Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial StoutMarshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

501 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 501
Hads: 2,383
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 1,170
Gots: 773 | 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: 2,383
Photo of STEG
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

God damn you jefferz5000, your constant instigation has caused me finally to take down the Z-man, on such a special occasion as this, a tuesday night!

Pours a pitch black 100% opaque light destroying black hole of a color. There is no closer hexadecimal color value closer to this than #000. Even a vigourous pour leaves a very thin of almost as hatefully colored head. By far and away, the darkest head I have ever seen on a beer. I would have liked to see more head though, that's what she said...

It smells great too, the alcohol and chocolate combine to create a truly intoxicating smell, it has very light coffee in here as well.

This sublime beer has booze up front followed quickly by dark chocolate and malt and then has a bitter coffee finish.

Mouthfeel is truly sublime, its so smooth, viscous, creamy, and syrupy all at once making for something truly decadent that can be enjoyed sip after sip.

Alcohol is present but not overwhelming, there is a lingering coffee aftertaste that is holding it back but not bad on the drinkability scale. (1,054 characters)

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.99/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (433 characters)

Photo of cbak999
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - DARK DARK DARK...motor oil dark. Just a slight head and even it is dark.

S - burnt caramel, burnt chocolate, molasses, vanilla, very complex!!!

T - over the top. There's so much going on, it's hard to even review. A bit boozie, but the caramel, burnt chocolate, and molasses tastes all come through.

D - well, you aren't going to sit down and drink a bottle by yourself...or if you do, you won't remember the second half. It's a great sipper. Needs to be cold out, because this will warm you up. (504 characters)

Photo of aepb1
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Dark brown/ black with a little dark brown head

S- Strong coffee, come alcohol

T- Roasted coffee, dark, very smooth

M- full bodied, creamy and slick, not a lot of carbonation

D- Great RIS, goes down nice and easy and local, glad they're distributing bombers to me area now (279 characters)

Photo of socon67
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

The drinkability is okay, when you consider the style.

So far this was my favorite offering from Cigar City and I intend to cellar a bottle as per the brewers instructions. I suspect the taste will be even better in a few months. (507 characters)

Photo of atsprings
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rtratzlaff for the hookup from the employee stash at Cigar City. 12oz bottle into a DFH Signature glass pours a deep motor oil like opaque black with a thin dark tan head that diminishes to a ring. Aroma is loads of roasted malts and dark chocolate with some molasses and espresso. The taste is a very sharp kick of heavily roasted malts with bitter bakers cocoa and some espresso and molasses, citrus hops come through a bit as the beer warms. The beer is a bit on the heavy side with its 11.5% abv certainly showing, but this is a very enjoyable sipper. This is a very enjoyable Imperial Stout, one I would certainly love to have again. (648 characters)

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cigar City may be the first great Florida brewery (although I am also a big fan of St. Somewhere). I've had several of their beers now, and other than the Jai Alai, they all have a similar taste profile. Somewhat smokey, espresso like flavors. This one is very well balanced, even a bit on the sweet side. Dark as motor oil, very little head. ABV does not overwhelm, and the beer gets better by the sip. Already one of my favorite imperials. I have yet to have a Cigar City beer I didn't like, and I hope to make it to the brewery at some point. (545 characters)

Photo of Durge
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A totally opaque black brew with a decent brown head and lots of lacing. The aroma is full of deep nut coffee and buttery toast, somewhat mild but heavenly. The flavor brings thick molasses grassy hop that finishes with an ashy smoke. Unreal. Thick with minor carbonation and tart apricot highlights. Charcoal works it's way to the top with fruity overtones of watermelon and apricot with lots of buttery edges. Reasonably drinkable for such a sturdy brew but naturally a bit too much alcohol for proper sessioning. The feel is smooth and invites slow but steady enjoyment. This was one of the better Imperial stouts I've had the pleasure of drinking. Cigar City has thoroughly impressed me thus far. (700 characters)

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on their bottle-launch night a week ago on my last day in Florida. I missed the barrel-aged stuff by about 2 hours...curses!

On draught in a sampler glass.

Inky black, with a thin, but lingering head. Good creamy lacing.

Nose is dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, molasses.

Taste is surprisingly smooth and drinkable, quite enjoyable. The smokiness gives the brew a unique quality that I really dug, coupled with the burnt coffee flavor made for a sharp, but easy drinking RIS. It's not nearly as bold as some of the other craft RIS's I had on the trip, but I enjoyed it the most.

Creamy and silky, thick and rich.

A fine RIS, siomilar in flavor to most of the others I've had recently, but somehow more drinkable. Just went down easy.

(...Then again, I was at the brewery, where everything tastes better!) (823 characters)

Photo of aahynick
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

about 50 degree F into a brandy snifter
A- opaque black. Pours like used motor oil, briefly forming a thin dark tan head that disappears.

S- aroma of molasses

T- big time blackstrap molasses without the iron. A lot like SA Imp Stout without the special B.

M- incredibly thick and smooth, (since I brought up the comparison) it beats out SA Imp Stout easily

D- this is rich and smooth in all caps, underlined, bold, italics, and quotated. The flavor is out of this world and has the bonus of staying with you a long time. I've read this is the base for Hunahpu's. Now I know why Hunahpu's is considered the 11th best beer on the planet. I'm damn proud this stuff is make in my neck of the woods! (698 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.52/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Agent Zero.

Super excited to try this after many other CCB successes, but this really let me down....Pours dark brown with a medium tan head that is gone in a microsecond if its shows its head at all, which on two of the three pours it didn't...Aroma is light chocolate, mildly sweet but plain and boring...The taste is also light malt to start then a very ashy bitter coffee finish. Just very blah for a stout.

Nothing worth securing, an above average beer, but a clearly below average RIS. (500 characters)

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of pittsburghkid66....thanks Roland

Bottle split with steepH20. Gorgeous deep dark pour with no light permeating this beast. Fluffy cinammon head and supermodel legs make this beer a wonder to look at.

Sharp espresso sweetness, alcohol, dark chocolate covered raisins, and a healthy dollop of smoke and ash on the back end.

Zhukov opens with a peppery bitterness on the front end, the origin of which I cannot discern. Hops? Rich dark chocolate in the middle transitions into a heavy roast and loads of molasses. Quite sweet, but kept mostly in check, she finishes with dark fruits and a long, tingling bitterness at the end as well that seeps into the jawline.

Mouthfeel is borderline milkshake, very full bodied and lush and smoothly carbonated.

This roasty beast is a sipper that leaves my snifter an oily coated ruinous mess. (850 characters)

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BrewerDan23, again...another thank you Dan! Pours from a 750ml capped bottle into my Portsmouth tulip/snifter glass. Pours a dark color, not as black as Hunahpu's...almost creamier in appearance. Pitch black in appearance in the final pour. Huge toffee colored thick creamy, yet frothy head with great retention! Leaves a decent amount of sticky lacing around the glass.

Aroma is inviting! While a roasted coffee like aroma is the most prominent, the sweetness resides in the back ground leaving my mouth watering! Not an incredibly strong aroma, but solid, and good!

Not as sweet as I thought it would be, but very good none-the-less! Huge chocolate notes, semi-thick malts, only a slight sharpness from hops rests in the background. Mouthfeel is creamy, milky, semi-thick body. A wonderful heat/burn in the mouth and down the throat from the big ABV. I really, really want to try the BA version of this! Carbonation is pretty low, but perfect for the style. Another solid and tasty beer from Cigar City! (1,017 characters)

Photo of unionturf
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I received this from a friend in Fla and after 6 months I had to try it.

This beer pours pitch black with a very nice 1" head. Smells of a roast and cocoa flavor and it is a very smooth beer considering the style and ABV.

Very heavy which is cool, loved how when I was finished in the bottom of my Chimay glass there was a stout/cocoa looking powdery sediment in the bottom.

Excellent beer and a great first impression from Cigar CIty brewery. Can't wait to try the brown ale I have next. (491 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

Mouthfeel is heavy bodied, dense and oily with a low, smooth carbonation. (464 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle (thx Dstructo), 9 months old, poured into my Delirium snifter, Marshal Zhukov's is pitch black with an almost brick colored light brown head, exceptionally dark, leaving foamy lace. Impressively imposing.

Smell is good but odd, there's an almost quinine like fruitiness that is very Belgianesque. Man, I really like it, just a hint of phenols and ethanol when I really bury my sniffer keep it from a 5.

Taste is big but surprisingly smooth and well integrated. Massive roastiness, with more of the fruity esters, maybe the London ale yeast, I really dig the depth it provides. In fact, I really dig this RIS period, super impressive. I've had a few drain pours from these guys, apparently it's all strikes and gutters. I'm shocked with how much I'm enjoying this beer and how easily it's going down. I had it at a tasting about 4 months ago, but it was a long night of crazy beers and this one didn't get a chance to stand out - but the 110k + OT I brought sure did, it was nasty, dirty heat. None here, though, strait butter.

Mouthfeel is very thick, viscous, mouth coating stickiness, substantial but not to heavy in the belly.

Drinkability is damn good. This is a massively rich RIS, yet it's really smooth and enjoyable as hell. As much as I like to cellar beer, I can't really see a compelling reason to sit on this on for much longer other then to experiment, as it's drinking excellent now. The tail end of ski season here in Oregon, I'm glad I didn't wait 6 months for next season. (1,510 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade with Beerisheaven- thanks!
Poured into Duvel glass.

A: pours a black and viscous as possible... darkest stout I've seen, along with Hunahpu's of course. Has a thin layer of dark brown head. Leaves a dark coating on the side of the glass.

S: huge notes of dark fruits and chocolate, lots of molasses, some earthy hops in the mix. Huge aroma with a lot going on.

T: The front has a nice roasty character with notes of bitter chocolate and fresh ground coffee, this gives way to a bit of sweetness and a touch of hops. The finish is sweet with some vinous notes along with chocolate again. The abv is very well hidden, and the bold flavors are in perfect balance.

MF: thick, viscous, chewy, a tad syrupy, low carbonation

D: well like Hunahpu's, this is a one of a kind stout. Not quite as much unique character as Hunahpu's, but you can see it is clearly a well made big beer. It smells like it could be overwhelmingly sweet, but once it hits the palate, the roasty notes take precedence. Great Brew! (1,021 characters)

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks black with a small head that doesn't last too long. Not bad, I guess.

Smels of coffee, vanilla, cream, and some chocolate.

Taste follows the nose with some caramel thrown in there.

In the mouth it is actually deceptively creamy. Nice.

Pretty damn drinkable with no hint of alcohol. This will sneak up on you if you're not paying attention. (350 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Many, many thanks to HeyOhhh for this beast.

When I think of Soviet Russia, darkness comes to mind. A sky so dismal they're begging to see the glorious sun of Highland Scotland, bitter winters, the eternal dread of the oprichniki: they all seem bright compared with the darkness currently sitting in my snifter. Motor oil, chocolate syrup, and pitch could be used as a comparative image, but they all fall short. This is Russian darkness at its finest. Even the finger-thick foamy head is dark, the second-darkest head I've yet seen (I can't really remember the darkest, but I know there was something darker than this one). Just as the Russian people could not escape the gloom of the Soviet bootheel, light cannot escape from this brew. I know I've gone a bit overboard in discussing the look here, but I was amazed by the bleakness oozing thickly from the bottle during the pour. Now, as distinctively Russian as the appearance is, I'm not sure how Russian the smell comes off as being. Heavy doses of chocolate and anise are joined by rabbit punches of black cherries, coffee, and tobacco. I'm sure you can come by these in Russia, but they're not recognized as Russian things. You know what I mean? Upon drinking, the good Marshal himself lets his troops loose: Whole divisions of bitter chocolate, brigades of tobacco and cran-black cherry, and skirmishing squads of leather, figs, burnt toast, molasses, and nutmeg. The victory is quick and one-sided, a Russian version of Austerlitz. The occupation then begins, and these troops make sure they bring every nook and cranny of the tongue under complete control. Despite this lingering and brutal occupation, a dearth of active carbonation, and a healthy, semi-perceived alcoholic content, the drinkability is dangerously high here. I just can't seem to get enough of that grinning soldier on the bottle and the brew that bears his name. (1,928 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Cigar City beer. Can't wait to try it. Got this thanks to either msulinski or mikereaser who each got me a bottle. I got me a bottle to drink nows and one to ages fer the ages.

A: An aggressive pour into my SN 30th Ann. tulip/goblet/snifter glass yields a large 2+ finger black colored head that slowly fades and leaves its mark on the sides of the glass. The beer itself is so dark it makes "pitch black" look like yesterdays gray.

N: The word on the street, or in the glass is roast. Tons of it, that is. Lots of coffee with that, some black patent malt, crystal malts, sweetness, caramel, brown sugar, etc. Some earthy hops in the background as well. A slight creamy chocolate comes through lightly. A touch of booze. Reminds me a lot, and I mean A LOT! of Imperial Stout Trooper.

T: Wow. Pretty thick and kinda rich. It has that marshmellow and nuggat like taste that NightStalker had. Thick and chewy. Lots of malts, crystal, black patent, and tons of roast. Lots of roast and coffee. Some minerality with lots of scorched malts and some bitterness that comes with that. Some earthy spicy hops along for the ride. Some warming booze, slight alcohol sting and boozy taste. Semi sweet, and comes with some caramel. WIth that is a slight sweet candy bar, touch of bakers chocolate, creamy oatmeal, and nuggat.

M: Thick and creamy, semi smooth, chewy, and marshmellowy, with decent carbonation.

F: Finish is pretty dry and gets really bitter. There is a nice combination of dry charred earthy scorched malts that adds a bunch of bitterness and a little minerality, as well as chewy earthy hops. A nice hop finish really. A touch of lingering sticky sweetness, and lots of lingering roast and coffee. Lots of lingering malts as well. Some bitterness and minerality on the back of the tongue as well. It really coats the mouth and sticks around. A touch of warming booze, but being 11.5% it hides it really well. I like this one, but it's hard to drink an entire 750ml by myself. I would like some smaller sizes or have to share with a friend next time. (2,066 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle shared with KRAMER17801 and brewslut on 4/9/10.

A - Poured a black, oily mass with a minimal burnt tan head that eventually vanished completely.

S - Interesting blend of tobacco, leather, smoked jerky, leafy and peppery hop notes, licorice and molasses, which all combines to give this RIS an utterly complex nose, despite the absence of apparent chocolate or coffee notes.

T - Leathery initial flavor with a slight burnt, smoked meat flavor. There is a slight chocolate and coffee presence, but both are overshadowed by thick molasses and bitter licorice notes. Segues into quite a hoppy experience in the backend with leafy, earthy notes, tobacco and more bitter licorice attributes.

M - Full bodied and slick with a fair amount of carbonation. Finishes with a lingering leafy, chingy hop bitterness on the palate.

D - Marshal Zhukov is definitely one intensely bold RIS with complex flavors and aromas. While this wasn't one of my favorite Cigar City releases, I still appreciate the deviation from the typical chocolate and coffee-infused stouts out there. (1,080 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a jet black liquid, thick and viscous. The head is dark mocha in color. It is tight and creamy, a few bubbles on top spread out. The head is so thick, the retention is very good and the lace covers the glass and doesn't fall at all.

S-the nose is fairly big, it has a lot of sweetness in the back with some lighter roasted qualities in the front. Roasted malts, lots of burnt coffee and some dark bitter chocolate. smokey malts, notes of soy sauce and ash, malty sweetness in the back.

T-fallows the nose, roasted malt, burnt coffee, dark chocolate. Soy sauce takes over, sweetness in the back, dark fruity goodness, plums and raisins.

M-this is quite thick and creamy, full bodied, pretty darn big. Very smooth on the palate, a little heavy, nicely carbonated, holds throughout. Somewhat dry in the very back from some of the bitter chocolate and hops

D-huge RIS, great flavors and complexity, everything really works well. Lots of chocolate and very rich brew. Enough roasted maltiness to hold up with a good balance of sweetness. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. (1,078 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black I mean really black. Like a total absence of light black. The head on this beer was super dark and had a reddish tinge. Tons of lacing.

S: Chocolate. Roast. Coffee. Just a really nice and rich big dark beer nose. I have only had a few beers from these guys but they do have a signature smell if that makes sense.

T: Chocolate. Tasted like a very rich chocolate cake. Super decadent. Massive roast taste.

M: Super dry. Nice carbonation. Full bodied.

D:: Awesome beer. Really nice. The bottle was on the pricey side but at least it was good. (552 characters)

Photo of bonkers
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this as a gift from my cousin. I poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter. It pours a viscous, jet black with a moderate tan head. It has a roasty chocolate aroma, with coffee and molasses hints. It has a nice roasty coffee/chocolate flavor up front. It is slightly sweet with vanilla notes in the finsih. The finish lingers on for a while. This is a well carbonated, full bodied brew that hides its ABV well. A very good RIS that is worth seeking out. (460 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives with a fudge brown color and a decent head that leaves a nice pattern of lacing behind

Smell: Fudge, coffee and molasses

Taste: Chocolate fudge and molasses, up front, that is joined by dark fruit and citrusy hop flavors by mid-palate; the flavors mesh nicely after the swallow and the finish has a bit of toffee, too

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An incredibly well-balanced example of the style; kudos to Cigar City (474 characters)

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