Courage Imperial Russian Stout | Wells & Young's Ltd

Courage Imperial Russian StoutCourage Imperial Russian Stout
BA SCORE
92.2%
Liked This Beer
4.24 w/ 926 ratings
Courage Imperial Russian StoutCourage Imperial Russian Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Wells & Young's Ltd
England, United Kingdom
wellsandyoungs.co.uk

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rastaman on 02-11-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#898
Reviews:
305
Ratings:
926
Liked:
854
Avg:
4.24/5
pDev:
10.38%
Alströms:
4.47
 
 
Wants:
183
Gots:
195
Trade:
13
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 926 |  Reviews: 305
Photo of ZEB89
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Slatetank
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I enjoyed this in a snifter chilled purchased from Half Time.

The color is dark mocha with thin sandstone cap with ultra fine bead with webbing of lace sticking to the glass and retention is very good. The smell is dark chocolate, molasses, plum, currant, prune and light biscuit odors with a mild toffee and vinous element. The feel is great with slight fruit tinge and dark toasted texture with moderate bitterness and carbonation with sublte sweet edge and semi-dry finish with alcohol well hidden.

This taste is familiar yet fresh with dark currant flavors and subtle dark sugar and molasses taste with some vinous and sweet toffee flavors side by side with slight toasted malt, cocoa and a pine-like hop echo with mild dark cocoa essence and very light alcohol. The great thing about this russian imperial stout is how drinkable it is. I have tried the original courage and this bottle which is over 2 years old still has a vibrant fresh taste even though it has some age. I love how the yeast fruitiness mixes with the rich malt and the alcohol does not even really makes an appearance til it nears cellar temp. I love this and would recommend it to anyone interested in a traditional Imperial Stout

 1,210 characters

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.

 596 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

275 mL bottle poured into a CCB snifter. May 2011.

Appearance - Pours a sedimenty black with an ample head. I chose this glass because I thought it would all fit. Barely does. Retains magnificently with lacing all over.

Smell - This is what an RIS should smell like. Chocolate roast. Booze, but appropriate to the style. Bitter coffee that is amplified by a grassy hop aroma.

Taste - Maybe not as good as the nose. The hops are dominant throughout, masking some of the malt complexities. Chocolate is secondary to a deep coffee roasted malt flavor. Finishes quite bitter, as I would expect. Unlike many American RIS's, the hops are purely bittering, but the flavor is still pretty extreme.

Mouthfeel - Just a touch abrasive from the bitterness. 275 mL is a good serving size for this. As it warms, it gets more hoppy and bitter. The carbonation is remarkably high, which makes it seem even more abrasive.

Overall - Wonderful example of the style. Surprised to find a true English RIS exhibiting such American characteristics. Maybe I'm just confused as to what I should be expecting. It's extremely hoppy, but on the bittering end at least. I'd go for it a little more if it weren't as palate-crushing, but I suppose it needs all of those hops to survive the long journey to Catherine the Great.

 1,300 characters

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

Pours black in color with a finger or two of khaki head. Nice dark fruit aromas which offset the roasted malt aroma. Dark chocolate, plenty of coffee, and a hint of licorice. Some nice burnt sugar notes and just a touch of smoke. The flavor is fairly sweet, but still a good roast and coffee character. Some dark chocolate, a touch of toasted nuts, molasses, mild licorice, and some dark fruit sweetness. A well balanced Imperial Stout.

 436 characters

Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of PA-Michigander
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in my swanky new Sweetwater snifter.

Nice to hold some brewing history in my hands, even if it isn't from the original re-brewers (read: not Wells/Young). It pours a straight onyx topped by a tall finger of dusty tan foam. The nose comprises dark chocolate, roasted malts, light molasses, and a touch of darkly-roasted coffee. Pretty dern British, so to speak (as far as stouts go). The taste brings in more of the same, with a touch of clove lying near the bottom of things. The body is a light-feeling medium, with a light carbonation and a creamy, smooth feel. Overall, this is a great-tasting stout that drinks way the hell too easily for anyone's own good. If this is anything like the older stuff, I will work my ass off to get a vintage bottle...

 761 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 560 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed in 1975 sampled in 2008 at the ripe old age of 33 this is officially the oldest beverage that I have knowingly sampled.

Bottle opened with a nice hiss and poured a solid black with a smallish tan/brown head that lasted forever. I'm really surprised the carbonation has held up so well all these years.
Aroma is heavy with wine/port like smells. A slight chocolate and some band aid in there too. Taste is port or sherry, salty with a bitter aftertaste that doesn't quit. Quite a unique experience. This beer has stood up well, but was obviously better years ago. Definitely a sipper.

 591 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of stakem
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Vintage 1993 and 2012 consumed side by side. Rating reflects an approximate average of the 2 drastically different beers. The '93 I was in love with, the 2012 is a wretched mess.


1993 nip bottle appears pitch black in color with no head formation. A rough pour yields scant large bubbles.

The aroma is vinous with chocolate soy and earth with mild tobacco. As it breathes it has suggestions of oak and a spiciness almost like cedar/burning incense.

The taste is brett forward and tart with tobacco, earth, chocolate and lingering vinous almost port flavors that dries out to faint oakiness and leather in the finish.

This is light in body, still and boozy yet exceptional.

-------
2012 bottle

The brew appears black in color with a mocha head that fades leaving a full wall of spotty lace.

The aroma is meaty with minerals and faded herbal hops and a slight raisony aspect.

The taste also includes raison, neutral alcohol and a meaty almost mineral laden character with a chemical aftertaste.

This is medium to fuller in body with modest carbonation. At 5 years in the bottle, i should have waited longer, as I did not dig this so much.

 1,147 characters

Photo of InspectorBob
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of chippo33
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of dvmin98
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage sitting on the shelf. Color is deep brown. Smell is very mild oxidation. Roasted malts. Flavor has just a touch of oxidation. Get the roasted malts and some really good chocolate notes on the back end. Overall, I really enjoyed this and having a 5 year old bottle of beer that I didnt have to age, found on the shelf for $4 is a good deal

 357 characters

Photo of rolltide8425
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of imbibehour
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

 1,017 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You kind of have to take this one for what it is, and not what you'd want it to be (present day). There is something about this beer that definitely strikes me as an old world version of the style. Which makes sense, since this is an older recipe and basically what they were going for. Intense in its own way, but of course nowhere near a Dark Lord or anything like that. An interesting ris worth trying out to see what it used to be like.

 440 characters

Photo of IrishColonial
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

11.2 (I think?) oz bottle poured into my tulip. Really excited that I have a bottle of this legendary brew. Not sure of the vintage, but I know it's newer, probably this year.

Pours a very dark black, basically opaque. Not much light getting through this one. Nice, dark brown head forms, and lasts for a good while.

Smells awesome. Bitter chocolate, roastiness, vanilla, slight bit of hoppiness.

I wish I could taste this over and over again. So sad I only got one bottle. Tons of chocolate and, some tobacco, bit of vanilla, maybe some coffee bitterness, slight alcohol twang, slightly smokey. This one has so much going on. I love it!

Low carbonation, very creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Goes down very easy for the ABV.

A historic, legendary brew that lives up to the hype. I hope to see this again, and I hope to try some aged versions at some point.

 858 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Courage Imperial Russian Stout from Wells & Young's Ltd
Beer rating: 92.2% out of 100 with 926 ratings
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