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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout - Cigar City Brewing

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

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518 Reviews
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Reviews: 518
Hads: 2,448
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 21.26%
Wants: 1,189
Gots: 836 | FT: 80
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: 518 | Hads: 2,448
Photo of fhyden
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle poured from 750ml into snifter

A - Dark, dark, dark. A healthy caramel head tops this viscous bad boy, and boy does it have legs -- a swirl leaves the glass coated. Good retention and solid lacing.

S - Chocolate, toffee, espresso, molasses.

T - The chocolate and toffee really come through on the front end with some tobacco and a nice finishing hops bitterness at the end. It's sweet, but not cloyingly so. I catch a little fig and perhaps a bit of smokiness as it warms.

M - Thick and creamy. Good God, this just coats the inside of my mouth.

O - This is one my absolute favorite untreated examples of an RIS and is one of the few I've had that has been balanced so well when so fresh. Outstanding!

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Photo of barnzy78
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 release. Thanks to my friend, Matt, for cracking this open for us!
L - pitch black with a tall chocolatey brown head
S - boozy and rich with chocolate, coffee, roasted barley
T - dark chocolate, roasted barley, coffee, fairly sweet and boozy
F - full bodied and creamy
O - upper echelon RIS. Really solid stuff from a brewery I wish was distributed to IL. Glad I had the chance to try this!

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Photo of Pahn
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split 3 ways into wine glasses (with morningthief and his wife). Thanks to BA shufon for trading me this bottle!

Appearance: Careful pour yields a 1 inch brown head. Pours like engine oil and leaves solid brown lacing walls. Darkest beer ever.

Smell: Thick dark chocolate, some raisin, coffee, caramel. Not too much happening, but potent and good.

Taste: Coffee, wood, molasses, BBQ sauce, hot cocoa. Basically hot cocoa and BBQ sauce, with some bold wood soaking in it (Mesquite or something). Roasted malt, slight toffee.

This is a pretty serious stout. I haven't had a beer this thick and bold since 2009 Black Tuesday (which was decidedly more complex, but equally bold). My friend says it tastes like oatmeal packets she'd get in Taiwan. She amends the statement to "hot cereal packets."

Huge aftertaste. Thick and bold.

Mouthfeel: Full(est) bodied. Mild carbonation. Amazingly thick. It clearly had a goal, and fulfilled it.

Overall: I don't know if these kind of "all the way" stouts are my favorite, but they're great to sip on now and then. Hides its ABV beautifully, but delivers heavy flavor. Hard to not admire how fully this beer delivers for the true "Big bold stout" lover. I wouldn't put myself in that category, but I appreciate greatness when I experience it.

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Photo of amphion1065
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle from 2011, poured into a Duvel tulip. Thanks therealnomayo.

Whoa. It pours thick like heavy cream, but it’s pitch black. The head is the darkest I’ve ever seen on a stout, reminiscent of 80% dark chocolate. Fairly tight bubbles, a finger’s worth of head. Gorgeous lacing, with thick sheets of foam made of infinite tiny bubbles all around the glass. Even an hour after pouring, the lace remained. Good grief, this is flawless.

Very roasted, toasted aroma. Some definite smoke in the smell here. Very dark chocolate, as the appearance would suggest. Not a ton of coffee, but plenty of vanilla - those two flavors work very well together. Some dark fruits. I really have to search for the alcohol.

Very roasted, almost charred malts in the taste. It's similar to a burnt marshmallow, simultaneously very roasted and very sweet. Definite coffee bitterness lingers in the finish. A lot of chocolate, and it only becomes more pronounced as it warms. By the end of the bottle, this was sort of like drinking burnt hot fudge, the dregs at the bottom of a scalding canister. The alcohol is very muted.

The feel is just about perfect. Super thick and viscous – again, the milk comparisons are warranted. The carbonation is very low, but there’s just enough to help the flavors open up. As chewy and mouth-coating as they come, this is a big beer but a joy to drink.

I really loved this. As far as non-bal aged stouts go, this is right near the top for me. This is decadent, and yet it still comes across as restrained. Though in general I prefer more sweetness in Russian Imperial Stouts, Marshal Zhukov’s absolutely crushes it.

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Photo of babaracas
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 version. Poured from the 750ml a completely opaque pitch black with a dense brown head, leaving thick globs of lace. Wow, a fantastic looking stout. Smell: dark chocolate, dark brown sugar, heavily creamer-ed coffee, mildly citric hops and something a bit rye-like in the background. Taste: dark, high cocoa chocolate, mild roasted notes throughout, molasses, herbal and earthy hops beneath. Mouthfeel: really exceptional, thick and creamy with enough carbonation to keep it from being too heavy. I'm drinking this pretty warm and I'd swear there's no way this is 11+%. Well hidden, making it scarily drinkable. Will be revisiting this one for sure.

2011 version. Pours pitch black with dense creamy looking three fingers worth of dark brown head. Settles slowly to a half inch and leaves a sheet of thin lace down the glass, staining the glass brownish yellow. Smell: yeasty pumpernickel with carroway, dark cocoa, espresso, herbal and earthy. Taste: dark brown sugar, bready, some molasses, black currant, herbal and slightly citric (acidic) hopping, espresso and anise finish. Full bodied - thick with an exceptionally creamy feel. Missed this one(‘s carbonation) last year and happy to have it back. Same rating as 2009.

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Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of DrewZ926
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Jet black, impossibly black. About a finger of charred head.

S- Huge roasted malt, dark dark cocoa, espresso grounds, dark fruits

T- Big sweetness, heavy on the chocolate and espresso with echos of fruity esters. Picking up a lot of plums, prunes, and cherries.

M- So viscous and coating. Very thick and indulgent.

O- A great RIS, not too sweet and highly complex. Hope to find it on the shelves again soon.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Finally opened a bottle at DLD 2010. Served in a mini snifter.

Pours black as night with a good mocha head. Head recedes quickly without leaving behind much lace. The nose is incredible with a wondrous balance of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and roasted malt. A good dose of booze to blend things up. The taste is equally decadent with all the flavors in harmony. Good, smooth feel with a bit of heat. Drinks incredibly well and this will be a big cellaring candidate for me.

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Photo of klikger
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour served in a Bruery tulip

A - Black, huge dark brown head & great lacing

S - Rich chocolate, coffee, molasses, dried cayenne peppers, and some cinnamon. It doesn't get much better.

T - Cinnamon, dried chilis, dark chocolate --> more chili pepper and sweet, roasted malts plus earthy and piny hops --> Bitter, yet sweet finish. There's a lot going on here - exhilarating stout!

M - Very creamy and pretty thick; rich, but not syrupy

D - Definitely a sipper; half of a 750 was perfect.

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Photo of DNICE555
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter during the mandate tasting with Zapps and R Moe Nay.

Small head which comes alive a little bit with a very rough pour. Roasted malt, caramel, coffee and chocolate in the nose. Alcohol hits a bit more with the taste as well as the characteristics of the nose. Pretty smooth, a tad thin to be picky, and a little heat. Drinks very well and is another solid stout from Cigar City.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black with a beefy two finger mocha colored head and some light lace down the glass with each sip.

S: Just a crapload of roasted malt, dark chocolate espresso beans and charred wood. Smells amazing. Faint cranberry, raisin and ash in here as well.

T: Tons of dark chocolate, espresso, dark chocolate covered cherry, molasses and charred wood. Faint hints of dark fruit peeking out from under the velvety dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is Barry White smooth. Just so good.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours like motor oil with a nice mocha head. Smells of chocolate syrup, roasty notes. Taste is extremely sweet and very chocolaty, then mellows into bitter roast and ashiness. Thick and viscous as with all CCB stouts...man this is big. Espresso bitter finish. Mild carbonation keeps this thing thick. Good stuff.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep near black color with less than half of a finger of amber tinted head, over time the head appears to be move or a brown (and less red). Retention is very strong, good lacing as well.

S - Super rich and rhobust, tobacco-ey, wood, smokey, rich chocolate, semi-vanilla-ey.

T - Wowzers! Tons of uber rich dark chocolate, tons. slightly smokey, mild tobacco flavored finish. Overall, rich dark cocoa nibs. Aftertaste is sweet and mildly roasty.

M - Fuller bodied, hardly any carbonation at all, incredibly smooth.

O - Incredibly rich dark chocolate flavor, some woody/smokeyness.

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Photo of alaimoa
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Figured I'd try a random stout I had in the basement for a few months and came away very impressed. Jai is a great IPA and Marshall is amazing so I can only imagine what the Hunapu is like. Jet blac pour with a reddish/brown head and a thin line of lacing. Smell is roasted coffee and burnt sugar and a bit of raisin. Sips an upfront coocoa and roasted coffee with sweetness and a bit of a thin mouthfeel but made up by a lingering full mouth coating sticky sweetness.
Overall it has quite a few layers of flavor. Some people may knock it on sweetness or booziness but I actually like it and think it would develop nicely with some age

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Photo of jbaker67
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pour is deep, viscous black with a frothy white head and great lacing. Big leather, roasty, black licorice, pruney, raisins, caramelly, anise, and brown sugary aroma. Taste is deep dark chocolate, cocoa, espresso, anise, black licorice, earthy, a touch of grass, leather, and char with a roasted bitter finish. Thick oily mouthfeel with soft carbonation. Rich, decadent and very smooth for 11%. Nice!

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage. Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Black color. Aggressive pour yielded only on finger of creamy light brown head. Retention was poor, even for the ABV. No lacing.

5.0 S: Really awesome nose on this. Rich dark chocolate is plentiful. Deeply roasted espresso undertones. Lots of blackstrap molasses with caramel, lightly herbal and citrus hops, and a oaky woodiness. Black cherry with a touch of sherry. Full of the CC house flavor that works so well in their stouts.

4.5 T: Like the nose, this is complex and powerful. Dark chocolate is again the strongest flavor with molasses, caramel, and neutral malt sweetness next. Notes of vanilla, oak, cherry, and herbal hoppiness. There's hitns of sherry again, but it acts to complement the flavors. Really tasty.

4.0 M: Heavier body. Carbonation is a bit lower than I'd prefer, but not horrible. Reasonably creamy and smooth.

4.5 D: Really tasty beer. About as good as Hunahpu's.

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Photo of sholland119
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Back from a short business trip, sharing Blind Beer #6 with vickster529 as a nightcap. The suggested "glassware" is, if I understand the drawing properly, a syringe. I consider myself forewarned. A bomber into Vickie's Mad Elf snifter and my DFH snifter.

A-There's black, there's motor oil black, there's deep, opaque black. Then there's this black, which I lack the vocabulary to describe. This beer also has the darkest foamy brown head I think I have ever seen. Going out on a limb and guessing RIS for this one. Looks awesome! 5.0

S-Big and bad. Rich and roasty, tons of dark chocolate, toffee, booze soaked cherries. Outstanding. 4.5

T-Lives up to the expectations of the look and the nose. Rich, very nice roasty base, some heat that is well controlled, toasty marshmallow and huge chocolate and espresso notes. 4.5

M-Heavy but not tiring on the palate. Medium carbonation works well here. 4

O-Excellent! The perfect knockout punch after a long day of meetings and travel. This beer rocks! Tons of flavor, well controlled heat, rich flavors.4.5

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Photo of AltBock
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at CCB on August 31, 2013. They served it to me in a CCB Snifter.

This beer poured an absolute black color. CCB has plenty of light in their tasting room, but it wasn't hard to tell that this beer was a pitch black color. It was as black as a German Soldier's heart during WWII. That's pretty damn black! On top of this ink black brew was a 1/4 of an inch dark mocha colored head of foam. This nice looking head of foam had nice retention that left behind a small, but fat sized string of rings along the edge of the glass. Beautiful appearance!

This is the type of aroma that you want to find in an Imperial Stout. The aroma was hugely roasted with a nice subtle sweetness to back it up. Right up front was the dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, and dark roasted espresso beans. Once it got the roasted aromas out of the way, in comes the dark fruits. The dark fruit punch consisted mostly of black cherry with a touch of plum and raisins. This beer isn't over yet. This beer then finishes up with a nice caramel/molasses aroma.

The taste was just as complex as the sweet ass aroma. Like the aroma, it was the dry roasted elements that kicked off the taste. That's where I found the dark roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, and a nice amount of roasted espresso beans. The roasted element of the taste was so big that it overshadowed the dark fruits and the subtle sweetness. My tastebuds could only pick out some raisins, black cherry, a touch of plum, and a miniature taste of caramel/molasses. It wasn't hard to tell who controlled the taste of this beer.

This was a dry full bodied thick Imperial Stout with a good level of carbonation and a lingering roasted aftertaste. This aftertaste wasn't going anywhere and I'm fine with that. If couldn't tell from my taste description, the aftertaste contained dry roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, a few dark fruits and a subtle taste of caramel.

I've had this beer a few times, but never bothered to review it. I know, I'm a bad person. There's no doubt about it. This is a really good beer. I didn't know Marshal Zhukov personally, but I'm sure he would be proud to have this beer attached to his name. It's good in the bottles and really good on tap.

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Photo of Lunch
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml bottle acquired in a trade from Kiefdog (Thanks man!) into my Cigar City snifter, also sent to me in our trade, at cellar temperature (01/22/10). I have been quite anxious to try this beer for some time and thanks go out to Kevin for sending it my way.

A: Hands down the finest looking Imperial Stout that I have seen. Pour a thick dark motor oil black with perhaps the darkest head I have ever seen on a beer. Exceptional retention and lacing.

S: Wonderful aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, rich cocoa, espresso, toffee, caramel, and hints of molasses.

T: Taste pretty much mirrors the nose and is extremely rich and full flavored. Rich chocolate and roasted malt are surrounded by sweet and slightly bitter cocoa, espresso, toffee, caramel and molasses. The taste and flavor profile keep improving as it warms. There is just a faint sense of a warming alcohol that is quite pleasant and never gets in the way.

M: Perhaps the most full-bodied and thickest beer I have tried. Extremely creamy and rather viscus with great coating of the entire palate. Wonderful low and creamy carbonation and i see no room at all for improvement.

D: Good drinkability and I had no problem finishing the entire 750 myself, but the 11.5% abv., the thickness, and the rich flavors do not lend themselves to excessive drinkability.

Overall this was an exceptional experience and certainly an Imperial Stout that can easily hold its own. Great flavors, exceptional appearance and mouthfeel, and an overall polished RIS. Thanks again Kevin! Highly Recommended.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml capped bomber into a couple of tulip glasses. Thanks go to Jw347 for this in a recent trade.

Pours black as motor oil coming out of the bottle, topped off with a ½ finger of burnt and blackened looking dark mocha head. There actually isn't a whole lot to the retention or lacing on this, as this peters out pretty quickly, but the amount of sticky brown oils that it leaves down the sides of the glass has you anticipating the dark decadence to come. The aroma is sharp in the nose at first with roasted coffee character, before a gooey smelling mix of chocolate and caramel malts rise up underneath. Citric green hops add some fresh green balance to this. Lot of beefy power here to the nose but I'm not getting any heat, as this merely amps up the robustness of the flavors.

The taste is thick and tangy in the mouth with chocolate fudge and toffee character up front. This is enveloped by crunchy burnt notes of roast and coffee, while a solid tingle of green and earthy feeling hops runs through the middle of the profile. The backend is heavy with leftover sweetness and citrus flavor before leading into dry roasted and zippy espresso finish. The mouthfeel is full, thick, and VERY chewy in the mouth. That 11% ABV is just beautifully hidden here, as you can feel just how big it is as it sits on the palate but there is absolutely no heat signatures coming out of this at all. Beefy but not boozy. Fantastic feel!

While not the most complex RIS out there, this doesn't have to be, thanks to the robustness, power, and most importantly balance of all of those huge flavors that are involved here. It's no wonder that this makes a perfect base for all of the different varieties that they put out of this beer. Just a well crafted Russian Imperial Stout with the alcohol content being right where I like it.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into sniffer at Lokal in Miami. $25 I couldn't pass it up...
Pours a deeeep black with tan almost brown head. Looks like muddy coffee...awesome.
Aromas of roasted malts and chocolate with a huge dried fruity raison kick. Taste is huge dried fruit and raison...sweet, but balanced with lots of roasted coffee and a chocolate finish. So smooth..almost chugable. This stout is fantastic. ..would love to have one to age as I bet this would be phenomenal in a few years. But now its amazing. Wow...

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Photo of Mora2000
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to finally try this beer.

The beer pours a deep, inky black color with a large brown head. The aroma has a ton of milk chocolate in it as well as some roasted malt and a little bit of cream. The flavor is similar, with a hint of light smoke and some very dark fruit up front (mainly prunes, plums and raisins), I also get a lot of chocolate and some very heavily roasted malt. Thick, creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation. An excellent imperial stout, proving once again that when it comes to big, bold stouts, Cigar City is one of the best.

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Photo of nickd717
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle via trade thanks to Sebletitje, and another shared by Nick3 and mfielden.

A - Pours jet black and thick with a medium thick brown head, very dark, leaving a small layer of foam and good lacing.

S - Aroma is nice and intense with chocolate, coffee, roast, molasses, and black cherry.

T - Flavor is similar to the aroma and really huge with lots of roasted malt as well as some caramel, dark chocolate, espresso, smoke, and lots of cherry. Some people thought there were actually cherries in this beer. Hops noticeable in there as well.

M - Palate is really full and chewy with a long bitter hop and cocoa finish.

D - High for what this beer is. Overall this is a notch above Hunahpu's even, with a creamier, fuller palate and higher drinkability, although it lacks the nice spiciness that Hunahpu's has.

Oh yeah, does anyone else notice a lot of Communist themes in Cigar City's beers? If this was the 1950's, Joe McCarthy would definitely not approve.

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Photo of yamar68
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to robinsmv for this one!

Pours like motor oil... except maybe darker, and thicker. So sexy looking - dark coffee brown head fades to a thin, well retaining film that smears lacing across a layer of oily alcohol legs.

Oh my... bittersweet. Chocolate cookies, fudge... it even SMELLS thick. Damn. Some brown sugar or cinnamon, french toast, molasses... nose-gasm.

Bittersweet chocolates of all kinds, abstract roasted malt qualities, incredibly thick and exceedingly smooth, alcohol character goes virtually undetected... I wonder how many calories are in this bottle. My guess would be a lot, and it's worth every fuckin' sip.

Damn good.

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Photo of SockPuppet
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oozes out of the bottle. Almost no head. Thick, chewy, and brash. Chocolate, espresso, vanilla. This beer is great for a chilly night, but I wouldn't touch it in the summer unless I was sharing the bottle. Huge beer.

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Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.