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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

719 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 719
Reviews: 255
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 136
Gots: 147 | FT: 5
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.
View: Beers (44) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 719 | Reviews: 255 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of discdueler
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of MusicaleMike
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had the original a few years ago, the 1993 vintage, and thought I would give this re-make a chance. For the record the '93 original was delicious, if a bit oxidized, and still had some carbonation.

Pours a very dark brown, which appears black in the glass. Big, two finger thick tan head that dissipates rather quickly to thin lacing on top and that leaves streaky lacing on the glass.

Aroma is deep and complex with notes of espresso, pear, yogurt, alcohol, raisins, and nougat. Pretty bold aroma and definitely unique. Very successful and I could smell this beer all night.

The flavor is not quite as amazing but pretty decent. Roasted malts, smoky, dark alcohol soaked cherries.

Decent carbonation, pretty full body, and a somewhat boozy finish.

This may not be the same experience as the '93 that I had, but this is certainly a beer in better shape. Really liked the aroma, and I would possibly be interested in trying one of these beers many years from now.

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 bluejacket74
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

275 ml bottle, 2012 vintage, bottle #053469. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like dark fruit, dark bread, molasses, chocolate, and some coffee. The taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some woodiness, toffee, and a bit of anise noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew, and I'd like to try this again in the future.

Photo of profondo
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of IcemanCometh
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of jrohrbacher
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of iKrystin
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of cyrushire
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of imscotty
3.77/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled May, 2011

A: Poured a nice foamy head that died off after a minute, little lacing. The color is dark dark brown, I see other reviews calling it black, I don't know why. Ten Fidy is black; this beer is brown.

S: Caramel, malt, dark fruit.

T: Caramel, strong roast, coffee, malt, dark fruit. This beer has a long bitter finish. I like the bitter finish but there is a bit of an off taste at the end that I cannot quite name. I do not taste the complexity that others say is there. The alcohol is fairly well hidden.

M: Fairly well carbonated, medium mouth feel. Not very viscous or heavy.

O: I love RIS; this is not my favorite.

Note: I have had this beer fresh, this bottle has been aged for almost two years. I do not think it is benefiting from aging, I thought it tasted better fresh when it was still had some sweetness. I plan on finishing these off (I bought a case) and probably will not buy again. I see that some people have loved this beer, not sure if they are drinking the pre Wells & Young version or if I am just missing something.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of donjcarlsson
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Peyton5410
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Quackershnoc
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: this is BLACK, really dark stuff; about a finger of khaki head that looks thick and creamy and is not going anywhere
Aroma: wow, this smell great; huge malt and fruit aroma, definitely get some pear in there and maybe some others; coffee; a bit of chocolate
Taste: just wonderful; big coffee flavor up front; a little dark chocolate; pear and other fruits sneak in here; morphs into a malt bomb-strong, dark, rich, roasty/smokey; dry, malty, fruity finish that lingers awhile
Mouthfeel: thick and creamy, almost chewy; coats the whole mouth and does not let go; perfectly carbonated
Overall Impression: fantastic, this is fit for royalty; huge bold flavors; very rich, almost a meal in itself; this will keep you warm!; I love it and cannot wait to try one after it’s been in the cellar awhile

Photo of kwjd
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of avalon07
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick texture. There was a half inch of tan-colored, foamy head that lasted an average amount of time. Below average lacing.

S: A big aroma of malt, coffee, and a lot of dark fruit.

T: Tasted of coffee (a lighter amount than I expected), roasted malt, dark fruit (plums, raisins), and hint of chocolate. A complex, inviting flavor. Not as overpowering as you might expect considering the style, but still a fantastic flavor.

M: A fair amount of carbonation with a silky smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: An excellent example of a Russian Imperial Stout. Well made, subtle, and very drinkable.

Photo of StaveHooks
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of tbryan5
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Focusf111
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of tectactoe
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of buffs9
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of CHADMC3
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of nathanjohnson
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of beerthulhu
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Courage Imperial Russian Stout from Wells & Young's Ltd
94 out of 100 based on 719 ratings.