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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.

602 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 602
Reviews: 235
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.87%
Wants: 130
Gots: 120 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 602 | Reviews: 235 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StaveHooks


4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A little 275ml served in a snifter
2012 vintage

A - Pours the darkest of browns with a thin mocha head morphing into a thin wispy ceiling of micro bubbles.

S - Yeasty dark breads, pumpernickel, raisins, fig jam,

T - Roasted creamy malts, toasted cocoa, firm woody bitterness, brown raisin bread, roasted figs, smoked malts, molasses, cold espresso, finishes with a nirvana mix of fruit bread, caramelized brown sugar, bitter hops, espresso, anise, doughy brown bread.

M - Low carbonation, dense creamy feel, medium weighted body.

Very complex and delicious. The roast takes a backseat and lets the raw heavy malt play out with the yeast. Very raw, bold flavors delicately interweaved together. Wish it came in a bigger bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 02:20:47 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of tbryan5


4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

01-06-2013 01:34:37 | More by tbryan5
Photo of Focusf111


4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

01-05-2013 01:16:44 | More by Focusf111
Photo of tectactoe


4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Review #200! Pours a deep, jet-black color with a khaki colored head, thick and bubbly with reasonable staying power. Nose contains a powerful amount of dark chocolate and cocoa beans, roasted, nearly burnt barley, and a slight alcohol character. This beer has an incredibly body - viscous, rich, silky, creamy and chewy - everything an RIS should be. Flavors are an excellent combination of bitter cocoa beans, dark roasted coffee, sweet licorice and tobacco, heaps of roasted malt, big roasted and charred profile, a slight hint of smoke, faint nuttiness, a touch of molasses, and lots of underlying sweetness in the dark of dark fruits; dates, currants, blackberries. The hops aren't exactly vibrant in the taste, but are still necessary for their bittering element; somewhat ashy and herbal to provide a good counterbalance to the sweetness and richness of this beer. Alcohol warms and adds character without being abrasive or rough. Huge body, low-medium bout of carbonation.

Had this beer once before and it was just as great as I remembered. Makes me wonder why I don't get this more often. Truly a fine example of a Russian imperial stout done right.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2013 12:31:46 | More by tectactoe
Photo of buffs9


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

01-01-2013 01:09:53 | More by buffs9
Photo of CHADMC3


4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 No. 071562

Pours a very deep mahogany body bordering on black with yeast dancing about beneath the mocha colored, foamy tan head which very slowly cascades to a close leaving a dense lacing clinging to the glass.

Quite a unique aroma, as advertised there is certainly coffee and espresso among the roasted malt as well as fruity notes as it warms a bit. Surprisingly the fruit notes are that of peach or nectarine just as advertised. Not expected from the style.

The flavor offers robust roasted malt and espresso with a hearty smoky finish. There is also a woody hop presence mid palate and less fruit notes than the aroma, yet present nonetheless. That smokiness really comes forward as it warms as well, bordering on charred as it coats the palate, but there is also a currant or berry like sweetness that lingers at the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is robust yet silky smooth with medium carbonation and again that nice smoky finish.

This is really a great beer. Just plain tasty with abundant character all around. Different than a lot of the other RIS’s on the marketplace now.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 02:11:54 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of nathanjohnson


3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

12-29-2012 19:20:30 | More by nathanjohnson
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark chocolate with ruby highlights glisten upon the bottles exit. A staggering 3+ finger head is a frothy stud with a corkboard tint to it and a sturdy rate of retention. Sticky, meaty full lacing ont the vessel smoothers with a very good rate of coverage.

S: Roasted barley, bitter chocolate liquor with some milky creamer. Vanilla, smooth bitterness with a bit of licorice and dry barrel woodiness. Dark fruit of plums and sugary figs highlight with a moderate to good rate of awareness.

T: Flavor was smoothly silky with some smoky charred wood, burnt chocolate and vanilla. Dark fruit of plums and figs play prominently with sweet burnt grains and currant and a burnt syrupy roastedness. So smooth, silky campfire minerality with a burnt toffee sweetness, anise, sweet fennel all adding to the complexity.

M: Solid mouthful, good creamy milky bitterenss on the tongue. Nice bite of licorice on the swallow.

O: So smooth and silky, very easy drinkability despite its 10%abv which i thought drank more like a 5-6% with hardly any interference. Insanely silky goodness that i found disappearing more quickly from the glass then i like (especially since i only had one). Clearly top of class with its exceptionally smooth execution.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2012 00:38:51 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of strongaf


4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-19-2012 04:17:17 | More by strongaf
Photo of Powderhornphil


4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-18-2012 00:25:19 | More by Powderhornphil
Photo of CJS


4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-16-2012 21:02:28 | More by CJS
Photo of pkalix


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

deep, dark, thick and rich looking. no real head. wasnt sure if i was supposed to pour in the espresso-looking yeasty stuff on the bottom.
smells deep and dark and musty. cant wait to taste this....
tastes dark and roasty. not bad for the 10% abv, or for a russian stout. has that 'samiclause' kind of twist to it. kind of heavy, but that is expected. actually, almost a little sweet.... and definitely not experiencing the 'pear' the other guy boasts of.
overall, eh.... darn good for the style, but the style is a difficult one for me to appreciate although i continue to try it. i love trying the higher abv brews and i do like the differences. i like the beer but i need to change it up a little after one of these. maybe a couple of these in succession with a good bourbon would be in order . . . . . i give it a 4.5 overall because i believe it's a great product, a nice taste for the style and the abv, and i like the flavor i'm getting from it.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 02:07:04 | More by pkalix
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

275ml bottle poured into tulip 30/11/12 bottle #6255 2012 vintage from notes

A shes pretty dark alright both the liquid and the foam, the head lasts for few sips leaving a little soapy lace

S dark roasted espresso with some bakers chocolate and licorice, faint fruity notes but I'm not getting the pear the bottle suggests but I do get some of the smokey notes and just a little booze

T the flavors similar to the nose but the intensity of the dark roast is upped a fair bit, some char and more smoke with even stronger espresso and I get some faint creme brulee and even some earthy hops shine through, its pretty intense and I'm loving it

M feels solid, well not quite solid but its pretty thick liquid, a little slick with some faint heat and an aftertaste I'll be enjoying tomorrow at this rate, very nice

O this ones a hit, rich and dark with no real flaws anywhere, just a little booze here and there but that's to be expected in a fresh 10% RIS

for 5 bucks I'm going to throw a few away for aging, strange the bottle says it can be kept for up to 13 years, seems random and unlucky

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 06:11:06 | More by wordemupg
Photo of voltson

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-13-2012 03:24:51 | More by voltson
Photo of jk3

New York

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

12-09-2012 21:14:26 | More by jk3
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 275 ml bottle, 2012, into a snifter. The pour is inky black, light tan head. The aroma is more fruity than expected, notes of coffee and chocolate. The flavor is rich with chocolate, coffee, and some fruity notes. The finish lingers with a mix of chocolate and fruit. The beer is smooth, light carbonation, no dicernable booze. Interesting beer, IMO it should improve with some age on it.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 14:07:33 | More by bonkers
Photo of Travcofarms


5/5  rDev +18.2%

12-07-2012 15:39:47 | More by Travcofarms
Photo of nickfl


4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a healthy head of off white foam that receedes slowly and leaves nice, thick lace. The liquid comes out of the bottle a clear, reddish brown, but fills the glass with an opaque, black body.

S - Roasty malt with lots of caramel and dark fruit.

T - dark chocolate up front with candied cherries and figs. Some orange and more dark chocolate in the middle with a finish of licorice, mint, anise, and light char.

M - Medium thick body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Nicely made, it has a really nice balance of dark fruit and chocolate malt with almost no coffee like roasted character. Spicy and very seasonally appropriate for winter.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2012 04:48:34 | More by nickfl
Photo of kylehay2004


4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2012 04:44:40 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of andant

New York

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-06-2012 01:43:32 | More by andant
Photo of rarbring


4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A brown and black colored beer. A high tan head with good lacing and good curtains.

Smelling of sweet dark bread, dates and figs, dark coffee and chocolate.

Tasting of sweet bread, grown sugar, dark coffee and grape-fruit zest.

Medium carbonation, a soft and sticky texture. A big body with a very dry finish.

Crammed with lots of taste. Not bad at all :)

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 21:33:38 | More by rarbring
Photo of Jimmys


4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle into chalice. No. 116846.

A: definitely dark brown. not quite black. brown head. retention and lacing are average/below average.

S: tobacco. licorice, but on the mild side. chocolate nibs. black cherries. sweet dry powdered chocolate.

T: dried tobacco leaves. dried salami. brown sugar. more leaves. there is a serious meatiness to the otherwise dry body. good shit.

M: moderate amount of carb on a full body of flavor.

D: nice to have an english version of a style that has become highly americanized. dry while managing to have plenty of flavor. a very enjoyable RIS.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 05:08:07 | More by Jimmys
Photo of bark


3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour is pitch black, the liquid might be clear. Or hazy. I don’t know as the liquid is totally bloody black. There is quit a lot of yeast in the bottle, though. The finger thick head is warm brown, it sinks slowly leaving no lacing.

The smell got notes of liquorice, dark chocolate, Irish whiskey and alcohol. It is smooth and a bit sharp at the same time.

The taste is very much the same: Raw and smooth at the same time. Lots of sharp alcohol, some solvents. But also smooth delicate notes of fine milk chocolate, plums in Madeira, coffee and sweet liquorice. Full body. The aftertaste got lots of warming alcohol, some cocoa and distinct notes of black coffee. The long finish got some notes of dried fruits and salt liquorice.

The carbonation is smooth, the bubbles few and small. The liquid is quite light and semi-smooth.

This one is way too young now. I have tasted an 18 year old bottle of Courage Russian Imperial Stout from 1993, and that was a much more interesting experience. I really hope this one will age as well as the previous vintages.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 21:10:12 | More by bark
Photo of ScottP

New Hampshire

4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

11-26-2012 23:51:46 | More by ScottP
Photo of kevgod


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

11-21-2012 02:05:48 | More by kevgod
Courage Imperial Russian Stout from Wells & Young's Ltd
94 out of 100 based on 602 ratings.