Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 192 | Reviews: 73 | Display Reviews Only:
3.88/5 rDev -7%
Bottle shared by wetherel on 12/19/2009. Thanks! The beer flows from the bottle and appears black and viscous with a one finger light brown head.
The nose is earthy, with notes of toasted cedar. It's like walking in a forest (of Cedar trees), stopping, dropping to one knee, taking a bit of soil between your cupped bands, and bringing it to your nose to partake in the wonders of nature. The malt is very roasted. Light vanilla is evident. I detect a little chocolate and tobacco. Dark fruits linger in the distance.
The flavor is of chocolate with an ashen, roasted, tannic, bitter, astringent, and woody quality. The cedar doesn't translate well to the flavor, but it's not particularly offensive, and there are redeeming qualities. This is a robust RIS with an emphasis on the roast. The finish is somewhat harsh, with notes of roasted malt, chocolate, and wood
12-21-2009 09:12:41 | More by HopHead84
4/5 rDev -4.1%
Big thanks to Greg (googzoid10) for the bottle! I haven't had the standard Zhukov's yet, but this is the second aged version (my first was the brandy) and I've really enjoyed them both.
This pours dark, I guess you could call it black, with a thin tan head. I braced for a strong cedar nose (having tried the Jai Alai and Gruit Humidor series last year) but the cedar was really a minor component here. What comes through most strongly are RIS aromas, roasted malts and a little cocoa, then after all that is processed I get a little cedar at the end.
On tasting, the cedar makes its presence known. Unlike the aroma it's more of a defining characteristic in the taste, but in a way that worked very well for me. I think a strong RIS is a better choice for cedar aging than, say, an IPA, as the stout can keep a lot of its original flavor. At least that's based on the few I've tried from Cigar City.
Lots of sweet roasty malts, a little caramel malt too, some cocoa and what have you. Plus cedar, which melds with the flavors nicely. Based on some things I heard while sharing this bottle, there's a chance that a little age has helped the flavors come together.
Nice thick mouthfeel, not so much alcohol apparent in taste or by burn, very easy drinking. An odd beer maybe, but one I fully recommend.
01-29-2011 19:33:29 | More by TurdFurgison
3.78/5 rDev -9.4%
On-tap at the "Aging Beers on Unusual Wood" presentation by Cigar City at Bx Beer Depot.
Appearance - Jet black with no head. Little brown bubbles around the edge. So black it stains the glass.
Smell - Sweet malts and some coffee aromas. Overwhelming sweetness. I honestly don't get a lot of cedar, unless it's hidden within the sugar and booze.
Taste - Strong chocolate malts. Hop bitter at the front, which is strange for an RIS. Strong sweetness in the middle with a cedar astringency in the finish. The cedar seems to add to the sweetness, too.
Mouthfeel - Thick as hell. Not a lot of carbonation, even on tap. It coats the mouth and makes the flavors linger.
Overall - I don't get a lot of direct cedar. It adds to the flavors subtly and unfortunately enhances the sweetness of the beer.
08-28-2011 03:59:44 | More by Alieniloquium
3.98/5 rDev -4.6%
Thanks to Eric (turd) for this one. 2009 bottle poured into a tulip. I was dreading to try this after other Humidor series, but this surprisingly good...This is a looker, a midnight black body with a dark tan head that rises about three full fingers. The heads falls a touch to fast without leaving much of a cap but great lacing at first...As expected the aroma is mostly cedar, strong, astringent, yet fresh and not totally overbearing as lots of dark chocolate adds balance. I also get some fresh tobacco leaves, really nice touch. At points the cedar comes across very strong but it dies and lets other things show, including a touch of mint leaves and alcohol...The cedar takes a backseat on the taste. Its still there and strong but doesn't dominate and makes this drinkable as I came back for a couple more glasses. The chocolate really holds up well here and is actually the main player. Cedar accents with some smoke and vanilla. Hate to say it, this is good!
I had no expectations this would be good. Stay away from cedar aged ipas but the stout holds up. This isn't something I would drink several times, not could I finish a bottle myself. However, its a successful change of pace that I would suggest everyone trying.
01-26-2011 16:51:49 | More by jrallen34
4/5 rDev -4.1%
Big thanks goes out to my boy Jefe73 for sending me this one in a past trade! Shared this one with everyone at cmrillo’s 40 Beers* @ 40 Birthday Bash! Served from bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Poured pitch black with a minimal brown head that subsided to basically none quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, cedar, dark chocolate, and spices. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, cedar, dark chocolate, spices, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. I really like the kiss of cedar on this one that the Humidor Series added on this one. The nice woodiness on this one made it seem like it was added in an uber-barrel, but left out some of the undertones you pick up on using barrels. A really well thoughout-out brew that I’m glad I got the chance to try.
05-31-2012 12:13:10 | More by thagr81us
4.35/5 rDev +4.3%
Generously shared by Eric, the artist formerly known as TurdFurgison.
A - Black beer with a tightly bubbled brown head that looked really nice. Minor spots left on the outside.
S - Smells like a nicely sweet and roasted stout, if you were drinking it locked in a cedar chest. Wow, tons and tons of cedar along with the roasted malts, a little cocoa, molasses, tobacco. Shocking at first, but it kind of grew on me.
T - The taste grew on me even more. Once you got used to the cedar it was a very smooth, unique beer with lots of big stout taste, a little on the sweet side, but with some complimentary and sweetness cutting cedar presence. I really liked this a lot and had multiple pours.
M - Smooth, creamy, full bodied.
O - I doubt this will be for everyone, but I really enjoyed this beer and drank a surprising amount of it. Would love to have it again.
07-11-2011 19:06:38 | More by AgentZero
3.83/5 rDev -8.2%
Pours a dark mocha color with foam that quickly dissipates to a thin collar. Pitch black body with glass-coating brownish oily film.
Aromas begin straight cedar box, but once you get past the wood there's a hefty amount of dark chocolate, and a hint of vanilla as well. Really dark toasted caramel in the background.
The taste is much more mellow with the cedar influence, and is much better integrated than I expected. It's a nice blend of cedar, chocolate cake, smoke and light espresso. Finishes with light bitterness. As it warms I get more dark chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, alcohol, wood, toasted malts, bready malts and light vanilla. Not as sweet as the nose and a tiny step down.
The mouthfeel is full bodied with light carbonation that is sufficient to keep this from getting syrupy, but just barely. Quite a sticky finish and lightly tannic as well. Thankfully the alcohol is well-hidden.
Overall this is another big boy stout that requires sharing. It's a nice interpretation/variation of the Zhukov, but I like "the version" with cocoa nib, cinnamon, chiles and vanilla beans better. :-) Not really worth seeking out as it just tastes like Zhukov and a cigar box had a baby. Glad I tried it and didn't have to drink the whole bottle by myself.
02-19-2012 16:13:40 | More by claspada
3.98/5 rDev -4.6%
750mL bottle, Humidor Series label with a white sticker indicating Marshal Zhukov Imperial Stout 2009. Can't thank Justin enough for this one.
Pour is spectacular - absolutely pitch black, sucking-the-light-out-of-the-room black, with a huge thick mocha head that lingers as a thick cap and leaves great lacing. Exactly what I think a stout should look like.
This thing smells just about as good as it looks. Huge dark, roasted malts with chocolate and espresso, even some sweet dark fruits as well. There is also the over-arching cedar character and even some citrus hops thrown in.
The initial taste is really surprising, with a big spicy cedar kick, more than I was expecting given the aroma. The underlying beer is present after that initial blast with dark chocolate malts, espresso and sweet fruits. Then the finish swings back toward the cedar with an earthy character - spicy with some tobacco even.
The mouthfeel is full bodied with a soft but very present carbonation.
Overall, the look and smell are close to world class. It's just that the cedar becomes way too distracting - an overwhelming earthy spiciness. Still, Cigar City is clearly doing some ground-breaking things in Tampa and this is no exception.
01-10-2010 04:00:14 | More by gford217
4.1/5 rDev -1.7%
Bottle courtesy daknole. Pours a very inky black with a dark brown creamy head. Very oily and sudsy, looks great. Smells exactly like a cigar box. Having trouble getting any notes other than cedar. Tastes like a cigar box too, but at least there's some beer influence in there as well. Dark chocolate, not a lot of roast, rather smokey, no alcohol presence. Chewy and smooth. I'd love to try the base beer.
01-09-2010 21:58:01 | More by illidurit
3.8/5 rDev -8.9%
Generously shared amongst seven by blisscent. 2009 vintage served in my 25cl Allagash chalice. Pours with a quarter inch mocha-colored head that quickly dissipated. Body was inky black - one of the darkest RIS's I've ever had. No lacing, but some spots with weak adhesion. Wow, lost of cedar coming off the nose - smells like a humidor, with a sweet malty quality in the back, and a hint of licorice. Taste consistent with nose - cedar, spicy malty. Mouthfeel is medium-full and lightly effervescent. Slightly chewy, but very dry - the driest RIS I've ever had, and not a quality I've come to associate with the style. An interesting brew, but the cedar is really overwhelming. Alcohol is well-hidden and the assertiveness of the beer definitely mellows as it warms over time, but this one is clearly meant for sharing.
01-10-2010 17:01:22 | More by Jwale73
4.33/5 rDev +3.8%
Thanks to msulinksi & moose3285 for sending me bottles of this brew: having sampled it in small quantities at three tastings recently, I'm eager to have a full pour. Solid 750 ML bottles split in two.
Pour is traditional solid-tar black. Smell is cedar closet, huge sweet malts, more cedar.
Cedar Aged Zhukov's is like standing in a cedar sawmill with bronchitis caused by cedar sawdust. Two by fours of cedar carpet-bomb the palate within milliseconds of the first sip. The brewery's patented charred roast - roasted cedar, in all likelihood - is secondary. Ghost malt adds imperceptible sweetness. Lovely stickiness, no alcohol. The cedar onslaught takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do, I'm jazzing to drink this like river water.
I'm a sucker for regular Zhukov's, a fan of wood-aged beers, & this is a high-class marriage of both. One could argue it is one note, it's too much, it's this, it's that. All true. And delicious too. Excellent beer.
02-12-2012 05:44:38 | More by maximum12
4.8/5 rDev +15.1%
This one is being done from notes. CCB had many locals over for a keg stickering party and this was our pay.
A: Pours a nice deep dark black hue with a small mocha head. The retention is low but some spotty lace is noted. Once the head dies down it is matte black in color and very evil looking in the glass.
S: I still dream of the aroma of this one. Tons of fresh roasted malt with layers of chocolate, both bitter and sweet. Hints of coffee poke thru, and then bam.... the cedar. How come no one else had tought of that?
T: If this beer is lacking anywhere, the taste makes up for it ten fold. Roasted malt comes first. It was perfectly toasted and good. After that you are hit in the face with chocolate. The rich smooth chocolate quality of this beer is what cake and fudge makers dream of. The beers is so smooth and rich like nothing I have had before. Milk chocolate makes an appearence as does caramel and marshmellow. The cedar dances in the background but does not overpower. To call this beer expertly crafted is an understatement.
M: Full in body, very rich, as smooth as a babys ass. When it comes to mouthfeel this was the smoothest most enjoyable beer I have ever tasted.
D: So drinkable, it is my absolute favorite beer to date.
I just hope this one can be re-created on the commerical scale, as I had a test batch. If it can it is an instant top ten in the world brew, if not...I guess a re-review will be in order.
12-29-2008 22:49:32 | More by tpd975
4.58/5 rDev +9.8%
Big thanks to cvm4 (Cliff) for this bottle!
This pours magnificent. Black as night, with the most robust, chocolaty head ever conceived. Aroma was monster coffee, dark roasted malts, chocolate, and a spicy woody note. Fairly same translation to the taste: huge coffe and chocolate with a high roasted/charred note and a spicy wood note. Thick as can be, coats the mouth and glass.
While some impy stout can seem daunting, the sheer excellence here negates that possibility.
01-27-2012 06:29:40 | More by EgadBananas
4.2/5 rDev +0.7%
From notes. Bottle shared by rudylaw at a pre-DLD tasting.
A - Pours black, very little head. A few bubbles here and there but otherwise, just the straight black motor oil look.
S - Spanish cedar, reminds me of a Cuban cigar box, mixed with some chocolate and dark fruit. The cedar is really in-your-face on the nose...I mean, REALLY.
T - Not as much cedar as I was expecting. Quite nice. It's got the milk/dark chocolate and a smooth woody/cedar touch to it. Very ncie.
M - Full bodied, rich, creamy finish.
D - Very nice stout. I haven't had the regular version yet so I can't really comment on a comparison. I'll update this once I've had the chance. Overall, me like.
05-23-2010 05:40:59 | More by Sean9689
2.33/5 rDev -44.1%
Acquired via trade
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.
08-29-2012 18:30:39 | More by ehammond1
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) from Cigar City Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 192 ratings.