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


on tap

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RATINGS: 466   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.

rangerred's rating

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
rangerred (976) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Maakun (989) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - MAR 6, 2015
2013 bottle thanks to olliejobbins. Black with rich beige head. Black chocolate, rich roasted malts, light spices with cinnamon and speculaas, marzipan, marmelade. Sweet with light bitterness throughout and a light fruity tartness towards the finish. Full rich bodied with creamy feel. This is better than a lot of imperial stouts with added coffee or strong barrel aged character. Really good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
UXO (537) - CANADA - MAR 1, 2015
Pours sold black with one finger of dense tan head, excellent retention and lacing. (5/5) Nose is roasty malts, chocolate and coffee, molasses, pear, vinous notes, slight smoke. (8/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry mildly bitter finish. (4/5) A big yet not overwhelming brew. The double-digit ABV is fairly well-integrated, and is apparent only a a mild warming. The slight smokiness plays well with the dark toasted malt flavours, tempering the intensity of the molasses. Feels like it would cellar very well, even though the ABV is not overly hot. (16/20)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MarkoNm (989) - Novo mesto, SLOVENIA - FEB 27, 2015
Pours a deep black color, topped with a small tan colored head. Roasted malts in the aroma, some notes of chocolate and coffee as well, although the later very mild. Taste is sweet, notes of molasses and fairly strong presence of coffee taste, and a mild bittery feel. Creamy and filling, storng taste although you don’t really feel its 10%. Nice.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
voyageurmike (104) - Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 26, 2015
On tap served in a tulip glass. Brown with pretty tan foamy head. A medium-bodied beer with coffee and cocoa flavors, and richness reminiscent of bourbon barrel imperial stout. Finish is very enjoyable, not bitter.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bubbleflubber (1893) - Asheville, North Carolina, USA - FEB 19, 2015
It’s nice to compare different vintages of this awesome brew. I am one of the lucky ones to have rated a 22-year old 1993 vintage, and can now rate its contemporary counterpart. This pours pitch black into the glass, with the deepest of ruby-mahogany hues to the fringes. A wispy eggshell head ensues, reducing to a thin cap of suds that leave light ring lacing. The nose is of mixed bitter and semi-sweet chocolates, alongside a port wine essence. Flavors have bitter chocolates, semi-sweet chocolates, melon and pear notes, dark fruit esters and skins. The finish is of lightly smoked bittering hops and a toasted baker’s chocolate that provide a curt, yet super complex end of the pull. The rich, full body is silky on the palate, substantive and complex for days. The carbonation provides enough mouthfeel activity to keep things interesting, but not a deterrent to the silky richness of the brew. Thank goodness I ran into the contemporary counterpart of the vintage rated before. What a difference, and what a brew! Aging has only mellowed this out to an exquisite aperitif/nightcap. This 2-year-old 2013 vintage is rich, luscious, complex, substantive.... and did I mention delicious? A great brew.... with a 20+ year history of excellence.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 12/20
greenmanalishi (492) - Leicestershire, ENGLAND - FEB 15, 2015
2011 bottling - drank 2014 Courage Russian Imperial Stout (2011+) Courage Russian Imperial Stout (2011+)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
MadIndian (2509) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 20, 2015
Bottle gift from Knackers. Nice notes of bitter dark chocolate, roasted malts, Earth and smoke. Body was medium. Well done.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
kkleu357 (427) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 15, 2015
Dark black body. Big aroma of toastyness and sweets. Taste is mostly molasses. A little too much for my liking. It’s ok.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
HenriqueBraga (125) - Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL - JAN 14, 2015
Negra, espuma bege clara. Boa persistência de espuma. Aromas de malte torrado, toffee, café, cacau, açúcar mascavo e álcool. Corpo bem alto, sabor de café, tostado, equilibrado. Boa carbonatação. Amargor crescente da tosta e persistente. Aftertaste amargo, doce, seco, sutíl acidez.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Satyroneto (167) - BRAZIL - JAN 14, 2015
Cor negra com espuma marrom amarelada (capuccino) de altas formação e permanência com excelente lacing; Aroma de chocolate ao leite, licor de café e um surpreendente frutado de pêra; Sabor de início de café e chocolate com final amadeirado e alcoólico e leve dulçor frutado; retrogosto persistente alcoólico e amadeirado que aquece a boca; Corpo licoroso, baixa carbonatação.

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