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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.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

512 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 512
Hads: 2,429
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 1,181
Gots: 816 | FT: 75
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: 512 | Hads: 2,429
Photo of floridadrift
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Crazy how this beer went from being a imperial stout to a sensation. In Florida, fat, ugly and dorky guys drool over this beer.

A: Black

T: Good, a little boozy, some spice and dark figs. Always get them really cold and let them warm down to temp to really, really taste this stout. Warm is where its out.

M: Fresh, carbonated somewhat, without bourbon I can only say so much. Pretty good.

O: 94 out of 100 for Imperial Stouts (431 characters)

Photo of draheim
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL (bottled 8/31/2012) into a snifter. Pours a thick, oily pitch black w/ a deep reddish tan head. Absolutely opaque and black as night. This is an impressive looking imperial stout.

Aroma is thick and sticky as well. Molasses, dark roasted malt, rich chocolate, vanilla, dark stone fruit.

Taste faithfully follows nose. Bittersweet chocolate, sticky molasses, rum-soaked figs, espresso, vanilla, toffee, and just a touch of booze. There's a ton of dense sticky sweetness here, but it's balanced perfectly by a sharp, cocoa-like bitterness.

Mouthfeel is chewy and coating; thick and rich. Decadent. Yet it somehow manages to vanish off the palate and finishes semi-dry, leaving behind a nice chocolatey aftertaste that lingers like a rich bittersweet truffle.

Overall, a truly impressive Russian imperial stout and a genuine dessert beer. I was expecting this to be good, but not this good. (897 characters)

Photo of stxSS07
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a tulip. Courtesy of moose3285...thanks Mike!

A- Pours an oil slick black. Chugs out of the bottle. This is the darkest beer I've ever seen. Head is a dark mocha brown...leaves a huge brown film/legs when swirled.

S- Huge. First smell is of dark cacao powder, figs, and raisins. Scents of molasses, roasted malt/coffee. Alcohol is present, but not in a stinging way..I feel like it lends a hand to the sweetness. I pick up some licorice and vanilla on the back end as well. Very complex and I'm sure there are more notes that I just can't pick out individually.

T- First taste is of sweet dark fruits - figs and cherries mostly. Mid-palate I get more dark fruity notes...mostly raisins but coupled with a touch of bittering hops. Huge coffee/espresso finish...lasts forever. Somewhere in there I get the smell/flavor of a fresh pouch of Beechnut. Easily the most complex non-BA RIS I've had.

M- Thick and chewy with adequate carbonation. One of bigger stouts I've had as far as feel goes.

O- As previously stated, this is the best non-BA RIS I've had. The flavor is so incredibly complex and powerful that I almost doubt there were no additives (i.e. coffee) to this. I will definitely be seeking this out again. (1,229 characters)

Photo of ronricorossi
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Thick, rich and chewy. Viscous and frothy. Sweet, with burnt notes at the back end. The bitterness lingers a bit - too much? Bah, no matter. Just about as good as a RIS gets. World class. Got to be in my top five for the style. (227 characters)

Photo of arlo19
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cracked a year old bottle saved from a trip to Tampa. Bottled 8/20/13

Pour is black as tar! Great dark brown head.
The aroma is chocolate, plum, not much booze.
Taste is similar, heavy malt and not a hint of harsh alcohol.
Slightly dry aftertaste. (248 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Smell: Fudge, coffee and molasses

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

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

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

Photo of atsprings
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Bitterbill
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to Matt for the bottle!

It pours black with a 2 finger head of tan foam.

The smell is all sorts of complex; coffee, milk chocolate, toffee, sweet malt, molasses. Wow.

The taste follows suit. All the smells are there with the bottom line of this being a very malty/sweet RIS with just enough bitterness to keep it from getting cloying. Super good tasting and the alcohol is hidden pretty well.

The smoothest of mouthfeels with a better drinkability rating than it has a right to, this is simply marvelous. (523 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: black as night, with a sandy brown head and great lacing

S: deep, rich, dark roasted malt, chocolate, toffee

T: I love it when I'm really excited to try a beer and it totally measures up to the high expectations I had. Rich, big, robust, complex, delicious, with hints of chocolate. This is a big RIS, and done very well.

M: Aggressive without being hot, thick, great carbonation level, easy going down, especially for 11.5% abv. As the glass is emptied it looks like an oil slick took place where the beer used to be. Viscosity lives here.

D: I have another bottle in the cellar that I'm pretty excited about. Highly recommended. This is one of the best in the style. (675 characters)

Photo of Demer
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my snifter. This beer is huge. Its pitch black with a deep dark brown head that stays the entire time in glass. Tons of lacing. The head is clumpy and awesome. You just know this is a serious beer just by looking at it.

The nose on this once is all roasted malty goodness. Theres some mocha and coffee thrown in to for good measure.

The taste on this beer is awesome. Roasted malts with some sweet chocolate, coffee, molasses. I also get some vanilla. This beer is motor oil thick.

Overall Im glad I have a few more bottles of this laying around. It is a great beer. I enjoyed every sip from first to last. This one is world class. (648 characters)

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Same as Hunahpus with a jet black color and very dark head and lacing.

S: Very complex malt character with molasses, fudge, and smoky malts being most prominent. A little teriyaki saltiness as well, but with plenty of sugariness to balance.

T: Also a great taste with balanced malt notes and a little bit of hop esters as well. Bitter back and big fudge and smoke notes.

M: Very smooth and inviting.

D: Very drinkable for a stout of this magnitude. Another excellent stout from Cigar City! (499 characters)

Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled August 2014, aged approximately 10 months before being consumed. Opened at a share in June 2015. Pours a dark black with little head. Super smooth and drinkable for such a big beer! (189 characters)

Photo of humuloner22
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting beer. Its very dark and really good. Is it worth the hype, or the difficulty to get one? Maybe but I have had just as good that were not nearly as difficult to obtain.

Appearance: One of the darkest beers I have ever seen. Head is pretty benign when it was poured but then it began to rise above the top of the pour for a second or two then settled into a nice lacing pattern. Very dark khaki colored head sits on top throughout the drinking of it and it has a nice clinging lacing pattern on the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Not as bold as I would have expected. Its pretty much a chocolate and molasses bomb. Very sweet and roasty on the nose.

Taste: Sweet imperial stout flavors dominate. It honestly reminds me a lot of Ten Fidy which is a lot easier to come by and cheaper. It is what it is, sweet but not too sweet an a lot of molasses on the tongue. It does have a fantastic mouthfeel , smooth and thick but not too much. The roasted notes are not too burned and its not overly alcoholic in the flavor profile.

Overall: I have had a lot of stouts, this is a very good one, on par with some of the best, but its not the best I have had and considering the difficulty obtaining it, I would say its worth seeking out if you are interested otherwise there are a lot of great options out there these days. I would love to try a barrel aged version of this, I imagine it would be amazing! (1,406 characters)

Photo of r0nyn
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my Dogfish Head snifter. Courtesy of fellow BA infi. Split with him and BA NYManc.

Pours a ridiculous jet back that's completely opaque. Looks like motor oil coming out of the bottle. No head whatsoever, though. A few swirls gives it some sticky lacing coating the side of the glass. Smell is...whoa. Super sweet caramel malts override the senses, along with dark chocolate, coffee and espresso. A bit of warming gives it a little bit of alcohol at the end. Massively impressive.

Taste starts off with some malty sweetness that quickly gives way to all the flavors from the nose. Tons of dark chocolate, espresso and coffee. Just...wow. Everything has a pleasing roasted quality as well, giving depth to the flavor profile. The sweetness is the most pleasant part of the brew, at least for me. That caramel sugary flavor just complements the other nuances so well. The mild bitterness and sweetness lingers long into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, smooth smooth like velvet. Rich and creamy with excellent body and balance. I am quite impressed.

Drinkability is suitably high, thanks to the absolutely delicious taste and superb mouthfeel. The ABV is hidden very well, making this a very dangerous brew. Definitely one of my new favorite Russian Imperial Stouts. I just wish it was more readily available around here. Thanks to infi for sharing this great brew with me. (1,405 characters)

Photo of sukwonee
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage.

A: Black motor-oil body with one finger mocha head that lingers. Lots of lacing.

S: Roasted malt, dark chocolate. Smells very close to Hunahpu without the peppers.

T: Yum... very very good tasting stout. Dark chocolate, roasty malt, coffee, some hops. Taste is very... long...(couldn't find a better adjective) and it lingers very long too afterwards - dark chocoalte and bitterness. It's awesome and I think it will age very well too, although it tastes great now.

M: Same and Hunahpu. Thick, syrupy, chewy, awesome.

O: This is probably my favorite non-barrel aged and specially treated stout to date. (625 characters)

Photo of MartzMimic
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the bottle the color and viscosity of motor oil, with a nice finger of mocha head. Smells of cocoa, dark fruit and warm spices. It tastes much as it smells. Chocolate, cinnamon, plum and cherry. Maybe a touch of coffee. The alcohol is hidden well, only providing a little warmth. Slightly bitter finish. Medium mouth that coats the tongue well. Just a really well-made stout. (386 characters)

Photo of nootch23
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle poured into a snifter.

A - pours a thick, midnight black with a half finger of chocolate colored head. Can't see anything through the glass.

S - great smelling beer, smells really big. Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee underlying the big boozy smell that is right up front.

T - really complex tasting beer. Really big notes of chocolate, molasses, licorice, coffee, and a lot of fruit flavors like cherries and prunes, if you can believe that. The alcohol is definitely there and has that alcohol burn with each drink. Despite the alcohol in each taste, it's an easy beer to drink, really smooth going down.

M - thick presence lingers with lingering tastes of chocolate, fruits and coffee. very smooth finish.

O - this is a great beer yet a pretty big one that will probably be unbelievable given 2-3 years in the cellar. I love complex tasting beers and each flavor plays beautifully off the other. The booziness is present but is balanced out pretty well so its not overwhelming or overpowering the rest of the beer. I'm really glad I had this and thank akuyper for sending it along in our trade. This is a beer that is definitely worth seeking out and trying and/or cellaring. Am very interested to see how this beer tastes after aging for a few years. I can see why it's so highly regarded. (1,320 characters)

Photo of Bogart2930
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Typical CCB Stout.. In that it's great. Really sets standard on how a good stout should taste like. Never hesitate to pick this one up (or multiple where possible) of this you wont be disappointed. (197 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Maybe the deepest pour of any stout I have come across,jet black with a deep cocoa powder colored thick creamy head,just awesome.Deep molasses and coffee aromas really stand out when pouring,some roasted nut and chocolate round out an aggressive aroma profile.Thick and creamy feel to the beer makes it glide down to easy.Flavors of black strap molasses and chocolate start out on the palate wich is somewhat sweet but not overly so,French roast coffee and mild earthy tones keep the beer balanced and more quaffable,the alcohol is there but it didn't make it less drnkable.Wow this is a brash bad ass imperial stout,no wonder the high ratings,one of the best beers I have had this year...if not the best. (705 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nedvalton for this one! Definitely big one on my wanted list. Marshall Zhukov pours dark as fuck with another dark as fuck tan head - seriously, this is incredible. The only beer that can rival this level of darkness and viscosity is probably Founders Imperial Stout. If the look is any indication, this is gonna be a good beer. The nose is heavily roasted and super malt-heavy as expected. Deep espresso beans, cocoa, bittersweet fudge - this beer SMELLS thick. Mostly sweet in the aroma, but it shows some signs of light char, roastiness, and even a hint of leafy bitterness.

Swish! This beer wafts across my tongue about as thick and dense as they come. Waves of thick, sweet fudge, chocolate, and heavy roasted malts rush back and forth with huge robustness. After the initial taste, the brew seems to lighten up a bit and the chocolate takes on more of a sweet, milky flavor. Some light licorice and anise flavors add to the sweetness as well. Much to my liking, there is a very noticeable hop character; ashy, leafy, and herbal, providing a nice bitterness that slashes through the sweetness of the beer. There is some char and roast, but not quite enough to reveal a "smokey" flavor. Heavily woody and even a little nutty on the end with a huge dry-roasted coffee bean aftertaste. Medium carbonation provides the creamy and chewy mouth feel of this beer - big, robust, and powerful.

This is a damn fine beer. It's got just about everything I'm looking for in an imperial stout. For an 11%-er, the alcohol was hidden well, making this one dangerous. Sweet, roasty, and even bitter, this beer will put you on your ass. It's huge, it's powerful, it's not for sissies. Definitely rivals some of my other favorites, FIS and Ten FIDY. I wish this stuff were easier for me to acquire, I'd have it all the time. But maybe that's a good thing. (1,853 characters)

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. Poured from 750 ml bottle into an efes snifter. Tudor brown head, decent retention. Oily, clear lacing slides down the glass. Aroma consists of roasted malt, coffee, slight alcohol, even a touch of bacony smoke. Taste includes coffee, faint chocolate, slight underlying sweet malt and roasted malt. Mouthfeel is very, very thick and viscous. Certainly more amazing upon warming. Spectacular. (405 characters)

Photo of JayS2629
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured jet black with thick, dark mocha head that fades slowly into rich, creamy rings. Sticky black legs like molasis run down the edges of the glass. Beautiful.

Bold, rich, roasted coffee punches through dark chocolate, molasis, over-ripe plums and dark cherry notes. Hints of vanilla, tobacco and licorice fade into some warm, inviting, rum fumes in the finish.

Dark chocolate and molasis balanced with roasted malts and black coffee create a background for dark fruit notes of cherry, figs, and plum. Hints of vanilla, dark cola, tobbacco and licorice. Earthy hops balance rum notes in the finish to create a complex and enjoyable beer.

Rich, syrupy, smooth and silky. Warming. Thick and sticky.

Super rich, complex, enjoyable imperial stout. Defninite warming sipper to share on a cold night. (801 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter
2011 version, but no specific dates or other distinguishing numbers

A: Pours a viscous, viscous, opaque jet black, with 2 plus fingers width of bubbly yet dense, dark,  chocolate ice cream colored head.  This is the darkest head I've seen on a beer, ever.   Great retention, and takes minutes to dissipate down to a drinkable level.  Leaves a decent amount of lacing.  Amazing looking beer.

S: Very aromatic from the moment I opened the bottle.  Big dark fruit characters with tons of fig and some raisin.  There are even notes of unripe sour plums.  Chocolate aroma is present as well, along with some roasted malt and toffee notes.  The alcohol presence is noticeable but not negatively so.  There is a wood oaky aroma as well.  Lots going on with the nose, but dark fruits are the most prominent.  Very nice.

T: Initial sip gives roasted malts and dark fruit sweetness.  Other flavors noted are fig,  an oak flavor thats bourbon like, milk chocolate,  a nutty character, bitter bakers chocolate on the back end, and even a hint of coconut at one point. Early on its almost too sweet, but as it warms the sweetness is balanced by other flavors including hops and roasted malt, and an earthy grassy flavor.  The flavor profile is complex, with large variations from sip to sip.  Very good.

M/D: Silky smooth, very nice.  A very chewy mouthfeel and does a great job of coating the palate.  About as full bodied as you can get.  Carbonation is very minimal, in a good way, which makes the head and retention that much more impressive.  Pretty good drinkability considering how massive this beer is.  

O: Overall, a great beer.  Really top notch.  Actually it's very similar to Hunahpu , except the Hunahpu flavor profile is slightly ( and I mean only slightly) better, and I actually like it more than rum barrel aged Hunahpu.  A great offering that I highly recommend trying if you can get it. (1,961 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to injuredreserve for the bottle. Shared with Bilco and angrybabboon

Appearance: Thick, dark, and massive. Pours like motor oil and sludge. So very still. No head. Syrupy and viscous. I've poured some big stouts, but this might be the scariest thing I've ever seen come out of a bottle.

Smell: Char. So very burnt. It's charred and aggressive. Smoke and more smoke. Meat ends. Turn up the grill and burn those malts. Sweetness is in your face. Alcohol pulls through, but is quickly subdued by the all out malt assault. Coffee and cocoa. Holy hell. Some vanilla and dark fruit. It's all about the char.

Taste: Unrelenting malt aggression. Burnt, charred, and sweet. Somehow they've achieved Maillard reaction flavors. Did they cook this with a blow torch? Bitter cocoa and some fresh coffee. Meat and a mellow roasted compliment. It's confusing. Plums and raisins. Cherry. Waves of flavor and depth. Complex and then some.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, slick, and full. It's beastly. So very heavy. Carbonation is almost non-existent. So much body.

Overall: This transcends the levels of normality. We're talking about something that fringes on a solid. It's a beast and a half. So much char that a bottle would be impossible to drink alone. Bring your friends and be astounded. (1,283 characters)

Photo of urwithdave
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing from notes taken on 03/20/10. Poured into a CCB snifter at the tasting room at the brewery.

A- Pours black as coal. Two fingers of a dark brown head. Excellent retention and a crazy amount of lacing left behind.

S- Big roasted malts, chocolate, and molasses.

T- Follows the nose. Lots of dark chocolate, roasted malts, and sweet molasses. This beer is heavenly. Some dark fruits are also present, however, I get more of the chocolate with every pull.

M- Nice and creamy. I really want another sip.

D- I was at the brewery at 1050 AM waiting for them to open the doors. I had 3 snifters full for breakfast. I could have kept going well into dinner!!!! I may have needed help walking, but I seriously could have polished off another 3 snifters! (757 characters)

Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 512 ratings.