Location: Vienna, Virginia, United States

A graduate of Dartmouth College (2005) and Washington and Lee University School of Law (2010). These are my personal blogs, and the musings expressed on them do not reflect the positions of my employer. They do reflect my readings, thoughts, and aspirations, which I figure is good enough.

Monday, July 24, 2006

So it's been a month

I haven't posted in a while. I don't have a whole lot on my mind right now (that's is solid enough to blog about), so I'll go with something easy.

Ok, not something easy. It's more like something sweet. And strong. With a high alcohol content (for a beer).

I'm sipping on an Old Rasputin Imperial Stout right now. As can probably be surmised, I got it because it's called Old Rasputin. It's actually from California, but there's a nice big picture of The Mad Monk on the front. I don't like judging books (or beers) by their covers, but this one was too good to pass up.

What do I think?

The first thing you notice about this stout is its incredibly high alcohol content. 9.0% is high for beer, even for stout (Guinness Extra Stout, which I love, has a 7.5% alcohol content).

Next, the pour. I do have a stout glass, and I have to say, this beer pours like a dream. Beautiful, like black silk sliding into the glass, with a tan, cappuccino colored head which builds nicely.

The smell is quite distinct. The nose is surprisingly sweet, not what one might expect. Not knowing better, I would have thought that this was a chocolate stout.

And you do get hints of dark chocolate when you taste it. The stout glides nicely over the tongue, and instantly, fills the mouth with a sweetness reminiscent of chocolate and raisins. There's also a distinct bitterness that is not unlike a good black coffee.

The aftertaste is pleasant, although the alcohol taste really lingers. A minute after a sip, I get distinct roasted coffee tastes in my mouth, as well as more slightly sweet, raisin-y or nutty notes.

It's funny, but this stout drinks more like a port than a beer. I'm not saying it tastes like port, but when drinking port, and from what I've been taught about port, you're looking for the same types of flavors - chocolate, raisin, hazelnut, almonds, dried fruits, figs, raspberry maybe . . .

Last word? I like it, although I'm a fan of stouts. If someone has a tough time drinking Guinness, they'll likely find this one completely unpalatable. Some people who don't like chocolate stouts might also not like this, as the sweetness is definitely present, and becomes almost overpowering as the beer comes closer to room temperature.

If you're drinking it, you might want to let the beer come close to room temperature - this isn't one to be rushed. Indeed, rushing it will just get you buzzed really fast. I've nursed it for a good half hour, and I'm feeling a little buzz nevertheless. At 9%, it's almost twice as strong as your standard lagers, and it is noticable.

If drinking Guinness is like eating a meal, drinking an Old Rasputin Imperial Stout is like have a three course meal followed by chocolate cake for dessert.


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