Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial StoutMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,362 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,362
Reviews: 513
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 1,164
Gots: 768 | FT: 72
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: 2,362 | Reviews: 513
Photo of socon67
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was one rich tasting RIS. The smell is that of a strong coffee, with traces of caramel, roasted toffee, and a little spice.

The taste is equally impressive. I found it to be so rich that it was a bit heavy, but if you are a fan of robust stouts than this hits the mark.

The drinkability is okay, when you consider the style.

So far this was my favorite offering from Cigar City and I intend to cellar a bottle as per the brewers instructions. I suspect the taste will be even better in a few months.

Photo of FosterJM
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

991st Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
750 ML

2011
Thanks to Spydfire83 for this gift.
*Shared by those at MrHirschybars*

App- When I look at nostalgia items in a antique store and see those old Mobil cans from the 50's, this is the liquid I imagined would be flowing out of it. Pure black motor oil with a huge viscous body to it. Not the semi-transparent oil we use today. This also produced a small one finger dark roasted looking brown head with some nice cling lines.

Smell- This opened like a good hot cast iron pan roasting nuts for the holidays. A little bit of the nuts come in and then a little bit of the wafting smoke from the fire comes up. A bit of liquid chocolate and then a little bit of the malts on a final pull.

Taste- So far for me, CCB has been hit and miss. I was really afraid this would be like Hunaphus and I wouldn't like it. Not the case. A very good large stout with a lot of flavors and layer wrinkles to make us beer geeks happy. Not as smooth as some, not as flavorful as some. But very well done with large quantities of chocolate, roast, smoke, coffee and some dark dark fruits. (←, this was very minimal)

Mouth- A thick body with a low carbonation level. Dark chocolate, coffee and roast after taste. A good feel but not as creamy as I would like it to be.

Drink- This was a good treat. I am glad I decided to open this one up for everyone and it got rave reviews from the group. A solid, large, not overly complex but still very multi-faceted beer. I would love to have this one again.

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage...

A: Pours a completely opaque black with two full fingers of dark mocha head. It was a pretty vigerous pour, and the head keep growing. I have to say that the foam looks incredibly creamy, and that it takes forever to settle. There is a serious amount of lacing as it drinks.

S: I'm picking up on a big raisin note, as well as burnt toast, roasted malt, caramel, and bitter dark chocolate. The raisins and stone fruits are pretty dominating, but not to the point of one dimensional.

T: I get raisin and plums right up front, that then mix with the burnt toast and roasted malt. The flavors transition into caramel as it envelops the palate. The finish is caramel, chocolate and more raisin. The burnt toast seems to linger long after I've downed a sip.

M: Full bodied beer. This beer is silky smooth. The flavor transitions are really pleasant and I'm left wanting more with each and every sip.

O: This is a really solid russian imperial stout. I don't know if I could drink a whole bottle of this in one sitting, but it's delicious. I've loved come of CCB's beers and I've hated some of their beers. This one is in the former, rather than the later.

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 trappistlover
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(750ml bottle courtesy of markwise and shared at Mike's sours/saisons tasting). Pours black with chocolate head. No carbonation and oil-like. Aroma of chocolate and soy. Taste is sweet with some roasty bitterness. Medium bodied with slick texture. Finish is smooth and roasty. This is a really good RIS. Thanks Mark!

Photo of zoso1967
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #500!

Marshall Zhukov pours the deepest, darkest, blackest brown of any beer I have seen thus far in my travels. Even the head is ridiculously dark and is about the color of a rich hot cocoa. The head retention is very impressive, as is the lacing.

The aroma is quite unique. It is a mix of sweet dark malt, bitter cocoa, dark fruits and some seriously crazy earthy spice. I am tempted to say that this beer smells a bit on the sweet side, but the other flavors come in and make it very interesting and well balanced. This is also one of those beers that every sniff can yield something a bit different. Some smell like a chocolate shake, some like fermented fruit and some like rich coffee.

The flavor is yet another rollercoaster ride with the sweet malts hitting the palate first before transitioning into a complex web of plums, bitter cocoa, coffee, toffee and a woody earthy character. This beer has so many flavors and is quite sweet, but still manages to stay just on the right side of cloying for my taste. As the beer warms some hop character starts to come out, especially near the end of the sip. It is mostly floral and slightly earthy.

This beer has one of the largest bodies of any I have ever tasted. It is majorly thick and hearty with a smooth and low carbed feel that can only be described as decadent. The finish is sticky, but that seems fine for a beer like this.

This is a pretty crazy beer and a fittingly epic one for a milestone review. It is a great brew to savor and let warm as I slowly sip it on this cold Northern Michigan night. I cannot proclaim this to be my favorite Imperial stout ever, but it is a fine example and I give CC full props for making something that stands out amongst the crowd.

Photo of Smurf2055
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black, and the head is the darkest I’ve ever seen, milk chocolate color, and excellent retention.

Smell is roast, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, sweet. As it warms up, the roasty and fruity characteristics balance more, quite enjoyable.

Taste is different, chocolate up front, a bit fruity towards the middle and roasty red fruit to finish. Little to no alcohol. As it warms, the fruit is still there, and the primary aftertaste, raspberry and cherry overpower the roast.

A bit of a lighter body than I was expecting from it. Very good stout, pretty unique, but the overpowering red fruit quality keeps it from being higher to me. Still quite enjoyable but could be a bit more balanced.

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

750ml bottle, not sure who I got this particular bottle from, but it's either Centennial or Blazer06, either way thanks guys. Into a Stone IRS glass.

A: Probably the darkest beer I've held in my hands, completely black, no light, even around the edges of the glass. About an inch of head shows up, and it is easily the darkest brown head I've ever seen. Nice lacing left behind. Damn fine looking beer.

S: Rich chocolate, caramel malts, and a fair amount of roasted malts. Smells incredibly sweet. Lots of molasses and coffee, brown sugar and a ton of great strong dark beer smells. There's a lot going on here, but I wish it just popped a little bit more. Still, quite nice.

T: A lot like it smells, tons of sweetness. Right off the bat I get black coffee with sugar mixed in, that's exactly what it tastes like. Under that is a nice chocolate and caramel flavor that lingers just long enough to fade into coffee and burnt malts. A fair amount of bitterness wraps things up, not full on from hops, as there is some bitter burnt malt in there, but it is a nice resiny, hoppy bitterness.

M: Incredibly thick with the perfect amount of carbonation, a very fine carbonation, that really aides to making this a thick, creamy beer. Very sticky on the lips. Just about perfect here. Not boozy at all.

O: A very sweet stout, that tonight is hitting the spot. I'm not a huge fan of coffee and sugar, but with the chocolate and bit of hoppy bitterness make this really nice. Excellent dessert beer. The mouthfeel is almost exactly right, really thick, and sticky. Really a nice beer, lives up to it's reputation.

Photo of paco1029384756
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with two fingers of thick dark tan head. I love these endlessly dark Imperial Stouts.

Scent of roasted coffee, roasted malts, sugar, dark fruit, cedar, and a hint of spicy hops. Strong, but surprisingly, not very boozy.

Taste of burnt coffee, roasted malts, caramel, dry sugar, and some dark fruit. Finishes bitter, but not quite as bitter and Hoppin' Frog's D.O.R.I.S.

Mouthfeel is heavy bodied, dense and oily with a low, smooth carbonation.

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

Thanks Nate for including this with a trade.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours an extremely dark, inky black. A two finger head of dark brown(one of darkest heads around). A good amount of lacing.

S - chocolate milk. Slight roast. Caramel. Sweet. Milky Way. Dark stone fruit.

T - lots of the same. Lots of choclate and caramel. Sticky and sweet on the lips. Sweet but not cloyingly so. Lots of toffee too. Not much in the way of hop flavor or aroma. A slight hop bitterness on the back but has melded well. Milky Way. Some stone fruit notes appears as it warms.

M - full bodied and thick, almost shake like.

D - fairly low to medium-low.

Overall, a fantastic tasting RIS. A little thicker and stickier than I like but still good. The high IBU stated doesn't come through, so I can only assume the bottle is from last year. Drinks a little cleaner when consumed on the cold side.

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

Appearance: Poured form 25.4oz bottle into large snifter. Extremely dark, purely opaque. Looks thick, syrupy, and oily. Extremely thin head forms for just a moment post-pour.

Smell: Sweet toffee, coffee, and chocolate - exactly how the bottle describes it.

Taste: Not as intense as I had expected, very mild actually. Sweet chocolate and espresso. Roasted malts as well.

Mouthfeel: Very balanced, creamy, and silky. Almost no bite whatsoever. Lots of sticky, sweet residue around and in the mouth & lips.

Drinkability: By far, the most drinkable Russian Imperial Stout I've ever had. It is a very sweet brew, which is not particularly my favourite. It looks and feels excellent, though.

Photo of scottyg354
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: This is a black beer, no doubt about it. Head has a brown/reddish tint to it and last for a little. Lacing is nice. Pours thick, like a light chocolate syrup. No seeing through this bad boy.

S: Lots of roastiness, malt and some alcohol. Dark chocolate notes are also present.

T:This beer is good, but it has a lot of odd notes. Up front you get a smoked cherries type flavor (my brother in law compared it to like a beef jerky taste, weird!), the on the back end you get espresso and dark chocolate, with some fig notes. Decent.

M: Thick, thick, thick. This beer feels exactly like it appears Pretty damn close to a stout shake!

O: Not a bad beer, don't be turned off by the weird tasting notes I described. That's what makes craft beer, craft beer. Give it a shot!

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

2011 750ml bottle poured into a Bruery tulip. Deep dark black ink black color. Edges are just as black. Head is a huge three fingers of dark chocolate color and a silky pillow soft appearance. Reminds me of Brooklyn Black Ops. Lace is sticking in a raining pattern. Quite nice!!

Smell is dark roasted espresso beans, dark chocolate, dried cherries, maybe some charred wood and some alcohol.

Taste is mostly like the nose. There is the dark, bitter chocolate, some coffee but the dominate flavor is the tart fruits. Cherries, figs. I am not getting any alcohol taste or burn with this at all, at least while it's still on the cold side.

Mouth is smooth and luscious, carbonation is on the medium side. Body is rich and towards chewy. Finish is everlasting and wet with the slightest hint of alcohol burn.

Overall I have been waiting over a year to crack this bottle and it didn't disappoint. There is a reason this is on the top 100 list. Thanks to Centenial for sending this my way. I would love to try a fresh bottle. Trade for, or pick this one up if you can.

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 cjgator3
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. This one is a pretty thick pour. Pours a pitch black color with a tan head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts and chocolate notes. 

T- The taste is big and roasty with ton of roasted malt flavors with some unsweetened chocolate, espresso, and some bitterness from the hops in the warming finish. Very nice! All the flavors blend very well together.

M- The mouthfeel is full bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is yet another fantastic beer from Cigar City. I can't wait to try this again with some more age on it! 

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

I forget who opened this...perhaps Dunt? Thanks to whoever!

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a completely black color and thicker viscosity. About half finger of tan head.

Smell – Sweet chocolate and cocoa, roasted malts, char, coffee, and brown sugar.

Taste – A nice roasted flavor up front mixed with a nice milky chocolate flavor. Slight toffee and hops come through in the middle and a hint of coffee at the end.

Mouthfeel – Nice and chewy, thicker bodied, finishes a bit dry.

Overall – A great stout and one I’d hope to have again.

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

Poured into my Strong Beer Month '04 snifter. Blacker than hell pour with a slowly rising espresso head. Slight bubbly in the middle of the froth, with the top being a darker color than the middle looking from the side of the glass. Head slowly dissipates, leaving some nice brown lacing with a 1/4" of filmy head.
Tobacco, marshmellow, zippy hoppy and some fumes. Very decadent.

Oily up front, very viscous. Really soft on the lips, velvety. Bitter...chocolate & hoppy. Throw in some cold brewed coffee too. Plum, raisin, fig and strawberry...yowzers. Strong bitter chocolate oil. Astringent tobacco bitterness, somehow a little tart on the finish. Long lasting bitter, dry & tannic. Mouth feels like I just smoked a mild cigar.

Photo of cfrances33
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by @scud, poured into a snifter.

Pour: Completely oil black body, with a very sizable two finger deep khaki head. Leaves no lacing, but the glass is slick with a brown sludge through the glass.

Smell: Bitter dark chocolate, with a hefty smokey/roastiness. A large amount of coffee comes through. as it warms, vanilla and caramel come out.

Taste: Deep bitter coffee and chocolate. Very rich. Some toffee and caramel come out as it warms. Closes with some vanilla milk chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Very heavy, and very rich. A definite sipper.

Overall: Evolves amazingly through the glass. Really great stuff. Thanks Dan for sharing.

Photo of zachary80
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black, great lacing, very good head that fades but stays stronger than normal.

Smells fairly average for an imperial stout.

Taste is heavy roast - a little rough but still pleasing.

Very heavy mouthfeel - one of the heaviest, and fits well with the flavor.

Overall a great beer but not my favorite IS.

Photo of rodkin
4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pitch black, with a really dark brown head. Quite large head for 11%, with decent lacing. Looks very thick.

Milk chocolate, coffee, roast, bit of dark chocolate, some dark fruit, hint of vanilla.

Taste is similar. Milk chocolate, roasted bitterness, dark fruit sweetness, vanilla, dark chocolate. Really sweet, like a melted chocolate bar.

Mouthfeel is really smooth, creamy, nice carbonation.

A very fine stout. The alcohol is entirely hidden, which is scary. Maybe slightly sweeter than I'd like, but overall very good. Now if only it had some cinnamon, chili, vanilla, and cocoa mixed in...

Photo of OakedCanuck
4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into tulip.

A - Pours a deep black, very little brown head or bubbles. Leaves a sticky coat on the glass.

S - Excellent nose. Lots of chocolate and toffee. Coffee, vanilla, dark fruits.

T - Strong depth of flavour. Roasted coffee mainly but was competing with the chocolate, sweet chocolate, not bittersweet. The vanilla is there as well as a very nice strong flavour of molasses.

M - Very smooth, heavy, lingering. Excellent

O - Quite a tasty beer. Not quite a sipper like so many other RISs (this is a good thing!)

Photo of Blanco
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Oily and viscous out of the bottle, it barely resembles beer and looks more like ink until the huge billowy head appears, reminding that it is, in fact, still beer. The head is a rich dark brown, perhaps the darkest head I've ever seen and sticks around for a while. Lacing is awesome.

The smell is powerful, I can pick up the dark malts while the glass is sitting on the table waiting for me to drink it.

Taste is smooth and rich. some chocolate, moderately bitter. The malt profile is a bit richer than I'd like but still really good. ABV is incredibly well hidden.

Mouthfeel is incredibly thick, perhaps the chewiest stout I've had.

Overall impression is that this is solid. The flavor profile is a little one-dimensional, but outside of that, I have few complaints.

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin mocha head covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of burnt malt in the nose along with hints of chocolate.
T: The taste is very malty with flavors of chocolate and has a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels very full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a low amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is one that needs to be sipped, but the taste is interesting enough to make you want to slowly savor.

Photo of djmichaelk
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle, chilled then warmed a bit, into a snifter.

A - Pours black, with auburn edges. Solid finger of mocha-colored head, with great retention and lacing.

S - Very nice. Cheerios, roast, dark chocolate, and a sweetness that lurks around in the shadows.

T - Lots of roast and dark chocolate here, and coffee-like notes. Chicory and nuttiness mid-palate. A sweet caramelized sugar finish. A bit of alcohol in the finish. Very warming. Everything I'd like to have in an RIS. Among the best of the regularly available RIS's that I've had.

M - Plenty of carbonation, and it's VERY full, almost like a shake. I've had this several times, and once when trying to finish it quickly I struggled putting it down -- that thick an heavy.

D - Well, the abv is fairly high, so that makes it tough to drink more than a single (large) bottle, but the flavors make me want more and more.

O - This definitely ranks with Speedway as one of my favorite heavy stouts. I love the fact that it's made in the town that I just moved to, and it's available pretty much all the time. At $10, the price is pretty good, too. Certain other breweries in the northeast and midwest would charge $15-20 for this.

Photo of joefuzz
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage poured into southampton snifter

Pours thick and completely black with a very dark brown head. The smell seems muted the only thing really coming through is a sort of burnt malt scent. The taste on the otherhand is very pleasant like a sort of mocha iced coffee with a slight warming alcohol sensation. Mouthfeel is what a good imperial stout should be thick and coating with just enough carbonation. Overall a very good sipper, glad I got a few to age.

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,362 ratings.