Sunday, December 18, 2016

Cigar City Vanilla Hazelnut Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20ChadPolenz (1734) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - DEC 17, 2016

2015 BJCP Category: 30A Spice/Herb/Vegetable (base style: 20C Imperial Stout)

AROMA: Muted nose with scent of raw hazelnut oil. No sweetness; no roasted malt. Slight paint-like aroma. 5/12

APPEARANCE: Inky opaque black with large blackish brown froth. Retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Pretty sweet palette throughout with vanilla immediately evident. Hazelnut is also present and imparts an earthy, nutty taste and seems a bit oily. There is some treacle or peanut brittle-like earthy flavor. Slightly citrusy hops, though bitterness is low overall. No roasted malt or other bold stout character. Taste is fine, but underwhelming. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Full bodied with a thick, sticky mouthfeel. Aftertaste is cloying with hazelnut residue. There is a gentle alcohol warmth, but delivery is smooth. Difficult to drink more than a few ounces, though. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Not only was nothing gained by adding these flavors, the base brew suffered tremendously. Proof that not all flavored stouts are amazing. 4/10