Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Wells & Youngs Imperial Stout

There’s been surprisingly little reaction to the news that Wells & Youngs have revived Courage Russian Stout, with the release happening at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver last week.

Since W&Y salvaged the Courage brands from the rotting carcass of Scottish & Newcastle I have been wondering whether the rights to Russian Stout were included and whether they had any plans to brew any. The stout was formerly aged in the bottle for a year previous to release, so it was quite a surprise to suddenly read that the beer was ready for sale without any indication in advance that they were even brewing it.

I don’t really need to explain what a legendary beer this is, do I? Barclay Perkins brewed it for two hundred years, unfathomable in our age. I had a bottle of what must have been the last brewing while I was a student, shortly after I got interested in beer. It was very nice indeed. Then S&N discontinued it, the bloody idiots. Beer lovers everywhere will surely be keen to try the new edition.

But seriously Wells & Youngs, WHAT IS THIS BULL CRAP ABOUT NOT SELLING IT IN THE UK UNTIL NEXT YEAR?! Get it sorted! I want to be drinking this at Christmas!

Might just have to brew my own.

I don’t begrudge the Americans having the reputation for the finest imperial stouts nowadays, but I have always found it very weird that so little was brewed in the country where it was invented.

Postscript: As I was writing this I heard that Wells & Youngs have also bought the legacy Wm Younger and McEwan brands from Heineken. Heineken (and Scottish & Newcastle before them) never had much of an idea what to do with these brands, as they got in the way of selling Fosters and Kronenbourg. Perhaps Wells & Youngs will show more imagination. McEwan’s also once brewed imperial stout …


  1. that last bit of news is interesting, what brands are they and which were the best?

  2. It's funny that the release was at GABF. I've seen quite a bit of W&Y's stuff, recently here in Albany—and not just bottled in the beer store. Bombardier is becoming quite common and their Double Chocolate Stout will start poping up as the winter rolls in.

  3. Well I was excited about it. And so were Boak & Bailey.

  4. The slight reaction might be because, as you say, it's not being released here. WHY?! Release it here and I care a lot more, a lot sooner. Saying that, it's cool they've brought it back - can't wait to try it!