Cigar City Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout

The fact is that Cigar City is right in the middle of average across the board. Should I expect better with this? Well, I'm going to. Imperial stouts are kind of hard to pin down, and these guys like a challenge. Eventually, you would think that they would hit one of these out of the park (especially with an ABV of 11.2%).

This black beer has a brown head. It's not tan like most of them or even white like others - it is brown like a UPS uniform. The aroma is like a bath of different parts just floating around together. There's coffee, oatmeal, chocolate, toffee, wood, and just loads of other things. I can't smell bourbon, but that's something the other smells put me in mind of.

First sip is seriously everything except the bourbon. It's got a syrup of coffee, caramel, oatmeal, chocolate, and wood. It's a very strong sip, and it ends on a bitter note that is in stark contrast to the sweet front end. I can't really get what is going on inside this. I need to take a deeper look.

Tip-in is thick with wood as the base with chocolate and toffee are dancing around on it. The middle is a high note of bitterness with the even thicker coffee, oatmeal, and toffee taking up camp. The finish adds some vanilla as the bitterness really hits a high point to cover anything else up.

Bottom Line: It gets better as it warms up, but it has an overwhelming and off-putting character.

2.25/5

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