Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

501 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 501
Hads: 2,382
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 4.47%
Wants: 1,170
Gots: 772 | FT: 71
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 501 | Hads: 2,382
Photo of mdaschaf
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (779 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours black as night with a brown head and awesome retention. Great looking beer.

Smell: Sweet and roasty with some dark fruit notes as well as some faint vanilla.

Taste: Quite sweet. Hints of dark chocolate and dark fruit along with the roast. Very smooth with a mildly hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and a bit syrupy. The carbonation is mild and smooth and the finish is slick.

Overall: A bit sweet but very good. I thought everything blended together quite well. I would definitely have this one again. (558 characters)

Photo of JamesShoemaker
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into my snifter. Huge thanks to RyanSchwam for this monster. My first CCB ever!

A - pours jet, jet black. One of the blackest beers I've ever seen. Lots of head, almost a waterfall effect like Guinness. The foam is the darkest brown. Great looking beer.

S - lots of malt, some hints of anise and coffee, maybe some chocolate on the bass note. The alcohol is detectable, but not overbearing.

T - I've been into Ten Fidy lately, so I'm implicitly comparing all RISs to that right now. MZ is pretty good, but the malt overwhelms, which is a trap to which many RISs succumb. Objectively, it's delicious.

M - goes down like a dream. The alcohol makes it somewhat syrupy, but nothing significant to complain about.

O - I asked Ryan for two bottles of this one because I was going to age the one that I didn't drink, but I'm not sure there are any flavors that need substantial toning down. Good beer, I'll certainly get it again if I'm ever in Florida. (974 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated July so around 9-10 months old.

A: Jet black with one of the darkest heads I've ever seen - possibly the darkest. It's a dark dark brown head, at first it almost appears to be the same color as the beer before it washes out a little bit. Swirling the glass results in a multi-colored head. Fascinating. Huge head that appears to be very dense. Does not fade at all for the first few minutes. After about 10 minutes it has faded enough for me to take a sip. Leaves huge sheets of lacing all over the glass. Easy 5.

S: Loads of roasted malt. Bitter char, espresso and dark chocolate. Prominent molasses and toffee.

T: Heavy heavy toffee and molasses up front - almost like an english barleywine. Turns into roasted malt with coffee and chocolate in there. Roasted malt isn't as prominent as I would expect, the molasses are really strong.

M: Big and syrupy thick.

O: A big syrupy RIS. Very heavy on the molasses which almost drowns out all that wonderful roasted malt unfortunately. I would have liked to have given it better scores for taste but the flavor was less stout that I expect, and quite unbalanced I felt. Will have to age one and see how I feel. (1,175 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

A - This is one of the most attractive beers I've ever seen. It pours a viscus oily pitch black abyss. Almost like syrup. There is a nice thin 1/4 of an inch dark dark brown head that sticks around for a bit with some nice dense and frothy bubbles. Almost like a cappuccino.

S - Starts off with tons of sweet molasses. There is some chocolate in there as well as some nice toffee and caramel. There is a heavy sweetness to the aroma. Slight roast and espresso notes with licorice in there.

T & M - Starts off with some slight roast and coffee notes that is then overwhelmed by tons of malt. The malt notes are quite intense with some caramel and toffee notes as well as very noticeable grain notes. There is quite a bit of licorice and some nice milk chocolate sweetness and slight dark chocolate bitterness and richness. There is some wood notes as the beer warms and the licorice and dark malt really wakes up as it warms. One of the most licorice-filled palette and noses I've ever had. The mouthfeel is very oily and chewy. Definitely a full bodied beer. It could use some more CO2.

O - The beer is very nice looking and has some nice aromas and well crafted flavors. My only complaint is the licorice. It doesn't seem as balanced as other RIS in that department. Other than that it has some nice roast and sweetness. Good beer. (1,383 characters)

Photo of Jw347
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a viscous black hue. Small mocha colored head it defintely has good retention and lace.

S: Aromas of roasty malts, chocolate, and coffee come thru. The smell of the piney hops hide behind it all.

T: Love the color and aroma on this one. The roasted malt has a nice balanced mix with the chocolate and coffee that come thru. The piney/citrus bitterness comes thru on the back end. Overall pretty darn drinkable.

M: Not to heavy but it is full bodied, nice and rich, smooth, and its fair share of carbonation.

D: I really did dig this one, it will only get better with time im sure. (594 characters)

Photo of infi
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

#100!

Shared with BAs brun, NYManc and r0nyn. From 10/6 notes.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Immediately as I was pouring the stout out of the bottle, I could tell of its incredible viscosity and thickness, just by how heavy it felt. Lo and behold, this brew was looking like molasses and syrup in the glass. Immensely dark and black with no head, but rather some floating tan bubbly islands and no lacing. The legs of the alcohol were quite noticeable too. Aroma was very sweet, especially when let warm. The milk and dark chocolate notes opened up vigorously and made way for a caramel appearance. Reminded me of a toned down version of ST's Creme Brulee. Also, more espresso than coffee on the nose alongside some boozy heat.

Flavors were more coffee and espresso oriented, but segued into a beautiful malt backbone with milk chocolate sweetness. Each flavor component was represented very well on the palate. This finish was incredibly notable too: very chocolately and sweet, like some Ghiradelli. Very, very appetizing.

Mouthfeel was VERY smooth and creamy. Very thick and generously coating. It's got to be the thickest beer I've ever encountered so far and I loved it. Much respect to the Marshal. (1,207 characters)

Photo of paulozanello
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black color, with a minimal brown head. Very thick and oily aspect to it. Not much lacing nor retention.

Aroma is of dark roasted malts, olives (?)/ herbal hops and wood.

Taste is sort of unusual with a malt/mollasses start and kind of a malt adstringency that resembles sourness. In the middle I can definitely taste some herbal/earthy hop charachter. It progresses with dark fruits, smoke malt and ends with lots of roast+hop bitterness with a lingering aftertaste.

Body is medium to heavy, smooth carbonation. Great silky mouthfeel.

Nice beer but it tastes a little too smoky to me. I realize it is just a personal preference but I like my imperial stouts leaning more towards vanilla/chocolate/coffee. Definitely worth a try though. (756 characters)

Photo of claaark13
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle poured into a DHF chalice. Thanks urwithdave, I've wanted to try this guy for a while now and just hadn't gotten around to trading for it.

A - Perfect. Pours like I'm topping my car off with a liter of oil. So dark, so thick. A dark, chocolate colored head slowly rises from the 12oz line to the top of the chalice. As time passes and sips occur, the head retains at 1/4" or a little less. Beautiful. This is exactly how I want all of my RIS to pour.

S - Before any sips, I was getting roasted malts with a very mild amount of hops in the background. As it warmed, I picked up on some sweetness. As I drank and as it continued to warm, the sweetness turned to dark fruits / roasted malts. Pretty good aroma all around. My wife described it as shoving your face into a bag of chocolate covered raisins. I can agree with this assessment. Nothing great stands out at me though and makes me think, "I need to try this right now."

T - Sweetness upfront and then the whole way through, finishing with roasted malts and a slight hint of what I'd call slightly burnt coffee. Sweet, creamy middle flavor. Finish is dry. Upon further investigation (2nd sip), I think I'm getting some hops here. As I get further into the glass, I get sweet dark fruits -> mild hops -> sweet roasted malts. The sweetness is evident, but not overpowering. The more I drink this, the more I really enjoy it. I am going to finish this bottle without issue. Not a lot of complexities, but a very nice drink.

M - Oh yes, this is how I like my RIS. I'll put this one up there with the appearance...perfect. Thick, creamy, full. RIS should have to be at least this thick to compete. Drinkability isn't really dinged here for me, but that is just my opinion.

O - I really like this beer. It is unique in that I think it hits the middle ground of two categories of RIS: thick/sweet and thick/hoppy. It stands out among most peers. Balance isn't perfect, but it is good. Of course, I'm comparing it to other "fresh" bottles of RIS to be fair. $12? Really? I'd buy as case, annually, if I lived in Tampa. I think the fact that this is available on the shelves holds it back on many people's scales, but I think it would fare very well in a blind taste test. (2,241 characters)

Photo of Kelly88
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 into my Bruery Tulip.

A- ominous black with a spartan head that barely appears as bubbles on top of the bitous brew.Ruby highlights the very outer rims and minimal lace remains.

S- bitter chocolate stings the nostrils. Coffee is competing with sweet fruit at the end. Strong and pungent, really nice

T- very rich and sweet, Like rum or bourbon is covering angel food cake. Coffee is taking over the finish and really adds wonderful balance to this brew. Decadent and subtle at once, truly a great beer.

M- full and creamy. Nice flavor twang at the end to give the beer some substance. Really how I like my stouts, heavy and smooth.

Overall one of the most flavorful stouts I have ever had. Sweet flavors make for a delicious beer that delivers in lots of ways. The only gripe I have is the appearance. Definitely will be searching for more of this beer (876 characters)

Photo of rtaps
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010

pours pitch black and looks like soy sauce, with no head at all. and very viscous looking

smell is also like a soy sauce with dark fruits

very sweet, a lot of dark fruits and molasses

medium bodied, no carbonation to it at all and very viscous

overall it was interesting, enjoyable in moderation. would like to try one with less age to it (350 characters)

Photo of Holland
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it on tap at the brewery. Review from notes.

A: thick, syrup-like look with thin lacing after the small head disappears. Not much to say about highlights - maybe a very dark brown.

S: smells of coffee, chocolate, dark roasted malts and grains, some sweetness, and a faint alcohol smell as it warmed past 50.

T: mostly the same as smell, with slightly burnt sugar added.

M: deliciously smooth, with some carbonation to balance it, but it's thick. What do you expect?

O: great beer, only wish it was less expensive and more available. It was $12 or $15 at the brewery, and I have not seen it elsewhere. (614 characters)

Photo of bigaltemple
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours like motor oil. Jet black color doesn't allow any light to pass through. Very dark brown two-finger head leaves thick lace clinging to the sides of the glass.

S - Sweet toffee. Roasted dark maltiness really dominates along with some big notes of coffee.

T/M - Overly sweet, chocolatey coffee up front. The roasted malts really come through in the taste as well. Has quite a bitter finish that hangs around for awhile. Full-bodied with a surprising amount of carbonation. That really helps balance out the feel.

O - No complaints with this one. Really glad I got my hands on a bottle, and would definitely try another one. (634 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (609 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010.

Poured into a cigar city snifter.

Appearance: Midnight black bodied beer. It looks like motor oil. Medium brown head with less than a fingers worth of head.

Smell: Deep Dark chocolate and roasty coffee.

Taste: Bitter dark chocolate and a heavy malt profile that is not really sweet. Roasty almost burnt coffee notes. Mild astringency noted also. Hardcore RIS almost overbearing.

Mouthfeel: Dense full bodied beer with low carbonation. Chewy, viscous, and silky.

Overall: I was really looking forward to tring this beer when i returned from Florida a few week ago. Picked up a bottle of this at Kickback Gastropub in Jacksonville. This beer was a really well made beer, but the bitterness was almost over the top to me. Maybe a little bit of sweetness to help this beer along. Doing a side by side with Hanahpu that is the beer that is up next. (863 characters)

Photo of ManVersusBeer
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The latest edition, 2011.
Pour is so huge that I have to place it in my sink as it foams over. This head is intensely chocolate brown with a dark as night body.
Cocoa, chocolate, some bitter lemon hops, and caramel sauce in the nose.
Very, very smooth. It is sweet, but not too much, more like a chocolate milk although the hop character balances nicely so it doesn't become cloying.
This has a good body and it is sweeter than I would would like, but not sticky, as it is quite drinkable for a big beer like this without having over the top carbonation in the feel.
Moves toward a caramel, chocolate sundae topped with crushed pecans and dried Turkish figs, which makes it much better than average. (700 characters)

Photo of dudecandle
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black body, small and very dark head.

S: Chocolate, vanilla, smoke, a hefty dose of coffee.

T: This is delicious, but very straightforward in its profile. Chocolate, coffee, and smoke. The smoke is actually a little stronger than I'd prefer, and is really a downer for me.

M: Big with some alcohol burn, but the smoke is a bit bothersome.

D: I actually got a bit bored through only 8 ounces of this. I know it's great, but frankly, the smoke overtook it for me. Chocolate and coffee are good, but I would have preferred a stronger third pop there. (554 characters)

Photo of jsanford
4.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a CC Snifter. 2010 Vintage, so it'll likely be a bit flat.

Pours a dark, inky black with obviously low carbonation, thick and syrupy with a very thin mocha ring and swirl of haze. Big, delicious aromas of dark malt, molasses, chocolate, raisins, and some booze. Just smells big and nasty! Taste follows the nose closely, lots of dark malt, chocolate, raisins, and just a touch of soy sauce. Incredibly dark and "roasty", typical of a big RIS. Mouthfeel is big and viscous with low carbonation. The lack of carbonation doesn't really bother me so much with this particular beer, but a touch more wouldn't be a bad thing. Overall a really nice RIS, but nothing I haven't seen before. (707 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pitch black, no head. Motor oil viscosity. Nice alcohol legs.

Some roastiness. The smell doesn't do a whole lot for me.

Like the taste a hell of a lot more than the nose. Coffee, roast. Has this zip to it, yeses.

Mouthfeel is palatial. So thick. Adequate carbonation.

Wow, this one is all about the viscous appearance and thick(!!!) mouthfeel. Sets it apart. Thanks egrace84. (379 characters)

Photo of siege06nd
4.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle generously shared by Rhettroactive. Thanks, Rhett!!

Poured into a snifter.

A: Oil sludge right here. Inky black with a beautiful finger and a half of dark brown head...I love it when a head is this dark. Quickly settles to a half finger with a good amount of sticky lacing. The head is frothy and bubbly, like chocolate milk. Head isn't super consistent, but coloring is top notch here.

S: A lot of cocoa, brownie, coffee grounds. There's a bit of astringency in the nose that is throwing me...almost smells like a milk stout...a lactic acidity.

T: Milk chocolate, some coffee, coconut. Super sweet and that same astringency shows up again, but it's more refined than it was in the nose. Just wave after wave of chocolate: milk, mocha, baking, dark, semi-sweet. Definitely the defining characteristic here. Coffee hangs in the background and pops up here and there. But the astringency holds it back...super sweet and borderline sour, but only for a moment. Even with that, though, it's a very good flavor profile.

M: Pretty assertively carbonated. Full bodied. Sweet, cloying, sticky. Right on.

O: A good Russian Imperial Stout here. A slightly off sourish sweetness on the mid hurts it a little bit. Not sure where that is coming from, could actually be hops. That being said, the other flavors are outstanding. One of the most chocolately RIS's I've had the pleasure of trying. A very good beer. (1,411 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -5.9%

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2009 or 2010 bottle. Finally reviewing this beer. Of course, when I finally review it, it's a 4+ year old body.

Appearance - Inky black. No real head. A few bubbles around the edges. Stains the glass.

Smell - Fudgy. Molasses. Chocolate. Intense. Boozy.

Taste - Fudgy chocolate. Booze manifests itself faster. Some dark fruits. A little raisin and molasses. Slight oxidation, but it isn't bad.

Mouthfeel - Huge, heavy, sweet. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Pushing the limits of too sweet, but it's just under the limit of insanely large. Excellent. (593 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big ole 750 received a while back from Drink1121... Huge thanks for the bottles Caleb!! I'm still broke and diving a bit into the cellar... Poured into my Delirium goblet.

2 Finger head is very dark brown ... it seems to die fairly quickly though and doesn't leave much lace... cap is pretty. Brew is black.. no light escaping.

Rich and malty... very fruity with alot of prunes and dried cherries.. lite cocoa... espresso... really very complex... I've just been sniffing it for probably ten minutes now.

Waves of dark malts begin with dark roast... and then a big blast of cocoa... that sorta turns into a bit of a coffee chocolate cordial mid-palate with some caramel maltiness... dark cherries linger on the finish with a bit of drying dark grain and cocoa.. very nice body with a bit lighter than average carbonation actually helps the mouthfeel be very smooth.

As it warms quite a bit of char and ash shows and sorta limits drinkability for me... still is very very complex but a definite sipper that makes you think.

4/4/4/4/4 (1,037 characters)

Photo of david18
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a glass of this at George Keeley's on Manhattan's upper west side. This is one of the better Russian Imperial Stouts I had. Very dark color with a very dark head. Aroma is amazingly malty with the smell of dark roasts, alcohol and yumminess. The 11.5 aby really packs a punch so be careful. I'll have this again. (318 characters)

Photo of SDDanC
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip. Completely black, with thin chocolate head that finishes with just a ring. Nose has lots of toffee, espresso, alcohol, and dark malt. Taste has a good amount of dark chocolate, coffee, salty toffee, dark fruits, and slight earthy hops. Mouthfeel is good, coats the inside well with the chocolate, heavy body with calm carbonation. Overall, very grateful to have tried this, nice with the cold weather. (432 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black beer with a brown head that was made up of fine bubbles and dissipated rather quickly to a partial cap.

S - Very sweet, with lots of chocolate. The roast in these bottles seems to vary from bottle to bottle. Some molasses, just a touch of coffee.

T - It's a very sweet stout, lots of chocolate, some brown sugar, molasses, little bit of roast. If you like sweeter RIS's, this one may be for you.

M - Full bodied, viscous, lower carbonation.

O - Not a bad beer, on the sweet side. I prefer an earlier bottle I had that was much more roasty qualities, but the last few bottles I've had tasted more like this one. (624 characters)

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 501 ratings.