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North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Where Spotted: Cowgirl Creamery, 919 F St. NW

Price: $10.25/4-pack

Homage to Fromage “A lot of people think of cheese and wine, but beer and cheese are made to be together,” says Victoria Swaynos, cheesemonger at Cowgirl Creamery, which also stocks fromophilic beers such as this sinister black stout, which teems with bitter cocoa, espresso, and a touch of anise. She recommends pairing it with a sharp cheddar or a Coolea, a nutty Irish take on gouda. For a tangy, less traditional pairing, check out Old Kentucky Tomme, a bloomy rind goat cheese with a creamy center.

Monk in public Why name a beer after this Russian mystic? So-called Russian stouts were originally crafted by English brewers in the 19th century to win the favor of Russian czars; in the process they created this distinct style of high-alcohol beers black as a mad monk’s heart. (Old Rasputin weighs in at 9 percent abv.) Keep knocking these back and you’ll feel as invincible as a thrice-murdered seer.

Seen an interesting quaff lately? E-mail beerspotter@washingtoncitypaper.com