Wells Courage Imperial Russian Stout (2012)

Today was another long day at work. It’s a short week and one of my friends is getting married this weekend, so I’m off on Saturday to go to the wedding. Anyways, let’s see how this beer was.


ABV: 10%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Courage Imperial Russian Stout, a beer last brewed in London in 1982, has been recreated by Wells and Young’s head brewer, Jim Robertson, who last crafted the beer in Horselydown, London. The beer, which has become an iconic and much sought after brew, is being officially launched at the Great American Beer Festival at the renowned Falling Rock Taphouse, Denver, on the 30th September. The beer has been maturing since May this year and Robertson admits brewing the iconic beer has been a joy. He says: ‘I was one of the last brewers to produce this beer in London and it has been an honour, a privilege and, I must admit, a labour of love for me. This beer is a real test of my abilities as a brewer – it uses a large amount of raw ingredients and brewing the beer in an automated brewery has been a real challenge. But I’m incredibly happy with the final brew, and can not wait to share it with people at the launch.’ The 10% ABV beer, which is set to be produced yearly by Wells and Young’s, will be available in the US initially, but beer lovers in the UK need not worry as there are plans to make Courage Imperial Russian Stout more widely available in 2012.”

Random: The USA lost in the World Cup today. At least we lost to a country that makes seriously awesome beer.

This brew poured with a one finger, tan head that dissipated quickly and left no real lacing on the glass. A slight tan crown was left on the beer. The body was a dark brown with moderate visible carbonation and lots of floaties towards the bottom. The nose had espresso, fudge, licorice and some smoke. The taste was even more intense with more smoke, dark coffee and bitter chocolate and tobacco. There was some hop bitterness as well, but the other flavors drowned this out. The body was velvety and had moderate carbonation. The finish was long with lots of woody smoke. Despite the high ABV, it wasn’t detectable. This was a really nice beer and would be great on a winter night. I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Wells Banana Bread Beer

Katie was nice enough to pick up a few new beers for me at the store. She picked up this one and some other English one that I’ve never seen. She really does have an affinity for British beers, for what reason, I have no idea. Anyways, I’ve had this beer years ago, before I even had the blog. So, back to the brew. The one problem that I generally see with any “flavored” beers is that they end up being artificial tasting. For me, I’m especially sensitive to banana. I love bananas, but I always hated banana laffy taffy as a kid because it didn’t taste anything like a banana, or at least the bananas that I’ve ever had. So, I’m interested to see if I enjoy this beer.

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This unique brew combines all the traditional qualities and style of a Charles Wells beer with the subtle flavour of banana. Wells Banana Bread Beer is a popular beer in the Wells and Young’s range of ales. The beer has achieved a number of accolades including winner of “Beer of the Festival” award at CAMRA’s London Drinker Festival in March 2002. Available as a draught seasonal cask beer, Wells Banana Bread Beer can be found on the bar and, in its popular bottle format, in all leading supermarkets.”

Random: I have one beer left in my fridge at home and I think I’m going to end up cellaring it for a little bit. I think I’m making a beer run soon.

This one poured with a two finger, off white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear mahogany color with moderate carbonation visible. As soon as I poured it, Katie wanted to smell it. She said that it smelled just like banana bread. Or maybe she just said yum? Either way, she took a sip after that. She voiced her approval by taking the couple of ounces still left in the bottle and drinking it while I did my review. Hmm…this was odd. Katie doesn’t generally like beer, so this must be fruity or something. Once I got my glass back, I stuck my nose in and she was right. The nose was straight out banana bread and not an artificial smell either. I was hoping that the taste would be as good as the nose. After the first sip, I was sold. This does, in fact, taste exactly like banana bread with a little hint of hop on the end. I really couldn’t pick up any other notes on it because I was so focused on the banana bread aspect of it. The body was light to medium thickness with high carbonation. It had a long finish with, yes, you guessed it, banana bread. Although I really enjoyed this brew, I couldn’t see pounding them all night. It was a bit gimmicky, but it really did deliver. It is definitely worth a try if you haven’t had it before, or if you have a fiancee who really likes banana bread.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout

This was the last beer of the vacation. We decided to go back to the Irish pub again, since it was so good. This time, I got a lobster roll there that was absolutely amazing. I decided to have a brew afterwards and went with this one. It’s been on my list to review forever, so I figured that it was time to get it out of the way.

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Chocolate lovers and beer drinkers may not necessarily see eye to eye when it comes to a lot of things, but they would certainly agree on this: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout combines the better of their two passions and creates something truly extraordinary and yummy. Now, you may be thinking that a chocolate beer is something that a real beer fan would not be caught dead sipping, but you would undoubtedly change your tune once you have gotten a taste of this delightful concoction. Dark chocolate and chocolate malt are mixed together with a full-flavoured rich dark beer to create a drink that is sweet yet alcoholic enough to make you want to order one again as soon as you are done with your first.”

Random: This was part of one of the best desserts that I ever had (well, beer related). It was part of a beer/ice cream float. So, so yummy.

This poured with a thick, creamy, tan head that didn’t go anywhere for awhile. Once it did, it left significant lacing on the glass. The body was black without any visible carbonation. The nose was all chocolate and roasted malts (although, they definitely took a back seat to the chocolate). On the first sip, I remember how much I loved this beer. It was a lot of chocolate, a hint of bitterness and some roasted malts. The body was thick with mild carbonation. Wow, this was definitely yummy…almost like dessert. I would definitely have this one again. It definitely hit the spot.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0