TheBeerGod (5003) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JUN 15, 2003
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pitch black with a thin brown head. Nice smell of coffee, dark chocolate and hops. Wonderful aroma! The taste expands on the aroma. More coffee and dark chocolate but the bitterness of the hops takes a step forward. Finishes bitter and has a sharp edge to the body. Great beer!
eczematic (1306) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - JUN 14, 2003
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
bit of a letdown. very big flavours, ugly and badly combined. way grapefruity and vanillay - itself a stupid combination - and undeniably complex, with extra sherbet, ryebread, and mint. just a mess i think, and i definitely see what ecrvich is on about with the west coast citrus-acidity. might be good in an IPA but in a stout it's silly.
duff (5484) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUN 14, 2003
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Quite big and complex. Roasty, licorice aroma, with more hops in the aroma than i expected, quite aromatic. The palate is quite thick and roasty, with some licorice and raisins, with quite a few hops to finish, the finish is even a bit citric. Nice bitter finish.
jonas (5441) - Garching b. MŁnchen, GERMANY - JUN 12, 2003
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Burned cofee, aromahops and a slight lactic sourness.
Deep brown with a creamy brown head with lace clinging to the glas.
Wonderfully complex taste: Coffee, figs/raisins and brandy rounded of nicely by the hops. Long aftertaste of dark chokolate.
Fullbodied and deceivingly smooth.
savannah (37) - columbus, Ohio, USA - JUN 12, 2003
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 26, 2004 My favorite beer ever! Excellent full body, strong but not overwhelming flavors and wonderful chocolate after taste. The aroma is only slightly alcoholic.
BBB63 (5694) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUN 7, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 16, 2013 Opaque with a creamy tan head, great lacing, just sticks to the glass, full-bodied. Raisin, bittersweet chocolate, woody port like aroma, excellent. 1st taste, raisins, pop of hops, vinous. Middle of the glass, chocolate tones coming through, sweeter, warming. Further down, the hoppy bitterness reclaims itís territory, Iím not dead yet! The smokey malts are still there too. Wow, the final sips are wonderfully balanced, a fizzy fruity (blackberry?) attack followed closely by smokey malts overthrow of my palate, I must now surrender to the twisted Rasputin and his wonderfully complex namesake. Damn, this is simply a great beer, glad I saved it for last! Must find more...must find more... damn it all, why didnít I buy more the 1st time!
VAYankee (327) - Virginia, USA - JUN 6, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours black with a thin offwhite head. Rich chocolate malt aroma, very appealing. Initially strong alcohol and subtle chocolate taste, finishes with a nice dry roasted malt aftertaste. Excellent beer.
smoosh (534) - New Albany, Indiana, USA - JUN 5, 2003
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle: black with sizeable beige head. Nose of alcohol. Outstanding flavor - can I change my rating to a 12??? Roasty, roasty, roasty. Creamy feel that coats the entire mouth. Alcohol in the finish - just a beautiful beer.
ClarkVV (3753) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 3, 2003
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: OCT 4, 2007 2003 bottle at Ashleys in Ann Arbor
Deep chocolate burnt hue. Roasty/alcohol grainy aroma. Sweeter than I expected with some roasty notes swirling around in there. Less hops than I was hoping for but certainly had that rich textury raisin appeal. The coffee notes werent overpowering, which was nice, as that can sometime ruin these types. I still prefer the drier, hoppier storm king. A little bit of carb problems in the bottle, which dosent go well with the grainy alcohol taste that is detectable. I absolutely must, and will, try more. 2003 draught Very excited to try this on draft and was expecting alot. It certainly delivered. This relatively mellow imperial was delightful. One of the best mouthfeels Iíve tried. Chocolately, creamy, more like a chocolate stout. No alcohol apparent. Very low bitterness, huge creamy off white head, opaque. This was actually too sweet for my liking (though not ultra sugary, more like a salty, rich caramel), with not as much balancing hops as I would see fit, but nonetheless very very good and better than I remember (probably cuz itís on tap).
2005 bottle consumed in January 06. More bitter, and more black cocoa, licorice and graham cracker-like malts than I remember. Seems like this stuff was a lot sweeter, before. Hmm. Complexity is probably its low point, though the texture is not quite as thick as it could be either. No sediment at the bottom of the bottle. I can see why so many like it, it just seems rather solid, if not very unique at this point.
Draught 3/23/06 at Publick House. Very lively pour produces a huge tan head, with lacing and great retention. Bitter cocoa again, black malt, dry hops bitterness works against the balance. Rich texture on draught though, very fluffy but substantial. I canít make up my mind on this beer, but I do appreciate that it is not over the top in alcohol or malt (though alcohol is apparent).
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - JUN 1, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A real winner from North Coast Brewing Co. This Imperial Russian Stout pours like the thickest, dark roast, black coffee imaginable, yet still produces a small light brown head. The aroma continues the coffee theme Ė reminiscent of a cup of french roast with bitter bakers chocolate melted into it and a lemon squeezed in for good measure. The flavor is a high alcohol chocolate-coffee jubilee - thick rich roasted malts, balanced by fruity, citrus hops bringing just a suggestion of raspberry into the mix. Mouth-feel is begins with a syrupy texture yielding quickly to a lush, creaminess as the carbonation explodes onto the tongue then quickly recedes. The alcohol is prominent but not over-powering and warms me deeply, inside and out. I find that this wonderful brew like its namesake, refuses to die quickly, but lingers ominously and powerfully in my memory. I am a believer in the magic of Rasputin.