Monday, September 17, 2012

#3 North Coast "Old Rasputin"

By  North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg, California
9.00% ABV
Russian Imperial Stout

" A sincere friend is not born instantly". Each bottle has this imprinted in Russian with Rasputin giving a man size salute. Russian Imperial stouts date back to the 18th century, wherein English brewers would try and appease Catherine the Great. Or what we call today, dating.

Visual: Just like Malcolm X, completely black brew with a one finger head.

Smell: Strong smell of roasted malt with a bit of caramel, reminds me of a Folgers commercial, fresh roasted coffee.

Taste: It coats your mouth immediatly, there's an intense flavor profile. Oak, dark chocolate, caramel. All the flavors combine so perfect. Now there's a heavy roast and bold ashy characters all through. Ash may sound unappetizing but with the combination you can't help but sip some more. If you've ever been through a theoretical physics textbook then you already know how complex this is. Although it's just like gay marriage, you're either for it or against it, it may be too ashy and unsweetened for some.

Overall:A 4 pack for 7 bucks of something this intense and interesting is a great value. Some might not like the intensity while others will completely devour this treat. I really enjoyed drinking this but would advise for virgin stout fans to shy away.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

#2 Brouwerji De Molen's "Hemel & Aarde"

By Brouwerji De Molen based in Bodegraven, Netherlands
10.00 ABV
Russian Imperial Stout

Hemel & Aarde(translates to  Heaven and Earth) on first sight looks like a bottle handmade by a kindergarten arts and crafts class. Very basic with a black and white label, this bottle didn't even say what type of beer it is. According to their website this beer contains some of the most heavily peated malt they could find.

Visual: Looks like an oil change in a beer mug, very little head and almost no carbonation

Smell: Straight hazelnut, fresh roasted coffee, a hickory smell. After this warms up it smells like a southern barbecue with a strong bacon smell, just enough to disgrace the sabbath and make farmer john feel right at home

Taste: Heavy thick oily mouthful, almost like you stuffed your mouth full of liquid bread.  Heavy charred malt but surprisingly it's easy to drink. Has also a roasted nut quality to the taste. As it warms you get a heavy Wilbur the pig taste, very tasty pork pours out. Seemingly out of nowhere Robitussin aspects come out, this really detracts from the beer and even though it's not overwhelming, it isn't pleasant.According to their website they were going for a licorice taste, think uneaten/inedible black licorice, not red vines.

Overall: A very complex brew with a unique flavor profile of a backyard barbecue. Heavy char, pig, coffee and the only detractor is the medicinal taste. Russian Imperial Stouts age well and I'd recommend aging a few to expose some new flavors. 88/100

Thursday, September 13, 2012

#1 Stone's "Enjoy By 9.21.12"

By Stone Brewing Company, based in Escondido California
9.40% ABV
Imperial IPA

The concept behind this beer is for people to appreciate an IPA as it's meant to be served, as fresh as possible. Having had this one fresh and near the 9 21 12 deadline there are noticeable differences in flavors. Yeah it's a bit gimmicky to have this in limited amounts and to not serve it after the deadline, but I'm the type of person with tamagochi, beanie babies, and cases of Pepsi Crystal in my basement

Visual: A very dark golden yellow, some decent carbonation and a lot of lacing.

Smell: A rush of tropical fruit, very fragrant with very little hop character. Actually has a bit of nuttiness which is unusual for an IPA that isn't infused with rye.Very unassuming beer in terms of the alcohol content that lies within.

Taste:Immediately have a nice medium oily coating in the mouth with a rush of mango, pineapple, citrus.If you've ever had freshly squeezed juice(not packaged) with some alcohol(who hasn't?) then you've had this before.Fairly modest resiny piny and oily hop character, but in comparison to most Stone Beers it isn't much of a factor. It's as drinkable as mothers milk at 9.40% ABV. If you've had Stone Ruination its quite similar but with less hop character and more tropical fruit. As it warms the roles are reversed for this beer, wherein you get a ton of oily hops and very little tropical fruit. I can't get over how much tropical fruit is in this, it's like a Chiquita commercial in my mouth

Rating: Easily a 95/100. The only things setting this back is the limited quantities, which at this point you have to really search to acquire a bottle which isn't very fresh. If I have one criticism(negative nancy time) is that it's missing more tropical fruit to make it a 100. It's got a good dose of it but If I have to be picky that would be the reason why.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


It's been entirely too long of a struggle to get us here. Of course you can't achieve greatness without a force propelling you against your goals, it takes pressure and discomfort to craft something sincere. In other words, budweiser is the equivalent of laying on the couch with carryout meals, while an oak aged russian stout is sprinting up hills in a mudslide with 100 degree weather and a kale shake for dessert.

I can't wait to see where this blog will take me, I hope people will share their opinions and give criticisms and opinions of the beers we all know and love. A big internet knuckles hello to all.