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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.

521 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 521
Hads: 2,478
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 21.26%
Wants: 1,184
Gots: 847 | FT: 78
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 521 | Hads: 2,478
Photo of Ryan011235
3.08/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter on 10/2/11

It appears to be dated July 13th, 2011

Many thanks to PDXHops for the chance to try this

This has to be the darkest beer I've ever seen poured. It's such a thick, sludgy drizzle and almost jet black even before getting comfortable in the glass. I had to aggravate the pour after a few moments of nary a wisp of foam; by the time I was done there was about an inch and a half of hot chocolate colored foam in it's smooth "might as well be nitro" glory. The head drops to a much thinner layer. It looked like a lot of lace would catch but alas, that isn't the case. Some webbed lace does hold on the second pour.

The aroma is just as loud as the appearance, though I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing in this case. Seems like there is just too much concentration of intense aromas. Viciously burnt and scorched chocolate lead off and is had in droves. Some overly tangy roasted notes are worked in, too. I love burnt, charred and roasted qualities in beer, but this is just a bit over the top. Nips of butter toffee and burnt coffee dregs occasionally make known their presence. Has a bit of acidity that calls to mind something akin to tomato paste; oh, you've come to visit me again, tomato paste aromatics. Meh. At least there's no indication of the 11% abv.

Come sippin' time the flavors are all sorts of heavy-handed. Lots of burnt chocolate sit atop notes of coffee dregs and burnt molasses. Earthy and a tad nutty at times (though admittedly, both are hardly the focal point here). Tangy dark fruit tones, most notable is prune. Hints of raisins. While this certainly has a faint amount of sugary sweetness, it isn't disgustingly sweet. That said, it's something of a burnt mess regardless; it just doesn't fully tip the scale to burnt, sweet mess. Not that it's all that far off, though. The sugars start to take a more prominent stance as the beer warms up.

The mouthfeel is every bit as thick and heavy as everything else about this beer. This is a massively heavy beer. Interestingly enough, it isn't overly viscous or slick with alcohol. Once again, I'm impressed with how hot this beer isn't. Carbonation is working overtime to move this beer and succeeds without being too vigorous for the style; indeed, there is a rolling feel to the carbonation which adds a puffiness (not that this beer needs anything to bolster it's overall feel). Heck, by the end of the glass this has an almost creamy feel. Finishes roasty and tangy with a hint of cocoa but the finish is comparatively clean, considering.

I find this beer to be a toss up of some good things and bad things without ever swinging terribly far in either direction. For whatever reason, the 11% abv doesn't strike me as such; it's not hot and, to be honest, it isn't even warming. Even still, this beer is a bit much, even for me. I finished a good 3/4ths of the bottle but wanted to cut my caloric losses at that point.

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Photo of headbucket
3.15/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Summer 2010 release.

A: Very dark black, very hard pour creates a minimal dark brown head that lasts for a very short time. No lacing left around the glass and barely any bubbles around the rim of the glass after the initial head dies.

S: sweet. dark,sugary smell, a bit of dark chocolate and bitterness that either goes along with the dark chocolate or is a coffee like scent, a little bit of dark fruit in there too, and a bit of alcohol smell as well.

T: Overpoweringly sweet. The sweetness is too much for me to be able to enjoy any of the other flavors that may be present in the beer. Mostly very dark sweet chocolate, some raisins or dark fruit mixed in, molasses, and just a touch of bitterness. Slight bitterness akin to dark chocolate and coffee on the aftertaste. I think i enjoy the aftertaste of the beer much more than the initial flavor.

M: Thick and syrupy. Not really any carbonation present. Neither of which is automatically a bad thing, but the sweetness of the taste combined with the syrupy consistency of the beer isn't too appealing.

O: A bit of a disappointment for me, overly sweet and this sweetness is too prominent in the flavor profile for me. I had been looking forward to trying this beer for a long time. This is from the batch that I had heard there were carbonation issues with some of the bottles, and it seems like this could be a bottle affected by it(although never having had this beer before I cannot be sure). I don't know if I drank this a few months earlier if the sweetness wouldn't have been as intense, of if the carbonation may have been slightly higher, but I wish I would have tried it earlier. Not a terrible beer, but I wish I had about 6 ounces of it and not the 2/3rds of a bottle that I do. Would like to try again sometime to see if the over sweetness that I am getting out of this beer and lack of carbonation are a fluke, or if that is just how this beer is. That being said, it really doesn't taste like 11% and I am soldiering on and putting it down a little quicker than most other beers of this strength, maybe just because I want to move on to something else.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.27/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into brandy snifter. Thanks to the generous BA who traded me this one.

A: Pours pitch black with an extremely unimpressive collection of bubbles that I guess is supposed to be considered a head. A couple of tiny soapy specs of lace were left down the glass.
S: Notes of chocolate, molasses, and a hint of toffee. Not a very smelly beer.
T: Rich notes of bitter dark chocolate, sweet fudge brownies, dark roasted malts, and a hint of caramel. I get a touch of coffee in the finish, and the aftertaste contains notes of molasses and faint earthy hops.
M: Thick body, slick and chewy mouthfeel, but almost no carbonation. This beer seriously needs some bubbles. Alcohol is hidden very well.
O: I was a bit let down by this one. The flavor is good but not very complex, and while the body is thick the carbonation is borderline watery. Hopefully this is just bottle variation, as fuller carbonation would be a drastic increase.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.31/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this one on tap at Capone's. Poured into a Weyerbacher tulip.

A: A barely layered reddish brown head that dissipated quickly. Brew itself was opaque black with web-like lacing.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, coffee, whole milk.

T: Opens sweet raisins, grass. Sweet malts, milk chocolate, prunes, figs, bitter roasted coffee, with a lingering coffee and hop finish.

M: Medium to full bodied and highly carbonated and coarse. Finish lingers with oily mouthfeel and really coated the mouth. The mouthfeel really didn't do it for me here. Too light and too carbonated which was not conducive to the flavors the beer was trying to express.

D: Not the best interpretation of an RIS. The flavors are there, but the way its executed is not. Glad I tried it, but wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.42/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Cigar City Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout is an extremely thick and dark imperial stout. The flavour is huge but not in a pleasant way. They left the yeast in too long for my liking. Autolysis.

A: So so dark. Motor oil with a big creamy-looking brown head. 5

S: Malty with soy sauce and motor oil. Too much umami. 3

T: Malty with a lot going on. Vegemite. Autolysed yeast. Some chocolate and tobacco flavour. It's interesting but I didn't like it that much. 3

M: Like chocolate mousse. 5

O: 3.5

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Photo of davod23
3.45/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into my Bruery tulip glass.

The pour is near black, oily, even chunky-looking as it leaves the bottle. Beautiful mocha-colored head that billows up, but then reduces to a thin layer on top of the brew. Good staying power. A bit of spotty lace. This is about as nice-looking as stouts get.

Smell... huh. Not bad, but nothing great. I detect some chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and smoke. However, everything is fairly subdued. I expected this to be more powerful - as imperial stouts go, this is not particularly memorable.

Taste is a bit better. Sweet chocolate and coffee gives way to smoke mid-palate, with a long, lasting, but slightly astringent finish. The astringency isn't overwhelming or anything, but I do wish it wasn't there. Not terribly boozy, either, which is a nice feature on an 11% abv brew.

Mouthfeel leaves something to be desired. Again, not bad - but I expect my imperial stouts to be thick and creamy. This one has maybe slightly too much carbonation for my tastes. It seems just a bit thin, something more akin to a big porter rather than an impy stout. **edit** When this beer gets up to near room temperature, it smoothes out a bit and gets a little creamier. So I'll bump it another half-point.

Drinkability is actually totally solid. If I really liked the beer's other aspects, I could definitely see myself putting down a fair bit of this stuff. Easy to drink for the style. But really, I doubt that I would spend the money on a bottle of this again - the market is inundated with better imperial stouts.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.46/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

**Updated notes - 11-2-12
Was fortunate enough to have cbutova provide another bottle of this, which was amply carbonated, improving the appearance and mouthfeel a good amount. A super thick dark brown head with red tints retained well and left good lace, crazy head on this one. Like stated in the original review, it's tasty but extremely sweet, thick and rich- fudge, dark cherries and molasses take over the palate. I imagine it drinking best as a ~5 oz. dessert beer, it can get overbearing quickly.

(original scores/review - 2/3.5/3.5/2.5/2)
Thanks to cbutova for sharing this 750ml. I wasn't positive at the time of tasting this, but I just confirmed that this is the base beer for Hunaphu's, which I enjoyed last year.

Opens with a small hiss, but the pour is not too promising carbonation-wise. Pours black as black with no head, just slight bubbles that quickly form a thin tan ring. Ugly sediment at the bottom. Stains the glass something evil.

First impression in the smell is a big spiciness, soy sauce and licorice. Very sweet, tons of molasses. Oddly, really no expected stoutness (roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, etc)

Big, thick, sweet chocolate fudge, molasses, licorice. Smoky a bit on the finish. Dark cherries also very noticeable which adds to the extreme sweetness. Not getting much coffee.

Barely carbonated. Super thick, oily. Sweetness is cloying from the get-go. Alcohol is very-well hidden but this beer still feels so huge. Smoky ashiness lingers on the palate.

The uber-low carbonation didn't help, but damn this was one huge, sweet, tolling beer. The flavors are decent but found this to be too sweet. I enjoyed Hunahpu's alot more, but now I really gotta try it again knowing this is the base beer...

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Photo of nickfl
3.47/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - No head and an oily, utterly black body.

S - Mocha, coffee aroma. Some subtle smoke and caramel with a hint of boozy alcohol.

T - Spicy, medicinal and alcoholic. Very strong roasted grain flavor with a little bit of chocolate as well as some licorice and rosemary.

M - Thick, heavy, oily body, low carbonation, and a sweet, coffee like finish.

D - Drinkability is practically nonexistent; this is a huge, thick mess of a beer. It is obviously complex, but the alcohol is so rough that it obscures the character of the beer. I would guess that this has the potential to turn into something great, but it seems like it will take at least a year or two of aging for this beer to come together.

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Photo of vince4953529
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750 cc. purchased from an online store; slightly chilled bottle, poured into my Stone IRS glass.

Color is black, extremely black actually, I could imagine this was going to be a very dignified and authoritative imperial stout.

This a thick, syrupy, and creamy stout. The initial wave of taste felt very sweet, actually too sweet. I struggled a bit with the intense molasses sweetness.

I love myself a big raging imperial stout, but this is way too sweet, but I love the thick mouthfeel though.

A bit of a chore for me to finish the whole bottle, took me about two hours actually.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL courtesy of SurlyTwinsFan pours Ten-Fidy black and viscous as hell with a frothy brown head. Surprisingly little retention and lacing though.

Nose is very fruity with a ton of tobacco, toffee and molasses.

Taste is big on the tobacco and burnt caramel. Some heavy fruit creeps in along with a distinctive roast character. Its big and thick, but I am surprised that I dont find this more enjoyable. I think the burnt sugar and molasses are a bit much for me. CCB is such an odd brewery for my palate...some of their beers that others dislike, I have loved and some of the consensus favorites I dont find appealing. Always an exciting ride though, so I wont be passing on any Cigar City offerings anytime soon.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.52/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Sean. Thanks. Poured into a tulip. This one sits black in the glass with about a finger of dark brown head.

Earthy aroma here. Tobacco and leather with hints of chocolate sweetness in the background. Burnt coffee with a little bit of a lingering fruiting character. Pretty sweet in the aroma with some nice earthy aromas taking the forefront here. The flavors here tend to be sweet; like a chocolate syrup mixed into some burnt coffee. A bit of a fruity flavor in the finish with rustic flavors like leather and char. Kind of falls apart on the pallet for me.

The body is thick and full. Somewhat syrupy with low carbonation. Kind of sticky.

This is a no nonsense RIS here. Lots of big flavors. A little sweet for my liking but a pretty well done beer in the end.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.52/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

These notes are based on an immature sample batch before it was aged on roasted cedar and bottle conditioned to near perfection. But at this stage it wasn't perfect. I'll append these notes when a sample of the properly conditioned release is available. It pours murky dark brown and is on the lower end of the carbonation scale (if such a thing exists). The aroma has roasty notes and just a hint of chocolate. It really lacks some depth. The taste is much the same with semi sweet medium to highly roasted malts, faint caramel and just a touch of chocolate. There appears to be little depth or complexity in the flavor as was the case in the aroma and shows the need for proper aging and conditioning. It was tasty like this but just barely more than one dimensional.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A- pours black with no head to speak of. Incredibly disappointing there

S- tons of licorice and ark malts, along with some slight chocolate. Pretty nice

T- licorice dominates the flavor profile. Getting some soy sauce too. Tad bit of chocolate. No coffee to speak of. Very, very disappointing

M- super thick and syrupy body. Dear god. Incredibly viscous

O- I expected much more, given the reputation. Very disappointing beer

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Photo of pixieskid
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This beer exhibits things that I love in an imperial stout but at the same time was surprised that I didn't enjoy it more...

Pours black as night with a solid 2 finger head; has a bit of that redish color like Huna does but not quite as good looking.
Nose; milk chocolate, a bit of roastiness.
Taste; way different than the last bottle I had, which was the under-carbonated batch from 2010. It's like a boozy milkshake, extremely one dimensional and somewhat cloyingly sweet.
Mouthfeel is super thick, chewy, and rich.

Overall; I don't know if it was just too much at the time, or if my palate has changed, but as Harrymel stated, it was somewhat of a chore to drink and I only had a third of the bottle. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, it was just too much and surprised me as I've drank nearly an entire bottle of Huna to myself and loved every sip...

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Photo of cpmichael
3.57/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone RIS snifter. Bottle was about 1.5 years old.

A: Pours a super dark black. With about 1 inch of mocha foam.

S: Dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and a sweet vanilla character.

T: Bitter/Baker's chocolate, on the malty side, and a hint of coffee, less than the nose suggested. Something seems a little off balance with this one.

M/D: Rich and carbonated. This is a pretty thick beer, it was very drinkable, but it seemed like something was missing in the taste.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, 2010 version.

Appearance: Pours out completely pitch black and very viscous-looking. About a finger of a dark brown/orangish tinted head forms. A bit in the way of lacing, and okay retention. This is definitely one of the more impressive imperial stouts as far as viscosity that I've seen, which really picks this beer up from an appearance standpoint.

Smell: Both bitter and sweet chocolate as well as cacao nibs come out immediately to me. Underneath that, I get vanilla, light dark fruits and toffee, and a big roasted/bitter/ burned malt presence with a touch of hops on the back end.

Taste: Bitter roasted malts right up front. Bitter chocolate, vanilla and coffee as well. Lightly hoppy on the back end, and I can feel the alcohol in the back of the throat more than I can taste it. I did like it, but I would call it a touch messy overall; too much malt bitterness and it still seemed pretty hot at this point.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Despite the head that formed on the pour, this beer has a surprisingly low amount of carbonation. It is heavy bodied and very viscous, but comes close to being flat. I don't think I care for it too much. Overall, I enjoyed the beer but wouldn't go out of my way for it again. A bit more time in the cellar would have done this one some good.

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Photo of Florida9
3.62/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Thick, viscous, and flat. No head. No lacing. The liquid itself is a glossy black.

S: Sweet raisin and roasted malts.

T: A sweet and rich blend of chocolate, raisins, molasses, and dark malts. A bit acidic.

M: Thick, flat, and syrupy, yet still manages to finish with an odd thinness.

D: The lack of carbonation greatly distracted from this beer and I simply could not enjoy it. I would hesitate to even call it a sipper as it offered little to invite you back for another sip.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jettanbass9 for hooking me up with this CCB brew. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pretty freaking nice. Absolute clear separation between the body and head. Poured a dark black color...almost like the color of an infinite abyss. Zero visibility. Produced three fingers with of cocoa, tan colored head. Stellar head retention and some lacing as consumed.

S- A very nice aroma indeed. Toasted malts with a bit of a charred character. While this dominated, I could pick up a nice subtle layer of sweetness underneath...almost like molasses.

T- Bittering, chocolate malts and slight fruit character upfront that quickly transitions into a roasted, charred flavor. Finishes with a tad bit of creamy, sweetness and a decent amount of heat.

M- Medium bodied, pretty smooth. Wished this was a little more viscous.

D- With the level of bitterness upfront, and then the heavy charred flavors and big alcohol heat on the back end, my one glass became a pretty big chore to put down.

Overall, this is only my second beer from CCB, but I have not been impressed whatsoever. It was dressed for the part and had a pretty decent aroma, but just really fell apart in the other three areas. Hopefully they can prove me wrong down the road.

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Photo of papat444
3.64/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up on a trip to Orlando in Sept. 2010.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle and shared with my wife.

Appearance: Blacker than black body but no head at all. Kind of plops into the glass. Very viscous as it leaves a film on the glass as it's tilted.

Smell: Dark chocolate, bit sweet, robust coffee. Not as strong as i would have expected but still pleasant.

Taste: Hazelnut, layer of roasted coffee, long finish. Flavor is gradual, builds up in the middle. Molasses cookies, lingering coffee flavor. Not as complex as ABV would indicate.

Mouthfeel: Real thick yet retains a slick smooth feel. A bit syrupy.

Overall: Real good but still haven't found one that tops DL.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bobby8405 for this 750ml bottle. 2 pours into an oversized snifter.

A slow initial pour directly into the center of the glass yields a dense and very dark tan (more like light brown) head. This slowly reduces to a skim. Creamy sheets of lace slide back into the glass, leaving a few sticky spots. Retention and lacing both increase substantially with the second pour.

Very assertive roasty nose. Lots of espresso, cocoa and burnt malt. Sweetness plays a smaller part- bittersweet chocolate, a few chocolate chips. No sign of booziness, an impressive feat at this ABV. Strong and inviting.

The espresso is rather dominant in the mouth initially. Tangy chocolate chips and raisins vie for attention with the roasted and burnt malts. The booze that was seemingly absent in the nose is definitely in play now, but it's not out of place at all. It joins with a cherry character to create a bit of a liquer aftertaste. Some earthy and herbal hops linger as well. A hint of something slightly odd I can't quite put my finger on, maybe diacetyl, drops it down a notch, but still very tasty.

The carbonation is perhaps a touch too vigorous, but the body is otherwise quite satisfying, thick and coating.

Overall impression: Nice beer. Seems to be a good candidate for aging (although I do wonder what that strange flavor was).

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Photo of Kadonny
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 bottle into a snifter glass. This bottle was aged at least a year, maybe a little longer.

A: Wow, this is a deep black color with some red tints to it. Two finger reddish brown head leaves massive glass lacing the never goes away.

S: Tons of dark roasted smells with dark chocolate, smoke, licorice and some sweetness.

T: Wow, so roasty. Roasted malts just dominate with deep flavors of smoke, licorice, dark chocolate, hints of tar and coffee and some caramel and toffee sweetness. The dark roasted flavors mix with the sweet but never go away. Burnt woody tones make it chalky on the finish with a decent alcohol kick to it.

M: Full, coating, lasting roast flavors, higher carbonation and some alcohol.

O: A good stout, but not a great stout. I think maybe I hurt this with the age because the coffee is pretty non existent and the dark roasted flavors pound the mouth. I thought some more hops could have helped balance, but as I said it's possible the hops were muted from age.

Overall I enjoyed it, but it is not a top tier RIS or Imp stout IMO. I had this then the Voodoo BBVD on consecutive nights and the BBVD is a much more complex and enjoyable beer. Summation? Good, but not great.

Updated 10/1/12. Tried this beer again over the weekend. 750 bottle poured into a snifter glass.

S: Getting just a ton of roasted smells with much more charred and burnt wood. Still no hop notes.

T: The dark roasted flavors of this beer seem one dimensional to me. Very charred, burnt, roasted and tar really take over. No hints of fruit, hops, coffee or even chocolate. It all seems dark and dank.

This is my second bottle and it pretty much is the same. I guess this beer is just not for me.

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Photo of claspada
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft @ GingerMan NYC. Pours a dark dark dark brown (pretty much black) with a crazy thick inch of dark brown foam/head which leaves a boat ton of sticky brown lacing.

Aromas of extreme dark chocolate, roasted malts and dark bitter chocolate. As it warms I get some sweet dark molasses and a little smoke in the background. Some hefty espresso emerges and begins to dominate it continues to warm.

The taste is initially astringent dark roasty malts and dark bitter chocolate. Roasted charred malts are also rather prominent. Strong coffee/espresso notes come through as well. Some sweeter milk chocolate emerges as it warms but the roasted, bitter, astringent malts are a bit too dominant and a taste I am slowly beginning to dislike in my beers.

Mouthfeel is sticky and full bodied for sure. Chewy in an understatement here. Extremely thick, syrupy, viscous and mouth-coating. Much more carbonation than I experienced in last year's bottled version which had some carbonation issues I recall reading somewhere.

Overall this is a good tasting beer but the heavy chewiness in the body and roasted bitter, charred malt flavors are just too dominant for my tastes. I would prefer some more balanced milk chocolate flavors but I guess that is more the American Stout category as opposed to the RIS category here. Better than I remember, but my small sample at the bar was enough as I would struggle to finish the 750ml that this is typically bottled in. Maybe I am just over the Russian Imperial Stout category or my tastes have just shifted away from enjoying these huge chewy beast beers.

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Photo of Crittervision
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

deep-ass black, the darkest head ive seen yet, this just after drinking black tuesday and the abyss. pillowy too. superb.

smell is prominently fruit. is it melon? watermelon? hard to tell. next up, wondering why i havent noticed them yet, are roasts that vary from familiar roasted malts to those id smell emanating from a coffee grinder.

taste is bitter, big molasses, fruitiness that includes that mystery melon from before along with prunes that were picked as not-quite-ripe plums, a bitterness that i perceive to be coming from hops that havent done us the favor of fading yet. the coffee comes through and might share some of that bitterness as well, but also provides a nice roastiness.

for an imperial stout, a medium mouthfeel that could stand to be a bit thicker. regardless, it is quite nice and is certainly as thick as many in this style that ive tried. i think it was not done justice by following black tuesday and the abyss. but, that is how it happened.

this is the least balanced of the three. the bitterness is a couple notches too high, as i prefer my stouts sweet and decadent. however, if youre into those more hop-forward stouts, you may find this one quite to your liking.

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Photo of Overlord
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Jw347 who I owe after he really stunned me with a couple incredible extras.

Pours black with some brown edging. Big gigantic brown foam head. A fantastic looking beer.

Smells faintly of hops and dark fruit, and strongly of roasted earth, malt, and coffee. Whoa. Pretty roasty.

Taste is massively roasted. I mean, charred, scorched wood/earth/malt/coffee roasted. I won't lie: it is palate wearying after a while. The light surprising hint of dark fruit and citrus, and some bitter chocolate, liven things up, but this beer is bone dry and kilned like a scorched desert. Man. It's like acrid ashy malt with some livening notes to keep it drinkable.

Wish I could have split the bottle with someone. Good, but a bit much.

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 521 ratings.