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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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

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518 Reviews
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Reviews: 518
Hads: 2,451
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 21.26%
Wants: 1,190
Gots: 837 | FT: 80
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: 518 | Hads: 2,451
Photo of Kelly88
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
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

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Photo of rtaps
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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

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Photo of Holland
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of bigaltemple
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of ManVersusBeer
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of dudecandle
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of jsanford
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of Duff27
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -6.5%

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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.


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Photo of david18
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of SDDanC
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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!

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Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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%.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5


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.

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Photo of Lare453
3.98/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.