This post is a happy birthday to Daniel Behi, who listens to Spin Doctors and sips stouts judiciously.
Cigar City, Marshal Zhukov, 11% abv, imperial stout
Appearance: This is the darkest stout that I have ever seen. This has officially dethroned both Abyss and Hunaphus. The oily inky nature almost tumbles out in an incredibly viscous heavy solution. The coating is massive and lends huge brown webs of cotton candy to the rim of the glass. The carbonation is huge and produces a deep mahogany head, which makes me question if a brew this baleful is meant to be consumed. It’s that 2am text that generates so much hatred, but such amazing results.
Smell: Deep dark chocolate, burnt brownies, candied bacon, cinnamon, and melted toffee. It’s like if a Heath Bar got its ass beat in a slaughterhouse. You know, the old Upton Sinclair scenario.
Taste: The first thing is a spicy alcoholic heat that dances and imparts a whisky peat hot character that melts into a nestle dark chocolate booziness. As you swallow you get a caramel and butterscotch that is underscored throughout by a relentless coffee from the deep malts. Just a relentless and incredibly complex stout.
Mouthfeel: After 12oz the glass that I am using has this incredibly dull khaki color to it. All of the edges have been coated in a sticky hateful caramel sludge. The coating is just incredible and I am happy to have a beer step up to dethrone the Abyss in this regard. When you swallow it just hangs out for ages, lingers like customers at Musician’s Friend. The coffee and burnt chocolate notes resound for ages, like college kids discovering Radiohead for the first time. YOU HAVE TO GET THIS STOUT TORRENT, SO PITTED.
Drinkability: This is an incredible stout and, given its availability and incredibly deep character, I would easily say that it is world class. It makes me wonder what the Final Push is like, the beer that is. Had I never had the Hunaphus, I would lose my shit over this beer but, I wont let that take away from what this beer has accomplished. It isn’t a top 5 stout, but it is still memorable and you could pick it out of a lineup. This is the rapist stout, the one with the lazy eye and the whiskey breath.
Narrative: “MARSHAL! Please, we need your decision, it’s….it’s a massacre out there.” The young private doffed his cap and gripped it patiently awaiting further instructions. The battle of Moscow raged violently just kilometers from his outpost but Marshal Zhukov gritted his jaw defiantly and stared intently into the furniture manufacturing district. “Protect the, the furniture comrade, without nice seats, the soldiers will grow weary, all baroque pieces, must be saved brother.” The brigadier general nodded solemnly and understandingly. Zhukov was a hard man with a penchant for petulant decadence. “Sir, we have an entire regiment of German troops, they wish to bargain, “Begin Ciphered Telegram no. 4976, begin with ‘My sincerest apologies (FN1)” Through the flurry of questions, the dark hearted general maintained his sweet side, despite commanding millions and sending thousands to brutal deaths. “LOOK COMRADE! An icicle has to be formed on the rim of the panzer tank belts, I think I shall for to have a licking.” Oh that wacky Zhukov! (FN2) [On 28 September 1941, Zhukov sent ciphered telegram No. 4976 to commanders of the Leningrad Front and the Baltic Navy, announcing that returned prisoners and families of soldiers captured by the Germans would be shot. This order was published for the first time in 1991 in a Russian magazine (Beginning) No. 3.] “IN SOVIET RUSSIA, REFERENCES FOOTNOTE YOU.” Footnote 2, he did this, citation needed.