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Courage Russian Imperial Stout (- 2003)

Formerly brewed at John Smiths (Heineken UK)
Style: Imperial Stout
Tadcaster, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap


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RATINGS: 254   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
Note: This beer is retired and new bottles should not be rated here but instead under the Wells and Young or Thornbridge entry. Bottle conditioned. Appeared in the cask at GBBF in 2003 after being brewed in a secret location in Scotland. Last known brewery for the bottled product is John Smith’s Tadcaster brewery.
Ingredients: Pale, Amber, Black and Pilsner malts; 16% sugar; caramel; Target hops - 25lb per barrel.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Stuu666 (7806) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - OCT 17, 2015
Bottle at craig’s, 1976 version. Pours black, nose is chocolate, soy sauce, wood, taste is sweet, chocolate, toffee, light smoke, soy.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
geovanicalixto (24) - Fortaleza, BRAZIL - APR 14, 2015
Aroma adocicado. Coloração escura com espuma amarronzada persistente. Dulçor predominante no início com leve tom cítrico e baixa carbonatação. Seguido por tabaco e leve nota de chocolate. Intenso gosto alcoólico final com retrogosto de café torrado.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 7/20
Brodies_Best (264) - Auckland Central, NEW ZEALAND - DEC 14, 2014
Pours dark brown with tan head. Aroma is sweet, like prunes yes, musty. Taste is well balanced and yes more prunes. Sweet with a bitter kick then the alcohol really hits the back of the throat. Chocolate and prune aftertaste

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Alengrin (3670) - BELGIUM - NOV 16, 2014
UPDATED: APR 20, 2015 The archetypical imperial stout and in that sense one of those beers I can only show a deep respect for. Even the label looks as if it comes straight from the 19th century and breathes the kind of nobility worthy of the Russian czars. Only tasted as old beer, at 21 years of age in the Kulminator (1983 vintage) and recently at 31 years of age (same vintage), thanks to former Hopduvel pioneer Toon Denooze who was generous enough to share one of his last private bottles with me (in fact Kulminator originally bought their stock from him). It still showed a thin beige head after 21 years, but the 31 year old version had no head at all anymore - which is perfectly natural for a beer that old, of course. Colour is ink black, with a brownish hue only visible under bright light and only at the edges. Dense, very strong and noble aroma, molasses, bitter chocolate, coffee, dried banana, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, walnuts... Very thick and oily mouthfeel, very vinous, with a very intense and condensated taste profile, thick roasted bitterness, molasses, chocolate, caramel, and the typical soy sauce saltiness one finds in very old, heavy, dark beers; finish of roasted bitterness, very dense and fat, lasting for a long time and supported by brandy-like alcohol. Very intense beer, still kicking ass at its Methusalem age. It is not hard to see how this has inspired so many others. I need to get me a bottle of that new version... But if you are into old beers and are still able to find this, do not hesitate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
markas101 (2085) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - NOV 14, 2014
27.5 cl bottle, Calgary, AB, Canada. Deep brown, dark beige head. Licorice and molasses aroma. Smooth, sweet, slightly bitter, chocolate, prune and alcohol finish. Quite nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
KyotoLefty (8123) - Kyoto, JAPAN - SEP 14, 2014
1985 bottle kindly shared by Puzzl. Black with a touch of orange, flat. Lots of umami and soy in the nose, very oxidized, tobacco, wood, citrus and a touch of acetic acid. Sour, slightly acetic flavor, chocolate, soy sauce, apples. Silky, slight, and flat body. Fascinating. Rather sour and oxidized, as is to be expected, but still very good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JorgeLee (1511) - Greater London, ENGLAND - AUG 16, 2014
1993 vintage. Beautiful bottle and label. Pours completely flat, looks like a black glass of wine. Probably matured a touch past its best to be honest. Malty marmite aroma, Lakshmi thought the same, a bit odd. Very rounded flavour, bitterness mellowed out. Treacle, malt loaf, hint of booze. On its own I’d have given this bottle low 3s probably, although previous bottles drunk younger pre-Ratebeer were more on the impressive side. Always difficult now tasting the old legend beers with so many of similar styles available, but not sure this holds up as well as some others.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
mallen386 (20) - OKC, Oklahoma, USA - MAY 7, 2014
The stout that started it al. Start your stout journey here then voyage into the crazy current stout milieu. This one noses perfect, IMO. Great appearance, that blackish brown color with only the thinnest trace if light milk chocolate colored laces. Mouthfeel like...creamy foam but not chinky. The aftertaste won't quit, which balances the brew. So nice.

   AROMA 2/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 4/20
DearBeer2013 (93) - - APR 10, 2014
Nasty. Smells like rotting prunes. Tastes like fruit with high amount of hops.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MunBro (886) - St. Albert, Alberta, CANADA - DEC 23, 2013
Pours black with a dark tan head. Aroma of dark roasted malts, toffee, hints of chocolate, etc. Tastes of roasted malts, espresso, dark chocolates, burnt toffee and caramel with some fruit notes at the end. A wonderfully complex beer!

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