Courage Imperial Russian Stout | Wells & Young's Ltd

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
923 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
Ratings:
923
Reviews:
303
Avg:
4.22
pDev:
10.43%
 
 
Wants:
182
Gots:
194
For Trade:
12
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 923 |  Reviews: 303
Photo of paresis
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jkhobbs99
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JamesLeung
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BeerMe8
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of DamienI
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of henchilada
4.89/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of rspauldi
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of yasky
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Kanutasan
4.79/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of MJSFS
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ilikebeer03
3.37/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle opener 9/6/16
Dark with a tan head, which disappeared quickly.
Nose is very heavy on coaco. Slight oxygenation. Sherry. Taste follows, a lot of chocolate and oxidized fruit. Raisins. Some roast comes through as it warms.

 232 characters

Photo of PDXAmbassador
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2013, tried summer 2016.

Wow I was impressed with this old timer. Tried pouring from some inches above the glass to try to get some head, as I do with US BA stouts....but that was completely unnecessary. This has most amazing head retention I've ever seen -- the foam was literally as thick as chocolate mousse, coating the tongue and lasting the whole glass. Can't imagine how they accomplished that.

Aroma of damp earth, a bit like an apple core that had been left out all day, roasted malts being mashed in the brewhouse, some espresso notes. Not much chocolate or hop aroma at this point -- maybe a hint of earthy hops left over? Somehow I continue to catch whiffs of vanilla, and if you'd told me this was barrel aged I would've believed you.

Taste is big -- defiantly more roasty than most US stouts (reminded me of HF Everett), some charcoal, licorice, a bit of sherry and umami oxidation, a very small amount of burnt caramel sweetness, bracing hop & malt derived bitterness, very little alcohol burn. Some toasted bread crust too. A complex flavor, as my list of descriptors indicates. It tastes rich but not quite sweet. Really nice. Fairly thick mouthfeel too, helped by the amazing lingering head.

Overall I very much enjoyed this stout. reminds me of US shelfies like Expedition Stout and Founders RIS...but I gotta give it to the Brits. This comes out on top.

I would love to try one of these with more age on it. Much more age, in fact. I can imagine that like JW Lees this might hit its stride around 8 years after bottling.

 1,553 characters

Photo of alcohline_trip
4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of novamat
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of FBarber
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a viscous black as night color with a thin mocha colored head. Head dissipates leaving a tan oily slick on top of the beer.

Smell is the most remarkable part of this beer. The instant I opened it I was hit with a pungent aroma of dark fruits, roasted malts and rich chocolate. The pungency was comparable to a "hop bomb" IPA. Just incredibly aromatic. Brown sugar, molasses, rich ripened stone fruits and cocoa also come through on the nose.

Taste follows the nose with a lovely array of chocolate, roasted malts, cocoa, prunes, dates, brown sugar, and molasses. on the back end you get some oaken notes, giving way to a mild earthy hop character. Provides a nice balancing bitterness on the finish. The flavor is so rich and deep that its as good an complex as any bourbon barrel aged stout.

Feel is thick and viscous yet completely drinkable. Mild carbonation. Slightly dry finish coats the mouth.

Overall this really is the standard for Russian Imperial Stouts. Just incredible. Put this on the list of beers that you must try before you die. If not for the price tag, this would be the only Russian Imperial Stout I'd ever drink again.

 1,152 characters

Photo of Abinlp
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a memorable beer. Quite expensive in the bottle, about $8 for 10 oz. Yet I've never so willingly spent that money. Its got as luxurious a mouthfeel as any beer I can think of, but its the taste that leaves you so impressed. I don't know if I can say its the best beer I've ever had, but I can't really think of more than a couple that I'd put in its league, of any style. I was a bit surprised to see it listed at 10%, as I've had maybe 5-6 bottles of this and never recall an strong alcohol note with it. Heading to the UK in November of 2016 and I intend to find this on tap there.

 591 characters

Photo of Mitchster
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$6.99 for a 9.3oz bottle at Binny's in Chicago. 2012 Vintage, No.106675. 10% ABV.
Pours out to a cloudy inky black, forming a modest espresso like head with good retention and average lacing. Carbonation is light, about 2.0 carbs or so. Nose of soy sauce, black walnuts, dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is rich, silky, dense bodied, lightly acidic, finishing lightly dry. The taste is a recap of the aroma, however there is a very interesting balance here between the roast, the hop bitterness (which is earthy, and I think absolutely perfectly balanced), prune juice, rum soaked raisins, figs, dates and soy sauce. I don't get the typical English yeast esters. No oxidation or harsh alcohols, thankfully.

A really nice Russian Imperial stout, considered by many to be the benchmark of the style. I would agrees that's its definitely up in the top 5 that I've had, however considering it's poor availability and price, I'll stick with my Founders.

 952 characters

Photo of Grackos
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of Act25
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amazing 2012 sourced in Banff Canada.

A: A single finger thick tan head on a jet black body with only modest lacing.

S: Starts with oak and raisiny dark fruit, then vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted malt.

T: Starts with inky dark chocolate, leaning on bitterness, char, roasted malts, cedar wood, vanilla, espresso, toffee. Complex, twisted, licorice, a dark winding path of flavors. Among the best for intensity

M: Intense. full body and moderate carbonation, lingering licorice feel.

Overall: Rare, full flavored, excellent balance and licorice with dark bitter chocolate.

 581 characters

Photo of LeftoverCrizack
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of unclekeith
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DucksFan16
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. Consumed 06/25/2016

34 characters

Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.51/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of akopczyk
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Courage Imperial Russian Stout from Wells & Young's Ltd
4.22 out of 5 based on 923 ratings.
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