ChainGangGuy (4280) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - SEP 15, 2010
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 19/20
Appearance: Pours a body black as sin. Though, beyond a few bubbles produced by the pour, thereís no real attempt at head formation.
Smell: Heavy, sweet-smelling aroma of chocolate cake batter, roasted malts, burnt sugars, alcohol-soaked figs and raisins, and with many a very vibrant, attractive brandy and bourbon barrel scent. My, but that does smell mighty nice.
Taste: Deep flavors of melted dark chocolate, homemade marshmallows, molasses, dark caramel, and espresso. Sturdy sweetness. Desiccated dark fruits. A bulk of charming barrel character, with scads of oak-laden bourbon and brandy contributing vanilla bean, flaked coconut, wooden dowels, and sweet, ripe apples. Itís all very luscious. Plenty of alcohol warmth in this one, but, thankfully, it never forces any ganky hotness on you. Well-incorporated bitterness. Notably roasty finish with primarily the bourbon coming through at the end.
Mouthfeel: Near-full, creamy body. Low carbonation. Iíd prefer a skosh more, but being the slow, thoughtful sipper that it is, I donít mind the lack of bubbles.
Drinkability: A heavy, hearty, intoxicating drink, but I persevered. Excellent, perhaps even mind-bendingly so. Sure, itís not the easiest beer to acquire, sadly, but, if you have the means and opportunity, I highly recommend it.
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - SEP 10, 2010
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
75cl bottle shared by illidurit. Blacker than black as usual, with not head to speak of. Bourbon, brandy, light oak, coffee, and dried fruit in the aroma. Thick and boozy chocolate with strong bourbon and brandy flavors. The kicker is this was completely flat. I tasted a lot of potential, but the complete lack of carbonation just ruined the flavor balance and mouthfeel.
pantanap (3340) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 2, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Cigar city double Zhukov. 750ml bottle again thanks to adam/sean... Pours a
deep dark oily silky black and a very thin wispy tan head... Aroma
very big on apple brandy as well as from the bourbon used... Flavors
are oily smooth with chocolate and big fruity bourbon notes paired with
a bigger apple brandy finish. Some of the Zhukov charry finish is
still there. Lightly carbonated but the body holds up well to it.
deyholla (5972) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - AUG 29, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle shared by Adam. Poured pitch black with a small very dark brown head that dissipated to the edges. Aroma had really nice notes of bourbon and brandy with some very dark chocolate, dark roasted grain and a bit of licorice perhaps. Flavor again had an excellent melding on the bourbon and brandy notes. The barrel aging really helped complement the Zhukov with the dark chocolate and dark roasted malts really shining.
TheAlum (5205) - Lisle, Illinois, USA - AUG 29, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml from askofficerfriendly. Thanks, greg. Pours a pitchblack thick pour, inky with thick body, a small loose bubbled dark brown head that laces minimally, dies to edges. Aromas are rich roasted barley, chocolate chip cookies, dark rich cacao, nice wet oak and vanilla, light bourbon spirit, more apple brandy with a touch of fruity acidity on the nose. Initial is thicker bodied, roasty barley, cocoa and coffee, a touch of apple brandy acidity. Lighter bourbon spirit, rich but I think the brandy barrel takes over overall. Rich roast and toasty sweetness, big dark cacao, light spirit. A great brew, rich and big, on Zhukovís level. My favorite stout by CCB treated by barrels with a more dominant apple brandy feel. Rich and roasty, base Zhukov to a T, slightly thinned, but with that fruity apple brandy feel. VERY good
SrSilligoose (3122) - pouring bus, New Brunswick, CANADA - AUG 29, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle shared by flssmrbrewalum- thanks! excited to try this. pours a deep black with a ring of tan foam. aroma of light bourbon, apple, dark chocolate. nostril filling boozy brandy. flavor is doughy dark chocolate, finishes with creamy bourbon vanilla. light roast. leaves a bitter dark chocolate, coconut bourbon bite on the tongue. body held up well after the barrel treatments. nice and creamy. though this seemed a bit muddled compared to hunahpus and regular zhukov and i didnít care for the doughiness, this was a tasty beer.
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - AUG 25, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Yellow wax dipped 750ml bottle, courtesy cmillward. The pour is virtually pitch black and abyss like. Even at the edges, it is almost impenetrable by light. Surprisingly, there is very little head and almost no lacing, thouh each tilt of the glass brings with it a subtle, fleeting brown stain. The nose is monstrously chocolaty, loaded with burnt caramel, dark chocolate syrup, and black strap molasses. Stewed currants and raisins lend fruity depth, as peanut skins and fading hops offer a rustic earthiness. Woody, vanilla laden bourbon is prominent, probably more so than the brandy, though a hint of sweet apple is detectable. I would be remiss in saying that it isnít boozy, because it is, but the alcohol is managed well by the heaps of dark malt. Flavors are much the same, except to say that they carry a bit more roast that the nose shows. Chocolate and burnt caramel again rule the day, sweetened by vanilla and apple, deepened by figs and cooked raisins. It is a bit sweet for my tastes, overall, but itís hard not to acknowledge the depth that the malts achieve. The earthy hoppiness of the base beer is clearly diminished by the time it spent in the barrels, replaced with woody bourbon notes and a dash of sweet, juicy apple. Very lightly carbonated, the palate shows ample heft, but seems to lack just a hair of liveliness that I miss. It comes across slick, never cloying, though the alcoholic heat is a bit much. Overall, this is a damn tasty and complex imperial stout, but it is not without flaw. My preference lies with the base beer.
darkguardian (724) - Florida, USA - AUG 19, 2010
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
750ml thanks to GodofThunder at RL&RL. Pours pitch black. Huge bourbon nose with light fruity undertones (presumably the brandy). This beer will be near perfect in a year. Right now its a little hot. Hits your mouth up front with intense bourbon heat and settles into roasted chocolate, coffee, oat, and molasses. With a massively thick full body this sucker is hard to drink. Gorgeous to look at and possessing of a fantastic finish with cherry, vanilla and roasty grains and dark chocolate this beer is impeccably crafted and in a years time will be absolutely amazing. It just needs a little time for the bourbon to meld with the beer.
steelcitybrew (430) - Orlando, Florida, USA - AUG 19, 2010
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: APR 17, 2011 Pours a jet black with no head. Aroma is chocalate bourbon, roasted malts and nuts. Taste is perfect. Bourbon is strong with chocalate and coffee. Brandy notes are also there. Palate is awesome weíll balanced and great warming ability. Overall this beer is almost perfect
Ibrew2or3 (6521) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - AUG 15, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750mL poured deep dark void with dark mocha head, a bit of legginess along the inner edge of the glass and sparse spotty lacing. The aroma is rich with chocolate, toffee, dark roasted malts, some smooth bourbon like sweetness and caramel covered oak. The taste is smooth and churns up oak and spice and then interspersed with dark to burnt malts, thin dark chocolate like layers, some toffee, caramel, boozy whiskey notes and then aged caramel drizzled oak planks. It gets spicy and a touch hot into the finish. This ends up seeming a bit long on the barrel time for my taste, but not by much.