Courage Imperial Russian Stout - Wells & Young's Ltd

Not Rated.
Courage Imperial Russian StoutCourage Imperial Russian Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

267 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 267
Hads: 793
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 151
Gots: 178 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Wells & Young's Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rastaman on 02-11-2002

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 267 | Hads: 793
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 170ml nip-sized, thick brown glass bottle. Unlike the BA Avatar in the Database, the sample I was holding had the more classic presentation. The dark black background of the main label sits well against the dark purple ringlet that has the words “Imperial Russian Stout” in a rather simple looking Arial-like white font, with “Originally brewed for Catherine II, Empress of all the Russias” in smaller gold font. Inside this there are some Russian words, whilst inside that a Regal Crown has the scripted white letters “O.G. 1098” underneath. Outside this royal paraphernalia, the words “Brewed in the UK, Courage Ltd., Staines, Middlesex” sits above and “As Brewed for Over 200 Years” below. Right at the bottom of the label, it is dated “Brewed In 1993” in simple but prominent white text. Listed as Alc. 10.0% Vol. The simple brass crown cap had a slight speck or two of rust, but nothing to worry about. Firmly applied 11 years ago, it took some removing. A little escape of gas eased my initial fears that a flat dead sample could have been lurking, a ridiculous concern, as I knew that this had lived a good life in the English Yorkshire Countryside before coming Stateside at Easter.

Appearance: Hmmm, what glass to use? Well, I opted for the largest Goblet I had in my armory, a Duvel vessel, freshly washed, cleaned, washed in clean hot water again and then rinsed in cold water and left to its own devices to dry naturally. What a superb choice it turned out to be for it allowed the full glory of the nose to present itself whilst I closely inspected its sheer brown naked body in the hourglass sides of the Duvel Glass. The perfect body has nothing to hide, dark black, almost tar like at first; it takes a powerful light to reveal its dark brown luscious strong body. Pellucid and exotic, like a classic edition of Playboy it begs to be inspected closely, again and again, except that this is most definitely not airbrushed.

Shite!!….I could sit all night and slowly swirl the smallest quantity of this goliath beverage in the forgiving oversized Duvel glass. Presented as such like a fine Brandy, it looks simply fucking marvelous, quite incredible that a beer with no carbonation has such an impressive quality about it, but somehow it does.

Nose: Blackcurrants, and lots of them, I immediately detected dark berried fruits mixed into a thick mélange of currants, molasses, freshly baked spotted dick, alcohol soaked plums and amontillado sherry. There is a hell of a lot going on here and I am far from proficient enough to dissect it all, suffice to say the nose is a meal in itself and exhilarating & invigorating enough to be taken through a freshly rolled up crisp banknote.

Taste: Immensely complex, superbly smooth, Teflon like silky flavors slide over the oral cavity and coat it like a high performance lube oil, embracing the tongue in an orgasmic orgy of mature delight. Sensual and sexy, this releases itself oh so slowly, allowing you to genuinely bask in all of its glory. Dark fruits, plums soaked in alcohol for so long the skins fall off, dark raisins, rich currants, blackberries, blackcurrants, Garibaldi Biscuits and malt soaked molasses. Light sweetness cantilevered against this humongously well aged body makes this a real treat.

I swear the aftertaste will last for another 11 years. Long lingering tasty solute that lays a complex carpet of experiences on the cheeks, tongue, throat and stomach. I could still taste this 15 minutes after the last swallow, which truly helps you to savor the small bottled sample that much more. Mind blowing!!!

Mouthfeel: Smooth, sophisticated, suave – this is the James Bond of Imperial Russian Stouts, a sort of from Russia with Love. Age merely adds massive levels of maturity to the confidence of this British Agent. Brandy like it needs to be sipped and slowly savored.

Drinkability: Fantastic, sampled alone at first, but I chose to finish the last 50ml of this with some big chunks of 5 Year Old Aged Sharp English Cheddar that I had been saving. An absolutely incredible mix. I so want to give a 5 for Drinkability, but I suppose that the sheer complexity and richness may prove a tad too much, it certainly deserves a 4.5, but could so easily be a 5.0 for me.

Overall: Damn, this is one fine brew indeed. 11 years after it was brewed, this one bottle has most certainly stood the test of time incredibly well. A World Classic for sure, but moreover this is really a Highly Educated Gentleman of the English Bottled Beer Aristocracy.

A Huge Thanks to fellow BA and Yorkshireman BSF for this one, delivered whilst we shared a brew at the Doncaster Beer Festival during my Easter trip to England. I am truly indebted to you for this master libation. Thank You, Thank You Sir; it has matured extremely well, no thanks in part to your master cellarmanship. I owe you a few Gallons of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord next year!!! (4,959 characters)

Photo of BBMuffins
5/5  rDev +18.8%

This is hands down the best beer I've ever had. I love a variety of styles, but this beats everything by a tremendous margin. This beer is literally perfection. The beautiful smell, the marvelously delicious and complex taste, the black-as-night look, and not to mention the incredibly smooth texture... This is beer heaven.

I honestly can not believe how good this beer is. I'm not even going to rate it's attributes, it's a solid five through and through. I don't think I was ready to drink this beer. I should have waited until my nose and taste buds are experienced enough to fully pick this beer apart. Then again, I'm not sure I would have ever reached that point as this beer is a labyrinth of flavor and smell.
Byzantinian all the way down.

I'm upset that I can't taste this taste and smell this smell forever. (821 characters)

Photo of dogfooddog
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1993 six-ounce bottle served this evening at room temperature at Monk's Cafe. Next to no carbonation, and a few large chunks of sediment slip past into the belgian chalice glass, but sink to the bottom and do not mix. I end up drinking them when I finish the glass but they don't even impact the already hyper-intense taste.

Huge odor of alcoholic sweet fermeneted raisins. Even my nose can get this one. If I was smelling/tasting this beer completely blind I would have guessed it was a port.

this is one of the most complex beers I have ever had (rivals any lambics or westvleteren 12's no matter how old) and I am debating on what does not deserve a '5.'

Taste is the most port/wine-like beer I have ever had. Tremendous complexity, and the lack of carbonation make this feel like a very raisiny port wine. It is without a doubt magnitudes better than any other imperial stout I have ever had and really makes the rest of the genre pale in comparison. It is a terrible shame this is not available (I have not seen this or any vintage retail in almost a decade of looking). I don't feel the 10% when drinking this beer.

I have never had anything like it, and quite possibly never will again. At 12+ years old, it is afaik the oldest beer I have ever drunk as well. (1,278 characters)

Photo of KellyBelukusBeers
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Luxurious and silky English stout brewed with both real chocolate and chocolate roasted malts. Flavors of Espresso, Molasses with smoky finish. Brewed first for empress Catherine the Great in 1795. (199 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1983 vintage sampled at the Kulminator in Antwerpen, Belgium. $4:-) From the mangled bottle pours forth one insanely good beer! Deeply dark and opaque with no hints of light showing through! A HUGE head of tan foam, that leaves excellent lacing, even after 21 years in the cellar. The aromas are heavenly, as this is the ultimate imperial stout. The aromas are all across the board and consist of currants, dark chocolate, pure cocoa, strong french coffee, pure unadulterated alcohol vapors, deeply roasted malts, lightly medicinal (orval-like) hops and more! The taste is so rich, so deep, and so endless, that it is hard to describe. The first thing that hits tongue is the deep coffee flavor, than the chocolate and malts come in with a one-two punch, than the hops and other herbal flavors come and linger on your tongue for an eternity. 21 years old and this is not oxidized one freaking bit. This beer is so old, that IT can legally drink itself in the states! The mouthfeel is so thick, creamy, and smooth, with no loss of texture after all of these years, and the drinkability is simply amazing. 10%+, you HAVE to be kidding me. Wow, i've always loved imperial stouts, and I thought that I have had some of the best imperial stouts out there....than, I had this. This is without a doubt the perfect imperial stout (and one of the oldest recipes is used as well). A classic amongst classics, and perhaps the best beer that I have ever had in my life...(it gives the St. Lamvinus a run for it's money, and this one was only $4!!!)You simply have to find a way to try a well-cellared example of this beer. I see them on eBay ocassionaly, so perhaps it is worth a try. If not, do have one when you get to the little piece of heaven that is the Kulminator in Antwerp. No wait, don't have any, save it all for me...PLEASE! (1,824 characters)

Photo of DerbyDave35
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Quite possibly the greatest drop on the planet ..but only one at a time for me , its special and should be treated accordingly
Find a quiet spot somewhere , and lose yourself in this stunning stout , and do not drink ice cold , or you wont enjoy the incredible flavour (268 characters)

Photo of MrNuggets
4.97/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1983
Never has a beer smelt like this before! Strength is not surprising, what gets me is what builds it.
Flavors leave me at a loss for words. Many tastes from my past mold into something new and unusual. Fruit? You bet, and they're dark. Dark as all hell. A noticeable coco presence picks up in the finish. Who would have though a stout of such an imperial nature could go down so smooth?
A great drinking experience. (424 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Courage Russian Imperial Stout (9.3 oz. bottle) has a thick, creamy, tan head and a very dark brown appearance. When one swishes the bottom contents and pours it in, then a heavy, grayish cloud descends into the glass. Good lacing is left around the glass as well. The aroma is rich, with raisin, dark-roasted barley malt, black cherries, chocolate powder, and black bread crust. Taste is of rich, sweet malt, dark fruits, chocolate, dark-roast coffee, brown sugar, lots of bitterness, and fudge. The mouthfeel is velvety, thick, and heavy, and Courage Russian Imperial Stout finishes semi-dry, rich, and dense. Overall, this is a world-class beer, and I give it an extremely strong recommendation. Please try it!

RJT (718 characters)

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.94/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

1977 Vintage(31 years old) THANKS Rayj! 170 ml, 6 fl oz. brown bottle > Postel chalice

Once the cap was pried off a wonderful, black and totally opque syrup oozes out of it's home after 31 years. The head is simply amazing after all of this time, it's a dark brown, creamy color crowing at 1" deep with moderate to quick dissipation and plenty of foamy coverage left over.

The aroma is of old chocolate, with a "wild" ale scent and some "brett" like whiff's. Oily alcohol and tangy fruits with only mild "off" aroma's of wet carboared.

This is a chalky, smokey malt and plenty complex after all of these years. Worcestershire sauce, figs, peanutbutter, smokey barley, peet moss and a wonderfully thick chocolate current that features subtle raspberries. The hops add a decent dry-bitter effect and the heat is pretty hot and reminds me of vodka going down. Later, there's syruppy molasses and only a slight "off" flavor of the classic wet-cardboared effect.

The feel is oily thick, more like slick actually with no carboantion at all.

This was a very nice treat to have a beer brewed from before I was born. Much respect.
---cont...
This is my second bottle, a fresh bottle from may 2011 so i will base my scores on the fresh bottle not the 31 year old vintage i had back in 2008.

The look is just perfect, chunky, dark and opaque with a dark brown head. Fresh and heady look!

The aroma is huge, tones of dank chocolate, balanced with a unique earthy, musky English hop aroma with dark wheat, oats and vanilla to top it off. complex and inviting.

The flavor and balance sets the standard IMO. The first of it's kind and still proves to be one of the best, and from my point of view, the single best RIS you can get. multi-layered malt flavor's, thick and heady, smooth, grainy and a bit earthy in flavor's and feel. The full feel is also insanely drinkable with layers of vanilla, slightly sweet chocolate, graham crackers, musty-earthy, hearty hops and yeast, all very English really makes this classic work. the hops are not bitter or anywhere near 100 IBU's but the hop flavor is classic English with it's highly effective flavor within this complex classic beast.

If you love IRS or RIS you simply must try this one. (2,246 characters)

Photo of brutusmuktuk
4.94/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a jet black with a small off-white head. Aroma is malts and sweet fruit. Flavor has a strong dose of sweet fruit mixed with roasted malts. There is also a touch of coffee and chocolate, and the smokiness helps balance these flavors out. This has a nice full body a goes down smooth. It is one of the best beers I have had. Everything about it is just pure joy - from the rich aroma to the complex and well-balanced flavors. I will have to get some more bottles to age. (474 characters)

Photo of horshack7
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: From a 9.3oz bottle is a black abyss of darkness. On top the head is dark beige three fingers tall and very frothy. As the head thins out thick lacing is left behind.

Aroma: Large amounts of espresso, dark chocolate, with cocao undertones that carries a light bitterness. Dark fruits, very dark roasted malts as well as hops. Notes pear, minor burnt hops.

Taste: Espresso notes in the front followed by a huge rush of milk and dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is smoother than melted chocolate. Hops and malts are roasted so very dark with a floralness and bitter sweet chocolate tones. Some dark fruits with some pear notes to finish it off.

Notes: Dam this one freaking amazing almost an adreniline rush. Cheers. (726 characters)

Photo of Sathanas
4.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

With an extremely balanced amount of dark fruit and chocolate to contrast the coffee tastes and aromas, Wells and Young create a perfect example of an Imperial Russian Stout. (174 characters)

Photo of ThomasT
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%

Poured into a whisky tulip glass (I know, sacrilege). 2012 vintage.
Appearance: As black as beer can be. Nice, dark brown, two finger head that was super thick, but actually dissipated a bit. A thin, iridescent oil on the surface and some lacing, but not a ton (probably due to the glass I used).
Smell: Strong smell of overripe fruit and deep coffee roastiness. Hint of chocolate
Taste: Powerful and rich. The body is almost oily and seems to coat your entire mouth with even a small sip. Several different fruit can be tasted, all of which taste slightly to significantly overripe. I detect dates, fig, and plum especially. Moves from fruit into a prominent espresso, almost as strong as espresso itself. Finally, the finish is a rich, dark chocolate the likes of which can only be beat by the absolute richest fancy deserts. Slight, mellow warmth in the throat, but no alcohol taste detected.
Body: Extremely full-bodied
Overall: An incredible beer that clearly lives up to its reputation. Each sip tastes like you are indulging in every item on the desert tray in a grand feast. Cannot recommend enough. (1,107 characters)

Photo of Impfan
4.84/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very complex aroma and flavor of walnut/pecan, pears in brandy, campfire, dried fruit with a hint of green olive, roast coffee and cream, vanilla and figs.

Finish is quite lengthy, and the overall effect is elegant, layered and restrained, while at the same time ebullient.

A marvelous tribute to the granddaddy of all Imperial Russian Stouts. (346 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a brewed in 1976 edition bottle, 6oz(170ml)

I've always wanted to try a Courage Imperial Russian Stout ever since I read about it many years ago. Here is my chance.

I remove the cap, which isn't a crown cap...kind of surprised me given the age of the beer, and give it a vigorous pour into my NB Goblet. A few bubbles show up and then a light sheeting of foam appears and then disappears almost immediately. There are still *some* bubbles in the middle and around the edge of the glass. Oh, forgot to mention, there was a decent hiss when I popped the cap.

Zooming my nose over the glass, this smells very strong. Strong as in strong dark fruits, very sherry like notes, some caramel sweetness and good doses of chocolate. And a huge presence of alcohol. Just by the smell alonge I know this one is not for the faint at heart.

First sip and...the sherry like nose is there in the flavour. Wow. What a punch it delivers! The chocolate I mentioned in the nose is here and is rather big and bold bring lots of sweet tones..the dark fruits, not so much.

Seeing as this is a RIS and they are known for roasted malt goodness, I was worried as I didn't sense that in the smell at all. The taste, happily, shatters that worry. Very nicely roasted malt flavours are exploding every which way but loose and the alcohol? Wow. What a difference between smell and taste. It pretty much dominated the smell but the taste doesn't expose the 10%abv at all. Yeah, there's plenty of warming after the swallow, which is where I prefer it, but it sure isn't noticeable in the taste at all.

Cool, I just noticed that after a few sips, the foam makes a comeback of sorts. Big old island off center and now a complete ring around the glass. That surprised the hell out of me.

Big bodied and silky smooth with a surprisingly nice tingle of carbonation periodically during the session. 6oz?? I want more, damn it.

Drinkability? For a ~34 year old brew...absolutely incredible! Hell, if this was still being brewed and a fresh bottle is what I was drinking right now I'd say..absolutely incredible!

Bottom line(I haven't one of these in a while):
What can I say? I'm going to do my best to seek out more as this is one of the finest drinking experiences I've *ever* had. I'd LOVE to see Wells and Young's bring this beer back! (2,320 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wonderful to see bottles of this in Atlanta. A beer I've been wanting to try for a long while. I wondered whether I'd be disappointed after the long wait, but no, this beer is superb. Pours an extremely dark brown, almost black, unless held up to the light. Short coffee crema colored head, but the head clings to the side of the glass in a sheet, not just rings. Smells of Christmas pudding cooked in a coal fired oven- slightly sooty and redolent of fruit and brandied cake. Dry and intense in flavor, tightly wound. Nice lingering, ashy bitterness with dry fruit notes, licorice, espresso, and bitter chocolate. Superb, and surprisingly bracing and dry with a bit of alcohol bite that is nevertheless integrated with the beer in the sense that it underscores the other flavors instead of dominating. A huge beer, and a great pleasure to drink. (846 characters)

Photo of bifrost17
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The bottle date says "bottle May 2011"
poured into a brandy snifter.

A: It pours exactly how you'd expect it to, jet black, viscous, motor oil. Once it's in the glass it's beautiful, opaque, when I hold the glass up to light nothing comes through, I can see my reflection in the glass. The head is surprisingly big for the 10% abv.

S: The aroma is spot on for what I like in Russian Imperial Stouts. Huge chocolate, dark fruit, bitter espresso, roasted malt, a slight sweetness, and big alcohol.

T: The taste is awesome, but not quite as good as it smells. Up front you get an initial bitterness, then it gets really sweet in the middle of your tongue and almost tastes like cola, this beer is extremely carbonated for the abv. Definitely warming as it goes down. The finish is pretty bitter and dry. All the qualities I just listed are things that I love in Russian Imperial Stouts. The 10% is hidden very well, the nose suggests that it's going to be pretty boozy, but that doesn't come through in the taste all that much.

M: Mouthfeel is full bodied and surprisingly carbonated. Not too sticky or viscous.

O: I've heard a lot about this beer and just happened to stumble across it at the bottleshop today. This beer, for me, is a perfect example of the style. Everything that I want in a R.I.S is in this beer. The Courage Imperial Russian Stout is worthy of all the hype and respect that it gets. If you haven't tried this then seek it out. I recommend getting a few bottles for the cellar, I know that tomorrow I'll be heading back to the bottleshop to pick up a couple more for sure. (1,594 characters)

Photo of hegelec
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Without doubt the tastiest beer I have ever sampled. Nothing else I have ever had tastes quite like it, so bear with me as I try to put this touching experience into words.

1975 vintage, 180 mL bottle that has spent the last 34 years in the cellar of a beer collector in England. Acquired privately at an amazingly cheap price.

Pours a thick, syrupy, opaque black with a finger of tan head. A FINGER OF HEAD! The carbonation here is remarkable given the age.

Smells ... so unique. Fruity, woody, funky, meaty ... a hint of roastiness. Will this taste anything like a stout?

Yes! Sweetness envelops my tongue as I take a modest sip, followed by a slightly roasty astringency, and a sharp bitterness lingers long after I swallow. The stout backbone is very apparent from beginning to end, but the flavours have evolved dramatically. Honey, fig ... a faint saltiness ... soy, meat, tobacco -- but these are really well-integrated into the whole ... woody sherry-like notes, lightly oxidized. Absolutely heavenly: words fail me.

The mouthfeel is luxuriously full, syrupy, and with a creamy carbonation that is astounding after all these years. I am floored.

This beer is simply overwhelming. The drinkability is only hurt by the fact that I could only ever have one in one sitting. (1,283 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
4.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A friend picked a 9.3oz bottle of this up for me at Everett’s in South Beloit, IL in Early 2012 for $6.

Pours a very dark brown/black color with a thick light brown head. Pours beautifully into a glass and expands like a mushroom cloud. Heavy scents of cocoa, caramel malts, and burnt sugars. Taste is bold and full of flavor. I think this is as about as close to a “perfect beer” as I have ever had. Great robust taste with complex ingredients that compliment each other perfectly. Smooth as silk texture with sweet after taste. A fantastic sipping beer! (562 characters)

Photo of vinicole
4.76/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow. I remember having one or two bottles of this back in the 70's because I was young and the alcohol content meant more than the taste.

I have since tried a bottle of the '92 a few years ago before I started reviewing beers. I remember that was good.

This is the first time I have seen the new version on sale in the UK. Bought from Tesco's.

All previous superlatives about this stout I thoroughly endorse.

Wonderful absolutely wonderful.

So when oh when should I drink the 1972 bottle I have in the cellar? (514 characters)

Photo of acevenom
4.76/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Pours black with a thick, tan head that dissipates slowly. There are some visible bubbles collecting on the underside of the head. Some lacing is left on the side of the glass as the head recedes. There are aromas of dark roasted malts, dark fruits, coffee, alcohol, and chocolate. The roasted malts are very forward in the flavor, bringing some roastiness and smokiness to the palate. I also get the coffee and chocolate notes. The dark fruit flavors are also there, but the other flavors are the star of this show and the fruit plays on the back end. The alcohol can also be tasted as well and there's plenty of roast in the aftertaste. The body is full with moderate carbonation. This is an excellent beer. (736 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

This is vintage 2013 and its good until 12-09-26. The nose is chocolate, dark dried fruit with a touch of fruit cake. It pours deep chestnut under a finely bubbled tan head. The palate begins with rich chocolate backed by light coffee that blossoms into dark dried fruit and then fruit cake and hints of molasses. It dries on the finish with a slight astringency and a suggestion of chalk. The carbonation is very fine and soft - almost nitro quality. The body is chewy and the beer is slightly warming. Everything is very well balanced. An outstanding beer. (558 characters)

Photo of floridadrift
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

96 out of 100 for Imperial Stouts

A: Blackish

T: Sweet, figgy, dates, prunes, little vanilla here and there

M: Creamy

O: Its like 6.99 and its a 10oz or something, its worth it. Its quite enjoyable and it's been around for some time. I highly recommend drinking this beer or getting your distributor to sell them. (317 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours very dark brown, appearing black. Nice two finger light brown head with medium bubbles and massive lacing. Good aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, sweet dark fruit. Flavor is exceptionally well integrated, with slight dark malts to start, but other flavors opening up in the middle. Roasted and sweet malt, dark fruit, bitter coffee and chocolate. Finishes with coffee and a well tuned hop bite. Excellent heavy, creamy body is noticeable from the very first taste. A very nice, complex and well done imperial stout. These guys have obviously have kept the craft of imperial stout making alive. Exceptional. (646 characters)

Photo of rayjay
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brewed in 1970, making this 36 year old beer officially the oldest I've had the pleasure of. The most carbonated one I've cracked open, too, which by normal beer standards would be completely flat, but it's as lively as can be for a beer this old, and of this strength. Frothy chocolate capuccino head, as thin as it may be, and complete with chocolate lace.

This beer is very unique, and one tiny sniff is unmistakable for anyone who has had this before. This vintage shares many traits with other examples I've had, but this one features a very predominant butterscotch note, along with an equally dominant baker's chocolate note. The aftertate is bitter, and doesn't last as long as some other vintages (although still a very long and complex fallout). Slightly chalky mouthfeel; everything is just perfect. Brilliant compromise between heavy and light; everything is so subtle yet right to the point. Out of this world.

If beer were meat, IPAs would be spicy chicken, stouts would be steak with A1, and this beer would be wild game in a rich demi-glaze sauce.

If you have the chance, do not pass the opportunity to sample this great beer. Simply my favorite of all time. Cheers! (1,191 characters)

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Courage Imperial Russian Stout from Wells & Young's Ltd
93 out of 100 based on 267 ratings.