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
97
world-class

2,362 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,362 | Reviews: 513
Photo of siege06nd
4.01/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -8.5%

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.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -8.5%
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

Photo of david18
4/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of SDDanC
4/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to GeorgiaBeerGuy for this bottle and welcome to the Lehigh Valley for delivering this in person to enjoy together!

A - Pours a pitch black with a thin toffee colored lacing that's very viscous and sticky, and thick.

S - Thick aroma, molasses, caramel, vanilla, oak, cream, and chocolate.

T - Lots of oak, chocolate, molasses, some booziness, and extremely light cherry flavor.

M - Thick, full bodied, viscous, sticky, and velvet texture.

O - So glad I finally had the opportunity to try this beer!

Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dvelcich for bringing this and the Humidor version.

A - Pours back, mocha-colored head, very thick and viscous.

S - Sweet dark fruits, slight char, burnt sugars, nice level of roast, chocolate. Pretty sweet, sweeter then expect, really. The chocolate and burnt sugars really stand out and create the high level of sweetness.

T - Similar to the nose. Very sweet, chocolate, burnt sugars, char, roast, dark fruits. The alcohol is barley noticeable, which is impressive for such a fresh version and 11.5%. Impressive.

M - Full, rich and viscous, creamy oak finish.

O - A really good RIS. Perhaps a bit too sweet to enjoy in large amounts, but still, very good and enjoyable. Would def have again, if offered. I would like to try a bottle with some age on it to see if the sweetness dies down at all. Very good.

Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a a two finger frothy dark mocha/coffee colored head with good retention, slowly fading into a lasting cap. Splotches of spotty lacing are left behind.

Roasted chocolate malt aroma with hints of espresso/coffee bean, sweet milk and dark chocolate, licorice, molasses, honey as well as some subtle earthy hops. Not overly roasty with a good balance of sweet chocolate. The aroma is amazing and very complex.

Chewy viscous mouthfeel with a very prominent roasty character and tons of sweet silky chocolate maltiness. Lots of deep roasted cofee/espresso bean flavor up front and dry earthy hops with some pine character. This is countered by a silky dark and milky chocolate presence mid palate and a lot of rosted malt, molasses and burnt toast flavor. More roasty espresso and coffe bean presence in the finish. I thought that this beer would be a bit sweeter but it is very dry, bitter and roasty and the hop profile is much more dominant than I would have liked. This beer is a bit rough when fresh but I feel the flavor will improve greatly with age. ABV is very well masked. It's hard to believe it's 11%.

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pitch black cola body with a tan head and a roasted chocolate smell as well as coffee, some toasted/burnt malt as well. A thick, slightly smooth body with loads of coffee malt taste along with hints of toffee and bitter chocolate. Dryness eminates from the coffee malts as well as ABV peeking through, in a good way, and is a great beer to sip on.

Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to gtreid for this one.

Poured into stone old guardian snifter.

Pours a small layer of dark mocha head. Fades to a thin layer quickly. Color is a vicious black.

Aroma: Big roasted malt beer. Cocoa caramel, and coffee. Some earthy hops. Dark dried fruit notes, mainly cherry. Some toffee in the background.

Taste: Lots of chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee. Then i get the dried cherries followed by toffee and earthy hops balancing it out. As the end there is some thick molasses.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and rich. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends roasted and malty, a little dry.

Overall, this is a solid RIS with lots of nice flavors that mix together. This is a sipper for me and I am glad I am sharing this with a few other BAs. I definitely recommend this one for the season.

Photo of alcstradamus
3.99/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black into my tulip glass. I gave this a reasonably hard pour but it was coming out very thick and viscous so the head took a second to form. Before I knew it, I had 4 fingers of the darkest beer head you will ever see rising...and rising...and rising...and then overflowing. I tried to clean it up but it was just so damn thick and sticky that a simple paper towel couldn't do the trick. After cleanup, the head camped out forever and left a wall of lacing down the glass. Literally the best looking beer I've ever poured.

Smell is a somewhat odd mix of bright hops, wood, toasted malt, and apple peel. Not bad, but different.

The taste is a bit more "normal"...and in this case normal refers to a gigantic roasted malt profile. Burnt toast, cocoa powder, citrus hops, biscuits, and just the smallest hint of sweetness make up the flavor profile. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with good carbonation levels. The carbonation actually makes it seem lighter than it is though. This is definitely thick and sticky right when it hits the mouth.

This stout was actually more impressive than it was likable, however I still enjoyed it quite a bit. If there was a bit more complexity in the flavor profile--perhaps the addition of a dark fruit or chocolate character--this could be a world class beer. The base is there, but I don't feel like it is complete. Still, worth acquiring and sharing with a couple buddies.

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.99/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a serious beer, black, really no head and very little carb. Looks like motor oil. Smells like rich dark roasted malt, vanilla, coffee, crazy dried cherries, raisins and faint notes of alcohol. Tastes the same. Chocolate, coffee, lots of vanilla, oaty, leathery fruits. Really thick and heavy, slightly cloying to me. A little hot from the alcohol and a little sharp. Is it drinkable, yeah...would I want another tomorrow, no.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-Tap

Marshal is a black imperial stout oh yes he is. Black with a oil slickness, thick with no light able to peek through. A nice tight off white head with slimy lacing. Smells of deep roasted malt with chocolate and more malt. Tastes consist of the same with dark sweet chocolate and some coffee with some hops to go with it. Dark fruit with some alcohol but not intruding. Roasted malt with some underlining toffee. This is pretty well bodied and nicely carbed, not dead in the water. A nice slick feel with some bitterness in the end. Glad I got a chance to try this brew.

Photo of Lare453
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

32oz growler into a dfh glass

a very dark dark dark brown. almost black. light brown head that leaves a ton of lacing.

s cocoa, bitter chocolate, coffee, malt, vanilla

t a big malty beginning, dry bitter chocolate middle. the ending is bitter coffee, chocolate and chicory. the aftertaste is long lasting and is mocha, chicory and coffee and it is a bit dry

m thick and rich. smooth and great carbonation. big body and bold

o pretty good, but there are a lot better, easy to get Stouts out there.

thick, rich, delicious, dry, sweet. just fantastic.

Photo of youradhere
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours muddy black with dark tan/brown head. Thick lacing is left behind and forms a moving crust to the glass. Smell is cocoa, chocolate, sweet malt, berries, and what I can only describe as licorice-like. Taste is chocolate, bitter coffee, roast malt, truffle. Carbonation is medium, mouthfeel is creamy without being thick, if that is possible- almost a too thin of a body here, sort of light and airy. No alcohol presence, and drinks smooth. There is some flavor that keeps popping up here, that I can't quite put my finger on, and it is driving me nuts. Very good beer overall, and I would seek this one out to try again some day.

Photo of wspscott
3.97/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle in Duvel tulip
(no date)

A: Pours completely black, wife said looks like molasses, I think it looks like motor oil, thick/viscous looking, no head at all, almost looked flat.
S: Burnt sugar/very dark caramel, molasses, a hint of dark fruitiness as it warms.
T: Lots of roasted malts combined with dark caramel malts leads to a bittersweet combination. As it warms, I get a hint of licorice. No noticeable hops.
M: A huge amount of residual sugars makes for a creamy, round mouthfeel. A very low level of carbonation, just enough to provide a slight tingle.
D: Very much a sippin' beer, an excellent night cap, but very hard to imagine having a 2nd pour. Highly recommended for anyone who likes over the top RISs.

Photo of portia99
3.97/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle opened at jlindros Impy Stout tasting. Shared among several BA's and tasted side by side with Hunahpu's. Poured into a Sierra Nevada 30th Anny. snifter.

A - Oily, black in color, seems very thick, no head and only a thin brown collar surrounding the edge of the glass.

S - A blend of coffee, molasses, caramel and alcohol. Coffee is most prominent here.

T - Sweeter than I expected from the nose. Lots of coffee blended with molasses and a bit of chocolate in there too. Definitely on the sweeter side of things, not to the point of being syrupy though.

M - Oily and slick, thick and full bodied. There is a low carbonation that makes this silky smooth. Overall sweet and creamy.

D - I like this a lot. To be critical, I'd say maybe it is a bit too sweet for my liking, but not by much. Definitely not a Dark Lord caliber syrupy sweetness by any stretch. Not sure tasting this next to the Hunahpu's did this any favors. The spice additions to the Hunahpu's from the MZ base beer really brought out the flavors nicely and dried it out too giving it much better balance.

Photo of dbc5
3.97/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. 6 ounces poured into a 10 ounce Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout snifter.

A. Pour appears extremely viscous. Moderate pour yields about a one finger, coffee colored head which recedes into darkness quickly. Not much evidence of carbonation once the head recedes.

S: Large amount of chocolate upfront. Also picking up a brown sugar character that I've gotten from other Cigar City stouts (Cognac Milk Stout). Some coffee and vanilla as well. Dominate aroma is dark chocolate, followed by the sweetness and coffee.

T: Tons of roasted malt sweetness up front. A good amount of dark chocolate. Definitely a sweeter stout. Picking up some vanilla, which in combination with the extremely thick mouthfeel, lends a cream-like character. After swallowing, getting some bitter coffee and just a touch of hop bitterness attempting to balance out some of the sweetness.

M: This is the most noteworthy aspect of the beer. I don't know that I can identify a more viscous non-barrel aged stout. Short of Bourbon County Stout, this may be the thickest beer I've had. It coats your palate and sticks around forever.

O: Enjoyable brew. It is pretty sweet and I can see that being an issue for some when working through the 750 ml format. Being honest, I'm a fan of sweet beers but found myself becoming a bit fatigued in the palate by the end of the bottle. Would be happy to acquire another bottle somewhere down the road to see what age does to it.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a brandy snifter. Brewed 31 August 2012.

A: The darkest head I've ever seen. Dark chocolate brown, creamy, with good retention. The beer is black and opaque and viscous.

S: Booze, licorice, bittersweet chocolate. Strong, but not obviously complex. A hint of metal.

T/M: Soft, smooth, and thin. Not what I was expecting. I would say the mouthfeel is flat, but that's not quite right, because it's also velvety-creamy. The flavours are muddled. It's strongly malty, with hints of fruit (date? coconut?) and roasted barley and bittersweet milk chocolate and blackstrap molasses. Still, it's incoherent and I get the distinct feeling that it's not living up to its potential.

O: A nice RIS that's so smooth it goes down perilously easy, but it could perhaps stand a touch of carbonation or hop spice to accent the different, darker flavours that are (not) bubbling under the pitch-like surface.

Photo of yourefragile
3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL 2011 bottle.

Pours viscous and dark black with chocolate edges. Dark mocha head, fades to a collar, with some legs. Roast malt and coffee nose, minimal sweetness or chocolate, mildly hoppy. Flavor is sweeter than nose, with caramel, coffee, chocolate, toffee, and pine. Thicker side of medium body with low carbonation; coats the palate and lingers well through finish with minimal heat. Other than the nose, this is an impressive RIS.

Photo of billab914
3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Rhettroactive. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter. It poured pitch black in color and very thick looking. It had a dark chocolate colored head clinging to the edges of the glass and scattered across the top of the beer. Great looking beer.

The aroma shows a lot of dark chocolate to it. I get some molasses and caramel sweetness out of it along with a little roasty bitterness. What I start to really notice though is a tart, somewhat fruity presence that has a bit of a raspberry like flavor to it. It gives it kind of a strange twist, but not enough to take away from all the other really good flavors.

The taste also shows a lot of dark, bitter-sweet chocolate to it throughout. The finish is where I get a stronger roasty, coffee like bitterness coming out. Again though I get a little bit of a fruity, tart, sweetness to it that just seems out of place.

The mouthfeel is thick and silky smooth with carbonation being moderate for the style. Overall it was a pretty good beer. I really liked the dark chocolate and roasty flavors but the fruity, sweet, tart, raspberry like flavors that I got just seemed out of place in it to me. Good beer but not great.

Photo of Spider889
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Been wanting to try this for some time now.

Poured into a Cigar City snifter, Marshal Zhukov’s is as thick as they come. With the consistency of the unchanged sludgy oil of an obsolete model WWI-era tank, this Russian Imperial Stout promises to be a slow sipper already. The head cascades upwards with the pour to produce a wonderfully dark foam cap the color of fudge. This slowly fades back into the blackness of the brew beneath. The foamy head is thicker than the ranks of the Russian infantry. Lacing is intermittent but thick – a wall of opposition rushing to meet the opposing perfection of the glass. But glass grows brittle in cold; the Germans are being staved off with the aid of Marshal Zhukov.

The aroma on this behemoth brew is deep and robust. Roast is like careening grapeshot – explosive and devastating. Hidden within that grapeshot is the seed of fruit aroma – berry and raisin. There’s an interesting mustiness lingering in this beer, one that makes one think that there are some English counterparts to the Red Army pent up inside the bottle. There is also a ton of sweetness to consider here – coffee cake and fudge and all of the sweet sticky residuals of unfermented body-enhancing malt sugars.

If the aroma is the artillery clearing a path to victory, then the flavor is the general infantry’s sound to charge. Dark fudge and bitter char render your palate a wasteland – just as any long-used battlefield becomes through history. There’s some ashiness going on, but the density of the beer helps to mediate an attribute that can be a bit drying and gritty in other beers. The biggest thing of note though, is the sweetness. It’s a great treat to sip on, but it can be a bit much to take in at times as well. The mouthfeel is thick and silky with moderately low carbonation. The alcohol – clocking in at 11% – is never as oppressive as the Axis opposition, but it does creep up on you and also adds as another limiting factor on the beer’s drinkability.

Overall a really nice Russian Imperial Stout, this Marshal Zhukov’s… I highly recommend sharing with comrades; it’s big, bold, heavy, and sweet. Definitely borders on overly rich and filling at times... I would really enjoy trying this barrel aged though!

Photo of DefenCorps
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think it was Matt (drabmuh) that brought this yesterday. Thank you!

Jet black with a dark brown hear with great retention and thick lace, this is quite the looker. The nose is great too, plenty of roast, some pine hop aroma and bitterness along with a bit of a grainy bitterness. Bittersweet cocoa, espresso and a touch of alcohol round out the nose.
The palate opens big and bitter with a burnt grain bitterness, roast, bitter chocolate and a little cream. Some licorice character is noticeable too. Roasty and bitter on the finish, this is solid. Big and full in body with low carbonation, this beer is really good, but a little bit goes a long way.

Photo of Auracom
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of my stout tasting on October 22nd, 2011. 6-7 oz. into snifter.

A – Hello Pennzoil, meet Marshal Zukov’s. About as oily-looking as it gets. Pours a flat and true-black with no really hint of brown or any other tone on the edges. Khaki one/two finger head.

S – Lots of roast upfront, but not to the volcanic or ash-like level that some people have claimed. Dark Chocolate, brown sugar and spice, dates and raisins, and a touch of alcohol.

T – More of the same. Quite a bit of bitterness to account for the hops added into the brew. A touch smokey, but again the roasted note takes center stage here back up with a decent mixture of undertones. Reminds me of Founder RIS but with a bit more roast.

M – Quite thick body here. Relatively smooth. Lengthy finisher with a lasting bitter aftertaste.

D – Not an easy one to work through on your own. This was the first beer we ticked off the lengthy list of ~ 30 bottles and I felt that 3-4 ounces would have been ideal. Overall, I think it is judged a bit harsher than it deserves and serves at a great base beer for other CC endeavors (e.g. Hunahpu’s).

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