food & drink: Old Rasputin - A walk on the dark side
Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout is a bold endeavor worthy of its Porter bloodlines and mad monk moniker.
The opaque black hue linked to a hardy stout is unmistakable. This distinct characteristic stems from a malt roasting technique similar to brewing coffee.
Contrary to popular belief, Imperial Stout, or Russian Imperial Stout originated from England. Open trade with Russia in the 1700s prompted the English to create a “stout” beer capable of enduring a harsh journey to the Baltic States. Adding more hops deterred corrupt bacteria while extra malt hyped the alcohol to prevent freezing — Imperial Stout was born!
Today, Stout is enjoying a revival with many craft breweries offering a variation in their seasonal cache. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout from North Coast Brewing is one of the few available all year around. I was first introduced to Old Rasputin at the legendary Brick Store Pub in Decatur, Ga. Wow!