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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,138 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,138
Reviews: 487
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 1,070
Gots: 725 | FT: 62
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BigMcLargeHuge on 11-17-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,138 | Reviews: 487 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HalfFull
3.05/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a wine glass from a 750 ml. bottle. The pour is rich and black yet offers not even a hint of carbonation. Looks like a glass of cabernet to me. Not even a hiss upon opening should have been a sign, yet pouring half off into a 330 ml. bottle for recapping did show a hint of carbonation and the nose shows no sign of oxygen issues fortunately.

Nose of dark chocolate, some coffee and brown sugar and a hint of wafting alcohol.

Flavor is sweet and viscous, suffering to a degree from the lack of carbonation. Sweetened dark chocolate, bit of cocoa powder and roasted coffee on the finish. Feel is decent for being so flat but seems as though it would be rather light if well carbonated.

Rather slick and improves a bit in flavor with warming. Still the carbonation issue, surely not unique to my bottle, beats this beer down significantly.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.08/5  rDev -29.5%
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.

Photo of headbucket
3.13/5  rDev -28.4%
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.

Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of Brdlist
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of pschul4
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of LSMroz
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of HopsintheSack
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of gwiedman1
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of gueuzegossage
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of TonyTalon
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.33/5  rDev -23.8%
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.

Photo of scottfrie
3.35/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

Photo of vandemonian
3.4/5  rDev -22.2%
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

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.45/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

Photo of Chico1985
3.45/5  rDev -21.1%
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...

Photo of Bendurgin
3.45/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

Photo of vince4953529
3.45/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

Photo of davod23
3.48/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

Photo of RolandBlunts
3.48/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of nickfl
3.48/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

Photo of BillKuhnel
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

Photo of Beerontwowheels
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
97 out of 100 based on 2,138 ratings.