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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
95
world-class

513 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 513
Hads: 2,433
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 4.46%
Wants: 1,181
Gots: 821 | FT: 75
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: 513 | Hads: 2,433
Photo of AgentMunky
3.96/5  rDev -7%
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. (926 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
3.96/5  rDev -7%
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. (443 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.96/5  rDev -7%
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. (1,188 characters)

Photo of Spider889
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
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! (2,269 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
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. (654 characters)

Photo of Auracom
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
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). (1,126 characters)

Photo of aubuc1
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured in to a snifter.

Pours pitch black with a thick tannish almost red head.

Smell is roasty, sweet and a smooth chocolate. Very balanced.

Taste is pretty bold. Coffeeish roasty, char with a dry finish.

Mouthfeel is very creamy. This beer is not real drinkable for me, but does not sacrifice the beer.

Another great, huge beer from ccb. (358 characters)

Photo of gwguest
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml brown bottle with no visible batch or freshness dating into a Bruery tulip.

A vigerous pour yields a very scant milk chocolate brown foam on top of an opaque black body. Foam is gone in a flash. A quick swirl causes a thin motor oil-like stain on the side of the glass. I've never seen a beer leave quite such a residue behind. Interesting. It's not particularly appetizing, but interesting.

The aroma is a very harmonious blend of anise / licorice, molasses, dark dark chocolate and minimal roast. The are hints of a brown sugar sweetness in the nose which really perks up the beer and adds some fantastic complexity.

Flavors in the beer are quite intense and mirror the nose in many ways. There is a touch more coffee and toffee taste than I get in the aroma, but I think the toffee taste is what may be suggesting brown sugar in the aroma. The roast level is a smidgen higher, but not nearly as baking as other beers in this style.

The mouth feel is identical to what I imagine the glass would feel. Thick, coating with just a thin suggestion of carbonation. This is borderline flat, but I would venture to say that this is how the brewer intended. It has carbonation, but it is simply on the low end for the style. Personally, I would prefer a bit more of the scrubbing action, but no points off for where it is.

Drinkability, for an 11.5% beer, is a tick above. The slick mouth feel and intensity of flavors make it difficult to have very much, but the abv is undetectable. It's not cloyingly sweet and doesn't sit in the stomach like a rock. Nicely done.

Overall, Zhukov is a beer like no other that I have tried. It is far from my favorite, but it is definitely worth a try. I can see this being some BAs absolute favorite beer ever. It is very well-crafted, but it won't score a ton of points with everyone. Nice work from Cigar City. (1,868 characters)

Photo of beachbum1975
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to urbancaver for sharing this beer! This is one of the 4 x Zhukov's poured last night.

Pours black with clear, amber edges. No real head on my pour and no lacing. Thick and viscous pour.

Heavily roasted malts with black licorice. Heavy char.

Very little carbonation on the mouthfeel, as well. Lots of heavy char and licorice.

Big and tasty. (358 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black. No head what so ever. One bubble actually. Vry thick. Smells malty and sweet. Tastes fairly nondescript. Just a ton of malty sweetness. Some light fruitiness on the tongue. Lots of earthiness own the tongue a bit of roast. Very basic but solid. Thick mouthfeel but not very well carbonated. (309 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: This looks like motor oil coming out of the bottle, SO viscous. Almost no head unless it is a very high and aggressive pour. Then a tiny head forms, fades to a ring, and disappears. No lacing. At this point I am wondering if this is a 'flat' bottle or if it is just this lightly carbonated.

Smell: The aromas blend together in a very smooth fashion. Roasted malt, chocolate malt, dark chocolate, coffee, a little molasses, and some anise. A touch of booze to remind me that it is a big bad army officer of a stout.

Taste: Again, very smooth. The malt is blended, it tastes like several types of dark and roasted malts were used here. Dark chocolate, creamy coffee, vanilla, and some anise provide supporting flavors. Each flavor knows its role and has a properly proportioned strength. As the glass continues, the coffee flavors grow somewhat. Some spicy hops help to finish it out. There is some lingering coffee bitterness and molasses sweetness, but considering how huge this drinks, it cleans up fairly well. I think additional carbonation would help the finish even more as well.

Mouthfeel: This was not completely flat, but I think it was unintentionally under-carbonated. Other than that, it was velvety smooth, very viscous, creamy, and very full bodied. With a proper amount of carbonation, this score jumps considerably.

Drinkability: If this had the proper level of carbonation, it would be up there with the heavy hitters of the stout world. As is, it was ok, and all of us sort of lamented what could have been. (1,588 characters)

Photo of aasher
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I received this bottle from thagr81us in a past massive trade. Thanks once again Calton!

This bottle was the 2010 vintage. This one pours a blackest of black, motor oil sludge in consistency with absolutely no head or activity. It smells of rich and smooth milk and dark chocolates, featuring both sweet and bitter malt characters with a good amount of coffee. The sweetness is almost Baltic-esque. The flavors are heavy on chocolates, all types of chocolates. Initially I got a good amount of milk chocolate, followed by coffee. It is quickly followed by a dark chocolate bitterness and plenty of roasted malts. It's just really sweet, which takes away from the overall balance. It drinks exceptionally smooth, as one should expect. Overall it's a nice RIS but it is on the sweet side. I can see where Nielsborium got it's sugar from and I can see the base of Hunahpu as well. It's a solid beer, worthy of barrel aging and new additions, but alone it's nothing too special. (975 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks again to Matt for sharing!

(A)- Pours pitch black, with one of the darkest brown colors in a head I have ever seen.

(S)- Aroma-wise, fairly straightforward for the style with some rich bits of raisin and molasses and a good underlying roasted profile.

(T)- A touch different from the smell in that, it has the classic roastedness and rich bits, but it almost tastes like it has an underlying honey-like sweetness throughout the flavor profile of the beer; interesting.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Perhaps a touch sweeter than I was expecting, but it blends well and counterbalances what might have been quite a strong roasted profile. It definitely cut out some of the residual bitterness too.

(O)- Not sure how old this particular bottle was, but I did enjoy the slightly different nuances this beer put out. Not overly complex for the style, but it fits the style well. (934 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an oily, tar-like impenetrable black with 1 finger of chestnut brown, fine-laced head that dissipates slowly. A nice thick layer of creamy lacing clings to the side of the glass and does not let go. Extremely impressive!

N: Espresso, rich toffee, molasses, roasted barley, bittersweet chocolate and hints of citrusy hops.

T: Rich toffee, chalky bittersweet chocolate, roasted barley and hints of Fruity Pebbles upfront. This is followed by molasses, toffee, roasted barley and some citrus notes. Finishes bitter with espresso, dark chocolate, peanut and more toffee.

M: Full bodied, chewy, creamy, chalky, sticky, syrupy and dry.

O: This beer is strange because it achieves a huge, sweet maltiness with toffee and roasted notes throughout and yet it has a rather prominent fruity hop profile that would normally just balance everything out. Yet it is extremely sweet and bitter at the same time. The appearance and mouthfeel are extremely impressive. This is one beautiful looking beer! Very deep, rich, sweet and complex yet I'm not overly excited about the fruity hop profile. (1,091 characters)

Photo of Bfarr
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thick syrupy black pour and tight sienna head with great retention and lacing. Dark chocolate and charcoal roasted aroma with an herbal note. Big chocolate taste up front gives way to coffee notes and finishing sweet and herbal. Coffee linger. Very thick viscosity with light bite and a lightly lingering dryness.

The look and feel of this beer is incredible. It actually coats the glass and turns it a different color that stays until it’s rinsed off. A fairly unique flavor is good in a small dose means it’s definitely a great beer for an 8 – 10oz pour. Any more than that and the herbal quality really takes over. This is typical of the malty CCB beers that I’ve tasted. I’d say it’s great to share or have a small taste of it but any more than that and it begins to be disappointing. Really a pretty enjoyable beer. (833 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to neorunner for surprising me with this bottle. He says its from 2009.

Appearance
Damn, this stuff looks thick. I almost have to scoop it out of the bottle. The pour is super black and ropey. A nice, toasted head rises up, and rests at a thin layering. Not that much lacing.

Aroma
A little tiny hint of oxidation in the form of a suggestion of paper; but this is very subtle and actually a welcomed addition to the aroma's profile. Leather and sweet, dark tobacco dominate. Molasses and dark fruits are below. Alcohol gives this beer a punch.

Taste
Very leathery with earthy suggestions of maduro cigar tobacco. A burnt dark chocolate flavor forms mid-palate. A really nice french vanilla cream element takes things through to the end.

Mouthfeel
Indeed, this beer is full bodied, but its not as thick as the looks suggested. Carbonation is ample, perhaps a bit high at first. The beer has a dry, burnt cocoa powderiness to the finish. This is a very sticky beer as well. Alcohol is sturdy, but very nicely incorporated for an ABV that nears the 12% mark.

Overall
This is pretty decent. Solid brewing, but it just isn't intense all across the board as I had hoped. It does make a good base beer for Cigar City style experiments though. (1,256 characters)

Photo of bierguru
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A -
pours like oil thick and slugish its awesome pours no head but light brown lacing and is jet black

S -
hints of malt chocolate licorice and some roasted flaovrs

T -
chocoalate maybe vanilla roasted notes molassess

M -
a bit dry mildly sweet overall well balanced biterness sweetness

D -
simple and well balanced between sweetness and bitterness split the 750 and glad i did very rich (393 characters)

Photo of mhksuccess
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into snifter glass
it pours extremely dark almost black
very little head
it smells very smokey
i would say this taste is very smooth, taste of toffee and a sweetness
on the back-end
very balanced hints of lot of flavors but a good mix not one that is overpowering
i spilled a drop with a swirl lol and get a hint of coffee/expresso
overall i find that the hop profile is a little not quite to my tasting
that is why i feel that an overall rating of a 4 possible little lower is what i woudl score
think i may pass on this next time (555 characters)

Photo of koopa
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received as an extra in a trade with a generous BA thanks!

Appearance: Nice murky black body with an attractive 1 finger brown head. Not much retention but some lace.

Smell: Roast malt, coffee, and as previously mentioned a marshmallow like quality.

Taste: Roast malt, coffee, nuts, espresso, and a touch of sweetness that is really faint. A bit too much astringent bitterness from all the coffee.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body, creamy, and coating! I like it but it could be a bit much for some that don't really appreciate a full bodied stout!

Drinkabilty: Full bodied with an 11.50% abv holds this delicious brew back in this category. (643 characters)

Photo of kjyost
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed Nov. 19, 2011 at Inaugural Bottle Share, thanks tbadiuk! From notes.

A: As dark as the night is black. Not a hint of light. Dark tan head, light lacing.
S: The nose just hammers you with molasses, with underlying hints of liquorice.
T: Sticky sweet, with tons of molasses and burnt sugar. Did not develop and complexity is lacking, A sweet molasses bomb of a beer.
M: Sticky and the sweetness just lingers forever on the palate.
O: Comes across as an imperial sweet stout. If you like sweet stouts, you'll likely like this, but I found it overpoweringly molasses dominated. It is rare I have a RIS where I don't get any roasted notes... (646 characters)

Photo of popery
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, 8/22/10. Good imperial stout but not really a standout. I still don’t really get all of the CCB hype. Pours black with a brown head. Looks pretty thick. Nice head retention. Solid chocolate/coffee/roast flavor. Taste is on the sweet side with a definite, lingering molasses note. Medium full body. Some hop bitterness helps curtail the sweetness. Good beer but doesn’t do enough to differentiate itself from the pack. As a year round beer (and depending on price), it’s very good, but among all >10% stouts, it’s not so memorable. (553 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy bret27. Pours an absurd black color with one of the darkest brown heads imaginable. Dark chocolate aroma, woody and hugely roasty. Flavor is roasted insanity, darkest chocolate and coffee grounds. Almost charred/ashy, a little dark fruitiness. Earthy woody hops, massively bitter. Astringent on the tongue. This one really assaults the palate. It's good, very good, but so robust it's hard to get through. (421 characters)

Photo of billshmeinke
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge, sticky, black as can be, super duper sweet but with enough of a roasty and coffee finish to persuade you that there's some sort of "balance." Seriously though, so so sweet. Really mouth coating and gnarly viscous with hints of berries, cherries, licorice, chocolate, and smoke. If you like sweet and super viscous imperial stouts, try and find some of this. (363 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to readbaron for sending this bottle my way! Split and shared with ClarkPinnock [First installment of "A Beer Observed."]. Poured my allotment into a chalice.

The pour on this beer is one of the thickest I have ever seen. This slowly glugs out of the bottle. I can tell there is lower carbonation as there is no head to this at all. I didn't see a wisp of lace until the final few ounces from the bottle. Still, this is one evil-looking brew, and I dig it. The nose is potent with sharp twangs of vinous grapes, molasses, espresso, booze, chocolate. A plethora of aromatic tones.

The body, though low in carbonation, is still pleasant. So smooth and creamy. This is really thick stuff! I'd like a bit more bubble play, but this is alright. If this beer were any less "big," I'd have more of a complaint. The flavor profile mirrors the nose quite. Lots of dark chocolate, wine, mild booziness, licorice, and heavily roasted coffee beans. I lowered the drink-ability on this one, as the alcohol burn just gets to me after awhile, and this is more pronounced as this beer warms. Still, this was one heck of a weekend-starter. Great beer to sip by the fire, or as CP enjoyed it, with a pipe. (1,202 characters)

Photo of jimixr
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured completely black. A very thick and slow pour. Zero visibility.Absolutely no head or lacing.

S- A very nice aroma. Toasted malts with a bit of a charred character. A little bit of alcohol is present in the smell.

T- Dark fruit up front. Roasted malt and an almost charred taste. Finishes with a creamy almost chocolate taste. A lot of alcohol burn on the end.

M-Full bodied. Very thick and oily. It is almost completely without carbonation, but it doesn't bother me much.

O- A good representation of the style. I wish my bottle had a little more carbonation. It was almost to much to finish my glass. This is definitely one to share. (647 characters)

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 513 ratings.