On January 22, 1869, Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, was born. Rasputin was a Russian mystic who had influence over Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsaritsa Alexandra, and their son Tsarevich Alexei. Rasputin has been called the "Mad Monk", others believed him to be a psychic and a faith healer.
Rasputin was alleged to be a member of a banned Christian sect called the khlysty. One of the cooler parts of the khlysts was that they believed the only way to get to know God, was to have him forgive you. Only after a man had sinned greatly could he be truly repentant and pleasing to God. Men and women who tried to lead virtuous lives pride themselves on their virtue.
Rasputin died December 29 (December 16 old style calendar), 1916. He was murded by several people. He was poisoned by red wine laced with a massive amount of cyanide (which failed). He was shot in the back (which failed). He was then shot three more times in the back (which failed). He was then clubbed into submission and thrown into an icy river. Three days later, his body was recovered, and the cause of the death was drowning, his arms were found in an upright position, as though he tried to claw his way out from under the ice.
As to the beer:
North Coast Brewing Company is located in Fort Bragg, California.
A rich, intense brew with a robust palate, a fruity nose and a warming finish. Very complex.The beer is in the 100th percentile on Ratebeer, and is currently number 90 on the Beer Advocate top 100 list.
Old Rasputin is available in most places in Champaign-Urbana. It is at Crane Alley in bottles, is listed as being on draft at Radio Maria, and is available at Friar Tucks in four packs.
On a side note. Rasputin was alleged to have a massive penis. It is claimed that his killers castrated him and a maid found the organ later. Rumor has it that she kept it, and it was acquired by some female Russian expatriates living in Paris. Rasputin's daughter heard about it, and had it returned to her; she kept it until she died in 1977. The penis and other items were purchased at a flea market. It was going to be auctioned off but officials discovered the item was a sea cucumber or geoduck.
Another item claiming to be Rasputin's penis is a 13 inch long item that is held in the Russian museum of erotica in St. Petersburg, Russia. This item is also not able to be verified as being the Mad Monk's Member.
So, for Rasputin, go out and have yourself a HUGE glass of North Coast's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout.