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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 449   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.83   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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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 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Osprey87 (1958) - WALES - AUG 15, 2013
GBBF, half pint draught. Black with hardly any head. Smell - some crayon, roasted barley, slight bubblegum. Body is medium with low carbonation. Taste - vegetable water, aniseed, slight coffee, roasted barley and liquorice finish. Good balance for a beer this strong. I wasn’t that fussed on it overall though.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
davidm (1937) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - FEB 17, 2012
Bottle 330ml from Purvis. Masterpiece, full marks for me. Aromas of chocolate, nuts, and vanilla, hints of liquorice. Taste is sweet and bitter, with very long length. Palate is creamy, and full bodied. Black, with a frothy head.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BOSSbrewer (1929) - Arkansas, USA - FEB 22, 2014
Pours a very dark brown with two fingers of tan head. Aroma has dark fruits and slight roast. More fruit though. Flavor reverses that and is more roasty than I expected. Medium to full bodied and finishes drier than I expected. Very nice beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
joe19612 (1906) - camberley, Surrey, ENGLAND - OCT 24, 2014
Bottle. Pours a black colour with a beige head, chocolate malt aroma, taste is bitter with roasted malt aroma,with a dry bitter finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JonMoore (1885) - Loughborough, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - FEB 13, 2014
Bottle - very dark brown with tan head. Impressive aroma of roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, liquorice, dark fruit. Full bodied, sweet, sour, bitter, excellent mouthfeel. Nice bitterness in the long finish. Well hidden alcohol, just a slight warming. Can’t believe it was being sold reduced to £1 at Tesco. Excellent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ryanfolty (1883) - Bourbon County, Minnesota, USA - OCT 31, 2014
October 31, 2014 - bottle shared by Jake. Dark brown pour with limited head. Aroma was smoke, roasted malt and coffee. Taste was consistent with aroma, but also had a mild fruity finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Imaena (1868) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUN 3, 2013
Bottle. There is not much on the nose with this one. Burnt malts and hay perhaps. The body and palette are really good. This is a little less assertive than the super Impys that are coming out these days but maybe that is closer to the style in the end. Overall its a solid impy and a living piece of brewing history. A bit over priced for what it is but its still good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Niall73 (1861) - Greater London, ENGLAND - MAR 14, 2014
Bottle 2012 vintage. Big sweet dark fruit aroma - figs, raisins. Malt cake, some booze, very rich... a little soy meatiness come in quite quickly after 5 mins or so. Medium to full body, mild carbonation. Dark toffee, light liquorice, rum, raisins, coffee cake, some woody resin... Tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUL 26, 2012
Appearance: dark and dense – liquid smoke and ash. A thick khaki head fades with acres of lace marking my glass. Swirls creamy much like freshly whipped cappuccino.
Nose: smoky, black cake, black licorice root. Chocolate covered raisins, chocolate covered prunes, and chocolate covered cherries. Malted chocolate.
Palate: interesting in a really good way – not kinda creepy weird way. Smoky sweet with a delicate silken mouthfeel. Succulent raisins. Gentle burnt bitter coffee roast in the back. Black chocolate and brittle espresso beans mingle nicely. Burnt caramel sweetness. Tart tannins and leather tingle atop the tongue – just enough to balance the richness of roasted flavors. Toasted almonds.
Final Thoughts: anything dating before 2011 is a previous recipe of Courage Russian Imperial Stout which is very hard to find, very cellar friendly, and if preserved properly very delicious with age under the cork and cap. I haven’t found any older bottles yet, but the new version is damn tasty and an easy recommendation for the discerning palate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
dfinney23 (1757) - Houston, Texas, USA - JAN 31, 2012
Dark pour with a huge, slowly fading tan head. Aroma is raw sugar and figs. Taste is darker with a fair amount of char and a bitter finish. More interesting than good.

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