Brewed by Charles Wells (Marston’s)
Style: Imperial Stout
Bedford, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 551   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.84/5   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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.

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rangerred's rating

   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.

BeardedAvenger (949) - Addlestone, Surrey, ENGLAND - SEP 17, 2017
2013 vintage. Bought in the CAMRA shop, GBBF 2017. Rich coffee and boozy Christmas pudding aroma. Glossy and dark. Thin beige head. Medium bitter, surprisingly restrained. Coffee. Tart berries. Almost smoky. As I drink more it gains a stewed fruit sweetness. Medium bodied. Surprisingly thin. A muted fizzy carbonation. Astringent finish. The booze remains. Was wondering what it'd turn out, seeing as it had presumably been lugged around CAMRA events. Enjoyable, if perhaps basic, Impy Stout.

einherjar (407) - Rijeka, CROATIA - SEP 12, 2017
275ml bottle. Aroma coffee, roasted malt, cocoa. Taste chocolate, dried fruit, licorice, alcohom warm.

CraftyHare (101) - Adelaide, AUSTRALIA - SEP 10, 2017
275ml bottle pours deep opaque brown with no head. Malty aromas of dark cocoa, brown sugar, caramel malt and stone fruit. Smokey flavours of dark chocolate, caramel, dried fruit characters, espresso, roast malt, ash and alcohol. The pear is not distinct, but there is a strong sweet fruit background which cuts through the dark smoky characters. Long finish with very mild bitterness. Beautifully balanced Russian imperial stout.

Lowenbrau (4459) - Asturias, SPAIN - SEP 7, 2017
275ml bottle @Cimmeria, Oviedo. 07-09-2017.
BBD: 02-09-2026.
In short: liquor IStout.
Did I enjoy it: no doubt.
Pours quite dark brown, opaque, with some garnet reflections. Average light tan head, short retention, little lacing. Roasty and licorice aromas, some nuts, sherry, almond like., like, caramel notes. Medium body, soft carbonation, silky texture. Taste is roasty, licorice, some coffee, nuts, wood, nuts. Smooth, maybe a bit too boozy, liquor character. Enjoyable.

BarrelTamer12 (6) - Illinois, USA - AUG 17, 2017 does not count
Rich espresso body with pear overtones and a fresh smoky fruity finish. 10% alcohol by volume. Can be aged for up to 13 years. 2012 vintage #065999. A very good stout would buy again. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

TedE (1386) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - JUL 28, 2017
275ml bottle into tulip. 2013 vintage. Served at outside temperature (10°C). Black beer with a creamy tan-coloured head. Nose is milk chocolate and caramel. Full bodied, slight spritz. Viscous, oily texture. Taste is more chocolate with a little coffee bitterness before a subtle fruity finish. Pear flavours do appear late on, then more sweet coffee notes. Alcohol well hidden. Beautiful beer, really enjoyable.

tmendes (6) - BRAZIL - JUL 9, 2017 does not count
Cerveja fantástica! Cor escura e turva, com espuma na cor creme. Aroma de café, chocolate toffee, caramelo... Na boca, uma explosão de intensidade e sabores, principalmente café, além de diversos tapas no meio da tua cara!

Alebarasi (136) - Dobrova, SLOVENIA - JUN 10, 2017
Deep brown to black color with a thin, quickly dissolving beige head. Full body, soft carbonation, small lacing. Aroma of coffee, dark chocolate, prunes, plums, oak, caramel, vanilla, licorice, whiskey and wood smoke. Taste has nice alcohol warmth and earthy aromas of sweet chocolate, toffee, coffee, dark fruits, roasted/caramel malts, hops, licorice, molasses, cognac and charcoal. Interesting vinous hint in aroma and slight umami taste. Soft texture. Slightly dry mouthfeel and aftertaste, but it leaves that warmth, which 10% alc. by volume (stout) beers can provide. Robust, delicate and quite easy-to-drink beer. I recommend it.

SvanteL (589) - SWEDEN - MAY 31, 2017
Flaska från 2012. Nästan svart med litet beiget skum. I doften finns mörk choklad, kaffe och en aning mörk fruktighet. Mycket mörk choklad i smaken, plus lite kaffe, här finns en liten kolasötma men en avslutande bitterhet tar över och sitter kvar länge i munnen. Rund och mjuk munkänsla, ganska lite kolsyra. Det bittra känns ganska rått trots fem års lagring; jag undrar hur den var från början.

gepajerry (18) - Oklahoma, USA - MAY 22, 2017
Coffee, dark chocolate, semisweet with lingering finish ofboth. Totally enjoyable. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

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