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Christmas Beer Review: Imperial Russian Stout

Drinking In A Winter Wonderland

Christmas is surely not the season without getting utterly trashed. To that noble and spiritual end I have filled a cupboard in our garage with booze acquired from the trinity of alcohol cheapness that are Tesco, B and N Bargains and Home Bargains. I aim to drink at least one of each over this Christmas period (I can’t possibly drink them all – I reckon we’ve acquired enough on 4 for a fiver to last me until April). I’ve also got a load of whiskey but I may not reach the stuff once I’m lying on the floor…

Day One: The Strong Stuff

I really love dark beers (and really pale ales), especially stouts. There’s something in the richness that you can really roll around your mouth. Of course, they do tend to be quite strong as well which also suits me. I’ve long held that if it’s less than 5% then it’s basically a soft drink. Clearly I needed something of quality to withstand the cinematic pain of Universal Soldier: The Return and this was the first bottle to leap between my lips…

Courage Imperial Russian Stout – 10% 275ml, by Wells & Youngs

Imperial Russian Stout1We spied these little beauties in Tesco a few weeks ago while they were in the 4 bottles for £5 (swiftly changed to 4 for £6 and most interesting lines dropped). It’s a cute little bottle – just 275ml and attractive enough to seize the eye with its red black and gold livery. According to the bottle they brew it but once a year (because it’s so special) in the same manner as it was once brewed for Catherine the Great in 1705.

First impression – “tastes amazing”: I’m eloquent when drinking me. I stand by it though – this is a very strong beer and has a rich textured taste of chocolate. I convinced myself to sip it judgementally rather than indulge in what I really wanted to do which was fill my mouth with that wonderful thick flavour. It also looks great, being completely black and impenetrable to light.

My only real regret is that the bottle is so small. Thank goodness I have more in the garage… If I’m smart I can allow it to continue maturing for up to thirteen years! I very much doubt they will mature for more than a week.

Rating: Drunk Talking Porcupine–historic-brew-courage-imperial


Oh, and in case you haven’t seen it:


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