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Courage Imperial Russian Stout - Wells & Young's Ltd

Not Rated.
Courage Imperial Russian StoutCourage Imperial Russian Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

679 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 679
Reviews: 246
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 136
Gots: 135 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Courage Imperial Russian Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 679 | Reviews: 246 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hoppymcgee
4/5  rDev -5.7%

hoppymcgee, Jun 17, 2013
Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev -5.7%

megamass, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

dmorgan310, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of JLapadura
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

JLapadura, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

TheBeerAlmanac, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of snglmltrblnd84
5/5  rDev +17.9%

snglmltrblnd84, Jun 05, 2013
Photo of WynnO
5/5  rDev +17.9%

WynnO, Jun 04, 2013
Photo of MJSJr
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

MJSJr, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of Chrixsus
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Chrixsus, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of HumphreyLee
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

HumphreyLee, May 31, 2013
Photo of DanGeo
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

DanGeo, May 29, 2013
Photo of SpruceMoose
4.61/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As always, it's stout time. After hearing about this little ditty on the grapevine (and I do emphasise the 'little'; the bottle's only 275ml!), I decided to pick up three bottles of Courage's allegedly stellar effort in stout brewing; one to savour and review, and two to cellar for approximately 10 to 13 years (which the bottle boastfully states it's capable of). I went into this review with pleasant memories of the Director's Ale, and fortunately my expectations were matched. "As originally brewed in 1795 for Catherine the Great of Russia", the bottle states with pride. If we are to accept this statement, it would become obvious that Cathy had some bloody brilliant taste in beer.

Serving type: 275ml bottle poured gently into a 330ml Zwyiec glass.

Appearance: The body itself is incredibly opaque - holding it up to the light yields absolutely no brightness whatsoever, and this density is further highlighted by the tan head which does not hang around for very long. Oh well, suppose it is an imperial stout after all.

Smell: Hints of plum, caramel, chocolate, chicory, coffee and those ever-so-characteristic roasted malts waft up towards the senses. The smell is strong yet not overwhelming. Magical.

Taste: The taste compliments the smell almost flawlessly, with less coffee and more of a plum, caramel and even nut flavour sitting on the tongue. Despite CRIS' 10% ABV strength (once again, it is an imperial stout after all), the alcohol does not leave a burn or even taste in the mouth; the delicate balance of flavours masks it flawlessly.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy and hearty. Classic stout body. Carbonation is very light (must I say it again? It's a bloody imperial stout after all!).

Overall: Courage's fine effort at a warm, hearty stout certainly lived up to the hype I had witnessed. This beer, whilst packaged in a peculiarly small bottle, contains all the character one would expect from a large 750ml bottle. This is imperial stout at its most unique, balanced and flavorsome. It could potentially even reach the dizzy heights of five-dom after a few years of maturation.

SpruceMoose, May 22, 2013
Photo of pin
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

pin, May 21, 2013
Photo of Slatetank
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I enjoyed this in a snifter chilled purchased from Half Time.

The color is dark mocha with thin sandstone cap with ultra fine bead with webbing of lace sticking to the glass and retention is very good. The smell is dark chocolate, molasses, plum, currant, prune and light biscuit odors with a mild toffee and vinous element. The feel is great with slight fruit tinge and dark toasted texture with moderate bitterness and carbonation with sublte sweet edge and semi-dry finish with alcohol well hidden.

This taste is familiar yet fresh with dark currant flavors and subtle dark sugar and molasses taste with some vinous and sweet toffee flavors side by side with slight toasted malt, cocoa and a pine-like hop echo with mild dark cocoa essence and very light alcohol. The great thing about this russian imperial stout is how drinkable it is. I have tried the original courage and this bottle which is over 2 years old still has a vibrant fresh taste even though it has some age. I love how the yeast fruitiness mixes with the rich malt and the alcohol does not even really makes an appearance til it nears cellar temp. I love this and would recommend it to anyone interested in a traditional Imperial Stout

Slatetank, May 20, 2013
Photo of 2GOOFY
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

2GOOFY, May 20, 2013
Photo of Absolut
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Absolut, May 14, 2013
Photo of SSEngelbrecht
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

SSEngelbrecht, May 11, 2013
Photo of ewhugh
4/5  rDev -5.7%

ewhugh, May 09, 2013
Photo of cdmillard
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

cdmillard, May 05, 2013
Photo of juanbon
4/5  rDev -5.7%

juanbon, May 03, 2013
Photo of His_Royal_Hoppiness
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

His_Royal_Hoppiness, May 02, 2013
Photo of MrKennedy
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

275ml bottle from Cellarbrations Carlisle, into a Lost Abbey Teku.

Matt black appearance with a lovely tan had that looks more rich the more you swirl it. Great foam retention and a lovely distinction between the black base and the tan foam.

Smells of milk chocolate backed with some licorice and a touch of roasted malt. Basic, but well integrated and really well done.

Licorice and chocolate, pretty much how i remember it from a year ago, just with the chocolate a touch more noted, balancing it out a bit more. I recall this being a licorice bomb 12 months ago.

Bitterness from the licorice upfront and turns smooth mid-palate. Finishes full but with some bitterness to keep you coming back.

Enjoyed this more after a year or so of holding onto it. Less licorice dominated and more integrated with the chocolate. A lovely beer that is fun to drink and something i need to remind myself never to pass up when i see it in the shops. Exudes quality. Good value, even taking into account the smaller bottle size.

MrKennedy, May 02, 2013
Photo of jealmanzar
4.75/5  rDev +12%

jealmanzar, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of Sarlacc83
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

275mL bottle from By the Bottle. May 2011 bottle date.

A: Pure ink black with a dense creme head. Pour is quicker than I might expect. Legs are noticeable.

N: Intense, smoke, leather, and tobacco. Prunes and raisins and rye bread. Very peppery. Dense and rich with a notable essence of dark fruits. Hops show up with the earth and peppercorn.

T: Bitter hops and baker's chocolate dryness. Very very spicy in a black pepper way. Very much in the vein of the hopped-up stout.

M: Oily and medium heavy body. Very prickly. Could use some more heft, but the alcohol is well-hidden.

O: really good stuff. It's well balanced and deft of hand. I want to buy more and age it for the long haul.

Sarlacc83, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of slimntubbs
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

slimntubbs, Apr 28, 2013
Courage Imperial Russian Stout from Wells & Young's Ltd
95 out of 100 based on 679 ratings.