Courage Imperial Russian Stout - Wells & Young's Ltd

Not Rated.
Courage Imperial Russian StoutCourage Imperial Russian Stout

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

701 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 701
Reviews: 249
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 136
Gots: 139 | 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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Ratings: 701 | Reviews: 249 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pmarlowe
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brewed in May 2011. Thanks to spry for this. Tulip glass.

A: Pours black with three fingers of Coke float-ish head. Quite good retention. Leaves a few streaks of lace.

S: Dark, espresso char, some dark fruit (black cherry and blackcurrant).

T: Heavy roast, dark coffee, and a hint of cherry.

M: Medium full body, creamy, very well supported by medium light carbonation

O: Superb example of the style: big and roasty, with nice fruit to provide some complexity.

Photo of maximum12
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dlello2 for this bottle in a large-format trade involving massive quantities of beer, er, yeast samples moving through the mail. Quaint 9.3 oz. bottle poured into a miniature snifter.

Pours black with a cockamamie, stink-eye of a head that overwhelms my little glass. Stands tall for a while, if anyone cares. Has one of those noses on it that say 'Don't drink me, I'm too good smelling to go away!' The smell is classic big stout, plus. Lovely malts, sweet, nice hoppy bite, dark fruits. Melded together like a Jason Bourne roundhouse.

Courage Russian Imperial Stout is deserving of its street cred. Great dark malts dominate with only the barest crack of smoke. Rich deep chocolate of course, with a dose of bitterness that might stem from the chocolate or leaf from hops. Flashes of peat. Smooth. Smooth & creamy, almost to the level of a cream ale. Lovely to drink; this bottle is too small by a factor of six.

A beer this legendary is often a let down, but that's not the case here. This beer excels in almost every category, but is a standard bearer in the nose & mouthfeel. Excellent. Love to see this one show up locally.

Photo of shand
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 9.3oz bottle into a snifter.

This beer pours black with a fairly sizable head for the style, that quickly drops down to a decent foam on top of the brew. The aroma is rich and roasty, with toffee, dark chocolate, burnt coffee, and a nice, mineral earthy quality. The taste is also very good, it comes on strong with the coffee flavors at first, but then gives way to a great mix of fruit and roasted malt. The fruits aren't dark like in most RISes, these are bright fruits that are quite delicious and make this a unique drinking experience. The mouthfeel is lighter than the average RIS, but it works great with the fruit flavors. The drinkability is exceptional, it doesn't feel anywhere close to 10%. Overall, this is an amazing and unique imperial stout. The fruit flavors that this beer has fresh are really quite unique. I wish I had another to put away for longer.

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of jdhilt
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
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 zvanwink
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Naugled
3/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found a 2011 bottle locally and was excited at first. But after drinking it left me flat. Maybe I had a bad bottle but it was very disappointing to me. At best this is was an average RIS. Based on other reviews I plan to try this again to see if it was just my bottle.

Aroma was dominated by treacle. The head was good but had large bubbles like a soda. Body was thin and the flavor was a bit harsh with a late lingering astringency. I do drink quite a few RIS's it's one of my more favorite styles.

I found this to be average at best, but I will try again, perhaps it was a bad bottle.

Photo of FunkyFibes
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Greywulfken
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: black beer, doesn't look as thick as some Imperial stouts; with a fat dark head. Thinned and left some lace along a stout flute glass.

S: black and chocolate malts, roastedness, espresso notes,

T: semi-sweet, drying and bitter; lots of roasted malt, some smokiness and plenty of espresso. Some vanilla/molasses sweetness. Deep down, just a hint of dark fruit.

M: smooth, medium body, minimal carbonation, smooth coating, smoky aftertaste

O: what I imagine to be a fairly traditional take on the RIS: the label says, "As originally brewed in 1795 for Catherine the Great of Russia" - no wonder she was impressed. No gimmickry here - a very refined drink - a must-try for all devotees of the style and advocates of good beer.

The 2012 bottling found its way my way, and I found it a much better tasting-beer than the previous bottling I tried (2010? 2011?), and I have adjusted my review/scores accordingly. My previous bottling date had some astringency and seemed a little thin. The 2012 was a fuller and more rewarding drink - outstanding.

Photo of Mikeymcglynnigan
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of TasteTester
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Tilley4
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Score! I knew they were brewing this beer again but I'd never seen it during my travels. I was surprised to see several bottles on a shelf at Tower's in Atlanta a couple of days ago. I picked up two, one to drink now and another to throw in the cellar for a while... Let's see how this is fresh...

Dark bittersweet chocolate aromas are rolling out of the wine glass I poured this in... Huge and pungent... A nice punch of booze... Licorice and a definite sweetness that reminds me of some sort of fruit... This really smells amazing... This smells authentic to me... Old and earthy and dark and rich... Really nice...

Punch of hops right up front that quickly fades out but is followed up quickly by this earthy dark chocolate/roasted malt rush of flavor... Again, this tastes like something I would have had 100 years ago... It's rich and dark and full...Not particularly complex which is ok with me because it's delicious... I'm really glad I got to try this beer and I'm looking forward to seeing how it holds up with several years in the cellar...

A nice treat that I'm glad I got to have...

Photo of ncketchum
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Duvel tulip. Brewed in 2011. Good till 2024.

A - pours jet black, aggressively poured so resulted in massive chocolate head, hung around for quite some time, then left a fine lacing

S - molasses and roasted malt. No alcohol to speak of

T - sweet chocolate up front, followed by malt, then a significant hop character. Aftertaste is coffee with hops lingering

M - pretty thick, not too carbonated, not much alcohol burn

O - a great, unexpected find. I was told this was quite limited in this area, a nice big stout that apparently will age nicely, so I'll look for a couple more to put away for a bit.

Photo of atone315
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of TonyTalon
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of vbiliyar
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of julian89
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank on 3/22/12 two days after having my wisdom teeth removed.

Appearance: Dark brown light foam, quarter inch head with no lacing.

Smell: Coffee, pear, apricots, and raisins, all singled out in an excellent aroma. Molasses and brown sugar smell and color as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light carbonation. Weird mouthfeel due to my wisdom teeth removal.

Taste: Bitter on the front end. The taste compliments the smell quite well.

Overall: A good strong stout with excellent flavors. I will have to return when I don't have holes in my mouth from having my wisdom teeth removed.

Photo of kaelingirl
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.1/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. Brewed in May, 2011.

5.0 A: Dark brow color. Aggressive pour gave two fingers of creamy/frothy tan head. Retention is very good as it settles down to a very creamy half finger, which persists quite long. Lots of lacing. Damn fine looking.

3.0 S: Surprisingly earthy. Smells like a forest stream that someone dumped a bunch of roasted barley in. Mineral, moderate roastiness, anise, "woodzy freshness", light burnt notes, and moderate herbal hoppiness. It's not bad, it's just not what I'm fond of in an RIS.

3.0 T: Tastes as it smells for the most part. Earth tones of mineral, mountain stream, moss, burnt wood, char. Moderate roastiness, anise, a touch of smoke, and herbal hops.

3.0 M: Heavier medium body. Carbonation level is fine, but it feels strange. It's like a creaminess, but it isn't. Too hard to explain, so I won't anymore.

3.0 D: Earthy, "farmhousy" RIS. Not a big fan, but it might interest those looking for a "natural tasting RIS," whatever that means.

Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottling.

Dark brown body nearing black; opaque in the center with translucent edges. Pours with a voluminous head that takes a good 15 minutes to settle.

Heavily roasted, malt forward nose. Notes of toffee and black licorice with hints of charcoal, mineral, bittersweet chocolate. Smells nicely balanced between roasted, burnt malt flavors and sweetness.

Really nice on the palate. Roasted grain, butterscotch and toffee, dark chocolate. Slightly metallic and mineral, from the water perhaps? Licorice comes out more in the finish, leading into a combination of toffee, burnt malt and resinous hops.

I've been wanting to try this beer for years and was glad to finally see a new batch. It's very enjoyable stuff, but I wouldn't say it's worth drinking more than once at $7 for a 9.3 oz bottle.

Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bog standard pitch black with a two-finger head that parts not too long after.

Aroma is strong on alcohol with a sweet, creamy backbone. Not much else here.

Dark fruit, roasted coffee and cream stand out as the dominant flavors, followed by the alcohol itself. A bit more aging will bring out the bouquet of flavors obscured by said alcohol.

Mouthfeel again is warm from the alcohol, resulting in an unpleasant dose of carbonation.

Again, there is hope for Courage if aged for a sufficient period of time.

Photo of horshack7
4.93/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: From a 9.3oz bottle is a black abyss of darkness. On top the head is dark beige three fingers tall and very frothy. As the head thins out thick lacing is left behind.

Aroma: Large amounts of espresso, dark chocolate, with cocao undertones that carries a light bitterness. Dark fruits, very dark roasted malts as well as hops. Notes pear, minor burnt hops.

Taste: Espresso notes in the front followed by a huge rush of milk and dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is smoother than melted chocolate. Hops and malts are roasted so very dark with a floralness and bitter sweet chocolate tones. Some dark fruits with some pear notes to finish it off.

Notes: Dam this one freaking amazing almost an adreniline rush. Cheers.

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of Pat316
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Courage Imperial Russian Stout from Wells & Young's Ltd
94 out of 100 based on 701 ratings.