Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 1,756 | Reviews: 465 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Stevedore:
4.58/5 rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Original review was a 75cl bottle of the 2012 vintage poured at a recent beer tasting yesterday, 7/21/2013, so about a year old. It was poured into an unlabeled snifter glass at room temperature. The updated review is a 75cl bottle of the 2013 vintage poured into a Cigar City snifter yesterday, 9/11/2013. So the updated review is a reflection of the beer when it's fresh.
The nose gives me a good bit of dark chocolate and definitely molasses, with a bit of hefty espresso in the background. I can tell that this beer is the base for the Hunahpu as I recognize some of the notes here. There is also a bit of hop presence here, kind of like in the Founders' Imperial Stout or Victory Storm King. Smells good.
The beer pretty much pours a super thick, viscous motor oil into a straight up dark brown abyss. It is opaque with a creamy mocha head that extends over a cm and slowly dissipates into nothingness, which leaves the beer a placid pool of blackness. Lacing is there in spots and falls back into the beer as I sip on it. It stains the glass brown as I swirl it, much like Hunahpu does. It's so viscous, thick and hefty. Great looking stout!
As I drink this beer, I recognize the flavours I pick out in the nose. The molasses is definitely strong here, providing a nice dose of pure sweetness that is balanced out by the bitterness of the dark chocolate and espresso notes. The finish is just so dark chocolatey and roasty, it is incredible. In my opinion, this finish is missing in the 1 year old Zhukov compared to the fresh version... in the aged version, there is a lot less espresso and the dark chocolate is really more of a lighter, non-bitter milk chocolate type of flavour. But yeah, the fresh version is very complex with so much intense flavours yet it is so well-balanced and transitions very well with each flavour I pick out. I had to remind myself that this was not aged in bourbon barrels.
The body itself is incredibly thick as I alluded to before.. typical Cigar City stout viscosity and creaminess. Such a full bodied beer, with solid carbonation that drinks so very smoothly and feels creamy. Chewy and decadent. Leaves a finish similar to bitter dark chocolate with some roast marshmallow sweetness and a dash of sweet brown sugar.
An outstanding Imperial Stout. Cigar City knows what they're doing.. well, we all knew that already. Zhukov is a strong, complex beer that will keep you warm and interested. I recommend trying this one at least once when you get the chance. Having tried a bunch of RIS's out there, I can confidently say that I prefer Marshal Zhukov to any of the acknowledged RIS heavyweights such as Darkness, Plead the Fifth, Dark Lord, Ten Fidy, Stone IRS etc. Now if Cigar City released a barrel-aged Marshall Zhukov in bottles.. the world would probably collapse on itself.
Serving type: bottle
07-22-2013 03:57:10 | More by Stevedore
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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 1,756 ratings.