As winter is waning, so is Stout Season. Recently we had a head-to-head tasting of 3 of the very best: North Coast Old Rasputin, Rogue Imperial Stout, and Victory Storm King. Tasting notes follow:
OLD RASPUTIN: "Deep and luscious... intense, sharp & rich aftertaste to match the thick texture... Rich, tarry/ coffee flavor with lingering aftertaste... Slightly less interesting flavor than Storm King but with a tremendous textural backbone... Drastically good stout..."
One of the keys here is that Old Rasputin's flavor tends more to the Coffee / Tar end of the spectrum while Storm King brings in more chocolate and cherry.
ROGUE XS IMPERIAL STOUT: "Refreshing, lighter yet still rich... mellow nice aftertaste. Thinner texture than Old Rasputin... bright taste w/ mild chocolate... kind of the 'easy center' of the taste spectrum... not a particularly deep aftertaste... "
VICTORY STORM KING: "Chocolate & cherry.... mildly sweetish. Luscious foamy texture... Delicious w/ profound range of flavors..."
At the end of the day Storm King and Old Rasputin are our two favorites, with a slight nod to Storm King on this evening. Rogue Imperial is very nice if less complex than the other two so we would rank it slightly lower but still wonderful.
Well, that's about it... the worst thing about the end of winter is the end of the great Stouts !