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


on tap

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 550   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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
gepajerry (3) - Oklahoma, USA - MAY 22, 2017 does not count
Coffee, dark chocolate, semisweet with lingering finish ofboth. Totally enjoyable. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
markducommun (1076) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 18, 2017
Vintage 2012, bottle at the Publican. Dark almost opaque, mahogany tinged brown. Minimal head. Started with aggressive anise, sweet caramel. Fair bit of alcohol. Some espresso. Quite bitter. Strong sweet underlying malt. Heavy body, thick. Long finish. Pretty darn great. Still pretty raw though, probably could age another 5 years or so.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
CyborgX (99) - THAILAND - JAN 21, 2017
Bottle - Aroma is sweet chocolate. taste follows the aroma with a sweet dark chocolate dominance, rather than the bitter cocoa been chocolate of most Imperial Stouts. Don't drink too chilled, or you will miss all the nuances this beer has to offer. Comes to an unexpected and unwanted bitter finish. Used to be a difficult to find brew, but definitely worth 10 mins of your time if you see one. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Svartvit (512) - NETHERLANDS - JAN 17, 2017
Bottle shared at the Oirschot tasting. Pours close to black with a tan head. Very malty, liquorice, dark chocolate, bit of coffee, fruity. A bit too malt-forward for my taste. Over medium bitter, light sweet. Close to full body, low carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
hrabren (1174) - Zagreb, CROATIA - DEC 27, 2016
0.33 l bottle from Pivoteka, Zagreb. Shared with Višnja 666 and Goran. Thanks! Dark brown to black, lasting small tan head. Heavy roasty, licorice, heavy caramel, dry fruits, light leather and chocolate. Sweet, barrel flavors, chocolate develops. Medium to full body, creamy texture, wonderful finish. Complex and right measure.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
UjoKlobasa (907) - SLOVAK REPUBLIC - DEC 21, 2016
Bottle. Black color, tan head. Smell of vodka. Aroma of vodka, chocolate. Not very good within style.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
wombat23 (1301) - Texas, USA - DEC 6, 2016
Shared 9.3 oz. bottle. Pours dark brown with a tan head. Aroma of dark malt, alcohol and chocolate. Taste is largely dark malt and alcohol with chocolate and coffee notes. Sweet, alcoholic finish. Not my thing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
katrinaez (1822) - norristown, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 4, 2016
Beautiful black color. Nice boozy aroma, had almost a wine port aroma. Taste is boozy but still lots of quality imperial malts and deep fruits. Mouth is sweet, bitter, and sticks to the tongue. Very full. 10% abv is not overly obvious, but clear. Bottle

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jookos (6683) - FINLAND - DEC 1, 2016
Bottle (systemet, some years ago..) #153628. Black. Dark rich malty, slight peppery, soft old woody nose. Feels a bit murky, oxidized, but not really bad still. Med full bodied, smooth, silky, kinda easy to drink. Some old cola in flavour, roasty smooth. Not as intense as more modern- style risses, but real smooth easy, like spiced with old malty wood.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 6/20
darbeer75 (871) - Round Rock, Texas, USA - NOV 22, 2016
Aroma: very rich and malty with red wine and oak notes; Appearance: pitch black with white head that disappears; Taste: like a straight oak barrel; a little flavor on the edges but mainly lots of woodiness; Palate: heavy body with medium finish; Overall: way too oaky. Will not get again.

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