RateBeer
overall
99
88
style
Brewed by Charles Wells
Style: Imperial Stout
Bedford, England
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 478   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


rangerred's rating

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
rangerred (989) - Johnson City, Tennessee, USA - JAN 31, 2013
275ml bottle into a snifter. Bottled in May 2011. Pours pitch black with a dark tan half finger head that is pretty fizzy and quick to fade. Head retention and lacing are both lacking with just a ring left around the top of the beer. The aroma has much more of a fruity character than other RIS I have had. Lots of dark fruit and licorice that really reminds me of many English ales, just on a stronger level. Really not much roast at all just a lot of fruit and yeasty esters. It works, though, and nothing is offensive whatsoever. The flavor is where this beer really shines. Much like the aroma, dark fruity esters dominate at first. Somewhat sweet with quite a bit of yeast character. Not extremely impressive but about halfway through the taste, something magical happens. Almost out of nowhere tons of roast comes shooting in along with some coffee and dark chocolate. This marries magically with the dark fruit leading to an intensely complex finish. Moderate bitterness with a lot less sweetness than many other RIS with a pretty dry finish. Overall, probably the best RIS I have had. Extremely complex flavors and an absolutely amazing mouthfeel with alcohol being extremely well hidden. A definite world class beer.


3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
rafal4985 (6) - - MAY 7, 2015 does not count
Got one bottle from Beers of Europe. In my opinion this beer would be good after over one more year of aging. Alcohol is dominating taste of this imperial stout. Also I expect more oily condition from RIS. Anyway it is good one, worth tasting. Roastiness, coffee, chocolate and alcohol - heating drinker’s throat properly.

4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
bartzluke (203) - Oklahoma, USA - APR 28, 2015
2012 (Consumed April 28th, 2015) (#024927) 275 ml pour from room-temp bottled in Spieglau stout glass. Pours a moderate dirty-tan head that quickly dissipates into nothing-- no lacing or trace of it at all. Black or deep, deep brown; opaque. Nose is complex. First whiff gives strong dark chocolate, but that quickly gives way to dark wood, maltiness, roastiness. maybe a little caramel. A bit hard for me to describe everything going on in the nose, actually. Suffice it to say, it smells amazing. Mouthfeel is moderately creamy and very pleasant. Taste, like the nose, has a lot of layers to it. Starts with a woody and burnt character, then moves to notes of espresso grounds and caramel taste without any sweetness (strange, I know, but the best way I can think to put it), then strong vanilla. A little scotch-y booziness on the end that pleasantly warms without any burning. More of everything (especially smokiness) when I let it sit in my mouth for a bit. I drank at least half of my glass trying to tease apart all of the flavors. Delicious.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Darkmagus82 (1954) - - APR 24, 2015
Poured from bottle into a snifter Appearance – The beer pours a pitch black color with a one finger head of a cream colored foam. The head fades rather rapidly leaving a trace of foamy lace on the sides of the glass. Upon swirling the brew in the snifter, thick fingers of beer cling to the sides of the glass, very slowly receding to the bottom of the vessel to leave some bubbly and sticky looking lace on the sides of the glass. Smell – The aroma of the beer is huge of a sweeter smell of chocolate mixed with caramel. Along with these aromas are some nice notes of a roasted malt smell as well as a nice expresso aroma. Other lighter notes of darker fruits of cherry and raisin are there as well, with these also being accompanied by some sweet vanilla. With a little bit of grain and a light booze there as well the smell is overall quite warming. Taste – The taste begins with a nice drier roasted malt taste mixed with a decent showing of some coffee. A lighter sweet flavor of caramel and some chocolate are at the front with these growing stronger as the taste advances and with them being joined by some light fruit tastes of raisin and plum. The coffee seems to dwindle as the taste advances all while the caramel, chocolate and fruit sweet flavors get stronger and stronger. A light bit of a boozy taste as well as some flavors of vanilla work their way onto the tongue at the end, and with a little resurgence of the coffee, end up leaving one with a dark and robust roasty flavor to linger on the tongue. Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is quite thick and chewy with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. For the dark roasted flavors mixed with the blend of sweet and the higher abv. the feel is right on and makes this one a slow sipper as it is meant to be. Overall – A quite tasty and enjoyable Imperial stout. It has a good blend of sweet, roast, and booze to maintain a good drinkability but yet keep you in check all while bathing the tongue with a whole lot of flavor.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
jake65 (2873) - Boise, Idaho, USA - APR 15, 2015
Bottle, Boise imperial stout tasting. Deep dark brown with a thin brown cap. Nose is sweet, followed by a little smoke and dark fruit. A little sweet and smoky, feels like some anise, and fruity yeast. Decent roast and overall a middleweight body. Ok, but not really my style.

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
connor0415 (47) - - APR 1, 2015
UPDATED: APR 2, 2015 2012 vintage drank in 2015Smells like dark chocolate, esspresso, honey and pear. Tastes like dark chocolate with a bitterness on the tongue at first but then a sweet honey oxidized taste comes in and you get a bit of pear and cherry. The mouthfeel is oily and thick with a good bit of carbonation. Overall it?s a great russian imperial stout made better with age

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
nihtila (1468) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAR 27, 2015
19.1.2015. Aroma of cacao, dried fruits, slight espresso, slight smoke. Taste is sweet, molasses, cacao, almost like feeling the fine cacao powder in your mouth, chocolate. Decent but taste is too much about molasses.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Gerbeer (2268) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 26, 2015
275 ml bottle. 2012 vintage. Pours a very dark brown - almost black - with moderate tan head. Aromas of dark fruits, roasted malts, creamy coffee, and a little bit of cola. Flavors of black coffee, dark bitter chocolate and dry roasted barley. Maybe some nuttiness. Really dry though ABV is noticeable. Great stuff.

3.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Dodgrblu (664) - Sacramento, California, USA - MAR 22, 2015
Ten ounce pour at Pangaea, thin, mocha, disappearing head, roasted, crisp. bitter finish.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
VinegarStroke (322) - Napa, California, USA - MAR 17, 2015
Bottle on St Patrick’s. Very dense. Medium to light head with a light lace. Very dense inky aroma. Roasted coffee, cocoa, black prunes and a hint of mocha. Off dry, not sour and medium bitterness. The palate is saturated with flavor. So dense and rich and dark. Coffee, toffee, chocolate cake and ice cream all in one. Very rich and moreish. There are also vinous character about the palate. Prune also An amazing surprise. I expected something commercial and it’s certainly not that.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HonusWagner (1695) - Florida, USA - MAR 17, 2015
Roasty as hell, some molasses, medium sweetness. It’s a little fruity and basically a defining RIS even if it’s far from perfect.


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