Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout

750 mL bottle from Total Wine in Jacksonville, FL.
OK, small hiss/fizz as the cap is prized off, in a moment you’ll see why that detail is relevant.
Pour gives a rich looking, thick, jet-black body with a few very dark brown highlights at the edges. The beer leaves some very impressive, tobacco colored film/oil on the inside of the glass like alcohol legs that cover the whole surface of the vessel. Impressive. ZERO head. ZERO lace.
Nose gives a really sweet, alcohol based aroma with some serious chocolate and malt notes. There is also a little smoke (see more later).
The tastes reflect the nose and are very rich and sweet. The chocolate, alcohol based notes are defined by their extravagance and richness, but they also come with a smokiness and a little acidity. Sweetness upfront and some charred notes in the back end.
Here’s the rub – ZERO and I mean ZERO carbonation. Not just a beer with relatively low carbonation that we would expect, but basically a completely flat experience – like milk. In fact, the beer kind of reminds me of an alcohol laced, dark chocolate milkshake. Flat.
The aftertaste leaves a little coffee-grind bitterness which also has a slightly charred, charcoal based molasses.
I have a feeling that this bottle has somehow become “uncarbonated”. Seems unlikely, but there really is no other explanation. There was a very small hiss as the beer opened but the lack of ANY CO2 seems odd. I couldn’t even generate any head with a massively aggressive pour. Despite the lack of carbonation the beer still feels slick and rich in the mouth and is in no way thin.
Email sent to brewery out of curiosity.

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11/27/2010
Format:
bottle
ABV: 11.5 %
Appearance: 4
Taste: 4
Mouthfeel: 4
Smell: 3.5
Overall: 4
Total: 3.9
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Year:

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