Tag Archives: old rasputin russian imperial stout

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #160. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Co.

I remember the first time I ever drank an Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout on Thanksgiving Day in 2002 at my friend Morgan Brown parents’ house in Corvallis, Oregon.  They have this amazing property just outside of town with several acres, and a creek running right by their big farm house.  We drank a couple of Old Rasputin’s on a walk around the property, and I don’t think I had ever had an imperial stout before — I was only 22 years old.  Needless to say, the decadence of this beer blew my mind!  

Fast forward 16 years (no I am not bringing Old Rasputin to the table today), but last week I drank the 22 oz bottle pictured in this painting with Maria in McCarthy, Alaska.  I had a flashback when I was walking around the ten acres out there that took me right back to Corvallis.  A bit different weather, as I remember blue skies and yellow leaves in Oregon, while in McCarthy we had snow and freezing rain.  I also thought about what to include in the painting to show off the Russian qualities.  Rasputin was in favor with the Czar living in St. Petersburg, but he was victim of a nasty coup and was poisoned, shot and drowned. This reminded me of this iconic cathedral known as the Church of the Savior Built on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg.  Last year I went on a tour of this building, which is spectacular inside and out.  It has a ton of history: the square it is built upon is a historic site where Alexander II was blown up in his carriage in 1881.  His son commissioned this amazing cathedral designed by architect Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, and it was built from 1883-1907.  Completed by Nicholas II.  So when Gregori Rasputin was hanging out with Nicholas II in 1916 when he was murdered, this cathedral was probably an important spot for the religious mystic.  

Russia is a fun, but dangerous place.  Watch yourself when you are hanging out in St. Petersburg.  The same level of safety consciousness we are used to here in America just doesn’t exist in Russia.  For example, the Metro car doors slam shut with no warning, and could easily break your arm. Also when crossing the street use extreme caution as a crazed driver might just be driving on the sidewalk.  You just never know what might happen in Russia!  

Cheers to Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, keeping the memory of Rasputin alive.  As the label on the bottle says in Russian, “A bosom friend is not born suddenly.”

The original oil painting sold.  Limited-edition prints are available at our Etsy shop RealArtIsBetter.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #160. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Co. 11"x14", oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

Thirsty Thursday Beer Painting #160. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Co. 11″x14″, oil on panel. By Scott Clendaniel.

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Year of Beer Paintings – Day 43

Today’s Year of Beer painting is of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg, California.  First, let’s just say that this beer is neither Russian nor a stout; it is actually strong London porter invented before people used the term “stout” and was never brewed in Russia, but has become a colloquial term for this rich style of dark beer, because it was Catherine the Great’s favorite import brew.  According to Pintwell.com, the original 1851 recipe of this Imperial Stout calls for 63.6% pale malt, 23% brown malt, 10.8% amber malt and 2.6% roasted malt for an original gravity of 1.085 and a hop rate of 9 lbs per barrel.  That would give you a possibility of 9.8% alcohol by volume.  9 lbs per barrel is more hops than most American IPAs.  Let’s just say this was one strong ale!!!

So how does Rasputin come into the picture?  Gregori Rasputin (1869-1916) was neither a saint nor a monk, but a pilgrim from Siberia, regarded as an elder by the Imperial court of Russia.  A faith healer and mystic, Rasputin was hired to heal Tsaravich Alexei who suffered from Hemophilia.  Rasputin became very controversial with the Russian court due to his religious affiliation and his influence over the Empress.  The beer label says in Russian, “A sincere friend is not born instantly.”

The murder of Rasputin has become a legend, there are very few facts, but according to Wikipedia, the story goes like this: first he was poisoned, then he was shot, then strangled, shot two more times, then clubbed severely to make sure the deed was done.  Then he was driven to the middle of the city and dumped into the river from a bridge.  The body was found and hell was to pay, as the court knew that foul play was evident.  Basically, Rasputin was nearly impossible to kill and has become an icon for being nearly superhuman.  How much is true, I don’t know.  But I know this, North Coast Brewing has made one hell of a brew.  If you have not sipped on this particular Russian Imperial Stout go out and buy a four-pack tonight.  To Rasputin and his ability to heal, may you discover the joy of Russian Imperial Stout in its finest form!

You can purchase this painting, or a limited-edition print at my Etsy Shop.

Year of Beer 02.12. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8"x10".

Year of Beer 02.12. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.