...but I don't like actually drinking the beer. So I found a place I thought might sell me less than a case. You may recall us saying from previous posts (here and here) that buying less than a case of beer in Pennsylvania isn't easy. Well, a place opened up recently that first called itself a beer distributor, then said it was a "bottle shop", then said it was a bottle shop "now with food!" So I stopped on in.
The place had a couple hundred different kinds of beer in large coolers, lined up like Gatorade bottles in the back of a 7-11. The owner (I presume) came up to me and asked what I was looking for. I explained my situation and asked how little Corona he could sell me. He said one bottle. Then he held up a hammer that happened to be in his hand and said "Hell, I'll sell you half a bottle, if you want!" He seems like a cool guy.
I asked how he got around the strict PA liquor laws, and he was happy to explain. First, the building is separated into two parts which are treated as totally different businesses with separate cash registers. The one part can't sell you a case (the bottle shop), the other can only sell you a case (the distributor). (I'm sure somehow that keeps women and children safe at night.) Then, because they serve food in the "bottle shop" section, you are welcome to buy a beer and have a seat at a table to drink it right there. Or, if you don't open it, you can take the bottle home with you. It didn't have liquor, I don't believe they're allowed. It didn't have a bar with stools, I think that was just an interior design choice. But all in all, it seems like a nice place to hang out and try different beers at a reasonable price. Also, for someone like me who prefers liquor, it's a place I can buy only as much beer as I want, and not have a partially empty case sitting around for 2 years.
Anyway, he said I can buy as little or as much as I wanted of anything available. So after grabbing a couple bottles of Corona, I picked out a Delirium, which I know I like, and browsed around to pick up another bottle. They had the full compliment of Great Lakes, quite a few even smaller breweries, even some girlie drinks like Sminoff Ice. But something caught my eye...
... something sinister...
... yet compelling...
... a demanding nature almost impossible to kill...
... so I bought a bottle.
Old Rasputin Imperial Stout
"Produced in the tradition of 18th Century English brewers who supplied the court of Russia's Catherine the Great, Old Rasputin seems to develop a cult following wherever it goes. It's a rich, intense brew with big complex flavors and a warming finish."
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Bitterness: 75 IBU's
91 Points, Rated "Exceptional" by the Beverage Testing Institute, Chicago
Only problem is... it sucks. Well, not hard. Not like Corona. Or the cartoon Corona chick (so I've heard). I've had some pretty thick and dark beers. Beers where the brewer had a heavy hand with the chocolate malt. Beers that make Guiness seems like... well, Corona. But this isn't one of them. It felt rather thin in the mouth, which make it go down easy, in some respects. But the real problem I had with it is the flavor was like sucking on the wrong end of a lit cigar.
It may sound like I'm being a bit harsh on it, and maybe I am, but that's the closest thing I can come up with to describe the flavor. If it tasted like peanut butter, I'd say it tasted like peanut butter. If it tasted like pussy, I'd say it tasted like pussy. But it didn't. It tasted like cigar ash.
It's far from the worst beer I've had, though. I mean, I finished it. But the best part is definitely the label. You just can't go wrong with Rasputin. I mean, dude had pertinent crazy eyes!
I've been a fan of Raspitin's for quite some time. He could waggle his willy in public, and still get invited back to dinner at the fucking palace! His profession was as a holy man with the ability to heal and see the future, but he lived the life of a rock star and made no attempt to hide it at all. He also had possibly the most bizarre pickup line ever: "Would you like to confess your sins to me? You have no sins? Well, how about you and me to into the back room and do some serious sinning, then you can confess it to me?" And he made that shit work!
Not to get totally off track here, but they had to disembowel, poison, stab, and shoot the dude multiple times before he finally drown to death. They also might have cut off his cock and balls. I found a supposed picture of them in a jar with a really hot Russian chick checking them out (See? Still a player!) but it was a bit too disgusting for me to continue this article discussing flavor. If you really want to see it, here's the article it came from.
The Delirium, however, was outstanding as usual. Fruity, sweet, bitter, clean, crisp, and strong. It's just so fucking good! You can't go wrong. Years ago, I accidentally got completely wasted on their Christmas ale on my lunch break. I had no idea how strong it was until me and a coworker were completely sideways. It took forever for 5PM to roll around that day. So if you do have a beer with lunch, always check the alcohol content!
The Corona, well, I tried a few swigs from the bottles as I was cooking, but I still just don't like it. I know the stories about workers pissing in the bottles have been legally proven to be slander, but it still tastes just a bit pissy to me. Sorry, hot cartoon Corona chick.
So in spite of the absolutely awesome label, I just don't see myself buying Old Rasputin Imperial Stout again.
... well maybe now and then...
... I'll go buy 6 cases now...
... and get you the phone numbers of hot Russian chicks...
... lots of hot Russian chicks...