Saturday, 25 February 2012

REVIEW #49: Rasputin (Brouwerij de Molen)

Pours deep black with faint red tints when held to the light. It has a caramel coloured head which seems to be permanent (a de Molen trademark) and leaves very nice lacing up the glass. Very pungent nose with cocoa and rich blackstrap mollasses. Wow, this is possibly the most full-bodied imperial Russian stout I've tried (and I've tried a few!). Richly aromatic tobacco, cocoa and roast coffee beans in the mouth; full of woody esters. Its a surprisingly refined blend of powerful malts that's held in check by strongly bitter hops. Many imperial stouts can be quite crude but this one is on the smooth side. The finish lingers on... and on... and on. It is dominated by sticky malts that paint the palate in combination with strong alcohol vapours. First class!

Rasputin has had a few names in the past including 'Cease & Desist' and 'Disputin'. The latter only in America due to a trademark dispute over the name 'Rasputin' with California's North Coast Brewing, who brew a beer called 'Old Rasputin'. The beer's name comes from the the mystic/prophet Grigori Rasputin (1869-1916), a mysterious character who was advisor to the Romanov court in Russia. He is thought to have exerted influence over tsar Nicholas II and tsarina Alexandra. He may even have had a hand in convincing them to try their first Imperial Stout! This one is brewed by de Molen as a limited edition once or twice a year.
  • MALTS: pale, chocolate, cara
  • IBU: 46
  • ABV: 10.4%`

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