Friday, July 9, 2010

Old Rasputin

Remember Miss Cleo? The Voo-doo practicing, Jamacian, psychic reader who's name was actually Youree and who was from Los Angeles and who eventually settled all the lawsuits for a fraction of the thirteen million she made being Miss Cleo? Poor Rasputin, all he ever got for his efforts was murdered.

One of my beer guys came in yesterday (more on him another post) and we were chatting about the whole fear of wine thing a couple of posts back, a post I was hesitant about but which he appreciated nonetheless. Mind you, my winos are not even vaguely pretentious, indeed, the whole reaon I dig them is their very lack of that sort of thing. It's the wine that is the trepidation. More on that another post, too.

He was asking me what kind of beer I drink (when I occasionally do), and he mentioned one in particular. After work I went to the store and noticed this, Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. I don't know if it's the one he was talking about, but it's the one I got and the one I'm about to comment on.

Twice a year something other worldy occurs in Los Angeles, and that is the blooming of orange blossoms (February) and night-blooming jasmine (late summer). There is still enough of this scattered in our suburban sprawl to rise and collect in the dead of night air, and it is a dead of night air that seduces and intoxicates like nothing else.

Last year, late one night, I was on my bicycle in Silverlake coming from downtown and heading back to the 'dale. It was a beautiful and quiet late February night. I'd just taken the fork off Sunset onto Griffith Park Blvd, and when you hit the curve there, soon after, you get this nice little momentary overview of LA. On this particular night, in this quiet, that curve gave way to the lights and hills of LA, and with it came the waft of orange blossoms, washing over me, strong and sweet and seductive, silent sirens in the dark.

With the addition of coffee undertones, this beer is a lot like that night. Rasputin redeemed.