Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) - Cigar City Brewing
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 192 | Reviews: 73 | Display Reviews Only:
4.33/5 rDev +3.8%
Drank on-tap at Rattle 'N' Hum, New York, NY
Served in a stemmed wine glass
Fairly thick and viscous in appearance. Nearly pitch black with no head but a frothy, coffee colored ring of lace.
The aroma was big, roasty and a touch sweet. Coffee and brown sugar came through strong. Slightly smoky.
The taste was excellent. Overall, bigger, sweeter and more complex than the aroma. Lots of coffee, roast and brown sugar. The cedar gives the beer a beer a slightly woody flavor that is definitely more subtle than oak. Dry, smoky and a touch hoppy on the finish.
The mouthfeel was amazing. Nearly full-bodied. Rich, creamy, frothy and super smooth with a fine, tongue-blanketing effervescence.
Drinkability was quite good. This beer hides its alcohol prowess well.
All in all, another terrific release from the folks at Cigar City.
02-20-2010 07:25:07 | More by Damian
4.22/5 rDev +1.2%
First off, props to tpd975 for the hook up on this difficult to obtain bottle from CCB. Greg always seems willing and able to surprise you with some choice CCB selections.
A - Dark pour into a snifter glass with a small head that quickly settles down.
S - Very interesting in that the cedar smell is definitely present. Hard to place in that no other beers really feature the cedar aging and profile. Very interesting. You are expecting the normal RIS profile but the cedar definitely makes you sit up and take notice. My friends who were not aware of what was being served had strange "what is this" expressions on their face.
T - Follows the nose in that the cedar provides a really interesting taste to the base Zuhkov. At times not sure if you love it, it is that interesting and unusal. Not sure you can drink a lot of this, but it is an interesting variation to the base RIS.
M - A slightly thinner version of the base beer. Everyone liked it.
D - Again, it is very unique and I am not sure that my share of the bottle is more than enough. Very interesting experience.
Thanks again to greg for the hookup on this variation. I really appreciate it.
01-30-2010 05:28:57 | More by Beerisheaven
4.43/5 rDev +6.2%
750 ml capped bottle, 2009 vintage, thanks jdubfl.
Pours into my snifter a dense black, with no light even on the edges. The head is the best ive seen, it is cocoa brown and looks like chocolate creme. It stick around nicely leaving some very nice lacing behind.
The smell is pretty wild on this one, like no beer I have smelled before, thanks to the cedar. Along with the fresh cedar there is massive amounts of malt and a huge chocolate presence. This is also one of my favorite smelling brews. There is a tiny hint of sourness and wine way underneath too. It is totally exotic, but very well executed.
This one tastes very delicious. The malts are very easy to pick out and leave layers of flavor as you go. The cedar is a huge presence in the taste and it tastes good. It is a totally different beast than oak, it melds with the bitterness expertly creating almost a piney flavor. It is sweet and has a decent alcohol presence but neither become overpowering.
The mouthfeel could be less carbonated, but for the most part it is pretty good. My mouth has gotten really sticky while drinking this stuff.
This stout is jam packed with flavor, it isn't for the faint of heart, I wish I had another bottle to age.
01-29-2010 00:29:39 | More by crossovert
3.9/5 rDev -6.5%
Ditmier busted this out at the RIS tasting last weekend.... Thanks homeboy!! Reviewed from notes.
Beautiful pouring... but the thin tan head died really quickly... no lacing..
coffee... cocoa... dark fruity esters and a bunch of cedar.... too much for my liking, but it adds an interesting complexity that I may just have to learn to appreciate ;-)
Traditional RIS flavors with a nice spike of plum and some sour cherry essence.. the cedar is wayy higher than the aroma... tobacco and it reminds me of my grandma's winter cedar chest growing up.. a bit smokey/char... good medium full body with a lite yet smooth carbonation.
Thanks again Eric for bringing the Big Guns! You always do.
01-21-2010 08:43:08 | More by JohnGalt1
3.88/5 rDev -7%
Received this brew some months ago from tpd975. I really enjoyed the regular version and I'm excited to try this one as well. Drank from my Darkness snifter.
Appearance- Glugs a thick dark motor oil black with a small half finger super dark tan head from an aggressive pour. Seriously thick shit. A crazy thin collar remains with almost no cap but a bit of random lacing.
Smell- Aggressively bitter from the deep dark char of the super roasted malts. Just tons and tons of rich French roasted coffee and deep dark raw cocoa. The chocolate is abundant but so is a nice vanilla and caramel tone that really help to accentuate the chocolate. Honestly I get nothing that reminds me of cedar or wood (of any kind) but considering how intense the nose is, I fully understand. Especially since cedar is supposed to be a bit tamer.
Taste- Wow, just as intense as the smell. The cedar that I couldn't quite pick out in the nose is MORE than abundant in the taste. Like, distractingly abundant. It almost has a spearmint like quality to it. Once I get past the cedar plank in my glass it's definitely full of coffee and raw cocoa nibs. Intensely bitter at times with a raw char and slightly citric hop kick; yet somewhat sweet, especially toward the finish. A light bit of caramel and gentle kick of alcohol really finish the beer.
Mouthfeel- Very thick and velvety smooth with a super duper richness and super light carbonation.
Drinkability- The first glass wasn't so bad. Yes, the cedar is a bit much but I got used to it after awhile. But it's a very intense brew from start to finish and I had a fairly hard time putting down the whole bottle. This is definitely a share with a friend kind of beer. Extreme for sure. Thanks much Greg!
01-12-2010 02:00:37 | More by younger35
4.22/5 rDev +1.2%
courtesy of illidurit
S: Cedar!, roasty, tobacco
A: Jet black w/dark brown head
T: Cedar is overwhelmingly strong. If it was more balanced this would have gotten an even higher taste score. There is also roast, spice, little alcohol, and a bitter roasty finish.
M: Fairly thick.
D: Really minimal etoh presence, and very tasty.
Overall: First C.C. "humidor" series beer I've had. If the cedar was a little more subdued I think it would be a whee bit better.
01-11-2010 18:55:00 | More by bret27
4.3/5 rDev +3.1%
Bottle shared by illidurit at a tasting. Huge thanks to David for this one.
Pours jet black and viscous with a very dark brown head, about as dark as heads get.
Aroma is intense with lots of cedar, roast, and smoke, redwood forest, and coconut.
Flavor is absolutely insane, like nothing I've had before. It's almost like they liquified the taste of a great Cuban cigar and blended that with a very good imperial stout. Roasty and really cedary with burnt malts, cigar smoke, chocolate, black pepper, coconut, and tropical fruits. Really complex, really crazy, and really awesome. At first I thought it was a little weird, but it definitely grew on me.
Extremely long finish. Amazingly smooth and full on the mouthfeel yet having some harsh smoky bitterness.
Drinkability is only decent, but that doesn't really detract from how awesome this beer is overall.
01-11-2010 17:49:23 | More by nickd717
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
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
3.45/5 rDev -17.3%
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.
12-31-2009 01:50:20 | More by Pullen
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
3.73/5 rDev -10.6%
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.
12-02-2009 09:05:29 | More by Overlord
4.45/5 rDev +6.7%
750ml bottle purchased at Cigar City Brewery, in Tampa, FL.
A- Motor oil. Tar. Ink. Take your pick. This stuff is pours as thick and black as any beer I have seen. After a vigorous pour, the minimal tan head quickly recedes to the edges of the glass. It almost stains the sides as I sip and leaves no lacing.
S- Heavy roasted malts with dark fruits and cedar in the background. A little bit of chocolate. Not as powerful as I would expect from a beer of this size.
T- Talk about complex. Heavy roasted malt in the beginning, quickly surpassed by dark fruits (plums, figs, currants), cedar, and chocolate. No alcohol detected, which is nice for an 11% stout. The cedar is a bit muted at first but really comes out as the beer warms. My only compliant would be that its amost a bit TOO roasty.
M - Thick, viscous and chewy. A full-bodied stout with an almost creamy mouthfeel. Very nice.
D- Without saying, this was hands down a sipper, yet for a stout of this size it was incredibly "drinkable." Granted, finishing an entire 750ml by myself was difficult, but the thanksgiving dinner I had just eaten didn't help. I'm glad I've got four more bottles.
Overall - My second Cigar City brew, and easily the better of the two. The cedar really adds another layer of complexity to the beer that overpowered the Cedar Aged Maduro Brown. A world class stout, highly recommended to split with some friends.
11-27-2009 03:09:03 | More by mrandypandy
5/5 rDev +19.9%
Bottle courtesy of JRedner. Pours a dark brown to pitch black color with a small off-white head. Little retention or lacing. Aroma is rich, roasted malts, dark ripe fruit, notes of wood, cream, chocolate, some coffee and toffee. Flavor is roasted malt, wood, molasses, spice, hints of smoke and toffee. Very interesting and complex beer. Generally full body with a roasted and malty finish.
01-18-2009 23:00:13 | More by Kiefdog
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
4.78/5 rDev +14.6%
Huge thanks to CCB for letting us lush our way through multiple glasses of this wonderful brew. It pours deep dark chocolate with dark brown edges and wispy mocha head. Looks impressive and hinting at the yummy goodness to come. The aroma isn't pungent but more moderate in strength conveying adequate notes of rich roasty malts mixing with an inviting level of rich smelling dark chocolate and a mild background of toastiness. The taste starts with a rich creamy full mouth feel ushering in velvety dark chocolate, some roasted malts to burnt malts and yummy sweet, and yes creamy, caramel candy. I love that ribbon of caramel that persists throughout the flavor experience. Wow, awesome flavor. But wait, there's more. As the finish approaches a very complimentary toasted multi grain bread stirs up and blends into a mild roasted cedar wood confluence of notes. This is just a fabulous brew and tells me a dark chocolate, caramel candy and roasted wood mix of notes can come together in near perfect flavor harmony. The only tiny knock I can give this brew would be that it could use a slightly fuller aroma. But that is getting picky.
11-17-2008 16:52:29 | More by BigMcLargeHuge
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cedar Aged (Humidor Series) from Cigar City Brewing
93 out of 100 based on 192 ratings.