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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: 2,475
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 1,184
Gots: 846 | 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: 2,475
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 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 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 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 claaark13
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle poured into a DHF chalice. Thanks urwithdave, I've wanted to try this guy for a while now and just hadn't gotten around to trading for it.

A - Perfect. Pours like I'm topping my car off with a liter of oil. So dark, so thick. A dark, chocolate colored head slowly rises from the 12oz line to the top of the chalice. As time passes and sips occur, the head retains at 1/4" or a little less. Beautiful. This is exactly how I want all of my RIS to pour.

S - Before any sips, I was getting roasted malts with a very mild amount of hops in the background. As it warmed, I picked up on some sweetness. As I drank and as it continued to warm, the sweetness turned to dark fruits / roasted malts. Pretty good aroma all around. My wife described it as shoving your face into a bag of chocolate covered raisins. I can agree with this assessment. Nothing great stands out at me though and makes me think, "I need to try this right now."

T - Sweetness upfront and then the whole way through, finishing with roasted malts and a slight hint of what I'd call slightly burnt coffee. Sweet, creamy middle flavor. Finish is dry. Upon further investigation (2nd sip), I think I'm getting some hops here. As I get further into the glass, I get sweet dark fruits -> mild hops -> sweet roasted malts. The sweetness is evident, but not overpowering. The more I drink this, the more I really enjoy it. I am going to finish this bottle without issue. Not a lot of complexities, but a very nice drink.

M - Oh yes, this is how I like my RIS. I'll put this one up there with the appearance...perfect. Thick, creamy, full. RIS should have to be at least this thick to compete. Drinkability isn't really dinged here for me, but that is just my opinion.

O - I really like this beer. It is unique in that I think it hits the middle ground of two categories of RIS: thick/sweet and thick/hoppy. It stands out among most peers. Balance isn't perfect, but it is good. Of course, I'm comparing it to other "fresh" bottles of RIS to be fair. $12? Really? I'd buy as case, annually, if I lived in Tampa. I think the fact that this is available on the shelves holds it back on many people's scales, but I think it would fare very well in a blind taste test.

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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 Jw347
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a viscous black hue. Small mocha colored head it defintely has good retention and lace.

S: Aromas of roasty malts, chocolate, and coffee come thru. The smell of the piney hops hide behind it all.

T: Love the color and aroma on this one. The roasted malt has a nice balanced mix with the chocolate and coffee that come thru. The piney/citrus bitterness comes thru on the back end. Overall pretty darn drinkable.

M: Not to heavy but it is full bodied, nice and rich, smooth, and its fair share of carbonation.

D: I really did dig this one, it will only get better with time im sure.

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Photo of infi
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Shared with BAs brun, NYManc and r0nyn. From 10/6 notes.

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Immediately as I was pouring the stout out of the bottle, I could tell of its incredible viscosity and thickness, just by how heavy it felt. Lo and behold, this brew was looking like molasses and syrup in the glass. Immensely dark and black with no head, but rather some floating tan bubbly islands and no lacing. The legs of the alcohol were quite noticeable too. Aroma was very sweet, especially when let warm. The milk and dark chocolate notes opened up vigorously and made way for a caramel appearance. Reminded me of a toned down version of ST's Creme Brulee. Also, more espresso than coffee on the nose alongside some boozy heat.

Flavors were more coffee and espresso oriented, but segued into a beautiful malt backbone with milk chocolate sweetness. Each flavor component was represented very well on the palate. This finish was incredibly notable too: very chocolately and sweet, like some Ghiradelli. Very, very appetizing.

Mouthfeel was VERY smooth and creamy. Very thick and generously coating. It's got to be the thickest beer I've ever encountered so far and I loved it. Much respect to the Marshal.

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Photo of paulozanello
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black color, with a minimal brown head. Very thick and oily aspect to it. Not much lacing nor retention.

Aroma is of dark roasted malts, olives (?)/ herbal hops and wood.

Taste is sort of unusual with a malt/mollasses start and kind of a malt adstringency that resembles sourness. In the middle I can definitely taste some herbal/earthy hop charachter. It progresses with dark fruits, smoke malt and ends with lots of roast+hop bitterness with a lingering aftertaste.

Body is medium to heavy, smooth carbonation. Great silky mouthfeel.

Nice beer but it tastes a little too smoky to me. I realize it is just a personal preference but I like my imperial stouts leaning more towards vanilla/chocolate/coffee. Definitely worth a try though.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very thick black, very oily looking and viscous. A small brown colored head forms upon pouring and reduces to a thin cap on top. Minimal lacing.

S: Tons of molasses, it really dominates the aroma. There is some chocolate mixed in, a little bit of coffee, and faint roast. Definitely know its got some alcohol in it as well.

T: The flavor is certainly still full of molasses, but to a lesser extent. The chocolate is more pronounced, with some licorice and faint dark stone fruit. The roast comes through on the finish nicely, not much alcohol presence.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slight warming as it goes down.

O: A big stout for sure. Really over powering in terms of thickness and sweetness, great if it is the only beer you plan on drinking.

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