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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.

680 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 680
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 136
Gots: 136 | 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: 680 | Reviews: 247 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/08/12 notes. Shared by Huhzubendah; thanks Matthew.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one inch of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, dark fruits, and light coffee. Pretty nice and roasty.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, milk chocolate, sweet vanilla, and dark fruits. A tiny step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. A tiny bit overcarbonated, but nice.

o - Overall a very nice RIS. Very roasty and the taste has some nice vanilla to it as well. Would like to have it again.

mdfb79, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -5.7%

ygtbsm94, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of SpillyBeers
5/5  rDev +17.9%

SpillyBeers, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of admiralcrunch
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

admiralcrunch, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Huhzubendah for sharing this bottle with me. Owe you one for this.

At the time of this review, this is the #50 top Russian Imperial stout on the "Top Beers - Russian Imperial Stout" list on beeradvocate.com. Served in a snifter.

Beer is dark, black, with a big dark brown head of small and medium bubbles, decent retention, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation, it seems a little overcarbed for the style.

Aroma is sweet, nice roast, overall a mild aroma.

Beer is quite drinkable, for a 10% beer you'd never guess it, not a hint of alcohol or heat in the entire thing, medium bodied with a thinner finish, mild sweetness and bitterness on the finish, mostly from the roast. This is the re-release of this beer, as is my understanding, a very solid RIS. I enjoyed it and would have it again.

drabmuh, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thank you to xpimptastikx for hooking me up with this. I am huge fan of the style, and am grateful for the opportunity to taste this stout for the first time.

The beer appears dark mahogany with a substantial beige head that leaves copious lacing on the tumbler. The aroma brings roast, dark fruit, malt, raisins, toffee. Nice flavor. The finish brings a healthy amount of hop bitterness. Prominent dark fruit with a strong hop presence in both the aroma and flavor. Unusual for the style and really delicious. Glad I was able to acquire some of this.

Huhzubendah, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of RViator325
4/5  rDev -5.7%

RViator325, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of beergoot
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A black abyss signalling black, dried fruits over rich, roasted malts in the nose. The light brown head lingers on and on while the taste of sweet, burnt bitterness infused with a welcoming alcohol warmth satisfies the palate. Yeah, baby! This is one mean, mutha of an imperial stout.

beergoot, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of slentz
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to snifter at about 50 degrees. Brewed May 2011

A: Beer pours out a dark cola color with light penetrating the pour. Easy pour leads to a fat finger worth of beautiful mocha colored head that is very slow to dissipate. This beer looks really great in the glass. 5.0

S: Smells immediately of dark fruits, raisins, dark malts, black licorice, chocolate. Beneath it all is a hint alcohol. 4.5

T: Bitter with lot of coffee notes that are not really pronounced in the nose. The finish is quite bitter with only a hint of sweetness.

M: Mouthfeel is light and smooth. Goes down quite easy. 4.0

O: Overall a very nice beer. Looks awesome in the glass. Falls a bit short of other imperial stouts but still a very solid offering. I'd try this again but the price is kind of high at $6.50 for 9.3 oz. Definitely glad I got to try this though. 4.5

slentz, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of eric5bellies
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a deep deep Ebony colour with an off White tanned head that reatins well and laces.

S - Nice aromas of licorice, chocolate, roasted malt and toffee.

T - Bold flavours of chocolate, licorice, caramel,toffee with a nice warming finish. This is a big stout. The ABV is masterfully hidden

M - Fullish body and low carbonation. May be a littel on the thin side

O - One of the best RIS's I have tried to date, if you see it, buy two and cellar one, as it will get better with age. Awesome beer. So pleased that they decided to brew it again, It is a true classic.

eric5bellies, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of Mississipping
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours extremely dark brown with a one-finger caramel colored head that dissipates slowly leaving behind moderate lacing. 

S: Dark chocolate, roasted barley, and a touch of dark fruit.  A hint of coffee, hops, and booze in the background.

T: A lot of dark fruit (raisin and fig) with some dark chocolate up front.  Some roasted barley and a touch of booze toward the back end, but overall pretty well balanced. 

M: Thicker side of medium with a good bit of carbonation.  Smooth and creamy on the tongue.  Slightly drying at the finish as the hops shine through.

D: Very drinkable, but just a little underwhelming.  It's really neat to get to try this, but it wasn't quite as balanced as I was hoping it would be.  A bit of booze on the back end and a little sweeter than I would have liked.  Overall, though, it's a nice treat.  

Mississipping, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of drummermattie02
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

drummermattie02, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of groetman
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

groetman, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of Domingo
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pretty cool to see this being brewed again.
A deep brown-black with a lively head that stays and laces for the life of the beer. Visually, it's pretty much perfect for the style.
The flavor profile takes on the characteristics of both the US versions I've had, and the stronger European export stouts, too.
Massive roasted malts that provide just the right amount of sweetness without being cloying or overdone. A hint of vinous character from the yeast. The hops are extremely herbal in this case. Medicinal and giving off a little bit of spearmint character. There's definitely come rummy alcohol heat, too. Everything comes together in a fine package that's both unique and extremely flavorful. Like a little bit of a chocolate dessert with some rum.
A welcome bottle in my fridge, I'll be buying more for sure. I do wish the bottle was a hair bigger (since I tend to split stronger items) but that's not really a gripe about the beer itself.
Good stuff, and a very cool tradition that has returned.

Domingo, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of Caskaway
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Caskaway, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of dgugliuzza
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Black like coffee with nearly six ounces of light brown head. The head is like a cloud as it floats atop the body. Great sticky lacing along the sides.

Burst of roasted malts followed by chocolate and dark fruits. Has a toffee like sweetness that lingers in the back of the nose, but still manages to finish quite bitter.

Dark, bitter chocolate flavor followed by roasted malt. The sweetness is secondary, but is flawlessly integrated with bitter notes. Finish hot and bitter with hints of plum and fig.

Medium-thick mouthfeel with strong, prickly carbonation. A bit unusual for a stout of this magnitude. This one's a sipper as it has plenty of heat and strength.

Courage is a superb RIS. I'm grateful that it is being brewed again. It was great to try a classic that I thought I would never have the chance to. Definitely worth picking two up. One for now and one for later.

dgugliuzza, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of xpimptastikx
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - dark brown with large milk chocolate head and excellent lacing.

S - raw cacao and roasted malts.

T - chocolate covered espresso beans with a light dark fruit tone.

M - medium body and carbonation, very creamy.

O - Exactly what a RIS should be.

xpimptastikx, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of cdwil
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

cdwil, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of jegross2
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Courage Imperial Russian Stout from Wells & Young's Brewing Company. You probably best know this brewery for their flagship beer, Young's Double Chocolate Stout.
Score: 89

Unknown vintage bottle served in an oversized brandy snifter glass. Has what I presume is a "best before" date on the neck: 19/09/24.

Appearance: Pours an opaque black coffee color with brown highlights atop the glass. Pours two and a half fingers of soapy tan colored head that slowly recedes into a thin layer. Excellent lacing. 4.5/5

Smell: Huge aromas of roasted malts and dark fruits. Milk chocolate, prunes, some coffee, and alcohol. Some licorice, mocha and toffee aromas too. Smells a lot like Great Lakes Blackout Stout. 4/5

Taste: Taste follows the aroma. Dark fruits and roasted malts upfront -- figs and prunes are most prominent. Chocolate and alcohol on the mid-palate. Toffee and vanilla on the mid-palate too. Finish is chocolate, toffee and alcohol flavor. I think I detect hints of stainless steel flavor three-quarters of the way through the glass, though I may just be imagining things and confusing the boozy flavor. Honestly, this brew is a little boozy in the flavor (10.0% ABV), but pretty delicious nonetheless. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy mouthfeel. Near full bodied with moderate carbonation -- perhaps a touch too much carbonation. Finish is dry and bitter. If the beer was just a little less carbonated, it would have gotten a much higher mouthfeel rating. 3.5/5

Overall: A solid Russian Imperial Stout that could have been excellent if the booziness was throttled back. For what it is at $6.49, however, this one is a bit overpriced. This beer's best comparable is Blackout Stout, and Blackout Stout is better (and cheaper).

Recommendation: Not a good starter Russian Imperial Stout for casual beer drinkers. Beer geeks should probably enjoy this one, though the booziness is not very balanced.

Pairings: Warm chocolate cake.

Cost: $6.49 for a 9.3 oz bottle.

jegross2, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of DocBrass
4/5  rDev -5.7%

DocBrass, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

9.3 ounce bottle - $6.29 at Hop City in Atlanta, Georgia. Brewed in May 2011. "Best before see neck of bottle." 19/09/24.

Appearance: Pours a black body with a quickly growing, durable, dark tan head. Meager lacing.

Smell: Tar-scented roasted malts, spritzed with booze, dusted liberally with powdered licorice and sprinkled with dark fruit skins soothed and smoothed with mellowing notes of chocolate and mocha.

Taste: Well-roasted malts lending bold coffee, dark chocolate, fire-pit smoked plums, with some alcoholic heat wrapped within the malty flavors. Slight creosote taste, some licorice whip. Slightly tart fruitiness, helping a bit to cut through the hard roast overtones. Herbal, spicy hops, moderately bitter. Picking up some mineral-laden aspects in-between the firmer tastes. More creosote and licorice on the rear, with the bitterness and peppered alcohol accents lasting into the dry, warming, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth mouthfeel overall.

Overall: Courage, indeed.

ChainGangGuy, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of kingcrowing
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

275ml bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead tulip.

Pours a pitch black color with a small dark brown head along with some light brown lacing. Nose is sweet, chocolate and vanilla.

Taste is rich and smooth, there is a light bitter coffee bite that's there and is crisp on the finish. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Very delicious beer.

kingcrowing, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of SummitVA
4/5  rDev -5.7%

SummitVA, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of beerandcycling88
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 9oz bottle into a snifter

A Pours black with a thick frothy off white head.

S Light chocolate with a hint of cherry and coffee.

T Lots of chocolate and smoke with roasted coffee and cherry or some fruit like that.

M Lots of warming alcohol which suits this one perfectly. Medium body, and very smooth.

Overall this is a great beer and I can see why it is considered a classic. I'm glad I bought more then one as this is something I can see my self drinking on a regular basis.

beerandcycling88, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown but looks black in the glass. A large very frothy tan head tops the beer, takes up 1/3 of the pour and just refuses to recede. Light smells all around. Coffee, roasted malts, and a chalky chocolate aroma comprise the nose. First sip is much more flavorful than the weak aroma indicated. Coffee leads the charge with chocolate that again is slightly chalky. There are some black licorice, vanilla, and dark fruits present too. Very well balanced. What really stands out is the mouthfeel. It is milkshake creamy and is truly amazing. I have not read Catherine the Great’s review but I hope she appreciated it in 1795 as much as I did in 2011.

ATLbeerDog, Dec 22, 2011
Courage Imperial Russian Stout from Wells & Young's Ltd
95 out of 100 based on 680 ratings.