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BEER SPEAK @ Life Cafe 983

Strong, Firm and Dauntless?
By Andy Mills

Stout
adjective
1. bold, brave, or dauntless: a stout heart; stout fellows.
2. firm; stubborn; resolute: stout resistance.
3. forceful; vigorous: a stout argument; a stout wind.
4. strong of body; hearty; sturdy: stout seamen.
5. having endurance or staying power, as a horse.
6. strong in substance or body, as a beverage.
7. strong and thick or heavy: a stout cudgel.

Every single one of these definitions adequately describes the style of beer known as stout.  Strong with alcohol.  Bold and forceful in flavor. Only a brave and stubborn palette has enough endurance.  So thick and heavy you can eat it with a spoon.  This amazing style of brew dominates the “Best Cold Weather Beer” list.  You don’t even need someone to snuggle up with when your heater breaks down.   And with a stout, who needs coffee with their breakfast?

The beautiful world of stout…

Stouts are made from the darkest roast of malts in the world giving them the dry finish they are known for.  Stouts were given their name in the 17th century because they were the strongest beers made at the time.  Today, this is still slightly true, but many stouts have fallen from the glory of having more alcohol than does a body good, to more consumer friendly levels.  Guinness is a perfect example, weighing in at an astonishingly low 4.1% ABV.  Most beers, even that watery substance called Budweiser, are around  5%.  But not all members of the stout family have changed their ways so greatly.

Let’s talk about the Russian Imperial Stout.  Actually an English beer it’s named for its purpose; shipment to Russia.  Alcohol, being a preservative, was needed to be brought to higher levels for the beer to survive the trip to across a continent, and the Russians loved it.  More booze, means more malts, means more flavor, means more yum.  These guys can reach well over 10% ABV and that is something that I like.

North Coast Old Rasputin
Fort Bragg, California
ABV: 9%

Seven years ago when I was in church I met a beautiful dark skinned woman with beautiful brown hair.  We talked, we laughed and I cherished her in my arms.  It was good times.  Her name was Old Rasputin.  Okay.  It wasn’t church; it was a bar and the girl was a beer.  The rest is true.  The flavor is dominated by an earthy chocolate taste backed up with heavy dark malts.  It’s finish, glory.

I still love this stuff as much as the day I met her at church.  At Life Café now.