Courage Imperial Russian Stout
Eagle Brewery

Courage Imperial Russian StoutCourage Imperial Russian Stout
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Eagle Brewery
England, United Kingdom
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #141
Ranked #2,191
4.24 | pDev: 10.61%
Jan 01, 2023
Feb 11, 2002
Courage Imperial Russian StoutCourage Imperial Russian Stout
Notes: None
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Photo of Rug
Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

3.96/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
1993 vintage

Happy New Year BA!! This beer is officially 30 years old, and I can’t think of a better occasion to crack it open. I picked this one up from OEC in late 2021 who had been cellaring it since 2004, so even for being 30 years old it’s probably kept in pretty good condition over the years. Let’s see how the oldest beer I’ve ever had is

Pours still and slightly cloudy dark reddish brown, no head or lacing to be found

Honestly on smell alone, you could tell me this is only about 15 years old and I’d believe you. Definitely oxidized, but I was expecting much worse. I’m picking up on aromas of prune, burnt caramel, port wine, cacao nib, black licorice, molasses, acrid coffee, and a touch of soy sauce

It definitely shows its age much more in taste, but it's honestly better than I expected going into it and is still just as enjoyable as the aroma suggested. On the front end of the sip I'm tasting black cherry, oxidized sherry, caramel, light coffee, fig, and molasses. The swallow brings notes of black cherry, port wine, soy sauce, molasses, acrid coffee, cocoa powder, light prune, and burnt caramel

A medium body and no carbonation results in a watery yet boozy beer. Finishes mostly dry with a significant roast

I'm genuinely shocked at how much I find myself enjoying this one. I picked it up out of sheer curiosity, having a beer older than myself just seemed like a novel idea. Obviously it's well past its prime, but it still held up nicely after 30 years
Jan 01, 2023
Rated: 4.19 by BMBCLT from South Carolina

Nov 10, 2022
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Reviewed by StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2012 vintage

Dark espresso, burnt black coffee, dark toffee, baking chocolate, black licorice, soy sauce, dark fruits, fig, prune, pear skin, cigar leaf, with mild earthy hops. Feels medium bodied, smooth carbonation. Overall a nice English imperial stout.
Nov 01, 2022
Rated: 4.49 by BeardedWalrus from North Carolina

Aug 27, 2022
Rated: 4.35 by Hawkfish from Washington

Jun 05, 2022
Photo of trevormajor
Reviewed by trevormajor from Ohio

4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
275ML bottle, born on 8/16/2012, poured into a snifter at 55 degrees F:
L - muddy and oily with no head
S - molasses, fig, raisin
T - follows the nose, molasses, fig, raisin, leaving a sweetness on the finish
F - thick mouthfeel with no carbonation
O - great beer, at almost 10 years old the flavors are still magnificent. This is a beer that's known to age very well
Apr 07, 2022
Photo of MrOH
Reviewed by MrOH from Malta

3.59/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
2013 vintage
Inky black, no head
Aromas of chocolate, espresso, burnt sugar, prunes and raisins
Bitter chocolate, burnt sugar, prunes. Kinda like a ruby port with some dark chocolate mixed in.
Heavy bodied, next to no carbonation
I liked this beer better when I had it fresh
Apr 05, 2022
Rated: 4 by doctorgary from New York

Nov 01, 2021
Rated: 4.43 by ajdemma from New York

Oct 17, 2021
Photo of Emichaelbray
Reviewed by Emichaelbray from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
250 ml bottle 2013 vintage. Poured 10 cl into a Pilsner glass for this review. The rest I drank from the bottle, a practice men have evidently abandoned in late stage capitalist dystopia.
L: this one is attractive! Opaque black, wisps of a tan head that lasted slightly longer than a typical BA reviewer in Nicole Kidman’s bed.
S: I read the bottle. Don’t read the bottle if you have never tried a beer but might want to review it. I have my nose in this glass searching for the purported pear notes and ignoring what I do pick up. It’s sharp and rich; good cacao, roasted malt, raisins. I can smell that 10%.
T: oh this is good. More bitterness than I expected but not in a gross IPA way. More like bakers chocolate. A little coffee - dark roast, not espresso. Raisins are present but it’s not sweet.
F: never know what to say here. Not thin but definitely not the heaviness I expected. Almost zero carbonation. Smooth.
Overall: I am impressed. Added it to a Drizly order on a whim. Glad I did!
Aug 23, 2021
Photo of Sigmund
Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

3.42/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Shared 250 ml bottle, brewed by Courage 1992. ABV is 10.0%. Black colour, no head nor carbonation. Aroma of roast malts, molasses and dark dried fruits, oxidised of course, but not bad. Sweet flavour with the same elements. No acidity.
Mar 19, 2021
Rated: 4 by micada from New York

Mar 18, 2021
Photo of q33jeff
Reviewed by q33jeff from New Jersey

4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to snifter. 2012 vintage though I just picked this up a few weeks ago, so god knows where it has been.

LOOK: thick black, full look, small tan head fades quickly, but reforms admirably.
AROMA: super pungent, very nice mix of cocoa, fig, dates, prunes, roasted malt, red wine.
TASTE: roasted malt comes through more here than the dark fruit notes, but they are also present.
FEEL: super smooth, a little flat, but to be expected with an 8 year old thick stout.

Very Impressed. This is a beautiful and simple beer from a time before Pastry Stouts and Hop-Bombs, and Super Sours. not to disparage those other things too much, but you have to respect getting so much flavor and mileage from a simple recipe.

Nov 22, 2020
Photo of Manta200
Reviewed by Manta200 from Kentucky

3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Vintage double pack from Jungle Jim's. 2013 and 2012 vintage
Poured into snifter, pitch dark, no head at all.
Dominant boozy smell with coffee notes.
I am tasting dark chocolate and coffee, like it!
Aug 03, 2020
Photo of edthehead
Reviewed by edthehead from Maryland

4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
1977 Vintage. Dark medium body. Espresso, bakers chocolate, raisin. Little bit of oxidation from the years, but can definitely see its former greatness.
Jul 24, 2020
Rated: 3.88 by SadMachine from New Jersey

Jul 19, 2020
Rated: 4 by generallee from Virginia

Jun 13, 2020
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Reviewed by mothman from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2012 vintage. #066482
Tan head with some lace. Dark brown/black color.

This is a master crafted RIS. Dark chocolate, cocoa, figs, raisins, molasses, massive port notes, other dark dried fruits, caramel, bakers chocolate. Smooth, silky, easy drinking. Full bodied with a great feel. Perfect level of carbonation. I’d rather have this over pastry stouts any day. Amazed with this bottle.
May 08, 2020
Rated: 4.33 by jmbeerdude91 from Arizona

Jan 18, 2020
Rated: 4.09 by SierraFlight from Virginia

Jan 06, 2020
Rated: 4.23 by LeftHanded666 from New York

Dec 03, 2019
Rated: 4.33 by mrgeeus from Utah

Sep 07, 2019
Rated: 3.7 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Aug 19, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by mwvman from Indiana

Jul 09, 2019
Rated: 3.68 by Jamesstoops from Ohio

Apr 28, 2019
Rated: 4.38 by Thorfinn960 from Ohio

Apr 18, 2019
Rated: 4.19 by 1mrbeer from Ohio

Apr 12, 2019
Rated: 4.35 by redleg64 from Michigan

Feb 23, 2019
Rated: 4.45 by brandoneast from Texas

Dec 12, 2018
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Reviewed by jkblr from Indiana

4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
275mL bottle bb 8/16/25 (2012 vintage) poured into a snifter at fridge temp 10% ABV. The beer pours very dark brown to black in color with light brown head. There was a small head from an aggressive pour that settled to a film and thin ring quickly. There is some lacing left behind. The aroma is dark roasty coffee and dark chocolate with licorice and fruit mixed in. The taste is bittersweet, mildly ashy chocolate and roast malt that finishes with apple, pear, vague smoke and tobacco. Bitterness is medium to heavy. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with less than medium carbonation and a mostly dry finish. There is a hint of alcohol as the beer approaches room temp. Overall, very good. I would like to try this with both less and more years. The complexity is still there at 6 years old but all the flavors and aromas kind of run together. Worth a try if you enjoy the style. Original review date 11/20/18.

I thought this bottle would be younger, but with an 02/09/26 date it's around the same age at time of review. 2013 bottle. Turns out the brewery holds these bottles for 5 years before turning them loose. Purchased in a gift pack with a snifter and a 2012 bottle that will be aging for a while. Original review stands. Lovely beer. July 19, 2019.
Nov 20, 2018
Rated: 4.2 by BeerNoobNC from Georgia

Oct 18, 2018
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Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
from 2011, so about 8 years old now, definitely mature, definitely a little oxidized, but made for this kind of ageing obviously, and still doing just fine. we enjoyed this one as a night cap last night, seemed like a good evening for something old and dark and strong, now that fall has fully set in here in denver. its more brown than black in the glass, chocolate looking, a little dusty looking too, with a patchy tan head bubbling up slowly. it smells like its been in the bottle awhile, but has a classic english grain profile, the dark bitter roasted elements tamed a bit by time, and plenty of english crystal type sweetness through it for balance. the yeast is bready and timeless, and to me makes this beer, even though it isnt a central flavor agent or anything, it really brings it together, adds a cool maturity to it, and makes it special to me. lots of chocolate to it, some brown sugar and molasses too, hints of wet tobacco and licorice as well, but not overly complex, its old enough to sort of be decaying in on itself just a little, smoothed out some nuance but really a pleasant drink, no trace of its alcohol strength either after the initial vapor dissipates. im not sure i would keep this for much longer in the cellar, it seems about maxed out right now, still delicious, but i cant imagine any more time being good for it. cool beer, aged really well, a great cap on a really fun evening with new friends, and a perfect segue into fall. id like to try it fresh to compare...
Oct 12, 2018
Photo of RichardLeahy
Reviewed by RichardLeahy from Australia

4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
From 275 ml bottle into tall glass. You don't need a pint glass for this one. Pours dark and syrupy, tan head, coffee/liquorice aroma. Head fades quickly to patchy froth. Taste is blackened grain, caramel, coffee, alcohol and Vegemite (an Australian yeast extract that you spread on toast). A little less impressed on this sampling than previous, but still an iconic stout and deserves its reputation.
Sep 26, 2018
Rated: 4.45 by LarrysDeerGut from Illinois

Aug 20, 2018
Rated: 2.99 by SharkNado from Pennsylvania

Apr 25, 2018
Photo of Beersnake1
Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
1977 bottle. Poured from slightly colder than cellar temp, but allowed to warm. Slight hiss when I cracked the cap, which was surprising. Other than that, no signs of carbonation. Nose is heavy on licorice, molasses, and dark fruit. A bit of root beer and soy sauce as well, but not in an off-putting way. Taste shares some similarities with the nose, but has a distinct smokiness and burnt taste. Bitterness sticks around on the palate, and this is a burnt taste. Plenty of black licorice and some distinct soy sauce flavors. Not getting the root beer from the nose. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. Overall, I am really glad to try this 41 year old beer, and it didn't disappoint.
Mar 24, 2018
Photo of bret717
Reviewed by bret717 from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2012 Vintage

Look- pours black w/tan head

Aroma- subtle sweet chocolate, doughy bread, slightly fruity

Taste- rich, chocolate coffee followed by intense prune and roasty bitterness

Feel- full-bodied and creamy

overall- very enjoyable RIS
Mar 02, 2018
Photo of bsullivan
Reviewed by bsullivan from Connecticut

4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
1993 Vintage, 170ml bottle into white wine glass

I was skeptical of ordering a bottle from my birth year, but wow was I impressed. Poured deep dark brown, sediment stayed stuck to the bottom of the bottle for the most part. Smell and taste was overwhelmingly sherry, I would not have believed you if you told me it was in the 10/11% ABV range.
Feb 28, 2018
Rated: 4 by duceswild from Heard & McDonald Islands

Jan 28, 2018
Photo of timmy2b
Reviewed by timmy2b from New York

4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
2012 Vintage. Very dark black pour with almost no head at all. Scent is of Raisons with a subtle hint of chocolate. Raison flavor with chocolate in the aftertaste. Very mild amount of coffee as well. A little heavy and slightly boozy on the tongue. Very drinkable, but it is a sipper.
Jan 07, 2018
Courage Imperial Russian Stout from Eagle Brewery
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 974 ratings