5 Czars Imperial Stout | McKenzie Brew House

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5 Czars Imperial Stout5 Czars Imperial Stout
17 Ratings
5 Czars Imperial Stout5 Czars Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
McKenzie Brew House
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 03-20-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of Crosling
4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted blind against Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel, Stone Imperial Russian Stout, Dark Horse Imperial Stout, Southampton Imperial Russian Stout, Rogue XS Imperial Stout, Great Divide Yeti, Bell’s Expedition, Alesmith Speedway Stout, Victory Storm King, Thirsty Dog Siberian Night, Pizza Port Santa’s Little Helper, Avery The Czar, Hawk’s DM’s Imperial Stout, Three Floyds Dark Lord, Bear Republic Big Bear Black, North Coast Old Rasputin, and two of Scott Jackson’s homebrewed Impys. The 5 Czars from McKenzie’s came out # 6 for me, out of 19. Opaque black color with a large and dense mocha colored head. Fairly deep nose, with big notes of raisins, burnt malt and chocolate. Light oaky tones, thick, bubbly feel. Smooth & rich malts. Very well balanced and tasty.

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Photo of weeare138
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to egajdzis for this one...
Appears a pitch black with a 2 finger fluffy tan head. Little spotty lacing is left throughout the glass.
Smell is of chocolate milk, caramel, roasted nuts, vanilla, and a hint of rich espresso beans.
Taste is of chocolate velvet with lots of nuttiness that mixes well.
Mouthfeel is soft and velvety smooth.
The drinkability is superb. I really enjoyed this one.
Please, please, please petition the management team at McKenzie's to bring back these cellar aged brews. The mainstay lineup is ok but this is the stuff that gets people excited and coming out in the masses. Why would you want to do away with a great concept like this?

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Photo of shippos
3.27/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

courtesy fo meathooks

poured witha a light coffee tan head thats dense and froathy on a black body. chocolatly aroma with some nice raostedness and some mocha and a touch of coffee. spicy carbonation in the taste, seems to have refermented in the bottle. bit of an astringent aroma of alcohol mixed with coffee. hot finish with a definent warming character. bottled too soon or qc issues??

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle courtesy of GeoffFromSJ

Pours an opaque black. Very thick light brown head tops this one. Retention is impressive and lacing is just so so.
Smell is coffee, bakers chocolate, slight vinious qualities, and just a hint of smoked malts. Not much fruit in this one, but it still smells pretty damn good.
Taste is espresso, dark chocolate, very slight smoky character. A little yeastie character and just a bit of port wine. Hops are present, but not overwhelming.
Mouthfeel is nice. Carbonation is nice, not slick or oily at all.
Overall, an excellent Imperial Stout. I would recommend it to anyone. The only reason the drinkability suffers a bit is because this is a fairly heavy flavored beer and I just don't think you could drink more than one in a night...it sure would be fun to try though.

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Photo of Fish113d
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring into a tulip glass at about cellar temperature, it pours like motor oil after about 5,000 miles; black and heavy with a 1 1/2 inch chocolate milkshake looking head. No light getting through this sludge! Some reddish tints also on the swirl. Smell is of mocha chocolate with some plummy malt and some very slight hops and caramel throughout. The taste is mainly of sweet alcohol sugars and a smoky mocha flavor; a huge chocolate shake finish w/ some alcohol burn. Wow! Caramel and raisins even come through a bit along with even some rasberries maybe. A very complex robust brew! The carbonation is a bit stingy on the tongue along with the alcohol burn, but the finish is big and creamy. I would have to place this in my top-5 favorite beers!!! Gotta get another one!!!

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big bottle from the brewhouse witha basic label declaring 22 Plato, 8.9% ABV, 30 IBU, 750 mL.

Starts off with a quality 98% opaque buh-lack brown, "used motor oil" hues with ZERO light escaping under a dark brown taunt head cap that eventually settles to a thin layer.

Burnt malts and brown sugar scents blend in a vinous nose. Almost some plain yogurt scents develop.

First swigs: Toasted malt, cocoa and brown sugar. Pecan pie, burnt molasses, caramelized sugars, and maple syrup sweetness. Black coffee and lingering English stout "melted snow" flavors. Slightly powdery, almost like half-baked brownies, confectioners sugar, and hidden hops. Quite complex in the taste.

Thick feel. Gentle carbonation. Soupy melted vanilla ice cream. Scary drinkability due to the yummy flavor and 8.9 % ABV.

Last swigs: Molasses and pecan pie Russian Imperial Stout. Buttered waffles & syrup lip smacker. Reminiscent of Victory Storm King, but not availible year round and it should be.

*** 400th beer review ***

Local beer is good. Happy local beering.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours midnight black. No light penetration and a big frothy 3-finger head on the pour. Head dissipates quickly.
Aroma of chocolate, hints of nuts, spicy yeast and some dark bread notes.
Flavor of milk chocolate, brown sugar, coriander and lightly roasted coffee notes. Distinctive Belgian influence.
Mouthfeel is sweet and highly carbonated, medium-bodied at most, light bitterness and spicy finish.
Drinkability is high. Lighter for style. Highly carbonated, low in viscosity for style but still very enjoyable.

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Photo of Erix
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed in pint glass filled from bottle
Appearance: Totally pitch black beer, with a never ending head. Way too much head here. The beer itself looks great, especially once the head died down, but that unfortunately took quite a while.
Smell: Strong smell of roasted malt, with a somewhat sour edge to it that goes right up your nose. A whole load of bitter chocolate comes along with all this. The smell really improves as the beer warms up, but I'm not a big fan of the sourness.
Taste: This is truely an exceptional brew! The flavor is so much better than the smell. So toasty, and thick with chocolate, malt, and coffee. There is bitterness there, but it is more of a burnt bitter than an overpowering hops kind. Very well hidden alcohol. Wonderful!
Mouthfeel: Luxuriously thick, but more creamy than heavy. Feels almost airy, despite the huge amount of flavor assaulting your mouth.
Drinkability: This is probably the most drinkable beer of this heft I have ever had. I was hesitant to open this bottle without someone to share it with, but now I am happy I did. Absolutely fantastic.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Simply put, one of the best beers I've had.

Pours a murky black molasses. Starts with a sizeable head which lasts for a while. Red at the small edges of the beer.

The smell of hops predominates the smell, at least for me, and it is lovely. Hints of malt and alcohol.

The taste is perfect imperial russian stout. Everything one could ask for. A complexity typically displayed by the best of the style. Big stout taste with hops with a nice secondary taste, which for me is hard to describe.

Drinkability? I finished a 750 mL bottle of it myself.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on 1/08/05 from a 750ml bottle bought at the brewpub. A nice tall brown head forms over the pitch-black oily body after the pour. It collapses down in to a rocky topping of foam that leaves nice thick rings of lace covering most of the glass. Quite a strong aroma filled with dark chocolate and coffee. Roasted malt was lurking in the back ground as dark ripe fruity notes. A very appetizing aroma to say the least. Bittersweet dark chocolate and a roasted malt come through first in the taste. Notes of coffee are there as is a light earthy hoppiness. Lost of roastiness in the finish as well. Mouthfeel is about full and it is creamy. Ridiculous drinkability for a big beer. I could go through a few bottles of this in a session easily. I am glad I picked up a few while I was there. Excellent brew that you should seek out.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I opened one of my bottles of this brew with a buddy of mine. We split a cellar temp bottle into pint glasses.
The beer pours pitch black with a frothy tan head of 2 cm foaming up easily. Aroma is roasted malt and chocolate with a bit of earthy hops mixing in.
First sip reveals soft tingly carbonation and fairly thick body. The flavor is roasted malt and chocolate mixing with a bit of bitter coffee on the finish. I get pretty much all malt flavors with this deep and robust brew. Very roasty finish. The beer is very smooth and drinks amazingly easy for the ABV! Quite a tasty beer. Wonder what my next one will taste like in about 1 year??

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Photo of oxmasterscream
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally decided to crack open my one and only bottle...

Appearance: Poured an immense, fizzy yet thick and pillowy brown head that sat atop a dark brown-black ale with ruby-mahogany highlights. Nice.

Smell: Chocolatey sweet aromas mixed with major wafts of smoked malt. Very Scotchy. As a downright loather of smoked malt, I was a bit wary of the aroma but figured it'd be stupid not to give it a fair whirl.

Taste: Nice, sweet chocolately malt flavors up front. Spicy in the middle. Smooth, mouth-drying bitter finish that develops slowly and steadily. Some hints of dark fruits, mainly some burnt raisin and sometimes black cherries. Hints of vanilla as well. I was happy to find that there was only a tinge of smoked malt in the taste, nothing like the strong smoky aromas I detected upon first whiff. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, thick and full with a carbonation that pricks at the tongue.

Drinkability: This stuff is plenty good. I feel privileged to have tried it.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh from a recently hand-bottled and labeled 750ml bottle. Dark black, the colour of a moonless night. Seriously. F'in Dark. With a nice espresso head that leaves nice sticky lacing as well. Aromas are of chocolate syrup. I mean f'in Bosco. The real stuff! I also pick up roasted malts, and french vanilla cappucino with a hint of oak. Taste is very chocolatey up front with some nice coffee flavors in the middle and a lovely finish of sweet chocolate, oak, and green hops. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy and drinkability is awesome. Another great one from "the dude"

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Photo of shapudding
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brewed Feb '04 by the so under appreciated Scott Morrison and a bunch of BA's that are slowly making themselves known throught some postings it seems...
Grabbed this bottle on a run -and luckily was one of the few that caught it that night since it was a BA swarm that were heading in to grab the 6 that Scott had bottled. The Blitheringidiot and I shared this absolutely amazing bottle of loveliness a bit after popping into the pub for what was on tap.
Now, down to the goods. Man, this needs to be available all year round. I don't care what people say about the BS that if it was, then there would not be hype for it, and we would not be wanting it as much. Hell, I want as much of this as I can. This is sooo fine.
Poured out a deep, dark, chocolately love.... thin ring of creamy, khaki head and a nice dusting that laid so gently all over the top... so lovely....
Wonderful scents of chocolate and caramel, bit of coffee. First sip... oh man, this is soooo freakin' good! Smooth and lovely! The feel is perfection! The carbination is not too much, yet not flat in any way at all. Taste of lovely darkness! Espresso and caramell, honey sweetness, karo and chocolate. The BIdiot said burnt molasses and pecan pie, hey, damn good call on that one. But this is not cloyingly sweet at all. I could easily see myself drinking 5 pints of the 5 czars, summer/winter, no matter. BIdiot mentioned the term "scary drinkability", well, this is it! It is not a low alcohol, but yet you can just drink away and enjoy and love it!
-on that note, I mentioned to a guy I know who is local to it that if he was going to be near it any time at all, he could not pass up a chance to get in, and drink it if it was still there. He called me the same day, said he dragged his buds in for "one drink", promising them I knew what I was talking about. Im apparently owed a spanking for sending a bunch of buzzed guys over without mentioning the % on this one to them... but it was very, very well received~!

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Photo of egajdzis
4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

GABF2004... Poured an opaque black color with a medium tan head. Aroma of nuts, roast, sweet fudge/chocolate. Taste of sweet chocolate, roast and more nuts. Alcohol was nicely hidden. Like riding a peanut down a chocolate slide with walls of caramel. What an experience.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A midnight black body reveals reddish-mahogany highlights at the top of the glass when held to the light (but not at the base... it's that black) beneath a foamy tan cap. The head holds quite well given the alcohol content, but leaves only minor lace; and slowly dwindles to a sparse surface covering. Bright notes of dark roasted coffee, currants, deeply caramelized sugars, alcohol and dark chocolate greet you in the nose. It's quite alive and very enticing! In the mouth it's bristly with a very fine, natural carbonation; and it's surprisingly medium bodied (rather than full). The flavor is bold and rich with all that the nose indicates as well as a touch of spicy alcohol, some tropical fruits, and a splash of spicy and floral hops. It's seamless in it's character (which could be seen as a negative to some degree as it cuts down on its complexity), and delivers the complete package from start to finish. But, damn, what a rush! It's intense and full throttle straight through the swallow, solidly backed by bitterness until it finishes with a bang of hop bitterness and flavor as well as a sharp jab of caramelish & chocolatey malt that lingers across the palate but mainly at the back of the mouth. This is a take-no-prisoners beer lover's Imperial stout. It's quite agresssive, but somehow reigned in at the same time. You can almost taste the crack of the whip! Bold, and unintimidated, this is an Imperial Stout to be reckoned with!

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Photo of ksqdomer
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I will preface this review by stating that this beer will
> not be available commercially until October. This bottle
> conditioned sample was given to me by Scott Morrison the
> brewer at McKensie's as I was a participant in brewing the 5
> Czars with 3 other BA's and Scott. I'm in no way affilliated
> with the brewery.
> I did my best Festina Lente impersonation with this beer as
> it was bottle conditioned one week ago. I placed it next to
> my furnace for one week and against instructions have opened
> it for review one week early. What did you expect?
> A rigorous pour produced a 1/4" velvety smooth mocha tinged
> head over a jet black murky elixer. I think proper
> carbonation would produce a creamy tan canopy not unlike the
> silky smooth inner thighs of cuban virgins upon which the
> worlds greatest cigars are rolled. This sample settled into
> an 1/8" ring of foam clinging solidly to my St Bernardus
> goblet. Swirling produced "legs" extending up to the rim of
> the glass. This Czar (or Czaress?), she is a beauty.
> The smell is an intoxicating mix of baking coccoa, smoke and
> pine tar. An initial sweet scent gives way to a wonderful
> hop aroma.Very intense
> To me, the taste has only a slight initial sweetness of
> chocolate giving way to nuttiness, coffee, smoke, and
> tar.This is not a hop monster. It is nicely balanced. The
> mouthfeel is incredibly thick and coating, most pleasurable
> and not cloying at all .A slow whisky-like burn moves down my
> throat. Hey man did you hear that?, it hit my stomach with such a beautiful thud. The sensation of warmth is most pleasant.
> Part of me wishes I had waited the extra week before trying
> this beer. She will be quite the seductress. I think in as
> little as 3 months and definitely 6 there will be "a woman
> left standing where once there was only a girl"

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5 Czars Imperial Stout from McKenzie Brew House
Beer rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 17 ratings
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