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Courage Imperial Russian Stout - Wells & Young's Ltd

Not Rated.
Courage Imperial Russian StoutCourage Imperial Russian Stout

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

697 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 697
Reviews: 248
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 136
Gots: 139 | FT: 6
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rastaman on 02-11-2002)
View: Beers (42) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 697 | Reviews: 248 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

1978 170 ml. Dark reddish to black with small ring of mocha head. Aroma of chocolate and sharp alcohol on the nose. Some smoke when drinking. Sweet,cocoa chocolate smokey, a slow sipper. Warming alcohol, like a 40 or 50 proof. Surprisingly not thick, but rich. A cognac.There is still some carbonation there.Worth its weight in cognac price.Cigar tobacco and scotch aftertaste. Barleywine taste day after.
Thank you Hopdog.
After 5.5 years had a fresh bottle(so cognac ageing not there yet as only year old) courtesy of Gary. Very creamy, light chocolate and roast. Very good, and uncomparable to the US versions.

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brewed in May 2011.

Best before 9/19/24.

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a thin cap. Thin foamy rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, and some alcohol. There is a distinct cinnamon aroma that comes out as the beer warms. Taste is of dark malt, dark fruit, cocoa powder, and roasted coffee beans. There is a mild roasty bitterness and alcohol warming in the back of the throat with each sip. This beer has a lower level carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good RIS with a nice historic element to it. I am very happy I was able to find a bottle of this after reading it was coming to the US.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Geist. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a very dark brown with a good light tan head and a nice cap and collar. The nose carries a good dose of chocolate and mild roast. A bit of malt sweetness then comes through in the flavor. Very nice for an English version of an RIS. Good creaminess throughout the feel. Quite chewy. Moderate alcohol. Winner of a beer.

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is close to being jet black in color. It poured with a finger high tan head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts and licorice in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of roasted malts along with notes of licorice and hints of cigar smoke. The roasted malt flavors linger though the finish.
M: It feels nearly full-bodied and a little dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a very good representation of the style and hides its alcohol very well, making it easy to drink but pleasant to sip.

Note: 2010 vintage

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of brentk56
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brewed in May 2011

Appearance: Pours out with a thick (but not massive) tan head; what it lacks in vertical dimension it more than makes up for with lacing action; the beer itself is not as dark as some of the American versions, appearing more as a fudge brown

Smell: Rich chocolate, with coffee, tobacco and dark fruity undertones

Taste: In the flavor profile, this beer shows its old world muster, bringing a subtle blend of chocolate, coffee, pipe tobacco and dark fruit; compared to a lot of the domestic RIS brews, this is like an old world Cabernet vs a California, with incredible subtlety and refinement; after the swallow, instead of walloping the tastebuds, it finishes rather dry - surprising but well-appreciated

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation; hides the ABV incredibly well

Overall: So glad I had the opportunity to try this beer as it shows off quite a different dimension for the RIS style than I have had before; I still like the powerful, big American versions very much, but this is a different pathway

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Do beers get any more regal? With tried-and-true, time tested recipe and fantastic brewing technique; it shows that we just don't make'em like they used to... or do they?

Same as it ever was, this true imperial Russian stout boastfully displays his masculine dark side with slight-of-black coloration, complete opaqueness with a slight haze that's noted by it's less than mirror sheen. But its billowing tan head shows exuberance and puts on quite a show as the foam builds and then recedes, leaving silhouettes of lace behind.

Strong French-pressed coffees, cocoa, burnt fruit and molasses starts the show with a rich and luscious aroma that swirls around rummy alcohols for a slight plummy vinous scent. Brown sugar, apples, and pears join in the fun but only in background notes.

As delicious as the aromas seem, the flavor spread proves equally as rewarding. Bittersweet chocolate wraps around a strong coffee taste, deeply caramelized sweetness, heavy toast, and creamy smoke. Roast and fruity tartness take turns as roasted barley alternates with slight vinous wines, grape skin, green apples, and blackberries. Low in hops, only a shadow of bitterness follows the complex malt and ester display and does so with a supportive wood taste-turn-bitter in finish.

Full bodied, but not overtly sweet or sugary, there's a right amount of malt and residual sweetness that weaves into the dry roast texture and full carbonation. A long draw into the finish results in firm alcohol warmth, slight burnt grain astringency, and tart wine-like tannin that provides a slightly powdery yet powerful finish.

This is a tremendously respected beer that defies style, prescription, or expectation. It's effortless and gentlemanly personality exudes the notion of tall, dark, and handsome.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1989 bottle – drank in 2004: Very dark beer with no head or carbonation. Aroma is mostly comprised of alcohol and a subtle smell of coffee. Taste can be described as a mix between roasted malts, coffee, subtle chocolate and ends with some bitterness and a warm alcohol taste. Very intriguing beer, it almost feel like a mix between an old ale (Gales Prize Old Ale) and a Russian Imperial Stout without extreme hops (Sam Smith Russian Stout) without any carbonation but with a good warming feeling from the alcohol as you drink this. I feel lucky I had the chance to taste this but a vertical tasting of this beer would be paradise…

Photo of kylehay2004
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: single finger thick light tan head on a jet black body. thick lacing.

S: vanilla, milk chocolate, roasted malt, oak and raisin for dark fruit.

T: lots of dark chocolate throughout with right amount of chocolate sweetness and bitterness, middle of the road roasted malts, toffee, wood, vanilla and espresso.

M: medium to full body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: full flavored, excellent balance and nice dark chocolate flavors which I really enjoy in this style.

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black in color with a finger or two of khaki head. Nice dark fruit aromas which offset the roasted malt aroma. Dark chocolate, plenty of coffee, and a hint of licorice. Some nice burnt sugar notes and just a touch of smoke. The flavor is fairly sweet, but still a good roast and coffee character. Some dark chocolate, a touch of toasted nuts, molasses, mild licorice, and some dark fruit sweetness. A well balanced Imperial Stout.

Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer poured out as a deep black color with a brown foamy head on top. There is a moderate lacing and pretty good retention as well. The smell of the beer is rich and roasted with a sweet berry aroma coming off of it also. The taste is chocolatey with a roasted malt and coffee, there is also a strange fruity flavor in the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and very rich. Moderate carbonation and smooth. Overall this is a very good Russian Imperial Stout. Very rich and very enjoyable. Worth checking out!

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

9.3 ounce bottle - $6.29 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia. Brewed in May 2011. "Best before see neck of bottle." 19/09/24.

Appearance: Pours a black body with a quickly growing, durable, dark tan head. Meager lacing.

Smell: Tar-scented roasted malts, spritzed with booze, dusted liberally with powdered licorice and sprinkled with dark fruit skins soothed and smoothed with mellowing notes of chocolate and mocha.

Taste: Well-roasted malts lending bold coffee, dark chocolate, fire-pit smoked plums, with some alcoholic heat wrapped within the malty flavors. Slight creosote taste, some licorice whip. Slightly tart fruitiness, helping a bit to cut through the hard roast overtones. Herbal, spicy hops, moderately bitter. Picking up some mineral-laden aspects in-between the firmer tastes. More creosote and licorice on the rear, with the bitterness and peppered alcohol accents lasting into the dry, warming, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth mouthfeel overall.

Overall: Courage, indeed.

Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter a deep cola brown with deep ruby hue,roasted malt,bitter chocolate,and alcohol soaked fruit in the nose.Rich tasting with a decent amount of booziness,highly roasted with chocolate undertones.A great imperial stout from an old school brewery in England,nice job here.

Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottling.

Dark brown body nearing black; opaque in the center with translucent edges. Pours with a voluminous head that takes a good 15 minutes to settle.

Heavily roasted, malt forward nose. Notes of toffee and black licorice with hints of charcoal, mineral, bittersweet chocolate. Smells nicely balanced between roasted, burnt malt flavors and sweetness.

Really nice on the palate. Roasted grain, butterscotch and toffee, dark chocolate. Slightly metallic and mineral, from the water perhaps? Licorice comes out more in the finish, leading into a combination of toffee, burnt malt and resinous hops.

I've been wanting to try this beer for years and was glad to finally see a new batch. It's very enjoyable stuff, but I wouldn't say it's worth drinking more than once at $7 for a 9.3 oz bottle.

Photo of biboergosum
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

275ml bottle, a limited quantity special happy-time goodness event for we here in Wild Rose country, it would seem, according to the rep, at least.

This beer pours a solid oily black abyss, with ever so slight reddish highlights, and one finger of foamy, puffy, and fizzy mocha head, which leaves a thorough, yet loose webbed pattern of lace around the glass as it quickly settles.

It smells of sweet roasted caramel toffee, treacle, thin black licorice, aged dark fruits, soft saccharine booze, and musty, dusty hops. The taste is lightly roasted caramel malt, a touch of soaked brown bread, bittersweet dark fruit, some lighter drupe fruit frivolity, molasses, gritty dry chocolate, a bit of sooty ash, singed brown sugar, leafy, weedy hops, and a simmering alcohol warming.

The bubbles are fairly sedate, and innocuous, the body a more or less sturdy medium weight, a touch hollow, with a bit of astringency maybe screwing with an unjustly expected smoothness. It finishes just off-dry, the bitter cocoa, muddled tart fruit, and straining booze all pitching in to proffer their two-bits towards the overall effect.

An interesting, and heady affair, to be sure, but kind of lacking the gravitas of those New World upstarts, unfortunately. The sly tugging of the booze, while not actually hot, does soon aggravate to a certain degree, even over such a small serving size. Quite nice to try, sure, but probably meant for a more reserved, Old World stout aficionado, than this otherwise biased camper.

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brewed May 2011, BBD 19/09/24... 13 yr., 4 month shelf life?

Thick layer of mocha foam, leaving striated layers of lace all around the glass. After 15 minutes or so the foam recedes into a floating island, but the skim remains unbroken.

Very mellow chocolate aroma, slight roast, also something vaguely acidic, sweet and ashy.

Creamy and smooth milk chocolatey feel, pleasant residual mild hop bitterness in the background. Definite sipper, very smooth and easy drinking in small sips. Slight nuance of fruity plum in the aftertaste. Cocoa nibs and mild char. Rich and exceptionally smooth as mentioned before. Residual chocolate and dry ashy elements. Pretty nice stuff, glad it's seeing a new revival.

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Courage Imperial Russian Stout from Wells & Young's Ltd
95 out of 100 based on 697 ratings.