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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
94
outstanding

747 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 747
Reviews: 265
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 145
Gots: 166 | FT: 9
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 747 | Reviews: 265
Photo of chinchill
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Small bottle served in a small nonic.

Appearance: Pours hazy and dark brown with dark tan head. Meager lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits and booze, in that order.

Taste: Well-roasted malts impart hints of coffee, dark chocolate and licorice. Mildly bitter. Slightly tart; a bit more than I'd prefer up front but better balance by the finish. A hint of smoke in the roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Full body. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth. Some harshness from the 10% ABV.

O: more rustic than expected, and with the high ABV more apparent. Good but not world-class.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of BARFLYB
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a few bottles of this for $5 a pop. Been wanting to try this for years now, and I could not pony up for the 20 year old aged bottles at Monk's. Poured into my TJ'S Everyday 7th Anniversary 'gold' rim plated snifter.

Courage pours out the dark red/brown/black mix when in mid air. When in the glass all nestled, Courage is a black looking stout, with a creamy froth of beige/tannish foam with legs and stick.

Smell is very inviting and bold and layered. Im really digging the smell. English qualities with the signature coffee, chocolate, roasted malt of an IRS. The english yeast provides an extra layer while there is a nice burnt/smoky/ash quality as well. Dark fruit with significant warming.

Taste is pretty exquisite. At this young stage Courage jumps out with roasted malt, milk chocolate, coffee beans, slight vanilla, a burnt English Baltic Porter quality with some smoke on the end. Layered is an understatement. As with the smell, dark fruits jump out at the end.

Feel is approaching full, this for sure coats the mouth on the way down with a slight warming quality without being hot. I cant taste the alcohol. Carb is light but present. Im sure this will smooth out even better with time.

This went down the hatch very easy like and I was surprised at the depth of this RIS. Im not a huge RIZZ guy, but I can appreciate the nuances of this beer. I have another bottle and it's taking a ten year dirt nap. I'll update then.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thank you to xpimptastikx for hooking me up with this. I am huge fan of the style, and am grateful for the opportunity to taste this stout for the first time.

The beer appears dark mahogany with a substantial beige head that leaves copious lacing on the tumbler. The aroma brings roast, dark fruit, malt, raisins, toffee. Nice flavor. The finish brings a healthy amount of hop bitterness. Prominent dark fruit with a strong hop presence in both the aroma and flavor. Unusual for the style and really delicious. Glad I was able to acquire some of this.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Courage Russian Imperial Stout
Wells & Young's Ltd
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.00 %

Appearance: Dark brown bordering on black. Poured into a snifter with a few inches of soapy off white froth. Leaves spotty lacing on the glass. Looks like a tasty beer.

Smell: Chocolate pudding, cake-y malt, malted milk, vinous alcohol character. There are also some roasted notes with hints of coffee.

Taste: Roasted touches and a hit of alcohol upfront, giving way to a velvety chocolate finish that is complex and delicious. Coffee flavors emerge with a woodsy, earthy hop character to provide some bitterness. Suggestions of yeast tartness, raisin fruitcake and even port wine. Ample flavors with a sizable yet well integrated strength. Exquisite.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied but surprisingly light on the feel for a beer packing as much strength and flavor. Lingering chocolate and malt flavors in a creamy eloquent finish.

Overall: A world class stout. Recently revived after several years of retirement, this Russian Imperial stout can be aged for many years with little ill affect. For the purposes of this review this bottle was aged for over a year.

Photo of afsdan
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.81/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just something to put me to bed. From a tiny 275 ml bottle from May 2011, on to the beer:

This imperial stout foamed up much more than anticipated. Black bodied as expected, with tanned colored foam that is thick and leaving lots of whispy lace going down. The aroma leans towards the charred side. There's a little fruit and licorice coming to its side.

The focus in the Courage Inmperial Stout's taste is less about the malt than I've encountered in most Imperial Stouts. Straight up cherry syrup and dribbling of bitter chocolate makes up the initial flavor. Some pine and vague star fruit pop out of their shells. That big malt body only really shows itself off in the body, which it is big and smooth, and the 10% ABV hidden well. Further time in the glass crates an overall profile that becomes more mellow and melds better, enchancing the taste score a notch.

While I was happy to try this classic, it fell just a little short of my high expectations. But it still ends up a good beer, and a good nightcap to my long day.

Photo of weeare138
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 1993 bottle from Union Jack's on the Manatawny...
Appears a syrupy dark brown, nearing black when poured into the brandy snifter. Tiny whisps of tan, soapy bubbles quickly dissapear into nothing. Large chunks of protein are left in the bottom of the nip sized bottle after a slow, careful decanted pour.
Smell is of raisins, cocoa, caramel, madeira, and port wine with perhaps a mild touch of tart, black cherries, and a splash of salty soy with molasses.
Taste is of the aromas with the raisin, and cocoa dominating the flavors and a touch of the tart cherries coming through on the finish.
Mouthfeel is warming, viscuous, relatively devoid of any carbonation, making this a smooth, after dinner sipper.
A hefty price to pay for such a rare treat...worth it.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

275ml bottle purchased from Slowbeer.

Pours a disappointingly light brown colour, only opaque due to the density of the beer in the glass. When tilted and held to the light, it's certainly a translucent weedy brown. Head is fine enough, leaving thick lacing and a solid persistent half-centimetre of off-white foam.

Nose is very odd indeed. Very crisp and bright—very oddly so. Along with some faint hints of dark grains, there are big fragrant hints of appleskin and cinnamon, and a sweetness reminiscent of fairy floss (possibly the Brett, which I believe is used in the process). There are some deep boozy hints, but they're not framed in a consistent way, leaving the sweet, anarchic brightness to take over. Hmm...

Taste is better, leaving a smooth, if lacklustre roasted sweetness along the front palate. Some mild chocolate, and a hint of coffee come through, but both rather weak, and only leaving a faint impression on the finish, which is dominated by ground earth and a lingering roasted character. The feel is smooth, but far lighter than I expected. In some ways, I'm impressed at how well the booze is hidden, but to be honest, in a beer like this, at this volume, it could stand to be far bigger.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with this. No, it's not a bad beer (in fact I can see why others love it), but it's amazingly bland for a 10% ABV beer in this style. I understand the push behind it, but it's not a particularly interesting RIS for me.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been waiting for this one to come around. Finally popped the top tonight and have another 'on age'

Pours a black/brown/ruby body. Big off brown head, tan, thick and rich. Nice lacing. Darn thing looks great

Aroma isn't unique and is very nice. Black currant, cocoa, burnt toast, leather, plum and raisin.

Taste falters a bit, partly due to the drinkability and feel. Flavors are black fruit and red plum. Leather here and there. Soft raisin and hints of melon. But there is something thin going on here. Just when I think it's going to be thick and chewy, it dissipates. Tannin on the end. Bites without a dryness. Alcohol is high. Hoping age will make this beer better than good.

Photo of smakawhat
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. Vintage May 2011.

A real big head is produced on the pour but in control. Light tan, with a creamy top, and a sort of soapy middle, but with huge staying power. Body is classic walnut dark brown, and you can not see through this thing at all.

Nose is very fruity, I'll take a sense of pear on this, but a good dose of fleshy apple as well. Hints of roast and dark cloves. Quite a unique smelling Imperial Stout, I am liking this angle.

The palate hits with classic porter roast, but it's larger and fills with lots charring carbon on the finish, with bitter milk chocolate. Feel has an interesting malt angle, with lots of thickness but flows through your palate without sticking. Fruit hits in the middle with dark berries sensing, and a warm sense of cherries and chocolate.

Overall a real impessive brew, and real enjoyable. Probably not as big or as bold as some people might like, but stands up with the rest easily, and can knock down plenty of others too.

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of wl0307
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a snifter)
Brewed may 2011
Drank summer 2012
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a deep cocoa creamy head that is thick and long lasting.

S- The char black malt aroma is rich with some dark cola notes and a slightly earthy dark graham sweetness in the finish.

T- The roasted black malt has some brewer’s licorice to it with a dark toasted malt note in the finish with just a touch of fruity ester. There is some green bitterness that comes through in the finish and a nice roasted deep flavor that lingers after each sip.

M- The medium mouthfeel has no alcohol heat and a slightly slippery texture.

O- The dark rich black malt flavor is full but lagered clean with a little bitterness and just a bit of sweetness that enhances the malt flavor. This is a classic and I loved every drop.

Photo of akorsak
3.18/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a bottle of Courage RIS brewed in 1993 and served at Kclinger's Publick House in Etters, PA.

Appearance: The stout is a dep brown/black color. There is a clearly visible flotilla of yeast in the glass. There is little, if any, head.

Smell: The stout has a deep rich chocolatey taste that has withstood the years...

Taste: ...unfortunately the taste has not. There is a definite flatness to the ale. It has lost something over the past 13 years. What I do taste (that is positive) is a nice chocolatey roast flavor that masks the 10% abv very well. I think that this have been around 2-3 years too long.

Mouthfeel: The metallic taste is a bit of a downer, but the thought of a 13 year old stout have certain romantic qualities associated with it.

Drinkability: With this ABV and price tag ($45 for a 170 mL bottle), the drinkability is tough. As I stated though, I would have loved to have tried this 2 years ago.

Photo of jdhilt
3.91/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a four-fingered light tan head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Light chocolate nose and flavor is chocolate, sweetness then burnt chocolate finish. High ABV is hidden. $7.49 for a 275ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11/25/2013

Best before 19/09/24

Bottle from BucketBoy almost two years ago. This has been sitting in my on-deck fridge for that long. I guess that fridge isn't being used as intended. Anyway, thanks! Snifter. Black with a billowing light brown head with impressive retention. Lacing forms thick sheets on the sides. Fine looking beer. Lots of chocolate and roast in the aroma, with blackstrap molasses, licorice, and a bit of coffee. Some earthy, woodsy notes as well. The flavor is quite roasty and dry with a moderate level of earthy bitterness. Strong chocolate profile with evident coffee, molasses, and licorice. The bitter/roast combo borders on acridity but just manages to avoid that pitfall. Alcohol is really well hidden. The body is full. Upper moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is chewy, sticky, and silky. A good, well balanced Russian Imperial Stout.

Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Axnjxn
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

275ml bottle into a tulip. 2012 vintage

Pours a pitch black with a big inch and a half thick, lasting beige head with terrific lacing. BIG chocolate and boozy notes on the nose as well as a lot of dark fruits, impressive! The taste isnt like a lot of american RIS', you get some chocolate but a lot of malts and a ton of dark fruits. Very flavorful and not viscous or creamy at all. The body is much lighter than i expected, i wouldnt call this full bodied. A bit light for my liking when it comes to stouts. Mild carbonation.

Overall great flavors and aromas from this one, but the body leaves something to be desired.

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Courage Imperial Russian Stout from Wells & Young's Ltd
94 out of 100 based on 747 ratings.