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January 02, 2009
Old Rasputin - Russian Imperial Stout
This year you’ve vowed to cut back on drinking, gluttony, womanizing and debauchery, but don’t start yet.  Christmas isn’t over.  At least not for the Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians and other members of the Orthodox Christian Church who celebrate the holiday on the eve before Epiphany -- Epiphany (January 6) being the 12th day of Christmas when the Magi allegedly visited the infant Jesus in the manger. 

Still with us?

Anyway, January 5 or 6th is still the best excuse to have one last holiday carouse, and if you care to do it Russian style, Beer Thirst has made it possible to wash down the salmon coulibiac, cabbage rolls and all those beets with something other than vodka.

Their Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout (an import from California’s North Coast Brewing Company) with its robust coffee and chocolate flavours is described as “very big, very complex and downright kick-ass”, and it has a string of 12 gold medals dating back to 1996 to prove it. Brewed in the tradition of the 18th Century British brewers who supplied the Imperial Court of Russia’s Catherine the Great, it nevertheless skips forward a few years to commemorate the rascally consultant to the doomed wife of Nicholas the II by the way, is a Vancouver based company owned by Norm and Hanan, two BC-born beer lovers who worked and went to school in California and Oregon, and who missed their favourite US brews after moving back to Vancouver. To fill the gap they created the import company with the aim of bringing the world’s top artisan ales to Western Canada.  Look for Old Rasputin in BC Liquor and  Private Liquor Stores around the city. 
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Copyright Cityfood Magazine 2009