Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Marshal Zhukov's Imperial StoutMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,326 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,326
Reviews: 509
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 1,157
Gots: 765 | FT: 69
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BigMcLargeHuge on 11-17-2008

This Russian Imperial Stout is dedicated to Georgy Zhukov, arguably one of the finest generals of World War II. Opaque black in color, with notes of espresso, chocolate, dark toffee and hints of backstrap molasses. The English hop varietals provide a subtle herbal dryness, and finishes with a hearty slap of roasty espresso. Pair Marshal Zhukov’s with Mushroom Solyanka, dark chocolate, cherries and ground wars in Russia.

We brew and release Zhukov's in the summer knowing that a beer of this heft reaches its full potential a few months after release. So save a bottle for the cold winter!

80 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,326 | Reviews: 509
Reviews by UMNbeerhunter:
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
3.76/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Brooklyn Brewery tulip on 4/25/11.

Pours a black oil color with no head. When swirled there is a nice brown resin that coats the glass nicely. I would like to see some head, any head at all. Nice color but disappointed with the pour.

Smells of roasted malts, sweet chocolate and the slightest of coffee in the background. I would have liked some more chocolate and coffee on this aroma. Strikes me as slightly above average but not great.

Taste is lots of roasted malts and sweet chocolate to start. Chocolate bitterness is also present as well as some distinct fruit flavors in the background. Good taste.

Mouthfeel is what really knocks this bee. No carbonation makes it just feel heavy and milky. Resin sticks nicely but leaving good bitter chocolate and coffee flavors but this really misses the mouthfeel mark and I think that really takes away from all the other aspects of this brew. To bad.

Overall this is a decent beer. The zero carb really throws the taste/mouthfeel characteristic off and while it is good it falls into a region of one and done for me. FIx the no head carbonation mouthfeel problem and this would be an "A" brew.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Maybe the deepest pour of any stout I have come across,jet black with a deep cocoa powder colored thick creamy head,just awesome.Deep molasses and coffee aromas really stand out when pouring,some roasted nut and chocolate round out an aggressive aroma profile.Thick and creamy feel to the beer makes it glide down to easy.Flavors of black strap molasses and chocolate start out on the palate wich is somewhat sweet but not overly so,French roast coffee and mild earthy tones keep the beer balanced and more quaffable,the alcohol is there but it didn't make it less drnkable.Wow this is a brash bad ass imperial stout,no wonder the high ratings,one of the best beers I have had this year...if not the best.

Photo of tectactoe
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nedvalton for this one! Definitely big one on my wanted list. Marshall Zhukov pours dark as fuck with another dark as fuck tan head - seriously, this is incredible. The only beer that can rival this level of darkness and viscosity is probably Founders Imperial Stout. If the look is any indication, this is gonna be a good beer. The nose is heavily roasted and super malt-heavy as expected. Deep espresso beans, cocoa, bittersweet fudge - this beer SMELLS thick. Mostly sweet in the aroma, but it shows some signs of light char, roastiness, and even a hint of leafy bitterness.

Swish! This beer wafts across my tongue about as thick and dense as they come. Waves of thick, sweet fudge, chocolate, and heavy roasted malts rush back and forth with huge robustness. After the initial taste, the brew seems to lighten up a bit and the chocolate takes on more of a sweet, milky flavor. Some light licorice and anise flavors add to the sweetness as well. Much to my liking, there is a very noticeable hop character; ashy, leafy, and herbal, providing a nice bitterness that slashes through the sweetness of the beer. There is some char and roast, but not quite enough to reveal a "smokey" flavor. Heavily woody and even a little nutty on the end with a huge dry-roasted coffee bean aftertaste. Medium carbonation provides the creamy and chewy mouth feel of this beer - big, robust, and powerful.

This is a damn fine beer. It's got just about everything I'm looking for in an imperial stout. For an 11%-er, the alcohol was hidden well, making this one dangerous. Sweet, roasty, and even bitter, this beer will put you on your ass. It's huge, it's powerful, it's not for sissies. Definitely rivals some of my other favorites, FIS and Ten FIDY. I wish this stuff were easier for me to acquire, I'd have it all the time. But maybe that's a good thing.

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beast of a beer all around.This is up there with Ten Fidy,Speedway stout...and any top non barrel aged beer.this one can compete with the best of them.Would love to try the BA version.

Photo of codysjb
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 2011 vintage in a tulip earlier this year. This review will be updated asap once I grab another bottle. Poured a black, thick, viscous beer. Smells sweet, lots of chocolate in this once some caramel as well. Really sweet… almost too sweet for me (and I usually love sweet chocolate bombs), this would be good barrel aged (hence the reason hunahpu is so popular). I need to try this again, but this was very chocolaty and sweet.

Photo of Mora2000
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to finally try this beer.

The beer pours a deep, inky black color with a large brown head. The aroma has a ton of milk chocolate in it as well as some roasted malt and a little bit of cream. The flavor is similar, with a hint of light smoke and some very dark fruit up front (mainly prunes, plums and raisins), I also get a lot of chocolate and some very heavily roasted malt. Thick, creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation. An excellent imperial stout, proving once again that when it comes to big, bold stouts, Cigar City is one of the best.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on their bottle-launch night a week ago on my last day in Florida. I missed the barrel-aged stuff by about 2 hours...curses!

On draught in a sampler glass.

Inky black, with a thin, but lingering head. Good creamy lacing.

Nose is dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, molasses.

Taste is surprisingly smooth and drinkable, quite enjoyable. The smokiness gives the brew a unique quality that I really dug, coupled with the burnt coffee flavor made for a sharp, but easy drinking RIS. It's not nearly as bold as some of the other craft RIS's I had on the trip, but I enjoyed it the most.

Creamy and silky, thick and rich.

A fine RIS, siomilar in flavor to most of the others I've had recently, but somehow more drinkable. Just went down easy.

(...Then again, I was at the brewery, where everything tastes better!)

Photo of ehammond1
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

Dark as night black pour. Brown and khaki colored head with lots of lacing down the glass.

Roasted malts, coffee, licorice, some alcohol, and lots and lots of chocolate in the nose. Chocolate lovers would go crazy for this!

A chocolatey stout for sure! Lots of chocolate, roasted malt, stinging licorice, and some coffee round out this big stout. Incredibly sweet though, and that would be my only complaint. I wish the chocolate would come in its more bitter form, but sweet chocolate lovers would gladly geek out over this! (Can you believe I was lucky enough to pair this with Green Flash Double Stout chocolate brownies? Yum yummm!) Too sweet for my tastes, yet still delicious!

Rich, thick, and full mouthfeel. Decadent.

A delicious chocolate stout I can't wait to have again, though it's too sweet to become one of my favorites.

Photo of boatshoes
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Won this in my first LIF win from Scray24. Thanks again!

Appearance- Poured an opaque motor oil black with a massive, rocky three fingers of brown head. Amazing head for a RIS and it has surprisingly good retention as well. Very nice looking.

Smell- Lots of bitter chocolate, burnt roast, and coffee. Additionally, some notes of dark fruit as well. A many-layered and complex nose but definitely dominated by roast of many varieties.

Taste- Rich bitter chocolate is most prominent. An excellent combination of roast and bitterness, both sweet and bitter. Dark fruits show up again as well, almost reminiscent of some flavors that usually show up in a dubbel or quad. Quite interesting and very well integrated.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is rich, slick, and chewy all at once. Perfectly carbonated as well. Drinkability is a bit low given the style and sweetness but very good for the style.

Overall, an excellent imperial stout. I was very impressed and to date have enjoyed all Cigar City brews I have had.

Overall,

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a pint glass, this brew proves to be one of the darkest RIS I've had to date. Even when held up to the light, there isn't a hint of anything except the blackest black hole black you can imagine. The head is a dark chocolate, mocha color, not as thick as I'd like it, but still impressive.

S: Dark roasted malt with hints of espresso bean and dark chocolate.

T: The taste is a direct reflection of it's aroma, More super dark roasted malt and as much espresso as you can get with out writing espresso on the bottle. As the beer goes down, dark chocolate notes lick the back your your pallet. The beer finishes with a mild bitterness compared to most RIS'.

M: Smooth, really smooth. Medium bodied, but lacking a tad bit on carbination.

D: As far as RIS' go, this is one of the more drinkable brews I've had. The ABV is very well hidden. I feel like I can tackle another 2 pints and make it through the night.

Overall, to those who really want to try this brew, but can't get a hold of it, I would compare it to a cross between Espresso Yeti and a Stone IRS. Hopefully as cigar city distributes more nation wide, Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout will find a comfortable spot near or around the top rated beers on this site.

***Update***
Just cracked a fresh 2011 bottle. Any carbonation issue noticed in the 2010 version have definitely been addressed this year. CCB stepped up this brew. Marshal Z pours with a billowing black head, and a creamy mouthfeel that I would give a 4.5. Flavor notes of chocolate are also stepped up. Man this is a tasty brew.

Photo of HoppySeb
3.03/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle into KBS snifter glass - bottle was 2012, drank in 2014. Pours like a RIS should - jet black, viscous and it instantly creates a thick foamy head, mocha in color.

Aroma is predominantly soy sauce, very salty and somewhat sour - hints of molasses and notes of chocolate and over-ripened dried fruit behind the soy. Taste is quite similar to the nose, not very enjoyable. It is drinkable but I expected much, much more.

Mouthfeel is great - its thick, syrupy and allows you to taste the full spectrum of flavors in the beer (quite unfortunately in this instance).

Overall - I would give this brew another shot fresh, but aged 2 years - I must say this is quite the disappointment.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.02/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This might be the darkest, thickest pour I've ever seen, head, carbonation missing from it, but with a beer of such style, who cares? No lace to it, no head to it. Aroma is very easy going. Aroma is pretty faint, chocolate, ever so slight booze.

Taste, a sipper for sure, thick, chewy, not a lot of any component jumping out other than chewiness. No coffee, a decent amount of chocolate. Don't taste any vanilla or wood. Just tons and tons of roasted malt, maybe some oatmeal to round all this out into a tasty concoction. If I could pick this up for $10 all the time, you can bet it would be always on hand.

Photo of mondegreen
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml into an Ommegang Chalice.

Pours a flat pitch black syrup. A short dark head rises from the void briefly, then falls away, leaving slight lacing in its wake.

Aroma is dark chocolate and sweet molasses. Smells warm and inviting.

Taste is rich. The sweetness hits immediately. Chocolate stands out above all, followed by a slight hop bitterness. Not much roasted character, this is a very rich, sweet beer.

Mouth is thick as it can be. Wonderfully heavy mouthfeel.

This is an enjoyable sipper from Cigar City. This one 750ml will keep me busy for most of tonight. Would be a great brew to split among friends.

Photo of glid02
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a friend.

Pours blacker than black with a half-finger dark brown head. The head is one of the darkest I can remember seeing and settles into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of deeply roasted malts with hints of unsweetened chocolate. As it warms the malt aromas sweeten considerably and hints of molasses waft out.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Robust roasted malt flavors with an acrid character kick things off and are joined midway through the sip by unsweetened chocolate flavors. The ending is solidly bitter and holds slight notes of coffee. As with the smell the flavor profile sweetens a good deal once it warms a bit, with the roasted malt flavors losing acridity and dark molasses flavors permeating throughout.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass, and the second one, and could have had a few more.

Overall I was a bit disappointed with this one right out of the bottle, but once it has a chance to warm it gains complexity and comes into its own. Worth a shot.

Photo of dayvinn87
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So, this is the stout that started my romance with stouts. It was like nothing I had ever tasted before. When I ordered a glass (at 11$) I was hoping that the hype surrounding this beer would be true. As soon as I put the glass up to my face the chocolatey-espresso smell punched me in the nose. I tipped the glass up and the motor oil slowly slid into my mouth. The chocolate and espresso flavor was instant and the gulp did not leave me with any bitter or spicy taste. The feel was smooth and I knew I had found my favorite beer.

Excellent beer. The only reason I didn't give it a perfect score is because I want to remain optimistic that there is something better out there, even though I doubt there is.

Cheers

Photo of Brenden
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to beerhan for giving me a shot at this one.

Well, I don't know if I'm forgetting something in all the reviews I've done thus far, but if not this is the first time I've ever a beer that actually pours like motor oil. I've heard that the biggest, most hardcore stouts do, but this is my first ever motor oil pour, a super viscous black oil in the glass that literally leaves a coating on it. A small brown head forms on this black monstrosity, leaving some legs around the top of the glass. Here's an experiment to try with friends, by the way: have half a glass of this with some friends drinking a "manly" BMC. Have said friend keep half a glass of their beer full, drink your Zhukov, and fill your glass half full with water. The remnants of the beer coating the glass mixed with half a glass of water will likely be darker than your friend's beer. Seriously, try this. I did.
A big aroma comes out; lots of roasted malts contributing strong espresso,toast, and a touch of burned wood (not quite charcoal, and not overly harsh charred wood). Cocoa and heavy malts counter harshness and help to avoid the astringency that can be found in heavily roasty beers while offering lots of robust flavor. Underneath are notes of dark cherry and vanilla with something like sherry (not cooking sherry, the good drinking stuff).
The taste follows suit precisely. All the huge roasted malt with smoked wood, espresso, a touch of chocolate, vanilla and cherry. It's not sweet, but the light flavors underneath accentuate and really serve to point to the big malts and roasted nature of this bad boy.
The body is massive, thick and viscous as it ought to be with a nice smoothness to it. Rich malts make this huge and massively robust, and, much like the former Soviet operatives with whom I keep occasional company, this one is straightforward and brash, making no apologies. Chewy stuff.
The simple fact is that this thing is a beast. This doesn't want your money. It just wants to kick your ass for the simple pleasure of it.

Photo of r0nyn
4.52/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my Dogfish Head snifter. Courtesy of fellow BA infi. Split with him and BA NYManc.

Pours a ridiculous jet back that's completely opaque. Looks like motor oil coming out of the bottle. No head whatsoever, though. A few swirls gives it some sticky lacing coating the side of the glass. Smell is...whoa. Super sweet caramel malts override the senses, along with dark chocolate, coffee and espresso. A bit of warming gives it a little bit of alcohol at the end. Massively impressive.

Taste starts off with some malty sweetness that quickly gives way to all the flavors from the nose. Tons of dark chocolate, espresso and coffee. Just...wow. Everything has a pleasing roasted quality as well, giving depth to the flavor profile. The sweetness is the most pleasant part of the brew, at least for me. That caramel sugary flavor just complements the other nuances so well. The mild bitterness and sweetness lingers long into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, smooth smooth like velvet. Rich and creamy with excellent body and balance. I am quite impressed.

Drinkability is suitably high, thanks to the absolutely delicious taste and superb mouthfeel. The ABV is hidden very well, making this a very dangerous brew. Definitely one of my new favorite Russian Imperial Stouts. I just wish it was more readily available around here. Thanks to infi for sharing this great brew with me.

Photo of timc100
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fresh 2013 vintage.

Pours the darkest black I have ever seen from a beer, even more the Hunahpu's - actually looks like motor oil. The head is very dense and creamy - burnt heavy roast mocha. It leaves a dark mocha stain on the glass with dense lacing. Astoundingly beautiful beer. The aroma is phenomenally - can already tell this is in a whole new league . Sticky molasses, tons of dark fruits - raisins, plums - decadent chocolate; followed by heavily roasted oily espresso beans, cherry, and some vanilla and very slight graham cracker sweetness. It tastes just as big as it smells with the most viscous mouthfeel possible without it being a shake. Very bitter and aggressive - the cherry, vanilla, and dark fruits become more pronounced with warmth.

This is truly an outstanding beer - hands down the most impressive imperial stout that has not been barrel aged or aged with extra ingredients. It has less espresso and more dark fruits than anticipated - kind of like a baltic porter/imperial stout blend. When comparing it to hunahpu it is very difficult because they are two completely different beasts - there are great aspects of this beer that did not shine through Huna. If I could, I would have both of these beers in the cellar at all times.

Photo of azorie
4.56/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

All I can say is outside of the UK, this is best example of a prefect RIS, there is IN FLORIDA.

rich creamy sweet, dark chocolate taste, just heaven... really the rest is just for the eyes.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black and viscous with a deep dark khaki lacing. The lacing forms a lovely swirl over the body. 4.5

S- Huge barrel aroma and notes of bourbon. Oaky with vanilla and caramel and hints of soy sauce. 4.25

T- True to the nose, still very heavy on the barrel quality, with all the vanilla and caramel too. There's a stiff dry dark malt flavor with a dark chocolate finish. At the finish, there's something that reminds me of a grandmother's house. Kind off odd and causes a slight downgrade in rating. 4

M- Viscous, creamy, smooth and slightly hopped at the finish. Very easy to drink. 4.25

Great beer, but with a bit of an odd off-flavor. Not a deal breaker, but keeps it from perfection.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.06/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very thick black, very oily looking and viscous. A small brown colored head forms upon pouring and reduces to a thin cap on top. Minimal lacing.

S: Tons of molasses, it really dominates the aroma. There is some chocolate mixed in, a little bit of coffee, and faint roast. Definitely know its got some alcohol in it as well.

T: The flavor is certainly still full of molasses, but to a lesser extent. The chocolate is more pronounced, with some licorice and faint dark stone fruit. The roast comes through on the finish nicely, not much alcohol presence.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slight warming as it goes down.

O: A big stout for sure. Really over powering in terms of thickness and sweetness, great if it is the only beer you plan on drinking.

Photo of GetMeAnIPA
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage

Oh man! This beer is legit. A ton of flavors that overwhelms the palate with flavor but remains balanced and pretty easy to drink....not sure how that's possible but it is. Flavors are espresso, licorice, chocolate and a nice addition of a dark sweetness like candied sugar and fruits like raisins.

Wish I could drink this more often so I can see how it compares to my favorites because right now it's on the top. Unfortunately I've only had it this one time.

Photo of SomethingClever
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a hotel glass

A: Deep dark abyss of blackness with a chocolate shake head good lacing

S: rich roast, molasses, dark fruits, chocolate, some coffee

T: It's decadent with chocolate a roasted Carmel and coffee taste a light sweetness

M: It's creamy and thick if lays n your tongue like it belongs there

O: This is everything a stout should be one of the most beautiful and rich examples it's roasty slightly coffee tasting thick lush on the mouth it's a delight to drink. This is a beg borrow or steal kind of stout do yourself a favor find it.

Photo of Sammy
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Kuhnhenn Winter Soltice BA/RB tasting party. Thick RIS, thick chocolate. Pours dark brown with some head. Great tasting, with some complexity beyond the bittersweet chocolate . A little chocolate in the aroma. Contained roast. Drying.Best consumed as a dessert.

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap from CCB tap room on 8/4/14 while I waited for my alotment of 4 bottles...they sold out about 20 people before me.

A- Dark balck with thin tan head... pretty standard with top RIS so far
S- Dark coco, a bit of vanilla, molasas
T- A bit cold on draft, but some great flavors here... dark coco richness. Very sweet due to the molasas I have to guess
M- Nice thickness, velvet and smooth

O- Nice RIS. I wish I could have gotten a bottle to age and see if the sweetness dies down a bit

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,326 ratings.