Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series)Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

196 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 196
Reviews: 73
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 151
Gots: 39 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BigMcLargeHuge on 11-17-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 196 | Reviews: 73 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
2.17/5  rDev -48%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Stupac2 shared this one. Thanks!

Oily pitch black pour, in the usual Cigar City fashion. The head is near black itself, and retains well. Swirling the beer reveals syrupy black legs.

Ridiculously overwhelming cigar box aroma. Spicy, fruity, a lot of sweetness. Bit of soy sauce and tobacco. Not as much acrid char as regular Zhukov, which is a plus, but the cedar is far too intense.

The palate offers more of the same: a ton of spicy cedar. It's balanced fairly well by the sweetness, but still comes off as too much. Quite tannic, chocolatey, very thick and rich. Some char and astringency in the mouthfeel. Pretty rough, hard to drink. Yet another example of why cedar and beer should never meet.

Photo of blackcoyote13
2.29/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Tried this last Saturday from a cask release at Cigar City Brewing. Was very excited but I have to say that the cedar was so obnoxiously unbalanced and overwhelming that it ruined the Zhukov's base. Four folks in a row were cringing and turning red, while trying their best to find something positive to say about it (in futile effort really). I gave my glass away after a few swigs to a couple of folks sitting behind me, but not sure if they drank it either.

The surprising piece is that, while Cigar City looks to push the envelope with flavors and creativity (the fantastic Hunaphu, Zhukov's, Jai Alai IPA, etc), they seem to not have the courage to toss something out that tastes horrible. This brew needs to stay retired. I'll be sticking with the regular Zhukov's or looking around for a BA variant.

Photo of ehammond1
2.33/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Bottle

Acquired via trade
Thanks, Beerness!

Black and thick body with a moderately sized dark brown head. As usual, Cigar City makes another beautiful stout. Shiny, black, thick, heavy, viscous, oily--all words I'd use to describe this stout. Unfortunately, it's appearance was probably my favorite aspect of the beer.

Big notes of wood and smoke, as expected, and the base beer is largely lost because of it. There's also fairly large amounts of vegetable/tomato ketchup aroma, which isn't particularly pleasant. There's some strange sweetness and a bit of soy as well.

The flavor is just as bad, if not worse, than the aroma. Big notes of gourd vegetables, tomatoes, ketchup, wood, soy, and sweetness. A favorite beer of mine has been transformed into something not particularly drinkable.

Thick bodied with low-moderate carbonation. This beer does not fail the mouthfeel test.

I have largely hated the Humidor Series from Cigar City. This one is no exception.

Photo of Ryan011235
2.45/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Delirium snifter on 9/16/12

Shared by PDXHops

Sept 2011 printed on the label

This is quite the dark beer; the deep, scorched brown looks nearly black in the glass. The head is a rather dark brown and hits the one finger mark before skimming out. Small spots of lace build with each sip and slide back down the glass.

Dark sugars dominate the aroma; dense notes of molasses, chocolate and prune. Dark berry overtones. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of roast. The cedar isn't particularly distinct here; it just adds a small amount of wood in the few places not filled with sugars.

Thankfully, roast plays a more prominent role for the palate; even better are ashy hints toward the finish. Chocolate, molasses, tangy roast and undertones of coffee beans. The cedar is subtle here, too, and that's probably a good thing. The wood adds a snappy, earthy layer that might be overdone were it stronger. Sweet, but not terribly so. The finish has residual roast and sugars.

The feel is so viscous and dense, it might as well be termed sludge. Then again, it's too smooth to be sludgy, I reckon. Carbonation is on the low side of average; in comparison to the body, it's at a comfortable level for me right off the rip. No need to swirl here. The 11% abv is concealed well.

I had my reservations on account of some of the Cigar City sugar bombs I've had before, but this one panned out pretty well. The sweetness becomes more pronounced with warmth, and eventually, the beer becomes a bit tiring. It's not a terrible beer, though.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.48/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Somewhat chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by stupac2. Thanks, Stu!

From notes.

A: This pours a heavy, motor oil black with a pretty leggy appearance in swirls. Thick, dark head that looks menacing and retains fairly well. Say what I might, the appearance cannot be faulted.

S: This is REALLY woody. Tons of tannins with some roasted coffee and soy sauce backing it up. Kind of one-dimensional.

T: As in the nose, it's overly tannic; they contribute spice and astringency. The base beer is quite sweet, so I'm hoping for some interplay, but the tannins dominate. Some chocolate, but mostly roasted coffee and mild char.

M: I love the richness (thought it makes the beer hard to drink). I can't stand the over-emphasis on cedar, though. It's a wash.

O: This was shared in a really stout-dominated tasting, so it had the unfortunate luck of being stacked up against a number of other beers in the style (some great, some not). I found this near the bottom. Perhaps on its own, I might have been more pleased; but given how woody it is, probably not.

Photo of EseLocoSS
2.5/5  rDev -40%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -40%

Photo of coreymcafee
2.5/5  rDev -40%

Photo of Reagan1984
2.5/5  rDev -40%

Photo of Thorpe429
2.53/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks to raveskdr for sharing this bottle. Served in a Cigar City snifter. Pours a very dark brown color, bordering on black. The nose carries loads and loads of cedar. Far, far too much. It’s over the top. That’s enough ways to say that. Zhukov is a powerful beer, and it’s barely noticeable underneath the cedar here. The flavor adds in some roast and chocolate, but it’s mostly all cedar. Wow. Medium body with a spicy cedar finish. Not a huge fan. I’d much prefer regular Zhukov.

Photo of brystmar
2.95/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Shared this one with some BAs at a recent tasting. Love me some Zhukov, so let's see how the cedar aging fares.

True to its roots, Humidor Zhukov gloops out of the bottle with a viscous flow of liquid that refuses to separate into drops -- regardless how slow I pour. Almost zero head, but this is still the only beer I've seen that retains a lace of SYRUP (not beady lace) once the beer itself is gone. This stuff requires a full-on scrubbing to remove it entirely from your glass; simply rinsing does not suffice!

Aroma is cedary/smokey as expected, but wreaks of cigars and other various tobacco smoke. I strongly dislike smoke (as in the byproduct from burning something), and this reminds me of being in a room full of smokers.

Taste is no better, sporting a distinctly ashtray-forward flavor. The hearty, roasty Zhukov base is overshadowed by the disgusting memory of the last cigarette I smoked ~10 years ago. Fortunately, this sensation only shows up towards the end (and lingers, ugh), so if you keep drinking non-stop it's a pretty decent RIS! A rare misstep from from CCB on the Imperial Stout front.

Photo of chippo33
3/5  rDev -28.1%

Photo of JAXSON
3.28/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle as an extra, huge thanks to Justin. Pours black with a ridiculously thick, dark creamy mocha head. One of the darkest heads I've seen on any beer. Roasty and bitter on the nose, and a sharp note of something almost almost pine like. Bitterness is really high, roasted coffee beans especially, with a piney, almost tangy finish. Not sure the cedar aging really helped this, as that strange finish clashes a bit with the heavily roasted flavors. Not the greatest I've had from CCB.

Photo of Pullen
3.45/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to MrAndyPandy, I have the pleasure of sharing this beer.

A - Black as night. What a stout should be. Nothing impressive there.

Smell - The smell of this beer intrigues me the most overall. Reminds me of a sweater from my granny's cedar chest; The more I smell it, I strangely get grapefruit which I suspect it's from the cedar.

Taste - Somewhat dry with tones of grapefruit that are apparent as the beer warms up. Those tones overpower the beer with lends to diminishing the beer's complexity.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with a dry finish.

Drinkability - One pint is enough for me. After having this beer, you'd have to be in a certain mood/mindframe before trying again. That doesn't mean the beer is bad, it's just different and I applaud CCB for the effort. If oak were used, I think this would be a winner.

Photo of beergorrilla
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of nickhiller
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of WeisGuy
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of Savearth
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of BillHilly
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of rdooley
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.63/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Can't remember who shared this, but thanks! From notes.

Pours black =, not much head formation, a few bubbles. Non existent lacing.

Really unique aroma. The cedar impact is huge, its like this kind of rustic bark flavored candle that reminds you of fall. There's also a fruity note as well on top of all the stout characteristics. The taste, very woody as well with a kind of perfume-like fragrance from the wood. Fruity again with the heft of the stout base coming through, though most of the distinct flavors are overshadowed. There is no assertive coffee or chocolate, they are simply background flavors after this wood treatment. Solid mouthfeel, not too oily, adequate carbonation. I was really intrigued by this one and kept coming back to it. I didn't love it, but it was definitely unique. I would like to try this as well as other cigar city cedar-aged beers in the future.

Photo of oline73
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

We opened this up during a tasting last weekend. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours black and very thick with a layer of cocoa colored head that fades to just a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Slightly peppery with a strong presence of the cedar. Sweet and roasty, quite nice.

Taste: Again, the wood has a very strong presence here. The taste is a little bitter with the sweetness taking a back seat, which is a big change from the base beer. The finish is bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side with tingly carbonation and an extremely dry finish.

Overall: I thought the wood would balance out the sweetness from the base beer. It ended up being way too bitter. I don't think I'll search this one out again.

Photo of Overlord
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Many thanks to a very generous jw347, who I most definitely owe ... this was an extra! I ensured proper reviewing dynamics by gently using an eyedropper to fill a tumbler with exactly 2.3 oz of this liquid. I also used a blow dryer combined with dry ice to replicate heating and freezing temperatures. Good to go!

Pours jet black, with a gigantic, beautifully bubbling dark brown head. This is a gorgeous beer. Off the top of my head, I can't think of one more attractive. Nice bubbling foamy crust throughout.

Smells earthy, with just hints of cedar (not nearly as pronounced as other cedar aged beers I've had from them), with big roasted malt and a much stronger than expected dark fruit/plum background. Hmm...why would this have so much more dark fruit than the "normal" version? Some bitter chocolate and espresso in the nose.

The taste, unfortunately, doesn't quite deliver on the aroma. And I blame the cedar. I appreciate what Cigar City is trying to do in terms of expanding palates, but the cedar is so distracting. Yes, cigar boxes and furniture come to mind. There's an earthy roasted maltiness with a big dark fruit component (again, where is this coming from? The "regular" version was much more charred/earthy/ashy, and the dark fruits were a hint) and accompanying chocolate and coffee. The whole thing is bitter and earthy. But the cedar ... man. I can't help but wish they'd gone with a bourbon barrel.

Overall, very interesting, glad I got the chance to try it, but not for me.

Photo of jaminjohnson
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of bsuedekum
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) from Cigar City Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.