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Courage Russian Imperial Stout (- 2003)

Formerly brewed at John Smiths (Heineken UK)
Style: Imperial Stout
Tadcaster, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 259   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.84/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
Note: This beer is retired and new bottles should not be rated here but instead under the Wells and Young or Thornbridge entry. Bottle conditioned. Appeared in the cask at GBBF in 2003 after being brewed in a secret location in Scotland. Last known brewery for the bottled product is John Smith’s Tadcaster brewery.
Ingredients: Pale, Amber, Black and Pilsner malts; 16% sugar; caramel; Target hops - 25lb per barrel.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
The_Osprey (4236) - Richmond, Greater London, ENGLAND - NOV 29, 2015
Bottle shared at Paul’s 10K tasting. No ABV stated. This 1977 vintage was brewed by "Courage Limited" rather than the brewer currently stated. Black, decent foamy tan head, dotted lacing. Aroma is meaty, wet dog, cheddar and dark chocolate. Aged, and not that inviting. Body is medium, smooth, rounded. Taste is earthy, chocolate, plastic, rubber, woody and slightly sour. A complex flavour. Nice, and still drinkable after all this time. Has always been a big want, and was very interesting to dry - didn’t disappoint.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
teorn88 (4738) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - NOV 26, 2015
Bottle shared at Paul’s 10k tasting in London. Many many thanks to Danny for the vintage (1977) tick. It pours a dark brown color with a small beige head. Aroma is lightly dusty malty sweet dark fruits. Taste is light sweet boozy with cherries and cardboard. Rum cherries and booze. Medium to light bodied with soft carbonation. Overall, ok

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Leighton (15396) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - NOV 26, 2015
Bottle shared during Scopey’s 10k - many thanks to Daniel. Vintage 1977. Pours deep brown-black with a creamy tan head. The aroma holds charred wood, scorched earth, iodine. Medium sweet flavor with nice meaty chocolate character, roast, prunes, raisins, plums. Medium to full bodied with fine carbonation. Ashy roast in the finish, bitter charcoal, baking cocoa, scorched earth, leathery dark fruits, berries. Excellent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Scopey (10041) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - NOV 26, 2015
Bottle big thanks to Dirty Danny at my 10K tasting. It pours pretty much black with a decent tan head. The nose is rich, umami, must, sweet dark fruit, fruit cake, dark chocolate, risen chocolate chew, marmite and light oxidised notes. The taste is rich, oily, bitter roast, dark chocolate, umami, chewiness, light ash, some oxidised notes, salted caramel, liquorice and marmite with a dry, rich finish. Medium body and fine carbonation. Has aged pretty well actually. Not bad.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Theydon_Bois (14337) - Tourist Town (West), Berkshire, ENGLAND - NOV 26, 2015
Bottle split at Scopey 10K, thanks to Daniel, 1977 vintage, 26/11/15. Light black with a decent tan covering, appearance has held up well. Nose is soy sauce, chocolate fondue, caramel, light cheese, musty dark fruit rinds. Taste comprises light cocoa powder, spice, umami, touch of soy, dark fruits, earthy, malt, fruit cake. Medium bodied, fine carbonation, drying close with a touch of alcohol. Decent for age.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Stuu666 (7829) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - OCT 17, 2015
Bottle at craig’s, 1976 version. Pours black, nose is chocolate, soy sauce, wood, taste is sweet, chocolate, toffee, light smoke, soy.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
geovanicalixto (25) - Fortaleza, BRAZIL - APR 14, 2015
Aroma adocicado. Coloração escura com espuma amarronzada persistente. Dulçor predominante no início com leve tom cítrico e baixa carbonatação. Seguido por tabaco e leve nota de chocolate. Intenso gosto alcoólico final com retrogosto de café torrado.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
Brodies_Best (264) - Auckland Central, NEW ZEALAND - DEC 14, 2014
Pours dark brown with tan head. Aroma is sweet, like prunes yes, musty. Taste is well balanced and yes more prunes. Sweet with a bitter kick then the alcohol really hits the back of the throat. Chocolate and prune aftertaste

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Alengrin (3685) - BELGIUM - NOV 16, 2014
UPDATED: APR 20, 2015 The archetypical imperial stout and in that sense one of those beers I can only show a deep respect for. Even the label looks as if it comes straight from the 19th century and breathes the kind of nobility worthy of the Russian czars. Only tasted as old beer, at 21 years of age in the Kulminator (1983 vintage) and recently at 31 years of age (same vintage), thanks to former Hopduvel pioneer Toon Denooze who was generous enough to share one of his last private bottles with me (in fact Kulminator originally bought their stock from him). It still showed a thin beige head after 21 years, but the 31 year old version had no head at all anymore - which is perfectly natural for a beer that old, of course. Colour is ink black, with a brownish hue only visible under bright light and only at the edges. Dense, very strong and noble aroma, molasses, bitter chocolate, coffee, dried banana, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, walnuts... Very thick and oily mouthfeel, very vinous, with a very intense and condensated taste profile, thick roasted bitterness, molasses, chocolate, caramel, and the typical soy sauce saltiness one finds in very old, heavy, dark beers; finish of roasted bitterness, very dense and fat, lasting for a long time and supported by brandy-like alcohol. Very intense beer, still kicking ass at its Methusalem age. It is not hard to see how this has inspired so many others. I need to get me a bottle of that new version... But if you are into old beers and are still able to find this, do not hesitate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
markas101 (2089) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - NOV 14, 2014
27.5 cl bottle, Calgary, AB, Canada. Deep brown, dark beige head. Licorice and molasses aroma. Smooth, sweet, slightly bitter, chocolate, prune and alcohol finish. Quite nice.

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