It’s a new month and its time for Hop Cast to pick their November beer of the month. With the recent release of Surly Brewing’s Darkness and The Bruery Black Tuesday, it seemed fitting that November’s beer of the month should be a Russian Imperial Stout. Since both those beers are tricky to get if you didn’t go to the release parties, Hop Cast decided to choose a beer of the month people should be able to find pretty easily. So for the November beer of the month, the Hop Cast has chosen North Coast’s Old Rasputin. Brad and Ken recently reviewed the Old Rasputin XII on episode 54 with Shawn Horton. Don’t be fooled, just because this guy is in a smaller bottle doesn’t mean it isn’t packing a huge punch. Coming in with an ABV of 9.0% this isn’t a beer you should be drinking all night no matter how delicious it is. The Old Rasputin pours out black as night with a two finger tan head; within a few moments the head slowly starts to reside and leaves some nice lacing with it. The aroma of chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla and bourbon drift out of the glass. What you smell is what you taste with Old Rasputin. Dark roasted malts, chocolate, with alcohol that will smack you in the face and warm you up. Even though that alcohol is pretty strong, it’s very well balanced and finishes with a coffee bitterness.