RateBeer
overall
99
87
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: 484   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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.


3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DocJitsu (1267) - Pensacola, Florida, USA - JUL 31, 2015
Pours a very dark brown with cola colors coming through around the edges when held to the light. Huge khaki head containing focaccia bread-like bubbles. Chocolate coffee nose. Thick mouthfeel. Dry for the style. Flavored tobacco and chocolate flavors. Bitters pretty remarkably.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
johnnymusky (563) - Minnesota, USA - JUL 20, 2015
Bottle from dusty...2013 vintage....nose is molasses...taste is the same...really smooth...licorice...nice stuff....(#561)

4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
GlassBrass440 (290) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - JUL 6, 2015
Best by 02/09/26. Pours a deep black which barely perceptible as red when held to the light. Head the color and density of dark roast espresso crema. Big fruity aromas from the yeast along side chocolate, coffee, and herbal hops. Flavours bring chocolate cherries, espresso and dark chocolate as straight from the block. Thick bodied with a long, sweet chocolate and cherry finish.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
nickd717 (3651) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 4, 2015
275ml bottle, 2012 maltage, from Healthy Spirits (or not so healthy in this case cuz itís a calorie bomb amirite? lol). When you pour this bear (oops typo...or is it?), one thing comes to mind: OMG THIS LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE GUINNESS!!! We all know what Guinness is all about. Like thick black tar from the La Brea pits, it could kill a shitload of dinosaurs in one fell swoop. It is the Indominus Rex of beers. If you can down a whole pint, you are basically Joey Chestnut. Now before we get into this beer, letís look at the description on the bottle: "Enjoys a rich, espresso body with pear overtones." Dafuq? Whoís enjoying what? Is the beer enjoying its own body? Iíve heard god kills a kitten every time that happens. This beer is a big-time cat killer. I had to move Foofie out of the room just so I could drink it. Iím glad itís a little bottle because if it were even 12oz, I would die. Also, why are flavor notes being used to describe the body, which is a mouthfeel thing? Have I been ticking beers wrong all these years? What has my life even amounted to? Goodbye cruel world...oh wait, thereís still beer so Iíll keep chugging on. Even if Iím drinking it wrong itís still wicked good. Itís also the 4th of July and AMERICA!!! Am I right? Celebrating that classic day when Mel Gibson said "You can never take our freedom!" to the British and they were like "Righty-O, weíll just hop on back across the pond then. Bugger." That was epic, although Mel Gibson is still a douche. Best country in the universe. Color: Brown (or espresso I guess?), with a small fading tan head. The aroma has evident age on it, a hint of sherry, with chocolate, pear (lol stole that one but really), smoke, and molasses. The flavor is sweet and rich with chocolate, smoke, coffee, and raisin. The body, well, I donít quite enjoy it as much as the beer itself apparently does, but itís not bad. Pretty drinkable with a slick mouthfeel, medium-full body, and light carbonation. Overall a reasonable version of a great but often overrated style. Hey, I survived to tick another day!

4.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
thedm (5139) - Fort Wayne, USA - JUN 23, 2015
This bottled brew from a bottle shop poured a large sized head of foamy fine to medium sized brown colored bubbles that were very long lasting and left behind a opaque dark black brown colored body and an excellent lacing. The nice aroma was vinous and dark malt. The semi-flat mildly vinous mouth feel was tingly at the start and strongly tingly at the finish with a lingering dark malt aftertaste. The flavor contained notes of semi-sweet roasted malt toffee toasted malt brown malt dark malt and hops. Delicious and one I would certainly like to have again.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Svesse (6916) - Hšsselby, SWEDEN - JUN 21, 2015
(Bottle, 2012 vintage) Black colour with frothy, beige head. Malty, roasted nose with black rye bread, caramel, liquorice, dark fruit, raisins, chocolate, brown sugar and a touch of orange peel. Malty, roasted taste with notes of black rye bread, sweet espresso, liquorice, treacle, raisins, pears, dark chocolate, a touch of orange peel and a generous coffee bitterness in the finish. Almost full body, quite sweet. Solid and well made imperial stout with lots of liquorice and espresso. Iím not usually impressed by the Wellsí beers, but this was quite magnificent. Excellent stuff.

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 drinkerís throat properly.

4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
bartzluke (331) - 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 (2005) - - APR 24, 2015
Poured from bottle into a snifter Appearance Ė 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 Ė 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 Ė 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 Ė 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 Ė 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 (2885) - 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.


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