Brewed by Charles Wells
Style: Imperial Stout
Bedford, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 532   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85/5   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
As Originally brewed in 1795 for Catherine the Great of Russia. Enjoy now or allow to mature in the cellar.
Brewed to perfection only once a year, Courage Imperial Russian Stout enjoys a rich, espresso body with pear overtones and an intriguing fresh smokey, fruity finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
VALIS (229) - Nashua, New Hampshire, USA - MAR 28, 2013
Heavy malts and roastiness, sweet dark fruit. Has a bit of a black licorice sting, also due in part to the high ABV. A manly, robust stout... in a little baby bottle, alas.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Rando7 (778) - Iowa, USA - MAR 25, 2013
Bottle pours brown-black with one finger tan head. Aroma licorice and cocoa. Taste matches aroma with some bitterness, roasted mats. Finish a surprisingly brief and mild bitterness Full creamy palate which coats the mouth well. Well done RIS..

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
IrishBoy (4096) - Bakersfield, California, USA - MAR 17, 2013
275 ml bottle (#035221/20000) from Country Club Liquors. Nose is chocolate, a hints of tobacco and smoke, and a mild sweet caramel. Black with a medium, lightly lacing tan head. Flavor is chocolate, light sweetness, a mild bitterness, and some char.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
ronaldtheriot (1763) - Laplace, Louisiana, USA - MAR 12, 2013
Courage Russian Imperial Stout (9.3 oz. bottle) has a thick, creamy, tan head and a very dark brown appearance. When one swishes the bottom contents and pours it in, then a heavy, grayish cloud descends into the glass. Good lacing is left around the glass as well. The aroma is rich, with raisin, dark-roasted barley malt, black cherries, chocolate powder, and black bread crust. Taste is of rich, sweet malt, dark fruits, chocolate, dark-roast coffee, brown sugar, lots of bitterness, and fudge. The mouthfeel is velvety, thick, and heavy, and Courage Russian Imperial Stout finishes semi-dry, rich, and dense. Overall, this is a world-class beer, and I give it the highest endorsement! RJT

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
chinchill (4205) - South Carolina, USA - MAR 10, 2013
Small bottle served in a small nonic. Appearance: Pours hazy and dark brown with dark tan head. Meager lacing. Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits and booze, in that order. Taste: Well-roasted malts impart hints of coffee, dark chocolate and licorice. Mildly bitter. Slightly tart; a bit more than I’d prefer up front but better balance by the finish. A hint of smoke in the roasty finish. Mouthfeel: Full body. Medium carbonation. Fairly smooth. Some harshness from the 10% ABV. O: more rustic than expected, and with the high ABV more apparent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
thb (804) - Alberta, CANADA - MAR 9, 2013
Pours inky black with minimal foam. Aromas of dark chocolate, espresso, wine, dark fruits, leather, tobacco. Taste is big, bold, bitter, balanced, and delicious. Yet light and as drinkable as an imperial stout can be. Very good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DYCSoccer17 (3620) - Woodland, California, USA - MAR 6, 2013
Smallish bottle purchased at The Davis Beer Shoppe. Best by 8/25/16. Number 040821. 2012 Vintage. The aroma on this starts with a charred, burnt character with some unsweetened cocoa powder as well. There is also a vinousness here. Not much in the way of sweetness. Light metal. Perfectly opaque black body with a medium, strong, tan head that leaves great lacing. Beautiful. Starts with a dry, woodiness, before this becomes a little roasted and slightly burnt in the middle. Malts are nicely-attenuated. Finish has some leathery flavors. With a little ethanol late. Finishes quite dry. This is a really nice example of the style. Not your typical sweet sugary mess that you get from most American brewers.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Cantabrian (989) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - MAR 2, 2013
I had been grooming my Aussie-imported 2011 bottle for almost a year when I found that the supermarket down the road was already selling the 2012 batch. But before drinking this beer, one should hold full awareness that this product sustains the most plausible claim to be the original recipe for the Russian Imperial Stout or, as they name themselves, Imperial Russian Stout. Being the “original” per se does not entitle it to superiority (see Kaikoura crayfish), as many copies are often better than their inspirations, but it loads the drink with a respectable historical value. Particularly for this Courage stout, it does not disappoint at all. If we accept that it indeed came before all other imperial stouts, perhaps also inaugurating the term “imperial”, mundanely used for other styles, it does an imperially good job. The aroma of dark chocolate, so strong in the bottle, and then mingled with oaken bourbon barrels in the glass must have driven the great empress of the north to literally melt in winter. Black and slick, it pours with a nice cream-coloured head, with interesting carbonation and not much lace. Pretty brute, as it must have been. And brute is the flavour as well, with the high alcohol not completely hidden by chocolates, dates, grapes, roasted malts and some bitterness. Brute and enchanting. A full-bodied, broad palate where the alcohol spreads around the mouth lined with a velvet touch and an iron tingling of a horse-drawn sleigh. It may not be perfect as its Yorkshire cousin from Tadcaster, but this is royalty that deserves the due reverence and respect. I’ll have it again and proudly toast to Her Majesty. За дружбу между народам&

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jacobwennbom (357) - Uppsala, SWEDEN - MAR 2, 2013
Quite dark but not absolute black. Nose is roasted malt, coffee and fruity notes I can’t place (grapes?). Taste is bitter and roasty. There is coffee and fruit (pears?). Good.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Darkover (1534) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 27, 2013
Very dark brown with a big brown head. Aroma of dark fruits and chocolate. Flavor of dark chocolate and roasted malts, medium sweetness, medium bitterness, full body, thick feel. Really good!

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