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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
94
outstanding

639 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 639
Reviews: 241
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 138
Gots: 125 | 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:
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: 639 | Reviews: 241 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pisano
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

pisano, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of bleedsblu
4/5  rDev -5.7%

bleedsblu, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of bens0n
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

bens0n, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of JohnBender
4/5  rDev -5.7%

JohnBender, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of siege06nd
3.45/5  rDev -18.6%

A. Trying to think of another way to say "black" as this is exactly what this looks like...you know, just like every other Russian Imperial Stout out there. A finger of white sand colored head slowly settles to a half finger. The head is surprisingly tight, consistent, and creamy. The lacing is similarly so.

S. Fudge, coffee, hints of smoke and anise, even some mild pine needle aromas from the hops.

T. Baking chocolate, crispy brownie edges, coffee grounds. A big, dry, ashy finish, which is equal parts smoke-infused cacao as it is cigar.

M. Somewhat high in carb for the style. The finish is also way too dry, dominating the rest of the flavors.

O. This is alright. Probably truer to the style from hundreds of years ago, but things evolve for a reason and the modern RIS has made this obsolete. Plenty of nice chocolate notes here, but the ashtray flavors dominate on the finish and leave a bad taste in the mouth. This is just OK...nothing more.

siege06nd, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of Ozzylizard
3.19/5  rDev -24.8%

2013 vintage dates 02/09/26 at 45 degrees into snifter
Aroma of roasted malt
Head small (2 cm), light brown, creamy, quickly diminishing to 2 mm ring
Lacing poor – very small islands with small bubbles
Body black to very dark brown, opaque
Flavor starts slightly weak bitter chocolate; no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl; slowly fades away
Palate full, watery, lively carbonation

OK – this is drinkable but not desirable – if this is as originally brewed in 1795 as the label says then I don’t see how RISs became popular. It is singularly lacing in flavor other than the initial weak bitter chocolate taste. Lacing is poor, head is small, and aroma is weak. To add insult to injury, it comes in a 9.3 oz bottle – might as well by on an airplane.

Ozzylizard, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

PEIhop, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4/5  rDev -5.7%

DarthKostrizer, Jun 11, 2014
Photo of EdwardK77
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

EdwardK77, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of ImFlyerThanYou
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

ImFlyerThanYou, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of Latarnik
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Latarnik, May 29, 2014
Photo of Damian
2.8/5  rDev -34%

Drank from a 9.3 US fl.oz bottle purchased at Berman's Wines & Spirits, Lexington, MA
Brewed in May 2011
Best before see neck of bottle. 19/09/24
Served in a snifter

Thin in appearance for the style yet still rather attractive. The medium brown liquid was topped by a three-finger tall, super tight and foamy, mocha colored crown. With such an enormous head, I was anticipating the beer to be over carbonated. As the head faded, a huge wall of streaky lacing stuck in its wake. With time, the crown settled to a thick, frothy cap.

The nose was really complex and interesting. Sweet and boozy with subtle sherry-like notes. Slight oxidation. Dark fruits were apparent. Plums and raisins came through strong. Moderately smoky. Hint of tobacco. Good dose of dark chocolate. A touch of umami/soy sauce was present. Just enough to lend the beer some additional complexity.

Unlike the aroma, the flavor profile was exceptionally harsh. Dark fruits appeared briefly on the front end before boozy and ashy notes took over. The beer had an overwhelming char-like presence. Notes of soy sauce were apparent. I definitely picked up some oxidation and the tell-take "wet paper" flavor. The beer finished super hot. Dry, bitter, earthy hops were noticeable in the finish as well.

The beer was definitely lighter bodied for the style yet still creamy and smooth. A fine, spritzy effervescence turned the liquid frothy and slick on the palate.

Courage Imperial Russian Stout is a beer supposedly designed for aging, but my three-year-old bottle was a hot, acrid mess. I would love to try another vintage to see if this beer lives up to its heralded reputation.

Damian, May 28, 2014
Photo of IrishGermanAmerican
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

IrishGermanAmerican, May 28, 2014
Photo of paul_db
3.03/5  rDev -28.5%

vintage 2011 bottle

Poured out jet black with alot of head.

Once the head settled, not really a pronounced smell that would indicate what you're about to sip on.

The taste followed just that, not alot of flavor at all. Slight bitterness and a bit of malt character but i felt like i was drinking cold coffee mixed with alot of water.

This had to have been a bad bottle/batch i had.

paul_db, May 25, 2014
Photo of Svyturys30
2.45/5  rDev -42.2%

This was the first stout that I had ever had. The bottle was 49,096 of 210,000. I didn't really know what to expect when having this stout.

A- Stereotypical stout, dark brown, black.

S- I picked up a hint of cocoa but then the rest of the smell was overpowered by the stoutish smell.

T- I was not a fan of the taste. First taste was alright, but the rest tasted like tree bark. I couldn't finish the bottle.

M- I thought that feel of the beer was alright, just tasted bad.

O- I personally would not recommend this beer to anyone unless they were a stout buff. I don't know a lot about them, so I can't offer a lot of advice, just my opinion.

Cheers!

Svyturys30, May 23, 2014
Photo of sendbeer
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

sendbeer, May 23, 2014
Photo of MickeyHops
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

MickeyHops, May 21, 2014
Photo of puboflyons
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%

From the 275 ml. bottle no. 046168 of 210,000. Sampled on May 20, 2014.

The pour is as black as night but as it slowly leaves the bottle there seems to be a growing cloudiness in the look. Modest tan head that fades.

The dark burnt malt and espresso aromas really tingle the nose along with some meaty fruits and mild to medium bitterness. No booze of note.

The body is full and bold just like the nose.

The dark burnt malts kick in on the taste upon first sip and then the espresso, chocolate notes follow. Then the pear-like meaty fruitiness expresses itself and bringing up the rear is a dry but acrid bitterness. Form 10% ABV the alcohol is well masked. I wish I had more than one of these to drink. It has a 2016 expiration date so I bet it ages beautifully.

puboflyons, May 20, 2014
Photo of Skunkdrool
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Skunkdrool, May 20, 2014
Photo of MrDave
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

MrDave, May 20, 2014
Photo of joeseppy
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%

Extremely dark brown with obvious sediment. Wafer thin beige head and a nice wispiness throughout.

Aromas leading of molasses and figgy pudding. Later turning into prune juice and raisins almost like a mincemeat pie. Dark chocolate and burnt sugars.

Tastes of molasses and more dark chocolate covered raisins maybe chocolate covered blueberries with the tartness that is everso evident. Dark sugars, fruit and cocoa qualities.

Mouthfeel has sufficient carbonated coverage. Medium body and cocoa powder dryness. Some sugar stickiness.

First bottle of liquid of liquid Courage I've tried. Imperial made for the Tsars of olde. Very delicious and should not be passed on if you have the chance.

joeseppy, May 19, 2014
Photo of StoneTSR
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%

APPEARANCE: Nope. No light is getting through this beer...it's just black. On top of that motor oil-like beer sits a solid, light beige head. In the three minutes since I've poured this beer it has probably faded from a full finger to about three quarters of one. Excellent retention with very strong lacing as well...in fact, the lacing is gorgeous; nice, heavy layers cover the whole back of the glass. As good as it gets for an Imperial Stout.

SMELL: A light, chocolatey, coffee aroma wafts up from that impressive head. Some bitter hop smells lurk beneath, but they are just barely detectable.

TASTE: This is a very different type of RIS. Yes the coffee/espresso flavor is there, along with a touch of dark chocolate. Where it gets a little different is the slight tart, fruit flavor at the finish. It's almost a tart apple, but not quite...and just a touch. The finish is a little roasty, but pretty clean for a Russian Imperial Stout.

MOUTHFEEL: This is a velvety, smooth beer that goes from pleasantly sweet at the start to a nice, dry finish. The body is big, but not overwhelming. Very well put together.

OVERALL: It's a shame we don't see this beer more often in Colorado, but it truly is a wonderful Russian Imperial Stout. The intensity of the fruit and the subtle hint of tartness serve to set this beer apart from the rest. It may not be the Russian Imperial Stout I'm used to, but it is undoubtedly delicious.

StoneTSR, May 14, 2014
Photo of jimmygord
4/5  rDev -5.7%

jimmygord, May 09, 2014
Photo of brandon911
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

brandon911, May 08, 2014
Photo of mmars010
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

mmars010, May 07, 2014
Courage Imperial Russian Stout from Wells & Young's Ltd
94 out of 100 based on 639 ratings.