other Imperial Stouts. Maybe its heavy handedness is stayed, to allow other flavors to permeate past the swamp of malts. Or maybe the gentler mouth feel lends it more towards a Western European taste instead of the Czarist collection of flavors it seems to claim for itself. Either way, there’s a bit of a difference here, I think, that makes Rasputin stand out (though not above) from other Imperial Stouts. It treads a fine line between confusion and acceptance to be sure.
Numenor (871) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - FEB 12, 2006
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Grapes and dark fruit dominate the aroma. Pure black in color with a light brown head. Coffee and mollasses with some spices for the taste.
Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - FEB 12, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This one;s been sitting in my cellar for God knows how long. Smells of dark fruit, chocolate and coffee. Tastes chocolatey with some mellow coffee notes and lots of fruity elements. Buttery mouthfeel and a sweet finish.
Ayumbomb (63) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - FEB 11, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 20/20
WARNING: This is a dangerous beer, a beer that puts hair on your chest, a beer gives you nightmares at night, a beer that fills your soul with a heavy darkness that will never leave you, never. This is the kind of beer you dare not share at a party...no one else understands, no one else can see the beauty behind this beastly animal. At 8.9%, thank the gods it comes in a 4 pack. Those who dare to try this, keep it secret, keep it safe, and keep it far from the hands of children!
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 10, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark black, oily pour with a thin toasted head. Very syrupy texture leaves a sticky lacing on the glass. Aromas of blueberry, blackberry, dark chocolate, coffee, mild tobacco, and toffee. The texture actually feels a bit thinner than it looks in the glass, but it has a nice effervescent dispersion over the tongue. Very chocolatey finish.
cquick (3) - Lewis Center, Ohio, USA - FEB 10, 2006 does not count
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark chocolaty beer whose flavor masks the high alcohol %. Definitely complex with a long, bitter finish.
DanielBrown (4378) - Birmingham (via Leicester), West Midlands, ENGLAND - FEB 9, 2006
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from Jeppe’s shop in Copenhagen. Delicious, smooth, warm choc, toasty aroma. Dark black, with a beige head. Very delicious and full of interest. Bitter to start, with some pepper and ice, becoming smoother, richer and more chocolatey right through the mouth, into the long finish. Like Milk Tray with just the right amount of alc appearing. West Coast hops are laced in expertly also. Excellent.
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - FEB 8, 2006
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: APR 22, 2008 Pours a rich black/brown super fullbodied nectar. An extremely rich and complex specimen of it’s genre. The best in it’s class. This brew has so much going on but without any focus on any one element. It’s a tasty stout with huge bright/fresh flavors from the dark spectrum (coffee, cocoa, tar, and the like) which is quite rare. These flavors are usually so dense and rich that they overshadow the other elements. Not here. It’s sweet yet ballanced by the hopy character. Well ballanced with a long finish. Stays flavorful to the last sip.The alcohol is well hidden and keeps you warm. The next best thing to have during a Detroit whiteout on 75 Northbound to Clarkston, the first being your girl of course. I highly recommend trying it.
weepingsuds (222) - Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA - FEB 8, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Okay. I am not going to paint a portrait here. This is an excellent imperial stout made to awaken the senses and reflect on its tones of Choc. Coffee and is that heaven. Just get one.