RateBeer
overall
99
87
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: 410   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.


2.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
DavoleBomb (1467) - Pennsylvania, USA - APR 25, 2012
Poured into a snifter. Brewed in May, 2011. 5.0 A: Dark brow color. Aggressive pour gave two fingers of creamy/frothy tan head. Retention is very good as it settles down to a very creamy half finger, which persists quite long. Lots of lacing. Damn fine looking. 3.0 S: Surprisingly earthy. Smells like a forest stream that someone dumped a bunch of roasted barley in. Mineral, moderate roastiness, anise, "woodzy freshness", light burnt notes, and moderate herbal hoppiness. Itís not bad, itís just not what Iím fond of in an RIS. 3.0 T: Tastes as it smells for the most part. Earth tones of mineral, mountain stream, moss, burnt wood, char. Moderate roastiness, anise, a touch of smoke, and herbal hops. 3.0 M: Heavier medium body. Carbonation level is fine, but it feels strange. Itís like a creaminess, but it isnít. Too hard to explain, so I wonít anymore. 3.0 D: Earthy, "farmhousy" RIS. Not a big fan, but it might interest those looking for a "natural tasting RIS," whatever that means. Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 04-09-2012 21:31:41

3.9
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ContemplateBeer (1438) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - DEC 13, 2013
Thought of Handelís "Zadok the Priest" when pouring, so thatís the soundtrack for this beer at the moment (John Eliot Gardinerís rendition with the Monteverdi Choir, described by one listener as being "coldly dignified") Aroma: Espresso up front, something that almost reminds me of sandalwood in a subtle way, vanilla beans, fudge, slight peat; really marvelous and, well, dignified. Appearance: Inky, pitch black pour with a lively, frothy head that settles into a mocha coloured coating. Flavor: Espresso and earth; vanilla in the background; a little bit of a hot edge towards the end. In every way avoids the label of "sweet." Palate: Medium body, oily texture, flat carbonation, bitter finish. Overall: 2012 vintage, bottle #083833. Maybe a little too soon to open, but still quite nice.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
brenn79 (1430) - Idaho, USA - JUN 4, 2012
275 ml. bottle, brewed on May 2011- Pours almost black with a creamy one finger tan head. Aroma is very English, it has that Sam Smiths smell to it, sweet and earthy. The taste is the same, very English, chocolatey, coffee, earthy, very drinkable for 10%. Body is full, but have had fuller Impy Stouts, carbonation is medium. Overall have had better, but I really liked this, I think the year of age has really helped this, but I havenít had a fresh one, so I couldnít say for sure.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
dfinney23 (1423) - 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
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SarkyNorthener (1420) - Walsall (Yorkshire Expat), West Midlands, ENGLAND - DEC 5, 2013
UPDATED: DEC 13, 2013 Bottle from Tesco. 2013 Vintage. Black beer with medium tan head. Aroma of cocoa, coffee and some wood shavings. Taste is dark chocolate, coffee beans, some vanilla and dark fruits with a touch of licorice. There is a little warmth from the alcohol but nothing imposing. Medium bodied and moderately oily. Very nice. Have a few more to open at various years.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
NikkTwist (1390) - 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.

5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
SanfordBrewer (1382) - Sanford, Florida, USA - JUN 21, 2012
opaque black with a thick tan head. slightly creamy medium-full body with medium carbonation.

aroma: chocolate, licorice, black roasted barley or malt, and some silage. i do get the pear.

taste: foam is sweet and chocolaty, beer tastes much like it smells, but with a leafy and woodsy whole hop character. much more balanced than our american examples, and more sessional, but every bit as complex. with less hop bitterness and burnt astringency, the other flavors can all come through in a complex harmony.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
chinchill (1382) - 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 Iíd 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.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
seymour (1320) - Maplewood, Missouri, USA - NOV 29, 2013
Shared a cool-looking little 9.3oz brown bottle (#048498) with gregwilsonstl. It poured opaque black with thin but persistent tan foam, some sticky lace. Aromas of toast, roasted barley, alcohol, hints of raisins, raspberries. Strong fruity flavours: dried apricots, pears, plum sauce. Strong caramelized sugar flavours, toffee, molasses. Bready, nutty. Heavy body and full mouthfeel, below-average carbonation. Complex and tasty, but rough-around-the-edges, Iím sure it would benefit from aging. A bit too boozy.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
tombyars (1317) - Saltcoats, SCOTLAND - JAN 5, 2014
275ml bottle from Tesco, courtesy of Mark Allender on the 1st January 2014. Pours oily black with a thin dark tan head. Strong aroma of black coffee and soy sauce. Thin oily mouthfeel and poor lacing. Dark malt complex gives strong rich flavours of black coffee, burnt treacle, liquorice and bitter dark chocolate. There is a faint suggestion of spicy hop resins hidden in the short bitter aftertaste but this fades fast as malt powers through into the finish. Strong, dry notes of liquorice, soy sauce, toasted almonds and ground coffee beans are full on in the mouth at the end. This was a decent Imperial Stout and a great find by MA as the local Tesco stock rapidly ran out.


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