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

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 434   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.83   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.


3.8
   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.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Niall73 (1783) - 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.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
PriorL (1779) - Gent, BELGIUM - APR 17, 2014
Sample from Mathieu87. THX APPEARANCE: pitch black beer, no foam. NOSE: alcohol, coffee, sweet. TASTE: alcohol, sweet, liquorice, mocha, vanilla.

4.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
poisoneddwarf (1716) - Rathdrum, Idaho, USA - APR 4, 2012
9.3 oz bottle. Brewed May 2011; almost a year old. Pours opaque black with a giant beige head that hangs around for a nice long time; leaves some lace. Aroma is chocolate, licorice, hops, grain. Taste starts out sweet, then turns bittersweet and sour. Has a somewhat bready flavor. Full-bodied and average carbonation. Very nice.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
zathrus13 (1716) - Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA - SEP 13, 2013
Bottle. Pours dark brown, with a brown head. Aroma is dark fruit, roasted malt, chocolate, and a little smoke. Flavor si roasted malt, dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, and alcohol. Medium to heavy body, with a slightly bitter finish.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Osprey87 (1711) - 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.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
dfinney23 (1672) - 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.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Jimthechap (1652) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - FEB 24, 2013
It is a truth universally known that Jimthechap loves an Imperial Russian Stout. I am an adherent, enjoying the fulsome healthy body, rich dark chocolates and the anti-freezing alcohol content, It is not the alcohol content that draws me to this example. The land of origin and the pedigree of the brewer bring me to this beer, and what it says is: Almost impenetrable black in colour with a good carpet of dark cream coloured head. Aromas of treacle tart, dates, dark chocolate, cinnamon, mace, plums, carob, port, oak and rich old whisky. I am worried that I may be recycling terms of previous well-loved stouts, but I think this provides an insight that this is a beer well worth savouring. The mouthfeel is filling, voluminous and then pillowy like sucking a marshmallow. Just sexy and oily. As you sit and appreciate this, you have to put to one side the flavours as you type: chocolate, cocoa, burnt caramel and Yorkshire parkin. There’s more too it than this, such as the on-going chocolate mousse on the tongue. It is a stunning beer and is catapulted immediately into the pantheon of my favourites. Just gorgeous.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BOSSbrewer (1642) - 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.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
NikkTwist (1627) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 19, 2013
Draft at Monks. Opaque pour with a thick creamy brown head. Rich chocolate nougat. Caramel malt. Espresso. Raisin pie. Pecan brownies. Figs. Prunes. French roast coffee. Silky smooth start to finish with a slight alcohol bite in the middle.


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